The Bond of Trust is Forged in Fire


I have previously briefly discussed that I was warned, before I accepted my work, that upon acceptance I would very quickly enter into a prolonged period of intense suffering. Though I was not shown details, I was fully shown how intense it would be. My visitors have always played fair with me, enough so that when they are reticent to tell me something needful, I am content to wait, knowing that I don’t even want to contemplate it until I have to bear it. I, of course, told my priests before I accepted. Shoot, what I had been shown on the intensity of it kept me from accepting for a long time. But I was told it would steel me, burn away vanity and prepare me to be strong for when the Storm came, so I would not wilt when others were counting on me.

When it came, it lasted for five years. I must withhold many details, both because it is painful to relive now and because the primary (but hardly sole) instrument of my agony was my dear daughter, who was herself victim of a prolonged satanic attack. Only a handful of people know how bad it got, but hardened veterans were shaken by the whole business. One of the fruits of it was that, in a few cases, when a public figure has had a particularly intense family disorder, some who were witness to the period have occasionally quietly referred me to the figure to help counsel them through the turmoil. Sometimes I have been able to help. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. My house burned down. Every time I imagined the worst that could happen, something worse than that happened. Every time I thought we had finally hit bottom, things would get even worse. When it was finally over, I laughed with my priests and the one friend who was witness to much of it that, though the wolf was at my door for five years, snarling and howling, in the end neither of us prevailed. We both just collapsed from sheer exhaustion. That friend often joked that for five years, God threw everything but the kitchen sink at me and when none of it kept me down, finally decided to wring my stinking neck and see how I reacted to that (a reference to my spinal surgery, the onset of which completely disabled me for one spring and summer).

I do not speak of this to impress you with how much I have suffered. Rather, it is because of the deluge of contacts I am getting from people telling me what massive turmoil their families, friends and colleagues are in these days – and how it makes no sense to them. It feels like they are under siege all the time. Many of you are among them. I want to tell you that you should not be surprised, nor let yourself be terribly disturbed by these things. Satan is in a frenzy and he will create as much despair as possible, hoping to snare a few stray souls by the ferocity of the attack, to rob them of hope. When things got unbearable, when I could scarcely breathe, I would sometimes find myself begging the Lord to give me some relief. Then I would catch myself and apologize, asking instead that He give me every bit I could stand – and the strength to bear it; then give me a little more, trusting that He would give me a little more strength in the bargain. At the heart of it, I was grimly determined to endure it all and more, begging that He do all that was necessary to steel me for the Storm so that I would not faint when it counted, or when people were counting on me. Just before my surgery, when I was getting cardiac clearance, the cardiologist asked me when exactly it was that I had had my heart attack. I told him I never had one. He replied that I surely had a few years before and showed me the dead tissue on the monitor that confirmed it. I did not know you could have a heart attack and not know it – but he assured me you can and I did; that most commonly it is connected to some extreme prolonged stress. He said I had a nearly athletic heart, so I probably just felt sick for a few days, maybe stayed in bed and then trundled on.

At one point, I was so devastated that for almost two months I would work a mundane job, come home and be nearly catatonic or inconsolable in my grief. It was as close to cracking as I have ever come in my life – and it scared the daylights out of my son, who was instrumental in motivating me to carry on. After that, for a while, whenever I was gloomy he would get panicky that it was the onset of the darkness again. I told him and was able to convince him that that was gone for good, but that sometimes, we would each have a bad day because of all the stress. Boy, did he ever understand that. We worked hard to help carry others crosses and behave so as not to impose our crosses on them. Charlie was so successful at it, so cheerful and charismatic with his circle of friends, that they were always shocked when they stumbled upon evidence of the real sorrows we bore. But it is going to take a toll sometimes and you have to withdraw and gather yourself when it all closes in, as it sometimes will. So Charlie and I developed a code word. It was to be used very sparingly, but if one of us was having a really nasty day because of the stress backing up and being uncharacteristically mean or gloomy, we would just invoke the code and the other would back off and leave the sufferer be for a day. It worked well for us. Under extreme prolonged stress, you have to give each other room to be a total jerk for a day every once in a while: it drains the bile and poison out so you don’t become a jerk all the time.

So I tell you, give thanks for the struggles and attacks you are undergoing. When they wound you enough, withdraw for a while. If you were physically injured, you would rest so that you could heal and be fit for the next battle. Do the same in these struggles. Give thanks because they steel you for the times to come. I tell people that we have entered the beginning of the greatest crisis in the history of Western Civilization and their imagination fails them. About the best anyone seems able to imagine is that we are in for some intense, but scattered disorders, kind of like World War II. It is much worse than that and you will need your strength, your unshakeable faith, and the steadiest of resolve. How do you think God will engender that sort of steeliness that is nonetheless tender and charitable in you? By allowing these intense attacks. It will build your trust in Him. Few things build trust like being in serial prolonged hopeless situations and receiving the cool relief of His grace when He delivers you. Someone once thinking me to be a bit of a pollyanna asked me what if I was wrong about everything – and there was no relief from the trial I was then undergoing. I responded immediately that I would die not knowing I had been wrong – and have lived well and fruitfully in the interim – and if that was all there was, it was enough for me.

Despair is one of satan’s more subtle appeals to man’s vanity – and it is a failure of trust. Through allowing these attacks, God is teaching you to endure. He who endures to the end will be saved. God is raising you up to be a saint in these times. Don’t let the seduction of despair keep you from taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to those around you. Give thanks that God has such confidence in you that He thinks it worthwhile to refine you through sorrow and agony, that you may become an unshakeable sign of hope when chaos holds sway over all. If you do, you will discover to your astonishment that within the most agonizing of times lie some of the most joyful consoling memories. Most of my agony was lived in Belleville, Illinois. It was with much trepidation that I visited there after a prolonged absence. To my surprise, I was overjoyed. It was in the midst of sorrows that I was the trumpet player for the women’s choir at the Catholic Cathedral there. I coached high school boys in summer baseball almost the entire time I was there and what a joy it was. It was there, forged in fire, that my son, without ever ceasing to be my little boy, became my best friend and a man I profoundly admire and rely on. We feeble men rarely recognize the hour of our visitation until it is long passed. So endure and your hour will become a sweet memory rather than a bitter regret.

I end with one of the most profound teachings on trust in the Bible. Do not be deceived by appearances or let chaos beguile you into thinking God has abandoned man. As it is written in Isaiah 55:9-11:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
“so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Thus says the Lord and the Lord speaks true. It may not accomplish what you purpose, but it will accomplish what He purposes – and He purposes good for your eternal soul.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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64 Responses to The Bond of Trust is Forged in Fire

  1. Ro Burkhardt says:

    Dear Charlie! Amen. Thank you.

    “…Therefore, my apostles, pray and act. Bring the light and do not lose hope. .. …”BVM ~ Medj 5/2/14 Your Friend in Christ, Rosemary Burkhardt Date: Sat, 17 May 2014 02:04:59 +0000 To:


  2. Melanie says:

    How very much I needed to read this today! I have spent much time in mt bedroom thinking and praying for guidance. This answered my prayer. God bless you


  3. Marti says:

    Whoa! Amen. I needed to hear someone else goes through the things I do and the thoughts I think. Hindsight is a kick in the rear, but we certainly can learn and grow from our valleys and our peaks! I thank God for you Charlie, and for your whole family.


  4. Beckita says:

    Charlie, last week I started from the beginning of your posts and have been reading them all. After reading this gem i now ask: would you consider re-posting it? It is a true sign of hope!


    • jeanO says:

      Beckita, you seem new here and I appreciate the breath of fresh air you bring in. It helps me to understand more about the parable of the workers showing up at the end of the day. As the early workers get worn down, the second shift shows, and a third will rise, too. God’s plans are flawless. It fills my heart with joy to see how it works in this community.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. charliej373 says:

    Reblogged this on The Next Right Step and commented:

    Our reader, Beckita, just read this post and much enjoyed it. She asked me to re-post it. Since I have been both busy and sick today, this is what you get. Hopefully I will be better before the weekend is out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Josephine Shiplacoff says:

    You are in my thoughts Charlie. Praying to St. Raphael and St. Fanourios for you. (

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mmbev says:

    I am thankful that Beckita made the request. After the last few days, this was exactly what I needed to read. My thanks to her, and to you, and I hope that you feel better soon.

    It so exactly fits what is happening that when I awake tomorrow, I will read it again, and again to keep it imprinted on my brain.

    How much you help us.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. jim says:

    Remember the story of Job !
    Be Well !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pam F. says:

    So sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, Charlie. Keeping you in our prayers that you’ll be 100% for your big weekend! God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Karen wilson says:

    Thank you for reposting this is my exact situation I began the despair last night even though I knew it was fatigue and an attack at least I went to the holy water and the rosary. I will suggest the code word idea with my son and will retreat and take time to regroup quietly today . Charlie I was able to attend when you visited boston in July I was late and left early but sat in the back for a while on the floor. My little journey very lost on the way to Medford was a lesson in itself and small pilgrimage as I stopped multiple times along the way for directions met many nice people which included a small woman walking and praying the rosary and have further connected with the next right step group , wonderful people. I also look forward to your travels and know there are many dedicated people and we are not alone. You mentioned a priest who suffers from depression had expressed concern about unavailability of meds in the future and praying the miraculous pray of trust daily for that situation was what you advised , this is my sons situation and what worries me most, did I hear you correctly as I understand we should only pray the miraculous trust prayer once and turn it to God? Thank you Charlie. Karen from Plymouth Ma.


    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, but if you just pray it for the day ahead, then when you pray it for the intention of the next day, that is a legitimate new intention. Thus, if you pray it to relieve all depression – that is once, but if you pray it to just relieve depression today – then tomorrow is a new day and a new intention. You are then breaking it down to little steps…and renewing trust with each little chunk.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Nancy says:

        Thank you, Charlie, for this response. I have always been an “all in” type of person and just hadn’t given the incremental approach much consideration. Now I get it. Something I read recently (can’t remember where) was about the snail that slowly but surely made it to Noah’s ark. I see now that I have been missing this renewing of trust–every day.


  11. Sally says:

    The Intercessors spoke of “heart piercings”. One leader said
    When God allows your heart to be pierced, creating a hole in your heart, now it is open and it will never refuse to pray for others.
    (Though it may knock you off your feet)
    We have a deeper understanding of Our Lady of Sorrows
    Thank you for reminding us to walk in the hope of God’s Resurrection !


  12. Thank you Charlie for this mail!! It keeps everything in perspective
    To just keep on!! Acknowledging God. Take the next right step!!
    Be a sign of hope for others!! That program
    Empowering and primary I can live with!!


  13. anne ovari says:

    Praying that you recover quickly, Charlie. God bless.


  14. Jennifer says:

    Praying for you Charlie. Thanks for sharing this experience. So many have gone thru this and I believe it’s our boot camp. God is good.


    • TLM says:

      Until I found this site, and I am thanking the Dear Lord that I did, I was wondering how many of us and our families were being attacked almost relentlessly as of late. For the past two and a half years we have walked the fires of crisis and heartache in our family. You should hear some of the conversations I have had with my Dear Lord! He does from time to time give us reprieve but I can assure you as I type this, it ain’t over yet! I keep asking him when the end of it will come, but deep inside can feel maybe not until I reach the homeland will the attacks on our family finally come to an end. With all this said, however, I am ever so thankful to Him for little ‘reprieves’ here and there so that we have a chance to gather the strength again to go through the fire. And Charlie, you are so correct about the TRUST part. I can tell you I can almost hear an audible voice at times that says, ‘You need to TRUST ME MORE.’ This post, Charlie, was an answer to the ongoing question I have had for quite some time: ‘How many faithful families are, and have been, going through hell as of late?’ Your post was the answer to what is actually going on here. We are being ‘made ready’ I do believe for the bigger things to come, as painful as it is now, it will be more so. We haven’t yet reached the climax of the storm. I think in the end, the ONLY thing we will be able to cling to is TRUST IN JESUS. It will be the only thing left in our lives. May Jesus through Mary give us the spiritual courage, strength and faith to come through with flying colors. As someone else said, this may be our ‘boot camp.’


  15. This was a great reminder for me as well. Thanks for re-posting, Charlie! I hope you feel better soon! Be blessed!


  16. Thank you ,Charlie, I really needed to hear this. It will help me to perserver in the situation I’m am in. I accept it, give tha thanks to God, and offer it up.


  17. Colleen DeRose says:

    This re-post was timely. It led me to review with greater understanding the 7 year period up to the present in which my household has been through the crucible as well. It’s amazing all that has happened, yet in hindsight, I see how it has challenged and clarified our faith, built our endurance, strengthed our prayer lives, and basically humbled much of the hardness out of me and many family members. I observe that many members here at NRS have undergone prolonged stress as well and I trust it has done the same for all of you.
    God is good, all the time! I’m thankful He didn’t explain it all ahead of time or I would have quailed at the prospect. I understand more now, have become more trusting in God and hope I will man (or woman, actually) my post with greater strength because of this preparation.
    Thank you CJ for taking on the sherpa-ing. It has been a great sign of hope and encouragement to me to hear your exhortations, see the progress of the NRS (and other online) community in reflecting on its response to this storm, and to be assured that God goes ahead of us and accompanies us in every aspect of this event. I used to wish the Church was simpler and more connected, like in the time of Acts. Lo and behold, it is the new season of Acts and we are those who are called to act. Courage to all in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Beckita says:

    Thank you, Charlie. I had asked for prayer last weekend for my daughter and son-in-law (with children aged 7, 6 and 3) who made a decision to return to the sacraments and then both lost their jobs. For some time I have seen all around me and have noticed through the posts here that so many are suffering deeply.

    My enjoyment of the article is based in its sustenance for growing and maintaining trust and hope. Your words help bridge the gap between enduring the seemingly unendurable and taking the risk to actually, “… give thanks for the struggles and attacks you are undergoing.”

    I’m sorry you’ve not been feeling well, Charlie, yet am not surprised. Praying for St. Raphael’s intercession to restore you to good health for your journey (our journey with you) and work.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Very appropriate – I will be at San Raphael later today. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

    • barb129 says:

      I hope your daughter’s family is doing well….praying for them Beckita.


      • Pamela Nicholson says:

        Hi! Please tell them to go to their priest, as the Church’s mission on earth is to help all people in these situations. Please, I ask you to do this right away. You or they should not deprive the Church of helping all those in need. Please, do this right away. The Church must help everyone who needs help no matter what the help is for in the household or personal needs of any kind. God bless, and know you are in my prayers. pam in NJ.


        • Beckita says:

          Thank you, Pam, for your suggestion and especially for your prayers. Having served on the staff of a local parish as music director for more than thirty years, I’m familiar with the ways our churches locally network with available services for those in need and this little family is in the process of working out practical support. In the meanwhile, praying is the under-girding force to facilitate the temporal needs being met.

          In my youth, I often prayed by telling God what to do and how to do it. How foolish to attempt to direct the ONE Whose Ways and Thinking are so far beyond what a limited and puny child of God can even begin to imagine. So, in the current challenges with my daughter and her family, I sincerely pray for all the purposes God wishes to achieve in this trial to be realized in His Will for them. I realize I, too, am being changed in this work of God. I KNOW BEYOND A DOUBT He hears every prayer. He’s got a plan for them, for me, for each of us. Charlie mentioned God often steels people in such dilemmas. I can see this through and through.

          Thank you to all of you praying for this family. My prayers for each of you, in gratitude and in petition for your needs, and your families continue.


          • Pamela Nicholson says:

            I can never stop praying and believing God knows all we need and that He alone provides what we need and when we need it. Keep hoping in the Lord, and all will be provided. God bless. pam from NJ.


      • Beckita says:

        Thank you, Barb. I didn’t see your reply until today and it refreshes me.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    Thank you for the re post it is very needed mess recovery age for our time. You are in our prayer for a quick and lasting recovery to continue your pilgrimage.


  20. Beckita says:

    Also, Charlie, if I may suggest (forgive me if you already have preferred ways to remedy not feeling well) a few grains of salt, blessed by a priest with the prayer from the Old Roman Ritual and sprinkled on food or in water, is a powerful antidote to illness sent as an attack as well as any other attacks. In the use of any sacramental, emphasis is placed on using it with faith rather than superstitiously.

    Perhaps most here are already aware, as we prepare spiritually for the Storm I believe an essential item to have on hand is blessed salt and/or holy water (again with the Old Roman Ritual blessing… you can readily find it online and see why). Here’s a teaching about it:

    Liked by 1 person

    • connie says:

      Hi, Beckita. I am still lifting up your family and all those needing jobs as I lift my own husband and son-in-law. I am glad that you mentioned blessing each other with holy water. My husband and I do this for each other on occasion when we are flagging physically and or spiritually. We also use holy oil. It is like a balm to my soul. In fact, last week we applied holy water to each other as we prayed over each other cuz we were both down at the same time! And, I have been known to sprinkle some over him while he sleeps, when he’s been “difficult” for a few days( he’s probably done the same to me when I am no picnic to live with!). We also use holy water around the house on occasion, when things get particularly nasty, sprinkling throughout the house as we say the St. Michael the Archangel prayer. I do believe using these sacramentals are one way that the Lord is right at hand as Charlie says.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    Correction. message for our time


  22. Thanks so much for reposting–got a lot out of it. (Sorry you’re not well. I’ll say a little prayer for you Charlie bear.) Prompted me to write about my own miniature storm. I’ll paste some below but the rest can be found here

    I would love to hear whether any of my experiences and reflections resonate with any of you readers out there who are going through your own trials.

    (There are more details to this story but out of prudence I’m leaving them out for now).
    I went through my own ‘storm’ at the end of 2014. The storm doesn’t look the same in hindsight. In fact, it doesn’t appear that clearly in my memory at all. This is not amnesia per se. It’s hard to re-live the whole experience looking back, and therefore hard to quantify the whole thing, because as soon as you are able you just get on with your life and embrace the return of normality and more or less put it all behind you. Most of the time it feels like, for all intents and purposes, it never happened—even though you are forever transformed—because you are living now, dealing with now, and instinctively you protect yourself from going back there.

    You don’t want to let your mind go back there, at least not fully. You know instinctively that that would be regressive, even dangerous. It would go against the fullness of Life that the Spirit is now offering you. You don’t let yourself re-enter the dark realm that once oppressed you, because you’ve learnt which direction is Life and which direction death, which way is forward and which way back.

    But the main reason why the storm looks different in hindsight (insofar as you let it show up in your memory at all) is that you have changed, radically. You have grown significantly in spiritual stature—you were forced to.

    There are many aspects of this change. What was unfamiliar and unanticipated back then when you were living the storm forward, is now something that you’ve known and endured. You survived. You still exist. You are psychologically intact, a sane person. You bear the marks of the storm on your soul. You are resurrected on the other side of it. So now you know, first hand and deep down, that in God you are bigger than the storm (which is not to say that parts of you don’t still tremble when you recall that time).

    As the storm approached, and as you were in it, you felt as if you were smaller, and that the storm was infinite and endless. Because you actually were smaller—that’s one reason why God sent (or allowed) the storm. During the passion that you endured, God penetrated deeper and deeper into your soul and you grew in stature. You became more and more like Him. You now abide more deeply in His eternally secure Being. You are now greatly expanded in the supernatural realm, by virtue of the fact that your independent nature and rebellious, self-sufficient ego have been crushed. This true greatness is found when in your utter brokenness you realise your nothingness. This brokenness, this nothingness, is precisely what opens the space for God’s grace in you, for God’s abundant and miraculous indwelling in your soul.

    Liked by 5 people

    • belindamabay says:

      I cannot even begin to express how your words are EXACTLY what I feel about my own personal storm I (and my husband) experienced and are in some ways continuing to weather to this day. Ours started in the Fall of 2013 and involved our 16 year old daughter. I am so speechless as to how your words deeply touch me because they are “MY” words too. But, as you so eloquently expressed in your story above, you can only “see and discern” all this in hindsight. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will read your entire story on your blog the next opportunity I get. God bless you.


  23. Kate says:

    Thank you and God bless you.


  24. tim says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for this helpful post. The other day, as I was praying to God about my own present sufferings, I asked Him how I was ever going to be ready for the challenging events of the Storm, since I seem so far away from readiness. The reply I got was not in words but just a sense, both instantaneous and all-of-a-piece: to the effect that THIS is how I am preparing you. That is, don’t worry so much about what’s coming or how you will handle it, Just let me work in you through these sufferings. Submit to them. Then later you will see how much more detached you are from consolations and how I’ve steeled for the road ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Diann says:

    Brendan, thank you so much for sharing this insight into enduring the storms of life. My husband and I went through a test of our faith four years ago that we also felt like we could not endure. We each had to rely on God for the strength to get through, had our egos crushed and the “space was opened for God’s grace”.


  26. Torchbearer says:

    Thank you, Charlie for reposting this. This is a very humbling post for me, but here goes:

    I have definitely had my share of crosses the past 4 years and though most of the big ones have subsided recently it seems that it left its toll on me. Now I am surrounded by daily, seemingly neverending annoyances from my 6 kids and I just can’t seem to get a grip on my temper. I have lost my peace and though I know in my mind everything I should be doing I feel helpless in handling it all with grace. I feel like I’m losing my mind and have become mentally unbalanced as a result of all the stress from past and some present crosses. I am so utterly aware of my wretchedness that it’s very hard not to feel discouraged. 6 months ago I felt God’s abundant grace and felt like I was in a good place to weather the storm. Now I feel like a worm and wonder if I’ll be of any use since I can’t seem to get myself together. I feel like my blog name should be changed to “Flickerbearer” instead of “Torch.”

    This post has helped, but most of my agony is caused by my own inability to get myself together mentally. Is that part of God’s fire, too? If these crosses are to burn out all the sinfulness in our lives, how does it work when one seems incapable of changing their behavior due to mental reasons, whether they be hormonal, blood-sugar-related, etc.? I ask for deliverance from whatever is causing this, but none comes. I feel helpless. Thoughts?

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Take three days off. Don’t read me…don’t do much of anything. Maybe go to the beach with the kids, go someplace where you have no responsibility except to play with the kids. You don’t even have to leave on a vacation. Just do things like a kid. Play.

      When we are physically injured we know we need to rest up and avoid physical exertion to get better – that if we keep exerting ourselves we will only do more damage…we have to get our strength back. Yet when we are emotionally or mentally exhausted, we often keep trying to walk on that mental “sprained ankle” and wonder why it does not get better. Almost once a day I read a little from detective novels or watch a silly TV show or play a video game. If I did not, I would go bonkers. Give yourself a little time to heal from mental and emotional stress. Reset the loving, easy relationship with your kids in a setting where you are not burdened by many expectations. It will be okay…but you have to get off that “sprained mental ankle” for a while in order for it to get better.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Torchbearer says:

        Will do. Thanks. 🙂


      • mmbev says:

        Torchbearer, you will never get better advice about your situation than you have just gotten from Charlie. If you do not relax the “mental strain” stressing you right now, it might become “more than you can handle”. There is SUCH WISDOM in his words. We would respect a physical injury without hesitation. Sometimes we cannot even recognize the mental injury that is becoming a major problem because we our very situation blinds us from seeing how much we are in need. If we do not give ourselves the opportunity to heal, the injury can become much greater, just as a physical injury can.

        Truly, truly, I believe that God is giving you the direction you need through Charlie’s words. I wish someone had given me those words when I was most in need of them. Listen to him.

        Liked by 3 people

  27. annef444 says:

    Praying for you Charlie. Asking Padre Pio, who knew pain and suffering well, who has also touched so many lives, to intercede for you. May you continue to renew your strength for your path is still long.

    I am still battling a physical and mental fight. I could not of imagined what I have been going through this past month alone. I continue doing the next right thing even when I don’t want to. I should be broken but I’m not. Thanks be to God. I am stronger, with renewed faith and trust. Please pray for my family. As I suspected I am sick again and am praying it is not related to the previous cancer. Realistically it is. I have to continue to put my trust in God He has never failed me or Gil. It is not my place to ask Him why. I know He has a reason. I would just like to get out of survivor mode and enjoy this life.


  28. radiclaudio says:

    🙂 Hi all!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Friends here is an excerpt from Volume 7 of the Book of Heaven as recorded by Luisa Piccarreta. We may pray to be delivered of our crosses, as suffering is naturally repugnant to us, but we should always pray with Jesus, “Father, not my will, but Thy will be done,” trusting that what he is giving us through these crosses is worth infinitely more than what they cost us.
    Book of Heaven
    July 27,1906

    How the Cross is a Dowry Jesus Gives to the Soul. Who Accept Their Crosses Accept the Betrothal; Who refuse Their Crosses Lose Both Dowry and Betrothal.

    This morning, while seeing my adorable Jesus nailed to the Cross, I interiorly questioned myself: “What were Jesus’ thoughts in receiving the Cross?”

    Jesus then said: “My daughter, I embraced the Cross as if it were my most dear treasure. This is because in the Cross I gave a dowry to souls; I espoused them to Me. Then, in looking at the Cross—observing its length and width—I took pleasure in it, because I saw in it the sufficient dowries for all my spouses. Moreover, none of them could fear to marry Me, because in my own hands I had the Cross and the price of their dowry.

    “For this reason I wed the soul with only one condition: That if she accepts the small gifts that I send to her, meaning the crosses, it is a sign that she accepts Me as her Spouse. The wedding is executed, and I make the donation of a dowry to the soul.

    “If, on the other hand, the soul does not accept these small gifts, which means she does not resign herself to my Will, it all becomes annulled; and though I want to give her a dowry, I cannot. This is because in order to perform the wedding it is necessary that both parties, the soul and I be in agreement. So if the soul does not accept my gifts, it means that she does not want to accept my betrothal.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Torchbearer says:

      That, Janet, is beautiful. Thank you for that excerpt. In fact, just a few nights ago I had a dream that I was getting ready to get married and my mother and sister were helping me get my wedding dress on. But the wedding dress was missing something and it wasn’t ready. And everything was scattered so that we couldn’t get things ready for the reception. The whole dream was a little disjointed but the gist of it was that I didn’t have my act together to get married yet. Guess I better get serious and truly surrender & accept the crosses that God has gifted me with so I can make it to the wedding and receive what the Lord wants to give and share with me.


      • An amazing dream in light of this message, Torchbearer. But still follow Charlie’s advice.🙂 It is not contrary to accepting your cross. Sometimes your cross is to let the housework go and spend more time with the kids. God’s will is in that for sure. Blessings to you and yours. Blessings to all here.


      • I agree with Charlie. Yes it’s utterly important to take care of the spiritual things. But God wants us to take care of ourselves at a natural level too. It’s good stewardship. Play. Laugh. Do light things. Don’t worry so much. Enjoy nature. Allow yourself to have a break. Remember that God holds the world together, not you. So you are allowed to relax and smile.☺Don’t assume that your moodiness is something you can just will yourself out of if only you were holier. It’s possible to be too earnest, to try too hard. Human beings need care. We need balance. Above all we need to return to the Father’s presence as a child. You are primarily his child. Not a mother or wife or nurse or whatever. It helps me to mentally remove myself sometimes from all those roles and ties and go back to just being Papa’s little one.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Pamela Nicholson says:

    Charlie: you know it is all about grace in the end and from the very beginning. That is why God has chosen to work through you as He does. He knew you would “get it”, so to speak. There is so much more to spiritual things like physical suffering, and if we do not feel as though we want it, then we do not want to experience the joy that will come from it either. Therefore, no one will leave this world without suffering, but, it is what we do with it that is real freedom. No one loves to suffer, but, the holy ones know the good it has done and will do for many years to come. God bless you for your “yes” to God. pam from NJ.


  31. mmbev says:

    It is so interesting to read the comments here. And I keep learning how we all have such different experiences or perhaps how differently we experience the results. I think I have lived through some storms. Only at the end it only feels like “pause” and I don’t even see me. I just see how much larger God has become instead. I don’t want to see me, or to think I am larger. I know instinctively I’m not, so it would depress me to realize it, to see it. But seeing how much larger God is to me, makes me so glad, and I know that I don’t have to get bigger at all. Maybe I am regressing. If God doesn’t mind, I guess it’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. mmbev says:

    Well, Brendan Peter Thomas, I’m awfully glad you are you and I am me. I just went back to your blog, and I couldn’t make it through this time either. All I know is that I can’t think of anything when it’s bad. I just try to handle one day and when was the very most awful I just begged to die. And I mean begged and begged. Thank God, and I do mean I thank Him, I only was there once but it lasted days and days, with each day ending with me just begging and begging Him to just let me die. I hope I never am there again. I can’t even remember if that was before or after He gave me more than I could handle. On of the best things I learned on the blog, was when one person who must have been there too, said God sometimes does give us more than we can handle, but not more than He can handle. That is REALLY true. (I think it was Janet.) When the storm was really bad, I just looked at the next day to see what I absolutely had to do, and then tried to do it. I must admit that most often I have done it pretty poorly at best

    The storm changes faces. It’s not the storm of my childhood, or before I got married. The storm was a lot worse after I got married. It was the worst before my husband died. Then it took on a new face or different tact and was easier to live through.

    The best time I have ever had has been since May 13 th this year. I can even think and remember now. Only even the sort of best time has been it’s own whirlwind

    I am so grateful I am just me, and I don’t have to do all the stuff others have to do. I’d just sink. I can’t even hold in my head the stuff you are talking about. I’d probably just drown if I had to be you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear mmbev. Sounds like you’ve been through terrible times. Truly. I don’t think my own storm has been that hard compared to some of the stories hinted at on this site including yours. We all have our own role to play. Each person’s cross is a different shape. Sometimes we are made able for God’s glory. Other times we are dis-abled for his glory. I pray that Mary will console you.


  33. mellensequoia says:

    I’m late to the party here (by about a year). I’m spending this weekend going back to the start of the FB posts, onto the blog. I just ran across this, and heaved a huge sigh of relief.
    My daughter has been going through awful times (of her own making) for the past 3 years. Many times I left her and drove the hour home practically screaming the rosary as I drove, begging that she would leave behind the people/life she was in/with. I would offer up the suffering I was going through. I found the Prayer of Miraculous Trust & prayed it for her. At home I would play solitaire, listen to music, pray…because I had no energy to do anything else (with this and a full-time job). I lost 40 pounds (which…really?…weren’t missed all that much). Last September I spent 3 weeks on the road with 2 of my siblings, driving across country & back on a road trip. It clarified a lot in my mind. When I got back I refused to engage in the game anymore. Did not respond to her phone/text rants, did not ride to the rescue. You did it, you’re stuck, you live with it. I stopped losing weight. Lo and behold, at Christmas the light came back on. She is back at work (she is a medical professional) successfully holding down a job (since January) for the first time in 3 years.
    I think my trial by fire is over (or this one anyway). All that time I thought it was just suffering. It’s such a relief to know there was a purpose behind it. The only downside is I’ve gained 10 of those 40 pounds back.
    Thank you Charlie….again.

    Liked by 3 people

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