Ever since I was a kid, I identified with the military. I came from a military family: My Dad was career Air Force and my Grandpa fought in Korea. I grew up on a steady diet of war movies as a kid. I did four years in Air Force JROTC in high school.
Military and war imagery come naturally to me. My Confirmation Saint is Saint Michael the Archangel. When I was received into the Church on Easter Vigil 2016, I honestly felt like I was joining the Roman legions.
I had the honor of witnessing a Confirmation Mass for young middle schoolers. I was struck by that these kids were being told by Father that they are soldiers of Christ. ( Milites Christi in Latin )
That resonates with me as well as an image that popped into my mind as I drove to work this morning.
I was listening to my video of Fr Capodanno and it was at the part describing his battlefield actions on 4 Sept 1967; for which he posthumously received a Medal of Honor.
What I saw in my mind was an image of a soldier being walked/helped by another soldier. That is God helping the Christian in the spiritual battlefield and a very good illustration of how cooperation with God’s grace works. God is the soldier walking/carrying the other soldier and God’s Grace is the help the other soldier is receiving.
We fight our daily battles ( For me sometimes, it feels like the Omaha Beach scene in the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. ) we look to God as our source of help and strength. That God, if we cooperate with Him; will pick us up and carry us on the battlefield. Amid all the spiritual gunfire and explosions.
Persevering in the Faith is a battle. The devil throws everything he can at us to distract us and sway us and to get us to give up and give in. Or worse yet, to leave the Faith entirely. Like a soldier fleeing from the battlefield in the face of the enemy.
We have to soldier on and not desert our post. We have to hold on and advance into the teeth of the enemy; trusting in God and never leaving Him. We have to for our own sakes and for the men and women around us.
We are soldiers of Christ.