Friday, September 20, 2013

Devotion for today: We all have dragons

Devotion for today: We all have dragons
2 Samuel 22:29: “For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” 

Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

“There be dragons" is a shorter version of the phrase "here there be dragons" from the Latin “hic sunt dracones”, an ancient way of denoting in maps a place where there is danger, or an unknown place, a place to be explored. (

I just watched a really good movie titled “There Be Dragons” directed by Roland Joffe. It is the story of two young boys who start life together but end up taking completely different paths. One young boy, Josemaria Escriva, goes on to become a priest and truly is now a candidate for sainthood. The other, Manolo, becomes a hate-filled, unforgiving man who has many regrets at the end of his life. Although the movie is basically about forgiveness, I came away with a different take on it.

We all have dragons, places within us that hold danger for our salvation. In the movie, an old lady tells the two young boys that there are many kinds of dragons. The secret to life is to know how to identify the dragons and then discover what weapons work best against them. I think this is true for each of us. If we really want to be holy, and be on the road to heaven, then we must take time to identify our personal dragons and find the means and ways necessary to killing them.

Maybe we are filled with the temptation for sins such as lust. Our weapons may include filters on our computers, guards on our televisions, cable programs that don’t allow “adult” channels. Maybe we are prone to gossip. Our weapons may include tactics for politely removing ourselves from conversations as soon as they go in this direction. Maybe we carry around a lot of angry thoughts in our heads. Our weapons may include a storehouse of devotional material that bring positive, uplifting stories to our minds and keep hope alive in us, or a journal where we write down all the blessings and gifts God has given us so that we can read the list when the angry thoughts fall upon us.

Of course, we also need an arsenal of the “big guns” to pull out all the time. Dragons don’t like to lose and our best efforts sometimes fall short. Then we really must use our rosaries, Mass and the Eucharist, confession, inspirational reading, the Bible, and many little prayers to start racing through our heads to crowd out the dragon. My husband has a poster that reads, “Some days the dragon wins.” It shows a battle- weary knight coming home to the castle, sword dragging behind him, armor in tatters. That is a good picture for me of how the battle sometimes goes. It doesn’t matter, though, as long as we don’t give up. The dragons in us will rear their ugly heads until we can tame them and with God’s help we can. Look at recovered drug addicts and recovered alcoholics. They fight every day, but once recovered, many go on to win the battle for good.

God loves us very much. He sees our struggles and He offers so many ways to help us fight them. Let us take the time to identify the types of dragons within us, and select our weapons wisely. Then let us cover ourselves in the armor of Christ, and win this war!!!  

Invocation of Saint George - Prayers of Intercession
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George;
favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

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