God has given us five important things to help us to live a Holy life. In a message to the seers at Medjugorje, Our Lady referred to them as five weapons that could be used against the wiles of Satan. They are prayer from the heart and the Rosary, the Eucharist and Holy Mass, the Holy Bible, fasting and monthly Confession.
PRAYER FROM THE HEART AND THE ROSARY
It’s very important to pray from the heart. It gives us a more reassuring feel that our prayer will be granted; but more importantly, God will hear our heartfelt prayer. The Rosary is a very powerful prayer that God has given us to fight evil. When we pray the Rosary, even if we are distracted we should persevere. When we stay strong and carry on praying the Rosary with our hearts; it makes us and our prayer life stronger. Pope Pius XI said, “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put demons to flight.” Bishop Fulton J. Sheen described its power as ‘beyond description’. We should always carry a Rosary with us wherever we are. It is like a shield against the evil forces and it is especially important that we pray the Rosary together in our families.
THE EUCHARIST AND HOLY MASS
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) paragraph 1324. It is the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus that we receive in Holy Mass, which makes the Church so special. Everything we do is “oriented towards it.” (CCC 1324) So all the activities we do for the Church; will, in some ways be related to the Eucharist. We, as followers of Christ, should try to go to Holy Mass as often as we can, every day if possible. We get many blessings from going to Holy Mass and it gives us the strength to do what God is asking us to do. When we receive Holy Communion, since we consume the body of Christ; we and Christ are one in Spirit, so it helps us to act and think like Christ. When we participate in the Holy Mass, we can offer up to God our spiritual lives as well as all our needs and the problems that we face.
THE HOLY BIBLE
“The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The Word of God is a sword, a powerful weapon in our lives. “In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, but as what it really is; the word of God.” (CCC104) The Church teaches us that the Word of God is like food for us, sustaining us on our journey of life and faith. Jesus says in Matthew 4:4, “It is written, one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This is why we have so much strength in our Church. The Word of God has kept us going.
Through fasting we can gain spiritual strength. In Matthew chapter 4, we see the temptation of Jesus in the desert. For forty days Jesus had fasted and not eaten anything and this gave him the spiritual strength to fight Satan. It also marked the start of Jesus’ three year ministry of preaching and teaching that led to his crucifixion and resurrection. There was a lady named Alexandrina da Costa, who felt that God was calling her to suffer and fast in order to unite herself with the sufferings of Jesus. She didn’t eat any food, except for the Holy Eucharist, for the last thirteen years of her life until she died in 1955. But Jesus told her that when she died He would come with His Mother to take her to heaven. This shows the strength and grace that she received from fasting and suffering until eventually she went to Paradise.
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offenses committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church.” CCC1422. The Church teaches us that when we sin, we sin against God, but we also become separated from the Church and the people of God. The Sacrament of Confession brings us back to the Church and back to God. Our sin builds up a barrier between us and God and without God’s help we struggle to fight against temptation and sin. When we confess our sins and restore our relationship with Him, God will give us the strength to overcome temptation and start afresh in our spiritual battle.
As young people living in a materialistic and unspiritual world, we must use the weapons that God has given us for our spiritual warfare.
Written by Sabu Sebastian