St.Rose wrote:How do you deal with temptation?
Although I am going through a very intense experience of God atm ~ sometimes He feels so real to me, it is as if I can feel His touch ~ I am at the same time being assailed by a multitude of temptations. Things I thought I had dealt with, and God had "healed" in me are coming back to torment me, and I'm really struggling. Smoking is a BIGGIE and I have given in to that, but also other, less savoury stuff which I won't go into here!
I am doing all the ususal stuff, praying and praying, especially for spiritual protection. Praying on my knees on a hard floor to encourage vigilance; increasing my mortifications; reading Scripture, asking "my" Saints to intercede for me...nothing seems to be working! The best way I can describe how this feels is that I have been dropped into a big bucket of sin with smooth sides that I can't climb out of, and I'm not waving but drowning!
Help! Has anyone any help or advice for me. My head is full of sinful thoughts, and the temptation to turn them into actions...
disciple012005 wrote:St.Rose, these continual temptations are probably the most difficult task you will face as you advance in your faith. I can only suggest contiuous prayer, frequent examination of conscience and regular confession. Also keep your mind and body occupied at all times. Continuous mental prayer will also assist.
I would also advise more frequent minor mortifications (such as missing a meal when you feel hungry or kneeling briefy on hard surface with unprotected knees) and perhaps less regular use of the more sever mortifications so that you do not get too used to them.
As for your more "tawdry" temptations,as you put it and if they are temptations of the flesh, you might find a quick cold shower when possible, helpful.
St.Rose wrote:I have been experiencing just such a thing myself, and it is a bit shattering, not to mention very humbling. For myself I attribute it partly to the fact that in August I will be taking my 'temporary promise' as a secular discalced Carmelite after four years of formation. This experience even made me question whether or not I should continue with the Carmelites. I felt so utterly unworthy.
Thank you so much for this, Windhover! I too am taking vows this August, as a Benedictine Oblate, and I think that may be making me a target for the evil one! I too struggle with feelings of utter unworthiness, and the quote from St. John of the Cross resonates deeply...it does feel like all my sinfulness and dysfunction is rising to the surface, like the dross that is burnt away in the furnace...it's so painful, I feel pulled apart by it. Yesterday I made such a complete fool of myself and messed up big time beacuse of sin, but today I have a glimpse of God's redeeming love...there is hope!
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