Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sigh - Satan tosses one my way

We all face temptations. All of them can harm us, but we are often susceptible to some more than others.

My weak spots involve the flesh.

I had been doing well for a while, but the other night my wife was watching a movie I had never seen. I wandered in to sit and read. I kept glancing up, though.

The movie dealt with various kinds of carnal behavior, sometimes with humor, but also with violence. And then there appeared the requisite gratuitous nudity.

I left the room.

But the next day, some of the images and lines kept popping into my head.

As I was driving. As I trying to say my rosary.

I tried my old standby prayer to battle thoughts: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Repeated over and over.

It would work for that moment, but the images would come back.

I was reminded of the story of two Zen Buddhist monks.

They came to a ford of a stream that was running high, and the current was strong and frightening looking. An attractive young lady was standing at the ford, looking nervous. She clearly was afraid to cross, but had an important reason to go across.

Without a word, the older of the two monks lifted her in his arms and waded across the stream, and placed her safely on the far bank. The younger monk looked shocked at this action, but kept his silence for quite some number of miles as they continued their journey. Finally, he blurted out, "You know that it is against the rules of our order to have any contact with women. How could you do that?"

The older monk replied, "I put her down when I reached the other side of the river. You, on the other hand, have been carrying her this whole way."

I suppose some people can watch such movies - though, to be honest, from what I saw there was little of redeeming value in the film (the Bishops rated it Morally Offensive) - but given my own weaknesses, I can't . I have to be careful what I watch, what I read, and what I listen to.

I am a sinner.

Those stories of St. Francis battling temptation by rolling in snow or even thorn bushes make sense to me!

Pax et bonum.


KAM said...

I used to think only men of humble heart had this problem but the same thing can happen to women. Believe me, I heard it from a good source. I have the same problem but since our tv watching mostly consists of EWTN, local news and the occasional Weather Channel, my temptations are from mostly at the gym. And the only reason I'm there is because a Friar that we know once said that we all have to stay in good physical shape for the end times, which we may or not be in right now, but that's another story...
Back to the gym; I got so tired of these attacks (yeah, that's what they are, from you know who) I pleaded with God to take them away, the women, my eyes, whatever. I realized then that we're always supposed to ask God for help, and this was the perfect time to ask for His GRACE. This single plea has done wonders for my life. If and when (and there are still when times) these issues arise, I just let it "come into your mind like a cloud, and let it float out the other side". That's a quote from that same Friar. It happens, especially when we start to take our spirituality seriously. Just swat it back to you know who! Peace and prayers to you. k

Do Not Be Anxious said...

My parish has an annual men's retreat. Before I joined the parish, I decided to attend one of these retreats and was very surprised. First, in a parish of 600 families, over 200 men went to the retreat. Second, the honesty of the retreat. Our pastor was there the whole time, and addressed many problems men face, including this one. What made this retreat doubly unique was how this particular problem was treated. The talk on that subject was focused on the AA 10-step program and how it paralleled the steps needed to overcome sexual temptations. Then, surprise, surprise, the talk closed with prayer and the notice that in the next conference room was beginning a monthly meeting of sexaholics anonymous, and the men of the retreat were invited to walk in and quietly take a chair in the back of that meeting.
Talk about an active, and loving parish! I joined two weeks later.
Relative to my own temptation (and yours, Lee), as my pastor put it: "I'm a man; I have temptations." It's how we deal with them in this society that matters.
P.S. I don't know the significance, but right below my writing this comment is the cryptic word verification, where you enter the letters you see. The letters right below are "pityp", as in pity party. Hmmmmm.

Lee Strong said...

Avoiding the shows, discipline of the eyes. That's in order for dealing with this.

And prayer!

(Good thing I'm not a gym goer!)