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Another good book recommendation December 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.

I have written a few times about Fr. Thomas Euteneur’s book Exorcism and the Church Militant and all the drama surrounding it.  Well, since that book is out of print, for another source on spiritual warfare in God’s One True Church, you might want to check out a book called Onward Catholic Soldier by John LaBriola.  LaBriola’s book is focused on Church Doctrine on spiritual warfare, and consists about one half of the author’s discourse on certain spiritual warfare topics, followed immediately with liberal quotes from Sacred Scripture, the Saints, Church Fathers, and other Church documents to support all his exposition on various topics.  So, you’ll read a paragraph or two on some aspect of, say, temptation, and then have that paragraph buttressed by 3 or 4 quotations from various Saints of Scripture.  It’s a really very good work, and I, as someone who has only until recently had a passing interest in this topic, am learning alot.  I highly recommend it, if you can find it (I got it at Half Price Books for much less than the prices on Amazon, but that was dumb luck finding it – and I wasn’t looking for it, I just happened on it).  However, you can download the first five chapters of the book at LaBriola’s website for free, and order the whole book for much less at his site here than at Amazon. 

Early in the book, LaBriola discusses how spiritual warfare is almost a forgotten topic among many in the Church today.  He talks about the decline in Mass attendance, poor formation, irreverent liturgies, etc – all sources of scandal.  I found a few quotes from Saints interesting on this general topic:

Saint Louis de Montfort: It is easy to see that they [who reject prayers like the Rosary as “antiquated” or medieval – ED] have absorbed the poison of Hell and that ehy are inspired by the devil.  Nobody can condemn devotion to the Holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy in the Catholic Faith.

Saint Francis de Sales: While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal, who allow scandals to destroy faith, are guilty of spiritual suicide. [WOW! – ED]

On Suffering:

Saint Madeleine Sophia Barat: We must suffer to go to God.  we forget this truth far too often.

Venerable Pope John Paul II: It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls.  The Church feels the need to have recourse to the value of human sufferings for the salvation of the world.

On the devil:

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: No one hates God more than the devil, so he puts hatred for God in action by destroying us, by making us commit sin. 

That’s just a small sampling.  It’s a really good book.  And another interesting footnote.  I have written, in the first link above, some of the drama surrounding Fr. Euteneuer’s book Exorcism and the Church Militant, how it was released to much publicity and fanfare in late August of this year, only to be pulled from publication by Human Life International at the end of September, barely a month later.  Not only that, but HLI asked bookstores and Amazon to return the copies they had!  The reason stated was the HLI did not want to be in the “business of spiritual warfare,” whatever that means.  I don’t know how you fight abortion, which is HLI’s raison d’etre, without engaging with the evil that spawns that barbaric act, but, apparently, in 2008, when Onward Christian Soldier was published, leadership at HLI felt differently, because the head of the hispanic division of HLI gave the following endorsement to LaBriola’s book:

John LaBriola’s book fills a very great need fo rknowledge that most Catholics don’t have: how to fight spiritual battles.  This knowledge is even more crucial at the present time, when evil has increased so much in the world.  His book is especially useful and necessary for those of us in the pro-life movement, since we are much attacked by the enemy of souls.  Thank you John for this valuable compendium!

Magaly Llaguno, OCDS
Executive Director, Vida Humana Internaciional, Hispanic Division of Human Life International

Kinda makes me go……hmmmmm……..For one more little hmmmmmm…….John LaBriola acknowledges in the forward to Onward Christian Soldiers his close association with the Intercessors of the Lamb.

Curioser and curiouser!


1. Two data points on Catholic identity « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - December 16, 2010

[…] One of the most misbegotten concepts to emerge from the false, illusory “spirit of Vatican II” is that of the primacy of the individual conscience, and how that is interpreted by many Catholics to disobey clear, unchanging, UNCHANGEABLE Church Doctrine on myriad issues.  It is precisely that kind of “dissent” which breeds scandal of which St. Francis de Sales spoke in a previous post. […]

2. JenZ - December 17, 2010

I *may* have just purchased this book for someone on my list (shhhhhh) and was also thinking about Fr. Euteneuer’s book but hadn’t found one yet. Going to look now 🙂

I did flip the book open to take a look, and I was smacked in the face with something that was probably written specifically for me – the part about clutter. Uh oh.

tantamergo - December 17, 2010

It can be amazing how that happens! Providence!

3. JenZ - December 17, 2010

Well, I’m having a little trouble finding a copy of Fr. Euteneuer’s book after all. I knew I should have bought one as soon as I heard it was going out of print. More searching…

4. AZLiz - December 20, 2010

On Facebook HLI says they sold out of the book but denied pulling any copies and asked if anyone had proof of that. I’d like to know, too. Do you have proof that HLI asked for copies to be returned? I saw it for sale online and in many bookstores, so there must be one…

Also, can you provide a link to where HLI says they don’t want to be in the business of spiritual warfare? I’m not sure I want to support an organization that thinks there is no spiritual warfare to the fight for life. I saw a quote from them saying that they don’t want to promote exorcism, which makes sense, but if they’re really against spiritual warfare there must be a problem.

tantamergo - December 21, 2010

I called a few bookstores at that time (this was two months ago) and a couple of them told me they were sending their copies back at request. Amazon stopped selling the book at the same time as the announcement, including copies from third party sellers. I don’t know where you found copies available, I haven’t been able to find any for quite some time, and I’ve had commenters here say the same (but I, for one, have not searched exhaustively, just the most likely places). Ignatius Press ran out several weeks ago – they continued to sell copies after the “no further printing announcement.”

There have been some back channel communications with folks at HLI that I cannot discuss that support what I have presented here. More may be available later.

Exorcism is a central part of spiritual warfare, something used in extremis, yes, but also an intimate part of spiritual warfare. So, if I’ve conflated the terms, mea culpa, but I don’t think I’ve terribly misrepresented HLI and their intent (again, and I’m sorry for this, but there are things I’ve learned privately I cannot relate publicly, but I would say that folks at HLI feel they need to move away from spiritual warfare in general and not just this book). Everything I’ve learned points to a backing away from spiritual warfare as a topic, and the fact that the HLI spokesperson alluded to some changes being needed in the book if it were to have a second printing is pretty unfortunate – without mentioning any details, they imply that there are doctrinal problems with the book (problems I did not find when I read it). This was to undermine the credibility of Euteneuer on this subject, IMO.

BTW, pray for Fr. Euteneuer, last I heard (a few weeks ago) he was still pending his next assignment in the West Palm Beach diocese.

UPDATE: I posted this comment before I found out the commenter was actually from HLI. I’ve only ever looked up someone’s IP address 3 or 4 times in the year I’ve had this blog, usually in response to a troll. In this case, something about the comment made me think the commenter had a vested interest in the matter – it gave the impression of someone who is an insider. So, I searched the IP, and, sure enough…..Human Life International. If I have any facts wrong, and HLI wants to state formally that I do, I will be happy to run a correcting post before I’m gone for Christmas. I will need that communication from HLI by Wednesday, Dec 22 @ 8 pm CST if they want a correction to run before Christmas.

tantamergo - December 21, 2010

Interesting IP you have there:

IP : 76.7.48.XXX Neighborhood
Host : gateway.hli.org OK
Country : United States

IP Address 76.7.48.XXX
Host gateway.hli.org
Location US US, United States
City Front Royal, VA 22630
Organization Human Life International

If you want to formally correct me as a representative of HLI, please do. I stand by everything I’ve said, but HLI, like all organizations, I am certain has a variety of opinions and personalities within it, and those I’ve heard from perhaps held an incorrect/incomplete view. It would be great to have an official statement from HLI made here – I’ll do a separate post.

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