Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Sometimes the spiritual life can seem like spring cleaning. We take a look into our soul and we look into the corners and under the rugs and we don’t like what we see. Our first reaction is to turn away, turn off the lights, or put the rug back down and leave the filth in secret. This usually happens with the sins that we consider less serious or those sins that no one else can see. They happen in our mind when we react to what another person says or when in anger or envy we think certain things about people. Sometimes we can think that those sins are safe because no one will ever know about them. We keep them in the dark wrapped up inside of us. We may think they are safe there in the secret.
Unfortunately any sin left to itself will fester. A small sin like envy, arrogance or anger can tear you apart inside and leave your soul a dry desert where no spiritual growth can happen. Its hard for me to admit but there was a time in my life where I had terrible thoughts about other people when I would see them pray. I would entertain thoughts of envy, judgment, and unbelievable arrogance. These sins were my secret. I was embarrassed to share them even in confession. I would rationalize saying to myself, “well, they are just venial sins” or “they are just thoughts not sins”. So I wouldn’t confess them or even do anything to try and stop them. They were ravaging my soul leaving me prideful, selfish, and ugly on the inside. Those thoughts were my “secrets with the evil one.” It wasn’t until I took a long look at what I was on the inside that I started to realize how awful these sins can get.
Take a look at yourself on the inside. Ask yourself if you are keeping any secrets with the devil. The first step to fighting these sins is to expose them. First expose them to Jesus. ( of course H already knows but He wants us to acknowledge our sin to Him) Then we need to tell them to our confessor and we need to be brutally honest about how far we have let this particular sin go. Finally we should share them with a spiritual advisor or someone who we look to for advice.
The bottom line is that we need to expose our secret sins and clean them out. We can’t keep secrets with the devil. He is not our friend and he always works in darkness. Lets step into the light and expose ourselves as we really are. Resist the devil and he will flee! Expose him!
Below is a qoute from St. Ignatius of Loyola about our adversary. Know your enemy.
The enemy also behaves like a false lover who wishes to remain hidden and does not want to be revealed. For when this deceitful man pays court, with evil intent, to the daughter of some good father or the wife of a good husband, he wants his words and suggestions to be kept secret. He is greatly displeased if the girl reveals to her father, or the wife to her husband, his deceitful words and depraved intentions, for he then clearly sees that his plans cannot succeed. In like manner, when the enemy of our human nature tempts a just soul with his wiles and deceits, he wishes and desires that they be received and kept in secret. When they are revealed to a confessor or some other spiritual person who understands his deceits and evil designs, the enemy is greatly displeased for he knows that he cannot succeed in his evil design once his obvious deceits have been discovered.” (Rules for Discernment of Spirits, First Week, # 13)
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.