“Discipline yourselves; keep alert! Your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith…” –1 Peter 5:8-9

 

The other day, Krystle Caci sent me a video of her boys “putting on the armor of God.” She told me that every morning they “put on the Armor of God” from Ephesians 6.  She would ask them each part, “put on the shoes of what?” “Peace!” yelled Leo. It was adorable and it is also very wise that this mother is teaching her children to be prepared for spiritual warfare every day.

              “Excuse me, Father, did you say ‘spiritual warfare’?”  Indeed, I did. We. Are. At. War.

              The passage just before the different elements of putting on the armor of God says, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” –Ephesians 6:12. We need to daily prepare ourselves to fight the spiritual battle.

              We will be tempted to believe lies, because the devil is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44 says, “[the devil] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”)  Anyone who lies with regularity is of the devil. They are princes and princesses of lies. We should lovingly rebuke them in their lies. To do that, we need to have the strength of the Holy Spirit. It takes a lot to carry the Sword of the Spirit, which is our tongue with the Word of God upon it.

We will be tempted to believe the fantastical when God send us the simple. The devil will use fantastical claims to lead us into “putting the Lord our God to the test.” (See Luke 4:9-12, He promised the spectacle of Jesus jumping off the cliff and calling on God to send his angels to save him.) We must call on the gifts of the Spirit, one of which is wisdom. Wisdom helps us know that God is not a show off and we who serve him should not put him in the spot where we are asking him to show off.

We, as a church, need to pray for deliverance. We do that by openly rebuking satan, the devil, and all his tricks, covenants, spells, etc. and asking Jesus Christ, by the blood of his Cross to drive him away. I have always been amazed that the Catholic sensibilities of our Church are not doing this more.

We are not in this battle alone. If St. Paul tells us that the battle is in the heavens in Ephesians 6, then we need to know that the angels in heaven are battling with us. We should call upon them. Remember that St. Michael is an angel and he is the one who ultimately drives the devil out of heaven in Revelation 12:7-9. We can call on him and should.  In fact, we have a prayer in our Sacramentary we use for Mass to ask him to help us. We also have all the people who are in heaven praying for us continually as they surround God’s throne (Eucharistic Prayer III, “and all your saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.”). I have always been amazed that our Charistmatic sensibilities of our church are not doing this more.

So, with all this help and warnings, I am asking you to do something important. I want you to ask the Lord to release our parish from any evil and anything that the devil is doing to stop us. I can tell that he is getting in the way right now for us. We are growing, but it is inch by inch. So, over the next year, I am asking you to pray every day (August 5 to August 5) that Christ the King Parish and Cathedral will be delivered from the devil and all his influence so that we can carry out the Lord’s mission to make disciples through worship, stewardship, and discipling.

Let us pray…

Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

We rebuke the devil and his angels by the blood of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

We ask you to send us your warring angels to deliver us from any evil that may be impeding us from carrying out your will.

Forgive us our sins, cleanse us, make us holy people who love, give peace, and are kind.

Put your armor on us every day. Make us alert and watchful that we are not taken in by satan’s lies, his fantastical stories, and his promises of things that appeal to our sinfulness.

Most of all, send the Holy Spirit to renew us, increase our joy, and make us strong in our gentleness.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus, who with you and the Holy Spirit, are one God forever and ever. Amen.

 

Blessings,

Fr. Mark

Fr. Mark Kurowski

Fr. Mark Kurowski

Dean