St. Joseph, patron of the triumph, by Fr. the late Fr. Richard Foley, an anointed soul who was widely known at conferences and on Catholic TV, a book that describes St. Joseph's role, his destiny, how he was the spouse of Mary, his role in the Holy Family, what he represents as the Worker, as the Man of Faith -- and much more, granting us examples we can use in our own lives to achieve true spiritual victory in our families. Let us recommend anything on this miraculous saint!  CLICK HERE


Distance yourself from that which afflicts you:


Are you being blocked? Are you in bondage? Did you know that there can be a "spirit of clinging"? It's our meditation this week.

Perhaps you haven't thought of it in those terms.

But it's true: many of us tend to cling to people, places, and things -- or we have someone clinging to us. It's all equally harmful.

We're called to cleave to our spouses and above all to the Lord the Almighty, but even with a spouse, it should never be obsessive. When we marry, we're told to stop clinging to our parents and shift to the wife or husband (in a balanced fashion).

But after that, we're to exercise discretion. Always pray for balance! Love everyone and be open but do not let yourself be tugged toward an orbit into which you do not want to be pulled. That can be very damaging.

Meanwhile, always know your place.

Don't force yourself on others (nor let them force themselves on you)! You'll only get hurt. Neither confuse love with over-attachment.

We can cling in an unhealthy fashion to children, brothers and sisters, friends, co-workers, old romantic relationships, and even enemies -- all to our detriment (and often theirs) if the hold is obsessive.

Obsession equals idolatry. Really, cling to God alone.

When we are clinging to someone, we are defining the relationship; we are demanding closeness (one that may not be in God's designs); we're forcing ourselves into a situation.

It rarely works. Interjection leads to rejection. Know your place!

In fact, the more you cling to someone, the more prone they are to resist any contact with you, or to develop resentment.

That's because the inner knowing senses an over-attachment in a spiritual dimension.

For clinging often means an obsession or oppression and an obsession is an unhealthy, exaggerated emotion: the inability to let others get on with their own lives and live independently. By the by, it is also the root of cults.

Pride clings, while love releases. Love is true and the truth sets a person free (as opposed to holding him or her in an orbit). Do you feel stymied when certain people contact you? Do you feel oppressed? Are you made to stay close to someone out of guilt? Does a cloud come over you?

If so, you need to pray to break that bondage.

Clinging is a form of control. There is a soul tie. We are nearly "one flesh." And the spirit of control, says the Bible, can be the spirit of witchcraft.

That's why you may feel an actual dark force when someone is trying to meddle in your affairs -- to be a part of your inner circle when they are not meant to be part of your inner circle, or trying to share what you have (including your family).

Hear the hiss: possession. Obsession.

Some people cling to us by "helping" or being overly "generous." "Gifts often create an unhealthy obligation," write Bill and Sue Banks in Breaking Unhealthy Soul-Ties. "Jewelry is often such a gift. Rings particularly are used to bind someone, and often called, excused, or disguised as rings of 'friendship.'"

How many have had a situation whereby a person defined the relationship and exercised an unhealthy control (without our input)?

Answer: all of us.

Remember, love does not always mean closeness. We are to love everyone. But when there are problems -- when there is an unhealthy soul tie -- distance yourself from that which afflicts you.

Also, don't cling to negative emotions. Don't cling to a grudge.

Don't cling to hurts.

That too will bind you.

Especially, don't cling to a material object (nor become obsessed with a pet).

There are those who believe that when there is an obsession, such an obsession can go beyond death -- that there are souls bound to the earth because they insist on clinging to people or places or things.

In Jewish folklore, a spirit that wanders the earth (instead of moving on to the Light of God) is known as a dybbuk, which means "cleaving" or "clinging." The ancient Jews believed that an over-attached soul could cause problems after physical death. In 1 Samuel 16, a bad spirit attaches to King Saul to trouble him!

That's for your discernment. What we know is that we are called to let go and let God. When something bothers you, don't cling to the aggravation. When you're disturbed, release what's disturbing you.

Let it pass. Don't let it bind you. And don't let it disturb what God has designed. Don't let the "spirit of clinging" affect what you do, where you go, where you move, who you are.

Don't let it prevent you from finding your mission in life, nor prevent you from your place of blessing, which the Lord has marked for you in time.

[resources: Breaking Unhealthy Soul-Ties]

[resources: Tampa retreat with Michael Brown: healing Mass, preparing for times and The God of Miracles]

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