The Spirits Around Us, by Michael H. Brown, a brand new book on the supernatural realities around us -- around every person. Read of current encounters on deathbeds, in hospitals, in everyday life, in 'haunted' settings that finally get a Catholic explanation (as even St. Augustine spoke of their effect, and saints like Padre Pio saw them). Demons, angels, spirits of the deceased, purgatorial souls, often affecting us in unseen, unsuspected ways and dispelled through deep prayer in the Name of Jesus when we know how to do so and approach them with Catholic faith, prayer, and love!  ( here Kindle or Nook or paper version: CLICK HERE)



Though society and even the Church often turn a blind eye to the workings of spirits, the fact is that they exist and the fact is also that -- among their repertoire -- is what might be called "spiritual transference": spiritual energies can be transmitted through people, communication, and things, including at a distance. A person can walk right in with a spirit attached to her or him.

Did you ever receive an e-mail that had a special, persistent "poison" or sting -- beyond psychological? A communication -- via phone, via regular letter, in person -- that left an acute, almost tangible oppression or tension (or both)? Have strange things occurred after connecting with someone who may have spiritual baggage?

When someone is involved in an illicit activity -- especially sexual, drug-wise, or the occult -- it has repercussions.

It can be a spiritual "virus."

Or parasitic. We offer this for your discernment: You may feel anxious. Suddenly, you may be "drained." It comes like lightning. Or, it is blizzard cold. The atmosphere shifts.

 Hostilities erupt even though the house had been tranquil.

This can and must be cast out. For a "power train" can move between people, says Father Yozefu-B. Ssemakula, author of the blockbuster book, The Healing of Families. There can be telegraphing.

"There is an analogy here between what happens with an illicit sexual relationship and our relationship with the occult," points out the priest. "With God alone on top and nothing being equal to Him, when we get into the occult we equate Satan with God. Satan promptly sets in motion this 'electric shock' to contaminate not only that person but as many as he can who are also those attached to the person (i.e., the family). He can do this because of the sheer negative power inherent in the sin."

Of course, blaming everything on such things can go to an extreme -- a damaging one. We can become paranoid. Many of the same emotions can be explained "rationally." Meanwhile, a splash of Holy Water often dispels unwanted visitors from invisible realms. Monthly Confession is invaluable. So is praying with feeling. "Do not be afraid of Satan," the Virgin Mary once said at a major apparition. "That isn't worth the trouble, because with humble prayer and an ardent love, one can disarm him."

But at certain unprotected times, it may be a case whereby the spirit or spirits around a person have been able to electrify or attach to you, even if -- spatially, in our dimension -- the person with whom you communicated is at a distance.

As we approach Lent, we come to a time of year when we should consider fasting -- an especially powerful tool of protection. It is the time of year to cleanse. When we have inner darkness, outer darkness conveyed through others can connect with that. Meanwhile, humility offers a tremendous buffer. When we are humble, we hardly have to worry about a "chink" in our armor (if our humility is deep).

Detach yourself from those who are in darkness; offer advise and pray for them, but don't get trapped in their orbit (let them orbit around your Savior).

"Honesty, love, humility, and sincerity will lead you to me," the Blessed Mother said in the 1980s. "Fervent prayer, humility, reciprocal love will prevent Satan from approaching you." Note this year how the feast of Lourdes (Immaculate Conception) flows into Lent.

"My children, I wish that the Holy Mass be for you the gift of the day. Attend it, wish for it to begin. Jesus gives Himself to you during the Mass. Thus, look forward to that moment when you are cleansed."

Here again we appreciate the power of sacramentals (and more so, the Eucharist). Daily Mass is a potent shield.

Make this Lent the one of your special inner cleansing. Make it also the one during which you experience the power of fasting. Sacrifice sets evil at a distance. Abandon your heart to Jesus. "Do not go to Confession through habit, then remain the same after it," says the Blessed Mother. "No, this is not good. Confession should give an impulse to your faith. It should stimulate you and bring you closer to Jesus."

If "transference" happens more than once, it makes sense to use the Holy Water before such communication (while not excluding those who may need our contact).

Spirits can come through telephones. They can come through television screens. They can enter via computer or books or magazines. For evil has certain "legal" rights. When a person watches an occult show or surfs for pornography or indulges in viewing something that is violent or filthy, there is a sullying in the spirit as well; a "grit" rubs off on them. This can hover like a cloud; others "breathe" it. It causes a "rip" in our spiritual buffer. There are cases whereby spirits entered homes because the residents were watching "ghost-hunter" shows or ones that were sexual.

Not all of it is demonic. Often, we on earth are plagued by spirits of the deceased. They attempt to relive their sin. Saint Padre Pio said he ministered to more souls doing their purgatory on earth than he did to living humans!

Many deny these phenomena -- until they are bothered by them.

Too often, problems persist because the source is unrecognized.

Pray for whoever may have a problem. Praying for a person's deliverance is a special hedge of protection. Plead His Blood. Seek refuge in His wounds.

There is also transference from places. Use blessed salt. Use all forms of sacramentals.

"Holy Water is available freely at almost every church," points out Father Yozefu. "Get into the habit of keeping some in your home for periodic cleansing and blessing of your home. Already you may not know the history of your house. You may not know who lived there before you and what they did in the house. And if you know, and nothing catches your attention, you will not know the history of the grounds on which your house was built. Extremely negative things that have happened in locations in the past seem to leave behind negative spiritual residues." But there is nothing that prayer and fasting, with humility, and love, from a cleansed Lenten heart, cannot dispel. Purge Mardi Gras! Live the sacrifice of Jesus!

[resources: The Healing of the Families, The Medjugorje Fast, and Michael Brown retreats: Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Seattle, Portland]

[see also: Lenten books]

[Print article]

[Feedback from Pat Fazzio, in Orlando, Florida:: "I had to let you know about something remarkable that happened to me this morning. I believe it was a direct result of something you talked about at your retreat in Lakeland, Florida, last Sunday, that I attended and thoroughly enjoyed. You mentioned that the devil sometimes can find an opening to influence us through occult books, events and even just watching something on the TV about spirits and ghosts. Well, every Saturday night I record 'Celebrity Ghost Stories' and watch it on Sunday morning. This morning, as I prepared to watch it, I actually debated with myself and with God about whether or not I should continue watching it after you had warned us about it at the retreat. I told God, if you don't want me to watch -- then tell me. I found it on the list of recorded shows on my DVR and pushed play -- and it didn't start -- just stayed on the news channel that it had been on. I tried it three or four more times, thinking I just didn't push the button hard enough. Still wouldn't play. Other recorded shows would play, but, not that one show. I tried two or three more times. Nothing doing -- it wouldn't respond to my commands. But, it was responding to God's!! I really believe He intervened. I told God, OK, I get your message! And I cancelled it and all future recordings of that show."]


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