The Catholic Defender: The Importance for Vigilance

Posted by John Benko - October 5th, 2013

In this fast pace society that we live it is easy to be centered on the here and now.

We take each moment and live each moment expecting that tomorrow will be a better day.

We make our plans, we go to work, go to school, take our trips, most of the time our day is already mapped out for us.

As we spend our day, how many of us realize how fragile life can be?

The following is just being reported that Catholic Priests are being forbidden  to offer Mass, even if they volunteer for no pay.  The Obama Administration is doing everything they can to inflict pain on the American people.

We have watched this beginning with the shut down of the World War II monument in Washington D.C.

It is difficult to watch WWII Veterans many over 90 years of age in wheelchairs, walking with strollers breaking through Obama barriers to keep them out?

Now it is being reported that Catholic Priests can face arrest for offering Mass for Soldiers deployed all over the world.

The Archdiocese of the Military are receiving many complaints such as “This is Outrageous, especially threatening them with arrest to voluntarily do their job”?

Because eternity is very important, I want to consider this for a moment. There are those who spend a great deal of energy studying the last times.

For me it is a great point of interest, to look at the signs the Scripture refers to the last days. People are all over the chart on this subject.

Many times people go off making attacks on the Catholic Faith because they reject it’s foundations and so like a crazy doctor who miss diagnose his patients, they make false prophecies and accusations. 

Instead, we are to live this life in vigilance. We are to stand guard not as people who are paranoid, but as pilgrims in a strange land. Our homeland is here and now, but yet Heaven is our ultimate goal.
St. Peter instructs us to “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings”. 

Recently, the attacks on Catholics in Iraq by Islamic Terrorists have made the news and how terrible this is. Those killed are martyrs bearing witness to Christ daily. 

It is interesting that the Catholic Church is the most attacked group, yet the fundamentalists like Chick continues to make false attacks leading others to continue those attacks.

Violence is a way of life as people are affected by their environment. Ever since Adam and Eve with the fall of mankind, sin and death entered the world. 

Why does evil happen to good people?Our faith does not take away the evil in life, it helps us through it, to navigate around it. Sadly, a thousand people will rise this very day not knowing for them, this is their last day. Will they be ready? 

For many who live one day to the next without regard to their eternal inheritance this will be brutal. Jesus warns, “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come”.

Recently I was told by one of our Catholic Priests of an American Soldier deployed to Iraq who came to Father wanting to go to Confession. 

He told Father that he had been in more skirmishes with the enemy and he felt that his own life was seriously in danger. 

Father heard his Confession, gave him absolution, and the Soldier left there with God’s grace. 

Six days later, this same Soldier was killed in action after an attack upon his patrol. Tragic as this is, what a great sign this Soldier has left us. Through his example, he shows a great sign of predestination knowing that he packed his bags for eternity and today is in the hands of the Lord. 

It is a terrible thing to have someone die in your hands as I did during our 2007 deployment. There was no priest. I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet for this Soldier as that was all I could do.
I trusted in the Lord’s promise to those who prayed this devotion in the presence of the dying. After returning from Iraq in January 2008, our unit held a evening dinner for all the Soldiers and their families. 

As my wife and I were sitting down a man walked up to me saying that he recognized me. I had never seen him previously, he recognized me from the video given to him of his Son’s Military Memorial Service held in Iraq. 

He sadly explained to us that his wife was particularly brokenhearted over the fact their Son did not receive the Anointing of the Sick. She was deeply distraught over this on behalf of her Son.
I responded to the man that I would like to talk to her if she would like as I might have words that might console his wife.

He gladly brought her to us that evening and I explained to her the importance of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and of the Lord’s promise he gave to St. Faustina concerning this devotion. 

This was a devotion that I had been saying on behalf of our Soldiers in Iraq along with the Rosary. 

After speaking with his wife for a few minutes, she became greatly consoled with what I told her. 

You can never take the sorrow away of a morning Mother for their Child, but because she has great trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, she was greatly consoled. 

I remember my Mother at the funeral of my older Brother and how she was gathered around by the family trying to console her. Interestingly, this is the only time I remember my Mother ever playing the piano. Mom’s demeanor certainly created the somber tone of the scene.

Sadly, many are not as vigilant. They lead their lives with a terrible void they fill with fleeting things that will never satisfy the soul.

The Virgin Mary at Fatima after giving the Children of Fatima a vision of Hell (13 July 1917), told them: “You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace… But if they do not stop offending God… He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.”



Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 that to be a true Christian beginning in the later half of the 20th Century they would have to live as “Living Martyrs” because the attack on the family will be so severe, because people will be greatly affected by their environment. 

The secularization of our Society is very dangerous to the soul. Because of this,many live out each day like a mouse in a maze not aware of the potential dangers lurking at any corner.

Enjoy life, it is God’s gift to you, but be ever vigilant and faithful to His Church loving God above all things. I have found that if you put God first, you appreciate the things you have more profoundly with a thankful heart.


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