Spiritual Warfare: SARF Recollection with Fray Mansueto

spiritual warfare

by Bro. Wilson Sy (SARF de Baguio)

BAGUIO CITY–It’s that time of the year again when we remember our departed loved ones. Especially for Filipinos, this is also a significant time when we reunite with those who remained, particularly our families and relatives. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, had dramatically shifted how we experienced such commemoration this year, rendering the accustomed visits very limited and unsafe. But despite the situation, one thing also that we can all agree on is that on the 1st of November every year, we associate it practically instantly with the word ‘Halloween’, a word which had confused many in so many ways. One general idea of such ideology is on how we remember not only the dead but also the spirits and the otherworldly entities that we grew up hearing or encountering a lot of. This idea should be put under a proper spotlight and should be studied properly according to our Catholic Christian faith, in the context of the Filipino setting.

We, the SARF communities throughout the country, are indeed glad to have Fray Alexus Mansueto, OAR, a Spiritual Director and Exorcist currently assigned in Recoletos de Baguio (Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary), to offer his thoughts, experiences, and advice to us about the topic in the form of a recollection. Last October 31, 2020, a ‘virtual recollection’ was made possible using Zoom as the main video conferencing tool. The virtual event started at 2:00 in the afternoon, wherein around 112 SARF members actively participated. We were glad to have Fray Manuel “Maning” Lipardo, OAR, spiritual adviser of SARF de Inagawan, to be with us during the said event, too.

The recollection officially started with an opening song with the title ‘Have Thine Own Way, Lord,’ followed by a proper opening prayer by the recollection master himself, invoking the protection and guidance of St. Michael the Archangel and our dear personal angels. Fr. Buloy, as our recollection master is known, introduced the theme of the recollection: ‘Spiritual Warfare: ‘Knowing and Resisting the Devil in Daily Life.’ Fr. Buloy began by stressing the importance of having an orthodox knowledge about angels and demons, and of putting on the armor of God because there’s a higher form of evil aside from the mere absence of good (such as physical evil, e.g., sickness, and moral evil, e.g. corruption in the government). The higher form of evil referred to herein is the devil himself, who happens to be a real person, too, in the form of an angel who on his own will chose to go astray and disobey God. We, humans, encounter the devil practically in every moment of our life, and temptations are just one of the many manifestations of his wit, presence, and influence.

Since this is spiritual combat, it’s a prerogative that we put on the armor of God lest we falter in fear and corruption not only from without but also from within. Paul Thigpen, in his work ‘Manual for Spiritual Warfare,’ states the importance of knowing the enemy as the first rule of any type of warfare. In other words, knowing the enemy is a sure first step to avoiding any dangers or casualties the evil encounter might bring. Fr. Buloy further explains the devil as the king of deception who loves not to be recognized as himself but to be identified by us as something or somebody else. We are in a constant battle with the enemy, and the Devil—who cannot make the Mother Church fall—will primarily target families which is the source of all vocation.

The Recollection Master, Fray Alexus Mansueto, OAR

Fr. Buloy also gave examples of how much we really need the proper guidance of Divine Revelation and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in this era where the devil is very loud and clear. There are many sources of deception that we are currently in, even in this 21st century. Superstitions, myths, urban legends, occult, and other new-age sources often provide teachings that are contrary to what our Mother Church is trying to teach. One example Fr. Buloy gave was about the Filipinos who are taught to believe that the soul of an infant who died will turn into an angel, which in the real sense is impossible; humans can never be angels because the latter are pure spirits.

The recollection furthered with a good discussion about angels. Angels were created by God for 2 big reasons: 1) to proclaim or sing God’s majesty and glory, and 2) to execute God’s will in creation. By nature, they are non-corporeal which means they are not defined by any material body. They originally belong in the preternatural world but were escalated to the supernatural world with God after the fall. Angels have a far superior intelligence and authority compared to man, and they also have their personality and will (yes, they can choose to disobey God, such as what the fallen angels did). Proper to their nature, God has assigned them names, but these names are unknown to men unless revealed. We as common people should be careful about the naming scheme of such angels because aside from the four (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and lastly, Lucifer), no other real names were revealed. Any other names might be demonic and we all should be wary of admitting them or calling upon them whatever the case may be.

Envy, hatred, and Pride—three of the most agreed primary reasons why some angels chose to disobey God and thus fell to damnation. Though it wasn’t clear in the scriptures, the teachings of the church cite such disobedience has something to do with God’s plan of creating man in His image and likeness, and of becoming human in form as a God-Man. Much more tension arose when God declared a woman—Mary—to be the God-bearer and will be higher and more supreme over the angels. For these reasons, the fallen angels chose not to serve God. They couldn’t accept God taking the very benign form of man, much less bowing before Mary who is also very human albeit immaculate. Their rejection of God and man’s destiny is absolute and radical based on their nature, and hence irrevocable, turning them into perpetually perverted spiritual living beings. They are incapable of repentance and redemption, that’s why they are angry with the idea that men, despite their efforts, may still get to heaven.

Fr. Buloy continued with discussing the capabilities of the devil as the master seducer and deceiver, whose actions were not to only tempt human beings away from God, but to also scorn and chain them to bondage leading to spiritual blindness or destruction. As deception is natural to these fallen angels, they are capable by their nature to be anything or anyone they want to be, be it an elemental (like a dwarf or fairies), Mother Mary, or a human being (deceased or not). Through idolatry (e.g., saying tabi-tabi po to a soil mound, or making offerings to the dead or to an invisible entity) and moral corruption (e.g., same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.), the devil succeeds in his perverted mission of capturing the hearts of men.

The actions of the devil can be either ordinary (e.g., through temptations), or extraordinary which requires help. For the latter, we have demonic obsessions (intrusion or attack on the sensibility of a subject), demonic oppressions (sudden or chronic torment on the physical body through inexplicable causes or signs), demonic infestations (for places, animals, and inanimate objects), demonic possessions (the demons taking over the body), and demonic subjugation (when a victim becomes an accomplice already). 

Malignos/Engkantos as we know them are technically called ‘Elementals.’ They are nature spirits who are fallen angels capable of inflicting harm, and they inhabit things in nature such as trees and rocks. They take such forms (elves, sirens, etc.) as myths and fantasies have appropriated them to be so that they can be identifiable to us humans. Giving in to their rules is an act of idolatry, and the best way to counter them or at least to protect one’s self is to pray the proper Catholic prayers taught to us, even the basic ones. Jesus Christ is, after all, the sovereign God above all these fake gods.

So what can we do? One big thing according to Fr. Buloy is to be cognizant of the presence of our guardian angels, who from the beginning of time until death, stand alongside us in helping God fulfill his eternal plan on us. These guardian angels are protectors not only of our souls but also of our bodies, and their influence on our daily lives depends on how much we are believers and how much we are willing to participate in our spiritual growth. In our spiritual warfare, we must not believe that the famous prayer ‘Angel of God’ is only for children; it is rather a powerful prayer that we can cite to protect us from evil spirits. At the end of our daily battle, we have the angels as loyal friends whom God has given us as our wards unique to each and every one of us.

The recollection given by Fr. Buloy was gratefully acknowledged by the SARF participants with a big round of applause. Followed thereafter was the question-and-answer session where Fr. Buloy generously answered questions and clarifications. Some questions being answered were about some common Filipino practices like doing the 40 days celebration after the death of a person, a blessing of a house, signs of demonic infestations, and so on. After all the questions were answered, the blessing of the sacramentals commenced. Fr. Buloy briefly introduced what these sacramentals are and do, and blessed our readied articles such as water, oil, salt, and candles, after which we are told to go ahead and sprinkle these into our own objects. The recollection finally concluded with a final blessing from Father Buloy, followed by the sign of the cross.

Ultimately, Father reminded us that in all kinds of demonic attacks regardless of gravity, it is always a call for us for renewal or conversion. One day, the gates of hell will be opened and the king of lies will be set free from his chains according to some prophecies. It is our job to be ready, wear the armor of God, cooperate with our guardian angels, fight the good fight, and live the faith to the best of our ability.

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< 2023 >
March
SMTuWThFS
   1
  • All day
    March 1, 2023

    CLOSING OF THE MEETING OF THE LOCAL PROCURATORS

    WITH THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATOR

    CELEBRATIONS OF THE 151ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST MASS OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO IN PUERTO PRINCESA
    Inclusive Dates: March 1-10, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Constancia Buchan, AR
    Sr. Jamaikha Acle, AR
    Sis. Marissa Molina, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Khia Queen Taiza (RAY-Calubang)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Teresa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Susan Bermil, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

2
  • All day
    March 2, 2023

    PROVINCE-WIDE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE on “Policies and Procedures on [Cases of] Sexual Abuse Against Minors and Vulnerable Adults” / 9:00 a.m.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Charina Mae Ogario, AR
    Sis. Merlinda Buada, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Karl Canaria (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Bro. Gabino Jabutay, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

3
  • All day
    March 3, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Emeterio Buñao
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Sr. Felisa Ampasin, AR
    Sr. Josephine Facinabao, AR
    Sis. Marina Yang, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Dolores Villas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Ortega (Tondo Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Teodora de la Natividad, AR
    +Sis. Angelita Quero, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

4
  • All day
    March 4, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    CLOSING OF THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PUERTO PRINCESA
    Mass Presider & Homilist: Fray Bernard Amparado, OAR
    Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa City

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Mark Evan Taliquig (aspirant)
    Sis. Rosita Viray, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Jasmin Reyes, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Thelma Geroy, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Celina Magcauas, AR
    +Sis. Josefina Cedeño, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Bacus, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

5
  • All day
    March 5, 2023

    SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Nelly Marfil, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Teodorica de Natividad, AR
    +Ma. Alma Limotlimot, AR
    +Sis. Francisca Tamara, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

6
  • All day
    March 6, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo, Jr.
    Sr. Rosalia Aparece, AR
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Caberte, AR
    Sr. Ridelia Tinga, AR
    Sis. Marybeth Publico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Josefina Rodriguez, AR
    +Sis. Rosemary Delapaz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Mrs. Leonila Dosado (Sister General of the Order)

7
  • All day
    March 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Dorin James Igsoc (aspirant)
    Bro. John Eduard Nebre, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Feliciano Nario Jr., SAR (Baguio Chapter)

8
  • All day
    March 8, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Marco Quimod, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Beata Oida, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Roceline Bernal (RAY-Cavite)
    Paula Nicole Bautista (RAY-Cavite)
    James Ynnoh Molina (RAY-Miranila

    D
    EATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Rita de la Cruz, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Guadalupe Siroy, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Natalia Oliver, AR
    +Sr. Alfonsa Canon, AR

9
  • All day
    March 9, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Loreto Manigos, AR
    Sr. Merlyn Pelarion, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Faustina Nirza, AR
    +Sis. Rufa Pepito, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

10
  • All day
    March 10, 2023

    CLOSING OF THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY (March 10, 1872) OF THE FIRST MASS OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO IN PUERTO PRINCESA

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Sis. Elenita Atienza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Theresa Aquino, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Espinos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lydia Escario, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Choleta Jalandra, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

11
  • All day
    March 11, 2023

    FORSOAR STAR WEEKEND
    March 11-12, 2022 / Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos, Cebu City

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Briggitte Parba, AR
    Sr. Maria Jasmin Lumanog, AR

12
  • All day
    March 12, 2023

    THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Marisa Bernasor, AR
    Mo. Dionisia Talangapaz (Foundress of the AR Sisters)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Inocencia Beringuel, AR
    +Sis. Fe Zamora, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Valentina Talledo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

13
  • All day
    March 13, 2023

    10TH ANNIVERSARY (2013-2023) OF THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Digna Araña, AR
    Sr. Ma. Nicelina Rodriguez, AR
    Bro. Romeo Estanislao, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Adelina Belandres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Estrella Nuque, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Patricia Tario, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrine Julianne Singson (RAY-Cavite)
    Aaron Kristopher Lim (RAY-San Carlos)
    Kiarah Fatima Guillen (RAY-Provincialate)

14
  • All day
    March 14, 2023

    REAP: SHARING OF ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS (NEGROS CLUSTER GENERAL ASSEMBLY)

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD (Diocese of Bacolod)
    Br. Christopher Digal (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Clara Flores, AR
    Sis. Teotila Torrefiel, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Lucia Ruiz, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Leonila Buhain, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

15
  • All day
    March 15, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Br. Juan Carlo Macalalag (aspirant)
    Sr. Rosielyn Hijastro, AR
    Sis. Marlyn Opu-an, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milagros Calipay, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Enrique Jerome Garcia (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Visitacion B. Visitacion, AR
    +Sis. Lourdes Luna, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Carmeta Suiza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

16
  • All day
    March 16, 2023

    REAP: DISCUSSION AND DELIBERATION OF STRUCTURES, PLANS, AND PROGRAMS

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Maria Carmeta Suiza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Hernane Francisco, SAR (Manila Chapter)

17
  • All day
    March 17, 2023

    REAP: LENTEN RECOLLECTION

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Jesus Lastimado, AR
    +Sis. Obdulia Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

18
  • All day
    March 18, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Eduarda Reynes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

19
  • All day
    March 19, 2023

    FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK

    10TH ANNIVERSARY (2013-2023) OF THE INSTALLATION OF POPE FRANCIS

    BIRTHDAY

    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archbishop of Cebu)
    Sis. Eleanor Almenanza, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Jessica Bacaltos, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Beatriz Hermoso, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Marian Sigrid Escobar (RAY-Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Trinidad de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Enriquieta Oamilda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gonzalo Pañares, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anunciacion Mendez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
  • All day
    March 20, 2023

    FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH, PATRON OF THE ORDER

    USJ-R (Cebu & Balamban) PATRONAL FIESTA OF ST. JOSEPH

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Sis. Josefina Guevarra, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Salvacion Manalon, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Nenita Ursais, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Earl Vincent Blaza (RAY-Miranila)

21
  • All day
    March 21, 2023

    START OF GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING (Rome)
    Inclusive Dates: March 21-25

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Mark Rochelle Renacia
    Sis. Corazon Yanga, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

22
  • All day
    March 22, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Grace Katada, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Rose Mary Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Felicitas Aquino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Lina Ferrer, SAR

     

23
  • All day
    March 23, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Teodulo Hayahay
    Sis. Milagros Renes, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Fe Josefa Asuncion, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Luisa Salvador (San Carlos Chapter / Trial)
    Nichole Cabamo (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Cecilia Salgado, AR
    +Sr. Concepcion Reston, AR

24
  • All day
    March 24, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Christopher Gaspar
    Sis. Clemencia Luces, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Elpidia Abasolo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Nelida Mendoza (Miranila Chapter / Trial)
    Sis. Hedelita Diaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Lydia Rivera, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Adela Jaca, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    March 25, 2023

    EARTH HOUR: 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Anunciacion Yballe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ann Marjorie Ricarte, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Serrano, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Purificacion del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sr. Magdalena Salgado, AR

26
  • All day
    March 26, 2023

    FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Gloria Mempin, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Felicitas Calopez, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    +Sis. Alice Banares, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

27
  • All day
    March 27, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Edward de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Alberta Lastimado, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Bro. Samuel Celerino Favila (Puerto Princesa Chapter / Trial)
    Aira Joy Legaspi (RAY-Talisay)

28
  • All day
    March 28, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Agustina Santos, AR Sr. Dorothy Aguila, AR
    Sis. Virginia Lazaro, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Bro. Reynaldo Aparicio, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Lilibeth Fuertes, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Brenda Villafuerte, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Gregoria de San Jose, AR
    + Sis. Rufina Jadraque, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

29
  • All day
    March 29, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Ma. Katrina Rodriguez (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2008-2023)

    Fray William Cordero, Jr.
    Fray Roderick Deguit

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Crispin Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

30
  • All day
    March 30, 2023

    GENERALATE: ONLINE MEETING OF THE COMMISSION ON THE PROTECTION OF MINORS & VULNERABLE ADULTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Mo. Maxima Pelaez, AR
    Sis. Juanita Pajarillaga, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Jelly Masongsong, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Roberta Panoncillo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
  • All day
    March 31, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. John Reynan Rosie (aspirant)
    Sr. Anastacia Fangon, AR

 

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