Hi Father Angelo,
I just wanted to ask you this … When we are tempted by the devil (and it has happened to me more than once these days) but we resist him, does the Lord see that we have not fallen into sin or does He consider us weak because we allowed Satan to tempt us?
Lately I have been tempted by Satan several times but I have always resisted him. The problem was that when I was disturbed by the evil one, I felt bad and far from God, even if my self-control prevailed and I started praying.
Praised be Jesus Christ
Answer from the priest
1. The Lord takes account of the fight and also of the violence of temptations.
However, He always guarantees us a force superior to that of temptations.
It is the strength that comes from the grace and from the help of Heaven. It is a supernatural force of order.
2. Temptations, however violent, never have supernatural force.
In fact, they can come from ourselves or from others. And so their strength is only natural.
3. There may be temptations that come from the devil, who having angelic nature, hold a nature superior to ours.
However the angelic nature, as such, is not of a supernatural order, and so divine.
It is superior to human nature and for this reason it is called preternatural: that is, beyond human resources.
But the preternatural, however strong, cannot be compared to the strength that comes from God, that is from the supernatural.
4. To overcome temptations, even the strongest ones like those of all hell put together, the Lord gives us grace, which is supernatural.
5. St. Thomas assures that the minimum degree of grace is sufficient to eradicate any temptation: “The minimum degree of grace is capable of resisting any lust and of deserving eternal life” ( Theological sum , III, 6, ad 3).
This is equivalent to saying that if you have a very small degree of love for the Lord, it is enough to give us strength to overcome any temptation.
6. When a person says to himself: “ Come on, overcome temptation. Do it for the love of Jesus Christ. ”He immediately feels that a surprising force comes to him.
It’s surprising because it’s supernatural.
7. I would also like to add this: it can also be said that the minimum degree of love for Our Lady is sufficient to overcome any trial or temptation.
Here too one could say to himself: “ Come on, overcome temptation. Do it for the love of Our Lady ”and feel the same strength.
In the same way, Saint Bernard said: “If the winds of temptations arise, if you run into the rocks of tribulations, look at the star, invoke Mary ( respice stellam, voca Mariam )”.
With the strength that comes from the love for Jesus Christ and the love for Our Lady, I wish you to overcome all temptations, I bless you and I will mention you to the Lord.