|Seige engine to knock down the walls of an enemy city and|
send soldiers over the top.
In the Second Epistle from the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 10, verses 3-5, St. Paul drops one of those lovely rhetorical pearls that sound best (and are more easily memorized) in the older translations.
Here is the quote, from the D-R version:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels. and every height that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every understanding into the obedience of Christ."
What a beautiful and edifying (an old word that is a favorite of the Bear, meaning "to build up") passage! The context makes it clear that St. Paul is speaking of argument. His point is that he does not employ clever rhetoric as speakers were taught in those days. This is only one place where Paul talks about his plain style of speaking that relies on God for its effectiveness.
To Paul, preaching the Gospel was not about making an impressive argument that would emotionally move or even logically convince his hearers. While his letters are capable of both to this day, Paul wanted to convey something of the power of God Himself in person, even if he was not a first-class orator. But it also speaks to the Bear in another way.
Do You Rule Your Thoughts, or Do Your Thoughts Rule You?
"Bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ."
That is our choice. Indeed, it is our duty.
Often we seem to let our thoughts take us into captivity. If you have ever been on a horse that has taken the bit in its teeth and gone galloping across the countryside, you know what the Bear means on the reversal of the natural order. There is quite a difference from being a rider and a passenger! The rider should control the horse, not the other way round. (Bear advises always to ride horses very slowly so as not to, um, fall off or something.)
It can be a challenge to bring our thoughts into captivity to ourselves, let alone Christ. We often automatically react, allowing our emotions, or our prejudices, or our self-interest, or even just our habits to take the bit in its teeth. We can allow thoughts harmful to ourselves mentally, spiritually, and even physically to have their way with us.
Some of our thoughts may not even originate with us.
Jesuits are Always Great to Serve as Bad Examples
The Jesuit Superior General was recently quoted as saying Satan is only a "symbol." (The link is to Lifesite News and includes a useful summary of recent heretical statements from high-ranking Church figures that deny the devil, or the existence or eternity of Hell.)
The reason the Bear brings this up in this context is that jackasses in the Church who run around saying things like this run the risk of one day discovering in a very special way that they were wrong. Perhaps Satan cocoons his own from the torments of his minions in this life so they will spread his propaganda. Meanwhile, some of us living real Catholic lives have our reasons to believe Satan is real and unimaginably interested in each of us.
Shall we take "there is no such thing as Satan; he is just a symbol" into captivity and force that statement on its knees before Christ? Because Christ might remind us of the numerous instances recorded in Holy Scripture in which he cast out demons. Of course, the same Jesuit jollywompus who denied the existence of Satan dismissed the Gospel. We have no idea of what Jesus said because there were no tape recorders in those days.
Would some kind reader with more charity than the Bear say a prayer for the soul of Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal and for the spiritual protection of all upon whom he inflicts his heresy?
Perhaps that prayer might be expanded to all Jesuits.
Your Choice - and it Makes a Difference
It is hard to even imagine running everything we think past Jesus. It would indeed be like capturing unruly prisoners and dragging them kicking and screaming before a judge. It is a powerful image and another example of sound psychology from the Bible.
For example, we may choose to meditate upon Pope Francis or Jesus Christ. Now sometimes we may have a duty to think hard about unpleasant things, especially when problems are unexpectedly thrust upon us and the settled order we once counted upon seems to be shaken. As much as we would like to always be positive, it is a fallen world, and, sadly, there is no part of it that is not fallen.
Whatever we think, our thoughts should be bound and dragged before Christ. And along the way, we might ask ourselves what benefits we are deriving for ourselves and providing others by those thoughts. What will the Judge's ruling be? Will he be pleased, our will he gently suggest all of our effort might be better spent this time on something true, something beautiful?