by Fr Richard Heilman | November 3, 2017 9:22 AM
“HE MUST INCREASE, I MUST DECREASE!”
“But I do think a lot of this stuff that happens through the media is works of darkness, and I really do think the source is in Satan. He has a superhuman intellect and a superhuman will, and Satan is not a wimp. And, so, we have to be “not wimps” in trying to live the virtuous and moral life, in terms of imitating Jesus Christ, and in finding in Him our hope for everything, and then we just go forward.” (Bishop Robert C. Morlino on EWTN’s The World Over, Nov. 2, 2017).
Admission into Christ’s elite fighting force begins by knowing that by your baptism you have been “commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill a most dramatic mission; it is the mission of saving souls. This mission cannot be accomplished without entering into conflict with ‘the world, the flesh and the devil.’ It is not a mission for the fainthearted or for those who wish to take the wide road to heaven. It is the path of warfare, of spiritual battle.”
Jesus answered, and said to him: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him” (John 14:23).
Everything … and I mean EVERYTHING … depends upon OBEDIENCE. Obedience is the very “Key” that unlocks the door to the Divine Life … the paradise of God’s Presence and Power of Supernatural Grace, once lost by the disobedience of our first parents. Mary is the New Eve who, by her fiat (Yes), brought us a Savior. And, the very last words Mary ever speaks were at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” With that call to obedience, bland and tasteless water was turned into the “best of wines” … wine is symbolic of the “inebriation of the Holy Spirit.”
Two Common Acts of Disobedience (and, therefore, *disqualifies you* for enlistment in Christ’s Elite Fighting Force)
Cafeteria Catholicism: Picking which Church teaching on faith and morals one chooses to follow. We must obey them ALL.
Anti-Authority: Disobeying and/or disrespecting legitimate authority (Pope, Bishop, Priest), unless they violate the traditions of the faith.
You Must Meet Minimum Requirements (based on the precepts of the Church)
WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT?
WHAT RANK DO YOU MERIT?
The heroes of our faith are the warrior saints who have gone before us. God worked mightily and miraculously through them. Therefore, we must study their ways. In humility, obedience, and trust (“Go weapons H.O.T.”), we ask: How did they remain so well connected, in such strong friendship with God, so that His river of supernatural grace could flow so freely through them? What do these “SEALS for Christ,” teach us about the ideal spiritual disciplines, the ultimate daily regimen of prayer?
“Pray with great confidence,” St. Louis de Montfort says, “with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water that flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.”
Prayer is our outstanding supernatural resource for fighting the wiles of the enemy. St. Alphonsus said, “Prayer is, beyond doubt, the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil … but we must really put ourselves into the prayer, it is not enough just to say the words, it must come from the heart. And also, prayer needs to be continuous, we must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in: the warfare we are engaged in is ongoing, so our prayer must be on-going also.”
The following are based in large part on Fr. John McCloskey’s Seven Daily Habits of Holy Apostolic People and include:
Seven Daily Habits
What rank are you in God’s Army?
The more you pour yourself into your prayer life, the more God will entrust His missions to you and, therefore, the more grace He will pour into your efforts.
Private – practices one daily habit
Sergeant – practices two daily habits
Lieutenant – practices three daily habits
Captain – practices four daily habits
Major – practices five daily habits
Colonel – practices six daily habits
General – practices all seven daily habits
HEROIC COURAGE: ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY
Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — those who are totally dedicated to the mission. In the military, this dedication is revealed in the Warrior Ethos, four simple lines embedded in the Soldier’s Creed:
Sustained and developed through discipline, commitment, and pride, these four lines motivate every soldier to persevere and, ultimately, to refuse defeat. What would happen if we dedicated ourselves to the training and mission of Jesus Christ with the same intensity?
Like the heroic soldiers on the battlefield who often go above and beyond the call of duty, so do many Catholics in our Church. These are the ones recognized as “Devout Catholics.”
In his classic spiritual work, The Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales wrote:
In so far as divine love beautifies our souls, and makes us pleasing to His Divine Majesty, it is called grace; in so far as it gives us strength to do good, it is called charity; but when it reaches such a degree of perfection, that it makes us not only do the good, but do so carefully, frequently and readily, then it is called devotion.
Consider going above and beyond (Supererogation) … enter “The Devout Life” …
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