Remember Jesus’ words to Peter? "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." (Lk: 22:31) St. Peter took these words to heart, for in his first letter he advised us:
Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you (1 Peter 5: 8-10).
Pope Leo XIII too was aware of this spiritual war. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, a journal from Rome published in 1947 gives an account of a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII, Fr. Domenico Pechenino. Fr. Pechenino related that while the Pope was attending Mass, he began to look upwards and displayed an unusual expression on his face. He left Mass and went to his private office, and a short time later called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites, handing him a document. This document contained a well-known prayer, which the Pope made part of a set of prayers to be recited on behalf of the Church at the end of Low Mass. This prayer was taught to every member of the faithful, as Dr. Kreeft has written, until:
….the 1960s. And that was exactly when the Catholic Church was struck with the incomparably swift disaster that has taken away half its priests, two-thirds of its nuns and nine-tenths of its children's theological and moral knowledge by turning the faith of our fathers into the doubts of our dissenters. It's been a diabolical reversal of Christ's first miracle at Cana, converting the wine of the gospel into the water of psychobabble, an antimiracle by the Antichrist.
Pope Leo wrote:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.