Saturday, January 28 (15), 2023
1Thess. 5:14-23; Lk. 17:3-10
St. Paul compels the Christians to “put on the whole armour of God” [Eph. 6:13]. And that’s for a good reason: indeed, if anyone heeds to God’s calling and makes a new beginning in his life, with the help of the Divine Grace and with “all diligence” [2Pet. 1:5] on his own part, ─ such a man has no red carpet before him, but a fierce fight.
He has, in a sense, turned his back to the world ─ and the world will not leave him alone, unpunished; he has escaped the dominion of Satan ─ and Satan will be after him, working hard to set him up, knock him down from the right course and regain control over him; he has denied himself, cast off his own pride with the host of sinful passions ─ but sin which dwells in every soul will not voluntary give up its cozy, comfortable residence: it will counter-attack at every instance, take advantage of any opportunity to reinstate the former, selfish way of life which was so favorable and bountiful for it.
These are our enemies ─ the world, Satan and self, ─ each one with its own formidable army. But all three have one commander-in-chief ─ Satan and his general staff ─ daemons. They are fully in charge of everything related to sinful life which is the opposite of spiritual life. Therefore, St. Paul arms us specially against them, as if there were no other enemies. He says: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” [Eph. 6:12]. For had they not been assaulting us, there might have been no fight at all, and, likewise, if we repel and defeat them, then our defense against other enemies becomes quite easy.
Thus, watch out everyone, from which side to expect an assault and where to fight back. And do fight back! St. Paul offers you a choice of weapons, but all of them are powered by the Lord alone. That’s why the seasoned spiritual warriors have handed down to us the advice of the ascetic fathers and teachers: defeat the enemy with the Name of Lord Jesus.