Satan is the father of lies and disunity; the Holy Spirit is the Father of Truth and unity. Any time you see disunity, Satan is there. He has blinded one or both sides. Today, often both sides are blinded, which is why there is so much bitterness and acrimony in conversations on difficult issues. Often these disputes quickly escalate to shouting matches and pitched battles with neither side open to the other.
Those who seek to defend God’s Truth must recognize that by and through the Holy Spirit that bearing false witness against our opponents (especially the subtle error of not working zealously to obtain all the facts first but instead accusing the other side to fit the presumption of evil we want to impose on our opponents), screaming, intimidation and force are not of God when we engage with those who object to God’s Commandments. The only time Jesus used righteous anger was due to grave sacrilege (mocking God in His Sacred Temple through making it a den of buying/selling and defrauding). He used righteous anger only after many visits to the Temple where He patiently and gently taught the Truth. About 99% of our disputes with others will not be about grave sacrilege, and thus righteous anger will not be used, because it is not called for in virtually all the circumstances we will encounter.
We must also recognize that we deserve no credit of our own in being on the right side of God’s Truth. We have simply done our duty in cooperating with God’s Grace through the light of the Holy Spirit. We were chosen simply to reach others. We can take no credit in these battles…save that of all those who are called to glory through God’s Grace. It is simply God’s mercy, as He wants no one to perish! How would I want to be treated, if I were the one who was still on the other side of God’s Truth? This is how we must handle all disagreements.
This is all the more important when we realize that the other side to God’s Truth has been blinded by Satan and his intense influence at this time in salvation history. This makes the need for the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Truth and Life, even more critical than normal, because the other side is often convinced they are morally right and we are the ones who are counseling evil! Our Lord warned us that in the latter days, people would call evil good and good evil, so we should not be surprised by the attacks on our defense of God’s Truth. In many cases, we will be the ones vilified as evil, as haters, and this naturally will cause a temptation to sin in our thoughts and words if we do not call on the Holy Spirit immediately to check this lack of prudence and lack of meekness. Remember how Christ was vilified and taunted and how He did not lash out. Our model is our Lord and His words: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” St. John Paul II discussed the very fact that the “loss of the sense of sin” was a hardness of heart of which God had warned each generation.
It is only the Holy Spirit who can convict others of their strongly held but false views! Certainly, if the salvation of someone’s soul is at stake, and they persist in mocking God after many attempts at patient, kind truth-telling, we have a duty to shake the dust from our feet against them, and lovingly but sternly warn them they risk eternal rejection of God before we “move on to the next town.”
It is precisely because of the loss of the sense of sin today and the fact that “where sin abounds, Grace abounds even more”, that God in His Infinite Mercy has raised up St. Faustina and Elizabeth Kindelmann. The Grace from the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a special outpouring of God’s Mercy through His Mother! This Grace allows the Holy Spirit to more effectively act within us through our cooperation by increasing our loving prayers, especially adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and finally by embracing fasting, sacrifices and all the suffering sent to us. This Grace, if we cooperate with it, will drive out Satan and free all who desire it from his blinding influence through an extraordinary outpouring given by God to His Mother…so we can more quickly and securely imitate Christ by imitating His Mother! This is an extraordinary Grace of protection of Faith, and then perfection of Faith that God wants to impart in His children through His Mother to fulfill Genesis 3:15!
When only one-third of the world claims to be Christian, and 80% of these including Catholics, no longer worship on the Sabbath, and further do not believe that the failure to worship God once a week is gravely sinful, we can be assured that about 95% or so of the world has been completely or partially blinded by Satan! It is only through God’s Mercy that we are not among them; and many of us were among them until our own merciful conversion through Grace!
However, even if we have been converted, we still indeed have our own subtle blindness and rebellion which continue in our habitual venial sins that we do not seek to root out aggressively ( shopping and eating out on Sundays; uncharitable conversations; immoral TV shows and movies which are now the rule and not the exception; lack of modesty in dressing, especially at the beach or swimming). Even if we have rooted these out, we still are often blind to our failure to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul as He loved us by devoting most of our free time outside of duty to Him and to loving Him in our neighbor (failure to tithe 10% of our gross income; failure to make worthy Communions by loving preparation, and spending the necessary time in thanksgiving after Mass for Holy Communion; failure to pray at night and examine our conscience; failure to pray the Rosary every single day; failure to put our neighbors needs before our own).
So, we must be ministers of unity by the power of the Holy Spirit, especially in our family, prayer groups and Parish. As soon as disunity is discovered, prayer to the Holy Spirit must occur for Wisdom and Counsel and then honest dialogue must ensue. All must be responsible to acknowledge and repent of their uncharity and their stubbornness to get their way, but especially we must forgive each other. All of us will occasionally be wrong, but if all truly want to do the Lord’s Will perfectly, then how can the Group fail if they ask the Holy Spirit for Wisdom and Counsel? If there is ever a problem that seems to be stuck or beyond consensus after much prayer and honest dialogue, it must be turned over to a Spiritual Director or the Pastor and all must submit to the decision. Even if our decision would have been objectively better from a secular standpoint, God’s Will is in the decision of the Spiritual Director, and God’s plan will ultimately be better for our sanctification and salvation! Let us never forget that truth! Pride is our downfall! Disunity is from Satan!
Whenever we feel ourselves getting upset or irritated with someone, let us immediately call on the Holy Spirt as Elizabeth did. Let us keep in the forefront of our mind the right approach we must take to preserve unity from the words of the Holy Spirit through St. Paul: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Fiat!