The Ugly Suffering of Christina the Astonishing

I just read an incredible article by Kristin Valdez Quade about Christina the Astonishing:

I have bipolar depression and found Christina’s name in an internet search for patron saints of mental illness.  I’m not exactly sure why we call them patron saints “of” mental illness.  I’m not sure it even matters, and Christina is not a saint anyway.  Not really.  She was never canonized and I’m pretty sure her cause isn’t up for consideration by the Vatican.

She was more considered a holy woman.  She could smell the sin on people and tended to avoid them.  Aggressively.  She is not an easy person to get behind or to have fuzzy feelings for, which Quade’s New Yorker piece highlights well.

I’ve spent much of my time studying what makes the supernatural world tick, and how it interacts with this world.  Why exactly do people get possessed?  What does it look like?  Do we even recognize it when it happens?  More often, people suffer from demon “oppression,” and that is certainly not easy to recognize.

It occurred to me that Christina the Astonishing was oppressed or possessed by a demon or demons.  But the part that really intrigues me is that the story goes that when she died that first time, she was given the choice by God to come back to earth to offer up her earthly suffering for the souls in purgatory.  She took God up on that offer.

She did suffer in her life.  But it was an ugly suffering.  She usually attacked the people who tried to help her, throwing their food offerings back at them, yelling their sins at them.  Demons can cause some nasty suffering.  It’s pretty characteristic, in fact.  They are mean and cause their victims to last out at the people around them.  Kind of like Christina did.

The Catholic Church has the idea of redemptive suffering.  That your suffering can be offered up to help others.  I’m fascinated by the idea that this suffering could possibly be demonic in nature.

What about you, gentle readers?  Have you ever suffered something that had a demonic edge to it?  If you’re Catholic, did you offer your suffering up as a sacrifice?  The answer to both of those questions for me is “yes.”



10 thoughts on “The Ugly Suffering of Christina the Astonishing

  1. If you go to my blog I have posted five post how I Overcame the Attacks of Satan. Of course I could not write a book but am writing one now, so a lot got left out. Do I offer it up? I offer every single suffering I have daily for others and myself. The worst thing we can do is waste our sufferings!!!!!

    I offer them for the kids in St. Jude, that my suffering can maintain the life of a child. I offer it for the poor, thirsty, hungry, and homeless. I offer it for the suffering, sick, dying and their families, etc… Do I like to suffer??? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! Do I like it when a child’s life may be saved because of it. ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

    You know I have heard some people tell Satan, “Satan give it your best shot. I am a child of God and you are underneath my feet.” I always go back to Job and the Cross and think to myself, “This was Satan’s best shot. Do you really want it?”

    He will always attack us, but it is what we do with it when he does. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are lucky as Catholics to be taught that our suffering is not wasted when offered as a sacrifice. I offer it up all the time. Many times a day. For my good and the good of the whole world, for the healing of the mentally ill, for the poor souls in purgatory, and for those who have no one to pray for them.

      Yeah, I don’t tempt Satan. Ever.


      • So, if you are offering your sufferings such as these, which are wonderful, when you want to become sad or anxious given your situation, please remember all the good you are doing for the lives of others. As St. Mother Teresa said, “It is in the small things we do.” Jori, I do so believe all of our “small things” have great value, regarding the lives of others.

        No, I do not “tempt the devil either!!!” Talk about swinging that door wide open for him to enter. I have a friend whose husband did this all the time. He ended up committing suicide from drinking antifreeze. It was horrible and all I could think about was how he and my friend always used to say, “I am a child of God. The devil is underneath my feet and cannot hurt me, because I am covered by the Blood of Jesus.” It always made me cringe because I knew they were inviting him into their lives. When he died, my heart just broke. No matter how many times I asked them to stop, they were so confident no harm would ever come to them.

        After he died, she became ill with cancer. Thank God though, this was cured and she is alive and well today. I just ignore him, never speak to him, and I go to God. Why people think they have so much authority over an entity that spoke three times in the Garden of Eden and destroyed all of mankind in doing so, is beyond me. True he is defeated by Christ, but has yet to be destroyed. I do not know why people want to invite hell into their lives. To me it is such arrogance and pride. Have a great weekend and God Bless, SR

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope they help you. I still read them and now it feels like that part of my life never existed. I know it did and it was pure hell. I have such great peace now. How much God loves us. God Bless, SR

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Even St. Michael treats Lucifer with respect. Even St. Michael refuses to tempt the devil. I pray to St. Michael often, both the St. Michael prayer and just informally for protection. I feel that’s the best way. I don’t talk to Satan; I just focus on St. Michael. God gave St. Michael the authority to lead the heavenly host in this fight. I would never presume to speak before that.

    I am so so sorry to hear about your friend’s suicide. That is so horrible to even think about. I think that society judges those who commit suicide. And yes, they may have lost their battle, but I’ve never in all my 46 years seen someone who doesn’t go down fighting. It may not look like that on the outside, but there are no cowards in this fight.

    God is a merciful God. I don’t know if you worry about the soul of a person who has taken their own life. But please commend his soul to the care of his loving Father and try not to worry.

    I am proud of you for telling that story. Sometimes, people don’t want to hear things like that, like it’s a taboo subject. But that is Satan’s lies trying to keep the truth from getting out. He can be fought. But as you say, God is the one who knows how. And God has shown us the way in his Word and in his Church.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and support. 💛


  3. Just stopping by to check up on you and making sure you are okay. Did your car get fixed? My lawn mower broke last week, so that was a happy 2000.00 spent. Gees!!!! It just never ends does it??? 🙂 God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Thank you for checking!! It’s a struggle right now. My rental house has a leaky roof and mold – ugh! The car isn’t fixed, but I have a loaner so no complaints. I continue to offer up my suffering as a sacrifice. My medicine seems to be starting to help my bipolar. It’s getting to a therapeutic dose – this is really helping a great deal. Thank You, God!

      And why are lawn mowers such money drainers???

      Thank you so much for the check in. I really needed it – and right now. God must have whispered in your ear.


  4. Glad to hear about your loaner and your meds. Glad they are helping you. As far as leaky roof and mold is owner going to fix? I use peroxide if it is black mold and it seems to do a good job of killing it, if you can get to it or is it all in your roof?

    As far as the lawn mower and money???? I have no idea why those things are so high. I swear it would be cheaper to get a goat!!! 🙂 But then I would have to put up with the smell and I think my six dogs do enough of that, thank you very much! 🙂 Hope you have a great day today.

    I did mow today, and cleaned out dog bowls and troughs. The birds are going to have to wait until tomorrow for their bird bath, I pooped out. I had to spray my fence line. We got some rain here in Texas last week and boy did the weeds start to grow, which of course means more work. I am waiting for fall so I can cut this place down and let it die! August is just so hot here, the outside work just beats you down. Well have to run and go put that “diamond mower” up. Heaven forbid a drop of rain should touch it. For two thousand dollars one would think they could withstand any weather to sit out in??? God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL!! I know that people do indeed get goats to deal with the lawn! But only certain goats and sheet eat certain things. They don’t like short fescue, they only like long fescue or something. And then there’s all the fencing and feeding and watering. I’m not sure it ever ends well. But the lawn mowers are, as you alluded to, the special snowflakes of the tractor world. How do you even handle it?

      I haven’t heard from the landlord yet. I encouraged him to not deal with the whole mold removal specialist industry, because they tend to be unethical. Plus, as you said, there are ways to deal with mold that are not expensive. I think the roof will need to be replaced, though, which will mean he is in a bad mood if he is out there looking at it. I think I’ll leave him be for now and wait for him to contact me.

      I hope the Texas weather starts cooperating soon. That is a grueling climate. Well, Texas is ginormous and so it has a ton of climates, but all of them seem grueling.

      God bless you


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