Monday, October 19, 2009
Pancakes and Temptation
My wife asks that question daily, though her terminology is not always fit for print.
Of course, Debbie no longer shuffles slowly about; she is now vigorously stalking and hunting the new kitten, pouncing, hissing and swiping. The kitten has laid claim to the affection of the children simply by virtue of her extreme adorableness, and Debbie is really ticked off about that. Pancakes, though, just wants to be pals, and seems somewhat befuddled by all the fuss.
Debbie likes to sit on the window sill with her tail hanging down, slowly waving back and forth as she keeps tabs on the local squirrel population. Pancakes cannot resist the slow undulations of Debbie's tail. It is like a siren song to her; she knows the instant she touches that tail Debbie will erupt in irritation, chase her, and attempt to dispatch her once and for all, but she cannot resist. She is drawn irresistably closer, creeping slowly, until all at once she jumps and swipes at it with her tiny paws, and Debbie blows up on cue.
As I observed the silly little kitten entranced by the tail of her brutish housemate I began to think of my own responses to temptations. I know they lead to nothing but trouble. I am aware that the consequences can be detrimental. And yet, like Pancakes, I find myself skulking around, looking in from the periphery, from what I perceive a safe distance, my senses fixed on what I know I should shun - and I pounce. Dumb. I am just like that little animal, spending way too much time hovering around temptations that deserve none of my attention, that ultimately produce consequences that are detrimental.
It is clear to most that the closer we draw ourselves to God the more interested the Evil One becomes in drawing us off track. Recognizing that can help us as we seek God's grace. Avoiding temptation, not entertaining it in my mind to draw me in, substituting prayer at that moment for sinful thoughts and inclinations, and begging for mercy; all these and more help in our struggle. Often, though, the very best mode of attack is to name the temptation, face it head-on, confess it, ask God to give us the grace necessary to defeat it, which can only be done through His power.
In the scheme of things, we understand sin to be a part of our lives: a foreign, unwanted part, but there nonetheless. Praise God for the sacrament of Reconciliation. When Pancakes gets herself into too much trouble I scoop her up and hold her close, helping her to feel safe and loved. Be grateful today that you and I have a Father just like that.
Posted by David Marciniak at 8:57 AM