Church Fathers, Day 174: St. Jerome advises us to find our defense against temptation in Scripture

st_jerome_2Find your defense against temptation in Scripture

St. Jerome writes to one of his friends about a mutual friend, Bonosus, who has become a hermit on a remote island. The devil will tempt him, says St. Jerome, but Christ will defend him from those temptations.

What nets do you think the devil is weaving for him now? What tricks does he have up his sleeve?

Perhaps, remembering his old trick, he’ll try to tempt Bonosus with hunger. But he has been answered already: “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4).

Perhaps he will set wealth and fame before him. But he will be answered, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare” (1 Timothy 6:9), and “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

Perhaps he will come when the limbs are worn out with fasting and torture them with disease, but the cry of the Apostle will repel him: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10),” and “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

He will threaten him with death, but the answer will be, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23).

He will brandish his fiery arrows, but they will be blocked by the shield of faith.

In short, Satan will attack him, but Christ will defend him.

St. Jerome, Letter 3

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Where in Scripture can I find the best answer to the temptations that attack me?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, the temptations your Son endured give hope to our fallen world. Let me never be trapped in the net of sin, with its empty promises of temporary pleasure; but make me always one with you, so that my joy may be a holy joy.

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