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  My Witness

Vol. 5, No. 2, April, 2000

From the Editor
Sr. Jan Nattermann, S.N.C.

Sister Jan Whenever one thinks about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, or about anything worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8), loyalty is one result.

What makes loyalty impossible, thus separating us from one another, is criticism and accusations. Some may not believe such stories but allow themselves to become skeptical or suspicious of the person spoken of. There goes loyalty.

The ability of communities, of Church, to carry out the mission the Lord gives is dependent on unity, which involves member's loyalty to one another. If accusations cause us to distrust or disassociate ourselves from one another or betray one another, we can be rendered ineffective or destroyed - the divide and conquer principle.

One of the weakest areas in the Church is loyalty to one another. And this is exactly where the evil one will attack - our weak spots. One of St. Ignatius' rules for the discernment of spirits says "the conduct of our enemy may be compared to the tactics of a leader intent upon seizing and plundering a position he desires. A commander and leader of any army will encamp, explore the fortifications and defenses of the stronghold, and attack at the weakest point."

The tactic of the evil one is divide and conquer (Mt. 12:25-29; Mk. 3:24-27). We are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12). One way of disarming the evil one is to make known his deceits. He knows that he cannot succeed in his evil undertakings, once his deceits have been revealed.

We need to remember that oftentimes we are not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers. So rather than using worldly means to fight one another (slander, gossip, infidelity, anger, etc.) we need to fight using spiritual means (Eph. 6:1-18). Our only defense is to become spiritual persons, wise in the ways of the Holy Spirit with a supernatural outlook on all things.

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