This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today’s Gospel comes from Mark 1:21-28, where Jesus drives out devils to save us from their jealous temptations with the help of His angels. Temptation can come from three spiritual enemies: the flesh, the world, and the devil. If the temptation arrives suddenly and intensely, it could possibly come from a devil. The saints advise three ways to combat temptation. Firstly, we ought to humbly ask God, His angels, and His saints in prayer for supernatural help, especially St. Michael and St. Joseph, of whom the devils are particularly afraid. Secondly, we ought to faithfully receive the Sacraments and use sacramentals, such as the Sign of the Cross, Holy Cards, and Holy Water. Thirdly, we ought to view devils with condescension in order to attack their pride. St. Teresa of Avila once said that devils are just like tied-up dogs. No matter how much they bark, they cannot bite us unless we are lured by fear to approach close enough. St. John Bosco once learned in a dream what devils are most afraid of: the intention of a believer after Confesion and reverence for the Virgin Mary. We ought to follow the good advice of the saints and combat the temptations of the devil.
“Spiritual Talk” – The Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho
by Kenny Cheng