The Lord in the Tomb, Blood on the Moon

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By Charlie Johnston

Most of my life I have dreaded the brief period between Good Friday and Easter. There is something so desolate, so empty about it…despair ever beckons in this terrible interregnum. The year I was formally received into the Catholic Church the dread was even worse. When I went in for Good Friday services, there was no holy water in the font and the Crucifix at the back of the Church was draped over. Desolation became a blunt instrument, that year. I almost turned and ran. Part of me was angry at the desolate way Catholics marked the period. But mostly I was grateful, for the Church expressed like nothing else I had ever encountered what I felt. I fear had I been there on that day, I would have been like the panicked disciples rather than the steadfast, courageous women, for even now, I want to find a cave and hide every year at this time until it is over.

I have said before that often, when I am told something by my visitors, it is ambiguous enough that I cannot fathom exactly what it means, try as my restless mind might. What I have learned over the decades is to be still at those times, be aware, for God is alerting me that He is about to act, perhaps in a way that is subtle, perhaps in a way that is startling and bold. The point though is to be still and know that there is, at those times, a profound spiritual reality behind the temporal events around us.

I do not know what the confluence of Blood Moons means, but this time I think the world is getting a taste of what I sometimes get. Something is happening, the meaning of which is not clear, but it isend-of-the-world clear there is profound meaning behind it. Tonight, on yet another anniversary of the day Our Lord was crucified, comes the third of those Blood Moons. Though the lunar eclipse will begin to take shape at 6 a.m. Eastern Time, you will only be able to see the blood on the moon for about four minutes, from 7:58 to 8:02 a.m. Eastern Time. The final of these Blood Moons will arise on September 28 of this year, the eve of the Feast Day of the Holy Archangels, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael:

“And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels,

8 but they were defeated and driven out of heaven.

9 The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had led all the world astray, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him.

10 Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.

11 They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life.

12 So let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea, disaster is coming — because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that he has little time left.’

13 As soon as the dragon found himself hurled down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child,

14 but she was given a pair of the great eagle’s wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert, to the place where she was to be looked after for a time, two times and half a time.

15 So the serpent vomited water from his mouth, like a river, after the woman, to sweep her away in the current,

16 but the earth came to her rescue; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river spewed from the dragon’s mouth.

17 Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God’s commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus.

18 And I took my stand on the seashore.” – Revelations 12

angel-blowing-trumpetI do not know, but somehow I suspect the Blood Moons signify the fullness of the Storm. I saw, in a vision, demons spewing across the earth, like a volcanic eruption last December 20, preparing for battle. What I know is that tonight the Lord Jesus lies in a tomb and there is blood on the moon. But this is prelude to the resurrection – and time for those who will be the Master’s troops to prepare, as well.

Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalm 27

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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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144 Responses to The Lord in the Tomb, Blood on the Moon

  1. EllenChris says:

    From a Psalm (can’t quite think of the number) Be stouthearted and wait upon the Lord.

    This quote from John Boehner is from an interview with him in an article by Jake Sherman at the Politico website, posted April 2, 2015: “I wouldn’t have believed that I would be involved in as much foreign policy as I am today,” Boehner said in his hotel near Jerusalem’s Old City. “And it certainly isn’t by choice. It’s just that the world is on fire. And I don’t think enough Americans or enough people in the administration understand how serious the problems that we’re facing in the world are.”

    My husband and I were talking over supper, and we both agree that it would be worse if a crisis did not come because we are in such desperate need of a “re-set.” God is still and always God. His Kingdom and His Will are coming. Just the next right step, Charlie, our brother. We are never forsaken.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      It is one translation of the final line of the 27th Psalm, which is also the final line of my post today, though the translation I use is from the King James Version. I love the poetry of the KJV – and I almost always use it when citing the Psalms. The 27th has been my favorite since my early 20s.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        This is one of my favorite verses, although the wording I learned was from the NIV (at least, I think that was the version I was reading before I became a Catholic): “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.” This verse first became meaningful for me in the early 1990s, when I was in my early 20s. Here almost a quarter of a century later, I’m still trying to figure out how to comply.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Mack says:

    That’s very interesting, Charlie, and important. I don’t pretend to know the significance of the blood moons. But it is certainly unusual. The prophecy of Joel mentioned blood on the moon, and Peter quoted that on Pentecost in Acts 2:20. So maybe it has something to do with the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That would help to sustain us during the Storm. You mentioned your vision of December 20. In Advent on that date the Church especially honors Mary in the liturgy. The Gospel is the Annunciation. Nowadays it is different, but in past ages tht particular Mass was called the Golden Mass and celebrated with special solemnity in honor of Our Lady. The devils going out to prepare for battle will not win the final victory. Mary will crush the head of the satan.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michelle says:

      Acts 2:20-21 20 THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
      AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
      BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.

      21‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    I was thinking today reading again the Passion and considering the mob calling for His being crucified that the best I could have hoped for myself if I had been there would be to have remained silent and not joined in the shouting for His death. With mobs calling for evil every day now I certainly need to pray for His grace to do better in time of need. As Thomas More reminded us in his book “the sadness of Christ” when Jesus says we need to ‘Watch and Pray” we had better assume He knows why he is asking for this from us and go and obey!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Barb Watry says:

    Thank you Charlie. I just returned from the Passion of our Lord service at my parish and found your post.
    While everything is the same as other years, yet something is different. There seems to be something more beautiful, something I cannot even begin to understand or explain. It started last night and I expect it will continue tomorrow at the Easter Vigil and through Easter.
    This is always my favorite time of year, my longing is greater, my hope is greater, and I recognize my total unworthiness in a much greater way.
    Other than what I have to do, I spend the time in silence, contemplating what our Blessed Mother must have experienced. I cannot comprehend what our Lord experienced, but I want to spend as much time with them as I can.
    I look at what I just wrote and it doesn’t really convey what I’m feeling this year, but I decide to post it anyway.
    I pray that you and your family and all who read and comment here, have a very Happy Easter.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Donette says:

    Charlie, You say “If I had been there… ….” Charlie, Have your priests not yet told you that YOU WERE THERE! He suffered for you when in prison being mocked, spit upon and other horrible things done to Him as well as crowned him with thorns and He permitted you to be there. When they scourged Him to a bloody pulp, you were there and finally He looked upon you in the crowd as He hung on the Cross because you were there. Charlie, God transcends time and when you are In Him and He is in you, You are with Him in all times; past, present and future. You were there.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Becky-TN says:

    Oh Charlie,

    I don’t feel much like a soldier. Hard to get past this cloudiness that has overshadowed my head since Samuel’s food allergy diagnosis. I know its so trivial in relation to all the world’s problems. I guess that’s what disappoints me so…the desire to be faithful, courageous, and trusting. Just to be a wimp….. Well, at least I’m His wimp. Praying for courage and faith!

    Happy Easter, dear Charlie!

    Becky-TN

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      My mother was a total wimp about small things, but a real lion when large things arose. Some of the roughest characters in the world faint at the site of a doctor’s needle. When I was walking, if I was in an urban area – and particularly in a rough area, I always looked for a copse of woods to make camp in for the night. I discovered long ago that the meanest, baddest gangbangers around are terrified of the woods at night. Strange but true. Sometimes, people with great courage release their stress by over-reacting to small things. It can be a way of saving their fortitude for big things.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      I’m with you, Becky; but at least I’m one of his wimps too. Christ’s wimps of the world, unite! 🙂

      Seriously, though… His strength will be made perfect in our weakness, if we Trust-Do-Love. The heel is a weak part of the body (remember Achilles); and yet it is with the heel that Mary crushes Satan. Let’s all be part of her heel, eh? Lowly, and yet victorious.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Lily says:

      We have a lot of food allergies too, Becky. It is hard to know what to make sometimes. Even harder for me is to not be able to share certain habits and traditions from when I was a kid with my kids now.

      Like

  7. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    Charlie,
    I haven’t had any of your experiences, nor been told what you have been told (and I find you personally credible). I always feel that emptiness walking into church on Good Friday, when the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a different spot, and I sense in my bones something is missing. Well, Someone, and He is. For me, It is good to go through that, though, because I know the feeling I get when He is in the tabernacle is not illusory; when He is in the tabernacle, basically, “God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with the world.”(From “Pippa’s Song by, I believe, Robert Browning.)

    Nevertheless, when I look at the night sky, the expanse of the stars and planets and their awe-full beauty, I am comforted. Such beauty, such power, such majesty — what a Creator! I don’t want to fear the heavens; they draw me closer to the Creator. I guess I am putting my head in the sand on this one. The night sky and its wonders — shooting stars, harvest moons, brilliant planets — are so beautiful; I don’t want them to foretell doom. I guess this has been a bit on my mind, because I saw a lovely shooting star a few weeks ago, and know the folklore is they are a “bad sign,” yet my response was “How beautiful, Lord. How breathtaking.”

    Yet, as you say, we have are under a deluge of demons, and tonight, our Captain sleeps the sleep of death. Did you know St. Rita had a special devotion to Christ in the tomb on Holy Saturday? It was a devotion I was unaware of.

    Well, I am rambling. I guess I just hate to have to fear the portents of the heavens, but I also do not want to shy away from what our Lord wants us know.

    It’s just that today is my birthday, and I am honored it is on this amazing feast of the love of our Lord. I got to go to Stations, begin the Divine Mercy novena, and go to Confession. I am in a reflective mood. Comes with age, I suppose. 🙂 I am 55 today.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

      What a beautiful comment, Monica! And Happy Birthday!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        🙂 Thank you, Kim!

        Like

      • Bob says:

        I usually try to pray a decade of the Rosary on Saturdays in honor of Jesus in the Tomb as that was the day Mary had to hold onto faith and hope as no evidence of the hope was seen by Mary or His other followers and we will need the grace to hold onto hope and faith when it gets dark for us too. .

        Liked by 2 people

    • CrewDog says:

      Happy Birthday Monica!!! 😉
      …. I wish I was going on 55……… but as my old Mother used to say: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” ………….. I wish Jesus, St. Michael and The Heavenly Host would ride up on their White Chargers and rescue US from ………… “??? Of course they will but not as we may wish!
      GOD SAVE ALL HERE ……. AND HAPPY EASTER 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • the phoenix says:

      Happy Birthday, Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS!

      Wow. On another forum today, I’ve just met two other people like me who first became seriously interested in astronomy while we were all very young children! And like you, I also thank God for the beauty that He created in nature, especially in the sky as far as birds, weather, sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, stars, planets, meteors, northern lights, eclipses, comets, deep sky objects, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Happy Birthday, Monica! Today is also my sister’s birthday; she’s 47.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bob says:

      Happy Birthday Monica, too. Are you third order Carmalite?
      God bless Bob

      Liked by 1 person

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        Thanks so much, everyone, for the kind birthday wishes! I felt a bit sheepish mentioning it was my birthday, as of course there would likely be at least one reader with a birthday every day who could post the same thing — it was just the confluence with being on Good Friday that prompted me. At first, I couldn’t believe it –I was paging through the missalette a few weeks ago, and saw Holy Thursday was on April 2, and I started thinking, oh wait..that can’t be! That would mean Good Friday is on my birthday!!! But of course, that is exactly when it was. After the shock of realizing, wow, that is the serious fast day, and I want to be in church so that precludes birthday outings. etc. — and, worst, the day won’t all be about me! 😉 — I kind of got to liking the idea. It was special to share that date with such a great solemnity. Thanks, all, for bearing with me posting it.

        Phoenix,
        I have been trying to be more attuned to the beauty of nature, and as in my post, it is the night sky which makes it easier to do so. I, too, always loved astronomy, even when little, but as I got older I discovered to really study it involved serious math, and, well, I knew that counted me out! 😉

        dear CrewDog,
        Your comment reminds me of my beloved pastor, who when I happened to see him on my 50th birthday and I mentioned the day it was, told me I was “just a child.” (He was in his late seventies). Best comment EVER to a woman turning 50! 😉

        Bob,
        I am a third order Carmelite. I was privileged to make my final, definitive promises in December. Given some life circumstances, odds were against that actually happening, but I am so happy now it did! I used my devotional name as my screen name because it is fun to get to use it, and I am bad at coming up with screen names. Also, I remembered Charlie mentioning he seemed to have a fair number of devotees of Carmel reading this website, so I thought I would mention it in case people had any questions I could help with. Later on, I thought maybe I should have picked something different, both because the screen name is long and may seem pretentious, and also, I don’t speak or act officially for the order, but I am not sure how or if it is appropriate to change it, either. So that’s the story. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • jaykay says:

          It doesn’t seem at all pretentious, Monica Joseph. Don’t even think about changing it! I love the Carmelites, and attended a beautiful Holy Thursday Mass in one of their churches in the centre of Dublin. Packed, thank God. They have four hours of confessions every day, and about six Masses. Every day. Right beside all the expensive shops, in the very city centre. Tireless witness.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Wow, jaykay! I know that jealousy is a sin… but I can’t help but be a tad bit envious of your living so near such an awesome church. Shoot; now I have to go to Confession (again). 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • jaykay says:

            You’d love that church if you ever saw it, Mick. Brilliant choir, drawn from students of the College of Music just up the street. Their Holy Week liturgy is beautiful. Just Google Carmelites Dublin, Clarendon Street, and see. A true resource, and just off the main fashionable shopping street. Their ministry of Mass and confession and general Carmelite spirituality is a beacon for present-day Ireland. Understated, but powerful. I don’t actually live near it, but it’s near to my work. An oasis, truly. God bless. J.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Mary Ann says:

    Charlie, I was awakened at 1:50 last night by the words, “Now is the hour of the power of darkness.” And they seemed to be given, not in a call for prayer, but as a comfort. God knows. He knows about and He allows and His providence contains this hour. It is not the absence of God, but God allowing evil to manifest.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Pam says:

      I too woke up in the wee hours at 3am. Not unusual for me and I normally begin praying for the dying but this morning didn’t feel right at all and the moon was so bright it actually hurt to look at it. I got up, lit a candle and did the stations of the cross. Everything was so peaceful and quiet. It was also very calming walking with the Lord.

      Liked by 3 people

    • LL says:

      I woke up at exactly that time last night too! I did not fell or hear anything. I have been having a very difficult pregnancy. I cannot stay up past 5pm and I wake up anywhere from midnight to 3am. I am miserable. I have not been able to pray with my family in the evening for months and I am so sick that I find it such a chore to pray in general. I am really starting to feel down about it. I just wish I had more energy. I wish I had the faith of some saints, I really, really haven’t said many prayers lately. Even when awake my mind just wants to zone and my body just wants to lay back down. The laziness and self-centeredness have really been winning.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

        LL, please try not to get down on yourself to bad. Being pregnant alone can be so exhausting, you could have a vitamin deficiency, I know when I was pregnant with my first son they gave me vitamins with iron, I was so weak and tired I could not function, turns out I was getting to mush iron and that’s what was making me sick. So don’t automatically think you are lazy and self centered, it could be a number of things! You are in my prayers!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth K. says:

          I’d like to echo Kim’s sentiments. Your body is laboring hard right now to grow a whole new person. And you’re awash with all of those pregnancy hormones. It isn’t laziness, its nature forcing you to slow down. It’s hard, I know; with my third, I didn’t want to leave the couch and my husband had to walk me around the neighborhood like a decrepit old dog

          Liked by 1 person

        • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

          Good advice, Kim! And, LL, growing a new little human being IS work!!! As for not being able to pray, I notice is times of stress, often I cannot, either. This has made me love and appreciate even more the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints, because there are others who are praying for us, even when we cannot formulate our thoughts. Scripture also tells us the Holy Spirit prays for us with deep groans, and I take that mean even when we struggle to consciously pray.

          And in case you have never read this, here is truth:

          The most important person on earth is a Mother.
          She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral.
          She need not.
          She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral –
          A dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body.
          The angels have not been blessed with such a grace.
          They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new souls to heaven.
          Only a human mother can.
          Mothers are closer to God the creator than any other creature.
          God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…
          What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother? –Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

          When I gave birth to my first child, the Catholic hospital gave me a card with this quote on it. It sure brightened my spirits after a hard, hard labor!

          Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        I will pray for you, LL. My pregnancies sound almost identical to yours, so I really do know how you feel. I couldn’t pray with my family for months, either. I was so sick, that most days the only prayer I could manage to pray was the Morning Offering. If you can get that one prayer said every day, then all of your fatigue and misery and suffering will be offered to Jesus, through Mary, for the salvation of innumerable souls.

        I know it doesn’t seem that way right now, but you WILL get through this and will be stronger for it. And in the meantime, suffering offered to the Lord is such an inestimable gift! There is a story of St. Bernadette, who was bedridden for weeks before she died. She called her sickroom her “white chapel.” Shortly before her death, St. Bernadette told a visitor that she had work to do. “What work can you do?” the visitor incredulously asked. She responded, “My work is to suffer.” That is your work right now, too. Soon, it will be the work of all of us. But if that “work” is offered to Jesus through Mary, the benefit to souls–here and in the hereafter–will be unimaginable!

        God bless you and your family.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Irish7 says:

          Oh LL… I have so been there…three times.. all 23 months…and I beat myself up for being a wimp too. I too had an inexplicably difficult time praying even while being bed ridden with all the time in the world. I felt slothful for being unable to fulfill my duties. If I could do it over again (and God willing I will have a fourth chance), I hope I could realize that the suffering is my duty, and I am fulfilling it, and so are you. I love love love Mick’s advice. I will pray for you LL. You’re doing a better job than you think. It really is just so hard.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          Mick, and LL, Saint Bernadette is my Patron Saint, I will ask her to be with you during this hard time LL!!

          Liked by 1 person

      • narnialion54 says:

        Dear LL
        Carrying God’s precious little one and enduring is about the most powerful prayer I’ve ever thought about. Your misery is a profound sharing in the love and suffering of Jesus for his children. Even though you may not feel prayerful, you are, just by hanging in there and letting things BE. I found out recently after surgery, that prayers don’t need to be “said” . Living the life God gives us each day is prayer, as Charlie has said with his Next Right Step and although I am not an Opus Dei person, it seems that is their banner too,. I wish I could be there to help you, but I am just beginning to hobble around on my new hip, so I am sending…
        Much love for you, and a tender hug, dear sister in Christ.
        (By the way, if nausea is part of the problem, I found that picked ginger helped or was it fresh ginger???) Maybe someone else knows…
        Love,
        Narnia

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pam says:

        LL, I am keeping you in my prayers. Night is not a good time during pregnancy. There is no good position that helps. Know that your suffering is a prayer itself

        Liked by 1 person

      • connie says:

        Could be LL, Our Lord wants you all to himself so that He can do a work in your soul. Just lay back down if you can, duties permitting, and ponder the words “Be still, and know that I am”. I read that somewhere, that sometimes the Lord wants us to quiet our minds,heart, and body because He wants to do some work of drawing us closer to Him. And if we are in a constant state of “busy” we are not completely open and docile to a work of grace He intends for us. So maybe the Holy Spirit is giving you a prompting to just sit with Him and soak in His Love. I do not say ignore any physical medical needs, such as Kim says an iron defeciency or iron overload, etc. But if you can spare a little time, just lay , relax and be in the presence of Our Lord, letting go of all else. Oh, and one thing that I wish I had done when I was to dedicate my little one to God. Maybe I can do that for each of my children now, as God isn’t constrained by time, now that I think about it! Well, I ask St Anne, Jesus’ grandmother to be with you and guide you safely through out your pregnancy.

        And to all my TDL family, may each of you and your loved ones have a most blessed Easter with an increase in Faith, Hope, and Love through these days of remembrance of Jesus’ triumph overs sin and darkness. He Is Alive!!!!Hallleluia!!!!

        .

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Dorothy says:

    I thirst … Mother Theresa pondered on those words spoken by Jezus from the cross

    I thirst for souls…….dear Charlie if you saw so many demons released from hell last December that we have to pray like never before …. Why is it so hard though ..

    Why so many distractions ? We are all being attack right and left. I had to get a CD by mark Mallett to say rosary or I become so distracted I cannot finish.

    I noticed God is pruning people out of my life. Just recently my long time friend got into heating descussion with me about how wrong celibacy among priests is … There was nothing I could say to convince her otherwise …
    Even my other dear friends are becoming more distant …
    Does God want me to relay only on Him in those times or am I entering some strange stage in my life …
    I saw a babtismal fountain cover with black cloth today and it was uncomfortable and sad and lonely …
    Charlie long long time ago when I was a teenager during intense prayer in the church
    I saw Jezus on the other side of huge abyss (crack in the earth) I cried out to Him and the next thing I remember so vividly was me putting my head on his lap, I was beside Him. It happened only once to me, and made me wonder what this meant?
    Lately this vision kept coming back to me, are the blood moons telling us of something coming .. Nobody knows we have to trust and pray like never before …

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Dorothy, it’s interesting to see you talking about Mother Teresa and “I thirst.” I was just thinking about her and about those words yesterday, too.

      Like you, I’ve noticed that God is pruning people out of my life. Longtime friends of 20 years are becoming more distant. I’m not sure why, either; but I have also noticed that in the past year or two, God has brought some new people into my life that have quickly become close friends. Perhaps the people that God has pruned out of your life, and mine, are people who would have had a seriously negative impact on our efforts to Trust-Do-Love; and perhaps God is trying to spare us that. Perhaps the new people that He has brought into my life are people that will help my family and me to whether the Storm; or perhaps we are supposed to help THEM weather the storm. In any event, as you said, we need to rely entirely on Jesus to get us through this; and we need to pray like never before. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MMBev says:

        Mick, I completely relate to your comment. I made my first real friend when I was about 23 years old. Through her divorce and move to the coast, the connection, though tentative, remained. For all the years of my marriage I could not be honest with anyone because I did not want them to know the depth of my son’s illness and suffering, nor the emptiness of my marriage. When you cannot share the reality of your life, there can be no real depth in a friendship. She moved back, and I shared with her those years, and since then (now over a year and a half) she has made excuse after excuse to avoid our being together. Over this Holy Week, I finally realized she doesn’t want to be friends any more. I don’t pick up on social clues easily since the brain damage, and with this realization, I have been torn about how to relate to it. The only other friend I was allowed to have during the years of our marriage completely ceased our relationship six years ago following my husband’s death. Almost every day that wound bleeds.

        Thank your for your comment. That is exactly what God has been doing, only until I read what you said, I didn’t recognize it. He has filled those empty places with a family I just love who are another denomination, but some of the truest Christian followers I have ever met. He brought another woman into my life also, who has no connection with a belief in God, but I talk the same way with her as I do with any Christian about God in my life, which she doesn’t seem to mind at all.

        And so, thanks to Charlie’s last blog I know how to bring closure to the relationships I have lost, and Easter is the perfect time to acknowledge it with great love for the gift that existed there and is ever open on my part. The pain is only a dull ache now thanks to your revelation and my understanding.

        Two have gone, into God’s arms and timing, and a family and a friend have replaced them. That’s actually an increase. Sort of pressed down and overflowing.

        I thank Him so much for at last understanding, relieving the pain in my heart, and showing the multiplication through you.

        Mick, may and all your family experience the joy of the Risen Christ, and may Charlie, Kim and all their families, as well as the people and families of all who are part of this wonderful, real family, join in and experience that joy as well.

        This day of emptiness and waiting has turned into a gift. Even when we experience Him as gone from us, which the Church portrays in such a poignant way, He gives enormous gifts. I am pruned, yet blessed. Changed by loss, but enhanced a hundredfold.

        TRUST – DO – LOVE

        Liked by 2 people

        • connie says:

          I love you MM, I simply love you and send you a hug. You tug at my heart with every word you write. God Bless you a hundred fold, friend.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Thank you, dear sister, for your kind words. I’m so glad that Our Lord has given you some friends to replace the others. Have a very blessed Easter.

          Liked by 1 person

        • MMBev says:

          And with friends like you, Connie and Mick, how could I not feel wonderfully blessed. I love you guys too. Isn’t it crazy loving people you have never met but know more than people you encounter every day! This blog has changed my life in so many ways. I have an entire family of more than I can count, and ones like you that put into words what I know many others are feeling. I think it’s like a tiny piece of what heaven must be like. God gives it to us here to help build our trust in Him Thank you so much.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

            I agree Bev, with friends like you I feel so blessed, i love you so dearly, this blog and all of you have changed my life in so many wonderful ways, I could not begin to express, thank you all ans God Bless!

            Liked by 2 people

          • barb129 says:

            It is awesome, isn’t it? For so many years, I have longed for and pleaded to the dear Lord to send me like-minded friends and here all of you are. I love reading all of the comments and posts and even though I don’t comment much, all of you are becoming dear to me and I pray for all of you and your families and friends each day. =)

            Like

  10. Mary Anne says:

    Hey everybody! DIVINE MERCY NOVENA begins today. Here’s the link to bring it to your inbox every morning. PLEASE do this!!!…
    http://www.praymorenovenas.com/how-to-pray-the-divine-mercy-chaplet/

    Liked by 2 people

  11. EllenChris says:

    Just came home from church. The words of St. John’s Passion that struck me most deeply tonight were: “And the *Chief Priests* cried out, ‘We have no king but *Ceasar*’!” Those who were most consecrated to God chose the secular authority over God, Himself. Every moment we are faced with choices. Whom do we choose — really?

    Many blessings to all especially tonight and tomorrow, the time of “empty waiting.” Joy comes in the morning.

    Mercy.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lily says:

      Thank you for sharing that, Ellen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ann says:

      Ellen–that is the phrase that leaped out at me too and then haunted me since. It sends a chill down my spine. I kept thinking, Lord they are still screaming those words from nation to nation. They still want You crucified. They are still sneering, come off the cross and then we’ll believe…
      With all the talk of the blood moon, I keep remembering that great CCR song–there’s a bad moon rising/there’s trouble on the way…

      Liked by 2 people

  12. N. Wright says:

    Your word Charlie reminded me of Rabbi Johnathan Cahn’s talk on the SHEMITAH: .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0LKvtvo4sM America’s Rise and Fall Jonathan Cahn 2015 blood moon.

    “http://www.bloodmoonharbinger.com/ says: The last blood moon of the four blood moon tetrad in 2014/2015 happens on September 28, 2015 on the Jewish holiday, “Feast of tabernacles”. In the book of Joel we read Joel 2:31: The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. Revelation 6:12: I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood.

    “http://ipost.christianpost.com/news/the-connection-between-the-harbinger-and-the-four-blood-moons-13139/ says: “According to the Jews, an eclipse of the moon is a bad omen for the Jewish people, but a solar eclipse is a bad omen for the Gentile nations”.

    I find these more than interesting, how God is reminding us to be ready and watchful. He is sending many watchmen – thank you Charlie for your part in His plan for us.

    God will renew the earth as He is will bring spring to Moncton, NB Canada, even though we had the most snow in our 42 years of being here. We had 14 feet of snow in our front yard this month, it has started to melt ! We had green grass at Christmas and now snow for Easter.

    Happy Easter!
    Nellie Wright

    Liked by 1 person

    • Petra says:

      N. Wright said: “According to the Jews, an eclipse of the moon is a bad omen for the Jewish people, but a solar eclipse is a bad omen for the Gentile nations”.
      I don’t know if people who read this blog are aware of it or not, but on August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse that will cross the entire United States from Washington state across the center of the country ending in Florida.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Julia says:

    Can’t help wondering about all these things.

    Two remarkable Heavenly signs in the space of a couple of weeks. First the blood of Saint Janarius liquefies in Naples when Holy Father visited, then the blood moons.

    Just have to acknowledge these visible signs can only be attributed to God our Heavenly Father.

    Praised be Jesus and Mary on this Easter, when we open the doors to Gods’ Mercy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Julia says:

    Thinking about what would I do if I was there on Good Friday. To be honest, shouting with the rest of the crowd “Crucify Him”. Lets face it, if Jesus was being Crucified in our day, we would be obliged to obey the Church, and if the Hierarchy told us He was an imposter and to demand His execution. We would be between a Rock and a hard place obliged to obey.

    Makes you think doesn’t it. How important it is not to judge those who claim to receive messages. Unless we can see clear heresy of course.

    What a conundrum. Those who lead us carry a very heavy responsibility. God help them.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. waitingNwondering says:

    Charlie, with regard to “the world is getting a taste of what you sometimes get,” today our parish priest mentioned the Christian martyrs in Syria and elsewhere and I had a thought, the likes of which I’ve never had before … (at least not since I was a child, when a similar thought scared me).

    What would be my response if I was told I had to either denounce Christianity or die? And what if my family (not strong Christians if at all), pressured me to denounce, in order to keep me alive? What would I say?

    What would YOU say?

    I’ve never pondered this before, having lived so long in a country that “protects” me from such difficult choices. I wonder if it will continue to do so.

    PAX!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Who can know with certainty, Waiting? St. Joan of Arc, during her trial, told friends that she could not be sure what things she might say under torture or duress – and to please give witness of her intention to serve the Lord faithfully whatever she might say in agony. As it turned out, she kept public faith to the end – but she, too, made provisions for if she weakened.

      I have dealt with many things…I lived outside for a year and a half and persisted though I went through more ordeals than you will ever know. In politics, numerous times powerful officials threatened to have me destroyed or even thrown in jail unless I did such and such. Others tried to seduce me with cushy benefits. Others threatened to manufacture lies about me – and some did. Nonetheless, I stayed where I stood, neither caving to any pressure nor failing to act for fear that it might look bad. Five times I had professional investigators following and studying me, once for six full months. I do not know with certainty what I would do if put to that test, but I have been put to the test repeatedly and though it has often been an agony, thus far I have stayed true.

      In the larger sense, I think it is a foolishness bordering on vanity to worry overmuch about such things. Take the next right step…if you live that with fortitude, that will both carry you and develop the habits of heart and mind to make it easier. For the truth is, rarely does it take the threat of death to corrupt a soul…far too many are corrupted by the fear of people speaking ugly about them. Do not fear the former, for you can trust to God’s mercy when you fold under mortal coercion: fear the latter, for you are fully culpable when you fold for such pathetic reasons.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Michelle says:

        I admire your courage, Charlie. Thank you for all you do.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          Michelle, I know he is my brother, but I know, and have seen in person how some have mocked him, I know the physical pain he suffers, I appreciate all he does. He has been there for me since I was a small kid, and he still is whenever I need him! Thanks Lar! I love you!

          Liked by 3 people

      • waitingNwondering says:

        Very nice, Charlie. Thanks.

        I particularly liked your reference to St. Joan of Arc and I hope your other comments will make me more mindful about the importance of defending our faith against onslaught from anti-Christian “ankle-biters.” 🙂

        PAX!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        And Thomas More was right to take care to not be overfocused on what might happen or what I might do but to Watch and pray knowing that we will always need God’s help and grace for any major test, lest we be like Peter with his first test, too sure of himself. But Peter is also an example that even if we do fall through fear or weakness God is still there and we can trust in His mercy when we repent and come back.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          Bob, I have so often thought, what if I was put to the test, I mean truly PUT TO THE TEST, denounce Christ or die test, what would I do? Like Peter I could sit here all day and tell you I would never denounce Him, but when they come to my door ready to take my head off, what then? Would I so bravely say I will NEVER denounce him, or like Peter, would I start cursing saying I don’t even know Him, I don’t know, all I do know is that I don’t ever WANT to denounce him, I pray for courage for all Christians everywhere, and for conversion of all everywhere!

          Liked by 3 people

      • Sr Lorraine says:

        Wise words, Charlie. We can only pray for the grace to always be faithful. And if such an extreme moment should come, that is when God bestows the gifts of the Holy Spirit in even greater abundance. I remember Fr Groeschel telling the story of “Sister Mouse,” one of the Carmelites of Compiegne. She was so afraid that she left the convent to avoid the guillottine. Eventually the other sisters were being martyred, singing Veni Sancte Spiritus. As the hymn faded away as the last sister was martyred, suddenly it started up again. It was Sister Mouse, who had returned to give the witness of her own life, buoyed up by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who helps us overcome all fear.

        Liked by 5 people

      • jobrower says:

        When I was a small child I worried that I would not die for my faith, that I would not have the courage. Now I know that everything is grace and our God will provide us with the grace we need to remain true to Him.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Gina says:

    I feel like we have a vail kind of covering our eyes..and not being able to see what is ahead of us, sometimes you kind of see through but most of the times it’s just there and not been able to see clearly, this waiting on the Lord to take this vail off! It’s unbearable! ..Gina F

    Liked by 1 person

    • MMBev says:

      I tell you truly, it is God’s great, unbelievably, overwhelming mercy that we do not see more than we need to know in the “now’ moment. I know that in my own life, it has been one of His greatest Mercies, and I cannot ever express the gratitude I am over come with that He has done this. Had I known, I would have turned and run as fast as I could. If or when our time comes to face what our brothers and sisters in the East as facing, He will give us “the ticket when we get on the train”. Things will be happening then too fast to feel the gratitude for His gift of early blindness.

      Just TRUST – DO – LOVE every day now, so that we are ready for whatever comes.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. radiclaudio says:

    Veni Sancte Spiritus

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Like so many of you, I too feel lost with the tabernacle empty and the altar stripped. When Jesus was criticized by the Pharisees because his followers did not fast, Jesus told them, “When the Bridegroom is taken away–then they will fast.” Today our Bridegroom is taken away, and the Bride is heartbroken. What takes my breath away is the thought that in the Storm, we may be deprived of the Eucharist and or Mass for a period. I think about the persecuted in the middle East, about the bombed, stripped churches. They too are without the Bridegroom. We need to fast and grieve for them, too.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Barbara Dore says:

      very True, I went to the church today and I felt a bit weird to see the tabernacle empty. I feel so empty in this church . I did wonder if it will happen in my lifetime? I do not want to think about it, but i have to face the reality that it will happen in my lifetime. scary!

      Liked by 1 person

    • DanSouthChicago says:

      Kathy, I have wondered about the church during the storm, as well. I live in an area with weekday masses in the morning, noon and evening. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like without the Eucharistic Lord and the empty tabernacle of Good Friday and Holy Saturday gave me a clue. I suspect that the Church will be under greater duress, but I hope it doesn’t include being closed down. Does anyone recall if Charlie mentioned anything about this? Thank you, God bless and a joyful Easter to all!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        Dan, I might have missed something; but I don’t recall Charlie’s having said anything about the availability of Holy Mass during the Storm. However, I know that there are other alleged mystics (I say “alleged” only because there has not yet been Church review) who indicate that the Mass may be suppressed or have to go underground. For example, here are two Mark Mallett articles from 2008 and 2009, in which Mark discusses a priest friend of his. This priest is a mystic and appears to have been shown a time in America when churches are closed and priests are in hiding:

        http://www.markmallett.com/blog/persecution-is-near/

        http://www.markmallett.com/blog/revolution/

        Amazingly, this priest is the pastor of the parish from which the Divine Mercy devotion was originally spread in the US (see the first link above).

        I have spoken with this priest on more than one occasion (I live in Michigan, not too far from his parish). I once asked him what we should do in order to prepare for the persecution that he’s been shown. He gave me a simple list, which includes the following: Daily Mass, if possible; frequent Confession; wearing the Brown Scapular; daily Rosary, with the family if possible; reading the Bible, living the virtues. I might have left one or two things out; right now I can’t get to the file drawer which contains the list that I wrote down 5 years ago. But what I wrote above is at least most of it. It sounds like Trust-Do-Love with a specifically Catholic flavor, no?

        By the way, Dan, are you familiar with St. Mary of the Angels? My husband and I were married there in 1995. I haven’t been back there in well over a decade. Maybe the family should take a road trip this summer and go to Mass there.

        God bless you and yours, and Happy Easter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • DanSouthChicago says:

          Thank you for your response, Mick. Very insightful advice from the priest in MI, advice I will try to follow.

          I am very familiar with St. Mary of the Angels, a beautiful old Polish church. As a matter of fact, I happened upon a site this morning called church pop.com that had photos of “21 beautiful churches” in no particular order. St. Mary was one of them. I recall the plans to tear it down in the 70s and 80s and the fundraising efforts that helped save it. Actually, I am more familiar with the St. Jose Escriva Chapel downstairs, where weekday masses and confessions are offered. There is, at least to me, a very palpable presence of the Holy Spirit in that chapel. It’s a very peaceful and prayerful space. When you visit, be sure to go down the road a bit to St. Stanislaus Kostka. It has 24/7 Adoration and a beautiful monstrance depicting Mary and the Ark of the Covenant (Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant), another joyful place.

          Thank you again. I pray you and your family have a joyful Easter season.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Dan and Mick, St. Mary of the Angels is my favorite church. I used to go there at least once every few months when I lived in the Chicago area – and one of my great sorrows now is that I can’t go to the marvelous Novena to the Immaculate Conception they do every year – nine evening Masses and extended homilies.

            Actually, when it was about to be shuttered, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin di a great kindness to Opus Dei. Relations had been tense and he offered to give them a parish they could run and staff. It was St. Mary of the Angels. Now some cynics say it was in such disrepair and so troubled that he was just giving them something they were bound to fail at. I honestly think that was an occasion of a real kindness – and a real shrewdness. The late Cardinal did know that, however controversial the prelature was at the time, it did have a history of accomplishing what it set out to do – and this was the last, best hope of rescuing an historic and potentially beautiful old parish. Opus Dei has staffed and run it ever since. One day, when coming out of the city, I stopped there (as I always did) just in time for a Daily Mass. It is the only Mass I have ever attended that was entirely in Polish.

            Once when my kids were little we were there for the Immaculate Conception Novena and my daughter pointed to the beautiful blond angel in the dome who is scattering roses across the world and said, “Look, Dad, it’s your guardian angel.” It is a wonderful memory – and I always acknowledge my “guardian angel” whenever I enter…and there she is, always standing her post.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Thanks for the tip about St. Stanislaus Kostka. We have a parish of the same name in the town where I grew up; but we all affectionately call it “Saint Stan’s.”

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            I think you are in Michigan if I remember right. Are you talking about St. Stan’s in Dorr?

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Michelle, I do in fact live in Michigan. I am referring to St. Stan’s in Jackson, not in Dorr. Are you a Michigander, too? (By the way, my name is also Michelle. I got the nickname “Mick” because my brothers wanted to name me “Mickey Mouse” when I was born.)

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            That,s funny, my parents wanted a boy, to name him Michael so my nickname is Mikey. My family has called me that since the day I was born. Yes, I live in Holland.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Michelle, I’m howling with laughter! My parents thought I was going to be a boy, so they planned to name me Todd Alan and never picked out a girl’s name. So I came along, 5 weeks early… and on my brother’s sixth birthday (boy, was he mad; he had wanted a bicycle). So, my parents quieted the grumbling by letting my brothers name me.

            By the way, you live less than 2 hours from me. Let’s do lunch!

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Ha, Mick! My mother was determined I would bear my Father’s name if I was a boy…and bear his initials if I had been a girl. So you could have been reading a blog by Charlotte Lynn had the chromosomes not aligned themselves just so. That really is the girl’s name she had picked out.

            (Of course, there are several generations of younger folk who have no clue that, just 40 years ago, NO ONE knew the sex of their baby until it was born.)

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            So, your brothers named you Michelle or Mickey Mouse? Either way, they did a good job, it could have been a whole lot worse. Haha Yes, I would like to meet for lunch. Do you have a facebook page? We could message there.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Michelle, you’re right; it could’ve been worse: my brothers could have named me after Goofy rather than Mickey. And I don’t have a Facebook page. Hmm… Charlie or Kim, could one of you perhaps please send Michelle my e-mail address so that she can contact me directly? Thanks!

            Michelle, once you e-mail me, will you please let me know through this thread? Sometimes e-mails never arrive (AOL is such a decrepit dinosaur, but my husband insists on keeping it), and I wouldn’t want you to think I was blowing you off when in fact your e-mail never reached me. In any even, I’m already looking forward to meeting you. 🙂

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            Well Mick, Charlie didn’t send me your email address, I can’t really blame him, it could be a little dicey. We will have to figure something else out. I’m not sure where halfway is because I don’t know where you are coming from. Are you thinking GR? Maybe we could meet for a morning Mass somewhere and go to lunch after. We could wear “Hello My Name is Michelle” tags to find each other. Hahahaha. Most churches have a webpage with Mass schedules.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Michelle, what about meeting for Mass at St. Edward in Lake Odessa? Weekday Mass is Tuesday through Friday at 9:00 (shudder). Lake O is almost exactly halfway between your digs and mine. We could hit Mass and then go hang out at Mickey D’s; there one just a few blocks away from the church.

            Fridays are the best day for me, because it’s the only day that I have a car (our college kid has my car Monday through Thursday). And I’ll be easy to spot… I’m guaranteed to be the only black chick with a white toddler on her hip at Mass (my husband is English-German-Irish, so our kids got funny genetics. I’ve been asked more than once if the baby is adopted or a foster child!). So, is there a Friday morning that works for you? I’m wide open.

            Charlie, sorry to threadjack. 🙂

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Ah, Mick, you and some of the more prolific and insightful regulars have earned some thread-jacking credits – so long as you keep it down to a dull roar.

            Like

  19. Julie greer says:

    Kathy you are so right! How would we ever manage without THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST? My soul feels wrenched from my flesh when I even consider the tabernacle empty every day of the week. Luisa Picarreta was told by Jesus that, during the last part of the scourging, He looked at the pieces of His own flesh lying about him and while Luisa felt as if she would die of grief, He told her to make reparation with Him for those souls who belong in His Divine Will, but who instead, tear themselves away from His Mystical Body. How much more should we be praying for our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters, who are being physically torn from the Body of Christ? It is very much our business, or the name “Christian” does not suit us. I read recently of all the bishops who live imprisoned for 9-12 years in solitary confinement. I read a book of such a bishop whose parishioners snuck hosts wine, and holy water into his cell via a flash light. He used the palms of his hands as an altar and said mass on them, using only the tiniest bits in order to make what they gave him last. He wrote sermons to them on the margins of newspapers he was allowed by the guards to use as toilet paper. In China we could lose our job, be tortured, or/and killed for attending Mass. Oh Dear Brothers and Sisters! Does it not make us want to run to any unlocked church to adore the Prisoner of of Love who waits for us there day and night? Does it not make us want to speak of vocations to our sons and daughters and grandchildren? As one famous now fallen priest said “No priests. No Eucharist. ” Did we fail him? Don’t I mumble in my spirit about my own parish priest’s uninspired homilies week after week. Starving people don’t care how it tastes, food sates ones hunger. The priest is both the chef who serves food for the soul and the consecrated son of Mary who needs our constant prayers. A vacant tabernacle eloquently drives home that point. We are the ancient church of the Barque of Peter, whose ancient mass was established centuries ago on this very night. We are NOT (as some of our Protestant brethren say) A DUNGPILE COVERED WITH THE WHITE SNOW OF CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS! We are EASTER PEOPLE IN WHOM THE DIVINE NATURE OF THE TRINITY RESIDES!!!! Shout the good news Let not one soul be lost! In tomorrow’s vigil mass we will be praying for all of creation as a universal Church must do. “Oh happy sin of Adam” who brings me such a Savior. God sent His only Begotten Son, who by the mystery of water mingling with wine humbled Himself to share in our humanity while we share in His DIVINIY! What kind of king opens his palace doors so his people may wander about freely, helping themselves to the king’s treasures. Our King does THAT! Our Triune God who says “May they may be one with Me as I AM in You, and You are in me.” JESUS is coming! Jesus is coming! “Hold your heads up high. Your redemption is near! We can only make it through Good Friday if we remember we are our Abba’s children who have been passed over into Easter. And so shall it be, when the storm which we are now approaching frightens us to death. Julie

    Liked by 3 people

  20. W. Leo says:

    The office of readings for Holy Saturday contains an ancient homily that sheds some light on the mystery of Holy Saturday. Here is the beginning portion; it is worth reading in full at
    http://www.universalis.com/20150404/readings.htm

    “Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
    He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

    Liked by 5 people

  21. CrewDog says:

    Heartlight Daily Verse – April 4
    Ephesians 1:7
    In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Forgiveness. What a sweet and precious gift. What we could not fix, make up, or pay for, God did for us in Jesus. With him each day is a fresh start and rebirth of springtime. But my what a cost!
    Prayer:
    Thank you, Father, for your anguish it cost to forgive my sins by the blood of your Son. I pledge today that I will not take lightly the cost of my sin and will live to your glory in appreciation of your grace. Through him who sacrificed all for my salvation I pray. Amen.
    Visit heartlight.org for more

    GOD BLESS ALL HERE ………. HAPPY EASTER!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

      Wow CrewDog beautiful! We talk about forgiveness and grace a lot, but what about the true cost? Jesus is in the tomb as we speak, although I am heartbroken do I stop sinning….no! Knowing the cost do I stop….no! But I will NOT give up! He did all of this so we wouldn’t give up, there are those that will tell you to stop sinning or go home, I tell you NEVER GIVE UP!

      Liked by 2 people

  22. barb129 says:

    I guess I’m a bit strange, but I always feel some relief when the Passion service is over and it’s past 3 o’clock. I always have difficulty trying to imagine what our dear Lord felt during His passion because it must have been so horrible, but I have a bit easier time imagining how our dear Blessed Mother might have felt – her great sorrow at His suffering and then at His absence, but I also imagine that she felt relief that His suffering was over and I share in that feeling.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

      Barb, when I pray the sorrowful mysteries, I cannot get through them without crying, I think about how horrible His suffering was, and How his precious Mother was with Him through it all. I have two son’s and I know this She was the only human being on this earth that would have gladly taken His place! Everytime we read The Passion at Mass I cry, my son ALWAYS asks me what’s wrong mom? I always have to tell him The Passion makes me cry!

      Liked by 4 people

  23. GB says:

    I watched a NASA video about blood moons… If you were on the moon watching the earth at the time of the blood moon (eg the earth is eclipsing the sun), the “earth would appear as though it’s on fire…”

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Gary says:

    It is true. Walking into a Catholic Church on Good Friday and Holy Saturday there is a palpable emptiness, like walking into a protestant church. “Where is your God?”. It is like living in a communist nation Jesus is just not there. I can’t really put my finger on that emptiness and compare it to when the Presence of Christ is in the tabernacle or exposed. I remember when Yeltsin came to power in Russia. He went to the Orthodox Mass. He said he does not believe in God but when he went to Mass he felt happy. I guess it is the same thing when even an avowed communist senses the Presence. An interesting aside; a Catholic priest smuggled a short wave radio transmitter in Russia, it found it’s way into the possession of Yeltsin and he used it to communicate to the rest of the world as Russia became free of communism. It was interesting to note that the Russian army would not fire on the Russian people who were protesting during that time of the second Russian Revolution.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Bob says:

    Pope Benedict’s meditation on the Shroud of Turin and Holy Saturday
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2010/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20100502_meditazione-torino.html#

    And the meditation from the daily Office of Readings on the subject is good too.
    http://www.universalis.com/readings.htm

    Like

  26. Michael King says:

    Dear Charlie

    I am a relative newcomer to your blog having been introduced to it only about three months ago. In general I am skeptical of private revelation but yours has the scent of authenticity and I especially like your oft repeated advice to “acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.” I’m sure you won’t mind the fact I’ve repeated this advice in at least one homily (I’m a parish priest in Canada) as well as in correspondence. As a cooperator of Opus Dei, I respect the practical quality of your approach and its attention to the everyday and small things that make up our days and duties.

    With respect to Holy Saturday, I’ve always seen it as bitter sweet. As the 2nd century homily from today’s liturgy of hours reminds us, the Lord spent today with the souls of all who, by the grace given them in anticipation of Christ’s merits, died in God’s friendship and awaited their release from “prison”. It’s described as such a happy and beautiful event (“Awake sleeper, arise, your Lord has come…armed with the cross, the weapon he used to defeat death”) that it makes today seem like those days one sees on our Canadian east coast wherein sun and rain intermingle.

    Finally, thanks for the forwards to the articles in National Review concerning the loss of private life and opinion. I do not like either end of the political spectrum in either of our two countries. I’ve never been able to square the platforms of US Republicans or our “Torries” with the social doctrine of the Church, but, since at least the 70’s, have personally found your Democratic and our Liberal party worse than useless (I pass over in silence our New Democratic Party). I suppose as a believer in Distributism, a Green Party that was pro-life and family might be more to my liking, but fat chance anything like that will come along soon!

    Keep up the good work, I will remember you, Michael Brown at Spiritdayly.com and Mark Mallet in my Masses this Easter weekend.

    Father Michael King

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Glad to know you find some of the stuff here useful, Fr. Michael. I was a little surprised early on at how many Priests and Deacons were visiting my website – and though Bishop Gracida is the only Bishop to publicly speak of it, he is not the only Bishop who reads here pretty regularly. I thank you all for your fidelity – and I know our clerics have use of a place that discusses the faith, including the mystical side, with candor and balance. Sometimes people are so fearful of what is now obviously before us that they lose sight of how unsettling that is for people like you, who must be in the front lines, even as it is just as fearful for you. As we sometimes say to our soldiers, thank you for your service.

      Some years ago someone asked me if I thought God was a Republican. I laughed – and said no, God is not confined by our little labels. The difference is that the modern Democratic Party has left no room for God…while the Republicans still did – even if they made Him stay in the other room at the kiddie table. Now the Republicans try to keep Him locked in the attic like a crazy cousin. The reality, of course, is that there is no political solution to our problems…that possibility is long gone. Renewal must come, as I said, from people of real faith and compassion, who will build anew a City of God. Bless you. (BY the way, one of my priests makes more than a few visits to Minnesota…so if you know a Fr. Mark from Chicago, we may have a mutual friend).

      Liked by 2 people

    • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

      Father Michael,
      Thank you for your priesthood. I looked at our dear,holy pastor yesterday leading the Stations, and know, of course, he lead the other Lenten and Holy Week activities, and thought how tired he must be — eg, he was in the confessional over an hour after the Holy Thursday Mass alone, plus he offered Confession yesterday and today. The line yesterday was long, too. And,he does this cheerily, with no associate pastor. His generosity is such a gift, and as I have gotten older, I appreciate more and more how blessed we are that men such as yourself and my pastor responded lovingly, graciously and heroically to the call of the priesthood.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jobrower says:

        Yes, so beautifully stated. We, too, are blessed with such a priest whose love for our Lord radiates in his face and is made obvious by his service to his people. We must keep them forefront in our prayers which, of course, is the charism of our Carmelite order.
        (Jo Lynn of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, OCDS)

        Like

    • Mick says:

      Father, I would like to echo Monica in thanking you for your priesthood. May God bless and Mary keep you (and all priests).

      May I please ask you to pray for a young man from our parish? His name is Cyprian and he is 18, and he is discerning whether or not he is being called to the priesthood. Thanks.

      Like

      • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

        Mick, I will also be praying for Cyprian. And yes thank you Father Michael for your service!

        Like

        • Mick says:

          On behalf of Cyprian’s family, thanks, Kim. I know that they appreciate all prayers said for him and his vocation, whatever it may be.

          Like

    • jaykay says:

      I understand what you say about private revelation, Fr. K. (my namesake😉). Nevertheless, I always find Bl. Ann Katherine Emmerich’s meditations on Jesus among the blessed souls on Holy Saturday when He came to them and then harrowed Hell, very strengthening. Of course she herself said they shouldn’t be taken as more than “a nun’s pious meditations” but they are great. Somehow, I’ve always liked Holy Saturday, with its feeling of almost breathless expectation, culminating in the beautiful drama of the Easter Vigil. We had a beautiful one in our parish, thanks be to God, with about 12 Catechumens received. And now it’s Easter with us over here. Blessings to all. Alleluia

      Like

  27. Donette says:

    Charlie, this either does or does not tie in with your Post. I think it just might.

    Christians are not the only ones looking for meaning in the plethora of signs aligning in the heavens.
    A rare alignment of four blood moons and a total solar eclipse unfolding during a Shemitah year and on biblical feast days, has a Jewish rabbi in Israel asking for special prayer.

    And issuing an ominous warning.

    Rabbi Amram Vaknin, described as a “mystic rabbi living in southern Israel,” is urging all Jews to pray and repent as the third Blood Moon of a tetrad cycle approaches, according to a report in Breaking Israel News.

    Vaknin is not easily dismissed because he reportedly predicted the events of the Gaza flotilla and the Carmel forest fire in 2010, the Operations Pillar of Defense of 2012 and Protective Edge of 2014.

    He warns that Israel is facing great judgment and potential danger at this time, according to the report.

    The rabbi’s concerns have a lot to do with the number 44 and the current U.S. president.

    One of Vaknin’s students, Gil Nachman, spoke to Breaking Israel News and, quoting the rabbi, explained that the numeric value of the Hebrew word for blood, dam, which is 44, alludes to the 44th president of the United States.

    Vaknin predicted that the 44th president would “bring bloodshed (dam) to the Jewish people.” It should be noted that the rabbi made this prediction before President Barack Obama’s election to office, according to Breaking Israel News.

    Vaknin believes that only 44 plus one, or 45, can counter the danger represented by the blood moons. This, he says, is Adam, or Man, which in this case refers to the Messiah.

    “Blood Moons” author, Pastor Mark Biltz, said he agrees with Vaknin’s numerology.

    “Because when you add the letter aleph to dam you get adam and aleph has a numeric value of one,” Biltz told WND.

    Obama-Iran deal ominous for Israel

    The next blood moon is set for Saturday night, April 4, on Passover.

    “So here, on Passover, when you put blood on the doorpost you have the Hebrew letter Dalet meaning door and is also the number 4 with a blood moon over it on 4/4 which is the 14th of Nisan going into the 15th of Nisan beginning the Feast of Unleavened Bread,” Biltz said.

    Get the full blood moons story – straight from the discoverer – in “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” the book and the movie, both by Mark Biltz.

    The concerns about Obama are also valid, in Biltz’s view, especially now that he has made a pact with Iran on the Islamic republic’s future nuclear capability.

    “And here our 44th president has signed off on a nuclear agreement with Israel’s arch-enemy who has declared in no uncertain terms they will destroy Israel,” he said.

    image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2014/03/blood_moons2.jpg
    blood_moonsIt’s interesting that in Hebrew the word for Damascus is 444, Biltz said.

    “And in Isaiah there is a prophecy that Damascus will cease from being a city which has never happened before in history.”

    Rabbi Vaknin called for a day of prayer at the Western Wall April 1 to encourage the arrival of the Messiah and the redemption of the Jewish people and the world.

    “In these critical times, Am Israel must join together to pray to Hashem to send us Mashiach Ben David! Men and women, young and old, observant or not — the more people who come, the stronger the tefilla (prayer),” Vaknin announced on his Facebook page.

    The repeated number four is also important to the sage.

    Along with the value of 44 and the four Blood Moons of the tetrad, this Passover brings the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting just 4 minutes, 44 seconds.

    Strong tradition of blood moon signs in Talmud

    Vaknin is not the first Jewish religious teacher to associate the blood moon tetrad with Jewish redemption, according to Breaking Israel News.

    “With the first and third Blood Moons in this current tetrad cycle coinciding with Passover, and the second and fourth with the Feast of Tabernacles, the connections to times of redemption run deep,” the site reported.

    The Talmud states, “In [the Hebrew month of] Nisan our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt, and in Nisan we will be redeemed.”

    Likewise, the Feast of the Tabernacles is associated in Jewish tradition with the battle of Gog and Magog, the final war that is said to precede the final redemption and arrival of the Messiah.”

    This year is also a sabbatical, or Shemitah year, a once every seven years cycle in which the land of Israel is commanded to be left fallow and financial ledgers get wiped clean.

    Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times-bestseller “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” has also issued warnings that a time of judgment is coming to America and the world in the form of possible stock market collapses and wars. But Cahn has stopped short of predicting such events. Rather, Cahn says “we should be aware” and people of Christian faith should be preparing themselves not only physically but spiritually for difficult times ahead. Even if the judgment doesn’t fall during the Shemitah year, Cahn believes it is guaranteed to come at some point if people don’t repent and turn back to God.

    What’s this Shemitah business all about? WND has a free e-book that explains all you need to know in one quick read.

    ‘Voices of war’, then Messiah arrives at Shemitah’s end

    From a Jewish perspective, Yahadoot.net notes that the sages in the Talmud included the following warning: “In the sixth [year there will be] voices [of war], in the seventh [there will be] war, and at the end of the shmitta, the [Messiah] son of Jesse will arrive.”

    Although the Talmud never states in which seven-year cycle in history this will be fulfilled, the website suggested that thus far our modern period fits the description.

    Breaking Israel News said not everyone agrees on the meaning of the rare tetrad of blood moons.

    “The Blood Moon phenomenon has attracted much attention of late thanks to the efforts and solar discoveries by Root Source’s Bob O’Dell and Gidon Ariel. Not everyone is in agreement as to what the Blood Moons signify. According to O’Dell, “All the prior blood moon tetrads point to a pattern of blessing on the Jewish people. They are good news for the Jews. They are a great indicator of God’s love and commitment to the Jewish people to preserve them, and a warning to those who stand in opposition to Israel.”

    The Talmud discusses the significance of astronomical events in human history, stating that a solar eclipse is a warning to the nations, while a lunar eclipse signifies danger for the Jewish people, who are likened to the moon, according to the website.

    “The Sages go on to explain that this is because God sits in judgment at those times, and human actions and choices are being weighed,” the site reports. “It is a time when our mistakes may come back to haunt us.

    “Rabbi Vaknin adds his voice to other religious leaders calling on their followers to pray for peace and security in Israel. Christian leaders Mark Biltz and Bob O’Dell have organized a prayer gathering for Christians worldwide to pray during the 4 minutes and 44 seconds of the total lunar eclipse late Friday night.”

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/mystic-rabbi-issues-ominous-warning-on-eve-of-blood-moon/#vGIum3lKv2jvTWVJ.99

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Interesting stuff, Donette. Certainly, I think God often uses numbers in signs, but we always have to be careful not to let our contemplation degenerate into cabalistic numerology.

      Like

  28. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    Here is a poem I thought might be enjoyed by especially the Catholics on this site in honor of the sacred Triduum. I normally wouldn’t post poetry, and if you prefer not to, Charlie or Kim, feel free not to upload this. It’s just that it seems to me this special time in the liturgical year calls for elevated, lilting language to try and convey the wonder and joy of this time. It is a very accessible poem, with a lovely ending that brings a tear to my eye. I found it years ago in a book I probably got at a library sale that was published by the venerable old publishing house of Sheed and Ward. The sentiments it expresses have stayed with me ever since I first read it and are enjoyable to reflect on. It is entitled “Limbo” and was written by Sister Mary Ada. (Back in the day, I am supposing sisters did not use or go by a last name.)

    The Ancient Greyness shifted
    Suddenly and thinned
    Like mist upon the moors
    Before a wind.
    An old, old prophet lifted
    A shining face and said:
    “He will be coming soon.
    The Son of God is dead;
    He died this afternoon.”

    A murmurous excitement stirred
    All souls.
    They wondered if they dreamed–
    Save one old man who seemed
    Not even to have heard.

    And Moses standing,
    Hushed them all to ask
    If any had a welcome song prepared.
    If not, would David take the task?
    And if they cared
    Could not the three young children sing
    The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
    They made when God kept them from perishing
    In the fiery blaze?

    A breath of spring surprised them,
    Stilling Moses’ words.
    No one could speak, remembering
    The first fresh flowers,
    The little singing birds.
    Still others thought of fields new ploughed
    Or apple trees
    All blossom- boughed.
    Or some, the way a dried bed fills
    With water
    Laughing down green hills.
    The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
    On bright blue seas.
    The one old man who had not stirred
    Remembered home.

    And there He was
    Splendid as the morning sun and fair
    As only God is fair.
    And they, confused with joy,
    Knelt to adore
    Seeing that He wore
    Five crimson stars
    He never had before.

    No canticle at all was sung.
    None toned psalm, or raised a greeting song.
    A silent man alone
    Of all that throng
    Found tongue —
    Not any other.

    Close to His heart
    When the embrace was done,
    Old Joseph said,
    “How is Your Mother,
    How is Your Mother, Son?”

    Liked by 9 people

    • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

      Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrement, OCDS, Thank you, all I cam say is WOW! I literally burst into tears!

      Liked by 1 person

    • MMBev says:

      Thank you so very much. That is truly an Easter gift of true wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Thank you for this beautiful poem, Monica. I almost didn’t read it because I pretty much loathe poetry (I’m a math geek and I don’t get the point of poetry generally). But, man! I’m so glad I did. I’m going to put it in a file so that I can read it again next year. Blessings to you and yours on this Easter day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jaykay says:

        Monica, simply beautiful. God bless that Sister. And I was just commenting above on how much I appreciated Bl. Ann Katherine Emmerich’s meditations about Jesus among the blessed souls before the Resurrection! Definitely one to download. Thank you again. J.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        Mick,
        I will trade you math services for literary services anytime. 😉 Even though I have a BA in English, I frequently find especially modern poetry not to my liking or even understanding! However, this poem seemed worth the read.

        Like

        • Mick says:

          Ha, Monica! My dad has a BA in English, and my mom minored in English. I. however, didn’t get that gene. The reason I majored in Math was because I was terrified of the thought of reading books and writing papers for 4 years. 🙂

          Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Okay, this was powerfully moving. Simple and straightforward, the power of clarity and truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

        I literally burst into tears when I read it, you remember the picture you got dad for Christmas, of Joseph and the small child Jesus, the only time I seen dad actually cry over a gift someone gave him, reminded me of that too!

        Liked by 1 person

    • barb129 says:

      I love this poem! I used to have a copy of this hanging on my refrigerator for years and I don’t know what happened to it but I’ve missed this and am glad to be able to read it again. I love St. Joseph….dear St. Joseph, please pray for all of you…you were privileged to hold the Christ Child in your arms.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

      Oh, I am so glad this poem was enjoyed by some of you; I had been a little hesitant to even try to have it posted. Happy Easter in this wonderful Octave of Easter to you all!

      Liked by 1 person

    • MMBev says:

      I keep going back to read the poem. Now I have copied it into an email and sent it out to the members of my family. There are some nieces and nephews I have never corresponded with, and I have wondered about a way to introduce myself this Easter to make contact. I now have the perfect opening. Thank you.

      Like

  29. Mick says:

    I’m back from the Vigil Mass and just wanted to say… Happy Easter, everybody! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Donette says:

    I’m glad you said that, Charlie. Years ago, about the time the church was establishing the Novus Ordo Mass in parishes, I was attending “adult education” classes. A priest brought up the subject of numerology and I walked out of that class believing that numerology was a subject that was taught in the seminary. I guess I mentally dismissed the teaching because I had at the time no other priests to turn to and ask where does numerology fit into the Catholic Faith. I still don’t know.

    What I saw in this article that I connected to your Post was the mention of the blood moons I know everyone has been talking about the moons. I took from this the importance that the Jewish people attach to these signs. To me, it appears God has the attention of the people who love and serve Him. They all see a need for repentance and choice in their life styles. It is the “others” who are in charge of this world who seem to remain blind to anything. Even Bill O’Reilly could only put on a movie about Jesus devoid of His Divinity. Pitiful. We can pray for God’s Mercy, but we must remember God’s Mercy is a two edged sword. It also brings with it His Justice.
    A Blessed Easter to you and to all on this blog.
    Fiat!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. malachi99 says:

    A happy and holy Easter Charlie and friends. Time for the feast 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. jobrower says:

    Oh how beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye. As you can probably guess, I have a special love for Joseph. Thank you so much for posting this. Happy Easter everyone. I went to the Vigil last night to welcome a new convert filled with Holy Zeal into our Catholic family. She was radiant and so grateful for the Gift She has been given.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

      Joseph is my youngest son’s Patron Saint, I too have a special love for him. Before my mom died, we brought her home (she had cancer), all of her children were with her, I remember my son Denton was talking to her and holding her hand, she looked up at him and said you are so beautiful, I LOVE YOU JOSEPH! My mom did not know that when you are confirmed in the Church you take on a Saint’s name, and she certainly didn’t know he took the name of Joseph. He wrote what he calls “My Testament To God”, I will post it one day it is beautiful.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Irish7 says:

        What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing, Kim.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jaykay says:

        Absolutely, Kim. Every Catholic man should invoke St. Joseph. I say “man” because I feel that men’s special role is deliberately being debased more and more. The father figure is being targeted. Even single men who have not had the privilege to be fathers should invoke him on behalf of those who are fathers. We need to help our brothers to form and nurture families. So often, men become the caricature selfish man-child, encouraged by our Babylon “culture”. And thus vocations fail, because we don’t give our boys true example. Not exactly original thoughts, but Lord, the evidence is all around us. God bless fathers, and St. Joseph intercede for them. J.

        Liked by 2 people

      • jobrower says:

        Wow, how beautiful! I just read your text to Charlie about The Christmas gift he gave to your dad of a picture of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus! I posted elsewhere on this blog about my Carmelite name! The family ties grow stronger! Lol. Such consolations we are receiving now so as to make us stand fast later. Let’s remember them! Love all of you on this blog.

        Liked by 2 people

  33. CrewDog says:

    Heartlight Daily Verse – April 5
    2 Corinthians 5:14-15
    Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    “What am I living for?” While that is an important question, the most important question of all is, “Who am I living for?” Only one person I can live for insures that I will never die, because he has already died for me and conquered death!
    Prayer:
    Victorious Lord, thank you for giving me triumph over death through Jesus my Lord. Thank you for giving me victory over sin through his sacrificial death. Thank you for giving me victory today in my life as I live it for him. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
    Visit heartlight.org for more
    HAVE A BLESSED EASTER 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Jean says:

    Charlie, I appreciate your comment “I do not know, but somehow I suspect the Blood Moons signify the fullness of the Storm.”. In as much as I believe the blood moons do signify something, I think there has been far too much speculation presented as knowledge on some websites about the significance of this phenomenon to the world. It leaves people weak in the knees.

    Anyway, I really want to respond to your comments about the period b/w Good Friday and Easter in the Church. I agree with your assessment and have often felt the same desolation during this period.
    But, I want to tell you about a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church during this period by the Neo-Catechumenal Way that is an extraordinary presentation of the normal readings/Vigil during this period of time. I’m under the impression you probably know a lot of people and would probably then know of a person or family who belongs to a Neo-Catechumenal Way community in a parish near you. I recommend you ask them if there is ever a possibility of you attending one of these Masses with them. They normally have a weekend retreat where the services are celebrated in a retreat house somewhere, but the Mass itself is alway open to the public. (There is a normal process for entering the Neo-Catechumenal Way at parishes where the priest is open to this itinerary of adult formation and mostly people interested in it should enter the Way through this process; but I honestly don’t think you can or would be turned away at the retreat house for at least the Mass portion of the weekend anyway.

    Here is why this Mass is so special:

    The Neo-Catechumenal Way prepares for, and celebrates the Easter Vigil as the early Church prepared for this Feast. The Mass can last as long as 5 hours, with everyone assembled by about 10:30 and ending around 4:30 – 5:00 AM (or longer if there are baptisms etc), after which a banquet feast is eaten, breaking a 24 hour fast. The vigil is treated and prepared for in the same joyful anticipation that a country would prepare for the coming marriage of a King. The excitement of the King’s coming (in this instance the Risen Christ in the Eucharist) is palpable throughout the day and the finest of everything is laid out for the Mass. It begins when the community meets in retreat on Friday, at which time a very solemn liturgy is celebrated and the kissing of the cross etc (I think it’s a Liturgy of the Word…whatever is normal in the Church on Good Friday). Then on Saturday morning the entire assembly meets for the Morning Prayers of the Church. This is where the “ancient homily for Holy Saturday /The Lord’s descent into the underworld” is read (as mentioned by another person above). Talks are given about this reading and the other readings and some of the Psalms are song with very moving Scripture-based music. After the Prayers of the Church are complete, the people are divided up into 9 groups to prepare for 9 readings for the Vigil Mass that evening. The groups meet and read all nine readings, reflect on the readings, then re-read the reading their group is to prepare for the Mass. They discuss and then select someone to give a short admonition before the reading, and another person to read it during Mass. The admonition is simply a short call to listen and articulates what treasures are in the reading that God wants to speak to or convey to the listener. So, by the time the Mass comes, the community members are imbued already with the spirit and in-depth understanding of the readings because of the lengthy reflection by the group. After the preparation, those folks reading or admonishing a reading gather and practice their parts and receive tips on articulation and presentation so as to keep the assembly awake during the Mass. Then the entire community prepares the room for the Vigil Mass. As mentioned the Bridegroom King is coming and so the assembly hall is thoroughly cleaned; thick persian carpets laid down (under a makeshift alter), fine linens laid upon the alter with candles, flowers laid around the outer ends of the alter to dress it up; and the entire room is dressed up with flowers and candles; lighting on the alter, linen coverings over any obtrusive objects etc. It is fitted for a King. The joyful anticipation and excitement during all of this is something out of this world. It is a true vigil of the heart. Everyone is fasting and anticipates the coming Eucharistic celebration and subsequent banquet after Mass with especial joy. There are a group of musicians and cantors who meet to prepare the songs and then the assembly are gathered to practice the songs. Neo-Catechumenal songs are literally lyrics straight out of the Bible and are sung back and forth b/w cantor and assembly (like a conversation but sung), accompanied by guitar, drum, tambourines and sometimes flutes and other instruments.
    As I said above the Vigil Mass begins by 11:00 after a talk is given to prepare the assembly and admonish them of the significance of the events; it doesn’t end until almost 4 AM. We are literally in vigil waiting for the Eucharistic King to arrive and all the song lyrics, Mass readings, admonitions and homily are anticipating the arrival of the King. Many believe Jesus Christ will arrive at his Second Coming while the Vigil Mass is celebrated throughout the world. Most people wonder how anyone can sit through a 5 hour Mass, but understand that the complete Vigil Liturgy is an amazing and beautiful Liturgy. We begin outside with a short Candle lighting ceremony, process inside; there is a baptismal font decorated and filled water which is blessed at some point; at some point the Easter candle is dipped in this water, the water is sprinkled on the people all intermixed with the readings and amazingly upbeat hopeful beautiful music song at the top of people’s lungs. You would hear us a block away if the windows were open. Prior to the Eucharist, the alter etc are incensed and the finest chalice etc. are set out. I’m not a liturgist but you can look up the traditional long liturgy to get an idea of what goes on at this Mass. The time passes relatively quickly with the high anticipation and celebratory mood. I will say this, once you’ve experienced a Mass like this, you will never want to rush to a 90 minute vigil at church again. You will wonder why the Church gave up such a celebratory and joyful beautiful experience for the expediency of getting Mass over with in the first place.

    On a side note, there is a lot of negative criticism about the Neo-Catechumenal Way on the internet. But this is a charism of the Holy Spirit acknowledged now by at least 4 popes and I would recommend you go to the Vatican website or the Neo-Catechumenal Way’s website for truthful information. The fruits of this movement in the Church are thousands upon thousands of vocations a year, massive conversions, marriages saved, children returning from the world to a deep faith in Christ, lifelong wounds healed, and thousands of families going in mission for the Church at the bequest of bishops in areas of the world where the faith is dying. Satan always attacks such success and you can be sure the Way is attacked all of the time. The Neo-Catechumenal Way communities make up a large part of the crowd gathered with the Pope at World Youth Day and you will find them there dancing, singing, processing, or witnessing in the streets for days leading up to WYD. You can’t miss them. Google Neocatechumenal Way / world youth day and watch some of the videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Tarja says:

    Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

    Orthodox Music, Divna Ljubojevic – ♫ Hristos Anesti ♫

    Like

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