In his talk “Alive Inside,” Fr. Chris Martin instructed teens on how they could reclaim their minds for a truly abundant life.
Sticking with last night’s themes of the shepherd and the thief, Fr. Martin explained how the devil constantly attacks God’s faithful ones. But he doesn’t strike where you are strong, where you are certain of your own ability and full of God’s love. The devil comes to you when you are down, when you are afraid and lonely. He launches an assault on your weakness and is constantly searching for your next Achilles’ heel.
It’s scary to think about, but the devil does know each one of us. He knows if lustful thoughts can tempt our minds. He knows if we struggle in a relationship with our parents, siblings, or spouses. He knows what buttons to push and where to press to make us squirm until we’ve twisted so far away from Jesus’ arms that we could never find our way back. Temptation never stops. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan multiple times. Many of us get discouraged when, even after the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the lustful, jealous, and angry thoughts that lead us to ruin still remain. We don’t always feel healed, because as long as we live, the devil will try to uproot us from good soil.
But there is hope. Even the weakest of roots can break through the strongest of rocks. While we can’t physically punch the devil in the face every time we feel him entice us, we can call upon Jesus, the blessed mother, and all the angels and saints to combat the great deceiver in our place. Giving God permission to work in your life will help each sinful thought lose its hold over you. Your struggle with sin will always exist but, but it will only have as much power as you give it. Here are Fr. Chris Martin’s tips on how to fight the devil and win. By following his advice, we may finally be able to live a limitless life.
1. Be Aware of Your Weaknesses
There is an old saying that goes, “if you do not know, you cannot do.” Until you accept the areas of your life that are frail and unprotected, you will never be able to guard yourself from Satan’s attacks. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to diminishing it. Every time you choose God’s way over temptation, you’ll find it easier and easier to shut out the devil’s false promises. On top of this, surrendering over our faults to God gives Him the chance to use our failings for his glory. This way, our weaknesses become a doorway for God’s grace to come flowing through.
2. Renounce the Lies You Hear
The devil is not the only way we encounter deception in our world. We see it every single day in society too. We must be able to recognize the lies in our culture and cast them aside. Once we’ve cleansed our lives of all that goes against God’s plan and proclaim truth, we can we wear grace’s infallible armor.
3. Turn to Scripture
The Bible always has and always will be the most direct way to get in touch with God. Even God’s only Son turned to Scripture in times of distress. (Jesus quoted Psalm 22:2 while hanging on the cross.) Every bit of wisdom we need to live a free and happy life is written across the Bible’s pages. It’s our very own self-help book on how to find eternal life. Trust that God is a honest author and his directions are good. Turning to Scripture in both the good and bad moments will help us to always keep sight of the ultimate goal: getting to Heaven!