Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Like a Roaring Lion

1 Peter 5:8
Sobrii estote, vigilate. Adversarius vester Diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret. Cui resistite fortes fide…

Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith…

So, perhaps you have seen the news item from a wild animal park in China, about a woman who, having had an argument with her husband, exited their car and was promptly attacked and dragged away by a Siberian tiger. Her husband, we can see in a video of the tragedy, leaps out in pursuit, but stops a few steps from the car. Then the woman’s mother charges out of the back seat of the car, without hesitation and without return. We are told that she was mauled to death by another tiger. Her daughter has apparently survived.

To me, this is an earthly demonstration of that scripture I cited at the top of the page. Our enemy, the devil, is out there, ready to snatch away our loved ones, and ourselves. But a mother’s love for her daughter will take precedence even over her fears for her own life, and she must pursue her daughter and the evil attacker, even if death comes to her in a horrible fashion.

At least, that’s how I feel about my own daughter. I suppose it might be suggested that physical death at the fangs and claws of a Siberian tiger is more terrifying than spiritual warfare waged in one’s own private chapel; and surely that is true on the purely physical level. But there are other aspects to the spiritual battle, of course. And while the physical mauling and death are horrendous, the thought of a daughter’s eternal damnation is almost unbearable…and that torment doesn’t end in an instant, as a physical death does.

And so…I pray, as I'm sure you pray for your own children. This prayer was recommended to me by my spiritual director:

Parents' Prayer

O LORD GOD, Who hast called us to holy matrimony 
and hast been pleased to render our union fruitful, 
thus making glad the sublime state of life wherein Thou hast placed us, 
by a certain likeness to Thine Own infinite fruitfulness;
we heartily recommend to Thee our dear children; 
we entrust them to Thy fatherly care and all powerful protection, 
that they may grow daily in Thy holy fear,
may lead a perfect Catholic life
and a be source of consolation, not only to us, who have given them life,
but chiefly to Thee, Who art their Creator.

Behold, O Lord, in what a world they must pass their lives;
consider the cunning flatteries whereby the sons of men everywhere
endeavor to deprave their minds and hearts 
with false doctrine and wicked example.
Be watchful, O Lord, to help and defend them; 
grant us the grace to be able to guide them aright 
in the paths of virtue and in the way of Thy Commandments, 
by the righteous pattern of our own life and practice,
and our perfect observance of Thy holy law 
and that of our Holy Mother the Church;
 and in order that we may do so faithfully, 
make us certain of the grave danger
that awaits us at the hands of Thy Divine justice.
Nevertheless all our efforts will be unavailing, unless Thou,
O almighty and merciful God, 
shalt make them fruitful by Thy heavenly blessing.

This Thy blessing, therefore, we humbly ask of Thee, 
from the bottom of our hearts,
trusting in Thy great goodness and mercy hitherto shown unto us;
we ask it for ourselves
and for the children whom Thou hast been graciously pleased to give unto us.
We dedicate them to Thee, O Lord, 
do Thou keep them as the apple of Thine eye,
and protect them under the shadow of Thy wings;
do Thou make us worthy to come at last to Heaven, 
together with them, 
giving thanks unto Thee, our Father, 
for the loving care Thou hast had of our entire family 
and praising Thee through endless ages. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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