Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Lord Will Judge the World with Justice

Friday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness! (Joel 2:1-2)

The Lord will judge the world with justice. (Psalms 9:9)

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26)

Lord, help me to always be on guard against the unclean spirits in the world that know me almost as well as you do.

We’ve all conquered evil at one point or another. Perhaps we ended a human relationship that had us headed down the road to perdition. Or maybe it was stepping away from a behavior of our own, such as cruelty or indifference, that hurt others. Or maybe it was a means such as substance abuse that was destroying our body or soul.

In the early days of victory, we stay on our guard. We stay away from the people or things that got us in trouble. We focus on the new relationships or behaviors that helped us change. Then, after a while, we let down our guard. We stop being as vigilant about protecting the “home improvements” we’ve made, and as a result of overconfidence and perhaps a touch of pride, we provide fertile ground for the unclean spirit and its wicked friends right back into that clean house.

Recent research indicates that we may all have a finite supply of willpower. Avoidance helps, as does negative reinforcement. The idea of having to contribute $50 to a cause you find odious may work. As Christians, we also look beyond ourselves for help. We ask for the Lord’s assistance, for we know that all the other cleaning products in the world can’t fight evil the way He can.

In what way are your thoughts or behaviors inviting the return of a demon you sent packing earlier? Talk with a priest, deacon, or spiritual adviser about ways to stay safe.

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