Feb 28, 2021

A Reflection

The following article is part of a series of parishioner reflections by members of the Holy Child Jesus Parish. We welcome your comments and feedback.

As the season of Lent is upon us, you may have already decided to give up certain things, like chocolate or a certain behavior. If you haven’t already considered it, one form of abstinence to consider is taking a break from social media and mainstream culture. In place of this, try filling the time reading scripture, watching Catholic television programming, attending virtual retreats, or watching YouTube videos featuring Catholic teachings and discussion. Fill your free time with the Lord. If you take a step back from our current culture, it may have a profound effect on how you perceive the world. To be able to step back and view the whole forest may help you evaluate your closeness to Christ. Are you too preoccupied with the trees around you to spend time with Jesus?

The shift in your focus may help build your sensitivity to things that are not of God. You may be better able to recognize the overlay of this influence around you, whether it’s the divisions, feuds, profanity and profane images pervading our society, or some other insight you recognize.

Immersing yourself in Christ may help you recognize this overlay in your own life. How what’s not of God may be impacting your thoughts, decisions, and reactions. Being close to God helps you to stay on guard for this influence, bringing you closer to your salvation. Your new heightened awareness may then extend to other areas of your life that aren’t aligned with Christ, such as new age practices that have become mainstream. Putting on the full armor of God guards you in ways you may never know.

The Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians provides instructions on how to put on this armor. Consider incorporating St. Paul’s instructions in your Lenten practices and throughout the year:

Ephesians 6:10-18
6:10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power.
6:11 Put on the full armor of God so as to be able to resist the devil's tactics
6:12 For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens.
6:13 That is why you must take up all God's armor, or you will not be able to put up any resistance on the evil day, or stand your ground even though you exert yourselves to the full.
6:14 So stand your ground, with truth a belt round your waist, and uprightness a breastplate,
6:15 wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace
6:16 and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to quench the burning arrows of the Evil One.
6:17 And then you must take salvation as your helmet and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.
6:18 In all your prayer and entreaty keep praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all God's holy people

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