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When Devils Scream
Photo Credit To Shery Abdelmalak | FB Page

When Devils Scream

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By Shery Aabdelmalak

“And we ask You, O Lord, our God, we, Your sinful and unworthy servants; we worship You by the pleasure of Your goodness; that Your Holy Spirit descend upon us and upon these gifts set forth, and purify them, change them, and manifest them as a sanctification of Your saints.”

Trampling Over Serpents and Scorpions

There is a famous quote that says, “when you carry a Bible, the devil gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees you living it, he flees. And just when you are about to repost this, he will try to discourage you.”

This has always seemed like the kind of spam I’d find on my parents’ facebook pages. Why would the devil even care if I read the Bible, let alone does he faint?

HG Bishop Boulos once said that to have a relationship with God is one thing but to have a relationship with the devils is another. In Acts we read, “And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:15). The devils know the greats. They knew St Paul, they fought St Paul relentlessly. For our precious desert fathers, they didn’t leave for a moment. A true test of spirituality is to have the devils fighting you. If they’re not fighting then we really couldn’t be walking down a path that leads to salvation.

I used to think it was scary to think of devils and what they could do but Fr Jonathan Ishak reassures us all saying, “We should never be afraid of devils. The devil can only enter a person who is empty. We are filled with Christ and the Holy Spirit. What is there to fear?”

 Maybe in the Western world, this is hidden warfare, but on a particular day in Egypt, I was in a relatively unknown church of Upper Egypt. It wasn’t a particularly lively church that you’d expect in Egypt but on this day.  

I heard a scream from the back of the church. It wasn’t a child’s scream This was a grown lady. What would it take for a grown lady to scream and for an entire to not react? In this case, it was a demon. I was wide awake for this liturgy, much more than any other.

As the liturgy progressed, there was another young girl and a man on the opposite side of the church. All would scream together. There were convulsions, shakes and so so many, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner,” as I watched this unfold.

The screams of the devil really highlight the parts of the mass that you need to be awake for. Special things are happening. Special things that you and I take for granted every liturgy.

At every congregation response, the screams got louder. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). He really is there, every time His children are united in prayer. He is listening to us all. The liturgy is not a one man show, it takes an entire congregation. Just as the body has many members so does our church and this exemplified through the liturgy. Doesn’t matter if you’re a deacon standing beside Abouna or you’re sitting at the very back of the church, you have a purpose. God is present and He is awaiting every single one of His one hundred sheep to call out to Him.

When the congregation bows, the screams got louder and were more frequent. When we worship with our entire bodies, that is a special offering. When we offer prostrations to the Lord, we recognise the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s tiring, it’s difficult and it puts us in the perfect position to recognise our need for mercy.

Getting into the specifics, when the congregation responds saying,

The Cherubim worship You, and the Seraphim glorify You, proclaiming and saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of hosts; Heaven and earth are full of Your holy glory.

At these times, it felt like the Cherubim and the Seraphim were present. At all times when we sing, “Holy,” there is power. Every time we say, “Holy,” the angels in heaven bow down before the throne of God, how could we be distracted by anything else when there are angels bowing in reverence beside us?

And of course, the confession of the Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension are a sure way to make any devil go crazy;

Amen. Amen. Amen. Your death, O Lord, we proclaim. Your holy resurrection and ascension, we confess. We praise You, we bless You, we thank You, O Lord, and we entreat You, o our God.

There was one that I was surprised by though. After the congregation bows, and the screams stopped, one of them started screaming out, “No.” as if he was in great pain. I had to look this one up later to find out what the priest was praying inaudibly that could cause such a reaction. 

When the priest says,

“And we ask You, O Lord, our God, we, Your sinful and unworthy servants; we worship You by the pleasure of Your goodness; that Your Holy Spirit descend upon us and upon these gifts set forth, and purify them, change them, and manifest them as a sanctification of Your saints.”

The devils can see what we cannot. This is the exact moment when the mystery of the transformation of bread and wine into Body and Blood of Christ happens. The inaudible parts of the liturgy are parts that we too, should learn. For our love of our Saviour to be heightened, we need to understand the offering He made for our salvation and the gift of every liturgy.

May we forever make devils scream at every liturgy and at every moment we choose to love God over our own desires and pleasures. Glory be to God, forever. Amen.

Delivered to you by COPTICNN™ | Coptic News Network on 2021-01-05 from Sydney, Australia.

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When Devils Scream

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Post source : Shery Abdelmalak | Upper Room Media

About The Author

Columnist at COPTICNN.COM

Shery Abdelmalak grew up in Sydney, Australia. Her formal training was at La Trobe University, where she completed a B. Oral Health Science. During her studies, she also completed a Diploma of Theology at St Cyril's Coptic Orthodox Theological College, where she graduated as the Vice Chancellor's Scholar.

This instigated her search to find greater meaning and depth within the Orthodox faith. The link between theology and one's spiritual struggle is what she is most passionate about. Shery is also a blog writer and editor for Upper Room Media, where her love of practical theology becomes most evident.

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