In my article about the 5 Basic Principles of Catholic Spiritual Warfare, I spoke a little bit about the Armour of God. In this story, however, I want to go into more detail, adding points that I deliberately left out in that story so as not to make it too long.
The Armour of God is gotten from a passage of Sacred Scriptures that I have referred to in my writings as the “Strategy of Spiritual Warfare.” It’s from the book of Ephesians, and it reads:
Therefore take the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
– Ephesians 6:13–17
There are 6 distinct pieces of this armor, so let’s look at each one of them.
1. Truth as your belt
Simply put, on a physical level, this is so that you’re not caught in a lie and exposed as a fraud. This can damage your reputation and weaken your credibility – a necessary trait when spreading the Gospel.
Abraham Lincoln is credited as saying, “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
Besides that, on a spiritual level, Jesus calls all liars the children of the devil (John 8:44), and they have no place in heaven (Revelation 22:15).
When you practice falsehood, either in word or in deed, you reject Christ and accept the devil. Determine today that you will never live or speak a lie again, no matter the cost!
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
Keep a desire of doing what is right close to your heart. God will judge everyone person according to what they have done (Revelation 22:12), but that judgment will be based on their intentions too (e.g. Matthew 10:42).
If you have a strong desire to please God, you will please Him, for it is written, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).
3. Shoes eager to evangelize
This one is tough for many people, especially in the West. That’s because speaking openly about God or the Catholic faith is considered either brainwashing, imposing your beliefs on others, being bigoted, being intolerant, using hate speech, or any other term invented by the media.
But Christ is very clear about this: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).
So keep preaching, and don’t water down the Gospel to please anyone!
4. Shield of Faith
The strength of your faith depends on your prayer life and how much you study the mysteries of our Most Sacred Faith.
Both are important to faith.
Since faith is a gift of God, you cannot possess it (or more of it) unless He gives it to you. As Jesus Christ said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). So, if you want more faith, you must pray for it every day, and God will give you more and more of it.
However, there’s still a lot of learning to be done. God won’t download centuries of theology and hundreds or thousands of pages of Scriptures into your head. He doesn’t encourage laziness and the making of silly excuses.
Go and learn!
5. Helmet of Salvation
This is also the “Hope of Salvation.”
In other words, you should never lose hope at every moment during the war. It should always be the most important thing you keep in mind — at the top of your mind, so to speak; hence, helmet.
If hope is lost, it becomes easier for you to fall into despair. And a soul in despair is one of the hardest to save again; it’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.
Never lose hope!
Don't lose hope even if you’re literally or figuratively kicked out of the temple. If you’re dragged before the modern-day Sanhedrin (read modernists), don’t lose hope! Even when you see the cross being prepared for your crucifixion, never lose hope! For it is written:
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. …
Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
– Matthew 5:10–12; 24:12–23
But you may be asking, how do you defend this hope? In the world today, many people lose hope and don’t seem to be able to get it back.
That’s why you need the last – and arguably the most important – piece of the Armour of God: The Sword of the Spirit!
6. The Sword of the Spirit
Soldiers spend months and even years training with their weapons before stepping onto the battlefield. And yet, that harsh reality is that many soldiers don’t come back alive.
Imagine what will happen to a soldier who has never had any training with his or her weapon. Brutal. Brutal massacre!
Scripture tells us that the Sword of the Spirit is the word of God. This is not the “Word” — capital W, which is Jesus Christ — of God. No, this is the message of God. This is the “Gospel” — a word derived from two words in Old English that means “Good News.”
This Good News is contained in the №1 Best-Selling book in the world today: the Holy Bible.
Yes. In fact, this Good News has converted billions of Christians worldwide, and this same Good News continues to strengthen and encourage Christians as we continue on this pilgrimage together.
I’ll write a different post about how to wield this sacred weapon effectively. But for now, before I write that post, make a commitment to read your Bible every day. Truly study it. You’ll learn a thing or two by doing so, and you’ll be stronger for that.
God is always close to those who seek Him. If you seek Him with a sincere heart, you will find definitely find Him (Matthew 7:7).