The Catholic Defender: A Case of Spiritual Warfare

Posted by John Benko - September 22nd, 2013

The following is a true story that I felt important to share.  I change the name to protect the privacy of the one sharing with me.  I simply call them here “Sam”, and I am “Don”.
Sam     Hello
Don     Howdy, how ya doing?
Sam     Physically, I’m doing prodigious,but spiritually, I’m not that great.
Don     Oh, your stronger than you think! I encourage you to hang in there, you got a good head on your shoulders.
Sam     Well, too be honest, I feel like that sometimes,but than I feel dubious
Don      Your not alone, but I trust ya, you can’t go by feelings, you got to go by the will, that is where your the strongest.
Sam     I feel like every time I do really well, and when I”m spiritually strong, I get attacked and I go five steps backwards.  He has given me gifts that I don’t understand,and gifts that I don’t know about yet. Can I tell you something?
Don     That is normal, Satan is trying to penetrate your defenses, it is a real battle, that is why we strive to train ourselves in the practice of our Faith.  

Sam      I’ve gotten attacked physically
Don      By others at school?
Sam      By something evil, I honestly don’t understand what was it Spiritually! This happens when I do really well spiritually.
Don      That is highly possible, Satan is trying to get a hold of you. Do you have your bible near you?

Sam     And it does scare me! I think so, We have lotas of bibles. I need to put more time into reading the bible.
Don     I understand, it is scary, look up 1 Peter 5:8-10.
Sam     But, why me? Why do I get attacked? It’s not like I’m a saint, I’m far away from that! I’m little…
Don     Your being attacked because Satan wants to crush you and your on the right path. Obviously, the Lord has plans for you and the devil wants to intercept those plans.
Sam      What plans?

Don     I do not think of you as little, I do not know those plans, I do know that those who have been attacked in a real spiritual manifestation, there was a reason. Maybe your being called to pray more.
Sam    Weird things happen to me; I’m honestly scared.
Don     Did this happen recently?
Sam     The attack?
Don     Yes
Sam     A couple of months ago, Something else happened to me too.
Don     What exactly was the nature of the attack? Was it in the form of a temptation?
Sam     It was violent

Don     Were you demon whipped?
Sam     No, I was sleeping,and I was dreaming,and than I saw a a ugly dark figure, it scared me so than I woke up, after I woke up the figure was still there and I felt it try to grab me violently,but only for a short time, my mom came running.
Don     When you see this, the first thing you need to do is call out to Jesus. My Mother had such experiences, exactly, and this figure tried to prevent her from speaking Jesus.
She did the sign of the cross and it vanished. Knowing your Mother, I can see why it went running!!!
Sam     Something similar happened to me a couple years ago where I was about to pray,but I couldn’t speak the words as if someone was trying to close my mouth—Good point!
Don     The sign of the cross is powerful, also holy objects are good to have around as well.
Not to mention the prayer to St. Michael.
Sam    Can I say something else I guess was a gift that God gave me!
Don    Most certainly.  BTW, this is confidential, only your parents and Father should know about this. At least for now, or maybe other relatives your parents and you can trust.
Sam    My family and I were praying the rosary, I was praying very passionately, and I suddenly felt randomly deep sadness, I didn’t know why, I was so sad that I was crying and it was the saddest I have ever been, Apparently It was Holy sadness! It was weird I only have told you, and my parents I’ve been very discreet about it!
Don    This maybe a gift from the Lord, it is experienced in a variety of ways, but this is to give you a deeper understanding of the Lord’s passion.
Sam    True
Don    This coming from the Lord reveals why Satan is challenging you. The Lord will not give you a cross you can’t handle, but we are all in a war. Through your sacrifice and suffering, the Lord is using to save souls. This seems obvious to me.
Sam   Yes, I agree
Don    My encouragement is for you to continue the rosary, and the Divine Mercy, are you familiar with the power of the Divine Mercy over demons?
Sam     No, could you elucidate? I’m gonna get back on the praying horse!
Don     Jesus appeared to St. Faustina giving us the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He told her that the greater the sinner, the greater he desired to give them mercy. There was one occasion that St. Faustina writes about where she is taken by the Lord to a home where a man was dying. He was in great despair as demons harassed him. NObody could help soothe him. Then St. Faustina began to pray the Divine Mercy and that stopped the demons. They became furious with St. Faustina, but they could not touch her. We pray the Divine Mercy dedicating this for those who might die. Do you still have your bible?
Sam    Wow! I was familiar with St.Faustina,but not that particular story! Yes, I do.
Don    Check out 1 Timothy 4:7-9
Sam    ok let me check wait a sec, Deep stuff! I want to strive for Godliness!
Don    Yes, but it connects a temporary truth about physical training and with devotion. As we train and condition our body, there likewise, with greater intensity and zeal, the power of devotion.
Sam    I really like the contras
Don   Continue to make the Mass the center of your life.
Sam    Yes, I will! Thanks you so much for the bible quotes and for everything, I need to hit the hay.  Please keep me in your prayers!
Don    Most certainly, one last one! St. Paul writes, “Therefore,my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast,always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Sam    Amen! God Bless!

Don    God bless you Sam, may the Lord protect you and your family always.

Maybe the previous dialogue might not fit your experience.  Maybe some of you can relate to this story.  We are all involved in a spiritual battle and we all need the Lords help.  I encourage you to frequent the Sacraments,  to pray every day for God’s direction in your life.  I encourage you to make the Mass the center of your life.

“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.  For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.  Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.  So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.  (Ephesians 6:11-17)

(Editors note) This very evening that I received this communication, My wife called me independent to this discussion.  It was about 3:00 A.M. her time (Colorado) when she began having a nightmare.  She was calling out my name for a good while in her sleep.  She woke up afraid and called me (4:30 A.M. my time-Texas).  This was really bizarre as both these events happened the same night.  We are fighting is a spiritual battle and the only way that we are going to win is through Jesus Christ.  It is through his Church that He offers great graces to fight the battles of life.  Please, if it has been a while since your last Confession, make plans to go.  If you have been away from the Mass, please come home and receive the King of Kings.  It is never too late, don’t put off for tomorrow what you should do today.  God bless you all.

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*BEST OF DTB #247* It Is January: Resolve To Sin No More

Posted by John Benko - January 2nd, 2013

Sin is subtle. Sin is sneaky. Sometimes you can be so blinded to it you think you are pretty well-off sinwise. In that case I have some bad news for you: everyone sins. If you think you don’t, you suffer from Pride. Seriously.

Satan is the subtlest of beasts. If he can’t make you sin outright, he will attempt to steer you away from the greater good. Sin is anything that takes you away from God’s will for you. It can be an obvious sin against the 10 Commandments, such as murder, or it can be a subtler form of the same sin like deciding to drink that extra glass of wine that tips you over the edge of drunkenness. You haven’t murdered yourself, but you have damaged a few brain cells and made yourself incapable of safely driving or making good decisions until the effects wear off, which isn’t good.

Sin is a matter of degree. It can be an inward inclination or an exterior action. It can be as serious as murder or as subtle allowing yourself to hate. I have already discussed the nature of sin, so instead of going any further along the road of debating the nature of sin, I’m instead attempting to arm you for battle against it. Since this is the month for making resolutions this is a good time to discuss your personal battle against yourself, the battle against sin.

Just like the 10 Commandments can be used to diagnose sinfulness, so too can the Church’s 2,000 year understanding of the nature of sin. The Church has helpfully categorized the sins that completely corrupt our relationship with God as the following: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth. These are defined below:

Click on the sin for a more in-depth review.
Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.
Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

(from the website: The Seven Deadly Sins)

To battle these sins, one must cultivate the opposite virtue. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a virtue is merely a habit of doing good (CCC 1803). As such you can develop and strengthen your virtue with practice, so there is hope for even the most habituated of sinners!

The 7 Capital Sins and their Contrary Virtues

Capital Sin
Contrary Virtue
Unrestrained appreciation of our own worth
Immoderate desire for earthly goods
Hankering for impure pleasures
Inordinate desire for revenge
Unrestrained use of food and drink
Sorrow over another’s good fortune
Brotherly Love
Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue


Humility battles pride, kindness envy, abstinence gluttony, chastity lust, patience anger, liberality greed, and diligence sloth. Here is a brief definition of each of these Virtues.

Humility is the honest recognition of our total dependence on God, a recognition of our strengths and weaknesses, and a recognition that both are meant for His service. Our strengths are given us in order to do His work in service to the Body of Christ and our weaknesses are to remind us to rely on Him alone while doing it.

Liberality could be called generosity. It is habit of using our resources, our time and our talents in the service of God.

Chastity is the control of one’s senses so that the sexual drive does not control us but rather we it. It brings our desires for sexual union under the control of the intellect so that we are not enslaved and limited by so powerful an urge.

Meekness is the habit of placing others’ needs above one’s own. It is the habit borne of patience.

Temperance is the practice of keeping a good from going bad. It is the act of staying in control of the senses so that one is not overwhelmed or dehumanized by life’s pleasures. The daily practice of Temperance reminds us that we are not to be enslaved by anything, even a good thing like pleasure.

Brotherly Love is the happiness we feel or the happiness we choose to dwell upon in the face of another’s blessings. It is the joy we feel when our coworker receives a promotion and it is purposefully turning away from the twinges of jealousy our feelings may concurrently generate.

Diligence is the decision to fulfill the responsibilities our state in life demands of us. It is changing a dirty diaper for a parent, praying the Liturgy of the Hours for the Religious, and studying hard for the student.

If you have no idea what your habitual or primary sin is, your spiritual director or regular confessor can guide you. If he can not, I might suggest finding a new confessor in the New Year. Make a study of 7 Deadly Sins and the Virtues you will need to develop to combat them. Remember that prayer is the first step in any spiritual battle. Ask God for Virtues and ask Him for insight into your character. Pray always, my friends, and tend your garden. He wants you to grow in holiness. Ask and you shall receive.

Meanwhile as my gift to you, here is a lovely prayer you can begin with: It is a part of my personal New Year’s Resolution. Enjoy…

Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…

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*BEST OF DTB #52* The Catholic Defender: The Family that Prays Together stays together

Posted by John Benko - February 2nd, 2011

Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 that the attack on the family would be strong, how prophetic he was.

The assault against the family today from the Government, promoting and teaching children new age principles leading them away from the Biblical standard.

This from the public school system? The attack on the family is an orchestrated strategy by powers and strongholds seeking the demise of the Church.

The destruction of the family is the goal of the Progressive.

The family that prays together stays together. I remember one of our basketball coaches in college shared with me what he remembered most important growing up in his family.

It wasn’t the family vacations, the money that mom and dad brought in. It was when his parents took the children and led them in prayer as a family.

I thought this was so profound when he shared that with me. I never forgot it. The vacations and work was important, the family must be responsible and there must be time for play, but to share their love with each other, praying together pleases the King of Kings.

He blesses these memories and builds upon this to instill simple men and women to be great to rise up to the challenges that we face. The Progressives have eaten away so much of the family tradition that so many times today,the bonds are loosely held.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.

Have you ever really thought about this? The devil stalks you looking for ways to pass your strongholds.

He has a battle plan, a strategy to fight against you. His attacks are not random but very methodical.

We are at war! St. Peter continues on with 1 Peter 5:9, “Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings”.

We cannot remain thinking that we can be idle, that we can sit this one out, that we can watch from the sidelines. This is because one side is engaged! The Devil wants to divide and conquer. He wants to take out your “supply lines” as he targets your life.

He continues to lay traps, “landmines” making your life a battlefield. Nobody wakes up wanting to fight, and sometimes we just grow tired, but it is either pray or be prey.

St. Peter continues 1 Peter 5:10, “The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen”.

Jesus said, Matthew 16:18-19, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

Notice Jesus does not give this authority to Republicans or Democrats? Notice Jesus does not give any government this authority! It is the responsibility of the Church!

The Church universal is taking up arms for battle, we on earth are the “Church Militant”! You are not alone, your not fighting this battle alone! The God of heaven is with us through his Church!

When you send your children to school, do you prepare them for battle? Do you send your children out on the football field not properly protected? No, they must have their helmet, their shoulder pads, their equipment!
Ephesians 6:10-17 says, “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.

We are at war, the Devil wants to divide and conquer, however, through Jesus Christ we will win the battle. Romans 8:37-39 says, “No, in all these things we CONQUER overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

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