Satan, the Cross and our power to bind him
I. In the BIBLE
1. He appears in Genesis right away next to Adam and Eve! Big hint! Later on, everywhere one reads the struggles of Israel and the blessings of God. But Satan is right there too… He tempted a Priest, Aaron to bless the desires of the people while Moses is up talking to God for just short 40 days! The Golden Calf was erected!
2. 1Chronicles 21:1 – “A satan” rose up against Israel, and he enticed David into taking a census of Israel. (An evil spirit tempted David to doubt in God’s protection over Israel! Doubting in God’s love for us is soo serious that God punished the people with a pestilence that killed 70,000 men… Sounds familiar with present day pestilences? )
3. Book of Job. Then Satan converses with God and tells him that His good servant Job would not be a follower if He tested him and he undergoes 3 different temptations: loss of his children and riches; boils covered his body from head to toe; three friends appear to tempt Job in every way possible to bring discouragement to him. It is so interesting that at the end Job is reprimanded by God to a certain point, but it is in Job’s hands the salvation of his three friends, and God placed as a condition to restore him with more children and riches, for Job to intercede for the three friends… There is much to learn in here.
4. Zechariah 2:1-2. Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, while Satan stood at his right hand to accuse him. And the Angel of the Lord said to Satan, ‘May the Lord rebuke you, Satan; may the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!’”
5. Jesus is tempted three times! It is an extraordinary detail to hint us what it is in store for all of His followers.
6. Jesus exorcises demoniacs over and over…!
7. Matthew 16: 21-23. “From that time on, Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, ‘God forbid, Lord!’No such thing shall ever happen to You.’ He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle to Me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’” ( It is super clear to me that anyone who attempts to take away our crosses willed by God, becomes Satan; or said in other words, Satan works day and night to scare us with our crosses instead of recognizing their power and as the Cross was for Jesus, with enormous redemptive power for ourselves and others.)
8. Mathew 10: 27-28. “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; do not be afraid of those who kill the body; rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (This is the first time and only time that I have heard Jesus giving us permission to be afraid… Immediately in the same chapter – verses 29-31 – He said, “Do not be afraid for all your hairs have been counted.” It is like saying, “Be afraid of Satan but do not worry because you have power to deal with him.”)
9. Matthew 12:43-48 speaks of how Satan works. A person can be exorcised but the evil spirit can return and bring others to help him take over the soul again.
10. Matthew 13: 18-23. The Parable of the Sower. Speaks amply of Satan.
11. Matthew 13: 24-30. The Parable of the weeds among the wheat (Satan).
12. Matthew 17: 14-21. The lack of faith of His disciples (plus fasting as in Mark 9:29) did not allow them to do an exorcism.
13. Matthew 24: 36-44. In verse 43 He said, “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of the night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his home be broken.”
14. Mark 13: 32-37 – Need of watchfulness. “What I say to you, I say to all: watch.”
15. Luke 22: 31-32. Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail. (Notice how Jesus said that Satan demanded He should sift His disciples! So, it would “stupid” on our part to pretend that he is not constantly after us. It is also obvious that through God’s mercy, we have been given all the advice necessary to stop him!)
16. John 13: 21-30. Announcement of Judas’ betrayal: “Jesus dipped a morsel and handed it to Judas Iscariot. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him…”
17. Luke 22: 1-4 – “Now the feast of Unleavened Bread called the Passover was drawing near, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to put Him to death, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered into Judas, the one surnamed Iscariot, who was counted amongst the Twelve, and he went to the chief priests and temple guards to discuss a plan for handing Him over to them.”
18. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, and through the Gospels He taught us to say, “Father, deliver us from evil.” Hmm… Even in the greatest prayer He composed for us, He makes sure we ask for help against the devil in all his forms of division, fear, accusations and lies, all of which will lead to doubt God’s love for us. Once we do not trust God’s love , our ability to draw His mercy in copious amounts and precisely against Satan, is trampled.
19. 1Thes 2:18. “We decided to go to you – not only once, but more than once, yet Satan thwarted us!”
20. The Bible closes with Revelation 12 among other chapters and even gives us the presence of Our Lady and Satan…
Revelation 12: 7-11. Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon… The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan… Then I heard a voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb (blood of the Lamb – Jesus Crucified…) and by the word of their testimony.
Revelation 20: 7-8. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth…
II. Satan has fought the Saints… God sends Saints for every occasion, dissipation, indifference and/or heresy…
But here are some Saints that fought Satan openly: We know of Saints who saw him around them: St. Teresa of Avila, Cure of Ars, St. Padre Pio, St. Faustina.
Diary of St. Faustina 713: “Satan rushed into my room with great anger. He is beginning to attack me openly and with such great fury and hatred.”
III. THE CHRISTIAN WORLD THROUGH THE CENTURIES
God and Satan are prevalent features of our history
1. Satan worked over time to make martyrs of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus.
2. Heresies appear here and there that brought several Councils to dispel them.
3. The Orthodox Church sets a house apart. The theology of the Catholic Church had started in the East with 7 Councils and the witness of the great Greek Fathers of the Church. In IX C, the Greek Patriarch Photius started disputing with the Latin Church over the mission in Bulgaria and not accepting that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Son as well. He died reconciled with the Roman Church. In 1054, Latin Cardinals and Greek Patriarchs excommunicated each other. In 1204, the Latin Crusaders sacked Constantinople (unbeknownst to the Pope who excommunicated them). This remained the most difficult division present to this date. The Monks of Mount Athos denounced John Paul II as the Anti-Christ during his visit to Greece in the l990’s…
4. 1531: Our Lady clothed by the sun over the serpent’s head, appears in Tepeyac and said to Juan Diego, “Do not be afraid. Am I not here who are your mother?…”
5. In the same XVI C, two future Doctors of the Church are born to teach us about a renewal of their Order of Carmelites… as if hinting how prayer would be part of the renewal for any of us. They suffered great crosses, but one of them brings the Cross to a high pedestal for the spiritual life. (St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross)
6. Luther sets his own house… (division, confusion)
7. The French Revolution brought disasters to the Church.
8. Masons enter Mexico (1824) from the U.S.A. (More on that later)
9. 1856: Our Lady makes another huge apparition in Lourdes…to remind us of her protection. Healing waters still run today that end many diseases, as if Jesus is permanently signaling that He is with us through His Mother!
10. 1917: She comes to Fatima and warns about communism and shows the children hell… Satan was clearly spoken of. Saying the Rosary and fasting were important things to do against him!
11. World War I and II come to be and other minor ones ensue later. (Division, confusion, hatred, accusations, lies and fear are the source of these wars)
12. 1930 – massive euthanasia started in Germany for the mentally challenged. Hitler appears (A catholic…). The Holocaust started shortly after.
13. Divine Mercy as the solution to obtain peace is introduced in Poland – 1930’s via St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)
14. A Pope of Mercy ( 1920-2005) is being prepared at the time in order to deal later with the satanic work of Stalin and promulgate the importance of God’s Mercy for these times.
15. 1958: Cuba had been under a dictatorship for years (Fulgencio Batista) and it was the center for many to coming from the U.S. to fornicate on weekends Teen girls were made into prostitutes. Gays had a place to find pleasure. I remember that Cuba in those days was thought of as a Sodom and Gomorrah… But in this year, Fidel Castro (educated by Jesuits) exchanged it all for communism and another dictatorship.
16. Other Latin American countries experience satanic influence. Chile is no exception. St. Teresa of the Andes had arrived to Chile (1900-1920) and shortly after St. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, S.J. who died in 1952 at age 51. Venezuela gets Hugo Chavez. Bolivia gets Evo Morales. Nicaragua had a dictatorship with Somoza and later another socialist president aided by a Jesuit priest, whom JP II admonished on his visit there.
17. 1973 – Roe v Wade. We can kill babies in America. Culture of death moves to the U.S. Quiet euthanasia is practiced here and there. Eventually one of the States of the Union makes mercy killing (euthanasia) acceptable. The Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxemburg open Dignity Clinics for terminal patients to die with a lethal injection.
18. Jihadists appear. Israel continues its wars with neighbors as it happened for many centuries before.
19. Vatican II ends in the mid 60’s as the secular world was entering the times of Sodom and Gomorrah with sex, drugs and with the rock and roll and pop music “kings,” and Satan gets in and confuses Priests and Nuns and Laity, as he knows how to do… Feminists become a huge voice. A famous band from the 1960’s had a member who lived a consensual incest life with his daughter for 10 years! At age 8 she had been inducted to take cocaine!
20. Radio, television, cyber technology with Twitter, Face Book, You Tube, cell phones, I-phones, and the reign of PORNOGRAHY (due to its Internet home privacy) invaded us… These media phenomena through the plasticity of our brains (brainwashing) sent us to the dictatorship of relativism and secularism where there is no Truth… It is all relative according to our free will. The media manipulated public information and Terry Schivo was exterminated. A patient of mine was executed under my own watch, without I suspecting it prior to the deed!
21. The Roman Catholic Church
The Church has had its ups and downs through the centuries and Satan has been at the center. It is sad to say that we keep ignoring him!
IV. A description of what was going on in the world when Saints were sent:
St. Jean Marie Vianney 1786-1859
The French Revolution ( a fanatical, anticlerical and irreligious age): 1789 marked the fall of the Bastille; 1791 saw the formulation of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy; 1793 inaugurated the famous Reign of Terror. Its running’s did not stop in Paris and reverberated in almost every cranny and nook of France. A price was on the head of every priest. Church bells were silenced and wayside shrines were toppled over in the grass. For those who dared to harbor a priest, deportation was the punishment. Holy Mass was celebrated at times in the home of Matthew Vianney, the Cure’s father!
Ars was a small village in 1818 with a population of 230. People were very poor and yet, there were four taverns. Around these centered the social life of the people. As a result they became worldly minded, pleasure hungry, and in time, weak and indifferent toward religious practices. However, Ars was not worse than other villages. The bad effect of the Terror and the Revolution were found throughout France, and few priests remained to teach the people and the children the simply rudiments of their religion… (Should I say that this is 2009 in the entire U.S.?)
In the early days, his parishioners would find the Curé on his knees. Many found him in secluded spots and weeping like a child: “My God, convert my parish! My God, convert my parish!” To his prayer he added penance. Shortly after arriving in Ars, the Curé gave his mattress away and slept on the floor, using a log of wood as a pillow. He got rid of most of the furniture and the full time housekeeper. Once a week, Fr. Vianney would cook for himself some potatoes. When hungry, he cooked an egg or made some pancakes. He ate only when necessary just to keep the body going.
However, in 1820 the Curé received a new assignment to a place with fresh air for his health. But even the mayor of Ars asked the Curé to remain. Shortly after, people started to come to church as others started to persecute him…They wrote to the Bishop with many lies. It came a time when he said with conviction: “To suffer lovingly is to suffer no longer. To flee from the cross is to be crushed beneath its weight. We should pray for love of the cross – then it will become sweet.”
The great personal devotion of the Curé himself was his devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He knew that love for the Blessed Sacrament was the most powerful means of renewing the heart of a parish. He inspired his people, mostly by personal example, to often make visits to Jesus.
In ALL of God’s Kingdom, nothing on earth attracts more than heroic holiness in action. From 1827 until 1859, the church of Ars was never empty. Eventually, Ars became the focal center of spirituality of France. To a priest who complained about the indifference of the people of his parish, the Curé answered: “You have preached; you have prayed. But have you fasted? Have you taken this discipline? Have you slept on the bare floor? So long as you have done none of these things, you have no right to complain.” Another time he said, “Anything we do without offering it to God is wasted.”
Even the Devil came to Ars. Indeed, he had a reason. By the mouth of a possessed woman, he exclaimed one day to the Curé, “How thou makest me suffer! If there were three men on earth like thyself, my kingdom would be destroyed.” The grappin had work to do, and he did it. Nightly, he visited the Cure, annoying him by his continual never ending noise.
In 1845 the Bishop sent an assistant priest to the Curé of Ars. Fr. Raymond was brilliant and very efficient, but lacking in judgment and humility. In time, Fr. Raymond began to realize that the people wanted the holiness of the pastor and not the efficiency of the assistant…St. Jean died at age 73.
THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO
Here is a summary of Mexico prior to the birth of Venerable Conchita Cabrera de Armida (1862-1937) and during her life… When Ars was described above, one could name the U.S. today. In the following historical points, I can see similar present times in this our beautiful U.S.A. This summary was prepared by one of Conchita’s religious sons in Rome, Fr.Pablo Vera Olvera, June 18, 1987 and published in the book “To My Priests” but only in the Spanish version. It is scary to compare these changes in Mexico with the present changes seen in the U.S. since January 2009!
1. The Masonic lodges were established in Mexico by the American Ambassador Joel R. Poinsett in 1824! Historians attribute to their presence the reasons for the evil wars that came after.
2. First, the York Lodges proposed for the government, the federal model of the U.S.
3. Later, the Scottish Lodges at the Cuernavaca plan (May 25, 1834), promoted the centralized Republic.
4. The country, thereby, became divided. In 1847, Valentin Gómez Farías imposed the secularization of teaching in public schools. He also suspended the University of Mexico and secularized the California missions to rob them of their funds. The Mexican Bishops complained…
5. General Santana who in 1822 had proclaimed the Republic and destituted Emperor Iturbide, came back and this time he destituted Gomez Farías in 1847. Also, in 1847, the war between the U.S and Mexico was declared and Mexico lost Texas.
6. Benito Juárez usurped the power in 1857 and approved the Constitution that established the separation between Church and State. In 1858, Juarez promulgated the “Laws for Reform” in Veracruz, which were against the Church and had been put together by Masonic Lodges.
7. The “war of three years” (1858-1861) started and took the country into bankruptcy. In 1861, Juárez started issuing “IOU’s” and Europe intervened (France, England and Spain).
8. Porfirio Díaz came to power from 1877 to 1880. He was re-elected from 1884 to 1911. For 30 years he governed Mexico. Faith in the country was not active and complete apathy was reigning.
9. In 1911, the revolution of Francisco Madero triumphs but he was killed in 1913.Victoriano Huerta takes over and history makes him responsible for the killing of Madero with the help of the American Ambassador. Later, the U.S. removes its help and he left and died in America.
10. General Vestuniano Carranza takes power in 1915. He fought the Church and expelled many Bishops, persecuted the priests, burned confessionals, destroyed sacred objects and wanted to legalize this slavery of the Church. During his times the Constitution of 1917 was approved. They were not happy just with the separation of Church and Estate, and they took all the rights of the Church away. On Feb. 24 of 1917, the Mexican Bishops published a Pastoral Letter protesting this Constitution, along with many other Bishops in other countries: Latin Americans, French, and Spaniards. Popes Benedict XV (Feb 2, 1926) and Pius XI (Nov. 16, 1926) also protested.
11. 1920-1924 General Alvaro Obregón is the new President.
Acts of violence started: on Feb. 1921, a bomb exploded in the Cathedral of Mexico City. Another bomb exploded in the Altar of the Basílica of O. L. of Guadalupe.
From Oct 5 to 12, 1924, they put together a national Eucharistic Congress. However, any public employee who attended it lost his/her job. Obregón was re-elected but before he started the second term, he was assassinated.
12. 1924 – 1928 General Plutarco Elías Calles took the Presidency. Religious persecution became worse. He tried to start a Mexican schismatic church. The Apostolic Nuncio who had come to the U.S. for health reasons, could not re-enter Mexico. The politics of Calles was to submit or exterminate Catholicism.
13. The Supreme Council of Masons’ meeting in Geneva (1924) decreed the “dis-romanization” of all Latin America, starting in Mexico. On December 12, 1926 (Feast of O.L.) they published the following: “The International Masonry accepts all responsibility of everything that happens in Mexico, and it is ready to mobilize all her forces to execute completely and totally, the programs prepared for this country. In every way, we must combat the establishment and activity of all religious congregations. They must be expulsed from all Latin America. All representatives of governments before the Vatican must be abolished.”
14. Calles continued doing many other things like incarcerating the Archbishop of Mexico City. He expelled more than 200 priests. He took away the recognition of studies done in private schools. Finally, the “Calles’ Law” was approved by which all public worship would end on Aug. 1, 1926. The Bishops consulted the Pope and they suspended all public worship before the law came into effect. They ordered groups of 10 neighbors in each parish to consume the Blessed Sacrament and to close their churches.
15. Lay Catholics started to mobilize themselves and founded the National Defense for Religious Freedom.” Calles reacted and over stepping the Constitution, he prohibited all “private worship” as well… Many martyrs died. Calles started a campaign of misinformation saying than in México all was well and establishing complete silence by everybody.
16. Emilio Portes Gil followed Calles but he was his pupil. The Government entered in serious political and financial problems and realized that they could not continue doing what they were doing regarding religious freedom. So, in June 1929, Bishops and the government started meeting. Public worship was re-instituted on July 31, 1929.
I. In the Bible:
“Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8: 34.
The Beatitudes list a series of crosses: poverty, hunger, tears, being hated, insulted and denounced as evil on account of the Son of Man; yet they are blessings…. THIS IS A HUGE HINT!
1Cor 1:18. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
II. Many Saints have catechized us well on the need to embrace the cross.
1. Notes from “Spiritual Direction according to St. Paul of the Cross by Bennet Kelley, C.P. 1998 Alba House, Staten, N.Y.
St. Paul of the Cross saw in our crosses a necessary part of our purification and growth. “Take all the trials you suffer, whether in body or in spirit, also any storm which arises from men or devils, and all the desolation, abandonment, darkness, temptation, and so on – take them all, I say, without any intermediary, from the most gentle Heart of Jesus.” St. Paul gave this advice: “When you, stripped of everything, gently feel yourself on the cross, stir up your faith in God’s presence, and abandon yourself in the immense sea of His love.” Without such faith, Paul did not believe it possible to begin any journey into a deep prayer life, a life of communication with the Lord.
2. Our Carmelite Saints:
St. John of the Cross was clear in his teachings.… He himself was persecuted by his own Calced Carmelites…From the Spiritual Canticle – “Would that men might come at least to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross. The gate that gives entry into these riches of His wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is give to few the desires to pass through it.”
St. Therese: “Ah! It is prayer, it is sacrifice, which give me all my strength; these are the invincible ways which Jesus has given me They can touch souls much better than words as I have very frequently experienced. “ “Love is nourished only by sacrifices, and the more a soul refuses natural satisfactions, the stronger and more disinterested become her tenderness.” (Story of a Soul)
3. “God Alone” by St. Louis Marie de Montfort:à Dear brothers and sisters, Friends of the Cross, remember that our loving Savior has His eyes on you at this moment, and He says to each one of you individually, “See how almost everyone deserts Me on the royal road of the Cross. Pagans in their blindness ridicule my Cross as foolishness; … even my own people – and I say it with tears in My eyes and grief in My Heart – My own children whom I have brought up and instructed in My ways, My members whom I have quickened with My own spirit, have turned their backs on Me and forsaken me by becoming enemies of the Cross.”
4. Mexican Venerable Conchita Cabrera de Armida (1862-1937) understood and wrote this: “Suffering, or the Cross divinized by the Son, is the one and only ladder for reaching to the love of charity.” Diary July 9, 1895.
5. According to St. Francis de Sales in a sermon for Good Friday, he said that Jesus did not have to die on the Cross. He simply laid down His life for us to show us the way.
How to tie Satan up in our lives
First of all, Jesus gave us the power to do it! Huh!
Luke 10: 17-19, 23-24. The 72 (all disciples and not particularly the 12 apostles) returned rejoicing and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of Your Name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall light lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents (devil) and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you! (We have been given power over Satan… Period!) Turning in private to the disciples, He said, “Blessed are your eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (It is clear that some will not have such power to defeat Satan because they will not see the need in order to be “disciples” in the strict definition that He left us to be sent to deal with demons, and using our crosses to do so! Notice also how in previous passagesHe had sent the 72 disciples without any provisions for the journey… On purpose? I think so… It would be mini crosses they had to endure… for the sake of their evangelistic work and it did work – and I know because I was born in the midst of the Church they promulgated)
John 12: 24, 26-28, 31. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever serves Me, must follow Me (Calvary?), and where I am, there also my servant will be (crucified?). The Father will honor whoever serves Me… I am troubled now. Yet, what should I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’But, it was for this purpose that I came on this hour. Farther, glorify Your Name. Now it is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be driven out.”
It is clear to me that this clarifies His conditions for discipleship: Luke 10: 24 –> “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself (we must die like the grain of wheat) and take up his cross daily (suffer daily) and follow Me (to be a servant that stays next to Him, on the Cross).” He also hints clearly that the Cross is indispensable for us to drive out Satan. It further clarifies that doing the will of the Father, even death on a cross, will glorify Him, and the Father even asserted this to be the case.
St. Andrew of Crete, Bishop. ”Had there been no cross, Christ could no have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the worlds cleansing… Had there been no cross¸ death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled. (It clearly speaks of the Cross as a fount of Mercy and as He taught us to pray found in St. Faustina’s Diary – “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the side of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.”)
“The Cross is honorable because it is both the sign of God’s suffering and the trophy of his victory. It stands for His suffering because on it He freely suffered unto death. But it is also His trophy because it was the means by which the devil was wounded and death conquered; the barred gates of hell were smashed, and the cross becomes the one common salvation of the whole world.” End of quote.
Many of us have not personally paid too much attention and consciously experienced THE POWER of Satan in his own right over us (even in the smallest ways) and the CROSS against him, our crosses embraced for the sake of the Kingdom… Once you know that, one cannot but shout it from the housetops…
My recipe: 1) Prayer asking for His mercy as we adore Him within, in His Eucharistic Presence and in our brothers and sisters, 2) The Holy Spirit alive in our daily present moment (calling Him for everything) so that we zero in doing the will of God at all cost without losing the way, which also means to carry our crosses with a determined determination without fleeing them, and 3) Offering such life as a sacrifice for other souls, will make Satan flee like crazy… I have lived it many times! Once you live it and are conscious of it, you share it and people want to know about it and miracles follow, since the Holy Spirit proceeds to dispel demons in the lives of others, demons of doubt, of fear, of confusion, of indifference and dissipation… It is actually fun to do… because it reveals to us the power we have against this great enemy. This can be shared among us to be conscious of the evil one and of our power against him and slowly but surely, through the years, people could use their crosses to convert family members and/or themselves.
I did not understand the why of so many persecutions in my life, but they were invitations to embrace my crosses… However, this God full of mercy led me to read and read and read all about it since 1980. Up to that point it was through grace that I did no despair with the many crosses. He carried me… Later, He carried me but I knew what was going on, and since then, I have watched Satan fall on his face by the fruits I have seen in many lives. I still have huge crosses but my faith in that my God is totally in charge, and that my suffering of such crosses is so important and necessary to convert many, makes Satan get very unhappy
With this little army, “Friends of Cross” in the XXI Century , or those who welcome crosses as spiritual gold while being very faithful to the commandments of love of God and neighbor, the sky is the limit. WE COULD DO WHAT THE CURE OF ARS DID… Huh! Huge numbers of people are not needed. Just a few can BRING THE MERCY OF GOD to do the job… He promised it! He modeled it for us… He became mercy for us precisely on the Cross. He instructed us big time in the Big Book. If this is offered for the Church, I am sure that a Pentecost would come like never heard of… We would not even need to call the Holy Ghost. We cannot remove Satan but we can immobilize or chain Satan with our crosses…It is up to us. He has done horrible things since Genesis as written above, and his main attack in us is tempting us to DISSIPATION… and NOT BELIEVING that he is soo dangerous and that we have weapons: Our Lady, the Sacraments and embracing our crosses as the will of God for us, and loving God and neighbor day in and day out. …
Satan has us so laid back in our spirituality that our worship looks more like a routine act. We lost the awareness of the presence of God within and in our brother and sister. We manage our going to Mass like we do when we go to a social function. We seem to have lost the pearl of great price, the Kingdom of God within, and we do not get excited when present at the Sacrifice of the Mass, but what it is worse is that we do not know it… He came to show us the Cross and how light His yoke can be once we obey and embrace our own. Satan lives among us as he has done forever and we make no effort to stop or paralyze him. This is why I stopped the blogs to enter poustinia, the poustinia of my heart. And as I have spent time relishing God’s Word and suffering symptoms of mercury poisoning, I was able to comprehend even more the power of my crosses.
Just think if we would teach other Christians the importance of our crosses and share with them what we have seen in our own lives! The offering up of suffering would be different. We were taught to offer up our difficulties, but never were told that this offering must be from our hearts, relishing the pain and turning around and saying to God: “Father, if You can, take this chalice away from me, but not my will but Yours be done. I am Your servant and I come to do Your will. I offer my cross for my family or friend or enemy.” In other words, the offering is not made from a state of frustration and being carried kicking and screaming and hoping to lose the cross in route…
Then, imagine Priests telling their parishioners from personal experience, “Expect miracles…” once they become “Friends of the Cross”… And as lay people experience miracles in their lives, guess what? They would become evangelizers of friends and family like the Samaritan woman, when they show them miracles as friends of the Cross, friends of sufferings… Satan would just run for cover and by then, they could be catechized in the power of the Cross over Satan. But in the mean time, a small core of us should be organized to be mini “Curé of Ars” for our Christian world… in order to start the ball running…
We must become another Mary of Nazareth, who under the cross of being pregnant without a husband and basically condemned to death by public stoning, ran to visit her cousin to serve her with the Truth, the Way and the Life, because SHE WAS FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST… What a trust in God. She also carried the Cross of seeing her Son being murdered, and by having to stay on earth for some more years, taking care of her new children given to her at the Cross… In all of this, she defeated Satan and continues doing so by protecting us with her intercession.
But still there is a question to be answered. Why should we be soo solicitous in becoming His disciples as He defined it, which involves our accepting all crosses but just to be good to others? Could we not just be good and nice and feed the poor and teach the Word of God to many and refuse our crosses as best as we can, by asking Him to change them or disappear them altogether?
Well, I do not think so! Read Psalm 139 and you become convinced that each one of us was created with a precise agenda for the Kingdom… He created each one of us with a purpose, for a purpose to serve His Body, and in His image and likeness, no more and no less. Are we willing to miss the wonders we could bring to the world under the power of the Holy Ghost, if we just become His true disciples and kiss our crosses day in and day out to tie down the evil that gets in the way of many to encounter Jesus, the King of Kings? Well, I am answering to you that I will not miss this call for anything… I will try the best I can, and He will take it from there…
Psalm 139: 13-16 – “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, so wonderfully You made me; wonderful are Your works! My very self You knew; my bones were not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in Your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before they came.” (I add: if I allow Him to do so… I have to say “Yes” to His will for everything… including crosses, for His Word to become true and as He fashioned me ahead of time.)
Final words: during my long walk to Emmaus and having been blessed with huge crosses without being crushed or left bitter, upset or resentful, I dare to SHOUT the following: I tremble when I think that I may not do God’s will at any particular moment. He is so just, so perfect and so merciful, that any little part of my own will, and obviously different to His, will never assure me that it will be as perfect as His will for my spiritual life, my Promised Land (peace, joy, knowing his Presence in the Eucharist and in my brothers and sisters, lack of resentment and forgiveness for those who sin against me). So, all crosses are ambassadors of His love, the most perfect gift He can give me! Therefore, I also dare to say: “Here I am Lord; I come to do Your will.”
So, what I am doing now?
Daily I spend time reading and praying these words several times and as I ask for God’s Mercy to live that way, using my crosses as bridges for the Mercy of God for me and the whole world.
Abandonment to Divine Providence
1. In the silence of my heart I adore You my God, the Holy Trinity; I adore Your will for me without RESERVE, without planning or making any provisions of my own because You are in charge of my whole being. (Notice that these are not meant to be pious words. These are actions to be lived in every present moment). I OFFER MYSELF as a living SACRIFICE to You, Father, abiding in Christ, Your Son, as I hear His Word and act on it under the auspices of Your Holy Spirit.
2. I offer this holocaust at the Altar of any Mass being celebrated at this moment in the world and united to the Sacrifice of the Lamb, in atonement for my sins and those of the whole world, but especially for the Church at large, the ministerial Priesthood and my family.
My holocaust consists of:
A. The embracing of all my crosses moment by moment with a loud “yes” and as constantly pray,
“To You be praise, to You be glory, to You be thanksgiving for this present moment, O Blessed Trinity.”
B. I also wish to become a spiritual HOLOCAUST by accepting without questions the SCANDAL of the things that I cannot understand, that is, the why of Your will.
3. I also pray as often as possible the Jesus’ Prayer begging for His mercy to obtain the grace to keep points 1 and 2.
“Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner, and on the whole world.”