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Spiritual Warfare: 12 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Evil

How to Protect Yourself Against Spiritual Warfare via @ACatholicNewbie

There was a period where I felt strongly that my family — especially my youngest son and I — were experiencing spiritual warfare. Essentially, this means we felt attacked by evil with sudden, unexplained phenomena with evil components entering our lives.

As a new Catholic, I knew some basics like praying to St. Michael, spraying the house with holy water and blessing my child with the sign of the cross, but I was unsure what else to do besides ask my friends for prayers. When I made that ask, my friends responded so generously in all their wisdom of Catholicism with some amazing tips. And they are tips EVERYONE needs to know.

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12 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Spiritual Warfare

Here are some steps you can take to protect your family from evil spirits if you are feeling spiritually attacked courtesy of my wonderful Catholic friends:

  • St. Michael Prayer and Chaplet – In addition to praying the St. Michael prayer (which I have learned by heart 🙂 and pray with my middle school son nightly), there is also a St. Michael chaplet that you can pray with a special set of beads or on the free Laudate app for smartphones (just touch the “virtual” beads with your fingers as you pray). You can also ask a priest to pray the St. Michael prayer over you or your family.
  • Guardian Angels – For parents who feel their children are undergoing spiritual warfare, you can ask your guardian angel to work with their guardian angel to protect them.
  • Fasting – Fasting combined with prayer, as said in the Bible and by many saints, is one of the most effective ways to ensure your prayers are heard — and hopefully answered. I know this has worked miracles for me in the past.
  • Blessed Salt – Have a priest, deacon or exorcist bless a container of salt. In addition to cooking with it, sprinkle it around your house as a shield.
  • Bless Your Home – Have a priest bless your home at least yearly.
  • Crucifix – Have a crucifix in every room of your home, especially your children’s rooms and by the front door.
  • Rosary – Pray it daily, as a family — even a decade — if you can!
  • Blessings – Bless your children with the sign of the cross with holy water (you can get it at the baptismal font in your church) before bed and before they leave the house.
  • Backpacks – For kids, place a blessed rosary and Miraculous Medal in their backpack, so it will always be close to them. You can also use a St. Benedict medal with an exorcism blessing.
  • Adoration – Spend time in adoration or in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Miraculous Medal – Place a Miraculous Medal underneath the mattress of every person in your house. As soon as I placed the Medal under the mattress of my son’s bed, the problems STOPPED. It was amazing!
  • Prayer – Suggested Prayers
    • Heavenly Father, if there are demons prowling around looking for the souls of my family, I ask in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, that you cast them out and protect us from the evil one.  Amen.”
    • Ask the blood of Jesus to cover the person and protect them. It was the blood that Christ shed that washed away evil.
    • With the cross of Jesus I come against and I pull down all demonic strongholds in PERSON’S NAME’s mind and body in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit.

      With the cross of Jesus I come against and I break all demonic strongholds in PERSON’S NAME’s mind and body in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit.

      With the cross of Jesus I come against and I demolish all demonic strongholds in PERSON’S NAME’s mind and body in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit.

      I seal PERSON’S NAME’s mind and body  with the blood of Jesus and reclaim all of its territories for Christ in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit

      I asked The blessed Virgin Mary to bind and cast out all demonic influences from PERSON’S NAME bringing them to the foot of the cross of her son Jesus where they are defeated forever never to return. AMEN

Have you ever felt spiritual warfare or attacks of evil? How did you protect yourself and your family? I would love to hear more suggestions!

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4 Ways to Pray Without Ceasing

4 ways to pray without ceasing

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, St. Paul exhorts us to “Pray without ceasing.” Upon first read, that is a TALL ORDER! How in the world can we pray ALL the time? Don’t you feel as though you struggle to work in any prayer at all sometimes? You’re not alone!

After a year of being a full member of the Catholic church, I’ve put much thought to this call and I’ve got some ideas for you to meet this challenge… some of my own and some gratefully learned from others.

1) Offer it up – As a new Catholic I heard “offer it up” a lot early on without really understand what it meant. Essentially it means to offer any work or suffering or good deeds to Jesus — OR to Jesus through Mary — that it may benefit another in accordance with God’s Will. Just Friday, I found in the Bible a great explanation of this, or what’s similarly called “redemptive suffering,” that I wanted to share:

“For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace…For this to you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” — 1 Peter 2: 19-21.

While this verse addresses suffering specifically, you can also offer to God EVERYTHING you do for his glory. In this way, you are praying continually because everything is literally an act for God and you make your ENTIRE life a prayer before God.

2) Ask the saints to pray for you – While it is pretty much impossible for humans to always be moving our lips or even thinking prayer, because of all the other activities we have to do to in order to live, it’s NOT impossible for the saints in heaven standing before God. Get to know some of the saints and find a few to whom you feel called. Pray to them every day and ask that they pray for you continually before the throne of God.

3) Listen to Christian music – While it’s not technically praying without ceasing, listening to Christian music while working or driving can significantly increase the time your thoughts are directed to God and the Cross of Jesus Christ. Instead of singing the often horrifying lyrics of the latest pop song, enjoy contemporary Christian, or gospel or whatever floats your boat and sing about the glory of God whenever you have a chance. As St. Augustine said, “He who sings prays twice.” Read more about making the switch to Christian radio.

4) Pray throughout the day – Instead of devoting an hour in the morning to prayer, spread your prayer time throughout the day. Not only does it make it less daunting to give up this hour (or more!) to God, but it helps you pray continually and brings your thoughts back to God all throughout the day. For example, I often pray my rosary decade by decade. I may start in the morning when I wake, say a decade when taking the dog for a walk, say another while driving in the car, say a fourth at mass and say a fifth in the shower before bed. Some prefer to pray their rosary all at once, but I find this helps make sure I work in a rosary every day and reminds me where my focus should be all throughout the day. Another good practice to develop a routine of daily prayer is the Liturgy of the Hours, which you can pray at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

What ways do you pray without ceasing? I’d love to hear more ideas!

Afternoons With Mary Praying the Rosary

Catholic RosaryAfter I officially was confirmed Catholic, I started to drift away from the Liturgy of the Hours as my daily go-to prayers. I still did them but not with the consistency and frequency that I was last year. Instead, I started to feel called to pray the Rosary.

It’s funny, my relationship with the Rosary has not been a simple one. When I first started looking into it, I was totally and utterly confused about how to pray it. I didn’t understand that you meditated on different “mysteries” (or themes, for Catholic newbies ;-)) based on the day of the week and the “decade” (or set of 1o rosary beads) you were praying. I finally came across a simple tri-fold brochure at church that simplified it for me and I would pray it every so often.

When I first prayed the Rosary, I had a hard time. I would think to myself, “Ok, how many more beads? Am I almost done?” It really created a sense of anxiety within me!

I’ve been reading a fair amount about Mary of late, especially with it being the Marian month of May, and I felt called to try to pray the Rosary daily (note “try” being the key word). It never failed that I would wait to pray it until late in the day, but something would happen unexpectedly (as it so often does with kids around) and then I’d be too tired and I wouldn’t get to it. So I decided instead to try to pray it at lunchtime before my day could go too far astray and when the kids were at school. That has worked brilliantly!

I now sit down about 11:30 and pray my Rosary. At first, I used my brochure, but then I discovered that my favorite free smartphone app, Laudate, has the Rosary mysteries for each day included. I can also look up the Apostles Creed in Prayers on the app, which I don’t quite have memorized yet. I also like the reflections on the mysteries/meditations that the Laudate app includes.

This has become such a wonderful habit! At the end of the day when I stop and think what I am most grateful for, it’s often for the opportunity to have that silent 20-30 minutes of peace and reflection praying the Rosary. I’ve become a real pro and it no longer creates anxiety, but rather comfort and calm in the midst of a chaotic day. If you’re feeling that anxiety, I’d advise being persistent and pushing through it. The more often you pray it, the easier it becomes.

I also love the idea that I can dedicate the Rosary to different people and causes who need prayers. It helps me feel like I’m doing something concrete to help both myself and others.

It’s funny though how much distraction is often put in my way when I sit down to pray. Is this noise that the devil is creating? I am so often interrupted — by dogs, cats, my husband, heck, a coyote ran through my yard yesterday when I was trying to pray it outside, no kidding! But that’s OK. If I need to stop, I do, and then just come back to it later. I am determined not to let distractions take me away from my Rosary!

I then follow the Rosary with either the Angelus, traditionally prayed at Noon, or through the Easter season, the Queen of Heaven prayer. Both are quick and a nice way to stop your day and put your priorities in place. Then I may pray the daily prayer of a novena set of prayers I am participating in from PrayMoreNovenas.com or a set I have picked out on my own.

Have you made time for a daily Rosary in your life? How has it changed your life? I am only about a month in, but I look forward to the graces and changes it brings to me and others.

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Religious Resolutions: My Spiritual Tasks for 2013

RCIA CatholicismAs we begin 2013, I find it the right time to begin to more consciously make an effort to eliminate bad habits and add new, productive habits into my life. I’ve spent the last year learning about Catholicism (barely scratching the surface!) but at least I’m informed enough now to have an idea of what changes I need to make to better my life.

So I thought I’d share with you, in the hopes you’ll share with me, my 2013 religious resolutions! In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about ways I will try to stick to these habits and how the structure of the church helps me in creating a routine that will become a part of my daily life. I plan to work on these resolutions slowly, focusing on one at a time until I feel like I’ve got that one adopted fairly well. Here we go…

My 2013 Religious Resolutions:

  • Pray the Rosary weekly. Also, pray a decade of the Rosary with my children weekly dedicated to someone in need or their recently deceased grandmother as a way to remember and honor her.
  • Spend an hour of adoration weekly in the Blessed Sacrament chapel or at Eucharistic Adoration when available.
  • Read the Bible daily and begin to explore Lectio Divino (a conscious reflecting of Biblical texts)
  • Blog at least 5 times per week on my Catholic Newbie blog.
  • Begin to work Christian meditation/contemplation into my routine (not sure how much yet)
  • Keep my body healthy by practicing moderation (not over indulging) in eating and by exercising my body 2-3 times weekly.
  • Once I am able (when I become fully Catholic), attend Reconciliation monthly.
  • Begin introducing my oldest son (8) to Adoration time.
  • Donate the amount we would spend on eating out for one meal monthly to our family’s choice of charity and have PB&J that night instead :).
  • Volunteer at a local charity one day per month.
  • Increase my tithing and donate more of my money to charitable organizations.
  • Engage my children in more charitable and volunteer activities.
  • Attend Mass weekly (I pretty much have this one down already :))
  • Be courageous in following God’s will.
  • Pray at least 2 Liturgy of the Hours daily.
  • Continue reading daily the Read the Catechism in a Year email.
  • Take one silent retreat this year.
  • Remember to see Christ in every one.
  • Get up earlier!

OK, so that’s a long list! Yikes! But these are all things I really want to work on. I think the key is to focus on one at a time so as not to get overwhelmed and do the best I can.

What are your Religious Resolutions for the New Year? Please share them and help hold me accountable to these!

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