Soldier On!

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The ancient king Pyrrhus fought a tremendous and ultimately successful battle with the foe, but with such catastrophic loss to his army that he lamented, “Another such victory and I am undone”.  Some Christians tend to achieve Pyrrhic victories too, “winning souls” or “doing the Lord’s work” while catastrophically neglecting their marriage, children, or commitment to God.  It is one thing to “withstand in the evil day”.  It is another thing entirely to “stand” when all the dust has settled.  That’s why God provides us with his spiritual armor: the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, feet shod with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, sword of the Spirit and shield of faith.  All these are forged for us in the Eucharist and all these are put on by us when we faithfully participate in the sacraments and life of Holy Church.  Today, take the whole armor of God and soldier through to the end.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Charles


    Once again, I must thank you for these brief thoughts as they seem to come at the most opportune moment. Today I face the awful task of telling a family that their 18 yr old daughter is brain dead. Even more difficult is that the assailant is her brother who will be there when I meet with the rest of the family. I told the parents last night that my faith is the only thing that gets me through such times; that there is a purpose to everything. And yet inside, I felt weak and doubtful of my own words. I suppose that’s the devil at work, taking advantage of an opportunity. Today, I will indeed put on the armor of God, and through Him, stand. Thanks again, you will never know how much you help to put things in focus. Keep up the good work!

  • noelfitz


    congratulations on such an excellent, positive, uplifting and encouraging post.

    I am tired of the negative moans, often pro-life, that drain one’s confidence and hope.

    God bless,

  • Noel,
    it can be difficult to balance the realization that God has already secured our victory with reminders that He has appointed to each of us a place in helping Him to achieve it. Those who raise funds for pro-life work evidently find it more effective to play on our fears than to remind us of the privilege inherent in doing God’s work.