Back on the Planet Charismatic, we believed in the Three Days of Darkness. I fully believed that you had to believe in the Three Days of Darkness. I didn’t know why, but I was told that it had something to do with the Bible, and the Fatima prophecies. Whatever the reason, many of us firmly believed that there would be a literal time period on this earth when the sun failed to rise for three whole days, and during that time there would be shenanigans. Demons would roam the earth, making mischief. We would all be subjected to great fear and anxiety. And that day, I was assured,was coming soon.
I experienced plenty of fear and anxiety in advance about the Three Days of Darkness. My mother had gotten ahold of a letter from some mystic or other, which she read to my father in my earshot. It explained that, during the Three Days of Darkness, we were supposed to lock ourselves securely in our rooms and pray with the help of blessed candles. During those days, we will be subject to dire temptations. We will hear our loved ones, relatives and neighbors knocking on doors and windows and screaming to us for help, but we must not open the door to let them in because they are truly demons in disguise.
This prophecy upset me for years. I was plagued with a fear of looking out the window in the dark, for fear I’d see a demon out there; I was nervous about opening doors for fear of letting demons into my house. I was terrified of God, whom I knew demanded charity towards my neighbor but who would punish me with demonic possession if I accidentally opened the door to the wrong neighbor, after dark. I was terrified of Our Lady of Fatima whom I blamed for somehow starting this hysteria– frankly I still don’t like looking at statues of Theotokos in her white Fatima outfit. Charismatic superstition ruined that for me.
And I got off relatively easy. I have friends whose parents were far more hardcore about the Three Days of Darkness than mine. One of my friends remembers thinking that the End Times were upon her, and tying herself to the dresser to keep herself from falling prey to evil spirits.
Another friend said she had a “three days of darkness kit” that her parents gave her, to keep in her room. It included an Ace bandage with which to bind herself to the furniture and a blessed, 100% beeswax candle to pray with. I wanted to believe that this was a joke, but the fact is that there are actual “Three-days-of-darkness-kits” available online to this very day; here’s one I found just now.
Take a look at that kit, won’t you? I can’t decide what my favorite part is. Perhaps it’s that not only the candle but the matches are blessed, never mind the Catholic rule that if a blessed object is sold for money it loses its blessing. Or maybe it’s the way they try to hang a lampshade on their ignoring of that rule with the italicized caveat at the bottom of the product description– rendering the whole product unnecessary, because you could just go to the Dollar Tree and buy a candle and a box of matches for your priest to bless for much cheaper. Perhaps it’s that they’re attempting to sell you a bottle of holy water which you can get for free at any church without trouble. Better than all these is the inclusion of essential oils for headaches and anxiety, because I suppose the same preternatural force that blots out the sun and knocks out the electricity will somehow also render your ibuprofen ineffective but won’t be able to touch natural remedies. These charlatans are not only selling blessed objects, they’re claiming that essential oils will fight demons. And they’re claiming that Our Blessed Lady told them to do it. Theotokos doesn’t want us to be kind to one another, she wants us to buy overpriced herbs online.
Actually, on second thought, my favorite part of this whole scandalous mess is that they’ve “marked down” the Three Days of Darkness Kit to “only” ninety-eight dollars, while at the same time offering free shipping on orders over ninety-nine dollars, thus tempting the thrifty Charismatic to buy two kits. Whoever these Cukiersi people are, I’d suggest that my readers stay far away. Never trust someone who claims they’re going to sell you salvation from demons, and then tries to sweet-talk you into buying two.
In any case, after leaving the Planet Charismatic, I’ve developed some rudimentary discernment. I wouldn’t say I’m brilliant at it, but I’ve listened to people wiser than me and I’ve learned some common sense. And I’m no longer afraid of the Three Days of Darkness, or of accidentally letting a demon inside my house.
I’ll tell you why.