Peace Through Strength Challenge – Day Six

Peace Through Strength Challenge – Day Six


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).


Strength Through Patience

By Major Jeff Heller

“…It is patience that both commends us to God, and saves us for God. It is that same patience which tempers anger, bridles the tongue, governs the mind, guards peace, rules discipline, breaks the onslaught of lust, suppresses the violence of pride, extinguishes the fire of dissension, restrains the power of the wealthy, renews the endurance of the poor in bearing their lot, guards the blessed integrity of virgins, the difficult chastity of widows, and the indivisible love of husbands and wives. It makes men humble in prosperity, brave in adversity, meek in the face of injuries and insults. It teaches us to pardon our offenders quickly; if you yourself should offend, it teaches you to ask pardon often and with perseverance. It vanquishes temptations, sustains persecutions, endures sufferings and martyrdoms to the end. It is this patience which strongly fortifies the foundations of our faith. It is this patience which sublimely promotes the growth of hope. It directs our action, so that we can keep to the way of Christ while we make progress because of his forbearance. It ensures our perseverance as sons of God while we imitate the patience of the Father.” -St. Cyprian of Carthage – “The Good of Patience”

Well, I knew patience was a virtue, and important for salvation, but it does all that?!  St. Cyprian certainly believed so!  Often for me, I find myself reacting to impulses, rather than thoughtfully responding. How many times have I told my children “think before you act/speak!”?  It would not be much of a stretch to say that I’ve spoken these words daily for the last 5 years.  But have I heard them myself?!

We’ve been discussing Peace Through Strength, and St. Cyprian discusses the strength which comes from patience.  St. Anatoly of Optina said, “show patience, and there will be peace.”  We can see that the saints knew well the connection between peace, strength and patience.  Indeed, St. Isaac the Syrian said, “when patience greatly increases in our soul, it is a sign that we have secretly received the grace of consolation. The power of patience is stronger than the joyful thoughts that descend into the heart.” (!!!)  Secretly received the grace of consolation!?  Why does it have to be a secret?  Alas, much about the spiritual world IS a secret, or at least seems that way to the average Catholic.  The Catholic like you, or me, just trying to live our life as best we can.  But how can we best live our life?  St. Paul, in his Letter to the Church at Ephesus, beseeches us that we “walk worthy of the vocation in which [we] are called, with all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity” (Eph. 4:1-2).

So how do I know that I’m walking worthy of my vocation? Well, first, I believe, it means coming to grips with my vocation.  It means trusting that I am right where I’m meant to be.  And it means trusting that all things really do work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28)   I must continually remind myself that God knows me better than I know myself, and that He desires what is best for me.  All I need do is accept my vocation, my place in His plan, with humility. Easy, right?!  Wrong.  Humility is hard.  Giving up control (or what control I perceive that I have…) over my affairs is really hard. But the hardest part for me is finding the time to even think about trusting God with everything I need to get done.  Technology and entertainment allow us to “control” almost all aspects of our daily routines.  It is so easy to fill our days with distraction.  I couldn’t even write this article without checking the scores on the baseball game and talking with friends on a messaging app and watching the end of “Shawshank Redemption” because I found it whilst looking for the baseball game and…   Man, I need help with patience.  I need to stop.  I need to pray.  I need to listen.  I need to trust.  I need to obey.

Earlier we remembered that all things work together for good to those who love God.  And who are they?  Who are those “who love God?”  Well, Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)  Or, put simply, those who love God are those who obey God.  I think we will find that obedience is the key to overcoming all our vices, but it is certainly where we will find the peace to be patient.

I pray that God will grant us the strength to obey His will, that we might rest in him.  And in that rest, that we will face all the challenges to our faith with patience.


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).

Sign-up to receive these posts in your email HERE. (Again, Peace Through Strength Challenge posts are every Monday & Thursday between July 16 & August 15)

Order your “Peace Through Strength Case” at


Physical Strength

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