The Narrow Way

narrow way

I had intended to write a piece today on Mary and the Saints, specifically geared for Protestants. Not to try to convince them we are right so much, but so that if they reject Catholic beliefs on it they are rejecting actual Catholic beliefs rather than a caricature of them.

But as often happens, something else came up. This time, something very good and sound. A couple of years ago, one of my priests sent me a link to a website with the admonition that he thought this guy might be stealing some of my stuff – maybe from an old Spirit Daily article of something. That was my first introduction to Mark Mallett. As we studied it, it soon became clear that much of the stuff he wrote about we had covered in great depth, and with the same conclusions – but privately, not in any public forum. And as we read it more, both my priest and I became fans.

Mallett’s material was so striking and powerful I read him silently for almost a year before I first attempted to contact him earlier this year. When something is that good, I am not less careful, but even more wary of a potential deception. I prayed a lot about it – and eventually started thinking it was time to send him a note. I asked for a sign. I got it the next morning. So I sent him a note one night before I went to bed. I know how swamped media sites get, so I figured I would probably get a pro forma note from him in a week or so, but it was good to make contact.

There was a note from him waiting for me the next morning. We started corresponding and chatting occasionally on the phone. About a month or so ago, we started noting how dramatically the subjects we wrote about were dovetailing. He chuckled and said people were going to think we were synchronizing our watches. I laughed – and then it got even more intense that way. I have come to think that, though we really aren’t, God is synchronizing our watches.

He – and Pelianito – have become a profound comfort to me. You can’t really explain to anyone how these things come if they haven’t experienced some variation of it. It is like trying to expalin color to one who is congenitally blind. That does not stop you from doing your work but, boy, it makes it lonely sometimes. It has been a profound source of joy to have someone I can occasionally bounce things off of or discuss things that trouble me – and it be someone who has gone through many similar fearsome things to what I have. Oh, our paths have been different in significant ways, but trekking through these lonely woods, whatever route you took, creates a sense of real kinship.

During the Synod, we were both getting some brutal mail – but his was much more brutal than mine. Ha! He copied me on one gentle response he sent to a guy who started off by verbally kicking him in the crotch. Mark began with something like, “May the peace of the Lord be with you.” I chuckled. When someone kicks me in the crotch I…kick back. Once I have gotten their attention, we might be able to have a decent conversation, provided we keep our steel-toed boots to ourselves. I told him I think maybe people were not being so aggressive with me because they thought I am not as nice as he is. Sometimes a reputation for being a little grizzled and crabby comes in handy.

But today, I give thanks for all the grief he got – and the fortitude he lived as he tried to gently reason and, sometimes, firmly proclaim what is true. For in that trial, the seeds were sown for this piece today, which is one of the most magnificent, clear and rich pieces I have ever read. It was a blessed controversy that gave rise to this (Along with a link, I reproduce the entire article below):

The Thin Line Between Mercy and Heresy – Part III


SHE fed and clothed the poor with love; she nurtured minds and hearts with the Word. Catherine Doherty, foundress of the Madonna House apostolate, was a woman who took on the “smell of the sheep” without taking on the “stench of sin.” She constantly walked the thin line between mercy and heresy by embracing the greatest of sinners while calling them to holiness. She used to say,

Go without fears into the depths of men’s hearts… the Lord shall be with you. —from The Little Mandate

This is one of those “words” from the Lord that is able to penetrate “between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (1)cf. Heb 4:12 Catherine uncovers the very root of the problem with both so-called “conservatives” and “liberals” in the Church: it is our fear to enter men’s hearts as Christ did.


In fact, one of the reasons we so quickly resort to the labels “conservative” or “liberal” etc. is that it is a convenient way to ignore the truth that the other may be speaking by putting the other in the soundproof box of a category.

Jesus said,

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

The “liberal” is generally perceived as one who stresses “the way” of Christ, which is charity, to the exclusion of truth. The “conservative” is thought to generally emphasize “the truth”, or doctrine, to the exclusion of charity. The problem is that both are at equal risk of self-deception. Why? Because the thin red line between mercy and heresy is the narrow road of both truth and love that leads to life. And if we exclude or distort one or the other, we risk becoming ourselves the stumbling block that prevents others from coming to the Father.

And so, for the purposes of this meditation, I will use these labels, speaking in generalalities, in hopes of unmasking our fears, which inevitably create stumbling blocks—on both “sides.”

…one who fears is not yet perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)


The greatest wound in the human heart is, in fact, the self-afflicted wound of fear. Fear is really the opposite of trust, and it was lack of trust in God’s word that brought about the fall of Adam and Eve. This fear, then, only compounded:

When they heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Gen 3:8)

Cain murdered Abel out of fear that God loved him more… and for millennia afterward, fear in all its outward forms of suspicion, judgment, inferiority complexes, etc. began to drive peoples apart as the blood of Abel flowed into every nation.

Even though, through Baptism, God removes the stain of original sin, our fallen human nature still carries the wound of mistrust, not only of God, but our neighbour. This is why Jesus said we must become like little children to enter “paradise” again (2)cf. Matt 18:3 ; why Paul teaches that by grace you have been saved through faith.(3)cf. Eph 2:8


Nonetheless, conservatives and liberals continue to carry the Garden of Eden’s lack of trust, and all its side effects, into our day. For the conservative would say that what evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden was that they broke God’s commandment. The liberal would say that man broke God’s heart. The solution, says the conservative, is to keep the law. The liberal says it is to love again. The conservative says mankind must remain covered in the leaves of shame. The liberal says that shame serves no purpose (and never mind that the conservative blames the woman while the liberal blames the man.)

In truth, both are right. But if they exclude the truth of the other, then both are wrong.


Why do we end up stressing one aspect of the Gospel over the other? Fear. We must “go without fears into the depths of mens hearts” and meet both the spiritual and emotional/physical needs of man. Here, St. James strikes the proper balance.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

The Christian vision is one of both “justice and peace.” But the liberal downplays sin, thus creating a false peace; the conservative over-emphasizes justice, thus robbing peace. Contrary to what they think, both are lacking in mercy. For authentic mercy does not ignore sin, but does everything possible to pardon it. Both sides fear the power of mercy.

Thus, fear is driving a wedge between the “charity” and “truth” that is Christ. We have to stop judging one another and realize that we are all suffering in one way or another from fear. The liberal must stop condemning the conservative saying they do not care about people but only doctrinal purity. The conservative must stop condemning the liberal saying that they do not care for the person’s soul, only the superficial. We could all learn from Pope Francis’ example in the “art of listening” to the other.

But here is the underlying issue for both: neither of them really, fully believes in the power and promises of Jesus Christ. They do not trust the word of God.

Liberal fears

The liberal is afraid to believe that truth can be known with certainty. That “truth endures; fixed to stand firm like the earth.” (4)Psalm 119:90 He does not fully trust that the Holy Spirit will actually, as Christ promised, guide the successors of the Apostles “to all truth” (5)John 16:13 and that to “know” this truth, as Christ promised, will “set you free.” (6)8:32 But even more than that, the liberal does not fully believe or comprehend that if Jesus is “the truth” as He said, that there is then power in the truth. That when we present the Truth in love, it is like a seed that God himself plants in another’s heart. Thus, because of these doubts in the power of truth, the liberal often reduces evangelization down to primarily taking care of psychological and physical needs to the exclusion of the soul’s authentic needs. However, St. Paul reminds us:

The kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17)

Thus, the liberal is often afraid to enter into the depths of men’s hearts with Christ, the light of truth, in order to illuminate the path to spiritual freedom that is the source of man’s happiness.

[It is] the temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei ” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]. —POPE FRANCIS, Synod closing remarks, Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014

Conservative fears

On the other hand, the conservative is afraid to believe that charity is a Gospel unto itself and that “love covers a multitude of sins.” (7)1 Peter 4:8 The conservative often believes that it is not love but doctrine that we must cover other’s nakedness with if they are to have any chance of getting into Heaven. The conservative often does not trust Christ’s promise that He is in “the least of the brethren”, (8)cf. Matt 25:45 whether they are Catholic or not, and that love can not only the_good_samaritan_Fotorpour coals upon an enemy’s head, but open their hearts to the truth. The conservative does not fully believe or comprehend that if Jesus is “the way” as He said, then there is a supernatural power in love. That when we present Love in truth, it is like a seed that God himself plants in another’s heart. Because he doubts the power of love, the conservative often reduces evangelization down to only convincing others of the truth, and even hiding behind truth, to the exclusion of the emotional and even physical needs of the other.

However, St. Paul replies:

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Cor 4:20)

Thus, the conservative is often afraid to enter into the depths of men’s hearts with Christ, the warmth of love, in order to smooth the path to spiritual freedom that is the source of man’s happiness.

Paul is a pontifex, a builder of bridges. He doesn’t want to become a builder of walls. He doesn’t say: “Idolaters, go to hell!” This is the attitude of Paul… Build a bridge to their heart, in order then to take another step and announce Jesus Christ. —POPE FRANCIS, Homily, May 8th, 2013; Catholic News Service


I have fielded hundreds of letters since the Synod in Rome concluded, and with a few rare exceptions, many of these underlying fears are there between every line. Yes, even the fears that the Pope is going to “change doctrine” or “change pastoral practices that will undermine doctrine” are only sub-fears of these root fears.

CATERS_CLIFF_EDGE_WALK_ILLUSION_WATER_AMERICA_OUTDOOR_CONTEST_WINNERS_01-1024x769_FotorBecause what the Holy Father is doing is boldly leading the Church along the thin red line between mercy and heresy—and it is disappointing both sides (just as many were disappointed by Christ for not laying down the law enough as a triumphant king, or for laying it down all too clearly, thereby infuriating the Pharisees.) To the liberals (who are actually reading Pope Francis’ words and not the headlines), they are disappointed because, while he is giving an example of poverty and humility, he has signaled that he is not changing doctrine.To the conservatives (who are reading the headlines and not his words), they are disappointed because Francis is not laying down the law as they would like.

In what may someday be recorded as among the most prophetic speeches of our times from a pope, I believe that Jesus was directly addressing the liberals and conservatives in the universal Church at the close of the Synod (read The Five Corrections). Why? Because the world is entering an hour in which, if we are afraid to walk in faith in the power of Christ’s truth and love—if we hide the “talent” of Sacred Tradition in the ground, if we growl like the elder brother at the prodigal sons, if we neglect our neighbour unlike the Good Samaritan, if we lock ourselves in the law like the Pharisees, if we cry “Lord, Lord” but do not do His will, if we turn a blind eye to the poor—then many, many souls will be lost. And we will have to give an accounting—liberals and conservatives alike.

Thus, to the conservatives who are afraid of the power of Love, who is God, Jesus says:

I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors. Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:2-5)

Pope Francis put it this way: that “conservatives” must repent of…

…hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals. —POPE FRANCIS, Synod closing remarks, Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014

To the liberals who are afraid of the power of Truth, who is God, Jesus says:

I know your works, your love, faith, service, and endurance, and that your last works are greater than the first. Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry. (Rev 2:19-21)

Pope Francis put it this way: that “liberals” must repent of…

…a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.” —Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014


So, brothers and sisters—both “liberals” and “conservatives”—let us not be discouraged by these gentle rebukes.

My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. (Heb 12:5)

Rather, let us hear again the appeal to trust:

Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ”! —SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Homily, Saint Peter’s Square, October 22, 1978, No. 5

Don’t be afraid to go into the hearts of men with the power of Christ’s word, the warmth of Christ’s love, the healing of Christ’s mercy. Because, as Catherine Doherty added, “the Lord shall be with you.”

Don’t be afraid to listen to one another rather than label one another. “Humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,” said St. Paul. In this way, we can begin to be “of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.” (9)cf. Phil 2:2-3 And what is that one thing? That there is only one way to the Father, and that is through the way and the truth, that leads to life.

Both. That is the thin red line we can and must walk in order to be a true light of the world that will lead people out of the darkness into the freedom and love of the Father’s arms.


Read Part I and Part II

About charliej373

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

95 Responses to The Narrow Way

  1. Mark is the Real Deal! May God bless you both in your work of mercy.


  2. N. Wright says:

    I have followed Mark and Pelianito for years. I have been introduced to you, Charlie, through the Pelianito Blog. I think you are walking the same path. I also appreciate Locutions to the World and Medjugorje. I’ve been there four times from 1985 to 2013. Thank you for your YES!


  3. Becky-TN says:

    Oh Charlie,

    It can be very lonely when God “communicates” in some way to you personally and those you love don’t understand having never experienced such a personal encounter themselves. I read parts I-III of Mark’s writings this morning. So very beautiful.

    I have been printing out yours, Mark’s, Peli’s and Petals from Heaven (Sharon Fitzpatrick’s locutions – who I truly believe are/were genuine – Sharon passed away a couple of month ago). You are right, the messages from Heaven are all coming together like pieces to a beautiful patchwork quilt.

    In the writing from a couple of days ago, you mentioned Garabandal/Illumination of Conscience. I think you mentioned that you believed that it would be different than what most expected it to be. That, in fact, people might have one without much noticing it for what it truly is if there weren’t paying attention (please forgive me if I misunderstood). That statement stood out to me a bit. And honestly, I think I truly had mine. Cross in the sky and everything (as, at least, St. Faustina described it). It was a conversion experience back in 2000. I have often wondered if that was my “Illumination” over the years, but figured it wasn’t b/c it wasn’t what I assumed the prophecy described. Since discovering you and your writings, I’m thinking differently now. Thinking about what I saw that day. A Greek Cross in the sky, equal on all sides – closest I could describe is the Jerusalem Cross, but with no smaller crosses. Not sure, but grateful to God for His mercy.

    Lots of different feelings these days. I awake every morning with the thought of “one day closer”…
    I posted the following quotes on Peli’s site earlier. Wondering if anyone else is feeling like Samewise and Pippin right about now??

    God Bless,


    Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
    Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.
    Pippin Took
    “I don’t want to be in a battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.”


    • charliej373 says:

      Lovely, Becky. Lovely.


      • Becky-TN says:

        It’s kinda funny. My family (hubby, me and kids) always talk about how we are Hobbit people (short, none of us over 5′ 7″). Seems the Hobbits eventually found their courage and helped save Middle-Earth.

        Thanks for everything, Charlie!


    • the phoenix says:

      As for the cross you saw in the sky, Becky-TN, that’s really cool how you’re connecting it to both the Illumination and St. Faustina’s writing!

      It’s also really cool how so many of us here are fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. I used to post on Middle Earth forums as one of the characters years ago … ah, the wonders of creative writing!


      • charliej373 says:

        And in those allegorical fantasies lay the seeds of a profound and fruitful faith. Always appreciate the wonder of all God’s creation!


        • the phoenix says:

          And sub-creation …


          • Bob says:

            And after the ring of power is destroyed and darkness loses it’s power and the sun comes out even more brightly. And how will God chain the demons and weaken their power so that goodness may, for a period, grow in strength and in beauty?


        • ellenchris says:

          I am convinced that both Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were prophets in their way. Lewis saw “pictures in his mind” that became his stories which bare a large and astonishing relevance to what we are seeing in our time now. Tolkien gives us courage to trust the Light of God in the face of darkness. Mere co-incidence? I think our good Lord sent them to help us prepare.

          This only from memory — please excuse wording errors
          Frodo: “I wish I the ring had never come to me. I wish I had never gone on this journey”
          Gandalf: “So do all who live in times such as these. We are not given to choose our times, but we must choose what we shall do with the times we are given.”

          We have been given these times. The Light does not just shine at random — we must choose the Light, accept It and live It so that it can shine out to others who live in the dark. It was only as the defenders were standing at the very Gates of Mordor that the ring was destroyed, and Sauron defeated. The Gates of Mordor did not prevail.


      • Cecilia says:

        I am a huge Tolkien fan. Several weeks ago I listened to Taylor Marshall do a study on the four Cardinal virtues using four LOTR characters. Our family has been re-watching the extended version of the trilogy, and I too cannot help but think we are about to live out in real life this quest to vanquish the powers of darkness, but it is not Frodo to the rescue, but Our Lady. Oh what interesting times we live in. I never dreamed in a million years that it would ever get so bad we would need to be “rescued.” I too believe Tolkien was a prophet. He and C.S. Lewis and Chesterton saw the writing on the wall 70 years ago or so. I appreciate all of you so much, and I am often reduced to tears by your courage and faith. Thank you, everyone, and especially you, Charlie, for being a faithful Sherpa. We need you; well, I do for sure.


  4. Gina Harney says:

    Thank you for sharing Mark’s post. I had the same reaction when I read it this morning. It was one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read.


  5. Observer says:

    This morning I read Pope Francis’ homily for today and thought, again, how he is such an amazing “psychiatrist” of the soul. He always homes in on our most vulnerable but most protected weaknesses and does so very simply so it’s easily recognizable when one is open and willing.

    Then I received Mark’s reflection and marveled at how in sync he is with this depth of thinking so inspired by the Spirit.

    The Pope put it this way; some reasons why people won’t listen to others; to the other side; too comfortable where they are that avoids God’s “gratuity” ….. because they fear it!:

    “It is so difficult to listen to the voice of Jesus, the voice of God, when you believe that the whole world revolves around you: there is no horizon, because you become your own horizon. And there is more behind all of this, something far deeper: fear of gratuity. We are afraid of God’s gratuity. He is so great that we fear Him”.

    All Christians, he continued, have this fear of God’s generosity toward us, because many times, “we feel safer in our sins, in our limitations, but feel at home.” This fear, he noted, brings Christians to not answer God’s invitation in order to not leave that safety net.

    “Catholics, but not too Catholic,” the Pope said. “Trusting in the Lord, but not too much. This ‘but not too much’ marks our lives, it belittles us.”

    Recalling the master’s order to invite the poor and crippled to the banquet, and even to force people to the feast, the 77-year-old Pontiff said that the Lord does the same with us “with trials, so many trials.”

    “Compel that heart, that soul to believe in God’s gratuity, that God’s gift is free, that salvation cannot be bought: it is a great gift, the love of God is the greatest gift! This is gratuity!,” he exclaimed.


  6. Charlene says:

    Dear Charlie,

    In these incredible times we are living in..I praise Our God for folks like you and Mark Mallett. Thank you and God bless
    Charlene Edwards


  7. Mark Mallett always nails it. Like a mighty “hammer” in God’s hands – his name fits his calling. This post is brilliant.


  8. Teresa Dearing says:

    Hi Charlie, this is my first post ever – I learned quickly to stay away from the comments section of the articles/blogs I read as they invariably gave me a stomachache! I’ve been following you for a month or so and when you recommended reading your comments, I did. Thank you! Not only am I grateful for your insights in this dark time, but your readers’ comments make me feel like part of a community; this strengthens me as I am very isolated due to health problems.
    The reason I chose to write in today is that I had read Mark Mallett’s brilliant piece and I was going to suggest you provide a link to it – as usual you are way ahead of me!
    God bless you, Charlie

    Teresa from Canada


    • charliej373 says:

      Glad to have you aboard, Teresa. I’m working on having the best Christian website around. I definitely already have the best Commenters around!


    • Hi Teresa,
      I was just saying the same thing yesterday about the comment section of some blogs. Gives me a stomachache at times too! Like walking into a minefield 🙂 I’m not sure why some sites allow chaos and disrespect in their comboxes – it’s something I haven’t been able to figure out. Especially on Catholic blogs where charity should be the rule not the exception. I’m not against spirited debate, it’s just that there’s a difference between disagreement and condemnation. So, I never comment on certain blogs even though I’d like to at times!


      • Teresa D says:

        Hi Mary, I agree completely! Civilized debates used to be the norm; I don’t understand why some people think vitriol is an acceptable or effective alternative.


  9. aj says:

    It’s really funny, just before I read Mark’s piece I was thinking about how the democrats and republicans remind me so much of the liberals and the ortodox or conservatives. I am not American but it’s amazing how the devil has convinced both sides that the other is evil…the truth is they both are, but just in different ways. I always hold that people point out the sin or shortcomings of another that they have mastered. So if I am not a womaniser I point out all those womanisers that come to Church. But if I’m violent I empathise with those who are also violent and self rationalise why our “shortcoming” isn’t so bad.

    Many Americans and people of all nations are so fooled into thinking a regime will save them…ahhhh…what foolishness. As is the reality in most western civilisations both sides of the platform are usually controlled by the same guys…the men with the super money. But there’s none so blind as those who refuse to see. These big elite power brokers never get poorer when a regime changes, at least for the most part. Why? Because our political systems and parties are propped up or funded by them and you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. And if I fund you I determine the policies that will benefit me.

    I’m actually writing this because many good Christians get caught up in this false hope that a political party will save them. Hey, support a good candidate if one presents himself to you but dont be lost in the charade that either democratic or republican will be the cure of man’s disease…sin. That’s GOD’S job and we’re here to help bring the balm.

    Shalom my friends!


    • Bob says:

      I used to think that way and had all the hope when my party or candidate won but I soon learned that one could say a thing like supporting pro life or getting good judges elected and the other usually vetoed it and nothing got done. Perhaps the chairs on the deck of the Titanic have been changed slightly. May God help us. He is our true hope.


    • the phoenix says:

      It occurs to me that there has been only one Perfect Candidate … But the crowd chose Barabbas.


    • Mark says:

      Interesting you say this aj. i was thinking the same thing today, how so many put their hopes in a Republican victory in the Senate as if this will somehow change the political climate in the US. Many are well meaning people, but they do not see that humans cannot impact or change the course that mankind has put himself on. I for one am sick of politics as they have become so self-serving, not looking at what is good in the light of God, but what is good for them and their qwest to buy votes and wreckless ideology.


      • SteveBC says:

        Actually, I think this outcome does something that could advance the storm. Seems to me that a big part of the storm is to sharpen distinctions and expose problems more clearly. Although the Republicans may turn out to be a blunted instrument in this regard, I think the net effect will be as I have stated.

        Anything that exposes fractures and corruptions and that forces – or tempts – the Obama administration to act unilaterally in the face of clear opposition will sharpen and increase societal conflict at all levels. The exposure of fault lines and corruption will work to destroy remaining degrees of trust in government and in the system people use to work out disagreements in the public sphere.

        Strong centripetal forces can tear an already weakened system apart. I think tonight’s outcome will add to the forces designed to kill the Old System. No matter the human side of this nor the messy politics, I suspect this helps advance the underlying purposes of the storm. It could speed the process of disintegration and create clarifying moments of realization for all of us.


        • D Shea says:

          I hope that the US Election 14 portends a Revival of the Republic ……….. but it’s just a False Dawn that Charlie has spoken of I’m afraid ;-( The Feral Gubermint is packed with FarLeft Obama Clones, we are $$17+ Trillion in Debt, Domestic/Foreign Policies are in ruins, our Military is worn out/rife with low morale (just like the post Vietnam Era I remember so well) ;-(, ISIS/China/Russia are rising, Ebola/Virus#68 is still Out-There, gutless “moderates” infest the Republican Party and the Generations born since 1965 are “Lost” …… plus for the next two years the USA is stuck with a petulant, narcissist Empty Suit that the Democrat Party/Their Media is, still, 110% invested in …. and they are done stuck to this Veto Pen Baby ’cause they can’t alienate their Black Base. FALSE DAWN IT BE ;-(


        • Mick says:

          Steve, I agree 100%. As glad as I was that the Republicans won so many races at all levels, I know that it isn’t going to make a hill of beans worth of difference in the long run. You make an excellent point that this might actually cause Obama to act unilaterally in such a way has to cause utter collapse more quickly than if the Dems had had a better night. God save us all.


    • Mack says:

      I don’t put hope in a political party to save us, not at all. In fact I thought of the Psalm, “Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help…”
      Yet elections do have consequences, and some of those consequences can help build up society or make it worse. So we have to do our part in the political order as well.
      Need I mention the HHS mandate that the Obama administration is still trying to force on people, and the persecution of the Little Sisters of the Poort, etc.?


      • charliej373 says:

        Well, I’ll write about that a little later, Mack. The question now is, will the Republicans re-commit to religious freedom? Will they act with vigor to stop the harassment and oppression of Christians? Will they actually hold someone to account in the IRS for targeting conservatives, pro-lifers and Christians? Will they hold anyone responsible for the 300 people murdered with guns the administration distributed to criminals in Mexico in the Fast and Furious Scandal in hopes of provoking a crisis that would help them sell gun control? Will they eliminate the forcing of all health insurance policies to cover abortion and birth control?

        I know that, generally, Republicans don’t favor these things. But truth is, there doesn’t seem to be much fight in them to defend American liberties, to actually make the government subject to the people rather than the people subject to the government. I hope I am pleasantly surprised that the GOP does mount a serious effort to roll these things back. But the default position of the GOP of late has been don’t make no waves. They tremble at the idea of Chris Matthews or Katie Couric talking mean about them.

        I am glad the GOP won yesterday. But I rather think it is too little too late. And I don’t expect to see much fight in them, except to hold onto their positions and have show hearings in which no one is held accountable, but they whine about what a big meanie Obama is.


        • Gary says:

          I don’t think it is widely known that Fast and Furious was being used to create an artificial crisis to demand more federal gun control. But that was he first thing I thought they were doing. Obama is using executive privilege to hide emails etc from the Congress.The majority of Mexicans guns are from other sources and not America anyway, but Obama and his gestapo lie about everything. The Republican Senate needs a wartime consigliare not McConnell.


        • Cecilia says:

          Unfortunately, I think you hit the nail on the head. It will be more of the same. All rhetoric and no action. :(. I pray we are wrong.


        • SteveBC says:

          I agree, but I also think God will not waste this opportunity, either. Even if it is all rhetoric (which I don’t believe will be the case), I think many things will get clarified or exposed. Trust in government is to take a hit, whether because the Republicans show themselves to be worthless or because they aren’t completely worthless after all. For example, I’m wondering if this election result, and the apparently significant reduction in the power held by Obama and Valerie Jarrett, will give some whistleblowers enough encouragement to come out and speak. If a few do this, others will be encouraged, until they are everywhere in the news – there is much to whistleblow about. That would corrode trust in government as well but would not be at all likely to happen if the Democrats had help power clearly. We’ll see.

          Pass the popcorn, please! This could be quite the spectacle.


        • Kathleen from NJ says:

          Hi Charlie – I’ve been watching Obama and his puffed up pride and narcissism is written all over him and this thought came to me: is Obama a sociopath ! ? Oh heaven help us!!
          God Bless!


    • donna269 says:

      AJ you speak absolute TRUTH


  10. Bob says:

    I read this one today and it is one of the best pieces he has ever done and that is saying something. If you hadn’t gotten it Charlie I would have sent it. This reminds me of my reading of Pope Benedict and I kept hearing the Mantra of “truth and love”, “truth and love” when I read him and he used that phrase so much. I have struggled with it as it is easy to say “this is the Law” and my confessor knocked me down once on the lack of love when he heard me talking of how homosexuality is a sin but he picked up a certain smugness in my talking which I was grateful he did. The Pharisees were smug too and Jesus loved them and tried to tell them they were lacking love. At least I finally heard what my confessor was trying to say and how proud I really was. I just got home and this link is going up on my facebook!


  11. Observer says:

    OT I suppose, but looks now that the Republicans have their +6 and are on road to possibly gaining 10.


    • aj says:

      Whether it’s 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…as they celebrate, the smoke is thick and Rome burns while they drknk champagne. Oh how the world needs a rescue! We’re not just blind anymore, we’re deaf, dumb and in a coma. Our planet is sick, mankind is sick and in desperate need of a Divine Doctor. Good is now bad and bad is now good. This is why the storm must come, not just to punish but to shake up things; to bring proper alignment; to rearrange things back in their proper order; to simplify things so we can see with clarity and humility.

      Come Lord JESUS…we need you more than ever!

      YESHUA I TRUST in You.


  12. Mark says:

    I too, Charlie, thought Mark Mallett was writting what I was thinking. Does he has ESP? I swear he is reading my mind!!! NOT. He is a man who is clearly in tune with heaven and being guided by heaven he is providing his viewers a very easy to understand overview of current events in the Church and what it means to the sincere Christian. If you viewers want to thank him, donate to his apsotolate. He only asks $10/month (or more if you can afford it). Its been worth it to me to see my money sent to a ‘real time’ modern day prophet or messenger from God.


  13. Nancy says:

    My daughter and I drove up to see Mark and his family in Sioux Falls, SD. I am so glad we went and his music was so beautiful. I loved the way he said, “Be not afraid” in perfect imitation of St. John Paul II. I feel he is a prophet for our times. 🙂


  14. Gary says:

    I deeply resent this characterization of theological authentic Catholics aka conservative having no heart. They give far more of their time and resources then liberals who rely on secularists and government agencies to their jobs for them. The so called Catholic conservatives see the Truth of Christ assaulted by liberal theologians and clerics who no longer believe in His divinity, or the miracles he did as told in the New Testaments, when they attack objective Truths as changeable and malleable to the times people live, we see liberal bishops and priests living in adulterous unions . For all your disparaging of conservatives, a conservative will help a liberal out of the ditch, a liberal will push a conservative into a ditch. You would do well to serve the Church by noticing the plank in the liberal’s eye than the speck in the conservative’s eye. Liberals are foisting on the Church every perversion of human nature upon the Faithful calling it good; this is pure and unadulterated evil and no authentic Catholic can have common ground with this. A conservative can defend Jesus’ Truth and still have charity. A liberal will not defend the Church’s Truth and therefore has no charity.


    • laura says:

      I am a bit put off also with the assumption that conservatives are loveless. I believe we love the law because we know it was given to us out of love and mercy. Granted, there are people in the church that ARE loveless, and use the law in an unmerciful way but referring to these as “conservatives” is a terrible insult to conservatives. I have never IN. MY. LIFE met a loveless conservative. Unless being modest is loveless. Unless praying the rosary is loveless. Unless rejecting contraception is loveless. Unless raising many children in the faith is loveless. Unless running soup kitchens is loveless. Unless collecting and distributing clothes to poor families is loveless. Unless monthly (at least) confession is loveless.


  15. TC says:

    Dear Charlie,

    One of my favorite quotes from JPII almost gets lost at the end of this beautiful passage from Novo millenio ineunte: “If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’ (Mt 25:35-37). This Gospel text is not a simple invitation to charity: it is a page of Christology which sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ. By these words, no less than by the orthodoxy of her doctrine, the Church measures her fidelity as the Bride of Christ.”

    How does the Church measure her fidelity as the Bride of Christ? By these words: I was hungry and you gave me food…(charity), no less than by the orthodoxy of her doctrine (truth).

    We must adhere equally to charity and truth. It is the beautiful “both and” of Catholicism. A dynamic tension exists between the two forces that when combined in a way that respects both bursts forth into new life and energy. It is a similar dynamic tension that exists between other complementary elements: “scripture and tradition”, “law and grace”, “man and woman”, “words and deeds”, “faith and reason”, “justice and peace”, body and soul”, “divine and human”. The list could go on. The moment we begin to overemphasize one element to the exclusion of the other, we end up in error – error of doctrine or error of practice. We cease walking the thin line.

    In the words of Cardinal George, we should all be saying: “I am neither liberal nor conservative. I am Catholic!”

    Every grace and peace,



  16. Dan Lynch says:

    May Christ Have Mercy on Brittany, Because Her Doctors Did Not!
    Dan Lynch
    Brittany Maynard, 29, died in Portland, Oregon on Saturday after publicly announcing her intention to commit suicide in a video seen by millions. She committed suicide by taking fatal drugs legally provided by her doctors.

    In 1993, I led a procession carrying the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe many miles to the closing World Youth Day Mass at Cherry Creek State Park in Denver, Colorado.
    St. John Paul II preached during his homily,

    “Death battles against Life: a “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full. . . . In our own century, as at no other time in history, the “culture of death” has assumed a social and institutional form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide, “final solutions”, “ethnic cleansings”, and the massive “taking of lives of human beings even before they are born, or before they reach the natural point of death.” . . .

    Young pilgrims, Christ needs you to enlighten the world and to show it the “path to life” (Ps 16,11). The challenge is to make the Church’s “yes” to Life concrete and effective. …

    At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. …

    These young people now know that Life is more powerful than the forces of death; they know that the Truth is more powerful than darkness; that Love is stronger than death.”

    St. John Paul II was preaching to my daughter Maggie’s generation. Now, she is the mother of eight and posted the following on her blog about Brittany’s sad suicide.

    Life, Fight for It!
    Maggie Eisenbarth

    I am surprised by these tears filling the wells of my eyes for Brittany Maynard, for a stranger, for a girl I have never known and will never know. She is dead. I read about her and her decision to die a few weeks ago, honestly I didn’t really believe she would go through with it. Even though she and her husband had already made the commitment to move to Oregon and she had recently told the world that she wanted to leave, die on her time. I just thought she would come through as a hero for the thousands upon thousands fighting to live. She was given six months to live, to live. But she was dying, her days were numbered.

    So are mine. I am dying everyday, everyday closer to the end of my life, everyday. I am just now reading her words to her family and friends, the words that make me grieve for her, “Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more,” she wrote on Facebook.

    What can be considered a dignified death? Dignified means with honor, respect, worthy; does that somehow mean that her death possibly months from now would have been less respectful, less dignified? To choose to die is honorable? I think it is an unfortunate lie that is being told that in her choice for death there is somehow more dignity than suffering and dying .

    Dying, let’s imagine, one morning next year, on a day when new shoots emerge from the dirt of winter and a gentle breeze blows the scent of spring into her room, the same day her best friend has a baby and names her Brittany. Who knows what her months ahead looked like for her, the effect she may have had on others? Some of her last words open up the assumption that her illness and suffering were going to take so much more from her, but what about what she was capable of giving, of sharing? What about those last moments of her life perfectly chosen, her time?

    And I guess that is the saddest part, she didn’t believe she had a day, a time, a moment, like her birth, that was purposeful and perfectly designed for her. I grieve for the future she will never know, and that her loved ones will never know with her. The kind words she may have shared that may have changed another person’s life path. Her time was limited, her pain great. I believe with all the pain and suffering in the world that there must be beauty in suffering. A passage of sorts.

    But how can one understand that through suffering we were redeemed, without knowing the one death that made us all worthy? To not know Christ, to not know God is to not know that you will be carried through the roughest seas, through those moments of seeming despair.

    She looked into her tomorrows and saw cancer taking so much from her and sadly saw her wilting away, deteriorating and painfully dying as less dignified. There is good to be found when we are at a loss, there is much to be filled in our spirits and souls when we are emptied of all that we believe we can offer. There is giving even when it looks like there is nothing left to give.

    Today I pray for her soul, I pray for those who loved her company, her friendship, her parents and husband. I pray that her death brings light to others suffering that they find the strength to believe they are strong enough to live to their last natural breath, that they find themselves supported with love and kindness to their last day. I pray that all those battling terminal illness fight to live and die with dignity, having gave this world their all. I believe we are stronger than we know, and that God gives us many graces at the most difficult of times, when we see worse, He gives us the grace to experience it differently. I wish she knew Christ, I hope she knows Him now.

    May Christ have mercy on Brittany Maynard!

    You may read more about Maggie here:


    • Becky-TN says:

      Of all days, All Saints Day! My hope is that every Angel & Saint in Heaven was interceeding for her to the Father that day. May she rest in peace.


  17. Linda says:

    I’ve appreciated this remark by Alice Von Hildebrand, from: “The Secular War On The Supernatural”:

    “I’m going to make a suggestion. If you read articles, you’ll read that traditional Catholics are opposed to liberal Catholics, or you’re going to be told that traditional Catholics are too far right. Maybe the best Bishop we have in the United States, Bishop Bruskewitz of Nebraska, who is to my mind a very great man and a blessing for us, was accused and turned upon. He was to receive an Honorary Doctorate, and was turned upon because he was too far right and when he heard this he had a beautiful answer (and I thought he was quoting my husband):

    “Neither right nor left; higher and deeper.”

    “Now let us abolish the terms “conservative” or “liberal”, the terms “left” and “right” which are secularistic. I suggest that we say from now on “those who have kept the sense of the supernatural and those who have lost it”. That is the great divide, that is the essence.”

    * * *

    “Neither right nor left; higher and deeper.”

    That’s what it’s all about.


  18. Michelle Linnebur says:

    I am sorry this is not “deep”, but I had to say how much it made me laugh out loud when you were talking about getting kicked in the crotch!…especially with steel toed boots! You painted me a hilarious picture this morning, because sometimes we just want to do that (not really, but in our imaginations) to someone else who doesn’t agree with us! it is so hard to take the narrow way of love and forgiveness, when you really just want to give them a good swift kick!


  19. Observer says:

    An interesting and I think wisely humble comment about the so called “confusion”….as to just who may have been the most responsible for having generated such an idea:

    Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin decried comments from clerics and others who said Pope Francis caused confusion in his calls for an open discussion on how the church should reach out to those who are marginalized, hurt and wounded in their lives during the recent Synod of Bishops on the family.

    Archbishop Martin said he was “quite surprised at the remarks of some commentators within church circles about the recent Synod of Bishops, often making accusations of confusion where such confusion did not exist and so actually fomenting confusion.”

    ………Archbishop Martin said he believed that “a longing for certainties may spring from personal uncertainty rather than strong faith.”

    “A strong — and indeed orthodox faith — is never afraid of discussion,” he said.

    “They fail to see how Pope Francis shows that his concern for people who suffer is far from being a sign of dogmatic relativism, but rather is a sign of pastoral patience,” Archbishop Martin said.

    Archbishop Martin also said that “a church which becomes a comfort zone for the like-minded ceases to be truly the Church of Jesus Christ.”

    ……….Many people “would hardly recognize their own experience in the way we present the ideals of married life, he told the synod.

    “Indeed many in genuine humility would probably feel that they are living a life which is distant from the ideal of marriage as presented by church teaching,” he said.

    I suppose when you truly work in the trenches of life you see that all is not “ideal”…..even after conversion. Lots of falls and therefore lots of getting up again. And there should be enough space for those ongoing attempts to try to follow Christ in good will. Strict ideals often can generate real fear of never obtaining an unreachable picture of perfection. And Jesus gives us an example of this with the two men in the temple….one so very secure in knowing that “I’m glad that I’m not like that other one”….but then, after hearing the sincerity and witnessing the humility of the one “discussing” his admitted self awareness with God, He points out that only one of the two will leave knowing the solace of forgiveness, the immediate “gifting” of God.


    • aj says:

      Obs, the problem is many of our orthodox and conservative (the hard liner ones) see dialogue and disagreement as confusion. They believe we must all say the same thing in the same manner and that that represents a universal spirit. Maybe some reading of the Councils of the Church and some of of our canonised Saints reprimand on the magisterium when it was less than a bright example. for example, Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) carried on a lively correspondence with Pope Gregory XVI. Her letters were both respectful and affectionate, but at times very challenging. She urged him to return the papacy to Rome from Avignon. Not long before his departure, however, he received a warning that he would be poisoned in Rome. Catherine would not accept even the threat of death as a reason for remaining in Avignon. She wrote, “I beg you in the name of Christ crucified not to be a timid child but a courageous man.” Also, to Pope Urban himself she wrote to warn him to control his harsh and arrogant temper. This was the second pope she had counselled, chided, even commanded. Far from resenting reproof, Urban summoned her to Rome that he might profit by her advice.
      (See The Letters of Catherine of Siena, translated with introduction and notes by Suzanne Noffke). We therefore should remind them that “confusion” (their definition) is used by God…actually, JESUS caused immense confusion for the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law and He of all persons was an obedient Jew. The difference is the intention was always to re-align them to the true spirit of Judaism…Mercy and Truth.

      But this is how many of our Priests and Bishops were taught, so I understand this change in approach is extremely difficult for them. If they are prayerful and really seek the Truth, they will come around. It is no different in the corporate world, when the guy who has been employed for 20 years doing something the same way is proposed to try a new one. This is common human behaviour…for many of us. 🙂 We just hope and pray that they listen in silence a bit more then take their Next Right Step.



    • vicardwm says:

      There certainly was confusion. Anyone can see that. When a mid-term report is issued publicly reflecting one particular minority point of view before the bishops present have even had a chance to look at it and the media runs with it presenting it as authoritative, there certainly is confusion. Now, whether the media is solely to blame for that confusion, that’s another question.

      I certainly was scratching my head that the mid-term report, which meant nothing, was translated into English (sometimes errantly) within a day, while the final report, which was much more important didn’t appear in English for 2+ weeks. This suggests at least confusion, and possibly something worse.


  20. Observer says:

    And if anyone should be interested….Mary is now speaking to the catastrophic situation in which we find ourselves today….esp. in this segment, to the economy…..noting just how by her promise that “we will begin again”: bits and pieces of the whole ongoing preparation:

    “Preparing for the Worldwide Events”

    Many see this scenario on the horizon, but, they have no answers because governments cannot respond politically to what is needed.

    ……The collapse will inevitably come but if a person, a family, a community, even a nation accepts my gifts they will survive. It is not the wealthy who will survive nor those who hold power. Only the man of faith, the family of faith, the community or nation of faith will make the long term commitment needed to ride out the storm.

    …….Now comes the time of reckoning. The bills are long overdue. The economic system cannot continue. It does not need God’s chastising hand. It will collapse from its own frailty.

    A time of a complete reassessment will begin. Many will focus on economics. Few will focus on a change of heart, of repentance, of a return to God and religious practice. I speak now for those who will listen to my voice.

    ……I promise, “We will begin again” and the religious spirit will once more call America back to life.


    • Gary says:

      It is a little incredible to me that Mary the Blessed Mother, talks with so much specificity, when in the past with Fatima and Lourdes, her message was quite simple. These people who have daily talks with her, are suspect in my opinion, and have not been thoroughly examined by Church authorities as to the authenticity of their visions. We all here have a sense that God’s justice will be soon visited upon us, but I feel certain that before it happens our Lady will help us. I realized after I was laid off from IBM, that perhaps I found too much security in my career and not enough on the Lord. Before that when I was leaving Mass at Marytown I heard a voice say to me to you trust me Gary. I had to admit that Lord I do not. So I had to start trusting more in the Lord than my own self sufficiency.


  21. Bob says:

    Love and Truth different emphasis. Before his election Pope Benedict gave his famous pre conclave homily in which he used the phrase “the dictatorship of relativism”
    and he saw as his task, I believe, at least in part, to try to restore a sense in America and the West of a sense of absolute truth as being true and Francis by contrast after his election when he was asked who he was he said paraphrasing “I am a sinner, I am a sinner who God has looked on in HIs mercy” recalling his conversion experience on the feast day of St Matthew. so different emphasis but same truth and love.


    • Nancy says:

      Bob, your comment reminds me of something I heard a long time ago (and I paraphrase): follow in my footsteps but wear your own shoes. That is what I think Pope Francis is doing.


  22. NancyA says:

    Forgive me if someone has already shared this. (In fact, if so, you can just not post it, Charlie ~or Kim~) I receive a meditation/ morning offering from The Catholic Company, and today’s reflection was so apropos!
    From a book entitled _Interior Freedom_, it says:
    “When uncertain about God’s will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: ‘Even if there are aspects of God’s will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.’ These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God’s will on an important question . . . we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God’s will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full.”
    — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 55


  23. eightlambs says:

    Charlie, I have to tell you how your mission is expanding.
    Our #2 child is almost 28 and trying to find his way, though both parents point to Jesus and Mary. When in a recent dilemma, I told him, “Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign on hope for others.” We were both surprised that I had said this! I had to smile because I did not come up with this handy proverb. Thank you Charlie.


  24. anne says:

    Thank you Observer. Note too that only those with Faith will survive.
    “it is not the wealthy who will survive nor those who hold power.Only the man of faith, the family of faith, the community or nation of faith, who will make the long term committment needed to ride out the storm.”

    To me, the debt of sin is being manifested in the debt of money………
    May God help us all!


  25. Patricia says:

    With regards to the conservative/liberal labels and the mid-terms, I am involved in the political process and have thought for awhile that the results are not going to help this country. But I came to believe that God will see what is in our hearts as we vote as a nation and we shall be judged accordingly. So more than likely not too much can or will be done to change the course of events but possibly God will be kinder to us because as a nation we choose the party of life and traditional marriage.


    • charliej373 says:

      That, I think, Patricia, is a very astute and insightful remark…for MANY reasons. I have thought about this. I wanted a day to let the dust settle. Tomorrow I will write about Medjugorje and the elections. I get the oddest letters about Medjugorje, people filled with passionate intensity almost angrily demanding belief or disbelief in it. The Church prescribes freedom on the matter. You can be a great Catholic either believing in the authenticity of Medjugorje or disbelieving in it until the Church gives a final pronouncement. But this angry insistence some have that everyone must take the same attitude as them comes from the devil. It is a manifestation of vanity and self-sufficiency regardless of which position is taken. You are NOT free to bind the conscience of everyone on what the Church leaves free. It is like the arguments in Paul’s day over whether to eat meat or abstain…creating passionate divisions that are contrary to both our faith and freedom in that faith.


      • Bob says:

        Mike Brown has spoken several times on those who oppose Medjugorje based on their implicit or explicit belief that God does not intervene in supernatural ways anymore. I do believe the church may need to wait until the events are over before deciding on it but to deny God’s intervention in our world is dangerous and yes we should trust God and allow others the freedom to make their decisions on this.


    • vicardwm says:

      Good thoughts, Patricia. Although I am not so sure how pro-life the GOP really is, but at least they claim to be. When the GOP had control of the Congress, Senate, and Presidency, they still didn’t do much about abortion, though. You are right, though, that God will see what is in our hearts.


    • Irish7 says:

      I had the same thought Patricia! I too think it’s too little too late, but still felt encouraged somehow. It made me think of Charlie’s suggestion that the Illumination may be an unveiling if sorts. I was heartened that at least people are standing against evil as it is becoming more unmasked and it’s rotten fruit is undeniably manifesting. It’s at least a small step in the right direction for our collective hearts, right?


  26. jeanO says:

    At least we still have a choice. My son is 21, a registered voter. I knew it was safe for him to vote for the political party in the US that does not prohibit his right to live. So we chose, both of us, in the voting booth yesterday, to elect people who do not automatically dismiss his chance to live. He has a genetic disorder that has been targeted for eradication by a “designer culture”. I am encouraged because freedom has not been lost for now. Hope remains. I will look to that and work to keep my family’s eyes focused up


  27. Diane says:

    I have believed that the children of God who are tagged as special needs, or as you put it “targeted for eradication by a “designer culture”” are the ones who provide enough strength for the rest of us to survive in a world that has become so distracted from God that it no longer sees the beauty in the souls of those He created to carry the rest of us on their shoulders. God Bless you Son, He is our strength. Whenever I see a person confined to a body that repels most of us, I just bow my head and thank God for that soul, because I know that soul has given me strength to be who God created me to be. I am not sure if i was able to explain this because it is something that happens so quickly in my spirit that I can barely get my head around it let alone try to explain it. But you both are very blessed. Carry on God’s work


  28. Bob says:

    Diane you can pray for me. I like “Whenever I see a person confined to a body that repels most of us, I just bow my head and thank God for that soul, because I know that soul has given me strength to be who God created me to be”. I definitely struggle with people in need and sometimes have trouble remembering God’s presence with them. I am a social worker so that is a daily issue for me. Thanks for the reminder.


  29. Bob says:

    The latest homily from Pope Francis. He continues to emphasize mercy and going after the lost.


  30. NancyA says:

    JeanO, my 12 year old daughter, my youngest of 5, has a genetic disorder as well. It is not immediately apparent, and she actually has a particularly attractive countenance, but nonetheless, she is ‘ special needs.’ She has been a gift of joy and peace when it seemed the world was falling on me! She has such an innocent purity that, in fact, her very scent is reminiscent of holy chrism! Her head always smells newly annointed! Hard to believe these are the ones they’d like to eradicate first!


    • charliej373 says:

      I have long thought that, in their innocence, many special needs people see a bit beyond the veil. Modern society treats them as expendable, yet I often wonder if they are not a critically important part of the glue holding everything together. We are so eager to destroy…and wonder why things do not hold together. God bless you and your daughter, Nancy.


    • Mick says:

      JeanO and NancyA, our littlest one (also the youngest of 5) also has a genetic disorder. She’s a beautiful, happy, feisty, babbly not-quite-toddler; and she’s the best thing that has ever happened to our family–both our immediate family, and our extended family. I can’t imagine life without her. I can’t imagine the world without her in it. She’s the best of all of us in our family. And she’s the one that society says would be better off dead. I thank God for the gift of children like ours; they’re little saints, and they’re dragging us along for the ride!


      • Julee says:

        I agree! Little saints! Looking into my son’s eyes is like looking through a window into heaven. He models pure faith, love, trust, patience, strength and endurance yet so many people only see that he can’t walk or talk and needs a g-tube to eat. He has his trials, to be sure, but he also experiences joy and happiness. It’s scary and disheartening to hear people say it’s not a life worth living. If they only knew…

        Charlie, I’ve often wondered if my son sees beyond the veil. He gets such a look of joy when I show him a picture of Jesus or Mary and sometimes during the consecration at Mass. Others have noticed and commented on his reaction. Maybe he sees angels, too! In any case, I’m pretty sure he and all his super special buddies are far ahead of me spiritually and are lovingly carrying out their mission and helping us fulfill ours.


        • charliej373 says:

          Julee, I was told by some people who had been friends of Ronald Reagan and family that when the Alzheimers had advanced, but not so much that he could not occasionally receive visitors, that he had become enamored of a statue of Our Lady. He called her “my gal,” and insisted on introducing all who visited him to his “gal.” Obviously, I cannot confirm it, but the man who told me is credible. It tickled me because I have long believed that as we get more distant from this world we already behold glimpses of the next – and that those in this state are not burdens, but gifts from God for all of us. Woe to those who despise these precious gifts God lets abide with us if we accept them.


        • This also reminds me of a student we had in the school I worked in for 17+ years. This was a public school, but so many of the staff were Christian. Christin had no mobility, could not speak but made “funny noises”, had to be fed, and had a full-time aide. On the other hand she loved to hear children laughing and she LOVED country music. She started in our school in Grade 1 and then moved on for 3 more years. Once she reached grade 4, they decided to just let her stay in that classroom until she was too old to be in school at age 19. That meant that every student in that school was privileged to spend a year with a severely disabled child. It was so moving to see one or another child pushing her in her chair during a dance number at the school concert! Christin taught all of us lessons that will stay with us forever. God be praised!


      • Fran says:

        My little grandson is a special needs child, and when you look into his eyes you can truly “see” pure innocence and grace. He is a joy not only to our family, but to everyone who meets him. Our society stupidly sees him as “unfortunate”. He will live and die a saint…how fortunate is that !


  31. This thread reminds me of a prayer I pray every day. My oldest son died just before his 9th birthday. I also lost a brother who was just a few days old. I wrote this prayer to ask their intercession, but then added two of my aunts who were mentally challenged and who have passed to the next life.

    Prayer for the intercession of a child who has died (and whose innocence assures us that he or she is likely in heaven.)

    Sweet (name), beloved child of my heart, pray with me to Jesus whom you behold face to face. Entreat the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, in whose presence you are privileged to spend eternity singing praises to God, to come to our assistance with their prayers and supplications for our present needs. I thank God for the time we had you with us, dear child, and I thank God that we now have you as a faithful intercessor in heaven. May God have mercy on us and hear the prayers we ask through you at this time (state prayer intention). Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

    You can find a printable version here:


    • Mick says:

      Peli, this is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this prayer with us.


    • Julee says:

      Beautiful prayer,Janet, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. Sadly, I know far too many families who’ve experienced this.


    • NancyA says:

      Janet, I am sorry to hear of your losses. Heartbreaking for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your prayer, here. With a loss such as that, thank God for our beautiful Faith which tells us what is real, what is true … you have a precious intercessor and a wonderful reunion to anticipate!


    • Thank you for your compassionate responses. We lost Ben in 1985, and have learned to live with the loss. Now it is such a comfort to have him as an intercessor. I am sure he would be happy to intercede for any ill child, especially those who have to have needles! He hated needles! May the holy innocents in heaven intercede for us all!


      • Irish7 says:

        Oh Janet. I am so very sorry. There are not words. When I feared my baby was dying in the hospital, we had many people praying, but even in my exhaustion, I had a strong urge to email and ask for yours (and your community of readers) specifically. Now I know why. Thank you sweet Ben.


    • Fran says:

      Thank you so much for this prayer Janet. We lost a son at birth who had a genetic disorder, and I appreciate this. It is beautiful.


      • One priest called these the “terrible gifts”—those things you would never ask for but that come with blessings you could not receive any other way. May God be praised in every life and may every life be cherished.


  32. donna269 says:

    I love to read everyone’s comments on their children with genetic disorders and how much those children have enhanced their lives. I think about the poor woman who killed herself (Brittany Maynard) because she had brain cancer. Our Culture of Death is so apparent. The mainstream media was calling her brave and pretty much escalating her to sainthood. Can you imagine this situation just 50 years ago? Where did it all go wrong? There was no talk of God in all her videos or blogs….So sad….so sad….I pray for her….


  33. Connie says:

    I think God chooses special people for special people. So many graces given and received. I sense so much wisdom and strength AND compassion in all of you who have said yes to who Our Good Lord has given you and who He may have taken away. Regrettably I said no to Him after 3 beautiful children because I believed the enemy and did not trust in the Lord as I should have. Now that I am older and a bit wiser, I see what I have missed by not continuing to say yes to God with more little ones. So I tell every young woman I can now, to never limit what God wants to give them because each little one is truly a precious gift. I thank all of you for being a strong witness to the culture of life!


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