Twentieth Meditation
(The Way of Perfection, Chapter 38-39)

"Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1)


The temptations of false virtue,
Bewitch the well-intentioned heart;
Self-satisfaction is a clue,
Perfection's not reached at the start.

Virtues are granted and withdrawn --
Borrowed treasures that aren't possessed:
At times, held firm; at others, gone -
Faithful servants strive without rest.

The false virtues, rooted in vice,
Lacking the Lord's presence and peace,
Beguile the soul and entice
It to loose heart - good works decrease.

She seeks shelter in poverty:
Clinging to truth simple and pure;
Distrusting her own piety --
Knowing only His mercy's sure.

Deliverance from temptation --
The humble heart's vindication.

May the Lord deliver us from the subtle temptations that ensnare our souls, enlighten our paths with His truth, and secure each of our steps with true poverty of spirit.

1. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

(c) Paul Buis, 2004