Peace Through Strength Challenge – Day Nine

Peace Through Strength Challenge – Day Nine

Peace Through Strength
The Challenge to Enter the Supernatural Life

“The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” -Psalm 29:11


Novena for Our Nation starts August 15: Please do all you can to encourage your family and friends to sign up for the special prayers used for this POWERFUL 54 Day Rosary Novena that starts on August 15. Sign-up HERE.  (A place to sign-up is also found on the “Novena for Our Nation” website).


Thy Will Be Done

By Major Jeff Heller

“And Samuel said [to Saul]: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed?  For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat or rams.  Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey.  Forasmuch, therefore, as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king.  And Saul said to Samuel: I have sinned, because I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words, fearing the people, and obeying their voice.” -1 Samuel 15: 22-24

And there it is.  “Fearing the people, and obeying their voice.” This is certainly ONE of MANY reasons we choose to disobey our Lord’s commands.  Saul was concerned, as was Aaron with the golden calf, about what “the people” thought of him.  He chose the easy way, the way of non-confrontation.  How many times have I heard the Lord’s name taken in vain, and said nothing?  How many times have I avoided sharing the truth out of fear for the response of “the people?”

We all struggle with the simplest of prayers, just after the start of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy will be done.  Even our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in this way, during His agony in the garden.  “And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.’” (Matthew 26:39)  Our consequences for choosing God’s will over our own will are not likely to be as serious as the Lord’s.  He knew what was coming.  He knew that God’s will would result in the most agonizing mental and physical anguish that any human being could experience.  He would experience the worst humiliation imaginable, betrayed even by His closest friends.  And yet. He chose God’s will.  Not His own.  That awkward conversation at work seems a bit trivial now, doesn’t it?

Well… it didn’t seem trivial at the time.  And it won’t next time either.  That’s why we need to be prepared.  Any athlete or marksman will tell you that when the pressure is on, you resort to your training.  Muscle memory takes over, and the drills you’ve practiced until they were second nature manifest themselves in your actions. For better, or for worse.  If you’ve practiced steadying your breath, slowly pulling the trigger backward, allowing the shot to surprise you each time, you’ll likely hit your mark.  If you’ve not put in the hours, you will miss under pressure.  The same holds for our spiritual lives, and especially in obedience to the will of God.  If we are obedient with the small, easy (seeming) choices, over and over again, we will train ourselves to obey His will.  If we choose our own will, time and again, we will train ourselves to be disobedient.  So how do we practice obedience to the will of God?

St. Alphonsus said, “Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: ‘Charity is the bond of perfection;’ and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s.” Furthermore, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)  And so we see that obedience to the will of God and love of God are intimately related.  Sounds reasonable enough, right?  I love my wife, and I want what’s best for her.  Therefore, I always strive to put her will ahead of my own, right?  Just ask her!  But we can see the correlation, at least.  I OUGHT to put her will ahead of my own, insofar as it is aligned to God’s will.  If I really loved my wife like I should, I would put her will first, and actually be happy about it.  And how much truer is this principle when applied to our relationship with God?  If we truly love our Lord, how do we show our love?  “It follows then, that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God” (St. Alphonsus).  If we train ourselves to desire what God desires (our salvation, our friends’ salvation, our enemies’ salvation, etc.), our love for God will grow.  And as our love for God grows, it will become easier to desire what He desires.  But HOW do we do it?  What’s our first step?!

A good first step is making time for prayer, and focusing on God’s will.  Maybe say the “Our Father” and focus on the words “thy will be done.”  I’d also recommend finding time to be with our Lord in adoration.  Adoration with the Eucharist exposed in a monstrance, if possible, but even visiting our Lord in the tabernacle is better than mental prayer.  I’d highly recommend reading “Uniformity with God’s Will” by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, which can be found for kindle.  It’s an excellent reflection on God’s will, and has made me desire God’s will for my life more than I would have thought possible.  And never forget our Mother Mary, who was in perfect uniformity with God’s will.  Mary’s intercession will always lead us closer to the will of God, as that is her constant desire.  To live in one with God’s will, and to bring all of her children into His will.  I pray that with the help of our Blessed Mother, we will all be able to say “not my will, but thine be done.”


The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I AM A PART of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in God’s hands. I am finished and done with low living, small planning, the bare minimum, smooth knees, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, the best, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith. I lean on Christ’s presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the power of God’s grace.

My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I am a Catholic. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know, and work until He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no difficulty recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

I’m going in!


Best Supernatural Strength Practices

As we continue this “Peace through Strength Challenge,” we want to pledge to adhere to (restore?) the best foundational practices of an authentically strong Catholic. If you obey Christ and His Church 100% (remain loyal), and practice the following (All, not most or some), you will be strong in God’s supernatural grace, and you will live in peace. You’ll notice we are not addressing such things as tithing, volunteering and catechesis. Why? Because all of these will follow as we are filled with supernatural grace. Grace fills us with a hunger for “the more” of knowing and pleasing God.

Make a plan: Ask yourself, “Can I embrace all of these now? Or, do I embrace some, and add others over time?” Either way, you’ll want to make these foundational practices a regular habit in order to be a “strong Catholic.”

Support System: You may want to create or join a “Peace Through Strength Squad” of 3+ people. Maybe create a Facebook group. Also, try to join together with an “Accountability Buddy.”

Commit to these practices from July 16 – October 7.

  • Morning Offering (Morning Offering)
  • Go to Mass (Daily Mass, if at all possible)
  • Frequent Confession (Keep your Confessions no more than one month apart)
  • Fasting (Fasting is a way in which the Lord gives the underdog victory)
  • Eucharistic Adoration (Dedicate some time each week for Adoration)
  • Read the Bible (I highly recommend the Magnificat Magazine –
  • Pray at every meal (Make the Sign of the Cross, say the “Bless us, O Lord” prayer)
  • Daily Rosary 
  • Wear the Brown Scapular (or Scapular Medal)
  • Pray the Angelus (6:00 a.m., noon, 6:00 p.m. daily)
  • Marian Consecration (We will make – or renew – our Consecration on October 7)
  • Examine your conscience before going to sleep (Take a few minutes just before bed to review your day asking, “How have I behaved as a child of God?” It’s also a great time to look at that “dominant fault” you need to improve upon in order to become a saint. Conclude these few minutes of reflection by praying three Hail Marys for purity and then pray the “Act of Contrition”)
  • Join the Auxilium Christianorum (Go HERE to learn about Auxilium Christianorum. Fr. Chad Ripperger, one of the leading lights among Exorcists, strongly recommends this, as we face so many strong diabolical forces in our times. This is more of a strong recommendation, rather than declaring it as an essential foundational practice of strong Catholics).

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Physical Strength

Doug Barry of Battle Ready will coach us into physical fitness with every “Peace Through Strength Challenge” post: