|Yep, still a superhero.|
I mentioned him in my Quick Takes a few weeks ago as being my saint for the month of January. I've decided to keep him on for February as well, because we need a protector in battle more than ever, along with all the angels and saints in Heaven with our Lord. We are in a battle for every soul on this earth, and the more obvious it becomes that we are fighting against evil itself, the less people seem to believe in the source from which that evil stems.
I just saw The Rite with a group from the Newman Center, and this movie - being the top grossing film in the country this past week - has caused a lot of discussion about exorcisms, sin, the Devil, God, and the Church. While it definitely lacks accuracy in some of its Catholic aspects - like why they felt the need to make the main character a seminarian learning how to be an exorcist as opposed to an actual priest - its main point is one on which we can all agree.
The Devil is real.
Our society has become fascinated with sin in all forms, so much to the point that we ignore its source - which is exactly what the Devil wants. The less people think about him, the more easily he can take over. As Fr. Lucas stated in the movie, "Choosing not to believe in the Devil won't protect you from him."
The movie is intense and horrific at times, and my hope is that despite its theatricality, people will start to listen to that voice inside their head - "What if this is real?" We cannot believe in God without acknowledging the existence of the Devil. My hope is that if society starts to truly realize the existence and potential of the Devil and his power, that they will likewise start to not only believe in the existence of God, but to answer that yearning for His presence in our lives.
Let us join with Pope John Paul II when he asked us to call upon St. Michael the Archangel to help us in this spiritual battle:
"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into Hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.