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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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James 1:12-18
Psalm 94:12-15, 18-19
Mark 8:14-21

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the holy spirit or totalitarian dictators?

"The tug and lure of his own passion tempt every man." —James 1:14

Our desires are dangerous because they can conceive and bring forth sin (Jas 1:15). As sin grows, "it begets death" (Jas 1:15). We must control our desires, or we will live a living death (see 1 Jn 3:14).

Naturally, our desires seek to be totalitarian dictators — to dictate every aspect of our lives. Only the Lord, Who created our desires, can redeem them and free us from their determination for dictatorship. The Father through the Son sends the Holy Spirit to strongly fight in opposition to our natural, fallen desires (Gal 5:17). If we live in the Spirit (Gal 5:25) by living our Baptism, we crucify our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).

Thus, life is either freedom in the Spirit or slavery to desires. "Doing our own thing" is not freedom but thinly disguised slavery. Doing God's thing by the power of the Holy Spirit is a freedom so profound that it frees us even from death and for eternal life.

Do you want true freedom? Then you want to deny yourself (Lk 9:23) and be docile to the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, may I not be deceived into thinking that slavery is freedom.

Promise:  "He wills to bring us to birth with a word spoken in truth so that we may be a kind of first fruits of His creatures." —Jas 1:18

Praise:  Through the fervent intercession of his friends, Paul was set free from his addiction.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on The Spirit, the Flesh, and the Devil, order, listen to, or download our CD 92A-3 or DVD 92-A on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019

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