When I read how Israel prepares for war in this chapter, I think of the preparation we need to do to arm ourselves against the destruction of the devil. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are advised to “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.”
In this chapter of Judith, the first paragraph mentions how the destruction of the temples of the Lord by Holofernes, the general of the Assyrian forces, caused great fear in the Israelites.
As a parallel, we human beings are temples of the Holy Spirit.
How awesome/amazing/incredible is that! God dwells within us! This is a treasure is worth billions more than gold. When we honor our bodies as temples God created them to be, God is very pleased because all the more He can bear fruit in our souls.
Whatever we consume – be it food and drink, or music, TV, movies, and books – ultimately becomes a part of us. The more things we consume that are of the spirit of God and not of the world, the more that the Holy Spirit can dwell within us. Conversely, we destroy our temples when we allow ourselves to consume that which is of the spirit of the world.
How do you know if the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you? The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. You may or may not be aware of it, but we actually deeply yearn for these things. They are signs that you have prepared a place for Him to dwell in your temple.
But how do we get more of these fruits?
If we really to bear more of these fruits, we must prepare an adequate place for Him. Start simply. Recall the words in the Our Father where we ask God to “lead us not into temptation,” asking for protection against evil. Ask yourself if what you “consume” is truly nourishing you in body, mind, and soul.
God did not create you to self-destruct! Have confidence that you were made to be a temple of the Lord! After you ask the Holy Spirit for His gifts, then ask for the grace to be open to receive His gifts so that you may truly flourish.
Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister