Temperance is the virtue which moderates in us the inordinate desire for sensible pleasure, keeping it within the limits assigned by faith and reason. Sin has produced in us the great discord by which the inferior part tends to rebel against the superior, and craves what is contrary to the spirit. We will never be able to defend ourselves against the attractions of pleasure without the help of this virtue, which God has infused in our souls for the express purpose of enabling us to regulate our disordered tendency to pleasure.
Regulating our passions permits us to use our senses in perfect harmony with the spirit and not disturb our spiritual life. Temperance, along with grace and other virtues, heals us and elevates our nature by re-establishing us in harmony that was destroyed by sin. This of course cannot happen without my cooperation. I must be willing to “mortify the deeds of the flesh” in order to “live.” When I choose to be driven by the passions and desires of the flesh, this creates my own personal hell, leading to death. But I choose to live with an eternal perspective, choosing life.
People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at this moment is progressing to one state or the other.C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 92
Thank you Lord for showing me the goodness of Your ways.