I spend a lot of time on social media. Way too much time. However, because I am a journalist, social media keep me informed on what’s going on. Twitter and Facebook provide me with links to a number of interesting stories and keep my up to date on what’s happening in the Church.
There are downsides, though, especially when we are deluged with bad news about the sexual abuse crisis, about ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s serial abuse of seminarians, and the latest doctrinal controversy coming out of the Vatican.
I know I used to spend a lot of time feeling appalled and frustrated at what I was reading until I realized those are not fruits of the Spirit and started making a conscious effort to not fan negative emotions and judgments, though it’s not always easy.
My spiritual director sent me a link to this reflection of what kinds of demonic influences can attach to an unhealthy use of online reading and maybe some of you might find it helpful.
Jay Toups at the blog Hope in the Storm writes in a post on Demonic Activity Online:
Fr. Chad Ripperger states in one of his talks that the sin of curiosity is what hooked Eve into taking the apple at Satan’s encouragement. She knew that a talking animal was not normal. Today, curiosity about the sins of priests, bishops, and cardinals are hooking some people into grave sin. We do not have to know about apartments where sexual abuse happened, or bad priests’ secret holiday island sexual escapades. Curiosity is the sin of wanting to have knowledge above one’s station in life. The laity are limited in what they can do to completely rectify the current crisis of sexual abuse. The demons have jumped into the information industry and turned internet blogs, facebook accounts and websites into irresponsible media for stirring up hatred for the Church.
Demons act on people in a negative fashion, as angels act on us in a positive fashion, helping us to accept grace and avoid temptation, and so on.
What I want to highlight now is that in the past few months, it is clear that the Adversarial Demon, and his minions, are successfully dividing the Church into three groups with regard to the sexual abuse scandals.
These three groups are those who now hate the hierarchy and lack trust totally in the Church; the second are those in denial of the depth of the tragedy of sexual abuse, and the third is those who are so confused they have fallen into depression, or cynicism or despair. All three groups are not trusting in God. What is behind these groups are demons, alive and acting on the emotions of those who do not know how to think, reflect, or control their emotions through prudence and temperance, as well as justice and charity.
My spiritual director added in his email that there is a fourth group not mentioned, and they are involved in “aggressive renewal movements in the Spirit.”
In other words, there’s a group going about what Jesus and Mary are going about and that’s doing the work of mission and evangelization, and staying with Our Lord, on fire with love for Him, instead of feeding the demons of moral superiority, judgment, critical spirit, division, factionalism, anger, outrage, frustration, discouragement, despair and so on.
Go on over and read the whole thing—-and then concentrate on the harvest and the fact that the fields are white and God is short of laborers willing to help.