Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Catholic Hermit: A Specific Power Against Evil

When re-reading today's Psalm, prayed and read at Masses all over the world on this day, the Lord reminded me that the Psalms themselves are a powerful force against evil.  They also are a balm to the soul, the mind, the heart, the body, for the devil attempts to disrupt all aspects of our beings.

Today's Psalm is 71.  Read it if you wish; or best, pray it slowly, lovingly, sweetly with assurance.  His Real Presence and also the soul of the psalmist who wrote it way back when on earth, will fill you with peace, strength and courage.  I do wish I could post it here, but with the old IPad, it is a wonderment to be able to write and post, let alone cut and paste.  Perhaps later when laptop is repaired, I will clean up my little blog posts of recent note.

The power of the Psalms became a reality to this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit, the last year of my beloved mother's life.  She was what we could accurately describe as anti-Catholic.  My conversion and later profession of vows as a Catholic hermit, privately, traditionally, as one with the Consecrated Life of the Catholic Church--well, the initial conversion to the Church upset her deeply.

But a mother's love is true, at least with my mother, and while she never liked my being a Catholic, she did accept that this was my path, and she perhaps surprisingly and kindly, at least to my face, accepted my hermit vocation.  She had fear of the little black breviary which I'd being with me on the daily stays at the health care facility where she lived those final ten months.  (My mother suffered more than any suffering I can imagine, all the worse because her mind was as clear and brilliant as when she was at any point in her 86 years.)

She somehow thought the breviary some scary Catholic thing.  One day she asked again about it.  I would read the morning office in silence, as she read something other.  So I explained it is simply a compilation of Scripture, especially the Psalms, prayers, hymns, poetry, and excerpts of holy writings of Christian theologians, Saints, Mystics, and Church leaders.

After awhile, one day she said, "Well, you can read the Psalms to me...but none of the other stuff."

Her eyes were failing some, and she came to look forward to my reading the Psalms aloud with her.
Then one day she said, "Well, I guess you can go ahead and read the other parts to me, as well."  So I did.

What is so miraculous about this scenario is that in the last few years of life, my otherwise Christian mother, a devoted Methodist back in the days when Methodism was quite prevalent as a popular, mainline, Protestant church, had been increasingly seduced by New Age ideologies.  She had joined a group of rather demonic type people who had taken advantage of her not only spiritually but also psychologically and even in some ways materially.

While the Lord answered prayers, and my sisters and I were able to move her back to her hometown and away from that group, her Christianity was nearly lost.  In a dream the Lord showed me in an image of my mother, agitated and her hair wildly flaming, and her always beautiful, fair skin a horrendous shade of red--all but on little clear patch remaining on her left cheek.

Of course, I went to work on this horror, with prayer.  My sisters realized her peril as well, if not so graphically.  They prayed, their families and friends prayed.  I went on a sacrificial pilgrimage, difficult with my body to do so, but prayed in every church we entered, and there were many, many churches.  I spent nights in a chapel before His Real Presence, praying for my mother to return to Christ.

And I kept reading the Psalms to her, day in and day out.  Easter morning, when I entered her room, she said she had called my sisters to apologize for worrying them and to tell them she really is a Christian.  And I kept reading the Psalms to her.

Five months and many Psalms later, my mother made a tremendous shift in thinking.  One day she said she no longer was pro-abortion.  In fact, she felt God had given her a mission in the health care facility among some unwed young aides who tended her, who were also expecting babies.  She began to encourage them, not judge or criticize, not think they should have abortions.  She began encouraging them to take college courses part time.

My mother said she was going to help me with my mission here on earth, after her death.  I know she has helped, although currently I have put quite a strain on my mission with the fixer upper I got into!  However, as to the Psalms, at my mother's private graveside service, her sister chose to read a Psalm. She shared with us there that my mother had told her in recent months how she had come to love the Psalms, and would ask my aunt to read them to her when she would visit.

I said nothing, but I knew then, deeply, the power of the Psalms in times of trouble, in times of souls being threatened by demonic take over.  Yes, the Gospels are powerful, the very Words of Jesus.  There are many incredible sources of power in defeating the evil one.

But today I am reminded by the Lord to share with you, dear readers, the spiritual efficacy of the Psalms as a source of fighting the enemy.  Plus, as the songs that they are--and poetry--they can be a marvelous way to breach religious divides, or to broach Christianity with those who are agnostics or atheist is, which my mother was not.  She just lost her way a bit, and turned back around!

God bless His Real Presence in us, the little children that we are.  Let us humbly love and encourage and support one another no matter how lost or found we may think we are.

No comments: