Be with the Word

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Join Dr. Gerry and Dr. Peter as they discuss how sinful temptations are often fueled by legitimate, good, and real human needs. Learn how Satan tempts us as a real person within a relationship. Learn how Adam and Eve fall to temptation when they begin to doubt God while Christ remains steadfast in His trust of the Father during his trial of temptation.

Show Notes

Overall Takeaways

Dr. Gerry: Our temptations reveal our true needs.
Dr. Peter: Giving into temptation usually begins with doubting God’s ability to meet our needs.

Key Verses from Sunday Readings

“The serpent asked the woman,
‘Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?’”

“God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.”

“But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one, the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.”

“He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.’”

Where Catholicism Meets Psychology
  • Satan is a real person and tempts us within a relationship. First, the devil tries to introduce doubt as he did with Eve, which attacks faith. Then, we begin to mistrust God, which means we lose hope. Finally, we commit sin that is against love
  • Behind every sin is often a true, good, legitimate need that is not being met. We turn to sin as a distorted way to meet a real need. Satan tempts us to do so.
  • Jesus is a real person, and we see His humanity in his hunger. Satan tries the same tactic, tempting Jesus to use His power in distorted ways in order to satisfy His true and legitimate need for food.
  • Unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus repudiates Satan and trusts that the Father will meet His needs. Angels were sent to minister to Him; Jesus gets everything Satan promises, but in the right way, through His Father.
  • Catholics often think sin is only about vice, but psychologically, the sin is usually an outward manifestation of an inner pain. 
  • For example, young men who struggle with purity often find a greater temptation when they feel closer to God. Why? If they believe that relationship equals fusion, they falsely believe that getting close to God means they will be annihilated. The temptation, then, is a means to survival. 

Action Items

Dr. Peter: Ask in prayer, “In what parts of my life do I doubt God’s love?” Ask where you are hurting.

Dr. Gerry: As you prepare for reconciliation during Lent, identify the real need that is behind each of your recurring sins. That need might be better self-care, connection with others, or the need to be seen. Then think of a way to meet that real need in a healthier way to avoid that sin.

What is Be with the Word?

“Be With The Word” is a weekly podcast from Souls and Hearts with Dr. Peter Malinoski, clinical psychologist, and Dr. Gerry Crete, marriage and family therapist. The hosts delve into human and psychological issues that surface in the upcoming Sunday Mass readings.