The Battle For Sanctity
It has been my experience that as I journey in faith on my pilgrimage to God, my own sense of sin and complete "otherness" to God only grow also. The seeming impossibility of ever arriving at the goal of heavenly transfiguration is a constant specter which can either haunt me like a ghost and cause discouragement or it can become a source of increased spiritual poverty and a deepening of a primeval inner crying out to God. It is always the drama, to chose how to look at things, and to discern the spirits which are urging me how to look at them, either through the lens of Jesus or the lens of self. For the battle for salvation comes down to how I respond in the mind to the reality that is in front of me. The response that activates Love - or not. In this sense the growing awareness of the spiritual war grows within. The main battlefield of spiritual growth is within. One of the tactics of the demon is to project that battle outward onto other people in the Church, onto other organizations and factions within the Church. This is so clearly evident today in the final battle unfolding between the Church and the anti-church. Yet even this phrase (spoken by Pope St John Paul II while still Cardinal Wojtila) can tempt me to crusade against sections of society, forgetting that the wheat and the darnel are interspersed and mixed together, forgetting where the real warfront is located.
Satan is delighted when we find a demon under every rock outside of ourselves, whether in over zealous charismatics binding the powers of the air at every turn (see footnote) or whether it is ultra-traditionalist Catholics fighting over the Latin rite mass or finding fault with every gnat that is not in conformity with their understanding of rubrics. Anything to keep our focus from identifying the enemy within and casting that out through the Spirit of God.
For me, I have one life to live and one shot and being sanctified and made ready for heaven in this life. I can't afford to waste energy time and focus on Church battles, religious politics, petty infighting and projection of evil onto other people. Can you?
Let's respond to the evil we see in society through the process of inner conversion, allowing rivers of prayer to flow outward from a peaceful heart that recognizes that the only thing I can change is within. Then one day that when Jesus steps off the waves into our boat (John 6:21), though we feel ourselves incapable of ever reaching that inner transformation, we will suddenly arrive at the shores of holiness.
Footnote: I'm in the charismatic renewal myself and deliverance ministry is good. It's about who is at the center of our actions - God or self.