spiritual warfare, Visions of the Saints

The Fury of the Devil at the Loss of Souls

SISTER JOSEFA MENENDEZ WITNESSES THE RAGE OF SATAN AT LOSING THREE SOUL’S

From the Diary of Sister Josefa Menendez, From the Book The Way of Divine Love

These are a few notes of Sister Josefa’s about Hell. She wrote with great reticence on this subject. She did it only to conform to Our Blessed Lord’s wishes, Our Lady having told her on Oct. 25th, 1922: “Everything that Jesus allows you to see and to suffer of the torments of hell, is so that you may make it know to your Mothers. (who eventually published it for the world after Josefa’s death.) So, forget yourself entirely, and think only of the glory of the Heart of Jesus and the salvation of souls.”

More than once Sister Josefa witnessed the fierce struggle of the devil to wrestle from divine mercy souls that he already believed his. Then the sufferings of Josefa enter, as it seems, into God’s plans, as a rescue of these poor souls, who will owe her the last and definitive victory, at the moment of death.

“The devil was very angry because he wanted three souls to be lost … He was screaming with anger: Let them not escape … they are leaving … Strong … strong!” This way, without ceasing, with shouts of rage that answered, by far, other demons. For several days I witnessed these struggles.

“I begged the Lord to do whatever He wanted, as long as these souls did not get lost.” I also went to the Virgin and She gave me great peace of mind because she left me willing to suffer everything to save them, and I believe that She will not allow the devil to come out victorious. ”

“The devil shouted a lot: Do not let her … be alert to everything that can disturb you … Do not let her escape … make her despair … The confusion was tremendous of screams and blasphemies, then I heard him say furiously: It does not matter, I still have two left … Take away their confidence … I understood by those words that one had escaped, that it had already passed into eternity, because I was shouting: Soon … Hurry … Let these two not escape … Take them, let them despair … Soon, they are going away.

“Immediately, with a grinding of teeth and a rage that can not be said, I felt those tremendous cries:

Oh God’s power that have more strength than me …! I still have one …, and I will not let you take it …! Hell all was no more than a scream of despair, with a great disorder and the devils screamed and complained and blasphemed horribly. I knew with this that the souls were saved. My heart jumped with joy, but I was unable to make an act of love. I still feel in the soul the need to love … I do not feel hatred towards God like these other souls, and when I hear that they curse and blaspheme, it causes me great sorrow; I do not know what I would suffer to prevent Our Lord being insulted and offended. What hurts me is that spending time eternity here, I will be like the others. This makes me suffer a lot, because I still remember that I loved Our Lord and that He was very good to me. I feel a lot of torment, especially these last days. It is as if a river of fire enters my throat and passes through my entire body, together with the pain I have said before. As if they were pressing me from behind and ahead with burning plates …

I can not say what I suffer … it is so much pain … It seems that the eyes are out of place and as if they were pulling to tear … The nerves are very tight. The body is bent, you can not move a finger …

The smell that is so bad, you can not breathe, but all this is nothing in comparison to the soul, that knowing the goodness of God, is forced to hate him and, above all, if he has known and loved him, suffers much more … “

Hell, spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

Volume 1 of The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Chapter 38, parts 23 & 24 & 25:

“Once, while approaching to receive Communion, I saw with my soul’s eyes more clearly than with my bodily eyes two devils whose appearance was abominable. It seems to me their horns were wrapped around the poor priests’s throat, and in the host that was going to be given to me I saw my Lord with the majesty I mentioned placed in the priest’s hands, which were clearly seen to be His offender’s; and I understood that that soul was in mortal sin. What would it be my Lord, to see Your beauty in the midst of such abominable figures? They were as though frightened and terrified in Your presence, for it seems they would have very eagerly fled had You allowed them. This vision caused me such great disturbance I don’t know how I was able to receive Communion, and I was left with a great fear, thinking that if the vision had been from God, His Majesty would not have permitted me to see the evil that was in that soul. The Lord Himself told me to pray for him and that He had permitted it so that I might understand the power of the words of consecration and how God does not fail to be present, however evil the priest who recites them, and that I might see His great goodness since He places Himself in those hands of His enemy, and all out of love for me and for everyone. I understood well how much more priests are obliged to be good than are others, how deplorable a thing it is to receive this most Blessed Sacrament unworthily, and how much the devil is lord over the soul in mortal sin. It did me a great deal of good and brought me deep understanding of what I owed God. May He be blessed forever and ever.”

“At another time something else happened to me that frightened me very much. I was at a place where a certain person died who for many years had lived a wicked life, from what I knew. But he had been sick for two years, and in some things it seems he had made amends. He died without confession, but nevertheless it didn’t seem to me he would be condemned. While the body was being wrapped in its shroud, I saw many devils take that body; and it seemed they were playing with it and punishing it. This terrified me, for with large hooks they were dragging it from one devil to the other. Since I saw it buried with the honor and ceremonies accorded to all, I reflected on the goodness of God, how He did not want that soul to be defamed, but wanted the fact that it was His enemy to be concealed.

I was half stupefied from what I had seen. During the whole ceremony I didn’t see another devil. Afterward when they put the body in the grave, there was such a multitude of them inside ready to take it that I was frantic at the sight of it, and there was need for no small amount of courage to conceal this. I reflected on what they would do to the soul when they had such dominion over the unfortunate body. May it please the Lord that what I have seen -a thing so frightful!-will be seen by all those who are in such an evil state; I think it would prove a powerful help toward their living a good life. All of this gives me greater knowledge of what I owe God and of what He freed me from. I was very frightened until I spoke about it to my confessor, wondering if it was an illusion caused by the devil to defame that soul. Although it wasn’t considered to be the soul of someone with a very deep Christian spirit. Truly since the vision was not an illusion, it frightens me every time I think of it.”

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume 1, Chapter 31,

A person came to me who had been in mortal sin for two and a half years. It was one of the most abominable I’ve heard of, and in all this time he hadn’t confessed or made amends; and he was saying Mass. Although he was confessing other sins, of this one he asked how he could confess something so ugly. He had a great desire to give it up, but he wasn’t able to help himself. He made me feel great pity, and my seeing that he offended God in such a way caused me deep sorrow. I promised him I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would get others better than myself to do the same, and I wrote to him through a certain person he told me I could give the letters to. And so it happened that after receiving the first letter he went to confession. For God desired (through the many very holy persons to whose prayers I recommended him) to grant this soul that mercy; and I, although miserable, did what I could with great care. He wrote to me that he was so much better that for days he had not fallen into the sin, but that the torment the temptation gave him was so intense it seemed from what he suffered he was in hell; he asked me to commend him to God. I in turn recommended him to my sisters through whose prayers the Lord must have granted me this favor, for they took the matter very much to heart. No one could guess who the person was. I begged His Majesty to mitigate those torments and temptations and that those devils would come to afflict me, provided that I would not offend the Lord in anything. As a result, for a month I suffered severe torments; it was during this time that these two things I mentioned happened.

The Lord was pleased that they leave him; this he wrote to me, for I told hm what I was going through during that month. His soul was fortified, and he was left completely free. He didn’t have enough of thanking God and me as though I had done anything. But the reputation I had from the fact that the Lord granted me favors benefitted him. He said that when he found himself very distressed he read my letters, and the temptation left him. He was very impressed by what I had suffered and how he had been freed. Even I was amazed, and I would have suffered many more years to see that soul free. May the Lord be praised for everything, for the prayer of those who serve Him (as I believe do these sisters in this house) can do much. But since I sought these prayers, the devils must have been more angry with me; and the Lord on account of my sins permitted this.

Also one night during this time I thought they were choking me; after much holy water had been sprinkled around, I saw a great multitude of them go by, as though they were being thrown down a precipice. There are so many times that these cursed creatures torment me, and so little is the fear I now have of them, seeing that they cannot stir unless the Lord allows them, that I would tire your Reverence and tire myself if I told about all these instances.

May what was said be of help that the true servant of God might pay no attention to the scarecrows the devils set up in order to cause fear. We should know that each time we pay no attention to them they are weakened and the soul gains much more mastery. Some great benefit always remains, which I won’t go into so as not to enlarge. I shall only mention what happened to me on the night of All Souls: while I was in the oratory after having recited a nocturn and while saying some very devotional prayers that come at the end, a devil appeared on the book so that I couldn’t finish the prayer. I blessed myself, and he went away. When I began again to recite the prayers, he returned. I believe it was three times I began, and until I threw holy water at him I couldn’t finish. I saw that some souls left purgatory at that instant; little must have been lacking to their freedom, and I wondered if he had aimed at preventing this.

A few times I’ve seen him in physical form, but many times with no physical form-as for instance in the vision mentioned above in which without seeing any form one knows he is there.

I also want to tell the following because it frightened me a lot: one day on the feast of the Trinity, being in the choir of a certain monastery and in rapture, I saw a great battle of devils against angels. I couldn’t understand what that vision meant. In less than fifteen days it became easily understandable on account of a certain conflict that arose between people of prayer and many who were not, and a lot of harm was done in the house in which it took place. It was a battle that lasted a long time and caused much disquiet.

At other times I saw a large multitude of devils around me, and it seemed that a great brightness encircled me, and this prevented them from reaching me. I understood that God was watching over me so that they could not get to me in order to make me offend Him. From what I sometimes saw in myself, I understood that it was a true vision. The fact is that now I have understood so well the little bit of power he has provided I’m not against God, that I have almost no fear . The powers of devils are nothing if these devils do not find souls cowardly and surrendered to them: it is with such souls that they show their power. Sometime, in the temptations I already mentioned, it seemed to me that all the vanities and weaknesses of the past were again awakening within me; I had really to commend myself to God. At once the torment came of thinking that since those thoughts arose in me the favors I experienced must all be from the devil. It seemed to me that there shouldn’t have been even the first stirrings of a bad thought in one who was receiving so many favors from the Lord. But then my confessor put me at peace.

spiritual warfare

The Saints and the Sign of the Cross

In the lives of the Saints we find other innumerable proofs of the power of the Sign of the Cross.

St. Dominic raised the dead to life by the holy Sign.

St. Vincent Ferrer worked hundreds hundreds of miracles by this blessed Sign.

Tertullian relates that the Christians in the first centuries began everything with the Sign of the Cross.

When they left their homes or reentered them, they blessed themselves.

Arising in the morning or going to rest at night, they made the Sign of the Cross with great devotion.

In all dangers and temptations they made the same holy Sign.

St. Patrick made the Sign of the Cross 400 times a day.

All good Christians should strive to make the Sign of the Cross as frequently as possible.

By this blessed Sign, devoutly made, we give immense glory to God, for we offer to Him the infinite merits of the death of Jesus Christ.

But never, never should a Christian make the Sign of the Cross hastily or irreverently.

~Source:”How to be Happy,How to be Holy”

spiritual warfare

St.Teresa of Avila on the Power of Holy Water

From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again.  The also flee from the cross, but return; so holy water must have great value.  For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation.   In fact it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul.  This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once, it has happened again and again and I have observed it attentively.  It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body.

I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so different from water which has not been blessed..

One night, too, about this time, I thought the devils were stifling me; and when the nuns had sprinkled a great deal of holy water about, I saw a hug crowd of them running away as quickly as though they were about to fling themselves down a steep place.

I will only describe something that happened to me one night of All Sous Day.  I was in an oratory: I had said one nocturne and was repeating some very devotional prayers which follow it – they are extremely devotional: we have them in our office book – when actually the devil himself alighted on the book, to prevent me from finishing the prayer.  I made a sign of the cross and he went away.  I then began again and he came back.  I think I began the prayer three times and not until I had sprinkled some holy water on him could I finish it.”

St. Theresa of Avila said she would die for one drop of holy water since what gave it it’s effectivity was the precious blood of Jesus.  She believed this because of the ancient saying that you say when blessing yourself with holy water.  “By this holy water and by thy Precious Blood wash away all my sins, O Lord.”

spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

The Jew and the Sign of the Cross

A Jew was traveling on foot to Rome, and being suddenly overtaken at nightfall by a great storm took refuge in the ruins of a pagan temple. Wearied by his day’s journey, he soon fell fast asleep.

At dead of night he was suddenly awakened by horrible noises and a suffocating odor. His horrified glance fell on a number of devils, whose hideous forms filled him with terror. Remembering that the Christians whom he knew used the holy Sign in all dangers, he too, as best he could, made the Sign of the Cross, which at once drove the devils in headlong flight from the temple. On reaching Rome he recounted this fact, and the Holy Father ordered a rigorous examination of his statements to be made. These were shown to be perfectly true.

~Source:”How To Be Happy,How To Be Holy”

spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

The Power of the Sign of the Cross

In the reign of the Emperor Phocas, a Persian embassy arrived at the Imperial Court in Con-stantinople. These ambassadors and their suite were all Mohammedans.

The Emperor and the members of the palace remarked that these Mohammedan princes and their followers had the Sign of the Cross marked on their foreheads. Surprised at this love and respect for the Sign of the Cross on the part of fanatical Moslems, they inquired the reason. The Moslems explained that some years previously a terrible epidemic had raged in Persia. The Moslems noted that the Christians signed themselves with the Sign of the Cross and were thus delivered from the plague. Convinced of the power of the Cross, they themselves did likewise and were also delivered from the awful scourge. Since then profound respect was shown for this holy Sign, which was considered as a protection and safeguard from sickness and pestilence.

Many devout Catholics, when troubled with any pain or sickness, make the Sign of the Cross with their thumb on the part afflicted saying, “By the holy Sign of the Cross deliver us, O Lord, from all evils and sickness.” This holy practice is of the greatest efficacy and should be used by all the faithful.