“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” – Galatians 5:16-17
You may be familiar with the saying that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” from the Gospel of Matthew. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus warns His disciples to keep watch when He finds them sleeping, despite their desire to stay awake through the night.
This moment reminds us that the spirit and the flesh are not of the same mind. In fact, the Bible teaches that the spirit and the body are often diametrically opposed. Things that may feel good in the moment, like drunkenness and fornication, hurt our souls, our relationships with others and our perceptions of ourselves in the long run.
However tempting the flesh is, we have the hope that God is faithful to us and will not let us be tempted beyond our abilities. While the desires of the flesh may feel suffocating at times, the Holy Spirit gives joy and peace to overcome temptation.
Dear Jesus, let us revel in Your joy and peace this Lenten season. Come Holy Spirit and captivate our souls with Your beauty, so we might delight in You and seek You first. Amen.
Passages for Further Reading:
Galatians 5, Psalm 16
About the Author:
Alejandro Morles is a junior at the University of Chicago studying economics and European history. He is a board member of the Catholic Students Association and Students for Life, and he loves his hometown of Miami.