There’s a lot going on in today’s Gospel. I saw three themes that I was potentially interested in writing on for today. The one I decided to reflect on is the theme from the final paragraph.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, funding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
The Christian life is challenging. We all deal with our own demons, even if they’re not literal demons. We have our sins, vices, wounds, temptations, and so on. We must be tirelessly vigilant against those things and hopefully, with the grace of God, we’ll overcome them (usually by prayer and fasting). But the devil hates that. The devil will do everything possible to keep us from God. So when we overcome one sin or temptation, you can be sure that there will be seven more to take it’s place.
That’s not all bad though. Many saints have compared our souls to a window. If the entire window is dirty, then it’s difficult to notice any particular imperfection. But when the window is clean, any bit of dirt or imperfection becomes noticeable. Sometimes the “seven other spirits” may simply be things that have always been there that you’ve never noticed.
All this is simply to say, don’t be discouraged. Our lives might feel like we’re always going two steps forward and one step back, but progress is made, nonetheless. So keep praying!
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization