It Will Be Tempting for Sure: Part 1

Ever wonder how some people get the jobs they have?

Like those on the food networks who are paid to travel all over the world just to eat – and we sit there and watch them eat. Or stunt-doubles; makes you wonder what kind of waiver they have to sign upon hiring.

Another is for those who are tasked with doing those stress tests on cars, airplanes, appliances or the like, where things are put through a myriad of trials to see how durable they are.

Sometimes things have to be pushed beyond the breaking point in order to determine what their limits and breaking points are – this is actually quite important when it comes to tests of safety. Standards of performance are formulated over years of study, so when things are put through the grind, they get graded on how they meet, exceed, or fall short of the expectation.

All in all, such tests are proving ground for a product’s worth. Does it adequately meet a use or need?

Certain types or conditions of employment require their own stress tests, and rightfully so: be it physical, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, or in some kind of combination. Indeed these are for the good of the person who has the job as well as those affected by the performance; no one wants a sub-standard pilot flying the plane he is on. So tests are constructed to determine if someone has what it takes to have the job and do it well. And such tests are hardly unfair: the job is what it is, and to compromise that can bring about a tremendous amount of harm. It is a most necessary proving ground.

It is a fact of life, then, that not everybody can do everything – it is one of nature’s most basic inequalities.

But although not everybody can do everything, everybody can do something, and one something everybody can do is save their souls.

This is because, first, it is the will of God that we go to heaven, and second, that the spiritual means are made available for us to do this, means that we are supposed to cooperate in any state of life we may be, and at any age we may be. The means are the Sacraments, prayer, and penance.  No one is exempt and everyone is invited all the time, from youngest to oldest. Our redemption is at hand! (cf. Lk. 21:28)

As the parable of the wedding feast indicates, the table is prepared and ready: that is, it was set by the Crucifixion and Resurrection (cf. Mt. 22:1-14).

All that remains is that the journey be made to come to the feast, and that such a journey is resolutely undertaken.

But as this is a spiritual journey, parts of the straight and narrow path our Lord wishes us to walk are often unclear and uncertain. We may think at times we are making progress when we really are not, or we may think we are not making progress when we really are. Short fences may be perceived as insurmountable walls, trials may give way to discouragement and hopelessness, and we can misinterpret good for evil or evil for good. Nonetheless, the path must be walked if we desire the salvation our Savior wishes to give.

And if His Cross is the instrument of our salvation and is set up as the standard – Take up thy cross and follow Me – there must be tests that surround it, proving grounds shall we say, which come in the form of temptations. (Mk. 8:34)

When we discuss temptations, we must keep in mind that they are very useful for us – they humble us, expose our weaknesses, prove our resoluteness, and help us determine where we may be seeking our own glory instead of God’s. Evidently these are not the most comfortable things to deal with, but they are most necessary.

If we are to make the progress God desires, temptations serve to light up the path we are walking.

February 22, 2021