Lead Us Not into Tempation

Does God purposely test our worthiness?



One would think the hubris of Pope Francis knows no bounds, as he proposes we reinterpret and reword The Lord’s Prayer. I suppose he thinks we have the wrong idea that God is purposely testing our worthiness. So? Maybe God is allowing all his children to be tempted. Ponder while reading this flash fiction parable:

Parable of a Crown Prince

In a far off land was an aging Mir who had over a hundred sons and daughters from his large harem. He sensed his days were numbered and he started giving serious thought to whom he’d appoint as heir to his throne. His eldest son, the heir apparent, was a good-for-nothing, long spoiled by sycophancy and idle luxury. The Mir studied each of his sons but failed for similar reasons to discover a worthy candidate. His advisors suggested various trials and tests of character involving “wine, women, and wealth.” So he agreed.

Each of these temptations was presented in such a way that the sons suspected nothing.

Wine symbolized a wide array of hallucinogenic intoxicants besides liquor, such as opium, cannabis, and nutmeg. Each of his sons was enticed to overindulge one way or another. Only one of his sons, the youngest,  refused to partake, which was duly noted.

Women represented the lascivious prostitutes at a local brothel. Each of his sons were separately introduced to sexual escapades that put to shame the pen yard of a piggery. Again only one, the same who refused drugs, was too scandalized and backed away.

Wealth was the most difficult test, since these princes had lived it from their youth.

After thinking much on the idea, the Mir decided to separately entrust each son with a specific number of gold coins in a leather bag. These were to be secretly delivered in the exact tally to agents unfamiliar to the sons. None of the sons knew that they were being separately led into temptation by their own father, the sole purpose being to find an honest heir.

The Mir could guess the results: the same son who refused inebriation and prostitution had delivered the exact quantity of gold coins, while the others absconded various amounts. He was the youngest son, a mere lad of twelve and fair to behold with golden hair.

The Mir announced to a gathering of his sons whom he chose as the Crown Prince. His oldest son had daggers in his eyes for the boy, his half brother, after he heard this decree. Weeping and grinding his teeth, he stormed out of the dining hall.

By leading them all into temptation, the Mir had discovered that his last and youngest son proved himself first. And so his whole kingdom rejoiced over finding a worthy heir to the throne.

Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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