Preparing for the fight

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Today, March 23, 2016 our Pope Francis completes the 1100th day of his papacy. A lot has happened since the day he ascended to the throne of Peter on March 19, 2013. The Jewish community observes the beginning of the fast of Queen Esther on the 13th day of the month of Adar, one lunar month before the Passover. This has been a strange week so far that started with the sad news of the beastly attacks in Belgium, two comets that passed us by in two days, a lunar eclipse tonight as we approach the end of Lent and the Holy Triduum. There is another calendar oddity: the Feast of the Annunciation falls on Good Friday. It looks like if God crams more stuff in this week the calendar is going to explode! Since everything in God’s world happens for a reason, this week we have a lot to think about.

All our lives we have been in the midst of a battle against the spiritual forces of darkness that want to enslave and destroy mankind. The battle is fought mainly in our hearts and the result of each combat has repercussions in the world around us. That spiritual battle appears to be about to end. The forces of darkness know that very well and now, having nothing to lose they are preparing for the final assault. As the dreaded final hour approaches some of us are naturally fearful. I have been reading the comments in many blogs around the Internet and there I found a number of good Christians trying to be prepared for the “end of the world as we know it.” There is a rather sizable economy growing on the demand for survivalist products, food, equipment, weapons, far away real estate, etc. Well, at least someone is making money in this depressed economy! Yet God’s instructions on how to prepare for war are a little different.

“When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemy. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the One Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:1-5)

Of course the men of Israel had swords, shields, helmets, food and water for the long march, and all the necessary equipment but God’s instruction passes over those obvious preparations to address their heart. There is no room for fear because He, the King of Israel is with them to give them victory. He demands that we respectfully fear Him. When our heart feels fear of the enemy, that fear reveals an essential mistrust of God’s goodness and power. Fearing the enemy is half the battle lost but there is no reason to fear evil, and there is no reason to lose the battle. We can win.

To win and still be breathing after the fight is over, we need to take our Father with us. Having Him we will lack nothing. He is a perfect shield for those who fear Him and trust Him. So if you are like me and cannot make head or tail of all the prophetic signs happening around us, do not waste your time trying to figure out the future. Do not fear when you hear the prophets of doom announcing disaster after disaster. You have God, He knows the future, He is already there, He is our high ground, He is our Rock. In Him we trust .

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:1-6)

 

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8 thoughts on “Preparing for the fight

  1. Carlos,

    Since the Annunciation falls on Good Friday this year – this postdates it to be celebrated on April 4th. Good Friday was also on the 25th, back in 2005, and the Annunciation was moved to April 8th that year. I know this because my Birthday is on Good Friday (March 25th).

    A Blessed Easter to You!
    ~Barbara

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  2. Thanks again, Carlos.

    I have been thinking lately that the Year of Mercy may indicate that the door of mercy is about to close and that all that will remain will be the door of justice.

    Here in the U.S. it is hard to escape the sense that some kind of climactic battle is brewing. It’s a version of the same one that has raged pretty much everywhere else as the errors of Russia, to use Our Lady’s terminology, spread throughout the world during most of the last century. But it took a long time for the enemy to get inside the gates here, which I think is a testimony to the Christian nature of our founding.

    People tend to overlook the fact that the American Revolution was primarily religious, whereas the French Revolution was anti-religious in its essence. Since our first suicide attempt during the 1960’s, the pagan forces have been growing to the point that, for the first time in our history, we have had non-Christian candidates for president during the last two elections, the last time neither candidate being really Christian.

    Unless Trump is some kind of secular Trojan Horse, which I think is unlikely, he and Cruz seem to be inadvertently mobilizing the considerable Christian residue, actually a substantial majority, of the U.S. population. The opposition by the 30% of the country that has supported Obama’s efforts to turn it into something it cannot and will not be is increasingly dramatic, and we have now begun to see the mobilization of the forces of the culture of death, the residue of the French Revolution and of the earlier departures from the One True Church, in full force.

    I believe that we are about to see how much, if at all, the many Rosaries and other prayers that have been offered in recent years, as the shadow of darkness has been spreading over western civilization, can mitigate the suffering and death that look to be on the ascent as the door of mercy closes.

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    • Yes, Castelletto. The waters are dividing. The tension is such that cannot be denied. Time to read the Book of Esther and meditate on that time and our time. As usual, God is going to surprise everyone. That is His signature. In my years exiled here I have seen His power and mercy. I did not have the gift of trust when I came here. Now I can say I am beginning to understand the ways of trust. Some think that if Trump wins it will be a disaster of epic proportions. I don’t think so. Whoever wins the contest (if we reach Election Day ceteris paribus) will be there because God permitted it: “You would have no authority over Me unless it were given to you from above.” We are NOT building the Promised Land, we travel daily and we will reach it one day. Trump or no Trump, Cruz or no Cruz, the King of Kings is in charge.

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  3. Of the many articles I have read on Holy Week events, and preparing for the final assault, yours touches me most deeply. It is not condescending, making (hurtingly) light the dangers ahead sensed by the spirit. It does not seek to take my sights off my genuine concerns and instead, train it on you as a prophet. It does not force me to listen to your interpretation of events. It does not move me empty expressions of faith in the manner of bring it on.

    Instead, reading your post moves me to want to cling as tightly as I can to my Saviour, to lean my head against His breast, and to draw from it what I need for that which awaits me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Caitlynne! Yes, the dangers are real and many. This is not the rehearsal of some epic opera. This is real danger in real time just like the Cross was. And yet we know that we are with Him through real darkness and danger that will lead to real light and real freedom. Like Padre Pio used to say: “Pray, trust, and don’t worry” and even so, St Pio had to suffer greatly to reach his reward. “Fear not, little flock, for it is my Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” The forces of evil cannot possibly frustrate the Father’s good pleasure.

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