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Luke, Chapter 12, Verse 4-5
4 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. 5 I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.


It would seem that Christ is talking about the Devil here or is He talking about our very selves.
Christ may have been referring to the rabbinic duality of yetzer hara, the so-called "evil inclination," and the yetzer hatov, the "good inclination,". Yetzer hara is not a demonic force that pushes a person to do evil, but rather a drive toward pleasure or property or security, which if left unlimited, can lead to evil (cf. Genesis Rabbah 9:7). When a person’s will is properly controlled by the yetzer hatov, the yetzer hara leads too many socially desirable results, including marriage, business, and community. In Judaism adults are distinguished from children by the yetzer hatov, which controls and channels the drives that exist unchecked in the child. Thus, children may seek pleasure and acquisition, but they are not able to create a sanctified relationship or exercise the responsibility to engage in business. The young adult is not described as someone who has developed a sophisticated moral sense; in fact, the early adolescent may base moral decisions entirely on fear of punishment. Yet by age 13, the child’s moral sense has developed sufficiently to hold the child responsible for his or her actions.[1]

Another Jewish source states:


ha-Satan, the Adversary, was one of the “severe” agents of God. Another such harsh but necessary force in God’s creation is the Yetzer ha-Ra, which is variously translated as the “Evil Impulse,” the “Evil Desire,” the “Selfish Desire” or just “Desire.” It is that aspect of nature, but especially human nature, which drives us to compete, to fight, to possess, but most of all to desire sexual gratification. Though it is counter-balanced by the Yetzer ha-Tov, the “altruistic desire,” it is nonetheless the source of much of the grief in human life – lust, violence, selfishness, vengeance, and ambition. One would think that humanity would be truly better off if we could destroy this impulse. We see evil in ourselves, it offends us, and we think the right thing to do is to totally purge ourselves of it. Yet we don’t truly understand it, for things we so easily characterize as “evil” actually spring out of the very nexus of holiness. Surreal as it is, this maaseh makes an incredible point – it is the strife of the spirit, the very struggle between our impulses that makes the world work. Without the Yetzer ha-Ra, the world as we know would cease – people [and animals] would no longer be driven to build, to create, to have children. In short, life as we know, including not only evil aspects but most of what we regard as beautiful also, would cease. Without Desire, Life itself would slowly wither away, and that would be a sad thing. So, the goal of the spiritual person is not to destroy the selfish-sexual-evil impulse, but rather to sublimate it to God’s purpose. To be truly what God wants us to be, to achieve our fullest human potential, we need to learn to bend both our impulses to godly ends. We should not cease to lust but should direct that urge toward love. We should turn our impulse toward vengeance into the desire for justice, our ambition for acquiring possessions into the creation of true wealth.[2]

Amoris Lætitia[3] Looking to Jesus: The Vocation of the Family-(58-60)

In and among families, the Gospel message should always resound; the core of that message, the kerygma, is what is “most beautiful, most excellent, most appealing and at the same time most necessary.”

Kerygma refers to the initial and essential proclamation of the gospel message. To put it simply, the kerygma is the very heart of the gospel, the core message of the Christian faith that all believers are calling to proclaim. God loves you” “Christ died for your sins”

This is the first and most important proclamation, “which we must hear again and again in different ways, and which we must always announce in one form or another.” Our teaching on marriage and the family cannot fail to be inspired and transformed by this message of love and tenderness; otherwise, it becomes nothing more than the defense of a dry and lifeless doctrine. We need to model the gaze of Jesus and how he “looked upon the women and men whom he met with love and tenderness, accompanying their steps in truth, patience and mercy as he proclaimed the demands of the Kingdom of God.” The Lord is also with us today, as we seek to practice and pass on the Gospel of the family.
  
Humble Confession[4]

A story about Father Damien the leper shows us how no one or anything should stop us from making a humble confession. One of Father Damien's greatest sufferings after he left for Molokai was his inability to go to confession. Two months after his arrival on the island, the Honolulu Board of Health ruled that no one on Molokai would be allowed to return, even temporarily. This was a cruel blow to a man of such delicate conscience as Father Damien, accustomed to receiving the grace of the sacrament of Penance weekly. Since he was forbidden to leave, it seemed someone must come to him. In September, a steamer stopped outside the shore settlement of Kalaupapa with the usual load of provisions, patients banished from the mainland, and this time with Father Damien's provincial, Father Modeste, who knew the young priest was longing to see him. As he prepared to land, Father Modeste was confronted by the captain. "I have formal orders to stop you," he announced. There was nothing left but for Damien to come out to the ship. He did, in a small boat rowed by two of his leper friends and prepared to board. "Stay back! Stay back!" shouted the captain. "I've been strictly forbidden to let you see anyone!" Father Damien stood in the little boat, so near and yet so far. Quickly he made up his mind. "Very well, I will go to confession here." And with his provincial leaning over the railing on the deck, the priest confessed his sins and received absolution. It is said no one on board knew French. Nevertheless, one cannot help feel that in this case the walls, the very skies, had ears. It was truly heroic: a man making the choice between human respect and sacramental grace. There is no comparison. Penance is the torrent that will cleanse us. Let neither pride nor human respect prevent our making a humble confession.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.


[1] http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-birth-of-the-good-inclination/
[2] http://ejmmm2007.blogspot.com/2006/12/necessary-evil-yetzer-ha-ra.html
[3] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

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