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Come, brethren, we go forward together; Jesus will be with us. For the sake of Jesus we have received this cross; for the sake of Jesus let us persevere in the cross. He will be our Helper, who is also our Guide and Forerunner. Behold, our King enters in before us, and He will fight for us. Let us follow manfully, let no man fear any terrors. Let us be ready to die valiantly in battle, nor bring such disgrace on our glory as to flee from the cross.
— Thomas a’ Kempis, “The Imitation of Christ”, Bk 3, ch. 56

This life is a war for Christians, and that’s doubly true for those in the holy ministry. The parallels are numerous and instructive. Life in this fallen world requires courage, just as wartime does; we struggle on against our enemies (the world, the flesh, the devil), and more often than not we’re outnumbered. We fight on, sometimes well, sometimes not so well; and the fight is to the death — make no mistake about that. We watch each other’s backs, and we protect each other with the Word and with prayer. We wield the sword of the Spirit, the Word, and we trust in Christ for the ultimate victory. God grant that we all soldier on, until at last our warfare is done.

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