Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saints Who Battled Satan (TAN Books)

Dr. Paul Thigpen is an excellent teacher of the Catholic faith. Among the 40+ books he has written and edited, are A Year with the Saints, A Year with Mary, and Manual for Spiritual Warfare. With those recent titles, his latest book, Saints Who Battled Satan, is the logical topic choice. In Saints Who Battled Satan, Dr. Thigpen, provides us with examples of saints who fought Satan with Scripture, prayer, and the sacraments. The book begins with the story of Eve and the Fall. He sets the stage by telling us of the angelic rebellion led by Lucifer, and how his first target after he was expelled from Heaven was Eve. He then walks us through the crafty methods Satan used to cause Eve and all of humanity to fall as well. We then receive 17 chapters, one per saint, which gives brief background information on the saint, and then tells us how Satan attacked them and how they prevailed. Some of the saints include the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Paul, and St. Dominic. Allow me to tell you about a favorite saint of mine - St. Anthony of the Desert.

St. Anthony was born in the 3rd Century to a wealthy family in Egypt. When his parents died, he made sure his sister was taken care of, and then disposed of his inheritance so that he could go out into the desert, like Jesus did. His reason for doing this was that he wanted to learn how Jesus overcame Satan and then teach it to others. Satan did not like Anthony, because he knew he would be a powerful foe if he succeeded, so he first attacked him with all the physical pleasures and comforts of the world. The second attack on St. Anthony involved Satan and a band of demons whipping him to near death. The rest of the chapter details other attacks by Satan and victories by St. Anthony. It then concludes with the details of other men joining St. Anthony in the desert to become monks as well. I pretty much know St. Anthony's story by heart, but it is always an inspiration to read through it. He shows us a perfect example of battling Satan, not with his own strength, but relying solely on God to help him. This is the only way to ever achieve victory over Satan.

The above profile of St. Anthony is just one of seventeen examples of saints who waged spiritual warfare against Satan. If the book was nothing but these profiles, that would be enough to make a compelling read. However, there is a 50 page epilogue that contains more (shorter) examples of other saints who battled saints as well as wisdom from the saints on how to fight Satan. Some of these saintly tips encourage us to pray the Our Father, pray the Sign of the Cross, use Holy Water frequently, and find strength in receiving the Eucharist. This impressive epilogue and the detailed examples of the saints make for a winning combination. I highly recommend this book for all Catholics and Christians alike, as we are all at war with Satan and need all the help we can get!

This book was provided to me for free by TAN Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!