“Let us always remember… that the Adversary wants to keep us separated from God and therefore instills disappointment in our hearts when we do not see our apostolic commitment immediately rewarded. Every day the devil sows the seeds of pessimism and bitterness in our hearts. … Let us open ourselves to the breath of the Holy Spirit, who never ceases to sow seeds of hope and confidence.” - Pope Francis (Speech, 6/18/2013 – Text)
Scripture Text: (EPH 6:10-20)
Brothers and sisters:
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the Devil.
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 heavens.
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.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
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 and also for me,
that speech may be given me to open my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains,
so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.
Here's how to put on this armor St Paul notes today in the passage above:
1) Pray unceasingly! - We need to adapt a daily and disciplined prayer life
2) Receive the Sacraments frequently! – Go to Mass every Sunday as well as go to Confession once a month.
St. Paul teaches us how seriously we need to prepare ourselves here on earth if we want to reach Heaven. The imagery he uses to describe our earthly battle against evil forces is military in nature. It’s a fitting conclusion to the Letter of St. Paul in which he describes at such length our need to love our neighbors within the Body of Christ.