We'd have to have our heads in the sand to not notice that things are getting bad out there. If you're a Christian reading the top trending stories from all over the world, it should make you want to fall down on your knees and pray.
When Christians and Christianity itself is being marginalized, persecuted, and attacked, it is a strong indication that the world needs Christ more than ever. Persecution has always been the Church's call to arms---spiritual arms.
This is because our battle is a spiritual one, as St. Paul taught us:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." - St. Paul the Apostle
Like it or not, you are at war. No matter who you are—whether or not you know it—you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next.
The first rule of any type of warfare is to know your enemy. How can you avoid being a casualty in a battle going on all around you if you don’t even recognize that you’re in danger?
Your adversary is the Devil, with his army of demons. Your battle with him rages not only all around you, but also within you, a fierce conflict for control of your mind, your heart, and your ultimate destiny.
This is the reality that you can't always see. But Jesus, his Church, and all His saints tell us that this is the truth.
The battle raging for each individual spreads to the family, the society, and to the culture.
Today, belief in Satan’s existence and activity is often dismissed as old superstition. Most Catholics hear very little about him, leaving them unprepared to defeat him.
They need to know their Enemy and his strategies. Spiritual Combat has never been so important.
The second rule of warfare is to know how to use the tools in your arsenal.
For Catholics, you have all the angels and saints in heaven, and Holy Mother Church on earth, in your defense against the devil and his wiles.
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” - St. PaulThe lives of the saints, the powerful prayers they wrote, the sacraments, sacramentals, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit . . . Jesus has given you everything you need to win the fight.
You just need to know how to use them effectively.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” - St. PaulEvery soldier needs a manual.
The Manual for Spiritual Warfare by Paul Thigpen seeks to help Catholics dig deeper in their spiritual arsenal to use against the attacks of the Devil. It’s a manual filled with prayers, scripture, Church teaching, hymns, the lives of famous devil-fighting saints, and other encouragement—all of them relating to spiritual warfare, to help you “fight the good fight of the faith.” –St. Paul
The purpose of this manual is to help everyday Catholics recognize, resist, and overcome the Enemy’s attacks in their own lives and the lives of those for whom they bear responsibility.
Beautifully presented in a premium, charcoal, ultrasoft compact book. The perfect size to carry with you throughout the day as you engage in spiritual combat.
TABLE OF CONTENTSPart One: Preparing for Battle
1. Know your Enemy2. Know your Battle3. Know your Commander and Comrades4. Know your Weapons5. Know your Armor6. Keep the Enemy out of the Camp
Part Two: Aids in Battle
7. Church Teaching about Spiritual Warfare8. Scriptures for the Battle9. Help from the Saints10. Prayers, Devotions, and Hymns for Battle
Other special things included in the Manual for Spiritual Warfare:
- The Litany of Christ our Champion, with each petition based on Scriptural texts describing Jesus’ victory over Satan.
- Prayers to Our Lady, Vanquisher of the Enemy, invoking the help of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Queen of Angels.
- Prayers to the Angels and Saints, petitions for the aid of powerful saints like St. Joseph, St. Joan of Arc, St. Peter, St. Paul, and others.
- Rosary meditations for spiritual warfare, a consideration of each rosary mystery in light of our spiritual warfare.
- Prayers for strength and deliverance, adapted from the ancient prayers of the great Doctors of the Church, St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil.
A portion of this blog post is taken directly from the book, Manual for Spiritual Warfare. You can purchase this new favorite Catholic book at The Catholic Company here.
This article has been updated and was originally published in January 2015. © The Catholic Company