As Veterans Day approaches this weekend to celebrate all veterans (both living and dead), I started thinking about it in connection with Catholicism, which really surprised me because I had never done so before. In a sense, we are all veterans of the Catholic Church. All of us can relate because we are in the midst of a whole different war, a war between this passing, temporary world and God’s Heavenly, eternal world.
God equips us and gives us strength for the battle as shown in Ephesians 6:10-17, especially in the first two verses: “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.” With God on our side, the devil doesn’t stand a chance.
Saints have fought before us in the battle of good and evil. They set beautiful examples for us to follow, examples of prayer, martyrdom, devotion, service, and love. The current Pope, bishops, priests, deacons, nuns, and so many other individuals are all current people God has put on this earth to minister to us and push us to strive for holiness.
We are not in this battle alone. God gives us the community of the Church (family, friends, youth ministers, CORE members, clergy, etc.) to work together and strive for Heaven. He gives us the Saints and the angels who are interceding for us. He gives us himself at every Mass in the Eucharist. The battle will not be easy because the temptations and struggles of this world seem so great, but when we turn from this world and focus on God, we can turn from these temptations and make it through the struggles because we live in hope for the greatest reward of all – eternal life with God in Heaven.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen