Into the Deep

christian-persecution-begins

By Charlie Johnston

Before a society begins murderous oppression against a group, there is usually an extended period where the target group is dehumanized and marginalized. The attacks get progressively more severe as the would-be oppressors probe the boundaries of how brutal they can be. For nearly a decade, pre-death-camp Nazi Germany progressively proscribed the ability of Jews to participate in the nation’s economy or to obtain justice under the law. Just before the holocaust began in earnest, Jews were confined to “ghettos,” to keep them away from proper-thinking Germans. Once the general populace accepted these acts without any serious blowback, it was a short step to general arrest, impoverishment, encampment, and ultimately murder of an entire class of people.

Sociologists George Yancey and David Williamson have a frightening new book out, “So Many Christians, So Few Lions…” that documents this process is much farther along in America than even I had estimated. You have to get up pretty early to be more cynical about the state of our culture and the malice of our elites than I am. The numbers are terrifying. Some 37 percent of progressives want overt legal restrictions on Christians, such as banning homeschooling, barring Christians from holding public office or practicing law or medicine. A small minority prefers forced sterilization of Christians and even indulges in fantasies of torture and execution.

National Review’s Maggie Gallagher offers a shorter synopsis hitting the high points, such as banning Christians from operating orphanages or adoption programs (which is already functionally the law in some states, including my native Illinois. It technically allows for it, but only if the Christians are willing to actively facilitate adoptions to same-sex couples. Contrary to popular belief, the ancient Romans rarely required that suspected Christians renounce their belief in Christ. Those Romans were pantheists. Usually, if a Christian merely agreed to offer sacrifice to pagan gods or the Emperor – who was himself considered a god – the Romans would not throw them to the lions and would even allow them to keep Christ in their pantheon of gods.) The new Romans unconsciously mimic their spiritual ancestors.

The most intense and venomous bigotry in the country right now is that against Christians. As the article notes, the peculiar thing is the bigotry is primarily indulged in and perpetrated by the elite and ruling classes. It confirms something I have been talking about since the 80’s: we have the most morally degenerate, maliciously intolerant, and intellectually bankrupt class of elites in many centuries. The seeds of the destruction were perpetrated several generations ago. Our modern elite classes have gained power by playing at intellectualism and morality on the cheap. They don’t want to actually study how things work, so like high school sophomores, they flood the culture with declarations of their own superiority and hipness. They can’t win arguments, so they just shut down opposition…and as their intellectual bankruptcy becomes more obvious, they progressively adopt harsher tactics to silence – and punish – opponents.

Progressives love to say Christians in America aren’t being oppressed, pointing to parts of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia as examples of real oppression. News flash for these caustic geniuses: a society doesn’t go from a “Bells of St. Mary’s” culture to slaughtering the lambs over night. First, it has to be imagined, then the targets must be dehumanized, then test oppressions denying basic rights take place. It’s the trajectory that tells. As Our Lord said while He walked the earth, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:3). We are already in very deep water.

A commenter here the other day noted that I have had over 50 years to learn these things – and from a better teacher than I am, while all of you have to try to cram with the Cliff’s Notes Version. There is much truth in that. If you entirely put your trust in Christ, there is absolutely nothing you need fear. But most actually trust in themselves. I hear people talk about what steadfast spiritual warriors they are – and what I usually see are children armed with plastic swords and cardboard shields eager to go confront the wehrmacht. I am working on several things I think important for everyone. It took me years to understand some of the simplest things. Some people I told about these things years ago struggled as I did. Several had a habit of taking some silly thing I would say in jest as Holy Writ while not registering the really important things at all. But eventually, having said what I did both registered – and helped – when those friends would reach a crisis. So I will tell you things that you may understand, but are more likely to only think you understand. Some will take offense. But it is largely the method by which I was taught. I am trying to come up with the best way to give you brief explanation that will have impact. It is not coming easily – not because I struggle to write – but because I want to speak in ways that will have maximum impact and will resonate for you when it is time for it.

In the meantime, I will do shorter, more frequent posts, as I figure out effective approaches. I need to give you an effective examination of conscience for the hidden malice and pride that lurks to trip you up. I need to help change the perspective from which you view things. I need to help you hold fast to Christ when you are under serious and subtle assault. Most of all, I need to do it in a way so that you don’t depend on me, but value my counsel as you become sherpas who can help guide others safely through these treacherous waters. People often seem to think that God acts as an Answer Man to me. Very rarely. Part of the training was learning to ‘judge righteous judgment,’ to make decisions and take responsibility for them, knowing that you will err – and sometimes badly. Making decisions is the principle way in which we stretch out our hands to God when He sends us on mission. He insists we stretch out our hands if we are going to serve His people. Doing it despite knowing we will err is how we build a truly refined trust in God, knowing that He will draw profound fruit even from our errors if we always acknowledge Him.

I am about the business of giving you a crash course in being sherpas. I hope you are quicker studies than I was. We are in very deep water, indeed.

 

About charliej373

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

  1. SteveBC says:

    Good. Let’s get to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. radiclaudio says:

    Amen Charlie. Good night.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    And on persecution Robert George spoke will at the National Catholic prayer breakfast
    http://thejoysofbeingcatholic.blogspot.com/2014/05/remarks-of-robert-p-george-national.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. audiemarie2014 says:

    Charlie, I was breathless as I read this. I am not shocked, but it just gets more real every day. I wish I could convey all the thoughts going through my mind, but just want to say I am looking forward to your instruction on examination of conscience and everything else you have to tell us. I was surprised to read the message from Our Lady to Marija today. There is a part where Mary says to speak less and pray more. Seemed different than most messages? Thank you, Charlie, for keeping it together all these years to be our guide in these most crucial days. God bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mary Anne says:

      When I was visiting our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Tuesday, I heard to ‘speak less and pray more’. (Really!). So I stilled myself and I heard this. “I look at Him and He looks at me.” I realize I’ve heard this somewhere before, but THAT IS MY PRAYER I am to embrace. It is Him coming to me. Keeping my eyes FIXED on Him despite my surroundings…and His eyes remain FIXED on me. (Beatiful).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        Mary Anne, I’ve heard that before, also. I think it is from St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars. As I remember the story, there was a peasant that used to stop in the church every day on his way to work in the fields. One day, the saint asked the man what he did when in the church. The man responded, “I look at Him, and He looks at me.”

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Gail says:

    May the Lord shower His strength, wisdom and kindness upon you Charlie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CrewDog says:

    YUP … the Persecution has been going on for a long time in the USA. No prayer in school c. 1962, Abortion 1973, no Christ in Christmas or Easter, God excluded from the 2012 Democrat Party Convention only to be re-included after three votes … all nay but the 3rd being deemed Yea. Even in the Military Chaplains are being “Controlled-n-Limited” and the Gay/Abortion Agenda seemingly more important than National Security. I believe that God, still, is protecting the USA but Why and for how much longer? Not long I’m thinking ;-(
    GOD SAVE US!!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Brian says:

    Charlie, I enjoy reading your post as you very eloquently have been stating what many of us have been feeling in our gut for some time. Last year you wrote that we would all know within a weeks time there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are in it.

    Governmental & monetary collapses would be a part of the storm. As I recall, it was something like waking up on a Monday and by Friday there would be little doubt. I know you try not to be specific but as you reflect back to those writings, was this a misinterpretation or do you still believe this is the type of collapse we will experience or will it happen over a period of time such as we are now experiencing?

    We all want to know we’ll be able to let our loved ones know it’s time to come home before it’s too late to do so. The signs are all around us yet the old “man has free will” doctrine still hopes against hope that somehow we can find a way to prevent all this, as if somehow it’s within our human ability to reverse course and control things. That is indeed that hardest part to give up on… God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I was speaking specifically of the economic component there, Brian, and still maintain that the final crash of that component will be completed that suddenly. I also wrote that collapse is a process and it has been ongoing at a critical pace since May of 2013. In any system that is resilient, it can deal with much stress for a long period…and then cascades into full crash after enough prolonged stress. The various components, when final crash comes, will fall with striking speed. You will have people in the news media and in government on a Monday assuring us that all is well and getting dramatically better – and sitting in figurative ashes on Friday wondering what happened – or fleeing in terror. It will come upon each of us, including me, suddenly (At least I have asked the Lord to keep me about my normal routine without advance knowledge unless it is absolutely necessary for some reason). The crash must come, the signs are all about us that it is almost complete. We must all deal with it from where we are at when it finishes. The best you can do is have a general gathering place set. My family knows generally where I will retreat to for the period of complete chaos. They will come to me as best they can AFTER helping those immediately around them.

      Liked by 4 people

      • malachi99 says:

        Hi Charlie,

        I’m not sure if you have dealt with this question elsewhere but here it goes. Mark Mallett for some years now has been warning of a planned and deliberately willed collapse engineered by our political and social elites both hidden and in full view. The order out of chaos scenario (new world order built solely from the principles of naturalism) which is specifically the goal of freemasonry that ubiquitous enemy of the Church. My question then is not so much about the efficient cause as it were of this collapse but how you understand it in light of the fact that there are some men (as you pointed out last year) who would like to watch the world burn and there are others who will such but for ulterior and pernicious reasons? Is it your belief that the mechanisms of chaos will be turned against these conspirators and along with it their utopian fancies?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Mark and I have talked about it several times before, Malachi. He puts more emphasis on the human elements of conspiracy on a global basis than I do. Certainly, there is a large conspiracy going on, but I think it looks more coordinated than it is because demonic forces are the primary conspirators, enflaming the same ugly totalitarian passions in many different souls who yet are not directly coordinating with each other. On the other hand, I know that there are, indeed, shadowy forces in America which want to provoke a crisis – and are in the administration. They think they can control the lightning, as it were, and secure a permanent authoritarian command system, which would require the overt, rather than just functional, overthrow of the Constitution.

          But the bottom line is that the lightning they think to control will, indeed, turn against them. These people do have a plan, but they are largely incompetent and preeningly vain. God has a plan, too. He allows them to go forward for the same reason he allowed Pharaoh to go forward for a while.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Gabriela says:

            Thank you for bringing this up Malachi and for clarifying this Charlie. My dad and I have had “discussions” about this since I was a kid. I could never understand how for centuries groups of people (like the masons) could keep things moving in the same direction without moving off course. Business quite often can’t be passed down to the grandkids without things falling apart!!! It occurred to me a couple years ago that demonic forces had to be behind it, coordinating everything because it is not humanly possible to have almost every facet of human life moving forward in the same direction (banking, education, medicine, healthcare, food, science, fashion, entertainment, etc., etc.). For example the “sex revolution” which was popularized by entertainment (music, movies, TV), fueled by the fashion world (band-aid skirts), enabled by medicine (birth control), and eventually supported by the government (abortion legalized). It really is quite monstrous when you think about how incredibly coordinated some of these things are.

            I guess I have quite a bit of confusion about this whole ISIS thing. I find in interesting or noteworthy that the acronym of this group happens to be the name of an ancient Egyptian “goddess”. I find that now a days nothing is by accident and the powers that be tend to communicate in this rather cryptic manner. Part of me things that there is more to it than meets the eye. For a group of uneducated and unsophisticated militants they seem to be making quite a bit of progress. I am often wondering where are they getting the funding, the weapons, the strategic military know how, the Hollywood quality videos? The main guy in the videos has a British accent?!?! It almost seems staged, designed to create a reaction. Like a falls flag attack, designed to get the enemy drawn into a war, create unrest. There are people in the streets screaming and demanding somebody go bomb “them”. It’s unreal. When those 21 Coptic Christians were murdered, Egypt reacted almost instantaneously and bombed “them”. There was absolutely no outrage by anybody. How can Egypt just go an bomb another country? I highly doubt any of the guys doing the beheading were bombed. The people that were most likely hurt were women and children. It’s kid of scary what is going on. Charlie, is this really an organic Muslim spring of a created one… or does it even matter if the demonic forces are behind it because it will lead to the same end anyway?

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Gabriela, this is a great post. Seriously. You’ve put everything together in a very clear way that has helped me see the true extent of all the reinforcing actions that we usually see as separate one-offs. Thank you so much.

            [Charlie, if you don’t want to post the following, feel free to delete it.]
            On ISIS I saw a video series by Vice News a couple months ago. Their reporter and cameraman went into Raqqa in Syria and interviewed a number of people. Now I want to make sure any reader knows that I do not support ISIS, but what struck me was how well the “upper management” of the Islamic State had fitted the right person to the right job for them. Speaking as a business manager, this is hard to do in even a small business. It has to be fiendishly(!) difficult to do in such a large organization. These people who were interviewed *loved* their jobs and were very good at and very well fitted for them.

            Since viewing those videos I have always warned people that the IS management have some real management skills and should be faced with the kind of respect you should give a truly competent enemy. They are not the Junior Varsity.

            These guys know what they are doing. For example, their marketing and human resources departments are highly competent. To anyone reading this, *never* take these guys lightly. They will eat your lunch and have you for dinner.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Agreed, SteveBC. And I find it disgusting, and yet predictable that Obama now wants carte blanche to go after the “Junior Varsity” anywhere that they might exist in the world.

            Like

      • Mack says:

        For those who may be interested, John Maudlin (who wrote a book called “Endgame”) talks about “fingers of instability” in an economic system. He compares it to a sandpile at the beach; you can build it bigger and bigger, but the instability in the pile will eventually bring it down. Any small thing could trigger it. Some researchers used a computer model with various colors to illustrate it. Charlie’s right about the lightning; the whole thing will quickly go out of control.

        http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/fingers-instability

        Like

        • Mack says:

          Here’s a quote; this helps me understand better what will happen:
          “As I have written, we can run large deficits almost forever, as long as the deficits are less than nominal GDP. While it may not be the wise thing to do, it does not bring down the system.

          “But when you start adding to the deficit in amounts significantly larger than nominal GDP, there is a limit. Each dollar, like the grains of sand, adds to the potential instability of the system. Is it $2 trillion more? $3 trillion? No one can know, but the longer it goes, the worse the ensuing financial earthquake will be.

          “The current political class and their intentions are dangerously close to killing the golden goose. It is one thing to steal the eggs; it is an altogether different thing to kill the goose through ignorance of the consequences. And the size of the deficit, for as long as they plan to have it, will most assuredly kill the goose.”

          Liked by 1 person

    • connie says:

      Brian, most of us do indeed ache to be able to warn our loved ones and have them actually listen and respond by turning their lives over to God instead of thinking we are conspiracy theorists or some such. But I am convinced that just as our Lord convicted us one way or another with some stirring in our souls, He will do the same for those we love because He loves them too and I believe all that we offer up on behalf of souls, including those loved ones, will be used for their good and not wasted. So I try to turn my worries back into prayers when I catch myself worrying these days about the late hour and seemingly so much to do. And I do find myself just every now and then sitting down with the Lord and telling Him all that is in my heart when it gets too heavy. I know He listens lovingly and it helps lighten my load truly.
      I found this on Pelianito’s site: http://pelianito.stblogs.com/ “give Me your longing children. I will use it to shorten the days”
      “My beloved children, the time is drawing near when this prophecy will be fulfilled. After the time of sorrow, comes the time of glory, the days when my children will know and love me. And they shall be one with me as I am one with the Father and the Spirit. I cannot convey to you adequately how much my heart longs for this. You cannot comprehend the depths of my longing. If I communicated this longing to your heart, it would burst immediately. Children, pray for the coming of my kingdom, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of our Mother. Long for it as I do. If I find even a sliver of longing in a heart, reparation is made for the great and many sins of the age. Give me your longing children! I will use it to shorten the days.

      Oh, How that gives me consolation and renewed strength and courage and TRUST in the goodness of our God!!!

      Liked by 13 people

  8. Nancy D says:

    I am looking forward to the crash course. I am quite certain I am at this point not sufficiently equipped to be “wise as a serpent” while also remaining as “innocent as a dove”. I read your warnings, I see and listen to what’s going down around me, and I KNOW that disaster is imminent. . .what I don’t know is if (or how) I will endure to the end. I absolutely know that God is faithful and perfectly trustworthy, that He is with me and in Him I have access to “everything necessary for life and godliness”. He is almighty, He loves me with an infinite and perfect love, His patience with me is long and His mercy unending. There is nothing lacking to me if I put my trust in Him and in His Will – – unconditionally; if I embrace His Will with all my being and never leave it. So what, or whom, can I possibly fear?? I guess it’s ME that I really fear. I am not faithful, trustworthy, strong, loving, patient or merciful, and yet I do trust in myself in so many instances. . I do think I can trust my own mind, my own knowledge and reason, even my FEELINGS, for goodness sake! How am I going to survive any of the challenges, trials, temptations and battles that most certainly we will all be facing, let alone be a Sherpa to anyone!
    But here’s the thing, Charlie: I WANT to be all those things. I want to be so surrendered to and so possessed by the holy Will of God that He can transform me into that person. I want to be useful to Him, and I want to be here to celebrate with Him when He comes.
    I don’t know what I’m even asking. Sorry I’ve just rattled on. No need to answer. Really. . I think I am just trying to sort some things out so I don’t walk around in a fog when it’s clarity that is needed.
    So that’s why I am looking forward to the crash course. So much to learn. . .so little time.

    Liked by 16 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You are at the beginning of real wisdom, Nancy.

      Like

    • audiemarie2014 says:

      Oh Nancy! Your “rattling on” hit the nail on the head for me. Thank you.

      Like

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Memo to Nancy:

      No need to wait.
      You are already on that road! Since you believe that “if God is for us, who can be against?”

      Peace and Blessings

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gabrielle says:

      Nancy, thank you for posting this. This is exactly how I am feeling on the inside but had no idea how to express it. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • donna269 says:

      beautiful, sister…..

      Liked by 1 person

    • anthonymullendivineantidote says:

      Nancy, God is pouring out a special Grace right now for this exact reason: to take away all fear and uncertainty so you will know with true Faith that you can and will persevere. This Grace has been fully approved by the Church, and God calls it the “Greatest Grace” He has given to mankind since the Birth, Death, Resurrection of His Son and the establishment of His Church and the Sacraments. This Grace is the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You can learn about it and receive a free book by going to http://www.flameoflove.us May God bless us all with this Grace!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sue says:

      Thank you Nancy for your candor, your comment is bang on how I’m feeling as well. Prior to confession this morning, I had noted that due to my faults and failings I am useless to God, and pride and self-pity made me upset about this, mostly for my own sake, not His. I am feeling like salt that has lost its savor, and hoping that somehow being thrown out to be trampled underfoot will at least keep people from slipping on the ice! (Ha, Minnesota humor, sort of…) I have to say, the Lord sure has His work cut out for Him where I am concerned. And yet, I have hope in Mercy, so it seems my job is to sit up and pay attention, and cooperate as best I can, and let God do the rest. What else can I do?!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mary N says:

      Nancy, I think you have beautifully expressed the fears, doubts, and longings of many here, including my own. I face one trial after another these days and likely fail half of them. Sometimes I don’t even know since they are trials I’ve never had to face before. And they are always aimed at areas I am weak in…lol. So yes, I think it’s me I fear as well. The odd thing is that this is happening to almost everyone I know.

      I am getting fat eating so much “humble pie”….

      Liked by 2 people

    • BarbW says:

      Nancy,
      I so very much agree with every word you said. I could have written it also. I continually beg our Lord to change my heart because I don’t think I am doing anything to prepare correctly to be His witness.
      Your rattling on just said everything I want to say… thank you for putting my thoughts and desires in words.

      Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Enter me into your fan club, Nancy D. You’ve nailed it.

      Like

  9. Josephine says:

    Thank you, Charlie. Ready to present myself at your training course.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mary W. says:

    The Spirit has been convicting me of my hidden sins after reading every new post of yours Charlie. I have myself to fear most of all… as other commenters have said about themselves as well. I ran a RED light the other day without realizing it until my husband in the passenger seat asked if I knew I did that. I did not! A lesson learned without anyone being hurt by my BIG mistake. How many red lights do I run (figuratively now) daily which cause injury, either to myself or others, is the question? Will we muster up the wisdom ( and Christian love) needed when the time comes. You said somewhere Charlie that our actions must be deliberate and measured, especially when the time of chaos is upon us. Some of us by nature are more calm and focused. I hope and trust the Lord provides what is needed after we have tried our best and even run a few red lights! For one HE has provided you Charlie and this blog for our benefit. Thank you so much.
    Nancy D. : Your comment hit the nail on the head for me too. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lily says:

      I hear you. I finding myself doing all sorts of those things. I almost got run over by some skateboarders bc I was so distracted trying to get my kids attention and for them to stay on the grass. The sound of the skateboards didn’t register with my brain until they were literally right behind me.

      Like

  11. Bill says:

    Nancy, I’m with you. We are on a journey and are learning as we go. I haven’t shared much of Charlie’s writings with my wife and family but will do so soon. My wife told me last month she has a bad feeling about 2015 so I’m printing Charlie’s writings to use to brief my family. The writings should also be a good survival guide when things get real bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for not only this wonderful post, but your upcoming “boot camp” for training we sherpas. “Sherpa.” That’s an AWFUL INTERESTING word (I guess my English major background is showing.) Your choice of words could not be better!

    Here’s what the early Himalayan expeditions found their “sherpa” guides to be: “It is the temperament and character of the Sherpas that have justified their renown and won them such a large place in the hearts of the Western travelers and explorers who have known them.”

    And still another accolade for sherpas: “Their most enduring characteristic is their extraordinary gaiety of spirit. More than any other people I know they have the gift of laughter.”

    We all have to remember that the severe range of the world’s highest mountains is somewhat of a sanctuary of sorts. Not many attempt the climbs. Moses climbed a mountain, Ezekiel was set down on a high mountain, just as our blessed Lord was. Look what Isaiah in 2:2 told us:

    “In days to come,
    The mountain of the Lord’s house
    shall be established as the highest mountain
    and raised above the hills.
    All nations shall stream toward it.”

    And so, we here at base camp properly prepared and outfitted with, and for and in Christ say with full voice: “Show us the path, even if it be rocky, cold, and blustery. We ascend!”

    Liked by 7 people

    • kathy kalina says:

      I don’t believe in accidents. Everyone signing up for Charlie’s boot camp are souls created and gifted to be a Sherpa in this hour. I love that quote about the joyfulness of the Sherpa.

      I’m convinced that if we are going to be useful to the Lord in the storm, we must abandon ourselves to His Divine Will, and ask Him to give us His likeness. An abiding joy in his service (not to be confused with mere happiness), peace, faith, hope and love coming from US will be a sure and constant sign of hope to those around us. We can’t do this on our own, but He can do it in us without even breaking a sweat!

      This week I met a 98 year old man who survived the Bataan death march in world war II. I asked how he did it. He said, “I knew the Lord was with me every step of the way, and I had a mission – survive!” He also said, “America was so arrogant in the time leading up to the war, the majority thinking we would not get entangled in it. I knew different. I saw it coming, so I spent my time preparing physically. That’s another reason I survived – I was in really good shape.”

      I thought immediately about the preparations here. And this man followed steps one and two – acknowledge God, and take the next right step. He didn’t mention it, but just his determination to survive was surely a sign of hope to those around him.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Donette says:

    Charlie, I was told by a priest some years ago that we are living in a time when God is giving everyone his human will. That is why we are and will experience hell on earth. Few are the numbers who desire to live in His Will. I wish that priest were here to comfort and support Nancy D with his words. So if I may step into his shoes for just a second he probably would say to her as he did to me, “If you desire to live in His Will, ask and you shall receive.” In the beginning you will feel like nothing is coming from your mouth except baby babble, but that’s O.K.; God especially loves His children and their voices are music to His ears.
    Then He will detach and separate you from all of the non-essentials in your life. That will feel rather tough when that happens. But when you are only attached to Him that is the best thing that can happen to you. At that point you will be able to join with Centurion and others who are at “base camp”. If you don’t feel “properly prepared and outfitted” don’t worry because God will take care of that too. He will make you strong, show you the path, no matter what the conditions and then permit you to “ascend.” “We will go unto the altar of God, the joy of our youth.” together.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. SwampYankee says:

    Recruit Yankee reporting for Sherpa training sir.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I think one can report that my browser’s spellchecker suggests “Togetherness” to replace Genesareth. One would assume that any decent dictionary would include a list of biblical words, yet the word “fatwa” is included. There is a plan here. Genocide is only the last phase. Watch for the new Internet laws. I envision a series of ghettos created to keep Christians separated from the rest of the publications, Google, etc. This is so pervasive that even a good number of our brethren have been inoculated with it. Recently I published an article with some things I found while perusing my Bible. I published it a few days ago in my site and soon I received a few opinions (mostly quite ignorant) against it. You can read it if you wish but what is important is this: my article called attention to a series of objective facts, namely the results of adding a series of periods mentioned in Daniel 8,11 &12, and Revelation 11. These are not things I made up. In fact what I did anyone can do it with as much technology as a calendar. Say if I add those numbers of days (1150,1260,1290, 1335) to my birthday the results are disconnected series of dates. The same happens when you add them to the first date of the year or to nearly other date – the results do not suggest anything at all – but if one adds those numbers to a certain specific date the results are surprising for then we get the following events in 2016:
    1. the anniversary of the first apparition in Fatima
    2. Michaelmas
    3. the anniversary of the last apparition in Fatima
    4. the “missing” date of the seventh apparition of Fatima that so far never took place
    One would imagine that such a serial coincidence is statistically very rare. But for some good Catholics who know these things well, the article was offensive (???) and I got three or four indignant responses.
    That reminded me how the Jews of the first century were introduced to our Lord and even when 108 biblical prophecies where fulfilled in Him, the studious contemporaries of Jesus rejected the objective facts that confirmed the Messiah had in fact arrived. Not to mention scores of miracles performed before their very eyes. The Passion necessitated such obtuseness because somehow Christ had to be delivered to the Cross by His own people.
    In the same manner the Passion of the Church (already set in motion) has to happen – that was the reason I was reading Revelation 11 in the first place – there are always plenty of Pontius Pilates, and Romans ready to crucify someone but … a Judas has to arrive to deliver the Church, perhaps “the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place” an individual or a group of individuals IN the Church ready to hand the Bride of Christ to the forces and ideas of this world gone insane. Perhaps that is the core of that “third secret” so many wonder about: the Church is being mentally conditioned and prepared for a “reorganization” and so some of us have caught that spirit and reject anything that is objectively truthful because we simply do not mean “let your kingdom come” with all our hearts.
    If you were wondering which was the “anchor date” I was talking about, that is March 19, 2013. The day when Francis was elevated to the papacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mack says:

      But Francis was elected on March 13, 2013.

      Like

    • NancyA says:

      Carlos, I am intrigued, but hoping you do not suggest that Pope Francis is that judas? I guess I will look for your article.

      I have said that I’ve conscientiously left off following prophecy that is as yet unapproved, so my days of closely reading such things are well passed. I have been thinking lately of how easy it is these days for prophetic voices to be reading one anothers’ words online. Can be hard for the casual reader to feel sure they are not unconsciously influenced by it, so that they seem to be confirming each other, when they are not, not supernaturally, anyway.

      Like

      • NancyA says:

        Ahh. I would recommend reading Carlos’s article for clarity on his comment above. Interesting findings, Carlos!

        Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Very prudent method of discernment, Nancy. The execrable Maria Divine Mercy almost certainly did kind of a compilation like that in order to give her noxious apostasy credibility. I try to encourage people to maintain a prudent area of doubt in discernment. The important thing, of course, is what we should do – who we should be to each other. Hence my frequent repetition of the formulation of acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Anyone who really internalizes that most assuredly does not need me – but it is nice to live solidarity with each other.

        As for Carlos, I am sure that is not what he is getting at. There are cabals in the Vatican and the hierarchy – that work to undermine both the faith and the Pope’s proper authority. I think that is what he is getting at. It is pretty well known that the quickest way to get banned and to be dismissed by me is to start peddling that Francis is an anti-pope. As with many of my friends, Carlos and I have a little different take on some details, but I have always thought we are firmly united in the fundamentals. He is a good, faithful man.

        Liked by 2 people

        • NancyA says:

          I was rather certain that if that was what Carlos was getting at, you would not have let it get by without comment, Charlie. Just needed to understand for certain, myself. I am one who is fully supportive of and in agreement with your actionable precepts, while I respectfully reserve judgement on your prophecy. Most of us here are so because we do see the signs of the times.. beyond that, I don’t expect to know more with any certainty, but that doesn’t change what we ought to DO.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Charlie. I was pointing at the well known groups that expressed some clearly unorthodox opinions during the last synod. Obviously Peter cannot be Peter and Judas at the same time, and if we have “two witnesses” in the biblical sense of “witness” they have to be in agreement. If they are preaching penance, sackcloth, etc they cannot possibly be traitors to the Church. I thought that was self evident. I hope is more clear now. I do not disagree with anything you have expressed here so far and I have learned a lot. I would not even dare to think that my occasional foraging into interpretation should be considered inspired or have any force above that of the mere opinion of a sincere layman who submits to Peter, Our Lady and above all to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

          Like

      • No, Nancy and I am sorry if I was not clear. Let me explain this point for “what my opinion is on that matter” and I do not mean to include any disrespect or accusation into it.
        Our Lord anointed our first Pope, Simon Bar Jonah and gave him the name of Peter. The idea was to show that as Christ is the foundation Rock of the triumphant Church in Heaven, Peter was the foundation rock of the militant Church on earth. The fact that Peter was crucified upside-down shows graphically the image of a reflection, like in the Hebrew letter “aleph” (meaning that Earth is a reflection of Heaven) Peter’s death is a mirror image of Christ’s death.
        Now, only seconds after being praised and given the top job, poor Peter was called “satan” because he did two things wrong: 1) he tried to dissuade the Lord from His Passion 2) he was thinking “thoughts of men” and not of God. The Lord said that, not I. See Matthew 16:20 etc.
        Now, I believe we have men who are trying to conform the doctrine of the Church to human ideas of the “progressive” kind. We saw a sampler of that attitude during the last Synod. Many were scandalized when commandments of God were put up for a vote of sorts. I personally did not enjoy the spectacle and found it sadly mistaken.

        If this is the time for the passion of the Church, and some are trying to do like poor Peter did just before being called a resister of God’s will …then those trying to accommodate doctrine to the whims of worldly thinkers are facilitating the entrance of certain abominable ideas in the “holy place” that the Church should be. Peter was about to deny the Cross and the Lord wasted no time in stopping him. It won’t be different for those in positions of top responsibility that try to appease the world by adopting their abominable ways. There is a specific warning of Our Lord in Matthew 24 that echoes a previous warning of St Michael registered by the prophet Daniel. (see Daniel 12:11 and Matthew 24:15) The installation and duration (1260 days) of that “abomination” seems to run parallel to the preaching in sackcloth of the two witnesses who are finally martyred then resurrected and assumed into Heaven. Perhaps the same counterpoint will repeat: as Christ was resurrected and Judas committed suicide, perhaps the two witnesses will be resurrected and the Judas(es) will suffer an ignominious death at the hands of the very world they are trying to please. There has to be a Judas also in the passion of the Church but that is not Pope Francis (our present Peter.) We do not know who he is or who they are if there is more than one.

        Up to this point I have ventured into a limited interpretation — something that I am very reluctant to do because of my vast ignorance — please understand I have only given my opinion on something and BY NO MEANS I mean to pass a doctrinal statement of any sort. What I just said here should be taken as the musings of a very ignorant layman.
        However those dates and numbers — whatever they mean — are objective facts. I did not set the date for the Pope’s elevation. I did not write the book of Daniel nor did I write the Revelation. I simply made the OBSERVATION that the dates added in a certain way seem to strongly point to Fatima and to St Michael who is VERY PRESENT both in Fatima and the prophecies of Daniel and other eschatological passages also.

        I say these things with the utmost respect to the Office of Peter and to Charlie’s readers here. I hope they see these words coming as from a respectful guest.

        Like

    • Ed Allison says:

      Carlos, I believe that it is generally accepted that Enoch (sometimes called Henoch) and Elias are the 2 witnesses of Rev 11.
      In Genesis 5:23-24 it says that “And all the years of Henoch were three hundred and sixty five years. And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him.”
      In Heb 11:5, Paul says, “By faith, Henoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him.”
      And according to the book of Ecclesiasticus 44:16, Henoch will return to preach penance to the nations: “Henoch pleased God, and was translated into paradise, that he may give repentance to the nations.”

      Elias(Elijah) was also taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. He is the second witness to return to preach repentance during the reign of antichrist. Malachi 3:23-24: Now I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, Before the day of the LORD comes, the great and terrible day; 24 He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the land with utter destruction.

      St. Irenaeus wrote in ‘Against Heresies’, “The diciples of the Apostles say that they (Enoch and Elias) whose living bodies were taken up from this world, have been placed in an earthly paradise, where they will remain until the end of the world.”

      St. Ephraen (4th/5th century) wrote, “And when the son of perdition has drawn to his purpose the whole world, Enoch and Elias shall be sent that they may confute the Evil one.”

      St. Hildegard wrote, “Enoch and Elias will be instructed by God in a most secret manner in Paradise. God reveals to them the actions and condition of men that they may regard them with eyes of compassion. Because of this special preparation, these two holy men are more wise than all the wise men on the earth taken together. God will give them the task of opposing Antichrist and of bringing back those who have strayed from the way of salvation. Both of these men, will say to people: ‘This accursed one (Antichrist) has been sent by the devil to lead men astray and into error.”

      So, Enoch and Elias did not die, yet. They are slain by antichrist himself, and their bodies lay in the street in Jerusalem for 3 days. (see Rev 11: 7-8), after which they will rise from the dead and be called to heaven. The book of Rev may not reveal the identities of the ‘two witnesses’. but Tradition (capital T), does.

      God bless all here.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Many, including more than a few saints, have posited that, though I think it is a bit of a reach to call it “generally accepted.” Remember, a stumbling block for the Sanhedrin and pious Jews on Jesus as Messiah was that all the prophets said that Elijah must come first. They expected to see the actual Elijah coming in fire, rather than St. John the Baptist coming in the form of Elijah’s prophetic role.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ed Allison says:

          Yes, many Saints, Doctors and even Fathers of the Church……..
          St John Damascene, a Doctor of the Church, and considered to be the last of the ‘Fathers’, in his work, De Fide Orthodoxa:
          But Enoch and Elias the Thesbite shall be sent and shall turn the
          hearts of the fathers to the children, that is, the synagogue to our
          Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of the apostles: and they will be
          destroyed by him. And the Lord shall come out of heaven, just as the
          holy apostles beheld Him going into heaven perfect God and perfect
          man, with glory and power, and will destroy the man of lawlessness,
          the son of destruction, with the breath of His mouth. Let no one,
          therefore, look for the Lord to come from earth, but out of Heaven, as
          He himself has made sure.
          http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0675-0749,_Ioannes_Damascenus,_De_Fide_Orthodoxa,_EN.pdf

          Actually, I did more than call it ‘generally accepted’. I called it Tradition, with a capital ‘T’.

          Like

        • Ed Allison says:

          Charlie, I’m not trying to be a PITA, especially on your birthday. (Happy Birthday!) But the body of evidence here is so great, that I have to note one more; St. Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church.

          In his work, City of God. After quoting the book of Malachi, as I did above, St. Augustine goes on to say:
          “It is a familiar theme in the conversation and heart of the faithful, that in the last days before the judgement the Jews shall believe in the true Christ, that is, our Christ, by means of this great and admirable prophet Elias who shall expound the law to them. For not without reason do we hope that before the coming of our judge and Saviour, Elias shall come, because we have good reason to believe that he is now alive. For, as scripture most distinctly informs us, he was taken up from this life in a chariot of fire. When, therefore, he is come, he will give a spiritual explanation of the law which the Jews at the present understand carnally, and shall thus, ‘turn the heart of the father to the son,’ that is, the heart of the fathers to their children. And the meaning is, that the sons, that is the Jews, shall understand the law as the fathers, that is, the prophets, and among them Moses himself understood it. That the Jews also, who had previously hated, should then love the Son who is our Christ”

          I take the statement, “It is a familiar theme in the conversation and heart of the faithful’ to indicate that in the time of St. Augustine, this was ‘generally accepted’.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh no, Ed, I am not vested in any particular interpretation. As I noted by citing saints who have supported your interpretation in the past, often things that are advocated by many end up being part of defined doctrine – such as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Sometimes, such things are ultimately dismissed as errant. Most often, they are not weighed in upon formally at all. I concurred with you that many people take precisely your interpretation of it. My point was that it is NOT defined doctrine.

            Even when something is generally accepted and is true, it is often – actually usually – misinterpreted. Like I said, it was almost universally accepted by the ancient Jews that Elijah must come again before the Messiah appeared. Actually, that expectation was correct, but their interpretation of what it meant and signified was not. Given the record of the most pious and learned of faithful and even theologians in misinterpreting authentic prophecy, I lean toward caution in settling on a particular interpretation as normative – until it is firmly defined by the Church. Of course, I had the experience of about a decade and a half of misinterpreting almost everything I was shown. It engendered a certain caution and insistence on precision. It does not bother me that anyone should posit any reasonable interpretation – and offer evidence to support it as you have. But I do not want to let go by treating as authoritative what has not been firmly defined. So if it turns out exactly as you expect, that would suit me. If it turns out some other way I hadn’t though of or expected, that would suit me just as well. The danger of grabbing onto one possible interpretation of something that is not defined as the only possible interpretation is that we can get so vested in it that, when God moves in a way we don’t expect – as He did in coming into the world in the incarnation without the actual Elijah literally coming first, we can miss it entirely or worse, even deny Him. So I just don’t like to get firmly vested in what is not firmly defined.

            I take to heart another dictum of St. Augustine: “In necessary things, unity; in undecided things, freedom; in all things, charity.”

            Liked by 1 person

      • Ed,
        I would like to stress that I have no intention of stating more than a mere personal opinion. I know those interpretations you quoted, and I may concede that are generally accepted but they are not established infallible doctrine of the faith as far as I know. Besides they seem to have some flaws. Please bear with me a few lines.

        I used a very good Commentary on the Apocalypse of St John by Prof. Edmondo Lupieri (see pp 172-188) In that book there are references to Deuteronomy 17:6, Numbers 35:30, Matthew 18:16, John 8:17, and Hebrews 10:28. My objection to the two witnesses being resurrected prophets of yore is mainly their martyrdom described later in the chapter.

        It seems a bit too cruel to have poor Moses and Elijah come in the flesh and have them die all over again. Their attributes seem to point at Elijah and Moses though because they can call drought and turn water into blood, but they seem to be more powerful than the original prophets in the sense that they do this at will and more than one time.

        In my hypothesis I simply call attention to the coincidence of the dates tied to the totally unexpected appearance of two popes in the world (19-MAR-2013) and the strong relation those dates seem to have with Fatima & St Michael:

        +1150 = 13-MAY-2016 the 99th anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima
        +1260 = 30-AUG-2016 the end of the preaching of the two witnesses
        +1290 = 29-SEP-2016 Michaelmas, significant since the prophet Daniel mentions St Michael
        +1335 = 13-NOV-2016 the “missing” seventh apparition of Our Lady (May through October are six apparitions, November is the missing 7th apparition)

        Although I observed these things and I believe they mark certain events of the end of the “times of the gentiles” I cannot affirm they have one meaning or another, I can only point to what they appear to suggest. I think the associated probability of those dates coinciding in such a way is rather low, very low. To make things even more interesting there are interspersed solar eclipses and other astronomical events but I am still researching that part.

        Another interesting part is this: “Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. ” Daniel 12:8-9

        If these numbers have been “unsealed” and we can guess their meaning now … that may mean that God in His unfathomable mercy is asking us to get ready for the cosmic upheavals to come soon. Those who will survive the violent changes taking place will be those who repent, fast, pray, keep their purity, and submit to God’s will. All others shall perish as both Our Lady and the Bible make very clear. The unsealing may be the very appearance of the two popes!

        I am not saying it is that way, only that to me it seems like a strong possibility.

        These dates could or could not be the main dates of those cosmic upheavals but they may represent other events for instance events divinely designed to call mankind to repentance.

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        • I forgot ot mention that some of the Fathers believed the two witnesses were Moses and Elijah and others thought they were Enoch and Elijah, I quote Prof.Lupieri’s work:

          “The identity of the two figures has not been satisfactorily explained. The usual approach is to concentrate on the analogies with Elijah and Moses but even in antiquity there were doubts about this interpretation since both witnesses seem to belong completely within the New Testament economy, and thus to be Christian figures such as, for instance, the new Elijah and the new Moses, that is John the Baptist and Jesus (both killed by wicked kings, emanations from the “beast”) who will return at the end of time. Some has seen them as Christian realizations of Jewish reflections on the end-times return of two biblical figures who were believed to never have died (Enoch and Elijah in a manner similar to the interpretation of the Apocalypse of Elijah) while others see in them Peter and Paul who were killed in Rome (the “city”) by Nero (the “beast” and therefore the Antichrist.) In any case, we are dealing with two figures who are connected with eschatology and whom John presents as belonging to the future. (p. 176)

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        • Ed Allison says:

          This whole exchange is very troubling to me. The one thing we are in agreement on, is that there is no official statement defining who the 2 witnesses are, nor is there likely to be.

          Charlie, I’d be curious as to your definition of ‘Tradition’, with a capital ‘T’.

          Carlos, please do not take offense. I hold you in the highest regard, and I do not wish to hurt your feelings. It is precisely because of the martyrdom of the 2 witnesses that the 2 witnesses that Enoch and Elias will fill the role, because they have not died yet. You use words like ‘resurrected prophets’ and that you find it ‘too cruel’ to have them ‘die all over again’. Let me reiterate, they have not died a first time. Heb 9:27 says it is appointed unto men to die ONCE. As to it being ‘too cruel’, don’t you find it too cruel that Jesus had to die such a cruel and painful death? If the Father is willing to permit this to happen to the Son, how are any of us to expect better treatment?

          I find it troubling that I repeat the words of saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, yet I am warned of having a possible ‘stumbling block’, and not to be too ‘vested’ in a particular interpretation. Carlos, on the other hand, ventures into extreme speculation with biblical number codes, and yet receives no such gentle warning that he may setting himself up with a stumbling block, or may be getting too vested in a distraction.

          I think the Sherpa fell down the mountain on this one.

          Carlos, again, I mean no disrespect. Your article says, “No one so far has been able to define who those two witnesses are.” I was simply trying to point out to you that that is simply incorrect. Yes, I know that Mother Church has not proclaimed ‘ex cathedra’ who the 2 witnesses will be. But we have a wealth of writings from the Church Fathers on things which have no official proclamation. You say that you are aware of these things, but you did not include them in your article. I certainly do not begrudge you your opinions on these things, but I believe a gentle warning is warranted. No offense is intended.

          I felt strongly, that these things needed to be said. If I am wrong, then I apologize for over stepping my bounds.

          I also take to heart another dictum of St. Augustine: “In necessary things, unity; in undecided things, freedom; in all things, charity.” I hope my comments can be received in the Christian charity that they were meant in. I will say no more on the matter.
          God Bless All Here.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Certainly Carlos ventures into some very speculative territory at times, Ed, but he takes care to note that this is his opinion, interpretation or musing. I am open to various such speculations so long as they are not obviously in contradiction of faith and morals. You cited a perfectly reasonable likely interpretation of certain things and I agreed it was a reasonable possible interpretation, but you seemed to want to insist it was the only reasonable rational interpretation.

            I try to keep things on track here by:

            1) Banning things which are clearly contrary to faith and morals.
            2) Insisting on the authority of the formal Magisterial teaching of the Church – and not allowing that which is part of that authoritative teaching to be dismissed as mere interpretation.
            3) Insisting that that which is just interpretation and not part of the binding Magisterium be presented as an interpretation, which may be more or less well-founded, but is not authoritative or binding.

            By keeping these things clearly defined, we can examine things in depth and with freedom, without either laying burdens of belief on people that the Church does not lay, nor muddling those things which it does authoritatively insist on.

            AS for my definition of capital T Tradition, it is the same as the definition in the Catechism: Scripture and the Magisterial teaching of the Church. Theological, liturgical, devotional traditions, including all private revelation and musings of the saints, belong to the small t tradition if adopted, unless they are incorporated into the Magisterium. Thus, prior to 1854, the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was part of tradition. Once Pope Pius IX defined it in the Papal Bull “Ineffabilis Deus” it became part of the Church’s Tradition. The applicable section of the catechism is here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ed, I apologize if I was not clear enough that this is merely an opinion of mine, I do not expect anyone to take it as doctrine. Professor Lupieri, who is teaching at Loyola, has researched interpretations of the Apocalypse and he is the one that reports (a) that the patristic and other sources are not in agreement on this (b) that there is no absolute certainty as to who those witnesses are. He’s the professor of theological eschatology, I am a mere guy who found an objective mathematical relation between 5 dates and 4 prophetic “numbers of days.” The numbers and dates are objective, that is to say they are provided by St. John and Daniel (who receives them from St. Michael.) The date when the two popes appear on the scene of history is also an objective fact. The conclave took place and then the Camarlengo most likely set the best date to enthrone Cardinal Bergoglio as Francis. I had nothing to do with any of that, please believe me. Then I merely observed the relationship between the number of days, added to that particular date, and the results which include Michalemas, two dates related to Fatima, and another date in which the preaching of the witnesses would end.
            I shared my thoughts on the hypothesis that Benedict & Francis were the two witnesses with a former teacher of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, a Jesuit who thought at the time it was a valuable insight. A lot of people have gotten angry at this since then. It is like getting angry at the fact that Pentecost comes 40 days after Easter. I study doctrine as much as possible and I know what Holy Tradition is. So far I have not heard anything about Holy Tradition being inerrant. Holy people even doctors of the Church had disagreements over the centuries. This is one issue: Are these two witnesses Moses & Elijah, or Enoch & Elijah. Who is right, or are both groups wrong? I was hoping that the quote from Professor Edmondo Lupieri would shed some light on the matter. The great thing about Catholicism is that I can say “What if” within the boundaries of decency. A series of objective figures suggested me something and I presented the honest question, hypothesis, theory. I meant no heresy or disrespect to anyone. I am not promoting anything at all. Lots of people speculate over eschatology and propose the most outrageous ideas. I did not. I simply called attention to some dates.
            http://www.luc.edu/theology/facultystaff/lupieriedmondof.shtml
            http://www.amazon.com/Edmondo-Lupieri/e/B001JSC6DG

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          • I made one statement there regarding the inerrancy of Holy Tradition. We refer to Holy Tradition as the legacy of the Fathers and Saints. Yet the inerrant part of Holy Tradition is that part on which the Magisterium of the Church pronounced infallible approval. Many wrote AGAINST the Immaculate Conception, many wrote in favor. When Pius XII made Immaculate Conception a dogma of the Catholic Church he obviously dis-authorized those who argued against it. Just wanted to clarify that point.

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          • Ed Allison says:

            No need to apologize Carlos, no hard feelings. I’m sorry. I should have just kept my big mouth shut. Sometimes, I can be like a pit bull. Once I latch on, you can beat me over the head all you want and I won’t let go. God bless you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ed, I have been there myself more than one time! ;o) God bless!

            Liked by 1 person

  16. johnmcfarm says:

    Once again, you strike a chord in my heart perfectly. I was just going to write you this morning about a opinion piece in the Freeport Journal Standard that turned my stomach. It was written by a “journalist” from a larger newspaper and evidently is syndicated, so how many papers carried it is anyone’s guess. The gist of the article is in support of homosexual “marriage” which of course translates into the evil of Christiandom. This so called journalist took great pride and arrogance (just like Nazi’s did) in misrepresenting Chrisitan beliefs and under his construction describing a evil belief full of hatred and discrimination. The open contempt for Christianity and Christians in an American paper…and who knows how many, was appalling.

    Additionally, I had a local business leader come to my office who stated sadly and with heart broken that his City…Freeport, was dying and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He related how at a recent economic development meeting our own representative in Springfield said that there was a lousy workforce and this encumbered Freeport terribly. Completely ignoring that Honeywell and Met Life recently laid off hundreds of very talented competent people and that Freeport has the benefit of having one of the best Community Colleges in the nation churning out graduates every few months. There were supposedly fifty business leaders at this meeting…all coming away from it convinced that Freeport is dying but without any direction towards anything positive, no hope.

    On the drive home as my heart was sunk and I was considering how I had tried to lift this leader up and defiantly proclaimed that in the greatest adversity is often the most opportunity. But, then I realized that this is the fall, this is part of what it will entail. People losing hope, despairing and suffering for much longer than the actual event will entail. I think in this case my words of hope fell on deaf ears. My offer to speak to business leaders will probably go unheeded.

    Funny thing was, the meeting I had just prior to this business leader’s was with a young man, an entrepreneur who has 17 companies and is looking for office space, hopefully in my building. His vision of the world was one of opportunity. The other thing that struck me about this young man is when he left his last words to me were “God Bless”!

    Charlie has taught that we are to be a beacon of hope and to just take the next right step. God showed me yesterday that Charlie’s teaching on that is right on. We may not be able to avoid all the suffering of these times, but our perception and trust in the Lord will minimize it and give us the ability to still enjoy a loving Christian life! I am convinced of that truth!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Patricia says:

    Charlie,
    Thank you for all that you do for us.
    We probably all feel the persecution to some extent or see it but I am wondering how it fits into the economic crash time table. Will it take place sort of like we are fish in the ocean and the ocean is persecuting us as other events take place such as the crash? I am not sure I am being too lucid here but just trying to figure out how this fits in since it is not listed in the events you described this fall.
    I have worked on and off for the past several years directly with the legislators on conservative social issues and am aware of the atmosphere. I have to say though the average person working at the state house is not truly biased against us but will not vote against the media or take a courageous stand because they have not got it in them.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Patricia, truly on one side you have people actively pursuing punitive action against any Christians and Jews who take their faith seriously and on the other you have people not actively persecuting, but not willing to defend with any vigor, either – and often complaining that if we could just get rid of the “social” issues, we could concentrate on the “economic” issues that really matter. Both sides are either malicious or inept. They have been tried and found wanting – and renewal of the culture will not come from there. They have already made themselves irrelevant to the crisis before us…except to put themselves in the “Smite” zone.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Centurion_Cornelius says:

        WoW! Well-said, Charlie. Malice and incompetence.

        Laws, legislatures, politicians and all their combined camp followers will not renew us. Indeed, as you say to both sides of “active” or hot persecutors as well as “inactive” or lukewarm ones: “the Lord will vomit you out of his mouth.” And much, much worse to come.

        Smitten they will be.

        Grave self-inflicted wounds; suicide, of a sort. But they are either unaware, unfeeling, or invincibly ignorant to their own impending destruction.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Patricia says:

        Charlie,
        I wrote the last paragraph in my comment as an afterthought and that is what you responded to. I was hoping to get an answer to the first question. Thank you.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Patricia, I did not write that the economic collapse is a separate, discrete event; I have written that it is an important element of a comprehensive crash, which includes global war and a breakdown of governmental authority throughout the world. I understand the question, but it is akin to asking before battle begins exactly what opposing commanders will do and where they will be when they do it. It is chaotic. The adversary has already inspired many with a desire to take totalitarian control and will use tactics to support that. The important thing to remember is that it cascades into a comprehensive crash that will be completely chaotic for a while.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. AngdK says:

    I have been reading for some months now, but due to being a mother and part time youth minister I don’t have much luxury to comment as I would like to! However, please know dear commenters that you warm my heart! It is such a joy to see the Ressurection people steeling themselves for battle, getting ready to be tested in the fiery furnace, and seeking wisdom. I learn from all of you. The youth I have in this youth group seem very un-formed in the faith. I had big plans for a youth ministry that taught them through the three pillars of Catholicism, then realized they didn’t know what the word evangelize meant or what Adoration was. My question to myself has now become, with this blog in mind, how can I outfit them to desire sanctity and stand up to martyrdom in the short time I have? How do I inspire a faith and belief that will hold them for the coming storm? It seems impossible, but I refuse to give up hope. I decided the quickest path is to teach them about the lives of the saints, LOVE them, be a sign of hope to them that they will remember when they are afraid, teach them the rosary so they have a prayer to hold onto, instill a love for the Eucharist. I have been youth minister since Oct. and have been following this protocol only since the beginning of Jan. I have started monthly adoration for them, not surprisingly getting only one or two coming. I am still using that time, with adult parishioners who have come (4 or 5?) to pray for our youth, to list them by name. Anything else I can do? Do any of you have any suggestions to prepare these unformed Catholic teenagers and children to have a love for a faith they don’t understand to the extent that they are willing to lay down their life rather the deny Christ? I understand that seems daunting, but this is the work set before me and I will do everything I can to prepare these children for the work of Christian soldiers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Angela, the thing that is often missing is balance in the types of prayer. In many formally religious groups, the prayer of action is often missing…what I call the Go Forth part. In others, thinking themselves more hip, formal prayer and devotion is almost entirely missing. Unless there is a balance, the organization will not thrive.

      The primary purpose of any missionary organization is to reach out to others…to care for those around us. There should always be projects built around doing something for others…tutoring younger kids, running errands for older shut-ins…local clean-up days. Use your imagination. Now the way I always think of it is that, in order to do our ordinary work, we have to eat properly to have the energy so we don’t faint. When we are working on behalf of the Lord, formal prayer…Mass, the Rosary, Adoration…is how our spiritual life is fed. These must be attended to if we are going to bear fruit in our work. But just as we do not spend all day in a restaurant neglecting our work, we must actively Go Forth…or our formal prayer becomes barren.

      I had a fellow once who did good work working with people who were addicted. He wanted to work more closely with me – but always had reasons why he did not go to Mass. I explained to him that I would not hire him to do landscaping if he did not feed himself properly, for he would eventually faint in the heat of the day by skipping his meals. Similarly, I told him that though he did good capable work with the addicts, since he did not properly nourish himself with Mass, I would not trust him enough not to faint when things got tough to allow him to work any closer with me. I didn’t demand much – just that he take the Sunday obligation seriously. I wasn’t going to stop him from what he was already doing; just let him know I could not entrust him with more. He started taking the obligation seriously because he really wanted to help more. Lo and behold, after some time, he rather fell in love with Mass.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fran says:

      Angela, I have taught faith formation for confirmation preparation to the youth at our parish for a number of years. At the end of this past year I only helped with the Theology of the Body part which took several weeks. By the end of the last session, I had on my heart something I felt the Lord wanted me to tell them. I had no idea really what I was going to say at first, but words began to pour out, and even tears. I let them know how even though I’d only been with them a short time, that I loved them, and would pray for them, and then words came that had to be from the Holy Spirit about how each of them had such an important part to play in God’s plan. I don’t remember everything I said, but my heart was burning.
      Afterwards, we said our final prayer and they were dismissed. They were chatting as usual, and saying goodbye, when one boy, very quiet in class, just stood in front of me looking at me. He seemed to want to say something. As I was looking in his eyes, and I don’t really know how to explain this, but I could “see” that there was a spark, a light, something shone different in his eyes. We said our goodbyes, and he hesitated again at the door, turned to look at me, and just smiled and nodded. It was a wordless confirmation for me that a grace had just happened in that boy. I feel like the Holy Spirit went right to his heart. Whether it happened to any others, I don’t know. I am just sharing this with you because I think at this point, while of course catechesis is still important, that this is what needs to happen. We all, in some way, have to just allow the Lord to use us, and if our hearts are burning, then He can “speak” through us, and get right into someone else’s heart. That is where it all begins, and what Jesus and Our Blessed Mother are doing, igniting that “flame of love” from person to person.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Irish7 says:

        I so completely agree with this Fran. Thank you for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • connie says:

        I agree too with that direction. Young people at that age naturally are looking towards the future. Most sadly are looking through a very tiny dingy window though, and don’t see a big beautiful vista. I have often thought that teens need to be hearing words such as “You have a special mission from God” talk to the Lord until you hear from Him what He is calling you to and esp for Christian teens(not just Catholic) should be educated on what vocations are and how each vocations is to be lived out in the Christian life. This may bring more to the steps of the seminary, may lead more to live out their single lives chastely, and more to live out their married lives growing in holiness and thereby better formation in the home with their own children, and so on. Kids usually latch on to

        Like

        • connie says:

          Ach- this computer! anyways to finish my sentence- Kids usually latch onto a “mission” or a”cause” and so what better one than to find out who you are meant to be! Instead of joining ISIS or a gang or looking for love in all the wrong places?

          Liked by 1 person

    • Kati says:

      AngdK,
      It’s interesting that you should ask this question today because I just got off the phone with a dear friend who is in charge of religious education, has a degree in theology and is also aware of *what is coming.* We were sharing about some new programs that we began using at the start of this year for our young people (and some adults as well) that are having an exceedingly positive effect on them. TRUST me…very few of these young people knew much about their Faith either. Most had no real idea of what prayer was. They are, many for the first time, really seeking an intimate relationship with God and are becoming on-fire Catholics who WANT to serve. The first program is called CHOSEN (distributed by Ascension Press) and is very well done. It is obvious to me that the Holy Spirit is *wind*ing his wind through the whole thing. We began this with our 8th graders, wanting to more effectively prepare them for Confirmation. The program has become so influential that we had to order extra student books. Participation has been phenomenal …it is genuine participation demonstrating real hunger for spiritual things! There are even a few parents who are coming to the class as students because it is so good. Archbishop Chaput highly recommends the program…among others. Here are two links for you (Be sure to watch the videos): http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/chosen
      http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/chosen/confirmation-preparation

      Ascension Press will allow you to order a review pack and look over everything before a decision is made to purchase. They have a new program that will be ready this Spring. It is titled Altaration, which is a 5 lesson program presenting the Mass to adolescents. We have already ordered our review pack because it looks to be as well done as CHOSEN. Watch the trailer for this one. Here is a link: http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/chosen/teen-mass

      The other program is more appropriate for older teens and adults. It is produced by the Augustine Institute and is titled SYMBOLON. Some of the same people are involved with this as with the CHOSEN program. It is recommended by both Archbishop Chaput and George Weigel. Here is a link: http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/symbolon

      And personally, I recommend that anyone in parish ministry read the book, FORMING INTENTIONAL DISCIPLES by Sherry Weddell It’s available at Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle. (There is a study guide to use with it…just search Amazon.)
      If your pastor hasn’t read it, it would be a great Easter gift! 🙂

      Enjoy and be ENCOURAGED. The Holy Spirit IS at work!!!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Angela, have you considered teaching them about the Brown Scapular (the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) and then asking your pastor to enroll those who are willing to be enrolled?

      Liked by 2 people

  19. ellenchris says:

    A couple of months ago, I posted this resource, and I’m giving it again here: *Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom* edited by William D. Taylor, Antonia van der Meer, Reg Reimer (World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, 2012). Bill Taylor was my teacher — he is an old war-horse missionary and a saint of God. There is a spectrum of persecution which Bill and others have identified, and it goes like this:

    1) Normal: There is no need to separate out any religious or ethnic group because everyone is getting along fine.
    2) Tolerance: Once it requires an effort to be nice to people who are different from you, there is already a problem.
    3) Intolerance: The power people have gotten tired of being nice to those “annoying people” and are “helping” others to see just how annoying those people are.
    4) Marginalization: Members of the hated group are subtly but effectively excluded from participation in business, politics, media, academic and social structures and events. They begin to be openly ridiculed and satirized. Their own efforts at self-defense are turned against them.
    5) Harassment: Policies and laws are put in place which cause the loss of jobs and position. Harm may be done to people in the persecuted group with little or no consequences to the people who do the harm.
    6) Persecution as such: People are openly attacked, and laws protect the attackers. People have fines imposed on them and are arrested and held in jail. They are disappeared. These actions are presented as being necessary to protect the good citizens from these evil, dangerous people.
    7) Total, Official Persecution: Martyrdom — members of the persecuted group have their goods confiscated, they are imprisoned, tortured and executed — often in public.

    You don’t start at # 7. The general public has to be indoctrinated a little at a time in order to get with the program. Have you ever said something like, “Well, I’m a Christian, but I’m not like one of those “fundamentalists”? Really? — Hhmmm. There are “good kinds” of Christians who sell out the Gospel and the real Truth of Who Christ is, and it is okay to be one of those — for now.

    In the USA we pretty much live at 4, but we are already seeing examples of numbers 5 and 6. Yet in other places, 6 is a good day and 7 is normal. Once you get to 5, 7 is coming.

    When I was in college all the way back in the 1970s, I went to a SUNY school. We had several thousand Roman Catholics who couldn’t even fit into the buses that would take people down to the Catholic church in the nearby town on Sunday. So they asked to have their chaplain do Mass on campus. Although at the time, SUNY had a process to allow this, the whole idea was fought against tooth and nail by many students, faculty and administrators. I asked someone why they didn’t just let them use open space (of which there was plenty) to have Mass, and the answer came back: “Having that kind of thing going on near me makes me feel very upset.” It was a while ago, but I never forgot it, and that is pretty close to a direct quote. Really.

    So, dear brothers and sisters, we are WAY down the road toward the need for a Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. St. Peter tells us, “Always be ready to give an accounting for the Hope that is in you.” Be not afraid — Jesus has overcome the world.

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, Ellen, you just knocked it out of the park with this! Your mentor said it with so much more clarity and precisions than I did…what a great resource. I think we are at about 5.25 on this scale right now. When I was a kid, we were pretty much at 1.5, I think.

      I was thinking of checking in with you the other day for we hadn’t heard from you in a while. We hear you loud and clear today! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ellenchris says:

        Thanks, Charlie. I am working on trying to finish my doctoral thesis in order to be able to get the degree this May. The deadline is coming up fast, and I am behind schedule. I suffer from writer’s block off and on. (No, really — blank screen in my head, cramps in the belly and sweats) It has been a tough week. I also don’t want to give you more posts to read in the midst of the deluge, unless I might really have something to contribute. I read this blog at least once or twice every day. Please pray for my thesis to get done on time — it is an uphill climb, right now. Love to you and all here.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NancyA says:

          Prayers for your work, Ellen; may I ask the topic of your thesis? My hat off to you… it’s more than I would commit to!

          Like

          • ellenchris says:

            Believe me, I have thought more than once, “What WAS I thinking to take this on!” But our good Lord picked me up and dropped me into the program and provided a full and total scholarship, so I guess it is God’s Will. When something is His Will, then He has a responsibility to see you through. My topic is on discerning spiritual gifts. I got badly stuck on the section on St. Augustine, which is now finishing up. Next will be stuff on Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Avila. The next chapter is on modern writers, and then I have to put together a “field study” on how local parishioners are or are not aware of how to use and discern spiritual gifts. So please pray a lot for me, in your kindness, because I am behind schedule. Thanks so much for asking — thank you for your kindness.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Woo hoo, you make me glad I have MY workload instead of yours right now, Ellen.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Youch, Ellen! I’ll pray for you, and also for your family.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy D says:

      This is brilliant in its conciseness. I will add this to my collection of the wisdom shared daily on this site. Thanks, Ellenchris, for sharing this.

      Like

      • ellenchris says:

        Really, Charlie did an excellent job of describing and conveying this. Bill Taylor put together the list, which just summarizes what Charlie said in a short form. So it all worked together by God’s Grace. Thanks, Nancy.

        Like

  20. Cecilia says:

    Nancy, you took the words right off my keypad! We share 100% of the same feelings! Thank you for posting that. And many more thanks to those who responded with such hopeful and encouraging comments. God bless everyone here. You are all dear to me, and I remember you in my daily prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. diane says:

    I would like to share something that the Lord allowed me to perceive duriing our prayer group several years ago. He showed me wearing a beautiful, blue, thick cloak and i was walking toward Him in royal attire – keeping a steady pace and walking strong toward the Light of HIm who is True. After a bit a noticed the cloak was heavier and my pace was slower, as I glanced back i saw my children and husband riding on the cloak and i noticed that the cloak was growing larger. i continued to walk slower because of the weight, but steady always walking toward the Light that was Christ. Once again a noticed the heaviness and the pull on my steps was harder and longer. I looked behind me and the bottom of the cloak had grown tremondously and the people clinging to the cloak had increased in number. But i shouldered my walk and continued walking toward the only Hope I knew to be true, it was labored and a struggle but i was able to perceived that although the walk was heavier, slower and more deliberate there were those that were depending on me to be steadfast and peservere. And by HIs Grace and His Grace alone I kept a steady pace to the Light.

    By the way Happy Birthday Sherpa.
    Love.I do.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Mike S. says:

    Rod Dreher’s blog has many examples of persecution with people losing jobs, etc. Read his latest entry regarding a policeman who lost his job in Salt Lake City. This was not San Francisco or Boston, as Dreher notes. If it can happen in Utah, it can happen anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Mike, are you the Mike whose son we were praying for (Evan, I think) a bit back? If so, how is he doing?

      Like

      • Mike S. says:

        Thanks for asking, Mick. I just noticed your comment. Evan is living with his older sister and doing much better now. He can walk again and has been taking a new set of medications that seems to be helping. He still has a long way to go, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Lin says:

    Charlie,
    I have adult children still living at home as well as a busy husband whose schedule does not allow time for watching and pondering trends in the news. I’ve kept up with Mark Mallett for a year and you since the last quarter of 2014. How do you suggest I go about sharing info with these dear ones who have not had the opportunity to watch and ponder events as they have unfolded? Just wondering how to broach such a broad topic with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Lin, I think the best approach is to just generally talk about the situation in the world. You can express – calmly – what you think it signifies…that something is very different now than past challenges. Do not get into a situation where you are trying to persuade…only to inform of your views, then let it go.

      Remember, I started talking about these things with individuals 20 years – when it truly did look unbelievable. I did not try to persuade anyone (I was rather hoping someone could credibly persuade me I was wrong). I simply informed them of how I saw it. My point was not to get into a position of being an advocate for such horrors. My purpose was to inform in a memorable way without being adversarial – because the point was that they remember, so that events happened, they would begin to see the hand of God in it all rather than panicking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NancyA says:

        That is the tactic I’ve tried to take over the past 20 years. I insistently gave my extended family members beautiful prints of the Divine Mercy image from Poland, told them to, “please, just keep it, even if you keep it in a drawer. Someday you will want it!” and I continue to just inform, in an offhand sort of way, so that when things might erupt, the memory of suggestions made might return to them in a different light, under more urgent circumstances. The time comes that one or another comes asking questions. Hmm, rather reminds me of how we give ‘birds and bees’ and ‘where do babies come from?’ information to children. Only tell what they are able to understand, and answer questions calmly and completely, at age appropriate levels.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob says:

          I would say pray for the right time and words to share with. With so many preaching in error the soon return of Christ and predicting times and dates in our history, some have been inoculated against giving a reasonable hearing if we seem too dire.

          Like

        • Mick says:

          Nice analogy, Nancy.

          Like

  24. Nancy D says:

    I want to thank all of you who commented on my “ramblings” earlier. I am blessed by your kindness, and by the fact that I am not alone in my struggle to find the next right step by acknowledging God, seeking His Will, and hoping to be a sign of hope to those around me. I am so comforted and encouraged by having access to the wisdom of our Sherpa and the reinforcement of that wisdom by all who comment here. I too am ready for training, even eager. Father, we await the coming of your Kingdom with all our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ThomasinMS says:

    Charlie,
    Long time reader/lurker, first time commenter. I find your words quite bracing and yet simultaneously edifying.

    As much as I enjoy your postings, I feel that the comments to each post are like icing on the cake. Reading about the experiences of others always leaves me spiritually refreshed. Though your blog deals with quite grave matters, the virtue of Hope also is on obvious display here. We all strangely hope for what is to come, despite the horror of it, because in it we will find ourselves drawn ever closer to the Divine Mystery. All of us share the same goal – to grow closer to God each day and detach a little bit more from the earthly things that distract us. And from your telling, what is coming will strip us of our earthly distractions. That can’t be anything but good for our souls in the long run, right?

    I am very much looking forward to this examination of conscience. I am a regular penitent and communicant, but those facts notwithstanding, I continue to surprise myself with the new ways I find to mess up my state of grace. I am a weak man, so I hope God does not tire of throwing me the life preserver! Just last week, an unusual yet relatively minor thing happened to me, but upon reflection, my reaction to it has me feeling pretty uncertain about my ability to react properly in the face of hostility.

    I was in my garage exercising when I received a phone call from an unknown phone number. Since my number is still relatively new to me, I get wrong number calls all the time, and that’s what I expected this to be. But when I answered the phone, I was greeted with, “I know where you live, and I’m coming to kill you.” Now, understand, I do not ordinarily receive death threats. To my knowledge, I had done nothing to upset anyone else, so I thought it was just a friend messing with me. (I have a number of friends who would are still immature enough to do something like this as a joke.) I asked the caller a couple of times to identify himself, but he just repeated the threat. While this was happening, in my mind, all I could see were the faces of my wife and five kids. After hearing the threat for the 3rd time, I had had enough fun with the jerk, and I exploded on him. Using language that I would not repeat to my wife, I pretty much dared him to come over and told him he would die a slow agonizing death if he did. He hung up, and I have not heard back from him.*

    In the intervening time, I have had occasion to reflect on my reaction to the caller. At first, I thought that I was perfectly justified in my anger. After all, this person was threatening me and my home. If he had real intent to visit my address, he would have discovered my wife and kids, as well. Certainly, I would have been justified in protecting myself, my family and our property had we been confronted. But I think I crossed the line in dealing with the caller. I never got into a defensive posture with him but leapt straight to offense – loud, angry offense. What saddens me most of all about my reaction is that I never saw the caller as a person with dignity. He was just a thing to be first tolerated, then avoided, then crushed. Never once did I consider him as a person, who is also loved by God and in need of prayers and salvation. I made no effort to love him, while still girding myself for battle in the event he did show up at my home. All of this has led me to wonder about my ability to think clearly in a crisis and to deal in a Christian way with looming threats. Normally, I keep my cool in emotional circumstances and make very logical decisions. But this was a different me.

    Sorry for the long first comment. Bottom line: I’m looking forward to your examination.

    * The caller was actually a teenage boy, but I couldn’t tell that during our call. After notifying the police, they contacted the owner of the home, who happened to be the boy’s mother. According to the officer, the mother beat her son pretty badly while he listened on the phone, and the officer told me, “I don’t think you’re going to be hearing from him again.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • luvmercy5775 says:

      I have a feeling your reaction was exactly what was needed in this circumstance. You may well have stopped this young man from continuing on a path of destruction. Don’t be surprised if one day he thanks you. Be at peace…

      Liked by 1 person

    • donna269 says:

      what a crazy kid….well, I am pretty sure I would have reacted similarly….threat to home and self….sheesh, what a world

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      ThomasInMS, unlike luvmmercy5775, I tend to see this as an example of how people can get roped into a negative circuit. This young man threatened you as a joke. you blew up, his mother beat him violently. In every situation all the individuals in the situation can amazingly come away with very different lessons. What were your lessons? To allow yourself to explode on someone you didn’t know out of fear. What did he learn? We don’t know, but his *mother* beat him up. I can’t imagine the pain of that. And he also perhaps learned you were someone to be hated and feared, as opposed to someone who just played the sucker. And anyone who knows what took place has had a chance to lose respect for this young man, and he knows this. Good lessons will only be drawn afterward and only by those like you who have some kind of spiritual foundation to fall back on. Does the young man have any such foundation? I could be wrong, but his mother beat him up. How Christian can that household be?

      What you’ve just been through reminds me so much of what is happening in the Middle East. One person protests peacefully but is struck and injured by an opposing person. The first could step back and think and pray but instead steps forward and strikes the opposing person in anger. The opposing person becomes an enemy. The family of the first person reacts in anger when the opposing/enemy person reacts to getting hit and kills the first person. And so it spreads.

      ISIS burns a Jordanian pilot to death. Jordan’s people and elites demand revenge. Jordan bombs … who? The bombed people radicalize further. Soon, what began as peaceful protests in Damascus devolves into civil war amid ever-increasing brutality and then spills out into Iraq. Subsidiaries of the new ISIS are set up in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan, small at first, but they live and thrive by striking their neighbor, which turns the neighbor into one who then strikes back. And so it spreads.

      How to stop this kind of vicious cycle? I can only see two ways, with acknowledging God a part of both.

      One is the way of St. Joan of Arc, who loved her country’s enemies, gave them every chance to leave and live, and then attacked ferociously when they turned down her love. And she did not feed the cycle by brutalizing any of her country’s enemies who fell captive into her hand but instead treated with them generously. As Charlie has pointed out, this is the way the rest of the world will need to use against ISIS and Islam. I hope someone like Joan of Arc will come to us.

      The second way is to learn to nip the bud of blackness as soon as it rises inside oneself. This requires self-awareness, a kind of steady background monitoring of one’s own behavior. When fear starts to rise, or greed, or coldness, one stops, considers what to do, and then does the next right step in love and generosity of spirit. That may be an act of tough love, or it may be an apology for a wrong one did not realize one had done previously, or some humor to break the ice, or an act of insight or love.

      What if you had simply told the young man, “I just got this number, so I think you are probably wanting to threaten the guy who had this number before” and then hung up? What if you just quietly looked at the Caller ID, hung up and called the police? What if you now took your courage and humility in your hands and went down the street to apologize for blowing up at him and admit that he had truly scared you, for the sake of your family? Maybe that young man needs a true father figure but has no such thing at home? What does he learn from you now as a father figure, someone with five children – how to explode, as his mother did as well?

      I cannot say you should or must do X or Y. I’m not you and don’t know the situation at all. I’m just trying to pass on hard-won experience, having had lots of opportunities to learn by screwing up copiously, picking myself up and starting again. It is possible to learn to watch one’s own behavior and stop a cycle at any point of its unfoldment, but it is not terribly easy. It is less so when evil is prowling all our streets. I hope I have not offended you in this, and will end by encouraging you to do as you have done here, to question as you have here what happens to you and how you react. With that approach married to a request for higher assistance, you will do fine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Steve, when my children were little I received an anonymous threat on my answering machine – before caller ID was common. The caller who claimed to be a public school teacher embroiled in the controversy, threatened to kidnap, rape, torture and kill my then nine or 10-year-old daughter. I have had several death threats, none of which I took too seriously, but that scared me. I had the kids stay with a grandparent for a few days. My main thought about Thomas’ reaction was that he was being too hard on himself. He would have pulled back when he found it was a dumb teen playing a prank. But I have to honestly say that, if you credibly make such a threat against my children and I can find you, you take your life in your hands.

        Your way is another way…but I would be careful to assume too much about how you would react hypothetically. If you react with restraint and your child is indeed kidnapped and murdered, there is an accounting to be had there, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • donna269 says:

          I was the victim of a mugging when I was a 23 year old nurse in an inner city hospital. It was 6 in the morning and February and dark out. We had a fenced parking lot for employees and they would leave the fenced area and walk a half a football field length to the ER. There was a security guard box but that morning the security guard wasn’t there. When I got to the box I saw someone on the other side of it outside. It was a man with a hood and not the security guard. He ran at me full force, pushed me down, punched me and dragged me as he attempted to get my purse off my shoulder. I gave it to him and he pushed me down once more so he could get a running start.

          When I walked into the ER I must have been a sight. My white tights were ripped and bloodied. My hair was askew. I was scraped and bleeding and dirty on my nurse white dress. He managed to make away with 100.00 in cash which in 1982 was a lot of money.
          I was going to buy myself a new winter coat that day after work.

          My point is, once you are a victim of crime, you see the world through a whole new set of glasses. I am a sum of my human experiences. I am always looking, always careful, always protecting my family from harm of that nature.

          So my reaction to that young man would have been similar to our poster. I don’t know he is a teen. It’s not a joke. Don’t threaten me or my family or I will have to hurt you to protect us….Sorry Steve….I COMPLETELY disagree with your scenario. Have you ever been a victim of a crime?

          Liked by 1 person

          • donna269 says:

            also….in my purse were the keys to my new car, and my family home and my license and address…..the police watched my car for the rest of that day so he did not come back and steal it and we had to get the locks changed on my family home and that didn’t happen for a week or so and I wondered every night if he would come into our house and harm us…..it is a terrible thing.

            I have also had my present family home burglarized when we were on vacation when our children were small. To come home and see your bedroom ransacked, your underwear thrown all over the room and every item of value taken including my treasured NYC Marathon Medal…..it makes you see the world in a different light.

            They found the burglars….16 year old bored teens…..they had fenced all of my jewelry and items at a pawn shop, gone forever….

            Liked by 1 person

          • CrewDog says:

            We live in an age of Terrorism, Crime, Drugs and Declining Moral Values … across the board! When confronted with Evil you must assume you and your’s are in the Gravest Extreme and react accordingly. Time is Done & Done for all this Sing Kumbaya & Can’t we just all Get Along-n-Compromise Liberal BS that has gotten US where We are now! All of the above plus 57 Million Abortions, Perversion and godlessness On Parade … Everywhere …. and thus The Storm!
            GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

            Liked by 2 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Charlie, you have been a public figure for many years, so death threats to you are automatically more credible than this one to Thomas. I’m entirely aware that he must take this seriously when it occurs. Thomas isn’t upset about any failure to take the threat seriously on his part.

          Donna269, I have been robbed in Golden Gate park, beaten up by a bully when I was 10, and attacked by several gang-bangers around age 20, fortunately none of them truly serious but plenty scary. Just because I advocate for a Joan of Arc approach does not mean I have no experience and think it is easy.

          You have all missed my primary point. What we see in the world is aggression met by aggression, with hot anger and even malice on both sides, and all that is doing is spreading the evil via further aggression. Thomas was understandably shocked and scared. I totally sympathize.

          However, if we want to alter this world onto a more peaceful path we cannot be sucked into aggression, anger, cussing furiously over the phone, and (possibly) malice ourselves. Charlie, your reaction is entirely understandable, and if the threat turned out to be truly credible, you have every right – every right – to do what is *necessary* to resolve or address that threat in a determined fashion. But when in your words here you state in effect a prospective threat of your own, you miss an opportunity to point to Joan.

          Maybe I’m missing something here, but to me, when we are faced with threat, whether joke or dire, it is now incumbent on each of us to address the threat appropriately and “with malice toward none and charity for all” and without overly aggressive behavior and to the maximum degree possible without hot anger that exacerbates the cycle. We have voices poking at us now to follow that path. We must strive to say no to those voices.

          I think Thomas failed the Joan of Arc test, and I think he is uncomfortable for exactly that reason and looking for help. If we here at this site fail to point to Joan, who loved always, even as she fought (probably without anger but simply with utter seriousness and probably sadness), we fail those we are sherpa-ing.

          Treating a threat with seriousness is *not* the same as treating it with hot anger and aggressive threats of our own. You give your enemies every opportunity to come clean and step back, and if they don’t, you take them down with utter seriousness, and you treat them generously once they are in your power, or you pray for them with love if they die in your response. Thomas has an opportunity here to treat the perpetrator with generous and open-handed means, and I felt that pointing that out was a way to help him move forward instead of staying stuck in his discomfort. It won’t be easy for him and will require both love and courage from him, and isn’t that what we want to see people exhibiting more and more as we go into the Storm?

          I most emphatically state here that I would probably react as Thomas did. I’m not perfect, and stuff like that scares me plenty. However, if we fail to learn from the paragon of appropriate response to an enemy, we fail our faith and trust in God, and we fail to make ourselves a force for breaking the cycle of violence now extant and rising in the world. It won’t be easy. It will go against our natural human responses in the moment of danger. Nonetheless, we need to try.

          It is my *opinion* that supporting Thomas and telling him he did the right thing fails Thomas in his need and fails readers of this thread in a very important way. A learning experience for all of us would be lost. Understand Joan of Arc, and you understand what you should be doing – and not doing – when threatened and after you have dealt with the thread with serious mien.

          Like

          • donna269 says:

            Steve, I see your point…I just keep thinking of my priest who often tells me “We must be Christians, but we can’t be doormats.”

            Liked by 1 person

          • NancyA says:

            Steve, I have not missed your point, and commend your courage in speaking it, and defending it appropriately.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ThomasinMS says:

            SteveBC, I’ve been noodling on your first response, but I have to say … both of your responses are right on. I have been feeling uncomfortable about my reaction, because my conscience has been bothering me over this. I know my primary objective in a confrontational situation is to protect my family first and repel the aggressor with love/care/dignity second. Rather than thinking clearly, I allowed my emotions to take over. Had this been a real confrontation, I fear something bad would have happened that would have haunted me.

            I appreciate the words of Charlie and the others who think that I’ve been too hard on myself, but honestly, I don’t think I have. I’ve come to think that perhaps this little test was permitted from above so that I might realize (again) my weakness. Perhaps I can learn from this so that next time – with all that is going on, it seems certain that there will be a next time – I can react in a calmer fashion and talk some sense to the aggressor. If he listens, I have gained my soul and a friend. If he doesn’t listen and continues the confrontation, then I will be able to live with my conscience despite what may happen. I think that it takes a lot of Trust to react that way.

            And I will commit that young man to my prayers. His momma, too.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Now there is real wisdom, Thomas. Often the Lord lets us get into situations that He knows we will mishandle, but where the stakes are low – specifically so we will reflect and be much better prepared to handle a more serious situations that will come our way later.

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Thomas, I am very glad to hear from you that my comments and those of others here have been helpful to you. If you take this approach and apply it in the future, you will first be providing a moment for God to act, and only then, if He says it’s up to you, you can act with fortitude and dispatch. Donna269 worries that this will make you a doormat, but I think it will not. Certainly I do not mean it to do so. I mean it to help you provide that critical front-end moment for God to act and for you to settle into seriousness, not into fear.

            Charlie’s central teaching here is to acknowledge (and trust) God, to take the next *right* step (to the best of our ability), and to be a beacon of hope (and love) to others. This cannot be just a slogan to us, to be dropped in a moment of crisis. It needs to become a central part of our way of life, through the Storm and even beyond.

            I pray that you and your family get through the Storm intact and happy, and that your troubled young man responds well to your prayers. With you at the center of that net, I think all will have their best chance. 🙂

            Like

    • Fran says:

      Thomas, you said that “you asked the caller to identify himself a couple of times”, so as I see it, you gave him a chance to speak if this was a person who was playing a joke or was just a kid making stupid threats. So you did, in fact, give him a chance to explain himself, and he just repeated his threat a third time. So, I think your response was perfectly justified, especially given the fact that you have no other information about this person, and you’re immediate reaction was in defense of yourself and your family. So I think you are being too hard on yourself.

      Like

      • Fran says:

        Just want to add to my own comment, that perhaps God allowed this whole event to happen, so that you can be a help to this young man with your prayers certainly, and perhaps in some other way, as I believe Steve is suggesting .

        Like

    • Mick says:

      Thomas, I agree with luvmercy. I believe you’re being too hard on yourself. If it had been my husband on the phone with that loser, I hope he would have reacted EXACTLY like you did. For all you know, you really put the fear of God into that punk. I mean, hopefully he now realizes that playing a sick joke on somebody resulted in real harm coming to him (from the police and from his mother). Maybe your reaction will help him grow up and be better prepared for the Storm.

      Also, when in the heat of a sudden battle that an unjust aggressor brings against your family, maybe I’m wrong (if so, sorry God!), but I don’t think that God expects us in that instant to think of the unjust aggressor’s dignity; or that he is a person in need of God’s love, of prayer, and of salvation. I believe that as the head and protector of your family, your first duty was to neutralize the threat with necessary force–and that’s precisely what you did. After the elimination of the threat is a great time to think of the kid’s dignity, and to pray for his salvation; and I’m sure that you’re doing that now. I hope to God that I never have to use deadly force to defend my kids from an unjust aggressor. But I can tell you that if I ever did, my first prayer would be for good aim; and my second would be for the eternal salvation of the perpetrator.

      Like

  26. Mrs. B says:

    What can we do as Christians to open others eyes to this persecution? It seems to me that many cultural Christians are persecuting practicing Catholics. I have many family members that consider themselves Catholic culturally, but are very much supportive towards society’s very liberal ideas, i.e. gay marriage, promiscuity, pro-abortion, etc. How do we get them to wake up? I have even had some people debate about St. Paul being too pushy and his word not being gospel. I pray for them, but wonder what I should be saying and responding to them. I’m open to answers from anyone on this forum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I sympathize, Mrs. B. There is no easy answer. Maintain your integrity – while making your home a joyful one for all who come. We live in a cultural sewer – and many think it is normal. That is part of why God allows us to suffer some of the consequences of our disorder now – so that we see it is NOT normal and is, in fact, deadly. But we are called to be a doorway back to safety for all who can hear, when they are ready to hear.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Mary Anne says:

    Charlie, when do we learn the song? Soon, I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Bob says:

    Dear Sherpa, happy Birthday. I have noted your frequent references to God needing to deal with our pride and vanity and I thank you for that continued warning sir. Even despite my past wallowing in sin the tendency to still get a big head and begin to think I am better than others periodically asserts itself now that I have left perhaps the worst of my filth by His grace. I do believe we will all need to be reminded of who we are in comparison to our God. I like the idea of briefer posts, as I think I can grasp fewer ideas than trying to take in too much at a time.
    As we are to be trained as minor Sherpas, I want to go back to my posts on the capitol sins as we who have been following God for awhile may be more tempted to pride and vanity but we will be leading others who have other issues. I can think of how our Chief Sherpa Jesus was always reminding the scribes and Pharisees and confronting their pride, arrogance and assumed superiority but when he talked to the harlots and tax collectors he most often showed mercy and compassion. From where I sit working with addicts, and I have only a brief session with each one, I would think that more often they would need help to be given hope that there is a way out for them and they would need to be shown how God can help them out of the quagmire they find themselves in. So instead of needing to be knocked down of their pride many today who are slaves to various sins and to various lusts would need help in knowing how to be freed from the prisons and chains they have willfully allowed to be forged for themselves over time. They will need to be shown God’s love and mercy first. As for pride, I remember one theologian, possible Aquinas, commented that one benefit of habitual sins, especially sins of the flesh, if there can be any benefits of offending God, but He can bring good out of anything, is that constantly falling back into the slime, their pride can be broken and they can be made more aware of their need for God. So when the storm comes, and it is coming already, I believe God will want us to be aware of how to lead folks who have different needs before our God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Again, wonderful, Bob! I tell you this: you ain’t no MINOR Sherpa! Someone very wise suggested to me once that God chose me specifically because, in this disordered age, He wanted to underscore that He calls all back – and to encourage people to know that if Charlie can overcome, so can you. Certainly, my sins over the years convinced me that I sure better not be miserly in offering the mercy I, myself, have received in such abundance from above.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        It seems I remember St Paul suggesting that he was an extreme example of God’s mercy and he never forgot what he was redeemed from but boasted of what he had tried to do for God in response. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mary N says:

      Hi Bob,
      I like how you focus on virtues in this comment (and in your comment the other day on a previous post). Up until the 20th century people clearly understood that virtues acted as a protective shield around Christians. Like a coat of armor, the more virtuous you were the better protected you were from the snares of the devil. They keep us awake and have a vivifying effect on the soul. One of the effects of the seven deadly sins, on the other hand, is that they do in fact have a deadening effect on the soul. The soul grows numb and weary. It cannot function properly in the manner that it was created to – as a clean and holy temple of the Holy Spirit. It loses its sense of being closely connected to God. The soul falls asleep, you could say. So we are surrounded by millions of souls that have fallen asleep.

      We are a nation snoring its way into oblivion.

      Have you heard of Fr. Robert Barron? He has a CD put out by Lighthouse Catholic Media called “The Seven Deadly Sins – The Seven Lively Virtues” and it’s excellent! (He has some talks on YouTube too so it may be available there, not sure.)

      Charlie, this is a great post and Maggie Gallagher’s article is chilling. (And I mean bone chilling!) I can’t get over how quickly things are spiraling downwards…

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Yeah, I know, Mary. I thought I knew how bad things are – and the Gallagher article utterly shocked me.

        One time I told my sister that something had happened the day before that just creeped me out – and started to tell her about it. She screamed and said, “Lord, don’t tell me,” in absolute panic. Puzzled, I asked her what was wrong. She said, “If it could creep you out, I know I don’t want to hear anything about it.” I laughed and told her, no, I meant normal creepy, not my special brand. Maggie Gallagher’s article creeped me right out for real.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        Thanks Mary I was reading a meditation last night about sin. Mortal sin kills the soul all at once and venial sins are like grains of sand that gradually weigh the soul down, make it drowsy and put it to sleep and it will die of lukewarmness.

        Liked by 1 person

        • connie says:

          Yes! That is why it is so important to go to confession regularly. Also, I have found that even though I keep repeating’ the same venial sins over and over where I am also ashamed that I can’t seem to get it right, I have found that gradually but suredly that that one pesky sin eventually goes away (or rather I finally overcome it- no, it really seems to go away all on its own(God’s Grace)!

          Like

    • Irish7 says:

      Wonderful Bob. I think this is the message Pope Francis is shouting from the rooftops, but the scribes and Pharisees can’t hear it.

      Like

  29. The greater persecution still has yet to come to the western civilisation, let us pray for the conversion of those who bring it about.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Bonnie C says:

    You are all the first three beads of my Rosary. To honor our beloved MM Bev and TNRS.

    I am getting glimpses of my own sins and, ouch, it is painful. I have noticed my procrastination, but until MM Bev commented about living a Christian life meant finishing projects, “even sewing” – wow, it hit home for me. Got one sewing project done I was dreading. Then another put-off project came up and bit me in the arse early this week and shook my tree. Oh my bad. Actually found myself repenting to Jesus about it and knowing it’s something I need to confess to get some grace to help me resist the temptation to put things off.

    GOD BLESS ALL HERE!!!! to quote CREWDOG – ALL readers and contributors are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Becky-TN says:

    Checking in briefly. Happy Birthday to you, dear Charlie!!!

    After reading this, I can’t say I feel very good. My mind, body, spirit has been consumed with my little one being so sick. All I seem to focus on is keeping fluids down and keeping them “down”. Last night I found myself telling hubby that I just can’t wrap my head around the Storm knowing that at this present moment I’m all consumed with my little guy. Just can’t fathom the Storm “choas/terror” to a degree when this “little chaos” we are experiencing seems so overwhelming. God help us!

    Trying to take the right next step……

    God Bless,

    Becky

    Liked by 2 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Becky-TN, it seems to me that you’re experiencing what the Storm will actually be like for many people. The essence of a true, full collapse is that everything reduces to what is right around you. You can’t see anything past your line of sight. No news, no TV, probably you won’t have radio. Your existence is filled with your own needs and taking care of the needs of those immediately around you, like your family, the neighbor across the street, your close friend one block away on foot. You can’t drive anywhere, go to the Mall, take a long bike ride to the beach for a few hours. It won’t matter what kind of chaos is happening in the next town over, because you will have no way of knowing what’s happening there. Your world will be your home and the neighbors and friends you have within a couple blocks of your home.

      It seems to me that more than most on this site, Becky-TN, you *are* experiencing the Storm. When the Storm actually hits, you may do better than you otherwise would have, because of what’s going on for you now. Just open up your perspective a little bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        Steve, I wrote my comment to Becky before I saw your comment. Wish I’d seen yours first because it expressed what I was trying to say, only way better.

        So, Becky… what Steve said. 🙂

        Like

    • Mick says:

      Becky, it seems to me that doing exactly what you’re doing right now–giving your full attention to tending the needs of somebody who really needs you right now–is the perfect preparation for the braking of the Storm in full force. Helping your son heal physically is training you to help heal others spiritually during the Storm. Keep up the great work of Trust(ing)-Do(ing)-Love(ing), and I hope your little guy (Simon, is it?) is all better soon. 🙂

      Like

    • Fran says:

      Hang in there Becky! I have been where you are now, (more than once) and you are doing exactly what needs to be done. You simply must let other things go when you are in “crisis mode”, and do just what needs to be done for the one who is sick, and your family. For example, I would let someone else in my family give updates to family and friends because you simply don’t have the time or energy to call or text everyone who is calling and wants to know what is happening and how is he doing and so on…Also, when people offer some kind of help, let them! Your designated phone person (which was my husband) can give them something specific to do, “Well, yes a meal would be so helpful, or could you possibly pick up our daughter from…” or whatever. I found that people who said they wanted to help were grateful to be given a specific thing to do! You will be on my heart, and I will be praying for you and your little one especially today! You have so many here praying for you and your little one!

      Like

  32. ellenchris says:

    Gosh! I completely lost track — which is not unusual.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Charlie!! Many blessings and much joy for today and for the next leg of your journey as you begin your own “new year.” Love to you and yours. Eat some cake! A birthday is your own little feast day — so be joyful — St John Chrysostom would approve.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks Ellen and all. I should note that one of our regular readers shares this date for a birthday – Kathy k (sorry, I don’t remember whether you use your full name in comments or not, Kathy). I won’t have cake, I don’t think, but I did have apple crisp. Meantime, I have been exhausted today – and am about to go take a nap, I think.

      Like

      • malachi99 says:

        Oops happy birthday sir. No whiskey in the house so i will toast you a cold Heineken it will have to do 😊

        Like

      • Crystal says:

        Happy Birthday Charlie, You share the day with another of my favorite guys…. my grandson and he definitely would not let the day pass without eating cake, at least the frosting…. he’s 3 🙂
        I know many of us probably use prayer books with the daily mass readings. I want to share what I found yesterday and just keeps reverberating in my heart around this topic… it gave me great hope when I read it yesterday… and I want to share it with my fellow “sherpas in training”.
        “That loveless slum you see in yourself is quite truly you- but it is you seen in the light of God. The ‘you’ that He passionately loves, that He chooses to be most intimately possessed in a love-union; that you is the poor thing you experience as your true self. So, despair is the last thing to feel, rather a blazing surge of hope and gratitude that His love doesn’t depend at all on our beauty and goodness. But there is even more joy to it than this, because we just can’t see our poverty unless He shows it….
        SO TO SEE IT IS CLEAR PROOF THAT HE IS PRESENT, LOVINGLY AND TENDERLY REVEALING HIMSELF TO YOU. ITS THE CONTRAST YOU ARE EXPERIENCING- CAN YOU UNDERSTAND? HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE WEAK AND UNLOVING? ONLY BECAUSE THE STRENGTH AND LOVE OF JESUS SO PRESS UPON YOU THAT,LIKE THE SUN SHINING FROM BEHIND, YOU SEE THE SHADOW.” – Sister Wendy Beckett

        Like

      • CrewDog says:

        Happy B-Day Charlie 🙂 ….. God Bless!!!
        I quit celebrating B-Days … I decided getting old … was … anyway … I’m counting on being 33 again in the next life as my Old Mother claimed 😉 … I guess my Old Mother ain’t old anymore …. or The Old Man either.
        GOD BRING ALL HERE HOME!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        Happy birthday, Kathy K!

        Like

  33. luvmercy5775 says:

    Birthday blessings Charlie. May the Lord keep you in His perfect peace throughout the coming year.

    Like

  34. Alphonsus says:

    Just a couple of thoughts…

    St John Bosco: ” My politics are embodied in the Our Father – Thy Kingdom Come!”

    Sirach 3: 21-24
    What is too sublime for you, do not seek;
    do not reach into things that are hidden from you.
    What is committed to you, pay heed to;
    what is hidden is not your concern.
    In matters that are beyond you do not meddle,
    when you have been shown more than you can understand.
    Indeed, many are the conceits of human beings;
    evil imaginations lead them astray.

    Matthew 7: 13-14
    Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.
    How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

    The path to life revealed by The LORD, and expressed in the words and lives of His saints in communion with Holy Mother Church, is all that is ever necessary to know and follow regardless of the circumstances.

    “Let nothing disturb you,
    Let nothing affright you.
    All things are passing.
    God never changes.
    Patient endurance attains all things.
    God alone suffices.”
    -St. Teresa of Avila

    Liked by 1 person

  35. donna269 says:

    Happy Birthday to Charlie and Kathy K…..

    Like

  36. Marita says:

    Happy Blessed Birthday Charlie!!! May you have many, many more.
    I am also ready for my sherpa training, onward and upward we go!

    Like

  37. Ceri says:

    Happy birthday dear Charlie… Happy birthday to you! Offering up my rosary tonight for you and Kathy’s special intentions. I will try and add the Flame of love bit to it. It doesn’t flow for me yet but I’m trying.

    Like

  38. CathyG says:

    Happy birthday, Charlie! May God bless and keep you. Every day your words help to allay my fears and firm my resolve to take the next right step…

    Like

  39. Fran says:

    Happy Birthday Charlie! And apple crisp sounds great! It’s one of my favorites.

    Like

  40. BarbW says:

    Happy birthday, Charlie.

    Like

  41. barb129 says:

    I hope you have a blessed birthday, Charlie!
    I am so grateful for your posts. So many things seem to be happening within my family and to myself that I only understand because of what you’ve written. I might have fallen into despair and hopelessness (and I have had moments when I am tempted that way) if you hadn’t explained to us why this is happening. The dear Lord is showing me how weak I truly am without His grace and I am so looking forward to reading your posts that you are planning to write to train us.
    May our dear Lord bless you in a special way today and always. May He bless all of us with His peace, comfort, and strength. You and your families are all in my daily prayers.

    Like

  42. Carmel says:

    Many happy returns of the day dear Charlie and also Kathy K. This birthday greeting is somewhat late but nevertheless heartfelt! 🎈🎈

    Like

  43. Irish7 says:

    I’m late to the table, but really enjoying catching up on the conversation. Thanks everyone! I’m praying for you and your son BeckyTN.

    The Sherpa in training business caught my attention. Recently I returned home to an routine invoice left on my kitchen table by a service provider. At the top of invoice the words “Elisha Go Forth” were handwritten. I puzzled over it loosely on and off and later discovered it was the worker’s name. She had simply signed the slip and left it for me. The G and F were capitalized. Very possibly a random thing though the words did initially strike me interior my as a personal exhortation. I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder it, but it did occur to me that Elisha was an understudy, and I did feel a parallel to Elijah’s mission and Charlie’s. My next thought was: oh my, how can I “go forth” when I am struggling to fulfill my current daily duties (and “fulfill” is being used quite generously). It made a momentary impact in the midst of a chaotic day. Then a few days later Charlie wrote about Sherpa’s in training. Huh.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      When God gets playful with you, it portends that He is beginning to have some confidence in you. Congratulations!

      Like

    • Becky-TN says:

      Irish, Charlie and Everyone,

      Thank you for your continued prayers. Happy to report that Simon is well on the mend. Barking orders (like only 3 year olds can) and playing eagerly for the first time in a week. I’m thinking he will be completely himself within a few days. Praise God! In my 22+ years of being a mama, never have I had a child this sick before.

      I have been pondering many of the comments. SteveBC, your comments to me have made me ponder quite a bit. I appreciate all the prayers – thank you all!

      One thing that I will share was something that happened in the hospital on Monday. Simon was doing “better” and so he was going to be discharged. I was sitting, looking at his little body resting. There was the noise of the TV, the baby, and the normal hospital “noise”, but it almost seemed like I had tuned all the extranious out. I was focused on Simon, but my thoughts/mind felt fuzzy. Out of the bliue, I immediately prayed, “Blessed Mother, if there is something else going on, do not allow Simon to be discharged. If there is anything….” I then said a Memorare. There was no thought process before the prayer, it just happened. I wasn’t even really “thinking”, just looking at Simon. Low and behold, when the nurse came back in, he had a fever and diarrhea. The reason I share this is because I have been so fearful of not being able to “hear God” in the Storm in the middle of all the choas and fear. SteveBC’s comments about this being a Storm for me, my mind feeling fuzzy, not being able to really think concretely, and then this moment out of the blue and me just responding. I had been praying so much that day, but those prayers came from me. This seemed not “of me”, but from somewhere or someone else. I don’t know. Was just different. If anything, it was a lesson that maybe I hold tight to too many ideas of how God’s suppose to speak, what it should sound like, etc…. Either way, I am grateful to Him and the Blessed Mother for helping my little guy.

      On a little side note Charlie, the night he became ill, after cleaning him up for the who knows how many times from vomiting, I was tucking him back into bed. His big sister, who said he could stay in her room so she could watch over him, gave him his fire truck and a small 3″x3″ prayer book of saints. I looked at her with a puzzled look and she said that she’d been reading the little saint stories to him at bed time. I told her that was so sweet. She responded that Simon had 2 favorite saint stories (she called them his best friends) that he asked her over and over to read to him: St. Monica and Saint Joan of Arc. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Lovely, Becky. I honestly don’t know about modern human vaccinations and have a lot of doubts…BUT God is spiritually vaccinating many of us now to prepare us for the times before us – and His are pure and have effect.

        Like

      • SteveBC says:

        Becky-TN, I am *so* glad to hear your son is returning to good health! Your care for him is an inspiring example to me. When I face my part of the Storm, as I surely will, I hope I can do for those I love what you have done for your son. And for their sake, with as much success.

        Like

  44. Deborah Parrella says:

    Dear Charlie,

    You are so right, I think I put all my trust in the Lord, and hand him my daily crosses, then fall in a pit of despair, when *I* believe that my prayers aren’t being answered, or why would he care for a sinner like me, knowing that, that is the evil one getting to my weaknesses. Reading your post keep me balance and educated, I thank you for that, and pray one day to get rid of the plastic shields and swords. God Bless You, Debbie

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      One of the things I emphasize, Deborah, is that when trials come we are better to ask, “What do you intend for me in this, Lord?” than to wail, “Why me?” As your trust in Him grows, it becomes easier to do this. Like a little kid, I often think, “Okay, Lord, this is really scary and I don’t know what or why You are doing this…but I have learned to trust You, so help me get all You intend for me to out of it.”

      Liked by 1 person

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