Archive for the ‘Suffering’ category

Real men of God endure torture

April 24, 2013

This article contains excerpts from the testimony of Romanian Greek Catholic Bishop Ioan Ploscaru describing some of what he had to endure while imprisoned by the communist government.

Can’t.  Even.  Imagine.

Bp Ioan Ploscaru with JP2


Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

Memorial  day is a day to remember the men and women who were willing to lay down their lives for their countrymen in defending us from enemies foreign and domestic. Here is the story of first lieutenant James H Fields who was awarded the Congressional medal of honor for valor during WWII

Fields’ official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, at Rechicourt, France. On September 27, 1944, during a sharp action with the enemy infantry and tank forces, 1st Lt. Fields personally led his platoon in a counterattack on the enemy position. Although his platoon had been seriously depleted, the zeal and fervor of his leadership was such as to inspire his small force to accomplish their mission in the face of overwhelming enemy opposition. Seeing that 1 of the men had been wounded, he left his slit trench and with complete disregard for his personal safety attended the wounded man and administered first aid. While returning to his slit trench he was seriously wounded by a shell burst, the fragments of which cut through his face and head, tearing his teeth, gums, and nasal passage. Although rendered speechless by his wounds, 1st Lt. Fields refused to be evacuated and continued to lead his platoon by the use of hand signals. On 1 occasion, when 2 enemy machineguns had a portion of his unit under deadly crossfire, he left his hole, wounded as he was, ran to a light machinegun, whose crew had been knocked out, picked up the gun, and fired it from his hip with such deadly accuracy that both the enemy gun positions were silenced. His action so impressed his men that they found new courage to take up the fire fight, increasing their firepower, and exposing themselves more than ever to harass the enemy with additional bazooka and machinegun fire. Only when his objective had been taken and the enemy scattered did 1st Lt. Fields consent to be evacuated to the battalion command post. At this point he refused to move further back until he had explained to his battalion commander by drawing on paper the position of his men and the disposition of the enemy forces. The dauntless and gallant heroism displayed by 1st Lt. Fields were largely responsible for the repulse of the enemy forces and contributed in a large measure to the successful capture of his battalion objective during this action. His eagerness and determination to close with the enemy and to destroy him was an inspiration to the entire command, and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

May Catholic men have the  same courage to protect our families , Church and  country from this present darkness Ephesians 6:12


Lest we forget the misery of our brothers in Somalia

August 21, 2011

Shhh Don’t Tell The ACLU

July 5, 2010


Have you ever noticed on TV or at military funerals that the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times? I’ve known how the 21 gun salute was determined (adding the individual digits of 1776), but only recently learned why the flag was folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the widow at the burial of a veteran.


The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life. 

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust”. After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today. There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have deep meaning. You will see many flags folded in the coming weeks, and now you will know why.

Motivational words for a new year

January 1, 2010

Near the end of the final movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Aragorn discerns the need to distract the Eye of Sauron from Frodo and Sam, in order for them to complete the last stage of their journey up Mount Doom.  He determines that engaging the army of Mordor in battle will provide a diversion which will both distract the Eye of Sauron and keep the forces of Mordor preoccupied and thus unavailable to hinder the efforts of the two Hobbits.  As the multitudinous army of Mordor assembles outside the Black Gate for the battle, it completely encircles Aragorn and his relatively small band of warriors.  In the face of the overwhelming strength of the dark forces, and knowing full well that the sacrifice they are about to make will result in their certain death, Aragorn motivates his followers to courageously engage the enemy with these words:

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

Denominational Santa

December 21, 2009

From Glib and Superficial

I’m troubled by Santa.  I really am.  The zeitgeist tells us that this Thursday evening — Christmas Eve — Santa will emerge from his North Pole Fortress of Solitude, and fly magically about the world, bringing toys and gifts to all the good little boys and girls.  He makes a list, he checks it twice, and he knows who’s naughty, and who’s nice.  “Nice” little girls and boys get nice gifts, while “naughty” ones get . . . coal?  Something like that.  But Santa is all about Christmas, the second most important Christian Holy Day.

Oddly, everyone seems to have pretty much the same idea about Santa, and how he operates.  At the same time, there are a boatload of Christian denominations that can’t agree with each other about a long list of things, from justification to vestments to the propriety of Crucifixes.  And they all disagree with the Catholic Church about something or other.  So if Christianity is not the same thing to all denominations, then why the heck should they agree on Santa? 

Go on over to read how Santa would behave if he was a member of different Christian denominations…

Be grateful for your family

August 20, 2009

I’ve been following the tragic story of Carlos and Jennifer Salazar, whose five young children died in an automobile accident last week.  You can read about it here and here.

As a father, I can’t even imagine…

It reminded me of the testimony of Robert Rogers, who lost his wife and children when their vehicle was caught in a flash flood.  If you haven’t been very faithful in praying for your family, and perhaps have been taking them for granted and not really appreciating the gift that they are to you, then I highly recommend taking the time to listen to his story.

…You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly…
                                   (St Teresa of Avila quoted in CCC, n. 1821)