“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
When we allow anything other than love to rule our lives, we separate ourselves from God. Giving allegiance to false gods —power, prestige, pleasure, or especially pride, when we find ourselves fit to judge others and the world—will lead us into exile. Indeed, we are under siege by forces tempting us to abandon love, but we are also addressed by prophets—good friends, the Christian community, and the good spirits God sends into our hearts.
It is important to be attentive to the spirits that seek to capture or enliven our hearts. Are they leading us more deeply into love and loving action, or are they luring us into desolation? Making judgments concerning the nature of the spirits who prompt us into action are the holy judgments we are called to make. Let’s pray for the grace to discern spirits well, following those that lead us into love.
—Fr. Christopher Johnson, S.J. currently serves as the pastor of three churches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation—Christ the King in Porcupine SD, Sacred Heart in Pine Ridge SD,and St. Agnes in Manderson SD.
O God, you are my God for whom I long; my soul thirsts for you like a dry, weary land without water.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary, to discover your power and glory. For your kindness is greater than life; my lips shall glorify you. My soul clings fast to you.
—Psalm 63: 1-4