The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Resist the Voices That Lead to Darkness: Good News From Christianity

I highly recommend the book (if you are seeking a last minute Christmas gift ... as I always seem to be) Jesus: A Pilgrimage by Fr. James Martin, the author of Between Heaven and Mirth (also recommended). He has many moving observations worth exploring, including some thoughts about Jesus' time of testing and temptation in the wilderness. James Martin warns us about giving in to the darker voices that lead us away from God and down dark paths. We Christ followers are to imitate Jesus and resist these voices. Martin writes:

It's easy for us to listen to the voices that do not come from God; those voices can sound appealing. Likewise, sometimes it feels more natural to dwell in the darkness rather than turn toward the light. We hear voices that tell us we are unworthy of God's love, that nothing will change, that all is hopeless. We hear the voice of, as one of my spiritual directors called it, the Hinderer. We tend to turn more toward our inner "demons," who tell false stories about us and subvert our identities, rather than turning toward God, who knows our true story, our real identity. 
Jesus realizes the need to turn away from those dark voices, and he does so with the help of his Father. Jesus is driven into the desert, much as we are driven to reflect on our lives in times of testing and struggle. But he is not alone, and neither are we. The same power that helped Jesus in his desert helps us in ours.
During holiday seasons, it is easiest to fall prey to these dark voices when expectations run high, to do lists are long, and family histories come into play. Use the power Jesus used and resist!

God bless you all.

Do Not ...

 

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