Onward Catholic Solider by John LaBriola
Subtitle: Spiritual Warfare According to Scripture, the Church and the Saints
Luke 1:38 Publishing, Orange California, 2008
This book uses Scripture, quotes and experiences of the saints and the teachings of the Catholic church to do a thorough exploration of the part of prayer known as spiritual warfare or fighting evil and temptation through the means of prayer.
Main sections of the book include:
Tactics of the Enemy (how we are tempted)
Basic Warfare Training (how to resist temptation using Scripture, Sacrament, Thanksgiving etc.)
Advanced Warfare Training (using spiritual authority)
Ongoing Warfare Training (daily tips)
Daily Spiritual Warfare Prayers
Review: This book is on spiritual warfare, or how to fight temptation and evil using our spiritual “weapons” of prayer and mental and physical resistance by staying close to Christ and within the protection of the Church.
What makes this book stand out from most books I’ve read on the subject is that in addition to leaning heavily on the Scripture for instruction he also draws on the great wealth of experience and knowledge on how to resist evil from the saints of all ages. He is able to pull out incredible quotes from those who lived in completely different worlds eons ago yet who faced the same inner and outer temptations that we face today. As the author quotes from Saint Catherine of Siena, “Give not ear to what the devil whispers to you.”
This book is so rich in content that it’s hard to express it all in a short review, so I’ll point out an interesting concept that was new to me: toeholds, footholds and strongholds. He starts out with the toeholds, which are ways that we are tempted to go astray that in themselves seem normal and nothing to worry about. Take a look at this list: excessive clutter or cleanliness, accumulation of goods, excessive or non-essential use of computer or television, secularization and paganization of holidays, not keeping holy the Sabbath…
This sort of careful listing of things we all let slide helps us become much more aware that the biggest spiritual prayer battles aren’t always fought in ardent prayer against horrendous evil but rather take place daily, quietly and unnoticed within our own hearts and minds that are so easily dulled and led astray by our culture and our own selfish desires. Also, be sure to read his discussion of how our own personal woundedness can become a source of temptation.
John LaBriola is a lifelong Catholic and although in this book he carefully and thoroughly approaches his subject through the lens of his denomination, as someone of a different background I was greatly helped by his fresh perspective
Added by Karen Barber on June 12, 2011