If ever we needed help to deal with all of the challenges and attacks, both spiritual and secular, it is now!! If I have one more conversation with family members who are buying into the "the world's fine-you need to respect every choice that's available to us" junk, my head's going to explode!! Serenity now and I'll stop. In Krakow, on June 2, 1938, the Lord Jesus dictated to a young Sister of Mercy a three-day retreat. Faustina Kowalska minutely recorded Christ’s instructions in her Diary, which is a mystical manual in prayer and divine mercy. This diary lists the revelations of Christ on the subject of spiritual warfare, on how to protect oneself from demon attacks. These instructions became Faustina’s weapon in the fight against the enemy evil. Jesus began by saying: “My daughter, I want to instruct you on the spiritual struggle.” 1. Never trust in yourself, but fully give yourself to My Will. Trust is a spiritual weapon. It is part of the shield of faith that St. Paul mentions in the Letter to the Ephesians (6:10-17): the armor of the Christian. The abandonment to God’s will is an act of trust; faith in action dispels evil spirits. 2. In desolation, in darkness and various doubts, resort to Me and to your spiritual director; He will answer you always in my name. In times of spiritual warfare, immediately pray to Jesus. Invoke his Holy Name, which is much feared by the enemy. Take the darkness to light by telling everything to your spiritual director or confessor and follow his instructions. 3. Do not start arguing with any temptation; just shut yourself in My Heart. In the Garden of Eden, Eve he negotiated with the devil and lost. We must appeal to the Sacred Heart and retreat there. Running to Jesus is the best way to respond to the devil. 4. At the first opportunity, go to confession. A good confession, a good confessor and good penitence are the perfect recipe for victory over temptation and demonic oppression. This never fails! 5. Place self-love last, so do not puff yourself up. Love itself is natural, but needs to be ordered, free from pride. Humility overcomes the devil, who is the perfect reflection of pride. Satan tempts us to the inordinate love of self, which leads to sinful pride. 6. Have great patience, even with yourself. Patience is a great secret weapon that helps us maintain our peace of soul, even in the great storms of life. Patience with yourself is part of humility and confidence. The devil tempts us to impatience, to turn us against ourselves, so that we stay angry. Look at yourself through the eyes of God. He is infinitely patient. 7. Do not neglect interior mortifications, especially prayer and fasting. Scripture teaches us that some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. The interior mortifications are weapons of war. They may be small sacrifices offered with great love. The power of sacrifice for love dislodges the enemy. 8. Trust the judgment of the Church, and of your Confessor. Christ spoke to St. Faustina, who lived in a convent. But we all have people in authority over us. The devil aims to divide and conquer; then, the humble obedience to the authentic authority is a spiritual weapon. 9. Flee from gossip and detraction, as if it were the plague. Language is a powerful vessel that can cause a lot of damage. But murmuring or gossiping is never God. The devil is a liar who generates false accusations and gossip that can kill the reputation of a person. Reject the murmurings. 10. Let others do as they please; attend to your own soul and my requests. The person’s mind is the key to spiritual warfare. The devil is a busybody trying to drag everyone down. Seek to please God and let go of the opinions of others. 11. Observe the rule as faithfully as possible. Jesus refers to the rule of a religious order here. But we’ve all made some kind of vow or promise before God and the Church to which we must be faithful: baptismal promises, marriage vows, etc. Satan tempts us to infidelity, to anarchy and disobedience. Fidelity is a weapon for victory. 12. Be not resentful or return bad behavior in kind. Think how to best be Christlike to one who makes you suffer. Being a channel of the Divine Mercy is a weapon to do good and defeat evil. The devil works using hatred, anger, revenge, lack of forgiveness. Many people have offended us. What will we do in return? To respond with a blessing and good will takes power away from evil. 13. Avoid dissipation and cultivate detachment for inner calm. A talkative soul will be more easily attacked by the devil. Pour your feelings only before the Lord. The feelings are ephemeral. The truth is your compass. The interior recollection is a spiritual armor. 14. Hold your tongue when you are rebuked. We’ve all been reprimanded at some point. We have no control over this, but we can control our response. The need to be right all the time can lead us to demonic traps. God knows the truth. Let it go. Silence is a protection. The devil can use the self-righteousness to make us stumble, too. 15. Be frank and simple before God and others. The simplicity of life can cast out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the liar. When we lie, we step onto his turf, and he will try to seduce us even more. 16. Do not be discouraged when you are met with ingratitude. Nobody likes to be underappreciated. But when we meet with ingratitude or insensitivity, discouragement of mind can be a burden for us. Resist all discouragement, because it never comes from God. It is one of the most effective temptations of the devil. Be grateful towards all things of the day and you will win. 17. Do not engage in divination; be not curious about dark things. The need to know and curiosity for the future are temptations that led many people to the occult dark rooms. Choose to walk in faith. Decide to trust God, which leads to the path of heaven. Always resist the spirit of curiosity. 18. When boredom and discouragement knock on the door of your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My Heart. Jesus delivers the same message the second time. Now, he refers to boredom. Earlier in the diary, he told St. Faustina that the devil tries to make our souls idle. Be careful with this, because the idle souls are easy prey of the devil. 19. Do not be afraid of the fight. Fear is the second most common tactic of the devil (the first is pride). Spiritual courage intimidates the devil; he will flee before the persevering courage that is in Jesus, the rock. All people struggle, and God is our provision. 20. Resist evil always with the deep conviction that I am with you. Jesus asked St. Faustina to fight with conviction. We can do this because Christ came, was incarnate and resurrected. We Christians are called to fight with conviction against all demonic tactics. The devil tries to terrorize the souls, but we must resist this terrorism. Invoke the Holy Spirit throughout the day. 21. Be willing to love, to choose to be open to my will. All merit lies in the will, for love is an act of will. We are completely free in Christ. We need to make a choice, a decision for good or evil. In which way will we live? 22. In the smallest things be always submissive to your superior. Here, Jesus is instructing a nun. We all have the Lord as our superior (also represented by priests, confessors, spiritual directors, parents, spouses, etc). Dependence on God is a spiritual warfare weapon, because we can not win on our own. 23. Do not delude yourself with prospects of peace and consolations, but prepare for major battles ahead. Santa Faustina suffered physically and spiritually. She was ready for great battles, by the grace of God. Christ clearly tells us in the Bible to be prepared for major battles, to put on the armor of God and resist the devil (Ephesians 6:11). 24. Know who and what you are, and that the whole earth and all heaven are watching you. We are all in a great stage setting in which heaven and earth look at us. What message are we giving by our way of life? Are we radiating the Light or too much in the shades and the gray areas? If the devil cannot take us to the darkness, he tries to keep us in the gray fog of confusion, which is not pleasing to God. 25. Fight as a valiant knight, so I can reward you; and fear not, for you are not alone. The words of the Lord to St. Faustina can become our motto: “Fight Like a Knight.” Soldiers of Christ know the cause for which they fight, the nobility of their mission. They know the King they serve, and fight to the end, with the blessed assurance of victory. These words are from Faustina’s Diary (1760). If a young Polish woman, without training, a simple nun, united to Christ, can fight like a knight, a soldier, every Christian can do the same. Trust is victorious.