This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for our
sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our
Father not to “lead” us into temptation. It is difficult to translate
the Greek verb used by a single English word: the Greek means
both “do not allow us to enter into temptation” and “do not let us
yield to temptation.”
“God cannot be tempted by evil and he
himself tempts no one”;
on the contrary, he wants to set us free
from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to
sin. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this
petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength.
The Holy Spirit makes us
between trials, which are
necessary for the growth of the inner man,
which leads to sin and death.
We must also discern between be
ing tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment
unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a
“delight to the eyes” and desirable,
when in reality its fruit is
God does not want to impose the good, but wants free
beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No
one but God knows what our soul has received from him,
not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to
teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our
evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods
that temptation has revealed to us.
“Lead us not into temptation” implies a
decision of the
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . .
No one can serve two masters.”
“If we live by the Spirit, let us
also walk by the Spirit.”
In this assent to the Holy Spirit the Fa
ther gives us strength. “No testing has overtaken you that is not
common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempt
ed beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also pro
vide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it.”
29: PG 11, 544CD.