The divisiveness in our culture is contaminating families. Exorcists point to the devil as dividing and oppressing us. I am shocked at some of what I am seeing in families.
There’s always been evil forces at work since Adam and Eve, but the anti-Christian spirit certainly gained a foothold through the notorious Madalyn Murray O'Hair who forced prayer out of public schools. Recall that once students across the country began their day praying to God.
To digress a moment: O’Hair, dubbed “The Most Hated Woman in America” founded American Atheists in 1963 sued her son’s school for requiring Bible readings, took it all the way to the Supreme Court and won her case that same year. Prayer became outlawed in schools. A ray of light is that the very son, William J. Murray, became a Baptist minister and founded the Religious Freedom Coalition Religious Freedom Coalition, defending Christianity from people like his mother. It’s a story of hope amid our cultural unraveling.
The Catholic Church has been a beacon of light, holding fast to teachings on the sacredness of sex and marriage but within have been enough wolves in sheep’s clothing to cause crises in the Church with sin and scandal. And of course, confusion. So even within the pews, what is right and what is wrong has become contentious.
From an evil perspective, once God and his annoying teachings are out of the way, our culture can portray things like killing babies, distorted sexual behaviors and the occult as good. Satan has risen to power on many fronts, according to every exorcist I’ve ever interviewed, not because he has upped his game but because more people are willing to play it. The world is the devil’s playground while Satan and his minions work tirelessly to keep people from entering heaven, the place they rejected by rejecting God’s authority. Eternity in hell is their final un-resting place where they want us all to join them.
The devil wants to convince us that the wrong people are the enemy. What I am personally witnessing in families with loving Christian parents is the divisiveness spoken in Scripture. “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law,” Luke 12:53.
I once thought that was just describing early Christianity when pagans persecuted Christians, sometimes to death. Or in oppressive countries where Christianity is persecuted. But it’s here among us in the U.S. too. I’m not just hearing about it from a distance, but also seeing it up close in several families with adult children who have rejected values and even cut off communication with parents despite other siblings who dearly love their parents. I find it quite bizarre and most unexpected having known many of these estranged adults as children. Clearly, the unraveling of our culture is also unraveling families. The devil is very real and when he gets God out of the way, he gains an upper hand. It makes sense that ostracizing family members is part of that ploy.
Perhaps there are areas needing forgiveness--seems there always are. I cannot know what is behind every story, but I know that the devil divides and Jesus unites. In the end, spiritual protection can best obtained by staying in a state of grace as we pray for others, seeking to love others, forgive always, go deeper in prayer and devotions, put our families, Church, and culture into God’s hands, and trust that “Thy will be done.” Call on Jesus and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy often. Spend time in adoration and entrust everything unto the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also, the rosary, as so many saints attested to being a great spiritual power, brings our mother into the battle. We trust that our heavenly mother wants to keep her family together.
If you question just how real and powerful the devil is in our world, two excellent books are: Demonic Foes: My Twenty-FIve Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Posessions, Diabolic Attacks and the Paranormal and Diary of an American Exorcist. And for great advice for families is Family Guide to Spiritual Warfare.
For more inspiration check out Patti's latest book: Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Other books include: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the best-selling Amazing Grace Series.