The Courage to Run Away

St. Josemaría Escrivá was full of practical advice.  In Friends of God, he wrote in a homily on chastity:

Be humble, very humble, my children. Let us learn to be humble. We need prudence to protect our Love. We must keep a careful watch and not be overcome by fear. Many of the classical spiritual authors compare the devil to a mad dog tied down by a chain. If we don't go near him, he cannot bite us, no matter how much he barks. If you foster humility in your souls, you will certainly avoid the occasions of sin, and you will react by having the courage to run away from them. You will have daily recourse to the help that comes from Heaven, and will make lively progress along this path of true love.

(emphasis mine)

The courage to run away–how paradoxical is that?  We often associate courage with standing strong in the face of danger, but there are times when it takes more courage to run away.  When we're faced with temptations or near occasions of sin, the easy path is to say, "I'm strong enough to handle this," then–when you're not, in fact, strong at all–to give in.  The hard thing is to turn your back and leave.   How much better off would we all be if we did that when we encounter things like images in television commercials or spam emails? 

May the Lord grant me the strength to do this the next time temptations comes along. 


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