LAST week, I outlined four ways in which one can enter the spiritual battle for one’s self, family and friends, or others in these tumultuous times: the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Fasting, and Praise. These prayers and devotions are powerful for they form a spiritual armor.*
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. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
- Through the Rosary, we contemplate the life of Jesus, thus, Pope John Paul II described the Rosary as a "compendium of the Gospel". Through this prayer, we take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and shod our feet in readiness for the gospel of peace by coming to a deeper knowledge of Jesus in the "school of Mary".
- In the Divine Mercy Chaplet, we recognize that we are sinners while inviting the mercy of God for ourselves and the whole world through a simple prayer. In this way, we clothe ourselves in righteousness with the breastplate of Mercy, trusting all to Jesus.
- Fasting is an act of faith by which we deny ourselves the temporal so as to fix our hearts on the eternal. As such, we raise the shield of faith, quenching the flaming arrows of temptation to overeating or fulfilling other desires of the flesh opposed to the Spirit. We also raise the shield over those we pray for.
- Vocalizing praise to God, because He is God, girds our loins in the truth of who we are as a creature, and who God is as the Creator. Praising God also anticipates in hope the beatific vision, the helmet of salvation, when we will see Jesus face to face. When we praise God from scriptural truths, then we also wield the sword of the Spirit. The highest form of praise, and thus warfare, is the Eucharist and the name of Jesus—which are essentially synonymous, though different in substance.
In these four ways of prayer and sacrifice highly recommended by the Church, we are able to fight for our families against the powers of darkness… which are quickly closing in on souls these days.
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… 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 6:10-11, 18)
*(For your easy reference, I have created a new category for these meditations called "Family Weapons" located in the sidebar.)