I know Lydia even before she was born! She
is the eldest daughter of the couple responsibles
of my Neocatechumenal community in Malta.
She is thirty. I have been in the Neocatechumenal
Way 33 years! She was married a few years
ago to Mark, the elder son of the couple
responsible of the second community of the
parish. I traveled all the way from Canada
to Malta to be able to preside over their
It was a wonderful event. I deliberated a
lot on what to say on that occasion because
both of them are very dear to me. I wanted
to avoid the standard cliché. I kept praying
and thinking and then … it hit me.
I spoke to them of David. All of us are familiar
with the story. He went with an errand, to
the battle camp at Valley of Eloh and there
he was shocked when he witnessed how the
whole army of Israel was cowering before
the Philistine champion.
Goliath was really huge and intimidating,
wearing "a coat of scale armor of bronze
weighing 125 pounds". Every day he challenged
the Israeli army. "Choose a man and
have him come down to me. If he is able to
fight and kill me, we will become your subjects;
but if I overcome him and kill him, you will
become our subjects and serve us."
Understandably, "on hearing the Philistine's
words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed
Many times in life we are faced with giants.
Marriage can be a terrifying giant. Problems
can be scary. We look at ourselves and we
feel so inadequate. The Israeli army asked
themselves, "What can we do?" and
they paralyzed themselves. David asked a
different question, "What can God do
in this situation?" and he went ahead.
Why such confidence? Because David retained
a memory-bank of God's faithfulness in his
encounters with 'giants' in the past. God
had delivered him from the paws of the lions.
He has rescued him from being mauled by the
bears. God did it once, twice; He can do
it again, no?!
King Saul tried to dress him appropriately
- a bronze helmet, a coat of mail and a huge
sword. Yet when David tried to walk, he could
not even move. Human assets many times are
too burdensome and awkward.
He just took his staff, five smooth stones
and a sling. AND he took something else.
"You come against me with sword and
spear and javelin, but I come against you
in the name of the Lord Almighty." He
took an assurance that comes from faith.
As the Philistine moved closer to attack
him, David reached into his bag and taking
out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine
on the forehead. The giant fell face down
on the ground. Dead.
I remember that I continued my homily more
or less like this. "Dear Lydia and Mark,
you are well aware of the reality that surrounds
you. You know how many couples started their
marriage with enthusiasm and finished off
broken and crushed. There are whole cemeteries
of lifeless marriages around you."
"What can ensure success to your marriage?
What is the secret of a Christian marriage?
It is what David sings in his Psalm 18 :
'The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and
my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom
I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of
my salvation, and my high tower. I will call
upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from my enemies… By my
God I can scale ramparts."
"This is my simple advice. This is the
recommendation of the Church," I continued.
"Put HIM in the equation. In life you
can either be giant-victims or giant-killers!
You can face life in a frenzy of sweaty palms
and palpitating heartbeats, or you can like
David sing your way through, "God, in
whom I trust, I do not have to be afraid.
What can man do to me?"
"Yes, remember, that when you fight
giants, you cannot use the weapons of the
world. The world tells you…. 'Trusting God
might work fine in Church, but this is the
real world and we need to be practical and
do whatever is necessary … You need to sizzle
your intimacy with some porn… Do not submit
to him. If she does something wrong to you,
fight back with a divorce! Have fun and do
not be burdened with children the first years.
The Church should not enter into the bedroom.'
The world is wrong and the consequences are
all around you to see."
"Use the weapons of God that are compassion
and tenderness. Mark, love your wife as Jesus
Christ loves the Church - He even gave his
life for her! Lydia, love your husband as
the Church loves Jesus Christ - she just
cannot live without him."
"The real giant in life is not Goliath,
Goliath is just a dwarf. David's stone prevailed
against a monster wearing 200 pounds of armor!
The real giant is God! Ask him to fill you
with the quiet confidence that life is His
battle and He is going to intervene at the
right time with the right solutions."
With God going before us, like David, we
can become giant killers!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright