Grace to you!
For our reflection today and tomorrow, I wish to share some excerpts from my book, Word for a Wounded World (Volume 1) as it relates to the story of the Fall in Genesis 3. Hope you find it spiritually helpful.
“Solicitation (otherwise called temptation, allurement or seduction) is the entry level to sin. It comes first because, without it, one would not be trapped by sin. It is the devil’s most piercing, subtle, but very potent instrument.
The tempter uses a seemingly harmless phrase, “Just take a look,” which at first blush would appear safe, but it’s not, it’s deadly. If we, believers, are able to withstand the devil at this entry level, we remain triumphant overcomers!
We have to remember also, the devil, represented by the figure of a serpent, was more subtle than any other creature the Lord God had made, as he said to the woman in the garden, in Genesis 3, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
There is a new malaise in our world today—Internet pornography. It has ruined many families and led to numerous dysfunctional marriages, devastating men and women of all ages… How does it start?
In many cases it starts simply as a pop-up on the corner of the Internet browser, which solicits men and women with words like, "Just take a look,” followed by an immodest TV commercial or porno-pop-up advertisement. Then one is ‘caught in the trap.’ …
Solicitation can also appear in the form of a business proposal which looks like the golden, long-awaited opportunity to hit the jackpot. The million-dollar deal seems ever so close, and the "Just take a look” appeal beckons. …
I believe it is essential to realize that solicitation is geared towards drawing the attention of the tempter’s prey (us) to an apparent good, which in essence is, to a great degree, very dangerous for our soul.
Our enemy, the devil, has a knack for presenting counterfeits to what is intrinsically good in God’s design; in a cosmetic culture (another multi-billion-dollar industry) the devil is the supreme cosmetician. His makeup studio is the human mind. The cosmetics he works with are the senses and his brush is the imagination. His creativity is ultimately destructive.
As with Eve, Satan knows the human desire and need for happiness. He knows God created men and women to seek the beautiful and he is obsessed with creating counterfeits for them—so they will fall into his trap.
Aware of our innate desire for truth, he must give credence to countless falsehoods and make them appear to be true. If the door is open, he distracts the mind to think favorably about some unsavory object, like a mouse high on the aroma of cheese in a trap. The human senses geared to ‘pleasure for a season’ are eventually ensnared.
Dressing immodestly today does likewise, with the quiet subtle voice which beckons the senses with, "Just take a look.” Instead, God’s voice in our soul will say, “Don’t look”. We should listen to the latter and run from evil whenever it tries to solicit us, including physically. Turn off the Internet or disconnect from whatever is trying to ensnare you at that moment.
In Africa there is a proverb that says, “The monkey who likes to look at everything is the one that gets the bullet.” So don’t listen and don’t “take a look.” The devil is subtle and smart and leads us to where we don’t want to go. Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and invites us to the life of true freedom.” (Excerpt From: Maurice Nkem Emelu. “Word for a Wounded World: Volume I.” iBooks).
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.