Fr. Lou Aldrich, S.J. is visiting our parish community on July 27-28, 2019. He will be giving a one-day seminar on July 27 from 10 am to 4 pm; the topic is: Spiritual Warfare. Fr. Aldrich is a professor of theology at Fu Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan and is also involved in evangelization work with the Chinese Lay Missionaries Foundation.
Since the Church began, St. Paul warned Christians that they must prepare for spiritual war. Church tradition teaches that this is a battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. With regards to the devil, St. Paul said: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12) With regards to the desires of the flesh, Paul said: “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.” (Galatians 5:17) With regards to the world, Jesus said: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) St. Ignatius said: “The fastest and almost only way to achieve sanctification is to have a sense of horror to the lust of the world.”
In the present era, Pope St. John Paul II said that spiritual warfare needs to be taught in today’s Christian life; it is an invisible battle in which we are engaged in everyday. Vatican II concluded that human history is full of hard battles against the forces of darkness. As the Lord said, this war began with creation and will last until the end of time. In this battlefield, people must struggle constantly and steadfastly. But at the same time, man must rely on the grace of God and remain determined in this struggle.
Beginning with the history of spiritual warfare, Father Aldrich will explain the nature of our main spiritual enemies and how to defeat them by faith in Jesus. This seminar will include how the devil affects us and how we can protect ourselves and others. The seminar will also examine why the devil is such a powerful force in today’s world and how we should respond to it. Father Aldrich will also explain the process by which temptation leads to sin; and how the attraction of the world keeps us away from God and away from the life of grace. Father Aldrich will also explain gernerational spiritual warfare. Engaging in spiritual warfare can ultimately help us develop spiritual and moral virtues, especially humility and love.
A mature spiritual life enables a person to not only distinguish between good and evil, but to also face evil. Spiritual warfare can be seen both in the Old and New Testaments. In the evangelization and spirituality of today, it is also necessary to learn it! In this workshop, Fr. Lou Aldrich, in addition to teaching how to resist the “world, flesh and devil”, also teaches prayers which give us the strength to walk with the Lord!