Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 30 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Solanus Casey
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

How to get rid of bad thoughts

WHISPER

Plastic Ghost | Shutterstock

Edifa - published on 04/24/20

Anyone can have troubling thoughts, but how do we get rid of the ones that threaten to separate us from God?

Apart from cases of mental illness, Christian tradition recognizes that evil spirits can sometimes disturb and tempt us, taking the form of troubling or even blasphemous thoughts. Usually, they cause inner turmoil that eventually goes away. But these inadvertent manifestations are sometimes the sign of temptation.

The temptations of this world are many and there are internal temptations as well. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire,” we read in James 1:14. But we must not exclude the temptations of the Tempter and evil spirits. They are usually of the order of insinuation, like a parasitic thought. And they can at times be severe and insistent.

These strange voices must be treated like any other distraction: don’t dwell on it, don’t give it room. That will only make those voices louder. Humor is the best defence against these thoughts. And the age-old advice still holds true: take a deep breath, look to the Lord, say a Hail Mary, and make a sign of the cross. Or, quite simply, pick up the thread of what you were thinking beforehand, or praying, or working on. For temptation is precisely there to divert us from our task.

Is the temptation great? That’s rather a good sign. The Enemy tends to leave the lukewarm in peace.

Beware of practitioners of spiritualism, clairvoyance, and the occult

In some cases though, it’s a question of something more powerful than temptation, before which we always retain our free will. Perhaps it’s some sort of uncontrolled impulse that gives rise to a thought, sometimes even a word or an action. That’s what you’ll hear from practitioners of spiritualism, clairvoyance, or the occult, or in various schools of concentration or meditation and, of course, in all practices that seek to offer special powers. What they all have in common is that they place the subject in a state of expectation and even vulnerability and they open onto some other nameless, faceless world. Through this opening, spirits can filter through: the medium’s spirit or satanic spirits. These practices all profess to seek personal fulfillment and the altruistic service of humanity. And yet they also have another worrying point in common: a human being is deemed capable of progress through forces within them, or through forces they can learn to harness. But these techniques are the opposite of faith in Jesus, who is our sole Savior and Mediator. Even if not explicitly meant to be, they are synonymous with blasphemy and can be harmful.

Here again, we must not fear: the risen Jesus is victorious over the Enemy. However, we must embrace that victory unconditionally and without delay. First of all, recognize the doorways through which Satan’s ruses could enter. Next, sever all ties with anything or anyone related to these practices. If you have any books or objects related to them, you must be as strict as St. Paul was with the Ephesians: Burn it all! (Acts 19:19). Finally, you must entrust yourself to the prayer of the Church in order to be interiorly freed, purified, and regenerated in the true faith. Then it will be possible to hear the light breeze of the Holy Spirit. It has the sound of truth and freedom.

Father Alain Bandelier


IMMENRAET TEMPTATION OF CHRIST

Read more:
A prayer to help you beat temptation


ISOLATION SAINTS

Read more:
6 Saints who found holiness in forced isolation

Tags:
Spiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
2
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
3
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
4
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
5
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
6
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
7
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More