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AT A TIME OF FEAR AND DARK THOUGHTS, SWEEP THE 'DARK' AWAY THROUGH SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE

The earth is a dynamic place and there is a constant interplay between bad and good, good and evil. Christ was not using metaphors when He spoke of demons. The mute. The paralytic. The “demented.” Spirits can cause infirmities. They can at least aggravate illness. They attach themselves to us when they find a chink in our armor.

All of us are here on earth to correct such imperfections, and when we don’t, when we don’t come into balance, there is the intrusion of darkness.

Have we not all found ourselves in runs of misfortune? Have we not all seen situations that seem to go in vicious cycles?

And especially of late, have we all not faced the prospect of fear?

This can happen in many ways, and it behooves us to purge it, for when there is blockage, our lives are not prone to Godly intervention. We hear the term “wrestling with demons,” and so it is. Throughout our lives, there are two voices, that of our angels (encouraging us and suggesting good) and the voice of darkness that draws us toward discouragement. Is there not a constant internal dialogue?

We must resolve to heed only the angels, which means the Holy Spirit. Looking back, we will note that many unfortunate circumstances in our lives, and certainly our unfortunate habits, are because we have lacked discipline. So important is self- control that Jesus demonstrated it for us by fasting for forty days – at which time he was able to fend off the devil. 

When we have control over the flesh, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of discipline, is with us. When we don’t have discipline, we fall into every kind of problem. Thoughts of lust can become an addiction to pornography, or to acts of fornication and adultery, which strip us of a connection to God. Thoughts of jealousy can become thoughts of hatred and selfishness can grow into greed. Thoughts of overindulgence can tend toward obesity, drugs, or alcoholism. Thoughts of skepticism can turn into a lack of faith (and even atheism, the most dangerous of all sins).

Our “flesh,” our worldly inclinations, are at constant war with our spiritual side, which is why those who are skeptical about the power of the Holy Spirit tend to be those whose focus is on the material. It’s a lifelong battle. The Lord sets us here to develop mastery over sinful inclinations. This is because such spiritual mastery develops us. Each time we conquer a lustful thought, each time we grow in discipline, our spirits flourish and we find greater closeness to Him. Look at the incredible self-discipline of Jesus: not only His fasting, but the way He controlled His emotions to the point of forgiving those responsible for His Crucifixion at the height of His pain.

The goal is to get to the point where we can immediately extinguish each thought that may inhibit the growth of our spirits. During life, we make mistakes, and that’s okay -- as long as we don’t repeat them. True contrition makes sure of that and expands the spirit. It has an effect that cleanses. And God, Who is pure, melds with us in proportion to our purity. Cleanliness is next to godliness as long as it doesn’t become obsessive and purity necessitates discipline.

The vast majority of sins germinate progressively in our thoughts. While the first thing that comes into mind is not a sin, keeping an evil thought and dwelling on it is. Thoughts spread like wildfire. Once we let such a thought repeat, it is “seeded.” From there, it takes root (cultivated by Satan).

The key is to step back and pray until such a thought has been erased.

Once we clear our thoughts, we have an opportunity to maintain a pure conscience. It is important that we do so. Besides exposing us to evil, negative thoughts infringe on the simplest miracle in daily life, which is happiness. We may not notice it, but a good day often takes a turn toward a bad one with a single bad thought, and so it’s at that very moment that we have to sweep away the seed.

[adapted from The God of Miracles]

[resources: Retreat in Dallas: prophecy, current events, afterlife and Michael Brown pilgrimage to Medjugorje]

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