Tag Archives: Ephesians 6

Sunday Devotional: Be persistent in proclaiming the truth

2 Timothy 4:1-8

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand,
encourage through all patience and teaching.
For the time will come
when people will not tolerate sound doctrine
but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,
will accumulate teachers
and will stop listening to the truth
and will be diverted to myths.
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;
put up with hardship;
perform the work of an evangelist;
fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day,
and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

Sometimes God uses a drastic method to get our attention. That’s what happened to an awful man named Saul.

Born c. AD 5 in the Mediterranean city of Tarsus (in today’s south-central Turkey), Saul was a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin, whose father and grandfather were Pharisees.

An approximate contemporary of the twelve Apostles, Saul neither followed nor even saw Jesus preach. Instead, being a zealot for Jewish law and traditions, he saw Jesus’ disciples as enemy and dedicated himself to the persecution of the early Christians, most notably the killing by stoning of St. Stephen.

When Saul was in his late 20s, as he was approaching Damascus from Jerusalem on a mission to arrest all Christian Jews in Damascus, he and his company were struck by a great light and fell to the ground. Saul alone heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul asked the voice to identify  himself. The voice answered, “Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.” Trembling, Saul cried out, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” The resurrected Christ told Saul that in Damascus, he would learn what would be expected of him.

As Saul got off the ground, he realized he had become blind. He was led to Damascus, where he remained blind for three days, without eating or drinking.
Like all genuine encounters with God — including our own, should we be so graced — Saul’s dramatic encounter with the risen Christ changed him forever.

Now renamed Paul (which means Little), not only did he stop persecuting Christians, he became a devoted follower of Christ, perhaps the most influential early Christian missionary. The first Christology — doctrines and theories of the meaning of the belief in Christ — was developed by Paul.

More importantly, more than any of Christ’s disciples, it was Paul who fully understood that, by His incarnation, death and resurrection, Jesus replaced the convenant of the Old Testament with a new convenant. This was made clear by Christ Himself in the Last Supper:

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11.25; cf. Mt 26.27-29; Mk 14.24, Lk 22.20; Heb 8.6, 9.15)

Henceforth, God’s chosen are all who “take up their cross” and follow Jesus the Christ. In other words, what once was a tribal religion — Judaism — is now superceded by the universal faith of Christianity.

That is why St. Paul is called the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Without the work of Paul, formerly the sinful Saul of Tarsus, you and I might not be Christians.

Paul was beaten, arrested and imprisoned on more than one occasion. Neither the Bible nor other sources say how or when Paul died, but Ignatius, probably around 110, wrote that Paul was martyred. According to Christian tradition, St. Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero, on June 29, AD 67 — the same day as St. Peter was crucified upside down.

Shortly before he was martyred, St. Paul had written to St. Timothy these famous words:

“I am even now ready to be sacrificed, and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. As for the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.”

For all these reasons — the sinful pre-conversion Saul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, teaching us about Jesus’ New Covenant — I love St. Paul with all my heart. I hope that, should our time darken to that point when Christians are persecuted as in the days of the early Church, I too will “finish my course,” “keep my faith,” and stand “ready to be sacrificed.”

I now conclude this “Sunday Devotional” with my favorite passage from St. Paul (letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16):

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with 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. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Sunday Devotional: He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him

Mark 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Jesus cast out demons
Only one of the following three can be true:

  1. The author of the Gospel of Mark was lying.
  2. Jesus was delusional in believing there are demons and that He has the ability to cast out demons.
  3. Mark was telling the truth — Jesus did drive out demons. That makes any priest or minister who refuses to address this subject a coward at best or, at worst, a liar by omission.

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. (La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.)” -Charles Baudelaire, Le Joueur généreux, 1864.
The pusillanimous avoidance of all mention of devil, demons, and Hell by too many priests and ministers may account for why Americans increasingly no longer believe in the Devil.
A 2013 Harris Poll found that although a majority (74%) of U.S. adults still said they believed in God, that’s down from the 82% in earlier years. Nearly one-fourth of Americans (23%) identified themselves as “not at all” religious, nearly double the 12% of six years ago in 2007. Belief in miracles, Heaven and other religious teachings also declined, including:

  • 68% believed that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72%;
  • 65% believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70%;
  • Only 58% (fewer than 6 out of every 10 Americans) believed in the devil and Hell, down from 62%.

How curious it is that while 68% believed that Jesus is God, only 58% believed in the devil, which would imply that those 10% think our Lord Jesus Christ was lying or hallucinating when He exorcised demons in Gospel passages like Mark 1:21-28. And these are Christians!
How can we armor ourselves against the Devil if we don’t even believe he exists? No wonder Americans increasingly are debauched and depraved. Increasingly, Satanism is a cool thing. See:

The real irony is, as recounted in Mark 1:21-28, the Devil and other demons most certainly believe in and fear Christ our Lord:

“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

In fact, we know from countless first-person testimonies that just invoking the name of Jesus Christ repels demons. And did you know that Richard Gallagher, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, says demonic possession is real?
What’s the best defense against the Devil and demonic possession?

Put on the armor of God; keep pure your body, mind, and soul; and be true to the First and Greatest Commandment of All (Mark 12:30):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Jesus, I trust in You!
~Éowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Sunday Devotional: ‘I have come to set the earth on fire’

Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

I don’t know how and when it happened, but sometime in the ages, our Lord Jesus Christ, who chose hard work as a brawny carpenter and who instructed that “if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36), became depicted as an effeminate whimp tossing rainbows and sprinkling fairy-dust, while spouting facile words of “peace” and “love”.

But the above passage from Luke 12 is a sober reminder that Jesus didn’t say following Him would be easy. Once you are committed to good, there can be no compromise with evil and with those who choose and support evil — even when they are your family and friends.

As St. Paul reminds us, we are part of a much larger war: “For our struggle is not with 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 6:12)

And though we may “grow weary and lose heart,” we must “persevere in running the race that lies before us” (Hebrews 12:3,1).

How?

By ridding “ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us” and “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1,2).

Ephesians 6:13-16

Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day and,
having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances,
hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.


The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

And may the courage of St. Paul, and the strength and serenity and joy of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you this glorious Sunday!

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Sunday Devotional: Jesus exorcises demon

Mark 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at His teaching,
for He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Jesus casts out demon
The above passage from Mark is the gospel reading for today. I predict that Fr. Jack at my parish, once again, will make no mention in his homily of Jesus’s exorcism or of the Devil or of demons.
The pusillanimous avoidance of all mention of devil, demons, and Hell by too many priests and ministers may account for why Americans increasingly no longer believe in the devil.
CNS News reports that a 2013 Harris Poll found that although a majority (74%) of U.S. adults still say they believe in God, that’s down from the 82% who had expressed such a belief in earlier years. Nearly one-fourth of Americans (23%) identify themselves as “not at all” religious – a figure that has nearly doubled since 2007, when it was at 12%. Belief in miracles, heaven and other religious teachings also declined in the latest poll, including:

  • 68% believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72%;
  • 65% believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70%;
  • And only 58% believe in the devil and hell, down from 62%.

Why do only 58% or fewer than 6 out of every 10 American adults believe in the devil when 68% believe that Jesus is God? Do they imagine that our Lord Jesus Christ was lying or hallucinating when He exorcised demons in Gospel passages like Mark 1:21-28?

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. (La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.)” -Charles Baudelaire’s Le Joueur généreux, 1864.

How can we armor ourselves against the devil if we don’t even believe he exists? No wonder Americans increasingly are debauched and depraved.
armor of God
~Éowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Riots erupt in French showings of Hollywood demon doll movie

A fictional spectral figure named Slenderman led three teenage girls to attempted murder and mayhem. (See “The Devil is alive and well as Slenderman“)
The audience vomited during a satanic black-metal band’s performance, complete with a blood sacrifice. (See “Satanic black-metal band throws pig’s blood; audience vomit”)
Now, a Hollywood horror movie about a demonic doll, Annabelle, which was released worldwide on October 3, 2014, has been pulled from cinemas in France after movie-goers rioted.
Annabelle
Allanah Faherty reports for MoviePilot, Oct. 17, 2014, that cinemas in the cities of Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier in France have cancelled future screenings of Annabelle due to a security concern after huge crowds of youths packed theaters well over capacity (up to 1,000 people in a 450-seat theater) and began fighting, throwing popcorn, and ripping up seats.
The movie is based on the real story of a husband and wife who sought the help of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens eventually took the doll, Annabelle, and placed “her” in a secure case inside their Occult Museum. To prevent the demonic doll from harming anyone again, it is blessed by a priest twice a month.
To read the nearly incomprehensible movie plot, see Wikipedia.
armor of God
H/t FOTM’s christy
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Sunday Devotional: Why we must admonish the wicked

armor of God
We are in an all-out spiritual war, a war where there can be no fence-sitters.
For Jesus the Christ abhors fence-sitters — those whom He calls the “lukewarm.”

Revelation 3:15-16

“I know about your activities: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

This Sunday’s readings are a reminder that we are called to be His warriors.
Not only must we choose and not be lukewarm fence-sitters, in the face of evil we are to speak out and admonish the wicked.

Ezekiel 33:7-9

Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ”
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.

Matthew 18:15-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that ‘every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

In this all-out spiritual war, be strong!

Do not be afraid!

For our Lord has promised us:

Matthew 18:20

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

I will be with you always

In His peace and love,

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Evangelicals and faithful Catholics came through for Romney

Years and centuries from now, when our children and their descendants look back on the election of 2012, they will see that in the history written about that election, faithful Christians did what was right.

Alex Murashko reports for the Christian Post, November 8, 2012, that both evangelicals and faithful Catholics overcame whatever misgivings we had about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith to turn out in droves to vote for him.

Among Catholics, it was the faithful and white Catholics who came through for Romney. Faithful or practicing Catholics (whom the media call “traditional Catholics,” a misnomer) are those who actually obey the Church’s rule of attending Sunday (or Saturday vigil) Mass every week. Not to do that is a mortal sin, which means that those Catholics who don’t are apostates.

Catholic voters who regularly attend Mass broke 67% for Romney to 32% for Obama. This represented a swing of 35% in the direction of the GOP since 2008. Romney also won white Catholics by a margin of 59% to 40%, a margin of 19 points among a group that historically has voted for the winner. Nevertheless, Obama still narrowly won the overall Catholic vote driven largely by over performing among Hispanic Catholics, who put their self-interest about immigration over and above Obama’s pro-abortion and pro-infanticide stance.

In voting for Obama, those white and Hispanic Catholics went against the explicit stricture of the Church on abortion being an intrinsic evil, the importance of which supercedes other considerations such as immigration and “social justice” concerns for the poor.

As for evangelical Christians, a national post-election survey by the Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC) found that, unlike the Ron Paul cultists, evangelicals turned out to vote in record numbers, comparable to their turnout for George W. Bush in 2004. Ralph Reed, chairman of FFC, noted, “That is an astonishing outcome that few would have predicted even a few months ago.”

78% of evangelical Christian votes went to Romney; 21% to Obama. Reed intimated that those evangelicals who voted for Obama tend to be youths and minorities. In fact, as in 2008, not factoring religion or faith, Obama easily won the youth vote nationally, 67% to 30%.

The evangelical vote actually increased in 2012 to a record 27% of the electorate. This was the highest share of the vote in modern political history for evangelicals. Romney’s performance among evangelicals represented a net swing of 10% over John McCain’s performance in 2008.

Prior to the election, Reed had promised to use his coalition to mobilize an army of grassroots activists nationwide in order to get Christian voters to the polls in numbers never seen before. And Reed delivered on his promise. The coalition said it has distributed 30 million voter guides passed out in 117,000 churches, 24 million pieces of mail, and has made 23 million get-out-the-vote calls.

Virtually the entire increase in Mitt Romney’s vote compared to John McCain’s in 2008 came because of higher turnout and higher support from evangelical voters,” said Glen Bolger, the pollster who conducted the survey.

Putting the issue of voters’ faith aside, Romney did better than McCain in 2008 in almost every demographic category. But Obama was helped by a strong turnout from his own party and Latinos [and Democrat voter fraud, Ron Paul cultists’ abstention, and the Obama administration’s suppression of the military vote. See my post, “Why we lost the 2012 election.”]

Faith and Family Coalition’s post-election survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and included interviewing 1,600 actual 2012 voters. The margin of error is +/- 2.45%.

And so, Obama is reelected to a second term not for lack of effort from faithful Christians. We did the right thing. We overcame our theological differences with Mormonism because we correctly recognize that Obama and the Democrats represent true evil. We turned out in even larger numbers than in 2008 and voted overwhelmingly for religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage, and limited government.

We lost the political battle. But we can stand before God in good conscience as His faithful servants. We did “put on the armor of God” and stood “firm against the tactics of the devil … on the evil day.” “Having done everything,” we now hold our ground and “stand fast,” with our “loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,” our “feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace” and “in all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6)

We will need that shield because the faithful Christian vote is not lost on Obama and the Demonrats. So be prepared for their reprisals, mindful that Obama had already pronounced that his supporters would “vote for revenge,” while his malevolent senior adviser consigliere, the Iran-born Marxist Valerie Jarrett, has vowed:

“After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go.”

We have been warned by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago about the coming persecution. Alarmed about Obama’s war against the Catholic Church and against religious liberty, Cardinal George said “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Angel over Aurora

Last Sunday night, many people gathered in a vigil to remember the 12 people murdered by “Joker” James Holmes in that Century theater in Aurora, Colorado.
In the skies directly over the vigil, a huge angel appeared in the cloud formation.

Click image to enlarge

Crystal Fuller took the photo as the vigil was ending, but didn’t notice the image of the angel at the time.
After Fuller had posted the pic on Denver’s ABC7NEWS Facebook wall with the remark “crazy cloud,” one of her friends, Barbara Masias said it’s an angel. That was when Fuller saw it too. [Source]
There is a psychological phenomenon called pareidoliais, which refers to the human inclination to perceive a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in the “man in the moon” — seeing human features on the moon.
But given how little we humans actually know about the world — what with multiple dimensions, black holes, the mysterious dark matter that cosmologists say constitute the bulk of our Universe, not to mention the notion of multiple universes — who’s to say the Angel over Aurora is mere pareidoliais?
After all, St. Paul did warn us in his letter to the Ephesians:
For our struggle is not with 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.
Can’t see the angel? Look again (I’ve outlined the angel with blue dashes). There’s even a halo!

~Click pic to enlarge~

To the twelve who were murdered so brutally and senselessly in that darkened theater:

May you rest in His peace

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0