It's True That The Devil Can Harass Anyone, But Don't Let Him Be Bigger Than He Is
One of the devil's great ploys is to appear bigger than he is. Don't let him do that in your life.
He is the great deceiver, and among those deceptions is his power. Often, he can do less than he pretends. He inflates himself.
Is he more intelligent than we are? Is he not more powerful? He was once a high angel. He has been around a long time. He operates in the spiritual dimension, with access to spiritual information.
So, yes, he has advantages, and he has plagued us all. Especially, he plagues us when we are about to do something for God, or completing a mission.
Before giving birth to St. Therese the Little Flower, her mother encountered such evil resistance.
"About a week before she was born I went to my room in the late afternoon to read a spiritual book, as I always do for a while," she told an older sister, Marie.
"It was winter, already quite dark, and so I lit a lamp. In the course of my reading I came upon a paragraph describing some of the awful terrors which the saints and other great servants of God endured at the instigation of the devil. I paused to reflect that I, for one, need never fear such diabolical persecution, because these things would never happen to ordinary people like me. 'It's only saints who need to fear them,' said I to myself, when all of a sudden, right there and then, I felt an enormous weight on my shoulders bearing down on me. I was terrified. It seemed to me as if some savage beast was gripping me with his fierce claws. I have never experienced anything like that in all my life. I began to pray, calling on Our Blessed Lady to help me. Then, all of a sudden, I was freed."
It was a sign that something very special was about to happen and we think of the persecution that threatened the Infant Jesus.
But God prevails and often does so through the Virgin Mary (which makes us fret for those of the non-Catholic faiths who reject her). Jesus has granted Mary the ability to step on the head of the serpent.
She knows how he puffs himself up. He doesn't intimidate her. During exorcisms, demons cry when she is invoked. Such spirits only gain power when we fear them -- which is like having faith in them.
Remember well the Mass reading today (1/10/06). "Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught," says Mark 1:21-28. "The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Simply put, demons are afraid of Jesus. So when we are one with Him, we need not fear.
Are there "scary" manifestations? Oh, we wouldn't deny that. The devil will puff himself up (after all, he's the prince of the power of the air).
Viewing the video of a deliverance conducted by Father Gabriel Amorth, the famed Rome exorcist, one witness recounted how awful and fascinating it was "to see the hate of evil towards what is holy. It was just amazing -- it really makes you want to give your life to defend the holy Faith."
"As in the case of the boy after whom the film The Exorcist was made, the exorcism in the video that I watched ended shortly after Jesus in the Eucharist was placed on the victim's tongue -- which was violently objected to by the evil spirits within her, but once Jesus was there, they fled, and the young woman was completely changed -- mild, humble, smiling, quiet, whereas she had been a raging, ranting, spitting, insulting, powerful tornado tied to a chair beforehand," wrote this witness.
But how the devil tries to scare us! Or discourage. He sends us poison. He makes things seem bleak. He operates on FEAR (as in "False Evidence Appearing Real").
"Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up 'strongholds' in our minds," says one preacher. "A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking. Strongholds are lies that are believed."
The devil deceives us into depression.
Oppression. Obsession. Depression. Possession. Is there not the hiss of the snake?
But in exorcism the devils can not stand up to the sacraments -- and cannot in your life, either.
Whether blatant or subtle, now or in the future, don't let evil get the upper hand. Don't let it intimidate you. Remember that the devil can seem like an awesome monster until we realize that next to God, Who is the Empire State Building, the devil is smaller than a grain of sand.
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