There was an interesting commentary piece in the Providence Journal recently concerning the unpreparedness of the United States for war. The author of the piece used the phrase “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” which means if you want peace, prepare for war. There have been articles for and against the veracity of this Latin saying, but there is some truth to its application in the spiritual life. Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ also stated in Mt 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
The forces of evil are very active in the world and the Lord gives us spiritual weapons to fight against those evils. During Lent, we have spent time in ‘spiritual boot camp’ preparing our bodies, souls and spirits through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We have the sacraments, the rosary, Stations of the Cross and various other devotions to develop our ability to stand against and fight evil. We are in constant warfare against Satan, who wishes to destroy us, but we have a general who is smarter, stronger and more prepared than the forces of evil.
St. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-18, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Let us fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.