In my last post, I told you to tell someone, just one person, about a hero of the West. Today, I have been given an excellent chance to follow my own advice. For today is the four hundred and forty third anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto; when the forces of the Holy League, led by Don John of Austria, defeated the Ottoman Empire in a five hour naval battle which utterly crushed the Turkish navy, freed thousands of Christian slaves, and bought the west the breathing room that it required to bring about the greatest period of prosperity this world has ever known.
7,500 Christian men gave their lives that their brothers might know the blessings which that had brought. Fighting for faith and freedom, they exhibited the love of which Christ says there is no greater. Let us never forget their memory. Let us never dare to dishonor the blood they shed.
Let us not dare do what Ben Affleck did just last Friday when he offered an apologia for the murderers of our brethren. This is the epitome of dishonor: spitting on the sacrifice of the millions of Christian warriors who died for our comfort and peace, giving away one's patrimony for a few more seconds in the spotlight.
We are not judged by the "right thinking" or the thoughtless mob, but by history and history's God. We have a duty to our forebears to honor their memory, and to our descendents to pass on the fruits of their labor.
|photo credit: Lawrence OP|
Never fear being called "racist" when our fathers faced Turkish cannons fearless! If such impotent self-hating barbs are the only challenge God lays before us, then we are more blessed than any since Adam. I know it is tough. We face our own Lepanto every day against enemies every bit as overwhelming and omnipresent as the great Turk. But like our forebears, we can rise up and overcome them.
For we bear the greatest weapon of all: faith. Faith is more valuable than swords, more powerful than cannons. With faith, the fractuous, greedy, squabbling sons of Medieval Europe came together as one, putting aside personal gain for the good of the whole. With faith, we will do it again.