My Struggle with Threefold Concupiscence

Copyright 2016 Patricia Mackie. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 Patricia Mackie. All rights reserved.

I crave real people, you know, the kind that I can connect with. The kind that I can visit on the days when I just don’t think I am capable of surviving one more day. I want to walk into a friends home and have her pour me a cup of tea while offering me a seat on a couch that needs laundry moved off of it, just like mine. I want to let my kids run off with her kids, hollering, laughing, and bringing joy to one another. I don’t want her to judge me for my struggles. I want her to listen, empathize, and tell me that my kids and I are normal and that she has shared in my struggles. I want to be the friend that offers her the same when she is struggling.

I say that I trust in the Lord and that I ask him for guidance; however, there are honestly some days where I start the day and move through it going from task to task never once remembering to pray. I don’t want to admit that I have days where I forget to pray, or admit that some days I am angry with God for whatever it may be and I just don’t want to pray. I don’t want to be vulnerable and open up. There are days I just don’t want to do things His way. I really, really don’t want to admit that the days that I don’t want to listen are much harder than the days where I pray asking for God’s guidance and turn my life over to his plan. Nope that stubborn part of me refuses to acknowledge what I know deep down. I’m human and I’m no Saint. I do strive for it, but the Lord only knows if I will ever be capable of that type of selfless life.

I want to matter to the world, I want to be somebody, those feelings are known as the temptation towards pride of life. I just learned there is a phrase for the three temptations we are constantly fighting against, thank you St. John. The threefold concupiscence: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life. Somedays I wonder what would happen if I recorded all of the temptations I encounter on a single day. It might look something like this.

  • I want a big sugary donut (lust of the flesh)
  • I want to sleep in; can’t the kids just go watch tv (lust of the flesh)
  • I want my bedroom to look like that Pinterest picture (lust of the eyes)
  • I should be doing more with my degree (pride of life)

The list would get quite lengthy I’m sure. The threefold concupiscence is around every corner. The devil never rests, fighting him is exhausting, and quite honestly I fail constantly.

The Lord has offered me all I could ever want. Yet, the devil is right there throwing everything he’s got at me. Man is he relentless! The best tool to use against him; human connection and true presence that comes from face to face friendships. Yep that’s right eventually I was going to get back to my original point. I crave and want that friend who I can just drop in on and she will care for my wounded spirit. How is it possible an entire generation of moms, myself included, has given up on face-to-face nurturing friendships for the digital likes of 400 Facebook friends? What???? My digital friend does not soothe my broken spirit or dry my tears of fear and anxiety. When I am run down, too bitter, and stubborn to pray with regularity I am the devil’s prime target. He has got me right where he wants me. That’s when I am the most vulnerable and because those face-to-face friendships have been replaced by all my digital friends I check out and seek comfort in Facebook and Pinterest and mommy blogs. There I am met with threefold concupiscence and I’m weak so I will likely give in to those temptations once again.


Copyright 2016 Patricia Mackie

About the author: Patricia Mackie is a homeschooling mom of 3 here on earth. She writes on occasion to keep herself sane and reassure her husband and lets be honest herself, that the years she spent getting a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology is being put to good use and not just on him and the kids.


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  1. Michael Carrillo on

    “Yet, the devil is right there throwing everything he’s got at me. Man is he relentless!” Isn’t that the truth!?

    Your article hit the nail right on the head. Nice piece.

  2. Flávia Ghelardi on

    “The just man sins 7 times a day” (Pv 24:16). This passage always kept me thinking on how I could see my everyday sins. It´s always so difficult, we tend to indulge ourselves. But this post helped me a lot to look for the threefold concupscence in my daily life and in this Year of Mercy, ask God to help me sin less…

  3. I feel like you somehow heard my inner thoughts and wrote them down….and I am only on my first child. God bless you and your family on this journey!

  4. Are you in my brain?!?! I’m a sahm, homeschooler, RN, BSN, IBCLC, and I’m constantly feeling not good enough for not using my degree. And I feel all the other stuff too. Thanks for writing this. It’s refreshing to be able to read something that doesn’t have all the answers, but still lets me know I’m not alone. We have to choose it daily, and it’s HARD. God bless!!

  5. I feel like you’ve climbed inside MY brain, and have written my every thought in this post! Thanks for sharing, and letting me know I’m not the only mom out there that feels this way. I wish we could all get together for one big, non-judgmental visit! Thank you, thank you, thank you for speaking your voice 🙂

  6. Patricia Mackie on

    Thank you all for your kind words! I will keep a cup of tea warm for each of you and add you to my prayer list.

  7. Don’t worry about your degree. I can relate. I have a degree in Pharmacy but I’m teaching morality at a Catholic high school!

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