Back in the early 2000s, I was at a birthday party for a friend, and one of the presents she opened was an ouija board. 
It was pink, bejeweled, and straight from ToyRUs. Her parents didn’t mind because they, like most people, didn’t believe spirits and demons were real. So, what was the big deal? 
I didn’t understand exactly what it was, but I remembered my mom telling me a story about a family member who messed with one and had to have her house exorcized. 
So, I watched from the corner of the room while the girls moved their hands around, shrieking and saying a ghost was making them do it. They accused each other of joking or lying, and eventually some of the girls got scared. One girl ended up crying and asking to go home. 
We’d gone from a Hannah Montana dance party to a dark room with crying girls. It completely changed the atmosphere of the room and put a damper on the party. Thankfully nothing worse happened, but I remember feeling frightened. 
That was years and years ago. Now, as our society becomes more and more secularized, the gates keep the demonic are fewer. Now Satanism, New Age spirituality, atheism, and agnosticism are celebrated as religious freedom. It is “fine” because of moral relativism. Is it really wrong? Who is it hurting?
Like the ouija board, the culture throws glitter on it and suddenly it’s no big deal. 
But we as faithful Catholics know how dangerous these things can be. We know Satan is real, demons exist, and temptation isn’t just a fact, it’s a force. Our children, when they grow up (and in some cases as littles), face an incredible amount of spiritual warfare. 
This has been happening since The Fall and we see lots of references to this kind of warfare in scripture. 
In Luke 10, Jesus recounts the massive war in Heaven between God’s angelic forces and Lucifer and his demons. 
Jesus tells His followers, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from the sky.” The battle really happened. Satan really prowls the earth looking for the ruin of souls. 
It might seem hard to get on board. Sure there are bad things around us – politicians we don’t agree with and policies that aren’t good, but demons? 
If you’re among the skeptical Catholics, I hear you. It sometimes seems wild, made up. But did you know that there are lots of instances in the Bible of spiritual warfare? 
✅ Angels visit Sodom and are attacked by the townspeople. The angels strike the men with blindness and later lead Lot and his family out of the city before it is decimated. (Genesis 19)
✅ God sends an angel to destroy nearly 200,000 men in the Assyrian army, saving Jerusalem from conquest. (2 Kings 19:35)
✅ Joshua encounters an angel who says he’s the commander of the Lord’s armies, indicating God’s divine intercessions in Israel's battles. (Joshua 5: 13-15) 
✅ An angel of the Lord stands in the way of Balaam, who is on his way to curse Israel, preventing his journey and speaking through Balaam's donkey. (Numbers 22:21-35) 
And, a story that many people don’t know is in the Bible… the time St. Michael had to rescue another angel from a demon attack. 
In Daniel 10, an angel appears to Daniel and says the reason he was three weeks late for their meeting is that he ended up in a battle with a demon called the “Prince of Persia” and St. Michael had to come and end it. 
That’s in the Bible! 🤯🤯
So, we know these things exist. We know they’re not new but more prevalent than ever. What can we do to protect our kids? And how do we talk to our younger kids about spiritual warfare? 
Our role as parents is first to make our children aware that spiritual warfare exists. I’m not saying you need to have a huge theological discussion or watch The Exorcist together, but they do need to know there are evil forces in the world. 
You could start by sharing the story of the battle in Heaven in Revelation 12 and tell your kids that one day God will wipe all evil from the earth for good. But until then, we have to guard our hearts so we’re not led astray.   
We can do that in part by learning prayers of protection (like St. Michael’s Prayer), asking our guardian angels to look out for us, and asking for intercession from the Saints and Mary. But most importantly, we can do that by attending Mass and participating in the sacraments. 
If your kids have questions, be open to talking with them! You can be honest without scaring them. 

It feels fitting to share our Glow-in-the-Dark St. Benedict Pop-It! St. Benedict is most well known as the patron saint of exorcism and a powerful intercessor for protection. 

We love this pop-it because it’s a conversation starter and has the fun added effect of being a (literal) light in darkness! 

St. Benedict and St. Michael, pray for us!

June 27, 2024 — Olivia Olachea