In today’s world, one unfortunately doesn’t have to look far to find conflict. Battlegrounds abound in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan on a national level; in Orlando, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, and Charleston in the United States. Hot-button issues such as gun control, immigration, employment, LGBT, and climate change can spark heated controversy among neighbors. Add to that the daily distractions of cell phones, television, and social media and we find ourselves all too often stressed and distressed. How do we keep ourselves from the dark side?
When soldiers, police officers or firefighters ready for battle, they strap on body armor. They wouldn’t want to be caught without protection. In the same way, we can strap on our spiritual body armor to help us with life’s daily battles. Saint Paul urges us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6: 14-17) In so doing, Saint Francis de Sales promises that our Almighty Father will either shield us from suffering or will give us unfailing strength to bear it.
With back to school time upon us, it’s an opportune time to consider strapping on armor of a different sort. National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases and to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Immunizations are not only for children; they are an important part of healthcare throughout all of our lives. The Center for Disease Control recommends you contact your family physician and inquire on the status of your immunizations.
*New to the 2016 Fall Immunization Summary for School Attendance as noted by the Ohio Department of Health is the Meningococcal vaccine; this vaccine should be given to all students grades 7 through 12.
St. Francis de Sales Parish Catholic Church
40 Granville St.
Newark, Ohio 43055