Just As The Smoke Of Satan Entered The Church, So Does It Seek To Enter Us All
The devil is a problem for us all, and perhaps you've noticed that he doesn't need much room. He can slink into any crack. You may recall the famous quote from Pope Paul VI, who in 1972 was said to have expressed his foreboding that "from some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God."
Or something like that. The exact wording remains an issue. What is not controversial is that Satan does indeed search for any available cranny. It is his very reptilian essence. And he does the same in our lives.
Did you ever notice that? Things will be going fine for you, it will be a pleasant day, but then one little thing you do or say wrong sends you into a tailspin?
It happens to all of us all of the time. The evil one is always waiting for a loophole. Legally, he has certain rights, and when we transgress, however subtly, he has his chance.
Try this: pay close attention to the train of your thoughts, and watch when fear, anxiety or tension creep in. More often than not, it's right after you thought something you should not have thought or said something you should not have said.
Frequently, this has to do with criticism. When we criticize others, it causes us tension. There are times when we have to point out faults -- when correcting others is in order -- but when we go around with a critical mindset, darkness finds an easy entrance.
One of the worst transgressions is pride, and one of the worst forms of pride is spiritual haughtiness.
Remember, Satan is the accuser. This is important. Evil accuses while Christ challenges us to love. Let's also mention the negative energy of obsession. When we obsess about evil, when we overly concentrate on it, it gains power.
Here's where the Holy Spirit comes in. Only He provides the proper balance. For there are times when we should ignore the evil one (as far as openly mentioning it), and other times when we need to bring it into the Light. Always we have to root it out. When evil is around it can cause much harm if it is allowed to operate unrecognized. It can destroy a friendship. It can cause illness. Ignorance is not bliss.
Suddenly there are arguments or accidents or misfortune in finances. There are family disputes. There are problems communicating. Suddenly, an argument breaks out, and evil seems to actually speak through us. Any number of things can happen. Rooting it out is important.
But we have to go about it in the right ways, and criticality -- so rampant in our current time -- is not one of them. In fact, criticality plays right into the devil's hands. When we are overly critical -- when we criticize because it makes us feel superior -- the smoke of the netherworld is unleashed upon us. Negativity attracts negativity. A dark cloud forms around us. Happiness becomes elusive. Are there things in your life that you wish were not there? Is there a tendency that seems impossible to remove? Has there been a run of bad "luck"?
The corrective force is love. When we love, we attract love, and that means we attract the One force -- God, Who is love -- before Whom Satan can not stand.
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