"But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." —Luke 11:20
In Lent, we imitate Jesus when He fasted forty days and overcame the temptations of Satan (Mt 4:2ff). Some demons cannot be driven out except through prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21). "Prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil" (The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100).
In today's Gospel reading, we hear about Jesus "casting out a devil" (Lk 11:14) and showing that He is stronger than the strong man, Satan (Lk 11:22). Just as in the Gospel, Jesus is driving out demons right now, but this is only the beginning. At the end of our forty-day fast, Jesus has planned a worldwide rout of demons when hundreds of millions of Catholics proclaim their faith and reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. This Easter time, God the Father plans to manifest that He has disarmed "the principalities and powers. He made a public show of them and, leading them off captive, triumphed in the person of Christ" (Col 2:15).
Be faithful in your Lenten prayer and fasting. Satan and his demons are shaking and convulsing, as the Church exercises the authority given her by Jesus. The rout is on. Fast in faith.
Prayer: Father, may I see Lent the way You see it.
Promise: "Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper." —Jer 7:23
Praise: Carolyn knows from experience that some demons are driven away by prayer and fasting.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000