Saturday October 3, 2020
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power
‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy
and nothing will harm you.”
(From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
How to prepare for the full force of the enemy so nothing will harm you
Here we are in October. The month of the Holy Rosary. And it’s the month when satanists and witches prepare for their most wicked holiday, Halloween. And this year, where I live, Halloween will include a rare full moon. (A Halloween full Moon occurs about every 19 years.) October has always been the most active month for demonic attacks against ministries such as ours, and now this year — 2020, a year already so full of hardships — the full moon rituals coinciding with Halloween rituals has me running for extra armor. And praying extra rosaries.
This October is also the final countdown in what could be called a civil war for morality in the US, where the presidential election is more about good versus evil than ever before. Anyone who doesn’t see this election through the lens of spiritual warfare is either living outside the US without access to the news (the full news, not just the anti-Christian biased news of so many sources) or they’ve been tricked into thinking that the devil isn’t real or he doesn’t care about politics.
But fear not! Jesus says, “I have given you power to fight against the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.” In fact, not only can we, but we are called to do this! Praise the Lord, the Army of Christ and the Soldiers of the Virgin Mary have been answering the call. The sound of our united prayers and our resistance is getting louder and louder every day!
The first round of the 54-day novena for the US elections and the sanctification of America is near completion (October 7th). Others began this novena on a later date and so will end later in the month. And non-Catholic Christians have been having their own prayer campaigns. Plus, about 50,000 Christians of all denominations united last Saturday in Washington DC for a prayer march.
Do you realize what this means? As Christians grow stronger in prayer and in repentance and in holiness, the Enemy grows weaker. We are returning to the true nature of being a Christian: militant!
“Militant” is not a commonly heard word to describe us. But the Church has always taught that there are three states of the Church: The church triumphant describes the Church in heaven; the church suffering refers to the church in purgatory, and the church militant is the Church on earth.
We know that the devil has gained a lot of territory over the past century. But now we Christians are gaining it back! Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church (when he gave Saint Peter the authority to lead the Church; see Matthew 16:18).
The church militant has been weak. We’ve let the devil take over more and more territory and we’ve actually enjoyed some of his changes. One of the devil’s tactics has been to disempower Christians by disconnecting us from the Holy Spirit. We should have been holding Life in the Spirit Seminars and similar courses (such as The Wild Goose series) in every parish. We should have been taught how to live like the first Christians did (read the Book of Acts). But instead, we’ve accepted and spread false ideas about God (read my book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart for examples), relegated the supernatural mostly to canonized Saints, and made up our own minds about what is sinful and what is not.
We should have been making faith formation about life in the Holy Spirit a top priority, a normal follow-up to RCIA, and the topic of parish programs. It’s the Holy Spirit who teaches us the truth. It’s the Holy Spirit who empowers the followers of Christ to imitate him in every way, including the works of miracles. The Catechism tells us that “the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action” (para. 2670).
St. John Vianney in the 19th Century said, “When we are led by the Holy Spirit, we cannot go astray. He is our strength and our light. He teaches us to distinguish between truth and falsehood, between good and evil.” Do you see the connection between today’s rampant immorality and insufficient faith formation about life in the Spirit and about the teachings of the Church?
So now we have to face the full force of the enemy and be so completely on the side of Christ that nothing will harm us when we push back at the devil to reclaim lost territory. But his army of demons and human cooperators has grown so large that defeating them while remaining safe requires more than praying the Rosary and the Saint Michael prayer. The church militant must become fully alive in the Holy Spirit. Fully committed to holiness. Fully determined to become the Church that Jesus created.
This is God’s plan.
You want to be one of God’s soldiers using his divine power to conquer evil, right? There are three stages of becoming a triumphant soldier. The first is “boot camp”. This is the training period that strengthens our faith muscles because we study the true teachings of the Church and we study the Bible. Boot camp also reshapes groups of individuals into powerful fighting teams. We can’t fight the Enemy alone. We need each other and we need the Holy Spirit.
Stage two is “pre-deployment”. This is the very necessary step of repenting of our own sins, our own contributions to how the world (and our families and our parishes) became such an unholy mess. The Sacrament of Confession breaks the holds that the devil has had on us. Remember, sin weakens us. We cannot stand strong on the battlefield with unrepented sins. If we are chained to the devil in any way, even if we convince ourselves that we are not, we are actually helping the Enemy. We should all go to Confession at least once a month.
Stage three is deployment. This is when we disempower demons. The Father calls us, Jesus leads us, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to break through the gates of hell and plant the Christian flag wherever we find victims of the devil’s snares. This is what we ask for every time we pray the Our Father: They Kingdom come!
We reject what is evil — starting right now. We ask for a new Pentecost, a new infilling of the Holy Spirit — and we keep asking every day until it happens. Then we will purge the Church from the devil’s infiltrations. We will rescue sinners by bringing them to Christ through the convincing power of the Holy Spirit working miracles.
October 2020 could be a very evil month. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s the month of the Holy Rosary! Will it be the month of the Holy Spirit too? Let’s fight, my friends — fight against evil with the Holy Mother of God, Mary! Get ready NOW. This very important month has begun.
Come Holy Spirit, fill me.
Come Holy Spirit, renew me.
Come Holy Spirit, You have my permission to change me.
Come Holy Spirit and work in me and through me to convert our world to Jesus Christ.