Saturday, January 5, 2013

Satan's Terrible Blows

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how God heals us.

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from the grocery store and decided to listen to some Christmas music. I turned on the stereo and heard a woman ask:

 "Who were you before Satan rained down his blows upon you?"

To my complete and utter shock, tears immediately welled up in my eyes. My husband had reset my car stereo recently and had added a Christian station that he thought I'd enjoy listening to but I had forgotten about it. Until that question boomed through my speakers.

Who knew that one sentence could evoke such a powerful emotional response from me? I couldn't
get those words out of my head. Who WAS I before Satan rained down his blows upon me?

 I didn't even know the answer. Raised in a dysfunctional household and an even more dysfunctional world the blows came hard and heavy at a very young age. By the time I reached my teen years I barely recognized myself.

And things only spiraled downwards from there.

Oh, I can easily answer this question from my head. I can reel off a  "pat" answer about  how I am a child of God, created in His likeness and image. I can rattle off to you just what God has done for me and how much He loves me. My mind knew who I was.

But my heart doesn't always know.

"Who were you before Satan rained down his blows upon you?"

I think that one of the reasons this question troubled (and continues to trouble) me so much is because I often ask God who He created me to be. The answer "yourself" is not one that makes a whole lot of sense to me. Sometimes it feels as if I've spent half my life just trying to understand exactly who I am. Or to put it more precisely: who I am in Him.

 And who God is, for that matter.

Here is something that I do know about myself:

God sees me far differently than I see myself. I am already healed in eternity. How do I know this? Because I've seen it a number of times. A perfect picture of me - healthy, whole, and smiling at God. Full of peace and joy. I can see it shining through my eyes in this future vision. I see this picture often, especially when I go before The Blessed Sacrament during Adoration. As much as I like seeing myself in this way...I can't really relate.

At least, not here in time. Oh no, here in time I am not at all like the picture of me in eternity. I am a caricature of my true self. As a matter of fact, it boggles my mind when I see the other picture.

The reason I am writing about this is because I believe that most of us are in great need of spiritual healing and I think, to start, it would be good to ask these questions:

"Who was I before Satan rained down his blows upon me?"


"Heavenly Father? How do you see me in Christ?"

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
                                                                                       C.S. Lewis


  1. You ask a very fundamental question. One to which perhaps there is no answer.

    Who are we? In the eyes of God?

    He created each one of us different and for a particular purpose ... to serve His will on earth.

    Whatever our background, up-bringing or way of life, each one of us has a purpose here on earth; and we have the choice to follow that purpose or not. As our Creator, He loves us and asks us to love Him in return.

    Some of us are fortunate enough to know earlier on in life what God's purpose for us is; and hopefully, we follow obediently. Others go through life not knowing why they are here. Perhaps their existance, and His purpose for them, is to be there as an opportunity for others to show love.

    God bless you and thank you for a wonderful post.

  2. A wonderful post Mary and one I will give a lot of thought too. It's funny because I was just thinking that I often get bogged down with sadness about all of my weaknesses. But lately I've been putting a face to that which makes me feel that way. It's Satan, and his "blows" as you called it. What you heard on the radio really nails it.

  3. Hi Victor,
    Oh how I wish I HAD learned early on! (But would it have stuck?) Unfortunately that was not the case:) But I do believe that our views of ourselves and others are warped and that only God's view matters. Though we may be bumbling works in progress here on earth we are complete in Christ in eternity. A finished work in He who completes us. (That's if we allow Him to do so, of course.) It's a wonderful thought, isn't it?

  4. Hi Kathleen,
    I'm glad you liked the post. Sometimes (and this has been the case with me) we are our own greatest obstacles when it comes to spiritual healing because we don't see ourselves correctly at all and we forget to view both ourselves and others through the lens of God's mercy.

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. What a gift Mary, to have that vision of your future self fully healed in eternity. Still how much to be thankful that the healing and sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit has already been doing more than you realize to combat the blows of Satan.

    I love your focus in this . . . who are we in Christ.

  6. Mary, you are wiser than you realise.

    God bless.

  7. Hi Colleen,
    How are you? I hope you and your family are well :)

    God sees us covered in the Precious Blood of His Son and that is how we too should see ourselves. An eternal perspective of God and oneself helps us combat sin and block the blows of Satan (and I'll get to that in a later post). It's not the greatest thing to see ourselves through our own eyes because our perception is warped.

  8. Hi Cinder,
    Isn't it though? If we could throw away all views of ourselves except God's it frees us to be our real selves. That's such a healing thought!
    Thanks for commenting :)Rereading this post I can see that I need to be a bit clearer so I will do another one clarifying this a bit.

  9. Hi Victor,
    That's a very kind thing to say :) Thank you for all your support over the years - I appreciate it more than you know!

  10. Wow. I'd love to write some intelligent, Holy answer to this. But the truth is, I'm still in a stupor from the question. It IS really powerful! It will certainly help me in my reflections this week.

    God Bless you.

  11. Funny truth is I've been wondering this same thing myself for the past two weeks....for different reasons. So I found your post very interesting. I'm still trying to figure myself out! The devil has been pounding harder these days. Thank you for writing this, Mary!

  12. I think the closer we come to Jesus, the harder he pounds! Anything to distract us or make us feel unworthy...etc. Thank God that he is a merciful and loving God!

  13. This is really a good thing to meditate on. I once knew who I was but I allowed the devil to cloud my vision. I thought it was all silly. I still struggle with wondering what God wants from me and wondering how He could love me and believing that He wants me for eternal life. I am often tempted to think I am kidding myself. I forget that He loves me more than I love myself.

  14. Hi Michael,
    I don't have a holy intelligent answer either :) Good to reflect on though..

  15. Hi Jennifer,
    I hope you and your family are well :)
    You make a good point - satan has been pounding everybody harder these days. It seems to come from all sides lately because our culture itself is deeply immersed in sin. We have a lot to deal with, perhaps more than any other time period.

  16. Hi Noreen,
    That's so true! Satan bothers everyone but concentrates his fiercest attacks on those who love God. Thankfully, we know how this all ends.

  17. Hi Monica,
    It's been helpful to me too. Unfortunately, my vision was clouded fairly early on so I've had to learn a great deal. On the plus side, I think the lessons can sink in deeper when we get older because many times we reflect on things more deeply as we age. I know this isn't always the case but it seems true for me.

  18. Hi again Mary, This is an enlightening conversation. I really am enjoying it! I wanted to read it again!
    You are always so sweet and ask if the family is well. I'm not sure if you know this (few people do), I have a family blog....
    You are welcome to visit...I don't post much. Most of my free time is spent on Catholic Inspired!
    Blessings to you!

  19. Mary, great post! Like you I got "messed up" early, so I never knew who I was "before." And I still don't know who I am supposed to be. I ask God that question often. The answer is probably deceptively simple :) Love the quote by C S Lewis!

    So glad you are back!

  20. Thanks for the link, Jennifer - I'd love to come visit your other blog!

  21. Hi Patricia,
    I'm glad you liked the post. I have a few more going up this week on healing of the self-image and healing of the emotions. Thanks for the feedback!

  22. I love how you say, "We know how this ends." A priest used to tell me, "Monica, we know God wins in the end."

  23. I think it is important to know Christ has already won the victory (not just we know how it ends...although yes that is really hopefilling too!) and he has the authority over Satan and the evil spirits. We need to live awake and empowered by that reality. In the name of Jesus we can order these spirits bound and entrust their dispostion to the abyss or otherwise to our ever present Lord. I know their were saints like John Vianney that were regularly attacked by evil spirits but we know Praise and even informal exorcism prayers and the St. Michael prayer exert the authority we are given as believers in Jesus Christ. Second point - Our priest recently explained the Greek word for heal is the same one as for save. We know Jesus means God saves his people. It also means God heals his people. He is our Savior and our Healer. I am sure we all have spiritual wounds, maybe the most effective ones for Satan are the ones where we cooperated in some way with our will or lack of it. This is where we need God's forgiveness, healing and to forgive ourselves and tell Satan we are free, even from our own failings and weaknesses, not just from when we are innocent victims of his, or those who have abused us. OK . . . leaving my soapbox now.

  24. Hi Monica,
    Even better - read Colleen's comment!

    Hi Colleen,
    You don't have to leave your soapbox if you're going to come out with comments like this - I found it very well said.

    No, we don't just need healing from the things that happened to us as children - I assume in my post that people have already (and continue) to take care of the things you mention (personal sin - through Confession, forgiving others, etc...). This post is for people who feel somewhat stuck and might be overlooking the area of how they view themselves: Is it through the eyes of God's love and mercy or are they living out of other people's views of them? The first flows from love the second from fear. I should have explained this in my post.

    Thanks for commenting.