Healthy Soul/Living Out Your Faith/My Life/Teen Life The Tools We Need to Fight Spiritual Battles by Amanda Cassar I want to share something with you and I pray your heart is open to it. The devil and evil are real. We can’t actively fight against evil unless we acknowledge it’s presence. Now that I’ve shared that I ask you to open your heart once again to hearing this truth. Our God is bigger, stronger, more powerful than the devil. Let that really resonate and ring true in your heart. It may be hard to read that the devil and evil are real. It may be scary, or seem unbelievable, or impossible to overcome,but let God into that fear. There is still good news. The Presence of Evil is Real The past two years I’ve been living at the Life Teen Mission Base in Haiti. The Lord has done great and wonderful things in my heart throughout the years I served Him in that beautiful country. The hardest things I experience during that time was the spiritual battle I felt myself in every day and the spiritual battles I witnessed in the teens we served. For myself, I found it difficult to pray in a new language, hear unfamiliar songs at Mass, and experience new traditions during the Mass can be overwhelming. But God revealed Himself to me every day through the joy of the Haitians I got to live amongst. I saw the power of God each time I would be a part of the prayer team that prayed with someone who was experiencing a spiritual attack. Often times there seems to be a demonic intervention which is combated with spiritual intervention. In America the ways I see this spiritual battle the most is in how we treat our bodies, the destruction of other’s lives through abortion and the death penalty, divorce, disagreements based on race, sexual orientation and religion, cyber bullying, greed, jealousy… The devil is working his way into all of these places and is seeking to destroy the humanity and dignity of each person. We need spiritual tools to fight those things, just as much as I needed spiritual tools in Haiti to pray with teens experiencing spiritual attack. The Tools We Need to Fight the Devil One of the most powerful prayers I have found to combat evil is the rosary. In Haiti, when a teenager was experiencing a spiritual attack from a demon, the teen would scream, thrash their body, or run away from Jesus in the Eucharist. This would happen at Mass or an XLT. When this would happen the missionary team would hold the person so they would hurt themselves or others. The devil would be using the person’s body, but their soul would never be compromised. Then a team of missionaries, Father Louis and any available ordained priest or deacon, and Sister Flo would gather together and begin to pray. Most times this wouldn’t be instant fix. We would find ourselves praying for hours. A prayer team inside the chapel would be prayed for by the prayer team outside of the chapel. Often times we would call upon our brother and sister missionaries in the US to flood the heavens. The teen would have to desire a change in their own heart, go to the sacrament of Reconciliation and live a life striving to be a saint. Because they are human they would falter, but Jesus would be waiting for them (as He waits for all of us) with arms stretched open wide. My prayer would always be the rosary. The Blessed Mother is so powerful. She crushed the snake in the garden, and continues to crush the devil through her intercession.Each time we would pray with the teens we would also call upon the Holy Spirit, all the Saints and Angels, and especially Saint Michael to come to our aid. The Catholic Church as a pretty stacked army, I wouldn’t mess with them. Through the intercession of all of these holy men and woman, Jesus would begin to heal the teen and the devil would flee. Throughout these experiences praying with the teens my devotion to the Blessed Mother grew tremendously. December 8th 2014 I consecrated myself to the Blessed Mother and began to wear a scapular. If this is something you’re interested in doing I highly suggest using “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitley. I gave myself fully to the Blessed Mother and asked for her protection over my life. Praying a daily rosary, entering into the sacrament of Reconciliation, living out chaste relationships, going to Life Teen, developing a rhythm of daily prayer, are all ways to combat the how the devil is trying to infiltrate our lives. God is Victorious I recognize that all of this talk about the devil and evil can bring about some fear. If that’s the case for you I recommend a few things. Go talk to your parish priest. He will be able to lead you and guide you through this topic. He will also be able to offer you the sacrament of Reconciliation, which I highly recommend! Second, meditate upon this scripture and ask Jesus to speak to the depths of your heart. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18. May you live in the truth every day that God has already claimed victory. By His death and resurrection, we can live in true freedom. When we live a life fully for Christ it can seem like a radical adventure. It should be one of thrill and joy. My final words for you are a creole prayer that we would say after a teen would come out of this time of demonic intervention. “Pa gen anyen Bondye pa ka f`e!” Which means, “There is nothing the Lord can’t do! I have this tattooed on the inside of my right arm to remind me daily to trust in Jesus, and allowed the Blessed Mother to intercede for me.