AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTAION
O how little is necessary for a man to turn his face from Thee towards idols!
He is surrounded by temptation as by storms, and he is as powerless as the foam upon a rough mountain brook.
If he is prosperous, he fancies at once that he is Thy colleague, or he puts Thee in his own shadow, or even adorns his home with Thy images as a luxury.
If evil knocks at his door, he encounters the temptation of making a bargain with Thee, or even of casting Thee away altogether.
If Thou callest him to sacrifices, he revolts. If Thou sendest him to death, he trembles.
If Thou offerest to him all the pleasures of earth, he will be tempted to poison and kill his own soul.
We are confused by Thy light, O our shading Father, like the night butterflies. When Thou callest us to the light, we are flying into the darkness, when we are set in darkness we are crying for light.
There is a network of many paths before us, but we dare not go to the end of any of them, for at each end there is a temptation waiting for us and luring us on.
And the path leading to Thee is crossed by many temptations as well as by many precipices. Before temptation assails us Thou seemest to accompany us as by an illuminated cloud. But when temptation comes Thou disappearest. We turn around in confusion and we put to ourselves the painful question: What was our illusions – Thy presence or Thine absence?
In all temptations we ask ourselves: Art Thou our Father? All our temptations put in our minds the same question that all the circumstances around us are putting into our minds from day to day and from night to night, which is: What do you think about the Lord? Where is He and Who is He? Are you with Him, or without Him?
Give to me the power, my Fatherly Creator, that I may in every hour of my life, whether bright or dark, give the same answer to every possible temptation and to everything: The Lord is the Lord. He is there where I am and where I am not.
I stretch always my passionate heart towards Him and my hands towards His bright garments, as a child towards his beloved Father.
How could I live without Him? It would mean to be without myself at the same time. How could I be against Him? It would mean to be against myself at the same time.
A righteous son follows his father with respect, quietness, and joy.
Breathe Thine inspiration into our souls, O Father, to be Thy righteous sons!