Bishop asks for prayers to defeat evil in world Print E-mail
Bishop's Column
Written by Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison   
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

I pray that you and yours enjoyed a very happy Thanksgiving this past week.

Further, I hope that you are able to enter into a very blessed season of Advent. Please God, it will be an excellent time of preparation for the glorious celebration of Christmas.

Last week, I sent a letter to your priests with regard to an addition to the Prayers of the Faithful and a particular prayer of heavenly intercession I am asking to be included during (at least) every Sunday Mass, at parishes within the Diocese of Madison.

You should hear your priests talking about this in the coming weeks and should see it implemented by the Feast of the Holy Family, December 31. It has regard to what I perceive to be a growing need for us to pray, particularly, for the triumph of good in our world and the overcoming of evil.

I hope that I do not need to make the case for the reality of the presence of evil in our world. My sense, from talking to people, from watching and reading the news, and from seeing the interaction of people -- particularly on social media -- is that almost everyone is aware that there is something very wrong in the world.

What seems not to be clear to people is exactly what it is that is wrong with our world.

Saint Michael Prayer
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense
against the wickedness
and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him,
we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

I know that it’s very much out of fashion, but I am proposing that what is wrong, is the very same thing that has been wrong for millennia: sin.

All of humankind is bound up in the reality of a world that is fallen, operating with natures that are fallen. We continue to experience the effects of a broken world, effects that continue to compound year after year.

World is not as God intended it to be

This world is not the way God intended it.

The sin of our first parents (Adam and Eve) changed that for everyone. And just as the rebellious fallen angels, led by Lucifer himself, were at work, encouraging Adam and Eve to choose something other-than-God then, the “Ancient Serpent” remains at work in our world to this day, encouraging each of us to that which is other-than-God and other-than-His-plan.

And while we know that Jesus Christ, through His obedience in suffering and death, and through His glorious Resurrection, has defeated sin and death once and for all, we also know that this world has not yet experienced the deliverance which will come with the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.

Christ’s victory is thus “already” and “not yet.” And so, we continue to toil and to struggle as a pilgrim Church, awaiting the second coming of the Lord, and inviting all to meet Him and to know His plan for their salvation, for their joy and peace.

Pray and work for God’s Kingdom

It is therefore our duty to pray and to work for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. (And we should be all the more mindful of this need to pray for Christ’s coming during the Season of Advent, in which we recall Christ’s coming in the first place.)

It is our duty to pray and to work for the triumph of good in our world, for the triumph of Christ the King, and it is our duty to pray and to work for the casting out of evil, and for the binding and casting of the one who is called the enemy of our human nature and the father of lies, so that all that is not of God might be defeated.

The power of our prayer in this regard is certainly a great mystery, and yet as Catholics, we believe strongly in the efficacy of our petitions to the Father. We know that He hears our cries for help, and we know that our submitting to His will and our reliance on His help is, in itself, an act of faith that is pleasing to Him.

General Intercession petitions

And so, I have asked for a particular petition or petitions to be added into the General Intercessions at all Sunday and Solemnity Masses, and for the petitions to be offered always to the Father and through the Son, but also with a particular prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, who in Scripture is called “the great prince,” and “guardian of [God’s] people (Daniel 12:1).” And who, through Scripture, we see as the great warrior angel who defeats Satan himself and drives him into hell.

Thus, as a local Church, we will intensify our prayers for the particular intention of the defeat of evil in this world and for the triumph of good.

I would encourage that through your own prayer, too, you make certain to include the intentions for the casting out of evil in our own lives, and rely more frequently upon the heavenly intercession of St. Michael the Archangel.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Praised be Jesus Christ!