A Late Lenten Meditation on the Reality of Spiritual Warfare


Every ancient prayer manual and guide to spirituality until about fifty years ago had at least one large section devoted to what was known as Pugna Spiritualis (spiritual battle or spiritual warfare). In more recent decades, many spiritual books have downplayed or completely deleted references to spiritual battle or spiritual warfare.

Sadly, many modern approaches to faith, religion, and spirituality prefer to emphasize exclusively consoling themes rooted in self-esteem, affirmation, etc. To be sure, the authentic faith can and does offer great consolation, but the truest and deepest consolation often comes after one has persevered along the sometimes-difficult path, along the “narrow way” of the cross.

But too many today, in the name of affirmation and pseudo-self-esteem are ready to excuse, and even affirm grave moral disorders, rather than fight them. Grace and mercy are preached, but without reference to the repentance that opens the door to these gifts. Both the possibility of Hell and any consequences of sin, are absent from many modern conceptions of faith and religious practice.

Some years ago, I was approached by a rather angry woman who, having heard my sermon on the seriousness of certain sins (which were in the readings of the day), expressed great indignation that I would preach on such topics. She said, “I come to church to be consoled and have my spirits lifted, not to hear old-fashioned warnings about judgment and sins.” She felt quite a “righteous indignation,” and was most certain that I had transgressed a fundamental norm, namely, that religion exists to console, and that any challenge to one’s moral stance, (except perhaps caring for the poor), is intolerant and way out of line.

Indeed, many today have this kind of attitude: that it is their birthright not to be troubled or vexed in any way by something people might say, especially a preacher who claims to represent God! The “God they worship” would never trouble them. They will have Jesus for their consoler and best friend, but not their Lord, and certainly not their judge. And never mind the literally thousands of verses from Scripture in which Jesus himself speaks sternly and warns of sin, death, judgment, and Hell. They will have none of it, and are certain that “the Jesus they know,” would never raise his voice at them or challenge them even for a moment. Never mind that the real Jesus says to take up our cross and follow him.

With spiritual battle having been removed from many people’s spiritual landscape, the idea that the Lord would summon us to battle, or ask us to choose sides, seems strangely foreign, intolerant, and uncompassionate.

Even more dangerous, these modern conceptions not only distort Jesus, but they downplay the presence and influence of Satan. This is a very, very bad idea. Even if we cease fighting against Satan, he will never ceases his sometimes very subtle attacks on us.

Jesus called consistently for prayerful, sober vigilance against the powers of evil and sin. Like it or not, we are in a battle. Either we will soberly and vigilantly undertake the battle, or we will be conquered and led off like sheep to the slaughter.

Despite what modern spiritual approaches would like to eliminate, Christianity has been a militant religion since its inception. Jesus was exposed to every kind of danger from the beginning. Herod sought his life; Satan tried to tempt him in the desert; many enemies plotted on all sides as he worked his public ministry, misrepresenting him, levying false charges, and conspiring to sentence him to death, and eventually even succeeding though only for a moment.

And as for Jesus, so also for his mystical Body the Church: Saul, Saul why do you persecute me!?  (Acts 9:4) Jesus warns us that the world would hate us (Luke 21:17; John 15:20); that in this world we would have tribulation (Jn 16:33), and that we should watch and pray lest we give way to temptation (Matt 26:41). He summons us to persevere to the end if we would be saved (Mk 13:13). Jesus rather vividly described the kind of struggle with which we live when he said From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force (Matthew 11:12). Indeed, no Christian until the time that Jesus returns, can consider himself on leave or dismissed from this great spiritual battle, from this great drama that we exist in, this battle between good and evil.

Popular theme or not, we do well to remember that we are in the midst of a great cosmic and spiritual battle. And in that battle, we must be willing to choose sides and fight with the Lord for the Kingdom of God. Either we will gather with him or we will scatter. We are to fight for our own soul, and the souls of those whom we love.

In the holy week that is about to unfold, we are reminded once again of the great cosmic battle that the Lord waged, and that is still being waged in our time. Though already victorious, in his mystical Body the Church, the Lord in his faithful members still suffers violence, rejection, and ridicule. It is also for us to reclaim territory from the evil one, to take back what the devil stole from us. We are to advance the glory of God’s Kingdom through the fruits of great spiritual struggle, sacrifice, prayer, fasting, preaching, and an extensive missionary campaign to which the Lord has summoned and commissioned us.

The battle is on; the struggle is engaged! To spiritual arms one and all! Fight the good fight for the Lord.

Still not convinced we are at war? Let the Lord pull back the veil just a bit and let you look at what’s really going on. The final words of this article will not be mine; they will be the Lord’s. Here is described the cosmic battle that is responsible for most of the suffering and confusion you experience:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night,has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Rev 12)

45 Replies to “A Late Lenten Meditation on the Reality of Spiritual Warfare”

  1. I thank you for having the courage to share this with us. I frequently feel our priests refrain from preaching about spiritual warfare because they fear the great indignation the parishioner expressed towards you. I think they fear parishioners will leave the Church just as so many do today because they don’t like the teachings of our Church. I teach Creed II at my parish. Before each class I pray that the Holy Spirit guide me so that everything I say to the youth I teach is what God wants them to hear. It is important that our youth understands that we are in a midst of a real battle. When we turn our faces from God to commit sinful actions the evil side wins. We are always being tempted. I ask them what side they want to be on.

    1. Hi Leticia, I read your comments on the above article and have some thoughts on your comments. I am from Trinidad and for me personally, I find that many Catholic priests have little or no knowledge of spiritual warfare which is very odd. I remember a few years ago mentioning to my parish priest a particular incident and he seemed a bit scared, his pupils in his eyes opened up very large as if he was suprised and scared of what I had told him. I know for a fact that in the seminary they have practically stopped teaching the rite of exorcism etc…. and other spiritual warfare prayers and we can only see what has been taking place in the catholic church with vocations to the priesthood and religious life, the drastic fall in vocations and the closing of many seminaries and places of worship, and also too an increase in abortions, euthanisia, drug use, compulsive disorders like alchol, pornography, drugs, homosexuality, lesbianism, new age movement, yoga, reiki, tarrot reading, occult activity etcc….

  2. Thank you , Msgr. Pope, for daring to mention Satan. I asked my spiritual advisor,
    when will the devil finally leave me alone. He wryly stated “you know the answer to that “. Indeed I do.

  3. True indeed !

    The enemy, aiming to use its power, through whatever means is at its disposal , may be as subtle as a look or word of scorn or pride or greedy fearful efforts of control / seduction , can try to divert attention from the peaceful truth that all , including the self and the other , even the enemy , belong to The Lord ( even as much as The Lord in His truth and respect for our freedom, can let the enemy use its wrath against us , if we have invited him in , one way or other and have thus sked The Lord to let go of us ! )

    Lifting up all, with every Holy Mass, where in The Lord HImself , offers up His perfect life and love and fidelity to The Father , detaching us from what we need to be , to take in ever deeper the truth that we and all in our lives are His , thus to be led into the peace from that truth and to have The Lord cast off what need to be from lives of all in our lives too , to grow closer to Him and to all who are His – thank God , we get to enter into all that again , in the God ordained manner and time, during the Holy Week and The Feast of Mercy that follows – to bring all to Him , to be filled with the Holy Spirit love who can cast off the enemies of The Kingdom !

    Glory be to our Triune God !

  4. Truth and nourishment for the spirit, Father. Thank you! You provide balance and insight on the more challenging aspect of what it means to live as a Christian. As you write, “Popular theme or not, we do well to remember that we are in the midst of a great cosmic and spiritual battle.” In so doing, may we choose to be warriors with hearts full of hope and love as we persevere toward the ‘joy set before us’.

  5. Thank you, a ‘penny has dropped’ finally, when priests are on the altar, full focus must be on duty.

    Inattention may be my crime, but never theirs.

  6. I love Pope Francis! Did you see Pope Francis’ face when Obama and Kerry were there at the Vatican. Pope Francis knew that he was in the presence of two wicked men.
    I hope my comment don’t get deleted.

  7. I try to instill in the seminarians I teach the necessity of practicing “veritas in caritate” when preaching. During the last few decades, Catholic preachers have allowed caritas to morph into sentimental affirmation and veritas to become little more than subjective opinion. To recover veritas, we have to preach it with love, or it just ends up sounding like moralizing. For those w/o a lot of experience in the pulpit, this looks like a compromise, an attempt to dull the hard edges of the faith. However, I always point to Jesus and his encounter with the woman caught in adultery. There’s nothing false or uncaring in the way he treats her and her sins.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP
    Notre Dame Seminary, NOLA

      1. Father Neri, thank you for your posting because it served to remind me of what I try to do whenever I speak to the children I teach; I want what I say to come from the love God has put in me and not because I alone think it is morally the right way for youth to act or think.

  8. Aloha Msgr. Pope, the preachers you speak about, those with an inordinate concern for the poor, Pope Francis appears to be one of them …

    1. You exaggerate what is merely a parenthetical observation of mine. The point is that just about the only thing that is considered an “acceptable” thing to challenge people on is care for the poor. Now as for you, leave your little aside attempts to divide me or my readers from our Pope, such tactics are not acceptable here.

  9. “Sanctity! It must be won at the point of a sword!” – St Therese of Liseux

    “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses; but we in the Lord our God.” St Patrick

    “A Saint keeps watch over his country and obtains it’s salvation. His prayers and virtues are more powerful than all the armies of the world.” –St Peter Julian Eymard.

    Some where along the past years we’ve lost the sense that battle is necessary at times. We need to regain that fervor.

  10. Msgr. Pope,

    Are there any any ancient prayer manuals or guides to spirituality that you personally would recommend to someone who is wanting to pray more effectively in this area?


  11. Thank you Msgr.
    Your antagonist @FMShyanguya, had a whiff of Judas and perfume in his protest, but more importantly, he does not understand the basis of the Christian maxim to love our neighbor, with a special attention to the poor.

    Authentic Christian generosity is an extension of Christian asceticism. Generosity requires true detachment from earthly goods—the goods that fill our barns, our bars, our palates, our wardrobes, our garages, our egos, our pride, and especially supercharges our sexuality. The authentic disciple of the Lord is an ascetic, as Francis is, who knows that union with the Lord requires detachment from his sexual desires and worldly goods, and this detachment positions him squarely within the cosmic battle, just as you describe.

  12. Once again, Msgr, you are right on the mark!
    Thank you and may God continue to bless you with His wisdom.

  13. Thank you for this article. I find great resonance in the idea of spiritual warfare in our struggle with sin and temptation, and also regret it’s disappearance in modern day spirituality. I think it is part of the overall “feminization” of the Church that downplays traditionally “masculine” virtues. I hope we can bring some spiritual warfare back into the Church.

  14. Msgr. Pope,

    We are so blessed to have you and our faithful priest of the Arlington Dioceses on our side. As converts we did not expect to find ourselves on the front line of a battle, however we will sail on the battleship with you and our fellow Catholics rather than the emblematic cruise ship of a secular society. Put on the armor of God.

    God Bless,

  15. Msgr. Pope, could the fact that not a few priests were tainted (don’t know what else to call it) by the education they received at certain seminaries during the 70s and 80s account for the homilies that are so devoid of what needs to be preached? After reading “Goodbye Good Men” I can’t help but wonder where all such priests ended up and whether or not anything will ever be done about all of the ensuing damage they caused (hopefully unintentionally). Would you consider covering this topic sometime?

  16. Certain members of the Church emphasis the state of the world rather than the state of the soul. This prevents us from attacking the contagion from within. We don’t need renewal in the Church. We need inner purification and cleansing.

  17. What a fantastic article. And the entire thing reminded me of the treasure we had for a short time in Fr. Marcel Guarnizo. I’m guessing more than one “angry woman” wrote the ADW about his preaching, a priest with an abundance of courageous charity in preaching about faith, religion and spirituality. Meanwhile, the parish had the happy problem of figuring out sufficient overflow parking and meeting rooms large enough to accommodate those hungry to know more through his adult formation classes. And then, “poof,” he’s gone. Now there’s some “territory” I’d like to see “reclaimed from the evil one.” I wish the ADW felt the same way. Could we ever use him now.

    1. I might ask you in your charity to accept there is a little more to the story than was reported. In stories like these, there are people who can say what they please, including third parties, but the Church officials involved must exercise discretion and cannot speak the whole matter for the reason of due discretion and also (frankly) the threat of lawsuits that often emerge from some if they think their reputation has been affected. I want courageous priests too but will say again, there is more to the story that what you here relate.

      1. Msgr. Pope,

        Thank you so much for you keen observations of the incident.

        I find it disingenuous that people doubt or will not accept the statements made by Bishop Knestout and Father LaHood regarding Father Guarnizo but blindly accept what Father Guarnizo states happened.

        From Bishop Knestout’s March 9th, 2012 letter “This action was taken after I received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry”.

        Two days later Father LaHood, St. John Neumann’s pastor at the time of the incident, read this statement at the Sunday March 11th Masses.

        “The issue discussed this week did not have to do with the distribution of Communion two weeks ago. Let me repeat that: The issue discussed this week did not have to do with the distribution of Communion two weeks ago. The issue pertains to actions over the past week or so.”

        Both of these statements accurately describe what I personally know of Father Guarnizo’s interactions with the staff, parishioners and others. Father LaHood and the Parish staff suffered unwarranted criticism because the Archdiocese of Washington acted with discretion in withholding details of the incident.

        These are the accurate facts about Father Guarnizo’s adult formation classes. From the Parish bulletin “CHRISTIAN MORALITY – presenter: Fr. Marcel Guarnizo Wed. evenings 7:15PM to 9:15PM Feb. 8th – April 15th in the Parish Center”. Maybe 150 can be seated in the Parish Center. This number of people can easily be accommodated by the regular parking at the Parish. Father Marcel was scheduled to present additional adult formation classes but without notification he failed to appear at a scheduled class and personally canceled his remaining scheduled classes.

  18. Spiritual warfare will often attack the truth but, not always openly. Sometimes it involves a twisted version of the truth.
    The recent movie about whether God is dead or alive has run in the US and, I hear that it is just now showing up here in the frozen (sometimes) north. Actually the Canadian community where I live is near Seattle and has warmer winters than Washington DC (smug snicker) but I did grow up north of the nortern border of North Dakota.
    Back to topic; since I don’t go to movies these days I garnered what I could from ads/endorsements on Christian radio stations when I suspected a flaw. Then I read a variety of reviews, including the spoilers. What I found leaves me with the impression that, while there is probably a lot of good stuff in support of the Christian faith; as presented by the hypothetical student; there is a very basic flaw in how truth is required to be presented in academic venues. These requirements may not, and indeed sometimes may not, be presented according to requirements due to no one calling the presenters on the flaw.
    The philosophy professor who demands that all students write in favour of his assumption of the demise of God apparently threatens with a failing grade but, when a student sticks up for his belief the professor partially relents by giving the student permission to “prove” God’s active existance.
    I knew quite a bit about peer review, and the necessity of it, in the so-called hard sciences but – not in philosophy. However, I figured that all acedemia should have some degree of responsablility to peer review; even if it’s somewhat less than in the hard sciences.
    So, I checked the internet for quality data on this and winnowed out two sources of, at least, fair to middlin’ quality. http://virtualphilosopher.com/2008/08/peer-review-in.html This one may not support quality peer review but, does acknowledge it having value.
    From Stanford University comes their Encyclopedia of Philosophy where there is a page at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/testimony-episprob/#pagetopright that says, “Discussion is restricted to cases in which the speaker’s utterance is meant literally, rather than rhetorically, playfully, figuratively, fictionally, or ironically.” I cannot accept that such a matter could be rhetoric, playfulness, figurative, etcetera. Especially when the students’ (plural) degree certification and future hinge upon accepting or not.
    Further on, the twenty fifth paragraph of the chapter which is given the heading, “Ethical Egoism” (seemingly showing a positive application of egotism, rather than the prideful and destructive manifestation usually associated with egoism) “Obviously, much here depends on the claim about the aim of moralists. One might object that moralists care much more about getting true moral conclusions than about arriving at them on their own. If I could guarantee that I do the right act by relying on a Moral Answers Machine (and not otherwise), I ought to do so. In addition, since moralists do want true moral conclusions, and peer disagreement is relevant to pursuing truth, Hills’ moralists both need and cannot (by one means) pursue truth.”
    So,for truth it seems regarded as necessary to have peer review. I admit that I didn’t read all the encyclopedia has to say on peer review and egoism with extreme thoroughness but, it does say that.
    So, it seems to me that the professor, in the movie, should be required to address the dispute of, even one sole, student with a proper peer review transcript or respond with the sort of answer which he would be expected to deliver at a peer review.
    It seems to me that he is challenging the student’s right to question the academic standards which appear to be sadly lacking.
    I am quite prepared to believe that the producers of the movie mean well and followed some sort of guidlines, especially since the rules, as applied to philosophy, are somewhat more fluid than is required for the hard sciences. Nor do I wish to see philosophy stifled by a lot of rigid rules OR … imply anything against the ethics of the movie producer(s) but; there seems to be a lack of diligence in preparing what may be termed a “metaphorical sermon” or modern parable.
    Satan is cunning and has vast experience in manipulating even the best of us and diligence is necessary. Defending our faith is quite appropriate but presuming to defend God seems to be part of the starting point of original sin. Satan did not accuse God (probably wouldn’t dare) but asked questions similar to what a prosecutor may ask and so, drew Eve into defending.

    1. I completed this a little after my regular sleep time and went to bed right after submitting so, of course I forgot something.
      In the context of philosophy it would seem that the (fictional) professor didn’t really do anything wrong – until the (fictional) student disputed. When the professor challenged the student the administration should likely have been obliged to step in. The campus grapevine should have been as hot as Sahara dune top with the story in no time.
      What really bothered me most is that this is portrayed in a highly influential venue as the obligation of proof not being on the one who presents the idea and that he can put obligations on disputors; instead of responding responsably. Like this is displayed as the academic way.
      I do not regard filling in with a shoulda said as sufficient reason for this response though.
      However something new since my previous submit may be appropriate. It was really interesting what happened during the night. I kept waking up from nightmares. Spiritual warfare is definately warfare and warfare can have harsh and gross moments but and so, I will relate only the mildest dream.
      In the dream I reached for my personal coffee cup and found it full of something brown and pasty so I dumped it out. Realizing that it was dung I looked up and saw an evil visage that I “knew” was satan and that he had put that in my cup out of a burning focussed anger about what I had shared in the blog. Not like raging at all.
      After each dream I woke (partly) in a shaken state so I made the Sign of the Cross and recited the “Glory Be” After that I would return immediately to peaceful sleep. For a while. Sure glad that I say the prayer to Saint Michael every night before going to bed.
      Maybe I’m onto something here.
      After my alarm woke me in the morning I didn’t remember the dreams until after I’d had two cups of coffee in the same personal mug. Tasted OK.
      Then again; maybe I’m just a 3/4 (or more) crazed cabbie who spent too many night-shifts experiencing the dark side of humanity. After all, it’s a legal principle that no one is a worthy judge in their own case.

  19. I personally would find it helpful that, as part of the spiritual warfare , the issue of fathers killing their unborn children, be exposed; It seems that priests, as men, like to condemn women for the sin of abortion, but not the sin of the father who kills his own unborn child .

    A father kills his unborn child by starvation, lack of medical.emotional care.
    It is the father obligation to take care of his unborn child…..just because the father placed his “seeds of life” in a uterus, dies not make the mother the sole responsible for the child.

    How would a father act if he finds himself pregnant ?

      1. I suppose that one could find cases of fathers who are overly aggressive about “convincing” a woman toward having an abortion if she carries his chlid but I think that it’s more a case of fathers, especially in what the worldly standard regards as the lower social levels, being massively dealt out of child raising.
        Except for those who participate responsably in the formation of the family then; get squeezed out and are hounded constantly for support payments.
        There are manipulative perpetrators who use such tactics as “the smile in the face and the knife in the back” then claim that it’s not brutality because it’s not overtly brutal. [stress not overly] These people are usually very good at blaming the victim for the consequences of the perpetrators actions due to their ablility to hide such actions from the metaphorical light which they fear.
        The so-called feminazis of today strike me as being such persons. I only put this out as opinion but, it is based on a lot of research and interaction with people on that level.

  20. Amen. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We can choose the way of the world or the path to the Kingdom. The latter is the more narrow, more difficult path. But we choose of our own free will.

    The loving Jesus is also the terrible judge. His love grants us chance after chance to receive his mercy. But to receive mercy we must be aware of and repent for our sins. Again, we can choose to follow the mirages and vapors of this world that take us further away from the narrow path, choose to revel in fleeting and intransigent pleasures yielding to concupiscence, and adopt the ways of the world over conscience. That is certainly a well traveled road, free of obstruction and difficulty.

    The easy road is one free of consequence, illuminated by self delusion. So long as we only bear that false witness against ourselves, we hurt no one. There is no toll booth to enter the road well traveled. But there is one at the end.

    One cannot pick and choose what to believe in the Bible. We are warned to not take out or add anything to the Word.

    It is easier to ignore an unseen battle. But the battle that rages all around us. That is the reality. It’s concealment from our vision, however, is the illusion. Only if we turn to our conscience and heart can we then truly “see” that evil is all too real. But that requires reflection and faith, without which we have eyes, but cannot see, and ears, but cannot hear.

    I pray that people obtain that spiritual sight and hearing. For without it, they will never realize that not only does a battle rage in our midst, but the spoils for the victor are nothing less than their eternal souls.

    God Bless you Monsignor

  21. In my own Church, in a year and half of regular Sunday Masses, and the last six months of 3 or 4 weekday Masses, I only heard ONE sermon where Spiritual Warfare was mentioned, and it was when the Priest chastised parishioners who went to him once to ask HIM to bless their house because of suspected evil activity. The Priest said THEY should have blessed the house and sprinkled Holy Water, and used other Sacramentals in their home, saying in essence that they were negligent, lazy Catholics.
    I approached him afterward and thanked him for at least MENTIONING Sacramentals and their use in Spiritual Warfare, while telling him that I approached another Priest in the Parish (The Pastor) to ask him to bless salt for me which he did with just generic blessing. When I asked him to do the Exorcism blessing for the salt, he looked at me like I had two heads and said there was no such thing, telling me I should be thankful for what I received. I left, went to a Traditional Church with Latin Masses and had it done there.
    I then said to the Priest, how do many of your other Parishioners even KNOW how to use Sacramentals if they are not taught, and how will they know how to do battle with Satan if they are not taught and if Satan is not even mentioned in a sermon (even when Satan is in the daily reading).

  22. I went to 12 years of parochial schools and my parents were good Catholics. But I grew up in during those 50 years when spiritual warfare was de-emphasized, and I never realized I would have to fight for my virtue. When I went to a secular college I was overwhelmed by the sewer of sin that surrounded me, and I was too “nice” to fight. So I fell, and lost my faith, and eventually stopped going to Mass, and fell away from God. BUT, when I tried to figure out why I was so miserable, and I remembered how content and hopeful I was within the Church, I found some of those older Catholic books, and realized, THIS IS WHAT I WAS MISSING! I needed to FIGHT. I needed to say an emphatic NO. I remembered at my Confirmation I became a “soldier for Christ.” And I realized, I needed to be a radical Catholic, fighting for what I had lost.
    So thank you for talking about this. My own bad experience made me become an apologist of sorts, and made me go back and find out the truth, and then become a soldier who fights. I often say, my gun is the rosary, my bullets are Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory Be’s, and Divine Mercy Prayers. No more, Satan. I will not go down without a fight! Take that, you fiend!
    God bless you, Father. Don’t let the cowards and lukewarm among us prevent you from telling us about the reality of this war. Thank you for your telling of the truth.

  23. Thank you for a great article. I recommend the book by Fr. Joseph Ssemakula, “The Healing of Families”. His website is http://www.healingoffamilies.net. I attended two of Fr. Joseph’s seminars and he said that if you begin to pray and things get worse, do not give up and keep praying. I am in the midst of a spiritual battle in my own home with my family under serious attack. I regularly bless the home with oil, salt and water. There has been some improvement but the battle is not over. Keep preaching about spiritual warfare, it is real.

    1. I battled to keep my family intact with the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, fasting and the family consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Their is great power in the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!

  24. Thank you for this great article:
    I wish we could hear more preaching about this not just on Sunday even on the our daily mass as well; I guess some think is ok to keep sining but sin a little less of what ever wrong you are doing. One sin calls the other and other and then is hard to get out it and at the end the bible tells us the wages if sin is DEATH.
    Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for giving is your priest that with out them there will be no eucharist, the body, blood soul and divinity of our savior Jesus Christ.
    In this modern day i feel some in the church are losing the notion on who the enemy of God is but he is always there looking for a away to keep us away from our Lord Jesus Christ. Here in my Diocese of Palm Beach in the state of Florida at my regular parish i am blessed to be able to say the St. Michael prayer with others after the mass has ended and so in others churches that i go once in a while but near my house there is one parish that two of the priest the pastor and one priest don’t like to hear the St. Michael prayer after Mass not even as a group, they will come to you like an eagle and tell you in your face don’t say that prayer anymore.
    It’s a shame i feel that in the seminaries are not preaching and teaching enough about the devil and spiritual warfare, maybe i am wrong or maybe some are afraid to speak about the devil at their parishes.

    Thank you to who ever reads this post and may God bless us all.

  25. I love reading what you have to say, Monsignor. It is very inspiring and gives us hope that there are some priests that don’t sugar coat everything so as not to offend anyone. My husband hadn’t been to confession for a long time. We went to a different church one Saturday and the priest talked about the importance of confession and it brought my husband back to confession. It has to come from the pulpit. Thank you so much and God bless you!!!

  26. This reminds me of Father Corapi (may God bless him). We need more of this preached in today’s church…

  27. I have been a communicant at a parish in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. since 1986. I cannot remember any homilies or sermons about the sins of contraception, extra-marital sex (heterosexual or homosexual), abortion or “gay marriage”. I can’t remember ANYTHING said about the danger to souls from ANY mortal sins. The sad fact is that the Church’s primary mission is the salvation of souls. According to recent polls, over 50% of CHURCH ATTENDING Catholics have no problems with contraception or “gay marriage” . There are grandparents sitting in pews who are overjoyed that their unmarried children are giving them grandchildren. Yes, people will feel “uncomfortable” when confronted with their sins, and yes, some might leave the Church. But to let people continue to be deceived by the father of lies and risk eternal damnation is unbelievable to me. Good and Loving Lord, give us faithful and courageous priest and shepherding bishops to preach the reality of sin and call their flocks to heartfelt contrition and salvation.

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