The burden bearers carried their loads in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. (Nehemiah 4:17 NRSV)
They worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Working and watching - diligent and vigilant.
Working with one hand to build one's life, to provide for daily practical needs of self and family, laying blocks of loving care, cementing each action with prayer.
Holding a weapon in the other hand - the steady weapon of defense - the shield of faith. Plus, a sword - the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.
And always prayer, a powerful weapon of both offense and defense "against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12)
Lord, as we march forward in this life, help us to be diligent laborers and vigilant wielders of the weapons with which you have equipped us.
“Those who haven’t gone down to the track don’t smear themselves with oil, nor get covered with dust. Trouble comes only to those on their way to glory. The perfumed spectators prefer to watch, not to join the struggle, nor to endure the sun, the heat, the dust, and the rain.”
~St Ambrose of Milan (4th-century Doctor of the Church)
Reflect: In what ways are you working each day? In what ways are you using the spiritual weapons available to you?
(photo: Lisa Livezey)
Read here my post in the National Catholic Register about an army recruit's faith life.
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