Strategies for Combating the Devil and Spiritual Evil in Recovery

As a faithful member of Catholic in Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous, I’m abundantly blessed to have so many avenues at my disposal to remain sober and grateful to be able to share my experience, strength, and hope with others. But what if I told you that even with a very full life in recovery and the Church that the Devil and his minions are always lurking around, waiting for the right moment to snatch away my peace and serenity?

This might be difficult to hear if all is well and you feel like you’re on the right track but that is when the evil one would love nothing more than to derail your progress and stop us dead in our tracks. This is why it’s a matter of life and death that we remain vigilant in our daily inventory—that we remain on guard against any fears, resentments, or self-pity that may crop up to give the Devil space to do damage in our lives.

The Devil is the master deceiver and manipulator, and he desires nothing more than to use the people in our life, our circumstances, and our emotions for his benefit. He would love nothing more than to rob us of the very love, trust, hope, and ultimate peace that comes from sobriety and God. He waits patiently in the dark shadows where he can catch us off guard.

The things that can cause me unrest and give the Devil a foothold might be different from your own, but it’s important to know what they are so we can avoid them. For example, I find TV and the internet to be filled with vile and disgusting content, to be honest. It’s common to come across profanity, nudity, and inappropriate language. I also don’t watch any paranormal or horror flicks since I don’t want to potentially invite evil into my heart or home. I may seem like a prude or a fanatic but I take seriously the Holy Spirit’s command to protect and keep holy my body, mind, and spirit. 

Another avenue of spiritual danger for me would be music. Back in the days of my active addiction, you would have found me at AC/DC or Black Sabbath concerts. But after becoming and remaining sober for a while, I came to the profound realization that music touches the deepest part of my soul and I had to be careful, therefore, about what kind of music touches that part of my being. As a result, I now stick to Christian music, Gregorian chant, and Relevant radio. While AC/DC’s song “Highway to Hell” makes up a painful part of my past, I’m grateful to have changed course and taken the road of recovery and the highway toward eternal life instead.

We must never rest on our laurels, going to any length to remain sober and as close to God’s will as we can. I personally find God in spiritual reading, heavenly music, and media that reflect goodness and beauty. Other fantastic ways to remain spiritually fit and protected from evil are, of course, the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which are two extremely powerful weapons against evil. Weekly Eucharistic adoration, the daily reading of Scripture, and Mass are also extremely powerful weapons. 

Some of my most beloved intercessors are the archangels, specifically St. Michael and my guardian angel. These spiritual beings provide me with their unfailing protection and strength. That is why I highly encourage all of us in recovery to call upon their heavenly intercession as much as we can. To end this reflection, I offer you two wonderful prayers for calling upon angelic protection against the snares of the Devil and his demons.

Our Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits thee here. Ever this day/night be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection and care 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 power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

By God’s grace, Kathy has been clean and sober since June 1, 2006, and is an active member of Catholic in Recovery. She also feels called to share the merciful love of Christ’s healing grace with all those suffering from the pain and wounds caused by abortion. On most days, you can find her at daily Mass, the gym, or caring for the needs of her family.