REFLECTION: Spiritual warriors PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:50

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

Since our life will always involve some struggling in its many areas and aspects, we need to train ourselves to be warriors, not so much in the physical sense as in the spiritual and moral sense.

The Bible describes our life as some kind of warfare. We are actually pitted against very powerful enemies. The world detached from its creator, the devil who rebelled against God upon its creation as angels, and our own flesh wounded by sin, make up our very formidable nemeses, skilled in all kinds of wiles and tricks.

Yet, in spite of this chilling reality, we should never forget that we will always have God on our side as long as we correspond to his abiding presence in us and in the world, and to his will and his ways that will always be full of wisdom and power.

There is nothing that these enemies can do to us that God cannot prevent, or undo, or even derive a superior good from!

The fundamental attitude to develop should be that of confidence and serenity, based on our faith in God, and with this attitude, let us develop the appropriate skills involved in spiritual warfare and moral combat, both in the areas of defense and offense. We should have both the shield and the sword.

In this regard, it is always worthwhile to find time to be able to pray, to develop a certain intimacy with God whom we tend to ignore or at least to take for granted. May we learn to be aware of his presence all the time, especially when weakness and temptations assault us.

For sure, if we manage to truly pray, to enter into an intimate conversation with God, we would become familiar with his will and ways. We have been given his eternal word that reveals his mind and heart to us.

It is always worth the effort to meditate on this word that will show us how to live, how to think, speak, do, and how to deal with our weakness, temptations, and our sins..

It is this word that tells us everything that we need to grow to human and Christian maturity, and to protect us from the enemies of our soul. This truth about God’s word to us should be planted deep in our mind and heart as an unshakeable conviction, so we avoid fear, doubt and hesitation as we wage our spiritual warfare.

In other words, to be good spiritual and moral warriors, we have to use first of all the spiritual and supernatural means provided for by God our Father himself. All the human means that we also will use should only play a supporting role, to be resorted to only at the instance of our estimation of God’s will and ways.

As one psalm puts it: “A king is not saved by his army, nor a warrior by his strength… The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love, to rescue their souls from death…” (32) We should fix this fundamental truth first before we proceed with whatever program we may follow to become spiritual warriors.

Indeed we have to avail ourselves of a certain plan or regimen to go through our training of becoming strong spiritual warriors. We need discipline, since we obviously have to contend with the resistance, many times stiff, that our wounded flesh, let alone the other enemies, can offer.

If only for the purpose of discipline, we have to realize the need of certain exercises that are useful and necessary. These can be fasting and abstinence, not only from some food and drinks, but also from the many other goods and items that now flood our world.

But we have to see to it that these exercises would have the over-all effect of gaining for us greater intimacy with God, and because of God, also a greater desire to love, understand and serve others.

Otherwise, if this effect is not attained, we would have good reason that we are doing our self-discipline wrongly. We have to correct our motives and intentions as soon as possible before we fall into developing a strong dislike for these exercises which will unavoidably come if they are resorted to with inadequate motives.

It’s important to remember that whatever mistakes, faults, failures we encounter in our spiritual struggle, we simply should just go on, learning as quickly as possible the lessons these falls give us. Patience and perseverance hold the secret, since God never gives up on us. It’s us who can give up on him.