Aloha Friday Message – December 14, 2007


Things I learned this week —
” An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. ”
— Jeff Cooper

” Be ashamed to die until you have done something good for mankind. ”
— Attributed to pastor Dr. Vernon Johnson during the Revolutionary War

” If you’re going through hell, keep going. ”
— Winston Churchill

What do these things have in common? For one, they all appear in a PowerPoint presentation on warfare called “These Are My Credentials.” They captured my attention, though, because they link up with what I sent last week from chapter 6 of Ephesians.

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

While the slideshow I mentioned is about war and its consequences, the war talked about in it is the kind that soldiers and warriors fight; I think the Cooper quote applies equally well to what St. Paul was saying about the war against evil. If you are not well-armed, you must flee or be overcome.

Dr. Johnson’s quote ties in with that, too. “Something good for mankind” doesn’t necessarily mean something monumental or supremely heroic. Standing up to evil whenever and wherever you find it is something good form mankind, and the more we do that, the better of all of mankind will be. Every time we stand up to fight against evil, we have done well.

And Churchill’s quote reminds me that fighting this kind of war, a war against a pervasive evil that threatens our lives daily, endangers our children, and destroys the hope we have invested in our loved ones, this kind of war really is hell and the only way through it is to keep going. When I was a riddle going around: “How far can you go into the woods?” The answer? “Halfway. Because the rest of the way you are going out.”

Halfway. Are we halfway through this war against evil? It is my deepest hope that we are more than halfway. I know I am more than halfway in my own battle (I can not imagine being 61 and having to battle on for another 61 years ). But even if The World is not at least halfway through, we still need to keep going.

This is the Season of Advent, and we are halfway through that, too. Next Sunday is the third of the four Sundays. It has been called Gaudete Sunday in times past, and sometimes the vestments are Rose or Pink. It is a Sunday when we are reminded to REJOICE because the Victory has been won through what started in Bethlehem. Yes, we are at war, and yes we must keep going, but YES we can also rejoice for we know already that the outcome will be something good for all mankind, and we will have been part of that.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever — at your service.

Age quod agis, Beloved.


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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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