posted on January 28, 2015 13:13
Jesus casts out demons and speaks with authority in the gospel this weekend (Mark 1:21-28). As creator and sustainer of the cosmos, Jesus even created the angels who then rebelled against him, whom we now refer to as demons. Whenever he interacts with them, we see how they lose their control and flee.
Because we are disciples of Jesus, we may also live without fear of evil spirits, while respecting the fact that God allows them to have power in this world, even as a temporary threat to us. Jesus repeatedly shows us that all that pertains to evil is subject to him. Because of this truth, we can know that Jesus wins in the end. Therefore, any experiences we have of spiritual warfare, demonic activities, temptations, things that go bump in the night, etc., are temporary power struggles, of which we can have the confidence to tell the demons to "go to hell," literally and figuratively. Blessing our homes, vehicles, and workspaces with holy water and blessed salt, wearing scapulars and holy medals, and placing Catholic images in appropriate places, are effective tools to prevent and oppose the power of evil.
Satan and the other evil spirits lose ground quickly when we have recourse to God. The name of Jesus compels them to submit to the Lord. Attendance at Holy Mass, the regular celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and personal prayer are the best protections in spiritual battles. Holiness is like a bright light shining in the darkness. And, it is good to remember, that some evil spirits "can only come out through prayer [and fasting]" (Mark 9:29).
With the beginning of Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes, some parishioners have been commenting about both an increase in experiences of grace and miracles, as well as of spiritual warfare in their personal lives. The evil one and other demons do not like when souls grow in holiness. So, it makes sense that such battles would ensue.
Let's make an extra effort in the month of February to be more patient, more loving, more hopeful, more faithful, and more gracious with God and our Neighbor. Engage the sacraments and sacramentals. Seek holiness, and let's allow God to shine his grace into the darkness. Have no fear ... Jesus wins!
~Fr. Aaron Kuhn