Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy

flame of love

(This guest piece is by Janet, who comments here but is best known as Pelianito, for the wonderful spiritual blog she does, one of the few I link to permanently, at right. Her comments are timely and, in their little way, marvelous advice for spiritual preparation – as was St. Paul’s advice, which she quotes,  from today’s readings)

By Pelianito

From the Second Reading 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Philippians 4: 12-16 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The theme of joy has been coming very strongly to me in the last few days. It seems strange, given much of what is occurring in the world and much of what I am feeling in my spirit. Human logic would make joy an unlikely theme in these perilous times. Yet, it comes to me, again and again along with the scripture passage from Nehemiah 8:10 – “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Some years ago I felt the Lord give me an image. I was in stormy waters and clinging to a rock, getting tossed around a bit but hanging on quite easily. In the image I was joyful, and even though the situation seemed dire, I was actually having fun! I felt the Lord explain: “The rock is hope, and joy is the glue that holds you to it. Let not fear drive joy from your heart, for love and joy must reign in the hearts of my faithful ones.”

We are living in increasingly terrible times, which seem likely to get worse before they get horrific! Now is the time to increase our capacity for joy. God is not calling us to be sad sacks and worry warts. As the days continue to descend into darkness, we need to be less and less prophets of doom and more and more prophets of holy joy.

How is that possible, when things are so dark and getting darker? My friends, it has always been true that if our joy is tied to earthly circumstances, we are in deep trouble. Our joy must have its source in the Lord and be independent of our earthly circumstances. God has not left us orphans; he has not abandoned us and will never leave us—much less in our time of direst need. Scripture is steeped in hope and full of promise. GOD WINS! WE GET TO GO TO HEAVEN! All this toil and trouble is temporary. God loves us and nothing can change that. Whatever happens to us in this life we will be infinitely—infinitely!—compensated for in the next, so long as we keep our faith.

All the more reason to take every opportunity to expand our heart’s capacity for joy. We do that by practicing joy and gratitude in every moment. Remember, we don’t have to actually feel the joy, but we are called to BE joyful, whether we feel it or not. Joy is not a feeling, but a grace. As Nehemiah tells us, it is not actually our joy, but the joy of the Lord. The grace is given, but the practice of it requires discipline, and engaging in joyful penance is a discipline we should be cultivating on a regular basis.

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18)

In the Office of Readings for the feast day of St. Andrew Dung Lac, a Vietnamese priest who was martyred in 1839 we read this poignant illustration of joyful hope in dire circumstances:

“The prison here is a true image of everlasting hell: to cruel tortures of every kind–shackles, iron chains, manacles–are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief. But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, for his mercy is forever. In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone—Christ is with me.”

Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Christ was unequivocal in his message to his disciples:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

“So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (John 16:22-24)

In the diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann who was given the Flame of Love devotion, she relates the words of Jesus from August 16, 1962: “Be my servant! Be always joyful! Every day that you serve Me must be a feast. Do not let anyone or anything that disturbs your cheerful spirit come near your soul. Take good care of your nuptial garment and let it radiate happiness. Wherever you go, let it be felt that you partake every day in the heavenly banquet. Desire that everyone have this same yearning. Let the coming of my Kingdom be the only object of prime importance in your life.”

The Lord wants us to live in the Kingdom now, here, today and in that way the joy of the Lord becomes our strength.

I want to end with a present-day story of someone who lives in the the joy of the Lord. A friend related to me what happened to her father some years ago. He had been diagnosed with a serious degenerative disease that eventually left him unable to walk. He and his wife decided to go to Medjugorje to pray for a miracle. At one point on their trip, he says he felt a warm sensation at the back of his neck where the degeneration was causing damage. Very shortly, not only was he able to walk—he was able to run! It was a dramatic healing, a true miracle!

The healing was short-lived, however. Within two weeks of his return, he was back in his wheelchair and has been that way for over 20 years; today he is a quadriplegic. But that is not the end of the story, because ever since returning from Medjugorje, to the wonderment of all who know him or meet him, and most especially those who care for him, he has been filled with true joy and radiates it to all around him. He is a beacon of hope to all he encounters.

My friends, we too are called to be that kind of witness! As this man shows us, the joy that we radiate on earth is a magnet that will attract others, an irresistible evangelical beacon. When all is darkening, we are called to be the light shining in that darkness. Jesus needs conduits of his light. We are called to be his instruments, his little torches, his flames of love. Let our joy be the lighthouse that guides others to the safe harbor which is the Church.

May we all be given the grace and the desire to live lives of holy joy in all circumstances. And may the joy of the Lord always be our strength. Amen.

Jeremiah 15:20-21 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

“My beloved children, the time is upon you when the enemy of souls will seek ever more to crush the Bride of Christ. Remain firm and steadfast in your faith. Do not fear! He who is in you is stronger than he who is in the world. (cf 1 Jn 4:4) I tell you again be firm in your faith. You are standing on a rock. It is only if you abandon the rock that you will be in danger. Do not let toil or sorrow, pain or persecution discourage you, but begin now to give thanks to God in every circumstance. You will be amazed at the strength and power this will produce in you. Refrain from complaining. This is a very insidious form of ingratitude and will serve to weaken you. It is the joy that a grateful heart presents that will draw souls to me. In all things—praise!”

Heavenly Father, you are all goodness and love. We praise you for all you have given us and especially for the gift of faith—our light in a dark world. We trust in you to deliver us from evil. Keep us free from ingratitude and let us praise you in all circumstance. Thank you Father! Praise you Jesus! Come Holy Spirit! We love you!

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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85 Responses to Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy

  1. I believe Pope Benedict commented at joy being the quality that draws others to the Faith. In his Encyclical, “MOTU PROPRIO DATA”, (announcing the Year of Faith he writes:

    ‘Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. During the homily at the Mass marking the inauguration of my pontificate I said: “The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance.”[1] It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment, continuing to think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society. In reality, not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied.[2] Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.’

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  2. Thank you Janet. Christus Vinci.

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  3. the phoenix says:

    Thank you for this post, Peli!

    Last weekend, I attended Sunday Mass while on vacation and heard a sermon by a priest originally from West Africa. He spoke about ISIS and the beheadings, he spoke about ebola … and reminded us on Respect Life Sunday that in America we were actually not immune from a deadly environment on a large scale ourselves, for a woman could just say the word and terminate a pregnancy to kill her child. When asked how to deal with everything like this going on in the world, his advice was to keep the faith and to follow your dreams … his encouraging tone felt similar to this post about keeping a holy joy in your life.

    An earlier post here dealt with how to personally prepare for the Storm based on what you were called to do. Some are preparing refuges, others prudently stocking up on emergency supplies (which to an extent seems like a decent idea to me as well), thinking about natural medicine (which I’ve started doing anyways for my own health reasons) … But what do I feel specially called to do by God in this Storm while it begins to rage? One major thing, of all things, is: Create art. Venture forth into the great outdoors with my camera to take landscape and nature photos. Who knows all the details of why … I suppose it’s a way of being a sign of hope.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Ah, Phoenix, there are some who are called to be witnesses of this time; chroniclers, artists, even playwrights. God neglects nothing. The better they do their job, the longer it will be before another mass falling away occurs. Do it with love and you will be a profound sign of hope.

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    • Fran says:

      I feel this too, Phoenix. Art, an expression of the beauty of God, is a profound sign of hope.
      “Beauty will save the world.” Fyodor Dostoevsky, THE IDIOT
      “People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm [of wonder] if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that “beauty will save the world” (§16).
      Saint Pope John Paul II, LETTER TO ARTISTS

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  4. MM Bev says:

    So here I sit, typing, glad that I missed my trip to Medjugorje, grateful for this hot and uncomfortable neck brace, and happy as a pig in mud that all I did was fracture the cervical vertebras, not smash them totally. Ah, God can always change our perspective on things. I am going to be able to do a number of jobs I have put off in the next couple of months, because I can’t drive and go and purchase things on my list for “preparations” – and who knows if I really need them or not. At least I know that I can walk to 9 am Mass, and I will have my house all nicely straightened out and have finished stacking wood by the time 2 months are up. Since I have been wanting to do the house for four years and couldn’t, I am wonderfully grateful that God has designated the time for me. Best of all, there are some creative things I too have been itching to do for years now, and guess what? Betcha I can fit some of that in too! I feel a bit silly to be so happy I fractured my neck.

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    • Marti says:

      Oh Bev! What a cross! I had to laugh when you said you had things that you had been itching to do for years now…I often have said I will have to either get a terminal illness or be put in jail for awhile to write on the back of the three 25 gallon tubs of pictures we have of our seven children and six grandchildren (and growing). Note to self: write on back of pictures immediately after picking them up from Walgreens! How did you get hurt??

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  5. ellenchris says:

    Prayers for you, MM Bev. You are being a blessing to others with the grace God has given you.

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  6. Momof10 says:

    Definitely a piece I needed to read. As someone who has struggled with depression on and off for most of my 54 years and prayed intensely for the gift of joy this has given me renewed hope of actually finding it. One paragraph in particular I will be meditating on daily…

    “All the more reason to take every opportunity to expand our heart’s capacity for joy. We do that by practicing joy and gratitude in every moment. Remember, we don’t have to actually feel the joy, but we are called to BE joyful, whether we feel it or not. Joy is not a feeling, but a grace. As Nehemiah tells us, it is not actually our joy, but the joy of the Lord. The grace is given, but the practice of it requires discipline, and engaging in joyful penance is a discipline we should be cultivating on a regular basis.”

    There is a song my husband and I learned years ago that talks about offering sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving and joy. We agreed, for us joy would be a real sacrifice! Today I am greatly encouraged to try again and really learn the discipline of joy. We need it so desperately in our family and our world!

    God bless you Pelianito.

    Charlie, thank you for the blog. I have been reading Mark Mallett for many years and found out about you from his posts. Yours has become one of my favorite sites in the last month or two.
    God bless you.

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    • pelianito2014 says:

      Momof10, I praise God that this piece helped you. As sisters in the BSP please know that you are in my daily prayers. Go with God, dear sister.

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      • Momof10 says:

        Forgive my ignorance. What is BSP?

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        • charliej373 says:

          I believe it is the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of ST. Francis, Momof10. You can read more about them here.

          But you raise a good note, here. All the readers have different experiences. When any who comment use an abbreviation, please spell out what you are talking about in the first reference and put the abbreviation in parentheses next to it. After that, you can just use the abbreviation because you have clearly identified what you are speaking of.

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        • Sorry, I thought you were the Momof10 who is a member of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis (www.bspenance.org). Who knew there would be two people that would use that username! Sorry for the confusion.

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          • Momof10 says:

            No problem (and perhaps providential?) I find it interesting that you were referring to an association connected to St. Francis. Both my husband and I looked into religious vocations in Franciscan orders before we met. I took the time to read the rule (we don’t live very differently from it) and noticed the references to the Feast of St. Martin, which just happens to be my birthday! What a delightful mistake…..
            God bless you

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          • Well Momof10 if you ever want to join the club, I can hook you up! 🙂

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  7. vparisi says:

    Can I just say how much I love this post today! Jesus is still on the throne no matter what! Thank you Charlie and Janet!

    Blessings,

    Val

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  8. Lily Malakooti says:

    Thank you this is all confirmations for me and others! I too read the Pelianito reflections for several years now and the messages are always in the right timing of what is going on in my heart and in others.

    Thank you again for helping me to stay fervent!

    Lily

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    • pelianito2014 says:

      Lily it is always a mystery to me how God can produce such fruits in a sinner who says yes. It is all him! Praised be Jesus who has not left us orphaned but comes to us humble and riding on a donkey!

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  9. Robyn says:

    Beautiful!

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  10. One of the things I’ve been saving, thinking that someday soon they may no longer be available, is National Geographic Magazine. My thought is that some of the most beautiful photography celebrating the Creation is contained in them, and I don’t want that to be lost to the next generation. Also, the other day I was going through my closet and I came across some of my art materials and books. I haven’t taken them out since I moved here six months ago, but suddenly I am excited about taking up my art again. So these comments are greatly encouraging to me, that this would be something that pleases the Lord. Thanks for sharing!

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    • charliej373 says:

      Nancy, one of the thing that most heartens me here is that so many, acknowledging the terrible trials we face, are not just planning on how to survive, but on how to live fully and with gusto. It is a profound act of faith. I can see the good God saying, “Now here are some people after My own heart. Not only do they trust Me and concentrate on how to alleviate suffering; they plan to paint and make music as they endure!” Perhaps it is a conceit on jy part, but I look at what many of you write and I think it pleases the Lord to see that, yes, He will find faith on earth – and here it is.

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      • It’s true, Charlie – I don’t just want to “make it through”, because how could that possibly be a sign of hope for others? I do want to keep busy with the ordinary, all the while radiating the love, joy, peace and hope that is the signature of those who put all their trust in God. He will prove His faithfulness, and with the help of His grace I will imitate Him in that. Blest be God.

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  11. Marti says:

    In 2012 I was in Rome and Ukraine with my dear spiritual father Bishop Roman Danylak. We spent six wonderful weeks traversing all around meeting people, praying at shrines and being introduced to dignitaries. We visited the shrine in Hrushiv,Ukriane where the mystic Josyp Tereleya who had been imprisoned for his faith for 22 yrs. in the Russian gulags had seen our Lady numerous times and been given messages for the world and for all of Ukraine. While there I prayed that Josyp become my special intercessor (I knew Josyp and the Bishop was his spiritual father also) . The Bishop kindly prayed over me for that request and I also prayed to be healed of sleep apnea, which I had been burdened with for 14 years. Later that night our Lord confirmed to me that I had been healed. No more symptoms. No more worry about carrying a machine around the world with me to breath at night. What joy!! I gave the machine away to someone who could not afford one.

    Two years later, while checking off appointments for an upcoming surgery the doctor wanted me to have a sleep study. Even though I slept like a baby, had no symptoms of sleep apnea (legs and arms going numb or trembling during sleep, gasping for breath, periods of not breathing which is extremely hard on your heart). I obediently went in and talked to the respiratory therapists while they were hooking wires to me for my sleep study telling them how I had been healed and evangelizing the faith and love of our Lord and our Lady. I laid in bed that night and it came to me quite clearly that I would indeed be diagnosed with sleep apnea again. This time it was in answer to a prayer during Lent that our Lord find little (or big!) humiliations for me to sanctify me. Well, as a friend said later…”You NEVER do that! You ask for God’s will to be done, NOT to be humiliated!” DUH. The good Lord prepared me for the laughs, chuckles, eye rolling and ‘I told you so’. The acceptance was much easier this time of buying the machine, sleeping with something hooked to my face, and traveling with it like it was my bag of gold. Now, I actually put it on and say thank you God. Thank you for this reminder of your love for me. May everyone who has sleep apnea have a machine and use it wisely and get a good nights sleep! The fear of the electricity going out, the fear of a piece of the machine breaking during hard times is not there like it was before. God WILL provide…just like he always has. And if it is His will, I will die in my sleep like so many with sleep apnea do. My prayer is only that I am in a state of sanctifying grace living in his Divine Holy Will.

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    • pelianito2014 says:

      Marti, that is a beautiful story of surrender to the Holy and Divine Will. Here is a prayer I pray almost daily. I am not sure who wrote it but it seems linked to St. Philomena.

      Prayer of Surrender to God in Death

      O my God, I offer myself to undergo death and, from this moment, I accept it willingly from
      Thy Hands. I want to welcome it with love, in whatever way it comes to me, suddenly or
      slowly, easily or bitterly, be it in comfort or in desolation, completely abandoned by men, or
      in the midst of my brothers. In a word, I want the death Thou hast chosen for me. It is
      enough for me if it is precious in Thy sight.

      From this moment, I unite my agony to Thy agony, my death to Thy death. I implore Thee,
      O Jesus, that my death may be very holy and according to Thy good pleasure, and that the
      last act of my life may be an act of pure love of Thee. Amen

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  12. kathy kalina says:

    As I sit 20 miles from ground zero of the ebola plague in the U.S. I find myself full of joy and gratitude. In prayer I’ve been given the assignment to be peaceful, joyful and generous through this storm. Many times a day, this prayer comes to me: “Your presence is my joy and your joy is my strength.”

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  13. Audie says:

    Thank you, Pelianito, for today’s inspiration! I have been struggling with the question of how to be joyful in the middle of so much tension and turmoil. I was to the point of asking my priest how to find joy. You answered all my questions. Just yesterday, I put up two new pictures on our blank wall (we had just moved into this house a year ago, but I quit planning for updates or personalizing it because of fear). The pictures are peaceful and happy, beautiful bluebirds sitting in a tree with yellow blooms. Nothing expensive, just cheerful and peaceful. Very simple, but the reaction from my family members that live here was uplifting. They noticed immediately the little joy. I will continue to make this house our little home with simple beauty and peace. If we don’t get to enjoy it, maybe someone else will down the road. Simplicity brings so much joy.

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    • Fran says:

      When I read Corrie Ten Boom’s book,The Hiding Place, (her memoir about her family and the Nazi occupation of Holland and Holocaust) a number of years ago, one of the many insights that stayed with me was what happened when Corrie and her sister change roles in the house, and Corrie takes over the books, and running things for their father’s business downstairs, while her sister takes over running the household. After a few weeks, Corrie is astonished as it becomes obvious that each has finally found their “niche”, and what they are good at. She describes how her sister with very little resources, was able to make their little house “shine”. As I recall, she scrubbed, rearranged, simply decorated, put out flowers, and always had a delicious pot of soup simmering on the back burner and a pot of coffee going for the many “visitors” that stopped by. And so many did stop by for a cheerful visit in a peaceful home, a little joy and comfort in what was becoming an increasingly frightful situation. I have always kept that in mind, and will continue to try to make my home a peaceful, joyful place for as long as I am able. I desire, hope, and pray that I can mitigate fear with acts of joy and kindness. Since fear is one of Satan’s tactics, diffusing it with a firm decision of joy and kindness seems the perfect counterstrategy that the Lord gives to us. I pray for this kind of steadfast joy.

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  14. Barbara R says:

    Charlie, thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for providing a gathering spot for this community. I write today to ask for prayers. The current ebola crisis just struck close to home. The nurse in Texas who has contracted the disease, Nina Pham, was a high school friend of my son-in-law. My daughter called earlier and asked for prayers for her recovery. Thanks for your prayer support.

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  15. Elizabeth K. says:

    Thank you Pelianito, and everyone here. I seldom talk with other people in real life about the things I’ve been mulling over, because I’m still in the process of discerning, and also I don’t want to freak people out. But this last week I brought a bit of it up with my husband–which did, in fact, freak him out. A lot. Then, oddly enough, just yesterday my husband was approached by a friend who wants to form a survivalist/prepper group to deal with/escape whatever’s coming. Well, this really upset my poor husband, he thinks it’s just madness. Reading all of the posts here, though, meant I was prepared to say, “yeah, he may be right about what’s ahead, but no, I don’t think we should be concentrating on our own survival and damn the rest of the world.” (For the record, my husband still thinks I’m nuts, but since I’d be delighted to have that turn out to be the case, I’m ok with it.)

    Thank you all for the constant reminders to just take the next right step, and to be a sign of hope. And I think we should all remember that if our modern day prophets are right, people are going to be awfully scared and do all kinds of crazy things, so the more we can speak to that the better. In my end-of-the-age, go-to-book Lord of the Rings, fear is the biggest enemy the fellowship faces. I see signs of fear all around, and I’m trying to focus on not giving in to it. I love that folks here are thinking about joy rather than fear.

    Praying for Barbara’s friend.

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    • June1 says:

      Elizabeth, I have struggled with deciding whether or not to start speaking about this, about Charlie and prophecies and such. I have, indeed, briefly tested the waters by mentioning a bit about Marie-Julie Jahenny and Charlie to my mom and my goddaughter’s mother but… nothing. Not a single feather ruffled. At least it seems that way to me. I know my husband would completely be closed off. This is why I am silently preparing spiritually and a bit physically (hawthorne leaves, sacramentals, etc.) for the moment–if it ever comes–where I may have to play a stronger role in this family. I am definitely seen as a weakling in my family so I pray Jesus will give me His strength to stand up and SPEAK and ACT for Him if/when the time comes. I will pray for your family, Elizabeth, and for everyone else here going through similar struggles, doubts, carrying heavy crosses, etc.

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      • aeross46 says:

        Thank you, June, I really appreciate that. My husband is a really wonderful father, and husband, and faithful and devout Catholic as well. But the mystical side of things is just not up his alley. I’m a little surprised by how much this has upset him; I assumed he would disagree, because he tends to be even and calm (which I love about him), but I’m surprised by how angry and upset he is. It’s almost as if he thinks that by thinking negatively about the state of the world, I can actually make it happen (if only–I’d think really positive thoughts and make everything ok 🙂 ).

        The crux, for him, seems to be that even if I’m wrong, it indicates something’s very wrong with how I view things. My response is that if, during the Cold War, someone felt there was a 25% chance that a war would start by accident, that person would have turned out to be wrong–but that person would not have been crazy. their thinking would not have been fundamentally “bad.” In fact, such an event *did* almost occur, and we were only saved by the actions on one soldier. If the Pope is saying we’re in World War III, I think it’s worth a listen, and maybe storing some bottled water.

        But, I don’t plan to spend a lot of time arguing about it, either. I just want to concentrate on making our home a beautiful and safe haven for him and our children, and celebrating all the joys in life, and keeping things even as much as it’s in my power to do so.

        I will pray for you and yours, too. I think the confusion will be great, but there will be strength, as well.

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        • Elizabeth K. says:

          sorry–that’s me, Elizabeth, above.

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          • vicardwm says:

            Hmmm, interesting, Elizabeth. I’m on the other side of the fence. As a faithful, devout Catholic, I used to believe that we were in for a major “chastisement” just because of prophecy. NOW, I look at the world, and I can’t imagine how anyone, whether they know anything about prophecy or not, can miss seeing that the world order that exists right now is in the midst of falling apart.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Ha, Vicar…my priests and I have joked for a good decade that “you don’t have to be a prophet to see what’s coming now.” Today, it has gotten to the point where you have to be invincibly ignorant not to see it.

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          • Charlie is always reminding us to look to the ordinary and take joy in it. I have been receiving messages of coming calamities since 1997. But there are some days when I just want to sing. Like Monday, Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. Beautiful fall weather. I remember telling someone once: It’s just too nice a day to be a prophet of doom! 🙂

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          • Elizabeth K. says:

            I agree vicar–and yet I am surrounded with people, and especially my wonderful husband, who really think everything is fine, or at least normally bad. I find it a little bizarre, but there you go. Part of the trouble is that I’m married to a historian–so arguing that this time is “the worst” is a hard sell–worse than the Black Plague? Worse than the Fall of Rome? I’m not sure if it is worse–how do we measure that?–but I do feel certain we are at the end of an age.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Goodness, Elizabeth, I don’t see how an historian could NOT see it. I suppose it depends on your emphasis. While my emphasis at college was on the American Revolution, my fascination from high school was on the subject of societies on the verge of catastrophic change. It just amazed me that people could be so blind to what was so clear in retrospect. And they almost always are. The great mass of people – including the most sophisticated – do not see it until the doom is upon them. That totally baffled me. But here we see it again right before us. I came to a theory that in times of epochal change, people’s very experience turns traitor on them. Epochal change is usually the result of trends going back at least 50 years – and usually several hundred. Since the catastrophic type is beyond the life experience of almost everyone, they interpret the changes preceding catastrophe through the lens of what they know. Thus, there was a window of well over a year where Hitler’s intentions towards the Jews was perfectly obvious and many more could have gotten out before the Holocaust began in earnest. Why didn’t they? Because Hitler’s plans were so monstrously unbelievable and large they just…didn’t believe them. European Jews had been through centuries of pogroms. They interpreted this as just another that would pass – because that is what their experience told them. If your hubby is a professional, have him do some serious research on societies in the 10-20 before catastrophic crash. When comparing it to modern life, it may scare the bejabbers out of him.

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          • Mick says:

            Elizabeth, I had to chuckle and nod when I read your post. I know exactly what you mean. My dear, sweet husband is a political scientist, and an avid student of history. Can’t tell you how many times he’s told me that “things go in cycles; they always get better after they get bad for a while.” He thinks I’m a bit kooky, but he’s pretty good-natured about it.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Very prudent, aero0ss. Don’t worry about persuading anyone, just inform them. If you get into a big argument, you involve their (and probably your own) pride, which makes it harder for you to work together when it becomes undeniable. If you just inform and go about your business, you make it easy for you to work together as times get darker – and establish some credibility without raising barriers.

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  16. BB says:

    I thought for sure Charlie or maybe a guest poster would comment on last week’s readings at Sunday Mass (October 5), especially the first and second readings:
    Isaiah 5:1-7
    1 Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2 He dug and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6 I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

    Philippians 4:6-9
    6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    These two readings spoke very clearly to me of these times, and how God sees us, and why things occur as they do, but also, ala St. Paul, how one who is untied with God and conformed to His will has “no anxiety about anything.” That “the God of peace will be with you.” If you see and hear what the Scriptures teach, you can see that many times the world has been in upheaval due to the sinfulness of mankind, but God’s plan is for his own people to have peace. Now, if we can only believe it!

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    • Kati says:

      BB,
      I have noticed this as well. It is happening with the Readings, etc. for Mass and with what is found in the Liturgy of the Hours (including the strength of the PRAISE and worship that brings GREAT joy and peace as one prays it…exactly as Peli has been proclaiming). I have also been thinking that with the God-inspired cycles of the many liturgical riches the Church has for us…that all of this has been meticulously planned out by our incredibly marvelous God. He cares for every detail! Mark Mallet sees it too. Check out what he wrote a few days ago:
      http://www.markmallett.com/blog/for-freedom

      Like

  17. Blessings all. If you are feeling called to offer more gifts of joyful penance in reparation Our Lord and his mother, or for the salvation of those in your territory of souls, I have started a new blog (as if we don’t have enough reading material already!) called “The Joy of Penance”. I will be posting articles that I have written over the years for the monthly newsletter of the Brothers & Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, on the topic of living the life of penance. The above article was written for our newsletter and since it seemed to fit with what we are discussing here, I asked Charlie if he wanted to post it as a guest column. The purpose of my new blog is to offer encouragement in the life of penance, whether a person lives a formal rule or not. If this is something you feel called to, please check it out: http://www.joyofpenance.wordpress.com. God bless!

    Like

  18. Sheri G. says:

    My biggest fear and worry are my kids and grand kids. Charlie told me to trust that Jesus will reveal Himself to them the same way He did to me but it sounds like we don’t have much time!!! I am so worried that they will not be spiritually prepared for the storm but am at a loss of what to do! (Other than pray and I do that constantly!).

    Like

    • Sheri G. remember that God loves your loved ones more than you do. That is where you place your trust. Pray, offer sacrifices and be at peace! God will honor your prayers–believe it!

      Like

      • Sheri G. says:

        Thank you so much Janet! Your words of encouragement mean a lot!! I have been reading you for years and can’t tell you how much you have helped me at just the times I needed it the most!! I consecrated myself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary using Fr. Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory” and it was an awesome turning point in my faith life!! After hearing Fr. Gaitley tell a story about an atheist who died and this person was just sick thinking they were lost and they had been praying for them and Our Blessed Mother appeared to them and said “Why are you worried? You entrusted them to me. I saw to their soul.” (not exact words) That was so comforting to me and I entrusted my kids to Our Blessed Mother and was so happy and at peace. and then I told someone about it and they said “Your kids still have free will”. That kind of knocked me down and shook my confidence! But your words are very helpful! Thank you!! I try to send them a few things and was thinking about sending them this blog but don’t want to turn them off either!

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        • June1 says:

          Sheri, since you read Janet’s blog, I assume you must have come across Marino Restrepo’s testimony at some point (someone always seems to post it every few weeks, hee hee!). Remember what he said about the one light in the family, that your prayers may be the SINGLE thread keeping your loved ones from hell. I take great comfort in that, as most of my family seems to be on the road to perdition. Pray, sacrifice and then try to rest in Jesus and Mary. 🙂 What more can we do, honestly? If grabbing our loved ones by the shoulders and shaking the sin out of them was an option that worked, I’m sure we would have all done it by now. 😛

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          • Sheri G. says:

            Thank you so much for that! Actually, even though I have been reading Pelianito’s blog for years, I don’t read the comments. 🙂 So I have never heard that about Marino Restrepo but it definitely gives me more hope!! (And I need ALL of that I can get!!) Totus tuus, Maria!!!

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  19. Barb says:

    I’ve been struggling with the same thing Sheri, though I don’t have any grandkids yet. And the crazy part is that in just the last few months my young adult children seem to be getting worse instead of better. I have been living my consecration to our dear Blessed Mother for about 6 years now and giving everything to her and entrusting those I love to her care. But I still have moments when I’m just heart-broken by my children’s actions. I homeschooled all of them through high school and tried to instill the faith in them and yet they still haven’t had that true conversion of heart and made the faith their own. My oldest son told me two weeks ago that he is no longer going to Mass…breaks my heart but it’s out of my hands.My daughter slowly has become more worldly and her husband grew up in a family that has fallen away and he is not being a positive influence on her. I keep praying and fasting.
    Jesus, I trust in You…

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  20. donna269 says:

    Oh boy, I need to tell on myself here…..I really needed to read this piece today. Thank you Janet. I have been watching way too much news. It is so ridiculously depressing…..after a long day at work, to put that on is not good! But I read all of the above and feel uplifted by everyone! God is our source of joy and nothing else……I need to go pray to St Michael to protect me from the evil one and read some spiritual things. I start my day with the Seven Sorrows Rosary….that works but I need to tap in again. My job is a caregiver and our children are suffering so much….from spiritual apathy. It’s sad. Now turn on the news and life seems futile. But i turn this on and read and feel more uplifted…..

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  21. Kay says:

    This whole thread makes me think of a favorite quote I found once …

    “Even if I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today.”

    To me that speaks of joy and hope and beauty and LIFE and ………. sweet juicy apples. I think I will go plant an apple tree. 🙂

    Like

  22. donna269 says:

    Hi Janet:
    Upon your recommendation I am in the middle of reading Flame of Love…..Since I am in the middle, I am going to share one thing that nags at me. For the first time, I am seeing Jesus and Mary as being really tough on this mystic. They tell her to go see Fr E although he is not on board yet. She repeatedly feels unworthy. There is a part where I feel they are almost berating her and her sinfulness, I suppose in preparation for this huge mission. It is so unlike anything I have read about our sweet mother Mary….can you comment on this?

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    • Good question Donna! But Jesus is tough on all mystics. Read the diary of St. Faustina, St. Theresa of Avila, Luisa PIccarreta, Charlie Johnston… pick one! Read about Jesus and his disciples. There was no tickling going on I assure you! While they were sure of his love, he was quick to call them on their bad behavior. But you could tell they had a respect, tinged with a bit of healthy fear, as they were “afraid” to ask him questions sometimes.

      Think of it this way: When a general has a great mission for his soldiers, he starts them out in boot camp. They have to build up their stamina, pass the test, only then will they be entrusted with the great mission. It is my sense that this FoL mission was so important that its missionary had to be trained in the toughest of boot camps, the boot camp of humility, as pride is a great temptation when people are called by God.

      I hope this helps you Donna. I think it is a mistake to try to pigeonhole Jesus and Mary. We cannot fathom who they are except one sliver at a time.

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      • charliej373 says:

        You hit the nail on the head, Janet. I am profoundly grateful for the furnaces I have gone through over the course of a lifetime. The Lord would have been doing me no favors by giving me a life of ease, without serious contradiction. Consider, would you want to be guided by someone shaken by the wind in perilous times? God always plays fair…and so loves His people that He refines by fire those He sends to them. I am grateful that some men choose to undergo the sometimes brutal rigor of special forces training to protect the rest of us. I chose to accept what God sent, in order that I might tell you true and not faint at the sight of evil.

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        • Sheri G. says:

          Praise you Jesus and thank you Blessed Mother for preparing your people and thank you Charlie, Janet and all of his faithful ones for enduring and remaining faithful!!! You are truly examples and blessing for ALL of us!!!! Pray for us that we too will have the grace to remain faithful in all our trials!! God bless you and totus tuus, Maria!!!!

          Like

      • donna269 says:

        You know, I WAS thinking about Sr Faustina’s Diary afterward and thought….you know it must be some galvanizing or toughening period to enforce readiness to the person entrusted with the task….believe me I am not in any way judging here….I read this at bedtime after a loong day as a HS nurse and I am exhausted. I am humanly “bothered” by Elizabeth’s trials I suppose. Of course I am only midway through the book so I am sure the end result will be amazing. But, Oh the journey….how painful. But right you are, Janet….not every saint has encountered the kindness in the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje….of course, thinking back on Fatima messages and LaSallette, she was fairly stern there about man being on the road to perdition….Thanks for getting back to me….I will let you know when I am done and thanks for moving me to read it!

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        • charliej373 says:

          You know, Donna, St. Teresa of Avila, who could be tart-tongued (maybe even a little acid-tongued) rebuked people who wanted to see such visions and enjoy such visitations. She demanded of them if they thought they could bear the suffering, the agonies, the price of such union. In a near-mocking tone she acidly told them if they thought it was just a matter of having tea and chatting they were badly informed. I am not doing it justice, but reading it was a great comfort to me. I had often thought – and a few times said – that if you knew the cost you would likely flee from such things. It was nice to hear a great saint say the same thing – and in harsher terms than I ever have. This is not patty-cake.

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          • donna269 says:

            thanks Charlie, I have read Fr Dubay’s Fire Within but it was at least 10 years ago…I often forget about your own trials and galvanizing moments…because of your easy going, grateful disposition. But your walk across the country was a request by our Lord, Yes?

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          • charliej373 says:

            A rather firm request, but one for which I became quite grateful.

            Like

        • The end result of the book is not actually in the book but is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The FoL is an invincible weapon given to the little army God will use throughout the storm and to bring about the rescue, as Charlie puts it.

          Those who are given a special mission are always given a special cross to go with it. It is one of the marks of authenticity, actually. Beware the prophet who carries no cross! He is an imposter.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Well, Janet, I have been trying to persuade the good Lord that when it comes to the mark of authenticity that is suffering, we’ve covered that base pretty well. I’m hoping He will let us move on to things like healing the sick or parting the waters…doesn’t have to be a whole sea or anything. In fact, when I was walking through Beaumont, Texas, a road I was on dead-ended at the Neches River. I had to backtrack five miles to figure out a new line of approach when I was hot, tired and hungry. Being able to part the waters would have come in right handy about then.

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