Today I'm over at Ignitum Today discussing the one thing all evil has in common:
Tomorrow’s Gospel recounts Jesus healing a demon-possessed man, and while reading it I was struck by one word:
In the passage a demon screams out to Christ:
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
How strange that this demon speaks not in the singular but in the plural? How odd that its identity is grounded not on unity but on dissonance?
We see the same mode of speech later on when Jesus heals another demon-possessed man in Gerasene. There the Lord asks, “What is your name?” and the demon replies:
“My name is Legion for we are many.”
In both cases, this plural language reveals an important fact: all evil is based on division. Demonic forces take a man, whole and complete, and rip him apart, dividing him into discord. The very etymology of the word “diabolical” confirms this. According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the word comes from two Greek words, “dia” and “ballein”, which together can mean “to tear apart” or “to scatter”.
My latest piece at Ignitum Today:
I’m a husband. I’m a dad. And I’m confident in my vocation.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not drawn to the monastic life. The rhythms of prayer and work, silence and liturgy, study and service beckon like an enchanting voice from another world. I’m sure part of it is the whole “grass is greener on the other side” phenomenon, but I think there’s something else, too. Many of us uncloistered folk yearn for the silence and spiritual depth which seem to elude our hyper-active world, riches we think are only attainable within a priory.
For a long time, I thought it was impossible for the ordinary layperson to cultivate regular times of deep, undistracted prayer. With office jobs and bills and dinner and bath times there was simply no room for that.
But then something changed.
I realized that I already had space for it, I just wasn’t using it well. I already had a sacred period every day when I was alone with my thoughts and open to prayer.
My daily drive to work takes about twenty minutes, and I began to see how much I wasted it. It was usually filled with cell phone chats, banal news, or irrelevant commentary, and through all those things I was giving up some of the most sacred time in my day.
This is probably true for you, too. Whether in a car, a train, or a bike, your commute offers a Benedictine cell, a place cut off from the demands and noise of the world.
What if you began to see it this way? What if you decided that your commute would be your sacred space? What if you turned your car into a monastery or your train into a convent?
Here are six ways I’ve sanctified my own commute: