To change…be prepared

In today’s Gospel (Luke 14 : 25-33) Jesus touches on the subject of discipline in discipleship and the need to be fully prepared and equipped for the task ahead. He says:

“…which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand?”

When I read this I was reminded of the two presidential candidates in yesterday’s election and the contrast in campaigns. In my view the Democratic candidate’s campaign appeared to be better organised on most fronts, had more workers on the ground and more money to spend. Everything seemed marshalled from the start. The campaign was carefully crafted and conducted. I am not discussing issues here, just the plan of preparation and action. By contrast, the Republican campaign seemed lacking on many of these fronts.

When Our Lady calls us to set out on the path of holiness and battle with satan, she is fully aware of what is needed to complete this challenging course in our life. She constantly rallies her children and reminds them of what is necessary to be able to progress to Paradise – and has done for 27 years. She perseveres and expects the same of us as well. Even though our foundations may be sound, without the tools and weapons she offers us, we will struggle – just like the man building the tower, or the king without enough men to fight.

And here are the tools she would like all of her children to be fully equipped with on their campaign through life.

1. Unceasing PRAYER, number one requirement.
2. FASTING is also asked for.
3. Daily reading of HOLY SCRIPTURE.
4. CONFESSION, monthly at least.
5. Frequent celebration of the EUCHARIST, Sunday at least.

This list is popularly classified as the Five Stones. It was five stones that David gathered to defend himself against Goliath. As it turned out, only one was necessary. But David came fully prepared, even though the odds and opposition seemed insurmountable.

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