Are a lot of things suddenly going wrong in your life? It might be spiritual backlash.
We all think of the enemy as trying to prevent good things from happening to us or preventing us from making positive changes in our lives. But there’s the other side, too. Backlash happens after we’ve made spiritual progress. It’s Satan coming at us yelling, “Are you HAPPY now?” and trying to get us to back down from whatever we’ve done. It’s nothing more than blowing off aggressive energy.
Julie talked about this after her Beyond Cana retreat was marvelously successful. In his letters, Padre Pio mentions that he always noticed intensified demonic attacks just before and just after someone’s conversion. In looking back at my old journals, I’ve been able to see how some of my worst days have followed up on the heels of amazing things happening.
In one case (and here, I’m going to obfuscate the details because this is the internet) I began a novena for a specific intention and asked others to pray with me. Within an hour, I got this crushing sense in my heart: how DARE I consider praying for someone else when my own spiritual life was a mess! I had no right!
I felt like dirt until I thought: what’s the fruit here? Would God want me to stop praying? Who benefits if I stop praying?
I kept going. After that, I had nightmares every night for four nights running. One of those times, I woke up and thought toward my guardian, ‘Nightmare!’ and I felt him apologize: he’d been overwhelmed by the enemy.
I said, I’m sorry I brought all this down on your head, and he replied that I should do my job (praying) and let him do his.
I prayed for God to end the nightmares, and those stopped cold. Instead, the next day things started breaking. The final thing that broke was the glass on Emily Rose’s picture frame.
What I do nowadays when this happens is I offer it up. I say to God, I’m suffering this because I’m doing your work, so please count the suffering as a prayer. And my intention is this: for whatever it is the enemy wants to prevent.
At that point, the enemy has a choice: he can either keep attacking me and inhibit his own goals, or he can leave me alone.
It’s worked in the past. I toss it out there as a suggestion. But in the meantime, if you’re suffering a lot of unexpected stress, struggle, and surprising amounts of things simply going wrong or changing up on you — look around at whether you’ve made any good changes recently. If you’re doing good in the world, you’re going to get backlash.
And if you’re getting backlash: smile and take heart. It means whatever you’ve done is absolutely the right thing to do, and you need to keep doing it.