God gave us freedom and He gave us freedom of choice. If we didn’t have freedom of choice, we would be robots. And therefore we have the power to choose to do evil… And evil may present itself in many forms, you know—just in difficulties, in temptations. Evil isn’t always ugly. In fact, St. Paul tells us that we should be very careful, for Satan can appear to us as an angel of light. How often have we fallen into sin or mistakes because of some charming person who has offered us such a good idea, something so pleasant. But if we had stopped to think, we would have seen that it wasn’t pleasant and, especially, it wasn’t good. But we didn’t stand up to it. So evil was created by ourselves.
How should we know which is which? 1 think that there is a criterion which we may use. And that is, when we see two good things, we should weigh them very carefully and see which is the better of the two. And if we choose the lesser, because it is easier, then already we’ve made a step away from God and a step towards evil—and have opened the door just a little hit for the next evil to enter our lives… Here is where again prayer is all-important. Here is the place where we have to ask God what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go or to stay. And the answer is sure to come, if we listen. The problem is that we do not listen because we are always discussing it with ourselves: “Well, if I go, it’s like this and like that, and if I stay it’s like this and like that…” And all the time you are discussing this thing not with God, but discussing with yourself. And again you come into yourself instead of going out of yourself, making silence in your silly brain and waiting for God to answer you in some way.
And answer you He will. He always does. Sometimes in the most unexpected and clear fashion. Sometimes simply because things arrange themselves so that you should be able to do the things which He wishes you to do.
– ‘Life Transfigured Journal, reprint from 1975