Devil In Heavenly Places ?

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Heaven is a place for the holy.  Then is it possible for  the devil to  have access to  heavenly places? It is a fundamental  question, and we are  not attempting  to answer it  from a theological angle; rather we will  confine the  subject to  what we  read  in the  letter to the Ephesians.  ‘For our struggle is  not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the  cosmic powers of this present  darkness, against the spiritual  forces of evil in the  heavenly places’ (Eph. 6:12).

Paul the Apostle  has warned us that  our struggle is a spiritual one  and that  the enemies include ‘spiritual forces of  evil in the heavenly places’. So we should not be deceived   by the false teaching that  the devil  has no access to  holy places. If he intruded  a place where God the Creator  often visited Adam and Eve, the  only inhabitants on earth at that time, he could intrude into our lives too. If God permitted Satan to  lay his hands on Job, it is possible in our case too.  If  the  evil one  was permitted to  approach Jesus Christ, the Son of God, do you think that  approaching holy things is not within his reach?

The Church  being the  mystical body of Christ is  holy. Similarly our bodies  that are home to the Holy Spirit  also should  be holy. ‘Do you not know that  your bodies are members of Christ ? (1 Cori.6:15). ‘ Or do you not know that  your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not  your own?’ (1 Cori. 6:19). If we are not our own, we are definitely of God. If we are of God, it follows that we should  also be holy, ‘for it is   written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16).

We should not be blind to the possibility of  the evil one infiltrating the Church and  our body, two  places supposed to be holy. Pope Leo XII was deeply concerned about  a   future when the  ‘crafty enemy’ will invade the  higher echelons of  the Holy Church.  We know about the vision which  he was permitted to  see  in 1884 and the resultant compilation of the prayer to  St Michael the Archangel. What we  now use is a short version of the  prayer. The original  version is pretty long. It is curious to note that after  half a century,    a portion of  this prayer was dropped. The  removed portion reads:

‘These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.’

Pope Leo XIII foresaw  a time when the crafty animal called Satan and his multitude of  wicked spirits will  lay  their impious hands on the most  precious possessions of the  Church and will raise the throne of  their abominable impiety at the highest echelons of the Church with the intention  to  strike the Pastor and thereby scatter the  sheep.

The Holy Church needs our  prayers more than ever before. The See of Peter needs our prayers. The Chair of Truth needs our prayers, because it has been set up as the  light of the world.

The Psalmist wrote about enemies desecrating the temple of God; ‘Your foes  have roared within  your holy place; they set up their emblems there. At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes, and then with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its  carved work. They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the dwelling place of your name, bringing it to the ground’ (Ps 74: 4-7).

The Devil’s ‘iniquitous design’ is to bring  total destruction to the  holy place. More  prayers are needed  to thwart it. Let us join in  prayers  seeking protection to the  See of Peter and   Chair of Truth against all the  wicked scheming  of the enemy. Let us also pray for the wisdom to  discern the  devious plans of the devil  towards raising the ‘throne of his  abominable impiety’ against the  true Pastor who  leads  the  sheep in truth.

PRAYER TO ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, and spirits of evil.

Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist Thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men; his depraved mind, corrupt heart, his spirit of lying, impiety, blasphemy, his pestilential breath of impurity and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the Spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate Thee as their protector and patron; in Thee Holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to Thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, do Thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

  • Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered, hostile powers.
  • The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.
  • Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord
  • As we have hoped in Thee.
  • O Lord, hear my prayer.
  • And let my cry come unto Thee

LET US PRAY

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.

Amen.

Pope Leo XIII, 1888

Raccolta 1933 (Partial Indulgence)

PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

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 power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Act of Consecration to St Michael the Archangel

Oh most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies
valorous warrior of Almighty God,
and zealous lover of His glory,
terror of the rebellious angels,
and love and delight of all the just ones,
my beloved Archangel Saint Michael,
desiring to be numbered among thy devoted servants,
I, today offer and consecrate myself to thee,
and place myself, my family,
and all I possess under thy most powerful protection.
I entreat thee not to look at how little, I,
as thy servant have to offer,
being only a wretched sinner,
but to gaze, rather,
with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection
with which this offering is made,
and remember that if from this day onward
I am under thy patronage,
thou must during all my life assist me,
and procure for me the pardon of my many grievous offenses,
and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God,
my dear Savior Jesus and my Sweet Mother Mary,
and obtain for me all the help necessary to arrive to my crown of glory.
Defend me always from my spiritual enemies,
particularly in the last moments of my life.
Come then oh Glorious Prince and succor me in my last struggle,
and with thy powerful weapon cast far from me
into the infernal abysses that prevaricator
and proud angel that one day thou prostrated in the celestial battle.
Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battle
so that we may not perish in the last Judgment.

Chaplet of St. Michael

The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d’Astonac, who had a vision of St. Michael. He told Antonia to honor him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from purgatory for themselves and their relations.

Opening Prayer to Our Lady


Oh, Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies. Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world your infinite power of merciful Love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope.

Saint Michael the Archangel, invincible prince of the angelic hosts and glorious protector of the universal Church, I greet you and praise you for that splendor with which God has adorned you so richly. I thank God for the great graces he has bestowed upon you, especially to remain faithful when Lucifer and his followers rebelled, and to battle victoriously for the honor of God and the divinity of the Son of Man.

Saint Michael, I consecrate to you my soul and body. I choose you as my patron and protector and entrust the salvation of my soul to your care. Be the guardian of my obligation as a child of God and of the Catholic Church as again I renounce Satan, his works and pomps. Assist me by your powerful intercession in the fulfillment of these sacred promises, so that imitating your courage and loyalty to God, and trusting in your kind help and protection, I may be victorious over the enemies of my soul and be united with God in heaven forever. Amen.

The Chaplet of St. Michael (A Sincere Act of Contrition)


O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen. 

Salutation #1
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim, may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #2
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim, may the Lord vouchsafe to grant us grace to leave the ways of wickedness to run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #3
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #4
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions, may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and subdue our unruly passions. Amen 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #5
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers, may the Lord vouchsafe to protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #6
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues, may the Lord preserve us from evil and suffer us not to fall into temptation. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #7
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities, may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #8
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels, may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works, in order that we gain the glory of Paradise. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace… 
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

Salutation #9
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels, may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted hereafter to eternal glory. Amen. 

            Our Father, Who art in heaven…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…
            Hail Mary, full of grace…

In honor of St. Michael 
            Our Father, Who art in heaven…

In honor of St. Gabriel
            Our Father, Who art in heaven…

In honor of St. Raphael
            Our Father, Who art in heaven…

In honor of our Guardian Angel
            Our Father, Who art in heaven… 

Concluding Prayers
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence, and enable us by your gracious protection, to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of  Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises. 

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael… Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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