Saturday, August 14, 2004

Christian Heritage - August 13 - Victory is Sought by the Darts of Prayer

"Shall I remind you of Judith, that high-minded lady, that noblest of women? When the cause was almost lost she did not hesitate to go alone to its defense and alone to risk herself and her life in order to slay cruel Holofernes; she went to war not in armor or on steeds of battle or weighed down with the weapons on which soldiers rely, but with strength of soul and the confidence of faith, and she destroyed the enemy by resolution and courage. A woman restored the freedom of her country, which men had lost.

"But I need not invoke the example of those far distant from us in the past. With our own eyes we have often seen women and still youthful maidens endure the torments of tyrants in witness to their faith. What is needed in those who do battle for the truth and for God is courage not of body but of spirit. For victory is to be sought by the darts of prayer not by iron javelins, and it is faith that enables one to endure the combat. Thus armed, take up the standard of Christ's cross and follow him."

Origen (AD 185-253), In lib. Judicum, hom. VII: PG 12, 986-988

Origen became head of the catechetical school of Alexandria and devoted his life to the study of scripture.

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