Giants in the Forest

(This piece was written by a wonderful woman who helped co-ordinate my Southern California visits. She plays the guitar and the piano – and led people in singing the Song of Thanksgiving for our Rescue twice. I love hearing it these days…as I think it is rising as we look with confidence ahead, turning to God and away from the “We know better than you…” crowd.

Also, if you send me a picture to accompany an article, please send it via a separate picture file. I can’t save pictures embedded in a Word file and use them in these articles – and sometimes lose good photos because of it. Ann had a nice photo here, but it was embedded in the Word document so I was not able to transfer it here.-CJ)

By Ann Dahl

This last week I was blessed to go to the Sierra Mountains and experience the beauty of Yosemite and the Giant Sequoia trees, a place I commune best with God.

It had been a busy summer, and last week I met and listened to Charlie Johnston in Encinitas, California. I was part of the team, and had absorbed a lot of information.

I had much to ponder and as I spent time in the forest.  I asked many questions of God: why so much evil, why so little faith, how do we change it, is there truly a storm meant to purify humanity close at hand .. etc.?

I believe He spoke to me in an amazing analogy I would like to share with you. 

“Look at the forest, what do you see? It is overgrown. Each tree used to benefit the other, now they fight for limited resources. The variety that gave life, is now strangling it. There has been no natural pruning. It needs a fire. I need to burn away the excess, the overgrowth, to renew my beloved trees.”

Then as I continued to walk alone thru a very remote dense grove of redwoods, I could see a little distance ahead, a bright orange splash of color, hidden among all the smaller trunks.

As I got closer, I could finally see the tree for the forest. There, in front of me, was a Giant Sequoia hidden by all the dense overgrowth.  Over 2700 years old, it was massive with bright red-orange bark, 100’around, 250 feet high, and straight as an arrow. How could I not see something this Stout and Strong from miles away, but I couldn’t?

Our society is like that overgrown forest. God showed me all is not dark, and all is not lost by a long shot. But the forest needs a fire to regain its health and live.  What will remain will be a purified remnant, the Giant Sequoias.  A church of Saints whose virtues will stand so tall, God’s people will finally start to walk in the full-stature of Christ.

Many great saints are alive today, hidden in the forests of darkness and evil.

They are like those Giant Sequoias, they have been born fireproof. They have a protection against the evil one that comes from years of prayer and soul-searching. They have been made to grow stronger in adversity and when the forest is brought down, they will stand as if the only trees around. The beauty of the Saints will be all that is left standing, when God purifies the forest.

Our time of renewal is coming, but we are still in an overgrown and dark forest.

Remember the Giant Sequoias. For almost 3000 years they have stood; not even 200 yeardroughts, nor lightening or fires have taken them out. For such a time as this, you were born. You have been given all you need to survive difficulty, just like the Sequoias. We too will survive the coming storm, if we but draw ever closer to Him, put on the Armor of God  and stand firm where we are planted.

droughts, nor lightening or fires have taken them out. For such a time as this, you were born. You have been given all you need to survive difficulty, just like the Sequoias. We too will survive the coming storm, if we but draw ever closer to Him, put on the Armor of God  and stand firm where we are planted.

About charliej373

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

55 Responses to Giants in the Forest

  1. jlynnbyrd says:

    First I must say that I bolt out The Song of Thanksgiving at random during the day and hear it in my dreams ever since watching it. It lifts my spirit. The article was from Ann is precious. I can relate so much better to parables to scholarly writings and nature hits home with me too. Lovely to read, thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Exquisite and marvelous!

    Your faith and beauty resound in the forest, Ann.

    As a former woodsman who planted 10,000 seedlings by hand, you are entirely correct in your analysis and insights. You cannot achieve greatness without a cleansing, be it a forest, nation, or single soul.

    Our collective humanity fell by a sin committed on a tree in the Garden of Eden. But, God, in his infinite love for each one of us, ordained humanity be saved forever more by His Son dying on a tree. That tree of death to unbelievers became the tree of life for eternity. That tree, planted in the rock of Golgotha, sprang to heaven’s vault, joining God and man. Salvation!

    Be not afraid of the forest or the night. Dawn follows the night. As we read in Chronicles:

    “Then shall the trees of the wood give praise before the Lord: because he is come to judge the earth. ”

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Martha Dailey says:

    Our wonderful priest in Williamstown, MA used the giant sequoias as a metaphor in one of his sermons. How do these giants withstand the wind and the storms? Their root systems are intertwined….and together they are a formidable presence. We will love God, join together as we do the next right thing and be as enduring as the giant trees that were here when Jesus was born.

    Liked by 11 people

    • A Quiet Person says:

      The roots are hidden underground, even as we, the Church may need to go underground for a while. And though it is possible that we may appear to be wiped out, we will simply be joining forces with each other underground, unseen to the physical world but bright as can be in the spiritual realm. And the visible part of the sequoias will remain as well. Never mind if they appear to disappear from our sight for a while. We the roots will grow ever more closely together during the Storm. And as in a forest, trees are nourished from others that have died, so too, if need be, we will be nourished by the blood of the martyrs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. eightlambs says:

    Wonderful analogy Ann!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beckita says:


    I love that oft used phrase by Johnette Benkovic: “…for such a time as this.” It reminds me of St. Joan of Arc’s : “I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”

    Thank you, Ann.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Beautiful Ann! Thank You…You painted a picture with your words. They were true and comforting. We already know the Victory was won on the Cross, but need a reminder now and then.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Mary Anne says:

    Beautiful and true. I cannot emphasize enough the need for us to receive our Lord as often as possible in the Holy Eucharist. Do everything in your power to receive Him as often as you are able, hopefully daily Communion. This is extremely important. Reconcilliation and Holy Communion as often as possible. Therein lies our strength.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Diane says:

    So much beauty in your words – may we all stand tall and strong for with and by Christ – we are being refined for good. Love. I do .

    Liked by 3 people

    • jaykay says:

      So true, Mary Anne. I got the opportunity to go earlier today to confession in a wonderful city-centre Church where they have extensive daily confession, as I happened to be in the area purely by chance. And my wait (they can have long lines – all is not lost here in Ireland 😉) coincided with the entire midday Mass! Pure peace and joy. Blessings to all. J.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Paul says:

    Ann…that was great. Really well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Christiaria says:

    I just saw the giant redwoods for the first time this summer. What a magnificent piece to ponder! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dorothy says:

    Beautiful Ann!
    ” I had to ponder ….. Is there truly a storm meant to purify a humanity close at hand….”

    I love this sentence Ann, it shows your volnerelabity … I do also ponder and ask myself same question .
    I am trying to prepare in moderation in a physical way… I have a feeling my family may have to flee and leave everything behind so I am trying to prepare backpaks fior my family members thinking what will be needed most …
    Yet in my heart I still ponder … Is it really happening …???
    Charlie us much as my heart tells me you are God’s gift to us my brain is questioning
    Everything !
    I guess we have to fully surrender and have trust …
    Charlie live goes on, people around us talk about silliness and I am in the store scratching my head if I should pay a bit more money for a wwarmer lighter sleeping bag for my kids ….
    I am a nurse so I am preparing bigger first aide kit I can use to help others …
    I am doing these little things because my heart tells me and still I ponder
    Is it really possible …
    So little time left… I do feel in some ways sad …maybe …yearning for The Lord …
    I thank God everyday for the house I have, running water, electricity, toilet( sorry)
    I thank God for my bed, and all the little things I may have to leave behind !

    Charlie I trust but also ask God to give me strength not to be afraid !

    I reread all your core writings and ponder … I read Ann writing and ponder
    Am I worthy to be this magnificent sequoia tree or am I going to be pruned and burned
    down to the ground , am I worthy …

    So these questions stay with me and I move slowly doing these little things
    Of preparation for my family and others!

    The most difficult aspect for me is to deal with is the haos and unruliness,
    People hurting each other for a cup of water… By nature I am a peacful person
    So maybe God will lead us into the deep forest for safety, hope we will find someone like Charlie / sequoia tree to help us … And we will do same for others .

    Liked by 7 people

    • Phyllis says:

      Your comment has moved me to reply of which I’ve never done before. I can totally relate to what you mentioned as you go about your daily life… pondering. I, too, have nonchalantly set aside items in our basement wondering who will benefit from them. It’s incredibly difficult to wrap my human brain around. So, I just have to stop, breathe, say “Jesus, I Trust in You” and proceed forward praying what little I’ve done will make a difference. I, too, wonder if I’m fit enough to flee if it comes to that. I suppose we’ll all find out soon enough. I intend to hold tight to the mantle of our Blessed Mother while reaching out to help others.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Charlene says:

      Thankyou Dorothy, you’re response is so very much from the heart. When I think of great saints who had the strength of the Giant Sequioas……Saint Maximillian Kolbe comes to mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Vijaya says:

    What a beautiful analogy. And true! Alas, I don’t feel like a sequoia, but like a crooked filbert. Maybe God can still use me to build His kingdom. I hope and pray. Thy will be done, O Lord.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. connie says:

    First of all, thank you Ann. How very beautiful to “ponder” as Dorothy says.

    I so love what Martha tells us, that the root systems of the giant sequoias being intertwined are what gives them strength!

    I can certainly relate to your thoughts, Dorothy. It does seem so unreal as life goes on it seems- seemingly oblivious. I too, ask myself often, how can this be? It must be, it seems God answers me. I have quieted down now, my pace has slowed as if God is also telling me, It is enough. This time of preparation is over now and I sit quietly waiting, what next step now. I too, seem to thank God for so much more that I had taken so much for granted. But it’s a hushed, quiet thanks giving. I am accepting more and demanding less these days. And yes, as Charlie has warned us, the props are being knocked out from under me, one at a time. I am learning to accept and yet I am learning to be grateful and even joyful for these painful lessons, I think in part because my focus is narrowing.

    I have always loved to make my way into any wooded area by myself, just to sit and be still, quiet. I feel safe and at peace. The forest has always been a place I have felt drawn too and felt closer to God, that and an ink spilt night with the stars as the only light. I just watched Defiant again, where Tuvia Bielski and 2 of his brothers hid in a forest in Poland during the Nazi regime, hiding 2 years, building a hospital, school, and nursery in the forest, eventually helping close to 1200 Jews survive. I hadn’t seen the movie since probably 2008 or so, and all through the movie I could see the threads of take the next right step and be a sign of hope for others, I didn’t see so much the acknowledgement of God by Tuvia himself, but the people kept their faith alive. In the forest.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dorothy says:

      Connie you mentioned Poland in your post and Charlene talked about Maximilian Kolbe ( polish saint) . I was born in Poland …
      This is another little sign for me …
      I belonged to John Paul II generation and He always used to say : ”
      Do not be afraid” these words Always echo in my heart …

      So as preparations are ending , I will try to quiet myself down ( abandon myself to God’s mercy ) and trust …

      I do feel like we are becoming one … Feeling same emotions, going trough our battles, I am glad it is not only me , I am glad others feel it too!
      It is very hard to comprehend the coming changes, loss of life, going back to super simplicity….
      Thankful to find Charlie’s site!!!

      Somehow ” griving ” lately … but even with aching heart holding on to my Divine Mercy Jesus !

      Liked by 2 people

      • connie says:

        Yes, Dorothy, Our Great Papa John was definitely a Giant Sequoia with his”Be Not Afraid !” (I swear I can even hear his voice!) and gathering us round to be ready for the “Springtime of Faith” as he “Opened Wide the Doors of Mercy”. With such courage exhorted from such a giant, even we little saplings can stand taller with courage!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Greg says:

    2 Paralipomenon (2 Chronicles) 7:14 DR
    And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.

    2 Chronicles Chapter 7:14 KJV
    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    2 Chronicles 7:14 RSV
    if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jacqueline Nevinger says:

    Good Morning, CJ! Thank you for coming to Lafayette. It is bearing much fruit! Your sacrifice is having its effect. The Utube is completed and looks really good. Here is the link:

    I think it was worth the cost to have it professionally done. If you desire, you can post it on your blog.

    Good Bless You, Jacquie

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann this struck a nerve for me today… I have a friend right now who is one of those “giants” … pray for Kim a young mom of 2 girls… who I saw going to work this morning… a husband who left… cancer in her bones … tears streaming down her cheeks (but not in her voice) as she discussed two shots she received in her femurs yesterday and barely able to walk … all while asking me about my trivial cold and telling me to get well and have a great day… Kim is one of those Saints I just know it… and you Ann have me focused with your writings… thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I have asked the Lord to send St. Rose of Lima to comfort and guide your friend, Kim, and to protect her little family.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Sue, I will keep Kim and her family in my prayers. She sounds like an amazing woman. I lost my mother when I was just 24 years old. In all that time I did not know she suffered from as little as a headache. She too carried her burdens with grace and always saw and expressed the best in people. She seemed to always live with a “silver lining” disposition. Kim is a blessing to her children and they will always that fond memory of her to help them endure.
      Hope you fell better too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Sue, I’m weeping here as I read your words and adding prayers for your dear friend, Kim, and her two girls. May special hosts of angels minister to this family, bringing strength, consolation and all manner of healing.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Christine says:

    Moved to tears I could not even finish reading. Thank you for sharing. I have never been on a sight seeing trip to the west coast and have never had a desire to see the giant trees . Despite all the lovely pictures friends have shared, but now I do have that desire because they reveal God’s glory. I am reminded of a recent discussion about how the faith is preserved fully intact and on fire in countries where evil tried to stamp it out but in those countries where we have had the freedom of religion we have gotten choked by the weeds of the world, we have become lukewarm indeed . Jesus said He would spit the lukewarm out , we certainly need some fire , we need the Holy Spirit fire that we ALL receieved at baptisim. Whether we chose it or not for ourselves we were gifted with Him , the living God who said He would never leave us nor forsake us. We need to TRUST . Thank you Jesus for Saint Faustina and all your faithful giants who have brought the reminders of your truths to the world throughout the ages . You are merciful indeed Lord God and your mercy endures forever. Enkindle the hearts of all your people Lord who have receuived the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptisim . I pray that this gift be a renewal right now , a fire of love burning in their hearts that burns away the scales of the world’s lies , a fire of desire for the only thing that matters and is true that is You Lord Jesus. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jacqueline Nevinger says:

    By post, I don’t mean along with the Birmingham video. U and I have already had that discussion. It’s just for those who who weren’t able to come that evening or like me, just want to listen to it again. J Sent from Jacquie’s iPhone


  19. Sandy says:

    Charlie, it is amazing to me that your and Glenn Beck’s emails arrived in my inbox next to each other and BOTH subject lines mentioned giants. Glenn titled his post “Did I not tell you we would see giants” and the article is about a woman who survived a saline abortion, has cerebral palsy, and considers it a gift. All glory be to God, and may he continue to bless you and all here!


  20. CrewDog says:

    I’m guessing the Day is coming soon when will be Our Brothers Keeper if for no other reason than survival! I’m sure it will make our travels through much easier if we take “The Storm Travels” with a Christian perspective.

    Heartlight Daily Verse – 18 September

    Philippians 2:3-4
    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.
    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Do you remember one of the earliest questions in the Bible? “Where is your brother Abel?” To which Cain responded: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Paul’s answer is a clear and undeniable yes! We must look to the interest of others and not just our own.
    Father, teach me to love your family as you do. I get so caught up and distracted with my own world and my own problems that I forget to notice those who are hurting. Help me to grow more aware and more attune to those needs so you may minister through me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
    Visit for more


    Liked by 3 people

  21. Pam Nicholson says:

    Ah, yet, another image that God will never destroy the world, and such a wondrous mental picture, as I have not been to CA in over 30 years. Thanks so much for this. Peace and tranquility. pam, from NJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. barb129 says:

    Beautiful analogy Ann. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind myself lately that I was born into these times for a purpose that only our dear Lord knows. His graces will come as they are needed as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Him. These reminders have helped me to reclaim my peace whenever I feel a bit anxious about it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy says:

      I hang onto this thought from “The Lord of the Rings”:
      Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
      Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.

      Liked by 3 people

  23. Diane says:

    Just throwing this in on the Popes visit – interesting take:
    Because this is the way John White says it will all unfold:

    “When Pope Francis visits the White House next week, he will be greeted not only by President Obama, but by a group of selected individuals who openly live or preach lifestyles directly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

    “The cast of characters in this contrived stage drama will include:

    “Sister Simone Campbell, the pro-abortion Catholic nun and Obamacare champion, who organized the “Nuns on the Bus” tour and worked with the Obama White House to undermine the U.S. bishops and sow confusion during the debate on the Affordable Care Act.

    “Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop who recently divorced his gay partner, and who has accompanied President Obama at several religious events, including the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.

    “Mateo Williamson, a cross-dressing woman who identifies a gay man (and if you even paused for a second over that you really need to get with it). Williamson is the former co-chairman for the Transgender Caucus of Dignity USA.

    “Vivian Taylor, a male transvestite and former Executive Director of Integrity USA, a homosexual and transgender activist wing of the Episcopal Church. Taylor was apparently told to bring several friends.”

    And while the Vatican seems blithely unaware of it, this is what Obama longs to achieve:

    “To force Pope Francis into “accepting” these individuals. Of course, Pope Francis will accept them because they are fellow human beings with human dignity, and Pope Francis is a good and holy man who loves every person as a child of God. He will greet them with a smile and be courteous and respectful. But the perception Obama wants to promulgate is the one we are used to by now – that Pope Francis is accepting the behavior of these people, even though he is not.
    “To project the narrative that the “conservative” U.S. bishops are at odds with Pope Francis. The bishops have been outspoken regarding issues of same sex marriage, religious freedom, and the problematic aspects of Obamacare. By selecting individuals who represent the ideas the bishops have been fighting against to appear in a scene of warm greeting with Pope Francis, the President hopes to say, in effect, “See, look who’s side Pope Francis is on.”
    “To drive a wedge between Catholics in this country. Of course, the wedge is surely there already, but Obama wants to drive it deeper. He wants the liberals to claim victory by declaring Pope Francis supports them and only them, and much more importantly, he wants the conservatives to concede as much. He wants them to grumble, to be scandalized, and to blame and accuse Pope Francis. He wants them to race to their blogs and raise hell. “President Obama’s ultimate goal of course is to weaken and ultimately cripple the strength and influence of the Catholic Church, the greatest source of resistance in this country to his regime of religious persecution and state-sponsored and state-mandated moral relativism.
    “This is what he wants. The media will gladly help him. So will some Catholics.

    “Will you?” – John White

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      It is as striking a gesture of contempt and condescension as I have ever seen from the White House to a Spiritual Leader…though our president did make the Dalai Lama sit by the trash bin for a while.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Pam Nicholson says:

      But, sin is what is causing some people to worry so much about the church. Scandal and schism abound in the One True Church. I believe we have, the faithful to all God’s teachings to His children, are being tested by those who just have it in their agenda to say, “See, even the catholic pope accepts all the things that are going on in the world as okay….”. Sin is never okay. Sin has no timepiece connected to it. I just saw a movie called “The Sins of Rachel Cade”. Angie Dickinson plays a Christian scientist doctor in the Congo who says this: : “Morality has no timeline no matter what year it is…”. That was supposedly 1940 as a timeline within the movie. This struck me as this movie was made in the 60s. Yet, the camera was right in her face as her character said it. I said it again. There is no timeline for sin. Sin is sin, and it is what it is. We cannot change that by time or space. Each generation wants to believe they have a more modern approach at life, and yet, nothing changes, just the way people try to explain their lewd behavior to the masses to make it seem as though it is acceptable. I dare Obama to get all the truly orthodox priests and laity of the church together. He is a fake and a fraud, now and always has been. I pray only that Obama himself has a conversion of the heart. But, we must leave that and him to Heaven. pam, from NJ.


    • Beckita says:

      Diane, this line in the article: “To drive a wedge between Catholics in this country.” has been, in my estimation, a seemingly sneaky yet blaring and obvious agenda of this administration from its outset. Disgusting!!!

      At the same time, I am praying the Light of Christ radiates through this successor to Peter in such a way that spiritual healing abounds when people merely look at Pope Francis (both in person and on TV), or pass by his shadow.

      12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. (Acts 5:12-16)

      Liked by 2 people

      • jaykay says:

        Beckita and all, our Holy Father will do what he will do. They really won’t understand him. They’ll think they will, and try to use him for their purposes, such as they are (and all of us know how empty those purposes are) but our task will be to support him in the true call he’ll proclaim, as did his predecessors in their missions to your great nation. So we’ll weather all the sneers and misinformation, and recognise what’s behind all the false official welcome, because they truly don’t understand him. Or us. He knows what they are and he’ll be calling them. May they hear. And the thing is: so great is the influence of your nation in the world that what he’ll say to you will be for all of us. May we all hear. Just some thoughts from Ireland, but we’re all watching… and praying. Blessings to all, J.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Amen, jaykay. Thanks you for your thoughts from Ireland. I agree with you! Even though I am so weary of the constant maneuvering on the part of the administration to further divide Catholics for the purpose of moving their anti-Gospel, anti-Church agenda forward, the majority of my post is consonant with your thoughts.

          I have loved to listen to young people witness to the ways they were changed simply by being in the presence of a Holy Father at World Youth Day events. I pray those moments of grace are repeated as Pope Francis is among the people here, both in person and via television coverage. Hence, verses 14 and 15 are particularly apropos.

          God’s Peace and Blessings!


        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Go, go, go! You just shout that from the rooftops! I feel exactly the same way, you just put it together so much better than I can. I was thinking that very thing you said, so, Amen, to you for saying the truth as the Holy Spirit placed it in your heart. God bless you and keep getting out those on-fire, Holy Spirit-filled words! Many blessings. pam, from NJ.


    • audiemarie2014 says:

      Unfortunately, I’ve seen Catholics comment that it was Pope Francis who invited these people. Of course, they are of the camp who follow ones like Kelly Bowring, thus stirring the schismatic pot. Praying hard for our Pope.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Matthew says:

    I must confess upon first reading your “parable” I found it deeply disturbing and after further re-readings became utterly horrified. I think I know your intent and can see that you mean well but words have objective meanings beyond our intentions. This is, in fact, the parable that every monster of the 20th Century told to his people to justify heinous crimes. “There is some superior race of ‘trees’ that is being crowded out because lesser ‘trees’ are absorbing all the resources.” This parable makes the Good God sound like a heavenly Margaret Sanger – there are certain “weeds” that must be kept from growing and using up “limited resources” – the useless eaters – we must prune the surplus population so that we can have a “sustainable” human race.
    A wise priest once told me be very afraid of any political leader who cares about “humanity”. I am not sure that God cares a whit about humanity – He cares about individual persons, individual human beings. There are no “trees” God wishes to cut down for absorbing resources or who are crowding out the privileged race – the sequoia. When the Storm hits, it will purifying His world so that ALL His trees may grow to their fullness.
    God save me from the desire for a “Church of Saints” for such a “Church” would have no room for me.


    • charliej373 says:

      I know Ann’s heart, Matthew, but you make a solid and profound point.


    • barb129 says:

      I understand what you’re saying Matthew, but I guess when I read it, I didn’t think of it as God burning away the people themselves, but burning away the sin, the evil in the world, purifying us all; not destroying the people themselves.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Pam Nicholson says:

      There are only saints in Heaven, and we are all called to be great saints. All Christians are. So, what is the problem about wanting to be a saint if only saints are there? The angels are saints, like St. Michael and so on. Maybe you do not wish to be in Heaven? That is your choice today, but, there is a chance, a blessed chance, you will desire to know, to love and to serve God as He asks, not as the world does. Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you. May you have blessed peace in your heart as you travel along your path with the Lord. Our prayers we pray shower you abundantly. pam, form NJ.


      • Matthew says:

        The issue is NOT heaven. Of course only saints are in heaven. But to call for a Church of SAINTS here and now in this world is a dangerous thing. Read up on the Montanists, the Albigensians, the Calvinists, the Puritans, etc, etc. These are all heretical sects which called for a church of the “pure”. To quote Chesterton (and Pope Francis): The Church is not a hotel for saints but a hospital for sinners.
        PS: I would appreciate it if you did not attempt to read my heart. I deeply resent your implication that I am not at present striving for holiness.


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