"Big Four" Highlights


 

The Weapon

A guide to spiritual warfare by Father Longenecker

“Are you disturbed or worried by the state of our world?” With these opening words to his latest book, Father Dwight Longenecker grabs our attention. Yes, many of us are worried and disturbed not only by the state of our world, but also by our apparent lack of means to effect positive change. What can one person, one family do in the face of so much public evil parading as societal good?

To say that we should pray may sound like a pious platitude. But when Father Longenecker bids us to pray, he is calling us to arm ourselves for battle by picking up a rosary and reciting this powerful prayer. St. (Padre) Pio called the rosary “the weapon.”

In his book, Praying the Rosary for Spiritual Warfare, Father Longenecker teaches us, mystery by mystery, how to use that weapon to defeat the devil. The key, he says, is the humility of Mary, which defeats the pride of Satan. We must learn and live the power of her humility by accompanying the Blessed Mother as she brings us to Jesus.

Father Longenecker spoke about his book with Fathers for Good.

Fathers for Good: What is spiritual warfare, and who are we fighting?

Father Longenecker: The New Testament and all the saints speak in military terms about the spiritual battle. As St. Paul says, “We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers” (Eph 6:12). We are fighting against the forces of darkness that rule this world, and in doing so are continuing the battle waged by Christ against Satan.

FFG: Why is the rosary an effective weapon?

Father Longenecker: The rosary is effective because in the rosary we pray with Mary, who defeated Satan’s pride with her humility. She is the example of saying a humble “Yes” to God and thus joining her will with God’s will. This is a powerful way to join ourselves with the power of God in the world to wield a powerful sword against the evil one.

FFG: What threats are there today to fatherhood and the family?

Father Longenecker: Fathers are being attacked through workaholism, aggressive feminism, the temptations of pornography and lust, selfishness, pride and greed. The rosary helps men to meditate on the battle Christ waged in the mysteries of the Gospel and to walk by his side as his disciple through the joys, the light, the sorrows and the glories of the Gospel drama.

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