The Catholic Defender: Battle Rhythm

Posted by John Benko - September 17th, 2013

In the Army we have a saying that we use to ensure that our troops are prepared daily to handle the constant missions being laid out.

The first thing we would do would be “Stand Too” which before dawn every Soldier would be at their fighting position prepared for an attack.

Once daylight had broken through, only specific guards would maintain vigilance as everyone else would continue on for the day.

The cooks would go to the dining hall, the medics would go to the Aid Station, maintenance would go to the motor pool. Everyone has different areas of responsibilities. All would have to have personal hygiene done before all of this.

I remember what it was like putting cold water on your face to shave in zero degree weather. I was always hardcore like that as I never really took to electric shavers in the field. Platoon Sergeants would go to the First Sergeant’s meeting to get the information and the plans for the next coming days.

We would develop a “Soldiers Book” to keep up with all the Soldiers under your responsibility. They had to be supervised to ensure that not only all missions were met on time as planed, but that they were in the correct uniform and that their equipment is serviceable.

All this is important to get through the day. Once you have everything supported and covered, once everything has been met, you might be able to get some downtime. The Army has really changed in 26 years as today, you will see that just about everyone has a lab top computer that can play movies, use Internet, amazing technology to keep up with the family and world back home.

The Battle Rhythm is an important tool to help each Soldier stay on top of their responsibilities.

Our Faith can be like that as well. Without an established Battle Rhythm, it is easy to pass days without praying or dedicating time with the Lord that we need.

1 Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future”.

It’s good if we can make daily Mass, weekly bible study, rosary and other devotions you can join in on. It’s those individual commitments that can be a challenge.

A Battle Rhythm can help you manage each day to dedicate your commitment to the Lord. It’s important to be prepared for the missions coming up that we support such as the pro-life rally’s, or other issues we are involved in.

Prayer is very important. Daily prayer is personal, how many times do we fail because there just is not enough time in a day?

That has always been a struggle at times especially when I am home because of all the events and obligations I end up participating in.

Sometimes just a change to chill out and watch a good movie or something can take up a lot of time.

This is when a Battle Rhythm can be a tool the Lord can use to help you fulfill your own commitments. Let us not grow lazy in our prayer life, but faithful to our obligations to prayer.

Prayer can be work at times, sometimes we may not feel like it. Do it anyway! You never know what good you offer by doing so! Prayer builds character such as the following example:


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