1 Jn 4,1-6
My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world. This is the proof of the spirit of God: any spirit which acknowledges Jesus Christ, come in human nature, is from God, and no spirit which fails to acknowledge Jesus is from God; it is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you have heard of; he is already at large in the world. Children, you are from God and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.They are from the world, and therefore the world inspires what they say, and listens to them. We are from God; whoever recognises God listens to us; anyone who is not from God refuses to listen to us. This is how we can distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.
Today’s reading from the Epistle of John challenges us to examine the spirits to see if they are from God!
This test must be carried out well, because not only in the general denial that Jesus is the Christ does the spirit of the Antichrist work, but always and everywhere where the teaching of God and His Church is attacked, relativized or even denied, that is, where an error is spreading!
Yesterday I explained that it is not an offence against love to call moral misconduct also as such. It is the same with errors. They too must be clearly named. This is not a moral judgment of a person and a condemnation of him or her, but a determination of the objective situation from the perspective of our Catholic faith.
Let us take theological errors or deviations from the teaching of the Church as an example: If, for example, the real resurrection of Christ was denied, or the reality of the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, or the virginity of Mary, or other articles of our holy faith: what a devastating effect this would have on the faithful! If such errors were taught to seminarians, for example, what would it mean for future generations of priests! In such a case the spirit of the Antichrist is at work, he is already in the world, as the text of today shows us!
This must be clearly stated and the faithful must be warned by the shepherds against such errors. If this does not happen, the shepherds will no longer protect the flock and will become co-workers of the spirit of the Antichrist!
It is necessary to listen to the authentic teaching of the Church, to follow the teaching of the Apostles as it was handed down to us. We must not have any illusions and must realize that the Church is always attacked by the spirit of the Antichrist and that this spirit tries to infiltrate her. It is bad, however, when those who are responsible for the people of God do not perceive and properly assess this! Then the believers themselves must carry out the discernment of the spirits and orient themselves to the shepherds who have not compromised themselves with the spirit of the world.
In conclusion, I would like to point out what I understand by the “separation of spirits” that I mentioned in yesterday´s meditation.
It is our task to carry out the “discernment of spirits” in its various aspects, as I have described it in some points. For this purpose the apostle John exhorts us: “Examine the spirits!”
The “separation of spirits” on the other hand means – from my point of view – a clear general disentanglement and separation of light and darkness! In the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew the following is said in connection with the Last Judgment:
“So it will be at the end of the world: The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” (Mt 13,49)
It is my hope and also my prayer that God will let his angels intervene so that the present confusion which is spreading in the Church can be overcome. In other words, may the angels help to bind the antichristian spirit, which has entered our holy Church in various ways, and hinder him to continue to infiltrate the Church! It must remain clear to Catholics what is Catholic and what is not Catholic, what is truth and what is error, what is morally right and what is morally wrong, what is ecumenically appropriate and what is not appropriate, which Pastors minister in the right way and which have become renters.
Since we human beings are very vulnerable and can easily err, it is better that the holy angels, who act in full knowledge of God, separate light and darkness from one another, that is to separate the spirits! They help to unmask the work of the demons and, as members of the heavenly church, they rush to the aid of the church by driving out the demons, so that light and darkness will not continue to be mixed.