We write about the spirits around us, and this is a time of the year important in that regard; there have been mystics who've said it's on Christmas that the greatest number of souls are released (see: An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory or see previous article). Apparently, like certain hours of the night, like three a.m., at Christmastime the veil seems to thin.

Fortunately, more and more priests are becoming interested in such mystical aspects -- fortunate because priests are desperately needed to deliver us from the onslaught of darkness (as Jesus did -- casting out devils and "unclean" spirits). According to a number of priests and other experts, the spirits we contend with may go beyond demonic ones; we may also be afflicted by spirits of the deceased, who in some cases seem to follow generational lines, inspiring or exacerbating particular negative proclivities and at times causing illness, accidents, various family distress, anxiety, oppression, the spirit of despair, and general unpleasantness and mayhem.

Foul spirits -- as Christ showed -- are relentless (and "legion"). He cast them out constantly. He spoke of "demons," "unclean" spirits, and even used the term "ghosts" (on the stormy sea), indicating various kinds of torment. He is the ultimate expert and the time of His birth -- the Christmas season -- is an excellent time for cleansing.

We are prone to such infestation when we have "access points": weaknesses, unconfessed sins, persistent bad habits, lusts, materialistic obsessions, or hidden bitterness. These access points should be closed through a "life Confession" (if the sins have not been previously and specifically confessed), for uttering our transgressions aloud carries a mysterious cleansing power (demonstrating humility). 

Do you have points of entry? Do you have "seepage"? Have you prayed about closing them?

Spirits have special power in our lives when we maintain an imperfection that was inflected by an evil spirit (spirit of lust, spirit of greed) or an imperfection that is shared by an earthbound spirit (and may be the reason they remain attached to the earth and to us).

All this is emphasized by a former satanist named Deborah Lipsky in a book called A Message of Hope. It is also addressed at great length in a book called The Healing of Families: How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems, by a priest from Uganda named Father Yozefu-Balikuddembe Ssemakula, who is currently a graduate student in clinical psychology. These books were among the most popular here this year -- and for a reason. There is a burning need in the flock for the kind of healing -- and deliverance -- practiced by Jesus.

One of the many prayers offered by Father Yozefu (and a nice preparation for Christmas):

"Lord Jesus, thank You for Your wonderful ministry of healing and deliverance. Thank You for the healings You have effected and will effect as a result of my prayer today. We realize that the sickness and evil we encounter is more than our humanity can bear. So cleanse us of any sadness, negativity, or despair that we may have picked up. If I have had temptations of anger, impatience, or lust, cleanse me of those temptations and replace them with love, joy, and peace. If any evil spirits have attached themselves to us or oppressed us in any way, in Jesus' Name I command you, spirits of earth, air, fire, or water, of the netherworld or of nature, to depart -- now -- and go straight to Jesus Christ for Him to deal with as He will.

"Come Holy Spirit, renew us, fill us anew with Your Power, Your Life, and Your joy. Strengthen us where we have felt weak and clothe us with Your Light. Fill us with life. Mary, the Most Blessed Mother of Jesus, and our mother, and Saint Michael the Archangel, please send your angels to minister to us and our families -- guard us and protect us from all sickness, harm, and accidents. Let us always travel safely. We praise You now and forever, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and we ask these things in Jesus' Name that He may be glorified. Amen."

[resources: The Healing of Families: How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems, A Message of Hope, An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory, and The Spirits Around Us]

[Also: Special Michael Brown deliverance/afterlife retreat: Florida, January 27, Retreat in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Michael Brown retreat in Houston]

[Print article]

[Afterword: At the reputed site of Medjugoprje, the message on March 25, 1997 was: "Dear children! Today, in a special way, I invite you to take the cross in the hands and to meditate on the wounds of Jesus. Ask of Jesus to heal your wounds, which you, dear children, during your life sustained because of your sins or the sins of your parents. Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator. By Jesus' passion and death on the cross, you will understand that only through prayer you, too, can become true apostles of faith; when, in simplicity and prayer, you live faith which is a gift. Thank you for having responded to my call."]


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