90 Day Challenge: Day 31 – Recon

“You cannot win a war if you are unwilling to admit we are even at war or you don’t know who your enemy is or you don’t know what strategy your enemy is using.”  –    Dr. Peter Kreeft

Recon is short for “reconnaissance,” the process of intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination of that collected information to troops to help their leaders to make a battle plan and them to follow it.

In the case of the Christian, the “enemy,” of course, is Satan, or evil more generally.

This is where this 90 Day Challenge makes me a bit uncomfortable in pursuing it.

It is not that I don’t recognize there is such a thing as pure evil in the world.  Certainly I would say the Holocaust is one such example, as is the genocide of any people because of their race or religious beliefs – anything about them that makes them uniquely identifiable, threatening to another group and by extension, worthy of extinguishment in the minds of the threatened group.

But my Catholic focus has – especially these past several years – been on God’s Divine Mercy and his unending grace. Yes, I believe in the mystical experiences that revealed the message of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina Kowalska.

Perhaps that is easy for me because I have had positive mystical experiences of my own.

But I have also had three experiences where I saw what could only be described as the demonic.  So I know evil is real. (And no, it did not involve any of “The Exorcist” style of levitating, head-spinning, pea soup-looking projectile vomiting. It is much more subtle than that – but it leaves you cold inside. And you ask yourself if you really saw what you saw, and the answer is indisputably “yes.”)

Still, I think it is rare to come upon instances like this.  It is certainly something I don’t go in deliberate search of finding.

Yet now I find myself at a stage of this “challenge” where I am being called upon to “take up arms” against evil and become a “spiritual warrior.”

I do not know that I am a willing combatant. But then again, Narnia was a fairy land, but evil was at work, and the children in the tale did become warriors and Aslan a blood sacrifice.

Perhaps there is no way to Paradise unless you actively fight for it.

What’s the old saying?  Anything worth having is worth fighting for?

If prayer be a sword, then I am willing to fight.  If the Church be “militant,” then I am among them.  If Mary needs a “militia,” I am part of it.

It may be time for the armor of God after all.

So why has the devil been so effective? What is his strategy? To better understand the tactics of the devil, it is important to understand his names: “diabolos” means “he who places division or separation,” and “daio,” the root of “demon,” means “to divide.” These names identify the two great tactical campaigns the enemy has deployed, especially in recent decades: 1) Cut us off from our (supernatural) supply lines and 2) Divide and conquer. (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual). Fr. Richard Heilman 

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