Leo rugiens… cui resistite fortes in fide

Jesus of the scars, as Archbishop Fulton Sheen would say, is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the only one left standing after battle with Satan, who is merely like a lion roaming about looking for someone to devour, whom we can resist, steadfast in the faith.

The other night I had a visit from one of Satan’s minions. I woke with a start instantly to recognize the most evil presence truly like a lion, not visible, though I didn’t even look in that direction, though having my eyes wide open. I quietly said my prayers with trembling voice:

  • Jesus! Help me!
  • Mary! Help me!
  • Guardian Angel! Help me!

That’s all it took for such a minion to be thoroughly disgusted with me and leave forthwith. Just like that. Just that quick. I went right back to sleep.

I can describe the disgust… It’s like he was certain that it would be a matter of course to come into this little rectory, and, just like he did with Judas, take possession of me as he might do to anyone else in this world. My little prayers, I must say, were said with the most eager childlike trust I could muster in my trepidation. That’s what disgusted him. And the disgust increased with every invocation until fear forced him away. Asking one’s guardian angel to smack down one of Satan’s minions is like asking an invincible warrior to go into battle. They need only make a move and the enemy runs away.

But note that I didn’t even have to use an exorcism, not imprecatory, not deprecatory. I just asked Jesus, Mary and my Guardian Angel for help. That’s something all of us can do at any time, anywhere. You don’t have to be an exorcist to ask for help. Remember that even when an Exorcist takes up an exorcism in an imprecatory or deprecatory manner, he is nevertheless throughout this exercise calling on Jesus and Mary and hopefully also his guardian angel.

And this is what it means to be fortes in fide, strong in faith: a childlike trust in Jesus, in His Immaculate Mother, in our guardian angels, not trusting in ourselves, but in them. Simplicity. Not being in control, but looking for security to the Holy Family. That doesn’t mean that I am not otherwise a knucklehead! All praise to the Lord.

I could tell many stories like this, one more frightening than the other, going way back to when I was just a few years old. At that time my brother and myself had common experiences, that is, both in frequency and together, verifying that I wasn’t just making it all up about Satan’s machinations.

Satan hates us because he hates Jesus. Jesus loves us. Satan attacks us to offend Jesus. Otherwise, Satan couldn’t care less about us. Imagine hell: Satan beating on us continuously in order to manifest his hatred of God. Don’t be afraid of Satan. Just turn to Jesus and Mary and your guardian angel.


Filed under Angels, Exorcism

7 responses to “Leo rugiens… cui resistite fortes in fide

  1. sanfelipe007

    My younger brother lived with me for a while. He came to me as a kind of “last-last resort” after being thrown out of the lives of my 6 other siblings. I say “last-last” because I, too had thrown him out, previously, when my possessions started to disappear without explanation.

    How many times must I forgive my brother?

    So here he was, again in my care, sharing a room, as we had done as children. One night I awoke, startled and aware of a malevolent presence, which filled me with a protective anger. Not taking any time to think, I instinctively stretched out my hand towards my brother and silently prayed for him.

    How did I know to pray for him, and not myself?

    I kept praying for him. Then I heard a loud groan come out of him, and the room seemed at peace again. I went back to sleep. I never, ever spoke of it until now.

    I was reminded of that episode when I was reading some of your posts on HSH, meant for exorcists. I remembered how (after that episode with my brother) I struggled with the temptation that I had any power to wield over demons, and how I had made an act of contrition for such pride, and had even said, aloud, that I rejected the very idea. You have no idea how helpful your posts are, Father.

  2. Pam

    I was just asking the Lord yesterday to give me some answers to a question regarding demons. I have never seen any of them in any form, but I have absolutely experienced their hatred and attempts to hurt me and others. We took in a young man who grew up in the most evil home I have ever known about. He came to us almost like a wild animal in his inner self. Too long a story, but I took him on a pilgrimage to the big Cross put up by Catholics in Texas, the one where there is a statue of Jesus holding an aborted baby. We went alone (my husband couldn’t leave work), and we weren’t 2 hours on the road before the car went off the highway into the median ditch. That was just the beginning of two weeks of terror aimed at us. Almost having two more wrecks, people coming against me like the devil himself, storms, car breaking down, and finally a horrible sickness stuck in a nowhere motel in Texas, hours away from any medical help. Who can one talk to about these things? I knew what it was. Everything that could happen tried to stop us from reaching that Cross. The day after we visited it late at night we were both very sick. My husband had to come all the way to Texas to get us. Neither of us could even drive.

    But my question concerns dreams. Sometimes I have nightmares where I just can’t explain why. We now live a very peaceful life. But I do a whole lot of praying, one of those being the Auxilium Christianorum layman’s prayer. The other night, I had a dream and in the dream I was in danger and had to get off a sort of lounge chair I was laying in. It was one of those dreams where you try so hard to move and can’t. I finally moved in my dream and went right off the bed in real life. I am almost totally bedridden from illnesses and somewhat frail. I woke up on my knees on the floor. The thing is I have this huge bedside table, a big heavy wood thing with a marble top. Although it’s almost right up against my bed, somehow I missed the whole thing, except hitting a place on my stomach where one of the drawers was open. My first conscious thought was that my guardian angel must have protected me, because the way I landed I should have hit my head on that marble top. I just keep wondering if demons can insert themselves somehow into our sleeping state. I looked online for some Catholic answers but couldn’t find a thing.

    • Father George David Byers

      Pam, just make sure the Auxilium Chritianorum prayers are the updated ones, so that Wednesday prayers are asking God to bind Satan instead of you yourself making a direct command to Satan.

      As for Satan’s influence on dreams, sure. Anything external that we can sense in whatever way can influence dreams.

      For me on this occasion there was no dream, just a sense of such a personal evil presence that woke me just as surely as someone shaking me awake.

  3. Pam

    Thank you. Yes, I am using the updated version. I read every word I could find about them and read every prayer carefully before I committed myself to doing them. Before the Lord got me to the Church, I used to know a bunch of charismatic protestants who thought they could take on Satan directly. As ill-informed as I was then, the Holy Spirit had given me enough insight and protection that I stayed away from that stuff. Now I can look back and see the enormous protection I was given in my former wayward life.

    We got stuck living in the northern VA/DC metro area for 13 years. For the last seven or eight of those years, I prayed every day for God to allow us to leave that place. The sense of evil hung over that area like a huge black cloud. Things happened to us there that are almost unbelievable. Last year, we finally were able to leave. I prayed so hard that God would direct us to the exact place He wanted us to be. Since my husband was retiring, we were more free. He planted us in the north Georgia mountains. The difference in the environment is like night and day.

  4. Mark Smith

    Father, this post reminded me of the following about Mother Angelica, taken from “Mother Angelica, The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve and a Network of Miracles” pp318-9:
    Two days after the surgery, Dr Richard May vividly remembered entering the ICU during rounds to check on Mother Angelica. The abbess was lying in bed, grimacing, her right eye tightly shut while Sisters Margaret Mary and Michael hovered nearby.
    “Dr May, you have to help her,” Margaret Mary pleaded. “She says that the devil is after her and he is showing her the tormented souls in hell. She doesn’t want to be left there.”
    Lacking a prescription for such a malady, the doctor offered comforting words “in Prebyterian fashion” at the bedside, then returned to writing his orders. Dr May later said, “There was an oppressive feeling in the room.” Glancing back at Angelica, he saw that she was still “tight-eyed and battling”. Having heard something of the Catholic devotion to St Michael the Archangel, the doctor offered a silent “mental prayer”, something he had never done before for a patient. “Lord, if the devil is really after this woman, I can’t help her. You’d better send Michael now,” he prayed. Telling no one of his petition to God, he resumed his paperwork.
    Minutes later, Angelica brightened. “Everything’s okay now,” she said.
    “What’s wrong?” Margaret Mary asked nervously.
    “Everything’s fine now. Michael’s here.”
    “Sister Michael?”
    “Oh no. Michael the Archangel’s here.” Angelica turned over and went to sleep.
    “I was pale but there was a palpable difference in that room,” Dr May recalled, his eyes pink with moisture. “Something happened.”
    Whatever it was, and whatever she saw, would remain Mother’s secret. She would only tell the nuns, afterward, “We must suffer…to keep souls from going to hell. People don’t understand what it means to go hell”.

    • Father George David Byers

      Well, I must say that my homily today included that we must avoid hell and Satan and instead be on our way to heaven.

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