FAITH
Always check the spirit behind anyting
by Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS is what we should always be doing. We cannot be naïve and just accept things as they come. We need to check if the spirit behind anything that involves us comes from God or not.

In this, we have received enough warnings from Sacred Scripture. “Beloved,” St. John, for example, in his first letter tells us, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (4,1)

There are many kinds of spirits roaming around the world, and we have to learn how to discern them. There is the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ as opposed to the antichrist. There is also the evil spirit, and the spirit of the world that is dominated by the evil one.

St. John was explicit as to which spirit is proper to us. ”By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.” (1 Jn 4,2- 3)

St. Paul distinguished between the fruits of the Spirit of God and the works of the flesh dominated by the evil spirit. The former include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfcontrol. (cfr Gal 5,22-23)

The latter include fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing. (cfr Gal 5,19-21)

We need to be wary of these truths of our faith so we can be properly guided in our human affairs. In this current issue of Brexit, for example, no less than Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his many writings some time ago, was suspicious of the stability of the European Union.

He somehow pointed out that many signs indicated the EU or Europe itself was not animated by the proper spirit of God that can only work for unity in spite of obvious differences among the member countries.

It’s a pity because that wonderful project of integration contented itself simply with worldly values. It was merely an economic and political enterprise, ignoring the religious underpinning that it needed. (To be continued)


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