The Catholic Defender: The David French Story, His Conversion To The Catholic Faith

Posted by Donald Hartley - May 21st, 2016

David 9I met David French one Sunday Morning at Mass as he and his wonderful family were sitting in the pew right behind me. What really struck me about David was that he could really sing. After Mass, I asked him if he was a convert to the Catholic Faith which at first surprised him. I then (jokingly) told him most Catholics can’t sing like he does. It turns out that David was in fact a convert to the Catholic Faith. David will appear on Deepertruth (5/21/2016) sharing his story of conversion.

David’s parents raised him in a Protestant home where he learned about Jesus. His Father served in the Army (we at Deepertruth want to thank him for his service to our Country) and as a result, like many military families, moved a lot.

David would go to various churches growing up as his Mother ensured that they religiously went to church. It was during these years that David developed a love for music, his senior year he began singing for his high school.

David 6David went to Auburn University majoring in Engineering but his love for singing continued to grow, so did his talent. Something else happened to David while at Auburn University, he found himself interested in the Catholic Faith which led to his conversion. David will share his conversion story, but after college, David continued singing in musical theater.

Today, David works as a software developer for Army Aviation at Red Stone Army Base in Huntsville Alabama, mostly dealing with training devices. That is his work, but his most cherished love is following Jesus Christ in the Catholic Faith and his wonderful family. He will share all of this beginning 20:30 (8:30) Central 5/21/2016 and you can hear it live here or archive following show.

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The Guardian Angel: In the Eucharist is present the Totus Christus, and why we adore.

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 17th, 2016

Eucharist 1In the Eucharist is present the Totus Christus, and why we adore.

First some needed Catechesis around the world from a priest who I believe will be a Saint some day and possibly a Doctor of the church, read his writings when you get a chance, his name, Father John A. Hardon. This will be followed by a real life conversion of a Protestant, because of the Real Presence. But first Father Hardon:

When Pope Paul VI published his now historic Encyclical Mysterium Fidei on the Real Presence, he reminded especially us priests, that there is a crisis of faith regarding the Eucharist and that Catholics had better awaken to the fact. Otherwise they are liable to be swept off their feet by subtle theology and their faith in the Eucharist will be weakened – if not destroyed – by current assaults on this cardinal mystery of Catholic Christianity.
Somewhere near the center of the theological controversy about which the Pope warned us is precisely the question that no Catholic should raise, namely, “Is the Holy Eucharist Presence or Reality, or is it, as the Church teaches us, Presence and Reality?”
There is more at stake here than meets the eye.
My purpose will be to defend the following thesis: that the Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, who is in the Blessed Sacrament both as Reality and as Presence. He is in the Eucharist as Reality because the Eucharist is Jesus Christ. He is in the Eucharist as Presence because through the Eucharist He affects us and we are in contact with Him – depending on our faith and devotion to the Savior living really in our midst.

Jesus childEucharist as Reality

There have been before modern times two major crises of faith in the Real Presence in Catholic history.
The first crisis occurred in the early Middle Ages when theological speculators, mainly in France, raised doubts about the reality of the Blessed Sacrament. The first crisis reached a peak in the person of one Berengarius of Tours who died in 1088 A.D.
Berengarius denied the possibility of substantial change in the elements of bread and wine and refused to admit that the body of Christ exists corporeally on the altar. His argument was that Christ cannot be brought down from heaven before the Last Judgment. He held that Christ’s body, which exists only in heaven, is effective for humanity through its sacramental counterpart or type and that Christ therefore is not really in the Eucharist except, as he said, ideally.
Pope Gregory VII ordered Berengarius to subscribe to a profession of faith that has become the cornerstone of Catholic Eucharistic piety. It was the Church’s first definitive statement of what had always been believed but not always so clearly understood. It is a declaration of faith in the Eucharist as unquestionable and objective and unqualified Reality.
“I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine placed upon the altar are, by the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and that after the consecration there is present the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin and offered up for the salvation of the world, hung on the cross and now sits at the right hand of the Father, and that there is present the true blood of Christ which flowed from His side. They are present not only by means of a sign and of the efficacy of the sacrament, but also in the very reality and truth of their nature and substance.”
Words could not be clearer. If reality means actuality, and if actuality means objectivity, then the Catholic faith believes that the Christ who is in the Eucharist is the Christ of history, the one who was conceived at Nazareth, born at Bethlehem, died and rose from the dead at Jerusalem, and is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. It is the Christ who will call us when we pass out of time into eternity. It is the Christ who will appear at the end of the world to judge the living and the dead. It is the Christ who is the Omega of the universe and the goal of human destiny.
Five centuries after Berengarius arose the second crisis of faith in the Eucharist at the time of the Protestant Reformation. Again, much the same objections were raised and theories disseminated as in the Berengarian controversy. And once again the Church countered at the Council of Trent to revindicate the Reality of the Christ who is in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Trindentine proposition of faith is not unlike that required of Berengarius a half millennium before. “The holy council teaches,” declared Trent, “and openly and straightforwardly professes that in the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and substantially contained under the perceptible species of bread and wine.” But then Trent added, with characteristic vigor, that this is the plain meaning of Christ’s words when at the Last Supper He said, “This is My body. This is the chalice of My blood.” Consequently the faithful were told “it is an infamy that contentious evil men should distort these words into fanciful, imaginary figures of speech that deny the truth about the body and blood of Christ, contrary to the universal understanding of the Church.”
The Reality of Christ in the Eucharist therefore is no figure of speech. It is no fanciful rhetoric. It is, in the clearest words that can be expressed, the Incarnation extended into space and time. It is literally the Emmanuel made flesh – the God-man who is here and now living in our midst.

footsteps 4The Crisis of Today

Four Centuries after the Council of Trent the Church is now in another crisis of Eucharistic faith and specifically of faith in the Real Presence.
Palpable evidence of such a crisis is seen in the practical disappearance in not a few dioceses of the Forty Hours Devotion; the corresponding disappearance of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; the complete revision of constitutions of once flourishing contemplative institutes that specialized in worship of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar, the widespread neglect of showing any of the customary signs of reverence to Christ’s Real Presence in the tabernacle; the removal of the tabernacle in churches to some obscure and unobtrusive place where the Real Presence is isolated from even possible devotion by the faithful; the mounting literature in still nominally Catholic circles that seldom touches on the Real Presence or that explains it in a way congenial to Protestants who do not believe in Christ’s corporeal presence in the Eucharist, but totally incompatible with the historic faith of Catholicism; the dissemination of religious education textbooks, teacher’s manuals, and study guides that may make an apologetic mention of the physical presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament but leave a distinct impression that this presence is peripheral to Catholic faith and practice and is certainly not a cardinal mystery of the Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Although seldom adverted to, part of the same crisis about the Real Presence is the contemporary desacramentalization of the Catholic priesthood. Priests are said to be essentially preachers of the word or ministers of the Gospel or organizers of Christian communities, or spokesmen of the poor or defenders of the oppressed or social leaders or political catalysts or academic scholars or theological appraisers of the faith of believers.
So they are. But is that all? And is that the primary purpose of the Catholic priesthood? No. The primary meaning of the priesthood is its relationship to the Eucharist – as Reality, as Sacrament and Sacrifice. And among these three primarily as Reality, made possible by priestly consecration.
Once again as in previous ages the Church’s magisterium has reaffirmed the Real Presence but in accents and with nuances that were not called for in previous times.
Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei was concerned about those who in spoken and written word “spread abroad opinions which disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith.”
Among these opinions was and is the theory that so redefines the meaning of the Eucharistic Presence as to obscure, if not deny, the fact of the Eucharistic Reality. It is as though someone said “I believe in the Eucharistic Presence but not as Reality, or as Reality which is only presence and not objective actuality.”

Jesus I thirstEucharist as Presence

This brings us to the second dimension of our subject: the Eucharist as Presence.
The moment we hear the word “Presence” we think of a personal relationship between two or more people. We are present to someone or someone is present to us when we are aware of them and they of us; when we have them on our minds and hearts, as they think of us and sense a kinship and affection for us.
We are not exactly present to stones and trees nor they to us. So that presence implies rational beings.
Presence, as such, also transcends space and time. St. Paul or St. Augustine may be present to me although they are long since dead and although they are not physically where I am physically. They can be present to me mentally, volitionally, or as we say spiritually.
She can be in New York and he in San Francisco. Yet as soon (and as often) as he thinks of her with love, she is present to him. And whenever she does the same he is present to her, reaching over the distance of miles and irrespective of the fact that neither of them is where the other is in body. No matter – they are with each other in spirit.
Presence therefore does not deny physical reality, because two people can be both near to each other in body and intimately united in spirit. But neither does presence require nearness in body. It rather stresses intimacy of mind and heart.
Herein lies at once the dignity and danger of some current theories about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. There are those who laudably emphasize the subjective aspect of Christ’s presence but at the expense of the objective reality.
Let me not be misunderstood. There is great need, even crucial need, to talk about and act upon the awareness of Christ in the Eucharist and to raise our sentiments of love toward Him. But this cannot be at the expense of ignoring or transmitting the prior fact that Christ is actually in the Eucharist, that in the words of the Church’s solemn teaching He is “contained under the perceptible species of bread and wine.” What was bread and wine after the words of consecration is no longer bread and wine but a living, physical, bodily – in a word, the real – Jesus Christ.
We might then say that the Eucharistic Presence of Christ is at once a reality and a relationship. It is a reality because Christ really is in the Eucharist. So that the Real Presence of Christ postulates on faith the real absence of bread and wine. He is now where before the consecration were bread and wine. They are gone and He is there. What before was real bread and wine is now only the external properties of bread and wine. He is here in the Eucharist truly present. They are no longer present but only their species or, as we say, appearances.
Transubstantiation is a fact of faith and all the twisted criticism of the Church’s doctrine as being Hellenistic or Aristotelian is learned naiveté. For the soul that believes, this is no Hellenism or philosophical terminology. It is the expression of truth. In Greek equivalents the words of institution institute a meta-ousiosis. The ousia or being of bread and wine become the ousia or being of what constitutes Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul and divinity. In a word, in the Eucharist is present the totus Christus just as truly as He was present on earth in Palestine and as He is now in heaven. It is the total Christ in the fullness of what makes Christ Christ with no objective difference between who He was then (in the first century on earth) and who He is now (in the twentieth century on earth). Jesus Christ is [in New York] as He is also everywhere where a duly ordained priest has changed bread and wine into the body and blood of the Savior.

Rosary 2Taken for Granted

Having said all of this, however, and how it needs resaying in today’s confused Catholic world, we are not finished yet. As so often happens, error arises among men because they have been neglecting the truth. The hydra of Communism is partly God’s visitation for the neglect by Christians of their practice of communal love.
So, too, with the Eucharist. Too many Catholics including priests had taken the Real Presence for granted. They complacently assumed that Christ is in the Eucharist and they proceeded to leave Him there. Empty churches, empty chapels, seldom a worshiper before the tabernacle and seldom a Eucharistic thought among millions of believers who would be offended if told they were ignoring the greatest Reality in the universe right in their midst.
These are not the words of mysticism or of poetry. They are the language of faith.
What to do? What we need today, in the present crisis regarding the Eucharist, is another Francis of Assisi raised by God to remind the world of his day of what a priest is and what his words of consecration can produce in this valley of tears.
Francis, as we know, was never ordained to the priesthood. But he had an extraordinary reverence for priests because he saw them as the divinely enabled consecrators of the Holy Eucharist.
In his last will and testament, Francis wrote what we today in our sophisticated age of agnosticism need to hear and listen to.
“God inspires me,” he said, “with such great faith in priests who live according to the laws of the holy Church of Rome, because of their dignity, that if they persecuted me, I should still be ready to turn to them for aid. I do this because in this world I cannot see the most high Son of God with my own eyes, except for His most holy Body and Blood which they alone administer to others.”
Francis concluded on a superlative tone that was not customary with him.
“Above everything else” – that is, more important than anything else he could urge upon his followers – “above everything else, I want this most holy Sacrament to be honored and venerated and reserved in places that are richly ornamented.”
This is the simple Poverello whose name has become synonymous with total poverty, even to destitution in imitation of his poor Master. But it is also the mystic seer who saw more clearly than most of his contemporaries who it was who dwells among us in the Blessed Sacrament. It is, in Francis’s words, “the most high Son of God” in human form who is always here in Reality, but He is not always present to us in spirit. We do not always honor and venerate Him reserved in the Eucharist in places which are richly ornamented, not so-much in silver and gold as ornamented in the acts of faith, hope and love that reach out to Jesus who is constantly reaching out to us. That is why He is here; that we might also be where He is, united with Him in spirit as He has united Himself to us in body – as a prelude to that union where the Eucharist will be unveiled and where vision will replace what faith now tells us is true, because truth became incarnate to teach us how much God loves the sons and daughters of the human family.

Holy SpiritA beautiful supernatural Miracle happening right in our midst, because only the Holy Spirit can give you the grace necessary to know and understand the Real Presence, this following article of someone touched by the Holy Spirit, a protestant that was against the teachings of the Church in many ways, has come into the Catholic Church because of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. And then what? With the aid of Scripture and words of Saints, Mark tells, the rest of the story:

One more thing from a special friend Mark Kiser, who converted to the Catholic Church, from being a protestant pastor. Listen to what the Eucharist did for him: One Hour, Imagine for just a second that you climb out of your nice warm bed, somewhere around 2:30 in the morning. It is a typical winter morning in the Ozarks, cold, about 17 degrees, with the wind blowing out of the north. You climb out of that nice warm bed, slowly get dressed and head out to your car, that’s been sitting out in the cold weather all night, and drive to your church to adore the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Now if this is just a piece of bread that we are adoring then this sounds almost insane and total non-sense! However, if the Most Blessed Sacrament is in fact the living, loving, life-giving God of the universe, just like the Catholic Church teaches, then this would be the height of wisdom!
You see, it was in fact the very middle of the night, during sacrificial hours that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said to His disciples: “So, you men could not watch with Me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) In the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest, Jesus ask His disciples to sit and pray. Peter, James and John went further into the garden with Him and Jesus tells them to watch and pray. And when Jesus returns he again finds them sleeping and says to them: “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Matthew 26:45
In 2016, during this year of mercy, we too find Jesus Christ being betrayed and we are still sleeping. Today Jesus is asking us to watch and pray. He is asking us to spend one hour with Him praying. As we face the threat of terrorism, scandal after scandal, abortion on demand, dissension and division within the Church, and apostasy, Jesus simply is asking us to sit with Him to watch and pray. I firmly believe as did the saints before us that if every one of the billion plus Catholics would spend one hour, just one day a week before the Blessed Sacrament, before the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, every major crisis, every abortion and acts of terrorism would stop!
Saint John Paul II said: “The best, the most effective, and surest way to bring about lasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Because only Jesus has the power and the love to redirect the course of human history, back to a path of peace.” Did you catch that? Redirect the course of human history? If we want to see abortion stopped, spend one hour with Jesus. We want to see family members saved, spend one hour with Jesus. We want to see our perishes grow, spend one hour with Jesus. We want to see Terrorism come to an end, spend one hour with Jesus adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Saint Peter Julian Eymard said: “The less Jesus is adored in the Blessed Sacrament, the more present and powerful Satan becomes. Let us never forget that an age prospers or dwindles in proportion to it’s devotion to the Holy Eucharist. This is the measure of its spiritual life and faith, of its charity and virtue.” Do you think maybe what’s going on in our country and what’s going on in our perishes have something in common? Do you think maybe we have more of the world in our Churches than we have the Church in the world?
Why is it that we have so much trouble believing? If Jesus can turn water into wine, don’t you think he can turn wine into blood? Why is it that our adoration chapels are so empty? As a former United Methodist Pastor, it was the “real presence” in the Eucharist that brought me to the Catholic Church. I wrestled for years with John Chapter 6. “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (Verse 51) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. I for one believe it when Jesus said that he would never leave us nor forsake us. He is God with us. Folks, Jesus is either truly present in the Blessed Sacrament or He is not. We can say that we believe He is present, but when you look how empty out adoration chapels are, you begin to wonder. Think about it, if we knew Jesus was going to be at a house down the street and He was waiting there for us to come to Him and He would be there with us, we would drop everything and run to go see Him. Well the fact is, Jesus is right down the street. He is in the tabernacle day and night begging us to come. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy –laden, and I will give you rest.”

FultonSheenHHSTryants1I read a story the other day about Bishop Fulton Sheen. During an interview he was asked: “Bishop Sheen, you have inspired millions of people all over the world, who inspired you? Was it a Pope?” Bishop Sheen responded that it was not a Pope, a Cardinal, another Bishop, or even a priest or a nun. It was a little Chinese girl of eleven years of age. Bishop Sheen explained that when the Communists took over China, they imprisoned a priest in his own rectory near the Church. After they locked him up in his own house, the priest was horrified to look out of his window and see the Communists proceed into the Church, where they went into the sanctuary and broke into the tabernacle. In an act of hateful desecration, they took the ciborium and threw it on the floor with all of the Sacred Hosts spilling out.
The priest knew exactly the number of Hosts in the ciborium; thirty-two. When the Communists left, they either did not notice, or didn’t pay any attention to a small girl praying in the back of the Church who saw everything that had happened. That night the little girl came back. Slipping past the guard at the priest’s house, she went inside the Church. There she made a holy hour of prayer, an act of love to make up for the act of hatred. After her holy hour she went into the sanctuary, knelt down, bent over and with her tongue received Jesus in Holy Communion, since (at that time) it was not permissible for laymen to touch the Sacred Host with their hands. The little girl continued to come back each night to make her holy hour and receive Jesus in Holy Communion on her tongue. On the thirty-second night, after she had consumed the last and thirty-second host, she accidentally made a noise and woke the guard who was sleeping. He ran after her, caught her, and beat her to death with the butt of his rifle. This act of heroic martyrdom was witnessed by the priest as he watch grief-stricken from his bedroom window.
When Bishop Sheen heard this story he was so inspired that he promised God he would make a holy hour of prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament every day of His life. If this frail, little child could give testimony and witness to the world concerning the real and wonderful Presence of her Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, the Bishop (and us) should be bound by all that was right and true, and do the same. Bishop Sheen’s sole desire from that time on was to bring the world to the burning Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Mother Teresa once said: “When you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Blessed Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now!” Each of the saints did not adore the Eucharist because they were saints, rather it was because they adored the Eucharist that they became saints. This Lenten season, Jesus is asking us, will you not watch with Me for one hour? He ask for so little, yet He gave so much.

Now each of you go to your knees and pray that God will give you the gift of bringing someone into the Church because of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Know that each of you are in my love and prayers. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary

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The Catholic Defender: Are The Medes Being Stirred

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 31st, 2016

Jeremiah 1“The word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; for it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: against Judah’s kings and princes, against its priests and people. They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”

This scripture text coming from Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19 is used many times to defend unborn children. As Jeremiah was known by Our Lord beginning in the womb, that applies to all of us. In this text, the Lord is revealing to Jeremiah that from his beginning, God had a plan for him. Again, this applies to all of us as well.

Like Moses had been called at the burning bush, and then again at Passover, Jeremiah is being instructed by God to gird his loins. He is to follow the Lord’s command. Ephesians 6:14-16, “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

jesus_before_pilate_jekelThere is a constant theme here, we are to be ready because the days are coming says the Lord that the world will have to answer because of disobedience. Isaiah 13:11 warns, “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.”

Consider what is taking place in Christian Europe today? We are watching a Syrian invasion that has never been seen before. The vast majority of Syrian refugees are raging havoc pillaging and raping all over Europe. It really feels as if Europe is lost? What is happening is truly tragic and most “refugees” are young men without a family, who are what Presidential Candidate, Donald J. Trump calls a “Trojan Horse”.

The weak Governments of Europe have maintained a “political correctness” that emboldens these Muslim refugees to go and rape and pillage, to kill. I know that some are trying to get these refugees to assimilate into the European was of life. They are providing seminars to share with the Muslim brotherhood thinking that they will learn to respect women. This is incredible and there are some in America who wants to bring this nonsense here by the thousands.

Jeremiah 2Something has happened in the Western world with the rise of militant feminism that has brought about a decline of the Family, the rise of homosexuality, abortion, and the attack on faith in America. What has happened in Europe may be irreversible, with the exclusion of war, caused by civil strife.

Returning to Isaiah 13 beginning with verse 14, “And like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, every man will turn to his own people, and every man will flee to his own land. Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished. Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.”

Jeremiah 3What is happening here? First, Jeremiah was called by God to preach repentance to God’s people, but he was rejected by the king and Israel even to the point of being placed in a cistern (Jeremiah 38:6). The Israelites did not listen to God’s word and were then enslaved by Babylon.

Look at what has happened in the Western world since 1973 and the Supreme Court’s decision “Roe V Wade” which legalized abortion in America? Isaiah warns that the Medes (modern day Irag/Iran) would dash to pieces their infants? Children have suffered a great deal in America. Abortion was sold that it would decrease child abuse, since 1973, child abuse is up 400% since 1973. Also, I will maintain that abortion is the worse form of child abuse.

Another statement coming from Isaiah, “their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.” In a better day, men were seen as protecting their family, their wives and children. Isaiah’s text would be what happens when a fallen nation suffers as the conquers take the spoils. But what is happening here in America largely is not because of a foreign power, it is mostly coming from within.

A case can be said that America has been invaded by millions of people coming across our Southern Boarder. Our politicians can’t find the political will to close off the threat of invasion. There are thousand of incidences where Americans have been hurt by illegal aliens. We are asleep at the wheel.

Jeremiah 4One more point coming from Isaiah, “Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.” The Children of God will be punished because of their disobedience. The Medes here represent the evil that “will slaughter the young men: they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children”.

Since 1973, in the United States, we have killed nearly 60,000,000 children who were not protected within their mother’s womb. The Progressive Liberal celebrates this tragic fact. Like Jeremiah, everyone of them God knew while they were being formed in their mother’s womb. Who among us will answer the call to proclaim God’s word and preach repentance to the Nations?

Trump-Rubio-Cruz-AP-640x423We are about to elect a new president and we better really pray that we place a leader who will honor God’s name, will honor God’s ways, and will focus on bringing back what America was founded on and what the Constitution maintains.

Today, I believe the best man to accomplish this will be Donald Trump. He is not being elected to be bible study in chief, though he should be immersed in it, but he would be elected to bring America back into greatness. God is the complete answer…

Are we beyond the point of no return? As Abraham interceded for a lost Sodom and Gomorrah, we better take serious the call to repentance before it is too late (2 Chronicles 7:14).

God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people. Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will. Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

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The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of TIXTLA MEXICO, OCTOBER 21, 2006

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 26th, 2016

Guardian 1(Editors Note) We love to share Eucharistic Miracles here on Deepertruth and on our Radio shows, the Lord Jesus is so good. This miracle that we are about to share is amazing, I want to thank my Brother, the Guardian Angel, for his continued growth. May this jubilee, the Year of Mercy be a year of grace for the Church and for the world.

Awesome!!! Eucharistic Miracle to prepare you for a special blessing, God knows the past, present and future. HE is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrew 13:8). He put us here at this moment in time and in this place knowing full well the gravity of the moral decay of our times. His grace if overflowing in abundance and we must tap into this infinite storehouse of grace. We should be ashamed if we set back and allow lives and souls to be lost during our watch.

Jesus and MaryIt could be contended that we live in the most highly educated nation in the world’s history. But, except for a small remnant, most Catholics in America are abysmally ignorant of God’s laws and His promises as taught by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We have to work at getting past the rhetoric, and taking action for the lives and souls of the children and our neighbors. Why are we doing this, “to honor and glorify Jesus” and take action to bring souls to HIM through HIS Mother Mary.

As you have heard me say before, “This is no game, it is a WAR against the powers and principalities for the lives and souls of our children and neighbors for eternity.” It is a War of ideas and philosophy and values, and only the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth and the answers. Unless true and loyal Catholics have the zeal and the spirit of the early Christians, and unless they are willing to do what they did and to pay the price that they paid, the days of many Catholics are numbered.

guardian 2All of us have family and friends that have fallen away from the faith, or have never came home to the Catholic Church, or maybe we have been at some time, or have family members that are luke warm in their faith. You have seen the indifference that plagues the world and is even in our Church. It says in Hosea 4:6, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” On our watch, people are dying and going to Hell, and again we have those we know that are at risk, as many are doing what is right in their own eyes, like in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37).

What was once referred to by Pope Paul VI as Satan’s smoke making its way into the temple of God, could be looked at today as a raging fire. Catholicism and the world seem to be in the worst crisis in the entire history of the world. Even with all this evil in the world, we have been given the greatest gift in the Catholic Church, the Mass, the Eucharist, and Mary, yet many by the Churches own research are weak in these areas and many others. Like Cardinal Burke said, we have had poor Catechizes for the last 50 years, and because of that many are at risk.

tum 0With the Eucharistic Miracles, we are always trusting of God and hope we can help catechize and affirm many Catholic’s faith, help draw others back to the Catholic church, and bring still others home to the Catholic church for the first time as they “get it”.

Again, this is no game, we are talking about lives and souls, send this to those you love, and all that God has put into your path. Help yourself and others become better equipped and affirmed in your faith. Each of us needs to be a part of this for ourselves and those we love, living in this decaying culture. Divine Mercy is always our theme as we ask Our Lady, the Mother of Mercy to bring us and those we love, ever closer to her Son. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary

Now prepare to be excited, as science again affirms the supernatural in another Eucharistic Miracle given to us out of the Divine Mercy and Love of our Creator.

Eucharistic Miracle of TIXTLA MEXICO, OCTOBER 21, 2006

On October 12, 2013, H.E. Most Rev. Alejo Zavala Castro, Bishop of the Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, announced through a Pastoral Letter the recognition of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred at Tixtla, on October 21, 2006.

guardian 3In the letter we read: “This manifestation brings to us a marvelous sign of the love of God that confirms the Real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist… In my role as Bishop of the Diocese I recognize the supernatural character of the series of events relating to the Bleeding Host of Tixtla… I declare the case as a “Divine Sign …”.

On October 21, 2006, the effusion of a reddish substance was noted from a consecrated Host during the Eucharistic Celebration at Tixtla, in the Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa. The Bishop of the place, Most Reverend Alejo Zavala Castro, then convened a Theological Commission of investigation and, in October 2009, he invited Doctor Ricardo Castañón Gómez, to take on the leadership of the program of scientific research whose purpose was in fact that of verifying the said event.

The Mexican Ecclesiastical authorities turned to Doctor Castañón Gómez because they were aware that, in the years 1999-2006, the scientist had conducted some studies on two consecrated Hosts that also bled in the Parish of Saint Mary, in Buenos Aires.

guardian 4The Mexican case starts in October 2006, when Father Leopoldo Roque, pastor of the Parish of Saint Martin of Tours, invites Father Raymundo Reyna Esteban to lead a spiritual retreat for his parishioners. As Father Leopoldo and another priest were distributing Communion, assisted by a religious sister who was to the left of Father Raymundo, this latter one turns towards him with the “pix” containing the Sacred Particles, looking at Father with eyes filled with tears, an incident that immediately attracted the attention of the celebrant: the Host that she had taken to give Communion to a lady parishioner had begun to effuse a reddish substance.

“The ecclesiastical authority wanted likewise to specify that in a Catholic context the Miracle distinguishes itself for the following aspects: 1. Theological: The intervention comes from God. It is of divine origin. 2. Objectivity: The ‘alteration’ of the causes or natural laws is evident. 3. Subjectivity: Whoever accepts the miracle ‘recognizes or accepts’ with an act of Faith that the extraordinary event comes from the loving Will of God. 4. Purpose: It has as its end the good of one or many people.”

guardian 5The scientific research conducted between October 2009 and October 2012 came to the following conclusions, presented on May 25, 2013 during the course of an international Symposium held by the Diocese of Chilpancingo, on the occasion of the Year of Faith, and which saw the participation of millions of people coming from four continents:

1. The reddish substance analyzed corresponds to blood in which there are hemoglobin and DNA of human origin.

guardian 62. Two studies conducted by eminent forensic experts with different methodologies have shown that the substance originates from the interior, excluding the hypothesis that someone could have placed it from the exterior.

3.The blood type is AB, similar to the one found in the Host of Lanciano and in the Holy Shroud of Turin.

4. A microscopic analysis of magnification and penetration reveals that the superior part of the blood has been coagulated since October 2006. Moreover, the underlying internal layers reveal, in February 2010, the presence of fresh blood.

5. They also found intact white blood cells, red blood cells, and active macrophages that engulf lipids. The tissue in question appears lacerated and with recovery mechanisms, exactly as occurs in a living tissue.

guardian 76. A further histopathological analysis determines the presence of protein structures in a state of deterioration, suggesting mesenchymal cells, very specialized cells, characterized by an elevated biophysiological dynamism.

7. The immunohistochemical studies reveal that the tissue found corresponds to the muscle of the heart (Myocardium). On account of the scientific results and the conclusions reached by the theological committee, last October 12 the Bishop of Chilpancingo, his Eminence Alejo Zavala Castro, announced the following: - “The event does not have a natural explanation. – It does not have paranormal origin. – It is not traceable to manipulation of the enemy.”

Blood flowed from the interior of the host towards the exterior, as it occurs with a wound.

In 2010, by means of a study of digital microscopic penetration through the shooting of ultraviolet rays and intense white light it was demonstrated that the tissue seen in the upper part of the Host showed some dry coagulated blood. The analyses showed moreover that under the Blood already coagulated beyond some structures of the white Host, there was also the presence of fresh Blood. Also this analysis confirmed the fact that the blood was not placed by someone from the exterior because if it were like this it could not remain fresh for so much time (from 2006 to 2010) only in the internal part of the Host.

guardian 8By analyzing the Host it was observed that it was human blood of type AB and that it corresponded to tissue. Then an analysis was done of phytochemical markers which confirmed that it was live cardiac muscle. No study exists that can maintain alive a cardiac tissue in this situation. Normally after 48 hours the tissue dies, here 3 months passed before the result could be obtained and this is truly unexplainable for science.

When there is the presence of human DNA one thinks that also the genetic profile can be automatically obtained. Interestingly in all the studies performed on the images that sweated blood or in the consecrated Hosts that have bled the presence of DNA was found, but when the work of sequencing to extract the genetic profile was done, they were never able to obtain it. The theologians say that since Jesus does not have a father, his father is the Holy Spirit, it is not possible to obtain his genetic profile.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” 1 Corinthians 11:26-30

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The Catholic Defender: Gamaliel And His Wisdom Continues To Be True

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 25th, 2016

PhariseeCrop“But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, held in honor by the people, stood up and ordered the men (Apostles) to be put outside for a while. And he said to them, Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men. For before these days Theudas arose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about 400, joined him; but he was slain and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God”!

Yes, when you oppose the Catholic Faith, you are really opposing God, perhaps unknowingly.   During this time period of Jesus public Ministry, there were many looking for the Messiah. Many false messiahs were abounding and led people astray.

GiveUsBarabbasPeople such as Theudas and Judas the Galilean were two that Gamaliel refereed to specifically.

Mark 9:38-41, perhaps a follower of one such false prophet found in Jesus something that the false messiahs lacked. St. Mark states, “John said to him, Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us. But Jesus said, Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward”.

The Apostles recognized this man was not of their number and forbade him from working in Jesus name. This man perhaps a follower of Theudas did not know Jesus personally, but was acting from what he had observed.

jesus_feeds_5000_4-web-size11St. Mark recognized that these false messiahs did not have the signs that Jesus had been known to do. This was still Pre-Church as the Lord was still instructing his Disciples.

The time was coming when Jesus would be sending the Catholic Church to the nations.

The Church would unite the Captives under the Lord’s command as it will preach the good news to all the nations.

St. Paul would add his experience with Gamaliel:

paul 6Paul addressed the people in these words: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison. Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for punishment those there as well.”

But something happens to St. Paul on the road not far from Damascus:

damascusroad“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’ My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’ The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.’ Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.”

Many are called by the Lord, but few are chosen (like St. Paul) to be apostles to serve the Lord. St. Paul was made an apostle by Jesus for our benefit, to give God’s grace through the Ministry of the Church. St. Paul himself would literally be led by the hand as an example for us, the importance to come before the Throne of God’s grace:

ananias 1“A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and stood there and said, ‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’ And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.’”

Gamaliel’s sound advice is a testament to the truth of the Catholic Faith as it has lasted 2,000 years. Every Catholic ordained shares in this apostolic benefit God ministers to His people. By accepting the Sacraments, we share in the great Mystery of faith handed down.

BaptismThere will always be Theu’das, Judas the Galilean, or other modern day groups who seek to impose their false interpretations, but the Catholic Faith will never fall.

O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Christ, and for love of Him Who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.  Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: The Mark Kiser Story; From Protestant Pastor to Catholic Apologist

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 14th, 2016

jesus_ascending_to_heaven“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

From this Great Commission Jesus Christ He commanded His Catholic Church to go to all the world bringing his truth to all that nations. For nearly 2,000 years, the Church continues to carry out this mission. I was blessed to have been in a chapel built in the second century high up a mountain. It was to hide from the Romans who were persecuting Christians and in this place of worship, you can still see the Altar used in this catacomb that was bore into rock.

I was also blessed to speak at a church in Meeker Colorado that was built in 1912 and commissioned in 1913, this Diocese was where Buffalo Bill was received into the Catholic Faith in 1917 just two days before his death in 1917.

Mark_JPG_w300h225Mark Kiser grew up with a great family setting, but unfortunately, faith in Christ was not a factor. He would have some personal struggles that would lead him to jail. While in jail, he had a true jailhouse conversion that would turn his life around. He would eventually become a Protestant Minister (Methodist) who used to believe that Catholics needed lots of help. I would agree with him, many Catholics do need help, but not in the way Mark used to think. Catholics have the fullness of truth, but many need that spiritual awakening that only the Holy Spirit can stir. It only takes a spark to get a fire going, so the Lord uses great testimonies and witness to help people see.

I remember meeting Mark Kiser at the March for Life demonstration at the Jefferson City Capital State building, but is was very casual. Mark’s road to the Catholic faith is a true miracle of God as he was received into the Catholic faith on the Easter Vigil Mass, 2015. Deepertruth member, Dr. Gregory Thompson was Mark’s Sponsor and what a journey they tell.

kiser 3Mark Kiser’s conversion to the Catholic Faith reminds me of something Bishop Sheen once said, “there is not 100 people who don’t like the Catholic Church for what she really is, but there are millions that don’t like her for what they think she is.”

The following is a testimony from Dr. Gregory Thompson who gives an account to what happens when he answered a phone call:

“Mark called me one evening and asked that I come by his house, and to my great joy, asked if I could bring him into the Catholic Church. When we plant seeds, we don’t know what is going to happen, as we pray and the Holy Spirit does the convicting. Mark and I had a few talks over the years, some for an hour or two, and one even for four hours, just ask his son. But Mark started checking into things, and one of the things he told me is that he had been lied to. Like I said to him, I believe that what he would call a lie happened not in malice, but in ignorance. When we have cradle Catholics that are ignorant of their faith, it is easy to understand that non-Catholics would be ignorant of what is truly believed by the Church.

kiser 2Mark had his first opportunity this past weekend, as I was invited to come and speak on the Eucharist, miracles, and Mary in Boonville, Missouri, and I asked to bring him as a second speaker on each day, they said yes and we were able to get his feet wet at a Catholic venue. And two of the greatest things he brought to the table is that as a baby Catholic of 8 months, he was already working with the Vicar General in his Diocese to increase Eucharistic Adoration for the largest parish in Springfield, and he had made a Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on January 1st.

And he also became a member of the Militia Immaculata started by St. Maxmillian Kolbe *** the fire he has in his heart would be wonderful to have in all that call themselves Catholic, as in 8 months he has engaged in ways that many cradle Catholics have not engaged in 75 years of their individual life in the church.

kiser 4He has family and friends against his move, and especially some powerful preachers with different backgrounds who think him a traitor, or nuts, with how they feel, I believe in ignorance about the Catholic Church. Please keep Mark in your prayers, as he wants to be a servant spiritual warrior for Jesus, Mary, and the Catholic Church to bring souls to God, and Satan hates and will increase his hatred the more Mark does for love of the Lord. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary”

What a joy it is to share these stories on our Website here and on our Internet radio show. 1 Peter 4:10-11 states, “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Show time begins at 7:00 Central tonight.  Archive will be available immediately following the show.  You can listen in the show clicking here 

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The Catholic Defender: Vincent Price, The Renaissance Man, Catholic Convert

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 10th, 2016

price 1As I was growing up to be a young man, one of my favorite movies that had a positive impact on me was the movie, “The Song of Bernadette”. Even though it is a black and white movie, I still find it to be an excellent movie. It brings you really into the story of St. Bernadette. One of my favorite characters in the movie was Vincent Price as he played the role of the Imperial Prosecutor, Vital Dutour. Interestingly, it was a most fitting role for Vincent Price as he was totally against the happenings at Lourdes France.

Vincent’s Mother, Marquerite Cobb Wilcox, was vehemently anti-Catholic and raised young Vincent with a certain hatred of the Catholic Church. Because of this, Vincent Price became a Secularist who personally fit the role he played in the movie, “The Song of Bernadette.”

price 2Towards the end of the movie, when the story of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary appearing at Lourdes went global, Vital Dutour (Vincent Price) developed throat cancer and is seen at the site of the cave-grotto, Massabielle, where the visions to St. Bernadette took place. In the movie, at it’s end, Vital Dutour becomes a believer and petitions intercessory prayer for himself and for forgiveness.

This particular role would impact Vincent Price in a most important way. We are talking about a giant within the movie business. He was known as the “Renaissance Man” for all the work he did captivating audiences. In his career, he was in 120 movies between 1938-1993, 11 plays in theater between 1935-1978, and was involved with 17 series between 1949-1991.

price 4Vincent Price will forever be remembered as the Master of Horror  in films, his voice was used in Michael Jackson’s musical video, “Thriller” which kind of helped jump start the fascination with zombies. With all that in mind, his most important role will always be the “Song of Bernadette.”

After some failed relationships, the magazine, “The Enquirer” October 1974, reported Vincent Price was seeing a woman, Carol Browne. Carol Browne was a Catholic Convert coming to the Faith shortly after World War II through the influence of American Actor, Ernest Milton, who was a convert from Judaism.

After a civil wedding, every Thursday evening, Vincent Price would be off away from home, soon, Carol would be concerned with what Vincent was up to. None of his given excuses really held much water for Carol. After some time and frustration, Carol began demanding for Vincent to be honest what he had been doing every Thursday night.

price 5Finally, after trying to stall an answer, Vincent came clean, he revealed to his wife that he was taking instructions for the Catholic Faith at the local Parish, St. Victors Catholic Church. At age 63, the Renaissance Man, the Master of Horror films, would surrender to the King of kings and Lord of lords. This would be the greatest of all wedding gifts he would give to his wife Carol.

Later, another role Vincent Price played would give a lifetime merit playing the role of Oscar Wilde, a middle 19th century playboy and artist. I write of his story, “The Catholic Defender: Oscar Wilde Receives God’s Mercy” which I share his story and conversion to the Catholic Faith: “By November 25, 1900, Wilde developed cerebral meningitis, his friend Robbie Ross on 29 November, called for a Catholic Priest, Father Cuthbert Dunne, a Passionist priest from Dublin, who gave Wilde a conditional baptism on the fact that Wilde was baptized a Catholic as a child. Father Dunn records:

Oscar 5“As the voiture rolled through the dark streets that wintry night, the sad story of Oscar Wilde was in part repeated to me….Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional baptism, and afterwards answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.”

Vincent Price suffered from Emphysema and developed Parkinson’s disease in his later stages, due to his heavy smoking.  He would succumb to lung cancer on October 25, 1993 at age 82.

price 6In this world, Vincent Price was among the greatest in his field.  Even today, his voice is well recognized and his work continues to play a role in modern usage of movies and screen play. Yet, what is most important was his surrender to follow Christ that liberated him from the darkness that tries to hide the Light.

1 Corinthians 1:21 states, “ For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Saviour of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.
Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: Jim Bowie, Hero Of The Alamo, Converted To The Catholic Faith

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 9th, 2016

commission 2And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

“And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

From both of the scriptural texts above, it is clear that Jesus will always be with His Church, and also the Counselor, the Holy Spirit will be given the Church. The Catholic Church is not made from human hands but from the very power of God.

commission 1From the “Great Commission”, the Church is sent out to go to all the nations, to bring the gospel, the sacraments, the life of the Church that people will be saved. The Church is like a great ship traveling through murky waters in time and space. Countless souls have been united with the Church bringing God’s Light into the darkness.

Conversion stories are sometimes the most inspiring because people can relate to making difficult decisions. One such story is that of a famous American pioneer, Jim Bowie.

Jim Bowie’s patriotism and faith instills a love for God, a trusting in God, and a love for family, friends, and Country. In his early years, Jim Bowie became known for creating a knife that would become known as the “Bowie Knife”. In his rowdy days, he became involved in some personal battles, most known as the famous “Sandbar Fight.” This was a classic knife fight that Bowie won a tough fight using his “Bowie” knife. This popularized the knife as everyone wanted one.

commission 4By the 1830′s manufacturers made their own versions and it spread as far away as England. Jim Bowie did receive wounds as a result of the Sandbar fight, he was shot in the hip, in the arm, he was stabbed seven times, once in the chest, and shot one more time. Jim Bowie originally was not part of the fight, but was supporting a friend (Samuel Levi Wells III) who had mixed with another rival group. The September 19, 1827 noon engagement almost took the life of Jim Bowie. But he survived.

After recovering from his wounds, Jim Bowie decided to leave Louisiana and Mississippi and traveled to Texas in 1828. At that time, Texas was part of Mexico which held to a common rule that those who lived there must be Catholic (1824 Constitution of Mexico). So, Jim Bowie decided to undergo Catechism to investigate the Faith of the Apostles.

commission 6Consider what Jim Bowie was deciding to do? He was considered a fighter, a roughen who bore little of polite society. He was now beginning to learn of the Prince of Peace who can finally give Jim Bowie peace.

On April 28, 1828 Jim Bowie was Baptized and received into the Catholic Church. His sponsor was the town of San Antonio’s administrator Juan Martin de Veramendi and his wife, Josefa Navarro.

On September 30, 1830, Jim Bowie becomes a citizen of Mexico, and on April 25, 1831, he marries 19 year old Maria Ursula de Veramendi, the Daughter of his Sponsor into the Catholic Faith. They had two children, Marie Elve was born on March 20, 1832, and James Veramendi was born on July 18, 1833.

During this time, between 1830 and 1832, the Mexican Congress was passing laws that seemed to discriminate against non-Mexican civilians, like the influx of Anglo like Jim Bowie. As a result, this led to some organizing against Santa Anna by famous people like William B. Travis whom Jim Bowie had known. Bowie was appointed a Colonel by Sam Houston over the Volunteer Militia.

Gigi 3The fight for Texan Independence officially began on October 2, 1835 and San Antonio would be the place of several skirmishes surrounding an old adobe church known as the Alamo. It is times like this that faithful followers of Jesus can only place their faith in Him. I served in Iraq and we too were surrounded by enemy forces who threatened to attack us on the JSS. Jim Bowie’s Catholic Faith would be huge to help him.

Finally, on February 3rd, 1836, William B Travis with 30 regulars interred the Alamo joined by Colonel Bowie and his volunteers on Feb 13. There were disciplinary issue between Bowie and Travis that were hardly healed before the Mexican forces under Santa Anna began to arrive. On Feb 23, Davy Crockett and 12 Tennesseans entered into the Alamo just before the major battle would began.

commission 8The Alamo was important to Sam Houston who was training Texans and depended on time. Bowie was able to share his Catholic faith showing his courage, his honor, and his patriotism. This inspired his men to include Davy Crockett. During the siege of Alamo, Colonel Bowie became ill being confined to a bed by two doctors who could not make a diagnosis.

On February 25, another 32 Texans interred into the Alamo and when Travis was sure there was no more help coming, he drew a line in the sand and everyone crossed it. Jim Bowie called for his men to carry him over the line while lying on his cot. This point is disputed by historians as they are not sure the line in the sand was ever drawn.

commission 7On March 6, the Alamo fell as it was surrounded by several thousand Mexican under Santa Anna. The North wall was breached by canon fire and Mexican Soldiers were able to enter into the Alamo. From mission compound to compound the defenders fought, drawing knives and using their muskets as clubs.

Jim Bowie’s death was circulated giving some different scenarios, one story given in a newspaper reported that Jim Bowie was carried out and escaped, but that one is not given much credit. Another story given is that he was so sick he was near death when the Soldiers entered his room, he didn’t have much a fight. The most popular story is seen from John Wayne’s Alamo movie. Here, Bowie died on his cot, “back braced against the wall, and using his pistals and his famous knife he was bayoneted to death.”

jesus-carrying-crossWhen Jim Bowie’s mother first heard of his death, she told the papers, “I’ll wager no wounds were found on his back.” The Defenders of the Alamo had withstood an Army 30 to 1 for thirteen days. Today, I focused on Jim Bowie because of his conversion to the Catholic Faith. At the moment of his death, it is easy to believe that he had his spiritual Mother on his lips, Our Blessed Lady, The Virgin Mary.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” After serving nearly 27 years in the Army myself and who have been outside the wire in harms way, I am so thankful that I had my Catholic Faith during all of those times.

commission 9In the past I have been challenged by some how I could serve in the Army and be a Christian, I am reminded by something Jesus said, “He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfilment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Jim Bowie is an American hero, but because he accepted Christ and His Catholic Church, he died in the state of grace. Today, we may find ourselves in trying times. We have our own personal battles. There is much violence in the world today, everyday, we lose somewhere between 25-30 Veterans a day to suicide. I hope that stories like Jim Bowie may be an encouragement to go another day, to trust in the Lord and Our Lady no matter how tough things get.

cardenasThe story of the Alamo has always been a great story to me growing up. When I went to Iraq with the 2-5 Cavalry in 2006, the youngest Soldier that joined in my Platoon just three months before the deployment, was very green (17 years old). This Soldier would perform very well under battlefield conditions. I always had fun with him as he is from Mexican descent. What great respect I have for him. I was honored in 2012 when he asked me to sponsor him into the Catholic Faith in San Antonio at the Easter Vigil.

Just like Jim Bowie who was baptized in San Antonio in 1828, my Soldier was received into the same Church Christ founded in 33 A.D. God is so good as He continues to save His people.

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

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The Catholic Defender: Conversion Stories Inspire, The Dale And Alan Rodberg Story

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 7th, 2016

catholic-digest-cover-nov-2011As a young teenager, I remember one of my favorite readings came from the “Catholic Digest” as I would be interested to look at the conversion stories that were being told in the periodicals.

I have always loved conversion stories. Because of this, naturally, I love to share conversion stories on this Website or on our Internet Radio Show. All this is a great calling for the Catholic Church, it is the Great Commission; “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Alan 1Dale and Alan Rodberg, both Facebook friends, gives this testimony:

In 1964 I (Alan) converted (to the Catholic Faith) in Los Angeles as a 22 year old after seeing the movies “Going My Way” and “The Bells of St Mary’s”. I left the church for some years. Fast forward to 1988. I was visiting my cousin in New York and Dale lived down the hall from her.

Five months later we got married. We moved back to Los Angeles for 2 years.. In 1990 we moved to Phoenix and in 95 I wanted to go back to church. Dale was the driver at that time and went with me to Mass. After a few times at Mass the Holy Spirit struck her and she decided to convert so we both went to RCIA. And in 96 she received the whole boat and I was confirmed. The rest is history!

alan 2In our correspondence, between Dale and Alan there is a Jewish background who today both are very excited about their faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. Dale and Alan’s conversion story reminds me that the Catholic Church originated from it’s Jewish roots.

Just as the Apostles who followed Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago, today, many are being called. Another thing I love about Dale and Alan is how they share their faith together, growing together, that to me is very inspiring.

If you want to really have a great marriage, you can’t get any more closer than having the spiritual as well as the physical aspect of marriage. Faith has a way of nurturing the soul, the Holy Spirit brings us closer through a deeper love for each other.

I love Acts 2:38, St. Peter, the first Pope, states, “And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Forward to Verses 46-47, “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

We see faith as a journey, and we can see this in Dale and Alan’s testimony which their story begins in 1964, and today, they are growing strengthened by the Holy Spirit through the Sacramental life. Each year through the RCIA  ”Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” thousands are received into the Catholic Church from all kinds of backgrounds, much like the first 3,000 added on the first Pentecost (Acts 2:41).

confirmation_sponsor_cardI want to take this opportunity to encourage you, who are in good standing with the Church, to prayerfully consider supporting the Sponsorship program in the RCIA.

I have spoken with countless people who have grown so much through sponsoring someone into the Church. How important it is to keep a good re-pore with those you have Sponsored.

It is easy to loose track of time and space especially in a military like environment where you move a lot. I try to lift up those whom I have Sponsored that I have lost touch with because of transfers and years of separation. Despite that, you can still pray for those who are on journey.

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: Most Recent Internet Debate

Posted by Donald Hartley - December 20th, 2015

christmas 23The past couple of days, I have had a debate over an article that I published, “Unraveling The Case Against Christmas” in which I show that the attack on Christmas is really an attack on the Catholic Faith.  I do not name the individual who I was  in conversation with, but I really felt that this is a great example how the Internet can be used for good.  I will use  the color blue for the other person.  Here is the following debate:

Dear Donald Hartley, I am by no means finding fault with your argument that there is a “War on Christmas”. I do, however, take issue with your contention that the so-called war on Christmas is basically a war against the Catholic Church. You accuse “some fundamentalist Protestant groups” of opposing Christmas to oppose the Catholic Church. Don, you don’t identify who they are; nor do you cite any specific evidence of their complicity. By this means you lump the whole of Protestantism into this war as anti-Christmas, which is blatantly false. Protestantism is made up of a large number of groups, the vast majority of which are pro-Christmas and stand shoulder to shoulder with their Catholic counterparts. When President Obama moved against Catholic hospitals to force them to go against their beliefs, a noted Protestant minister observed,”Today we are all Catholics, Mr. President”.

Luther 1Protestantism owes its name to the historic fact that number of groups protested against what they saw as abuses within the Catholic Church, initially during the time of Martin Luther. These abuses included the selling of indulgences and other abuses, which were not formally acknowledged by Rome until 1962 by Pope John XXIII, whom the Catholic Church has declared a saint. By the way, the selling of indulgences was the subject of most of Luther’s 95 Theses. The last thing Luther wanted was a split with Rome. There is ample evidence that suggests that Jesus may not have been born on December 25. Shepherds don’t watch their flocks by night in the middle of winter. It’s too cold. And some suggest that early Christians blended their celebration of the birth of the Son OF God with Roman celebrations of Saturn, the sun god on December 25 when Christians were being persecuted just for being Christians. The fact that some Catholic practices derive from pagan roots does not, in and of itself, taint the Catholic Church’s adaptation of such customs.

Calvin_City_Council_15491Clearly, the Puritans I identify as having such influence during the Court of King Charles I in the 1640′s, which corresponds with the Puritans in America. I’m trying not to group all Protestants in all this, but some of the most notable ones today come from groups like the Seventh Day Adventist, Conservative Baptists, some Pentecostals, especially the Oneness, and yes, there are some “Calvinist groups” the brand that Mike Gendron comes from. Just recently, the news reported converted Muslims were invading Catholic Churches in Las Vagas, they are influenced by this rhetoric.. I’m saying the Catholic Church is getting it from many different angles… But it all stems that these groups attack the Catholic Church.

Jesus was born on December 25, 2 B.C. December weather was perfect for grazing sheep, still is… The strongest evidence is the recent discovery of the Star of Bethlehem. We know it was over Bethlehem Dec 25… Thanks, I noted your issue and agree, most Protestants today love Christmas!

1509054_1612442588983437_8663867943283590976_nAnd most Protestants believe most, if not all, the articles of faith as most Catholics do. The chief area of contention is the church government.

The differences are wide. I’ve heard of churches splitting over weather Adam had a belly button or not. The real problem is authority. No Protestant Minister has the authority to exercise such governance. Even should they agree 100%.  Deuteronomy 31:14 says, “The Lord said to Moses, the time is now approaching for you to die. Summon Joshua, and present yourself at the meeting tent that I may give him his commission…”  Verse 23 continues, “Then the Lord commissioned Joshua, son of Nun, and said to him, Be brave and steadfast, for it is you who must bring the Israelites into the Land which I promised them on oath. I myself will be with you”.  Deuteronomy 34:9 states, “Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid hands upon him; and so the Israelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord’s command to Moses”.  Joshua 1:6-9 the Lord says, “Be firm and steadfast, so that you may give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers I would give them. Above all, be firm and steadfast, taking care to observe the entire law which my servant Moses enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed where ever you go. Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it: then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you where ever you go”.

mosesClearly, Joshua is the successor of Moses. At the end of Joshua’s life, it is interesting that the nation of Israel “served the Lord during the entire lifetime of Joshua and that of the elders who outlived Joshua and knew all that the Lord had done for Israel” (Joshua 24:31).  Joshua would be a bridge between Moses, the placing of the Israelites in the land of milk and honey, and the time of the Judges.  With Joshua’s death, the Elders of Israel consulted the Lord about the Cannaanites who had attacked them.  The following time period Israel is ruled by whom God chose to lead.  The tribes of Jacob were setting up their townships, they were clearing the land for the people of Israel.  Several battles were waged with the Canaanites and Perizzites, Caleb was one of Israels leaders. He is a pre-Judge figure that led the people during this time of war.  Judges 3:10 says that “The spirit of the Lord came upon him (Kenaz), and he judged Israel’.

divisionDon, I’ve heard similar nonsense in Protestant circles such as churches splitting over the color of the carpet in their sanctuary and I totally agree with you. It’s not the authority I critique within the Catholic Church, but the secrecy. During the recent pedophile priest scandal, the church stonewalled investigators and hid behind layers of secrecy. Had the cover up only involved priests, that would have been bad enough, but bishops and cardinals were also involved. Caesar’s laws were violated as were God’s. What happened to “Render unto Caesar, or did the church use, or rather abuse, it’s authority to “bind and loose”?

Why does it always come back to that accusation? As deplorable as child molestation is, the Police, the Church, the media went back 50 years uncovering every rock they could turn over and the most the could spring up was 3%. Yet, during the same time, the same problems existed in the Protestant groups, even worse.   Dr. James Dobson, President and Founder of “Focus On The Family” conducted a study that found within the Protestant clergy all across the board, from congregational, liturgical, charismatic, had as high as 30% of sexual misconduct to include child molestation. Recently, Billy Graham’s son, Franklin has recognized that the problem of molestation of children were even larger than that of the Catholic Church.

scandalOn top of this is the problem of divorce among Protestant clergy which is about 50% like the national average. This would really take a tremendous toll if 50% of the Catholic priesthood were to have to deal with divorce among the clergy.  The anti-Catholic then gives the appearance that it is OK to attack the Catholic priesthood for molestation while giving themselves a free pass. I personally strongly feel that molesting children is horrible no matter who does it. I had a five year old niece who was sexually molested by a Protestant Police Officer. Should I then oppose all Protestant police officers? The truth is that Pedophiles will go where ever they can find opportunity. They go to day care centers, schools, anywhere they can find places they can conceal themselves.  The Catholic Church has taken steps to prevent the opportunity for any possible wrong doing by any Catholic leader (clergy or lay) within the diocese. In order to serve you must have a background check done, and then have to undergo periodic training. This has all but stopped the problem in it’s tracks.

vatican 3Don, I am not trying to sway anyone. There are two entities, the Catholic Church, a human institution which is prone to error, and the Catholic Faith, which is spelled out in both Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds and is protected from error.   It is the Catholic Church I question for its habitual hiding behind every device it can whenever its actions are called into question. They did that with the pedophile priest scandal and also with other incidents that they were called into question. This does not reflect the actions of the One Who “has spoken openly before the world”.

The ultimate question really is: Is the Catholic Church the one true faith or are the Protestants correct in protesting it. That is the bottom line.  Naturally, if anyone in their personal life sins, that reflects on the whole, so there is always the need for healing, not division…

Don, a thing is not right simply because the other guy is doing it too. The sad fact is that the pedophile priest scandal happened. You apparently suggest that the Catholic Church is immune from criticism because Catholics hold that it was founded by Christ.   At His trial before the Sanhedrin, which brought Him up on trumped up charges, He stated that He,”Had spoken openly before the world”, and nothing He said was said in secret.  As you recall, one of the members of the Sanhedrin slapped the Son of God across the face at that answer. 

Jimmy-Hinton-sings-a-hymn-at-Sunday-servicesHad the hierarchy responded differently to the scandal than by hiding behind walls of secrecy, that would have been quite different. The scandal would still have happened but the church bishops and cardinals would have worked with civil authorities to deal with the problem and put a stop to it.   This they did not do, and that saddens me.   You are also right in suggesting that such goings on also occur in Protestant circles and with more frequency. A Protestant minister with no authority to answer to can be guilty of such behavior, humbly resign, and lay low for a couple of years and then dupe an unsuspecting congregation and the whole sordid affair starts over again. I’ve personally seen that happen.   What’s sad in all this is not only the depths that Catholics and Protestants go to cover up these things, but the reflection they are on Christ Himself in the process.

Mary in blueNot at all, Catholics who are guilty of such things will incur Matthew 18:6-7 for sure. I am not defending such actions. It is that usually, when a person can’t win a debate on substance, they resort to the Molesting scandal. I am here applauding the 97 plus percent that are totally innocent…

Don, Mary is certainly the mother of God, not because of who she is but Who her Son is. Similarly, we talk of Barack Obama’s mother as the mother of the President. Of course Obama wasn’t president when he was born but became president later in life.   By similar logic, Mary is the mother of God, not because she pre-existed Him (that is impossible and possibly a reason for the false teaching), but because of Who her Son was.

Your beginning to sound more Catholic here, either you have a great love for your faith, which I respect BTW, or your working hard to justify why you left the Catholic faith years ago? I once had to come to terms with this in my own personal life… I too am a revert!

Don, I am not resorting to the molesting scandal. No church organization is perfect. The response of the senior hierarchy to the scandal is, perhaps more important than the scandal itself. By that initial response of stonewalling and secrecy, the senior hierarchy tried to cover the whole sordid affair. Priests had allegedly threatened these youngsters with mortal sin if they revealed the contacts.   We looked up to priests. I loved my parish priest. I actually wanted to become one. 

priest facing arrestA priest is the most important person in a youngster’s spiritual life. The priest forgives his sins, gives communion, and all the other things that priests do. But after the scandal, how do you trust an entity that has been compromised? How do you know? That question not only applies to Catholics but Protestants as well.

Yes, in the eyes of a child, they see authority and they trust it until trust is lost. But the real discussion here is who is the actual authority? It is the Catholic priest because his ordination is the anointing from above. St. Paul was made an apostle for our benefit, so were all Catholic priests. I can not give that to any Protestant clergy, I can give respect, but not my loyalty…

Catholics come homeDon, I still believe. I never stopped believing. I have attended church in a Southern Baptist church with my wife. We were married for 42-1/2 years.   I have recently re-met a girl I went to Catholic school with and recently become engaged. I now have to ask myself if the last 42-1/2 years of my life was a lie. I never denied Christ. I never betrayed Him. I just went to a different church that upheld the same faith as found in the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed.

I respect that, but if we look back to 1847, the Southern Baptist church did not exist…. The Catholic faith did and it goes all the way back to the Upper Room with that first 120…  I have seen dramatic reversions some more than 50 years, I would love to see you come home to the Catholic Faith, you have the heart for it…  I believe the Holy Spirit is calling you home, what a great Christmas present you could give the Christ Child this Christmas!!!

coming-homeYou’re right. I do have the heart for it. Sometimes I think I never left.

Well, unfortunately, sometimes we see religion like we see fast food, kind of like a smorgasbord… But what happens is moral relativism sets in, we see things from our own perspectives and make sense of it giving the Holy Spirit credit for our positions. The Lord is the founder of the Catholic Faith, he did not find nor endorse all the man made ones…

I ask for your prayers for this individual, I really believe that he is open to coming home to the Catholic Faith!

O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because in revealing them you can neither deceive nor be deceived.

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