Tuesday, June 13, 2017
In the lives of dozens of Saints and Mystics one quickly discovers the role that God allows the demons to play for example in the lives of the mystic-saints. God Himself explains it when He said to St Gemma Galgani:
“You will be trampled underfoot by the devils. Prepare yourself, my daughter, the demon at My orders will be the one that will add the last touch to my plan that I will accomplish in you, that is, your sanctification."
-And what an incredibly hellish war the devil waged against Gemma! Literally every mystic that I have read have been assailed by the evil spirits through the express permission of God. But then, why would God allow the demons to attack the mystics or anyone for that matter? It is to draw us closer to Himself. God permits, at times, the devils to assail us, that we might turn to Him in prayer, with a renewed trust in His love and concern for us. The extraordinary priest St John Vianney, who's straw bed the devil tried to burn when he was sleeping in it, once remarked that "the devil is like a dog on a chain. He can only go so far as God permits." So the first rule to remember is that God is always in absolute control, and the devil can do nothing without God's permission. God always seeks to draw good out of everything, and He can draw good even out of evil, if we let Him. An excellent example of how God draws good out of evil is the Passion and Death of Jesus Himself. The Gospel of John says that at the last supper Satan entered Judas and he then went and betrayed Jesus. -You certainly know the story--Jesus was captured, tortured, and was nailed to a Cross, and died a torturous death. But was the death of the Son of God, this at act of pure evil, a victory for Satan and the demons? No! -it was in fact Satan’s defeat, because through Jesus' death on the cross we can be forgiven of our sins, if we desire to be. So we can readily see how God can and does transform evil into good.
So, how does all this correlate to those who are battling with demons, and want to rid themselves of the evil spirits? Firstly we need to look at how Jesus fought and expelled and cast out the demons. Among others you will certainly want to read Mark 5:1, Mark 1:23, and perhaps the most telling is Mark 9:29 in which the apostles were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy. So afterwards they asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out, and Jesus replies: "This kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting." Prayer and fasting! Therein lies the primary spiritual weapons to be used to get rid of demons and evil spirits. Jesus said prayer first, because prayer is the first and most important weapon to be used against the devil. This cannot be emphasized enough! Prayer unites us to God, and draws us closer to Him, and it is God alone who can free us from the demonic presences. We can do nothing without He Whom sustains us! The other weapon against the devil that Jesus mentions is fasting. This is self-explanatory, but what is sometimes forgotten is the spirit that must accompany fasting. We are to fast from food in a spirit of sacrifice in reparation for our sins. Our sins are what separate us from God, so we are to fast in a spirit of penance and reparation for our sins, to put us in the proper disposition that God might forgive us of these sins. So, firstly prayer, and then fasting done in a spirit of reparation for our sins, is the primary recourse against evil spirits. The demons have no power over those who are closely united to God in prayer, and who are in a state of grace.
- The angel told him to burn the liver and heart of the fish in the bridal chamber. The smell would chase the demon away. At that moment, Tobias fell in love with Sarah, sight unseen.
- Both parents were delighted to meet Tobias and happy that he wanted to marry their daughter.
- The parties drew up a legal marriage document according to the decree of Moses.
- Nonetheless, Edna, Sarah’s mother, cried uncontrollably, and Raguel told his servants to go quietly to dig a grave for the young man. Both parents were convinced the outcome would be the same for the eighth husband – and they really liked this one.
- Edna’s name means “Pleasure.”
- As soon as the couple reached the bridal chamber, Tobias did what Azariah told him to do. He burned the heart and liver of the fish.
- The stench so repelled the demon that he fled to the northern part of Egypt where Azariah followed him and bound him hand and foot. He would never trouble Sarah again.
- Then Sarah and Tobias prayed that the Lord would keep them safe. Afterwards, they lay down to sleep. It is not known whether the marriage was consummated that night.