Some Details on the Devil

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By Charlie Johnston

(This article is not private revelation, so please do not treat it as such. It is, however, informed by my observations from a rather unique perspective over the last half-century)

Even the most brilliant man will become stupid under the influence of vanity and malice. Consider the devil. He has more knowledge than all of humanity combined. He is brilliant, shrewd, devilishly clever – yet he is also history’s greatest bungler. One of the reasons the satan so loves to find and use our vanity against us is that he knows how much damage it has done to him over the eons.

God calls us to seek what is right, true and just, even as we understand our limitations and propensity for error. Vanity causes us to change our focus from seeking what is right and true to believing whatever we say or do is right and true. Contradiction is always uncomfortable, sometimes painful. When we get caught up in vanity, it soon begets malice as we seek to retaliate against those who contradict us. If our error is bad enough, it can become a humiliation, which sparks obsessive malice and wrath.

The devil is nothing but vanity and malice. Contrary to romanticized popular fiction, he will end up with no kingdom, no henchman, no power. In the end, he will be as alone, isolated and desolate as everyone else who chose hell. He knows this, yet the illusion that he is a dark competitor with the Lord of Hosts serves his only purpose – to disfigure, mutilate and destroy man. For though the satan knows he gets nothing in the end, yet he still leads opposing forces to God in the great battle for humanity – and each soul is the battleground. If he can use his romanticized image as a powerful competitor to God to destroy man, that suits him just fine.

His brilliance gives him tactical superiority over all men, with thousands of types of attack, each precisely calibrated to the weakness of each man. Man has only one defense – to hold fast to Christ, as the satan uses every gambit to bully, seduce, cajole, flatter or terrify him into letting go. A moment is all that is needed for him to inflict terrible damage. The dullest man who humbly holds fast to Christ is invulnerable to the satan; the cleverest man who engages with the devil is lost before he begins. Yet even with all his tactical brilliance, satan’s malice causes him to make huge strategic errors. He cannot resist causing man to suffer – and does some things that undermine his own cause to enjoy the thrill of watching men writhe in agony.

The best modern example of this is abortion. Persuading people that it is their right, that it is good to slaughter their own infants gives satan delicious pleasure, but also does him terrible damage. The children murdered through this satanic attack are immediately received into heaven, borne up by both the baptism of blood and of desire. They spend their heaven interceding and praying ceaselessly for their parents, most especially their mothers, that those parents might repent, embrace God’s forgiveness and grace, that they all might be joyfully re-united in heaven. Though the children are the obvious temporal victims, the primary target is those who are left behind. Some women despair over what they have done, finding that the abortion has opened up a wound in their heart that will not heal. Many suffer in silence. Others become shrill advocates for abortion, desperately trying to quiet the consciences that silently but relentlessly accuse them night and day, trying to convince themselves that it was right to execute their child. Some enter into desperate, unrelenting despair; others so coarsen their conscience that it is mutilated beyond recognition. Either way, the satan gains a victim. That is just the agony of those directly involved in procuring abortion. It has an even larger cultural price. What of the children of “pro-choice” parents? How can they possibly believe they are loved for their very selves? They know they are merely random survivors of the deadly gauntlet the womb has become. Truly, if abortion were just, life would have no transcendent meaning. It would be short, brutish and nasty, with raw power the only palliative. Having raised this standard, is it any wonder that a dark nihilism, sometimes spilling into murderous rage and despair, stalks our culture, particularly among the young? But this despair comes at an ever-increasing cost for the devil. The millions of mature souls, butchered before they were born, cry out for justice against the satan and for the reclamation of their parents – and the Lord of Hosts is not deaf to their cries.

The nature of God is, through the love that processes unceasingly among the Persons of the Trinity, to create. Man, made in the image of God, is called to live that love and, with God, participate in creation, itself. Man is NOT primarily a consumer, but a creator. The nature of the satan is, through malice, to negate, mutilate and destroy what God has created. To Lucifer, man is as lowly, pathetic and loathsome as a maggot is to a man. That God should have made these pathetic creatures in His own image offended the satan’s vanity. Even worse, these lowly men were able to do something no angel has ever  or ever will be able to do: participate with God in the act of creation, itself. Creation is the most refined and noble of Divine Acts. Every angel is impotent, a servant in the Master’s house. Men are called to be heirs of the Master. This provoked the satan into a jealous rage. It is why so much satanic activity involves disordered sexuality.

Even when men do not, the satan and his minions properly esteem the dignity of the capacity to participate in creation, a dignity they can never have. In part, the satan and his minions are neurotically driven to imitate the acts which, in men, can be so fruitful but among angels must ever be meaningless and barren. The larger part, though, is to indict those to whom the dignity of this gift was given – us. Satan ever accuses man of being unworthy of God. When he persuades men to butcher their own children, to make a mockery of creation by calling what is barren in its very nature to be right in the sight of God, the satan is demanding that God acknowledge error, to concede that men are not worthy of this dignity He gave them over His servants, the angels. Would that we would not be so eager to prove him right. Thus, while not all sexual disorder is satanically inspired, almost all satanic activity involves sexual disorder. It is the signature of this serial killer of souls.adam_and_eve_driven_out_of_eden

The main tools the satan uses to get men to turn loose of Christ are vanity, despair and confusion. But he has an infinite variety of subtle tools to spark these responses – and tailors every attack to the weakest point of the one attacked.

In the late 90s, I was warned by my angel that the devil was now targeting me – and would be sending me false visions to attempt to deceive and seduce me. It was at that time I began adopting a set of protocols that must be met before I would even consider a vision or visitation potentially authentic. I have never written these down or spoken them aloud to anyone. Sure enough, I received several visions that were marvelously comforting and seemed true – but contained some small detail that was objectively contrary to what the Church teaches. I immediately rejected them. I have the capacity to banish some things from my mind almost altogether. In fact, I only have one fleeting memory of an innocuous portion of one of those visions, I so completely banished them. I felt pretty good – thought I was fairly adept at recognizing false visions. Then, in one of the rare occasions he has ever treated me with exasperated disgust, my angel appeared briefly and told me tersely, “He is not trying to convince you of what is in the visions – he is trying to convince you he is clumsy.” I was shaken and embarrassed. I hate to disappoint my angel…but I was disappointed I had allowed the satan to enflame a subtle vanity in me.

Do you think your sins are too great for God to forgive? That is just an ugly variant of pride masquerading as humility to blind you to the sin in it. The pride is that you are such a mighty actor that you can sin beyond the reach of God’s mercy. Come crawling back every time. Are you so ashamed of your sins that you just don’t think about it – and miss Mass, thinking you are unworthy? Again, just ugly pride masquerading as humility – as the devil laughs at you.

Are you obsessed with making family and friends believe as you do? It is a more subtle form of pride that persuades you their salvation is dependent on you – and a failure of trust in God. You depend on yourself rather than God. If you would truly trust God, you would give witness in season, hold your counsel out of season, but love always, for as it is written in I Peter 4:8, “love covers a multitude of sins.” It covers not only your sins, but that of those you love. Do penance for them, pray quietly and constantly for them – without making a show of it or burdening them – and then trust with an iron faith, like St. Monica, that the Lord will rescue those you love through your loving penance. This is one of the satan’s favorite gambits against genuinely pious souls who yet lack iron trust – to attack those close to them. Trust truly and hold fast to the Lord with all your heart and He will not suffer those you love to perish.

If you are prone to fantasies of heroic prowess, the devil will gleefully cower before you to persuade you that you can handle a demon. All he needs is for you to depend on yourself rather than Christ for a few moments to crush you.

Think about the characteristics in you that you are most proud of, that make up your identity. The devil will use these against you…either by confirming them so that you think you are great or by confounding them so you fall into a morass of confusion. Some people are prone to conspiracy theories. If you are one, you can expect to see many confirmations of such things this year that will ultimately turn out to be false, that the devil may convince you you are preternaturally clever. Some people are skeptical of everything. If you are one, you can expect to dismiss some things that turn out to be true for the same reason. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Oddly enough, I am a skeptic, dismissing almost all conspiracy theories as the poppycock they usually are. (I appreciate the irony. I sometimes suspect that the Persons of the Trinity amused themselves as they sent me to my mother’s womb by saying, “Hey, let’s make this guy a skeptic by nature…they won’t see that coming.”) Sometimes I miss things because of it. One client of mine, a formidable and accomplished woman, once insisted she was being marginalized by the sexism of some substantial men in the district. I pooh-poohed it and told her to quit feeling sorry for herself. She did. Later I found she was right and I was wrong. I apologized profusely and she told me she let it go after she knew I couldn’t see it. I thought she was calling me a sexist, but she explained I was so far from it that I couldn’t imagine it in others I respected. I failed her because I didn’t look. In my defense, I had another client, a brilliant man who was given to a little paranoia. We actually made a good team – he would run his dark fears by me, and if I firmly dismissed them, so would he, even though he still felt them. At one point, he asked me to take on a special task because he thought there was a ridiculously huge conspiracy against him in a particular situation. I rolled my eyes and took the assignment because of my respect for him – and came to find he was absolutely right. We popped the conspiracy. As I thought about it,  I was most pleased that he had trusted me to examine it honestly, even though he knew I was dismissive of such things. The devil loves to confirm what you are already inclined to believe to deceive you. Examine everything.

A good examination of conscience goes a long way to revealing the hidden vanities that lurk in the heart’s depths. I dislike a lot of such examinations because they get too scrupulous and can have you despairing of things that are of little or no account. They are almost as bad as no examination at all. I think this one from the National Catholic Register is a pretty good one. Above all, know that the devil will rarely come at you dressed as the devil. He will come telling you that you are right! Or you are powerful! Or you are special! Or if you don’t push hard, those around you will be lost! Or that the danger is insurmountable! Or that all is lost! He almost never comes as himself.

Many years ago, an angel told me, “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all else shall be given to you.”

I may talk more about the satan; I may not. I don’t like talking about him at all. Give thanks that you have never been forced to look through his eyes at humanity, for all he sees is hideously misshapen. I have given you the formula that will carry you safely through whatever trials, temptations and terrors arise: Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. So long as it pleases God that you are still breathing, it is never too late for that act of faith.

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 Discernment, Preparation, Satan. Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Some Details on the Devil

  1. jnursester says:

    Charlie, once again, you have blessed me beyond what you can know or imagine. I cannot wait to meet you in October.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla says:

    When it comes to abortion. I am in shock that some of my friends that are catholic are okay with it. I am not the type of person that knows how to discuss and win an argument, I am shy and usually just freeze when people become mad and defend their opinion. I tell them that abortion is murder, the life of a child, but they always disagree and reply it is better for them to be aborted than being born to parents that will abuse them, use them to get money from the government or get tossed around from home to home as foster children. I don’t know what to answer to that. Only that although there are many children born to drug abusers, to be fosters and abused by people, not every kid ends up in that situation. It seems like that is always the response I get when I show my pro-life view. And I become very sad and depressed after these conversations and I just say a prayer for them. That The Holy Spirit will guide them to the Truth. I have an aunt that when the topic was brought up, she got so mad she started yelling at me, saying that the kids were better off aborted than being born to teenage mothers. I could never change their view on the subject, so I stop arguing and just say a short prayer for them. I don’t know what else to do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      My mother was 15 when I was born. Glad your aunt had nothing to say about it.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Carla says:

        Charlie, I am so happy and proud of young mothers that even when scared decide to keep their babies and raise them. I have a friend that almost had an abortion, she was young and not married. On the abortion table, she started crying and walked out. She said she could not do it. Her conscience spoke to her. I told her I admired her so much for her courage to do the right thing. She has only one son to this day and she said it is the best decision she made. I know she would have never been able to live with the thought of killing her own child. I am so proud of my friend. She had difficulties raising him on her own, but I know and seen God helping her through.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mmbev says:

      It could be, Carlos, that what you do by praying instead of trying to argue with what is basically a person who will not, will not open their eyes to see, has more impact. Praying has much more power than our words, because the result is God’s action, not ours.

      What I find most tragic, is that he has taken our children, ruining many of us in the process, even if he is making them saints. Now he has gone after their souls with a vengeance – by child sexual abuse, pornography and homosexuality acceptance. his end game is a total destruction of marriage, because that is how God, with the consent of a human husband and wife, wants to create.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Matthew says:

        mmbev:
        I am very confused. Is your last paragraph a rant against God???
        The antecedent for the pronoun “he” in the first sentence of the second paragraph is the noun “God” in the last sentence of your second paragraph. And of course only God makes saints.
        Matthew

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        • charliej373 says:

          I should have dropped a note to Bev for a correction. Her sense is a contrast between what God wants and what the devil has led us to do. It is not a rant against God, but against the satan…and I should have clarified that before clearing it, Matthew.

          Liked by 2 people

        • mmbev says:

          I guess Matthew will never see this. However, I always use a capital letter for “God” when I use a pronoun, and I refer to the devil as “he”, because he does not get a capital. I thought it was perfectly clear and no one could misinterpret what I wrote. Sorry.

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    • jnursester says:

      Carla: My birth mother was 14 when she had our older brother Larry, then George and Antoniette (who we call Toni) was born the next two years. In 1958 she had a set of triplets, Lanna and Danna and the triplet died. She followed our birth father around in his Air Force postings and in 1959 had myself, my twin sister Jan, and another triplet that died. We were given up for adoption in Roswell, NM and she took all the other kids back to Toledo, OH where she let her parents raise them while she worked in a bar and drank. I am so grateful to God we were adopted, when we were 43 we found our siblings and though they are good people (all of them!) their lives were very hard. Despite her problems, the grandparents were good to them and they became good adults. We’ve had reunions since 2003 and are so grateful to our parents for adopting us! You never know what your prayers will accomplish so keep doing that, it’s all you can do. If you try to change people yourself it just makes it all worse.

      Liked by 2 people

      • connie says:

        First of all Bev, your last sentence was quote worthy (imho) “Praying has much more power than our words, because the result is God’s action, not ours.” I will have to put it the others in my bible – Thank You!

        Carla & Jnursester, think that someone had posted the following on this blog somewhere: Please Lord, bless them and change me! I find myself praying this often when I encounter those who don’t seem to make God a priority in their lives and the consequences are evident ,affecting me and others in neg

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    • SteveBC says:

      Carla, I know or know of a number of people who came through very trying childhoods, with much abuse or fear, and who went on to become fine human beings contributing to the world. The people you are dealing with are making a faulty assumption, that all people who go through trying childhoods where they are not loved, or are abused, etc., fail to learn anything good from their experiences and become broken adults. The fact is that some do and some don’t. Likewise, those who had privileged childhoods also sometimes fail and become broken adults, or abusers, or alcoholics in turn. By their logic we should abort every fetus.

      My father was perceived as having had a privileged childhood, but from age 6 when his father died to age 16 his mother became a raging and abusive alcoholic. Eventually, her abuse caught up to him, and he felt broken to himself, yet he never hurt me or my siblings. He loved us deeply, and he stayed until we were all adults. Then God took him gently. Would it have been better for my father to have been aborted, so that he could avoid facing his very great pain? No, absolutely not.

      You might try asking those you are speaking with if it is OK for the State to engage in capital punishment if several innocent people (such as themselves) were to be accused of great crimes they did not commit and be killed by the State as a result. Is that OK with your friends? It probably won’t be. Then why would killing 50 million fetuses be justifiable, when the proof that many people born into privation and horror rise out of that to greatness? Better to change the culture for the better so fewer people go through such difficulties in the first place than to kill both the good and the bad indiscriminately and debase the culture and everyone in it in the process.

      I’ve been tossing this whole issue around in my head and my heart for a long time, always uncomfortable about it but feeling that to some degree expectant mothers have some right to have their needs addressed in a culture often not currently supportive of their needs if they were to have the child. Over time as I have seen the cost to us all, I’ve realized that this is a power we cannot handle. Even a little bit of abortion soon and inevitably gets out of control. However, in order to make it reasonable and proper to eliminate all elective abortion, we as a culture have a *huge* amount to do to get to the point where we can properly support mothers who feel they cannot have a child, and we largely do not currently provide that support.

      Thus, to outlaw abortion again, we must all heal our culture at the same time, which in and of itself is a good reason to work toward returning elective abortion to an illegal status.

      Or better yet, perhaps we should work to get the State out of it completely and instead encourage ourselves to create an abortion-less world through voluntary efforts, which is probably more consistent with the world that is coming after the Storm passes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • June1 says:

        “Better to change the culture for the better so fewer people go through such difficulties in the first place than to kill both the good and the bad indiscriminately and debase the culture and everyone in it in the process.”

        I want to tattoo this onto myself so that I never forget it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Carla says:

        You are so right Steve, and I did tell my friend that is society we live in that allows the abuse. Let us all pray fervently for the end of this massacre.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Anne says:

    Clear….powerful….solid,strong,grounded and stunningly honest.
    This is granite rock firn and we need to hear it. May our pulpits resound with the same…. No more washy washys!!!!thank you ….. We need MEAT!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    While I hope you are correct, I think you are mistaken in your conclusion regarding the location of those lost by abortion. The Church teaches (Council of Florence, I think) that the stain of Original Sin is sufficient to keep us from Heaven. Since in Baptism of Desire it is necessary that the one needing to be save must have the more or less conscious desire for Baptism and since the pre-born do not have the ability to desire, this form of Baptism seems closed to them. Baptism of Blood presumes that the one being killed is being killed out of direct hatred of Christ. On this ground the Church has considered the Holy Innocents to be in Heaven because Herod killed them in direct hatred of the Messiah. This does not seem to be the motive of most of those who walk into abortion offices. The farthest that St. John Paul II was willing to go is to say that we entrust the souls of the aborted to God.
    In my view I think the farthest we can go is to suggest that God MAY offer these souls a choice (although I admit there is no ground for this view in Scripture or Tradition). IF a choice is offered we have to admit that some of the pre-born may still choose “not – God”. Thus I think that even at the farthest stretch it is false to suggest that ALL the aborted are in Heaven – unless, of course, you want to support some version of universalism (that ALL are saved) which I know you do not.
    Several years ago I wrote a research paper on a woman mystic in England (I think) who had gotten her start through a visit to Medj. She wanted the Church to declare all those aborted to be martyrs, after the fashion of the Holy Innocents. Some significant people in England supported her – theologians and bishops. After reading all the background material her argument just made no sense. I think she was eventually silenced or at least her views and support for them went into serious decline.
    I understand that this is a bit of a rabbit hole and if you chose not to publish it I understand.
    P.S.: Thank you for your insights on Vanity. I think I may be facing some temptations or at least distractions that are rooted in appeals to my vanity.
    Oremus pro invicem!
    Matthew

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    • charliej373 says:

      I have no problem with anyone disagreeing, but I have discussed this at length with three theologians, one of some note, and they concurred that the reasoning I gave them made sense and none would dispute it – while not affirming it either. It is ever a mistake to underestimate the mercy and love of God. In any case, I say what I say on the matter and stand behind it. If the Church ordered me never to speak on the matter again, I would not. But I have seen what I have seen. I would not go into too much detail here…as I say, it involved lengthy discussions, but consider that, in this century given over to satan, what if abortion is a direct attack in hatred of Christ by the satan?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Ann says:

        JPII actually said that aborted children are “living with the Lord.” Two years after he wrote that in Evangelium Vitae, the text was revised by some Congregation and the official version posted on the Vatican website became that they are “entrusted to the Lord.”

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        • Sr Lorraine says:

          Since we publish these documents I can speak to this issue of the encyclical. It was an interesting case because when it was first released, the pope did say to women who had had abortions that their child is living with the Lord. However, the Latin text, which is always the official text, was released later when it was published in the Acta Apostolica Sedis, the Holy See’s official record. That text was different, and there the pope said: “The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.”
          While I don’t know what happened behind the scenes in the Vatican, a change in an encyclical would need to be approved by the Pope, who is the author. So it’s not accurate to say it was revised by some congregation. It is and remains the official wording of this encyclical and the work of John Paul.

          But keep in mind that the International Theological Commission also investigated the question of limbo. In a long document they considered all aspects and concluded:
          “Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved and enjoy the Beatific Vision. We emphasise that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us (cf. Jn 16:12). We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy (cf. 1 Thess 5:18).”
          The whole document is here:
          http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

          Liked by 5 people

      • mmbev says:

        Actually, you are correct, Charlie. And so was the attack and murder of the Holy Innocents following the birth of Jesus. Both had the same cause. Instead of the abortionist performing the deed of death, Herod received a temptation; he allowed it to come to fruition and an order came out of his heart and mouth resulting in the murder of those under two, after birth. Isn’t that what he is trying his best to obtain now? The murder of those “defective or unwanted” infants who are already born, up to the age of one? And then what’s the plan? Always the same author, always humans, always for the same reason, always “direct hatred” of Jesus Christ.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph77 says:

        Charlie,
        You have confirmed what I have always believed: through the incomprehensible love and mercy of God, the aborted millions of children go to heaven to replace the billions of lost angels and add to the elect to be saved before the end of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Josph77 St. Bernard of Clairvaux said the same thing. I will look up the quote when I get home tomorrow. In a way that makes contraception almost a greater evil in that it will take longer for the full complement to be attained if those babies are never conceived.

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      • Charlene says:

        Charlie thank you.. For most of my adult life I have always known in my heart that the sweet preborn children are martyrs and now pray for their parents. My husband and I pray along with our preborn grandchild who we know is part of the Communion of Saints praying for our loved ones. Once again thank you for expressing what has always been on my heart. Hope we get you this summer when you come to the Northeast.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Paul says:

          Charlie…I’m one of the guilty ones….in high school I encouraged my girlfriend, who I got pregnant, to have an abortion, which she did. After coming back to the church in my early 50’s(I’m 60 now) I realized very quickly what I had done. When I started praying the Rosary, I instinctively started asking for the assistance of certain loved ones, relatives and friends who had passed, as well as certain saints and angels I’ve been attracted to. I included in this list, and do to this day, my little “Sweetheart”, who I believe is in heaven, interceding for me and those we pray for. I hope and believe you are right, and that I will be reunited with her(or him) when I get there.

          Liked by 5 people

      • Mary Ann says:

        To followup on this discussion, it is best to say that the Church has never said that it must be definitively held that the children are in heaven or not. The current teaching, aside from JPII’s first version, is undecided. “Limbo” is a theological opinion that some say is a doctrine of the church, but I think it is not, just a teaching of some people, not of the church herself. I personally think that the doctrine on the baptism of desire and blood will be officially enlarged to include the aborted children (who are the victims of a hatred of Life, and Jesus is the Life, and The Father is the Father of Life). However, it is not a bad thing to entrust them to God’s mercy That very trust is an act of faith on their behalf that, like the friends of the paralyzed man, can bring about God’s salvation.

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    • Don’t forget, Matthew, that it is the abortion doctors and nurses who actually physically commit the murder that is abortion. As anyone who looks into the matter knows, the abortion industry is full of demon worship. Many, if not most, (perhaps if not nearly all?) aborted babies are — even if discreetly — sacrificed in worship of Satan. That would indeed render them killed in direct hatred of Christ.

      But there is at least one tangential point to your post that I agree is very important: we must indeed pray for the salvation of the souls of all aborted babies, instead of merely presuming it.

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      • Matthew says:

        Daniel:
        I think this is my baseline objection to some of what is written above – the presumption of salvation. St. Augustine wrote: “The God who created you without your consent will NOT save you without your consent.” Whatever the ultimate destination of all those who die before birth, it MUST in some manner involve a choice on their part. I am content to entrust the souls of the aborted into the hands of God, as I do all who die, but all must choose.
        I also fear this argument ultimately being turned against us: if abortion GUARANTEES Heaven would it not have been more merciful to abort Hitler who is (probably) in hell?
        PAX,
        Matthew

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        • charliej373 says:

          I think, in the end, all of us choose heaven or hell. We may deceive ourselves during this life…but I have long thought God does not condemn anyone to hell; we condemn ourselves by refusing to take the Divine Hand that would save us.

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        • Yes, one thing is certain: we must pray. I used to pray this prayer each day, but sadly in my laziness have fallen out of doing so! (Incidentally, it is mindsets that tranquilize us that are most likely from the devil, and mindsets that incite us to prayer and action, that are likely from the Holy Spirit)

          Heavenly Father, Your love is eternal. In Your ocean of love, You saved the world through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Now look at Your only Son on the Cross Who is constantly bleeding for love of His people, and forgive Your world. Purify and baptize aborted children with the Precious Blood and Water from the Sacred Side of Your Son, Who hung dead on the Cross for their salvation, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May they, through the Holy of Jesus Christ gain everlasting life, through His Wounds be healed, and through His Precious Blood be freed. There to rejoice with the Saints in Heaven. Amen.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Daniel, thank you so much for this beautiful prayer. I have it in one of my prayer books somewhere and have said it on occasion; but I really should get in the habit of saying it frequently. Thanks for the prod.

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      • donna says:

        I had always worked High Risk OB as a nurse in a Catholic hospital. Due to staff downsizing, as a per diem, I was getting no hours and had to go down the street to the general hospital to seek work.

        On my interview, I was wearing my cross and miraculous medal….The head nurse who was interviewing me glared at my necklace and her first question was……will you assist in late abortions we do here or do postop care? I said “absolutely not, it’s against my faith”
        With that she said, “this interview is over, I have enough nurses already refusing to do the ABs.” On the drive home, I was crying a bit, I don’t know why, driving into the sun south….and I got the gift of the miracle of the sun….just like I saw in Medjugorje…..Love pats from heaven….

        Liked by 6 people

  5. mmbev says:

    You batted that one so well that I didn’t see the ball sail out of the park!

    All the information is important and this should be read and re read. The sentence that I like the very best is one that I have found incredibly true. It was spoken by an angel. Sorry.

    “What you desire most is what is most effective against you. Desire God and all else shall be given to you”.

    But then you added what is the most important. You told us how. T – D – L.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Phillip Frank says:

    Abortion proponents will always trump the life of a child as better off forfeit to some emotional drivel.
    Land sakes how many times I’ve heard people say they didn’t want THEIR child going through the awful life they had experienced.
    So to not have them at all was the answer.
    But when I questioned them that in order for they themselves that to avoid what they were “saving” their child from if it was better that they had not been born themselves it seems they change the subject as if it was not relative to them but only whom they could then make that decision for now.
    But the argument is always one sided because of the lack of hope.
    All this suffering they proport as a good reason to not exist doesn’t stop them from existing but also from exclaiming there are good times in the mix as well as the bad.
    Suffering is an opportunity to adjust ones condition.. socially, spiritually and environmentally.
    Grace is the greatest attitude adjustment out there and the acceptance of Gods will in our lives is proactive from both sides…Gods and ours.
    The enemy wants us to have this absolutely ridiculous lack of trust and unrealistic fatalism about life as if the only good is to not exist at all! Truly, this is how they think.
    These fallen beings have lost all goodness, kindness, love, patients….every virtue
    Mary of Agreda was told that the nature of the satan was a relentless one and although his attacks towards Gods Kingdom caused him great suffering that he was driven on by his fallen nature and can never stop no matter how often he fails or how great the pain.
    For our part, as Charlie has rightly attested, he seeks to hold us to what we hold onto for ourselves and this is his choices weapon against us.
    St John of the Cross is an excellent read for those who would like to see HOW good the satan is at taking advantage of this, even in holy souls.
    Agreda tells us Our Lady is so purely and utterly attached to Gods Will that the satan couldn’t ever tempt her.
    His description of this reality is quite poetic and beautiful to read as he exclaims his inability to approach her in any regard marveling on this creature who evades his every advance and attempt not realising She is unattached to the things of man and angels so perfectly that there is no access to her but by God alone.
    This is our lesson, to remain unattached to all but Gods will in our lives.
    Even if suffering is our lot, to fix our gaze on the goal and show no quarter to this, our enemy so as to Teflon or souls against the sharp talons of his advances.
    Agreda also mentions that God did approach the holy innocence and some of their parents, and ask their permission to be martres for Our Lord.
    As a mystical revelation, we are not demanded to believe this, but it fits in with other reported events, like one written about those killed in 9-11 and that author mentions that God stops time and calls to the soul in an effort to convert it in these particular instances.
    Of course, the soul may reject His invitation and it is presumable that an aborted child may too

    Like

    • Judy says:

      I enjoyed reading this piece, along with all others. The greatest sin of the modern age is believing that there is no sin at all. In addition, Satan wants us to look at all the suffering in our lives and the world and lead us to the conclusion that God is not good. He wants us to not trust in the goodness of an all-poweful God, but rather, trust in our own abilities. Or maybe cause us to believe that there was no Messiah (Jesus Christ) and that we are not the children of God, who loves us beyond imagining. Of course, that only delivers a world that is full of people who are competing for power. We see the results of that in this modern day. They are division and lack of love on many different levels…..starring with the family and then in communities and nations. I do admit that I often do not understand God’s ways (though I am no supposed to), and I often complain that life is just too hard, with too many crosses. But I totally believe that God loves us all very dearly and that He will make something good come from the suffering. I do not believe that God wants to see us suffer. I think that He suffers with us. Our God, manifested in the Blessed Trinity, is the more loving than any of us could imagine. In that I trust.

      Like

  7. Kris R. says:

    The Lord has been trying to teach me for decades now. Some lessons I have learned better than others. Lately so much has been coming at me in new and different ways that I am having trouble sorting it all out. Charlie, you said you have a set of protocols that must be met before you even consider a vision or visitation potentially authentic. You also said you have never written these down nor spoken them aloud. I certainly see the wisdom in each of these decisions. Are there any discernment guidelines you may offer to those of us who are right now so very vulnerable?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Kris, most of my promptings are like those of anyone else…a sense, a feeling…and for those I use the ordinary means of discernment. Is it true? Does it give peace? Is it consonant with what the Church teaches? I take responsibility for making my decisions – as God wants me to rather than blaming Him for every idea that pops into my head – and then it bears fruit and I continue or it is barren and I let it go. The other stuff I use only for extraordinary visions and visitations. If you ever have those, you should find a priest director and be obedient to Him concerning them. I would very much have liked to have been able to dismiss my visions as imagination, but it did not work out that way.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. annef444 says:

    God bless you Charlie. This was well needed and greatly touched me.
    I see my vanity that I didn’t notice before. Kinda funny how it hit me in the back of the head. And sad that I would let myself get so lost in it. I have Gods love and He has all my trust and faith. My vanity was wanting more in life and not accepting of Gods love. Thinking that level of trust and Gods love could some how be obtained on a human level. My vanity left me unconsciously looking for more wanting more. I guess it seems a bit ignorant but I didn’t realize Gods love for me. I was blinded by pain how I didn’t see how truly blessed I am. God chose me to be a mother of 3 in heaven and 3 lively here, He chose me to be a good partner and care taker. He knows who I am. Thank you for your prayers I am so grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. anaverena1 says:

    Apparently one of the visionaries in Medugorje asked Our Lady where the aborted children were and Our Lady’s reply was that they were with her. It seems to me that aborted children in the suffering they endure in the death process have already been silently matyred. I could not imagine God in His goodness rejecting them and has not the concept of Limbo has now been abandoned?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Annie says:

      I was present when Mirjana said this in Easter Week 2004 to a group of us English speaking pilgrims.

      Like

    • Annie says:

      I was present when Mirjana said exactly that to a group of us English speaking pilgrims in Medjugorge during Easter Week 2004. According to Mirjsna, Our Lady then said that she could not vouch for the parents whereabouts.

      Like

  10. aj says:

    GOD “is” MERCY!!! We are in the age of Mercy and the enemy’s hate and absence of Love drives him to attack this most grievous weapon…Mercy incarnate…JESUS THE SON. When I was a child and my elder brother and I would get in a fight, he would always beat me and I would go off cry in my corner and accumulate so much rage that I would make an attack again…the result would be the same. Why? Rage blinds even common sense in humans, even in the face of sure defeat. How we cannot even imagine what total and concentrated hate and rage would do. Well it’s a million times more than my useless attacks on my brother, and it’s the devil…it’s his only way, no change, no letting up, no relaxation or breather, no corner to cry and recuperate…non-stop hate and murderous thoughts against an “inferior” being that became so much superior to him. In fact our Queen is in charge of all the angels in Heaven and would have been his Queen as well and that my friends enrages him beyond our imagination.

    You know…sometimes we give him too much credit though. This is not a battle between two kings on opposite sides of the battlefield. I saw a picture of JESUS and satan in a hand wrestle and I didn’t like it because it gives the impression that this is a fight between equals. My friends this is a battle between a lion and a dry blade of grass. The lion, our King, can at any moment destroy this dry piece of bush, but His ways are not ours. Pray for Trust my friends. Look at JESUS everyday in His Divine Mercy image and keep saying to Him…JESUS I Trust in YOU! I Trust He will make us truly mean it day by day.

    Oh JESUS we Trust in YOU…help our lack of Trust!

    May the Good LORD bless us all and shine HIS Face upon us…Amen!
    aj

    Liked by 7 people

    • Mick says:

      This is terrific, aj. Thank you.

      Like

    • Petra says:

      aj said: “My friends this is a battle between a lion and a dry blade of grass.”

      So true. I’ve come to believe pop psychology often times dupes us into cooperation with or into falling prey to the satan because we fail to consider the possibility that what’s going on inside us is actually the satan trying to influence us. A sudden bad mood, an insistence on being right, not listening to someone’s sound advice, resentment for hurts from childhood; we use modern psychology to think about things like this instead of considering the possibility it is the evil one trying to get to us. We should test it. We should react with a refusal to allow that idea into our lives. And sometimes the immediate refusal of these ideas amounts to no more than swatting away a fly. And sometimes, lo and behold, that is the end of them. Sometimes not, but sometimes yes.
      The satan is powerful when we give him power (by giving his ideas consideration). We are most vulnerable when we don’t even realize something is his idea. He is weak when we flick him away like a bug. If we choose God and His presence, and the presence of His Mother, the satan tries but doesn’t succeed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • torilen says:

        Petra, I often get duped in this manner. I think. I am also too quick to blame bad moods & outbursts of temper on food allergies. I have seen the damage that food allergies can do – one of my sons is a completely different person when he avoids dairy & corn – but I have to remember that there are other causes to moodiness, depression & tantrums – such as the one you point out.

        Like

    • Aj I always hated that picture too.

      Like

  11. Susan, MI says:

    Charlie, this really revealed a great insight for me..

    “In part, the satan and his minions are neurotically driven to imitate the acts which, in men, can be so fruitful but among angels must ever be meaningless and barren. The larger part, though, is to indict those to whom the dignity of this gift was given – us. Satan ever accuses man of being unworthy of God. When he persuades men to butcher their own children, to make a mockery of creation by calling what is barren in its very nature to be right in the sight of God, the satan is demanding that God acknowledge error, to concede that men are not worthy of this dignity He gave them over His servants, the angels.”

    I have read other reflections regarding the satan’s extreme hatred for women as it was through the humility and obedience of a 14 year old girl, our Blessed Mother’s “Yes”, came the ultimate undoing of the satan’s power over humanity. That through this woman, Jesus, Our Redeemer, conquered death by dying and restored our fallen humanity by His Resurrection. This reason, along with Mary’s role in crushing the serpent and her Coronation and title bestowed upon her by her Son as Queen of Heaven, I have heard for the satan’s most deepest hatred for women.

    However, your account is even more basic, in fact, primary, stating the very nature of the Holy Trinity – to Create. And within this wreckless exchange of Love between the persons of the Holy Trinity we find a perfect image of marriage and creation. The satan has been so successful in mocking and distorting image of Perfect Love that we have virtually lost all sight of the Truth.
    I have always found it ironic that the cry of the pro abortion viewpoint is inherently a mockery of the words of consecration of the Eucharistic prayer, “This is my body”.
    By these words, One lays down His life for another or one demands the life of another.

    We have been so spiritually malnourished for so many years, when we hear Truth spoken with such clarity our hearts are burning for more. Truth is what we long for. Truth is a person. He is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6

    Thank you, also, Charlie, for the rundown of practical warnings of the inward and outward spiritual pitfalls. Oh, how cunning the satan is and oh, how gullible I am.
    Peace to all.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Anne says:

      Wow Susan ….. Have you spoken well!

      Liked by 1 person

    • DanSouthChicago says:

      I have always found it ironic that the cry of the pro abortion viewpoint is inherently a mockery of the words of consecration of the Eucharistic prayer, “This is my body”.

      Even though I have seen it many times, the video of “This is My Body” that Dana performed always strikes a chord within me. I type in the title and the name Dana in the YouTube search bar when I want to watch it.

      Thank you for your insights – very helpful. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

    • torilen says:

      “… a mockery of the words of consecration…” WOW!

      Like

  12. Amy says:

    Matthew,
    If St John the Baptist could leap for Joy in his mother’s womb, why could an unborn not also feel the desire to be baptised? I think we should never presume that one who has never offended GOD would be cast aside. If even a bruised reed he will not break…
    Jesus I trust in you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I actually agree with you, Amy, but I appreciate the precision of thought that Matthew consistently brings to all his comments here. There are times that precision has been a great help to me in refining my thought and correcting errors of my own. I am blessed to have some very serious and formidable readers who help us all to add breadth and depth to our understanding by their comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark says:

        The Gospels (See Matthew 19: 13-15, Mark 10:13-16, and Luke 18:15-17) tell the following story (quoting Luke)
        “15 People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them,* and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
        16 Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
        17 Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.””

        Matthew 18:1-5 further states
        “1 At that time the disciples* approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
        2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst,
        3 and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,* you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
        4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
        5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

        Given Jesus own words ““Let the children come to me and do not prevent them“” I do not believe God will prevent them as God is never in conflict with himself. Jesus is the Word made flesh, I trust his words.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Matthew says:

      Amy:
      John the Baptist, upon the approach of Our Lady with Jesus in her womb, was offered grace and accepted that grace. Thus it is possible for the unborn to accept grace. But do all of them do so?
      You say “one who has never offended God”. What of the doctrine of Original Sin? While none now living are personally guilty of the Original Sin, the Church dogmatically, infallibly teaches that the stain of Original Sin is enough to keep us from heaven. (See the Council of Florence for the text) The Apostle (Paul) teaches in Eph. 2:3 that we are “by nature children of wrath” (Douay Rheims and KJV), or for another reading “we are by nature deserving of wrath” (NIV).
      In all of her teaching on salvation the Church insists on the free choice to accept Jesus. The Church leaves us free to consider and even perhaps personally believe that God may act in other ways in certain circumstances. What I think we are forbidden to do is to turn any of our tentative speculations (including my own) into some sort of sure and certain doctrine that we just KNOW to be true and thereby exclude others or the possibility that we are mistaken.
      I hope it goes without saying but I, too, hope there is some provision made for those who die before birth.
      Matthew

      Like

      • Nancy says:

        Matthew, as a mother who has lost three preborn children, I agree with your last sentence. For me it is sad that the decision of the parent(s) in time can affect the souls of their children in eternity. At baptism, an infant is reliant on the decision of the parents to have the sacrament and thus remove the stain of original sin. Yet circumstances and actions in time also remove that possibility. I hope my three children are in heaven, but I need to accept that our God is a God of Love and Mercy and He loves them even more than I do.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. gettimothy says:

    Thanks Charlie.

    There is much here to ponder; I am very grateful for you and your work. I have bookmarked the confessional page and read it and prayed through it.

    This is by no means the most important insight I took from your post, but it is the first that jumped out on me, so I will comment on it now. I do not want to distract from the other, more important insights by commenting on it.

    You wrote: “Man is NOT primarily a consumer, but a creator. ”
    and I thought, “Our monetary system(s) used to nurture the ‘creator’ but now enslave the ‘consumer’.” I am not an economist, nor a deep thinker in this area, but if you look at the spiritual laws that drive the camps, you can see the spiritual principle at work behind the schools of thought.

    I remember a billboard that some group erected immediately after 9/11 that urged all to ‘Don’t worry! Go Shopping!’ and shocked and disturbed, thinking ‘This is deep error’. I never named that error, but your sentence has gotten me closer to naming it.

    BTW, I have the biggest smile at your insight, a thought I never considered explicitly, “God made me a creator!” This opens a lot of doors to insights I would have never considered.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I was once talking to a man who was real down on himself. He was a contractor, a builder who did some very nice work. I told him that everyone has a work that God has prepared for them….and told him that every man, at heart, finds joy in the creation of his hands…that it is a sort of communion with the Creator of all, in Whose image we were made. I told him to think about those moments as an adult when he escapes into the simple unmitigated joy of childhood – and that the only two I really knew were when one is in joyful communion with their spouse and family…and when they were lost in the work they loved. I told him I knew a little secret about him…that though he was fortunate to get paid for the work he loved, that was not why he did it. He does it because there is joy there for him, he has to, for that is where he can get lost and commune with delight with his Creator. He looked like a light bulb had just gone off…and joyfully told me when engulfed in a project, he often completely lost track of time for many hours. Our work is a gift from God, though our work is not always our job.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I also thought that sentence was a brilliant insight.

      Like

  14. Jennifer says:

    Truely we are living in a culture of death. The effects of the abuse of the gift of human sexuality are vast. This distortion has gotten into our identity and damages our ability to relate to others. Marriage is under assault because it is a Sacrament, a means of giving and receiving grace. Family images the Trinity. And so it goes until humanity exausts it’s self in sin. I believe that our modern holy innocent’s intercession is possibly responsible for some of the conversions we are seeing. It’s only the prayers and grace of God that can disrupt the cycle of the distortions and abuses which are so prevelent in families, communities, and our culture at large. At some point, I belive the Father will intervene.

    Like

  15. JG says:

    Bravo – Susan .I’ll say no more . Don’t want to puff up “vanity” – which we all can be guilty of.

    Like

  16. Karen says:

    Thank you Charlie– this one’s a keeper. It gives a spiritual framework for everything we see going wrong in our world. My favorite line was, “Vanity causes us to change our focus from seeking what is right and true to believing whatever we say or do is right and true. ” Best description of our world’s mentality ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mary Ann says:

    A good answer to someone who says that a child is better off dead is this: Maybe so, in terms of suffering, but that does not mean it is s better for someone to kill the child. Killing acts against the child, and is very bad for the killer also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Ann says:

      In other words, we don’t need to get into an argument about suffering or the purpose of life or anything. We need to remember that we are not talking about dying, but about killing and being killed. People jump right over that part.

      Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Back when I was doing radio I responded to a “pro-choice” guest who made the quality of life argument by asking if she proposed ending poverty by taking an AK-47 into the ghetto. She was speechless.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mark says:

      If killing a child to end their potential suffering was a good and noble thing, Jesus would have been aborted, as he took on suffering to a level beyond our understanding. Luckily God did not see avoidance of suffering as a good thing (or we would all suffer an eternity of hell without the possibility of salvation). He embraced it for us. If we live in imitation of Christ we will know suffering, but also joy.

      Great art, such as masterful paintings, have both light and dark. We are drawn to the light from the dark. God is the master artist, and may we all be drawn toward the light.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, the mystery of Hell…didn’t Jesus say that it would have been better for Judas had he never been born? And yet God created him anyway, knowing this. Shall I make a choice for an unborn child that God was not willing to make for Judas? What hubris! We won’t understand this until we get to heaven…and maybe not then, I don’t know. It is precisely because we don’t understand this mystery that we are forbidden to kill. We don’t know what we are doing, we don’t know what God is doing and we don’t know why He is doing it. So if you don’t know how to drive the car, don’t get behind the wheel.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Marita says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I have an overactive imagination, and I have imagined what it’s like for God to send a precious soul off out of Heaven into the womb of a woman who may or may not want the baby. In the case of God knowing the baby is going to be aborted I imagine Jesus talking to the soul and lovingly telling it that it wouldn’t be very long till it was back in His and the Blessed Mother’s loving arms, and although the soul would not make it to birth, the soul will accomplish God’s will and be counted among the martyrs and holiest of Saints. When the baby is killed I imagine God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Blessed Mama rushing to embrace baby and smothering him/her with love and joy at their entrance into Heaven. All the Saints and Angels are cheering and the trumpets are blowing in celebration for the newly arrived Martyr/Saint who is now safely home.
    Of course God takes these little precious souls straight back into Heaven with Him, whoever would think that they need to go through some sort of purification or be banished to some other location than Heaven like Limbo (like the Church once thought), doesn’t know our loving, merciful Father and Savior like they should.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Marita…I have a severely handicapped niece and have often wondered if God asks these souls, in advance, if they would be willing to come into the world with these defects, as a sacrifice and a help to him. If my suspicion is correct, what heroism we are witnessing in the lives of these suffering souls, who have voluntary accepted, in advance, these crosses as a favor to Jesus.

      Like

      • Matthew says:

        Paul and Marita:
        I appreciate the sentiment here but we do not believe in the pre-existence of souls. God directly, immediately creates a soul the moment sperm and egg cell unite. The soul is the form of the body and the body is the expression of the soul in the material world.
        In this world, broken by Original Sin, our outward appearance does not always match our inward holiness and beauty. At the general Resurrection our physical bodies will manifest our inner holiness perfectly.
        Matthew

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        • charliej373 says:

          As comforting as it is to think we are given knowledge and choice about our call before we are born, I agree entirely with Matthew here. That does not necessarily preclude an elemental and perhaps, even supernatural, awareness of God from the moment of our creation, but we can get into very speculative territory here that may be falsely comforting rather than profitable. I have seen the souls of the children praying intensely for their parents. I make some suppositions from that, but I don’t want to assume more than I should from it…and as that piece IS a matter of private revelation, it should not be taken as absolute fact. One of the things that the satan likes to do to deceive us is to get us to believe comforting things that are not, actually, true. I have confidence in it, but it would be error to impute too much to it…and I have never been shown souls talking to God before their physical creation.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marita says:

        Hi Paul. It is a wonderful thought to think that God would give souls a choice to suffer for Him. I haven’t thought of that, but I would like to think that God informs the soul ahead of time of what is awaiting it, especially if it involves horrible suffering, like being aborted or being severely handicapped, or even severely abused. I’m sure many would disagree with us. What if the soul said no to the suffering? I guess I would at least want to believe that if God does inform souls beforehand, but there is no choice for the soul, that God lets it know that He will always be there no matter what, and the soul carries that knowledge throughout life, even though there is no physical memory. If that makes sense.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          Hi Marita…it was just a thought, but as Matthew and Charlie suggest, it now sounds more like it’s based in sentimentality than in fact…I defer to them. Thank you all for the response.

          Like

        • What you just said is kind-of Mormon. God is outside of time…or should I say there really is no such thing as time at all for God. He doesn’t need to have a conversation with a soul before it comes into existence to find out if it will or won’t say yes to suffering, which would be impossible anyway because souls do not pre-exist conception. When I finally said yes to my suffering I was in my 20’s. God was fully present at that moment AND at the moment of my conception all at the same time. My conception and my yes occurred all at the same moment from God’s perspective. We experience things linearly, one thing after another…God doesn’t. Some people speculate that God does not even create us without our consent. By the same mechanism just mentioned He knows at the moment of our conception that we want to exist because he simultaneously sees/hears/knows our happiness that we exist at some point in our life. So you know that time when you were marveling at how wonderful life and the universe and being alive is? God was smiling about that at the moment he created you. Mind bending, I know, but hey, that’s why He’s God and we’re not.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not criticizing you. I’m agreeing with you. I also dislike the Limbo for babies idea, as taught to me when I was growing up. That means I disagree with Thomas Aquinas…how dare I? But Aquinas was wrong about the Immaculate Conception so, who knows? I asked my mom once upon a time “Why didn’t God enlighten Thomas Aquinas about this? Why did He allow him to be wrong about it? And why does He let us have bad popes?” Her answer was brilliant. She said “So we don’t confuse saints with popes and popes with angels.” Saints are not the Magisterium and popes are not all-knowing on all topics. Infallibility and Magisterium are precisely and narrowly defined. I think the Limbo idea comes out of this question: “What benefit does Baptism confer?” So you look at those benefits and the next logical thought is “Well, then people who aren’t baptized must not get those benefits.” No water, no Beatific Vision. We know what we must do; get baptized. Logical, and true as far as it goes…but it doesn’t go far enough. The next question should be: “Is God bound by the laws he gives us to follow?” I believe the Catechism says He is not. He is free to confer the benefits of baptism on anyone He wants. The Church teaches officially that He confers them on those who desire baptism and those who die as martyrs. Those are the exceptions we know about. Are there exceptions we don’t know about? How can we possibly know that? Ah, the glorious poetry of God’s words to Job are fitting here: “Where were you when I founded the earth…have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place?” I don’t think you are being sentimental; you are expressing your innate understanding that God’s very nature is love and mercy and you are following that out to a logical conclusion. Which, by the way, you are free to do because Limbo for babies is not a dogma.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Paul says:

            Thanks singingflowers. Very much appreciate your thoughts.
            I copied and placed on my desk your earlier post on requesting that Jesus provide you the “Revelation of Concience” now, but gradually, so that you don’t despair. Great idea!

            Like

    • Matthew says:

      Marita:
      I think that your last sentence / paragraph is overreaching. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, both Doctors of the Church, held to the theological view you call Limbo. Augustine in fact invented this view since he thought it more merciful than the only other option he could see which was full-on hell. If we were to weigh the preponderance of theological opinion in the history of the Church the weight clearly falls on the side of Limbo. Are you prepared to declare that all these saints, fathers and doctors were somehow less enlightened than we are? Or that they simply didn’t know God as they should? I have sorted through the Scriptures on this issue and while I am not exactly sure how to characterize my own view I can say that the theological opinion of Limbo has a lot more going for it than some on this thread seem to credit. Pope Pius VI in his condemnation of the Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia judged that the wholesale rejection of the concept of Limbo was “false, rash, and injurious” to Catholic thought. (DS 1526) (I admit that I took your final sentence personally since I tend to lean in the direction of Limbo. I think it risky to judge another’s level of Faith or their relationship with God.)
      As a rule there seems to be too much sentiment involved in the thinking on this issue. Babies = Cute, therefore Heaven. God (as God) does NOT have feelings / passions / emotions. When I am confronted by some of the “hard teaching” passages, and I think this is one of them, I always recall the passage of Scripture that reminds us that God’s ways are not our ways.
      PAX,
      Matthew

      Like

      • Marita says:

        Matthew:
        Obviously you didn’t read the most important words I wrote. I started this whole subject in my first post stating “I have an overactive imagination.” I never declared any of the things I stated as FACT. When responding to Paul I wrote “I would like to think” or “I would like to believe” for the simple reason. I don’t know, but it’s a beautiful thought.
        You seem to know a lot of the theology behind what the Church teaches. I don’t. I admit I respond in posts spurred on by emotion to a subject rather than any specific knowledge of where the Church stands on the issue. I don’t consider myself greater than the Saints, and I certainly wasn’t judging anyone’s relationship with God, that was a purely emotional statement. As for Limbo, this is all emotion I’m going to say and you can hit me over the head with all your vast knowledge on the subject if you want. The very word limbo is HORRID to me! In my Theology class (and I still have all the material and notes from the instructor) It’s either heaven or hell and if it’s heaven, the vast majority going there have to go through purgatory first. I’m done commenting on this subject. In the future I see I have to be more careful in what I write, if I write anything at all.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Ah well, Marita, we are fortunate here to have so many serious people from different perspectives. I love the heart you usually bring to your comments. But I also love the precision Matthew brings to his. Some sites are all fluffy sentimentality with no substance; others are all theology with no heart to them. We are blessed to have serious people from all walks here. But we are going to bump heads from time to time. I wouldn’t worry too much about contradiction…give thanks for Matthew’s precision which helps each of us stay grounded – even as I often give thanks to the heart you bring, which keeps us from getting to a dry, arid philosophy that kills the spirit. Like a big family at a great picnic, there are a few elbows thrown here and there, but we try to build up both our faith and each other.

          (Ha…imagine my challenge…my sister once noted that I have so many very smart people here…in science, medicine, philosophy, theology…all walks….and I have to make sure to balance all. She said she would not want to try this on her own. Some of the sharpest commentators here have taken me to task a few times – and often it has done me good. But I know that, with all, the intention is for my good, not to harm. So, we pick up and move on. It would be a poverty for you not to share your kind, thoughtful comments.)

          Like

          • Marita says:

            Thank you Charlie for your kind words!
            I didn’t want to reply to Matthew at all as to not say something I would regret in the way of being uncharitable, but he was accusing me of things, so I had to speak up for myself. All is good! No hard feelings towards Matthew at all.
            I really do envy those who have the minds of theologians or scholars, because I certainly don’t. I couldn’t read Aquinas or Augustine, heck I can’t even understand JPII The Great. Although, one day I hope to get my Degree from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, in order to get that I’ll have to, at one point study the Father’s of the Church. YIKES! God have mercy on me then!!

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            You’ll do fine, Marita. God has uses for all the different sorts of flowers in his glorious garden!

            Like

          • LittleLight says:

            I am so edified by reading your blog and the all the comments. Thank you. I certainly am very small, no theological expert. I relate the following to uplift those here. It speaks to God’s incredible mercy and goodness regarding babies. How we should have no doubt if it suits Him, He sure can offer heaven straight away to babies who died before birth! It is offered as testimony to the truth that God can do what He wills! Not with presumption on His mercy, but rather with trembling and holy fear, I offer this testimony. He is no tame lion! (nods to C.S. Lewis).

            After we lost a child to miscarriage, I was struggling greatly with anger against everyone and thing, even Our Dear Lord. I kept thinking of Job, then I recognized the reality of my anger, the ugliness of it. I also recognized that God is Awesome, and All good and all Loving. How was it possible to reconcile the reality of the emotion with the truth?

            It was then I had an ah-hah moment I will never forget. It was one of those moments you described, Charlie, when you relate how important spiritual occurrences happen on a specific date, but the physical fall-out from those spiritual choices made happen at a later date. Only this was, well obviously, a personal moment.

            As I contemplated and acknowledged my ugliness and anger, I accepted it. I also accepted that I could not try to think about the “whys” Ever. You know: “Why did God allow this? Why do some parents have children they don’t want and abort? Why do some have none and long? Why was I so blessed with seven beautiful children and then not? Why does it hurt so much when I have already been so blessed? Why?”

            The “whys” are an endless rabbit-hole into anger. I said to God: “It isn’t for me to understand, as understanding is beyond my ability. It is only for me to accept. Dear God, I accept that you are All Good and All Loving and this miscarriage is all for our good. I don’t know how this can be good, and will never understand it—but that is okay, it is not for me to understand. It is only for me to accept. I accept. I trust and believe in your goodness. I give this all to you.”

            I was so scared to pray this. I never had been able to do this before and still struggle greatly with this. I was always chained to my will, my way, my anger. I remember being so terrified, but yet so tired of feeling so broken. I remember feeling an instant sensation of peace, almost joy, and certainly relief. Ever since this moment, the pain over the loss of this child has been removed. It certainly was a miracle.

            Also, I felt inspired to pray for one more healthy child. I prayed several novenas to the Little Flower. Over half a year later, our daughter with the middle name of “Rose” gave me a yellow rose bead. I thought: “hmm, but no, I am too old! Oh well, God’s will be done!” This was in the fall. The following July I had a + pregnancy test. Both my husband & I were scared, so scared to go through another loss. At the time, the rose plant he gave me was in glorious bloom, but I doubted this as a sign. I asked for yellow roses from my husband and though these started off yellow, they turned yellow with pink/red. I shared with him my novenas. I’ll never forget he said to me: “Either you believe in God’s promise or you don’t! Do you have faith?”

            So with great difficulty I turned over fear and tried to live in the moment, taking my progesterone and preg vitamins. Nine months later, with another miraculous labor and delivery, Eliana Sophia was born. Her name means: “God has answered me” and her middle name means: “Wisdom”

            I’d like to mention here some other miracles.

            That winter was especially brutal (she was a March baby). It was so brutal, I was often snowed in and pretty much on bedrest because I couldn’t safely leave the house. Our house is on top of a hill, the driveway is long and icy. I remember cabin fever almost mentally doing me in. In retrospect I see that at 44y.o., with seven prior deliveries, uterine rupture was a very real danger. I feel that the weather forced me to take it much easier than I normally would have, thus protecting my baby and me.

            Another miracle, my last 3 deliveries were one week post-date inductions. Any doctors or nurses (I am an RN) reading here will understand just how dangerous it is for a “gran elderly multipara” mom like me to have another induction and also after so many inductions is becomes harder for the body to go into natural labor. My body went into labor naturally. I did not need iv pitocin. I was able to get the epidural I wanted. I had asked God for these favors. My ob doctor said my delivery: “Exceeded his expectations” as far as safety and lack of complications (I had a postpartum hemorrhage with my 5th child and could have died was I not still in the hospital)

            Dear God, I will praise you always and forever!

            Liked by 3 people

  19. Mary Ann says:

    I do have to quibble. While Life-giving and Life sharing is the nature of the Trinity, creating is NOT. If that were so, then God would not be God, because God would HAVE to create in order to be God, which would mean that God would need other beings, which is contrary to the nature of God who is self-sufficient Being. So let’s be careful, or we are soon pantheists.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I will contemplate that, Mary Ann, but I think you are making a leap to say that because it is in God’s nature to create, He must create. I don’t think that is demonstrated at all in what you say, merely asserted. But what I say, if forced to precision, is that the love processing among the Trinity is, itself, the fundamental Creative force. It is fruitful by its very nature. And on that, you might have what I would consider a more forceful argument against.

      Like

      • I was just sitting in the backyard watching a couple of little creatures (a hummingbird and two mourning doves) while also reading through the recent comments and worthy contemplations here. As you can probably imagine, the three little critters were doing exactly what God created them to do, while the fourth creature watching them… well, I’m often humbled by the simplest of things.

        As is typical, my thoughts covered an expanse of territory –– and sometimes wandered aimlessly –– until I eventually came to this: I was thinking about getting to Heaven some day (hopefully) and what it might sound like if my first words were, “Ah, my Creator.” Honestly, I hope that I have something better than that like, “Finally, my Love!” That is if it were actually necessary to say something in the embrace of the Boundless Love Who created me.

        I have greatly appreciated all your insights for quite some time now, but I think I appreciate all the unique personalities the most. Whether it’s some simple words (they always reveal a gem), or the kind of posts that read like they were written by Doctors of the Church, I thank you all for sharing. It’s comforting, really, because whatever the topic, it seems we’re genuinely just trying to get to the Heart of the matter.

        Jesus, we trust in You! God Bless you all,

        MP

        Liked by 2 people

      • W. Leo says:

        Mary Ann, you raise an important question. May I recommend the following talk entitled: “Aquinas and Why the New Atheists are Right” by Fr. Robert Barron presented at the University of St. Thomas in MN? He takes up the very point you and Charlie are discussing. It is incredibly interesting.

        Like

    • Matthew says:

      Mary Anne:
      Obviously we run into a variety of problems when trying by our feeble words and especially by our necessity to think in terms of a time-line, we attempt to talk about the inner life of the Trinity.
      It is true that God cannot be constrained by anything outside Himself. But, contrary to Islamic ‘theology’, we believe that God IS in fact constrained by His Nature. He cannot be other than who He is. So, for example, it is impossible for God to hate. God IS LOVE. Love is Who He is. For God to hate He would have to stop being God in relation to the thing He is hating. This is manifestly impossible.
      So it is true that God does not HAVE TO create in the sense that there is some need He has for Creation. But He does have to LOVE because He is LOVE and love by its nature wills what is good for the Other and it is good for the other to exist.
      If you want I can get into the notion of God ‘hating’ sin but that would make this way too long. I hope this helps.
      PAX,
      Matthew

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        That gets closer to what I was trying to say about creation…that in a sense, creation is a necessary product of the nature of God. It just flows in abundance because that is what He is…that it is not so much an act as a “fruit” of His nature, but becomes an act when He chooses to channel it.

        Like

        • Mark says:

          I think (so take it with a grain of salt) that the outflowing of love from God is not so much “a necessary product of the nature of God” as it is just the consequence of his nature and being, like objects falling due to gravity near a mass. Matthew you say “that God IS in fact constrained by His Nature”, I ask what constraints does perfection have? God always chooses what is right because he is perfect, he always actively participates in his own will so he “Loves”. Jesus was tempted by the Devil, he choose to do what was right. God allowed himself to be tempted and he chose right. If an actual choice could be made, he was not constrained. Being perfect he only does what is consistent with his own perfection.

          I also disagree that God can not “Hate”, as I do not see that as the opposite of Love, Sin is the opposite of Love.

          Scripture (Proverbs 6:16-19) says:
          “16 There are six things the LORD hates,
          yes, seven* are an abomination to him;
          17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
          hands that shed innocent blood,
          18 A heart that plots wicked schemes,
          feet that are quick to run to evil,
          19 The false witness who utters lies,
          and the one who sows discord among kindred.”

          So according to scripture God can hate. But note none of what he hates are his creatures, just their actions that are not “Love”. The old “Hate the sin and love the sinner.”

          Like

          • Mark says:

            I should have added Proverbs 8:13 to the above:
            “13 The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil;
            Pride, arrogance, the evil way,
            and the perverse mouth I hate”

            Like

  20. Maureen says:

    Charlie,
    I am not as eloquent as some of your other readers but your words were exactly what I needed to hear today. If fact, I need to read it over again. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Bob says:

    As for the satan I see his works in another sphere. Working with addicts I see how in the beginning they are all led by pride to believe that their drug, alcohol or other substance use is “so cool” the old pride thing again. And to see how humans can be led by their pride and vanity to the great heights of stupidity. We see it of course with sexual addictions how people, as I once was, can be lead to such stupidity to satisfy their passions and lusts, drugs, sex, etc. And the other day working with addicts I was thinking of how I sometimes feel like I am fighting dragons with a pop gun, in that I can’t more forcefully lead then to an awareness of their need to rely fully on God and even if I could be more bold and more direct, in the lost culture we live in most would not be opened to listen to or to even understand this anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Phillip Frank says:

    Mary ann,
    At mass we pray “We believe in one God, the Father the Almighty , Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
    It is definitive…He does create.
    Phil

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ahiracheta2@gmail.com says:

    Hello, Charlie!

    My family and I are avid readers of your Next Right Step blog. We love it!

    We really loved the song you shared given to you by your angel. One of my brothers, Esteban, wrote music using your Angel’s lyrics “the people of the kingdom ” ( see more info about my brother at his and my other brothers’ band website at http://www.fireandflamemusic.com)

    Will you please take a look and listen using the YouTube link below? Please feel free to give your feedback, comments, suggestions or share with anyone.

    God bless you dearly!! Angela Hiracheta

    Sent from my iPhone

    Ps I am going to see your friend, Bishop Rene Gracida today. He was our Bishop here in Corpus Christi TX. We live in Taft which is nearby.

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for this. It is lovely. Of course, in the vision I saw both the words AND melody of the ostinato – or bass-line. So I prefer that that melody be kept intact and an overlay melody added above it. But this is genuinely lovely and, I think, an authentic iteration of the song. It is a matter of much contemplation to me. I kind of think as the various iterations of the song begin to rise right now, it is a sort of battle cry for the faithful, anticipating the Rescue…and is a sort of “stretching out our hand” to the heaven we know is our safe harbor. I spoke to Kitty Cleveland yesterday – and she has finished her version of the song. But it will be a few weeks yet before she records it in a fashion we can put up here. She says she sings it all the time. I, like you, cannot wait to hear that. I think I am going to make a Page for Iterations of The song of Rescue.

      Like

      • SteveBC says:

        I like the idea of a page of links to various versions of this song. Different people will find one(s) they like more than most, but everyone will get the lesson and the hope.

        Like

  24. Mark says:

    One of the reasons the satan fails is that he totally lacks wisdom. He rejected all that is truly good, There is nothing good left in him. While he is intelligent (which shows intelligence is not a “Good” in and of itself), he is not wise. Just as solomon asked for wisdom so should we to help discern what is from God, and then act on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    You mention that the purpose of the satan is “to mutilate, disfigure and destroy man”.
    I have been disturbed in the past week by the photos of Bruce Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair.
    I am no visionary or mystic but I had a deep sense that a Rubicon was crossed, a turning point was made. That the lionization of and the praise heaped upon this poor mentally ill man was somehow like the praise heaped upon “Tashlan” in Lewis novel “The Last Battle”. Not that Jenner, himself, was demonic but that his evil choice and it’s lauding was an insult directed at God, Himself.
    As I say, I was disturbed.
    Matthew

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I think there is some deep insight, there, Matthew. I had not related it to the ridiculous praise of Tashlan in “The Last Battle,” but now that you bring it up it is almost exactly precise – a hideous, yet comical lie that even a child can see is nonsense. And poor Jenner is unknowingly the donkey.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Jose says:

    Could you please explain the following sentence in your article: “In part, the satan and his minions are neurotically driven to imitate the acts which, in men, can be so fruitful but among angels must ever be meaningless and barren.” Are you saying that the fallen angels try to have sex among themselves??

    Like

  27. Jose says:

    Maybe I’m wrong but I believe that some saint (was it Anne Emmerich??) had already answered the question of what happens to little children that die without baptism (this includes aborted babies). They go to Paradise forever, which is a place that is different from Heaven. They are forever in communion with God in the same manner as Adam and Eve before their fall from grace, but not in the same manner as the Holy Angels who see God face to face. There is eternal happiness in Paradise, but it is natural happiness enhanced with a loving relationship with God. It is not the same degree of happiness that those who are in Heaven enjoy through the Beatific Vision.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That IS one potential explanation that has long been considered, but the matter is not definitively settled.

      Like

    • Jose says:

      I deduce from this that they also participate in a form of the Beatific Vision, because they will be able to see Jesus in bodily form and even transfigured (like the Apostles), but not the full extent of the Beatific Vision as the Holy Angels have. I hope that makes sense….

      Like

  28. Bob says:

    a good comment on the satan and the recent Bruce Jenner incident
    http://www.catholicvote.org/jenner-ideology-an-embrace-of-evil-a-cry-for-help/

    Like

    • CrewDog says:

      Jenner is nothing but a distraction! On the totally not religious front his perversion is being used as an excuse to Not report on unpleasant domestic, political or foreign “news” that would reflect badly on DC-n-wannabes, Islamic Terrorism and International Socialism. Otherwise his perversion is being used to confuse and scandalize, especially, the young. satan & useful idiots are busy-Busy ;-(

      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. June1 says:

    This is kind of veering off-topic a little but I just came across this article and wanted to ask something. Do you all think that if the Vatican rules Medjugorje as not being of supernatural origin that this will be part of the storm in the sense that many will be in despair over it?

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-on-medjugorje-its-almost-decision-time-19185/

    Or maybe the decision will happen to come in 2017 and it will be a positive ruling, coinciding with our rescue by the Blessed Virgin? Just thought of all this right now and wanted to toss it out there.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      The Pope recently said an announcement will come soon. There are many temptations to disobedience today. This is a subject that the Vatican has absolute authority over. I think whatever the Vatican decides, some on the other side are likely to go off the rails, at least for a time.

      Like

      • CrewDog says:

        Let US Pray that Medjugorje is pronounced authentic and worthy of belief but …. if not … Don’t be discouraged, “shake the dust off your sandals” and Press-On in FAITH and HOPE! ………………. and read The Apostle’s Creed 😉
        GOD GIVE DISCERNMENT TO ALL HERE!!

        Like

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        Charlie, I know that many (maybe most) of your readers believe in the authenticity of the events at Medjugorie. From my readings from those who have done research, my view is that there are intractable problems that date back to the beginning and very early days that will preclude a favorable judgment. Regardless, I am quite comfortable with allowing those charged with such duties to decide. (Actually, while the apparitions are ongoing, I am pretty sure there cannot be a ruling in favor of a supernatural nature). So, my question is hypothetical but is born out of a genuine concern, and now with an apparent judgment about to be rendered and this question being asked of you, and given that lately there has been direction from the Vatican to not allow public gatherings in the USA and some other countries of Ivan and Vicka: if the apparitions are definitely ruled not supernatural, and I appreciate your statement of obedience to the Vatican on this (which I likewise share) — well, what would that mean if your angel told you definitively that the apparitions are supernatural and legitimate?

        I ask in all sincerity and not provocatively. As I mentioned awhile back, I find you so credible, but not Medjugorie, and I don’t know how to “square this circle:” if your angel told you definitively the apparitions are legitimate, and the Vatican whose earthly competency it is to decide declares they are not, logic then requires a pall be cast over in general over what you have been told, for that seems to be a major “mistake.” And, please, feel free not to publish this or even reply if it seems “impertinent.” However, I assure you I ask out of genuine concern and interest and in no way with a “gotcha” mentality. I have been mulling this for awhile after I went back over some of the problems I had read about with Medjugorie which, like I said, go back to the very beginning, and I thought, “maybe this is one of those instances Charlie talked about that he didn’t interpret correctly or whatever.” But, I believe you stated your angel said to the effect, “Yeah, it’s a circus, but it’s genuine.” So, I don’t know how to reconcile a negative Vatican ruling with what you have been told. Again, maybe dealing with hypotheticals since we don’t know what the Vatican will rule is wrong, so just waiting for the actual ruling would be best. However, I suspect, as you allude to, that no matter what the ruling is, there will be explosive commentary all the way around, so I am asking before all that happens and the time for sincere questions and answers are lost in the initial shock wave this ruling will be.

        Again, feel free not to post this if you think it unfruitful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, such rulings are a matter of discipline, Monica. I would obey quietly whatever happened. But you may recall that St. Joan of Arc was NOT approved – even condemned for a time. St. Padre Pio was shut down for a time. St. Teresa of Avila was shut down for a time. It is a matter of discipline in the early stages.

          Now I find many people reading tea leaves – something I actually got paid for for a long time (politically speaking) because I was good at it – not merely cherry-picking the things that I thought would confirm what I want to believe. I have never thought that just because my angel told me this (and you are right – there was nothing ambiguous about it) that the initial determination would be positive. The final determination will not come until after this is all over…and as with Joan, Padre Pio, Teresa of Avila and others, there may be some peaks and valleys along the way. Now, there are other people and events that were believed by many to be authentic that ultimately proved to be inauthentic, too. It is just that on most such things, there are hills and valleys before a final determination is made.

          I have been surprised at how much emphasis has been put on the reining in of Ivan and Vicka. I was glad to see that happen…I was not amused to see the events of Medjugorje being turned into what looked like a traveling patent medicine show. That was part of the barnacles my angel spoke of, I think. Just because something is authentic does not mean that some who were at the center would not go off the rails for a time – or permanently. Some people start well and end badly, just as others start badly and end well – and the line for each of us follow some crooked paths along our way. I really don’t understand why people are surprised to see some who have received graces have periods when they are goofy for a time. That really has little to do with the authenticity of the phenomenon, itself.

          Until today, I had no good idea at all what the Vatican was going to initially decide. If it forbade the site, I would be obedient. But today, the Pope was reported to say that a decision was coming soon and that guidelines were being developed. That latter portion led me to speak to a few friends who are enthusiastic about it this morning and tell them I felt confident now that the Vatican was actually preparing some sort of conditional, interim approval. Why? Very simple…if it was a condemnation or blanket rejection, no guidelines would be necessary – the condemnation is the guideline. Guidelines are issued when there is a conditional approval.

          But at this stage, it is a matter of discipline, not a final finding. It cannot be final until after the events are over.

          Yet, at another level, I do not quite understand the concern about my authenticity. I openly tell people to accept or reject my supernatural events I am privy, too. They are helpful to me and may be helpful to others, but they are not necessary to what my message is – which is very simple: acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Know that God is close to YOU and that you do not need a guru to tell you what to do – and that following some guru will not relieve you of your responsibility before God for the decisions you make. Obey the church on faith and morals. So my question for you, Monica, is, if it turned out I did suffer from some sort of relatively benign but intense delusions, which part of my fundamental message would you then reject? Taking the next right step? Being a sign of hope? Obeying the Church? I am not being sarcastic…I really mean it. I was discussing this with several people last week…and have some concern that the restless worry of some (mostly not on this site) over whether I am “for real” betrays a continuing desire for many to find a guru whose will they can substitute for their own. There is no such guru – and anyone who tries to make of me their “psychic friend” gets rebuked, sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently. My message is completely contrary to that…and I would that people would give up the search for a guru altogether…and instead focus on building each other up. I think we all have been doing a pretty good job of that here. But I hope you will really give some serious thought to my question: which part of my fundamental message would you abandon if it turned out I was a little nuts?

          Liked by 3 people

          • gettimothy says:

            It is your insistence on this (and Christ and other Gospel principles)
            “They are helpful to me and may be helpful to others, but they are not necessary to what my message is – which is very simple: acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Know that God is close to YOU and that you do not need a guru to tell you what to do – and that following some guru will not relieve you of your responsibility before God for the decisions you make. ”

            That lends credence to your visitations, not the other way around. If you did not display this, I would not be commenting here.

            Grace and Peace

            Liked by 1 person

          • aj says:

            Ha..Charles, as I read this I remember when I just joined this blog family that I posted something quite similar about you. I wanted to tell our members here that even if Charlie’s visions were only dreams and hopes that the message is sound…abandon yourself completely to GOD!

            You are correct in saying we look for a spiritual guru who is perfect and will tell us everything to do, in the way and when to do it. The problem with that is, if this was what GOD intended then the guru would stand in our place at the merciful judgement seat of the Triune GOD…since he made all the decisions on our behalf…and we know that ain’t gonna happen lol.

            Also, could we imagine if the Vatican was adjudicating on St. Peter at his own time of existence…it would have been, ups and downs and a final thumbs down at Calvary for him…ohhhh but at Pentecost and after his martyrdom (the full picture) it would have been a resounding thumbs up!

            So Monica we could wait and see the outcome but in the meantime, just as with Charlie’s message, it can’t hurt us to fast, pray, go to confession, do penance and definitely intercede for our Priests…the message of Medjugorie.

            GOD’S abundant Blessings on all of us! May the Virgin MARY our Mother and Queen intercede that Her Spouse THE HOLY SPIRIT may bring us to holiness and Sainthood!

            aj

            Liked by 4 people

          • Tom says:

            “acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Know that God is close to YOU and that you do not need a guru to tell you what to do – and that following some guru will not relieve you of your responsibility before God for the decisions you make. Obey the church on faith and morals.”

            That is it in a nutshell. There are some that get caught up in trying to “follow” someone they think has God’s ear, or should I say they try to find a someone who’s ear God has and who is getting the inside word from heaven. That will lead one to chasing one’s tail in circles getting nothing accomplished. Your message, Charlie, is quite simple. Simple is good. God wants us to be simple. Simply follow His word, simply follow His commandments, like simple children. Let Him lead, one step at a time.

            May God continue to bless you and I am prayerfully hopeful that as you journey around the country in the coming months that more people see you and hear your simple message, Trust God. Take the next right step He leads you to. And be a sign of hope to those around us. So simple, it’s brilliant 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

            Whoa! Ok, I just reread my question to you. Sigh. I was not clear in one thing for sure — when I mentioned I had “concerns,” I meant personal concerns, as in puzzlements — not concerns as in I am some kind of internet or prophecy “cop.” “Concern” was a poor choice of words on my part.

            So, thank you, Charlie, for your thoughtful reply. Interestingly enough, I had started to type a post script to my original post but it got too late in the evening to finish, which was to the effect that no matter what else, your counsel to trust, do, love is quite sound and “worth the price of admission.” And, to clarify, which I hope did come across but to make quite sure: I was and am in no way expecting you to have to somehow “justify” or “prove” yourself, particularly to me! I am afraid my poor choice of the word “concern” sounded like I did. Furthermore, I am kind of past the stage of life of looking for gurus. Your comments on not seeking one I completely agree with. As to your questions, I pray to die in the same state as St. Teresa of Avila (I believe it was her who said it) — an obedient daughter of the Church. I have sacrificed much in my life to remain within this barque of Peter. I do find this site contains insights and unique, intriguing perspectives on the worrisome issues of the day, offered by both you and your readers, and so this website is such a useful resource, but the site of a guru for me? No, it isn’t. And, I think it is you yourself who have stated that well enough in the past that my thinking on such a topic has been further refined. .

            As to Medjugorie specifically, as I mentioned, I have truly taken the time to read available material on the early days of the apparitions, and I find the serious concerns raised by some who did this research credible. One such example I will mention chosen at random happened when Vicka was supposedly in ecstasy. She flinched backwards when a researcher made a poking movement toward her eye (generally, during ecstasies, true visionaries are impervious to anything happening around them, including sudden or painful stimuli), and afterwards she came back to say the reason she flinched was because she thought the Blessed Virgin Mary was going to drop the baby Jesus, and Vicka was trying to catch the Baby. Why Vicka jerked backwards if the Baby was falling in front of her was apparently not explained. The whole flinching episode and subsequent explanation are on film and can be found easily searching online. I am sure there could be much more back and forth on such topics, but I hope by relating even this one incident (there are other serious issues, ranging from the matter of obedience to the local bishop and respect for his legitimate jurisdiction to further anomalies in the messages and behavior of the principals) to show that those who have reservations have substantive reasons for doing so, even though it is also true that there have been graces given, just as in anyplace where the Sacraments are celebrated. However, this is certainly not the forum to carry on a Medjugorie debate and maybe there are substantive answers to all the concerns that have been raised that I am not aware of, but this is not the place for that.

            So, bottom line: I do not foresee any reason for me to bring up Medjugorie or comment on it again, so there will be no more “thread hijacking” or comments on this subject from me on this forum!

            Finally, I appreciate the prayers of those who post here and pray for all of us. I do follow the Scriptural admonition in Thessalonians to “not despise prophesies, but test everything [and] hold fast to what is good.” So, Charlie, I will humbly wait for what is to unfold and thank you for what I have received from reading this website, holding fast to what is good, and also thank you for your courtesy to me and treating my query as the genuine, not challenging, one it was.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh gosh, Monica, I did not take what you said as any sort of criticism at all. I did use it as a sort of jumping off point for some other things…but you comment here regularly and, while we have never met, you do get a sense of a person after a time of conversing in this way. I have thought, at times, that the way my angel phrased it, it kind of signaled that people could have legitimate evidence on either side. He did not tell me that all the visionaries were faithful and true – though they may well be. What he said was that it is authentic with many barnacles attached to it – a product of our times. Remember, at the time, I did NOT believe it to be authentic. In any case, we will have some direction soon here. But Monica – you keep right on saying what you authentically feel and believe. If we fail at that, it all starts going downhill, I think.

            Like

  30. Thank you Charlie….what really spoke to me was the part about trust. You really..or God really…hit me over the head! I have been so concerned about the conversion and salvation of my family in particular and have failed to trust our Lord and His most Blessed Mother to take care of them. This has given me much comfort. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Chris says:

    Dear Charlie, I loved this piece and I hope to re-read it over again to learn more about this vanity I have and also about tha satan who has attempted to destroy me and my family for all of my life.
    I’d like to address the issue of abortion and where the babies go after they are killed. First iI must say, I am not the brightest bulb on the shelf, I am simple and try to speak from my heart or from experiences I have had. This is the way the Holy Spirit gives me to sidewalk counsel.Now here goes, my husband and I aborted our first child. Our lives together after that day were as miserable as one could imagine, using alcohol and drugs attempting to dull the pain we felt.7 years later, Our Lady called me to Medjugorje. My husband and I realized we should go to confession before I left on that trip. I felt relief for a while after that confession but then the Satan caused me to despair with thoughts of unforgiveness.My husband and I suffered in silence for 24 years.We never spoke of it again and I stayed angry blaming him for the horrible act we’d done together.We stopped going to mass, feeling guilty and unworthy to be in God’s house.I believe our baby was constantly praying for us and interceding in Heaven. Who else could have been praying….we certainly weren’t and no one else knew because we kept silent.After having a grand child who needed Baptism, we went back to church and sat down with our parish priest where we again confessed the abortion.He suggested we go on a Rachel’s Vineyard healing retreat.That is where healing and forgiveness began for both of us.As for where babies go after abortion, I can only tell you what happened to us at the retreat.We were engaged in a beautiful living scripture which helps parents experience the reality of their child’s life and Christ’s victory over death.Here you are asked to envision your child loving and inviting their parents to join them for all eternity when they have completed their earthly journey.When the reading was over,My husband was visibly shaken. I asked him what was happening and he cried as he explained that he had seen bright lights coming all around as our Blessed Mother came into view and she was holding our son who was safe in her arms.He sobbed uncontrollably saying he felt an overwhelming peace that our baby was safe with Her.The following Sunday at mass, we heard a baby cry and we both turned to each other and smiled. After mass we spoke about that moment we had together when we smiled at each other.You see, in the past, we were aggravated and distracted from the sound of babies crying in church, but on this day we felt happiness and joy.Where do babies killed in the womb go , I can only say that at mass, my husband and I feel overwhelming peace, joy and the presence of our child praying and interceding for us and we love being with him there and live with hope that we will All be together soon.

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      God bless you, Chris. There was a time when I was in radio that, oddly, I would get three or four calls a week off the air from women who had had abortions – and had felt, some for years, that there was no one they could talk to about it. Somehow, many felt they could talk to me. In the newsroom where the calls went, people just started telling me that they thought it was one of “those calls” when they would get me. The agony of so many who had suffered in silence for so long made a deep, lasting impression on me, filling me with a great sorrow for the women who have gone through this and found what a devastating thing it is. I am so glad you and your husband have found healing and reconciliation – both with God and with your child. I love what Rachel’s Vineyard is doing…for it makes a difference in many people’s lives that would otherwise be broken by this toxic culture.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Petra says:

      Chris: Thank you for having the courage to write so publicly about such painful experiences. It absolutely devastates me what women go through after abortion. A very long time ago a friend of mine had an abortion. It was the typical story – live in boyfriend who was not interested in a baby and a family, paid for an abortion and rejected her as well. She was one of the sweetest most gentle friends I ever had, and it was painful and devastating to watch her agony after she had done it, and there was very little that could console her. She could not tell her mother or her family, so only her friends knew.

      After a time she moved to another state and married someone a few years later. She miscarried their first child. I got a phone call from her, being one of the few people who knew her secret, and she was devastated, asking me if I thought God took her baby to punish her for aborting her first. Of course I told her no, God doesn’t work that way. To this day my heart is crushed when I think of the deep anguish and guilt she lived with as a result of that abortion. And I told her about Rachel’s Vineyard, and told her at the very least to go to a priest. I don’t know if she ever went.

      Pro-choice advocates’ denial of the devastating mental and spiritual effects of having an abortion on a woman absolutely infuriates me. It is part of the overall massive lie – not only the lie that is abortion is not killing, but the lie that it has no lasting psychological effect on the mother or father. Just like so many other grave and serious sins the devil instigates, secrecy is a huge part of keeping it going. There is a sort of taboo about seeking help post abortion. Women who have one understand you are supposed to be okay with abortion, so anyone who is reeling with guilt will hardly ever say so out loud. Where can they find forgiveness except in the Lord? But they are afraid they are already condemned. It outrages me.

      My heart goes out to anyone who has been caught in this wide net cast by the satan, a net designed to capture as many souls as possible, of both men and women, and prevent God from bringing forth new light to His people by killing the instruments by which He does so (new human life). There are so many lies on every level in this issue, I can hardly stomach watching pro-choice politicians and advocates grinning widely as they continue to advocate for it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • June1 says:

      Praise God, praise God, praise God! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • LittleLight says:

      I’d also like to offer my thanks for your testimony to God’s goodness. I am so very happy to hear about your miracle healing! Praise you, Father! Thank you for your goodness to my sisters and brothers, thank for you mercy and healing their hurts!

      My whole life has been intimately shaped by abortion. It is only by God’s grace that I did not go through what you did. I should have. I did act out promiscuously in college. My dad’s violent outbursts were centered on female sexuality. Sooo, it was always a struggle for me to find healing/peace.

      My story was my mom aborted a sibling that was right before me. It was a tragedy of classical proportions. She contracted measles from my oldest sib. Her ob scared her into the deed. Later she told me this doctor died terribly in a house fire. Since then it practically destroyed my family. My father descended permanently into a destructive violent alcoholism and had some gigantic financial setbacks in which they almost lost everything. My poor sis had to deal with what must be unimaginable guilt over something she had absolutely no control over.

      Ever the hound of heaven, our Dear God still did not abandon us. My mom had a miraculous re-version even as my beloved Dad lost his faith. Today, over half a century later, the hallmark of God’s mercy is ever alive in the strong vibrant faith of my sib and mom, this faith they’ve passed onto me. Charlie’s vision fits right into what I have heard Our Dear Lord whisper to me.

      In any event, all I need to do is to trust in God’s goodness. He takes the most awful tragedies and brings more good out of them than evil. None of us can wrap our minds around this. He is no tame lion. Praise you God! I will praise you always and forever!!

      Liked by 3 people

  32. While reading through an examination of conscience one day it suddenly occurred to me that I was shutting the barn door after the horse had already gotten out. Instead of just reading the examen during night prayers to see how I have failed during the day, I now read it during morning prayer and from it make a spiritual “To Do List” for the upcoming day. I think about likely trouble spots and pray for the grace to avoid those things. If I think that the day is going to be especially tempting I may make a note on a note card and refer to it during the day to remind myself not to get blindsided. Then in the evening I look at my “To Do List” to see if I can happily check off everything…or unhappily not. Actually, maybe it should be called a “To Don’t-Do List”. Anyway, then I make an Act of Contrition and resolve to try again tomorrow. Works for me. Well, most of the time.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Barbara Dore says:

    we have no immunity against sin. Only One human has it who is Our Lady, the Mother of God. Stone Age pornography did exit, even no books, or television were not yet invented!. BBC wrote the documentary on ” Stone Age Pornography” which was very interesting. From watching it that made me realising that we are not free from sin. God gives us some tools to keep our soul and body strong such as Confession, Holy Communion, Fasting and Rosary etc.

    Like

  34. Barbara Dore says:

    I sometimes feel overwhelmed from hearing difficult problems from my friends due to their sins and others’s sins that affect them…and daily news from the Television and I find saying a rosary gives me an inner strength and peace in my heart so that I may face a day by day daily with God’s love and peace. I started saying the Holy Rosary since six years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. A Quiet Person says:

    That maliciousness that you wrote of Charlie . . . the malice that causes people to retaliate against those who contradict them is something I am up to my eyeballs in at work. It is as if they can make me somehow wrong, then that will make them right. Truth has nothing to do with their thinking. Their lies are bold and brazen. It is not the first time either. Your words help me make sense of it all. I used to talk to a priest about these sorts of struggles, where people just seemed bent on somehow destroying me. He would say, “You are good.” (Not perfect, not great, not better than anyone else, just good. And I have to scour my conscience to make sure i am not doing the same thing to them in return.) Then he would say, “And that goodness threatens others.”

    I fight as well as I can but, time after time I score another failure, as the world defines failure. I am trusting though, as I try to neutralize the malice with the right balance of truth and silence and prayer and action that somehow a spiritual victory is secured, even as the world sees me pretty well flat on my face. Do you think maybe it is so?

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    • Petra says:

      Quiet: If you weren’t there, who would counter the evil that runs the place?

      Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15: 18-19

      Believe me, they can tell, just by the way you participate. They can tell you are not one of them.

      Jesus stood alone before the mighty Roman Empire in the person of Pontius Pilate. He didn’t even defend Himself. Pilate was perplexed. Jesus died. Life appeared to go on. The Jewish leaders won. The Roman Empire won.

      The seed fell to the ground and was watered by the blood of martyrs who loved the Truth.

      The Temple was destroyed. The Jewish leaders scattered. The Roman Empire fell. The Word of God spread throughout the world.

      Our timeline is only a second worth of eternity. But generation after generation the ones who follow Him suffer persecution from the world.

      Believe me, after this experience is done, you will find your Faith stronger than ever. “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” Proverbs 17

      The Lord tests hearts.

      Like

    • Lily says:

      I feel it too, Quiet, but not nearly the extent that you do. Mine is from my own parents. We are all struggling with loving each other and wanting the family relationships, but we seem to have such opposite values and interests. My parents seem to take offense at everything I do or say. If it were not for this blog, I would be in such despair. It helps to have a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at what’s going on. I offer you my prayers.

      Like

  36. Mack says:

    Much food for thought here on how to fight the Satan. Today on Corpus Christi I read a quote from St Thomas that the Eucharist brings us the effects of Christ’s passion, including his defeat of the devil. Then Thomas quotes Chrysostom, “we leave that table like lions, made redoubtable to the devil.” Keeping close to this sacrament is so effective.

    Like

  37. singingjuls says:

    Thank you Charlie! Your words of wisdom and discernment have given me much to ponder. I need to remember to test all things and to ‘Desire God and all else shall be given unto you.’ May God continue to bless your ministry!

    Like

  38. Stephen Maresch says:

    I agree with your interpretation Charlie, I think the fact that Satan is behind abortions and he hates Christ you can say they died martyrs for Christ. As for your statement on angels, I would think that the Father see’s his angels as family; therefore heirs, ( just my thoughts).
    I remember in the nineties when I visited the visions at Conyers, ( I saw many miraculous things while there), the blessed mother wanted to be called “Our loving Mother,” The visionary was very humble and very obedient to the bishop, she even separated from those who started out helping her but wanted to take the whole thing into a realm she felt was not what Jesus and our Blessed Mother wanted. One thing she said that she was instructed by the Blessed mother and Jesus to always test her visions by asking the apparition, ” to whom do you bow down too,” the devil would never admit to bowing down to the Father!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. luvadoxi says:

    I wrote a bit of a touchy response to Matthew–apologies for doing that without introducing myself. I’ve been following your blog Charlie for some time and find your thinking reasonable and reassuring. This topic of babies in heaven is just a touchy one for me. I’m often scrupulous and need to hear about God’s mercy, not so much what seems like doctrinal legalisms.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Meh…we poke at each other from time to time, but keep working together. You might have noticed I can be a tad on the tart side from time to time. We know we care about each other here…so if you throw an elbow, you’ll probably catch an elbow sometime…and then we will muddle on.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Annie says:

    Reblogged this on Annie.

    Liked by 1 person

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