The Catholic Defender: The Holy Spirit will clean out your heart!
Jesus said to his disciples:
"A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed." Luke 6:43-49
Matthew takes this message further saying, "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:33-36
There is pollution in the air that is effecting the hearts and minds of many people all over the world. Children often are the target of much of the pollution taking place which is seated in the deepest recesses of the heart. Rebellion digs deep into the soul when it turns away from God for the beautiful side of evil.
Ephesians 5:1-5 says, “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among the holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolator, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God”.
St. Paul takes this deeper writing to the Galations 5:16-21, “I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warned you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
St. John 5:16-17, refers to these as “deadly sins” from which the Catholic Church calls “Mortal Sins”. St. John states, “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrong doing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”
When St. Paul speaks about sin that will prevent a person any “inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” that is a mortal sin.
Remember Jesus (Matthew 12:36-37) clear warning. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Basically, the Lord is saying, out of the heart, the mouth speaks. I will say, garbage in, garbage out. It does matter what a person accepts and brings in. The sad thing is that many are being raised by this standard from their own parents. Children will imitate whom they admire and grow into what they imitate.
Jesus gives a clear warning on this as well, Matthew 18:6 says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that case sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!”
How sad it is when it is from the parents that a child learns to sin. It is especially important that Fathers lead by example, the good things of God.
Consider Colossians 3:5-8, “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.”
Ephesians 4:29 states, “No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”
Is there a constant theme in all this? It is clear that we must reform our lives and transform our lives to the way of the Lord. The Church calls us to constant conversion. Bad habits is a choice, it is important to see yourself as a work in progress and work on cleaning yourself up. To cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit implanted in your life through Baptism and Confirmation.
Hebrews 13:1-2 states, “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels”. When I see a small child, what an opportunity for God’s grace and yes, God’s angels are present! Which leads to another warning of Jesus. Matthew 18:1-5 states, “At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” Jesus would continue, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”.
Consider the Angels at Sodom to get Lot and his family out of the city, do we respect the messengers of God or do we cry out for evil upon them?
How terrible it is to teach a child to sin, and there is great evil out there. Just this morning, I was at the Thomas Moore Troop Medical Clinic and CNN was talking favorably of a singing artist who has a song about a man with a love for another man. How terrible this is and woe to those who promote this kind of sin and place it in the hearts and minds of the young.
The Culture of Death is far more reaching than abortion and the killing of innocent human beings. It is also anything that leads to death.
The Talking Dead is very dangerous because they seek only selfish desires from the recesses of their heart.
1 Samuel 15:23 states, “For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he too, has rejected you…” Romans 1:32 echos all of the above saying, “Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
Hosea 4:6 warns, “My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.”
That is scary, I do not want the Lord to ignore my Sons and Daughter, not at all.
If we think about it, hopefully, none of us would. By virtue of your baptism and confirmation, you can truly echo Isaiah, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God…”
The Catholic Church continues to inspire hope in a hopeless world, to inspire faith in a faithless world, to inspire love in a perverted world.
Let us aspire to the true gifts of God, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon you, a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.” Let us seek out the higher gifts of God!