Pastor’s Letter, October 1, Fr. Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we prepare for spiritual battle, we should remember that we do not fight alone. Time and again the Bible reminds us that there is “war in heaven” (Rev. 12:7) Satan and his demons are in battle with Michael and the angels. This is part of the historic faith down through the ages and the lives of the saints, witness to the reality of the conflict going on in the unseen realm.

We join our prayers with those of the saints and angels as they engage in this great battle. The prayer of St Michael used to be said at the end of Mass. Pope Leo XIII established this prayer in 1886 after he had a private vision of Satan increasing his attacks on the faith for a period of one hundred years. The obligation to recite the prayer was removed in 1964, but although the obligation to say the prayer was removed it is still permitted and we say this splendid prayer after every Mass at OLR.

The prayer is simple and powerful: 

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

When we come to Mass, we should realize that our prayers are part of our participation in the spiritual battle. The devil hates the Mass. He hates us to worship with our whole heart. He hates Eucharistic adoration. He hates when we spend time in prayer. 

The dimension of spiritual warfare can be added very easily to our usual prayer time. In addition to this there are some excellent books and online courses on spiritual warfare. You can check out my most recent book: Immortal Combat-Confronting the Heart of Darkness. You can also search online for books on spiritual warfare and go to the Avila Institute–a new apostolate established by my friend Dan Burke. The courses there will help equip you for the spiritual battle with a wealth of ideas and inspiration.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker