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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My Research ~ Our Father "lead us not into temptation"

I find all the explanations below from the other websites "not very good" but it did help me somehow. Basically, I feel, it's just bad usage of English, but my English isn't very good either. Moreover, I can't comment on the Latin part and maybe that's the reason why it has to be written the way it is... but I can't say for sure.

But let me try explaining in my own way.

When you say to someone "lead me NOT into that place"... you could mean 2 things....
1) you suspect that he's leading you to where you don't want to go... or
2) you don't suspect that he'll lead you there... if fact, you're quite sure that he won't do that... so what you're saying is... "lead me anywhere BUT there".

The point of the matter is do you suspect him to be leading you there or not? If you don't then number 2) is clear.

However, for number 2), it would have been better if you had said "lead me AWAY from that place" so we won't have to discuss this... 

BUT THEN... maybe that's why it's said this way... so that there will be a discussion... hmm... clever!

Lead Us Not into Temptation
by Fr. William P. Saunders

In the Our Father, we pray, "And lead us not into temptation." This sounds a little odd, because why would God lead us into temptation?

Upon first hearing, this petition of the Our Father does sound like we are asking God not to lead us into temptation. (The Our Father is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.) In this sense, the petition sounds like God would purposely place us in temptation and set us up for a fall to sin. The literal translation of the Greek text is indeed, as we recite, "and lead us not into temptation."

Consequently, we must understand this petition in its context. The preceding petition asks our heavenly Father to forgive us our sins as we forgive others — a very positive petition imploring an outpouring of God's healing grace. The petition in question must also be viewed positively: it asks the Father not to lead us into temptation, but not in the sense of God putting us into temptation. St. James reminds us, "No one who is tempted is free to say, 'I am being tempted by God.' Surely God, who is beyond the grasp of evil, tempts no one" (Jas 1:13). Our Lord would never set us up for a fall to sin.

Rather, as the Catechism indicates, the petition means more "do not allow us to enter into temptation" or "do not let us yield to temptation" (No. 2846). Jean Carmignac, the great Qumran scholar, after a very thorough study, suggested that the petition is best rendered, "Father ... see that we do not enter into temptation" or "that we do not give in to temptation." Therefore, we understand the petition in the sense of God giving us the grace to recognize and resist temptation. We must realize that our human efforts are not sufficient to face all the temptations surrounding our daily lives. We need divine assistance to lead a holy life.

Moreover, the petition invokes a grace to persevere along the path of holiness. St. Paul admitted the constant need for God's grace. He wrote, " ... Let anyone who thinks he is standing upright watch out lest he fall! No test has been sent you that does not come to all men. Besides, God keeps His promise. He will not let you be tested beyond your strength. Along with the test, He will give you a way out of it so that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor 10:12-13). Reflecting on his own faith journey at the end of his life, St. Paul wrote in his second Letter to St. Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (4:7). St. Paul realized the test of this life, but also the grace of God which allowed him to meet it head on and persevere.

Similarly, St. John of Avila (d. 1569) in a sermon delivered on the first Sunday of Lent reminded the faithful, "God is strong enough to free you from everything and can do you more good than all the devils can do you harm. All that God decrees is that you confide in Him, that you draw near Him, that you trust Him and distrust yourself, and so be helped; and with this help you will defeat whatever hell brings against you. Never lose hold of this firm hope ... even if the demons are legion and all kinds of severe temptations harass you. Lean upon Him, because if the Lord is not your support and your strength, then you will fall."

Highlighting this understanding of this petition, the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent in its exposition of the Our Father stated, "We do not ask to be totally exempt from temptation, for human life is one continuous temptation (cf. Jb 7:1). What, then, do we pray for in this petition? We pray that the divine assistance may not forsake us, lest having been deceived, or worse, we should yield to temptation; and that the grace of God may be at hand to succor us when our strength fails, to refresh and invigorate us in our trials."

The idea of persevering also moves us to ponder the final time. Some Scripture scholars suggest that this petition does not necessarily refer to our daily temptations to sin, but perhaps the great eschatological test when we may be tempted away from the Lord. Here we would face the one great future trial with a terrible onslaught by the devil (cf. 2 Thes 2:1-8). Matthew's version of the Our Father adds "but deliver us from evil" — evil not being some amorphous force but a personified evil, the devil. The devil is the tempter, the Satan, who tries to obstruct the Lord's plan of salvation and tempt us from the path of holiness. Recall that at the Last Supper, Jesus prayed to His Father, "I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to guard them from the evil one." However, we need not live in fear for, by the grace of God, we will persevere.

Therefore, as we continue our Lenten preparation, we must undergo a thorough self-examination, recognize our temptations and weaknesses, and repent of sin and receive sacramental absolution. We must implore the Lord to pour forth His grace to give us a firm resolution of heart to follow Him, to keep us vigilant against temptation and evil, and to persevere until the end.

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Lead us not into temptation - Does God tempt us?
"Lead us not into temptation" is a familiar phrase from the Lord's prayer. What did Jesus mean? Was He implying that God could lead someone into temptation?

James 1: 13-14 says, "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." We are always ready to shift the blame. If we cannot blame God for temptation, we will say his sin is a sickness so as not to face the judgment. Sin is not a sickness, but a moral failure and we will have to face judgment. We may also blame others or our circumstances, which are not the cause of sin either. Sin comes from within us. It comes from dwelling on temptations rather than driving temptations from our minds.

It is never God's desire for us to be led into sin. If we resist the devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Why would our Father in Heaven, who knows all things, lead us into temptation? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." God doesn't tempt us, but He allows us to be put into situations where our faith is tested and strengthened.

Lead us not into temptation - A Christian's Reaction

Growing Christians can understand that circumstances are a means of exposing to us to our true character at any stage of our spiritual growth. The circumstances are not the cause of temptations.

It is also important to remember that we are unable to resist temptation without God's grace. We are called to trust the Lord (not ourselves) for strength to resist temptation before it becomes sin. It is not the temptation itself that leads us to sin, but the lack of resistance and trust in the Lord for deliverance.

Christ was human and He can identify with our struggles. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

As Christians, we are in a constant fight with the desires born of our sinful natures - should I please myself or God? We are in constant need of God's guidance so that our needs and desires are kept in proper balance.

Ephesians 6:10-18 instructs us to put on the armor of God: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Learn More about the Lord's Prayer!

Lord's Prayer - A Devotion Based on Christ's Model in Matthew 6
The Lord's Prayer…

"Our Father in heaven" -- We need to always acknowledge first and foremost who we are talking to. He (God) is our heavenly Father. We address Him with respect just as we should address our earthly father with respect. He is the only true God who created all things in this universe, including ourselves. He loves us and we need to show our love for Him.

"Hallowed be your name" -- We must see Him as being holy, sanctified, consecrated; worthy of praise, honor and glory!

"Your kingdom come" - We acknowledge His coming kingdom. We pray that Christ will soon return and establish His earthly kingdom where we will reign with Him for eternity.

"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" -- We need to be praying for His will to be done in our lives, so that we might bring glory to Him here on earth as He is also glorified in heaven. We need to do things His way, instead of selfishly doing our own things to satisfy our own desires.

"Give us today our daily bread" -- We should ask our Father each day to provide for our needs, just as He promised in His Holy Word. His Word says that we don't have, because we don't ask. Of course, we must first know God through His Son, our personal Lord and Savior. If we don't know Christ, God won't acknowledge this request for daily provision.

"Forgive us our debts (or transgressions) as we also have forgiven our debtors (transgressors)" -- This speaks about forgiveness among our associates, neighbors, friends, family and loved ones. Any and all persons in our lives that we come in contact with in social or business situations are included as well. If we can't forgive others, how can we expect our heavenly Father to forgive us?

"Lead us not into temptation" -- We need to ask our heavenly Father to help us recognize every evil thing, every temptation before us. We need help to stay focused on our Father and see the evil that we might fall into, for what it is really is, a trap set by Satan to bring us down to his level.

"But deliver us from the evil one" -- Help us, dear Father, to steer clear of that liar and deceiver. Let us see clearly the path that you want each of us to walk. By the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, may we never stray from your will and way...

Lord's Prayer - A Glorious Ending
Some commentators believe that the end of the Lord's Prayer - "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever" - was added by someone other than the original writer. Whether that's true or not, this last phrase simply emphasizes more praise and glory to God the Father - so it's absolutely biblical… a glorious ending to a model prayer to God!


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