Tag Archives: Pope Francis

“lead us not into temptation”

The Our Father & Pope Francis’ Suggested Change

When I read about the Pope’s suggested change from: “lead us not intoThe_Temptation_of_Christ_by_the_Devil_-_Google_Art_Project temptation” to “God help us not to fall into temptation,” made sense to me and I even began to incorporate this change when I prayed the Our Father.

Last week in preparing for my Homily for the first Sunday of Lent specifically Mark’s gospel regarding The Temptation of Jesus I found a few reasons why it should remain in its original content. They are:

  • The Jewish thought at the time of Jesus was that whenever a person received in honor, testing or temptation followed. In understanding the first verse of Mark’s gospel we had to look back to Jesus’ Baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and a voice from the cloud said: “this is my beloved Son in whom I am very well pleased.” This certainly was an honor and according to Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • In our baptism we also received a great honor: in our baptism we died with Christ so that we can also live with Christ forever and eternal life. I looked upon this as an honor and keeping with the Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • Jesus overcame the temptations because God was present with him in his humanity with the angels ministering to him. In our temptation God is with us too. Remember, Jesus’ great temptation when he asked the Father if this cup could pass from him but not his will but God’s will be done. What happened? God sent an angel to strengthen Him.

As I looked at the results that happen to us when we are tempted and that they were positive and strengthened our relationship with God, temptation made sense to me.

  • Temptation helps us to detach ourselves from the things of this earth and focus on God.

  • Temptation helps us to develop a more ardent desire to be with God in heaven.

  • When we are tempted we become disturbed by temptation and see the danger of committing sin which disappoints God and overcoming temptation shows our love for God.

  • It renews our determination to avoid sin and not to offend God.

St. Augustine says:

“Our pilgrimage cannot be exempt from trial we progress by means of trial no one knows themselves except through trial or receives a crown except after victory or strives against an enemy temptations.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in Christ we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in Christ, and see yourself as victorious in Christ. He could have kept the devil from Himself but if Jesus was not tempted he could not teach us how to triumph over temptation.”

In our Baptism we received the strength of the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and the graces we need for eternal life.

God has given us the gifts and graces we need, now it’s up to us to use them.

God Bless – Deacon Steve

.

4 Spiritual benefits…

A post on aleteia really made me pause to think about our relationship to the natural world. The article 4 Spiritual benefits of modern homesteading hit close to home. Here in verdantour rural area of upstate New York, nature in all its wonder is right outside our door: lush green fields, flowing streams, verdant hills, views uninterrupted by city buildings, highways… the stuff of man’s creation.

The author, Philip Kosloski, cited four benefits to modern homesteading:

  • Fulfills God’s call to be a steward of the earth
  • Provides more time for silence and contemplation
  • Creates a renewed sense of gratitude
  • Fosters a healthy attitude of humility

After prefacing his thoughts with an apt quote from Pope Francis’ Laudato si, he briefly

deaconspeaking

Chicken coop and bee hives

explains each spiritual benefit, weaving in both Hebrew Scripture references and his thoughts about our closeness to God when we “cultivate” a close and personal relationship with his natural creation… a creation that provides an abundance for our needs, if only we are attentive to it.

When was the last time you planted and tended a flower or a vegetable plant? Have you ever thought about having chickens or bees for your own natural or organic food? Is it even possible where you live? If not, do you support others who are, through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or even a farmers’ market?

Good questions for any of us… especially as we consider the goodness of our God in His great love for us!