Through Wind and Waves

Willem_van_de_Velde_the_Younger,_Ships_on_a_Stormy_Sea_(c__1672)

I have long loathed the application of political labels to religious affairs. It seems to me the more things are politicized, the more degenerate they become. There was a time in America when it was neither conservative nor liberal to be patriotic. It was just…American. The same goes for supporting religious liberty, for traditional marriage…I could go on, but you get my point. Often, an ideological label is an excuse not to think, to play at being smart without actually using study, contemplation or right judgment. You want to know what to think, just refer to the ideology – don’t worry about how it works out in practice. Always defend the ideology, regardless of how it works out in practice. That’s your “team.” It is not about finding good solutions to hard problems, but supporting your ideological team.

Christianity requires us to constantly balance mercy and justice. we stand for justice that the foundation of the faith might ever be solid. We stand for mercy because the whole point of the Church is to reconcile the broken and injured to what will give them new life. St. Paul said that he was all things to all men that by all means some might be saved. Satan is no less clever than St. Paul: he, too, is glad to be all things to all men that by all means more might be lured to their doom. Satan loves to use our ideological “teams” against us. If you identify yourself as liberal, satan will be delighted to be more liberal than the Church that he might seduce you away from the faith. If you identify as conservative, satan will delightedly send minions to be more conservative than the Church, that he might deceive you into abandoning the faith. What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire Christ and all else will be given.

Many are breathing a sigh of relief in the aftermath of the preliminary session of the Synod on the Family last week, thinking we narrowly averted a real disaster. But the only disaster that was ever possible looms as large, perhaps even larger, before us as it did before the Synod began. Some thought the Church was in danger of tossing out its Magisterial Doctrine of 2000 years duration for a false mercy. Others thought the Church would leave people who are in a mess to stew in their own misery in order to avoid upsetting any legalism governing the application of that doctrine. But for either of those things to happen would have required the Word of Christ to be void and without effect. So what most were worried about was whether or not there was a God or not, and whether His promises were reliable. There is. Despite all the sturm und drang, there was never any danger that Christ’s promises would be found void.

The only real peril was that some would leave the safety of the Church and go apostate if their favored emphasis of mercy or justice were not ascendant. That danger lurks with as much predatory power now as it did before the Synod began.

Some two decades ago I was shown the nature of the spirit of antichrist and the tools at satan’s disposal to pull people away from the faith. For many generations, the most effective tool satan had was that of seduction, to persuade people that what was good was actually evil and what was evil was actually good. It had been a most profitable – and fairly easy – gambit for satan. Convince people that destructive sins that they were already disposed to were actually positive goods. It was like being a drug pusher – and satan found an eager clientele among a civilization that had developed a taste for sensation and instant gratification.

I was shown, though, that as the Storm approached and settled in, there would be two major shifts in the primary tool satan would use. First, in the period of what I call “Rumblings,” the relatively brief period leading into the Storm, satan’s most important tool would be terror; large-scale institutionalized terror. I do not fully understand why terror was so important to satan during this period, the heart of which lasted from September of 2000 through May of 2009. I do know that that is how it happened, though.

Finally, once the Storm was well established, the most important tool at satan’s disposal would be that of deception – to actively imitate that which is objectively good. At that point, the disasters borne of seduction would be increasingly clear to all who were not invincibly ignorant or committed to an ideology visibly collapsing from the weight of its own fallacies. So satan’s minions would adopt orthodoxy with a vengeance, seeking to convince people they were literally holier than the Pope. Having worn out the utility of pushing people off the true path to the left, they would now push them to the right. Satan is equal opportunity that way. Whether you fall into the abyss from the left or from the right does not concern him, only that you fall. In these last years, the abyss to the right is more useful to satan.

Imagine my dismay at the rise of all sorts of “holy” groups and former fruitful writers claiming that Pope Francis is an antichrist and the gates of hell have prevailed against the Church, which is now a “false church.” These new apostates of satan call for people to abandon the Church in order to be more holy. It is just another way of “doing your own thing.” In order to mask what they are doing, these evil ones erect convoluted claims to prove Pope Francis was not validly elected. They rely on all manner of fantasy and smooth-sounding technicalities to support those claims. At bottom, it is a sort of theological alchemy that rhetorically seeks to persuade people that a horse chestnut is actually a chestnut horse. This is the final deception of the spirit of antichrist before the rescue.

I have encouraged respectful disagreement here – and sometimes vigorous disagreement with the sort of sharp elbows used in a sandlot basketball game. Shoot, I have thrown a sharp elbow or two, myself. I can’t say that the subject of whether Pope Francis is an antipope will never show up here. There are many who are being led astray, who are being led into confusion because of the efforts involved in peddling this calumny. There will be times when, with some patience, I will seek to help people who are struggling with it. But I must make this emphatically clear: this notion IS the spirit of antichrist. Its sudden, visible rise is what so shook me in the last week or so.

Some who propound this seem to think because I am emphatic that both Protestant and Jewish believers are full partners with Catholics in the work before us, that I am susceptible to this heresy. We are a little flotilla in a turbulent sea in which a great Storm is rising, making a perilous journey back to the safe harbor which God has prepared for us. I certainly defend our flotilla against assaults from without: conventional media, hostile governments, Jihadists, malicious activists and others. I am glad to have our Protestant and Jewish brothers in our little flotilla of faith. But those who would try to strike the Pope and undercut the hierarchy are not just another boat in our flotilla. They are saboteurs trying to blow up the engine room. They are more contemptible than the hostile forces attacking from without.

If you are honestly shaken by such things, we will discuss things here to assure you of the safety of the ship Christ has commissioned for this pilgrimage back to Him. But I will publish no screeds from those trying to tear down the Pope. I will banish those who insist on pushing such a notion. If you adopt that, I tell you bluntly, you have become an acolyte of the antichrist. You may be an unwitting dupe or a willing agent, I don’t know. But that horse won’t ride anywhere – and I won’t even allow you to try to throw a saddle on it here. On this site we will often work to repair the damage satan has wrought in souls, but it will never be a forum in which satan’s acolytes may spread their poison, however much they howl about equal time or fairness. I don’t give the devil equal time.

Choose well. Your soul depends on it. It is a horror to watch people who have already swallowed the camel of apostasy eagerly searching for gnats of error to strain out of the Pope’s words. If you are among these, you have your reward.

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 Anti-Christ, Church Governance, Discernment, Obedience, Satan, Spiritual Preparation, The Storm and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

118 Responses to Through Wind and Waves

  1. vicardwm says:

    From what I can tell, there are a lot of people out there who think that Pope Francis is a bad or mediocre Pope, but are committed to weathering what they see as the storm in the Church. You are right that there are also some who are preying on that type of person, trying to get them to leave the Church.

    I think it is OK to think a Pope is a bad pope if one actually has enough knowledge or evidence to make that judgment – after all, there have actually been bad Popes – but I question whether any of us in the “nosebleed seats” have enough knowledge to make that assessment. There are definitely those trying to coax those of such a bent to cross that line into saying that Pope Francis is an invalid Pope.

    You are right that a sin of fomenting schism is worse than sodomy, or just about any sin. If Martin Luther or Henry VIII had been a mere murderer or sodomite instead of a schismatic with a popular message, the world would probably be in a lot better shape right now.

    Like

  2. Mack says:

    Good points, Charlie. Maybe the devil used terror because it can make us feel that we can’t trust God but have to take all sorts of precautions on our own. It could lead to the temptation to think we have to do it ourselves, and not to trust God as a Father.

    Like

    • Observer says:

      And you know, Mack, that tool was used as well against the first Apostles…..they were in hiding for fear after their “bravest” was no longer with them in the flesh. Then who became their consolation and instructor for the “next step”?? The “Mother”. So now, when in doubt or looking for that place to recoup before getting the confidence to proceed we have that same Heart of safety. And she not only waits with us in our own rooms today but I think now is her time….for “The Woman Clothed in the Sun” to really enter the scene with all that power as desired by the Father for her true recognition. Sometimes I picture myself so wrapped up in her flowing mantle that I can’t see where I’m going and that’s just fine with me as long as I can trust she herself is looking forward and pulling me along with all the butterflies within!

      Like

  3. Lois says:

    Thank you and God Bless. You are a gift to us from God.

    Like

  4. BC says:

    Thank you, Charlie, for defending our Pope – and for again eloquently speaking the truth. We live in such perilous times.

    These days, I am often reminded of Frodo’s lament to Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” when Frodo decries the fact that he was alive at a time when the shadow of evil rose again, to which Gandalf replies: “So do I and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

    Let us all use our time wisely and hold tight to our Church. Charlie is right – Christ’s promises will not be found void. Christ will not fail us.

    Like

    • D Shea says:

      Being a simple old CrewDog, I like to keep it real, real simple: Jesus (Father, Holy Ghost, Mary & Joseph) I Trust in You ……….. all others pay cash ūüėČ
      GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC!!

      Like

  5. Mack says:

    Also, Mark Mallett said that what happened at the synod was “an action of the Holy Spirit to expose our hearts at this hour in the world.” I have to admit that at times I have been confused and dumbfounded by some of the things Pope Francis has said and done. But maybe that’s part of the reason he was chosen (by God through the cardinals) to be the Pope. Feeling a little shaken by those things gives us an opportunity for a greater act of faith. Let’s face it, it was easy to feel very serene about the Pope when John Paul and Benedict were eloquently stating Catholic teaching. Francis’ off the cuff style has jarred me and some of his statements have worried me that he wasn’t expressing Catholic teaching in the most exact way, or it sounded ambiguous. But this has to lead me to a deeper act of faith that no matter what, Jesus is guiding the Church through the Pope, and he always will.

    Like

    • Connie says:

      you’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts and emotions on Pope Francis at times, Mack. This thought keeps coming back to me: Is this how Jesus affected many in his time, I’m thinking he had that “shake up” effect on people and I have to ask myself if I were there(as a Jew) when Jesus spoke to the crowds, what side might I have been leaning towards if I didn’t know “the rest of the story”? I often ask myself that, and it makes me take another hard look at what Pope Francis says and how he says it, because it scares me to think I might have missed it bigtime if I had been listening to Jesus with preconceived ideas and all complacent in my faith and my relationship with God…….

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        In this comment, Connie, is the beginning of wisdom for all of us. Many of us who think we love Christ would have been shouting, “Crucify Him,” if we had actually been there…and need to pray and think carefully about what we say.

        Like

      • Gary says:

        Connie I can pretty well guarantee that if i lived in that time when Christ said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood.. I would have been gagging. I would have asked him after everybody left what in the heck are you talking about?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Yeah, that would have been a tough one, Gary. I wonder how I would have reacted. I like to think it would be like Peter, but I almost certainly would have been thinking, “Whoa…you want to elaborate on that a little?”

          Like

          • Gary says:

            I try to look at Holy Communion like I am taking vitamin G (God) All I know is that it’s a mystery and since before I went to the 1st grade i wanted to receive Holy Communion. It is this that keeps me in the Church and it is this that I believe. We are all to some extent little pagans Oh Lord I believe help my unbelief. Naked I came into this world and naked I will leave this world, so wash away from my my sinfulness so that i may approach You. Cleanse from my sin and shall be made whiter than snow.

            Like

  6. the phoenix says:

    This post has actually made me cry, because I grew up in a home where the Pope was considered a beloved family member. I haven’t really been aware until now of just how much opposition the Pope faces from all sides, and how much doubt there is even among Catholics.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      God is testing us, phoenix, sifting us through his winnowing fan. I said before that the vanity of thinking we know the way better than the Church – or the words of Christ in Scripture – is a temptation to the pious. God is revealing the bankruptcy of that vanity. Hold fast to your dear Papa!

      Like

      • Kati says:

        Unfortunately, Charlie, it seems to be a temptation that many are succumbing to in various degrees. This would include the recent post over at 1P5. (Sigh)

        I remember my dear Mom drilling into my child’s mind the understanding that obedience to the Church was the mark of saints. I now understand that such obedience must spring from a great LOVE. Love does not tear down; it builds up.

        Like

    • MM Bev says:

      Like you, phoenix, I have just been blank on this issue. The three columnists and Maria, the heretic, are the primary indications I have been exposed to as far as opposition is concerned. I guess this is where I count a blessing from God. I felt so antagonistic to their ideas that I couldn’t see how anyone could possible be taken by that drivel. Maria was just plain stupid, and contending with her statements first, when I read the others who were much more clever in the wording and arguments in the articles presented, all I saw was Maria, with plastic surgery and spanx and nice clothes. (As in you can’t make a purse out of a sow’s ear.) It just didn’t matter what they said, or how adroitly and cleverly the poison was stated, it was the same garbage. It’s awful, but I feel a bit thankful for Maria, and having to discuss (ok, argue) her inept “visions”. Most unfortunately, the person I was facing off with, held as the criteria for belief in Maria, was that they could tell it was the Holy Spirit that was speaking. (Would this be personal infallibility?) Not telling you guys what I said about that, but I was nice, well, as nice as I could be, and it’s an issue that we no longer are going to discuss. But, with that reply, I am praying very much.

      So I guess there is another blessing to being confined to my own yard, harsh as I am finding it. Maybe by December, I will have grown accustom to staying at home and minding my own business-no, not even a remote possibility. But if I’m not home, then I won’t spend time reading the drivel on Internet sites maligning our Holy Father. I’m in the same both as you guys! This is an awesome entry, Charlie. You put things so very well. I am now face to face with tactics I was oblivious about. You have stated the evil with great clarity. And thank God you have.

      Like

      • the phoenix says:

        You’re right, MM Bev, it’s not worth investing much time in reading attacks on the Holy Father. Far better using the time to read the Holy Father’s words, and praying.

        On another Catholic forum, there’s a Prayer Intentions section. Well, yesterday, someone started a thread for Cardinal Kasper, asking: ” Let us pray that Cardinal Kasper be a faithful successor of the apostles to the true teachings of Christ’s Church. With the help of Our Blessed Mother.”

        Someone else then started a similar thread for Cardinal Burke, by simply replacing Cardinal Kasper’s name with Cardinal Burke’s name.

        So then I started my own prayer intention thread, inspired by both of the above:

        “Let us pray that Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Kasper, and I will be faithful successors of the apostles to the true teachings of Christ’s Church, in our respective positions of clergy or laity. With the help of Our Blessed Mother.”
        Amen

        Like

  7. rosebamor says:

    All kinds of Popes have come and gone and the Church is still here.  Peter sunk beneath the waves because he took his eyes offJesus and gave in to his fear.  If we listen to the Shepherd, we will recognize His voice and know the truth.  This promise is as good now as it was then.  I have worked for nearly 30 years. As long as human beings are at the helm there will be screwups.  Now, thanks to the news as it breaks, we have become info addicts.  Maybe we should stop feeding on bread that does not satisfy and let the Lord lead us to do the next right thing. 

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    Like

  8. Bob says:

    I can go so far as to say that I wish Francis would have a better media adviser and would be more aware of how the media will twist his words, but some of his one liners, especially in his daily homilies are wonderful. May God continue to bless us through our church and who He has chosen to lead us at this time. God Bless Bob.

    Like

  9. cm says:

    I too felt that fear rise up in me. (the FEAR was a dead give-away!) I thought, “if the Church makes such awful pronouncements, I and my family might have to go.” But then I thought, “Lord, to whom [else] shall we go?” (Jn 6:68) I was convicted by these words of Peter! Peter! “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Mt 16:18) I am hopeless wreck without her. She is our mother who brings us to her son Jesus, the One who “has the words of everlasting life.” (Jn 6:68) Don’t be afraid people! Be joyful! We’ve seen a great light! Moreover, when we stand before the Lord someday, do we want to say “I believed your words were true”? Or would we rather say “well, things looked bleak up at the top, and there was this supposed prophecy, something-or-other about an anti-christ pope, and I believed that and instead”? It’s never a bad judgment to begin discernment with the words of Christ. If we don’t believe he told us the truth, we have no life within us. Just my two cents…thanks for the encouraging posts Charlie.

    Like

  10. SD says:

    I did not grow up Catholic, though I did grow up surrounded by retablos and santos of the Saints that my Grandfather collected from Mexico. So, becoming Catholic was comfortable and Cathedrals feel familiar. My Mom says I was born feeling guilty, and I do LOVE confession (even when it makes me mad for a few hours)! I love it because it is true that Christ is there in some kind of mystical special way even if the priest doesn’t seem to get what I am trying to convey, Christ ALWAYS shows up. What a great blessing for someone who didn’t grow up with a father to be given the gift of receiving wisdom from Godly priests. I had almost both my feet out of the Catholic church when Pope Francis was elected. One could just sense that the Catholic Church was entering into something very special. It would not be the same and I didn’t want to pass up the experience of being part of this time in the Catholic Church. The religious right persecuted Christ and if I understood correctly, that is what you are saying, that the religious right are persecuting Pope Francis. He says things that make me feel validated in some regards, and also held to account in others. I feel I can be accepted and loved in the Catholic Church, though I have a broken and sinful past, and I did not feel that way before Pope Francis because I was around too many unloving yet very righteous Catholics who never missed a Catholic beat, but needed more beats of love in their hearts. Pope Francis makes us repentant sinners feel like Jesus Christ is running down the road to meet us and with a smile!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, SD, part of what you write is why I don’t like ideological labels attached to matters of faith. They are incredibly bowdlerized these days even in matters of politics. Classically, liberalism was an emphasis on individual rights as against state power, while conservatism was emphasis on state power against individual rights. The two terms have been completely flipped today. Almost all the totalitarian movements of the 20th Century were shades of leftism. Nazism was a different variety of socialism than the Soviet variety, yet it is commonly referred to as a rightist movement.

      Certainly it was traditionalists and legalists who persecuted Jesus- and who are creating huge dissension now. Up until the last century, most (but not all) unjust oppressions in the faith came from the right – or the legalists. For most of the last half of the 20th Century, the ugliest oppressions came from the left. Some officials, who love to be called moderate and “willing to listen to all”, ruthlessly oppressed those who were seriously orthodox or traditional – and so now, you get a backlash. The thing is, it is the adoption of an ideology rather than Christ that leads to all this – and it is pride that leads to the adoption of an ideology in the place of the Christ.

      I certainly am, if you must speak in ideological terms, a man of the right, both politically and religiously. And I am not interested in oppressing anyone. But oppression, disorder, discord come from any who put their ideology ahead of their faith and their love.

      Like

      • SD says:

        I heard a priest say that about 80% of Catholics do not have a deep personal relationship with Christ. I see in some very religious Catholic persons a false righteousness based on adherence to legality. That is very confusing to me because the person I am referring to is also a liberal voter. That seems contradictory. They also use to teach religion. I was over 15 years sober when I became a family member, but they were covert ruthless. We had to move far away. I am a conservative, but I really think the reason why the left has so much steam in terms of LBGT is due to the lack of love and the spirit of condemnation of the sinner rather than the sin by many Christians for a very long time that had little Christ like love in their hearts. We are only reaping what we sowed.

        Like

      • Observer says:

        And it seems today that the worst kind of terrorism in history combines and uses both extremes. They use the legalisms, false but nonetheless, of their “book”, interpreting it along the way to justify and fit their purposes to even give permission for sadistic horrors; then enforce such “law” with the greatest brutality and justifying that too based on that corrupted law and its eternally finite promises; and the goal for enforcing that law?….the power and immediate pleasure of the lustful (blood and otherwise) perversions that it gains for them and them alone….iow, taking and using others for immediate gratification without any accountability for the stealing, raping, killing and controlling of life (freedom) by a genocide (like the liberal culture that does so elsewhere to the most vulnerable, and in the millions) and wrapping it all up in a cloak of “religion” of one kind or another. And the left today you so often hear saying “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual”! And that “spiritual” is in order to avoid the morality of the natural law and find some kind of ethereal, quasi rationale for combining evil with good or to make evil seem good. And you know who is the source of that kind of seduction!

        Like

  11. Mary says:

    The problem I am having is in knowing that the traditional Catholic Churches and schools and institutions by the way are flourishing while the liberal ones are withering on the vine so how does one say clearly or know clearly that yes, obedience, faithfulness, understanding why it all leads to flourishing is different from being tyrannically orthodox. I don’t get this conundrum of faith. Yes, be Catholic but not too Catholic.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Mary, being too Catholic is not the issue AT ALL. Unalloyed legalism is not Catholic – in fact, it is what Christ overturned. I have fought leftism and the disorders inherent to it most of my adult life – publicly and in the trenches. I’ll put it bluntly, I want to stop THEIR thugs and bums from doing so much damage to the faith – but I will not accomplish by putting OUR thugs and bums in charge. Justice and mercy. Christ demands we balance both. Sterile platitudes make for barrenness – and that is all the progressives have to offer. But rigid legalism, while offering a hope for fruitfulness, will end in the same barrenness and even more bitterness. If the only two poles you can imagine are on an ideological spectrum, you will never fully get where you need to. And if you set yourself up to judge that the Pope just is not Catholic enough, you frankly say that Christ was wrong. You do it not because you are too Catholic, but because you are not Catholic enough. If you were, you would trust Christ.

      Like

    • BB says:

      Mary, I see what you’re saying. Here’s the way I see it.
      The advantage of traditionalism is discipline. When someone is a disciplined person, they live by a code, and by following the tenants of that code their life gains order and often they actually do flourish. But sometimes the temptation is to begin to think the code is what is important, and must supersede the human person. So in extreme instances, application of the code at a time that calls for sympathy, mercy and understanding can crush someone. Christ steers us between mercy and discipline. He tell us that indeed, the code, the law, the virtues, actually are the way God designed life, and keeping to them leads to a fruitful joyful life. But if all you have is justice (applying the code) and no mercy, then there is no allowance for human frailty and so no allowance for redemption. (The law was made for man, not man for the law.)
      On the other hand, the extreme liberal sees the code as an obstacle to God, something that judges the person and imposes a penalty on them. Wishing to free a person from this bondage, the liberal denies and nullifies the code, saying it is not important. But although this strategy works in a single instance or two, eventually the lack of discipline of living without a code leads a person to dissipation and destruction, because it denies the code God designed into life.
      So in the broadest strokes, an extreme traditionalist demands holding to the code no matter what, placing the code above persons, and is stereotypically intolerant of mitigating circumstances. The extreme liberal nullifies the code in favor of sympathy for the person, and offers forgiveness before repentance, denying any need for justice, or the code, but ends up encouraging disorder and dissipation. Neither solution leads to Life. As Charlie says, both extremes are wrong.
      Jesus laid out a middle way that looks to preserve justice while applying mercy. The code is not negatable. But the code must be applied in the most merciful and compassionate way possible. That’s why we have confession. God gives us a means to agree we broke His ordinances, to accuse ourselves before Him though the priest, and then He grants us forgiveness.
      In my view, the reason traditionalism is flourishing is because people long for the rewards of discipline, and God’s code. They are unhappy with the fruits of liberalism. But hopefully we will end up more close to the middle way Christ intended, avoiding both extremes.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Marvelous explanation, BB. I am impressed.

        Like

      • joanp62 says:

        This has to be the best, most insightful explanation yet. God Bless you!

        Like

      • Mike says:

        Great comment. To me it comes down to allowing false idols to block the true vision of Jesus. Those idols can be our traditional or progressive perspectives of the Church. It could be anything else too- our jobs, secularism , etc. We run the risk of allowing these to become overarching and thus we “worship ” them rather than God.

        Like

  12. Jim M. says:

    The importance of terror to satan is that it, first, turns attention to losses in the temporal world. People lose their grip on the spiritual world and spin themselves up in fear (fear being one of satans most effective tools). That fear coupled with de emphasis on the spirit preps the way for more secular control. Instead of turning to God, hope and belief turns to man’s ability to deal with the issues, with fear opening the door to bargaining. Just give up a little freedom to ensure your security. Just a little more. And a little more. Soon you have laid the groundwork for the forfeiture of freedom (including religious) with a population conditioned to embrace that loss as a panacea for protection. Citizens become subjects existing only under the good graces of an earthly authority rather than God’s good graces. God is substituted by a regime holding the power of temporal life and death over the masses.

    Terror is also critical in creating mass cognitive dissonance. People disbelieve the reality they find themselves in, thus ignoring dangers of the direction things are headed. Pliable as sheep led to slaughter.

    Finally, terror is an effective ruse. With all eyes turned to gut wrenching events made more so by a state media blowing things out of proportion, no one sees the emergence of a third column joining the enemy within. Keep in mind terror is no longer a regional event. It now impacts the entire world, virtually at the same time with modern day communications.

    It is a ruse using battles of the world to coneal the battle for souls. While the pieces are carefully positioned to snare as many souls as possible.

    We are in this world, but are not of this world. Jesus chose us out of the world to become part of God’s Kingdom. Life eternal versus temporal life trapped in a physical world. Fear only the Lord and trust in Jesus. And we can remain focused regardless of the chaos in this world that can turn our attention away from God.

    With evil increasing exponentially, we must not leave our Father’s side, nor be panicked into fleeing from His love and protection.

    Like

    • Connie says:

      Wow, Jim, that gave me a very visual explanation of why terror (spirit of fear) is such an effective weapon for the evil one. I could actually see in my minds eye, the battle formations moving across a battle field. Could you show us how the Holy Spirit and The Flame of Love. might do the same for the warriors of Christ? I really try to envision it sometimes, how the Flame of Love of our Lady’s Triumph will pass like a baton from person to person until evil is covered over. One of my uncles use to enthrall me with stories of World War Two when I was 6 or 7. I have wonderful memories of watching him shave and listening enraptured to his tales. You remind me of him. Bet you’re a good story teller :))

      Like

      • Jim M. says:

        Man you ask tough questions!!!

        My own view is to hold tightly to the Lord, to surrender to Him. With every breath we take. But there is much better guidance avaliable.

        Saints Paul and Peter give us great insight into what we are dealing with and how to achieve a higher state of grace bringing us closer to God.

        First is Paul, Ephesians 6:

        “10Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. 11Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 12For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. 13Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).”

        And Peter, 2 Peter 1:

        “3As all things of his divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue. 4By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world. 5And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; 6And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; 7And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity. 8For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he that hath not these things with him, is blind, and groping, having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time. 11For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

        Paul tells us of the protection effective as armor against the slings and arrows of evil in this spiritual showdown. Peter gives us instructions for a divine “workout” to strengthen our souls to be able to weather the storm.

        Get your soul in shape and armor up! The enemy is breaching our perimeter.

        God Bless, Protect and have Mercy on the faithful and those who will join the flock of the faithful in the terrible times upon us.

        Like

      • Jim M. says:

        One thing I left out- those prepared for battle will be led by the Spirit. It will not be a King that leads the legions of the faithful here on earth, but a Queen. Our Queen of Heaven. She will muster the faithful to attack with prayer, obedience, devotion and unwavering faith. Enlist those to shine as examples to others to resist evil and choose eternal life. To rally others to the Truth the Light and the Way.

        We are being molded and positioned now. We gather on sites like Charlie’s to share in the faith, to stay strong and be ready. Ready to receive the flood of fire and grace from our Mother’s heart, which will make our purpose and our missions crystal clear. And provide us the spiritual strength and ordnance we need to vanquish evil.

        Like

        • Connie says:

          Thanks, Jim! What an exhortation- a rallying battle cry! My heart took on new vigor and courage reading that. Ephesians is one of my favorite, esp. on how to clothe ourselves for battle, and I consider myself a “grunt” in Mary’s Blue Army.

          Like

  13. Mary says:

    And I might add doesn’t anybody get what we lost by giving up Latin, the Gregorian chants in favor of Protestant type music. Not even saying the St. Michael prayer. The exorcist in Rome said so, the demons flee at the chants, the Latin, the Old Rite of exorcism, they hate it. And one would assume he should know, shouldn’t he?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Mary, I would not suppress those things. Jesus never said he would protect the former exorcist of Rome all error. He only said that about Peter and his successors were guaranteed as the sign of unity and the rock upon which the Church would be built. If you can just choose any Catholic official you want, some might choose the late Bishop Cochon as the fount of wisdom (he was the one who condemned St. Joan of Arc)…or how about Judas? If you are going to reject the successor to Peter, who is the only individual official Christ promised to keep from error (though He did promise to keep the Bishops as a group from the same), then I am not interested in who you cite, for you have already rejected the primacy Christ bestowed. And once you do that, why would you care what ANY Catholic official said? I hope I am misunderstanding you – and that you are NOT rejecting the primacy and authority of the Pope.

      Like

  14. Gary says:

    I do not know any, Charlie, conservatives/orthodox Catholics that have been critical of the Pope urging people to leave the Catholic Faith. And I do not know any who think that they are holier than any one else but rather seek interior sanctity and peace. Notice that in this so called Family synod there nothing mentioned of the damage that was done to the children of Catholic families by homosexual priests. And Christ also said it is better that a man was never born that to harm these little ones. They were left with a permanent gaping incurable wound. Many of these same prelates that attended the synod are the ones who promoted homosexuals to the priesthood who turned a blind eye to this sexual abuse. They let these children suffer for the liberal agenda.There would have been no need for this Synod had they been giving proper Catholic formation to the children in their dioceses and to their people in their bureaucracies. I and my wife and children have suffered for some 44 years from the abject spiritual neglect of these prelates who fed us their liberal agenda rather than the Bread of Life, but I was not going to leave because Christ gave me the Truth and carried me on his poor abused Body. So the Pope or any one else can call us legalistic and Pharisaic, it does not change the Truth. Those who decried the Kaspers of this synod are concerned that the Church will appear to these broken families to be encouraging their sinfulness
    rather than leading them back to Christ. And it may well be that in the end, they are the wheat that was sprinkled on rocky soil and quickly withered away. But to say that we legalistic and Pharisaic orthodox Catholics have no compassion and mercy for these souls and want to bring them back
    to Christ is nonsense. In the end the Pope could not get a consensus if that is what he was trying to get on giving self ex-communicated Catholics Holy Communion.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Gary, I know you have not left the Church. However, any who teach that the Pope and the Council of Bishops together are heretical contradict the firm words of Christ on the matter. So even though they say they are more Catholic than the Pope and theirs is the only TRUE Catholicism, they are, indeed, rejecting both the Catholic Church and Him who found it. Rhetorical gamesmanship will not change that.

      I am not sure why you should be upset that a Synod on the Family did not deal with sexual abuse by priests. If it was a Synod on sexual abuse by priests and avoided that subject, then your criticism would make sense, but it does not strike me as a particularly meaningful criticism that this council dealt only with what was on its agenda and not other matters that were not, even though they are serious matters. They also did not deal with war in the middle east, the ebola crisis and just about any problem you can think of…except the family.

      I decried Cdl. Kasper in rather tough terms in the last week. That territory does not exclusively belong to you and other traditionalists.

      You infer that the Pope did not get the consensus he wanted. Cdl. Kasper said he wanted that consensus but the Pope didn’t. When, to bolster your point, you must impute motives to the Pope that he never voiced and that are, in fact, directly contrary to what he actually did voice, it is hard not to believe that you are not determined to force an ideological interpretation of your own devising to these events that is not supported by the facts.

      Like

      • Gary says:

        My point about the Synod on the Family is how Church prelates harmed families from sexual and spiritual predators. It should also be pointed out that 64% of the hand chosen Cardinals voted for the Kasper changes and they just missed the super majority they needed. Who knows how they will try to stack the deck next year.

        You seem to reject that 1P5 piece about the silence of the Pope. I have seen this type of extrapolation by prelates for many years until orthodoxy is unrecognizable.
        It may well be that this Pope is struck at the cancer in his midst and does not know how to react, but then he says he likes to debate with conservatives on issues, it may be his inaction to the horror of disunity is understandable, but then says he has a lot of respect and admiration for Kasper, it this causes confusion and lamenting. I pray for this Pope everyday and via multiple prayers, but he is making this more difficult. He is failing to articulate Church doctrine clearly and manifestly as did Benedict XVI and JPII,

        Like

        • Siobhan says:

          Very good, Gary! My exact thoughts.

          Like

        • BB says:

          Gary, I am positive, positive, Our Lady has been asking us to pray, pray, pray because she knows these problems you recount, as does God, very intimately, much more intimately and in greater detail than you and I know them, and they are crushing her. I remember reading somewhere in Scripture that it is Satan who accuses us, all of us, before God day and night (I looked it up; it’s in Revelation 12:10), but I know Our Lady does not recount our sins to God. She pleads for mercy, for grace, for more time for us to repent. We need to ask ourselves: who are we imitating? Satan, who recounts the sins of others day and night, or Our Lady, who pleads for graces for sinners?

          There are many in the secular media and those against God who revel in being able to report in great detail the scandals of the men who run our Church. Although the scandals break our hearts, we should imitate Our Lady by first taking them to God in prayer, at Mass. (Look Lord, what they are doing. How it breaks my heart they offend You so. Have mercy on them Lord. Help them to see the Truth.)

          Gary, I am sure you and I are way too little to have any significant impact at all in a worldly way on the errors inside the Church. But we are soldiers, by way of our Confirmation, and we have our weapons. We are the infantry. As Padre Pio among others have said, one of our weapons is the Rosary. Our bullets are the Hail Mary. We need to use our weapons and fight, not just get mad at the mistakes of our leaders. Take this call to arms seriously. It really matters.

          If you are angry, be angry at the devil who is attacking them. Don’t be so mad at them as at the devil who works overtime on their human frailty. Look at the true cause of the problems. After all, they, like us, are only not too bright humans against a potent supernatural intelligence who has been around the block more than once. Principalities and powers. Realize they are being attacked on many levels, and their particular weaknesses are being targeted. What we need to do is help them supernaturally in this supernatural fight to the death.

          Like

  15. Mark says:

    Now I don’t live in a ‘traditional’ community, so I can’t weigh in on what the ‘traditionalist’ are saying or doing with the exception of what I am reading. Most communities are more ‘progressive’ minded than conservative as it pertains to events going on in the Church. I am not sure that a whole lot of people are leaving the church for their own ultra-traditionalist movements. I don’t know them. I totally agree that two things seems apparent as we speak. Keeping humble and keeping in constant prayer. In doing this you will remain in the truth. Once you sway either to the left or to the right, you are going into the fog of confusion where the devil wants you to be. This is where our Lady comes in. Keep close to her and she will lead you to her son. That is her mission. Nothing else. No Mary, no Jesus. All for the Sacred and Eucharisitc heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate heart of Mary and all in union with St. Joseph.

    Like

  16. Mary says:

    I don’t judge either as he is my Pope and that is my beloved church, that is not my domain and I would not leave the church but out here in the world when you are trying to discern yourself that delicate balance and be a witness to the good fruits you have seen in your own life by faithfulness to our doctrine it doesn’t help to see the ship teetering because the leaders seem so confused themselves and you really need direction because it is a delicate balancing act. Jesus was a maestro at it, me not so much.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Fair enough, Mary…but remember that the Maestro got crucified by those who considered themselves the most faithful guardians of the law and truth. It is a delicate balancing act that requires us constantly to be engaged…but we must first keep in mind the clear words of the Lord: He would build His Church on the rock of Peter, the gates of hell would not prevail against it – and those who heard His apostles (in their defined teaching) heard Him while those who rejected them reject Him. If you work at it with this at the starting point, it will help you avoid the siren songs of either the left or the right that would pull you away. But there is a lot more teetering and confusion ahead. Each soul is the battle ground. Start first with the words of Christ and where He said to go for direction.

      Like

  17. Mary says:

    I guess I’m trying to say that sometimes it seems like Vatican II threw the church up in the air and it seems like it landed like confetti. And I am trying to understand bits and pieces of confetti along the way and not getting much help at it one way or another ever since because for some reason it still seems like confetti.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I understand that Mary. For decades (and still in some quarters) some tried to spin a “spirit of Vatican II” that was utterly false. They made it out to be a progressive spirit that moved away from what Christ taught. In fact, when Pope St. John Paul was elected, for several years the media was thrilled that they finally had their “liberal” Pope. After all, he had been one of the prime architects of the final documents of Vatican II. The media made much of this, enough that it became a trap for them. For when St. John Paul authentically interpreted Vatican II, the media could not come back and say he was a minor figure. If you want to know what Vatican II meant for the Church, without the confusion the in-house hippies have tried to sow, simply read the encyclicals of St. John Paul. Many would give you advice on which ones to start with. If I had to give a short list I suppose I would start with Centesimus Annus, Veritatus Splendor, Evangelium Vitae, and Ut Unum Sint.

      Like

  18. Mary says:

    I do totally get your point because I am seeing one Christian now who was a former Muslim, excellent defender of the Catholic Church, who has a blog, is very good at theology who seems recently to have tipped over the edge into fanaticism saying Christian’s theologically have the right, possibly the duty to kill Pagans, gays, Muslims and he is seeming like he is losing it. And in my mind I can kind of see him going off the rails here out of fear so I perfectly get your point.

    Like

  19. Mary says:

    And thank you for the references the wisdom of JPII is one that never confuses and I am sure that is a good starting point. I love that Pope and I never had one bit of fear when he was there for some reason, he just exuded that right Pope, right time kind of feeling.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, I am a St. JPII Catholic. I remember while I was still a Protestant, the son of fundamentalists, but a serious student of history. I much admired JPII and his incredible courage in occupied Poland, risking his life for his faith, then risking arrest as he defied the Communists who came after the Nazi peril. My mother was saying something disparaging about Catholicism one day (there was no real harm in her – it was literally true that many of her dearest friends were Catholic. But her grandfather was a scary snake-handling anti-Catholic fundamentalist – and he cast a long, terrifying shadow over much of his family.) I launched into a vigorous, enthusiastic discourse on how admirable John Paul II was, what an absolute inspiration for all Christians. I was so impassioned that my mother looked at me in horror and said, “Oh my God! Are you turning Catholic?” I looked at her equally horrified and said, “No. Absolutely not.”

      Well, a decade later, her suspicions came true. And much of my extended family has come in, too. And when my mother died two years ago, though she remained a faithful Protestant, she held in her hand a Rosary she had come to love. The Lord heals the hearts and hears the cry of the poor – and we are all the poor.

      Like

      • Gary says:

        I am always amazed with converts and the deep conviction it takes to convert to Catholicism. I am a cradle Catholic yet i find that I too still need conversion. We all start at a different place and hopefully we do not lose each other along the way.

        Like

  20. Connie says:

    Charlie, I hope you don’t mind what I am about to tell you. I have started a page that I put in my Bible, with the heading, Quotes from Charlie Johnston:
    I have 3 quotes so far. The first one is of course, “Acknowledge God, Be hope for those”, etc. The second one is “There is only one way: hold fast to Christ, take recourse to his Mother, and resolve to do, etc” and now I have added a third because I have seen you write it twice and it struck me the first time but I had lost it; ” What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire Christ and all will be given.’
    If I should be attributing any of them to someone else, please let me know. And as I am thinking that they are all Your quotes I am careful to write them exactly as you have written them, so I hope it is ok with you to do so. They just give me great consolation. I stuff my bible with all sorts of things precious to me and this would be something I would love to keep tucked away also. I have been a little guilty writing them down, so I figured with this last one I should ‘fess up.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That is incredibly sweet of you, Connie. I don’t mind at all (though now the pressure is on to be quotable). They are all mine, though the latter is the final line from one of what I call my little visions. Gabriel assures me he doesn’t mind anything that I have conveyed faithfully being attributed to me in this world – for the faithfulness of carrying the message with fidelity will be credite4d to me in the next.

      Like

  21. SteveBC says:

    After Pope Francis was elected, I could see it was a quick and valid choice. That impressed me. I’d seen elections that took quite some time. Here, there was immediate agreement. Obviously valid.

    Then I watched what he said. I saw progressives saying they thought he was their Pope. Then I saw traditionalists say the same. How odd, I thought. So I started looking at exactly what he was saying about this issue or that and got a pleasing shock. Clearly, he is an informal speaker – how refreshing! Something new, not always planned. And what he said always went a third way in some sense. He was actually doing quite a good job of subtly moving this or that debate in a new direction. What one side or the other saw as faulty, I suspect he said exactly what he wanted to say.

    Charlie has often said that God is always fresh and new. Having watched Pope Francis, I would say that of all the popes in my lifetime, he is the one who is most often fresh and new. We’re all so used to seeing popes speak carefully and formally. Soaring speeches. Thoughtful encyclicals. Here is someone acting like a respected family member at the dinner table having a rollicking discussion of this or that. It’s only later that you realize your family member *always* adhered to the main point underneath everything that was discussed.

    A pope can be competent or incompetent, a good communicator or a poor one, but he must have a very clear understanding of The Big Points and of how to move himself and others always along a path that will lead to the Big Points giving fruit. If he doesn’t have that, then he can be a great administrator or a terrific speechifier, and he will still fail as a Pope.

    Francis is so informal most times that we think, well, how could someone so loose-lipped be competent? Not possible. Be a good communicator? Obviously not. Know the Big Points? How could he?

    Yet when I look at Pope Francis, I see a man who appears to have walked into the position of Pope nearly fully formed and capable. It astounds me. So many times when he talks, and when I take the time to study his words, I see subtlety and a man who knows precisely where he is going and how he is going to get others to go with him. Yet he also knows that some won’t be able to follow.

    I don’t know if it’s going to work. The proof is still in an unfinished pudding. He faces a *huge* problem, trying to explicate top-level religious principles in an age of ideologies, a time when all of us have become routinely trained to think and talk in ideological terms. He has to break that set of habits in people all over the world. He *must* be fresh and new, *must* use a third way, or a fourth or a fifth, to shock us out of our pseudo-intellectual ruts *first*. Informality where formality used to reign is one way to do it. Lack of precision where precision is expected and has always been used before. Sometimes just moving people from one job to another to break old habits in them and shake things up, shake the tree and see what falls out of the branches. Who moves well, who has an ego that gets hurt, who adjusts and starts to flower? If he gets one wrong, he’ll fix it later.

    I didn’t follow the Synod as closely as many others here, but it was yet again something that astounded me about the Pope. After only 18 months in office, he pulled the Synod together, he let it happen, he let people say and do whatever they wanted. It was a messy thing.

    Some people think that means he’s incompetent, but not me. I saw a man supremely confident and trusting of his ability (aided or not). He not only didn’t care that it was messy, he let it be messy (I think he wanted it messy, in fact) and then came in with his own speech and in a few paragraphs laid out The Big Points. He fully established himself as the true adult in the room, the only one who gets The Big Picture of the whole of the Church and its tradition. He showed clearly that he knows the Big Points. Yet everyone felt heard, all points were discussed openly, and now everyone is getting down to working things out with a more united feeling. Or not. We’ll see.

    A better act of leadership I have rarely seen before.

    I think he’s like Charlie in some ways, doing things so differently that the rest of us often can’t “get” what he’s doing, but if we have patience and a little faith, we’ll see good fruit. Don’t just let things be messy for a while, celebrate the messiness! Creative efforts and new directions are at their best when they start messy. Let it be. Let him be.

    From a management and leadership viewpoint, in my humble opinion Pope Francis is a natural.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Holy Cow, Steve…my readers are doing some amazingly astute analysis tonight. I think you have pegged Pope Francis nearly exactly. This is what I have thought of him since a few weeks into his pontificate – and nothing has happened to persuade me otherwise.

      Like

      • SteveBC says:

        Yes, they are. I’ve seen a number of comments on your site that have explained some difficult concepts quite well, not to mention your own posts and comments. As a good example, above, BB did a very nice job of explaining traditionalism versus liberalism and their faults in a way I found particularly helpful.

        It’s a pleasure to participate here. ūüôā

        Like

    • Beautiful Steve! I am sending out the link to this whole series and encouraging people to read to the end. The word that struck me here was “creative”. Yes! It is when we are creative that we most resemble the Creator. The sculpture looks random until the shape appears, the shape first conceived in the artists vision. Wait and see. Watch and pray!

      Like

      • Furthermore, I think Pope Francis would be the first to say the vision is not his at all, but he is just the instrument. The purpose of the instrument is to let itself be used and to wait with anticipation for the glorious end result.

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          I agree, Janet. Aided or not, he’s a sharp guy. However, I think his confidence comes from trust in higher guidance. He doesn’t appear to me to have any significant fears, so he can mess around with things – carefully – and see what comes of that, and do it without getting his ego tied up with the hows and wherefores or losing his sense of joy. It’s fun to watch him work.

          Like

  22. Connie says:

    Charlie, if you don’t post this comment, its okay by me, as I really just wanted you to know that as I head for my bed I am offering up prayers for you for tonite, esp. it seems God has given you quite a difficult and serious mission to defend the faith and defend the faithful. I pray for strength and consolation for you and may all God’s angels watch over you and protect you. I thank God for your Yes day in and day out. Good nite and God Bless You & Keep You, Friend.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks for the prayers, Connie. It is scary sometimes. But also, when you have lived it your whole life, thought for most of it that you just had a particularly exotic disorder, then found with fearful awe that all kept coming true…well, there is a certain joy in doing what you have trained for so long for. May I be faithful until the end…and may the fruit be that all know there is heaven, and that God loves each of us as His very own.

      Like

      • Connie says:

        Well, Charlie, I am VERY happy that you have joy in being faithful to your mission. I am also very glad that Steve gave us his insight on how Pope Francis may be living out HIS mission. It made perfect sense, to me, and had me thinking that, quite likely, Our Lady picked out and readied Francis herself so she too knows EXACTLY why he does and says what he does in such a “messy way” because it is all part of HER strategy also. It also occurred to me that a seedling coming forth from the muddy dirt and a babe coming forth from a womb are also both “messy” but beautiful little miracles. Maybe there are miracles in the making here also in Francis’ papal reign.

        Like

  23. ellenchris says:

    The following quote from St. Augustine was posted by a friend on my FB page this morning. Judgement and sifting will certainly come, but only God can judge the heart.

    “Let [the church] bear in mind that among her enemies lie hid those who are destined to be fellow-citizens, that she may not think it a fruitless labor to bear what they inflict as enemies until they become confessors of the faith. So, too, as long as she is a stranger in the world, the city of God has in her communion, and bound to her by the sacraments, some who shall not eternally dwell in the lot of the saints. Of these, some are not now recognized; others declare themselves, and do not hesitate to make common cause with our enemies in murmuring against God, whose sacramental badge they wear. These men you may today see thronging the churches with us, tomorrow crowding the theaters with the godless. But we have the less reason to despair of the reclamation even of such persons, if among our most declared enemies there are now some, unknown to themselves, who are destined to become our friends. In truth, these two cities are entangled together in this world, and intermixed until the last judgement effect their separation.”

    St. Augustine, City of God

    Like

    • BB says:

      ellenchris: thanks for posting this. It is passages like this that bring home to me that what we are living now is nothing new; that in fact, in every age the Church has lived through similar battles. And the great news of that is, when these battles come, God raises up great saints to defend His Church, as was St. Paul, as was St. Augustine, as was St. Thomas More, as was St. John Paul II. And just as those at West Point and Annapolis read about great generals and admirals and their battle tactics, so maybe we would do well to look up some of these great saints and read what they had to say and it may help inform and strengthen us.

      Like

  24. Tarja says:

    I just don’t know are you interested to hear an Orthodox Christian person’s opinion of your Pope but I’m going to tell it any way…
    Last year in March I began to study Catholism because of your change of popes. It was so surprising a situation and I thought there is something big in it (and of course read those prophecies…). At first I found some odd Catholic sites, I did not know what they were but soon began to notice: there is something bad with these articles. There were certain kind of mercilessness in them and much talk of anti-popes. I did not know about this matter at all, I was like a child in the Wonderland. Then I found MDM and at first read with interest – but somehow it wasn’t pure, there was something suspectful in it. Soon I found there real horrific errors and again: mercilessness. Christ could not talk like that!

    At first i was afraid of Pope Francis: perhaps he is the bad pope many Protestants are talking about… (Notice, please, that Orthodox faithfuls usually don’t talk bad things about their hierarchy and try to respect them if possible). MDM began to hint that the coming pope is the destroyer, the bad one. At Easter time I followed closely what Francis is doing and that washing feet of Muslims and women was tough for me because Orthodox bishops wash only feet of men, of clergymen….(There is no other way.) And then i remembered MDM warnings of course but I wanted to see more of Francis and began to read his sermons. I remember one day when I was very delighted to hear that he talks about devil with it’s real name! It was a big moment for me and then I read more sermons and liked him better all the time. I even began to trust him and admire him because he teaches like my own Church teaches…To us Church is a hospital and sinners are sick people, and judging is a very grave sin for us. Orthodox people are usually no legalists (but of course we have our own traditionalists, too) and so I understood pope Francis quite naturally, and some times I think I nearly have love for him. He is Papa and I just feel like a child in his guidance. It was great to see how our Patriarch and Francis in Jerusalem had so natural relationship and clearly honoured each other….Francis talks quite much of Unity and that’s very interesting for Orthodox Christians. We can honour him as the first among Patriarchs – in principle.

    Best of everything is that he expresses love towards people and takes care of them. He just don’t say what is wrong with people but what possibilities they have inside. He obviously tries to get them open towards new, lift them up. He does not overrun them…..

    My language is simple because I try to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings. I hope you get the point anyway! I just say I trust Pope Francis and hope you trust, too! He is the man for Unity and for many great and big things not seen before!

    Yours in Christ, Tarja

    Like

  25. Genevieve says:

    For simple people like me all this discussion on whether Pope Francis is a good or bad Pope is very troubling. I read blogs from various catholic writers hoping to become a better Catholic but I get more and more confused. I finally have come to peace with the situation by trusting in the Word of God which says that God’s church and the pope will never be destroyed. Jesus I Trust in You. Thank you Charlie for standing up for the Church!

    Like

    • Genevieve says:

      As for Pope Francis, I think he is trying to remind all of us that we must be like Christ. When the woman who committed adultery was brought to her he didn’t condemn her, but wanted the people to be merciful to her. He didn’t condone her sin. He said go and sin no more. He loved her and tried to guide her to change. This is what Pope Francis wants all of us to do too. Love each other but in love and with respect, guide others to turn away from sin.

      Like

  26. donna269 says:

    Charlie:
    This was such a beautiful blog and well worth the wait! I have seen Papa Francis as the most Christ-like pope I have witnessed in my 55 years. He walks AMONG us. He is uncomfortable with the “formality and trappings” we have created for the pope. He just wants to be a regular guy who SHOWS us how to be Christ-like with his every action and word. Watch closely….I am sure this was the Christ we would have seen 2000 years ago. He is one who smells of his sheep….A true Shepherd. I wonder if we are not uncomfortable because he is so UNLIKE our previous popes….God has sent us this pope at this time because he walks among us…..just like Jesus did. He is genuine and loving. Watch him closely, and you will learn the actions of a true follower of Christ.

    It has saddened me to see so many attack him as the anti-pope with this prophecy and that prophecy…..The Holy Spirit has told me this is the man God has given us for the most troubled times….Watch him, emulate him and he will teach you how to be the best Catholic you can be.

    Like

  27. Edward Scherr says:

    Thanks, Charlie

    Like

  28. Fran says:

    You know while reading the Gospels, and Jesus’ radical words and actions, I try to place myself in those scenes, and I have often asked myself, “Would I have walked away, or would I have stayed?”. I would like to think I would have stayed, after having my understanding and ways shaken up a bit, because I still come back to Peter’s words…”Lord, to whom shall we go? Only You have the words of Eternal Life.” That is to say…Jesus… I trust in You. So, every time I am a little disturbed about this or that thing allegedly happening with Pope Francis or something he purportedly said, Jesus seems to lead me back to these thoughts, and strengthens my resolve to stand with the Pope. Pope Francis is shaking us ALL up a bit…just like Jesus…and we need it! And we have a chance to live the Gospel in real time because God sees all time together! We have a chance to place our trust in Jesus through His chosen Vicar Pope Francis, and say “No Jesus, I will not walk away because only You have the words of Eternal Life!” Let’s stand firm, brothers and sisters, and not let the enemy turn our eyes, which will then turn our heads, and then start us walking on a different path! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you, Charlie, and for all of you on this forum who have helped me clarify, confirm, and make firm resolutions! Praise God!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That really is the question, Fran…to whom shall we go? St. Peter sounded a little dubious, himself, at this statement of the Lord. But he asked the ancient version of the question, so what else am I gonna do? – and stayed to see what the Lord intended. Taste and see.

      Like

  29. Gary says:

    This is the Cardinal Burke I know I have met and whom I love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJs3hlZYUzQ&feature=youtu.be

    Like

  30. Patricia says:

    Charlie,
    Thank you for all your work. Are you still planning on doing a post on money?
    Patricia

    Like

  31. Mark says:

    Mary said, “I guess I‚Äôm trying to say that sometimes it seems like Vatican II threw the church up in the air and it seems like it landed like confetti. And I am trying to understand bits and pieces of confetti along the way and not getting much help at it one way or another ever since because for some reason it still seems like confetti”.

    Mary, Vatican II did not throw the Church up in the air”, it was wrongfull spin/interpretation of it that did. If this were so, find me just one article in the Vatican II documents that clearly demonstrates this. This is much the same as I see what is happening with what Pope Francis is doing. He is trying to bring new light, new understanding and development of doctrine in order for us to better understand how to meet the Church (the people of God) in our confusing times. He was very clear at the end of the synod that he has no intention of messing with the deposit of faith (even admonishing those that tried), but those who want to spin it (from the progressive and conservative views) will.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You are, of course, right, Mark…but I also sympathize with Mary. Almost everyone outside the Church tried to create confusion about it – and many inside the Church, including a TON of priests and not a few Bishops, actively tried to create confusion. Small wonder that so many should have been left confused. But start with the Encyclicals of St. John Paul and the confusion will begin to clear away.

      Like

  32. Caroline says:

    I love Papa Francis and his missionary heart. The synod weeks were like my own “illumination of conscience.” During the confusion, God showed me my fears, my judgments, my sin, my anxieties, my hardened heart, and my lack of trust, among other things. Also, during that time I had an image of a boulder in front of me and a little puny pebble being thrown at it, and bouncing off of it falling to the ground below. Now that image makes sense to me. I’m still “unpacking” it all. But now when I see or think of Pope Francis, I find myself saying “Oh Captain my captain!” Thanks to you!

    Like

  33. Cecilia says:

    All I know is that ignorance truly can be bliss. I subscribe to three blogs. Mark Mallet, Palienito, and yours, Charlie. I was shocked to read Mark’s recent blogs and yours today. I have been completely unaware of any “right wing conservative anti-pope” talk, with the exception of Kelly Bowring(?) but that was long before the Synod. I had no idea supposed “faithful” Catholics were departing from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and I quite truthfully do not understand it at all. I have no idea who Mary Divine Mercy is, or some of the others mentioned. Anyway, If you truly know your faith, love Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, and the Church and fully embrace the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (which is what I think a faithful Catholic is) then how could you possibly abandon the Holy Father? If they are doing so, then they weren’t really “faithful” because faithful means full of faith, in Christ, in His Church, in the efficacy of the Sacraments, and in Peter. St. Augustine said he wouldn’t believe the Scriptures except for the authority of the Church, and Saint Ambrose said, “Where Peter is, there is the Church.” Well, Francis is Peter’s successor, so how hard can it be to figure out where the true Church is? Maybe those leaving are all just wolves in sheep’s clothing waiting for the right time to come out of the closet to cause trouble? Or maybe I am just a very simple person with a very simple faith. I love Pope Francis, and I am staying put!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You are partly right, Cecilia. Some of them are, indeed, wolves in sheep’s clothing. They know what they are doing. But most of them have been shaken by fear – and now their vanity is kicking in…that they KNOW the way in a way they have been taught. Maria Divine Mercy (MDM) was an obvious fraud who has been exposed as a cynical marketing scheme. I am utterly astonished that ANYONE still buys into her. They really have to be both determinedly AND invicibly ignorant or one of the wolves you speak of. Bowring seems to think this is his chance to be a world historical figure, so he is eagerly ready to trade his treasure in heaven for a little paper and paste here. One would think he would be a little more humble after being one of the very few serious figures to be completely taken in by MDM – and he is smart enough that he figured out what a flimsy hoax she was. But he keeps charging merrily towards the abyss. There are more rumblings now – but the worst of them are in Europe and have not burst onto the American scene yet. In times of great change, people tend to want to take the reins themselves. That may make some sense if you are a pure secularist. But people who actually THINK they believe the Church are charging off to correct the errors of Christ and Scripture. They think they are doing good. It is why the spirit of antichrist is so pernicious: those taken in by it think that they are doing good. I was shown that in March of 1993 in my first Great Vision that went into great detail about these times. It is their vanity that fells them; they think they know better than Christ how to hold fast to Him, so they ignore and disobey His commands thinking to make Him succeed despite what they perceive as His deficiencies. Unless they manage to see their true state and repent somewhere along the way, they will be consigned to hell – while taking some with them with their flattery of other’s vanity. (We know the secret way. We will be the remnant. Christ is really going to love us because we caught and fixed His mistake) That is really what they think. And along the way they will be egged on by willing accomplices of the satan. The clever will perish and the simple who just hold fast to Christ will endure. May God help us all.

      Like

      • Nancy says:

        So my penance for confession this afternoon was to thank God for the gift of grace He had given me and then to ask for the grace to make the next (right ūüôā ) step. Then Father asked me if I understood that and what could I say but ” yes”. Confirmation! Thank you, Charlie.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Heh heh, Nancy…I’ll know it is catching on when grateful pastors start giving me tips!

          Like

          • aj says:

            Hi Charlie, can’t say I was comfortable wkth the accent or slant of 1P5 article on “Breaking Bergoglio”. The quotes they used seemed very hearsay-ish and they also quote the journalist that took no notes when he interviewed the Pope. Keep an eye on their trending…

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Yeah, I am monitoring it each day now. I would head to lose it as it has some very striking material with very original and fresh, but insightful, perspectives. But when any entity starts playing loose and cherry-picking data to support a conclusion they have already reached – and getting fuzzy with what someone actually said in order not to upend their disordered thesis, they will have to go. I like having some places that have thoughtful, well-grounded, alternative opinions, but they have to be solidly grounded.

            But I’m used to it. For over a decade, about the only consistently valuable left-wing voice I watch is Camille Paglia. I disagree with her at least 80 percent of the time, but unlike the degenerate left, she does not feel free to make up her own facts to support her theses. And reading her very different interpretation of actual facts both challenges and often enlightens me. I grieve over the collapse of reasoned discourse in the west…all of which is politicized and rarely related to facts, evidence or reason. It is a greater loss than we yet understand.

            Like

  34. MM Bev says:

    I am trying to heat my house by wood fire. It takes me a long time to successfully get the darn thing going. Ever since I got up, and started that task, a phrase has been repeating itself over and over in my mind, almost as if it is a continuation from my sleep. It was driving me crazy because it is the title of a film: “What Lies Beneath”. To get it out of my mind, with fire burning nicely, I turned my thoughts to this entry. I suddenly realize what the phrase meant. WHAT LIES BENEATH, what lies beneath.
    All of us here are immune to the dissenters from the left; as are most faithful Catholics. Charlie, you are such a blessing to have written this column. No, much more than that. Teachers, and columnists, writers, authors, bloggers are all called to a “higher standard”. If Catholic, their task is to be purveyors of truth. Truth. Among their gifts from God are the ability to be weavers of words, each given a specific and unique way to present His wisdom. Sometimes it is laid out absolutely clearly, others more subtly thread the wisdom throughout their work, allowing the reader to ponder and discover truth partly through their own efforts. But it is a gift that is special, and as you said, Charlie, each is accountable in a very special way. If I say something, no one is going to quote me, or remember longer than three seconds if that.

    Thanks to your entry, we are all aware now that of those writers we have recognized as “faithful to the full truth”, many have to be sifted, and inspected. Not a task we are familiar with among them, but now imperative, because of a subtle shifting that in many cases began slowly selecting specific off the cuff “quotes” from Pope Francis, knowing that most of us have neither the expertise, or time to ferret out all that was presented. Now, the slowness has sped up, and is a full frontal attack, that many do not realize.

    What Lies Beneath. And with such revolting, sickening glee and delight that it is obscene. As you said-why shove the “left”? That endeavor has been won. The best is saved for last. An attack on the ones who are faithful to Christ. I have always felt very sorry for those who have been outright dissenters, and the unaware they have lured to destruction, although the sin of the unaware is likely less. But this is enticing Christ’s own faithful ones to roll in pus and vomit, licking their hands the better to take in the poison and perish. I feel beside myself with grief and I wish I could scream at them to run, run. That is Death. Run back to the Destroyer of Death. In no way can I ever make them hear me, but Our Lady can. But it needs us as never before to intercede for them. Without you, Charlie, I wouldn’t even be aware of the extreme peril so many are in. They trusted, trusted the authors, never suspecting what the Father of Lies could accomplish. What Lies Beneath? Death. And we, even as we stay at our post, can assist Our Lady to rescue them and provide them with the antidote to the poison–her Divine Son, and His Mercy and Truth.

    Like

    • Cecilia says:

      What a beautiful exhortation, MM Bev. Yes, we need to pray unceasingly for souls, the Flame of Love, the Divine Mercy, the Most Holy Rosary, and fasts, and sacrifices as many as we can… now more than ever before, for both the right and the left, that they be rescued from the deceptions they have and are succumbing to. Thank you for the reminder.

      Like

  35. Dino says:

    This is exactly how i’m feeling about the Pope. Comments please!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Sorry, Dino. This is the first time I’ve seen you here, you put up a link to a simplistic offending article of the type we have been discussing and ask for comments?! I edited the link out. Perhaps you are sincere…but this looked like an effort to get up exactly the thing we have talked about without much effort on your part. This whole article and comment thread covers much of it. If you have a specific question you want to ask, by all means ask it and we will get to it. If you are just trying to slip in ignorantly defamatory material on the cheap, well, that is not going to happen.

      Like

    • Gary says:

      I agree Dino. Amazingly one of the apostles founded the Church in India. I believe it was a thousand years later the Christians in the west rediscovered the Church in India and there was no deviation in theology after all that time with Rome. So it will be with the remanent.

      Like

  36. MM Bev says:

    And thanks to you Cecilia. It is so very easy to turn an exclusive focus on the problem at hand and not to remember all the others who have already followed a path leading to destruction. You are right. The left and the right. If we are walking on a tight rope in these days, we must pray for both sides, neither neglecting one or the other.
    Your list is perfect. These are things we each can easily do with our own daily commitments. Since my awareness of the Flame of Love, I find myself saying the Hail Mary spontaneously during the day at whatever task. Someone earlier asked for a visualization…for years, while I cannot see my parish church from my house, I often gaze in it’s direction. I know Jesus is there, silently awaiting acknowledgement from His people. I always imagined a pink flame rising up from the tabernacle, almost white at it’s center, and gradually shading slightly deeper, slightly deeper, until the outermost edge is a deep true rose, and it rises and rises into the heavens above to where Our God is enveloped in it’s love. I think of the Flame of Love the same way. It helps me sometimes to visualize, and that is what the Flame of Love is like for me because it really is Jesus. Our Lady Mother has given us a way to send forth Her Love which is her Divine Son. The Flame covers them, penetrates them, softly calls them, entices them, lures them ever towards her Son’s Divine Heart. Eventually this Flame will cover the earth, and as it expands and grows it color will glow truer and truer, until it’s light is blinding, and all that one will see is Jesus and His Mercy and Love. It will be the brilliance of the sun, in which His Mother is clothed, for she is the one He has designated to send the Flame around the world, over all of humanity. And we, such poor material, we have been chosen by her to be the instruments to spread this Flame until all are immersed in it.

    Like

    • Connie says:

      I was the one asking for a mental picture of the Flame of Love spreading. Thank you, what a beautiful description of that.! I began to remember in the foggy recesses of my brain as i was forming an image of Our Lady clothed with the sun as Divine Love, it seems someone once had a message about Our Lady saying that she will
      come to the world again carrying Jesus in her arms as she once did when He was an infant but that it would be different.IIt always made me wonder, well, how could that be? I believe it may have been Maria Esperanza but I am really unsure at the moment. I will have to research it. But at oncewhile trying to picture what you see, it made me visualize
      Jesus, as the Flame of Love, being carried in His mother’s arms just as she once carried Jesus as a baby and how lovingly she might give Him to someone who asked that they might hold Baby Jesus! So now I have another beautiful image to ponder on of the Flame of Love which is Divine Love! Thank You Jesus and Mary!. BTW, if anyone knows what visionary or message I may be trying to remember, I would love if you would share that.

      Like

  37. MM Bev says:

    Connie, we are passing this image back and forth to each other, increasing the visual picture of how the Flames is spread!! I do not know the visionary whose name you are seeking, and I hope that someone will be able to add that information. What I realized on reading your comment is that the Blessed Virgin Mary love US so much that she has placed Jesus’ Love in our hearts and in our arms like an infant, to be carried with such tenderness and love, to be given with our arms outreached to the many people to whom we spread the Flame of Love. It is Him that she carries to earth; it is Him she wishes us to give to earth’s humanity, until all is all and all is His.

    Like

  38. Kevin G says:

    Ok – so you have passed judgement on all Catholics that love the church, believe all it’s current teachings and question the facts surrounding this recent Synod – including how it was set up, how powers that be tried to keep internal conversations a secret, the keynote speaker – a liberal, modernist, who just happened to get caught in a lie, the promotion and support of liberal Cardinals and Bishops, the obvious exile of Traditional minded cardinals (Cardinal Burke’s demotion), and 100 more reasons for concern. But, we are not “qualified” as members of the body of Christ to say that – hmmm – the seems to be something gone wrong with the direction we are going???? Very well – you keep defending the “indefensible” statements, actions, and obvious wrong path we are going in – and cast judgement on us that insist we follow Jesus and his teaching – oh and by the way – I am not leaving the church – I will be staying and I will continue to wave the warning flag and proclaim the truth to whoever will listen – so condemn me all you want!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I put this up just for example’s sake. Lose the whiny, self-pitying tone, pal. It is certainly unbecoming when you are so eager to tell everyone else, including the Pope, precisely how he’s got it wrong. You want to sling arrows? Grow a hair. Then you might try not setting up straw men to knock down in order to justify your arrogant apostasy. This site is dominated by the orthodox, of which I am one. No one said you are unqualified to speak on what might be wrong directions. But when anyone decides the Church has been taken over by an antichrist pope and the Bishops are all going to hell in a handbasket, we don’t tolerate that here. Respectful discourse yes, but throwing mud and stones and shrieking to burn the heretics – no. And then to come on and whine like a baby when people actually have the temerity to suggest you are not as holy as you think and do not have a corner on the mind of Christ…pathetic.

      Sorry folks…poor Mark Mallett has been dealing with whiny self-pitying clowns like this all week. “Oh, all I want to do is to be faithful – not by reasonably arguing my point with vigor and logic, but by calling anyone who does not see things as I do a heretic who is going to hell…why, oh why. are all you orthodox Catholics who are not demanding the overthrow of the Church persecuting me so by not agreeing with me?” If you were interested in defending the truth, it would not have been necessary for you to so mutilate what the Pope has actually been saying, now would it have, in order to torture it into the bad things you clearly want him to mean, so you can enjoy the thrill of playing holier than the Pope?

      Those of you who have disagreements with my point of view, please carry on as you have. As you know, we struggle together. Any new folks who want to come on and slash and burn, then whine when it is suggested you behave with a little civility, go somewhere else where they traffic in that sort of thing. Even you, Kevin, are welcome to comment further provided you drop the phony victim card you are trying to play AND quote the Pope accurately rather than try to “spin” what he says in a malicious manner. Or maybe you can just go pray and thank God he did not make you like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers…

      Like

      • Kevin G says:

        Well – thanks so much for setting me straight with your reasonable, loving and Christ-like reply. I will not try to present any further thoughts because I don’t want to waste your time – I am just a whiney, little, clown for Christ, but – I will keep you in my prayers. Now – off I go to grow some hair.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Now I rather like that response…takes a straightforward whack at me in response to a straightforward whack I took at you. Doesn’t disfigure any of my comments to manufacture an insult, just deals with the real one. AND appropriate use of sarcasm. I like that enough that I will take a whack at responding to the original comment again.

          First – nowhere did I judge all Catholics who love the Church. I love the Church. Unless you believe the only Catholics who can possibly love the Church are those who agree with you in every particular, this is a non-sequitur.

          Second – Nowhere did I “judge” all who believe its current teachings. I believe all its current teachings. I suspect you don’t, as you seem to believe papal infallibility and the impossibility of teaching error or changing the doctrine of the faith is open to question. You have apparently passed judgment on those who don’t doubt the same teaching as you do.

          Third – As I was certainly among the most prominent at this site TO question this Synod, that is just incoherent. Is it perhaps that I questioned Cdl. Burke as well as Cdl. Kasper that irritates you?

          At a non-teaching session of the Synod, error cannot be taught. That does not mean good judgment should not be used. Why trying to keep internal discussions secret offends you is beyond me. That has been done in every conclave and Synod in history. Either condemn them all or drop this line of attack. I was not pleased with the choice of keynote – and said so, but that is a matter of judgment. That the Pope’s judgment differed from mine is hardly a matter for a broadsword. The promotion of progressive Cardinals was done more by the progressives than the Pope – including the one who insisted he spoke for the Pope, only to be tacitly rebuked before the conference ended. The “exile of traditional minded Cardinals” makes two errors – first, there is only one who has apparently been exiled, Cardinal Burke. It is not a plural. Second, you assume he was exiled because he is orthodox. He may very well have been exiled for another reason with his orthodoxy incidental. To credibly demonstrate he was exiled for orthodoxy, you need to give a plausible explanation for why the equally orthodox Cardinal George Pell was elevated by the same Pope. If you cannot, than something besides orthodoxy is likely the root cause.

          You claim I criticize you for “following Jesus and His teaching.” Au contraire – I criticize you for where you depart from it by rejecting the legitimate teaching authority of the Pope and the Bishops assembled – and your insistence that error can be taught in such situations, contrary to what Jesus taught. So the actual animus is the opposite of what you say – your fit of pique with me is because I insist on following Jesus and ALL His teaching – including that error you want to reject.

          All that has happened is a disagreement on matters of judgment in preparing for teaching, not on teaching itself. Do not equate your judgment as “truth” and all others as “heresy,” especially when you are the one insisting that certain promises of Christ must be ignored. Do not “spin” what the Pope says by quoting snippets that support your argument while ignoring things in the same speech that undermine your claims. If you do that, we can have a useful, perhaps even enlightening discussion here. But when you come on with overheated, melodramatic claims that reduce matters of judgment to a simple matter of truth and error, with you wearing the white hat of martyr and anyone who disagrees with your judgment as a persecutor, I will whack you back every time.

          At this site, provided people speak with good will, assuming the good faith of others until proven otherwise, and adhere to the actual teaching of the Church if they claim her protection – not merely pretending that whatever they prefer is TRUTH and all others are the forces of darkness – we welcome the considered and varied opinions of all. That applies to you as well as anyone else. And for the record, my original reply was quite reasonable and Christ-like. It marvelously mimicked His replies to the people of His time on earth who thought THEY had the fullness of truth and were the true arbiters of orthodoxy.

          Like

          • JPW says:

            Wow. Game on. You would have been at home in one of the great medieval universities. the art of debate is certainly alive and well on this forum. I would have enjoyed reading these responses with a nice malt but had to settle for a glass of milk ūüôā

            Like

  39. JPW says:

    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/providence-and-paranoia?utm_campaign=dailyhtml&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dispatch

    Dear Charlie,
    I attach the above link for your consideration from Father Dwight longnecker posted on the Zenit news agency site. It is a timely corrective of the tendency of some to see a cloven hoof behind every unturned stone. Moreover, it demonstrates the consequences of failing to abandon one self with child-like trust to the mercy and love of God who draws all things to himself. It really hammered home for me why you have insisted that one acknowledge God. I will be the first to admit that I have got myself into a bit of a panic this last few days thinking about what may lay ahead. Finally I have realised that no matter what I think I may know, no matter how much I want to be admitted to the circle of the informed and enlightened, none of it will avail me if at bottom I do not have trust in our God. And it is the grace of trust, of child-like abandonment born of love, that will see us all through the days ahead whether we live or die.

    Good God grant me the grace to desire it and save me from a restless curiosity that seeks knowledge and not love.

    Our Lady of Tepeyac Pray for us.

    God bless

    JP

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Wonderful article. Thank you so much, JPW. I know some of my intensity of late has come less from anger at those pushing this (though there is that) and more of fear for them – and for me. I state in My Purpose at the top of the bar on this site that I will be held to account for all I did not give effective witness to and didn’t – and seeing people sliding away into this shook me. I have steadied out and am now focused on both discussing it where I can and, while showing people what is out there, defending them and this site from becoming a place for people to grind such axes.

      In the article, I enjoyed Fr. Longnecker’s discussion of the bugaboos of both the right and the left. Once, having dinner with a prominent pro-life Democrat State Senator who was considering a run for Governor, we got to talking about the conspiracy enthusiasts and the nuts on our respective sides of the aisle. After chuckling over some of it, we wondered if we could manage a trade of nuts for one cycle just to mix things up, keep it fresh.

      Like

      • JPW says:

        “…[A} trade of nuts for one cycle just to mix things up, keep it fresh”.

        Being an Irish man we have a native inimitable ability to see the humour in the most tragic circumstances without any facetiousness or ill will. I’m sure there’s some Irish blood coursing through your veins ūüôā

        Like

  40. Hi Charlie! I posted this here tonite because I really didn’t know where to share it. It is All Souks Day and I am learning so much from my devotion to the Poor Souls. They pray for me. I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me once again and teaching me more lessons. Like many….I have had a hard time figuring out Pope Francis. I am still learning…..but tonight I learned more. God is so good. I am not worthy. I wrote this for a priest who has a blog. It was one of his photos that he took of a painting while he was in Italy this week….that was my confirmation about Edith Piaf. So here is what I wrote. I hope it may help others somehow.

    I just wanted to let you know how Jesus used you to confirm to me …that person was in purgatory and needed prayers and Mass said for them. I have a devotion to the poor souls and sometimes the good Lord allows me to know the names of people who are need of Mass or prayers…who are suffering in purgatory. Just about 2 weeks ago, I was curious as to wether the famous French singer Edith Piaf was in purgatory. I love her music ALOT! ¬†I asked the Lord if HE could perhaps confirm to me if she was. I had never asked the Lord in prayer about a specific soul. I always just pray for The Souls in ¬†Purgatory as a whole and I know that our Lady will apply my prayers where they are most needed. But like I said in this instance…..I asked Jesus specifically about ……Edith Piaf. Well in case you don’t know much about her, she had lived a tragic life. She was abandoned by her mother and lived with her father until …at a young age …she was sent to live with her fraternal grandmother who ran a brothel. There is where Edith learned about Saint Therese. One day young Edith lost her site. One of the prostitutes took Edith to the tomb of Saint Therese and begged for the Saint to obtain for Edith a cure. The young woman loved Edith very much as did many of the other girls in the brothel. Well….the miracle was granted and Edith regained her site fully. After this …Edith had a strong devotion to the Saint. Edith lived a life with many trials and sad hardships. Many ….from her own bad choices….but many because of others. Her upbringing was terrible. There were horrible influences around her but there was also love. She was loved so very much ….like I said ….from a prostitute. Edith believed in God. She believed in the holiness of Saints. She prayed. God in HIS great mercy …looks at all these things. He sees through HIS merciful eyes ….what we know….what we have been taught and what we were given. He looks at how much we were able to love….even though we were not shown great love by others. Edith was able to love in spite of her upbringing and tragic past. She died without a Catholic funeral because of her lifestyle. But not too many years ago there was a Mass offered in her honor in the town she was well known in. Now….about that sign I asked the good Lord for ….as to wether Edith was in need of more Masses. Edith Piaf was known as The Little Sparrow. A few days after I asked about Edith…..I was in my bathroom and I looked down at the tiles and there as clear as a bell ….in the midst of the shapes and different colorings in the tile was a SPARROW. Not only that but on the beak of the sparrow was a cross. At first it didn’t click in my mind that that was the sign about Edith. I thought it was Jesus letting me know ….that he missed me singing to HIM. I often sing songs to Jesus and Mary at night when I am alone. In my prayers…..I have come to know Jesus calls me HIS little sparrow. Well…..2 days went by and I realized that that was the sign I received from Jesus letting me know about Edith. I was so happy! Well….Jesus knowing that I may need another sign …..so as to be sure that I wasn’t confused …HE sent me another. My final confirmation was the day I read your blog and saw your postings of art while you were in Italy. WOW! What a beautiful piece! So precious. The string around baby Jesus wrist almost made me cry. That is how HE is. He wants to tie a string around us….so we don’t fly away. He lives us all so much. Tonight being All Souls Day, I thought you might like this story. I will be having Masses said for Edith all month. I also learned a lot in this whole experience with Edith. I have tried over and over gain to try to understand Pope Francis. He is a bit hard to figure out. The only thing I can figure out is that he sees in this world MANY Edith’s. People who just never were given anything remotely HOLY ….by example. So many people who were products of their upbringing and heirs to tragedy. People who were labeled Catholic….but didn’t know what it was to live a Catholic life and swaddled in the Love of Jesus. They grew up….made mistakes….committed many sins….but now they are seeing the light and feel the warmth of the Fathers love….and want to be part of HIS family’s body. They want the past to be erased and they want so much to be allowed into the banquet of life. I think these are the ones that Pope Francis is aiming for. The ones who did not know….through no fault of their own. The ones who were so weak from malnutrition of love and knowledge. I don’t know Pope Francis….but I do know he loves and has a huge heart. I think he just needs to say it better. There are many many many out there ….who through no fault of there own….have made terrible decisions and they don’t want to be left out anymore…..they want to be invited to the banquet because they are starving. We need to bring them home ….clean them off and feed them……and do it for them….in perfect love and charity. MAYBE.¬†
    Good night Father! 
    Thank you! 

    Sincerely,
    Charlanne.

    Just before I posted this here…..I was thinking about the painting of Jesus as a baby in Mary’s arms with the string attached to Jesus’ wrist and the sparrows foot. Jesus loves us so much . We are all HIS sparrows and the string he attaches to us is HIS church and the sacraments. If we are in HIS church and we stay attached …….we cannot fly away.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s