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Speaking Out: Wear God’s armour in 2022

By  Peter Shaw, Youth Speak News
  • January 12, 2022

In many ways, we experienced an encore in 2021 of the difficulties of 2020, along with a batch of new adversities. However, January offers us a chance to recalibrate. We are invited and challenged to live each of this year’s 365 days as people of faith. 

Let’s face it, 2022, at the outset, doesn’t look explicitly hopeful. We exist in a world where there is little respect for life or the family. We live in a topsy-turvy world where sinful acts garner praise and traditional morality is discouraged. People have lost faith in God and faith in themselves. Without hope, humanity is more vulnerable to fear and despair. And of course the pandemic goes on... and on and on and on.

But we are God’s children. We are made, created and loved by Him. So now, as He has been forgotten, we must remember Him more than ever.

Every good deed we do affects other people. These small acts of kindness can launch a domino effect with faith and prayer. Let us do everything for the glory of God because loving Him and our neighbour can transform the world.

A cynic would argue, why bother? To our eyes, one hurtful act often seems to make a more noticeable imprint than a good deed.

The betrayal of Judas is the biblical story that commands attention every year, and it seemed this action had the potential to harm Jesus’ ministry on Earth. While perhaps a less flashy narrative, the Apostles’ evangelization efforts overcame Judas’ immorality and inspired many to convert to Christianity. Despite schisms, heresies and disagreements, His Catholic Church still stands.

Before we work on converting others, we need to transform ourselves. Simply put, we need to “get the log out of our own eyes before taking the speck out of someone else’s.”

None of us are free of this. Every day, we need some time to self-meditate and consider what we could do to be better. To paraphrase St. Padre Pio, “a life without self-examination is like walking out every day without looking in the mirror.”We must examine our spiritual attire. In his letter to the Ephesians (6:11), St. Paul tells us to “put on the armour of God.” To fight a battle against the devil, we will need such protection.

We have to use the shield of faith to safeguard us from temptation. We must wear the armour of truth to thwart irrational attacks. We must use the sword of prayer. No one is strong enough to defeat Satan but God. You are not alone in this fight. God is there for you.

Nevertheless, the troubles we face today in this secular world are among the worst Christianity has ever faced. The world needs another St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Catherine. And nothing is stopping you from being that person. It will take determination, self-control and perseverance, but the saints are there to help you.

Trust in God and He will be your strength.

(Shaw, 15, is home schooled in Barry’s Bay, Ont.)

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