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How to Overcome Temptations




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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. God’s 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 searching for.

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 you always!

• 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 the cross.

• 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 God’s 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 Spirit.

• 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 them.

• 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 holy reading.

• Pray often ask: Is my heart and mind focused on Jesus? Share your thoughts with Him from your heart, so He can guide you.

• 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 grateful.

• 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: O my 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 there.

• 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: Jesus, Jesus...

• 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 perseverance.

• 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 heart.

• 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 right.

• 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. (CCC 2339)

• Give Jesus your temptations, sins, victories, and pain, whenever they happen to you. He will help you. Pray with confidence.

• 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 childlike.

• 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 God’s forgiveness. Then, pray an Act of Contrition expressing your sorrow for your sin and pledging to do better in the future.

• 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 God’s 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 help.

• 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. Dominic Savio.

• 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 God’s 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 pray.

• 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 for honesty.


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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