Satan Condemns, the Spirit Convicts

"Jesus, fill my desires."

Over the past year, there is one phrase that has meant more in my life than any other: the Holy Spirit convicts and the Devil condemns.  In the pursuit of the abundant life that only Jesus can offer, the temptation to be harsh on myself when I fell to sin was always present.  I was constantly belittling my successes on the road to holiness and magnifying my shortcomings.

This is exactly what Satan does. He is the deceiver.  He is a thief which “comes only to steal and kill and destroy (Jn 10:10a).”  Satan condemns us with subtle lies. “You aren’t worth it.” “You aren’t good enough.”  “You’re never going to be holy; just give up.” This voice screamed in my head every time I gave in to the smallest temptation.  The result was stifling and crippling. My pursuit of Christ was derailed by the snares of Satan.

Then, I was reminded by a holy brother in Christ that the Holy Spirit does not condemn us.  He convicts us. He speaks in a still, small voice that beckons us deeper into the mystery of God’s love.  He gives us the grace to understand that we have sinned, but then moves us to seek forgiveness and begin again. I will not give Satan all the credit in my stagnation. I was prideful enough to believe that my sins were somehow bigger than the love of God.

Absolutely nothing is bigger than God’s love and mercy.  As Pope Francis said so beautifully in the Joy of the Gospel, “God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy (EG 3).”  God’s grace moves us to seek forgiveness and He never tires of granting us forgiveness. The Holy Spirit convicts us to become more perfect and more merciful ourselves, as He is perfect and merciful.

The thief comes to steal our joy and our happiness.  He intends to kill the cooperation with God’s grace that is needed for our sanctification. Let us reject this thief and claim our right to live as sons and daughters of God.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism we are drawn into a life of grace, into God’s very life.  We become children of God and coheirs to the Kingdom with Christ. This is why Jesus became man, suffered, died, and rose: that we might be forgiven and set free from the condemnation of sin.  He came that we might live abundantly and be alive to the full, in Him.

Never allow the thief to tear you down, because Jesus has given us so much more.  If you ever feel yourself being condemned, either by yourself or by the lies of Satan, say this simple little prayer: “Jesus, fill my desires.”  With this prayer, we can avoid temptation. With this prayer, we can become convicted to keep our eyes fixed on Him, not condemned in the ways we haven't. With Jesus, we are fully alive.

Jesus, fill my desires.

 

Will Wright