Oklahoma’s Black Mass Backfires. Opens the Doorway to Christ.

Oklahoma’s Black Mass Backfires. Opens the Doorway to Christ. September 22, 2014

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Nuns Off a Bus. Sisters, arriving at the Benediction. 

 

I don’t know what to say about the whole “black mass” deal.

They did their uggidy-buggidy thingamajig.

I didn’t get near it. And I’m not going to get near it now. If you want to read about the uggidy-buggidy black mass and the brain-dead fools who attended it, google is ready when you are. You’ll find none of that here.

I went to the Holy Hour and Bendiction conducted by Archbishop Coakley. I suppose I could begin writing about all this by telling you that, based on what I experienced, this was a real deal.

I had a hard time getting to the Holy Hour and Benediction. All day the day before I experienced the most dreadful spiritual crisis I have been through since I converted to the Catholic Church. My mind was deluged with negative thoughts, to the point that I began to wonder if I even was Catholic or had a right to enter any Church.

Then, at mass that evening, I prayed and prayed and it let up.

Later that night, I got hit with a sudden and rather violent gastrointestinal thing.

It was at that point that I finally recognized old scratch.

The next day, I thought about skipping the whole Benediction. I felt so terrible, and now I was tormented with thoughts that I might meet a particular person there who had hurt me in the past and who I dread ever seeing again.

I prayed, and knew that I needed to go.

I told a friend of mine that all this made me feel as if the devil thought that if Rebecca Hamilton showed up at this Benediction he would be cast back into hell. I told her that if other people were getting a dose of what I was getting, I feared that the church might be empty.

But, despite all this, I went.

And what I experienced was the Presence and Love of Christ.

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There were a lot of young people wearing red t-shirts with Oklahoma on the front. The back read Sooner Born, Catholic Bred.

That’s a play on an Okie saying: I’m Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die, I’ll be Sooner dead. 

 

The prayer service was, for me, an exorcism of sorts. I prayed more deeply than I have in many months, and during the praying I went down into the seamy side of my own soul and confessed sins I had walked into that service not knowing I was harboring. It was cleansing, renewing and deeply, deeply humbling in the most beautiful way possible.

I think the reason that the devil had such a good go at me before the Benediction was that he had his claws hooked into me already. Writing about ISIS, seeing the photos of what they’ve done to people, is a gateway for satan. That came on top the raw hurt and anger I have about a gay friend of mine who dumped our lifelong friendship (which was as close as family; he was my brother) and who then went out on the internet to attack me — all over gay marriage. Then, there was that person I mentioned, the one I was afraid I would encounter at the Benediction. I had allowed myself to become a seething pit of resentment because of them.

The first two, personal, things, made me an easy target. But ISIS, which is satanic through and through, raised it to an active rageful anger. ISIS, Boko Haram, and all their stepbrothers, are satanic. Their beheadings, rapes, kidnappings, buying and selling of women and children, church burnings and genocides are just as much a black mass as what happened in Oklahoma City yesterday. When they say they do these things in the name of God, they add unspeakable blasphemy on top of their unspeakable actions.

The difference is that, for all its crudity, satan takes off his mask in the black mass and comes out as himself. When he gets inside people and uses them as his instruments on a governmental scale, what you get is Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, ISIS, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda. I don’t know what you get when he comes out as himself as he did yesterday (except a carny sideshow conducted by a convicted rapist) but I do know that Christ is fully able to cast him down with a flick of the finger. I experienced that in a profound and deeply personal way yesterday.

I don’t know about the other people at the Benediction, but I needed what I got there. I barely managed to force myself to go, and what I experienced was a deeply cleansing encounter with Our Lord. It was, for me, a small and much-needed exorcism.

I was in the overflow in the church gymnasium. I got there an hour early, and the gym was already mostly full. I sat on a folding chair on what was then the back row. Later, they added more chairs behind me.

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The Eucharistic Procession. I was near the back of the line. 

 

I took bad photos with my iPhone and settled in. It wasn’t until the Benediction entered into its first time of private prayer that I plunged, head first, into a dialogue with Jesus. I found myself, my real self, in that time of prayer. I saw my sins, my need to forgive and how deeply God loves me. One thing that came to mind is so simple and powerful.

Before I went to the Benediction, I prayed and asked if, considering how really lousy I was feeling, I had to go. And He answered me.

Think about that.

God, the God who made the deep reaches of space and time and everything there is everywhere there is, stooped down and answered me. Who am I that God should notice my existence, much less engage in dialogue with me and answer my prayers?

He cares. He cares about us. He loves you and me and everyone else. Think about that, my brothers and sisters. Let it roll around in your mind and consider the magnitude of what it means to say, I prayed and He answered me.

He loves each and everyone of us. He enters into dialogue with us, despite our silly and limited little brains and our flawed and sinful souls. He loves us.

Let me say that again: He loves us.

By their fruits you shall know them. 

Jesus said that. And it is true.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. St Paul told us that, and it is also true.

When I read that list, I know — know — how far I am from truly walking with the Lord. God offers me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I nibble at these things, like someone sampling a salad bar.

But I save a huge portion of my spiritual plate for resentments, angers, self-righteousness, fear, blame and shame.

The truth is, to the extent that we cling to and protect ourselves, we deny ourselves the free gifts of the spirit. We have to lay it all down on the altar and trust Him.

That doesn’t, never has, come easily for me. I am not a trusting person. If I ever was a trusting person, happenings in my life have knocked it out of me. It is as if someone somewhere decided to teach me one thing and then to reteach it over and again throughout my life: You can’t trust people.

People will turn on you on a dime. People will abandon you when you are in disgrace. People will betray your confidences, search out and display your shames and, when you need them most, deny they ever knew you.

Does that sound familiar? It should. I began that paragraph writing about my own life experiences, and ended it with the realization that I was also writing about the Passion of Our Lord.

He wants to love us.

Why, I do not know.

But He does. And He wants it so much that He became one of us and allowed us to treat Him the way we do one another. He allowed satan to gloat and howl with delight as He was humiliated, stripped, tortured and murdered.

If the degradations of humanity that take place at the hands of satan’s disciples in ISIS, Boko Haram and all the other haters of humanity that stalk our world are a black mass, then, they also are, despite their evil intentions, the reenactment of His Passion. The victims of ISIS are the ultimate Eucharist, in human form. When I am writing about the victims of ISIS, and all its evil twins, I am writing about Him, and His Passion.

Satan intended his little uggidy-buggidy carny show to harm Christ. He can’t get at God, so he tries to get at God through us. He can do that because God loves us.

I allowed myself to become so overwhelmed by the evils of our day, and the sadness of humans hurting one another in my private life, that I gave him purchase in my own soul.

If the black mass was meant as a way into our world for satan, it backfired, at least where I am concerned. I experienced a little exorcism at the Benediction yesterday. God brought me back, snug against His side once again.

For this I am both awestruck and grateful.

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Archbishop Coakley, holding the Host aloft. 

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43 responses to “Oklahoma’s Black Mass Backfires. Opens the Doorway to Christ.”

    • A true blessing and one that has reminded me that our God reigns.
      Wonderful pictures too, Rebecca. All the goodness and beauty of the faithful on display. It is life giving and faith affirming as only God can do.
      The evil one can do nothing but destroy. His is a miserable lot.
      Lord Jesus! May all the peoples praise you oh Lord!

  1. I was somewhere near you I was in the back of the gym as well and it really was awesome. I was very moved by Archbishop Coakleys courage to preach about John Chapter 6 while many protestant leaders were in attendance. I really choked up at the litany of the Saints for some reason.

    When I feel down like how you described yourself feeling I like to read this from the Imitation of Christ, particularly the last few lines.

    http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/akempis/imitation/chapter%2028.htm

    • Those are convicting paragraphs Joe. I’ve never read the Imitation of Christ, but I’m going to add it to my “to read” list. Thank you for sharing it.

      I’m glad I ended up in the gym. I talked to some friends of mine at dinner tonight who were in the church. Even though it was beautiful in the church, I think the gym was the place where I was supposed to be.

      I actually sat there crying while I was praying. The whole experience was deeply moving.

  2. We’ve been visiting relatives and friends and a friend was on her way to Adoration this morning. She said she never sleeps well the night before. I don’t either. I think it is just what you talked about.
    So glad you made it.
    I heard your Archbishop on the radio this afternoon. He sounds wonderful. The guys on the radio seemed perplexed and thought the whole black thing should be ignored. The African priests we have say that knowing there is a devil leads people to Jesus.

  3. This is the most convicting truth I’ve read in a long time:

    “God offers me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
    faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I nibble at these things,
    like someone sampling a salad bar.

    But I save a huge portion of my spiritual plate for resentments, angers, self-righteousness, fear, blame and shame.”

    Thank you for putting into words what is (sadly) in my own heart.

  4. This entry is outstanding on so many levels, most especially because it touched the part of my soul that recognizes now the need for a deeper examination of conscience…and reconciliation. Thank you for this.

  5. I haven’t been able to read your ISIS posts-thought I was being a coward – very troubling. I persevered through the other night with the rosary of the wounds of Christ and the prayer of the shoulder wounds from ipieta.
    I ditto Imitation of Christ-you will love it.

    You are uniquely and wonderfully made- stitched in your mothers womb- and a mighty fine blogger. Cheers

  6. “When they say they do these things in the name of God, they add unspeakable blasphemy on top of their unspeakable actions.”

    That’s why they must be wiped off the face of the earth.

  7. Thank you for sharing this! I had much the same experience – I helped organize an Adoration service at our parish Sunday for those who were unable to drive to Oklahoma City. A couple of hours before the service, I started getting a bad migraine and I really felt like it was because Satan was trying to keep me from going. So, I took some pain killers and went anyway. I had the most amazing, spiritual experience being able to share that prayer and Adoration time with my parish family (and everyone who was praying all over the state and the country!). It really was a tangible example of God taking something that was meant for evil and turning it into something good!

  8. Regarding ISIS and those beheading videos, I refuse to watch them. The reason is that I know that ISIS is evil already, so If I allow myself to watch the videos as proof of their evil, my mind will not be able to rid myself of the images, and evil will have planted itself in my mind.

    The late writer/blogger Lawrence Auster wisely pointed out how “This is not to call for ignoring the reality of evil. Indian spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti once put it, if you want to know what is in a department store, you do not need to get out of the elevator at each floor and look at every item on that floor. You can look out from the elevator and see that this is the toy department, this is the men’s clothing department, this is the homes furnishing department and so on, and that is all you need to know. Similarly, in order to understand evil sufficiently, it is not necessary to examine every particular form of evil, no matter how evil it may be.”

    Auster had been writing about a fantasy-snuff video that an extreme environmentalist group in Great Britain had made at the time (2010). It was a disturbing fantasy video showing kids being blown up, and caused much outrage then. The ISIS videos are like real snuff films, and ISIS has purposely made them for mass consumption as part of their evil agenda.

  9. Rebecca, you have found the pearl (the spiritual kingdom) here on Earth. Oh, that many of our brothers and sisters all over the world can experienced what you did. Times are very tough and difficult and many graces are being rained down by the Holy Spirit but many of us are so steep in the world that we are deaf and blind to the gifts he offers. Prayer, penance, reparation and more sacrifices are needed to save such souls. Even if there is a small number of holy souls,the opportunity to rescue many souls for God has never been greater, but we must become like saints – in the world but not of it. It is the Age of the Holy Spirit and the age to become Victims of Love for the sake of so many dear souls dead in spirit and therefore dead to the working of grace. Thank you for responding to such grace. By your words, it caused you mightily to overcome your human resentment, pain and desires. Thank you dear Warrior for engaging in the battle and for your awesome testimonial. God love you.

  10. Awesome, I am glad you overcame that trial. The Saints had many such trials, the key is seeing them for what they were. For my part, I pray the rosary for the defeat of the Satanists. I also think OKC Council will be chatised. Personally, I would just rather have them and the Constitution converted to Catholicism. God bless you.

  11. Beautiful post – the figure of nibbling on the salad bar is very poignant – particularly if you add the abundant smorgasboard right next to that salad bar.

    I have experienced the same sort of thing – a reluctance which seizes upon the flimsiest of rationalizations to avoid going. What I try to do (not always successfully) is remember that when “old scratch” goes to unusual lengths to conjure up obstacles, it is reasonable to infer that God must have some special graces in store for me if I will just break the friction and go. As you experienced on this occasion, in many cases attending the event does produce fruitful healing and consolation.

    As for reading, have you read the Lord of the Rings? Tolkein vividly depicts the hatred and lust that motivates Satan in his character Sauron; he cannot create anything or even cultivate goodness, he can only maim and destroy. In Gollum, Wormtongue & Saruman we see the corrosive effect of the lust for the power of the Ring.

    In the Silmarillion we learn much of the “back story” that is alluded to in LOTR, particularly about Morgoth and the awful fact that Orcs are the actually the progeny of Elves who Morgoth captured and tortured beyond recognition. Unlike LOTR which ends in conclusive victory, by the end of the Silmarillion so many lives and beautiful kingdoms were lost that the victory is bittersweet; the reader is more exhausted than elated when the Valar conquer Morgoth in the War of Wrath.

    I first read LOTR 42 years ago and have re-read it periodically ever since. Peter Kreeft has offered some remarkably penetrating reflections on LOTR’s characters, themes, and applicability. To the despair of the academy, LOTR is well on its way to being recognized as the literary gem it really is. Like Moby Dick and the Old Man and the Sea, it can be read and enjoyed on multiple levels.

    Thanks always for your generosity and diligence in writing your blog.

    • I read The Lord of the Rings when I was in college. I also have enjoyed the movies. It is a great metaphor for good and evil, the Light vs the Darkness. Wonderful books.

      And yes, every time I dread going to mass, I find healing there in the Eucharist. We are dealing with powers and principalities, just as St Paul told us.

  12. I LOVE THIS! It speaks to SO many issues that rage in our souls hour to hour without our being aware of nor acknowledging them. Very thoughtful spiritual inspiration.

  13. I do hope you’re going to write a book, Rebecca. Or rather books. You’re writing is accessible and profound, something not many people can do.

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