Waging War: Why do Catholics neglect spiritual warfare?

Absolutely, the Rosary and Mass and Adoration and other prayers are!
But as I said above, this is a different tool and it has situational uses. I wish I’d known about this type earlier in life - it would have helped me tremendously. Especially as I became more devout and therefore suffered more day-to-day attacks from the bad guy’s minions!

So far, on this thread, I am noticing a negative response to my question. There is both condemnation of the practice as I described it, and a type of Catholic condescension as well. Yet there is nothing about it that conflicts with the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, and is in fact supported by at least the Bishop of the diocese of Savannah. So it makes me wonder if the resistance is more due to a type of prejudice (no offense intended!) rather than theological. Is that what I’m seeing? Certainly having a difference of opinion is natural - but I’m seeing more than that from several comments…:woman_shrugging:t2:

Only trained exorcists are really equipped to handle this stuff. A layperson should NOT attempt to engage the devil (remember Gen. 3)!

Obviously, one should pray, meditate, make a good confession, receive Our Lord worthily in Holy Communion, give alms, wear the Brown Scapular, St. Benedict Medal (see the avatar of @St.Bede), use holy water, avoid sin etc. That’s the spiritual armor we have in the Church.


I can’t help but point out that when we receive the Holy Eucharist with a well-prepared heart, that is very powerful spiritually!

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Actually, there is a school of thought that focusing on the demonic makes you MORE prone to attacks. If you don’t want to be so spiritually attacked, the best thing you could do for yourself would be trust in God, put the demons out of your mind, and if one did crop up just call on Jesus (and if you like, Mary, Joseph, St. Benedict, St. Michael) to help you. Then be on your way.

Furthermore, if you’re having spiritual attacks that frequently, then you should be asking your priest about this, not just finding a self-help prayer book.

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Yes I concur but none of the books I linked are strictly for Priest.

The book by Evagarius Pontius is safe to use for laity it’s published by the Cistercians.

It’s mainly his writings and scriptures to remember when facing temptation.

It’s actually from what I can tell more aimed to help overcome temptation than actually rebuking demons.

Definitely. But still, day-to-day, the bad guy can take swipes at even daily communicants. So it’s a great tool to have.:heart:

I concur I was going to read books about Hell during Lent especially the infamously terrifying The Dogma of Hell but I haven’t had it in me to do so rather I am just focusing on being closer to God and St Joseph which is really the best way to overcome sin and temptation.

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I always liked St. Teresa of Avila being so down to earth about seeing a demon, something like, “I saw a demon in the corner. I flicked some holy water at it and it went away.”

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I often find that people who are spiritual warfare enthusiasts are those looking to be warriors, if that makes sense. There is something exotic about this esoteric, yet accessible to the layman knowledge and going into battle. I agree, if someone is really always in a rumble with the demonic, a priest should be involved, and/or questioning if their troubles are truly of a spiritual nature.

Again, I’m not arguing that the Mass, Rosary, Sacraments, invoking the Saints, isn’t primary. I’m simply pointing out that a very useful tool given us by God is greatly unknown in many (not all) Catholic circles. And, unfortunately, looked down on with more than a bit of condescension. Because I for one have found it extremely helpful. You can’t always stop to pray a rosary, and I’m sorry - but if invoking a Saint’s intercession has always worked for situations like I described above - it hasn’t for me.

It is a tool that has a specific and powerful use.

And it has nothing to do with focusing on demons! I mean, really? Acknowledging their existence, yes. Acknowledging the triumph of Christ, yes.
That’s what is being neglected. And it’s a shame for many for whom it would be helpful.

I like the idea of being a “Prayer Warrior” and engaging in “Spiritual Warfare” also, but I mostly follow Fr. Heilman’s group (US Grace Force) where he presents a lot of practical prayer activities for his group. The Rosary and the St. Michael Prayer are regularly used, sometimes other prayers. He also organized us to pray Auxilium Christianorum and sometimes features stuff from Fr. Ripperger, but it’s not like we go around praying against demons all day. I think Fr. Heilman has a good, balanced approach. He has a great devotion to Mother Mary, which I like. Satan hates and fears Mary so she is a good ally to have. I also don’t expect every Catholic or even most Catholics to embrace the “Prayer Warrior” or “Spiritual Warfare” concept. Some people find it jingoistic.


You speak of a healthy balanced approach to using prayer as a weapon. What I often find on the fringe are people who’s involvement with spiritual warfare seems like they are immersed in a role playing game or something, like it’s an action adventure and the devil is constantly putting them in peril. I think it’s a slippery slope when you feel overly familiar with the spiritual realm.


There are [quote=“catholiclala, post:33, topic:598684”]
What I often find on the fringe are people who’s involvement with spiritual warfare seems like they are immersed in a role playing game or something, like it’s an action adventure and the devil is constantly putting them in peril. I think it’s a slippery slope when you feel overly familiar with the spiritual realm

As have I. There are always those on the fringe.
No, I’m just talking about this handy tool. Taken out only as needed. Nothing obsessive or on the fringe. Just like the story I shared above.

Not everything is about the diabilical. Teenagers do become irrational to us, To them it is a normal part of life, rebelling. It is a stage they must go through developmentally

I’ve read the posts and, if you’ll pardon my observation, from the get-go it was you who had a ‘negative’ outlook. The topic started with your saying, “why do Catholics NEGLECT spiritual warfare’. . .that’s pretty negative itself. Why didn’t you say, “Why does it seem many Catholics are not aware of certain benefits of spiritual warfare such as” and then go on to describe your experiences. I think you would have had a lot more ‘positive’ reaction from that. Instead, it seems that first you’re accusing ‘most’ Catholics of not being as smart as you, and thereby endangering themselves and their families, and when you hear about other practices you seem to just fixate on your own without any kind of give-and take or discussion or inquiry about those other practices, and then you accuse people of condescension.

Look, I know when I find something in my spiritual life that is new, and wonderful, and helpful, I want to share with as many people as possible. But I think that in your zeal, and hampered by lack of ability to read body language, gauge tone of voice, etc., so far you may have come across as more abrasive than helpful. Again, I’m being careful to use words like ‘seems’ and you can take this with a grain of salt because, of course, I’m equally hampered; you can’t see MY heart, or gauge MY tone of voice. But before this thread gets pulled for flags or turns into a ‘did not—did TOO’ debacle, it’s not too late to make a change for the positive.

Exactly this is a big thing in Evangelical circles going to different places to pray the demons out even us pesky Catholics with our so called Baal possessed idols. :roll_eyes:

You can actually become possessed by getting involved in this stuff and calling out demons by name and I mean the big nasties without Priestly authority or faculties from a Bishop unless the Priest is Eastern Catholic you can get your behind handed to you.

Eastern Catholic Priest from what I understand do not require faculties from a Bishop to perform an exorcism and cast a demon out by name but they do follow the same protocols before beginning an exorcism.

My advice if you want the juicy information look towards exorcist and monastics.

The Jesus Prayer burns the demons and every Hail Mary is a blow to satans head.

Holy water especially Epiphany or Theophany water is extremely effective and efficacious.

In Eastern Catholicism Theophany water is considered to be one step below the Eucharist that’s how powerful of a sacramental it is.

It’s such a sacred sacramental in the East that it’s advised that if you cannot receive holy communion then you should drink Theophany water.

The best advice that I read reading the book The Devil’s Role in the Spiritual Life taken from the writings of Saint John the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila ignore all your holy and unholy thoughts treat them with suspect because if anything does come from God He will not be offended if you shew those thoughts away and if there is a message from God it will be unmistakable.

I’m confused what exactly is it that you do that Catholics are missing?

Sometimes people suffer from intrusive thoughts which can be troublesome for people that have OCD and other disorders.

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Yes, this can often have a component that is not helpful if there are mental health issues. It can create them or trigger pre-existing ones.

This actually comes from Catholicism it’s just the Evangelicals rediscovered and perhaps are abusing it.

Binding prayers are nothing new but make no mistake you do have to have priestly authority or faculties to cast out a demon by name examples being Lucifer, Moloch, Baal, Asmodeus, Dagon etc.

You can get your posterior handed to you if your not careful.

I read a lot of Pentecostal books on the subject and honestly I got more spiritually harmed then I was healed.

The Catholic and orthodox way to cast out and bind demons is to rebuke them in the name of Jesus by their nature not their names unless you use the term Satan or Devil.

You can even use our Lord’s words “get away from me Satan!”

You can use the deprecatory prayers as in may God cast you out evil spirit of blank.

Another example is I bind any spirit not of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.

The reason prayers like the whole or short St. Michael Prayer, or Mary Queen of Angels, are so powerful is because they are deprecatory prayers that although they use names of certain demons they ask for God through the intercession of particular Saint to cast out a particular demon or demons.

You have to be careful because as a Christian although you may have certain charismatic gifts you do not have super powers the gifts that God works through us are of Him not of us

Even priests are in persona Christi they are in essence possessed by Christ and it is Christ who confers the sacraments and blesses people, places, and things.

If you read good spiritual warfare books and listen to qualified people this is nothing new.

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