Our soul has three enemies – world, concupiscence and the devil. Inthe first reading, the letter of St. John he speaks about the spirit of this world. To remain in God we should learn how to discern and test every spirit because aside from the spirit of the world there exist also the Holy Spirit. It is not easy to discern the spirit of the anti-Christ; it always appears as something good, appealing and offers personal fulfillment – we can easily be deceived.
St. Paul teaches us how to discern. You will know the spirit by its fruits. “What the Holy Spirit brings is different – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trust fullness, gentleness and self control (Gal 5:22). If we are guided by this world it leads to self-indulgence and the fruits are – fornication, gross indecency, sexual irresponsibility, idolatry, feuds, wrangling, jealousy, bad temper, quarrels, disagreements, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and similar things (Gal 5:19-20).
To help us in proper discernment we are given the scripture and especially the Church, which are both a Mother and a Teacher. Perhaps we are challenged with many questions. How many children should I have? Should I accept this job even if it takes me away from my wife and kids? What should be the center of the relationship with my spouse? St. John presents us this challenge – “Anyone who belongs to God listens to Him while anyone who refuses to listen does not belong to God but to the world.”