Fight Soldier of Christ! Be Holy and Fight!
Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight
In these times of great chaos, corruption and concern, what, as Soldiers of Christ, is our command? What is God's marching orders? What is His Will?
As God Himself lovingly urges us: "Be perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect," Matthew 5:48.
"This is the Will of God, your sanctification," 1 Thessa. 4:3.
Oh how Good God is!!! He tells us clearly that we are all called to become saints. No matter what day, what century, what part of the world we live in, it is the same call. And He wouldn't command such a thing if it were not possible, even if it would seem impossible to us in our day.
For if we doubt that we could become a saint, when God asks us to be a saint, then are we not telling God that what He asks of us is impossible?
Therefore, how are we today, to strive to be a saint? And what does it mean to be a saint?
The great St. Thomas Aquinas was once asked the question, "What does one have to do to be a saint?" He responded that it takes three things. One, you must desire to be a saint. Two, you must desire it and three, you must desire it!!!!
Desiring to be a saint is very important. In other words, it is directing our will power to want and desire to be a saint, and know that without that desire, you will never reach that goal because you certainly won't be made a saint by accident.
God has given us the means and grace to be a saint but we have to want it, desire it, and take action towards it.
Therefore, being perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect is possible if we desire it and want it.
Definition of what a saint is:
The saint is one in whom God lives. "Deus Charitas Est!" Just as God is Love, so thus the saint is one in Who the Love of God reigns. It is that simple. A saint is in Love with God and is united to Him in that life Pure Love!
What can better define a saint than this, a continual gift of self from a motive of love! As soon as the Father's will was made known to Christ, He at once fulfilled it through Love. Love of the Father and Love of us. It was His meat to accomplish in everything the Father's will, for Love of His father and for our redemption.
In other words from an anonymous Carmelite: “Holiness is a hidden treasure, an intimate reign—the reign of God within us; holiness is nothing but Love for God Who is Charity.”
Thus, the saint tries to act in all things as Christ would do. Saints act as Christ would do in our place. And this is by no means a fiction, it is a reality. Saints are, "other Christs," and thus we must fulfill the rule of love demanded by this beautiful title: Christian.
The very definition of Christian means that we are of Christ, following and living all that He did and taught.
How will they know that we are of Christ, that we are Christians? In the Gospel it says:
"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." [John 13:35]
We only have love if we get it from the source of the one Who is Love and gives Love and that is God alone. Our union with Him makes us love too! What a wonderful mystery of such goodness and grace!
If we are persecuted or mocked today, for aiming to be a saint, then so be it! As St. Paul says, let us be fools of Christ! And St. Paul further says: “Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?...For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:35-39).
St. John the Beloved also confirms this fortitude by adding: "And he that feareth, is not perfected in charity." -1 John 4:18.
Thus, to be a brave soldier of Christ, we must have no fear and do all things in His Love and for His Love! We must “Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus,” (2 Timothy 2:3).
How is it that we become holy?
"O my God, make a saint of me, whatever the cost to self may be, because Thou art Omnipotent."
“God commandeth what You will but giveth that which you command,” St. Augustine.
God is constantly giving us graces to become His saints. And how intense is that Love He wishes to pour into our hearts. YET, it is only in the degree that we have prepared to receive those graces that will determine how much we actually get. Our cooperation and desire are important, as we spoke of above.
Just as bigger the cup the more it can hold. Our heart is made bigger the purer it is. Jesus, said that “If you Love Me, keep My Commandments.” That is the way to be Holy, for Christ is the way the truth and the life! He wants to give it to you, He wants to fill you with the greatest Love, but only those pure in Heart shall see God! Only those that want it and desire those graces will receive them. Let us then in a similar prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray to be great reservoirs that God can fill to overflowing! Let us prepare our heart! Be humble recognizing our sinfulness and weakness. Let us desire to be devout, genuine, good and holy! God will give us the means to be perfect! We just have to go to the source of those graces which God has set up to give us in the Holy Sacraments, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!!!!!
St. Pius X said it only would take ONE Holy Communion to make us a saint!
As this Liturgical year is coming to an end, let us recall the great words Pope Leo said on Christmas day 1888, and which still apply to us today:
This year, which is now coming to an end, has given, as we have said, many signs of a reviving faith. Would that like the spark it might grow to an ever-increasing flame, which, by burning up the roots of sin, may open a way for the restoration of morals and for salutary counsels. We…fix Our mind and heart upon the Divine Pilot Who holds the helm and sits unseen. Thou seest, Lord, how the winds have borne down on every side, how the sea rages and the waves are lashed to fury. Command, we beseech Thee, Who alone canst, the winds and the sea. Give back to man that tranquillity and order-that true peace which the world cannot give. By Thy grace let man be restored to proper order with faith in God, as in duty bound, with justice and love towards our neighbor, with temperance as to ourselves, and with passions controlled by reason. Let Thy kingdom come, let the duty of submitting to Thee and serving Thee be learnt by those who, far from Thee, seek truth and salvation to no purpose. In Thy laws there is justice and fatherly kindness; Thou grantest of Thy own good will the power to keep them. The life of a man on earth is a warfare, but Thou lookest down upon the struggle and helpest man to conquer, Thou raisest him that falls, and crownest him that triumphs.
Let us be holy and fight the good fight! Earth is a warfare and we are the Church Militant. I close with a few more noteworthy excepts from what Pope Leo said earlier in his letter on Christmas day which urges us to fight the Good fight as Soldiers of God for “it is our duty to run to the fight proposed to us,”:
We wish to address all Christians, and in homely words to exhort all to lead a holy life. For beyond the mere name of Christian, beyond the mere profession of faith, Christian virtues are necessary for the Christian, and upon this depends, not only the eternal salvation of their souls, but also the peace and prosperity of the human family and brotherhood....
If We look into the kind of life men lead everywhere, it would be impossible to avoid the conclusion that public and private morals differ much from the precepts of the Gospel. Too sadly, alas, do the words of the Apostle St. John apply to our age, "all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life." For in truth, most men, with little care whence they come or whither they go, place all their thoughts and care upon the weak and fleeting goods of this life; contrary to nature and right reason they willingly give themselves up to those ways of which their reason tells them they should be the masters. It is a short step from the desire of luxury to the striving after the means to obtain it. Hence arises an unbridled greed for money, which blinds those whom it has led captive, and in the fulfilment of its passion hurries them madly along, often without regard for justice or injustice, and not seldom accompanied by a disgraceful contempt for the poverty of their neighbour. Thus many who live in the lap of luxury call themselves brethren of the multitude whom in their heart of hearts they despise; and in the same way with minds puffed up by pride, they take no thought to obey any law, or fear any power. They call self love liberty, and think themselves "born free like a wild ass's colt. " Snares and temptation to sin abound; We know that impious or immoral dramas are exhibited on the stage; that books and journals are written to jeer at virtue and ennoble crime; that the very arts, which were intended to give pleasure and proper recreation, have been made to minister to impurity….