The Rule, Article 4

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saint Catherine of Bologna: On the Seven Spiritual Weapons

Put on the armor of God to withstand the snares of the devil.

Jesus Christ gave up his life that we might live. Therefore, whoever wishes to carry the cross for his sake must take up the proper weapons for the contest, especially those mentioned here. First, diligence; second distrust of self; third, confidence in God; fourth, remembrance of the Passion; fifth, mindfulness of his own death; sixth, remembrance of God’s glory; seventh, the injunctions of Sacred Scripture following the example of Jesus Christ in the desert.

Everyone endowed with goodwill, that is, with love for God, truly wishing to serve God must first of all purify himself through sincere and complete confession of sin with the firm determination never to sin grievously in the future, even to prefer to it a thousand deaths, if this were possible. Whoever is enslaved by mortal sin is not a member of Christ but rather of the devil. He is moreover deprived of the benefits of Holy Mother Church and incapable of doing anything meritorious for eternal life.

The determination to avoid mortal sin then is necessary for serving God faithfully. Bear in mind, however, that if you have been guilty of mortal sin you must never despair of God’s goodness or give up doing good to the best of your ability so that you can be freed from sin. Strengthened by this hope, always do good in whatever station of life you may be. In addition, to this the faithful servant of Christ must be ready to follow the way of the cross, since all who serve God must fight against God’s enemies and you can expect various kinds of wounds from them. Consequently, you must have the best weapons with which to fight the enemy.

Saint Catherine of Bologna: On the Seven Spiritual Weapons

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