Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Father of Lies Hates You

If there's anything that can drive me batty, it's the television.  I relish days alone in the house, which don't come often, because I will go the entire day without turning it on.  Mr. Y Chromosome, on the other hand, can't seem to live without it.  Yesterday, however, he stumbled upon a movie that had him, and me, riveted to the screen.  The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Truth be told, I don't "need" Hollywood dramatizations of the real thing to know that the devil exists and poses a grave danger to us.  However, I'm not so sure about others.  Maybe it is exactly the Hollywood version that cause otherwise logical people to dismiss his existence, as though it's along the same kind of child's play as other horrors.  The difference, however, is that the horror of the devil is very real.  If we take seriously the salvation of our souls,  we would see that and do whatever we could to combat it.

I was sickened yesterday by some of the trailers that came on during commercial breaks.  There was nothing lewd in the movie itself, yet twice I felt accosted by images of people in various stages of undress etc.    To me that is one of the worst things about the Boob Tube, that you don't know what's going to come at you or the innocent children in your house next.  No wonder there are people who don't allow one in their homes.  My husband assured me this is nothing and he's seen worse on network television.  Last week, my dear old father was telling me how he rarely watches anything but old Westerns because he's never sure when something of a sexual nature is going to come at him.  I know how he feels.  Sometimes just doing a Google search of a religious topic will bring up images I can only describe as pornographic.  How this must please the devil, to invade our thoughts that have originated in innocent intention with smut.

Coincidence or not, Father Z has something posted at his place about how much the devil hates us, a theme he repeats because frankly, it does bear repeating.  We are made in the image and likeness of God.  The devil hates God and because he can do nothing to Him, he aims for the next best thing: God's children.

This hatred may not always be manifested in Hollywood-style suspense and drama but it is a hatred unlike any other, just as the way we are loved by God is unlike any other kind of love.  During exorcisms, the priest is often subject to humiliating attacks from the demons.  This isn't because the fallen angels can read minds.  It is because they stalk us in life and know our every move.  Thus, things are sometimes revealed at a critical point in an exorcism so that the priest can be knocked off track.

I have  known of the kind of evil harassment that can happen at times that should be sacred to us.  I don't think I have shared this previously but some years ago I sought the help of a priest because of what happened to me every day for a period of time during Lent at Mass during the consecration.  I would mentally hear a barrage of the filthiest language you can imagine, leading me to actually shake my head no on several occasions. I started to think I should not approach the altar for Holy Communion so after several weeks of this, I went to the confessional on a day when a priest I greatly trusted had no one else in line and I told him what was happening to me.  He assured me this was not happening through any fault of my own and that he would pray for me.  He also reminded me that my strongest defenses against these attacks were the sacraments and fervent prayer.  This was the time the priest assured me that "thieves do not attempt to break in where there is nothing to steal."   By the end of the following week, the attacks subsided.

There was one final assault, however, that I hope never to experience again.

This was some years ago, when I still an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion who assisted, when asked, at Mass.  It was Easter Sunday.  I received Holy Communion and then waited for Father to hand me the ciborium.  When I took the vessel containing the Body of Christ into my hands I again heard the worst filth - language I have scarcely heard, let alone ever uttered.  I wondered if anyone else could hear it.  I have to tell you that I  considered telling the priest I couldn't go on but somehow I did.  I asked God not to let me accidentally repeat what I was hearing while I distributed His Body and with His help, I succeeded.

I know readers of this blog are also well aware that the more devout and filled with Christ's peace we are, the more likely an attack is to come in the form of an unkind word, an unprovoked argument, an assault on our faith and a questioning of ourselves.

I am offering the Thirty Days' Novena to St. Joseph for intentions for which I have been asked to pray and I have added the Litany of St. Joseph to my prayers.  One of his titles is Terror of Demons.  Along with the Rosary, the Chaplet to St. Michael and this daily Litany,  combined with frequent reception of the sacraments, I feel I have an arsenal that is no match for whatever evil I encounter. I also know the attacks will not cease coming, in one way or another.

BTW, what follows at the conclusion of this post is the climactic scene from the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  While it is frightening, what I find makes it so is the hatred that comes across for us and especially for God.    Just in case anyone needed a reminder.

Lord Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, have mercy on us poor sinners.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us.
St Michael, the Archangel, protect us.


  1. Interesting that you post on this - I did a short post that will publish after midnight - both of us responded to Fr. Z's post.

    I have had similar experiences that you describe.

    God bless you!

  2. Thanks Terry. I was going to post on this subject after seeing the movie on Monday, specifically on the subject of how the devil hates us but then I saw Father Z's post and given the number of times he repeated the line, I felt I had to tie the two together. Interesting that you've had similar experiences.
    Love and prayers,

  3. Joyce, great post! You are right in tune with our Holy Father, who spoke about the devil again today.

    Something very similar to what you described happened to me shortly after my conversion...whenever I would kneel at the altar rail before the tabernacle to pray. Naturally, I wanted to run right out of the church..which is Satan's goal after all.

    I decided instead to offer up this torment for the salvation of souls, and after being "tested" a couple of times, I found that it worked. Several years ago, I was helping a man who had returned to the church after 30 years. With much embarrassment, he confided the same kind of filth while in the Communion line. So, since Terry also experienced this, it must be a pretty common tactic of the enemy.

    Thanks for exposing him! xoxo

  4. Thank you Patricia. I'm glad the Holy Father speaks about the devil so often because too many deny his existence and/or influence over society. For a time I was afraid the filth I was hearing was somehow my own sins being regurgitated to keep me humble so I'm very glad I spoke with the priest who, incidentally, believed he had been paid a personal visit in his cell one night. He said he commanded the black hulking figure in his room to repent and return to Jesus Christ. "And then I got the best sleep of my life" he laughed. When I asked him why he thought it happened he said it was because he had worked tirelessly to promote Eucharistic Adoration in all of the places he had been assigned. I really believe it was Father's prayers for me that helped. While these events are unpleasant, what's worse are the attacks that come in disguise. I believe all the hoopla in the media this week about the NBA star "coming out" is one such attack. When you have the president of the United States and the First Lady congratulating someone for admitting they suffer from a disordered passion, it's obviously the work of the enemy. All we can do is continue to pray and offer penance ( which for me this week is a sometimes unbearable headache. Please keep me in your prayers).
    Love you

  5. Oh Joyce, I'm so sorry about your headache. I know what that is like. I have been praying for you, as I saw you mentioned it this afternoon at Caroline's blog.

    That's amazing about your priest seeing a black figure in his room!!! Hope that never happens to us! He sounds like a really wonderful priest...and very brave!

    It's so tragic..all that's happening. I've been following Gosnell's trial, and am astonished by those who come forward in the media to defend late term abortions...having not one shred of compassion for what those little ones suffered.

    Then we have the gay rights activist who admits that destroying marriage completely is the ultimate goal. It's all too much to process...

    God bless you, and feel better. Love you too.

    PS I don't know why people have to "come out" publicly..and I can't believe that the president and first lady actually commented on it! I missed that!

  6. Joyce, I will pray for you in this and I'm SO glad you had the courage to write about it. Of course ...I would not
    : )

    The strangest thing was happening to me at Mass the last few months. I had this overwhelming anxiety as I waited for the Mass to start. And I would hear the enemy say,' you're not going to make it through the Mass.. you're going to pass out..' 'you won't make it through the consecration.'Terrible thoughts came into my mind.. Then I got dizzy spells and almost DID pass out a few times. Saw the Dr....nothing was wrong..Over and over every Mass till I had to sit way in the back so I could get up if I had to.
    Once in a while it still happens, but now I tell him to leave--I'm not afraid, and pray to my guardian angel to do battle for me.

    With Patrica, I thank you for exposing Him and the fact that the worst attacks come in disguise.

    Love always +

  7. Caroline, you have demonstrated great courage in many of the things you write about. And certainly, in continuing to go to Mass and stay there as you withstood physical attacks. I'm glad you enlisted the help of your guardian angel to assist you. One thing we must never do of course is to confront this evil ourselves but always through the intervention of Our Lord, the angels and the saints.
    Blessings +


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