Temptation is often deceptively subtle. There is a diabolical thing about evil. It can seem so reasonable, so necessary, even so beautiful. Some years ago a popular song had a line in it which said, “It can’t be wrong when it seems so right.” Well, I hate to disappoint some people; but wrong always has a way of appearing right to those who want to do it.
Evil does not present itself in the form of some grotesque creature with horns, hooves, and a pitchfork. Temptation will come to us often in forms that are very subtle. Dishonesty will disguise itself as shrewd business dealings. Sexual infidelity will call itself fee love. Gossip can be padded along under the pretense of prayerful concern for a friend. And a nasty temper can always be excused as hereditary weakness or, be camouflaged as righteous indignation.
We will never deal with temptation until we come to terms with the subtlety of its nature. Don’t look for a serpent slithering on the ground or a devil with horns on its head. Evil will always come to us with an explanation that is so reasonable that we can do wrong and find a way to make it seem right.
Temptations are a fact of life; we are surrounded and assaulted by evil in all its forms. But Jesus in His forty days in the desert led our struggle against those forces of evil. Through His victory He opened for us a sure pathway out of the desert of temptation and evil.
We as Catholics have all the help and grace we need to overcome temptation. But a conversation is called for. And this is what our pilgrimage of life is all about – a time set aside to think, a time to reevaluate, a time to change, a time to take prayer seriously and a time to ask the Lord for help.
So what about you? What a difference it would make in our lives if we could learn how to deal with temptation honestly – remember that God is with us to guide us. We might not completely solve the problem of temptation; but at least we could handle it, instead of allowing it to handle us. Victory is there. With Jesus’ help we can all be victorious over temptation. With Jesus all is possible.