There’s a battle for our souls being waged in the spiritual realm. Good versus evil, God versus the devil, each is vying for our eternal resting spot. While the battle may seem terrifying, we’re not left vulnerable in our fight. Christ and the Church have given us many tools to combat the devil.
In his newest book, An Exorcists Explains How to Heal the Possessed, Father Paolo Carlin explains the arsenal of Catholics fighting against the demonic, evil, and possession. Here are six weapons he mentions, and how you can wield them against the devil:
When looking for ways to defeat the devil, first look to the Bible. “The Word of God listened to consistently and repeatedly in the course of the day is the inspiration and the weapon that overcomes doubts, anxieties, recurring thoughts, fits of depression, suicide, anger, confusion, and all of the disorder that Satan can generate in the mind,” Father Carlin writes.
Prayer is a weapon against the devil that we sometimes can take for granted. “From childhood,” writes Father Carlin, “we were taught to say prayers in the morning and in the evening, but perhaps we did not understand the value or meaning of it.”
We can pray to praise and thank God. We can also speak (and listen!) to the Lord to share our struggles with Him. Prayer is a useful tool to have in the battle for our souls. “If prayer springs forth from a soul in communication with God, it is immediately effective against the attacks of the enemy, Father Carlin explains.
3. The Sacraments
As Catholics, the sacraments offer us incredible opportunities for grace. Satan and all demons are allergic to grace, so we should frequent the sacraments often. Father Carlin writes specifically about the incredible opportunity for grace that the Eucharist offers us, writing, “In the Eucharist, we encounter Jesus, the sacrament, the Bread of Life for the soul. Without the Eucharist, the soul is weakened because it does not have the spiritual strength that flows from the sacrament.”
Father Carlin goes on to write about how he has seen sacramental grace conquer the devil in his time as an exorcist. “In many cases, one notices a total liberation from the snares of the enemy solely by putting one’s spiritual life in order; that is, through living the Faith in the grace of God and with the regular reception of the sacraments.”
While minor and major exorcisms, prayers, blessings, holy water, relics, and blessed objects all hold a special place in the war against the devil, Father Carlin writes that those objects come with a disclaimer. “They have their value, but if we think that only these may obtain liberation, we fall into grave error. Those who suffer from extraordinary diabolical phenomena must be aware that liberation depends principally on conversion of the heart and living a total faith in Jesus Christ,” he explains.
5. The Church
There are no lone wolves in the fight against the demonic. “To conquer solitude, self-isolation, diffidence towards others, and distrust towards oneself and towards others, which, at times, is caused by evil action, it is necessary to be inserted into a community and to feel a sense of belonging to it,” Father Carlin writes.
The Church is full of sinners. Jesus called 12 sinful men to lead it, after all. But it is there that we can find community during spiritual warfare. “Remaining in the ecclesial community is also beneficial to our human and relational elements,” Father Carlin explains. “The enemy, in fact, in order to weaken his victim and take possession of him so that he may lead him to eternal death, seeks to divide him from affections by causing him to doubt friendships and God’s love for each man.”
Music has the ability to penetrate our soul. Look to the example of military marches and national anthems. Music can bring clarity to our discernment, but it can also incite crowds. “The Evil One also makes use of this channel to influence the free will and mind, in order by means of them to reach the soul,” Father Carlin writes.
So how do we turn the devil’s tools on their head? Father Carlin explains the role of good music. He writes, “Good music contributes to the growth of the personality when it respects and values human life and when it is free from every form of alienation or exaltation. Good music puts us in contact with one another when it is rooted in objective, absolute, universal, and infallible values, characteristics that reside solely in God.”
Want to learn more from Father Paolo Carlin, a world class exorcist? Pick up a copy of his newest book, An Exorcists Explains How to Heal the Possessed today at your local Catholic bookstore or online at Sophia Institute Press.