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Often in life, we're mystified by the way people react to us. There may be a sudden, inexplicable antagonism -- perhaps a run of it. Suddenly, it seems like the world is against us. There are antagonisms at home. There is tension at work. Nobody seems to like us.

In certain cases, there can be a spiritual reason for it: a spirit that is in someone is reacting against us, or a spirit that has attached itself to us is causing antagonism in others (egging them on to conflict).

Something unseen has latched onto us.

Many kinds of spiritual forces surround us -- more than physical ones -- and when we die, on "the other side," we'll be astonished at what was at work at various points in our lives. There can be demonic spirits "haunting" us, or earthbound ones, or "curses" (see jealousy, or anger), and the key is to cleanse ourselves.

On a daily basis, we should ask Christ and His Blessed Mother to sanitize the environment around us and purify our spirits -- especially in areas of forgiveness.

When we haven't forgiven someone, we're still attached to any darkness that was associated with the negative event.

At times, it's the simple way of temperament. At other moments, it's something we have said or done. We just may rub folks the wrong way. We are scorned. We bear the "crown of thorns." Their spirits may simply be reacting to our Christianity!

But first we must make sure we have cleansed ourselves interiorly -- that it isn't a spirit around us -- and as we pointed out last week, one way is presented by a priest, Father Dwight Longenecker, who asserts that such deliverance can occur in association with the Rosary.

Going through the life of Jesus in deep meditation and prayer (with Mary), we can trace back through our own lives and wash away the taints of the past -- the "wounds" to which such spirits gravitate.

Go back to your very beginning.

"Let God take any pain or trauma from your birth experience and heal it through the perfect birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem," says the book. "Allow the pain and trauma of childbirth to be taken away. Let any distress or danger, fear or anxiety, be swept away in the loving confidence of St. Joseph and the totally unconditional love of Mary, your mother. Allow yourself to be 'born again' in this way, and have any gaps completed and fulfilled. Rest in the healing love of Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to work His healing through your whole life over time."

The injuries are often the result of our own pride.

"How have you been humiliated?" asks Father Longenecker in a new, powerful book, Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing. "Have you been unappreciated, unrecognized, and cast to one side? Have family members, friends, and colleagues taken you for granted, mocked your ideas, or laughed at your hopes and dreams? Has someone attacked the very heart of your personality by finding what you most treasure and mocking it? Have you seen your dreams and hopes end in disappointment? Has your bitter disappointment been made worse by the seemingly successful lives of others? Do you feel their success burning in your own wound like a bitter fire?"

When that happens, we have pride to purge.

We have areas where we have to forgive.

We have to approach God for His cleansing in a way that is honest and allows us to reveal all of our warts, notes the priest.

That honesty chases spirits away. (They have nothing to which they can hold.)

Our "wounds" close.

They can't "hook" into us.

When folks react to you adversely, seek first to cleanse your interior being -- then "break" and cast away what may be attaching into your weakness.

As you forgive (make a list), you'll actually feel burdens lift.

Your secret weapon: humility.

Humbleness drives spirits away from you -- and builds a shield that quenches the darts that come from others.

When you are wronged, admonish not in anger but with love. This will bear the greatest strength. Your correction will be more powerful.

"As you meditate on the humiliation of Jesus as He is mocked and crowned with thorns, bring your own humiliations to Him," suggests Father Longenecker, referring to the healing Rosary. "In His Light, ask to see yourself clearly and honestly. Do you see how, in the midst of His humiliations, He looks on you with simple clarity, compassion, and love? He doesn't love you for your accomplishments or your gifts. He loves you simply for who you are."

[resources: Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing, Onward Catholic Soldier and Catholic Warrior]

[see also:  Rosary can reveal your life mysteries and Suffering as a key to grace]

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