The Church, The Rescue, and Heartening the Family: TNRP Episode 3

Hello all,

Here is the next installment of our little podcast! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your questions. Hopefully we got to most of them.

I haven’t been able to update the widget, but in the picture below, there is a download link as well as a share link, feel free to use both!

Thanks,

Chaz

(Download link fixed, Chaz – SBC)

Posted in Podcast | 69 Comments

Novena for our Nation

The Holy League is promoting a 54 day Novena for our Nation, from August 15th to October 7th. You can sign up and join at any time during its duration which begins soon… on Tuesday, the Feast of the Assumption, and it ends on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On that day, the 7th of October, there will be a National Rosary Rally in Washington DC.

The National Rosary Rally takes place in Union Square to the west of the US Capitol in front of the Capitol reflecting pool. All four Rosaries will be prayed along with intentions which include:  respect for life at all stages of development; the sanctity of marriage and families; upholding constitutionally protected religious freedom; and the return of our nation to God and Holiness.

Fr. Heilman clarifies:  “Importantly, this is not intended to be a political event.  Our hope is to influence the direction of our country through prayer”.

Over at the website announcing this prayer effort, there is opportunity to sign up to receive a daily email. About the novena:

The time is now to call upon God, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, to heal our country and return it to holiness.

This is a nationwide prayer campaign called the “Novena for Our Nation.” Everyone from around the nation is encouraged to join ranks as, united, we pray the very powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena from the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7.

We continue to live in peace-less times with laws and court rulings in conflict with God’s laws; especially the disregard for the rights of the unborn, elderly and weak in our society and the attacks on marriage and family values. Society and many levels of government continue to demonstrate intolerance towards biblically based religious belief and practice. In conflict with First Amendment constitutional rights, persecution of traditional religious expression has reached historically high levels. We are in a Spiritual Battle.

In this centennial year of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, we are called upon to help turn our country back towards God. We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change families, change our communities and change our country. There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary.

From those promoting this prayer effort:

“I wholeheartedly endorse the Novena for Our Nation and the Rosary Rally on October 7 next, the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.  I urge as many as are able to participate in these great spiritual works for the sake of our entire nation.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke

“This 54 Day Novena for Our Nation and National Rosary Rally come at a critical and most serious time of crisis in our country.  I cannot think of a more powerful response on the part of Catholics than to pray, fast and come together for the conversion of our nation.”
Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, Priests for Life

“Today we find ourselves in a Spiritual Battle.  Government actions and court rulings are in conflict with God’s law.  Persecution of traditional religious belief and practice is unprecedented.  In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are called upon to help turn our country back towards God.  We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change our families, change our communities and change our country.  There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary.”
Fr. Richard Heilman, President of the Holy League

Bottom line, for me, is that Our Lady has a phenomenal track record of responding to her children when we unite in pleading for her intercession via a Rosary Crusade. This is a next right step not to miss at this time in our nation and world.

***Questions for podcasts are always welcome in the comments following any post. Our ears are open. Please, continue to ask away!

Posted in Announcement, Prayer | 47 Comments

The First Q&A Podcast

 

Here is the first podcast that answers your questions. I hope you enjoy it.

If you have problems listening to it on your internet browser, I would recommend downloading it from soundcloud.com. Also, please check your podcast apps as several of the requests to air the podcast have been approved.

I have confirmed that the podcast is available through Stitcher. If you have a smart phone, you can download or listen straight from your phone with Stitcher.

Posted in Podcast | 130 Comments

The Next Right Podcast Episode One

Good day everyone,

The first podcast is uploaded and can be found here

This episode was an introductory episode for those who aren’t coming from this site. We’ll get the first series of questions up soon as well. Give us your feedback! Thanks everyone!

*** If you are having trouble with the audio, click on the underlined “The Next Right Podcast” in the picture. That will take you to the hosting websites and it should play there.***

I just updated the settings of the first episode to make it downloadable. Click the episode then click download. That should make things a bit easier.

Charlie

Posted in Podcast | 147 Comments

Life’s Raging Storms


Constance Hull, over at Catholic Exchange, has written a piece upon which to reflect and you can read the full article here. Thanks to our reader, Rosalie, for bringing it to our attention.

Before I share some excerpts, I have an announcement: The first podcast is still in the making. As SteveBC noted in the comments, yesterday, beginning something new usually has some challenges. I promise you: it’s coming.

Now for the excerpts from Hull’s article: When Life Feels Like a Raging Storm.

There are periods in our lives that feel like a raging storm. The winds swirl up at high speeds, the clouds darken to a night sky mid-day, and rain pours down. The torrential downpour comes in unrelenting waves and we feel like St. Peter standing in the boat staring in fear and awe at Our Lord walking on the waves…

During periods of trial, it can be easy to stand paralyzed by the storm. We can begin to focus on the crashing waves, the wind blowing so hard we can barely stand, or to shake violently in the freezing rain. In this passage from St. Matthew, the boat was beaten by the waves from the wind, but often the storms in our lives can feel like a hurricane. Suffering, pain, anguish, affliction, and struggles in this life are meant to strengthen us, but most of us battle immense weakness in the face hardships. These are periods that can be marked by doubt, fear, anger, anxiety, mistrust, and a deep desire to flee. So, what are we to do?

Focus on Christ, not the storm

St. Peter is able to walk on water as long as he stays focused on Christ. The moment he takes his eyes off of Jesus, he begins to sink… This is also true for each one of us…

Every new downpour or crashing wave engulfs us and it becomes harder and harder to see Christ standing on the water waiting for us. Suffering always comes in waves. It is not steady, which is why we must focus on Christ and not the suffering. That is not to say that we ignore the suffering, rather, we keep our gaze fixed on Christ so He can carry the heavy load for us. In looking to Him with love and trust we are able to walk on the harshest of seas.

Get out of the boat

St. Peter firmly fixes his sights on Christ before he gets out of the boat: it is once he is on the water that he begins to doubt. We must first focus on Christ and then trust Him enough to get out of the boat…

We must get out of the boat, so that we can walk with Him through this storm. God is asking us to trust Him with every aspect of our lives, even though the process can be excruciating. The path to holiness isn’t easy, but it’s the only one worth walking.

Pray for faith

In our Fallen state, we all struggle with periods of doubt and fear. It is in times of suffering that these doubts can plague us. We can doubt God’s love for us. Question why He seems to test us so much. There may be times of anger at God or frustration. Selfishness may rear its ugly head as we have to relinquish our own will—including our plans and dreams—to God’s will. When we become paralyzed by the storms raging in our lives, we can doubt as St. Peter did walking on the sea. It is crucial in times like these that we ask the Holy Spirit to increase our faith.  Christ asks St. Peter why he had so little faith and that question can also be posed to each one of us when we doubt. Notice how Christ’s call to faith is followed by calm and peace…

Suffering is something we will all experience at one point or another in our lives. The storms of life can come on with gale force winds which nearly sweep us off of our feet. It can be difficult to keep our eyes on Christ. If we do not, then we will be plagued with doubt, anxiety, fear, and overwhelmed by the struggles of life. We will sink, just as St. Peter sinks…

He will provide all that we need to make it through the darkest of times.

Posted in Announcement, Encouragement, The Storm, Trust | 70 Comments

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

*UPDATE*

Hello everyone, this is Charlie Jr. (Chaz). I apologize for not getting the podcast out today. I had some unexpected schedule conflicts which threw my dad and I out of sync. We look to have The first episode up by Sunday. We’re both helping with conferences/ retreats this weekend. Again, sorry for the misstep. We’re getting back to the next right step as soon as possible.

********************************************************************************

As we continue in this Storm of storms, the waves of chaos become ever the more turbulent, for the winds pelt rains of confusion all around, while even our Barque of Peter has been inundated with waters bearing danger. Faith tells us Christ is near, as close as the Holy Spirit breathing in us, for the Indwelling of the Trinity is deep within the silence of our hearts – never, not even for a moment, are we forgotten. Still, it IS rough-going and we are tempted to fear, anxiety, and, perhaps, despair. Many readers have expressed their angst and dismay at the state of affairs while we teeter on the abyss of potentially world-shattering events.

In the midst of what is, I’m so excited to announce a new way of building us up which will surely hearten, calm, encourage and delight us. Charlie’s son, Chaz, is hosting a new show, The Next Right Podcast, featuring his constant, special guest: his dad, Charlie. I’m confident that as we listen to the conversations of this father-son duo, Christ’s Light will beam in the current darkness via these podcasts. Chaz has chosen audio as the means of production, thinking to provide a wide range of possibilities for us to listen in, whenever it’s convenient for each one – such as, while driving to your job, cleaning, working out or whenever else you choose to listen. Once the first show is completed, I’ll fill you in on how to access the conversation.

We’re all invited to be a part of this dynamic way of moving forward in solidarity, as we live the core message of TNRS, in these days fraught with so many unknowns.  The process of preparing for the shows will involve gathering questions from you, the readers. What are the heart cries, ponderings and issues you would like Charlie to speak to? As ever, questions must refrain from prying into prophetic details. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you? 🙂 ) From the pool of your questions, each week, five will be selected for the show. When people ask similar questions, I’ll choose one that is representative of a recurring topic. In other words, your own wording may not be exactly expressed in the phrasing of the question, but if it’s a common theme or something similar to it, it will emerge in the questioning.

You know, in any new endeavor, there will be bumps and glitches to smooth out. As a retired educator, to me, this is the fun part: adaptation. Besides, sometimes mistakes turn out to be something beautiful.

The goal is to release the first podcast on Friday, August 4th, and the comments are now open for your questions. Ask away, Friends!

 

Posted in Announcement | 408 Comments

What DOES It Mean to Trust God?

Monsignor Charles Pope has released another gem for consideration. It is I who have sought permission to reprint his articles and he allows this without supporting the prophetic elements at this site. Msgr. Pope’s blog is here should you wish to read his many articles, packed with instruction and wisdom. In this piece, he draws our focus to the very purpose of praying the Prayer for Miraculous Trust

 

What Does It Mean to Trust God? Maybe Not What You Think

We are often told to trust in God, and many of us have counseled others who are anxious or downcast to do so. But what does that mean?

In some cases, when people give this counsel they mean this: Don’t worry, God will eventually give you what want. God will come around to your way of thinking at some point. Hang in there and wait for God to answer (yourway). He’ll take care of things (in a way that pleases you).

This is not trust.

To trust is to move to the stable conviction that whatever God decides to do is the right thing. It means being at peace with what He does, what He decides. It is to accept that God often acts in paradoxical ways, in ways that are different from, or even contrary to, our notions of what is best. God often permits evils for some greater good, even if this greater good is hidden from us.

At the foot of the cross, we realize that even a total disaster can produce immense good. We call that terrible day “Good Friday” for a reason. The apparent “total loss” of that day ushered in the New Covenant and made more than enough grace and mercy available to save the entire human race—if we but ask.

Many of us have experienced difficulties that were quite devastating to us at the time. In some cases, we have subsequently come to understand why God permitted them. We can see how we grew from the experience or how new opportunities were opened to us that, while not our preference at the time, were in fact best. In other cases, however, what went through still make little sense to us. But if we have learned to trust God, we can be at peace with His apparent “No” to our desired outcome. Trust says, “It is well with my soul.”

An old hymn with that title says,

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul
.

That is trust: the ability to say, “Whatever my lot, it is well with my soul.” It is not wrong to present our wants and wishes to God, but trusting Him means being at peace with His answer, not resenting it.

We are forever asking God to bless what we are doing, but when do we ever seek what God is blessing and then do that?

Trusting God doesn’t mean thinking that He’ll eventually give me what I want. Trusting God means being at peace with whatever He wants; knowing that He wants it is enough for me; there is peace and it is well with my soul.

Posted in Encouragement, Prayer, Trust | 121 Comments

Now Is the Time

Many in this community have worked and prayed, long and hard, for an end to abortion. Now, we have new, prime opportunities to ACT as well as PRAY at a momentous juncture in the ongoing campaign to build a Culture of Life. Now is the time. The Susan B. Anthony List sent an update after the Senate, yesterday, passed the “Motion to Proceed” to begin reconciliation efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. From the update:

Now our pro-life majority in the Senate finally has the opportunity to advance an Obamacare repeal bill that achieves two urgent priorities for thePro-Life Movement: defund Planned Parenthood and stopping our dollars from going to health insurance plans that cover abortion.

This is all happening very quickly – so I wanted to let you know what to expect next. With the approval of the Motion to Proceed, there will now be 20 legislative hours of debate on various amendments. Once these 20 hours are up, we will then enter “vote-a-rama” in which an unlimited number of amendments could be offered, each limited to just two minutes of debate. This process will play itself out over the next few days and nights.

Your SBA List team will be working through the night – tonight and tomorrow night – to analyze the amendments one-by-one to ensure that none of them weaken the bill’s protections for unborn babies and then providing quick feedback to advise our allies in the Senate on how to vote.

These protections will be subject to very close votes and decisions by the Parliamentarian which means we don’t yet know the final form the legiuslation will take. But we will continue fighting to ensure it contains the provisions necessary to defund Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars… and save lives from abortion.

By going here, each of us can take a next right step to extend support for developing life-saving legislation. Surely contacting one’s senators, stressing the desire that s/he support the defunding of Planned Parenthood is another valuable step. Already this morning, there are reports, such as this, naming the immediate activity which bespeaks that this will be a battle to behold.

The Senate has blocked a wide-ranging proposal by Republicans to repeal much of former President Barack Obama’s health care law and replace it with a more restrictive plan.

Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting “no” included nine defecting Republicans.

Additional signs of the fierceness of the fight can be read here, at the Life News site.

Also complicating efforts is the news that the Senate parliamentarian may have killed the Senate bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and repeal Obamacare.

Senate Republicans have been using the reconciliation Bill to get around a filibuster by pro-abortion Democrats who oppose defunding the nation’s biggest abortion company and repealing prohibition Obamacare that has included taxpayer-financed abortions.

The parliamentarian issued guidance saying that key portions of the defunding measure require 60 votes to pass. That’s a departure from the ruling the parliamentarian issued in 2015 concerning the same bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. The ruling then paved the way for a 50-vote passage and sending the bill to pro-abortion President Barack Obama, who vetoed it.

Getting 50 votes for the bill to defund Planned Parenthood has been a difficult enough prospect because three pro-abortion Republican women oppose defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Requiring 60 votes for ultimate passage of the legislation would essentially kill it.

But there could be a solution.

Giving full assent to God’s Plan and Providence, His Power over all His creation and His Wisdom which has allowed evil to exist, we can simply note: We who oppose a culture of death and have worked and prayed for a Culture of Life, have been, and in a way now potent with the possibility of thrusting a mortal blow, extinguishing Planned Parenthood, are squarely confronting Our Mother’s adversary in these critical hours of work in the Senate. Let us rise in solidarity with all in our land who profess the primacy of the right to life as THE foundational issue in promoting and protecting every right of every individual.

 It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace. (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101)

All pro-life organizations are running full steam ahead to stay on top of the developments and, then, alert people to take next right steps. Let us fully respond. Now is the time.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Save Us O Lord; Carry Us Back; Rouse Your Power and Come

Children’s Rosary Prayer Group – Meets Daily in Pakistan

Surveying the condition of the world and its people, near and far, one can only imagine what the shape of things would be without Our Mother’s children, both young and old, offering her millions of penances and prayers, throughout the day, with an equal plentitude of loving next right steps to present to our Father at His Throne. Deo Gratias as hearts continue to cry, Maranatha! The screeching winds, swirling seas and violent lightening strikes bespeak the reality that the hour is late in this Time of Choosing. And within THE Choice for God are myriad choices to be made, day by day, moment by moment, to ensure we fall not prey to hopelessness and despair. Jesus, our Emmanuel, has never left us and He never will; it is we who are tempted to turn away in discouargement, losing heart – yet, we can choose, instead, to believe, to trust and to hope in Him.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. (2Corintians 4:8)

Many of our commenters have expressed their choice to dial back on news intake and detach from additional life activities which trigger internal unrest and outright agitation. In understanding this choice, I’ve become very selective about what I read and view by seeking the wisdom of spiritual and temporal writers and speakers who bring depth of understanding and insight to the issues we face. To this end, I’ve long appreciated the writings of a great voice crying in the wilderness of our times, Fr. Dwight Longenecker. One of his recent pieces, Sparado, Straw Men and Scapegoats, is a well reasoned and piquant response to the article written by Antonio Spadaro (edit- the article is co-authored with Marcelo Figueroa), in  La Civiltà Cattolica, which some of our commenters have mentioned and many Catholic writers have analyzed. Excerpt from Fr. Longenecker:

“The article that everybody is talking about at La Civiltà Cattolica can be read here

The problem is that the authors are commenting on something they don’t know about from personal experience. It’s all theory from a few books they’ve read and perhaps a few conversations with fellow intellectuals in some coffee shop in Europe.

The American Evangelical scene is far more complex and crazy than these guys understand. Their snide comment, for instance about Evangelical fundamentalists being mostly “white men from the deep South” is a racist bigoted comment on the level of Obama’s famous and fatuous wisecrack about country folk who “cling to their religion and guns” or Mrs Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”…

But the main problem is that in the second half Spadaro and Figuerao attempt to throw Catholic conservatives into the same pick up truck as the “stupid Evangelicals”. They come up with a name “Catholic Integralists”. This shadowy group want to create a “theocracy” and go to war with the Muslims etc. etc. As others have pointed out, such American Catholics only exist in the imagination of Spadaro and Figueroa…”

Victor Davis Hanson is another writer and speaker who provides clarity amidst mass confusion. His piece, “The Fifth American War,” reflects exactly what Charlie has written and spoken about, extensively, after having revealed these things more than twenty years ago to his spiritual directors. Here’s a peek at Hanson’s beginning:

“The country is coming apart, and the advocates of radical egalitarianism are winning. The wars between Trump, the media, the deep state, and the progressive party — replete with charges and counter-charges of scandal, collusion, and corruption — are merely symptoms of a much larger fundamental and growing divide between Americans that is reaching a dangerous climax.

On four prior occasions in American history the country nearly split apart, as seemingly irreconcilable cultural, economic, political, social, geographical, and demographic fault lines opened a path to hatred and violence.”

Charlie has recommended Cardinal Sarah’s newest book and I, too, have been savoring this gem. Sweet silence, in contemplation and communion, restores peace and equilibrium in these days, nearly overwhelming with the noise of the Storm with its chaos, confusion and division. The holy silence provides opportunity to rest near the Lord’s Heart – as surely as St. John did while reclining at table – for us,  it’s reclining in the stern of the Barque of Peter, safe and resting in the Lord, a respite from raging waters, praying: Save us O Lord; carry us back; rouse your power and come.

Excerpt from Robert Cardinal Sarah’s newest book: The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise:

God carries us, and we live with him at every moment by keeping silence. Nothing will make us discover God better than his silence inscribed in the center of our being. If we do not cultivate this silence, how can we find God? Man likes to travel, create, make great discoveries. But he remains outside of himself, far from God, who is silently in his soul. I want to recall how important it is to cultivate silence in order to be truly with God. Saint Paul, drawing on the Book of Deuteronomy, explains that we will not encounter God by crossing the seas, because he is in our heart:

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:6-9, drawing from Deuteronomy 30:12-14, 16)

Posted in Uncategorized | 44 Comments

He Who Follows Me Will Not Walk in Darkness

The initial post about Fr. Robert Spitzer’s newest book, The Light Shines on in the Darkness, simply introduced it with endorsements from well-known contemporary spiritual writers. Let’s take a closer look at but a few of Father’s theological underpinnings which led him to write this compendium on suffering. In the book’s introduction, Father gets right to the truth that suffering is a gift:

Suffering is darkness, leading to light – if we let it…

In its initial moments it hurts, distresses, enervates, isolates, threatens and discourages – obscuring and even eclipsing the light of love, joy and peace that calls us to our true home…

There is no need to remain in the darkness, because we have been told by Jesus there is light – love, joy, peace and home – in every kind and instance of suffering, light that can transform us into a perfect reflection of God’s unconditionally loving nature. If we want to overcome the darkness – to transform it into even greater light than we experienced before the darkness – we will have to be able to see the light in the darkness, and then follow it. But this can be a challenge, because the darkness of suffering can be quite overwhelming – and when suffering is particularly acute, the darkness can seem all-encompassing…

To meet the challenge, Fr. Spitzer invites us to consider:

Jesus has made multiple promises to us – and every one of them is true…

Some of these promises are:

*Blessed are the sorrowing, for they shall be consoled. (Mt 5:4; Father’s translation)

*Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Mt. 11-28)

*I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (Jn 8:12)

*Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. (Jn 16:20)

Father advises us to take these promises to heart, for, says he:

“If we take Jesus’ promises to heart – if we believe that He will fulfill them now and in His Kingdom – then we will begin to see His light in the darkness… If we have faith in the promises of Jesus, the light will intensify through the darkness, and it will lead to the love and joy of Jesus Himself.

Fr. Spitzer’s expressed goal in writing his book is

“… to point us to the light in the darkness – the light of Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit – so that we might more easily follow it.”

And, surely, in following it, by ever acknowledging God and asking for Holy Spirit’s help, we are illumined to take our next right steps, so that God may transform us to BE His Light of Hope for those around us.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mt 5:14-16)

Friends, in these last years of becoming part of TNRS community, I have heard – we all have heard – from many who are suffering great trials, enduring the seemingly unendurable, yet, we know God never ever gives us more than we can handle. He is with us always and, immediately, enters with us into each struggle in which we suffer. Even so, He waits for us to ask Him for help. In all candor, I remain in the thick of current challenges. Not whining and not wasting a bit of it, but it is real and raw in these days for me, as it is for so many of you and for so many we encounter all around us.

Little did I know when I ordered Fr. Spitzer’s latest book that it would affirm and articulate so well what I intuitively perceive as I live what cannot be escaped and I have discovered it is not only a compendium on suffering but also a treasury of consolation.

Father enfleshes and deepens understanding of the concepts he presents via rich detail in his book. If your preferred intake style is hearing rather than reading, you would likely benefit from the You Tube recordings of his presentations, such as this discussion of the nine Christian foundations for “suffering well.”

In future posts, we’ll focus on Father’s wisdom thoughts related to the truth that fear is useless; what is needed is trust. I’ll also share his suggested spontaneous prayers which he says can become immediate conduits of grace. We’ll consider his practical techniques for mitigating fear and anxiety. Lastly, I think it would be of great value to share Father’s suggested practices which help us CHOOSE and ACCEPT consolation.

Charlie has often written, in his posts and comments, uplifting and encouraging all who are immersed in intense suffering. His piece, The Fiery Trial of Love, is worthy of reread if you find yourself bearing heavy burdens at this time.

And I believe there is a wealth of wisdom on “suffering well” which can be shared by those in this community of believers as not one of us is immune from trials and we embrace the Lord’s dictum:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mt 16:24)

In my own times of difficulty, using a simple prayer which I learned from Fr. Spitzer long ago, I reach to God, telling Him I KNOW He is near and I KNOW He loves me, then I follow with a request that He would help me. Most often, this results in being washed in a Peace which I am not capable of producing on my own. In this I KNOW He hears me and He cares deeply, just as He said He would:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Mt 7:11)

As the darkness deepens all around us, let us take heart in this truth expressed in Fr. Spitzer’s introduction:

There is no need to remain in the darkness, because we have been told by Jesus there is light – love, joy, peace and home – in every kind and instance of suffering, light that can transform us into a perfect reflection of God’s unconditionally loving nature… If we have faith in the promises of Jesus, the light will intensify through the darkness, and it will lead to the love and joy of Jesus Himself.”

May it be in each of our lives. We are blessed!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 111 Comments