It is easy, as we look at the state of the church around us, to lose hope. It is easy to give into despair, to anger, to resentment, to bitterness and the like. It is easy to believe we are all alone when it seems like no one is standing up for Christ.
We see the Church, her shepherds and her sheep, run away from the cross and we ask why? We see the Love of God at such a low ebb we think there is no longer a heartbeat. In short, we see the death of the Faith we love so much. At this time, it is good to remember the prophecies (which have been posted lately on this blog) and to remember scripture itself and what it has to say about such times in which we live.
In 2nd kings (4th kings in the Douay-Rheims Bible) we find a host of warriors sent out from the King of Syria to take the Prophet Eliseus. In verse 15 of the 6th chapter, we find the servant of Eliseus rising early in the morning, and he saw the great host of the Syran king encamped around them. He says, “Alas, alas, alas, my lord, what she we do?
The prophet Eliseus doesn’t fret, he doesn’t worry, his trust is in the Lord our God. He replies to his servant in verse 16 and 17,
“Fear not: for there are more with us than with them. And Eliseus prayed, and said: Lord, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw: and behold the mountain was full of horses, and chariots of fire round about Eliseus.”
God’s Angels are encamped around the faithful!
In the midst of all that we see, there are things we do not see but are equally “real.” We recite the Nicene creed and in it we say we believe in all things visible and invisible. As always, the deposit of faith calls us back to faith. We do not have to see the deliverance from God to know it will occur. By Faith, we know that He will deliver his people.
By faith, then we take up the cross and do battle. In this battle, Satan would have us fight each other and and fight the things that are “seen.” Let us pause to understand, again, what we are fighting and how God delivers His people.
St. Paul says in Ephesians 6: 12-18
“For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints:”
And in Hebrews 12: 1-4, St. Paul exhorts us in the following manner:
“And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds. For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:”
And finally let us remember what was said in Galatians 6: 7-9
Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing.
Let us then, take up the spiritual weapons that are at our disposal and manfully fulfill our duty towards God, our families, and towards our Church. The victory has been assured on the cross of Christ but we have not yet realized that victory.
One day, our part in this battle on earth for our soul and the souls of others will cease. One day we will be able to lay down our weary arms. One day we will be able to rest our tired mind, body and soul, but “that day is not today.” We must continue this fight and follow the example of St. Thomas the Apostle and say “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Our path leads to the Cross. Let us “take up our cross” and follow our Master.
In closing, I want to remind you of something extremely important. We MUST remember the end so that we keep our eyes “fixed on the prize.”
From the Apocalypse of John chapter 21: 1-5,
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true.”
So when we are tired, feel oppressed by all the evil around us, and we want to give up this fight, let us remember the end of our Faith and rejoice in the Lord for our Salvation is near at hand.