6 Tips for Spiritual Warfare

  1. Remain in a state of grace: This guarantees God’s protection. Fr. Amorth says, “The demon keeps his distance from the one who nurtures his faith, who frequents the sacraments, and who wishes to live devoutly.” (121). As Fr. Ripperger puts it, “Never fall into mortal sin ever!” Demons do not like to get involved with us if we are in a state of grace (123).
  2. Frequent Confession & Holy Communion: Fr. Ripperger says that Confession “is one of the most effective things to ward off or break demonic influence” (125). Confession, for example, drives out evil from the soul, while the exorcism only drives evil out of the body. And with the Eucharist, Fr. Fortea says, “Our body is like a home or tent in which He comes to dwell.  Nothing destroys demonic influence more powerfully than worthy reception of the Body of Christ.” (126).
  3. Prayer & Meditation: A regular life of prayer and meditation is both a requirement of justice and a necessary instrument to achieve the strength and stability necessary to avoid and remove demonic influences. (129). Demons attack us on the level of the intellect, which is where prayer occurs (129). The Rosary, in particular, has a powerful influence against the forces of evil. Also, devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. Exorcists have learned through experience, as noted above, that Our Lady is the most powerful instrument against the diabolic.  When Our Lady shows up during an exorcism, the possession is over.  She has, as Fr. Ripperger puts it, “perfect coercive power” over demons. (66). When the devil was asked by an exorcist why he feared the Blessed Virgin Mary more than God Himself, Fr. Amorth says the devil responded, “I feel more humiliated being conquered by a simple creature than by God Himself.” (67).
  4. Binding prayers: “In the name of Jesus, I bind you, spirit of N., and I cast you to the foot of the Cross to be judged by our Lord.” Whenever you sense a diabolical influence against you, even as a simple temptation, you can speak directly against the demon in the Name of Jesus. It is important to name the behaviour in which you are tempted. You can also pray binding prayers for those within your authority (eg. spouses for each other, parents for children, priests for parishioners). Our Lord’s own words, “Get behind me, Satan!” is also a simple and direct binding prayer.
  5. Ignore the devil: The devil and the demons, though they prefer to go unnoticed, also crave attention and glory, so the best course is to ignore them.  Ignore them first and primarily by loving God and staying in a state of grace.  Ignore them second by dismissing their suggestions and ignoring their presence.  There is a famous story of St. Teresa of Avila that demonstrates this approach.  She was lying in bed and sensed a spiritual presence above her.  Fearing it was God, she rolled over to see who it was.  Instead of God, it was the devil who had manifested above her bed.  In response, she simply said, “Oh, it’s just you,” and she rolled over and went to sleep. The best thing to do is to treat the demons like bad thoughts:  ignore them and take your mind off of them. (114-115). The spiritual advice that Fr. Ripperger gives is to not spend so much time thinking about and analyzing yourself and your sin but, instead, to think about God as much as possible (ie. this is true humility! which the demons hate).  As the exorcist Msgr. John Esseff states, “Sin is far worse than Satan.” It is our disconnect from God that leads us to rely on ourselves, which necessarily leads to sin and the loss of God (13).
  6. Use all the Catholic Church has to offer: Sacramentals, medals (especially St. Benedict & Miraculous), holy water, blessed candles, sacred images, relics, fasting, devotion to our patron saints and guardian angels are very effective in spiritual warfare.
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