Attack Of Devil Recounted By Visionary Who Called On Jesus, Joseph, And Mary
By Michael H. Brown
Part of life is the struggle against evil. Once we acknowledge that (instead of ignoring or running away from it), we begin to transcend it. One of the reasons the Church finds itself in crisis at the present time (if you'll excuse this editorial) is because in large part it has forgotten about the devil's existence. He has been banished to the status of a cartoon or superstition. Our seminaries no longer discuss him, and many dioceses have no exorcist or use one only in the most extreme of circumstances.
This is one reason the "smoke of Satan" (as Pope Paul VI called it) has been allowed to infiltrate.
To get a notion of the spiritual combat, take the example of Sister Mildred Neuzil, the American seer. This holy nun was often the target of Satan. Many of her trials were a special part of her mission, which she said was "to make reparation for sins against the chaste virtue." As with most mystics, Sister Mildred suffered such assaults through much of her life. But there was always consolation.
"It seems that since the attacks of the evil spirit are becoming more frequent and violent, Our Lord in His mercy has been sending me more often than ever the special help of the angels, especially St. Michael," she wrote in 1956. "He has come to me many times since that day when he told me that Our Lord had sent him to protect me against the powers of evil. He has become my constant companion. If I do not see him, I feel him [our italics]. He does not always prevent the devil from attacking me, although at times he does. Mostly he stays in the background. Sometimes I wonder where he is when suffering and praying I seek his aid. Then when it is over he comes and smiles at me as if to say, 'That was a good fight and all is well now.' Then my courage returns."
In 1955, after one especially difficult ordeal, the nun further recalled: "The devil was furious. Through the help of our Lord and His Holy Mother, he had lost his hold over me and had himself been defeated. He would give me a frightening remembrance of his hatred. One evening, I believe it was the same day the 'ordeal' ended, as I made preparations for the night, I felt his presence in my cell. I got into bed and just as I closed my eyes the 'attack' began, just that suddenly. It was no dream as I was not yet asleep. It was as though two huge, horrible arms encircled themselves around me and like a monstrous vice kept tightening and tightening. I could help myself in no way except by prayer. So I cried out, 'Jesus!' The vice became tighter. I cried out in terror, 'Jesus, Mary!' By this time the pressure, the pain, became so unbearable, I was gasping for breath, but I managed to cry out one last prayer -- 'Jesus, Mary, Joseph!'
"Then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I opened my eyes and my soul was filled with that deep sense of peace that has since never left me. I opened my eyes to darkness but it held no terror for me as the Phantom of Evil had fled."
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