Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
I had a dream last night that I was on my patio planting some flowers. Everything seemed fine until I looked up and saw something coming towards me in the distance. I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Perplexed, I kept watching and as it got closer I thought it was a pack of coyotes, but then I realized it was a group of lions. One lion headed the group and several others followed behind. They strolled confidently towards me as if they were on a mission, I saw a determination there, a plan. I was confused because obviously lions aren’t supposed to run free, so I went in the house. Something caught my eye and I looked down surprised to see a baby lion cub. she was adorable and I knelt down to pet her and she bit me. I picked her up, set her outside, and then I woke up. It took a few minutes to recall the dream, but when I did it occurred to me that the lions represented the devil and evil spirits, and the little cub showed how cunning they actually are. How evil can sneak into our lives without us actually being aware of it and cause some real damage.
Darkness Becomes Light
I prayed the night I had the dream for God to help me since I have been struggling the past few weeks with worry, uneasiness, and a clear sense of oppression. It isn’t often that this happens to me, but I absolutely hate when it does and I find it difficult to pull myself out of it. Satan distorts our emotions and uses them against us. This is a tactic he has used before, but for whatever reason I missed it this time. These negative emotions have the ability to crush me in spirit and prevent me from moving forward in the works the Lord wishes for me to complete. These attacks render me stagnant in a sense; it is a kind of inactivity that seems uncontrollable. As time passes, my hope begins to fade and I slip into sadness. The deeper I fall into that sadness, the further away from God I perceive myself to be. Guilt and self-hate start to creep in and now I am begging the Lord for guidance, begging Him to rescue me. Just as I was about to fall into despair the Holy Spirit rushed in and inspired this dream. He showed me what I could not see and thus brought what was crafted in the darkness, into the light.
Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. 1 Peter 5:9
The devil does not discriminate; he attacks everyone. His sole purpose is to destroy humanity and steal as many souls away from God as He can. He knows our weaknesses and he will use them against us. But we cannot allow him to hold any power over us. We must “resist him” as scripture states, but first we have to be privy to the fact that evil is present. Although an attack is sometimes exceedingly obvious, most often the devil attacks in a very elusive manner as he did with me this past few weeks. He wants to inflict as much harm as possible, so the longer we are in the dark, the more damage he can do.
We must always try to be on guard, to recognize an attack. If we are experiencing a great deal of negativity and sadness that does not seem to be within the norm, then we need to look outside of ourselves for the source. It can be medical yes, but sometimes that source is going to be evil.
Why would God permit this? The devil can do nothing to us without Gods consent. In knowing that, then we can see that God knows everything, and he knows the state of our condition. The Lord allows us to be covered in darkness at different times in our lives. He removes from us all comfort and consolation in an attempt to bring us closer to Himself. Through these suffering Christ is teaching us, bringing us to a deeper understanding and trust in Him.
The Blessed Sacrament Heals
The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ [Jesus] will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5:10
Today I took all of the suffering and anxiety the devil had placed on me to Mass and then adoration. I knew some doors would open because of what the Holy Spirit revealed to me through the dream. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is an escape from the anxieties and demands of this world.
As soon as I walk into the chapel and kneel down, I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving that the Lord would invite me to be with Him. To be in His presence is life altering. This is where our love began, and this is where it continues to grow. There is a peace there that is actually tangible. I find that after some time in prayer, my breathing slows, my heart stills, and there is a slight vibration within me. Everything around me fades as I rest in the presence of the Trinity, the angels, and heaven itself. Jesus’ love is different from any love I have ever felt on this earth. His love is full and complete; I could rest in Him forever. The Father’s love is gentle, kind, and reassuring. I feel safe with the Father. He is so comforting. My experience of the Holy Spirit is a little harder to express though. All I know is, it is through the Holy Spirit that all of these beautiful encounters are communicated. The Trinity is interconnected, and the love that flows from the Father and the Son, is brought to us through the Spirit.
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:5
As I sat there, Jesus quietly healed me, and all of the angst that had invaded my soul was replaced with a peace that can only come from heaven. Now I am left loving God more than I did before. I looked up at the monstrance and I knew the Eucharist was going to change. A few minutes later I saw a line form and the Host started to darken in color. I watched intently as it swirled around and became darker and darker, until it stopped. It looked like a clock that read three o’clock. That is the hour of mercy, and he had just poured His mercy out upon me. That is so beautiful. Jesus is always present there in the Blessed Sacrament, waiting for us to bring everything to Him, strengthening and healing us of all our wounds, and fill us with His great love.