THE SERVANT GENERAL
I am re-titling this series as “Holy Warriors.”
you have seen in the last 18 articles in this particular series,
it really has been about holy warriors. And more and more,
as we start on our next 35 years, in these direly critical
times in the life of our Church and of the world, as we have
already entered into the end times, as we continue to respond
more deeply to the call to the New Evangelization, this will
be a recurring theme, and is what I will be emphasizing for
our servant leaders and for our community.
term “holy warrior” is an integrated reality.
The two need to go together. Unfortunately, there are many
who are good and holy but are not engaged in the spiritual
war, and there are those engaged in the spiritual war who
are still quite worldly and are easily turned by the evil
one, becoming the enemy within. A servant leader for the New
Evangelization has to be a holy warrior.
FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN
Drawing from today’s readings, following are 10 characteristics
of holy warriors.
First, a holy warrior has a deep, intimate, personal relationship
with Jesus. His life is for Christ first and foremost,
in truth, for Christ alone. He longs to commune with God,
as much as possible. “As the deer longs for streams
of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.” (Ps 42:2).
He knows he cannot exist apart from God. He desires to ingest
Christ, as the deer with water, to be sustained in life.
Such desire and longing is so strong that he cannot wait to
truly be with God in heaven. “My soul thirsts for God,
the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?”
a holy warrior is aware of the evil in a world that has turned
away from God, and is deeply pained by it, making him desire
to do something about it, as God’s instrument. “My
tears have been my bread day and night, as they ask me every
day, ‘Where is your God?’” (Ps 42:4). He
realizes that many have lost their faith, have dropped out
of the Church, are living in sin. Among them are his relatives
and friends. God is no longer in their lives, and they face
an eternity in hell. Further, in his work, he will be taunted,
and he will experience disappointments and failures, even
persecution and betrayal, but he will never doubt God’s
call, and will persevere in his appointed task.
in times of great trial and suffering, a holy warrior quickly
goes to God for his consolation and encouragement and upbuilding.
He goes to his prayer nook, to Eucharistic adoration, to the
Eucharistic celebration, to the prayer assembly, even to pilgrim
places. He can unabashedly shed tears before the Lord.
“Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, when I
would cross over to the shrine of the Mighty One, to the house
of God” (Ps 42:5a). He leaves refreshed, with great
gratitude to God, including (and especially for) the hardships
and suffering. He rejoices with the people of God all around,
with his brethren, and especially at Mass. He is right there,
being assured once again by God, “amid loud cries of
thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.”
a holy warrior is bold in proclaiming the gospel and in manifesting
his faith. And if he suffers for the gospel, including physical
suffering, he accepts it, is not embittered by it, and in
fact rejoices in it. “My eager expectation and hope
is that I shall not be put to shame in any way, but that with
all boldness, now as always, Christ will be magnified in my
body, whether by life or by death.” (Phil 1:20). Like
Paul, he wears his sufferings as a badge of honor. He is
eager not to disappoint those who look to him as Christ’s
servant. He is ready to give his all, even unto death.
a holy warrior just wants the work of evangelization to be
done, by himself as well as others. He does not look just
to the interest of his own community, association, group or
ministry, but to the good of the whole Church. “What
difference does it make, as long as in every way, whether
in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed?”
(Phil 1:18a). He is out to serve God and not only his own
family or community. In this he willingly partners, collaborates
and networks with others. He helps empower others by his
vision, experience and resources. He does not look to take
credit, only looking to the Master’s approval. He knows
we ought to be one Church doing the one work of the Kingdom.
He rejoices in the evangelistic work and successes of others.
“And in that I rejoice.” (Phil 1:18b).
a holy warrior looks to be of great and committed service
to his brethren, whether in a new ecclesial community, a parish
or a Church organization. “And this I know with confidence,
that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of
you for your progress and joy in the faith” (Phil 1:25).
He persists in this, knowing that selling a radical vision
to them is difficult and challenging work. He as a servant
leader serves simply to see brethren grow in Christ and deepen
their faith. He exudes the joy of the gospel. He longs for
them to live Christ, to be proud of their Catholic faith,
and grow into greater maturity of faith, “so that your
boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me”
a holy warrior never seeks honor for himself. He is an authentic
servant leader who does not look to power, position or perks.
He is unlike many leaders in the Church who act otherwise,
“choosing the places of honor at the table.” (Lk
14:7). He knows that the leader is a servant, the first is
the last, the greatest is the least, and so will “go
and take the lowest place” (Lk 14:10a). He is deeply
aware of a basic spiritual principle: “For everyone
who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles
himself will be exalted.” (Lk 14:11). He is not a fool
who thinks too highly of himself, but knows that apart from
God’s mercy, grace and anointing, he is nothing. And
so he remains humble. And if God uses him in power, even more
is he humbled, as he knows it is only God who accomplishes
great things through him. But he also does not have false
modesty. He knows that God raises those who are bowed down,
and honors those who are good and faithful servants. If God
allows him to be recognized, acclaimed, given a higher responsibility,
he accepts, in humility. He recognizes his Lord telling him,
“My friend, move up to a higher position.” (Lk
a holy warrior does what he says, honors his word and his
commitments, tells the truth, does not present a false front,
walks his talk. In other words, he is not a hypocrite. He
is not like “the scholars of the law and Pharisees”
(Lk 14:3), whom Jesus denounced as hypocrites. He is not legalistic
like them, questioning the legality of curing on the sabbath
(Lk 14:3b). He does and speaks what is right and just and
true. He does not fall into the bane of politically correctness.
He does not wait even for pastors or prelates to do what he
knows to be right, as at times some of them do not give
adequate guidance or direction that is truly spiritual.
“But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after
he had healed him, dismissed him.” (Lk 14:4). He can
speak boldly to those in authority, especially about spiritual
matters, and challenges them with what is right to do. “Then
he said to them, ‘Who among you, if your son or ox falls
into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the
sabbath day?’” (Lk 14:5). He is ready to face
the consequences of his bold speech or action.
a holy warrior looks to God first and foremost, but also to
the support and prayers of his brethren. He knows he is no
super warrior, but a weak sinner totally dependent on God’s
grace and the power of the Spirit, and on the prayers
of God’s people, which he knows to be powerful, especially
that of holy intercessors. He rejoices in the prayer support
that his community gives him. “Indeed I shall continue
to rejoice, for I know that this will result in deliverance
for me through your prayers and support from the Spirit of
Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:18c-19). He seeks their intercession
for him and for his mission. He looks to be covered in prayers
as he enters into battle.
a holy warrior will serve on earth as much and as long as
he can, but will have his sight ultimately fixed on heaven.
He loves the brethren and the Church, but he loves to be with
Christ his Lord more, not just in prayers, but in heaven.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.”
(Phil 1:21). But he is not a romantic dreamer, but rather
a man of action, not knowing how much time he has left to
serve on earth. “If I go on living in the flesh, that
means fruitful labor for me.” (Phil 1:22a). He desires
both, torn between wanting to do more for God’s people
and the Church in this world, but longing to be with his Lord
in heaven. “And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and
be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil 1:22b-23).
He willingly awaits God’s timing, and in the meantime
continues with productive work for the Kingdom. “Yet
that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.”
(Phil 1:24). He is thankful for every brief moment of life,
even as he looks to eternity in heaven.
what a blessed privilege and call. Rise, holy warriors!
This call is for both men and women. The use of the male pronoun
is for convenience. But it also is a more particular call to
the men, who inherently are warriors.
 Living for Christ means also taking care of one’s
family, being faithful to one’s community and covenant,
and being a responsible member of society. But be careful that
these wonderful things that come from God do not become causes
or excuses for you not to directly serve Christ and his Church.
 Especially with Holy Communion.
 Like Job, he certainly can complain to the Lord as well.
 See 2 Corinthians 11:23b-28. Notice the last verse, about
his anxiety for the churches. The holy warrior is anxious about
the spiritual situation of his community and of his parish.
 We do not have to openly question the motives of others,
though in truth many may have a hidden agenda. So we must also
be vigilant, being wise as serpents while innocent as doves.
 Unlike other communities that look on other groups as competition,
and may even work to bring those others down.
 This is what LCSC is all about. Given to CFC-FFL to be given
to the whole Church, LCSC seeks to bring together all parish
ministries, Church organizations and every Catholic group to
participate in the work of the New Evangelization, particularly
in mainstreaming Catholic lay evangelization. (Note: All of
them still are to retain and be about their own particular charisms
 Which many leaders are unaware of or do not live out, preferring
to act according to worldly or corporate ways.
 There are of course many good lawyers, my father and blood
brother among them, as well as many brethren in Christ.
 But of course, for good order, within the setting of a
community or a parish, there are leaders over him who should
be followed, that is, if they are also holy warriors.
 Like pastors and bishops in the USA who do not speak out
about politicians who are rabidly pro-abortion, even allowing
them to receive Holy Communion in contravention of Canon Law.
 How many pro-lifers, aside from great ministry such as
praying in front of abortion clinics, would stand up to or call
out their pastor for being a liberal (I speak of one who accepts
or approves of the Culture of Death) or being quiet about crucial
pro-life issues in his parish, being politically correct or
not wanting to draw the ire of liberal Catholics?