Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saints and Scripture Armor

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11
I was reminded of this verse this morning when I heard this sung:  "Taking up the armor of the cross, let us fight the enemy, having faith as an invincible wall, and prayer as a breastplate, and alms as a helmet, and fasting as a sword, which cuts away all evil from our heart" I loved hearing this sung right as we begin Great Lent. Its such a great reminder that the war against evil is internal to our own souls more than it is against anything outside of ourselves. After all, without the peace that comes from prayer and Christian practices such as alms giving and fasting we are struck and assailed by the demands and challenges of the world.
I don't have anything especially insightful to say about it so I'll quote what St John Chrysostom had to say about the verse:
He says not, against the fightings, nor against the hostilities, but against the wiles. For this enemy is at war with us, not simply, nor openly, but by wiles. What is meant by wiles? To use wiles, is to deceive and to take by artifice or contrivance; a thing which takes place both in the case of the arts, and by words, and actions, and stratagems, in the case of those who seduce us. I mean something like this. The Devil never proposes to us sins in their proper colors; he does not speak of idolatry, but he sets it off in another dress, using wiles, that is, making his discourse plausible, employing disguises. Now therefore the Apostle is by this means both rousing the soldiers, and making them vigilant, by persuading and instructing them, that our conflict is with one skilled in the arts of war, and with one who wars not simply, nor directly, but with much wiliness. And first then he arouses the disciples from the consideration of the Devil's skill; but in the second place, from his nature, and the number of his forces. It is not from any desire to dispirit the soldiers that stand under him, but to arouse, and to awaken them, that he mentions these stratagems, and prepares them to be vigilant; for had he merely detailed their power, and there stopped his discourse, he must have dispirited them. But now, whereas both before and after this, he shows that it is possible to overcome such an enemy, he rather raises their courage; for the more clearly the strength of our adversaries is stated on our part to our own people, so much the more earnest will it render our soldiers.  source is New Advent
Be sure to check out Saints and Scripture at The Kennedy Adventure
May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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