The Catholic and War

American President John F. Kennedy and Pope Paul VI

American President John F. Kennedy and Pope Paul VI

(Say a little prayer for me folks. I went to go to Mass today and, after getting dizzy and tingly on the way, pulled into a parking lot hoping it would pass. Eventually, I just turned back for home. I have been limping along since Christmas, not terrible, but not quite right – and every time I make a sudden move, I seem to relapse. Come tomorrow, I am going to live my normal routine as if all is well – until it actually is or I am flat on my back. So send those prayers up!

Meantime, I have this wonderful piece by Padraig Caughey which is incredibly timely. Padraig is the publisher and chief moderator of the wonderful Mother of God Forum which I link to at right. Run from his home country, the Forum gets visitors and commenters for serious Christian discussion from around the world. A good Irishman, Padraig has become an online friend and confidant – one of those people with whom, when I disagree, I take a good hard look at my position to see if I’ve got it right.)

By Padraig Caughey

The Catholic and War.

An enduring criticism of Catholics and Catholicism since the time of the Reformation is that Catholics have to kind of hang up their brains in the cloakroom before entering the Church (so to speak). That being a Catholic stifles and real thought and turns us into clones of what the Popes and the Vatican tells us what to do. Or as they used to call us at the time of the Reformation (and occasionally since) we are , ‘Pope heads’ having sold our brains for admission to the Church. One not so far off example of this was seen during the election campaign of  John F Kennedy when opponents suggested handing the keys of the Oval Office would be to turn the White House into an ante room of the Vatican.

A good random example of the freedom encouraged in Catholic teaching is in Dietary restrictions. The Catholic Church has none really to speak off. Look at other Faiths and again and again you find the Faithful followers being nailed to the door by dietary law after dietary law. This Freedom , this open door to me is nowhere more apparent , nor wise than in the Catholic Church’s teaching on the use of force.

Righteous versus Unrighteous Anger (2302-3)

Anger is a desire for revenge. Anger is the passion (emotion) by which a man reacts to evil, real or apparent, and seeks vindication of his rights, that is, justice. By itself the passion is neither moral or immoral, but becomes so by reason or its being ordered or disordered – that is, reasonable according to the circumstances. An ordered anger is directed to a legitimate object, and, with an appropriate degree of vehemence. An inordinate anger is directed either to an illegitimate object, or, with an unreasonable vehemence. As St. Thomas Aquinas notes, vice may be by defect, as well as excess. So, the presence of evil should provoke a righteous anger, which if absent constitutes a sinful insensibility. Consider the just anger of the Lord to the presence in the Temple of the money-changers and the action He took (John 2:13-17). Provoked by this offense against His Father, Jesus formed whips and drove them from the Temple. Righteous anger, and the acts which flow from it, intend the correction of vice (both for the good of the individual sinner and the common good), the restoring of the order of justice disturbed by sin, and the restraint of further evil. On the other hand, unjust anger seeks to do evil to another for its own sake, the harm to body or soul that it entails. While one may desire, and employ, physical force for the sake of correction, restraint of evil and restoring justice, even if it entails injury and death, one may never desire it for its own sake. To desire some slight injury for an evil motive would be venially sinful. To desire grave injury or death would be gravely sinful. A Christian may never, of course, desire the damnation of the evil doer. Charity requires that we will the good, especially the ultimate good, salvation, for every human being. Unfortunately, the entertainment media often promotes an image of anger and vengeance which is closer to blood lust than to justice.

Peace – the Work of Justice and the Tranquility of Order (2304-6)

Whether it is justice within society, or the interior justice of holiness, peace is its fruit. Righteous anger, and the means it employs, should not knowingly produce less justice and less peace than existed before evil intervened. Human prudence, however, is fallible. It cannot necessarily predict the ploys of the adversary, both human and demonic. In addition, fallen human nature is inclined to sin, and thus prone to respond with excess to provocation. Thus, even virtue and a well-formed conscience can fail to produce the desired result of justice and peace. Great restraint must be shown, therefore, in the use of violence to achieve justice. In addition to the efforts of those who work assiduously for peace, “the peacemakers”, society needs the example of those who renounce violence altogether. Their “witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death” should serve to restrain the use of even justified force. Such conscientious objection is a valuable service to society. As the Catechism makes clear, it must be accompanied by the willingness to serve in other capacities (cf. 2311), however.

Just War (2307-17)

All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. Despite this admonition of the Church, it sometimes becomes necessary to use force to obtain the end of justice. This is the right, and the duty, of those who have responsibilities for others, such as civil leaders and police forces. While individuals may renounce all violence those who must preserve justice may not do so, though it should be the last resort, “once all peace efforts have failed.” [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 79, 4] As with all moral acts the use of force to obtain justice must comply with three conditions to be morally good. First, the act must be good in itself. The use of force to obtain justice is morally licit in itself. Second, it must be done with a good intention, which as noted earlier must be to correct vice, to restore justice or to restrain evil, and not to inflict evil for its own sake. Thirdly, it must be appropriate in the circumstances. An act which may otherwise be good and well motivated can be sinful by reason of imprudent judgment and execution. In this regard Just War doctrine gives certain conditions for the legitimate exercise of force, all of which must be met: “1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; 2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; 3. there must be serious prospects of success; 4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition” [CCC 2309]. The responsibility for determining whether these conditions are met belongs to “the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.” The Church’s role consists in enunciating clearly the principles, in forming the consciences of men and in insisting on the moral exercise of just war. The Church greatly respects those who have dedicated their lives to the defense of their nation. “If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace. [Cf. Gaudium et spes 79, 5]” However, she cautions combatants that not everything is licit in war. Actions which are forbidden, and which constitute morally unlawful orders that may not be followed, include:

– attacks against, and mistreatment of, non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners; – genocide, whether of a people, nation or ethnic minorities; – indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants. Given the modern means of warfare, especially nuclear, biological and chemical, these crimes against humanity must be especially guarded against. catechism-of-the-catholic-church-second-edition1634xlIn the end it is not enough to wage war to achieve justice without treating the underlying causes. “Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war” [CCC 2317]. The Church has no illusions that true justice and peace can be attained before the Coming of the Lord. It is the duty of men of good will to work towards it, nonetheless. In the words of the spiritual dictum, we should work as if everything depended upon our efforts, and pray as if everything depended upon God.

There are two rocks between which we must sail if we are to pass in safety in considering the Catholic and War. One rock is the rock of Doctrinaire Pacifism, which is itself a heresy and goes against Catholic teaching. The other rock is an out and out militarism of the ,’My country right or wrong’ variety that sees violence as a first line solution to all the world’s problems. That seeks to place itself outside the moral safety of self defense.

But between these two rocks lie a whole Universe of moral choice. The Religious for instance living out his spiritual life in the fullness of the Evangelical counsels may see violence as a response he, in his monastery may never wish to take. The father of a family faced by groups that seek to take the lives of his wife and children may well take another course.

What I suggest it that there are no moral absolutes in our response to the needs of our times. We need to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in this as all things.

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 Culture, Discernment, Guest Columns, Ordinary Preparation, Satan, Spiritual Preparation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to The Catholic and War

  1. marie says:

    Dear Charlie, please look after yourself. Rest, relax, recoup. Am about to say the Rosary and will include you as my main intention. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. narnialion54 says:

    Thank you, Padraig and Charlie. This has helped clear up some confusion in my mind. I am glad that you think, Padraig, that there is a place for conscientious objectors. I am not one, but it seems so important to me that we give a lot of space for differences in the people of the Kingdom. Charlie, I just prayed the “Prayer for All Needs” for you. May God hide you under the shadow of his Wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. marti says:

    Thank you Padraig for showing us the straight and narrow path. As a military family and a Catholic we have a great responsibility to understand and follow the teaching of the Church. Understanding is the key. I will pass this on to my sons and daughters. Your experiences and wisdom never cease to amaze me my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Momof6g4b says:

    Charlie,
    You are definitely in our prayers. May Our Lady be your comfort and intercessor. You give us so much…you are certainly entitled to some down time. You have our love in Christ.
    Laura & family

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shjihmhs says:

    Charlie – I had you on my rosary this morning before Mass. Will continue to pray that all is well with you and that our Blessed Mother will wrap you in her protective mantle. God bless and get well soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CrewDog says:

    When confronted by EVIL, however that evil manifests itself, you have an absolute right AND DUTY to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbors ….. by whatever means necessary to end the threat! “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” – Jesus.
    I don’t believe The Lord was talking about a tough football game! …….
    I do recall Gen. George Patton saying something like…. The object is to make the enemy (Evil) do the laying down though.
    GOD GUIDE & PROTECT US!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. narnialion54 says:

    ..Dearest Charlie
    I had forgotten, but last night I felt a nudge to offer up my rosary for you….but I didn’t get very far. Sorry.
    After reading that you were having troubles, I mentioned saying the rosary for you to my son (you have prayed for him) and he said. let’s do it right now! So we did…”Spread the effect of the flame of love over Charlie and all humanity, now and at the hour of our death, Amen”
    Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
    our life, our sweetness and our hope!
    We love you, Charlie. Forget everything and REST!!!!

    Like

  8. Take note of this: did anyone ever notice the place in which Jesus is taken prisoner near the end of the Gospel that Peter carries a sword, yet Jesus never took it away during His entire ministry? Apparently Peter always had his sword with him. It was only when Peter was going to use it by cutting off the ear of one of the assailants in haste & anger that Jesus rebuked him yet He still did not take it away. (it was the misunderstanding of Peter & not putting his faith into the plan of God that caused the fear leading to his own denial of Christ later. Finally 30 or 40 years later on the road to Rome he eventually understood & even then only under Divine intervention). In another place in the Gospel Jesus says there will be a time in which those who do not have a sword must go & buy one. The Lord was saying that He alone determines the times of life & death throughout the ages, but we as his followers at times will be used as instruments of this, an example of course can be King David or even the Allied Nations in WWII. The words spoken in the article above are true to their very core. Battlefields have casualties on all sides & so often the soldiers sent into battle do not desire to kill for the sake of killing. This is why there have been instances where enemy soldiers are found in acts of benevolence among each other at certain times such as Christmas & the like. Let us pray fervently for our enemies, their leaders, soldiers, & their families as we must pray for our own leaders, soldiers, & their families. Let us pray also for the grace & understanding to properly discern whether a particular confrontation is justified & that there be no acts that go beyond that which is justified.

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Allison says:

      Also in Luke 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do? (to be saved)” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”

      Jesus does not tell them to stop being soldiers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Astute, E. Jesus instructs tax collectors, hookers and many others to stop doing their profession…but in His many interactions with soldiers, not once does He even suggest what they do is intrinsically disordered. In fact, He said about one centurion that He had found no greater faith in all of Israel than what this foreigner had. That is the centurion who said, “I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word…”

        Liked by 3 people

        • Alex ireton says:

          Hi Charlie, I’m praying for you and hope you will start feeling better soon. To reference your comment about the Centurion, I recently wrote a book about the Centurion, Cornelius. “The Centurion Scrolls”. It’s a very good story about love, redemption and forgiveness. Please look it up on Amazon.

          Liked by 1 person

          • NancyA says:

            I just put it into my BN cart, Alex. Lots of great reviews and it looks very intriguing!

            Like

          • Kathleen from NJ says:

            Also, January 11th the first reading was from the Acts of the Apostled 10:34-38 speaks of Cornelius. “Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying: In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judeo, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nasareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”.

            Peace be with All of You.

            Like

          • jaykay says:

            I just downloaded it for my Kindle, Alex. Looking forward to starting it.

            God bless,

            J

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        • Very good point Charlie! I learned something again.

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  9. Be well Charlie! I prayed the PMT for you through the intercession of Sts. Cosmas and Damien and Blessed William Andelby. Whatever God has planned for your life at this point, Charlie, be at peace in the knowledge that the baton has been passed to almost every country in the world! Trust. Do. Love. Blessings dear brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Dear Brother Charlie–IMPORTANT!

    If you feel “numb” and “tingly,” as you mentioned, don’t fool around.

    GET TO AN ER quick–it could be NOTHING or it could be serious vascular or nerve issues.

    PLEASE!

    KW

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Dear Centurion, I know the drill. But alas, I have such substantial nerve damage any time I get a cold I get numb and tingly. My neurosurgeon told me a year after my surgery he really did not understand why I was walking, The objective tests showed so much damage I should be at least partially paralyzed.

      In any case, I have not been to a doctor since just before my pilgrimage. If serious damage comes, it will come. I do not object to them at all, but I threw myself on a radical dependence on God before I left. If He wants this to be done, it will be done. If not, His Will shall be accomplished anyway. I have had more than a few dicey moments since then, but apparently it does not please Him to let me off any hook here. And I did have a stress-related heart attack that I did not even notice a few years before my surgery. The evidence of it was discovered during cardiac clearance for the surgery. I can’t say I would never go to a doctor…but I reckon I would have to be laying on the floor and somebody else taking me. I am in God’s hands in a radical way. I do NOT recommend this for anyone else and would not live it this way unless I believed it is part of the discipline of my particular work. After the Storm is ended, I will go for a physical first thing. But the only reason I would go standing to one now is if it were causing my loved ones too much worry and distraction.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Irish7 says:

        We’ll let us know if you are laying on the floor, and we’ll organize someone to carry you. You know…that whole TDL business that we’ve been learning….well we stand ready. You’ve got a loving and skilled crew here.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Ha, Irish. Reminds me of someone close who went missing for a brief time. I angrily told him when he got back that we were worried he had been killed. With a sly grin he replied, “You know if I had been killed I would have told you.” I started my retort, then my face reddened and I just said, “Point taken.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob says:

            I will pray for you too Charlie. I was thinking that just as the Tilma at Tepeyac Hill has been maintained long past it’s normal expiration date by Divine Help, may God preserve you in good health by HIs assistance.

            Like

      • jeanO says:

        The folks here are loved ones and we are worried. Please get medical help? I can pray, but I can’t “do” more than that from here. You can. You have to man that post, dear Charlie.

        Like

        • With all due respect friends, I know you are concerned, but Charlie has been called to a life of radical dependence on God. For our part, we must pray and trust. God is looking after him in the way that is best for Charlie and his mission—whether we understand it or not.

          Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Thank you, Janet. I am touched by the expressions of concern here, but I have to live it as I am called to. I may be a nut, but by gum, I am consistent about it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • the phoenix says:

            Having observed how my best friend’s needs were met through prayer, trust, and radical dependence on God … because for her there was no other way … and I do mean LOTS of PRAYER, I agree with you, Janet Klasson.

            Like

          • Judy says:

            Yes, these are the signs God gives to help us recognize authenticity. Always the sign of suffering and total faith, love, trust, and dependence upon God. I will keep you on my prayer list, Charlie, as well as others here.

            Like

      • Observer says:

        Charlie, I may be able to understand in some small way what you may be going through. And will certainly include you in my prayers in the Divine Will for all who suffer such even mysterious symptoms involving the nerves.

        Both of my major health crises were caused by accepted general medical protocol involving medications and misdiagnosis (lack of experience as well)…cancer and neuromuscular chronic pain.

        Due to a protocol medication given automatically after a certain procedure without individual testing for absolute necessity, and that for 5 1/2 years! I began having very weird MS type symptoms. Finally, after testing it was discovered that due to this medication I was being deprived of oxygen to my muscles, nerves, making interruption from brain to lower limbs, causing the uncontrollable gait and muscle weakness, et al. Once I actually got the feeling back in nerves and muscles the chronic pain began. IOW, it did permanent myofascial/nerve myelin damage and there hasn’t been a day in the last 6 years that I haven’t been in some kind of pain…from light to severe. I try and not think “if only”. But I have educated myself beyond what the average medical practitioner is familiar with and have had some success with supplementing what is missing rather than be saddled with more harm causing medications that resolve nothing while attempting to mask the symptoms and actually do more damage in the long run.

        But I did have MRIs done to help at least assess the damage and what areas to work on or to protect. So I wouldn’t recommend avoiding any basic testing that might do the same for you. I have learned to do trigger point therapy when everything tightens up so that I don’t go into crippling muscle spasms that put you out and on the floor for a couple of days!

        That sense of humor of yours must help somewhat but it’s hard and without prayer and trust it can get discouraging. And it’s only certain people, maybe just one, who can understand and be of help without causing more stress that comes with misunderstanding or not wanting to be a burden. God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Judy says:

          May God give you strength and lighten your load, Observer. I have been ill for a very long time with several autoimmune problems. When the body seems to go haywire, it is a very frightening thing. At the moment things are controlled with medicine. But if I miss a dose of medicine, I am reminded very quickly that I am really not well at all. The prospect of having no medicine looms very large as a huge cross.

          Like

      • After the Storm, no one will need a physical. That is only one of the marvels awaiting the survivals. The Miracle of the Sun was a tiny model of the Storm. The extraordinary cures effected that day were — in my humble opinion — meant to give us hope. Men are trying to create a New World without God. God will laugh and show them how to He does it. Psalm 2.

        Like

        • oops “the surivals” s/b “those who survive” :o) Hot day in BA today …

          Like

        • charliej373 says:

          This is a rare point on which I completely disagree with you Carlos. After the Storm it will still be an ORDINARY world, re-transformed by a cultural-wide reverence and love for Christ. But all will still be passing away and we will still have use for God’s ordinary means of healing. I must re-iterate, we do not get heaven until we actually get HEAVEN.

          Like

          • Well, that is merely my opinion but if you are so sure … I will be glad to be there in the “after” whatever the “after” turns out to be. Bob Hope was asked where he would like to be in the event of a nuclear war. He answered “Anywhere where I can ask: ‘What was that?'” :o)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Nancy says:

            Please let it be a world without the evils of abortion, euthanasia, etc. …where the love of Christ is rampant.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            It will be a normal world noted for its devotion to Christ and His teachings. Abortion, euthanasia and such will be anathema, a great shame for anyone who would advocate such a thing – a violation of love and charity and solidarity.

            Liked by 2 people

      • jobrower says:

        I love your radical faith! Prayed a rosary for your last night after I read your post. You were with me at Holy Hour and Mass this morning! All is well.

        Like

  11. Charlie, I’ve been visiting your site quite frequently in the last several months. Thank you for your work and your faithfulness! I, gratefully, have the opportunity to spend most evenings before the Blessed Sacrament. Tonight’s for you, your health, your mission, your every need.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kevin Bowen says:

    Charlie, I’m praying for you. If you haven’t already, see a neurologist. You may as well start the medical process now. It took us years to get a diagnosis for my wife, which is frontal-temporal dementia. Get rest, and may God keep you. Kevin

    Like

  13. Irish7 says:

    I too will be praying a PMT for you and rosary this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Charlie, prayers for a prompt cure to your ailment starting with the last dot of this comment. I will pray that you’ll be completely well by Candlemas. Please see a good doctor. The symptoms you describe can be something as simple as something compressed in the cervicals. It happens often but only a good physician can tell. Keep us posted also. God bless you.

    Like

  15. Julie says:

    Praying for you Charlie

    Like

  16. elizmeehan says:

    Forgive me, but what is PMT? Nevertheless, for Charlie and everyone on this blog because everyone is carrying some cross, you will all be included in my daily masses and rosaries. God bless you all. I am learning courage and patience from Charlie and others in their respective health and daily living challenges and from all the comments on this site.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tom Forbes says:

    Saying one or two for you,Charlie. Meanwhile, get with a cardiologist please. I had somewhat similar issues a few years ago and was diagnosed with atrial tachycardia. Won’t kill you, I think, but can make you pass out. Darn inconvenient if that happens on an Interstate at seventy! Take care of yourself because we sure need you in these times!

    Like

  18. Julia says:

    Charlie, I hand you over to the care of our Blessed Mother, she always concerned herself with the needs of Jesus and His Apostles in their earthly mission.

    It will be a nostalgic time for our Heavenly Mother, just like the days when she and her Son worked their own blessed earthly mission.

    I do bind you to the Immaculate Heart of Mary each day with Holy Rosary.

    Chin up Sherpa, but do it slowly, we don’t want you getting dizzy.
    Oh, I got that vascular something mentioned by Centurion_Cornelius, so I hope it is ok to tease.

    Like

  19. Father, I pray for your servant Charlie, your dear son – strengthen him in mind and body, help him to know you more deeply, and fill him overflowing with the grace of Trust in You and knowledge of Your will for him. In Jesus name, thru the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

    Like

  20. CHARLIE….. I am asking this her because I wanted to get your attention so you could find out or watch it. GLENN BECK is having a special on his theblazetv ……which I don’t get but you might or someone you know. It was a pretty hair raising post of his tonight on FB. I usually just glance at his stuff but it caught my eye tonight for sure giving that we are in very interesting times. The piece is about RUSSIA and some scary stuff going on there. Also he left a little tid bit about some guy that makes PUTIN look like a girl scout. Anyhow…..thought you might be interested. I would like to know more.
    Also……praying for you Charlie. Hang in there Captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Diane Grose says:

    This a lot to think about & all I can really say is Amen to all you posted! Concerning your health: the flu vaccine, as we all know, didn’t cover all the predicted flu due to H3N3 mutating. Make sure you don’t have Pneumonia (dizziness). About 10 of us has been sick since Christmas & we’re being to feel better, although my daughter still isn’t, so please take care of yourself & get plenty of rest & see your Dr if you don’t improve quickly! Prayers for your health & restoration! Look forward to your posts when you’re well…God speed!

    Like

  22. Kris says:

    Hey Charlie, I find it interesting that you have chosen to not seek medical help for your illness. I have gallstones and no insurance so I really have no choice. But it does give me a great opportunity to learn simple living, simple eating choices, which may be what I need for the Storm. who knows. But I also have a son with type I diabetes. I am also very wary of doctors who as in one of your articles spoke of the craziness of the system that will take kids away from their families for strange reasons. I find myself praying each time I go to the doctor to protect us as well as give the doctor wisdom and knowledge to treat my son. I dont like the idea of having government insurance because of all the ramifications that holds but i also realize that we may be forced to take it if the government gets too forceful. I was pondering your last article about making choices and that we must pray and ask for help, then do the next right things. Well I guess that is where I am, many pressures can be put on us because of our children and how the government could pressure us. I am sure there is no other advice you can give other than what you have already given, I guess I just realize I get nervous. Thanks

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I have often said, Kris, that when you pray for trust, God does not magically give you trust. Rather, He gives you opportunities to trust when you don’t feel it. It is rather a nerve-wracking way to build an attribute, but what attribute do we gain without effort, pain, and often some fear along the way? On my pilgrimage, when people would criticize me for having nothing for physical protection, I would defiantly say, “I will fear no evil.” Then, when I was alone I would pray that the Lord would make it so – for I often felt fear. But faith is an act of the will.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        I suppose for me to not go to the Dr. now would be a bit of presumption. So how do we know when to trust God vs. trusting in both God and the Dr.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          I will write briefly about it later today. My situation is intimately tied to my mission…it did NOT apply before I began this work and will NOT apply after I finish it. Going to the Doctor when you are ill IS trusting God and choosing not to demand only His supernatural means. For the work I have undertaken, I submitted to a radical dependence directly on God as part of the discipline of the mission. It is NOT an act of greater faith, but an acceptance of a particular discipline. Just as soldiers at war submit their will on when to sleep, when to eat and many other things for the duration of the conflict, so I have submitted many things directly to the Master as discipline for this work.

          Like

      • Kris says:

        Spot on again. I have many times gone through this, feeling fear and then moving forward saying, chanting, pleading…. Jesus I trust in you!!! after much time the fear goes away in some form or another and I move through. It is hard when it hits because it tells me of my incapacity to be in charge. Something am not fond of. Yet, in his mercy, Our Lord has put me on that road Many, Many times in my life. I am grateful for those lessons for I fall back on them many times. It is good to know that when tested we are in good company and have so many heavenly helpers to assist us. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings

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  23. jules 48 says:

    Praying for u Charlie Will offer up mass today for u God bless

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  24. Fran says:

    Praying for you this morning Charlie. There are so many visiting this site now, so many comments, and probably emails that you are getting that I don’t know how you are keeping up. I sure can’t keep up reading everything anymore myself. God bless you!

    Like

  25. CathyG says:

    Charlie, you are in my prayers daily. Please do what is best… we need you!

    Like

  26. Irish7 says:

    Thank you for this piece Padraig. I found it helpful in organizing my thoughts on the matter. I really appreciate your Catholicism as a big tent perspective — with plenty of room for disagreement and beyond that important roles to play on both sides of the coin. It reminded me of the movie The Mission. One character serves God and neighbor by fighting and the priest figure serves God and neighbor by leading a Eucharist procession. Both love. Both die. Our college professors delighted in asking us which did God’s will. Well duh…according to their consciences and vocations…both.

    Anyway, I liked your summary and visited you MOG site. I was a little shaken when I read your advice to distance ourselves from our Godless friends and leave them behind when we take refuge. I am resolved to do everything in my power to convert them and leave no one behind. Am I wrong in this? Do you feel strongly about it? Can you elaborate more? The thought has troubled me in the past. It is really hard to steer a canoe with a crew paddling in the opposite direction of the current of the Holy Spirit. I cringe at it actually. It is so hard to live and move in Him alongside people that thwart it, so I do think it would be a terribly inefficient boat. I guess I was just trusting God to give me strength to not be controlled by them and to breathe life into their dry bones. Perhaps I am naive. ??

    Speaking of controlling, I have learned the hard way that friendship is so much richer when conscience is respected. It recognizes the dignity of the person and builds them up. I know we all have some growing to do, but in general that is something I love that about this community.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Irish, I am with you for the most part on keeping our friends close, regardless. However, your comment about respecting people’s conscience is key here. There are some I have been very close to that I have had to part company with because they would not respect my conscience…not content to live and let be, some have had to constantly agitate, to try to prove they are right constantly. If a friend will not enjoy the friendship without constantly attacking your conscience, you have to let them go, lest they be a constant irritant and you come to resent them or, even worse, a temptation for you to betray what you hold dear. If you are committed to helping your neighbor when you take refuge, you cannot yoke yourself to someone who is committed only to himself – or worse, to exploit the situation for his advantage.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Kathleen from NJ says:

    I was struck profoundly by Chapter 32 from the “Imitation of Mary” (copy and paste below) when I read this last Saturday, January 10. This soothed my savage heart and hope the same for all:

    Chapter 32 of the Imitation of Mary: Submission to God’s Will even in what seems contrary to His Glory

    The Believer: Mother of Jesus, what sorrow you felt at seeing the Jews draw such little profit from your Divine Son’s preaching! That heavenly teaching, although accredited by striking miracles, could not convert so many stubborn minds that preferred to be blind themselves. Like sick men who push away the hand that wants to heal them, these unbelieving men rejected the salvation offered them. What were your feelings then? You groaned at the blindness and stubbornness of these headstrong people, but you groaned in silence and never stopped praying God for their conversion.

    Mary: My child, the thing I certainly wanted above all else was for Jesus to be known. My zeal for His glory made me feel deeply the hardening of Jewish hearts. Yet why should I have therefore lost my peace of soul? I knew that God often makes use of evil in carrying out His plans; I knew He draws good from evil. Therefore in silence I adored the infinite wisdom that at times allows wickedness to triumph.

    The Believer: Holy Virgin, that patience will be my model in all circumstances of life and especially in those in which my faith will feel itself shaken.

    Mary: Yes, my child, when you see wickedness walking happily with head held high and trampling innocence down, do not let yourself be swept along by the impulses of an embittered zeal. True religious spirit forbids such a course. Why can you not bear with what God Himself accepts? He could prevent what you regard as scandalous, but He does not do so and He has His reasons. It is for you to adore them. Nothing happens in our world without His permission. And everything, evil as well as good, serves His providential purposes. It is not granted to you now to understand His plans but the day will come when you will recognize their full justice and wisdom. You should not, of course, be insensible of the evils in the Church; it is only right that they should be a source of affliction for you; you may even weep bitterly over them, as God Himself does. But if you were to be scandalized at them so that your faith suffered or you lost your peace, that would not any longer be zeal but an abuse and an excess. One true virtue does not destroy another. Submission of mind to what God allows is compatible with genuine zeal for the glory of God. Evils call for your tears and laments, but they should be tears shed at the Savior’s feet and laments voiced to Him.
    Tell Him of your anguish; ask Him to put an end to your afflictions; speak to Him with a holy freedom. He will not be offended. Awake, O Lord. Why do Your sleep? Rise up and do not abandon us forever. Why do You hide Your face and continue to ignore our misery and our sufferings? (Ps 44:24-25).

    It is on You that men dare declare war; it is Your holy name that is scorned, Your religion that is blasphemed, Your work that men seek to destroy! Defend Your Cause. Do not let evil prevail any longer, for it is Your very glory that is at stake.
    My child, if you address Him in this fashion, you will do justice to what zeal for God’s glory and your religion requires, and you will be able to wait in peace for the Lord to come and console you.

    I (Kathleen) will end my commentary by saying: the battle is not ours but God’s. We are merely to be faithful servants. Amen!

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Mary Anne says:

    Hi Charlie. I’m sometimes a little late in reading your posts, but want you to know I’m praying for you too. You give us so much important information to internalize. Maybe during difficult times like these you should stop and take care of your physical needs. I find myself re-reading a lot, and taking away more than my first or second read. Maybe that’s what God is wanting us to do. Receive more from what He’s already given us through you.

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  29. Bob says:

    Just war and self defense. I didn’t read this one too carefully as I am not a nation and likely can have little influence on any national policy. For me the ?? is more of self defense of myself and those I Love. I conclude that I have no right to use either violence or deadly force unless there is an iminent threat to myself or to those I love. I would need to believe that self defense could have a reasonable likelihood of saving lives. Of course if we were in a warfare situation I could choose to kill or wound a combatant enemy even if I knew I might lose my life doing so. Such is the nature of war.

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  30. Donette says:

    Charlie, There are so many replies here that are either advising you to go to the Doctor or don’t go to the Doctor. They all connect it to the will of God or trust in God. Doctors are not God. Although I’m sure we have all met some doctors who thought of themselves as God. My advice is” “Go with your gut instinct.”

    I’ve recently had four phone calls from my MD’s office telling me that I am to take a prescription drug because one of the numbers from a blood test fell above the range of the average. I told them “no”. The office people were shocked. I said that I would change that number based on a change of my diet. Patient’s rights, you understand. Many doctors today spend more time looking at the numbers found from patients’ tests and are not listening or looking at the patient and his symptoms. Their training is woefully lacking in the study of nutrition.

    One doctor I went to was wonderful in his surgical training, but he still missed a stone tucked under the gallbladder post cholecystectomy. I was a golden color, my urine was burnt orange, my symptoms were a text book case of the problem. He saw my visible symptoms yet still had to go look at the latest blood test to determine what the bilirubin results were before diagnosing the problem.

    Doctors are wonderful people the Lord has given us. Blessed is He for all He has given us. If you go to a doctor, please do not go like many people do—uneducated sheep of the condition that they think is the problem. You don’t want to end up as a shorn sheep.

    Another possible consultation might take place if you ask your angel to contact Raphael. Raphael is good with these kinds of recommendations.

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  31. Bob says:

    Pope Francis on the hardening of the heart. And this reminds me of the temptation we all face when confronted with increasing darkness due to increasing evil, also as Jesus says in Matt Ch 24 vs 12 “because of the increase of evil the love of most will grow cold”.
    http://www.news.va/en/news/mass-at-santa-marta-hardened-hearts
    May God give us the grace to keep our hearts opened to love and to hope, or as Pope Francis says to keep our hearts docile.

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    • jaykay says:

      Amen, Bob. As CJ has said, he’s taking it day by day, according to God’s will. Fiat voluntas tua. And as Our Lady said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
      Be it done to me according to thy word”. To really live that is so difficult, as I well know, a real daily struggle. This year in Ireland, in just four months, we’ll have a national referendum on gay “marriage”, something not even in the Government programme four years ago when they were elected. It’s just all coming down the track so fast, and so it’s becoming easy to lose hope. They legalised abortion last year, again something literally foisted on us. Too easy to retreat into sterile bitterness, and I pray God I won’t take that lethal option. But as I say, it’s a daily struggle. Lord, grant me cheerfulness amid the encircling gloom. To be a beacon of hope, even with my widow’s mite. If, that is, I can summon some of the pure humility and trust of the widow.

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  32. Donette says:

    Now as for the Catholic and War: When it comes to war, there is no one like the angel Michael and his fighting angels. If I were a Catholic soldier, there would be no other angel then Michael who I would rather have beside me and whose blessed medal I would wear or carry some place on me. If I were a Catholic mother with a Catholic military son, I would pray unceasingly for Michael to protect him. I promise you, Michael is as fierce as they come in the protection game when it involves a member of Our Lord’s inheritance.

    The Church got a little confused when they removed from daily Mass the prayer to St. Michael that Pope Leo wanted said for the Church’s protection. Now look at the problems they are having. Today, many priests I know have reinserted the prayer to Michael at Mass. In these times we need our guardians.

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  33. Bob says:

    I have often considered the Lord of the Rings as an example of warfare. While those on the ground needed to do their part by fighting the battles, the ultimate victory was a victory in the spiritual realm as shown by the need to destroy the “ring of power” and if that wasn’t done the battles on the ground would ultimately fail anyway! So we need both but if we don’t as Charlie says: “Acknowledge God” , the rest will be futile and we ourselves would be lost in the fighting.

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  34. donna269 says:

    Padraig…..great post. Big fan on MOG as you know….God bless you and Charlie.
    Charlie: Please take care….I will pray that Our Lady wrap her healing mantle around you and clothe you in warmth and love.

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  35. Lois says:

    Dear Charlie, Please know that we are storming heaven that you be strengthened and you will, with God’s grace, be better soon. May “Our Lady” enclose you in her mantle for safe keeping.

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