Msgr. Charles Pope at the Archdiocese of Washington blog has recently posted some musings about the Church Militant.
The first ponders the question, “Is the Church a Cruise Ship or a Battleship?” Apparently, for reasons I can’t understand, some folks were offended that the Church should be described with military imagery. So Msgr. Pope followed up today with “In Defense of the Use of Military Imagery in the Church.”
Both are good reading (as all of his posts are).
I find the military metaphor glorious, exciting, and enormously inspiring.
First of all, it’s true: we are engaged in a war, whether we like it or not. We are all born on the battlefield, and we all die on it. It’s not a bloody war against our fellow human beings, but a spiritual war against Satan and the forces of hell. To deny that is extremely dangerous. To deny that plays right into the enemy’s hands. There’s no opting out of this war. There’s no room for pacifism or conscientious objection. Either you fight on the side of good, or you surrender to the side of evil.
Second, it reminds me that I am a person on a mission. I have a purpose, I have a cause, I have people and things to protect, I have people to serve, and I have a 100% guarantee that my King is the Victor. It stirs and ignites my soul, my will, my strength, my energy. It makes me appreciate how precious life and humanity and our fellow creatures are. It makes me proud, in a good way, to stand side by side with angels and saints and martyrs, as well as the people all around me here and now. It brings forth everything that is noble and disciplined, brave and virtuous in me. It calls me–even me–to greatness.
Not greatness or significance in any worldly sense, of course. It brings me to the greatness and significance of who I am as a child of God. We are all His children, and His kingdom that is not of this world is ours. Who wouldn’t fight for that?