Spiritual Warfare - The Way to Peace

From the author of the best-selling spiritual warfare book, Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know. (support the author - not Amazon)
Spiritual warfare, well fought, will lead us into that peace which the world cannot give, but which Our Lord Jesus Christ alone can impart. If you let Our Lord cast away your enemies, heal your wounds, and strengthen you with His grace, you will obtain His peace.


Spiritual warfare is the lens through which we can most properly and thoroughly understand the Catholic Faith. Most people overlook the passage, and the others like it, that says, For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)

God became man to fight and destroy the devil and all of his works. Not only that, but Our Lord came to rob Satan of all of his spoils, of those souls who had entered into Satan’s captivity and dominion. Our Lord refers to Satan when He says, But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. (Matt. 12:28f)

Our Savior saved us by entering into this world, which is under the power of Satan (1 John 5:19), and binding Satan and robbing him of all the souls whom he had captured. Satan, though, was not defeated completely. Our Lord destroyed him by introducing weapons into the world and entrusting them to His Church, which is His bride and our Mother.

As a result, Christians are “born for combat,” and, through Baptism, are equipped for this battle against Satan by being united to Christ and being made partakers of His divine nature. Thus, we can also bind the strong man and despoil him of all the goods that he has taken from us personally.

But, what has Satan taken from us?

Spiritual Warfare is Personal

Now we come to a very personal moment. This is the moment that the worldly mind despises and resists with a strong, impulsive, and often vitriolic response. Isaiah says, By His stripes, we are healed (Isa. 53:5). We are all weak. We are all sinful. We are all foolish. We are all wounded. We are all in need of God’s help at every single moment of our lives. We enter this world wounded. We journey through this life either pivoting from this wound or doing everything in our power to heal it and gain the strength that this wound has taken away. 

We also go through this life teetering between a love of God and an indifference, if not a practical hatred, toward Him. He is our life, our fortress, our strength, our destiny, our purpose. If we do not daily, hourly, every second, live for Him, we will slowly die. The wound of original sin is addressed in Baptism, and the consequences are remedied, but the inclination to sin, which this wound brought, remains after the laver of regeneration has been given to us.

St. Peter says, Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith. (I Peter 5:8f)

This is why spiritual warfare is absolutely necessary for each and every Christian. We are wounded and Satan knows it. He smells blood and seeks after us to devour us. There is not a single soul on the planet that the demons do not pursue. They watch us, they study us, they poke and prod us, and they hang around us if we let them. If we permit them to be present in our lives, they will push every button they can all throughout the day to lull us into spiritual apathy and stir us toward every sort of sin.

But, “there are no demons in my life,” some will say. But, to those who speak this way, it must be asked, “Do you have freedom from every evil impulse and desire and thought and inclination?” On this side of the veil, the answer is always “no.” Therefore, many things are necessary.

The Truth Will Set Us Free

We must admit that we need to seek God constantly and realize that we have an opponent in this effort. We must admit that we must be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect, in order to please God completely, and realize that we have had an opponent in this effort since we were first in the womb!

We must admit that we have made moral mistakes in our lives and realize that our opponent has tried to convince us that we are our mistakes. We must admit that, to some extent, we have believed the lies of Satan, our opponent, and have consented to his suggestions throughout our lives. We must realize that this has handed over, to Satan, a certain authority over us. 
Pope Leo XIII says that, after the Fall, mankind separated into two opposing parts which have been formed into two Kingdoms: the Kingdom of God on earth, which is the true Church of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of Satan. The Pope says that “all whosoever follow the fatal example of [Satan] their leader and of our first parents…who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law,” are in the “possession and control” of the kingdom of Satan.

At one point or another, our own actions can be categorized as placing us under this dominion of Satan. Nevertheless, we have been ransomed, redeemed, bought back, rescued and restored. But this rescue and restoration is not yet complete, nor is Satan completely defeated. As a result, he seeks to take back what Our Lord has plundered.

He wishes to return the former members of his kingdom to their rightful place beneath his chains.

This war is going on in the background of our lives, much like computer programs that operate in silence while we dither away on our computers. Similarly, though, when we realize the truth, and become aware that something is operating in the background, we begin to see with new eyes.

That very personal moment, mentioned earlier, kicks in. When we reject the four objects of the worldly mind, entertainment, novelty, passivity, and pleasure, we begin to hear the rumbles of the spiritual battle to which we may have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear for far too long.

Engaging in Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is acknowledging that Satan and his demons do actually pursue us and that we must humbly accept everything that God has given to us through His Church to aid us in this battle, all the while realizing that Our Lord must be the center of our being at all times.

It reveals to us that the primary activity of the demons is a slow and steady and subtle gnawing away at the fabric of our spiritual lives, secretly destroying our souls while we go about our day. Like those same computer programs, running in the background, the demons are able to operate because we are entertained, pacified, looking the other way, and driven to satisfy our passions.

When we acknowledge this, we will pick up the weapons of spiritual war, wield them with full faith and vigor, and never see them as boring or cumbersome. The Holy Spirit will pull back the veil so we may see the plan and activity of Satan in our lives. Then, we must bind those demons in the Name of Jesus and call upon Our Lady and the saints to help us. We must heed all the wisdom of the Church and accept Her blessings and sacramentals without delay.

Our homes must be blessed. Holy water must be scattered liberally. Blessed salt must be sprinkled and consumed. The scapular, the medal of St. Benedict, and the Miraculous Medal must be worn. Blessed candles must grace our dinner tables and hearths. We must realize that our reliance on God for everything has a concrete manifestation in these, and many more, blessings and sacramentals, which God has given to us through His Church.

The humility to follow the Church’s lead does not end there.

We must then willingly renounce all of the worldly compromises that we have made in the past and which we continue to make to this day. We must renounce and reject them in the Name of Jesus. When we sin, even in little ways, we join our wills to the demons, who also reject God, both in little and in grave ways. When we sin, we reject God, either the depth of friendship to which He wishes to bring us, or the entirety of our relationship with Him.

This rejection of God does not make us an island – that is not an option. We are either with Him or against Him. On both sides, though, there is a community.

With Him are the angels and the saints. Against Him are the demons and, well, us, whenever we reject Him. These two sides are also fighting to win everyone over to their side. The angels and the saints constantly, with God, pour out grace and goodness, calling us toward Heaven. The demons and the evil men who love this world over God constantly incite us toward the pleasures of this world and the pleasure of self-glorification.

Renouncing Satan

Spiritual warfare involves the shedding of this allegiance to the Kingdom of Satan and the full embrace of the Kingdom of God, all the while being aware that the devil does not lose easily, and will not go down without a fight. He had us all at one point, before Our Lord ransomed us. Satan wants us back. To find true peace, though, we must renounce Satan and embrace Christ in a manner characterized by a particular humility: one that accepts the fact that the moral weaknesses, which characterize the hesitations of our conscience, are truly a burden that we wish to be lifted.

It is then that the demons that have latched on to us will be driven away. It is then that we will allow the healing balm of the Holy Spirit to finally reach our wounds and scars. It is then that all the chains of the devil, great and small, will be shattered. It is then that we will see how craftily and subtly and persistently the devil has tricked, deceived, and trapped us so often. We will see that many of the patterns of our lives were laid out and designed by our sins and Satan’s insistence.

Finally, spiritual warfare will show us that Our Lord’s redemption of our souls is no small and insignificant moment but one that must be allowed to play out every single day of our lives, rebuilding us into glorious creatures, so that we may persevere to the port of Heaven.

Spiritual warfare, fought well, leads to the possession of the Light of Christ in its full splendor, which radiates so intensely that the demons can no longer come near, for we have then, with and in the Name of Jesus, turned ‘round to renounce, reject, and bind them, casting them out of our lives and to the foot of the Cross for judgment.

Spiritual warfare truly conquers our enemies. It reveals them, calls them out of the shadows, and slays them, as is the just fate of all devilish dragons.

Take up, then, your sword. Invoke and receive the blessings of Almighty God. Fight, win, and then truly be at peace. Then you will experience the joy and liberty which Saint Paul so beautifully captured when he said,

“Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38f)
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The story of my own youth and conversion, told to youth and young adults through the lens of spiritual warfare.  
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