Temptations Against Faith, by Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ

There are many pious souls who are much tormented by temptations against faith. They are in darkness and desolation, and God seems to have forgotten them, and not to be true to His own promises that those who come to Him He will never abandon, and His assurance that as a mother yearns over the son of her womb, so He yearns over them. Dark thoughts that He is not a God of immeasurable goodness and compassion and mercy present themselves and refuse to be shaken off. When such thoughts come, we must make acts of faith and confidence and humility, saying, "Just are Thy judgments, O Lord, and in mercy Thou hast afflicted me."

There are other temptations against faith which are very painful to the loyal soul. The devil whispers: Perhaps there is some truth in the attacks of heretics on the Church; perhaps the Real Presence is all a delusion; perhaps after all punishment is not eternal. With such temptations we should never argue, but simply make an opposite act of faith in all that the Church teaches, however inscrutable to us.

If temptations against faith beset us, we must ask ourselves if we have done anything to cause them by reading bad books, by an overweening idea of our own ability, by obstinacy of judgment, etc. On the humble, temptations against faith make no impression, though they may be present to their minds and refuse to depart. Their habit of sub mission to God's authority enables the humble to bid defiance to the evil one. Have I this safeguard of humility?

- text from Beautiful Pearls of Catholic Truth; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael Augustine Corrigan, Diocese of New York, 6 October 1897