Monday, January 12, 2015

Have You Come to Destroy Us?

By Melanie Rigney

For it was fitting that he, for whom and through all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)

You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands. (Psalms 8:7)

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” (Mark 1:23-27)

“Lord, destroy me and, upon my ruins, build a monument to your glory.” (St. Laura Montoya y Upegui, Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena)

So here we are, two weeks into the New Year. How many of your resolutions have you already given up on? Or, did you even bother to make any at all?

In my family, rather than resolutions, we pick a word to attempt to live by/embrace for the year. Mine for 2015 is “tranquility,” something I never seem to embrace, no matter how often I purport to crave it. That inability to say no and hence to overcommit to work and social engagements leaves me feeling stressed and cranky. While I’m far from perfect, it is also, I think, the No. 1 in which the devil attempts to come into my life. If you’re so overbooked that you fall into bed exhausted many nights, you don’t have a lot of time to cultivate and nurture a one-on-one relationship with the Lord. That’s the way the devil and his agents, the unclean spirits, like it. It gives them more space to work on you.

So how am I doing on tranquility so far? It’s been a mixed bag. I’ve turned down a couple of requests for speaker proposals, but I was up past eleven one night working on a magazine article. I didn’t scream or cry when our printer breathed its last or when two techs took six hours to figure out why some updates weren’t loading, but I was a little jaded and short with someone who was bubbling over with enthusiasm for something that’s become a bit rote to me.

Tranquility. With the Lord’s help, I’m inching closer to pulling out by the roots some of those weeds the devil and his friends planted to keep me too busy to love Him as I should.

Pray for Jesus’s help in forcing out an unclean spirit or two in your life. Maybe it’s pride or fear or arrogance or impulsivity. Doesn’t matter. No spirit is too big or too small, none too dirty, for Him to come to your aid.

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