Signs of the Time

St. Therese of Lisieux and Pope Francis

St. Therese of Lisieux and Pope Francis

Signposts

By Charlie Johnston

When I was prepping candidates for early public appearances, I would almost always ask them if they thought most people make primarily rational or emotional decisions on who to support. Almost all told me they thought most people made primarily rational decisions. “Not quite,” I always said. Though most people are rational, they make an emotional decision on who to support – particularly in a primary – then shop around for rational reasons to justify the emotional decision they have already made. I would give this little “prep” talk to underscore that, before a new crowd, you need to have impact very early in your speech – the first few minutes – to connect with the crowd, and only then fill it out with substance. For example, when former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to ban fountain sodas over 16 ounces, I was speaking at a dinner in downstate Illinois one night. When I went up to the podium I brought a 64-ounce soda with me, took a slurp, set it to the side, paused and said, “I could get arrested for this in New York City.” Then with a big grin I added,  “I’m glad this isn’t New York.” The crowd was mine before I said anything of substance – and as long as I didn’t say anything stupid or offensive, I wasn’t going to lose them. I didn’t.

I was emphatic that the candidate needed to offer plenty of substance to bolster that initial connection, but equally emphatic that the sequence had to be connect first, then deliver the goods. Unfortunately, a new poll cited by Jim Geraghty at National Review supports what I was saying – only it has gotten a lot worse. In those days, I insisted that you had to let folks hear a little sizzle before you set the steak in front of them. This poll reveals that, in these hyper-partisan times, it has become all sizzle and no steak. Here are the opening paragraphs of Geraghty’s piece:

You’ve always suspected that partisanship makes people blind to obvious facts sitting right there in front of them.

Courtesy of Peter Wehner, we have a rather unnerving demonstration of just how willfully blind some people can be:

An experiment we conducted with our colleagues at North Star Research in a poll for USA Today and the Bipartisan Policy Center illustrates the point (though I alone am responsible for any errors in interpretation here).

We presented respondents with two different education plans, the details of which are unimportant in this context. What is important is that half the sample was told A was the Democratic plan and B was the Republican plan, while the other half of our national sample was told A was the Republican plan and B was the Democrats’ approach.

The questions dealt with substantive policy on a subject quite important to most Americans — education — and issues that people are familiar with — class size, teacher pay and the like.

Nonetheless, when the specifics in Plan A were presented as the Democratic plan and B as the Republican plan, Democrats preferred A by 75 percent to 17 percent, and Republicans favored B by 13 percent to 78 percent. When the exact same elements of A were presented in the exact same words, but as the Republicans’ plan, and with B as the Democrats’ plan, Democrats preferred B by 80 percent to 12 percent, while Republicans preferred “their party’s plan” by 70 percent to 10 percent. Independents split fairly evenly both times. In short, support for an identical education plan shifted by more than 60 points among partisans, depending on which party was said to back it.

Really, respondents? Really? Wehner continues:

The Ayres and Mellman survey is ingenious because it empirically revealed an uncomfortable reality: the views many of us hold are largely dictated by partisanship and ideological affiliations rather than intellectual rigor. Everything needs to fit into well-worn grooves, into familiar categories, into pre-existing patterns. This in turn leads to an almost chronic unwillingness to revisit and refine long-held positions. Our thinking on matters of politics and philosophy and faith not only can become lazy; it can easily ossify. It may be worth asking yourself (and me asking myself): In the last 15-20 years, on what issues of importance have you changed your mind, re-calibrated your thinking, or even attempted to take a fresh look at? Or has every event, serious study, and new set of facts merely confirmed what you already knew? To put it another way: do you think you’ve ever been wrong?

And then all of Twitter said as one, “NO, WE NEVER HAVE BEEN WRONG!”

It is why we must emphasize facts, evidence and logic in what we do. Otherwise, we are merely partisans in a mud-wrestling contest.

*******

Several readers alerted me to a piece from the National Catholic Register entitled, “Is It Time for the Benedict Option?” I glossed over it a few times, thinking from the title it was some screed calling for the removal of Pope Francis and the restoration of Pope Emeritus Benedict. Finally, I noticed it was written by Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a very serious and thoughtful priest, so I read it. It was not what I thought at all. In fact, it sounds very much like the sort of thing people here are doing and preparing for – forming small communities and helping each other through troubled times. It is a good read.

*********

I love this little piece from the Catholic News Agency on Pope Francis devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. It reads like one of the “Ordinary Miracles” I regularly publish from readers.

I also love that Therese is such a lively, minx of a saint. Once I was doing a Novena to her honor asking for a specific intention and promised that, if the intention was granted, I would plant two rosebushes in her honor on either side of my front door. Midway through, I felt bad, like a cheap hood for bargaining with such a generous saint. I apologized to her and asked her to send and clarify for me whatever God wanted for me, but I was going to plant the rose bushes anyway – and do it that day. I did. When I had dug about 10 inches down for the first bush, my trowel snagged on something buried there. I gently pulled it out and found a beautiful brown scapular. Of course, the brown scapular references Our Lady of Mt. Carmel…And St, Therese was a Carmelite Nun. I have worn the brown scapular ever since.

 

 

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 Culture, Preparation, Signposts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Signs of the Time

  1. CrewDog says:

    A perfect example of why I quit calling myself a Republican 20 years ago and why I have, recently, decided that with few exceptions my limited ability to donate will only go to EWTN, Judicial Watch, The Salvation Army and a few well investigated others ….. with The Storm upon US it be … Charity Begins at Home”!!

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. SteveBC says:

    I’m not partisan. Anyone, Republican or Democrat, who disagrees with me is wrong! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Donette says:

    Charlie, After intense scrutiny and continual observation, plus a lot of discussion with the Holy Trinity and Our Lady I think I am beginning to understand God’s present chess playing regarding the Church and the satan. This is the game being played before the satan goes down in defeat.

    First, God gives the Church St. John Paul II as a roll model for Holiness and Community and Communion with Heaven. Then He begins to move his next players against the satan. He puts out Pope Benedict xvi to dazzle and blind the satan with the Pope’s intellectual brilliance. Then He plays Pope Francis, a Pope who smiles and baffles the satan with his statements of perplexity giving satan’s minions the idea that he is going to go their way and confuses them when he goes another. The Pope fakes left and the satan throws a jab, but before the satan can land a hit, the Pope moves right faster then lightning and before you know it the minions are left with their thumbs in their mouths. When the knockout blow comes the Church sees what I call the “one two punch” of God. It’s the Match of the Eons. God wins. Give Him Praise and Glory.

    Now what does this have to do with your post?
    I never put much stock in polls and having enough psychology credits to get a PHD, I have nothing but contempt for those who use it to manipulate others. Whether they go by the title of G7, G20, Bilderberg or this sad administration or the US congress, the idea is to keep the manipulators unmasked and recognize the games that they play.

    As for St. Therese of the Child Jesus, doctor of the Church who gave us her Little Way to Sainthood, she has provided enough roses for me that I collect them and make bouquets to give to Our Mother and Queen. When you get your roses from Therese, Charlie, give them to the Queen too for she is our General. Every rose is a salute to the daughter of the Eternal Father, a salute to the mother of the Redeemer of the World and a salute to the spouse of the Holy Spirit. And you know what, Charlie? The woman clothed with the sun shows ever rose to the Most Holy Trinity. It pleases Him and removes the sorrow from His Heart that so many of His children cause Him.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I liked that last vignette about the scapular and St Therese of the Child Jesus. For some reason St Therese has been appearing at different times in my life. I can tell you about one miracle or should I call it a very rare coincidence? When my dad was transferred to the big city we ended up living in a typical parish of Buenos Aires in a quarter called “Agronomia.” My parents rented a house across the street from a Catholic church: Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús (that is St Therese’s name in Spanish.) For the following five or six years I walked by the church and I would feel a strange impulse to walk in but I never did. Then we moved to a different neighborhood and I never returned to that church until recently. That is when I learned that the church was dedicated on October 10, 1930 at 6:30 p.m. That happens to be exactly (to the minute) 24 years before I was born. But that is not all. Therese lived 24 years and to this day we celebrate her fruitful and saintly life by praying the Novena of the 24 Glory be to the Father. The “Glory be to the Father” praising the Holy Trinity is said twenty-four times each of the nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favors given to Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus during the twenty-four years of her life. Not long after finding this out I was at my “usual” church, Our Lady of Mt Carmel a few blocks from home. I was sitting in front of the little chapel of the Holy Sacrament there, next to an image of St Therese. I believe a wedding was celebrated just a few hours earlier. When I bowed my head to pray I noticed something close to my foot. It was a delicate white rose made of silk, the kind that is used for a bride’s bouquet. I picked it up. It was absolutely clean. I placed it between the feet of St Therese’s image and left it there. This was over a year ago and the white rose remains there. No one has moved it or taken it away. I do not know what these coincidences mean but I find them close to miraculous. Simple miracles along the way put there just to let us know that we are not alone.

    Liked by 4 people

    • CrewDog says:

      Looking back on the 60 years or so that I can remember, I can’t help but believe that “somebody” is watching over me ……… Thank You “Somebody” 😉
      GOD WATCH OVER ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Patricia says:

      Carlos,
      You are 14 hours older than me.

      Like

    • Kati says:

      I also liked Charlie’s sharing about how he found that scapular. In addition, I liked what you shared, Carlos. St. Therese has been my ignored Confirmation Saint for a large number of years but she never abandoned me and in the last few years has become very important to me. I am very aware now that it was she who arranged for me to be holding a white rose as I renewed my consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary a few weeks ago.
      You must have a Carmelite heart, Carlos…because you were in the parish of St. Therese and then simply moved to a parish of CARMEL. …and for lots of other reasons as well. 😀

      I know that I’m bouncing all over the place here, but I just remembered that when I choose St. Therese to be my Confirmation Saint I knew that i needed her help because it was in the daily “little” things that I had the most problems with sin. That was in elementary school. Later, I wished I had chosen St. Teresa as my Confirmation Saint because I loved the Spanish language so much. (I’ve already apologized to St. Therese about this.) As it turns out, both of these Saints have been quite involved with my life in these later years…and neither one of them has a problem with the other’s involvement. I fully believe that this team of Saints is working extra hard during these times to prepare and encourage us all! They are INDEED a powerhouse for helping us strengthen our individual relationships with our God….and our TRUST in HIM.

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Ah, Kati, St. Therese didn’t mind. I sometimes privately invoke my trio of Theresa’s – I love the simplicity of St. Therese of Lisieux, the intellectual rigor of St. Teresa of Avila, and the joyful constant charity of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I often think of them as my three T’s.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Kati says:

          Ohhh Wow, Charlie….THANK you for this insight…because I just recently gained much more understanding regarding Blessed Mother Teresa too. It was from Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days Until Morning Glory. The new information for me was that focus of Mother’s understanding of the THIRST of Jesus as he suffered on the Cross….His thirst for souls. It was exactly that thirst that Mother gained as well…..coupled with the understanding of how great His thirst is for all of US to be united with Him.

          I very much like your three T’s Charlie…..very much!
          See you next week in Nashville! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • DanSouthChicago says:

            And Teresa Benedicta, Edith Stein!

            My jaw hit the floor when I read your story of the Brown Scapular, Charlie. It’s truly amazing and, yet, it’s also not unexpected. Sometimes, God shouts to us of His Presence – the Grand Canyon, good music, the birth of a child. Quite often, He whispers – your Scapular story, for example. We just need to learn to listen better. The Little Flower must be one of the busiest saints in heaven!

            God bless.

            Like

        • June1 says:

          Hey, don’t forget St. Teresa de los Andes! 😀
          You must know her, eh, Carlos? ^_^ She’s just a hop over the Andes from where you are.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes! We even had a soap-opera like presentation of her life. It was very well done and a very smart thing to do because the producers inserted good Catholic material for several weeks into a television space usually reserved for teary “romantic” novellas without any meaningful content.

            Like

    • Sarah says:

      OK, here’s my St. Therese story, from 1984. I was studying for a big test as a graduate student. It seemed really daunting to me and I did not think I was smart enough to overcome it. I said, OK, I will ask “all the Doctors of the Church and St. Therese” to help me with it. So I prayed and did the work, and got over the milestone within one month — lightning fast, in grad student time. So when St. Therese became herself a Doctor of the Church, I could tell she was laughing and pointing at me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    the “Benedict Option?”

    if things don’t reverse and soon, I’m afraid it will be our only option.

    hoc defendam
    FAITH
    FAMILY
    FRIENDS

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jennifer says:

    I respect Fr. Longdecker. He wrote an article on how polarized Catholics have become. It seems to me the split is along political lines. What I am very concerned about is that the conservative, so called faithful Catholics do not seem open to evangelism. They do seem politically minded. What I mean is they don’t seem to reach out to anyone not in their group and are not open to discussion. There’s even what Fr. Longdecker called a subtle racism. The open, evangelical, helping Catholics seem fuzzy on doctrine or even are discenting. Just my take. I consider myself moderate and faithful to the magisterium. I’m a Pope Francis Catholic. This does not seem to leave me with many who think like I do, so far anyway. Has anyone else found this? I love reading what Charlie writes because I find him to be moderate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Where I am temporarily residing (readers will know) there are powerful groups on each side of the issue. There are ultra-trads who swear Pope Francis is and anti-pope, and on the other side of the spectrum there’s the liberation theology-marxism crowd. It is not possible to have much of a conversation with any of them. Parishes are either one thing or the other. It is not fun to go to church and be unable to even chat with anyone –because people like me will be branded an “A” by the “B’s” and a “B” by the “A’s” and that means war (to them.) Now to me that is not “polarization” but schism. I think Pope Francis is trying to pull both sides to the middle, or at least have them think about their positions. Good luck with that miracle and try not to get crucified. Somewhere in the middle are those who are Catholics. Catholic means whole, general, universal. Now imagine a general store that only sells shoes. That is not a general store, it’s a shoe store. Now imagine a Catholicism of the political left — or right — Any of those would not be Catholicism but a schism, a sect. To be Catholic we have to have Christ in the Eucharist, Mary Most Holy, and the Holy Father in Rome. Forget one of those sacred elements and you are out there with the many heresies of the ages, gone to the darkness outside. Part of my fight here is to show to my brothers and sisters that we are indeed one body but we cannot be one body by default: we must truly love and correct each other’s course. That is what keeping Holy Tradition is all about. If I veer too far left or right I must be lovingly corrected and brought to the center of the road lest I end up lost.

      Liked by 5 people

    • June1 says:

      I’m a fan of Simcha Fisher’s writing and was enjoying this recent article… until I started reading the comments. She had to intervene and turn comments off because… well, take a look for yourself, all:

      http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/everybody-knows-the-church-will-change.-everybody-is-wrong/#view-comments

      We all need to be on the same side. I can’t believe how things spiraled out of control here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s why I never allow comments in my sites. I did for a brief time in the first Spanish site at first but I quickly realized that it was impossible to keep up. That is why I like this site. I am sure Charlie and his helpers are working very hard to keep the board clean and gentle. I know the passionate never quit even if they are not published. Thank you Charlie for your effort. Please do not think it goes unnoticed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Surprisingly, once I laid out rules and a comment policy, I have had to do very little deleting. Maybe one or two a week. I think people who wanted to have good, vigorous discussions that yet did not descend into bitter malice or cheap gotcha games kind of gravitated here. The thing I am most proud of is the type of serious, often pointed, but always respectful and often deeply insightful discussion we routinely have here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That in today’s Internet is a real miracle. I have ceased to comment on many Catholic boards because of bad manners and worse. Something miraculous is happening here, Charlie.

            Liked by 1 person

          • mmbev says:

            I don’t go to many different sites, so I am not aware of what can happen! You can tell I clicked that link and read! It was certainly eye opening. I, too, appreciate what you have done Charlie. Kudos. The other option is to read the information you want, and leave without looking at comments, I guess.

            Like

    • SwampYankee says:

      Jennifer, I am a conservative in the very Liberal northeast. I don’t find other conservatives to be closed up and unevangelical. We are kinda grumpy though. Catholic liberals here are unidentifiable from secular liberals. They are rabidly pro union, socially liberal and JFK loving ( heck, any Kennedy loving) Democrats. To be honest, l don’t know what a moderate is.
      I don’t mind the polarization that much. I don’t like the “I want to work with my colleagues across the isle” crowd. All that phrase means to me is that you are willing to sacrifice your beliefs in order to make a deal. Polarization forces everyone to pick a side. I like knowing where people stand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SwampYankee, I became a Conservative while living in Boston, Massachusetts. I have very good memories of my years there but I also got a taste of the blatant Liberal intolerance, racism, and hate. I observed that through the years and later when I moved South I was surprised to see how Southern Conservatives were the exact opposite of those Northeastern Liberals. I lost nearly all my friends and business clients after appearing in EWTN one night. They are vicious and they destroy people without giving the matter a second thought. Unfortunately some of our brothers and sisters in the faith have become that way. We must pray the Rosary for them and offer many Masses and penance for their return.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer says:

        Swampyankee, I know how you feel because I used to live in the North East, New York in fact. I really can identify. I’m a convert and was seriously scandalized by the liberal discent there. I was persecuted for trying to practice what the church teaches on some tough issues. I thought social justice was code for liberal. I was angry about how politicians were accomidated in DC. Finally I moved to the Midwest which I thought was my promise land. Trust me, it is possible to offend God by being too conservative. Though, I never saw that happen in the North East as you say. We have a tight rope to walk as Catholics. I always say if you hate you have apostasized.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Sadly, Jennifer, social justice usually is code for progressive authoritarianism. I realized this once when I started to bolt over a piece on social justice until I saw it was written by then Pope John Paul II. I thought to myself, oh, this will actually be about social justice – not some screed attacking those who love tradition, the faith or their country. And so it was – actually about social justice. I thought maybe the Pope should come up with another term, so people would not confuse it with the rabid hate-mongering that all too often comes under that heading.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Those words have been hijacked. Unfortunately Conservatives accept the hijacking and some start to shake and foam in the mouth at the sole mention of it. The Kingdom of God will be a just society –fortunately with neither left-wing nor right-wing nuts– a Catholic society without any class struggle or political strife.

            Like

    • torilen says:

      I have seen what you’re talking about, Jennifer. Most Christians I come across – Catholics included – seem to be more shaped & influenced by American political parties than by their respective churches. Their understanding of church teaching is filtered through their political allegiance. I feel very lonely in the church most of the time.

      Like

  7. malachi99 says:

    THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE:

    One of the most loaded phrases in the english language coined by the mighty Marshall McLuhan in the mid-twentieth century. The intellect has been by passed almost completely with the new media. And before someone opines, with the stance of the technological eejit, that it is how we “use” these media that counts I will just say that content and use are largely irrelevant. They have effected an almost inconceivable transformation of thought, behaviour, and social relationships in a very short period of time. I think McLuhan aptly described their effect as being like “prisons without walls”. With the veritable break down of the barriers of space and time whole peoples have fallen under their spell and the traditional cultural, religious, and familial formative influences and structures have been rendered obsolete. There is so much more I can say on this issue and perhaps when I get a bit more time (new baby madness is keeping me in the fray) I will indulge myself. I always wondered at Christ’s statement in the Gospel’s that in the last days parents would be divided against children, children against parents etc etc. I need wonder no longer. The great divide-spiritual and moral-between generations is frightening.

    “But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet.”

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Michelle says:

    “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:53. This bible verse has Michelle written all over it. The truth has divided our family. It doesn’t matter what argument you bring to the table, or how gently you say it, they will NOT hear! Sit down parents! Sit down and shut up! We want what we want when we want it!

    What I’m seeing of other parents with kids the same age (20’s), they are looking the other way, they are accommodating their kids bad behavior any way they can. They give them money, they raise their kids children, they fix up their kids homes, they shovel their kids driveways, they cut their kids grass. What???? Why???? They don’t want their kids to be mad at them? When do the kids ever get to grow up?

    I know it’s a sign of the times but who’s fault is it? I don’t really blame the kids, after all teenagers have always rebelled. It’s a normal process of growing up. What’s different in this generation are the parents. The “image” of the family has to be perfect. There can be no confrontations (that would look bad), there can be no disagreements (someone might be offended). Everyone just be “nice”, never judge anyone, and forgive everyone everything. Wake up people and realize that it is OUR fault. It’s the nice peoples fault. Nice is not love. Nice is plastering over the young rebels with whitewash.

    “It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; Ezekiel 13:10

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      It is part of the confusion, I think, Michelle. If you are so controlling that you berate your kids for preferring chicken instead of the steak you prefer, you are intolerant and overbearing. If, on the other hand, you are so tolerant that you don’t firmly stop your kids from heading over a cliff in pursuit of what gives transient pleasure, you betray your most fundamental duty. Parents used to err on the side of overbearing…now they err on the side of failing to protect their kids from looming cliffs. Overall, the kids were better off and safer with overbearing parents.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michelle says:

        You are right, Charlie. It is pure confusion. I have a feeling that most here understand what I try to portray, so I’m probably preaching to the choir. But after 5 years of dealing with those who will not hear, I have absolutely no idea how to reach them.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Keep working at it, Michelle, but mostly just be kind to them. I get so much mail from people who tell me they were floundering and have found hope. You would be shocked at, among the neo-pagans, they know they are not loved or respected, no matter how loud they shout or whine about micro-aggressions…and how often they will respond to simple kindness. They’re not getting it from their side.

          Like

          • Michelle says:

            I’ll pray for you Lily. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now. Hopefully your kids will get it. I know it’s tough raising kids these days.

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            What happened in my family started with an event. Many, many lies have been told about their dad and I. These are the truths that we can’t get to. They’ve got their story and they are sticking to it. What is breathtaking to me are the people that believed them and stepped up to save them from us. We had to just let go but then that became the thing that made us such terrible parents. The lies keep piling on. I know Charlie is right about them not being loved out there, though. In the fall my daughter called to see if we could reconcile. She wants us back. I said yes, of course, but when I asked her a couple of questions, trying to get to the truth of everything she told me that I sounded like an idiot wanting truth all the time and why can’t we just pretend that none of this happened. Then she told us to have a nice life and hung up. This is just one example of the mocking and disrespect. We have endured much more over the last five years.

            Oh, the event? It was nothing. Her dad took her car away from her because she smart mouthed him. She claimed abuse but she did it with lies and it spiraled out of control. I can’t remember her ever being disciplined before that, she was such a good kid.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        It is easy to look back and second guess decisions and beat oneself up for not having been overbearing enough, or whatever, but the sad reality is that it is just very difficult raising children today and trying to remain faithful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mmbev says:

        I had overbearing and I thank God! Because of my mother, I studied until I was a converted Catholic, and never stopped. By the time I had my own children, I began to learn what her life from childhood on had been like and I began to see how holy she truly was. Of the two “kinds” I am so grateful for both my parents! I hate to think where I would be and what I might be like if they hadn’t been.

        Like

    • Lily says:

      This is my family too. I don’t even know how to go about showing kindness. I feel like everything I say and do (or don’t say or do) is wrong and causes offense. Things were fairly stable until the last 4 years, in which time I had 3 kids. Things have deteriorated rapidly in the last year, since I’ve had the least amount of time and energy for accommodating everyone.

      Like

  9. Irish7 says:

    And God has sent Pope Francis into our partisan unthinking times. He defies the labels the camps are desperate to apply and bypasses the mind to speak to the heart.

    I suspect he is leading the orthodox through an exercise…through our own valley of the shadow of death to self and ideology…so that we can emerge as a more confident church. The gates of hell will not prevail, but we cower as if they will. Our lives and doctrine are built upon the Church so we are safe. Safe to discuss homosexuality, global warming, all manner of things that feel threatening and distasteful because we stand on Christ the rock and will not be lead astray. We need this lesson before we can minister to a (now pagan) society that will have to do the same to be healed. They will have to release their grip to examine and ultimately die to their ideologies and rise with Christ. We can’t accompany them or exhort them through this fire if we are so sure we’re right that we hold all with an iron grip ourselves. Our dross must be burned away too (holding fast to Christ and His Church) so we can rise as one healed people. I We need to set this example before we can ask the pagans to die and rise in Christ.

    I don’t think I have articulated this sense very well. It is just that…a sense. I am high on sensing and low on precision. Thank God for you precise types!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. CrewDog says:

    I doubt anyone here needs another “Sign” of the madness that has overtaken US but here is another example of how the Left pushes anything/everything through the “lens” of their Agenda be it Gay or Abortion or Climate Change or BigBro in your Home, Business, Church or Face ;-(
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/7-homosexual-us-ambassadors-trade-deals-should-advance-lgbti-rights

    GOD SAVE US ………. EVERYONE!!!

    Like

  11. Mike S. says:

    For those of you interested in the Benedict Option, the man to check out is Rod Dreher. His blog has been mostly about the Benedict Option and Religious Liberty issues for the last year (apart from his new book, “How Dante Can Save Your Life”, which is excellent). Rod is an Orthodox Christian but frequently blogs about Catholic matters.

    Like

    • Matthew says:

      Mike:
      I know that Charlie’s policy is that as Catholics we are to work and collaborate with all traditionally minded Orthodox. Protestants and Jews. Generally, I think this policy sound. That said, I am not wild about Mr. Dreher. He converted to the Catholic Faith and proceeded to abandon her when she most needed defending – during the height of the sexual abuse crisis. Perhaps I am giving evidence of too much partisanship myself, but I am a little leery of those who have once been on board and have chosen to abandon ship.
      Matthew

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I have to say I agree with you, Matthew. I remain leery of Rod Dreher, as well. An honest convert…either way…is fine in my book. But in his case I think, when the going got tough, he betrayed, panicked and ran. I neither like nor respect that.

        Like

        • Mike S. says:

          Matthew and Charlie – I understand and agree with your characterization of his departure from the Church but still believe he has useful things to say about the Benedict Option and religious liberty. Nevertheless I’ll forego all reference to him in the future.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh no, you don’t have to forego that, Mike. If there is something you think is useful, feel free to cite it. I am not always right and sometimes people I don’t like have said something useful to me. The only people formally banned here are those who are genuine enemies of the faith or can’t say anything without a sneer. That does not apply to Rod Dreher. I just don’t much like him. Though I don’t like to admit it, Dreher does have some insights from time to time…but I sure wouldn’t want him covering my back in a foxhole.

            Like

  12. Dee says:

    Hello Steppers, This is mainly for those parents agonizing over there teen and young adult children. Having six children, I also went through everything posted here. They were raised Catholic, with Sunday Mass, The Angelus before meals. But through highschool, college, they were into the things that give parents nightmares. Sex, drugs, drinking. I spoke up and articulated what I didn’t approve of, but trusted Mary would get them back on track, as I consecrated them to Her when they were born. I just kind of felt, like mary with her little lambs “leave them alone, and they will come home, wagging there tails behind them. lol” Five of them did (some with babies). One needed a little more prayer. A lot more prayer., I prayed the St. Bridget prayer found in the beginning of the blue Pieta prayer book. You have to pray it for a year, and can’t miss a day. That son became a Eucharistic minister, married a saint of a woman, and is now a Knight of Columbus. Got a masters degree overcoming dyslexia, and Adhd. Is happily married with two children. His father died when he was 16, and that threw him into quit a wild life. But as you see, prayer is powerful. And I thank God every day for his goodness for them, and myself making it through very difficult years. Dee (Dolor)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Angelo Musone says:

     A number of days ago you had sent a great post on “silence” and our self offerings. Here is a wonderful prayer (Morning Offering) from a 20th century nun, Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity, which you may not have heard, and which I sometimes pray and add to my morning offering: “My Lord Jesus, here is my tongue that You may watch over it; that it may not utter more than pleases You; and that my silence may speak to You. Here are my ears that they may listen only to the voice of duty, and to Your Voice, O Jesus. Here are my eyes that they may not cease to behold You in every face and in every work.

    Here are my hands and my feet that You may make them agile, that You may rivet them to Your service alone, to the execution of Your desires. Here are my thoughts that Your Light may possess them. Here is my heart that Your Love, O Jesus, may reign and rest in it!”  Angelo MusoneA follower of your “The Next Right Step”The Villages, Florida 32159 From: The Next Right Step To: angmuse1@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, June 9, 2015 8:50 PM Subject: [New post] Signs of the Time #yiv2785661706 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2785661706 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2785661706 a.yiv2785661706primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2785661706 a.yiv2785661706primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2785661706 a.yiv2785661706primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2785661706 a.yiv2785661706primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2785661706 WordPress.com | charliej373 posted: “SignpostsBy Charlie JohnstonWhen I was prepping candidates for early public appearances, I would almost always ask them if they thought most people make primarily rational or emotional decisions on who to support. Almost all told me they thought most ” | |

    Like

  14. Julie Martin says:

    Article that I told you about….

    “Think nothing else but that God ordains all, and where there is no love, put love, and you will draw love out.” – St. John of the Cross

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s