Is the devil real? Do demons actually work to thwart our holy attempts? What can we do to protect our children from demonic influence? In this episode of The Catholic Mama podcast, I got a chance to speak with Kathleen Beckman, a Catholic wife, mother, and grandmother who has an impressive resume of evangelization and work within the Catholic Church, including training and working with exorcists for the past decade and a half.
Since my conversion to the faith in 2018, I’ve been surprised by how many Catholics I’ve met who seem to waver in their belief of whether or not hell and the devil are real. However, the Church affirms the real existence of these entities (not just as symbols but real actual things).
“The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity…” (CCC 1035).
“Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
“The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.” (CCC 394 and 395)
But the belief in hell, demonic activity, and spiritual warfare is actually on a slight uptick among Catholics (60% of Catholics believed in hell in 2007 vs. 63% in 2014 according to Pew Research), while more and more priests are being trained to accommodate the rapidly growing number of reported exorcism needs.
Coupled with what people are feeling internally as spiritual problems, take one look at the news or social media or try and have a civil conversation with a friend, family member, or coworker about anything from the upcoming election to face mask mandates, and we can instantly see just how divided we’ve become. And that is exactly what the devil likes – division and separation from each other and God.
So getting to speak with Kathleen about spiritual warfare and her latest book, A Family Guide to Spiritual Warfare, is extremely apropos. Kathleen was great to talk to on this fascinating topic, and I think you’ll really enjoy this episode. So download the episode below or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere you normally access podcasts. The Catholic Mama is there!
You can also preorder a copy of her book, published by Sophia Institute Press, on Amazon, leading up to its September 17, 2020 release. Also be sure and connect with Kathleen at her website KathleenBeckman.com, as well as through her apostolate of spiritual motherhood and fatherhood for priests, Foundation of Prayer for Priests, at http://www.foundationforpriests.org/.
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