Faith, the Sacraments, and Right Conducts

I receive A LOT of messages, emails, letters, and calls regarding the spiritual world. Most of them are from the Catholic faithful, some from Christian believers, and a few from other ministers, too. Many come asking when they see or feel spirits following them, things that are disturbing, a sense of uneasiness, or because they are not at peace with themselves. For one reason or another, many inquirers were introduced to different pseudo-religious or seem-to-be spiritual practices by other people. Even though things seemed to be alright in the beginning, as time goes by, disturbing matters begin to arise. They are almost always on edge, worried, paranoid, or agitated spiritually. These matters lead them farther and farther from God and the faith, even though many of them tell me that they believe in the Almighty, some even read the Sacred Scriptures and prayed regularly, but they cannot seem to shake that darkness from their lives.

For better or worst, these general examples are classical cases of demonic disturbances. Sometimes, through Holywood renditions and over-exaggerating stories of diabolical possession, we think that the Devil is fake or only come to mess people up in extreme cases. Nevertheless, what I can personally say and testify is that the Devil is real! He is more real than whatever humanistic or psychological excuses we can make up for him. He works in slyly ways to deceive us from the truth, lure us into his lies, distract us from the eternal reality, and pushes us away from God. Remember that he was one of the great archangels before his fall, a seraph, which is the highest order of angels! His knowledge is higher than ours so do not think that we can outsmart him. Furthermore, he has many minions, fallen from different (lower) orders of angels, too. They are constantly at work to deter us away from God using many different tactics.

All we have to do is read many stories in the Sacred Scriptures to see the deceitful cunnings and lies of the Devil and his minions. Too often times, we have allowed ourselves to be deceived by rejecting his existence or be attached to things that make us dependent on him. There is no such thing as a harmless, no-string-attached matter in the spiritual world! Every action and request makes one dependent on the spirit(s) that grant it, and they use it well to pull us into dependency. Even though we try to do things to cleanse ourselves from spiritual attachments, all human and pseudo-religious practices are limited in nature and can only do so much at times, especially once we have opened ourselves up to a spirit(s) that is not willing to let go. Only genuine conversion, true faith, right conducts, and the commitment to the spiritual life of grace will save the person from enslavement to evil spirits!

I received a lot of calls for help from people wanting a way out, but many are not committed to a total life of faith. They want a solution, a potion, an action, or a short way out! Nevertheless, that is not how evil works. Once one is entangled in its webs, the evil spirits rarely let the person go. The only thing that would free a person from typical demonic disturbances is a radical turning to God, trusting in His grace, especially through a life of prayer, total dependency, and regular receiving of the Sacraments. People often forget that behind every Sacrament is the healing, cathartic nature. When one chooses to let go, die to themselves, and depend on God by receiving His love through sacramental graces, darkness is subsided by the light of everlasting and salvific love. The only thing that the Devil and his demons can do is to deceive and enslave us by fears, despair, hopelessness, and other lame, egoistic, and unfounded excuses not to let go of our current lifestyle and trust in the Almighty.

Our world loves what seem-to-be “spiritual” practices. It loves different pseudo-religious spiritualities that deceivingly allow the person to be in control. It advocates for these codependent practices even with fake Christian practices! It warped, perverted, and manipulated genuine acts of faith and spiritual practices with self-centered, controlling, and benefit-based orthopraxis. It makes its believers think that if they just get the right formula, say the right prayer, use the right potion, have the right connection, come to the right spirit, or find the right way to do things, everything will be fine. It cheapens faith to benefit-based codependency where everything and everyone exists only to provide for one’s needs — including God.

Yet, without knowing, many have fallen into the trap of the Devil and his minions because these evil spirits ultimately want to make people dependent on them. The great Deceiver and his minions are good at what they do because they study us with our repeated patterns, know our wants, and wait for the right moment to attack by warping the truth and manipulating us when we are vulnerable or in need. Again, there is no such thing as a free, no-string-attached thing in the spiritual world! These disobedient and selfish spiritual creatures always want something back in return. What they demand from us is not a relationship nor it is grounded in faith, they are just fear-based, ego-centered, selfish, manipulative, and scare tactics to keep people dependent on them. These pitiful spiritual creatures are stuck in their own created hell of selfishness, miserable by the ego-centered lifestyle and decisions, that they want to make other people’s lives miserable as well. They want to pull people into their miseries and to feel as if there is no escape!

Yet, there is always an escape by turning one’s self to God. Let me share with you a quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola‘s the first rule of discernment:

In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process of reason.

Can you see the wisdom in this statement? Is this rule similar to what I was trying to talk about regarding codependency? Yet, even though it seems so straightforward, so many people are trapped in the snares, lies, and deceptions the Devil has for them all along because they are not willing to let go. Letting go of the demonic enslavement and turning to God is the only decision that will save one’s life! Of course, it will not be easy. Let me show you the second rule from St. Ignatius so you can see from his wisdom:

In the persons who are going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away all obstacles, that one may go on in well-doing.

You see? Evil spirits will not let one go easily. They will do many things to hold the person back, at times even with violent actions, distresses, despair, hopelessness, and manipulative lies. Once evil knows that it has no control over the person, it will stop being sweet and appealing and turn to destructive behaviors to lock us in fear. In times like those, one can only be genuine, committed, trust, and depend on the grace of God as well as guidance from spiritual masters. True conversion will be hard, and at times, painful and with a lot of doubts since we have to shake off and let go of what we are so used to in the past! Yet, only true faith can save us from our own self-created pities, codependency, and perdition that are led by evil spirits.

One needs to turn to God by regularizing the life of prayer, receive the Sacraments, and live a life of rightful conducts. One cannot just say something about God and say that he or she believes… It is not enough! The Almighty needs to take possession, be the center, highest priority, beginning and end of all of our words, thoughts, and actions. Think about this perennial wisdom that has been taught by many spiritual masters throughout the ages: “Our soul is eternal and beautiful, made by and for God. If we do not give ourselves to Him, some lesser things will creep in, possess and control it because they want it for themselves — for eternity.”

I know that I will be spiritually attacked when talking about these matters because the Devil and his minions hate it when someone speaks the truth to free and lead people from diabolical enslavement to the Almighty, yet it is the only and right thing that one can do. Only God can save us, and He has given us the necessary sacramental graces to strengthen our souls for the journey! In each and every Sacrament that we receive, there are cathartic and exorcistic elements that free us from evil and strengthen us with the grace proper to it. It is not easy, and evil will do its best to deter and turn us away from Him. Yet, it is only in the daily commitment of true faith, prayerful life, proper preparation and receiving of the Sacraments, personal conformity of right thoughts, words, and actions can we be free from cheapened, manipulative, selfish, and deceptive enslavement of the Devil and his minions. If we have strayed away, know when to come back right away. Please remember that conversion is not just a one time action, it is a daily matter and continual part of the journey!

How can one get away from evil? Turn to God.

How can one stop demonic disturbances? Go to confession and receive the sacramental healing and divine forgiveness.

How can one overcome diabolical enslavement, distractions, temptations, and backsliding? Pray daily, be honest and genuine with God, shed divine light into the creeping shadows and darkness, ask the angels and saints for their protections and intercessions, go to confession and receive the Eucharist regularly, and seek wise counsels when needed.

God bless you. Please pray for me as I am for you. Let us pray for one another in our spiritual journey so we are grounded in Him!