Friday, May 31, 2013

*BEST OF DTB #22* The Catholic Defender tackles "The Five Solas"

The Five Solas are:
1. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)

2. Sola Fide (faith alone)

3. Sola Gratia (grace alone)

4. Sola Christus (Christ alone)

5. Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone)

All of the above were the rallying cry of Protestantism during the time of the Reformation.

Since then they have mutated and adapted to different varying forms of Protestantism, but this is the basic tenant of what these "Five Solas" are founded. Let's take a look at these Solas one at a time.

Sola Scriptura:

Sola scriptura is the basline belief that the bible is the only authority and inspiration of God's word. No doctrines are accepted without the Bible's definition or foundation. From the Catholic response to this, all doctrines are either explicitly or implicitly found in the bible. But it is deeper than that.

The Protestants were rejecting the Catholic authority directly opposing the Papacy, redefining the Sacraments even calling them "ordinances" thus denying their relevance. When looking at the history of God's people, Sola scriptura did not exist either in the Old Testament nor the Apostolic Tradition.

The Old Testament and the Jewish history verify the Catholic position perfectly, namely; Scripture has always required an interpreter. From Moses to Pope Francis, God's people have always held an office of "teacher". That is what the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is, the office of "Teacher".

The Jewish oral law is very simular to Catholic development of dogma and historical growth. The Jewish oral teaching was stored in the "Mishnah" that became the baseline for the "Halakhuh" (legal teaching). This was practical due to the Palestinian and Babylonian talmuds:

"The Talmud (התלמוד) is considered an authoritative record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish laws, ethics, customs, legends and stories. It expands on the earlier writings in the Torah and Mishnah, and is the basis for all later codes of Jewish law). The Talmud is a combination of a core text, the Mishnah and a later commentary, called the gemara ("completion"). There is only one Mishnah, but there are two distinct gemaras, the Yerushalmi and the Bavli. Both gemaras were developed by many rabbis over a few centuries."

The "Halakhuh" for the Jewish tradition is comparable to the Canon Laws for Catholic Authority and tradition. So the Old Testament analogy is closely in line with Catholic traditions and foundations. The Catholic Church is based from Scripture. Consider how the Old Testament books were processed in time.

The Torah was written by Moses, prior to Moses, the Genesis story was maintained through oral tradition. The "Pentateuch", the "Torah" are the first five books of Jewish and Christian scriptures, these books were gathered 500 years after King David. During this time, God moved through the authority of Moses, the Priesthood of Levi, the judges, the prophets, and the Kings. In comparison, the Catholic Faith was founded by Christ, His Apostles, the Priesthood of Christ.

It took nearly 370 years before the Catholic Church finalized the New Testament Canon of Scripture (393-396 Council of Hippo). Tradition played a major role in handing down truth through all generations. St. Paul states (2 Thessalonians 2:15), "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter".

St. Paul also wrote St. Timothy (2 Timothy 1:13-14), "Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us".

This primarily had to be carry out orally as it would take the Church nearly 400 years to comprise the New Testament. The Holy Spirit was imparted to the Catholic Church on Pentecost, which by the Time St. Paul wrote this letter, would have been about 40 years. Taking a look at Jewish Tradition, Christ and His Apostles recognized the Jewish oral tradition raising some of it literally to the level of written revelation. Here are some examples:

Matthew 2:23 says, "and he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene". This prophecy was passed down orally rather than from scripture. It is not in the Old Testament.

Matthew 23:2-3 says, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice". The seat of Moses is not found in the Old Testament, but it is found in the "Mishna". This is clearly the teaching succession from Moses on down. Christians today have "Apostolic Succession" which is the legitimate authority of Christ passed down through the Catholic Church.

1 Corinthians 10:4 says, "...and all drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ". The movement of the "Rock" is not found in the Old Testament, it is through Jewish tradition that St. Paul was speaking from making his point.

1 Peter 3:19 says, " which he went and preached to the spirits in prison". St. Peter is describing Christ's journey to "sheol" (prison) is not in the Old Testament writing, it is taken from the Jewish apocalyptic book 1 Enoch (12-16).

Jude 9 says, "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgement upon him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you". The issue of the body of Moses is not found in the Old Testament.

Jude 14-15 says, "It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, 'behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgement on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him". This is not in the Old Testament, but refers to 1 Enoch 1:9.

There are more, but I wanted to show that the new Testament writings literally placed into writing Old Testament traditions not found in the (OT) Scriptures. These were placed to the order of divine scripture.

Sola Scriptura cannot and did not have a place in any God's teaching authority. The Jewish authority was centered from Moses, the "lawgiverLevitical Priesthood carried down the "ordinances" of the Lord which were a "type" of the New Testament authority.", David, the household of David's kingship and Elijah, the prophets. The

Jesus fulfills Moses, David, and Elijah as He is the Priest, Prophet, and King. The Priesthood of Christ carries the Sacraments of grace centered in a new Covenant.

One last case against Sola scriptura, coming from the biblical text itself:

2 Peter 1:18-20 says, "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God".

2 Peter 3:14-17 says, "Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this, as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability". This is exactly what "lawless men did in creating these "Five Solas".

Martin Luther, the founder and "Father" of Protestantism, refereed to Sola Fide as the doctrine that the Church stood or fell. Since he placed such importance on this and contemporary Protestants continue Sola Fide's belief system, let's take a look at it.

Sola Fide

Protestants declare we are 'being declared right by God", and they assume this means salvation. Faith is the means by which we are justified by God. Martin Luther once said "sin valiantly, but believe more valiantly", this is not exactly what the scriptures or the tradition of the Church.

Galations 5:21 St. Paul warns, "I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things (sin) shall not inherit the kingdom of God". St. Paul exposes Luther's example above as what "lawless men" have processed in the doctrine of Sola Fide. Taking a look at the scripture, what does it say referring to "faith alone"?

Martin Luther referred to the book of James in the New Testament as a "gospel of straw", that James had "no backbone" because it differed from Luther's "Sola Fide" doctrine. James wrote, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone".

Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus clearly states, "out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels... As often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me. These will go off to eternal punishment and the just to eternal life".

As important as faith is, Jesus doesn't speak to that issue, He is speaking of works that He fully expects His people to conduct. The Lord hears the cry of the poor, we become His hands when we seek to do His will! The real issue is the Protestants rejection of the Sacraments and the work that God does through them. The Sacraments could not be "life saving" or "necessary" because they would be the products of "works"!

Philippians 2:16 states, "As I look to the day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose. Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation, over the sacrificial service of your faith. I am glad of it and rejoice with you".

St. Paul also says (Philippians 2:12), "So then, my dearly beloved, obedient as always to my urgings, work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation..."

I've made this point before, if you are studying for a test and the teacher during review stomps his foot or pounds his hands on the desk to insure you get the point, what should you do? You should take note of the essential information! Well, what does God tell us about Judgement? Our finals, the test we should all want to pass!

Jesus states, "But he who ACTS in the truth comes into the light, to make clear that his DEEDS are done in God (John 3:21)". Romans 2:5 states, "In spite of this, your hard and impenitent heart is storing up retribution for that day of wrath when the just judgement of God will be revealed, when He will repay every man for what he has DONE..."

1 Peter 1:17 says, "In prayer you call upon the Father who judges each one justly on the basis of his ACTIONS. Since this is so, conduct yourselves, reverently during this sojourn in a strange land". Hebrews 13:21 states, "Furnish you with all that is good, THAT YOU MAY DO HIS WILL. Though Jesus Christ may carry out in you all that is pleasing to Him. To Christ be the glory forever! Amen."

Revelation 22:12 states, "Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his CONDUCT DESERVES." John 3:36 says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever DISOBEYS the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him (Romans 5:9)".Scripture after scripture tells us we will be held accountable to our deeds. We must do the will of the Father! If you KEEP His Commandments, you SHOW you love Him! The Catholic Church recognize that we must be obedient in faith. The skull has what we call "infused joints" that keeps our brain protected and intact. We need each part for it to function properly. Likewise, faith and good works are infused, both are essential. Jesus tells us to "store up heavenly treasure that no one can steal".

Our faith must produce fruit! Don't take your faith and bury it in the backyard (Matthew 25:24-28). Faith is a gift! Good works are the product of our response to that gift. Salvation is not earned so that we can punch our own ticket, but good works that pleases God and are God ordained makes that ticket complete. "The harvest is plenty but the workers are few"!

Sola Gratia

The Protestants development of this new gospel says that grace is always 'efficacious" without the cooperation of man. That salvation comes by God's grace alone. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--not because of works, lest any man should boast".

Grace is a free gift of God not merited by man. The Catholic Church maintains that a person must "cooperate" and accept the free gift from God. Grace and faith must be nurtured, fed or it will die. To live in sin is to live in bondage. That is in essence, throwing God's gift right back at him. We should never place our selves in that position, but the Lord is forgiving and merciful. That to is grace from God!

Continuing with Ephesians 2, when you get to verse 10, it says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them". Again, we must "cooperate" and accept this free gift and nurture it with love, with devotion, with the Sacraments which God imputes grace, He showers His grace upon us. The Protestants use their theology of Sola gratia as a way to show the Sacraments are not necessary.

Solus Christus

Catholic and Protestants can agree who Jesus is, but there is major disagreement over Christ's teaching and authority. The basic question is: "Is the Catholic Church the one true Faith founded by Christ, commissioned by Christ and sent by Christ to go to all the nations with the true Gospel or are the Protestants correct in rebelling against it? It all boils down to that!

Through Christ establishing the Catholic Faith, all the systems of the Faith, the Sacraments, the liturgies, the Scriptures, the traditions, are governed by an authority Christ gives the Church. Protestants will challenge you why you need to go to a priest when you can go to Christ "alone".

They fail to realize that it is in obedience to Christ that we go to "Confession"or "The anointing of the Sick"! Christ established the Papacy giving us a visible head, a chief steward in holding fast to the "Deposit of Faith" entrusted by Our Lord to His Apostles.

This includes Mother Mary and the Saints as well. Jesus is the mediator between God and man and it is through this mediation that the Saints in heaven can pray for us here on earth. Mary is not competing with Jesus, she is leading people to Him! The Saints are not declared 'god's', they are given for us as role models, the Catholic 'Hall of Fame" as their lives point the way to Jesus.

Tom T. Hall, a Country singer, use to sing, "Me and Jesus have our own thing going, me and Jesus, got it all worked out". That is not the Church of the New Testament.

Soli Deo gloria

1 Corinthians 2:9 says, But as it is written, 'what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man concieved, what God has prepared for those who love him". Rich Mullins, in his journey to the Catholic Faith recognized that his Protestant foundations were beginning to crack when he discovered that the Catholic Church did not overrate the Saints. He recognized that his upbringing did underrate the Saints and this was a revelation to him. Jesus is the king of Kings and Lord of Lords and there is none besides him. Yet, he offers us a crown of immortality forever with him in His Father's house. When we honor Mary, the Saint's we are really honoring God!

In closing, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses marked with the sign of faith who are praying for us, pulling for us, loving us as they intercede for us. "Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith..."

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Justification Through Rationalization

The other day I was continuing my inprocessing at Texas A&M for the upcoming Summer semester when I struck up a conversation with one of the security guards.

He looked familiar to me and I realized he was one of our ushers at the 10:15 Mass.

I had not seen him for a while and I learned that he was no longer a practicing Catholic but was going to a nearby Protestant Non-denomination church.

I wanted to inquire why he was not going to Mass, but he was very elusive. He could not respond to my questions.

The only response he was able to give is that people are different and the only thing important  is Jesus.

This is the mindset of someone who justifies their exodus because of their own rational thinking.  This is spiritually very dangerous.

Missing Mass is a sin before a person rebels and it is still a sin after a person rebels. Confession is not really an option, we are not given the 10 Commandments simply as the 10 suggestions.

How easy it is for people to rationalize their sin as to justify their sin. The bible does not teach that we can believe as we want to in following the Lord.

We have to do His will! I was very surprised of his disregard for the truth. It mattered not to him the importance of following Jesus in His Church versus following someone's interpretation of Jesus.

The disregard of the 2,000 year history of the Saints means nothing to the one making their justification through rationalization.

Consider what Jesus warns: "On another occasion he began to teach by the sea.  A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.  And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.  And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them,

Hear this! A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some fell on a path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.  It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.  And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.  Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain."

See the warning on the wall? Jesus warns, "Whoever has ears ought to hear".  There is no room for the children of God to follow after other rabbit trails.  To justify yourself for leaving the Church using your own rational is spiritual suicide.  This is classic "moral relativism" when we follow the least line of resistance.

St. Paul writes to St. Timothy saying (2 Timothy 4:1-3), "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching"

What St. Paul is saying is very clear! There is no space or place for "moral relativism", for the "justification through rationalization".  St. Paul continues, "For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but follow their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be delivered to myths".

Let me clarify and break this down further.  The Security Guard in question is proclaiming, justifying himself on the foundation that all people are different and the only thing important is Jesus.  Do we see this in St. Paul's writings? Do we see this coming from Jesus? No, not at all, but just the opposite.

The Catholic Faith was founded by Jesus Christ personally, it is from Jesus that the Catholic Church has any authority.

To deny this is to deny Jesus Himself.  Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18-19), that He would remain with His Church until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Jesus secures this promise with the evidence and power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:25, Acts 2:1-13)

Luke 10:16 is very clear, "Whoever rejects you rejects me.  And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

By rejecting the Catholic Faith, the Security Guard is ultimately rejecting Christ.  Can we see this in scripture as well? Consider St. Paul writing to the Galatians (Gal 1:6-9), "I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel (not that there is another).  But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even is we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed".

St. John writes, "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the anti-christ was coming, so now many anti-christs have appeared.  Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us.  There desertion shows that none of them was of our number" (1 John 2:18-20).

This agrees totally with St. Paul writing to Timothy, "Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences" (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

This is very clear, if anyone comes to you proclaiming to know Christ but is preaching a different gospel, we are to stand firm in our faith.  St. Peter writes (1 Peter 3:15-16), "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame".

Anyone who has dealt with anti-Catholics can certainly understand what it is to be attacked with false and maligned intentions.  Do you see anywhere in the scriptures any hint to justify yourself through your rational?  St. Jude writes, "But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit".  I encourage you to read the whole text of St. Jude, consider this, "Beloved, although I was making every effort to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones.  For there have been intruders, who long ago were designated for this condemnation, godless persons, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ".

To the Security Guard and all those who have fallen from the Catholic Faith to follow doctrines of men, if your not following what I'm sharing here, let me make this clear:

Jesus Said (John 6:53) "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you".  If you choose to deny the Eucharist and the Catholic Teaching then you have no life in you.  Your like the crowd who walked away.

Jesus said (John 20:23) "Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained".  If you choose to deny the Ministry of Reconciliation and refuse to go to Confession then your sin remains.  It is a mortal sin to miss Mass through your own fault.  This is true before you fell into apostasy, and it is still true afterwards.

Jesus said (John 21:17) "He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, Do you love me? Jesus said Feed my sheep".  If you choose to seek another flock, another shepherd, if you reject the Catholic Faith, you place yourself in great spiritual danger.

St. Paul writes, "But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).  If you choose to abandon the Church of the living God, your not standing on truth or the pillar and foundation of God's truth.

St. James writes, "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).  If you choose to seek truth outside the Catholic Faith, you have abandoned Christ for the doctrine of demons.

From anything in scripture can we justify ourselves through our own rationalization.  That is "moral relativism" to the max.

Jesus said (John 18:37), "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice".  If you choose to challenge the Truth of Christ, you become like Pontius Pilate asking, "What is truth"? There are many voices who will give you their interpretations and foundations.  These are rabbit trails.

Catholics, we are "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone" (Ephesians 2:20).  If you choose to follow any other foundation, you are placing yourself in deep spiritual danger.

Let us not be caught "lukewarm" about our holy Faith or you just might find yourself justifying why you are not practicing your Catholic Faith.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Catholic Defender: The Marines Landed

(Editors note) Please read with interest.  I for one, did not know this!

Our military, Did anyone know this?

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that happened right after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children,including infants who were in heavy cribs.

The daycare supervisor,looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panicover what they could do.

There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.

There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and
strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and
asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was
trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The
director thought, "Well, here we are, on our own."

About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in
tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started
gathering up toddlers.

The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park
near the Potomac.

Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing - they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West.

Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off.

Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.

The chaplain then said, "I don't think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there."

There wasn't a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.

It's the Military, not the politicians, that ensures our right to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and
appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and are currently serving our country, and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Remember: Freedom isn't free--
It costs a great deal!!

In honor of my two Brothers proud Marines:

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Tour Of Duty

Today, I was watching an old episode of "Tour of Duty" that really brought back some memories to me.

In this episode, one of the stars was about to ETS out of the Army and was preparing to go home to the United States.

In the end, he would re-enlist and thereby rejoin his unit.

 I couldn't help but think back to my guys, most of them re-enlisted while still in Iraq.

I lost only a hand full of Soldiers due to leaving the Army.

I did much to encourage them to stay in the Army and to continue to perform at a high professional rate.

I am proud of the accomplishments that our Platoon accomplished as we were held highly by the Division, Brigade, down to the Battalion.

It was great to go back into time and relive those days and think about my troops. Many of them have advanced in the Army doing great things.

Combat can be very stressful as everyday can be your last. It is hazardous even to those who stay on the JSS (Joint Security Station).

When the enemy wants to download mortars inside your sector that can be very alarming. We saved a lot of lives, the wounded, as well as through preventive medicine.  This helped kept the fighting force on the field of operation. 

The Battle Focus was always front and center, for every Soldier we were able to save through our direct action,
there was a family waiting for them back home.

As Catholics, we are also on a "Tour of duty" as we are on point. There are many walking wounded among us. There are many suffering from Battle Fatigue. What do you do when you know someone is wanting to "tap" out, to give up?

It is important to be able to diagnose this early, to see and understand combat stress, to know when someone is "shell shocked". The first spiritual condition is knowing if their was a Father and Mother both strong in the practice of their faith. If they have been on the ready with their children, preparing them for the spiritual battles that lay ahead, that is most important.

It is also important that young people be given the firm foundation that prepares them for the battle of life. Talk about a "Tour of duty", that is tough, peer pressure is very difficult for parents to combat, especially when both parents work.

It is important to offer good training, have good friends, good family activities. It is also important to be faithful in going to Mass. To pray together as a family unit. That is the best weapon to fight trench warfare in protecting the family from the influences of sin.

Trench warfare might seem rather radical but it is a good expression of what is happening in the "real" world. Demons are at work attempting to penetrate a families defenses. They will continuously and tirelessly take the fight to you. You can never really let your guard down. The moment you do evil is hitting you like a chicken on a June bug.

The stats show that Children hold on to the Faith when both parents are living and standing up for the faith. Consider what the Lord told St. Faustine concerning the Divine Mercy Devotion:

"Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen."

How tragic it is when a child is not given any kind of foundation? To never give children the foundation of faith? Many are given a poor image of God the Father because their earthly Fathers did not or were not there to teach them about the truth of God.

This is the major battle ground today as the family has been under attack for a long time.  The family unit has been taken for granted by a hostile force trying to eradicate Christianity.

This is a most important "Tour of duty" because we are seeing casualties of war everywhere.  Addictions of all kind are at epidemic numbers.

Pornography and Abortion are multi-billion dollar industries, gay marriage is picking up steam as the liberal Government seek to change America.  The legalization of drugs, all these things are having a far reaching impact on society.

This upcoming semester at Texas A&M, I am taking a class "Sociology of Sexuality" and I look forward to defending the Catholic position on human sexuality.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are the most common illness next to the common cold and flu.  That is incredible.  Something like 33,000 people a day are being diagnosed with an STD.

This is spiritual warfare to the max, we are in a fight for the future of America, will we fall from within because we did nothing to stop the rising tide of evil?

To be a true Catholic today, you have to be ready to embrace this "Tour of duty" because we must be equal to the task given.  The Saints expressed their hopes to see and witness these times we are in.

This is our time, our opportunity to serve God.  It is time to accept this cross today to save a generation and lead many to salvation.  This includes family, lets not wait until they are teenagers to think about it, we need to get back to the basics! Defend Life!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Memorial Day Celebration

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country.

Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son they may share in the joy of Your heavenly kingdom and rejoice in You with Your saints forever.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

A good reminder from one of our Facebook Friends (Dawn Sansonetti)

Please remember not to wish us a "Happy Memorial Day" as today is not about that.

It's not about honoring or thanking my husband or sons who have served their country. They will be thanked and honored on Veteran's Day.

It's about remembering people like CPL Ken Hess who died in my son's place in Iraq. His mother took the knock that should have been mine.

It's about friends of ours like Andy Weiss and Mike Crockett who left behind wives and children while paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Please remember that this is MEMORIAL Day....not National BBQ Day. Please remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for YOU and ALL Americans.

This Memorial Day Celebration began with Holy Mass at 8:00 in the morning.

This is a great opportunity to offer prayer for our loved ones.

This is a great American day of remembrance and all throughout the Nation, people will be doing all kinds of things.

St. Paul writes, "You know that everyone in Asia deserted me, including Phygeius and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart and was not ashamed of my chains. But when he came to Rome, he promptly searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know very well the services he rendered in Ephesus" (2 Timothy 1:15-18).

As St. Paul before us, we too can ask the Lord to grant mercy to our loved ones and friends who were so important to us.

This is our hope.

 St Paul writes, "Greetings, Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior, to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior". (Titus 1:1-4)

General John Logan, the commander of the "Grand Army of the Republic", proclaimed The Memorial Day Holiday on 5 May 1868.

In his General Order No. 11, the original practice and observance (first observed on 30 May 1868) of placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

What a great opportunity to hold fast to American traditions that are wholesome!

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance.

Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. 

No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Memorial Day Song

"We must remember that many who served in our military never lived to be called veterans. We must remember many had their lives changed forever by experiences or the injuries of combat. All veterans are examples of service and citizenship for every American to remember and to follow." -- President George W. Bush, Oct. 30, 2001

deepertruth wants to pray everyone traveling this weekend a safe and peaceful Memorial Day celebration.

We have been greatly blessed by God so let us give thanks and praise for all the good things he has given us.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Company Manners

You all know the story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, from the Bible. Jesus comes to visit and Mary sits at His feet to learn while Martha serves the guests. Martha gripes to Jesus about her sister and asks Him to tell Mary to get up and help. Jesus rebukes Martha about all her worries. (Pssst...from firsthand experience I can tell you, it's a trust and control issue she's got going on there.)

Because of this story we have named the confused fretfulness that sets in before company arrives as Martha Syndrome. Though some Martha Syndromes have been known to persist through dessert, it usually is sublimated into what's known as Company Manners at the arrival of the first guest.

Pre-party Martha Syndrome

The guest have arrived!
Transformation complete!
Company Manners are those special manners we only use when people are over that we want to impress. We smile more, we certainly don't yell at the kids, and we tend to other people's needs quickly and graciously.

I hate Martha. She shows up and tries to ruin every party, but I'll tolerate her so that my family and I can enjoy the fruits of company and of Company Manners.

My in-laws were out visiting from Virginia for over a week and we kept our Company Manners up the entire time. It was amazing how smoothly everything went. There were no squabbles over chores, no fights among the siblings, no clamoring for attention. It was as if the house ran itself.

It made me wonder if most of my problems in keeping the family functioning were due to my everyday manners, the not-so-special ones I pull out only in front of my family. You know, the manners that allow a bit of impatience to show when a needy family member interrupts me. The set of manners that allows mom to yell, "THERE WILL BE NO MORE YELLING IN THIS HOUSE!!"

If I know that a big part of the reason I enjoy company so much is the Company Manners, if I love the check on everyone's behavior that comes from having company, and if having a beloved guest brings out the best in me, why, oh why won't I treat Christ as my beloved guest every day? He is here, watching every little fall and stumble from grace. I have personally invited Him into my life and yet, while He's here, I treat my family (His very children), as if He weren't even there. Christ and my family deserve my Company Manners every day.

Would you please pray for me that I treat Him at least as well as I treat my Mother-in-Law?


This has been a Wifey Wednesday post. For an even more Wifey Wednesday click on over to To Love Honor and Vacuum!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

*BEST OF DTB #189* The Catholic Defender: Pentecost

Pentecost, the Greek name for "Fiftieth Day"! It takes place 50 days from Easter! In Hebrew,(חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot known as "the Feast of Weeks." Pentecost also marks the 1980th birthday of the Catholic Faith. Some might say Ascension Thursday is the birth of the Papacy, regardless, this is when we were sent out by the coming of the Holy Spirit!

This was the event the Lord called for his Apostles and disciples to wait in Jerusalem. This was the event that would change the world forever.

In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was shown through powerful signs and wonders among the Israelites.

"So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.
Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses aide, said, "Moses, my lord, stop them". But Moses answered him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets? Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all"(Numbers 11:24-29)!

Think of what Moses just said, "Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all"? The Lord had this in mind all along. This was why Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait upon the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

This would become the first Novena of the Catholic Church as they awaited for the glory of the Lord. Unlike the Old Testament when the Spirit of God would come upon the Lord's people through His Ministers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit 24/7.

"When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson): the ropes around his arms became as flax that is consumed by fire and his bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Samson cried out to the Lord, "You have granted this great victory by the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst or fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Then God split the cavity in Lehi, and water issued from it, which Samson drank till his spirit returned and revived" (Judges 15:14-19).

The New Testament, Jesus states, "I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name--he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you"(John 14:25-26).

John 16:13 Jesus says, "But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you".

Jesus Said he would build his Church and the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus through his Catholic Church.

The Holy Spirit declares the truth to the people of God. This is important because many false prophets have come and they give the Holy Spirit credit for their interpretations and opinions. That is dangerous and the Catholic believer must be aware of this.

With Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord), we have seen the glory of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Disciples along with Mother Mary, in the form of tongues of fire.

The Holy Spirit filled them all as they spoke in different tongues to the people. As the Holy Spirit scattered the people building the Tower of Babel with diverse languages (Genesis 11:7-9), the Lord was bringing the people to the Church through languages (Acts 2:5-12).

With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the Catholic Church is enabled by the Lord to accomplish his will to take the gospel to all the nations. Praise the name of the Lord! Veni Creator Spiritus!

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