Buzzed Driving

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

"If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out?" (Lk 11:19). Some people would rather have another's house collapse than have God shake their ill-founded worldview by calling them out for their crudely self-cancelling claims. The satanic sower of nonsense is less fond of blatant lies. He prefers to anesthetize persons to their own internal contradictions. This is greater mischief than inciting hypocrisy, greater even than the half-truth of calling evil good (for in every disordered act there is some partial good in play); those who recklessly impute evil origins to good deeds done are complicit with Satan's attempt to overturn the whole created realm. They insult and deny the Christ in whom all things came to be - including their own God-given consciences. Each person is sadly capable of creating his or her own private world: hell. The interior schism between the self-validating reasons we offer for our own actions versus the malevolent motives we attribute to others who do the same things is precisely Beelzebul's stock-in-trade. The buzz of dispersive gossip fomented by the Lord of the Flies may temporarily fill a vacuum, but it also drowns out the voice of God who would gather every grain of goodness if we would but adopt a holy silence into which God's Word alone can speak.

Reflection based on Luke 11:14-23
Father William M. Joensen

Awaken me, God ever true, to the ways in which
my own words cancel themselves out, so that I may call good
and evil by their proper name, and delight in detecting
the seeds of the Word at work in others.

Today's suggested penance: Pray for and give alms to the missions.