We have to be wary of this danger that is clearly becoming widespread. Self-indulgence is a constant threat, especially these days when good and evil are so mixed up that we would mostly likely be left confused and easily taken by sweet poisons that today’s new things readily offer.
The slippery slope to self-indulgence that takes us out of our road to our ultimate and proper goal is happening practically everywhere. For example, we can start going to the Internet for the legitimate purpose of getting information that we need. But along the way, we get distracted by something else that can appear to us as interesting.
We take a bite, and then another bite, until we fail to realize that we are already getting entangled and hooked. It is like being hijacked. We lose our sense of direction, and before we know it, we would already have forgotten why we went to the Internet in the first place. We would be trapped in a state of obsession and addiction that can be so strong that it can defy rationality and common sense.
This is now a very common phenomenon which should challenge us to find the appropriate solutions and the relevant guiding principles and practices. I imagine that the first thing to do is to realize that there is always some spirit that is behind every move we make. Thus, we need to identify as precisely as possible the spirit that moves us to do certain things.
We can know the spirit by probing into the reason and motive behind our actions. That spirit can be found in the intention with which we do certain things. We should quickly identify this spirit to see if it is the one proper to us or not.
And given our weakened and vulnerable condition, we should always be most careful to know and protect the spirit proper to us, since we can easily be seduced and dominated by the wrong spirit.
We know that there are different kinds of spirit. There is the spirit of God, of course, which is the one that is proper to us. It is the spirit of love that is shown to us in full by Christ, who told us that if we want to follow him as we should, or if we want to have the proper love, we have to learn how to deny ourselves and to carry the cross. (cfr. Lk 9,23)
It’s a spirit that would help us to be prudent in our judgments and actions, knowing that many other bad spirits can overtake us. Thus, it would encourage us to practice a certain degree of restraint and moderation, especially in areas that are still new to us.
Then there are other spirits, like the spirit of the world, the spirit of the flesh, and the spirit of the devil himself. We have to be wary of them always, always taking the necessary precautions not to be led by them. Again, given our weakened and vulnerable condition, we can easily be seduced by them. So we just have to be guarded all the time.
These inadequate and totally evil spirits will always try to possess us, and so there is no other alternative but for us to wage real war against them, always keeping vigilance and continually rectifying and purifying our intentions, especially when we go to the Internet that offers a lot of sweet poisons.*