During Lent and Advent, we are called to journey into the wilderness with Jesus as our companion and guide. In the wilderness, we are confronted with the temptations of life in its complexity. In a society that routinely glorifies the seven deadly sins and uses temptation as a marketing device, it is easy to overlook the spiritually destructive, and often subtle, forms of temptation in our midst. While we may recognize the obvious temptations of greed and lust, the more subtle temptations that infect our spiritual commitments may elude us.
In recognizing our personal temptations, we gain the freedom to follow God fully and faithfully. Yet, we can face our temptations fully only when we trust that God is with us and that God will not abandon us in the wilderness of struggle and self-discovery. "Grace happens," for "while we still were sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).