Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
First of all, thank you so much to everybody who helped in any way with preparing and carrying through the Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations! God’s mercy is so great…. deserving of a great celebration!
For the weekdays after Easter I went on my canonical retreat. [A priest is required by Canon Law to make a five-day retreat once a year. For many years now I have made that retreat right after Easter.] For the focus of my retreat I was inspired to choose the topic “angels and demons”. In order to focus on angels I read through St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Treatise on Angels” from his most famous work, the Summa Theologica. In order to learn more about demons I read an Italian work [I’ll spare you the title], and then an English translation of another work by Father Gabriel Amorth, An Exorcist Explains the Demonic. Father Amorth was the lead exorcist in Rome for many decades until his death a little over a year ago. He was respected worldwide for his ministry as an exorcist.
In the book of Father Amorth, there was a section entitled “When the family is attacked by the demon”. Here are a couple snippets from that chapter:
We conclude this chapter by focusing on the actions of Satan on families. Today families are among the most targeted by the ordinary action of Satan, through the chilling of relationships as well as betrayals and divisions. (By this Fr. Amorth means the constant temptations and other machinations of the devil, without the devil having to act in extraordinary ways, i.e., without vexations, obsessions, infestations or possessions). Fr. Amorth then goes on to speak about a couple cases of possession effecting families that eventually became free.
And, finally, he gives advice that applies to all of us in families, in order to avoid both the ordinary and the extraordinary work of the devil:
Finally, I would like to give two simple recommendations to young married couples. The first is to develop immediately the habit of praying together. This will lead to greater harmony and will keep away many evils. The second is to extend this good habit to your children and bring them to church – even when they are little and even if they cry and run around the church. One is educated in the church through osmosis. They will be grateful when they are grown, and so will you. And one must not omit – even if it is difficult – the desire of pardon toward the one who has acted wickedly against him.
In this day and age as the media and society at large become more godless, we must build up a godly culture in our homes. No matter how vigorously it gets contested in the world at large today, it is still simply an unchanging fact: The human person is made for God, and will never know rest until he/she finds it in God (from St. Augustine’s Confessions).
If you are a married couple reading this, and you have never prayed together (beyond dinner prayers), how about starting a new tradition, a new habit in this new Easter season? We are always ready to help at the parish office. And the bulletin always provides a ton of useful information, education and inspiration that can bolster your faith life. You could talk about the Eucharistic quotes there, or the Catechism corner; or watch a FORMED program together. Praying together and learning the faith together as a couple might feel uncomfortable at first, but it will really enrich your relationship and your family.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,