Erosion and Hope

Our Lady of Sorrows2

Signposts

By Charlie Johnston

I got a note that touched me deeply today from a reader, Ruth A, who decided to go forth. Here is her note:

“Among the comments recently people asked what they should do with any surplus savings they had.   I may have missed it, but I immediately thought  – the  refugees from Syria and Iraq need our support.    I have just today cashed in some shares and will send proceeds to Aid to The Church in Need.

I love that she did not go crazy, cutting into her means of support – but used some of her surplus to help our most persecuted brethren. It is not going to be by a few doing a lot that we will endure, but by a lot doing whatever little they can. As Nike commercials say, Just do it.

Meantime, France, Germany, Italy and Britain have all joined a Chinese Development Bank that seeks to supplant the American-led World Bank, despite U.S. objections to the move. The united European turn to China for financial leadership has led Australia, which initially rejected Chinese overtures, to reconsider. The center of gravity in the world both militarily and financially moves apace towards China – and this is a step closer to the dollar ceasing to be the world’s reserve currency. That is not good for the outlook for human freedom – but the U.S has not been on the side of freedom much these days. If all gravitates to China, it will just make clear that it is up to people of faith – those committed to the Judeo-Christian heritage of Western Civilization, to rise and stand in the breach to keep the hope of human liberty alive. This just clarifies the battle lines.

Meantime, Starbucks has reminded me forcefully why I never go there any more. It has become corporate policy to encourage barristas to start candid conversations on race relations with customers as they are served their coffee. Really?! It isn’t bad enough I should pay at least twice what a cup of coffee is worth…now I must be lectured by over-credentialed, under-educated, ill-informed and smug coffee servers on matters of race relations in the process? I can’t watch a football game without suffering left-wing indoctrination from Bob Costas any more; haven’t been able to get any actual news from non-cable network stations in years, and now I am not allowed to get an overpriced cup of coffee without being hectored by the clueless “Occupy” crowd? This is a very good reason to go to Caribou Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds, the corner gas station – anywhere that has coffee for sale and is committed to leaving you alone.

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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84 Responses to Erosion and Hope

  1. johnmcfarm says:

    What a wonderful Christian act by Ruth, how inspirational and I hope she feels God’s grace as she walks by His side. Other than that…screw Starbucks and their liberal prison…I would suggest NASCAR…they pray and sing national anthem before event, beautiful babes and fast cars…all American! NFL totally sucks with their liberal, anti-Christian agenda.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I loved football…but I didn’t watch even one full game last year. You know, I was a toddler in a black section of Birmingham, Alabama as the Civil Rights movement got underway. In 1974, three other guys and I were pioneers at Northwestern University – though we did not know it until midyear. There had been black and white roommates before, but only on request. I was one of four guys chosen in our freshman year – two white, two black – to be roommates in one of the suites in the Quad student housing. We were the first ever to be assigned without requesting it…and all of us were pretty pleased when we were told after the university determined it was a success. I have two bi-racial grandkids. What in heavens name is a Starbucks coffee-server going to tell me about race – or life – or love – or much of anything else except where the cream and sugar is?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mary Ann says:

        The barrista will tell you that you are inherently by nature racist via white privilege and male privilege. Insanity rules.

        Like

      • Mick says:

        Regarding football: I come from a hugely sports-loving family. But I can’t even watch the games during the month of October (or is it November? I can’t even tell you) when all the teams wear pink shoes, gloves, etc. in support of “breast cancer awareness.” For the love of Pete… if I want to see something pink, I’ll look at my baby girl. I watch football so that I can see men looking and acting like men

        Regarding Starbucks: I detest coffee, I detest overpriced stuff,and I detest it when know-it-all liberals try to tell me anything. Those people just need to get over themselves. Oh, and I read that there’s not a single black person in all of the publicity stuff promoting Starbucks’ “racetogether” campaign. It’s utterly condescending and patronizing, and I hope a ton of their customers decide to permanently get their coffee someplace else.

        There. I feel better now. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Yeah, it does seem pretty absurd when sports teams start wearing pink. For crying out loud. And oh, how I wish Starbucks would go under…I would love to see more smarmy lefty outlets pay the price for their constant hectoring. Do your dadgum job and shut up, folks.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. vparisi says:

    On the worldly attachment side of things I admit to a Starbucks addiction- my barista is wonderful, see her every morning after Mass:) but maybe one way of looking at it is they want to “evangelize” us that opens the door for some evangelization of our own. I actually blast my Christian music in the drive through line and my missal and Bible, and sometimes my rosary are very visible on my passenger seat. We could politely listen and talk about life issues or just evangelize by being that “something different”- let them ask why we are the joyful people that we are. Just a thought!

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I like it, vp…I think your reaction is substantially better than mine. I bet some of the barristas are rolling their eyes at this nonsense, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CrewDog says:

        Let’m do it! All it will do is PO Customers and kill their bottom line. My Conservative News Sites are all over this story and I’m sure this silly BS will disappear FAST! These Oh- So-Smart Liberals and their notions have been backfiring big for years. They can’t seem to grasp the power of Talk-Radio, Internet and alternate media. Remember Chik-Fil-A a few years ago? I was one of those people who drove 40 miles and stood in line for an hour to buy $12 worth of their Chicken-n-Fries. Plus I had a grand time BS-ing with all the other evil Christian RightWing Extremists 😉 The election in Israel is just the latest Back-Fire of the Left. Let’s celebrate our little victories and shout Loud-n-Clear: “We are mad as Hell and not gonna take anymore”!!!
        GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

        Liked by 4 people

    • Matthew says:

      A good intro line might be that you oppose abortion because it disproportionately kills black babies.
      Vparisi: you are much more charitable than I am. I would go in and make some REALLY offensive remark just to see what they would say.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I really admire vparisi’s way of doing it, but I know myself. So I won’t go, for whatever my intentions, I would almost certainly end up doing it Matthew’s way (and honestly, would have no apologies for it either. If someone insists on being smug and shallow at me, they takes their chances).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lily says:

        I also really like Starbucks… In a Veggie Tales show there is a coffe shop slogan ‘why pay a little for coffee when you can pay a lot?’ Lol. I can’t imagine what a barista might say? I think if I was a barista I might quit, if thus sort of thing will be enforced. I wouldn’t want to talk about any of that with anyone, nor do I as a customer. I like Matthew’s line, but really, what an awkward situation! I am there for 2 minutes to get coffee, and supposed to have a conversation about the most controversial subjects in our culture?? There is barely any time to have a meaningful ‘how are you’ chat.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Dennis Miller last night was complaining (joking) that the woman at the takeout window at McDonald’s asked him if he believes life begins at conception. Then at AutoZone the clerk asked him if he knew guns kill people. He said he decided to just start eating at home…but the checkout girl wanted to know if agreed that Israeli Jews are icky and mean like the president says.

          Liked by 5 people

  3. Ed Allison says:

    I attended a funeral this morning for my next door neighbor Bill, who lost his battle with cancer. The homily was one of the best homilies at a funeral I had ever heard. I think it is also applicable to our situation as the storm gathers strength.

    Speaking of Bill’s cancer and how he had accepted his situation and even his death, the priest compared Bill’s situation to the 2 thieves who were crucified with Jesus. He said that in a bad situation, we have 2 choices. We can accept it as God’s will, and do our best to endure it with humility and fortitude; or we can become bitter and blame God. These 2 choices correspond to the attitudes of the 2 thieves pretty well. As the storm strengthens, we must guard against bitterness and simply accept it as God’s will and do our best (as Charlie says), to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us.

    God Bless all here.
    (channeling my inner Crew Dog…)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      Your inner CrewDog… Love it, Ed!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mary N says:

      Ha! Ha! Love the “channeling my inner Crew Dog” comment! I really can’t understand how someone could disparage the folks who leave comments on this site – when they are not uplifting then they are certainly hilarious. And many times both – like your comment, Ed. I am sorry for the loss of your neighbor. May he rest in peace.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Bless you, Ruth A.

    On the other mega-finance front, Charlie, this current group of anti-Judeo-Christian Marxists occupying the White House have seen their sanctions on Russia backfire. And now there is a concerted effort by heretobefore friendly nations and allies to scramble to do business with Russia and China. Obama & Co. is a colossal failure which is slowly but surely eroding the “reserve” status of the USD. Look at the banking computer system and bank the BRICS recently set up when our vaunted SWIFT system snubbed Russia.

    Obama, Kerry and the like are nothing more than a wrecking crew. They wreck faith, morals, education, and now our monetary system. These are not accidents.

    Liked by 7 people

    • chantal chauvet says:

      I’ m on Russia’s side. I think we are being lied about Russia in our media. All the demonization about Russia raised my eyebrows. It was too much of a deja vue of how the media treats our catholic priests. I’ ve now found contacts of people on the ground and some simply focused on translating interviews, etc coming out of Eastern ukraine. Doing so gave me a more accurate picture of the sitiation and the info was more reliable. (Donestk airport is an example. Mainstream media kept saying that Ukr had the airport. Other sources told me otherwise. A week later ukraine had to admit the truth. What was going on? Ukraine lied and tried to make a lie truth by sending soldiers which became cannon fodder ) .Those interested can search Slavyangrad – a eastern ukrainian canadian. Por The vineyard of the saker. Then there is the Odessa fire where 42 people died last May2nd. So we have a major fire in a government building, in an importante Europeen city, during an important conflict, where people who were escaping were getting shot at or beaten if they jumped out of the window. And nothing in our news…. There is a lot of stink coming out of Ukraine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Well, Chantal, I think there is enough ignorance and propaganda being pumped out of both the western and Russian press that I think neither side is right…some are just a little less wrong than others. That said, I have been appalled at the lack of even the most basic knowledge of the history and geography of Russia and Ukraine exhibited not only by the utterly ignorant western media, but more frighteningly by western policy-makers, as well.

        Like

        • Kati says:

          Ha! Western policy makers (and a huge segment of the population) don’t even have a basic grasp of the history of Western Civilization!

          Like

      • George says:

        Chantal,
        In every conflict there is a very good chance for both sides to be wrong but almost never for both of them to be right. Russian government does not have to be any better than American just because American government is deceiving its citizens. As about the situation in Ukraine (capital letter), there are no US tanks, US military personnel in Ukraine and US did not annex part of Ukrainian territory. Does US have its political interests at play in this conflict? Absolutely. But the level of involvement is substantially different. Please excuse my pointed tone but two of my brothers are wondering right now if they are going to get drafted to fight against Russian army units who pose as “separatists” in Eastern Ukraine. If you would like to discuss this further I would be glad to provide some very interesting info that supports my claims. I, also, believe that this discussion is best done outside this blog. Therefore, Charlie has my expressed permission to forward my email to you if you would like that. Respectfully, Your Antitotalitarian brother in Christ.

        Like

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          George I am going to email this to Chantal for you.

          Like

          • Mick says:

            George, I was trying to find your comment so that I could respond to you directly; but I think my computer may be acting up. Anyhow, I wanted to let you know that I will be praying for your brothers and for their safety. May God protect them and all those that they care about; and may Mary wrap them in her mantle.

            Like

  5. Hey Charlie, a 20 oz cup of Wawa mocha joe beats too strong and way too sugary Starbucks any day. Great service, no indoctrination, just a swipe of your card and you’re on your way. (Wawa has a life of its own out here in New Jersey.)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Diane says:

    Before Lent I was going to Starbucks 3 to 4 times a week, then I thought I liked it too much and gave up coffee for lunch. I now have a morning apple and I do not miss the coffee at all. I thought it would be really difficult. Now that I’m saving about $20.00 a week, I will take up Ruth’s advise on what to do with surplus. Don’t have a lot, , but Starbucks isn’t going to get my $20.00 anymore. God Bless you all. Love. I do.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Diane says:

    I mean gave up coffee for Lent – nimble fingers i do not have.

    Like

  8. Nancy D says:

    I don’t think we have a *race* problem in this country – I think we have a *love* problem. There are countless souls – black, white, old, young, tall, short, skinny, fat, and whatever other description you want to add – who don’t know how to love, or are not loved, or are loved badly. . . We are all wounded, broken. We all fall short, every single day, of loving one another with a godly love. Every heart is empty to some degree, and a heart that is empty of love cannot give love. Jesus came to change all that. He came to show us that love has absolutely nothing to do with the externals of the human person. . .it has to do with recognizing the sacredness and the dignity and the intrinsic value of every soul that’s been created in the image of the Creator. If we do that, we will be ready to love with a godly love. And if we do that, there will be no racism, because we will soon unlearn how to hate.

    Liked by 6 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Nancy — that says it all! Beautiful. Everyone is waiting to be loved when if we all gave what we could, we would all be loved. When we know we are loved by God, we begin to have something real to share. Jesus really IS the answer. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

    • anne says:

      i agree Nancy!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • donna says:

      agree!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barbara Dore says:

      there will be always racism, disablism, deafism, blindism, every where and every day. it is a part of our life…i still do not know how come we have different skins, yet we came from THE FIRST PARENTS …Adam and Eve. What colour were their skin? a big question mark. …after the great flood, we still came from NOAH….we all share a same gene of Noah. full stop!!!

      Like

    • Kati says:

      You are exactly right, Nancy…and this is because we let the vanities of this world take priority and put God on the back burner. How ignorant and self-involved we were….(sigh).

      Like

  9. donna says:

    God Bless you Ruth….God Bless all here….welcome to Charlie’s sister Kim….look forward to interacting with you! Peace, Charlie

    Liked by 1 person

  10. radiclaudio says:

    wow. I spent sometime at the article about you on Glenn’s website you linked to. There are some angry people there. that poor guy is getting shredded just defending you again unsubstantiated slander.

    The father of lies seems busy on that site’s comment board. How do you avoid it here? (btw way I guess I am happy to be a mindless part of the borg at TRNS – where do I send my check – lol)

    in Christ, Rich

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Oddly, the poor man’s site seems to have had more nasty comments on that one article than I have received here in the entire history of this website. I set boundaries and basic rules pretty early…and in the early going in the rare event I could not clear a comment would send an email explaining why – and inviting a re-submit. We talk about some controversial stuff here, but setting that tone early has seemed to work pretty well.

      As for the check…go to one of the “Go Forth” links and send it to them. They can do good with it. I’ll just squander it on Home Run Inn Pizzas.

      Like

      • DanSouthChicago says:

        Home Run Inn pizzas. Those were my Dad’s favorites. He worked at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Cicero. Thanks for that blast from the past! God bless!

        Like

  11. Phillip Frank says:

    My son, who is white, had an inter-ratial baby with his now ex-girlfriend, who is black.
    Seems she has had to hide the child from her community because she is getting a lot of flack for having a white mans baby!
    I guess the people in her community are picking up where the white biggots left off.
    I wonder if the Starbucks in their town have employees asking them about equality?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Yeah, Phillip, that has long gone on. When I used to go out to dinner with my daughter, my former black son-in-law and the kids, I was surprised to see that we got as many – maybe more – nasty looks from black folks as from white folks. My son-in-law said ruefully that racism cuts both ways…and that, sadly, black folks don’t get lectured about their bigotry so my poor grandkids will catch it from both ends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark4:41 says:

        Wow interesting, well I guess the devil isn’t prejudice. If the Holy Spirit isn’t in your heart the devil steps in and he will rip and tear every which way because he knows he only has a short time.

        Like

      • Mick says:

        Seriously. When we would visit some of my dad’s relatives when I was a kid, I remember one of my cousins telling me, “You talk like them white people.” I’ve never had a white person tell me, “Hey, you don’t talk like you’re black.” Also, when I got my first job after law school, my dad told me, “Watch your back. And it won’t be white people trying to bring you down; it’ll be black people.”

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Ha, Mick…when my kids were little we lived in the Chicago area and would visit my family in Alabama at least once a year. My nephew, Matthew (Kim’s son), once noted that “Y’all talk like Yankees.” Kim explained that was because we WERE Yankees. Matt said he had heard bad things about Yankees – but liked us. Kim told him that when she was little, she was a Yankee, too. I think Matt would have liked to become a Yankee – as long as Bama could still be his favorite football team and Chipper Jones of the Braves his favorite baseball player.

          Like

          • Mick says:

            Chipper Jones! Haven’t heard that name in a while.

            Oh, and ROLL TIDE!

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Are you sure you don’t know my nephews, Mick? Though I was a Bears fan, I used to think Bears and Packer fans were the most obnoxious and delusional ever – until I spent some serious extended time with Alabama fans. They are truly in a league of their own.

            Like

          • CrewDog says:

            Apparently you people have not known any Hog Fans!
            Soooooooooie Pigs .. RAZORBACKS!~!~!
            Ah …… Shhh … Obama’s Pals are going to declare Hog Fans anti-Islamic ;-(
            GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Ha, Charlie! Michigan fans are pretty obnoxious, as are Notre Dame fans. But Northwestern fans are amongst the cockiest, at least as my husband tells it. In the late ’80S, when NU would win a teaspoon’s worth of football games each season, the student section had some unbelievable chants. When the other team made a bad play, the students would chant, “Staaaaate schoooool! Staaaaate schoooool!” And when the opposing team made a good play, the students would chant, “That’s alright, that’s OK; you’re gonna work for us someday!” Yeesh.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Wow, Mick! I went to Northwestern in the mid-70s. In those days, it was routinely listed as the WORST college football program in the country. We had an okay basketball team, but the football program was a disaster – and the big debate was whether to get out of the Big Ten entirely and get into a league more suited to Northwestern’s level of play. It is hard for me to imagine an NU bragadocious about the football program. In my day, when we wanted to boast about the school, we talked about the library, the beautiful campus on the lake, the observatory, the pizza places near campus…ANYTHING but the football team, which we were programmed to deny even existed if we were really pressed on the matter.

            But yeah, I guess I can see it. If the team won a game sometime in the 80s it was clearly a decade’s worth of pent-up frustration you were seeing, not actual cockiness. Man, I sure wish I could have been there when it finally won a game.

            Like

    • Jacquie says:

      PF
      My daughter is married to a black gentleman. Their son is biracial. Same thing. They get a lot of flack from his side. My daughter has been insulted more than once from both sides. I was very surprised when she explained all this to me.
      It’s like Nancy says. We have a love problem.

      Like

  12. I drink lavazza and make my own, just a thought !

    Like

  13. Tom Redmond says:

    Talk about erosion of liberty. This guy is out of control.

    On CNN this morning I see Obama wants to make voting mandatory.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/19/politics/obama-mandatory-voting/index.html

    I can’t believe this guy.

    Like

    • Kati says:

      Pretty sad isn’t it. His knowledge of the Constitution isn’t much better than his knowledge of American History. 😦

      Like

  14. CrewDog says:

    Well … it probably comes as no surprise to most here but Obama and his Jew/Israel despising friends are about to abandon Israel. This, of course, is just another facet of his seven year old pledge to “Transform America” and the frightening ability to do exactly that!! The first article below is Front Page News on the alternate media sites. I’m guessing that ABCNNBCBS-NPR are minimizing coverage or are in their usual Spin-Smear-Confuse Mode. The last two articles are from Evangelical Christian sites that address the Old Testament admonitions to Nations that support or abandon Israel. Considering “Current Events”, “Sign after Signs” and the Faith/Morals/Traditions in Free-Fall across the USA and Europe ….. Well!!? .. Something to Think-n-Pray about!
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/israel-un-security-council-veto/2015/03/19/id/631103/
    http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/why-should-we-pray-for-israel-a-christian-perspective/
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/israel-losing-support-biggest-ally-evangelical-christians.html
    GOD GUIDE AND SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mary Ann says:

    We talk about current events here, and wonder how things can be the way they are. But something is different from the way it was back when outrage could change a government. Or when Congress would assert its nature. There is no reporting of what is happening. We are upset about things that most people are ignorant of, or terribly misinformed about.

    No tv news covers the real scandals, issues, or even events. Nobody reads what few papers there are, and what they are is not much better than tv news. And the radio gives either a mini-script of the tv network script, or we get talk radio, which is partisan, personality and entertainment driven even when accurate, and which does not present in depth coverage. 24 hour news has become 24 hour repetition of soundbites and squabbles. Most younger people turn on their ipods and tune out. The prince of the power of the air has definitely asserted his power to stifle truth and spread big lies.

    But when I think of my older grandchildren of college age, and how little they are aware of (and to even get aware would require sticking their heads into a world of blather in which pseudo-information cannot be discerned from truth without a background they do not have). At some point, I hope the younger generation is blessed with sudden sight that the emperor has no clothes. More importantly, I pray for spiritual sight for them. It is more important for people to know God and His ways than to figure out all the byzantine problems and histories of politics and economics. If there is conversion, everyone can take the next right step.

    Finally, when conversion comes, as it will, people are not going to just happilly waltz to Church. People will be overwhelmed and in need – of spiritual suppport, catechesis, of sacraments, and of communion with others in the Church. Maybe one job we have is to prepare ourselves to humble servants and friends of those God will bring home.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Mary Ann, you are very much on target here. Truth has become a needle and secular forces have built a haystack around it – so many are completely lost. But all know when someone is being a friend. It is by our embracing of the simple and ordinary with great love and fortitude that the path back will be lit for all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bob says:

        As many are likely to be wanting and impelled by God’s grace to come home, we should consider some basic training approaches to help those who are hungry spiritually and in need to come back. My wife has a master’s in theology and wonders what she will do with it. I keep thinking if a storm does come we will need to become, as Francis says a “field hospital’ for those in need.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob and Mary Ann,

          Thank you both for your thought provoking comments. Mary Ann, you wondered whether the young will see through the fog offered by the mass media. It seems like so many of our young people are so enveloped in their electronic gadgets and media feeds. I have often wondered how someone can stand to live in such a virtual world surrounded by noise potentially 24/7.

          I think one of the gifts that God knows we need is stillness in order to create space to encounter Him again. Sometimes I wonder whether a widespread and prolonged power outage is just what we need in order to put the electronics down, get outside, meet our neighbors again and begin to fill our lives with what really matters.

          I used to work in Boy Scouting and as a Religious Ed. director. Over the years it became increasingly harder to compete for the attention of young people. Too many kids would rather stay indoors with their game consoles and movies than venture out to go on a hike, climb a mountain or go fishing. It was difficult to teach enduring values to a generation raised in an instant gratification eye candy virtual world.

          What the months and years ahead will bring I don’t know. But I sincerely hope that life slows down and becomes more simplified; I think we’d all be the better for it.

          Liked by 2 people

    • CrewDog says:

      YUP Mary Ann ;-( …. I’m turning 65 next month and thank God that I lived when I did with a Mom-n-Dad & Dinner around the table every night … lots of conversation about current news, the Old Days and insignificant things that weren’t. Mass on Sunday and a big breakfast and newspaper to work through … I couldn’t pull that off when my turn came … the modern World with all it’s distractions/temptations and stress … and many folks were not as blessed as I. I surly hope that Charlie’s Visions of “After The Storm” are correct ….. perhaps I’ll still be around to talk of The Old Days 😉
      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Mary Ann, your final paragraph here really struck me. I’ve been thinking that the Storm will probably create refugees of the body in the physical world, people who will need care to handle the Storm. However, I really hadn’t considered that there will be refugees of the Spirit as well and the implications of that.

      Last week I had several people over for dinner. One of the women said that she goes to church (a protestant one, I assumed) but yet found her *experience* of God empty. I very briefly discussed a bit of what I have experienced and know, at which point the conversation was taken up by a few others and gradually faded into something else.

      Just in my circle I have everything from aggressive atheists to those who believe there is nothing beyond the physical to standard (empty) church-goers to new-age seekers and pious Catholics. I’ve had years to think over and seek out information on spiritual matters and even to work through my own attitudes toward the possibility and even desirability of the Storm (thanks to Mark Mallett and now Charlie). These people in my circle increasingly feel something is wrong with the world, but for many of these, they have no or little spiritual base to stand on. They often are already feeling bereft.

      If we do indeed enter an inescapable Storm, many of those I know will become refugees of the Spirit, in need not just of hope but testimony they can rely on. In your circle of contacts you may very well have the same spectrum of people, who will need the same things.

      To think that several billion people will be in need of hope and spiritual testimony is really quite daunting. I hope all here including myself will be able to rise to that occasion to help out in some fashion. I’m realizing from your comment and my dinner experience that the need will be truly enormous.

      Charlie, we’re gonna need a lotta Sherpas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Petra says:

        StevenBC (and everbody): A while back someone here in the comments on one of the posts referenced The Discernment of Spirits by St. Ignatius Loyola, and Fr. Thomas Gallagher, OMV’s explanations (don’t remember who it was, but THANK YOU!) I decided to check it out on YouTube (just looked up Fr. Gallagher) and found 16 audio sessions (1/2 hour each) on the Rules of St. Ignatius for spiritual growth and what we’re likely to face.
        This is one of the best audio teachings I’ve ever listened to!
        In relation to StevenBC’s comment above, there is so much in these audio lessons we can learn for ourselves, but also, I can see how, if we understand the first and second rule really well, and have gotten hip to these ourselves, we could assist others who are starting to come back about what they are experiencing and how to deal with it. StevenBC seems to be pointing out how we might be called on to assist others in common ordinary situations. Having awareness of these spiritual truths might help when someone is in the early stages of conversion (or reversion).
        Just recently I spoke to a friend who is in despair. She left the faith many years ago, and just now finds in spite of all the abundant and fine material possessions she has, she is terribly wounded inside and has no peace, and is crying out. I told her, you can’t get peace from other people. Only God has peace. You have to get it from Him. I left it at that with her. I’m hoping she’ll turn to Him and say, Okay, if you (God) have peace, I need it! Help me!

        Like

      • Mary Ann says:

        I find that people really do, in their heart of hearts, most of them, know that atheism and agnosticism are unreal. We are made for God. We are made for truth. In a crisis, something in people will respond to truth. When someone says there is nothing beside the material, one can say, Do you love anyone?

        Like

  16. Nancy D says:

    Just read on Glenn Beck’s site that Mr.Obama took Hamas and Iran off our terror list last week. At the same time he funded an initiative to defeat Netanyahu at the polls (which didn’t work, thanks be to God). He has decided to make America friends with the enemy and the enemy of our friends. What do you suppose will be the consequences of such an evil? Will God yet hear the cries of his children here in this poor land of ours? Is there still a little time left for mercy?

    Like

    • Mick says:

      Nancy, I believe that as a country, we’re toast. Just as Pharaoh’s evil actions against the people of Israel brought judgment and untold suffering on the nation of Egypt, I believe that Obama’s evil actions against Israel will bring judgment and untold suffering to the United States. However, I find it both timely and consoling that our dear Holy Father has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy, to begin on December 8, 2015. In my opinion, the task of each of us here is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us even as calamity rains down upon us. Jesus, we trust in You; please have mercy on us, and on the whole world. Amen.

      Like

  17. Jacquie says:

    A bit off subject. But thought you would be interested in this article. Another case like Joey Cronin.
    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/03/18/comatose-woman-heard-doctors-tell-her-husband-to-take-away-her-life-support/

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Bob says:

    I was thinking too a guest blogger perhaps a chaplain, one who is orthodox which is hard to find with our present military, might be good to help us consider how to help folks under times of stress be helped to regain their faith, as we will likely need to be of help and hope there if a storm does come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Actually, I do know a current chaplain pretty well…but both he and I agree that, in the current climate, for him to post here would be a good way for him to get brought up on charges in the military – and it is more important that he continues his ministry to those who need him.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lily says:

        Charlie, do you know of someone else or can you help in this way? I wish I knew what to do or say for my atheist friends.

        Like

        • CrewDog says:

          I’m certainly “Not the Guy” to ask about religious advice but I’m thinking that St Francis might have given the best advice about proclaiming ones Faith. It was something like this I just found looking for the quote: ” …love one another, as the Lord says: “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” And let them show their love by the works they do for each other, according as the Apostle says: “let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
          I suppose it boils down to Live Your Faith and don’t be pushy-n-pious ’cause it just might Turn-Off your friends .. and gets you discouraged. I have made St Faustina and her Message as my Hopeful Sign for Salvation ……….. Perhaps our Living the Faith will get us past St Peter and our example to others, though not showing any “Signs of Life” in the present, may well get them past St Pete as in the moment of their deaths …. ’cause your example might well be the reason they reach out to Jesus … and Salvation!
          Does this make any kind of sense!!??
          GOD SAVE ALL HERE AND OUR FAMILY-n-FRIENDS!!

          Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Lily, in the first centuries of Christianity, despite sporadic – and sometimes intense – outbreaks of persecution against Christians, there got to be more and more Roman citizens – and even local leaders, who would protect the Christians during these periods. The reason was that in times of famine or great need, the Christians were quite unusual in sharing stores with all who were near – even taking great pains to give succor to everyone, regardless of their faith.

          When I was a Protestant, it used to annoy me to no end when various “religious” people would ask about someone, “But is he (insert denomination here)?” It irritates me just as much now to hear people ask, “But is he Catholic?” What I know about everyone I encounter is that they are children of God, that they were born with a divine dignity that they can forfeit or abdicate, but that cannot be taken from them. That is all I need to know.

          So here is the thing…let us go back to our roots. Let us spend less time worrying about someone’s denominational pedigree and more time living the witness that helped Christians gain their first footholds and sympathy in hostile territory – the living witness of loving our neighbor as ourselves. If we do that, neither hiding our faith or seeking to impose it, God will raise up a bountiful harvest of newly faithful. With your atheist friends, be a friend to them. care for them.

          A final, quick story. When on my pilgrimage I stopped one morning at a combo gas station café in the south. It had been days since I had had a cup of coffee, it was cold, and I really wanted some coffee and to rest a spell where it was warm. When I went in, the cashier was curious about my pack and all…so I told her what I was doing, then got my coffee and went to sit in the little seats. Shortly thereafter a man about my age came in – obviously a regular – and after chatting with the girl came to sit down by me to talk about my journey. Before I really got started, he told me that he had to tell me first that he was an atheist. I chuckled and told him that was okay – that God sees hearts – and if you have good will in your heart he overlooks some confusion in your head or on your lips; but if you have bad will in your heart you can say “Jesus” all you want and you still won’t fool God. He chuckled at that…and we talked for the next hour and a half…about my work, his work…my kids, his kids…what he liked to eat, what my favorites were…just about everything except religion. We had a grand time. He was a witty and a cheerful fellow. Finally, I needed to be moving on. As I got up to leave, he shook my hand and said, “You know, if things are like you say, I hope there is a God.” I laughed and told them there was – and that He was going to take my new friend’s good wishes for me as a prayer. He said that would be nice.

          The thing is, except at the outset, God was hardly mentioned at all. He saw God through the genuine and cheerful fellowship we shared. I neither hid nor pushed why I did what I did…and he felt hope there was God. Do the same for your friends, wherever they are at. Be a true friend who is a joy to be around. God will move in His time.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Lily says:

            Thanks Crewdog and Charlie. The trouble for me is not really knowing what love looks like or does, aside from ‘being nice’. I like this – neither hiding my faith nor seeking to impose it. In my Protestant circle too, so much hinges on believing the right things and trying to convince others to believe them too. I like how you speak of goodwill.

            Like

        • Petra says:

          Lily said: “The trouble for me is not really knowing what love looks like or does, aside from ‘being nice’.”
          Love wants what is best for the other person. Loving someone is trying to make sure the best thing happens for them. So, sometimes love tells the person they are going the wrong way, because that’s what’s best for them. Love doesn’t give them something that will harm them, even if they really, really, really want it. Love wants them to go to heaven to be with God. Nice isn’t enough.

          Like

  19. Ed Allison says:

    Here’s another foreboding tidbit of information that reveals the tender underbelly of the US. It seems that during wargames, a 30-some year old French sub was able to sneak through all defenses, including an entire carrier group, and ‘sink’ the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier and most of its support ships!!! Wow.

    Source: http://www.news.com.au/world/us-supercarrier-sunk-by-french-submarine-in-wargames/story-fndir2ev-1227250666936

    To quote Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity.com on the subject:
    “Yes, a single 39-year old submarine managed to sneak into the protective ring of an entire aircraft carrier group and go through a mock firing of its entire complement of torpedoes against the entire set of targets.

    Oops.

    Besides the embarrassment for the US crews involved, this proves an important point: ships are no match for submarines. And there are a lot of submarines out there on both sides. Offensive anti-ship technology in the form of advanced submarine torpedoes, as well as missiles fired from land or aircraft, have advanced by enormous leaps and bounds since WWII.

    The US has never faced an adversary with such technology in open warfare. But Russia and China (and even Iran) are stocked to the gills with such weapons.

    By provoking Russia, the US risks exposing the fact that it cannot really project power all across the globe anymore because it cannot possibly ship things to and fro with impunity. Once that calculus changes, everything changes — with King Dollar right at the top of the list.

    Whether or not that comes to pass, I am finding the risk of a major conflict between NATO/EU and Russia to be high and seemingly growing higher with every passing week. Such are the times in which we live.”

    Like

    • Kati says:

      Wow! I bet my husband would like to know where the P-3’s…the sub-hunters were?????? I don’t even know if they still use them, but my hubby was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam era and he and his crew were VERY good at finding subs.

      How far we have fallen….

      Like

  20. Gwen says:

    Remember Friends that we have to power to lessen the Storm. Prayer for Our Lady’s plans and intentions are so important!
    August 25, 2014 message from Our Lady Queen of Peace in Medjugorje

    “Dear children! Pray for my intentions, because satan wants to destroy my plan which I have here and to steal your peace. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray that God can act through each of you. May your hearts be open to God’s will. I love you and bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

    Like

  21. Bob says:

    Some tips on spiritual warfare. Note no 17 about being too curious. That can apply to us here too.
    http://catholicexchange.com/jesus-st-faustina-spiritual-warfare-25-secrets

    Liked by 1 person

    • the phoenix says:

      Very good and timely tips … Thanks, Bob!

      Like

    • Mark4:41 says:

      If tempted, pray to Jesus for help, say a Hail Mary or Our Father If temptation returns pray harder. When the devil sees his temptations are driving you deeper into prayer he flees. This I found very helpful. Dennis and Cathy Nolan taught me this praying the rosary with them on http://www.marytv.tv .Check it out they show LIVE and taped Marian apparitions of the visionaries , homilies and lots of stuff from Medjugorje . Praise God for marytv.tv.

      Also Charlie I’m praying for you and your daughter Christie

      Like

  22. anne says:

    just re reading some earlier Mallett writings. Read The Ark for All Nations. Mark says we need to be signs of hope for others, an ARK for our neighbour. Most appropriate!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. One funny (or not-so-funny) note. Years ago when I was working in Downtown Boston I used to go with some co-worker and grab a cup of latte at the nearest Starbucks. They were a new thing at the time -today I would cross the street to avoid stepping on their sidewalk- and although I though their coffee was bad I went along. I grew up in Buenos Aires a city with excellent coffee back then, and I used to live in Boston’s Italian quarter which also had great coffee houses, Mike’s Pastry comes to mind but there used to be plenty of them in the North End and East Boston. One day the Starbucks shop changed all their product’s name to some Italian and pseudo-Italian name with a little note in English describing what to expect. Later on at a popular coffee shop in Genova (Italy) I noticed that the names of the drinks where listed in English (to help tourists) with a little note in Italian so Italians would know what to order. I thought it was a funny by-product of globalization and a very telling one for Americans. I have noticed that the more WWII fades in the past, the more middle class Americans want to be European. I am from the time when little kids, sons and grandsons of immigrants from all over the world, played “Cowboys and Indians” and wanted to astronauts like John Glenn or Scott Carpenter. We were all in love with the great American adventure, back then the present and the future were American. American politicians in the post-Reagan era have the idea that America is the troubled entity but not Europe. Gosh are they wrong!!! Since the early 1500 Europe has been the source of every malignant idea. Hitler, Marx, Napoleon, and a long list of loonies like them are all European. The Nazi extermination camps, the French terror, the Irish famine (a dreadful genocide in my opinion) are all “European” too. I would remind those “Pierre wanna be’s,” that crowd of English and Sociology majors manning the cash registers are Starbucks that one can get a nice cup of abundant American coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, and a French cruller (if you must have something with a European name!)

    Liked by 1 person

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