January 14, 2020
by Beth Samson
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
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Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 306

1Samuel 1:9-20
1Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8ABCD
Mark 1:21-28

Praying Ordinary Time
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Before I realize the Dark Spirit has even arrived, it is telling me lies. “You are not good enough. You are not deserving of love. Who do you even think you are?” The sneaky work of the Dark Spirit is that these lies can be heard as truths, although we know they are not. My relationship with a loving God tells me the truth – I am enough, I am loved, I am created in the image of God to be in relationship with the one who loves me.

But this happens to all of us, the Dark Spirit arrives, and we do not have Jesus standing next to us to rebuke it and demand it leaves. And here is the hard part, the part that is so much easier to say than to do. When the Dark Spirit arrives, can I listen for the truth, for the voice of the Holy Spirit that I know lives within me, that reminds me over and over again: you are seen and loved, for you are made in the image and likeness of God, who is Love. This truth is our life breath. It is our source of purpose and hope.

One thing that makes the doing of this ever more possible for me is the gift and tool of discernment that I have learned through Ignatian Spirituality. Discernment of listening for the voice of God, the voice of Love and Truth, and noticing when what I am hearing is not of God, rather, the lying voice of the Dark Spirit. Deciphering between the two can be difficult, especially with the Dark Spirit being so sneaky. However, putting into practice this tool, I have found it easier to notice when the voice is that of the Dark Spirit and then to rebuke it as I listen more closely for the voice of God.

As we stand in the holy places of our lives, may we be ever more attuned to the voice of Love and Truth as we rebuke the lies of the Dark Spirit with the strength and courage given to us through grace.  

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