Taking a Long Way Home

Satan is always battling with Christ - and each soul is the battleground.

Satan is always battling with Christ – and each soul is the battleground.

(I have a significant post I am working on and hope to have up tonight. Meantime, I have several wonderful guest columns awaiting publication. This first is from Andy Hagedorn, one of the moderators at the Mother of God Forum. Andy’s story is familiar to many of us; living in misery while wrestling with God, thinking we have found a better way – then finally finding real joy and peace when we quit wrestling with the Master)

By Andrew Hagedorn

“Come to me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” – Matthew 11:28

Marti and some others inspired me to share how God brought me back after many years of trying to come back.  In the end He finally used a Baptist friend of mine to bring me home.

I was born to a Catholic family in 1976.  I have loved the Lord from early childhood.  I went to Catholic elementary school and from first grade on I was hooked on all things having to do with Jesus and our faith.  My family always would joke around with me saying I would become a priest.  At the time I took that to be ridicule. It would bother me in the way they would joke about it when I would be talking about Jesus or what we learned in school that day.  My parents did not take us to Sunday mass much, mainly because my father was unhappy with the priest seeming to always lecture from the pulpit about how the parents of the parish did not give enough money to the church.  My parents were not very devout but my two grandmothers were. My Godmother is the holiest person I have ever known.  She suffers greatly in life but never misses Mass or prayer.  She is a great inspiration and the perfect Godmother.

In seventh grade my family moved us away from Catholic school to public school.  Looking back this is what started to pull me away from the church of my birth.  If God was calling me back then, I do not recall now and probably could not hear His whisper in the wind.  I was a typical high school kid – and then college kid in the US; curious, experimental and full of mischief and sin.  I did not think I was a bad kid in the terms of our society. But looking back now I think I was a bad kid in the mind of the Lord; full of grave, immoral sin.  The devil definitely had a strong grip on me, the once upon a time little boy who used to be filled with love and joy for the Lord.  Thinking back on it now brings me great sadness to be corrupted and pulled away by the world.  So many kids and young adults these days are so far from the innocence they once knew and probably the closeness to and love for Jesus they once had.

I married young for my generation at 23 to a Catholic girl I knew from grade school and college. We never dated until after college.  We did not want to have kids right away and waited a few years to start trying.  In 2004 we were excited to learn that we were pregnant. This excitement would not last for long for we were soon dealt a terrible shock.  On December 18, 2004, God blessed us with our little angel, Leah.  The excitement over the birth of our daughter quickly changed when instantly we knew there were problems.  Our little Leah was not breathing right and was rushed into intensive care within 15 minutes of her birth.  Four hours later she was transferred to Children’s Hospital.  From this point on the testing began to find out what was wrong with her.  Two weeks later we finally knew what it was.  Our little angel had an extremely rare neurological disorder called aicardi syndrome.  This is her story if you want to learn more: http://archive-org.com/page/2153985/2013-05-24/http://www.aicardisyndrome.org/site/node/152

She came home after 6 weeks in the hospital in hospice care and we did not know how long she would have with us.  During this time of grief I realized that you only had two options, be angry with the Lord or run to His arms.  I ran to His arms.  I became as devout and trusting as they come. Sadly, I just was not ready yet.  I guess I had been gone too long.  By May of 2005 I was once again away from the church and had been lured to the New Age world.  The devil had me again.  I became so full of pride and believed that the Catholic faith and Bible were just too small of a story and believed there was so much more.  I joined a new age message board and quickly became a moderator of this group who I felt were my true spiritual family.  I was seduced by love over fear which of course is fully present in our Catholic faith, but I just did not see it at the time.  In May of 2006, our little Leah was called home to God.  This was a dark time for my wife and me.  I was so helpless and angry and lost without her.  My wife and I separated. I filed for divorce.  After being away from her for about a month I completely hit rock bottom.  It was a dark time in my life.  Thankfully, somehow God began to lift me up and help me realize the mistake I made.  I begged my wife to take me back.  I tried to help her see how wrong, how blind I was – that all my anger against her was not because I did not love her but because of my grief.  She took the brunt of it and I was so deeply sorry.  I fought hard for her but was losing.

I will never forget this day as long as I live.  My mother has a close, devout friend who has gifts of seeing things and can see evil and help rid it from you.  I met with her at my mom’s house one day. While praying she goes into a deep trance-like state that she does not recall what happens during it.  I was skeptical but still entranced in the new age mystical world so thought why not.  While deep in prayer all of a sudden she stood up and came behind me and literally was beating on my back and I could feel her pulling things off of me.  She then sat back in her chair and came out of her deep prayer.  She told me that there was evil all over me and through that prayer she took it all away.  I have to admit that I felt incredible and full of joy and freedom all of a sudden.  I was on top of the world and confident that I would get my wife back because that night all our friends were going out and I knew she was going to come too.  Boy was I wrong.  The absolute bottom came that evening when she said no: she was going out on a date with a new guy and wanted to bring him out with our friends.  I was so angry with her and devastated because she wanted to come without me.  I told her I was going to go and she and “her date” would have to do something else. I was devastated. Instantly my phone rang.  It was my mother.  She asked me what was wrong.  I told her – then asked how she knew.  She told me that her friend had just called me and that the evil was back and attached to me.  I went out and got obliterated.  I could not get out of bed the next day.  It was bad enough that I had lost her forever but it was also the birthday of my angel Leah.  Like I said it was a dark time but it is the absolute darkest right before the dawn.

Everything changed in an instant the next day.  At noon the phone rang. It was my wife.  She asked me to go with her that night to our friend’s Christmas party.  I asked her what changed. She told me she went on the date and he was a nice enough guy but he was not me and she missed me.  We had a date that night and began to repair all the damage and hurt we had gone though together.  Just three weeks later all the pain was gone and God blessed us with the most wonderful news and gift.  We were pregnant again.  I was full of fear of course but trusted in God.  Needless to say I was not Catholic again yet but God did not give up on me.  It was a girl and we named her Makayla after St. Michael.  It is strange looking back because even though I was not actively Catholic I still loved Jesus and that faith of my youth.  That little boy who loved the Lord was still in me and not giving up.  Two years after that we were pregnant again.  My son was born and we named him Andrew John after my grandfather, my uncle and myself as well as her father who passed away in 2003.  Of course he has the name of two apostles: the first to find Our Lord and the one whom Jesus loved.  Time was moving fast and I was still greatly entrenched in the New Age world and moderating a new age board that was growing and growing.

In 2012 I decided to take Lent very serious.  I wasn’t going to church but yet still Catholic at the core and still loved the Lord.  God was calling me still but I was not ready to listen.  All that changed at the beginning of Lent in 2013.  Once again I wanted to take Lent very serious but this time I wanted to get closer to the Lord.  I was still full of so much pride and ego for my “spiritual new age knowledge”.  I had a close relationship with a devout Baptist and we would have quite the conversations.  It took one question from her one day that stunned me and rocked me to my core.  She asked me, “do you know where you are going to go when you die?”  I could not answer this.  I said, “I think but how does anyone know such things?”  She said she knew for sure.  All that weekend I could not think of anything else.  I wanted that certainty.  I wanted what she had.  It was Sunday, March 17, 2013 when it finally hit me.  I was watching that series on the History Channel called The Bible and it was the part covering the nativity.  I was balling my eyes out with tears of joy and had to pause it.  I turned and looked up and just wept and begged the Lord to forgive me, have mercy on me, help me and bring me back.  Even as I write this now the tears are welling up in my eyes.  I was finally ready.

God had called and called and called and never given up but it took me to call Him for my reversion to finally begin.  I still was not back to my Catholic faith.  In all actuality I felt “saved” and was looking into the Baptist faith but deep down I knew I could not give up the faith of my youth.  That little boy and his love for Jesus was screaming out to me.  I wanted to be Catholic again but actually was poisoned by the notion of worshiping Mary.  I just did not get it – and I was a Catholic from birth!  Thankfully the Lord sent me a wonderful friend at work to help me get through this.  He is a truly devout man and fellow disciple of the Lord.  He is a walking saint and he has helped me greatly and I him in ways he never dreamed.  He and I became on fire for the Lord.  I began to go back to church, confession for the first time in 7 years and to the Eucharist, which I had missed for so long.  It was so wonderful and amazing.  I became obsessed with the faith and truth and knowledge and was soaking up as many books as I could.  I even called out to Our Mother and began to pick up the Rosary again for the first time in 7 years.  I was back but also felt like a spiritual infant.  Then Our Mother helped me to find the most wonderful little corner and family of the internet, the motheofgod forum.  That place was so full of wonderful people and information and I grew and grew and grew in my love, trust and faith.  The graces from heaven also began to come one after the other.  I have had so many wonderful little miracles that I could continue to type and type and type but they are all there if you dig into the motheofgod forum once it is open again on October 21.  The most amazing of them all have to do with discovering the brown scapular. The wonderful little miracles about the brown scapular are too numerous to mention, just ask Kathy K who posts in here from time to time and who is gracious enough to keep making these wonderful scapulars and sending them to me to pass out to the world.  I have probably given out over 100 of these in the past year anonymously for the most part, except to the family at MOG.  I have also been visited by what I can assume are souls in purgatory one being my father in law who have asked me to pray for them.  I have been inspired to make prayer books (5 now with the most recent one to arrive any day now which is all about the passion of our Lord!!) and leave them randomly in the church for I don‘t want any accolades or temptation to my pride. I also did a complete turn-around on Mary and became her slave through the consecration to Jesus through Mary on January 1, 2014.  I have received the most amazing little gifts from heaven. I have heard the blessed Mother speak to me twice. It is amazing and will bring even the hardest man to his knees and make him cry like a baby.

The devil was not done with me though and he has tried to attack me twice this year physically and get me back and over the summer I think he did open the door a bit because I fell again into darkness and sin for a few weeks but thankfully the Lord pulled me out. I hate when I feel like I fail Him and His tests but thankfully Our Jesus is so merciful. Through true confession he ignites my heart on fire again.  The devils first attack came the day after I made my consecration.  He came in a dream that quickly turned to reality in my bedroom as an evil spirit hovered over me and then moved to my sleeping wife to try to touch and her in a sexual manner.  I grabbed it and it was on me holding me down at my chest just pressing my miraculous medal.  I was not scared at all and knew what to do instantly.  I called out to Our Mother and before I could finish her name in the Hail Mary, the evil was gone.  The second time was right at the end of one of those dark times where I fell away again just in the past three months.  I pulled myself out of that funk – or rather, the Lord did. The evening I called out to Him and to Our Mother to help me and finish praying the Rosary which I had abandoned again for a few weeks, I could feel something grab my leg violently and then push me.  I was not bothered at all because I felt like the evil that was on me was now on the outside looking in and pushed me in anger because it could not have me anymore.  I think that is enough of my life for now.  It has been an amazing turn of events for me in my life and I thankful every day for the mercy of Our Lord and the love of Our Mother.  I don’t know what the future holds for me.  It scares me sometimes.  You hear so much talk of remnant and every time I hear about the remnant it saddens me greatly because I just don’t feel worthy enough to be considered in those numbers.  I have come to know so many wonderful, devout walking saints and I walk amongst them, but I always feel like the tax collector not worthy of such grace and love or such honor to be amongst them.  I feel so much sorrow of my past sins and ways but believe in the mercy of the Lord. I have full trust in Him and will always try my best to submit to His will.

If there are two things that pertain to me most in my life from the bible it is these:

“I am the servant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy will!”
“My God be merciful to me a sinner!”

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story and my reversion.  May God Bless You All!! and have Mercy on You All as He has me!

Much love always, -Andrew Hagedorn aka Andy3 moderator on www.motheofgod.com aka Heavenstillspeaks on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Heavenstillspeaks/

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.
This entry was posted in Conversion, Family, Guest Columns, Satan and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Taking a Long Way Home

  1. Luke 1:46

    46And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, 47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.…


    • Audie says:



      • Andy H says:

        Beautiful indeed but please finish it my friend. It is one of my favorites!! 😉

        [48] Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. [49] Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. [50] And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. [51] He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. [52] He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. [53] He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. [54] He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: [55] As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.


    • Judy says:

      Many Christians are accepting “New Age” practices and beliefs which they believe are in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are not. However, the deceptions are vey cunning! Do you know if you are a family member are being decieved?! I recommend two books by Moira Noonan. One is Ransomed from Darkness, which is autobiographical. This book is absolutely riveting as well as extremely informative. It describes the deceptions of the “New Age”movement….which is actually very,very old age. Moira was a cradle Catholic who became enchanted by every New Age practice in this world. She began this fascination as a young adult in college. She was eventually considered to be an expert in almost every practice after having studied and fully embraced New Age thought and principles for more than 20 years. Moira Noonan’s autobiographical story shows us the great mercy of Jesus Christ and how He can show us the Truth, when we truly seek it….often through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother ….. Moira Noonan has also published a new book with Anne Fester in 2014 which examines every “New Age” belief and practice. She carefully examines the history of the practices and how they are not compatible with the teachings of Christ. She also points out how many of the teachings and practices are being deceptively brought into Christian churches. This new book, which I have only begun to read, is titled Spiritual Deceptions in the Church and Culture: A Comprehensive Guide to Discernment. Especially because we are entering a time when there will be attempts to deceive Christ’s flock, I highly recommend these two books. Start with Ransomed From Darkness. It shows how Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother can bring good out of a very dark situation and totally turn someone who has previously sinned most gravely into a warrior for Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!


      • charliej373 says:

        Another friend of mine just got the book you mention, Judy. I skimmed through it last night kind of checking. It seems very sound to me, at first glance. I worry that, too often, in rejecting the occult, we tend to reject things that really are not occult. BUT, things have been so overly permissive for so long, being a bit overly restrictive is probably a needed corrective. Most hideous is that some genuinely occult practices have found their way into Catholic life – and even some religious orders. People here know I am not an alarmist, but RUN RUN RUN from any purportedly Catholic retreat that involves Yoga or any sort of “centering” prayer. They have lost their way or succumbed to a terrible error. Don’t follow along, regardless of how innocent they can make it sound.

        I checked the hot spots in the book Judy recommends looking for exaggeration or excessive paranoia. I found a few things I might quibble with, but Moira Noonan seems to go to some effort to stay balanced and well-grounded. I think it a good buy.


        • Judy says:

          Some of my Catholic friends see no problem with doing yoga. They say that they are simply doing exercise. However, as Webster’s Library Dictionary says, ” Yoga is a system of Hindu philosophy, strict spiritual discipline practiced to gain control over the forces of one’s being to gain occult powers but chiefly to attain union with the Deity or Universal Spirit.” It is also part of Buddhism. Yoga often produces altered states of consciousness. It is impossible to Christianize yoga. As Moira Noona points out, ” For a Christian, the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and will be resurrected with Our Lord in Heaven. Th Good News of the Resurrection is bad news to a yoga master whose ultimate goal is libration from his body.” For those would try to mix the two religions, Moira says that the words of St. Paul are very clear: “Do not bear the yoke with the unbelievers. For what has justice in common with iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
          Or what part has the believer with the unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, and as God says, “I will dwell and move among them, I will be their God and they shall be my people”
          (2 Cor 6:14-16) As Moira further points out , “There are many, many good exercise programs out there including aerobics, Jazzercise, stretching and strength training, swimming, walking, dancing or Pilates which are beneficial to our bodies and which do not subject us to any beliefs of practices that are contrary to the Christian faith. ” As we approach the Storm, I feel that it is imperative to be as close to the teachings of Jesus Christ as possible. Unfortunately, the practice of yoga is booming in North America, and many Christians do not realize that they are doing something which offends God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Moira Noonan’s second and newest book clearly shows the incredible, contrasting differences between the beliefs ancient religions that predated Christ, and the principles of Christianity. As your dear Archangel Gabriel has said, we have to choose. And when we do, the choice for Jesus Christ must be made clear to all by our words and actions. If, by some chance, we have been lukewarm in the past, then we must leave that behind and become examples the Light of Christ to those who are still floundering in confusion. To my mind, this is always the right step. May the Holy Spirit mold us and make us so!


          • charliej373 says:

            I thought for a very long time that Yoga was just a harmless form of stretching exercise when you divorce it from the mysticism that usually accompanies it. But so many people close to me kept pushing me that it was worse than that, that it was not like martial arts where you can divorce the practice from the mysticism. So, knowing little about it, I launched into some research. I will confess, my original expectation was that it was exactly what I thought – just stretching exercises. To my horror, I found that the poses themselves, are prayers to strange gods and an invitation to emptying of self and welcoming of other “spirits.” The practice and mysticism of Yoga are inextricably entwined with each other. It is as dangerous as a Ouija Board or a séance. It was only two months ago that I actually did the research to find that my previous opinion on the matter was wrong – and that alarmists on it have very good cause, indeed, to be alarmed.


          • Mary says:

            I’m pretty sure martial arts are listed as a no, no too, in the Vatican document, Jesus Christ The Water Bearer of Life, on The New Age. If not there I read where martial arts is occult because they slowed down the movement of breaking a board and the board broke before it was touched, and it is eastern philosophy. I read these stories by both these women, very good. I remember a Mom coming in to teach yoga poses to kindergartner’s at my daughter’s school, the priest put a stop to it, thankfully, but that was my wake up call about yoga. You can not separate the pose from the worship.


          • charliej373 says:

            Actually, Mary, the martial arts are NOT mentioned at all in the Vatican Document on the New Age. For some reason, that errant notion is present among a lot of Christians. Certainly, martial arts can be infected with eastern mysticism, and that sort of non-Christian mysticism IS condemned. But the exercise and fighting regimens of martial arts can – and usually are – separate from the religious mysticism that sometimes attaches to them. That separation is NOT possible with Yoga. Sadly, I have seen some very serious occult practices attached to certain quasi-Christian practices. Please, it is VERY important when dealing with these things not to bear false witness – nor even to taint ourselves by repeating the witness of other unreliable sources. Otherwise, how are we any better than, say, the authors of Chick Publications who make up the most awful, lurid tales about Catholics simply because they don’t like Catholics. When we succumb to that temptation, the devil wins. If you were new, I would not have cleared this comment and would have sent you an email. Since you have contributed here some very good things, I let it through as a useful reminder to us all that we need to take care not to casually slander any, whether we like them or not.


  2. Charity says:

    Oh Andy, thank you for sharing! I have been missing MOG so much and am thankful you and Marti bring a little piece of it to my inbox. The world is still wild but those of Mary should find peace in their heart and in the Divine Will.
    Through Mary to Jesus


  3. Caroline says:

    Your testimony is so similar to mine. Thank you for sharing! It has blessed me. Now, about those brown scapulars, does Kathy K sell them to the public? Thanks again!


    • Andy H says:

      my email is ahagedorn1111@gmail.com. If anyone trusts me with giving me their address then send it to me and I will gladly send you one. I have 10 left right now and they don’t do any good just sitting in a box so first come first serve. I keep telling Kathy that I want more when she makes them to keep for the dark days ahead to pass on, but then I find myself giving them away ha ha. Kathy finds old medals on ebay or garage sales and what not and attaches them to the medals. She puts so much love and prayer into making these and we just know they have great blessings with them. She also sent me some holy water from St. Anne that sits in a container with one of her foot bones and I have put some of the water on all of them to give them something a little extra. They have not been blessed by a priest though.


      • Andy H says:

        Oh, and one more thing. God has blessed me so much in life with health and a good job that I never want money for postage and you never know, there may be a prayer book in your envelope too!


  4. vparisi says:

    I miss MOG too- this is Lifesong, my real name is Val. Andy thank you for your testimony- God is indeed good all the time! I too feel like a tax collector among so many wonderful devout Catholics. As a convert of only two years I truly feel like an adopted child sometimes but I know what you mean about loving Jesus. He never gives up on us! And Our Lady- the Mom I now know that I have keeps us safe if we just rely on her! God Bless!


  5. donna269 says:

    Hi everyone! Andy, it was wonderful to hear your testimony of conversion…..I love reading your responses on MOG….(I am Bonventure)…..I miss everyone very much. We are a wonderful little hamlet but Charlie’s blog has been an amazing respite as well….WE are all called together to be as one in God’s army. It’s uphill, but we must persevere….as this worsens we are going to really need each other for strength and support…..Thank you, thank you Andy.


  6. BB says:

    “…Thinking back on it now brings me great sadness to be corrupted and pulled away by the world. So many kids and young adults these days are so far from the innocence they once knew and probably the closeness to and love for Jesus they once had.”
    This is so true. I too have such sadness sometimes for having been corrupted and leaving the closeness and love I had for Jesus as a child and teenager. (My time of corruption was from about 18 years old until about 26 years old.) And thanks be to God, I got fed up with the loneliness, emotional pain, and spiritual fears caused by being involved in pagan things and with people who were also away from God. Many years have passed, yet at times I feel so much regret for those years I lived in mortal sin. I offer this suffering in penance for my sins.
    Your witness is powerful, and tells us God wants His little sheep back, I guess, regardless of how motley and diseased we get by wandering away. Thanks for giving hope to those who are still on their way back!


  7. laura says:

    Thank you, Andy, for your reversion story. We’re pilgrims trucking along, brothers and sisters carrying our crosses. My daughter’s name is Angel Leah.😉


  8. Andy H says:

    So I want to share with you how this brown scapular mission and really the scapular itself came into my life literally from Heaven.

    I have a weekday church close to my office that feels like my real home but is not my parish. This church is where I have been closest to the Lord. It is also the church that has the priest that is my primary confessor. This is the church that has the “miracle basket” at it which is what I like to call it. I hope it is not only my miracle basket but it tends to give me things that I need, when I need them. So with that said onto the story about the brown scapular.

    I had never heard of the brown scapular until the summer of 2013 about 6 months into my reversion back to the faith. I had a white scapular that I received at my first communion and a green one, because my grandmother always had those and gave those in cards. So one day on motheofgod website, I heard about the brown scapular. Actually, Mark, if you are reading this, it was probably because of your Avatar on there that had the rosary and brown scapular on it and one of my favorite writings: “Through the Rosary and Brown Scapular, I will one day save the world!” -The Blessed Virgin Mary

    I did my research on it (analytical guy here) and just knew I had to get me one of those ASAP! So a week or more went by put in the back of my mind and one day I found the time to go into a Catholic book store and get me one. So I ask and the girl tells me that they just sold out and should have some within a week or so. I was so bummed but went on my way. That evening I had hung a plastic, old rosary on my 6 year old’s bed post and she was crying to me because she pulled it off the bed post and broke it. I told her it was no big deal because the next day I would try to stop in church and check the basket for one. So I went the church that morning. The whole time before church I told myself when I was finished I would order a brown scapular off the internet. As soon as I enter the church, the basket (it is still just the basket and not the miracle basket yet ha ha) is right in my face as you enter. I go to check it for a rosary and there is none. I begin to dig through it and all that is in there are holy cards. After I had picked them all up, there sitting at the very bottom, all by itself, is one brown scapular. I just looked up at Jesus right there on the cross in front of me and smiled because I knew it was for me.

    I did go to the internet though when I got back to work and ordered 20 brown scapulars to return the favor that Heaven just did for me. I left 10 in the church for the basket and gave to others and my grandmother to pass out at her assisted living home. This was the first of several other brown scapular incidents to come and the first of 2 much needed gifts to come to me in the “miracle basket”.

    About a month or so after this, I had new brown scapular incident happen. I came home one night and was grilling out for dinner. By our grill is a kids play slide and next to it is a chair. I sat down in the chair, looked to the right all of a sudden and there hanging and staring me right in the face was a brown scapular off the corner of the slide. It was completely different than the ones I had or had ever seen. As soon as I picked it up, I knew instantly in my head that it belonged to another. As soon as I knew it was hers, I heard a voice in my head tell me to keep it for it is a special gift and much nicer than the one I found in the basket. I quickly shut that voice up for I knew whose it was and said no and emailed my friend because I knew it belonged to her. You see, she had this life long friend who was an atheist and he was dying. I knew it was meant for him so I emailed her and told her that she would never believe what happened and that this was meant for her and she would know what to do with it. I said I would send it to her if she wanted it. She said yes, absolutely and that she couldn’t believe that I had emailed her because something amazing just happened with that email. She had been at a house of some devout people in her parish and was looking at all there pictures and they insisted on her taking all these medals that were blessed. She did not know what to make of it but took them to be polite. She is very close to God and a mystic but did not see why these objects could mean anything. On her way home that night she was speaking to the Lord and literally asked for Him to tell her in a way that no one could ever know about sacramentals and what she should do with them because many people give them to her. She wanted a clear sign. As soon as she got home and checked her email, my message was there waiting for her. She did give that to her dying friend and she told me later that he was wearing it when he died and did accept it.

    A few weeks after that, I had finished my first little prayer book and then finished a second all about Mary. I private messaged a few people on MOG about them sending me their address and I would mail them a prayer book. Kathy K was one and instantly she responded with a yes and since I was collecting addresses, could she send me some brown scapulars to pass along. She had been making a ton of them and was looking for what to do with them. It was a perfect. Kathy and I were complete strangers but Our Mother worked through us. Since then, whenever she makes them, I ask for some and pass them on. By the way Kathy, I guess I may need some more now since the word is out ha ha! Needless to say, I love the brown scapular! Next time remind me to tell you about the second gift in the “miracle basket”.



  9. Andy H says:

    The Brown Scapular

    According to tradition, in the year 1251 a Carmelite superior general by the name of St. Simon Stock lived in Cambridge, England. St. Simon was praying during this time for heavenly intercession for his Order, as the Carmelites were facing trials and oppression.

    On July 16th, 1251, he received an apparition from Our Lady. She handed him a Brown Scapular, saying,

    “Receive, my beloved son, this Scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.”

    Since then, the Brown Scapular has been recognized as a source of great graces for those who, living holy lives, wear the Scapular with devotion during life and at the time of death. The Brown Scapular is now generally made of two small pieces of brown wool connected by cords.

    The Scapular Is a Silent Prayer

    As Our Lord taught us to say the Our Father, Our Blessed Mother taught us the value of the scapular. When we use it as a prayer, Our Lady draws us to the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son. It is good, therefore, to hold the scapular in the hand. A prayer offered while holding the Scapular is as perfect as a prayer can be. It is especially in time of temptation that we need the powerful intercession of God’s Mother. The evil spirit is utterly powerless when the wearer of a scapular faces temptation, calling upon the Holy Virgin in this silent devotion. “If you had recommended yourself to me, you would not have run into such danger,” was Our Lady’s gentle reproach to Blessed Alan de la Roche, one of her devoted servants.

    Enrollment in the Confraternity

    To be eligible for the scapular promise, one must be enrolled in the Brown Scapular Confraternity. This is a simple ceremony which can be performed by any priest (see below). The members of the Confraternity have the added benefit of sharing in all the spiritual benefits of the Carmelite Order.

    According to a statement made by the Carmelite Fathers at the National Scapular Center, every priest now has the right to invest the faithful in the Brown Scapular and to substitute the rosary in lieu of the Little Office (see below).

    The scapular must be 100% wool without plastic casing and should not be pinned or affixed to clothing. It is worn over the head, under one’s clothes, with one square of wool hanging on the chest and the other on the back. Pictures are not necessary.

    The Sabbatine Privilege

    The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell; She will also shorten their stay in purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some debt of punishment.

    This promise is found in a Bull of Pope John XXII. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and, speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular, said, “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in purgatory I shall free so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

    The Blessed Virgin assigned certain conditions which must be fulfilled:

    1. Wear the Brown Scapular continuously.
    2. Observe chastity according to one’s state in life (married/single).
    3. Recite daily the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin OR Observe the fasts of the Church together with abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays OR With permission of a priest, say five decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary OR With permission of a priest, substitute some other good work.

    Pope Benedict XV, the celebrated World War I Pontiff, granted 500 days indulgence for devoutly kissing your scapular.

    Enrollment procedure by Priest:


    Priest – Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.

    Respondent – And grant us Thy salvation.

    P – Lord, hear my prayer.

    R – And let my cry come unto Thee.

    P – The Lord be with you.

    R – And with your Spirit.

    P – Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, sanctify + by Thy power these scapulars, which for love of Thee and for love of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Thy servants will wear devoutly, so that through the intercession of the same Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and protected against the evil spirit, they persevere until death in Thy grace. Thou who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.


    P – Receive this blessed scapular and beseech the Blessed Virgin that through Her merits, you may wear it without stain. May it defend you against all adversity and accompany you to eternal life. Amen.


    P – I, by the power vested in me, admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits obtained through the mercy of Jesus Christ by the Religious Order of Mount Carmel. In the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. + Amen.

    May God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth, bless + you, He who has deigned to join you to the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel; we beseech Her to crush the head of the ancient serpent so that you may enter into possession of your eternal heritage through Christ our Lord.

    R – Amen.


    A Prayer of Consecration to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

    O Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, I come today to consecrate myself to you, for my whole life is but a small return for the many graces and blessings that have come from God to me through your hands.

    Since you look with special kindness on those who wear your Scapular, I implore you to strengthen my weakness with your power, to enlighten the darkness of my mind with your wisdom, and to increase in me faith, hope and charity that I may repay each day my debt of humble homage to you.

    May your Scapular bring me your special protection in my daily struggle to be faithful to your divine son and to you. May it separate me from all that is sinful in life and remind me constantly of my duty to imitate your virtues. From now on, I shall strive to live in God’s presence, and offer all to Jesus through you.

    Dearest Mother, support me by your never-failing love and lead me to paradise through the merits of Christ and your own intercession.



  10. Audie says:

    Andy, thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us! It is amazing how our Lord patiently waits for us after calling us so many times before we finally answer. I love this place, Charlie’s blog. So, this is what it means to be brothers and sisters in Christ! I have read some posts in the MOG forum, which have also encouraged and helped me in my return to the Church. So happy for you, Andy, that you are back. God bless you and your family. And God bless us all.


  11. WOW! That was a wonderful story. god is truly merciful. I love hearing conversion stories. We should all witness more of our conversions to people. It gives people hope and helps us know that we are not alone.
    Holy Mother……Queen of Heaven…..Pray for me a sinner.


  12. Andy H says:

    Just realized Leah’s link did not work. This one does for any interested. I love sharing her story because she was sent to our family to begin to heal us and I have always felt her story can help others too!



  13. Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family.


  14. Marti says:

    Oh Andy, I finally get to hear your whole story! Thank you for your heartfelt testimony. It gives me so much hope and hope for my loved ones so far away. God is using you in wonderful miraculous ways! May He be glorified through your life and through your YES!


  15. Connie says:

    Andy, the joy of the Lord shines right through you! , like Marti, your story reminds me that God is always searching and looking for a way to reach us. Inking about get a little worried sometimes, thinking about those evil spirits that might be hanging onto some of our loved ones and to other people in the world who are deceived. I wish I had a friend like your grandmother’s friend who could see these evil spirits and fight them off with deep prayer. I offer up my physical and emotional suffering for conversion and reversion of sinners, but I am not holy enough, i feel, and I strain so hard toward my loved ones, esp., that I feel may have spirits attaIched to them. Do you have any suggestions- What would be best to knock out any evil spirits that might be interfering in someone’s desire or thirst to come closer to God? I pray esp for souls to hunger and thirst for the Lord.


    • Andy H says:

      The first thing that came to my mind Connie is what I usually go with and that would be the brown scapular. I am a close group of sisters that I do a lot of investment work for and they told me something about the brown scapular. They say the evil, the demons in the world can see it under people’s clothing and they are repelled by it. This actually happened with a friend of mine who wears one of the brown scapulars I gave him. He is the one I mentioned above that helped me understand the church again and Our wonderful Mother! One day he was walking in the parking lot with some co workers going to lunch. There used to be this woman that always hung around the parking lot always asking for money. She was not your typical begger I am told and you could always feel uncomfortable around her like there was an evil there kind of like what Padraig just mentioned. I have never seen this woman so am going off what he and others have said. He was lagging behind a bit and saw her approach the group ahead of him and they told her to get lost in a polite way and she yelled and snarled at them. As she came to him to pass him as soon as she was next to him she literally recoiled and actually hissed at him. He was shocked and did not know about the scapular being able to keep evil away. That evening the Blessed Mother actually came to him in a dream and told him that she kept that demon away from him that day and told him about the brown scapular. I was amazed as you can imagine.

      In my life I try to never take the brown scapular off. Mine has a medal on it with the sacred heart of Jesus and I also attached the Miraculous medal to it. I also wear a St. Benedict medal and have them above every door of my house, in my car and in my wife’s car. If you can’t convince another to take up this form of protection then all you can do is pray. Prayer is so powerful and every prayer is heard. Every one! Even if it takes you 40 years of prayer for your loved ones for that prayer to work it was not wasted time. Conversions and miracles happen at the latest of hours. Just ask the good thief on the cross!


      • ann says:

        Very very interesting Andy and very edifying. Thank you for this further info on the Brown Scapular. I have worn mine for years and I hate taking it off for any reason. As to your explanation of the sisters telling of the power of the Brown Scapular, I had a very terrible demonic dream some time ago and in the dream I drew out my Brown Scapular and held it in front of me and this entity recoiled and I woke up. I’ve always remembered that. St. John Vianney told of a girl at one of the village dances who was devastated because this handsome young man wouldn’t dance with her even though he danced with all the other girls. St. John V. told her to rejoice and thank God because her Brown Scapular protected her. That young man was really a demon setting out to seduce souls. Imagine!!!
        Thanks too for your testimony. It gives me (good)chills to think how good Our Lord is and how Our Mother just draws us in under her mantle.


  16. There is one thing, I think ,about Deliverance Andy that you might find insightful. Jesus warned that if a demon is driven out it can go and find several demons even worse than itself and return in even greater force than before. That is why I am cautious in not praying for strangers who appear to me under demonic influence . The demons may exit but unless there is real repentance I think we risk making matters even worse.

    Luke 11:26

    Return of an Unclean Spirit
    …25″And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26″Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”


  17. Andy H says:

    But Padraig, that is not up to us the making of things worse that is up to God and His will. God has total control over those demons. He allows them to take hold and worsen and maybe that is what is supposed to happen. Maybe they need to be at their bottom so they can begin to heal. How could you ever stop praying for someone while alive no matter how evil they may be. They are still here and have a chance for conversion up to their last dying breath. They have the chance to be sparred from hell even if they only make it the worst parts of Purgatory, they at least have been saved from eternal damnation. I understand what you are saying but I don’t have any power to cast a demon out but I can say a simple prayer of something like “Jesus, do what you do best and light the spark in their heart.” or “Mother Mary work your love into them.”


  18. Yes Andy certainly we can pray for their soul, but praying precisely for demonic deliverance is something else entirely. Just as they say nature abhors a vacuum so we could say the spirit abhors a vacuum too. If we kick the demons out something else must take their place and that something is radical conversion. If nothing fills the void, as Jesus pointed out the demons will return in even greater numbers than before.

    It is a bit like an army who take a fortified city expelling the occupying army, then leave the city to itself, leaving no guards. Clearly the evicted army, seeing the city will return in even greater numbers to secure it.

    Perhaps I am wrong but I suspect that this is what the lady who prayed over you did. She could see the enemy, true enough. But it is not enough to see the enemy, That is just the first step. It is how we prudently deal with the devil that is even more important. I suspect in your case she did not deal prudently with them.


    • charliej373 says:

      Well, I have to say I am with you on this, Padraig. It is why I am so opposed to so-called centering or emptying prayer – especially when it pretends to be compatible with Christianity. We are not just called to empty ourselves, but to fill ourselves with Christ.


      • Yes Charlie exactly the point. You are so right on this.

        A good example from scripture is when Jesus drove the seven demons from Mary Magdalene. He told her to ‘Sin no more’ . In other words warning her the demons would return if she herself returned to her old ways.

        Personally I do not believe Jesus would have conducted her deliverance if she had not provided ample proof of penitence (washing his feet with her hair and covering them with ointment and her tears).

        As the old saying goes grace is free but it is not cheap.

        The danger too with these prayer forms you mention is it makes us a bit like a householder who unlocks and opens his front door hoping someone good will come calling. Well it is just as likely that someone bad will come calling , or no one at all.

        Again the underlying principle in this is. it seems to me, that of cheap grace.


        • Andy H says:

          Yes. I see what you are saying now Padraig. You are probably right and had not thought of that but it explains a lot because it definitely got much worse for me in a spiritual sense after that incident took place. That happened in 2006 and it took 7 years to shake the New Age and come back to the Lord. Of course whatever evil she took away that day was right back and you could easily say now looking back, much stronger because the sin in my life for those 7 years was definitely very prevalent.


          • Romans 8:28

            And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

            I think Andy one of the most wonderful things about God Andy is that no matter where we wander it is always for a good reason and we always end up in the same wonderful place if we love Him. There are no accidents it is all fortuitous circumstance. it reminds me of when I was up the mountains with the dogs a couple of years back and got totally lost. I wandered round not knowing my way dead beat, even one of the dogs got tired and was hard to raise up. But I saw parts of the mountains I never saw before and was wonderful sunny day and so ended up being perhaps the best trek of my life.

            Years ago my spiritual director commented on a verse of St Paul.

            2 Corinthians 12:7

            or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me

            I think it is impossible for the Christian not to be attacked by demons. Often in a very up front hands on way. The only difference being that some realise this and some do not. But it much better to see your enemy than to not.


        • ann says:

          Thanks you Padraig for your wisdom in this area. I think the lay person would do well to avoid attempting any kind of direct deliverance prayer (except binding prayer for oneself). The safest thing is to ask God the Father in the Name of Jesus for the sake of His Precious Blood to free the person you are worried about. Obviously I’m no expert but various priests have indicated that its risky business to be prayed over for these things or do it for someone else apart from the authority of the Church. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.


          • charliej373 says:

            That is a big part of why, at the prayer groups we just started, we build around the Prayer of Miraculous Trust; no direct prayers for healing or deliverance – rather prayers of abandonment and trust and solidarity with each other. I was careful to note that I have seen prayer teams used effectively, but we do not use them. Rather, the whole assembly is our prayer team. Hee hee, when I get the video up, you will see that when I announced we did not do the normal healing prayers many are accustomed to (though we did ask for healing in our prayers) I pulled an apple out of my pocket and let folks know we did have a box of those at the back – so they could keep the doctor away the natural way.


          • Bob says:

            I am in a healing and deliverance ministry and don’t pray unless the team under authority is asked to pray. That said I am much more comfortable praying to God or to St Michael for the person’s deliverance because I am stupid and don’t want to try to pray something out not knowing that person fully or when they are ready but if I ask God to free the person He knows the perfect way and time to do it.


          • charliej373 says:

            Excellent approach, Bob!


          • Bob says:

            I also believe we can pray prayers for ourselves and for family members, etc. to bind the evil one from acting to create pain, disturbance, confusion, sinful temptations or whatever other problems may be demonic, short of telling them when or how to leave but we need to do so with the blood of Jesus, focusing on his cross, his Holy Mother, etc.


  19. Mark (Fatima) says:

    Great article Andy! Thanks for sharing the faith and riches of our faith.


  20. Bob says:

    As for New Age I was in the early stages of that when I got lost. I had been softened by the so called liberal theology, denying the miracles of Jesus, etc and following a period of drug experimentation was reading some Buddhist literature. On my Catholic High School retreat I decided to find if it was possible to have mystical experiences by means of hallucinogetic drugs, so I took some pills at night and , blinded by the false light, believed I was one with the universe, etc. And the experience was so real that only God coming and showing me a deep experience of His love later could free me from my blindness and restore me to my Catholic faith I had loved as a child. In my case I do believe that a certain legalism and what I later called practical Pelagianism, that is the idea that I believed I needed to make myself holy by my own self effort had caused me to become discouraged in living as a Christian also. Clearly we can only live as Christians with the strong help of God’s grace and mercy, especially in the times we now live in.
    So God has been most merciful to me despite my many sins and the many times I continued to return to my own vomit.


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