You will find in this article the text of the third episode of the Imprenable listenable podcast by clicking below:
Dear friends, we have arrived at the third Lenten podcast on spiritual warfare. Our life is like a village surrounded by a high wall over which runs a walkway. This village is our life. Inside the village, several residences. When they are attacked, it can lead to a collapse of our life, moral, physical and spiritual collapse. This is why spiritual warfare is necessary. I invite you to follow me today to the fourth most important place in our village: the bedroom.
The bedroom is the place of rest and intimacy. When the bedroom is attacked, our sleep and sex life are disrupted.
A place of rest, the bedroom can become a place of nightmare. Sleep can be disturbed in several ways: it can be insomnia or waking up suddenly at a certain time. Social life and health are then threatened. Some, mainly single people, can feel the presence of a third party beside them at night. It can also be of the order of dreams or rather nightmares: appearance of monsters, deceased people, etc. It must be noted here that the absolutely incredible proliferation of horror films provides those who watch them with a truly frightening spooky imaginary.
In general, dreams represent to us during the night facts, sensations that have arisen during the day. During this “staging” the spirit of evil can also act. The will, like the body, is asleep and the vulnerability is greater. If dreams come partly from the memory of the day, they can also come from the intrusion of the bad in a way that escapes us and is difficult to assess.
In any case, the night becomes a daily rendezvous with the greatest terrors. Not sleeping has very direct consequences on social life as well as on physical, intellectual and spiritual health.
The bedroom is also the usual place where sexual activity takes place. Sexual life is a place particularly attacked. The demon, who has no body, since he is an angel, wants to damage as much as possible the human sexual life which has the dual purpose of conjugal love and the transmission of life. The person who feels attacked on this point by the spirit of the evil can suddenly be led to feed quite destructive fantasies, often based on violence (domination and submission) or perversity. When a person whose married life is peaceful is confronted with these new desires, there is enough to feel real panic.
It is also necessary to note here the very strong temptations leading to the disintegration of the marital bond. The temptation of adultery can take three forms: adultery itself, adultery through pornography so easily accessible on the internet, but also the abandonment of one’s spouse at the sexual level even if there is no formally does not have adultery. These temptations are known to everyone.
Faced with this, the theory of the castle explained in episode 1 applies forcefully: Faced with these attacks and these temptations, you must immediately be able to turn from the top of the rampart towards the inner castle and adore God and finally seek his help. immediate.About sleep, the effects of this method may seem very poor. Indeed, lack of sleep is often due to physiological causes (apnea, sensitivity to noise, snoring, etc.). Let medicine lavish its advice on this level. With regard to dreams or rather nightmares, it should be noted that at this time our will, too, is asleep. Impossible then to turn voluntarily towards the castle of the Lord. So what to do? When going to bed, we can ask the Lord for his protection and entrust ourselves to the Virgin Mary. If sleep is slow to come and if we let our imagination present us with distressing images or place us in distressing situations, consider that as an enemy and turn inside. This delay in falling asleep can therefore be a moment of prayer more than a moment of worry.
About sexual temptations, these are the most tenacious. Saint Philip Neri said that the best resistance to these temptations was flight, “the cowards being the victors here”. If the temptation assails you do not resist it but flee it. Saint José-Maria Escriva wrote: “Do not dialogue with temptation. Let me tell you again: have the courage to flee, have the strength not to play with your weakness, asking yourself how far you could hold out. Slice, without concession! »
Indeed, believing yourself strong enough here in the face of these temptations often leads to defeat. We know what these recurring failures can have as consequences on our lives (self-depreciation, contempt for sexuality, deviations, etc.).
As with all other attacks and temptations, the castle theory can be implemented here. I will give here a strong enough example of a theme of meditation that is strong enough to strengthen oneself in the face of the temptations of the flesh after having done the castle method. This is the sleeping Christ. Two images can be used here.
– First of all that of the child Jesus sleeping in the arms of the Virgin or Saint Joseph. One can easily find, in the history of Art, paintings presenting this scene. I am thinking particularly of those depicting the flight into Egypt. It is a particularly dangerous moment in the life of Christ, a sort of diabolical submersion before its time. Everything is against Jesus and King Herod is like the archetypal enemy. His power seems total and yet the Holy Family led by the Holy Spirit escapes all danger. The baby Jesus…sleeps! The flight to Egypt, an objectively dramatic event, appears on these paintings as a kind of country walk where the child Jesus eats grapes, picks fruit, sleeps next to his mother or listens to a violinist angel give him a little private concert.
– A second image comes to us of Christ who sleeps during the storm. Embarked with his disciples, Jesus sleeps as the storm rises on the lake and threatens the boat. The disciples wake him up and call him for help. Jesus then threatens the elements and calm returns. The contemplation of Jesus sleeping in the midst of the dangers of this world is very fruitful when we ourselves feel attacked by enemies who are stronger than us. The disciples’ fear leads them to disaster. The sleep of Jesus, the Son of God, shows absolutely comfortingly that fear is the doorway to the power of the enemy. Above all, he shows us that confidence, of which the sleep of Jesus is the revealer, is the open door to the omnipotence of God.
Faced with sexual temptations, meditation on these two images is very effective. When so many images assail you seriously damaging God’s plan for humanity, it will be good for you, while recognizing your own vulnerability, to be able to raise your gaze to the one who sleeps in the middle of the storm. This storm that attacks us will not find a solution in any of our nervousness. Only trust leads to peace. Humility will be essential here because the healing of misguided sexuality can take time. Here, as elsewhere, each small victory will have a big impact on regaining self-confidence.
Good luck to all and turn as often as possible during this Lent to the inner castle.