" For our struggle in not with the 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. "
-Ephesians 6:12Greetings brothers and sister! May the peace of Him reign upon you continuously but only in the moment for our Omnipresent God transcends time, is not subject to chronology, and thankfully He exists in every moment of our being. Saint Paul was a great soldier and waged war efficaciously, a highly successful warrior in the history of Christianity. I borrowed this particular quote out of the book of Ephesians of course, and it is captivating. What did Paul mean in his words on the subject of spiritual battle? Look at the definitive and descriptive terminology, such as struggle, flesh and blood, principalities, powers, world rulers, present darkness, evil spirits in the heavens, and let us begin to dissect each linguistic distinction individually. Yes, I know most of you are familiar with 'putting on the armor of God' so to speak, but I am a big believer in fresh perspective as a reflection upon timeless Truth.
The textbook definition of verbs and nouns provides clarity and specificity when evaluating particular terminology, however the repetitious use and element of personal bias tends to influence acute explanation of accuracy in term annotation, and words become overused, regurgitated, and eventually tossed around ever so casually, and the elementary meaning of definition becomes buried in the babbling brooks of verbal discourse and psychological thought, marked by human prejudice. Having expressed such a mouthful of thought, let us begin with the notion of struggle. What is the definition of struggle. What does Paul's analogical or metaphorical use of the term struggle imply? How do we interpret noetically an existential reality of supernatural nature further obscured by the invisible quality of preternatural activity.
It is safe to assume Paul maintained a personal struggle as every human soul does, in its respective and individual conversion process. An ordinary conflict between his own fallen nature and concupiscence and his desire to seek the Divine, to significantly respond to God's commission of his apostleship, and ultimately to cooperate with the grace God availed him in order to fulfill the will of God. A portion of Paul's struggle gravitated beyond his person and transversed into a wider struggle involving the body of the brethren, revealed by an awareness to be a potential libation due to the sacrificial endeavor demonstrated by the faith of the early Church. Despite the vast substance and work of Paul, he provides great advice, wisdom, and premonition in his teachings. Paul realizes in his very person he bears and thus reveals a bigger struggle taking place in humanity, and essentially in the universe. It has been presupposed and suggested that Saint Paul was the first stigmatic in the history of the Church.
Paul suffered heroically within the confines of tension between cosmos and chaos. The dictionary definition provides valuable clues regarding such cyclothymic tension:
1) to contend with an adversary or an opposing force.
2) to advance with violent effort.
3) to be coping with inability to perform well or to win; contend with difficulty.
Contemplate the above three-pronged definition and the word struggle takes on a vastly different imperative than the typical christian conversation regarding spiritual warfare. The struggle will always involve an adversary and Christian combat names its opponent as satan, for Jesus deemed him so, and Peter underscored our adversary's activity by his comparison to a 'roaring lion, prowling around, looking for someone to devour.' If you cannot recognize the struggle how can you identify your enemy, and if you cannot identify the opponent how can you effectively take him out. A sharp shooter does not aim blanks at an unknown target. He lingers hidden within the landscape of the warzone, periodically dodging bullets and getting grazed with shrapnel, but he never takes his eyes off of the enemy target. A sharp shooter is patient, gets wounded continuously as he labors toward his ultimate goal, but he is vigilant until the moment of opportunity for victory arises.
The battle lines were established in the book of Genesis. The struggle we discuss was clearly defined by God in the beginning, in the garden of Eden:
" I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head while you strike at his heel."
The victorious fruit of the struggle Paul speaks of consummates in the book of Revelation. The work of the sharp shooter becomes evident for its successful and final defeat of the enemy in the battle:
" Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus."
Hmmm. So the dragon wages war against 'her' offspring. Who is she and who are her offspring? Obviously she is the Mother of the Living, Blessed Mother, the orignal tabernacle of Eucharistic Presence. Our Lady is the receptacle of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, One who would make His dwelling amongst us. The offspring suffer the scourge of the dragon's malevolence, permitted as an instructive discipline by the gentle Hand of Heavenly Father, for any good father disciplines his beloved child.
The scourge consists of a personal rejection of this world and its titillating offerings of counterfeit sacrament. The scourge leads to the decay, destruction, and the inevitable dissolution of all family unification and loyalty. Children become despised and categorically rejected by their deceived parents and vice versa. Spouses abandon themselves to lustful adultery, pornography, and a variety of enslaving but compromising behaviors and vices, but lack mutual respect, sacrificial love, and the desire to forgive; and their children become victims left behind inhaling the dust of paternal and maternal sin, as the marital covenant becomes darkened and defiled, and familial sin is passed on to the next generation. The scourge creates dissension in our holy houses and sanctuaries of worship, each participant no longer sacrificially seeking the good of his brother or sister in need, but pursues his own self-propelled agenda. Not only does Lucifer say he is going to attempt a coup d'etat of the Most High's throne, but his offspring winnow violently but clandestinely within parish communities, violently attempt to seek the same goal. The devastating result is that the dragon no longer has to directly attack the offspring of Mary, for the enemy is skilled at manipulating Her children to devour each other. God said love one another but the enemy moves in and says betray one another, detest one another, calumniate one another, avoid one another, and ultimately leads us to use one another for sinful purposes. We have allowed satan to feed our pride and spiritual hunger with counterfeit sacraments, and instead of edifying, elevating, and ennobling the brethren, we self-proclaimed Christians despise and devour one another and we are too blind to see the reality because we do not comprehend spiritual dynamism. Jesus Himself said, " Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Do you think that desperate request was for the multitudes of souls in the world outside of the church? No, sorry. Any catholic brother and sister needs to go home and stare squarely in the mirror of the closest bathroom, and look at what reflects right back at you, and that is for whom those words of Christ were spoken. You.
God operates in the spirit while satan is a spirit operating via our flesh. He tempts our flesh, pummels our flesh, takes the flesh of the Body and Blood of Christ on the altar of Holy Sacrifice and mocks it. The mass is the unbloody but re created sacrifice of Calvary. One element of the devil's black mass is the bloody sacrifice of abortion. Contrary to the undercurrent of contemporary fear, a black mass is more than pagan human sacrifice occurring in secrets sects of Luciferian worship. Witchcraft is more than mere blood-letting of sacrificed animals on altars of Mother Nature by wiccan goddesses, and the spell binding uses of potions, amulets, and talismans. If you do not think you have been influenced by paganism or esoteric practices or spiritual witchcraft then let me ask you this. Have you ever been involved in centering prayer, reiki, enneagram methods, or self-help phenomena? Have you visited a psychic, messed with tarot cards, or employed feng-shui?
" Advertising connected with New Age covers a wide range of practices as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, kinesiology, homeopathy, iridology, massage, various kinds of "bodywork", visualization, meditation....nutritional therapies, psychic healing, various kinds of herbal medicine, healing by crystals, metals, music, or colours, reincarnation therapies and, finally,
twelve- step programmes and self-help groups."
- excerpted from Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, a document created by two Pontifical councils
I could go on and on, ad infinitum, in my efforts to communicate the dangers of and correlations between overt satanic worship practices and covert new age procedure, but in the end the movement is the same and the corresponding nucleus of power and spiritual influence is fallen and corrupt and not of God. Honestly, how can one put on the armor of God and simultaneously be tinkering with and playing dress up with satan's costumes? Having defined the struggle, next we have been discussing the flesh and blood definition. What is the flesh and blood Paul refers to?
flesh and blood n.
1. Human nature or physical existence, together with its weaknesses.
2. A person's blood relatives; kin.
3. Substance and depth in artistic portrayal; life likeness: characters lacking in flesh and blood.
Too tired to continue..... so until next time.