The evil one attempts to steal our peace in order to block our reception and response to God’s messages. Worries, anxieties, fears, wanton passions and inflamed anger are all ways that the evil one tries to agitate our spirit to make it unreceptive to the Holy Spirit. He does this by distracting us from the reality of the present moment. Instead, the devil tempts us to dwell on unpleasant thoughts of the past or the possible foreboding future. Neither of these is the reality of now. In this way, the evil one tricks and steals our peace and the possible grace-filled moments of the present.
During the agony in the garden, Satan used these tactics against Jesus. Satan tempted Jesus to think about all of the torture and pain that lay before him. Jesus dispelled the evil one with trust in his Father’s will revealed when he said, “… not my will but thy will be done.” In placing ourselves into the Father’s hands in trust, we will destroy the devil’s plan to tempt us into turmoil and despair. The Father will bring us safely through the most challenging difficulties and dangers, leading us to final victory!
Docility means trust — trusting in the will and plans of our Heavenly Father. He has a special plan and design for each of us in order to reach our destiny of eternal life. We need only trust him! Docility enables us to move with the Holy Spirit according to his plan. We are royal sons and daughters of God. There is not an end or purpose more grand or fantastic! We must trust him in order to achieve this.
Obedience, the final ingredient
Obedience is the necessary virtue for docility. We need to forge an obedient heart to be open to Christ and his church. The Israelites suffered indignities and exiles because of their hardened hearts. Ezekiel, the prophet, foretells of the time of the Messiah when new “fleshy hearts” would be given to God’s people. They (we) would obey his statutes and commands through the washing of the waters of renewal. (cf. Ez 36:24-29)
When we doubt or withhold our acceptance of the Catholic Church teachings, we are no longer living in obedience and faith. We only accept the teachings of the church that agree with our position. In other words, we believe only that which suits ourselves and reject anything that does not. In this case, we are not living with the obedience of faith, but following our own inclinations. These inclinations are fallen and will not lead us to the truth.
Next issue – Spiritual direction.