This entire chapter is, by far, one of my favorite prayers. Judith, with great humility and reverence, asks the Lord for help in defeating the enemy. She praises God and His strength and power. She vows to bring Him glory by bringing all the nations and tribes to understand and know that He is God.
But, what is most interesting about Judith’s prayer (and we almost don’t even recognize it with how humbly she presents herself to God) is her request. Did you catch it?
She asks God to help her lie.
She actually asks God twice! “By the deceit of my lips, strike down the slave with the prince and the prince with his servant; crush their arrogance by the hand of a woman,” (v.10) and “Make my deceitful words to be their wound and stripe,” (v.13).
This brings to mind Church teaching on wars (check out the Catechism #2307-2317 here). The whole book of Judith is about wars and killing people. Our service members die every day for our freedom, but our service members also kill others to protect our freedom.
Being a Catholic military family, my husband is a trained killing machine, but what is most important is that he knows Church teachings on war - should he ever be in a life-or-death situation. (Disclaimer!!! He’s never killed anyone. Thank God!)
What does this have to do with Judith’s prayer?
While lying is completely different from killing, the same principle of asking God for strength in extreme, life-or-death situations applies. We’re faced every day with seemingly petty temptations and pressure, which is why it’s so important we have to stay in constant communication with Him!
As silly as it may seem to talk to God about our small frustrations - like someone cut us off in traffic or we dropped spaghetti on our white blouse - talking to God on a daily basis makes it easier to discern His Will.
So that when the extreme, life-or-death situations come, we’ll know without a shadow of a doubt what He wants us to do. As we go through the study, you’ll find Judith does more than lie to the enemy. Only because she was, in every way, strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do His work.
Today, I’m reaching out to you to ask that you pray for our military, that they will seek God’s wisdom and strength in protecting innocent lives and maintaining world peace.
Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.