PASAY City, Nov. 27, 2015 – A hidden war is being waged right now where souls are at stake because it is humans against Satan himself, said a retired army colonel who now busies himself helping soldiers and their families strengthen their faith in God pointed out on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at a gathering of army chaplains and their associates in Villamor Air Base.
“Gone are the days when members of various religions had to settle their differences on the battlefield. Our real enemies are the spiritualities and the principalities. Our enemy is no other than the demon,” said Arturo Alabanza of the Order of St. Michael (OSM), a ministry of Couples for Christ Global Mission (CFC Global) which caters to the spiritual needs of the uniformed sector.
United vs. Satan
“So as religious and spiritual leaders, we have to unite in fighting the devil,” he exclaimed.
Alabanza said it is time Christians sought the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, the head of the heavenly army and the patron of OSM.
According to him, St. Michael triumphed over the “Evil One,” the “Father of Lies,” who works double-time to ensure he has souls to deceive.
Besides the high risk of getting injured or killed in the line of duty, Alabanza noted that military personnel are also exposed to various problems that are spiritual, psychological, and moral in nature, namely:
- Many go home only on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth month, if at all.
- Sexual temptations in and around the camp
- Many have recourse to the “bottle” to battle loneliness and forget about problems.
- Mental torture thinking about their families
But he stressed these challenges go both ways, since army dependents’, especially their spouses, are equally affected by the following:
- Fear of losing their husbands/wives anytime
- Doubt about their spouses’ fidelity
- Temptations on their part to infidelity
- Boredom, depression
- Children’s education, health, food
- Difficulty making ends meet
St. Michael’s intercession
“Now I realize that we really need St. Michael because he is the one that defeated the devil … He sent the bad angels to hell. So I think it is providential,” Alabanza added.
While OSM’s partnership with the Philippine Army (PA)’s Office of the Army Chief Chaplain Service (OACCS), started out well, the retired colonel admitted there is still much to be done for God’s work to be fully realized in the lives of Filipino soldiers and their families.
He shared that the Character Enhancement Program (CEP) they have launched has so far reached 2,000 men and women in uniform, or about 0.287 percent of an estimated 700,000 that are ripe for values and spiritual transformation, excluding their dependents.
Alabanza expressed hope that in the years head, and with the cooperation of the “co-responsibles,” and other people concerned, CEP will be able to touch hearts and win the souls of more, allowing PA to communicate a brand image in keeping with its core values of honor, patriotism, and duty. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)