Dangers of the Occult, Part III…..in Him there is no darkness

forgiveness

(It would be most helpful to read part I and part II of this series first.)

Leaving Anne’s house in Georgia and returning home to North Carolina, I felt completely alone in my predicament. How could I get rid of the voices, and who were they…really?

Summoning all of my courage, I decided to consult one of the two Catholic priests who resided in our small North Carolina town. I didn’t know either of them, but chose the one whose church I had never attended.

He listened kindly as I tried to explain the unexplainable. He then told me about a nun he knew who thought she was having visions, only it was later discovered that everything she had described was pictured in the stained glass windows of her church.

My heart sank. He didn’t believe me, or worse…. he thought I was crazy.

Who would help me now? I lived in an area where there was scarcely any Catholic presence at all, and I decided not to approach the only remaining priest…the Irish one whom my husband liked so much, and to whose parish we belonged.

But God never abandons us, and He had already been working within me to set me free. He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36)

While at Anne’s house, I had already begun praying the rosary. She had to give me one because I no longer even owned a rosary. But now I felt drawn to pray it daily, and to carry it with me and to fall asleep with it cradled in my hands. I prayed often to Our Lady for her protection. I truly turned to her as a child to its Mother.

We had a crucifix on a wall in our home (thanks to my husband), and a large family bible, (also thanks to him.)  I began to kneel many times a day before that crucifix and pray the prayers I remembered from childhood.  The bible we owned was filled with beautiful pictures of the life of Christ, and I spent hours just sitting in bed looking at them…meditating, without even realizing that I was praying.

Almost immediately, I began going to daily Mass and Holy Communion, and I would stay afterward and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a long time. For many months, I went to weekly confession.

I felt drawn by an irresistible force to immerse myself in prayer and the Sacraments.

God Himself, through the Power of His Holy Spirit, was gradually setting me free from the snares I had so foolishly wandered into.

How powerful the Sacraments are in bestowing Sanctifying Grace!  I realized years later that this was why I felt compelled to go to weekly confession even though I was not in the state of mortal sin.

God was drawing me to all of the sources of grace available to me, and as grace increased in my soul, the grasp of the enemy grew weaker and weaker.

The beginning of my deliverance was something like experiencing a bad cell phone connection. The voices faded in and out. Soon, the fallen angels became so furious that they no longer even pretended to be friendly spirits. They never were. It was all evil all the time…with the possible exception of the instance in which I was gently told to go to confession. But, I cannot even be sure of the source of that.

What I can be sure of is that God’s Goodness and Mercy are beyond anything I could have ever imagined. As I prayed more and more, He began to reveal Himself to me…as He will to anyone who truly seeks Him. How kind and gentle and loving He was!

One of the ways He taught me about Himself was through Father Maurice. He gave me this dear Irish priest to be my pastor, and my close and beloved friend. I had never had a priest friend before, but Father Maurice noticed me praying all alone in the church for so many hours, and made an effort to get to know me. Sometimes he would invite me to breakfast after morning Mass.

He gave me permission to decorate our small church with the beautiful flowers my husband grew in our garden. I would hold my breath as I placed vases of the loveliest of the roses, gladioli, zinnias and daisies by the tabernacle of the King.

I dearly loved Father Maurice for his kindness and his wonderful sense of humor, but most of all for his holiness, and his great love for the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady. I know that God sent him into my life as a type or icon of Himself…a real, physical presence of a holy priest who loved and cared for me as a spiritual father.

And then there was St. Therese. By some miracle, I had included my high school copy of The Story of a Soul with the books I had brought with me when I got married. Once I found it, every page spoke to my heart. Therese was exactly what I needed. Her approach to God with such child-like confidence and intimacy at once astounded and delighted me. I began to talk to Jesus all day long about everything. I had so much to tell Him, since I had never really known Him in my 25 years of life.

Never did I feel judged or condemned. I felt only loved and forgiven…and precious. I sensed an incredible tenderness and sweetness in this God I was coming to know.

In the space of a post, it is impossible to express how perfectly and lovingly God provided for me during the 18 months following my encounter with the dangers of the occult. (It took that length of time for all the voices and other evil influences to depart.)

I have purposely left out some details, so as not to glorify evil. But, in order to warn others, I wish to emphasize that these vile creatures rage with hatred, vile language and blasphemy of God.  The momentary experience at the top of the stairs…related in the first post of this series, was an actual sensory experience of their hatred which was so strong that I felt as though I were being strangled by it. God is always in control; these spirits have no power beyond what he permits them.

Our gracious God always knows how to bring good out of evil. He allowed me to learn many lessons through what He permitted me to experience.

Perhaps the most important is that your soul and mine, and every soul which has ever been created is more cherished and loved by God than anything else in all of creation. When St. Peter tells us that we have not been purchased by silver or gold, but by the precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, he is telling us just how much God thinks our souls are worth….the Blood of His Son. There is no higher price.

The devils know this, and although they cannot harm God directly, they seek to deprive Him of His beloved children. They have not one shred of love in their beings, only hatred for God and for us.

Another positive thing which resulted from this experience is that I am acutely aware of evil. I can usually discern quickly if something is not of God…and I thank God for this grace of protection.

Yes, the voices did leave. I later learned from a reliable source that God often applies a “gentle” deliverance, over a period of time, rather than an immediate one. And, this is how it was for me. Grace upon grace destroyed the power of evil, as it always will for anyone who turns to God, no matter how deeply they may have been involved in sin.

One effect which persisted for several years, and which was quite disturbing was a functional difficulty in being able to share this story with others. On a few occasions, I tried to relate what had happened to me to friends, in order to warn them, and I found that my thoughts became somewhat jumbled and difficult to express. I had to concentrate very hard and speak quite slowly to articulate the words. The devil does not wish to be exposed.

Thanks be to God, this last reminder of demonic influence eventually faded away as well.

Twenty years after my ordeal, I was on retreat with a priest I knew well. He was a very holy priest involved in the charismatic renewal, and I asked him if he would give me something of a spiritual “check-up.” I wanted to be sure that the last vestiges of my involvement with the occult were truly gone. He prayed over me, and asked me to say such things as the Holy Name of Jesus, and to gaze upon the crucifix he was wearing. He then blessed me and told me that he saw no residual signs of my past experience. God knew I needed this final word of peace from His representative on earth.

I am so grateful to Jesus Our Lord for His Grace and Mercy.  His Love is truly beyond all telling.  If you have been deceived as I was, by evil masquerading as good, go to God and ask for His forgiveness.  Seek the help of a priest.  You can be set free, no matter what you have done.  Come into His Light!

….God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.  If we say that we share in God’s life while we are living in darkness, we are lying, because we are not living the truth.  But if we live in light, as he is in light, we have a share in each other’s life, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  (1John 1:5-7)
——————————————————————————————————

While I was in the midst of writing this three part series, I came across a week of Women of Grace television shows on EWTN which were dedicated to Healing and Deliverance through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

The guest priest, Father Christopher Crotty,CPM, is a Father of Mercy. He has a website with books, CD’s and other helpful materials related to healing and deliverance. Of the many important topics he discussed on the program, I was most interested in what he described as the five main portals through which the devil usually enters someone’s life.

Here is the list:

Any involvement with the occult (mediums, ouija boards, tarot cards, crystals, etc.)

Mind altering practices such as transcendental meditation, abuse of drugs and alcohol, etc.)

Extreme acts of violence (especially gang related violence.)

Perverse sexual acts.

Altering the appearance of one’s body so as to disfigure it by excessive tattooing, multiple piercings, and especially implanting objects to make oneself more closely resemble an animal. (I once saw a girl who had “forked” her tongue, so that it would resemble a snake’s tongue.)  There is also a fad of having “fangs” as in vampire fangs, attached to one’s teeth, or even having the teeth themselves actually reshaped this way.

If you know anyone engaged in the above practices, please warn them of the danger.

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13 thoughts on “Dangers of the Occult, Part III…..in Him there is no darkness

  1. Patricia,
    I have had Pts. 1 and 2 bookmarked. I finally read them along with this installment. I know well of what you have spoken of here~not quite to the degree you experienced it, but I did do my share of dabbling. The Ouija board which is marketed as a “toy” is anything but that. That is Satan’s ploy to snare the youth (and their parents). My one experience with a Ouija board was terrifying. A friend who was trying to find out who murdered her grandfather decided to consult the Ouija board. The case was unsolved by local police and she thought this would be her answer. I don’t remember if we got a name, but what I do remember is my drive home that night. I felt an awful presence, and it scared me to death.
    You are right when you warn not to even dabble in the occult. It is a portal straight into hell. I used my new age/occult days as a way to find what I thought I was looking for, it seemed to get me off the hook for all the wrong I had done. God’s grace worked through a patient friend.
    It was a good idea to ask the priest for that spiritual check up. DEliverance can come about in many ways, and I think more often than not God is gentle and does it gradually as He did with you.
    I have taken up enough of your comment box, so I will just thank you for sharing this.
    God bless.

    • Karin, thank you for plowing through the entire series 🙂 And thank you for sharing you own experience in your comment. It’s amazing how easily we can open ourselves to evil, even when we aren’t really seeking evil. Sometimes I think my mother having a ouija board made me more vulnerable. It’s awful that they are sold as “toys.” There is so much of the occult in games, cartoons, movies, etc. aimed at kids these days. A Catholic bookstore where I live actually held a seminar on how Harry Potter was a Christ-like figure. Pretty shocking!

      I am so glad you didn’t have a worse experience after “dabbling.” The priest on Women of Grace was really interesting. I want to order some of his CD’s. This fascination with the occult is a huge problem, and practicing Catholics don’t realize that horoscopes, having their palm read “for fun,” etc., is so very dangerous. Thank God you escaped the ouija board experience without worse consequences.

      Yes, I’m very glad I had the spiritual check-up too. It had been two decades and I felt sure I was fine, but how wonderful to hear it from a holy and trusted priest! And Karin, you can fill up my comment box anytime. I love hearing from you! xo ; )

  2. Hi Patricia,
    Thank you for writing this series about the occult and the dangers of it – I thought they were very well written and I liked how you focused on God’s love and mercy
    throughout the series 🙂 Sending you a big hug!

    (I hope you got my e-mail…lol. I think we are all set now but figured I’d leave a message just in case. You’ll never guess what the homily was about at Mass today: Holy Boldness! I’ve never heard a priest speak about this before! What are the odds that I’d never hear a homily on this in my whole life and then hear about it after I start praying for it? Funny, I had to smile 🙂

    God bless!

    • Hi Mary, thanks for the hug…..and thanks for reading all of this and offering your support. I’m so grateful for your comment about the focus on God’s love and mercy. I’m so thankful that came through. I was praying it would. I am still astounded at how He got me to confession and then delivered me from the mess into which I had entangled myself. How Good He is! And how precious is each soul in His eyes!

      Yes, we are all set now 🙂 But, I will probably always be paranoid with all the trouble we had! I wish I could have seen your face when the priest starting speaking about Holy Boldness lol! I have never heard that mentioned anywhere. BTW, I do have kindle, and will get that book you mentioned in your e-mail. Mary, maybe you are the apostle of Holy Boldness! For sure, we need it in this day and age. I am definitely not bold, so it’s definitely something I need to (timidly 😉 pray for. Love and hugs….xo

  3. Hello Patricia! I am so glad you finally wrote this last part. I had been waiting to find out how it all ended. What a great witness to the power of the rosary and sacraments. By applying ourselves to Christ and His Mother, the devil flees. Thank you for telling us about Fr. Crotty and the Women of Grace interviews. I will check that out.

    We have several books written by exorcists which we began collecting and searching for answers in after dealing with someone whom we believe may be possessed and also another person who had been involved in Wicca. One book that stands out the most to me is called, Exorcism by Fr. Jeremy Davies. It is a tiny book, but it has good information such discerning when to seek help and when to “shut the door” or ignore evil so as not to let the devil get his foot into the door. I think it was Fr. Amorth who wrote that people in this day and age become possessed or obsessed most often by abortion and by involvement in cults organizations and religions.

    I have heard that a big factor in demonic harassment and possession stems from fewer and fewer children being baptized. I think it was Fr. Basil Nortz in his talks about Working with the Angels says that we should always surround ourselves with light, goodness and beauty. Ugliness or dark subjects in art or decorating, architecture or dressing opens the door to the demonic. Beauty keeps us close to God.

    This is an interesting subject and so much needed for discussion in our world today. Thank you for being bold in telling us your story 🙂

    • Monica, what an interesting comment! I have also heard what you wrote about fewer babies being baptized resulting in more demonic activity in general. In fact, possession is most common in non-Christian countries. I also totally agree with what you said about beauty. Isn’t it true that those who dedicate themselves to evil do these ugly things to their bodies, dress offensively, surround themselves with hideous music, “art,” etc?

      I have a very good friend who loves horror films. She often goes to see them all by herself (none of us want to go with her!) I worry about her attraction to this gorey stuff. Since my own experiences, I find that I flee from anything dark, violent, or especially in the horror genre.

      I agree with you that God is Beauty, and true beauty lifts our souls and draws us to Him.

      Let me know which CD’s you have from Opus Angelorum, and I’ll be happy to share some of mine. I have most of what they have available.

      God bless you Monica, and protect you always. He is so good that we have nothing to fear when we stay close to Him…and the Sacraments. Of course, sacramentals are wonderful gifts too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 xoxo

  4. Patricia, What a courageous thing to tell your story of deliverance. I cherish it and like the others couldn’t wait for this third installment. It’s difficult to explain the dangers of the occult to others. Stories like yours give credence to the true and ultimate healing power of God. I understand that initial confusion when trying to explain your experience to others and how hard the enemy tries to keep a stronghold. A greater good has come of it all –thank God –for there surely is no one who can argue away such a healing…It’s a powerful testimony. I also understand when you say:

    “Another positive thing which resulted from this experience is that I am acutely aware of evil. I can usually discern quickly if something is not of God” This too, is a great gift.

    Holy boldness…These are the days that will require it of us…especially those who have seen such great deliverance from evil. No longer silent is what we are…

    Praise the Lord and thank you for all you testify of Him.
    Love and Blessings always +

    • Caroline, truly God is so faithful and good! I would always advise anymore who has been involved in the occult to seek help from a priest as soon as possible. But, as in my case, when I had tried, but there seemed to be no one to help me, God did not abandon me, nor would He abandon anyone in that situation.

      It really is difficult to warn people, especially nowadays when the occult hides in the guise of the innocuous…like Long Island medium (or whatever her name is) whom you mentioned previously. I don’t think I told you that on our recent trip to Boston, we took a side trip to Salem (my husband is a big history buff.) Instead of history, we found a town promoting the “industry” of witchcraft. People were running everywhere getting their palms read, etc. We went to a museum which had a presentation of the salem witch trials, etc. I just sat in the back and prayed the whole time. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. The exit was through a horrendous gift shop filled with occult items. Talk about creepy!

      It’s so comforting that you “understand” some of the things I mentioned. I know that you mean from your own personal insight and experience.

      Yes, we definitely need “Holy Boldness.” Maybe sweet Mary R. will teach us. I hope she writes a post about it. (Hint,hint, Mary!) 🙂

      Caroline, thank you so much for being there while I was writing this. I’ve always wanted to share this, but kept putting off writing about it. It was so long ago, and not the best time in my life to re-visit. I heard a young woman on Catholic radio the other day who had recently come out of paganism. She actually had worshipped pagan gods. Yet, our GOD had delivered her, and she is now learning about her Catholic faith. No one is a lost cause. How great and Merciful is our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ!!!

      On a joyful note….I keep checking your blog to see that little face with the chubby cheeks. Hope you get his picture up soon. Let me know if the problem is on my end. Love and hugs! xoxo

  5. Patricia,

    Thank you for part 3. I have never experienced such an open battle with evil, so I appreciate you having the courage to tell your story, in order that I can understand. What a long and difficult experience you had. But how loved and blessed you must feel now that you have come through the other side. And how much you must cling to God and rely on His strength. When we have been through an experience where we have had to rely on God alone for our survival, we are bound closer to God and hopefully we won’t ever stray too far from His side.

    God bless!

    • . When we have been through an experience where we have had to rely on God alone for our survival, we are bound closer to God and hopefully we won’t ever stray too far from His side.

      Sue, that is so very true. God always brings good out of everything, if we let Him. And sometimes it seems that the greater the probelm, the more blessings He bestows. May He be forever praised!

      Thankfully, all of this happened more than 30 years ago. And, it does seem very remote now, thanks be to God. I mostly wanted to warn others who happen upon my blog, as well as to publicly thank GOD for His immense Mercy and Goodness to me.

      I am so glad you have never been as foolish as I was to get mixed up in this stuff. In the beginning, it always seems “good.’ The old devil pretending to be an angel of light.

      I really appreciate your reading and commenting Sue. Only a really good friend would hang in there and read all three posts. 🙂 And you are certainly that kind of friend. Much love and big hugs!

      • Patricia,

        I found all three of your posts very helpful reading. I didn’t need to ‘hang in there’! I am glad I had the opportunity to share your experience. God bless you! xx

        • Sue, thank you for reading all three parts of this series. It turned out longer than I thought it would. It’s not really all that unusual..what happened to me. I found it really interesting that some friends commented with similar experiences. It’s good to remember that we are truly in a spritual battle. I’m glad that Pope Francis often reminds us that the devil is really out there. However, the loveliest part is that God is always with us and He is infinitely greater and more powerful than any evil. Hugs to you Sue! xoxo

          Hope the blog monsters stay away from you 🙂

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