The Catholic Defender: Look At The Man in the Mirror
Hebrews 2:1 states, "Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it". The Catholic faith offers a great opportunity to reflect on ourselves and to be honest about our faith. Are we growing in the Faith or are we slipping? The world seems to be constantly tugging at you to get your eyes off the mark. Hebrews 2:2 continues, "For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" How shall we escape the coming judgment if we do not take the Faith seriously? I know that the pressures of life can be a challenge. We got to pay the bills, we got all the problems to solve. Seems like there is always a storm around us. I love what Hebrews 2:8 continues to say, "Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one."
Through Jesus suffering, we are enjoined with him through our own suffering. But with this suffering, the Lord sanctifies us in him. So my encouragement to you is to embrace the grace the Lord offers you for your own sanctification. In doing so, you will find joy and peace in the midst of the swirling sea. Look at the mirror and see the one whom the Lord has called. When you go to Mass, you offer up your whole being as Jesus comes to you in the Eucharist.
St. Thomas More said, "I am the King's good servant, and God' first". That should be the position of every Catholic. The political climate at any time can change in a heart beat. Jesus said, "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:10-11).
Who would have thought 30 years ago in the United States of America, the land of the free and the brave, that we would see the attack upon the people of faith sponsored by the Government? St. Thomas More was a friend of King Henry VIII, one of the most respected men in England. Yet, because of the political will and the environment, things changed rapidly with the winds of rebellion. St. Thomas More was elevated to "Lord Chancellor" of England but he could not shake off his faith as many have done. Jesus said, "Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, THEY will also persecute you. If THEY kept my word, THEY will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me." (John 16:20-21). Have you ever thought about who the "they" are who Jesus was referring too? They are the ones who have opposed the Catholic Church through all time. Consider what Jesus said, "If they kept my word, they will also keep yours", when Governments turn to self for it's own authority, they turn to themselves and they in effect, become the "they" Jesus warns about. Jesus also said, "Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16).
Today, we see a systematic turning away from our Christian roots, from our national traditions. The acceptance of hedonism, homosexuality, immorality of all kinds, we see the family falling apart. Jesus Can't be more clear on what he is saying, yet, we have this warning coming from the Virgin Mary: "If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and we shall have peace. The war (WWI) is coming to an end; but it does not cease to offend the Lord, and another, more terrible one (WWII) will break out. When you see a night lit up by an unknown light, you will know that it the great sign that God gives you of the next punishment of the sins of the world with war, famine, and persecution against the Church and against the Holy Father. In order to prevent this, I have some to intercede for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of the first Sabbaths. If you carry out my demands, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. Otherwise the errors will be spread around the world, provoking war and persecution against the Church; many good people will become martyrs, the Holy Father will suffer much; many nations will be suppressed... But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia for me, which will be converted and the world will be granted a period of peace..." When Mother Mary said this on July 13th, 1917, this was just months before the Bolshevik Revolution. With the advance of the Bolshevik Revolution came the motto, "All power to the soviets" which began an immediate persecution of the Catholic Church.
Consider what originally took place that brought down the Czars? There was unrest due to war, do to internal uprisings, it is interesting that there was a women's movement defending women workers that forced the Government to call in the military. The women were persuasive as they were able to get the Soldiers to put down their guns. This would not last long as the persecution of the Church would soon take off throughout Europe. In 1926, the Socialist, Marxist, Communist took root in the Mexican Parliament and the Government earned the nicknamed "Bolshevik" because of the on coming persecution of the Church. This persecution of the Church was indeed inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution who spread their errors even to Mexico. My Wife and I went to see the movie "For Greater Glory" and I was left fighting back tears because of what was happening to the Faithful there. I had known of some of the martyrs there, some of the Priests, but I was totally unaware of the extent of how terrible this was. How could this happen? Can this happen again, here in the United States? Where do you stand when the Obama Administration begins their attack upon the Catholic Faith?
I am mindful of 1 Thessalonians 5:3, "When the people are saying, 'Peace and security,' then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape". We need to pray for America, pray for the Catholic Church in America, pray for the Lord's continued blessings upon our land. Like St. Thomas More, so long ago, may we take a stand for Christ. As an American, I have always been patriotic, we are "flag wavers", because of our right to worship God in freedom. I served 26 years in the Army and I am proud of what I have done for my Country. We do not have to go the road of the Bolshevk's, the Socialists, the Marxists, the Secularist's who have had a century of bloodshed as forewarned by Our Lady of Fatima. We do not have to go down the road of violence, we have the power to vote and correct ourselves. St. Paul wrote, "Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, 'In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you'. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).
The Lord says, "and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). To be "God's Servant First" must be our motto, I do not want to be part of the "THEY" whom our Lord warns about in John 16:20-21! After watching this movie, "For Greater Glory" I have not stopped tearing about it and recognizing the importance of Pope John Paul's visit to Mexico in 1979, the importance this still plays today and each day unfolds. Where are you in this story? Do we see the man in the mirror to make a difference? The following song was performed at an outdoor concert at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Oak Grove KY. It was an all day event which was attended by thousands of people. This was also the day that the great Rich Mullins, A Catholic Convert, died in a tragic car accident. He was on his way to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.