Spiritual Warfare

EVIL: Understanding Lucifer

June 21, 2018

I have a son who, when he was young, played some video games.  One type he played were called role-playing games.  In these, the player assumes the identity of a fictional character and works to accomplish the many levels that are in the game.  One challenge on each level is to defeat the “boss.”  The antagonist to the player’s protagonist.  As the player climbs to the next level, the difficulty of defeating the boss gets harder.  Until the last level, when the player meets the “Last Boss.” The worst enemy of them all. Seven years it has been.  Funny how so many things in our lives revolve around the number seven: days in a week, continents, seas, deadly sins. It began back then, but it took a few years [...]

SERMON: On Lent I by Leo the Great

February 18, 2018

I. The benefits of abstinence shown by the example of the Hebrews In former days, when the people of the Hebrews and all the tribes of Israel were oppressed for their scandalous sins by the grievous tyranny of the Philistines, in order that they might be able to overcome their enemies, as the sacred story declares, they restored their powers of mind and body by the injunction of a fast. For they understood that they had deserved that hard and wretched subjection for their neglect of God’s commands, and evil ways, and that it was in vain for them to strive with arms unless they had first withstood their sin. Therefore abstaining from food and drink, they applied the discipline of strict correction to themselves, and in order to [...]

UNITY: Spiritual Warfare, or, The reason the church was created in the first place

February 12, 2018

Let us begin with an exercise in imagination. I want you to picture a pie chart. At first, when you look at it, it looks like it is all one color. Let’s say, white. But as you study it, even use a magnifying glass on it, you are able to see one very fine, black line. As you pull away from the chart, the black line blends into all the white. This is the pie chart of sin. The white represents sins for which a person can atone, ask for forgiveness, and receive it. That very fine, black line represents the one sin for which a person cannot atone or receive forgiveness. One sin. So if the overwhelming majority of sins can be forgiven, why do so many churches spend so much time on justifying judgment and condemnation? One of the very [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Finding Reality In God

December 10, 2017

It was a long battle. Eight years in the fray.  And so many more in recovery. I was very aware that my marriage was an assignment from God.  I even verified that before the wedding took place. As it went on, I found I was being trained: lessons specific for handling what was before me that I rigorously worked to learn and apply. One lesson I was being taught – this was fresh knowledge for me – was about binding a soul.  This binding works to lessen the negative effect that an evil person can have on the world. This was something very new to me. Over the years of the battle I watched as my binding would take effect, then watch some more how, in time, the binding would ease and slip off.  And the rancid behavior, calmed for a time, [...]

EVIL: The Distinction Between Bondage And Marriage

May 5, 2017

I am a mystic. As such I approach the world as a place where the people in it are those who are in need of healing. Let’s face it, we are all in need of healing all the time. At least that’s what I thought until very recently. As a mystic, I really don’t have a mind for absolute forms of humanity.  I work with the relative.  People are like puzzles to me.  And I work to put the pieces together in a way that the person can function better in life.  Feel better about themselves.  Feel better about God, and their relationship with him. When humanity becomes a wall, an unmovable object, then I am challenged. And while I like challenges generally, I prefer them to be in the realm of healing. Healing: the art of picking up [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: A Rant

January 15, 2017

I am angry.  Very angry. Well, at least I was. I came to a boil when I read the words that generally said in an article on deliverance that fighting Satan is no harder than taking out the garbage. That it’s merely something you might not want to do, but it’s your responsibility, so go for it. Oh, and there’s nothing to be afraid of.  Because you know, Jesus something or other. The man who was nailed to a cross to bleed to death because of evil has your back. You know. So forget about it. On the evening of the day that I read this – I won’t stoop to calling it nonsense – I heard the same statement made in a lecture. It must be in the air. Nothing frightening about Satan.  Oh, no.  He’s a peach.  A [...]

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES: Prayer And The Christian Way Of Life (Part One) by Claire E. Wolfteich

October 25, 2016

From Lord, Have Mercy: Praying for Justice with Conviction and Humility One of the fourth-century desert fathers, Abba Macarius, was asked, How should one pray?  The old man said, There is no need at all to make long discourses; it is enough to stretch out one’s hands and say, “Lord, as you will, and as you know, have mercy.” Macarius was among the early monks and nuns who led solitary lives in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria.  They left cities and towns to live a stark, ascetic life of prayer, confronting the demons within and without, seeking to grow in discernment and purity of heart.  People often came to them and asked for a “word” – for spiritual counsel.  The elders would respond [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Critical Conditions

October 14, 2016

I had the grace a few weeks ago of being introduced to an agency that works to save slaves around the world.  That’s not the only work that this agency does.  They help women whose families try to seize their land after the death of their husbands.  They stop sex traffickers. And after they save the people from violence, they provide them with safe houses where they can heal from all their wounds. So faced with being asked to pray for the International Justice Mission, I looked at my schedule, scratched my head, and wondered where I would “fit” them in.  And I saw that I could rearrange my noon prayers to make room.  Normally, I would read the noonday prayers, supplemented with a little “outside” reading, [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Need For Clean

October 8, 2016

Or Orthodoxy. In the church. This is a true story.  That I watched happened.  Up-close and personal, as they say. It’s the story of a church that was beset. The head of this church thought what was besetting it was church warfare. But it wasn’t. Because this particular church was actually at war with itself. And it lost the battle.  With itself. Let me explain. For every person who has ever walked this Earth, there is a soul.  A distinct soul.  A soul with its own song.  Its own point-of-view.  Its own way of seeing God.  Or not seeing God. Now souls of a certain kind tend to flock together.  It’s why there are different religions. Each are always much, much better than the others. Period. This is the only area [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Lucifer—Soulless Evil

August 19, 2016

I’ve always thought of myself as the weirdest person on Earth. One of the reasons for that is how, when I began the study of evil from its soul-structure point-of-view, one of the first things I wondered was, If evil has to do with the soul, and Lucifer doesn’t have a soul because he’s an angel, is he really evil?  And if he is, what kind of evil is it? This question has been like a slowly drip of water at the very back of my brain ever since. In fact, whenever faced with another lesson on evil, I wondered where Lucifer was. Reading about Lucifer never helped me. Pride. Fall. Battle. Hell. Is one who battles God by definition evil? Isn’t evil something that affects human on Earth? If evil is only in the realm of [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Fallen Angels by Ignatius Brianchaninov

August 9, 2016

From Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave The evil spirits are fallen angels.  God created them along with the other angels, and at first they all were pure, good, and holy, and generously endowed with many gifts, both natural and given by the grace of God.  But some of the angelic spirits became darkened by pride and began to attribute their profusion of various gifts, their excellent qualities, and even the gifts of grace to themselves.  They no longer considered themselves created beings.  Instead, they began to think of themselves as self-sufficient, and forgot that they had been made by God.  Such was the disastrous cause of their disregard of their sacred obligations to God their Creator.  Among the most eminent angels, there was [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: When Prayers Harm

July 29, 2016

It wasn’t anything I ever expected to find in my visions. It started out fairly normally.  I kept being shown that there was a great concern in the world.  A lot of people had the same prayer on their hearts. So I looked into it. I found someone who was passionate for this matter. And had written a number of prayers and posted them online. Probably I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it.  I read the prayers and was horrified. So, being a former editor, I ripped them apart and sent the author my insights. Why pray for understanding when what is needed is food and shelter?  You see, I can almost claim the world’s championship trophy in understanding. But all the understanding in the world doesn’t do squat [...]

ANGELS: Dynastic Return To The Old Faith by Willibald Sauderländer

July 28, 2016

From The Catholic Rubens: Saints and Martyrs The Archangel Michael Altar for Duke Wilhelm of Pfalz-Neuburg A vehement and stormy altarpiece demonstrates how Peter Paul Rubens contributed his furia del pennello [brush fury] to the confessional struggles surging through Bavaria before and during the Thirty Years War.  At issue in this case was the reconversion of the collateral line of the Wittelsbach family in Pfalz-Neuburg, who had fallen away from the old faith.  When Wolfgang Wilhelm, the eldest son of the rigidly Lutheran count palatine Philipp Ludwig, reconverted to Roman Catholicism in order to marry a sister of Duke Maximilian of Bavaria in 1613, the Jesuits appeared in Neuburg that same year as confessors and preachers. [...]

MICHAEL: Helper And Defender Of Christians

July 28, 2016

From St. Michael the Archangel (author unknown) Besides the protection which the glorious Archangel Michael extends to the church at large, he is also the protector of every individual Christian and of all Christian nations.  How fortunate we are in having so powerful an advocate!  Surely, never so urgently as at the present time have Christians needed Saint Michael’s help to remain steadfast in their faith.  Unbelief has carried its insolence to the very limit and boldly proclaims that there is no God.  Blasphemy against Jesus Christ, against his mysteries and his doctrines has increased in the most frightful manner.  It is our duty to be faithful Christians, to confess our faith openly and energetically, and to preserve a [...]

ANGELS: Michael by Rami Shapiro

July 26, 2016

From The Angelic Way The Hebrew name Michael means “Who is like God.”  Judaism and Christianity consider Michael the chief of the angels, though perhaps not the most powerful of all angels. In Judaism Michael first appears as a named angel in the book of Daniel, alongside the angel Gabriel, to defeat the Persians.  As we have seen, Jewish tradition identifies him as the angel who announced to Sarah that she would give birth to a son.   In addition, he is said to have recorded the sale of Esau’s birthright to Jacob, rescued Abraham from the fiery furnace, accompanied God to Mount Sinai, instructed Moses, was sent – but failed – to take Moses’s soul at his death, stood by Moses’s side after his death, [...]

ANGELS: Saint Michael, Archangel by Jacques Le Goff

July 26, 2016

From In Search of Sacred Time: Jacobus de Voragine and the Golden Legend Saint Michael presents an exceptional case in the Golden Legend [a collection of writings on the lives of the saints] because, even though he has certainly played the role of a saint in Christian devotion, he was in fact an archangel.  As Alain Boureau notes, Saint Michael is the only one of the three archangels mentioned in the Old Testament (the two others being Gabriel and Raphael) to whom Jacobus de Voragine devotes a chapter.  The principal reason for this, I believe, is that Michael plays a particularly important role in the sacralization of time, which, I am attempting to show, is the underlying theme of the Golden Legend.  Unlike Alain Boureau, however, [...]

PRAYER: Archangel Michael—For Help Against Spiritual Enemies

July 25, 2016

Author unknown O glorious Archangel Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, who are ever ready to assist the people of God; who fought with the Dragon, the Old Serpent, and cast him out of Heaven, and now does valiantly defend the church of God so that the gates of hell may never prevail against her: I earnestly entreat you to assist me also in the painful and dangerous conflict I must sustain against the same formidable foe.  Be with me, mighty prince, that I may courageously fight and wholly vanquish that proud spirit whom you, by the divine power, have overthrown, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, in our nature so completely overcame; so that, triumphing over the enemy of my salvation, I may, with thee and the holy angels, [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Sword Of The Spirit by Christopher Dawson

June 23, 2016

From The Judgment of the Nations We have seen that the Christian view of man and society is far from being a static traditionalism, as its rationalist critics have so often supposed.  What distinguishes the Christian view of history from that of secular philosophy is above all the belief in the divine government of the world and the intervention of the Spirit in history and in the power of man, to resist or cooperate with this divine action.  These conceptions are most clearly expressed in the prophets of Israel, who are in a special sense the bearers of the Sword of the Spirit.  For the prophets not only give an interpretation of history in terms of the kingdom of God and the divine judgment, they also show the power of God [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Stand Firm by Anthony Esolen

May 26, 2016

Or End Up on the Wrong Side of Eschatology From Touchstone One day, said Saint Jerome, the world awoke and groaned to find itself half Arian.  It was the reasonable position of the time, bearing all the marks of historical inevitability.  It shrugged away the most challenging points of Christology, for if Christ was but a creature, a Platonic demiurge, we need not puzzle our minds over how God might be both one and three.  We need not be stunned into reverence by the words, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” since the Word was, in a sense, already “flesh.” Arianism was an easy slide.  Most of the bishops leaned that way; it was the way of the well-stuffed.  But Athanasius rose up contra [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Not Peace, But A Sword, by Johann Christoph Arnold

January 15, 2016

From Seeking Peace Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the Earth!  No, rather, a sword.  I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s worst enemies will be found right in his own home!  If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. (Jesus of Nazareth) When Matthew recorded these words of Jesus in the tenth chapter of his Gospel, he gave generations of Christians a favorite argument with which to defend the use of force in dealing with other human beings.  But what did Jesus really mean? [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Evil In Threes

November 24, 2015

My mind is a funny thing.  Sometimes watching it do its thing, I’m amused. Sometimes I am amazed.  Sometimes I am horrified. Lately, though, as it has been doing its thing, I’ve been impressed. Something it does best is sort.  Categorize.  Order. When I was young I used to have a recurring thought that were I God, this universe would be better ordered.  Too much chaos all the time all over the place. Let’s get it cleaned up.  Everything in its place. Right.  No chance of that. But I always have my thoughts that I can play with.  And play with them, I do. All of a sudden, one day, my categorization of evil expanded, revealing different aspects of the evils.  And even to approaches to them. Distinct. Neat. [...]

POETRY: New Heaven, New War by Robert Southwell

September 23, 2015

Come to your Heaven, you Heavenly choirs, Earth hath the Heaven of your desires. Remove your dwelling in your God; A stall is now his best abode. Since men their homage do deny, Come, angels, all their fault supply. His chilling cold doth heat require; Come, seraphims, in lieu of fire. This little ark no cover hath; Let cherubs’ wings his body swathe. Come, Raphael, this babe must eat; Provide our little Toby meat. Let Gabriel be now his groom, That first took up his Earthly room. Let Michael stand in his defense, Whom love hath linked to feeble sense. Let graces rock when he doth cry, And angels sing his lullaby. The same you saw in Heavenly seat Is he that now sucks Mary’s teat; Agonize your king a mortal wight, His borrowed [...]

POETRY: Reverie, by Robert Browning

September 16, 2015

I know there shall dawn a day —Is it here on homely earth? Is it yonder, worlds away, Where the strange and new have birth, That Power comes full in play? Is it here, with grass about, Under befriending trees, When shy buds venture out, And the air by mild degrees Puts winter’s death past doubt? Is it up amid whirl and roar Of the elemental flame Which star-flecks heaven’s dark floor, That, new yet still the same, Full in play comes Power once more? Somewhere, below, above, Shall a day dawn—this I know— When Power, which vainly strove My weakness to o’erthrow, Shall triumph. I breathe. I move. I truly am, at last! For a veil is rent between Me and the truth which passed Fitful, half-guessed, half-seen, Grasped [...]

POETRY: Earthquake (Isaiah 52), by Thomas Merton

September 9, 2015

Go tell the earth to shake And tell the thunder To wake the sky And tear the clouds apart Tell my people to come out And wonder Where the old world is gone For a new world is born And all my people Shall be one So tell the earth to shake With marching feet Of messengers of peace Proclaim my law of love To every nation Every race. For the old wrongs are over The old days are gone A new world is rising where my people shall be one. So tell the earth to shake With marching feet Of messengers of peace Proclaim my law of love To every nation Every race. And say The old wrongs are over The old ways are done There shall be no more hate And no more war My people shall be one. So tell the earth to shake With marching feet Of messengers of peace [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Bound

October 9, 2014

I never saw it coming. I never even imagined it could happen to me. The first thing it taught me was that all while I was thinking I was so clever staying under my “target’s” radar, finding access to his soul to bind it, to keep him from harming others any longer, I could drop enough of my own defenses in the fray, leaving a blind side, and be bound myself. My soul was bound. I don’t know what the experience of this is on an evil soul, how the person feels once its accomplished, but, for me, it felt like I was being choked.  Bodily choked. Choked.  Chained.  Fastened to the floor. It was the stark contrast to my normal operating sensations that really got me. In warfare, or in flight, as I like to call it, my [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Warring With Demons, by Tom Licence

October 9, 2014

From Hermits and Recluses Anchoretic warfare also involved relentless attacks by evil spirits, which inflamed the lusts of the flesh or planted wicked thoughts in the mind.  These were the beings cast out of the lofty regions of the higher heavens for their rebellion under Lucifer.  They were animal in genus, rational like humans, but aerial in body and eternal in time.  “Spirits fanatically bent on doing harm, completely at odds with justice, swollen with pride, green with envy, and well versed in deceit,” their objective by any means at their disposal was to divert souls – especially the pious – from the narrow path and plunge them into hell.  Traditionally, demons mustered in lonely places.  Saint Antony had gone [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Battle Of Good And Evil

June 26, 2014

From Angels and Miracles, American Bible Society The idea that there is some kind of invisible, spiritual war going on around us can be difficult to grasp.  Nevertheless, the Bible hints that such a conflict began with the fall of the angels (Luke 10:18).  Although victory was made certain by Christ’s resurrection, ultimate success will not be achieved until evil is punished once and for all at the end of time. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him.  After Jesus had gone without eating for 40 days and nights, he was very hungry.  Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.”  Jesus answered, “The scriptures say: [...]

POETRY: To Saint Michael The Archangel by Henry Constable

June 25, 2014

When as the prince of angels puffed with pride stirred his seditious spirits to rebel: God chose for chief, his champion Michael: and gave him charge the host of Heaven to guide. And when the angels of the rebel’s side vanquished in battle from their glory fell, the pride of Heaven became the drake of hell, and in the dungeon of despair was tied. This dragon since let loose, God’s church assailed, and she by help of Michael’s sword prevailed. Who ever tried adventures like this knight? Which general of Heaven, hell overthrew; for such a lady as God’s spouse did fight: and such a monster as the devil [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Confounding Nature Of God’s Battle On Earth

June 24, 2014

In the middle, or so, of an extensive battle, my mind, searching for some respite, a raft in the sea of chaos, began to map out the design of it all.  And even back then I was touched by it.  Moved by the grace in the beauty of a mosaic that, to me anyway, shouldn’t have been there. The mapping continued over the number of battles that followed the first. Man’s warfare is about devastation with mere glimpses of grace here and there. God’s warfare is about grace with the impression of devastation here and there. In a way, perhaps, they share a similar goal: to make over what is before the soldier. I actually began a book based on my notes: (1) the 12 stages or weapons of spiritual warfare; (2) the swords of God; (3) [...]

PRAYER: How A Warrior Of Christ Should Prepare For Battle In The Morning, by Lorenzo Scupoli

June 23, 2014

From Unseen Warfare As soon as you wake up in the morning, pray for a while, saying: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.”  Then your first work should be to shut yourself in your own heart, as if taking up position in an arena.  Having established yourself there, bring yourself to the consciousness and feeling that your enemy and the passionate urge against which you struggle at the moment is already there, on your left, ready for immediate attack; therefore rouse against them a firm resolve to conquer or die, but never to submit.  Realize also that on your right there stands, invisibly present, your Commander, our Lord Jesus Christ, with his holy mother and a host of holy angels, with Archangel Michael [...]