Strange Phenomena and Spiritual Warfare: A Catholic Convert’s Testimony

As soon as my family and I began the conversion process, we were inundated with strange occurrences in our home, but a house blessing and enthronement of the Sacred Heart brought us the peace of Jesus Christ.

‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’
‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’ (photo: Maria.Ratta / Shutterstock)

After months of prayer, study and preparation, my husband and I joyfully received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist at this year’s Easter Vigil. As a newly initiated Catholic, I am grateful to fully participate in the faith and experience God’s graces in a welcoming parish community. But the journey to the Easter Vigil Mass was also filled with spiritual challenges that I did not anticipate.

Before our conversion, my family belonged to a contemporary non-denominational church, where we packed into an auditorium with large video screens, theologically weak music and a feel-good “prosperity gospel” preacher. Our two young children looked forward to the crafts at Sunday school, while we enjoyed fellowship with other young families, but ambivalence eventually crept in. Church became more like a social club than a source of spiritual nourishment and worship.

In an attempt to invigorate my faith, I began to study the history of the early Church and discovered that the beliefs and practices closely aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Intrigued, I reported my findings to my husband and asked if he would be willing to attend Mass with me, and he agreed. We were both instantly drawn to the tradition, liturgy and sacraments of the Church. After several more visits, we concluded that the Catholic Church held the fullness of Christian faith, and our next step was to become Catholic. Days later, we enrolled in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes to begin our conversion. 

Almost as soon as we began the RCIA process, we were inundated with strange occurrences in our home. Lights turned on in rooms where no one had entered. A large arched windowpane inexplicably shattered, sending thousands of shards of glass all over the floor. Our kitchen sink pipe leaked water. Our toilets overflowed. Our septic system overflowed. Our washing machine leaked water, so we replaced it. Then the brand-new machine leaked water, but the technician found no issues. Our refrigerator mysteriously stopped cooling, so we replaced it. Our air conditioner broke, so we replaced that as well. Then our new thermostat dramatically changed temperatures without being touched, and the technician could offer no explanation. Water slowly dripped from a wooden door frame. The television screen changed colors — or stopped working altogether — when we tried to stream daily Mass.

We endured these types of events for months. It pummeled our finances. The prevailing mood in the household was negative and stressful — particularly for my husband, who was responsible for the bills that were piling up quickly. Since we had never experienced anything like this before, we quickly wondered if there was a connection between these unpleasant occurrences and our church attendance. The episodes often occurred within hours of returning home from RCIA or Mass, making the spiritual connection even harder to avoid. When our second air conditioning unit broke, my husband wondered if it would be better to stop the RCIA process rather than endure more damage to our household and finances. I asked him to persevere “just one more week” (a phrase I repeated to him several times as a catechumen). We trusted God in the process, but I felt discouraged during a season that I assumed would be filled with great positivity and excitement.

Seeking a solution, I turned to prayer. I learned how to pray the Rosary in English and Latin. I discovered novenas and other powerful traditional prayers. I contemplated the Scriptures in the daily Mass readings, finding inspiration in biblical typology that I never knew existed. My husband installed a holy water font in our bedroom and we used it to frequently bless ourselves. Even making the sign of the cross was a new prayerful gesture in my routine. During Lent, I observed several days of fasting, which improved my disposition and drew me nearer to God. I made an effort to turn away from sin and unite my suffering to Christ’s, knowing he could use it to bring about something good. It was also during Lent that I discovered a book by exorcist priest Father Chad Ripperger called Deliverance Prayers For Use By The Laity. On Easter Sunday, now with the authority to speak these words over my home, I prayed the “Consecration of One’s Exterior Goods to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The negative activity seemed to be lifting.

A few days after Easter, I began to share with some Catholic friends what I had experienced over the past year. Up to that point, I had been reluctant to reveal details to anyone, even to RCIA leaders, for fear that they would think my husband and I had done “something wrong” to make ourselves vulnerable to spiritual attack. Fortunately, my friends dismissed those concerns and assured me that it was not unusual for people to undergo this type of battle while converting, or coming back to the Church after a long absence. They also dispensed another piece of valuable advice: Ask a priest to perform a house blessing. As a neophyte, I did not even realize that such a thing existed!

I quickly reached out to my parish, and a priest arrived at my home the following day. Going from room to room, Father’s prayers and blessings brought a sense of peace, and he encouraged us to keep using love as our weapon against the Tempter — to love the people around us, and to love the Lord. The stress and negativity had finally dissipated. Before leaving, Father presented us with an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Written at the bottom was a declaration that on this date, we had consecrated our home and family members to Jesus, and he is enthroned here. Placing it inside a frame, the image is now honored in our living room.

I can confidently say that God used this entire conversion process as a purifying experience for my family. It confirmed the realities of the spiritual realm, called us to become more disciplined in our prayer life and spiritual practices, and revealed the importance of repenting from sin and remaining in a state of grace.