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Monday, February 23, 2004

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St. Polycarp

James 3:13-18
Psalm 19
Mark 9:14-29

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highly restricted, demonic area

"When Jesus arrived at the house, His disciples began to ask Him privately, 'Why is it that we could not expel it?' He told them, 'This kind you can drive out only by prayer.' " —Mark 9:28-29

Demons are part of our everyday life on earth. The Lord allows demons to tempt us and even harass us. We live in the midst of demonic degradation and destruction.

However, we can greatly minimize demonic influence in our surroundings by being baptized and living fully our Baptisms. When we were baptized, we rejected Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. Even if we should sin after Baptism, we can cut short demonic opportunities by going to Confession as soon as possible after we sin. Moreover, by regular Confession, we can strengthen ourselves and avoid falling into sin. Finally, by committed prayer, we can drive out demons, which we would otherwise have to endure (Mk 9:29). So many people unnecessarily let demons persist for years in their disruptive, degrading activities because they don't take seriously Jesus' statement: "This kind you can drive out only by prayer" (Mk 9:29).

At this time, Satan and his demons are restricted (see Rv 20:2; 2 Thes 2:6-7). Let us make sure they are as restricted as possible.

Prayer:  Father, make me completely intolerant of demonic activity.

Promise:  "If one of you is wise and understanding, let him show this in practice through a humility filled with good sense." —Jas 3:13

Praise:  St. Polycarp was condemned to die by burning at the stake as a martyr. God protected him from the burning flames (see Is 43:2), so his executioners were forced to stab him to death.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Daily Prayer on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003