Signs of the Time: Trial, Fulfillment and Miracles

rainbow

By Charlie Johnston

I mentioned last week how we must be careful not to confuse red herrings with red flags when considering a devotion or private revelation. The satan gets absolutely frantic in trying to discredit that which is objectively good. Christianity was, for over a century, denounced for its cannibalism by Romans; a perversion of its doctrine that the Eucharist is the True Body and Blood of Our Lord.

As most of you know, I am affiliated with the Prelature of Opus Dei, not as a member, but as a cooperator, one who supports the Work with my prayers and benefits from spiritual direction through it. My first direct encounter with Opus Dei was when I was doing radio back in 1993. There was some controversy involving it. I don’t remember whether it was a national controversy or just something in Chicago. It was denounced as a rabid cult engaged in mind control. I never dismiss something because people say ugly things about it. That is a cheap intimidation tactic to try to get you to stick with the “cool kids,” lest you mar your reputation. (Back in high school in senior year, I was the ultimate big man on campus – and it was my wont to spend time hanging around with every different group in the school. My principal once warned me that I should be careful, for I would be judged by the company I keep. I set him laughing in astonishment when I gazed at him with imperious intensity and retorted, “I am the company by which my friends are judged.”) As usual, I set about researching Opus Dei. What I found was that it was profoundly faithful to the Magisterium and the Pope and that it was devoted to finding sanctity through doing our ordinary work with extraordinary love in the presence of God. It was fundamentally about the apostolate of the laity. So while much of the press was speculating on this “weird” cult, I explained on my show what I had found in my research and defiantly announced that “I am Opus Dei and a cultist if that is what is considered cult these days.”

It wasn’t exactly accurate: I didn’t even know anyone who was affiliated with Opus Dei at the time – or so I thought. I was just proclaiming my solidarity with a group that was being maligned. I came to find out that I did have some friends who were active in it. Within two years, I began to take spiritual direction through it. Though I am only a cooperator of the Work (The Work is a common term used for Opus Dei among its adherents), two of my priest directors have been Delegate Vicars for the Midwest, in charge of about a third of the country – men of no little authority. They have not just been directors; they are friends. I heard all the ugly stories, but I was dealing with people right at the heart of it, and they were some of the noblest, most humble and steadfast people I had ever met. They run some of the most productive charitable foundations I have ever seen, running a lot of schools in inner city neighborhoods and various works that have had a real positive effect on other’s lives, particularly some of the most disadvantaged. During a fundraising visit with the CEO of a major international company while I was running a U.S. Senate race, I was delighted to find his executive assistant was a member of Opus Dei – and even more delighted when the CEO – a Protestant – said in recent years he had developed a great preference for financially supporting charitable works run by Opus Dei, for he had found the money there goes to the need, not to bureaucrats and ancillary things.

Unfortunately, over the years, I also encountered pockets of people affiliated with Opus Dei who helped me understand why some of the ugly stories were so common. In some pockets, people affiliated with the Work are the most arrogant, elitist, judgmental self-righteous snots you will ever encounter. They do their dead-level best to imitate the smug priggishness of the Pharisees…and do it insufferably well. Over the years, having traveled much in the U.S., I have discovered that these deformed versions flourish most in cities where there is not a permanent Opus Dei Center, with a corps of priests to keep things on track and weed out such things. But it did not come as a surprise to me that the satan should so furiously try to discredit the Work and that he should devote a lot of time to deforming the spirituality of some involved in it. For I had been told by my visitors when I was researching Opus Dei that it would be a primary instrument the Lord would use in renewing the faith of His Church during the Storm, just as the Franciscans had been a primary tool for the same in another age.

It all came to a head with the making into a movie of Dan Brown’s scabrous novel, “The DaVinci Code.” It was pure potboiler and fantasy, but it made a group it called Opus Dei into the villains. The group in the novel and movie bore no resemblance to the actual Prelature. One of the key bad guys was an Opus Dei albino monk who went around assassinating critics. Opus Dei has never had monks…and I have never encountered any assassins in its ranks. The movie was actually a turning point. Its portrayal was so over the top it created a lot of public interest in the Work, and people began to see Opus Dei for what it is rather than the ugly smears. In the midst of all this, I was in Washington, D.C. on a PAC fundraising swing for one of my Congressional clients. My original priest-director was running the Catholic Information Center in D.C., so we made arrangements to get together for dinner while I was there. The DaVinci Code was a big subject of conversation. I said I thought Brown had done us a great favor – and my priest agreed. He said he spent a LOT of time explaining all the misconceptions and smears involved in it – and could see that people and even the press were starting to get an actual realistic view of it, but complained that constantly explaining the same things over and over was wearying. Suddenly, I got a little twinkle. “You know, Father,” I said, “you might not want to be so vigorous in explaining that we don’t actually have an albino monk assassin who goes after our critics.” His eyes widened, then he chuckled and said maybe I had a point.

Finally, a serious independent investigative book on Opus Dei was written by journalist John Allen, then an associate editor for The Boston Globe and a senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter (update – in a previous version of this story I erroneously stated Allen was with the National Catholic Register). It put to rest the wildest of the rumors and smears and gave midlevel officials in the Church a better picture of what this organization is all about. Like many such fruitful movements, after serious initial controversy, it has been accepted at almost all levels of the Church as well as at the Vatican, from whence approval first came.

What initially attracted me to Opus Dei was its emphasis on the ordinary, the simple virtues, and the apostolate of the laity; its understanding that laymen are not second-rate Christians who don’t have the fortitude to be priests or religious, but that the authentic lay calling is, itself, a vocation. It mirrored what I saw that lie ahead…how we would endure the Storm and who we would be afterward; each living our authentic call with passion and fidelity, lifting each other up throughout.

Now, in the last week, there has been a lot of discussion here on Luisa Picaretta’s teachings on living in the Divine Will. Most has been favorable, but I have had a raft of emails warning me of the cultish nature of many devotees of Luisa. One of the warnings came from one of the readers whose opinion I value most highly. But two of the readers whose opinion I value most highly, Ellen Chris and Daniel O’Connor, have studied the matter thoroughly and are enthusiasts. Ellen went through some of the problems – there had been an advocate who made an amateur and deeply flawed translation of Luisa’s writings and did, indeed, try to set up a little cult around them with him at the center of it all ruthlessly commanding everyone and acting as “high prophet” of Luisa. He did enormous damage. The junk translation led to a moratorium for a time of any of her writings being distributed in English. But in their original language, the Vatican has given approval for their dissemination – and proper translations into English are being prepared, some of which have already become public. Ellen has been equally forthright in telling me how much of it from this source was surrounded by genuinely cultic activity and was oppressive. Certainly, it struck me that if this much effort went into trying to pervert it, it was worthy of some examination. I also must concede (and you regulars may be similarly amused) that the very idea of Ellen and Daniel, two of our most theologically sophisticated friends on this site, shaving their heads, putting on robes and soliciting at airports made me laugh out loud.

Perhaps most important, I have had so many in the last year posit dramatic misconceptions of what the world will look like after the Rescue that I have sometimes wearied of trying to correct the misconceptions. Then suddenly last week, Glenn Dallaire at his Mystics of the Church website, did an incredible piece that more accurately described life after the Rescue as I have seen it than any other piece I have ever read. Then our Ellen weighed in independently with a comment that did the same. Then one of Mark Mallett’s articles hit many of the same notes. Daniel O’Connor publishes a book on the same last week, based around the writings of Luisa. Suddenly, understanding of what the world in the era of peace will look like sprouted overnight like a field of dandelions in the spring. And all of this understanding was built largely around Luisa’s authentic writings by people who have studied her.

I will confess, I had avoided her until this sudden blossoming last week. Much of what I heard sounded weird – and some was downright creepy. But as the people I have cited above describe it, what her teaching comes down to is that we will soon once again be friends with God. That is it exactly. So I regard it, at this point, as part of the unfolding development of our understanding of doctrine. catbirdThat is not to say I will not watch for weird stuff. I would not let those Pharisees who cloak themselves in the language of Opus Dei even as they peddle elite snobbery defame the Work here. Neither will I allow perversions of what trusted advisors tell me is the authentic teaching of Luisa creep in. If an error sneaks through, I will correct it – and if I miss it, we have some pretty sophisticated orthodox contributors here who keep me in line. Now I have my work to do. I would not let this become a website about Luisa, just as I have not let it become a website about Opus Dei. But I regard Opus Dei as an animating source of wisdom whose teachings are welcomed here and I do the same with Luisa.

Throughout, since I began this website a year ago, I have said we had reached critical times; a time of trial, a time of fulfillment, and a time of miracles. This comes for all, believers or not, that those with eyes and ears may see the signs of the times. I was delighted to see this miracle recounted from entirely secular sources. I end with it that you may see that God really is calling to all, and giving signs daily that He is with us, living solidarity with us as we enter the fullness of the Storm.

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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70 Responses to Signs of the Time: Trial, Fulfillment and Miracles

  1. Great post Charlie. I might add that my community is also followers of the writings and teachings of Divine Will as taught by the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta as our name might suggest Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will. There are certainly some nutty individuals and even groups that claim to follow Luisa just as there are in all movements such as the Marian, Charistmatic etc. In Australia we have a number of very holy priests including our own Moderator Father Doug Harris who are involved in the Divine Will movement. In fact he is going to a Divine Will conference in Corato in late April.

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  2. narnialion54 says:

    Dear Charlie,
    I am astonished and amazed. THIS is Good News! The Kingdom of God is at hand!
    Glenn even uses the term you have used in your song: “the people of the kingdom”!
    Truly the time of Fulfullment is upon us!!
    Thank you, thank you for sharing the GOOD NEWS that God cherishes us, that we are so dear to Him. The photo of the kitten and the chicken says it all! He LOVES us so immensely and wants to play with us! We are so DEAR to Him. Praise you Lord, thank you Lord. Hallelujah!!!

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  3. ellenchris says:

    Again it is hard to know how to respond — but at least to say, thank you, Charlie, so very much. I would also not want this to turn into a Luisa-only site, or a Flame of Love-only site, or a St. Kunegunda (real name 😉 ) site or any other single cause. There are wonderful and good websites for each, and may God bless them. It is good that all different kinds of devotions are welcome here within the lines of what is accepted by the Church. But, I am so glad and relieved that this can be a “Luisa Safe Zone” after all the bashing and old-style “flame wars” that went on years ago and still occasionally erupt.

    Almost everyone who really knows about Luisa knows a lot more about her than I do. I am looking forward to learning a lot from Daniel, for example. In my experience the people who have really grown in the spirituality of living in the Divine Will are quiet, peaceful and humble folks — these are hallmarks of authentic Divine Will spirituality. So they don’t push their ideas, and they don’t argue. You can tell that I have such a long way yet to go by how argumentative I can be.

    These folks are also genuinely reluctant to quote from Luisa’s writings, mostly because they don’t want to set off any more animosity: the more arguments occur around them, the more damage is done to Luisa’s cause for sainthood. But there is also a desire to be obedient to Archbishop Picchierri’s moratorium on publishing her writings without permission (Charlie did a great job of explaining how this happened). Also, we have all been directed not to try to teach Luisa’s spirituality without being officially commissioned to do so. None of this was done to squelch Luisa or prevent people from learning about her spirituality, but rather to prevent her from being misunderstood — which is what happened in the USA in the 1990s.

    I was given a set of Luisa’s writings before the moratorium. It is my understanding that it would be okay to present short quotes from them as long as this is not done in a way to break the archbishop’s directives. So you may see that from me from time to time unless I am directed otherwise. Meanwhile, please pray that we all remain faithful to the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we have received this through the Apostles in His Church. I hope to be corrected wherever I may go wrong. Thank you again, Charlie, so very much. And many blessings all around — Fiat!

    Liked by 2 people

    • kathy kalina says:

      Dang it, Ellen. I was just planning to set us off on St. Bobo, crusader and hermit (Crusading Hermits of the world unite! now that’s a cult I could get behind. 🙂 )

      I am particularly joyful that you and Daniel have provided so much good, solid information about Luisa. Interesting that so many successful attacks have been made on her and Opus Dei, helped out enormously by those who mangled the message in the living of it..

      Liked by 3 people

      • ellenchris says:

        My husband is partial to St. Odvar the Blue, patron of downhill skiers. 😉

        But seriously, thanks — we are all in this together with all our faults and failings.

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      • Mick says:

        Horray for St. Bobo and St. Odvar!

        When I was pregnant with our youngest, we had found out through an ultrasound that she was a girl. My husband and I had already picked out the name Anne-Marie. Our son Joseph, who was 11 at the time, complained about how much he disliked the name. I told him that he was free to come up with a nickname and then call her that. He came to me a day or so later and asked me in all seriousness, “Can I nickname the baby Etheltrude?”

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        • charliej373 says:

          Ha! When my daughter was a little girl, she insisted her first two kids were going to be named Bonjo and Cooler. My son and I would joke about it. Every once in a while, just for fun, I call my granddaughter Mya, “Bonjo,” and my grandson Camron, “Cooler.” Usually gets a wry smile from my daughter.

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  4. Paul says:

    Great post Charlie…I hate to be silly, but those pictures of the kitten and the baby chick look exactly like heaven to me…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ellenchris says:

    This picture of the rainbow is really beautiful, and brings to mind the covenant of peace between God and humans after the Flood. This is from Servant of God Luisa’s writings of March, 1921:

    My Daughter. . . My “Fiat Voluntas Tua, on earth as it is in heaven” will be like the rainbow which appeared in the sky after the deluge, which as a rainbow of peace, assured humanity that the deluge had ceased. . . . As It comes to be known, loving and disinterested [unselfish] souls will come to live in My Fiat. They will be like rainbows, rainbows of peace, which will reconcile heaven and earth, and dispel the deluge of so many sins which flood the earth.

    Later, Luisa asks, “My Life, Jesus, if the souls who will live in Your Will will be rainbows, what will be the colors of these rainbows of peace?” And Jesus, all goodness, “Their qualities and colors will be all of the divine. They will blaze with the most beautiful and bright colors which are: Love, Goodness, Wisdom, Power, Holiness, Mercy and Justice.”

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    • MMBev says:

      I was well into my preteens before I knew clearly about Noah and the rainbow. Loved, Loved the rainbow always, and, similar to the photo, during June, as the sun kissed the tall hills across the river and the valley between, it rained. So the younger son and I would hussle outside, leaving the husband and elder son eating their dinner, while we danced in the middle of the street, yelling and enjoying the rainbow, and sometimes rainbows that crossed from one side of hills to the other. (Oh, come on! You do so wish you had been just as uninhibited!)

      Was I the only little kid that entertained unusual thoughts about how things went on the ark? As in how many of those animals were for someone elses food, and how did you keep the food apart from the eaters as far as the animals were concerned? How did Noah know how many to get on the ark to cover that and still have sufficient left over to fulfill what God wanted? I felt very torn when I found out everyone and everything was vegetarian until after. I wished it could stay that way, but I sure liked steak and stew, and salmon. I just decided to not think about that part.
      and to focus on the rainbow. Anyone else every see THREE full, clear, complete, wonderful rainbows at the same time? (And dance in bare feet?)

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    • Dear Charlie and Ellen…I would just like to add my own experiences since reading Luisa’s writings on living in the Divine Will. In a very strange and beautiful way, things would start to pop up here and there in situations, or someone talking on EWTN. Other books I would be led to which would (in an obviously strange way) relate to this devotion or more so, living in HIS will. I have a feeling I’m not making much sense I will give a for instance if you would put up with me. During the period of my conversion (10 years now, Praise God), over time I would be led to try to understand God, my life, God’s will etc in relation to a circle. That was confirmed a few years in by the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Then time passes and I am led to Luisa’s writings. Again, things start to pop up here and there. One You tube video I was watching at work for a craft program we were doing actually said “It’s all about the Circle”. That was maybe the 3rd time in a week that this phrase showed up. I’m like OK! I get it!…LOL! Then one night I’m reading her writings and I got up and wrote the following on my board. “God’s Will effect our return to the Garden of Eden.” It seems like bad spelling/grammar but that is what I meant when I wrote it. It has to be that way! How could it be any other. Sorry, if I sound like a nut job, i’m not. All I know is that the good Lord and His Holy Mother have confirmed to me that living in the Divine Will is the way. Again, how could it be anything else. Also, one final note. About 3 years after my conversion, I was blessed to drive through the end of a rainbow. In case anyone is wondering, the end of the rainbow is the pot of Gold! I will say this. That it is a place not of this world. My car and I were in a place so beautiful I can’t even describe it. At that time, I knew nothing about Genesis 9:13 but can only repeat this scripture verse. 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Fiat Voluntas Tua!

      Liked by 3 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Your experience would make for an interesting narrative. It would have to have been something mystical as rainbows are not a real substance, but a refraction of light, which is why no one can get to the “end” of one. When you did, it must have been an act of true grace.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. MMBev says:

    (I know it’s wrong, but I am all for keeping the rumor about the Albino Monk assassin. Rumor? Rumor? What rumor, can’t you tell the real story when you hear it? Besides, assassin is an Islamic word, one that put a lot of fear into the high ranking during the Middle Ages. If required, I can cite the page location for information in Dr. Diane Moczar’s book, “Islam at the Gates”, a book well worth reading.

    “Islam at the Gates” is a book which provides in a succinct manner the information we require in order to understand the Jihad Extremism that has re-surfaced today, and which well soon attack us. Her books are not only historically accurate, but are an interesting read as well. I do say re-surfaced, because it has been present since it’s very beginnings and with the Hapsburg Empire ending about 1928, not by their choice, I am not sure it ever went away. (I have been hunting the blog entry which has the picture of the young women crucified at the bottom. I’ve been unsuccessful, and a few people have want to read it. If anyone – Charlie?- can remember the title, I would really appreciate knowing it. Thanks.)

    Thank you for a marvelous post. I am one of those warned about Opus Dei, and did some research. Dr. Scott Hahn has written “Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace”, regarding the invaluable part that Opus Dei played in his conversion to Catholicism, and it’s deep spiritualism needed in today’s contemporary world. He is a member. It’s another book well worth reading, as are all his books.

    Luisa’s work I have only seen in tiny excerpts and it appeared to be a bit overwhelming. I have two books unread thus far, one of hers, and “Creation of the World”, by Fr Joseph Iannuzzi. I will tap into Daniel’s book for information. It was the “rounds of the celestial universe” that have me thinking, well, ahhhh, maybe….. However, Daniel and EllenChris aren’t village idiots so I guess I will have to pursue this. So what I am really saying is that their endorsement is a huge stamp of approval. But it does seem like more work to me. (Whew! Had to take a tiny break there as I hunted to locate Creation. Needed Father’s correct spelling of name. Now I don’t mind not having read books yet, but I freak when I can’t immediately lay my hands on them. This is not going to be a good trait during the Storm.)

    Last but not least is the miracle. Thank you so very much because I would NEVER have learned this. Not only is it awesome for me to know, but I now have a very good excuse to fwd this entry to my son. Oh, I know. It’s kind of like wanting to keep the albino monk! But at least I’m up front with my maneuvering Besides, he will find the info on Opus Dei interesting as well..

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    • MMBev says:

      See what I mean! When I started my response, there were NO responses under the blog yet!

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    • ellenchris says:

      Bev — Daniel’s book is thorough, straight-forward and not overly long. It looks to me like a really great introduction to Luisa’s spirituality. Fr. Ianuzzi is excellent but a little more involved with scholarly issues. Stephen Patton is also good and reliable. If you do not have a Kindle to use for reading, you can go to Amazon and download the Kindle reader “app” for Free! I love: “for Free,” don’t you? 🙂 much joy and many blessings.

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      • MMBev says:

        For free. Hummmmm. I complimented you, Ellenchris. Just remember that, because if “free” turns out to be my first child in exchange, something verrrry dangerous is going to happen.

        Actually, it’s because you used Luisa in your earlier comments that I decided that I had to learn more. The “Creation” book and ordering it from a small book store in Saskatchewan led to my ‘missed” trip to Medjugorje, thanks to my fractured neck.

        I’ve had a couple of hideous experiences obtaining things from the US and the use of credit cards, and I would tap into Daniel, whose site I was on yesterday, but I have to confess to him that I don’t know what a PDF or something is, and how would you tell if you had it, and what does one do with it if they find it.

        No, I am not a village idiot either, but extremely ignorant with regard to computers. (They didn’t have any when there were village idiots, thank goodness, or someone might call me one. Yes, there are days I feel that old.) However, I intend to rely on Daniel’s kindness and the fact I would tell everyone here, if he doesn’t help me. (At least I can say that I know what a “kindle” is, but I have a book fetish. I like the feel, the smell, texture, ability to underline and add comments in the margins, ability to turn x number of pages back and check, quote, etc. Any of my parents books have their comments and underlining in them. I know what they thought about that passage. In many ways, it is a connection with them which I appreciate. I find the same things in second hand books I buy. I love finding what someone else has said.) And, I am waiting until 2019 to get one in case it’s a waste of money.

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        • texasooz57 says:

          MMBev, a PDF is simply a file that is sent through an attachment in an email to you. Daniel said that he could send his book to you this way. You just have to email him with the request. The public email address for Daniel is Daniel@DSDOConnor.com.
          When you get the email, just click on the attachment and viola! Your PDF file can be read on your computer. That is if you have Adobe on it. Hmmmm…on second thought grab a youngster to help you. Anybody five years old or older should do it…that’s what I do when I don’t know what to do on a computer.
          By the way, I’m a book nut, too. I’ve got tons of Catholic books that I haven’t read yet. And reading them is not the same on a Kindle…I miss those notes that others make in the margins also. Once I ordered a used book on the meditations of St. Therese The Little Flower, and it arrived with the most interesting notes from the previous owner in the margins of pages.
          After reading the incredible, spiritually-laden comments and posts on this website, I better start buckling down and start reading those books. I feel like I’m such a Catholic newbie-greenhorn-novice yet I came into the church in 1994! I feel lost and the need to catch up after reading these comments and posts!
          I think it might help to find a spiritual director, but I don’t have a clue how to find one. Any suggestions anyone? Since I found it difficult to find a spiritual director, I got Father Dubay’s book on Seeking Spiritual Direction…another one that I haven’t read yet. And I wholeheartedly agree with those that have recommended Fulfilment of All Desire by Ralph Martin. Now that is one that I have read, but it’s been awhile so maybe I need to read it again.

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            The difference between a book and a Kindle is the difference between a woman and a picture of a woman. Though I don’t snuggle with women any more – and won’t unless through some completely unexpected turn of events I were to be married again – I still snuggle with books…and when I do, I want the real thing.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            “Hmmmm…on second thought grab a youngster to help you. Anybody five years old or older should do it…that’s what I do when I don’t know what to do on a computer.”

            Ain’t that the truth! 🙂

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          • charliej373 says:

            When my kids were young and I would get some new electronic gadget to attach to the TV, I could read the instructions and spend a half hour getting it done – or give it to my son, who from the time he was four years old, would have it hooked up and working within five minutes.

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    • texasooz57 says:

      MMBev, I believe the post you are looking for…the Armenian genocide photo is…
      https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/musings-cardinal-omalleys-comments-the-rest-of-the-story/
      Musings – Cardinal OMalley’s Comments The Rest of the Story.

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      • MMBev says:

        Thank you so very, very much! I kept using “titles” as leads and never would have looked under that one for a long time. I really appreciate the info, texassoz.

        Liked by 1 person

      • John D says:

        If I am not mistaken, the image of the Armenian women being crucified was not a photograph, but rather a still image from a 1919 film “Ravished Armenia”. The film is a recreation based on a book by a survivor. This is not say that the event never took place, but rather we should be clear and precise (lest we be accused of sensationalism). There are enough real photos online for us to understand what the world faces.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, you are correct, John, though the name of the movie was “Auction of Souls,” which was based on the book, “Ravished Armenia.” A brief piece on it is here. Thank you. I had thought it was an actual period of the event. In the actual event, the survivor saw twice as many girls crucified as is in this still. Peaceful Islam at work.

          Liked by 1 person

          • John D says:

            You are correct, Charlie. The movie was Auction of Souls.
            Thank you for this article including your involvement with Opus Dei. I used to have more involvement with the organization in the past. My wife is a cooperator, as well. I must admit, I was intrigued in your blog solely by the credentials of having an Opus Dei priest as your spiritual director. The spirituality is firmly based in sanctifying one’s normal everyday events and not to go looking for the extraordinary or sensational. Think of the hidden life of Christ. Anyway, I trust their judgement. Otherwise, I probably would have thought you were a kook 😄

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            It might amuse you, John, to know that at one point right around the turn of the millenium, the priest who ended up keeping the archives, told me, “Charlie, I believe you. Everything you have told us has been sound. But our charism is finding sanctification through our ordinary work – and I just don’t see how this fits with our charism.” Rather irritably I growled that, “Father, this IS my ordinary work.” He howled with laughter and that was that.

            Liked by 2 people

  7. anthonymullendivineantidote says:

    For those who are drawn to what God is doing through the Exemplars of the Extraordianry Grace which God is pouring out at this time in salvation history, I would urge you to read the “New and Divine Holiness” by Hugh Owen. It is an extraordinary masterpiece solely from the mind of the Church using only the Documents of the Church and the approved writings of Saints, Blesseds and Venerables. It is unmistakable what God is doing when you see the progression in the lives of St. Therese, St. Faustina, St. Hannibal di Francia, Blessed Dina Belanger, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity and Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida.

    The Grace of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is of the same nature and Elizabeth Kindelmann is an exceptional role model. God chose Elizabeth Kindelmann because she was a mother; and because she was willing to truly repent of her sin and the sins of others as an example for us to follow, which example reflected the Repentance and Sorrows of our dear Mother for our sins….Mary’s Sorrows are just now being better understood, but are the key to completely opening the Gifts contained in Mary’s Immaculate Heart, especially the Gift of living with God’s Will perfectly as Mary did. May God grant each of us this Gift! Fiat!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mack says:

    In his theology of the body, Pope John Paul talked about the three states of humanity while on earth:
    1. original innocence with its three experiences of original solitude, original nakedness, original unity.
    2. the fallen state of “historical” man
    3. the state of redemption, brought about by Christ. This began through his saving death and resurrection, and is given to us through faith, grace, the sacraments.
    When the pope speaks of the future resurrection, it is very clear he is talking about heaven–the real heaven, not an earthly kingdom we will have now. He only talks about anticipations of heaven. In fact, the life of continence for the sake of the kingdom (which priests and consecrated persons live) has meaning because it is an eschatological sign of the life to come. But it’s lived in our historical reality.

    My point is that John Paul explains that the state of the redeemed person on earth is different from what life in heaven will be like. His TOB catechesis is the most extensive papal teaching on the subject as far as I know. He says, “On the ways of this voluntary continence in earthly life, the anthropology of the resurrection does NOT replace the anthropology of historical man.” TOB 77:4 Continence for the sake of the kingdom is an eschatological sign of the kingdom. The pope says that though we can start to live a “heavenly” life even now, especially through consecrated continence, though we are redeemed we are not confirmed in grace while on earth. I would like to mention these as some cautionary issues to consider in regard to the supposedly new kingdom that’s coming. Life on earth can certainly be better, but it’s still not heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Mack, I appreciate your caution. I have repeatedly rebuked those who think we are going to get some heaven on earth. Sin will still remain, we will have to work, we will have to pay the mortgage or the rent, we will have to make collective decisions through political means – and debate. I have been SO emphatic about that I would hope you would have some confidence I will not let any flights of fancy pass unchallenged. Again, the Vatican has given preliminary approval to the authentic spirituality. It resonates with me because it sounds how our attitudes will be changed as we live an ordinary life – a life transformed because we are friends of God again – and so truly trust in Him and want to please Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mack says:

        Thank you, Charlie. I do like that part of it too. I am reading the O’Connor book and appreciate the references to saints like Faustina who also spoke of doing God’s will.

        Like

    • ellenchris says:

      Mack, I agree with you. On earth *AS* in Heaven is not the same as, “heaven on earth.” Millenarianism is a heresy. But the Our Father teaches us to pray for God’s Kingdom and His Will in this way. If we come to live in real harmony with God’s Will, we receive His peace and goodness. Charlie puts it simply and well: we return to that real friendship that God has always wanted for us — to come home like the prodigal son.

      Like

  9. Bob says:

    As for Opus Dei as I will soon be a cooperator, too as soon as my paper work gets processed. My experience is that the Work in St Louis is anything but cultic. I attended their monthly evenings of recollection for about a year and was greeted but never buttonholed or pressured to join. I started spiritual direction after hearing a talk on it several years ago and after about 18 mos my director got around to asking me if I was interested in being a cooperator. Actually a more positive movie about Opus Dei is “There be Dragons” which gives a good idea of some of the founder’s virtues as well as a good example of the need to forgive others which will be an important lesson for the storm. That said I too have been quiet about the Work as I know this is good for me now but, within His church God has many good ways of spiritual growth and I didn’t want to push one when there are so many other good ways others can follow within the boundaries of our faith. I think if I were to have chosen a spirituality I may have been more interested in third order Carmalite but as I work in the ordinary world I have needed to learn how God wishes to make holy my ordinary life and, in the past I had a tendency to focus on doing “spiritual things” and sometimes treated my ordinary life as something I needed to get through so I could have time for God, forgetting that God wants to be present in my day, with it’s common duties where God is not openly mentioned, at times.

    Like

  10. anne says:

    Charlie you have nailed it! It is all about becoming friends with GOD again. Not doing our own little human will but all being in harmony with the Divine Will by submitting our little human will to the Divine Will. Right now there are millions, in fact billions of little human wills doing their own thing.
    We are all being brought back into order as in the First Order of Creation. Harmony and Peace and walking in the cool of the evening talking with Our God.

    Division is exploding, all is the opposite of following God’s Way and chaos is growing.The contrast of how things are going now and the Peace of God is growing by the second!!
    we learn so well by seeing and experiencing contrast. We can actually see things as the gap is so huge. You do not know what beautiful harmonious music is until you hear discordant ugliness.

    I know i read once where Marthe Robin [French Mystic who died in 1981} said that we will either come back to God and order through chastisement or Love. Our rebellious human wills are running a mile wanting to do their own things. So we are bringing destruction on ourselves.

    Prayer, penance,sacraments as encouraged by Our Lady of Fatima is the way of Love.
    After the storm it will still be living on earth but in the Eucharistic Reign of Christ with Divine Will at the centre….not the many human wills…..hence peace. the Era of Peace.
    Divine Will is about reciprocity of Love. Each day say often…..i take Your Love and make it mine and i Love You with Your Love and in Your Will.
    Return all the love in Creation back to the Creator so we are bound in love. For example, the continuous love pouring out from the Sun…..i love you, I love you, .

    So yes, Charlie you have nailed it so simply. Getting back into close and intimate friendship with God. that is the whole point.
    i was delighted by Mark Mallett’s article when i read it and it ties in so well with Anthony Mullen’s on his site too. It is all about LOVE. everything is about Love. Sacrificial Love. True Love, not the false love all around us which is self love sent out to the world via Hollywood.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ellenchris says:

      “Through Chastisement or Love” Wow. We are seeing this right now all around us, Some people — perhaps a minority — really are coming back to God through love these days. Since a majority seem to be resisting, the chastisements are coming too, Thanks for that post, Anne.

      Like

  11. Mick says:

    Nice article on The Work, Charlie. One, thing, though… I thought that John Allen was with the National Catholic Reporter (a liberal rag), rather than with the National Catholic Register (a faithful publication currently owned by EWTN).

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I stand corrected, Mick. Allen is with the National Catholic Reporter, which does, indeed, have a fairly strong left-wing, progressive slant. I often think their progressive ideology is more important to them than their Catholicism. Certainly, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden would feel perfectly at home on their editorial board. Nonetheless, I regularly read pieces by Allen and regard him as a solid reporter.

      Like

      • Mick says:

        John Allen does do some excellent reporting. I’ve often wondered why he works for the Reporter. I guess that maybe he’s one of those left-leaning people who can actually think and write logically, rigorously, and fairly (they do exist, I just haven’t met many). 🙂

        Like

  12. Where is that albino monk when you need it? With so many critics of the Church he must be pretty busy these days! May be we could print a pseudo holy card with his image so we can send it to some annoying fellows like Bill Maher, or Richard Dawkings. LOL 😀 Just an idea!

    Like

  13. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie (et. al.),

    Great post and excellent comments.

    I guess I should not be surprise to learn of that you are an OD Cooperator, as well. I have been for a few years as well, (Pittsburgh Warwick House). A wonderful, holy, humble and hard working group of men. (There is also a nearby women’s house as well). Mike Aquilina and sometimes Scott Hahn, occasionally give the lay reflections in the middle of the Evening of Reflection. The house’s SD and annual retreats are great too. (Although my SD is not OD, I have had Spiritual mentoring on occasion from the Priests in the house and have benefited much.) I really have benefit from many of writings of St. Josemaria as well)

    I also have had a devotion to The Divine Will (Luisa P) for sometime too. I am aware of the controversy around her, but dug into what source Church materials I could find enough to get comfortable a few years ago. Through the grace of God, we somehow got a complete set of her writings, the ones that had been authorized, not the poorly translated versions. The approved ones can be hard to follow, but when the veil is pulled back now and then, wow! Carole and I have been praying the 24 hours of Christ Passion (really His last day, including His Passion) the last few Good Fridays. It is demanding but spiritually fulfilling way to contemplate our Lord’s passion and would recommend to anyone that can get an authorized copy. (it must be done in obedience to the Church, which can make it hard to get these days.

    I’m not a theologian so I am grateful for the recent confirmation of our more knowledgeable TRNS brothers and sisters regarding the Divine Will.

    Much love and affection,

    Rich

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Rich,

      I deleted one suggestion you made as to a book to read, for it was once on the list of forbidden books by the Vatican. Though that list was ended, I read from no less an authority than Pope Emeritus Benedict when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, the book you mentioned is still not approved nor recommended by the Vatican and can lead to serious errors.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Rich, glad to hear of your and your wife’s involvement with The Work. For years, I’ve contemplated (on and off… mostly off) becoming a cooperator; but I’m not sure it’s the right step for me yet. My husband is a supernumerary, though; so we’re pretty fond of St. Josemaria at our house. When we lived in Los Angeles and in central Illinois, we were close to study centers. There isn’t one in Michigan, but a numerary from I think South Bend drives up to Ann Arbor a couple times a month and conducts a circle for the members in the area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Where did you live in central Illinois, Mick! I know that state intimately…every town, every nook and cranny. Whatever town you came from, I will know someone from it. Back in the day, when various officials were in a strange town, they would sometimes call me to get directions or recommendations for a steakhouse or restaurant.

        Like

        • CrewDog says:

          As I recall Charlie, you spent some time in Belleville? In my Operational Support Airlift days I spent a lot of time at Scoot AFB including a 1980 July as a “guest” IP. I really loved all the little farm towns, their Festivals …. and little neighborhood bars that don’t exist in the South ….. except for Cajun Country 😉
          Pleasant Memories might become very important in coming days as well as a positive outlook to help children and elderly cope! Was it not Ben Franklin who said: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately”!
          GOD HELP ALL HERE!

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            I did, CrewDog. I lived there for six years…and have a host of wonderful friends there.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            CrewDog, did you spent any time at Chanute AFB in Rantoul? Too bad it closed; the town hasn’t been the same since.

            Like

          • CrewDog says:

            Mick said: “CrewDog, did you spent any time at Chanute AFB in Rantoul? Too bad it closed; the town hasn’t been the same since.”
            Mick, … I landed there one time (35 years ago) carrying the lady who ran the place .. Gen Norma ????. It was in the worst crosswinds that I ever landed in … one of those “kiss the ground after” events 😉 I haven’t thought about that in many moons!
            GOD BLESS ALL HERE!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Charlie, we lived a few miles west of Loda. We were parishioners at St. Peter’s in Piper City. I taught CCD at Our Lady of Lourdes in Gibson City and at St. Mary’s in Paxton. Do any of those hamlets ring a bell? 🙂

          Like

  14. Barbara Dore says:

    I love rainbows, it always lifts my heart to God of Love. Rainbow is very beautiful to look at! Rainbow is a hologram! you can see it but cannot touch it…I wonder if the Great Miracle in Garabandal would be like the hologram, it can be seen but cannot touched.

    Like

  15. TC says:

    Dear Charlie,

    Readers of your blog might appreciate some theological clarification on an idea being floated here of late. I am glad to see that the heresy of Millenarianism has been mentioned and warned against. You have said repeatedly that sin will be part of the new era. I can say with some theological certainty that we will not be returning to days similar to those lived by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Allow me to explain. Original sin and its effects, including death, will not be destroyed until the Last Judgment. The original innocence lost by Adam and Eve will not be restored until the End of Time. This is not to say that we will not be entering an era of grace where we will be friends with and communicate with God more intimately, and that a general peace will reign on earth because so many are living in the Divine Will and the Immaculate Heart has triumphed. Perhaps we could liken those future times to the “Garden of Eden”, but I think such a comparison can be misleading. Paradise/Heaven/The Garden of Eden/New Heavens and a New Earth, does not come to us until the final judgment and Christ’s return in glory. Mark Mallet has quoted the Catechism on this point: “The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history” (CCC 676). With sin still in the world, the Sacraments of the Church will still be needed. And so while we may be entering into the seventh day – the day of rest in the history of the Church, we will not yet have reached the eighth day of unending glory when God is “all in all”.

    The world was once destroyed with water; “the present heavens and earth have been reserved by the same word for fire” (2 Ptr 3:7). Yes, fire will fall from heaven – in what form we do not yet know, but we do know that it will be a purifying fire that will destroy the earth and most of us on it – similar to the days of Noah. In his mercy and love for us, God will be hitting the reset button once again. But this will allow a new era to usher in – an era of peace. Christ will be coming in a new way – it will be an “intermediate” coming – in between his first and his Second Coming. In Seewald’s Light of the World, Pope Benedict, in speaking about the Book of Revelation, says: “Whereas people had previously spoken only of a twofold coming of Christ – once in Bethlehem and again at the end of time- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux spoke of an adventus medius, of an intermediate coming, thanks to which he periodically renews his intervention in history. I believe that Bernard’s distinction strikes just the right note” (On the Last Things).

    Christ’s coming is always preceded by Elijah. In our day, Elijah is the Mother of God. She is the John the Baptist of our day: “You my child shall be the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before him to prepare his way – to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” She is the voice crying out in the desert of this world: “Make straight the way of the Lord.”

    Christ’s coming is also marked by the death of the innocents. This is Satan’s response to the Lord’s coming. In our days, and on a global scale, the death of the innocents has taken the form of abortion and the starvation of children. We see in the heavens the Woman Clothed with the Sun, and the dragon ready to devour her child.

    Yes, Christ is coming, and we must prepare. How? Acknowledge God, take the next right step, be a sign of hope for those around you. Pope Benedict also tells us how: “By letting ourselves be formed by God’s gift of mercy as a force to counteract the mercilessness of the world, then we prepare, as it were, for his own coming in person and for his mercy” (LOW, Seewald – On the Last Things).

    Blessings, Charlie,

    TC

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for weighing in, TC. I have warned repeatedly that we are getting another chance to live our ordinary lives with extraordinary love, but that, in my phrase, we do not get heaven until we actually get…heaven. But I know the joy of first discussing things that some have feared discussing openly leads to a temporary irrational exuberance…like the joyful abandon with which a spirited horse runs when first released after a long stay in a very small pen. I figure let ’em run for a while, as long as they don’t go tearing off into the woods, then we will get down to steadier business.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        As we don’t know what time God will choose to intervene I sometimes find myself looking too forward to future events and the danger in that is that I do not put enough time and energy in doing what I should be doing now. So I believe we must be willing to patiently do our work until the time God may choose to remove some of the weeds we are now faced with. So I need to be willing to trust God and take the next right steps if it remains a slow painful slog for awhile or if things get hectic and demand a quick response. With my bit of ADD resolving to show my love for God in patient endurance is my current duty.

        Liked by 1 person

    • EllenChris says:

      Thanks for the good and useful clarifications, TC. The New Heaven and New Earth are reserved for the true Time of the End — the final judgement. It is the “intermediate coming” is really the tricky part. No one actually fully knows what this will be because it has not yet been revealed. It is the opinion of many, and I agree wholeheartedly, that Jesus’ Reign in the Era of Peace will be primarily a *Eucharistic* Reign. That is, He will exert the Will of the Father in this world through our Communion in Him, with Him and He through us. How will that be worked out concretely? Again, we are not there yet, and when we try to nail it down too specifically, we will inevitably go off the rails.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        But we are approaching an understanding of it, Ellen…and that is a joy for me. I have spent a year trying to pull people down from ‘unicorns and butterflies and fairy dust’ flights of fancy or lift them up from despair that we don’t get unicorns and fairy dust…then when this blossomed last week, I was joyful that finally people were talking about something I recognize as resembling what I have been shown. Folks have a very difficult time envisioning completely ordinary transformed by extraordinary love. But last week, I heard people talk about it as it will be. So yes, enthusiasm can get too exuberant, but if the horses want to take a spirited run now and again, they are showing much less of a penchant to go running off into the woods.

        And while I joke a little, it has meaning that it all blossomed at once…with Mark Mallett, Glenn Dallaire, Daniel and you. That suggests to me that God is preparing people for, well, if you will excuse the expression, the next step – and the right one. But late last week I was feeling kind of like the Professor in ‘My Fair Lady’ when Eliza finally got her enunciation right: “By George, I think she’s got it!”

        Liked by 3 people

  16. kbipp says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I’ll admit I got a bit unnecessarily excited to hear you talk about Opus Dei so positively! I’m a huge fan of St Josemaria Escriva and his spirituality is a major influence on me and how I approach my work, especially in the office. Your post has encouraged me to seriously and prayerfully discern membership with Opus Dei, so thank you.

    My wordly job is software engineering, so sometimes I find it difficult to encounter Christ when I’m staring at a computer screen for roughly 6 hours a day. But if St Joseph can give glory to God through his carpentry work, so can we through our ordinary work, even if its banal and burdensome (I’m currently going through some old code, and it’s tough to figure it all out!). St Joseph and St Josemaria Escriva, pray for us!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, kbipp…one of my priests, before he became a priest, was a computer expert and tech guy. So you would be in good company!

      Like

    • jaykay says:

      Yes, kbipp, that chimes in with what I understand of St. Josemaria’s intention for all Catholics: the constant offering-up of the everyday humdrum. I only understood this when I read a biography of him last year, and saw what a truly humble man he was, and what he suffered in the Spain of the 30s, including a very dangerous and exhausting flight into exile into a scarcely more welcoming France across the Pyrenees. This after the slaughter of his brother priests and religious by satan-inspired communists, who of course are now the “good guys” in the current narrative of our historically illiterate times. He never yielded to bitterness for a moment. May we all follow his example, because it’s coming again, I truly believe. You only have to read history, and abandon belief in Saint Polyanna. So much “education”, so much stupidity.

      Like

  17. Bob says:

    One Opus Dei practice I recommend is this. After communion we take 10 minutes of silence since it is thought that Jesus remains truly present for about that amount of time until our body breaks down the sacred species. And while I can’t remain silent in church for 10 minutes after mass always, especially on workdays, I can turn off the radio after mass while I go home or to work so I can at least give God a bit more of my presence.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Anne not says:

    Thank youTC……I wrongly gave impression that now we are coming to First Order …… No, we are coming to Era of Love but with time we moving towards restoration of order of Creaton and the innocence of Adam and Eve. …….however long that takes….it is all done in the singularity of one act in the Divine Will but played out in created time.

    Like

  19. Thank you again so much for the link, Charlie! I wish I was more worthy of having my opinions held in high esteem, though!

    A quick comment: once or twice before on this blog I have commented on how some mystics have had visions of what is to come in the Era of Peace that are contrary than the details of what Charlie has had in his. I did not mean to imply that Luisa’s own revelations insist upon such an interpretation; I primarily had other mystics in mind. I do not know of (but I could be wrong, for I don’t exactly have the thousands of pages of Luisa’s writings memorized 😉 ) Luisa’s writings going into much physical detail of what the coming Reign of the Divine Will (i.e. Era of Peace) shall entail (rather, there is more focus on the spiritual aspect of union with God). I assume they could go along comfortably with what Charlie has been given. I myself tend to stay out of even too much pondering exactly what it will entail, so I do not have an opinion on it — just that it’s coming :-).

    And I am indeed happy to email anyone a PDF of the Ebook — Daniel@DSDOConnor.com

    God bless you all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ah Daniel, not a problem. I don’t read hardly any of what other mystics say – and I am not terribly proprietary about it anyway. I already know that I will have some details wrong…there are only a few key points I insist on…most of the rest I have to interpret anyway. I have gotten pretty good at that over the decades, but if many of my insights are more striking and dead-on than most folks because of the inside training I am given, I reckon my blunders when I misinterpret are likely to be equally larger than life, too. At bottom, though, that is not my calling. My calling is to give you heart to endure the Storm and to help do the same for others. All the insights are merely tools to help accomplish that goal. So it doesn’t bother me to see other interpretations put up – in fact, it helps me make sure I have not missed anything of weight when trying to live my duty.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. audiemarie2014 says:

    I purchased your Ebook, Daniel, and am looking forward to reading it and learning more! Thank you for what you are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. EllenChris says:

    Charlie — I am putting this on your previous article, here, because this is all about the content of this article. I had heard about Opus Dei before, and knew a “supernumerary” many years ago. Your information on this piqued my interest, so I just “binged” Opus Dei to read about it.

    I am totally blown away!!!!! You do NOT have to be a Roman Catholic to be a Cooperator??!!!!!!!

    Gosh! Who knew!?!?! Amazement!

    The brochure says that you have to be recommended by a member. The only location I can find of OD is down in NY City. I am in the Capital Region of NY — just west of Albany.

    This is something I will need to pray about for a while. I am not excited about this (in spite of all the exclamation points) It has a quiet, bread-and-butter feeling about it, which is usually a very good sign. St. Ignatius pointed out that agitation is not an indicator of “the good spirit.” 😉

    Could I ask you, please, to get back to me on this with any information that you might think would be helpful? I would love to hear more about how this all works.

    Thank you for sharing your story about Opus Dei with us, Charlie. Much appreciated. Pondering.

    Liked by 1 person

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