Two weeks ago, our 5th and 6th graders became Dragon Slayers. Dragons are obstacles and temptations which detract from leading a virtuous life. For the past 2 months, they have been learning how Dragons Slayers of old (the Saints) wrestled with the same dragons in their life. They learned about The Chief Dragon Slayer (Jesus), the Mysterious Three (the Trinity), and the Ancient Manual (the Bible), how to use Spiritual Armor, and the Heros of our Faith (the Saints and other famous people). Dragon Slayers fight the Obstaks and Sinisters who are led by the Chief Dragon Rider (Satan). Obstaks are dragons which get in our way of doing the right thing. They cause us to procrastinate and avoid making tough decisions. Sinisters tempt us to do bad things. All dragons lie to us, scare us, and try everything they can to lure us away from following the Chief Dragon Slayer. They will do anything to destroy our souls.
There are 17 dragons, each with its own distinctive stench which warns us they are near. Although they look cute and friendly, dragons are dangerous. The 4 dragons which bothered us to most were Braggen, Slackbottom, Stinkmouth, and Frantix. Braggen is a Sinister who smells like boasting and pride. It has 2 heads. One head attacks us by bragging, while the 2nd head attacks others by making them feel inferior. Slackbottom, also a Sinister and smells like laziness and procrastination. It attacks by telling us to put off doing homework and chores because there are more fun things to do. Stinkmouth, another Sinister, stinks with gossip, rumors, and bad-mouthing. It tempts us to make snide remarks about friends or family, or attacks by making us feel bad when others do the same to us. Then there is Frantix, both an Obstack and a Sinister. It’s the one that bothers me the most. Frantix smells of never having enough time to get things done, panicking, and doing everything in a rush. Frantix lives in the Whelming Sea, and exhausts me by giving me too much to do, then blocks my path, while the Whelming Sea opens up and sucks me in.
In becoming Dragon Slayers, our children learn how to gain control of their emotions and actions as they identify and conquer the dragons that personally attack them. By doing so, they can grow spiritually, assume accountability, and discover the awesome goodness of God. As adults, we are never too young to do the same.
St. James said “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits (James 3:16-17).” As you go out this week to face the Obstarks and Sinisters, may the Mighty One bless you with wisdom and good fruits so you can become a Dragon Slayer, too.