Today, the Church celebrates the liturgy of the first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel presents Jesus readying for his public life. He goes into the desert where He spends forty days in prayer and in penance. There, He is tempted by Satan.
We must also get ready for Easter. Satan is our great enemy. There are many persons that do not believe in him, and claim that he is a product of our fantasy, or he is just an abstract conception of evil, diluted in the people and the world. But no!
The Holy Scriptures mention him quite often as a spiritual and tangible being. He is a fallen angel. Jesus defines him by saying: “he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44). St. Peter compares him with a roaring lion: “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1Pe 5:8). And Saint Paul VI teaches: “The Devil is the number one enemy, the preeminent tempter. So we know that this dark and disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning”.
And how does he act? By lying, by deceiving. Where there are lies or deceit, there is a devilish action. “The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist” (Baudelaire). And, how does he lie? He presents us with evil actions as if they were good ones; he induces us to do evil; and, in the third place, he suggests plenty of excuses to justify our sins. After swindle us, he fills us up with anxiety and sadness. Have you not felt any such experience, ever before?
What should be our attitude in front of temptation? Before: to watch, to pray and to avoid the occasions. In the middle of temptation: direct or indirect resistance. Afterwards: if you have won, thank God for that. A defeated temptation is progress in sanctity. And, if you have failed, ask for forgiveness and try to learn from experience in future. Which attitude have you shown so far?
The Virgin Mary crushed the infernal serpent's head. Let Her give you the necessary strength to overcome our daily temptations.