“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
The father of lies attacks the human will, intellect, and memory in one of two ways.
He tempts one to make a god of himself. Convincing the man of his intellectual obesity and rightness in comparison to his fellow man. This attack compels one to look inward in pride. This attack creates hard hearts. Hard hearts turn to warring and dictatorship. Evil flourishes through subjugation and oppression, bringing the demise of souls through this evil. Making families be destroyed. Destroying communities and nations.
If the father of lies realizes a soul is too compassionate to harden their heart he attacks the core of their very person, convincing them they are worthless and sending them into despair. This spiral of depression also destroys families, communities and nations. The ultimate goal of this kind of attack is to make the soul go so into despair, they kill themselves as the final conclusion to the worthlessness they feel.
God rejects both of these because none of it brings unity. The soul that is secure in God’s love for them, neither boasts of himself nor despairs of himself. This is because God has revealed to those that listen that looking inward during these temptations is what brings destruction. God compels us to look outward. Look toward the other. This outward looking toward the other is true love. It rests securely in The Father’s love so it recognizes the beauty of sacrifice for the other. This sacrifice is thankful. This sacrifice is born of the Eucharist which means Thanksgiving.
Do not boast because everything we have is a gift from God. Do not despair because you are loved.
Depression is something I’ve had to fight since I was a young teenager and I thought it would disappear when I would get married. Thank God for my patient husband who knows how to deal with my demons….I never realized that this kind of sense of “worthlessness” was from the devil until recently and I’m so afraid I’ve lost friends because of it (not to mention, I’ve probably pushed them away from God too).
I used to think it was humility…boy was I wrong. I’ve been working harder on myself however these past few months. Thank you for clarifying this! God bless
I have struggled in the past with it too. Be gentle with yourself because Jesus is gentle with you. He loves you and your worth is beyond measure.
Yes, once a priest told me to tell myself “This is how much I have, and so this is how much I can give….don’t be harsh on yourself”….I have to remind myself that too. Thank you for the kind words ❤
Recently, I came to know of someone’s suicide. In the days before the tragedy, so many of us prayed with this person, and we all shared prayers that had helped us through. It seemed like we were all desperately digging and frantically rummaging through our hearts for anything that might help. Yet, we couldn’t save this life.
On the day I learned of this person’s passing, Nancy Shuman posted this quote by Padre Pio on her beautiful blog, Breadbox Letters – In order to console a soul in its sufferings, point out to it all the good it can still do. I’m sure Padre Pio must have lived these words, believing that selfless love of neighbor is the weapon against despair and pride and every other dark sorrow that comes with it.
I just wish there could have been some gentle way we could have shared that with this person who chose suicide.
Don’t despair. God’s mercy for tormented souls is an ocean of mercy. If you can have some Gregorian Masses said for this person or at least a Mass said for this person. God Bless you Caitlynnegrace.