The Great Apostasy Begins

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When I was but a boy, not yet 10 years old, and first realized how peculiar my visitations were, I had a chat with my angel. I told him I enjoyed the instruction we went through together, but that if he ever told me to do anything to hurt anyone I would immediately confess all to a doctor. I also told him that for all the training, before I would actually do anything, I would have to have an authority on earth to which I could submit with my whole heart – and that authority would have to approve. As I have recounted here before, my angel surprised me: he was delighted with me, treated me as a star pupil because of what I had rather intensely said. The point, of course, is that even as a little boy, I knew that voices and visions, however intriguing and pleasant, were not a firm foundation upon which to make decisions.

When I first began to seriously investigate the Catholic Church, it was in order to dismiss it as a possible home, too. Before I had ever seriously examined it, I had tried about a dozen different Protestant denominations. Intellectual coherence is critical to me. I had realized as a boy that most churches took a few snippets of Scripture which they preached rigorously, while ignoring those Scriptures that seemed to contradict their denominational emphasis. I would go worship and attend until I discerned what they were ignoring, then question pastors about it. When I got either baffled puzzlement or angry denunciation, I sadly moved on. Either it all cohered or none of it cohered. I felt like an orphan. I knew Christ…shoot, He chatted with me fairly regularly. But I did not know where He was authentically and fully proclaimed.

Thank God the Lord was not inclined to just tell me – and thank God some of my forebears had instilled in me a dread of the “errors” of the Catholic Church. I say thank God because my journey through so many denominations revealed to me the authentic Christian faith of so many very Godly Protestants – and the wonderful charisms they bear. It also prepared me to defend my faith in terms all can understand – and to develop a deep grasp of Scripture from my constant reading and re-reading of the Bible. It was St. Augustine’s “Confessions” that prompted me to seriously consider the Catholic faith. He cleared up several problems for me in that masterful tome, including the abuse of Scripture as mere science or history rather than the inspired Word of God. We also had several characteristics in common, including that he was the equivalent of a sort of political and rhetorical consultant in his time. Even so, I had been so oft disappointed all I really expected was to study until I found the sticking point, then continue my peculiar and solitary Christian journey.

Had I relied solely on the discussion in the RCIA classes, I might have been disappointed. But I read, And the more I read, the more I craved. I was looking for the flaw. With every book of Church documents, Church fathers, Encyclicals, and Church history I read, I found a new hope dawning. This might be real. It mattered little that I was discovering Catholics did not know much about their own faith; the more I tried to find the rotted timber, the more I found sturdy, solid hardwood. It drove me into a white heat. I consumed dense books like they were jelly beans. In that first month and a half I had to have read about 30 dense books in my spare time, searching relentlessly for the flaw. During that time, the folks at RCIA considered me an enigmatically silent sort – one of the rare times in my life anyone would have so described me. I don’t know that I had become fully convinced yet, but I had surely fallen head over heels in love. That is exactly how it felt. The excitement, the euphoria, the fear of something going wrong…and soon enough it came gushing out in a rush, first at the RCIA classes and then everywhere else. I remember the first time I spoke seriously in class, passionately taking a contrarian view on an ethical matter under discussion. I was just talking, but when I was done, the room was dead silent and everyone was gazing at me as if confronted by a panther without the benefit of an intervening cage. Eventually, the priest called on a woman to speak on the matter. She looked up with wild panic in her eyes, finally pointed her arm at me and said, “What that guy said!” Everybody laughed and the tension gushed away. I thought to myself that, well, my cover was blown now. Later in the year, one of the instructors chuckled that I had said nary a word before that night – and hadn’t shut up since. It felt very much like a successful courtship.

Finally I had found a home that was spiritually coherent, intellectually coherent, theologically coherent and encouraged inquiry in all areas as it developed its understanding and application of its unchanging doctrine. I was very head over heels in love. It struck me that God had, indeed, given me an earthly authority to which I could submit with my whole heart. And it was an authority that was confident enough in God that it could tolerate the messy process of developing understanding and application of its tenets, even when some – or many – of its adherents came up with some singularly bone-headed notions. This poor orphan had found his home and it was always Christmas there!

For just over nine months after my formal reception into the Church, my visitations ceased altogether. Even my intuition failed me repeatedly (I have always, except for that period, been able if I really needed to understand something, to be able to contemplate and reach in and see it, at least in outline). It felt like I had lost something vital, like an arm. I thought, though, that if the choice was between having my Church – my Home – without the visitations or my visitations without a Home, I had made a good bargain, indeed. Nothing would separate me from the Home God had promised – and given – me. She had my whole heart. And then, my heavenly friends came back, more lively and raucous than ever – and jubilantly pleased that I had decided I really meant it when I said I would not turn loose of the Church for anything, even them.

While I often joined into the various disputes that arose on matters of doctrine, theology and practice, it did not surprise me or shake my confidence that such disputes existed. There is a notion that Christian doctrine has passed down in a straight line through the ages, unbroken except for the occasional aberrant heresy which, once broken, led all back to the original clean, neat path. To the contrary, the development of understanding of Christian doctrine and its refinement has resembled more an oddly shaped funnel. If you imagine it began with people holding, say, 200 really wacky misinterpretations of Scripture and the Gospels and how it should be lived, you are much closer to the truth. The history of Christianity has been the steady – and almost always messy, knocking away of various such misinterpretations to get ever closer to truth. In several ages, long-standing false notions that had roiled the Church were finally cleared away only to see new, unexpected ones rise. We would succeed in determining that 5 X 10 actually equals 50, not 500 and everyone would breathe a sigh of relief, when some new wag would arise showing complex and detailed proofs that 2 + 2 actually equals 22, not 4, and we would be off to the races of controversy again. The miracle of Christianity is that, despite our foolishness, and the folly of many theologians and Bishops along the way, the doctrine has been firmly grounded in the foundational teaching and, once settled, the institutional Church has never contradicted a point of defined doctrine. That is unprecedented in the history of any institution in the history of the world. But the way forward has always been very messy.

Those who call themselves traditionalists think they are harking back to the original purity and practice of the Church. They are not. They simply prefer the stylistic liturgical adjustments of 500 years ago to the stylistic liturgical adjustments of 50 years ago – and think everyone else should, too. Those who call themselves progressives think they are visionaries seeking to break bold new ground, but they simply want to follow the ground the “Mainline” Protestant denominations have already trod – and which have led to those denominations’ wholesale collapse. The virtue of the traditionalists is that they still believe God is God, unlike progressives who think the “myth” of God is a great foundation for social work. The virtue of the progressives is that they are not fearfully trying to bury their talent in the ground, suspending practice into the amber of what was a major innovation 500 years ago. The authentic development of Christian doctrine has not just been a refining of the rules, an esoteric ideology, but a lively concern for how it is lived practically. At bottom, Christians cannot just come up with an airy doctrine as an intellectual exercise or a distraught pity that manifests itself as a sort of charity that enables disorder. Truth and mercy are the twin guardrails of the faith. In the end, Christians know that if it is not true, it is not merciful and if it is not merciful, it is not true.

About 200 A.D., the Italian Bishop Callisto allowed for what he called “just concubinage,” that a woman could live with a man without benefit of marriage with Christian approval. Critics called it the ennabling of adultery. Why did he do it? High-born pagan women, if they married outside their faith, were stripped of their property and titles. This allowed high-ranking women to live monogamously with low-ranking Christian men without sacrificing their perquisites and property, which opened the door for more conversions – and also made those assets available to the local Church. The decree did not stand the test of time, but it did speak to Christianity’s unique concern for practical application of doctrine from the earliest days.

The first major heresy, the Marcionists, believed that the God revealed by Christ was an entirely new God who had overthrown the God of the Old Testament. It seems absurd today, but was consonant with a pagan age which saw the gods as a warring bunch who were little more than men with strange powers and incredibly long lives. Some Marcionists also believed that, in his natural state, man was an hermaphrodite, containing within each being both male and female organs. It based this theory on the Scripture in Genesis that “male and female God created them.” It is an utterly absurd misreading of Scripture, but a study of Church history will reveal enough similarly willfully absurd readings that were taken seriously in their times that it should make us ponder more deeply what absurdities we might, perchance, believe. In practice, many Marcionists lived “virginity” as refraining from marriage and practiced a sexual lifestyle so licentious it would make a pagan blush. No sooner was this heresy decisively refuted than the mystic, Mani, emerged to found the new Manichean heresy, which troubled the faithful even more and was more widespread than the old Marcionist heresy.

In the midst of all of this, the early Bishops had to contend with a host of purported written letters, gospels and fraudulent acts of particular apostles all contending for canonicity, the overwhelming majority of which were heretical frauds – but were also plausible within the context of the times and had their supporters and advocates. That is not even to mention the Gnostics, who claimed to have “secret knowledge” and treated the Bishops with contemptuous pity as unenlightened rubes. The Gnostics depended heavily on private revelation for their “secret knowledge,” most of which was fraudulent and delusional – but they, too, had a substantial following.

Through all this, the Bishops did not just refine doctrine; they reformed their own understanding and application of that doctrine, as they saw that misapplications led people into sin and despair. Just one example: In the first centuries, Christians taught that the sacrament of reconciliation could only be used ONCE in a lifetime after Baptism. The period of penance was usually three years or longer, much of which the penitent had to literally spend in sackcloth and ashes wailing outside the churches. This led to several abuses, including the common one of people sympathetic to Christianity waiting until they were near death to be Baptized, and sinning with impunity until that point. There also was a belief common among many – including many Bishops, that a martyr was not only cleansed of all sin, but could act as “confessor” to others, cleansing them of sin, as well. The guards at the prisons where the condemned were held started holding them for weeks or months and accepting bribes to let others in to receive their absolution. Eventually, these became genuine dens of iniquity, where both the condemned and their “penitents” gave themselves over to the sins of the flesh and riotous behavior, with the approval and often participation of the guards because it was all going to be wiped away anyway. During the persecution ordered by Decius in 250, several condemned martyrs were sent to a sort of solitary confinement for a time because of their objection to such riotous behavior. Contemplating this, the Bishops ultimately reformed the Sacrament of Reconciliation, despite the cries of those who accused them of watering down the rules – and their reforms helped keep people from such egregious sins and to make their way back when they had sinned.

Imagine for a moment a city council, composed often of knaves and scoundrels, ruling over even more raucous knaves and scoundrels. Imagine that this city council rarely roused itself to make a firm decision at all, instead choosing to allow all manner of nonsense and drivel to be debated. Then imagine that for over 2000 years, every time this council actually made a firm decision, it was a decision that was right, improved the city, and remained faithful to its founding principles. That is what Christianity is. Its seats of authority have often been occupied by knaves and scoundrels. Its edicts have been mutilated by people either trying to use them to oppress others or find a sneaky way around them. If you can come up with an idea so absurd that only an intellectual could believe it, surely sometime along the way a Christian Bishop propounded it. The miracle of Christianity has not been the steady sobriety of its leaders or its followers – it is a raucous, scrapping bunch, occasionally punctuated with a breathtaking saint, which somehow still seems to get it right while staying true to the Founder. It is despite all this that it has moved ahead in faith ever more true to what its Founder called for. It is almost as if some Unseen Hand were guiding it through the eons.

Of course, that is precisely what the Unseen Hand of the Holy Spirit has done. It has even used the disorders of the heretics to refine doctrine and reform its application. The ravings of Marcion and Mani forced the Church to contemplate deeply the meaning of Christian marriage and sexuality, and so refine their understanding and application of that understanding. The dualism of Mani led the Church to deeply contemplate the nature of God and the reality of Christ, to recognize and proclaim Him to be True God and True Man. The Albigensian Heresy was the adversary which led the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, to develop his deep and comprehensive theology. (I might note that some 20 of Aquinas’ propositions were originally rejected before the rest of the Church caught up with his inspired brilliance). Throughout, God has used the grit of heresy as the irritant around which the pearl of great price has been formed – a doctrine and practice that is true to Christ and gives life. And for all the ugliness involved in forming it, it has ever been formed truer and more beautiful, layer upon layer. I looked at the Synod which so many were in panic about and thought, well, it pleases God to form yet another layer upon the great pearl which is His Church. It is why I kept saying as it unfolded that to doubt the final outcome was not to doubt the men involved, but to doubt the faithful guidance of Christ through all the ages of the Church.

Almost two decades ago I described for my priests the sequence of satan’s tools as we entered the Storm. For generations we had labored under the burden of seduction, satan persuading men that good was evil and evil, good. I reported that during the brief period of rumblings before the Storm, satan’s most important power would be that of large-scale terror. As we entered the Storm, satan’s most important tool would be that of deception, to mimic that which was actually good and orthodox. I told them that this was the gravest danger by far. It was why I did not get too worked up over progressive nonsense: I had seen it would be blown away like the weightless chaff it is in the first heavy winds. But deception would settle in and deceive many.

Though I saw it, I somehow thought that the seemingly orthodox betrayers would be a sort of mole in the hierarchy; that they would pretend to loyalty to the Church even as they undermined fidelity to its tenets. I saw that they would be very impressive in their erudition, but also very barren, giving rise mainly to dissension and inciting people against the faith as they narrowed it down, driving others away. What I did not expect was that they would use their seeming piety and orthodoxy to mount a full frontal assault on the Church that Christ founded. Yet that is what is happening. It began, comically, with Maria Divine Mercy (MDM), the Irish fraud who was exposed as a cynical marketing scheme, as she argued that Pope Francis is an antipope, an antichrist of sorts – because she had seen this in private revelation. It skipped over to Dr. Kelly Bowring, once a respectable Catholic writer, who bought in wholesale to MDM’s heretical attack. He was smart enough to recognize when she was completely debunked and dropped his devotion to her, then he paused in his own apostasy, before launching it anew. I have hinted at a European cabal that will soon wash ashore. It is headed by Antonio Socci, another well-regarded Catholic author and journalist. All of these take great pains to argue that Pope Francis is an apostate leading the Church into perdition and that the only course of safety is to abandon the ancient Church and go into the “true church” they are touting. Socci has a book out on it that will, soon enough, be translated into English. I had held off on writing about it, for I saw no reason to trouble the waters until it made landfall. But now I have had five or six English-speaking correspondents write me seeking to make the case that Socci et al. are leading, so it is about to become common.

Some of the arguments are absurd. One of the more primitive argues that a Pope cannot resign, therefore Benedict is still Pope. One such note told me that while Benedict lives he holds the “unum” of the papacy and it cannot be transferred. I don’t know what an unum is, but I know the argument is so much flimmum and flammum. The argument would be more powerful if it weren’t for the fact that, though it has been a good six centuries, Popes (note that is plural) HAVE resigned before. Another argument says that one ballot was rescinded because one of the Bishops accidentally submitted two ballots – a blank one along with his marked ballot – and it was re-voted. This correspondent says that only four ballotings a day can occur during a conclave and this caused five ballotings, which invalidated everything. God is not the God of sophomoric technicalities. I doubt that, even if it was shown that there was the conclave equivalent of a “hanging chad” at one point, God would just say, “Never mind!” But this is just rube-bait.

At the heart of this “more pious than thou, orthodox” apostasy is the elevation of private revelation above the authority of Scripture and the Magisterium. The foundation of it all is various prophecies made, some spurious, some authentic over the years and centuries. Oh, there are so many evils and deceptions here! First, the great majority of private revelation is the product of fraud or delusion. If it is not subject to a concrete interpretive authority, it has no foundation and is just a series of fevered dreams. Second, the great majority of the time, authentic prophecy is misinterpreted by the thick-headed children we are. I would say that private revelation which is not subject to the authority of the Church is built on sand, but that would be to give it too much credit. It is just the resurrection of the “secret knowledge” of the Gnostics in a virulent new guise.

The authority of the Bishops, collectively, and the primacy of the Pope are two of the rare points that go all the way back to the beginning of Christianity. They are confirmed in Scripture. It is an arrogant, errant absurdity to argue that you love Jesus so much that you are going to correct the noxious errors He made by promising that Peter’s faith would not fail and charging all the faithful that, he who hears His apostles hears Him and he who rejects them rejects Him. Jesus did not give such assurances to even the saints who had private revelations, only to His Church. Some of the greatest evils in history have been brought about by following private revelation untethered to any concrete authority. The Manichean heresy was the product solely of private revelation. The man who receives visitations cannot be a law unto himself, or the devil will have free reign.

I now understand why my angel was so enthused when, during my period of supernatural blindness after being received into the Church, I eagerly chose the solid meat of the Church over the airy uncertainty of private revelation – even if it meant I would not see him again until after my death to this world. In so choosing, I chose full submission to Christ. The rise of this abusive primacy of private revelation over Church teaching is primarily what has made me, in this last month, consider dropping any mention of such visitations so as not to further pollute the waters. But I understand now that God has other plans. It pleases Him that one who values obedience over “secret knowledge” should speak on this to combat the abuse of this satanic-inspired apostasy.

I was told long ago that vanity and self-love run far deeper than we can imagine, that even many of the best are not so devoted to God as they are to their own superiority and enlightenment – and that the Storm would be used to expose and sweep away that toxic vanity from all.

I have been receiving pleas from some to try to convince me of this apostasy – or to at least let them use this forum to get a “fair” hearing. When I was in media, particularly in the 90s, I often got requests from overheated fantasists who mixed fact with fiction with great skill to give them a fair hearing of their proposition that the Holocaust was a hoax. I would have none of it. I was not about to collaborate with that assault on truth and memory. I know that some of those who plead with me now are convinced of their own rectitude, that they have found the true way – and that it leads away from the Church. It is with no little grief I watch them go, but the only way I will publish any arguments here is for the same reason St. Thomas sometimes published the arguments of the Albigensians – to crush them and protect the faithful from their pernicious errors. The great apostasy has begun – and you who promote the idea of the failure of the Church Christ guaranteed, and the apostasy of Peter, whose faith Christ guaranteed, are the apostates. Some of you are unknowingly satan’s minions, but that is what you are. May God forgive you for what you do and lead you back to the safety of the Church and the faith He founded.

I spent 35 years as a spiritual orphan. The Good Lord gave me the authority I demanded to be able to submit to before I would speak publicly in His name – and it is my home. Under NO circumstances will I abandon it.

If, when all is done, I am publicly celebrated for having served the faithful well, I will die in the Barque of Peter. If I remain an obscure fellow scribbling along on these matters, I will die faithful to the Barque of Peter. If, for some odd reason, I should be condemned by the home I love, I will die loyal to the Barque of Peter trusting that, like St. Joan of Arc, I will be rehabilitated as a faithful and loving son of the Church in better times. There is no middle course here. That is where I have lived and that is where I will die.

About charliej373

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

267 Responses to The Great Apostasy Begins

  1. Bob says:

    Charlie,

    What are your thoughts on the attacks of 911. Do you accept the “official story” or do you believe that we are being lied to?

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    • charliej373 says:

      Osama bin-Laden mounted the 9-11 attacks. I am not much given to overheated conspiracy stories here that require a huge suspension of disbelief.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        Thank you for your honesty. I believed the same until March 2003. If one thinks it is lonely being a conservative Catholic now a days – try being one that has had to relearn all the lies we have been taught the last 100 years. We can arrive at the same end point though. Seek haven in an apostolic Church (I include the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox) as well. Develop a personal relationship with Christ. Cling to the Sacraments. Read the bible. Pray the Rosary and the Jesus prayer. Fast. Work on your own holiness – an immense task. Fall in love and pray for truth. Pray for the defeat evil in all its forms and manifestations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary A. says:

        With the help of foreign some state sponsors

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      • chet says:

        Do you too believe that God suspended the laws of physics on that day? Buildings falling at free-fall speed (pancake theory necessarily assumes resistance) and then Bldg. 7, not hit by anything, falling at free-fall speed again? No steel bldgs. before or after have collapsed due to fires either. Etc., etc., etc.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Oh for heaven’s sakes…you have read the poppycock about how jet fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to melt steel. It doesn’t – but it ignited other structural materials that do. If you read a dispassionate scientific report on it instead of overheated conspiracists who use half-truths and science they don’t understand, you could find out. When I was in secular media, I got nonsense like this all the time – most often long, detailed tomes with diagrams and citations proving the Holocaust could not have happened. There is a whole cottage industry out there eager to provide partial scientific evidence to prove utter nonsense.

          And yes, I did once investigate the claims you are making – reading both the fever swamp material and the actual forensic material. this sort of thing helps to prove a little learning is, indeed, a dangerous thing.

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  2. Charlie,
    Sorry to advertise my own writing but I am a bit tired and I don’t want to retype all of it 🙂
    We touched this matter of Mr Socci’s book a couple of weeks ago at Fr MacRae’s blog:

    http://thesestonewalls.com/gordon-macrae/pope-francis-love-tempest/

    Please make sure to read the comments. I think some of the arguments presented there are solid.
    Basically: we face a conundrum. How are we going to have (at the end of times) a generalized apostasy and at the same time a faithful Church that endures through a Passion-like persecution? Forgive me for linking to it but it is rather long, yet it deserves to be read.
    God bless,
    Carlos

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Not a problem at all, Carlos. It’s a solid, elegant piece.

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    • saintpio1 says:

      Very simple. There will be two extremists you might say. Those on the side of God and t hose who choose the devil!

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      • charliej373 says:

        Not quite so simple, saintpio. There are those who will pray to stay on God’s side, there are those who will consciously choose to be on the devil’s side, and there are those who will do satan’s work of division while confidently presuming they are God’s sidekicks.

        When we are busy telling ourselves that we are the Lord’s heralds, we would do well to remember Matthew 7:21-23 and pray heartily that we have not allowed our own vanity to deceive us:

        “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

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  3. Bob says:

    And on Friday I sat in the deer, or more honestly squirrel woods, thinking about the unraveling of our culture and noting the signs, unrest in Ferguson Mo, an Imperial presidency and others. And I consider that the arrogance of those “cultural builders” who remove respect for God and trust in God from our society in the name of tolerance and respect for those who do not believe will soon be brought down. Yes this Tower of Babel will not stand, and there must be earthquakes and numerous storms as this tower falls. All we can do is pray that God will give great graces for as many as possible to come to Truth and that God may somewhat mitigate the intensity of the storms which are necessary to bring this arrogance down.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jack says:

    Charlie,
    Regarding the apostasy, I just cling to the Church approved apparitions of Fatima and peculiarly to the 3rd Secret. The Cardinal Ciappi, personal theologian to 5 successive popes had read the 3rd Secret and revealed that told us that: “In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Cardinal Ciappi did say that, but a reasonable textual reading would say he meant it will involve much of the hierarchy and religious, but not the Pope. If you look at the Fatima site that has compiled such sayings, it overwhelmingly calls for people to help the Pope battle the apostasy, not that the Pope would lead such – that he will combat it. Even if a private revelation, including from an approved source, had said the Pope will formally teach error (and there is NO such approved private revelation) it would NOT supercede Scripture and the Magisterium.

      Liked by 1 person

    • saintpio1 says:

      We can see it there today. Remember, or if you didn’t know—–, there were communists becoming priests way back in the 20s-30s-40s and to do their job they had to get to the top -in Rome. NOW who can we trust? Everyone is so wordly as if there isn’t a God who will save us in the storm -remember what He told the apostles in the boat? and remember or know-if you didn’t , the locution Pope Leo had -search it popeleoXIII and you can see the great downfall of humanity from that point on with all the ease, transportation and communication invented for the devil’s use to busy our minds with all these “toys” while he took over our morals. Have you forgotten to PRAY to God with the HEART????
      PLEASE GOD ENLIGHTEN YOUR “SHEEP”!

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  5. Nancy Hollo says:

    I agree with you that the great apostasy is under way. It is far, far larger than I had realized, and, I agree with you also that at the heart of it is the exalting of private revelation over Scriptures, and an elitist pride over the humble obedience Jesus calls us to. I’m not Catholic. I’m speaking from personal experience of having people befriend me wherever I go who then try to draw me into “prophetic” churches where lying spirits hold sway and lead people trancelike away from Christ. As for the hugeness of this, there are mega millions of dollars pouring into the coffers of the likes of Todd Bentley, whose audience laughs while he regales them with stories of kicking worshippers in the face, knocking a tooth out of a man’s mouth, choking people and leg dropping them. Bill Johnson is bent on capturing the youth of the country and prophesies for himself a billion converts to his New Age Hindu Christianity. Rick Joyner has the largest charismatic ministry in the world, and is calling for a military takeover of the U.S. They are not fringe lunatics, they are shrewd businessmen who knowingly listen to lying spirits and, again, have mega millions of dollars at their disposal. They are fanatically elitist, and see you and I as dead religionists who are in their way. The last-days persecutions could come from the likes of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with Charlie on the important things here, but regarding a few specifics:

    1) There has been a steady stream of “more-orthodox-than-the-pope” conservative traditionalists abandoning the Barque of Peter since Vatican II; under Francis that stream is obviously a bit more rapid; but only a bit. A difference in degree, but certainly not in kind.

    2) The internet makes it easy to see large scale coherent, unified movements where in reality there are none. Venomously anti-Pope Francis sites like Pewsitter.com help achieve this today, or “MDM”‘s Facebook page (the vast majority of the “likes” it has are probably people who haven’t even looked at it). But when I actually go out into the world I don’t see any concrete evidence of this being an actually significant movement within the Church.

    3) The Great Apostasy must be both “Great” and an “Apostasy”. Only a miniscule sliver of the general Catholic and Christian population falls under the conservative traditionalist banner; radically insufficient to qualify as “great.” And, more importantly, they are most definitely not Apostate; they are at worst schismatic. Schism is indeed a grave sin that we must oppose with all of our vigor, but we must be completely precise with our terminology lest we fall into calumny. Dr. Bowring, Pewistter folk, MDM folk, etc.; they are not at all Apostates; they are, again, at worst, Schismatics.

    My own personal (and probably flawed) speculation is that the true Great Apostasy will begin when either:
    A) The media decides to abandon their current narrative on Pope Francis, and instead turn on him just as when the people turned against Jesus between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, or
    B) The next Pope will be very thankful for the gathering in and spreading of mercy that Francis did, but will also crack down on heresy, and this will cause the Great Apostasy

    We’ll see. None of this comment is particularly important… what is important is that we as individuals continue to do all we can to spread the Divine Mercy while there is still time!

    In Christ, through Mary,
    Daniel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mack says:

      Good thoughts Dan. The media may already be starting to turn on Francis. Today’s Boston Globe has a front page article about a priest Francis appointed to VAtican post who covered up abuse in the past. I don’t know details of this case so I’m reserving judgment but it’s only a matter of time. Also I think your idea about the pope requiring assent could trigger the apostasy.

      Like

    • Observer says:

      I don’t think the Church has as yet been tested/persecuted to the extent that would make the rats flee the ship. What’s going on now is a laying of the framework for rationale for when that happens. It won’t be because they’re actually traitors or cowards or wish to keep their comfortable attachments and/or power that have forced them to form a separate entity more in tune with world thinking (esp. economical thinking). It will be due to being more “authentic” and true to the rubrics of continuity for self anointment. After all if you’ve already used your honored or respected position to ignore or make it hard on the “little ones” it won’t be that difficult to move on to a system where that continues….with its benefits for doing so. And the many confused, fearful, discouraged will be willing to follow in order to survive, esp. when it comes to the time when they’ll realize that they haven’t been raptured out of the mess!

      May the grace from the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart give courage to those who desire to remain true through the storm.

      Like

    • I agree with your thoughts on this Dan.
      I see the GREAT APOSTASY going hand in hand with persecution and a total abandoning of Christ and the Church. Almost like that of the early Christians who abandoned Christ and Christianity …..because they didn’t want to die or be sent to prison or tortured.
      I wish I knew what book it was now that I read that spoke of the Great Apostasy ….as a denial of Christ due to the Antichrists persecution….I thought it was St. Louis De Montfort but it might be that book St. Therese loved so much by Father Aminjon……anyway……
      Thanks for your thoughts on this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • malachi99 says:

        Hi Charlanne, Charlie, et al,

        I think your and Dan O’Connor’s comments have been spot on. It is crucially important that we clarify our terminology on the difference between apostasy and schism.

        For what it’s worth I don’t think Charlie is confusing or conflating these two very different but closely related realities. Now I will leave it to him to elucidate further on this but my impression was that he was hinting that the increasing and in some quarters virulent opposition to the pope as a heretic/apostate is a catalyst of sorts for accelerating the apostasy that has for decades now already taken root in the heart of the Church.

        Let’s be frank guys, the Church has been in free fall since the mid 60’s. Much of the chaos was deliberately willed, planned, and executed. At the same time, much of the chaos came about largely through inadvertence by well meaning but soft headed clerics and lay people alike.

        There is absolutely no doubt, and I’d be willing to slug it out with anyone on this point, that the destructive changes to the Church’s liturgy, for which you will find NO evidence for in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, have been the principal instrument through which the faith of most Catholics has been decimated (lex orandi lex credendi-changes to the Church’s liturgy inevitably affect the content of faith). I would say, and this is from some years of experience in Catholic education and living in the real world, that many many Catholics have been led by the nose out of the Church and have been so poorly catechised that they don’t even realise it nor would care if indeed it were brought to their attention.

        An honest and objective appraisal of the state of the Church would lead me to conclude that a great many of baptised and confirmed Catholics are material heretics and some have denied certain dogmas of the faith thus embracing formal heresy and many others (especially in the 30-45 age range) have repudiated the faith altogether and thus are apostates. It is but a short step from heresy to apostasy.

        How many Catholics do you know are Catholics solely by accident of birth or convention? How many Catholics do you know who believe in the real, true, substantial, and sacramental presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament? How many Catholics do you know who accept and live out the Church’s teaching in the realm of morality (even as it concerns basic tenets of the natural law)? Unfortunately we could go on and on ad infinitum….

        The point I’m making in all charity is simply that the great apostasy has been well and truly underway for many years now; it would seem we are fast approaching it’s crescendo. The greatest threat that some belligerent, extremely radical “traditional Catholics” (I consider myself to be a simple Catholic who accepts all his Church teaches and who loves the magnificent cultural patrimony that has been bequeathed to me as a member of the Church) pose for the future is that they may be led into formal schism due to the mistaken belief that the Holy Father is a heretic and an invalidly elected successor to the Papal throne. That they would become apostates is a proposition that I would consider incredible. The apostasy is here, it has been eating away at the faith for many years, perhaps we just don’t see how far we have fallen.
        God bless,

        JPW

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Exactly right – and profoundly insightful – Malachi. The word I used, apostasy, is debatable, but I chose it carefully to emphasize the dangerous tipping point that is upon us.

          Like

          • D Shea says:

            Hey Charlie,
            I think you may have spent a lot of time in political “Smoke Filled Rooms …. Check out the below … if ya got time .. and the comments then tell me why Harry Reid would comment on Pope Francis. An old Party Hack like Harry never says anything without an “angle” and his “angles” have done nothing, of late, that might assist the “Feeding of God’s Lambs ;-(
            http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Harry-Reid-Mormon-Catholic-fan/2014/11/26/id/609863/

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Maybe, D, but sometimes the angle is more clunky than you think. Reid has never struck me as particularly bright. If there was an angle to it, it probably was just that the Catholic vote went more Republican this time than it has in a while and he is simply trying to ponder.

            Like

        • Greg says:

          I agree, looking at the percentages of American Catholics (just as an example) that completely reject the teaching on birth control, the real presence, etc., it has run consistently higher than 75% for a very long time. If this isn’t the biggest apostasy since Arianism, I’m not sure what would be. When a chastisement comes, it will be well-deserved unfortunately (and I’m as guilty as anyone).

          Like

  7. U.S. Catholic says:

    “The authentic development of Christian doctrine has not just been a refining of the rules, an esoteric ideology, but a lively concern for how it is lived practically.” — Do you have any concrete suggestions about what changes if any should be made at the present time to the living out of the Christian faith ? For example as far as liturgy, private prayer, socio-economic policy, or anything else ? Or perhaps a comment about what is a good development/practice ? Better curriculum for the RCIA across the board perhaps, for instance a national or international syllabus/set of materials ? The Catechism is pretty intimidating just to take it up to read it, even for a cradle Catholic and Catholic university graduate like myself. I can’t imagine trying to absorb all of it as a new member of the Church, the way it is presented — wonderful book but just too much for most people I think. How about ways to interest Catholics in learning about their faith ? How about ways to evangelize our fellow non-Catholic Americans ? etc. etc. etc.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      For what it is worth, this website has spoken frequently directly and indirectly about such things. I do not have – and don’t expect to have – a comprehensive program. Rather we each, working in the community of God, are obliged to develop the little pieces we can. This is the first time I have seen you here, U.S. If you look at the sweep of my writing, it is that for each of us, the key is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us.

      We all have different callings and different strengths. I propound that very simple call…just do the little that is right in front of you that you CAN do, without worrying about saving the world…and the world will be saved. There are plenty of gurus out there with the next big plan. I’m not one of them. Just the next right step – and only you can know what it is for you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • dciavarella says:

      I would like to suggest US Catholic to listen to EWTN radio and/or television. Practical suggestions, sermons, apologetics, question and answer shows, catholic witness, prayer, enlightenment, Vatican news, and general current world events and news. No need to frustrate oneself with difficult to understand theological dogma when such basic and profound programs are available for Catholic education and evangelization. Otherwise books like Youcat (which is a youth or beginners guide to the Catechism) or Lighthouse media CDs (found at most Catholic church gathering areas) among many other resource s that are recommended through Catholic media outlets. Also my favorite program that has been put together as a program for education for Confirmation is called Decision Point by Mathew Kelly found at Dynamiccatholic.com. It is a superb program to highlight the beauties of our faith.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Thank you, dc…great resources. It is best to build on a foundation. If you start with technical, complex things, you will likely get frustrated and give up. But if you start and build up on the foundation you have laid at each step, then you will build a solid knowledge. In learning, too, the key is to take the next right step.

        Like

  8. Dino Casarotto Eindhoven The Netherlands. says:

    Brilliant. If you need a helper to clean the deck of the Barque of Peter, I’m your man. Pope John 23rd formulated a lovely prayer ” Oh Jesus, if one day with Your help I can do any good, here I am in the ranks of your fighting men.” God bless you,
    Dino
    P S please keep writing…….

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Not to worry, Dino, I’ll keep plugging away. Glas to see the Netherlands weigh in…I see a handful of readers from there each day, but I think this is the first time I’ve heard from one. When I was a little boy, our neighbors were a couple – a Dutch woman and a German man. They met when German soldiers invaded the Netherlands – and she was among a bunch of Dutch girls whose heads were shaved as some sort of example during WWII. Strange love story, but they were both glad to have lived to get to America.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Jim M. says:

    It us ironic that those strutting about preening as protectors of the faith have lost theirs. They attack the successor of Peter apparently believing their association with God is greater than that if the Pope. As has been pointed out many times, despite tge shortcomings of those who have held the rudder of the Church, not once in 2000 years have any broken Church doctrine.

    I pray for those fomenting this aposty, for they are on dangerous ground.

    The Apostles were gathered in the upper room where Jesus held the Last Supper, persevering in prayer with Mary. A sound comes from Heaven, like the rush of a mighty wind, and fills the whole house. The Holy Spirit descends upon them in the form if tongues if fire. Filled with the gifts if the Holy Spirit, they are enlightened and Strengthened to spread the Gospel. The Holy Spirit descends on the infant Church, never to leave it.

    The Holy Spirit has never left the Church. And never will, And He guides our Pope Francis as He guided Peter in that first day after Pentecost when Peter baptized 3000 souls.

    Those who dismiss the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the Pope and the Church, who deny the enlightenment and strength Jesus promised from the Holy Spirit, which the Holy Spirit has continuously provided since that first Pentecost, run the risk of reviling the Holy Spirit. A sin Jesus taught is unforgiveable, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. They have lost trust in God, and ni longer see the Kingdom of God as through the eyes of a child, but through the cloud of pride that places their judgment above God’s.

    God has made it very clear He does not think as we think. How dare we substitute our ” logic and reason” for God’s judgment. Perhaps this us why we are admonished not to judge; because we simply can’t.

    If you have Faith, know it is God’s plan, not ours. If you have Faith, know that Christ will never abandon His Church. If you have Faith, know the power of the Holy Spirit will always be with snd protect the Church. Faith requires believing without seeing, knowing that our Almighty Father will take care of it all. And knowing through our hearts that God who we cannot see but certainly know and feel, loves us more than our human minds can comprehend.

    I don’t see a conundrum here. I see the work of Satan causing the loss of faith by appealing to pride, turning those who were part of the flame of faith into the torch of aposty to burn down the Church. As God chastises man, so will he chastise the Church.

    The Church will survive, but will endure great suffering at the hands of its former faithful who have surrendered to the sin of pride. Our Church, and the anti-church.

    Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit, for the confusion among the flock will be unprecedented. Just remember, in today’s readings, God tells us He will gather His scattered flock. And Jesus assures us His sheep know the voice of their Shepherd.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Rosalie says:

    CharlieJ, I just happened on this post (or series of posts) today; as a fellow convert, I loved it, but that’s not why I’m replying. I wanted to ask you if you had been reading from http://www.locutions.org and if so what do you think of it?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Rosalie, I value LttW for the meditations there, but I wrote about it just last week in this article. Though I value it, I am unpersuaded that it is of supernatural origin.

      Like

      • Rosalie says:

        Thank you, Charlie, for your charitable response and for pointing out Hitting the Links, which I had not seen. Bringing LttW to people’s attention really wasn’t what I was about, but I enjoyed your post on The Great Apostasy and wanted your opinion on that website which has been interesting to me. I treat all private revelation the same way: suspended judgment — if it’s prophecy, check out whether it actually happens, take what is helpful but don’t put it on the level of the Magisterium, and I had found the meditations there very helpful. But the points you make against it seem valid, and that’s helpful to me also.

        Like

  11. Phil says:

    Granted, the progressives and those traditionalists who are schismatic are imperiling souls, but the lukewarm are the ones that will be spit out, according to Scripture, and the ones who caused Christ the most suffering at Gethsemeni, according to St. Faustina. Some lukewarm are really
    angry about something involving the
    faith IR a representative, but hiding it
    from others and usually themselves. Others just aren’t fed by clergy wanting to be liked or ‘reasonable” or
    frivolities and improv by the priest at
    Mass have distanced them as much as
    angry members could.

    One thing in the article that puzzles me and you hear thos unchallenged on conversion stories on Catholic shows, such as Coming Home,is how those who pick and choose what they believe from Scripture can
    still be authentic living Christians,
    but those Catholics who’d do so
    regarding the Catechism, including being progressives or sedevacantists,
    would be sinning against The Holy Spirit and, thus, impthusing their soul. We need a coherent line on this.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It seems to me, Phil, that everyone is on a pilgrim journey – and you have to look at where they are at. Jesus did not demand the same standard from the woman taken in adultery when she encountered Him as He would one of His disciples. Rather, I think, it is important to help each person to continue on their journey to Christ. I don’t know, it has always seemed to me that trajectory is more important than we give it credit for, instead always comparing position. But if you could see well where someone is tending, you would recognize people who are behind you in your journey who will one day help you along in your troubles. That may not really satisfy your question on the matter, but it is my thinking on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Phil says:

        Yeah, but if one is living a so-called authentically Christian life, they would be far ahead enough to accept all the New Testament and anything not changed from the OT or be responsible for not having done so. There will be the illiterate who could only believe what their pastor says Scripture teaches, but I think, at least in the West, minus the Appalachians, most can read these days. You can’t remember everything Scripture or an official catechism teaches, but you are responsible not to add or subtract
        from them. Some use sophistry to
        finesse them, but that’s usually done
        with a sinister spirit.

        Like

  12. Bob says:

    As for stages on the journey, I was thinking yesterday of how I was once lost and how long it took me to realize some truths of the Gospel and how patient God was with me while I was learning. I think that is some of Pope Francis reaching out in mercy to sinners. They must first experience God’s love before they will be ready to begin to follow Jesus and make changes as I once was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Exactly, Bob! Love first, then catechize.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just am not getting it. I see a church that has been lacking terribly in too much ……turn a blind eye and catechize little because they might get spooked. If the shepherds would have catechized better and salted their homilies a bit more …the church may not be in the mess it is in today. The church is not in a mess because of lack of love and mercy.
        The church has always taught LOVE…..but it is being torn apart by groups and laity who want mercy without adhering to truth and not taking up the cross daily. The church is deficient in tradition and Masses centered on Christ not the priest or people. It’s deficient in more confession times. Its lacking in everything ……in most churches. Count the churches in your diocese that have more than 1 confession times a week. Or count the churches that offer the TLM. I still am having a very hard time seeing …..a church that is lacking love and mercy. I know there are people who are hurting because of divorce and other problems that have broken families, but the answer has always been there……it’s just not being given to them…..or they can’t handle the truth……so they leave and find a Protestant religion that will feed their ears with ……once forgiven always forgiven…..no confession, no penance, no Eucharist so don’t worry …..you can’t commit sacrilege.
        Sorry ….perhaps I am blind.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          No, Charlanne, you’re not blind. Myopic, perhaps, but not blind. The error you describe is real, but it is not the only error. There is an old Russian proverb that says we should pick our enemy carefully, because that is what we will become. It does not mean that we will adopt his errors, but that we will eventually adopt his means of dealing with error.

          The abuses that Martin Luther criticized as he led his revolt were, for the most part, almost all genuine abuses. And then he created the even greater abuse of disunity. Throughout history, abuses are followed by even greater abuses as the reformers take on a single-minded zeal. So the point is, you must gaze on the abuses you rightly condemn with a wary eye to make sure your own vision has not been so narrowed that it replaces them with even worse equal and opposite abuses. I don’t think you are particularly prone to that, but it is unsettling to me when people think their entire defense against error is to argue that what they denounce is, indeed, error. It usually is, but that is not the issue. If you somehow think I suddenly am approving of the sorts of things you cite, well, that just doesn’t hold up. To condemn an error of excessive narrowness is not to approve of one of excessive looseness….and I looked back on my piece and saw that I had, indeed, condemned both.

          Like

          • Take it easy on me Charlie…I am not that smart……I had to look up Myopic…..LOL!!!
            I am not ashamed to say…..I have to read your stuff more than once……it goes over my head a lot. I am very nostalgic. In my eyes ….the boat is leaning to one side……and it’s time to balance her out. I see …..that Pope Emeritus Benedict was trying to do that….and sadly was unable to finish. Now….. Me and many are getting wet because our side is too low and ……the water is cold. We are not about to jump in the water……that would be suicide …..but we are begging for some more people ……fat and plumpy ……to balance out the boat and keep us steady and strong.
            Wet is not a good look for me. LOL!!!

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Haha, Charlanne, we are all a little myopic. It is why we need each other so. Very few, I think, are actually venial, but we just see some things better than others. I know, for example, I have a color deficiency – I can’t see certain darker shades of green and blue right. It isn’t because of any malice in me, it is just one of my many defects. If I had the ability, I might be a competent sketch artist, but I could not be a good painter – because I don’t see colors true. There is no fault or blame in my deficiency, particularly so long as I remain aware of it and keep it in mind.

            Thus, those who love the law are of vital importance to us all – one of the two essential guardrails I mentioned above. Paul’s discussion of the parts of the body is key. Even if we are some notable part like the eyes or the mouth, we still need the feet and the belly to thrive.

            Like

          • My comment below DISREGARD……I’m so stupid I can’t even get my anolgy of a boat correct. LOL!! Good grief! I quit. I told you……I’m not that smart LOL!!
            I see that my side of the boat is in the air……not getting wet……and we’re hanging on with our fingernails. Too much weight on the one side and not on the other……where I am. I know this isn’t the titanic ……it won’t sink……but I don’t like heights……LOL!!! How that…..did I fix it. LOL!!
            Good night. Over and out….I’m brain fried.

            Like

          • Phil says:

            Michael Davies wrote “I am with you always” about why not to be a sedevacantist. We are fighting powers and principalities which will damn many clerics and us, too, if we follow them where the Catechism forbids or proudly rebel, like Luther. Maybe it’s that he thought he could fix it by forcing the hierarchy to straighten up, but it usually leads to not only giving up on it, but even attacking it upon coming to believe it to be an imposter church. This is a test

            Liked by 1 person

        • Jim M. says:

          Charlanne,

          Please don’t quit! You are asking some very important questions and have come here seeking answers.

          None of us are right all if the time. We THINK we know something, have a set path when BOOM, it all changes. What we thought we knew for a certainty turns out to be dead wrong! As Pope Francis tells us, He is a God of surprises!

          Think about this: the questions you ask and statements that you make are likely shared by many people. We live in very confusing times, and it’s about to get more confusing. We help each other here to sort out the confusion and find God’s path.

          Another observation: how is it that many here and on other sites are being driven by common messages, common questions, common thoughts and common words? It is as if God is “synchronizing” His people; preparing us en masse for what is to come.

          You were led here for a reason. Please stay. Your participation here offers an element of what Jesus called the faith of a child. Not that you are a child, but there us an innocence and purity in your interactions here that humble us all. Your faith is strong, and your truthfulness and willingness to spark important discussions is a help to us all.

          None of us are too old to learn. Not even Charlie! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not quitting. I was just brain fried. LOL! I’m too passionate about my faith to quit. I’m a convert as of 2009 and I’m just getting started. I had my RCIA classes in a not so traditional Catholic church. I learned more on google than in my class. After converting …..I needed to have my marriage sacramentally blessed in the church. My friend told me about a “old fashioned Catholic church” where the priest was a saint. I went there and told him that the church where I became a catholic was making us jump through silly hoops to have our marriage blessed. My husband and I had been married for over 20 yrs and had no previous marriages. The priest married us right away. He was upset that they did a lot of the RCIa process wrong. The church we were married in, is very traditional. 1 Mass a day in Latin, confessions before every Mass, alter boys, alter facing the old way. Our priest is indeed a saint and doesn’t hold back when speaking about sin and mortal sin. I found out as a new Catholic …..what people have been missing for a number of yrs. I have visited other churches and I was shocked at how many of these churches don’t even teach out of the catechism or quote church fathers. It makes me so sad because there are so many people craving the way it use to be and then there are those that are clueless about their faith. If they only knew…..they would be on fire and not lukewarm.
            I know a lot about my faith because like Charlie …..when I was converting….I read everything I could. I was and still am a sponge/ book worm. I love my Holy Mother church!
            I never knew life could be so beautiful. There is even beauty in suffering. No other church teaches that!! The Saints…..WOW!! What a great family I have been added to. God is great INDEED! I told Charlie……I am a horrible writer……and a great talker. LOL!
            I am just a simple soul…..in love with God, Mary, the Saints and Holy Mother Church!
            I am blessed!!

            Like

  13. anne says:

    Please read Mark Mallett’s THE Great Confusion. Posted on July 25th, 2014. Read closely.

    (Ed. note: I added the link to the referenced Mallett article. As I noted, feel free to add a link in the comment any time to anything by Mark Mallett or Pelianito – CJ)

    Like

  14. You seem to be pointing to something that according to the catechism …..is schism. Apostasy in the catechism is a :

    2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”11

    I find iit easier to see schism …..from those you are writing about…..than a total apostasy. Now the Greek word APOSTACIA
    Feminine of the same as apostasion; defection from truth (properly, the state) (“apostasy”) — falling away, forsake

    In the context of the usage in 2 thesolonians it would seem that ……the ones you are writing about …..would have to turn away completely from the truth of Christ and the teachings of the church. Those you seem to be pointing to …..love the truth too much for them to abandon all they hold dear and are fighting for. The Great apostasy has ….I believe taken place and continues …..since the reformation and to this day.

    I don’t hold your views on the those in the church ( radical trads.)……falling into apostasy…..because of what’s going on in the church…..during the synod …..and from what’s going on with many cardinals and bishops. I am sorry but …..the rad trads you seem to be pointing to….love Holy Mother church too much. They may revolt and a schism could happen but ……I sure don’t see it in happening by the thousands. I see a fight ensuing but not a total abandoning of the truth of the gospel…..from thoses you seem to be pointing to.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Phil says:

      Schism may be a different word than apostacy, but it’s still denying catechetical and Biblical truth about The Church. Believe me, I am frustrated by learning what of our patrimony I didn’t ever know of and have seen most my family and friends fall into error and I didn’t have the guidance and skills to know how to handle it–all because of the aggiornamento of the ’60s, but, had the Church not been divinely protected from error, the pandering
      to Protestants, Jews, and the world at
      Vatican 2 would have resulted in
      doctrinal changes and certainly not
      humanae vitae! The synod might have resulted in anti-Biblical communion for those living in adultery and active homosexual life livers–both mortal sins! God will right the baroque and many will follow progressives, separatist traditionalists, the lukewarm who vote Democrat thinking gays should be married and all should have free contraception as the media says and uncommitted clerics who want to be liked will fall our and go under.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I chose the word, ‘apostasy,’ carefully, Phil. Critics here can make a good case that it does not apply in this situation…and I will not be disappointed if they turn out to be right. But I meant apostasy, not schism. I will explain a little in a post later today. You are, I think, very much on the right track.

        Like

        • Phil says:

          I was wrong in implying schism is always an apostasy. It could just be a heresy and a material one at that, but I’m no theologians or of any consequence. Some are in a panic to preserve the sacred and ends up rationalising what they think needs doing. Now, if one purposefully denies a doctrine to please some group or make a career, that’s a devilish apostasy, I think. You make yourself a church unto yourself in finding The Church lacking. So, you don’t say there is no Pope on the throne. You might as well become a Protestant, who thinks the Church is conquered by Satan or become a Gnostic in thinking you have special knowledge and if your church doesn’t take it, you’re going to start something new. Fortunately, you, the OP, didn’t go that way. Test the spirits. Hank
          Hanegeaff found sensual-based
          charismatic revelations not tested by
          Scripture a serious threat to faith (he is anti-Catholic, but I wanted to read what happens with their charismatic gatherings, as ours tend to favor an apparition found not worthy of belief by two bishops, despite that the Yugoslavian town could have used the money from the fanfare); so to are those not tested by the Magisterium and other defied sources, whether they be from an apparition or a night of charismatic services.

          Like

    • Jim M. says:

      Is not the rejection of the Pope, the denunciation of Christ’s duly appointed leader of the Church, not a defection from the truth, a falling away, a forsaking of the Word? A rejection of the belief in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the Pope and the Church?

      We need to be careful with clinical applications of definitions. Rather. look to the substance, rather than the form.

      A falling away is not the exclusive province of progressives. I his closing speech at the synod of the family, the Pope warned:

      :One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.”

      Which is incredibly similar to the admonitions of Jesus to the Church of Ephesus in Revelation:

      “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors… Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen… (Revelation Chapters 2 & 3)”

      Mark Mallet does an outstanding job analyzing the Pope’s closing remarks from the synod of the family http://www.markmallett.com/blog/the-five-corrections/#more-16774

      A schism may indeed happen as a result of the apostasy, and no doubt will. But a schism will be a result of the apostasy, rather than the apostasy being the result of a schism.

      2 Thessalonians 2, among other warnings, tells us the apostasy will come:

      “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, 12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

      It will be a great shaking of the Church, a period of time where the devil roams employing his favorite tactics of division, deception (which includes “wordsmithing”), diversion and discouragement (many of which we see happening now). Monsignor Pope enlightens us on this topic: http://blog.adw.org/2013/07/four-common-tactics-of-the-devil/

      Unless we humble ourselves, lower ourselves to the very ground in God’s presence, we will not see. For as in a great fire raging through a building, your must be on the floor to have any chance of seeing and breathing.

      Through the intercession of Saint Michael and the celestial choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.

      Like

      • Bob says:

        Unless we humble ourselves, lower ourselves to the very ground in God’s presence, we will not see. For as in a great fire raging through a building, your must be on the floor to have any chance of seeing and breathing.
        Jim I like your analogy of remaining low as I was always told to get low to avoid the smoke if caught in a fire.

        Like

  15. donna269 says:

    thank you Charlie: your article has confirmed what the Holy Spirit has been leading me to believe….I am separating myself from friends who believe this Pope is doing everything wrong….I sensed a great deal of pride. Shame because these people are such holy people in many ways, but pride is a huge character defect that Satan often uses disguised in false humility….

    Like

  16. Brother Burrito says:

    Reblogged this on Catholicism Pure & Simple and commented:
    Please read this brilliant article-it’s quite long, but worth the effort. H/T to @ProfJCharmley

    Like

  17. aj says:

    Hi guys, the following link is to an article from spirit daily which cited some essays from Pope Benedict before he was appointed Bishop and Cardinal. The focus of the article is that he supported communion for the remarried at that time. In fact his rationale reminded me of Cardinal Kasper in its plea for mercy and the prevention of further moral decay. As cardinal and Pope he would have changed his position. I wonder how this sits with those who claim he was the last true Pope, the last bastion of orthodoxy? I see no lack of consistency. I see a Church that constantly seeks ways to minister to all the flock in as merciful and welcoming ways as possible. I don’t see Pope Benedict as being a heretic or apostate for having an opinion that some would deem anti-Catholic.

    If we are honest with ourselves, I’m sure we find numerous times when we have made radical changes in our opinions. It may be for the simple fact that a better position was put forward or the Grace of enlightenment was bestowed on us. It is instructive to note that as Pope he did not “change” this practice of Communion to the remarried. The Holy Spirit guides the Church, we must simply have child-like Trust in our Lord’s promise! And in saying that I am not even saying that this practice of Communion to the remarried may not change. I simplh am saying Trust in the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in Spirit and in Truth.

    I continue to learn that my thoughts, opinions and intellectual astuteness can be at total variance to God’s work…it is only through the gift of humility that I can reject all of myself and obey the Church!

    Have a wonderful day and a Graced filled week my friends.

    JESUS ITrust in You!

    The article: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/ratzinger-divorziati-sinodo-37624/

    Like

    • Mack says:

      In currently reviewing his work, Benedict in effect retracted his previous opinion. He wrote that article as a young theologian and on deeper study rejected it. Fr Z. has a good post on this. St Augustine did the same thing and wrote a book of Retractions in which he examined his previous work and said he changed his mind on some things. Theologians do that; they investigate topics and come up with their opinions, but such opinions are not the teaching of the Church.
      http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/11/wherein-benedict-xvi-is-now-channeling-his-inner-augustine/

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Exactly…which is why the Catholic Church is so reticent to condemn speculation as heretical unless it is patently obvious or a source of major division (not just loud argumentation). The Church is confident enough to know that error will not prevail and wise enough to know that if they shut down all dissent, they are likely to miss things they should have payed attention to. It is precisely this characteristic that gives the Church such a solid foundation while encouraging deep intellectual and theological inquiry and discovery.

        Like

        • aj says:

          Yes…exactly the point. He retracted his former position. As a politician in my country once said when he changed his position on something…”only a fool wouldn’t change his mind (meaning if something better, wiser, nobler is presented)” So my friends, with respect to the Church, the Chair of Peter and the doctrine passed down through the ages “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
          ― Padre Pio

          Not sure what else can be added to that…oh yes…”take the next right step” 😉

          May Almighty GOD bless us all.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Mark says:

    I find your article comforting; Comforting in the sense that in it I see others content allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his church. Is not what Christ left us a rock to cling to when storms batter? Why do so many not understand the gift that is our Church? Articles bemoaning “Liberal” Pope Francis are nothing more than a testimony to faithlessness. Pope Francis has stretched my understanding of faith. Were it not for him, I fear I could have become a “White washed tomb”. I for one have a lot of work to do merely contemplating his style. God is moving quickly now…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Tarja says:

    As an outsider I perhaps should not intervene, but I just have to ask: what group of Catholic Church is this Novus Ordo Watch? How many there are people like this? It was very sad for me that among the first Catholic sites I found there was this site, and I just did not know how common this approach is in Catholism….Then I understood this – and alike – may not be very popular. What’s the truth? This is very dangerous stuff anyway I think…. and I see the blindness of these people, very scary indeed.
    Thanks for information!

    http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/socci-book-francis-benedict.htm

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Tarja, it is small. It, in fact, was helpful in many ways in battling some of the abusive interpretations of Vatican II in the 60s and 70s. But as so many do, it takes an insight and magnifies it until it becomes a greater abuse than that which it would correct. So much of error is simply a matter of emphasis. I have noted that Martin Luther started by denouncing what were, mostly, genuine abuses. He ended by blasting apart the unity of the faithful. Karl Marx, the intellectual founder of communism, had a profound insight, one for which every historian owes him a debt of gratitude. He was the first to see that economics is a critical driver of history. No serious historical analysis since him omits this aspect. But he decided that economics was the ONLY significant driver of historical events – and founded his ruthless, bloody political and economic systems on that abusive application of what started as a genuine and valuable insight.

      This is small, but it is serving as a key portion of the intellectual foundation for what could turn into the most serious assault against the faith ever.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        It is true some, on purpose or by the nature of the beast, end up finding their career in the outrage biz. Woe to those who realize their influence and abuse it, thereby scandalizing the “little ones” (the ignorant).

        Like

  20. rickr252@gmail.com says:

    Charlie,
    I think you are right on target regarding staying loyal to the “Barque of Peter”. Anyone who leads people away from Sacred Scripture and Tradition (with a capital T) should reconsider.

    However I do want to take exception to your observation that traditionalists “…simply prefer the startling liturgical innovations of 500 years ago to the startling liturgical innovations of 50 years ago – and think everyone else should, too.”

    This is not correct. As a member of the Confraternity of St. Peter (the Lay organization that supports and prays for the FSSP), I am a loyal member of the church, and I assert that your characterization of the Traditional Latin Mass is incorrect. The source I’ll quote here is from Fr. Adrian Fortescue’s “The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy”, In this most excellent scholarly piece, he makes clear that the Council of Trent did not set about to reinvent the Mass. In fact, they would only consider liturgies that were already 200 years old; they would have nothing of novelty or change. To quote Fr. Fortescue:

    “It was not to make a new missal, but to restore the existing one “according to the custom and rite of the holy Fathers” using for that purpose the best manuscripts and other documents.” p. 206.

    “Still, a just and reasonable criticism will admit that Pius V’s restoration was on the whole eminently satisfactory. The standard of the commission was antiquity.” p208.

    “Essentially the Missal of Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary ( early 7th century); that again is formed from the Gelasian book, which depends on the Leonine collection… So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all.” p 213.

    Unlike the above observations of the Traditional Latin Mass (as reflected in the 1962 Missal), the Novus Ordo liturgy was, in fact, a “startling liturgical innovation” that was thrust upon the Catholic world without concern for the effect on the congregation in 1969.

    I do accept the Novus Ordo as valid because our Holy Mother Church says it is but I ask you to please not mis-characterize the origins of the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Rick, I will plead guilty. The point I very clumsily tried to make was that the Tridentine Mass was not a dramatic substantive change to the Mass, only a refined stylistic update and that the Novus Ordo was largely the same. The substance of the Mass has been the same since the beginning – these two moments were merely like renovation projects. I have no little sympathy with those who claim the Tridentine Mass was a stylistic masterpiece while the Novus Ordo has often been a clunky Barry Manilow piece. But to condemn it as heretical and such is a bridge way too far. It is accessible in a way that a masterpiece often isn’t. I should say, on balance, I do not much like the new Missal instituted three years ago…but I am not going to start saying that that invalidates the Mass and condemns us all to hell.

      But, on what you charge me with, I can only say Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

      A question…I have thought of going in and editing it to better reflect what I was trying to convey. But a part of me thinks it better to leave my errors – so long as they are not substantive – up and just allow my astute readers to have corrected it. That has the virtue of not using the “edit” function to pretend never say something in a way I did not mean, but the downside of leaving the original clunker up for people to see and, get an idea that I didn’t really intend to convey. A little counsel from readers might be helpful here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        I would say edit it with a footnote explaining it was edited to better reflect your thoughts. That way it is no longer “clunky” but you aren’t pretending that it never happened. Just a thought

        Like

      • A little counsel from readers might be helpful here.

        I think I would counsel adjusting the original post to best reflect what you want readers to understand, as most will never read through over 200 comments to see what transpired afterwards. Some will read none of the comments. You could always point out, in the original, where you later edited a part.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Thank you to both D and linda. I have decided where it was just a clunky error – like here – to edit it like I would a grammatical error and note in the comments (as I am here) that it has been by the helpful guidance of readers that I have corrected an awkward, misleading construction. Should I make an error of serious substance, I will note the correction in the copy of the text itself. Thank you to those readers who have helped make my copy better here.

          Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Charlie, some people edit by lining out the old words and then entering the new words afterward. Others may insert just after the wrong text a “[Edit: corrected words]”. Still others put in a *1 footnote marker and then enter the correction at the bottom of the article.

            It is generally not considered good practice to take out the wrong words and put in the right words instead. The edit should be visible, I think. Otherwise, later readers won’t know anything was changed, nor will the original readers know an article has been fixed if they reread the article later.

            I hope that helps.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Certainly, if there has been a substantive change, that is the practice. I routinely will correct punctuation or a wrong tense on a re-read. This is, I suppose more than that. I’m usually very careful about substantive matters before publication. In this case, it was such a delicious construction that, even though it did not quite convey the right sense, I convinced myself it did wryly. I should have spent longer to get it done as neatly with the right sense.

            Like

    • Phil says:

      Thank you! It’s funny how those who point fingers at traditionalists had a fit over Pope Benedict’s Mass changes and I think some clergy refused to do it that way. It’s also funny how the bishops patted themselves on the back for 40 years of the Novus Ordo while letting it be abused on a weekly basis on the weekends and for Vatican 2, after 40 years of picking and choosing what of it they would implement–and, yet, the traditionalists are the heretics, schismatics, etc. I think we’re an easy target. They pick at the splinter in the. eye of the SSPX and sedecacantists, while letting progressives roam free and even lead a synod on key doctrinal issues. Still, the Church will be righted and all intentional heretics and schismatics and apostates will get their true rewards.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        The traditionalists do have a very valid complaint on this matter. Those Bishops who have prided themselves the most on being the most open and progressive and tolerant have often been ruthlessly intolerant of traditional worship It is a scandal and an offense. And I might note, these who pride themselves on “listening to everyone” often use that for code for enabling enemies of the faith while oppressing traditional advocates of it. Perhaps I have missed it, but I have not seen a similar ruthless suppression of conventional practitioners by the most notably orthodox Bishops.

        Like

        • Phil says:

          I know most like the ordinary form, so why don’t they enforce its rubrics? Why do we only see it done correctly by EWTN, the F.I. etc.? it sounds like the clergy and their Catholic radio pundits should start an accountibility lobby or something. Somebody should take this seriously! I understand the Pope wants to actually celebrate Luther’s nailing in of the 95 theses. I bet there won’t be a 50 year reunion of Archbishop Lebebvre’s ordinations against Rome’s prohibition to. That was quite a statement! It’s the “spiritual” types leaving the Church and it’s not because of the traditionalists. Any next big split won’t be by future traditionalists, but those who see the Church as a human institution, because it will seem to change because worldlings will want to hear Cardinal Jasper with his “words that tickle your ear” and not EWTN World
          Over. Speaking of which, EWTN
          needs to take a stand and ask hard
          questions of bishops and cardinals in
          charity, because the answers to the
          questions they encourage the faithful
          to ask ate not being given in
          Christlike simplicity that people get, but ecclesialese. People will answer with their feet and, one day, our clergy will be working at Walmart, if not a concentration camp. It would be charitable for strong Catholics with influence to risk impunity by telling them to quit slapping themselves for a council and Mass they’ve neglected and save their souls in sackcloth and ashes and doing their job as pastors or get out.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Your first sentence is something I entirely agree with. It annoys me to no end when I see a priest trying to “make up” his own Mass or flamboyantly form his own cult of personality.

            I have not seen the charge of the Pope celebrating the 95 theses except on traditionalist sites that take former Pope Benedict’s congratulations to German Lutherans on their 500th Anniversary, an ecumenical gesture, as an endorsement of Luther’s break with the Church. It is this sort of heated overstatement of a Pope’s courtesy that discredits traditionalists so often. Could you encourage your brethren to give the facts and hold the spin?

            Like

  21. optina20 says:

    Our traditions—everything from the liturgy, church architecture, prayers, devotions, blessings, sacramental rites– were arbitrarily changed in a decade or less after the Council, and many of these changes were not even mentioned by the Council documents nor called for. How is that “organic development”? It was grossly inconsiderate to all those Catholics who had been formed by our traditions to just pull the rug out from under them than call them ” apostates” or ” schismatics” for wanting to hold onto what they received.

    Like it or not Pope Benedict XVI,neither Summorum Pontificum, gave us a place in the Church. I and others like me make no apologies for wanting to worship and pray the way Latin Rite Catholics had done for centuries if not millennia. Not all of us traditionalists are sedevacantists or even associated with the SSPX.

    Stuff like this makes me see why trads can be a bitter and angry lot, they get spit on even by fellow Catholics for wanting to hold onto their sacred Patrimony. Why don’t you come to a trad chapel one of these days and check us out? Find a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or something. We aren’t all “schismatics” and none of us is consciously an “apostate”.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Optina, you are engaging in a certain amount of resentment in search of a grievance here. I have been to trad chapels, I have defended trads against efforts by authorities to deny them the right to worship in that traditional manner, including a very heated missive to the late Cardinal Bernardin on the matter, I have defended their right and place in the Church consistently in my public writings – both in the secular media and here. Much of my early criticism of Chicago’s new Archbishop Cupich was based on his caustic hostility to traditional forms of worship and practice.

      And yet you begin your second paragraph with a defiantly defensive statement. I have rarely (maybe twice) been criticized by conventional Catholics for my noted private preference for orthodox and traditional styles of worship. I have been called a heretic and worse by traditionalists for my mere acceptance of Novus Ordo as legitimate at all.

      You might be amazed at how many would see the beauty and majesty of these things if you could lose the defensive, bitter attitudes.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Cody says:

    I think very differently about some of this. Yes, the church is wobbly and there are dangers within, but it is the outside world which is in fatigue and is being rattled by its own sciences, which first subverted identity, the family and faith, but is now having to ignore, or submit to two Eucharistic miracles scientifically verified, one by Dr. Zugibe.

    Also articles on the DNA of the child being found in the brain of the mother verifies identity and family in a way which wasn’t possible before. Another article earlier in the year verified that released hormones identified a couple favorably with each other, bonding them for the future child. Both articles verified identity, marriage and family.

    If identity is in fact real, then all the devil’s arguments against the family and the individual as little more than a bunch of molecules are now in ruins. The indifferentism supported by eastern philosophies which propagated this notion of non-identity are also in ruins. And the fantasy of non-identity as a basis for universal sameness or universal unity is also debunked.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I know you are new here, Cody, so I am going to take the opportunity to remind everyone of something. Though I agree with most of what you say, when we cite articles or facts not commonly known in the comments, I like to have citations or links to credible sources on it.

      This keeps us from making unwarranted accusations or unjustified claims and keeps the quality of the content everyone gets here to a high standard of credibility. Thanks for joining us.

      Like

  23. Cody says:

    Sorry about that. There are a whole host of articles on the DNA of the child found in the mother’s brain and by implication the male DNA is in that of the child, but here is one of them. http://www.livescience.com/23490-fetal-dna-mom-brain.html

    Dr. Zugibe’s work on the Argentine Eucharist miracle can be found in his own books and here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Zugibe

    The author of a book on the two Eucharistic miracles has a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APz1v8oz1ms

    There are numerous articles on Oxytocin “the bonding hormone”, released during childbirth, breast feeding and during sex and such articles are of varying qualities.
    Thank you.

    Like

  24. MM Bev says:

    Man! I just logged on. Have I got a lot to read!. But before I do, I want to make a comment to Steve, whose comments I so much enjoy. In reference to the previous page and another topic line, the most important thing you said was in barcettes, (at least not yet), in referring to your journey. And it is completely true. Not yet, but sooner than you think. I’m like you. I found the 57 books fascinating and I could add all kinds of information that I have learned since then. Since I spent so much of my time (way too much) living cognitively, separating my feelings and some of my senses to the point of not being aware of them at all, learning things has always been of interest. I suspect a good part of your journey was exactly that, because you had sense enough not to delve into practicing what you saw as dangerous.
    God is so explosively wonderful that one day He’s gong to take your breath away. I wish I could be there.
    Everything else will pale into insignificance. Loving God doesn’t mean having to give things up. It means that you are so in love you don’t even notice what’s gone. Yes, things have changed, vanished and are gone, and you didn’t even notice it went out of your life, because your eyes can’t see it any more. People who think that they have to give up all this stuff to be with God don’t know Him at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      MMBev, your various comments have grown on me over time spent here, and I thank you for taking the time to talk directly to me.

      It sounds as if you’ve been all over the place, too. Like you, I have read many books and did a lot of thinking. However, I also felt long ago that experience matters and that a person could go and actively look for God, that *I* could do that. So when the Church did not help me get what I needed, I went lots of places and sought out teachers, opened myself to experiences, and paid attention to my inner self and how I dealt with others.

      I received a lot of lessons, some hard, some funny, some rich with meaning. I had interesting experiences and extraordinary experiences. I tried this until I got enough, then I tried that until I got enough, and so on. I wanted to know the Universe, as many aspects of Reality as I could, while looking always for the Divine.

      I was never allowed to stay in one place for very long. If things felt weird, I moved on. I had a tremendous amount of fun. Met some wonderful people. And I learned a bunch. But none of those stops ended up being my Home.

      Nowadays, I cannot understand how anyone could be an atheist or agnostic. There are so many ways to touch so many aspects of our beautiful world both earthly and spiritual. So many ways to know that we are watched over, and guided, and protected, and loved. The evidence for all of this is overwhelmingly available if one just looks. So when people refuse to look and refuse to see, and instead say that God doesn’t exist, or there is nothing after death, I am left breathless with incredulity that they could decide to believe such a thing.

      Charlie just said to me, “Steve, the value of a tendency to overthink is that sometimes it leads you right to the heart of a complicated matter.” I think you and I spend a lot of time gathering the materials and making the lightbulb. Then if we are lucky, God reaches over and switches on the light. And BAM! He takes our breath away.

      Stranger things have happened to me than having you with me when God takes my breath away. If He doesn’t clock me too hard, I may very well find you and this comment on my mind. That would add to my joy at that moment.

      Meanwhile, I move forward as well as I can each day. When I get impatient, when I think I’m off my track, I’ll get a dream or a nudge that lets me know I’m doing just what I should.

      One step at a time I gather the materials and assemble my lightbulb. Someday …

      Like

  25. Dear Charlie, I have never heard of you before or your visions. However I read your post with delight sensing that I was reading truth. I will pray for you and our wonderful Pope Francis. I am a consecrated brother living in Tasmania. cheers Brother Gilbert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Brother Gilbert. I need them. And I pray each day for all the priests, pastors and religious in the world – with a few by name before adding in all. I will make you one of those I pray for by name. It’s kind of cool knowing I have prayers going up for me from Tasmania.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for adding me to your prayer list. I have been reading your other blog posts and getting alot out of them including your insights of Putin and Russia. We moved here to Tasmania from Perth in Western Australia prompted by the Holy Spirit and God through St Joseph has worked miracles of divine providence for us every step of the way. When you did your big walk where did you sleep? Did you have a little tent in your back pack? cheers Br Gilbert

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          When I first went out, I mainly slept on the ground in the open. I left in early February, so I needed the residual warmth the ground provided. I had 14 or 15 days when I woke up with frost in my hair and eyebrows…fortunately only a handful when it was really a hard frost. Then in late spring, my son drove out to catch up with me for a week and brought me an ultra-light hammock with adjustable straps. What a mercy that was in that brutally hot summer. I had many nights when the low temperature only got down to the high 80s. For the final legs of my journey, I did use an ultralight two-man tent. I was in the high plains and mountains where the temperature would drop nicely at night, so a tent was helpful – and homey.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Truly an amazing thing to do. I have lived alot of my life in hot climates including many years in Thailand so I am loving the cooler Tasmanian climate. I have also lived in Jerusalem which can get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. cheers Br Gilbert

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            If you ever sleep outside, Br. Gilbert, an Eagle Outfitter hammock with adjustable straps – so you can get almost any two trees in reasonable proximity to each other, makes for a nice, cool night’s sleep. It was a godsend during the brutally hot weather. I had over a hundred days in the spring and summer of 2011 where it got over 100 degrees – and over ten where it got over 110 degrees. That hammock made it possible to sleep at night.

            Like

      • D Shea says:

        Speaking of Apostasy Saints, Mary, Protestants and Prayers for our Religious Leaders!!
        I don’t know exactly what Pope Francis said, meant or envisioned in his statements whilst visiting Turkey but … I know!! The Pope is not a politician, diplomat or an expert on the social media or blogosphere … he needs to be careful with his Words as, thanks to God &/or Catholic haters Out-There what he says (or is reported) divides Christians, emboldens our enemies and aids Satan in his work to do US in. Check out what I’m talking about here (Article-n-comments): http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/12/pope-francis-equates-islam-with-christianity-we-have-our-share-of-fundamentalists/
        I’m finding, many days now, that the only Bright-Spot is my Faith that the Holy Trinity is Runnin’ de Show 😉

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, he used the opportunity to call on Muslim leaders to firmly and publicly renounce terrorism – so he may have a long plan in mind. But I must confess, in the absence of such firm, unambiguous condemnations and real efforts to stop it. I am among those who now automatically equate Islam with brutal terrorism. You can’t even get Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other such “moderate” countries to stop funding the terrorists, much less denounce them. On this, I must respectfully disagree with the Holy Father I revere, even as I hope he has a long plan in mind. But, I did find his formulation of Christian “fundamentalists” with Islamic “fundamentalists” deeply insulting. Christian fundamentalists preach hard: Islamic fundamentalists murder, torture and rape in the name of their god. There is not even a hint of moral equivalence here.

          Like

  26. MM Bev says:

    Just to throw in a point that no one has made thus far……there were two documents issued on the same day regarding the Sacred Liturgy. The second one was Sacrosanctum Concillium . As everyone knows, a great number of changes to the liturgy were not intended by the Council. (Ya think?) I am going to quote from an article by Father Joesph Fessio, S.J. on Ignatius Insight, 2005. (web site at end)
    He discusses the changes in the documents and how far they are in reality for those interested.
    I’ve done that and lived it. Don’t want any more information. Already up to my eyeballs.

    I have something included in the article by chance that I find just delicious! I have ALWAYS wanted to know. And…now I do.

    What did the Psalms sound like when Our Lady, Jesus, Joseph and the disciple lived? Turns out that Father Fessio was curious about the same thing. So off he went researching, hunting, ferreting and doing all the things that I couldn’t, bless him. The article is in two parts. In part one, on page four of eight I quote:

    “Now, just a little footnote on the Gregorian Chant. In reflecting on these things about Church music, I began to think about the Psalms a few years back. And a very obvious idea suddenly struck me. Why it didn’t come earlier, I don’t know, but the fact is that the Psalms are songs. Every one of the 150 Psalms is meant to be sung, and was sung by the Jews. When this thought came to me, I immediately called a friend, a rabbi, in San Francisco who runs the Hebrew School, and I asked,”Do you sing the Psalms at your synagogue?” “Well, no. We recite them., he said. “Do you know what they sounded like when they were sung in the Old Testament times and the time of Jesus and the Apostles?”, I asked. He said, ‘No, but why don’t you call this company in Upstate New York, They publish Hebrew music, and they may know.”

    So I called the company and they said, “We don’t know, call 1-800-JUDAISM”. So I did. And I got an information center for Jewish traditions, and they didn’t know either. But they said, “You call this music teacher in Manhattan, he will know”. So, I called this wonderful rabbi in Manhattan and we had a long conversation. At the end, I said, “I want to bring some focus to this, can you give me any idea what it sounded like when Jesus and his Apostles sang the Psalms?” He said, “Of course, Father. It sounded like Gregorian Chant. You got it from us.”

    I was amazed. I called Professor William Mart, a Professor of Music at Stanford University and a friend. I said, “Bill, is this true?” He said, “Yes. The Psalm tones have their roots in ancient Jewish hymnody and psalmody.” So, you know something? If you sing the Psalms at Mass with the Gregorian tones, you are as close as you can get to praying with Jesus and Mary. They sang the Psalms in tones that have come down to us today in Gregorian Chant.

    LOVE IT, LOVE IT. LOVE IT. hhtp://www.ignatiusingisht.com/features2005/fessio_massv2_I_jan03.as-
    (eight pages) second article: http://www.itnatiusinsignt.com/features2005/fessio_massv2_2_jan05.asp
    (seven pages)

    And I’m hoping that JUST FOR ONCE, I know something that you didn’t know first, Charlie! Probably not. But I can hope! Whadda ya mean?? It is not one up-man-ship! Of course, I know that would never be allowed! This is simply a small, tiny, insignificant, simple, childhood desire that was driven into me by my brothers, to not alll-wways be LAST.)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. guy Mcclung says:

    Dear Charlie 373, Thank you for your quick and kind reply. Keep on keepin’ on, keep the main thing the main thing, and keep the Real Presence present. Reading your “Great Apostasy” and the comments is like a breath of fresh air; and a hint of why the early Christians entered the arenas and the Colosseum happy, and rejoicing – as far from lukewarm as one could be.. Re the Rosary as Weapon, I just read last week for the first time [I am 67] that it is a “Christological” prayer. It is multi-purpose-you can -like M16s I fired-use it single shot, semi, or full auto – and it has armor piercing effects. Thanks for your words, words “verbi apud Deum”, words with God. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Margaret says:

    You make the assertion that ‘traditionalists JUST want to get back to a pure form of Christianity that never existed’ which is a malevolent and errant assertion. The battle over the centuries to infallibly define certain things ENABLES the Church to more effectively address the needs of the human soul as well as protect against things like modernism ‘the sum of all heresies’. That home which you found in the church made PLAIN the errors of the mess we are in now and the subsequent apostasy as the fruit of the sum of all heresies, and demeaning those who appreciate the challenges our forebears grappled with to protect the holy faith doesn’t make your modernism any less dangerous.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You just had a short paragraph here but first you garbled my quote about what traditionalists want, you display no coherent grasp of actual Church history, then you accuse me of being a modernist, proving you have obviously read next to nothing of what I have actually written. All heat and no light, all attitude and no wisdom. Fortunately, I do have a few traditionalists here who do a good job of standing up for their position. Please make an effort to add some light to the discussion if you intend to visit here.

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      • chet saur says:

        I think you’re being unnecessarily rough on Margaret. She makes a good point. Here is what you said re traditionalists: “They simply prefer the stylistic liturgical adjustments of 500 years ago to the stylistic liturgical adjustments of 50 years ago [Vat 2?]. Then you added: “The virtue of the progressives [presumably to distinguish them from traditionalists] is that they are not fearfully trying to bury their talent in the ground, suspending practice into the amber of what was a major innovation 500 years ago.”
        That’s a really cheap shot. First of all, our Church is about Truth not innovation. And as you said yourself, you don’t improve upon what Jesus taught through His Church. So once the Deposit of the Faith has been delineated and defined, you don’t change it. You really can’t change it.
        I sense the elephant in the room is Vat. 2. The Mass was changed. The beautiful prayers of the Offertory were deleted which referred to the Eucharist as a Sacrifice. Then the Consecration was put into a narrative form as opposed to the actual action of the priest in his role of Jesus, the First Priest , as happens in the Latin Mass..
        Is the Mass valid? I can only hope. But it is a step down not up.
        Your friend Charlanne talks about how everything harkens back to the Church fathers and she is correct–but this pope only cites things within the span of Vat 2.
        It was not a council that defined anything.
        I think you owe Margaret an apology.

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  29. Islander says:

    Charlie, the fact that:
    (1) You toot your own horn before delivering your prophecy; and that
    (2) You participate in the now very tired caricaturing and stereotyping of traditionalist Catholics that much of the main stream media is promoting and taking glee in;
    convinces me that you yourself are one of the false prophets warned about in the New Testament.
    Is there a Storm coming? Yes, there sure is. But you are misleading people as to its true spiritual nature. You are sending them down wrong paths. You are not of God.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Islander,

      I write as I write. It does not offend me at all if one goes somewhere else to find what gives them peace.

      The defensiveness on traditionalism is absurd. I do NOT caricature traditionalists, merely criticize those among them who act like caricatures.

      Like

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