Friday, October 9, 2009


Today's Gospel, Luke 11:15-26, tells the story of the strange reaction of some people to Jesus' expelling of a demon. One would think that such a dramatic action would give evidence of the power of God at work within him, and would be taken as a "sign" that he was on "heaven's side." Strangly enough these disbelievers hold the opinion that it was "By the power of "Beelzebul (common Hebrew word to speak of a personalized demon)...that he drives out demons."

Is there a personalized devil, Satan, Beelzebul, or Lucier? That is a hard question, and I am fairly certain that the Church does not teach that their is one in a clear way. That evil exits and is clearly manifest in the world is something that is hard to question. The moral evil that human beings perpetrate against one another is something we've seen throughout history. To name a few, racisim, the Holacaust, the genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, and on and on.

St Ignatius was a great teacher of discernment of "spirits." By this he means the spirit of evil (the effects of a personalized demon?) are at work within us just as much as that of the Holy Spirit. In his teaching on discernment, he also maintains that the evil spirit, described as the spirit of darkness, can use the same methods upon us to influence us to act as the "Spirit of Light."

Why do we choose to do evil? The spirit of evil can convince us that we are choosing to do someting "good," or at least something that is attractive and will bring us pleasure. St. Ignatius in part teaches that every decision has a beginning, middle, and an end. We must wait to the end of our choices to gain more accuarte evidence that it was brought under the Spirit of Light. Let us ask for the wisdom to do that. Your comments are welcomed.

Here is an interesting prayer you might wish to ponder if you are one who wants to "Make a Difference in the World."

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths, superficial relationships,
so that you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
sot aht you will work for justice, equity, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their
pain into joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make
a difference in the world,
so that you will do the things others tell you cannot be done.

Source Unknown, Canada

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wisdom from the Ignatian Spritual Tradition

The goal of our life is to live with God forever.God who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts from God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.

As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice and are not bound by some obligation. We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of God's life in me.

-St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David l. Fleming, S.J. from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises.