Like it or not, you are at war.
No matter who you are — whether or not you know it — you have a mortal enemy [the devil] that wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next.
No matter where you live on this planet — whether or not you can see it — you live on a hotly contested battlefield, and you can’t escape the conflict.
It’s a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny (Manual for Spiritual Warfare).
For those who think this sounds dramatic or extreme, know these words are true.
They’re supported by Sacred Scripture, the teachings of the Church, writings of the saints, legitimate prophecies, and history itself.
Just look around. We see violence, corruption, crime, impurity, vice, and division at almost every turn.
Why do they exist in the world? Because of the presence of evil.
Some may be surprised to hear this truth. Others are already aware and consciously fighting the spiritual battle.
For those who are learning this for the first time, I pray you take the message to heart. Whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth; and there’s a reason you’re reading this post today.
About a year ago, I wrote a post on the cross. I decided to resurrect the post (with a few edits) since we’re in the season of Lent, journeying toward the cross with Christ.
If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you probably read it. However, you may not remember what you read a year ago — I sure don’t!
Even if you do remember, I recommend reading it again. The cross teaches us many lessons, and it’s essential that we continue to learn from it…
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Thus says the LORD:
In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing,
Rachel mourns for her children,
she refuses to be consoled
for her children—they are no more! (Jeremiah 31:15 NABRE)
A Day to Mourn
As you probably know, the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) was passed in New York State on January 22, 2019.
The law permits “late-stage” abortions, which could be performed up to the moment of birth in some cases. It also allows abortions to be performed by any licensed health practitioners, rather than full doctors. The law removes all legal protection for unborn children and those born alive after attempted abortions.
It was passed on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.
I believe the NY vote took place on this anniversary intentionally. I believe it was meant to be a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-life.
When I heard about the law, I felt extremely angry and upset; and I wasn’t the only one.
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Each of us has a cross. (I’m not referring to those that are worn as jewelry or on our clothing or bodies; I’m referring to the challenges and hardships that we each face in our lives.)
The cross comes in various sizes and weights. Sometimes our cross may be heavy, while other times it may be light. Our cross may remain with us for our entire lives or only for a specific period of time. Some of us may even have multiple crosses to bear, which seems to be more common than we may realize.
For Christians, the cross is the key to our faith: Jesus conquered death on the cross and rose to new life. I’ve heard it said that there can be no resurrection without the cross.
Christians are called to embrace and even venerate the cross. We see the most vivid image of this on Good Friday when Christians venerate the cross by kissing, holding and/or touching it in a loving way. What once was an instrument for punishment and death is now a symbol for redemption and hope.
This all sounds nice in theory, but do we actually put this into practice in our lives? Do we embrace our own crosses? Do we carry our cross with patience and courage, believing that we will persevere and share in the glory of Christ?
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