Fr. John Corapi, a television preacher-priest, and I, a layman and an investigative journalist, belong to the same religious community. In our former lives we both worked out with weights to bulk-up muscles and were trained in the U . S. Army to efficiently kill bad guys.
And we both pray the rosary which is used like a lethal weapon, not a sissy’s necklace. It’s definitely not for wimps.
I remember when Fr. John conveyed his vows to Fr. James Flanagan, the founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
Mass was being celebrated in a small room of an old house which we called “Casa San Jose” located in a rough-and-tumble Texican town somewhat appropriately named Robstown, where my best Bible was liberated out of my Oldsmobile.
This was our “international headquarters” and from Robstown, Texas, we were going to evangelize the world.
Maybe more out of military respect than spiritual duty, I was fascinated by these two priests in front of me during Mass because I knew their military backgrounds.
Fr. Corapi was a Viet Nam-era gung-ho Special Forces warrior hell-bent as he says of “kicking some serious enemy butt.”
Fr. Flanagan was a World War II active duty member of the elite fighting machine called the Navy “Seals.” I always imagined Fr. Jim, who was an All-American football player at Notre Dame, swimming under water behind enemy lines with camouflaged greasepaint across his Irish face and a bayonet clenched between his teeth.
For me, I was a dead shot in the army and loved it.
So, here were the three of us, all trained killers in the past, now accepting vows, taking vows and making commitments to engage in more fighting …this time with a spiritual adversary –Satan.
There’s an old army saying, “there are no atheists in a foxhole with the bullets flying overhead.”
In these war-like times we’re living in fighting atheism, secularism, materialism and a bucketfull of other “isms,” we need to pick up a new weapon. Not an old lady’s strand of plastic beads held together with dainty little links.
Real men with a real war on their hands need to pick up a two-fisted glistening sword capable of slashing at least three demons in half with one ferocious swing. That sword is not called “Excalibur” drawn out of a stone by King Arthur and later returned to him by Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. This new sword is called “El Rosario” given to all of us by Mary, the Lady of the Rosary.
In one of his many television appearances on the Catholic TV network, EWTN, Fr. Corapi, who according to Fr. Flanagan has the “gift of apostolic preaching,” advised his viewers that we can’t pray the same way when we were 8 years old. We’re adults now and need to pray like adults, in fact, pray like warriors fighting for our souls and those in our families.
Not long ago, I purchased a new “commando” rosary made by The Rosary Project, Inc. (click here), the kind that our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan wear around their necks when they go into battle. It’s made of strong camouflage parachute cord solidly holding together non-reflective midnight-black beads. These “tough-guy” rosaries come with a 5-pound safety breakaway clasp flor ultimate safety during combat. They also have special colors for the various branches of the service … Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, as well as police officers , firefighters and other people who protect us.
The South Coast Report, also known as the Catholic Investigative Journal, supports our brave men and women in combat and elsewhere who need spiritual armor protection as well as body armor protection. On our website we investigate and report on events, movements, and even spiritual battle plans that affect our souls, our nation and our nation’s largest denominational family … the Catholic Church.
Tag words: Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity … Fr. John Corapi … Fr. James Flanagan … SOLT Lay Formation … Our Lady of the Rosary …Apostolic preaching … Marian apparitions … Military rosaries