Are you ready for battle? Man, I wonder if that should be a question we start asking during marriage preparation! When a young couple sets out and prepares for marriage the last thing they are thinking about is battle? Hopefully, they realize they won’t always get along, they won’t always agree, children will do their best to pin them against each other, BUT, battle? What do I even mean by that?
I am talking about a spiritual battle…The spiritual battle is real and it’s after our good and holy marriages! In fact, Sr. Lucia, who was present at Fatima stated: “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” Satan is after us. He hates marriage, he hates women, he hates children. He hates the fact that marriage reflects God’s love for the church through the grace-filled love that married couples have.
I had no idea of the insidious ways the devil would work in our marriage. Insidious means, proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, with harmful effects. As a couple, my husband and I have always been people who volunteer if needed. We volunteer for our church, our diocese, our community. We love being involved where we can and making a difference. What we never realized it that to much of a good thing, isn’t always a good thing. I, myself, bought hook line and sinker into the lie that my self worth came from my job and my success at my job. I have always worked for the church and I was pretty good at my job. I loved working with others and bringing them closer to Christ. This meant sometimes I was working 50-60 hours a week. Satan LOVED every moment of me being away from my family, even if I was doing good things for other people. At the end of my career I remember saying, “I was building up marriages and families of the people I was working with, but mine was falling apart before my eyes!”
I am not insinuating that every mom or dad is called to quit their jobs. I am saying, our self-worth is not dictated by what job we do. Our self-worth comes from God alone and fulfilling where God is calling you to serve him. For you that call will be different than it is for me. The lies Satan tells us seem real and valid, whenever you are in doubt, ask God. In my recent situation I remember saying the words outloud that I believed my self-worth was attached to my job and very quickly God assured me that simply wasn’t true. Little by little, in prayer, listening with an open heart, I found out what God was calling me to do at this moment in my life. Day by day that calling continues to reveal itself to me. We have to trust God, more than we trust the lies, which can sometimes be hard to figure out.
The beauty of all of this is that God is bigger than Satan. Sr. Lucia also said, “Do not be afraid, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. However, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
One of the greatest ways the devil works is to steal our peace and our joy. When that happens, pray, do not be afraid, and trust in a God who loves you so much! As Sr. Lucia reminds us…Our Lady has already crushed Satan’s head…he has no power in our lives, unless we give it to him.
Bringing all of this back to marriage and family life…we are a team! Satan can attack us individually and as an entire family. In fact, when I am attacked, my entire family suffers right along with me. If my peace is stolen, then their peace is also stolen. I encourage you, throughout the day, to pray for the intercession and protection of St. Michael for your family. As a family, we also check in several times througout the week about how things are going, how we are feeling, and if something seems off. I will often find myself fasting for different memebers of my family if they seem to be having a bad day. We try to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a family. Most importantly, we trust each other enough with our lives. We pray together and for each other. These are not huge things, but they don’t have to be, because God is in control and with God, Satan has already been defeated.