Saturday, October 28, 2017



For those who tend to be scrupulous...

Who make every temptation they receive into a sin...

Who struggle listening to their confessor when he tells them that they have not actually sinned in many ways which they think they have... 

For such persons, the following passage may be an oasis of comfort and peace for their mind and soul.  

It can be found in the Chapter 2 of R. P. Quadrupani, Barnabite’s book, Light and Peace, which I have previously quoted on my blog.  

I have often struggled between hope, despair, and scrupulosity, and this chapter has helped me overcome my weaknesses, fears, discontentment and uncertainties more times than I can say.   

I pray that those who feel discouraged because of being constantly tempted will also find through this article the hope and confidence to continue the noble fight of their souls for God, the Faith, and the Church.


“My brethren, count it all joy when ye shall fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2)

“Now if I do that which I will not, it is no more I that do it, but sin, which dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:20)

1. “If we are tempted,” says the Holy Ghost, “it is a sign that God loves us.”  Those whom God loves have been most exposed to temptation.  “Because thou was acceptable to God,” said the angel to Tobias, “it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.”  (Tobias 12:13)

2. Do not ask God to deliver you from temptations, but to grant you the grace not to succumb to them and to do nothing contrary to His Divine Will.  He who refuses the combat renounces the crown.  Place all your trust in God and God will Himself do battle for you against the enemy.

3. “These persistent temptations come from the malice of the devil,” says St. Francis de Sales, “but the trouble and suffering they cause us come from the mercy of God.  Thus, despite the will of the tempter, God converts his evil machinations into a distress which we may make meritorious.  Therefore, I say your temptations are from the devil and Hell, but your anxiety and affliction are from God and Heaven.”  Despise temptation, then, and open wide your soul to this suffering which God sends in order to purify you here that He may reward you her after.

4. “Let the wind blow,” remarks the same saint, “and do not mistake the rustling of the leaves for the clashing of arm.  Be perfectly convinced that all the temptations of Hell are powerless to defile a soul that does not love them.  St. Paul endured terrible temptations, yet God, through love, did not deliver him from them.”  Look upon God as an infinitely good and tender father and believe that He only allows the devil to try His children that their merits may increase and their recompense be correspondingly greater.

5. The more persistent the temptation, the clearer it is that you have not given consent to it.  “It is a good sign,” says St. Francis de Sales, “when the tempter makes so much noise and commotion outside of the will, for it shows that he is not within.”  An enemy does not besiege a fortress that is already in his power, and the more obstinate the attack, the more certain we may be that our resistance continues.

6. Your fears lead you to believe you are defeated at the very moment you are gaining the victory.  This comes from the fact that you confound feeling with consent, and, mistaking a passive condition of the imagination for an act of the will, you consider that you have yielded to the temptation because you felt it keenly.

7. The holy abbot St. Anthony was wont to say to the phantoms of his mind: I see you because it does not depend upon me that my imagination places before my eyes things I would wish not to see; I do not look at you because with my will I repulse and reject you.  “It is so much the essence of sin to be voluntary,” says St. Augustine, “that if not voluntary, it is not a sin.”

8. The attraction of the feelings towards the object presented by the imagination is at times so strong that the will seems to have been carried away and overcome by a sort of fascination.  This, however, is not the case.  The will suffered, but did not consent; it was attacked and wounded, but not conquered.  This state of things coincides with what St. Paul says of the revolt of the flesh against the spirit and of their unceasing warfare.  The soul, indeed, experiences strange sensations, but as she does not consent to them, she passes through the ordeal unsullied, just as substances coated with oil may be immersed in water without absorbing a single drop of it.

9. Should it frequently happen that you have not a distinct consciousness of your success against temptation, it may be that refuses you this satisfaction in order that, lacking this clear assurance, your knowledge may come through obedience.  Therefore, when your spiritual director, after hearing your explanation, says that you have not given consent, you should abide by it with perfect tranquility, discarding all fear that he did not understand you aright or that you did not explain the matter sufficiently.  These doubts are fresh artifices of the devil to rob you of the merit of obedience.  As has been said above, to give way to such inquietude is to offend seriously against this virtue, for all direction would thus be rendered impossible, by the failure of the penitent to recognize God Himself in the person of the director.

10. To constitute a mortal sin three conditions must co-exist.  First, the matter must be weighty; secondly, the mind must have full knowledge of the guilt of the action, omission or dangerous occasion in question; and, thirdly, the will, through a criminal preference for the forbidden action, culpable omission, or proximate occasion of sin, must give full consent.  These reflections should serve to reassure your mind if the fear of having committed a mortal sin disturb it, for it is very difficult for this threefold union of conditions to be effected in a God-fearing soul.  However, perfect security can come, and ought to come, only from spiritual obedience.

11. In temptations against faith and purity, do not make efforts to form acts of these virtues, but simply turn a pleading glance towards God, without speaking even to this compassionate Friend concerning the thought that afflicts you, lest thereby you root the evil suggestion more firmly.  Then, without disquieting yourself, engage at once in some exterior occupation or continue what you were doing.  Make no answer to the tempter, but ignore him, just as though his assault had never occurred.  In this way, whilst preserving your own peace of soul, you will cover your enemy with confusion.

12. Though you should be assailed by temptations during your entire lifetime, do not be disquieted, for your merits will increase in proportion to your trials and your crown be accordingly all the brighter in Heaven.  The only thing necessary is to remain firm in your resolution to despise the efforts of the tempter.

13. The most learned theologians and masters of the spiritual life agree in saying that simply to ignore a temptation is a much more effectual means to repulse it than words and acts of the contrary virtues.  (On this subject read attentively Chapters III and IV of the Introduction to the Devout Life.  You will find much light and consolation in them.  See also Chapter XII of the Spiritual Combat, and Chapters VI, VII, XII, XX, XXIX, LV, and LVII of the Third Book of the Imitation.)


  1. Thanl you so much for posting this tonight, Rita. I've needed a post like this, especially tonight. God bless you!

    Catherine (Farm Lassie)

  2. Dear Catherine,

    I am so glad to hear that you benefited from my post!

    Keep fighting the good fight and may God bless you!

    In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

    Rita :-)