The Devils Prey: A Fresh Convert To Catholicism

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There are many different flavours of converts that come to Church from a variety of backgrounds. Sometimes they’re from protestant backgrounds and at other times they were baptized Catholics who never practiced their faith and suddenly have had revival and converted again.

Conversion is a daily process for us all and the journey of converting to the Lord often takes a lifetime. In the journey of being a convert there are unseen pitfalls you need to be aware of on that journey. I couldn’t possibly list them all but it’s important to know some. During a persons conversion, the Lord will be pulling them by one arm and the devil will be pulling them by the other. How the enemy does this varies from person to person.

Converts are often good prey for the spirit of rigidity, legalism and ending up obsessed about dress codes and rules. The thing about a convert is that for the most part they’re less likely to fall into the trap of modernism and heresy. Therefore the Devil changes his tactics and uses spiritual pride to turn their heads from the faith instead. St.Paul spoke about this referring to someone being ordained Bishop or Deacon. They shouldn’t be new converts he said, lest pride should turn their heads and they be condemned as the devil was condemned.

I’ve met many people like this and I would be even stricter in the sense that I would not even give them the task of locking the Church gate. I’ve met people who were so legalistic and rigid that when I finally found out more about them discovered they’d been baptized Catholics who had recently converted later in years. No T.V in the house, no computer games for the kids. No celebrations of birthdays or even the giving of Christmas gifts. The strange absurdities I’ve come across you wouldn’t believe.

Often they confer graces upon themselves and have a high opinion of the self. They have a strict black and white (no middle ground) view of faith and morals. An example of this strict view would be “all people who commit suicide go to Hell.” you tell them Yes but the Church in the Catechism teaches that there are caveats to that because some people who are not in their right mind do it and so this makes it a venial not mortal sin. They’re quick to stand rigid and say, “No, there’s no grey area, they’re going to Hell” and proceed to produce you with a 500 page encyclical some Pope in the 14th century wrote to prove their case. Avoid people like this.

This behaviour is always more dangerous than falling into the trap of the heresy of modernism. The reason for this is because modernism is more easily routed out. It’s more easily seen for what it is by the new convert eager to please the Lord and you can even help with some debate, but there’s no talking to the Spirit of rigidity. It is a wound that sometimes never gets healed because it goes by unnoticed and is hidden. Precisely because it is hidden makes it all the more dangerous.

A new convert is often left alone by the Devil to consume all this intellectual and legalistic approach to the faith. He is left to pray for hours and hours on end, surround himself with religion. Why? Because he knows that the person will soon suffer from spiritual burn out. Fasting so much the stomach suffers irreversible conditions. Praying so much and depriving themselves of much needed sleep. Lamenting over the tiniest of venial sins as if they were somehow saints already. Before you know it they burn out and end up hating religion.

They form groups for themselves where they can congregate and speak with other like minded converts about their newfound love of religion the Latin mass being their favourite HQ. If you are a fresh convert simply be aware that in the Catholic faith you have two extreme groups and then you’ve got actual Catholics.

Those two extremes go by political or theological labels like modernists, liberals and right wing conservatism disguising itself under the banner of traditionalism. They’ve been in the Jewish Church for centuries and the Christian one. They are like hyenas that wait in the shadows looking to pounce on their next convert and drag them to spiritual perdition.

As I said at the beginning of this post the right wing conservative types are more likely to get you. I can’t tell you the amount of new converts I’ve seen Critical of Pope Francis on YouTube or local parishes who are really eager in the faith but misguided. On closer inspection it becomes apparent that they are consumed by the immaterial flames of rigidity not that of the Holy Spirit. I’m telling you this now so that you at least have something to work with when you come into the faith.

All of us at one point in our Christian journey have fallen down one or the other hole. Some go down and can’t climb back out because there’s nobody brave enough to help them. Others accept the help to get themselves out while others prefer to stay in the hole and remain in the darkness.

Remember that the devil both loves and hates the convert. Hates them because they’re often much more eager to please Christ if they get the right guide, and loves them because in their eagerness they’re more likely to fall into his trap of rigidity should they lack the appropriate spiritual guidance.

Be aware that as a new convert you have awoken a sleeping horde of demons who will be hell bent on destroying you. They will employ every tactic they can to turn you away from the straight and narrow path. The secular world is one such strategy he uses and people in the Church another one. Be careful who you mingle with because you’ll end up exactly like them.

Ask God for the grace of discernment of spirits. Next to Love it is one of the greatest gifts one can be blessed with should the Lord give it to them. You may be able to get good guidance from someone who actually has the gift by reading their books but such has its limitations. It is much better to pray for this gift. So “Be ambitious for the higher gifts” and examine yourself as you make your arduous journey towards salvation.

God bless

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