THREE EVIL SPIRITS
We live in an age filled with evil spirits
and it is necessary to distinguish between them. As St. John says, we are
not to believe every spirit.
The evil spirits with our own carnal fallen
nature AND God can speak to us within out hearts. Both the spirit of the
world and the Spirit of God can speak within us. To distinguish one from the
other takes great spiritual skills.
Both the spirits of the flesh and of the
world are cohorts of the cursed, foul Fiend of hell. And this spirit of
wickedness is the lord of them both. We should never listen to these spirits
because they never speak without great harm to our souls.
We can know the spirit talking to us by
what they say. The carnal spirit always speaks of creature comfort. The
worldly spirit speaks of possessions and honor. And their lord, the fiendish
spirit, speaks of things cruel and bitter.
When our minds turn to food or drink, or
sleep or dress, or lust -- all things pertaining to the flesh -- and burn
with desire for them, it is the spirit of the flesh that is speaking.
When we think of the empty joys of this
world, to be well-esteemed and favored, to possess great breeding and
knowledge, to be reckoned wise and worthy, to have high standing and office,
to be big and important in the eyes of men, then it is the spirit of the
world that is speaking, a far more dangerous enemy that that of the flesh .
. . and much more difficult to put away.
Cloud of Unknowing