Friday, March 24, 2017


Moments of temptation are revelatoryof who we are and of what’s going on inside us. There is so much we are meant to learn from them; we grow by them.  Like Jesus in the desert, in struggling with our temptations we begin to know ourselves not only as weak but also filled with and led by the Spirit. The temptations by the devil called forth in Jesus the confirmation of his baptismal identity, and it was that identity by which he overcame the temptations. The remarkable thing is that Jesus ended up knowing and experiencing the truth about himself (his sonship, his belovedness, and his Father’s pleasure) in a confirmatory way precisely in response to temptation. And this is what prepared him to then go on to speak to the people of Nazareth immediately afterwards. The same is true for us. Our struggle with temptations (regardless of whether we are successful or not in resisting them at the moment) teaches us volumes about ourselves, and confirms our deepest identity and relationship with God, even if through weakness we momentarily give in to them. (That, after all, is what compunction is about.) Perhaps we do better to think of temptations not as judgments but as revelations.

Photograph by Brother Brian. Meditation by Father Dominic.