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Beware of the Legion

By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, roycimagala@gmail.com
May 2, 2020

Iím referring to that episode in the gospel where Christ was accosted by a man possessed by many devils who called themselves, Legion, precisely because they were many. (cfr. Mk 5,1-20)

It is said that the possessed man was so unwieldy that no chain nor fetters nor man was strong enough to control him. And that was because he was so dominated by many devils that nothing and no one could help him. Only Christ could.

That gospel story somehow demonstrates what can happen to us individually or collectively as a society. If we are not careful, we can allow the devil to enter and possess us. And things can get worse when, God forbid, a demonic infestation can occur.

We should always be wary of the devils and be ready to handle them properly. They exist. And their only purpose in their existence is to do evil, to go against God and to everyone and everything that God loves. They were originally good angels who rebelled against God upon their creation.

Being pure spirits and therefore are free and intelligent beings, the devils misused their intelligence and freedom by choosing to replace God upon their creation. That choice has plunged them, being pure spirits, into an irreversible eternal state of enmity against God and against everything else that comes from God and is still with God.

Many if not all the temptations that come our way originate or are being orchestrated by devils. The proper attitude we should have when temptations come is to reject these temptations immediately, never giving them a chance to advance in their plot by dialoguing with them, and to go to God immediately.

Letís remember that when temptations come, it is because we have let down our guard. It means that our union with God has loosened, if not completely broken, often without even our noticing it.

Thus, when temptations come, we really should intensify our prayers and presence of God, since with God can we resist them. We should also submit our body to some severe discipline because when tempted the body easily falls and drags our spirit with it.

And given the way the world is now, we can readily say that the devil is having a heyday. Thatís because with all the developments we are having today, we often are easily intoxicated by them and we become quite worldly, a perfect condition for the devils to pull their tricks.

That is why we have a lot of disorders around Ė people into addictions, violence, terrorism, suicide, envy, greed, laziness, pride, vanity, etc.

We should try our best not to be swallowed by the worldly allure of these developments. While these developments are good and serve a good purpose, we have to see to it that they are always offered to God. Their use should be an expression of our belief, love and thanksgiving to God. Otherwise, they can only take us away from God.

In fact, we have to figure out how these new developments play in the abiding providence of God over us. They just cannot be allowed to flow according to worldly laws and values. That is why we have to spend time praying and asking God for enlightenment and strength.

There is also a need for constant purification, since we cannot deny that in spite of our good efforts, we cannot avoid some moral and spiritual dirt. Not only should we rectify our intentions constantly. We should also purify our thoughts, memory and imagination, our feelings and passions, and our senses.

From time to time, we may have to have recourse to some extraordinary corporal mortifications like fasting, abstinence, denying ourselves some comfort, etc., since the body really needs to be properly subdued.

Lastly, regular and frequent recourse to the sacraments of confession and the Holy Eucharist would do a lot of wonders for us.