The action of the Holy Spirit on the person oriented toward God:
The Spirit of God always attempts to maintain and keep reason and feeling oriented toward God. The Holy Spirit will try to make the believer’s level of adherence to God not only ideal and profound, but also detached from feelings of the heart. When a person is seriously oriented toward God, the Holy Spirit nourishes his feelings with spiritual consolations.
Unlike sensual consolation, this divine nourishment comes directly from God and is not produced by human efforts. It is God’s gift. At the center of this consolation is not the self, but is God. In this context, sin and weakness is perceived by the believer who recalls even more profoundly the need for salvation. The Holy Spirit acts on the reason, nourishing it with the gift of knowledge as well as the experience of the saints and the rich tradition of the church. In this way, the Holy Spirit acts by reinforcing the mind and stabilizing it in God.
The enemy’s activity on the person oriented toward God:
Contrary to the Holy Spirit, the enemy will try to separate reason and feeling in a way that the person’s balance is broken. Feeling remains oriented toward that which is instinctive. Reason directs itself away from God so that there is a new destabilizing disturbance. The enemy acts on reason through false arguments and by creating and increasing roadblocks and obstacles.
How can we recognize a false argument? It is very easy. The false argument has as its primary concern the self: What will I do? A meditation can be on spiritual matters, but if the primary focus and concern is centered on the self, then it is not a real reflection or meditation that helps to grow in relationship with God.
The strategy of the enemy is to attract the reason and offer new points of reflection. The enemy tries to make the person anxious about other concerns and so the reason is again separated from feeling and the person experiences division. The enemy has succeeded in bringing about a certain disturbance. The false argument can be uncovered by the fear that it sows in the soul. Fears that are, again, centered on the self. The enemy acts by going deeper and putting more fear and anxiety into the person. The enemy does this with the goal of having the person experience a certain emptiness. In this way, the enemy can renew attempts to fill the emptiness, but in a very superficial and sensual way that is not real or long lasting. Because the person feels depraved, thoughts sink further into a totally unstable terrain and without real consolation. The person will continue to seek balance and consolations by becoming self-focused once again.
Next issue —To recognize God as the center of my life, Part 3