WIELDING THE SWORD
February 4, 2018
In our work of evangelization and mission, we are deep into
spiritual warfare, against a strong enemy. This is a fight
to the death, or rather, unto life. This war rages until the
end of time, when Christ and his armies achieve the final
Arise, holy warriors, and wield the sword of the Spirit, the
word of God.
‘AND A SWORD THY OWN SOUL SHALL PIERCE’
by Church Militant • ChurchMilitant.com • February
1, 2018 2 Comments
The sword makes its first appearance in the Infant Jesus'
life, drawn against His Mother
An excerpt from Chapter 4 of The Weapon, by Michael Voris.
His name was Simeon, and of him we do not know much, other
than that he was a devout and upright man. It had been made
known to him by the Holy Spirit he would not die until he
had seen the Messiah with his own eyes. What we can safely
assume is that Simeon must have been a man of deep holiness
to be afforded such a singular grace. In addition to being
devout and morally upright, there must have been a deep, abiding
presence of faith and hope and charity. His canticle to God
after he took the Babe into his arms speaks of this.
He knew intuitively of the great battle about to ensue. He
knew it in his bones, his soul, his mind. He knew also that
this was not just a battle involving his own race, but was
a war involving all humanity. He knew the stakes were nothing
less than salvation, and that this was for the nations. He
knew too the cost of this Great War would be incalculable
suffering. So when he returns the Babe to the arms of His
Mother and father, he takes Mary aside and says to Her that
She would suffer most of all a sword would pierce her
The Son of God is barely a month old and already the sword
makes its first appearance in His life, drawn against His
Mother a sign of the horror of sin. The most perfect
human to have ever graced the earth would have to bear in
Her soul the pain of sin, having never committed a single
one in Her life, never even having been touched by Original
Sin. To Her would be the utmost sharing of the future pain
of Her Son.
This sword would appear again in His life on earth, drawn
against Him in His infancy by Herod's soldiers. It would also
bring forth the Church from His side on the Cross as it would
be plunged into His dead body. But He Himself would also have
a sword and would never hesitate to draw it and use it. He
said, "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword"
(Matt. 10:34). And this is fitting, for there is no war without
weapons. Weapons exist to be used, and more than used, to
defeat, kill, conquer, vanquish, and occupy.
The sword of Christ is truth, and it hurts as it tears into
the soul, separating sinew from bone; it hurts more than a
physical sword. Rarely does a physical battle wound so change
a man as to conform him to Heaven. Its ability to effect change
is limited to the merely natural, the body. But the sword
the Son of God never sheathes can so wound a man, so disfigure
and kill a former man of sin, that a new man of justice can
emerge, where God will lovingly give him what he deserves,
and that will be Himself.
The target of the divine sword is sin, to cut out the gore
and ugliness of it and repair and restore man. In this manner,
it is as much scalpel as it is sword. Each shares a sharp
blade and each has the same purpose: to destroy that which
is bad and which must be removed. Saint Paul uses the same
imagery to get at the same truth. This war requires well-trained
soldiers, warriors skilled at the sword. This is as true as
the day is long. The enemy has a massive arsenal, a stockpile
of weapons and munitions in the form of temptations, doubts,
excitement of the passions, pride set against God's commands.
This is why Simeon speaks as he does to Mary. The Son of God,
His Firstborn, has been presented to the Father according
to the command of the Father. His inheritance from the Father
will be an everlasting kingdom, as His angel told Mary at
the Annunciation almost a year earlier. But that kingdom would
be established in bloody warfare, for the enemy was in this
fight to the death.
Watch the panel discuss the sorrows of Our Lady on The DownloadFeast
of the Presentation.
* * *
THE SERVANT GENERAL
VIOLENCE IN THE KINGDOM
Today’s gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
Jesus says something enigmatic: “From the days of John
the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.” (v.12). We
can look at two meanings, both valid and real, both looking
at the spiritual war raging between the forces of God and
the forces of the evil one.
one hand, the Kingdom of heaven and the people of God are
being violently assaulted from all sides by the enemy. A tsunami
of evil has descended upon the world. The assaults against
faith, family and life grow ever more intense. The enemy wants
to bring down God’s people. In the Western world religious
freedom is being suppressed. In other parts of the world,
Christians are subject to physical violence and death.
other hand, God’s people themselves need to resort to
violence in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus says,
“the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone who
enters does so with violence.” (Lk 16:16b). Our desire
to enter the Kingdom should be so intense that we are pictured
as those who force our way in. The Kingdom of God belongs
to those who would take it by force and violence!
course Jesus never condones violence in any form. We need
to understand “violence” as having different meanings:
exhibiting intense emotional or mental excitement, passionate,
fierce, extreme, overwhelmingly forcible, characterized by
intensity of any kind.
Jesus is speaking of a kind of determination, intensity, zeal,
doggedness, passion, which should characterize our pursuit
of the Kingdom. It is a measure of the extent of the effort
we put into it, an extent comparable to warriors storming
a city during a siege.
to become violent Christians. How?
we need to do violence to ourselves, in our pursuit of holiness.
Jesus told us to cut off our hand or foot or eye if these
cause us to sin (see Mk 9:43-47). This is not to be taken
literally, otherwise there would be a lot of maimed Christians
in the world today. What is meant is the necessity of a radical
response to God’s call to live a godly life. Paul says,
“Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly.”
we need to be violent in our relationship with God. Consider
prayer. To be violent means to persevere in prayer. Our prayer
should be done with the persistence and intensity of the widow
seeking her rights before the corrupt judge, who finally decided
to settle in her favor for fear that she would do him violence
(see Lk 18:1-5). We have to be determined and single-minded
in pursuing our relationship with God.
we need to do violence to Satan’s dominion. We are at
war! We are to storm Satan’s strongholds in order to
help liberate people enslaved by him. We are to do a massive
work of evangelization and mission.
What does this all mean? We are called to be holy warriors.