I received an email about a week ago from a woman who wrote just one sentence. “What are the specific things I should look for that would be signs pointing to a spiritual attack?” That question reminded me of why I started this website. It was and is to help other people who are suffering from spiritual problems or attacks. There are many signs or symptoms indicating a spiritual or diabolical attack. In this article, I will concentrate on one and then write subsequent articles defining the others. Because I was attacked by witchcraft, the issues I am going to write about will come from my lived experiences and be specific to those demonic attacks. But not everyone is demonically attacked, so some of the symptoms will also apply to suffering in general. For example, people who experience depression or anxiety will understand that part of the suffering. Each person will experience these afflictions to different degrees depending on the circumstances leading up to or surrounding the attacks. But God never gives us more than we can handle. People suffering in this way will be able to recognize the symptoms and apply them to their particular situations.
This knowledge is going to console you. It is going to help you identify what is happening to you. The first sign I want to talk about is desolation, but I have to clarify a few things first so it is clear. Christians experience consolation and desolation throughout their lives. The simplest explanation is that consolation is being able to feel God’s presence, and desolation is not being able to feel it. Desolation is a part of the spiritual life that no one can escape. In consolation, there is a loving communication between God and the soul that is physically felt and experienced, which brings it to love the Lord more intensely. In desolation, this communication is withdrawn, which, in the beginning, is perceived as an absence of God’s love for them. The person suffers deeply because of this separation since they know what it is to have God close to them. Desolation is very painful for the person to endure, but both consolation and desolation help them to build an intimate relationship with God.
“Desolation is defined as A temporary darkening of the mind and disturbance of the will and emotions, permitted by God to purify the souls of his followers. It may be caused by the evil spirit or brought on by a variety of other causes, but it is always purposeful, namely to withdraw a person’s affections from dwelling on creatures and bring them closer to the Creator.”Catholic Dictionary
In a spiritual attack, desolation is distorted by the devil. It is amplified and used as a weapon against the person. So in this context, desolation is a sign of a spiritual attack. Sometimes, God allows the devil to attack people in this way for the person’s betterment. It is hard to understand that, but it is true. Desolation is an unbearable darkness that invades the soul. It is an emptiness so deep that every waking moment is spent in mourning. Nothing can stop the loneliness the soul feels. No human person can fill the void. All the person wants to do is to find God again. And this becomes the focus of their whole life. The longer they experience this separation from God, the more abandoned they feel. The devil takes advantage of this by planting lies in the person’s head and they begin to wonder if God loves them and quickly come to believe He hates them. At that point, they don’t know how to go on and would rather die than live without God. I am not saying they are considering suicide, only that they don’t know how to go on without God.
“How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look, answer me, O Lord, my God!”Psalm 13:1-4
Eventually, they come to realize that the devil is behind their suffering. But they don’t know how to fight what they don’t understand, and they question why God would allow the enemy to attack them so viciously. This pattern continues until the person is set free. But freedom doesn’t come easily or quickly. The person has to learn how to fight. I did that through the Church and the sacraments, daily Mass and adoration, reading scripture, and prayer. It was the only way I could think to find Jesus. There will be moments of consolation, but they will be brief. But the purpose is to ignite an even greater desire in you to find Jesus. So this void that lives in us during these spiritual attacks is key. And I will go as far as to say that Jesus has made us believe that He has abandoned us in these attacks because He loves us, and wants to be loved back. No matter how you are feeling or what you are going through, remember that God is love. He is all good and everything that He allows to touch our lives, even evil, is for our greater good and His glory. So keep searching for Jesus, and when the time is right, He will set you free.
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