Spiritual Warfare: Why We Are Losing – OnePeterFive

BY FATHER RICHARD HEILMAN ON AUGUST 23, 2016

In recent decades, we have seen Satan engage the world as never before. In all of human history we have never witnessed evil promoted so effectively, while virtue, character, and morals are roundly mocked and rejected. Meanwhile, it could be said that the Mystical Body — the Church — has never been so unprepared for and unengaged in the challenging mission of spiritual warfare. It is obvious that Satan’s forces are well trained and well organized, while ours clearly are not. At the very beginnings of our great nation, Sir Edmund Burke warned, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Recognizing the widespread spiritual lethargy of our times – the emergent detachment from the Divine Life – Pope John Paul II’s master plan for the new millennium was one that asked us to set aside our disconnected busyness, and to start fresh by contemplating the face of Christ. It is clear that the Holy Father was encouraging us to place our emphasis on reconnecting to the Divine Life of God, which is classically referred to as the unum necessarium, the one thing necessary.

The one thing necessary constitutes the essential foundation for the interior life and stems from the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42), where we first see that, amazingly, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sitting right in their living room. Even so, Martha remains busy with the good and noble protocol of hospitality, while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, her eyes locked on His Holy Face, peering into His soul, hanging on His every word. Mary is actually in adoration, soaking in everything our Lord wants to give her. I like to say that she is “Mary-nating” — soaking in the gusher of God’s graces. Mary had come to understand what St. Augustine once said: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Remarkable!

When Martha objects to Mary’s lack of activity, Jesus tells Martha that she remains anxious and upset about many things while Mary has chosen the better portion, the one thing necessary. Mary was the one who was making the guest truly feel welcomed, while Martha remained detached, going through the motions of the demands of protocol. God is light and love and truth Who brings order and meaning and serenity to our lives. While we remain disconnected from our Source, we remain easily agitated, frustrated, and feeble in our disordered and chaotic existence as we continue to walk in darkness.

The disconnection is seen, first and foremost, in the Martha-like indifference to the presence of the Divine in so many of our present-day liturgies, compared with a more Mary-like contemplative way of worshiping. Contemplative awe and veneration have always been the distinctive way Catholics worshiped, until recent decades. In awe and wonder, we would worship Him and soak in the supernatural graces necessary to stand firm against the tactics of the devil (Eph. 6:11) and to grow in the way of sanctity.

The consequence of the modern initiative to push for a very busy and more insouciant way of worshiping that is performance-oriented and man-centered has led to an epidemic of detachment from the Divine, facilitating the modern prevalence of spiritual sloth (indifference toward the Divine Life). Like Martha, God is “right there in our midst,” but we act as though He is not — or if He is, what’s the big deal? We have become the spiritually impotent.

This is why Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) stated that any real effort at renewal in the Church must begin with a new liturgical movement:

“I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be conceived of etsi Deus non daretur (as though God were not there): in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us.”

Read more here: Spiritual Warfare: Why We Are Losing – OnePeterFive

What does a demon think about? | Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Q: Dear Fr. Fortea, what does a demon think about?

A: Every demon retains the intelligence of its angelic nature. Demons know and inquire with their minds about the material and spiritual worlds, the real and conceptual worlds. As spiritual beings, demons are eminently intellectual; there is no doubt that they are deeply interested in conceptual questions. They know very well that philosophy is the most elevated of the sciences and that theology is built upon philosophy. In spite of this knowledge, every demon hates God.

Though demons find pleasure in knowing, they also suffer as a result of their knowledge—especially when this knowledge leads them to think about God. Demons constantly perceive the order and beauty of the Creator in all created things. Even in apparently neutral things, they see the reflection of the divine attributes.

Demons are not constantly engaged in tempting human beings. Much of the time they spend thinking. They suffer during those moments when they remember God and become conscious of their miserable state, that is, their separation from God. As we have previously noted, the amount of this suffering varies in intensity according to each demon’s degree of moral deformation.

To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction recommends Fr. Fortea’s excellent book, Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.

via What does a demon think about? | Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction.

The Winning Strategy : The Integrated Catholic Life

The Winning Strategy : The Integrated Catholic Life.

A hard hitting piece by Dr. Peter Kreeft on Spiritual Warfare, written about 20 months ago and very suitable for our times. We should never forget this and we should especially keep this in mind as we enter the Year of Faith.

Spiritual Combat is the Normative State of the Church

St George icon

If we have a very modern view of religion, we might think that the best church is one where one enjoys a steady diet of fun-filled get togethers with others from their parish: what many call fellowship. It almost becomes the sum total gain of their church experience. Their non-confrontational stances are easy to accept and their focus on being tolerant of secular views makes them unthreatening to society as a whole. They avoid like the plague any controversial stand that might look to the world as being old fashioned or even medieval in the adherence to ancient and irrelevant traditions and doctrines of their father’s faith.

I see this often even among Catholics who do not do ‘fellowship’ extremely well, trying desperately to try to gain this carefree happy church feeling as if it were the goal and end to the church experience. Unfortunately, such a modern outlook is only diverting our eyes from the task at hand. To be a good Catholic is not however morose. It may not be happy, happy, happy but it is not without joyful satisfaction if we live our faith as our forefathers have lived it for some 2,000 years.

Happiness is different from joy. Happiness speaks to the well being of our mental and physical situation. That is an unrealistic view of the world we live in and the war that the Church has constantly waged against the world, the flesh and the devil. But joy is a deeper satisfaction of the heart, for it resides strictly in our souls and is the gift of God, given by His grace. This love for us is without parallel in any other church. We find our joy in suffering with Christ, in enduring with Christ amid the darkest of times. We rely on Him and revel in being able to be used by Him to spread His word, His love and His Good News: “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Well nearly everyone, even some of our own Catholic brothers and sisters, priests, theologians, Biblical scholars et al ascribe to a watered down version of Christianity and reject the Cross. So, maligned as we are, it becomes the joy of the saints to be united with Christ in His continuing mission among men. It seems counter-intuitive to the world that we can find joy in suffering and persecution.

As for myself, I find consolation in the fact that the Church is being persecuted, scandalized and attacked. Why? Because it is what I would term “the negative proof of the True Church” and that I can have confidence in the Church as being the Church that Christ founded to call the world to the salvation of their souls by applying the Sacrifice of Christ to their souls: He is our All in all.

The negative proof is also born out in our historical look at the attacks She has weathered over the years. Sometimes I think that our Church is known better as the True Church by Satanists than She is by our own members and the mocking world.

You see, Satanists have long broken into the Catholic parishes to steal the consecrated hosts within our tabernacles. Now they will risk life and limb to do this so that they can desecrate and demean our Lord in the Holy Sacrament. They use the Sacrament of the Altar (the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ) to perform the most diabolical form of worship that exists on the face of the earth: the black mass. The entire ceremony is to ridicule, debase and desecrate Christ our Lord. These Satanists will not break into Anglican or Methodist churches to secure their form of communion bread. They realize, as do we (or we should), that Christ is only present in the consecrated hosts that can only be found in the Catholic Church. Sadly, they may believe more in the Real Presence and the gift of the Priest than do many Catholics sitting in the pews on Sunday.

It is our spiritual combat with all these forces that is a mark of our acceptance of the Sacrament of Confirmation where we were given the grace to fight this battle. The one caveat we usually ignore is that we must use this grace. We must exercise this gift to be among those who will, in the end, be welcomed as honored and valiant warriors by our Lord.