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Six Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

By Elizabeth Ficocelli

There’s no doubt about it – we are living in a time of spiritual warfare.

Now, as Catholics, this shouldn’t surprise us. Holy Scripture clearly shows that we have been entangled with the deceptions of the evil one since the time of Adam and Eve. According to the Book of Revelation, this ongoing battle between good and evil will not be over until the end of time.

While that’s a pretty dismal picture, we can take hope in the fact that we know how the war will end. God and his faithful followers will be the victors. But until that time, each of us, in every generation, has a responsibility to play our part in this age-old struggle. A good first step is to understand that while the battle hasn’t changed, our enemy’s tactics have – dramatically.

Instead of evil hiding its shameful face and using covert measures to lure unsuspecting victims, evil now marches proudly onto the battlefield under such banners as abortion, pornography, greed, lust, corruption, atheism, and entertainment. The strategy seems to be focused and persistent, with an aim to attack and destroy the Church and the family. So what’s a good Catholic couple to do? Take up your armor and be prepared for battle!

 

1) My husband and I like to visualize our Catholic marriage itself as the breastplate of this armor, because it is the sacrament that joins our hearts. The fact that our marriage is a sacrament means that we have the living Christ present and alive in our marital union. He is there for us to turn to, day after day, to derive strength and encouragement in times of need.
2) By going to Mass frequently as a couple (daily when possible), we receive the additional strength and nourishment of the Eucharist. This gift is so empowering to our marriage that my husband and I receive it hand in hand. We like to think of the Eucharist as the helmet to our spiritual armor, a means to protect our thinking and make it more like Christ’s, as we strive to serve his holy will.
3) Another powerful spiritual weapon is Confession, a sacrament my husband and I try to receive monthly. The graces received from this sacrament are so important against the temptations of the devil that Father Gabriel Amorth (Rome’s official exorcist) insists that a good Confession is more powerful than an exorcism! My husband and I liken Confession to a strong shield we hold in our hands, ready to help deflect the traps our enemy continually sets for us.
4) Prayer is like the metal gloves protecting our folded hands. Our family prays at meals and at bedtime, but we also fortify ourselves as a family through the rosary, the Divine Chaplet, and a variety of other special prayers during the year. One of the most powerful forms of prayer we’ve discovered is fasting, which makes our minds and bodies better prepared for battle.
5) Still another spiritual weapon is the hour of power: eucharistic adoration. To make this a part of our week is like having impenetrable armor protecting our bended knees or prostrate legs as we present ourselves before Our Savior for his blessing, his guidance, and his everlasting peace. 
6) Our final weapon is spiritual reading – first and foremost the Bible, but also the great Christian classics penned by saints throughout the ages. It’s like having the ultimate sword in our hands to sharpen our consciences to discern God’s direction in our lives and give us the resolve to carry out his will, even when it requires great sacrifices.

 

Sacramental marriage, frequent Communion, regular Confession, daily prayer and rosary, eucharistic adoration and holy reading. When we as a couple protect ourselves with this kind of spiritual armor, we have more than a fighting chance. We have the promise of victory.

A Catholic convert and mother of four, Elizabeth Ficocelli is the author of eleven books for adults and young people, a frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, and a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, parishes, and schools. For more information, please visit her website at www.elizabethficocelli.com.