Intent: Recognition of evil
It has been said that the devil’s greatest wile is to convince people that he does not exist. It is not difficult to see why he would want to do this. If people don’t believe in the devil, then it follows that they will quickly lose their perception of sin and of evil. In our post-Christian society, many people think that satan and the demons are simply myths leftover from a previous, unenlightened and superstitious era. Furthermore, many who don’t believe in the devil or the demons likewise don’t believe in God and the angels either. By falling for this belief (or unbelief), they either neglect to put on—or just don’t believe in the necessity of—spiritual armor. This is exactly what the devil wants because it makes these people easy prey for his lies and seductions. Once again, let us look at the words written by St. Paul:
For ou struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground (Eph 6:12-13).
Indeed, the devil and his demons are real. They are formidable enemies who prey on our every weakness, and they should not be taken lightly. They are spoken of numerous times in the Bible. Their existence is a doctrine of the Church and has been preached throughout the ages. Only recently has this preaching subsided. Many private revelations speak of the devil and his demons having been released into the world to wreak all sorts of havoc. Actual demonic possessions of people do occur, although this is relatively rare. The movie “The Exorcist” was based on a true story. Fortunately, the faithful who put on the armor of God have power over the evil spirits and we need not fear, for the victory over them was already won at Calvary.
There are numerous ways we can protect ourselves from the devil and his demons. The first and most important is prayer. The more we pray, the more God opens our eyes up to the spiritual realm around us. Frequent participation in the Holy Mass and reception of Holy Communion is very important. Frequent (at least once per month) confession of our sins is a must—especially if we have fallen into serious (mortal) sin. The Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy are very powerful prayers against evil. Holy water is very powerful against the devil. Bless yourself and your family members with holy water once in the morning, and once before bed. The use of blessed objects (sacramentals) such as crucifixes, images, medals, scapulars, candles, etc. is also a powerful means to ward away evil. And finally, educate yourself by studying the scriptures often. Learn about the devil and his tactics against us. Again we pray for the glorious day when satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and all the demons and evil people will be cast into hell, and God will reign glorious and triumphant over the new heavens and the new earth for all eternity!