When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
“By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Pope Francis writes, “We need to guard our hearts, where the Holy Spirit dwells…So that other spirits do not enter. To guard the heart, as a house is guarded with a KEY..How often do wicked thoughts, wicked intentions, jealousy, envy enter in? So many things that enter in. But who has opened that door? Where do they enter from…A heart without intimacy, a heart where the Lord cannot speak and cannot be heard.”
Pope Francis has us ask ourselves before we go to bed, “What happened today in my heart? Did anyone I don’t know enter? Is the KEY in its place?”
The demons of anger, jealousy, envy, lust, pride and every other type of demon tries to enter our heart. May we always keep Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our heart.
The examination of conscience, “is a grace, because to guard our hearts is to guard the Holy Spirit, who is within us.” We might have been successful in driving our one demon from our heart, but we need to make sure that the Holy Spirit fills the empty space left in our heart and soul. Jesus says, “The last state of the man is worse than the first.” As Pope Francis wrote, “The examination of conscience prevents evil from entering the heart. Recollect in silence, guard and keep watch to ensure demons stay away.”