Author Topic: Demonic Oppression of Converts  (Read 1058 times)

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Offline Saxon

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Demonic Oppression of Converts
« on: August 30, 2017, 07:14:45 PM »
This is less of a questions and more of a reflection, but I'm interested to see if anyone has had similar experiences.

My fiance and I were baptized on a Saturday last December, and were to take communion at liturgy the following day. My priest told us we were in for a "rough night", as Satan dislikes people being received into the Faith and will try to derail things. At around 5:00 am the next morning, we were awoken by somebody attempting to break down our front door - literally hurling themselves at our door - and screaming obscenities while demanding to be let in. I held the door closed with a knife in hand while on the phone with 911. The police arrived within minutes and it turned out to be our downstairs neighbour who seemed to be high on something. Our landlord confronted her the next day as there was damage to the door frame and she claimed to have no memory of the incident. Her voice, demands to be let in, and the strength with which this slight girl was able to ram the door seemed demonic. That sounds ridiculous, but there's no other way to describe it. We were pretty sleep-deprived but still made it to liturgy.

During Great Lent, I had a falling-out with my priest and his daughter, who is a close friend of my fiance and I, over something ridiculous. I became disillusioned with Orthodoxy, stopped going to church, and fought constantly with my fiance - to the point that she stopped wearing her engagement ring and we barely spoke to each other. All of this made those months a particularly dark period. Fortunately everyone reconciled and we are once again very active in the church.

We are getting married in October. For the past few weeks, I've been dealing with some health issues. For years, I've had a slight heart arrhythmia that seemed to be benign (I was checked out multiple times by hospitals and a cardiologist) and was put down to stress. Well, this issue has amplified with a vengeance in recent weeks and is now impacting my quality of life. I've been referred to a cardiologist next week to be fitted with a heart monitor. And today, I noticed an extremely painful lump dead centre on my spine that is making it difficult to stand up straight. I spent much of yesterday in the hospital having my heart addressed and have no resolve for more hours-long waits in an exam room. I'm hoping it's something muscular, although I don't recall doing anything that would injure or strain the area.

Summed up, every time we take another step in the Faith, life comes crashing down on us in a way that almost seems intended to deter us from continuing on the right path. Has anyone else had a similar experience upon coming to Orthodoxy?

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 10:45:40 PM »
I had a very traumatic experience on the same day I was baptised, I already expected for it (although it was worse than I thought), so it made my Holy Week too tense.

My then kind-of-fiancée had cheated on me and I found this out stalking her Facebook (she had given me her password and we just forgot about it until she started to act weird). She was going to be chrismated into the Church in Pascha, along with me, but for family reasons, she missed it. Her birthday was on Sunday, so on the same day I was chrismated, and the guy she cheated on me with was there. As soon as he left, she broke up with me in front of our families and friend, which led me to cry so histerically she and my angry mother had to carry me out of there. My anxiety got really worse after that, I was depressed for months, and I started have a hard time to interact with girls even if they were of a different age span, or already friends with me before the incident. I also sinned persistently to try to numb the bad emotions, but hopefully this didn't stray me away from the Church, on the contrary, it made me fall a bit from my pride and seek spiritual help more humbly.

On a side note, one of the priests at my church tells that, on the day he was baptised, he found his car's front window entirely destroyed, without any sign at all of what would have caused that. He just removed the remaining shards of glass and drove to church.  ;D
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 11:43:03 PM »
This is less of a questions and more of a reflection, but I'm interested to see if anyone has had similar experiences.

My fiance and I were baptized on a Saturday last December, and were to take communion at liturgy the following day. My priest told us we were in for a "rough night", as Satan dislikes people being received into the Faith and will try to derail things. At around 5:00 am the next morning, we were awoken by somebody attempting to break down our front door - literally hurling themselves at our door - and screaming obscenities while demanding to be let in. I held the door closed with a knife in hand while on the phone with 911. The police arrived within minutes and it turned out to be our downstairs neighbour who seemed to be high on something. Our landlord confronted her the next day as there was damage to the door frame and she claimed to have no memory of the incident. Her voice, demands to be let in, and the strength with which this slight girl was able to ram the door seemed demonic. That sounds ridiculous, but there's no other way to describe it. We were pretty sleep-deprived but still made it to liturgy.

During Great Lent, I had a falling-out with my priest and his daughter, who is a close friend of my fiance and I, over something ridiculous. I became disillusioned with Orthodoxy, stopped going to church, and fought constantly with my fiance - to the point that she stopped wearing her engagement ring and we barely spoke to each other. All of this made those months a particularly dark period. Fortunately everyone reconciled and we are once again very active in the church.

We are getting married in October. For the past few weeks, I've been dealing with some health issues. For years, I've had a slight heart arrhythmia that seemed to be benign (I was checked out multiple times by hospitals and a cardiologist) and was put down to stress. Well, this issue has amplified with a vengeance in recent weeks and is now impacting my quality of life. I've been referred to a cardiologist next week to be fitted with a heart monitor. And today, I noticed an extremely painful lump dead centre on my spine that is making it difficult to stand up straight. I spent much of yesterday in the hospital having my heart addressed and have no resolve for more hours-long waits in an exam room. I'm hoping it's something muscular, although I don't recall doing anything that would injure or strain the area.

Summed up, every time we take another step in the Faith, life comes crashing down on us in a way that almost seems intended to deter us from continuing on the right path. Has anyone else had a similar experience upon coming to Orthodoxy?


Well, I'm not a Catechumen yet, but I will tell you that things have been harder since I've kind of "made my decision" so to speak.

Temptations have gotten much, much more aggressive for me - and it has thrown me off guard. Temptations of all kinds - prayer, lust, gluttony, etc. - Satan has been really trying to stir my passions.

And maybe its a spurious correlation, but I don't think so...

I've also had a couple of experiences where I've been put in a situation where I have to make a decision that is extremely grey, and I constantly feel guilt afterwards.

A few nights ago, on my campus, for example I was walking and I noticed this irrational guy yelling some very human-dignity offending obscenities at this girl who looked drunk that he clearly knew - and in absolute rage he was basically dragging her away by her arm. I didn't know what to do because it happened so quickly, as he and her were heading in opposite directions. Should've I told him something? I mean, should've I risked myself for her? Could've I prevented something terrible from happening? Should've I called the cops and followed them?

I said a prayer for them to Christ, especially to the intercessions of Theotokos, Moses the Ethiopian, and Mary of Egypt (the Triple Threat of Saints for me) - but my conscience keeps hurting me because I was basically blindsided - in addition from concern for my own safety, which the Devil keeps attacking me with ("Wow, what a great Christian you are! She might've gotten raped or something, and you did nothing!!!! Why couldn't you've been like a martyr and suffered for another human being!")

I basically cried talking to my mom about what happened.

I have also noticed an increase in hostility towards me from certain individuals, and I've noticed that people have been very hedonistic around me more often.

Once again, these could all be spurious, but the devil is one son of a gun.

I feel the worse is yet to come, but I'll pray for you.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 11:45:04 PM by LivenotoneviL »
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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 02:02:43 AM »
Has anyone else had a similar experience upon coming to Orthodoxy?

Things can get worse, if you can bear it.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 02:12:29 AM »
I remember your topic "I hit a spiritual wall", I am glad it have a happy ending.

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 04:00:09 AM »
Insanity and Demonic Possession in Patristic Thought

I added the name of the article; naked links (or without any description) are not allowed.
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« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 06:20:37 AM by Dominika »

Offline Dominika

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 06:32:41 AM »
I remember only some temptations prior to the sacraments of baptism (Roman Catholic) and chrismation (Orthodox).

Despite being only 7, I didn't want very much tob e baptised; on the day of baptism I ddin't want to put a jacket that my parents chose for the baptism, I was crying at church etc. But after the baptism it stopped, and I started going to church willingly.

As for the chrismation, a few days before it, I got sick of a strong angine, my mother was so upset that I chose "the faith of my father" that she even throw a knfe in the direction of my father and me in kitchen (despite the fact she had been attending sometiems the Orthodox parish, had visited the Holy Mount Grabarka etc.)...
The evening before chrismation I recovered from the illness.
In the beginning of the chrismation service there were some vulgar words coming to my mind, but they weren't from me. But after the annoinment this temptation passed away, my mother goes on some Orthodox services and events, my priest visits normally our home etc.

So, I'm quite surprised but the things you described.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 09:33:57 AM »
I experienced an onset of trouble and mental anguish almost immediately after my baptism. It was overall a very difficult time in my life. My priest said something like, "Welcome to the battlefield." On the other hand the event itself was one of great joy, and it helped carry me through the tough months that followed.
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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 09:41:01 AM »
Gaining greater access to the spiritual world through prayers of the fathers and fasting will bring both blessings and hardships.  We are not guaranteed good things for having embraced the Orthodox faith nor should we.  Even Christ said that we will be hated for His sake.  And since there is a lot of work that goes into being an Orthodox Christian, the demons will make more of an effort. You should expect that. 
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Offline Musicnerd88

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 09:45:44 AM »
I was warned to expect trouble shortly after I became a catechumen and after my baptism.  Things were certainly in upheaval for a while.  Prayers to the Theotokos always helped though.  :)
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 12:37:32 PM »
Seems like it. Although not to the same extent, I've had temptations, wicked thoughts, but I've also had one foot in hell, becoming self-destructive and nihilistic at one point. But nothing too concerning, beyond that.

Mostly an ideological and existential struggle, more than anything.

Although recently, I've met a heretic who claimed he was formerly Orthodox. But, based on my dialogue with him, he knew nothing of what the Church taught. My response to him was adequate, namely, his problem was his own, not with Orthodoxy. But, I don't know what that has to do with anything.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 12:40:34 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline CarolS

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 01:18:01 PM »
If you go looking for demonic activity you will find it, either real or in imagination.  Rather, view coming into the Church as a great blessing for your life. Random bad things might happen to you, but are these really caused by the devil, or just random events? The real demonic activity causes you succumb to fear in your mind and start to connect these random events to the devil. Then this can tempt you to doubt if you are are a good path or not. Instead guard yourself with the sign of the Cross whenever you start to think these fears, and pray to our gracious Lord, and his Mother and all the Saints and Angels for help.
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Offline Helladius

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 05:10:51 PM »
Wow, some of these things are pretty scary! I'm glad that I got baptised and chrismated as a baby  ;) And glad to hear that you all persevered in the face of such trials and difficulties - that's inspiring!

Undoubtedly the devil does up his game when we do! I've heard several priests say we should expect such things when we enter into Great Lent - that as we're trying extra hard to make spiritual progress and to pray, fast etc. that the devil will be trying extra hard to trip us up! So completely makes sense that the same happens in the journey through being a catechumen, baptism, and chrismation. I've read/heard somewhere a priest say that being a catechumen can be really tough because, as you say, the devil is trying to obstruct the catechumen entering into the Church by putting difficulties in their way, and they don't yet have access to the Sacraments which are hugely strengthening.

All that said, of course, God is more powerful than the devil, He has and will vanquish him, so we shouldn't be overly worried by the devil's attempts to trip us up. 'God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.' [1 Cor 10:13] God will only let you be tested as far as is beneficial for you and as far as you can cope with - He will NOT let the devil do more than that, He is sovereign over the devil and over everything. I sometimes find this hard to believe in the moment, and can worry "what if things happen that I just can't cope with and I fall away?", but this thought itself is a temptation, and the truth is that God will always protect us, His sheep, and won't let us be tempted beyond endurance.

Sometimes also I've experienced things happening the other way - by God's grace things being far easier than I expected - and again that must have been because it was what God knew I needed in the moment. For example, I only returned to the Church as an adult after not having gone to Orthodox church since early childhood, and when - as a shy 19 year old - I decided to make a life confession and come back, I just walked into my church (which I'd been to several times over those last few months) on Easter Saturday with my confession written out and hoped that the priest would be hearing confessions. I now know it rarely happens like that in my church, you usually have to let the priest or someone know that you're there for confession so he knows and is there, but - by God's amazing mercy - there the priest was on that Easter Saturday, standing in the confession corner, ready for me to walk right over and make my confession, and it all went so smoothly. I never looked back, thank God :) I'm a spiritual weakling and that's exactly what I needed. So I guess whether things are really hard or really easy as we enter (or re-enter!) the Church, God sends us what's best for us and what we can cope with.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 05:11:44 PM by Helladius »
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2017, 03:35:53 PM »
On the contrary, by the grace of God, I've been experiencing nothing short of awesome joy at each truth I encounter through my readings on the teachings of the Orthodox Church.  Interestingly enough, this is especially so about those teachings shared with the Catholic Church, by expanding and deepening them.
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 09:28:47 PM »
Wow nothing so dramatic as that has happened to me, but I have to admit we have wondered about our own cirumstances;

-the day my husband and I had a serious conversation about Orthodoxy and agreed to pursue it, we were out to lunch. On the way home we got T-boned by another driver, the impact sending us spinning into the other lane and totaled our vehicle.
-the day we were initiated/exorcised as catechumen was also the day of our first catechism class. Just as class started our toddler puked all over herself, forcing us to go home (we turned the car around and decided my husband should stay at least but it was a bit of a rough start).
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Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: Demonic Oppression of Converts
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 10:08:45 PM »
Matthew 13:9
9 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside

The only way to withstand is come closer to God. You will maybe be sure of your path when you insist to embrace it. Maybe that is what I need to do. When you come to serve the Lord prepare for temptation

No one can come to Me says Jesus unless God allows it. That is you really want to come
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 10:11:29 PM by mikeforjesus »