It is Memorial Day. I have much respect for our fallen soldiers. My husband is a veteran; I know first hand the sacrifice and life-threatening situations our soldiers endure for our country and our freedom.
This Memorial Day, I am also choosing to remember our fallen brothers and sisters who died defending their beliefs and Jesus Christ. It is so important to remember these sacrifices especially today when it seems as if so many in today’s culture wants us to forget the lessons taught by our Savior more than 2000 years ago. The battlefield has moved to our own state capitals, county court houses, and our own back yards.
In the history of the United States of America, there have been many wars and battles. The Revolutionary War of 1775 saw 25,000 dead; Vietnam War, a total of 58,209 died. All together, over a million United States citizen have died protecting our freedoms, including our freedom to follow our own religious beliefs and morals.
Since the time of Jesus Christ, there have been countless martyrs. Saints Stephen, Peter and Paul all died proclaiming the gospel. St. Joan of Arc was executed in 1431. More recently, Maximillian Kolbe died in 1941 and Oscar Romero in 1980. You may be thinking that all of these individuals were not killed in this great country that was founded on principles of freedom, and that is true. This country is slowly persecuting Christians by taking away their jobs and economic resources. Speak out candidly regarding matters of faith and you risk losing your job, friends, and respect.
I will also argue that there are many more victims killed in this country today than ever in our country’s history. Remember the “Massacre of the Holy Innocents”, Matthew 2:16? Since 1973, Roe v. Wade, over 40 million innocent babies have been legally killed in abortions. That is 1100 times the number of fallen soldiers in the Vietnam War. Already this year, there are over 450,000 victims. Pro-abortion advocates have always stated that legalized abortion protects women. The truth is that in 1970 there were 119 deaths resulting from illegal abortions. Legalized abortions have not brought down that number, in fact it has increased. Abortion clinics have not been regulated and women have been injured, harmed, and many have died. Of course there is always a death in every abortion, as a creation of God is given a death sentence because they are an “inconvenience”.
One of the readings at mass yesterday was Acts 8:14-18. “they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” This passage for Catholics is the Biblical foundation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
As infants, we are baptized into the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ. As adults, we become confirmed, which gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit. Once confirmed, we are to become true witnesses of Jesus Christ and are obliged to spread and defend the faith by our words and deeds.
It is not easy to speak out in defense of our beliefs these days. Society wants to tell us our beliefs are old fashioned and meaningless. We must remember those who have gone before us and gave their lives so that we could be brought up in the faith.
I encourage all of you to view the YouTube video clip of Jim Caviezel’s speech at the Rock Church. Not only did Jim play Jesus on the big screen; he is living a life in imitation of Christ and defending what is a true Christian. If all Christians spoke out in defense of our faith – this nation would see great changes. If all Christians voted according to candidates that will uphold our Christian values – this nation would see great changes.
It starts at the home. Teach the faith to your children. Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs. Pray as a family. Pray and fast for the conversion of this nation and our world. Remember all the fallen soldiers who have died protecting our country and our freedoms. Remember the Christian Martyrs who have given their life in defense of Jesus Christ so that His teachings would remain. Remember the innocent victims of the legalized sin of abortion, both the mothers and the children. Remember your faith. Remember Jesus Christ.