By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“NOT everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 7,21)
It’s very clear that with these words of Christ we should do everything to live by God’s will and ways. Given the many distractions we have these days, we really need to exert the appropriate effort to be able to do just that.
In this regard, it is indeed advisable that we pause from time to time to check on how we are taking things in general, on how things are developing and on how our intentions are. We know quite well that things can change in the process. What may be good at the beginning can start to stray somewhere along the way.
Indeed, we may start by looking for God in the things that we do, giving him glory and conforming ourselves to his will and ways. But along the way, we can start giving in to our own desires, our own will and ways. From loving God, we can easily slide to loving self. We are very notorious in this tendency.
That’s why we really need to pause and check ourselves often. We have to see to it that we manage to keep our proper spiritual and supernatural bearing. In other words, we have to realize that whatever we do, whatever the situation is, we somehow would still be in contact with God. Somehow everything should be a form of prayer.
This will require of us to develop the skill of knowing what truly comes from God and what simply are a matter of self-indulgence. We need to be very discerning and discriminating in this regard. Not everything that presents itself before our mind comes from God. It can come from other sources—our weakened flesh or concupiscence, the world and the devil himself.
We should not 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. We cannot deny that there are many things that can look good but actually are dangerous to us.
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. There is also the spirit of the flesh.
For this to take place, we certainly need a kind of plan or program to keep our spiritual life alive and vibrant even as we go through the drudgery of the routine things or the excitement of new and challenging things.
But we need to discipline ourselves to follow that plan, knowing that no matter how good that plan is, if we fail to deny ourselves and carry the cross, as Christ himself told us, (cfr. Mt 16,24) we cannot keep our proper spiritual and supernatural bearing, and thus become prone to a distraction that can lead us to our destruction!