Dear Brothers and Sisters,
By God’s Grace, I continue asking the Holy Spirit’s help during these first 12 days, discerning how to “empty ourselves of the Spirit of the world, which is opposed to the spirit of Jesus”. The First Letter of John, and other parts of Scripture have been a blessing:
…15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world.
17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever… (1 John 2: 15 - 17)
Yesterday, pondering the verses above, I turned to a reference from Matthew’s Gospel:
…21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?
23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you evildoers…(Mt 7: 21 - 23)
What a sobering message: to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, you evildoers…” How important it is for us, then, seeking to empty ourselves of the spirit of the world, that we recognize the difference between Jesus’ spirit of Truth, and the deceit which the spirit of the world offers from the father of lies, who tempted Adam and Eve to sin. St Louis de Montfort wrote in “True Devotion” that satan counterfeits the good so we will not recognize evil. Prayers are certainly good but…are we merely saying words like “Lord, Lord” without real attention and devotion? Or like the Pharisee in the Gospel are we “boasting” about words we consider to be “prophesying” in God’s name? Do we not recognize the evil one is still an angelic spirit who can do wonders, like the illusion of casting out demons?
How very much we need the Holy Spirit to bring us into all God’s Truth! Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to the Church for that purpose – but how many take time to listen to Jesus and the Truth He reveals? Certainly St. Louis de Montfort listened and learned from God’s Word as Mary did, and his treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” is enabling us to share in the wisdom God gave him for the Church on earth today.