Rick Keating/Catholic Sentinel
During a December conference in Salem, lay evangelist Jesse Romero tells men they must fight for what is good.
Rick Keating/Catholic Sentinel
During a December conference in Salem, lay evangelist Jesse Romero tells men they must fight for what is good.

Reading coverage of the conference of the Holy League Men’s Ministry (Jan. 6, pages 12-13) caused me to wonder whence the metaphor of Christian life as battle.

It is certainly not the Gospel itself where Jesus preaches, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth;” says “My Kingdom is not of this world;” and exhorts Peter to sheathe his sword in the Garden of Gethsemene. Yes, there are complexities in our faith, but to simplify it is to change it.

I find nothing in our catechism, in the rite itself, or in doctrinal statements about receiving a sword in confirmation.

Rather than regard the rosary as a “sword,” we might indeed look to Mary rather as a model to ponder these things in our hearts, and in praying the rosary, as our catechism suggests, “meditate on the mysteries of Christ.” And too, it might be well to remember that, as I recall, the actual, historical Christian wars — the Crusades — were a spiritual and temporal fiasco.  

Linda Showman
Portland