Our Daily Bread

(Automat 1927 - by Edward Hopper)

(Automat 1927 – by Edward Hopper)

Ordinary Miracles

(I loved this little story. It reminded me of a day when I was walking outside Ft. Worth, Texas. My shoes held up well on my pilgrimage, but I went through a lot of laces. One day, the laces on a shoe busted. I had run out of extra pairs and neglected to get any before this busted. It is very miserable to walk without laces on a shoe when you are carrying a lot of weight. It just messes up your rhythm completely and makes you feel unbalanced. Looking at the top of a hill for a likely store where I might get some, I ducked into some woods to rest a while. When I sat down, there was a pair of rotted, ratty boots right next to my rock. BUT…those ratty boots mysteriously were laced with a nearly new pair of laces. I laced up and was on my way, thankful that I stepped into this little copse of woods – and promising my guardian angel I would pay better attention to the supplies going forward. Also, I thought the painting at the top by Edward Hopper just felt right for this story by a reader, whose pen name is Vera Bryant – CJ)

By Vera Bryant

It had been a tough week. So many things had led to us moving out, and right after buying the groceries for the month. Now we were in a shelter, and I had no clue what to do next. Was this really the end? Was divorce the only answer? I had prided myself, a Catholic convert, on my staunch assertions that at least I was never going to get divorced. Yet here I was, in a women’s shelter with my teenaged daughter, not knowing what I should do or how I should proceed. At least she had stopped cutting herself. That was progress. Still, we had left in a hurry and all the usual structures to life had disappeared.

The spouse was less than helpful. Could we come in the house and collect a few more things, while he was out on a scheduled trip? The word came back: no, we could not. So now it was Sunday, and I was at the electronics store, getting a needed cable for the school-issued tablet. What next? I tried to plan ahead and could not. All I could think was that, after getting the cable, I needed to get my daughter lunch. OK, cable first, then lunch.

Walking back to the car, I saw something on the ground near the car – a ten dollar bill. From where it lay, it was clear the bill had fallen out when the driver got back into the car. I looked around. No movement, no other people. I looked at the bill. No markings, nothing to identify it. Pointless to take it inside for someone to identify. I handed it to my daughter. “Here. Where do you want to go for lunch?”

She picked a place that had just opened up. When we got there, she ordered a burger with bacon and avocado. The clerk asked her, “Do you want to add something to that?” I looked at the register readout: $9.50. “No,” I said. “She’s done.”

I said a prayer of thanks. God had provided, not a minimal meal, but something special. Throughout our 7 weeks in the shelter, He did that, again and again, through a whole myriad of people. It wasn’t pleasant, and it wasn’t painless, but we survived it. And often, the Lord made it clear what that next step ought to be.

So I guess, sometimes, there is such a thing as a free lunch.

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.
This entry was posted in Family, Ordinary Miracles, Solidarity. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Our Daily Bread

  1. CrewDog says:

    YES!! It is simply something called FAITH.

    GOD GIVE ALL HERE …. SIMPLE … FAITH!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. kris says:

    While in college I would travel from Boston to up state New York to visit my family home, many weekends over a month. I had a bright yellow Volkswagen bug that had a broken gas gauge. Normally I just filled up every few days to make sure I had plenty of gas. Well since I traveled this route so many times, I liked to do a change up and travel over the roads that took me up north through Lake Champlain and down into New York rather than on the state highway through Albany. The road was more deserted, but it was far more picturesque. So I left the city of Boston on a Friday night in the early summer and drove up north. It was early evening with lots of sunshine still. Strangely I ran out of gas on what was the most deserted part of the road. I was still in my dress , wearing not walking shoes, and had no idea how close a gas station could be. I sat for awhile and just waited hoping a state trooper would happen by. None did, so the next obvious thing had to be done, get out and start walking. By this time the sun was waning a bit and the coolness of the night in that part of the world was setting in. I began to say the Hail Mary as I walked along. Out of nowhere a car pulled up with an elderly couple in the front seat. They offered me a ride and I was frightened to get in so declined. The woman said, Oh please dear, we have a daughter your age and we would want to know that someone would help her in the same circumstances. So I repeated in my heart the Hail Mary and got in. Well the next gas station was 30 miles away, on a back road that I could not even tell you how to get there. This wonderful couple took me there, waited for me to get gas and then returned me to my car, 30 miles back again. As I was getting out of the car the gentleman helped me get my car started and they said goodbye. I turned around to open the car door and once more looked back at the car going down the highway, only the car was not there anymore. I looked and the road was straight and no car could have moved out of sight on that road that quickly. So I stood just for a second and stared and then said another Hail Mary to thank our Lady for helping me out. I can only say I believed a few angels had been sent to me that helped me out.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Barbara Dore says:

      I believe this couple may be angels. It happened to me twice. An Old man helped me to drive my car when I was in a great difficulty to move my car. I thought it was odd because I met him twice in the car park in a different place. I did guess that he must be my angel.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Kris: They were angels. That “disappearing act” was their angelic signature. Just before being received in the Church my brother was about to cross a busy and wide avenue here in BA. He had just been to Mass. While he was standing in the middle island of that busy avenue, the traffic lights changed. Solid high-speed traffic on both sides of the island, he was alone. Suddenly someone –dressed in a heavy winter coat– tapped his shoulder and offered him a little printed tract saying: “the most important thing is to attend Mass and pray the Rosary!” My brother took the little tract and turned around one fraction of a second to watch the traffic lights. When he turned back to thank the man he was gone. From that point he could see the avenue in both directions for two or three blocks. No sign of the man with the green heavy winter coat (it was summer!). He called me to the US to tell me the story. He was astonished and he could not comprehend how something supernatural could happen to him. I told him that the Church is the “temple of the Living God” and not the concoction of some feverish Bible reader… there in the Church we have angels ministering to the elect. That couple that you encountered, Kris, were summoned to help you because most likely you were in mortal danger, I know that road I took it many times and it is quite scary at night. When the car “disappeared” it was to let you know. That is one of the favorite “angelic signatures.” Check the story of Peter being rescued from jail. There the angel also disappeared as soon as the escape was completed. Bless our guardian angels!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sr Lorraine says:

      A number of our sisters have had experiences like this. Invariably the person who appears is a man dressed in grey. So we call our congregational guardian angel “The Man in Grey.” Once two sisters got a flat tire on a lonely stretch of country road. A man dressed in gray stopped and fixed it. Then he and his car was simply gone–they did not see him driving away and it couldn’t have been missed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ACTS 12:6-11 The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
        That is the angelic signature: “when suddenly the angel left him” then Peter knew he was assisted by an angel.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy says:

      Long ago, my husband took a second job as a janitor cleaning our parish church and school. I also started to clean the parish center and the church because he couldn’t get it all done and still work his night job. One time, he was given a list of things to do and one of them was to climb a ladder up to a large ventilation fan and clean out a bird’s nest. Now I am so afraid of heights and I could not imagine the safety of a ladder up to about 30 feet to clean out a bird’s nest. (let the birds have their home, I thought). I could only think about him falling. I went directly to church to pray and plead before the Blessed Sacrament for his safety.
      While I was there, a tall young man with medium brown hair walked up towards the altar but I was so absorbed in my pleading that I hardly noticed him. On his way back down the aisle, he stopped at my pew. He told me that Jim was safe and finished with cleaning the fan. I glanced up at the tabernacle in thanks and relief and then looked back to the back of church and glimpsed him at the door. He had moved faster than I expected and then disappeared.
      When Jim found me, I told him of the incident but he laughed and said it must have been a particular friend who had come to help him with the ladder. It was not his friend–I knew his friend and this person was not him.
      How could this person have known of my fears when I hadn’t even told Jim of my fears?
      How could he have told me the answer to my prayers in such a way that I believed him with no doubt that he had said the truth? To this day I can see him but can’t remember the details of his face–just his hair color and height. I thought he might be an angel but I didn’t dwell on it till lately. Isn’t it humbling that God, in His love and mercy, sends us these gifts of ordinary miracles even when we don’t deserve them. I have so much to be thankful for.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This lovely story is true but not unique. Abraham found a ram in the thicket and how many times we experience the Yahweh yireh the wonderful Divine Providence made evident in times of crisis! I could tell about one hundred stories very similar to this that happened to me in the last seven years of unemployment. Sometimes I even dared to taunt the Lord: “You created the universe … can’t you find me employment? I need it?” The answer was always a resounding “NO.” But every time month after month, year after year, He came through. I am still alive and if I went through a couple of days of “involuntary fasting” well… it did not kill me and I probably needed it. I seem to always have the exact amount for every bill. Friends and readers seem to be mover to send a dollar when I need a dollar, or … this: one afternoon I decided to go out and take a walk, it was a crisp autumn afternoon and I thought how nice would be to have a cup of coffee in one of the many neighborhood’s cafes. I crossed the street at an unusual place and there was lying on the floor a roll of 20 peso bills, it amounted to about 30 dollars, enough for nice meal. There was no one to be seen anywhere near so I pick them up and happily marched down the street to my cup of coffee. A few days later there were 100 pesos, one bill left dangling from the elevator door. God knows how it got there. Another day another miracle.

    I complained a lot over the years about not having work until one day a wise priest long in years told me the reason: “God wants you to live like a son, ask and when you receive give Him the first fruits.” I have been doing that and also making a small donation to the priest so a Mass for the Holy Souls of Purgatory can be offered.

    Yesterday I realized that the legal fees for all the crazy lawsuits my poor siblings are being bombarded with will come –win or lose– to about 50,000 American dollars. In any other time I would have despaired but after learning that I thought … I’ll ask “Abba” and He will take care of it. I have a Father, we have a Father that knows what we need. I hope to tell you one day how He got me out of that one. Times of trouble and want are coming over the whole world but I am sure not one of us Christians are going to lack anything for long.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Barbara Dore says:

      Pray to St Anthony of Padua. He is the saint of a thousand miracles

      Liked by 3 people

      • My mother converted in her deathbed on June 13, 2009 the feast of St Anthony. He is a great intercessor!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Petra says:

        You are so right Barbara!!! St. Anthony!!! I was introduced to him as a child by the good Franciscan sisters in grade school to help find lost objects. For years in my life, when something was lost, I would turn to him and time and again I found lost objects in sometimes almost miraculous ways. (Sometimes when my mom couldn’t find something, she would say to me, Pray to St. Anthony for me to find such and such, and sure enough, shortly thereafter she’d find it.) I have numerous stories of found objects through his intercession.

        One story: A few years after receiving them I had lost a set of pearls my brother had given me for Christmas. I was so heartbroken because they were so beautiful, and I could not understand how I had lost them. I prayed and prayed to St. Anthony to find them, but for the first time ever, to no avail. I even wondered if I had put them down somewhere and someone had taken them, or they had slipped off my neck when wearing them, and didn’t notice. Anyway, after maybe five years of them being lost (during which I would pray to St. Anthony whenever I thought about them), one day I was cleaning out a kitchen cabinet where I had some old bottles of vitamins that were expired and was throwing them out. After I had thrown the bottles in the garbage can I began to be concerned that kids or someone may find these bottles and take some of these pills, and maybe be harmed. So I retrieved the bottles to crush the pills in the food processor and dispose of them that way. I began opening the bottles, and much to my utter astonishment, in one of the pill bottles were my pearls!!!
        I think I had hidden them there when going on vacation and did not want them to be taken if there was a break in, and forgot all about it! If the Holy Spirit had not prompted me to open those bottles, they would have been lost to me forever.

        Besides for lost objects, St. Anthony has been the most miraculous intercessor especially in the last several years. I cannot believe just how efficacious sincere prayer to St. Anthony is. I don’t know why he picked me to help, (probably because God knew I was going to need a good faithful spiritual friend!) but now I never hesitate to go directly to him when things are going badly.

        Cultivate a friendship with this great and humble saint. He is awesome!!!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

          What a lovely story Petra!! My husband will be confirmed on the 20th of this month, I am always losing EVERYTHING, he always prays, and reminds me to pray and ask St. Anthony to help us find these things. He has chosen St. Anthony as his Patron Saint!!! I am so happy and excited, my nephew,(Charlie’s son), will be his sponsor. He is beyond happy and excited too, please pray for him!

          Liked by 4 people

          • Petra says:

            I will pray for him, Kim, especially to my pal St. Anthony! Oh, St. Anthony will be so pleased!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

            Yes He will be!! Thank you Petra.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Ah…detail, maybe, Kim…but Bryan will be baptized on the 20th, not confirmed.

            Like

          • Kim Johnston Hocutt says:

            Yes I misspoke he will be baptized on the 20th, and confirmed on a later date, I got over excited, and ahead of everything lol!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Yay! Prayers for your husband, Kim! 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Barbara Dore says:

            A brilliant website on St Anthony of Padua…many amazing stories! must read them…

            He is definitely the saint of many amazing surprises!!!

            Saint Anthony — Lost and Found
            saintanthonylostandfound.blogspot.co.uk Cached
            This June, in honor of the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, Fr. Paolo Floretta will bring a holy relic of St. Anthony of Padua from his Basilica in Padua, Italy.

            Liked by 1 person

        • audiemarie2014 says:

          St. Anthony is one of my very favorite saints too! I always pray for his help when I lose things, which is pretty often. I always tell him if it is not necessary for me to have whatever I lost, that’s alright, but he always comes through. Years ago, I attended my nephew’s hockey game with some family and it was cold outside. As other family members walked to their cars, I realized I couldn’t find my keys to my car. So, I went in and frantically searched everywhere, including the steps I had taken inside the arena. Well, they were gone. So, my brother and I walked outside and were calling my sister for a ride to her house since the others had already left. I told my brother that I had said a prayer to St. Anthony. He chuckled in amusement. Just then, a man came running out and asked if I had lost the keys he had found. Voila! Thank you, St. Anthony!

          Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        Saint Anthony rocks! I pray to him A LOT because I’m misplacing things regularly. Same thing with my guardian angel, whom I’m always bugging to help me find stuff that I’ve lost.

        My guardian angel once found for me a rosary which I lost over 2,000 miles away from home. We lived in California at the time (2000 or 2001), and I was taking the kids back to Michigan to visit relatives. I decided to take with me my favorite rosary, which had been touched to the container (can’t remember the correct name) containing St. Therese of Lisieux’s remains when they were in DC in 1999. Anyhow, when we were in Michigan, I was in my parents’ car and was driving my kids to my brother’s house about an hour away. I had my rosary in my hand, and then set it on my lap and forgot it was there. Some time later, We stopped at a rest area and got out of the car. We got back in and I, started driving, and didn’t remember until a few minutes later that my rosary had been on my lap when I got out of the car! When we got to my brother’s, I tore the car apart in order to see if maybe the rosary had fallen onto the floor or in between the seats or something. No rosary. So, I prayed to my angel, “You know, that rosary is irreplaceable. Could you please find it for me?” Well, no rosary.

        A few months later, well after we had returned to California, I was in my car, digging down between the seats, looking for something that had slipped down there (the keys? A toy?) I felt something weird, and I pulled it out from between the seats. Wouldn’t you know that it was my rosary? After I got over my shock, I had myself a good laugh. Leave it to my angel to slip me the rosary when I was looking for something else that I had lost.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LittleLight says:

          St Anthony found my diamond that fell out of the setting of my engagement ring! It was found by my husband, Brian Anthony (haha) a week later—–in the shower trap. Oh yes, God does have a sense of humor in these things, praise Him in His angels and saints!

          Like

          • Petra says:

            LittleLight: Now see, you reminded me of another of my St. Anthony-finding-lost-items miracles. I hafta tell this one. I just hafta.

            I was at work one day in a meeting, and during the meeting I noticed the woman sitting next to me was missing the diamond from her engagement ring. After the meeting, before anyone moved, I pointed this out to her. All of us immediately looked on the floor and all surfaces around us. No one found it. I, of course, began to immediately pray to St. Anthony silently, a little rhyming prayer I learned as a girl from the Franciscan Sisters. Over and over I prayed the prayer as we searched. We slowly stood up, looking all around. No diamond was found. We all began to search each step of the hall to the woman’s office. No diamond. We helped her look all around her office, under things, in corners, on surfaces. No diamond.
            She was heartbroken. She’d been married over 30 years, and hated to have to tell her husband the diamond was lost. She realized she could have lost it anywhere, even on the commute to or from work, and for that matter she didn’t even know when it fell out, so it could have been lost anytime, anywhere. Her hopes were very low.
            After the others left, I began to tell her to pray to St. Anthony. She was a fallen away Catholic, and she looked at me like I was a nut. And for the next day or two, she treated me a little like I was a nut.
            About a week later, the phone of my office rang. It was my co-worker, who had taken the day off. She didn’t even introduce herself. She just said, “You’re not going to believe this. I found my diamond. It was in my lingerie drawer, right on top of my clothes.” I said, full of joy and happiness, “THANK YOU ST. ANTHONY!!!!!”

            ( 🙂 Please stop me before this becomes a “Petra telling St. Anthony stories” forum!)

            But I just hadda tell this one. I just hadda. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Mick says:

            OK, Petra, I just hafta ask… I just hafta (hee hee!): Is the rhyming prayer that you learned from the Franciscan sisters the following prayer: “Tony, Tony, turn around; something’s lost that must be found”? Or is there another rhyming prayer to St. Anthony?

            Loved the story. By the way, did your co-worker return to the Church after she found her diamond?

            Liked by 2 people

          • LittleLight says:

            That is Awesome, Petra!!! When you see how teeny-tiny diamonds are outside of their settings, there can be zero doubt about these miracles. 🙂

            Hey Mick, yes, I pray that particular rhyme to beloved St. Anthony all.the.time. It is my go-to prayer for him. I see him, smiling at the child-like simplicity, confidence and joy of it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Petra says:

            Mick: Ha! Well, it’s close to that. I feel silly for writing what it is, but I will. It goes: “Dear St. Anthony, please look around. Something has been lost, and must be found.” (I’d never call him “Tony”!)

            The co-worker was on a temporary project, and I believe her duties were finished a month or two after this incident, so I have no idea what ever happened in her personal life. I hope for the best for her!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Petra: That diamond was lost so St Anthony could find that soul. Finding lost souls is St Anthony’s primary mission. He is the patron saint of Portugal. Of that country Our Lady of Fatima said: “the faith will not be lost in Portugal.” You may have helped your co-worker more than you ever imagined.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Maryj says:

          I will dispense with the big long ugly story of divorce that my friends are going through. She is a fallen away catholic, he is very anti catholic. The woman fell into deep despair, and tried to commit suicide, which she almost accomplished. She spent a week in intensive care in our local hospital…I only knew to do one thing..pray. I told my Pastor of what was happening and he immediately went to her and anointed her. Her family lives in far off states and they all came to help with packing up her things and moving her to another town where she could receive medical and mental health treatment. My friend returned last week to empty out her office, and asked if she could stop by to see my husband and I….she told us this story…she doesn’t remember much of the first three days in the ICU unit except for this smiling priest who came to see her, and the testimony of family that she turned a corner in her recovery after he had anointed her. She told us of how she had taken a whole bottle of pills and then went to her car in the garage to “finish” it off, had she not passed out after she had gotten the keys in the ignition she would have most certainly died in that running vehicle. She then backed up and told us a story of a trip with her mother to Ireland last summer. She had met a couple from the states that were staying in the same hotel. The woman had told my friend that they had just come from a very long and arduous Pilgrimage in Italy. My friend then asked me if I had ever heard of….Our Lady Of Sorrows…where a statue of our Blessed Mother sheds tears. I told her yes I did know…she told me that this woman pulled out of her purse a little bag and reached into it and handed her a blessed crucifix that had been touched to the tears of our Lady, she told her..”I think you may need this!” My friend took the crucifix and put it into one of her bags…and that was the last she saw of it for a whole year…it had been lost. The next time she laid eyes on it was when she was in a hospital bed clinging to life and her oldest sister walked into the room, shortly after my pastor had anointed her, held it up in front of her and said” I think you may need this”…my friend asked..”where did you find that?” Her sister replied…..”On the seat of your car”. Jesus, thy kingdom come, In my heart through Mary!!

          Liked by 2 people

      • Nancy D says:

        So true, so true! St. Anthony has become my very best saint-friend, and he never lets me down on anything! All of my children ( believers, non-believers and skeptics) have seen with their own eyes the answers to my prayers to St. Anthony, and most of them now ask his help. He never lets them down either! St. Anthony, I love you.

        Like

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Wonderful story, Carlos! Thank you for sharing it with us.

      Late in my own life I have learned to be humble. Yet, not many know that the way to receive humility is by being “humiliated.” The word is derived from the Latin humilitas or, as St. Thomas tells us, from humus, i.e. the earth which is beneath us.

      God will always provide to his grateful and humble children.

      Peace and many blessings, Brother!

      Liked by 4 people

      • You are right Cornelius. I was fiercely self sufficient and in a former life I used to mock those who believe in Divine Providence. I am only getting the lesson I need: a whole table of humble pie to be consumed. I hope there is not much left of it. 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      Carlos, your closing paragraph reminds me of Psalm 36:25 (Douay version): ” I have been young, and now am old; and I have not seen the just forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread.” Other versions say “begging for bread,” which to me is even more evocative of the care which our loving Father takes of us.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Mick, we only have to open our eyes to see God’s love for us. I compare my troubles to those of the Christian families of the Middle East. I call that a “dose of reality.” I hope one day to have the faith of those. Also when the whole financial system comes crashing down I will have some training and perhaps I will be able to help others.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Centurion_Cornelius says:

          Oh, yes! Yes! You will overflow–have an abundance of love, help, and assistance for others!

          Did not our Blessed Lord tell us: “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.” And perhaps one of my favorites of our Lord:

          “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over shall they give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.”

          I used to farm quite a large area, and when the fields were harvested in during a “bumper crop,” year, we literally had to “press down” the “good measure” of our labor in our barns and silos. Such bounty was granted to us by Him. I know of what He speaks! Such harvests are marvellous wonders and so rewarding.

          Liked by 4 people

    • SteveBC says:

      And I hope to hear how God does that, Carlos.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Barbara Dore says:

    I learnt this important lesson. Many years ago, I found money on the ground about five pound or Euro and I bought sweets instead. The following week, I lost ten pound or Euro. I was told that I should have put the found money into the poor box in any church, not buying it for sweets. From that, I believe in Karma. Bad karma can go back to me if I do a wrong thing to others. I still remind my children if they find money and they must put them into the poor box in the church. I recently advised my daughter who got a good job that she should put some money in the poor box once a month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Anne says:

      kar·ma
      ˈkärmə/
      noun
      (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

      informal
      destiny or fate, following as “effect from cause”.

      Not sure about Karma. I think it removes God from the equation. Not sure, but be careful. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barbara Dore says:

        Thanks, I still look for a right word to use. Fate? I am not sure.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          I think chance or fate is a pretty good word, Barbara. Though “fate,” too, has some symbolism attached to it, though it is so archaic I doubt anyone would read that into it. Karma has some connotation attached to a modernly active faith tradition – but I knew what you meant.

          Liked by 1 person

      • SteveBC says:

        Mary Anne, I don’t believe that Barbara Dore’s experience is a good example of karma.

        Stripped of any tradition-specific baggage, karma just means “intensity.” A karmic lesson is one that is so intense that it draws you into it without let-up until it is complete. The lesson is often a difficult one, such as being attacked physically, but it can also be a positive experience that is equally intense. The use of intensity in such a lesson is to make sure you go through the experience and its accompanying lesson completely.

        It’s like getting caught in a wild rapid while boating on a river where you fall out of the boat and are caught in the wild swirl of the water, barely able to keep your head above water to survive. Another analogy would be being caught in a riptide. There is no room in your mind or heart for anything but the experience of the lesson.

        As the Storm sets in, the entire Earth is starting to go through an incredibly intense experience. Using that as an example, perhaps we could perceive karma in this case as what happens when God withdraws, allowing us to experience in full the consequences of our past actions and current rejection of Him in an almost mechanical or fateful way.

        At the Rescue He will return in what may turn out to be an equally intense experience for us all, but this time intensely *confirming* of our recommitment to God and to more appropriate attitudes. And that will determine how we rebuild and the kind of world we enter post-Storm. So I think karma as a concept is workable for this Storm and all its lessons, without having the concept of karma push God further out of our lives.

        I could be wrong, but Barbara’s lesson does not appear to be karmic in this sense. It seems to me to be simply a teaching, an opportunity to learn to behave better in the future. A lesson learned, it appears. 🙂

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, I think you are right about what Barbara intends, Steve…but I will say I largely agree with Mary Anne. The concept of “karma” does come with some tradition specific baggage. People may innocently miss it – or intentionally ignore it, but it is there.

          Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear, Charlie. I was trying to provide the word “intensity” *instead of* karma, since intensity does not carry the baggage you point to concerning the word and concept of karma (and you are right to say so because it does). Yet intensity gets to what I think Mary Anne was trying to get to in the essence of her comment.

            Personally, I think neither karma nor the stripped-down “intensity” idea should be applied to Barbara Dore’s original comment. I think you and I are both attempting to move away from the use of “karma” here but perhaps for different reasons. I apologize for being unclear. 🙂

            Like

        • Nancy says:

          All discussion of karma aside, Steve, I like your descriptions of storm and rescue. I can guess the storm because everywhere I look, its elements are becoming more visible and intensifying. One would guess that eventually it will all come together and be the complete focus of everyone, perhaps in a single event. That the rescue would be equally intense was a concept that I hadn’t considered. Panic, fear and despair would somehow become a complete surrender and love of God (my thought), perhaps also in a single event. I hope to see it.

          Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Nancy, consider that your beloved football team is playing defense on its own 1 yard line, facing a juggernaut offense from the other team. There are a few seconds to play the last play. Your team is behind by 5 points. The ball is hiked, the offensive QB hands it to the fullback who has racked up 300 yards rushing that game so far, with no errors yet.

            He fumbles, one of your team’s members picks up the ball and runs 99 yards through all the other team’s madly scrambling members for a touchdown, and your team wins.

            How would you feel? Yeah, the Rescue could feel like that, only more so. Intensely joyous in ways we cannot now imagine. From the depths of despair to the heights of victory in a few days.

            I hope and pray that it will be, as they say, “totally awesome!”

            Like

          • Mick says:

            SteveBC: love, love, love the football analogy! I’d been having trouble imagining what the Rescue might be like; but your football analogy has really helped me “see” and “feel” it. Thanks! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        • Torchbearer says:

          Steve,

          In response to your comment:
          …”what happens when God withdraws, allowing us to experience in full the consequences of our past actions and current rejection of Him in an almost mechanical or fateful way. ”

          This made me think back a couple weeks when we discussed the Warning and if that would be a one-time event or more of a gradual period of purification. If the Warning were a gradual thing, perhaps this “withdrawing” of God would be the catalyst as everyone would see themselves for who they really are when “seemingly” left to themselves. Those who are not with God will see the Truth about themselves (and will either reach out for help from above or fall into despair) and those who are with God will see themselves but have the hope that comes from His Mercy and pick themselves up and persevere thru the purification process.

          Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Torchbearer, I would think we are either well into the period of warning or well past it into the beginnings of the Storm itself. I don’t think it matters to be precise, because I think the winnowing that you are talking about is going on all the time, more and more strongly as people get more stressed.

            I ws just reading an article on the situation in Greece. They are getting down to the real nub of things over the next few weeks. I’m sure everyone involved there is being forced to think over what they really want, what they really believe, whether they are still hopeful or starting to despair, and so on.

            I would say that portions of the world are in the hole deeper than we are here in the US (assuming you live in the US, too), but I can tell we are sliding down the slope now ourselves but just at a higher point than the Greeks.

            The waves of stress are getting bigger, more frequent, more demanding of each of us, every day it seems now. I am personally in a decent place in my life right now, but I can still see how my internals are being ground finer and finer. What I see out there is what I believe is coming eventually to me. So I get pressed frequently, forced to consider what’s important to me, where should I rely on myself and where on God, and so on.

            For me, and I think generally for everyone, the winnowing is ongoing and increasingly constant. You and I are wide awake, while so many others are only just now starting to open their eyes. Yet I think *everyone* is feeling the pressure, whether it is conscious for each or not.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Nancy says:

            Steve, I have long thought that the storm is getting stronger in the hospitals–so many sick and injured, so many young people with life threatening illnesses, long surgery schedules lasting well into the nights. weekend days that seem like week days workloadwise, etc. I have these dreams of quitting (others have). I want to be available for my family when the time comes. I hope I make the right decision.

            Liked by 1 person

          • torilen says:

            Nancy, I don’t work in a hospital, but I agree with you that the storm seems to be getting stronger in the area of illness. We have so many young people on our prayer list. Many we are praying for are young parents with cancer and the cancers seem to be so aggressive.

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Nancy and Torilen, I had no idea that that has been going on. I do have a friend who called me recently, and he told me his daughter-in-law was going in for surgery. However, I hadn’t thought it was a general pattern. I’ll be a bit more watchful of this in the future.

            Nancy, one of the choices people will make once the Storm truly hits is to stay home with their families. Of course, this will close down many businesses and services, making the Collapse and subsequent aftermath deep and long.

            I consult with a guy in California who runs a small medical clinic. One of the things I look for are opportunities to help him get his clinic properly organized and to help him prepare to resurrect his business after several weeks of chaos have begun to abate.

            If you can (in your copious spare time!), you might want to consider anything you can think of that might help your organization to be more easily resurrected after the chaos passes. Presuming that Charlie is right, everything will shut down for several weeks as society atomizes into individuals and families desperately seeking to cover their immediate needs. Once we begin to rebuild (as we will), anything previously set up to help the rebuilding will help move it along faster than it might otherwise go.

            Things like printouts of surgical checklists, reasonable patient care guidelines, the training materials for nurses or doctors or accountants, small documents that encapsulate best practices might help. I’m not a medical guy, so I may not be focused on the right materials. What I really mean are documents that can hold portions of the organization’s wisdom, hard earned over years of practice. Critical information that would greatly reduce care levels if lost. Cultural practicality. I’m sure you could figure out something similar that applies to your situation and encourage others to do the same for their situation. If everyone printed out and saved the handful of documents they consider the most important, a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom might be quickly salvageable once the chaos has passed.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. May says:

    It’s as if I’ve been watching through the window of this flower shop.

    Vera’s story, along with many others, has moved me to tears… to hope… to love… to trust – even in fear. I’ve been reading “The next Right Step” every day for well over a year now, and have fallen in love with all of you in this family – the family that Charlie created with Gods grace. You are all like unique and beautiful flowers, handpicked, then placed in Charlie’s vase. Ultimately, the vase turned into a gift, a bouquet of flowers, for the benefit of others.

    What a magnificent bouquet it has become!

    So, I can’t just watch through the window any longer. I had to come in and say Thank you! I’m thankful for all of you in this Trust-Do-Love family. And for Charlie! (Larry:) For this site! For all you do! And for all of your gifts!

    Vera, many prayers will reach heaven for you and your daughter.

    May His peace be with you all!

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome to the comment side of the site, May. We are glad to have you with us.

      Liked by 2 people

    • SteveBC says:

      May, your words are a lovely comment on this site and the people involved. You are right, and we are all blessed to be here. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      May–what an absolutely lovely message for us! I don’t think a Nobel Laureate could have composed better thoughts, since it came straight from your heart. Good that you’ve dipped your toe into the water, rather than watching the waves1 WE NEED YOU!

      It’s amazing–I was just out tending and admiring this years’ crop of lovely wild geraniums here, when I came in and read your thoughts. Their beauty, like your thoughts, are breath taking. With you and all others here, we will build our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. (A. Lincoln)

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Welcome aboard, May. And thank you for the lovely sentiments that you expressed. May God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Mona says:

    Welcome May
    It was a lovely comment. You are right. We are all different but we will the best for all of us.
    Mona

    Liked by 4 people

    • jobrower says:

      Yes, welcome May. Your post, May, echoes my thoughts exactly. All I lack is the ability to articulate. God has blessed us all! Eh, Crew Dog? And to all you who post frequently, I enjoy all the insights and wisdom you contribute. I believe there is absolutely no reason why everyone cannot develop their conscience in conformity with the Church when we are privileged to have access to such incredible sites. Thank you each and every one. A special thank you to you, Charlie! My heart is full of love for everyone on this site and you are all in my daily prayers. Our relationship in heaven will surely be unbelievably sweet.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Karen says:

    Thank you Vera for sharing your story. I can hear how painful that time was for you and your daughter, but it occurs to me that, by necessity, you learned how to live “the next right step” way. I do hope you are both in a good place now. Sending love and prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • marie says:

      Vera, Karen has expressed exactly what I would like to have said, if I were eloquent enough.
      I am also praying for you and your daughter and hope you are both in a better situation now. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a very powerful lesson in taking the next right step. God bless you both.

      Like

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