Most people have experienced, at one time or another, the frustration of simply not being able to escape a thought. But when it is an evil idea, our inability to throw it off, no matter what we do, may us in great inner need.

We have seen that anxiety over any thought plaguing us – and misplaced hopes of overcoming such a thought by focusing on other “counter thoughts” can lead us in only one direction: in a downward spiral of emotional confusion.

What then can be done? Two things are important. First, we should remember that we are not alone in our struggle. It is easy to forget this, especially when our inner struggle is long or intense.

Second, we must remain reassured that there is a way out. Once we give into the demons of self-doubt and fear, the battle has already been lost.

In the end, whether a person is possessed by evil spirits or merely pursued by them, the same truth applies only Christ, by means of His Holy Spirit, can drive away their darkness, sadness, and fear.

For those of us who are free from the torments of fascination, this recognition should help us to treat those who are bound by them with special patience and compassion.

For the person trapped in struggle, it means turning to Christ so that He can take the steering wheel of our inner life in His hands.