For all of man’s history, Satan and his demons have tempted us to turn away from God. Satan was in the Garden of Eden, Christ drove demons out of possessed or oppressed people, and even now as you read this, they are out there battling for souls.
As I wrote earlier I am making a more determined effort to routinely pray, especially at night with my children instead of rushing them off to bed with only a kiss. As we concluded the Our Father together the other night, my daughter asked what “deliver us from evil” means.
“Evil is not just a thing; it is a person — Satan, the Evil One. He was a good angel who chose, out of pride, to reject God, and so he fell from grace. Other angels followed him, and they act as his demons. Demons try to turn you away from God so your soul will be lost to Hell after you die. They can’t control you, but they can pressure you, suggest bad thoughts. That’s why I say you have to be careful about what you watch on TV.”
“So, ‘deliver us from evil’ means we are asking for protection from Satan?”
“Yes. Demons are more powerful than humans.”
As soon as I said that, I realized that I could not leave her in the dark with that thought, so I added, “Demons are more powerful than humans, but demons are not God, who is all-powerful. Satan is not God. As much as he wants to be God, it is impossible. Christ, who is God, already prevailed against Satan. It’s just that in our life as fallen human beings we have to fight spiritual battles for the salvation of souls.”
“How do you do that, Mommy?”
“We pray, just like I told you. We pray the Our Father and ask to be delivered from the Evil One. Sometimes when you feel depressed or anxious, it could be the temptation of demons. Sometimes when you feel scared or angry, it could be the demons. When you pray, you surround yourself with God, and you can ask his good angels, especially your own guardian angel, and the saints to surround you with protection too. Your prayers tell God that you do choose to love, to know, and to serve Him. You have to pray often, but you can rest assured that you are protected when you do.”
“Like a shield, Mommy?”
“Like a shield of love that will sustain you through your hardest times. Goodnight, little warrior. No bad dreams allowed.”