by Fr Richard Heilman | April 2, 2023 12:05 AM
Prayer is our outstanding supernatural resource for fighting the wiles of the enemy!
“Prayer is, beyond doubt, the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil … but we must really put ourselves into the prayer, it is not enough just to say the words, it must come from the heart. And also prayer needs to be continuous, we must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in: the warfare we are engaged in is ongoing, so our prayer must be on-going also.” – St. Alphonsus
You see? Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — those who are totally dedicated to the mission … and God admires them too. Throughout salvation history, we have seen how God responds to this resolute and determined kind of prayer, just as Jesus taught His disciples. It was in Nineveh that the entire city turned back to God and did all that they could, through prayer and fasting, to “demonstrate to” God that they were absolutely resolute in this “turning.” God saw how “serious” they were about this, and He was moved (Jonah 3:3-10). This is yet another story that demonstrates how God – a perfect Father – compels His children to be truly resolute and quite serious when calling out to Him.
The heroes of our faith are the warrior saints who have gone before us. God worked mightily and miraculously through them. Therefore, we must study their ways. How did they remain so well connected, in such strong friendship with God, so that His river of supernatural grace could flow so freely through them? What do these “SEALS for Christ” teach us about the ideal spiritual disciplines, the ultimate daily regimen of prayer?
The following are those top ten ideal and most rock-solid foundational practices of an authentically strong Catholic.
Our Daily Prayer for Liberty and for a Holy Spirit Revival
“Free us from every force of oppression, both internally and externally. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. Heavenly Father, grant a Holy Spirit Revival in our land!” (Based on a prayer by the USCCB)
“Freedom from Childishness” by Fr. Rick Heilman
Psychology has always been an area of interest for me. In fact, I graduated from college with a degree in psychology. Since then, I have become very suspicious of the APA (American Psychological Association) as they have been, quite obviously, infiltrated by so-called “progressives” (See my reflection on “Freedom from Pride” to discover the problem with progressives). These people, among other things, crave notoriety for so-called “new knowledge” that, up to now, has not been commonly held.
Consequently, the behavioral “science” coming from the APA has become muddled. Behaviors formerly seen as disorders, are now considered normal behavior by the progressive APA. So, for example, grown men must now be allowed to share bathrooms with little girls. And watch out for the new movement looking to normalize pedophilia…it’s coming fast! I will get back to the APA, shortly.
In the context of Let Freedom Ring, we talk about the spiritual deficiencies of values, virtues, and morals in our culture. In many ways, these spiritual deficiencies intersect with psychological deficiencies.
When observing the condition of our culture, it is clear it shows signs of an alarming growth of emotional childishness, which is not unlike a lack of spiritual maturity. More and more people have, as renowned psychologist, Dr. Susan Heitler states, “reached chronological adulthood without having mastered the core elements of adult emotional functioning.”
Dr. Heitler points to 10 signs of a childish adult – See how many of these you recognize in the mob’s temper tantrums:
These behaviors are not unique to the mob in the streets, as it is replete in the mainstream media; look at Hollywood and the far too many emotionally childish politicians. In today’s culture, we are treading in completely new territory. While some may say we have always seen immature adults, the degree to which we are witnessing this today is massive and unprecedented. It is no longer about right vs. left; it is about mature adults vs. childish adults.
It used to be that grownups could disagree with each other and calmly work out their differences, while listening, considering each other’s viewpoints, and maintaining a level of respect for each other. Now, in this new milieu of widespread emotional immaturity, those of us playing like adults are living in fear of being assaulted by the temper tantrums of those who act like misbehaving children (blaming, lies, name-calling, bullying, attacking, etc.).
Consider what has happened, just recently, in my neck of the woods, but it is emblematic of what is going on everywhere in America. A friend recently had his car keyed because he had a pro-life bumper sticker. Another friend had his house damaged for flying the Thin Blue Line flag that honors police. Our downtown is boarded up and painted with graffiti because the mob’s temper tantrums include violence, looting, tearing down statues, and burning down businesses. In the 2020 election year, few dared to display yard signs or bumper stickers for the candidate the childish didn’t like, for fear of being attacked. Many were scared to associate themselves in any way with the “wrong” candidate (in the eyes of the childish), for fear of being assaulted, calumniated, or even fired from their jobs. A friend of mine chose not to run for public office over worries that he and his family would be targeted by the childish mob. And the examples go on and on and on.
How did we get here? The simple answer is poor parenting, or even absent parenting. I recall when the Nouveau Parenting movement began – mostly spurred on by the new “woke” and “progressive” APA. Parents were told to cease disciplining their children, for fear of traumatizing them. Meanwhile, organizations started handing out participation trophies just for showing up, because disappointment over not earning a prize could be damaging to a kid’s self-esteem. What. A. Colossal. Disaster!
Parents who coddle their children are, quite frankly, stunting their emotional maturation. This is certainly not how our perfect parent, God, parents us. Salvation history is replete with examples where God, having first tried to inspire us, resorts to allowing us to go through challenges. The opposition we face in those challenges, impels us to “raise our game” – to mature. Left to our spiritual immaturity, we are prone to behave as spoiled children do. We expect God to give us everything we want, including heaven, without ever needing to humbly obey, express our gratitude, or work hard for it; we feel we are just entitled to it. We’d rather not know of such adult concepts as, “Effort brings reward.”
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt 16:24). These are not the words of someone who coddles with “participation trophies.” This is the Son of God telling us to “GROW UP and BE A MAN! (or WOMAN!)”
In the military, they put it this way, “It never gets easier, you just get better.” (From “Let Freedom Ring“)
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We highly recommend ordering the book “Let Freedom Ring” authored by Fr. Bill Peckman, Fr. James Altman and Fr. Rick Heilman. This amazing book will be a great tool for easy access, highlighting and bookmarking as you traverse through the first 40-days of our 90 Days to Liberty journey with tens of thousands of other special forces prayer warriors!
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