April 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A new EWTN show encourages Catholics to be “Battle Ready” in the fight for their souls by using an “amazing array” of under-promoted spiritual “weapons.”
BATTLE READY, a 10-episode series, is hosted by Catholic apologist Doug Barry.
Catholics can grow in holiness during dark times by using sacramentals like the Brown Scapular, praying the rosary, and studying the lives of the saints, Barry said. BATTLE READY aims to prepare people to fight against the devil so that their souls won't be lost – especially during a time when homilies are “neutered” of the full truth and most Catholics aren't awake to the spiritual battle taking place.
BATTLE READY airs every Sunday at 11:30 p.m. EST. It encores Monday at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Below is an email interview with Barry that explains the purpose of the show, how the devil attacks humans to attack God, and what can be done about the “unprecedented breakdown of morality” facing society.
LifeSiteNews: Tell us about your new EWTN show, BATTLE READY. How do you hope it will educate Catholics?
Doug Barry: Every one of us has been given a soul that is created in the image and likeness of God. The soul is the most important part of who we are. Many people either do not know this or do not value this. And we will not fight for something if we do not value it. BATTLE READY exists to remind us of the reality of the fight for our souls and to help wake up the fighting spirit in every Christian, young and old, man or woman.
There is much that God has given us through the Catholic Church that is intended to help us combat the attacks that come at us from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Many Catholics are unaware of the battle and untrained in the area of the spiritual fight. We are all seeing the incredible destruction taking place in our world on many levels. But the most devastating area where the destruction is the most serious is in the area of morality. The devil has made great gains against us here.
LifeSiteNews: What exactly is “spiritual combat”?
Doug Barry: The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us in paragraph 409: This dramatic situation of “the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one” makes man's life a battle:
The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.
St. Paul adds to this when he tells us in Ephesisns 6:12 that we are in a battle not with flesh and blood but with the principalities and powers of darkness. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us about an enemy that seeks to devour us. These are just a few of the many references to the spiritual battle that God reveals to us through Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church.
But spiritual combat is largely underestimated and misunderstood. For years I have traveled throughout the country giving talks and BATTLE READY rallies in parishes on this subject. I have found that while the warning we receive from the Catechism and Sacred Scripture is a warning for all Christians, many either do not take it seriously or don’t care. An exorcist once told me that the fact of the matter is, the devils do not care that much about us. The devils hate God. But they cannot touch God. They can’t hurt Him. So they wage war against those that are closest to God, those created in His image and likeness.
There is no question that the way to inflict the greatest damage on we, the targets of the demons, is to hit us where it hurts the most. And that is to destroy our souls and separate us from God eternally. That is the root of spiritual combat. Don’t be foolish and ignore this. You have a bull's-eye painted on your soul.
LifeSiteNews: What are the most under-used spiritual “weapons” that can help Catholics grow in holiness and fight sin and evil?
Doug Barry: God has given us an amazing array of weapons to do real damage to the enemy of our souls. Unfortunately, many of them are unknown or ignored. A lot of the ignorance of these weapons has spread rapidly in the last 50 years or so. The conversation regarding their effectiveness against evil is rare, even from the pulpit. We don’t hear much about the need to fight evil. Much of what we hear when it comes to talking about the importance of spiritual weapons has been neutered. It doesn’t have the punch or impact that it should have. But heaven has made the importance of these weapons clear!
Some of the most powerful weapons that we have been given have come from God through the Blessed Mother herself. The rosary is one of the most underappreciated weapons against evil … we should be hearing much more about it in every church, in every Bible study, in every youth group, in every area of the Church. The evidence of the power that the rosary has against evil is enormous.
Other weapons that are under-used include the Sacrament of Confession. Exorcists will say that the devil fears a humble Confession even more than an exorcism. Fasting is another powerful weapon that is rarely ever talked about or understood as a spiritual weapon. The Five First Saturday and Nine First Friday devotions are also incredibly effective. One more that I would emphasize should be used every day in every home is holy water. It is a great threat to the enemy.
LifeSiteNews: What role does the Blessed Virgin Mary play in spiritual combat? Is 2017 an especially important year because it's the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima?
Doug Barry: Our Blessed Mother is the ‘Woman’ we hear about in the book of Genesis 3 who will crush the head of the serpent. She is the ‘Woman’ in Revelation 12 who is pursued by the devil. But he can’t get to her so he goes off to wage war against her offspring. That offspring is us. She said ‘yes’ to God in the most humble and perfect way that any human ever could. Demons have admitted in the midst of exorcisms that when she is called upon in prayer, their attacks are severely weakened. Her presence in our lives drives away evil!
Over and over in the history of the Church this has been seen. She is the one who gave us the Brown Scapular in 1251, telling us that whoever dies wearing this would not suffer the fires of hell. She gave us the rosary in the 13th century as a weapon against evil. She has come to the world in many apparitions, warning us and pleading with us to repent and turn our hearts to her Son. Her role in our lives is enormous. Her love for our souls is perfect and unending. The devils fear her more than they fear any other saint or angel!
This is a critical year. It is the 100th anniversary of the messages in Fatima. This is not just a nice anniversary where we remember some nice event that happened in some field in Portugal to three little children. It comes at a time when we are seeing an unprecedented breakdown of morality, destruction of life and family, and threat of a third world war. In fact, our world has become so accustomed to these problems that many are numb to them and don’t see them as problems.
Much of our world has legalized sodomy and is preaching a message of deep confusion of gender and sexual identity. We are surgically altering bodies in an attempt to redesign what God has created. We are mocking God in ways that we have never seen before. Since the messages of Fatima were given to those children 100 years ago, we, as a society, have not gotten better. We have not responded to the warnings of Our Lady as we should have. The result will be that God will allow us to experience more chaos.
In 1973, the Blessed Mother appeared in Akita, Japan to Sister Sasagawa. She warned the world of a grave chastisement: “Fire will fall from the sky, and a great part of humanity will be annihilated.”
This is part of the message of October 13th, 1973, the anniversary of the miracle of the sun that took place in Fatima in 1917. It is believed that the Akita warning is a continuation of the Fatima warning. This year is vitally important for many reasons. One of those reasons is to remind us of the urgent call for conversion. No matter how some want to spin it, we have not responded as we should have! Our world is in trouble.
LifeSiteNews: There's a lot of confusion within the Church right now, especially regarding the permanence of marriage. How can Catholics best educate themselves about the Church's teachings when various prelates make conflicting statements? How can Catholics spiritually prepare themselves to defend the Church's perennial teachings?
Doug Barry: As the confusion intensifies, we must respond by going to the tried and true sources of teaching. We need to make and take the time to read the catechism, the lives of the saints, and the history of our faith. We need to understand what authority the prelates have and what they can and cannot change. This takes time to study and pray about. It is a must if we are going to be able to hand the faith on to future generations and preserve our own souls. We also MUST increase our prayer and sacramental life. We are going to need strength in ways we could never imagine.
LifeSiteNews: What advice do you have for people who feel they repeatedly fail at growing in holiness or fighting spiritual battles?
Doug Barry: DON’T QUIT! No matter how many times you fall or feel like you have failed, DON’T QUIT! Keep going to confession. Keep praying the rosary. Keep trying to make the changes necessary to grow in holiness. Much of growing in holiness or fighting well in spiritual battles is found in growing in discipline and perseverance. These things can be trained, but we must choose of our own free will to put them into practice and it must be worked on daily. Lastly, remember that this fight is ultimately God’s. We need to trust Him.