DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    May 6, 1999   vol. 10, no. 89


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
      The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue two years ago, deals with the state of the Church. We continue probing the question that has perplexed the Magisterium and the laity for the past 30 years as the liberal element has left its mark, effecting changes that have seemingly watered down the "Roman Catholic" traditions. Yet, God in His Infinite Wisdom, has allowed this to happen for a specific purpose. He has been preparing us in a special way by sending His very Own Blessed Mother to guide us and remind us of our roots. Through perseverance, prayer and loyalty to Holy Mother Church headed by the Holy Father John Paul II and adhered to by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side.

      In the one-hundred-first installment of this on-going feature series, we begin a series on the Church Militant and why we are now engaged in fierce Spiritual Warfare as we stand perched on the horizon of the third millennium. One of the best failsafe measures to prevent falling often is to stay on our knees for it's quite difficult to tumble when we're on our knees. But even being on our knees we can still be vulnerable, that is why we need to "Put on the Armor of God" as explained in today's installment.

      As always this column is meant to alert the reader to what is happening and sound the call to arms, to enlist in Mary's army and take up the battle cry. God said it, we believe it, that settles it! Too many Catholics are going their own way with little regard to what their spiritual shepherd - the Vicar of Christ says. Sin is whitewashed. If we're not careful there will be a tremendous backwash and who among us wants to get caught in the vortex of that swirling whirlpool of Justice? This series is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event - the second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace.

Installment One Hundred-One

The Forty-Fifth Clarion:

part one

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?"

Matthew 16: 24-26

          The Holy Father has asked us all to pray for UNITY during the Blessed Virgin Mary's month of May so that "the bonds of unity and communion be strengthened between laity and priests, priests and Bishops, Bishops and the Pope." He has asked this because we are now truly on the front line in this great battle for souls. We are indeed in Spiritual Warfare. And the most difficult aspect of this type of combat is that we don't always know exactly who the enemy really is. Though we are constantly aware of satan's presence, of his cunning, of his power, of his deadly prowess, we can't always recognize him for he camouflages himself in so many ways. The only way to truly recognize him and check the evil one is to use the formula God has given us, the same one repeated by Our Lady in Medjugorje and in countless places all over the world: Pray! Don't take God and Mary for granted. Today is National Day of Prayer so there is no more excuses for putting off our responsibilities. It's time to pray...Now!

          We think we are praying, and through that though process - those exercises - we let down our guard. No wonder satan is having a field day at our expense! No wonder our Lady repeats three times: "PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!" That is truly our battle cry! There can be no other!

          Through her Divine Son, Mary knows the enemy; she knows what we are encountering; she realizes how we can be "suckered in" to the point where the poison starts to affect our judgment and viewpoints. Once the evil one has penetrated the first layer, he can feast on suppositions and spiritual pride. From there decay can easily set in. That's why we have to always be aware! We have to condition ourselves. No one is immune!

          This editor is no different than anyone else - vulnerable, and even overconfident and complacent at times. We think God will fend off any advances by the evil one. It doesn't work that way. We have to do our part. Our part is to live the Gospel, to live our lives as Jesus did. This is no small task. For Jesus is the epitome of role models. When we truly commit t live as He did, then we also have to realize we must be willing to turn the other cheek and take the torments, rejections and blaspheming monikers that He took; to withstand the gossip and reeking half-truths that can ruin the holiest persons, let alone you and I who go on total faith. We have to realize that this commitment means we, too, will walk our Calvary, and face our own crucifixion. No, we won't experience anything of the horrendous torture Our Lord endured, but we will face obstacles in our daily lives and in our vocations that, to us, will feel very much like the stinging whip of rejection, the nails of betrayal, the thorns of depression. Satan loves it; but Jesus loves us! He manifested that love for each one of us by going through the worst ignominy known to man.

          Our Lord could have died instantly, but He, through the Will of the Father, chose to suffer every injury possible - internal or external - to truly show us His love and to illustrate to all that life on this earth is nothing compared to eternity. He never promised us a "picnic" here on earth. He didn't pull punches. He said it plainly and clearly: "And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me, is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:38) and "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23), and "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will render to everyone according to his conduct" (Matthew 16: 24-27).

    We can't stumble as often if we are on our knees!

          God allows satan to prowl the world seeking the ruin of souls so that we will be on our guard and remember Jesus' words in the Gospel. He allows us to stumble along, falling constantly, in order to condition us to withstand the onslaughts of the devil so that we will realize there is no profit in this world. We in this ministry have stumbled and fallen so many times that sometimes we think if we didn't have this apostolate it would be so much easier to stay upright. But that's not what God wants. He doesn't want us standing upright: He doesn't want us to not fall. If that were so, would He have fallen at least three times on His way to Golgotha? No, He wants us on our knees. After all, it's harder to stumble if we're on our KNEES!!!

          That's where God wants us: on our knees in prayer, in reverence for His goodness, in gratitude for His protection. That's the only way we can checkmate satan. That's the essence of the "devil check!" It's easy to be deceived. But when we are on our knees, we are quieter, more in tune with the Holy Spirit and more contrite and humble.

    Put on the Armor of God!

          We can speak from experience. Like so many of Our Lady's faithful remnant, we've sometimes let ourselves fall into that complacency trap at times. "We're praying. "We're living the messages, we're doing what Our Lady is asking," we would rationalize. But weren't we just going through the exercises? Weren't we really taking God for granted without fully realizing it? Without knowing we were letting our guard down, making our armor vulnerable and our shields laid aside? Were we truly following Paul's words in Ephesians? "Put on the armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Power, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high. Therefore, take up the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of justice, and having your feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, that is, the word of God" (Ephesians 6: 10-17). Why is does it take all of us so long to realize how much we need to learn in order to be fully prepared for the type of battle satan is waging?

          Yes, we are truly in the age of Spiritual Warfare. Our battle cry is PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! It has to be. But it cannot be just words; it has to be backed up by the Word. St. Paul concluded Ephesians with just that when he says in chapter 6: 18-20: "With all prayer and supplication pray at all times in the Spirit, and therein be vigilant in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints - and for me, that when I open my mouth, utterance may be granted to me fearlessly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; so that therein I may dare to speak as I ought."

    Next installment: Part Two of SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

May 6, 1999       volume 10, no. 89


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