Right now the devil is all over the place. We need personal protection. We need to protect our families. Since Pope Leo XIII in 1884 we’ve been warned that a period of evil was on the way and now we find ourselves in the throes of it. It’s a battle that’s been raging for a hundred years and will one day soon reach a crescendo. This too was said at Fatima, and most recently at Medjugorje. It is the hour when Satan is allowed to exercise his greatest force, and we see it all around us. We see it in lust. We see it in demonism. We see it in all the antagonisms. We see it in the eyes of terrorists and anarchists and those who conspire against Christianity.
So how do we avoid it? How do we protect ourselves? We start out with prayer. When we pray we’re connected to God and the more we have God the less room there is for evil, the less is the devil able to gain a foothold. If we’re filled with the light of God there’s no room for the prince of darkness. While he may seek to attack from the outside, in the end he must flee; in the end we can trample on him. We know he’s around when we’re consumed by anxiety or fear or depression, when we’re obsessive, when we’re consumed by jealousy, or there is confusion.
So we start out with prayer. We go directly to Jesus. With that Name satan must flee, as he also must in the presence of Scripture. Read the Bible. Keep one open in your foyer or living room or bedroom. Keep it open to Ephesians 6 or Psalm 23. The devil hates this book and can do little in its presence.
Use holy water. Sprinkle some each day, especially in your bedrooms. It’s at night that the devil likes to attack, or when we first rise. He loves to begin with minor antagonisms. He reaches into our insecurities. That’s why morning prayer — prayer right away, at the start of each day, and then the last thing at night — is essential. Salt blessed by a priest is equally powerful. Sprinkle this in every corner of the house, and use holy oil on you and your children if your diocese permits it. Years ago we carried a story on Father Gabriele Amorth, the official Rome exorcist. Listen to what he says: “Exorcising salt too is beneficial for expelling demons and for healing soul and body. The specific function of this salt is to protect places from an evil presence or influence. When there is suspicion of evil infestation, I usually advise people to place exorcised salt across the threshold and in the four corners of the room that are affected.”
Blessed candles can also be efficacious. So is the Scapular. While we don’t have to become obsessive about religious objects, placing anointed ones in every room can be an important way of keeping an evil spirit from taking root. At the same time, we have to cast out. We are told by the Bible that in Jesus’ Name we can command away evil spirits and when we feel such spirits coming around we should immediately cast them away. You’ll be amazed at how quickly an oppression or prickly situation can be dispelled when in the Name of Christ you command it away. Treat it like the smoke, the vapor, that it is. “I command you evil spirits away and to the foot of the Cross to be disposed of according to the Will of God in the Name of Christ! In the Name of Jesus!”
Command evil out of your house and bless the doors that no evil may enter.
Also, fast. If you are haunted, if a problem persists, denying yourself food for a day can make a world of difference. It’s potent. You’ll be amazed at its power. It lets you transcend the prince of this world, the prince of the flesh.
These are crucial tools and then there are the sacraments. “Confession and Communion,” Father Amorth noted in a book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, “are worth as much as a strong exorcism.” During the pandemic, you can call the rectory for an appointment. While there, have some water and salt blessed. These practices are a form of immunization from evil. They are also tools of deliverance. If you are oppressed, if there is evil in you, or around you, if a spirit haunts you, this can be cleansed by the Eucharist and especially by receiving the Blood of Jesus. It’s that Blood that defeated satan. It’s that Blood that has won us our victory. Few prayers are as powerful as those implored the moment of consecration. The consecration radiates light; it radiates power. It is God’s subtle fireworks.
Then there’s the Rosary. This is our lifeline, a ring of protection. When we pray it with our hearts and with our families, they too are protected. In these times the Virgin has been granted special powers and it’s a tragedy that many don’t seek it!
From all corners come reports of illness and division and quarreling and anxiety and stress and unhappiness and depression and this we can transcend. This we have the power to defeat. Prayer. Fasting. No matter what you see on the news in the days to come, no matter how many times they replay footage of the World Trade Center, or talk about viruses, or protests, no matter how things seem to be crumbling around us, remember that nothing crumbles with Christ and that when it is darkest the Light of Heaven can be made to shine brightest.