The Lion Roars: Prayers for the Remnant, by Dave VanVickle, a truly inspired and anointed little booklet of a Catholic's favorite devotional prayers collected over a lifetime -- daily prayers, consecrations, prayer for the Pope, prayer to one's angel, St. Augustine's prayer to the Holy Spirit, prayer before Communion, acts before Communion, acts after, Divine praises, Confession prayers, prayers of various saints, litanies, intercessory prayer, maxims, virtues and more! CLICK HERE
AS TIMES TURN TRYING AND DARK, IT DOES US WELL TO RECALL HOW SAINT TERESA BATTLED AGAINST 'DEVILS'
When we exercise the sacraments (and sacramentals) afforded us by the Church, there's an umbrella of protection. Saint Teresa of Avila -- who for some reason keeps popping to mind (in these times) -- grants us a vivid illustration.
"One Trinity Sunday, I was in the choir of a certain convent, and while in a rapture, I saw a great battle between devils and angels," she wrote (in her autobiography). "I could not understand the meaning of that vision, but before a fortnight had passed it had become clear that it referred to a conflict that had taken place between some persons who practiced prayer and others who did not, which did the house great harm. It was a conflict which lasted a long time and caused a great deal of commotion.
"On other occasions I saw around me a great multitude of devils, and yet I seemed to be enveloped by a great light, which prevented them from coming nearer. The fact is, I realize so clearly now how little power the devils have, if I am not fighting against God, that I am hardly afraid of them at all: for their strength is nothing unless they find souls surrendering to them and growing cowardly, in which case they do indeed show their power."
Evil spirits only win when we let them!
(Although: there is always some harassment).
Demons take aim at holiness. They seek portals of entry. They come like smoke through the smallest crack. One woman from who had a near-death episode could see creature-like demons trying to get to her but she was protected by an enclosure that was like a bubble. We must not breach that bubble. Discord breaches it. Jealousy breaches it. Anger breaches it. Lust breaches it. Going against God's Will is what Teresa probably meant as "fighting" against Him. We fight against God when we have pride and lack love.
So does fear draw demons. Fear of the devil is faith in him.
It energizes darkness.
When we conform to the Will of the Lord, on the other hand, there is that bubble of protection.
"I was about to close my eyes and drift off to sleep when I caught a movement by the door [of the hospital room], and I saw a creature poke its head in," wrote the woman who had the near-death brush. "I cringed backward in fear. Then another one appeared. They were creatures of the most hideous and grotesque appearance imaginable. Five of them entered the doorway, and I was all but paralyzed with fear. They appeared to be half-human half-animal -- short, muscular beings with long claws or fingernails and savage, though human, faces. They came toward me, snarling, growling, and hissing. They were full of hate, and I knew that they intended to kill me. I tried to scream but was either too weak or too paralyzed with fear to move. I was helpless as they came to within five or six feet of the bed. Suddenly, a huge dome of light, almost like glass, fell over me, and the creatures lunged forward, seeming to recognize its threat to them. The dome protected me as they frantically flailed at it and tried to climb on it to get a better vantage point. But the dome was too high to climb on, and they became more frustrated."
Oh, there is still harassment. Oh, there are the trials -- and battles -- of life.
But we have recourse.
"From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like Holy Water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again," said Saint Teresa. "They also flee from the Cross, but return; so Holy Water must have great virtue.
"One night I thought the devils were stifling me; and when the nuns had sprinkled a great deal of Holy Water about I saw a huge crowd of them running away as quickly as though they were about to fling themselves down a steep place.
"May what I have said help the true servant of God to make little account of these horrors, which the devils present us with in order to make us afraid.
"Let him realize that, every time we pay little heed to them, they lose much of their power and the soul gains more control over them."
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