Guess who already won the battle over Satan?

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Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchi...

Guido Reni’s archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) tramples Satan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.  (Rev 12:7)

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And he said to him, “Amen, amen,* I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

Observation:  This morning, I couldn’t help thinking back to our prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood yesterday.  Usually, I would assume that there were demons hanging over that 40,000 square foot facility that was built to carry out the lies of the devil.  However, because of all of our prayers, I envision Saint Michael sitting on top of that building just waiting for the order to destroy the evil, and our hope is that God will transform it with the help of a new administration in power in our nation’s capital After November’s election.

Personification:  Peace. I don’t think I journal on the display of peace very often because it is not a fruit that I feel is necessary in today’s world that is so full of evil.  However, when seen in. the light of the battle has already been won and we know that the Devil will not win in the end, it seems more appropriate to display the fruit of peace now.

Prayer:  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,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Read more:http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/michael.htm#ixzz27rtQrLul

Jesus tempted by Satan…to show us victory over evil is possible for his disciples!

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The Temptation of Christ, 1854

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Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:   At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert,and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.  (Mark 1:12-13)

Observation:  I believe it was Saint Augustine that wrote the letter that comprised the second reading from the Office of Readings that I read when I first woke up this morning.  He was talking about this Gospel reading when he said that Jesus did not only get tempted, he was victorious over the temptation of Satan.  He went on to say that we should see in the victory of Jesus over Satan’s temptation, a renewed sense of urgency to call on Jesus in our own temptations.  I may have taken a little liberty with his explanation and not gotten it correct, but in the interest of not making my journal a cut and paste effort, I thought I would put his letter into my own words.  The last thing that I noticed about the Gospel of Mark‘s account of the temptation is that, unlike Matthew’s, he does not go into much detail about the temptation, and I think that allows us to relate better to the temptation of Jesus more in the terms of our own temptation.

Personification:   Self-Control  Although I have said this many times before, I am feeling like the fruit of self-control is only going to be displayed if I let go of self and give God the control of my life.  I may not have said it exactly that way before, but I hope that I am finally getting the point of letting God be in control of my life, and not being so concerned with the decisions that I will have to make today or any day for that matter.  I know that if God is control, I will be able to overcome any temptation to selfishness and any decision that I make will be for His glory.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

At the beginning of our salvation history, God reveals the truth about my sin…

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The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (13...
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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,* and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”  (Matthew 2:13-15)

Observation:  As I begin to read the gospel reading this morning, it was like a bolt of lightning went through my head saying, God is revealing the truth to you about sin right here. It may not sound so clear to anyone reading this, but I heard God saying in this story of Herod’s fear of the Messiah, a call to remember to go where God sends us, so that we can be free of sin. If it is true that I want to be free of sin in my life, or at least serious sin that would require confession on a regular basis, like once a week, than I must be willing to take my trips to Egypt when God calls me to go there.  God could have stopped Herod, but he didn’t because he was revealing truth about evil.  It will find you, unless you go where God sends you.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I am hearing today a call to be willing to go even deeper in my faith life, to listen more intently to the call of the Lord on a more regular basis.  If I am going to be the soldier for Christ that God wants me to be, than I have to be willing to take those trips to Egypt, if only in my mind, to keep away from temptation

Prayer:  Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, I humbly pray; and do you O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Kingdom of God is at hand for you! (Luke 10:9b)

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Fol. 104v and 105r of the Egmond Gospels. The ...

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Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  (Luke 10:3)

Observation:  Since today we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke, the evangelist, who wrote the gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles that gives us a glimpse of the lives of the first disciples of Jesus; I thought I would journal about two verses from his version of the gospel, that makes up part of our gospel reading for today’s Mass readings.  This journal entry is in response to the feeling that I had when I left the City Council meeting last night, where we made our voice heard in opposition to the abortion clinic that is being built-in our city.  I left the meeting feeling like evil had won the day.  I wish I would have remembered this verse from Luke’s gospel, maybe I wouldn’t have let it bother me so much that evil had won the day, because I already knew that we were sent in like sheep among wolves.

Personification: Peace  If I am going to display the fruit of peace in my life, I must remember to live out the gospel in the world as it is and have faith that God will change what needs to be changed.  I will pray for the things that I think are wrong and wait patiently for God’s will to be done.

Prayer:  Lord, I pray that all those misguided by Satan into believing the lies about “abortion mills” like Planned Parenthood would have their eyes opened to the truth, especially those that would call themselves “Catholic”.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked! (Jeremiah 20:13)

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Arkhangelsk (Arkhangelsk oblast), coat of arms...

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Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  4 In my distress I called out: LORD! I cried out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry to him reached his ears.  (Psalm 18:7)

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15 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”‘?  (John 10:34)

Observation:  The title of my post is my sincere hope  that I can remember to sing to the Lord, praise Him, because he has rescued my life, that I got from the first reading for Mass today.  The responsorial Psalm goes further to say that if I can remember to call out to him, that the Lord will hear me from his holy abode.  Finally, the gospel tells me that God does not want me to see myself as God, but he doesn’t mind that we consider ourselves as gods, as long as we remember that is only because the Word of God came to us, and the saving power comes from the grace that flows freely from the sacrifice that he suffered on the cross for us.

Personification:   Patience  I thank God for having patience with me through all the sinfulness that has manifested itself through my pitiful life.  I thank God for dying on the cross for me, while I was still in sin, so that I could be saved through the saving power of the grace that flows from that sacrifice.  My hope is that I can show that same patience with my children and be the leader of my family that God expects me to be, as a fitting tribute for the gift of salvation that has been offered to me.

Prayer:  Saint Michael the Archangel…Defend us in battle…Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.  And do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

It takes prayer to exorcise some demons…

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Santa Maria della Concezione

Saint Michael, the archangel

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

 

Reading:  Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!”

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7He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”  (Mark 9:29)

Observation:  After I read the gospel reading this morning, I listened to the video reflection on the USCCB website, which you can find a link for at the top of my blog.  Anyway, I was left with a feeling of almost avoidance on the part of the church.  It is not as though the church does not believe that demon possessions are possible, but I feel like we would often just like to find other names for them.  I am sure there are many good reasons for this, which with wisdom I will understand.  For now, I would like to point out that Jesus did not say in Mark’s gospel that he was talking to a boy who needed to be healed of a sickness, he was talking to a mute and deaf spirit, who was possessing this boy. 

Personification:  Faithfulness  I will see in my life that when I struggle to shake off some sin, that it is possible that it is not just a tendency to sin that is left over from original sin.  It could very well be a spiritual battle that is going on, for the right to possess me.  I will have faith in Jesus’ words that with this kind of possession, it takes prayer to exorcise it.  In order to display this fruit of faithfulness in the Word of God and the power of God in the holy Spirit to protect me, it will take the grace that comes from a sincere prayer life.

Prayer:  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, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

My faith has been so marginalized, have I lost sight of his mission?

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

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So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.  (Mark 1:39)

Observation:  After reading the readings for Mass this morning, I was left with a sincere feeling that God is telling me that there is nothing to fear from the power of the devil.  Jesus came down from heaven to take away all of his power.  Whatever happens in the future should not be my concern, because in the moment I know that God has given me the power over evil by sending his Son as an expiation for my sins.  If I could only keep that in mind, I would not allow my faith to be marginalized and I would not lose sight of his mission for me.

Personification:  Self-Control  It will not just be my intention today to act with the fruit of self-control in my life, I will do it with the power of the holy Spirit and the will of the Father backing me up with Jesus being the example of what is possible with complete reliance on God.  Acting with self-control should be like breathing if I remember to rely on the grace that comes from God and nothing that comes from this world.

Prayer:   Lord, help me to see that path to righteousness that follows your Son.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.