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Conflict (Inner)

“Yet here [striving to do God’s will] is precisely where the conflict is great. What gives our inner conflicts their power over us? We have many desires that create endless turmoil inside us, even as many things pressing upon us from the outside confuse us. How easy it is to speak of doing the will of the Lord, but how difficult in practice to live a life that is truly natural and sinless!...We take up a radical way of living when we follow Christ – one natural to our spirit, yet contrary to our pride.” (Dynamis 8/22/2020, 8/23/2020)

“This advice is especially valuable for people with a high sense of sin or who struggle with self-loathing or the inability to forgive themselves. Very often we think we’ve got to keep all this ever in mind. While awareness of sin and transgression has its place, it must nevertheless be set aside if growth in humility is to continue…We have to let go of everything, even our sense of being a miserable failure…Growth does not mean that somehow we are no longer going to struggle with our issues. Much struggle remains with us for a very long time. But what does change is how we experience the struggle. We are able to see with greater clarity what is going on within us as it is happening.” (Martin Laird)

“If we are serious about being Christian, which means striving to be Christ-like through union with Him, we must expect internal conflict. There is a part of us that naturally gravitates to God and everything about Him. But due to sin and our damaged will, we also have opposition to God within us. Just as Adam and Eve brought sin into the world through pride (i.e., seeking life apart from God), we inherited this condition and our life is a continual battle within. The good news is if we are sincere in our desire to follow Christ, this internal battle both lessens and also becomes a way that Christ uses to refine us as we die to pride and self and live in and for Him. He Himself suffered temptation but did not have internal conflict. The more we grow in Him, we become like Him in this way.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Temptation is brought to fulfillment by three stages: suggestion, delight, consent. And we in temptation generally fall through delight, and then through consent; for being begotten of the sin of the flesh we bear within us that through which we suffer conflict. But God, incarnate in the womb of a virgin, came into the world without sin, and so suffers no conflict within himself. He could therefore be tempted by suggestion, but the delight of sin could never touch his mind. So all these temptations of the devil were from without, not from within Him.” (St. Gregory the Great)

“Rather the peace of Christ, that is our inheritance, is with us when the mind is at peace and undisturbed by conflicting emotions.” (Blessed Jerome)

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