Spirituality for Combat

a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

Spirituality for Combat: A Reflection

Spirituality is characterized
as being unseen, on a higher plane,
removed from the ordinary to that
which we call the supernatural.

Combat sounds active, offensive - a force
a fight, a struggle, an encounter, a conflict
with its motive to win, it connotes
destructiveness - a violence by the defeat
of the other, or to some extent,
an injury of the winner over a triumph.

A combat with its element of destructiveness
must be grounded on spirituality, the power,
the unseen inexhaustible source of power
which should come from beyond- transcendent,
infinite, we call God- the above us-
who wills for the wholeness of all,
that of humanity and the rest of creation,
over and against cultural prejudices,
classification of ideologies, brands of securities
as waged against by the the healing Christ.

Spirituality can mean within us --
the "ruah", the wind of God, the breath
of God into our lives offered and accepted.
It makes the inward foundation within us
that wields to focus on priorities--the higher
goal in life, the higher cause and reason,
and towards that end, to a solid commitment--
like the single-eyed Christ
towards the Kingdom of God.

A combat assumes a remarkable role
for it springs out from an inward being,
not a puff of wind, lost and gone, or a shrub
easily bent or pulled out but from a spirituality
which is grounded rock from which issues
fresh water for clearing and cleansing.

A combat is a water current with a rhythm
with its own rising and ebbing
which cannot be blindly one-sided or neutral.
It goes to reflect, to analyze, to criticize
as an armor for equipping.
And as the wind and the rock of God are set within, it is a spirituality in an authentic combat
which cannot excuse the participant
from clearing and cleansing
of the self-limitations
and even from one`s own self distortions
like the Christ who made the little children
the symbols of the newness of life.

But spirituality assumes its fullness only
in relation to surrounding realities in history.
Grounded on the power beyond,
sowed in the inward being of man and woman,
spirituality assumes its shape only
upon its response to a combat -
to seek to heal
to unify
to reconcile
like in the Crucified Christ.

For a combat is a process for change--
a seed to a plant,
a cell to life,
a death to life-
an active force
for Christlike transformation
of all that debase humanity
and the rest of God`s creation.
Such a combat is the ultimate end of spirituality.

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