Devil working against you


#1

So, I’ve been reflecting on my life lately, and since I was 14 I have devoted my life to serving God in any way I can. For many years I wanted to join religious life, but then I discerned that I was called to marriage. There was a point when I would pray several rosaries a day and go to daily mass as well as regular confession. I would teach about God’s love and the gospel to non-Catholics (even when I knew they might hate me because of it). (I also think I should add that I didn’t do it in a judgemental way but in a kind and gentle way). I don’t say this to say “hey look at how holy I am”, but to illustrate how I lived my life.

Now, also since I was 14 I have had many people desert me. First, it was my friends in high school, then my friends in college and then after I got married, my own family (parents, siblings and relatives) turned against me and shut me out of their life. I have found earthly reasons why this may have happened, but now I wonder if on a spiritual level the devil hates me so much and see the good that I was doing that he was able to turn those people against me.

Unfortunately, after my family turned their backs on me I have lost my faith a bit. I really only go to mass on Sunday and say grace before meals. I’ve internalized a lot of the shame they have projected onto me for “disobeying” them and getting married to my husband. I still go to confession when I need to, but I have felt so condemned by others that I feel like I can’t be “holy” in public anymore. But, I’m starting to feel that this is just a way the devil has found how to keep me silent. I would really appreciate any further reading on this topic and especially prayers. I love God and I want to serve him. But I’m having trouble moving forward spiritually. I want to stop feeling defeated. I am going to start praying more though because I think this is key. But any other thoughts and suggestions are welcome. I’m particularly interested in learning more about the “behind the scenes”, so to speak, of the spiritual life. So, if there are any good resources I can read about how the power of God defeats satan I would love to learn about it. I know there are exorcists who have given talks and such and I would be very interested in learning more about their view of things. Thanks so much and God bless!


#2

Generally, when you leave primary and secondary education, you will not see those persons again. That’s life for the secular and religious. Those you love may often feel threatened by your piety. Nevertheless, do not change as you are an example to them - even bringing about deathbed conversions in some cases.

Consider: The vow of poverty includes family. So, those who profess it are leaving everyone they love for someone whom they love much more. Our Lord did say,

“And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or
mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”

As to spiritual reading, so many choices! One that I have found to be provocative, fairly intense, and profoundly spiritual is Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen. A classic work of spirituality, based on the principles of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross. It is daily reflections, so it is digestible.


#3

Thank you for your suggestion. I will definitely look into getting a copy of that. I also may be misunderstanding you, but I didn’t take a vow of poverty because I got married. It was the anger and condemnation I felt from my family because I chose to be faithful to my husband that made me think of their cutting me off in a “spiritual warfare” kind of way. I know it is normal to leave these people behind at some point, but the divisiveness that has come into my family is scary to be perfectly honest. I think I should make this clear.


#4

The Bible tell us God’s faithful ones need to pray for protection. Lots of devout catholics read daily: Psalm 91, and the Ephesians Armour of God, for this reason.

Some catholic exorcists recommend praying daily for protection.

It was also for this reason that Pope Leo gave the whole Church the Saint Michael prayer.
At the very least pray the Saint Michael prayer each day :slight_smile:


#5

I think there’s a time when we all need to come to spiritual maturity, and make a definite decision to cling to Christ no matter what or whom is holding us back. It takes courage, especially when it means the lonely feeling of being different, or leaving others behind, or leaving the sense of comfort and security we get by “not making waves.” But it must be done. I always thing of the martyrs, especially the many (like, as just one example, Thomas More) who could easily have just kept quiet and gone along with everyone else, thus saving their lives. However, they made the leap of faith. For each of us, this leap is different, although it does always involve suffering.


#6

There is a famous Catholic Quote of Saint Theresa of Avila:

‘It is better to have no friends than to have friends that would lead you to Hell.’

An excellent Catholic charismatic book to read is:
‘More of the Holy Spirit’ by Sister Anne Shields

(She experienced what you describe, lukewarmness to God, until she developed a close relationship to the Holy Spirit and her life changed forever in a powerful way). She describes what catholics should do daily to nurture that love of God and keep it burning strong.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is approved by the Vatican’s Doctrinal Commission and Popes
(This is an exerpt from the Vatican’s Doctrinal commission into the Catholic Charismatic Renewal)

Every state and country has a national catholic charismatic renewal website with lists of local prayer groups/ regional weekend retreats/ healing masses/ annual retreat weekend. Join some of these if you can.


#7

Satan can only tempt us to sin. Satan does not have the sort of power that we want to attest to him.

I’d suggest Dr Peter Kreeft’s work on Angels and Demons.


#8

A POWERFUL book also to read is:
‘Unbound’ by Neal Lozano. (He is a catholic, nephew of exorcist charismatic healing priest Fr Michael Scanlan )

It is a book on how to focus on God in your life, and God’s plan for your life, and not focus on unforgiveness/ hate/ sin. A very faith inspiring book filled with testimonies of catholics and christians who turned their lives powerfully toward Jesus.
God’s plan is GREATER.


#10

Well, Im pretty sure Im not buying into a lie because I have tried to connect with my family over and over but they keep rejecting me. I continually pray for them, but I haven’t seen them in years because of their anger towards me.


#11

All you can do is pray for them :slight_smile:
And forgive them :slight_smile:

God works in mysterious ways. Pray that he will convert their hearts.


#12

I love them very much and pray that they will change their hearts towards me.


#13

A lot of interesting things in this one Mary67 :innocent:
Your letting people - make you feel condemned - ?
You should feel sorry for them, for their lack of empathy towards you.
You’re internalizing shame - that they are projecting on you ?
You feel defeated ?
I wish I could give you a strong seagull hug !

I like your ultimate awareness -
That you are having trouble moving forward spiritually.
The devil wants you to be stuck -
You need to re-evaluate your week by week routine -
You got to step up this warfare -


#14

I mentioned the vow solely because those who take it renounce essentially everything - including family. They must receive a dispensation from that vow even to attend a funeral!

You may have lost family for now, but will gain them later. Live out a quiet and devout faith and that will be attractive to those who rejected you.


#15

I frankly think that rather than look for spiritual reading on how the devil does this or that, you look at the practical circumstances of why your family are angry with you. If they just decided to be angry with you over something unreasonable, or something beyond your control, or because they are jealous or don’t like how you chose to live your life, then all you can do is pray for them and try to reach out from time to time.

You really can’t control people’s behavior - only your own reaction to it. The devil didn’t make your family be angry at you. They made that choice themselves.

As for friends in high school and friends in college, many of us have friends who decide to go their own way and aren’t always nice about it. By the time I was out of high school, I was so annoyed with every supposed “friend” I had there that I ceased to speak to almost all of them. The 2 or 3 who I liked enough to maybe keep in touch with soon went their own ways, as did I, because we all developed different interests. I do stay in distant touch with a few friends from college, but most of the people I met there didn’t exactly behave like good friends either. I don’t think any of these things had to do with the devil or my spirituality or lack thereof, but rather with the fact that people at young ages are focusing on their own lives and personal interests, and anybody who doesn’t fit in is quickly set aside in favor of somebody who fits in better. I’ll also admit that I myself have dropped friendships when I lost interest in someone or they didn’t share my interests anymore or simply weren’t fun to be around. It’s part of life that very few friends will truly be lifetime friends.


#16

Good afternoon Mary67, and I hope you’re doing well today. There are many books you could read on the subject of personal spiritual journeys, but I would offer that there is no substitute for direct dialog with others. Authors usually have a point to sell, and I have found no profound answers offered by any of them that fit every life, as every life is different. But we can work things out for ourselves, and as it happens it turns out that most of us are in that same process of struggling with this or that aspect of ourselves. That said, could you be so kind as to elaborate a bit on what is meant by saying that people have abandoned you? In what ways do you feel they’ve abandoned you, and what do you think are the reasons? You mentioned that getting married alienated you from some people? Do you feel that is because of the particular person you married or because of the idea of you getting married in general? Whose ideas with regard to who you are supposed to be are you falling short of - some idea you had about who you were going to be, or some ideas that others had about who and what you should be? What is stopping you from being “holy” by doing just what you’re doing? In other words, do you think it’s possible that the love you have given your husband and children and others around you could in truth be holier than any rituals you may have failed to perform? Just some question that come to mind.

Thank you for sharing your experience!


#17

have you said the forgiveness prayer ? ,why dont you try, visiting them


#18

He does that for everyone. The devil that is. Working to tempt us the more we try to get closer to God. Believing we are special and that is why he attacks us more is just another temptation from him to ignite our pride.
There is a lot lacking in your story like is your family Catholic, is your husband Catholic, why exactly they don’t like him or what reasons have they given for not liking him. You don’t owe us any details I just think to step back a little before you see it all as a spiritual warfare.
God bless, please take care!


#19

I see what you are saying but one thing that comes to my mind is when Pope John Paul II forgave his shooter. He said that he didn’t ultimately blame the man but rather Satan for leading the man to sin. So, I think everything in our life is a battle between good and evil. Does that make sense?

I know that my family could be narcissistic or mentally ill or whatever, but in the end, it is the devil that tempted them to mistreat their daughter. (I am a faithful Catholic, I have never been promiscuous, I don’t curse, I have never been on drugs or abused alcohol and I have always done everything my family wanted me to do to support them.) I know there isn’t much I can do to persuade them to respect me if they are set on disrespecting (and even abusing me as a child). It is the thoughts the evil one has put in their head that causes them to be angry at me. My parents haven’t said anything to me except for prying questions and disapproving looks back when I was in contact with them, but I think they believe I was being sinful when I was not ( I suppose its call projection in psychology). And, no matter how pious I have been they have just decided to believe their false ideas about me. I honestly can’t say why they treat me like they do, but I am being completely honest when I say I have tried my best to fix the situation. They haven’t tried at all, so I have just learned to let them go for now as painful as it is. I feel like my future kids wont know their grandparents at this point which makes me so sad. And, it has been difficult because extended family members believe their false accusations about me and have shunned me as well. And, in the few correspondences, I have had with my family over the years they have also completely ignored my husband. I guess the situation has been so hopeless that it has made me have a crisis of faith. But, I want to get back to doing the devotions I used to. Not only for the sake of my family but more so for myself and my husband.


#20

Yes…pray much! Perhaps you can share what you did here with a priest at some point.

God bless you…


#21

Yes. And without a doubt he continued to pray.
I believe you when you say you now feel somehow blocked in praying how you used to. Maybe you need other people praying for you too. Talk with a priest and he will pray for you too.
The devil is also there to be ignored and stepped over. God is omnipotent. The devil is not.
You are definitely in prayers.
God bless.


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