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Sunday, March 12, Second Sunday of Lent

    "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid."

Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, Verse 1

When you go out to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD, your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, will be with you.



My spring edition of Be Not Afraid is now available at my estore.

 

God imagines the world without war; this is why He sent His son to bring peace to the world. Yet, we are still at war for our enemy is not just evil men but the devil and his cohort. Therefore, when our enemy brings forth horse and chariot and all manner of evils; do not be afraid for the victory has already been won! Trust in Jesus who will send St. Michael the Archangel to defend us and cover us with his strong shield and lead us safely through the midst of our enemy. Our prayer then is having fought the good fight and having a lifetime of devotion to the Blood of Jesus that when the last hour of our earthly life draws near and we await the awful moment when our soul must leave our bodies it will be St. Michael that will defend us in our most vulnerable moments protecting us from the satanic hosts when they make their final assault upon our souls.


Prayer for Help against Spiritual Enemies[1]


Glorious Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who stands always ready to give assistance to the people of God; who fought with the dragon, the old serpent, and cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defends the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat you to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I sustain against the same formidable foe. Be with me, O mighty Prince! That I may courageously fight and vanquish that proud spirit, whom you, by the Divine Power, gloriously overthrew, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, completely overcome; so having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with you and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. Amen. 

 

Preparing for Battle[2] Know Your Armor

Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defensive armor. St. Paul sums it up: “Put on, therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3: 12– 14). Only with such armor will we be fully covered and protected from the Evil One’s attacks.
·         The Shield of Faith. St. Paul reminds us that faith must be firmly grasped and held up as a barrier between ourselves and the Enemy.
·         The Helmet of Hope. It is essential for protecting the mind. If we have no hope of winning why fight? We must never take off the helmet of hope or we will be overcome before we start.
·         The Breastplate of Love. The breastplate protects our heart-keeping it for God alone. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind; and be rightly related to others is to love them as we love ourselves (see Mt 22: 36– 40).
·         Cincture of Truth. Being truthful with God, yourself, and others is a spiritual form of ballistic groin protection. Nothing can hurt like the truth. We must not let the intimate parts of our inner selves be led astray by blinding passion; and the Devil’s enticement. We must seek the truth and live the truth. We must not seek to gratify the desires of the flesh, but instead we must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” imitating the virtues displayed in His character.
·         Feet shod in Peace. Wherever we go, we must be prepared to bring the good news of salvation, of peace with God, to all we may encounter. The Devil will try to turn us back. He’ll scatter across our path, like so many rocks and thorns, a wagonload of doubts, accusations of our inadequacy, and fear of conflict and rejection. But if we’ve put on the “boots” of readiness— if we’ve prepared ourselves, through faithful study and prayer, to share the gospel— then we’ll walk safely over these obstacles, crushing them as we go.
·         The Mantle of Humility. Humility is the essential virtue that provides the soil in which all the other virtues grow. Humility keeps us from dangerous “high places” where the Enemy could tempt us to pride and vainglory.

Purim

 

A Jewish Holiday which commemorates Jewish people being saved from extermination in Persia.  The story of Purim comes from the Biblical book of Esther.  In it, Haman a high ranking advisor to King Ahasuerus sought to kill all Jews in ancient Persia.  He is motivated by an incident in which Mordechai, a Jewish leader, defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman.  Haman is stopped through the actions of Mordechai and his niece Esther, a beautiful and courageous Jewish woman.  Esther initially disguises her Jewish Identity and eventually becomes Queen.  Through their actions the King becomes aware of Haman's plot and is persuaded to have him hanged.

 

Purim Facts & Quotes

 

·         Purim is considered to be a joyous Holiday often accompanied by celebrations, plays, festive food and costume parties.

·         Purim holiday is often preceded by fast, referred to as the Fast of Esther.  This fast commemorates Esther's three days of fasting in preparation for her meeting with the king.  The fast is observed from dawn until dusk on the eve of Purim.

·         The story of Purim is told in the book of Esther, which is also known as "the Scroll" (Megillah in Hebrew).

·         If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life - this is my petition, and the life of my people - this is my request. (Esther 7:3)

 

Purim Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Make a Mishloach Manot (also known as mishloach manos or shalach manos).  This is a gift of at least two kinds of food that are ready to eat.  Give them out to neighbors, friends and associates.

·         Make Hamantaschen cookies.  These are pocket triangle shaped cookies that are often made with fruit, poppy seed or cheese filling.

·         Attend a Purim Carnival or Festival.  Some of the more popular ones are the Carnival at Mamilla (Jerusalem) and Cirque Du Purim in Minneapolis.

·         Donate to the poor.  It is customary and part of tradition to give at least two gifts to two poor people on Purim.

·         Visit a Jewish Museum.  Many put on special activities for kids such as plays, performances, and costume parties

 

Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena of St. Joseph






[2]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

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