Friday, November 23, 2012

The season that bind generations and breaks hearts

This is Thanksgiving weekend. It is the first weekend of a season of celebration that spans about a month and a half, ending on New Year's day or thereabouts. It begins with a flourish and ends with a flourish with about 40 days of joyous anticipation and frantic preparation in between.

The 4 day Thanksgiving weekend (though rarely in my life have I had all 4 days off) is an explosion of traditions, commencing with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in Mid-town Manhattan. Who doesn't remember Big Bird, Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog being pulled down 34th street as the smell of turkey wafts through the home. For millions of excited kids, the arrival of Santa in Herald's Square signaled the start of the Christmas season.

The family would gather round the table with plates or trays full of turkey and stuffing and ham and corn, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuits and gravy. Pies and Ice cream would almost certainly follow.

Then, in succession would be a parade of football games. The Detroit Lions would host the first game and the Dallas Cowboys the second. For us, this would sometimes be followed by a Thanksgiving Day family football game.

Black Friday would follow, with millions of irrational Americans trying to kill each other to get the latest toy.

On Friday and Saturday, more football- Notre Dame vs USC and, in year's past, Oklahoma against Nebraska.

It was during the midst of this Friday and Saturday that my family had our most cherished of traditions- buying, setting up and decorating the family Christmas Tree.
Yes, I do have a great deal of wonderful memories of this season.

Those memories are now bittersweet and painful because what this season holds is tainted with the moral sickness that is today's society- a disease of self delusion and selfishness that abhors everything that is good and decent and holy and demands that the world accept their debasement of our sacred faith and our sacred traditions.

For me, The Christmas season, which makes it's unofficial start now, is no longer the season of joy it once was. It is tinged with agonizing pain and inexpressible grief that is difficult to endure. The season starts with an American holiday that was intended as a day of giving thanks to the creator. It ends with the season in which we celebrate that creator coming to us as a man.

Yet, a lost world expects us to celebrate the Christmas season as a Christless season- a proposition that will never fly. It is the very height of arrogance, ignorance and gall. Imagine the God haters, stealing His season from us, remaking it in their own image and then having the audacity to try and force it on us. It is a recipe for rage and division, yet they act as if they do not understand our reaction. Among these is Barack Obama, our Muslim President who, laughingly, claims to be a Christian while bowing to Muslim leaders and taking every possible opportunity to pour derision on the Christian faith and it's beliefs. Unfortunately, the beliefs of this very misguided and narcissistic man have affected members of my own family who, despite all the plain evidence of his rancid corruption, evil ideology and abject incompetence, continue to hold him up as a pseudo messiah even as they reject the true light who came into the world.

It is a sword piercing my heart.

However, I must not fall prey to the notion that obstacles are road blocks. The reelection of Barack Obama, as undeniably tragic as it was, cannot be a cause for quitting the fight. True, it may too late to save the country but it is not too late to save souls.

The Christmas season itself is the ultimate expression of hope. As we enter this season, I will once again try to find that hope.

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7 Quick Takes


So you made it to Black Friday. Are you Christmas shopping? After eating pie for breakfast, I'm off to visit a friend today, kids in tow. I don't fight in the stores for bargains. I'd rather just jump in on those last minute online bids like all the other introverts or maybe even do without.


I am considering renaming my son Mr. Smartypants. After teaching himself to read and not telling me about it until after we'd gone to war over it, now it's all a great big joke. We've modified his reading program to a speech program, and he's continually finding ways to outfox me. The last successful attempt was teaching him how to make the short a sound clearly. It went like this:

Momma points to the letter a, "Show me how you say this?"
"You know this sound."
"What's the sound it makes?"
"Not the name, the sound. What's the sound?"
"Uh!" *giggle*
"The sound of this letter, honey!"
*giggle* "Ah!" *giggle*
"Quit fooling around, please. Say the sound."
"Aayy!" *dies laughing*
"Not the na...oh!" I slap my head as it dawns on me that he's said all the sounds he knows an a can make except the short a sound. "You got me, Mr. Smartypants! You got me!"
His middle name might need to be Stinker. Smartypants Stinker Martin.

Saying goodbye...

He's not always a little stinker, though. I've been cleaning out my baby gear to give to an expecting friend. She'd had to jettison hers when she moved her big family into a tiny house. My Boppy Pillow, the one that makes breastfeeding easier, came out of storage and went through the wash to prepare it for her. Simon found it on top of the boxes of baby clothes waiting to be loaded into the van. He brought it to me, put it around my waist, laid his head on it and sighed. I rubbed his back saying, "I remember, too, buddy." It was a sweet way to say goodbye to that part of our family life.


On an entirely different note, in case you missed this little gem, Marc Barnes over at The Bad Catholic wrote on Nothing. It's definitely something! It's "Better Than Nothing."

"The Joker is cooler than Batman.
It’s a problem of poetry more than anything else."

"A killing spree may shock society, but it is a boredom to the universe, who ultimately kills everyone. To objectify a woman into a sex object might give men a thrill, but it is pathetic to the universe, who is busy rendering her into a corpse."
Editor's Note: Please be so kind as to remember that Marc ignores all death threats unless they are submitted in Iambic Pentameter.


The day after Thanksgiving is an excellent time to talk about the higher qualities of drudgery (especially if you've read that post from Number 4). I don't like doing dishes and yet I must. And by hand. I can't explain it beyond saying there is something redeemable in the very act of restoring temporary order to a busy kitchen. Suds therapy, I guess. My husband and I both find the quiet moments with warm water and suds mundane, soothing and restorative. "Let me wash the dishes!" and "I need to go do dishes!" are words heard often in our home during periods of high stress. Please take no offense if I take a dishrag and a bottle of Dawn in hand if we are drowning in a discussion of our messy lives. It is no criticism of your housekeeping. I am merely attempting to bring order to the Universe by restoring order somewhere I can actually reach.


I guess it is no mistake that I've taken to placing my prayer requests list within sight of my kitchen sink. Currently there are two divorces and one breakup on it to pray for. Order from chaos, indeed. Some things are beyond the restorative powers of warm water and bubbles, so I hand them over, sometimes several times daily.

My hero!

On a smaller note, my husband has figured out a way to fit our refrigerator into our kitchen. The spot in our farmhouse kitchen was too small for a modern fridge, but with a judicious use of a sawzall saw and the loss of a few inches of counter space, my work triangle will no longer include ducking into the laundry room! Whoot!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #228* The Catholic Defender honors David Nunez

It was early 2010 after I returned from another deployment to Iraq that I went to Soldiers Chapel on Fort Hood.

This is when I met David Nunez for the first time. We struck off a friendship very quickly.

We both had big ideas that we wanted to do for the Catholic Community in the Fort Hood surrounding area.

I wanted to organize a coffee shop set for Soldiers and their families. The idea was to have something at least once a month that we could put something together where Soldiers could unwind and have a wholesome place to take their families.

I was also thinking of single Soldiers as well. Through this Vision, David and I were able to conduct some events featuring local groups hosting some family get togethers.

We also were able to host John Michael Talbot and Eric Genuis to come and play for our Community. Eric Genuis has come back twice more to play at Copperas Cove Catholic Church just outside of Fort Hood.

We worked together on a number of projects which I am so thankful. He would join me in singing for a group of Senior Citizens on a Tuesday night. He would play the piano and or the guitar for the people.

He also would come to the house and play music with my wife Gigi who would sing together playing the piano and the autoharp.

Early on, David would join the Rosary Patrol praying the Rosary on the radio with us. His contribution was always great. We organizd a meeting at my house with Eric Genuis to promote prolife awareness and met with local pro-life leaders.

I encouraged him to think about joining the Knights of Columbus which he ultimately did. As time went on, David wanted to join a monestery, at first he was very interested in joining John Michael Talbots Little Portion's group based out of Eureka Springs Arkansas. In the end, David would settle for something near Houston Texas.

Working for the Catholic Community on Fort Hood, David was very important in helping the Catholic Priests. I would be there many times finding David always deeply involved in Post projects. He was a major player at the daily Mass always providing music for the Community.

I have never met someone who was as humble than David Nunez. He was always thinking of others before himself.

I remember on one occasion when David brought his Mother with him to visit Gigi and me. He really loved his Mother and his family. On other occasions, David would bring friends with him who he wanted me to talk too about the Catholic Faith.

David was a strong Catholic who had a deep love for Jesus Christ and His Church. David was one of the early members, a Charter Member of deepertruth. All of us at deepertruth will miss David Nunez, he will always be remembered for his zeal and humility.

Recently, David was in a coma and he did not survive. Even though it has been awhile that I had seen David because of his role in a monestery, he was a close personal friend. David, we love you and will miss you. David, may the perpetual light of Christ shine upon you now and forever more. Amen.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

My wife is so awesome

I like to try and project a persona online that is at least a reasonable facsimile to who I really am but, let's be real. People online can rarely ever know who we truly are because we naturally recoil from showing our darker sides. In this respect, the internet is a perfect vehicle for denial. It allows us to project who we want to see ourselves as, rather than who we really are. We project this image in a form that can be auto-toned and Photoshopped and guarded and marketed. After all the air-brushing, we arrive, we hope, at an image palatable to the outside world but-often- quite at odds with reality.

It is not that we deliberately seek to deceive. It is often subtle, often sub-conscious and rarely malevolent in intent. It really boils down to a primal insecurity that suggests "you wouldn't like me if you knew 'X'". or "You will like me if I can do 'Y' or project 'Z'"

The world's producers and marketers  understand this and have made a whole array of products - from facial creams to photo editing software- to aid people in the avoidance of reality.

The consequence of this is that so many people rarely know who anyone really is anymore.

There is a danger in this. The more we guard who we truly are, the more our faults are magnified in our own minds. That is because if we don't show who we truly are, we cannot be loved for who we truly are and if we cannot be loved as we truly are, we cannot know if who we truly are can be truly loved.

This creates a shocking dichotomy in many people that results in isolation, depression, despair and, in some sad cases, suicide. Yesterday, me a friend were talking about the sad and tragic story of Brad Delp, the former lead vocalist of the Rock band Boston.

It was Delp's soaring vocals on songs such as More than a feeling, Don't look back, Piece of Mind, A Man I'll never be and the #1 hit Amanda that made those songs. The band sold millions of records and received critical acclaim.
In 2007, Delp committed suicide. Could someone have known him and reached him and saved him? One thing is clear, the image that we held of him and the image he held of himself were in stark and tragic conflict.

This is why I thank God for my wife. Her and I truly know and love each other. We know each other's strengths and we know each other's weaknesses. We know each other's joys and we know each other's sorrows. My wife is a truly genuine person who has the most real and vulnerable heart I have ever seen. The walking, talking personification of compassion and forgiveness.

If it weren't for her, I couldn't make it. I just wanted to say 'thank you'.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Caught in the Eye of the Storm

As the battle rages, we are caught in the eye of the storm. St John writes, "When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, 'It is I. Do not be afraid. They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immdiately arrived at the shore to which they were heading".

Matthew gives more details admitting that the Apostles thought Jesus was a ghost. Jesus told them to "take courage, it is I". Can you hear Jesus telling us that very thing, "take courage, it is I"?

St. Peter responds, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Jesus does call St. Peter, as he calls us, "Come.".

 St. Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he began to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me".

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him."

Are you willing to get out of the boat? Are you willing to trust Jesus caught in the eye of the storm?

Like St. Peter, do we cry out to Jesus, "Save me?"

Jesus gave us the Sign, He is the Bread of Life, outside of him there is no place to run.

When your caught in the eye of the storm, as the battle rages, we must recognize Jesus in the Mass.

This is where we need to turn when you feel trapped when tribulations are swirling around you.

When you feel trapped caught in the eye of the storm, this is when you need Jesus all the more.

It is easy to surrender to dispair and agonize over the future. How am I going to pay the bills, how am I going to find a job, how am I going to provide food for the family?

This is important to consider, will you be safe in the Lord placing your faith in him, even when it is difficult.

Tribulations dew to disasters, especially man-made disasters are difficult to overcome. We need to be able to support one another, take care of family as we ride out the eye of the storm.

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Where do we go from here?

It wasn't supposed to end like this. It just doesn't make any sense. How can we even hope to go on from here? He was supposed to be our savior yet, there He is, defeated and dead, hanging on a cross. I guess it's time to give up, isn't it?

A few days ago, someone asked me the question 'Where do we go from here'? I responded that I have been trying to figure that out since election day and I am getting nothing. I have been soul searching and heart searching and mind searching and strength searching, trying to find one reason why it even makes sense to keep hoping and dreaming and believing and fighting. Then it hit me. The reason to keep hoping and dreaming and believing and fighting is a person and His name is Jesus Christ. I spent the last week trying to make sense of this all, then the Holy Spirit showed me that it doesn't have to make sense. In fact, faith is strongest in reverse proportion to how much sense it makes.

I have spent the last week processing the very real possibility that the United States of America, as a nation, is finished. Like ill-fated United 93, that crashed into a Pennsylvania field on September 11th, 2001, the country has been hijacked by people who are determined to destroy it. These people who abetted by those who are too selfish, too cowardly or too apathetic to oppose them.

America, as a nation, is probably doomed.

Would that be the worst thing that could happen? No.

As Jesus walked the way of sorrows, carrying the Cross, he ran into the women of Jerusalem and had this to say;

"Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' 30 "Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' 31 "For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?"
Catholics call this the 8th station, in a devotional known as The Way of the Cross. I am meditating on this station even now as I contemplate what occurred last Tuesday. For even as He walked His own condemnation, Jesus was letting the city of Jerusalem know that it's own destruction was nigh.

Is this the message we should be hearing now about America?

 Sons and Daughters of America, weep not for me but for yourselves and your children.

That America has reelected the most wicked President in it's history is a matter quite beyond dispute. That so many are to blame is just as unarguable. Was there voter fraud? Yes. Did too many voters stay home? Yes. Dirty money? Terrible candidate? Complicate media? Cowards on our side? Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.

However, I want to focus on what, for me, are the most shocking exit poll results of all.

Among regular church goers, Mitt Romney won by 20 percentage points. Romney won a similar margin among Married voters. 59% of White Catholics supported Romney while only 48% of all Catholics supported him overall. Hispanic Catholics supported Obama to the tune of almost 80%.

There are a number of sobering conclusions to draw here.
  1. Those who go are married and go to church are no longer the backbone of our nation.
  2. Far too many Catholics are on the wrong side of issues like abortion and marriage and far too few are going to church.
 The issue is excruciatingly bad in the Hispanic Catholic community. Hispanic Catholics supported gay marriage by a 20 point margin (52-32), that leaves another 16% undecided. When less than 1/3 of Hispanic Catholics are willing to support traditional marriage, that is a very serious problem. As millions of Hispanic Catholics continue to flood into the United States, through both legal and illegal immigration, a paradox is at work. While the overall Catholic population appears to be rising as a result, the Catholic population is actually becoming far more nominal with each day.

Gay marriage passed in 4 states and the largely Catholic Hispanic vote was a big part of that. This is in addition to their obvious role in helping to reelect the worst President in American history based almost solely on his open and unapologetic support of illegal immigration.

Of course, just because the problem is so egregiously bad among Hispanic Catholics does not exactly give white Catholics a pass. When more than 4 in 10 white Catholics are voting for a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious liberty candidate, it cannot be cased as religious, racial or ethnic tolerance. It is simply Catholics being unfaithful and irresponsible. Being willing to vote for a candidate of color is laudable, so long as said candidate is worthy of your vote. Barack Obama isn't. Racial tolerance cannot be a substitute for ethical stewardship. We have reached a point where people are afraid of being discerning for fear of being accused of being discriminating. Barack Obama and his ilk are undeserving of the vote of any Christian, because of his radical and perverse views and positions. The color of his skin has nothing to do with it. We must be unafraid to live out the dream of MLK jr and judge a man by the content of his character.

America cannot survive because it has become what Jesus Christ spoke of and Abraham Lincoln echoed- a house divided against itself.

Alexi De Tocqueville observed two things that now apply to America. The first is that any Democracy is doomed once the people realize that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. Once the majority of the country figures this out, they will always vote for whoever gives them the most.

Democracies, or anything made by men, are doomed to fail. The only institution that will never die is the Catholic Church. It wasn't created by men but by God, Himself.

The second thing he noted is that America was great because America was good. When America ceased to be good, he observed, she shall ceased to be great.

America has ceased to be good and has, thus, ceased to be great. Soon, Now, She has ceased to be altogether. The America of Barack Obama bears no resemblance to the America you and I inherited and wanted to pass on. That America is not coming back.

It is time to accept the fact that you reach a point where you have did all you can do but you have struck the iceberg, nonetheless.

So, where do we go from here?

It's rescue time. The ship is going down and it will sink. There is no saving it. Save as many as you can.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #226* The Catholic Defender: Father Duffy Of the Fighting 69th

One of my favorite old movies is called "The Fighting 69th".

This is the story of a largely Irish regiment with the additions of other ethnic groups who had fought in the Civil War with distinction. I remember the 4th Alabama that fought for the South had once defeated the "Fighting 69" in the Civil War, now they were being merged as one unit.

One of the greatest American Chaplains of all time served for this unit during World War I, Father Francis Patrick Duffy.

He was a Catholic Priest who served as an Army Chaplain during the Spanish and American War.

Because of the impending war to end all wars, Father Duffy was appointed as Chaplain of the "Fighting 69th" based out of New York in 1912.

Father Duffy by this time was promoted to Major and served as the senior chaplain of the 42nd Division.

Joyce Kilmer, a noted poet of the time wrote of the sea voyage across the Atlantic, "as long as the mess-line," people would be waiting to go to confession.

Can you imagine this today? This is powerful. I will insert a story in Iraq that a Priest told me of a Soldier who came to Confession, he had been in several conflicts and was worried he might not make the next one out alive.

Father heard his confession and sadly, the Soldier was killed within six days in a battle.

Father Duffy continued to have long lines of Soldiers going to confession.

Father would offer Mass every morning using a make shift altar from a long board on two nail kegs.

It did not take the "Fighting 69th" long to enter the war, they arrived in France in November 1917.

If you scene the movie "War Horse", you can get an idea what the trenches was like.

The Fighting 69th took position from French forces at Luneville in the Lorraine sector in 1918.

After two days of bombings they were hit by mustard gas killing over 400 Soldiers.

Father Duffy was always up on the front lines hearing confessions and offering Mass.

He was well loved by all the Soldiers as he encouraged them.

Father Duffy was most known for his presence among his troops.

He would travel with the medics which is common today, I was graced to serve with several Catholic Priests in a war zone.

I remember always having a chaplain with our aid station in the Gulf War. I would be serving Mass daily (Father would make an altar using MRE boxes) in the Saudi Arabian desert and
Father and I would walk around the perimeter praying the Rosary together.

Operation Iraq Freedom was different in that we were not set up like a conventional front line situation. We were set up in Joint Security Station's (JSS) many of which never had a Catholic Priest.

I was utilized by the ArchDiocese of the Military as a Catholic Minister offering Catholic "Liturgy of the Word" Services.

Father Duffy showed great moral courage in the face of the heaviest fighting.

He was there to give care and comfort to the wounded offering the Last Rites to the dying.

Father Duffy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal.

After the War, Father Duffy would serve as a Parish Priest in New York City.

If anyone out there from New York would like to send pictures of any monument that would be great!

Father would publish a book, "Father Duffy's Story" about his experience in World War I. He died in 1932.

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*BEST OF DTB #227* The Catholic Defender: Father Duffy Part II

Father Duffy's story really is a great inspiration. In a world when PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is common due to loud explosions, in the old days we would call that "Shell Shock".

For some, faith and adrenaline would make some people react heroically while others fall apart. You really do not know how a person will react until the situation presents itself. Training is very important because most people will react in automatic mode when situations take place.

Situations will happen that will require you to have to react. Chaplains in the Military are very important because of their position of support in the heart and souls of the Soldier. Father Duffy exhibits a strong leadership quality that brought people back to reality, to get a hold of themselves. I want to show a scene from the "Fighting 69th" when Father Duffy wasw able to cause an effect that changed a Soldiers life:

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The Catholic Defender: The Father Vincent Capodanno Story

Today, I was at the Copeland Center at Fort Hood Texas preparing to work on my resume when I happened to run into a retired Navy Hospital Corpsman Mike McGrath.
He and his wife were present for an event designated for retirees.
Today, there were a number of retired Soldiers, Air Force, Nary, Marines present.
I struck up a conversation with Mr. McGrath as we were leaving for the parking lot.
He told me of his service in Viet Nam, that he had been wounded twice in battle receiving two Purple Hearts.
He also told me about a hero he knew when he was there in Viet Nam. His hero was a Catholic Priest named Father Vincent Capodanno. In reading the following "Medal of Honor" citation, I began to understand why he thought so much of this Priest.
Father Capodanno was a Marine Chaplain who served with his troops. He was killed in the service of his Country being awarded the Medal of Honor. May 19, 2002, his cause for canonization began by the Vatican. He is now refered to as "Servant of God"!

Father Capodanno's official Medal of Honor citation is as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

This is a book covering the life of Father Capodanno.

*BEST OF DTB #225* The Catholic Defender's wife speaks out on Deployments

Being in the Army for nearly 26 years, galloping around the world as often as I have done. I want to recognize my wife in her contribution. We have three Son's who are currently in the Military. Between all of us we share in about 20 deployments:
The following is from Gigi: What do you say to the mother who is sending her son to war?

Maybe this can best be answered by reading the following letter from an anonymous Mom: "Some years ago when each of my sons were newborns and brought to me for the first time, I cried as I looked at them, thinking:

“God, what did I do to deserve something so beautiful and so perfect"?

Where did these overwhelming feelings of love and fierce protectiveness come from?? On that first holding of each I said a prayer, giving him back to God for safe keeping.

I know, they were already His, but, I guess I just needed that added assurance/insurance. I asked him to guide them and keep them safe .

For myself, I asked for the wisdom and knowledge to raise them to be good men.We went through the usual childhood illnesses/accidents, etc.

I dragged myself to football , basketball and baseball practices after working all day, continuously, for seemingly years on end. When they were sick I would sit up with them all night or hold their head when they barfed….

I know God loves tired, spent mothers because He sure made enough of us. We laughed together, cried together. I spanked, they cried. I cried in another room – (The younger one told me some years later that the saying “This hurts me more than it hurts you” was for the birds, but little did he know - it’s so true!)

We vacationed, got lost, rode bicycles, had an assortment of good, and bad, animals through the years (a bad one which immediately comes to mind is the skunk that the oldest brought home…….).

I could go on and on. All in all, the normal childhood. There’s no way to adequately cover all those years from childhood to manhood. They were good though, and I wish with all my heart that I could go back - when I could pull them into my lap and make all the bad go away, when my Mother’s Day gifts consisted of dandelions, painted rocks or Roly-poly’s with a fervent prayer that there not be a green snake in the box instead……when I kissed scraped knees and washed dirt beads from their necks at night.But, all of a sudden they were grown.

Where did the time go? Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep a few years? Such a mystery.They left for the Army the same week!! Empty Nest Syndrome set in with a vengeance and four months later the youngest one had orders to the Middle East.

The older one (stationed 1700 miles away) was worried about his brother and went to his Captain and said “Sir, I would like to go to Iraq in my brother’s place”. He was told “Son, it doesn’t work that way”. Shortly thereafter, he received his own orders and was in country a short two weeks after his brother. Now, some years later, they are NCO’s with troops under their guidance.

Presently they have 4 tours each under their belts and the youngest is leaving again this week for yet another year in the sand…….Lord, give me strength. Now. What do you tell the mother of a deployed son/daughter? Nothing, except:

”I’ll keep him/her in my prayers” and “You know I’m here if you need to talk”.

No more needs to be said. This is our own private hell.Each time I get that call or see one of mine getting on the bus or plane in full battle gear with the M16 slung over his shoulder, I want to scream for him to stop.

I can’t do that……I have to be stoic and not cry. I can’t let him carry that memory with him. It’s so hard – because a large chunk of my heart is being ripped out of my chest. The nightmares start that same night.

PLEASE, don’t ever say Oh, he’ll be fine”. Will he? In my anger over his leaving I might yell “How the hell do you know that??!!” Or, unless you’ve been in the same shoes, don’t say “I know how you feel”. DO you know???

Did you get those big sloppy kisses from him when he was little? Did you rock him all night when he had an earache? Did you go through the pain of his first love with him?..........So many things…..Just quietly be there for her.Myself, I’m more of a private person.

I want to be by myself to work it through and compute it. No conversations. I send my Guardian Angels with him, and I pray….a lot.

Just go ahead and give me the green snake for Mother’s Day!! I’ll gladly accept it if it will bring him home!"I guess my anonymity has been blown………

Yes, it’s me, Gigi. I’m so glad I work with soldiers, God bless and protect each one of them. They understand. Also, most of the employees are dependents or retired military, or they have a husband/son/daughter deployed or one who has recently returned.

I’m told a lot: “I’ll pray for him”……….mostly from other soldiers. Lord, thank you for my sons. Fine and brave young men that they are, it’s your doing, not mine.

Continue to keep your hand on them. Especially during this deployment or any that may follow.

I haven’t mentioned my soldier, my husband in this because I think I’ve expressed my fears/feelings previously about him while he’s in Harms way, but, you asked specifically about moms of deploying children.

God has really smiled down on me by allowing me these three special soldiers. Stay safe Don. You know you’re my rock. Sorry to be so wordy.

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The Catholic Defender: "Totus Tuus" (Totally Yours)

On November 14th, 7:00 P.M. Central, at St. Peter's Parish Hall, Marshall, Missouri, Deepertruth's Dr. Gregory Thompson will be speaking "Servant to Jesus through Mary, Why Morning Glory". Coming closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Dr. Thompson will be joined by Father William Korte,Priest and Defender of the Faith, Spiritual Director, Year of Faith, "Women of Faith".

Words from Dr. Gregory Thompson:

"Do whatever He tells you".

Be eager to present yourself acceptable to God, a workman who cause no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation.

A short, easy secure and perfect way to become a saint. Practice the Faith!

Blessed John Paul II described his experience with Jesus through Mary as a decisive turning point in his life. He made his Papal motto, "Totus Tuus".

Resources to Defend the Catholic Faith, evangelize Fallen Away, and Convert Sinners will be provided.

God is offering the people of our time a powerful and effective way to become great saints, and it's not because we're so good. Rather, it's because our times are so perilous, and God wants his mercy to triumph through Mary. So, he gives us poor, sinful souls an amazing gift. What St. Louis De Montfort called a little known "secret".

Popes have been so influenced that they have written encyclicals on this preemminent devotion. Doctors of the Church have embraced this devotion and walked in holiness.

St. Maxmillian Kolbe said, " that they may enlighten, reinvigorate, and set on fire the souls living in their own environment..."

Blessed Mother Teresa said, "From childhood, the Heart of Jesus has been my first love". Her purpose, "To satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the Love of Souls." She said, "Our Lady was the first person to hear Jesus' cry 'I Thirst' with St. John the Apostle." John was the disciple whom Jesus gave Mary to us and to Mary.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Eric Genuis At Copperas Cove

DeeperTruth's Eric Genuis joined the Catholic Defender once again as he and his group came back to Central Texas in the midst of city to city touring for the Lord.

Ephesians 5:18-19 states, "And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father".

I have known Eric Genuis for a long time and have enjoyed his music. He is truly a major witness in his testimony in the true art of music.

Eric's inspiring stories of how God is using his family, the miracle of his children touch audiences the world over.

Psalms 150 states, "Praise God in his holy sanctuary; give praise in the mighty dome of heaven. Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty. Give praise with the blasts upon the horn, priase him with harp and lyre. Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with flutes and strings. Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath give praise to the Lord!"

Eric and his performers are more than a class act, they are totally committed in following and serving the Lord through the power of music through the testimony of their lives.

They are truly world class performers but much more than that. Among the group is a 20 year old girl who is as good a violinist you will find. She is thinking of joining a religious order to serve God.

They all are strong in their faith and offer their talents for the glory of God in Catholic art!

After the concert, a mother came forward sharing that her 8 year old daughter at one point was seen with tears in her eyes obviously moved by the power of the music.

She went up there to the piano to play on it as we were in the vestible talking with the people.

I grabbed Eric because I wanted him to see some of the influence he was having on youth. This was a very moving scene.

This is what it is going to take to save a generation as the winds of change is rocking our society. Deepertruth and other important Catholic sources are going to become critical in holding the line.

The following is a song that Eric performed at my request, in fact each time he plays for me, he knows to include this song in his presentation. This is most powerful as the song is called "Joseph's Song" about the true story of Eric and his young son who lived for only 4 hours. I myself am moved no matter how many times I have heard him sing this, especially live. Please enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Real American

After last nights defeat of Govenor Romey, I felt much like the air was taken out of the lungs. I bring back this article to represent that we must take a stand!

My Unit was deployed out in the field conducting a 30 day training exercise at Hohenfels (CMTC) Germany, a place that always seemed bad weather always awaited us there.

It was always nasty, gray, wet, always miserable. I remember one night my Platoon Sergeant needed to go into the main post to get some items and he wanted me to drive him in using one of our field ambulances.

While we were in the rear, we made a pit stop at one of the friends he knew that was stationed there. We were invited in for a few moments as they had some things to discuss.

I'll never forget that time we were there as AFN was showing Wrestle Mania 3.
I stood by the door when the announcer introduced Hulk Hogan who went through a massive crowd of 90 thousand fans screaming with "Real American" playing in the background.

That really was an awesome moment. Unfortunately we could not stay to watch the match. That was really the first time I had been exposed to the Hulkster.

I had an older Brother that wrestled in high school as well as a cousin both doing well in State competitions. My oldest Son Nathan went State two years in high school as well.

I never wrestled in a real environment, but I did have fun with my troops. I would usually take on three guys and either pin them or make them give.

This was long before I had heard of "Combatives".

Back at the field exercise, one day there were four female Soldiers who wanted to take a shot at pinning me.

One of them was a body builder and the other three were simply rambunctious. I was encouraged practically by my entire Platoon because they would really enjoy such a demonstration.

I did eventually cave in if for no other reason, to silence all the "Chicken imitations" going on.

Here we were, in the woods with some down time and I had these four ladies who were bent on defeating me. At first I was restrained because of what I thought were my limitations. That didn't last long as they were serious.

They hit me all at once and I had a struggle. One grabbed one leg, another went for the other leg, one went for my midsection as the other tried to get behind me.

I promise, I did not hit them, I wouldn't do that, but they sure took their shots. In the end, I got them!!!

When I was finally able to get three of them down where they could not manever it was over. This was the way it was way back in the day.

I really am thankful for the times we had defending our Country and at times, having a good time. Strength was always important to me and I put all that behind my faith as I wanted to dedicate all I have for the glory of the Lord.

That's why the song, "Real American" meant so much to me back in the 1990's. Putting together a video using this song was a lot of fun. I am so thankful to my Mother for her love for me giving me the foundation of my Catholic Faith.

All that I do for the glory of the Lord and His Mother, I do so in honor of my Mother.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Catholic Defender: St. Michael the Archangel

"It will come to pass in the last days, God says, 'that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. Indeed, upon my servants and my handmaids I will pour out a portion of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophecy. And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below" (Acts 2:17-19a).

Have you ever recieved a dream that was so real that you carried it with you for a long time?

On the same night, probably 31 December B.C., the Magi recieved a dream not to return to Herod but to go another route.

St. Joseph recieved a message from an angel in dream saying, "Rise, take the child and his Mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you".

Both the Magi and the Holy Family recieved a message from the angel warning them of King Herod. There are many examples where angels acted as messengers for the Lord to give to his people.

I have certainly recieved such powerful dreams that have been important to me. One dream that was so important to me concerned my family.

Growing up as a child, my Mother would take us to the creek to go swimming with other friends and relatives.

When my oldest Son, Nathan was about 1 1/2 years old, I had the dream going back to that time of going to the creek.

In this dream, we were with friends at a creek diving off rocks having a great time.

Nathan was along the rocky shore wading around as we kept close watch on him. At one point, I was about to dive into the water when I saw a snake swimming downstream towards little Nathan.

I jumped into the water, swimming as fast as I could, my heart was pounding as I hurried to intercept this threat.

I'm getting close and I remember reaching out to grab this snake as it was about to strike Nathan.

Just as I reached out and grabbed the snake I woke up sitting in bed literally with everything around me wet from sweat.

I just sat there until I was sure this was only a dream. It was that real. I laid back down just thanking God this was only a dream.

Then it occured to me that Satan is like a roaring lion searching for souls to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Just the thought and the idea that Satan would be after my Children taught me something about spiritual warfare.

We are in it! There is no getting around it. To this day, I have not stopped interceding for my family.

Do you ever feel that your under attack? You are! Our only hope is through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Salvation.

This is why the Catholic Church is so important because Jesus established the Church promising that the gates of hell would not prevail against it, that the Lord would never forsake the Church, that the Holy Spirit was given to us to help us until Jesus does return.

If anyone comes to you with a gospel not in accordance with the Faith that was given to us through the apostolic authority, we are not to follow them (Gal 1:6-9).

That would be another rabit trail. We might not see the snake in the grass because sometimes we are caught up in the side effects.

People might go to one church because they love the music, the singing. Others might go to a church because the love the minister, the preaching.

There are other good reasons, friends and family might go to a church, the youth group might be very active and fun.

These are all good things in and of themselves but these are exteriors. The truth and foundation does not mean much as long as we are getting "fed"?

Just as it was in the time of the Magi and St. Joseph, the angel of the Lord is wanting us to follow the truth of the Catholic Faith.

It is there that Jesus offers himself in the Mass. It is there that we renew the Covenant.

The greatest Christmas gift you can give the King of Kings this Christmas and every day, is the gift of yourself.

Make the Mass the center of your life, go to Mass to offer thanks for your many blessings recieved.

Don't be like the nine lepers who did not come back to give thanks. Do you have family member who have rejected their Catholic Faith?

Invite them back! Pray for them, do not lose hope! We got to take this message back to the street. The Prayer to St. Michael is a great reminder of the need for spiritual protection:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


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