Thursday, September 25, 2014

Catholic Military Chaplains: America's Forgotten Heroes

Tribulation Times
September 25, 2014  

(Joh 15:12-13) This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

MUST SEE: Fr. Kapaun- When the story of human history comes to a close, death and violence don't get the final word. The love of God does. That love, burning bright in the heart of Fr. Emil Kapaun in the darkness of a POW camp in the Korean war, made him a hero.

REVIEW: Catholic Military Chaplains: America's Forgotten Heroes

Soldier’s spiritual life by Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Mastin

As a battalion chaplain, I am excited to be able to serve Soldiers and their Families. I truly believe that this is the level where our Soldiers can be reached and cared for most personally, especially in the daily struggles that they may encounter. It is a level where we as chaplains can be quietly present and available, and hopefully, be an effective and immediate instrument to bring a sense of encouragement, hope, emotional well-being and I pray some spiritual guidance, no matter what faith one has or does not have.

It is in those deep encounters with our Soldiers that we learn about the scars of their lives.  Yet unsurprisingly, we also hear that many have a lack of religious beliefs, practices, or spiritual experiences, even though they are longing for something beyond themselves. This internal longing is what the great Saint Augustine referred to as our hearts being restless until they rest in God.  From a Christian perspective, spirituality is “about the disposition of the heart toward God.   A spiritual person is not someone who is merely ‘serving’ God but the one who is in relationship with God and seeks to be holy as God is holy.”

When a Soldier seeks this understanding, I remind him or her about the importance of having spirituality in one’s life. Just as one must be physically, emotionally, and psychologically fit for battle (and for life), along with having workable weapons and equipment, a Soldier too must either develop or prepare and exercise one’s current spiritual life.

One of our great World War II generals, George Marshall, said in a 1941 speech entitled “Morale in Modern Warfare,” that “The Soldier’s heart, the Soldier’s spirit, the Soldier’s soul is everything. Unless the Soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied upon and will fail himself, and his commander, and his country in the end.”

From George Washington until now, our leaders have always known that we all need to develop, nourish, and care of our spiritual life and soul. By doing so, we will truly understand and live out the profound meanings of our Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

Be prepared! Keep longing and keep developing one’s personal spiritual life.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion

68. A brother said to Sisois, 'Why do my passions not leave me?' He said to him, 'Because the vessels that fill those passions are within you. Empty them and the passions they cause will go away.'

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