One of the mistakes that we often make is to assume that the Saints constantly walked around with hands folded in prayer and were recognizable by the halos that encircled their heads. By doing this, we disassociate our lives from theirs and sometimes forget that we are all called to be Saints.
St. Benedict, whose feast we celebrate today, struggled with the same temptations facing many of us. In fact, he once suffered a violent temptation of the flesh where he vividly imagined a woman he had seen and had great difficulty suppressing his desires for her. Just before giving in to his temptation, he removed his habit and jumped into a thick thorn bush, rolling around until his entire body was lacerated. As a result, he was never again tormented by this temptation.
While I don’t necessarily recommend Benedict’s extreme solution, it is important that we find ways to counter our worldly temptations. We are constantly bombarded with images and products that could seriously jeopardize our salvation if we’re not careful. Like St. Benedict, it’s important to recognize temptation when it occurs and take the appropriate measures. When feeling tempted, immediately say a prayer and if you’re still in trouble…you could always look for a thorn bush!