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Ask the Register: “lead us not into temptation”?

Q. In the “Our Father” what does it mean when we ask the Heavenly Father to “lead us not into temptation”? Why would God lead us into temptation?

A. We can call God “Our Father” because Jesus has come to earth to set us free from sin and the powers of evil. Through grace, we enter into the family of God.

The Lord tempts no one into evil. He desires us to be good, for He is goodness itself. The confusion that “lead us not into temptation” presents stems from a difficulty in translation from Greek to English. The Greek means “do not allow us to enter into temptation” and “do not let us yield to temptation” (CCC 2846).

As Christians, if we desire to grow in our spiritual lives, we must recognize the temptations that come our way. We need to discern between temptation and consenting to temptation through sin. Through the Holy Spirit, resisting temptation can make us stronger, and allows us to see that sin is really a lie, which leads to destruction.

The thought of being tempted should never overwhelm disciples of Jesus Christ who desire to follow him with all their hearts. St. Paul says, “God is faithful, and will not let you be tempted beyond your strength…” (1 Cor 10:13).

Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.

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