Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, Verse 2-3
2 When you are drawing near to battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the army, 3 and say to them, “Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies. Do not be weakhearted or afraid, alarmed or frightened by them.
We are in a battle with the forces of darkness. Our priest the Pope of our church is saying to us “Do not be afraid”. He is reminding us that the love of God is like a pebble that is dropped on the smooth surface of a pond. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, as the pebble on the pond, our own love will ripple outward perfectly in symmetry with the universe, embracing everything in its path with His reflected glory. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts we reflect with sorrow on our sins and transgressions. We as Lord Tennyson acclaimed must develop the mantra “To Strive, To Seek, To Find and not to Yield.” We seek to develop within ourselves genuine compunction of heart.
My spring edition of Be Not Afraid is now available at my estore.
Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for our sins. It is not a gloomy or depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them. It is a realization of how you have failed such a loving God and brings with it a readiness to accept anything that He wills. Compunction opens the way to many blessings and precious graces. Compunction will cause the world to lose its magic attraction. Compunction will help you realize how quickly earthly joys pass away, while eternity goes on forever. By compunction a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues.
Let us develop within ourselves the virtues of Mary Most Holy: Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Self-Control, and Love.
Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to save you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy. DEUTERONOMY 23: 14. The last principle of spiritual warfare must be emphasized: Don’t invite the Enemy into your camp. Look out for Trojan Horses, poisonous reptiles and be prepared to fight.
· Trojan Horses. Sin is always wrapped in attractive packages. The simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity could be a Pandora’s Box. Stay away from all things of the occult; such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion. Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility. In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness. If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately.
· “Poisonous Reptiles” are the “little” sins that find their way into our hearts. We may ignore them or think them of no consequence as we try to stand guard over the carefully constructed fortifications of our spiritual life. To resist the temptations of ordinary demonic activity, we must guard our thoughts closely and reject immediately any thought that leads to sin. We must also carefully examine our thoughts to seek out assumptions or conclusions that may be false and contrary to faith, so that they lead us astray. Above all, we must engage in a frequent examination of conscience and then go regularly to Confession.