Friday, November 11, 2011

St. Joan of Arc

On this Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, I want to share this inspiring article by Ben D. Kennedy:
c. 1912     "This spiritual truth is one that St. Joan of Arc exemplified in her life and actions and one that I was only personally able to completely comprehend through studying Joan. I had always heard the old saying that 'God helps those who help themselves' however I was taught in the churches that I attended that this was not true because these exact words are not contained in the Bible. When I came to the part of Joan’s life where she was examined by theologians prior to her being given command of the armies of France she was asked: 'If God desires to deliver France where is the need for soldiers?' Joan famously responded: 'In God’s name, the soldiers will fight and He will grant victory.' The priests examining Joan understood that Joan was correctly saying that God will aid those who attempt to aid themselves trusting in God for the ultimate victory such as the example of David when he stepped forward to face Goliath trusting God for victory."

Joan was fighting in real physical combat, but let's remember for just a moment what sacred scripture says regarding the real spiritual battle. St. Paul in speaking to the Ephesians uses very active verbs. There's nothing passive about it. We are not waiting for the Lord to arm us for battle. They are imperative phrases. The commands in Eph 6: 10-18 imply (you) do this:
  • "draw your strength from the Lord"
  • "put on the armor of God"
  • "hold your ground"
  • "stand fast"
  • "hold faith as a shield"
  • "take the helmet of salvation"
  • "take the sword of the Spirit" (the word of God)
  • "pray at every opportunity in the Spirit"
  • "be watchful with perseverance and supplication"
This is my responsibility. This is how I fight. In God's name I will dress myself in the armor for battle against evil and He will grant me victory!

Kennedy continued:
     "I was recently reminded again of this spiritual truth in a way that made me think of Joan when a friend of mine sent me a link to a news article about Robert E. Lee’s sword. What caught my attention were the words contained on one side of the sword: Aide toi et Dieu t'aidera. These are the French words that Joan is renowned for speaking during her life and it is highly likely that the French craftsman who made this sword placed them on the sword in memory of one Christian general as a present for another. It is easy to envision Robert E. Lee gazing upon this sword and drawing strength from these words during the darkest moments of his life.

Thank you Joan for continuing to teach me along with everyone else about the truths of God."

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us and especially all military veterans!

For more articles by Ben D. Kennedy on St. Joan of Arc go to this blogspot:

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