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Just before we begin, may I ask a personal favor of you — to remember my dear mom, Anne, in your prayers (today, especially)? It's the 17th anniversary of her death and entrance into eternal life. Everything that has happened here at Church Militant and St. Michael's Media has occurred as a result of her offering up her intense cancer pains and suffering for my and my brother Marshall's return to the Faith. Without her asking for a cross to help with our salvation, none of this would exist. Such is the mystery of redemptive suffering. Thank you in advance for your prayers for her.
Now, moving to this Vortex: We're coming to you from Hillsboro, Wisconsin from the site of a men's conference that was held last weekend on the farm of the Ross brothers, Jake and John.
They worked their tails off with other close friends and associates to open up their place so that hundreds of men from around the nation could come and spend a day of bonding, laughter, prayer and talks by Doug Barry, Fr. Altman and me. The major theme of the day was to fight for the truth and be men of Christ — authentic men — a resource woefully lacking in the Church today.
Because we are both body and soul, the fight is spiritual and material — fought on each level. It's the personal interior struggle and struggle with the forces of Satan in his earthly human agents. That aspect of the battle entails battling ferociously through all the institutions that the diabolical have seized control of.
Of course, the Devil works his evil through human agents. How else would he do it? And on that point, why else would the Lord God speak specifically of that as He was cursing the Devil in the garden (when He said, "I will put enmity between you and the Woman; between your offspring and Hers")?
The Devil isn't a material being. He's completely spiritual and does not possess the ability to reproduce biologically. But he can and does reproduce spiritually. The offspring of the Woman encounter the offspring of the Serpent on a daily basis, multiple times a day. And we must battle them.
But most disturbingly, we encounter them in the Church. Too many Catholics are unwilling to recognize this reality and, as a result, the institutional structure of the Church has become corrupted — in some places, beyond the point of even being recognizable as the Body of Christ, Our Blessed Lord's Mystical Body.
Here is the dual reality at play: The world will be near completely corrupted as long as the Church remains in such great need of purification. That's why truth proclaimed by the Church must be defended, promoted and advanced. And that war is really played out in a million different theaters of war — in the media, in politics, education, medicine, science and everywhere.
A man must first recognize the reality of the war and not shrink from it because he is a coward or finds the whole war too daunting and requiring a high degree of sacrifice. You, as they say, may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. Not a living, breathing human being from Adam to the last man gets to escape the war.
But what do you do when you encounter it or it arrives for you? This is the moment where saints are forged in the fire, in the heat of war. And know this: No man who shrinks from this moment can ever hope to attain Heaven.
The fight for salvation — the work done in fear and trembling — does begin first as personal effort, but it enlarges to a communal fight. It necessarily involves the protection and defense of the innocent, the promotion of truth in the minds and hearts of our fellow men. How else can you truly love your neighbor if his eternal life is not your chief concern for him?
Only heroes go to Heaven. Everyone else perishes, regardless of what Bp. Barron says — and all those bishops who let his poisonous preachings spread, weakening the minds and wills of those who encounter it.
As long as bishops do not preach the fullness of truth, they are the agents of the Devil, and their path to Hell is assured. Dying in that state guarantees them the full heat of the anger of God and His justice. They actively or passively allowed men to become spiritually weak and ground under the wheels of the Culture of Death.
That's what these men — 300 of them, with a waiting list of another 200 who could not be here personally — are here for. They want to reassert their Catholic manhood and take a knee before the Queen of Heaven and ask for her to beseech the Holy Spirit to revive and reactivate those graces from Confirmation, in particular, fortitude and courage.
Only heroes go to Heaven. And these men here today have recommitted themselves to their divine calling to be men — Catholic men fighting the Devil in whatever sphere of their own personal circumstances they find themselves, established for them by their heavenly Father so that they may work out their salvation.
God doesn't need any of us. He doesn't need conferences and speakers and so forth. But He desires all of it and blesses it as the work of His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. Cooperating in all this is critical — not only at conferences but, most importantly, when we all leave here and return to our own personal orbits.
Be a Hero. God does not need us, but many in the world do.