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The Happy Priest: Spiritual Warfare and the Healing Power of Jesus Christ

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We must put on the Armor of God to Overcome the World, the Flesh and the Devil

Our personal struggle with Satan and with evil is very real indeed.  Jesus will bring about profound healing in our lives if we turn to him. Only by putting on God's armor will we be able to persevere.And what is God's armor for you?  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. 

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CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (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)

This Sunday's Gospel passage is one of numerous examples where Jesus not only confronts Satan, but he is 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 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?  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.

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

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 deep in our soul 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 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  meditative prayer at home or in front of the Blessed Sacrament; 2) go to Mass every day or as often as possible; 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 simply complaining to our friends about our personal problems.  We need to deal with the things that cause us suffering and pain. 

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"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 Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Click here and listen to Father's Sunday homily on iTunes.  Visit Father on the web and check out his book Get Serious - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.

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Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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