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More on Spiritual Warfare

Sunday, January 29, 2006
Praised be Jesus Christ!! Now and Forever!!
I was speaking with friends and via email recently and posed thought out loud about spiritual warfare and how as one progresses in the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church the combat increases. It seems to be a paradox of sorts- at initial examination- we are in the fullness of Truth, we are nourished and strengthened by the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ yet we engage in spiritual combat even more. It seems also that the further the soul progresses into the very Heart of God that we must armor up and engage even more than when we were mere novices in the spiritual life. It also seems that in some cases that those who have rejected Christ and His Church citing intellectual insight or philosophical differences yet put on the illusion of remaining within the Bride of Christ fall far more than those who have never seen the light. So, as many of you are use to by know I will break open my ideas behind this in this posting.

First to the spiritual combat- not arranged in a particular order.

1. It would only make sense that the Children of the Light- especially those within the fullness of the faith- would have to engage in spiritual combat. I doubt seriously that the new agers or the eccospiritualists have to think of spiritual warfare. The evil one has them to one extent or the other. Other pagan spiritualities too should not have to engage in combat since they are already on the other side. How much resistance or trouble can a meditation stone give a person anyway? The Children of God face spiritual combat because they are the Children of the True and Living God. You oppose your enemies in battle and not your allies or friends. The Bride of Christ faces opposition from Her former children within and those without because there can never be peace between the God of Love and Truth and Life and the evil one. We must never fall into the trap of thinking there will be anything- until the final judgment- than war. Be it from inner or exterior spiritual battles we will always have to do to one degree or another battle. If we are not involved even on an interior basis with some degree of struggle to overcome self and put on Christ then we might need to think if we are really trying to grow in holiness. For it is that inner struggle as I have said before that if turned to God produces holiness.

2. Concerning why more spiritual combat is undertaken and many times more dangerous the further one progresses in the spiritual life that answer for me is pretty simple. You do not send your shock commandos against the local volunteer organization in a city. You send your hardened warriors against other similar warriors so as to free up the novice troops to do other things. Also God has tested and retested the soul who is further along so He knows that through His Mercy and Grace they can be His instrument and witnesses for the more serious battles.

3. The evil one is opposed to any soul coming closer to God. The reason is obvious. As I understand the spiritual life as a soul progresses in holiness and virtue there comes a point when extra ordinary tasks can be accomplished by the individual soul- through God's Mercy and Grace. Also the soul united with God can demonstrate heroic virtues. These factors alone would draw other souls to The One who is Mercy, Truth, Life and Love. Conversions take place and souls are won for the Lord God of Hosts. We see this again and again in the lives of the Saints. The evil one does not want this to happen at all and will do anything to stop it. Therefore the soul engages in serious spiritual combat if he or she wishes to move forward towards the Beatific Vision.

4. We have to be purified constantly to grow in holiness and sometime, I think, God allows us to engage in spiritual combat in order to be purified and progress towards Him. I think also to grow in virtue we have to face obstacles to that growth. It is not easy but considering the alternative it is well worth it. We are each called to be holy as Our Heavenly Father is Holy and over coming our fallen nature- through God's Mercy and Grace- requires a fair amount of spiritual warfare. It is the same as exercise or diet or any worthwhile endeavor you must struggle some to move forward. While running the risk of seeming to trivialize the spiritual life- which is what I am not trying to do not equate it with temporal endeavors I think of the old exercise phrase- NO PAIN NO GAIN. We have only to look to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ to see the reality of that.

Now- on to our buddies those who fall out of grace and fall into philosophical variants which lead to anathema. Before I begin I want to point out that philosophical differences, I think, are fine and expected as long as they remain adherent to Theological Truths. The problem arises when Theological Truth takes a back seat to philosophical errors.

I know some scientists of various disciplines and I would imagine that at various times in their research they have had a hypothesis that goes no where. The hypothesis is found not to be valid and does not conform to the reality of the truth through the equations and experiments. Like any good researcher who is striving for truth they realize the error and move on. But I see those in error on Theological issues and they know somewhere that Christ is the ultimate Truth yet they persist on in some vain almost psychotic way of denying the reality of the Truth in Christ and His Bride. Like the mad scientist who should know better they bring destruction rather the good to themselves and the world around them. They should know better- just like the scientist who goes into error and destruction- yet they persist and show their philosophical and theological insanity. That really makes me wonder about their motives. Is it for Christ or is it to satisfy their vanity and pride. The worst ones are those who's (borrowing a phrase) intellect has risen above their virtue. Those folks are scary for they can pull so many down just because the general populous fails to properly discern their words or writings. There are highly intelligent people with numerous educational credentials who have rock solid faith in the Crucified and Risen Christ. There are also many with just as laudable educational backgrounds who are spiritually dead. The got their PhD (or what ever) before their education. That is so sad as they could be a great witness for Christ and His Church. I digress though so back to the spiritual warfare tenor of this posting.

I think when these souls who have come at some point to the reality of Christ Our Lord who is the Truth and then they reject it again and again and again there hearts grow stone hard and cold. Then we see the very real problem of those same people receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist unworthily. It is my understanding from what the Holy Church teaches that a sacrilegious communion brings condemnation upon the soul. I think that this not only has eternal consequences for the soul but also immediate ones. My thinking from observation is that when a person knowingly receives the Holy Eucharist again and again with out any remorse then they become very quickly pawns for the evil one.

My understanding is that to be in serious theological dissent in a deadly sin and to then receive Our Lord numerous times only propels the soul into oblivion and hardens the heart even more. That is why I think some very evil people have been formerly within the Church (or claim to still be) their choices and rebellion have hardened their hearts to the point that they are fodder for satan. The most merciful thing that can be done either through Holy Church or through Divine Intervention is to wake them up before it is too late and they are in the eternal bowels of hell and have pulled other souls with them. They are in many cases more dangerous than those in the world for they are deadly weeds indeed to all the stocks of wheat around them. We must pray that God will do what ever it takes to bring them into repentance and conversion. They desperately need our prayers.

I have thought many times of all the opportunities a soul has for God's Grace and Mercy in their life. I am just thinking of my own life yet I would imagine that everyone has had just as many opportunities realizing it or not. It is hard to estimate but I can only imagine the number from birth to death would be in the hundreds of thousands or millions. That is how much God Loves each of us. He wants us to choose Him and come home that He gives us each so many opportunities for Mercy. That brings me back to the spiritual combat idea again. Spiritual Combat and responding to and asking God's Mercy involves choices.

If I look at my spiritual walk into the Heart of Jesus and at all the spiritual combat that I have had to and still have to face I realize that it comes to choices many times. Do I reject error? Do I reject sin and evil? Do I reject false teaching? Am I obedient to the Holy Church and Her Authority even if I do not understand it right now? Do I choose to pray? Do I choose to go to confession? Do I choose to offer that daily Holy Hour, that daily Rosary, that daily Divine Office, that daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy and so on? Do I choose to go to daily Mass.? Do I choose to avoid the near occasion to sin? To I ask for God's Mercy. Do I show mercy to others? Do I show love to others. Do I bear witness to Jesus Christ? Do I follow the Holy Spirit's inspirations? Do I strive to grow in the virtues? Do I do penance and fast a bit. The list goes on and on however you can see my point. These are not just questions I have to ask but each of us- which you have to ask yourself.

Whether we want to call this spiritual combat or not does not change the reality that it is war. There can never and will never be peace between evil and God- between the Children of Light and the children of darkness. There is Divine Mercy and there is Divine Justice. We just have to make sure we call out for Mercy and live in the Light of Christ. There are casualties in war- what we want to do is to make sure that we ourselves do not fall in to a trap of temptation or error that lead to unrepented sin and thus become mortally wounded ourselves. We also have to shine the light of Truth on those brothers and sisters in serious error and especially pray for them so that they can recover from their wounded and come home again. We have to proclaim God's Merciful Love from the rooftops of the world so that others will wake up before they too are fatally wounded. Most importantly I think we must keep our eyes fixed upon Christ Our Lord and stay faithful to His Vicar on Earth Peter- Pope Benedict XVI. If we do that and follow what the Holy Church teaches then regardless if we are a novice to the spiritual life and engaged in spiritual combat or further along and engaged in spiritual combat we will be ok. We look to Christ and we remain upon the Bark of Peter. The battle may rage but we shall make it safely home and we shall be singing through the smoke of battle "Jesus I Trust in You!"
Omnia Pro Iesu Per Mariam!!

"Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirit of wickedness in the high places. Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. The Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into Heaven. Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us. Take hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, bind him, and cast him into the bottomless pit so that he should no more seduce the nations. Amen."

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