Jesus vs. Eve in Rule 12

Strong before weakness and weak before strength: biblically, this is the difference in the responses to the tempter of Eve and of Jesus.

When the tempter approaches Eve (Gn 3), he does so with a question, “Did God really say . . . ?” Eve listens and replies, the tempter in turn answers her . . . and a process of temptation is under way.

The process continues, Eve sees “that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes,” and eventually yields to the temptations, with the unhappy consequences that follow.

The tempter approaches Jesus in the desert (Mt 4), “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” Jesus’s response is immediate, based on the Word of God, and definitive, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’” And the temptation is over. Jesus responds in a similar immediate and decisive fashion to the subsequent temptations, and the tempter is vanquished and departs from him.

The difference between Eve’s and Jesus’s responses to the enemy is precisely that which Ignatius wishes to highlight in rule 12. Our call is to respond like Jesus, confronting “the enemy firmly, doing what is diametrically opposed to him.”

Gallagher, Timothy M.. Setting Captives Free (p. 212). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.

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