The Church celebrates the Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus on July 1st and then dedicates the month to the same. Let us reflect on the realities we face.
The demons are exposed. Stand up and fight
As the current crisis continues to unmask its hideous face, more evidence is emerging that the enemies of Holy Church have been servants of Satan directly via Satanism, Luciferianism, and other such dark arts. The witness who reduced the powerful Cardinal McCarrick to the lay state, James Grein, confirmed to Taylor Marshall that McCarrick was actively practicing Satanic rituals as a bishop (see these interviews here and here). In addition, credible evidence has now emerged that another powerful Cardinal—Bernadin of Chicago, now deceased —had been practicing violent Satanic rituals since at least 1957 (then a priest). Even further, the current working document for the upcoming Amazon Synod seems to leave the door open to such demonic influences present in paganism
The full depth of the corruption both financial, moral and spiritual is yet to be known and likely will never be fully known. But no thinking Catholic can stand idly by any more. Now is the time to stand and fight, lest any man receive the curse of Debbora: Curse [them], said the angel of the Lord…because they came not to the help of the Lord, to help his most valiant men (Jdg. v. 23). Rather, the Prophet now cries out: Who shall rise up for me against the evildoers? or who shall stand with me against the workers of iniquity? (Ps. xciii. 16). Let no man be left who has not taken up his arms and entered the battle. Let us offer our lives to die for Holy Mother Church, and God will give us the victory. Whatever activism you may be engaged in, mark this: the spiritual battle comes first. If you fail to fight this battle first, you will end up fighting for the enemy.
The enemy’s assault
Before we discuss weapons, we must understand the tactics of the enemy. He fights by exploiting our weaknesses. The effects of Original Sin include a disordered soul. This means that instead of your intellect ruling your soul by reason, your appetites rule you by creating attachments to created things. Thus a crucial step in the spiritual life is internalizing a love for suffering and detachment. If you love suffering and detachment, most of the enemy’s assaults will not harm you.
Second and related is understanding consolation and desolation. The soul that is striving in spiritual combat will experience both from God. When He gives us consolation, He is empowering us to fight harder. When he takes away consolation, He is calling us to detach ourselves from creatures, including spiritual consolations. Remember and practice this saying: in desolation, remember consolation. In consolation, prepare for desolation. For further wisdom on the spiritual battle, read the indispensable The Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli.
Experienced and knowledgeable exorcists tell us that two things terrify the demons: the Holy Name of Jesus and the Precious Blood of Jesus. In particular the power of the latter against evil is shown in the Collect for the feast today:
Almighty eternal God, Who made thy only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be reconciled by His Blood, grant us, we beseech thee, so to worship in this sacred rite the price of our salvation, and to be so protected by its power against the evils of the present life on earth, that we may enjoy its everlasting fruit in heaven.
Developing devotions to the Precious Blood and the Holy Name will assist with your striving. If you join the Auxilium Christianorum (see below), you will pray the Litany of the Precious Blood every day.
With these weapons, it is essential to call upon our Lady under the title Virgin Most Powerful (Virgo Potens). This is because, as St. Louis de Montfort says, the Devil hates our Lady in some sense even more than God. This is because of his pride, which is especially tormented by the power of our Lady, who is neither divine nor an angel. Marian devotion also assists us to not become prideful, since our Lady is essential to humility.
In addition, St. Joseph is also invoked under the title Terror of Demons. He is powerful because he was the one on earth to give our Lord the Holy Name of Jesus as well as to first shed the Precious Blood in the circumcision. Other than the Holy Family, other saints come to our aid, such as St. Anthony of Padua, St. Benedict, St. Anthony of the Desert, and others.
Our Lady of Fatima also gave us specific instructions for this crisis: pray one third of the Rosary (Five Decades) every day, and make the First Saturday devotions in reparation to her Immaculate Heart. It is clear our God has reserved Satan for special destruction from our Lady in this time, and it behooves us to follow her instructions for victory.
Sacramentals: their use and misuse
Lastly, we will discuss the use of sacramentals which can also be effective weapons. Unfortunately many seminarians are no longer intructed in their proper use, and Bugnini began removing such prayers from the liturgy beginning in 1955. So the faithful can either be ignorant of these spiritual helps or else descend into superstitious practices. Therefore let us be careful to have a clear understanding. A sacramental differs from a sacrament in the following ways:
|Visible sign of an invisible grace||Visible sign of an invisible grace|
|Imparts sanctifying grace||Imparts actual grace|
|Instituted by Christ||Instituted by the Church|
|Works on its own with worthy reception||Depends on the merit of the user|
St. Thomas defines superstition as a vice opposed to the virtue of religion in that supserstituon “offers divine worship either to whom it ought not, or in a manner it ought not” (II-II q92 a1). The manner in which sacramentals can be abused is usually in thinking that they have power in themselves outside of the merits or prayers of the user or saints. One of the most common examples is the superstition of burying a St. Joseph statue upside down to sell a house. This is a superstation because it relies on the action of a ritual and an object in itself to obtain a favor. Instead, one should use a statue to give honor to God and the saints, and pray that God would grant your favor through their merits, not the thing in itself.
Another common superstition is in the misuse of our Lady’s scapular, which brings up the related sin of presumption. Presumption is defined as an immoderate hope, for example “hope to obtain pardon without repenting” (II-II q21 a1). When our Lady said “He who wears my scapular will not suffer eternal fire,” she did not mean that the thing in itself would obtain pardon. To live in sin and then trust in the scapular itself for pardon would be superstition and presumption and would merit eternal punishment.
Instead, a proper use of the sacramentals can indeed assist in guarding against the demonic. But this comes by trusting in the power of God through the blessed object while uniting with it prayer and good works. The Church in her wisdom has instituted various sacramentals to make use of: holy water, holy oil, blessed salt, blessed medals, candles, scapulars, etc. Use these properly to receive additional graces in the spiritual fight. On a final note: if a sacramental ever becomes damaged beyond repair, it must be disposed of reverently in one of three ways: eating it, burying it or burning it.
Most importantly in this struggle: do not lose hope, which is the sin of despair. Consider the fact that our God has sent the Virgin Mary multiple times to warn us of this crisis and to repent. From the view of heaven, these horrifying things are safely in the hand of Almighty God. Consider the words of the prophet:
Our God is our refuge and strength: a helper in troubles, which have found us exceedingly. Therefore we will not fear, when the earth shall be troubled; and the mountains shall be removed into the heart of the sea. Nations were troubled, and kingdoms were bowed down: he uttered his voice, the earth trembled. The Lord of armies is with us: the God of Jacob is our protector. Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth. (Ps. xlv.)
Much of the information in this article comes from the foremost English exorcist of our time, Fr. Chad Ripperger. His website is sensustraditionis.com. Please consider joining the Auxilium Christianorum and see their website for more information about sacramentals and such things.
Timothy S. Flanders