Attack and Defense
There is a very real war happening, and we have placed ourselves on the front lines. Something is happening; something is shifting in such a way as to draw out vicious, open attacks. I have never been accustomed to claims of demonic interference. I tend to put more emphasis on natural causes, and I think the adversary has used that reluctance to work subtly in the background. For the past few weeks, I’ve felt utterly uninspired to blog anything. I attributed it to writer’s block, but deep inside wondered if there was more to it. At home, Brian and I complained of a lack of energy to do anything. Even the kids have been uncharacteristically sleepy. On the extreme, my eldest daughter slept over 13 hours Friday night. My son, who hardly ever even sits down, has been napping throughout the days. Even my younger children have been waking later and taking naps.
So Saturday, Steve and Lily, and Brian and I are meeting for prayer as we try to do at least once a week, and we’re discussing once again the escalation of spiritual warfare that Steve especially has been witnessing. Neither Brian nor I have really much experience, so we’re naturally more reluctant to attribute the recent lethargy and other strangeness to demonic attack. But as we explore it, we all come to the conclusion that it very well may be. We sit and pray actively against present attack. I appeal to our Blessed Mother, to whose militia we have all consecrated ourselves, placing ourselves in open opposition to the Serpent which she has crushed. I specifically pray that we shall have wisdom to identify any attacks that come against us in the present moment, so that we can wage appropriate warfare and defense. Little did I know how quickly that prayer would be answered.
We left the Simmons’ home to prepare for attending Vigil Mass at our parish, as this weekend was one of Brian’s scheduled nights to tape for the local cable broadcast the following week. I had woken up that morning with a little stiffness in my neck, and as we headed home, the soreness began to increase, enveloping the muscles from the base of my skull down over my shoulder. Other muscles began aching and my eyeballs started to throb. I had enough time to lay down for a little bit before Mass, and my body’s achiness continued to increase. I immediately felt that these pains were intended to dissuade me from going to Mass, but I refused to allow that.
Upon entering the Church, I knelt in a pew next to a very dear fellow parishioner, also a reader of this blog. I mentioned the stiffness in my neck and she asked whether I had prayed about it, as she had read my post on the Holy Sand my kids brought back from New Mexico. I had been more focused on spiritual attack, and not so much on the pain itself, so I answered negatively, but immediately offered a prayer for my physical needs as she suggested. During the Mass, I begin to wonder if a migraine was coming on. Only once have I ever had a migraine outside of pregnancy, and since that occurred just a few short weeks ago, I’m not altogether certain that wasn’t an attack as well. So I began to say St. Michael the Archangel’s prayer, and sharp stabbing pains immediately start shooting through my skull. I lose track of the words of the prayer, but eventually manage to finish it. Later, during the intercessions, Father included an appeal that the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan will inspire peace and prayer within the Muslim people. Instead, I start to pray for their conversion. Again the stabbing pains shooting through my skull. Mass ends, and once home I ask Brian to pray for me. He chooses Archbishop Fulton Sheen as intercessor and prays for my well-being. As a token of determination and perseverance, we also place an order for a small bit of equipment we need to aid us in moving forward with the mission of our small budding apostolate. As soon as that order was placed, every symptom I had been experiencing was gone, except for the minor stiffness in my neck with which I had awoken that morning.