Day 6 – Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Vengeance

Day 6 – Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Vengeance

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Vengeance

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception…pray for us
St. Joseph…pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel…pray for us
(the patron of your parish )… pray for us
(your confirmation saint)…pray for us


“Freedom from Vengeance” by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, vengeance sounds a whole lot like revenge to me, both of which we know in our hearts are not good things. One site tried to explain the difference: “the difference between revenge and vengeance is that revenge is any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice while vengeance is revenge taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong.” Well, that was no help! They still sound like the same thing. Sure enough, another site called the words synonyms.

In any event, this we know: “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord” (Deuteronomy 32:35). The truth in Deuteronomy is found in the words of St. Paul, “Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). When the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, He confirmed it all, teaching: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” (Matthew 5:38-39).

What does “offer no resistance to one who is evil” mean exactly? In our day and age, this is an important question that is, unfortunately, too often answered with a glib and meaningless recitation of “turn the other cheek.” This response though is a disconnected scriptural verse, taken out of context, out of culture, and out of text written about 2,000 years ago in a language that few people understand.

Let us begin with what Matthew 5:38-39 really means. The biblical notes to those two verses state: “The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation.” Right away then, we see this only pertains to the concept of retaliation. It did not mean then, and it does not mean now, that we simply lay down and play “doormat” for any evil doer.

This “I’m not a doormat” principle may be explained best by considering self-defense. We are entitled to protect our own lives and the lives of others. This right is not negated by Jesus’ teachings, and in fact, it stands in contrast to the scriptural admonition against retaliation. The warning against retaliation may be understood by pondering one of its consequences: escalation. For example, one bad actor “A” incites retaliation from “B”, which incites retaliation from “A”, which incites more retaliation from “B”, etc.  This vengeance cycle can escalate to the point where others end up getting caught in the crossfire.  In the real world this results in bodies in the streets of our cities, and innocent victims (too often little children) reaping the repercussions.

In a larger sense, who can deny that the current culture of violence, rioting, looting, and burning is nothing other than vengeance and retaliation? The anarchists set themselves up against Christian truth, truth found in the words of the great prophet Jeremiah: “To whom shall I speak? Whom shall I warn and be heard? … See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, for which they have no taste” (Jeremiah 6:10). It explains why the Seattle mayor’s absurd response to CHOP (the Capitol Hill Organized Protest) seems to prevail everywhere – remember she called it “the summer of love.” We saw the “love” in the murders and violent crimes. Her perverse twisting of truth also is found in the words of Jeremiah: “They have treated lightly the injury to my people: ‘Peace, peace!’ they say, though there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).

In a more personal sense, all that we are seeing is nothing other than a reflection of people’s hearts devoid of the tempering grace of Divine Love. Divine Love did not rain down lightning bolts upon the Roman centurions who drove the nails into His sacred body. Rather, Jesus sought to show Divine Love when He asked our Father to forgive them, for they knew not what they did (cf. Luke 23:34).

Let us realize, though, that Jesus did not paint with a broad brush of forgiveness to include those who knew what they were doing, or those who should have known. That is why Jesus said the members of the Sanhedrin who condemned Him would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 5:20). That is why God’s justice will have its day when the lack of love drives so many to act in a vengeful way.

Again, the opposite of vengeance is love. But love is not demonstrated by playing “doormat.” In the face of evil, genuine love is known as “tough love.” True love speaks up and speaks out with courage, in the face of grave error that threatens real peace. True love is enshrined in the spiritual works of mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Instruction and admonishment are correction, they are not the same as vengeance or retaliation.

In these dark times, let us not fall into the trap of a false mercy, some twisted interpretation of “turning the other cheek.” Rather let us be a Light of Christ and an example of genuine love that instructs the ignorant and admonishes the sinner. Amidst all the vengeance we see in the streets, and in the personal hurts in our own lives, we will have plenty of opportunity to do that. So, any time we find ourselves struggling with thoughts of vengeance instead of mercy, let us make haste to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament, meditating upon the Holy Cross, where the Light of Christ enlightens the darkest thoughts of our own souls.


Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward vengeance. We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of retaliation. Worse, through our own sins of omission, we have not come to a fuller understanding of Your truth about the difference between a heart dark with the spirit of vengeance, that expresses itself in acts of evil against others, and the heart enlightened by love and mercy, that expresses itself in instruction and admonishment of others. By allowing our hearts to move toward darkness and not toward the Light, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance in our streets and in ourselves. We turn to You Lord, in our shame, and beg Your forgiveness for any heart of dark vengeance and any failure to be the light of love. We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.


Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to revenge and retaliation. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of vengeance have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.



Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


Daily Checklist

__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)


More Information

To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of “Let Freedom Ring,” go HERE.

For those enlisted in the US Grace Force, you will receive, by way of email, the daily prayers and reflections for “Let Freedom Ring: A 40 Day Tactical Training for Freedom from the Devil.” 

You can enlist in the United States Grace Force HERE (please recruit family and friends!)

Information on the United States Grace Force can be found HERE

We highly recommend ordering the book (recently published), authored by Fr. Bill Peckman, Fr. James Altman and Fr. Rick Heilman. This amazing book will be a great tool for easy access, highlighting and bookmarking as you traverse through this 40-day challenge with tens of thousands of other special forces prayer warriors!

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