Category Archives: Hope

Homeless

I saw him.

Strolling down the street
soaking wet

trembling eyes…

aimlessly wondering
about

as if time has no end.

Shivers bares my fear

of what could I have done
but failed to do.

I don’t wanna be cold.

A smile
a hope

what can I do?

Break bread
become a friend

I don’t wanna be cold.

Caleb
GTG

Beneath Thy Protection

Beneath your compassion,
We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure, only blessed one.

Beneath Thy Protection is one of the earliest Christian prayers of our Blessed Virgin Mary. It dates to approximately the year ~250 AD a century before the Church established for the first time the canon of scripture in the Synod of Hippo in 393 AD. It was part of the Christmas liturgy celebration and it is still used in the liturgies of the Coptic, Byzantine, Armenian and Roman rites of the Church.

mariejesus

This very early Christian devotion to our Lady embraces the words of Christ when He said to John at the foot of the Cross:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”

Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home”.

John 19:26-27

John his beloved disciple stands right there for all of us: “Behold, your mother”, Christ gave us his mother to us; the Blessed Virgin Mary is our mama! Christians throughout the centuries have understood it clearly. That is why Beneath Thy Protection is such a beautiful intercessory prayer to our Lady.


 

Battle of Lepanto

1280px-Battle_of_Lepanto_1571

Centuries later Christians in Europe fled to the Blessed Virgin for protection against the invasion of the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571 stand as one of those defining days in Western history. Many historians argue that a defeat of the Christian forces opposing the Muslim invasion would have been a catastrophe for Christendom in Europe, allowing the Turks to overrun most if not all of Europe.

As the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states, including Genoa, Spain and Papal States fought the invading forces many cities throughout Europe prayed the Holy Rosary asking for the intersection of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Son. It is easy to imagine people gather in Churches chanting in Latin:

Sub tuum praesidium
confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

We fly to thy protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

At the end of the five hour battle only about 210 Ottoman ships were destroyed compared to about 60 from the Christian fleet. The battle signified the last great maritime battle fought with galleys and a major victory against Islamic invading forces. As the result, Pope Pius V instituted October 7 as the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

GK Chesterton brilliant Poem Lepanto:

Lepanto

(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still–hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships…

Viva Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Excerpts taken from Lepanto by GK Chesterton

Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us!

For GK Chesterton complete Poem click here.

For my thoughts on Islamic persecution of  Christians persecution in the Middle East click here.

St. Maximillian Kolby: Priest, Missionary, Auschwitz Prisoner and Martyr

Maximilian-Kolbe-211x300

“The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.”

 St. Maximillian Kolbe

It was a summer day and the camp prisoners were standing in front of their Nazi guards in disbelief against such inhuman cruelty. They all stood until the last of ten prisoners was chosen to suffer death by starvation. No barbarian is content with the blood they wanted more. They want it to teach a lesson to those who would try to escape.

The sentence was pronounced and like a piercing thunder aloud cried erupted from one of the condemned:

 “O my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again.”

At that moment, a flood of mercy rushed into his Heart, all his life was for this moment. As a child, he asked the Virgin Mary what would be of him. She responded by showing him two crowns, one white and the other one red. She tenderly asked him if he was willing to accept either one of them. The white one meant that he should persevere in purity and the red one that he should become a martyr. He chose both.

Long time later, that child now barely resembling a grown human being due to the scourge of hard labor and inhuman mistreatment slowly walk to the prison guards and said:

maximilian-kolbe

“My name is Maximillian Kolby”.

“I am a polish catholic priest and I want to take this man place.”

Prisoner 16670 said calmly as he offered his life for the family man. What thoughts must have passed through the SS officer? Could such act of love have broken through his soul and lifted the clouds of darkness?

They tried to take their humanity away, but instead fervently and loud prayers; hymns and the rosary met their inhumanity. The starvation bunkers were not longer and instruments of death, but one of redemption. In imitation of Christ, they turned those starvation bunkers from a sign of despair and extreme human cruelty into a sign of Faith, Hope and Charity. They turn their cross into an instrument of love.

St. Maximillian Kolby pray for us!


This was a fictionalized re-creation of what happen based on witness account. To learn more about this great saint please visit:

Catholic resource:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/kolbe2.htm

Non-Catholic resource:

http://moralheroes.org/maximilian-kolbe

Ben Breedlove

From time to time God raises people whom life points straight back at His love. A while back I found one of those who outlook on life even on the face of death gave witness to that hope in Christ that is in all of us…

I don’t know Ben or his family; just like 8 million other people I watched his video on YouTube and I was inspired. He suffered from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a debilitating heart condition that can be life threatening. In his video he talks about his heart condition and how he cheated death a few times. What really impressed me were the hope, peace and tranquility that he conveyed his message. That life is beautiful, that death is not the end. Although he passed away he left behind his example of hope and courage.

I wrote these verses shortly after I watched his video.

Ben Breedlove

A wall-less room
bright as the Sun.

Timeless innocence
waiting on my smile.

A reflection approaches
gentle and loving.

Peaceful solitude
reflecting on my life,

all my falls
lessons learned.

Familiar memories,

aloof and youthful
as they are nervous and painful.

After a long race…
open arms are waiting

in a bright room
peaceful and innocent.

GTG

Ben,

I also believe in angels and God.

God Bless!