Waging War: Why do Catholics neglect spiritual warfare?

Yes, pray the Rosary. Yes, take advantage of the Sacraments. But one thing I was never taught was basic spiritual warfare, and it seems most Catholics aren’t.

I spent several years with (though not a member of) an ecumenical Catholic/Christian community in which I learned about spiritual warfare; specifically using Jesus’ name to bind and rebuke evil spirits. I witnessed the power of this, and it’s clearly Scriptural, and not just for exorcism, yet I’d never been told about it until then.
Why don’t we teach our fellow Catholics how to use it? Does anyone else here have experience with it?
It’s bern such a gift in my life!


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From my experience the spiritual warfare has been promoted quite a lot…I mean, the Rosary is like a great weapon.
But I know this ACTS retreat I went on gave out quite a lot, including a book of deliverance prayers.
I guess it depends on what everyone is exposed to, what gets emphasized and what doesn’t.

Spiritual warfare is, not just about fighting devil one to one it also requires us to resist temptations, the thing about temptations is not sin, and the more you resist temptation, the happier God is with you, like St faustinas diary tells of how the devil tried to bring her down, but she just carried on praying and not worrying about it, eventually like job in the old testament the devil will get tired and realise that you are much stronger than him. I often think of spiritual warfare sometimes like ww1 battlefield in the trenches, yano it’s silent next thing out of nowhere a bomb starting hitting, u have to duck in the trenches keep your head focused and eventually it will pass, but when it does then you make your attack, you go to confession, mass, and pray a rosary, then that way you, callin in reinforcements to strengthen your barricades.

No we dont. By practising our faith we are continually rejecting satan.


Yet, as a devout Catholic, I found it to be a powerful tool. I wish I’d known years earlier and it saddens me that Catholics seem to frown on it. The tone or your response confirms my suspicions. Why would Catholics so often reject it?

To live a Catholic life is to live a life of spiritual warfare. Just because the terms aren’t defined for some people doesn’t mean they aren’t practicing it. The person who commits sin and then confesses it is doing a better job at spiritual warfare than the person who commits sin and then attempts a binding prayer with no confession. Practice spiritual warfare but know first and foremost the weapons of this war are the Sacraments.


I absolutely agree. They are not, as you said, mutually exclusive. Sacraments are priority, but the other type of spiritual warfare is excellent as an additional weapon in our arsenal.:+1:t3:

Personally I think a lot of Protestant theology pertaining to spiritual warfare is atrocious and dangerous.

Here are my recommendations.


I think in Catholic writings there is a difference between spiritual combat, which is like combatting temptations generated by the flesh or the world, and spiritual warfare, which is mostly directed to fighting the devil’s influence in our lives.

And maybe we do not talk about spiritual warfare so much because the devil jas managed to convince so many that he does not exist… but I have seen more information coming out about this in recent years.

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In some cases, we do not note the presence, or effects of the spiritual realm. Demonic activity is most noted when we are moving closer to, or away from God. When we are moving closer, it is concerning, even frightening. When are are drifting away, it is welcoming, inviting.


Do you understand the biggest weapon we have is rejecting satan. Of course Catholics reject satan. It is written in our sacraments. Our biggest weapon is not the so called spiritual warfare of another religion. Our biggest warfare weapon is locking satan out and keeping the door closed. Watch some youtube movies of our Catholic exorcists.

@governator, have you had a chance to read any of these, and which ones did you think were the best ones and why?

I haven’t read was Prepare My Hands For Battle by Jesse Romero but I have listened to hours of him talking about this subject on The Terry and Jesse Show and Jesus 911.

I have read The Life of St Anthony and The Life of St Benedict which are in those two collections of ancient writings.

I recommend both collections Foundations of Western Monasticism includes The Rule of St Benedict.

I have not read Talking Back A Monastic Handbook For Combatting Demons but I have flipped through it and it’s basically scriptures and the writings of one of the Church Father’s Evagarius of Pontius.

Although he is not a canonized Saint because like Origen he had some views on salvation that were not found to be orthodox he is still heavily read and relied upon in Eastern Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy especially Eastern Monasticism.

In another words his writings are still read by monks to this day.

I have read Paul Thigpen’s The Manual For Spiritual Warfare, Saints Who Battled Satan but I haven’t read Saints Who Saw Hell I began to read it but got sidetracked nonetheless I have absolute confidence in this author that it is a good and holy thing to read.

The Spiritual Warfare Bible is essentially the Bible and snippets on spiritual warfare it’s almost a Bible plus a very truncated version of The Manual For Spiritual Warfare.

I have read The Secret of The Rosary and Champions of The Rosary I highly recommend both.

I have read The Devil’s Role In The Spiritual Life it’s about growing in spiritual perfection, mystical contemplation, and spiritual warfare.

I have listened to hours of Fr. Ripperger lectures and homilies on spiritual warfare he is an exorcist and I have heard good reviews on this prayer book which I would like to get a copy of myself.

I own and have read most of all of these except for the prayer book by Father Ripperger and if I haven’t read it I’ve skimmed through it, know enough about it or the author that I can confidently recommend these books.

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First of all, you seem to think that the Rosary and other conventional prayers aren’t “spiritual warfare” and that we have to be calling out demons or something. That’s incorrect. The Rosary is a powerful form of spiritual warfare. Probably one of the best there is.

Second of all, the Church doesn’t emphasize “spiritual warfare” in the way you’re talking about it because it doesn’t want a whole lot of lay people getting involved in trying to call out evil spirits or seeing demons behind every bush. Many people simply aren’t spiritually strong enough or stable enough for that. It can lead to all kinds of problems up to and including possession. It’s best to leave much of that to the priests; we laypeople can help by praying in support of the priests, for example by saying the Auxilium Christianorum prayers.

Third of all, there are some Catholic groups that teach “deliverance ministry” and the like. For example, there is an “Unbound” program for Catholics. The Catholic version presumably respects the Catholic teaching that laypeople are not supposed to go around engaging directly with the demonic. The last Unbound workshop I saw, which was held at my local church, had a huge attendance. I’ve also been part of a very large prayer group that prayed Auxilium Christianorum prayers. So it’s not like Catholics who are interested aren’t able to learn about and practice this sort of “spiritual warfare”, within the limits established by the Church.


I think if you spend even a little time delving into the faith you cant help but come across it.
Scripture is full of references to the battle of life especially reading St Paul’s letters and those attributed to him. Everyone is called to this warfare.
I agree that spiritual warfare isn’t just avoiding the devil or fighting temptation it’s also about spiritual progress and drawing closer the God and seeking union with Him by becoming detached from all things except Him. The two go hand in hand. If you start to look for God have no doubt, he will help you fight the battle and advance. Praying the rosary is a wonderful in, the best start to spiritual warfare. Prayer is essential.


Because we just naturally tend to the visible, tangible problems in front of us than abstract and invisible (although real) problems.

That’s why we need to make prayer a habit.


Spiritual warfare consists in fighting our own egoic driven desires.

St John of the Cross called them appetites.

The evil one will uses these desires against you.

Unfortunately, many think spiritual warfare is against the discursive “others,” those who aren’t part of their religious or political tribe. This attitude is the result of misdirected spiritual pride, which is harmful to the body of Christ.

Interior Prayer is the path toward overcoming these disordered desires, as Christ dwelling within will give you the transforming grace of divine love. Once divine love is experienced, you will see God in everyone and everything.

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Never heard of ‘spiritual warfare’ and don’t know what it is.

Spiritual Warfare is the the spiritual and physical combat against the devil, the flesh, and the world.

If it’s not old scratch or other demons then we’re fighting our own flesh desires, passions, temptations, concupiscence etc.

If it’s not the demons or our flesh then it’s the world whether disdain for our faith or peer pressure and even the forbidden fruits that will be offered to us through our corrupt sodomitical culture.

Money, power, fame, sex, drugs, and rock and roll is what the world offers us which only leaves us thirsting for more when Christ gives us living water that never leaves us needing or wanting more.

As others have said work on your interior life the books I recommend are some of the best works on this subject both new and old.

There is another book I tried reading many years ago and still own and is known as a classic.

Someday I’ll pick this one up and give it a read all the way through.

I have read this one and own it it’s more charismatic and was written by a priest who was in deliverance ministry.

It’s out of print you would have to buy a used copy or look for it on e-book format.

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Of course - I totally agree.
But the day-to-day spiritual warfare I’ve noticed isn’t taught is more the “Cut it out!” type - and not opposed to our faith. It is more useful situationally.
Here’s an example from my experience:

In the car with my teenage son, we were having a disagreement. I became aware that he was becoming overly, almost irrationally, angry considering the topic, etc.
I calmly pointed this out to him, and he agreed and said he didn’t know why. So I said I would do some spiritual warfare quickly just to make sure there wasn’t some darker influence involved. Understandably, my son got even angrier and annoyed, and rolled his eyes at me, etc.
I said simply, “In Jesus’ name I bind and rebuke spirits of Anger, Rage, Lies, Divination, (etc.), . Flee now in Jesus’ name, and go directly to the foot of the Cross where Our Lord will deal with you according to His Holy Will.”
Suddenly my son’s face changed; he relaxed, and he said, “It’s gone - I totally feel better!” And the anger really was gone.

That’s an example of why I have found this such a useful tool and such a blessing from God. It’s not our power; it’s the power of His name.

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