POA-V12 Aids for the Battle Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare :Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

For in spite of all the witness of creation and of the salvific economy inherent in it, the spirit of darkness is capable of showing God as an enemy of his own creature, and in the first place as an enemy of man, as a source of danger and threat to man. In this way Satan manages to sow in man’s soul the seed of opposition to the one who “from the beginning” would be considered as man’s enemy— and not as Father. Man is challenged to become the adversary of God! The analysis of sin in its original dimension indicates that, through the influence of the “father of lies,” throughout the history of humanity there will be a constant pressure on man to reject God, even to the point of hating Him: “Love of self to the point of contempt for God,” as St. Augustine puts it. POPE JOHN PAUL II, DOMINUM ET VIVIFICANTEM (PAPAL ENCYCLICAL, 1986), 38

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POA-V11 Keep the Enemy Out of the Camp – Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/ Dr. Paul Thigpen

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 5:Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Episode 11 – “Keep the Enemy Out of the Camp” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 11:

Satan has his Trojan horses as well. He sometimes tempts us to embrace what looks like a desirable gift. But despite the attractive appearance, it’s actually a catastrophe waiting for an invitation to invade. Playing with a Ouija board, for instance, may seem innocent enough, a diversion indulged in for the simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity. But such boards have been known to provide demons with easy access to those who thought them only a harmless game. To play with them is to play with fire.

Exorcists have in fact reported cases in which this practice— and other, more obviously serious, sins— have opened the gates of a soul to extraordinary demonic phenomena. Actions and activities commonly reported to have such terrifying consequences include satanic rituals; witchcraft, sorcery and so-called “white magic”; participation in religious cults; occult practices, such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion.Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility, some have committed these sins, and in doing so have opened themselves to demonic infestation, oppression, obsession, and even possession.

Blessed Pope Paul VI noted this danger when he warned that many Christians in modern times are “exposing their souls— their baptized souls, visited so often by the Eucharistic Presence and inhabited by the Holy Spirit!— to licentious sensual experiences and to harmful drugs, as well as to the ideological seductions of fashionable errors. These are cracks through which the Evil One can easily penetrate and change the human mind.”

In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness.

If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately. And if we’ve ever committed such sins in the past, but have never confessed them, we need to confess them to God, seeking forgiveness and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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POA-V10 “Know your Armor – The Virtues” Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 5:Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defensive armor.

As Blessed Pope Paul VI once observed, St. Paul “used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable.” They are our best defense against his attacks, for they guard our minds and hearts from his deceptions and temptations. A lapse in virtue is in fact a chink in our armor that makes us vulnerable.

Each of these virtues, then, and all the others as well, play a vital role in protecting us from enemy assault as the armor we must wear. St. Paul sums it up: “Put on, therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3: 12– 14). Only with such armor will we be fully covered and protected from the Evil One’s attacks.

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POA-V9 “Know your Weapons” pt. 4 Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Blessings and blessed objects. Both the blessings that are properly given by clergy (such as those in the Liturgy) and the blessings spoken by lay people as part of their daily lives (such as a table grace) are important sacramentals. They can sanctify our thoughts, our actions, and our surroundings in a way that repels the Enemy. We see their power most clearly when used to remedy the demonic infestation of a building or object through a priestly blessing with holy water. Throughout the centuries, the testimony of many Christians, including a number of saints, confirms that objects blessed by a priest, through the power of the Church’s intercession, can repel demonic powers. Again and again, evil spirits have recoiled in dread, not just from the Sign of the Cross, but also from holy water and blessed oil, crosses, crucifixes, medals, candles, or salt. These can be used by priests in exorcisms as well as by lay Christians in everyday life. So the faithful sometimes keep such sacramentals in their homes. The home itself (as well as other buildings) can be blessed by a priest as well.

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POA-V8 “Know your Weapons” pt. 3 Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

The weapon of sacramentals The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes sacramentals as sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, especially of a spiritual kind, that are obtained through the Church’s intercession. Through sacramentals, we are disposed to receive the primary effect of the sacraments, and they make holy various occasions in life (see CCC 1667).

Exorcism. Since ancient times, Christians have recognized the power of the Church’s intercession as it’s displayed through the use of sacramentals. Most notably, the ministry of exorcism is itself a sacramental. In an exorcism, the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the Devil’s power and withdrawn from his dominion. Just as Jesus performed exorcisms, He has given the Church the power and office to perform them (see CCC 1673).

According to Church law, only a priest with the bishop’s permission can perform a major (or solemn) exorcism— that is, the rite required to free a demon-possessed person. Any priest, however, can perform a minor exorcism in cases other than possession. These involve private prayers and blessings, either spontaneous or as provided by the ritual of the Church. They may be helpful in cases of oppression, obsession, and even infestation. In addition, the Rite of Infant Baptism and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) contain prayers of exorcism.

The Sign of the Cross. St. Athanasius wrote that before the coming of Christ, demonic powers used to deceive the pagans into worshipping them and obeying their oracles. “But now,” he observed in the fourth century, “since the divine appearance of the Word [Christ], all this deception has come to an end. For by the Sign of the Cross, if a man will only use it, their deceptions are driven out.”

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POA-V7 “Know your Weapons” pt. 2 Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

The weapon of the sacraments Christ has given the seven sacraments to His Church as channels of grace into our lives. That grace is powerful to transform us into the image of Christ and to see us safely home to heaven. No wonder, then, that the Devil hates the sacraments and tries to keep us from receiving them. They, too, are weapons of our warfare, each one with a special power to protect us and to send the demons away from us

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POA-V6 “Know your Weapons” pt. 1 Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

The weapon of prayer In writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul goes on to identify several specific pieces of armor, and weapons as well. Indispensable in this list of the spiritual warrior’s equipment is prayer. “With all prayer and supplication,” he insists, “pray at all times in the Spirit, and . . . be vigilant in all perseverance and all supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6: 18).
The weapon of worship Of course, prayer isn’t just a private matter. Praying not just for others, but with others, forms an important part of spiritual warfare. And the most perfect prayer in which we can join with our fellow warriors is the prayer of the Mass.

Worship is a spiritual weapon. When we worship God, we enter into His presence in a powerful way. Because demons tremble at His presence, they are reluctant to follow us there.
The weapon of Eucharistic adoration Outside of Mass, the other great refuge from the Devil and his wiles is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

The weapon of fasting Throughout Sacred Scripture, we find that when God’s people fast, the power of their prayers is increased, especially when they are engaged in spiritual warfare. In the Old Testament, the Lord told Isaiah that a fast properly undertaken would “loose the bonds of wickedness . . . undo the thongs of the yoke . . . let the oppressed go free” (Is 58: 6).

 

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POA-V5 “”Know your Commander and Comrades” Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 3:

How can we possibly defeat “that ancient Serpent who is called the Devil” (Rv 12:9)?

Our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of hell and death, calls us to battle alongside Him against the Enemy so that we can have a share in His victory. To fight the good fight, however, we must know not only our adversary and his strategies; we must also know the comrades that our great Commander has given to us.

The Book of Revelation describes Christ’s final return to earth in glory as a Warrior leading a charge in battle against Satan and his allies, with “the armies of heaven” accompanying Him (see Rv 19:11–14). In his two epistles to the Thessalonians, St. Paul specifies who is in those armies: When Christ comes in His final glorious triumph, He will come “with all his saints” (1 Thes 3:13) and “with the angels of His power, in flaming fire” (2 Thes 1:7–8). Even now, those hosts of saints and angels are our comrades in battle.

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POA-V4 “Extraordinary Activity” Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

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Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 2:

Beyond the ordinary activity of demons through temptation is their extraordinary activity. This destructive work is more powerful and manifests itself, not only in thoughts, but also in the physical realm. Most observers of demonic tactics agree that the following activities occur, but
they sometimes differ in how they categorize the various phenomena. Here’s one common way of
classifying them: Infestation…Oppression…Obsession…Possession

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POA-V3 “The Activity of the Enemy” Put On The Armor: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen – Video

POA-V3 Put On The Armor with Dr. Paul Thigpen, from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 2:

The ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination — and ultimately, our will. They can suggest such ideas indirectly through our senses, especially through what we see and hear. The ideas may come through conversations, reading, or various social and communications media. Demons may also have a role in arranging circumstances around us in a way that leads to certain thoughts.
Meanwhile, thoughts may come into our mind directly from the Enemy as well. How is that possible? As we’ve noted, when words come to us from outside ourselves, they normally come through our senses, which help us to discern the physical medium that is their source.
But the demons have no physical bodies. So when they communicate thoughts to us without using a physical medium, we may not discern that the thoughts come from outside us. Instead, we may mistake the thoughts as our own — and that misperception is obviously to the Enemy’s advantage.
What kinds of thoughts do evil spirits suggest to us? Most often, they influence us through temptation. They entice us to commit sin. But how exactly do they provide us occasions of sin?

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