Thursday Lent Week 3

Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed. But some of them said, ‘"It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils"

There’s always someone to spoil the fun or to think, as in so much of our media, that cynicism is the right, response to enthusiasm. Somewhere lurking in the ego there is a little mechanism that is triggered whenever it senses expansion of spirit. It tries to pull down, draw back and control.

One has to watch for it, in oneself or in a group, because it is not the true critic that speaks the truth in love and that never fails to point out the positive. It is a false critic intent only limitation and negation. Once it has started it becomes contagious. Suddenly everyone is focused only on the negative and distrusts or rejects the creative.

In today’s gospel Jesus casts out the demon of dumbness and restores the power of speech. In the desert, in meditation, we are exposed to the power of true silence. When silence meets the dumb demon of fear and pride that prevents us from telling the truth and bursts out only in negativity, then the demon is demolished. Fear is dissolved and pride is humbled. Then when we speak, if we speak, it will be in words that build up and restore the broken-hearted or the discouraged. Such speech does not cease to be immersed in the silence for which it flows.

Laurence Freeman OSB