Sometimes I just have to wonder how we have gotten this far away from the Truth. Tom and I are reading together An Exorcist Tells His Story and I'm beginning to think that the visions of Leo XIII (story below) can give us insight in to the darkness we see all around us.
Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:
The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord:
"I can destroy your Church."
The gentle voice of Our Lord:
"You can? Then go ahead and do so."
"To do so, I need more time and more power."
"How much time? How much power?
"75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those
who will give themselves over to my service."
"You have the time, you will have the power.
Do with them what you will."
Now this is not Our Lord giving up on His beloved humanity. But what we do need to take from this is that spiritual warfare is real. There is a true battle being waged out there in the world - a battle for souls. What am I doing every day to work toward my salvation? Am I also trying to bring as many people with me to Christ as I can? We are all links in this chain of salvation, and I need to make sure that the souls depending on my fidelity and my prayers do not fall through the cracks because of my complacency.
The story above mentioned the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. I'll leave you all with that, since it is a beautiful 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, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.