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