October 27, 2016
Eph 6: 10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
…is an unusual word for this passage from Paul, yet it is the one word that I believe best sums up its meaning.
I recently had a mammogram, and the very next day, I received a call from my doctor’s office informing me that more images were necessary. As I sat in the waiting room with the other women who received similar calls that week, I realized that we were all struggling with the reality of our situations. Some of us were going to learn that we had a battle to fight, ready or not.
As luck would have it, I was reading the chapter on “Surrendering to the Future” in James Martin’s The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything. In this chapter, Martin explains how his spiritual mentors helped him come to terms with his reality and to accept it for what it is. Paul’s words about readying for battle read the same to me. Instead of a triumphalist tone in the passage, I hear resignation. In today’s language, he’s saying, “This is the situation, and we have to deal with it, like it or not.”
Fortunately for me those additional images confirmed that the suspected tumors were actually tiny lymph nodes. While I was trying to make sense of my situation, I asked my spiritual director, “How does one surrender to such a reality?” I received the wise and simple answer—together. Battles are not fought alone.
—JoEllen Windau-Cattapan is the Atlanta area director for the Contemplative Leaders in Action, a program of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality, USA Northeast Province.
You have no hands but our hands
to do your work today;
You have no feet but our feet
to lead us in your way.
You have no tongue but our tongues
to tell all you lived and died;
You have no help but our help
to bring us to your side.
—Fr. Jack Campbell, S.J.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!