Not a New Year’s Resolution but a Holy Strategy
PUTTING ON THE ARMOR
The Catholic Man Show
As we move into this new year, we must make a precedent. This is not a mere “New Year’s Resolution” but rather a strategic and decisive plan to overcome the world, the spirit of this world, and yourself by weapons given to us by Holy Mother Church as revealed by the Blessed Trinity. You may well look back on this past year with regret. Regret for not speaking up when you knew you should have. Regret for not standing up for the innocent and helpless. Regret for your willful ignorance to good and holy practices. Regret for lost battles against your temptations, undisciplined passions, and lusts. But by the grace of God, you live to fight another day and blessed by our God that the year ends with Advent – a time of hope. That each time, we end the year and begin a new with Christ’s birth into our lives; so also this year we close 2016 with the coming of Christ’s humble entry into the world. Thanks be to God that mercy was given to us instead the full wrath of His justice that God would take flesh and dwell among us for the single purpose of setting us free from the captivity of sin and death! This singular act of sacrifice that Christ willingly partook was a direct offense to Satan’s wicked design for all mankind. And don’t you believe for one moment that the father of all lies does not tire in waging war against all Christendom with each passing day. Therefore brothers, allow me to fetch you your armor and weaponize you for “that wicked day” where you will surely be tested.
Brothers, study the saints that went before you. For they did not wander in their thoughts or practices after their conversions, though they were still tempted. No, they steeled themselves with prayer and fasting. Sacrificing themselves daily for the sake of Christ that their bodies may be tempered so as to withstand spiritual blows from Hell. Therefore, your prayer life must be vigilant! As the guard who was charged to keep watch for the enemy, so you also were charged to be awake and sober for the defense of good. I ask you, what shall become of the estate if the guard is found sleeping while the enemy approaches? Surely the guard and all he was charged to defend will find ruin and devastation. As Christ said, “…Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strongman, and rifle his goods, unless he first bind the strongman?” – Mt. 12:29. So beware guardians of your domestic churches, as Satan despises the family and seeks for a way to enter, especially through you!
Holy Strategy: Establish a routine with all of those in your household to pray before you sleep. Keep holy water in your house for not only blessing your homes but all those within it (family or not). In your prayers, make mention of the Most Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) in a petition for them to make their dwelling in yours. As husbands/fathers/men of your abode, make a special devotion to St. Joseph who followed the direction of Heaven to protect Mary and Jesus in turbulent times. Do also invoke the covering and sanctifying of you and your family by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ so as to fortify your home.
Now that you have fortified you estates with the blessing of holy water and invocation of the Precious Blood, beware that Satan now sees you as a direct threat! Because you have sanctified your home as well as yourself, you have now become a target of the demonic forces camped near your home. Territory not yet reclaimed by Christ surround you filled with the ruthlessness of the demonic plot to overthrow Christ in your home and in the hearts of your entire family in an effort to snatch you from salvation. So be on guard as you live throughout your day, for you will find more and more difficulties as you attempt your days. See that you do not give in to anger at misfortunes so as to lose your peace and therefore your footing in the battle. “That we be not overreached by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his devices,” – 2 Cor. 2:11. In other words, you know what your weaknesses are and believe me that Satan know them as well. He believes you to be a predictable, weak, foolish, whimpering coward…but I hereby bless and charge you by the Blood of Jesus Christ and by His infinite grace given to you, to prove that serpent wrong! As the saying goes, “Satan whispered into my ear, ‘you will not survive the storm’ and being steeled with Christ roar back, ‘I AM THE STORM!’”.
Holy Strategy: Be a man and go to your Mother! Take up the practice of the Most Holy Rosary. Yes, it is a prayer that is considered lengthy and takes great concentration to finish but how else should a Christian pray to God? Shouldn’t he not be completely devoted to speaking to God at great length making sure to pay close attention to the words he utters to Him? Shouldn’t the Christian also understand that if the land in which Christ walked was and is considered holy, then how much more the womb that bore Him? Therefore, Our Lady is more than worthy to report our lives to for the sake of her intercession to Christ! As like the visions given to St. John the Beloved in the Book of Revelation, where the woman made war against the Dragon (Rev. 12), take up her sword and sharpen it with your prayers! Recall that St. Padre Pio often referred to his rosary as “the weapon” and for good reason. The Rosary is the holy Bible on a chain; for every prayer and meditation finds its source in Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition. So take up her intercession and rest in her protective mantle so that you may, as she said at the wedding of Cana, “do as He (Jesus) tells you,”.
Now that you walk with Our Lady, take precious time that God has granted you to partake in the Sacraments of the Church. Go to Confession as often as you can and if possible bring your family along. Perform an examination of conscience before you confess so that you may effectively root out anything within you that sets you apart from the will of Christ. If you find that your way of living or thinking is an offense to Christ as He revealed through His infallible Church, do not despair but pray for the graces necessary to amend your path. This would also be a good opportunity to petition Our Lady as she is the Mediatrix of All Graces, meaning all graces that flow from God first do so through Mary. “For God collected the seas and call them ‘maria’ but when He collected all graces, He called this ‘Mary’,”- St. Louis De Montfort. Again brothers, do not despair that you find have hidden issues in your faith or reason, for when St. Paul was given an angel of Hell to buffet him and after thrice asked the Lord to remove it from him, Christ’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you,”. Therefore, remind yourselves of this and often repeat it whether aloud or silently that He may shed graces necessary for you to endure. Repent and so with great contrition for the sake of not only your soul but all poor souls in spiritual poverty that lives separate from the abundance of Christ.
Holy Strategy: Once you have confessed with contrition, go to Mass and offer up the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their sweet release into Heaven. To pray for the dead is the holy duty of every believer in Christ, so therefore teach your family to observe this holy practice. For in doing so, you walk in the light where darkness cannot tread. Though Satan may strike you from the dark, you need only increase the Light of Christ in your life to widen the borders of His Presence with in you. Recall brothers, that you are Temples of the Holy Spirit and see to it that you do nothing that would blaspheme God in your Temples. Remember this when you are tempted to sin beyond belief. Would you commit your unruly passions within the sanctuary of a Catholic Church? So why then would you do this to yourselves, O Temples of the Holy Spirit? Shall you graffiti your walls and lay barren your inward altar? Or even worse, shall you rip Christ down from your inward altar and replace Him with a strange god, like money, fame, or lust? Amend your ways by following Christ’s commandments, for Satan wishes to make God out to be a tyrant instead of the Father that he is! Satan desires to make His commandments to be oppressive rules of punishment instead of a sure path to salvation. So then, make sure to take time to study the Apostolic faith as was passed down from the beginning so that you are not deceived by the doctrines of men and demons.
Now that you are on the path living in a State of Grace, pray also for the graces to be imbued with heavenly charity. For St. Paul taught us that though you may have all the power in the universe to move mountains and the stars in the heavens, it comes to nothing if you have no love. Remember brothers, that mildness, meekness, and humility are the roots to saintliness! Recall Jesus’s words, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.” – Mt. 7:7. For this is the key to have all prayers answered and what is meant by this is revealed in the Book of James, “You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss (incorrectly): that you may consume it on your concupiscence.” – James 4:3. For you prayed, in your former ways, for vain things instead of the graces needed to be holy. For God knows you need things of this world but remember you are not to be of the world but live in it glorifying Christ. As Jesus said, “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you,” – Mt. 6:33.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.