There is plenty of strangeness out there: bizarre curiosities -- whether claims of UFOs, ghosts, aliens, therianthropy.
It is a time of spiritual "games." It is also a time of deception (though one can say that earth has always been a place for that).
In the mix of bizarre phenomena is the experience, so frequently reported here before, with curiosity, of waking up precisely at three a.m. and finding oneself in some sort of spiritual excitement or agitation.
Many have had this occur, some saying they feel the call to pray -- that they feel Grace -- or that they are visited by angels, Jesus, the dearly departed, or evil spirits (careful on the "departed"; it is a time of spiritual combat).
We have reported upon this for fifteen years because it is fascinating and remains widely experienced: the "thinning of the veil," or so it seems, at the "witching" hour. It reminds us that it doesn't hurt to use Holy Water (these days, keep a gallon; this is not said facetiously).
Is it because it's the inverse of the Divine Mercy hour -- three p.m.? Or perhaps, if the prompt is from a holy source, that Christians are called to pray as spirits are unleashed during occult rituals (which famously begin at midnight and last three hours)?
Or is it just -- "coincidence" (and in some cases the power of suggestion)?
We'll leave that judgment up to you. Praying is always a good idea (and a remedy for insomnia, since spirits often try to keep us up to drain us).
The subject arises due to a recent article on Yahoo News:. "If you've ever woken up at around three in the morning and felt like something wasn't quite right, then you may actually be onto something," it started.
"It's not just a case of middle-of-the-night jitters but you are slap bang in the middle of the Devil's Hour -- and, if you believe the myths, you may not be alone," said the online major news service. "The three a.m. time slot is regarded by paranormal experts as a time when pure evil -- either demons or entities from the spirit world -- make their presence felt. Many of us will wake up in the middle of the night, either from a bad dream or without any reason at all, feeling a chill in the air or a worrying feeling in your gut."
Have you experienced this?
If so, the answer is not psychological counseling, nor sleeping pills, but Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. With that Name, be it a dark spirit, it must flee.
The article went on to point out how satanists invert all that is Christian -- as one possible explanation (getting back to the Divine Mercy hour) -- and how horror movies often use this hour as the pivotal one.
Sometimes, the awakening is more than just agitation; sometimes it's known as "night terrors" or "paralysis": an overwhelming and sudden fear in the depths of night. It is especially prevalent among the young.
Are there "ghosts"? We believe spirits that are overly attached to things or creatures of this earth and refuse the Light of God can be "earthbound," or do their purgatory here (that's what Padre Pio said).
Another recent news article:
"Officially we will tell you that we don't believe in ghosts, but we always leave a little room for doubt. Who really knows what forces are at work in the universe, right? When we hear a really good ghost story, the cracks in our skeptical armor get wider, and this is a really good ghost story.
"Our story starts with Natasha and Trevor Beemon, a couple of antiques buffs in Georgia. They buy old furniture and restore it, and then sell it to new owners. They get to do their DIY restoration projects for a living. So cool!
"These two found a beautiful secretary desk with attached bookcase with glass doors at an estate sale. They guessed it to be from the 1940s or 1950s. When the couple had the desk ready for sale, Natasha took a photo of the piece with her cell phone for their social media pages. Here’s where it gets creepy.
"If ghosts are real, it makes sense that they be tethered to objects or places they loved. We hope this ghost is happy that her beautiful desk was restored and will continue to be appreciated by its new owners. Rest in peace, spirit woman."
For your discernment, and prayers (but not over-fascination). Fascinating or creepy?
It is urgent that our Church come back fully to what Jesus taught, and respect -- fully -- His admonition that those who followed Him would be known by their casting out dark spirits (or in the case of earthbound ones, praying them to His Light). According to Jesus, it is the basic sign of a Christian, casting out spirits, no matter what is or isn't occurring at three a.m. Those wee hours of the morn, or twilight: a quiet time to ask the Holy Spirit to come and reveal -- to guide you in what to purge. Those who have nightmares may still have something to cleanse.
Don't we all? (Time for spring cleaning).
The remedy is also -- powerfully; oh, so potently -- in the Rosary. The month of May reminds us of this!
Pray, until calm returns.
More to the point, resist the devil (resist and persist, James 4:7). And he will flee. He does come around, and maybe it often is at three, or at least in the "dead of night."
The poor fellow who murdered six members of his family (and upon whom The Amityville Horror was based; prayer need again) did so precisely at three a.m. In another movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, strange events occurred around this time also.
It is important to be protected during the vulnerability of sleep, which makes prayer just before bed essential (as well as upon rising).
Pope Francis has repeatedly advised priests to prepare better for homilies, to be careful about extending the patience of those in the pews, and to shorten them. A problem at least equal to that -- perhaps more disconcerting, from the standpoint of basic faith -- is how frequently the Gospel reading is about demons or unclean spirits, followed by a homily that entirely avoids mention of anything to do with spiritual warfare, as if such is superstitious.
This lack of knowledge leaves Catholics open as prey.
It is that urgent that our Church come back fully to what Jesus taught, and respect -- fully -- His admonition that those who followed Him would be known by their casting out evil spirits. According to Jesus, it is the basic sign of a Christian.