The Catholic Defender: Roaming Romans

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 31st, 2014

rosary patrol 1Sometimes it is great to just sit back and look at some of the positive things that are being accomplished through Deepertruth. Without the great commitment coming from so many people it is very humbling.

I first want to recognize the several hundred members of the Rosary Patrol on Facebook.

There are literally thousands who join us praying devotions, the past two years we have had over 300,000 rosaries prayed for thousands of dedications.

God works miracles through prayer and God anoints the work we do through prayer.

The Rosary and Divine Mercy are central to that devotion.

1 Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future.”

benkoJohn Benko is the website administrator and making the site and keeping it running is very important for all the articles, all the information placed on the site to keep people informed.

This is an invaluable contribution. We have had almost 16 million hits by people all over the world. DTB members like Emilio Manzo have contributed greatly by working to make us better known promoting our radio shows and articles.

Just sharing it with people is a great joy because I receive so much positive feedback because how well Deepertruth looks.

Dr. Gregory Thompson and Dr. John Carpenter working with the Southern Missouri Marian Association together with their sharing of the Eucharistic Miracles and Marian Apparitions are adding great inspiration to DTB.

They had put together several Marian conferences hosting great speaker from all over the Country.

GregHundreds of people have attended these conferences.

Also, through both men, the Ignatius Press movie, Mary Of Nazareth has been seen by several thousand people.

Many of the clergy and religious along with the laity all come out of the theaters sometimes very emotional because of how good this film is.

Their work for the pro-life standing out in front of abortion clinics help saves babies.

I also want to give a special recognition for Joseph Martone Jr of Colorado has been doing great work saving babies.

He has literally been threatened physically and spiritually.

His very home has been attacked on three different occasions where they have destroyed his belongings.

JosephMartone-466x321Joseph has helped save several babies and Planned Parenthood is not happy with him.

You will see him regularly out there with his Stop Abortion sign

Eucharistic Adoration by several members of DTB all over the Country is very important as well.

This is such a very important ministry we recommend more people to get involved.

Dr, Gregory Thompson speaks all over Missouri promoting Eucharistic Adoration.

Because of his efforts hundreds of people are now involved with spending an hour a week for Adoration.

CD #DTB members have also saddled up with St. Paul’s Street Evangelization reaching out to thousands of people in over a hundred cities and town across the United States and beyond.

Thousands have come back home to the Catholic Faith.

Through the efforts of our Radio show, Jeff Hutchins joined me for our Evangelization show, we reached out to thousands on internet radio.

Last year, we helped bring home over 300,000 people back to the Catholic Faith.

We directly responded to the attacks of anti-Catholic Mike Gendron and have given a credible Catholic response to Gendron’s attacks.

Apologetics is heart and soul of Deepertruth.

1 Peter 3:15 states “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.”

Catholic Defender 4On Facebook DTB members Ross Hoffman and Margie Sindelar had formed hundreds of people together defending the Catholic Faith on Facebook.

They have had a great impact as people have been received into the Catholic Faith this past Easter Vigil.

What a blessing it is to share their conversion stories on our Radio show. John Benko has also debated Protestant challengers on Deepertruth giving a clear defense of the Catholic faith against those who attack it.

There are so many things that we are doing all across the Country helping many people going to Senior Citizen homes visiting the elderly, visiting people at hospitals, serving the local parish as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, and Eucharistic Adoration.

Fred Williams, one of our newest members, has been helping feed the hungry with his work with St. Vincent De Paul, not to mention the Prison Ministry that Fred is involved in. Christie Martin has been huge with her Garden of Holiness Show on Deepertruth, and the great work she does for her parish.

christie 7It is important to note that Christie has adopted children to give them love handing the Catholic Faith to those children. That is so important.

There are so many things that is going on through the commitment people have to Jesus and Mary.

At this time, I want to present the work of Ross Hoffman and Margie Sindelar for their contributions to the Catholic Faith. Ross has donated more than $50,000 of his treasure to finance trips to Rome and the Holy Land. What a great blessing it was to host a live show from Jerusalem with Catholic Apologist Steve Ray. Margie contributes her time and energy organizing these pilgrimages and many people have benefited from their generosity. The following are some of the testimonies people have offered:

I Denise Anne Gill received my rosary/w-medal from the Rome pilgrimage and I didn’t even send any donation.

Rosary from romeMy name is Claudia Grams. Ross and Margie were so kind last year to offer those who wanted a Rosary or Medal from Rome. We wanted both. Margie sent them both to us after they returned from their Pilgrimage. My husband sent a small donation to cover postage and their cost of the Rosary and Medal. We have saved them for our great grandson to have when he is with us to join us in our prayers. I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

My name is Karen Dean and I heard about Margie & Ross’s trip to Italy and they were offering rosaries from Rome. I was very happy to have received the rosary from Rome and I did not send any donation. They were thoughtful to offer rosaries to all.

Hi I am Robert Cannon. Last year I followed the Roaming Romans trip to holy sites in Italy. I read with excitement and envy about seeing and being in places dear to a Catholic’s heart, especially (to me) the Basilica of Santa Croce in Jerusalem where rosaries were taken and placed on the Holy Stairs, on each step, steps Our Lord actually walked. After the trip I received one such rosary and a list of very holy places to which it had been touched. As I read the list I felt our great Catholic history and in touch with the communion of Saints. I pray this rosary often and it is a treasure to me.

Padre Pio RosaryHi, my name is Cecilia Ruloph Savage and I got an awesome St. Padre Pio Rosary from your Rome trip last year and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It goes everywhere with me. Many Blessings to you dear brother Ross! Love and (((((HUGS)))))!!

I received an awesome St. Padre Pio Rosary from the Roaming Romans upon their return from Rome last year. The Rosary has been a blessing to me and it goes everywhere I go. Holding them brings me so much peace. I can’t thank Ross and Margie enough! Pax, Cecilia (((((HUGS)))))!!

My name is Sharon Davidson and I got a rosary from the Roaming Romans Rome trip. I gave it away as a gift because it was special due to the various tombs, relics, and special places it had been touched to.

Hi my name is Andrea Pearson I received a rosary from Roaming Romans last year. This rosary has given me such peace when I hold them in times of anxiety. My family has blessed themselves with it this rosary is a special and cherished gift. Thank you!

Miraculous-MedalHi my name is GiGi Gonzalez and I received a Miraculous Medal from Roman Romans. I wear it faithfully everyday and love yo share with anyone who will listen about my medal’s travels before it was given to me!

Hi my name is Martha Smith I have many Rosaries, but I use the one that Roaming Romans sent me. It is very special since it has touched so many holy places. Our Mother is very special to me and I strongly feel her presence and that of our Lord when I use it.

Hi my name is Louis Perez and I received a Rosary last year from Roaming Romans last year. The Rosary has been been touched to many Saints and traveled to many places. I carry it with me everywhere I go and it brings me much peace as I pray those Beautiful prayers. Thank you.

Hi my name is Rick McCoy, I received a Rosary and a Miraculous Medal from Roaming Romans last year. Since then I have been more consistent in prayer morning and night. Prayer is the first thing I think of before going to bed and getting up in the morning. I keep both constantly by my bed. I’ve seen relationships with family members healed, along with their personal lives mentally, spiritually and physically being healed. I’ve been more at peace and much less stressed, with more clarity and focus on God. Patience and charity for others has become easier for me along with the desire for peace. I can’t say that the Rosary and medal started all this but they have definitely been comforting tools in helping me to receive these blessings, God Bless and PAX.

Dave-Armstrong-225x300This coming fall Deepertruth will be hosting another trip to the Holy Land as Roaming Romans (originally known as the Round Table on DTB). If you would like to send a donation to support Roaming Romans upcoming pilgrimage they will send you a free gift of a rosary or religious medal from the Holy Land, just like last year, they will be made available. Ross and Margie are sponsoring Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong who is in the process of writing a book for Deepertruth’s Roaming Romans.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to play a part in all of these things working with so many people named and unnamed for their many contributions from Shroud research to writing 800 articles on everything imaginable. Deepertruth has almost 700 internet broadcasts making us number 1 last year for Blogtalkradio’s religious category. This would not be possible without the love and support we receive from those who follow and support the website. God bless you all.

The following is a video that expresses the motivation I have in wanting to help those in need:

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The Catholic Defender Visits Alamogordo New Mexico

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 28th, 2014

IMG_1709Last year at Copperas Cove our Parish had a great display of the Shroud of Turin. It was then that I first met Deacon Pete Schumacher, who was instrumental on the 1978 Shroud research due to his work with photography. He became the production manager for the Vido Process 8 image analyzer which this development would become very important to the Shroud research and 3D capability. Much of his work would make possible the greatest scientific research on the Shroud in 1978. This technology became an interest among scientists who wanted to study the Shroud.

As I was driving through New Mexico on Interstate 10, I had planned to stop at Alamogordo which was a little more than an hour off I-10 Las Cruces. So that was the plan. I called up Deacon Pete to see if they would be open, but he was in Montana celebrating a new born Great Grandchild like we were just doing in Arizona. But he said he would make a phone call for us and told me he would get right back with me.

Deacon Pete called me back within minutes telling us that one of their volunteers (Patty), would be there to open up for us.

What a great opportunity it was for us to be able to make a pit stop and take a little rest as our journey was a long one. When we arrived in Alamogordo, we found that the Shroud Exhibit and Museum was within a shopping complex. The best way to get there was walking through JC Penny and it was directly on the right. This is where Patty would meet us and give us a tour.

IMG_1701I fully recommend that if your traveling in the area, this is a worth while trip. Here, you can see our Grandson, Matthew, enjoying his inspection of the image analyzer used in the Shroud research.

There was a 45 minute video that gives a brief story of the Shroud research, that was very interesting.

I was so happy that my wife Gigi was really interested in this research.

There was another 15 minute video that Deacon Pete put together specific to the life size shroud that is prominently displayed.

For a real student of the resurrection of Jesus, you can literally spend hours looking through all the data in this museum.

If you take a picture of the Shroud on display, you will get a positive result just like the original picture taken by Secondo Pia.

IMG_1700Secondo Pia was an Italian Lawyer and amateur photographer, whose picture he took in 1898 would start the greatest interest in Shroud research.

Now, I must warn you, if you use a digital Ipod like I did, you will not get the desire result.

Looking at this life size image of the Shroud, I am quickly brought back to the Gospel of John. When Mary of Magdala reported to the Apostles that she had seen the Lord risen from the dead, “Peter and the other disciple (St. John) went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” John 20:3-7

Apparently, this cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus helped secure the shroud in place. It was custom to place coins on the eyes of the body to prevent the eyes from opening. It was found on the Shroud that there had been Pontius Pilate coins placed on Jesus eyes that are part of the Shroud.

IMG_1705Pontius Pilate coins are very rare, there are only four known in existence at this time.

I like the findings coming from a blog called “The Road” that reports the travels of Roy and Odie who made a visit to the Shroud Museum. They report the following:

1. Whipping and crucifying together was not typically done. Each alone was sufficient to kill a person.

2. The marks on the body, as shown in the cloth, are consistent with a Roman flagrum. (A flagrum is pictured in front of the shroud.)

3. The blood marks on the shroud are truly blood and of a type consistent with the people of the geographical area and time period.

4. The blood marks show that the blood ran the direction expected for the reported tortures.

5. The wrists were considered part of the hand at that time and the nail mark went through at that point.

IMG_17086. Only 4 fingers show on the image of the hands. The thumbs are not seen, as nailing through the wrist would cause them to fall limp into the palms.

7. The triangles on the shroud are repairs from where a hot piece of metal fell on the folded shroud and burned through.

8. The shroud was in a building fire and has water damage marks.

Like Roy and Odie, we can mutually agree with them that if you were to drop in and visit Deacon Pete and his team of volunteers, you will not be disappointed.

We thanked Patty for her time she took to give us this special grace and her response was that it is all for Jesus. There is a real sense of purpose here.

People from over 87 countries have come here to see this fantastic display of the Shroud of Turin.

IMG_1702This museum will captivate the young of heart and keep your attention. I want to encourage you to make this trip but I believe that I must warn you to take the route back to Interstate 10.

If you were to travel on highway 54 east, you will wind up in the Mountains and unless your wanting to take a long scenic route, you will be in for a long ride.

We ended up turning around debating with our GPS that was giving us a shorter route, but it was a couple hours longer.

St. Paul reminds us, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it (2 Thessalonians 5:24).” You will have a great time.

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The Catholic Defender Visits Sierra Vista’s St. Andrew Catholic Church

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 27th, 2014

IMG_1699While I was close to the Mexican Boarder visiting family and celebrating the birth of a new family member, Pepper Jo, born on 17 July 2014, I went to Sunday Mass at St. Andrews Catholic Church at Sierra Vista.

Sierra Vista is right outside of Fort Huachuca Arizona and because we are about 15 miles from the Mexican Boarder here, St. Andrews has done much to help those children suffering that journey from Central America.

The Church is very beautiful, it has that Southwestern look that is very prominent especially in Southern Arizona.

This particular day I arrived about an hour before Mass so I was able to pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy before looking around the Church. It is very beautiful inside and out.

IMG_1698I love this Baptismal font, this is built much like what we see in the early Catholic Churches such as the ruins of St. John the Apostle’s Church in Ephesus.

You can literally walk down into the water for immersion, or you can use the pouring form of Baptism, both being valid.

When you walk in this Church, you definitely feel that Catholicity from beginning to end. St. Paul writes to the Colossians in 57 A.D. “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from from the dead.”

This becomes very important as St. Paul continues, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”

Jesus was crucified on April 3rd, 33 A.D. and by the time St. Paul wrote Colossians, many of the people who St. Paul was addressing were by this time in their early twenties and were baptized as children. Paul says “you were raised with Christ” and in the same breath he says “For you have died” in Christ which indicates baptism.

St. Paul is making the case for infant baptism as if it was common place, as if that was the normal custom.

IMG_1689This is literally breath taking as you see the Altar, the Tabernacle, and everything placed in accordance to tradition.

Many times today, we see the Tabernacle placed off center and even in some cases not even found in the main sanctuary at all. I love the history we see in this sanctuary.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites had a table that held what was called the “showbread”, Exodus 25:30 states, “On the table you shall always keep showbread set before me.”

This showbread would also be known as the “bread of the presence”. This bread was dedicated as an offering to God.

The Altar of the Lord was placed specific to the Ark of the Covenant and the showbread, or the bread of the presence was placed in the tabernacle.  The tabernacle was an inner shrine of the “Holy of Holies” which housed the Ark of the Covenant, to include the table for the bread of the presence, the golden lampstand, and altar of incense. This was all majestically placed in the sanctuary.

The fullest description of the Tabernacle describes an inner shrine (named Holy of Holies) housing the Ark of the Covenant and an outer chamber (Holy Place) with a golden lampstand, table for showbread, and altar of incense.

IMG_1691It is very interesting to see the bread of the presence as a type of the Eucharist. Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, He is present in the New Testament Tabernacle.

Hebrews 13:10 states, “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.” St. Paul (1 Corinthians 10:21) writes, “You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.”

If you look to the right of this picture (actually left of the tabernacle) you can see a statue of St. Andrew identified with a cross in the form of an X.

St. Andrew was crucified for denying the Pagan gods of Rome, he embraced the cross saying, “O Cross most welcome and long anticipated! I come to you with a willing mind, with joy and desire. Since I am a follower and a student of the One who died on you, I have always loved you and sought to embrace you.”

IMG_1694This picture I see another focus I want to share, if you notice the chair in which the Catholic Priest sits, it displays where the Priest sits as the one presiding over the Liturgy.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 310, regarding “The Chair for the Priest Celebrant and Other Seats,” states:

“The chair of the priest celebrant must signify his office of presiding over the gathering and of directing the prayer. Thus the best place for the chair is in a position facing the people at the head of the sanctuary, unless the design of the building or other circumstances impede this: for example, if the great distance would interfere with communication between the priest and the gathered assembly, or if the tabernacle is in the center behind the altar. Any appearance of a throne, however, is to be avoided. It is appropriate that, before being put into liturgical use, the chair be blessed according to the rite described in the Roman Ritual.”

The U.S. bishops also touch on this subject in their official guidelines, “Built of Living Stones,” Nos. 63-65. Apart from repeating the norms contained in the Missal, it adds some further considerations:

“The chair of the priest celebrant stands ‘as a symbol of his office of presiding over the assembly and of directing prayer.’ An appropriate placement of the chair allows the priest celebrant to be visible to all in the congregation. The chair reflects the dignity of the one who leads the community in the person of Christ, but is never intended to be remote or grandiose. The priest celebrant’s chair is distinguished from the seating for other ministers by its design and placement. ‘The seat for the deacon should be placed near that of the celebrant.’ In the cathedral, in addition to the bishop’s chair or ‘cathedra,’ which is permanent, an additional chair will be needed for use by the rector or priest celebrant.”

IMG_1692When you walk around the Church of St. Andrew in Sierra Vista, it is beautiful, the stations of the cross are Majestic. You will also see other images of Saints.

This statue is a depiction of St. Luiz Lorenzo, originally from the Philippines, a Martyr of Japan. In Japan, a group known as the “Tokugawa shogunate” began persecuting Christians and were arresting missionaries. St. Lorenzo and his company were imprisoned for one year and then taken to Nagasaki for torture.

On 27 September 1637, St. Lorenzo and his Companions were taken to the Nishizaka Hill and tortured through what was called “tsurushi” ((釣殺し) in Japanese). The Spanish called this torture “horca y hoya”. This was a terrible torture that caused extreme pain. The victim was bound, one hand is always left free so that victims may be able to signal that they recanted, and they would be freed. St. Lorenzo refused to renounce Christianity and died from blood loss and suffocation.

According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, St. Lorenzo last words before his death: “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for the Lord; If I had a thousand lives, all these I shall offer to Him.”

IMG_1693I spent time in Korea and so I have a passion for the Korean Martyrs and what they suffered. As I looked upon this Shrine, I recalled the story as follows:

The Catholic Missionaries had made inroads into China and Ni-seung-houn, a native Korean, traveled to Beijing in 1784 to study the Catholic Faith. He fell totally in love with the God of Heaven, He gave his life to Jesus and Mary and was baptized by Catholic Peter Ri who had brought many Koreans to the Catholic Faith. Ni-seung-houn returned to Korea with a new heart and mind with an evangelistic mindset. However, the Korean Government viewed these Catholic converts as traitors to Korea.

In 1791, a terrible persecution developed but the faith continued to grow because of the testimony of these Korean converts. Father James Tsiou, a Chinese National, went to Korea and found a strong Catholic presence in the underground movement. Ultimately, Father Tsiou died a Martyr for the Korean people. Because of the European priests who were going to Korea, by 1839, more terrible persecutions began. The first native Korean priest, Father Andrew Kim Taegon, was martyred in 1845. In 1864, two bishops, six French Missionaries, a Korean priest and another 8 thousand Korean Catholics were martyred for their Catholic Faith.

¹®È­St. Pope John Paul II canonized the martyrs of the 1839, 1846, and 1869 persecutions. St. Pope John Paul II went to Korea October 6-10, 1989 and the Korean Church came out by the hundreds of thousands. FR. DON JONG-SU JOHN KIM Rector, Pontifical Korean College (Rome) “It was the laity who introduced the Catholic Church in Korea. This is a unique situation for the rest of the world. After its introduction, the faith grew through the blood of the martyrs. Catholics in Korea were persecuted for almost a century following the establishment of the Church in the country.”

Today there are more than 5 million Catholics in Korea.

There is so much information going through St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The people there are very much alive in faith. Father Greg, the Pastor of the Parish, in his homily, spoke of the Trinity with this illustration. God the Father is the purpose, Jesus is the passion, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God. I now add this praise to the Eucharistic table. God is the purpose, passion, and power of all that is in His name.

Please pray for the persecuted Church in the Middle East, what is taking place in Iraq, Syria, and other Islamic Countries is a terrible outcry to the Lord.

“Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.”

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Best of DTB article archives passes 325 articles

Posted by John Benko - July 27th, 2014

Those 24 articles, along with 21 added yesterday, bring to 45, the number of articles added to our hall of fame archive of articles. 46 shows were added as well to our ‘best of shows’ archive. Our ‘best of article’ archive now stands at 326 while the total number of published articles exceeds 725. 233 shows are now catalogued as ‘best of’ out of just shy of 700 in that category. All in all, DTB has produced more than 1400 shows, articles and videos to assist persons in finding and deepening their catholic faith.


21 New articles added to our hall of fame. Job still underway.

Posted by John Benko - July 26th, 2014

The following 21 articles have been added to our best of articles section. This brings the total number of articles in that collection to over 300. The process of adding articles will continue throughout the weekend.

Deepertruth tonight: The Kaleb Patrick Lippert Story

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 26th, 2014

KalebTonight’s testimony features someone who is well known among Catholics on Facebook especially on sites like Hammer of Heresies.

You will find tonight’s guest, Kaleb Patrick Lippert a very interesting story. Here is Kaleb in his own words:

“My name is Kaleb Patrick Lippert (Catholic Faith Defender de la Americas), I was born a Protestant Baptist, and found my way into the True One Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church in the Easter Vigil of 2014. By studying the Early Church Fathers, such as Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Cyril, Methodius, etc, 21 Ecumenical Councils from Jerusalem to Vatican II Apparitions, and many Eucharist miracles, that is what brought this former Baptist into the Catholic Church. I oppose Radical Traditionalists like the SSPX and Sedevancantist’s I love to debate my own Baptist brethren, including but not limited to Seventh-Day Adventist’s Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses Iglesia Ni Cristo, and mainline Protestants like Methodist’s, Lutheran’s, Presbyterian’s and many Fundamentalist and Pentecostal groups.”

angelsKaleb has been a warrior for Christ as we have watched him grow on his journey to the Catholic Faith. Philippians 4:13 states, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me”. Kaleb at a very young age is growing leaps and bounds and your going to see that his faith is strong because of God’s grace given to him.

Tonight’s show will begin tonight at 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, and 5:00 Pacific. This promises to be very interesting and I encourage you all who can to catch this live. If you can’t, all you have to do is click on the links and you have the archive.

God bless you all and look to see you there! You can find Kaleb at this address:

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Catching up. Deeper Truth show, greatest show bomb drop.

Posted by John Benko - July 26th, 2014

I was determined to get our blog caught upon greatest shows and I was astounded at the results. Here are, added to our Best Show archive, an incredible 46 new shows. This brings our best show archive up to more than 230 shows and our total show archive to well over 600.

These guys are just doing great things. Enjoy.

188- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary episode 1
189- Sanctuary of La Verna
190- Totus Tuus welcomes Paul Regan
191- The Jennifer Fulwiller story
192- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 2
193- The Alex Jones story
194- The Joseph Martone Jr. story
195- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 3
196- The Nicholle Demille story
197- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 4
198- Roaming Romans- Lent with the Saints
199- Ash Wednesday with Don and Jeff
200- John Carpenter- Journey with Mary 5
201- John Carpenter- Journey with Mary 6
202- Promises to Saint Bridget
203- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 7
204- Roaming Romans discusses the Pantheon in Rome
205- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 8
206- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary 9
Catholic Defender- tribute to my wife
208- John Carpenter- Our Lady of La Salette
209- John Carpenter- Our Lady of Lourdes
210- Totus Tuus discussion of Eucharistic miracles
211- John Carpenter- Marian apparition in America
212- God’s own fool
213- Miracle in Calanda, Spain 1640
214- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary, back to France
215- Eucharistic miracles from Fatima to Hiroshima
216- Miracle of Erding, Germany 1417
217- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary to Dong Lu, China
218- Miracle of the Island of La Reunion 1902
219- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary, Fatima part 1
220- Advent of the Red Dawn
221- The Nicholas George Wilcha story
222- Miracle of Augsburg, Germany 1194
223- John carpenter- Journey to Mary, Fatima part 2
224- Miracle of Brettbrunn, Germany 1125
225- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary, Fatima part 3
226- Nothing better than being Catholic
227- 1996 Miracle of Buenos, Aires part 1
228- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary to Belgium
229- 1996 Miracle of Buenos, Aires part 2
230- 1331 Eucharistic miracle at Blanot, France
231- John Carpenter- Journey to Mary, Banneux Belgium
232- The Armando Reza Jr story
233- Eucharistic miracle at Chiaravalle, France 12th century

*Best of DTB #326 *The debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye and a response by George Lujack.

Posted by John Benko - July 25th, 2014

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I finally got around to actually watching the much ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye after being prompted by George Lujack to use it as a model for possible future video debates between himself and I. I began talking to George again with only 1 purpose in mind- to apologize for the times when I acted in an inappropriate way by losing my temper which, sadly, happened too many times.

It is important enough for me to get to the meat of my point here, so I will be brief with my initial observations about the debate. I will then follow with the challenge I presented to George Lujack and how he responded. Finally, I will give my response to his remarks.

What pleasantly surprised me about the debate itself was that it was conducted almost perfectly. The moderator showed no partiality whatsoever and the two opponents were totally respectful the entire time. There were no gratuitous shots, no sneering, no interrupting, no filibustering or refusal to yield. Each argument presented was cogent and professionally presented. In terms of style points, on a scale of 1-100, I would rate both debaters in the high 90′s. and probably call it a draw.

In terms of strategy and substance, I thought Bill Nye actually had the weaker hand, given the wording of the debate premise (more on that in a minute) but I think he actually played that hand far more effectively. Ken Ham did a very poor job of using the information at his disposal effectively- at least, as effectively as I believe he could have used it.

Where Nye was most effective was in playing to his strongest argument- the age of the earth.  Ken Ham scored a few points, here and there, to deflect the assumptions made to arrive at these numbers, but way too few points. For example, Ham twice asserted that over 90% of the methods used for dating support a ‘young earth’ position but he never even attempted to illustrate this. On the age question, Nye was the clear winner because most people (rightly or wrongly) accept Nye’s position as objective science and Ham did little to puncture it.  On the other hand, when discussing the differences between species and kinds and how the Bible matches the fossil record, Nye was clearly and decisively beaten. This very effectively broke apart Nye’s strategy to emphasize the “predictive” nature of evolution.

Ham’s most effective argument would have to demonstrate the sheer complexity of life and the mathematical absurdity of the randomness required by Darwinistic evolution. Ham should have hammered Nye with the proof of an intelligently created world rather than such an emphasis on when He believes that creation took place. I found this absence very strange because it played right into Nye’s hands. The debate should have focused on if God created the universe more than when He created it.

I digress.

I found it curious that George Lujack used this debate as a model for possible future debates between himself and I because- frankly- I have seen so little evidence of him actually debating like this. Most of his debates have been little more than ad hom ridden tirades that rarely even address the point at hand.

So, I gave George a simple challenge. I wanted to see if he could actually understand how to debate civilly and cogently and how to genuinely make an objective assessment of who won a debate.

George’s assignment was to write an article stating simply- who won this debate and why. Below, in blue is his response. I will follow afterwards.


Analysis and thoughts of the debate that took place at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky USA on February 04, 2014 [1]. Dubbed by many as ‘Scopes 2,’ Bill Nye – The Science Guy and Ken Ham – Answers In Genesis CEO and founder of The Creation Museum, faced off in a Evolution vs. Creation debate headlined, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins in Today’s Modern Scientific Era?”

georgeBoth debaters presented difficult answers for their opponent to answer and address. One handicap that was difficult for Ham, and any man who uses Scripture as his foundational source of truth, is that a Scripture presenter must know Scripture thoroughly and must be correct in their interpretations of what Scripture says. In this writer’s opinion, Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis are incorrect on some of their understandings of the Genesis creation account. Bill Nye took advantage of Ham’s incorrect interpretation of Scripture regarding the age of the earth and the stars. It is here that science is seemingly able to prove that the earth and stars have existed for far longer than 6,000-years and Nye won debate points on these issues.

GENESIS 1:1-2: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.

In the beginning (how long ago was that beginning is undetermined) God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was…The earth WAS. That is, the earth EXISTED without (being) form(ed) (for life) and void (of life). The earth AND the heavens (universe) existed BEFORE our creation week began. THEN our creation week began in Genesis 1:3 when God created light for the earth, the earth that WAS there since THE BEGINNING.

Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis believe that the earth and the entire universe was created in the 6-day creation week, negating the Scripture account that the earth WAS in existence (Genesis 1:2) BEFORE day-1 of creation week in which God created light (Genesis 1:3). The earth was formed for life during the 6-day creation week. All life, including man and dinosaurs, were created during these 6-days. The unformed lifeless earth and the universe were created IN THE BEGINNING (Genesis 1:1).

Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis believe that the stars, the endless billions of stars, were created on day-4 of creation.

GENESIS 1:16: Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

“He made the stars also,” is more of a confirmation of what God had done IN THE BEGINNING (Genesis 1:1), rather than a proclamation that He made the stars on day-4 of creation week. The sentence context of Genesis 1:16 is like saying, “General Motors made this new model car in one day. They built the factory also.” One would not logically conclude that General Motors built the factory on the same day that they made their new model car, and we shouldn’t believe that God created all the stars of the universe on the same day that He created the sun and moon.

EXODUS 20:11: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them, and rested the seventh day.

This solitary verse is the strongest Scripture verse that suggests God created the universe and the earth during the 6-day creation week. Yet upon careful examination of this verse, and with a precept upon precept comparison with other verses, this is not the case at all. The Hebrew word for heaven(s) is shamayim. Shamayim, or heaven, is used interchangeably throughout Scripture as meaning God’s dwelling place, the universe, the cosmos, the sky or atmosphere [2].

Scripture itself declares that the word ‘heaven’ is used to describe the firmament (atmosphere) in the Genesis account.

GENESIS 1:8: And God called the firmament Heaven.

A correct interpretation of Exodus 20:11 should be understood to mean, “For in six days the Lord made the atmosphere and (formed) the earth (for life), the sea, and all (life) that is in them, and rested the seventh day.

How can believers know for sure that the entire universe and the earth were NOT made during the 6-day creation week?

1. Genesis 1:1-2 proclaims that the earth ‘was,’ that the earth existed before the creation week.

2. Genesis 1:3-31 covers the creation week, but does NOT record the earth itself as being created on this week. On creation day 1 through 6, there is no verse that says God created the earth on any of these days. Planet earth existed before creation week began. God acted upon an already existing earth on creation day-1, when He created light for the earth.

3. Yeshua (Jesus) was reigning in the cosmos / universe with God the Father before the earth (world) existed, BEFORE THE WORLD WAS formed for life.

JOHN 17:5: And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory that I had with You BEFORE THE WORLD WAS.

Creation scientists, who believe in a 6,000-year-old earth and stars make a fundamental error in interpreting Scripture concerning the age of the earth and the universe, but are correct in believing that life on earth has only been here for approximately 6,000-years. Creation scientists, who believe in a 6,000-year old earth and stars, limit God to the past 6,000-years. They put themselves in a box that evolutionists are all to eager to ridicule. Bill Nye did this effectively in the debate. He presented the measurable expanse of the stars as anecdotal, but convincing evidence that stars are much older than 6,000-years. He presented evidence that the earth has been around quite longer than 6,000-years as well.

Evolution scientists, who believe that man evolved from molecules that then formed into single-celled replicating organisms, and then kept evolving until man (as well as all other diversified life forms), make a fundamental error in interpreting their scientific research. They take God away from the equation, and imply, through their limited logic, how the universe and life came to be.

While the age of the earth and stars is unknown, and could very well be billions of years old, all life upon earth, including the dinosaurs, began about 6,000-years ago. Radiocarbon dating methods are refutable. Recent T-Rex dinosaur bone finds, containing soft tissue and blood fragments, strongly refute the evolutionist’s view that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago [3].

Another Scripture error that Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis believe and presented in the debate is their belief that God granted man the right to eat animals in Genesis 9:3 and before this man and animals ate only vegetation based on a misunderstanding of Genesis 1:29-30.

GENESIS 1:29-30: And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

GENESIS 9:3: Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

It is true that man and animals (including all dinosaurs and carnivores) ate only plants originally, but it was after the fall of mankind into sin that the earth was cursed (Genesis 3:17-19) and man and many animals began to eat flesh for meat.

Genesis 9:3 was a proclamation, a lifting of a temporary restriction against eating animal flesh that God placed on Noah and his family while on the ark.

God commanded Noah to bring all the animals aboard the ark and KEEP THEM ALIVE, not eat them, and to GATHER all foods that are eaten to sustain himself and his family for the duration of the flood.

GENESIS 6:19-22: And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them ALIVE with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to KEEP THEM ALIVE. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall GATHER it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.

After Noah and his family disembarked from the ark, God lifted the temporary restriction on eating living things that He had placed on them [4].

As stated earlier, a handicap that Scripture presenters have is needing to know and understand ALL of Scripture. This is NOT a handicap for evolution scientists. When Ham presented Nye with difficult questions, such as, “How did matter attain consciousness?” Nye’s response was, “I don’t know.” The reason Nye doesn’t know how matter became life is because evolutionists do not have any legitimate science to make the case for the origins of life, how life sprang into existence from non-life matter. Nye went on to explain that while he doesn’t YET know the answer for all of science’s questions, that it is up to science to discover these answers. That is an easy out for evolutionists who expect creationists to know and have every intricate detail of the universe spelled out for them in the Scriptures.

Ken Ham did score some debate points and chuckles from the crowd at times when he halted Nye’s dismissing of the flood account of Genesis, by pointing out that “there’s a book” in reference to the Scriptures that proclaims that the flood event did occur, and that many cultures of the world tell of the flood account in their early recorded histories.

Nye argued that there would be no trees saved alive if the biblical account of the flood is correct. This was a good point to make, but Nye doesn’t account for a God that could have somehow preserved the plant life of earth and that the method God used to do so may not have been recorded in the Scriptures.

Ham missed an opportunity to score points when Nye suggested that there would be Grand Canyons all over the world if the flood account was true. Ham should have responded with, “There would be NO Grand Canyon AT ALL, if the worldwide flood didn’t occur. Additionally, there are waterfalls all over the world, such as Niagara Falls, and these waterfalls are further evidence that a deluge of water did flood the earth.”

A rather bizarre Bill Nye stated he was “troubled” at the prospect of the future of the United States, should belief in God and creationism continue unabated. He feared for the scientific and technological advances that the USA would NOT achieve, unless those who believe in God and creation were prevented from poisoning the minds of the general population at large. This “troubled” Nye was at best comical, at worst scary, to watch and listen to.

Ham scored debate points against Nye, when Nye presented all the things that science produced: cell phones, satellites, and other tech devices. Ham pointed out that there was an intelligent designer behind those products.

Ham’s strongest refutation against evolution came when he correctly proclaimed that ‘kinds’ only reproduce their own ‘kinds.’ I would have liked to have seen an image of pigs with wings or of the X-Men with Ham proclaiming this type of spontaneous beneficial macroevolution, that evolution scientists claim must occur, is impossible and has never, nor will ever occur.

No matter who one believes won the debate, the truth is on creation’s side. Man did not miraculously macroevolve from molecules, to amoebas, to fish, to animals, to monkeys and then to man. Pigs cannot grow wings and fly, because of the limits of nature (wings are not in a pig’s DNA). Nor can pigs gradually grow wings “over time” as these would be useless appendages that would handicap a pig that was going through such changes. The same would hold true for any creature or species.

Adaptive microevolution or adaptation is possible, and does occur, where small adaptive changes can be made within a creature or species over a short span of time, but spontaneous beneficial macroevolution is IMPOSSIBLE.

1. “Bill Nye Debate Ken Ham,” FULL VIDEO (HD);   HYPERLINK “

2. “Shayim,” BibleStudyTools;  HYPERLINK “

3. “Dinosaur Shocker,” Smithsonian; HYPERLINK “ “Noah: Could He Eat All Things?” 119 Ministries; HYPERLINK “” Noah: Could He Eat All Things? | 119 Ministries

To my great delight, George presented what I feel is an extremely refreshing and cogent analysis of this debate. I read the entire article and recommend you do too. I do not agree with 100% of what George says here but I agree with more than I disagree with. Sadly, as I predicted, George does not do what I specifically asked him to do- tell me the winner and why. This is especially unfortunate because I feel there was one point when he was all over it but just couldn’t pull the trigger. Let’s read again, one paragraph from George’s article.

A rather bizarre Bill Nye stated he was “troubled” at the prospect of the future of the United States, should belief in God and creationism continue unabated. He feared for the scientific and technological advances that the USA would NOT achieve, unless those who believe in God and creation were prevented from poisoning the minds of the general population at large. This “troubled” Nye was at best comical, at worst scary, to watch and listen to.

Admittedly, George does go farther here than Nye did. Nye never claimed that God and religion should be banished from the public square but he did, as George rightfully points out, strongly assert that those who believe as Ham does cannot coexist with others in the community of Science.

A debate is won or lost by the premise and whether or not the premise is proven by the person making it. Bill Nye clearly over reached in the debate premise and it cost him this debate.

viableIt is at almost exactly 1 hour and 28 minutes into this debate that Nye lost the debate by establishing, as the premise of the debate, that the creation model is not viable. In making that positive assertion “absolutely not”, Bill Nye put the entire burden of proof on himself to prove that someone could not be a legitimate scientist while believing substantially as Ken does. As George Lujack rightfully asserts, this is a very bizarre and disconcerting premise and Nye tried very hard to make it, even going so far as to plead with citizens not to let people like Dr. Ham destroy science.

The long and impressive parade of scientists that Ham produced- the inventor of the MRI, a designer of robotics for a satellite, scientists with published papers… reduced this argument to dust.

Did Ham prove that the world is 6,000 years old? No. Did Nye prove it was billions, no? Make no mistake, however. Nye lost this debate with Ham because he tried to imply that that a person’s religious views disqualify him from participation in the realm of science. Nye was, as it were, hoisted by his own petard.

So, why did we just do this little exercise?

I am trying to help George to understand that what you believe is one thing, what you assert is another thing but what you prove (or at least support) is what wins the debate. I hope it becomes food for thought.

*Best of DTB #324* The Catholic Defender: Eucharistic Miracle of Chiaravalle France, 12th Century

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 24th, 2014

CD and Greg(Editors Note) Before our featured article, I first want to pass along the following report:

This past June 23, 2014, Dr. Gregory Thompson and I was part of a March For Life held at Columbia Missouri and given an honor of helping carry an Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

We first celebrated Mass at the local Catholic Church and from there, we went to the Planned Parenthood Clinic to pray for the end of abortion in this community.

There has been great success here as this clinic continues to have trouble keeping any abortionists who are willing to work there. So this clinic primarily is used to set up abortions in other places.

This particular Icon has a history of closing down abortion clinics after Our Lady’s intercession through the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

The Corpus Christi abortion clinic was visited by the Icon in February and in June, right before the Feast of Corpus Christi, ( Feast of the Body of Christ), the clinic closed.

abortionist 1Several other abortion facilities have closed after the Icon has visited and people have prayed for the closing of these clinics.

Three women at the notorious Leroy Carhart late term abortion clinic chose life while the Icon was being venerated (honored) and while the Rosary was prayed asking for the intercession of Mary.

The following report comes to us through Mike & Kathy Forck, organizers of the event.

“Tradition holds that St. Luke the Evangelist himself “wrote” the icon of what has now become known as “Our Lady of Czestochowa” on a cypress table in the home of the Holy Family. The Icon was damaged by anti-Catholic, Hussite raiders in 1430 who slashed it and attempted to burn her, so much so that today she is referred to as the “Black Madonna.” In a sense, she is a symbol of Poland herself, scarred but persevering in faith.

Pope John Paul IIOur Lady has interceded for the Polish people many times in her history. Just one modern example: From May 1 -7, 1979 many people in Poland held what became known as “The Siege of Jericho:” at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa they prayed continuous rosaries for the intention that the Communist Polish government would relax its restrictions on the visit of Pope John Paul II to his native land. On May 7, the Polish government unexpectedly relented and dropped the major obstacles that were preventing the Pope’s visit. We know now the fire that now-Saint Pope John Paul lit with his bold proclamation of the Gospel “behind enemy lines,” and how he large a role he played in the most remarkable peaceful revolution of the century, eventually even bringing down Communism in Poland and eventually the Soviet Union.”

It is very important to us to place our petitions before Jesus and Mary to pray for an end of abortion and to defend the culture of life. One of the great movies that have come out this past year is the Movie, “Mary of Nazareth”, I finally had the chance to see this great movie. I fully recommend it for any Christian home. Before we get into the Eucharistic Miracles for this article, here is a quick report from Dr. Gregory Thompson about the movie.

Mary of Nazarith“Mary of Nazareth, DVD package even more than expected, you are going to love having this video and the extras. More after this:

First, make of this what you will, but I was setting here thinking about being on the road so much the next couple of weeks and how to keep sending a Eucharistic Miracle each week, and the one I picked, had two instead of one, with no reason on why they should be connected, as you will see when you read each one attached. With reasoning tell me why at this moment these two unrelated should be attached to each other to put my heart at peace. Anyway, thank you Jesus. I will leave next Friday, God willing, to Texas to be with all five of my daughters, sons-in-laws, and 18 grandchildren at the same time. Please keep them in your prayers.

Now to each of my brothers and sisters in Christ from different parts of the state and even the nation, Ignatius Press is allowing those of us that have promoted the Movie, “Mary of Nazareth” a special opportunity to get this out before they release it to the general public in October. I wasted three weeks because I wanted to check the extras that they were putting into the package with the video, and was I so pleasantly blessed when we got our first order in that I picked up on Thursday, they wanted me to stay the night, but I was like a kid in a candy store when I laid my hands on what they sent, I told them I could not stay, because the next day was my birthday and I wanted to share the video with family and friends. Each person reading this will want a copy of the Video package for your family and friends. Call me if interested in the DVD package or if you want a site license to be able to show it at your parish for a year. Ignatius Press will release it to the general public at $30 on October 15, but we are getting them in quantity with a special discount to offer to our family and friends at $20 now. So many of you know me or have been to one of our events, watch the extra disc interview with Father Don Calloway, (listen to his insights) and then watch the movie with no interruptions. Mary will bless you and bring you closer to her Son.”

SAINT BERNARD OF CHIARAVALLE FRANCE, 12TH CENTURY, Eucharistic Miracle St. Bernard, Doctor of Church. Converts a Duke with the Eucharist!

BernaldSaint Bernard was the central character of an important Eucharistic miracle. The Duke of Aquitania separated himself from the Catholic Church, and he had absolutely no intention of returning to it. Saint Bernard, after he celebrated Mass, went outside the door of the church to the duke and presented the Blessed Sacrament to him. The Duke, deeply moved by a mysterious force, fell to the ground on his knees, begging forgiveness for having left the Catholic Church.

One of the biographies of Saint Bernard recounts that the saint “came to Aquitania to reconcile to the Church the duke of this province – but since he refused such reconciliation, the saint of God went towards the altar to celebrate the Mass while the duke, having been excommunicated, waited for him outside the door of the church. After the consecration, Bernard placed the Host on the paten and exited the church, with his face aflame with sacred ire.

When he arrived in front of the duke, he admonished him with these words: “We prayed for you and you ridiculed us. Here now, He, the Son of the Virgin, the Lord of the Church, He Whom you persecute, has come to you. Here, you have before you that Judge whose hands one day will hold your soul. Perhaps you will reject Him as you have rejected His servant? Resist Him if you can.” The duke immediately felt his legs fold underneath him and prostrated himself at the feet of Bernard, who then ordered him to stand on his feet to hear the penitential sentence of God. The duke trembled as he stood and he followed all that Bernard ordered him to do.”

Eucharistic Miracle of Saint John Bosco, Italy, 1848 SAINT JOHN BOSCO

Don BoscoSaint John Bosco was always very devoted to the Eucharist. Numerous are the writings in which the saint speaks of the importance of this sacrament. Once, having only eight Sacred Hosts remaining in the corporal, he began to multiply the Hosts so that he could distribute Communion to the 360 youth who were present at Mass.

Biographies of Saint John recount that in 1848, during a Mass celebrated in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation, Don Bosco realized at the moment he was to distribute Holy Communion to 360 young people that the corporal in the Tabernacle had only eight Sacred Hosts. Everyone noticed and wondered what Don Bosco would do. Giuseppe Buzzetti, who became one of the first Salesian priests, was serving Mass that day when he saw Don Bosco multiply the Hosts and give Holy Communion to the 360 people.

Don Bosco tells the story of what he saw in a dream: a terrible battle at sea caused by a multitude of boats, both large and small, fighting against a sole majestic ship, a symbol of the Church. Hit many times but always victorious, the ship was guided by the Pope to anchor itself securely between two tall pillars in the sea. The first held up high a huge Host with the writing, “Salvation of the Faithful” and the other which was lower, held a statue of Immaculate Mary, with the writing, “Help of Christians”.

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Chaste Mother of God, Immaculate Virgin.

columInto your hands we entrust the great cause of protecting the civilization of life and love. We live in a difficult time of a massive global attack by the civilization of death. Very many innocent people are perishing – unborn children, the aged and the sick. The number of victims already exceeds two billion human beings. Each day an additional 50 thousand children die in their mother’s womb. Many people do not want to have any children at all. Means of destroying fertility and life are becoming more and more common.

Infertility of married couples is increasing. The human child is becoming a product of modern technology, a donor of cells and organs. Children “are produced” with designated attributes, subject to selection.
Hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are preserved between life and death in liquid nitrogen.

International man made law denies legal protection to the life of the unborn child. More and more countries are legalizing euthanasia. The attack on marriage and the family is increasing.

O Holy Mother, we promise you that we will defend human life, especially the small and defenseless, with all our strength.

We stand before you, Mother of Our Redeemer, fully aware that alone we are unable to win that global struggle. Stand at the forefront of the defense of life movements and lead us. Protect life! Save the family! Strengthen us!

Obtain from your son the victory of the civilization of life and love!

Częstochowa, Jasna Góra 28 January 2012

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Trying to stop being such a weed

Posted by John Benko - July 24th, 2014

Last Sunday’s gospel reading, and the ensuing homily really hit home, the day after my family had to engage in the latest round of yard work. The parable of the wheat and the tares is one that we must all ponder and internalize;

Matthew 13:24-30

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

This parable is true and deep on so many levels. The first is that it is a prophecy of His church and how salvation will work. There will be weeds among the wheat. That will be the inescapable reality.

What is different (and that is where the pondering begins) is that our approach and God’s approach are quite different. Our approach is to simply pull the weeds out and throw them away. We see a weed as a weed. It has always been a weed and it will always be a weed and that is all there is to it. Love sees, in every weed, the possibility to become a stalk of wheat.

Why does Jesus say ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest’ ? Again, the answers are on many levels. First, there is the hope that our tare-able behavior will change, through the witness of the wheat. Second, the love of the wheat can only learn to grow having been tested by the coarseness of the surrounding weeds.

The single biggest mistake I have made in my life- and I fully admit I have made many- was not in the fact that I have lost my temper and acted like the north side of a south bound horse. It is not in the fact that I have been prideful, or that I have, at one time or another fallen victim to pretty much every one of the seven deadly sins. It is not that I have fallen victim to various kinds of addiction, anger, sadness, jealousy, anxiety, fear, regret, and countless other things that frail human beings fall victim to.

The biggest mistake is that I have fallen into the sin of despair. That- not betraying Jesus- is the sin that sealed the fate of Judas.

The real truth is that the only thing necessary to have Jesus is to want Him. The thing is, though, that you have to really want Him. With all your mind, heart, soul and strength. You cannot have half a Jesus in your life by a half-hearted effort. You must be willing to beat your own will to a pulp and kick it to the curb for good. It is hard, hard, hard work but it is a very, very, simple concept. Despair chokes off that process.

A Catholic who is devout, free from mortal sin, availing himself of prayer and the Sacraments, assisting in works of charity and trying his best to love his neighbor, is a soul destined for heaven. The more devout the practice of the Holy Catholic faith, the more absolutely certain it is that heaven awaits. What a profound and overwhelming joy this knowledge is to a miserable wretch like me.

As Paul said (in Romans 8);

31 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; 34 who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?[e] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is why God doesn’t rip me up and throw me out when I become a weed. He is always waiting to transform me back into a stalk of wheat. All I have to be is willing. Thank you, God for not giving up on me.

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