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Your strongest armour

Your strongest armour

Consider the greatness of King David.  The eighth chapter of the second book of Samuel lists victory after victory for the king, and concludes, ‘David won fame for himself… Wherever David went, Yahweh gave him victory.’  However, we know that… well let’s let St Cyril of Jerusalem* summarise:  Great as David was, he fell: after sleep, walking in the eventide on the housetop, he cast a careless look, and felt a human passion.  His sin was completed…’ Not only with Bathsheba, but also by arranging for her husband to be killed in battle.

St Cyril uses the example of King David to illustrate how swift the Lord is to be merciful to those who repent.  However, he makes a brilliant point, almost as an aside, which is particularly pertinent to us here at the beginning of Eastertide.

Though thou [David] hadst many enemies because of thy righteousness, thy self-control protected thee; but now that thou hast surrendered thy strongest armour, thine enemies are risen up, and stand ready against thee. 

Out of all King David’s numerous assets, it was his self-control that protected him; self-control was his ‘strongest armour’.  We have spent six weeks of Lent building up our self-control.  Although we take some time to revel in the joy of the resurrection, we must also take care not to let all the hard work of Lent go to waste.  We are an Easter people, clothed baptismal white.  Let us have the courage, then, not to return to where we were before Lent, but to journey on with the risen Lord, walking always in the new light of Easter.


*St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 2, para 11



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