As we all knew, soldiers in the past fought valiantly for a cause, the welfare of the state and for the common good of the nation. As Christians, we are called to be a “Soldier of Christ”. In the kingdom of God we are all invited to be his skilled warrior capable of defending his cause, trusting everything to Him as we say “you are a shield around me, O LORD” (Ps. 3:3). As a soldier, we must be obedient, prompt and humble. St. Pedro Calungsod has the character of a “good soldier”— he was obedient to the will of his superior, prompt to all the orders and humble to accept the admonition from his superior.
A good soldier is obedient. “Obedience is the shortcut to perfection” as what St. Philip Neri said. St. Pedro lovingly followed the commands of Blessed Diego without any hesitation, for true obedience never seek for reasons. His constant submission to the will of his superior equipped him to perfect his obedience, thus, making him a good and docile soldier of God. St. Pedro may have a lot of choices of doing things but he knew that “obedience is better than sacrifice”. Put these words in mind, “With obedience we can never go wrong” and St. Pedro’s counsel could be the same.
A good soldier is prompt. G.K. Chesterton said, “The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before”. This only mean that we have not to waste time and to be productive at all times and St. Pedro never did waste his time. He spent his spare time in deep prayer and contemplation. He was prompt in all the demands of the mission and punctual in the schedules that his superiors had set. Promptness results to order, as what a dictum said “Keep order and order will keep you”, hence, being prompt brought abundance and productivity in our life. St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri often said that he would not waste his time and in this fashion he made it as his fourth vow.
A good soldier is humble. “If humble souls are contradicted, they remain calm; if they are calumniated, they suffer with patience; if they are little esteemed, neglected, or forgotten, they consider that their due; if they are weighed down with occupations, they perform them cheerfully”, as what St. Vincent de Paul declared. This words of St. Vincent de Paul were true in the life of St. Pedro because he remained calm, patient and meek like a lamb when he was hit and killed. He cheerfully performed his duty with love and devotion and in the spirit of generosity. His young age did not hinder him to serve the Lord and in humility he accepted all the bites of the mission.
Our Christian life is like a battle; we fight against the snares of the devil, the Blessed Mother is the commander-in–chief, the angels are our co-combatant spearheaded by St. Michael and the Lord Jesus the supreme king. To be a “good soldier” is to be in touched with the heavenly host that is to be in the state of grace by the means of frequenting the sacraments which St. Pedro Calungsod never missed. We should flee from the noose of the devil, the influence of the world and the enticement of the flesh if we want to be a “good soldier of Christ” for “No one serving in the military gets mixed up in civilian matters, for his aim is to please his commanding officer.” (2 Tim. 2:4).
By Crisanto Ma. Camacho (KNMC)