Healthy Soul/Living Out Your Faith/My Life/Teen Life/Witness and Evangelization Don’t Wait to Join the Fight by Avera Maria Santo As Catholics, it can be pretty easy for us to wait before we act. We wait for a saint’s symbol to appear before we pray to them, wait for a story to captivate us and push us before we take that next major step in our relationships with Christ, wait for Saturday night Adoration at that one conference to completely give ourselves over to Him. But there’s a battle raging on around us right now. The fight between heaven and hell, angels and demons, God and Satan, on the battleground of our souls is happening right this second and it isn’t going to end until the day we die. This is a battle in which we have to pick sides. Who are we going to fight alongside? I think that one of the major components of this battle is how our beliefs shape our lives. In other words, what do we really believe, and how are we going to act according to those beliefs? This is where knowing, believing, and living the faith come into play. Knowing We all know that some of the teachings we believe are extremely difficult for people outside of the faith to hear — sometimes they’re even hard for us to hear. I speak a great deal about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. This topic tends to ruffle a lot of feathers (including mine for awhile!). But as I was researching and learning about God and His unfailing love for me, I started to understand and believe what the Church teaches. It’s likely that, at some point, you too have encountered or you will encounter some aspect of Church teaching that is hard to hear or understand, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. We are in a time of battle, a time where our Lord and our temptor are fighting over us, and Christ is calling us to fight on His side. Still, I understand that some of you may still be looking for a sign. So, if you are looking for a sign to join the fight, this is it. Believing Our belief in Christ is one that requires action. You might say, “Well I do believe in God and I do believe that there is a fight that I am a part of, but I don’t really think that I have to do anything…” Well, my dear friends, the last time I checked Webster, the word “believe” is a verb. I love a good underdog story. I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but I vividly remember feeling the world turn upside down when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016 (after a 71 year curse). You think the Cubs just said they were going to win, but did nothing to make it happen? Absolutely not!They worked hard in practice and fought in each game. They believed they could win, so they put in the work to make it happen. That’s how we have to be in our faith journey! That being said, if you call yourself a Christian in ANY capacity, your belief requires some form of action. Living If you’re not moving forward in your spiritual life, you’re falling back. I know this first hand. If I don’t take strides every single day to get closer to Christ, I immediately feel myself falling back.If you’re not actively participating on Christ’s side of this battle, you’re naturally going to waver to the enemy’s side. But, don’t go into this battle unprotected. Spend time with the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. Seek divine protection in the sacraments and in your own personal prayer. Let the Lord be the source of your strength as well as your refuge. You’ll be well armed and well guarded if you allow what you know and what you believe to change the way you live. I encourage each and every one of you to fight! Christ has already won the war, but the battle for our souls rages on. I believe that the battle cry for those on the side of Christ is St. John Paul the Great’s famous last word, “Amen,” which means, “I do believe.” Do you believe in Christ, His Church, and His fervent desire to have you in heaven with Him for all eternity? Well then, my friend, act like it.