Lent - The Devil Waits - We Must Finish The Work!

The prayer on Ash Wednesday, to initiate Lent, is the initiation of a spiritual war:
Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasts the campaign of our Christian warfare: that, as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial. 
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
 You can imagine that two things are happening together at Lent:
  • Satan sees that we wish to follow the Master, and he seeks to stop us
  • Satan sees his "more opportune time" [Luke 4:13] to come against us and the Lord
When we humble ourselves before the Church's call to kneel and receive the sacred ashes as the sign of our impending death to this world, Satan sees the stirring of a more serious devotion in our souls.  Thus, he is ready to come against us with more fury and craftiness. The Church knows this, which is why Lent begins with such a solemn liturgy and ashes mightily blessed to protect us with contrition, grace, and forgiveness.

Further, when we take up this Lenten call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, Satan knows that there is a risk of losing souls.  
When Satan left Our Lord after failing to tempt Him in the wilderness, Saint Luke says, "he departed from him until an opportune time."  The devil, when defeated once, lies in wait, in hiding, for his moment to strike.  
Lent is a time of spiritual testing, in which the devil plays a part.
We are fortifying ourselves for what is symbolic of our final journey in this life: the taking up of our Cross - and our death.  We are headed toward the Resurrection and toward receiving a deeper share in the gift of baptismal regeneration and justification.

Satan knows that if we have a successful Lent and Easter, we may not be the same on the other side.  
We might be quicker in noticing his craftiness, in detecting his lies, in fortifying ourselves with the powers of grace, and in having no interest in his earthly gifts.

He stands before all of us, as he did when Our Lord fasted in the wilderness, and offers us all the kingdoms of the earth, for they have been placed into his hands and he may give them to whomever he chooses (as God permits, of course).

But what is Satan really seeking?  He is seeking companions in Hell.  But not companions as in friends - companions as in slaves, trophies of mockery against the Lord and His Anointed.

And Satan will wait. 
He knows that many of us will not persevere, and that many of us will turn right back to the dainties of the earth, once the joy of Easter Sunday begins to lessen.

And why is that?  Because we often do not finish the work.  
We pray, and fast, and give alms, but we leave too many spiritual maladies in place at the same time.  We do not sufficiently...
  • grow in virtue
  • slay our vices
  • break free from the momentum of the evils of our past
  • change our habits
  • change our friends and how we spend our time
  • analyze the moral excellence of our leisure and
  • set aright the direction of our soul's ultimate end.
Therefore, we must learn, not just how to pray and fast and give alms.  We must learn how to completely shut out Satan and his voice - how to completely close off our hearts, our minds, and our desires to his offers.

We are weak, but we can be strong.  In our weakness, Satan's offers are enticing, and this is dangerous.  In our strength, Satan's offers are disgusting and disturbing, and this is the sign that salvation is blossoming in our souls.

Your manual for Lent to learn to fight wellSlaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know


Get your copy of Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know.  Available on Amazon.com, including Audible, and soon to be available in many more stores and retailers across the globe - and now in Spanish!  Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe above to get more updates and articles.  God bless you.

The story of my own youth and conversion, told to youth and young adults through the lens of spiritual warfare.  
Beneficial for parents as well - greatly enjoyed.  
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