*BEST OF DTB #114* The Catholic Defender: The Immaculate Conception

Posted by John Benko - December 8th, 2013

It was 27 January, 2007 I had been out with the Scouts as we went to a number of villages looking for weapons.

That had been a long day that was very beneficial to us as we were able to find weapons and get some key information.

Once we returned back to Base, I was able to take off and go to a scheduled class I was prepared to give.

The following is what I wrote on the Defenders of the Catholic Faith Message Board:

Beginning this morning, I was outside the wire on mission and didn’t get back until after 18:00 hours. I was in full battle rattle when I got to my room and grabbed my computer and speaker system and made my way to the Division Chapel which was about a mile away. I had to go by foot. I got there to find Father was there with the RCIA class which was real glad I was able to get there. Even though I was 45 minutes late, everyone stayed the whole time to watch the DVD on Mary. That was so cool. A non-denominal preacher happened to be in another room became interested in the subject matter so after I dismissed the class we talked for another hour. It was a good night of RCIA action!!!

As I walked back to my unit, it was night time, very dark. I heard the explosions in the distance, the gun fire. I reflected on some of the questions I covered at this evenings class.

I have Soldiers who were raised as Mormons, Church of Christ, Lutherans, Anglicans, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptists, Non-Denominational, Pentecostals, former Catholics, and non-believers.

They had various opinions based from what they were raised so their questions are very interesting as they were all sharing their journey to the Catholic Faith.

In one way, it reminded me of the first Christians who were Baptised that first day (Acts 2:41) St. Luke writes, “Those who accepted his (St. Peter’s) message were baptised, and about three thousand persons were added that day”.

I thought it was cool that we were continuing the work that Christ commissioned the Church to do.

The teaching on Mary was tonight’s main discussion and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was a main issue. What a great reflection of the love of God and I continued to walk along my journey back to my room.

I thought of Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heal”.

I thought about that for a while, certainly God knew who this woman was when he said this. This woman can not be Eve as I’ve heard some think because her offspring did not conquer the serpent.

It was Jesus who conquered sin and death, St. Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38).

I felt that the Virgin Mary was the only one who could be the Woman of Genesis 3:15. This is the belief of the Early Church Fathers and the constant teaching of the Catholic Church.

Resting in this truth, my heart just came alive. I continued to reflect on the Immaculate Conception remembering that Gabriel was sent to tell Mary that she was this Woman.

This is very important. Compare the appearance of Gabriel to the Virgin Mary with when the Angel appeared to St. John. Revelation 22:8, St. John writes, “It is I, John, who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said to me, ‘Don’t! I am a fellow servant of yours and your brothers the prophets and of those who keep the message of this book, Worship God”.

I thought about how St. John was with Jesus for three years learning and hearing the Lord’s teaching first hand. He was one of the Twelve, yet he lost himself with the appearance of the Angel.

Compare this with Mary’s response to Gabriel, an Archangel. The Angel first greets Mary with “Hail, Full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). I recalled the original Greek “Kecharitomene” means “having been” or “have already been” graced, Mary is “Full of Grace”, a past perfect participle.

Because God knew who the Woman of Genesis 3:15 would be, at the appointed time, God prepares the Virgin Mary from her very beginning to be the Mother of Jesus.

This does not mean that she didn’t need Jesus, she absolutely did, it is when she was free of Original Sin. It is a singular grace by God to the Virgin Mary that benefits all mankind.

She was protected by God from the Devil from the moment of her conception. St. John writes, “When the dragon saw that it had been thrown to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child (Jesus). But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half year. The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. But the earth helped the woman and opened it’s mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus” (Rev 12:13-17).

The Virgin Mary appears to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 giving us the “Miraculous Medal” that shows Mary standing on the moon and the Devil under her feet.

St Augustine said (354-430), “Since the devil is the head of original sin, this head it was that Mary crushed: for sin never had any entry into the soul of this Blessed Virgin, which was consequently free from all stain”.

As I kept thinking about this, I just wanted to reach out to God and thank him, even in this place. He has given us so much.

I couldn’t help thinking of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous identifying herself, “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

I thought of the wonders God has worked at Lourdes that even today miracles are happening.

I understand that several thousand people go to Lourdes France everyday from around the world.

God promised us signs and wonders through his presence among his Church. As I walked into our Orderly Room, I checked in so they would know I was accounted for. I stopped in talking with the duty personnel and I was overjoyed from all that I was involved in this night.

I could still hear mortar fire in the distance, machine gun fire sporatic, every now and then a real loud explosion, yet it could not dampen my spirit. I dedicated my prayer for those who were in the midst of the fight.

Looking back, what a blessing it was to paticipate in the journey of so many people wanting to become Catholic. Despite the danger we lived, I was consoled with this truth: “You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Recently, Islamic Terrorists have attacked Catholic Churches in Baghdad killing many. Please pray for the Church persecuted today.

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The Catholic Defender: Battle Rhythm

Posted by John Benko - September 17th, 2013

In the Army we have a saying that we use to ensure that our troops are prepared daily to handle the constant missions being laid out.

The first thing we would do would be “Stand Too” which before dawn every Soldier would be at their fighting position prepared for an attack.

Once daylight had broken through, only specific guards would maintain vigilance as everyone else would continue on for the day.

The cooks would go to the dining hall, the medics would go to the Aid Station, maintenance would go to the motor pool. Everyone has different areas of responsibilities. All would have to have personal hygiene done before all of this.

I remember what it was like putting cold water on your face to shave in zero degree weather. I was always hardcore like that as I never really took to electric shavers in the field. Platoon Sergeants would go to the First Sergeant’s meeting to get the information and the plans for the next coming days.

We would develop a “Soldiers Book” to keep up with all the Soldiers under your responsibility. They had to be supervised to ensure that not only all missions were met on time as planed, but that they were in the correct uniform and that their equipment is serviceable.

All this is important to get through the day. Once you have everything supported and covered, once everything has been met, you might be able to get some downtime. The Army has really changed in 26 years as today, you will see that just about everyone has a lab top computer that can play movies, use Internet, amazing technology to keep up with the family and world back home.

The Battle Rhythm is an important tool to help each Soldier stay on top of their responsibilities.

Our Faith can be like that as well. Without an established Battle Rhythm, it is easy to pass days without praying or dedicating time with the Lord that we need.

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”.

It’s good if we can make daily Mass, weekly bible study, rosary and other devotions you can join in on. It’s those individual commitments that can be a challenge.

A Battle Rhythm can help you manage each day to dedicate your commitment to the Lord. It’s important to be prepared for the missions coming up that we support such as the pro-life rally’s, or other issues we are involved in.

Prayer is very important. Daily prayer is personal, how many times do we fail because there just is not enough time in a day?

That has always been a struggle at times especially when I am home because of all the events and obligations I end up participating in.

Sometimes just a change to chill out and watch a good movie or something can take up a lot of time.

This is when a Battle Rhythm can be a tool the Lord can use to help you fulfill your own commitments. Let us not grow lazy in our prayer life, but faithful to our obligations to prayer.

Prayer can be work at times, sometimes we may not feel like it. Do it anyway! You never know what good you offer by doing so! Prayer builds character such as the following example:

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The Catholic Defender: The Power Of The Hail Mary

Posted by John Benko - June 4th, 2013

The Hail Mary of a Protestant
(A true story)
A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer “Hail Mary.” He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. “Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer,” he said to his mother one day.
“Never again say it,” answered the mother. “It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do.” From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily “Hail Mary” and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: “Mommy, I have found the ‘Hail Mary’ in the Bible which says: ‘Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.’ Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?”
On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that “the generations would call her blessed.”

He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the “Hail Mary” every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.

When he was fourteen, he one day heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman. The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:

“Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion.”

So deep was the impression which the boy’s talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: “Oh my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!” And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.

Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: “You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!”

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery. Her brother then approached her and spoke to her affectionately, saying:

“My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one ‘Hail Mary’ and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be.”

His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning, but as she wished for her son’s recovery, she accepted her brother’s proposal and recited the “Hail Mary” together with him. The next day her son was completely cured. The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her whole family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.

The story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Fr. Tuckwell. “Brethren,” he went on and said, “the boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady. You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, ‘Hail Mary’, and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and ‘against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.’”

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The Catholic Defender: The Rosary Patrol

Posted by John Benko - February 16th, 2011

On Monday, 21 February at 7:00 P.M. Central, live on blogtalkradio, deepertruth will begin praying the Rosary.

While serving in Iraq, I organized a rosary group I called the :”Rosary Patrol”.

We will pick this up again Monday each week.

I want to invite everyone who has a desire to pray the Rosary to come and join us here at deepertruth blogtalkradio.

If anyone would like to have the rosary patrol to dedicate the Rosary for your intentions, please respond each week so we can pray for your needs.

This is from one of my Rosary Patrol members (Iraqi) November 15, 2009!

In a small village, far from Cordoba about 15 Km, at the 10th of this month, a lady took her one month old baby to baptize him, in the church, there where others baptizing their babies too and there was a female photographer taking pictures to other babies. the infant’s mother asked the photographer to take a picture for her son while the priest baptize him and she had told her previously that she own nothing to pay for the picture but she ask her as a favor, the photographer has agreed to do the courtesy as she knows the mother and son lives in poor and the baby has no father, the photographer took the pictures using a regular camera, and sent it to the Cordoba city for development, and it was the surprise when the pictures were received, as the poured water on the Babbie’s head revealed as a rosary and here I’m sending you the picture, as it was published in the newspapers and shot by the photographer’s lens.

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The Catholic Defender: Interesting events of my trip

Posted by John Benko - November 25th, 2010

Last week my Father suffered a heart attack, I felt there was no choice but to go see him in Southern Missouri near Springfield.
It’s a small cattle town called Humansville. It is the only town with this name anywhere in the known world.
I was told by the Doctor that if he had been 30 minutes later he would not have made it.
It is very important to respond quickly under these kinds of situations.
Minutes do make a difference. He is doing well at this time.

Spending some time with him, I learned about an Uncle of mine, one of his Brothers, was wounded in World War II when a Japanese Soldier ran upon him with bayonet.
My Uncle killed the enemy attacker but his momentum carried him right to my Uncle.
He was hit on the right hip with the bayonet. I really enjoyed listening to my Dad as he spoke of his time in the Army. He served as one of the Commanders driver.
It seems that some of us always get all the luck? I’m proud of my Dad’s service as well as my Uncle. I have Two Brothers who served as Marines, one of them was in Viet Nam, while the other was in Lebanon.
He survived the blast that hit the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Oct 23, 1983. The attack just one day before my second Son, Joshua would be born on 24 October 1983.
I was really glad to spend some quality time with my Brother (Randy) the past few days. We watched some old Westerns with Clint Walker and the first season of 24.
My Soldiers got me hooked on 24 during the first two weeks in Kuwait February 2009.
During that deployment, I went through 1-7 seasons of 24. I was only too happy to get my Brother hooked!
Last Saturday, while walking through Humansville I stopped into a shop where I heard some people talking so I went in to see what it was about.
It turned out to be a small group of families who classified themselves as “Jews for Jesus”.
They were strict on Saturday as the Sabbath. I told them if they really understood the Catholic Faith, they would have to have a good understanding of the Old Testament.
They were very respectful to me and invited me to participate with their fellowship. I stayed until I went to Catholic Mass.
My Mother died 1 August 2006, anytime I come visit the area, I always pay her a visit.
I prayed the Rosary as my custom, when I got to the last prayer in the 5th decade, two formations of Canadian Geese flew overhead and I couldn’t help but think Mom and the Saints were appreciative watching over us (Hebrews 12:1).
From Humansville, I drove to Fort Campbell Kentucky where I had the chance of visiting two of my Sons going to Austin Peay University.
I also got the chance to see two of my Grand Children there. I still have one Son in Afghanistan from there. I stopped by St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Oak Grove Kentucky getting the chance to see Father David who blessed my new rosary made in Jerusalem!
Before I left Fort Campbell, I was able to see the Catholic Coordinator, Rita Payne, who has been there for many years.
We worked together when I was stationed there. I had the chance to meet the Catholic Priest from Nigeria serving there.

It was just a few moments when Father Pamula walked into the Soldiers Chapel walking into the office.
I served with him in Iraq during my 2007 deployment.
I also served Mass with him in October 2009 when I came back from leave.
He has a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He was raised just miles from St. Faustina in Poland.
Currently, My wife and I are visiting our Grand Children in Alabama as Matt redeployed and is home.
We are so proud of him being awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts. My wife and I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving to John Benko and his family, my sidekick on the Blog, to all our readers and participants, and to all Americans who love freedom and liberty. God bless America!

The Catholic Defender Travels to Medjugorie

Posted by John Benko - November 14th, 2010

It was in the early Spring of 1988, I was Stationed at Schweinfurt Germany assigned to a Forward Support Unit on Conn Concern (Barracks).

Our Unit had completed training and I was given the opportunity to take some leave. Our Catholic Chaplain, Father Ryan, with a small group of Soldiers and some Dependants planned a trip to Medjugorie.

I was given the opportunity to make the pilgrimage and so the 22 hour bus ride began on 23 March 1988.

We all had to have special passports being some of us were United States Military going into a Communist Third World Country, the former Yugoslavia.

Despite the trip, everyone was high with expectation.

I had my M-5 video Camera taking pictures along the way. The mountains and the rivers were very colorful.

Sometimes the roads were so narrow that you could almost look straight down from the bus window deep into the gorge.

That was a bit scary. Finally, we made it to our destination. Getting off the bus was great as we looked around the area.

Medjugorie is a small village located up in the mountains about 40 miles past Mostar.

From afar, you could see “Cross Mountain” where the people of the village erected a large cross in 1933 to commemorate the Passion of the Lord.

You can see this far off as you drive towards Medjugorie.

The Church of St. James stood very prominent.

The place was alive with small children playing with old soccer balls, there were local farmers with goats that seemed everywhere.

We were quickly assigned with local families to stay during this pilgrimage. It seemed that the whole region was totally converted.

It was for me like a place of fable, something that you might find only in the movies.

I remember that up to this time, as a pilgrim, I was reporting on my documentary I was making that the reports of Mary’s appearing here to six children were “possible”.

During that first day, 24 March, I was up at one of the sites that Mary was reported to have appeared to the Children, “Cross Mountain” or “Apparition Hill”.

I was conversing with some friends of mine when I was called to intervene with a developing situation.

A woman (a 5th grade school teacher from Indiana) was extremely excited praising God.

Another visitor from Texas (my home State), began to challenge The woman’s excitement with scepticism.

My Friend who called me over to intervene in this situation was one of my Soldiers. He was raised a Baptist and planning to become a Preacher. At least until he finished looking at the Catholic Faith. He was curious how I would handle this situation.

I went to the lady and asked her what had happened. She showed me her rosary describing how it turned from silver to gold while it was in her pocket up on this mountain.

I asked to see it noticing that it was in fact gold in color. Not only was the chain gold but also the corpse on the crucifix was gold which I had never seen a two tone crucifix like this before.

The cross itself remained silver. She continued to tell me that this particular rosary she has had for 20 years. I then turned my attention to the Stranger from Texas.

He was with a group wearing an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his jacket. Noticing this, I explained the miracle of the Tilma and Our Lady’s appearances there in Mexico. After about ten minutes, his eyes got real big and he was ready to go to the other sites in the area.

I was then able to interview and video the Woman’s testimony and her Rosary. The following morning, I was at Mass with some of our group and it was jam packed.

The people singing was very inspiring, people from all over were carrying signs, rosaries, religious items, most importantly, themselves offering themselves enthusiatically in the Mass. Looking around about three rows behind me I noticed the very sceptic I had spoken with on “Cross Mountain”.

At the greeting of peace, I reached out to greet him with the sign of peace and I could see the love in his eyes, the total change in his face.

He pulled me towards him in a manner that told me he was no longer a sceptic. All of this was having a positive impact on all our group.

My Soldier was witnessing all these things with me. That would become very important as you shall see. After Mass, I was conversing around together with about 15 members of our group.

Everyone was discussing the events that they were seeing and participating with. I shared what I experienced the night before and the Lady from Indiana’s story.

About that point, a commotion was stirring coming towards us. Two men, brothers on pilgrimage there from parts unknown, had identical rosaries before they went to Mass, during the Mass one of them turned gold at the Mass.

All of our group were listening to them speak intently as I videoed the occasion.

There was a definite change in the appearance of the rosaries. That brought on alot of awe and wonder from us. As this was happening, I became interested about our group to see if anyone had witnessed anything like this from among us.

Everyone pulled out their rosaries and the Lord was giving us a sign as we were gathered there. I had my trusty M-5 video camera and I literally was able to capture on video a rosary transform from silver to gold right there on the camera.

A miracle right before us! There were two people holding the rosary as we were all inspecting it, watching it. They were literally trembling as I videoed the scene.

We all walked down the street as did the two men before us, praising the name of the Lord and the work we were witnessing he was doing.

Later that day, I was among a throng of people who were awaiting for one of the visionaries, Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatoric, who would come out to field questions from the many pilgrims.

I had my trusty M-5 Panasonic video camera on hand and was able to get her responses.

Soon after I met a Father who brought his son from the United States who had major burns on his body. The boy was terribly scared and the prayer was to find peace. That was answered there.

Later that day I had the chance to speak with a Buddhist that was curious about what was happening here at Medjugorie. After two hours of discussion, he became convinced of the Lord’s Resurrection.

The Mass was continuous throughout the day in several languages for people coming there. The English Mass was like 08:00 in the morning. At 17:00 the Church was for the locals who prayed every night as a whole community. Everyone was welcome, but it was always packed. People would be gathered all around the Church outside to participate.

Confession was continuous, there were long lines of people going to Confession. That was powerful and it had a great impact on our Priest, Father Ryan. This pilgrimage was having a great impact on all of us.

One night, I was with some people from England as we went up cross Mountain doing the Stations of the Cross. It took 45 minutes to get up that hill. On a dark night sitting from the top of Cross Mountain what a site looking down on the villages. You could spell the word “love” from up there.

On the morning that we had to leave to go back to Germany, I was outside in the throng of people listening from out in the court yard when an older man speaking broken English to me, pointed to the sky. He exclaimed he could see Jesus. I looked up where he was pointing not seeing anything. I motioned to a friend to take a picture. From this picture, you could see the face of Christ. When I was in Korea, one of the Korean photographers converted to the Catholic Faith. He placed this picture on a board for me. I have had that picture on my wall in all my offices since!

Since June 24, 1981 the feast of St. John the Baptist, more than 30,000,000 people have gone to Medjugorie. Despite the fact of the Government’s opposition. Even in 1988 when we were there the Government had plain clothed Military there to harass the masses. I noticed the military helicopters flying over head.

Today, I know Catholics who are strongly supportive of Medjugorie and I know others who are not convinced. All you have to do is Google the subject and you can see all the pros and cons. Is it possible God can still work the miracles and things we have witnessed there and the whole thing be a fraud?

For me, I will defer ultimately for Rome’s final verdict. The Bishop of Mostar does not openly support it, yet the Vatican seems to believe it (unofficially). Time will tell, but I must say that not only I was touched by this pilgrimage, so was my Soldier. As soon as we were back in Germany, he was Baptised and Confirmed into the Catholic Faith by Father Ryan! That was a trip that seemed so much like fable, what an experience this was for all of us.
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*BEST OF DTB #37* The Catholic Defender: The Rosary, A Powerful Weapon

Posted by John Benko - November 7th, 2010

The Rosary is a very powerful weapon, a tool that the Lord shows his Love to us.

Sadly, I was raised around having rosaries in the area. You could probably find one in a drawer, Mom had one on her desk, but we never prayed it together as a family.

My Mother was a convert to the Catholic Faith and I was Baptized at the age of 4 years old. I remember my Mother getting me a green rosary that glowed in the dark.

That hung around for years and I wish I had it today. My devotion with the rosary developed as a process.
I was 22 years old when I embraced the Catholic Faith after about 3 years of not practicing.

College for me was at a Protestant “Non-denominational” background. That is where I had my baseball scholarship. My senior year I began you pray the “Scriptural Rosary” from time to time.

How I really took up the rosary is a bit unorthodox, but it really helped me grow in my faith tremendously. I worked at a Warehouse for about 5 year after I got out of college.

During that time, I worked in the Receiving Department where I was used to take up a hand jack and pick up pallets to haul back to unload trucks.

We had forklifts to place the loaded merchandise in the racks that would go as high as 5 maybe six tiers high. This was a huge plant, thousands and thousands of square feet.

A normal day I could bring in a thousand pallets and walk 30 miles. That was no joke.

I was so good at this, the organization didn’t want me doing anything else because through what I did, it kept the whole show running.

I remember tossing up pallets 20 high on that hand jack before I would take the long walk back to receiving.

Because so much of the time I was out on my own I would greet and meet people all over the place all day long, yet I was mostly on my own. I began using the Rosary in a very powerful way.

I began praying the Rosary daily dedicating each decade in segments throughout the day.
I would begin the first decade when I started work at 07:30 until 09:00 when we took our first break. When I was out in the warehouse, I would dedicate that time block for the first mystery.

After the ten minute break I would begin the second mystery between 09:10 till 10:30.

I would dedicate the third mystery from 10:40 until lunch at 12:00.
At 12:30 I began the fourth mystery until 14:00.

Then I would finish the Rosary with the fifth mystery from 14:10 to 15:30.

Through this reflection through out the day, I could tell that my faith was growing leaps and bounds.

My walk with Christ was really literal for me. This helped me understand Mary as well.

To put it simply, this solidified my faith. My days were never boring as I would have countless opportunities to discuss and debate the issues of the day.

I remember one particular lady that I would come to know. She had made the comment to me that the Catholic Church was headed by the Mafia.

I responded that the Protestants were headed by the Klue Klux Klan (KKK) thinking that if you can be off the charts so can I.

As it turned out, this lady was the wife of the “Grand Dragon, the head Chaplain of the KKK (nationally).

That was wild. She didn’t appreciate my response. Because she supervised an area of stocking merchandise on the floor, I would see her quite often.

There is a place in the town where I lived that the KKK have what I called a “bat cave” underground where they had tiers of books and pamphlets promoting the Arian Race” and Hitler. I was flabbergasted at this.

This is why it took along time before Catholics to begin moving into the area.

There was a definite anti-Catholic feel to the place because of the Tony Alamo revivals and the like that would come from time to time.

At the warehouse that I worked, I made friends with a lot of folks, but not on religion.

The Rosary helped kept me focused throughout my day.

Since I have been praying the Rosary, I have seen healing, I have seen answers to prayers, I have seen conversion.

I’ve seen this in my own life. The Rosary has been a tool in many ways, I would give the Lord praise for protection in car accidents, vehicles damaged by IED’s in Iraq.

For me, the Rosary was like an anchor when I was hanging on by a scarlet thread.
I understand that it is a devotion, but Heaven made it part of the peace program of heaven.

I encourage anyone and everyone to pray it for the conversion of sinners and for dedicating it for your intentions.

The following is taken from ourladyswarrior.org:

Besides the Indulgences attached to the Rosary, Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche additional benefits for those who devoutly pray the Rosary.

Our Lady’s promise is shown in darker blue text. Additional explanation on and doctrinal connections to each promise is shown following in the smaller normal text font and color.

Note that the Rosary is the prayer (non-Liturgical) with the most published Magisterial / Papal documents expounding on its excellence. Vatican II’s summary on Our Lady is contained in Lumen Gentium chapter VIII.

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
Signal Graces are those special and unique Graces to help sanctify us in our state in life. See the remaining promises for an explanation for which these will consist. St. Louis de Montfort states emphatically that the best and fastest way to union with Our Lord is via Our Lady [True Devotion to Mary, chapter four].

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
Our Lady is our Advocate and the channel of all God’s Grace to us. Our Lady is simply highlighting that She will watch especially over us who pray the Rosary. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII – Our Lady #62) [a great more detail is available on this topic in True Devotion to Mary, chapter four, by St. Louis de Montfort]

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.
This promise, along with the next, is simply the reminder on how fervent prayer will help us all grow in holiness by avoiding sin, especially a prayer with the excellence of the Rosary. An increase in holiness necessarily requires a reduction in sin, vice, and doctrinal errors (heresies). If only the Modernists could be convinced to pray the Rosary! (see Lumen Gentium chapter V – The Call to Holiness #42) St. Louis de Montfort states “Since Mary alone crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary)…” [True Devotion to Mary #167]

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal Things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
This promise, along with the previous, is the positive part, that being to live in virtue. Becoming holy is not only avoiding sin, but also growing in virtue. (see Lumen Gentium chapter V – The Call to Holiness #42)

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
Since Our Lady is our Mother and Advocate, She always assists those who call on Her implicitly by praying the Rosary. The Church reminds us of this in the Memorare prayer, “… never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided …”

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.
This promise highlights the magnitude of Graces that the Rosary brings to whomever prays it. One will draw down God’s Mercy rather than His Justice and will have a final chance to repent (see promise #7). One will not be conquered by misfortune means that Our Lady will obtain for the person sufficient Graces to handle said misfortune (i.e. carry the Crosses allowed by God) without falling into despair. As Sacred Scripture tells us, “For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:30)

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
This promise highlights the benefits of obtaining the most possible Graces at the hour of death via the Sacraments of Confession, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick). Being properly disposed while receiving these Sacraments near death ensures one’s salvation (although perhaps with a detour through Purgatory) since a final repentance is possible.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.
Our Lady highlights the great quantity of Graces obtain through praying the Rosary, which assist us during life and at the moment of death. The merits of the Saints are the gift of God’s rewards to those persons who responded to His Grace that they obtained during life, and so Our Lady indicates that She will provide a share of that to us at death. With this promise and #7 above, Our Lady is providing the means for the person to have a very holy death.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
Should one require Purgatorial cleansing after death, Our Lady will make a special effort to obtain our release from Purgatory through Her intercession as Advocate.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.
This promise is a logical consequence of promises #3 and #4 since anyone who truly lives a holier life on earth will obtain a higher place in Heaven. The closer one is to God while living on earth, the close that person is to Him also in Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states “Spiritual progress tends toward ever more union with Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2014)

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.
This promise emphasizes Our Lady’s role as our Advocate and Mediatrix of all Graces. Of course, all requests are subject to God’s Most Perfect Will. God will always grant our request if it is beneficial for our soul, and Our Lady will only intercede for us when our request is good for our salvation. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII – Our Lady #62)

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
If one promotes the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady emphasizes Her Maternal care for us by obtaining many Graces (i.e. spiritual necessities) and also material necessities (neither excess nor luxury), all subject to the Will of God of course.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.
Since Our Lady is our Advocate, She brings us additional assistance during our life and at our death from all the saints in Heaven (the Communion of Saints). See paragraphs 954 through 959 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.
Since the Rosary is a most excellent prayer focused on Jesus and His Life and activities in salvation history, it brings us closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. Doctrinally, Our Lady is our Mother and Jesus is our Eldest Brother, besides being our God. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII – Our Lady #62)

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Predestination in this context means that, by the sign which is present to a person from the action of devoutly praying the Rosary, God has pre-ordained your salvation. Absolute certainty of salvation can only be truly known if God reveals it to a person because, although we are given sufficient Grace during life, our salvation depends upon our response to said Grace. (See Summa Theologica, Question 23 for a detailed theological explanation). Said another way, if God has guaranteed a person’s salvation but has not revealed it to Him, God would want that person to pray the Rosary because of all the benefits and Graces obtained. Therefore the person gets a hint by devotion to the Rosary. This is not to say that praying the Rosary guarantees salvation – by no means. In looking at promises #3 and #4 above, praying the Rosary helps one to live a holy life, which is itself a great sign that a soul is on the road to salvation. (See also paragraphs 381, 488, 600, 2782 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.) In fact, St. Louis de Montfort says even more strongly that “an infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God’s true friends is that the hardened sinner and heretic show nothing but contempt and indifference to Our Lady…” [True Devotion to Mary, #30]

Reminder: these promises mean that, by faithfully and devoutly praying the Rosary, Our Lady will obtain for us the necessary Graces to obtain said promises. It is still up to each individual soul to respond to those Graces in order to obtain salvation.

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