The Importance of the Church and the Eucharist- Defending us in Spiritual Warfare

“Jesus permits the spiritual combat as a purification, not as a punishment. The trial is not unto death but unto salvation.” – Saint Padre Pio

   Reflection.  This weekend was a wonderful one, but at the same time from a health perspective  for me, a horrible one!  I wanted to share my reflections from Good Friday until Easter Vigil on Saturday night.  I can tell you, if you have not done so, and per the reflection of my Parish Priest, sit in a Church when there is no Eucharist present.  You will feel the emptiness of the Church without our Lord present.  I will tell you, on Good Friday, right before I went to Confession, these words are more than true.  There is a difference in the air, an emptiness.  Not a bad one per say, because I know our Lord is looking after us always, but there is an emptiness.  As I battled the stomach flu through most of the weekend, it also occurred to me how often we are attacked spiritually without even knowing it at times.  The Evil one is constantly present in our Earthly lives, constantly bribing us and asking us to turn away from God.  Even in our weakest times, with our health, our minds, etc, he sees advantages and attacks us.  We must always stay focused, keeping our eyes on Jesus, asking for protection from His Saints, Angels, and Blessed Mother.  The path to righteousness is a hard one, with many obstacles in our way.  I like to think that Christ’s Church was also put on this Earth to realize we are not alone.  Right before Easter Vigil, my sponsor and I were having some discussions about faith, saints, and eventually the shroud.  As many of us know, recent reports are coming out that the Shroud of Turin would appear to be from the time of Jesus.  I myself, as a believer, have always believed that it to be the Shroud of Christ, so this came as no surprise.  The investigators all conclude as well that the image on the shroud was made from hugs amounts of radiation.  During this discussion, my sponsor told me that he had also heard that when analyzing the amount of energy that it would take to create the shroud, that the amount is near of more than the amount of all the energy combined from everyone that takes the mass in a single moment throughout the world.  Think about that for a second.  Everyone, over 1.2 billion people, and the energy inside of them.  The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life.  The Eucharist is very powerful.  The flesh and blood of Christ, that lives and reigns, within us, and the entire world.  What awesome power within the Eucharist- what awesome power within our Church. There are 1.2 billion plus more coming to His Holy Church every day.  The energy, the love, the Gospel.  Realize that we are not alone!  Spiritual Battles must be fought!  They must be fought on all ends, so that we may be cleansed, so that we may be purified in Christ’s love.  Never take your eyes off Christ.  Keep him in the center of your life, understanding that there is nothing the evil one can do!  The evil one wants us to sin, and we will, but as long as we turn our eyes back towards Christ, and His love, there is nothing we cannot conquer, there is no trial that we cannot win.  Even at our worst, if we truly turn to Christ, we will always be triumphant   Never give up, and it is easy not to, as long as we keep Christ’s love, and most of all share it with the world.  God Bless! ~CJA


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