The Siren Song of Factions

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I have been taken aback by the mail I get on the subject of Medjugorje. The Catholic Church has made no determination on its supernatural authenticity yet. It neither forbids, nor endorses, devotions arising from it. At this point it leaves faithful Catholics free to embrace or ignore it.

I have written before that, until March of 1993, I thought it something of a carnival. I changed my mind simply because my angel told me it is authentic and, in fact, that Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje are manifestations of a single event. I reacted with some skepticism. My angel said, with a chuckle, that Medjugorje is, indeed, encrusted with the barnacles of these times, but I should not dismiss it because it is, nonetheless, authentic. Since I try to always judge things by their fruit, I like to think I would eventually have come to the same conclusion on my own, but it is entirely possible I would never have paid much attention to it at all had I not been directed not to gainsay it.

Even when I did not believe it authentic, I did not begrudge those who did. If I had seen it pulling people away from the faith rather than more deeply into it, I would have taken it seriously and opposed it. But it seemed to have a good and comforting effect on people – and I met few who followed it whose faith was shaken rather than bolstered. Even now, I know many very good Catholics who are dubious about it…and many very good Catholics who are devoted to it. So long as they are docile to the teaching authority of the Church, which says they are free to take comfort in it or ignore it, I am fine with either perspective.

What has startled me about the matter is the vehement stridence of much of the mail I get on it. A few calmly recite their reasons why they are dubious or why they believe, but the great majority are angry, defiant and some, even threatening. Not content with exercising the freedom on the matter that the Church has guaranteed them, they insist that everyone MUST believe precisely as they do or be damned. It is astonishing, but not unprecedented. Most of I Corinthians covers this impulse towards factionalism quite firmly.

I am not going to discuss the various arguments about Medjugorje today, as I am focused on the divisiveness of factionalism, which has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with vanity. In St. Paul’s day, various new Christians tried to form cults around which apostle or charismatic figure they followed. Paul rebuked them for that immediately as I Corinthians opens. At festivals, some ate meat sacrificed to idols with a clean conscience, knowing that the idols were false and so the sacrifice had no effect. Others stayed away from it. Paul was fine with either decision, as he explains in some detail in I Corinthians: 8. What he was not fine with was either trying to impose their will on others on a matter which the apostles had granted Christians freedom. He bluntly condemned efforts to impose a rule the Church had not imposed on the faithful.

Throughout the history of Christianity, there has been an effort on the part of some factions to out-holy everyone else. That instinct usually manifests itself in demands that everyone behave just as they do, or be condemned as insufficiently pious and on the road to perdition.

The Church has been enriched by many of its theologians and scholars. These have often prevented heresies and dissensions from dividing the Church. But sometimes theologians and scholars have become proud, believing they have captured the essence of Christ in the little box which is their minds. With condescension towards lesser mortals, they sometimes patronizingly sneer that the ‘little folks’ mean well but just do not understand the mysteries as they do. They embark on a form of Gnosticism – implicitly telling themselves that Christ is their creation rather than that they are His.

The Church has been enriched by its Bishops, good shepherds who guide the faithful to Christ. But sometimes Bishops have set their sights on the temporal rather than the eternal, believing themselves princes to be honored rather than shepherds to guide. This is how you get a Bishop Cauchon, whose ambition to rise high in earthly councils led him to condemn a great saint, Joan of Arc, to death.

The Church has been blessed with many great evangelists, who spread the word with great zeal, gaining many new converts while enkindling a fire of hope and greater devotion in the faithful. But sometimes evangelists devolve into a cult of personality, careful to make sure their presentations are an encounter with them rather than an encounter with the Living Christ. Their evangelism becomes a parody of itself and fades, as all temporal things must, but leaves some of the faithful feeling betrayed and wondering if truth and goodness are even possible.

Some are marked by their deep, pious and constant devotions and prayers, offered up on behalf of those who suffer and for the whole Church. But sometimes the pious become so taken with their own Herculean efforts that rather than offering it up for all, they set it up as a benchmark by which to judge the piety of others – almost always finding those others wanting. This leads to a Pharisaical pride that eats away at the soul and drives others away.

The animating factor behind such factionalization is the insistence that others must be “like me,” an attitude that sets the self as the benchmark for holiness rather than Christ. It is a false unity they seek, the unity of a foot berating a hand or an eye for not being a foot – “like me.” This in not faith, but vanity. Once again, St. Paul covers it in I Corinthians 12 where he notes that there are many gifts, but one same spirit, then uses the metaphor of the many members of the body, each with different functions, all working in harmony to create a coherent unity. There could be no unity if all members were feet or all were eyes.

Thanks be to God, many of my closest friends and collaborators are very different than me in the way they practice their faith. When praying over someone, I tend to be very brief, making the request, then turning it over to emphasize the need for trust. It has helped many. But two of my friends pray at greater length and in more detail. I have been fortunate to pray with them over some who requested it. I have seen how deeply their longer prayers, 15 to 20 minutes, move and inspire those prayed for. Their prayers emphasize solidarity. It has been a grace for me to watch this and participate in it. Those receiving the prayers get the benefit of both trust and solidarity, each an important pillar of living faith.

There are real dangers rising as this Storm gathers force. Already there rise those who would lure people away from the faith with beguiling arguments and rigor for the sake of rigor. There are those who esteem private revelation more than they esteem Scripture and the Magisterium. They seek to beguile people away from the faith. I have had much private revelation, but if the Church told me through its proper teaching authority I had been deceived, I would immediately hold fast to what the Church teaches – for that is what Christ told me to do, both in Scripture – which is binding – and in private revelation – which is not. A pride of lions rises, seeking whom they may devour. Hold fast to Christ. Hold fast to His Church. Hold fast to the faith. There is no formula other than this. On matters where the Church gives freedom to the faithful, those who seek to rob others of that freedom are doing satan’s work in a vain effort to remake the faith in their own image.

Bringing it back to Medjugorje, you may share full Christian fellowship with those who believe in it and with those who don’t. But if you seek to impose your preference on others and foster division on account of it, you are doing satan’s work and have cast yourself to the lions.

Let none usurp the freedom which is in Christ. Let none pervert the teaching which is of Christ. Let none forget that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Now let us go forth and bear fruit that will last.

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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74 Responses to The Siren Song of Factions

  1. MM Bev says:

    As the storm builds to greater and greater force, your words will have deeper and deeper meaning. You column is encompassed in your steps. The divisions will not be about this or that private revelation, as much as helping people to let go of fear, trust God, chose their next right step deliberately, consciously, and to be filled with hope instead of their fear And frankly, this will help us as much as them to do the same thing. In any crisis, steady calm is necessary. People look towards someone to help them chose what to do, particularly if they have not taken steps earlier in life to establish what is most necessary. And those are a lot of the people we will encounter, even if the are Catholic, Christian, or otherwise.

    A lot of new people have moved onto our street during the past few months. I have been making a point to talk with them (easy since as they move in, I’m outside raking leaves or doing whatever). Only one family is Catholic (their daughter arrived home in a school uniform). Since I’m going to be here for the duration of the storm, I may as well build the closest bonds I can before they need help.

    Short and simple, clear and concise. Thank you, oh Sherpa. You are doing your task well and faithfully. We will be prepared no matter what happens, because you are drilling us, pointing out the footfalls as we begin to make a slightly more challenging assent.
    On thing I have reflected on. Both the enemy and the “West” (us) very much need to communicate. One is totally reliant today upon the internet. It has been the “Jihadist” chatter that has enlightened the US military to stave off attacks on the United States soil. That will be needed by whomever is in charge in the future as well. It’s pretty hard to think of setting up other methods of listening to the “enemy” even though codes will be used by all sides. The Internet has been an extremely useful tool so I am hoping that will continue, and whatever breakdowns happen will be of short duration.

    I know that although we are “trained”, in “training”, we need contact with our guide on this expedition. I can’t imagine you having been given a job and purpose by God which will be halted when we may need it the most. Fear will come at various times for all of us. You already know that your contact with us removes the fear and allows us to function as God wants us to.

    This being said, I sure do hope God is thinking the same was I am. Love you, Charlie, your the best. If this is too much praise, change it to semi-best, well, sort of, well, decent, maybe kind of, you know, alright. (It was a “Jaws” costume left over from Halloween, although I learned early on that dissembling was just as good a disguise).

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    • NancyA says:

      I rather believe that Charlie’s giving us all we need now… especially in showing us how to look to God for the next right step to take… I do expect we’ll lose the Internet connectivity we enjoy now. Which saddens me more because when things become truly apparent, it will be harder for me to reach out to those I love who aren’t open to hearing about this now. Even on that point, I will have to trust God that I’ve given enough, and that others more proximate to them will be there for them. Meanwhile, we might be too entirely consumed with our own sphere by that point, to be looking to or for anything peripheral.

      On that note, should it be sooner rather than later, if we lose this ability to connect and share, may God bless you all in your sincere efforts to do His will and stay faithful. I’ll pray for you; PLEASE pray for me! I feel like I’m trying to furiously doggie paddle back to the liferaft!

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      • charliej373 says:

        God will not leave us bereft. This I know. I don’t know HOW He will hold some of the communications together between the faithful, but I know He will not leave us bereft. And I also know that we are in for many surprises. Some things we think will stand will fall; others we think are fragile and will fall quickly will stand. We make judgments on the future based on our experience of the past. Our experience is about to go rogue and turn traitor. It will not be a reliable guide. Only holding fast to God and our faith will guide us safely. But God will not leave us bereft.

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        • D Shea says:

          “Only holding fast to God and our faith will guide us safely. But God will not leave us bereft.”
          Speaking of the “The Siren Song of Factions” get a load of this article from the Catholic league: http://www.catholicleague.org/catholics-abandon-democrats/
          Catholics “abandon” The Democrat Party USA by changing from 50% to 45% support … Ah … excuse me but “Catholic” support of the Party of unlimited Abortion, Sexual Perversion and Big Bro, in your Church, Business, Home and Face, Government is nothing to cheer about! One of the reasons I decided to become a Renegade Catholic was my acquaintance with far too many Goody Two-Shoes Catholics who, every two years, “religiously” voted The Democrat Ticket!!
          GOD SAVE US!!

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          • MM Bev says:

            Pssst, D. Shea. I’m gonna let you in on a secret, and if you don’t tell, we won’t either. I bet there isn’t a commentator here who voted Democrat. Honest, dollars to donuts. And, we feel pretty much the same as you do about the guys who proclaim they are Catholic and do. Have you noticed that they do other things we might find a challenge to do as well? That’s the secret. You are really a subversive, good, stanch, Catholic, no matter how much you proclaim you aren’t. But it’s OK. We will never reveal your your disguise, cause we’re family here. You’re fun, Catholic, and your comments are good reading. Every thought about sneaking into a back seat at one Sunday Mass. You’d be with the ones that feel squeamish about being anywhere near the front, The odd time I have had to sit back there, and I sure can’t see anything because I’m under 5 foot 4.
            Anyway, give it a try some Sunday. You might surprise yourself. Just go incognito and no one will know and we’ll never tell. Heck, my brother tried it and now he’s going all the time and singing in the choir. (Like after about fifty years! And he loves it!) (Got his great bass voice from our Dad.)

            Anyway, it’s great having you here with us. And do, DO keep commenting. You always have a neat twist for us, and I love it.

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          • MM Bev says:

            Just a small addendum. I don’t think there are any “Goody Two Shoes” in this entire group, thank goodness. Personally, I wear Ruby Slippers. (No place like Home.)

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          • Kati says:

            I have to say that I was chuckling at this question near the end of that article, ” Why is it that those who know nothing have so much in common with those who think they know everything?”

            Personally, I think it the inordinate NEED that those who think they know everything have to CONTROL those who know nothing…along with anyone else who might oppose them.

            No wonder we need to re-evangelize our Catholics!

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  2. TC says:

    Charlie,

    All that you write here is true, but I think it may oversimplify some things a bit. Regarding Medjugorje, either the Blessed Mother is authentically appearing there or not. If she is appearing there, then the whole world should know about it and we should shout it from the rooftops. If she is not, then then the whole thing should be condemned as a farce and everyone should be warned away from the evil. I’ll use Maria of Divine Mercy as another example. It is not enough to remain ambivalent in the face of a false prophet. Yes, in the end we always respect a person’s freedom to believe or not (even God does!), but if we are convinced in our own minds and hearts that something is true or false, then we are inclined and even obligated (if we are to be true to ourselves) to vigorously promote it or roundly reject it. We can’t force or expect others to believe as we do, but we should try to persuade them. We mustn’t simply wait around for the Church to make an official pronouncement on these matters. If we followed that approach, we would have missed the coming of Jesus and not recognized him as the Messiah until after he died and was raised. On the other hand, if we are genuinely uncertain about something, it is OK to reserve judgment. We are not obligated to believe what has not been approved by the Church, but we are obligated to seek the truth. If the Church does make a pronouncement that goes against what we held to be true, then we must immediately accept the judgment of the Church and reject our own opinion as mistaken.

    We are faced with lots of events in these precarious times through which “the thoughts of many heart will be revealed” (Lk 2:35). This is why it is so critical that we find people like yourself, Charlie, who can serve as a touchstone and a guide in the midst of the Storm. If the Mother of God is truly appearing and speaking, we want to know why she is appearing and what she is saying. If a true prophet is blowing a trumpet and sounding an alarm on God’s holy mountain, then we want to stand up and take note; never forcing our beliefs on others, but letting them know that “a great prophet has arisen among us”. God is speaking to us through his chosen instruments in these times. We want to recognize his voice and hear what he has to say.

    It is true that Scripture and the Magisterium have all we need to maintain the faith, but why then would God deign to raise up modern day prophets? It is to call us back to himself and lead us back to a true living of the faith in our times.

    As you rightly point out, Charlie, we cannot, must not, create our own version of truth which we then try to impose on others and use to cause division. Humility is the key virtue that will help us to weather the Storm. When we are humble, we do not presume, we do not force, we do not place ourselves above others. We become like Jesus and we invite and encourage and listen and forgive.

    In the peace of Christ,

    TC

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    • charliej373 says:

      Points all very well taken and expressed in your usual clear, insightful style, TC. I was denouncing Maria Divine Mercy in harsh terms before she was condemned by her Bishop and the Church. I will think through this and ponder what conditions merit caution and what conditions constitute schism.

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  3. Charlene says:

    Thank you Charlie.

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  4. ellenchris says:

    Around here we have a saying that some people “Major in the minors.” You do not enter the Kingdom of God based upon whether or not you adhere to or reject Medjugorje or Garabandal or even Fatima or Lourdes — which have been approved by the Vatican. You are free to ignore Fatima if you wish although Catholics are not free to disagree with the Vatican’s evaluation. Either way, dedicating your major focus to arguing about this is majoring in the minors. Do the people who need so badly to fight about this know Jesus as Savior and Lord? How much do they care about adhering to Him? I have heard some claim that it is a loving thing to do to hurl anathemas at others because doing that is somehow supposed to be saving them. Really?

    In my little section of the vineyard, the arguments are all about whether or not certain spectacular “gifts of the Spirit” are genuine or not. The big worry is whether people are really truly genuinely “yielded to the Holy Spirit” or “quenching the Spirit .” For some “being yielded” includes writhing around and making weird noises and pompous pronouncements. This doesn’t sound at all like the Holy Spirit to me. But only God can judge the heart, and such people may actually be a whole lot more holy than I. However, getting embroiled in a big controversy about this is just majoring in the minors. In the immortal words of RoseAnn Rosannadanna: “it’s always something; if it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” Yep. Because the enemies’ game is this: if we spend all our time majoring on the minors, we lose sight of the “one thing necessary” which is to be so centered on Jesus Christ, and Him crucified and risen, that we can be truly one Body in Him. As long as they can distract us into some big controversy out on the edges of the Kingdom, we are much easier to drag off into the outer darkness. If we fail in real caritas — even if we were right about the issue — outer darkness is where we will end up.

    Charlie, the one great thing you are doing here is urging people back to the one thing needful — calling people to center on Jesus Christ. Do we have that truly accomplished? Until and unless we do, the “minors” are only a distraction. Anything that authentically comes from Our Lady will always call us to center upon and “major” upon her Son. Do we really want to honor and follow the Mother of God? She will always bring us directly to Jesus. The messages of Medjugorje are all about conversion in and to Jesus Christ. Okay — ask for and enter into deeper conversion, and there should be no problem with anything else — one way or the other. Lord, in Your mercy, convert my heart; get the beam out of my eye and then I can help my brothers and sisters with the specks in theirs.

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  5. joanp62 says:

    So true. You put it so eloquently and plainly. God Bless.

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  6. Gary Shawver says:

    Charlie,
    I just learned of your website and your mission just this past week. I first read your “smoke and mirrors” (excellent article) that someone sent me and then went onto your website and read your “purpose”. Then I signed up for your emails. As with Medjugore, one has to discern what to read and determine if there are “red flags” or not. Thus far I have seen none with you or your “purpose”, but will continue to monitor and discern as I continue to follow your postings. Thus far I believe you are authentic and can bring a lot of help in my discernment of both the faith and what is developing in this world.

    Regarding this article, It was excellent and I needed to hear it as I am probably one of those that have a hard time with the “Catholic Faithful” and many of our Shepherds who don’t have the devotion to it as i do. I have more devotion since I started following the Friend of Medjugore and again have seen no “red flags” with his writings and lectures and podcasts. My wife and i have been to Medjugore 3 times and it has deepened our faith profoundly. Again, Charlie, your article was right on about vanity and pride, which are part of the 7 deadly sins. Frankly, I don’t look for the Church to make any judgments on Medjugore in the near future. Frankly if it was approved by the Church, I surmise they will then control what is put out about the messages and we want to hear the messages. I will continue to read your posts and look forward to them. Thank You.

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  7. Patricia says:

    Charlie,
    Thank you for this article.
    I went to Medjugorje in 1987 as a young mother who had not practiced her faith since high school. I came back and have been attending daily Mass, monthly confession, daily Rosary, etc. since. Prior to Medjugorje, I though I was a good person and, therefore, would go to heaven.
    ( It would have been decades of purgatory first, if not centuries, as I look back) For a reason only heaven knows, when I heard of the BVM appearing in Yugoslavia, I had to go.

    A number of people over the years have commented that it was a hoax or some such thing. However, it never bothered me if people thought that. I never cared. I know what I know. I know what I saw and felt while there. I know that if the Church declares it not worthy of belief, so be it, it will not matter to me. I came back to Church because of it and it has affected my life ever since and it affected the lives of several others who later went because I had. Coming back to the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church has made all the difference in the world to me.
    Patricia

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  8. laura says:

    Great article Charlie. I’ve never had an interest in Medjugorje – always figured I’d wait until the Church decides – but have encountered the heated debates surrounding it. This goes for Garabandal too. I never understood why those in favor of these prophecies felt the need to argue their authenticity, as though those of us who aren’t interested will ‘be sorry’ someday if the predictions come to pass. I love our Holy Mother, I listen to her voice right here/right now. She is closer than beside me and guides me everyday. It really is that simple.

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  9. Maria says:

    Until 2008 I had not thought about Medjugorje one way or the other. But in the spring of 2008, for some reason, I had a compelling desire to go there and within two days I found a pilgrimage group, friends to go with me and the funds for the trip in June. It was a wonderful experience for me and my friends. Like you, I appreciate the freedom to enjoy these pilgrimage sites, as long as they have not been condemned by the Church. I have taught in the RCIA for many years and we always stress that private revelation is not binding but can be very helpful to many people to grow closer to Jesus and our Blessed Mother. For those who would like to go to Medjugorje but cannot, there is a replica of the great cross of Medjugorje on Penitentiary mountain in Alabama, erected by the Catholic Community of Caritas. This is a community of people who live and work together for publishing and distributing the messages attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Medjurgje. Marija Pavlovic, one of the visionaries, is a frequent visitor to Caritas and has had many apparitions there, even at the foot of the replica cross. I give this information not to promote Caritas but for any who might be interested. Many have found conversion of heart and inner healing there. There are, of course, many detractors of this community as well. I am all too familiar with very vocal detractors of different prophets and pilgrimage sites. It is difficult to mention a name or a place that someone doesn’t have a pejorative word about. I have always believed that you look to the fruits and take time to discern. For a short time I followed the messages of Maria Divine Mercy, but then I noticed that many of the messages did not agree with scriptures and I stopped reading those messages. Later, she was denounced by proper authorities as a fraud. Even if that case, however, I suspect that some people were helped because God detects the movement of the heart and the Holy Spirit can enter the receptive heart.

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  10. Kati says:

    Thank you so much for this writing, Charlie. It is so needed during these times. I think the the tendency to not “have the mind of Christ” and overly trust in our own minds is a “pushing pride” tactic that our enemy uses quite often. It could be that a great deal of that is rooted in fear, which, when we think about it, actually springs from a lack of trust. My own Mom (in heaven now) was and is regarded by our family as a saint.. Late in her life, she went to Medjugorje. It had a profound and fruitful impact on her. She had shared with me that she had been praying about the fact that she did not feel that she had enough empathy toward other people in difficulty. Intellectually, she understood that it must be very hard to maneuver through certain trials of life and she attempted to help people from that perspective, but she usually did not feel connected to them in a way that allowed her to feel what they were feeling. She wanted to be able to cry WITH them. I believe that her prayer (and its answer) was a result of her trip to Medjugorje. The other thing that most impressed her was the solidarity or unity of people that she saw and experienced there. The divisiveness among people should be an immediate tip-off that the spirit of the anti-Christ is at work. I think that everyone has noticed that spirit at work in a a most expansive way throughout the world in the last several years. It is active in families, in Church, communities, government….wherever people need to work together. It seems as if everyone notices it and dislikes it intensely, but few understand what (or who) is behind it. I also believe that is why heaven is putting such an emphasis on getting our families united once again, especially as this storm intensifies. I believe that God is restoring from the simplest of Trinitarian structures to the more complex in this way: Family—->Church—->Community—>Nation. I also think that the greatest threat to any of that is exactly what you have been talking about; division and factionalism…rooted in pride. May God have mercy on us and make us HOLY people…as HE is holy….as He is LOVE!

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  11. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie, I agree with the above commentors, good post and great direction again.

    On another matter, I have been a little confused the last few days. I am/have been praying intently for direction for the coming storm for several years. Asking our Lord, should my family stay put, move to a rural property, buy more food, ammo, Rosaries? My house is in a nice neighborhood and would be impossible to defend without fortifications. But to do so now would be very odd in this neighborhood and to wait might be too late. My wife and I have consecrated every thing we have to Jesus through Mary. The home is blessed, the property is blessed, we have scarementals around the property and in the home. I even have blessed miraculous metals glued to every door and most windows (our home has nine doors to the outside and several dozen windows.) And buried in the property’s 4 corners. My wife and i are in this home because we felt called to be here 5 years ago. I know that I can’t plan to much but rsther must trust God only. However, I feel like my head is currently a spiritual battlefield. I can’t tell if the direction I’m sensing is from God or not. My wife and i have been soaking all in prayer, including a few hours of Adoration per week, many Masses, Rosaries, etc. I can’t meet my spiritual director until later this month (that’s when he is next free). I knoq is should ask you such a personal direct question hete, but if you have any words of encouragement I would appreciate them about now. Much love and affection, in Christ. Rich

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    • charliej373 says:

      It is hard, maybe impossible to know, where is the safest place to be, Rich. There will be great chaos in cities – and some of that will undoubtedly spill out to urban areas. But in the country you can be isolated and even an easier target. I don’t think there is a pat answer. I have thought that the network of friends and family you have is most important. I feel strongly that people should largely be content WHERE THEY ARE, and then trust God to prompt them at each step – as He did Joseph when it was time to go to Egypt. I know I have several people very close to me who I have encouraged to stay in what could be very dangerous places because they are well-positioned to be a sign of hope when chaos strikes, to help people to stay steady and not panic.

      In one of his new ‘Special Reports,’ Michael Brown of Spirit Daily encouraged people to make a sanctuary in their homes, a place of worship to God – and that is a true refuge. I like that a lot.

      But at the heart of what I tell you is that you should not wait until you are absolutely sure something is from God. He wants you to take both initiative and responsibility after acknowledging Him. Make the best decision you can and go forward with confidence, trusting that if it is the wrong decision, God will gently redirect you.

      Oh, and by the way, if you want to send me a private note on something that concerns you, at the ‘Contact’ button above I list an email address, chrljhnstn@gmail.com. The only thing is I get swamped there and it can take as many as seven days before you get a response. But use it any time for private communications.

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      • Observer says:

        Charlie,
        I remember listening to Mother Angelica years ago when she replied to someone who thought she kinda automatically “took the next step”….like it seemed all the amazing things that had happened in her life (outside of the sufferings) were so easily able to be followed, going forward. She replied that in every move it was like having one foot up in the air, the other still on the ground and a very queasy (uncertain?) feeling in her stomach.

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        • charliej373 says:

          LOVE IT, Observer! I had never heard that, but it is so true! We all must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Woe unto any who chickens out and just buries their talent in the ground, though.

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      • radiclaudio says:

        Excellent. Thank very much for your quick thoughtful reply. It is very helpful. And yes, I will use your email, if in the future, I have other questions like this. May God bless you and your family always.

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      • I think that in the storm…..neighbors will band together. In my nieghborhood we all know eachother and we have a policeman on every block almost. If you band together in the storm……it will help. I remember seeing the coverage during the uprising in Egypt and many people banned together in neighborhoods and the men set up checkpoints and had all entrances and exits covered and patrolled ….to keep the riots/rioters at bay and out of their area. This is good. I think we could all learn a lot from our middle eastern brothers and sisters on how to cope with crisis and chaos all around.

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        • donna269 says:

          I envy you….I live in New Jersey and we have a great deal of transition in my neighborhood….you can’t get to know your neighbor because everyone is busy going to work and buying the next bigger house….I only know about a handful of my original neighbors within blocks because we bought the house and stayed here for over 30 years….we also have a great deal of immigration from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and for some reason, they are very private and not into becoming “neighbors” but are more entrenched in their temples and mosque. Many commute to NYC and spend long days at work and commuting to work. I often wonder what it will look like in my town at the height of the storm because of the huge mixes in cultures….it might be good or bad….we shall see….but we do have a HUGE spiritual Catholic community and I can walk a half mile to my church….so all is well!

          Like

      • ann says:

        Mark Mallett once said that the safest place to be is in the will of God. I really like that. It covers everything and goes a long way toward removing fear. If we are in the will of God then what does it matter where we are? You take sensible precautions but then you pray, hope and don’t worry–right?. The late and wonderful Fr. Walter Cziscek (spelling?) said it too but in a different way in “He Leadeth Me.”

        Like

  12. Mack says:

    I’ve thought for a long time that Medjugorge is authentic because I met people who went there and had a major conversion in their lives. “By their fruits you will know them.” But I never felt especially attracted to it either. Instead, I try and do what the Blessed Mother has asked many times, to pray the rosary, lead good lives, go to the sacraments, help others, etc. In other words Mary’s basic message is the same, and if we have devotion to her in some way that is really good. She said at Fatima that she wants to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. I like the idea that all these apparitions are like chapters of the same book.

    Like

  13. Matthew says:

    Is not the factionalism that Medj creates a part of its “fruit”?
    I don’t think there was such widespread vehement factionalism over Tepeyac, Lourdes, or Fatima but maybe I don’t know enough of the history.
    Matthew

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, it is, Matthew…but that factionalism is not near as bitter and violent as the factionalism that accompanied the Advent of the Messiah. Factionalism is always of the devil, but he often rages most intensely at what is most authentic. Satan is an old fraud – and nothing so enrages a fraud as to be confronted by the real thing.

      Like

  14. I’ve always found Medjugorje supporters to be quite gentle and understanding of those who choose not to believe in it… whereas I see incredible vitriol opposing it… but I know I am biased!

    I do think it’s important to analyze apparitions based upon the evidence, not merely upon whether we “feel drawn or interested” in them. Unfortunately King Louis XIV was of that latter mindset with respect to the Sacred Heart apparitions to Margaret Mary.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You have a point, Daniel. The worst I have ever heard from a few Medjugorje supporters is that they do not care what the church eventually says; they know it is real. I have rebuked the very few who have said that, for once you elevate ANY private revelation above Scripture and the Magisterium, you are no longer Catholic or Christian. But I have heard horrible vitriol and bitterness from some of its opponents. It shocks me as I do not see what has come out that could possibly justify that anger.

      Like

      • ann says:

        thank you, Charlie. Exactly right! the Church has the last word. It is that very guidance of the Holy Spirit that protects us from false prophets. In its teaching authority, when the Church rules we need to accept her judgement, both pro and con in the Medj camp. I went to Med. in 1988 and it was a lovely experience but I am neither pro or con, I await the Church. I do find Med. advocates quite vociferous about it–really as zealous as those who oppose it. No one has a corner on stridency in this debate.

        Like

    • MM Bev says:

      Just think Daniel. No French Revolution, no Endarkenment, er, i mean, enlightenment – not . A complete different trajectory for the whole world. And why not? I guess we can put it down to sins of the flesh. And his son followed suite. How sad, tragically said. However, sin is sin and I guess that none of us is immune. Not many people are aware of the requests of the Sacred Heart to the King of France. Louis the VI did consecrate France to His Heart, but I guess it cam too late as the French Revolution was in full swing so to speak. And he wasn’t the king who was asked.

      A personal thank you, because I was named for Saint Margaret Mary.

      Mary Margaret

      Like

  15. Observer says:

    Amen Charlie!

    Whenever I have original doubts about something that just isn’t our every day experience I’m sorta a Thomas type…wanting something more concrete, but willing to make the move to see for myself when there is a possibility of verified good fruits.

    When I went to Medj though I had just been started on a new medication for high blood pressure and unfortunately it brought out an underlying asthma…so for most of the time I was out of breath and didn’t sleep well. So I didn’t climb the tall mountain…guess not enough faith at that time that all would be well. Due to some misinformation at that time I also took along a bag full of beef jerky that I was told would be needed due to not much around to tide one over which turned out not to be necessary. So the poor ladies in the family where we stayed got another dump of beef jerky or whatever from the silly Americans who were quite inexperienced with their territory of the world. No there weren’t many selections around for meals outside those included at that time but certainly enough to enjoy and not needing any fillers. ;^))

    Anyway I didn’t feel that I accomplished anything heroic during my pilgrimage. But perhaps the one thing I had hoped for interiorly was that Mary did notice me there or at least my efforts to try such a pilgrimage in her name…and I too might like one of those little “kisses” from her that you hear about from others. We arrived a day after an anniversary and so it was really crowded. Ivan was there and all were invited to the Blue Cross for his evening vision. We were packed like sardines on those rocks and began with songs offered by the Cenacolo Community founded by Sr. Elvira for young people who had taken the wrong path. Once it got dark everyone’s sudden silence signaled the “apparition” had begun. It was hard to see below from my vantage point so I had one of those throw away cameras and just pointed it above where it looked like Ivan was looking. On arriving home I was flipping through my developed pictures to be stopped short at what appeared on one…..the filmy image of a quite large Mary hovering above the heads of the crowd below. Mike Brown of Spirit Daily was with our group and had the image, blown up, on his website front page for several days. Yes, then, Mary did notice my own attempt to go to be with her and must have understood my limited efforts anyway….but I saw that it was also for others’ benefit.

    At the time my father was in a nursing home. He had a life of suffering from Osteomyelitis since age 12. They didn’t have treatment for that then and would simply wait until the boil would form to the fullest with its painful pressure on the nerves, lance it, and put leeches on to eat away the diseased bone. It went from his ankle up to one hip and when the bone grew back somewhat the hip fused together becoming frozen. He wrote to the Mayo Clinic for penicillin when it first came out but received a reply that sorry but the limited supply was all rationed for the military for the war. When he was a teen he was able to go to Lourdes with his mother and father. He didn’t expect a healing but always spoke so movingly about witnessing the crowds of sick and crippled with such hope to be noticed by Mary for just the needed kind of individual consolation to go on. He felt the great faith expressed by the night time processions with each candle being raised at the same point of the Ave Maria hymn….greatly moved and was satisfied. So when I came to see him after my pilgrimage to Medj he was very excited. He was for most purposes blind at that point. But when I told him about the “kiss” of the picture oh how he struggled to see something of the image. It was just impossible except through the eyes of desire and being touched that I had such a “proof”. He just simply believed and accepted the gift to be. He talked again about Lourdes but he said “but this is happening right now”. “You got to participate in this experience offered through Mary right now in your life.” How wonderful. Yes, we had missed the “now” experience of Lourdes when people of that time got to witness perhaps the miraculous stream of water coming forth and the first miracles of healing through that water. Or the “now” experience of Fatima witnessed by so many when the promised miracle of the sun came forth for the many present and seen for some distance away even to be reported by local newspapers. My dad had a soft spot in his otherwise stern German demeanor for Mary. In South America when I visited the people honored the missionary Sisters more than Priests because they see them more like rain from heaven as representing their heavenly Mother. So I have to concur that such a “thing” happening in my own lifetime where the mysterious veil between heaven and earth is lifted just a bit is to my desires a wonderful thing.

    Since then I have to wonder at certain rather self anointed Catholic blog personalities who even dismiss any charitable defense of the now young adult Medj. “seers” against gossip and even calumny when it is openly admitted that there is no “personal interest” of any kind in the place and no one has been there or met any of the victims of their insults….or accepted any real time evidence of those persons with such experience. I’ve been banned from two such spots for just such defense. To each his own but I find a lot of fear…perhaps intellectual fear more than anything: people who have been sorta frightened by the true mystical side of the Church; some who are converts from Evangelical training who take a while even accepting Mary in the first place; or those whose experience of the “mystical” is via vestment adornments that may sorta point that way or rubrics that may also point but can also be their safe stopping point beyond which is chancy territory! And a biggie is an unfounded fear of God’s judgment IF one should fall for something that turns out to be judged false at some later time….or just looking naive or stupid! And I think the sorta “Woodstock” expressions of such today with young people may be due to decades of such poor teaching about the whole Church and its history of the miraculous events with the Eucharist et al that such a reaction is pretty predictable since spectacular events are more in tune with sophisticated technology effects rather than the simplicity of such unexpected chosen places of our world still today.

    Like

  16. Gary says:

    Here is info about Akita that I am really concerned about:
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/akita.htm
    Akita, Japan,
    to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa

    October 13, 1973

    “My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior.”
    After a short silence:
    “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    “The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them”

    “With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation.”

    “It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community.”

    And She smiled and then said:

    “You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior.”

    “Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It is, indeed, frightening Gary. Know, though, that eternity is reality…what we occupy in this life is a pale imitation of reality. Visions often use apocalyptic language that is very temporally fearful – and it should shake us up. But it is describing the reality of souls being lost to eternity. Sometimes, the temporal reality is as dramatic as the spiritual reality it describes – which is sometimes a very good thing. I have had to watch the unprecedented number of souls being lost to the abyss over the last century – and that is more terrifying than anything on this earth. If we lose our life here but gain eternity, it is the equivalent of losing our place in line at the bus stop. If we save our life here but lose our place in eternity, it is never-ending agony and horror. Yet we worry about what passes rather than what endures. There may be temporal fire falling from the skies. There has been spiritual fire falling for a long time now – and it is a fearsome thing.

      Like

      • Gary says:

        Indeed frightening, it scares the hell out o me.. which is a good thing. But i think how unnecessary it would be had we as a nation and as the world just turned to God rather than the pagan idolaters they trust in. The thought of the loss of so many souls is terrifying.

        Like

        • ann says:

          There is some speculation among Fatima experts that this is the 3rd secret in its entirety, brought to us again at Akita because we weren’t given it the first time as Our Lady had requested. And who can deny that we see these things being played out before our eyes? There’s a really beautiful prayer, Gary, that Sister Agnes prayed and Our Lady approved, but only added the word “truly.” ” Oh Jesus, truly present the Blessed Sacrament, I consecrate to You this day my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Sacred Heart as You offer Yourself to the Eternal Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, glorifying the Name of God and pleading for the coming of His Kingdom. Please receive this humble offering of myself and use me as You will for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Mother Mary please protect and defend me as your special child. Never let me lose Jesus.” It was the prayer of her religious community, composed by Bishop Ito. Powerful prayer, huh?

          Like

          • Gary says:

            Thank you Ann. Akita seems to me to be the most authentic of recent private revelations and seemly reaffirms the Fatima apparitions.It is dreadful to think how far the West has fallen into neo-paganism and how the West has lead the rest of the world into error. And this is a direct result of the Faithful being lead into error by the hierarchy.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            If I may, Gary, I think some of the hierarchy have been complicit in leading people astray. Fair, even, to say many. I fundamentally agree with your point, but I hope you don’t mind if I suggest we not paint with an overly broad brush.

            Like

          • Gary says:

            Well Charlie, I will give you an example. In the years since Humana Vitae since 1968 I have heard 2 or 3 sermons condemning the birth control pill. And if it is true that more souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh why is it that hardly any Catholic bishop ever talks about how the birth control pill leads one into grave moral peril. Sexual sins are like a gateway sin to greater moral depravity and confusion, which lead to a general breakdown of society.
            When Massachusetts legislators in the 60’s were about to vote a ban on the birth control pill, the largely Catholic legislators were poised to ban it, until after a speech by the Cardinal of Boston,
            stated the he did not want to impose his morality on the rest of the citizens of MA. That has been the fall back position of virtually every democrat Catholic politician since then and lead to the imposition of abortion on the rest of the country. And during that time enough priests were telling the laity that
            that taking the birth control pill was a matter of individual conscience and taking the pill was not a mortal sin.

            Liked by 1 person

    • We are so clearly seeing the “cardinal opposing cardinal, bishop against bishop” right now.

      Keep oil in your lamps.

      Like

  17. vicardwm says:

    Well, regarding factionalism, there is this good news where Cdl. Burke takes pains to say that he is a servant of Pope Francis and has nothing against him. He says that those who cast him as an opponent of Pope Francis are wrong.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/11/05/Exclusive-Cardinal-Burke-Church-Risks-Serious-Tensions-in%20Months-Ahead

    Like

  18. Toni Pesson says:

    Charlie, Thank-you for following God’s call to help his people.

    Like

  19. vicardwm says:

    Also, I am a proponent of Medjugorje. It is responsible for my conversion. It is certainly possible that it is not authentic, though, and I acknowledge that. The only thing that bothers me is that there are attacks against it that are of such vehemence that I don’t believe that these attacks can be of God. That said, there are some questionable aspects, which can be seen as “barnacles” as Charlie calls them. The only point that I’ve heard against it that has some merit is that supposedly one of the seers, Ivan, has gotten quite wealthy off the apparitions…however, I don’t know if that is proven, and even if so, it doesn’t prove that the apparitions are bad, any more than Judas’ actions proved that Jesus was bad.

    Like

  20. Bob says:

    As for Medjugorje I have always said that I would recommend that people at least be open to considering it, as we are to test the spirits and retain what is good and even private revelations are given to shine light on some aspect of truth. As for Medjugorje I have read that some of the conflict surrounding this apparition involves conflicts between the Franciscans and the Diocese of Mostar. And where there is conflict I believe that prayer for the healing of those in conflict is always wise. Incidentally, several days ago I was reading a Marian site suggesting that the Fatima consecration of Russia had not been carried out yet and my first reaction was to shut it off due to the conflict over the issue but last night I read one of Charlie’s earlier posts suggesting that the Consecration of JP2 was partial but not yet complete, and as that was a more well reasoned discussion and not acromonious I felt better.

    Like

  21. Linda says:

    My first comment: Medjugorje is the reason I am Catholic today, converted from Protestantism as soon as I found, and read the messages, back in the mid-nineties. I had never heard of the Eucharist, didn’t know anything about Sacraments or Priesthood or the Catholic Faith. After learning the faith through Mary — when not one Catholic had ever told me what they believed — I then read the finer details and deep history (like the Early Church Fathers) from many of the apologetics books that were being published in that decade, and found it all lined up. Until then, I had been teaching at Protestant Christian schools, and had become so disheartened by all the different “flavors” and contradictions, I was losing my faith, had even started looking at New Age ideas. So I’ll be forever grateful for Mary’s role in teaching me — through Medjugorje. Whatever barnacles might have grown there, don’t matter to me one bit.

    Second comment: I, too, have been worried about the issue someone else raised up above: communications, when all “luxuries” fail. I’ve been surprised to find that, above most other serious concerns, that one rose to the top of the list.

    I live fifteen miles from the nearest town, my only two family members live across the country, I’m a dozen miles (uphill) from the nearest church that might still be open, and have no friends in my rural area. The internet — with its little societies such as this — has been sort of a life-saver to me for the last dozen years. As long as there remains transportation into town to Church, I’ve been fine. But when it’s gone? I have had to wonder how I would even know what the Church and the Pope are doing, or if there are timely warnings to be heard from Medjugorje or anywhere else.

    So I’ve wanted to ask, Charlie, if you think we will retain this internet until we have to leave home? It sure sounds unlikely.

    Third comment: You mentioned a while back that you were writing a feature on the elderly in the dark days ahead. I’m still looking forward to that one. (Nudge, nudge! 🙂 )

    Fourth comment and I’m done for today! I have found that while approaching the advent of the loss of so many freedoms and gifts — humble as they are, if people looked at me — I am feeling much more grateful for them. I have lived with long, chronic illness and hardships, and I always had trouble feeling thankful. Suddenly, I am looking at my bed with a great deal of gratefulness, my bathroom, the ability to eat something — anything — that I enjoy, and it’s making me see everything differently.

    That’s a good thing.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I’ve been finding myself more grateful for the simple things too Linda. Almost every night when I go to bed lately, I thank the dear Lord for another day of plenty to eat, running water, and a warm house to live in.
      It really changes your perspective, doesn’t it?
      And then I pray for the grace to remain faithful and thankful when it may be taken away.

      Like

  22. Jim M. says:

    It is impossible to out holy others when you know you are the least among your brethren. In times such ss those now upon us, there is no shame in clinging to our Father.

    At Fatima, our Mother told us that sins on the flesh damned more souls to hell than all others. I have to believe pride is a close rival. By the the intercession of St Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.

    Like

  23. I realize that, technically, this post is about factionalism but have to admit that it was nice to read a fair and balanced viewpoint on Medjugorje. That’s something I rarely find online. Regarding factions in general, what I’ve noticed is that while it’s not always easy to discern the underlying factors which bring about the divisions it’s almost always easy to discern ill will / good will on the part of those involved. We saw this in the Synod recently and from reading your post I can see that you are experiencing this through some of the e-mails you have received as well. There are times that ill will is so markedly clear that it’s hard to even know how to address it or even if, in some cases, it should be addressed at all. (Because if it stems from a deep-seated pride it only seems to make the person dig their feet in deeper.) You’ve done this very well here though. Charitably, at that.

    I guess all these things are a good lesson for us and show us how important it is to weigh the leanings of our own hearts.

    Like

  24. Eric says:

    I had a wise older friend comment a number of years back that if you had as many people hearing Mass, going to confession, praying rosaries and making the Stations of the Cross as you did in Medj., you would expect conversions, etc. Regardless of whether it is authentic or not, it is a shame that people have to go that far to be part of a praying community. Would that our parishes were so alive with prayer.

    Like

  25. Chris says:

    Our Lady called me to Mej as a young girl 24 years old looking for a miracle for my ailing father.The miracle turned out to be confession of grave sins by myself and husband in order to take that journey.This was the beginning of healing and conversion.Never feeling worthy of God’s forgiveness,we turned back to the world.It is Our Lady who called us back again 4 years ago to Birmingham Alabama where Med seer Maria Lunetti received apparitions.She truly became my mother at that place as she led my husband and I , to accept forgiveness through the divine mercy of Jesus. If the apparitions were disproved some day, I would respect the decision of the church but acknowleding that for our family Jesus and Our Lady triumphed by turning deception to good.

    Like

  26. Cecilia says:

    Charlie, sometimes I wonder if these posts and comments are not part of my illumination. I feel no leanings in favor of or against Medjugorje, but I think pride and self-righteousness and vanity are far more deeply rooted in me than I imagined. It gives me great pause to examine my attitudes about other things. Thank you and God bless you all!

    Like

  27. anaverena1 says:

    I first went to Medugorje in the late 90’s and would consider that it was the beginning of my real conversion, having been a much more lukewarm “Sunday mass” Catholic before that. I went back several times after that, but the first visit was profoundly memorable when I had some miraculous experiences myself. Obviously, it is our increased closeness to God, humility and deepening prayer life which are the most important, but God does feed us with gifts sometimes in order to draw us to Him. During later visits I did not receive anything miraculous of sorts, but I would tentatively suggest that perhaps I had matured somewhat and was no longer so reliant on them, although it is always wonderful to feel that God is very real, tangible and we do not have to rely on faith alone!

    I fully respect the church’s future declaration as to Medugorje’s authenticity, but can say from a personal perspective, that it was enriching and profoundly spiritual. I have not been recently as I felt on the last occasion that with following Our Lady’s guidance, the fruits of Medugorje could be felt anywhere in the world.

    Like

  28. NancyA says:

    Charlie, do you have the ability to add to the bottom of each page, below the voluminous, but edifying, comments, a “back to the top” link which would return the reader to the heading of the page?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I’ll check, Nancy. Do you know that if you take your cursor over to the far right hand of the screen at the bottom, if you hold it down and pull up, you can zip right back up to the top of the screen?

      Like

  29. NancyA says:

    Yes, thanks.. I’ve been most often checking in on a nook tablet, which makes it difficult to do such things by fingertip. I use the swipe method, lol. Whew! Takes a lot of swiping to return to the top.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Gotcha…I will check later today to see if I have the capability to do that.

      Like

    • Mona says:

      Thank you for asking this NancyA. It is also my probleme.
      I often experience that some of you ask the same question I would have asked. I am so glad I have found you. It give me so much and I see forvard every day to read your replays to Charlies exelent and knowing articles. Love you all from Denmark

      Like

  30. donna269 says:

    My experience in Medjugorje drastically changed the Catholic woman I am. My experiences there are very personal. I never really share the many, many miraculous things that happened to me there and those I love have had massive conversions….(not church goers to daily mass attendees). So I see the fruits in my life but I don’t care if you believe or don’t believe in Medjugorje because it has no bearing on me.

    I try not to blow myself up into a Prideful Balloon on any issue. I believe faith is very personal. We all have so many gifts. St Paul talks about us as the mystical body of Christ. I have friends who are incredible about sitting for hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I have severe ADHD….I am a doer. I would rather help out at a halfway house or care take the sick. I would rather cook and clean then sit and pray. I guess God has a plan for each of us. I see my prayer in my work….in my action. That’s not to say I don’t take time to properly attend mass, pray a daily rosary, do a daily reflection on my sinfulness, etc….

    I feel like a dope when my friends and I go to a retreat and they can spend hours quietly adoring Jesus….I’m like….Jesus, I love you, but I talk better with you on a 4 mile hike while reciting my rosary….I just can’t sit still!!!! He laughs at me I am sure….

    Like

  31. Julia says:

    I believe Blessed Mother is appearing in Medjugorje, Felt it from the first time I heard back in the 80’s. Of course I would be obliged to dismiss the belief if mother Church should rule against it.

    However, nothing can deny the truth that Holy Mass, regular Confession, faithfulness to prayer life, fasting, Holy Eucharist are all firmly established in Holy Mother Church, and we will all have converted if we listen to and do these very things which Blessed Mother advises in Medjugorje.
    As you Charlie God bless you have stated you have been informed by I believe Angel Gabriel, Medjugorje is genuine. It would be interesting to walk through a negative Church decision with you on your blog.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Wouldn’t be hard at all, Julia. Satan has spend a long time trying to deceive me on many things. I have a lot of protocols in place, I have my priests, I have a lot of resources to filter things through. But I have no illusions that I am infallible. So if the Church gave a negative decision, I would just note that the old devil had me going there for a while – and used a great disguise to pretend he was my angel.

      Like

      • Observer says:

        The thing with private revelation is that they often undergo many various decisions over time. One local authority gives it a middle ruling. A following authority may change it to a positive only to have another later give it a negative or make other moves against who can celebrate there or something else. With Medj the authorities beyond the local one now have permitted millions to visit for decades knowing after all of the testimony and study and medical exams et al and the reports of healings, conversions and other various phenomena, that human nature is bound to be effected by their individual experiences. If someone is healed there from a devastating ongoing illness or someone witnesses the healing of drug dependency or conversion otherwise I doubt if that person can be ordered to forget or become confused as to the before and after or cause and effect. The Church isn’t that bereft of human psychology expertise or so cruel to permit such possibilities and then attempt to deny they even existed! Like when Christ healed the man born blind. The simple man knew what was before and what was after and he knew just Who was involved with this miraculous happening. The authorities could attempt to make him lie or deny a real experience but all honesty could speak to was “all I know is that I was blind and now I see”. Otherwise we’ve always been in some Orwellian world or doomed to it depending on who’s in charge.

        Like

  32. Julia says:

    Charlie, to be honest, I don’t doubt what you are sharing with us.
    Where I was coming from for example;
    I remember in my teens, hearing about Padre Pio. When I asked my mother at the time, she said the church has silenced Padre Pio, so he was dismissed in my childhood home.

    Of course, in the end Padre Pio is a saint, and the time of silence was part of the process. This in my view could be the case with Medjugorje. Nothing to do with the devil, excepting Holy Mother Church putting the ’cause’ to the test of obedience, I suppose.

    Like

  33. Debbie says:

    Dear Charlie,
    I have recently started to read your writings, and I must thank you for them, they are giving me the courage to stand firm with my faith and in Christ’s Church.
    I just recently found a job after being out of work for a while, 1) it great to have a job again and get caught up with the bills (I know the storm is around the corner, but God Has given me this day) 2) the draw back is I have to work on the Sabbath, and for a long time I have felt it impressed upon me that I am in disobedience of Gods commandment, Honor the Sabbath. I am told that the Church allows this in order to care for my home and family. I find myself torn, and would appreciate any words of advice.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Debbie, you should always respect the Lord’s Day. But remember, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So do what you need to do to get yourself on your feet…and if you must work on that day of necessity, honor the Lord by the love and refinement with which you do your work on that day. And endeavor to always attend Mass (or worship services if you are Protestant). If you are Catholic, hey, our church makes it hard for you to be unable to find a weekend Mass. It can be a little harder if you are Protestant, but you can do it if you endeavor. My son is a policeman…there are some categories of work that are necessary on Sundays.

      Liked by 1 person

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