I have been Catholic all of my life. Perhaps not a terribly informed Catholic, but I went to a Catholic school and Mass every week. As I hit high school, I became more involved and felt Jesus calling me to be closer to him. I believed in the devil, but not in any tangible way.
I thought things like exorcisms were of the past – things now, such as psychology, help people more. As I grew more I understood that the Church continues this ministry, but I gave no real thought to it. “It’ll never happen to me.”
But as I’ve grown into my own family, I have learnt much, including having three disturbing experiences in spiritual warfare.
Five things I have learned about spiritual attacks
I realise that I am a wanted person.
My soul is greatly desired by the devil to be turned away from God. I am not immune to the devil’s attacks nor his sweet poisonings. All who aim to give glory to the Father through his Son, Jesus, are poised to be attacked. It can happen either subtly or overtly, and comes from the devil.
My first step of protecting my soul is not to seek out or dwell on matters of the devil.
This came through reading The Rite by Matt Baglio: I found it disturbing, yet at the end I felt I needed more of the thrill. Information surrounding spiritual warfare is interesting and fascinating. However, I also found myself being drawn in to wanting more and more information and stories. While learning about spiritual warfare is important, there is a line which, when crossed, can be an opening for work from the devil.
This has more to do with attitude than information — I felt my attitude trying to shift from learning for protection to learning for my own satisfaction. This is a difference that is important to note and not cross. We do not want to open ourselves up needlessly into a realm that can take our curiosity and twist it to something sinister.
In a time of spiritual attack, rely on Jesus.
His name has power. He has placed saints before us to aid us and help us in times of need. In primacy of place, we can rely on Mary. A close second (in my personal opinion) is St. Michael, the archangel.
A friend told me not to fear the devil, for when he shows up it means he is worried and scared.
Her experience has taught her that he comes to intimidate you, which means either that what you are doing is having great effect against him, or what you are about to do will have great effect.
For instance, once I was in conversation online with a secular author. I felt the need to pray before responding further to a pro-abortion statement she had made. When I took a moment of prayer, I found I was actively prevented from speaking the words of the Our Father. Bizarre and difficult as it was, I struggled the prayer out in fullness. In hindsight and reflection with others, I can name this as an attack, attempting to prevent me from speaking out against abortion to this author. My initial reflection is that there may be a sinister hold on this author, and the devil does not want any interference. He was in a position of weakness and was trying to prevent the work I was doing.
Keep in mind, this is a personal experience and interpretation. It illustrates how one can be attacked when doing work that effectively takes glory away from the devil and brings it to God. This can be seen more clearly in some of the saints — St. Padre Pio’s life was, in part, one long struggle against the devil and his attacks. His work on earth did much damage to the devil’s reign, who in turn was displeased and attacked the perpetrator.
When we are doing God’s work, it is reasonable to expect that we will be attacked.
Our surest response is to call on Jesus, his mother, Mary, and any other saint with whom we have a connection. In one of my experiences, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel was so powerful of a thought that once it was perceived in me, the devil became panicked in an attempt to stop me. We are on the winning side and there is nothing to fear with Jesus at our side.
This Advent, as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus, be prepared to battle the sweet poisonings the devil whispers into our hearts as well. Be brave, commit to prayer, and commit to going to reconciliation and the Eucharist. These weapons will help us to bring glory to God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ.
How do you protect your soul in spiritual attack?
I have created a printable for the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Feel free to print onto cardstock and keep with you! (Right click and save image to your desktop.)
Copyright 2017 Jane Korvemaker