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The Catholic Defender: This Much

St. John writes, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life" (John 3:16). There is so much to say about this verse. It use to be popular to see "John 3:16" on television watching football games. You could see this sign with John 3:16 on it as you watch the football being kicked through the uprights. Many people have had terrible things happen to them. I ask God to deliver them giving them the healing of memory. People carry terrible memories in their heart making it difficult to forgive. Love can transform the heart, the mind, and the soul. Jesus says, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:13-14). I have seen men die giving their all for their friends and their Country. I have also seen men and women who have held on to the cross to help them through another day. Jesus also said, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25). St. Paul writes, "Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Roman 8:12-13). We must die to self to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Through Baptism and Confirmation, God plants in us the grace necessary for us to enter in upon his rest. Through the Sacraments, God offers his divine life that cleanses us and makes us whole. No matter what you have done, God loves you and invites you to a life with Him. It says in James 5:19-20, "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins". Is there anyone out there that have struggled to forgive because of something that has happened to you in the past? Is there anyone out there who have had trouble forgiving themselves for what you have done? Is there anyone out there who have been angry at God for a loved ones death in the past? Jesus asks us to keep holding on, that he does love you. I ask you all to make the Mass the center of your life. If you have been healed of anything or have had answered prayers, go to Mass and be thankful to Jesus for your grace he has given you.

In a war zone there is no safe place, not even when your surrounded by friendly forces. I was up near our billets in Iraq where our Battalion was placed on the FOB. I was working my way up to our Battalion Head

Quarters when about 10 feet from me a Soldier just began to stagger, I approached her to see if they we alright. It was though there were stung by a wasp or something and I took a look. Swelling was developing behind the right eye. I bandaged it and got a vehicle to take the Soldier to the Battalion Aid Station. Upon taking an X-ray, we discovered that the Soldier was shot and the bullet lodged just behind the eye. We had the Soldier Medivaced to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. From there the Soldier was taken to Walter Reed because this was a serious complication to save the eye.

You never know when you will walk on a situation and have to respond. We must be able to love Our Lord enough to show that love when we come across someone injured by one of life's many storms.

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