Walking This World with Faith

I find it intriguing that many young people are interested in the spiritual world. Even those who are not religious are all interested in spirits, angels, and demons. However, it is often sad to say that their curiosity often leads them to the wrong paths, opening themselves up to many dangerous (and possible) evil disturbances, and spiritual unrest as they become dependent on (bad) spirits for too many things. Whether their motivations are of curiosity or the selfish desire to manipulate and control things, many people are opening themselves up to the dark spiritual world in very wrong ways.

There is a sad reality that comes with this exterior curiosity. Even though our young people want to be spiritual, they often end up picking and choosing, creating a melange of disconnected spiritualities that makes one feels good and in control but has no depth and real meaning. What is sadder is many people’s real or only intention with the spiritual world or matters is basically of self-benefits. Enlightenment is simply a manipulation or usage of different ideologies, teachings, or ways of life that fit one’s interests. This is far from a life of discipleship or conforming one’s self to faith and true teachings because the person is in charge of how he or she would like to pick and choose which spiritualities or understandings of life that fit best for him or her outlook. It is very appealing because it seems to empower the person to be the center and criterion of judgments and standards. Yet, at the end of the day, the person would somehow still in control, and at times, plays god in choosing everything for his or her own benefits. There is no real commitment because he or she is able to reject, pick and choose, manipulate, or filter what is most appealing or easy for his or her lifestyle.

This is also dangerous because these many people are willing to risk or open themselves to different types of spirits in a very ignorant way; and even at times, desiring to do so with a false sense of hope or thought, thinking that they are in control or these things are beneficial. Nevertheless, it is very important to know that things do not come “no string attached” in the spiritual world. When a spirit is invoked, a malicious or evil one tends to come to the call. It always wants something back in return! It plays the game to hook the person to become dependent on it. It then plays with the person’s own spirit by making him or her restless, worried, anxious, angry, resentful and the likes. Since the person comes to the malicious spirit with the desire to figure out something beneficial for him or herself, these spirits will make the person becomes locked in his or her own self-centeredness. The restless and co-dependency symptoms make the person always unhappy with life, others, and even himself or herself. He or she will either be locked in his or her own self-pitied hell or self-centered hatred of others because no one can seem to be up to his or her standards. This unrestfulness is there because the person allowed pride and greed to be the modes of operation. Sadly, even though we might think that we are in control but the evil spirits are much smarter and powerful than us, and they easily manipulate us in making us think that we are in control and they are there under our service, but they, in turn, outsmart us in making us dependent on them.

The sad thing is that once we have allowed an evil spirit(s) to enter into our lives, it is hard to dispel it. These are fallen angels and are demonic in nature. They are higher beings than us, much powerful, smarter, and can easily outwit us at any time! Since they are pitiful in their own created and chosen hell, they will do all that is possible to make those who are vulnerable and weak miserable as well. While some can be dispelled through prayer, fasting, repentance, and conversion of heart, some are also very hard to eject or overcome, especially when they were from the powerful rank of (fallen) angels. Therefore, it is important to not mess and play around with unknown spirits as not to become dependent, manipulated, or controlled by them. The spiritual world is not for us to control or play around with! Being religious is not about using whatever we want for our own self-desired advancements but to change our hearts and open our lives to be disciples, believers, and instruments of peace of the One who called us.

True faith is not just about choices and choosing things as we like, it is not a random, melange, and mixture of what we like or beneficial for us. True faith requires a life of discipleship, of giving one’s self for the truth, which at times will involve self-sacrifices. To believe requires a trusting and personal (as well as communal) relationship with the One who loves us, the giving of ourselves in return, the willingness of making real and sacrificial choices for greater goods than ours, and the service of others who are around us. Faith is more than a customized way of life that fits our lifestyle or vision, it is the alignment of ourselves to what was taught, revealed, and called by the Lord who knows us more than we are of ourselves! Real beliefs require that we let go of our sets of standards to conform our lives to the Truth and Highest Good that have been revealed and taught by Almighty.

It is also sad to see some people who show up to Church and choose to live their faith once in a while. They often complained and said, “There isn’t any real reason to come to church all the time! It’s just the same message being told over and over again!” However, one can see from this type of reasoning that there is no real commitment and a sad detachment from a life of discipleship. Many who think like this way just choose to be once-in-a-while participants but most-of-the-time bystanders to judge and pick what is entertaining or captivating at the moment without any real giving of one’s self. Since religions are just different “flavors” of life, those people cannot be committed to something for a long time because they will leave when it becomes an inconvenience, too hard or challenging, or not fitting to their lifestyle. There is no real life of faith except for temporary, flashy motivational or inspirational sentimentalism or short-term, emotion-based attractions. Those who choose to standby the wayside only like to receive what is best for them but never really chose to commit and personalize the mission of the Church by becoming disciples.

Life is already hard with many of its messiness imposed upon us. Even with our best intentions, we still tend to hurt other people through personality differences. However, life is not just about seeking a false sense of peace without conflicts nor self-centered enlightenment to simply manipulate things and control how we like them to be. It oftentimes requires the willingness to believe in people’s goodness, to forgive, to trust and to hope in times of trials, as well as prudence, wisdom, fortitude and courage, especially the ability to discern what the truth and what is needed for the moment. Life is complex, and at times challenging, but we are not alone! The Lord is always with us and have given us the Church to walk with us. Even though the members of the Church are not perfect and we can hurt one another, there always exist the opportunities to practice forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and mercy that are real and genuine of heart as we live out our redemption in believing that everyone deserves to be saved and redeemed just as God has been infinitely patient and forgiving toward us. It requires us to trust in His own timing and providence in times of doubt and despair, knowing that He desires that all be saved and comes to the knowledge of Him. Therefore, our foremost and crucial mission would be found in making His name known by the way we live out our own lives of faith, hope, and love as genuine believers and disciples. We have to be committed enough to let go of ourselves, to believe in trials, hope in despair, and love in times of hurts so that Christ‘s own mission becomes, hence able to help one another walking toward our Heavenly Kingdom as brothers and sisters in faith.

Therefore, let us not lose faith nor chase after things that are deceptive and temporarily beneficial or pleasing to the ego. On the contrary, let us give ourselves in true faith, hope, and love so that we are not alone nor stuck in our own self-created hell or false sense of comfort but to know that we are parts of the Church, members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and His disciples in words and deeds. True faith is much more than asking, “What can God do for me? Or, what can I get out of this (in believing)?” If we can truly understand the joy of the saints who were willing to trade everything in this world for eternity, we ourselves would be willing to trade everything that is comfortable now for eternal life with God and with those who had won the battle. Is it easy? No!!! As a matter of fact, far from it! However, even when we are tested, tried, kicking and screaming in the midst of it all, we are not alone. Many saints and holy people who went before us can testify that, even though the journey is hard, it will all be worth it in the end for it is truly a joy to belong, believe, and abide by God. He is really worth it all!