A Touch of Evil

  
There were 3 of us in the college chapel that night. It was close to midnight but the chapel was always open and we’d often meet together there after the library closed to pray a Rosary. That night we were the only ones in the chapel and the low lighting and flickering candles made it a prayerful and quiet place. My friends and I had been praying for about 10 minutes when the double doors at the back of the small chapel slammed open loudly, startling us badly. We all turned around to see who had come in with such noise. It was 2 men dressed in black and standing side by side, staring down the aisle, not at us, but at the altar and the Tabernacle behind it. They weren’t students. In a small college like ours, we knew our classmates. It felt wrong, in a way I couldn’t really define. My friends and I kept praying softly and the two men stood without moving just inside the doorway. After a minute or so, my friends and I stood up and stepping into the aisle, turned to face them while we prayed. To this day, almost 40 years later, I don’t know how the 3 of us decided to do this, but we did. I just knew that I had to put myself between these people and the Eucharist. The moment we turned toward them, they left the chapel. We finished our Rosary and then one of my friends left to tell the chaplain what had happened. The priest came and locked the chapel doors that night. My friends and I talked often about that night and the men dressed all in black who seemed so interested in the Blessed Sacrament.  

Over the years since then, I’ve had several experiences that I’d consider a brush with an evil presence. There was the lady who had applied for a secretarial position. When she walked into my office for her interview I felt as if all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. I felt nauseous and couldn’t bear to look at her directly. Then there was the hotel room filled with a darkness that every light in the room couldn’t eliminate. When I lay down on the bed, I felt a heavy, unpleasant pressure on my legs and arms, as if the darkness itself was pinning me down. Needless to say, I didn’t spend more than a couple of minutes in both the interview and the hotel room.

Evil isn’t something we need to let terrify us though, since we are members of the family of God. But neither should we ignore it or tolerate its presence in our lives. Too often, people actually invite evil into their lives through the use of psychics or “innocent” things like ouija boards, tarot cards or seances. The Church teaches us that we should guard our souls against the power of evil, since it seeks our destruction. The grace of Baptism, Confirmation, and Confession is a powerful protection. Frequent Holy Communion is the most bountiful source of grace and goodness. And yet even the Saints often hand encounters with demons, despite their holiness. St. Teresa of Avila and St. Padre Pio wrote at length of these attacks on them. Neither of them ignored the evil sent to persecute them, but neither were they terrified. We should follow their examples. 

Recognize evil for what it is and call it by its true name. It’s not “new age” or “new world” or “seeking” or “channeling.” It’s evil. And it wants to destroy you. But evil’s power over us is limited. The devil isn’t the equal of God in any way, shape or form. He is a creature, made by God, who answers to the name and power of our Lord. And the grace and power of God shields and protects us from him. The Lord gave us a Church and the Sacraments to draw us to Him and enfold us in His love. If you think something or someone is evil, you’re probably right. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and pray for the Lord’s protection. Pray. Fast. Do good for others. Go to Confession and receive the Lord in Holy Communion. Let the devil know he has no place in your heart, your home, or your family.

“…greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

        —- I John 4:4 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SR
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 03:09:32

    You will never know how much I needed this. This post is an answer to many prayers. Thank you and God Bless, SR

    Reply

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