Part 1: Conventional Warfare
As a matter of sequencing, I would take conventional warfare first. Conventional warfare under Spiritual Warfare follows the conventions of war at least, theoretically. This would mean the deployment of troops girded for combat facing each other in the field. Consequently, members of the Church Militant should know the conventional enemies. The usual pernicious nemesis would be the atheists, the protestants, and the polytheists to name but a few.
My injured comrade knew his conventional gears well. He knew that the rosary is a potent weapon, he even knew that God Himself is the armor of True Christians. This is why in case of friendly fire or a misencounter somebody could get shot especially if you train your aim at the side of the base camp. Bullets are bound to ricochet and radically change course when God is the Armour. Before the Armor of God, the holy weapon can even backfire.
In this phenomenon, I must therefore advise on the use of the scapular and the other Church-prescribed sacramentals. They, too, are vital armory. It will therefore be less reverent to take the scapular as a simple dogtag of Conventional Warfare. It is true that like the dogtag, it could provide vital info concerning the warrior as combatant because it is part of the Catholic uniform in Spiritual Warfare. But while the dogtag provides identity to the casualty, even his serial number, the scapular provides protection on the spiritual battle, even as the armored vest does without even divulging his identity, as in serial numbering, as numbers en masse are unimportant in the battle of spirits.
It is sometimes harder to move in full battle gear. As an officer I will never give advice for my men to carry unnecessary loads. If it’s just a patrol or a skirmish mission, it would be foolish to bring an artillery piece for that would only make troop movement cumbersome. So why should a soldier bring his passionate ideals or his nostalgic thoughts in battle. Why would he even think of being retaliatory, or defensive against his brother-in-arms who he thought had insulted and/or humiliated him. Soldiers are trained to strike at enemies, not men from his own ranks. A mercenary attitude does not have any place in the esprit de corps.
Familiarize with weaponry, I often advise. The caliber .45 was invented to stop muslim juramentados of Mindanao when they attack. And so, even a simple but potent Ave Maria Purissima is enough to stop a demon meant to do a soldier harm. The dagger may be useful in close encounters but it would be surprising for an officer to still attach a bayonet to his short arm. In my humble analysis of the American loss in the Vietnam war, I happen to see a startling discovery. The Vietnamese people have simplified their war efforts and Philistine America has overbearingly outdone itself in traditional warfare. The Americans have relied heavily on their nefarious airstrike bombs but that indomitable spirit of the people refuse to be outbombed. I personally went down the termite tunnels and unraveled how they survived. And yet even the standard firearms used on both sides could tell a great difference. The AK-47 hung comfortably on the shoulder and could be swung decidedly in seconds. But the longer version of the armalite needed a few seconds more to make the proper aim. This is why in Cavite, they prefer the baby armalite. And so the Militant Catholic, embattled as he is, could very well make use of Leo XIII’s prayer to St. Michael rather than have a novena when one discerns a singular diabolical plot. Why would you need a telescopic lens in battle when you are not the designated sniper? The rush and crush of battle may not allow you time to attach it. And why would you call for an airstrike when it is just a patrol of men you are engaging? Why storm heavens when after all, you are developing depression? And I am even more surprised at comrade-in-arms, who encourage a brother or even advice to fire within the HQ compound when they themselves are afraid to do so. My advice to my men: get familiar with your brothers and get more discerning with yourself. The communion of saints was established for brothers to love one another and therefore protect each other. An order to spy on each other may only be given by the unit commander when there is clear and pleasant danger in the ranks. By the way, as a soldier, does one know his unit commander or is one apt to follow someone he thinks he is close to, irregardless of military channels and the designations?
And so what’s all the fuzz about one said this and the other said that? Had a military nurse been designated to give you directions. What is the official word of the unit commander? And so what’s all these new colors and paraphernalia doing within the command? Be careful with those who nurse your woundedness. That wound may just be needing a short surgical cut to start the healing but the nurse must be having other ideas. And thus a spy had already been caught and brought to naught. There should have been no more casualties. But numbers are becoming casual. What might be the causal? Hey, hey, good soldier, are you okay?
A good conventional soldier listens to his unit commander. And he must obey first before he complains. All the complaints being whispered do not count. They are not even worthy as stage whispers done by good actors sometimes sent on espionage. Trust the unit commander he knows the enemy and he knows the topography and the weather. He wouldn’t be sending the cavalry or the armored division to the marshes and swamplands where the quicksands lurk and murk. He will not train heavy artillery against a village of farmers and fisherfolks unless he knows who are there? He will always go against collateral damage. He wouldn’t allow children to suffer just because adults have their own adulterated programs. But he will not also refrain from going up cavalry on foot just because he is a cavalier. The Via Dolorosa and the Via Crucis are familiar terrain for him.
In the same vein, the good militant soldier adores his standard. He is never ashamed of the cross which defines him invisibly. In the rush of battle perhaps, he may forget it momentarily, but he will go back to it in the nick of time even if he is imperiled. But woe to him who deliberately abhors the cross for his loyalty is marked at the crossroad. He does not have the true sense of mission to carry it and follow the Commander of the Host in the thick of battle. It is possible that he will have the paralysis of fear for not having worn full battle gear and instead of being militant, shall become hesitant in an instant. He will miss standing by Him in Calvary and rather desert the Cause and instead find escape routes that vary. Not that there is no more hope for those who committed the error of desertion for those who did not stay with Him, as apostles, redeemed themselves as martyrs for the Faith.
In a similar way, the good militant soldier understands his sense of mission. He does not go out too independently and exercise what we in USAR-CRG identify as SARCOM (Sariling Command; his very own personal command) knowing that in the end, it will only become a lonely lost command. The unit commander exists for the very important reason of counsel as the Commander of the Host Himself is Wonderful Counselor. Unless you do not care about collateral damage which could involve souls. Never mind material cost efficiency for souls are themselves precious as they were redeemed by the Most Precious Blood of Christ. And so, what are the numerics for if those being returned are still confused about the Truth? What worth is shepherding for if the sheeps do not know the voice of the Good Shepherd? Are we then just mere penumbra of the Vatican II umbra? Pope Paul VI himself did not define Vatican II as doctorally infallible, referring it only as the means of shepherding. And so they validly apply it assuming the mean of more souls entering the church being lenient to those who are outside the church and surprising themselves that the faith dwindled by all indicators.
And so, I must advise against extreme and false ecumenism. If by brotherhood one intends to shepherd waylaid brethrens back into the fold by tolerating their errors and weaknesses, it can only mean one thing just like in the experience of the Vatican II implementers, that they are the ones being led instead of being the ones leading. Misleading is blindness to Truth.
Therefore, I exhort you, anointed soldier of God’s militia: forget your full battle gear that Saul’s army is offering you. If you may, bring your rod and your staff for comfort, but be deadly with the sling against any Goliath.