In the immortal words of Pat Benatar, “Love is a battlefield.” In the same way that a strong marriage will withstand the trials and tribulations of time, so too our relationship with God demands fidelity and firm resolve to hold strong to Him Who loves us. “The LORD will guard you from all evil; he will guard your life.” Psalm 121 reminds us that God will defend us as long as we cling to Him. Our spiritual life is a battlefield; wandering into enemy territory is deadly!
In our first reading we see Moses embodying the support of prayer in our earthly battles. As Joshua fights the army of Amalek, Moses prays on the mountaintop with his arms upraised in imitation of Christ on the Cross. Even Moses’ prayers require the support of the hands of Aaron, his brother, and Hur (Miriam’s son, and Moses’ nephew according to Rabbinical tradition). Moses, supported by his family, intercedes for Joshua and his allies by persisting in prayer, even as his physical strength gave out. Moses overcame fatigue to persist in prayer. When the going got tough, Moses got tougher with the help of God and his family.
My dear brothers and sisters, we are at war with sin. Earthly struggles aside, we fight daily against the temptations that threaten to destroy our marriages, our families, and our souls. God has given us every gift we need to be victorious in this struggle! Are we willing to arm ourselves well and leap into the battle?
Will we stand idly by while pornography poisons our sons and daughters, or will we offer them our loving support and solidarity to stand with them and do whatever it takes to free them from such grave sin? Will we encourage our brothers and sisters to make the effort to save their flagging marriages instead of seeking an easy divorce to avoid dealing with the situation? Will we allow our brothers and sisters to be persuaded by the self-seeking pleasures of this world to abandon the practice of the faith, or will we make the effort continually, positively, and personally to invite them to join us for Mass each and every Sunday and Holy Day? Do we love them enough to fight for them?
Love is a battlefield, and we are the only ones armed with the spiritual artillery of the Sacraments. We have Confession, the ultimate spiritual medkit, to restore wounded Christian soldiers. We have Eucharistic Adoration, the perfect refuge from the assaults of our world of noise. We have the two-edged sword of Sacred Scripture (which cuts us to the core and slays even the enemies within our own souls), the armor of faith (the support of Holy Mother Church and the angels and saints in heaven), and the heavenly food of the Eucharist to strengthen us to conquer any foe. What are we waiting for?
May the words of Saint Paul to Timothy convict and confirm us: “Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed…proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”