Prayer for Spiritual Protection

Fr. Joel God & Faith 4 Comments

This past summer I attended a youth trip where the organizers had decided to pray a prayer for spiritual protection every day. There exist real forces of evil. Our Catholic faith clearly teaches that there are spirits that are opposed to God’s work in the world and that try to keep us from doing God’s will. A prayer for spiritual protection asks for protection against these forces, in many cases by invoking the good spirits that serve God faithfully, which we call angels. The chief of these good spirit protectors is the Archangel Michael.

At first I dismissed this idea as unnecessary and excessive. Outside of exorcisms and some weird haunted houses, evil spirits just don’t seem all that active. I was afraid we could develop an unhealthy focus on the presence of evil. As the trip unfolded I started to notice things. There was a lack of certain kinds of drama that often happen on these trips. Things were moving more smoothly than expected. And the youth seemed to be experiencing God’s love in a positive way.

The work of the enemy is most destructive when it is most subtle. A clear presence of evil, as is the case in exorcisms or demonic oppression, is easier to recognize and resist. It is harder to resist the little things, like lies and discouragements, that subtly undermine God’s work in our lives. By asking for protection every day, we are turning away from the Enemy and towards the God who loves us.

We shouldn’t fear evil. All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish a single candle. But we need to make a conscious effort every day to turn away from the darkness and towards the light. My daily routine now includes a prayer for spiritual protection written by St. Patrick. When I first read this prayer it seems ridiculously excessive. I’m pretty convinced now that St. Patrick knew what he was talking about. The forces of evil assault us every day in all kinds of ways that are barely noticeable. It seems foolish not to wear a little armor.Read More

When God’s Love Flows Through Us (#742, 26th Sunday)

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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • We may be saying “yes” to God, but are we really doing our Father’s will? Was there something more important than Jesus this Sunday? Do you follow God’s law when it comes to a significant other? Do we treat people who are different from us with dignity and respect? When our life is rooted and grounded in God’s love, healthy relationships will flourish.Read More

Better Than You Deserve (#741, 25th Sunday)

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Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • Does it really matter if you live 1 year or 51 or 101, as long as you get to heaven? God is not cheating us when he choses to be generous. The only loser is the one that doesn’t say “Yes” to God’s invitation. When you serve God you’ll always get better than you deserve.

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How Many Times Should God Forgive You? (#740, 24th Sunday)

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Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • Forgiveness is not a something we give on command, an erasing of the past, forgetting, or ‘leaving it to God.’ Forgiveness is the creative and transformative process of letting God’s love fill our wounds. Forgiveness allows us to recover our own dignity and the dignity of the offender. It heals us, opens us to new possibilities, and makes ugly things beautiful.

How many times do you want God to forgive you: as many as seven times?
That’s how many times you should forgive your brother.

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More Destructive Than a Hurricane (#739, 23rd Sunday)

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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • A little tropical depression feeds off the warm, moist ocean air and turns into a destructive hurricane. This same deadly spiral happens when we get hurt, and start hurting others. We are all responsible for a healthy community. We have to step out of the storm of hurt and violence. Jesus is the eye of the storm.Read More

The Key to Abundant Life Is Shaped Like a Cross (#738, 22nd Sunday)

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • True bravery happens when we choose to sacrifice ourselves. Our God suffers and even dies for us. Who wants to suffer, sacrifice, and die? No one. But who wants to have a full life and use your gifts for the greatest possible good? Hopefully everyone. It turns out that the key that unlocks the door to a full life is shaped like a cross. It is only when we lay down our lives as a sacrifice that we discover abundant life.Read More

Are You Pointing Fingers or Unlocking Doors? (#737, 21st Sunday)

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Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • Jesus makes Peter the first Pope, with three parts to his job: he is a father, he holds the keys of authority, and he provides dependability. This is the role of Peter. What role does Jesus have for you?

No one will deny that America has a lot of struggles right now. Our biggest problem is we’ve all gotten good at pointing fingers. We all question each other and God. But God asks us, “And you, what are you doing?”Read More

Sometimes You Just Have to Walk on Water (#736, 19th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • You can find anything if you listen to the right voice. You can can walk on water if you focus on Jesus. Are you listening for the voice of God? Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus?Read More

Glowing With God’s Glory (#735, Transfiguration)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Year A) • The glory of God is hidden in the flesh and blood of Jesus. God’s glory is present to us when we listen and are obedient to Christ. Through the priesthood God hides the glory of Jesus under bread and wine. If you listen to God, you will become who you were made to be and do what you were made to do: You too will shine with the glory of God.

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This is Why All Things Work for Good (#734, 17th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • Do we really know the difference between good and bad? Solomon is honest enough to admit he needs God’s help to discern.  Anything that brings us closer to God is good; anything that takes us farther from God is bad. Nothing that happens to you can, by itself, separate you from the love of God. So what are you worried about?Read More