Monday, January 14, 2008

The Suffering of the Devil

Don't mean to express that the devil suffers, although that might be an interesting consideration, for something so evil and sick seems pathetic, and full of what might seem like a suffering, pathetic "thing."

No, what is meant is the suffering that the devil causes. The devil causes suffering in the mode of attack and then in the victim's reaction. The devil is expert in surprise attacks and in knowing what is going to stir the most confusion and terror. This is individual.

The devil can do much damage during the night, for the victim is at rest and in the dark and unsuspecting. St. John of the Cross explains that the devil is allowed into the levels of the imagination, emotions and senses--but is not allowed into the will and intellect: into the center of the soul. Well, that's good news.

But the horror that can be lit in the other levels is horror enough. Surely it took the Cure d'Ars and Padre Pio, and others who had demonic attacks either in vision and supernatural form or in tangible assault, did not handle these with expertise except after practice. Doubtful that the Cure simply rolled over and fell back asleep the first several times Old Grappler shook his bed or caught it on fire. So it is a matter of training, of learning to trust God more and more and to not fear the "terrors of the night."

Or the terrors of the day. The recent experience here has been quite a learning lesson and very good practice. This is the third day that no hate mail or threat letters have come or packets left on the porch. It seems that the adult son was able to stop the letter from being printed; but it is suspected that the paper may not have printed it, anyway, for it would be a written, recorded statement of the newspaper's gross negligence in printing someone's falsified, endangering story to begin with.

One couple has expressed disagreement in not having the letter printed. They feel the neighbor will strike again at some other level or way, or that the other people will still think I did those things. It has come down to what inner peace says, and inner peace says that the soul feels some calm now, and that the greater good is to wait, and to pray, and to return to what was being done prior to this horrible ordeal. So we turn it into a glorification of God, and the devil was quite angry with the progress of the soul in living in more solitude, prayer, penance, spiritual reading and awareness of how to love others as Jesus loves, and to suffer with others--even very sick others who have opened to demonic influence.

In the couple's defense, they are more called to active apostolate so would not comprehend as easily the contemplative reaction. But, the truth is, the detective seems to have done as he said he would and felt: after his talk with the neighbor, the mail and packets would stop. The postal inspector no doubt has been a help in this.

The devil does not like loving kindness. The devil does not like meekness, or of forgiveness, or of rational consideration. He liked it when I was a mess, when I could not pray or read or think clearly any more. He liked it when I was terrorized and gave into te terror. But he didn't like it when I accepted that I was at the mercy of God and others prayed me through this--kind and holy others who prayed when I could not. He did not like it that prayers were offered for the instruments he has infiltrated: prayers for their healing and their souls. The devil does not like it that since the storm's eye seems to have been scattered, at least for now, that we are not exposing the sick neighbor, and I am satisfied with allowing others to think terrible things about me, as long as they do not go across the criminal boundary line. Then, perhaps in time, they will think otherwise, or perhaps not. The devil does not like it that I appreciate the total annihilation of who I am by what they think and wrote and threatened. The devil does not like that I did not want anything of me recognized, no sympathy evoked, no hatred invoked as a result, toward these evil doers. I will "die" with dignity on that point, but I will report any further wrongs immediately, if there are any.

The devil wanted me to move out. The devil wanted lots of things. The thoughts crossed the mind, but they did not linger long. It seems like a very long nightmare in daylight, but it has only been two weeks. The devil would like frantic fear of what if's and what might happen later. One must not do what the devil likes--or at least not for long. Just as soon as one can figure out what the devil likes, the opposite must be enacted. And, then one must figure out what it was that irked the devil to begin with, and do that and even more. Love is the greatest detestation for the devil.

Then we offer this suffering of dealing with the devil, for it can become a victorious sacrifice of praise to offer God Most High.
Strength is gained, knowledge and experience of such matters grow in the mind and soul, people join in to advise and pray and support in the battle, hope is held out for those trapped in the devil's snare, and most of all, love is learned, and God is Love and loved.

2 Comments:

Blogger Marie said...

What the devil does like is a LOT of attention. It is healthy to simply let go of situations in which one has no control. When it comes to others we have no control except to PRAY for them and leave them be...:). There are some people who are simply mean for meanness sake. And to be near them even if trying to help is like prodding a snake, it will STRIKE at one.

I go along with St. Teresa of Avila who upon wakening saw the devil at the foot of her bed, looked at him and said, 'oh, its only you.' This great Saint then turned over and went straight back to sleep.

Have I suffered slander and been vilified in front of numerous people? Of course. You will be when you speak and take a STAND for God's Truth and our Holy Church.

The question is NOT what you suffer, but HOW you suffer:).

I wish you peace and PRAY that your neighbour will also let things go.....

Peace, JOY & Love to you:)

Marie

8:42 PM  
Blogger zenith said...

Yes, I so agree. But is it a progression, another learning? Did St. Teresa wake up the first time the devil tormented her in her bed, and say that? We don't know. It took me several assaults by the devil during the night in order to handle it that way, to simply hold out my rosary or tell him to bug off, or to smile and thank the Lord that I was evidently doing something pleasing in order for the devil to try to bother me.

It was the same with attacks from others over speaking out for Christ. And for attacks of the devil within the dreams. And for his tangible appearances. It just took me a few times or even more, to get used to these.

Now is the case that this one took me by surprise, for I've not had such a public attack, nor to experience along with it, a great oneness with others who are in a kind of terror. I have been suffering at one with all kinds of people: children living in fear, women abused, those in countries without freedoms, soldiers, elderly overwhelmed. All these have been tandem in my heart, and I was allowed to experience in a minor way, some of the felt terror.

It wasn't such a single situation; God brought many facets to it. Especially there was a sense of great love going on, too, but a humbling of how weakened one becomes within the confusion and chaos. You are so right that it is how one suffers that matters. But I am not as advanced.

Maybe there are others who are beginners, too, and thus will not feel so ashamed (although that is very good for humility, to see how poorly one handles matters) that they do not suffer the devil's attacks as well as one advanced in the spiritual life.

The Staretz (St. Silouan) has thoughts on relationships to our neighbor and unity of the spiritual world that I'll write on a blog.

Thank you SO MUCH, Marie, for the prayers and the clarity of view. You bring it to the simple reality that it is, once one gets to simplicity.

6:41 AM  

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