Fr. Leo Patalinghug, pictured above, spoke on the subject of spiritual warfare at the Catholic Family Expo this weekend. As you can probably guess from the photo, he's a big hit with the younger crowd -- and the adults. He uses his martial arts expertise to draw a crowd and to make a point - that in the battle of good versus evil, we have supernatural assistance. God's grace. As with martial arts, practice in the weapons of spiritual warfare strengthens us for the fight. The presentation will eventually be available as a CD on the CFE web site.
Fr. Leo started off by reminding us of last year's talk and the efficacy of PB&J as weapons in spiritual warfare.
P - Patience. Wait for the Lord -- He will come. Some of the trials we face should help us to develop patience -- think about that the next time you're caught in traffic.
B- Balance. How long do you pray every day? How much time to you spend watching television? Blogging?
J- Joy. He quotes Mother Therese -- Joy = Jesus, Others, You in that order.
After that review, he moved on to this year's addition to the arsenal:
S - Serious. We must be serious about our faith. It's hard to be serious about things we don't understand, so it's important to study our faith.
O - Oremus - Latin for "Let Us Pray" - us, not me. We, as Christians, NEED to pray together. Praying on your own is necessary, but not sufficient.
S - Sacraments - as Catholic Christians, our sacramental life helps to provide God's grace to strengthen us in the daily fight against evil.
He then uses his martial arts expertise as an object lesson to explain how God's grace will help us to get through anything if we take our faith seriously.
He finishes by explaining the vestments priests wear and the prayers they pray as they prepare to say "oremus" Then picks up his lightsaber (The light will save you) and blesses the audience.
Fr. Leo says he's only invited because he can breakdance and break boards. Those may help to draw a crowd, but it is his message that brings them back year after year. I was curious about the impact of his performance on my 10 year old (in the orange shirt on the floor) and was delighted at the depth of understanding.
I expect Fr. Leo will be invited back to next year's Catholic Family Expo.