Pope: Word of God strengthens us in moments of temptation

The Word of God “opens the horizon” and saves Christians from the temptation that “closes us in,” Pope Francis said Feb. 18.

“When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us,” he said in his homily at the morning Mass at his Casa Santa Marta residence.

The pope said that Jesus Christ is “always willing to teach us how to escape from temptation.”

“Jesus is great because he not only brings us out of temptation, but gives us more confidence,” he said. This confidence is “a great strength” for those being tempted. “The Lord waits for us... trusts us who are so tempted, who are sinners... He always opens horizons.”

“Where does temptation come from? How does it work in us?” Pope Francis asked. “The apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our passions, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds left in us by original sin: that’s where temptations come from, from these passions.”

He warned that temptation “begins with a tranquil air, and grows. It grows, it grows ... and if one does not stop it, it fills everything,” he continued.

Temptation is “contagious” and “closes us in an environment where you can’t get out easily.” At times of temptation, he said, “we do not hear the Word of God, we don’t hear. We don’t understand.”

Temptation, he explained, “closes us in,” takes away the ability to see ahead, “closes every horizon” and in this way “leads us to sin.”

Only “listening to the Word of Jesus” keeps us from being “imprisoned” in temptations.

Pope Francis said that the Lord tells those who are tempted: “Lift up your eyes, look at the horizon, do not be closed, do not close in on yourself, go forward.”

“And this Word will save us from falling into sin in the moment of temptation,” the pope stressed.

—Catholic News Agency


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Habitat: Living out the Gospel call

Anne Hansen

The discussion over faith and good works has been going on for centuries:  Is faith alone enough for salvation, or is it necessary to engage in good works as well? The Catholic understanding is that faith and good works go hand in hand — an understanding based in Scripture.

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