Father Fortea, why does God allow temptation?
If God does not want us to sin, why does He allow temptation at all? We have the answer in the verse that says, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (Jas 1:2).
Without temptation, there would be no opportunity for us to grow in virtue every time we successfully resist the allure of sin and remain faithful to God’s will. It is true that God could restrain the demons so that they would be unable to interfere in the history of humanity, but He allows their diabolical work so that it can be an occasion of virtue for us. In other words, we could say that God permits a certain amount of darkness in this world (temptation and sin) so that a purer and brighter light (virtue and salvation) can be gained. So God allows temptation because He knows that much good can come from it if we resist.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction recommends Fr. Fortea’s excellent book Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.
Art on why God allows temptation: Frontispiz zu: Blicke in die Traum und Geisterwelt. Erzählungen und Thatsachen von der Nachtseite der Natur, über Träume, Ahnungen, Vampyre und das Gespenst des Alpes (Frontispiece to: eyes in the dream and spirit world. Stories and facts from the night side of nature, about dreams, premonitions, Vampyre and the specter of the Alps), Friedrich Voigt, 1854, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; detail of Padre José Antonio Fortea 2017, photographed by Elgatoconbotaselgatoconbotas, 5 May 2017 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International; both Wikimedia Commons. Cover of “Interview with an Exorcist” used with permission, all rights reserved.