Today the Church celebrates the life and death of of a man named Sylvester, We don't know when he was born but we do know he died on December 31 in 335 AD. Sylvester was a man who lived through some of the worst persecutions of the Church, in a city filled with idols. The easy path for him to take would have been just to offer sacrifice to the Emperor and live a quiet life in peace. But Sylvester did not succumb to this temptation.
In 314 he was elected Bishop of Rome and faced a much greater temptation. This is the era of Constantine, and the fortunes of the Church took a great reversal. From despised and downtrodden to favored and influential. Suddenly societal and Imperial favor poured onto the Church and her empty coffers were suddenly filled with the world's treasure.
Sylvester was no longer in danger of his life, he was acclaimed by Governors and Prefects. Senators would no longer seek his death but would seek his approval on the marriages of their daughters. I don't suppose we could imagine such a wild change in the lifestyle of a group of people, to be elevated to such heights from such depths.
Sylvester faced a far greater temptation now, and it wasn't just his earthly life at stake, but his and the Church's soul. I think that temptation continues to this day. We in the Church are too often seduced by wealth and earthly power, we can put our faith in guns and bombs, and forget the path of the lowly, despised Founder of our Faith.