Heavenly Fusion

 

As a child in the primary grades, during every early October, preceding the Columbus Day holiday, I would join classmates in artistically recreating and labeling the three ships on which Christopher Columbus and his mates sailed to the New World: the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. What I didn’t discover about this journey until some years ago was the full name of the Santa Maria – and it enriches the story with preeminent meaning, for the full name was: “La Santa Maria de la Immaculada Concepcion.” Equally significant is the bountiful spiritual history from which Columbus and his fellow Spaniards came and with which God and His Mother would bless this land that would be named, the United States of America.

One of the greatest God-ordained favors ever granted to America, and woven as shroud of protection, began to unfold on May 10, 1846, when Archbishop Samuel Eccleston and twenty-two bishops of the United States declared, in the city of Baltimore, the opening of the First Session of the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore. At the time, this ecclesiastical province of Baltimore comprised the whole United States, hence, the Council was able to issue decrees for the entire country. Three days later, on May 13, exactly seventy-one years before the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, these bishops who were meeting in the residence of Archbishop Eccleston, adopted a decree by which they chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, as Patroness of the United States.

As I continued to read this history, I was further amazed to discover that years before these bishops declared the Immaculate Conception our patroness, a large portion of our country, namely that which has been called “Our Spanish Borderlands,” had been placed under the patronage of Mary Immaculate. It was in 1760 that Pope Clement XIII approved the choice of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the principal and universal Patroness of Spain and its possessions; and that included our Spanish Borderlands – the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Long before that, however, the Spaniards, both in their homeland and in their world-wide colonies, excelled all other nations and countries in their love and veneration of Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion. Further, after the landing of Christopher Columbus on these shores, countless rivers, lakes, towns, missions in Hispanic America were named for and placed under the tutelage of La Purisima Concepcion.

There are many more historical details about our connection with the history of Spain and its possessions. Ultimately, I stand in awe and gratitude at how Our Lord and Our Lady have, throughout hundreds of years, claimed this land as their own by granting us the patronage of the Immaculate Conception.

Still the more awestruck, we must acknowledge that Our Lady’s patronage in this country includes an additional dynamic dimension, for she intercedes, guides and protects us under yet another potent title. We can recall on October 12, 1945, Pope Pius XII, decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be “Patroness of all the Americas.” She said to Juan Diego:

“Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth. It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”

These musings have prompted some pondering anew that Charlie was chosen from this country, belonging to Our Mother under both titles: the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Tepeyac (Guadalupe), at this time in salvation-history-in-the-making, with a mission and message that is blessing the whole world in these days of great import. No co-incidence is it that the PMT, given to CJ by Archangel Gabriel, invokes Our Lady as the Immaculate Conception AND Our Lady of Tepeyac – Mother of Conversion. Let us remember the promises attached to this prayer, found here, pray it with total faith and trust in these days and remember Charlie’s exhortation:

“Now, if you treat these as some magic object, I have utterly failed my duty to you. There is no magic in the card, nor magic in the prayer. Rather, the instructions for the prayer teach you how to align your will with that of God. Having said that, there have been many startling results from the proper use of this prayer.”

And here we are, Friends, in the midst of the two novenas, one ending as we celebrate this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the other continuing as we prepare to honor, with hope for massive conversions again, Our Lady of Tepeyac, she who is mysteriously, miraculously present in the Tilma with her beating Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. I don’t know about you, but I hear a call to deeply contemplate the significance, in light of these times, of the fusion of these two titles of Our Lady which bring us her twofold patronage.

 

Announcement:

Tomorrow there will be a Consecration of California to Mary

Consecrate California to the Blessed Virgin Mary in churches close to you by involving your parish at 12:00pm, or near the California coastline, parallel to the San Andreas Fault.

TIMELINE of EVENT:

​MASS at 12:00 PM

​WALK OR DRIVE – To designated beach at 12:30 PM

​ROSARY- and Consecration Prayer at 1:00 PM

CHURCH LOCATIONS

​San Francisco – Star of the Sea Parish –  4420 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118 ( Fr. Joseph Illo)​

El Cerrito – Church of Saint John the Baptist 11150 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA. 94530 ( Fr. Joseph Tran)

Madera – St Joachim’s Catholic Church School – 401 W 5th St, Madera, CA 93637 ( Fr. John Warburton & rosary : Fr. Gustavo López)

​San Miguel – Mission San Miguel Arcángel – 775 Mission St, San Miguel, CA 93451 (  Fr. Eleazar Díaz Gaytán)

​Los Angeles – St. Monica Catholic Church (*12:30) – 725 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403 ( Fr. Guffey)

Bakersfield – Christ the King Catholic Church- 1800 Bedford Way, Bakersfield, CA 93308 ( Deacon Dan Rindge )

​Wilmington  – St. Peter and Paul (*Tridentine mass) – 515 W. Opp. Street, Wilmington, CA 90744 ( Fr. Hildegard)

Inglewood– St John Chrysostom Church –546 E Florence Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301  ( Fr. Marcos J. Gonzalez, V.F )​

Palm Desert – Christ of the Desert Chapel – 73441 Fred Waring Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260 ( Fr. Craig )

Simi Valley  – St. Peter Claver (7:30 AM) – 2380 Stow Street Simi Valley CA 93063  (Fr. Adrian San Juan)

​Orange County – St. Anne’s Catholic Church – 340 10th St, Seal Beach , CA 90740 (Fr. Ben)

​Dana Point – St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church – 33926 Calle La Primavera, Dana Point, CA 92629 ( Fr. Brandon )

​Ontario – San Secondo D’Asti – 250 N. Turner Ave, Ontario, CA 91761 ( Fr. Louis Marx)

​San Diego (Central S.D) – Our Lady of the Rosary – 1629 Columbia Street, San Diego – Little Italy area ( Fr. Joseph Tabigue) Note: we suggest you arrive early to get a parking spot – meter parking is available.There is a large parking lot by the County Administration Building, within walking distance from the Church.

​San Diego – St. Anne Catholic Church (*12:30 pm – latin mass)- 2337 Irving Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

San Diego (East county) – Our Lady of  Light – 9136 Riverside Dr. Descanso, CA 91916 ( Fr. Steven Larion Celebrant)​

Chula Vista (South Bay) – St. Pius X – 1120 Cuyamaca Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911 ( Fr. Jay Bananal)

https://www.consecratecalifornia.com/

 

Posted in Announcement, Conversion, Encouragement, Mary Immaculate, Prayer, Trust, Uncategorized | 60 Comments

Fractured Expectations

broken-mirror-evening-sky-photography-bing-wright-5

By Charlie Johnston

Though I don’t moderate the comments here anymore, I do read through them every few days to see what themes are on people’s minds. Of late I see many wonder whether I still say that the Rescue will come before the end of the year. The Rescue is what I call the revelation of Our Lady to the whole world in which all will know that Jesus is God, Lord of all; that she is His Mother; that He honors her; and that He expects us all to do the same. In a word, yes, I do.

The only thing that has changed is my expectation of how the world will react to the Rescue. Up until early this year it was inconceivable to me that people could know with certainty the things the Rescue will reveal and yet refuse to repent and convert. Alas, I have seen this year that many people wallowing in deep disorder will be bitter enders, even though they know it leads to their own destruction. I believed that the Rescue would be the end of troubles. Now, I believe that it will begin the hottest phase of a struggle in which the outcome is certain and in which everyone knows which side they are on. It will be a struggle constantly marked by supernatural manifestations as God reveals Himself to both hearten the faithful and call the rebellious to repentance. In the end it will lead to the end of troubles, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but for a time, it will be the very stormiest of times. Sadly, many in rebellion, once they know with certainty that God IS, will not repent, but will angrily accuse God of being a racist and sexist or whatever-phobe and refuse to serve Him or their neighbor.

I should have known. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, I thought the rise of ultrasound technology would herald the end of abortion, as science proved to even non-believers that the fetus is not just a ‘blob of tissue,’ but a human child. I was stunned when, in Reagan’s first term, Planned Parenthood moved away from the now-defunct ‘blob of tissue’ argument and adopted the ‘right to choose’ mantra – a mantra that had been used in this country before to justify slavery under the rhetoric of “popular sovereignty.” Had I thought more deeply, I would have remembered that, though the ancient Jews were rescued when they departed Egypt, it would be 40 years before they took possession of the land of milk and honey; that France was rescued when St. Joan broke the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429, but the war did not fully end for another 24 years; that Winston Churchill later said that when America entered World War II in late 1941, he knew that Europe was rescued – but the war would not end for another four years.

I have long emphasized that as these times came, everything would be revealed, that God would pull away the mask from pretentious pieties. Heaven knows that masks are falling away like late-autumn leaves after the first snowstorm. This is simply prelude to forcing us to make our definitive choice. It pleases God that we all declare ourselves and where we stand – and He is determined that we do it without illusion; that we cannot later credibly claim we did not know what we were choosing. When we choose to double down on error or disorder, thinking it a clever strategic way to maintain the upper hand, we actually convict ourselves before God. Far too many will choose that route, but many won’t. So it is a profound act of mercy on God’s part to those who will accept it.

We are in December, midway through the Novena to the Immaculate Conception and just at the beginning of the Novena to Our Lady of Tepeyac (commonly called Guadalupe). Back on September 23, the great sign of Revelation 12 appeared in the sky, when it matched up with the tilma of St. Juan Diego, the “woman cloaked with the sun.” I regard it as the most consequential sign of my lifetime. I didn’t expect anything in particular to happen. God is usually quite subtle -and such things are a marker that we have entered a new level of spiritual consequence. I was in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the time sharing the best tenderloin roast of my life with my host and many friends. It was on my mind all day, though, and the subject of my constant prayers. The next day I had a terrible stab of fear. I wondered, what if this was the revelation of Our Lady, the sign of the Rescue? Only a small few would even notice. So I began praying intensely that Our Lady reveal herself to the world. I was quickly and sharply rebuked by my angel who reminded me I had already been told this definitively – and that my prayers were not an act of faith, but a failure of faith. So I stopped. Then about a week ago, driving from Bakersfield up to Fresno, I absent-mindedly started praying the same thing again. Again I was sharply rebuked and, again, dropped it. There are quite a few things I am told and ordered not to reveal, less than a handful I am ordered to say publicly – but most things are given to my discretion to reveal or retain as seems best suited to hearten the faithful, taking full responsibility for what I say, never blaming God for my errors. This was one of those handful I was directed to proclaim

Paradoxically, intimacy with the Lord does not bring serene confidence that you understand prophecy. It shows you how unimaginably big things are and terrifies you that you are missing key points. I touched on this gently in my piece, “Into the Whirlwind,” and more bluntly in “Through a Glass Darkly.” I have said before that I spent well over a decade when I was younger getting interpretation wrong almost every time, only understanding it in its aftermath. Even my harshest critics rarely accuse me of being dumb, so it bemused me that people have not generally considered the implications of having to work that hard and that long to begin to understand some of what is given. Generally, it is not the conclusions of those who think they have unraveled prophecy that I object to. It is that they approach the matter with utterly inadequate tools, like trying to change a tire with a licorice whip. Both in the Old Testament and the New, God speaks to us while seamlessly melding literal things and metaphorical things to get His point across to us. Just from the Gospels, besides melding parables and commandments, Jesus sometimes says literal things that sound metaphorical and metaphorical things that sound literal. When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again,” it sounded literal but was metaphorical. Many mocked Him for this saying. Yet none of even the most faithful interpreted its actual meaning as being, “Kill me and in three days I will rise again, crushing even the power of death,” until AFTER the Crucifixion And the Resurrection. Who could have divined the significance of that until after the events showed it to be true? We are blind as moles. Sometimes God speaks mysteriously so that we understand in the aftermath what is unimaginable beforehand. On the other hand, when Jesus said, “You must eat My body and drink My blood to have life within you,” it sounded metaphorical but was literal. He was so insistent that it was literal that He let people go away from Him rather than compromise on some metaphorical interpretation. Even so, it was literal in a way we could not imagine. Some say that the Eucharist resembles bread and wine. More penetratingly, St. Augustine said that, before all ages, God made bread and wine to resemble the Eucharist, so that when it was instituted it would already be familiar and comfortable to us. This is where all the ‘Biblical Code’ and most other diviners of prophecy completely fail: they only divine in a literal sense already known to our limited perspective. It is primarily how I failed for so long – and still sometimes fail. The Bible is not mere history nor mere science; it is the living word of God, ever given to call us to salvation. So it is with authentic prophecy.

In “The Confessions,” St. Augustine said, “The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.” In “Genesi ad Literrum” he said, “In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to Sacred Scripture.”

Like a finely cut precious gem, Scripture has many facets, only a few of which even the best of us can see at a time. It is not that there are multiple contradictory truths to be found there, but that the single fullness of the truth found there is greater than our poor power to fully grasp. It is why after several thousand years we still can see refinements in doctrinal truth, but cannot abide contradictions of that truth. To truly commune with God is to approach Him with great humility, with fear and trembling at our own littleness. It requires courage, patience and humility…stuff that is not found in glib “Bible Codes,” where fools fancy they have divined the mind of God. It takes constant service, the resolve to go forward knowing that we will often err, but that our good Father will gently guide us if we keep our eyes and hearts turned to Him, boldly proclaiming him and taking responsibility for our own errors as soon as we recognize them.

In Luke 7:20, in the last weeks of his life, John the Baptist sends men to ask Jesus, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” It is an amazing question that I have always taken great comfort from. Remember, John leapt in his mother’s womb at the very approach of the pregnant Mary. John recognized Jesus as Messiah at the very moment of baptism. Yet Jesus was not quite what he expected. When I read this astonishing question, I hear echoes of my own occasional plaintive lament: “Has my life had meaning or am I just a nut?” And what a wonderful answer Jesus sent back to John: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” With God, it is not just that the best of us misunderstand Him (and Jesus said that John was the greatest of the prophets), but that He transcends our capacity to understand. So much of our faith journey is allowing God to increase our capacity to understand, while knowing that the greatest understanding ever achieved on earth is less than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet even within the context of our deep limitations, God calls us to go forth both boldly and humbly.

One of the things that consoled me when I went public back in 2013 was that, however hard this turned out, I would only have to do it for a few years. I originally planned to retire the day after the Rescue, but my angel rebuked me for that, telling me there would still be work left. So I extended it out to July of 2018 – and I was not rebuked. Last summer, a well-known theologian who is a dear friend, pointedly asked me how I knew I could retire then. What if God had more work for me? I explained the above scenario. He looked intensely at me and said, “but did he actually say you could retire then?” I hemmed and hawed, floundering for a minute before answering no, he did not. After my blunder, I had thought briefly of moving near family and getting a regular job, but quickly recalled that I had promised to stay on active duty, whether on the bench or really active, until July of 2018…and the direction I had long ago received that all the public work must be done from the home base near Mt. Meeker. So I couldn’t move, even in the midst of my failure. Now I have come to think that death will be my retirement. Oh, I may become irrelevant, may be retired, put out to pasture, but until my death I will not cease to proclaim that God IS, He is good, He intends our good, not our destruction, and that He is not finished with us. It being December, I can’t help sweating a little, wondering if I am to play the fool for the second time in less than a year. But when I pray about it, I am rebuked for my lack of faith, so I will wait upon the Lord. Even so, it is not a grudging surrender to the work before me. As I have travelled the country I have heard from so many, including more than a few Priests, that my work has helped drive away feelings of despair and anger from them, focusing on trusting God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope – and that that is what will renew our culture and herald the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. So I say that the Triumph begins this year, though we have some hard slogging ahead of us as some repent and convert and others respond in furious rage. I was long ago promised that if I lived my work faithfully, I would live for several years into the Triumph, to see that glorious renewed world under God. I have fallen in love with my work, surely one of the weirdest, but greatest, jobs in history.

I close with one of the most consoling visitations I ever had. It was 12 years ago. I was weepily asking why me. I am a sinful man, weak and often stumbling – and it was one of the last times I questioned Our Lord’s judgment in sending me to help hearten His people during the Storm, the greatest crisis in the history of the world before the actual end. Our Lord appeared to me. We were standing outside in the back yard. In His hand was a stick and beside Him was a sand-colored puppy with a fat little belly. Our Lord threw the stick and the puppy launched itself after it. The puppy was comically clumsy, stumbling over his own legs several times and once bonking his head against a tree. But it eagerly pursued that stick, got it, and brought it back to the Master, tail wagging joyfully. The Lord took the stick from the puppy, looked at me with a sly grin, and said, “You’re a game little fella.”

Time to get our game on and all be game little fellas.

Posted in Conversion, Mary Immaculate, Prophecy, The Rescue, The Storm | Tagged , | 340 Comments

Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Tepeyac

[In 2014, Charlie invited us to pray two novenas most precious to him and while pondering his piece, “Preparing for a Pregnant Advent,” I have been thinking of how powerful it would be for us to, again, pray these novenas together. As you gather your personal intentions to present to Our Lady, I would ask us all to hold Charlie, and his work, as a special petition in our hearts of prayer during this time of two intersecting novenas. (We love you, Charlie, and it is so good to have your back in our prayers.)

What Charlie wrote in 2014 is as apropos in these days of intense Storm as when he first wrote them:

“Today begins my most cherished Novenas of the year, the overlapping Novenas to the Immaculate Conception and to Our Lady of Tepeyac, or Guadalupe… rescue from the Storm will come miraculously through Our Lady the Immaculate Conception. Throughout its progression, just as she was when she freed the Aztecs from their bloody death cult, Our Lady of Tepeyac is the Mother of Conversion. On the fifth day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception begins the Novena to Our Lady of Tepeyac, right in the center of it. And the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception comes on the fifth day, the exact center, of the Novena to Our Lady of Tepeyac. I hope you will pray them with me this year, that we will all take the next right step, that we will all be a sign of hope to those around us, and that we will all endure to celebrate together the new era of peace that will arise from the ashes of these terrible times.”

We can recall that Our Lady is invoked in the Prayer of Miraculous Trust – as Charlie has said: “…a prayer to abandon yourself to trust in God; to bind yourself to His will with trust rather than trying to bind Him to yours.” Our Mother is invoked in this prayer under both titles: Our Lady of Tepeyac and Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception.

Now, as we pray and wait for the next article on which Charlie is currently working, let us turn to one of my favorites, for it is a most heartening feature, brimming with wise counsel and surely apropos for where we are at this juncture. May we live our leadership roles with these guiding principles as our true desire, that we may be as so many lights scattered over the face of the earth.  ~Beckita]

(Added Notes:

**As you know, there are often multiple, varying novenas to Our Lady and the saints. Please, simply select the novenas to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Tepeyac (Guadalupe) which you prefer to pray. We will still be praying in solidarity with whatever version each one chooses. Let us pray that Our Lady protect and guide Charlie and intercede for each TNRSer’s dreams and hopes to be fulfilled in God’s Will for each of us.

**I just realized this date, November 29th, is also the start date for the 33 day preparation for Total Consecration (or renewal of consecration) to Jesus through Mary. I’m on fire to do this. Please consider uniting together in this prayer time as well. Originally, years ago, I used St. Louis de Montfort’s materials. Since its distribution, I have utilized Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory to renew my consecration. Both are excellent resources. ~ Beckita)

 

Signs of the Times

Pilgrims

By Charlie Johnston

(This is an adaptation of a note I sent out to a group of friends and leaders last weekend. Several said they found it heartening enough that they thought I should submit it as a regular post. So I have. – CJ)

I find a lot of people, including the most knowledgeable, talking to me lately about how perilous the times are and what to expect. Understandable. North Korea is a tinder box, China is trying to provoke mischief, Eastern Europe is a tinderbox – and Western Europe, amazingly, even more so. Russia is making mischief, even as it tries to figure out a coherent strategy in a world gone mad. The Middle East is volatile, as is Northern Africa and Southeast Asia. Venezuela is a burning fuse in South America – and the USA is only a few steps away from open, violent conflict. The Church, traditionally the refuge in times of great crisis, is itself in great crisis, as too many Bishops think their job is to correct what they believe to be the many errors of Christ, with seeming encouragement from the top. Catholics gaze in wonder as abortion advocates, jihadists, radical population control advocates, homosexual activists and just about anyone who scorns Catholic Doctrine are welcomed at the Vatican and even appointed to Pontifical Commissions while Orthodox prelates are routinely and summarily dismissed and scolded.

As Our Lord said, “You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Luke 12:56). When every institution and nation is become as unstable as a crateful of nitro-glycerin loaded on a monster truck at an Oklahoma rally, something is going to blow. Yet Our Lord said that He is with us to the end of the age – and that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church. Our Lady told us of all these trials – and more – at Fatima, but promised that in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. I know that both of their promises are true. Now the hour of darkness comes upon the world. But be not afraid: the darkness will not prevail.

I have had much instruction since the Inauguration. Yet there is no use in speaking of specifics. In fact, it would just confuse the issue – kind of like the mirror of Galadriel near the end of the Fellowship of the Rings. (I am reading the trilogy again – and it could be useful for you, as well. There is MUCH wisdom in there, which I have come to appreciate intensely). Things are bigger than I had imagined – and simultaneously easier and more terrible. A key reason is that God is moving in a way that is completely different than He has before. That should not have surprised me: when little minds argue that something can’t be from God because He has “never done it that way before,” I always chuckle ruefully. God is always startling, fresh and new. If something happens in a way that God HAS done it before, that is usually (not always) a sign of inauthenticity – that it is not from God but merely one of the satan’s pale imitations. The good news is that God will intervene on an Old Testament scale. The bad news is that this will enrage many people, causing them to double down on their revolt rather than come back to Him. The truly tragic news is that some of those who will be enraged against God are among those who count themselves as defenders of the faith.

The very best news is that we will each get the opportunity to choose. I have emphasized that before, but it is more important than even I knew. We can choose to serve God and help rebuild the culture or choose to serve ourselves and perish. Your choice will be proven by what you do, not by what you say. We cannot change that the darkness comes, nor are we necessary for God to secure the victory. All of this is, in large measure, so that we are forced to choose. So most of this note is a meditation on how we are to behave so as to firmly choose God and please Him.

After my blunder on the Inauguration, a good friend who knew how much I loved the Jeff Bridges version of the movie, “True Grit,” called me and recited my favorite line from the movie: “Well, that didn’t pan out.” It was after Bridges mounted an attack that went south and utterly failed. I love it because Bridge’s character, Rooster Cogburn, did not even think of trying to shift blame, nor did he even think of giving up. He laconically acknowledged the blunder, then moved on to the next step to complete his job. My friend waited about a week, lest I be sensitive about it, but when she called and greeted me with that line, it was my first big belly laugh about the whole situation. This encapsulates, in miniature, what our disposition is called to be in these times. The very best of you, even given the best information, are going to come up with plans that just don’t pan out. It is the human condition – and we are called to remember we are servants, not masters…that God knows what He is about – and even uses our blunders to further His Divine plan to perfection.

It is worth reading the Books of Moses again. No one, except perhaps Abraham (and later, the Apostles) had as direct a pipeline to God as Moses. Yet they wandered the desert for 40 years. Look at a map of the journey involved. A generous estimate is that from beginning to end, it was maybe 1,500 miles, which should have taken around a year (again generous). But they wandered in circles…for 40 years. Yes, the Jews had seen a multitude of miracles. Even so, given that they knew that Moses had a direct pipeline to God, their frustration had a sort of point: “if God is showing you the way, why are we wandering so aimlessly for so terribly long?” God’s ways are not like our ways. While we want to take the most direct and quickest route, in God’s plan, the journey is every bit as important as the destination – for it is the journey which proves and purifies us – and makes us fit for the destination. Yet because we insist on overlaying our way of thinking onto God, we constantly insist His way makes no sense. God’s purpose is to get us to heaven, not to any earthly advantage or destination. If we could see the fullness of what that means, we would be much more docile to seeming setbacks. It is not God’s plan that is deficient, but our expectations.

You are all leaders, called to serve God by being a sign of hope to His people during times of extremis. You are called to live your duty faithfully, with docility, fortitude and initiative. It pleases God that, in this time of our scourging (which we richly deserve), seldom will we be given simple choices between right and wrong. More often our options will be bad, worse, and truly atrocious. How we choose under those circumstances will purify and enlighten us – if it does not destroy us. I told you sometime back that I was instructed long ago by the Lord, Himself, that I would be held accountable for every soul I could have given effective witness to but did not out of anger…and that I would be held accountable for every assault on the faithful that I could have stopped but did not out of fear or false charity. This is humanly impossible – and I am NOT allowed to not act. It can only be done with fear and trembling and complete trust in God, for I have made many mistakes and will make many more before all is done. Welcome to the club, all of you.

Your most important tools in this time are love of your neighbor, expressed through duty and honor in filial love for God. It is, in part, good not to see too much with clarity because that can become a seduction to you. You see something alarming and you want to go fix it – but you know not what God’s plans are. This a tough lesson, but one God is insistent on. I thank God that I was given many lessons in it from the earliest days in order to blunt this instinct. There were a couple of occasions over the last few decades when people I loved were in places where I knew a catastrophe loomed. Every nerve in my body screamed to warn them, but I was not given leave. Having had the experience on more than a few occasions when I was younger of intervening despite God’s strictures – and thus making matters worse…or even bringing on the ill I sought to avoid…I learned a stronger docility. I prayed intensely and constantly while going about my little duty faithfully. You will learn to do the same, though I hope by less harsh means than I did. The best thing you can do for anyone is to do the little duty right in front of you with love and fidelity. Do not worry whether it humanly seems great or small. That is God’s business, not yours. Besides, our perception is so deficient that often what seems great to us is a trifle to God and what seems a trifle to us is great to God.

Vanity is, by far, your deadliest enemy – and the means by which the noblest souls are taken captive by the devil. Whenever you get caught in a sterile argument seeking simply to prove you are right, step back. If your conversational partner merely wants to prove he is right – ignoring or evading those key points that must be considered, step back. In the first case, you are not arguing honestly. In the second, you are not arguing with an honest opponent. In neither case can good come – and in both cases it leaves opening for the devil. Yes, you must vigorously seek to find the truth, but when you have decided, you must cast your bread upon the water with both humility and fortitude. Not all discussion leads to truth – and discussion that can only lead to a brawl is best left behind as soon as it is indisputable that this is where it is headed. If you are charged with making the decision for a group, seek counsel. When you are satisfied you have heard all you can without going into vain repetition, make the decision firmly and without malice. To fail to make a decision leaves those associated with you rudderless and paralyzed. To make a decision without seeking counsel makes you an autocrat. Act with justice and prudence always – and when a decision must be made quickly, do so without looking back. Having made a habit of both taking counsel and acting decisively when you do have time, you will find those decisions you have to make when you don’t have the luxury of time are much better because of your habitual discipline. Now one could argue that I am often hot-tempered and combative. True enough, but those who know me best know that while I am often bold, I am rarely brash. Plus, there is another factor that most do not know. When it comes to my own interpretations or preferences, I am always willing to consider – and even eager – to get fresh insight. When it comes to something I am directed to from above, I do not cede anything. Often, when it appears that I am defending my own opinion, I am actually vigorously protecting those things that are prime directives.

The satan is very subtle in how he inflames vanity. Often, insecurity is merely a perverse form of pride. Stay away from self-absorption of all kinds. If you are constantly worrying where you fit in or whether your work is good enough, you are at the edge of vanity – for you put far more emphasis on your role in the unfolding drama and not nearly enough on the work itself. My mother was prone to this. She was ever uncertain about herself and how she was coming off – and was largely clumsy and ineffective because of it. But when her dander was up, when she got completely outside of herself for a cause, she was magnificent. I told her after our relations became very warm again that this was true. She pondered and agreed – but told me how terribly hard it was to get outside herself…that something had to be big enough for her to forget to think of or care what people thought of her for it to kick in. It is no wonder…she had some brutally tough things to deal with and ugly people when she was little. But I am grateful that after we spoke of it, while she could not call up at will the effortless competence that she had when her blood was up, she was able to act comfortably far more consistently. The devil uses our pride, our shame, our guilt and our uncertainty to hobble us. Stay focused on the work with humility and fortitude and all will be well.

Remember that there is no coercion in Christ. He calls us freely and respects our conscience. We gain converts by, first, the witness of our lives and, second, the persuasiveness of our arguments. That is not to say Christians should be milquetoasts. While we cannot force anyone to be Christian, we must also forcefully defend Christians from assaults by the enemies of the faith. We will not coerce anyone’s conscience neither will we suffer our own to be coerced.

I know many are dismayed by the strange doings in the Church. I count myself among them. I think of the Church as a great hospital for souls, founded by the Divine Physician, who commanded His followers to carry on and do likewise in His name. At times we have had “doctors” who were all doctrine and no pastoral care: who eagerly diagnosed the illnesses, but were so disgusted by the sick that they would do no doctoring. That is a betrayal of the Master – and they will be held to account for the arrogant tyrants they are. That is not the main problem now. Today we have “doctors” who, faced with a deadly disease, have no answer except to tell the dying patient he is okay just as he is while congratulating themselves on their mercy. Vain fools! Their “mercy” is to condemn their patients to death, merely soothing them in their misery. They are passive serial killers of the soul – and they will be held to account for their betrayal of the Master. In his magnificent new book, “The Power of Silence,” Robert Cardinal Sarah says that “Bishops who scatter the sheep that Jesus has entrusted to them will be judged mercilessly and severely by God.” But throughout the ages, the tares have always grown alongside the wheat – sometimes in abundance among the laity, sometimes among the consecrated. And in all ages, God has raised up just the sort of saints needed to protect His Church and defend the faithful. When Martin Luther began his dissent, there was just cause for dissent. Yet he was not content to call for reform of abuses. Had he just chased out the rats of abuse, he could have been a great reformer. But he chose to try to blow up the castle to get rid of the rats – and brought terrible divisions into Christianity. Let us resist the rats while carefully preserving the castle. In all ages, whether the bulk of corruption is found in the sheep or the shepherds – or both – we can always choose to be faithful…and the God of abundance takes those little seeds of faithfulness and multiplies them gloriously until the Church is renewed. Every period of fallow faith is merely prelude to a great new flowering. So we are called to be seeds of a great new flowering of the faith that we cannot yet see.

Recently, a friend on the team described my style of leadership as “Leadership by giving away leadership.” I like that a lot. God gives us each unique characteristics, with particular strengths. When we lead, we exercise our creative capacity – a fundamental way in which we are created in the Divine Image. If a group is led by one charismatic figure who insists it all be done his way, you unleash the creative capacity of one person. When all in the group take counsel with one another, but each is given deference in his own area of responsibility, you unleash the creative capacity of all. It is the difference between lighting a candle and firing up a great power plant. The creative capacity of all, working in unity (but not uniformity), is the nuclear power of human endeavors. So I say bear with each other and bear each other up, not just in matters of style, but in matters of judgment where the range of licit choices may vary. That is supremely important now when many choices will be between bad, worse, and truly atrocious. To insist that your conscience must be everyone’s conscience is to destroy unity for the sake of uniformity, barring of course, actual illicit means that are Magisterially forbidden in all cases. Let us not be a hand that condemns a foot because it is not a hand (1 Corinthians 12). Sometimes autocratic leaders give their subordinates leave until those subordinates make a blunder – then reassert control. I say anyone who makes no blunders is not doing enough. Support honorable colleagues at all times. Rejoice in their successes and bear them up in their failures. Cover their mistakes with your competence as you depend on them to cover your mistakes with their competence. You will thereby forge an unbreakable solidarity in good times and in bad. In these times, God calls forth a symphony of talented followers, no one-man bands.

Know that, if you are the most brilliant person in the history of the world, there is much more you don’t know than that you do. All the temporal knowledge, all the temporal power, all the money in history is a pitiful impoverished thing in the sight of heaven. The only thing any of these things is good for is how they can help us lead our fellows to Him who is all things – and for that purpose, they are great gifts, indeed. Thus, St. Thomas Aquinas was absolutely right when, after receiving a vision near the end of his life, proclaimed all his writings to be so much straw. But it was straw that led people to Christ, so rich is his reward. He spun the straw of his words into the gold of souls gained to Christ. The richest, most powerful, most brilliant man who uses his gifts to aggrandize himself is a piteous eunuch. The simplest who cares for his brother and brings one to share in the joy of Christ is a great man. How often are those who are considered great on earth regarded with pity and contempt in heaven – and those despised on earth held in the greatest honor in heaven! Bear each other up, cover each other’s failings.

People often say I have a gift for conveying complex notions with vivid simplicity…and I suppose I do. But the truth is that one of my greatest frustrations is how poorly I am able to explain the true beauty of what I am shown with such tender clarity. If people could only see the goodness of the Lord, the tender and intense love He has for each of us, even a hint of the true paradise He has prepared for us, they would worry not at all about who has the biggest bucket in this little sandbox of our mortal lives. How I wish I could explain it with real convincing power, but I take consolation that, even in my clumsy way, I seem to have sparked some hope and love in some people these last few years. That we may be neighbors in heaven…now there is a worthy goal.

Make your case with vigor, act decisively in what you are responsible for, always leaving room for the knowledge that our ways are not God’s ways. I have long thought that Judas’ fault was not that he did not believe, but that he could not get beyond the bounds of his own limited perspective. I think he DID believe Jesus was the Messiah…but Judas only thought in terms of a temporal kingdom. He did not seek to betray Jesus, I don’t think, but to force His hand, to make Him reveal His supreme power…to get on with the business of restoring the kingdom of David. He substituted his judgment for that of God – and a great tragedy was that he could not even conceive that if Jesus was Messiah, that He could have a different, better plan than Judas. Let us not be Judases, eager to denounce what we have not the wit to imagine the scope of in God’s intentions. Trust Him even when we do not at all understand why He permits what He permits.

On a very bright note, Donald Trump gave a truly inspirational and noble speech in Poland. Of course, when a man speaks eloquently of faith, family, fortitude and freedom under God that gets right to the heart of what is most important to me. Even if it is not strong enough yet to forestall the darkness around us, I am grateful that we now have a core of people in government who are committed enough to those things that we can think in terms of preservation and restoration in America. This truly is global in its scope, but it is good to have something to build on.

If, somehow, this darkness fades away without the need for battle or confrontation, I will be deeply grateful and enjoy my retirement. But if as seems likely, it degenerates into a great struggle, I pray to do my little duty faithfully until the end, knowing that God will set all things right again in His good time and endeavoring to cooperate with Him in driving away the smoke that has obscured the glorious light of Christ in this poor, bleeding world of ours. You probably assume that I have reason for sending you such a long rambling missive. I don’t know exactly what is going to happen or when, but if it does, I wanted to share with you some of the mainstays of what guide me in hopes that some of it may fortify you whatever challenges come. If the “invasion of Poland” moment comes, I will probably vanish for a short time to make camp in the mountains, to pray and seek instruction in the silence. It will be brief, certainly not as much as two weeks. But should it come, I do not want you to think I have fled or been taken.

God bless all of you. You have different strengths, different characteristics, different charisms. There is no uniformity among all of us friends, but may there ever be the unity that will help us show the light of the world in all His glory! Defend the faith, hearten the faithful, defend the faithful: that is our charge, to the service of Our Lord under the banner of Our Lady.

Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us.

Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Conversion, pray for us.

Posted in Announcement, Conversion, Encouragement, Mary Immaculate, Prayer, Preparation, Solidarity, Spiritual Preparation, The Rescue, The Storm, Trust | 147 Comments

Preparing for a Pregnant Advent

DANIEL

By Charlie Johnston

I have been working on a meaty piece. Sometimes these things just flow; other times it is like cold extrusion. On this one, I am earning every paragraph. I had been waiting to finish it before putting anything else up. But, being busy on the road and struggling with each piece of it has left me quiet on this site for a while. Time to change things up.

I am thankful for many things as we prepare to enter a deeply consequential Advent season.

I am thankful for Texas Right-to-Life (TRTL), the single most effective right-to-life organization in the country. I spent almost a week with them in Houston recently. Under the leadership of President Jim Graham, it focuses in on passing real pro-life legislation (rather than giving cover to politicians who give lip service to the cause), effectively works to support and elect pro-life officials, while taking on and defeating establishment types, and gives extensive training to college students to lead pro-life movements on campus. TRTL now has 77 pro-life coordinators on 29 college campuses in Texas, building a pro-life movement and future among young people. Over the last two years, Graham and his wife, Elizabeth, have become dear friends. I like people who make things happen.

I am thankful for all the faithful nuns around this great country who quietly feed the hungry, care for the sick, build vibrant faith communities – often working with next to nothing. I never go on the road without visiting some of these wonderful faith communities. Last week I was at the Pauline Book Store in Culver City, California. I first was there two and a half years ago and have been back several times – and the nuns there have become wonderful friends. They are the Daughters of St. Paul, committed apostles working through media to proclaim the kingdom. Now they have a chapel in the store, a Guadalupe Prayer Garden, and they host many community gatherings and events. More than a bookstore, they have become a reliable refuge for people of faith in the Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City areas of Los Angeles. We had a potluck supper and gathering. The only sour note was that one of the trolls that follow me around had urged people to call to berate the nuns for associating with the likes of me. They were worried that I was going to be upset. I chuckled and told them I get that everywhere, but I was sorry they had to deal with it. I was deeply moved when the nun who introduced me emphasized how glad they were to have me there again. They are my friends. I was delighted that one of the people in the audience was Laurice Elehwany, who wrote the script for the lovely, gentle drama, “My Girl,” which my kids and I loved when they were young. She is married now and Elehwany is her maiden name. I won’t feed the trolls by giving her married name, which she now uses.

I am grateful for the fortitude of my friend, David Daleiden, in his ongoing battle with Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry, and the government and media shills who empower the death industry. Planned Parenthood thought it could make him go away with bullying and the ‘deep pockets’ theory – the idea that they could attack him with fragile legal attacks that cannot survive scrutiny, but that he would go away before a final judgment ever got near. He is not going away. Just a week ago, The Hill broke the story of the multi-jurisdictional investigation the FBI has launched into Planned Parenthood’s alleged illegal trafficking in baby body parts. I long ago said that when an organization is used to winning through bullying and bluster, when someone comes along who can endure it, he will find that bullying and bluster are the only tools the offending organization has in its arsenal. Things are quiet on the surface now, but it tickles me to watch the growing panic among the abortion industry’s moguls as they realize Daleiden is not going away – and they find their  inching ever closer to the gallows they built for him. And of course, whenever I am in California, Daleiden and I get to visit in person rather than just by phone.

I am thankful for the TNRS Team. It is a glorious thing to be accompanied by so many talented people from across the country who are so committed to helping all acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around them. To borrow a phrase from a few decades ago, I see the TNRS family as a ‘thousand points of light’ in a troubled world. As open strife looms ever closer, as pious pretensions fall away, as everything is being revealed for what it really is, it is a joy to see how many people have already chosen to live the Gospel in the simple way of the next right step. They are beacons of hope in a darkening world – and no matter how dark it gets, the beacons will shine with brilliant clarity, calling people back to the simple verities under God.

I know that the turmoil in our culture is reflected in almost every family in the world right now. It is hard, but I call everyone to remember that Our Lord told us in Matthew 24 that he who endures to the end is he who will be saved. I am thankful that, in my extended family, this is a year when almost all have cast away that turmoil and taken refuge under Our Lord. Endure and you will see the fruit, too. I am just beating the rush.

As everything is revealed, each of us has to choose. It is the most consequential choice of our lives: whom will you serve? Will you serve disorder…or vanity…or a sterile scrabbling for position and prestige? Now, with Joshua, we must set our jaws like flint and proclaim that, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). God is choosing to reveal everything so that we will choose with full knowledge of what we are choosing. I wrote a piece a little over a year ago that I think is helpful in confronting that choice. I reprint it here. May we all live this New Advent fruitfully.

I Killed Christ…And so did You

first-thanksgiving

By Charlie Johnston

 

I confess to Almighty God,

And to you, my brothers and sisters,

That I have greatly sinned,

In my thoughts and in my words,

In what I have done,

And in what I have failed to do…

(Public Penitential Act)

I am often publicly impatient with Catholics who promote the idea that angels will lead all the faithful to refuges, safe havens to weather the full fury of the Storm. While that may be figuratively true, it is not literally true. It is just a Catholic version of the Protestant doctrine of the Rapture that has sprung up over the last 200 years. (The idea of Rapture was first proposed by John Darby of the Brethren Movement in 1830). Both ideas posit that God is going to mystically take the good folks to a place of complete safety while all the rest on earth suffer through a terrible chastisement. Everybody who posits such things assumes that they are included in the cohort of good little boys and girls who are going to be taken to safety – and sometimes are at pains to hide an unseemly glee at the idea of all the rest of those poor slobs out there getting smacked down.

I am also unsettled when people speak of being part of “The Remnant,” once again all the good little boys and girls who have kept faith – and again with the unwarranted triumphal assumption that the speaker IS part of that anointed tribe, not like those dirty, unwashed heathens who so abound out there.

This troubles me for two major reasons. First, many otherwise decent people are liable to go into despair that they are not among the chosen when no angel comes to lead them to safety or that they are left behind with the rest of us when the final crash comes. Second, few who hold to such things are likely to consider that they have misread God’s call to action in troubled times for a promise of immunity – when it does not happen as they expect. We are each called to be refuge to our neighbors and to leave the old worldliness behind, so that we can act as God’s hands and feet during crisis.

Second, it presumes some facts that are very much not in evidence to quietly support a smug complacency. We are taught, Magisterially, that we cannot know with certainty that we are in a state of grace. How then can we be so certain that we are the elect, the remnant? Is it just because we have not violated the laws? If so, we are unprofitable servants, indeed. As Christians, we are called to go forth, not just to sit tight. I doubt that many people here have actively participated in the ongoing assault on faith and culture that is rapidly reaching its climax. But as the Penitential Act I quoted above so pointedly says, we are not just responsible for sin in what we have done, but in what we have failed to do. Could we really have reached this pass had there not been a massive failure in what we, as Christians, are called to?

A few examples of what we have failed to do…

Several decades ago, a black mayor of a majority black city in my area had a breakfast meeting with me. To my astonishment, he told me he was considering switching to the Republican Party. I told him we would be glad to have him – except that he would never get elected in his city again – so what had brought this on? He told me he was sick of Democrats treating him and his city as if they were all thugs and bums. He said the only legislation they would help with is things decriminalizing drugs, easing off on the punishment of crime, and expanding welfare: that that was all they thought “black legislation” consisted of. He added that when he wanted something to help the law-abiding majority in his town to strengthen their families, to help them with work or with real infrastructure improvements, he always had to go to the Republicans anyway. We talked for a while. He was deeply offended – and more than a bit bitter at the casual unconscious slur he consistently got from Democratic legislators. I told him we would continue to be his allies, but he and I both knew if he made the switch it would end his career. I suggested he stay where he was, we would continue to lead on the serious legislation his city needed – and ask that if we had a close one where he could quietly help, he do so. That worked for us all. But I never forgot that conversation – and I never forgot the vehemence with which he spat the line, “We are not all thugs and bums and I am sick of the Democrats treating us as if we are.”

The anti-God progressive left has succeeded where the Ku Klux Klan failed. It has atomized the black family, particularly in inner cities. In many of our cities there are hellholes of dysfunction and despair – and almost every city where this exists, the government has been led by anti-God progressives for at least two generations. While the dysfunction plays out on largely racial lines in America, that is not the root cause. In England, you have the same type of hellholes, mainly populated with impoverished whites. The result is the same. When you treat people like helpless animals, completely dependent on your largesse, many start to behave in animalistic faction. Both our government – and too many elements in our Churches – treat the poor with paternalistic disdain and preening self-regard. It is a form of animal husbandry, not brotherhood. The anti-God progressives have created a permanently dependent underclass in order to harvest their votes and use them as enforcers in mob actions to enhance the power of the progressives. This is racist to its core. The Black Lives Matter movement has led to increasing murder rates – and most of the newly murdered are black, killed by other blacks. Most of the businesses and homes destroyed in rioting are owned by blacks. So why does the progressive left not care about that? For the same reason they don’t care about the huge rate of black-on-black crime: because it is just black folks being killed and does not advance the narrative they prefer to seize more power. It is hideously racist. Yet we Christians and conservatives are busy defending ourselves against the charge of racism from the most successfully racist enterprise in American history: the progressive left – instead of holding them to account for their bigotry.

So where were we when the progressives were making pockets of inner cities into hellholes? Most of us considered it not our affair. The progressives, in true Animal Farm fashion, replaced the old white exploiters with new, black exploiters. Then they screamed, “Racist,” if anyone seriously tried to stop exploitation. What did most of us do? Figured it was none of our business and retreated to the safety of ignoring it rather than submit ourselves to the calumny and vitriol we would be hit with if we tried to defend our brothers. Where were we when the progressives made many city school districts into support systems for progressive activists, students be damned? Just in the last week, the NAACP, which once advocated for black people, issued a call for restricting Charter Schools, which have been one of the few ways out of the ghetto for many minorities. In Chicago, the City averted a teachers strike by cutting back on Charter Schools. Both hideously racist propositions, designed to enhance the stranglehold of progressive activists at the expense of children’s needs and best interests. We sat by and let neighborhoods and schools be destroyed in the name of empowering progressive activists – and did it so people wouldn’t talk ugly about us. And we think we are the faithful remnant? We are moral cowards and sinners, glad to opine against the dead carcass of institutional racism that largely expired by the 80’s, but unwilling to challenge the new, more virulent racism visited by the progressive left.

Let’s go back to first things. Man is made in God’s own image – all of us. As such, we hold a share in His divine dignity. If this is true (and the Bible says it is) we participate in a subordinate way in His fundamental nature. His fundamental nature is, through the procession of love between the Three Person of the Trinity, to create. He is the Creator. And since we are made in His image, we share most fully in His dignity when we love and act as subordinate creators. But that is what modern “philanthropists” will not hear of. They reserve to themselves the dignity of dispensing largesse and acting as creators, treating those they “help” as children of lesser gods, who must never be given the dignity or joy of creating anything by the work of their own hands. Though it plays out on largely racial lines because of the ghettoes of despair we allowed to be created, it is the classic master-subject relationship that has always been at the heart of tyrannical aspirations.

I love St. John Paul’s frequent discussion of the concept of solidarity. It is the foundation of my belief in the concept of the Family of God. We are not to treat each other as greater and lesser, but as fellow workers in the Lord’s vineyard, as brothers and sisters. We are not called to simply dispense largesse to the poor and congratulate ourselves on our nobility. We are to accompany our brothers so that all may find the joy and dignity of acting as creators. We are not merely called to be philanthropists, but to help all to become philanthropists. What kind of brother would you be if you let your brother’s neighborhood be destroyed by dysfunction without fighting for him? What kind of brother would you be if you allowed activists to take over your family’s schools for their benefit instead of the children’s? Yet that is what we have done. We deride affirmative action – and usually rightly so – but what did we do to see that our brothers were not robbed of their right to an education? Not robbed of their right to real opportunity based on building their character through family and faith? We did not want any trouble. Now we have reaped a bitter harvest because of what we failed to do. And we dare to think God should take us to a place of safety while everyone else gets it? We should be crying mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa instead of patting ourselves on the back for our fidelity.

Then there is the matter of abortion. Over 60 million killed in America since 1973. Thanks be to God, many have worked to stop it – and people of several faiths have come to respect each other’s faith for their mutual efforts. But we have certainly been ineffective against this ongoing holocaust. Thankfully, many clerics have found a newfound boldness in speaking and acting out against the Culture of Death St. John Paul spoke of. But how many times, particularly in the 70’s and 80’s, but even today, have you heard clerics say that poverty or unemployment is equally as bad as abortion? None of those clerics have solved poverty or unemployment with their pious pronouncements – and have often enabled those who made it worse – but they have given effective cover to the aggressors in this Culture of Death. And because of their assistance, we are now dealing with active euthanasia and the destruction of the health care system. How often have we, Catholics and Evangelicals, justified our vote for someone who was fundamentally an aggressor in the Culture of Death on the basis that some ancillary issue was equally important?

When I was a teenager, there was an old man, Mr. Valentin, who lived in a house in back of us. He was a wonderful old man, full of lively stories and always with some cookies or cake to offer. I liked to visit with him. He was a German expatriate who had come to America after the war. Once we were talking about the war and what it was like to live in Germany then. He said, in passing, that he did not agree with how Hitler treated the Jews, but that he had been very good for the German economy – and that he thought Hitler was largely given a bad rap. I was stunned and horrified. I was polite, but I never visited him again, though I was pleasant when I saw him in passing. It has always been a part of my pondering how otherwise decent people can tolerate great evil when it is the norm in their cultural milieu. It troubles me a lot that, since then, I have seen us become a nation full of Mr. Valentins.

Then there are the Churches. I hate the sterile, bloodless bureaucratic model that our whole culture has adopted in just about everything. I particularly loathe it in our Churches. Once, in private conversation with a Bishop, he surprised me when he mournfully said that when a Priest dies, he is quickly forgotten. I asked why he thought that. He said they have no families – and a Priest’s  flock just moves on to the next to fill their needs. It struck a deep chord in me.

I met a former Anglican Priest in Billings, Montana. A common theme I have is how poorly we treat Priests, and how terribly isolating it must be for them. We treat Priests like any other service person, consulting them when a problem arises, lining up to receive the Sacraments from them, but almost never acknowledging their humanity or treating them with the easy affection we would a friend or family member. This Priest has five children at home – and agreed it was a terrible problem. He said his family regularly has picnics and family events to which he invites Priests in the area, so they can participate in an active family life, to share in affection and joy as well as benediction – and it helps a lot.

We should always treat our Priests and Pastors with the respect due to them as spiritual fathers. But we should also treat them with the affection and intimacy we would a beloved Uncle. Yet most of us treat them like an appliance repairman: fix my problem and move on. And we think we are the faithful remnant?

Yet many Priests and Pastors have bought into the bureaucratic model, as well. Too often they see parishioners as cogs in the Sacramental assembly line. I see Dioceses where they talk of being open to life, but the tuition for a high school student at a Catholic School is $12,000. How is a normal family that is open to life supposed to cope with that? Are our deeds matching our words? When they don’t, our actions give the lie to our pious words.

We are called to be the Family of God. We have failed miserably. We are not the faithful remnant. If God was going to take the good little boys and girls to safety during this Storm, I don’t know anyone who would qualify. Oh, I don’t mix with many people who have actively assaulted our culture…but I don’t know many who have effectively defended it or acted as if they really mean to treat all their brothers and sisters as the Family of God.

The good news is that, while there is no blameless faithful remnant, God is giving us the chance to audition for the role in this Storm. You be the refuge. You do it by being a participant in the Rescue that has already begun, unseen by the world. You do it by recognizing all the things you have failed to do – then set your jaw like flint and resolve to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. There will be no passive spectators taken to safety because of how good they have been, only active participants who choose to become a place of safety to all they encounter.

If you do this, if you acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you, you will become a participant in the Rescue and truly earn a place among the faithful remnant. If we all do this, the Son of Man will find faith on earth when He comes again. But we should be thankful it is not now, for the best of us are not nearly as good as we think we are.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

 

Posted in Church Governance, Conversion, Culture, Family of God, Solidarity, Spiritual Preparation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 126 Comments

Eternal Thanksgiving

Wishing all in our TNRS family a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! Extending this wish to include our friends from all over the world at this time of feasting and celebrating in America, so grateful are we to be gathered at this site.

It is our charge, recounted in the Scriptures, to be a people of thanksgiving:

“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessolonians 5:15-18)

In my mind, gratitude is the foundation for acknowledging God before we take our next right steps and it is fitting that we pause to recount and ponder our manifold blessings, even while our ship is battered from all sides and we sail on in the darkness of whatever awaits us as all is being revealed. Rooted in thanksgiving, with the assurance that God is the Source of all goodness, we need not cling to any passing fear, for He and His Plan are our Rock of Refuge in this Storm of storms. And in His Divine Providence, He has granted us another sure refuge. In the words of St. Josemaria Escriva:

“When you see the storm coming, if you seek safety in that firm refuge which is Mary, there will be no danger of your wavering or going down.”

Reading Msgr. Charles Pope’s piece written, five years ago, at Thanksgiving, brought to mind Scott Hahn’s book, The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. A few quotes from Hahn’s work:

“When we begin to see that heaven awaits us in the Mass, we begin already to bring our home to heaven. And we begin already to bring heaven home with us.”

“Remember that Israel’s tradition always had men worshiping in imitation of angels. Now, as Revelation shows, both heaven and earth participate together in a single act of loving worship.”

“The Mass, it seems, is like the Normandy invasion in the spiritual realm.”

Now, let us turn to Msgr. Pope:

How to Give Adequate Thanks to God

On this feast of Thanksgiving (here in America) we do well to ponder how we ought to give thanks to God. Indeed, how can one adequately thank God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift? Is it really enough to simply kneel and say a prayer of thanks? Perhaps we should run to Church and light a candle or visit some distant shrine? Perhaps even doing the “Snoopy dance” as we say over and over, Thank you thank you thank you” ?!

But none of these acts of thanksgiving would prove adequate. God has been too good, has done too much, and is, after all, God.

Indeed, a great question went up in the Old Testament regarding this very problem of adequately thanking God. It occurs in Psalm 116 wherein the psalmist plaintively asks

“What return can I ever make to the Lord for all the good he is done for me?” (Psalm 116:12)

To that point the Jewish people had been accustomed to killing thousands of animals every day and burning them up in the Temple in order to give thanks and to atone for sin. But the blood of animals cannot atone for sin and neither can slaying even many thousands of them really give adequate thanks to God.

And thus the same psalm not only asked the question, but it gives the answer:

What return can I ever make to the Lord, for all the good he is done for me? The cup salvation I will take up, I will call on the name of the Lord! (Psalm 116:12-13)

And yet, in supplying this answer, the actual raising of the cup of salvation could only be pointed to in the Old Testament, it could not be done. The lifting up of the cup of salvation and the giving of adequate thanks could and would only be done by Jesus.

And this brings us to the first Thanksgiving meal. No, we are not in Plymouth Massachusetts in the 1620s. We are at the first, the true, and the only Thanksgiving meal that can ever really render adequate thanks to the Father. And that meal is in the upper room, at the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. We are told that he took the bread and, having given thanks, he blessed it and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take this all of you in eat of it, for this is my Body.” And  likewise after the meal, he took the cup, and he gave thanks and, giving it to his disciples, he said, “Take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of  the New and eternal Covenant which will be poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.” He adds, “Do this in memory of me.”

Yes, this is true and the first Thanksgiving meal. Jesus alone is able to fulfill Psalm 116, and taking the cup, the chalice, he lifts it up and give thanks to God adequately for all the good he’s done. He fulfills the Scripture and gives adequate thanks.

You and I can never give adequate thanks to the Father, but we do have a member of our family who is so able, he is our Brother and he is our Lord, he is Jesus Christ.

At Thanksgiving, how can you and I give adequate thanks to the Lord? The answer is not on some far-off distant mountaintop, it is as near as our parish church. We give adequate thanks to the Father by joining our meager thanksgiving to the perfect Thanksgiving of Jesus in every Mass. We as members of his Body and he is the Head of his Body the Church, and at every Mass fulfill Psalm 116, wherein we, through Jesus our head, take the cup salvation and call on the name of the Lord. Joining our meager thanks to that of Jesus, the Father is perfectly glorified and perfectly thanked. The Mass is the perfect Thanksgiving; it was, is and remains for us our perfect Thanksgiving meal and sacrifice.

Hidden Mass? It is interesting that in one of the Gospels picked for the Mass of Thanksgiving, we have the gospel of the 10 lepers. And you may have noticed, but perhaps not, that the whole gospel, which is a gospel about giving thanks, indeed this whole gospel has the form of a Mass. For there are lepers who gather, just as we lepers gather at every Mass. And as they are gathered, Jesus is in their midst, Jesus is passing by. It is just as Jesus acting through the person of the priest walks the aisle of our church. And seeing Jesus, the lepers cry out: “Lord have mercy!”  just as we cry out in every Mass: “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” And Jesus, turning, gives them a word, quoting from Leviticus 13:2: “Go show yourselves to the priests.” We too are given a word from the Lord at every Mass. Jesus’ homily to the lepers was a brief one, in effect, “Go do what this reading says.” And at the end of the day, that is a pretty good summary of what every sermon should be, as Jesus speaking through our clergy says to us, in effect, “Go do what this reading says.” One of the lepers, realizing he has been healed by this word falls to his knees to give thanks. And so do we fall to our knees to give thanks in the great Eucharistic prayer. And the word “Eucharist” is from the Greek meaning to “give thanks.” Jesus then bids that the man go, saying that his faith and his act of thanksgiving have saved him. Thus we are told by the priest or deacon at the end of the Mass to go and announce salvation to the world.

Yes, this gospel about giving thanks is in the very form of the Mass. And it is no mistake for the Mass is the perfect act of Thanksgiving wherein we are joined to Jesus in the one perfect act of praise and thanksgiving.

Just a brief thought on Thanksgiving day. How shall we adequately thank God, for all the good he is done? You know the answer; go to Mass, join with Jesus in the only adequate way of really thanking the Father.

 

 

Posted in Culture, Guest Columns | 37 Comments

Blessed Solanus Casey, Pray for Us

Tomorrow is another great day for the Church as the Venerable Solanus Casey, an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957, will be beatified at a Mass in Detroit, Michigan. Perhaps some of our TNRS family will be there. Information for those who wish to watch can be found here.

 

 

You can discover more information about the newly Blessed at the site, Doorway to Solanus Casey. Here’s a beautiful article which speaks of Fr. Solanus’ gentle holiness. A connection to the newly beatified first American martyr is found in the opening lines:

On Nov. 18 in Detroit, Blessed Solanus Casey will become the second U.S-born priest to be beatified, joining Oklahoma City priest Father Stanley Rother, who was beatified just this September. Among the personal effects belonging to Blessed Stanley at the time of his 1981 martyrdom were several relics. It’s notable that one of those few relics in his possession was a third-class relic of Father Solanus, a Capuchin friar and miracle worker who gained widespread notoriety for his holiness.

Both of these Blesseds have captured my heart in their down-to-earth ways of living, with deep faith, the core message of TNRS. Many in our community have expressed their longtime devotion to Blessed Solanus and his intercession. Surely, on this special occasion of his beatification, he will speak our names to God if we but ask with firm trust and heartfelt thanksgiving. It’s a great time to ask for special favors so dear to our hearts!

Blessed Solanus’ total trust in God with commensurate submission to Him in the present moment is what is most astonishing to me. I was awestruck to discover the humble beginning of Blessed Solanus’ priestly life as recounted in this piece:

To his great joy, he was ordained in 1904, but to his humiliation he was made a priest simplex, that is, a priest who could say Mass, but “doesn’t know enough” to hear confessions or preach. Again, enormous temptation to despair, to anger, to self-pity, to depression, to every kind of negative response. Instead Solanus, in his thirty-fourth year, made the response of a person at least close to holiness: he accepted what would be a lifelong humiliation and prayed week after week, month after month, until he could actually thank God for apparently making him so inef­fectual a priest that his superiors were hard put to find anything for him to do except manage the altar boys and answer the door as a porter.

A fellow Capuchin who knew him has remarked that it was through his ever more spiritualized and finally joy-filled response to this humili­ation that Solanus Casey became holy. As the years passed, it also be­came clear that the apparent blight on Solanus’s life of being a simplex priest was actually part of God’s wonderful design, for it was through the Capuchin’s assignments as porter in New York, Detroit, and Indiana that God carried out the immense ministry he entrusted to the man judged “too dumb” to be a full priest.

Thanks be to God for Blessed Solanus Casey who lived each moment with humility, trust, simplicity and love and who is now set before us on this occasion of his beatification as a shining example of one who professed and extended God’s never ending Love and Mercy.

 

May we follow in Blessed Solanus’ footsteps, each of us, as we continue in our ordinary lives, striving to be Christ’s Light and yearning to do whatever he asks us to do.

Blessed Solanus Casey, pray for us and pray for our families!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Announcement, Prayer | 157 Comments

Upcoming Visits

Especially take note that the next visit is in two days, on Tuesday this week. The hosts urge all who plan to attend to come early for the Pot Luck at 5pm.

 

Upcoming Visits

Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5:00pm:  Pot Luck

7:00 pm: Public Talk  

Pauline Books and Media, 3906 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA  90230

Contact Josephine at la.tnrs@gmail.com

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 San Francisco, CA

Thursday, November 30, 2017

6:30pm:  Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse, 267 Buena Vista Ave, Mill Valley, CA.  

Contact Robert at sanfrancisco.tnrs@gmail.com

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Yuba City (Sacramento), CA

Sunday, December 4, 2017

4:00pm:  TNRS Dinner with Charlie and local TNRS group

Contact (For RSVP and Directions):  

Mary at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com

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Santa Fe, NM

January, 2018

Exact Date and Location TBD

Contact:  Mary at tnrs.sf@gmail.com

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Posted in Announcement | 13 Comments

Musings of Hope and Exhortation

(I asked our own Phillip Frank to write a piece to hearten us in these days in which, as he says, the world has gone mad. Phil has recently been through a season of personal storms. About the time Hurricane Irma passed through, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. In this month which our Church has set aside to remember our loved ones who have gone before us, we pray for the repose of his mother’s soul. We pray, too, for the repose of all the souls of TNRS family and friends who have, recently, made their Final Journey Home. Charlie prayed in the most beautiful way when commenters sought prayer for a loved one who had passed. He requested that the soul would be welcomed into the Kingdom and that s/he would become an intercessor for us as we proceed through the Storm. May all whom we know and love in the Great Cloud of Witnesses become such intercessors for us in this sobering time.  ~Beckita)

A young mother from our church was asking me about how to keep her children pure in these times. She was frustrated at the thought that her daughters would make the same mistakes she had when she was young and would end unhappy like she was as a single parent raising two children in this crazy, messed up world. I told her that no matter how hard she tried, temptations of the world would find them and they would then choose to follow the righteousness they were taught or the world. Proverbs 22:6 says to “train up a child in the ways of God and they will return to it when they are old.”

In her fear of how to keep her children safe and not really knowing how to accomplish it, I reminded her that Jesus told His disciples that for man alone salvation is impossible but with God all things are possible. (Matt 9:26) Despite her weak efforts, God would make sufficient what she lacked. Further, I said she needed to TRUST God and release her worry to hope, then train up her children to the best of her ability and live a good life as a witness to them, then, God would make sufficient her weakness (My grace is sufficient) for in weakness (our acceptance that God is really in charge) we (He) are strong. When Jesus told those He cured “your faith healed you” He was referring to the fact that they “relented” their will to Him and opened themselves to trust Him. Faith leads to hope (trust) then to love which is eternal (heaven). We reach into eternity (heaven) when we do the will of God (thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven). Love, then, casts out all fear as our faith, hope and love stabilize us in this world gone mad.

When Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, He was taking a position of the least among them, despite being their leader, to help them realize humility (for I am meek and humble of heart). It was the enemy who sowed the temptation in us to “be someone” but Jesus came and took the lowest possible position among us – a slave. “Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave.” (Phil 2:7) He did this to bring us back to the realization that we are children… His children! And that, like children, obedience, trust and not worrying are the correct behavior of a child of God.

It will be the Great Miracle of light blinding Satan… The torrential flood of blessings about to jolt the world must begin with the small number of the most humble souls.”  – Our Lady to Elizabeth Kindelmann <http://www.theflameoflove.org/> http://www.theflameoflove.org

The tragedy of this life is that we all suffer. That is our lot from the Fall of Adam and Eve and a combined condition of humanity’s spiritual link to one another as the Body of Christ. But we also gain through this Body. Just like a physical body that profits as a whole from good nutrition, rest and peace of mind, the Body of Christ gains merit, goodness and even physical relief by the good acts of its members. We must be prepared to give “reasons for your hope.” (1 Peter 13:15) And to do so “in season and out of season.“(2 Tim 4:2).No good deed goes unrewarded just as no evil deed goes unpunished. We, who are in the “know” of God’s grace and goodness, carry much responsibility for the good which comes into the world. We are like dikes that allow water to flow into a desert. When we are open, much flows through us to green up the parched lands. But when we are closed, the earth is dry and barren. If we, who then receive so much, refuse to open ourselves to the life-giving graces which can flow through us by our “prayers, works, joys and sufferings” and, instead, become too attached to something or someone or shy away from the sufferings God sends us or if we are spiritually lazy, we should not be surprised when everything around us is turning to dust!

What is most acceptable to God are acts that involve no self-interest, whatsoever, and that we do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Actions done solely out of love for God are sacred deeds that bring eternal blessings. “So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.” (Luke 17:10) As God is whole and complete (“I am the beginning and the end.” (Rev 22:13), we profit Him nothing by our existence and are incapable of loving Him as He truly deserves. But He gave us each other (His Mystical Body) to fulfill that which cannot be fulfilled for us by Him – “love one another, as I have loved you;”  ” and forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “See how they love one another.” “For the sake of the body of Christ, they complete what is still lacking in His afflictions.” (Col 1:24)

So for the sake of the Body of Christ, we must remain OPEN in these times to allow God His chance to save as many souls as He can. We must not “ refuse to pay attention, and turn a stubborn shoulder and stop our ears from hearing.“(Zech 7:11) when it is hard to forgive and forget. I see a great division among those of us professing faith and those opposed to it. We must be mindful, always, that we, too, are worthy of death because of our sinfulness and are saved from this fate by God Himself.  “Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.” (Rom 2:1) We are to pity and love our enemies and pray for their salvation, realizing that but for the grace of God, we would be just like them and we actually are just like them in many ways. The mystery of why God allowed the enemy to dwell among us has always troubled me but the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matt 13:24) has given me insight into how Our Lord expects those of us who are “in the world but not of the world” to bring light to His people. God allows sinners to dwell alongside His faithful ones, not to punish them, but to bring light into the darkness. It is we, His faithful, who are to be a sign of contradiction to the weeds. As our “roots” grow entangled among the weeds, we may pull some of them up and out of perdition along with us when the harvester brings us home.

My mother was sent to the hospital the day before hurricane Irma rolled into Florida. The next day, the doctors diagnosed her with late stage pancreatic cancer and because of her age and physical limitations, treatment was not an option. The nurses on staff cried for her when they heard this. Why? Because my mother was sweet and loving, wheat among the weeds in this life and “entangled” herself up with everyone she met, even those she only knew for ONE DAY!

Though He constrains Himself against compelling our will, God manages the divine economy so that every event, every chance encounter, calls us to Him.” (Charlie Johnston) Being a sign of hope is to be that chance encounter with someone who needs a chance. Growing alongside the weeds, we learn to love and care for them despite their offenses and if they don’t pray, we can pray in their stead. They, in turn, learn to love and care for us… and will recognize God dwelling in us. St. Faustina, in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, captures this relationship importance. “Although a sinful person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God thus making use of all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them.

Jesus set His eyes on the goal, was not put to shame and felt joy in what He was accomplishing by the cross. Despite the great suffering He was going through, He experienced joy in its accomplishment, a parallel which we can ourselves feel as we suffer the Storm and await the Rescue with its light already piercing the darkness. Our own Francesca here at TNRS feels this distinction: “Fortunately we walk by faith and not by sight, and so the prayers of God’s people, our Guardian Angels, the tender embrace of our Immaculate Mother, and the hope to see Jesus brings needed mercy, and I do not despair, although despair is all I can feel.” She does not despair because she has replaced it with trust and hope which she does not “feel” but “believes” through her faith. Here people, is a sign of contradiction and a true disciple of TNRS. She becomes a “sign of hope” herself when she practices what she preaches. And with the Storm, God has given us ample chance to practice!

I see the parable of the workers (Matt 20:1-16) like this: The land owner hires the workers to work his vineyard. The first to be hired, work all day (their entire lives) to fulfill the job given them by the land owner (God). But God, loving all humanity, sees those standing around in the market place (the world) doing nothing (not tending to what they were created to be) and asks them to join those who are already working (the faithful) and offers to pay them what is right (eternal life). This story has two lessons for me. First, God is “generous” with His love and salvation. He makes the point that those who worked the longest in His vineyard “deserve” the pay agreed upon but, because of His generosity, He can also give those who do not “deserve” it the same. He makes the point that it is none of our business what He does with His money (grace) despite our “jealousy” of His mercy and love for those we think do not “deserve” it! He makes the point that the work does not actually give us salvation but His generosity does. So the second lesson is this: despite our ideas on who deserves to go to heaven or not, God will, in the end, save us all if we, even at the last moment, “agree” to work in His vineyard. “God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment.” (St. Faustina) For this soul the “work” is its final “turning to God” and then God’s grace “is sufficient” for it to receive the “day’s pay” of eternal life. Thus, we all enter heaven on equal ground, not because of our labors’ equality, but because of our God’s mercy and love for His children. This is why “the first will be last and the last will be first.” We do not go into heaven in a straight line, first to last, but all together at once as a single unit, as the Body of Christ!

Posted in Conversion, Encouragement, Family of God, Guest Columns, Musings, Solidarity, The Storm, Trust | 345 Comments

Updated Visit Schedule and An Expression of Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some have asked if Charlie will be visiting their local area. You may contact Mary at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com to discuss the possibility of hosting a visit. Now, here’s Charlie’s updated schedule. But first, please remember:

To either volunteer to help or to get information on a public meeting, contact the coordinator at the email address for the city closest to you. There is never a charge for any meeting nor will there ever be a collection taken. All is handled by volunteer sponsors.

Upcoming Visits

Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5:00pm:  Pot Luck

7:00pm:  Public Talk:  Location To Be Determined

Contact Josephine at la.tnrs@gmail.com

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 San Francisco, CA

Thursday, November 30, 2017

6:30pm:  Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse, 267 Buena Vista Ave, Mill Valley, CA.  (415) 388-4242

Contact Robert at sanfrancisco.tnrs@gmail.com

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Yuba City (Sacramento), CA

Sunday, December 4, 2017

4:00pm:  TNRS Dinner with Charlie and local TNRS group

Contact (For RSVP and Directions):  

Mary at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com

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Santa Fe, NM

Date and Location TBD

Contact:  Mary at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com

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Thank you, Doug and Jacki, for praying for all of us at TNRS while you made pilgrimage to Medjugorje!

I especially thank Doug because he and Jacki not only prayed for us all, Doug sent me a photo of his backpack, filled with our petitions, which he carried e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. they went. In his own words from a comment posted on November 4th:

Doug’s backpack filled with our petitions and presented to St. Faustina’s intercession via a first class relic

Hi Everyone,

Here is a brief update on our trip. Lambzie and I just got back yesterday. I continued carrying everyone’s petitions everywhere we went. They:

-climbed Cross mountain and did the Stations of the cross which was very moving.

-they went to Mass everyday

-they were present for Mirjanas Nov 2nd apparition where I offered them up to the Blessed Mother.

They were left with our guide on the last day where he will bring them to one of the visionaries for prayer and then they will be burned.

God bless you all!

Doug

Posted in Announcement | 25 Comments

Upcoming Visits

Charlie’s on the road again, heartening the faithful. Please remember, the black nav bar at the top of this page is, once again, updating Charlie’s planned visits as they are determined. You can click on the words, “Upcoming Visits,” any time to see the up-to-date schedule. For your convenience, here’s the latest from Mary:

Upcoming Visits

 

Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5:00pm:  Pot Luck

7:00pm:  Public Talk:  Location To Be Determined

Contact Josephine at la.tnrs@gmail.com

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San Francisco, CA

Thursday, November 30, 2017

6:30pm:  Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse, 267 Buena Vista Ave, Mill Valley, CA.  (415) 388-4242

Contact Robert at sanfrancisco.tnrs@gmail.com

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Santa Fe, NM

Date and Location TBD

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Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments