Do you ever have those days, weeks, months or even years when you feel like the harder you try to love God and love your neighbor, the more the devil tries to stop you? Do you ever feel irritated by your own skin? Do you feel like the more you offer up your pain or trials, the heavier they become?
I’ve had that kind of month – however I am very thankful that it has been punctuated by some very peaceful, happy moments. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and these happy moments are what keeps me going!
I believe that Spiritual Combat is real. The war between good and evil – God and the Devil is being played out in our world today – and sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of that battle. The more you try to do good for Christ, the more the devil will try to stop you – through negative thoughts, pain, irritation, despair – even illness. The good news, is that God has already won! I’m hanging onto that!
Pope Paul VI, (in his general audience on Nov. 15, 1972) said,
“The Christian must be a militant; he must be vigilant and strong; and he must at times make use of special ascetical practices to escape from certain diabolical attacks. Jesus teaches us this by pointing to ‘prayer and fasting’ as the remedy. And the Apostle suggests the main line we should follow: “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
What are some weapons that we, as Catholics have in our arsenal against the devil’s assaults?
*the holy name of Jesus
*holy water and other sacramentals
*prayer and fasting – Jesus shows us this during his temptation in the desert
This song, though secular in lyric, reminds me of this battle – When you read the words, try to think of it as your relationship with the world, and wanting to run toward the Son – Jesus – in order to overcome it.
There’s a lightning in your eyes, I can’t deny
Then there’s me inside a sinking boat running out of time
Without you I’ll never make it out alive
But I know, yes I know, we’ll be alright
There’s a devil in your smile, it’s chasing me
And every time I turn around it’s only gaining speed
There’s a moment when you finally realize
There’s no way you can change the rolling tide
But I know, yes I know, that I’ll be fine
This time I’m ready to run
Escape from the city and follow the sun
‘Cause I wanna be yours, don’t you wanna be mine?
I don’t wanna get lost in the dark of the night
This time I’m ready to run
Wherever you are is the place I belong
‘Cause I wanna be free, and I wanna be young
I will never look back now I’m ready to run
I’m ready to run
There’s a future in my life I can’t foresee
Unless, of course, I stay on course and keep you next to me
There will always be the kind that criticize
But I know, yes, I know we’ll be alright.
(Writers: Tomlinson Payne Jamie Scott Bunetta Ryan)
Here is what St. Paul says about this battle in Ephesians 6:10-17:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Suit me up, Lord!!
You know, I always try to be positive in my postings here, as my hope is to help to build others up and encourage them with my own stories and experiences. Today, I felt inspired to share the not so pretty side of my spiritual journey in hopes that someone who reads this will know that they are not alone.
Stay strong! We’re all in this together, and the Lord is at the helm of the boat. Storms may come up and threaten to capsize us, however, Jesus is in charge. He can, with one word or thought calm the seas if/when He desires. This should give us great confidence and hope!