A Heightened State Of Demonic Attack Demands
A Higher State Of Protection
By Michael H. Brown
We live at a time when there are distinct camps in the Church, camps that are sometimes identifiable based on simple spiritual positions. Those in non-Western foreign countries subscribe to old-school Catholicism, including exorcism, while their counterparts in the West -- even though deemed "conservative" -- have de-emphasized the mystical aspect. This often manifests as a "feel-good" attitude that dismisses the "negative." God does not chastise, they say. Don't be too hard on yourself. Psychology is more important than deliverance. They treat the devil as just a symbol, or simply don't mention him.
It's good to be positive, and just two weeks ago, I wrote about how in many circumstances we find peace when, instead of blaming everything on the devil, we accept all that comes our way as from the Hands of the Creator (Who allows us to be tested). I was quoting St. Dorotheus, and there is merit to that view.
At the same time it is crucial to know where evil is -- and to protect ourselves. We live at a time of pervasive manifestations, and while not getting bogged down in demonology, we need a system of defense.
That's why fasting is critical. Many of us don't want to hear it, but the fact is that depriving ourselves of fleshly desires grants us a wall against evil.
If you want to protect yourself and your family, and if you want to see miracles -- prayers answered in a far more powerful way -- do what Mary and Joseph and Jesus did, do what the great prophets did, and do what the Blessed Mother urges even today in her more credible apparitions.
"LIttle children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil," said the Virgin of Medjugorje, as we are reminded in a new little book called Freed and Healed Through Fasting by a sister at the site of apparitions who goes by the name of Sister Emmanuel.
It is anointed book with keen insight and one I highly recommend as an antidote to the evil around us. Get this book, and give it to friends, clergy, and members of your family. It has a crucial focus.
"Have you noticed the correlation between giving up fasting in the West and being infested with Satan and his demons?" the sister asks right off the bat. "Today, Satan can more easily penetrate various facets of society -- even coming within the confines of the Church, because when we do not fast, the protective doors are no longer locked."
Those are powerful, truthful words. We have seen the infiltration of deception even in Marian, traditional, and charismatic circles because too many have disregarded the Blessed Mother's admonishments to fast. Combined with Mass, recitation of the Rosary, reading the Bible, and Confession, fasting helps us to attain the fullness of God and decisively defeat evil.
The Didache notes the fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and of course we fast when we can in the way we can with the right intention (of loving God and furthering His Plan). When we fast, we can ask for things that seem impossible. We can suspend the laws of nature. We can also discern.
"When we are not worried about eating, there is a free space where God comes to dwell as never before," writes Sister Emmanuel. "This is why those who fast have a special spiritual sensitivity and sharpness."
Incredible it is how little emphasis there is in the modern Church on fasting, and how "fasting" has now been confused with abstinence. In certain translations, the word "fasting" does not appear in the passage that quotes Jesus Himself, in speaking about deliverance, as saying, "These demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting" (it ends at "prayer"). Let's put it back into Mass readings.
As Sister Emmanuel points out, the theology of Blessed Mary includes four important points about Satan: that he exists, that he is stronger today than ever before, that he is continually active, and that his goal is to destroy us and the nature around us.
Fasting is "spiritual insurance," says Sister Emmanuel. It halts evil from harming a person.
Are you blocked? Are there intractable problems in your life? Is there someone you are really praying for, someone who needs a miracle? Try fasting on bread and water, or at least bread and juice (maybe a little coffee). Why bread? Jesus is the Bread of Life, says Sister Emmanuel.
The sister, a member of the Beatitudes Community, has strong words for those who reassure us in a way that is artificially positive.
"If, as a mother, I have ten children at home and I know there is a satanist roaming outside trying to torture, rape, and kill them, I need to warn them," she says. "If I don't and instead say, 'Relax, feel good, go outside for a walk in the woods,' then I am an accomplice to the murder of my children! We cannot hide from children the fact that spiritual combat exists."
But as Mary tells us, that is not reason to fret. "Whoever abandons himself to God does not have room in his heart for anguish," said the Blessed Mother. "Renounce all passions and all inordinate desires. Avoid television, particularly evil programs, excessive sports, the unreasonable enjoyment of food and drink, alcohol, tobacco, and so forth."
That too is fasting, and when we fast, acting with trust and humility, Satan is bound.
How many letters I get from those with serious difficulties that could be lessened and even eradicated with fasting!
Fasting is like a fire extinguisher. It is also a painkiller. It allows us to transcend the flesh. "When someone is sick in the family, most of the time we go to a lot of trouble trying to find the best doctor, the best medicine, the most renowned specialist -- we do everything possible to save the sick person's life," says Sister Emmanuel. "Especially when children are suffering, we are ready to move Heaven and earth and spend fortunes to save a child's life! But things are much easier than all that. Do we realize that we only need to pray and to fast?"
Mary herself advises:
"To obtain healing for the sick, it is important to recite the following prayers: the Creed followed by seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys, and seven Glory Bes, and to fast on bread and water."
"Of course, nothing is automatic," notes Sister Emmanuel, "but in many cases prayer and fasting will obtain a miraculous cure for someone who is sick."
The Blessed Mother said she cannot help those who do not "pray and sacrifice."
"The more you believe firmly, the more you pray and fast for the same intention, the greater is the grace and the mercy of God."
It may seem tough at first, but fasting becomes easy and even something to which we look forward! Sister Emmanuel herself had trouble fasting -- until she simply asked for the grace!
Heal with prayer. Heal with fasting. And beware of false healers. The sister warns that Satan deceives us here too; when he heals through a false mystic, he only displaces the sickness -- moves it from one situation to another -- and makes it worse.
Be careful even of healers who seem devout. Go to the Holy Spirit and discern through fasting. This will protect you!
And renew your baptismal vows.
"This is an effective means to break all ties with evil, with Satan and his works," she says.
[Bookstore resources: Freed and Healed]
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