By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THAT gospel parable about the 10 virgins (cfr. Mt 25,1-13) obviously reminds us of our serious duty to be vigilant at all times because God can call us anytime and we should be ready for it. We should also be very vigilant because all kinds of evil can come and assault us anytime, and can even dominate us.
Nowadays, cases are increasing of persons with some forms of addiction and obsessions, or of some forms of hidden bondage. They feel helpless before this predicament of theirs because in spite of their efforts to stay away from these conditions, they would just find themselves giving in sooner or later.
The question is raised about how to handle this phenomenon. And the quick answer to that is, of course, for us to be truly united with Christ. Like Christ and with him, we would know how to suffer the unavoidable attacks of evil on us. Like Christ, we can die as a consequence of these evil attacks. But again, if we are to follow what St. Paul once said, if we suffer and die with Christ, we also will rise with him. (cfr. Rom 6,8-11)
Yes, we are assured of victory as long as we are with Christ. It’s this truth of our Christian faith that should fill us with peace and confidence that things would just be all right in spite of the heavy drama we may have to go through in this life.
For us to be effectively with Christ, we need both the human and supernatural means. The latter would include constant prayers, presence of God, recourse to the sacraments, especially the sacraments of confession and the Holy Eucharist. We need to develop and sharpen these practices without let-up, because only with God’s grace can we truly deal with this predicament.
But neither should we neglect the human means. We need to keep ourselves occupied always, because an idle mind and a lazy body are the favorite targets of the agents of evil.
We have to remember that we have to contend with a 3-fold enemy: our own weakened flesh, the many temptations around the world, and the powerful spiritual enemies. In fact, St. Paul warned us that we are actually ranged against powerful evil spirits. (cfr. Eph 6,12)
It would be very helpful if we avail of some regimen that would keep us always in God’s presence and make us feel his love and power which he likes to share with us. For this, we should develop virtues like fortitude, patience, temperance, industry, etc.
Again, since people can be so dominated by their weakness, if not by something more serious, like emotional and psychological disorders, that they are completely helpless if left on their own, they may have to avail of professional care from doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists. Let’s hope that we can have appropriate facilities easily available.
Neither should we ignore the possibility of demonic possession or domination, for which the services for exorcism or deliverance should be resorted to. When people cannot understand why they continue to fall into the same sins in spite of their earnest efforts, it could be that they unknowingly are under the spell of evil spirits.
In the end, it will only be when we are truly with God that we can be properly vigilant and effective in warding off the assaults of evil against us and instead have the zeal to do a lot of good always.