We are in a very interesting time in Church history when some Catholics have a great desire to recognize the spiritual warfare into which they have been born. Yet, other Catholics seem interested in legalistic loopholes about how everyone (including themselves) has no responsibility towards their salvation. They hold this because the erroneously believe that either everyone is saved -or- anyone who can prove reduced-culpability or invincible-ignorance is thereby saved. There might even be overlap between these two groups! In other words, there may be Catholics doing binding prayers against demons who are at the same time looking for excuses not to keep the Commandments.
But Our Lord Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Si diligitis me, mandata mea servate.—St. John 14:15.) Do we see that invitation as merely transactional or as the fulness of supernatural charity? In times of endless legalistic-loopholes of “reduced culpability due to habit or ignorance” I fear that most modernist Catholics do not realize that the keeping of the commandments is the first-line armor for keeping demons at bay. I mean objective commandments, not subjective commandments.
Reality will never bend to fit good intentions pace the modernist moral theologians who insist upon this. The Natural Law and the Divine Law are clear: You must live well according to reality, not simply intention. And since all reality emanates from Jesus Christ, if you live a non-Christ-centered-life, then you are barely able to perceive reality, either natural or divine. (This is why the left could not see through covid-lockdowns or BLM or anything else that the devil uses to deceive modern man.)
St. Augustine understood that the Commandments were weapons. Recently in Divine Intimacy, I read this: “O Lord, my God, Your commandments are weapons. By the Holy Spirit, You have given me the possibility of keeping my members under control; therefore, all my hope is in You. Grant that I may do what You command, and then command what You will.”
When we are convinced of the Divine Goodness, we no longer to do that silly balancing-act between venial sin and mortal sin. We know that God is so good that we can ask Him to simply command us what He wills, and then to give us the grace to do it, regardless of the consequential suffering that may follow. This means we carry our cross without calculus. Let’s remember it’s primarily Jesus on the cross that defeated Satan, “that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”—Heb 2:14b-15. So also, we are freed (not enslaved) by carrying our cross without too many excuses.
The commandments grant us freedom, not slavery. I am becoming more and more convinced that even before we get to heaven or hell, it’s easier to carry Jesus’ cross than Satan’s cross here on earth. St. John the Apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”—1 John 5:3. Did you catch that? God’s commandments “are not burdensome.” He even goes so far as to write: “Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not.”—1 John 3:6. For those of us who have ever used confession as hop-scotching in and out of grace for simple fire-insurance, we would do well to meditate on God’s Word which insists that “whosoever abideth in Christ, sinneth not.”
I think it’s important that every priest capable of even a medium-level of spiritual warfare be involved in minor-deliverance for the liberation of his people. But every priest needs to help his faithful refrain from shirking the commandments through games of legalistic-loopholes. This is because our best protection against real-live demons is to abide in Christ in sanctifying grace and to keep the law of God. For the commandments and the cross are also our weapons against the devil—objectively, not subjectively. St. James shows us this as he writes, “Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”—Jam 4:7-8.