Judas Maccabeus replied to them, “It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven. They come against us in great pride and lawlessness to destroy us and our wives and our children, and to despoil us; but we fight for our lives and our laws. He himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them.” – 1 Maccabees 3:19-22
My dear sons in Christ Jesus, how it brings me joy to hear that you are joined together in retreat at a place so dear to me. A place where my priestly vocation was nourished by many who lie buried at the bottom of the hill. It will be forever to me Holy Ground where I met God in prayer.
The scripture quoted above is part of a speech that Judas Maccabeus gave to his small army of faithful Israelites as their vast and mighty enemies approached to impose on them things contrary to the Law of God. These enemies sought to disrupt and defile their worship, their temple, and their morals. Judas would have none of that nonsense, so he formed a small army to resist. This resistance was the way that they fulfilled their duty as men and fathers. In the same way you, as men and fathers, must resist the spirit of wickedness that has invaded our nation and our church.
We see quite clearly how our nation has devolved if we have eyes to see. Abortion threatens to take the lives of our children, and our “Catholic” leaders seem to be just fine with that. Religious freedom is threatened by the government constantly trying to tell us if we can have Holy Mass, how far we must sit from each other, and how many can attend. Even nuns are told by our government that they must violate the teaching of the Church on contraception or face steep fines. And the drumbeat of war keeps getting louder and louder, while our own Capitol is occupied by armed soldiers.
The Church too has seen the infiltration by leaders set on the destruction of authentic Catholic worship. In its place they seek to make what should be an act of transcendence, reverence, and sacrificial into a banal, effeminate celebration, that requires nothing of those in attendance. It has also seen a significant infiltration of homosexual clergy, bishops and priests alike. We have all seen the destruction these men have done to the Church through homosexual predation and subsequent cover ups that have gone as far up as the Papal Palace. We also are witnessing the fallout of fifty years of poor catechesis, lax teaching, and a general lack of belief on the part of our leaders. That fallout takes the form of the vast majority of Catholics no longer coming to Holy Mass, confession, or flat out not believing that Jesus is truly present in Holy Communion. Truly it is a sad and distressing affair that puts millions at risk of losing their souls. It is a dire situation that requires action, and this is where all of you come in.
Just as Judas Maccabeus put together a rag tag army, so God is raising you up to fight for your wives and children against the enemies who seek to destroy our Worship, our morality, and our very faith. So, small though you may be, God will win the victory through you. Our strength is not in numbers but in the strength that comes from heaven. Now is a time for warriors! So, as the hymn says, rise up, oh men of God!
Rise up and take up the weapon of the Holy Rosary! Pray it every single day without fail. Our Lady of Fatima commanded us to take up this weapon daily, not occasionally. As a friend often says, “if you’re not praying the Rosary every day, you’re not on the team.”
Arm yourselves with frequent confession and Holy Communion. Defend our Worship against those who would strip it of its dignity, reverence, and awe-inspiring majesty. Beg your priests to defend tradition and true Catholic identity. The way to draw people back to Holy Mass is through tradition, not by the effeminate liturgy we so often see. Our young people want substance, not a dumbed down, “relevant” Mass! So, fight for this in your parishes.
Take up, dear brothers your God given call to be leaders. First in your family by leading them in daily prayer and transmitting the pure, unadulterated faith of our ancestors to them. Lead too in your parishes, your community, and even our nation. If we as faithful Catholics are afraid to lead, someone else will, and if history is any indication, those leaders will be corrupt, immoral, and downright wicked, so rise up, oh men of God!
Also, we as men need to stop being afraid of what others think. As Judas Maccabeus said, have no fear! Will people think we are off our rocker when we defend the rights of the unborn, if we speak out against the scourge of pornography, if we pray our Rosary and go to confession regularly? Will they think us crazy if we demand of our priests and bishops solid teaching and traditional liturgy? Yes. They will. But who cares? Heaven is worth having people think we’re nuts.
Take as your model in this battle for souls St. Joseph, Terror of Demons. His very name strikes fear into the powers of hell. He protected his wife, the Virgin Mary, and his son, Jesus the Savior of mankind in the face of the enemy. He was devoted to Jesus. He was devoted to our Lady. He was fearless when things got rough for the Holy Family and they had to flee to Egypt. He was faithful to the traditions of his ancestors. He worshipped and prayed with reverence and devotion. And he slays Demons. Be like St. Joseph! Live a life that will cause the very Demons to tremble!
In doing all this you will bring your families closer to Our Lord as well as many others. This is ultimately the task of evangelization. To save our souls, the souls of our family, and the souls of countless others by entering into combat is our call. We must do what Judas Maccabeus and his men did. It is what discipleship and evangelization requires in our day and age. So, without fear, head into battle! The souls of many are at stake!
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us!
St. Benedict, pray for us!