Friday, February 28, 2014

God Will Crush Our Enemies Before Us

Let's face it, we Catholics are increasingly under attack from our enemies in secular America. Persecution, given the history of the Church and the situation of our fellow Catholics in other countries, might be too  strong of a word, but under attack we certainly are. And it will probably get worse before it gets any better. When thinking of the forces arrayed against us it can be a bit overwhelming, but we have God on our side, what more could we ask for!

Many of us are very familiar with God's intervention on behalf of His people's defense in the Old Testament. Think of David defeating Goliath, Moses leading Israel out of slavery, or the conquest of the Promised Land. One often overlooked passage that shows us the kind of manly fortitude we ought to display comes from the First Book of Maccabees and is well worth contemplating in our day:

 When he approached the ascent of Bethhoron, Judas went out to meet him with a small company.  But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, “How can we, few as we are, fight against so great and strong a multitude? And we are faint, for we have eaten nothing today.” Judas replied, “It is easy for many to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between saving by many or by few. It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven. They come against us in great pride and lawlessness to destroy us and our wives and our children, and to despoil us;  but we fight for our lives and our laws. He himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them.” (3:16-22)
This echos the advice of God down through the ages, nolite timere - be not afraid, ego sum - I AM here. We know the Church will survive even against the very gates of Hell (cf Matt 16:18). We know that Christ has already won the war against the prince of this world through His sorrowful passion and death. We know that God will indeed crush our enemies before us.

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