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 found myself in a church that was in ruins, that the Sanctuary was in ruins and that Christ on the cross was shedding 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 1985 years old.
Since the 1980's the Catholic Church has been receiving 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. A lot 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 front-line.
We are to put on the whole Armour of God like never before:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ; not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Masters, do the same to them, and forbear threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Now that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying.