Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prayers Against Enemies

Years ago, I attended a parish where the people were accustomed to shout out their intentions during the prayers of the faithful at Mass -- a practice I abominate...but I digress.  There was a woman in the front row who used to always shout out the same intention: Lord, give us the strength to go on fighting the war against abortion.

Setting aside the fact that shouting out intentions during Mass really stinks, I always found that lady's intention particularly irritating.  Why would we want to keep any kind of a war going?  We should be praying for victory in the war on abortion, and that swiftly and decisively.  We should be praying to mop the floor with the abortion lobby, in the very near future.  To pray merely for the strength to keep up the war seems to me to smack of despair and pusillanimity.

In fact, we ought to be praying for the resounding, crushing defeat of all evildoers.  We are locked in deadly struggle, firstly, against the devils of hell, and secondly, against their allies on earth.  It is not a recycling, vegan, granola-eating, Birkenstock-wearing God who inspired these verses (Psalm 67:22-24):  
But God shall break the heads of his enemies: the hairy crown of them that walk on in their sins. The Lord said: I will turn them from Basan, I will turn them into the depth of the sea: That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thy enemies; the tongue of thy dogs be red with the same.  
We have forgotten this in our squeamish, squishy, emasculated age (and I do not exempt myself from this opprobrium), where, instead of striving for justice, we just whine about getting along.  We have forgotten that we can have no truck with the devil and those who have consciously and deliberately dedicated themselves to his service.  We need to fight them with every fiber, and we need to beg God for their total destruction.

Fortunately, our Mother the Church has taught us how to do this.  We have, in the first place, the Sacraments, to give, restore and increase sanctifying grace (without which we cannot hope to do ourselves or anyone else any good in the spiritual order), and to give us particular necessary graces.  We have penances and indulgences.  And we are taught to pray.  Scripture is full of prayers for the defeat of our enemies (i.e., those who are also enemies of God); the Psalms are loaded with them.  And there are other prayers that are useful for this intention.  Herewith some good ones (given not only in English but also in Latin, because the devil hates Latin):

Hostium nostrorum, quaesumus, Domine, elide superbiam: et eorum contumaciam dexterae tuae virtute prosterne. Per Dominum.

Crush, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the pride of our enemies: and prostrate their arrogance by the might of Thy right hand. Through our Lord.

Prayer to St. Michael

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperat illi Deus; supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our safeguard 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 other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Some Ejaculations from the Psalms
Psalm 6:11: Erubescant et conturbentur vehementer omnes inimici mei convertantur et erubescant valde velociter.  Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubled: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.

Psalm 58:2: Eripe me de inimicis meis, Deus, et ab insurgentibus in me libera me. Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; and defend me from them that rise up against me.

Psalms 53:7: Avertet mala inimicis meis; in veritate tua disperde illos.  Turn back the evils upon my enemies; and cut them off in thy truth.

Psalms 67:2: Exsurgat Deus et dissipentur inimici eius, et fugiant qui oderunt eum a facie eius.  Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.

So in these stern times, let us do penance, pray for the defeat of our enemies, and then go out and take care of business.


  1. A.C.M.: nope. Although they did have that awful shouting-out-intentions habit.

  2. Another bracing post, thank you.

    The parish in which we were baptized in 2004, St. Ignatius, also does that shout-out thing once in awhile and it wasn’t until I began learning more about the liturgy and attending Latin Mass; especially reading Pope Benedict XVI on the activity called for in Mass is what God does, that I could no longer enjoy the other.

    It also seems to me, that those Catholics who love the Latin Mass, are much more clear and resolute on the fight against evil.

  3. David, it's true, those who are able to attend the TLM have the advantage of seeing the truths of the faith actualized more clearly. I certainly got some eye-openers from the TLM. But of course, more is needed than just attending the TLM: one must live one's faith 24/7, and not just on Sundays.

  4. I've heard that St Augustine has changed a lot in the last two or three years. Maybe that went away.
    Today our Eparch had a statement read to all parishes on the HHS mandate and at the end he quoted Psalm 68: "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee before His presence!"

  5. That's a good one, A.C.M. I will find the exact verse and add it to my list above.

    St. Augustine's is now headed by a priest of traditional mold (who, however, is under pressure not to celebrate the TLM), so it is likely that certain things have been cleaned up there. I must admit that it has been nearly a decade since I was last in Moscow.

    Bully for your eparch. The American Papist is compiling a list of bishops who have publicly condemned the mandate, and is asking particularly for statements from eastern bishops, so maybe you want to bring your eparch's statement to his attention:

  6. As I am nearly a year later here, this may not be seen by anyone. I have just recently happened upon this blog and just wanted to thank you, Anita, for your words. I particularly like this post of yours, as I have been reading the Psalms a great deal lately, and asking God through them to defeat the evil works of His (and my) enemies. I do not have reasonable access to a TLM, and this entire diocese is overflowing with all manner of silliness. To tell someone here in this neck of the woods that this way of praying against proud enemies is not only valid, but necessary, would be met with all manner of disapproval.

    Thanks again, Anita, and God bless you.

    Ave Maria! And peace to men of good will.

  7. U.K., your comment has been seen and appreciated by me. Thank you, and God bless you too.

    P.S. By the description you give, you could be in MY diocese.

  8. Hi Sister thank you for your insight. I agree our mother "the church" has taught us weakness. whereas our father taught us courage and boldness in the face of opposition. hence the Old and New Testament views. However upon closer inspection, God of Old and New Testament changes not. He is still a God of justice as much as he is a God of Love. Are we not called to be like him?