When we’re asleep we are most vulnerable. Do we protect ourselves? Do we make sure to adequately (not just quickly) pray before drifting off?
We’re vulnerable at night because we are not in control; sleep is an in-between quasi-spiritual state. The veil is thin.
There can be nightmares. There can be obsessions that cause us to toss and turn. There is insomnia. These are disturbances we should pay attention to and cast out.
Some have suffered what is known as “sleep paralysis” — which certain professionals have tried to explain away as a simple psychological effect or nervous system abnormality while others, such as Deborah Lipsky, a former satanist who is now a devout Catholic, says it can be a case of “demonic wrestling.”
“Many people who are tormented by demonic activity claim that they will awaken in the middle of the night to feelings of being strangled, or having some ‘thing’ sitting on their chest making breathing almost impossible,” she writes in A Message of Hope. “Most times there is a feeling of being held down and physically unable to move a muscle. Medical science tries to explain it as a simple case of your brain actually waking up before your body does, hence the mind and body disconnect. The medical term they use for this phenomenon is called ‘sleep paralysis.’ Honestly that makes no sense seeing that the brain is in control of voluntary body movements and you have to think the thought (move my arm) before the body can respond (arm moves). In cases of demonic haunting, it is a demon behind this disturbing sleep paralysis. They do this when you are not fully awake purposely so that you feel like you are wrestling with them alone. It is an act of intimidation.”
And it is often dispelled by simply uttering, “Jesus.”
What have folks in the mailbag had so to say about it?
“I have four children,” wrote a viewer from England who otherwise wants to remain anonymous. “Two of them are practicing Catholics — and these accounts come from them. They were written because both girls were away at college or studying abroad at the time. One, Laura, admits that she has suffered from sleep paralysis in the past, but that a particular incident, about a month from her confirmation, was different. At the time of the experience, she was about twenty years old. Laura was trying to sleep when suddenly she felt a pushing sensation, as if ‘something’ was trying to push her off her bed. Then it felt as if the ‘something’ was hitting her as well. She started to pray the Our Father and ‘Angel of God my guardian dear.’ The attack momentarily ceased but resumed with worse force — she could hardly move and found it difficult to make the Sign of the Cross. At that, ‘it’ left, temporarily. During this time, a voice was whispering into her left ear, the words were indistinct as she was trying to block them out by praying harder. However soon she found she couldn’t remember the words of the Lord’s Prayer so easily. The voice became stronger, saying something like ‘get out!’. Laura tried to sit up, and managed to do so, although at the same time it felt as if her mouth was being covered by her duvet. She could only see through half-open eyes, giving a strange view of her eyelashes and she could not move her head. She lay down again and managed a croak: ‘help me!’ Then she felt the pushing stop and the voices go and a growing sense of calm and safety around her and once it was all calm she could move again. She immediately recognized that it was her guardian angel.
“My other daughter wrote an account of an earlier experience, which I requested back in 2008 after Laura had written to me about her own. I should add that this daughter, who is eighteen months older, alleges other attacks from the devil, whereas Laura does not. I enclose the text as she wrote it. Here is her account — it is most similar to Laura’s:
“‘I was trying to get to sleep and I suddenly became aware of a strong presence close to my face. Someone was breathing upon the left side of my face and in my ear — in an instant it began shouting in my ear. At first the voice had been laughing and then suddenly it was aggressive and shouting. I became frightened and the shouting changed to screaming and I felt myself withdraw into my body (as you do when a person screams at you). I was unable to move away from the being and my body was heavy, I could not breathe, speak or open my eyes (at least not without a huge amount of energy that seemed to have been drained from my body). I tried to pray to God the ‘Our Father,’ the ‘Prayer to St Michael,’ the ‘Glory Be,’ the ‘Hail Mary,’ but this only enraged the being further and made it scream and shout louder and louder. For a moment it succeeded in putting me off my prayers and the scream became so loud I felt sure my ear drum would burst, my cheek and ear became hot and I thought ‘in this moment in my life I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the devil exists and this being is unquestionably real.’ I continued to pray and then it tried to make me forget the words so that I would have to start again… it laughed at me and tried to confuse me and make me say perverse swear words or have sick thoughts… but I prayed with more force and belief and assertiveness until I was also filled with rage in Jesus’ Name… eventually I heard it cry out as if being chased away and I became calmer, safe and free. I became aware of my room, the space around my body and I could move again. I also felt God’s peace. I knew my guardian angel at last had come to my rescue and I did not understand why I had been left to fight alone so long. I knew I was safe to go to sleep so without question I did.’
“Both daughters are adults and have responsible jobs (one is a trainee lawyer and the other works in marketing); neither has a history of mental disturbance. Could it be that evil spirits take advantage of a natural state between sleeping and waking to attack some people?”
Said another, Ted Quigley, of South Burlington, Vermont:
“I remember when a friend was chastising me on a continual basis while driving for a couple hours (she was acting pretty badly and by God’s grace I was praying continually, offering it up, etc. while absorbing her attacks) and at a stop she all of a sudden apologized for her behavior which helped a great deal. A half hour later, we stopped at the home of a friend who had exorcised holy water. She sprayed it on a couple friends there and then me and all of a sudden, something left me that was apparently hovering around me. I could feel it leave and I felt this tremendous peace come over me.
“Some time later, a local priest provided exorcised Holy Water and exorcised salt to me for the purpose of spraying and spreading around a devout friend’s house who at that moment had relatives whose dark spirituality concerned her and were supposed to stay for several days. After that I had some left over and put some by my bedside. Often I wake up and cannot get back to sleep for several hours and then I have a very hard time being alert the next day without significant amounts of caffeine. After months of this, I felt prompted at some point to bless myself with the exorcised water and I have found it useful to go back to sleep when I wake up and cannot get back to sleep. I feel this tremendous peace and usually fall right back to sleep. This may sound psychosomatic to some but the exorcised holy water is usually very effective. I simply make the Sign of the Cross with the exorcised holy water, feel this tremendous peace, and out I go. Praised be Jesus and all thanks to him!”
Noted Lipsky (a former Satanist, now a devout Catholic) about insomnia and recurring nightmares: “Demons are trying to deliberately wear you down physically. Sleep is a time when the body rejuvenates itself. Continued disruptions in the ability to sleep peacefully places a severe strain on reasoning capabilities. They are hoping to make you too tired and worn out to care about protecting your soul where you would trade your soul for one good night’s sleep.”
taken from SPIRIT DAILY