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Chapter 50

Overcoming the Evil One

 

When the soul is clothed in faith
the devil is ignorant of how to hinder her,
neither is he successful in his efforts,
for faith gives her strong protection—
more than do all the other virtues—
against the devil, who is the mightiest
and most astute enemy.
As a result, St. Peter found
no greater safeguard than faith
in freeing himself from the devil, when he advised:
‘Resist him, standing firm
in your faith (in God).’ (1 Peter 5:9)
—St. John of the Cross

 

 

St. Peter and St. James show us the way to overcome the evil one.  “‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’  Therefore, submit yourselves to God, but resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:6-8)  In faith and humility submit yourself to God, but reject the devil and despise him.  “Resist,” indeed, refuse to accept, then—overcome the evil one’s temptation, subjection and oppression by the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  He is the Good Shepherd.  He is Christ the King.  We belong to Him, not to Satan.

We can be free of the enemy’s tyranny.  The evil spirit cannot overcome the Holy Spirit.  God is infinite; the devil, finite.  The Lord Almighty is Creator; Lucifer, a creature—a fallen angel in a permanent state of rebellion.  “A liar, and the father of lies,” (John 8:32) we can defeat him with the truth, for “the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)  We can overcome the evil one with true love.  “Perfect love casts out fear”—not the humble holy fear of God, a sincere reverence and respect in His presence—but the slavish fear of rejecting Satan’s intimidations and seductions. (1 John 4:18)  “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of good judgement.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  He is a bully and a coward, a dark spirit of deception and oppression.  Say—“In the name of Jesus Christ, Begone Satan! and go back to hell where you belong.”

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Pray The Four Step Prayer once or twice followed by several “Hail Marys” or some other Marian prayer.  Repeat this pattern of prayer as the Holy Spirit leads you until the devil leaves you.  Here is the winning combination!  Double-team the devil and rout him out with The Four Step Prayer and Marian prayer.

Have faith and humility.  We are unworthy, but by God’s mercy we can be free of the enemy of our salvation.  The Four Step Prayer, together with Marian prayer, is a most powerful way to pray, but you cannot beat that other winning combination—Mass and Confession.  Put all four together and surely you will become, by the grace of God, more and more free of the evil one and be, at the same time, ever more united to Jesus Christ the Lord.

A General Prayer for Spiritual Protection—“Lord Jesus Christ, please fill me with your Holy Spirit and guard me with your holy angels.  Protect me from all evil and error, Blessed Virgin Mary, my Mother.  + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.”

 

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