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There is a war raging. And as long as God’s kingdom is spread on earth, we will never be free of the ‘malevolent spirits under the command of Satan.’ *
Then, what kind of weapon works against such a wicked foe who desires to kill, steal and destroy life in all it’s forms ?
Will a gun work? I had one of those once, I told the story here. I had every intention of using it to defend my body should another physical threat ever become real again. After the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, news stories now tell of a run on guns, ammo and the state of Tennessee considering a bill to fund training and arming teachers. Gun ownership is a passionate subject, but that’s not the goal of my discussion. It is a second amendment right and it’s proper use in a life and death situation can and does save lives …
But, does it defeat the enemy? What is it we want to achieve by arming our teachers with concealed weapons? Protection of our children, people say. Ah….now we have to expand the conversation a bit, because if it’s protection of the children you really want–
then achieving that is about more than guns…much more powerful…and yes, it involves God.
The question of what to do about the relentless, senseless violence in our society is a very valid and necessary discourse…but, unless we as a nation acknowledge that there is a sovereign God who knows the intimate nature of the human condition because He Himself entered into it through the incarnation, unless we acknowledge that He alone has the cure for the heart of man because He redeemed it on the cross, unless we stop trying to fill the void of our confusion with rhetoric, fame, tweets, viral videos, money, entertainment, booze or…guns, we’re going to wind up circling around the same wagon over and over again.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve God shall perish;
those nations shall be utterly laid to waste.
The Holy Father reminds us in his latest book, The Infancy Narratives,
Man is a relational being. And if His first fundamental relationship is disturbed—his relationship with God—then nothing else can truly be in order.
Nothing is in order in our society because our fundamental relationship is so disturbed that when the enemy shows up we have no armor on and what’s worse, we don’t know even know what the war is about.
There is no weapon of man able to defeat the principalities and powers of this present darkness. You might take one of his minions out temporarily, but only until the next one shows up. We are battling against the ‘spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places’ and nothing but putting on the whole armor of God will help us withstand the evil day.
I’d rather have a gun, some might say. OK, so have a gun. As long as we teach our children, grandchildren and anyone who will listen,
- how to get their lives right with God,
- what the real battle is,
- and how to be strong in the armor of God, because we’re not contending against flesh and blood..
Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people)
—Ephesians 6: 11-18 AMP
One day , when the Lord comes again, these ancient foes will face their final destruction, but until then, we are enlisted in His army. The mightiest weapons are accessed on our knees.
And God supplies them.
St Rose of Lima, pray for us.
* Ignatius Catholic Study Bible notes