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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2016-05-01

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Here is Bulletin_2016-05-01

All appears to be quiet at St. Peter’s. That is not necessarily a good sign.

Первое мая (May Day): As a retired Cold Warrior who stood guard against Soviet and Chinese Communist forces for 21 years, I recall this day with a set of mixed and dissonant memories. 

In my childhood, May was the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the time for the Rosary and May Crowning. I was not yet aware of the world’s great problems. In time, however, Our Lady of Fatima would reveal to me, as she did to the world in 1917, how important that Rosary would be in the context of my life.

In the mid-80s, at the height of tensions during the Cold War, there was a particular incident about which I can give no details. On that day, I could see more clearly than ever before, just how closely Mary was protecting her children. It was a moment that did much to change my understanding of who I was and what I must do with my life.

As the Church Militant we are not meant to be passive and expect God’s aid in all circumstances. Cold Warriors had to step up and face the evil of Communism as defined in worldly terms. At Fatima the evil of Communism was much more clearly defined.

“Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.”

Today, the evils confronting the Church are many, but their names are not nearly as well known as the simple term Communism. Nevertheless, the Church Militant should consider this Russian proverb: Бережёного Бог бережёт (God keeps those safe who keep themselves safe). In English we might say: “God helps those who help themselves. Pray to God but keep the powder dry.”

The Church Militant cannot remain passive, we must be ready to step up to the challenge, even if it appears to be insurmountable. Pray the Rosary. Look to the Holy Family for spiritual security. Look to Jesus for strength. Look to Mary for protection. And look to St. Joseph for guidance.

For many in the world this is Первое мая (May Day, International Workers’ Day), but for me and my family, this is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker and the first day of Mary’s Month. Pray the Rosary!

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