When Blake Healy sings songs of praise to God, he writes, he might see half a dozen sparkling lights drifting around the room in rhythm. Healy has what you might call second sight.
“The lights traced simple patterns of color in the air as I continued humming my mostly in-tune song,” he relates of one such occasion (in a book called Profound Good). “Whether these small balls of light are angels, heavenly hosts, or something else, I cannot say. They are things that are attracted to the Presence of God, no matter how pronounced or subtle it is. Each of the lights was a slightly different shade of light that hung in the air for a few moments before vanishing.”
Once, watching the transpirings in a courtroom, Healy claims he watched how both an angel and an evil spirit vied to affect a frustrated man pleading his case there.
“His angel kept trying to calm him in different ways — patting his arms, rubbing his back,” writes Healy, who hails from Atlanta, where he has a ministry. “It was then I noticed the demon floating in the air in front of the man. It was like a featherless bird. It had a long, narrow beak; a scrawny black body; and thin, membranous wings.
“It floated in the air a few feet in front of the man’s face with its wings spread wide. I noticed its wings were so thin that one could see through them, and everything looked very different when viewed through the dark lens.”
This is fascinating: how demonic spirits can and often do distort our perception. They are, after all, spirits of deception.
“When I looked at the faces of the court staff members through the demon’s wings, their expressions looked subtly altered,” says the author. “Polite smiles and normal looks of concentration took on more sinister tones. Every smile looked like a smirk, every shrug sarcastic, every glance disdainful. Through this dark filter the judge looked older and more imperious. I could feel involuntary distrust and suspicion rise in my throat. The demon was trying to shape the perspective of the man on the stand. Through his lens everyone was against him.”
Does this happen in your life? How often might it be that you misperceive people — even hear what they have not actually said? How often do such spirits transfer from person to person, raising confusion, havoc, and argumentation, inciting paranoia or false accusation?
It is through the wings of angels — through the Light of the Holy Spirit — that we see the Truth. Lent is an opportune time for clearing and sharpening our vision. When we do what is unnatural to people — to the world — but natural to God, we step into who we really are.
Didn’t Christ live in this manner? And the great saints? Were not their eyes fixed on realities beyond what the normal eyes see?
Watch what occurs every day; listen to all that is said; and step back, when there is the energy and despair of the enemy.
[We see, ironically, this morning, from Crux: “Sometimes Christians seem to prefer complaining and being unhappy in life, but that makes them a perfect target for the devil, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. ‘Desolation is from the serpent,’ who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden and who ‘always bites’ when a person sinks in despair, the Pope said April 9 at morning Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.”]
Make sure it’s not through the smokescreen of evil that you peer.
We’re called to live “naturally supernatural.” We’re not Jesus. But with faith, fasting, and prayer, we can tap into the wellsprings of the Holy Spirit. Remember that negative thoughts or words and certainly hatred attract those skinny insects with membranous wings — while kindness, forgiveness, love, patience, a positive outlook, and mercy bring angelic hosts that delight in surrounding us. When they come, so does protection; so does the perspective of Heaven.