Defend us in Battle
"The battle against the devil, which is the principal task of St. Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the devil is still alive and active in the world."
-St. Pope John the Paul II
My oldest son came into my room in the middle of the night. He kept saying to me that he was not feeling well. I sat up and asked what was wrong. "Are you nautious, do you have a fever?" He wasn't responding to my answer. He kept repeating "I don't feel well." As I reached out my hand towards him, my oldest son took on the form of a creature that was not of this earth. I screamed and woke up. I realized it was just a dream. I must have screamed really loud because it woke up my husband. He wanted to know what was terrifying me at 3:00am. After talking about this dream to various people, including my spirtitual director, it became apparant that this was a spiritual attack. This was the time in my life of my conversion and my turning back towards God and also during the time of my formation to becoming a third order Franciscan. I was told that the closer we get to God, the more spiritual attacks we encounter whether awake or asleep.
The talk of demons, spirits and angels gets a weird look from people in today's society. It's not the usual topic in many conversations and is usually kept to inner Christian circles. Many people scoff at this by saying "it's not real" or "myth only." However, there have been many real life stories of how demons can affect our lives (only if we allow them to). There have even been movies made such as A Haunting in Connecticut, the Exorcist and many more. I would not recommend watching these kind of movies, because after all, it's Hollywood and they tend to exaggerate the true story. What many of these movies don't mention is how rare demonic possesion is. What is more common is the influence of evil spirits. This can happen in a number of ways. There are eight entryways that can affect us negatively. These are mentioned in the book, Unbound and also at a Freedom in Christ Conference. Most common entryway is fear, unconfessed sin, unforgiveness, and how we respond to trauma. The influence of evil spiritis can make us have many negative thoughts, including thoughts about our selves and thoughts of suicide. They can keep us bound by engaging in addictive behaviors that can be self destructive. With the help of the Sacraments and the Church today (which Jesus gave us), there is no need to be afraid of these spirits or satan. If we have Jesus inside of us, the evil spirits will flee. Jesus' name is very powerful. In the ministry of Unbound, we get rid of the spirits by demanding them to leave "in the name of Jesus." It's a healing ministry. Unbound is not an exorcism. This is totally different. Exorcisms can only be performed by a trained ordained Catholic Priest. Men who are called to this ministry, go through intense training (if interested in learning more, check out Interview with an Exorcist with Fr. Chad Ripinger on youtube and Formed.org)
This Thursday, Sept. 29th is the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel and also the other 2 Archangels mentioned in the Bible, St. Gabriel and St. Rapheal. We celebrate these feast days because the Archangels help humanity. Michael is defender against evil, Gabriel is the angel who appeared to Mary at the Annunciation and Rapheal is "healer." Michael is called a saint because the word saint means "Holy" whether human or angel. Angels are spirits. They have no bodies but they have intellect and they are "messenger's" for God. Demons and satan were once angels but they did not want to "seve God" or listen to him, and therefore became fallen angels and are now very far away from God.
We can ask St. Michael for help and his intercession. In the early part of the 20th century, Pope Leo XIII had a vision right after mass where he saw the devil and Jesus discussing how evil will become more prevelant during the 1900's. Pope Leo therefore wrote the following prayer to St. Michael asking for his intercession. It is as follows:
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou of Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, Cast into Hell, satan and all the evil spirits who prowl around the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
This prayer is said after every mass and I continue to pray it at home or whenever I need to.
St. Michael has helped my family in many ways when I ask for his intercession. He has protected my home from a stranger trying to break-in one evening. He has also helped my family stay together and worship together when I felt spirits trying to break us apart. God has made both the visible and the invisible. In Matthew 26:41 it says "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." If you have ever seen the cartoon, Tom & Jerry, you know that in some episodes there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Tom wasn't sure which one to listen to. This is a representation of the invisible balttle that we all face between choosing what is right and what is not right. It's our moral compass. What we see here on earth is the physicial realm. But there is also a spiritual realm where angels and demons are visible. They become visible when we pass from this earth to the next life. Even though, we can't see them, man's life on earth has been a battle since the beginning of time between good and evil. God gave us free will where we choose good or we choose the opposite. Thoughts of revenge, bitterness, hatred and murder are all spirits of an evil nature. Evil can take on many forms in this world, and many things that we think may be normal are not, including pornography, sexual deviations, abuse, addictions of substances or non substances, abortion etc. Society may see them as entertainment or right to healthcare, but in reality these are lies from the enemy. It is spiritual bondage that keeps us away from God and the Truth. The only way to know and distinguish what is good and what is not good, is to grow closer to God and He will show us the way. The Holy Spirit gives us Wisdom. This is why it is so important to know Him, because without His guidance, we become lost. As it says in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be watchful. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith."
In Conclusion: Don't be afraid of evil spirits. We combat them through Jesus and demanding them to leave in His name. We all seek peace, love and joy. It's what our hearts are made for. To know and Love God and to be in communion with Him and other people. When we don't feel God's love, or have become involved in bad behavior, addictions or anything that may be negative, know that there is hope and a way out. Jesus is our Savior, Healer and Redeemer. It is never too late to come back to God. We have our whole lives to make that decision. If you would like to attend a Freedom in Christ Conference or receive Unbound Prayer, please email email@example.com or visit her website at Youarelovedministry.com. Next Conference is on October 15th.
About the Authour: Donna L. Marotto is a Faith Formation Coordinator/Youth Minister, Licesnsed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Lay Franciscan. She is part of the prayer team for Unbound in MA. Her book, Love Changes Everything can be purchased on her website or on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.