The Storm Gathers Force

storm-at-sea-1893

Signposts

By Charlie Johnston

I have been working most of the day on details for the New England trip in late July. We have some firebrands up there who are whipping some things together nicely. I will put up details and contact info in the next few days.

You may remember that, right around the first of the year, I told you to be very careful and deliberate, that many of the tumult of this year would not be what it seemed at first. I think we would all do well to remember that as strange things continue to unfold. I will have some thoughts on Medjugorje in a day or two. Michael Brown had an interesting piece on Spirit Daily on it. He, of course, has been a disciplined and careful supporter.

I think a lot about what I was originally told about it by my angel; that it is authentic, but has a lot of the barnacles of our time. The decision that will soon be made public may disappoint all, neither confirming it nor suppressing it. I am thinking that what may come might actually clean away some of the barnacles attached to it. If you are a supporter, this may be a great test of your obedience. If you are an opponent, this will not be the time to crow. Keep in mind that many of the events of this year are designed to reveal hearts, before the final crash. Do not let your feet get set in stone as God continues to unveil what He is doing.

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Now for a few links…

Atheist/entertainer Bill Maher is occasionally insightful, but always contemptible. He seems to revel in ugly cruelty towards those with whom he disagrees. Kudos to the American Center for Law and Justice for calling him out on his ugly bigotry towards Christians. To mock the butchered and murdered is beyond the pale.

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We have been talking a little more specifically about the devil of late and how he operates. The ever insightful Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington did a worthy piece on the subject a week or so ago.

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Elizabeth Scalia had a marvelous piece at Patheos today, subtle and deep. It is a sad story that, in some cases, even some nuns have gotten involved in self-absorbed nonsense that will subtly lead people astray. It is why I have such contemptuous aversion to so-called “centering prayer” and all other New Age Nonsense that masquerades as compatible with Catholicism. It proclaims it will help give you self-awareness, but all it does is lead to a prickly self-absorption that ultimately squeezes God out of your life. The devil is having a grand old time in these last days before he is evicted. Don’t be part of his toxic party. It is doomed.

*******

I love this story, told by our friend, Carlos Caso-Rosendi about the simple and ever-persistent humanity of our Holy Pope Francis. Some barnacles have attached themselves to the Vatican, mimicking this Holy Pope’s words and attitudes. A big difference is that he means it – and lives it.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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124 Responses to The Storm Gathers Force

  1. Thank you for the link, Charlie. I was told the story is going to be published in Catholic Lane and later on in Regina Magazine, two outstanding and faithful websites that I recommend to everyone.

    As for the events, I only have one thing to comment: motus in fine velocior. That Latin expression refers to how time appears to speed up when a system approaches collapse (those with knowledge of chemistry can attest to what happens with catalyzing, precipitating, etc.) and it seems that just as Our Lord predicted: “And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved.” I am planning to double my prayers for the Lord to shake the foundations of this world in such a way that we have a Nineveh effect and repentance enters the soul of the human race like tsunami of grace.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Excellent article, Carlos! The blindness which many have in this world is appalling.

      Your focus on Franco, a man whose faith is put into action, instructs us all.

      And look what he fashioned: the cross! Always–THE CROSS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kati says:

      LIKE! ….especially THIS: “…a Nineveh effect and repentance enters the soul of the human race like tsunami of grace.”

      Franco is a great example of one who acted upon the grace received…with great (of course) results! I pray that we all be attentive to the graces that God washes through our lives as pure, rushing water….and ACT upon them!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Donette says:

      Fiat! and Amen to that, Carlos.

      Liked by 1 person

    • donna says:

      Carlos, I loved your article…..beautiful… I didn’t know about Franco. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Leslie R says:

    Medjugorje – I was called by Our Lady over 20 years ago to attend a conference in Seattle about Her apparitions. Fr. Faricy from Rome was explaining the phenomenon. The attendees sang in tongues. She drew me back closer to Her Son, and I will always remember “Pray, pray, pray.”

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  3. Lily says:

    Yes, that’s true Charlie – you said to be careful and deliberate. I guess i wasn’t, even though i meant to be. Now i can see that I was trying to force something to be fixed and made a terrible error. I was trying to include part of my family that is otherwise excluded, and it blew up in my face. You made a comment about people not recognizing the storm until a bomb dropped into their living room – that is what this is to me. And I am left wondering what even happened – what I expected to be a minor annoyance turned out to be a huge catastrophe! I am trying to do the TDL, and I’m not saying it isn’t working, I just don’t know how with 4 kids. I honestly did it before – but i havent in the ways i am used to for a number of years – and I don’t know how to mesh the things I used to do with my life now, and don’t know what new things I should perhaps do instead.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Lily, when I first became a single father, I spent a year agonizing. Neither of the kids was yet in school…my son was still in diapers. If I worked enough to support them properly, I did not have enough time with them; if I spent enough time with them, I was not working enough to support them properly. It drove me nuts trying to figure out how to do it. Finally, after a year, I decided there was no secret formual…and all my worrying and fretting only made things worse. I decided I would just do the best I could, trust God to cover the rest, and not worry about it. I don’t know that that will work out for you but, Lord, what a joy it all became after I made that decision.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Bob says:

        And from my reading it seems the Bishop of Mostar Ratko Peric has a real animus Toward Med. and other apparitions too, having once said that he would not believe any of them even if the church calls them “worthy of belief”. As for me the fruits I have heard of from Med. are undeniable, but I will be obedient to whatever the church says. Remember Padre Pio who was patient in his time of being silenced and how God brought good fruit of that in his life. As for me I have prayed for the above named bishop that God would open his heart to at least being willing to believe if it is true.

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  4. Gary says:

    I am very skeptical about Medjugorje . Between Lourdes and Fatima the Virgin’s appearances were numbered. At Medjugorje it is daily. This is not Queen of Heaven’s modus operandi, Just her one appearance converted a nation of Aztec Indians. And as of yet the Bishop who has authority over Medjugorje has not given it his imprimatur, unlike those in Venezuela and Akita or Green Bay Wisconsin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave says:

      Gary,
      I don’t follow Medjugorje closely or any Marian sites very closely. They are more at the periphery of my faith vision. I do wholeheartedly believe that she is The Woman, from Genesis to Revelation and even called that by Jesus at times in the gospels, and will play a large part in our reunion with Jesus. So I believe she has a legitimate role in appearing and encouraging us to lead us to her Son.

      I see what you mean though about it becoming a sideshow type of event. People may be attracted to it for the thrill, or needing constant “signs” to stay faithful. People going there hoping to have a rosary turn gold so they can show their friends etc. These are probably the barnacles Charlie refers to. I see the Popes words as a way of tossing water on this sort of thing. I wonder about how much discernment is used and how much demonic activity happens at the edges.

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      • Mary W. says:

        For whatever my comment is worth…. The return to the faith of my youth occurred in 1984(at the age of 39) when I had not even heard of Medjugorje. When Medjugorje became known to me in 1985 the belief of its authenticity became rooted in my heart. I never traveled there but still had three rosaries turn gold during a seven year period. I had never cared to boast of them nor know of anyone who goes about doing so. We remain obedient to what the Pope and the Vatican declare about Medjugorje. Still, the fruits of the place are obvious to many of us, and a source of consolation, as many have returned to the faith in great part because of it. As far as anything supernatural going on at Medjugorje: during every authentic Mass (celebrated there or anywhere else), the fact that Our Lord becomes present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, is enough proof of a supernatural event.

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        • Dave says:

          Mary and others,

          I am not scoffing at things like gold rosaries, merely pointing to how this can become an end in itself for some people. If it is the goal, then the goal is in the wrong direction. Certainly there are many legitimate instances and these are between Jesus and individuals. No horizontal pointing was intended.

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          • charliej373 says:

            No Dave, you are absolutely right. I get annoyed at what I privately call “storm-chasers” who are constantly and restlessly always in search of the next sensation. Even worse, if that attitude overtakes you, you become easy pickings for the devil who, like Pharaoh’s magicians, easily does showy tricks.

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          • Mary W. says:

            Thanks Dave and Charlie.

            Like

      • Murt. says:

        Hello Garry,

        Unlike you I do try to follow the various sites as to Marian sites. So far of all I have been visiting over the years there are but two I tend to pay a bit of notice to. This site I do follow and have commented over time but I tend to loose my patience as I tend to have noticed Charlie in a lot of his earlier postings seems to be of a political/personal bent on some occasions which makes me nervous. For this reason I have not commented on here for some time. The Irish thing did somewhat annoy me as no one seemed to notice how The populace here thumbed their noses at The Sacred Heart of Jesus in particular in haste to be so happy for this so called happy community of all our times. It will evolve though if we are to pay attention to world/future events as we as a people were given a choice by This Father. Not only a Thy Will be done sort of thing, but considering those old Celts who left their names on any number of great places of modern Europe as it passed through the dark ages. A test if you will as to our future not to mention the lack of sight as to our modern leaders as to their grandchildren.

        Far from a sideshow I feel much less a sense of thrill as to await what new message of the postmistress of Our Holy Mother. Charlie it seems to me here to be preaching to the choir for the most part as a lot here are apt to have found this god we all need. I on the other hand would regard myself as being quite the bad egg of life’s path. I do tend to think of myself more an unworthy servant of this god. The Holy Mother now is something of a different kettle of fish. I tend to go to holy places. Look at what people look at and wonder what it is all those holy people seem to see. (Not meant in a flippant way I assure.) I do tend to say my few missives, light the odd votive for those I come across in my daily doings, and have also come to try to understand The Rosary. Odd thing that now as I read what you posted as to signs and wonders to show friends.

        I was saying a Divine Mercy recently. Just sitting in the Sun and saying something I only half believed in. I am sort of quite the old traveler, know a thing or two of metal chains and the like. Comes from a few various means of how I earned a living in mechanical, construction, and some other fields I would have worked in. This Rosary changing colour now is something new to me as I look at it from time to time. The chain seems to have a mind of it’s own it would appear to me. Sometimes it would be a silver colour, (it’s original), but mostly it changes between copper and silver. The links all appear to be of the one metal. There are links which never change colour. The center piece seems to be of the same metal as The Crucifix, but while the centerpiece is of it’s original colour The Crucifix also holds it’s old colour, but The figure of The Christ is of a copper colour. Looking at it from time to time always calls to mind an old saying of my mother.They have pierced My Hands and My Feet they have numbered all My Bones. You may well be right as to barnacles and all as I do tell people of it. I don’t really care if they scoff at those barnacles though as I know it is a gift to share in this time of graces which we are wont to dismiss. An old fool maybe as I ponder the amusement/wonder of where we are right now. I prefer to think though as I look at it from time to time of it being a gift to a most unworthy soul.

        Dave this is not meant as a slight to you, Charlie, or those who post here. It is more an observation I hope as to what were are about to face. I try not to comment as I say to places such as this anymore mostly as a result of the Irish and their stupidity/lack of faith. It seems to evade the mind of us mortals as to the dire consequences the world is about to face from this ONE snub in the face of The Creator. Charlie and people of his knowings may well have perceived all this, but thankfully I tend to think I am better off not knowing. I could but wonder as I remember older folk here as they would recall a time when it was just a hoot of a thing to have the local gentry offer a years wages for the honour of hanging a priest which we could inform on. Mass Rocks in hidden places, Hedge schools, and a criminal offense to wear the colour green. Gives some credence to the old saying of the more things change the more it stays the same. Some old writer on here has a way of saying of there being something in the wind of our world for some time now. He calls this the ineffable with his trusty friend of Mr Apocalypse. This Mr A is doing the rounds right now as he would opine. He is prodding and poking all things. Showing light in dark hidden places and nothing will escape his keen eye. I tend to think of there being a Creator of all this who is just at His wits end as to disobedience of His children. A mother of course must always intercede for Her children. In a time of mercy and graces a slight change of colour to a simple chain is not the least of gifts.

        Regards, and respects. Murt.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I am trying to favor silence for the meantime with Medjugorje, but I do feel I must point out: One could not count the number of mystics who have daily appearances of Our Lord/Lady. Nothing new there. But the real point is the *messages* of Medjugorje, which only come out twice a month, and which are always as Christ-centered as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      I know a man who has had a difficult life and was profoundly affected by his experience at Medjugorje.

      Overall, to my eyes the fruits of the apparitions appear to be heavily positive, but I have not been there myself or otherwise involved in any related activities.

      I think if the barnacles were stripped away, possibly by temporarily withdrawing support until things are cleaned up, the underlying reality will be found to be solidly fruitful. That is just my opinion, of course. That and $12 will get you a latte at your local coffee shop. 🙂

      Like

    • Observer says:

      But not at Laus…..a very beautiful shrine which messages went on for 56 years and was just approved in 2008 after 290 years!! They are all different and for uniquely specific reasons of heaven.

      It sorta looks like, with the commission’s study finished, and the seeming purposeful delaying tactics of the CDF, the Church wishes a more serious approach with more serious attention to the roles of the visionaries so that they are not left alone as they go throughout the world. The Church must offer them assistance and guidance and support for the sake of themselves as well as paving the way for any future statements by the Church that won’t look as disorganized and rambling without real discernment as the past history has demonstrated. Division has been enabled by such lack of seriousness and public arguments by the authorities whose behavior has been anything but a good model esp. for those who have had to suffer all the darts of criticism and gossip. This Pope tends to take messy matters in hand…..while so many prelates have been playing games with the lives and hopes of the faithful.

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    • Observer says:

      People here may have already found this article via Spirit Daily today but it is an interesting comment (indictment?) on our times when it comes to private revelations:

      WORLD’S FOREMOST MARIOLOGIST AND AUTHOR OF DEFINITIVE WORK ON SAINT BERNADETTE SAID IN CURRENT CLIMATE LOURDES ‘WOULD NOT BE RECOGNIZED’

      http://www.spiritdaily.com/laurentin.htm

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  5. Mary W. says:

    Can anyone tell me if Pope Francis has publicly made the world starkly aware of the on-going persecution of Christians. I think I recall him saying a few words here and there, but do not recall something akin to how he remnds us, at every turn it seems, about the poor, the boat refugees, and the homeless,etc. Perhaps I have missed it. Or perhaps he lumps the beheaded and tormented Christian into the poor category? I love and revere our Holy Father but question why more is not said about these Christians. I know either Charlie or another astute commenter on this blog will set me straight on this. Thank you ahead of time.

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    • Pope Francis has spoken often about the plight of the Middle East Christians. He continues to do so. The American media does not seem to be interested in taking those messages to the world but that does not mean Pope Francis has been silent. The Church is busy assisting Christian and non-Christian refugees from those areas when possible. As a result of the generous Christian aid to all refugees regardless of creed, many Muslims have been moved to conversion, embracing the Christian faith.

      Liked by 4 people

    • donna says:

      there is a beautiful picture of him crying….he said he cried only twice publicly in his papacy. Once was when he heard of the plight of some martyred Christians in Syria….
      He has been very vocal about it….very.

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  6. TC says:

    Dear Charlie,

    Regarding Medjugorje, two Scriptures come to mind. The first is: “Beware of false prophets…by their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit” (Mt. 7:15-18). Here, Jesus is warning how to distinguish false prophets. The message of Medjugorje is simple: pray, convert, fast. Millions of people have had conversions through the Blessed Mother’s appearances to the visionaries at Medjugorje. Millions of people are dedicated to prayer because of the messages of Medjugorje. Millions of people fast due to Medjugorje. Those are good fruits. Good fruits cannot come from false prophets. Similar fruits come from Medjugorje as from Fatima and Lourdes.

    Since when do we get trustworthy and accurate Church news from the AP or AOL?!!! Speaking of bad fruits and false prophets, when did the AP or AOL convert anyone?

    The second Scripture is from Acts: “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). This verse must not be misconstrued. It is not an excuse for disobedience to the Church. However, it is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard in Medjugorje.

    Medjugorje is a triumph of the Immaculate Heart in our own day. It is not an exaggeration to say that every parish in the country probably has at least one person who is there because of a conversion connected to Medjugorje and the Blessed Mother’s apparitions there. Find me one other event or program or place that could make the same claim, and I will show you another authentic source of grace in the world today.

    Blessings, Charlie. Keep up all the good work.

    Mir,

    TC

    P.S. Catholic Online (an innocent friend dubbed it the Catholic version of The Inquirer) recently did a piece on Medjugorje. The piece was similar to many of its other pieces – written to cause fear, division and strife. I mention it only because it was a precursor and very similar to the secular reports coming out now about Medjugorje – and to point out that you can judge a tree by its fruits.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TC, it is not my intention to contradict you or to cause a negative debate. I will only post this and say no more because I do not like to get involved in any discussions. Having said that, it is my duty to warn everyone: Have you considered the fruits of disobedience to the bishop; the strife about the control of the local parish; the fact that the seers have made a profession of their gift peddling it around the world to support a rather ostentatious lifestyle? Those were my first observations about Medjugorje. As for the fruits you mention (prayer, fasting) those are good fruits and yet in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 St Paul warns us: “For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.”

      Compare the many trials, poverty, and suffering of other seers like Bernardette, the three little shepherds of Fatima, Padre Pio (who did not have daily visits of Our Lady in spite of his sanctity and extended fame,) and others who shared the enormous grace of being messengers of Mary Most Holy. All of those are also modest people of modest means whose innocence, poverty and ignorance of the ways of the world are the trademarks they share with the prophets of old. For example the little shepherds of Fatima were so ignorant and innocent that they did not even know Russia existed. Their limitations were the seal that demonstrated beyond any doubt that their message could not possibly be theirs. Think of their sufferings at such tender age — see if you can the movie “The 13th day” and compare.

      I have made the comparison and reached my own conclusion. I have someone not far from here who receives messages from Our Blessed Mother. She is a homemaker whose life was turned upside down when word got out of her visions. She suffers much. Those visions were revised and approved by the Church but her modesty, obedience and suffering are the guarantee that her message is from God. Being a prophet comes along with much penance because no human being is worthy of the gift. James 3:1 admonishes “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” That is why prophets and messengers of the Lord suffer much humiliation and pain. If you see a prophet traveling in a limousine, followed by crowds and living the life of Riley beware because that may be a sign of deception.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Well, Carlos, I hear some people assert that the visionaries are living a life of luxury, but I rarely see any actual evidence of it. I have some friends that know several of them…they live comfortably, but not extravagantly, I don’t think. I sympathize with some of them using their homes as Inns of a sort. If they take an ordinary job, they get inundated with people questioning them and stuff. One of the downsides to this sort of thing is that you become very limited as to the work you can take.

        I understand your point and agree with it in principle, though. I have always been leery of Christina Gallagher specifically because she has parlayed her alleged visions into a small financial empire.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Gary says:

        I tend to agree Carlos. What a victory it would be for evil if Medjugorje proves to be false and all those people then may well doubt their conversions and golden rosaries. As you have noted, every one of those who by the special visitation of Our Lady has suffered greatly even as a religious and most if not all became a religious.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Gary, I did not mean to say that one should believe or not believe in Medjugorje, I only pointed at certain things that in my opinion are troublesome. Of course everyone has an opinion and that is what I have. I am not the Magisterium of the Church. In looking at the visionaries of Garabandal, four poor little girls who went on to live exemplary lives, one could be inclined to believe, and yet there have been contradictions in the midst of impressive miracles. I studied that matter pretty well, and I cannot quite decide. I prefer to err on the side of caution. Fatima is a good standard to have: the humility of the seers, their sacrifice, perfectly ascertainable predictions, a miracle that no one could possibly duplicate let alone explain, conversions galore, and in my case some personal confirmation of the reality of Mary working to gather souls for Jesus, including mine. In any case I am sure those brothers and sisters who believe in Medjugorje do so with the best and most admirable desire to please God and participate with Jesus and Mary in the redemption of this world. Even if they were deceived their motivations before God are pure. While I was investigating Garabandal I was treated badly by some who had a negative opinion on that matter. I don’t want to join that pseudo magisterial crowd but I also shudder when I think of some people I know –personally– who use the message of the Church to make a good living while not giving a hoot about Catholic truth or the salvation of souls. I pray that they wake up, repent, and realize the kind of heavy judgment they are piling upon themselves.

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          • ann says:

            Carlos, I appreciate your judicious and charitable observations. I went to Med. in 1989. I saw no spinning suns, but I went to Confession, attended Mass every day and prayed intensely as did others there. (Fr. Mitch Pacwa was with us on our trip!) but over the years I have become wary, and I’m waiting on the official teaching authority of the Church. We are never obliged to believe private revelation, only advised on what is not contrary to faith and morals. Fr. John Harden SJ, a priest who is impeccable in his piety and whose cause is now going forward for sainthood had deep troubling reservations about it and about the “visionaries.” I would never never want to wound Our Lady by denying her gifts but I do think we have the Church to protect us in these matters and Christ Himself always has told the saints, obedience to the Church first, ahead of whatever He would tell them in private revelation. Therefore, I wait and I pray and I focus on the message of Fatima because I do believe we are in the times of Fatima, right now! I am also concerned about what happens if Med. is given a negative judgement. Will many walk away from the faith because of it?
            Again, thanks for your very sound good sense Carlos. ALL private revelation must be prayerfully sifted with great great care.

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        • Observer says:

          I see, in the question of suffering, there is no mention of the visionary Viska, one of the most beloved of the alleged visionaries due to her untiring availability to the faithful who visit and wish to be prayed with or listened to. She is truly a victim soul with her terrible physical sufferings but always seen with a smile and blessed acceptance of all that she is asked to bear. And she apparently has the mystical gift of bi-location…..as witnessed by trustworthy persons as well as priests. Her only answer to questions about such phenomena has been, reportedly, “people tell me this”!

          I know that during our visit, some of our group stayed at Mirjana’s home. We all witnessed her untiring SERVICE to those who stayed with her while managing her young children and the hectic schedule expected of her. She also kept with her prayer life as well as serious explanations of what the Gospa asks of all…..not anything about herself. She and all the visionaries remain so normal, even under such personal criticisms and gossip; have senses of humor and respectful and loving friendship for one another without ever invading the privacy of each individual’s personal calling within the whole phenomena. And those visionaries when there in the village patiently continue to answer the same, often just curious, questions, over and over and over. In doing so one can witness a patience born out of love for the Gospa they know now as a dear friend and for Whom they serve with great respect and deep affection….even humble knowing dependency.

          At least with the opportunity to serve the pilgrims by offering accommodations and perhaps small shops with religious items the families don’t have to be split up where the husbands would have to leave the family to find work elsewhere.

          I’ve found far more reason to criticize those who dedicate entire, rather elitist “Catholic” blogs set up it seems just to spread nasty rumors and gossip against good people as witnessed by their continuing good behavior; esp. when said bloggers seem to set themselves up as little popes who prejudge, not only the phenomenon, but are now even prescient about the behavior of those who might be disappointed if there is some negative ruling when they have realized true miracles of the body or soul that have witnessed to the true fruits. Sorta reminds me of the self appointed “heavenly” authorities of the time when Jesus healed the man born blind. Of course the disability had to have been due to some kind of sin to begin with. Even the parents when questioned were so afraid to speak to the facts themselves due to the fear of being expelled from their synagogue that they said “ask him”, receiver of the miracle of sight. No matter what the authorities might use to try and pressure him into falsehood he had to speak to the obvious…..”all I know is that before He did these things to me I was blind; now I see” (paraphrasing). You can’t expect anyone to deny such graced gifts received and still believe that is some example of obedience when truth itself suffers. That is inhumane and downright cruel. Of course that’s nothing new when it comes to history that never fails to repeat itself.

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          • charliej373 says:

            What insightful observations, Observer. Thank you. I had a family member once go on a rant about a public figure…I tried to politely disagree but she would not get it. Finally I told her that the man she spoke of was a friend – and a good thoughtful one, at that. We speak too easily of those who are prominent as if they are mere symbols rather than real people with real lives, real sorrows, real joys, real hopes. May we always speak of these things without losing sight of the humanity of those of whom we speak.

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    • charliej373 says:

      As you know, TC, I do believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje. Of course, I believed because my angel told me so – when I did not believe. But I do think that the fruits would have convinced me even if he had not. I am a bit appalled at some opponents of it sneering and minimizing the fruits. To disbelieve it is one thing…to NEED to disbelieve the authenticity is a whole other thing that I find disturbing. Yet I think about the “barnacles” comment. It would not surprise me if it pleased God to refine all of our discernment – that one need not accept all aspects of something to know it is, actually authentic for believers – and to know that everything does not have to be perfect for something to be authentic for disbelievers. I read through some of the standards opponents of Medjugorje use and the ministry of Christ would not have passed their test. One of the disciples was a traitor…another betrayed him when push came to shove…and the legitimate religious authorities of the day considered them all disobedient.

      All that said, I think Medjugorje might benefit from more pilgrimage and less showmanship. We will see.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I did not know about your angel confirming that, Charlie. I have to meditate and pray about this but it would be useful if the Magistery of the Church gives us something firm to go on. Honesty and clarity on all things is the best policy. I hope we hear a clear pronunciation soon just like we have heard in other cases. The times are urgent. God bless.

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      • Mary W. says:

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      • aj says:

        Yuh know Charlie, sometimes I would say, mirroring the Church, that we need not believe in private revelations and that all we need is in Tradition & Scripture. However, I have changed from this because if Heaven (Triune GOD) approves or authorises an apparition and messages for our time then it must be important. The most trivial conversation or though from GOD cannot be scoffed at. My point is, if it is indeed genuine then private or not we should take note.

        It’s funny though, the message is the same as Noah, Moses, John the Baptist, Fatima etc. Which is a loving FATHER calling His children to move away from the edge of the precipice we’re playing on. And as previously said…many times before…most, if not all the Saints of GOD were persecuted or denounced by the Church at some point.

        Finally, I’m not sure if you’ve even noticed Charlie, but there’s been a proliferation of articles and postings from and by you. Your health seems to be good at this time…your moods seem stable 🙂 no major rantings, haha. So I’m just reminding you to give thanks…I think it’s no coincidence that this is how you are at this specific time but I’ll keep that one to myself 🙂 .

        GOD Bless you brother and all our family here.

        JESUS, MARY and JOSEPH, we Love You…save Souls!

        aj

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Hee hee, AJ, you can bet that when I am not ranting that there is one up the pike just ahead somewhere. But the good thing when I am ranting is that it is equally true I shall repent of it soon enough and it, too, shall pass.

          Like

      • donna says:

        so happy to hear your angel told you so…..in my heart I know the truth after my massive reversion there in 93…..before all the hoopla hit. When it was farmers, sheeps, goats and little old ladies tending the flocks along the hills….what a magnificent memory.

        Like

      • Joseph77 says:

        Charlie,
        Thank your Angel for me on the authenticity of Medjugorje. I have gone there three times and I saw with my own eyes the over-abundant fruits of Our Blessed Mother’s apparitions to the six children. The Mass of the Croatian villagers, standing room only with more than 20, sometimes 35, 50 priests con-celebrating; before Mass ten decades of the Rosary, the long rows of confessionals, in many languages; the seers publicly speaking to the groups of pilgrims every day, for years, so patiently, so sincerely, the same experiences in their visions, and being scientifically tested by scientists and by theologians. Yes, there was the spectacular signs in the sun which I personally witnessed people, including my wife, miraculously, without blinding them, looking at the sun spinning and showing forth colors and images to each individual.

        More importantly, we were filled with a great spirit of prayer for the Rosary, to fast two days a week, to read Scripture, to attend Mass daily, to lead a more intense Christian life, a desire for frequent confession and to have a ministry in the Church. But above all, a wonderful, childlike love for our Blessed Mother Mary to serve her as her apostle. I can go on and on but I cannot express all the great fruits of Medjugorje. It is either or: The Blessed Mother Mary is appearing there and producing good fruit. If it is the satan, then he has been converted! I stand by the authenticity of Medjugorje because of I personally witnessed its fruit according to the test of Jesus, “By their fruits you will know them.” Lastly, but not least, the thousands of messages for 34 years of Our Blessed Mother have spoken only of conversion to God, prayer, fasting, Rosary, confession, Mass and Communion. The promise of a permanent sign to be placed on Mount Podbrodo in Medjugorje will be THE bottom line as to its authenticity. We shall see….

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, remember that my experience is a matter of private revelation – from the March, 1993 visitation. I am not so vain as to think I could never be deceived…but it has been 22 years since and if I had been, I am confident my angel would have corrected it (and pointedly so – he gets a bit testy when I do significantly misinterpret something and don’t figure it out before he has to tell me).

          Like

    • Patricia says:

      TC,
      Was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to Medjugorje 28 years ago when it was six years along but the area was still quite rural. In fact, not one restaurant. In order to get something other than what was served from the garden, we had to walk down the road quite a bit to a canopy type tent which had coolers for the cans of coke and slices of pizza for sale. I have not been back, however, I understand from friends, that it is quite built up like Fatima and Lourdes.

      I had not been to church for years and years and when I came back I started and continue to go to daily Mass, say daily Rosaries, etc. Most of the people I know who went to Medjugorje, if not all of them, and that means scores and scores, came back with a renewed faith or, like me, came back to the Church I had left as a teenager.

      Funny thing about my hiatus. When I left in the seventies, most of the abuses had not quite taken place. But when I returned in 1987 they were in full bloom. The result for me was that I ignored the abuses as kind of goofy or, in some cases, outright scandelous and I stuck to the basics of our faith. Consequently, I do not think about whether or not Medjugorje is approved. It was real for me and I am a “daily communicant” as the saying goes and I believe in the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. If the decision is not to approved it, so be it. Padre Pio was once silenced as was Saint Faustina. What is good and true will be revealed as such when God wants it to be.

      I should end here but somehow I think it is important to say that my rosary did turn gold. And, often when I had very serious and painful times in my life thereafter, my rosaries did sometimes turn gold or I would smell roses when there were none or a song would come on the radio that was of particular significance at the absolute right time. My family and friends might say I am given to flights of fancy just to be funny but I am not really known as such. I am semi-retired now. When I was working full time it was in Charlie’s old profession. Dreamers do not last too long in that, only realists will do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Haha, Patricia…that is a fact. You don’t have to be a shark to swim with them, but you better be more than a gentle guppy! I LOVED making sharks nervous.

        Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Haha, that’s a fact, Patricia. You don’t have to be a shark to swim with them, but you better be more than a gentle guppy. I used to LOVE making sharks nervous.

        Like

      • Bonnie C says:

        As I have read ‘somewhere’…. Not sure if it was from Medjugorje or somewhere else, but Our Lady “allegedly” stated that the reason the rosaries changed color was to show us that “prayer changes things”. Makes sense to me. I think it pleases Heaven to encourage us in our prayers in such a sweet way.

        Like

  7. Eileen says:

    I too believe in the good fruits of Medjugorje, having been there, found peace at a time when my life was sorely lacking it, and yes, I am blessed to have a now gold linked Rosary which was not before hand. There is no “perfect” apostolate…how could there be? God has deigned that for now we were mortals lead them….but hopefully guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Am I the only one who when first heard the Pope’s comments around “daily messages” thought first of Maria Divine Mercy” and not Medjugorje?

    Prayers for the Pope….prayers for the faithful.

    Like

  8. Mack says:

    The worst part about Bill Maher is that he is a fallen-away Catholic. It seems that those who were once in the fold are the worst haters when they leave. I’m sure everyone here is willing to offer a prayer for his conversion.

    Like

    • Kati says:

      Ohhh wow, Mack. I didn’t know that. I will definitely pray for him. I remember praying for him a long time ago….but will renew that effort. Thanks for posting that info.

      Like

    • aj says:

      The hard part Mack, is in not judging and condemning him. We Catholics are great at that! I’m not talking about condemning his actions but actually condemning him as a person. Once Mother Teresa was speaking with a Priest and her sisters and she said to them that one sin she has never had to confess was “judging” others. So the Priest asked her, “never?” She said never…and said the reason was she knew if she ever judged someone she would never be able to Love them.

      Our beautiful Triumphant Church (Heaven) is filled with once upon a time the vilest of sinners…let’s truly pray that Bill joins the crew. 🙂

      Like

  9. Carmelite says:

    This skeptic (of so many things) has a question. Our Lady of Medjugorje asks all to fast on bread and water on Wednesday and Friday. The Flame of Love devotion asks for a strict fast of bread and water on Monday, Thursday and Friday until 6 PM.
    Why does Our Lady ask different things? Are we to follow one or the other? Are we to follow all fasts?
    Just a little fyi, I have been to Medjugorje, plus I know of others’ conversions and things they have experienced. But the change in request from Our Lady really bothers me.
    God bless all!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Just speculation here, Carmelite but…Our Lady’s physical appearance varies from different apparitions, sometimes dramatically. Our Lady of Tepeyac does not even look like the sister of Our Lady of Fatima, yet she is the same person. Heavenly visitors know that we need a little soothing, so they come in an appearance that comforts us – and makes it easier for us to concentrate on the message rather than the phenomenon. To the Indians of Mexico, a European-looking Madonna may very well have not had near the impact that the Indian-girl Lady of Tepeyac did. It is a form of living solidarity with the people to whom messages are given.

      Similarly, different devotions speak to the heart of different people…and Our Lady knows that. So she offers different things that all may eat heartily from the same table, even if they have different meals. I think it rather refined that Our Lady provides steak for those who love steak, chicken for those who love chicken – and so on. It is why I tell people to choose a few devotions that speak to them and live them well. I think that is much more fruitful than restlessly seeking after every devotion that comes down the pike in hopes that one of them will “work.”

      So, though I may be wrong, I just think Our Lady is being an elegantly refined hostess – offering something for every temperament. If you can’t find something among the things she offers that calls to you, you just aren’t trying. Our Lord almost never – maybe never – does “one-size-fits-all” calls. Everything is designed to speak with intense intimacy to whom it calls.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I may have to be away from this beloved forum for a while so, I will abuse your kind attention with yet another comment 😛 On the many advocations of Our Lady (and Our Lord) one should have in mind that they are also icons that communicate by image, just like it happens with Scripture. When we read, for example, “the Lamb of God” the image communicates and connects to various parts of Sacred History, Scripture, and Tradition that you all know well. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image is chocked full with messages of all kinds, enough to fill volumes of wise meditations by saintly scholars. But when I explain this to children or adults who do not have the benefit of a profound education in the faith, I ask them to imagine how our life would be if we could make copies of ourselves to better do the daily chores at home. Mom could make copies of herself to drive the kids to and from school, to cook, to work at the bank, to visit a sick friend at the hospital … and all of them would be dressed to accomplish a specific task. Our Lady and Our Lord live outside time and space as we know it, in the nunc stans that St Thomas Aquinas talks about. When Our Lady appears to the three little shepherds in Fatima, or when she appears to Bernardette in Lourdes, Our Lady is always the same. The attributes of each apparition are there for our benefit so we can connect to her particular mission at that time. Charlie put it perfectly: “Everything is designed to speak with intense intimacy to whom it calls.”

        Like

        • Carmelite says:

          Charlie and Carlos, I appreciate your replies, I really do. But with all respect, I hear the words ‘images and attributes and devotions’. i understand all that. She can be black or white or brown or yellow, to suit those to whom she speaks. But Our Lady has always had the same ‘message’! The specifics of her words have always remained the same, even though she might have used slightly different wording to suit the — ummm–particular mission … pray, pray, pray. Especially pray the rosary.
          I fear I am probably a bit out of my element here, since I am not a devotee of private revelations, outside of Fatima and Lourdes and Faustina. (The rosary and chaplet of Divine Mercy are unbelievably important devotions) My Carmelite life is quite enough about asceticism and prayer 🙂 But I have read a little here and there, and that difference on when to fast and on what still bothers me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Carmelite, I think the solution is to pick one and do the best you can. Our Lady knows that we can’t fast all the time so she asks some to fast on some days and some to fast on other days. That way at all times someone is fasting! It is brilliant actually. Just do what you can and leave it in our Mother’s hands.

            Liked by 3 people

  10. Mary-Louise says:

    I don’t think we need to take the Pope’s cautionary words about the Blessed Mother giving messages or appearing every day to apply just to Medjugorie and its visionaries. There are others who claim daily or near daily revelations. Maria Divine Mercy published more than 650 messages between 2010 and 2013; she has since been discredited. Pedro Regis gets frequent messages; so does locutions (I don’t follow either of these, although the Church has not ruled against them). It is good to be skeptical rather than too open minded.

    Like

    • Dave says:

      Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good, but don’t be so open minded that your brain falls out :^)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Observer says:

      The Pope seems to me to be speaking more to the devotees of any private revelation, even approved ones or those that likely measure up to what is asked for approval. One can easily miss out on just what heaven is intervening for. There is one specific message given by OLOMedj where she looks out on the large crowd of such “devotees” and mentions their attention and presence but stops there to declare rather sorrowfully that yet there still remains so few within such crowds who truly are there to carry out her real purpose for coming…..the same purpose of course of God Who permits her interceding for her children’s sake.

      Like

  11. Mack says:

    Scalia’s piece touches on something that has troubled me much lately: that so many people seem to have no sense of right or wrong, that they can do whatever they want and it doesn’t matter. As Scalia points out, even 40 years ago that was not the case. Yet at the same time that real morality has been cast aside, “politically correct morality” has been enshrined. You will be ostracized if you smoke, carry a gun, use the wrong word, or refuse to celebrate same-sex “marriages.” After all this, the Storm will be a relief when it sweeps away this craziness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      It’s so funny you say that, Mack. For so many decades I feared and dreaded the Storm. Now, I look forward to it with great hope – and when it is in its fullness, for all the trials, I will be relieved that the nonsense is truly ending.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Another Karen says:

        I’m still in the fear and dread stage, though I have hope and also look forward to the end of this nonsense. The blindness tries my patience (already not my strong suit)!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dave says:

          Remember Karen, God doesn’t have a big Wheel Of Fortune up there. We are each of us intended for this time and place. We were made for now and He will look after us. Read John 10:28-29, also Psalm 91. I’m not saying it will be easy, but Charlie has a great gameplan for us.

          Liked by 1 person

      • gettimothy says:

        I remember thinking that after The Passion of the Christ came out and then several years later when Tolkien’s trilogy was brought to the big screen that God was speaking to us, preparing us.

        There was also Lady Thatcher’s funeral at the church in London where her granddaughter spoke from Ephesians on our battle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and spirits. While she was speaking, all the big-wigs where doing their best not to hear her and to avoid the words of Scripture and it occurred to me that the words where not meant for the bigwigs but for us, the faithful.

        During Glenn Beck’s Teaparty gathering on the mall, there was that flock of geese that flew the length of the reflecting pool and everybody knew it was God saying ‘Hi, I am here’

        There where other things I cannot remember off-hand, but if The Storm is true and does occur as you say , I think we will look back at how He was preparing us.

        Like

      • ann says:

        Like having the flu, Charlie. You try so hard not to throw up, anything not to be sick, and then after some agony, you do, and you feel so much better you wonder why you didn’t just get it over with in the first place! Homely little analogy, but I’ve often thought that this whole Storm is kind of like that. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Mack, I feel the same way. In fact, I’ve become a little impatient for it to come in full and obvious force. That’s a fault of mine, to be impatient like this. It’s because I’m concerned that it *won’t* happen, that we’ll be stuck in the mess we’re currently in forever.

      I realize that we have signs of the rising Storm all around us, but until the Collapse occurs to sweep away the Old System of the World, I cannot be sure that the Old System will in fact be swept away. I school myself to patience often these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dave says:

        I recall a phrase from Mark Mallett a few years ago. Something like “the holy cruelty of the surgeon”. This is how I look at it. I dread the pain of the surgeons scalpel, but I know it’s necessary and will be for the much better in the long run.

        Liked by 3 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Dave, I think you’ve got it right. As any sane person should, I dread the period of the Storm. I know it will be difficult and scary at times.

          Yet I also know that once we are definitively in it, in some sense deep inside, I will settle down profoundly.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Mack says:

        Yes, me too. Though I’m also dreading it too! Today I was feeling down over the gay pride parade that will go on tomorrow in the city where I live. But then I realized that this will probably be the last one, since the final crash will probably happen this fall. Even if there is a parade next year, I doubt there will be one in 2017. So I cheered up! This annual celebration of sin is very disheartening.

        Liked by 3 people

      • torilen says:

        Steve, I feel the same way. I guess it’s because I’ve been expecting it to happen for so many years & it hasn’t – at least not in ways I have expected. Sometimes I just think I’m a little crazy & there isn’t really a Storm at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Lyle Metsker says:

    Recently, I was meditating on who and what has the most influence on my understanding of endtime events as they are unfolding. Basically, I came up with three movements that seem to be following a similar pattern. In each case there was the early phase that had limited media and few followers being followed by a phase that had increased media coverage and the opportunity for the masses to become aware of what’s happening.

    The first was Rabbi Cahn and his book The Harbinger. I became aware of him through watching The Jim Bakker Show. This was back in 2011. Only a limited number of people became followers of the Rabbi’s endtime concepts at that time. Then in 2014, he became a national phenomenon when he released The Mystery of the Shemitah which has led to the Rabbi appearing before both
    the Congress and the United Nations.

    The next person who I began following in and around 2003 was Charlie himself when Michael Brown covered his story on Spirit Daily. Only a limited number even know about that website, much less about Charlie and his angel. Then in 2014, I was able to track Charlie down and found his website. Since then, I have been watching it grow in number of followers as he prepares to take his message to the masses beginning later this month.

    The final major influence on my understanding of endtime events is Medjugorje. In 2004, I was priviledged to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and as a result, I became an avid follower and believer in Mother Mary’s endtime role as the Woman of Revelation 12. Up until now there has been limited media coverage of these apparitions resulting in relatively few commited followers of Medjugorje or even an awareness of its existence.

    Then, seemingly out of nowhere, there was Medjugorje on the top five stories on Yahoo. Suddenly, it’s reputation is going viral, and this is happening in the very same time frame as the other two elements, that is, the Shemitah, which puts September as the kickoff timing of possible major events, and Charlie’s outreach to larger numbers which is beginning just as the Pope is making Medjugorje go mainstream.

    I’ll have to admit that I am getting excited. To me, these are three witnesses that life as we know it is about to change dramatically. The thunder clouds are gathering, and I for one am concentrating on preparing both physically and spiritually before the Storm hits full force.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Marita says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Regarding Medjugorje, it all comes down to obedience to the Church, whichever way it is decided. Like you stated in another post, Padre Pio was doubted and silenced for a time, so was St. Faustina and Divine Mercy and we all know that those initial wrongs were righted. I myself have been to Medjugorje four times, and if the Church decided against it, I would obey and not give it another thought. Back in the early 90’s I started reading “Poem of the Man God” it’s based on the purported visions of Maria Valtorta. That book brought me so much closer to the Lord, and brought me back to the Church and Sacraments in the fullest measure (I had been pretty lax at the time with going to Mass), and I am so grateful for having read it. Then awhile after I had read it I heard the book was banned by Cardinal Ratzinger and the Congregation For the Faith. I am obedient to that decision, I still have the books, but I don’t read them anymore, in fact they are so old anyway, I will be throwing them out, but I haven’t done it yet. The Lord looks for obedience in a lot of these cases, and it is obedience to the Church he tests us the most in, at least that is my opinion.

    Like

    • “I don’t read them anymore, in fact they are so old anyway, I will be throwing them out, but I haven’t done it yet.”

      Oh… do I dare ask?

      I have never understood that we were told not to read them, just not to insist that they are true. I borrowed two of the books from a lady at church, which I read slowly over a long period of time, and I found them to be profound and life-altering, in the best of ways. I’ve wished to be able to buy my own copies, but can not afford to. If it’s okay by Charlie, I’d love to get in touch with you, in case you’d be willing to “discard them” at my address. 🙂

      Like

      • Marita says:

        Hi Linda,
        You are right. I was told several times that the books were banned and we could not read them, I should have done my own research. I did some research now and we can read them, we just shouldn’t, in a sense, take them seriously, and for our own spiritual good, we should defer to the Church and stay away from them. (that’s my paraphrasing of what I read). Of course I disagree, I think the books are very edifying.
        The books are over 20 years old, and when I handle them, my nose and scalp start to itch profusely. Also, I live in Michigan and I don’t know how much it would cost to ship them to you, wherever you live. I have an account on the Forum set up for readers of this site, and there is an ability to send private messages over there if you want to pursue this.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, I think Marita, it was probably the case of certain enthusiasts abusing the manuscripts. So much of what becomes heresy is actually a matter of imbalance of emphasis rather than objective error. One of the devil’s favored tools to lead us astray is to use something objectively good – then persuade us it is the only good, rejecting all else.

          Like

      • Carmelite says:

        Marita, you said “he Lord looks for obedience in a lot of these cases, and it is obedience to the Church he tests us the most in, at least that is my opinion.” So true. i believe Our Lady has even said that obedience to priests and bishops outweighed obedience to Her. I could well be mistaken.
        I volunteered at Gospa Missons in the 90’s … this place is all about Medjugorje. Do a search 🙂 Anyway, at that time, “Poem of the Man God” was on the do not read list of which you speak. The children of Medjugorje were told by someone to ask the Lady if these books were OK to read. The Lady said yes, read them. We volunteers threw that difference of opinion around quite a bit, I can assure you 😉

        lindasummerfield, I agree with you. If read as fiction based on fact, they can bring one ever so much closer to Our Lord’s life and the lives of His followers.

        Like

  14. And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense in me.” Luke 7:22-23

    See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers. Wild beasts honor me, jackals and ostriches, for I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise. Isaiah 43:19-21

    A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1

    She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days. Revelation 12: 5-6

    Ah, The LIVING WORD. True, God is unchanging, but His ways are so beyond my comprehension that they appear always surprising and new! If ever I try to relegate His Word to the confines of a little box of my own making, I always lose some peace.

    I was slogging up a steep desert canyon recently to catch the last of the local hiking season here. It was a good idea for that reason, but also seemed like a bad one because apparently local hiking season had already ended the previous week with the lower temperatures.

    I’m a hardy and seasoned outdoorsman, but under the challenging blast of 100+ temperatures, I found myself recalling some of Charlie’s good advice. No need for physical heroics, so I found myself stopping to rest frequently, seeking out any scrap of shade I could find, and I wisely cut my ambitious ascent to the peak short. I’ll get it another day under better conditions.

    Charlie’s practical advice is good spiritual advice too, and I find myself contemplating and practicing it more frequently.

    Had I not cut that climb short, I would have completely missed a marvelous eagle’s nest at about the 3/4 mark. There was a natural set of steps that wound upwards around a towering rock formation that lead me there, and plenty of shade!

    Perhaps the real gem for me, though, was a pair of fiery colored little wildflowers growing near the base of the tower. What a miracle that these delicate little plants could grow and thrive in that rough environment that seemed so ill suited for it. For the next half hour or so, those simple little flowers served as a sign for me. I suppose you could even say, that as God’s handiwork, they ‘spoke’ to me of many edifying things, including His great and immeasurable Love for us.

    Faith is a gift that comes from God. I praise Him and thank Him for it.

    As much as I’m sometimes tempted to think that my faith would be what it is without signs, I would really only be fooling myself on an epic scale. The Gospel is full of signs to strengthen the Faith. Life continues to be full of signs as we endeavor to embrace and live the Gospel.

    Those two little flowers reminded me of the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Always inseparable! I would hate to think how disheartening it would have been for me if someone had walked up to them while I was there and crushed them under their boot –– for whatever reason. Better to just run into another hiker, exchange pleasant greetings, and at least share our common love of hiking together.

    Jesus, we trust in You!

    God Bless,

    MP

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      What a lovely story, Michael! And how wonderful are the little, gentle caresses God gives us when we live simple humility rather than trying to prove to anyone else – or ourselves – how tough we are. Thank you for this.

      Like

    • Bob says:

      And on my way to meet my spiritual director last week came to me the simple made up word some of my Protestant friends I used to worship with said “Watchcare” and that was a time in my life when I was a baby Christian returning to the faith after being lost, and with peace I meditated on that simple word for awhile trusting that God has me and my family and all of us in His hands and his Watchcare!

      Like

      • The Watchcare. Interesting, Bob, and how many fine examples of these we see blessed in the Gospel. On the other side, the difficult Pharisees and Sadducees… alas, for them. Of course in between the various degrees of hair-splitters, quibblers, incredulous… etc., and with what difficulty did Grace eventually set them on the simple Way? Only God knows.

        Praise God! His power and majesty are beyond my understanding, but I also believe that He is really very simple after all. We’re the difficult ones who like to over-analyze and make everything complicated.

        You’re welcome, Charlie. Keep what’s good, discard the rest, and I’ll willingly take credit for the latter portion that I muddle up and try to make amends.

        Jesus, we trust in You!

        Like

        • Ha, Bob, glaring case-in-point of me muddling it up. I completely misread your reference of “Watchcare.” Maybe rather than just hanging out there with the crickets chirping, my reply could be considered as just another little facet of what you shared: “watchcare” (with a lowercase “w”). Amended. I can only laugh at myself.

          mp

          Like

  15. Bob says:

    As for Maher, perhaps God in His mercy can find the right 2X4 to get his attention in this life, lest he face the eternal one later. Let us pray that he may be one of those who God can raise up as a sign of hope instead of another one who prepares his own doom.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Irish7 says:

    Grace is a mysterious thing. I don’t think a negative pronouncement negates the graces received. We know that God is not limited to pure or perfect conduits of His grace. I was evangelized to the Christian faith by a man who I found out later was involved in unrepentant and habitually mortal sin full of malice and deceit. I am ok with the tension. I don’t have to declare his actions virtuous or my faith a sham. I hate dissonance in music, but in life…eh…grace and mercy cover a lot. I think we’re safe to claim and celebrate the graces of conversion regardless of the pronouncement. Fear not. Your story is not being pronounced false.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lily says:

      Thank you for sharing that.

      Like

    • Bob says:

      And I was prayed over by a lady at a Transcendental Meditation retreat of all places and that was the grace and touch of God which led me back to truth. And I still wonder how God could have reached out and grabbed me there by a lady who both believed in Jesus, God and the Trinity as well as apparently still believing in TM meditation, although I still wonder if she was an angel or something sent to give me enough to send me in the right direction, without criticizing the path I was on at the time which would have put up red flags for me until God had more time to purify me of my folly!

      Like

    • Mick says:

      Irish, thanks for your wise observation. Oh, and I hate dissonance in music, too. (Shudder)

      Like

  17. Julee says:

    I first learned about Medjugorje in the early 2000’s when a cousin dropped by after her recent trip full of enthusiasm. Interested, I picked up several books and purchased a couple of videos, amazed this had already been going on for so long, yet I’d never heard a word about it. I felt if the Blessed Virgin Mary was authentically appearing in our times, then there was a reason for it and I’d better investigate. I also had a personal interest wondering if this would be a place of healing for my disabled son and, in all honesty, that was my driving force. Not too long after that, I learned about a Marian conference in my city where one of the seer’s was speaking and where she would have one of her alleged apparitions. Full of excitement, my mom, sister, and I attended and as expected with any conference, it lit a fire in us, especially regarding the sacrament of Reconciliation. Upon arrival my mom had been given a clear crystal rosary and amazingly, it turned yellow. After the alleged apparition, I was thrilled the seer reported the Blessed Mother had prayed for us and all our intentions. After that I did my best to fast, pray, and receive the sacraments.

    A few years later I attended another conference that again inspired me, yet about this time the internet was picking up speed and I had access to more information. I was operating under the understanding that the faithful are free to believe as long as it isn’t condemned, but it troubled me to learn the local bishop did not support it. Even so, I went to another conference where the same seer was appearing, only this time I had some unrest due to my newfound awareness of there being controversy and “two camps.” For me, even if the apparitions are authentic, I feel obedience to the church takes precedence and so I backed off because I didn’t want to feel so strongly that I would resist a negative decision. I also reminded myself that the Blessed Mother is present to us all and through prayer, I will hear God’s will pertaining to my life. I don’t know, but I feel the divisiveness surrounding the apparitions is more a test of obedience than faith. I now try to take what is good and proceed with caution, but I wish there was some guidance from our parish priests, because trying to discern what is good surrounding the entire phenomenon isn’t easy and clear cut. For example, fasting is good, but the instruction to fast only on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday proved too difficult for me very early on and even though I’m not obligated, it’s left me feeling discouraged for years, like I’m not voluntarily doing something asked

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Julee….I modified the fasting to bread and black coffee…and only to 6pm….then I try to have only a light meal. I actually feel fantastic when I do it(Weds & Fri)….steady energy level throughout the day without that “dip” after lunch.

      Not as good as what’s recommended, but MUCH better than nothing. It’s what I think I can do now…I suspect She appreciates it…

      Like

    • Joseph77 says:

      Julee,

      I can understand your discouragement because I was also unable to fast on bread and water. However, on Wednesdays and Fridays I offered my “two coppers” worth and did not eat between meals and did not eat sweets or desserts. I believe the Blessed Mother Mary is pleased that you try to make some sacrifice for her intentions. God is pleased with whatever is in your ability to do with love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        I love that, Joseph…your two coppers worth. There are many times I only had two coppers worth to give – of effort, energy, whatever. The key is to give what you can without giving up entirely just because you can’t give all you think you should. I will use that memorable phrase…my two coppers worth.

        Like

        • Julee says:

          Thank you Paul, Joseph77, and Charlie! It’s much better to do what I can with good intentions than do nothing at all! I’m afraid I stamped my foot and got a little petulant about something I felt was too hard for the average bear :) Since I couldn’t do it right, I felt justified in weaseling out of it altogether. I should have started small and then gradually increased the fast instead of going for broke right from the get go. There are days I get so busy, I miss a meal without much thought, but when I plan to fast, it’s all I think about!

          Liked by 1 person

          • As St. Louis Marie de Montfort said: “If but a pin is given in homage, and given with a good heart, it will be enough for Jesus, who loves only the good will.”

            Like

  18. rickie says:

    Thank you Charlie for your insights and everyone else for contributing. Regarding Medjugorje, I visited there back in 1990. My visit was in the summer over the feast day of Our Lady Queen of Peace, June 25th. It was also the feasts of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, one feast day following another. I consecrated my family to the Two Hearts as we stood up on Mt. Podbordo for the first time. It was so magnificent, I felt so happy. It brought many good fruits, most of all conversions in my family and in me. When I returned home it was like my everyday life had a sweetness and greater awareness of God’s love that had not been there before. I began bringing my faith to others in various ways, catechizing and evangelizing. My rosaries turned gold too, and kept turning each time I would get a new rosary. Two rosaries that someone had given to me from their pilgrimages had turned gold as well. One day they returned to their original silver color and since then new rosaries no longer turn gold. I have no explanation for that except that the time for those things stopped for me. It isn’t good to go too deep into it, I just believe that they stopped turning gold and that’s it. The Lord must be calling me to a deeper call now, a walk in faith not signs. But I still have signs, much like the gentleman who went on the hike and found things miraculous all around him. The belief that God is loving us at every turn is the message He wants to give to us now.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Rickie…I’ve been twice…the first in 2007…waited all week to “see” something…never saw a darn thing…about day 6 gave up…much later, I realized I came back with an extreme vocation to pray the Rosary…every day…in the 8 years since, I can count on one hand the days I’ve missed….now I’m VERY happy with the miracle I experienced.

      Like

  19. Mack says:

    There is a book that Fr Groeschel once spoke of about Marian apparitions that is very good: Encountering Mary: From La Salette to Medjugorge, by Sandra Zimdars-Swartz. I found it in a library (it’s expensive) and it’s a study on how apparitions are affected by the way people react to them. For example, at La Salette the children first just spoke of a lady, and it was the townspeople who said it was the Blessed Mother. The book is sympathetic, not skeptical, but realistic about how sometimes even the visionaries can be affected by how people react to what they are saying. My point is that this may account for some of the “barnacles.” Fr Groeschel had his own book, “A Still Small Voice,” in which he explains how even authentic apparitions are received by people who then have to go through a process of trying to understand them. So the bottom line is that even true apparitions, when reported, may not necessarily correspond to exactly what the Blessed Mother said. So barnacles may arise. But I’m sure Charlie is the one most experienced at this and as he’s explained, he had to go through his own learning process in regard to his visions.

    Like

  20. Mary Ann says:

    It is good to remember that people’s faith calls forth God’s grace. I went to Campostella, and felt the power of the faith of over a thousand years of pilgrims. Seeing the marble worn down by the touch of millions was very moving. Medjugorje can bring forth good fruits if people have true faith – in God, not in Medjugorje. We can believe it or not, right now, but it is never the subject of divine faith. Not Fatima, not Lourdes, no private revelation.

    Like

  21. TerryO says:

    Charlie, here’s a little change in direction. In commenting on Scalia’s article, I believe you used too broad a brush in stressing your aversion to centering prayer and painting it as primarily prickly self-absorption. The mystical tradition within the Faith has always contained elements of centering prayer throughout the centuries. John Cassian, the English author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Teresa of Avila, and the use of the Jesus Prayer in the East, all exhibit certain strains of this prayer technique. Teresa is important because she ties her experience of contemplative prayer to necessary fruit in our daily lives. If love of neighbor is not growing, she would agree that a type of prickly self-absorption has crept in. Even so, I think you came close to throwing the baby out with the bath water with too generalized a conclusion.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Terry, St. Teresa of Avila is one of my primary patrons. Her spirituality is breathtaking and magnificent. It is one of the reasons why I hold the modern New Agey centering prayer in such deep contempt. It is a perversion of her spirituality, trying to claim a connection to it. Her spirituality was always focused on God. Modern centering prayer is always focused on self-actualization and away from God. It uses some similar techniques for a radically different purpose – and when it claims kinship to St. Teresa, it defames her. Look again at where she directs her contemplation – and then where modern centering prayer directs yours. If a man’s prayer to satan is similar in form to another’s prayer to God, that does not establish kinship between the two. The direction is entirely different. Sorry to get so agitated, but this perversion of spirituality has done great damage to many and led them from the faith. I am intimately informed on both and have come to my conclusion, which is not in any danger of changing any time soon.

      Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Forgive me for being so animated in my initial response, Terry. The thing that hits my hottest of hot buttons is when something off imitates the form of the good in order to mislead people – and particularly if what it imitates is something I admire. The demon that imitated Gabriel, who deeply loves humanity, to found a murderous death cult mockery of religion gets me so riled I rarely think of it. The self-directed centering prayer that mimics much of the form of the God-centered mysticism of St. Teresa so it can claim a kinship to deceive people has been among my top five hot buttons for a while now. Forgive me for getting so worked up.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Carmelite says:

        Like, like.
        Amen

        Like

      • Michelle says:

        Charlie, please excuse my ignorance but is the demon that imitated Gabriel Islam?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Islam is not a demon, but it was demonically inspired. Please do not misunderstand…many Muslims are trying to follow God in the way they were taught all their lives. But I tell you that Gabriel never told anyone to murder, rape, torture and kill in order to force conversion. It is a horrific defamation of his character and is, perhaps, the greatest, most consequential deception in history.

          Liked by 6 people

      • ann says:

        You might find this interesting Charlie, re: centering prayer. A very simple, pious, holy elderly woman I knew was asked to a centering prayer “day retreat” at a local convent. Being very devout and very simple, she went. She told me later, quite distressed: “I don’t know what went wrong with me. I just couldn’t stay there. I had to leave.” As if she had done something wrong. I assured her, her Guardian Angel took her out of there. and I explained why it was not for Catholics. God takes care of His children!

        Like

      • TerryO says:

        Charlie,
        I concur, just a little bit more calmly (wink!)

        Like

    • Terry you should read what Fr. Thomas Dubay wrote about the difference between true contemplative prayer (a gift from God) and modern “meditation” techniques that are contrived. “Deep Conversion Deep Prayer” is the first book to read and “The Fire Within” on St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. Then if you want to continue your study, a must read is Ralph Martin’s “Fulfillment of All Desire”. There is so much depth in these books! No need to seek out eastern philosophies and techniques.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. CrewDog says:

    When Obama removed the “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell “Rule” in the Military a few years ago, I remember posting on a Military Blog that it would take No Time for the embedded radical Gays to Push their agenda with lawsuits, harassment and “Media” … Sure-Nuff ;-(
    History shows that it only takes a small minority of radical-n-violent types to sway and intimidate the entire population. We see it now here with the Gay/Abortion Crowd, GangBangers in urban areas and Atheists/Islam Worldwide…….. and if you think these elements are not at work within the Church it’s time to pull your head out of your ………!!!

    “NAVAL CHAPLAIN FILES FORMAL COMPLAINT OVER CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/11/naval-chaplain-files-formal-complaint-over-christian-persecution/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Like

  23. anaverena1 says:

    I first went to Medjugorje in 1996 and was very impressed with the active and living spirituality there, the deep faith ( locals walking along the road praying the rosary at 5am) and the great reverence for the Eucharist – Holy Communion was not given in the hand and they at that time were unaware of this phenomenon.

    I had an experience there that I have not shared with people in general, apart from members of my immediate family, but feel that perhaps I should do so now. I went to Medjugorje several times after 1996 but have not been there now for a few years – no reason other than I have not been able to recently.

    In 1996 during my first visit, on the third day there I went to the English mass at 10am where I received Holy Communion as is usually done at mass. The person I was with met someone who wanted a few quiet moments with her so I agreed to meet with her again at noon; it was just before11 am at this time. Initially I went outside to the shops but I had already bought new rosary beads and it was extremely hot so I decided to go into the Blessed Sacrament chapel, the only air-conditioned building at that time, to pray and to enjoy the cool temperature! While I was there a priest came onto the altar to say mass in Italian and although I do not speak Italian, mass is mass and I decided to stay, to kill time as much as anything else – my motives were not particularly holy to say the least.
    When it came time to receive Holy Communion I went up again ( we are permitted to receive twice per day); two priests were on the altar. Following everyone else I knelt down in turn while one priest put the host in my hand that I then offered to the second priest who took it from my hand, dipped it into the Precious Blood (intinction being the correct term I think), which he then placed on my tongue. It was a normal host at this point. I then stood up and as I turned to return to my seat the host jumped in my mouth and became large and of a completely different texture. I am of the opinion that it changed into flesh. It took me about fifteen minutes to swallow it as it was large and had to be broken into pieces. I was overawed by this experience and was not aware of people having had this happen to them, although I am now aware that it has happened now to a few different individuals. I have since had powerful experiences related to the Eucharist over the years – how privileged we are within the Catholic Church to be able to receive the living God, and how important it is consequently, not to receive casually.

    What I have said here is unexaggerated; however, it has never happened since. I came to value mass in a new way and if I have not mentioned this before to anyone, it has probably been because it was for me a very personal experience and probably also because I could have imagined people being sceptical. Whether I am now believed or not is a matter of indifference – we all know through our faith that we do receive Jesus, the real living Jesus, in Holy Communion at every mass.

    Like

    • Mary W. says:

      Dear anaverena1
      I am blown away by your experience with the Eucharist only because I experienced something similar but never told anyone, not a soul, firstly because it was meant only for me and secondly I could not adequately describe what occurred, and thirdly no one would believe me if I did. It occurred some years after my return to the church and the day after I had instructed our two sons to only receive the Eucharist on the tongue. I believe what occurred to me was a confirmation of my instruction to them. I cannot find the words to describe the velvety smooth texture of this already very large irregular piece ( broken off from an even larger than usual host which was used in a fairly modern parish which we left some years later for a more traditional parish) which should have broken in my mouth all on its own. That did not happen. The texture was other worldly and something I never experienced again, but somehow I believed it to be a PERFECT piece of flesh which no mortal could have. The experience remains with me and will forever. I never thought the day would come when I would have the opportunity to mention it.

      Like

  24. rickie says:

    Thank-you Jesus for the miracles of the Eucharist.
    Ana, your experience makes me think of what happened to St Elizabeth, when she said that the babe in her womb leaped for joy. Jesus may have wanted to tell you that he was filled with joy to be with you in the Eucharist ! Thank-you for sharing that !
    I’ve heard many testimonies of miracles happening right after the reception of the host. The other day, my brother told me that he felt relief from his arthritis pain immediately after taking the Eucharist. I think the most common one I’ve heard is a lifting of spirits, relief from depression or in my case anxiety.
    At Medjugorje I received two hosts at mass. I thought maybe Jesus wanted to let me know He was with me.. Once when I received two hosts again, I felt a lot of love coming from it, so much that I wondered if Jesus was trying to prepare me for something. So I told my husband either something very good was going to happen or something not so good. That night I got a phone call. My mom was having symptoms of what I thought were stroke signs. She died later on . But that Holy Communion prepared me for it and I continued to look back at the experience and talk to Jesus feeling He was still with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Funny you should mention that, rickie. Normally I don’t say anything about such little oddities, but today at Mass, the priest accidentally gave me three hosts together. He realized he had grasped more than one just before he put them on my tongue…gave the slightest hesitation as realization hit, then just went ahead and moved on. It was a little striking to me on this Feast Day. Made for kind of a meaty reception. That has never happened to me before. Once, a Deacon who was a dear friend accidentally dropped the Eucharist right before me. Quick-wittedly, I genuflected and quietly picked it up and consumed it. He smiled in such grateful relief. I don’t think anyone but him and I knew what had happened. Sometimes I’m smooth…sometimes not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • acseibert says:

        The rare occasion I have received a larger piece of the Eucharist (one that should have been broken in at least 2 pieces) I find myself thinking of the verse in 1 Samuel…But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her.

        Like

  25. CrewDog says:

    I believe that the ChiCom Hacks of US Government files is a huge story and “Sign” that seems to be garnering nothing but yawns from DC and “Media”! It seems that what’s his name who can’t figure out what sex it is or the latest idiocy escaping the lips of Miley Cyrus is more newsworthy. The ChiCom are sending US and the Western World a nasty message. Mess with us and we can/will take down your electric grid, drain your bank accounts and end life as you know it. We might also loose that Pot Bellied Dictator in North Korea…………. The Storm!!

    “Officials: Second hack exposed military and intel data”
    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/tech/2015/06/12/officials-second-hack-exposed-military-and-intel-data/71140968/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Like

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