What would you do if you knew your children were headed into a war zone tomorrow? Would you not prepare them, protect them, and talk to them about how to fight the dangers they would surely encounter?
Today our family enters a battle. We are starting a novena to put a stop to a satanic black mass planned to take place in Oklahoma City in September. But as I light our prayer candle and we gather around the table, what do I say to my children? How do I explain our prayer intentions with a sense of hope and trust?
In his book, Keys to the Third Floor, Father Philip Dion tells us that the second key to true happiness is to say, “Thanks, God!” for whatever God wills us to endure. Our family has been practicing saying “Thanks, God!” when the car breaks down, when a sibling takes a favorite toy, or when everyone seems to have awoken on the wrong side of the bed. We have tried to appreciate the building of virtue that occurs when we are faced with trial and temptation.
But how can I say, “Thanks, God!” for this? Where is the underlying joy in the knowledge that there is a group of people out there who want to make a ritual out of destroying a consecrated host–who want to crucify my Lord all over again?
The joy is in preparing my children for battle. The joy is in a renewed sense of urgency to make clear the importance of the Eucharist. I can’t wait to talk to my children about the source and summit of our faith tonight–to reiterate how blessed we are as Catholics to believe in the gift of this sacrament.
One of my sons will receive his first communion next spring. And so I say, “Thanks, God!” for inspiring me to convey the joys of our faith to my family in a way that strips evil of its deceptive lies and forces it to stand, naked and ashamed, in the face of our army. I will say “Thanks, God!” for a love so great, it is willing to be crucified over and over again, if it means we will draw that much closer together and to Christ through prayer.
Tonight I will talk to my children about Holy Communion, remind them that it is, indeed, our Lord who is present up there on that altar, and ask them, “How do you think a consecrated host should be handled? How do you think Jesus wants to be treated? He gave His life for us. What do you think He deserves?” And they will know the answers because a heart immersed in Truth recognizes when that Truth is being persecuted.
We will light our candle as I explain that today we are praying for those who do not have our gift of faith. We are praying for those who do not fully appreciate the significance of the Eucharist, but who, deep down, must know the truth that it is something sacred. Why else would they feel the need to profane it if they did not feel it’s powerful threat against their temptations? We will pray today for people who are so unhappy that they want us to join them in their misery. Then I will tell my children that we must never give up, never lose hope, but always pray and strive to gather every soul into our joy.
Please join us in our novena by clicking on the link below: