After yesterday’s post, and many comments and emails, I now know there are a surprising number of you who share my concerns about what is to come. There is also a lingering sense of “Okay, but what can I do about it?”
I’m probably the wrong guy to ask. Just because I’m yelling “fire” doesn’t mean I have an extinguisher. As I muddle through, I think it’s increasingly important, though, to take stock of the weapons at our disposal for spiritual warfare.
It should go without saying that you should get to Mass and confession as often as possible. As I find going to the Novus Ordo any more than necessary rather…problematic, I haven’t been to daily Mass in a long time. I miss it. If you’ve got a good Mass you can get to, go. Make confession at least monthly. More often isn’t bad.
At home is where you’ll expend most of your efforts. If you can, try saying Saint Patrick’s Breastplate with your morning prayers. (If you’re not doing morning prayers, start. Even if it’s in the shower while you’re getting ready. That’s what memorized rote prayers are for.) I started saying this one after working for an exorcist for a while and seeing first-hand the reality of demonic activity in the world. The version I’ve always said uses the “I arise today” language, but I’ve recently become aware of a different version that says, “I bind unto myself today“. This change may seem insignificant, but “binding” is a powerful concept in spiritual warfare, so I’m intrigued. Either way, invoking God’s power against the forces of darkness that exist in the world and are actively seeking the destruction of souls is of paramount importance. So make sure you say the long version, not the short one.
Speaking of long versions, did you know there’s one of those for the Saint Michael prayer too?
Pope Leo XIII, who wrote the Saint Michael prayer, also wrote an exorcism that can be said by the laity in their homes to keep them safe.
The rosary, as much as I find it a chore to say, is also absolutely critical. Our Lady keeps asking for it, so I’m going to have to start making myself do it. (Also the three Hail Marys devotion, asking, “Mary my Mother, Mary Immaculate, please preserve me from all mortal sin this day/night” is a big one.)
Rounding out the catalog of prayers I take recourse to would be many found on this page. In addition to prayers renouncing particular sins that can encourage spiritual attacks and entanglements are prayers to reclaim ground from Satan, the renunciation of ancestral sins (which can have effects into the present time, thanks to the effects of covenants and curses, etc.), and prayers for the protection of self, family member, household, etc. There are even specific prayers for things like destroying occult objects (yes, these are real, and yes, they cause problems), rebuking particular spirits affecting a person or the household, etc.
In terms of sacramentals, if you don’t have them, get some Saint Benedict crucifixes. The ones that look like this:
We have them in all the bedrooms of the house, and some small ones that can be worn when needed. These are particularly powerful sacramentals, and I’d rather have them than any other kind when dealing with spiritual warfare. The reason is that the Saint Benedict medal has a secret weapon:
The back of the medal is dominated by a large cross. The letters on the cross are actually the initials for the Latin phrases: Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux (The Holy Cross be my light) and Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux (Let not the dragon be my guide).
In the four corners are circles with the letters CSPB. These letters are the initials for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict).
At the top is the word Pax (peace). Around the edge are the initials for the exorcism prayer: Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana – Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities – evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison).
Scapulars are good. They’re cheap. And they’re awesome. I have worn one for most of my life. Miraculous medals are good too.
Have blessed candles, especially those made of beeswax, in the home. Lighting them for specific intentions or during the family rosary is a good idea.
Make sure to have some holy water on hand at all times. Not just any holy water, mind you. You want some created using the old rite of blessing. You may think this is just my personal preference, but it isn’t. Just as sacramental forms, gestures, and words have meaning to us, they do similarly in the supernatural realm. I know a priest who was at a “healing Mass” when a woman began manifesting something that was clearly demonic. Another priest there ran and got water and quickly blessed it, then threw it on the woman. A voice that was clearly not hers came out and said:
“FAITHLESS PRIEST!!! THAT’S NOT HOLY WATER!!!”
My priest friend got himself an old book of blessings real quickly after that, and used nothing else to make holy water from that point forward.
Another powerful weapon is the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. Give this one some serious thought. Read about it. It’s a big deal.
Finally, make sure you have your home blessed. Get it done by the most knowledgeable, thorough priest you know. Someone who will get all the nooks, crannies, and dark corners with holy water. I wish more priests would offer to bless homes, but most will do it if you ask them. Give them a nice dinner as a thank you.
That’s all that I have that immediately comes to mind. Many of you no doubt have devotions of your own that you would recommend. Please feel free to leave them in the comments.