It's hard to believe we're in a spiritual war, but we are. Each of us who is human, especially those of us who love Christ, has a sneaky, beguiling enemy. Because he hates our Creator, he attempts to destroy God's most beloved creation, namely, us.
The Scriptures tell us this about our adversary: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
I have made some mistakes recently. God offers grace and forgiveness, but Satan wants me to walk in shame and condemnation, head held low. He wants me to be fearful to approach Christ's "throne of grace" to seek healing and forgiveness. He wants me to be kept from healthy relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ, making it impossible to move forward in the work of our Lord. Satan seeks to keep me in such shame that I cease seeking Christ in the Eucharist, even cease going to Mass. May that never be so! I am never too far from God's grace to ask for His help. Reconciliation is always God's desire, not only with Him, but with my fellow Christians and the world at large. In contrast, the sneaky devil seeks to divide!
A friend pointed me to the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to counteract the devil's work just when I needed it most. Here's how it goes:
St. 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, oh Prince of the Heavenly Host by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
The rest of the verse about our adversary quoted above goes like this: "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." (The reference for both parts of this scripture is I Peter 1:5-10.)
Boy, am I glad it ends this way, with such encouragement! The purposes of God will NEVER be thwarted so long as I remain steadfast in trust, love and prayer.
This is what I will hang onto through my current trials, along with the verses below that tell me that God's purposes can be fulfilled through hardship:
Hebrews 12:1-3 and 7-11
Here are God's words from Genesis 50:20 in relation to Satan: "You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives."
Our Lord trumped death and suffering on the cross; though they remain, Love (God is Love) is a much bigger force!