Taking our part

| Liz Kelly | August 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

A dear friend calls; he’s at his wits end. Looking at the world, it looks like evil is winning. Among the crippling issues on his mind are: corruption in our government, media, and banking practices; religious persecution here and abroad; terrorism generally speaking; and to go ahead and break the camel’s back, the absolute lunacy that you can shoot a pregnant woman and be charged with not one, but two counts of murder, and yet, that same mother could abort that same child and we call it “her right.”

It’s true, the evil that parades through our streets, whether dressed up as willful ignorance or outright malice and greed, is astounding. The temptation is to imagine that we are powerless over such malignant forces and that we must succumb to its unrelenting undertow that threatens to yank us under.

But that is to forget who we are in Christ and what he has established for us in the Church.

For example, the Church gives us feast days, and lots of them. August is especially robust in remembering some of the most courageous among us. We celebrate this month the feast of St. Augustine and his long-suffering-in-prayer-mother, St. Monica; the Passion of St. John the Baptist; and two saints murdered at Auschwitz, Sts. Edith Stein and Maximillian Kolbe — to name a few.

Add to these credible and compelling witnesses our Marian feasts: the Assumption and Coronation. Let’s not forget that Mary is not some hapless spectator lost in history or a pale-faced beauty painted too daintily on too many canvases; she is Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her soul is so pure that her prayers are as stealthy and as commanding a weapon for justice, goodness, and mercy as any known to man. We have recourse to the unending arsenal of her purity and mediation as Theotokos, and as our spiritual mother.

And let’s not forget what the saints teach us about spiritual warfare. How we can flank the enemy with prayer and an extra holy hour in the middle of the night — he hates that. We can attack him with mortifications great and small, almsgiving, suffering, or any number of difficult moments throughout our day joined to the work of the Cross — the devil really, really hates a fasting ambush. When evil tries to crush our hope, we must remember who we are and what grace is granted us in the sacraments, in prayer, in every little, unseen good work or act of kindness. We’re not powerless pawns bobbing aimlessly on a sea of evil because Jesus is almighty, all merciful, and though the answer to our prayers may be baffling and painful at times, he is all good and he has an eternal plan for us, body and soul.

The day of this writing just happens to be the Feast of the Assumption. And in her beautiful book, “Intercessions for Mass,” the Carmelite sister Mary Grace Melcher invites the Church to pray: “That we who celebrate Our Lady’s Assumption . . . may renew our hope in our own resurrection, taking our part in the struggle to destroy every sovereignty and power that opposes God’s victory in our lives.” Oh yes, almighty Father, hear this prayer.

Take up your part, little or great, painful or just annoying, hidden or known, with fasting and prayer and penance and join Jesus and his army of saints in destroying the evil around you one spiritual ambush at a time.

Jesus, help me to know and to take up my part in the struggle against evil — whether that be a life of quiet holiness, a martyr’s death, or something in between. Help me remember, even in the midst of persecution or injustice, I belong to you and you will never surrender your claim to my soul.

Kelly is the author of six books, including “Jesus Approaches” and the “Jesus Approaches Take-Home Retreat.” Visit her website at lizk.org.

Immaculata Prayer


Immaculata Prayer

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you.

I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property.

Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.”

Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.

R. Give me strength against your enemies.


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Category: Your Heart His Home