* BEST OF DTB #219* My trip to Notre Dame

Posted by John Benko - September 30th, 2012

The majesty of this place is truly breath-taking. I found myself almost wishing I was starting high school again, with the hopes that I could one day attend this national treasure of a university.

Almost.

I felt supreme joy that I was, at-last able to see this magnificent place and, at the same time, sadness for my family that they could not share it with me. I felt sadder still for the kids who are there who have no sense of what this place is really about.

The full name is Notre Dame du lac (Our Lady of the Lake).

On the grounds, there are two lakes, actually- Saint Joseph lake and Saint Mary’s lake.

I have to admit that, walking these hallowed grounds, it seems impossible to me that this is where Obama spoke and Priests were arrested for standing up for life. To even comprehend such things fills me with inexpressible grief.

I can honestly say that walking the grounds of this place, I could not help but believe that the grace that still lingers here will one day grow and lift it back to where it once stood and should stand again. I found a sublime peace in that certitude. If I didn’t, I don’t know if I could stand what has happened to this place and the level of depravity of many who are now associated with this once sacred place. That Notre Dame can still attract a class act like Manti Teo has to give some cause for hope.

Images of Jesus and Mary are everywhere in this place but it is clear that many of the students here, fans and alums have no more class, honor or values than Florida State or Miami, schools that Notre Dame students used to deride but now, too often, emulate.

It is truly sickening that some students can come to a Notre Dame pep rally clad in their underwear and the administrators do not even take notice, much less action.

A pep rally, right in the shadow of the ‘Word of life’ mosaic (Touchdown Jesus). A pep rally where no prayers are offered, nothing to add to the spiritual edification of these young men.

Unfortunately, most of these sacred symbols are nothing more than lifeless decorations on a Christmas tree, in a room filled with pagans and hedonistic perverts.

I know. I belong to a Notre Dame football message board and I was shocked and stunned to find that most of the posters are hooligans and perverts who would shame any SEC school. Notre Dame was supposed to be something better and, for a long time, it was.

Now, Notre Dame is as rudderless and spiritually bankrupt as an other college in the country.

That is what sickens me. Kez McCorvey’s famous words in 1993;

“I know all about Notre Dame, I know all about Rock Knutne”

were all too prophetic.

In a recent survey, only 15% of students said their spiritual growth was enhanced by attending this university. Most of them have no idea what the Alma Mater (Notre Dame, Our Mother) is even about. Thanks to Notre Dame’s last moral coach, Charlie Weis, the players serenade the student section with this song at the conclusion of every home game. Most of those that do know what this song is about, don’t care. What a crying shame that Our Blessed Mother stands atop the golden dome, looking over a university that has wholly rejected Her and Her Divine Son. What a shame that the team of Holtz, Leahy and Rockne is now being led by someone who exemplifies none of what Notre Dame stands for. The only time in my life I can honestly say I am ashamed of who is the coach of Notre Dame- a frothing, profanity spewing demoniac named Brian Kelly.

The thought of his purple-faced mug hanging one day here gives me a visceral physical reaction. Every college football fan I personally know says that he is an absolute disgrace to this storied team and I find it impossible to disagree.

Last year, two Notre Dame players threatened and assaulted South Bend, Indiana police officers and barely got a slap on the wrist. Can you imagine that it has come to this?

Has Notre Dame sold it’s soul for football glory? No. It is even worse than that. Notre Dame has sold it’s soul for far worse. If Notre Dame, Our Mother exemplifies the spirit of Charlie Weis, AD Jack Swarbrick’s theme song is this one.

November of this year will mark 19 years since the last time Notre Dame;

  • Was ranked #1
  • Beat a #1 ranked team
  • Beat Michigan, MSU and USC in the same season
  • finished a season with fewer than 3 losses.
Yet, despite this continued mediocrity, Notre Dame ticket prices have soared as have parking, concessions and memorabilia. Meanwhile, concentration on marketing Notre Dame, the brand, to Washington, DC., California, Dallas, Chicago, Ireland and even China goes on unabated.
China?
Here is a suggestion, Jack. Dress the team in red when we go there so we can match the Chinese flag, the blood of it’s murderous regime and the stain on the history of Notre Dame. Shame on you for even considering such a move.
I guess the wearing of the green has been supplanted by the making of the green. Will the uniforms be made by children in forced labor? At least, the children that survive China’s forced abortion policies?
How far you have fallen, Notre Dame.
From the school that was a refuge for persecuted Catholics to the school that is a refuge for Catholic persecuters.
Who can forget this monster not only giving the commencement address but receiving an honorary degree from Our Lady’s university?
I cannot judge the heart of Father John Jenkins but I can say for certain, that this was the darkest day in Notre Dame’s history and that Father Jenkins should have been removed from his position as President of Notre Dame for his allowing of this speech and for his persecution of the brave souls (including priests) who rightfully, and peacefully, protested this atrocity.
More than 70 Bishops decried this terrible event.
Was it a thrill for me to have my picture taken in front of the field where Notre Dame brought out the trojan horse and green jerseys against USC (1977)?
Where Pat Terrell knocked away the pass of #1 Miami’s Steve Walsh and Shawn Wooden did the same against Charlie Ward and #1 Florida State?
Yes. It was a surreal and incredible feeling. To stand before this place and watch the team run out of that tunnel….. just amazing.
But Notre Dame is not who they were and it is about much more than wins. In order for Notre Dame to regain it’s glory, it must get rid of Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick and Brian Kelly.
Donald and I spoke about this at length on the show last night.

Trumpets under the dome.


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*BEST OF DTB #218* The Catholic Defender: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Posted by John Benko - September 27th, 2012

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is recognized as the first American born Saint (28 August, 1774 – 4 January, 1821), she was raised in the Episcopalian Church which during those times, was much more conservative than what you see today.

At that time the Catholic Church in America was undergoing persecutions.

The influx of Catholic Immigrants from Europe was beginning in full swing. The Catholic Church went from something like 15,000 to 17,000 thousand to over 20,000,000 in a short period of time.

To the Protestants, this was seen as a threat to their vision of a Protestant Nation. Catholic Churches in New York and Philadelphia were ransacked and burned to the ground, convents were attacked by Protestant mobs.

Protestant Universities began to push Anti-Catholic belief’s using misrepresentations from Maria Monk and others that still have affect today. Even though all this was vindicated by the individuals themselves.

People like Jack Chick and Tony Alamo are among those who still push this Anti-Catholic rhetoric. Anti-Catholic sentiment have always been a recognized sport in America from several groups such as the fundamentalist Protestant to the Humanist Secularist Atheist.

Such was the time of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Her Husband died in Italy as a result of a terrible illness. Elizabeth would be exposed to the Catholic Faith as she stayed with her husband, William Magee Seton who died sometime in 1803.

St. Elizabeth would eventually convert to the Catholic Church on 14 March, 1805.

She began to build a hospital but because of the anti-Catholic sentiments that was the environment, it did not succeed.

It was not long however, that she caught the eye of some of the Catholic Clergy such a french Priest, Abbé Louis Dubourg, and the Bishop of Baltimore, John Carroll.

Through their urgings and support, St. Elizabeth would establish the Catholic School system, she would establish a community of Sisters at Emmitsburg.

They would eventually become part of the Daughters of Charity after 1850. She was dedicated to the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary, and the scriptures.

Of her many attributes, courage is definitely high on the list along with faithfulness. She was a strong women during a time that had many demands. Elizabeth was also a Mother, who lost two daughters.

Prayer was her lifeline. Taking a passage from St. Paul, St. Elizabeth once said, “We must pray literally without ceasing—without ceasing—in every occurrence and employment of our lives…that prayer of the heart which is independent of place or situation, or which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication with Him”.

St. Elizabeth was canonized a Saint by Pope John XXIII on March 17, 1963. It is reported that one of her favorite Scriptures was Psalms 23. That happens to be one of mine as well. I would sing this Psalms as a hymn that my Son’s had put together musically in our “Final Hour” days.


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* BEST OF DTB #217* The Catholic Defender: What Is Your Passion

Posted by John Benko - September 23rd, 2012

“Wherever there are jealousy and ambition, there are also disharmony and wickedness of every kind; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it is also peaceable, kindly and considerate; it is full of mercy and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. The peace sown by peacemakers brings a harvest of justice. Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Is it not precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you lack it; so you kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. It is because you do not pray that you do not receive; When you do pray and do not receive, it is because you prayed wrongly, wanting to indulge your passions.”

This is a most important scripture reading! What is your passion? What is most important to you?

If your passion prevents you from honoring God, if you are more committed to those passions than you are of God, then the above scripture is about you.

Matthew 18:20 Jesus says “For where two or three are gathered together IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them”. Jesus didn’t mention about being gathered together to pray for our passions, for what we want.

Jesus is speaking about being gathered together for praying in unity for our needs.

Is the Lord the center of your passion? Do you center yourself around doing God’s will first in your life?

The danger of secularizing our society is we tend to surrender God’s sovereignty for our own.

This is the equation that I have always tried to place in my life, God first, family second, work third, and fun fourth and from there it is in order as it comes.

Consider Catholic Tradition that recalls the little child Jesus gave a teaching on!

Mark 9:30-37 Jesus says, “After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him. They came to Capernaum, and when he got into the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing, because on the road they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

The little child that Jesus took into his arms would grow up to become St. Ignatius of Antioch.

It is the same Catholic Tradition that holds that St. John is identified as the one Jesus refered to as the one he loved.

John 13:23 is a good example, “One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus side.” Notice also John 21:20, “Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, ‘Master, who is the one who will betray you?”

Notice that St. John does not identify who this disciple is! It comes from that apostolic Catholic tradition that it is St. John himself who is that disciple!

Likewise, it is from the same Catholic Tradition that tells us about this little child!

Can you imagine the impact that Jesus must of had on the child St Ignatious? The Lord became St. Ignatius passion.

So much so that when he was arrested for being a Christian, he saw the abuse of the Roman Soldiers as a blessing. It made him feel like a disciple.

St. Ignatius would be taken to Rome and ultimately thrown to wild beasts rather than renounce the Lord.

We see this among the Saints for nearly 2,000 years. I am not short of testimonies on this point.

The question is, What is your passion? Is your faith calling you to be a Saint? It better be! Jesus didn’t give 100% so that you would only give 10%, 50%, or even 75%!

We must pick up our cross and follow him. We are called to give 100%! With that being said, when we do stumble and fall, the Lord calls us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves and continue marching forward!

If we allow the grace flowing from the Sacraments to take root in us, then we will certainly be placing our passions in the right place.


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The Notre Dame chronicles- Part 5

Posted by John Benko - September 19th, 2012

In the aftermath of Notre Dame’s 20-3 demolition of (then) #10 Michigan State, there is a much different atmosphere than for any Notre Dame game in at least 6 years. Certainly it is different than last year’s game. Notre Dame is no longer merely playing for pride and a chance to-perhaps- work it’s way back in the top 25. No, win this game and the Fighting Irish are a top 10 team in the Associated Press poll.

Yet, the domination of the Spartans did not just put the Fighting Irish in position for a special season this year. It was a potential program changing win. Notre Dame beat a top 10 team on the road and are 3-0 for the first time in a decade. There are a boat-load of potential recruits attending the Michigan game and as depth continues to grow, one can see emerging the foundation of a championship caliber football team.

Consider this. Since their September 10, 2011 loss to Michigan, the fighting Irish have gone 11-3. The three losses were by a combined 32 points to three elite teams who have all been part of the National championship conversation- Florida State, Stanford and USC.

Consider further that we just throttled a top ten team, in their own back yard, that was enjoying their longest home winning streak in almost 60 years.

One ticket site is fetching up to $763 for a ticket to the Michigan game.

I leave tomorrow. I’ve got chills.


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*BEST OF DTB #216* The Catholic Defender: Get Behind Me, Satan

Posted by John Benko - September 16th, 2012

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “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 and that of the gospel will save it.”

This is a very important scripture, most will be familiar with Matthew’s Gospel account which clearly gives more detail of St. Peter’s role in the Church. The foundation of the Church rests on Jesus teaching.

In reading this passage today, I am reminded of Matthews account, but I also take away the following.

 St. Peter identifies Jesus as the Christ, the annointed one of God, the Messiah. It was very difficult for the Apostles to see Jesus as the suffering servant.

Many had believed and hoped that the Messiah would bring back the glory days of King David, that the Messiah would be an earthly King that would liberate the nation of Israel.

St. Peter’s reaction to the cross would be typical for anyone longing for the liberation of Israel.

St. Peter was given revelation of who Jesus is, we benefit from this knowledge and like St. Peter, we profess Jesus to be the Christ every time we proclaim the Creed.

Yet, like Peter was told, “get behind me, Satan“, Jesus is saying this to anyone who rejects Catholic teaching.

For those who are willing to compromise with the world and accept teachings contrary to the Church, Jesus is telling them, “Get behind me, Satan“.

The Catholic Church is the foundation of God’s word, it is the vehicle Christ speaks to the world, it is his voice.

When we reject the Magisterium, dissent from official Church teaching, then we become like St. Peter who wanted to lead Christ away from the cross.

We must be willing to follow Jesus and that means we much carry our cross.  We are called to follow the road of the cross.  To follow the voice of the Lord.

Jesus said, “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” (John 18:37).  “Jesus also said , “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:8). 

Jesus speaks through His Church.  St Paul wrote, “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 a person wants to follow Christ, the sure way is through his holy Catholic Church. We are to pick up our cross and follow the Lord. His will be done.


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* BEST OF DTB #215* 7 Quick Takes in the Garden

Posted by John Benko - September 14th, 2012

“Every home should be a Garden of Holiness” – Father John Corapi, a priest needing prayer, like every one of them.


1

I have been reluctant to write on the blog. It’s a daily struggle that ends with succumbing to the excuses of being too busy, too distracted, too this or that. Really, it’s an absurd flush of shyness that has kicked in. Thank you for bearing with me. I’m not succumbing to it anymore, now that I’ve identified it, self mastery being the name of the game.

2

Why do this blogging and podcasting anyway? Well, that’s a question I’ve been pondering lately. The main reason is that family life is worthy of notice, though it is mostly hidden. Even Christ Himself treasured it enough to keep it mostly to Himself. I don’t have any particularly spectacular things to say. In fact, most everything that I do say is quite ordinary. As one long ago ex-boyfriend once quipped, “You have a fine grasp of the obvious.” I’ll take that as a compliment. My talents are in the teacherly vein: I notice something needing seeing, I sense where the trouble spots are, and I can point down the path. It’s an encouraging talent that I have. So, enough with the burying of the few talents I’ve been given. Me and my ordinariness are back to work, pointing out the beauty and the struggle in the obvious, just in case someone has been missing it.

3
How’s school going?

We’re muddling right along. The first month has wound down into that “This again?” slowdown. It’s a mild rebellion of spirit that means incentives are a bit more necessary to slog through the day. I promise you a cup of sweet mint tea, my dears, if you finish your work before lunch. Would that every job could have such easy motivation!

4
Humor and Autism

My son with Autism has discovered humor. He’s always been funny, and loves to generate laughter in others, but now he has discovered he can do it with language. He’s using his speech generation program on his iPad to do it. Teaching kids humor skills are easy with a book of Knock Knock jokes. They are formulaic, easily memorized, and the humor lies in the unexpected twist. You can point out the humor of them easily. So if my son comes up to you and pushes the button that says, “Knock knock!” be sure to laugh at the punch line. He’s not above nagging with a repeated finger on the “haha!” button. “Haha…haha…hahahahaha.” Fair warning.

5
Did you catch that we teach humor?

Indeed, it is a teachable skill. It’s a necessary one. We begin with pointing out the unexpected in whatever funny thing just happened or admiring the execution of a great joke. We wait until the laughter has died down, of course, but the discussions often lead to more. We love to laugh, we Martins, so we want to ensure that the kids know how to bring laughter out, with the usual cautions of, “It’s only funny if everyone laughs!” to ensure kindness. Kids are natural hams, mostly, so we want to give them the skills to take the spotlight, deliver their lines, and give it up gracefully. We think the world needs more funny people, so we’re making a few more for you.

You’re welcome.

Protestant and Catholic: Common Words but Often Not a Common Experience

We Catholics believe that the Church is vital–the actual Church. This is why dissident Catholics stick around so much and cause scandal by parading their personal opinions as actual dogma. Protestants on the other hand often have to suffer through being a Church of One. Many spend decades “church hopping” to find a church that teaches what he or she personally believes. Given the infinite variety of beliefs, most usually end up compromising something in favor of “at least they’re family friendly” or “the music is good.” It’s a struggle that Catholics simply don’t understand, and the difference gets in the way of many a discussion between us. When a Catholic discusses “belief,” it is a belief that has been handed down for 2,000 years and the struggle has been to bend one’s will to that Truth. When a Protestant discusses “belief,” it is one that has been discovered and won personally. On most issues, we use the same words, but mean things incredibly divergent. We simply don’t speak the same language, so be careful out there.

7

I’d like to encourage my readers and Podcast buddies to join me over on Facebook. I do a bit of “microblogging” over there. I try to practice those humor skills in my updates. Join me, if you like! Let’s be FB friends!


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The Notre Dame chronicles- part 4

Posted by John Benko - September 10th, 2012

Nothing like a good, old fashioned quarterback controversy with a new twist.

In Notre Dame’s last home game before the one I will attend, Tommy Rees came in the game, in relief of Everett Golson and promptly led the Irish to the winning score (a Kyle Brindza field goal).

As a football decision, I really thought it was a no-brainer. Golson, the red-shirt freshman has lights out potential but he is still green and putting the steady, seasoned junior in to save the day, made perfect sense.

Where this controversy begins goes to the heart of who Notre Dame supposedly is. In the summer, Rees was arrested when he fled an off-campus party where under-aged drinking was taking place, resisted arrest and assaulted a police officer.

There are some that are none-too-pleased that his charges got bumped down to misdemeanors and he was given community service and required to write a letter of apology. People were equally appalled that he served only a one-game suspension. After it was stated by coach Kelly that he would have to earn his way back up the depth chart, here he is, in the waning moments of the season’s second game, back on the field, pulling the coach’s bacon out of the fire.

Now, by all accounts, Tommy has learned from his mistake, spoken to kids, taken his punishment, been a total supporting team player. That’s all good stuff.

But he assaulted a police officer. A letter of apology? Community service? A one-game suspension?

There are those who say that the community of South Bend, the administration at this university and the coaching staff were more concerned with getting Tommy back on the field of play then they were setting a positive example about real-world consequences for real-world actions.

I do not know if I can truly disagree. I’m thrilled to be 2-0 but did we get there the right way?


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* BEST OF DTB #214* The Catholic Defender: People of Tyre

Posted by John Benko - September 9th, 2012

“The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the Lord, the slindor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are week, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing” (Isaiah 35:1-6).

This is a clear reference to Jesus and it is interesting that Isaiah says, “Here is your God”. He did not understand the incarnation, this event happened centuries following his prophecies. The Catholic Church recognizes Jesus to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus opens the eyes to the blind, and the deaf hears. Consider the following:

Jesus was in the district of Tyre and healed a woman with an unclean spirit, he cured the woman who was of Greek origin, a Gentile. Then Jesus left Tyre and traveled to Decapolis where the news of Jesus spread. The people brought in a deaf man with a speach impediment. Jesus cured the man putting his finger into the mans ears, and spitting, touched the man’s tongue. Jesus says to the man, “Ephphatha” meaning “Be opened”. The man was instantly cured and was able to speak plainly.

Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone about these miracles but the people could not hold back. I can relate to that because when I have witnessed something of the Lord, I can’t keep from talking about it! Jesus astonished the people making the deaf hear and the mute speak.

Something about this place called Tyre I couldn’t help but ponder on. Tyre is a City with a history of oppression.

Tyre is a city on an Island off the coast of Lebenon. The City was prosperous for the purple dye that was made there.

The dye was taken from murex shellfish that was called “Tyrian Purple”. The city came under siege by Shalmanesar V with the help of his Phoenician fighters.

Trye would be completely ramsacked by King Nebuchadnezzar for gloating over the fall of Jerusalem about 370 B.C. The City was again conquered by Alexander the Great.

The City of Tyre was occupied by the Romans which gave them independence in 64 B.C. Later on, even the Crusaders would get into the act during the crusades.

It is interesting that Jesus visited there healing a Gentile of a demon spirit. No matter what obsticals you might encounter, Jesus can liberate you from bondage as he did the blind, the deaf, and the mute. Somtimes we might be blinded by our own selves, we need to be saved from ourselves so many times.

With all this excitement taking place, Jesus did not want to leave out His Mother as a source of help for those who are down trodden. Consider that Psalms 45:13 refers to Mary as “daughter of Trye”! It says, “Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me heed. Forget your people and your Father’s house, that the king might desire your beauty. He is your Lord; honor him, daughter of Trye” (Psalms 45 11-13).

What people is Mary being asked to forget? It would have to be the Jews. Who would be Mary’s “Father’s House”? This would have to be a reference to the House of King David. Why would she be called “daughter of Trye”? It has to do with the Gentiles and the Church. Notice that the richest of the people of Tyre would seek her favor. This is a most important scripture because it shows that even during the time of King David, God was already planning for the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Catholic Church.

God’s people will be rich for seeking her favor, notice this popular prayer:

“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.”

I want to make a point here because some people from “Tyre” do not understand the Virgin Mary’s role here.

She is not being worshiped nor glorified as a god with this language.

The Virgin Mary is the Queen of heaven because Jesus in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In this war against Satan, Mary is identified as the Mother of all the Christians. Revelation 12:17 states, “Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.”

The richest will seek her favor, “The throne of your fathers your sons will have; you shall make them princes through the land” (Psalms 45:17).

 Let us who follow Christ, like St. John, invite the Mother of Jesus into our house so that we would become her princes who serve the Lord.


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The Notre Dame chronicles part 3

Posted by John Benko - September 4th, 2012

Granted, it was Navy- a team Notre Dame once beat 43 times in a row (We have split the last 6 with them). Yet, there is just something so wonderful about starting the season on a good note.

Easily Notre Dame’s weakest opponent (the only one not invited to a bowl last year), the middies did not put up much of a fight and the Irish won the Emerald Isle Classic 50-10.

OK. So you got a big win in Ireland and now you can retire the Green, Orange and White socks and cleats and get into the meat of the season.

Purdue is no gimmee. The QB tandem of Terbush and Marve will attack the young and thin Notre Dame secondary. However, Notre Dame should have enough horses to beat the Boilermakers. If they can manage to do so, the week 3 prime time match-up with Michigan State could be an ESPN Gameday kind of game.

Notre Dame’s new Quarterback, Everett Golson will probably have to take to the air a lot more in the Purdue game. We will know a lot more about what kind of team this is. 21 players saw first time action against Navy and Manti Teo and Stephon Tuitt had career games.

It’s early but I like what I see so far.


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*BEST OF DTB #213* The Catholic Defender: Doers Of The Word

Posted by John Benko - September 3rd, 2012

“Know this, my brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing” (James 1:19-25).

The Word of God has been implanted into the world through the Catholic Church, because the life source comes from the flow of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Jesus is the source of all the sacred traditions and scriptures that have been handed down for 2,000 years. It is through this word that we are called to act in service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It is interesting to note that scriptures are a source to save souls, but not in the simple hearing of the Word, but the acting out the message of the Word.

We are to be meek and humble about this task because we do not deserve this grace, but we are entrusted to live it.

Through Gods gifts of grace, we are called to go to the nations and baptize them and teach them the gospel.

The power of the message is found in our faithfulness to His Word. People should see His reflection in us by the way we show love to our fellow man.

To those who believe that all you need be is hears of the word only (Sola Scriptura), Jesus instructs us to give food and drink to the thirsty and the hungry.

The Catholic Church by far gives the most food for the poor in poverished nations than any other entity in the world. I gave money to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) many years as I served in the Army.

CRS would be among the first to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, war torn lands.

This is a most important work as food shelters, warehouses are set up to help the poor all over the world.

Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”, the Catholic Church founded the system that helps the pilgrims, building hospitals, orphanages, schools, colleges, supporting and organizing to help societies reaching the poor.

Travelers were originally supported my monks who developed monesteries that helped those who needed rest on their journey’s.

This helped develop roads which worked to make traveling easier so the Church was instrumental in helping develop business helping the common man, the traveler, the stranger.

Technology and science have been used to strengthen faith and work together for the common need of man to learn more about himself, whom God has made in His likeness and glory.

Jesus said, “I was naked and you clothed me”, we have been clothed in His righteousness, grounded on the truth of the gospel. The Catholic Church defends modesty in society, a moral guide for those who are seeking for the ship that will not sink, like the Ark of Noah.

The Catholic Church is the moral compass leading those who want to cross over to safety in the Lord. Jesus was stripped of His garments at the cross so that we might be clothed with His glory.

The Catholic Church stands for the dignity of every human being believing that every human being is precious in the eyes of God.

The Church seeks to liberate women from the bondage of pornography, from being made into objects of worship and idols.

Jesus said, “I was sick and you visited me”, as I mentioned before, the Catholic Church established the Hospital system that is the model everyone have adopted to work in helping the sick.

Through God’s divine providence and His love for mankind, he gave us men who discovered technologies to heal those of sickness.

Disease has always been a threat, but many cures have been discovered that has helped many who were sick to be healed. Polio and Tuberculosis were deadly dieseases that have been almost totally defeated through vaccination and medication.

God has given us many good things to help the sick, He is the Master Healer. As Catholics we know that he heals through the power of His hand and through those whom he placed in our path with the means of healing. Millions have been helped through the Catholic Church for centuries.

Jesus said, “I was in prison and you came to me”, the Catholic church through the testimony of great people such as Russell Ford and Harold Morris, are working to serve those in prisons who are largely forgotten.

The Church has always offered the Sacraments to those who many have had long roads paved with injustice, bitterness, hatreds, and violence.

More needs to be done in reaching out to those who are spiritually crying out for help. Mother Mary at Fatima asked us to do sacrifice and pray for those forgotten who are on their way to perdition.

The Lord loves them and seeks to use us to help save them. Walls can been torn down through the love of God, hearts can be changed even in the most terrible places.

We must be doers of the Word and not hearers only. If we are faithful to the Word of God, we will receive that blessing that results from our doing.

We will be raised on that last day for receiving the Bread of life, we will receive that forgiveness through His ambassadors of grace, we will receive the seal of the Holy Spirit through the laying of hands that annoints us with the oil of salvation, the oil of gladness, we will receive that anointing of the sick that will forgive our sins and heal our souls, we will benefit from the Holy Orders of the Ministers of Grace that brings us God’s grace through the Sacraments.

The Lord will bless marriage as he did at the wedding of Cana giving us grace to help each other on this great journey of Faith. Be doers of the Word.


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