From the Pastor: Prayers and Thanks
Later this week many members of our Youth Group, along with their chaperones and fearless leader Jamiee, will be making the trek to the March for Life. Please keep them all in your prayers as they spend days on end praying for an end to abortion. When I ask for prayers for them, specifically I am asking for prayers against the demonic forces they will be encountering. Fortunately for them, they will be in a huge group of (mostly) holy people, each of whose guardian angel will be doing much to protect them. But they will also be in the midst of a huge swarm of demons who are hell-bent on keeping our collective USA mindset securely on “practical matters” of this world and completely ignoring the immorality of both the acts leading to “unplanned” pregnancy and the “termination” (a politically correct word if there ever was one) of said pregnancy. And, since child sacrifice, which is what abortion is at its core, is pleasing to Satan, he will send legions of demons, those already surrounding our spineless pro-abort politicians and those who vote for them, as well as many others normally on other “assignments.” Imagine, if you will, the demons brought with carloads of protesters who try to intimidate the pro-life Youth, those accompanying the security personnel waiting anxiously to throw pro-life Youth out of the Smithsonian and other government buildings, those accompanying the pro-abort media (as if there are any other kind) and even those tempting the bishops to denounce their own children when demonic false accusations arise against them, all of which have happened in recent years. Without the good angels accompanying the Youth and adults, without the prayers of the people back home in parishes, without the priests and religious at the March for Life and back home, the children would have no chance of surviving with their souls intact. But with all of the Good, they will not only survive but thrive. They will return more convinced than ever of the need for their own, not just others’, purity and virtue. They will become more and more convinced that demons are real, that God and angels are real, and that the Catholic Church is the only means of salvation. Although they will also realize that it can take years, nay, even decades of prayer and action before enough hearts are converted to make a large difference in the overall mindset of abortion as a “good” or a “necessary evil”, they will also realize that individuals can be converted, can repent, can mourn past sins, and can be reconciled with God just by the seemingly non-productive witness given by the group and by the individuals within the group. Pray for their holiness! Pray for their safety in body and soul! Pray for those they will touch spiritually by their willingness to give this small part of their lives to God.
While they are on their March, a group of our Troops of St. George will also be on a trip, albeit one somewhat closer to home. They will be on a campout at Lithia Springs. They can use your prayers as well, so don’t neglect to include them as you pray for the Youth Group. On their campouts, the boys learn a lot about discipline and taking responsibility for their actions and for the well-being of the group. By learning such things as advanced planning, setting up camp, cooking, and many other “manly” activities, they will also grow in their pro-life Catholicism. For when they learn what a real Catholic man is expected to do, how he is to act, how he is to treat others, how he is to pray always and everywhere, these boys will grow in virtues that are rarely talked about, not often seen in family or societal life anymore, and certainly not held in high esteem by a large segment of society. They will, of course, by learning how God expects males to think, act, and believe, then, in turn, treat females as God expects boys to treat girls, men to treat women, and husbands to treat wives. The virtues of chastity and sobriety, of reverence and gentlemanliness, of courage and fortitude will be a natural part of their lives. They will not see the opposite sex (or same sex) as play toys, but will rather see the joy of a life-time commitment to protecting and caring for a wife who will be a mother (after a sacramental marriage, not before) to their children, or how glorious it is to be a Father or Brother in the religious life. They will uphold Traditional Catholic morality rather than despise it or ignore it or wish it would change. And, yes, these camping trips, combined with everything else they learn in this great organization, will set them on the path of holiness or, more accurately, keep them on it.
My thanks go out to those who take the time and put in the energy needed to help parents raise holy children by running the Youth Group, Troops of St. George, and all of the other great organizations we have available at Epiphany. And, lest I neglect it, many thanks also go out to those who toiled so much to make our last weekend’s Epiphany Celebration such a wonderful occasion. Our Parish Feast Day brought so many blessings to us, those that we recognized and those that were just “infused” within us, due to the angels and Saints in Heaven watching over us and interceeding on our behalf as well as those saints-in-the-making who did the grunt work here on Earth. Thank you all and keep the prayers rising to Heaven!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka