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Fr. Farfaglia: Victory Over Satan

Aside from the real spiritual warfare that we experience with Satan, he can also make havoc on our weaknesses and wounds that we colloquially call our own personal demons.

'St. Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle'

'St. Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle'


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Catholic Online) - Satan has deceived the world to believe that he does not exist, that there is no sin and that there is no hell. Nevertheless, Jesus tells us something to the contrary.

"I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10: 18). He was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all: when he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8: 44).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the reality of Satan with these words: "The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God´s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature – to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 395)

In several accounts in the Gospel accounts we read of Jesus not only confronting Satan, but victorious over him.

"In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, ´What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!´ Jesus rebuked him and said, ´Quiet! Come out of him!´ The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him" (Mark 1: 23-26).

Our personal struggle with Satan and with evil is very real indeed. Saint Paul, the fearless apostle of the Gentiles, tells us in his letter to the Ephesians how we are to fight this battle.

"Put God´s armor on so as to be able to resist the devil´s tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness of this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God´s armor, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground" (Ephesians 6: 1-13).

And what is God´s armor for you? Remember what I told you last week. We have to get out of our spiritual nursery school. We have to develop a very serious spiritual life and make frequent use of the Sacrament of Confession. We have to avoid moral relativism when it comes to the formation of our conscience and we have to remove from our soul any manifestation of sloth and spiritual tepidity.

Only by putting on God´s armor will we be able to persevere in this time of trial and tribulation.

Aside from the real spiritual warfare that we experience with Satan, he can also make havoc on our weaknesses and wounds that we colloquially call our own personal demons.

The damage that dysfunctional families make on the individual is astounding. Modern psychology recognizes that traumatic events that are too agonizing to deal with can be buried in our unconscious as a way of coping with the pain that the event or events may cause us. It is true that these buried emotions will affect our behavior unless we deal with them properly.

Bitterness, anger, resentment and discouragement can be healed. Jesus will heal us if we turn to him. If we want to experience peace and happiness in our lives we need to turn to the Lord.

However, too many times we escape from the pain caused by our personal demons, wounds, weaknesses and addictions by turning to sexual sin, drugs, excessive alcohol and over eating. Sometimes we seek escapes in excessive work, sports, entertainment and even shopping.

Jesus will bring about profound healing in our lives if we were to do three things every day: 1) spend 20 – 30 minutes each day in silent contemplative prayer; 2) go to Mass every day; and 3) pray the Rosary every day. These three moments of peaceful prayer will allow the Holy Spirit to enter into the deep recesses of our soul and heal us with his loving presence.

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Psalm 95: 8).

Accompanied by a deep spiritual life where we experience God on an intimate level, spiritual guidance by a qualified spiritual director is an important tool in our journey towards inner healing. Sometimes it may be useful for spiritual direction to be accompanied by therapy from a qualified psychologist who can complement the work of the spiritual director for an adequate period of time.

Openness is essential. It is important that we do not live in denial or find relief by complaining to our friends about our personal problems. We need to deal with our personal demons that cause us suffering and pain.

"In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, ´What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!´ Jesus rebuked him and said, ´Quiet! Come out of him!´ The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him" (Mark 1: 23-26).

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Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Father James is known for his orthodoxy, his unconditional obedience to the Pope, his delicate fidelity to all liturgical norms, his love for real sacred music, his well prepared homilies, and his unwavering pro-life stand. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

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1 - 8 of 8 Comments

  1. Charles VanAcker
    4 years ago

    Very good summary, I do believe that demons exist in the world......... and in us. However, that war has been won by Jesus.............. to paraphrase my former spiritual director

  2. Stewart
    4 years ago

    Thank you, I've been struggling with sin recently for the first time in a while, and wiht this article, I just now realized it's because I stopped praying the Rosary daily. Thank you!

  3. helenl
    5 years ago

    Dear Joan, I feel your pain. I will not apologize for being "Roman" Catholic. Society does try to make you feel as though you are a religious nut, but I don't care and I will not stop for fear of being politically or religiously incorrect. You are not alone. Too bad too many Catholics are afraid to speak out loud. If more of us would, we could see a turn around of americanized beliefs being practiced in our Church by religous and laity.

  4. Holly
    5 years ago

    Joan dont feel lonely watch EWTN and there are a lot of us out here who do discuss these topics.
    Yes even among our own there is opposition because they believe in being "liberal, conservative, libertarian etc."
    The church is none of these as mentioned in one of George Weigel's books on Catholicism.
    So have heart. Do not be afraid He is here.

  5. Dominic Janyga
    5 years ago

    I'm ten and my dad has read me this article. I agree with your statement (to pray for twenty minutes,attend the Mass and pray rosary). However it's sometimes difficult . I'm also wearing a miraculous medal.

  6. Joan Presuti
    5 years ago

    It is easier for me to deal with people who have no faith. Many Catholics I speak with today including priests believe in no sin, abortion, homosexuality all in the name of Christianity. We cannot accept moral relativism, we cannot eclipse Our Lord in order to be politically correct. There are those who believe Christians will soon be ostracized. I feel this because when speaking of the above topics I am shunned as an uncaring person. It is lonely among our very own.

  7. ERIK
    5 years ago

    It is true that the dysfunctional family produces dysfunctional families, as it is also true that a dysfunctional society produces dysfunctional families.the chicken or the egg? Did Adam and Eve start the ball rolling ?Cain and Abel would certainly seem to indicate so.So when in fact did we have the ''model'' family we hear so much about?I am a history fan and I have never found this society of functional families coexisting harmoniously with one another and their neighbours in an ideal way.In the past people did pray and say rosaries and meditate upon God but sadly the societies still warred ,the families quarreled and argued, the law still was blind and the innocent still suffered while the strong grew rich and powerful Blessed are the meek for THEY shall inherit the Earth. Erik

  8. Holly
    5 years ago

    Here is one for the Lord's team.

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