The presence of the devil in our lives is often like being in the sun on a cloudy day. We can’t feel the heat of the sun’s rays like we normally would, we think everything is beautiful. Before long, without sunscreen, we realize we’ve been burned.
Spiritually speaking, the presence of the devil in our lives can be very subtle. Often the culture we live in produces many products and services that act as clouds to mask the heat of the sun. How many times, whether while watching TV, shopping, walking or driving around a strip mall do we forget the presence of a spiritual battle, as though all in the world is good? As though children are not being aborted or kidnapped and sold into slavery, as though prisoners in North Korea are being treated humanely, as though freedom of speech and religion are not suppressed in many places throughout the world? How often are we consumed with concerns relating to whether or not we have enough material possessions? And, when we seem to have enough for the moment, seek nothing further? Often it is not until we are faced with the loss of a loved one, serious financial trouble or ill health, that we realize our need to cry out for help to Him who made it all possible. Sadly, often enough it is only during those times that we ask the serious questions that relate to how we’re living and whether or not we’re acceptable to Him.
When we trust that the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles is true, that unlike any other renowned religious leader, Jesus actually claimed to be God, that the things he did and said were accurately reported to us by these witnesses, we can more readily accept that there is in fact a devil and a spiritual battle taking place. Jesus Himself declared it, and the lives of many holy men and women who’ve had person encounters with evil, as described in John Carroll Cruz’s book, “Angels and Demons,” confirms it. This battle won’t be over until the end of this age, when Christ Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and the dead. At that time, the devil will be thrown into a bottomless pit with all his followers.
In the meantime, adequate spiritual sunscreen is important. This sunscreen can take the form of living a holy life, as exemplified by Jesus and the saints, which often requires active involvement in a Church where the Word of God is rightly proclaimed, where people can strengthen one another in their spiritual walk with Christ, and by prayer, especially, in my experience, the prayers of the rosary. I’ve also found wearing a brown scapular to be very helpful.
Rosary History / Miracles
Great books for motivation and perspective:
“Lukewarmness: The Devil in Disguise” by Francis Carvajal
“Tortured for Christ” by Richard Wurmbrand
https://secure.persecution.com/referafriend/default.aspx?source=WEB (available 100% free of charge)
“Angels and Demons,” by John Carroll Cruz