Over Easter came a story about how at least fifty people a year require formal medical care in Jerusalem because on visiting the holy city, they flip into a dramatic mental state.
An Irish schoolteacher who came to a Jerusalem hospital convinced she was about to give birth to the Baby Jesus when in fact she was not even pregnant.
A Canadian tourist who believed he was the Biblical strongman Samson and tried to tear stone blocks out of the Wailing Wall.
An Austrian man who flew into a rage in his hotel kitchen when staff refused to prepare the the Last Supper for him...
It all comes to us from Raf Sanchez of the London Telegraph, who noted, "These are just a few examples of what has come to be known as the Jerusalem Syndrome: a well-documented phenomenon where foreign visitors suffer psychotic delusions that they are figures from the Bible or harbingers of the End of Days."
They are folks who for the most part had pre-existing mental conditions magnified by their visits to the holy place, a hotspot not only of emotion but in the tussle between good and evil, as in angels and demons.
In the realm of spiritual warfare, as in other areas of life (on this planet called earth), there are certain things that can serve as the "straw" breaking the camel's back. In fact, in many cases, when a demon or unclean spirit is affecting us physically, there is also a natural "explanation." A virus causes pneumonia. A carcinogen leads to malignancy. An allergy is from pollen. Bones ache due to cartilage deterioration.
This is all true, and many times such "normal" physiological factors are the sole cause of a malady. But there are also times when spirits are involved, working in conjunction with a natural etiology.
The same is true for Tourette's syndome -- whereby people suddenly start acting and speaking in a bizarre, often profane manner, with strange body movements, including tics; frequently it spreads like a contagious disease. A recent outbreak was recorded in Upstate New York (near another spiritual hotspot).
The supernatural interweaves with the natural. There is natural and supernatural cause for an effect. Demons look for physical (as well as emotional) weaknesses and strike there. They look for "woundedness." Frequently, they simply push something teetering over the edge.
And so it is always important to combine prayer with medication and other natural remedies. There can be a tesselation -- many pieces to a mosaic. The same is true for objects: something that breaks down or an accident that occurs, though physically explicable, can be nudged to that end by an invisible dynamic.
Thus is it important to cast evil out of every "breakdown," just in case. One way is through love. We are called to love our neighbors and to love those from whom evil comes to us. This goes to God's Plan and shields us; it also removes the nettle. It jams the trigger. "I call you always to bring harmony and peace," says Mary. "By love, turn everything into good that Satan desires to destroy and possess."
Love bears everything difficult, for the sake of Jesus.
Only in this way are we completely His and open to the healing that comes with harmony, physically and spiritually.
"There is something about ancient Jerusalem, a disputed city that is so important to people of three faiths, that attracts -- or perhaps even causes -- a special kind of madness," wrote Sanchez.
Those sensitive to spiritual warfare know what that "something" is.
[resources: The God of Healing]