Good advice from St. John in today’s first reading. About trying spirits. About knowing which ones are from God. And which ones aren’t.

When you hear that, it’s easy to think of evil spirits. Demons. Stuff that sounds like it's right out of a horror movie.

For those kinds of spirits, really, most of us don’t need to figure anything out. We know where that sort of thing comes from. And it’s not God.

I’m not denying the reality of those kinds of spirits. It’s way too obvious.

But for most of us, there’s another sort of spirit that plagues our lives. And it isn’t nearly so obvious.

It’s the sort of spirit that creeps up on us slowly. Almost like a mood. Or a feeling.

One that repeats itself throughout the day. Day after day. Until it becomes part of our normal.

In a thousand different ways, it’s a spirit that slowly comes between you and God.

It’s the spirit that keeps you too tired to come to Mass. Too busy to read the Bible. Too distracted to pray.

You may not see it coming. But you’ll know it when it starts working on you.

What does it feel like when you miss Mass? When you don’t receive the grace Our Lord gives us in the Sacrament?

What does it feel like when you don’t read your Bible for a while? When God’s Word starts to fade from your mind?

What does it feel like when you don’t pray? Especially when things get tough. And if you’re not praying, they will get tough.

That feeling? That’s what I’m talking about.

That feeling? That’s not from God.

It doesn’t feel right. And it shouldn’t. God never meant for you to feel like that.

Because you and I were never meant to do things by ourselves. Without God.

So what do we do? The moment it starts feeling like that, call it out. Recognize it for what it is. Because it’s not from God.

Then drop it. And run.

Back to grace. Back to love. Back to God.

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