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Is someone in your life controlling you? Do you function according to the will of others -- or in the Divine Will (which gives you quiet, charity, and peace)?

There are many ways that people control you. They may do this through guilt (always making themselves the victim). They may control you by making decisions for you. They may control you through fear -- intimidation. They may control you through worldliness -- offering you what pleases the flesh (see: emotions, sex, and money). There are many ways -- all of which are wrong, all of which take away from our rightful dignity and blessings.

When a relative or person defines for you the way you should act or the way you should treat or visit them, you have lost the freedom Christ came to instill and are now hooked into their way of life and spirituality. You are in their orbit (instead of the Holy Spirit's).

Loss of freedom leads to loss of dignity.

It also hurts.

Distance yourself from that which afflicts you -- even if it causes initial upset (or consternation).

Don't let others force themselves on you. Don't let others determine your standards (or destiny). Don't let others decide when you should visit, or what you should eat, or what you should say. Listen? Yes. Many times. Especially if you have strayed. There are times others validly give advice or criticize. Certainly! Humility listens.

But did you know that Scripture implies that the spirit of control is the spirit of witchcraft?

"And here's a subtle weapon of witchcraft," says deliverance expert Jonas Clark. "The time thief. What these witchcraft controllers do is spend abnormal amounts of time with their victims:


Asks Jonas: "Do you ever feel that everything is your fault? Do you know someone that feels like they have not done anything wrong after they have abused you? Do you always blame your problems on someone else? Have people told you they were sorry but you knew they weren't?"

Get yourself free.

Live in the liberty of goodness.

Find the solitude of prayer -- away from the world.

Operate in the construct of God.

This is our "word" of the week. It means turning off the world. It means controlling what you say. It means controlling what enters your ears. It also means not letting others control you.

It can be as simple as a television knob or radio dial or the click of a mouse -- for the media seeks control, as do advertisers, commentators, and politicians.

Turn off what and who is not good -- what controls you, what sends static into your spirit. Do the math: click off the fruits that are good and those that drain you. (What does the equation equal?)

Withdraw from the clamor of the world.

This means politics. It doesn't mean ignoring the duty to vote. It means stepping back from the noise of acrimony. Many try to make it more important -- the constant drumbeat of "news" -- than it is. Many try to get their faces in public places which brings no peace because it is the fruit of pride. We talk or listen so much about the failings of others! Operate in the vocabulary of the Lord; this is the power of simplicity, which is so much greater than the sophistication of science (which befuddles itself).

This Lent, try giving up the noise of television and radio. Have you ever meditated on how much time that consumes? Do you contemplate how Satan is prince of the power of the air? Have you ever meditated on how much time could be spent on spiritual cleansing if you were not immersed in the sounds of public rancor (the electronic cacophony)?

"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain," said the Mass reading Wednesday. "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27).

When we are quiet and pray we are unstained; when we pray God is present; when we always pray, God is present always. Live a life of constant miracles.

There is redemptive suffering but it's also true that much illness and suffering can be prevented by a spirit that is balanced, quiet, and in control of itself.

[resources: Exposing Spiritual Witchcraft]

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