The Catholic Defender: Outside The Wire

Posted by John Benko - July 2nd, 2013

Outside the wire is a phrase well known among the Army deployed at the tip of the spear.

Anytime that we open ourselves to specific risks where the enemy can ambush you and kill you.

For many of us this was a daily engagement.

You try to minimize the hazard by ensuring the safety precautions are in place.

I always ensure that my Soldiers went “outside the wire” in their proper protective gear.

All missions had to be planned so that everyone knew the route, everyone knew the mission, and everyone was properly briefed.

We had to be able to respond to any threat and know the action needed to counter any kind of threat.

Spiritual warfare sometimes takes us “outside the wire”, sometimes we are at the “tip of the spear”.
We must be spiritually ready to go into the battle.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
The Rosary is a very important weapon that the Lord gives us. It is heavens peace plan as Our Lady presented at Fatima in 1917.

The Scripture should be placed in each ones heart. If I was conducting personal checks on my spiritual soldiers getting ready to go out side the wire, I would want to make sure they were prepared to go.

The problem I have seen is that many people are not properly equipped to go to battle. They may have a good heart, but their strength is not grounded.

This must be built, just as an athlete prepares for competition, so should a Christian prepare for temptation, prepare to go into battle.

I think another important gift is to recognize the gift God has given a person.
To be able to use and appreciate the gift of others who are with you. That makes the team much stronger.

1 Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourselves 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. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance”.

It is important to walk by faith and not by sight, but we must be able to discern those steps to know what the Lord is calling us to.

Anything that leads a person away from the Catholic Faith is a false way.

Even so, God can still use the journey of those who have left so that when they return, they can produce good fruit.

The restoration of the vineyard is what the Lord is calling for. To bring home the prodigals, those who have left the table of plenty.

As we begin our journey today, let us be charged up ready to do battle, to live out our baptismal vows to reject Satan, the glamor of evil, and to live a holy life.


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The Guardian Angel: What does it take to save a baby

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Why would this article start with such a verses? Have you ever wondered what Jesus is asking of HIS Bride?

Are we still worshiping and doubting? When Jesus spoke to the eleven disciples, was He speaking to the Bishops and Priests today, and then through them to HIS children?

You see, Jesus knows that when we make disciples of all nations, lives and souls will be saved. When we follow his commands, lives and souls will be saved. Jesus is willing to be with anyone who is obedient and seeks to be HIS and start a relationship, and HE will manifest Himself through them, wishing that none would perish.

If we claim Christ, then we are to be the hands, we are to be the heart, we are to be the rightly formed conscience so that Jesus can work through us to stop the abominations.

There are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, The false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

As I was in Phoenix over the last few weeks, I have been blessed to meet some true brothers and sisters in Christ that go to Mass daily, say the Rosary daily, and say the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily.

As I watched them, they tried to be like Jesus, asking for the will of our Father in Heaven, and then getting up from their prayers denying themselves and embracing their crosses to follow Jesus. Some studying to show themselves approved.

Some helping the poor, some taking the Eucharist to the sick and disabled, and the list could go on. Know that such pockets of Catholics are all across the world, that you are not alone in your walk with Christ, and that someone’s life and soul is in your path, and if you will use the gifts that God has given you they may stand some day in eternity with HIM.

So what does all of this have to do with saving the life of a baby, and how does it affect me. On this past Monday I went to Planned Parenthood in Phoenix, where they are Slaughtering the innocent, remember that is an abomination to God.

I was with five other people when I showed up with my daughter to show her what Jesus will do when we are faithful.

The first person that I went up to was a Priest, a true Shepherd that had picked up HIS cross and was willing to lead sheep and let Jesus manifest Himself through him.

Father and I immediately said a rosary together, and then I observed the ladies counseling a black lady and tell her about Margaret Sanger and her desire to exterminate the blacks and all minorities.

The black lady was watching a baby and two toddlers in the back seat of a car, and she said that her sister had went inside and was going to have and abortion.

They talked to her about how the black babies were the group with the highest percentage of deaths by abortion.

She said that her sister had already made up her mind, but when she heard about the agenda to kill the black babies, she sent a text to her sister inside, and the three ladies said they would watch the children if she wanted to go save her sister and her baby.

The baby and mother came out unharmed with the sister and they left, having been prayed for and ministered to, and given options for life by those that heard the words of Jesus. A baby was saved and more than one soul was affected and brought closer to Jesus.

This Shepherd, and these brothers and sisters in Christ will not have to hear the following sentence, because they have seen and heard, and then became doers of the Word.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.” Luke 6:46-49

Again, this baby and mother were saved to give honor and glory to our Father in Heaven.. There would have been death if this Shepherd and Christians had not made HIS words biography in the streets. Now I have to ask you, how many lives and souls will be lost if you and I stay at home. You and I must be there to lift up the arms of the Shepherds and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ with our words and our actions to be about our Father’s business.

So are you ready to serve the King of Kings? Are your eyes seeing and your ears hearing what it takes to save a baby? Pray, Stand, and Act, lives and souls will be affected for the Lord.

Then you will have the opportunity to hear these words from the Lion of Judah. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Pray, read this again, and then “go” like Jesus tells us, and let God use YOU. Even though we may not see it, there is a plan, and you and I were born for this moment in time.

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” Matthew 5:16


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The Catholic Defender: More Rosary Patrol Miracles

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

My time in Iraq was filled with prayer, I was given so much by so many.

These stories are intended to inspire you as God does answer prayer and he does work miracles. Sometimes we do not always understand the outcome.

Sometimes the Lord may say no. We can always approach Our Lord in confidence as a child.

If anyone out there has a story they would like to share, please let me know. God is so good

On 30 October, 2009 this request was given:

Would you add baby Rylee to your intentions this next 30 days. I posted about it in another thread.

I responded just a short time later:

Most certainly, thank you for remembering us here!!! May the Lord who is the true Physician bring healing into this family and baby Rylee. I believe in the power of prayer and the power of the Rosary. All of this in accordance to God’s Holy Will!

On 2 Nov, All Souls Day, I received the following response:

Thanks for asking about Rylee. The last update I have is from Saturday. My friend visited them Saturday morning. She said that Rylee is still in ICU. Her brain swelling is going down, which they want. She will remain in the drug-induced coma to help her brain rest as much as possible. Surgery to repair her skill will eventually bet he goal, but that date won’t be set for some time.

In addition to Rylee, will you add her mother, Robin to that prayer list. Because there is a head injury, DFCS/social services investigates. Robin has been through 2 interviews with them so far. Besides worrying about the health of her newborn, she now has fears that DFCS will take her older child from her because of this. She worries that they’ll go to her house when she’s not there and take her older daughter away. She feels a gut-wrenching amoutn of guilt. Please pray that God takes this pain away from Robin…she is going to hold on to it because she feels so guilty.

I will keep you updated as to Rylee’s condition.. as well as how mom is coping.

Thank you for your prayers.

My response:

Thanks, that has to be a tough burden to bear, and I don’t have much use for child services. Sometimes they look for excuses to give reason for their jobs. A lot of innocent families have been targeted by them.

And another prayer issue the Rosary Patrol was praying about:

New update about the helicopter crash, the Doctors are finding that our Soldiers brother is doing ok, they may release him in 24 hours. His buddy does have a Fractured Spine, but he is able to move his fingers and toes. Please keep him in your prayers!!!

I received the following post on 4 Nov:

I will definitely add Fr. Wood and PFC Autry to my prayer list. Speaking of prayer lists, an update on Rylee is that it has been confirmed that she has a blood clot in her brain. They took her off the ventilator this morning, but she didn’t do well. She’s stable right now. The first goal is to get her out of the drug-induced coma, then deal deal with the blood clot. Please keep the family in your prayers.

eta: another update as of Wednesday late afternoon – Rylee is off the ventilator, off of sedation and her mom is holding her!!!! The CAT scan is also showing that the blood clot is dissolving! God is working a miracle before our eyes! Thank you so much for your prayers!

I responded:

That is awesome!!! The Rosary Patrol will continue through November!!! That is amazing, I will have to tell Gigi!!!! Kind of reminds me of our gunshot victim! He’s doing great also!!! And your Daughter’s arm too!! God is soooo good!

The people involved in the helicopter crash seems to be doing better even as more information come out about the accident. The Brother does have spinal injury and has a cast for him, but he is expected to recover. That is good news as well as his crew mate.

I received this news on 5 Nov:

Praise God!!!!

I have even more news on Riley. Here is an update from her Mom that that was written late last night and in my inbox this morning:

Rylee is on the road to recovery, miracles do happen and this is definitely
one.

Yesterday, Tuesday had some of the darkest moments of this entire ordeal and

at the end of the day there was light.

With the discovery of the bleeding and other complications we were informed
by the nursing staff that Rylee was going to remain in ICU for some time
maybe weeks and we should start to select the nurses we liked to oversee her

care, the situation seemed to be worsening. This was not what the Doctors
had forecasted.

As we were trying to wrap our heads around what we needed to do to care for
Rylee the end of the day brought positive change. As the evening went on so
did her improvements, to the point of amazing the Doctors and Nursing staff.

Today Wednesday she is off most of her medication, breathing tubes etc. She
spent the night wide awake not sleeping the entire night.

After meeting with the Doctors today the blood on the brain is shrinking,
meaning is has stopped and they said the body will start to break it down
and it will vanish.

As it stands now if she eats well tomorrow and her blood pressure gets under
control they are going to move her out of
ICU into a regular room for a few days just for monitoring and then
HOME!!!!!

Thank You everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

My response:

Please send the family the continued prayers from the Rosary Patrol in Iraq!!! This is good news. I even shared this with our Company Commander. Is this Family part of your Parish?

Another post:

The family is not part of my parish. In fact, the neighbor who is my friend through a faith-sharing women’s group at my parish, is not even a member of my parish. Sue is a member of Seekers, a faith-sharing women’s group, that meets at my parish every Wednesday morning. Sue is a member of another nearby Catholic Church but her good friend leads our Seekers group. Robin, the mother of Rylee, is neighbors with Sue. Sue is an absolutely WONDERFUL young woman who definitely shines Christ’s light. Speaking of Sue, I’d like to add her and her family to your intentions next month. She has a daughter who has severe allergies… to gluten of all things and thankfully when it was time for her to receive her First Holy Communion, someone in Seekers told Sue to just pray about her daughter receiving. Sue was despairing because her daughter’s whole life has been spent where she is “special” because of her dietary needs and she was so upset that there was a possibility that she wouldn’t be able to receive Jesus. She prayed and prayed that her daughter would not be “excluded” from receiving the Eucharist. Her prayers were answered shortly before her daughter was supposed to receive her First Holy Communion. She received a call where she learned that there was a nun who spent all night on a recipe for gluten-free hosts… and it was finally ready… and in time for Elizabeth to receive her First Holy Communion. It was truly a miracle… and Elizabeth has been able to receive Communion ever since. Praise God. So, next month, I’d love it if you’d add them to the Rosary Patrol Prayer intentions.

I responded on 6 November, you might recall an incident that happened at Ft. Hood:

Today, I had the opportunity to teach another Soldier how to pray the Rosary, it was their first time and it went very well. We dedicated the Rosary for the situation at Ft. Hood.

I know that Gigi for one will be exhausted as she got home after 1200 midnight and had to be back by 0700 this morning. The more I am finding out the more this was an act of terrorism.

This was posted to me on 6 Nov about Baby Rylee:

I have another Rylee update – it is much needed, I think.

My friend, Sue visited Rylee at the hospital yesterday. Robin, the mom, was cradling Robin her arms feeding her a bottle. She was wide awake, alert and even gave out a nice big burp. Her bandages were off of her head and her wounds from the attempted surgery are large but healing. She said it is a drastic change from Tuesday when the nurses didn’t leave Rylee’s side for five hours, her parents were asked to stay outside of the room, Rylee had turned blue, and the doctors were preparing them for a few more weeks in ICU. The improvements she’s made are truly miraculous. They are moving to a regular patient room and both Mom and especially Dad see God’s hand in this. Robin made a point to tell my friend that she was blessing her with holy water.

To the Rosary Patrol, thank you for your prayers. You are part of this miracle!

I was happy to respond:

That is awesome news, I’m glad that Baby Rylee continues to improve. Sounds like Mom is doing better too, what a terrible ordeal this has been. If their faith is stronger through this, that is the miracle God was wanting!!!

On 11 Nov I received further news:

Yes, I do have an update. Rylee is HOME!!! She began to have seizures over the weekend, but that was expected. She’s taking two medications to regulate them and doctors feel she can be home for now. Discussions about surgery on her skull will take place after awhile.

So… great news! Thank you for all of your prayers. The family i sever so grateful and appreciative! Bless you all!

I also received this post from another Defender of the Catholic faith:

What a wonderful confirmation and consolation for the Rosary Patrol… Thank you for all the recent inspiring postings and pictures, answered prayers and new requests…May Our Lord continue to use you for His Glory. May Our Blessed Mother continue to watch over you and yours.

I posted this on 23 Nov:

The following is a note from one of our Soldiers wanting to give an update concerning his Brother whom we have been praying for:

“My little brother Ashley, is recuperating after a helicopter crash in his home with his family in Jackson Missouri. The crash happened 3 weeks ago, 80 miles off the coast of Creole, Louisiana. Ashley has some cracked ribs, crushed vertebre, and little self-esteem as he is a proud pilot. confident in his flight skills. I spoke with him on the phone for over an hour a few days ago. I hadn’t spoken with him for that long in over 10 years, so that was quite a treat for me. Ashley is wearing a back brace and is being weaned off the medication he has to take. An investigation of the crash cleared Ashley of any error or wrongdoing, so that was a load off his shoulders and emotionally uplifting. Still in some pain, he is still resting and feeling better each day. Please keep praying for him and thanks to everyone for their prayers they have already said. Prayer is powerful as evidenced by this true story of survival and healing. Thank you and all the best”!

I want to echo this as well, thank you all for your continued prayers for all the Rosary Patrol dedication
s!!! God bless!



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The Catholic Defender: Rosary Patrol Miracles

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

When I speak of “Rosary Patrol Miracles”, I really mean Miracles God has shown through the use of the Rosary, which there are many from all over the world.

Anyone who is determined to pray the Rosary is part of Mary’s Army, the Rosary Patrol. The following are taken from “Defenders of the Catholic Faith” from the Thread, “The Catholic Defender in Iraq”.

I wrote this from Iraq on 12 April, 2009:

Tonight, a Soldier came to me and asked me how to pray the rosary. I gave him some items that some of you have sent me to hand out. He expects to join us tomorrow! God bless!!!

I wrote the following on April 13:

I’ve got a Soldier who is looking to make his first Confession in 5 years when Father visits us next!!! He prayed the rosary with us today enlisting officially in the Rosary Patrol! I also have a native Iraqi who is Muslim that is seeking to become Catholic! He plans to participate with us praying the rosary as well! This opportunity fell in my lap today and I am so thankful. If I had the opportunity, I think I could reach many more of them! We will go one person at a time.

If there are something like 17,000,000 fallen away Catholics in the United States, as a group, that would be the second largest group in the U.S. That’s larger than the largest Protestant Denomination, the Southern Baptist. Think of this, if 1% of those who have fallen would return with a simple invitation, that would be something near 200,000 people! Let’s do it, one person at a time. Jesus would leave the 99 to seek after the one lost. Once found, there is a huge party in heaven! The Angels rejoice!

I call this, “Operation Restore the Vineyard”!

PS, Lisa, I received the box today, but it got here on Easter!!! Thank you so much! I will be showing the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” tonight!!!

I wrote this on 17 April:

This is an update on the Soldier who has been away from the Church for 5 years. He has been coming to the Rosary, he’s part of the Rosary Patrol and he plans to see Father when he returns in a couple of weeks. He came to last Sundays Liturgy of the Word and enjoyed it. I can hear angels singing in heaven tonight!!!

I wrote this on 25 April:

The last two days I’ve had Soldiers come to me to ask about becoming Catholic!!! One of them prayed their first rosary today! A new member of the Rosary Patrol! He was Baptized as a Baby but that is all he knows so he will join my list for the Easter Vigil 2010 Mass! The other one has a marriage issue he will have to resolve. He wants to marry a Catholic but he is divorced. He was raised Methodist but he is now more non-denominational. I talked to him for a while and told him what he needs to do. First thing is to decide if he wants to be Catholic! Today, I had encourage this young Soldier, maybe 19 or 20 years old, to join us for the rosary. We pray it at the Chaplains office at noon everyday. I’ll show up there and wait a few minutes and if nobody shows up then I go a head and leave. Today, nobody showed up after about 10 minutes so I decided to get lunch. Remember, I had already prayed with a group at 05:00 in the morning. I was in the Aid Station, didn’t yet have a bite when this Soldier came into the Aid Station. He was late but wanted to do the Rosary. I didn’t hesitate, we went and prayed the rosary. This was his first one ever. He liked it so well, he will be back tomorrow as we will talk about the Easter Vigil 2010!!!

This was written on May 2, 2009 by one of the Rosary Patrol from California:

As I have said before CD you certainly raise the bar for us at home.

I read your post and think to myself who have I taught to pray the rosary lately. Who have I shared with lately that how I handle the stress of my current life situation is by prayer. So once again thank you for allowing us to be prayer partners with you and the rosary patrol.

Even though we participate with prayer and the wonders of technology I marvel at the bond you have with all your soldiers and also with the Iraqis you help. Praise God that you have a song on your lips. Thank God for your wife and that you each can offer up your time together for the good of our Country and yes the world. It is certainly a blessing that you can speak with Gigi regularly while you miss her presence and good cooking! It is almost a mixed blessing tho to be in communication but yet so far away when a loved one is in Harm’s Way. There is no way to comprehend the pain of repeated separation yet you are using it to help soldiers in ways that will help them their whole lives.

I was with Vets from the 187th AB REG CTA yesterday and what touches me most is how their experiences in combat, not nearly the duration of combat our present day soldiers have seen, and yet it marks their whole lives. CD you talk about the enemy of today and how his face has changed…makes me think of the many soldiers that became monks after WWII to integrate their war experience…Well you are handing these soldiers, who have the most combat experience in recent times, tools that help them now and will surely help them the rest of their lives….did I say that already….thanks for sharing the journey.

I wrote this on May 4:

Today has been a blessed day, all the gifts we received were fantastic! Tonight we prayed the rosary with 6 Soldiers one of them being an Iraqi Christian. It was his first Rosary!!! There will be many more! I received some rosaries today and two of the blue ones were used and given away. I was tempted to keep one of them but I gave it to someone more in need! That’s exactly what you would want and expect and it is the right thing to do!!! Thank you all for those great gifts. Tomorrow I plan to take some pics with some of the items given to Soldiers!!

Please keep us all in your prayers as there is a real enemy out there just abiding their time….

We are prayer warriors united in faith! The Rosary Patrol is picking up steam and I think it has much to do with all of your prayers. There are many who come in here just to browse and pray. We are heading towards 3500 views and of that, I know there is much prayer!!! That’s why I call this teamwork! Everyone here becomes a part of the adventures of the Rosary Patrol.

I wrote this on 7 May:

A good example of this can be seen with a new Medic I received yesterday. He has been Baptized and Confirmed a Catholic yet has never been to confession. He has not been to Mass since 2005, and he has been approached by many other groups talking down against the Church. He is now part of the Rosary Patrol, took part today for the first time!!! He plans to get himself right with the Catholic Church as I was able (through the Holy Spirit) to open his eyes on a lot of things.

Mrs Hicks is a great American and it is an honor to remember her Son as well as all of the others. Thank you for sharing with us that she sent a card to you! I truly do plan to post some pics probably Saturday as I want to get the action on Friday!!!

The following request begins on 9 May:

May I add someone else onto your prayer list as well?

Will you lift up Patrick Whaley in your prayers? He is a 23 year old GA Tech student who fought off attackers and they shot him in the back. He is currently in critical condition having sustained injuries to the stomach, lungs and liver. Patrick and his family used to attend my church. As an Eagle Scout project he built a beautiful prayer trail near our church. His mother was my first co-catechist.

I responded quickly : Most certainly! 30 days! Did they catch the shooters?

Response came back :

Not yet. They tried to get Patrick into their van, but he didn’t. That’s when they shot him. Another couple who happened to be getting into their vehicle at the time, were pushed aside and their vehicle carjacked. They dumped the vehicle blocks away… but attacked another male within a mile of Patrick’s attack. This guy they forced into their van. There were 3 of them. One remained in the van while the other 2 attacked the single man. He got into the van where they demanded his ATM card. He said he gave it up and didn’t look at their faces in hopes that they wouldn’t kill him. They dumped him off at a dead and street. The guy said they held the gun to his head and he started crying pleading for his life.. saying he’s got family, please. They shot him in the leg and ran off. As far as I know, they didn’t get them, but I’m not sure how much of a report Patrick was able to give. He’s on a respirator and I know that he was able to hand write notes to his family. He called his attackers cowards because they shot him in the back. That’s about all I know at this point.

The May 11 Rosary Patrol dedications were:

Rosary Patrol dedications for this week include:

Soldiers going outside the wire

The Iraqi/Afghanistan war fronts, military and civilian peace and safety

For families separated do to deployment

For our own families (Gigi)

For SGT Hicks, PFC Spencer, and Jay-D who died in Iraq 28 April 2007 and their families

For Sarah who broke her arm

For Seth who was murdered recently and his family

For Alex who is accused of the murder and his family

For Patrick Whaley who was shot in the back by cowards who is in intesive care

May the Lord bless us with His continued presence for the above and for all those added in the prayer requests of the Board Prayer Request forum (Matthew 18:20).

This was written on 17 June:

What times do you pray the rosary? I was thinking that maybe there is a time that would work for me to pray it at the same time. That would be cool.

Also, I wanted to report that Sarah is officially 100%. She had her last follow-up doctor’s appointment and her arm is all better. She no longer needs to wear the brace and she can officially return to all of her normal activities. She’s doing great in swimming – even diving in at the start of each event. She’s doing great. She won her heat in Backstroke last night and also was part of the winning relay medley for her heat. I don’t know how her times were but I’m sure they were improved from last week. Her backstroke looked great and her freestyle did too… especially the start(dive in).

Anyway, report back to the Rosary Patrol that all the prayers have been wonderful and appreciated.

The following was taken from the Georgia bulletin:

Patrick Whaley was shot. His plans for his college break were left behind May 4 as the ambulance worker scissored through his bloody T-shirt in a parking garage in Midtown.

The 22-year-old spent half of May recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital. His classroom this summer has been a rehab room where he undergoes physical therapy. His body is recovering from a 70 percent blood transfusion, broken ribs, loss of lung capacity.

Patrick would fully recover despite what doctors feared. In fact, they recognized the “hand of God” in the healing of Patrick. There were a good number of such stories!


_________________


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