I have been blessed with a Catholic education through college, where I took a few theology courses, and had a number of friends who studied theology. Finding traditional and deep explanations of our faith have been hard to come by since that time for me. More than ever in this world of quick soundbite information (and disinformation) do we need more clear and deep explanations to our questions about our Catholic Faith and Spirituality. “Sensus Traditionis” (sentrad.org) is a website dedicated to this. The information and media files have been spiritually invaluable to me and very worth passing along.
Fr. Chad Ripperger is an exorcist, and his sermons are outstanding! Father Ripperger speaks in an academic tone about a number of topics, including spirituality and spiritual warfare. His tone when speaking about demons and spiritual warfare is similar to that of a surgeon who has witnessed thousands of brain surgeries and could practically make the cuts blindfolded. His objectivity of them and their existence, and his faith, are reaffirming in themselves; removing any fears you may have in discussion of them or evil in our world.
His sermons cover a wide variety of topics. I have listened to those on marriage, prayer, and spiritual warfare so far and I plan to continue listening.
Here are a 5 things I have taken away from his sermons so far. I hope you take the time to visit his website and listen. They have already enriched my faith and I hope they do the same for you!
I have a better understanding of the devil, and am no longer (as) afraid to talk about evil
Father Ripperger spoke of the devil and demons as being like any other animal under God’s dominion- Which THEY ARE. They are subject to the Lord and they are only permitted to act when the Lord allows it. I think at one point he described them as barking dogs chained up to a post. God allows them to tempt us in order to test us and lead us to him. God will never give us more than we can handle.
Another concept to tie into this is God’s justice and mercy. I won’t try to reiterate it here (I don’t think I will explain it correctly), but I do have a more clear understanding of why we have to be tempted and tested, and how evil in the world is a direct consequence of our sins. The main point is that though God is merciful, we have to adhere to His justice. The beautiful thing I retained was that God gives us every possible grace and blessing needed to meet our obligations.
We are each assigned more than one guardian angel, including marriages
There are guardian angels for everyone, which most of us know. In addition, people have other guardian angels for the different roles and things in their life, including marriages (there are demons, too- they also have their assignments, which reminded me of the screwtape letters!).
Furthermore, these angels had perfect knowledge of us, and gave a perfect yes to God when He asked them if they would serve us.They had full knowledge of who we were and had the choice to serve God by loving us, specifically. They could have chosen someone else if they had liked. They knew and chose you before God created you. You are loved UNCONDITIONALLY by your guardian angels, so start talking to them! They want to help but can’t unless you ask and have a relationship with them.
Most of the conflicts in my marriage, are textbook spiritual warfare
Often in marriage conflicts, Father Ripperger spoke of the demons playing on our words, emotions, and the way we say things to our spouse to lead us into miscommunication and resentment of what we resultingly think our spouse thinks (sound familiar, anyone? This describes 90% of why my husband and I get into disagreements). I am sure this is for other relationships in our lives as well.
Submitting to my husband is for my own benefit, and he has his own obligations to me
This one I kind of understood, but still didn’t really like what I was hearing. I am more ok with it now (though will probably be working on this for my entire marriage…). We women in this modern world have a very difficult time accepting and following this, especially when everything in our culture tempts us to take a complete opposite approach to our marriages (Plus, it’s a pretty difficult undertaking already).
God has a very specific design in creation with a pecking order, so to speak. In the order of God’s creation is a series of roles and authority he has designated to certain creatures. Just as God has the angels protect us, and parents provide for and protect their children, He has designated husbands to protect their wives and are head of the household. It is for our own protection so we can do our job, be commanders of our homes and focus on our children ( Don’t worry, they have obligations to full fill, too).
I loved the analogy he gave. He painted a picture of a mother telling her little one not to run into traffic. Stay behind her or you will get run over. We are to stay behind our husbands so we don’t get hit by the car, spiritually speaking. It is similar to the commandments. They aren’t there as restrictions for the sake of restrictions, but a guide as how to live in the world that has an established form and rhythm to it.
Being aware of the enemy helps us more quickly to turn to God for help
When you are aware of the enemies around you, you can see situations much more clearly. I have often found myself turning to prayer more often lately than being led by my emotions (I’m still not perfect at this, but MUCH more aware of it!). I also learned the importance of praying for specific things, especially for personal growth in virtues in order to stay away from sin.
Links to the website
There is a whole list of topics he covers to choose from at this webpage – make sure you read the “penance” before downloading. You either donate a dollar or say one decade of the rosary for Fr. Ripperger’s intentions in exchange for each file. Here is his home page and here is the multimedia page. There are also videos on youtube – just search his name. As I said, well worth your time and the penance if you would like to grow in traditional Catholic spirituality and faith. God Bless!