Christian life is a daily struggle against temptation.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark, which tells of how large numbers of people followed Jesus with enthusiasm and their reasons for doing so, such as to be healed.
Francis encouraged faithful to be ‘drawn’ to Jesus, without succumbing to other subjects to which one can be ‘drawn.’
The Argentine Pontiff reminded faithful how resisting these natural sentiments will help them to not fall down the wrong path.
“A Christian life without temptations,” Francis said, “is not Christian, he said: it is ideological.”
For this very reason, the Pope said, St. Paul speaks of Christian life “as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said. “That’s why Jesus came: ‘to destroy Satan’s empire, the empire of evil.’
“He came to destroy its influence in our hearts, the Pope said. “So while the Father is attracting you to Jesus, the spirit of evil is seeking to destroy that attraction.”
Reflecting on the end of the Gospel passage which says ‘whenever unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God,”’ Francis said that whenever we try to approach God, the unclean spirits try to prevent us from doing so, and “wage a war against us.”
Inviting faithful to fight on and feel the heart that struggles for the victory of Jesus, Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus.”