[WATCH OUT] Here Are 5 Ways The Devil Attacks Catholics During Lent

As a Catholic scholar, it’s essential to acknowledge the spiritual battle that every Catholic engages in, especially during the season of Lent. Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, meant to bring us closer to God. However, just like any other journey towards something good, obstacles are bound to come our way. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil…” (CCC 409).

We should remember St. Peter’s warning, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8, KJV). As Lent brings us opportunities for spiritual growth, it also presents increased challenges from the devil to deter us from our righteous path.

1. Tempting Us to Abandon our Lenten Commitments

What the Church Teaches

The devil tempts us in ways that make it difficult to stick to our Lenten commitments. As the Catechism tells us, “The devil ‘has sinned from the beginning’; he is ‘a liar and the father of lies.'” (CCC 391). Just like he tempted Jesus in the desert, the devil tries to deter us from our fasting, prayers, and almsgiving.

How to Respond

Jesus provides us the template for overcoming temptation in the desert, where he combated Satan’s temptations with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). Similarly, we can find strength in the Word of God and the Sacraments to resist temptations during Lent.

2. Sowing Discouragement and Despair

What the Church Teaches

The devil loves to make us feel like we are not good enough or that our efforts during Lent are futile. However, this is not what the Church teaches. According to the Catechism, “By his passion and death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering” (CCC 1505). Our struggles and sacrifices are valuable and redemptive when united with Christ’s sacrifice.

How to Respond

Confession and prayer are essential tools in overcoming despair. The Catechism assures us that the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about “a true ‘spiritual resurrection,’ restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God” (CCC 1468).

3. Creating Division Among the Faithful

What the Church Teaches

The devil seeks to divide the Body of Christ. Scripture tells us, “Where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind” (James 3:16, NRSV).

How to Respond

The Church teaches that, “The more one co-operates with grace, the more one’s own human will adheres to the divine will, the greater the level of prayer” (CCC 2714). When we align ourselves with God’s will through prayer, we can find unity with our fellow Catholics, fighting the divisive tactics of the devil.

4. Using Our Past Sins Against Us

What the Church Teaches

Satan often brings up our past sins to make us feel unworthy. However, the Church is clear that, “There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive” (CCC 982).

How to Respond

Again, the sacrament of Reconciliation offers a path to freedom. As St. Paul says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV). Our past sins are washed away, allowing us to proceed on our Lenten journey without being held back by shame or guilt.

5. Encouraging Pride and Self-Righteousness

What the Church Teaches

The devil can even turn our good deeds against us by encouraging a sense of pride or self-righteousness. The Church warns us that “Christ’s gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues” but that we must “always recognize that our virtues come from God’s grace” (CCC 1811).

How to Respond

Humility is the key to overcoming pride. Remember Christ’s words, “When you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'” (Luke 17:10, NRSV).

In conclusion, the devil attacks in many ways, especially during our Lenten journey. However, the Church, through its teachings and sacraments, provides us with the tools we need to overcome these attacks. The universal teaching of the Church—validated by Scripture and the Catechism—affirms that while the devil is a formidable enemy, he is not invincible. By arming ourselves with the Word of God, frequenting the Sacraments, and adhering to the teachings of the Church, we can withstand his attacks and continue on our Lenten journey towards Christ.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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