Posted tagged ‘Courage’


September 12, 2019

A little encouraging addendum –

Yes, as I mentioned in the last post,  there’s a storm over the Church:

church in storm

Within the very troubled Church,  there are actually millions living unknown,  unpublic lives of  quiet personal devotion, worshiping God, waiting on the Lord,  allowing the Holy Spirit to work in them.

In a meditation on today’s Breviary readings, was this simple note –     What is required of us?      To believe.   To adore.   And to remain quiet.

That’s very profound.   Start there.

And then comes action of some kind as this very young Catholic boy showed the world last month.


Did you see this anywhere on  television  news?     It’s the same group of people as in American libraries and American schools and churches,     but this time they’re parading down a Polish street.   Krakow, I think.

A Polish Catholic teenager was on the sidelines, just watching until he saw them carry a poster with a picture of Our Lady,  the Virgin Mary,  draped in some sort of inappropriate “colors”  with inappropriate words.

Then he took a crucifix and stood in front of the parade.   Any of you Protestants know the song  “Life High The Cross” ?   That’s what he was doing.    Making a statement.  Standing up for Christ and for his Christian country.

(Earlier this year more than a million Poles stood side by side along the border of their country to make a statement about the Christian values of Poland.)*

Remember I said last time that it would take work on the part of many individuals to make our society better?     Well, this young man is acting on his own, as an individual, because his parents are either communists or former communists and atheists —   they did not put him up to it.

Of course, he was arrested for his actions:





. *   Poland’s  “Rosary at the Border”  event:

Polish ppl

They are protesting the secularization of their nation and the influx of Is- l – am  into their culture:

Polish people


Father Rytel-Andrianik said. “This was an initiative started by lay people, which makes it even more extraordinary. Millions of people prayed the rosary together. This exceeded the boldest expectations of the organizers.”   . . .   “In the past, there were raids by sultans and Turks and people of other faiths against us Christians,” said Mr. Januszewski. “Today, Islam is flooding us, and we are afraid of this, too. We are afraid of terrorist threats and we are afraid of people departing from the faith.”


June 16, 2018

I helped bomb Tokyo on the Doolittle raid of April 18, 1942.   I crashed in the China Sea.   I learned the full, deep meaning of the term ‘United Nations’*   from men and women whose language I couldn’t speak.   I watched a buddy of mine saw of my left leg.   And finally I got home to my wife after being flown, shipped, and carried around the world.

And those are the opening lines of  30 Seconds Over Tokyo.

They are simple, straightforward descriptive words of Captain Ted Lawson,  about 23 years old.   For that reason alone this short book is enjoyable to read,  but its also vitally,  crucially informative for us who live 70 or so years later.

Captain Lawson tells us from the viewpoint of a participant what the Doolittle Bombing Run over Tokyo looked like and felt like.  He takes us through the long months of preparation for an unknown mission, and then what it felt like to fly that mission,  and then the long period right after in which the young men were severely injured, aided by a series of Chinese (peasant)  villages in an island jungle where it was uncertain whether any would survive.

As Captain Lawson  crash landed and was being barely kept alive, he realized that  the actual mission, the reason for all the planning, expense,  training, putting young men in danger – that mission lasted only 30 seconds.   It was successful,  but so short!

This is a  book I read in honor of Memorial Day, and I remembered this was my first “adult”  book I ever read, at age 12.    Funny,  the book is so well written, so immediate and personally descriptive that I remember how I saw some of the same passages I was rereading  (*** years) later.        ( Well, I can’t believe THAT much time has passed ….)

Anyway,  I highly, highly recommend this little book to everyone.   Today,  Tokyo is as far away from us as the East is from the West,   but there is cordiality between our peoples,  and the first goal of our governments is to maintain true peace.

I’ll give you one last insight from Captain Lawson:

“You think it was worth while?”  one of the boys asked me before we went to sleep . . . .

I thought it over for a while, trying to see the whole thing objectively .   When I finally said that I did,  I meant it. . . .

I hadn’t thought much about our people  (American citizens)  before that night.  A fellow doesn’t volunteer for something like the Japan raid,  bomb the place, try to get away, lose a leg, and then say, “This is for the dear people.”    You just don’t say or openly feel those things.     You think a bout yourself most of the time;  whether you’ll have the guts enough to go through with the thing, and whether you’ll get away with it.

It’s only later, when you add up things and get the sum, that you think of the people.  And the cause.  And then you hope you’ve done both of them some good.

Captain Lawson,  of the Greatest Generation.


.*   The ‘United Nations’ he is referring to is a concept,  a hope for peace a nd good will to all the nations of the earth.  The United Nations as we know it did not come into existence until a few years after this mission.


April 2, 2017

(Jesus,  confrontational and blunt,  bearer of bad news. )

“Red sky in morning,  sailors take warning”  —

Sunrise 380

There aren’t too many sunrises in my “circadian rhythm” –   but I caught one recently!    And sure enough, we had about three days of rain following this beautiful sky.

It was Passion Sunday today,  a name for this particular Sunday that’s been recognized for centuries as the one in which we begin the steep,  inevitable slide downward into the days of the Crucifixion.      We carefully reread and then meditate on the events in those last couple of weeks before the death of Christ.   There’s lots there for our minds to confront.

None of His friends knew that some very bad times were coming, though.    In fact,  Jesus thought it weird that mankind can read the signs in the sky,  like red skies in mornings,  but we can’t read the Signs of the Times.  So  His last conversations were particularly blunt and to-the-point.

No time left for a kinder, gentler religion of luv and mercy for everyone, everywhere,  no matter what they’re doing and no matter what they believe in.

The Reading Appointed for Passion  Sunday:

phar n rulers

Speaking to the local rulers and religious leaders of His day,  Jesus told them right out that if they were of God –  if, as they thought they were —  then they would understand His words and believe Him,  but since they reject Him,  they are not of God but of God’s enemy,  the Devil.

You’re, a liar,  they said.      No, you are the liars,  He said.

No backing down from the truth.

We’re sons of Abraham, they said.

pharisee angry

But,  He said,   Abraham  saw My day,  he saw Me come to earth, and he rejoiced to see Me. 

You can’t claim   that Abraham ever saw You!    You’re just nothing but a young, inexperienced nobody.

But —  before Abraham ever was  —     I AM. 

That was the statement that did it.    Jesus is right-out, plainly, clearly, bluntly stating that  He and God,  (who had revealed Himself with the name I AM)   are one and the same.

Take it or leave it.

Believe it or don’t. 


They didn’t believe it –  and they didn’t get Him that time.   Yet.   (“They took up stones, therefore, to cast at Him;  but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”)

But some of them  and their children lived to see the destruction of that beautiful, sturdy temple they were in.   It took them unawares.

The Signs of the Times:  Judgment comes  upon all unbelievers.

Pretty blunt.


May 26, 2016

A serious problem.   And no solution will be easy.

It’s a different culture. 

Men are tightly restricted in what they can do;  but the women are greatly disrespected;  mistreated as second class citizens.  We here in the West don’t really understand this.   It’s because we are, as GK Chesterton observed,  still living on the momentum of a Christendom which used to exist,  with  its higher moral  values and social protections  –  and that gives us the appearance of public civility,   at least for the present time.

I wrote about the need for us to stand up against barbarity of a militant culture which is currently advancing across the world.

Well, it’s not an easy task:

In Pakistan, today, it was reported that a group of “militant-islamic”  men were menacing some girls;  crowding around the girls;   “teasing” them, the report says.

One man,  one Christian man,  intervened and made them stop.  A few days later those boys came after that man and fought with him,  pushing him around.   The police were called – and . . .  and . . .  the man was arrested!

Not the Muslim boys.   The Christian man who had protected the girls and had just been attacked.

Someone had posted onto the Christian man’s Facebook page some words that were considered “blasphemous”   —  and someone just happened to “find” it — and so the police were arresting him for violating “blasphemy” laws.

Just an example.

To repeat:   A serious problem.   And no solution will be easy.

PURPLE PAIN (On Being Awake)

April 25, 2016



Not a good day to do yard work or take a “nice” walk around the block.


You’re either “awake”  or you’re not.

He was:



For those of you who are awake and aware,  you already know the connection.

A man of rare talents,  aware of some of what is going on around us,  and with the painful, fatal courage to speak out against these things.

May God judge him according to the Light he was given — and have mercy on his soul.




40 Patriotic Military Heroes

March 10, 2016

If I were king,  these are the kind of young men I would want in my army:

The 12th Legion:   They are strong, brave,  experienced in warfare, patriotic, pious – comrades in arms,  brothers,  ready for battle ;   and one time they saved the whole rest of the army nearby through their courageous actions and by the coincidental help of a powerful lighting storm,  earning for themselves the nickname:  The Lightning Legion!


Young men,  like these.  40 of them in the Lightning Legion.  An emperor should be proud.

But this emperor had a personal grudge against Christianity.   These 40 men were young Christians,  faithful to the teachings handed down to them,  loyal to the bishop in Rome,  and above all,  believers in Christ Jesus.     The Emperor Licinius wanted them to pledge their loyalty to the Roman gods.

The year is 320 A.D.  in the dead of a very cold  winter  — and no, Constantine did not convert to Christianity and make the whole Roman Empire become Christian!    Didn’t happen.     In 313 A.D.  all religions were decriminalized, including Christianity,  but not including everywhere,  and this was the province of Armenia,  and it was time to get rid of the Christians here.


roman soldier

Each young soldier was told to pay homage to the Roman gods,  and one by one, each Christian young soldier that made up this Legion refused.

So, one by one,  each young man was chained to the prison wall, and asked again.   When they refused to give up their faith in Christ,  rocks were thrown at their faces, until they were badly bruised.

They were cajoled, implored, promised good things,   warned, and threatened with death.   Deny that Jesus ever lived!  Deny that Jesus is the Son of God!   Deny that Jesus died for your sins!    Deny that Jesus has prepared a place for you in Heaven and awaits you there!

All 40 young men were then stripped naked, forced to walk to the center of the frozen lake and made to stand there until they died of exposure.    They had time that night to write to their families. Good-byes.  Be joyful for us.   And one young man wrote his parents to take special care of his younger brother so that he doesn’t fall into the temptations of the world, and so lose his eternal soul.   Very touching.  A heart full of love, just before his own awful death.

Here is the lake today,  but not in winter.

lake not in winter

Imagine it frozen, though, and very, very cold.   I don’t even visit my own back yard pond in the winter with bare arms.     Imagine the 40 young Christian men standing on the ice together in the center.

Temptations and promises were thrown at the soldiers.   A large and very warm bath was set up on the shore so that the soldiers could see their relief – if they would deny Christ.  And many hours later,  one did.   Maddened by the effects of the cold winter winds on his body,  one young man ran for the bath’s steamy warmth.

As our physiology would have it –  the shock of the warm water killed him instantly.

The emperor’s men standing guard around the lake watched it all, and were moved by the steadfast faith of the  Christians.    What God is worth courage like this?    What God can strengthen His followers with joy amidst such suffering?

39?    One guard-soldier saw what looked like angelic creatures,   shining spirits hover overhead, placing beautiful crowns on the heads of the 39 soldiers, who were singing and praying out loud.    He began to understand.     The guard-soldier took off his clothes and ran out to join the young men   Now there are 40 again.

40 martyrs

By morning some of the men remained alive, somewhat.   The other guards were told to brake their legs and then throw them in the fires along the shore.     The bodies of all the martyrs were burned and the remains thrown into the lake.

Almost immediately  their story spread;   and they are honored as true martyrs ever since.  March 9th and 10th are the days various Christian honor them.    Poems, songs, churches and shrines arose in their name,  but most important of all,  their legacy is that it is possible to endure the worst that the world can give and still hold onto the Faith that has been passed down since the time of Christ.    And is certain that you will receive your reward, for ever.

Bar Cross in middle


Your nation can turn against you,  even the nation you love,   but Jesus never will.



October 1, 2015

Concerning the “unnamed shooter”  —

In that great Christian classic which has helped so many souls live on this earth —

imitation     —    that would be The Imitation of Christ,  a book so good that it’s been memorized by more than one Christian,   there is a sentence, a very helpful sentence:    “Do not concern yourself  with things that you cannot change.”    It comes within the advice to not seek after “much information,”   to not be overly curious about things.   “Do not concern yourself with things that you cannot change.”

But we live in an information age.   It’s easy to get caught up in the nasty emotional dramas that current events offers us. And maybe, as citizens,  there is something we should be doing.     At least maybe we should know what dangers are out there and plan how to protect ourselves should the danger come our way.

Or maybe not.    What we should concern ourselves with is having the faith  and the courage to live and to believe as we are supposed to.      Death is not the worst thing that could happen to us.      Faith and courage in the Living Christ will see us through,  even to our deaths and into the next life.

We’ve been told today that the killer at the Oregon community college shooting first asked his victims “What religion are you?”

He didn’t.

He asked them:  “Are    you    a     Christian?”


Are you a Christian?

Oops wrong answerOoops.   Wrong answer.

Today, in Oregon,  according to an eyewitness,  if you said “No, I’m not,”  you got shot in the legs.   If you said “Yes,”   you got shot dead.

American citizens, so far, have a First Amendment to protect them.    But not everyone honors our First Amendment, even within our own country’s borders.

 Are you a Christian?

He tried free speech

The Rulers of the United States do not protect Christians,  and they have made a point to declare to the world that they,  our Rulers, and the Barack Hussein person they gave us,  will NOT help any Christian refugees seeking asylum from the Middle East.   In fact,  if you are here as a refugee but you are a Christian,  you are going to be deported back to the Middle East, or wherever else you would be accepted.   (This is stated public policy now.)

But if you are a Muslim refugee —   welcome.     The American citizens will pay for anything you want.    And no questions asked pertaining to your political viewpoint,   goals,  training, and experience or murderous prejudice.

Don’t agree with “transforming our nation”  into a Muslim paradise?      If you don’t,   they have a way . . . .

But if you don't run awayAre you a Christian?

Who wants to know?       Christians don’t shoot other people for not being Christian.    Jews don’t shoot people for not being Jews.      Hindus shoot Christians,  but mainly just in India.     Who else?

Of course,  we mustn’t assume too much.     Every Christian death is singular.

“Are you a Christian?”

If you answer yes,   then:  “Take up your cross and follow Me.”       Christians know Who said that.


“The servant is not better than his Master.”       

I hope you are beginning to read The Roman Martyrology that I wrote of a few posts ago.

book frontWe are not the first generation, of course, to experience hatred directed at us because we are Christians.    It’s just that it’s a new thing for American citizens.   Regular reading of the Martyrology connects us to those who have come before us.   This helps us to remember those who live  the authentic Christian life will be hated by the world:  “If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you.     John recorded this in his Gospel.    Those are the words of Christ to His followers.

Later,  when John was writing a little letter to some Christians,  he said:     ” Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.”   Because,   as John’s Master had said,   the world hated Jesus long before it hated us,  His disciples.

Bar Cross in middle

By the way,   this college campus, according to some reports was a “gun-free zone.”    That means that the home state of the Mighty Ducks  is the home state of some Sitting Ducks.   One or two security guards on campus.   Unarmed.    Then a former official of that college said into his microphone “We have prepared ourselves for this kind of emergency.  We’ve done everything we can.”

Good will stops bullets,  don’t you know.

As Son remarked:    “If the campus was a “gun-free zone.”  then how did the shooter get a gun in there?


August 22, 2015

There were three young Marines involved in the take-down of the gunman on the French passenger train,  not two.  Here they are:

Marine UpdateNames and faces.

Pray for them.  Pray that they’ll feel the honor due them by their heroic action.   Pray that they’ll be strong and courageous heroes all their lives.    Pray that their fellow countrymen treat them like heroes and hold them up as good examples.

Then there is that other young man.  26 years old.

gunmanWell,  that’s the back end of him, with his hands tied behind his back.

Pray for him too.     He has a soul.


January 19, 2015

I thought I should make a little comment about Saint Martin’s Day today.    (Now, you know the difference between the Left and the Right lies in the sense of humor to be found in one and not the other, right?)

So,  with that said and with a little help from Patriot Post,  here is my bewildered comment on today’s holiday.



In my opinion, he was a courageous man,  whatever history reveals about him.   May we have more Americans with courage.



January 7, 2015

(I’m practicing brevity.    My next post is too long, so I have to discipline myself to  be brief…very brief.   So I’m going to let Dr. Einstein speak, and then I’m not going to expand on it – which I could! –  I’ll just ask some questions for you to consider.)



“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it”   (Albert Einstein)

Does he know the implications of that statement?
Does he know what it could cost us?

Why did he tell us this?

What was he warning us about?

What “state” was he thinking of?

What years did Einstein live?   What was the powerful “state” that he cautioned us against?

Did he know of Operation Paperclip?   (google it)   (subsequent testimony shows that it wasn’t only scientists who were brought into our country.)

Einstein lived and worked in “the home of the brave and the land of the free”  when it’s citizens were brave and free.    Did Dr. Einstein foresee a time when it would be difficult to find bravery and the courage of convictions in this land?

Does he know what this would cost us?



May 2, 2014

(I do hope you’ve all had the  strengthening  experience in your formative years of that movie “On a Wing and a Prayer.”    Very good for teenagers, young adults, and adults.)


Strengthening effect notwithstanding,   I’m not sure I even have a “wing” today.

Broke down in southern Georgia – rural southern Georgia.    (They “heard of computers”  they said, which is probably what’s causing my Warning Light to inform me that there is a Loss of Power, or sometimes Low Power.)

On the other hand,  ever hear of the Robertsons on Duck Dynasty?     It’s ALL TRUE!    There really are Christian ladies and gentlemen down here that enfold you  in love and kindness when you are in distress.

But, well, stalling when you need power steering and power brakes is pretty unsettling, and losing power on any slight uphill grade is downright dangerous.    Semis veer around me and whiz by at 60 m.p.h.

And today I have two mountain ranges to get through.

I got going  on the road again through the prayers of those southern Georigians and their kindness which gave me a small amount of courage…a womanly amount, I guess.     If you have any skill in praying,  please give me a thought today in your prayers.    I know I drive under a whole panoply of angels and saints who help me implore our God to get me home –

I saw a billboard – in middle Georgia – that showed a man hanging off a cliff by a rope.  The words on the billboard said:   “It’s okay.   Let go.  Jesus will catch you.”

Deo gratias.