Temptations of St. Catherine of Sienna
St. Catherine of Sienna, that favourite spouse of our Blessed Lord, who bore in her body the stigmata or marks of the Sacred Wounds, was at one time of her life subject to the most violent temptations of Satan. That wicked spirit, envious of the angelic purity of her soul, was wont to fill her mind with filthy imaginations, and to assail her heart with the most impure temptations. Unceasingly did she call on God for help, but she seemed to receive no answer. Her mind was obscured with frightful darkness, and she seemed on the very brink of the precipice. Often, indeed, she was unable to distinguish between temptation and consent, but an invisible hand always preserved her from falling. Upon one occasion after the temptations had ceased, our Blessed Lord came to visit her, filling her with heavenly consolations. “Ah, my Divine Spouse,” she cried out, “where wast Thou when I lay in such an abandoned and frightful condition?” “I was with thee,” he replied. “What,” said she, “in the midst of the filthy abominations with which my soul was filled?” “Yes,” answered our Lord, “for these temptations were most displeasing and painful to thee. By fighting against them thou hast gained immense merit, and the victory was owing to my presence.” Thus did St. Catherine learn that God is never nearer to us than when we appear the most abandoned, and that He is never wanting to those who call upon Him with humility and confidence.–Butler’s Saints’ Lives.
A Prayer in Temptation
from the Imitations of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Enlighten me, O good Jesus, with the brightness of eternal light, and cast out of darkness from the dwelling of my heart.
Restrain my many wandering thoughts and suppress the temptations that violently assault me.
Fight strongly for me and overcome these wicked beasts–Lev. xxvi. 6, I mean these alluring concupiscences, that there may be peace in Thy strength–Ps. CXXI. 7. and the abundance of Thy praise may resound in Thy holy court, which is a clean conscience.
Command the winds and storms; say to the sea: Be thou still; and to the north wind: Blow thou not; and a great calm shall ensue.–Matt. viii. 26.