- The Flesh. St. Francis would call his flesh an ass. He did this because it was stubborn and needed to be dominated so as not to get its own way. He scourged himself, fasted and prayed to put his flesh in subordination to his will. Each one of us knows how much our flesh just wants pleasure: sex, alcohol, drugs, money, chocolate, food, music, attention, popularity, sleep, TV, movies, video games, money, adornment and attention from social media.
- The world. Almost all of our family members and friends believe in what the world believes in; immorality. All the TV, Movies, Social Media and Music have a strong influence on what people believe is right and wrong. For hours people watch TV, Sports, Movies and listen to Music that have counter Catholic Christian values and morals. These things deform the mind, heart and soul of each of these people. The saints all gave up the world and attachment to worldly possessions. Jesus says it so well; “where your heart is, there is you treasure”, in heaven or earth.
- The devil. He is really smart. He studies our lives and knows our weaknesses. He then puts out temptations that he knows will get us to fall. The devil works through our closest friends and family to influence us to do bad. For us men he usually starts with sex. For women he usually starts with the emotional need to be noticed and loved. The devil is always a part of the stories of the saints. He would torment them, beat them, trick them, get discourage them and up to their last breath, he would work on getting them to despair of their salvation or to deny the Catholic faith. That is why many of them would recite the Catholic Creed as they lay dying holding a crucifix.
So to be a saint we need to know our enemies, follow Jesus and reject the worldly way of acting and thinking. Prayer that helps us fall in love with Jesus, especially before the Blessed sacrament, is the antidote against giving in to the flesh, the world and the devil. Also Mary has special powers given to her by God to help us fight these enemies. Just say her Holy Name, “Mary” when you tempted. She will come to your aid.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.