The Flesh Rebels

Father Guibert states: “Of all the promises of life that are given by piety, there is none more consoling to the heart of the Christian than that of victory over the flesh and peace of the senses. Nothing, indeed, is more humiliating and more painful to a soul united to God than the base rebellion of the flesh and the delirium of the senses. St. Paul himself complains of it bitterly in his Epistle to the Romans: ‘For the good which I will, I do not,’ he says, ‘but the evil which I will not, that I do. Now if I do that which I will not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I have a will to do good, evil is present with me. For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man: but I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin, that is in my members. Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God by Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore I myself, with the mind, serve the law of God; but, with the flesh, the law of sin.’ (Rom 7:19-25)”

“This inner war between the spirit and the flesh, between goodness and sin, has for its battlefield every human heart. . . . Every soul is an arena where virtue and honour are at stake.”

“There are those who yield early in the struggle: whether it be weakness of character, blindness of spirit, or intoxication of the senses, they acquiesce in defeat and bow their heads under the degrading yoke of lust. Perhaps they summon excuses to their aid, but the most learned theories do not lift the shame from their conscience, nor the burden of such a slavery.”

“On the other hand, there are men who never lay down their arms, and who, even if cast down at times, never admit that they are defeated. These are valiant and noble souls. Some struggle on year after year without bringing their enemy to the ground; others have a speedier triumph, and remain, if they are vigilant, masters of the field.”

Quotations from Jean Guibert, On Piety (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1911).

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