Friday, January 28, 2011

The Realities of Spiritual Warfare

Well, I had my 7 Quick Takes Friday #2 all ready to go, but my experiences yesterday and today urged me to table that one until next week in favor of a more serious subject....

Now I am not one to look for the boogy-man around every shadowy corner, but our Holy Mother Church makes it clear that the devil and his minions are REAL and that they roam the earth seeking the ruin of souls...

While our Lord Jesus Christ has won the war on our behalf, there are skirmishes still to be fought. And since the devil knows that he is ultimately the loser for all eternity, he works more desperately in the present moment to grasp at whatever smaller victory he can...

which is the damnation of individual souls.

We have free will. We can accept or reject Satan the same way we can accept or reject God.

But what I think people today do not realize is that the opportunities for acceptance or rejection come every single day in a hundred little ways. C.S. Lewis realized and expounded upon this in The Screwtape Letters. I saw an amazing theatre performance of the book in the Winter of 2008, when I was pregnant with #6. The Senior Tempter and the demonic minion who delivered his correspondence were the only characters and all the dialogue was straight from the book. It was very powerful to SEE and HEAR the sneering "Uncle Screwtape" giving advice to his "nephew demon" Wormwood on how to lead and tempt and seduce a soul closer and closer to hell.... bit by bit.... using the soul's own desires and yearnings (even the good ones!)... always seeking to capitalize on those sins that particular soul is most inclined to (pride, vanity, gluttony, etc.)

So I had decided earlier in the week that I was going to bring up the subject of Special Needs adoption to my dear hubby on Saturday. I would take him out to lunch after our morning Marriage Retreat at the parish (requred of parents whose children are in Religious Ed) and give him the picture of the little one I am feeling called to bring into our family.

I was getting more and more nervous as the week went on. This is the man I have been married to for almost 22 years and have had 6 children with, yet I was becoming overly concerned about his reaction, about if he would think I am crazy, about him rejecting the idea out-of-hand....

so on Thursday morning, while I was working my way through a mountain of laundry, I decided to call in the "big guns" - my own personal spiritual warriors, 5 very good and holy women who I can always count on for serious support and guidance.

I sent out an urgent email missive to my friends asking for their prayers for a matter I would be discussing with Paul on Saturday, and told them that I would be praying and fasting on Friday for this intention and asked if they would join me. They all replied in a short time with enthusiastic support and obvious curiosity for the subject of their petitions, but they graciously accepted that I would be able to share in the near future.

So I went back to "re-boot" the laundry - i.e. fold what was in the dryer, take out from the washer and put in dryer and then start dryer....

but the dryer just would would not start (even after calls to the company hotline and various troubleshooting tactics were tried).

It had been working all morning as I had gotten through about 3 or 4 loads, but it would no longer start at all.

And I knew.

I knew that when I sought and received the spirtual support of my holy friends before the altar of God, the devil decided to go for the jugular....and today the jugular was my dryer.

I knew that the evil one was hitting my dear hubby where he was most vulnerable,

In the "Oh my gosh we have so many unexpected expenditures we will never have enough money for all the kids we have now!!!" place where my so-responsible hubby goes when he is staring at a large and unplanned for repair (or replacement) bill.

Oh yes, he knows where he can get us.

He can get me in the "but I am a good person already, better than most really, I love God and my husband and family and mankind in general and isn't that enough so I deserve a cup of coffee and to sit and read a magazine" place.

The reality of Spiritual Warfare is that he can get us in so many places, places of our deepest sins, places of our silliest little habits, places of our ingrained vices....places where we don't let Jesus go.

So I let Jesus in. I opened the floodgates to prayer and fasting on Friday. Oh, and I threw in a little physical pain for good measure (offering up a really bad sore throat)!

I gave it all up to God today.

I now know that how I present the adoption doesn't matter, nor does it matter what the repair bill on the dryer is, or whether the atmosphere at the restaurant I pick for lunch is appropriate.

I now know that if it is God's will that we adopt that God will move my husband's heart.

I refuse to be afraid.

I refuse to let Satan "get me" (and those I love) in ANY place, either in my heart or in my laundry room.

Game. Set. Match. 

Take that Screwtape.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this post really hit me hard. From the moment we've started this adoption process it felt "meant to be" in the way it fell into our laps (and in some of the other details), but the last couple of weeks it seems like EVERYTHING is getting thrown at us. Our appraisal not going well, our water softener died, our pellet stove igniter broke (mid-winter, of course), my car needs additional repairs all of a sudden...and it is causing my husband to FREAK OUT. In his very calm and sane way, of course.
    After at first being very upset at his attitude about the whole thing (he's 100% about adoption, just not 100% about the costs), I realized I have to just stay quiet and let him think through things, and just pray. Really hard.
    I hope your husband has a change of heart about adopting a special needs child!
    p.s. Thanks for offering your support on the breastfeeding! I'm really excited about getting that started!