Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 10-20
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11 Put on the armor
of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12 For our struggle
is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with
the `world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the
Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil
day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. 14 So stand fast
with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, 15 and your feet
shod in readiness for the gospel of PEACE. 16 In all
circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of
the evil one. 17 And
take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and
supplication for all the holy ones 19 and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my
mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel 20 for which I am an
ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must."
A general exhortation to courage and prayer. Drawing upon the imagery Paul describes the Christian in terms of the dress and equipment of Roman soldiers. However, the readiness for combat is not directed against human beings but against the spiritual powers of evil and importance is placed upon prayer.
FEET SHOD IN READINESS FOR THE GOSPEL OF PEACE
This piece of armor, in existence since the beginning of time, directs our movement and defense against The Tempter.
John 1:1 tells us we have had protection from evil since before we were created: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We only have to walk in the path of the living Word of Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2: "14 For he is our peace….17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone." This tells us that we are well aware, through God's grace, of the path we must walk, which leads to salvation.
Proverbs 4:26-27: "Survey the path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure. 27 Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot far from evil."
Romans 10:15: "And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!"
1 Corinthians 15:1-5: "1 Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. 2 Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; 4 that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve…."
Isaiah 52:7: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, saying to Zion, “Your God is King!"
Enthusiasm-Teddy Roosevelt. We need to be enthusiastic about all things that God wills for us. John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” points out that to have a creative mind we must be enthusiastic. John’s example of a man filled with enthusiasm is that of President Theodore Roosevelt.
McCain says of President Roosevelt:
He led one of the most eventful lives in American history and did it all with the delight and eagerness of a six-year-old boy. Yet he was not afraid of work: library shelves would eventually groan under the weight of his forty books, many of them with multiple volumes. Besides being a writer and politician, he was also a warrior during the Spanish American war and led a charge up San Juan Hill.
Roosevelt was sickly as a boy. He was small, terribly nearsighted, and plagued by asthma that left him chronically breathless. His father, who was the greatest influence on his life, and whom he loved more than any other, took him for carriage rides in the evenings so that the cool night air might restore regular breathing to his gasping child. Despite the crowded duties of the respected and civic-minded reformer, the older Roosevelt never deprived his son of loving attention. He calmed his fears, and encouraged him to defy his physical handicap, build his willpower, and strengthen his body. The dutiful son complied, and pushed himself with exercise, sports, and sheer bloody-minded determination to begin his lifelong crusade to become a vigorous, exuberant outdoorsman. He swam and fished and hunted and rowed and hiked and rode on horseback whenever he could. His mind was as eager as was the body he willed to health.
Theodore as a young “Harvard” man had a romantic temperament, but he was a scrupulously moral young man. He did not smoke or drink and would never offend God and womankind by pressing unseemly affections on a young lady. And he could not abide, under any circumstances, indolence. He always thought “My duty is clear—to study well and live like a brave Christian gentleman.” He spent a few weeks before the start of his junior year living in Maine’s north woods with a rugged outdoorsman, lumberjack, and hunting guide, Bill Sewall, who became his lifelong friend. He was still a skinny kid, with thick spectacles. His constitution looked fragile to those who didn’t know him, but he impressed the older man immediately, carrying as much in his pack on their hunting trip as Sewall, sharing the chores, keeping the pace in their canoe, hiking for endless distances through all kinds of weather, swimming in freezing water, and falling exhausted into sleep beneath the stars.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909)
Teddy Roosevelt was a determined guy, and when it came to dinnertime, he made sure that his favorite comfort foods were a priority. Pigs in blankets, turtle soup and fried chicken smothered in white gravy kept him running—that and plenty of coffee, sweetened with as many as seven lumps of sugar!
Thursday is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stop by the grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.
Feast of the day: fried chicken smothered in white gravy
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER ONE THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 7-THE VIRTUES
II. The Theological Virtues
1812 The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man's faculties for participation in the divine nature: for the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object.
1813 The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.
1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work(s) through charity."
1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But "faith apart from works is dead": when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.
1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks." Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." "The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."
1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.
1819 Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice. "Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations."
1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes. the beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint." Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . . where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf." Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation." It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation." Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.
1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end" and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved." She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.
1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment. By loving his own "to the end," he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." and again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
1824 Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love."
1825 Christ died out of love for us, while we were still "enemies." The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.
The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
1826 "If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing." Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."
1827 The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which "binds everything together in perfect harmony"; it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.
1828 The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us":
If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children.
1829 The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity
demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters
reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and
Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin Mary
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus