The spring Life Night series this year is called “The Battle”, which focuses on the reality of spiritual warfare, beginning and ending with Christ’s victory. The six part series follows a natural arc: Victory in Christ, The Fall of Humanity (existence of sin/original sin), Forming a Plan for Spiritual Warfare (combating sin and the evil one), Satan & Demons, Angels & St. Michael, and then ending with Evangelization and Ultimate Victory in Christ.
When it comes to Satan and his demon angels specifically, we have to understand this in the context of Christ’s victory and the saving/redemptive nature of His grace. In other words, if Christ is redeemer and Savior as we believe, who/what is he saving/redeeming us from? The acknowledgement of the existence Satan and fallen angels are important to understand properly in order that we might understand the full picture of Christ’s redeeming grace. (This is a context Dc. Dominic weaved throughout his talk. He explained that this wasn’t a talk about Satan, but about Christ’s victory; but in order to explain this, you have to properly know who the enemy is and the tools the enemy uses-- the enemy is very much a part of our spiritual battle and need for a redeemer and Savior in the Lord). We even profess in the creed that God created all things “visible & invisible”. We often don’t hear as much about the invisible, angels, demons (fallen angels) etc. The church most certainly has Rites of Exorcism and Prayers of Deliverance (the St. Michael Prayer and the Our Father (…deliver us from evil) are minor prayers of deliverance) to help protect against the diabolical. So often, this is misrepresented and/or sensationalized in movies, media, video games, etc., which was also addressed. We especially don’t hear too much about exorcism, as the need for it tends to be much more rare than other rites, but also because it’s very personal in nature and specific case details are not released. (It would be the equivalent of someone recording or taking notes about a person’s receiving of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)
In teen culture today, there’s an ongoing and growing epidemic of cult like behavior, use of Ouija boards and other games that call upon the occult (the Charlie, Charlie challenge was a big issue in some schools last year)—all examples of potential gateways to the occult. Ultimately, this series as a whole is designed to help teens understand that there is a very battle for their souls that we see most visibly in the temptations and sin in our world. On Sunday, 2/19, teens created a “battle plan” with some guidance in small group and then spending time on their own to reflect on personal weak spots of temptation in their lives, the struggle of the seven deadly sins, the important routine of prayer life, frequent reception of the sacraments, etc. At the 2/26 Life Night, we hit the valley of the arc in this series and following the Confirmation nights and retreat we’ll finish the series in April, talking about the heroism of St. Michael and the angels, and receiving the sacraments as our own armor and protection, etc.
Following this talk on Sunday, 2/26, we had a brief time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and I reminded the teens that rooting themselves in Christ’s love, prayer, and the sacraments is most important. Satan is absolutely terrified of Christ in you. The power of Christ is more powerful than any of us can ever fathom here on earth.