Tell me your struggles

I read these forums and I read so little about the struggles that come along with trying to lead a holy life. People say to fight temptation and fight sin, however it leaves me wondering if I am really alone in some of the things I have mentioned. When you read about Saints being tormented by demons, I truly understand what they mean. Not in the physical sense, and I hope that it never comes to that for me but I can literally feel it around me. Putting fears and confusion into my head which I must fight out daily.

Slowly, God and I have began fixing the things in my life that I have found were evils grip on me and I have come so far in a very short time but I have only found one other person that can relate to me on this.

Do any of you sense the evil? Do any of you feel the things they put into your head to try to stop your journey to become one with God? Havent any of you sat up at night, gripped from fear and praying for God to fix it and to just let you get through the night? I can sometimes feel the evil working through people around me. Someone walks into the door and there it is, that feeling. The foulness.

Since I have started my journey to get closer to God, I can only thank him for getting me through and praise him for what he has done. However I am beginning to wonder why I experience this and so few others I have talked to feel it. Sure, they fight things as does everyone but so few people speak of things that I have experienced.

Those of you who sit there and read and think I am nuts, I am happy for you that you dont have to experience it. Are there any others out there that have done this and have gone through it?

I want to hear stories from people who struggle like I do, so that I know I am not alone.

This is a great thread. I’m surprised you haven’t found any answers.

While I cannot speak on behalf of Christianity as a whole, I can absolutely guarantee you that many people go through similar spiritual struggles. We’re all human. But you know, that’s what is so great about Christianity. If you are a Christian and you find yourself struggling to stay on the right path you can ask for guidance from Jesus and his Church. Better yet, even if you do end up down the wrong path, you know that all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and Jesus welcomes you back into the fold.

But yes, everyone goes through these struggles. We’re only human – and Jesus knew that.

I don’t know that any of my struggles have had any demonic influence, but I have had times where it seemed as if there was a terrible rage inside me that wanted only to get out and destroy everything I saw. I have been all made up of fear for most of my life. I hated myself and lashed out at all the people I knew. I had no control over my behavior. The constant anxiety I lived with pushed to me do things I knew I shouldn’t do, but I couldn’t stop myself. I never stopped worrying about what was going to happen and what everyone thought of me and what I was supposed to do in any situation. I thought that every little thing I did wrong meant I was doomed, that God would hate me and that there was no hope for me. I can still feel all of this inside me, and I sincerely hope it never returns to the way it was. It was endless torment. It’s not entirely gone, but at least I can manage now. I have that to be grateful for. I recently started praying a rosary every day and that is helping, somehow. I can be calm sometimes now, and it feels so good! But I know I have to be careful or my issues will resurface. I was born into a Catholic family so I’ve always believed that God exists, but I never prayed much and I’ve never taken my problems to Him before because I didn’t really think He could help me. I never trusted him before, and I have been working very hard to do so now. I hope so much that everything will turn out all right in the end.

Well, I hope that this is what you were looking for, and that you never give up your quest. The Lord be with you.

I think my quote from Romans in my sig sums up precisely all my struggles…

Here is a wonderful site and forum about spiritual battles and demonic possesion,harrasment,etc.

My stuggle is having no stability in my family.

My struggle is loneliness.

Oh yeah, ditto to that.

Inconsistancy in the teachings of the Church.

We cannot get straight answers to very hard questions. Hard (I mean truly hard) questions when pressed are avoided. If we follow Catholic teaching to the letter of the law, almost all those we love are doomed to burn in hell for eternity (let alone ourselves). This, is truly my biggest struggle with the Church and especially with those on these forums.

We are to be joyous, yet most will be damned. Where is the joy?

I struggle with pornography and everything that comes with it! :o

Thanks for the answers, and hopefully we get more in this thread.

Spiritualunity, thank you VERY much for that link. That was along the lines I was talking about. It seems that sometimes I will just be normal and get “attacked”. Not physically. but mentally and in a way thats very strange and not many have been able to relate to. My friend tells me all the time he is proud of me for how good I am doing with this, considering I cannot receive the Eucharist or accept any other sacraments yet. However, sometimes at night, I am exhausted, fighting and trying to rid my mind of the sin that was my life for so long.

As I read your replies, I have gone through so much of what you guys have posted. I used to have severe anger problems, but beat them myself before God came into my life. Pornography, I do much better at now. I average one slip every two weeks now?? Something like that. Its funny, because the urge is SO strong, but when the act itself happens, its so not worth it.

Being lonely is one I still struggle with. They say “you are never alone”, however I cant cuddle in bed at night with God and he cant hold my hand as I walk down the street. Its so hard to detach yourself from the human world

It seems I am in a never ending war, a real war. With every really good day I have, I know a bad one is coming.

Mijoy hit a nerve as well. I do know we can find happiness in this world, however I believe that when God comes into our lives, the happiness changes. We must struggle in order to be truly happy. Is all that we are supposed to do here, is suffer until God blesses us with something to enjoy here? Thats what I am trying the most to accept right now. The fact that I need to submit to his will and realize that everything that happens, happens because he has a plan for us.

Worry about everything that we are doing wrong, however worrying is wrong within itself!!!

Enough ranting for today.

I hope more people add to this thread because the more replies we all see, the more we realize we are not alone in this war that each of us are waging individually, every day.

My struggle is with worry, and it distracts me from God.

Well aside from those that have been conveniently mentioned. (The first one though is hopefully coming to pass), my struggles would probably stem from two other things.

  1. An increasingly dangerous hatred for myself (long story).

  2. Complete… utter… boredomcracks neckiraira surundayo

Dear “stayfa1thful” You are not alone in your struggles, dear soul. Sin and temptation are obstacles for every single one of us. :sad_yes:

You mentioned “fear and confusion” and I felt a need to reply, because those two have been specific obstacles in my life, as well. I have struggled especially in the last 5-6 years, with fear. Fear of everything. The enemy is constantly placing before me the thought that I have been left alone, “abandoned” with the care of my poor, elderly mother. And that “no one cares about you (me)”… and even to the point of trying to convince me that “God doesn’t care about you (me)”. So… I should be afraid. VERY afraid.

It is true, evil is all around us. We are in a real, spiritual battle. In 1884, Pope Leo XIII received a shocking vision regarding the devil ravaging against the Church. Shortly after the experience, he composed the short prayer to St. Michael to be included in the prayers at the end of Mass.

In reading the Catholic Answers forums, I have become aware of a “common experience” among the members. That is… the closer one becomes to God… the MORE the devil will “step up” it’s attacks on that soul. So… again… you are not alone in this. :hug1:

If you are not already doing these two things… I would really encourage you start. One, pray the Rosary… daily, if possible. Two, ask a priest to enroll you in the Brown Scapular, and start wearing it… daily.

Our Blessed Mother’s intercession and protection have been very important in my own “battle”. She is awesome! And will secure special graces for those of her children devoted to the Rosary and the Brown Scapular. The devil is afraid of Our Lady. She is a powerful Advocate for us.

Btw… I don’t think you are “nuts” at all. The battle is REAL. I think, once we are all in Heaven… we might even be a bit shocked to see how real it was, and much it tinged our earthly lives. But we DO have “weapons” for the fight! The Sacraments! The Mass! The Rosary! The Brown Scapular!

God bless you! :slight_smile:

I strongly recommend you start a thread about this. I’m very interested in hearing exactly what the inconsistencies you see are. It’s not as bad as you think, for God is full of love and pours it out to everyone. I think the enemy may be interfering with your vision by making you see only destruction where there is really hope and life.

We all need to understand more perfectly how overwhelmingly merciful God is. Have you ever prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet of St. Faustina? I recommend praying it. It’s an amazing prayer, Jesus gave it to the saint, and you can find it online. I believe there also are often blessings conveyed by venerating the image of the Divine Mercy. It sounds to me like the devotion you need to be practicing most.

My struggle is with chastity and with the desire to have some kind of visual confirmation of God. I guess the reason behind the second one is my desire to be special to God. I understand God loves me, and I Him, it’s just one of those things that would be awesome.

stayfaithful, most of the struggles you’ve referred to, I strongly relate to. I am not experiencing any of them at the stage of life I’m at right now. Right now, my struggle is against pride. My battle is to become humble. Right now, though, I feel like I’m being led through a sunny plain. It’s a very good time for me, full of joy and peace and blessings. I know it’s only the preparation for a much harder time ahead- God has made that extremely clear to me. That’s where I am now, though. I know what you’re talking about, though, very keenly. Life is full of great battles and small ones.

When I was converting to Catholicism, I had a lot of arguments with my family. All my family and friends were Protestant, so it was an extremely rocky transition. I was told my beliefs were the spirit of the anti-christ and the spiritual experiences God and the Virgin Mary gave me to confirm my journey were demonic. I felt extremely alienated, every day harassed by doubts and fears that I was going against God’s will. I prayed so much during that period for help, and received it every time, in the form of some new special sign from God that this was from Him and I should keep following Him as I knew I should. Jesus was my strength, and He saw me through.

Pornography I haven’t directly gone through in the way you have, but I fell really badly once, reading from a strongly graphic rape scene in a book when I knew I was doing wrong. I deliberately defied God’s will when I did that, and consequently for years after that I had to battle against dwelling on sexualized images in my head. Sometimes I experienced this as a demonic presence. It had a grip on me and it took years of fighting before the Lord finally made it leave me.

Battling the demonic has been the hardest fight I’ve had to engage in. I really think evil spirits were attacking me while I was converting. I could feel evil very strongly at that time, the evil of the heresies I was abandoning, the evil of the world I was leaving, and I could see with incredible clarity the beauty of the Catholic Church I was joining. I could sense in my soul and see clearly with my inner eyes the great darkness and the light, and yet I was constantly being attacked and needing God’s support.

Coming into a relationship with God in Protestantism (before my conversion to Catholicism) was an even harder road for me, because I didn’t know God at all then, didn’t appeal for His aid anywhere near as often and didn’t feel His constant support. During that time, I was filled with hunger so strong I sometimes even felt as though it was physical and considered eating more food to try to fill it. It was like having a second stomach, and the second stomach could not be filled. I began praying for union with God, and as I did a demon attacked me in the most painful experience of my life. For many months I was overwhelmed by these compulsive inner pressures to murder my family members and/or myself. Several times I nearly gave in. I was teetering on the edge of a cliff, and I nearly became a murderer. But God’s Spirit, I am convinced, protected me from ever going quite over that edge, even though I nearly did.* The inner compulsion to murder was in no way a natural part of me. I had great relationships with my family, my life was going great, and those feelings just began hitting me as soon as I started praying earnestly for a deeper relationship with God.

Finally, God answered my prayers and revealed Himself to me, and He filled my life with joy. I finally told my parents what had been going on (I’d kept it to myself because I thought I might be going insane and I didn’t want to be sent to an asylum), and they concluded it was a demon. They laid hands on me and prayed for me, and for a few days I was demon-free. But then it came back.

It came back at night while I was sleeping. I dreamed that a door swung open and red ants came pouring out in a great stream. Amongst them was one of particularly enormous size. It was like a lobster in size, with many pincers and claws. It came at me but was knocked over on its back (my parents’ prayers), but then it righted itself and charged straight at me.

I was horrified and jolted awake, and then I was even more horrified because I saw the monster in my dreams right there next to me on the bed. I saw it with my waking eyes. I jumped back and saw it skitter down the bed and vanish into thin air.

I got up out of bed and went into the living room and sensed it powerfully, but this time could not see it. I sensed desperate hatred and the longing to murder and kill.

I prayed, dedicating myself to Christ and appealing for His protection. Then I prayed against the spirit and banished it, and it fled the room.

The next few nights, I could sense it prowling around outside the house, but finally I appealed strongly for the Lord to send me His angels and I sensed them. They filled the house with peace and a strong presence of holiness, and I never sensed or saw that evil spirit again.

Later, since converting to Catholicism, I was attacked by evil spirits again. That was last Lent, during one of the top three spiritual turning points of my life, as I came into far closer union with God than I’ve ever had. The top three spiritual transformative points in my life were the beginning of my original relationship with God in Protestantism, my conversion into Catholicism, and last Lent, when my spiritual journey really began taking me into my own soul and into transforming the inner life. Each of those times was one of my closest experiences with God and simultaneously included most of my closest encounters with the enemy.

I think that the reason the enemy is attacking you so much right now is that you are coming home to the Catholic Church. Wear the Brown Scapular and pray the Rosary, those are my recommendations. Also, perhaps, you may want to get access to sacramentals. I’ll remember you in my prayers.

I know what you mean… but I’ve been thinking… visions and such are not at all proof of holiness :slight_smile: there were Saints who never had them. What makes us special in God’s eyes is just how much we love Him. Consolations are not the greatest gifts…sharing in the Cross is a greater favour.

that being said, every person IS completely special to God, He loves each person with His whole Heart, not a part of it. So if you were the only person on earth, He’d love you just the same as He does now. I’m sure if we were to meet Jesus…we’d understand fully just how personal His love is :slight_smile:

God bless :slight_smile:

Lief Erikson,

wow…thank you for sharing your journey.

the second paragraph…I could have written it. Sounds so similar to what I went through as well.

when I was coming into the Church I was spiritually attacked too. I was feeling very lonely because almost everyone I know disagreed with my conversion in some way, I was being told I’m going to hell. Then, one time, I was attacked so strongly I feared I was going to be possessed. I was scared and told my mom a bit of it but she started worrying that I’m losing my mind. Since coming to the Sacraments things have improved but I have noticed this too, that the enemy seems to attack the most when God is working in our lives. How he tried to stop me from becoming Catholic, and later from making my Total Consecration to Mary. I’m thankful that God and Our Lady and His Angels and Saints got me through!! God always helped me see in the end that what I did had been right after all, despite all the confusion I felt at the time.

Right now, I feel that praying the Rosary has been helping me a lot. But sometimes - and I do think this is demonic - I get this really strong temptation to think really horrible things about God or my loved ones. Then I feel like I had sinned… I used to have this as a Protestant but it went away entirely when I began to be devoted to Our Lady. Now it’s come back - to a MUCH lesser degree - because the past 2 weeks have been really hard for me spiritually. I hope it goes away again soon. Do you think that we sin if we get really horrible thoughts, without our consent? and if we try to resist them?

I don’t usually talk about any of this, but maybe someone is reading this and going through a similar thing; if so, remember you’re not alone :slight_smile: if you’re converting to Catholicism or are a recent convert…and going through difficulties…that is very common. The devil tries so hard to stop us from doing God’s will. Just cling to Him and don’t give up. Devote yourself to our Blessed Mother and she will cover you with her mantle and you’ll be safe.

:thumbsup: :slight_smile:

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