The three temptations of Jesus are familiar to all of us – the temptation for sensual satisfaction, the thirst for power, and the desire for worldly recognition – but, as the Spanish exorcist Father Jose Antonio Fortea explains, these temptations become much more subtle and dangerous when they are imposed on the devout.
The priest abuse scandal is a disgrace, as was the Pachamama debacle at the Amazonian Synod and the dissident priests who are running amok, promoting everything from same-sex marriage to goofy New Age gimmicks like the Enneagram; but every time I start to attack the Church for its pitiful condition I feel a check in my spirit and instantly think of a meme someone posted on Facebook a few months ago – “Why would I give up Jesus because of what Judas did?” Why am I blaming the Church for what a few bad actors are doing?
In the spiritual realm, there’s almost nothing worse than dry prayer. You spend your whole prayer time either besieged by distractions or struggling to string together two good thoughts. Who would ever think this disturbing situation could be a sign of greater things to come?