The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a “Mercy Word of the Week” to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already, so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University’s Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Temptation: Oscar Wilde quipped that the “the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” In the spiritual life, temptation is a serious matter and dealing with it usually isn’t funny. Some people wonder why God allows temptations to plague us. The answer is rather simple: free will. If God ensured that we would never be tempted, life might seem easier, but it would lose the essential feature that makes us human: freedom! Life is about choices and the choices we make shape us. They turn us into the people we become. If we want to build muscles or lose weight, we go to the gym and work out. That choice quite literally “shapes” us. Our moral choices do the same thing. Lifting weights isn’t easy and requires a great deal of discipline. Most of the choices that matter also require discipline.
So, whether your temptation is to cheat on a test, cheat on a loved one, or to gossip or express anger at someone, you’ll need discipline to resist such choices. What’s worth doing always takes time and effort …and usually involves failure along the way. The spiritual life is no different. We try, fail—many times, perhaps—and try again. The only real failure in life is not “falling down” but refusing to get back up. So, don’t be discouraged by the temptations you face, even if it’s the same temptation over and over. God understands and cares much more about the effort we’re putting out to re-shape ourselves.