So. I was reading a Catholic website, where Catholics were speaking to each other. Then I was reading a Conservative website, where just conservatives were speaking to each other. And lastly, I was reading a Secular website, where secularists, liberals & conservatives were speaking to each other. And they all had something in common.
It was this: judgment, criticism, ridicule.
And I remembered St. Michael. In Jude 9, St. Jude talks about the time that St. Michael fought with Satan over Moses’ body. Now St. Michael is, well - a Saint, AND an Archangel - in fact the LEADER of GOD'S armies. He is a pretty spotless, perfect guy. And Satan is, well - a demon. He is pretty much the epitome of all evil. In fact, he is the SOURCE of all evil.
It seems that what we are all overlooking here is this:
“Yet the archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil in a dispute over the body of Moses, did not venture to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”” Jude 1:9
So I ask you: If SAINT Michael, the ARCHANGEL, did not feel qualified enough to judge, criticize and condemn SATAN (!!) - then why in the world do WE feel qualified enough to do so to another human being - who is made in the image and likeness of God?
Again, as Catholics we have a prayer that the Holy Spirit gave to Pope Leo XIII in 1884:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly hosts,
by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Again. We don’t ask St. Michael to rebuke the devil - we leave that to GOD. And this is concerning a creature that is PURE evil. There’s zero question about that. There are no other ‘extenuating circumstances’. It’s not a situation where God can ‘read his heart’ to see what might have ‘caused’ his actions and/or beliefs. He is just plain evil.
And yet St. Michael - goodness exemplified - still is not asked to trash-talk Satan. We ask that that be left to God.
So, what exactly qualifies US to do the same to others?
This is especially important if you don't want to bring judgment upon yourself. As Francis Frangipane notes:
"...the instinct to judge and criticize is a curse... and it brings death upon us as individuals. A curse? Death? Yes, every time we judge we are simultaneously judged by God, and each time we condemn another we ourselves are condemned. (Matt. 7:1-2; Luke 6:37.)
When we judge and criticize, we position ourselves under judgment. You see, we are constantly sowing and harvesting life according to our own attitudes.
When I say "fast from judgment," I do not mean we should abandon discernment. No. But judging people is not discernment. When we see something wrong, instead of only turning critical, we must learn to pray for mercy for that situation. We may still see what is wrong, but now we are harnessing our energies and seeking to redeem what is wrong by the power of Christ's love.... The key to a life blessed by God's mercy is to give mercy to those around us (Matt. 18:21-35)."
Spiritual Discernment and The Mind of Christ
I grew up in a world where I remember elders saying things like: “I’m sure that that is none of our business”, “Well, I’M not the judge of that” and “I suggest you pray about it”.
If we want to have any chance at salvaging this rapidly hell-like culture we are growing in our world today - I suggest that we begin to do the same.
Pray, don’t judge. And THEN we will see things change - perhaps beginning with each of us.
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.