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How to Overcome Temptations
The more we sin, the easier it is to sin; the more we go
against sin, the easier it is to overcome sin. Gods grace is
available to all! God will conquer evil! Overcoming temptations
strengthens us in responding to the deep yearning within us,
which is a profound love between God and us. The desire for God
is written in the human heart, because we are created by God and
for God; and God never ceases to draw us to Himself. Only in God
will we find the peace, love, and happiness we never stop
We encourage you to reflect on the following points on a
regular basis, especially when facing temptations, so you remind
yourself about the ways to overcome them. These suggestions can
also help strengthen your desire and resolve to overcome
temptations. God always invites you to grow in holiness and will
not force you to do anything you do not want to do. Every day
requires choices; every day you can begin again. God has
wonderful plans for you and loves to have you focus on Him so
you can know and carry out His plans for you. May God be with
At the start of your day, offer your life to Jesus and ask
Him to use you to save souls. There is a direct connection
between offering up prayer and suffering, and the salvation of
souls, as Jesus offered up His life on earth and His death on
Desire strongly to be a saint - This is so needed today in
order to help convert family, friends, and others around you.
Pray to increase this desire.
Spend time reflecting on the Scriptures, especially the
words and example of Jesus - Keep Jesus in mind throughout each
day. Pray in your thoughts: Come Holy Spirit, fill me and
everyone with Your love and a strong desire to be holy.
Deepen your relationship with Jesus - Contemplate His great
love for you. Ask Jesus to give you a strong desire to love and
trust Him, and to pray to Him daily.
The best time to defeat temptations is when they first
occur. In the first few seconds, RESOLVE to NOT entertain ANY
temptations. Do NOT allow darkness to enter into you. Reject
temptations saying: I do not want them in my life.
Reject any affection for sin. Reject any desire for sin in
your heart: I reject sin and all evil. Jesus I love You.
Please help me.
Set goals to do what God wants - Stay focused on your goals
- You CAN overcome temptations - Keep God at the center of your
life. Pray to do Gods will.
The world is hostile to living as a good Catholic. In a
sense, you need to be a rebel and be rebellious against sin and
evil. Surround yourself with people who want to do what is good
and moral. Be a good example. Encourage everyone to do what is
right. Ask God to help them.
Go to the Sacraments often. When you go to the Sacrament of
Reconciliation, you are truly forgiven and strengthened in
grace. When you receive Jesus truly present in the Holy
Eucharist, you have the strength of Jesus within you.
Participate in the Mass as often as possible - the Mass is
the greatest prayer given to the world.
Often ask Jesus to live in you and through you. Desire to
be holy as He is holy! Pray for help.
Make the sign of the cross often - Ask the Blessed Trinity
to help you. The Catechism says, The sign of the cross
strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.
(CCC, 2157) Praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Talk to Jesus every day - He is as close as your own soul.
He wants you to have the intimacy to share everything with Him.
Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for a few minutes each
day when possible - Special graces come from visiting Jesus.
Enjoy the sweet peace from simply being in the presence of God.
Thank Him for His great love.
Pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom,
Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of
the Lord. These gifts help you to know and obey divine
inspirations. (CCC, 1831) Praise the Holy
Pray the Rosary often and immerse yourself into the
mysteries to understand what Jesus did for Mary and for all of
us. Note how God was working then and think about how you act in
unison with or contrary to the Gospels. Pray to know yourself.
Combine prayer with fasting - These bring many graces and
they have great spiritual power.
Share your journey with someone. Join or start a prayer
group. Call trusted persons to pray with and for you during
temptations. If you need treatment for an addiction, get help
NOW. God provides such help through other people.
If you have a difficult time forgiving anyone, give all of
your hurts and suffering to Jesus. He can do great things with
them, while you can do nothing with them. Pray often: Lord, I
give you the people who hurt me, please forgive them and bless
Change the patterns in your life. Replace bad habits with
good habits. Fill your time with good and holy activities, with
prayer and worship, with love and service to others, and with
Pray often ask: Is my heart and mind focused on Jesus?
Share your thoughts with Him from your heart, so He can guide
Resolve to be a good example to lead others to holiness.
They will imitate you, even if you are not aware. If you care
about children, take care for the most important part of them -
their souls - which live forever. They will be eternally
When tempted, repeat the prayer: Jesus, I love You
or Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on
me, a sinner.
When you go into an area or situation where you may be
tempted, start immediately to pray acts of contrition:
God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You and I detest
all my sins...
When you are tempted, change your scenery. Get up and walk
around. Go outside and thank God for all of creation. Go often
to the tabernacle and ask Jesus for help. Many answers are
Ask Mary to intercede for you as your spiritual Mother.
There is no greater voice that can be joined with ours than the
voice of the Mother who has always had the closest
relationship with Jesus and who never failed Him. Thank
God for giving her to us.
Examine your conscience often - Review your actions and
omissions. Pray to know your sins. Rebellion is the cause of
many sins. Are you rebelling against God, the Church, or your
family? Pray for the grace to forgive everyone.
Keep going to Confession - Renew your commitment to Christ
- Be patient - Profound change can take much time.
Sinful Fantasies are fake and false! There is no
fulfillment, only more temptations. Sinful fantasies should turn
your stomach. Instead, imagine how you would act in holy, moral
ways. Pray immediately and IGNORE sinful thoughts. Repeat:
Promise not to use others for selfish gratification and
promise to not allow yourself to be used by others for such
purposes. Pray for persons used like this.
Hate your sins intensely - Hate them will all your might.
Reflect on the Bible verse of Sirach 17:21.
Trust in God - Imitate Jesus. Help others as He did. Be the
hands and feet of Jesus on earth.
Spiritual strength comes from fasting and going without
some things you enjoy - Offer up these sacrifices for yourself
and others - Ask for the grace to overcome your sins. Pray for
Regularly spend quiet time thinking about how you fall into
sin, what the circumstances are, how you can stop your sin, how
you can avoid occasions of sin, how you can focus on Jesus . . .
Pray for His guidance.
Follow regular habits of prayer. Read the Bible daily,
repeating one verse throughout the day so it takes root in your
When you become aware of sinful thoughts, think of the most
inspiring times in your life or your best spiritual experiences.
Ask Jesus to help you. Pray and be strong in doing what is
Protect yourself from what you see and hear - Do not look
at things that tempt you - Look away and pray.
Fast from TV, indecent movies, ads, music, and the Internet
(which should include filters).
Be pure with your words: your jokes, comments, and
thoughts. Pray for others to be pure.
Reflect often on this truth: Chastity includes an
apprenticeship in self-mastery... The alternative is clear:
either we govern our passions and find peace, or we let
ourselves be dominated by them and become unhappy.
Give Jesus your temptations, sins, victories, and pain,
whenever they happen to you. He will help you. Pray with
When temptations come, reflect on the crucified Jesus - Do
not delay - Flee in your mind into the wounds of Jesus. Pray for
the healing of your bad memories.
In each situation, banish temptations in the name of Jesus
and say: Jesus, I give this to you.
Remind yourself that God loves you tremendously. He is
alive in this world and is calling His children to Himself.
Thank God for his unending love of you. Pray to become
To overcome a habit of sin, ask Jesus to help you,
especially at the consecration of the Mass and when you receive
Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Praise Him.
After committing a sin, ADMIT your sin to yourself and ask
Gods forgiveness. Then, pray an Act of Contrition expressing
your sorrow for your sin and pledging to do better in the
When you sin, go quickly to Confession. You can start over,
with a new beginning. The saints became saints because they did
this. Heaven is filled with great sinners who became saints.
Pray to imitate their repentance and conversion.
Remember: Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart by a
grave violation of Gods law; it turns you away from God, who is
your ultimate end. (CCC, 1855ff) Remind
yourself often that it is terrible to have major blockages to
grace, if you allow yourself to fall into and remain in serious
sin. Pray and be strong in doing what is right.
Develop virtues - Day after day, focus on what is good and
holy. Praise God for the virtues you have.
Practice a daily period of silence, stillness, and
solitude. Focus on the great mercy of God. Think about how God
has shown His great love for you.
Ask God to open doors for what He wants in your life and
that He will close them for what He does not want in your life.
Pray to know the difference.
Ask the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph to show you how to be
loving and holy as they were, in caring for the Divine Child
Jesus. Pray each day for their help.
Ask Mary or your Guardian Angel to hold you close at
difficult times. They love to be asked and to know you want
Ask all of the angels and saints to pray for you. God
allows them to know your need and they will pray for you. Thank
God for giving them to you as models.
Offer Jesus all your pain and suffering in reparation for
sin. A great tragedy today is that much suffering is wasted
because it is resented and not offered up and accepted with love
as Jesus did. Pray to love Him more.
Use holy water, medals, the scapular, and other
sacramentals to help protect you from evil and remind you to
focus on God. (CCC, 1667ff) Every morning
and evening, pray the Guardian Angel Prayer and the St. Michael
the Archangel Prayer. (Available on-line)
Keep a crucifix with you and reflect on the great sacrifice
and suffering that Jesus accepted for you. Praise Him daily.
Read the lives of the saints, such as the Blessed Virgin
Mary, St. Joseph, St. Augustine, St. Louis de Montfort, St.
Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Alphonsus Liguori,St.
Maria Goretti, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Joan of Arc, St.
Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary as taught by St.
Louis de Montfort (involves 33 days of devotions). This special
consecration obtains many graces to help you in wonderful ways
to live as Christ wants you to live. See:
Become passionate about good and holy things - Help people
who are in need - Volunteer, study your faith, and share it with
others. Pray for guidance.
Remember: Pray and fast. Many people do not know they can
save souls this way. Pray to believe.
Ask Jesus to protect you from serious sin so you are always
worthy to receive Him truly present in the Holy Eucharist. Pray
for humility in all things.
Pray and know yourself - With Gods help, you CAN OVERCOME
temptations - You can beat any habit of sins that you really
want to beat.
Remember: God has nothing but the best plans for you. He
will give you the grace to do whatever He asks of you. He will
give you much greater joy, love, and peace, than you can
imagine. God will never be outdone in generosity. Trust Him and
When you fail, get up again, again, and again. Remind
yourself that nothing on earth is worth losing eternity in
Heaven. Pray to the Holy Spirit for help.
Reflect on this: The only real tragedy in life is to not
become a saint... since the only purpose of life is to prepare
to spend eternity with God. Love Him always.
Remember: Conversion is a lifelong process. You will never
know true happiness if you remain attached to sinful habits or
hardness in your heart.
Pray often: Prayer is the most powerful means for winning
the battles against temptations. As the Catechism says,
Prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one
avoid falling into temptation. (CCC,
2612) What we pray for, we must also work for.
Resolve to not wound Jesus - Be determined to bring Him a
beautiful bouquet of virtues when you meet Him face to face
after this life. Thank Him for His love.
Reflect often on the passion of Jesus and His great love
for you and for all sinners. Thank and praise Him.
Do everything you can to avoid the occasions of sin - make
changes in your life and practices.
Tell Jesus the details about your temptations and
weaknesses with childlike simplicity and how you really need and
want His help. Trust in His great love. Pray for wisdom and Pray
Jesus Gives the Grace to Overcome Sins
Jesus lives and He wants to be fully alive in you. Pope John
Paul II writes that, Christ, the perfect mediator, exercised
the highest act of mediation precisely in Mary by preserving her
from original sin. Mary was redeemed in an even more wonderful
way, not by being freed from sin, but by being preserved from
sin.... This dimension of preservation, which in Mary is total,
is present in the redemptive intervention by which Christ, in
freeing man from sin, also gives him the grace and strength to
conquer its influence in his life.
- Theotokos, Woman, Mother, Disciple, vol. 5, 2000
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