Or, Invisible Realities
Last Wednesday my pastor blessed a new statue at the narthex after Mass.
It is a 4-foot statue of St. Michael the Archangel stepping on an ugly figure representing Satan. St. Michael is holding a sword aimed at it.
The statue depicts St. Michael vanquishing Satan. A battle scene of two angels -- two spiritual beings created by God. One of them chose to serve God; the other one chose to oppose and rebel against Him. The latter fell and became the enemy of God and, therefore, of human beings.
Satan is a fallen angel, together with his cohorts who followed him. Man fell due to the devil's lies and machinations.
But fallen man was given a second chance to get into the good graces of God. God sent His Son to save him.
Looking at the world today, we see a lot of evil committed by human beings against their fellow human beings and to themselves. The Church teaches us that temptations to do evil come from three sources: the world, the flesh (the fallen nature of man), and the devil.
We must fight all these sources of evil, especially Satan, which allure man to commit acts displeasing to God, and lead to man's ruin. Holy Scripture warns us: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Scripture also says: " . . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling," (Philippians 2:12)
Some people do not believe that the devil is real. That is Satan's greatest weapon -- to make people believe that he does not exist. For if he does not exist, then evil does not exist. He is the father of lies and deception.
The reality of the devil is proven by the fact that Jesus was also tempted by the devil. Jesus cast out a lot of demons from people they possessed.
The Church even today uses exorcism to drive out demons possessing some people. The devil exists even now --- and is active, especially in this age.
That is the reason why we should get close to Jesus. And make Him the Center of our lives, living in the center of our hearts.
Two angels, one good and one evil, are in a battle. The first is working to protect us. The second is working to destroy us.
We are in a constant spiritual battle against the forces of evil.
There is a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel invoking his help in this warfare:
"Saint Michael Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking
the ruin of souls.
Amen." (by Pope Leo XIII - 1886)
Pope Leo XIII directed that this be prayed after Low Mass.
It would be good for us to include this prayer in our prayer arsenal.#