Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Making A Difference

Have you heard someone say something to the effect that their vote does not count, or someone say that they can't make a differnce?

I have some friends of mine who would tell you differently.

One person who made a difference was St. Abran who was raised in Ireland in the 6th century. When his family packed up and moved to Brittany, he would cling to holiness and charity living the life as a hermit. Because of his example and testimony, all of St. Abran's brothers and sisters are regarded as Saints. St. Abran made a difference that was felt by the people around him.

St. Victor Maurus was born in the second century at a time when the Catholic Church was persecuted by the Roman Empire. He was born in Mauretania, modern day Lybia in Northern Africa. He was raised a Christian, but was enlisted in the Roman Army. He served in the Praetorian Guard which was an honor position. Eventually, he would be arrested for his Faith. Even though St. Victor was an older man, the Romans tortured him. St. Victor made a differnce in that he remained steadfast in the Catholic Faith despite severe torture giving his life in 303 A.D. St. Gregory of Tours spoke of the many miracles that took place at St. Victor's grave site which had later become a shrine.

St. Dionysius was one of the ten missionaries Pope St. Sixtus I had sent to Gaul. He was serving as Bishop of Vienne, France when the Pope needed a few good men. St. Dionysius made a difference answering the Lord's call. There are many examples where people made a difference in the face of persecution and the unknown. I like taking a look at the lives of the Saints because they made a difference despite their own limitations.

In our own time I can point to Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, they are fresh on our minds, yet the secular would missed them. This is the struggle to reach out to the lost.

Just as Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa made a difference, we are called to step up to the plate. The only difference is that we are still a work in progress, the Saints in heaven are there. It is our turn to make a difference no matter what that might be.

From the old man that has lived his life in the small town never leaving 50 miles away from the place of his birth to the young man serving his nation fighting on foreign soil, we can all make a difference.

I am reminded of George Baily from the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life". George always longed for going to the City, to Europe, to reach out and lasso the moon, but in the end, he stayed in the small town making a difference.

I have always been an Athlete playing many sports growing up. I was a jack of all trades and a master of none!

St. Sabastion is remembered as the Patron of Athletes and so his story has meant something to me. He was another Roman Soldier who was a Christian. He was clubbed to death after recovering from the Archery fields where he had faced an execution, a firing squad with arrows. St, Sabastion made a difference.

I am also reminded of St. Maria Goretti who placed God above all and paid with her life. She has been the inspiration of millions who hear of her story.

The attack on virtue, sexual purity, chastity, with the onslought of secularism, we need these examples to encourage us to make a difference.

I am encouraged by the many people I know who seek to do God's will today who are making a difference.

Dr. Gregory Thompson who travels to Little Rock Arkansas to try and save babies, John Benko who puts his heart and soul into making this website the best it can be.

My wife Gigi who has worked with and helped thousands of Soldiers and their families working as a nurse.

I can name many here but I want to give examples, every Mother who raises her children trying to lead them to the Faith like my Mother did, for the Fathers who take responibility for their families.

I once organized a march against abortion in the early 1980's when after the march, a 12 year old boy approached me thanking me for the work we are doing because it was this work that saved his life. His Mother was seeking to have an abortion when she ran into a Dr. Gregory Thompson or another warrior out on the street. We all can make a difference by answering the call.

What it takes to really make a difference is to say yes to the Lord. I want to be a Godpleaser, I want to please the Father's heart!

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