Dress for Success
Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
As Easter approaches we should be sure totake time to prepare our souls. And what better way to prepare than to consider the great gift we have been given—the gift of eternal life paid for by the blood of our Lord. This is not just a gift for the future, but a gift for us now as well, and it should have a tremendous impact on our lives. This was poignantly expressed sixteen centuries ago by St. John Chrysostom (somewhat paraphrased):
Since as we have partaken of so great a gift, let us do everything not to dishonor such a benefit. For if before Christ what was done was worthy of punishment, how much more now after this unspeakable benefit! I say this because I see many after their baptism living more carelessly than the unbaptized, and having nothing peculiar to distinguish them in their way of life. It is, you see, for this reason that neither in the market nor in the Church is it possible to know quickly who is a believer and who is an unbeliever; unless one is present at the time of the holy Eucharist and sees the one person present and another absent. But they ought to be distinguished not by their attendance, but by their way of life. That is, the believer ought to be manifest not only by the gift, but also by the new life. The believer ought to be the light and salt of the world. But when you do not even shed light on yourself, how are we to know that you are a believer? Because you have entered into the holy waters of baptism? No! This becomes a source of punishment to you. For such an honor becomes an increase in vengeance to those who do not live worthy of the honor. The believer ought to brightly shine not only with what he has received from God, but also with what he himself has contributed. He should be discernible by everything: by his gait, by his look, by his garb, by his voice.
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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.
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