Day #20: Spiritual Combat
MARY: The life of man is warfare on the earth. He, like a soldier, does not have a fixed home, but a provisional one and must go where the will of God calls him. Your first combat must be that undertaken for the defense of the faith. You will often find yourself among people who do not believe or who are so weak in the faith that they give way at the smallest obstacle, often even at the ridicule of fools. You must counter, manifesting your unlimited submission to the wisdom of God, who is the supreme and only Truth, esteeming and appreciating it above all human theories.
If you allow yourself to be carried away or vacillate when some puny scientist of the earth contradicts the eternal Truth, you are not a soldier of Jesus Christ; you are guilty of desertion. The faith is the greatest science; it is not blind or traditional assent to things incomprehensible, but it is the superior revelation of the highest truths which you admit because God has revealed them to you, God who deserves more faith than any scientist of the earth. Therefore you must affirm your faith against all of the snares and contrary affirmations of pathetic earthly wisdom, apostatized from God.
Affirming your faith, you must of necessity show yourself a child of the Catholic Church which possesses the sacred deposit of revealed truths; you must, therefore, fight boldly against every current that would pull you out of the Church and affirm your submission to its authority, to the Pope, to the bishops, to the priests.
You must fight against distrust and show that you trust in God and adore his dispositions, conforming yourself to his divine will. One is not worthy of God who is excessively preoccupied with earthly things, who despairs, who puts his faith back in men, forgetting God. You must fight against the delusions of the world and show yourself a Christian in life; you will never follow what is opposed to the will of God; you will not follow the customs and fashions of the world, even at the cost of being mocked, even at the cost of suffering and martyrdom.
A Christian fights energetically when he lives as a Christian, when he shows himself to be living according to the law of God and of the Church, when he is zealous for the salvation of his own brothers. Life itself is the most beautiful battle and therefore your life is a warfare here on earth.
And the weapon of your spiritual combat is prayer.
Pray because you must fight not only to destroy evil, but also to spread the good; pray because in order to fight you must first conquer yourself and live totally united to God.
As a Christian you must nourish your soul with the sacraments, you must enlighten it with knowledge of and meditation on the eternal truths, you must enliven it with constant union with God, fleeing from sin as from death itself, and humbling yourself in his presence.
ASPIRATION: O Jesus, give me the grace to bear witness before men so that you will then receive me on the day of judgment.
LITTLE WORK: Repeat the act of faith at least three times during the day.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a ?Way of the Cross? ? But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)