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How Demons Solidified My Faith (Pt. 1)

Often you'll hear it said that if you face opposition then that can be a sign that you're heading in the right direction. You'll hear this mantra both within secular situations and within the spiritual life. Now for clarification not all opposition means definitively that you are doing what is right but I think we can all agree that such a concept exists in the sense that it seems to be a universal notion that doing right will bring about resistance and contention.

Opposition in the spiritual life is something that many today will talk about very superficially, however. They'll make reference to temptation, but beyond that spiritual warfare is thought and spoken about in a very elementary way. During an interview he had with Jake Khym & Bob Schuchts on Restore the Glory Podcast Matt Fradd said:

"Trying to understand the Lord of the Rings without reference to Sauron is a pretty lame way of explaining the Lord of the Rings. 'There was this ring, and it was awful, and it wasn't conducive to the flourishing of Hobbiton so they got rid of it; and then things were really good after that.'
Honestly, that's often how we talk about Christianity. 'God exists. He loves you. He desires to save you from your sin, and so He did that' and you respond "Ok, but what about Sauron?"

Just as angels exist, so do the antitheses to them: demons. Just as angels pray for us and protect us, so demons prey on us and attack us, seeking the ruin of our souls through the sins of our bodies. Ironically, the opposition that demons impose on man in the end often end up being that which leads the Christian closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. Or as the exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger puts it that when a person is going through a process of combatting these forces they can begin to realize that "[the demons] are the instruments for their sanctification".

There are four main levels of spiritual warfare of demonic assailment: temptation, oppression, obsession, and then possession, but dissecting these isn't within the scope of this article, however it is very important to be knowledgeable of the battleground upon which we find ourselves. For a more in depth analysis of each of these levels I highly recommend Fr. Ripperger's talk Levels of Spiritual Warfare.

Denial of the existence of a battle does not then make the battle non-existent. It simply can make us a passive participant who, in our willfully oblivious state, can be caught in severe crossfire. Sometime