Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Today our hearts are bombarded with multiple and various forms of temptation to evil intention not only in real time and space, but in the virtual world of screens and devices as well. The list of twelve evil intentions of the heart that lead to defilement mentioned by Jesus is just a starting point. St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians (5:19-22) added immorality, filthiness, indecency, idol worship, participation in the occult, fighting, jealousy, sustained anger (resentment), ambition, divisiveness, drunkenness, and participation in orgies to Jesus’ list of evil intentions that lead to sin, that is to ‘defilement’. St. James adds a few more in his epistle, James 2:13-17: Bitterness, selfishness, boasting, disorder, and every kind of evil. Today one could also add addictions of any kind, voyeurism, pornography, fake news, excessive gaming, relativism, involvement with the dark web, cyber bullying and excessive web surfing to the long list of evil intentions that defile anyone who participates in them. Scientific proof is fast coming in that excessive participation in virtual reality stifles healthy function of the mind and robs human hearts of empathy. How can I be sure that my heart is not engaged in evil intentions that will defile my being? Only by intentionally following Jesus into and through all circumstances, events and relationships, whether real or virtual, can I be sure that my thoughts, words and actions will not defile my being and lead to sin. Holy Spirit, lead my heart away from evil intentions, that I might not participate in sin.
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. (John 17:17)
Don’t think there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Letter of St. James 4:5,6
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.