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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< 2021 >
June
SMTuWThFS
  1
  • All day
    June 1, 2021

    MEETING OF THE PRE-CAPITULAR COMMISSION

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Raul Buhay Fray Russell Lapidez
    Sis. Susana Batin, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Estella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

2
  • All day
    June 2, 2021

    150th SACERDOTAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1871-2021) OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    [Ordaining prelate: Manila Archbp. Gregorio Melitón Martínez]

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Constantino Real
    Sis. Consuelo de Castro, SAR (Cavite Chapter) Carl Veloso (RAY-Cavite)

3
  • All day
    June 3, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III (solemnly prof.) Sis. Clothie Canoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
  • All day
    June 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE BAGUIO / June 4-6

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Milagros Lagan, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

5
  • All day
    June 5, 2021

    400th ANNIVERSARY OF POPE GREGORY XVs MILITANTIS ECCLESIAE
    (which elevated the Recoletos Province to the rank of Congregation)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1985-2021)

    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Purita Crom, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Herminigilda Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    June 6, 2021-June 7, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

    CARES, BAGUIO: TRANSITIO ET FORMATIO / GRADUATION

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Ma. Asuncion Zorilla, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Christine Joy Euraba (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Agustinus Agus (Archdiocese of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia)

7
  • All day
    June 7, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO / June 7

     

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresita Aurigue, AR
    Sis. Josefina Mangulabnan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Roberta Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL & EPISCOPAL ORDINATIONS
    Most Rev. Raul Dael (Diocese of Tandag

8
  • All day
    June 8, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Joy Dula, AR
    Sis. Cristina Crosland, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Apacible, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Layumas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Diocese of Chalan Kanoa)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Amparo del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

9
  • All day
    June 9, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE ANTIPOLO / June 9-10

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Purificacion Glimada, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lea Eseo, AR
    Sr. Evangeline Pejano, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Porferia Georpe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
  • All day
    June 10, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Bro. Arturo Catindig, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1984-2021)

    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Carmela Garcia, AR
    +Sr. Soledad Cañete, AR
    +Sis. Estela Taburada, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Daisy Soguilon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
  • All day
    June 11, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA / June 11-13

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon
    (Diocese of Antipolo) Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    Sr. Ma. Divina Caabay, AR
    Sis. Rosalinda Rios, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1983-2021)

    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Jorge Peligro

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Abraham Caballes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
  • All day
    June 12, 2021

    IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

    [Philippine’s 123rd Independence Day]

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Lucita Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Adelaida Tanchico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Micaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR

13
  • All day
    June 13, 2021

    11TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR (General Superior of the CARS)
    Sr. Antonia Pono, AR
    Sis. Herminia Ishii, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Lorna Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (Religious Brother)
    (1998-2021)

    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Fe de la Sgda. Familia, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Amparo Serra, AR
    +Sis. Victoria Caturay, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

14
  • All day
    June 14, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1972-2021)

    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Michaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Mo. Maria Josefa Borces, AR
    +Sis. Angelina Yap, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

15
  • All day
    June 15, 2021

    50th Inauguration Anniversary of CSNT-R
    Talisay City, Negros Occidental)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE TONDO/ June 15

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Sr. Ma. Clotilde Edora, AR
    Sr. Adoracion Pagsisihan, AR Sr. Isis Vita Villagonzalo, AR
    Sis. Hilda Socrates, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Rosario Mamon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Bro. Leo Calimutan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Ma. Sophia Navarro (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Manuela de San Agustin, AR
    +Sis. Amalia Gatuslao, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

16
  • All day
    June 16, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MANILA / June 16-17

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Aurelia Pastidio, AR
    Sis. Miriam Ruiz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Mangaoil, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Jane Eranista, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Salvacion Rubia, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1974-2021)

    Fray Eric Peter Silab

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Encarnacion Hynson, AR

1718
  • All day
    June 18, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Corazon Barroca, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Florendo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1978-2021)

    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, DD (Diocese of Cubao)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Victor Jose Lluch (2004-2021)
    +Sis. Erlinda Dacalos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Celia Setias, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

19
  • All day
    June 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1977-2021)

    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, DD (Diocese of Imus)

    (2010-2021)
    Fray Leo Alaras
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Rosa de Padua, AR

20
  • All day
    June 20, 2021

    12TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Sis. Fe Enilog, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Reyson Valerio (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Leilani Alejandro, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

21
  • All day
    June 21, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)

    Sr. Ma. Luisa Borces, AR
    Sis. Angelita de Guzman, SAR (Miranila Chapter) Sis. Edna Genete, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    (2005-2021)
    +Jaime Cardinal Sin (Brother General of the Order)

22
  • All day
    June 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Paulino Dacanay

23
  • All day
    June 23, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE CAVITE / June 23-24

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Joan Marie Ubag, AR
    Sis. Elenora Tubiona, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

24
  • All day
    June 24, 2021

    NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR
    Sis. Juanita Payawal, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Calderon, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Semense, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Baby Rich Pajares (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Presentacion Ramirez, AR

25
  • All day
    June 25, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE / June 25-26

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor
    Sis. Asuncion Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Prospera Jabagat, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sean Feauna Narvasa (RAY-Balamban)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luisa Padilla, AR

26
  • All day
    June 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius Marcos
    Fray Virgilio Calalang, Jr. (deacon)
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante (simply prof.)
    Sis. Melinda Camero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Whagie Saronillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Winifreda Pahilanga, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Jamaicha Lapinid (RAY-Miranila)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, DD (Bishop-emeritus of Bacolod)

27
  • All day
    June 27, 2021

    13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elvira Vergara, AR
    Bro. Manuel Martinez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. David de la Torre, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucita Dimaano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2020-2021)

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan
    Fray James Esplanada
    Fray Judd Galinato
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Catalina del Amor Misericordioso, AR
    +Sr. Crisanta Lerio, AR

28
  • All day
    June 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Enrico Silab
    Fray Samson Silloriquez
    Sis. Sonia Ramos, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1990-2021)

    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Margarita de Lumbania, AR

29
  • All day
    June 29, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF STS. PETER & PAUL, APOSTLES

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Pablicita Palatino, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2021)

    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (2019-2021)
    Fray Neil Robert Alilain

    (2018-2021)
    Fray Helfrid D. Palmis
    Fray Jose Enrico V. Gallego
    Fray Rey Jay Y. Quevedo
    Fray Jhoben M. Rodriguez
    Fray Renz Calex C. Soriano

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Fray Rafael Cabarles (1971-2021)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Neriza Hernandez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Aleja Abellar, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

30
  • All day
    June 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Aquilino Carino, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Leticia Tayao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Teresita Bilbao, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Adelina Sacapano, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    +Sis. Laureana Quijano, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

   

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