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It is a time of darkness. It is a time of light. As evil surges around us, the illuminations of God intensify.

But it does no good to deny the evil.

Does it seem strange to you right now? Does it seem like there is a "lull" -- a feeling of aridity, or vacancy; the spirit of lethargy? And have you perceived a spirit of antagonism with folks out there (and perhaps in your home)?

When evil becomes too strong, we must always remember the efficacy of sacramentals (in fact, before evil comes, so that it does not). Sacramentals lessen attacks. Exorsists will attest to this. No doubt, many of you have seen the powerful results of Holy Water, medals, the Scapular, statues, and blessed salt. candles.

Often, when it comes to warding off darkness, this is a sacramental, Blessed Salt, we forget. And yet (as a source of illumination) what a logical one!

How -- why -- are candles so effective?

The key is to focus on the positive. We must hover not on the problems of life on earth so much as the promises of Heaven's Light.

Not artificially. Not in a way that is strained. Or feigned. But in the way of faith.

Look at the way God blessed the ancient Israelites under Moses and do what they did. He brought them out of impossible circumstances. They trusted. Divine Mercy trusts. Follow His way and His prompts-and-His blessings will multiply.

Truth comes to us in proportion to our humility. Only in humbleness can we discern. Otherwise, there's the devil, who is known in some cultures as the Trickster because he tricks us into thinking his thoughts are ours. He sends hooded creatures, who lurk in the shadows of perception.

These days, they come in groups as darkness -- but also light -- surges around us.

And so, in battling them -- in battling him -- we must give great notice to what we think. He turns positive into negative. We have to keep switching it back. When a spirit of despair enters it should be shooed away with the flame of the sword of the Spirit in the Name of Jesus and suddenly the air clears and we can see the mirage of desperation.

When the devil gets us negative, he gets us desperate. Now, there is a dark aura. We are susceptible. Sometimes, the spirit of negativity and despair is even brought on by a "curse": someone is jealous of us. A shame it is how many glad-hand folks but in their hearts wish them less than the best -- which heaps that dark energy, that anti-anointing, that anti-prayer, upon you. We are accountable for our thoughts. We are accountable for the thoughts we keep as our own.

As soon as the negative enters your thoughts, sit down and dispel it and don't stop until peace returns and the curtain of his ridiculous charade comes to an end.

This is a battle of life and giving place to negative thoughts by pondering them, repeating them,  and chewing on them (like morsels) gives them the power to shape into oppression.

Recently, a famous actor-director has made the news and keeps making the news because he has

Monitor your own thoughts (separating the good from the evil; the taunts from the inspiration). Monitor what you are wishing upon others. Clean your thought pattern with His Name. When a negative thought comes -- at the first appearance -- with reverence just say, "Jesus." When you are aggravated, when you are insulted, when you are irritated, when you are just plain ornery, when a thoughts comes that is depressing: with each, "Jesus" (in the right way).

Chase every critical negative oppressing thought off before it gains root.

Once you're aware of what's going on (every minute), remember that gratitude to God wards off evil. Being grateful for the nice things in your existence enhances their continued influence. Remaining positive in difficult times requires maturity and helps us to develop higher wisdom. Ask God to send His Light all around you!

That Light is His Love. The opposite is fear. Wherever we go in this life, we see the choice between them. When we are fearful, we can diminish our entire household by extinguishing hope and happiness.

Fear is Satan's greatest tool. Even upon death, fear has such a grip over some people that they refuse to go to the Light. Fears binds us in chains of our own making, and we end up in purgatory.

Your mistakes? Move on. Nothing is in vain if we learn from it. Just don't hover there. If we learn, every negative becomes a positive (like those old photographs).

Constant worry is fear of living.

And what did Jesus warns about this? (See Luke 12:25-6).

Don't "own" a negative. Don't call an illness your illness. Don't look upon it as your fear, or your pain, or your trouble (or for that matter, your arthritis). God grants us blessings that will amaze us when we trust in His power to bless.

The more you use your gifts to help the cause of God -- and to serve -- the more He will multiply those gifts (allowing you to function beyond your "capacity" and "talents," doing what you never thought possible). As a very wise woman points out, Native Americans call Satan the Trickster and it is true that he tricks us into thinking his thoughts are ours. He wants us to focus on problems instead of promises. "The tauntings, whispering, and temptations of the Prince of Darkness are everywhere," she noted. "Since many people choose to listen, the ripple effect of evil shadows everyone's lives whether we choose darkness or not."

Did you ever experience that?

Negativity can actually remain when we dwell on it; when we give it energy. When we grant a negativity a place within our nature, it then can manifest -- physically and spiritually. It gnaws at us -- like cancer. It can give cancer. What is spiritually around you can transmit to the physical.

You know how old photographs were: there was the finished, color picture, and there was the negative.

One of the great temptations of our current time is anger. Everyone is angry. It's in fashion. People are even angry when they are not really angry. Yet, it has effects. As this woman also indicates, harsh words can fill a room with a negativity so pervasive that sensitive people will perceive it hours or days later.

If things seem mucked up in your life, take a tally of the things you hear and say. What comes in your ears often exits out of your mouth.

Claim His glory.

Claim His Light.

Concerning the article, blessing those who curse you, I have to tell you that this is one of the hardest things to do.  We have some awful neighbors who I cannot tolerate, let alone like.  When I confessed this to my priest, he told me that I do not have to like them, but I do have to pray for them.  We had a problem with a landscaper who would never do anything we asked him to do. I left him 19 messages over a two week period before he called me back.  I decided I could get angry or have masses said for him.  I did the latter. What was so funny was right after the mass was said for him, he called and apologize for slacking off & not calling. He said if I did not fire him he would give us a month free.  I thanked him, but refused his services & found someone else. We parted on good terms.  I know it was the masses that soften his heart. 
Same for our neighbors who are just mean spirited & spiteful.  We had a problem with a family that would walk their dog on our property to do his business.  At the time my dad was alive, he was legally blind & often times without realizing he would step in dog doo & track it in the house.  I would go ballistic & asked them numerous
times to keep their dog on their property.  They would walk their dog on our property on spite, & I would catch them all hours of the night, they thought they were slick.  These were professional people, not kids. Patrick prayed for them everyday, their dog has since died (natural causes), but we haven't had any problems since the masses & prayers.  I do believe the prayers not only change their hearts, but it protects us as well.


[resources: A Life of Blessings and Michael Brown retreat: Sacramento and Omaha]

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Failure in Your Life by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, how to overcome 'failure' and realize it's failure only if we treat it that way -- and don't grow from it! We're not perfect; God knows that! Here are some ways not to let it get you down! CLICK HERE