Believe it or not, temptation obeys the laws of supply and demand.
We pray: “Lead us not into temptation”, yet we love to be tempted.
The forbidden fruit tastes sweetest.
How contrary, how fallen.
If temptation did not exist, then neither would several industries, including illegal drugs and pornography.
Laziness, anger, pride, gluttony, envy, lust and greed are the seven deadly sins. They are deadly because these attitudes and behaviours trap you in your bodily-ness and separate you from your spiritual-ness. They remain perpetually popular.
Modern western society indulges them all. Modern eastern society isn’t far behind.
The Saints know the answer to this. Adopt a lifestyle that reduces contact with these temptations, i.e. reduce the demand, and the supply will dry up. It really is that simple.
Acetic acid (vinegar) preserves stuff by discouraging the growth of pathogens.
Ascetic life preserves souls by discouraging the growth of temptations.
Be warned though: Asceticism without the Love of God will just make you into a martinet. Also, without God’s Love, trying to fight temptation all by yourself, alone, will be like fighting fire with petrol.
You need to be in God’s Love first. I’ll talk about that another day, God willing.
A simple life is most conducive to being close to God, but don’t fall at the first fence and become lazy!