Fighting demons in Lent

Here is a picture of two parts, two worlds, a diptych. On the right you see a group of women wearing dresses and barefooted. In their hands each holds a rudimentary weapon, a wooden sword like that of a child, or a mallet or hammer. They stand in a line ready to fight evil.

From the left evil approaches, dark figures, their feet shod in boots, their heads the shape of medieval demons. They form one group, with no differentiation or personality. They seem to be of another realm or reality, on the point of breaking into the world on the right. Are they real or spiritual? What kind of threat are these demons? What do they represent?

Although the group on the left is dark and ominous, there is the sense in this picture that the women, together, will overcome and prevail. They will stand their ground courageously.

The picture is ‘Women fighting demons’, (2013) Caitlin Connolly.


Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:12-13

Then, if Satan on us press,
Flesh or spirit to assail,
Victor in the wilderness,
Grant we may not faint nor fail!

George Hunt Smytten, Forty days and forty nights