Spiritual Combat Anyone?

I have read a good deal on the topic of spiritual combat. The most recent being a book by that very title, “Spiritual Combat,” by Lorezo Scupoli. Before then, there was a small gray book titled “The Manual for Spiritual Combat” I got from the local Catholic book shop.
These were after having read “Dark Night of The Soul,” and it just made sense to read them.
Also acquired a book during that period titled, “Deliverance Prayers for use by the Laity” And yup, that one has an imprimatur. A LOT of great prayers in there, most notably to me is one called a perimeter prayer that puts a spiritual perimeter around one and their home/family, past which evil may not cross.
Of course one needs to be properly disposed spiritually when using such prayers I think, but that’s our daily goal anyway is it not?

I think a lot of non-Catholics, and Catholics as well, completely misunderstand what the phrase “spiritual combat” means, as if it is similar to a Hollywood “Exorcist” film type thing or something, when in fact we “struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers of darkness.” (Eph 6)

Anyone attempting to be devout would, I think indubitably, be confronted with some sort of spiritual oppression since satan doesn’t want us to be devout.

Whattya think?

Demonic oppression is when the devil acts from the outside such as loss of finances, loss of health. Demonic obsession is when the devil works on the soul of the person such as tormenting and disturbing the soul.

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I tend to see spiritual combat as our fight against temptation, and spiritual warfare as our fight against the demons.


I agree of course temptation is part of oppression.

What I have noticed personally is, the harder I try, it seems like the more “life happens” and gets in the way of say, going to daily mass, volunteering for things, etc. Yes, as the other poster said, esternal.

We all do spiritual combat every day when we pray. Furthermore if you pray for the world generally or pray for other people or other souls, you’re a prayer warrior. This forum is full of prayer warriors.
It’s no big deal.

I also think most Catholics who pray seriously are familiar with the idea of “spiritual combat” because people like Fr. Ripperger and Fr. Heilman have been pushing the idea for years, especially because they see it as appealing to men. Of course lots of women like the idea too.

I wish people would get as much into the idea of ordinary praying as they do about “deliverance prayers” though. A Hail Mary is a perfectly good deliverance prayer. It’s okay to buy Fr. Ripperger’s book or the Prayers Against the Power of Evil book from USCCB, but you don’t have to. And some people run around seeing demons under every bush and getting all wound up about it.


Agree, simply praying is a spiritual Combat, no doubt.

As for “deliverance prayers,” you recall in Scripture the Ethiopan eunich saying, “how can I (,understand) if there is no one to teach me?” So, as a convert, these pre-written prayers that have the imprimatur can help me know “how” to pray a d gives many examples.
Even the Apostles asked Christ how to pray. I’m asking the Church’s authorized books.

You’re absolutely right that “combat” will by default attract more men. But,every moment of life is a battle won or lost, so I see no problem with anyone, man or woman, desiring to be a spiritual warrior.

Of course u r correct simply praying may Combat evil. But the point of the spiritual Combat of which i speak is how to pray directly against evil rather than praying a cold will go away soon. It’s the targeted prayers about which i intended the OP.

Do you think a Hail Mary is not a prayer specifically targeted against evil? Satan hates Mary. Demons recoil at her name.
How about the common prayer to St. Michael? How about the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus gave us his very own self?
How about the Psalms, many of which are invoking God’s protection against evil?

Any way you want to pray is okay, but given that you’re not a priest doing the exorcism rite, there is no set way “how to pray directly against evil”. You can pray any prayer you want. Any prayer. The sincerity in your heart is what God looks at and what makes a prayer strong, not whether you’re saying the Hail Mary or something out of “Deliverance Prayers” or Psalm 140 or just saying “Help me God in Jesus’ Name” in your own words.

I understand from others on this forum that the Psalms are considered a “School of Prayer”. If you’re wondering how to pray against evil, they’re probably the best starting point. Lots of them pray against evil.

Spiritual combat is real. Many evil thoughts, distractions and temptations are always at hand. But the Lord always helps the faithful. And we also have the saints to help us.

A lifelong struggle and a crown for the victors.

Oppression is domination, an inclination to evil, as we see in the Catechism:

405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

407 … By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails “captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil”.

I do not see “spiritual oppression” anywhere in the CCC quoted here.

I would also state that, in a confession, I had a priest once confirm that what I was dealing with was “spiritual oppression.” In that case, it was as I have alluded to, the closer we try to get to Christ, the harder the enemy fights us, or at least some of us. I know nothing really about anyone except myself. But, in my experience, I’ve had to deal with oppression, and I consider that very much “spiritual warfare.”

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You wrote: “some sort of spiritual oppression since satan doesn’t want us to be devout.”

Oppression is domination, and the Catechism uses domination.

Also each has a guardian angel, so there is a helper in opposition to temptations suggested by any demons.

Agree, we have a guardian angel to help us. Also, as baptized Catholics, we may speak aloud / pray against temptations or any other evil. I emphasize “aloud” because demons are not permitted to know our thoughts, so a verbal prayer is appropriate. Our guardian angels are granted to know our thoughts IF we will them to. So, I imagine we could silently will our guardian angel to fight against an evil spirit without verbally praying against that evil spirit. But now it seems we are getting into semantics rather than dealing with the topic proposed, that of actual spiritual warfare.

I would say that being in a “state of grace” is simply THE best way to avoid evil…

So Satan is obviously not above using anything for his evil purposes. He even cites Holy Scripture to tempt Christ. Satan is a master at using things that are good in and of themselves and distorting and twisting them to his will. Particularly with very devout Catholics, Satan will distort our desire to be humble use it as means of doubt about whether we could or should pursue sainthood. We say things “I could never be a saint…” or “I could never be like saint so and so” and we then believe and fall into this trap that sainthood is not meant for us to attain yet that is what God called us to be. There are many reasons why St. Pope John Paul II is particularly hated and feared by demons, it is because he saw right through Satan’s trickery and he saw well intended Catholics silence themselves and dismiss God’s voice in their hearts because they felt it was not possible for them to be saints nor for God to speak to them. Which is why over and over he said “Do not be afraid…” and “Do not be afraid to be saints of the new Millenium!” There is a real war that goes on in the spiritual realm, because our souls are present on Earth but in an earthly body, so are evil and good forces. We see can see possession, Satanic distortion of all that is good. The Rosary isn’t just a set of prayer beads, it’s a weapon. There have been times where I have recited the decades of the Rosary and have exhibited physical signs of exhaustion as if each decade was an actual boxing round with Mother Mary in my corner and each Hail Mary being a punch that had the force of Mary’s foot crushing the serpent. Spiritual warfare can sometimes manifest itself in the physical world simultaneously with the spiritual one. I believe that while we have physical senses we also have spiritual and mental senses. It is why I take my Rosary with me everywhere I go.

Alas, alas, there often are demons around the corner. :hushed: The sky would darken with them were the all visible etc, etc. There is however no need to get bent out of shape about it. I often think of them as mites or tics one can attract walking through the woods.

Fortunately, wretched things have to have to have permission to even move a leaf, and when they do, it is usually because we throw out a welcome mat, or they are given permission to tempt us for our own eventual spiritual edification.

Though the battle is very real, people like to talk about it because, well, who doesn’t like a good horror movie every now and then right? The main stave against the demonic is fairly boring, and that is staying in a state of grace along with frequenting the sacraments.

In “today’s” world however, it is a really good idea to take advantage of Fr. Rippengers additional measures like:

  • using holy water and blessed salt around the house.
  • putting a blessed saint Benedict medal in each corner of the house.
    -periodically praying deliverance prayers over ourselves and children
  • Prayers such as: The litany of humility, various Marian devotions
  • Burning blessed candles [Lysol for the demons of the air]
  • Having blessed objects here and there around the house.

Just a reminder, sacramentals are not magic, but being blessed they bring with them the good will of the Church and your faith in God or desire for that faith is what actually make these things useful. Alarm signs out in the yard say to burglars that you take your security seriously. They will usually seek something easier.

The only caution I will throw in here is not to let the term “spiritual warfare” go to your head. This isn’t a video game.


Exactly, but nobody ever seems to recommend that. It seems to be perceived as rather dull compared to finding some exciting form of “deliverance prayer”.

Fr. Ripperger did not invent these methods. Nor are they something we need just in “today’s world”.
I’m quite sure the world was just as demonic, if not more so, during the Cold War, or during WWII when we had a madman killing off millions of people in Europe.

Most of us who are traditional or who had traditional parents have been doing the above things, or seeing our parents do them, since we were little. As far as parents “praying deliverance prayers” over the kids, as I stated above, something as simple as the Hail Mary, or asking God to protect their child, said with a sincere heart, is a “deliverance prayer”. I was also taught at a very young age to say prayers like “Angel of God” which is a protection prayer.

I would further note that my parents framed these types of practices as us staying close to God and God staying close to us, not “dispelling demons”. If God is with you at all times then you have nothing to be afraid of even if there was a demon floating around in your house air. If you have also asked Mary, St. Joseph, St. Michael and whatever other saints you invoke (It does not necessarily have to be St. Benedict, he doesn’t have a lock on the demon control intercession), then you are well protected and that should be an end of it.

While I find some of Fr. Ripperger’s material interesting or helpful, I also think that he is capitalizing on this “demonic” business pretty heavily, others are following his lead, and it may well have a negative effect on people when they start thinking in terms of having to constantly keep demons at bay instead of staying in the friendship of the Lord and thus always walking safely.


I think it IS a big deal to be a prayer warrior as we are instructed in scripture to pray continually.

I’m a prayer warrior, I spend time daily in prayer, and to me it’s another day at the office. That’s not to say prayer is not important, but I don’t go around announcing it or acting like it’s a special thing. It’s just something I do and that most people on this forum do to some extent. Most people on here each have their own personal prayer programs or prayer rules and it’s not all about praying for stuff they personally want.

If you want to think it’s a big deal, fine. I’ll continue to think it’s business as usual.

I’m muting this thread now as I think I have posted enough and said my piece. Also, I still have some prayers to say before I turn in. :wink:

There was a noticeable surge in conversions after the release of the hit film “The exorcist.” You are correct I think for most folk. While I admire father R for many reasons, he would not be on the list of first glances I would give to someone early in, or looking at our faith.

Here is the rub though. While there are many who have led lives that did not drink too deeply from the well of evil, there are those who have. Occult interests at a young age, exposure and later captives, willingly or otherwise to porn, abortion, promiscuity and so on. I am not an exorcist , just a catholic, but it seems to me that many of us have to plead guilty to to at least some of these, and while doing that wont get you head rotating around, it does open yourself to influences that make spiritual progress much more difficult. Ask, even for very bad stuff, and ye shall receive.

More to the point though, there are those who can check off most if not all of these boxes. Over a lifetime, given the character and the mechanics of sin, checking all of these boxes… and more, happen quite a bit. This isn’t just a welcome mat… this is hanging an “open” sign in the window and sending invites straight to hell RSVP.

It is for those unfortunates that a session or two with Fr. Chad, and particularly those who have received at least one RSVP [We KNOW it when we get one!] that listening to him applies. If you dove to these depths in your past should you go visit an exorcist? No of course not.
But it does mean you should set your bar higher. I means addressing any remaining behaviors with the same diligence a saint would offer, after all that is what we strive to become. Here would be a good place to remember that Saint Faustina said even the most hardened sinners are welcome back to God’s table.

Even with these hardened sinners, the mainstream delights that are the sacraments of the Catholic church can be sufficient to turn one who IS having issues… around. But in my book, if you have ever courted the enemy at such low depths, you want to drag out and keep your “A” game in place. Permeability.

I am very fond of you! Happy Valentines day!

I think this is very balanced.

While I agree that some can end up seeing demons under every rock, as Fr R puts it, there is a large number of people who are affected by the demonic due to not having had the type of upbringing you had and/or going off the rails for a time during their lives. I think the info needs to get out to people and I am grateful to Fr R for doing this, but it is a shame that we are so easily attracted to the apparent excitement of battling demons when we usually really need to focus on fighting ourselves.

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