“Jesus permits the spiritual combat as a purification, not as a punishment. The trial is not unto death but unto salvation.”
St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
I went to see my Spiritual Director today. I made my confession. For those sins I was shown. My Director told me to read Ephesians 6 for my penance and to do what Ephesians 6 tells me;
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones. Ephesians 6:10-18
I physically pictured myself armored for God. Into my head popped these things; frequent confession, reception of the Eucharist, Scripture reading, adoration, the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Saint Michael prayer, a St. Benedict Cross, and a Brown Scapular and my Guardian Angel. Our armor rests in the Lord and He has given us the Bible, Prayer, Sacraments, sacramentals, Angels and Saints and each other. I am sure there are things I haven’t named. Which will be your armor today? It helps us to totally abandon ourselves to the Lord. I leave you with a song fitting for these times and for Trust in the Lord; Just be Held, by Casting Crowns.
Susan, I just erased a rather long diatribe on the evils of this world. I am an old warrior both in a spiritual sense and a physical sense. But there is certainly no need to delve into the challenges of the battle here. Your gentleness is a testimony to the solace of confidence in the peace to come following a cleansing storm. I thank you for you words. They are a comfort and a challenge.
At Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at our Parish early Friday morning, I quietly asked our Lord several questions. Then listened. I wrote down my inner thoughts and am studying them for sighs that they may be His words, not mine.
One inquiry had to do with words that were spoken out loud to me on one troubled morning a few years ago before I was aware of folks like you, Mark, Charlie and others, or the idea of a Storm. Back then I thought they applied to me as a harbinger of trials ahead for our family. Today, I sense that they are a message of true, active hope fro all from God or His messenger.
“All must be taken away so that ALL may be given.”
Whoever this may be from, the words echo the encouragement of Padre Pio, as you began above, and so many other voices who call for diligence. Armed with the Shield of Faith and our Blessed Mother’s promises of protection, we have nothing to fear and everything to hope for now and forever. I continue to allow the arms of the Lord to hold me and mine.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
God’s Child, I struggle discerning God’s voice from mine as well. But in all things I feel called to simplify. There is a call to detach. I feel this strongly. My biggest struggle I think is the same as everyone else, my family. I feel if God asked me to put on physical armor like Joan of Arc, and it was just me, there’d be no problem. But when I think of my small children, fear comes in. This, I think is a pride issue with me. If I can put on any armor, it is only by His grace, so why do I not expect His grace to work for my family? I am not in control, but I have no given everything over if I keep worrying. I keep feeling, they are his, he is intricately involved in their lives, and I have to let go of the worry. Some days are easier than others. I find solace in all the others of you out there. That I am not alone. Thank you for your comments. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It is the same with me – fear for the children, how will my husband cope with the young ones should something happen to me, how will the kids cope. And on and on it goes. This fear alone limits my prayers. Every prayer I say has the tag, Lord, please don’t take me away… I need to be there for the kids. I am now able to allow Mother Mary to take charge of their lives. I can easily admit my limitations to her. But I desperately pray that I will always be here physically for my family.
This fear alone tells me I am so far away from the Lord, from Heaven.
That’s not even going into my other fears.
But far away from God or not, nothing stops me from going to Him.
Absolutely loved this Susan, I must remember to put on the armor of God. That means I have to add a few more things to my armor. God bless you. You are truly a child God, and I’m trying to help some Christians who are lax in their faith, understand that.
Thank you. God Bless you.
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