Reading this, my reaction is, “Why bother trying to overcome evil in myself if every good and successful effort to become virtuous and overcome sinful tendencies in myself just results in the introduction of an even harder challenge, seven times harder to overcome than the last?” This can cause me to become disheartened in my pursuit of virtue and holiness. But I think that what Jesus is warning his hearers about in today’s Gospel passage is the same thing that St. Paul warns his hearers about often: the temptation to be presumptuous about the effectiveness of our own abilities and talents for achieving virtue and holiness.
A soul, on the other hand, that is emptied and made clean by openness and obedience to the Spirit of Christ becomes a house most accommodating to the Spirit of love, and quickly and readily becomes filled with, and occupied with - the clean and holy spirit of charity. The soul that is filled with the Spirit of charity leaves no space for the self-building ambition of pride and its associated unclean spirits of selfish interest. Let us daily endeavor to do the housecleaning of our soul with humble listening to the Word of God and receiving the Lord in humble obedience, so that our soul becomes ever increasingly a house that accommodates Christ’s Spirit of Love.