Peace through war PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 November 2010 10:44

We need to understand this very well. To have peace in each one of us and later in the world, the kind that abides and lasts, and that leads to the everlasting peace in heaven, we need to wage war here on earth, a constant war that goes on until death.

This is part of our human condition. Our weakened, wounded nature requires it, not to mention, the objective reality that we have enemies all around us. Our Catechism tells us of the seven capital sins with which we have to contend all throughout our life. They are: pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth.

These capital sins are embedded in us. No use denying them. We have to acknowledge their existence and learn how to deal with them.

Besides, St. Paul also tells us about the formidable spiritual enemies around us. ¨For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.¨ (Eph 6,12) How true!

What makes things worse is that these enemies are invisible, and more than grappling with them in an arena or a battlefield, we do our combat inside us, in our mind and heart, in our senses and emotions and imagination, etc. It´s a spiritual warfare that requires the appropriate strategies and armory.

It would be extremely naïve of us if we don´t realize this, and therefore not prepared and equipped for this dark reality of our earthly life. First, we need to realize this fact, and help others to be properly warned and armed. We have to know these enemies of ours very well, for how else can we handle them effectively if we don´t know them?

While it´s true that we have to do all this with a lot of naturalness, it also would be funny if we understand by naturalness the excuse for letting our guards down. Vigilance and even spiritual espionage and intelligence work have to be done always.

In fact, all the art and skills of warfare have to be applied, knowing that it is a living and growing science as well. While old things and experiences are always valuable, there will always be new things to be learned. The war fronts always change, shift and vary, and we just have to know how to be flexible with them.

That´s why it is important that we don´t get deceived by the apparent peace that exists around us. We have to be wary with our tendency to be complacent, to be up in the air, clueless about the real score of our life. We have to learn how to be discerning, how to read the signs of the times, since many things are taking place both inside and outside us. We should always be on the alert mode.

St. Augustine once described the complexity of our human condition. ¨Man is a great deep, Lord¨ he said. ¨You number his very hairs and they are not lost in your sight. But the hairs of his head are easier to number than his affections and the movements of his heart.¨ Our heart can go right and left anytime.

And outside us, powerful spiritual enemies are always at work. We need to be familiar with both the visible waves and the invisible air of erroneous and dangerous ideas and programs that are put to play in the fields of business, politics, sports and entertainment, education and culture, etc.

We should quit thinking of these things as too abstract or academic that hardly have any impact on our lives. They are as real as germs and viruses, those microbes that cause great havoc in our lives. This is not being paranoid. This is being realistic.

Thus, while we always have to blend with the times, we should not forget to develop always, in the spiritual and moral sense, the survival skills of a savage in the forest and of the slum dweller, as well as the discerning powers of one immersed in the hypnotizing environment of culture, power, wealth, fame, that we also can find ourselves in.

We have to learn how to be tough while being gentle always, strict and demanding while being compassionate, driven but charitable. Are we skillful in prayer, in offering sacrifices, in plotting our spiritual strategies for our sanctification and that of the others and of the world--all done with naturalness and discretion?

By FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Last Updated on Monday, 08 November 2010 10:51