Unrelenting Temptations

Cardinal Manning states: “Temptation is inevitable. Until we have put off our mortality, until corruption is turned into incorruption, we shall be assailed by temptation. To be tempted is simply to be man.”

“We carry our temptations about us. We have every one of us the three wounds of original sin: ignorance in the understanding; turbulence in the affections, so that they become passions; instability and weakness in the will.”

“In our waking hours our nature is in unceasing activity, and in perpetual anarchy too, except in those who, being guided by the Spirit of God, are under the influence of grace and conformed to the truth. The thoughts, tempers, affections, passions of the heart, are in a state of ceaseless turbulence, so that the Holy Ghost by the Prophet describes the heart in these words: ‘The wicked are like a raging sea which cannot rest, casting up mire and dirt’ (Is 57:20). As the sea casts up from its depths the soil under the waters, so the perpetual activity of the heart is casting up the passions and the sins that lie within it.”

“Every one of us singly stands between two spirits—there is the Spirit of God on the one side, there is the spirit of Satan on the other; and the human spirit, that is the soul with its intelligence, heart, and will, stands between. These two spirits, of God and of Satan, are in perpetual conflict round about us and for us—the spirit of Satan striving to pervert, to delude, and to cast us down; the Spirit of God perpetually guiding, strengthening, and upholding us.”

“We sometimes mistake the false lights of Satan for the lights of truth. We sometimes fancy that the lights of truth which come are only temptations. Sometimes we imagine our own human thoughts to be the thoughts and the lights of God; and so we deceive ourselves. We are in this constant state of temptation, which is common to all men.”

“When our Lord was tempted in the wilderness, it was but the lifting of the veil, and the making visible of that which invisibly is taking place every hour and every moment round about us.”

Quotations from Henry Edward Manning, Sin and Its Consequences, 2d ed. (London: Burns and Oates, 1874).

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