Is it just me, or have you noticed that kids are just different now than when we (those of you in the 40+ group) were young? My mom has noticed it, too. You know, after one of the kids would do something "interesting" she would say, "Where do they get that from? You guys never did stuff like that when you were younger." (And no, she wasn't commenting on my parenting skills :) I just figured that the evil in the world has increased dramatically since we were young and it has had some kind of an impact on our children.
So, anyway, today I was reading this really good book called "Get us out of Here" by Maria Simma with Nicky Eltz and it talked about this very topic. The author said that in the last couple of decades, the Exorcism Prayer that used to be part of the Baptismal Rite has been either watered down or entirely left out. She says that because this has happened, it allows evil to affect children more easily. In order to be fully protected, the author maintains that the Exorcism Prayer must be put back into the Baptismal Rite in its full form! I'm glad to see that I wasn't imagining things all this time!
She also said that the St. Michael prayer should be reinstated at the end of every Mass. She claims that by not saying it today, people's protection against evil is weakened when they leave the church. We have been saying it after Mass as a family for years now, but so far we haven't been part of a parish that has picked it up. I have to admit, however, to being in shock when, one Saturday morning at the Cathedral in our somewhat liberal Diocese, the people there prayed the St. Michael prayer as a group. It was very cool and I wish that other parishes would do the same.
This is an incredible book and I hope to bring you more pearls from it as I work my way through it. In the meantime, if you don't already do it, consider adding the St. Michael prayer to the end of the Mass you attend.