Hitting the Links

angel-blowing-trumpet

I am very permissive about people using links to support a point they are trying to make in the ‘Comments’ sections. Unless it is a site that has been condemned by the Church or is overtly fomenting rebellion and apostasy, I err on the side of allowing even dubious links, provided it is used to illustrate a point the reader is trying to make. But I must ask you NOT to make a comment whose sole purpose is to link people to another site, unless it is one I already link to at the right hand side of this page.

First, it is my prerogative to choose which sites I want to generally link to from this site. To try to prorogue me on that is unseemly, particularly given I am glad to review sites that are recommended to me through email. I take a while to vet those, particularly if they involve any sort of private revelation, but a few have been added through that means. Second, I like to keep the number of permanent links low here. I don’t want to overwhelm readers with sites – like an overgrown flower garden gone to ruin in which there is no rhyme or reason. I like for each link to serve a particular purpose. It may be to give a well-reasoned alternative point of view that is contrary to the way many of us here think, but I have a purpose for each of the links.

I am most permissive with links to sites that do NOT involve private revelation. I like them to be high-quality, so that whether you are getting something that confirms or challenges the way most of us think here, you will get something that is fairly consistently well-reasoned and well-sourced. I don’t like getting slop analysis – I sometimes dismissed staffers who did so when I was in politics – and I don’t want you getting slop analysis, either. I tend to be a bit more demanding on analyses that support my point of view than those that oppose it. Fatal errors come more frequently dressed up as pieces that agree with you than as those that don’t.

As many of you know, I am concerned at the abuse that is rising of people who put more stock in private revelation than what Scripture and the Church authoritatively say. At its very best, private revelation is neither the meat nor the potatoes of the Christian meal: it is only the salt – or perhaps the sauce – that helps digest that which is really necessary to nourish us. Unfortunately, there are some very bad sauces out there, some that are leading people to choke on apostasy. In fact, I am coming to believe that the great apostasy of our age will be led through the instrument of a disordered appetite for private revelation at the expense of Scripture and Magisterium. I worry sometimes that, with my candid discussion of my own private revelations, I may be adding to the mania, if not directly to the error. But I have not been forbidden, so I figure it may please God in His time to combat the abuse of private revelation with obedient sources of it. If ever I were forbidden to speak of private revelation by lawful authority, a part of me would be exceeding glad, for I am well persuaded that truth rises and stands on its own merit…it is either consistent with faith and morals or contrary to it. That, it seems to me, is enough. As a baptized Catholic, I have the absolute right to speak publicly on matters of the faith, with only their orthodoxy submitted for judgment. But the hierarchy has the absolute right to forbid the dissemination of private revelation as the source of such reflections. To quit the field of what is clearly becoming a source of much abuse would be no loss to me, though I suspect the Lord may have another purpose in mind, so I slog on. I am actually rather jealous of Connie Rossini, author of the Contemplative Homeschool link at right. Her website is a little gem. In this piece, “How to Behave in These End Times,” she discusses her entirely healthy attitude towards private revelation. Would that we all had such simple, direct faith in Scripture and the Magisterium!

Some readers have been submitting comments that are simply efforts to redirect people to their favorite sites of private revelation…and some have gotten almost frantic that I don’t clear those comments. I don’t and I won’t. If you want to use a link to a specific piece that illustrates a point you are trying to make in a well-reasoned comment, I will almost always clear it. Among sites I do not permanently link to are some I reject, some I approve, and some I am uncertain of. On the latter two categories – and even on some of the former – I am indulgent when they are part of a larger point you make, for I am not under the illusion that I am always right. But what I link to generally is a tacit endorsement – and I get to choose what I endorse at this site. On matters of private revelation, I am entirely comfortable with Mark Mallett, Pelianito and those messages given by Mirijana from Medjugorje. The content is sound and the linguistic rhythms and personalities behind them feel authentic to me. That’s pretty much it for me.

Now, the site most often and vigorously being pushed on me are the “Locutions to the World.” I agree with about 80% of the content at the site, I am impressed by both the piety and care of many involved with it, and I appreciate many of the areas it touches on, but I am unconvinced that it is supernatural in origin rather than just refined private meditations. Part of the reason is that Our Lady never talks there in the voice with which she speaks to me…the language and the rhythms are not the same. Oh, sometimes it is close, but never closer than a really good actress’ performance. It feels kind of like Meryl Streep starring in the role of Our Lady to me. That is entirely personal, but it is a means I have used for decades when my priests have asked me to consider something – and it is the means by which I discerned from the first, seemingly pious message from Maria Divine Mercy, that she was an utter fraud. So I do not consider it dispositive, but I don’t discount it either.

More troubling is how many of the alleged locutions name specific persons in the world today, assigning them casually either to satan’s team or to God’s. My visitors tell me of events, usually in large sweep, sometimes in small detail. Then they discuss what they signify and how I must study and prepare for them. It is relatively rare for them to mention specific living persons at all. With one exception, when they do, they invariably urge me to pray for those persons intensely, that they may be reclaimed to heaven or supported in their efforts to bring others to Christ. Even in the one exception, which was Menses, there is a powerful undercurrent of pity and grief. My visitors have occasionally rebuked me for dismissing someone as beyond help or hope; they have never, themselves, so casually dismissed a living person as an agent of the satan. That frequent characteristic of the ‘Locutions to the World’ is so wildly out of character with my experience of heavenly visitors that I have trouble countenancing these things as authentic even when I completely agree with them.

So again, make what proposals you will in an email to me. I will keep permanent links to a minimum, but you may find a real gem I want to add, particularly in the realm of theology, discussion, preparation, and devotions. On sites that feature private revelation, expect a much longer wait. Remember, it took me almost a year before I concluded I was completely enthusiastic about Mark Mallett. On ‘Locutions to the World,’ I bear them no animus and you are free to use specific instances in support of a point you make in a comment. They may be right and I may be wrong, but I have already examined it and will not put up a permanent link to it.

 

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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97 Responses to Hitting the Links

  1. Tom says:

    Agreed on Locutions to the World. Way too much of a running commentary with geo-political overtones. Also, whoever is writing it does not identify themselves, that’s a red flag right there.

    Now for my bone of contention with you today, Mr. Charlie. I read the title of this blog when it hit my Inbox and thought, “great, we’re going golfing this afternoon!”. Thanks for nuthing, mister 🙂

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  2. vicardwm says:

    Charlie, “refined private meditations” is exactly what I decided about Locutions to the World, too. They are quite inconsistent. Some are among the most inspiring messages I have read, and some sound like second-rate political analysis. Even though Our Lady has not spoken to me, it is still possible, through constant prayer for discernment, with the help of her mystical spouse, the Holy Spirit, to learn to recognize her voice, and there is something off that I can’t quite put my finger on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. David says:

    I would like to make the point, in response to your posting here, that I don’t think there is a problem in people putting too much trust in private revelation per se. I believe the problem lies firmly in people trusting in FALSE private ‘revelation’. Unfortunately, the devil has succeeded in flooding the market, so to speak, of private revelations and this, coupled with poor discernment, has led to the problems you mention.
    I would also agree with your comments about the ‘Locutions to the world’ messages which I view as a kind of ‘refined’ version of the Maria Divine Mercy messages but equally false. Although, to me, the secular nature of their language should be obvious to all, I have to admit to being a ‘follower’ for a month or two when they produced a couple of prophetic messages about the new Pope at the time of the conclave. They somehow ‘caught’ me for a while and this was not the first time I followed false messages. I do believe the devil seems to be able to convince the mind in a rather mysterious way and is why we need to approach private revelation in a prayerful way with firm testing of what is on offer. In particular, we need to look for and find significant good fruits in any mission we encounter.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Fair enough, David, but we are still well fed if we have the steak without the sauce. If we only have the sauce without the steak…not so much. You certainly do have a strong and true point that the devil loves to discredit authentic prophecy by flooding the market with false, often nice-sounding, but deeply defective knock-offs. That is why I slog on…I figure maybe God wants to fight false fire with true fire – and also why if I was instructed to quit that particular field, emotions of strong relief would be in the mix for me. But there is also the abuse of many people elevating private revelation above the status of Scripture and the Magisterium. Now if there is discernment, that is not part of the abuse of following false prophecy, but it enables that abuse. Even if you only take good sauce, if you raise the value of the sauce above that of the steak, you raise the value of the bad as well as the good. Things still must be kept to their proper order.

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  4. Becky-TN says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Got it – and I agree. So, let me apologize because I know I have been one of the ones who has either referred to another “private revelation” site (Petals from Heaven) by just word or posting. If you have not heard of it and/or do not like it, just let me know and I won’t link or refer. It was truly coincidental yesterday my searching (choosing 1999) and the archive post mentioning the Church the day after Mark’s post.

    I have read other private revelations sites including the one mentioned above that have given you pause. I have never felt comfortable about those. Mainly the reasoning being that I don’t think God or Mary “talks that way”. Anyway, if I offended so sorry.

    God Bless,

    Becky-TN

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  5. Observer says:

    Okay, Charlie, but just be sure to let us know whenever in the future your personal angel advises you, again, on just which “other” ones of the as yet unapproved private revelations of our day are true ones! :^))

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    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, I think I detect a note of snark, there, Observer. Whatever my angel tells me is subordinate to what the Church authoritatively commands. If people will use that as their primary filter, they will do well – and have much freedom within that framework. But there is something deliciously ironic in your comment…on several levels.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary-Louise says:

    “Locutions” had a number of factual issues from the start. The seer claimed the process to name a new pope (Francis) would be long; it was short. The seer claimed the new pope would be unknown; in fact, he had received the second highest number of ballots at the time Benedict was
    chosen. The seer claimed the new pope’s first order of business would be to fulfill the Fatima request of consecration of Russia; Francis hasn’t done that and hasn’t talked about it, although he talks about most everything!

    Followers of “Locutions” argue spiritual director’s status is such that the messages shouldn’t be doubted. (That brings to mind the disillusionment of followers of other “authoritative voices” such as Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, Mother Nadine Brown and even, sadly, Father Benedict J. Groeschel.) That made me feel nervous. Claims to authoritative teaching outside of the pope and the bishops in union with him do not have to be accepted by any Catholic.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, spiritual direction means some real effort has gone into keeping things from straying from faith and morals. Even an imprimatur just means the examining authority found nothing contrary to faith and morals. Neither spiritual direction nor an imprimatur means something is true, only that it is not obviously contrary to faith and morals. Of course, a good spiritual director works to prevent any fraud, as well. But that does not rule out the seer being deceived or misinterpreting what he sees, either.

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    • Becky-TN says:

      Mary-Louise,

      Can you give an example of Fr. Groeschel? I understand the others you mentioned, but not Fr. Groeschel.

      Thanks! God Bless!

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      • Mary-Louise says:

        Hi Becky,
        His comments on the church’s sex abuse crisis and abusers were off the mark at times. In fact, in 2012 something he said about abuse forced him to apologize and leave his television ministry. I believe he was a very good man, but not everything he said ought to be taken at face value, clearly.
        A long quote, if Charlie doesn’t mind:

        “In 2002 with large numbers of public allegations arising accusing priests of sexual abuse against minors, Groeschel caused some controversy during a sermon at a Yonkers church he described the news reporting on the matter as a “media persecution” against Catholicism intended “to destroy whatever public influence the church might have.”[8][26] This perception of persecution was one “Many church officials concurred in”, the New York Times would later report.[26] Groeschel also told the Yonkers audience that “I’ve met with some of those people [the accused priests] and they are among the most penitent people I have met in my life. When you pick up the media, you don’t hear about the penitence.”[26]

        “Groeschel also made controversial comments in a 2012 interview published by the National Catholic Register on August 27 related to the sexual abuse of children by priests: “Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”[27] On August 30 he issued a statement:[28]

        ” I apologize for my comments. I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.

        “The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal organization also apologized for Groeschel’s remarks, noting that they were out of character for him and stemmed from infirmities due to his 2004 car accident and a recent stroke.[29] On September 3, EWTN announced that Groeschel had resigned from his position as host of Sunday Night Prime and that other members of his order would serve as the show’s host.”

        The source is Wikipedia (I know) but the references can be followed and verified. I remember the controversy at the time. I was very saddened.

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        • Joanne says:

          I humbly ask please don’t publicly speculate about a priest especially by name. I have to say this is the first time I have been put off by a comment on this wonderful blog. I think that you should never speculate aka malign a priest by speculation of his behavior, especially by his name. If you have issues with a priest, and in particular this one, may his soul rest in peace, keep your thoughts to yourself, ask for God’s forgiveness and pray for him. Pray for all priests. Their calling is much higher than ours and their temptations much greater. To Satan he can do not greater for the kingdom of darkness than to bring a priest of Jesus Christ down. They will be called to higher account because of the awesome gift they received in being able to bring Christ to us in the Holy Eucharist.

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          • charliej373 says:

            I appreciate your comment, Joanne, but there was nothing crude or disrespectful about the comments – and most were rallying to him. I don’t stand for cheap shots here, but I don’t constrain reasoned discussion even when it is sometimes critical. We will keep it respectful, but I won’t start shutting down critical discussion. When you do that, it doesn’t go away, just underground where it can become even more corrosive.

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          • Joanne says:

            Then I shall have to ask you to do due diligence. Please find me the writings through private revelation, through the Saints, or even the most recent mystics that are quoted here that shows where Our Lord, or Our Lady are critical through their words (commentary included) of priests. I double dare you on this one! Truly, you won’t find one. The Lord would always ask for obedience in trying times with priests because HE is the one in control and we need to trust in that and also remember we are all weak, but priests are especially targeted by the evil one. There were three priests mentioned by name in the comments above by name with a description of in quotes “authoritative voices” which was obviously critical. I can only say through my own little locution once that this doesn’t bode well for those who speak which is why I was pushed to comment. We will be called to account for our words about priests (especially Popes) and also for why we didn’t just keep quiet and pray.
            Blogs like this one can be such beautiful places for discussion but words can be misconstrued, especially by someone who may be on the fence because of what the Media has fed them. + PAX

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          • charliej373 says:

            Joanne, I am puzzled. Maybe I have missed something here. Mary Louise described three priests having “authoritative voices” and then that some people became disillusioned with them. If that is what you are talking about, that is not a vicious attack – merely a mild observation. Several people rose to speak well of Fr. Groeschel, including me. If there has been an actual attack against a priest here and I missed, please tell me specifically where it is, for I don’t go for that sort of thing. As for questions about specific approved messages that call for discernment even when dealing with priests and bishops, I need only go to Our Lady of Akita in Japan in 1974 who, after noting bishops being set against bishops said that satan will seat themselves among them. Not an apparition, but Pope Paul VI said that the smoke of satan had entered the Church.

            The point is that fraternal criticism and correction of superiors in Christianity goes all the way back to St. Paul rebuking St. Peter. I have insisted that discussion be respectful here, but I do not – and will not – insist that people refrain from respectful criticism. Now if somehow I have missed something and let a genuinely caustic attack get through, please point it out to me. But if you require that never a hint of criticism be spoken aloud of a priest, that will occasionally happen here. Had some honest home truths been spoken aloud in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s we might all – including the priests – have been spared some of the agony of the scandals that rocked the Church.

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          • aj says:

            Joanne I understand your piety in protecting our Shepherds but even the good Lord rebuked the High Priests who were also anointed Priests as well. The truth spoken is not always to scandalise but sometimes to rebuke and correct.

            John 12:16 says this about Judas (considered a Priest by some…it’s actually a debate still)
            “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” Called him a thief! Further to that Jesus says in John 6:70 “Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

            I’m not arguing with you because I do agree we must be very circumspect with our Priests but there is sufficient evidence to support speaking the truth publicly at times, even to the dismay of a Priest.

            Love,
            aj

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          • Joanne says:

            Charlie and AJ…thank you for your responses. Humbly I state that I would say that we read the same comments and came away with two different takes on it. Charlie, what you refer to as a mild observance, I take as more of an inference which can lead to false conclusions. I can also say that it “hit a nerve” because one of the priests named, I had met, prayed with and corresponded with. This particular priest never slept but flew from country to country, to anywhere he was asked to come, selflessly. A true indication of holiness and tending towards God is selflessness and he manifested that to me and others. Eternally grateful is what I am and he is always in my prayers. Knowing that, I state what I believe again, that their temptations are far greater than ours and the evil one is far more powerful than we are. Gratefully, I did not find myself disillusioned by any of what transpired. I trust in God. I would also say the writings of Brother Lawrence helped me to not be surprised at what happens but to walk with God and pray for priests. I have to also say that I don’t require anything of this blog, for it is not mine and I am truly grateful for many of the posts and comments I have read here but I HAVE to stand by what I said through experience of my own. I speak from experience, not from opinion, Whenever I see a priest named in public where there might be the least chance that they are maligned by what is said (inferred), I speak up. I also realize because of the culture many people don’t think there is much wrong to that kind of discussion. Sometimes after I speak (which is rare, by the way), I flee but I don’t think that is necessary here. Our Lady of Fatima told us what we are to do. Pray, offer sacrifices and trust in the Lord for all. I can only say for myself that from what I believe I have learned from how the Lord dealt with priests through his Mystics and seers, and from the voice I heard interiorly once relating to a priest who affected me as a youngster and has since passed. I was chastised for my past words about him (to others, ignorantly) and told to pray for him. Because of that and other writings that support what I am saying, I choose never to speak of them publicly by name unless I have something pure coming out of my mouth. I won’t speculate. With that I also say, everyone is free to do as they choose and I thank you again for your committment to help us “take the next right step”. God Bless you +

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          • charliej373 says:

            Joanne, thank you for that wonderful and moving witness. I appreciate knowing that. God bless…you have enriched us all here on this.

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      • ellenchris says:

        Fr Benedict wrote a good little book called, *A Still Small Voice* concerning the place of apparitions and locutions. In it, he tells the story of the author of *A Course in Miracles*, Helen Schucman, and how she wrote it through a kind of psychic dictation from a mysterious voice. She had been one of his teachers when he was doing a doctorate at Columbia University. At first, he did not take the whole thing seriously at all. He also had a friend named Ken who converted to Roman Catholicism and then became a great devotee of *A Course in Miracles*. For a little while, Fr Benedict defended Ken against critics because he saw that Ken was sincerely trying to seek God, and he didn’t see any real harm in it at first. However, Fr. Benedict soon began to see how really bad and harmful the *Course* really was, and he became very sorry that he had ever even tolerated it. He never actually came out in favor of the *Course* book at all, but he was inclined for a while to give his friends the benefit of the doubt.

        In his own book Fr Benedict described how Helen Schucman, the writer of the *Course*, died, “in the blackest despair I have ever seen in a human being.” She died cursing God, the *Course* the “Voice” and everything connected with them. Fr. Benedict had a profound change of heart and mind concerning the role and place of what he had previously referred to as, “a certain kind of religious poetry” and became adamant that such writings are better left alone. He explains all this in his book and also discussed it in a class that I took with him while at Fordham University in the 1980s. It seemed to me that he went just a little bit radically to the opposite side of the whole question of locutions after what he went through with Helen and Ken, but it is certainly understandable — he saw the very worst of the whole “locution” issue up close and personal.

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        • Becky-TN says:

          Thank you both for the info. While I did read about the abuse comments, I had not heard or read about the “Course” book. Either way, he made a huge impact on me during my conversion and I learned a lot about the faith from him and his writings. They brought me much comfort. May he rest in peace.

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        • Connie says:

          That just makes me shudder- not about Fr. Groeschel, but about how people can be tricked by the evil one and then u can experience literally hell on earth through letting in dark forces that tricked you into opening the door in the first place. We really must be careful and Charlie is truly defending us and the faith at the same time.

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          • MM Bev says:

            There is mention of a stroke in one of the comments, towards the end of his life. That, in itself, could be why there ended up being some controversy for Fr. Groeschel. I, too, read his book “A Still Small Voice” without concern. I do know, though, that when I began to try to increase my ability to concentrate three months after a planned surgery, I could not focus for the length of a TV commercial. I began by watching “one football pass”, or “one rock thrown in a curling match”. I had to work my way up from there. I was able to determine where my ability was, and find ways to help myself. I have seen both my mother and husband have small strokes that are virtually unnoticed. It requires a person who lives with them and is aware of their personality in all it’s phases as one grows over the progress of years. Then one more readily “catches’ the flaw. Even my poor father in law, who had dementia, was able to completely fool all the staff where he was into thinking he had been a pilot although it was untrue. (He had always wanted to be a pilot.) At the time I was trying to develop my ability to concentrate, no one, neither my sons nor my husband were in any way aware, so there is not always an outward indication.

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    • I sure hope no one feels “disillusioned” by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. The man was a saint up until the day of his death, and now literally is just that!

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        I most assuredly don’t feel disillusioned by him, Daniel. I remember some of the comments Mary-Louise referenced and understand he did not, at first, understand the depth of this disorder in the Church. In the end, though he exercised some questionable judgment in the way he sometimes addressed it, I consider him having lived a solid, venerable life.

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      • Patricia says:

        Ditto Dan.
        In defense of Father Groseschel, although he underestimated the amount of the abuse, he was correct about the media using it to persecute the Church. In Boston, the major paper had the information long before it was put into print. And when it was, it took the legs out from under the Church so that they were powerless to oppose gay marriage in 2003. They were rendered absolutely powerless. It also allowed the media to ignore that over 95% of the abuse was same sex.

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        • charliej373 says:

          It is such a betrayal, Patricia, that I don’t like anything that seems to countenance it. We should hold ourselves to a much higher standard. But a friend headed up Catholic Social Services for a diocese – and I worked with him on some research into the incidence rate of abuse in various institutions. Our intention was to find what has the best, lowest rates and examine their policies to see if it might be helpful. Imagine my surprise, looking at raw numbers, to find that, even with these horrors, the Catholic Church DOES have the lowest incidence rates. Public schools are off the charts. What the Catholic Church was doing at the turn of the millennium was not good enough, but if every major institution in society had been doing precisely the same, it would have meant a big REDUCTION in the incidence of abuse. That is how toxic our secular culture has become. Small wonder some of it spilled over into our Churches.

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          • Observer says:

            Yes, my own research described the numbers….and of course also described (by dearth of examples) the “reticence” of our mass means of communication! to shine that same “Globe spotlight” on the rest to show how sincere their real “concern” actually was over the topic. Then again, although appropriately beginning with the Church, the purification will continue on, one way or another, I feel certain. (and NOT because I read it in any current private revelation, even IF in agreement with me!) 😉

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          • Mary A. says:

            the Church may have the lowest incidence of reported abuse, but it has a high incidence of coverup. That is why people get so mad.

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          • charliej373 says:

            That is a fair comment, Mary, but I doubt it is higher than that for most other institutions – and certainly not as successful. The key component is that it should be zero – or very next to it. In fact, I think if hierarchical authorities had dealt with it forthrightly and directly early on instead of circling the wagons, enemies of the Church would have had a much harder time making it into a broad cudgel.

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          • Patricia says:

            Charlie and Mary A.,
            I am not offering a defense of the Church AT ALL. However, fair is fair. If the paper went after the abuse of all institutions then we would be one of many. My statements were to address the fact that Father Groeschel was correct in his initial assumptions about persecution. And, also, to call what happened by the right name.
            It is important to add also that the settlements in Boston were made on a majority of what is called “jump in’s” and “one accusations”. Unfortunately, the Church now has a zero policy, not of abuse, but of accusation. Many a good priest in Boston has been sent packing due to a single unproved allegation and often decades old.
            It is my understanding that the Church wanted these settled asap so that it would be over. With an overly aggressive press, extremely aggressive and media savy plaintiff attorneys, and an “in the fox hole mentality” hierarchy, they paid on all the claims. The claims were not treated individually for the truth of the matter. This does not take away, however, from the gravity of the ones that did happen.
            Not that it matters to the general public but to the faithful it should be a matter of concern, the abuse was not on children per se. 95% of it involved boys from the ages of 11 to 16. What that means is that the Church is dealing with a large homosexual issue and it remains so. The press refused to name it. The John Jay Institute in NY did and it was all but ignored.
            The cover up was largely due to the fact that the homosexuals were protecting mostly themselves.
            I am somewhat reluctant to write all this. Charlie, I will leave it up to you to decide to post it. I get quite upset when I hear Catholics say they do not go to Church anymore because of it or that the Church is filled with pedophiles. That is not true. Pedophilia is preying on prepubescence boys AND girls. The evidence is clear that did not happen except in a rare case. Father Geoghan, the one priest who was convicted of pedophilia, was killed in prison in 2004. He was a sad soul and the Church did not really know what to do about him throughout the years. But the same sex attraction priests, they seemed to get a free ride and, at this point still, free reign. The difference is that they do not need to hide their situations as they once did thirty years ago.

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          • charliej373 says:

            You have aptly described the heart of what the issue was – and is.

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      • Mary-Louise says:

        Another comment! For an in-depth at the Boston sex abuse crisis, there is a wonderful book by Phil Lawler, former editor of The Boston Pilot (the archdiocesan newspaper) called “The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture.”

        Yes, the Boston Globe leaped on the sex-abuse revelations with glee. But one of the triggers for the continuing damage done to the Church was the highly public outrage of a group of priests who organized to drive Cardinal Law out of town. These were among the priests who founded The Boston Priests Forum and who wrote the letter demanding Law’s resignation. Alas, among them were many activists priest who also crusade for gay rights, changes in the liturgy, etc. These priests helped found Voice of the Faithful and other groups that continue to demand publicity for their agenda to “transform” the Church.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          It has not escaped my notice that the establishment media loves to use charges, including false ones, to attack the orthodox with, while giving a pass to progressive dissenters. It infuriated me when the New York Times gave space to the most disgraced Bishop in recent American history, Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, space to try to blame St. John Paul and Pope Benedict for the sex scandal. For those of you who may not remember, Weakland was found to be providing for his homosexual lover out of diocesan funds. He was an utter disgrace and apostate. But even knowing that, the media was eager to resurrect his reputation provided he was willing to smear some of the slime attached to him on St. John Paul and Benedict.

          Like

          • Joanne says:

            For those of you who may not remember, Weakland was found to be providing for his homosexual lover out of diocesan funds. He was an utter disgrace and apostate.

            The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy” (Diary723).

            Lord, give us holy priests; You Yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things. AMEN.” (Diary of St. Maria Faustina, 1052)

            Like

      • ellenchris says:

        People need to remember how badly injured he had been. Toward the end of his time on TV, he sometimes had to struggle for words and his phrasing got a little tangled up. People kind of jumped on something badly phrased. I don’t think he ever had any intention of blaming victims or anything like that. His heart went out to anyone caught in sin to bring them back to repentance. The stuff about *A Course in Miracles* is his own story that he told himself as a cautionary tale for anyone looking into “spiritual” books of dubious sources. NO disillusionment here! He had a profound effect on my life, and I miss him a lot. He always said he expected to spend a lot of time in purgatory. I think he was probably very pleasantly surprised. I hope and believe he is praying for us all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • NancyA says:

        It ALWAYS bothers me when I see/hear/read anyone personally elevate any soul to sainthood. We do not ever, ever know the state of someone’s soul at death and should always pray for them rather than assuring their sainthood before the Church does.
        Imagine the pious soul who might be in purgatory, but forgotten because it is assumed he or she went to Heaven.

        Like

        • I’m not canonizing anyone Nancy. We all conversationally often refer to extraordinarily holy people as “saints,” except perhaps the most persnickety of us. I have prayed *much* for the repose of the soul of Fr. Groeschel, and urge you all to do the same.

          Like

          • NancyA says:

            Perhaps you did not mean to do so, Daniel, but your language did do so: “was a saint until the day of his death, and now literally is just that!”

            It is something I had just written a piece about, and I did not mean to single you out so much as to impress upon all readers that it is uncharitable to presume any soul is in heaven, lest we then neglect to offer them needed prayers and sacrifices for their release. Someone I am close to once told me that they “could not bring” their self to present a Mass card for a recently deceased acquaintance because he died with the bible open upon his chest and he was known to be so good and holy that they were sure he didn’t need the prayers. Oh, my! What if…? The holiest of saints have implored that they always be remembered at the altar. Their humility caused them never to presume. In our age too many console the bereaved with the platitude that their beloved dead are in heaven ( or worse: are now their guardian angel!), which does such a disservice to suffering souls needing prayer. Again, do not take this plea personally; it was just a point I felt compelled to make.

            Like

  7. Susan T. says:

    Charlie, thanks for your post. I also have been a bit wary about that website. Just before or after Pope Benedict XVI became Pope, he made a statement to the effect that Mary would never try to frighten her children with her locutions. That statement always stays in my mind when I read different posts “from her”. There is one website that I read – and usually all I need is just the title which is a small spiritual call to action for the day e.g. “Guard your souls against all stain.”

    I like your reminders that we cannot guess what will happen, but just need to trust in God and take that next right step. God Bless You!

    Like

  8. Bill says:

    Charlie, I’m new to this so I’ll fumble along. I agree with your comments on private revelation and want to add that they are in fact “private” and are probably just for the individual as they were for Joseph. Before making a private relation a public revation one must discern, pray, and when ready take it to their priest and/or spiritual director. If not we end up with many “chicken littles” screaming the sky is falling.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Three quick things, Bill:

      1) I edited out your last name from the comment. Next time you comment, feel free to add it back in, but many who are new do not know they do not have to put their full name up and would prefer not to have their full name shown. So If I know someone is new and they put their full name up, I try to remember to edit out the last. Second time you post, you’re on your own, baby!

      2) Private revelation is actually a technical term for any locution or visitation given to a private person directly from a heavenly visitor outside the Magisterium or Deposit of Faith. Some are authentic, which is subject to the determination of the Church; some are not. But private revelations never add to or detract from the Deposit of Faith. When authentic, they help us live it better at a particular time and in particular circumstances in history.

      3) That said, I completely agree with you that a lot more discretion and humility is called for. I kept it to myself for 30 years, then kept it to the priests for another 18 before speaking publicly about it – and am still not positive speaking publicly was the best way to go.

      But under all circumstances, should the satan ever manage to trick me into propounding something contrary to faith or morals, you better believe I would renounce it as soon as I was informed – and at the top of my lungs.

      Like

      • JPW says:

        Hi Charlie,

        I must say I love your style and I do hope that we may meet up some day and have a bit of craic over a bottle of whiskey or two 🙂

        One question, could you clarify why you put the definite article before old nick’s name? Is this your way of singling out the accuser in particular as opposed to evil spirit in general?

        JPW

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          I sometimes do and I sometimes don’t. It was fairly common in older English usage. Imagine for a moment he was named liar. Calling him the liar at times somehow underscores the contempt, I think, but it may just be my habit. No real significance to it.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. ellenchris says:

    Thanks once again, Charlie, for clear and helpful input. I completely agree with your balanced approach. Only Holy Scripture is absolutely reliable: The Truth revealed by God. The correct understanding of Scripture is conveyed by Holy Tradition/Magisterium. Everything else is outside that absolute guarantee and should not be used as if it were.

    I don’t make a habit of looking around for or surfing apparition sites. Since very early last spring I kept on getting a strong urging to try to find this Charlie Johnston guy. Did not know why, but couldn’t get away from it. I googled and binged, but couldn’t find anything until Mark Mallett mentioned him, and here we all are. This site has been the most helpful element in trying to sort out some understanding and response concerning what is going on these days.

    A lot of people have been hurt or burned by unfortunate responses by some church leaders in the past. My research turned up accounts of a cardinal in the Vatican a while ago who had an utterly ruthless policy for a couple of decades of squashing any and every report of every apparition no matter how much hard evidence there was of authenticity. It is just my own personal opinion that Our Lady most likely really appeared in Montichiari, for example. She asked for prayer and sacrifice to prevent or lessen coming disasters of heresy and/or apostasy among clergy and in religious houses back in the late 1940s (I believe). She warned that there would be great losses of vocations. The apparition was shut down. We can see how events played out. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if the requests received at Montichiari had been listened to and even promulgated. But at the end of the day, the Church has the responsibility of protecting the Faith as well as the faithful from whatever might damage them. On the other hand, for example, the writings of Elizabeth Kindlemann have survived that era and have been revived.

    However, the result of this kind of total refusal even to consider or investigate any apparitions or locutions at all forced such things underground and created a kind of cottage industry based on personal opinion. When that cardinal (referred to above) retired and the lid came off, things started going a little nuts. I remember the wildly crazy stuff that came out of Veronica Leuken in Queens, NY, for example. The people who followed Veronica were good, kind, devout and well-meaning folks, but in the end, the best you could say is that some of their time was wasted. Her claims were eventually condemned, yet those folks were saying the rosary a lot more which is not a bad thing.

    Joey Lomangino was a friend of one of my uncles, and he showed our family his little old-fashioned slide show concerning Garabandal when I was a kid. It was really fascinating. One of my cousins went there and had a real conversion experience. But, when I first heard about Medjugorje, I was extremely skeptical. Several years later someone gave me a medal that had been blessed there, and all sorts of things started to change in my life. I never went there, but I guess I would have to attribute a very crucial, profound and important change in my heart and soul to the intercession of Our Lady and her messages from Medjugorje.

    “By their fruits you shall know them.” That goes not only for the reported apparitions themselves, but also for the people who embrace and promote them. One very beautiful and encouraging writer of “locutions” was almost derailed some years ago because the American promoters were teaching heretical ideas in her name and causing damaging controversy. However, instead of waiting for the evaluation of the proper church authorities, (which were later positive concerning the writer, but not the promoters) some people took it upon themselves to do their own analysis and hurl their own anathemas at the writer herself, who had not actually written the things that were attributed to her.

    The really important thing to remember is: *The ordinary church member does not have the charism or mandate or authority to make such evaluations — positive or negative — in any kind of definitive way.* Either way, the enemy wins the game when everybody is angry and there is a lot of confusion.

    So, I am very grateful that you are keeping this place sane and peaceful, Charlie. In order to be able to hear, you need some quiet to be able to listen. Thanks for providing such a place.

    Like

  10. Mick says:

    Charlie, thank you for this post, and especially for your take on the Locutions site. I agree with you completely. I have long been uncomfortable with the content and tone of some of the alleged messages, especially with the tone (I can only describe it as whiny) of Mary’s alleged laments regarding the consecration (or lack thereof, according to the alleged messages) of Russia. Thanks for helping us stay on the straight-and-narrow.

    Like

  11. shjihmhs says:

    Charlie – there is an Association that may interest you and your followers. It is a worldwide organization and really takes very little effort on the part of the individual but allows them to grow in their love for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you have time would you please look at http://www.guardofhonor-usa.org and prayerfully consider mentioning its existence. I am sure that those who are drawn to the devotion will benefit during these troubling times. Thank you and may God continue to bless you in every way!

    May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be your strength,

    A Lourenco

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I looked at it and am pleased to provide this mention. Please let me know if there is anything notable you would like to promote on its behalf. I like that it is simple, direct and Christ-focused – and is easily incorporated into one’s daily life.

      Like

      • shjihmhs says:

        Thank you Charlie. We have just set up the website within the past three months and what you said “…that it is simple, direct and Christ-focused – and is easily incorporated into one’s daily life…” pretty much sums it up and is the way we hope to promote the devotion. Thank you again for all that you do. God bless.

        A Lourenco

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, for what it’s worth, Shj (I use the shorter version of your name), I read through all of it and have added a permanent link under devotions. It seems like it could be quite fruitful – and I really like those you can incorporate into your daily life, thus sanctifying daily life in a simple, unaffected way. So don’t start having crazy parties or anything and make me have to take it down! 😉

          Like

          • shjihmhs says:

            Charlie – I tried sending this reply moments ago but am not sure it went, so I am sending it again. So here goes:(not word for word but close)

            I thank the Holy Spirit for “nudging” me to make you aware of this devotion and am so thankful that you found it worthy to be added to your permanent link under devotions. I am sure that when I tell the Father Director and the Visitation Nuns they will be smiling from “ear to ear” and the party they will be throwing will be subdued but one of prayerful happiness on behalf of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Thank you again and may God bless you always. As you now know me by the letters Shj, I’m sure you have figured out the rest of the initials. :o)

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Perhaps…but I know the value of occasionally traveling incognito, myself. 🙂

            Like

  12. Vladimir says:

    -You are right, Charlie, to name someone a Satan, like in the Locutions for the World is a really strong coffee for me. You have mentioned earlier there are some people in Europe who are starting to offer “private revelations”, thus leading people astray. Could you name them, as it would help to protect unsuspecting readers from such sites. We know the Irish Maria D. Mercy is fraud, but she had had a large following in Slovakia as well, these people actually published some brochure and were disseminating them in churches.
    As for exceptionally good sites I follow one a bit since I have read the book by Marino Restrepo From Darkness into the Light, a powerful testimony that I translated and published here. His site is marinorestrepo.com and he gives lectures in English and Spanish on different topics (see you tube), plus is deep in love with the Infant Jesus of Prague and promotes Baby Jesus everywhere he is invited to speak. Marino had started a group, now a community, in several Latino countries called Pilgrims of Love/Peregrinos del amor. Check his site if you will, no harm there.
    May you be blessed and, please, thank your celestial visitors in our name for everything they are imparting to us thru you. It is such a marvellous grace. And lots of love to all readers from Slovakia, Europe.
    Vladimir

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I will get specific soon, Vladimir. I realize this site has gone global, but a good 80% of my readers are still in the U.S. and Canada. I am reluctant to stir those particular waters until the assault makes landfall here – and right now much of the materials involved have not yet been translated into English – though they will be. A serious assault is being mounted against Pope Francis by people who want to form their own church and call it the true catholic church. It comes from the spiritual successors to Maria Divine Mercy – and some of them are a lot more diabolically sophisticated than she ever was. I pray that it will die out, though have little hope on that score. Nonetheless, I would rather not suit up for a battle until it is time to fight it.

      Like

      • Connie says:

        Well, this too, makes me shudder. Am going to try to remember to pray against it as an intention in my daily rosary

        Like

        • MM Bev says:

          “And call it the true Catholic Church”. People speak of an apostasy, meaning that part of the Church would leave and join together forming another church using the name catholic, as in Canadian catholic church or American catholic church. Ever since my contractor began being effusive about Maria, I have reconsidered what will likely happen. I agree with you, Charlie, in that I believe the deception will be to lead people into believing they are following the real Catholic Church. Otherwise where is the deception? There is always an element of truth in any deception, near the beginning, to “catch” the unwary who nonetheless as faithful believers. Another element is that somewhere in the explanation, each person who leaves, that is truly deceived, finds something that appeals to them, that enables them to rationalized their choice. It is always tainted by sin….pride, vanity, loneliness, lack of catechism, anger, laziness; the list is long but there will be a “hook”. And oddly enough, the evil one always rides on the back of sympathy seen by the one caught be him.

          I read the same three that you do Charlie, and began long before I discovered your Blog thanks to Mark. I have limited hours I can function each day. Each of these resonate within me, but I don’t spend much more time than reading them and reflecting. Occasionally one has more force, and then I go back later and re read. Since finding your blog, I pay most of my attention here, for the very reason that you said was your purpose. Before you ever put up “My Purpose” or the blog about you as a Sherpa, I found myself immersed in reading and reflecting, because without anyone here where I live supporting what I believe, it was a gift from God to “land” here, nor do I think it was accidental. This is like getting some food, healthy, and substantial, without any msg, too much sodium or sugar. You lay it out as it is, we can take it or leave it and, frankly you really don’t care which we do. Abstract is good, leads us deeper towards Our Master. You do that, but inform us, train us, enlighten us, and leave us to chose what we will. It’s concrete in action, which is (forgive me) concretely helpful, especially when one is a clueless as I am. And the incredible bonus is that I have a “family” who are mostly like minded, helpful, devoted to Jesus and His Mother, and assist me in resolution to grow ever deeper in my own faith. I truly longed for both, but never asked, and never dreamt that I would find both joined together.

          Joy overflowing.

          Like

  13. Vickie says:

    A friend once told me that instead of ‘chasing messages” from any website, people should use that time to pray – pray the rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy – which is a better use of our time. With that said, I too am very picky about what site I read – I only read Mark Mallet, which is how I found this little gem of a site – and Spirit Daily which is more news driven.

    Like

  14. Mack says:

    I used to think the locutions site was authentic, but after the pope was elected the predictions it had made about him were not turning out. So I started to doubt it. I also sensed it was odd that Our Lady was talking about political figures in such a specific way. Funny thing is that I had checked it last night, and it was saying something about the presidential election in 2016, but from what you have said here, Charlie, that the government will fall and Obama won’t finish his term, so it doesn’t seem like we’ll be having another presidential election then. But the site still does have some good spiritual thoughts.

    Like

    • Pawel says:

      Locutions.org seems a little bit too human in the reasoning perspective. I remember “chosen child’s” messages where Jesus advised to take frequent walks with family or not to drink too much soda. Good messages indeed but I wondered how could Jesus or Mary talk in such a different way compared to the way they talked in St. Faustina’s diary or even Medjugorje ( Mary ) messages.

      Like

  15. donna269 says:

    Never felt comfortable with LTTW….just never. I am still trying to wrap my head around Flame of Love….so much to digest there…she was so tormented by satan that I wonder how much infiltrated the writings? I just don’t know. It’s hard for me to see Jesus and Mary as so strict but I know it happened with Faustina and other great saints. Elizabeth K was truly being galvanized for this mission…..but still, the heart of the matter (or the steak) is the scriptures and sacraments….the rest is gravy. So why squabble? Human kind….we are such a strange bunch …..

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      We try to keep the sauce light and delicate here, Donna…and if you want to pass on it and stick to the meat, we’re good with that, too. 🙂

      Like

      • Observer says:

        From history, though, it would seem that it’s either Satan himself or….he just leaves it up to the local church authorities to harass or demean the poor chosen vessel. That’s usually the proving test. At least E. Kindelmann had a consoling spiritual director/confessor while it took trying on a slew of confessors to find one who was sophisticated enough in the mystical realm to discern/understand and offer guidance to Theresa of Avila. But then, if she had stopped with the “lesser” ones’ “guidance” we would surely be without a great help for interior reflection….and I think that Fr. Dubay would agree.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Kathy D. says:

    When I first started reading Locutions, a Monsignor Esseff was the spiritual director listed. He is no longer listed on the website so I wonder if there is direction there at all. By the way, Charlie, I have been reading here for several months. Like others, I found you through Mark Mallett. So far the best advice I have gotten is when you said to “live within the span of your guardian angel’s wings.” I took that to heart (I tend to be a worrier), bought an angel wings charm for my necklace to remind me, and put all in Mother Mary’s hands. I figure I will be where the Good Lord wants me when things happen. Thank you for helping to bring me peace.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Kathy. You have no idea how it delights me when someone tells me I have given them some practical advice that really helped them to stop worrying and entrust things to God. I would that all could share in the internal peace I have found by doing that – even when some nut follows me to my campsite in the woods and waves a pistol at me. (Happened to me during my pilgrimage in Lake Charles, Louisiana).

      Like

    • Observer says:

      A clarification if you will. From a member of the staff of motheofgod.com (and from my own communication via email with Msgr Esseff, now in his eighties, still giving retreats….conducted the Divine Mercy Sunday weekend at Malvern retreat house this year in PA, and still giving direction to seminary formation) about this question of no longer listing his name on the LTTW website while having another site of his own:

      That’s not true Davidtlig, I talked to him twice. Msgr. still is in charge of the website. The poor man was deluged with phone calls and he is a VERY busy man. He was kind enough to give me his personal cell phone number. He took his face off of it so he wouldn’t be deluged anymore. He still is spiritual director of the person who is in one of his own prayer groups in Father’s parish.

      Hope this helps clarify things.

      Like

  17. maryrose49 says:

    I read the recent locutions messages to my daughter. She said these messages are not from a mother!
    That did it for me. I was feeling unsure but yes I have to agree with her the locutions do not have the motherly tone I associate with Our Lady’s messages at Medjugorje.
    I wont be reading them again.

    Like

  18. Lauraelel says:

    I think there is a great thirst for mysticism in The Church. Private revelation can seem like proof of a personal connection to God. What a relief that God will talk to someone with words. Try stumbling around blindly, continually wondering if you made the right decision. A word from Heaven helps us to keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I still “consider” the LttW messages — “consider” is the way I think of it: not embracing them as sure, but not dismissing them, either, unless or until I find something going definitely over the edge.

    I first learned of the LttW messages by way of reading a Mark Mallett feature, as there was a time when he wrote that his own spiritual director had told him that the message just released by LttW, was the very same as the message he (Mark’s director) had just received at the same time. And it was one of the more dramatic messages. So that caught my attention, being comfortable with Mark, plus, I understood that Monsignor Essef is still approving the locutionist’s messages, an ongoing discernment, bolstered by his knowing the locutionist personally. So that helps, too, to not so quickly dismiss them.

    So in case they are really coming to us from Jesus and Mary, I watch, and keep my eyes open.

    I know that messages received, can be at least partly affected in the translation by the messenger. Their own voice can make a difference as to how it sounds “played back”. Some words will be offered exactly as heard, some parts will need to be paraphrased by the messenger, some parts need to be put into words from scratch, when they were received as an “impression” to start with.

    So I consider all of that in my discernment process. Delivering heavenly messages is not always an exact science.

    As far as messages that scare us — well, they ALL scare me. I’m not a good candidate for any more suffering than I already have going on. But seriously, I’d always rather know the truth, no matter what it is. Truth sets us free; lies keep us in bondage.

    Incidentally, my husband and I are in the process of doing the 33 Day Morning Glory Consecration to Jesus through Mary. One day I had printed out a few pages of messages from LttW for us to read aloud following our daily reading. We were both struck by how perfectly they went along with our study.

    So I don’t know where the words really come from, but I’m personally feeling that the messenger didn’t made them up out of her own head.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Linda. I want to make clear I do not condemn the LttW messages at all. Some are quite good. I do find them very spotty. And as I said, I consider most of them refined spiritual meditations.

      Like

  20. NancyA says:

    Any private revelation can begin from heaven and become tainted. As I understand it, that is one of the reasons the Church can never give the nod to ongoing revelation that might still become malicious.

    Like

  21. Charlie, with posts like this one this natural sceptic is becoming more convinced that YOU are a gem! I read Connie’s blog post you referred to, when she published it. I agree that it was spot-on and accords with my own thinking. I’ve been guilty of getting a bit over-excited about certain private revelations at times, but my husband always reminds me of the same unchanging truth; follow the Gospel, follow Christ and his Church and you can’t go wrong. Following anything or anyone else can so easily be a distraction at best and at its worst it hardens us against the still, small, voice of God and (for me at least) can weaken the taste for scripture and liturgy. It’s no small matter to get carried away by private relevations – even authentic ones.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I like to refer people to Connie’s website from time to time. Her faith burns with a consistency that abides through thick and thin. She always stays to the narrow way described in the Gospel and does it with such effortlessness.

      Like

  22. aj says:

    One of the key red flags in private revelations is where we find there is a focus or even partial one on the seer rather than the Lord. When the messenger becomes the focus it’s time to raise an eyebrow. We are to decrease and He increase…not the other way around.

    On a personal note…I turn 44 tomorrow, GOD’S willing, and ask that you say a little prayer of blessing for me and my family. That I would appreciate immensely! I thank the Good LORD for widening my family (Pelianito and Charlie’s blog members) so we can help each other take our next right steps.

    GOD Bless you all!

    allan

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Congratulations, AJ…and may you have many more! (Oh, to be 44 again!)

      Like

    • the phoenix says:

      Happy Birthday to you, AJ / allan! 🙂

      Please accept my prayers and blessing for you and your family on your special day.

      Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for November 15:

      We trust in God’s concern for every person he has created and redeemed through his Son. Let us, therefore, renew our prayer to him:
      Fulfill the good work you have begun in us, Lord.

      O God of mercy, guide us toward spiritual growth,
      – fill our minds with thoughts of truth, justice and love.
      Fulfill the good work you have begun in us, Lord.
      … Amen

      Like

    • AJ you are a blessing to so many of us! May God continue to increase your wisdom for the good of all!

      Like

    • Mick says:

      Happy 44th, AJ! Hope you and your family have a really wonderful day. I have sent some prayers heavenward for all of you. Oh, and by the way, my parents had been planning to name me Alan, but I surprised them by being a girl.

      Like

  23. TC says:

    Charlie,

    Thank you for weighing in on Locutions to the World. I am inspired by the sincere discernment and measured comments of your readers. For me, the jury is still out on the authenticity of Locutions.

    Like others, I have misgivings – and for some of the same reasons already given. But there is one reason above all others which has not been mentioned and which causes me the most concern. The locutions are self-referential and self promoting. For example: “Do not be surprised if I speak every day. The darkness will be so complete that the whole world will depend on these locutions. They will be my stream of light” (The Locutions – Mary’s Stream of Light, April 5, 2014). This is not a “deal breaker” for me, but it gives me great pause.

    That said, Charlie, I have to take issue with some of your criticism of Locutions because I think it may be overstated. You say: “More troubling is how many of the alleged locutions name specific persons in the world today, assigning them casually either to satan’s team or to God’s.” This statement gives the impression that many specific figures are identified in Locutions and then classified as good or evil.

    I may need to be corrected on this, but in my reading of the published locutions, outside of references to a few Popes (JPII, Benedict and Francis) and a few other key world figures (Obama, Putin, Assad – and passing references to Bin Laden and Gorbachev), I don’t recall other, specific names mentioned. As regards the Popes, some praise for them is present, but it is not exaggerated. As for the other figures, Putin is the only one clearly identified as an instrument of Satan, and that very well could be the case. However, I see that as not much different than you or someone else characterizing Obama as an unwitting agent of the devil. The truth is, we all fill that role at times, as did St. Peter himself (“Get behind me, Satan”). Putin is compared to Hitler and Stalin. From everything I have read, Putin does seem to be a narcissist and a sociopath, but I still reserve judgment because I don’t trust all the sources; and even the most hardened sinners can be converted. One of the locutions spoke of the “evil of Assad”, but it does not say that Assad is an evil man. Important difference.

    You proceed: “My visitors have occasionally rebuked me for dismissing someone as beyond help or hope; they have never, themselves, so casually dismissed a living person as an agent of the satan. That frequent characteristic of the ‘Locutions to the World’ is so wildly out of character with my experience of heavenly visitors that I have trouble countenancing these things as authentic even when I completely agree with them.”

    In the case of Locutions, the references to Putin as an instrument of Satan are anything but a casual dismissal, and outside of several such references to Putin himself, this is not a “frequent characteristic” of the messages. Obama is said to have an ideology in his heart that is contrary to the Blessed Mother’s plan for America. That, too is a fair claim and it hardly seems “wildly out of character” from what might be an authentic message from heaven.

    Yes, I have misgivings and uncertainties, but I keep reading Locutions and I find them inspiring, insightful, accurate, and theologically sound. Unless they take a strange turn, I will keep reading them regularly. I don’t recommend them without reserve, but I think they may well be more than refined private meditations. Based on the messages, we will find out soon enough if they are authentic.

    As regards the consecration of Russia, I ask only this: If your mother asked you to clean the kitchen, and you cleaned the whole house instead of the kitchen, would she be happy? Of course she would, but you still did not do what she asked.

    Peace and prayers,

    TC

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t want to come off as overstating my case. I value much of what comes from LttW; I just regard it as refined meditations. The business with Russia is more complex…I agree it would have been best had it been done sooner. One of the tests of obedience, TC, is whether you respect legitimate authority on earth. People can get caught up in following messages. My angel has been approving that I will follow what I am told from them unless it is contradicted by a legitimate authority here. That is not a defiance of God, but a prudential submission to lawful authority. For example, if Jesus appeared at Mass before everyone and told me to go speak in the time reserved for the homily, I would seek the priest’s permission. If he said no, I would decline – and Jesus would congratulate me for my humble obedience.

      Had the Russian consecration been done in the 20s or 30s, much evil could have been avoided. But by the time it was done, there was a lawful agreement in place in which the Vatican agreed not to publicly speak of Russia in a way that could be construed as generally critical. It would not have been obedient to defy that treaty; the height of obedience was to perform the consecration in a manner that also respected the treaty obligation that had been freely entered into. So, to use your example of cleaning the kitchen – if you had delayed what was asked until the kitchen was locked against you, then in repentance, cleaned the whole house but did NOT break down the doors in order to clean the kitchen, your mother would still have something against you for having procrastinated until you could not do it without doing damage, but she would probably accept your alternate efforts and the repentance with which they were performed. But she would be glad you did not break down the door, too.

      I take into account your usual steady counsel and will consider it. It does disturb me that LttW speaks of specific people as if they have exercised a fundamental option from which there is no return. My visitors always (except the once) speak of even the most wicked actors as people who can repent. It is a dramatic difference. That said, I really do value much of the content there – and usually agree with the slant. It just does not sound much like Our Lady to me. So I value it as I would value any site that provides well reasoned and insightful meditations. I do not begrudge anyone who values it as something more, but I do not.

      Like

      • TC says:

        This is great. Thanks for your comments, Charlie. I, like many others here, place great stock in your sense about these things.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Hee hee, TC, and while the Lord would congratulate me for my obedience in the situation I cited, I surely would NOT want to be the priest who said, “No.” But I take some pains to try to prevent people from being put in a situation where they rebuke me without really understanding what they were doing if they should have understood it.

          Like

      • Peter says:

        just a note to Putin and repentance, there is a message in lttw where it says :

        Yet, when Russia is consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, Putin will be the first to be
        offered the gift of conversion.

        so he too is not condemned …
        http://locutions.org/2015/02/5-terrorism-is-irrational/

        Like

  24. Luis says:

    Happy birthday AJ, I’m 44 too.

    I’d stop and start reading again the LttW messages, a couples of times, there are some messages (allegedly from Our Mother) that are really inspiring to me and in my littleness gives me hope to a path of light, but above all some messages give me peace and then leads me to prayer and meditation.

    I think there like two kind of messages, the “political ones” that tell the situation and the other more oriented toward us or very specific group of people that encourages to seek Her help, the latter ones are the most valuables in my huble opinion.

    Like

  25. Jeff says:

    Hi Charlie…I wrote you about locutions.org but now observe the subject has been covered here. I write to offer an idea, which has to do with the possibility that tiny personal fruit can be born in the presence of private revelations, even if they are not necessarily true. Yes, as a life long Catholic devoted to the Magisterium and all true Church teaching, I know there is a hailstorm of messages out there from false seers, and Maria of Divine Mercy is the most immediate example, but she is a straightforward liar doing several hundred thousand souls serious harm…she also clearly has attacked our beloved Pope Francis.

    We all have inner chatter in our heads…what if a devout soul who thought she was getting messages actually projected truths of human origin? I feel I am not saying this well, and will resort to example.

    In 2005 or so, here in Central Minnesota, I attended a Mass at the Padua House of Prayer. The controversial Christina Gallagher was there with her spiritual advisor, Fr Gerard McGinnity. This priest offered the most tender, loving Mass I have ever inhabited, and at Communion he exhorted all of us to take the Host kneeling, and off the rail as I once did as a little boy in the 1960’s. He also argued that we should take the Host on our tongue for the rest of our lives, and that if we did it would offer reparation for all the calamitous, irreverent, and satanic abuses of The Eucharist that happen every day. He especially argued it would palliate the wrath of our Father in Heaven in regards to the casual reception of The Eucharist.

    This struck me as completely true, and I vowed right there to never receive it any other way.

    I did not even stay to hear the message Christina allegedly received that spring day in Minnesota. I left still doubtful about her, but fully believing in her priest Fr. Gerard. Do you see? I left skeptical about the veracity of the private revelation, but was nevertheless helped with an essential idea that has made me a stronger Catholic!

    I understand your doubts about the alleged voice of Our Lady, and the incongruity you feel with the voice that you hear, but I wrote you my gentle, heartfelt observation as a classically trained rhetorician, and that is that I see stylistic differences in language, tone, attitude, and content across many approved messages from Fatima, to Lourdes, to Akita, to Kibeho and so forth, as well as not yet approved messages from Medjugorje.

    Many Catholics are trying to understand what is happening to us, and many succumb to private revelation. I observe consternation in more than one place regarding the fact that Locutions.org no longer prominently features the introduction and photograph of Msgr. John Esseff, and that this poverty might suggest he has withdrawn his support.

    This is not true. I just got off the phone with Msgr. John, who I have visited with once before as he works on in Scranton Pn. Naturally, he could not speak with me long because he was assisting one of the several hundred souls for whom he is a spiritual advisor. He told me quickly he thought it best to pull that back since those folks are selling the messages in book form, but as an English professor I can tell you these books are very inexpensive, not unlike the $1.00 prayer cards you are promoting Charlie.

    Msgr. John Esseff is still advising this soul, and he believes completely in the messages found on locutions.org.

    I am going to keep reading them Charlie. I may have doubts about whoever this is, but I believe completely in Msgr. John Esseff, and will go down swinging with what he has taught me in his writing and podcasts and observations that can be found at Building the Kingdom of Love. It was the Italian theologian Luigi Giussani who once said “faith is assenting to what another believes.” Msgr John Esseff, not the locutionist is that “other” for me.

    And also gently, I offer free advice Charlie. I appreciate nearly everything I have read on this blog, but not the Meryl Streep reference. For one thing, sarcasm is the trope of last resort, and for another, it is scandalous enough today that our demonically led president Obama has presented a big award in the white house to Streep this week. I find it a little heavy that you would call us to imagine the voice of a endlessly pro-abortion public figure like Streep to be the persona of locutions.

    In the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Jeff

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I think this is a pretty solid comment, Jeff. I do not get involved in commenting much about these various things because I think you are precisely right…if they are not contrary to faith and morals, they often do people much good whatever their source. For a good, long time, I just published links in comments to LttW without comment. The reason I finally referred to it was because I started getting a lot of pressure in private notes and, even comments I did not clear, to put a permanent link to it and endorse it. As I said, the messages seem pretty sound to me.

      As for the linguistics, I do take into account that others may hear differently…but even if someone was describing someone who is an intimate friend of yours, you would know very quickly whether the person speaking actually knew the person or was just describing what they had heard and thought.

      You read the Meryl Streep comment as sarcastic. Fair enough, but it was intended as wry – and to explain it does not feel authentic to me, but a reasonably sound representation, nonetheless. I think most readers took it that way.

      Like

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks for wondering with me, and I withdraw my comment and stand corrected regarding the Streep allusion. My students know better than anyone that I get up to misread texts, most especially the endless text of the world. I look forward to having a glass of red wine with you in heaven someday. If I can just make it there I assure you can be found on the very lowest rung sir. Jeff in Minnesota

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well I sure hope you will stick around, Jeff. You have a clear and charitable point of view which is helpful. I really do like to have a variety of serious views coming through here. It helps us all to get closer to truth. We are civil, sometimes a little heated, but the commenters here have helped me refine my views on many things – and quite often the comments section is more fertile than the original article.

          If you do stick around you will find you will not be clubbed for disagreeing with anyone and your views will get serious discussion. Shoot, some of my most enthusiastic readers are also most enthusiastic about disagreeing with me when they see fit – and we are all better for it. I think you would be a great addition to these boards.

          Like

          • Jeff says:

            I am all in, and have added and bookmarked your fine page to the constellation of Catholic pages I visit every day Charlie. I will try to bring you only goodwill and curiosity, as well as occasional remarks from the heart. We absolutely have to stick together, and I find strength in folks like you and Mark Mallet, etc.

            Of course we all know the Gospels, the Mass, The Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and other Catholic devotions should suffice, but I am flawed and fallen and will be continuing to throw everything at the deceiver who hates us all, including the kitchen sink, and if necessary, the Minnesota National Guard.

            You have a new reader. Jeff

            Liked by 2 people

      • NancyA says:

        Receiving this as email has reminded me of a thought that kept running through my mind as I read this post and comments at first. Regarding the different ‘voice’ of the mother. In no way am I comparing myself to Our Blessed Mother, but we ARE both human, and I know that I do use a different tone, and different way of speaking with each of my five children and three grandchildren, according to their personalities, maturity, needs… I would imagine it could be the same for Mary. I also do believe that seers, visionaries, locutionists and the like cannot help but add their personal take and impression. If, as you have experienced, Charlie, the messages are not given in entirely human language, but are rather imparted, that would be even more probable.

        I’m not out to defend nor rebuke.

        Liked by 1 person

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