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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 07 Mar 2003

Becoming a target for evil QUESTION from Concerned Target June 29, 2000 Dear John Paul,
I listed my name above as Concerned Target because this is a sensitive issue. Something happened to me the night before last and I would truly like your opinion. It was after 2am and I had been up praying most of the night which is not so unusual. When I finished my prayers I read a chapter in my gardening book then turned off the light. I sleep alone. As soon as I had gotten settled in and my pillow punched 'just right' I felt a HORRIBLE presence come into the room. In an instant it was right on me. It felt as though something extremely heavy was 'pressing down' on me as if to 'squish' me. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Sure, I have before detected something evil in a place or connected to a person, but in these instances I was only aware of it, not the target. At first I was sort of shocked. This 'thing' or whatever it was, seemed to be laying directly behind my back 'spooning' me and pressing down somehow on the inside of me. I could not move. It was as if I was frozen and unable to move or cry out. After what seemed like an eternity, I threw my entire will against it and jerked violently and it left me. A detectable peace waft past me and was gone. Immediately, I called out to my Guardian Angel and the Blessed Mother for protection. I was shaking. I got up and my Holy Water was missing. So I got my Bible and prayed and begged God to put some HUGE ANGELS around my bed so that I could get some much needed sleep. I did not sleep. Too shaken. So I got up and went out and slept in the recliner . . . with my rosary.
Question: Why was this BIG UGLY PRESENCE doing taking an unhealthy interest in me? I am devout but not in any way extra ordinary. I organize prayer groups and study groups and write RCIA programs. In short, I do what so many others do in other parishes.
Question: I am trying to be indifferent and accept that sometimes God 'permits' evil to attack us, but where was my guardian angel and why did I get no help from anyone until I managed a heroic effort to 'shove it off' with my own will. Did I mention it was BIG and HEAVY and felt like it was crushing me on the inside?
I have decided that I cannot be afraid every time I lay down to sleep. I REFUSE FEAR. I will pray and sprinkle holy water and then let come what may.
You know way more about this than I do. There are patterns and I want to know if I should expect a repeat event with this thing or does something that BIG and UGLY just land on a person by accident and then jump to the next soul?
Since my spiritual director just died during Lent I am sort of looking for a new one in my area. I am a person responsible for many programs in my parish. About the last thing a new pastor wants to hear is that a director of several programs in their parish had a personal nite time visit from Evil. Many priests do not even believe in a personal evil. So I am loathe to tell anyone about this that I do not know very, very well. And like I said, my spiritual director is now with Jesus.
Last night was peaceful. I prayed for protection and sprinkled the entire room with holy water and slept like a rock. No visits.
So my questions are these:
Why me?
Why was help delayed?
Is it likely to happen again?
Thank you for your advice.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on September 7, 2000 Dear Mrs. Concerned:
You ask:
Why me?
Why was help delayed?
Is it likely to happen again?
Well, why not you? All of us can be susceptible to attack even if we have done nothing to deserve it. See the book of Job.
The devil does not like people to be moving in a possible direction toward God or working in God's service. Yet, most will not have an experience like you had. So Why?
Only God and the devil knows. Maybe you will be recruiting someone in one of your projects that the devil doesn't want recruited. Maybe he hoped to scare you away from working for God. Maybe the devil thought you would be particular susceptible giving that your spiritual director died recently.
Or maybe you won the demonic lottery. Evil is arbitrary. It doesn't have to have a reason. It just is. We can go nuts trying to answer the reasons why.
If the obvious things are missing from the picture such as having occultic stuff in the house, not involved in on-going sin, not having someone cast a curse, not a victim of a generational demon (from ancestors), and the like; and we are devout Catholics doing all the things that devout Catholics do, then why? Because. Just because. Evil can be totally arbitrary on who it attacks.
Now, God allows this of course. He allows it for any number of reasons -- to test, to teach, to build up faith, whatever.
These are the same possible reasons why help was delayed -- to test, to teach, to build up faith, whatever God had in mind. Trust in Him.
As for it happening again, probably not, but that is up to you, in terms of your faith life and God in terms of what he has in store for you.
But I can tell you that this sort of experience is not uncommon. Many people experience this. And chances are it will only happen once.
God Bless.
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