Engaging the Dragon

Dan Burke, founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, wrote about a recent webinar conversation he had with Fr Dwight Longnecker concerning spiritual warfare.

“World events can feel oppressive, especially right now, but every now and then I have a discussion that’s so clear and convicting it re-energizes me for the battle.

Recently I had such a conversation in a webinar with Fr. Dwight Longenecker. We spoke about spiritual warfare and the lies and tactics of our common enemy, an enemy who has— for far too long — hidden himself in our everyday lives under anxious whispers and infiltrated the Church behind tepid theology and a feel-good gospel. The essence of the devil, said Fr. Longenecker, is that he is a liar. “Everything is a lie,” he said. “He is constantly lying.” He called it the “deep deception which is the sin of the world.”

Fr. Longenecker reminded us that when the lying powers of darkness surge forward and try to plant their stakes in our sacred territory, the Holy Spirit always answers back with a greater movement of renewal and revival. During these days when Satan stirs up not only confusion but hatred for the faith and for everything holy, God raises up warriors and saints where they are least expected, souls to rebuild His Church rising up like a secret army.

He means us. You and me.

He means all of us who “put on the whole armor of God” and stand in the breach, the chasm between souls and salvation, who have fought against the vicious lies in our own hearts, beaten back the darkness, and have a burning desire to proclaim the entirety of the Gospel to those who have yet to hear and understand. We were born for this. We were baptized for this. And for such a time as this.

And that, my friends, is also [our] mission. To resurrect the spiritual patrimony of the Church when modernism and error has entombed it and written it off as irrelevant. To teach and equip with the healing heart of Christ’s message, the strengthening grace of prayer, the freedom of true discernment, the timeless wisdom of the saints, and the power of spiritual warfare.

Our mission is to stand in stark contrast to the culture, even, sometimes, the culture within the Church herself. To challenge complacency and cowardice. To reclaim and protect everything that is good, and beautiful, and true.

That is how we answer back to Satan. That is how we “engage the dragon.” With truth. Re-presented to the world in compelling ways. That is our call. 

But there are so many more souls who are so lost. You know, because you know some of them. Or, maybe because you were once one of them.

You ache to see them set free from the traps the Father of Lies has laid, the twisted wreckage of his barbed wire and broken, empty promises. You wish they knew what you are coming to appreciate, that God is true to his Word, that the Church has the answers to all of the world’s searching. […]

The world has never needed us—all of us—more than it does at this moment in history.”


To learn more about the Catholic Faith Dan Burke recommends the AVILA INSTITUTE

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Engaging the Dragon

  1. Sally says:

    Very profound, and so encouraging ! Thank-you 🤗🌷


  2. alexantunes002 says:

    Spiritual warfare is a very interesting and current subject.
    The devil can shape a culture with his lies. This, in our Christian world, happens more and more that we distance ourselves from baptismal commitments. In a more neutral and philosophical language, we can say that culture deteriorates more and more as we move away from the good, the beautiful and the true. However, returning to the rawness of spiritual warfare, we fight much more than against natural or human forces, we fight against demonic forces. This can be seen in the increase of evils in the world, both on a personal, family and social level. May the Word of God guide us in the tribulations we live in today’s world.


  3. kathleen says:

    Dan Burke knows he is addressing Catholics who are well-grounded in their Faith. Cafeteria catholics never, or very rarely, bother to read Catholic blogs. Just once in a while some good soul who is searching for the truth might pop in to comment or ask a question, but then they usually realise they are out of their depth here. (Someone may suggest a good priest to them or where they can go to study more.)

    That is the tragedy of our times: unless one has had the fortune to be brought up in a truly Catholic family that live the faith at home, or attended one of the scarce really good Catholic schools, or has been touched by God and gone on the hunt alone … they stand little chance of being anything else but a liberal and a modernist!
    They won’t have been properly catechised, won’t know their Faith, nor could they even know that they are ignorant of its beauty, richness and passionate history. They will have been brain-washed with boring feel-good platitudes where the dreaded words like “the Devil”, “mortal sin”, “contrition”, “last judgement”, “Hell” etcetera are never mentioned. (Or if they are it would only be to mockingly state that all that is old-fashioned baloney!)

    So Dan is right, saying to us that we must put an end to the lies so many post-Vatican II Catholics have been exposed to. We must try by every way possible to educate and enlighten our brothers in Christ to discover the fullness and treasures of the real Catholic Church, not that “fake church” (pace Ven. Fulton Sheen) they have been fed. We would want the same for ourselves, wouldn’t we, if the tables were reversed and we were the ones living in ignorance?

    This is the raging battle for souls we are in against Satan – the “spiritual warfare” of the current age, the reign of “the Father of Lies”, the “Dragon” of the Appocalypse. Dan is saying that we have been hand-picked by God for this mission…
    That is our call!


  4. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    Engaging the Dragon
    Posted on June 29, 2020 by Catholicism Pure & Simple
    Dan Burke, founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, wrote about a recent webinar conversation he had with Fr Dwight Longnecker concerning spiritual warfare.

    Reblog: Zero Lift-Off
    Only The Beginning by Lawrence Morra
    Technology and Tepid Theology
    These lines strike me clearly so powerfully and compelling: “Our mission is to stand in stark contrast to the culture, even, sometimes, the culture within the Church herself. To challenge complacency and cowardice. To reclaim and protect everything that is good, and beautiful, and true.”
    This is where we are and it took many decades and indeed through the millennium to arrive at this juncture which to me is the edge of the precipice because not to be cliché but we are literally heading to hell in a hand basket now! The cataclysmic and total annihilation of humanity and this earth are moments away if certain steps are taken allowed to be completed which is the crux of our faith that we Trust Always in the Lord God the Creator of the heavens and the earth that He is in control and will either allow or take measures one way or another to bring about His will now and until the end of this world. I have to admit that with some things that happened to me personally over the last 15 years and what I see ratcheting up in the world now tell me this is heading toward Armageddon or some unexpected miracle from above will come to forestall the inevitable! The world as we know it has never been in such a madcap out of control condition in modern times and because of the enormous weapon power at the fingertips of humans now couple with AI and the digital technologies this is the most unprecedented time to have ever been, as far as life on earth, and the teetering on the brink situation we all are facing now. I want to include several article/essays I published recently to hopefully supplement this fine work in a minor way to perhaps further inspire anyone who as you mentioned here is hiding behind “tepid theology and a feel-good gospel,” or even those who are lost presently in need of a bit of enlightenment. Thank you for this opportunity and may God bless you greatly. Amen.
    Lawrence Morra

    Liked by 1 person

  5. alexantunes002 says:

    Lawrence, you have described well the apocalyptic situation in which the world today lives.
    You spoke of Armageddon. Could it identify with World War III or would it be a situation of chaos and widespread violence in the world?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s