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684

Part Four

VI.

“A

nd

L

ead

U

s

N

ot

into

T

emptation

2846

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.”

150

“God cannot be tempted by evil and he

himself tempts no one”;

151

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.

2847

The Holy Spirit makes us

discern

between trials, which are

necessary for the growth of the inner man,

152

and temptation,

which leads to sin and death.

153

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,

154

when in reality its fruit is

death.

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.

155

2848

“Lead us not into temptation” implies a

decision of the

heart:

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . .

No one can serve two masters.”

156

“If we live by the Spirit, let us

also walk by the Spirit.”

157

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.”

158

150 Cf.

Mt

26:41.

151

Jas

1:13.

152 Cf.

Lk

8:13-15;

Acts

14:22;

Rom

5:3-5;

2 Tim

3:12.

153 Cf.

Jas

1:14-15.

154 Cf.

Gen

3:6.

155 Origen,

De orat.

29: PG 11, 544CD.

156

Mt

6:21, 24.

157

Gal

5:25.

158

1 Cor

10:13.

164

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