Monday 8 November 2021

Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 17:1-6

Faith and magic

The opposite of faith is not disbelief, but magic. Faith is the power of desire, magic is the desire for power. The kingdom of God, the new style of life that Jesus came to reveal, is a new and higher spirituality that is based upon the power of faith in God and in ourselves. Faith means to be aware of the power and strength of desire, just as Jesus teaches us in every page of His Gospel: as you have believed, let it be done for you (Matthew 8:13). The kingdom of the Evil One, the prince of this world, is based on magic, the desire for power and the thirst for success and prestige. The sole purpose of faith is to have the strength to love and to forgive beyond any limit or measure to live and let others live in harmony and well-being. The sole purpose of magic is to have the strength and power to achieve hegemony beyond all measures and limits, to live in prosperity at the expense of the welfare of others and of Mother Earth's balance. Faith achieves well-being through communion, sharing, love, and humility. Magic achieves its desire for power through success, money, image, ambition, vanity, fashion, conflict. The strength of faith does not overcome all problems and difficulties immediately, but it always opens man's heart and mind to new perspectives for new solutions and unexpected harmonies, according to God's plans and ways. Instead, magic is avid for extreme, provocative, exaggerated, miraculous, solutions  outside the laws of nature and are never gradual. A clear example can be found in the magic proposals that devil made as he tempted Jesus. Faith is always innovative, magic is conventional. Faith wants to change, magic wants to impress. Faith is creative, magic is repetitive. Faith is evolutive, magic is involutive. Faith was born to inspire, magic was born to lure. Faith asks metànoia, a mental and spiritual inner change, magic tries to convert using superstition. Faith collects all human faculties to express the free choice of love over the visible and understandable, magic is the means that give birth to credulity. Faith makes human thought powerful, magic magnifies the human mind by emptying it from thinking. Faith makes the boundless work of love possible; instead, the most gigantic action of magic is to have given law to men. Like weeds prevail where there is no care and cultivation of the land, so magic germinates from the abyss and lack of faith, not from the mind of magicians. Those without faith must necessarily rely on magic even if they are unaware of it. Faith never thinks ill of God, magic takes God's place, as it regards Him as inert and incapable.
In the words of Francis of Assisi, a person who has faith prays like this: Lord, give me the strength to change the things I can change, the patience to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to see the difference between them. Those who have faith constantly repeat in their own inner dialogue the words of Anthony of Padua who said: "Have a living faith in God, everything else will follow." In the words of the prince of this world, the devil, those who do not believe and live under the yoke of power-magic, pray like this: if you are the Son of God, why don't you turn these stones into bread so hunger can disappear from the earth? If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down and save yourself, and do the same for all those who at this moment are in mortal danger. For, if you are the Son of God, accept having under your power all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence in an instant, not through the slow process of the freedom of love, but by your power and a simple agreement with the powers of evil? Those who live under the yoke of magic are continuously repeating in their inner dialogue words of doubt and suspicion: If you are the God of infinite goodness, why do you allow evil? Why don't you work magically to solve all the problems of the world? Why, if you are God, do you want to be an accomplice of evil and destruction? Jesus says: If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey. That means that man is in control of nothing but, if he lives with faith and loving God, he will be given by God the capability of doing the impossible for the benefit and wellbeing of all mankind.
Through faith it is possible to accomplish the impossible even beyond natural laws and forces but according to divine harmony and at the service and benefit of all. Magic claims that man has control and power over everything and he can tamper with and manipulate, even if just for fun, testing or because it ensures somehow a personal benefit and gain. For magic to do the impossible is a right, it is done against God's name and in oppoisition against natural laws and forces, pursuing one's own interests and benefits.