It is said that before Vatican II, after the Mass, the people said a prayer to St. Michael:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
This prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 after he saw of vision of Satan telling Jesus that he can destroy the Church in 100 years after he is given more power.
While Satan has not and cannot destroy the Church, just look around at his influence. He is doing everything to bring down the church only because we are God’s children, created in the image and likeness of God.
Hence, three things we can do in the spiritual warfare:
- In one of the first readings, God tells the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” That woman is none other but Mama Mary. Why is the devil so mad at Mama Mary? The devil is a spiritual being endowed with great powers yet he was brought down. Mary is a human being yet she is blessed among all women. Hence, never forget the Rosary. How many miracles have been experienced because of the Rosary?
- In another reading we are told of the spiritual realm and that we have a home in heaven. The devil will do everything and anything to discourage us. The devil will put fear, anxiety, worry, anger, and unforgiveness in our hearts. St. Paul reminds us to hold on to faith. It is different if a person can hold on to God especially in times of difficulty.
- In the Gospel, Jesus talks about the reality of the devil. When Jesus was in the desert the Devil tempted him with ego, material wealth, and power. Just look at the world today it is all about ego, material wealth, and power; and because of this, we have lost our moral compass.
In this Mass,
- We must remember that in each person there is a constant battle, the good versus the evil. Who will prevail? It is the one whom that person favors.
- Second, if we look at our world, we must remember that evil cannot destroy it. It can only be destroyed by good people who do nothing.
- Third, we pray for our Church. It is only less than 1 percent ordained and the rest are the laity. It may be the most persecuted organization in the world today, but may we be courageous because Christ himself was persecuted.