The Rosary (Johnnette Benkovic)

The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare
Servant Books, 2017
234 pages

Recently, I was introduced to a beautiful prayer called the Prayer to Take Authority that a local religious order has been given permission to use. If you’ve never heard of it, here it is:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority
and I bind all the powers and forces in the air,
in the ground, in the water, in the underground,
in the netherworld, in nature and in fire.
You are the Lord over the entire universe
and I give you the glory for your creation.
In your name, I bind all demonic forces
that have come against us and our families
and I seal all of us in the protection of your precious blood
that was shed for us on the cross.
Mary Our Mother, we seek your protection and intercession,
with the Sacred heart of Jesus, for us and our families
and surround us with your mantle of love to discourage the enemy.
St. Michael and our Guardian Angels,
come and defend us and our families in battle
against all the evil ones that roam the earth.
In the name of Jesus,
I bind and command all the powers and forces of evil
to depart right now
away from us, our families, our homes, and our lands.
And I thank you Lord Jesus
for you are a faithful and compassionate God, Amen.

The prayer ends, importantly I think, with a Hail Mary. It’s important, I think, to know that Mary is fighting for us, interceding for us, with her Son. She is always there as the path to Jesus. For just as He chose Mary to be the vehicle by which He would come into the world, we choose her to be the way back to Him.

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Why we read books, part two

Peggy Noonan had some good advice to recent graduates last week about the importance of reading books. For Noonan, it is, in the end, a worthy intellectual pursuit that pays tremendous dividends in making you a better education, more human person.

For those of you looking for what may be a more practical explanation of why we read books, see U.S. Marine General James Mattis’s explanation of why it is good to read deeply and broadly. General Mattis is currently the Secretary of Defense and has been known to be quite a reader. He has offered lists on leadership and other topics that include books on a wide range of topics and with diverse styles. From Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations to a modern biography of Alexander Hamilton, Mattis sees these books as preparation for situations that he has not encountered: “Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”

Let books light your path. Let them guide you not only into additional knowledge for its own sake and enjoyment, but also to practical applications of the knowledge you gain to help you succeed.

Writing like a lawyer

After having to write a Cease and Desist letter recently, and dealing with the response from the not-so-happy recipient, I recalled the letter at this link. It’s a great piece of writing, and something that lawyers could get away with in the 1970’s. I’m not sure it would fly these days. Someone might take offense and sue you for emotional harm. But it’s worth remembering the power of a short, to-the-point letter.