Perception is NOT Reality

agnusdei

By Charlie Johnston

I got back from the cabin only to have some intestinal bug tear through my system. It has kept me quiet for a few days, but I think I am almost back to 100%. I told you this was going to be a transitional week, anyway.

I still get a lot of mail asking for proof…or more evidence…that what I see is authentic – along with the plaintive wish by people that they could see, too. Most think if they could only see, they would do. I personally know only two people to whom that happened. One had asked for it, the other hadn’t. With both, the upshot was that they prayed intensely that they never be shown things that way again. The one who had asked for it was an attorney. (No, you can’t guess who from that – during my workaday life at least 30% of my closest friends were attorneys and judges.) For nearly a decade he had insisted if only he was shown something that way, he would believe and act with resolve and fortitude. When it came, it staggered him. As always, there was a duty attached. I was on my pilgrimage at the time. For three months we went back and forth over it. I was in south central Louisiana when he called and, for the umpteenth time, told me if he just had another sign or two, he would believe. I reacted intensely this time.

“God is not a witness to be deposed to your satisfaction,” I told him. “You asked for this sign for over a decade and promised if it was given, you would do whatever He asked. He gave you the sign, did what you asked and now you hedge. This is all you will be given. Your choice is to do or to not do. But it will not be easy either way. If you act (and what was requested, though difficult and requiring much time, was not particularly odd) you will always wonder whether your mind played a striking trick on you. If you do not, you will be eaten away with fears that you have rejected God the one time He came to you directly. Your task is hard, but completely licit under any terms. So do or do not – and accept the decision you make without the hand-wringing.”

I recommended that if he wanted peace, he should devote himself to the project while praying that he never again have to deal with such an experience. He ultimately took my advice and found peace. The project is not finished…won’t be finished until after the Storm is over. But he putters away at it even as he suspects, but does not know, the full extent of the project.

People think if they only saw, they would do. They both do not know what they ask and have it exactly backward. The Lord makes it clear what you should do. I boil it down to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. This is accessible to all. Until you do, you will not see. The more you do, the more you can see, but the less you will be concerned about understanding in order to actually agree to do what you should, anyway. Rarely will one be given a sign until he does not need the sign in the first place. And if he starts getting such signs, they will be more of a burden obligating him to more than a help to his belief, which is already firmly established. So if you want to see, learn to do. As you do, you will gain the wisdom to know you do not want to see anything more than what you need to do what you should.

Of late, people are constantly sending me links to articles that describe the latest outrage, the latest offense against God, against liberty, against justice. I have already seen most of them. I can’t read all of them. I don’t need to read much of any, for these are all lumped into the “These things must come…” category. Things are coming so fast and furious now it is hard to keep up. Did you know that last week North Korea said it has fully missilized its nukes and threatened to use them? Yeah…stuff for Page 12 in these frantic times. Chaplains are being tossed out of the military for preaching the Gospel, officers tossed out for believing it, the president is trying to actually help Iran become a nuclear power – and calling anyone who tries to stop it a traitor, the biggest lawbreakers in the country are those charged with enforcing the law, and in New Jersey, a Catholic Priest supports firing a theology teacher at a Catholic High School for saying on her Facebook Page that marriage is properly only between one man and one woman. Everything seems to be spinning faster and faster out of control. By all objective standards, from an earthly perspective, it is. But it is not what it seems. Perception is not reality.

These things must come for the goats to be culled from the sheep. The time when you can do what is right and just and have it received by God as evidence of a righteous heart is when you have the upper hand. God is not impressed when you do charity or act justly to try to get out from under a disadvantageous position. So, in these times, it has pleased the Master to withdraw His hand of justice for a time, to indulge the dark, satanic forces their hour, just as He did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Officials and authorities think they are consolidating their power in their rebellion against God and against the freedom of man. They are not. They are filling in the blanks of their own indictment. The Lord will gather His sheep in, even as the goats are sent to destruction. Those who think they are powerful are not being consigned to the goat pen by God: they are so consigning themselves. In July of 2000 my angel told me, in one of the few times he was angry with me, “You must tell them true and they must choose or perish.” We are in the final hour of the choosing – and the goats are revealing themselves, thinking they have the upper hand.

If you attack the faithful because you are ignorant and know no better, then God will give you a chance, even after the hour of choosing is finished, to see the truth and repent, just as He did for St. Paul.

If you betray the faithful out of cowardice, God knows our weakness and will give you an opportunity to repent and take courage, just as He did for St. Peter.

If you betray the faithful to try to curry favor with what you think is secular power, or to secure your sinecure, as Bishop Pierre Cauchon did in condemning St. Joan of Arc, you will perish miserably as he did.

If you take on a position of honor pledged to defend people in your care and betray them, you will perish.

If you take a position of honor in the faith, pledged to defend both the faith and the faithful and you do not defend them from the wolves, unless you repent and live your promise, you will perish.

But if you take a position of honor in the faith, pledged to defend both the faith and the faithful, and you actively join the wolves in ravaging them, woe to you. It truly would have been better for you if you had never been born.

I do not much concern myself with secular leaders these days. Their seemingly awesome power is so much smoke, which will soon be blown away in the rising winds of the time, leaving scant evidence it ever existed in the first place.

Rather, my prayers go for pastors, priests, rabbis and bishops. I know that many have persuaded themselves that God does not exist at all, that theology is just a cleverly ingenious invention of man which is a convenient path to certain secular power – and that they are its masters. If you have taken on the role of guardian of the faithful and do not believe, I beg you to retreat into solitude until you do. If you cannot believe, resign your post. God is real; He hears the cry of His people today; He has merely stayed His hand, not stopped it, until all have decided whether to stand with the sheep or with the goats. I have seen the agony of those who pledged to defend the faithful and instead ravage them. I do not even talk to my priests about it in detail. Truly, it would have been better for them had they never been born. I have told you true. Choose or perish.

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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158 Responses to Perception is NOT Reality

  1. Melanie says:

    Thank you Charlie for your straightforwardness. It is appreciated. There is no time for tap dancing around the Truth. I have felt compelled to pray for Pope Francis, all our Priests and all those who support the universal Church. May God’s will be done. God Bless you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello Charlie.
    Is it possible for you to explain (briefly) how the “warning” or “illumination of conscience” would factor into all of this. I feel that when it does come, there will be no more “fence” to sit on and hopefully all mankind would repent. I suppose the timing for it will have to be exact.
    God bless you.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Michael,

      I would suggest that you start with this and then use the search feature to look up posts relating to “the storm” and the “rescue.” While this earth remains, God will always give us room to explain away what He reveals.

      Like

      • Thank you Charlie. I’ll take a look right now.

        Like

      • Thanks Charlie. Reading these posts has allowed me to take a look at events happening in my own life (in my mini-storm) and come out with a renewed hope. There are areas that I certainly must re-assess. I am reminded of a word that I sensed the Lord speak to me when I was in Medjugorje. I was attempting to climb Mt. Kriecvac barefoot to offer penance with prayer. I had become overwhelmed when I saw how much further I had to go to reach the summit. I felt Him say, “One step at a time and DO NOT look to the journey ahead.” I did as He said and was amazed at how much more peaceful I became. I even noticed tiny flowers growing among the rocks and some of the rocks were so wonderfully cool and smooth to stand on. My focus was not on Him, but on poor me. It was a life lesson and I really should type those words out and put them over my doorway to read before I venture out into the world each day.
        God bless you.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          That is very good, Michael. When I was on my pilgrimage, I did not look at how daunting the path ahead of me was each day nor focus on my final destination. Rather, I just took what was right in front of me and did as much as I could. Occasionally, I walked over 20 miles…often going uphill, I only got a little over one before I would make camp again for the night. I walked until I was tired…and some days I worked much harder for a mile than I did on others when I got 15. I was satisfied with each day – and new that however much or little I got done, I would be up and at it again the next. That is enough…what is right in front of us each day.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Thank you Charlie. I understand. This year before lent, I spoke to the Lord that lent was approaching and I was afraid…(of failing). In His kind and loving way, He encouraged me. I sensed he said “Walk with Me”. Your posts are helping me to prepare for the storm. I just found myself turned around in the forest for a while. I see the path. I know He never leaves my side.
            God bless you

            Like

  3. the phoenix says:

    Well, to my mind Charlie, even if you hadn’t had one single supernatural vision, but were only giving your opinion of things to come based on your knowledge and experience of history and politics … I would still believe you, and what you say about the Storm would not surprise me, and does not surprise me, at all.

    Because September 11, 2001 should have been a wake-up call. IMHO, that was the perfect opportunity for people to take a good look around and amend their lives. And many people, for a very brief time, did see something … because for about a week or two after September 11, the churches were packed full of people, even on a weekday evening Mass that I attended on Friday, September 14th, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

    And people decorated their cars with American flags and would greet each other like friends and neighbors on the roads on seeing someone else with an American flag. So people did “see,” and for a week or so, they “did” … but after three or four weeks … not so much. They had seen, but no longer wished to remember beyond a feeling that faded into sentiment. Nor did they wish to do, and as time passed, many people became complacent again. From what I was able to observe, anyway.

    A notable exception: A priest who would say the Latin low Mass one week and the Latin high Mass the next week. He came onto the altar for Mass on the Sunday right after September 11th and earnestly apologized to us all publicly. He said, “What was I thinking? From now on, every Sunday we will celebrate a Latin high Mass.” Because that priest wanted to fight evil the best way he knew how, and that was by putting the most effort he could into the Mass.

    Liked by 10 people

  4. Julia says:

    WOW Charlie, another gripping article. Thank you and God bless you.

    I would like to just ask, in reference to the following one line quote from your article;

    “I have seen the agony of those who pledged to defend the faithful and instead ravage them.”

    It appears from your article that you may have been shown the suffering awaiting Bishops, Priests and those who have a responsibility to pass on the Christian faith. By that I mean ??Purgatory, or worse. Do I understand you correctly ?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You understand me correctly – and those who savage the faithful they are called to defend will not get purgatory unless they repent in sackcloth and ashes in this life. The article about the priest supporting the firing of the teacher who defended Catholic teaching sent chills up my spine. If he knew the deadly danger he is now in, he would move heaven and earth for forgiveness.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Affirmative, Charlie. Professed and ordered to speak the TRUTH, but instead speak lies and falsehoods. Creatures rejecting and mocking their Creator.

        The lamb of God is also the LION OF JUDAH!

        “The lions in their dens, tremble at His coming.”

        It will not be pretty.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Mary-Louise says:

          Charlie,
          A parish priest in my area defied Catholic teaching by attending and blessing same-sex marriages. After he was exposed he was “talked to” and stopped, but he still is the pastor/spiritual leader of the same-sex couples and their adopted children. He celebrates Masses that do not follow strictly follow the rubrics. Easter is coming up, and I have a reason to believe he will change the Easter Gospel reading to one that is promoted by a pro-women’s ordination group. I am thinking of attending the Easter service and, if the pastor does proclaim the wrong Gospel reading, writing the bishop (yet another) letter. But I wonder if it is better to stay away and have Masses offered for him — for my own sanity and spiritual health. (Being at the services at that parish upset me greatly, leading me to the sin of anger.) If you want to answer off-line, please do…

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Well, Mary-Louise, I think I would go to an Easter Mass that I could get something out of. There is a parish I had to stop going to because I was usually in a frothing rage by the time Mass ended. If you have done your duty and notified the Bishop, you have done what you could. The Bishop may be doing something that you don’t yet know about…he may not be. But if you have done your duty, then you have done it – and those who have not will be held to account. No one escapes God’s accounting. You need to report abuses when you encounter them, but once you have done your duty, Mass should be a place where you get nourished.

            Liked by 4 people

      • NancyA says:

        Then, let us really pray for God’s mercy on priests such as he is, as well as for their swift conversion! That story is deeply disturbing. I plan to write letters using the address given, as well as to Bishop Bootkoski, who has a brief and noncommittal statement addressing the issue, on the diocesan page.

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        • Kati says:

          If the Bishop will not adequately address this issue, it CAN be directed to prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The current prefect is Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Here is the Vatican Link: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/index.htm

          All such things take time, but a factually clear and respectful letter written and sent after prayer will accomplish good things. I feel certain that you are just the right person to do this, Nancy. 😉

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        • Kati says:

          I found this today for you,Nancy:

          HE Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller
          Prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
          Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
          00193 Rome Italy
          email: cdf@cfaith.va

          God bless you and grant you wisdom and courage!

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  5. Mrs. B says:

    Please give your opinion:
    I have been dedicated to trusting in the Lord and leading others towards him for the last 2 years. But now, I’m been worried about the Lord abandoning me because I’ve made the choice to life a more secular life working full time, rather than a simple life in prayer and with children. I feel like I’m giving into temptation for worldliness.The work is not being done because of my own self-satisfaction, but to support my family. It seems really irrational, but I feel that I am living against the divine will. I have been begging God to not abandon me, but my choices go against what I feel in my heart. Every time I think about it I start becoming so overwhelmed with emotion because I want to please the Lord above all things. Do you believe that even if we make choices against what may be the most holy choice that the Lord will support us and continue to bless us on our life journey simply out of our love of the Lord?

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    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Mrs. B, I think people wrongly assume (very wrongly, I might add) that withdrawing from the world and piling up formal devotions is the most holy choice. Some – a few are called to that. Most are called to live the ordinary with extraordinary love. We are an evangelistic faith. We are called to give witness through the joy of our lives, through the simple kindnesses we share with others. Now think of this…God gave you an opportunity to evangelize in the world through joy and kindness. Are you living that well? If you spend your time acting defensive and withdrawn because you actually want to be withdrawn and holding onto the security of formal prayers, what kind of witness are you giving?

      I urge you not to worry so much about where it has pleased God that necessity has placed you…but to live well and joyfully wherever He sees fit to lead you. What I know is that often when I have thought I was making choices of necessity that were not the holiest choices, I was actually resisting the will of God for where He wanted me and trying to supplant His will with my own conventional will. Live wherever you are well and all will be well.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Petra says:

        Charlie said: “…often when I have thought I was making choices of necessity that were not the holiest choices, I was actually resisting the will of God for where He wanted me and trying to supplant His will with my own conventional will.”
        In my late 20’s I got a job in a Catholic Church as an assistant to two staff members (lay people), one who was in charge of music and liturgy, the other the religious education director. I wanted to work in the Church, for God. I thought this would be a holy path and help me live a life close to God. I took graduate classes in pastoral studies, and worked there for 5 years. I was miserable. The parish was *progressive* and nothing they did there seemed right to me. So, after I realized I just couldn’t abide the way they thought and preached, and realized it wasn’t going to change, I prayed to God to get me out of there. In a few weeks I heard of a job in a large corporation for a temporary job (6 months) to replace a secretary who was out on a medical leave. I interviewed for it, and was offered the job. I jumped at it. I figured it would be a transitional job until I figured out what to do next. (I ended up staying there 9 years!)
        The funny thing was, in that corporate job I did more *evangelizing,* more spiritual *counseling,* more talking about God to people who were really hurting and lost than I ever did working in the parish! People sought me out, after hearing I had worked at a parish, and had deep questions to ask me that troubled them deeply. I felt honored to be able to help them. I hope I helped at least some of them.
        But more than how this worked out, I found the spirit of the corporation was, in my opinion, more fair, more charitable, more kind, than the parish I had worked at! The values they lived there I found to be Catholic Christian values (I learned later they favored hiring professionals and management who had graduated from Notre Dame), and I found in my work (I was able to move to more responsible positions) the decisions made reflected my Catholic values very closely. I never was asked to lie, to misrepresent, to hide something, to cheat someone, or to do anything immoral, nor did I see my bosses doing so.
        My job there ended when another company bought them out.
        When I reflect on it, it was as if God sent me out into the mission fields, where I could do more good. I would have never guessed it at the time.

        Liked by 9 people

        • johnmcfarm says:

          What an inspirational story Petra! Thank you for sharing that…sometimes we agonize over the doors being shut only to learn that God has opened new doors to the paths He wants us to take. Think of all the good you did for others and that rippling out to many more! Now that is truly God’s work! Thanks again.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Bob says:

        How often do we who are associated with Opus Dei hear of how God wants to sanctify our ordinary work if we do it well and in good faith?

        Like

    • Elizabeth K. says:

      Hi Mrs. B., I suspect that you and I probably worry about many of the same things. For women, working versus being at home full time with our children is a fraught issue. I work outside of the home, as well. My main reason, now that I have kids, is to help support the family. But it is not my only reason. I also work in a profession that has been my passion and that I pursued, and that I really feel God has called me to do. I spent a few fruitless years wondering if I’d made bad decisions when I was younger, and that I missed the boat by not homeschooling and having more children and spending less time on my own work. To a certain extent, the answer is yeah, I probably did miss the boat a bit, because I wasn’t your most dedicated Catholic there in the beginning. God was working with and me, as He continues to do, in the gentlest of ways. But I have the life I have, and it is a great gift. I think we make a mistake when we think that there is only one way to live out God’s will in our ordinary lives. There’s a line in the book The Shack (which, before anyone else says it, yes is really problematic in what it says about organized religion)–when the protagonist asks God if all religions lead to Him. The answer is no–but that Jesus can walk down any path. Our Father loves us, he knows our mother hearts. He knows the society we live in, and that since the Fall there has been no society that is truly the best place for mothers and children. He knows what we’re up against. So fear not. Though I don’t know you personally, my guess is that you’re doing just fine.

      Here are some words from Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Women, that I keep close to me: “Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life
      -social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an
      indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and
      feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of “mystery”,
      to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of
      humanity”. He also writes that “the gift of motherhood is often penalized rather than rewarded,” and that our presence in the world outside of the home, as well as in it, is necessary and desirable. Again, not knowing you personally, I suspect that you are where He wants you to be right now, and that any mistakes you’re making (because, who doesn’t) He can ultimately turn to good. God bless you, Mrs. B! And hang in there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lin says:

    Thank you, Charlie, for helping us to put things in perspective. It’s encouraging to know that the increase in injustices is merely a process of “setting the stage”, so to speak. I have been finding myself less able to keep up with it all, and more drawn to studying and discussing the things of God rather than watching the disheartening political and cultural trends. As Mark Mallet has said so often in his writings, “It[the worldwide culture that dishonors God] must all come down!” Thanks be to God that He provides Divine Assistance to all who call upon Him and obey Him.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Michelle says:

    I didn’t attend church for 35 years. I know it was a rejection of God. I know it was wrong, but what I watched my Christian friends do gradually over those same 35 years, was to reject truth, reject reality all to “keep peace.” They don’t know that it is wrong. They claim to be God loving but they are not truth loving. They are afraid to stand up for morals because they will lose someone very close to them. I guess it’s like your Peter example in your post, Charlie. To me it seems that their souls are more in jeopardy than the ones who choose to do wrong knowingly. They at least have the opportunity to repent. This is getting confusing to understand so I’ll just try to ask in a simple question. How can I help those who WILL NOT SEE that they are going down the easy road?

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You can’t do it directly, Michelle. Live well in your own integrity, being a friend to all in whatever is licit. Then God will move on them in His time, not yours – and the witness of your life and real friendship – not hectoring friendship – will play a role.

      When I was doing politics, I often, between cycles, would go work in the car business. I would not take a government job. Car people like drinking, gambling, smoking, and womanizing. They don’t like being preached to. I didn’t hide what I was, but didn’t preach at anyone either. Imagine my surprise when, whenever any of these people were in a rough spot, they would come to me privately for counsel to ask for prayer. Some of the grisliest, most profane did it frequently. Why? I was their friend…they sensed that I was not going to use the opportunity to do some smug “I told you so” routine…and would genuinely try to help if I could.

      We are simply called to love one another. If we do that, we open doorways through which Christ can enter. But if we try to usurp His job, thinking we can save people, we usually drive them away. Events, when they get rough, in themselves focus people on what is real rather than what is passing. The Storm is the roughest event ever. It is not your business to convince those who will not see that they are wrong and you are right. Live well and as the foundations of what they have lived are shaken, people will gravitate to what is real and true and life-giving.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Michelle says:

        I know that I don’t make myself very clear. I’m not good with words. There has just been some really hard things to deal with in my family in the last 5 years. My problems don’t arise from trying to save the worldly, my problems arise when I’ve stood up for truth for whatever reason usually because I am asked (many times you have the choice of telling them the truth or lie,) I get persecuted for it and very few will stand up for me. It’s either out of fear of losing someone or it is indifference. It’s those who will not stand for what is right when confronted with it that I think are in trouble with God much more so than the worldly (the car people as you have described). They call themselves righteous, their morals are strong, they do many kind , loving things for there friends, family and communities but they WILL NOT stand with me when I’m being persecuted because they are scared. It’s those people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          That I do understand, Michelle. When you stand for what is right, do it as charitably as you may, and some will rip into you…in fact, many will rip into you. And yet, you do not know in whom you plant a seed of hope by your fortitude. So just do as best you can, as charitably as you can…and leave the results to God.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Michelle says:

            Thanks, Charlie. You just gave me a whole new way to look at it. My fortitude plants hope seeds. Haha. Something good should grow from that. I guess time will tell but patience is not my strength. In fact it is continually on my confession sheet.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Petra says:

          Michelle, when people who appear to be moral don’t back you up, yes, that hurts. Then it looks like you’re standing alone. That’s scary and painful. And you say you think it’s because they fear losing someone, or indifference. So although these experiences can be very upsetting to you,and you might feel betrayed by their actions, what you are witnessing is how every one of us, sometime or another, will be called to either affirm or deny Christ.
          Jesus spoke of this sort of experience, and we should expect it. He spoke of those who will deny Him when persecution comes. The consequences for denying Him are huge. In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus says, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven….He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
          Perhaps the people you know are like these.
          Or in Mark chapter 4 in explaining the parable of the seeds, Jesus says; “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.”
          But just as many of us have fallen numerous times even after we got serious about following Christ, so these who are not defending the right too may be stumbling. We can pray for them. You can pray for them, that God gives them the graces to be stronger next time when facing persecution. Remember, even Peter denied Christ (after he said he would never do so, and that he would be willing to even die for Christ) when challenged in the court of the High Priest. He was forgiven and went on to be a great Saint. So pray for them.
          Truth is a funny thing. It always turns out to be right, even when everyone around you claims it isn’t. You can stand firmly on it. Continue on doing the best you can. Keep trying to protect your kids and insisting for the good. Believe me, even though they would never say it now, your kids will be so very grateful to you when they grow up.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Hi Michelle. To add to what Charlie stated, I’ll give you an example from my life.

        My brother was married in the Church and divorced six years ago. In that time, he got engaged and started a family.

        My mom and I both know the seriousness of this situation, so we advised him to start the annulment process. (His fiancee also wants him to get one – she wants to marry in the Church.)

        He hasn’t followed through on it. He says “it’s too difficult”, and he doesn’t want any further contact with his ex-wife (they didn’t have children together). I can only pray that someday soon, he will.

        All you can do for your friends is show them the right way by word or example.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Janet M says:

          Lisa, if it helps any if and when the subject comes up again…your brother doesn’t have to contact his ex-wife at all during the annulment process. i am married to a man who went through the process. He also didn’t want contact, and the Tribunal didn’t require it. They took care of any contact necessary. (She never responded, but it didn’t affect the outcome.) As far as it being a difficult process, my husband found it to not only not be difficult, but to be a very healing process. I was just astounded at his joy after he walked out of his “interview” with the head of the Tribunal.

          My husband was not Catholic at the time. It was his first experience with Catholicism. Several years later, when our (now 22-year-old) daughter received First Communion, he received with her. And in 2010, the day after Thanksgiving, his 85-year-old mother (who we lost this past Christmas Eve) was received into the Church. It’s amazing how one thing can lead to another.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. donna says:

    you know Charlie, I have been going through my own Calvary this week. Heinous stuff that no mother should have to go through with their own son….just heinous. I was in the ER with my son 4am Wednesday, and I never felt closer to the Blessed Mother. I said, now I have a glimmer of what you felt at the foot of the cross. But you knew why it had to happen…..why is this happening in my life? I was just ending my St Joe’s novena…..My spiritual mentor was widowed with three sons…a strong Carmelite. She said, As the mother of boys, just say “St Joe, do your stuff”…..that is what I did in the ER….Over and Over and Over….crying, sobbing, pleading to God…..My son is 24, a young man. I will not divulge what the issue was but it was not a physical condition…..Dear God has shown me the next right step in every moment of every day. I follow it like bread crumbs on Hansel and Gretel. I don’t need signs or visions….My faith and the Holy Spirit provides all I need and the intercession of all the angels and saints. I prayed the St Michael prayer over my son for 3 hours that day….all I can say, is heaven worked a miracle and he is home and he is safe and we are on our way to better days…..trust, do love.

    Liked by 12 people

    • My prayers are with you and your son.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Petra says:

      Honest, Donna, this IS the test. It is. I get what you are saying. For you (and me) it involved hospitals, and life and death. The next right step.
      For my own situation (my mom died last month: her last days in the hospital were like a little like what you describe in your situation) I felt exactly this. I am coming to understand, for me, it was a *practice* run, I think. It was to put me through the paces. It was to test if I was ready to abandon my will to His. Every day it was “Father, if possible, let this cup pass, but not my will but Thy Will be done.” I felt it was a *dress rehearsal* for the Storm. I hope I’m ready!
      You will be stronger next time. You will be more ready when the Storm really hits. Praise God!

      Liked by 2 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Prayers for you, Donna. The Lord does hear you, and you can see that He is working in your life and the life of your son. Painful as it may be, God will bring something good out of it. peace and comfort and healing to you and yours.

      Liked by 2 people

    • the phoenix says:

      Joining you in prayer for your son’s continued healing, donna.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Irish7 says:

      I’m sorry Donna. You are in my rosary tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Praying for you and yours, Donna.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth K. says:

      Praying for you and your son. St. Michael was my go-to saint when my daughter faced something (I am guessing, here) similar. Heinous doesn’t begin to describe it. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JG says:

      Hang in there Donna. I too was having a real rough time in the hospital w/ mom. St. Raphael is my new buddy- In fact when I needed comforting I knew he was there. Call me a kook but I sent him to someone who needed him more. I knew my guardian angel was enough this time. Hopefully he went to you! May the healing continue with your son and family.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mick says:

    Thanks, Charlie. May God help all of us here to cling to the Cross, and to stay the course.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Kathleen says:

    Charlie, you really have made it sound as simple as it really is. Love God, live by His Word and you will be fine. I will have to work harder on this, I get so worked up over what is happening win our Church. God will take care of those who follow His teachings.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Carla says:

    Charlie, I am new to this site, but so happy to have found it. I have been feeling anxious and fearful sometimes about everything that is happening. I feel the worst when I think of my children and the young generation so caught up in this world. The things that are out there, so sick, that I did not experience growing up. There was not that much technology back then. I also feel sad and so away from God sometimes because I have felt so close to Him before, but my sins keep me from getting there. I was starting to think I was going to be lost again. I think to myself how could you go back to this when you have experienced the bliss of His love???
    But when I found your site, I realized there are many of us on the same boat. We fall, and we have to get up again. I am trying to be a better person, before I did not know what I was doing wrong, but now He has shown me, so I know better. But it is the fear and anxiety some days that leave me like frozen without knowing what to do.
    My husband stopped believing in the Catholic Church many years ago. I understand why He feels that way, he is wounded, and I ask God to heal his wounds one day. I love him. But at the same time, it is hard, because my children have one parent that believes and one that doesn’t. I cannot judge my husband, I am as much a sinner as he is. But sometimes we fight mostly because I am trying to protect my children from the filth of TV, and the internet, but he doesn’t feel I am right. Sometimes I don’t know what to do. Fight or pray to God that my children become blind and don’t see any of these things by a miracle.
    Five years ago. Thanks the Lord. God called me back to Him. It was at a point where I was starting to doubt my faith in the Catholic Church. Wondered if I should really pray to the Blessed Mother. One day I pass a road in town and a big poster-board sign with the Blessed Mother’s picture inviting me to a website. I guess it started as curiosity. It was the beginning of my conversion. To this day I ask people in my town if they have ever seen that big poster board about Medjugorje. Nobody remembers it, they say they have never remember seeing it. That tells me when it is your time, it is your time, it either catches your attention or you ignore it and go about your life. After reading about the apparitions, one day I started remembering past wrongdoings that I thought were no big deal, but I was looking at them as they were….sins. I cried repented as I have never cried before. After this I had the urge to go to confession after over 15 years of not doing so. After my confession, the love I experience in all my being was indescribable. I felt like I was surrounded by so much love. I was constantly crying and lost in my thoughts of heaven for about 3 weeks. For the first time I told my mom how sorry I was for the times I have made her cry, and hurt her. I felt such peace. After awhile my sins started to get me down from my cloud, back to this world. Now I live trying my best, failing miserably sometimes, but always trying to get back up again. Pray, fast, go to confession and trying to be a better person that I was before.
    Thank you Charlie for all your posts and for everyone that post comments because it makes me feel better knowing that I am not the only one that has started converting, but it is still struggling with fears, and anxiety, with sins, and failings. God loves us sooooo much no matter how many times we fail. I pray that all of us on this road will finally find our way to holiness and love.

    Liked by 8 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Carla, I have had a somewhat similar experience lately. I left the Church in the late 1960s because to me it was barren then. I went looking for God elsewhere. I found many things that helped me, but I did not really find God, and that is starting to come clear to me.

      In the past few days I feel like a bit of a construction site. I see certain realizations coming, like concrete blocks creating a foundation. It’s a subtle thing in a way, but a real one nonetheless. This idea sits here, that idea there, and so on. I haven’t gone back to Church yet, but the foundation for that decision seems to be slowly slotting into place.

      Meanwhile, I do what Charlie recommends, to trust God, take the next right step, and be a hope for others. I have learned some patience over the years, and I trust that if I proceed this way, the foundation will get built, and I will be able to help others.

      Liked by 2 people

      • donna says:

        Hi Steve! Carla brought up an integral point….meeting with a priest for confession. Maybe you can try to do this….go to a reconciliation? It might be what you need to get back full force….it helped me in my conversion story too…..just a suggestion but you can tell me to mind my own business too….. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • EllenChris says:

        Thanks for sharing, Steve. Don’t let fear or inertia hold you back. Remember the Prodigal Son? When he was still way down the road, not so close to home, his Father came running *to him*. That next right step for you might just be through the church door — the Grae will be there for you, and the rest will follow. Prayers for you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • SteveBC says:

          Donna and EllenChris, fear and inertia are not holding me back, although they are minor factors. Once I decide to go back through the Door, my first step will be either discussing my situation with a local priest or simply showing up for confession. I am not a procrastinator.

          I am gradually repairing my view of the Church and its teachings, but I have many non-Church learnings that need to be honored, too. That overall process is not complete, and I am not pushing it but being patient and open. I have to recognize that the process may never be complete as you would like to see for me. It is actually possible that I can help more people during the Storm by acting as a bridge, but that is just one consideration among many. However, periodically another brick goes back into the foundation.

          I assure you that inwardly I have Chosen, and I strive to act every day in that light according to the TDL approach. The external form remains for me to decide, though. I have faith that that external form will be what it should be.

          Thank you both for your care and advice. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • EllenChris says:

            Thank you, Steve, for your honesty. Please forgive me for seeming to be judging you on this. — I realize that you understand that that was not my intention. 🙂 Most often for most people what holds them back is fear or inertia or a combination of the two. But each person is an individual with his own situations. Individual clergy have hurt people; parishes and whole church systems have hurt people. There needs to be forgiveness and healing, but all too often that just does not happen. People look at the whole experience of church and justifiably feel that going there would, in many ways, do more harm than good.

            I realize I am sticking my neck out, here. I have counseled with a lot of folks who have really had to struggle with trying to find a way to connect with our good Lord while not putting themselves into the danger of being sorely tempted to kill some of His people 😉 I had recently been working with someone who had been molested as a child in a church setting. There are those who have been heartlessly turned away by clergy when they were seeking help.

            Someone said that the Church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners. Pope Francis called it a kind of field hospital. I really like that. Clergy and lay folk — we are all of us struggling with our own sins and failings and trying to help one another along the journey. We all do need each other.

            But you do need to consider this, Steve. If you are not “getting fed” you weaken and starve; how then will be able to help others? You know how they tell you in airplanes to put your oxygen mask on first before you try to help anyone else? Well, it is like that. Whatever Christian tradition you come out of or feel called into, we all do well to heed St. Paul’s advice: “Do not stay away from the assembly as some do.” (Don’t ask me to give the citation, numbers just do not stay in my head) This cyber-community is a great and wonderful thing. At this point I do not know what I would do without ya’ll. But I also show up for Holy Communion on Sunday morning because without being able to receive Him in His Body and Blood, as well as through His Word, I would starve to death very quickly.

            So, my prayers for you are for healing and guidance. I have no worry that you have not made the right choice. You know our good Lord has you in His hands. So just ask Him to show you how and where to go from here, and you know He will — but then listen and follow. Many blessings, Steve, to you and yours — your sister in Christ.

            Liked by 5 people

          • SteveBC says:

            EllenChris, what a nice comment you’ve given me here. Thank you so much. 🙂

            First, let me say that I was not driven away from the Church in the late 1960s by anything weird or bad. I left because all I could see were people going through the motions. Since I didn’t see or experience God there, I went looking for him elsewhere. It was a long and very rewarding path in so many ways.

            Over the past few years I have been tending back toward the Church for two reasons. First, awareness that Jesus and the Virgin Mary are taking an active hand in the world. I don’t have personal experience of this myself, but the route I have taken through life has taught me that it is certainly possible, and I believe the testimony of others on this point. That is altering my own perceptions slowly over time. Second, my intellect has begun to link the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Church to issues and concepts I face in the world today, including the basis for individual liberty and my increasing desire to understand and strengthen the Culture of Life. If I ever do go back to a church, it will be a Christian church, not say, Buddhist, and I see every reason to choose the Catholic Church in particular.

            So why don’t I do that right now?

            My route through life has made quite clear to me that I am constantly watched over, kept safe (enough), denied when denial is helpful, sustained when I am in need. This awareness has been my constant companion for many many years. So, although I appreciate your concern for my spiritual sustenance, I do not feel particularly denied. My life is rich with meaning, and I am trying every day to see my best path.

            One of the questions (just one!) that I am dealing with now is where I can be most effective at bringing people back to God (which seems more important than which church to bring them back to). You will not know this about me, but my principal effect on people in need in the past has been catalytic. I can talk with just about anyone about just about any matter, and helping people see how to grow is one area where I often help people.

            I know people of all kinds and spiritual state. One woman recently brought up her own situation, where she goes to church (protestant, I believe) but feels there is nothing there. Is there a God or is she just wasting her time? Is the physical world all there is? And other issues, of course. If I am a Catholic, I may be less effective in helping her than if I am on a similar journey as hers but just a bit farther along. I’m not trying to be cute here. How many times have I seen someone in an established religion such as Catholicism be perceived as being on a mission to persuade someone to become a catholic even when they are not actually trying to do that or meaning to do that? Many, many times. Strange as it may seem, to someone on an uncertain journey, someone who is certain and settled can be off-putting.

            I have slowly come to the conclusion that my particular background and current state may be an advantage when someone I know, or even a stranger, has the (God-given?) impulse to speak with me about a spiritual matter.

            Just as Jesus is holding the Door of Mercy open as long as there is a soul which can be saved by mercy, and just as in Buddhism a boddhisatva foregoes his own salvation until all other souls have been saved, I feel that in my own (much much smaller!) way I may be most needed outside the Church right now. I realize that I could be wrong about this, but lately I don’t think I am. I am also convinced that when this status is no longer helpful, I will know, and I will know to walk through the Door to return to being an active Catholic.

            Until that moment, though, I am being cautious in making this change, to give myself the time to truly *want* that change and to know that any need for me to be outside the Church no longer outweighs the advantages of being in the Church.

            Because when I do make this change, EllenChris, there will be no going back.

            Liked by 2 people

          • NancyA says:

            Dear Steve, and I mean that “dear” as an adjective, not as salutation!, I pray for your return to the Sacraments. While all your explanation of your journey is reasonable, there is that one huge missing link, which is that the gift of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church is not to be missed! So, I will pray that your journey’s pondering brings you ever closer to that end, which is not an end at all….. Love, and prayers…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Lily says:

            Steve, it’s interesting what you say about why you ‘don’t go to church’. I feel on the outside as well, with my family. It may be my fault, or my husbands, but it seems like such an ordeal to get everyone ready for a couple hours of hustle and bustle, and essentially saying ‘hi how are you’ to everyone. At home, I can watch any video or read any book (right now I am reading through a commentary series that I find amazing!). I do miss a larger group of people, or being connected with a close group of people. But I guess I am enjoying the rest of being disconnected more. The few people that I see on a regular basis seem to be enough for now. I don’t know how important it is to be a part of a church somewhere.

            Like

          • acseibert says:

            Steve, I feel prompted to share my own experience. I was away from the Catholic church for many years. For 6 months prior to me going back, I was getting the occasional internal prompt. When i spoke of this to a dear friend she gave me very good advice…”Next time there is adoration, go and just sit there for a few mintues.” It took me a few more weeks to follow through. I will not forget that experience. I was only going to make a few minute stop on a busy Saturday between errands. As i sat in Our Lord’s presence, I suddenly couldn’t control my emotions. Tears started falling, and I knew without any reservation I needed the sacraments. It was if the light switch that had been off, was now on. Within two hours I went to confession and within 4 hours I was attending Sat night mass and recieving Him in the Eucharist. That night I wept all through mass. It was good to be home again. Our Savior Jesus is so amazing. He didn’t just call me back, but did so with perfect timing. The gospel that night was the return of the prodigal son. So I offer you the same counsel, next time you have the opportunity to attend adoration, go and sit a few minutes.

            Liked by 2 people

          • SteveBC says:

            NancyA, thank you so much for your care and your prayers. I suspect that there are a number of commenters and readers who are in a similar situation as I am, are not regular Churchgoers, and who also need and would welcome your prayers. Of course, I recognize full well that “reason” is not the only aspect of whatever decision I will make. A commenter elsewhere on this site said “I think our most fervent prayer should be that we choose rightly,” which is indeed my own hope and intention. I believe your prayers will help me choose rightly. 🙂

            Lily, it is true that not going to Mass every Sunday appeals to that part of me that is a bit lazy, and my memories of being forced to go to Mass by my mother during my childhood have left some modest scarring on the subject. However, I am actually seeking to understand why I am right here right now, with no significant urge to start going to Mass – yet very much wanting to Choose and choose rightly. My lessons through life have often involved forcing me out of groups and to give up what I wanted. As a result, I perhaps have learned a bit more independence from the increasingly oppressive Single Thought of our increasingly “Progressive” world. That same independence holds me out of the Church for now, and it does not yet feel like the wrong stance. Yet that independence also has pushed me back toward the Church, simply because the Church stands athwart so much of that oppressive Single Thought with understandings and perspectives that increasingly appeal to me intellectually. My peculiar talents appear to be likely to be more helpful *for now* to others if I remain outside the Church, but I continually watch for anything that would say that that no longer holds.

            NancyA and Lily, I’ve heard of many people in the Middle East, people who are muslims, who have been approached by and awoken by Jesus. I believe these stories to be true. I was shocked to find that people who have such an experience do not immediately convert. Instead, the Visit catalyzes them to start along a path that apparently takes on average five more years before they convert. Some are quick, some are slow. I find myself amazed at that length of time from Visit to conversion, but I also find that it has helped me be more realistic and more forgiving about my own journey back. At best I am only 2-3 years along.

            For those who read my words here and are not active practicing Catholics, all I can say is that the journey back can take some time. However, I also believe that you can Choose, as Charlie says we must, and that you can choose rightly, even if you are not yet an active Catholic. I have been a commenter here for the past several months, and despite my lack of churchgoing and my occasional (I hope endearing) oddities, I am welcome here. If you see that that is so but have been holding back from commenting out of concern for being only partway back to the Church, perhaps you will now come and join the fun. I have learned much from people like NancyA here (and Lily!) and am closer to returning than I ever thought I would be. Perhaps you will also find that to be true for you if you start commenting and find some nice people here to help you along. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Sr Lorraine says:

            Hi Steve,
            I have to admire your honesty. Yet I feel so bad that you have missed out on the sacraments for all of these years. They are the primary source of grace in our lives. By its nature the Eucharist is a mystery, Jesus is veiled in his presence there. But today he is twice veiled, in that bad liturgical practices, the indifference of others, Catholics who don’t understand their faith, all make it harder to see him. But he’s there nonetheless. It requires greater faith today than in past ages. You said that you have the gift of being able to talk to people about things. What an apostle you could be! Perhaps another St. Paul. I pray you will return to the sacraments soon–when the fullness of the Storm hits here we may not have easy access to the sacraments. God bless you!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Ed Allison says:

            Steve, I feel as if I could write you 10 pages right now. But I don’t know how I could possibly do that and not have you feel you were being preached to. So, I won’t do it. I would not want you to feel any resentment. All 10 of those pages boil down to one question anyway. Once you have knowledge of the truth of the Catholic Church and the sacraments, at what point is staying away considered disobedience? I do not have the answer. Only you can answer that while following your conscience. My friend, please know that I mean no disrespect, nor am I judging you in any way. You are in my prayers. God bless you!

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            ACSeibert, thank you for your recommendation. I will consider it. I have gone to a church three times in the past five years with the attitude you suggest At the first one, the church was locked and closed, possibly permanently. In the second one I felt very uncomfortable, in the way I would feel in a bad situation. When I went to the third, a church I know to be active, a church dedicated to Mary, the door was locked and the church closed. I have been to that church for a couple funerals, but that was for others. But I do try periodically, and I may specifically do what you recommend. I am trying, but so far, the churches are not cooperating. 🙂

            Sr Lorraine, thank you for your prayers. Shocking as it may be, if I missed the sacraments, I wouldn’t be sitting around outside the Church. I’d be in the Church. Part of the issue for me, and I would assume for others here who are not active in the Church, is that the need for the sacraments gets damped down or covered over or replaced with something else that at least *seems* as good. If I go back to the Church, I want to be able and willing to submit to the Church’s teachings as an obedient churchgoer. I’m not there yet. I have much to do. But with so many fine people such as yourself praying for me and helping me out here, I would think I will make more progress. Please note that if I were attempting to reject my evolution back toward the Church, I would not be commenting on this site and opening myself to the prayers and graces commenters such as yourself have so generously sent my way.

            Like

          • Lily says:

            Steve, please forgive me – I do not mean to judge you or imply you are lazy! Far from it! I only mean to say that I do understand what it means to be on a journey that is unconventional for personal reasons as we seek God’s will and the best care for those around us. I am often questioned as well, yet I feel I am doing the best I can at this point. However, like a commenter asked – at what point does it become disobedience – that I don’t know. I trust God for His direction, that He will make it plain to me (and my husband) when the time and place is right – and I trust that you are also trusting Him for this as well. 🙂

            Like

          • EllenChris says:

            Well, Steve, the Irish have a saying: “It’s yourself that’s done it.” Now everyone will be relentlessly trying to get you back into Church. 😉 I hope I did not offend you at all by being too preachy. (It’s kind of an occupational hazard) ACSeibert and Ed have the right idea in just sharing their stories. I will not push you. I can really sympathize with how it feels to go to a church and be locked out. You know already, of course, that God never locks you out. 🙂 May I make yet another suggestion? (This woman never does shut up) Next time you decide you might want to visit a church, particularly ask for the help of the holy angels to go ahead of you and remove all obstacles. I have often been surprised by the results of doing this.

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Ed Allison: No harm done at all. You said, “Once you have knowledge of the truth of the Catholic Church and the sacraments, at what point is staying away considered disobedience?” First, I do not have that knowledge. I have *some* of that knowledge, as well as non-Church knowledge I know to be true. The result of the journey may be a discovery of *all* of that knowledge, but the journey itself has its own features. I’m only partway there. But there is a larger point I wish to make, and that is that your statement is not logically true. If the fact that I am on a journey is helpful to others even when I have full knowledge, God may still ask me to stay out of the Church. I could become disobedient before reaching full knowledge, or I could become disobedient after full knowledge if I go into the Church when God still wants me outside. I believe the fact of disobedience is for God to decide and is not dependent on the state of my knowledge or whether I am in the Church or not. Lily is correct to assume that I am trusting God to place me where he wants me, and believe me when I say He has done that repeatedly in my life, even when I didn’t want Him to do so! 😀 God determines whether I am obedient or not to His desires, and I have long sought to abide by those desires, though I have often fumbled and avoided along the way.

            EllenChris, I don’t think you or anyone here is preachy. I do think that everyone believes that I will be better off in the Church right now(!) and that that underpins everyone’s responses. A matter of caring, and I see it as such. However, I do take issue with your idea that God does not lock a door against someone. He most certainly does, at least for me, if my going through that door would be shall we say, less than optimal in His eyes. In my repeated experience, He not only locks doors but throws away the keys! I have gradually learned to see this as for the best, either for me or for others. In my current situation I must take seriously that I am where I am because that is where I most need to be, and I do not wish to toss that state away without reason. You could say that all the people telling me to get into the Church just in this thread alone is God telling me to get into the Church, but I must value what is actually true and real for me in *all* areas of my life. I am not ready to enter the Church right now, although I am more ready than I have ever been before. I hope my own comments have elucidated why I see the situation the way I do. I will not move before I am ready. To do so is something I would see as possibly disobedient to God’s desire for me. However, if and when I go back to visit a church, I will remember your recommendation to ask my angels for help in opening or closing the door to me. By the way, when I went to the church dedicated to Mary, (although I may be misremembering) I remember that I went asking that the door be in the state Mary desired for me that day. It was locked, so I figured I wasn’t actually ready yet and went home to continue living my life.

            For what it might be worth, I had a dream last night where a friend and his buddy came in and rearranged and added to the furniture in the apartment in the dream where I was living. You folks have had an impact on me and have rearranged my inner situation with love. However, the rearrangement in the dream was incomplete. 🙂

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          • SteveBC says:

            I might also add that I went to two churches a couple years ago. In the first, I had a truly bad feeling. In the second, I was physically prevented from entering. It is possible that I was kept out because I was not ready then. It is also possible that I was kept out because God was protecting me. I live in a very liberal state, so it is possible that both of these two churches are among the corrupted ones that now exist. At the time I would have been more vulnerable to incorrect teaching than I would be today.

            The church I left in my childhood was empty. The churches I have been kept from recently may be corrupted with poor teachings. Heck of a thing to say, isn’t it? 😦

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    • EllenChris says:

      Welcome, Carla, glad you are here. Everybody is struggling, but the grace of God makes all the difference. Peace to you — God is patient, be patient with yourself. As long as you are really trying to follow Him, He will always forgive and help you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carla says:

        Thank you Ellen!

        Like

      • EllenChris says:

        STEVE: I hope that Carla does not mind that I piggy-back my reply to you on her “thread” — I ran out of “reply” buttons.

        I understand your reluctance to get involved with official church. With the Roman Catholic Church (as the Hippies used to say) you are either “on the bus or off the bus” there is no half-way. But two things: first, even if you commit to being actively Catholic yourself, you can still reach out to people who may not be ready to get involved with a church, but who need to talk with someone who can listen and help. You can tell them about Jesus without hauling them immediately into a church building. (Although that might come later 😉 )

        Second, maybe you do not feel a big need for the church — but the church needs you. THE question that 21st Century Americans always have up front is, “What can or will this do for me?” The more important question is: “What can I do for this community — what can I put into it?” Maybe you need to think about being leaven.

        But, please let me offer another idea as well. I also made my sojourn through the New Age and sampled a lot of stuff on eastern religions. At one point, as a grad student, I was the indentured assistant to a professor who had a fairly prominent position in the world of “Inter-religious Dialogue.” So may I offer you my own reflections on all of this? We are not Boddhisatvas, my brother. Neither was Jesus. A whole lot of Buddhist ideas seem very compatible with Christianity, but — trust me here — they are not.

        The essential nature of the Fall is that we decided to be our own gods for ourselves — to call all the shots for ourselves and decide our own path. So we make our journey assuming that God approves of our honest seeking. In a way, He does — he wants us to seek for Him. But He, Himself, is always seeking for us — **on His own terms.**

        To accept Jesus Christ is not an intellectual exercise. Acknowledging Him does not merely mean agreeing with what His identity or activity seems to be. It means getting down on your knees, admitting that you cannot save yourself, and surrendering your whole self to Him to be not only THE Savior and THE Lord, but YOUR Savior and YOUR Lord — which means that He does the saving, and He gets to call all the shots.

        At the end of the day, it is all not so much about going to church, but about the quality of your own relationship with Him. Have you asked Him what HE wants for your life, or what you should do according to His Will? Because He is the One Who gets to decide those things, not us. 🙂 Just lay it all down, dear brother, and really let Him live His Life in you. And the way that He has given us to accomplish that is Holy Communion. Can’t dance around it — just the way it is.

        So let me acknowledge and honor your integrity and your journey, and invite you to consider some of the above. Prayers and many blessings to you. Ellen+

        Liked by 3 people

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          Thank you Ellen, that was so uplifting and helpful to ME, you are so right, if we are truly His, He gets to call the shots!

          Liked by 2 people

        • audiemarie2014 says:

          Thank you, Ellen. Your words may have been for Steve, but they surely have fed me!

          Like

        • SteveBC says:

          EllenChris, I’m glad you found another Reply button. 🙂

          First, I totally “get” your comment about considering whether the Church needs me and not the other way around. Be very assured that *most* of my progress back toward the Church is because of this very thing. I find the Church athwart many of the progressive ideas that I see destroying the world. I see the Church getting persecuted from within and from without by people who are clearly in the wrong or are clearly unable to understand what they are tossing away. Surprisingly to me, I have become an advocate of the Church from the outside, because I have increasingly understood where it stands in relation to the debates of our day. Without that intellectual understanding, I doubt I would be interested in the Church. With that understanding I see how crucially important it is for people to support the Church from within *and* without, while it gets itself straightened out. Regardless of whether I am in or out, the Church increasingly often gets my support in such debates. Therefore I am practicing already what you recommend, not for me but for the Church.

          I am increasingly of the opinion that the Church is literally the only organization that stands in this position in the world. So my primary interest in the Church so far is to *support* it with whatever of my talents I can, starting now from the outside.

          I’m also somewhat of a student of history, business, and organizations. It appears to me that a purely human organization could never last 2,000 years in any form, let alone remain even relatively true to its original mission. From that objective view, the mere existence of the Church today in its (somewhat shaky but true) shape is a miracle, literally. That adds heft to my desire to support the Church when I can.

          However, I am not satisfied yet on two points.

          First, I am not satisfied that all the people I met or the knowledge I gained or the experiences I had during my arc of a journey away and back toward the Church have no value separate from the value the Church places on them, which is minimal at best. Before coming back to the Church I must either figure out why those people were wrong or that knowledge or those experiences were useless or bad, or I must integrate all that into Church teaching, or I must be false to good people, valuable knowledge, and personal reality. This process is taking time and may never be complete enough for me to decide I can be an obedient son of the Church. However, I’m further along than I ever expected to be.

          Second, I am sorry that I was not clear in my use of the boddhisatva term. I did not and do not mean that I consider myself a boddhisatva, nor was I attempting to apply that concept directly. As you say, it cannot be directly applied in Christian contexts. I was simply trying to explain through the image of the Door of Mercy or the choice of a boddhisatva my current feeling that I need to be conscious of where I am now most helpful to others when deciding my own path, before making an irrevocable decision. It is not obvious to me that giving up my status as a journeyer for the status of having arrived is helpful to more people (especially when I myself have unresolved issues as I explained just above). If I were to believe my best place to be is in the Church but that my current status as journeyer helps more people who are journeying themselves, then I personally consider sacrificing my decision to rejoin the Church in order to remain helpful to more people is one that might very well be worth making. I am in effect considering placing my own salvation on hold for the benefit of others who need my help to obtain salvation earlier or with greater certainty than they would without my help as a journeyer. I’m not saying that this is a fact or the truth. I am saying that I believe I need to consider this in my decision.

          Should I someday go through that door back into the Church, any advantage I might have had before going through the door will be lost. Although it will be replaced by other advantages, I need to consider where the advantages for others who are journeying actually lie, *before* making an irrevocable act. Although this is less of an issue than the concerns I listed first above (which are an ineradicable part of my own journey), if the path for me includes a delay, who is to say I am not serving God and others by staying out for a while? Or that going into the Church right away might actually be too self-oriented in some cases? Not everyone needs to be inside the Catholic Church to be effective aids to God, do they? I certainly don’t think so. Consider the people I mentioned in an earlier comment, muslims in the Middle East who are visited by Jesus and then take an additional five years to convert fully. Do you think they go into the Church in Year Five alone? I doubt it. My guess is that they bring in many others who are not Visited themselves but who go into the Church in the Visited’s slipstream. Journeyers speak to other journeyers differently from the way arriveds speak to journeyers. So being journeyers for 5 years after a Visit brings much fruit, as many around them get interested and make their own journeys to the Church with the Visited person.

          I think it is hard for people who have already arrived in the Church to remember the duration, quality, and process of their own journey and whether they were helped or slowed by people who had already arrived. I think it is possible that attempting to move a journeyer too quickly through his or her journey may indeed be to go against the will of God for that person *and* people around him or her. It isn’t a matter of simply saying to the journeyer that he or she will feel so much better inside the Church, no matter how true that may be. Sometimes, a fellow journeyer can be more effective at moving the person forward. If that is true for me, I really should not give up that status without knowing that that status is no longer needed, but I also need to be ready to give up that status if I find it has begun to get in the way.

          Thank you so much for your attention, EllenChris. I do value your comments and advice very much. I hope I have been a little clearer here as to why my decision to go back to the Church has come up in the first place, as well as why it is not a “slam-dunk” for me to go through the door right now. I’m here commenting on this site and attending to comments from you and many others, because my journey is a serious one, and because I am keeping always in mind how my journey, and the fruits of my journey, can help both the Church and other journeyers, not just myself. This seems good to me, and I remain patient with my “process.” You may not think me far enough along, but I will tell you that I am a lot farther along than I ever thought I would be. 🙂

          Like

          • Gabriela says:

            Hi SteveBC, I came across something a few years back that really stuck with me, it has to do with the power of the Eucharist. (EllenChris, if I am wrong here, please correct me. You know much more about these things that I do :)) I read somewhere that we will be held accountable for all the communions we could have received during our lives but chose not to. It had to do with what the Eucharist does to us an those around us. When we receive the Eucharist we carry a part of Christ with us and it has an effect on us and on those around us. For example, if we have just received communion and there is somebody near us that is contemplating suicide or murder or any other dreadful thing; the fact that Christ is with us negates that. It has the power to push evil away. If there are a lot of people that are receiving the Eucharist in a neighbourhood/ community, it has a profound effect on everybody there (even those that do not believe). It limits the power of the evil one. I now try to go to Church daily. I figure it’s the least I can do for those around me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Michelle says:

            Awww. You go everyday to Mass to help those around you. Love it!!

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Gabriela, what an interesting thought. I suspect you are right, that anyone who receives the Eucharist in the right spirit would positively affect those around them afterwards just by being there and being who they are at that moment.

            I also suspect that people who received the Eucharist as an empty gesture and went out to the parking lot and cursed at the surrounding drivers cutting them off in their attempt to get out of the driveway after Sunday Mass probably did not positively affect those around them afterward. And unfortunately I do know people like that.

            I suspect you do much good and am glad to know there is someone like you in my world now. 🙂

            Like

        • NancyA says:

          Very much LIKE, EllenChris! And, I say repeatedly, though I suppose not as much here, assent comes before understanding. Submission before knowledge. We must acquiesce first, and then all will come. But truly, The source and summit of LIFE is the Holy Eucharist, the truly present Body,Blood,Soul, and Divinity, right there before us, if we will only go to Him. He loves. He calls. He waits.

          Liked by 1 person

          • EllenChris says:

            Gosh — agree so totally, NancyA. Do you remember “Auntie Mame?” She would say, with great energy, “Life is a Banquet!! And most poor fools are starving to death!” This is not in any way to injure people who are just plain hungry. God’s Love is a banquet — the Holy Eucharist — and yet we stand off on the edges of the banquet without sitting down to be nourished.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Lily says:

          Your words are good for me too, Ellen. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • W. Leo says:

            EllenChris writes: “God’s Love is a banquet — the Holy Eucharist — and yet we stand off on the edges of the banquet without sitting down to be nourished.” So true and well stated. The whole of Christianity and everything that is still to come all flow from the words: “This is my body.” These words sum up His entire mission, for His one body takes three forms: as incarnate (which we celebrate tomorrow!), as eucharistic, as ecclesial body. These three events stand in a line and He allows the Church to not only take His body, but to become His body and to share in His Passion.

            Liked by 2 people

  12. Henrieta says:

    MRS. B There is a privite revelation with Bishop’s iprimatur talking a lot about these issues that you mentioned here. Here is the website: http://directionforourtimes.com/ You can download the writings for free. The book which is dedicated to families and talkes about things important to you is called Volume 6. Also other Volumes are very imformative and filled with huge graces. I personally experienced my conversion throught those books and I know many many people who experienced woderful fruits reading those books. Volumes 4, 5 and 8 also talks about the storm and give guidence how not to fear and to conduct ourselfs as good Christians during those coming events. Charlie if you don’t agree with me putting this website here I understand that you chose not to post my comment. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary-Louise says:

      Henrieta, Before you wholeheartedly endorse Directions for Our Times, you may want to Google the ministry and find out more about it. There has been no definitive church ruling on it — but some of its earliest supporters have withdrawn support (Sister Briege McKenna and Fr. Kevin Scallon), and Anne herself has come in for criticism. Here is an article from womenofgrace.com, a site run by a woman who has a show on EWTN: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=10696
      There are pro- and con- stories on DOT out there which should be considered by anyone discerning these messages.

      Like

  13. Karen says:

    Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you were seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” Mt 28: 5-7

    Can’t even guess how many times I have read these verses, and this morning was the first time I ever noticed the phrase “Behold, I have told you.” I thought, wow–that sounds like Charlie’s angel. Then later today this post arrives quoting Charlie’s angel.

    Not even sure what it means, except that it feels significant. Thank God for giving us the help of His holy angels. Prayers for all here.

    Like

  14. Simple and true. We have to be very discerning because the labels do not work any longer. “The enemies of a man will be in hi own house” is true now. So, very carefully weigh if you keep listening that person that ask for a strong enough sign or criticizes you for doing what i clearly and absolutely right. One Catholic may have to hide in a cave with a recalcitrant Protestant now that we are all made one by the common enemy (oh! the irony of it) and that may be the time to give witness to the truth. Not long ago I was called to approach a Protestant group. I did my best but now I see I was ill prepared. Next time I will try to be better prepared. In any case the witness given to that group was great. One of them invited me to live in his own farm! There is hunger to hear the truth, one has to know how to present it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. EllenChris says:

    Dear Charlie, it is my own personal considered opinion that you are not a receiver of “apparitions” as such, or a “locutionist” or some of the things that people have been discussing. You have been called to a prophetic ministry — and there is no more miserable, difficult call that God can give to anyone. Yet, in times of crisis He always sends prophetic words, visions and signs to His people to guide them. I don’t mind if anyone else thinks this statement is strange or even false. It is just a description. You *are* telling us TRUE, Charlie. Be consoled by that. People everywhere are constantly choosing, and we will all be surprised at who is saved and who ends up perishing. “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. . . . . not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    The Lord knows that, if He had shown me 5% of what you have seen, I would have completely gone to pieces. I don’t want or need to see it. But, what I do believe He has given me is an unshakable conviction of what will come “After.” For a very, very long time, I have been far less concerned about the bad time than with the After, and I am deeply convinced that this will make it all good and right again. Like the wet sunshine after a hard thunderstorm — throwing rainbows everywhere. This is not to ignore the difficulties or to be a “Pollyanna.” It is just the piece I have been given. I cannot imagine the grief of what you have seen, but our *Good* Lord has us in His hands and will hold on to to everyone who puts his hand into Jesus’ hand even if we feel like we might be slipping. So just — take heart. None of us goes alone, we are all upheld by His Grace, and by each other’s prayers.

    Jesus said to the stormy waters: “Peace! Be still!” and they were.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. EllenChris says:

    Last night my husband and I went to the movies and saw, *Do You Believe* made by a Christian production company with Sean Astin and Mira Sorvino, among others. Really well done! May I strongly urge everyone who reads this blog to go see it — really.

    http://doyoubelieve.com

    It is about 12 (and a few more) people who start out strangers but cross paths. Some trust God while some do not; some take the next right step and are a sign of hope to others; some of those others see the sign of hope, and come to trust God, too. There is a miracle and even a very Charlie-type of guy. If you possibly can, see this movie. It was a huge encouragement to my husband and me. The cross comes to everyone in one way or another — what matters is what they do with it. Kind of like us. . . . . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    • acseibert says:

      Ellen, is there a good English translation of Luisa’s Book of Heaven? I have been reading the 24 Hr. Passion and Virgin Mary in the Diving Will. I would like to eventually read more on this topic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • EllenChris says:

        Wow, AC — that is the hardest question in the world to try to answer. More than 20 years ago, a person who had no working knowledge of Italian got an Italian dictionary and created some bootleg translations of the Book of Heaven. Luisa’s writings are under the authority of the archbishop of her home diocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie. Because of the great trouble caused by the bad translations, the Archbishop of Trani put a “moratorium” on any translations into English quite a while ago. That moratorium is still in effect.

        However, there is some good and useful information about Servant of God Luisa available. A knowledgeable and reliable guy named Frank Rega has created some books which are summaries of Luisa’s writings done in a biographical form. These books are a very good place to start. His website is:

        http://luisapiccarreta.me

        Beyond that, I do not know what to tell you. If you go to that website, it should help you a lot. Many blessings.

        Like

  17. Mike S. says:

    Charlie – Another superb post and also your responses to the comments. The line that struck me was “… agree to do what you should, anyway” That reminded me of when I was first exposed to Medjugorje. For a time I was trying to discern if it was valid or bogus. But all we were asked to do was pray the Rosary daily, attend Mass as often as possible, read the Bible, fast twice a week and go to Confession regularly. Things we should be doing anyway, visions or no visions. It’s the same with Trust-Do-Love.

    Like

  18. Phillip Frank says:

    For Mrs B
    St. John of the Cross, says:

    “(God’s) — displeasure at the quest for revelations and locutions, even though He sometimes answers them, lies in the illicitness of transcending the natural boundaries God has established for the governing of creatures. He has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled. A desire to transcend them, hence, is unlawful, and to desire to investigate and arrive at knowledge in a supernatural way is to go beyond the natural limits. It is unlawful, consequently, and God who is offended by everything illicit is displeased.

    “The devil is most pleased when he sees that a man desires to admit revelation. For then he has an excellent opportunity to inject errors and disparage faith. As I have declared, a man desiring these apprehensions becomes coarse in his faith and even exposes himself to many temptations and improprieties.” (The Ascent of Mt. Carmel,
    To live your daily duty is thus most pleasing to God and should be our first desire. All else is a secondary desire and may or may not be Gods perfect will for us.
    Ask for guidance from your spiritual director.
    Phil

    Liked by 2 people

  19. kathy kalina says:

    “These things must come.” I believe the enemy has a plan to utterly distract us from our particular assignments by tempting us to fritter away our time with hand-wringing and outrage. He wants to make us useless. We must stop being scandalized. It is a dangerous path that could eventually lead us to shake our fist at the Father when He doesn’t do our will. These things must come. God is, and will always be, on His throne, and the sun never blinds Him to what is happening down here. Our job is tending the souls in our care, and praying for all souls “out there.” The only true tragedy is the loss of a soul.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Anne says:

      We’ll said Kathy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lily says:

      Yes, I think that is very true, Kathy. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Like

    • EllenChris says:

      Long story I do not have time for: starting in 2003 I had a big occasion for outrage and hand-wringing. I spent a couple of years trying to warn people of what was actually right in front of their faces. Did NO good at all. I totally agree with you, Kathy, focusing on the bad stuff is a distraction. How better to turn to God in prayer and try to let His light shine. Peace and joy to you and yours.

      Liked by 3 people

  20. Diane says:

    Thank you for your faithfulness to Our Lord. In the beginning of my regenerating love for God I specifically asked that no signs be given to because I didn’t want to be duped by the satan – God has been good to me . On occasion He would overwhelm me with love and I was given extraordinary signs. Before we lost our business I remember where I was standing and I clearly heard him ask me if I was willing to give him everything and tearfully I said yes. Then the trials started full swing – one after another. But I kept my eyes on Him and barreled through – not without fear mind you but with faith – constant step by step always remembering what He asked me and my yes to His request. One day at daily mass while in line for communion I saw out of my perivial vision the small piece of the Host that the priest breaks off and puts in his cup fall to the ground. I received and went back to my place and I was in tears because I wasn’t certain I saw Him fall – I prayed and prayed for I was overwhelmed at what I saw. At the end of mass I walked (I now think I flew) to the place He fell – I picked Him up and consumed – in an instant I heard clearly ” you picked me up, now don’t you think I will pick you up” . Just the fact that He had not been trampled on during the time He fell from the cup to the time I got there amazed me – I could honestly believe there were Angels surround Him til I could get there. And now I remember that day whenever I get afraid of what is going on around me. And I am calmed and I am amazed at His goodness to us. Love. I do

    Liked by 7 people

  21. SteveBC says:

    “Rather, my prayers go for pastors, priests, rabbis and bishops.” And perhaps we should all pray for you, Charlie, that you maintain the strength and love to carry out your task as Sherpa. You have said that even you will lose hope toward the end of the Storm, but that you will act with hope nonetheless. May God and all our angels help you to have what you need when you need it, and to get the support of others in prayer and in practice, to stay the course on your own deliberately chosen duty.

    Liked by 5 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Steve, Just so that you are able to notice it, I have posted a reply to you by replying to Carla on one of her posts. I ran out of “reply” buttons to you, but I wanted to keep the reply close to your original comment — so it is just under that down two more comments.

      Like

  22. My rosary will be said for you tonight Charlie! God Bless you always! Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Chris says:

    Welcome to the boat Carla.You are in safe company here.We all get anxious and fearful sometimes but it’s ok.Those feelings pass and we draw strength from each other, and with each holy mass we attend we receive healing and graces from the sacraments. I so understand the suffering you talk about for your children and what they are being exposed to in this world.That is the hardest part for me to bear also. Our mother Mary loves you so much and she has led you back to her son Jesus. She will protect your children. Tonight I will pray the rosary for you, for the conversion of your husband and for your children. God loves you so hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Connie Major says:

    About 30 years ago, in my sleep I received a simple message. What was amazing to me was the startling, absolute startling clarity of it, and the way I received it. It was sort of (but not really) as if the words were being typed up in front of me. At the same time it was as if (but not really) I heard the words at the same time. It is hard to describe. It was more like the message was infused in me so that every fiber of my being received it and understood it. The message was, “Ask not the form in which the kingdom of heaven will be revealed to you.” All these years I would remember this when something I was seeking turned out to be not the right thing after all. And I figured the message was just for me. Now, being in the times we are in, this message takes on a deeper meaning and helps me from trying to figure out the details of my path for the next few years (where am I going to go, how am I going to get there, what about my son who is away at college . . . ) It is really strange because now, for the first time, after all these years as I am remembering those words and typing them up, I am appreciating the deep reassurance in that message, and I wonder if it might be a something for all of us – that the kingdom of heaven WILL be revealed to me and all of us. I don’t know how, and it won’t do any good to ask. It will happen without sitting around trying to figure it out as long as we are doing the part that the Lord has put before us to do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Connie. The form is not the point — as you say — the Kingdom, however, is everything. God is revealing His Kingdom and calling people into it. So all we really need to do is say, “Ye!” (Fiat!) and let Him do what He wills.

      Like

      • W. Leo says:

        Yes, what a gift – what a great good – we are being offered in these times! Thank you, Connie, for your testimony. It is true, He wants to dispose us again to receive the gift of Living in His Divine Will – to breathe on us again* – so that His breath may not only put to flight all the darkness that surrounds us, but to restore all the goods and the rights He gave in creation. Echoing EllenChris, the Creator always disposes that their be souls who go in search for Him and want to receive His gifts. You might be interested in listening to a wonderful audio reflection on this very topic by Father Young, OFM: http://www.cin.org/divinewilltallahassee/RM021415-Vol-17-03.mp3

        * “Not that Pentecost has ever ceased to be an actuality during the whole history of the Church, but so great are the needs and the perils of the present age, so vast the horizon of mankind drawn towards world coexistence and powerless to achieve it, that there is no salvation for it except in a new outpouring of the gift of God.” —POPE PAUL VI, Gaudete in Domino, May 9th, 1975, Sect. VII; http://www.vatican.va

        Liked by 2 people

      • anne says:

        thank you Connie. Also, read Mark Mallett’s very latest on Fulfillment. Brilliant insight!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Bob says:

    To support the sad reality that chastisement may be needed unless God can find a better way to bring the greater number of persons back to their senses is a lecture given by Lawrence Feingold a professor at the St Louis seminary who has been giving a lecture series on the last things and in his text section on the discussion of the number of those going to hell is a discussion of it being likely that in less Christian societies the number of the lost is likely to be much greater and in more Christian societies the lost will likely be less since Christian societies provide more helps of Grace for more to be saved.
    http://www.hebrewcatholic.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/15.02-Why-is-There-a-Hell-pdf.pdf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I wonder if you have ever met Professor Greg Beabout of ST. Louis University, Bob. He is an old friend…professor of philosophy. He was chairman of the philosophy department for a time, is a wonderfully orthodox and intellectual Catholic – gets some very good stuff published in even the lefty Catholic Mags.

      Like

      • Bob says:

        No I Haven’t met him yet but I Had known about the Prof Feingold as my wife met him, and studied under him, when he was an Ave Maria professor and we both attended the Association of Hebrew Catholics conference in St Louis. They are a good group as they want to help Jewish folks when they are called to become Catholic to maintain their Jewish identity and yet to become orthodox Catholics as well as to help us gentiles understand the Jewish roots of our faith.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Charlene says:

      Thanks for posting this link Bob, Great lecture series. A lot to think about.
      Charlene

      Like

  26. Bob says:

    A link to a fundraising site for the teacher who was sadly kicked out of her Catholic school for saying that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
    http://www.youcaring.com/family-fundraiser/patricia-jannuzzi-catholic-educator-needs-your-help-/322057

    Like

    • Kati says:

      That is an astounding story. If I understand this correctly, she is not being rehired by a CATHOLIC school for defending the Catholic Faith! How can the Bishop of that area allow this to take place? Is this a case that should be reported to to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

      Like

  27. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie And TRNS family. Charlie when you end a post as you did I pay particular attention and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom.
    in love, Rich

    Like

  28. aj says:

    Hi guys, just checking in…glad to see the team growing, in age, wisdom and grace. Keep training guys the battle lies ahead.

    This Lent has been very special, tough but special. Our Lord’s mission for me was/is TOTAL abandonment, childlike reliance on Him. And most definitely Trust in His Divine Mercy…it is His greatest gift and therefore ours as well. I have been in training with the watchwords “You must increase and I must decrease.”

    So press on soldiers and help others on the way who are slower, weaker and less faithful because they are you and me sometimes.

    May JESUS’ abundant Love overtake our Hearts and bring us to salvation. Have a Blessed Sunday my friends!!!

    aj

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      China is rising unmistakably – and yet our media seems almost unaware. You have to read specialty magazines to find the bits and pieces which show it is becoming an economic and military powerhouse – and filling the vacuum left by American abdication (ironically called “smart” diplomacy by the administration) in Southeast Asia and beyond.

      Like

  29. Henrieta says:

    ascotinfrance where did you get that picture? I looked at it enlarged and had little chills down my spine. Is it any special significance to this picture of the Blessed Mother?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Jean says:

    Very well said article!

    Ever since I read that Mary said we are living in decisive times, I have had a sense that we are entering the period of judgment. I think it is common for people to think of Judgment Day as a single day, but I believe it is a very long period of “decisive times”, as this article appears to be saying, when people will have to choose once and for all what side they are on. I think our most fervent prayer should be that we choose rightly, because we will be choosing by what we really are, not by what we think we are. Also, I think all of us, except perhaps the saints, have a little bit of goat in us, so we should be praying hard that the goat in us dies before the final hour of judgment when there will be precious little time to change our minds (if any). When that crucial hour comes, in the panic, all will know for sure what and who we really are. I don’t think God will have to show everyone, for they will see with their very own eyes who remained faithful and who sold out to survive. God, I am a coward, but please give me the gift of courage from your Holy Spirit so I will do as I ought and not what I am inclined to do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bob says:

      I liked that last sentence in your Post Jean. To admit our need or at least that we may be in need of courage or of other graces from His Holy Spirit is the beginning of wisdom!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lily says:

      Thank you for these thoughts, Jean. I hadn’t thought of it like that before.

      Like

    • Spikenard says:

      I wonder about the “choices” too Jean, and if things like paying taxes to a government that gives this money to fund abortions, paying for health insurance that works the same evils, and deciding on immunizations for the sake of eradicating the disease and keeping communities safe even though they’re derived from aborted fetal cell lines are what Heaven regards as choices. Our world is so compromised in so many ways, I wonder just how much our cooperation with it will we be actually accountable for.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SteveBC says:

        Spikenard, you have really brought up a very important issue. I inevitably must make significant compromises every day. For just one example, having health insurance these days brings many compromises, yet I feel that I need to have it in order to keep my family from being on the hook to rescue me if I am badly hurt. They haven’t signed up for that, so I take the compromises and risks onto myself by having that insurance. Other compromises exist for all of us in various ways. I’m not unusual these days. We all do what we can, but we are all in an increasingly constrained existence. Where are our lines in the sand? We may all have a chance to find out if present trends continue to their logical end without being interrupted.

        I for one am increasingly willing to go through the Collapse instead, take the pain of it as a discipline and a corrective, so that I can have some hope of altering my life of compromises in a positive direction. I do what I can in the meantime.

        Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Jean, your “I think our most fervent prayer should be that we choose rightly” words are well worth pondering, and I feel them to be quite true. Thank you.

      Like

      • EllenChris says:

        Hi, Steve — I posted a reply to you under a comment by Carla because I ran out of reply buttons. I hope you find it. Many blessings always. Ellen

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          I think I found it, EllenChris. You should be able to see my reply. I think by now we’d be 16 deep on the reply if WordPress didn’t limit us to 5! 😀

          Like

  31. Jim M. says:

    To whom much is given, much is expected. As to the clerics and laity that betray the flock, woe unto them:

    Jeremiah 23 1Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.
    2 Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord….
    19 Behold the whirlwind of the Lord’s indignation shall come forth, and a tempest shall break out and come upon the head of the wicked.
    20 The wrath of the Lord shall not return till he execute it, and till he accomplish the thought of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand his counsel.

    Ezekiel 34 1. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
    2 Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the flocks be fed by the shepherds?
    3 You ate the milk, and you clothed yourselves with the wool, and you killed that which was fat: but my flock you did not feed.
    4 The weak you have not strengthened, and that which was sick you have not healed, that which was broken you have not bound up, and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost: but you ruled over them with rigour, and with a high hand.
    5 And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.
    6 My sheep have wandered in every mountain, and in every high hill: and my flocks were scattered upon the face of the earth, and there was none that sought them, there was none, I say, that sought them.

    Time to choose. Time to embrace and live by the Word. Time to act before the doors of mercy slam shut. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Christina says:

    I told my son this morning that we are all being shaken in the sifter, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer, who is who, as we are forced to take a stand on one side or the other.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. barb129 says:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/san-gennaro-relic-liquefies-in-presence-of-pope-francis#ixzz3VD4wwxpe
    Has anyone else seen this story? Apparently the blood of St. Gennaro liquified in the presence of Pope Francis a few days ago. This is the first time this miracle has occurred in the presence of a pope since 1848! Awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. NancyA says:

    I wish I could remember how I came upon this superb magazine, called “Love One Another,” which is published from Poland, but disseminated all over the world. I highly recommend it to any lover of Catholic magazines. The website looks to be expansive, also. I just checked it out so that I could include it here: http://www.loamagazine.org/ In the most recent issue I received, there is an article on listening to the New Testament, with some personal testimony on how meaningful it is. I decided to look into it, and found there had been a Catholic audio made called Truth and Life Audio Bible, with hearty endorsements from orthodox Catholic circles and a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI. I just ordered a set to be a family Easter gift (I may be the only one thrilled by it, but they will have to hear it when I play it in the kitchen, won’t they??). There is an app for those who want to have it on a mobile device https://www.truthandlifeapp.com/ and should any choose to order a set, it can be found very inexpensively through Alibris and other online shopping sites, so check around!

    Liked by 2 people

    • NancyA says:

      I must add that the magazine is not a scholarly, academic one, but very thought provoking, with detailed stories of saints, (recent issue covered Bartolo Longo and the Rosary shrine of Pompeii as well as the Rosary Novena to Our Lady of Pompeii) and personal human interest stories which encourage devotion and conversion. It seems especially to be a type that might appeal to younger adults, older teens…

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Lin says:

    This is one of my favorite songs of late:

    Already There by Casting Crowns…Hope it’s a blessing to someone here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lin says:

      Wish there was an “edit” feature! Just wanted to add that the song is about the fact that God is in control; He already sees the “end of the story” even while we are caught in the midst of feeling lost and confused. I find it very appropriate for some personal storms I’m experiencing, as well as for the larger Storm we are all caught up in. God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Rose says:

    Thank you, Lin…brought tears.

    Like

  37. Mack says:

    In regard to the teacher Charlie mentioned, now the bishop of Metuchen has issued a statement, which only further confuses the issue. He doesn’t state Church teaching on marriage, but says that the teacher’s statements were disturbing because they go against Church teaching on “acceptance.” Read it and weep:

    http://diometuchen.org/bishop/from-the-bishops-desk/2015/bishop-s-statement-on-status-of-teacher-at-immaculata-high-school-somerville/

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, I will have something to say about that tonight. But, on the other hand, I had something to say about it with this article, didn’t I? I am calming myself. The Bishop’s statement was contemptible, not just because he joined with the wolves in piling on this faithful Catholic woman, but because he garbled and perverted what Pope Francis actually said in order to justify his callous attack on her. It would be good to take a look at the article our friend, Bishop Rene Gracida, posted on his Abyssum website about it earlier.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Thanks, Charlie, that was a good article. I hadn’t known about the CCD teacher who had to resign for teaching that abortion is wrong! Truly we live in crazy times. I re-read your original post and I copied it into a file I can go back to easily and re-read when I see these things. It is quite disturbing, that those who are charged with defending the faith are the very ones tearing it down. I will pray more for priests and bishops.

        Like

      • CrewDog says:

        This whole mess though tough on the Teacher/Family is a big Plus for the “We are Mad as Hell and Not Gonna Take It Anymore” Movement!! This, thanks to Social/Talk Radio/Net Media, not only has the spineless Bishop Bootkoski hiding under his desk but all his like minded weaklings hiding as well. Voris has it right when he calls it the “Church of Nice”. Sounds like the Bishop needs a Boot in his Koski 😉
        https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-school-cites-pope-francis-will-not-rehire-teacher-who-posted-pro-m
        http://www.youcaring.com/family-fundraiser/patricia-jannuzzi-catholic-educator-needs-your-help-/322057
        LORD, PLEASE BLESS US WITH LEADERS OF FAITH, COURAGE AND SPINE. AMEN!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Michelle says:

          What happened to this teacher is so much like what happened to my husband and I. We didn’t lose a career but we lost most of our family. The song, “We’re not gonna take it” by Twisted Sister is my ringtone on my cellphone. Yes, we can’t be afraid to speak the truth and we must support each other. I love the way you put things, CrewDog.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob says:

            I learned some things from a priest in confession when I was confronting “same sex” issues in a discussion group and he saw the pride and smugness with which I was doing it and confronted me in confession. In speaking the truth we walk a fine line. We must speak the truth when needed but must ask God to remove any pride or vanity from us as we do so. I also remember what I consider Benedict’s mantra, as I read it so much in his writings. Truth and love, truth and love, so we must examine our hearts so we speak the truth in love and with humility!.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Michelle says:

            I know in my heart that I passed the truth and love with humility test. I’ve been asked that one before. My response now usually is yes I understand just don’t forget the truth part. We told her, we love you, we accept you, we won’t try to control you, but we disagree and we worry about you. That went along fine for a few years and then she asked us to participate in it. By that I mean she asked if her and her friend could stay in our home when they came to the area for a visit. We said no. For the next six months she bullied us, made up lies about us and punished us and so many people stepped in to save her from us. That’s when you know that you’re living in crazy world. Family divided. I believe that this is the issue that will divide our church, also. You have to pick a side and you have to know why you are on that side and you have to stand with those being persecuted.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I understand, Michelle. I have had to cut things off with some who were close to me. I would neither submit to bullying, nor try to impose my will. I stand where I stand and I love those I care about…but I will not be a co-conspirator in their disorder, even if I must sometimes be a witness or bystander. I have enough of my own disorder to deal with.

            Liked by 1 person

  38. Henrieta says:

    Mary-Louise, thanks for your concern but yes I read all these things you mentioned long time ago. I have been with DFT for the last 10 years, almost from the beggining. I personally know Anne, the chaplain Father Darragh and many people who work for the mission. I have no concerns about this organization and I absolutely confident that they are doing the work of God. I have been reading the messages for the last 10 years and in my job which is a full time ministry I have been spreading the writings to people almost every day for the last 7 or 8 years. I have never even once seen the bad fruit coming from somebody reading those writings. The fruits are very very good. I have seen people coming back to the faith sometimes even after 50 years after reading those writings. I would have to write here many pages if I tried to tell you all the stories of conversion I have witnessed. But much more improtant than my personal observations is the fact that all the writings of Anne have Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. That means that there is nothing in those writings which contradicts the Sacred Scripture or the teachings of the Church and therefore be at peace dear Mary-Louise the writings will do no harm to you or to anybody else. That is all we shoud care and not about what the lady from Women of Grace thinks, what the man on internet gosips or if some sister oficially widraws her spport for the mission. These people as holy as they might be have absolutelly no rightful authority over this. The rightfull authority belongs to Anne’s Bishop and he is doing his job. So no worries, we who are connected to DFT mission are very safe because we are protected by our obedience to the Catholic Church. I suggest that anyone who is interested first read the writings and pray about it before the Blessed Sacrament before reading any gossips or opinions on internet. And do not forgett the fact that anything that comes from God will encounter oposition from the enemy.

    Like

  39. NancyA says:

    Charlie, I have an opportunity I am hoping to take, to hear Ambassador William Luers speak on Wednesday, March 25. Would you give me your impressions of him? Would you encourage me to hear him? Thanks!!

    Like

  40. Bob says:

    We must remember too that “admonishing the sinner” so they are not in danger of going to hell is listed as one of the spiritual acts or mercy.

    Like

    • Connie Major says:

      This is so important and I rarely hear anyone talking about it. We do not call a sin by that name any more. There is no easy way to “admonish the sinner.” If we say anything, we are the ones who are being called judgmental, even if we are certain to qualify our words by saying we do not judge people and we do not claim inner knowledge about the contents of their hearts. But a sin is still a sin. Looking at society today, it seems that many people have either forgotten or disregarded this.

      Like

  41. Bob says:

    One thing is for sure. If our shepherds run and cower like scared puppies it will only get worse and this cowering will embolden the enemies of truth and of our faith but we must act with love and firmness.

    Like

  42. NancyA says:

    To contact the Bishop of Metuchen and the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops:

    Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect
    Congregation for Bishops
    Palazzo della Congregazioni, 00193 Roma, Piazza Pio XII, 10
    Telephone: 06.69.88.42.17
    Fax: 06.69.88.53.03

    Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkoski, DD
    Diocese of Metuchen
    146 Metlars Lane
    Piscataway, NJ 08854
    (732) 562-1990 ext. 1711
    bishop@diometuchen.org

    Like

  43. Michelle says:

    Just this week…….• A New Jersey bishop supports a Catholic school that fired a teacher because she defended traditional marriage on her personal Facebook page, even citing Pope Francis as a reason for the firing!
    • San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone faces outright mutiny from his Catholic teachers, simply because he clarified that they must follow Catholic teachings.
    • The general secretary of the Ontario bishops assembly openly supports the province’s new sex-ed curriculum, which promotes gay unions and “gender identity” from the earliest grades.
    • For the first time in the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade’s history, a group of homosexual activists marches under their own banner, which Cardinal Dolan, the grand marshall of the parade, called a “wise decision.”

    Like

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