"Remember the Alamo" and sound the trumpets, the cavalry is on its way to Calvary!

      It's time to saddle the horses and mount up! We're about to charge up the "big hill." Friday is a good day to start out because March 6 is not only the FIRST FRIDAY of March and exactly five weeks until ultimate victory, but also the commemoration of two other events. One is the 162nd anniversary of the fall of the Alamo in San Antonio when, after a thirteen day siege in 1836 in which such legendary heroes as Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Sam Houston died with their boots on, prompting the rally cry "Remember the Alamo" which brought Texas into the Union. The second event is the 111th Annual celebration of WORLD DAY OF PRAYER - a global event that reminds all citizens of earth of the time to pray, worship, and strive to build and strengthen relationships between ourselves and God, and each other. For committed Catholics this day is no big deal because we're committed to praying daily - both at Holy Mass and the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and numerous other prayers and novenas. But for others it's a chance to refocus their attention on God. Sadly, many are embarrassed to say they pray, and this day, because of the publicity and the acceptance of it with the "everybody's going to do it" sheep-syndrome, many will make an effort to join in who may never have thought much about the power of prayer or their role in it. Since it is the First Friday it takes on a special significance as Catholics are reminded that we are on the fast track toward the millennium and the Triumph of Blessed Mary's Immaculate Heart which will usher in the new Era of Peace (cf. Apocalypse/Revelation 20) - the New Advent - the Illumination of the Eucharist - the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But before that we must face our "Alamo" - our tribulation, chastisement, call it whatever you want - we're in for a battle before the victory! Currently our "Alamo" is in the forms of horrendous storms from the effects of El Nino and, we believe, sent by God to warn us to straighten up and live right! Sister Mary Lucy Astuto targets this in her column this weekend, When in trouble, turn to God. Our "Alamo" can be the ammoral and immoral atmosphere we must fight through daily as obscenities and sexual innuendoes that would make a sailor blush and which we wouldn't want to explain to our kids, is plastered in papers, magazines, television and radio, not to mention word of mouth. Our "Alamo" can be with our liberal brethren who keep seeking to change Holy Mother Church the way they want rather than the way Jesus Christ mandated through His Vicar on earth (cf. Matthew 16: 16-19). Our "Alamo" can be in the daily drudge of life as we try to balance everything, keeping it all in perspective in relationship to God's Will while striving to suppress our own ego and cravings. That's what Lent is all about, helping us to defend against these temptations and, unlike the brave heroes in San Antonio, we have enough ammunition if we just use it. God has provided us all the ammo we need, no matter the opponent. It begins with Himself in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, confected at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when we receive Him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity at Holy Communion. It continues with our good deeds and adherence to His Laws and the Laws of His Church, and it is reinforced with devotions such as the Holy Rosary - the most powerful weapon we can use at all times - as our Blessed Mother has bequeathed to us from Saint Dominic on. Praying the Rosary is credited with one of the most landmark victories ever for the Church - the Battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Corinth in 1571 in which the Holy League under the command of Don Juan of Austria and considered the final battle of the Crusades. It signaled the rise of Christianity and the decline of Turkish power in the Mediterranean. There are countless other accounts of results credited to saying the Rosary, including modern miracles that defy explanation. Consider the thousands who stand across from abortuaries peacefully praying the Rosary as one that Our Lady can take our petitions to the Almighty Father. During Lent it is especially effective and a must in our prayer arsenal. So on Friday, as well as Saturday, Sunday...Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - well, you get the idea - let's take up the Rosary and aim straight.

     If we can do this, throwing in a daily Divine Chaplet and the Stations of the Cross and other prayers of our choice for good measure, then we can be assured of a swift victory. We know that in the end we will be victorious. We've cheated and read the good book. We know the ending! With this kind of crib sheet we should be able to pass the final exam with flying colors. But one has to study and apply the principles to make them work. That's the law of life, the law of God's Will, the gage for being battle-tested. Our sword is prayer and our shield, which we raise high for defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, is good works as a result of our faith. With these kind of weapons it is we can make tremendous inroads in the great battle and land enough blows to silence the enemy permanently where he will be chained and cast into hell. The Book of the Apocalypse/Revelation reveals it. Now it is up to us to play out our roles in this great theater directed by God. It is only fitting that WORLD DAY OF PRAYER and the anniversary of the Alamo occur on the same day this year for it's time to dig in, and hold our ground against the legions of hell that storm our fort of grace. We can look to the greatest victim to rally behind - Christ Who died for all of us as He hung on a rough-hewn wooden cross upon a place called Calvary. Now it's time to ride to His rescue for the sake of His Church, for the sake of His grand plan for mankind. Sound the trumpets, the cavalry is on its way to Calvary! God has asked some of us to entrench ourselves on the parapets and take aim at the enemy with the powerful weapons He has provided His troops and His special band of specialists - Mary's little army. Unlike the poor victims 162 years ago, we can be assured help is on the way. So drop to your knees, cry "Remember the Alamo" and sound the trumpets, the cavalry is on its way to Calvary!

Michael Cain, editor

Daily CATHOLIC          March 6-8, 1998