Recently, I was given a strong reminder of how much of a struggle life can be. How much of a struggle doing the right thing can be. I am Catholic, so I offer prayers of petition to various saints, on the grounds that they were instruments of God on earth, and will continue to be instruments of God in heaven. One saint in particular who has always been helpful to me when I am struggling-emotionally, psychologically, spiritually-is St. Michael the Archangel. The Catholic Church associates him with spiritual warfare, with our daily struggle to do good and reject evil.
St. Michael has never failed in lending me strength when I prayed the following prayer sincerely (although sometimes, when I prayed it in a self-pitying mood, the strength comes in the shape of the idea that I need to be less full of myself!) If you’re ever in a situation where your problems, your enemies, or your darker impulses are doing their best impression of Darth Maul in this scene, and you are not nearly as serene as Qui-Gon Jinn, nor do you have Obi-Wan around for backup, here is the prayer to St. Michael:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who roam about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.