Prophecy Unfolds Hidden Before Our Eyes

virgin-mary-medjugorje

I monitor the news each day, checking for matters of interest. Much of it is the same as what anyone else looks for. But I also watch for things from a perspective of what I know about the battle that lies ahead, so it gives me a bit of a different vantage point. A few examples:

I have said before that the primary reason I believe Medjugorje is authentic is because my angel told me so in March of 1993, at a time when I thought it was just sort of a religious carnival. He said that it was infected with the barnacles of our time, but was nonetheless authentic. In fact, it is part of the manifestation of the single event that also encompasses Lourdes and Fatima.

Events since then have confirmed it in a striking way for me. You will remember in the mid-90s when the former Yugoslavia, where Medjugorje is located, exploded into sectarian violence. That was no surprise. It is part of the Balkans and it is right where three strikingly different cultural heritages collide. The strife there was between the Croats, who were western, or Catholic Christians, the Serbs who were Orthodox Christians and the Bosnian Muslims. (I know this will come as a bit of a surprise to my America-centric readers, but while the theological differences between Catholic and Protestant Christians are usually greater than between Catholic and Orthodox Christians, the cultural gulf is much greater between the Orthodox and Catholics. In most of the non-western world, Protestants are just considered an exotic flavor of Catholicism, or western Christianity. The structure of relations between the state and society and faith are profoundly similar among western Christians, but profoundly different from eastern – or Orthodox Christians). The Dayton Accords of 1995 ended the immediate violence in the Balkans, but few expected the truce to last. The fact is, in the absence of great-power politics, peace rarely lasts long along cultural fault lines – where dramatically different cultures are in close proximity with each other. One of the great blind spots of American diplomacy and global analysis is thinking that everyone is, at bottom, just little Americans who want the same things we in the west do. It is a sort of cultural myopia. The multiculturalists are even blinder about it than the frank imperialists. Everybody, except perhaps Americans, expected a pause, hopefully an extended one in the sectarian strife, but all expected it to flare up again by the turn of the millennium.

So why hasn’t it flared up again in some dramatic form? Frankly, I think it is because of the phenomenon of the apparitions at Medjugorje. These visitations have crossed civilizational and cultural lines. Both Catholic, or western, Christians and Orthodox, or eastern, Christians are deeply vested in the events there. Perhaps more surprisingly, Muslims, too, have been profoundly moved when they go there. Interestingly, Our Lady is making a striking number of appearances to Muslims this last decade. It is a foreshadowing of her taking up the role she took up at Tepeyac Hill 500 years ago, when she converted the Indians when the missionaries had failed. Perhaps, even more surprising, are the astonishing number of vocations that arise from pilgrimages to Medjugorje. The vocations are almost as common among the Orthodox as they are among Catholics. Muslim pilgrims embrace peace. This is happening at what should be the front line of battle in cultural conflict – a conflict that is already raging throughout the world in other places. Yet not in the very heart of the fault line between clashing civilizations. If people were not so almost universally historically unaware, they would realize this is, in itself, a miracle…nearly unprecedented that at the very epicenter of confrontation of a growing civilizational conflict, there should be so little. Why?

I think it is a foretaste of the peace God intends, a foreshadowing of a unity that retains the freedom of differing cultural identity, but the unity that rises from direct encounter with heavenly things. Certainly it could change, particularly now as the Storm continues to rise in its fury. But it is striking to me that 14 years after the outside date most serious observers gave before a new outbreak of furious violence would arise, peace still holds there. It holds there even as it collapses everywhere else. I have thought, at times, that we really are a dull-witted lot, for we have watched an astonishing miracle right before our eyes completely unawares. But it is usually the case that we don’t recognize our time of visitation until long after it has passed. I have said I don’t spend much time reading the various messages that arise from Medjugorje. I only read them if someone presents one to me. But I do watch closely the interaction of Catholic and Orthodox Christians and Muslims who journey there. I watch it for hints of how we are to knit a bleeding world together again. And I don’t need to hear a single message to see the miracle that is Medjugorje. I have not been shown that particular spot from the vantage point of eternity as I have some others, but I can tell you from my experience of others that Medjugorje shines with brilliance, clarity and great beauty into eternity. The Queen of Peace is already there and the world doesn’t recognize it.

Why is there peace in a large region where strife should be as desperate as it is in the Middle East? Because there, at its heart, is Medjugorje, where  the woman cloaked with the sun is, presenting to us the Babe in swaddling clothes…and those who go feel both His and her presence. The pilgrims sense they stand on sacred ground. They are right, It is the sacred ground from which our rescue already begins to rise.

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Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev, Ukraine

Then there is the matter of Russia and the Ukraine. I was utterly astonished at how impoverished and historically uninformed analysis of the crisis was in the days before Russia invaded Eastern Ukraine. In America, policy leaders blithely assured us that Russia was almost certain NOT to invade Ukraine. I was astounded because I knew that the chances were about 99.9% it would – and told those officials I talked with in the days preceding it so. It was irrelevant who fomented the crisis. Once the crisis arrived, there was NO chance that Russia would gamble with losing its warm-water port in Crimea. Without it, Russia becomes a second-rate power in a dangerous world. Russia is not protected by an ocean on either side of her. She cannot make serial intelligence blunders without paying an immediate and heavy price for error like America can -and routinely does.

Beyond that, though, American policy-makers seemed like chickens who had discovered the world for the first time a few days earlier, completely unaware of long-standing historical realities. Back when the Soviet Republics broke up, much of the next decade was spent speculating whether Eastern Ukraine would break off from Western Ukraine to join Russia. Eastern Ukraine is almost entirely Orthodox and identifies overwhelmingly as Russian. On the other hand, Western Ukraine is nationalistic, almost entirely Uniate (that is loyally Catholic to the Pope while practicing eastern liturgical rites.) It again, is one of those cultural fault lines, but one with profound overtones for the future. Kiev, almost smack in the center is, if not the actual birthplace of Russia, certainly its nursery.

Comparisons of Hitler’s false flag invasion of Poland, claiming he was coming to aid German nationals who were under assault, were made to Russia’s pretext for invading Eastern Ukraine. The similarity was far more superficial than most of my politically conservative colleagues understood. No Polish nationals wanted German intervention in their affairs. Many, probably a majority, of citizens of Eastern Ukraine actually consider themselves Russian nationals.

I contemplate this in the light of events I have described transpiring over the next few years. Russia is the key nation in giving the world the strength it needs to tilt the balance against the Chinese reach for hegemony. Russia has had a 1,000-year identity crisis over whether it is a western power or an independent Orthodox Eurasian power. Ukraine, though at the far southwestern edge of Russia, is nonetheless the critical natal and spiritual center of Russia. It is also almost exactly bisected by the border between Eastern and Western Christianity. And its Western Christianity is based on the Eastern liturgical rites. Thus, Western Ukraine is literally the bridge state between Western and Eastern Christianity. How can one consider Ukraine and not contemplate that that is where the unification or final division between the poles of Christianity will likely play out? And when it does, how can one not contemplate whether that is the decisive region from which Russia must finally choose what its identity is, west or east? And just a few hundred miles west of that is Medjugorje, where both lungs of Christianity breathe in harmony right now, even as chaos rises.

What does it all mean? Well, this is what is worth contemplating in our hearts. I am often struck at how bitterly and viciously Christians will argue over a jot or a tittle of private revelation while remaining astonishingly unaware of the great miracle, the stately procession of ancient prophecy unfolding right before our eyes. If you want to contemplate prophecy, both ancient and modern-day, start here. Abandon preconceptions and see things for what they are. You will be startled to discover the framework of the new era already rising before us. We are just too blinded by the dust and racket to see it for what it truly portends.

About charliej373

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

  1. anne says:

    interesting……..all ties in with latest message on http://www.locutions.org places and groups of Mary. I rejoiced when i read this message…….Her stronger and stronger presence!! I just came back from a self given pilgrimage to the most beautiful Chapel of Our Lady. Then read the latest on locutions. And now Charlie’s article.

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    • Carol says:

      Hi Anne: Thanks for the reminder of this site. I was following a while ago and then stopped for no reason, just busy with everyday life. Did go to the site this morning and read from where I had left off a few months ago, very interesting indeed.

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  2. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie. Thank you for this post. I love Medj as our Lady has brought me intimately closer to Christ through this devotion.

    Do you know anything about the 3 day of darkness concept that us around on the net? http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=326829

    Much love and affection .

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    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t talk much about the three days of darkness, Radi. I think much of the common interpretation of prophecy has a childlike literal quality to it that does not take into account the symbolic nature of much prophetic language nor how different things look from the vantage point of eternity where sight is so much clearer. If a literal three days of darkness comes, that doesn’t bother me. It is not inconsistent with what I have been shown. I, however, do not believe that is going to happen literally as we imagine it – but every time I say that, I get howling emails telling me how faithless, worthless, and heretical I am. Like I say…it’s no skin off my nose, whether it is literal or figurative, we have some mighty rough sledding. But some folks have gotten so vested in their literal interpretation I try not to stir them up if I don’t have to. I sometimes suspect that may be why God doesn’t get an email account – so the folks who think themselves holier and wiser than the Pope don’t bombard Him with angry emails every time He does something different than the way they expected.

      Liked by 2 people

      • MM Bev says:

        LOL – Oh;, Charlie! I have an almost in-suppressible urge to send you a “Hooowwling email, telling you that you are faithless, worthless, and heretical! Sounds just like the day I step into the ants nest!

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      • Bob says:

        I suppose I will put up a response to interpreting prophecies too. Even Charlies, while he has a sense we too must discern what we are hearing and how we do that is important. And as Pope Benedict showed us with the famous third secret of Fatima, prayer can change both the severity and timing of events as Jonah found out.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Bob, I love it! I have prayed many times that, if God saw enough repentance that things could be done without recourse to the Storm that I would never go sulk and pout like Jonah. Besides the fact that being swallowed by a whale does not sound pleasant to me, I just want all to come to God…and heaven is the only reward that matters. If I can get heaven with all my friends – including all my wonderful friends here – and the price is merely that I look the fool for a bit here, sign me up!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob says:

            I am doing some thinking as I will meet my spiritual director next week and must share with him things I am dealing with and I will say something about reading prophecies about a predicted coming storm, my beliefs about it and how I am letting it affect my life. So what do I believe at this time? I don’t have the surety Charlie does but I know me must all test prophecy and keep what is good 1 Thes ch5 vs 20 and 21.
            First we test prophecies by knowing the quality of the prophet’s spiritual lives, are they obedient, faithful to the church, etc.? Do the prophecies ring true? And finally are they fulfilled? And finally if we believe they are likely to be true are we understanding them rightly and what do we do about them?
            First, my knowledge of Charlie is somewhat limited and yet he expresses obedience to the Catholic Church, he talks the right stuff and people I trust speak highly of him, Mark Mallott and others.
            Second, do these prophecies ring true? Well I see our country turning away from God, with at first speaking of not forcing religion on people, than gradually removing respect for God from our culture thus leaving a spiritual void. And we know that demons are glad to fill that void and lead people to hell. Also our culture is more actively destroying the family, destroying the foundations of what God teaches the family to be, and killing it’s unborn and more “unwanted” others too. Psalm 11 vs 3 asks “If the foundations are destroyed what can the just man do?” And in Ferguson near St Louis where I live I see a bitter brew of mostly black males, raised without dads most of them, taught in Godless public schools and often fed almost demonic hatred by some of their leaders, lurching toward disorder, and, apart from God’s help how easy is it to get my own heart caught up in ungodly emotions also.
            Obviously we must wait for their fulfillment, if these prophecies are correct, but here too God’s time of “soon” is not like our “soon” and God can delay times and chastisements if He so chooses since He is God, based on our response and what God believe will allow the most to be saved for eternity..

            From the above reasons as well as by other prophetic hints from Marian apparitions, to the Rome prophecy and others and the need to read the signs of the times as Jesus warned us to do Matthew chap 16 vs 3, and the basic knowledge that God is just and will not let sin and rejection of God last forever, it seems likely that chastisements and hard times lie ahead barring a major widespread public repentance, turning from sin and returning to God.
            So what should I do? I believe I should continue to do my duty, go to work, etc but make some prudent preparations for hard times and the most important preparation I can make is to pray more and learn to trust in God more deeply and surrender to God more because that is always good and will be much needed if a storm does come. And turning to God will also be good even if things remain or become calmer again. And considering that this life is uncertain, and potential storms will make life even more uncertain, I must learn to lean on God more as God will never fail if I continue to trust in Him. A minor uncertainty for me is how much do I plan for things I enjoy such as hiking, hunting etc. and plan doing so vs. honkering down? And if I believe changes are coming can I still enjoy these things or do I need to be more serious? But I think until the storm comes God will still permit some healthy recreation. And as I live in St Louis may I suggest that we all make sure we have a good comfortable sturdy pair of boots and for those of us who can to try to get in better physical shape. My daughter laughs at me but I have asked her several times, “And how would those shoes you are wearing work if you were in a tornado or if the New Madrid fault were to start shaking really bad and you had to walk over rubble? And I am sure stepping on a rusty nail could make for a really bad day!!

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          • charliej373 says:

            What a marvelously sober, serious, pious and discerning way you proceed, Bob. My message has always been to emphasize not that God is close to me, though I believe that to be the case, but that He is close to you, right at hand. Look to Him through the Church to find your way – and you will participate in a great renewal.

            On the other hand, I had to chuckle when you seemed to worry about whether you would be able to continue your hiking and hunting. The Storm may be for you like a pond is to a duck…I suspect you are going to get all the hiking and hunting you want.

            Liked by 1 person

      • janet333 says:

        Charlie…who is Menses?

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        • charliej373 says:

          He is a person who has knowingly given himself over to satan while actually pretending to be a fully orthodox Christian. This article might help you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • janet333 says:

            Thanks Charlie…I’ve been reading all of the articles you’ve posted and his name came up. May I ask also is the ‘Beast’ of Revelations a political system?

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          • charliej373 says:

            Actually, I have been pondering that…and am examining whether or not the Beast of Revelations is perhaps the system of atheist communism – which seems to have infected the rest of the world even as it has receded in Russia.

            Liked by 4 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Actually, I’ve been thinking about China and its attempt to take over the world during the Storm. I’m thinking that China will have a desire and incentive to attempt to recreate the Old System of the World, kind of like a golem or a Frankenstein monster, putting bits of the old System together so it looks like the Old World we are currently in.

            This Beast, a resurrected shambolic echo of what we have now, could be extraordinarily attractive to many people around the world who would be desperately seeking order and a semblance of the past for comfort, for the possibility of having a job again, and more. The temptation to belong, to be inside, to be normal again, would appeal mightily to many people around the world.

            China could require any person who wishes to be inside this shambolic System to sign a loyalty oath or something similar to choose to be inside. This would be the Mark of the Beast, and it would function as such because the people signing it would be doing so through their own free will. And then the Beast has them.

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      • janet333 says:

        Thank you for this article Charlie…. You are helping me correct many preconceptions.

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      • Ed Allison says:

        ” I sometimes suspect that may be why God doesn’t get an email account – so the folks who think themselves holier and wiser than the Pope don’t bombard Him with angry emails every time He does something different than the way they expected.”

        Charlie, this made me think of a line from The Fiddler on the Roof, and made me smile. The old woman in Anatevka who is the match maker, says, “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.”

        Unfortunately, true.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. MM Bev says:

    The driving factor in my decision to go to Medjugorje was that two Muslim young men, carrying rosaries in their hands, were carrying a Catholic elderly woman up the mountain to the cement cross at the top. That stuck me full force. Short of a complete miracle this could not be possible. The history of that region is convoluted that I couldn’t figure out all the twist and turns when I was trying to learn it. But that event was so far beyond comprehension, that it was, to me, far more significant than the miracle of the sun, or the oozing from the bronze knee of Christ’s statue, or the conversions etc. That read this was also the primary factor in not feeling dreadfully upset when I fractured my neck days before leaving on my trip. I knew that basically I didn’t really have to go there. I have a great affinity to Mirjana, and what Our Lady has asked of her. It is also my primary prayer goal. And the knowledge of the Flame of Love has been a beautiful and special gift from commentators here to me.

    Although the country of Ukraine has dropped off the news radar, the conflict there, whether overtly or covertly, has not ceased, nor will it. Russia needs Eastern Ukraine (who are Russian as you said) and the Crimea has been annexed by Russia already. Russia had to have a corridor to that port, and the Russian people of the Eastern portion have more affinity to Russia than to the West.

    But I had not seen what you perceived. Now it makes sense to me. Everything you are saying resonates within me. I have often wondered at the optimism of the popes at the unification of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Yes, the two lungs….but I feel far more hostility and antagonism from those who are Eastern Orthodox than any protestant denomination. To the point that the only friend that I had all during my marriage, ceased to communicate with me when she became an Eastern Orthodox Christian. It coincided with my husband’s death. It has been so total and complete it took me a long time to realize her rejection, and then to adjust and accept her choice. It is the cause of a tremendous grief in my heart that will not go away, for I do not feel any different, and have let her know that. But I have disappeared from the map.

    I would be interested in hearing others experiences regarding their relationships with Eastern Orthodox Christians. I do know that I must spend quite a bit of time reading, re-reading and reflecting on your blog. And I am now determined to try the history lesson again. I also have another specific prayer goal regarding Russia that had not occurred to me before. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chantal says:

    I am completely intrigued by Russia and Putin. All the negativity about Putin has lead me to actually listen to him. I find his words direct and frank. As for Ukraine, I found that looking a little deeper the lies seem to be in western media. As you said, eastern Ukraine and Crimea wanted to be back with Russia. I fault America more then Russia for the problems in Ukraine. In a previous post, you mentioned that Obama was sincere but vain and shallow. Who is Putin? Part of the KGB, yes but so was Bush and there was never the alarm for concern there. Russia is emerging to be a country defending Christian values. Putin is not perfect but I listen to him like I listen to pope Francis.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Well, I’m not a fan of Putin, particularly, but he does not particularly shock me. He is authentically Russian. He also is authentically Christian – and is what an Orthodox autocrat has looked like for 1,000 years. That he is so surprising to westerners is what is surprising to me. When we make him out to be a cartoon villain – sort of a Dr. Doom – we understand less, not more. He acts like a Romanov, a typical Russian from the tsarist line. It seems we in the states are almost blissfully unaware that Russia existed for 900 years before the aberration that was Marxist Communism – and so are unaware that Putin is an unremarkable specimen of the type of ruler that was common to Russia before Marx disfigured it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • marti says:

        I spent the beginning of 2012 for six wonderful weeks in Rome and Ukraine with my spiritual Father, Bishop Roman Danylak. We met with many priests and one in particular told his story at dinner one night. He was Russian and had been just ordained a Russian Orthodox priest. One night he was visited by the KGB and ordered to routinely write down the confessions and names of people who came to him. He was horrified and he knew he could not do this in good conscience. He refused once and was beaten so badly that he left in the middle of the night and was snuck into Ukraine. He then joined the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church where he was a powerhouse of prayer and testimony against the Russian Govt. Person after person told their horror stories of families being displaced, relatives being raped, sons and fathers disappearing in the middle of the night. The Orthodox have a lot to answer for being a State Religion. Its a facade! The real Orthodox are struggling to maintain a profile along with the Roman Rite which is a minute population in Ukraine. What I saw was the pain and Putin and Yeltsin and others were behind it.

        As a friend of Josyp Terelya, and as one who helped publish his second book, “In the Kingdom of the Spirit”, the deception is great when dealing with Russia. He was imprisoned for his faith for 22 yrs in the Russian Gulags. His own mother and father were high ranking KGB officers. His mother was personally responsible for wiping out all religion in Russia and Ukraine, closing and burning churches and killing or kidnapping priests, bishops and nuns. His testimony of our Lady appearing to him in prison and showing him the past, present and the future is eye opening. I don’t for one minute believe that Mr. Putin is a Christian…and a good one?? I am in contact with Ukrainians right now who have been terrorized and have no hope but in our Lady & Jesus. The brutality given by Putin’s orders is unrelenting. Horror doesn’t end, it just comes in waves. The priests are terrified but know this is their martyrdom. I just can’t see Mr. Putin as the good guy Charlie. I know all about the Triumph and Russia will lead the way, but it ain’t here yet. When the satanic kabbalists quit eating the ‘elixir of life’ which are the thymus glands of aborted babies which Josyp wrote about in his book after having met some of them at a get together in Russia, then I will think Russia might have a chance, but purification for Russia and the whole world must come first.

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    • ruthmc64Ruth says:

      Please explain the comment that Bush was part of the KGB.

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      • charliej373 says:

        I think what Chantal meant was that George H.W. Bush was director of the CIA for a time. Though it was the intelligence counterpart of the Soviet KGB, it is not at all similar to the brutal, often murderous tactics of the KGB. To get an idea of how ugly the KGB and Soviet intelligence really was, you might read Christopher Andrew’s book on “The Mitrokhin Archives,” a massive dump of raw Soviet intelligence data going back to the beginning of the Soviet Union.

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  5. Paul says:

    Good Morning Charlie…
    I’ve been to Medjugorje twice now(2007 & 2013) and completely agree with your characterization of it…the place is amazing and I’m certain Our Lady is appearing there…JP II once said something to the effect that if it weren’t for his position as Pope he would go there immediately

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  6. donna269 says:

    I haven’t read completely through the thread. My heart jumps with joy because Our Lady called me to Medjugorje in April ’93 in the heart of the war….so I will share this story if you allow…The pilgrimage was part humanitarian. We brought 100 boxes of Humanitarian aid to Medjugorje and the surrounding community. They asked us to bring anything that they couldn’t grow, especially medicines. We brought over insulin and Factor 8 for a3 year old little boy who had Hemophilia in the Seroki Brieje (Fr Yozo). We brought antibiotics etc…. We brought diapers, cooking oil, shampoo, you name it.

    Our pilgrimage began in Rome with Faustina’s Beatification. I was a young mom in my early 30’s of two young sons ages 3 and 7. I went alone with my aunt and a group of brave pilgrims of 18 or so.
    We started the pilgrimage in Rome and I got cold feet about going into war torn Bosnia. I told the pilgrimage directors I wanted to return to the US on Sunday and not finish the pilgrimage in Bosnia.

    They arranged my return to the US the day after the beatification on Monday. I felt as a young mother I couldn’t risk my life going into a war torn country and Pres Clinton had asked all US citizens NOT to go in there.

    After the beatification, we stayed in the square and prayed a rosary of thanksgiving to Our Lady. It was during the second mystery, the Visitation, that I had an amazing inner locution…..from Our Lady….she said loudly and distinctly…..”Why won’t you come?” My face changed and the entire pilgrim group was staring at me….what? what happened? I told them! they said, you HAVE to come with us, she is telling you it’s okay she will protect you. When we got back to the hotel, they had already given up my seat on an airplane to a UN dignitary and I was told I had to fly back to the US. I was heartbroken. On Monday morning, I was packed to go back to the airport but was told the rest of the group had prayed during the night for a seat to become available. As I was leaving the hotel to get into the cab, the pilgrim director ran out and said, We HAVE A SEAT, WE HAVE A SEAT for you, they just called!

    So I was able to spend 10 days in war torn Bosnia and the miracles never seized there….Our Mother is so good….So many conversions have occurred in my family from my visit there. I might also add our group saved the life of the 3 year old Hemophiliac boy. He had fallen and was bleeding when the Plane landed in Bosnia. They got the Factor 8 and whisked it to his hospital. He came to visit us on the 10th day and thanked us for saving his life with his parents. He looked like a little German Hummel boy….Oh the stories I could tell from the pilgrimage…such miracles, many miracles. I am so blessed.

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  7. Barbara Dore says:

    Vicka of Medjugorje wrote a book about Our Lady’s life on Earth. She still does not get a green light from Gospa and I cannot wait to read that book!

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  8. LJD says:

    I have never been big on Medjugorje, although I know plenty of people who swear by it. M. Voris did a video and it just left me not very convinced about it. In all honesty though, I havent researched it very much either. The fruits you mentioned I do not ignore though. I have been to Ephesus where the House of Mary is in Turkey. It was almost magical walking around that area in the mountain. It has many of the same aspects with the mix of Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim pilgrims. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I also love the eastern liturgy. I almost converted to Orthodoxy at one point in my 20s. The mystical aspect of the candles and lit golden icons, as well as the use of incense really feels like you step into the other heavenly world! It is much more welcoming than most masses in the West.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yeah, LJD, some of the things that people get most excited about interest me the least about it. Now certainly, I was told by my angel when I did not believe that it was authentic, so then I did, because he has always told me truly. But I always watch for the fruits. I like to think I would have come to believe intensely in Medjugorje on my own, for the conversions – and the cooperation of people at the civilizational fault lines of cultures already warring with each other…well, I think people who are hostile to Medjugorje must be blind to what is right before their eyes. The place is laden with the fruits of the spirit – and that is utterly undeniable.

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      • MM Bev says:

        One of the enormous blessings from Medjugorje is that there are a lot of good books regarding the events over time. During the last number of years this has tapered off. With the Internet we have access to all the messages, talks and articles as well as a webcam. However, Our Lady’s messages repeat the Five First Saturdays requested at Fatima. I have 16 books on Fatima, and I like primary source material the best. Our Lady has included the aspect of fasting which was not specifically requested at Fatima, but Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco gave their lunches away to poorer children and often fasted from food and water as they watched the sheep on the hot hills as an act of reparation, so basically even that was part of what Fatima included. The other emphasis is to pray for all of our priest and right up to the Pope….no exceptions.
        There are so many messages, that I only concentrate on the ones to Mirjana on the second of the month. The difference between Fatima and Medjugorje is that the messages of Fatima are “lived” and “witnessed” and “experienced” at Medjugorje, which has a tremendous impact to opening the hearts of those who go there. Of course, there is an unbelievable and unexplained impact of Our Mother appearing there as Queen of Peace…Her basic mission on earth now.
        Another absolute miracle is that a large Vatican commission researched the entire 33 years of daily and intermittent messages from SIX visionaries and were unable to detect a single flaw that would necessitate a negative evaluation! You can’t pull that one off, without a flaw, especially since one of the visionaries was a ten year old BOY when it began. Anyone with a son, can tell you how impossible that is.

        Even if you didn’t know anything except the overall concept of what is supposed to be happening there, one is left with a conundrum that is impossible to explain.

        My deceased brother wanted very much to travel to Russia to experience the people and the “feel” of the religious attachment there. He never succeeded before his death. My brother in law has been there many times on business and I have found the items he has brought back fascinating, but since he is unbaptized and not interested in that aspect I have learned nothing I would like to know. Your description of Putin is so dead on the money, I can’t believe it..although that exposes my naivete because anything I have ever said to you, Charlie, you knew long before I did. (slight grrrrr, but really admiration.) Catherine de Hueck Doherty has revealed some of the life and religiosity of Russia both in her personal history, all of her books, all of which are fascinating and enriching. Her legacy of Madonna Houses, begun in the US, and spreading into Canada, with the one in Combermer which was the final stage of her life shows us not only Russia, but an incredible Christian who may one day be a saint. What she explains of the Russian living of Christianity is, in some aspects, ways that each of us can incorporate nto our own lives and into our families. Even books like “Anna Karenina” now a movie, redone many times, give a glimpse into aristocratic Russia prior to the Revolution. (The point of the movie is not to reveal Russian culture, but to push for an opening for divorce’s acceptability.) Reading about the last Czar Nicholas and his family is another way without the dry, plodding through history…or War and Peace. It would help all of us to be enlightened about Russian culture and how her people lived out their commitment to Christ and His Mother, prior to the Revolution because the “Soviet Union” has provided us with a warped understanding.

        Oh, the re-reading I have ahead of me. Thank you, I think, Charlie. Well, yes. We need to know and if it can also grow us spiritually, we get bonus.

        Like

  9. Lois says:

    I am I am thrilled by all the incite you give us . It’s like a light in the darkness. Could you explain more of what you mean by “the framework you see rising ” God Bless.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Keep reading the posts, Lois. In this article I speak of the framework for peace, the beginnings of which are already seen in Medjugorje. I speak of the framework of unity, which is already hinted at in Russia and specifically, Ukraine. Watch it unfold – and always feel for the tide; don’t get overly distracted by transient waves.

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  10. ellenchris says:

    Dear Charlie, your insights are very helpful and the source of good meditation on the presence of God in the world. As always, I have a question (just the way I am wired). If, as you say, Our Lady is going to show up in a powerful way to rescue us in Oct. 2017, then why should the role of Russia (or China) be so important in how things go down? I am not trying to be difficult, only to understand better. It would appear that all this shaking out that is going on has the ultimate purpose of reuniting the Body of Christ — calling together and purifying the Bride. Of course we always have free will in responding to God’s Will, but when the “Day of the Lord” comes, He will have His way. All the people called by His Name will need to be supportive of one another in the short term, and will desire greater unity in the culmination — one would imagine.

    So if the Storm is to be essentially over in 3 years, then how does any political maneuvering fit into the picture? From the things you have written, it would seem like a scenario of “why do the nations rage against the Lord and His Anointed?” when His own intervention will be the answer. This is not in the nature of an argument, but genuinely just simply a question. blessings to you in this ministry.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Ah shoot, Ellen, it would be perfectly okay if it was an argument. I don’t get upset over a well-stated argument reasonably raised. I am glad you raise this though, for it illustrates the profound difference in perspective from this vantage point and that from the vantage point of eternity. For several generations here now, religion is just seen as a useful tool by the powerful for manipulating political aims. Politics is simply the way a society collectively enacts its initiatives, it’s a sort of social tool. A key problem is that for several generations leaders have thought that ideology is fundamental and culture is ancillary. Religion is just an annoying (and sometimes useful) tool for bending the rubes to the ideological will of the elite. But ideology is kind of like waves on the ocean – frothy and sometimes violent, but ever transient. Culture IS fundamental – and at the heart of all culture is religion. It has the elemental power of the tides, yet the shallow class that passes for intellectuals today cannot even see it, much less properly assess it, there are so busy oohing and aahing over the showy froth of the waves that pass away before their eyes.

      Whether ideology or culture, though, politics is the means by which society organizes itself. Because of the lack of depth of the ideologically driven, they make the tool of politics into an end in itself. Not terribly surprising: the objective gulf between ideology and politics is not that great and if you are sufficiently shallow, it is easy how you could mistake either for ends rather than means.

      In God’s economy, politics is in service to the cultural or civilizational ends He intends, even when those carrying it out do not understand. I am fascinated to see men enact political aims which they adopt because of nationalism or ideology that are actually serving the establishment of culture without their awareness. If we are to endure the Storm, there must be a great uniting of several cultures. Russia and America must unite to endure the assault of China…but at a deeper level, an alliance between Russia and America is really to re-unite the two lungs of Christianity – and through that, a faith that brings peace can rise with vigor in the world. Yet all this will be accomplished through the mud and blood of a sort of politics. I am simply fascinated to see men chasing after one thing, almost entirely unawares that they are laying the groundwork for something else entirely. There is an inexorable stateliness about it that brings a coherence to the seemingly random flailings of our poor world. You can’t see the tide – only feel its effect, which is massive. I see the tide while so many are pre-occupied with the waves.

      Like

      • ellenchris says:

        Thanks very much, Charlie. I do understand what you are saying here. We mostly do not realize the degree to which we are truly always in God’s hands. The answer to: “Which is it — God’s sovereignty or man’s free will?” Is: “Yes!” Politics are always ephemeral. I guess what I am really wondering about is all-out war.

        BTW — in my family, argument was an art form and a favorite sport. After dinner, people would push back their chairs and start an argument about some hot topic and everyone would have at it with joy and zest. My cousins and I learned from our uncles the art of the game. Since growing up (mostly) I have discovered that my zest for the game is often taken for all out war, so I try to be careful.

        I guess what I am grappling with is something like, “If God is now setting up His intervention, then how can we lose?” If Our Lady is sent to rescue us, then how can eastern and western Christians not unite? Just this past week, there was a major agreement between Orthodox and Anglicans concerning Christ’s Holy Incarnation. (It would not be too unlikely that Anglicans could form a bridge between the western church and the east — at least the true believer Anglicans). So there are great signs of hope even now. If the Chinese try to take control of the world, will it not be God Who stops them? If Russia chooses “wrong” and tries to ally with the Chinese, then even so, will we not be rescued? I think I am missing something, here. I do not think that it is very likely that Russia and China would join together because their histories have been so antagonistic toward each other. But, lots of things are possible.

        A week or so ago, someone here posted the report of a dream in which s-he saw the Chinese in N America hauling people off to concentration camps in trucks. But if the force of the storm hits in 2015, and is over in 2017, then to what degree could they actually do this?

        And BTW — there is reliable intel that Chinese people have been and are converting to Christianity by the millions. So, there may be a surprise waiting for the world on that front too.

        Thanks for your patient explanations. What I seem to have been given about this is that we are moving into a wonderful new phase of the Kingdom of God in this world, (not millenarianism) and nothing will stop it. Hope and prayers.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, Ellen, when God moves decisively in human affairs, it makes three-dimension chess look like tic-tac-toe. I watch in awe as events conspire in ways that scarcely anyone notices to lay the groundwork for what God has been telling me all my life He intends. I literally mean awe. As far as timeframes, that had me puzzled for a time…especially after a lifetime of expecting certain things to happen a year or two sooner than they actually happened. I had gotten used to the idea that heaven works slower than we expect. But then I thought of, “I come quickly, says the Lord,” and realized that heaven moves in ways that continually confound our expectations.

          I would ponder this: when Gabriel came for the Annunciation, Mary entrusted the details to God. She did not understand, but she trusted and left it to Him. But when told her cousin, Elizabeth, had a late-in-life pregnancy, Mary went out to help. She could have figured, “Ah, God will take care of it.” Yet she went, knowing that we are the instruments through which God normally accomplishes His will. How to tell the difference between what is called for in each situation? Well, Mary was full of grace. May we share in that grace and both wait for the Hand of God when appropriate and be the Hand of God when called.

          Like

      • marti says:

        VERY well said. I’m going to think about that for two weeks!! 😉

        Like

  11. radiclaudio says:

    Thank you again Charlie. Your response is helpful as always. Your simple message of lovingly clinging to God through prayer, joyful self sacrifice, His Church and the Sacraments, really resonates with my heart.

    Btw- sadly I think God may have a master email account that ours hearts post to by the minute. I think He may have been reading them in the garden, one Thursday night 2,000 years ago…

    Keep up the hard work. You’re very much helping many of us prepare for our own final 4 things…

    Much love,

    Rich

    Like

  12. Heather says:

    Charlie, I’m so glad you wrote this. I just came back from Medjugorje this summer. I wasn’t sure if I totally believed over the years, maybe 65% yes, 35% no. But, this past Spring I had a miracle happen that let me know that it is real and I was being called to go there. It was totally amazing. I knew that Mary was aware that I consecrated my family and myself to her.
    This is my witness, that I’ve been called to share. I had planned on going to Italy to teach since last fall. I made a promise to Jesus that if, for any reason, my class fell through I would spend that time in Medjugorje or on a religious pilgrimage. Well, my class got cancelled two weeks before I planned to leave with my entire family for Italy, tickets and hotels booked. I was totally scared to tell my husband about my promise because I knew he would get upset and say “no”. My spiritual vigor was a source of his anger over the last few years.
    I spoke to my sister-in-law’s friend that is a kinestic mystic- the holy spirit gives her messages. I asked her ‘what to do’ and please give me some direction. Could I go to San Giovanni or Assisi instead? Would that suffice? She told me that I would get the answer myself. She asked me to pray the divine mercy prayer and ask Mary if she wants me to go to give me three of something; it could be roses, or something else. My kids were at school when we spoke.
    So I did as she said, but then did a rosary. I asked her to please give me either 3 red or pink roses (not yellow or white) or 3 of something else that I knew was from her (pictures of her, etc.). I was in a rush for time, so I asked that if I was to be given this that it happens by the end of the day. I did not tell anyone about my prayers or discussion.
    At this point my kids were home from school. As soon as I finished my rosary, my little 6 years old, who was watching TV, runs outside and comes back in the house a few minutes later. At the same time that he is outside, my cel phone dings with a text, which I didn’t look at. My son hands me a plastic kids’ cup and asked me to take care of it for him. I look in the cup and there are 3 hot pinkish-red roses in it! I can’t believe it. I picked up my cel in the other room to call the woman about what just happened. I see that it was her texting me to tell me that the holy spirit just told her that my prayers were answered and she was so excited for me!
    When we spoke, she told that she knew all along but couldn’t tell me. She needed me to get the message myself. In the same conversation she gave me another message from Jesus. She said that I will be a “minister of comfort” moving forward.
    I dedicated my time in Medjugorje to my husband’s conversion back to the faith in a strong way. After coming back from Medjugorje, my husband totally changed. He has a new invigorated fire for his faith that he hasn’t had in almost 30 years. I overheard him telling people that Mary ‘called’ him back, and that the consecration that I “made him do” saved him. The Lord has answered my prayers. Praise be to Jesus. Thank you Mary!

    Like

    • Connie says:

      I too, “made” my husband reconsecrate ourselves to Jesus thru Mary recently. Your testimony gives me consolation and a renewed effort at patience. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

      Like

  13. Tarja says:

    Thank you very much for this article, Charlie, because it really was the right time to talk about Russia in a different tone which I have heard before on some Western religious forums. You seem to understand things more deeply – and I agree.

    I live in Finland – another country between East and West – and I’m an Orthodox leaning to the Russian side (some others lean to Greece, some both sides, some to the West and it’s values). I use to read some Orthodox Russian sites in Russian language and I find there very deep and accurate teaching of our Faith. Of course they have many problems still but religious teaching is getting better and wider all the time, for children and adults. They build new churches, open new monasteries and take care of sick, orphans and drug addicts. Russian Orthodox Church’s connections with the State are quite tight but what I have read on some forums that Church only serves State is absolutely exaggeration! And I might even say a false testimony. Metropolitan Hilarion from Moscow was at Rome during the Synod and teached clearly about Church’s relations with Russian State – you can read that long speech here:
    http://abyssum.org/2014/10/20/the-third-week-of-october-2014-will-go-down-in-history-as-important/

    I have read Orthodox prophecies (in Russian, I don’t know if they are available in English) about China invading part of Russia in the future, after their honeymoon has ended bitterly… Nowadays they are making more and more treatieas and deals together but some day China wants more land and takes it from Russia. Russia is going to “shrink” and is facing difficult times when Chinese troops come up to Ural region. Only then Western states begin to help Russia, for their own reasons and for their own good… Well, this is prophecy but it seems plausible. When I first read Charlies’s comments on China I was relieved: finally someone who sees the same, real and worst enemy in the future!

    Russian leaders are very interesting people and it would be educative some times listen what they say. I don’t defend them, I only say they have their point… and if you want to understand them you have to know something about deep patriotism and fear for Western “values” and even Western invasion which are part of the Russian way of thinking – among people and their leaders. They think USA is meddling in their affairs and so is EU pushing it’s own values, for example Conchita Wurst! who was an absolute horror for Russian people.

    I have tried to find everything which is written in Russian news sites about Putin and his faith. Is it real or not? Well, nobody knows, even though his spiritual adviser has told Putin is a real faithful. Some visionaries say he is demonic…quite a dilemma. God only knows and He knows why this all is happening. Is Putin some kind of scourge to punish Western people who have rejected God?

    About Medjugorje: At first I was suspicious because some Orthodox sources described it as false and even dangerous phenomenon. But gradually I found myself thinking positively about it and began to respect it. I think Our Lady is there working for our future, for Unity. I have had quite an adventure on Catholic blogs, forums, sites of visionaries ….I must say that it is a real wonder of Our Lady that I have found solid ground under my feet, I mean solid teaching of Charlie and Mark Mallet for instance. And why am I doing this searching, why not to stay on my own safe and familiar ground? Because I was lead to do it and not without gray strands and depressed moments I have tried to follow …..But it’s worth of it when I know that Mother of God, Bogoroditsa, is guiding me. And now this today’s article is one of the bright moments for me!

    God bless all of you, my Catholic friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Tarja. I know that most America-centric thinkers assume that Greece is the foundational Orthodox State. As important as it is, it is not that. Russia is the foundational Orthodox State. In part, I think the communist aberration was to obscure that – and to obscure how deeply religious Russia has historically been. Communism also infected Russian leaders with a paranoia about the west, even though the greatest leader of Russia, the one who made Russia into a great nation, a great power in the world, was Peter the Great, who was a relentlessly westernizing Tsar. I don’t know whether Putin’s religious devotion is real, but I rather believe it is – though he could be unwittingly serving the satan even as he believes he is serving God. His ruthless expansionism does not disqualify that possibility…as far as brutality, he looks like a pussycat compared to Peter the Great.

      But events, necessity, will force Russia and America together. Russia knows better than Americans that any alliance it makes with China is a transient alliance of convenience. In the long term, China is determined to be the hegemon – and that means that she must ultimately bring Russia to heel. the only way to stop that is for Russia ultimately to ally itself to the west, and the only way to make such an alliance permanent, Russia must take up the mantle of being the full, eastern lung of a Christianity that breathes in harmony.

      Like

      • marti says:

        Ok, that gives me the peace I needed Charlie. Thank you!!

        Like

      • Pawel says:

        Charlie, I can’t picture China beating US. China is probably decades behind US military-wise. There would have to be a sort of huge natural disaster ( Yellowstone volcano? ) to make US vulnerable to a Chinese invasion. As for Medugorje, I had an opportunity to be there two times. Once, shortly after an apparition, our group witnessed a lite miracle in form of clouds forming a cross in the sky. I was sorry not to see it -unfortunately my wife needed to go to a toilet and when we came out it was all gone… Vicka, one of the visionaries, seemed to be very authentic. One of the accusations against Medugorje phenomenon is that visionaries make money on the whole thing. I was in a packed crowd when Vicka was speaking from the deck stairs, and I was facing her shoes within 3ft distance. I noticed quite a big hole in one of them and to me, no matter how stupid it is, it was a proof of Medugorje authenticity.

        Like

        • Jorge Bizarro says:

          For making war you need good military equipment, motivated army and… $$$$.
          The US is but broke, confidence in the Government and Politicians his at its lowest, the military have been demoralised by Obama, etc, etc. Also, CHINA sent her best students to the best Western Universities for decades and they have state-of-the art technology in mostly every field of science, also from Russia. (I edited out a serious accusation here that was unsupported with any documentation.)

          Like

      • janet333 says:

        “…..and that means that she must ultimately bring Russia to heel. the only way to stop that is for Russia ultimately to ally itself to the west, and the only way to make such an alliance permanent, Russia must take up the mantle of being the full, eastern lung of a Christianity that breathes in harmony.”

        Charlie I don’t quite understand the above. Why would only a reunion of Russia be needed in this situation…..is this after the Triumph? Sorry I’m none too clever when it comes to these things, but I would like to understand.

        Like

    • vicardwm says:

      God bless you, Tarja. I hope we will be able to build bridges of unity together. I do have to tell you that I admire Metropolitan Hilarion very much, and consider him an important figure in a unity to come.

      Like

      • MM Bev says:

        Tarja, how delighted I am to meet you….and to be able to ask you if you know any sites in English that would give us insight into the religious, cultural or political life of Russia? I thank you for the link you have provided to Metropolitan Hilarion from Moscow. I have long believed that the first unity of the “lungs” would come through Russian. The Eastern Orthodox Church there is the largest of the Patriarchs, I believe. Differences require that ultimately two people after lots of dialogue including others, have to make ultimate decisions. Proper preparation enables the two groups the understand and embrace each other. I have always felt an affinity towards Russia and the Eastern Church there because of Catherine de Huck Doherty books and life. Living as a Christian seems to have a much deeper impact on daily life than in the West. I love Icons, and have had a copy of “Our Lady of Vladimir” in my kitchen with vigils for many years. I grew up with the icon of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” honored in my parents living room, so it was perfectly natural to me. And I love the idea of the marriage lived and the children birthed before an image of Our Lady in the parent’s bedroom. The Eastern Church has so very much to offer us.
        I suspect that the experience I mentioned earlier about my friend and the Eastern Orthodox Church has more to do with her husband than with her or the Eastern Church. I have been in that Church a number of times, and we have Holy Trinity Ukrainian Church here where I knew the pastor and went to confession while he was there. Actually, that was where I met Michael O’Brien before he moved near Combermere. He is the only authentic Icon Writer I know., I would so much love any English sites or books that you could point out to help learn how religion is practiced, and the culture and politics in Russia.

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        • charliej373 says:

          You have mentioned Catherine Doherty twice now, Bev. I first got to know of her when I met the hermitess on the mountain here in Colorado that I have spoken of, Lucille Dupre. Sister Lucille was Catherine Doherty’s main assistant for several decades before coming to the mountain.

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  14. Mary A. says:

    I knew a young Ukrainian-American Catholic couple in 1969 who carried the memory of their families’ horrific suffering imposed by Stalin. And their continued persecution and suffering at that time. I would think that Russia would have to be clearly non-Communist and welcoming of Catholics before any Western Ukrainian would trust them, if then. And how could one city (Kiev) bear such a paradoxical fate/nature/role?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It is amazing, isn’t it? And yet as God says, “Behold, I am doing something new.” He never rests in working to bring us back to Him.

      Like

    • MM Bev says:

      I spent about two years living in Vegreville, in Alberta, which is a small town populated almost entirely by Ukrainian people who came to Canada to escape the situation in the Ukraine. Most people do not share their sufferings unless a deep relationship has been formed (I was four and five years old.) It was where I first say Jesus. There was a Corpus Christie procession, and when I say the Monstrance, I knew, I knew. My mother grew up there, and as an adult I returned briefly for one day with the kids, on our way to take my in laws back to Prince Albert, Sask. before they were too elderly to travel. Although young, I have a lot of memories, especially of my grandfather, who died of cancer when I was that age. I wanted desperately to find their graves, and it was pouring rain and I was unsuccessful, in spite of my dear Mother in Law’s help. We both got soaked. How I miss her, and in retrospect remembering things she said to me that didn’t make sense, I now understand the depth of what she was trying to tell me. Same with my own mother. I do long for heaven so that I can tell them face to face of my unbelievable love and admiration for them and for the assistance they gave me, and to cease the tears that come from realizing the pain they suffered in their lives. It isn’t nice to be young and dumb. (I didn’t cry. From early childhood on, I’d rather die than cry, showing weakness and a sign of triumph for the other person. It was sign of defeat, giving up, exhibiting the other to succeed over me. At least it was one single and only thing I had in common with my sister Um, could this have been pride? Hummmm.) When I shattered, the specialist told me that unless I deliberately sought out the pain I had suppressed-all of it, beginning in early childhood to the present, accept the pain and live it, letting it go, mourning it, I would never be healed. Well, wouldn’t you know. I chose to do that, got started and now I can’t stop. Snivel, snivel, it seems I cry at the drop of a hat! It just makes me sooooo mad!) For any one who suppresses all their pain, trust me, don’t. It is FAR EASIER to do it piecemeal as it happens than to do a lifetime over a period of a few years, and be stuck sniveling forever after.
      It was as an adult that I learned what Stalin did to the Ukrainian people. Unbelievable. Everyone should become aware of what happened to those people. The spelling will be wrong, but Tarja or Charlie can correct it. It is refereed to as the Holmodore. It is inexpressible

      And Charlie, the minute you said “Poustina”, I knew and came close to envying you..I am in love with Kiev and all the Churches in Russia with their domes from the wooden ones to those which are on the borders of Red Square. Such masterpieces of unique beauty!
      During the building of the Eastern Orthodox Church about four or five blocks from me I went there periodically. A very elderly, sweet gentleman insisted, and I mean INSISTED that the dome had to be turquoise. So unrelenting was he, that the dome was finished with turquoise sort of vinyl. He was adamantly that it was the proper color, remembering the domes in his youth in Russia. Copper. Yup, oxidized to the most incredible shading of colors of blues. I just love him and enjoy driving past the Church.

      Like

  15. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    I’ll step up and be a bit contrarian. I am glad that you watch Medj but don’t read the messages. I have been there and believe it to be a fraud. Everything I have read about the visionaries leads me to think they are frauds. That said, I truly believe that God brings the greatest good out of the greatest evil (e.g The Crucifixion). The grace of Medj, if grace there be, is the grace of thousands of people praying and doing penance.
    I think your final paragraph captures it well: why argue about private revelation when we can see such larger things unfolding before us. No offense but I must admit that I do struggle a little bit to continue reading you and Mallett whenever you cite Medj. Overall I consider your case to be strong enough that it does not depend on Medj for its truth. On a practical note I think it imprudent to speak as if Mary is appearing when the Church has not yet spoken. It would seem best to speak of “the alledged apparitions”. The Blessed Mother loves obedience.
    Whichever side be right or wrong, I pray that all eyes be opened to welcome rist and His Mother!
    As always: Oremus pro invicem!
    PAX!
    Matthew

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Matthew. A remarkably well-expressed alternative viewpoint on it, followed by a firm resolve to follow the Church’s final determination on it. I ought to note that I feel the same on that determination. As confident as I am that the major sweep of Medjugorje is authentic, I am an obedient son of the Church, because that is how Christ directs us. I do not put private revelation, even that I have received personally, above the teaching authority of the Church in the Magisterium and of Scripture. I have a lot of protocols I have followed, but satan has tried mightily to deceive me at times. If it one day comes that he succeeded in a particular or two, I will be neither surprised or angry – but grateful that the twin pillars of Scripture and the Magisterium led me back to the safety which is in Christ.

      Liked by 1 person

    • radiclaudio says:

      Hi Matthew,

      I hope you are well.

      (My below reply ended up being much longer than I intended – sorry about that. I don’t mean to blather on about Medjugorje. I think we all agree that too much focus on private revelation can be distracting to the hard work of not losing our own salvation that Christ won for each of us. If private revelations lead to arguments or even lengthy debates rather then lovingly following Christ’s will in our lives with every thought, word, action, and deed then the father of lies has succeed through our weakness, in turning something good into something bad. Plus, I want to acknowledge that you make a good conciliatory point about Medjugorje’s grace, if grace there be. My reply is meant to provide you with my personal experiences with a few of the visionaries as a counter balance to what you have read about them. The reply ended up longer than I intended so I wrote this note, as a warning that what follows approaches a tome like length- lol. I think it was Mark Twain that once said – “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time…” )

      Although I disagree with your thinking regarding Medjugorje, I fully respect your position. I am NOT replying to your post in hopes of changing your mind, but rather to provide some first hand insights to at least three of the visionaries to counter balance what you have “read’ about them from others and hopefully convince you not to call them frauds without hard evidence and thereby take a public position counter to the current formal Church view.

      I have been to Medjugorje three times. I hope to go back again next spring (depending on the “Storm”), but I’m making plans because my high school football coach always told me to ‘run the play out until the whistle blows’. I believe the ‘alleged’ apparitions to be truthful. But as required of the faithful, I reserve my final consideration on Medjugorje in obedience to the Church’s formal determination on this matter, if and when such a decision is rendered. We know that in 2010, Pope Benedict established a Vatican Commission to investigate more thoroughly the ongoing alleged apparitions of Medjugorje. Earlier this year the Commission finished its work and submitted its report to Pope Francis for his final determination. Until such time as he formally states a position, the Vatican maintains the 1991 determination of ‘non constat de supernaturalitate’ (One of the three possible Church norms on alleged apparitions promulgated in 1978 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, meaning “undetermined at this time as supernatural” – therefore neither approved or denied.) This particular status means the faithful are free to make a pilgrimage there or pursue a devotion to our Lady of Medjugorje as long as they don’t assume or promote the apparitions as confirmed to be officially true by the Church at this time.

      On a personal note, I must say, in a way, it does not matter to me what the Church ultimately decides in the end. If they determine ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ (formally not of supernatural original and therefore disproved – meaning the faithful are not permitted to have a devotion to it) then I will immediately obey and drop my devotion that moment. I say such a decision won’t matter to me, not out of disobedience, but rather because it will not change or in any way lessen the personal fruit my devotion to our Lady of Medjugorje has born in me and my family over the last 10 years (the fruit of a deep personal relationship with Christ through a devoted practice and love of prayer (including daily Rosaries), Confession at least once a month, a deep love of the Mass and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist including frequent daily Mass, reading of scripture, weekly Adoration, and weekly fasting and occasionally sleeping on the floor to help control my own, often out of whack, passions). To me those are the real miracles of Medjugorje and they happened here in the U.S. slowly over a decade and after I returned from Bosnia. I wish such fruits for EVERYONE and so I do actively promote such devotion, when I feel the situation is appropriate.

      I also want to note that many of the most joyful, loving, holy, and tirelessly hardworking priests (and some bishops) that I know personally have gone to Medjugorje and believe they have felt the presence of Mary’s living grace while there too. A few bishops that I am close to, (not all of them but 3 for sure) routinely encourage their priests and faithful to consider a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, including my own Bishop that sent his entire seminary class of nearly 40 students to Medjugorje this past summer. Further, in a 2012 interview with Max Domej, Cardinal Schönborn went as far as to state that he would lose half his seminarians were it not for Medjugorje. Even so, none of this means that the alleged apparitions are true or in any way changes the Church’s current position or process. And as Charlie points out, Public Revelation and Sacred Tradition of the Church are all that is needed for the faithful to optimize our chances of becoming the saints our Lord calls us each to be. So, like all private revelation including Charlie’s, one should pursue it only with a strong formation in the basics of our Catholic faith,a strong prayer life, a health balance in spiritual devotions in general, and preferably with at least some good spiritual direction. And even then only if it helps you grown in and have a deepened personal relationship with Christ (helps you seek and live His will in your life joyfully and lovingly – even when that is really really hard. Especially when its really really hard).

      But, back to my main point. The visionaries themselves. You wrote in your post, “Everything I have read about the visionaries leads me to think they are frauds.” I’m sure you don’t mean to speak poorly of them but rather are just stating a feeling you have based on what you have read. Initially, I too approached the entire Medjugorje phenomenon with skepticism (although i never assumed or stated there was fraud there since the Church has never formally taken that position – i realize some in Church leadership have – including the Bishop of Mostar. But we can only use the Church’s current formal position as our guide – all us is background noise). As a CEO of a private equity fund, I have become an expert in due diligence and learning to assess and sniff out dishonesty. I don’t always get it right – but I’ve become pretty good at it over the years. I applied these skills to both Medjugorje in general and three of the visionaries specifically (and to Charlie and Mark Mallet, etc, too ‘…test everything. Keep what is good, stay away from what is evil…’ (1 Thes 5:21)).

      As background, I am very close friends with people that are very close to three of the Medjugorje Visionaries. Through this mutual friendship I have been afforded the opportunity to come to know these particular visionary personally. My friends (the ones that know the visionaries), are wonderful, obedient, and orthodox Christians that love the Church and are known and well regarded by their local Catholic Bishops. As I said, through these mutual friends, I have had the chance to come to know 3 of the 6 visionaries personally, in fairly intimate settings, occasionally with their families, multiple times over the last several years. (In fact the husband of one of the visionaries stand at my wife and my home for two days and we got to know him quite well during that time.)

      I have reached the following conclusion and offer it to you as a counter balance to what you have read elsewhere. These three visionaries at least are definitely humans who sin and make mistakes like us all. They do not see themselves as special or particularly holy in any way – although they clearly strive mightily for holiness. Nothing I have seen or witness to date, in their words, actions, or deeds, leads me to believe they are doing any of this for any reason other than it is real – or at least they believe it to be so. Certainly not for personal gain. They live prayerful, holy lives with no scandal and in obedient to their priests, bishops, and the magisterium. Although, very joyful people, they have hard lives as a result of the ‘alleged’ apparitions – most especially in the early years under communism. One in particular had a very close family member taken from that persons own home by the government and was never been seen again – believed to have been killed in an attempt to intimidate this visionary into claiming that the apparitions are fabrications. It is true that more recently they have enjoyed some comforts that they MAY not have if the ‘alleged’ 33 years of apparitions had not occurred, but these both modest and appear to be direct fruits of their own hard labors. Since they are honest and hard working people how could we begrudge them if such labors afford them a comfortable home with a small garden in a remote village in Bosnia?

      On balance, I have come to know them as humble, caring, very hard working, and JOYFUL people that in my estimation, are not taking advantage in any way this role they appear to be serving for our Lady. In fact, I would say just the opposite, as some of the stories they have told me of the hardships they and their families have had to endure over the 33 years (like the one I described above and many others including on going recent struggles) would make you shutter. To be fair, they also have told me of many many wonderful experiences from this life they are called to – the countless direct graces from God, the many personal meetings with our Lady (alleged), the love, , support, and daily intercessory prayers from 10,000’s of people from all over the world, and the heartwarming meetings with 100,000’s of regular pilgrims and many Church leaders, including very heartwarming meetings with Saint John Paul II at his Vatican apartment. They say each of these graces are genuine blessings for them and they are obviously very grateful for them. In the end, they openly acknowledge (really insist) that they are NOT special people in anyway – they just have this particular task that they have been given and they have tried their best to be faithful to it – admitting that they sometimes/often fail. I don’t see them materially benefiting from this life they live as a result of the apparitions – real or otherwise. In fact, what really strikes me about them is that they each have the demeanor of those that have come to know the spirit of detachment from material things because of their deep love of God. (How i would imagine the Desert Fathers to be if I could meet them.) They really only seem focused on the ‘Four Last Things’, death, judgement, hell, and heaven. They have love, joy and an apparent and noticeable desire to be only in prayer with, and service to God while they remain on earth. Additionally, I don’t know Vicka personally, but have had two chances to be with her in both a small and large crowd setting – she sure seems to be very much the same as the 3 visionaries I have come to know a little. The remaining two I have never met or seen personally. They tend to stay out of public view. Little is written or seems to be widely know about them in the general public at least.

      I agree that some weeds have been scattered among the wheat of Medjugorje (not among the visionaries themselves but certainly in the 5 small villages that make up the parish of Medjugorje). Which means Medjugorje can take on a bit of a circus atmosphere if you let it. But how is that different than any other holy sights (Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe), the Vatican, or the world in general? There are sheep and goats everywhere and the tiny parish of Medjugorje is no different and, in the end, the sheep of Medjugorje will be separated from the goats just like everywhere else. (Matt 25:31)

      Of course, totally ignore Medjugorje if it does not bring you closer to Christ, but please don’t besmirch it or the visionaries publicly by promoting a position that is different than the Church’s based solely on your personal feelings (I mean your referring to it and them as frauds when the Church’s formal position is that its not yet determined and in the meantime the faithful are free to go there or have a devotion to our Lady of Medjugorje.) Your position may accidentally lead someone that would have otherwise benefited from a devotion to our Lady of Medjugorje away from that devotion and the possible deeper personal relationship with Christ that could have seeded if not for your condemnation.

      Please let men know if I have misstated anything regarding your position or even in general regarding the events surrounding Medjugorje.

      May the love of God reign in our Hearts for all eternity…

      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Thank you, Radi. A humble defense that, nicely, spreads much light while generating little heat. I have great sympathy for the visionaries – to be thrust into this as children…I was, too, but I was able to keep it secret from most all but my priests up until two years ago (except for some readers of Spirit Daily starting 10 years ago).

        I spent decades arguing with God that, if these things turned out true I would do my best – but I really thought He had the wrong guy. In the end, it turns out, none of us are worthy. That doesn’t seem to much concern God. What He really is concerned about is whether we are willing. so you slog on, hoping to do a little good and spark a little hope.

        Like

    • janet333 says:

      Matthew… there is a lot of misinformation out there..and sorry to say this but lies are also being spread also by those who hate and loathe Medjugorje. I did a little bit of research some time ago and was astonished to find this out.

      God Bless You

      Like

  16. Mack says:

    Very good points here, Charlie. I always believed Medjugorje was real because I met people who had gone there and had deep conversions in their lives. Yes, it’s the fruit that shows.
    Also I recently read a long biography of Catherine the Great, an amazing woman, and learned many things about Russia I had no idea of before. She is the one who first took the Crimea for Russia, and they have had it ever since except for a brief time around WW II. It’s no wonder that Putin wants it back. I’m not a supporter of his, but you are right that with a sense of history, we can understand why he is doing certain things.
    I also have been reading a little about China. I never knew China had a bloody civil war, around the same time as our own, in which 20 million people died. At the center of it was a man, probably a little insane, who thought he was the Christian Messiah. His doctrine was a little crazy but it was based on a misunderstanding of what some Christian missionaries had taught. The rebellion, against the Manchus, was a very bloody one indeed.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Marvelous, Mack! I do not get so frustrated that we think we are the end of history – many ages, going down into antiquity have thought the same. I get particularly frustrated that people seem to think that history only began 70 or 80 years ago. The elite of our generation is both one of the most ignorant in world history and one of the most arrogant about their “knowledge.” The abyss between what they think they know and what they actually know dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

      Like

  17. Joe says:

    Hi Charlie, Thanks for the post. I have been to Medjugorje 3 times and, needless to say, fully believe in its authenticity. However, I have to say that it is NOT the physical miracles (the visions by the visionaries, rosaries turning gold, miracles of the sun, etc) that are convincing to me. I have had several such miracles happen to me there, and they are real. But, I view them as almost frosting on the cake. What is truly convincing to me is the movement of the heart that happens to people when they go there. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but for me, all the knowledge I had in my head about my faith just dropped with great force into my heart. I turned from having knowledge about my faith to having a deep love for my faith and a very personal, lively and deep love for Christ. It brought Him alive to me. It brought the Gospel alive to me. Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but that’s the best I can say. I will follow my mother the Church on anything she says about Medjugorje. But I know Our Lady took the opportunity to open my heart to her Son there. And that will never change.

    Your post is so accurate. I have to say that I have never had any locutions or visions or anything like that. I think it would be pride for me even to want them. However, once when I was there and sitting up on the mountain praying the rosary, I just had a profound sense of peace. Like nothing I can really describe. It must have been like the peace people say they experience when they have a near death experience. I don’t know. Anyway, I opened my eyes and everything had sort of a beautiful golden color to it. Almost a glow. There were many people walking and praying and just talking softly. I had a very clear sense that Our Lady was indicating that this peace is coming soon to the whole world.

    Later that day, I listened to a nun who lives there talk about Medjugorje being like a huge censor swinging back and forth over the earth, and the peace and prayers that happen there sort of go out and cover the earth like incense. Seemed pretty apt to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nancy says:

      Charlie, I hope Joe’s beautiful description of Medjugorje applies to the future shrine at Mt. Meeker also.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        That is among the many things I ponder in my heart, Nancy. I expect that rescue may very well rise from Medjugorje, but someone else had a prophetic word on Mt. Meeker and the Shrine that resonated deeply within me, as well. “From this mountain I shall renew the faith of the world.”

        What I know is that the Meeker Shrine will be the site of pilgrimage at which people from throughout the world comes to give thanks for our rescue. It will be a place of great joy.

        Like

        • Mona says:

          Charlie! I have difficulty figuring out how to afford travel to the Shrine when the money as we know it is gone. I have money p.t.. but i am 62 years old. How to earn new money?.

          I have been i Medjogorje 2 times. The first time in 2013, and I then thaugt I have done it, but no. In this summer I suddendly got the thought to go one more time. I felt that thought came from Mary. She wantet me to come once more. I went whith a group of 35 Danish catholics whith our own catholic priest. My love for Mary and Jesus har grown and I have developed my faith and knowledge of christianity. I was there again around the 2. of october this year. A wonderful experience one more time. I am so in peace, but also a little trublet about what is going ro whith Scandinavia and this world.

          My worries have been lessend after finding you and I think it is no coincidence that I found this site. Your knowlede calm me down, but I am still preparing for times I do not know anything about.

          The Russians are close to Scandinavia. They do not have icefree harbores. We have. They are teasing us here. The last two years at least they have been flying over Scandinavian terretories and lately a supposedly Russian submarine is seen in Stocholms (Sweeden) coast. I don´t know what is going on. Are they trying us to see what reactions we are going up whith.

          I know that the former USSR´s countrys are worried. Will Russia try to take them back? This is Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And what about Scandinavia. We have felt threthend by Russia for as long as I have lived.

          Charlie. Can you say something about this.
          Mona from Denmark and Norway
          Love to alle the follower. I am praying for you.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Thank you, Mona. I understand it is hard to see the way forward. It is often hard for me. I have lived poverty since the end of 2010. God has a way that we do not see yet. A big part of the trust He is developing in us all is to believe, to trust in Him, when we cannot see the way forward. I was told when I was quite young that the time would come when I would not be able to see more than the next step ahead for me – and sometimes not even that – and would truly have to walk by faith. So it is for us all. I know that does not relieve a lot of fears…but it is through walking through those fears that trust grows. The only thing I really can say is that God will not abandon us.

            Like

    • Pam says:

      I love the image of the huge censor swinging back and forth. Grace pouring down over the earth.
      I was blessed with a most incredible trip to Medjugorje in the early days when Yugoslavia was still a country and there were no cafes or paved streets in the village.
      Those early days after Medjugorje I witnessed many wonderful conversions. I also witnessed several people who were caught up in traveling the world in seach of the next apparition. Causing rifts in their own marriages and family life because they were always gone or spending time and money on the need to be at every possible apparition. Afraid they might miss something. But missing THE MESSAGE. Prayer, fasting, conversion. Begins at home. One doesn’t need to travel to some mountain top to receive our Lord
      God always gives us opportunities for grace. What you do with the opportunity is your will. Two people can attend the same Mass. One leaves on fire for the Lord and another leaves agitated because someone cleared their throat all through Mass or Father was asking for money again. Our loving Father constantly gives these opportunities of grace. I believe someone was praying hard that I would return to the Holy Mass and God used Medjugorje to do this in me.
      Every soul is different. The key is to pray for the souls we are responsible for and then get out of the way. Let Our Lady and the Most Holy Spirit do the work

      Like

      • Pam I once felt the Lord tell me, “You take care of my business and I’ll take care of yours.” It took me a long time to figure out that God’s business is souls. God was asking me to pray almost exclusively for souls and trust him for the rest. I have found it to be very liberating. Now when someone asks for prayers or I have a need, I say a prayer for souls and place that person or need in the Immaculate Heart. God has shown me that this is very pleasing to him. It is a simple way and it builds my trust in him. God be praised!

        Like

      • MM Bev says:

        Oh, Pam. Have I got a treat for you!
        Click on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtLnIYgLdKk&feature=related Just in case it doesn’t work, (I’m not good at this) type in the search line in videos, Catedral Santiago de Compostela.
        Those pilgrims who made such arduous treks, walking to holy shrines? Hah. When they got there what they enjoyed was the “Disneyland” of the Middle Ages.

        Only a suggestion, Charlie, since you will be involved with the Shrine as it is being built–something like this would be a fabulous addition, sure to thrill the children, and a good portion of the adults. If there was one, and I am still around, I might even try walking there, although it would take me more than one year. As an added incentive, I’m pretty sure your sister would enjoy it.

        Like

  18. Kelly says:

    Love your post today! Our two oldest children just got back from Medjugorje a month ago and it had a very profound effect upon them! I am so hoping that I will get to go there too someday soon! We have already had healing miracles from their being there, happen in our family after they got home!

    Like

  19. Observer says:

    I am assuming that by the ending months of 2017 there will already have been a big time “disappearance” of a lot of earth’s population (why our Lady keeps telling us not to wait to convert)…..the means to which will certainly have a lot to do with the leadership at the top and the military/energy/monetary resources controlled by nations such as Russia and China and their relationship/control of nuclear armed nations in the Middle East who could possibly be tempted to start tossing “little” nukes around there like basketballs. Pakistan is very frightening indeed. And then there will be the predicted wacko natural disasters effected by the magnetic pull of the earth’s core; the slipping and sliding of nations floating above the core to places away from their current positions, thus the shifting of the poles…..NASA having spoken about this pull already being noticed decades ago by some giant “planet”/system beyond Pluto (now demoted from planet status) on the outer planets and the “junk” within the oort cloud/Kuiper Belt….now visiting us surprisingly unnoticed practically until impact like the meteor hitting Russia in 2013 with a roughly 500-kiloton wallop. As this “thing”/system (second sun of our binary system); continues on its approach orbit around our sun people will become more aware….why the scrubbing and disappearance of said info after no less than 6 major newspapers reported on it as far back as 1983. Makes sense of the message from our Lady at Emmitsburg re: the “second sun” arriving after which a short time before major changes in natural events and population!!

    Hey, Charlie…..suddenly just came upon a message from LTTW that you might like:

    Mary (Oct. 20, 2014)

    Take little steps into the light and suddenly a road will appear. This will be my road for you. It awaits you. It is prepared for you and will lead you through the coming darkness. Do not wait because you will not find this road once the darkness comes.

    Like

    • marti says:

      Good question Observer. Charlie, planetary wise, have you experienced the ‘two suns’? I know a priest who has. He also saw the stained glass window in the Chartres Cathedral with the two suns on it. Also the wonderful book Theresa of Liseaux took into the convent with her speaks of it. The book is called, “The End of the Present World”. She used to go into ecstasy every time she read it. Great book!

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I have not experienced that, Marti.

        Like

        • Elizabeth K. says:

          I have to say–I got a little shiver reading that one. Though it’s possible I’ve heard of this idea before, I don’t remember ever reading about it before Observer’s post. However, I had a dream this past summer–very apocalyptic–which featured two suns. In the dream they were low on the horizon, and day and night were mixed up. But here’s the best part of the dream: in the dream I *knew* that the suns were a sign of a new earth ( a new age?), and I was really, really, excited, because animals were gathering around and I knew they were getting ready to speak as they had in the Garden. I

          ‘m sure it’s wishful thinking–and a little too much C.S. Lewis!–but it was so wonderful in the dream, and an odd moment of hopefulness in an otherwise eerie dream. (BTW: I don’t take my dreams literally, or too seriously, but this was one that stood out as, perhaps, meaningful. The thing about my dreams, that I’ve found, is that when they’re prophetic they usually don’t make sense until after the event has happened. Also, with me, they tend to involve the trivial, like when I dreamed about a longed for new house months before we found it. But certain dreams have a certain “feeling” that makes me mark them down for future reference).

          Like

  20. marie says:

    Charlie, I am not quite sure how to word this, so please forgive the straightforward question: where does Europe fit into all of this? I can’t help thinking of Our Lady’s words that some nations will cease to exist. Not that we don’t deserve annihilation, as our sins against God have been increasingly abominable for decades, even longer … Any thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Marie, about the only specific thing I know about most of Europe is that “the Old World will be re-evangelized by the New.” So, it will still be there. But yes, it is even more degenerate – culturally, spiritually, and socially than even America. I do not know if it will recover enough of its vigor to play a significant role in shaping the battle or not. Much of it may want to pout and sit on the sidelines – as various of its countries have since World War I. It may be seriously re-invigorated, recover some cultural confidence, and play a large role. But I know that it is in the tank right now, that will be re-evangelized, and that is all I can say definitively.

      Like

      • marie says:

        Thanks, Charlie. I have often wondered why the USA has been singled out in prophecies for chastisements, since here in Europe we have been doing much worse for much longer. For example, here in Denmark we’ve had state-funded abortion-on-demand for decades (giving birth, by the way, is also free here). I read not so long ago a senior obstetrician at the state hospital proudly announcing how we have ‘almost totally eliminated’ Downs Syndrome births. Guess how … I have no doubt she is being considered for some kind of award. By the way, I’m not always au fait with American expressions – what does ‘in the tank’ mean?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          In the tank can mean towards the bottom of the barrel…so degraded it is of little use right now. But keep in mind that God withholds certain details from me until the time when I come to need them. I have requested He do that because this stuff is sometimes hard and overwhelming. But on this, besides being given the general sweep from childhood, details on how it would unfold have been progressively unveiled to me over the course of my life. I really did not even get a sense of how vital Russia was until my vision of March of 1993. And often when God first clues me in, He just gives me some tantalizing details then sends me off to study, contemplate, pray, and wait for further instructions.

          Like

        • Observer says:

          If I may, America I believe was singled out, from its beginning and foundation and the involvement of the Catholic Church, for a great, pure, and particular influence upon the world. This legacy has been allowed to be trashed by those so free to make their own popular decisions law. I suppose “to whom much has been given much is expected” could apply after such overwhelming blessings and comforts and freedoms to this particular country….like nothing before or after.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            I think America was founded right at the full flowering of western civilization – and about a decade before the corruption of the Enlightenment error on the nature of man took vigorous hold with the French Revolution.

            Like

  21. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    By your permission I would like to make one futher clarification and then keep my peace.
    I hear many speak of the fruit of Medj and in fact two close friends of mine attribute their return to the practice of the Faith to their pilgrimages there. This is said by many to be the evidence of its reality, after all “by their fruits you shall know them.”
    I would distinguish, however, between two kinds of fruits. First the fruit directly in the lives of the visionaries themselves and secondarily the fruit in the lives of those who go there. I would be of the opinion that the second kind of fruit is almost completely irrelevant to the truth or falsity of an apparition. It is easily arguable that God would reward the faith of a pilgrim even if they are going to the “wrong place”. So the fact that there have been many vocations or conversions among those who go to Medj may simply be evidence that God is merciful and “writes straight with a very crooked line.”.
    Regarding the first type of fruit – fruit in the life of the visionary (visionaries): I find it curious among all the literature that I have seen on the subject no one has remarked on the holiness of any of these six men and women. Among many modern public saints we have had ample attestation before their death that they were saintly – Sr. Lucia, Mother Teresa, John Paul II. I would argue that THIS is the fruit we should be looking for/at. Most of the modern apparitions have produce religious vocations from the visionaries themselves. Even one that did not, La Salette has Maximin remaining single and lamenting that he could never marry because no woman could compare the Blessed Virgin whom he had seen.
    As always these are my two cents.
    PAX,
    Matthew

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That is a useful distinction between fruits, Matthew. I don’t think it decisive, though. God uses what messengers He will choose, and there has always been some mystery there. Even with cases of certainties, some of the saints seem prone to sins tied to their virtues. In warlike times, there have been saints tempted by the passions. King David, when he wasn’t writing Psalms or begging God’s forgiveness, seemed to do little else but warring, wining and wenching. Some pure saints are tempted by pride. God has created a menagerie. I don’t get overly disturbed at finding feet of clay among the mix. We are raised from the mud and the blood – I reckon some will linger until we are cleaned by God in heaven. A few of the visionaries seem, superficially at least, a bit aimless. But they have been beset by crowds since childhood…so who knows how they live at home for sure.

      But God often uses miracles, not as a condescension to those for whom He acts, but as a demonstration of what He intends or of approbation for something. He will indeed, bless a pilgrim for their intent. But there has been an absolute and ongoing flood of fruit coming out of Medjugorje – and genuine mutual tolerance in a region that should be in flames. If there is an abundant spring welling up you don’t insist on digging the well in the dry, dusty spot.

      As I noted from what I was originally told, plenty of the barnacles of modern times have attached themselves to Medjugorje. But once so directed, the barnacles did not obscure from my sight an abundance of real graces. sometimes you have to sit back and see what God is doing, because it is just beyond you. At the same time, I worry about those who make the site – or voice – of private revelation into a sort of idolatry that supplants Scripture and the Magisterium. I suspect a lot of life is about deafening oneself to all prophesy nor seeing a message in every sunbeam. Above all, it is important to respect the freedom of every person to discern these things within the guidelines the Church gives. Thus, I do not understand why so many of those who believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje (or any other site pending) can get so wounded and shrill when any doubts are voiced about it – nor do I understand some skeptics who get condescendingly contemptuous of those who take comfort in what they find there. God will sort it out.

      I most especially thank you for being one who can express a clear opinion on this, Matthew, without offending those who have another. How quickly I have come to value the quality of thought and character of the people who visit here – and thus the quality of the discourse. I have learned important things from my readers…what a delight that we help build each other up even as we see things from different perspectives.

      Like

      • MM Bev says:

        I really don’t know about the personal prayer lives of the visionaries. But I can tell you, that it would take a miracle for me to devote the time that they do to the pilgrims.
        A woman once asked Mirjana how much many rosaries she said every day and Mirjana answer that she said four; The woman groan, “Four!”, she said. Mirjana began to laugh, and explained to the woman, that the Gospa only asked them to say the Creed, seven Our Father’s, seven Hail Mary’s, and seven Glory Be’s at first. She said that Our Lady led them with “baby steps”: Each request was added once the previous request was well established, just as we do with our own children. That was another validation for me, although like everyone else, I follow the directives of the Church.

        Like

      • Bob says:

        In discernment about apparitions and prophecies we can honestly disagree if we think they are authentic but I am worried for those who obstinantly refuse to believe in any apparition. Michael Brown sometimes speaks of those who deny the supernatural and thus close themselves off to what is good. Also a danger is those who believe anything too easily and can be led astray.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          It seems that in everything, God wants us to walk with balance.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nancy says:

            Interesting that you said “balance.” I watched a little of the high wire walk over Chicago that Nik Wallenda did and heard some of his interviews this AM. It was like a visualization of your messages: First, he praised and thanked God while he was walking. (To God give the glory). Second, he was taking the next right step to stay balanced on that wire under treacherous conditions. Third, he said that he knew that he would only have to go through a few minutes of intensive effort and then he would be safe on the other side and would be better for it because of the struggle. He said that the key to survival on that wire was not to let fear take over–to concentrate on the next step. I see how God works.
            So if the thousands who watched don’t read what you write, they could still get the message 🙂

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Holy Cow, Nancy…that really is an apt image for what I am talking about. I will have to become a bigger Wallenda fan!

            Like

          • Nancy says:

            And then, to make it even more like the storm, Wallenda walked the high wire back again, blindfolded and listening to his father talk him back–not seeing the next step. Maybe that will be like after the “false dawn” when we have to rely completely on God to take the next step. Sorry, just thought of it. 🙂

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            You’re getting the idea, though, Nancy!

            Like

  22. Joe says:

    Hi Matthew, I truly appreciate your candor and courteous discourse. I might just add that I have also been to Fatima. I was fortunate enough to travel there when I was in the 8th grade, and I believe Our Lady put me under her mantle there and held on to me tightly, ever since. Anyway, I believe the Virgin herself mentioned that Francesco would spend quite a bit of time in purgatory. I am not disputing that one of the fruits to be considered in discernment is the disposition of those directly involved in the phenomena. However, I think perhaps it’s fair to say that both kinds of fruit you mention might be relevant. I would just echo and Irish priest who I met at Medjugorje (who went there as a great skeptic, but after seeing the long lines at the confessionals and all the personal conversions and vocations resulting from the place said) – “If this is from the devil, he sure shot himself in the foot.” Peace brother.

    Like

  23. LJD says:

    A bit off topic, but Charlie have you seen the movie Book of Eli? It’s sort of a post apocalyptic tale of a blind man (Denzel Washington)going cross country to preserve the bible. One of my favorite lines in it is “we didn’t know what was precious. We threw away things that men kill each other over now.” Water was the most valuable resource of the time.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I have watched it – three times. It was my Mother’s favorite movie ever. Interestingly, the blindness part is ambiguous. The first time I watched it, that is what I thought…but a brother of mine said, no, he didn’t think he was blind, though it intimated that in a few spots. So I watched it again and came to agree with my brother. The final time I watched it was with my Mom – who then had to get a DVD and watch it once every few weeks. She LOVED it.

      Like

  24. Joe says:

    Matthew, thanks for making me think about this more. One last point. I think I am correct in saying that locutions, visions and the like, similar to speaking in tongues and words of wisdom, are gifts of the Holy Spirit. As such, St. Paul would say they are given to build up the Church as a whole. So, it seems like if the fruits are indeed building up the Church (through personal conversions, vocations, etc) those fruits might indeed be relevant in the discernment. Just my thought. Persevere my brother! I’ll try to do the same.

    Like

  25. anne says:

    Thank you Carol for your encouraging comment. I sense many are simply not interested in this site. YET, listen to the HOPE given, especially at the moment. If anyone wants to hear words of HOPE this site is full of it!

    Like

  26. D Shea says:

    For Marie/Denmark and the rest of Charlie’s Gang… I’ve got another USA-n- Old South expression for you: “Hey!! Y’all getting wrapped around the axle … on this?”. It means worrying about things that may not be so important! Being the cranky Old-n-Simple CrewDog Renegade Catholic that I am, I feel that if you are confused and concerned about the future and all you read/hear …. just get back to “The Basics” … The Apostles Creed … The Cross …. Jesus I Trust In You! I have felt, even as a youngster, that the Catholic Church was making Our Spiritual Life way too complicated with Councils, Synods, The Magisterium and …. I consider EWTN as my Parish but I must say that too many of their shows are geared towards college level cradle Catholic viewers, hosted by IMHO, pointy headed types that have spent decades breathing rarefied air in academia and like Diocese/Vatican HQ types have lost touch with The Folks … especially the people that are not well educated and/or are dealing with all of life’s problems. I must tell you that I, truly, believe that Evangelical Protestant Christians, these past 100 years, have saved more souls than us Catholics … and I say: Great … Whatever it takes! ….. I just wish My Church would do better! ;-( GOD BLESS!

    PS: Marie! I had two Danish Air Force pilots as students when I was a USAF C-130 School House Instructor ….25+ years ago .. I’ve thought about them over the years … I hope to have a beer or two with them in the Next Life 😉

    Like

  27. Observer says:

    Uh oh…..Cardinal Burke…..again. This is getting very noticeable now and a bit weird, but serious.

    Cardinal says church under Pope Francis is a ‘rudderless ship’

    http://www.religionnews.com/2014/10/31/cardinal-catholic-church-pope-francis-ship-without-rudder/

    Choose your “pope”. Wonder what Raymond Arroyo will do with this one….another special interview to advertise this opinion?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Please pray for dear Cdl. Burke. He has been a profound resource for the faithful over the years. He can be an important guardrail for orthodoxy. Pray that he does not go off the rails.

      Like

      • vicardwm says:

        Reading the full statement, he clarified several times that he was not accusing the Pope of any of it. He is reacting to people’s concerns that the Church is a ship without a rudder. I didn’t understand it to mean that Cardinal Burke himself believes that. Just as the media doesn’t “get” Pope Francis, I don’t think it “gets” Cardinal Burke either.

        Liked by 1 person

    • janet333 says:

      We have to be careful because the media are distorting much.

      For an example..”.Cardinal Burke, in the debate that preceded and followed the first synod on the family, some of your statements did sound like criticisms of the Pope, or at least that is how they were interpreted. For example, quite a stir was caused by your recent remark, “I will resist; I’ll resist,” as a response to a possible decision of the Pope to grant Communion to the divorced and remarried.

      Cardinal Burke…”That comment was misrepresented, and there was no reference to Pope Francis. I believe that because I have always spoken very clearly on the issue of marriage and the family, there are people who want to undermine what I say by depicting me as an enemy of the Pope or even ready for a schism by using that answer I gave in an interview with a French television channel.”

      “It’s total nonsense; I don’t understand this attitude, ” said Cardinal Burke. “I have never said a single word against the Pope; I strive only to serve the truth, a task that we all have. I have always seen my talks and my activities as a support to the Petrine ministry. The people who know me well can witness to the fact I am not anti-papal. On the contrary, I have always been extremely loyal and wanted to serve the Holy Father, as I am doing now.” (NCR)
      https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-burke-responds-to-recent-criticisms/

      Liked by 1 person

  28. God can only use what is profane on this earth to convey his messages. As my spiritual director once pointed out, he even spoke through Balaam’s donkey (num 22:21-39). It is a great mercy that our Lord does not let our vast imperfections get in the way of the accomplishment of his holy will, and actually he often uses our imperfections to bring about magnificent results.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. aj says:

    I read that interview and the one before where he said he (Cdl Burke) was misquoted…but strangely the message was the same. I think the personal hurt or disappointment with his apparent demotion and the Pope seemingly lashing out at the over-orthodox is now taking its toll on this prince of the Church. It reminds me so much of Luther’s beginnings. I studied European History at school and realised that Luther had some genuine and real concerns about proctises in the Church. What he didn’t realise is that non religious men would encourage and hijack his dissension for political reasons…and so he got caught up in a whirlwind that became political because he didn’t seek humble spiritual direction. Oh how the devil uses our pride as a nitro injected engine down the precipice of apostasy.

    I don’t necessarily see the goodly Cardinal carrying this to the same end…well hope not…but he has jumped into the same vehicle, turned it on and is revving…we need to pray that the Lord fills his heart with some humility and gives him a true opportunity to do some introspection.

    Let us take our Saintly sister’s advice:
    “My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words, I know it by experience.” 
    ― Thérèse de Lisieux, The Little Way for Every Day: Thoughts from Therese of Lisieux.

    JESUS I Trust in You!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Holy cow, AJ! When I prayed about this last night I prayed, please don’t let Cardinal Burke “pull a Luther.”

      What most cradle Catholics I know of seem unaware of is that many of the abuses Luther objected to were real abuses that badly needed correcting. What most Protestants I know of seem unaware of is that the very next Pope, Adrian VI, was just the sort of reformer the original dissident Luther had hoped for. Alas, by that time, Luther had already decided to set up shop for himself and was busily trying to convince his fellow dissidents to drop several books from the New Testament, especially James and a I Peter, to go along with the books from the Old Testament they dropped and so it would not contradict the new faith he had launched. And so, divisions in the faith deepened.

      Had Luther stopped at the needed reforms he originally called for, he might well be recognized as a sainted reformer. But he got caught up in the pride of being the final arbiter of faith on his own authority.

      I know how this story ends…but Cdl. Burke has been such a wonderful and treasured asset to the faith, please, Lord, don’t let bitterness or anger pull him down a path of division and pride.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Dan Lynch says:

    The Blessed Virgin Mary comes to Medjugorje bringing us urgent messages from God. She comes to tell the world that God exists and that peace is necessary for the salvation of the world.

    She said, “I have come here as Queen of Peace to tell the world that peace is necessary for the salvation of the world. (June 16, 1983). She said, “Jesus is the King of Peace, and only he can give you the peace that you seek.” (December 25, 1995).

    The summary of her messages is that peace can come only from God through conversion and faith, maintained by the sacraments (especially Confession and Eucharist), prayer and fasting, reading Scripture and the use of sacramentals. This is her spiritual preparation plan for the coming Storm with hope and without fear.

    I interviewed visionary Mirjana who told me, “Blessed Mary of Medjugorje does not come to cause fear of the future, but for love and peace in the future with her.”

    When I asked her about the Ten Secrets, she told me, “Blessed Mary said, ‘What I started at Fatima, I will finish in Medjugorje. My heart will triumph.’ If the heart of our Mother will triumph, we don’t need to be scared of anything. It’s only important to put our life in her hands and not to think about secrets. We should think about the messages and what she asked for us, so that we can help her Immaculate Heart to triumph.”

    “Look at us visionaries. I am always joking, smiling, living my life with God and Blessed Mary with hope, because my faith is hope. I hope in God’s love. I hope that he will judge me with love, I don’t think about secrets. Think of yourself, think of today, where are you today with God? Because you don’t know what you will have tomorrow.”

    You can learn more about my interview and the Ten Secrets here:
    http://www.jkmi.com/dan-lynch-store/the-ten-secrets-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-1

    Regarding Christian-Muslim reconciliation and peace, we should pray to Our Lady of Ephesus. Mary’s House where she died is located in Muslim Ephesus, Turkey. It is an approved shrine, visited by St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI where both Christians and Muslims come together and pray for peace.

    You can learn more about Mary’s House here:
    http://jkmi.wsiefusion.net/mary-s-house

    Regarding Russia, in 1981 Our Lady said at Medjugorje, “The Russian people will come to glorify God the most, the West has made civilization progress, but act as if they are their own creator.”

    Dan Lynch
    Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion to
    Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations,
    Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II
    Visit our website at http://www.JKMI.com
    E-Mail Us at JKMI@JKMI.com
    May Our Lady of Guadalupe keep you under the mantle of her protection and
    may the Reign of Jesus King of All Nations be recognized in your heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Siobhan says:

    Charlie,

    There are two things I would like to share with you:

    1. A number of years ago I was deeply concerned about the world and this country in particular and was wondering what would happen to my young nieces and nephews. Suddenly, I was given an insight or infused knowledge about what may come, and even sent this to Michael Brown’s, Spirit Daily. I was shown that the USA would be transformed into a commonwealth of “Nation-states” within a “Kingdom.” That’s the best way to describe it. And I say “Nation-states” because apparently our peoples will separate into regions while remaining a part of the whole. And reigning over this “Kingdom” will be a “Constantine” of God’s choosing, and this man will not necessary rise out of the military. I don’t know if this corresponds in any way with what was revealed to you, but I’ll just put it out there.

    2. I’m not much of a bible reader, but one day the Father, (not Our Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit, for some reason I just knew it was the Father) told me to get the bible and open it up. I ask the Father, “What do you want me to read?” He led me to read Judith – the woman who saved the Jewish people from the brink of annihilation. It was impressed upon me that this how Our Lady, who was prefigured by Judith, who will deliver us. This just falls into place with everything I’ve been reading on your site. God Bless.

    Like

  32. Bobby says:

    Charlie – what a wonderful explanation of the influence and importance of Medjugorje.

    It’s providential that it lies between East and West.

    I look forward to the announcement of the ‘secrets’ in due course.

    Like

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