Saint George slays the Dragon
Hurry and come, all you neighboring peoples, assemble there! Bring down, LORD, your warriors! Joel 4:11
I want to begin this post with a confession. This isn’t something I am proud of, but I feel it is a story I must tell because of the clarity of mission it gave to me.
Like all of you out there I have had many struggles in the past few weeks. For me, the struggles are not about the virus, though I believe in prudence when it comes to dealing with that. Satan is always looking for the weak spot in your defenses, so if you have no anxiety about a virus, he looks for another opening. Satan is relentless in trying to convince a person of all their failures. I was being attacked relentlessly with the thought that I had not done enough to prepare my family for the times we are in. I kept questioning whether my children and even my spouse, had souls prepared for this time, perhaps expecting a level of spiritual maturity that took me a lifetime to achieve and that I myself am still working on.
I have been blessed to have many of the churches in my area open for prayer, some of them doing daily adoration and confession while still following all of the safety parameters laid out by the state. I went to adoration and noticed the church had a new Monstrance and the top of the Monstrance has a crown, a Royal Crown, fit for a King.
I began my prayer, like I sometimes do, questioning God. I was asking him about my family and their preparedness, and this is where I did something I am not proud of. I told God that I should have spent all my time in prayer for my family and not been praying so much for Priests. (I was having a weak moment y’all).
I can only describe what happened next as a gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s the one we never really talk about. Fear of the Lord. All I can say is that as I looked at that Monstrance, the interior image in my head was of the Lord sitting in His throne, with all of His glory, His regal head adorned with a glorious crown, and when I said that, He stood up out of His throne and towered over me. Fear overcame me. I could feel His wrath at my statement. I felt about an inch tall. He called me Susanna, which felt like when a parent uses your two names and you know you’re in trouble, only it wasn’t my two names, it was the Latin version of my name. The words that came out of His mouth were, “How dare you.” He went on to explain to me that when the God of the Universe asks you to do something, in this case, pray for Priests, and you do it in obedience, that how dare I think He wouldn’t take care of my family. He explained that prayers for Priests are so essential to the domestic church that I cannot possibly understand the enormity of their efficacy. I apologized to God and he forgave me. And it gave me clarity of mission. We must pray for our Priests like we never have before.
In the days that followed the Lord kept speaking to me about the abuse in the Liturgy, but also about angels. These angels are here to help us do the will of God, and to protect us, and to give glory to God. I kept getting an image in my head of Seraphim surrounding Priests at the altar with a wall of fire. This wall of fire keeps the demonic away from trying to attack the the Priests who bring us the sacrifice. But when abuse in the Liturgy takes place, the defenses are weakened. It became apparent to me how we need to pray for our Priests in order that their hearts, and ours, have reverence and awe for the Lord and what is taking place on the altar. I wrote a prayer as a result.
Prayer of Protection of the Mass and Priests
O Lord Jesus in this time of tribulation send Seraphim to surround the Priests at the altar with the Fire of God’s love which no demon can penetrate.
Protect and guard our Priests who bring us this sacrifice. Let no abuse enter the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Send legions of angels to help each Priest to do your will.
Ignite their hearts with the flame of love through the faith of the believers they serve, each part of the Mystical Body in union with the will of the Father.
Lift doubt from their hearts and pour the gift of faith over them dispelling unbelief.
Place a fortress around all Priests protecting them from death, pestilence, plague, persecution, ridicule, calumny and false accusation.
Make transparent all sin so that it may be purified and only perfect love remains.
Save us Lord, your church.
Purify us Lord, your bride.
Raise up leaders who walk in your authority.
Cleanse us Lord.
We ask for your mercy.
We trust in you.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This is how we walk the path of the Spiritual Warrior. Though I was ashamed at my questioning of God, I am not upset that I was rebuked by Him. It was a mercy and a needed discipline. It refocused me on how to fight the demonic intelligently. My false expectations and worldly way of thinking pointed out by the Almighty Himself. When we are obedient to His will and what He asks us to do, blessings pour out exponentially. I will never question him about praying for Priests again.
There is one other thing I want to address in this post; and that is spiritual jealousy. Of late, with talk of perhaps having small Masses with 5 people or less. I have seen many people lamenting and complaining about who will get to receive Our Lord. Of course, all of us miss Him, and I as much as anyone else want desperately to receive Him. But in these conversations I have seen poison arrows flung at those who have been able to receive at times, and tons of worry about favoritism. I have heard some say they would abstain from receiving in solidarity with others who cannot. Let me tell you something, worrying about favoritism is a worldly worry and taps into Pride. God wants our union with Him and the Eucharist is the place where grace comes for exactly that. If ONE faithful person is able to receive in reverence and in a state of grace it pours extensive grace over the rest of us. If that one person receives and offers it for all of us who cannot that is way more powerful than abstaining and praying for us because Christ’s full presence is in that act. Envy is an insidious sin. I will rejoice over anyone is allowed to receive and strengthen the rest of us. Please do not fall prey to spiritual envy.
Be blessed. Stay Safe.
I hope you had a beautiful Divine Mercy Sunday. If you feel inclined, here is my talk from last year on Divine Mercy.