Ever been attacked by the Enemy?
You know you’ve been attacked when you land in a temptation that you find exceedingly hard to get out of — whether its ‘untamed’ fear, despair, discouragement, desire, or other temptation to sin.
The Enemy is cunning. It can confuse us with good things which on the surface look right or appealing, but lead us to sin. It can also twist and taint what is good and holy, and make others look like the Enemy — estranging us from good, life-giving relationships. The Enemy comes out to play at our weakest moments: when we are tired, upset, frustrated, sick and/or in a spiritually weakened state.
I’ve had many spiritual battles over the years. I’m increasingly learning better ways to prevent and protect myself from falling into the Enemy’s grasp and into the dark hole of sin.
Here are five ways the Church gives us that I have found to be incredibly helpful for not only reducing the Enemy’s attacks, but also strengthening ourselves during them:
- Daily Mass. Participating in the Mass and receiving the Eucharist every day helps to cultivate virtue. Yes, it’s a commitment, and yes, it’s hard to go everyday, but it’s worth it. I say a short prayer after Holy Communion each day for God to strengthen and nourish me with His body and blood, and protect me from temptation and sin.
- Eucharistic Adoration. Visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, being in His presence, and letting Him speak to us will fill our empty and weak spaces where the Enemy likes to prey. Go as often as you are nudged to, and consider it to be Jesus’ beckoning call.
- Daily Rosary. Trusting in our Mother Mary allows her to intercede on our behalf for our needs in times of trial. For those who devoutly say the Rosary, Mary promises special protection from sin. Going one step further with Marian Consecration is even more fruitful.
- Prayers of Deliverance. St. Michael’s prayer, healing prayers, the psalms, other prayers of deliverance, and even short prayers like “Jesus help me” can help us tremendously. Plus, they are short and simple to say.
- Turning to Jesus. A friend once said to me, "It’s all about where you turn in the moment of temptation — always turn back to God." When I remember to do this, I find the Father waiting for me with open arms, speaking words of encouragement and love. Often, I can hear Him ‘cheering me on’ in my heart to win the battle. Come closer to Him in your trials. He’s there and right with you, on your side.
Catholicism holds so many tools for successfully winning against the Enemy. If they worked for the Saints, they will work for us too. We just need the discipline to use them.
Turn to these prayer forms, and ultimately Jesus, to shield yourself from the Enemy.