Temptations and their appeal


this is probably a difficult question to put into words but here goes. When one is tempted by something what is the difference between delectation and admitting that the object of temptation is appealing? for example. I am annoyed sorely by something around me which I should accept as God’s will. I accept this inwardly and am conciously aware that I want to do God’s will. I reject with my will any suggestion to complain, but at the very same time the lower baser part of my being is completely pulled into the idea that complaining would be a great relief. The idea of complaint becomes so strong I nearly feel it physically like an itchiness wanting to escape in the form of a loud screaming hissy fit! I am now in the position of hating something but admitting that the object of temptation is wildly appealing and conciously aware of both. is this normal temptation? obviously it would not be a temptation if the object exerted no appeal, but what is the line after which it becomes some kind of sinful delectation. This is almost impossible for me to figure out can anyone help with this? is a mere acknowledgement of the fact that on some level you are inclined to do something sinful enough to constitute delight in it even if you hate it? what about when a temptation comes so fast that for a split second you are unaware of its presence and a quick flash of excitement at the idea is what initially makes you aware of its presence and you jump back at that point? has any sin been committed. I would greatly appreciate an answer to either of these. it happens frequently and seems so completely involuntary that it terrifies me at times. In the way of an analogy it is like leaning unaware on a hot stove. you burn your hand and leap away in pain. you certainly did not mean to do that and got away immediately but is the burn you are still leaft with in this analogy actively sinful? or this: you think of stealing a cookie and hate the idea with your will but at the same time find your mouth is watering at the thought of it. There is little you can do about this as it is involuntary but it still seems so deeply disordered. does anybody know what I mean or can shed some light on this. I tried discussing it with a priest but was as poor with words then as I am here.


Temptaions and feelings are not really under our control (altho feelings can be brought into better control with a lot of work). However, as long as you resist the temptation and hate the fact that the sin does appeal to you, you are totally not sinning.


I, for one, can absolutely relate to what you are feeling. As you correctly point out, it is very difficult to put into words, but you did a good job at describing it. What I’ve learned so far:

*]We all experience temptation.
*]We should joy in the fact that we are tempted, because we can learn to grow closer to God.
*]You cannot be mortally sinning if you are unsure or are so deeply questioning it that you don’t know for certain.
*]You, like myself, exhibit signs of scrupulosity, and scrupulous people, like myself, need to not argue with the thought, but let it go. (easier said than done)
*]We all bear some sort of cross of temptation, give it to Jesus. Offer it up for Him.
*]One can only go to Hell if one thoroughly chooses outright to do so, it does not seem you are doing so.
*]Continue to pray, ask for peace.

I had some other thoughts, but they left my head like the swift winds of the Antarctic… maybe they’ll come back later…


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