When we allow anything other than love to rule our lives, we separate ourselves from God. Giving allegiance to false gods power, prestige, pleasure, or especially pride, when we find ourselves fit to judge others and the worldwill lead us into exile. Indeed, we are under siege by forces tempting us to abandon love, but we are also addressed by prophetsgood friends, the Christian community, and the good spirits God sends into our hearts.  

It is important to be attentive to the spirits that seek to capture or enliven our hearts. Are they leading us more deeply into love and loving action, or are they luring us into desolation? Making judgments concerning the nature of the spirits who prompt us into action are the holy judgments we are called to make. Let’s pray for the grace to discern spirits well, following those that lead us into love.

—Fr. Christopher Johnson, S.J. currently serves as the pastor of three churches on the Pine Ridge Indian ReservationChrist the King in Porcupine SD, Sacred Heart in Pine Ridge SD,and St. Agnes in Manderson SD.