Christian vigilance

Christian vigilance - Pope Francis        

Pope Francis      12.10.18   Holy Mass  Santa Marta          Luke 11: 15-26
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The essence of the devil is either to destroy directly through vices and wars, or to try to do so in a more educated way by making man live in the spirit of worldliness.

When the devil takes possession of a person’s heart, he makes it his home not wanting to leave. Many times Jesus cast out demons, his and our true enemies, and they always tried to harm people, even physically.

The struggle between good and evil may be too abstract for many people, but the true struggle is the first battle between God and the ancient serpent, recounted in Genesis, between Jesus and the devil. This struggle takes place in each of us, even if we are unaware of it.

The devil’s nature and his very vocation is to destroy the work of God. Some believers doubt his existence however, and believe that he is only an invention forged by priests. But he does exist, he destroys. When the devil cannot destroy openly because God is a greater force that defends the person, then he, cunning and "smarter than a fox", searches for ways to take possession of a person.

In the Gospel passage Jesus speaks of the unclean spirit, who travels through arid places looking for somewhere to rest. And he can't find it. So he thought, 'I'm going back to my house, where I came from.' The demon even politely presents himself by saying "I've returned" instead of admitting that he was thrown out. But the home is tidy, ordered. So he takes 7 other demons with him worse than him, they enter and settle there. So the condition of this man is worse at the end than at the beginning. This return of the demon after his expulsion is something that could affect us all.

We are Christians, Catholics, we go to Mass, we pray..... Everything seems to be fine. Yes, we have our faults, our little sins, but everything seems to be fine. Acting like a polite person the demon goes about to find a weak point , looks for more demons, knocks on the door saying "Excuse me? May I come in?" and he rings the bell. And these polite educated demons are worse than the first ones, because you don't realize you have them at home. And this is the worldly spirit, the spirit of the world.

The devil destroys either directly with vices, with wars, with injustices, or politely, diplomatically in this way, as Jesus describes. They don't make noise, they make friends, they convince you – "No, it's possible, it's not that much, no, but.... so far it's okay" - and they take you on the road to mediocrity, they make you a "lukewarm" pushing us on the path to worldliness.

Christians watch out against falling into this spiritual mediocrity, into this "spirit of the world", which corrupts us from within. I am more afraid of these educated demons than others.

When someone asks for an exorcist for a person possessed by a demon, I am not that worried, but I am worried when someone opens their door to polite demons who persuade them from within as friends.

I often ask myself: what is worse in a person's life? A clear sin or to live in the spirit of the world, of worldliness? The demon who seduces you to sin 1, 10, 20, 30 times, and you are ashamed - or the demon who sits with you at the table and lives, lives with you and everything is normal, but there he whispers things to you and takes possession of you with the spirit of worldliness.

Jesus prayed at the Last Supper: "defend them from the spirit of the world" - exhorting his disciples to be vigilant and calm. Let us Christians be vigilant and calm with these polite demons who want to enter the house as wedding guests. Christian vigilance is the message of Jesus, that questions what is happening in the heart - why am I so mediocre; why am I so lukewarm; how many well-mannered people live at home without paying their rent?