New book offers a way all can be 'God strong' Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Fr. Rick Heilman, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

PINE BLUFF -- “As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us,” Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill., boldly stated, “but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.”

The Church Militant Field Manual was written to help all of us in the trenches of the Church Militant to understand, train for, and respond to this call for heroic faith in these critical times. Pope Benedict XVI stated that, “Members of the Church on earth are aptly described as ‘Ecclesia Militans’, the Church Militant, since it is necessary to enter into battle with evil.”

Receiving power from the holy Spirit

As Jesus ascended to his Father in heaven, he assured his disciples, “You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). God wants us — the Ecclesia Militans — engaged in this mission, but He wants us strong in His supernatural power.

What is this power? That is precisely what we explore in the Church Militant Field Manual. St. Paul wrote: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:10-12).

Fr. Rick Heilman
Defeating forces of evil

The devil and all of his minions have been eating our lunch, especially through the secular tsunami in our times. Why? Because, so conditioned by secularism, we foolishly believe we can defeat these spiritual forces of evil by simply relying upon our own corporeal power.

St. Peter, our first pope, implored us to be fortes in fide, strong in faith, because the devil prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Pt 5:8-9). We know that lions size up a herd to find the weakest and easiest target. Once we are detached from God and His supernatural grace, we are powerless to defend ourselves from the tactics of the devil.

Instead, we are being summoned to allow God’s powerful supernatural grace to surge through us to a waiting world, but nemo dat quod non habet — no one gives what he does not have. Don’t we know that our Catholic ancestors couldn’t imagine going as much as one day without “being in a state of grace?” They understood that, without grace, they were vulnerable to every whim of the devil, while powerless to assist those who had lost their way.

Studying the heroes of our faith

These ancestors were the heroes of our faith, the warrior saints who have gone before us. God worked mightily and miraculously through them.

Therefore, we must study their ways. How did they remain so well connected to God, so that His river of supernatural grace could flow so freely through them? What do these champions of faith teach us about the supreme spiritual disciplines, the vital daily regimen of prayer?

The Church Militant Field Manual draws upon the traditions of the Catholic faith and tried-and-true practices of the great saints such as St. Francis de Sales, St. Ignatius, and St. Vincent de Paul. It gives step-by-step instructions in mental prayer and living a holy life.

Filled with the most revered Catholic prayers and devotions, the Field Manual is easy to follow and put into practice right away. It also includes charts to keep track of your daily spiritual practices and praying with the saints, along with the holy souls, for the souls of our loved ones.

Bootcamp for the Year of Faith

During this Year of Faith, get your copy of the Church Militant Field Manual and join us for the “God Strong Challenge” that begins January 7, 2013, and extends through Lent to Easter Sunday. This is a 12-Week Boot Camp (outlined in the book) that will assist you in getting your “Warrior Saint Interior Life” up and running. The boot camp is done independently, but you can be inspired and confident in knowing many others are challenging themselves to become “fortes in fide” in the same way.

More information on the “God Strong Challenge” is found at The Church Militant Field Manual is available at

Fr. Rick Heilman, a priest of the Diocese of Madison, is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, a Catholic men’s apostolate.

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