Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Trench Warfare

"One particular dream had the greatest impact on me. After a major debate in the room where I took on a number of those attacking the Catholic Church, I went to bed troubled.

I slept hard, but I dreamed that God's Church, the Catholic Church, was dead. I felt such despair, and sadness I began to cry. I felt that the Church was in ruins and that Christ was sheding tears for His Body, the Church.

I never felt such anguish, I cried so much that I woke up out of my sleep totally wet from crying. My pillow, the bed, and the blankets were all wet.

I sat up as it took me a couple of minutes to realize it was a dream. I recalled my Confirmation that took place in Blue Springs Mo on September 23, 1968 by Bishop Sullivan.

I renewed my vows and told the Lord that I will be a soldier for Him. I will not betray Him and leave the Church even when people around me do. I will do my best to remain loyal and stand for Him. A promise that I have tried to keep since 1978".

Since that time I have been graced to have witnessed thousands of conversions. I use to love to read the "Catholic Digest" because it showcased conversion stories.

I think that had a lot on influence on me. I have always felt inspired by the testimonies of those who converted to the Catholic Faith. In the beginning, I was willing to discuss the faith anywhere at anytime. I would have Protestant Ministers come to my home wanting to debate me.

I quickly discovered that there was a huge difference among the Protestant groups, but yet, their attacks on the Catholic faith was what united them. Once I began to discover some of the more popular groups, I began to get a handle on the discussion.

Even now, most Protestants shy away from revealing who they represent because compared to the Catholic Faith, they are very young. I always thought it was wild when a church community would celebrate their 50 or 100 year anniversary. Every Pentecost, the Catholic Faith celebrates her anniversary, we are now 1979 years old.

Since the 1980's the Catholic Church has been recieving some very notable Conversions, one of the most important being Scott Hahn and his wife Kimberly. They have been a great inspiration for me. Tim Staples, Marcus Grodi, and Steve Ray are a very short list converting to the Catholic Faith.

I am so thanbkful that I have been involved in apologetics and watch this movement to the Catholic Faith continue to grow. When I enlisted in to the United States Army, my faith was front and center. In Basic Training, I was given the nickname "Padre" by my Platoon. I was always encouraging people to go to Mass on Sunday.

I became a Eucharistic Minister as early as 1985 when I was stationed at Ft. Stewart Georgia. When we deployed to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, I was commissioned by the Archdiocese to conduct Catholic Communion services. That was an honor I would do until 2007 when the Archdioces of the Military changed their policy on Lay Eucharistic Ministers.

This last deployment to Iraq, I was commissioned by the Archdiocese of the Military to conduct lay liturgy of the Word services. We could lead a service without Communion. I was stationed in Germany, Korea, deployed to Iraq, I have always been involved with the RCIA. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have played such a part serving our Country and the Church.

For many, I was the only church they might see. Alot of them would never have thought to go see a Chaplain, but because of the many discussions, many did go see the Chaplain. This is my encouragement to you. Here at deepertruth, we hope that many will take up their faith and defend it. St Jude writes, "Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints."

We are to take a stand for the Faith, and today, we must because the attack on the Faith is strong. Secularism is running out of control which is weakening the Church. Young people are at risk, our schools are teaching them atheistic philosophy and immorality is everywhere. Those of us in the trenches are fighting on the frontline.

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