Deliver us from evil

Daily Reading for March 11

The evil from which we pray to be delivered is not that which is most oppressive in life, such as poverty, worries, hardship, burdens, sacrifices, pain, injustice, tyranny and so on; it is the chain of circumstance that leads us into temptation, disturbing the balance, pushing life off-center, distorting the perspective. It will be seen at once that the so-called “good things” of life are just as liable to cause such disturbance as the painful and hard realities. These things all possess the potential power to lead or force us into temptation and by that I mean all the things that can possibly come between us and God. . . .

We should give thought to the fact that wherever self is stressed, as in strength that glories in its own might, power that idolizes itself, life that aims at “fulfilling itself” in its own way and by its own resources, in all these, not the truth, but the negation of truth may be suspected.

From the writings of Alfred Delp, German Jesuit theologian and writer, quoted in Christian Teachings on the Practice of Prayer: From the Early Church to the Present, edited by Lorraine Kisly (Boston: New Seeds, 2006).

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