Arise each morning as if prepared for war. Your foe is admirable in strenght, in numbers, and persistence. Cleverer than most and evasive when needed, confrontational when least expected. You are keenly aware you cannot fight this war alone – but nor can you control your brothers in arms actions, the soildiers you may lead, or the superiors above you to make the right decisions as well as commit to action with determination. Your army and your discipline will carry you through the day.
There will be losses and pain. There will be some amongst you who are traitorus, cowardly, or simply incompetant. Some rare men will rise above your measure of men and carry those who cannot carry themselves. You will, if you look honestly enough within yourself, may find your own actions wanting when compared to the most bravest and noblest amonst us – the self-less, natural warriors of our cause.
Today our war is an internal war. Our Holy Army is filled with imperfect and outright immoral men embedded in our ranks from the church pew upwards into the highest offices of the catholic church.
The news and relevations of our church’s misuse of power and abuse of women, children, nuns and others is symbolically and literary a spear in the side of Jesus Christ, our church, and our faith. Many are walking away from God as the vessel of his living word is so abused and tarnished by the actions of the faithful – that any spiritual or theological truths cannot be grasped through the burning fire of our Sodum and Gomorrah.
I met with a priest this week and was provided the mercy and grace of the sacrament of confession. On the issues of the Church crisis the providence and direction of the church was less clear as Pope Francis and the 190 church leaders meet today. Our leaders have more than stumbled badly – they have given away vast tracts of any semblance of moral authority. our congregation is badly battered, beaten, and tired.
With this emotive experience, two readings fell into my hand this morning.
Thomas kempis, from the Imitation of Christ said “I am so weary of all that I read and hear and see, for only in you is that I will or can desire (pg. 19).” How true is this writing from the 1400s today.
And yesterday a book arrived as recomended by a family member out of the blue, the Dialogue by Catherine of Siena. The introduction and prologue alone directed by attentions:
“how storm tossed and offensive to God the world is….page 26”
and her 4 petitions that set up the as of yet unread book: prayer for self, prayer for the Holy Church, prayer for the whole world (especially for Christians that have rebelled), and prayer for divine providence for a particular certian case.
Today and hopefully everyday I rise armed with prayer of my 4 petitions, perhaps slightly altered in style and verbiage, but nonetheless, armed to face the days external challenges, my own self-conquest when my very own desires are too heavily weighted with worldly concerns, my trust in an ultiamte divine providence no matter how many actions we take to subvert god’s ultimate will, and openness to a living and merciful god. We are colelctively fallible through our own free will – our immorality and transgressions are our way, not Gods.
Whether you are fighting yourself, fellow man, or the Devil himself – do not go to battle alone, unprepared or unarmed. Everyday is an opportunity to seek greater perfection through prayer, discipline, and action no matter what battlefield is demanding your attention.