Praise and Thanksgiving Increase Gifts, Discernment of Holy Spirit

(Thanks be to God that the historically powerful hurricane that hit Mexico last night did little damage and has already dramatically weakened. Thank all of you for your prayers for Mexico.


I was surprised to learn that Steve and Margaret Blouin, whose appeal I first linked to the other day at the request of Sacramento NRS coordinator Jeanne Condon, are long-time regular NRS readers. I saw an email yesterday from a few weeks ago from Margaret asking for prayer, and dashed off a quick note. Here is her response:

“Thank you so very much!  We saw your post and were so astonished and grateful that you posted on Steve’s behalf.  We know how many people must read your blog and who must be asking for your help.  So, thank you for asking for prayers on Steve’s behalf.  Steve still reads every post on your blog.  Even though this diagnosis has devastated our family, we see such good coming our of this illness.  Relationships are being healed in so many ways.  People are opening their hearts to us and we know that the Lord is blessing them for that.  We also are seeing what you have described in your posts: namely, an enlightenment for Steve and me.  We are seeing the areas of our lives where we have been less than “Christ-like”.  We are also seeing how important it is to not judge so harshly, but to love completely.  God is so good.  I know He will get us through this.  I keep thinking that this is our “storm”, that He may heal Steve completely as a sign of His love and mercy for everyone.  Maybe this won’t happen as I envision and hope, but I know that He has already brought such good out of this enormous suffering and He will continue to do so. 

Our house in MT has sold and we are closing in a week.  Please pray that the Lord direct us as to whether to move to Houston (into the fire!), where my daughter lives and where Steve MAY receive treatment or whether to buy a smaller home in Montana and stay there. 

Thank you so much for giving us hope.

In Christ,

Margaret & Steve”

They are part of the family here, so don’t neglect prayers for them.


Anthony Mullen, American National Chairman for the Flame of Love Movement, tipped me off that the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is weighing in on an outrage perpetrated by city officials in Oakland, California. A small black church there that has been serving the community for 65 years was notified by the city administrator’s office that if they do not “abate” the Wednesday night choir practice, the city may initiate a case against the church’s property and impose fines of $500 per day. This is in response to a single complaint of a neighbor. The violent crime rate in Oakland is four times the national average – and has been rising for years. The city can’t seem to do much about that. But if there is a Christian group that has been around for 65 years, worshipping and ministering to the community, it is johnny-on-the-spot in cracking down to protect citizens from the menace of Christians singing. If the mood strikes you, you might even call city administrator Sabrina Landreth at 510-444-2489 to tell her to try cracking down on violent crime and leaving historic old Christian Churches alone. Time to give the bureaucrats and government overseers who so delight in harassing Christians a little of their own back.


Finally, a piece by Anthony Mullen on how praise and thanksgiving for grace, especially in the Eucharist, begets more grace:

(Photo by Stephen Driscoll - CNA)

(Photo by Stephen Driscoll – CNA)

By Anthony Mullen

Praise and Thanksgiving, Especially for the Eucharist, Increase the Gifts and Discernment of Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

We know from our Faith that God will grant us the Grace to respond to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit for our sanctification, but only if we truly love God and correspond with the effort of our free will to His Grace. St. Frances de Sales, Doctor of the Church, states: “…if we do not resist God’s Grace, He gives each of us the inspirations we need in order to live, act and maintain ourselves in the spiritual life.”  It is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit placed in our soul at Baptism and strengthened at our Confirmation and further strengthened with each worthy Holy Communion, which allow us to hear and respond consistently to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.  St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Church, states that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit “prepare the soul to follow promptly the impulse of Divine inspiration.”  So, since the Gifts and Virtues of the Holy Spirit are essential to our growth in holiness, it is a matter of the greatest importance that we learn and practice all we can about the Gifts and how they open our faculties to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. But how do we activate and grow the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Our guide in this matter, Fr. Jacques Philippe, from “In the School of the Holy Spirit”, explains that the main reason that we do not receive the necessary Grace is: WE FAIL TO THANK GOD FOR THE GRACES HE HAS ALREADY GIVEN TO US (emphasis added).  He quotes St. Therese of Lisieux, another Doctor of the Church: “What most draws down graces from our dear Lord is gratitude, for if we thank Him for a gift, He hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank Him again with the same sincerity, what an incalculable multiplication of graces!  I have experienced this; try it and see.”

Fr. Jacques asks us to see and understand that our subtle ingratitude, our failure to recognize our nothingness and that everything…every single thing we have is Grace…pure Gift…is indeed what stifles Grace, especially since we do not consistently thank God for all the blessings and benefits of each moment of each day and simply take them for granted (our Faith, Hope, Love, talents, skills, parents, country, occupation, house, food).  Why is it that we are one of every three people in the world who believes in Christ?  Why are we not in the two of every three people who do not know or believe in Christ?  Why is it that we are a Catholic and not a Protestant?  How is it that we know and believe in the Most Blessed Sacrament? How is it that we are in the 1% of all people who actually can and do take advantage of this Gift of all Gifts on a daily basis?  How is it that we were chosen to know and receive the Extraordinary Flame of Love Grace?  All is Pure Gift of an All-Loving, Infinite God!  All we have is a gratuitous Gift!  Yet, we take these incredible Gifts of God for granted…or certainly we do not thank God often and profusely for these incredible Gifts of His Love.

So, what must we do?  We must change by begging for more Grace to be truly thankful each day and seek to practice praise and thanksgiving each day throughout the day, especially with formal prayers of praise and thanksgiving added to our daily prayer time; and with short bursts of praise and thanksgiving throughout the day….”Lord, I praise and thank you for everything You have given me!”  Next, we must give more time and effort devoted to praising and thanking God from our free time.  Worthily attending daily Mass with Holy Communion is the greatest way to thank and praise God!  If we are already doing that…then making a Holy Hour each week would be the next gift of praise and thanksgiving!  We must continue to give God more of our free time, which is now wasted on foolish things like TV, Internet and too much talking and entertainment.  Instead, we must use this wasted time to especially praise Him and thank Him for the Graces we have received.

Once we become consistent at this praise and thanksgiving, we will begin to see and feel new Graces bestowed and we will begin to be more patient and docile in listening for the inspirations of the Holy Spirit at each moment of the day.  We will then find we are growing closer to God and beginning to act more like His Mother and He would act in each situation of the day.  We will see our bad habits and laziness begin to change!  Come Holy Spirit, come into my daily life in a new and more powerful way with Your Gifts, and let me hear and act on all Your inspirations, so I may be Holy as You are Holy for Your Glory and the salvation of souls!  I praise and thank You for all the Graces I have ever received and will ever receive! Please, I beg You to do this through the power of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!  By trusting in our Mother and taking and living the Flame of Love Grace, this process of gratitude for Grace is accelerated and made much more secure!  She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mediatrix of all Grace and Mother of perfect thanksgiving!  Fiat!

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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39 Responses to Praise and Thanksgiving Increase Gifts, Discernment of Holy Spirit

  1. Beckita says:

    Thank you, Anthony. I am grateful to God for your dedication to spreading such good news in these times. Having received this article via your distribution list, I’m happy to reread it here. As a longtime reader of Fr. Jacques Philippe’s work, I attest to the spiritual power in his writing as well. Praying for you and your ministry, Anthony!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Beckita says:

    I was so happy to discover today a new call from Dr. Mark Miravalle who has worked tirelessly to mobilize the faithful torequest the declaration of the fifth Marian dogma. I taken my little steps, for many years, as a guardian of an image of Our Lady of All Nations. Here’s a little background if needed:

    Here’s the news about the renewal of the effort, made by Bishop Jaime Fuentes of Minas, Uruguay, during the Synod. May our Mother intercede for us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for posting that Beckita! Great step forward by the Cardinal – now it is up to the laity to increase the momentum by praying the Prayer to The Lady of All Nations. Following Anthony’s post we should thank and praise God for the Gift of Our Blessed Mother, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, take the NRS in promoting Her role as our spiritual mother in a way that gives enormous hope to those around us. Praise and thank the Lord that this particular dogma is on the way because Our Lady reiterates that THIS action by the Church will vastly release Her power to assist each one of us to overcome evil!

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Hopefully, this does gain the momentum it once had!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Becky-TN says:

    This is wonderful! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doug says:

    Very nice. Thank you Tony!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sr Lorraine says:

    This is so timely and so important. I first found out about the power of praise by reading a book by a Protestant minister who focused on that. His point was to thank God for everything–even difficult things. That’s a real challenge at times. But the amazing thing is that if we can thank God even for those things, our attitude toward them starts to change. And somehow that opens up a way out of problems. It quite amazing but it really works. I think it’s because thanking God for those things leads us to a greater acceptance and then we can live more in God’s will.

    Liked by 4 people

    • the phoenix says:

      Very true, Sr. Lorraine.

      Oddly enough, once when I was supposed to go on vacation, I was feeling anxious and worried about something in my life … not a good way to start a journey. Then, the day before I was supposed to leave, I fell in a freak accident and fractured three toes. And my first response was in fact to sincerely thank God. Because I clearly recognized that He had done me a favor by giving me physical pain to concentrate on, which was actually easier to deal with than the worrying I had been doing. No, my foot was not miraculously healed … in fact, it took a long time to heal because I didn’t take care of it properly. But that was my fault, not God’s. Meanwhile, I hobbled around the Smoky Mountains and rode horses, and took photos that I was very happy with. It was the trip of a lifetime (pardon the pun) and I’m glad I went.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Karen, OCDS says:

    Thank you Anthony! This entire article was one big, long confirmation for me. It reminds me of Psalm 100 frequently prayed in the Divine Office:  Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, bless His name!

    When trials, busyness or anxieties take my eyes off the Lord, I begin to feel restless inside. I’ve learned to stop right then and begin to thank Him and praise Him for blessings both temporal and spiritual. I’m not charismatic, but I just speak to Him as my best friend. “Thank you for that monarch flying right in front of me. I love them. And I noticed You helped Nancy feel better, may You be praised!”

    When negative, critical or judgmental thoughts plague me I have found that no spiritual attack has ever been able to last through the Divine Praises (those prayed at Benediction) prayed out loud, even in the quietest of whispers.

    Thank you again and may God reward you!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. JoyInTheLord says:

    Come, O Spirit of Divine Love, fill us with Thy Flame of Love, so that with This Same Love, we may worthily praise and thank Thee, forever and ever. Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. justsayin392 says:

    God’s timing on this piece is of course, perfect. The rains are moving in here on the Texas gulf coast. I am reminded of Fr. Gaitley’s wonderful synthesis of the Marian way -“Ecce. Fiat. Magnificat.” I am the Lord’s unworthy servant. Let it be done unto me according to His Will. My soul magnifies the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. SteveBC says:

    Anthony, thank you for this article. I am grateful for it🙂 and am including a prayer of gratitude in my daily prayer.

    All is not sweetness and light, however. 😀 I do think you have been way too hard on my free time (of which I have not enough).

    I think spending time on the TV or the Internet can be valuable time spent. I read this site. Is that time wasted? I think not. I answer emails from family and friends who are far away, or I Skype a client to see and speak with them, though they are in another state. Is that time wasted? I think not.

    Is time spent with my friends here talking and laughing and having fun, going biking in beautiful parts of the area around me, enjoying a dinner out with them, wasted? Again, I think not.

    What I do think is that all of these times can be spent well or poorly, and that it is our responsibility to seek to spend these times well, and to appreciate them as part of the life we live. The more we hold God in the background and the more we acknowledge God as we go through these activities and spend this free time, the more it becomes sacred as well, and the more our gratitude for these times and our acknowledgement of God flows out from us to others who may not be so grateful or so attuned to God.

    If you will allow me this small amendment to your article, then I will be grateful to you. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Simone says:

    I LOVE THIS!! I have begun putting it in to practice today.


  11. Lily says:

    WOw!! Thank you Charlie for sending this. I just came back from a whole day of prayer and talks at the shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. Anthony Mullens was a guest speaker there and he was so amazing in his talk about The Flame Of Love! So moving and he is so passionate about Our Lady. This man is just a blessing in his years of service to Mary!!!
    If those who need to learn more on the Flame Of Love they can contact Anthony Mullins for free books about this and Elizabeth Kindlemann.
    They can go on his website

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lily says: This is the website Anthony mullens offers to those who desire to read and understand The Flame Of Love. It is so powerful. I heard Anthony speak today at the Shrine Of Immaculate Conceoprion here in Washington DC. He is so passionate on this and I have been blessed to be saying these prayers. Please take time to order a book if you like to understand what this means and how this all fits into the era of peace
    The site again is.


  13. Alan Malavolti says:

    Hi Charlie This is the mom of 21 who wrote you earlier. I felt prompted to write and I foolishly did so quickly before mass Saturday night. I reread it now. wow! There are tons of mistakes. sorry. We have an old barely working computer. You type and  sometimes it works and sometimes words  don’t appear. Whole parts were missing from what I thought I sent. Yes we are a family with 21 kids. Only 5 are home now. We found out about a  girl, Yang Jin who is in China and would be put out on the streets or into “domestic service” if a family wasn’t found within a month . We have raised $21,000 and need$ 14,000 more. it takes at least 3 months to complete a home study. If we aren’t successful and done by February she will have her file pulled and no hope. If you would like to talk please call/ We are in need of some miracle if we are to save her and provide a home, a family and a future.. I am having real problems typing. I hope this part 2 helps. Feel free to call to verify . Truly we have no aid and a single income. I can get the word out for some help maybe we can save a child’s life and a soul. She can never know God there. 

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks Rose. I only highlight those issues which I have personal knowledge of or a coordinator or trusted colleague has brought to my attention. I know that leaves a lot of good causes unmentioned here, but that is not the primary purpose of this website. Additionally, it does give those very few I do highlight a high degree of credence for readers. I see you had many media contacts when you started adopting these children some 20 years ago, including at EWTN. Have you contacted them? Certainly, I made many friends at EWTN. A call from one of them would be decisive for me. I also see you used to live in Rockford. In the Chicago area, there is a center of Opus Dei priests. If you visit one of them and I get a call, I could easily confirm the details. I hope you find help – and under the right circumstances, I would devote some space, as I explained. But I am going to keep to the criteria I have used here for such things.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Aaron Pfoutz says:

    I agree completely. I have seen great gifts given by the Holy Spirit during praise and worship adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Spirit just pours out on all those who are praising.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. SteveBC says:

    Charlie, I just saw the text of Orthodox representative to the Synod Hilarion (an utterly fantastic name, by the way). I know you have commented on how important it is that Russia and the US (and the rest of the West) unite, and additionally and even more importantly that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches become at least functionally united during the Storm.

    Hilarion’s speech to the Synod appears to be supportive of what you would like to see. Further, Pope Francis is clearly attempting to encourage this functional connection.

    It seems to be a good first step. I might also note, given your comment about Putin and diplomacy, that I very strongly doubt that the representative of the Orthodox Church would have come at all nor have made the remarks he made, without the approval (spoken or indirect) of the Russian State, meaning Putin. To me that says Putin is looking for allies both spiritual and secular, and that he himself may be genuine in his apparent faith.

    What say you?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. SteveBC says:

    On another set of points, I must say that in reading Pope Francis’s closing remarks on the last day of this Synod, I finally realized that the Church (in Pope Francis) is finally changing. (I’m a slow learner, and so, apparently, is the Church!) I get in some small way how Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI cleared out a lot of deadwood and cleared the way for this.

    At the risk of stepping out too soon and misreading things that are so recent, I’d like to explain what I saw.

    In my experience in the 1950s and 1960s, and despite my natural desire to seek the sacred, I left the Church because it became apparent that it was so institutionally and doctrinally ossified that little good was apparent. Further, the way the results of the Second Vatican Council were spread around by the media *and* by the priests of that day just indicated to me that the Church was modernizing just to be modern. It seemed to me that there was a lot of change just to change, and no understanding of how change was to bring the sacred to people, to involve them, without losing the sacred in the process.

    I was a bright guy in those days. I met one guy, a Jesuit priest, who was willing to meet me at that level and not on simplistic fears and guilt. One guy.

    So Pope Francis is starting to pull this all together, to take a standard hierarchy and – without altering that hierarchy in terms of lines of authority – to flatten everything in terms of *process* both through concepts and through practice that solidifies the concepts.

    I also finally understood in some small way the concept of “inculturation.” And I saw how by inculturating the overall doctrine of the Church, not only does the Church’s doctrine become accessible to that culture but it also begins to alter that culture toward the doctrine without wrecking that culture, or the doctrine.

    This means a great deal to me, because at the heart of all that is good about Western Civilization lies the best of this doctrine, applied down *into* secular and political life and reforged when those in the secular sphere, in effect, pushed inculturation back up into the Church.

    However, the Church became like stone, the push and pull that had created mutual change fell off, and people (like me) went elsewhere looking for God.

    We in the Christianized West had brought ourselves and so many other people out of the blood-rites of paganism and myth and into inalienable rights to life for the individual and so much more. However, we, and the Church which made us what we were, had forgotten this set of underpinnings to our society by the time the 1950s and 1960s came around, and it is killing us now. It wasn’t just us out here in the world who forgot these underpinnings. The Church also failed to play its role. It became like stone, like any thoughtless authoritarian organization.

    In reading Pope Francis’s speech after the 2014 Synod, I found a crystalline statement of commitment to doctrine, to an appropriate path between extremes. However, that only goes so far.

    In this speech that Pope Francis has now given (and in the way he helped the Synod work), I see the *process* finally being demonstrated, and I see the *promise*, which is a world of individual cultures that remain true to themselves as cultures but which can now – finally – begin a slow journey toward a world-spanning civilization that respects individual cultures and the individuals who people them while growing us toward each other in the highest concepts and practices.

    I strongly believe that the world to come will be a world that works in this way, with little hierarchy to *make* things happen replaced by a far stronger willingness by all to pitch in and solve problems through voluntary means, together. There is a difference between leadership and position. We will have less position and more leadership, less of long-term organizations that can ossify and over-control, and more of spontaneously organized groups to solve problems and then dissolve. Yet for that to work, we must have unifying understandings which must be shepherded over the very long term by those who understand it’s more about process than position, more about partnership and not command. And isn’t that what Pope Francis just said the Church should reach for?

    It seems the Church now has a process it can use that will carry it forward for centuries, in step with the times that are coming instead of what we have had for the past century, which has been more of a confusing and damaging combination of stone and fad. Who knows, maybe it will even work, maybe it will show the rest of us how it could work for us out in the world. We need something much different from what we have now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Ah Steve, you are seeing with clear eyes. The Church is not abandoning its roots, but returning to them. There is more deadwood to be cut away, but it shall be done.


      • SteveBC says:

        Good to know, Charlie. Thanks.


      • YongDuk says:

        Steve and Charlie,

        I look forward to the time that the deadwood of “diocesan” paperwork will be cut away, Bishops able be Bishops, just as you said that doctors will be freed from the deadwood of “governmental” paperwork to be able to practice as meant to be!

        St Zechariah and Ignatius of Antioch, o.p.n.



    • Doug says:

      Hi Steve, A very well written piece with some very interesting insight.  I have some questions though surrounding some this.  First, being born in the 60s and not growing up in the Catholic church, I did not experience the full flavor of the turmoil of the 60s from within  the church.  So my perspective is somewhat different.  Being an atheistic teenager of the 70s, I did experience lots of confusion in the culture.  Although not church going, my parents did their best to instill in me qualities of truth and right and wrong (I am very grateful for this). It just seems to me that there is much talk about how the church let us down during this time frame and I think it is true for many pockets within the church.  However, do we as the faithful also share in the culpability of this?  What was/is our responsibility as lay individuals?  How much have we demanded and pushed church leaders to shift away from core teachings of the faith?  By walking away from the church what does that say about us? There is an analogy I like to use being an engineer.  One can take a physics class and learn about physics, but can have a very bad physics teacher who is mean and uninspiring.  However, having a bad physics teacher does not change the laws of physics.  Gravity is still gravity, force still equals mass times acceleration, E=mC  squared, etc….   I have not experienced the progressive shift in these pockets like others have.  I was attracted to the Catholic church be a very faithful priest who was very pastoral and yet did not compromise on the teachings of the church (this is when I lived in Massachusetts which is unusual for that state).  Our current parish in New Hampshire is very orthodox and very pastoral.  It is like listening to a well tuned Symphony when witnessing these two things together. Where I am going is I also believe that there has always been another segment of the church that has remaind faithful through these times and the Magisterium has been right on with its teachings  and all this has been there for those who have really wanted it. So how much of the progressive shift is the culture versus how much of it is the church?  How much do we as lay people share in culpability of this shift?  Even though we have had a bad physics teacher, what is our responsibility?  I do believe our church leaders have more responsibility to be an example and will be held more accountable to God, but as lay people, we will also be held accountable to be faithful in spite of our bad physics teacher. God bless you!

      Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device


      • SteveBC says:

        Doug, I have no objections to anything you say here. Apparently my remarks were not clear above, but what I meant to say was that indeed it was a two-way street. By the time I came of age, not only had the Church ossified into relative meaninglessness (in my eyes) but that there were not enough people pushing back (yet) to reforge the Church because the people around me had gone to sleep. So I went looking for God elsewhere, and I have had no regrets about taking that path.

        What struck me yesterday was that I saw concept and practice finally, possibly, maybe coming together in a way I found attractive. Partly, that is because I’m older, possibly wiser, and certainly more knowledgeable and experienced. I can now see the value of what was, as well as evaluate the efficacy of the new way in which the Church is beginning, finally, possibly, to act. Also though, since my departure from the Church, the past two and the current popes have done and continue to do the Herculean task of cleaning out the Augean stables and putting the Church back on track.

        For the Church to move forward, it needs internal coherence and external action that connects with people as well as a lively people to respond and push back. Together the two forces combine and move forward together.

        Last night I just saw how Pope Francis is attempting to bring this combination into play. It was one of those moments of realization where several things come together in a kind of deep reverberation. I stayed up late to get my thoughts down. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob says:

          And my being called back to Christ and to his church was by means of the Charismatic renewal which God used in the early 70s to show me that Jesus is real and not a head thing. And God renewed my early Catholic upbringing and brought me back to what was good before that liberal and aimless period I too saw many in the church go through. So despite my sins God kept me mostly heading on the straight and narrow.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          Steve, I have to challenge you to keep you sharp. Nice clarification. It is a beautiful thing when we the faithful support the church and the leadership of the church serves and leads the faithful with humble hearts. This is a true marriage with fidelity. I have confidence that the writings that come out of this Synod are going to be very edifying to strengthening the family. As an aside, I still think you should write Charlies next post.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Aaron Pfoutz says:

    The Canticle of Mary.

    And Mary said:
    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
    For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
    behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
    The Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
    His mercy is from age to age
    to those who fear him.
    He has shown might with his arm,
    dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
    He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
    but lifted up the lowly.
    The hungry he has filled with good things;
    the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has helped Israel his servant,
    remembering his mercy,
    according to his promise to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

    How about that for praise during the Storm? Are these our thoughts when in the midst of the storm? I thought I would share a story of how praise brought an unexpected gift. I had to get a needle biopsy done of the mass in my pancreas to determine that it was indeed pancreatic cancer. I was in the recovery room with my wife and sister Jean when one of us suggested we should pray and give praise. So we gave praise to our God for all the gifts he had given us that day from the doctors, nurses, other staff and of course each other. While we giving praise out loud a nurse came in and excused herself saying she didn’t want to disturb us. We told her she was more than welcome to join us. She said that it was nice that we were praying and she wished she had someone to pray for her. I told her sit right down here and lets pray. We learned she was a single mom who was very concerned for her teenage son. We found out that she was Catholic practicing her faith part time. We encouraged her to go to one of the Catholic Churches that had a very grounded youth ministry that was in the area she lived. Then we prayed for her and her son. If we would not have taken time to give God praise that day in the middle of our storm we would have never have known the need of that nurse and her son. We would have never prayed specifically for them. We would have not been able to encourage her. We never saw her again as this was a large metropolitan hospital in a city over a hundred miles from where we live. Praise God from whom all blessings come!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Mick says:

    Charlie, thanks for passing Tony Mullen’s article along to us. My eldest son and I were blessed to be able to meet Tony when he did a presentation at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago. My son was quite impressed, and he has started including the Flame of Love addendum when he says the rosary. So, thanks again, Charlie; and thank you, Tony.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Becky-TN says:

    Hi Charlie and Anthony,

    Just a bit of confirmation, a couple of days ago, I pulled “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Michael Gaitley, off the bookshelf. While flipping through, I came to page 179-180 which talks about the examen (by St. Ignatius) we should make: BAKER. As we examen our conscience, we should go in this order:

    B – Blessings
    A – Ask
    K – Kill
    E – Embrace
    R – Resolution

    According to St. Ignatius, “B”lessings is the most important and should NEVER be skipped. If we find ourselves unable to do A-K-E-R, fine, but NEVER forget B. Why – we will grow in our attitude of gratitude, it will greatly console Jesus’ Sacred Heart and as we grow in gratefulness, “he will send us more and more” graces, gifts, etc….

    Liked by 3 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Sorry, I am giddy today and laughing as I just had to ask Steve what T-D-L is.

      I remember then Br. Michael telling me as he was carrying his skate board… Great simple advice from him lost on me.

      Praying Compline, I several times since then often thought about him and his Examin and that sunny day, but I always failed and got distracted as I could have sworn he spelled out T-O-A-S-T, but I couldn’t even remotely remember doing my examine how “B”lessings (the only letter I remember from him) fit into to T-O-A-S-T.

      I hope he is well; another friend of St. Maximilian!!


    • SteveBC says:

      And, YongDuk, “B.O.A.S.T.” would be less than helpful in reducing one’s ego, wouldn’t it? 😀

      On another score, Becky-TN, I really did a double-take when I saw your “BAKER” comment, since that is my last name. 🙂


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