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. . . but the Bible is filled with stories of war. The Israelites defended themselves with God’s approval.

Yes, I agree, that is very true. And listen to what the great soldier Judas Maccabeus said:


It is easy for many to be overcome by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverance by many or by few; for victory in war does not depend upon the size of the army, but on strength that comes from Heaven.


—1 Maccabees 3:18-19

Judas, however, fought with a sword because that was all he had.

But once God gave us His only Son, we entered a new reality and a new covenant. The old ways of war and killing and acquisition and defense of territory were overturned—just like Christ overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple. Jesus, according to His own example, told us to pray for our enemies, not hate them or fight them. Moreover, He gave us His Body and Blood as a guarantee of His eternal love for us.

Therefore, we have something even better than a sword; we have Christ Himself in the Eucharist, and there is no more powerful strength from heaven that we can hope for to protect us.

Consequently, the real battle is between Satan and your soul, not between you and other persons. Have no doubts that Satan will tempt you through others in every way he can, to induce you to turn against your baptismal promises. And God will allow him to tempt you, as a way of strengthening and purifying your soul.


Not for vengeance did the LORD put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has He done so with us. It is by way of admonition that He chastises those who are close to Him.


—Judith 8:27

Read an excerpt from a letter
by Saint Peter Damian about tribulations

In so far as you respond to adversity and persecution with victimization, hatred, and revenge, evil has more and more openings in which to dig its claws; and in so far as you respond to adversity and persecution with blessings, calmness, and peace, in total trust in God, you will be purified.


But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His footsteps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When He was insulted, He returned no insult; when He suffered, He did not threaten; instead, He handed Himself over to the One who judges justly.


—1 Peter 2:20b-23

The battle with evil is clear and present; it is fought not with weapons of destruction, though, but with love. In all trials, therefore, pray to Saint Michael the Archangel to defend you and seek refuge only in the Body and Blood of Christ.


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Where Catholic therapy (Catholic psychotherapy) is explained according to Catholic psychology in the tradition of the Catholic mystics.