Signs you are being attacked spiritually
When some people hear of an “attack”, they immediately think of something they saw in movies. Like an overt demonic activity, like possession or something. But spiritual attacks are mostly covert; we go about our day like nothing is happening while in the meantime the devil is engaged in an epic struggle for our souls. The ability to discern spirits is a very necessary skill in the spiritual life. It needs not only to be present, but it needs constant refinement and information. Studying the works of spiritual masters like Don Lorenzo Scupoli and St Ignatius will help anyone who wants to master the spiritual warfare.
We have written this guide to help you discern signs of a spiritual attack on your soul. These are based on St Ignatius of Loyola’s writings. He is known as a champion of this type of discernment and he laid out rules in hit Discernment of Spirit for how to identify the voice speaking in your soul.
1. Tempted to violate God’s Commandments
Satan always tries to lure us into sin and put us in enmity with God. This is what he did with Adam and Eve. He will try to do anything to attack us where our defense lies: Prayer. Everything weapon in his power will be aimed at telling us Mass is optional on Sundays until he can get us to stop entirely. He will do his best to also convince us porn isn’t so bad and depends on your personal tastes and situation. In fact, he is capable of making it look like you actually need to watch or masturbate to porn for some reason. He is skilled at deceit and this is why we need not only to know the commandments but also to be skilled at refuting his arguments.
Anytime we feel drawn away from obeying the commands of God, this is the first and most obvious way to know your spiritual life is under attack.
2. Unexplainable increase in anxiety
The devil also tries to confuse us to lower our guard. Anything he can throw our way to sort of divide and conquer. He knows it is sometimes difficult to totally cut off your life from God if you are free from anxiety.
In effect, one of the most common strategies of the devil in his efforts to distance us from God and to slow our spiritual progress is to attempt to cause the loss of our interior peace. Here is what Dom Lorenzo Scupoli … who was highly esteemed by Saint Francis de Sales, said: “The devil does his utmost to banish peace from one’s heart, because he knows that God abides in peace and it is in peace that He accomplishes great things.”Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Philippe
God brings peace, the devil does not. The key here is to test the voice/decision and check if it brings peace or anxiety to our hearts. This is important for discerning God’s voice every day and most importantly when it comes to discerning vocation.
We however cannot rule that every form of anxiety is from the devil. It could also be something with your health. And anxiety also can be in response to some catastrophe in your life or the world. There is a need to use science too to discern and eliminate the source of our anxiety because not everything is spiritual. This is what God wants us to do. We serve God more effectively when we are in our right frame of mind. However, if the anxiety comes out of nowhere and is mostly spiritual, the devil could be behind it. You need to get a spiritual director to help you figure things out.
3. Growing feeling that you are worthless
A very significant sign you are being attacked spiritually is a growing feeling of worthlessness. God always speaks of himself as ‘belonging’ to us. “I am your Lord and God”. When Jesus came to the world we saw the very face of Love and we were blessed with a fresh sense of worth.
He wants us to know our beauty as his Children. We are worth a lot in his eyes hence the sacrifice of the Cross preceded by 33 years as a poor man on earth. God went the extra mile and more for us, and this is a fact. The devil however wants us to feel like we aren’t really worth much. He wants to remind you of your sins and call you sinful, wretched, condemned, abandoned by God. Remember, he is the accuser (Revelation 12:10) this is what he does.
Accusing you is only part of an elaborate ploy to keep you away from God. He does not want you to reconcile with God. He hates the Sacraments, especially Confession. Anything to keep you away not only from this Sacrament but from even being reminded it exists or helps. So, no Mass, no Confession, No prayer. Just more and more and more drama to keep you occupied far away from God.
This article is God calling you right now. Here and now, not tomorrow. Here and now to cease not this month or week or even day. This call is for you to cease this particular moment and arise and go back to your Father. Let that feeling of worthlessness leave you because God thinks the opposite. God values you. He dies SPECIFICALLY for you. You are not just some random faceless member of his Church. You were called by name and chosen. So rise, do something to rejoin the Church. Spread this word and his love.
The most important thing to remember is, you will fall again. But you must know this is a battle, so when you fall, you stand up and keep fighting. God wants to meet you swinging your battle sword when he calls you home.
He is your Father, your own. He belongs to you and you to him. Never forget that this makes you valuable beyond measure.
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