Soldiers of Christ; Missionaries of Mercy

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By Charlie Johnston

At Easter of 2007 I arrived just before Mass started at a different Church than I was accustomed to. I was travelling. I groaned inwardly, for I figured this would mean I would have to stand throughout the Mass. I can walk and I can sit just fine, but standing in place is very painful for me since my spinal surgery 12 years ago. To my surprise, the usher took me to a spot right in the front. I was alone – and they had a single spot in the front row, so there I went. I was thankful.

The gratitude faded as the homily began. The priest was clearly a modernist who did not actually believe in God. He spoke of the “resurrection event,” with a sly wink in his tone, talking about how “Jesus rose again in the disciples’ hearts.” I wanted to scream that most of the disciples ultimately went to their deaths rather than claim the resurrection was merely in their hearts – rather than an actual reality. They were more committed to living faith with their Lord than with whatever punishments mere men could inflict on them. I found myself wishing this cloying, Dr. Phil-style priest could be filled with a sliver of their spirit and devotion to the Risen and Living Christ. I was stewing, and wondering if I should get up and leave rather than suffer this near-desecration.

When communion began, one of the stations was right in front of me. I could literally reach out and touch the extraordinary Minister of Communion had I chosen. My wrath flared up as I watched desecration after desecration. Though it was not the worst, the one I remember most vividly is the fellow with the ponytail. When the minister said, “The Body of Christ,” the fellow held out one hand, gave a cheery thumbs up with the other, said, “Cool, dude!” and popped the wafer into his mouth, crunching it like a potato chip. I was steaming, one again thinking how I had to get out of there. The Lord then appeared before my eyes, gently delivering the sternest rebuke He ever gave me. “Behold my people, given into your care. Guard them well,” He said.

The first thing to remember is that ours is an evangelical, not a tribal, faith. God wants all His children brought safely home to Him. We are called to go forth and “make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19) not just to condemn others for not being disciples. When St. Paul stood before the pagans in the Areopagus, he did not begin by condemning them for their paganism: rather, he began by complimenting them on their piety. “Men of Athens,” he began, “I perceive that in every way you are very religious…” St Paul went on to tell them of the one, the true God. He did not try to change the Gospel truths to fit their predispositions, but neither did he assume they were hopelessly heathen.

Before Christianity, religion was a tribal thing, based on your geography, ethnicity or lineage. Christianity proclaimed the One God, while proclaiming that all could truly be Christian – heirs to the household of God, not just visitors who were tolerated. Further, since God was Father of all, He wanted all His children safely home – and sent His apostles and disciples to gather His children together and bring them safely home to Him. Our call today is the same as it was for those first disciples – and the territory we are to evangelize is every bit as hostile.

Our task is twofold: to be fed by the Eucharist and the Word of God and then, thus fortified, to go out and make disciples of all nations – not proclaiming cleverly crafted myths designed neither to challenge nor to offend, but the simple truth proclaimed by Our Lord, Himself. To eat and to do.

You cannot work without being properly fed. If the workman thinks he will work all the harder and not waste time eating, he will soon faint from weakness. So it is spiritually. Attend Mass regularly, including Daily Masses, live some devotions well, commune with Christ in adoration, lest you faint from lack of nourishment. Then get out and work – live the prayer of doing. We are fed so we may work, so we might do the homely things that make disciples of all nations. Do it with joy. If you speak of Christ while your face is contorted with sorrow or anger or fear, you will be a poor advocate for the Master – for your face will give the lie to the joy you claim you feel.

Do NOT use the Bible as a series of sound-bites to support your existing preferences. Entire denominations have been formed by that method. Instead, read the whole Bible – and consider how it fits together without contradiction. For example, I frequently hear people cite the saying of Jesus that “he who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword,”  (Matthew 26:52) as a command to absolute pacifism. Yet if this is so, how to explain Jesus’ direction to his disciples in Luke 22:36 that they should get a sword if they do not have one because He will soon be leaving them? I will not repeat my interpretation right now, as that is not the point. The point is that all of Scripture must hold or none of it does. The command to judge righteous judgment does not just mean on others’ motivations, but in your own discernment as well. If you simply cherry pick the verse sound-bites that support your existing biases, you are engaging in propaganda, not discernment. When you find a verse that seems to support what you already want to believe, look for those verses that contradict it. Then contemplate it…go deep to see what the Lord is saying to you. You may get it wrong. That’s okay…it will engender a little pleasing humility in you. But you will be engaged in actual discernment instead of mere propaganda – and when someone cites what seems to contradict your interpretation, you won’t be caught flat-footed…for you have engaged in contemplation and discernment rather than merely collecting sound-bites. This is not easy. But oh, how rewarding it is to enter into the Scriptures and really live it for a time!

I have come to see more on how powerful a spiritual weapon terror is for the satan. Always, there must be a balance struck between justice and mercy. In the west we have abandoned justice. Almost all the terror in the world is committed by young, Middle Eastern men. Yet in the west, to subject such to extra scrutiny is denounced as racist, so we scrutinize Irish grannies in a pretense of taking security and justice seriously. More terrorism results – and so we set up a backlash. Because we did not judge righteous judgment to begin with on the front end by setting up rational risk protocols and acting on them, the satan seduces us into not judging righteous judgment on the back end by rejecting all, including families fleeing the terror. The problem is that we have not judged righteous judgment at either end, so the satan wins in both cases. Set up real security protocols, cries of racism notwithstanding, and having done that, show compassion to those fleeing from the terror. There is a country which does that: Israel. So it can be done – even though it draws the denunciation of all the faculty-lounge pretend leaders and sycophants in the world. Judge righteous judgment.

I featured Quis ut Deus’ request here for help for a man rescuing refugees a few days ago. Some have wondered if I wasn’t helping to facilitate a soft invasion of Europe by Muslims – particularly when in Dallas last month, I adamantly said that tight screening processes must be put in place and the Arab World must be pressed to take in many of the refugees – for there is an invasion involved here. That criticism is enhanced by the revelation that one of the terrorists in France came in by boat to Greece. Here is how I made the call:

I looked up news information on the work Joby is doing. The people he rescues are largely families – Mom, Dad and children. In southern Europe, the huge columns of refugees are about 90% comprised of young males. Those are not primarily refugees, but an invading force. When I saw that Joby was rescuing families, I was pleased to highlight and support his efforts. Faith, family and freedom – those are my watchwords….and family is at the center. It won’t prevent all ills, but it balances mercy with justice. I respect those who disagree with my position on it, but I say judge righteous judgment on both ends – and the problem will diminish dramatically, even as the conversion of the truly terrorized is facilitated.

I have said many times it is vital now that all play their positions well, with a minimum of meddling in others’ positions. It is the prudential responsibility of the laity to make decisions on war and peace, politics, economics and science. It is wise for them to take counsel from their Bishops, Priests and Pastors – but they cannot abrogate their responsibility before God. It is the prudential responsibility of Bishops and Priests to direct us to Final Things and the licitness of means to attain them. It is wise for them to take counsel from wise laymen – but they can’t abrogate their responsibility before God. Though he deeply wanted to build a house unto the Lord, King David was forbidden by God, for he had much blood on his hands from the defense and establishment of the Kingdom of Israel. This was not a smirch on David’s dignity: rather, his purpose as king was incompatible with a purpose he merely wanted. Building a house unto the Lord was outside of David’s position. In fact, it was in part because he played the position God gave him so well that disqualified him from something he wanted. God has His purposes for each of us – and embracing the purpose God has for us may well disqualify us for another purpose we want. Live your purpose, play your position.

I do not call for a truce between the laity and the clergy. That is not it at all. Rather, I call for us to behave as the Family of God, each doing our work and building each other up in the process. I call for church to be the center of community, for the faithful to compete on how they can care and build each other up. I call for priests to behave like trusted, beloved uncles and fathers to those in their community rather than mere administrators. I call for the laity to behave like the sons and the daughters of the household, tending the crops and the cattle, maintaining the house and the barns – and honoring their spiritual fathers who are called to feed them meat, not pabulum.

We are called to rebuild the City of God, welcoming all who will embrace it and defending it from all assaults.

With respect to all here, I have spent almost two years explaining many things. Now my emphasis turns to doing – to actually having people across the world get outside of themselves to act as missionaries wherever they are. My writings now will emphasize family – which is both the First Church and the authentic cradle of democracy.  It is why the satan so furiously attacks the family: if he can destroy – or even enfeeble – it, he strikes a great blow against both faith and freedom. The will to power ends in misery and despair. The fiat to God ends in joy and hope – and it runs through family. Next month, I will begin talking more directly and frequently to the many coordinators I met during my travels who are completely committed to acknowledging God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope.

Coming up I will have pieces on the Divine Symphony – and my long-awaited piece for Priests on building their communities. As we build each other up, we assault the gates of hell. In fact, satan’s furious rage is in response to that assault by the faithful on his realm. But we know that the gates of hell will not prevail over Our Lord’s Church. Through it all, we have two profound spiritual weapons: the Cross of Christ and the Rosary. I have come to believe the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to be a primary tool of conversion in these times.

So that is what I will focus on: how to be Soldiers of Christ and Missionaries of Mercy. When you see people shrieking in rage, attacking the foundations of faith and civilization, I want you to vigorously defend both the faith and civilization. But I also want you to hear the voice of Christ telling you to, “behold My people, given into your care. Guard them well.” We are all our brother’s keepers.

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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291 Responses to Soldiers of Christ; Missionaries of Mercy

  1. D. Eagan says:

    ISIS announced the Paris attack is just the first of the Storm.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Becky-TN says:

    God Bless, Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. EllenChris says:

    Thank you, Charlie. I am very much looking forward to the next phase.

    Many years ago I had a sudden realization of a mistake I had been making. Whenever I heard the phrase, “The gates of hell will not prevail against my Church,” I always had an inner image or understanding that was completely *defensive*. I had a sense of being sort of huddled up and holding on to the notion that we would not be overcome. But then, I had this image come to me of a pair of gates sort flapping open and shut, bouncing across the countryside trying to whack people with their flapping, and I realized: “Now THAT is just stupid and wrong!!” Gates are only defensive, not offensive. They don’t go chasing anybody, they just stand at an entrance/exit. They exist to keep folks inside and other folks outside. So what our Lord Jesus was saying is, “Go out there and knock down those gates by My Power!” And the gates will FALL.

    We are not here to fearfully and defensively try to hold our own little patches of territory. We are here to take full possession of the ground that the enemy has usurped. He is not the rightful owner of anyone’s heart or mind — he is only a usurper.

    The territory that Jesus Christ has fully conquered by His own blood is the realm of human hearts. I know a lot of captives. They sit in fear behind those dark gates. I have been one of them. Sometimes I forget that I am not one of them any more. I have witnessed captives being set free and am reminded of my own real freedom in Christ. We are to go to those captives, trample down those gates by the power of God’s Truth and Goodness and set the captives free. It is only by the power of God that this can be done — So:

    “Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to Him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20 — 21)

    Liked by 17 people

  4. Beckita says:

    Blessed be God in you, Charlie! Amen. Alleluia!
    From the Birmingham video I remember so well the story at the beginning of this piece. Now, there are many themes for further, deeper meditation:

    *The Christlike approach of truly loving people right where they are.
    *The power of contemplation into action with JOY! (And contemplate deeply we must.)
    *Pondering the reality, implications and nuances of judging righteous judgment.
    *Considering one’s post in light of God’s purpose for each one and remaining faithful to its duties while honoring and respecting those called to serve, whether in similar and /or differing ways.
    *Now the emphasis is focused on doing – to actually having all of us, across the world, get outside of ourselves and act as missionaries wherever we may be.
    *Our minds and hearts turn to family, the domestic church and cradle of freedom.

    IT’S TIME to REBUILD THE CITY OF GOD and BE Soldiers of Christ and Missionaries of Mercy!

    Liked by 8 people

  5. little one says:

    Well done Charlie, well done. Thank you, peace be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katherine says:

    Love it. You know, I had a dream the night before last, the night before the Paris attack, where some voice said something or I was given an impression that things were starting, and from now on there would be a near constant pressure on all of us. In my dream I was working through some disbelief “what, you mean, NOW?” . . . like that feeling of shock you get when you’ve been waiting so long to start a race and finally someone suddenly yells “go!”. Now I do NOT like it when people think every dream is prophetic, dreams are usually just the reorganization of assimilated information . . . occasionally they are influenced by angels . . . or demons . . . so whether that was an inspired dream or just me, it doesn’t matter because the point of my dream was about preparing to stand ready and sort of, mentally brace to take the pressure that’s about to press down on us. Like a wine press. So. Let’s all be good grapes and make some great wine, eh? Hah. Pray for everyone. Remember that prayers are not divided up when you have multiple intentions, they multiply.

    Liked by 7 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Thanks, Katherine. Your dream sounds like a call from God to me. I find it particularly interesting because early this week, I got a very strong sense that the Storm is now kicking into high gear. I got a picture in my mind of things really ramping up to the next level within the next few weeks. Charlie, and everybody — I had NO intention of saying anything at all about this. Usually, I ponder a while and check in with the folks I trust to give me advice, and then keep most of my feelings to myself. However, maybe these hints are worth noticing.

      Please — I am NOT setting any dates, or predicting anything or pushing for any particular time frame. But like you, Katherine, my little insight came before the Paris attacks, and when I saw the scene on TV, I could only think — “Well, Hhhhmmmm.”

      Liked by 5 people

    • the phoenix says:

      Hi Katherine,

      I like where you say “Pray for everyone. Remember that prayers are not divided up when you have multiple intentions, they multiply.”

      Sometimes I’ve agonized over which special, privileged ONE PERSON on my prayer list should I offer up my Holy Communion for? And if God could split my intention between two people? One time, I got a bit braver after a natural disaster where many thousands of people were affected, so I asked God to have mercy on 10,000 souls. It seemed like I received these words in reply, “Only 10,000?” So then I prayed, “Okay, 20,000.”

      Liked by 9 people

      • Petra says:

        the phoenix: 🙂 🙂 I think if Our Lord had said to me, “Only 10,000?” I probably would have said, “Okay. Everybody.” 🙂
        God bless.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Bonnie C says:

        My prayer group leader says, “When you pray for your children, pray for all children!” I have been offering “Our Blessed Mother’s intentions” at every Mass, and also, for anyone who has not, please consider the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I am also (as I read at least one other’s post who is doing this) renewing my consecration reading Fr. Michael Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory” which is on Dec. 12th. Just went to see the movie, “33 Men.” Guess what day they got out of that mine? October 13th!!!

        Liked by 5 people

        • prayingflower says:

          I also saw this movie The 33 yesterday. I read the remarkable background story on Spirit Daily (October 13th) about the Deacon in Texas who is the one responsible for all the drilling and who gives all the glory to God because only God could have done this incredible feat, which, as you say, Bonnie, was brought about on October 13th. Of course, none of this was mentioned in the movie. After the show, we stayed as the credits rolled and the lady next to me stayed also. A little voice inside me seemed to say, “Tell her the real story.” I resisted at first thinking she probably would not be Catholic but then I realized how much those in our Catholic Church pews (and many not in the pews at all) need evangelizing too, as I did later in life. As it turned out she was baptized Catholic. The little voice was probably whispering, “There! See, that wasn’t so hard…just the Next Right Step, that’s all.” Later, I remembered that I used to pray (when I came back to the Catholic Church after 10 years of being away) “Lord, please help me to work with fallen away Catholics.” Thanks be to God.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Bonnie C says:

            Did you notice, in the movie, the statue of Our Lady, holding Jesus, right at the entrance of the mine as they were entering? There were little Catholic shrines, too, on the way in, remembering individuals who had, apparently, lost their lives in the mine… They (Hollywood) just had to force themselves to show the little pagan rite to “the gods” that “blessed” the driller (James Brolin). I was also impressed with Antonio Banderas’ character (forgive my not remembering his name – already!!!) who told the other men that shear wall of rock was “the heart” of the mountain. Worth seeing.

            Like

          • prayingflower says:

            Yes, I did notice and the procession also. I do wish, though, that they had told the details I read on Spirit Daily (Archives: October 13) about the Catholic Deacon from Texas who owned the drilling company. And these men prayed the rosary throughout their time there. Pope Benedict, God bless him, sent them 33 rosary beads.

            Liked by 1 person

        • prayingflower says:

          Correction: The Spirit Daily article is dated November 13th and is entitled, “Mining Rescue: God Drilled That Hole.”

          Like

    • Beckita says:

      Beautiful, Katherine! And we’re all saved in bunches, like grapes!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. KarenD says:

    Thank you Charlie. I look forward to both your writings with the focus on building up our families – and to the Exhortation from the Holy Father following the two Synods.
    Something has been really bothering me since November 2013 when the first pre-synod questionnaire was hastily sent out to the members of the Church. I have been awaiting Fr Regis Scanlon’s Part 3 of his Don Bosco writings and instead came across this: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/the-worthy-reception-of-the-eucharist-neglected-at-the-synod in which Fr Regis exactly expresses my own frustration/dilemma of the last two years – it is a constant dull ache on my heart for which I bear some responsibility/guilt.
    The last paragraph is a good summary of Father’s writing: Until Canons 915 and 916 are taken seriously, we will not be able to resolve these deep-seated divisions in the Church and family. In other words, before we can straighten out the problems in marriage and the family, we must first straighten out the problems between Christ and his Church—in other words, we must straighten out the problems between the Eucharist, and us.
    I am a parish catechist. My time with the classes is limited and there is such a richness in our faith – it is like a feast – that my aim now is simply to deliver the basics while trying to ignite the desire for Jesus in the heart of each student. I do this in the Divine Will with Blessed Mother as my constant companion. In a way I feel like a spectator because I trust Jesus to be the one who reaches into their hearts. The difficulty that Fr Regis speaks of is so large – it is beyond my imagining – the NRS is such a consoling practice. Thank you for that mini-catechesis!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Praying for you, Karen, in your good works as a parish catechist. Thanks for the link to Fr. Scanlon’s article. SO MUCH in the Church needs to be rectified, refreshed and renewed. Thanks be to God for the Storm! God’s Blessings upon you and your important ministry.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Charlie Dear,
    Thank you. A most loving, sincere, thank you!
    I feel I must speak up at this time…
    By the most Glorious Love of the Most Holiest Spirit, I was able to learn true prayer. I desire Truth Himself, and He has aided me in conversation, and I’ve been slowly taught holy communication.
    Falling in love, I continually became angry when a priest used the homily to “to teach” the god of his heart…whatever that may be…
    I was becoming physically sick inside as a priest would present a foreign god to the sheep. I, too, kept asking, when do I leave? I wanted to pray for immediate silence to come down as a curse.
    I thought about that… Not very Christ-like…
    (No, more like St. John and his brother. The sons of thunder.)
    So thank you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lin says:

    Thank you, Charlie. I look forward to learning from future writings—I’m esp. interested in reading what you have to say to strengthen the family, as we are wrestling with some difficulties in our own home. May God bring His divine Peace to all families represented here at TNRS!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. the phoenix says:

    Early this year, I felt called to switch parishes. When I told someone which one, they said “Oh … THAT parish … it’s … different.” That person’s reaction didn’t feel like a compliment to me. But I had prayed and discerned, and reached the conclusion that for me, this was the parish where I would spend the Storm. And it seems to me that this parish has the personality of Pope Francis. So some might consider it too liberal, while others would consider it too conservative.

    I do pray the Rosary (and pray for you all here at The Next Right Step), and it’s said the Rosary is the Weapon for a soldier of Christ. Now here’s hoping I can somehow be a decent Missionary of Mercy.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Lin says:

    Thank you, Charlie…I look forward to reading more, especially about the family as we are wrestling with some wearying challenges in our home. God’s blessing of Peace to all families represented here at TNRS! (sorry if this is a duplicate–didn’t see my previous comment go thru!)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. anniebeez says:

    Charlie-just thank you! I have struggled often over the irreverence of the Lords faithful, especially at mass. Thank you for affirming the perspective of compassion and not judgement. Sometimes I forget how much I was once just such a one, and how often I am again. Can any of us ever truly give God his rightful due? God bless, Annie

    Liked by 3 people

    • prayingflower says:

      Anniebeez, thank you for the reminder to not only consider who we are but also who we once were. I had a dream two nights ago that the evil one was trying to intimidate me, so to speak, and all of a sudden I diminished into a tiny ball of light at his feet and he could not touch me. The Lord gave me to know that since Satan cannot deal with the light I must continually pray to become more and more humble because Satan hates that and cannot contend with it. Praise God I am now living in the Light rather than the darkness I once dwelt in. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.

      Liked by 6 people

  13. A Quiet Person says:

    Charlie, as we enter this phase of the Storm I am having trouble using the word “normal.” Just a few days ago, I squirmed a bit when someone was taking a trip to Disney Land when the word “normal” came up in that context. I understood it though and I have been doing the same thing with my own life insofar as trying to not project into the future and then figuring out how I can set myself up with the greatest amount of comfort and and least amount of uncertainty. Know what I mean? But now, after what happened in France, I am not so sure that we are in the same place. I think of Noah. Clearly he was doing the next right step all his life which is why God saved him. However, at some point, all the while doing the next right step for him, he stopped doing “normal” and went out to build the ark. And somewhere along the line he probably had to quit his day-job too. Up until this point, all of us readers here have been doing what we would be doing normally, all the while building ourselves up spiritually. But I am wondering if things might be changing for a few of us now. I don’t know. I am just wondering. In other words, I am wondering if the next right step for some of us might look a bit different than the past steps we have been taking. For example, maybe one of us would not take a previously planned trip, not out of fear but because that is what they hear the Lord telling them to do. I understand that the Lord knows where we are, but I think it might be possible that He might start telling some of us to deliberately change our “normal” plans because, well, “we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” (I should also point out that Noah did not get on the Ark until the day the rain started. But his life probably wasn’t normal for quite some time before he got on board.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Life is changing for all. If your normal is the Sacraments and faith, you will weather it just fine. But the Storm engulfs all. Fortunately, so does the Rescue.

      Liked by 6 people

    • kathyk1 says:

      I’m feeling the same things, including thoughts of Noah. I’m waking up in the mornings in conversation with the Lord. I keep hearing “trail blazers.” I believe the time we are entering demands a radical obedience to the Holy Spirit; a new way. Like learning a new dance. Although the Saints will be with us, their way won’t instruct us, just as Noah couldn’t look back at the holy men and women of God for direction – no one had embarked on his journey before. My prayers have gotten very basic: “Your ways, your means, your timing, your Will,” and I beg for ears that can hear the promptings of our Blessed Mother, spouse of the Holy Spirit.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Nice to hear from you Quiet.

      Like

  14. Doug says:

    Thanks Charlie.

    Like

  15. Tarja says:

    Francis says Europe must welcome migrant – If not it is just a collection of individuals with no future

    13 November 201514:41 News
    (ANSA) – Vatican City, November 13 – Pope Francis said Friday if Europe doesn’t give shelter to asylum seekers, it is merely a collection of individuals looking out for themselves.
    “God in his wisdom sent us – wealthy Europe – the hungry so we can feed them, the thirsty so we can give them water, the stranger so we can welcome him, the naked so we can clothe him,” he told a Romano Guardini Foundation conference.
    “If we are a people, we will certainly welcome him as a brother. If we are just a group of individuals, we will be tempted to save our own skin first, but we won’t last”.

    http://popefrancisnewsapp.com/

    Like

    • Joseph77 says:

      Tarja,
      It gives one pause to “welcome the migrant as brother” after learning that one of the Paris terrorists was among the invasion of migrants in France. How balance “welcome the millions of migrants as brothers” who will radically change the culture and foundations of the nation,and where “welcome” begins for the millions of indigent citizens in one’s home country? Hard questions, Hard answers. Hard decisions to be made….

      Liked by 1 person

  16. MomOfSeven says:

    Thank you all for your posts. Thank you God for this group where a mom like me can learn, be edified, & feel so united in prayer with souls from all over the world. As this group grows, we all become more fortified by the prayers of one another. It’s beautiful & amazing! I feel like I have discovered the other soldiers in my group & we are entering the most intense part of a 2 year battle. May God continue to strengthen us in the days to come & give us the grace to bring as many souls as we can into His Kingdom. FIAT!!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Doug says:

      I’ll post this link again: http://www.politicalislam.com

      I really encourage people to read this. It will give you a very good understanding about what is going on.

      Like

      • YongDuk says:

        The BBC had a good piece on ISIS vs. Al Qaeda several weeks ago in its online magazine… The former running a caliphate to bring on Armageddon as Islam understands it.

        Like

        • NancyA says:

          I read a blurb,probably on the BBC, as that was the news that I was following the other night, which explained that this terrorism had the fingerprint of ISIS as opposed to al Qaeda because al Q urges no indiscriminate killing that might inadvertently harm any other than infidels, or innocent muslims, while ISIS does not worry itself about that.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Doug says:

          YD, I have heard of ISIS trying to bring on armageddin to usher in the 12th Imam (think it was 12). This was before i started reading Charlies blog. Do you have the link to the BBC article? I would like to read it. I am not singing Kumbaya today. The 10,000 refugees coming to LA has rattled me. There is one Woman in our church who has recurring dreams and messages to take care of the children of the myrtered parents. Additionally, there has been an obvious Muslum coming to our parish and observing. The woman is actually part of our storm dinner. Thanks.

          Like

    • NancyA says:

      Hm. This article is not Bishop Gacida’s reporting, but his reposting. I have tried to click on the author’s link and am not able to load the page, “thepowderedwigsociety.com” from which it supposedly came. The article leaves me with more questions than answers. There is a photo, but who took the photo and where, exactly? The article states that TWO families have been resettled, by Catholic Charities. Families. Only two of them. Where are all those others?

      Believe me, I am NO fan of Obama’s policies. And I believe there needs to be a firm process in place for investigating backgrounds of any who are accepted as refugees. BUT. We must also listen to our Holy Father who urges agape and mercy!

      Find a balance between knee jerk shunning, and open armed welcoming.

      Liked by 2 people

      • NancyA says:

        I think I will also point out for those who do not read that article and its links, that it states that there are 180 resettlement cities, where people will be surreptitiously settled. Upon opening the link where the list is, it’s actually a list of agencies, not ciites, which are tasked with helping refugees. A good number of those were Catholic Charities offices. I might even say the majority were.

        Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        You are very much on the right track, Nancy. If we sacrifice justice for mercy, we have failed Christ. If we sacrifice mercy for justice, we have failed Christ. We must make decisions – while judging righteous judgment. We will often fail – but those failures do not allow us to toss either justice or mercy out the window entirely.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Beckita says:

        Such wisdom, Nancy. Thank you!

        Like

      • Doug says:

        I think this falls under the category of what Charlie is saying as righteous judgement. We need to exercise lots of prudence and caution here. Our politically correct mentality can destroy us here.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Doug says:

      Donette, this has got me nervous for the first time. I am realizing we have all here been in boot camp with our spirits high and now we are about to go into the real battle.

      Like

  17. Judy says:

    According to the Gospel of Mark:

    7 He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. 9 They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. 11 Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” 12 So they went off and preached repentance. 13 They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:7-13)

    Here is commentary on this passage: Fr. Robert Barron speaks about this in his sermon from 7/15/12. His explanation, roughly 11 minutes in, is that the disciples are not to linger on or argue with folks who refuse the message. Don’t spend time shouting at deaf ears. If they are not received, they shouldn’t bother with them — not even with their dust!

    The dust-shaking, if it was at all a literal command, is then the solidification and externalization of the reality that the town had not welcomed them and that the disciples would have nothing to do with them. It’s an assignment of a physical action to represent the nature of the departure. In some sense, Jesus made the nature of such departures sacramental, revealing or manifesting a spiritual reality — and undoubtedly clearing the disciples heads and consciences in the process, freeing them from guilt as they progressed to the next town.

    So, Charlie, at what point will our consciences be clear?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. JeanT says:

    Wow! I’m going to need to read this one a few times. Today I attended a Carmelite day of reflection on Luke 2:3-5 where Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem to be enrolled. We were asked to sit before the Blessed Sacrament and “pray for the grace to willingly and eagerly begin (again) with Mary the journey that will bring my Savior into my world.”

    The radical trust that Mary had that God would provide and the opening of the way for the fulfillment of the Savior being born in Bethlehem. In all of my worries of what is ahead, I need this radical trust in God. To know that nothing will happen that He doesn’t will or allow and that I am in the palm of His hand.

    The other night I had severe pain in my leg and it was difficult sleeping. In the middle of the night, around 3:00-3:30 a.m., I awoke and said healing prayers over myself, invoking Jesus’ name. My leg pain calmed and I sensed the Lord saying that this is what we will do for each other during the storm. Charlie once mentioned that when the unity of the Christian faiths happens that we (Catholics) will get back some of the charisms that are part of our faith and others will gain the Magesterium. (Sorry if I am misquoting what I remember).

    So how do these two events tie into each other? Well, I think as we Do, Love and Trust, all things will be revealed to us. One step at a time, just like the journey to Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph did over 2000 years ago.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. prayingflower says:

    Thank you for all your hard work in guiding us, Charlie, I will be listening and learning as well as praying. I know Jesus and Mary and the angels and saints will help us continue to take the next right step no matter how demanding, no matter how painful. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, so I will continue to pray and sacrifice for all of us and for the world. God’s blessings be upon you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laurie says:

    Yes; I am reminded there are no “children of a lesser god”. And to judge righteous judgment does call on us to be both merciful and truthful. A holy priest once said we cannot have mercy without truth, for then we may make the mistake of permitting such things as euthanasia and abortion. Likewise, truth without mercy can be used as a tool by satan to attack souls, for it is true that each of us sins .
    If Mercy is Love in action as I believe it to be, and Truth is a relationship of Love as I believe Pope Francis once stated, we have small but great work to do wherever and with whomever we find ourselves today or in the days to come –a dynamic opportunity to “take the next right step”.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. ralph says:

    charlie,
    i know you speak to english north america, but do you know of anyone that speaks the same message elsewhere?

    ralph

    Like

  22. Anne says:

    Not only Charlie do I thank ….. But all of you! Simply….. All of you.
    Ellen Chris ….. So right…..come out of huddled corners . When in a storm I sought advice from a friend …… She had all the words but it was useless because I soon realized she hides in fear in her own life.
    Katherine….. I laughed re garding numbers of souls because I always tell The Lord I am greedy ……. Billions please . Phoenix….. Thank you so much for adding us all in your rosaries.
    When I go to adoration I take my mates on NRS blog….
    I told two young women about blog…… Within minutes they said ….. Wow that is a worldwide community!!

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Mack says:

    The past couple weeks I too felt like we were in the calm before the s fully breaks, and now feel as others have said, that it is changing. Let the chemotherapy begin, even if painful, for it will bring us to the Rescue.

    Liked by 4 people

    • jaykay says:

      “When you see people shrieking in rage, attacking the foundations of faith and civilization, I want you to vigorously defend both the faith and civilization”

      When I read this I was immediately minded of the mob of women in Argentina attacking the cathedral, and the proud, resilient dignity of the men defending it. Proud, because they were standing up manfully for Truth, and resilient because they trusted in God to give them strength both to stay the course and also not to break into counter-violence, which would have been understandable in a way but in another way would have given the enemy the victory he wanted.

      Yes, Mack, I too agree that the Phoney War is well and truly over now. O.k., we’re relatively unaffected by the migrant influx in Ireland, so far, but the war on Catholic culture is if anything ramping up, with an election due shortly and the would-be builders of the New Babylon in full assault mode (not topless as yet… thankfully, looking at some of ’em 😉… o.k., sorry) on the remains of what they fondly imagine is the dark, obscurantist, priest-ridden past. To any normal person, of course, it’s the remains of order, decency and Christian civilisation we once had in abundance, not perfect, what can ever be here, but a foundation to build on. And they triumphantly wave their banners of progress, meanwhile indulging in increasingly vicious intolerance (but we’re not allowed to say that, of course) determined to tear the rest down, while demonising, and if possible punishing, those who defend it. Yeah, it’s getting real “interesting”.

      So, I for one hope that I will have the courage to, as Charlie says, vigourously defend faith and civilisation. Because, as it was for ordinary people in London in September 1940, the front line isn’t away off in France anymore, it’s right here. Now.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        Indeed, jaykay, that awful display of “protest” in Argentina which you describe has become more disgusting and intense each year. Praying for strength and courage for you, me and all here to act when and how the Lord directs each and every one of us. At the same time, praying in thanksgiving that the depraved aspects of what you describe are in the process of ending.

        Like

  24. El ingeniero de Tepeyac says:

    “We are all our brother’s keepers.” AMEN to that Mr. Johnston.

    Love your neighbour as yourself.

    1Jn4: God is Love

    But even so, still I am afraid to share this Love with my neighbours. And so at this point I only pray that God rescue them – the prostitute, the welfare mom, the OG gangbanger and the rest. They are deserving of the Rescue as much as any one of us.

    If it is any consolation my family and I are known as “the Catholics” in the neighbourhood for the love that we show each other.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Charlie, thanks for this. I had a very similar experience at Mass during September when I and my wife were on a long weekend vacation within a diocese adjacent to my own. No one kneeled at this Mass. There was no Tabernacle and no lamp to signal the Presence of the Lord. Before Mass, the Deacon was walking around the nave calling out to people and many were talking to each other instead of praying – like a party. Already on edge and vigilantly angry, I saw the pastor pass out 3 or 4 Hosts to an elderly lady, into her hands, shortly after she received Communion – she went back to the priest and apparently asked for them, and he complied. I was shocked at that, then immediately left. It was all bizarre, nonchalant, disrespectful. I wrote a note to the pastor later and asked for an explanation. It has been 2 months, and no reply. It amazes me how one parish can seem so disconnected and out of touch and apparently lacking in faith in the True Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. Their theology there is focused on the presence of Christ in each other at the expense of His most miraculous Presence in the Eucharist. Yet, I heard people in the nave sinning with their words as they sinned with their eyes and lack of modesty prior to Mass beginning. It was as if I was in a Twilight Zone sequel. I will send a more formal letter to that pastor.

    Are the young men coming out of Syria really an “invasion” or are they people escaping what they fear and looking for a better life in safety and security? Granted, perhaps some or many are of the type who could do great harm, but not all. If treated well, as fellow humans, many could become allies. Also, if removed from their Islamic isolation, they can become exposed to a different world of Christendom than they have been taught. The challenge here is whether the Christendom they see is authentic and exemplary – whether the Christians they see “practice what they preach.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joseph77 says:

      Francis,
      At least one of the Paris terrorists was found to be among the immigrants invading France,..how many more will soon be known. I believe God would have us pray for the victims in France AND the terrorists. God wills the salvation of every human being He has ever created and, perhaps, that is why Jesus Christ commanded us to “love” our enemies, bless those who curse us and. what is very difficult but possible only with the grace of God, to forgive those who sin against us. As Charlie says, everyone of us will be tested in the Storm…perhaps, in each one of us that which needs to be purified.. Eternal Father, we offer you the Body and Blood of Your only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. …

      Liked by 3 people

  26. Phillip Frank says:

    When the time comes and this blog disappears during the storm, I will pine for you all. I use this small consolation when people or places or times move on or are unattainable, I HOPE in meeting you all in the next life and pray you are all there.
    Heaven truly is our only refuge and I enjoy the image of us all as life long best friends in an eternity of company.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you, Phillip. So beautifully said, yet, the power will not be down forever and I love Charlie’s comment, “God is not going to change the law of physics.” I somehow imagine our internet connection being disrupted and then, God-willing, we’ll re-engage as we are about the business of building God’s Civilization of Love. Praying for you and all here.

      Liked by 2 people

    • prayingflower says:

      What a beautiful, heartfelt and consoling post! Thank you, Phillip. We will be lifting you up in prayer as well. Yes, what a glorious day it will be when we hand over our passports to Heaven as our Polish priest said to us this morning.

      Liked by 2 people

    • JeanT says:

      Phillip I agree wholeheartedly! So many different views here, but they are expressed with sincerity of heart and good will. God Bless you and yours.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Philip Frank, if not already, I suggest to get involved or start a storm community so you can establish contacts, pray and fellowship with each othe. We here in NH we have a storm dinner once a month on every 3rd Saturday. We start off with 5 decades of the Rosary followed by a pot luck and since we are Catholic, we partake with some wine. It is a good chance to open up and let people express there anxieties and we try to build each other up. We also share prepping ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Another Karen says:

    Thank you for the reminder that flip side to make disciples of all nations is to not condemn those who not disciples in the process. Again, so simple yet so profound. I look forward to your continued guidance and wisdom as we enter the fullness of the storm, so that I can be part of the rescue, not part the storm!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Julia says:

    Do you know Charlie, there is a man called John Martinez. He is in Texas somewhere and I believe he is a brother in arms.

    Remarkably on what is called his 12th Contemplation, he made available the 33 day preparation for Consecration to Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am on day 11 to complete on 8th December God willing. A kind of call to prepare spiritually for what is to come.

    Anyway, he is calling for us the Remnant to step up to the plate spiritually, and he reminds me of you but from a different angle, with the same outcome. For the Glory of God and our rescue.

    From an earlier post, I too used to think of the gates of hell was some sort of threatening mouth that could gobble us up. And then read that is not the case. We are the Warriors in the hands of the Lord who will smash down the gates of hell and our Commander will arrange the REACUE of many souls captured, blindfolded and imprisoned by the evil one, who is just waiting for their lives to end when they would be lost for all eternity. Well just my little take on it.

    Oh and I just remembered what put me in posting mood in the first place.
    After what has happened in Paris, I wonder how many sceptics and scoffers can call this Christmas normal. I hope they rethink what Charlie is talking about, and see with a more open outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Cherie says:

    Many years ago I was brought to know about St Joan of Arc. I always had such an unexplainable, uneasy feeling whenever I thought of her.Through a series of events I began to accept her as the patron saint in my life. Now I am beginning to see why. I pray for the strength and understanding.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. BD says:

    Thank you again Charlie as usual you are right on target. God Bless to All…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. SanSan says:

    Charlie, I haven’t even read the whole post yet, but I had to comment! Oh my goodness, I wail inside whenever I perceive error……especially around Our Lord. I get all “tribal”! God forgive me. OK, I got that part, now I will read the rest.

    Like

  32. Judy says:

    I chucked at the post by El ingeniero de Tepeyec whose family is known as ‘the Catholics”… A new employee at work referred to me as the “church lady”. I almost always wear a medal and sometimes the subject of God comes up and, if it does, I am often involved in the conversation. Last spring God used me to show a newly furloughed man that Our Blessed Mother was leading him to a new job. He had experienced the scent of roses and did not recognize what it meant. When I spoke about it, he had this far away look on his face filled with awe. He was so far away in thought for what seemed a long time that I asked, “Are you OK? What did I say?” He explained that when he was riding a bus to a job interview,he saw a girl with a T-shirt which had roses all over it. He asked the girl what it meant and she did not know…she just liked the T shirt. At that moment he experienced the scent of roses. Of course, he got the job he was seeking and I expect that Our Blessed Mother lead him to where he needs to be…The Blessed Mother always gets her message across to the one she intends to receive it. I had no intention to speak to this fellow that day but the Holy Spirit must have moved me.

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Marita says:

    The post yesterday afternoon from Ellen about “going out and knocking the gates down” is so true! I belong to a small group of intercessors and for over fifteen years now, and the Lord has been preparing us for the big battle, even though we have fought many minor battles leading up to the big one. One day He told us rather sternly that “when the hour of battle comes, none of you better be cowering in churches or indoors somewhere, you better be out in the streets ministering to my people and helping them in any way we can, and engaging in battle with the enemy.” We must be brave warriors my dear NRSers! We certainly won’t be alone, we’ll have the power of God with us along with Michael and the warring angels, and Blessed Mama leading the attack! HALLELUJAH!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Amen, Marita. What fantastic marching orders from our Lord!

      Like

    • Mick says:

      Hi, Marita! Great comment.

      Like

    • Jill Marie says:

      “Brave warriors” is an image I’ll have to bring to mind often, Marita. I’m not sure what role I’ll be called to play (after that of attending to my family), but I have the impression that I’ll be helping those I barely know – a thought that’s a tad overwhelming for this extreme introvert. I find some courage knowing God has shown me over the years how His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and the future will be no different. My experience at last evening’s mass will also be something I’ll tuck in my heart for those times when I’ll be pushed out of my comfort zone in so many unimaginable ways. As the Great Amen was being sung I found myself in tears unable to finish as I envisioned a time after the rescue when so many more people will be joining us on our knees… believing in Jesus, adoring Him, loving Him, trusting Him. It reminded me of a youtube video I recently viewed where Matt Maher was singing before the Blessed Sacrament, joining Pope Francis and young people from around the world in Adoration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky0g_9dyhbU (sorry, don’t know if this linked so may have to cut/paste)

      Yep, I’m a new stepper. Less than two weeks ago, when searching for a particular resource on becoming a better parent, I wound up on Patrick Madrid’s site which mentioned his interview with Charlie. Thank goodness for my ineptness in handling a certain situation with my 14 yr old daughter or I may have never found all of you! Praise God for working all things for the good! As so many others have echoed, I finally feel I’ve found a home (thank you, Charlie!). Just wanted to give a big “hello!” to everyone here – well, as “big” as an introvert can manage 😉 and share my endless gratitude for your continued timely inspiration, practical advice, and often needed humor. I’ll probably be reading more than commenting since I’ve been blessed with ADD and know that getting too involved in conversation would undoubtedly sidetrack me from my other duties. In your spirit of St. Therese’s field of flowers, thought I should post as “scatteredflower”… 😉

      Charlie, please know that there are certainly things happening behind the scenes with silent yet consistent (and fairly new) readers. I shared this website with some other faith filled friends I’ve known throughout my life. One was a woman that I had run into periodically over the past year. I had a sense that God was crossing our paths for a reason since prior to that I hadn’t seen her in years. (Our relationship was based on belonging to the same parish at one time. We were friendly but didn’t know each other well.) This week I’ll be joining her and some other women to pray, support, and discuss possible plans. How my life has changed in so short a time! To be sure, I’m still facing the daily struggles of parenting a teenager and trying to do so with firmness and consistency wrapped in encouragement and love. However, the path of my life, both tangibly and spiritually, is now making sense. I now know that there is perhaps a broader focus for me and certainly a bigger purpose. God bless you for your fiat and guiding us during this time!

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Welcome Jill. We are glad to have you here.

        Like

      • prayingflower says:

        A warm welcome to you, Jill Marie! I, too, am new here and I, too, am a scattered flower much of the time! God bless you and your teenager.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        It’s so great to have you with us, Jill! I, too, am reduced to tears at many Masses knowing that churches will one day soon be overflowing with attendance and we’ll be one flock under one shepherd.

        Thanks for the link of MM singing. I remember watching the event “live” from Rio… so beautiful! One of my favorite prayers: May the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised adored and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world unto the end of time!e prayers: What a Rescue it shall be!

        Liked by 1 person

        • NancyA says:

          our new pastor has brought the habit of repeating that prayer at the end of each Mass, Beckita. Love it.

          I have been laid very low recently by circumstances beyond my control (we can know that, but it still hurts so) and so am very quick to tears. Last night I glanced over and saw the Sacristy lights on in my church (it’s just across a corner, ahhh, and so is He!) and I casually mentioned to my little girl that back when our favorite priest was here, if I saw those lights on I would assume he was making a holy hour and the idea of it would SO warm my heart. I could join him in prayer, from home. I wondered if that was the case or if someone had just left the lights on… Well, I no sooner got that out of my mouth, when (luckily she was less than interested and was already drifting off to sleep) I just burst into sobs. I miss those days so very much. Things were so much simpler in my life, and my prayer life was more vibrant and unimpeded.

          Our parish has gone through a sad ebbing, but a new pastor with orthodoxy and renewed prayer might bring us back, yet.

          ,,,,I don’t know why I shared all that….

          Like

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Nancy, our fond memories will encourage and strengthen us to endure. Thank you for sharing your story as an inspiration to hold onto hope for the future.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            I remember the words of the Great Gandalf to Frodo Baggins reflecting on the light that glowers in the [East].

            We all long for those days. . . And rightly so. But we also have are part to play.

            I cannot wait.

            + A man of mystery who is waiting with expectant joy at the pending Freedom

            REJOICE ALWAYS! – Phil 4

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            Oh Nancy, what a sorrow to see one’s parish go through a “sad ebbing.” How charitably you have phrased this change. I just now found your reply and will take you to prayer in a special way this evening. Surely very, very soon, we will all be blessed with priests who are both orthodox and merciful.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Oh Nancy, there is such beauty in your post. Those who go out weeping, bearing seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy carrying their sheaves. (Psalm 126)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Patty says:

            I’m going through this,too, for a second time. God strengthens us through these trials. Pray for priests, and know that you are feeling what God is feeling,and it’s a special grace he is allowing in your life. You are participating in the passion, standing with Mary.

            Like

          • NancyA says:

            Yes, it gas taught me very much, trained and refined me in the fire. I know that no priest, parish or prayer is The Church, and that I have to follow Christ, and bring Him where I wish I could just find Him

            Like

      • Mick says:

        Welcome to the family, Jill! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Doug says:

        Welcome Jill Marie!

        Like

      • Jill Marie says:

        Thank you for the welcome! Haven’t followed as closely these past few days. So much to take in… Feel the need to match my NRS reading time with twice as much prayer time so God can replace my surges of anxiety with His peace, Oh, how I need His grace to relinquish my need for control so I can completely trust in Him. (Perhaps a common sentiment among newbie readers?)

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Thanks, Charlie. I take it that you want us to be true followers of Christ. To really live our Faith as it was given to us by God and with all His aids. Within our station, and at our post, where it can be joyfully shared with others.

    You would have lost me if this was tainted with the slightest whiff of human calculation, but I never expected that you would. It was a significant struggle for me to stop dwelling on the alternative approaches over the years, all of which amounted to little more than short-sighted, self preservation. Thanks for cutting to the heart of the matter with clarity.

    We still have a long way to go, but our hearts have been invigorated. Praise God!

    God bless you all. Godspeed. See you in the landing area.

    MP

    Liked by 4 people

    • YongDuk says:

      I laugh with you, Michael Patrick! God takes you on such simple paths out to the woods. Much like Beckita said… And there is your place of learning and meditation and then you encourage us to get out and meditate amongst others and nature!

      pace bece, mio fatre!

      Liked by 2 people

      • YD, I find a bunch of similarities between the Adoration Chapel and the wilderness. Thank God for Charlie and NSR’ers encouraging one another to be a little reflection of Our Lord, Who we encounter there, to our fellow man wherever we encounter him. I suppose it would be easier if it all happened in the wilderness or Chapel settings, but that all just gets back to the first part of Charlie’s post and was addressed quite nicely. Jesus wants us to ‘see’ like Him, and how difficult we can make it when we find a bunch of brothers and sisters in the mix, completely missing the point.

        I spied an American Coot across the river last Sunday and thought of you. It was neither a youngling, nor a duck, but close enough. Although, we were separated by a wide expanse of the running river, we both paused to make eye contact. Heck, we probably even laughed together!

        I also encountered a stately old mare protecting a family of three wild horses, and was delighted that she wasn’t bothered by me. Neither were mom or dad, so their young filly had no jitters when I wandered out into the river, right into their midst.

        Most of the critters just take a quick look then dart for cover, which is only natural. I may think I’m creeping along like a stealthy bobcat, but no doubt sound like a heard of buffalo and smell like an old cigar to boot!

        I encounter a great many things up close and personal, but usually it’s no more than fresh track, scent, rustling brush… a cracking twig. One time I was momentarily stumped by beaver tracks. I thought it was some kind of new river monster, but upon closer inspection realized it was just a whopper of a beaver. Thank God for beavers. Without them, we wouldn’t have these rich riparian habitats to shelter and nourish such a diversity of life, and the Verde River is only one of about 20 such natural sanctuaries left in the world.

        At any rate, I’m confident that I’ll eventually encounter and see the elusive ones and connect at some point. If nothing else, the wilderness has taught me a lot of patience.

        God bless, and thanks –– everyone –– for sharing your particular encounters and perspective. I truly cherish it on the trail.

        MP

        Liked by 3 people

        • zeniazenia says:

          Thank you too MP.

          Liked by 1 person

        • YongDuk says:

          You and I would agree on the Wilderness and Eucharistic Adoration Chapel!

          I typed a long reply but lost it.

          It ends that I took a 2 hour bike ride to pray and thought of you too, but it was a squirrel killed by a car.

          My thought was that you too probably prayed for the poor creature. I wondered if Doug did too and concluded that he probably would. (You and I might go more speculative theological and lament that it doesn’t have a soul and yet ask God to take it to Heaven nonetheless.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Mmm, stir-fried squirrel for dinner!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Hmmmmmm. Critters in heaven? Now that can be an interesting theological discussion. I agree; no soul. So squirrel can’t go to heaven. But, will we see representations of nature there? I do have stance on that based on scripture, but will not post here for fear of debate with my son in law who also aspires to be a deacon.

            We had squirrels get into our bird feeder two days ago and eat all the bird seed. I caught them red handed. I casually tease my wife; don’t worry, they need fattening up for when I will have to shoot them for food during the storm. I will not be singing Kumbaya to the squirrels…….

            Liked by 2 people

          • Dead squirrel, eh? Ha! You do realize the American Coot (Fulica americana) is an actual water bird and I wasn’t simply making an ‘old coot’ jab, Young Duck. Words. They’re so very important and I’m once again humbled by my haste and some deplorable sentence structure I’d prefer to fix… but too late.

            I would relish lengthy speculation on things to come, but I’m not much counting on seeing critters in Heaven in the short run. Still, I’m holding out for the new Heaven and new earth and all that John describes in Revelation 21-22. Who knows, maybe Mercy will let us wander along the banks of that life giving river… look, there’s that ‘ole Coot over there… and hey, squirrel!

            At the moment, though, I’ve got my hands full getting to the bottom of one of Charlie’s pithy gems that I apparently missed as well in my haste.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Good strategy, Doug. I prefer a good stew.

            Liked by 2 people

          • And yet, some of the saints have seen animals in heaven in visions. I believe it was Anne Catherine Emmerich who saw her dead pets. They recognized her and danced around d her for joy. You know, the Church has no formal pronouncement on the subject; just speculative theological musings. Yes, I know what St. Thomas Aquinas said about it. But his opinion, though lofty, is not DOGma (pun intended). I go back to a previous comment I made recently: “God does not un-create.” Besides, if you tell me my dear doggie has no reward for the faithful love and devotion she gave me, well, them are fighting’ words!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            DOGma…… I love it! I always wondered where the root of that name came from. I bet YD knows. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Where’s your courage Bishop YD? Don’t be afraid to speak to the Mother Superior aka Beckita please. Unbeknowst to her, Doug apparently didn’t get enough food at dinner so his psyche was prompted to utilize a potluck analogy when he wrote. A short while later, Beckita then posted concerning stir-fried road kill but she is willing to adapt the squirrel recipe to create Shandong-style dumplings or Korean BBQ or whatever you find most appealing after your 40 Day Fast. Doug then proclaimed he’s willing to be a squirrel shooter while MP was contemplating Heaven. (Psst! Those who recount being taken to Heaven mystically have reported that what makes us happy on earth can be with us when we go Home. Sounds like MP has Eternity to meditate/contemplate in his beloved desert.) MP finally expressed his hankering for squirrel stew. That’s the sequence, Bishop. Sorry there’s no comet to be seen but all is well, Holy Men of God.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I had older relatives who did, indeed, hunt squirrel, raccoon and catch turtles for food during and after the great depression. Some of the older ones told me it was best to hunt squirrel with a shotgun – but never to shoot at the squirrel. Shoot at a spot on the tree when the squirrel is behind cover so as not to tear it up. The squirrel will be stunned and then you can get it whole. I have never eaten squirrel and I hope I never have to. I like their playful enthusiasm.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Raccoon! That’s a good one to add to the storm dinner pot luck! Lots of coon in NH…..

            Liked by 1 person

          • kris says:

            Funny thing Charlie, my son who is now 18 has been a ardent hunter for years. Squirrel was one of his first easy kills to bring home. yes we all had to at least have one bite. It is really no different from other wild game and actually tastes better by far that caribou. But as far as feeding a family, you better have at least one per person for each meal. Not a lot of meat on those little things. I have a friend who was collecting the furs and was determined to make a garment out of them. We told him he would probably succeed at making a speedo!!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Hmmm. Squirrel spedo. I bet the cave men used to wear them when they went swimming. 🙂

            Like

          • Doug says:

            Oh Beckita, I love it!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            By the way, when is the comet coming? Hee, hee…..

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Keep it up – and at the end, God may send a comet just to get in on the joke.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh Charlie, this one got me with a good hardy laugh. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Beckita: “Stir-fried road kill”–hahahahaha! 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            I have always been taught that Our Lord means –besides a change in political power– to convey ‘uncreation’ when he wrote this in Revelation 612
            When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
            13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale;
            14 the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
            15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,
            16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
            17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?”
            Prayers for Monday–Jane

            Like

          • YongDuk says:

            Lol. Amongst family: Yong Duk, Young Duck, YD, etc.

            I would be willing to try anything, but agree with not being fond of thinking of the character as Charlie said.

            Pace bene!

            Our Lady of Ostramobtama, opn

            Liked by 1 person

          • zeniazenia says:

            For the pot luck–I prefer the omelets and deviled eggs. We can forage for chives etc. and grow horseradish in the garden.Maybe you can find a farm store with chickens and coops!

            Liked by 2 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            and perhaps another sign of ‘decreation’ is the lawlessness and violence. Our Old Testament Lord and God civilized the world by giving the Law to His people. His Laws were beautiful and kind in a tribal world.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita, a friend was grieving his lost cat, saying his baby was now in cat heaven chasing mice. I teased him, to cheer him up, that that wasn’t much of a heaven for the mice. He quickly replied, with a twinkle in his eye, “Cat heaven is mouse hell. It’s where the bad mice go.”

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            And the lamb will lie down with the lion……. and the cat will lie down with the mouse……. hee, hee…..

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kim Sevier says:

            The outdoors is beautiful but it cannot compare for me to the beauty of the Adoration Chapel and sitting with Our Lord physically present there. Also—I don’t pray for dead animals since they don’t have souls–but I do feel sad when they suffer.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            What you share about the critters eaten for food pre and post depression time is interesting, Charlie. On a previous visit in China we were served donkey meat which had been purchased as a special treat for us. At the time, I was still bouncing a baby granddaughter on my knee while singing “Donkey Riding.” Somehow, I just couldn’t eat the donkey meat.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Here’s your etymology tidbit for the day, Doug, since you asked: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dogma

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Thank you Beckita. We are having “like” button wars now. The way it is meant to be.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Lol. Charlie!

            St. Doug, Martyr, killed 2/3rd of humanity by carrying a joke too far, yet hastened the Storm and Rescue by his wreckless abandon in doing God’s Will.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            I needed that laugh YD. Thank you so much. My purgatory will be smothered with squirrels. I know, this joke sounds squirrelly. Ok. No more squirrel jokes. No. Wait a minute, you started it YD with your dead squirrel in the road…..

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Oops, don’t post that Charlie, now the rumor will spread that Doug said that Beckita and Michael Patrick said that Kris and Linda2 and the Singing Linda said that you said 2/3rd of humanity will die when Revelation only says 1/3 the Angels fells.

            :-/

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ok. Our next storm dinner in NH is this Saturday if anyone would like to participate, check out http://www.stormnewhampshire.com

            I promise we will not serve squirrel (just yet).

            Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          This blog is like a pot luck dinner where everyone brings a unique and distinctive dish. God Bless you MP.

          Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Doug, did you write this before or after Beckita’s stir fried road kill comment just above?

            Would you kindly even if secretively let me know which dish she brought?

            Thanks

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            I wrote it after your post YD when you saw the dead squirrel and you mentioned I might pray for it.

            On pot luck dinner, Beckita brings a very intense and gentle yet mystical spirituality which is her dish.

            You bring an amazing dish of intellect, humor and depth of spiritual understanding.

            MP brings the the dish of an inocent child caught in the beauty and wonderment of God’s creation.

            It is so beautiful to behold.

            Liked by 2 people

          • prayingflower says:

            My first laugh of the day! Thanks, YongDuk

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh. Just re-read. I wrote pot luck in response to a comment from someone who expressed how much they get from this blog over all. It actually had nothing to do with the squirrel. It would be easy to marry the two comments though. However, it does fit with the squirrel. When the storm intensifies, our potluck storm dinners will have new culinary delights like squirrel stew, maybe rabbit stew. It might get pretty creative. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            See, I am messed up now. During my pilgrimage, rabbits sometimes slept near me and squirrels often played with me. They haven’t been like that to me since the pilgrimage – but how am I going to partake of a pot luck that includes the carcasses of my little buddies?

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            Let’s see. How do I change the subject….. Did I say comet? I meant: when is the comment coming…… hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Charlie, I understand that distaste to the idea of eating your critter pals. That is such a charming sharing about your interaction with the rabbits and squirrels. I just wonder how often you retire for the evening after tending your sheep here and remark: See, I am messed up now.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Honestly, I think I would have a tough time killing a squirrel. I do admire their beauty; even when they raid my bird feeder. By the way, I am going to stock up on bird seed for the storm. Watching all the birds feeding is quite soothing. It reminds me of how God takes care of me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Beckita, you are so charming in a nice way.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry for the distressing imagery, Charlie. Let me try to repair the damage with this little thing…

            My youngest wanted to find a special Christmas ornament over the weekend, so I took her shopping. After visiting four stores she was getting frustrated with the limited selections, while I was noticing a pattern of owls, foxes and squirrels in all styles. By the eighth store, she was still running over to the Christmas shelves but finally threw up her hands and muttered, “squirrels again… what’s with all the squirrels?!”

            Well, there’s nothing for it but to add a little squirrel to the tree this year, I suppose, and I’m going to think of the NSR’ers every time I see it. If the stores out here are any indication, maybe the rest of you can find a squirrel ornament as well… or your other favorite critter would do.

            BTW – Doug, my Ma would probably have a good chuckle at your charitable description of me as an “innocent child.” I think she still considers me a bit of a rascal.

            Liked by 2 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Doug eight stores! You are a good and patient father. Your story reminds me when I took my daughter when she was younger to several stores to buy a trinket. She had saved up a few dollars and wanted to but something for herself. Store after store the fluffy and shiny objects that she found attractive where too expensive for her small budget. Each item that she wanted and could not afford broke her heart and she moaned and groaned as she put them back on the shelves. She quickly learned how to spend within her means and she got a lesson on what taxes where too. At the final store she found the *next* item of her dreams that she could and did purchase. Outside, as we customarily did, she threw the pennies she had up in the air to make it rain pennies from heaven and give others a *lucky day.* Then with a large motherly smile on my face I said, see my love good things happen it those who…. I paused and prompted her to finish the sentence, to which she responded *whine.* Not the answer I was looking for but I could not stop laughing.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Sorry Lynn, you got me confused with MP on that one. I could never do 8 stores…..

            Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            This is true, sorry about that. Eight stores may be a bit too much for me too. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            I apologize, I meant to address you Michael by name in my initial reply, not Doug.

            Like

          • Doug says:

            MP, your child like faith shines through. I just reminisced over child hood pics of my kids. Enjoy them while they are young. As I say often, you can always get a second chance at a career, but you only get one chance with your kids.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Well now, Charlie, don’t go shopping just yet. There’s a Christmas squirrel on its way to an address of someone nearby you who can get the little treasure into your hands. The best part is the little critter is sitting atop a gnome figure which looks both Santa-ish and elfish so you may keep it up year-round and your grandchildren might just enjoy the looks of it.

            PS I did search road-kill squirrel on the off chance I might get lucky. Alas! I passed on the latest edition of the book, How to Feed a Wild Man: a title simply not fitting for our Abraham of the Storm. Better to save that title for Shenfu John the Baptist Wang. Can you guess why the Chinese cleaver in this house somehow turns up missing just before August 29th every year?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Oh. I would love a squirrel ornament. That would be so cool.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Concerning the couplet verses which began with, ” “Stir-fried squirrels are nice,
            When you put them over rice,” Doug said: “Well on your way to a good song. Any way to get rymes in all the versus? :-)” And I say, “You go, Doug! Please be my rhyming guest on those verses.”

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ok. Here are my tweaks to what Mick started to bring more ryme. It’s harder than it looks. I guess I should stick to my day job.

            “wStir-fried squirrels are nice,
            When you put them over rice.

            “Lovely squirrel fricassee,
            Hang the taxidermy on your Christmas tree.

            “Fishing squirrels have little rods,
            That help you catch delicious cod.

            “Flying squirrels through the air,
            Shoot them down everywhere.

            “Holy squirrels in Gibraltar.
            Offered up on the alter”

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        • Doug says:

          Ok. I am doing Ignatius study for 30 weeks and time to do my Examen. Over the course of the day, squirrel talk has lead me to desolation. I must now become indifferent of attachment to squirrels to achieve consolation. Thus, this is my final comment on squirrels.

          Liked by 6 people

          • Sandy says:

            I read Michael Patrick’s comment above and had to reply… Every year I buy my kids ornaments and date them so that when they are own their own they have great memories hanging from their trees. We already made the trip to Hobby Lobby this year. I bought an ornament for myself because it was soooo cute. What was it? You guessed it – a squirrel. But the tail was fuzzy!!!

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I’m going to get a squirrel ornament this year – and always think of it as my NRS ornament.

            Liked by 6 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Who ever thought that roadkill could turn so beautiful. Sorry for any bad example I have set, but so happy that God can make apples out of apple cider!

            If my mom reads this, maybe she will get me a squirrel ornament or maybe that is what I should get her for Christmas.

            Thank You, Charlie, MP, Doug, Mother Superior B., et al.

            +Yong Duk

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Wonderful YD. I really want a squirrel ornament for Christmas now if I get nothing else. And I love how God can turn apple cider into apples. Makes me smile and be hopeful. I really believe that. Now, I will pray for Bishops! By the way, what is the latest with the comet from Charlie? 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            We need some squirrel and road kill camp fire songs.

            Liked by 2 people

          • That’s the spirit, Charlie! Maybe Doug is right about me just being a kid, because that just made my day.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Doug, how’s this for a campfire song?

            Sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smoky/On Top of Spaghetti, the lyrics go thusly:

            On top of spaghetti
            All covered with squirrel,
            I saw it was road kill…
            Which caused me to hurl.

            Just trying to help out, y’all. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            PERFECT !!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • MomOfSeven says:

            After the roadkill segment (and hilarious song), I’m seriously thinking of a squirrel ornament for this year. I will feel very connected with you all every time I look at the tree and see that silly thing. (No doubt I will chuckle each time as well). Love and prayers to all!!!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Yes Momofseven. One big happy squirrel family; cozy, fuzzy and furry.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Love it, Mick!

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Mom o’ 7:

            Squirrels are nice; put a Squirrel in your Tree today! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            So great, Mick! Can we have verse 2 tomorrow?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Beckita,

            “Stir-fried squirrels are nice,
            When you put them over rice.

            “Hopping squirrels are potpurri,
            When you hang them on your tree.

            “Fishing squirrels have little rods,
            That help you catch delicious cod.

            “Flying squirrels have bonnets,
            That can flip away all comets.

            “Holy squirrels wear cassocks
            And they’re quite telepathic!”

            All things considered, perhaps YOU should pen verse 2 of the NRS Campfire Ditty. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • MomOfSeven says:

            Oh my goodness Bekita!!! You have a gift for poetry!!! Thanks for giving me the giggles. OK now I mean business. I’m going online to find a squirrel ornament. It will catch the kids attention because they know I prefer Holy ornaments on our tree. Well, squirrels are God’s creation & I’ll tell them one day it may be our dinner. Ha….

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Please let me know if you find one!

            Like

          • Doug says:

            Well on your way to a good song. Any way to get rymes in all the versus? 🙂

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            I don’t know, Mick. It seems to me your piece is a stand alone creation. How does one top or even attempt to contribute to such a ditty as this?
            On top of spaghetti
            All covered with squirrel,
            I saw it was road kill…
            Which caused me to hurl.

            MomofSeven… I’m really not a poet. I just love to play and I spent 30+ years facilitating couplet writing with six and seven year olds. Phonemic awareness activities, especially rhyming, was a great way to build pre and early reading skills while moving through transitions like lining up or waiting for speakers etc.

            Liked by 1 person

          • prayingflower says:

            Oh yes, I would have loved working with you, Beckita!! You never know…maybe some day… But I will never celebrate a dead squirrel. Not on my road, not on my knee, not on my bed, not on my tree. My apologies, YungDuk. Children and animals…these are a few of my favorite things.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            It’s okay… but squirrels and trees go together so well. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Ok. I gave in to temptation to make no further comments on squirrels. I must now go to confession for breaking my promis. In the mean time, I will reload my bird feeder and fatten up the squirrels…..

            Like

          • barb129 says:

            Mark and I went looking for a squirrel ornament last night and could not find one! So I went looking online today. I found this one that might work for you Mick….it has baby Jesus surrounded by several animals, including a squirrel! Hehe….
            http://www.amazon.com/Nativity-Woodland-Squirrel-Cardinal-Christmas/dp/B00NA9WAQ0/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1448120177&sr=8-10&keywords=christmas+ornaments+squirrel

            Liked by 3 people

          • Kim sevier says:

            Oh my goodness– my son and daughter in law and grandson are here from Mexico for Thanksgiving. My son had a package delivered here and guess what was inside? A darling squirrel puppet! Ha! He ordered it to entertain his 20 month old as well as his sister’s 16 month old and his other sister’s 15 month old. Yes- my 3 youngest grandsons are really close in age. So fun! And I have two more grandchildren on the way. Bragging now. Praise God! Joy in the storm.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Love it!

            Like

          • Doug says:

            Very cute. I have to admit that a squirrel next to baby Jesus is very compelling. There may be hope for me to have mercy on the poor sqirrel critters.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Oh Barb, thanks a bunch! It’s perfect! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  35. Ann says:

    I noticed that Isis commented that this is “just the beginning of the storm” after the Paris attacks. Ironic wording.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Ann says:

    Oops, I see the “storm” warning was already addressed. You may omit my comments.

    Like

  37. Julie says:

    Hi all, I have been folowing Charlie periodically for a few months now and am very happy to be aware of what we may encounter in the next year or so. For the last 7 years or so i have had a renewed vigor in my life as a catholic. I do not know why or how it began but just felt the need for peace in my life and I felt the pull to go to mass daily, frequent the sacrament of confession and say the rosary. I have also made it a priority for everyone in my family to attend Sunday Mass. (although i now have two college kids who I do not think go weekly)
    My husband goes to mass on Sundays as well but he is questioning God and is not sure if he believes or not. He is just not sure what kind of God would play this sort of “game” and why? What is the purpose of even starting a human race? So we suffer and then realize we need God.
    If all this comes to fruition, I worry about friction within our family. My husband saying we need to do one thing and I another. Do I just have faith and go along with my husband or do you have to stand your ground and do what you beleive is true and right? I am worried about keeping peace within the family.
    Very glad to be a part of this group now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I would say do not disrupt the peace of the family so long as it does not touch on matters of true conscience. If your husband honors your conscience and you honor his, all will turn out okay.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Praying for you and your husband, Julie, and your whole family – in light of what Charlie has advised. Sending St. Maximilian Kolbe to intercede for you all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • YongDuk says:

      Julie, thank you for your post! Many wives find themselves at odds spiritually with their husbands. St. Peter speaks on this, even.

      If you husband is open, take him through Pope St. John Paul’s “On the Christian Meaning of Suffering.” It is all about love and sacrifice! Building up, as Charlie says, the Family of God, acting for and on behalf of each other. It is a manly mission and a womanly mission, share that with him, if he is open.

      If he is not open, follow Charlie’s advice and all the more Peter’s advice (no offense, Charlie 😉 )

      Know you are not alone and say a prayer for other women in your situation!.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Brenda says:

      I understand. I’m in the same boat with my husband. I’m preparing and he doesn’t believe it…I keep praying..linking arms with you my sister in Christ

      Liked by 2 people

  38. SteveBC says:

    Charlie, after thinking about it for a while, as well as reading your post and comments and trying to figure things out for myself, I realize that I just don’t get the phrase “judge righteous judgment.”

    Perhaps there are antecedents to the phrase, or prior usage, that I don’t have and which would help it make sense. I also realize that you are illustrating what it means at several points in your post, and that does help at least demonstrate its meaning.

    However, I still don’t get it, I mean, don’t *really* get it. Why use it at all instead of a clearer phrasing, like “exercise righteous judgment” or “judge with righteous judgment.” Then at least you could zero in on defining specifically what righteous judgment means.

    Your phrase just rattles around in my head and falls out. 🙂

    Can you help me out? Perhaps you could start with a definition of “righteous judgment” in and of itself and then explain how “judging” it adds additional meaning. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Steve, I wait with you for Charlie’s reply and I found this excerpt from a longer article:

      In St. John’s gospel, the Lord Jesus tells us: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Righteous judgment means taking the log out of our own eye before we get busy taking specks out of someone else’s eye. It means approaching our brother or sister in love, and not in a spirit of condemnation – but approaching them nonetheless for their correction. What God said to the prophet Ezekiel is apropos to that point. This is my paraphrase from Ezekiel 33:1-7: If we warn the rebellious of the eternal danger they face, and they do not repent, their blood is on their own head. But if God tells us to warn the rebellious to turn from their sins, and we do not warn them, they will die in those sins – but God will require their blood of us.

      The entire article: http://www.catholic365.com/article/1884/what-the-bible-really-says-about-judging-others.html

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        It means more than that, Beckita. In the context of the whole passage from John 7:21-24, Jesus is specifically rebuking His hearers for cherry-picking letters of the law to specifically distort the spirit of the law. But I am impressed that you zeroed right in on the passage from which I take it from. It has resonated powerfully with me since childhood. I take some pains to avoid “gotcha” type stuff and look to the heart of the matter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          Yes, Charlie. Thank you. It seems to me looking to the heart of the matter often entails looking into the heart of the person. Oh the arrogance of bearing harsh and distored judgment! And I am a recovering Pharisee. Learned it well via abuse in childhood and, ironically, I was harshest on myself. How many victims become victimizers until God’s Grace can enable one to gently look within and seek the Lord’s Light and Healing.

          By what you write here, from reading what you have said to Steve and then reading the whole passage, I see a huge hindrance inhibiting the ability to judge with righteous judgment: unwilling to be corrected. Jesus could not reason with those who clutched their preconceived notions. All of this is a prominent and profound theme woven into much of your writing.

          Thanks, again, Charlie. Thank you, Steve, for prompting the consideration of this important understanding!

          Liked by 3 people

          • SteveBC says:

            No, thank *you*, Beckita. Your words have further expanded my understanding of the phrase and given Charlie an opportunity to give us more information. I really do appreciate your and Charlie’s help on this.

            It has “illuminated righteous illumination” for me. 😀

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Steve, you are a gracious, inclusive (in the best sense of the word) man. Now about the illumination – I was thinking of how stunning that dough boy would look with a little sparklin’ pizzazz…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Beckita! Just a couple of hours ago, I was thinking about SteveBC and the doughboy. Looking forward to the first edition.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mary W. says:

            How your post resonates with me Beckita ! I feel I have been officially welcomed to the club of recovering Pharisees…via abuse in childhood. I thank the Lord I was able to swallow my pride (it was a painful experience) and to gently look within and seek the Lord’s Light and Healing.
            The unwillingness to be corrected is a terrible stifling roadblock. Amazing Grace and its lyrics come to mind. Thank you Lord, and all here.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Oh Dear Mary! We all have a history and God is so very merciful, isn’t He? Just when I think I’ve gotten to the roots of my faults (and, honestly, I’m in a space where I take the time to daily examine with gentleness), our Good Shepherd reveals yet another area as an opportunity to grow more deeply in LOVE with Him and His people.

            Each one of us needs a platform of dignity upon which to move forward and I have discovered it is easy to overlook a key of significant import in the second great commandment: Love your neighbor AS yourself. When I extend mercy and compassion to myself as I *gently* scrutinize my acts and motives, I am then well prepared to expand this act of God’s Mercy to everyone, no matter the cost. This doesn’t make me a doormat. I can name an injustice with the intent of clearing the air for the good of my soul as well as the soul of the one who has transgressed and readily forgive in the moment. It’s equally a courage-builder to own my transgressions. We all miss the mark. Cleaning up relationships is a daily task as, even now, we build a civilization of God’s Love.

            Liked by 2 people

        • jaykay says:

          Very interesting, this. At school in the 60s/70s we mainly used the RSV – Catholic version 1965, which was quite “traditional” and in fact still used the archaic “thee” and “thou” in the Psalms, although not generally elsewhere. But using the actual Douay-Reims was o.k. as well: some kids used to bring their parents’ copies if they hadn’t the RSV. Since we were all studying Shakespeare et al. the archaisms weren’t a problem, really. The RSVCE itself has now been updated, but not radically. I do wish they would use it for the Lectionary at Mass.

          Anyway, the Douay-Reims version of John 7;24 is “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.” Very alliterative! Also a direct translation of the Latin, which is “justum judicium judicate”. The RSVCE (revised) is: “judge with right judgement”. Hmmm… y’know, all in all, I think I prefer the KJV!

          Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            It was funny, jaykay, when I converted, I was quietly disappointed in how clunky the language was in some of the early translations I used. The Protestants have good reason to be proud of the achievement of the KJV (so long as they don’t get idolatrous about it).

            Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      It is from John 7:24, Steve. Jesus tells His listener’s to quit judging on partial information or by appearances, but to “…judge with righteous judgment.” It has always resonated with me. Hee hee…I will pass along to Our Lord your recommendation that He use clearer phrasing.

      Liked by 3 people

      • NancyA says:

        But Charlie, I think Steve was right… he suggested a more clear usage would be “judge with righteous judgment” which is the phrase you quote from John 7:24. I was a little baffled by the phrase “judge righteous judgment” also. It “says” something different, telling us to judge that righteous judgment, not to judge WITH righteous judgment. See?

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Well, I like the poetic pithiness of “judge righteous judgment.” And it got people pondering. It is even pithier if you say, “judge rightly,” but not as poetic. If you consider the whole phrase as active, it works…but that is an archaic English usage. In modern English, your mapping of the phrase is utterly correct. I will keep using it – and will pretend not to notice when you roll your eyes and mutter, “That Charlie can be so arcane.” Long ago, a girlfriend actually DID laughingly call me an “anachronism in my own time.” She said it affectionately, but even if it had been insulting, it was one of the most delicious phrases I ever heard applied to me.

          Liked by 2 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Ha, thank you, Charlie! That is a great phrase that girlfriend came up with. 🙂

            And I am totally OK with the simple recognition that judge righteous judgment actually does mean to judge righteously or to judge with righteous judgment. Especially now that you’ve said righteous judgment means knowing what one truly needs to know before one judges someone or something, and not just fly off the handle with one’s first reaction. That makes a *lot* of sense.

            I guess I could say now that pondering is its own reward — as long as I act on it truthfully once the pondering is complete.

            I also appreciate your intercession with the Lord to speak more plainly. I’m just oh so sure it will make a difference. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            The beauty is the mystery of solving a puzzle. Pursuit of the truth is like this. Every now and then a puzzle piece is found that fits…….

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Yep, Charlie, Steve, YD, Nancy and All! Translations are interesting.

            New International Version: Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

            King James: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (Charlie did you read the King James version when you were growing up? If so, it makes perfect sense to me that you would be so passionate about the precious, poignant, pronounced, perfectly poetic pithiness pouring forth from this phrase. )

            Holman Christian: Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.”

            Aramaic in Plain English: “Do not judge with partiality, but judge just judgment.”

            Weymouth: Do not form superficial judgements, but form the judgements that are just.”

            New Revised Standard, Catholic Edition: Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

            Dilating understanding, I found these cross references:
            Leviticus 19:15
            “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

            Deuteronomy 1:16
            And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.

            Isaiah 11:3
            and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

            Zechariah 7:9
            “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

            All of this has me pondering today about what a gift it is to have a conscience formed by Mother Church, how sobering it is to make judgments, how important it is to set aside biases (to the best of one’s ability) and authentically seek truth, how astounding will be the Extraordinary Year of Mercy, how love truly is the capstone of Christian living and that without humility we ain’t got nuthin’!

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Yes, Beckita, I was weaned on the KJV. In fact, relentlessly reading and re-reading played a big role in my ultimate conversion. I still love the magnificent poetry of the KJV – and usually use that translation for Psalms.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Ditto Charlie except it was NIV for me. I looked at the Catholic church with the eyes of sola scriptura and convinced myself it was legit. This (among other things) was very prominent for me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • MomOfSeven says:

            Bekita, I am so glad you brought this The other day I wanted very badly to ask the group which version of the Catholic Bible is good to read & is there a version to be avoided. For whatever reason I did not post my question. The Lord is so awesome and knows the desires of our hearts. So, now I’m officially asking ya’ll.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            For what it’s worth, on most translations now both Catholic and Protestant scholars work together to ensure accuracy in translation, whether it is a Catholic or Protestant translation. It may surprise you to know that the original King James Version DID offer a translation of all the books in the Bible, lumping those Martin Luther chose to omit under “Apocrypha.” I did not know this until I actually saw a rare first edition of the KJV displayed in San Antonio. While Protestants now accuse Catholics of adding to the Bible – at that time educated people knew that the books in what is now called the Catholic Bible had been removed – and they didn’t want to entirely remove them in England for fear of being accused of detracting from the ancient Bible. So almost any Christian Bible (other than those pathetic modernist and feminist attempts to rewrite it) are good. The exception I know of is the Jehovah’s Witness Bible – which was simply a rewrite of the KJV by Charles Taze Russell in order to change it to fit his doctrines. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to have people compare Scripture passages to see that they are the same – and for the most part they are, except for those key passages that Russell rewrote. For example, in all authentic versions of the Bible, the lyrical opening passage is some version of, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…” Russell rewrote it to say that “…the word was a god,” to support his denial of the eternal divinity of Christ. Except for several key passages to support his heresy, he largely stuck to the KJV.

            I spent a little time studying on these matters in the first few years after my entry into the Church – which is why I use various authentic translations for various purposes. Translation is tougher than it looks, particularly when translating very poetic material. If you stick to the straightforward sense, you usually lose the poetry. If you maintain the poetic cadence, it often comes at the expense of the literal meaning of the text. Perhaps ironically, my appreciation of the KJV grew after I became Catholic and did a little study on this. It maintained a solid literal sense of the original text while beautifully maintaining the poetry of it, as well.

            Now most Christians are unaware that Biblical exegis continues…and that as advances have been made in understanding the ancient texts (which often had no punctuation and structure that was, from modern terms, almost non-existent) almost all translations have been revised repeatedly to reflect that. Many of the revisions are relatively small…changes in spelling and grammar from now-archaic forms. The dropping of the Old Testament books has been the largest change from the original KJV. There is a peculiar controversy in some circles over the changes in the KJV over the years. Some atheists and, sadly, a few Catholics, have vastly overstated the number and types of corrections that have been made to it. Some Protestants have reacted by drastically understating the changes that came with better exegis. Generally, I use the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the KJV – the KJV almost exclusively with Psalms. But there are others. A nice article to get you started on this fascinating subject is here. But it is ONLY to get you started understanding the issues involved.

            Liked by 4 people

          • MomOfSeven says:

            Wow! Charlie, Thank you so much for the explanation of the various translations & the link for additional information. I learned so much. God bless you and the NRS group. I’m so happy to be a part of this blessed group.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            New Revised Standard Version with the Apocripha is what I read. It is Catholic and contemporary. The foot notes give great insight too. God bless!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Awesome goodness, Charlie!!!

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you, Charlie, for the information on Biblical translations! I really appreciate Catholic Answers as a solid resource and I plan to read the link after Mass.

            Placing you all on the paten of my heart as I present you to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As we drive to the chapel, I’ll ask the one who is in persona Christi here to place you on the golden paten and lift you, with Jesus, to our Abba.

            Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Thanks for asking, Steve! I hadn’t had a chance today to delve into what it meant and also felt lost. (Not to mention the Bible I am familiar with doesn’t have that translation.)

      I will pick up John pray a Holy Hour on it…

      Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      Steve, this would be nice. I have my own impression, but it would be nice to hear Charlie.

      Like

  39. Kris says:

    I am a faithful reader but comment little. Today I read your entry and realized I already feel like I have no idea what to do. I began to feel afraid like I am not doing anything right. The thoughts come to me that I can only do what is in front of me right now. I am afraid the local Catholic Church will not be there for me and my family. We have the most remarkable situation here. Yet I just go and pray for all especially my family that all with have what they need when they need it. This comes to mind now as I comment , I really don’t know a thing so all I can do is take care of what is right in front of me. We have joined a Protestant prayer group by invitation because one of the members has a son with Down’s syndrome like ours. Our son has a new friend. We felt so lonely in our own church community because although we as Catholics are prolife, yet our community is so unwelcoming with involving our son that we just lived on the edges. Now I feel like God made us reach outside our comfort zone and is teaching us we are to be together with others that are not just of our faith. We share our love of Jesus and speak of his Mercy. To a cradle Catholic this is all so new. But I just know it’s all right. I learned to pray years ago , Lord open my eyes, train my heart, let me do your will. I say this more fervently now. I add Jesus have mercy on me a poor sinner, for I am blind and need to see. One last comment, on first Saturday this month a dear friend of ours passed away. He and his wife were the faithful guardians of keeping the first Saturday rosary going for years. Although we could never call it that. Then it was stopped once more due to the politics of theology in our parish. But what struck me was my friend died on First Saturday having been Mary’s faithful servant.. His wife cried over this detail when I reminded her of that. We leave all the details in our dear Lord’s hands and take courage for the journey in the days and months ahead.. Thanks for everything.

    Liked by 6 people

    • NancyA says:

      Kris, I am sorry for your loss of a good friend, but I hope you mean that his wife cried with a touch of joy… the promises! I hope your friend heard that wonderful loving Voice say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant…”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lori says:

      Kris, I am like you. I have been checking in with this site pretty much every day for at least a year and a 1/2 now. I comment very, very infrequently. I feel just like you….I still don’t really know what I am to do. But then again, maybe we do know, Kris. Reading the rest of your comment, it appears to me that you are taking the next right step. Honestly, I think we are just a little afraid. Not for ourselves, but those we love. I look at things so differently than I used to. Don’t you? My family affectionately calls me “St. Lori of the Little Shoes” ( I was a pedorthist and fitted shoes-lol) and my conversion was rather radical. John Paul II, the Tilma and Our Lady of Tepeyac got a hold of me…:)
      This past Friday morning I was so unsettled. Uncharacteristically, I texted to all my family to be extra careful, to say a prayer or two before they started the day. St. John Vianney said, “We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers. The devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of the rest.” I love St John Vianney-he speaks to me in language that I can understand! LOL
      Anyway, seemed to be the consensus – most of my peeplets were feeling odd, too. The day went on, and we were all engaged in doing our “Friday” things. After work, I met up with my buddy/husband at the gym. I left before he did and normally, I go home from the gym without the radio- I like the silence. This day, I turned on the radio and heard of the devastation in Paris. WHAT??
      Prayer, prayer, prayer-especially prayer for the misguided souls that killed. I prayed that their souls were not surrounded by total darkness. That there was a space to emit His Light. That was a new one for me- praying for the souls attached to the enemy.
      After mass last night, we stayed to witness the installation of a number of people from our parish into the society of St Vincent de Paul. I thought about the wonder of these selfless people. Wondering why I don’t feel drawn to commit to something so worthy. Feeling a tad guilty. Then, He allowed me to wander in my thoughts…..you are drawn to Adoration on Wednesdays, Lori. You are drawn to Mass. You are drawn to the needs of your family. We are all being drawn, Kris. We will all know what to do.
      Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.

      Liked by 8 people

      • MarieUrsula says:

        When I heard about the tragedy in Paris, one of the people I thought about was Blessed Frédéric Ozanam ~ a student at the Sorbonne who founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in 1833. The Society, which has a beautiful charism, now has chapters in 142 countries. And you’re right: It’s not the only charism.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Oh Kris, you are already taking the right step. Your prayers are not going unheaded. When you go shopping, grab a few extra cans of things and tuck them away. A little bit at a time and you will be surprised.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Kris, I am also the mother of a child with Down Syndrome. She’s 2. When I read your comment, I thought of this article and thought that perhaps you might like it:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parents-of-kids-with-down-syndrome-what-they-wish-you-knew_560bf155e4b0dd850309f8f4

      Our parish is a wonderful, supportive place. I’m sorry that yours isn’t. Is there another nearby parish that might be a better fit for your family? Even if there isn’t, Charlie has told us that during the height of the Storm, people of faith will come to realize that the ill, the disabled, and the chromosomally different are a real gift to their families and communities; and that it is truly a privilege to know and care for them. Your son and your family are in a position to be a sign of hope to the other parishioners as they come to realize that whatever they do to the “least” of Christ’s brethren, they do to Him. So please be filled with hope regarding your parish and the parishioners there… you may be pleasantly surprised by them when the Storm hits full-force.

      God bless you and your family. You all will be in my prayers. (Please pray for my crew, too. Thanks!) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • kris says:

        Mick, oh yes, yes, yes. I do believe that things will be different when the whole story becomes different. We live in a very small place in Alaska that was a victim of a very progressive bishop for over 20 years. The consequences are devastating. The emphasis is always on social justice but for others not in the parish, how funny. The global charities take precedence over what our neighbor might need. We just had to realize this and go along our way letting God provide for our needs in areas outside the parish. He has. God sends us to the catholics who have left the faith because of the hurt they felt over the years. So we feel that is where we are meant to be. Sort of like diplomats reaching out yet receiving charity back as well. We will definitely pray for your crew, please do so for us as well. My son is Luke and he is 12.

        Liked by 2 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Kris, you and your family are in my prayers.

          Like

        • Mick says:

          Kris: Alaska… yikes! That’s a sight different from the small town where I live in Michigan, and from which I can drive to at least 8 different parishes in half and hour or less. Now I see the dilemma that you are in. So you and your family are missionaries in your own diocese, then.

          It will be an honor to pray for you and your family, and especially for Luke (great name!). 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • MomOfSeven says:

            Kris, my heart goes out to you. Almost 3.5 years ago the Lord asked us to detach from everything (Our home in PA where we raised our 7 children for 17 years, our beautiful little parish, long time friends, my Divine Will prayer group etc. ). My husband got a job offer in Corvallis, OR. The company moved all 9 of us to a new place where we knew no one. I surrendered to God’s will & trusted him to guide us. Of course my oldest son, who at the time admitted to me that he had no intention of practicing his faith after he moved out (sword through my heart), shared an interesting fact about the county we were moving into. Out of 3300 counties in the US (including Alaska & Hawaii) the county we moved into has the greatest number of non-religious adults. Ugh!!! OK Lord, you have sent us to the front lines. FIAT! Then my second oldest son said ” just think… now we will know what kind of impact our family will make (spiritually speaking). It can only get better. I also had my choices of Masses back east. That is not the case here. Thanks be to God we have had amazing things happen. We were blessed by a new archbishop (Archbishop Alexander Sample) , an amazing order of missionary priests from Argentina (St. John Society) at our college Newman Center & were asked by the archbishop to take over our parish. The first thing they did was to consecrate the parish to Our Lady. (and our town) The fruits??? My oldest son embraced his faith completely & became the Leader at the Newman Center. My second oldest (Anthony) is in formation for the priesthood with the St. John Society (currently in Argentina- please pray for him). My five daughters? We shall see. Now I co-leader an intercessory prayer group, plus teach third grade catechism. NEVER in a million years would I have believed all this would take place. Our Lord takes our tears & turns them into joy. Hang in there Kris. I pray for you & the whole group. Sorry for rambling. I feel more like family here on this blog and I wanted to give Kris hope. God bless.

            Liked by 7 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Beautiful

            Like

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Praise God Momofseven and bless you and yours!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Beautiful! I rejoice with you!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Ice box storm…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            WOWSERS. MomofSeven!!! Just look at the fruit which comes from Trust. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • MomOfSeven says:

            Hi Bekita, It was not easy to leave everything and trust in God completely. It was an extremely difficult test for me and the fruits did not happen instantly. Sometimes we do not understand the next right step and it may not even make sense. However, if it is done with a great deal of prayer and ultimately seeking that God’s will be done in the situation, then peace will be sure to follow. Until I hit the point of total surrender, I did not receive peace. Admittedly, I was initially kicking and screaming interiorly before I said “OK Lord, your Will be done. You know best, even if I don’t understand it at the moment”. And now, I marvel at what God has done and is still doing in our lives. Since that time, it seems I have had moms with high school or college kids, which have strayed from the faith, cross my path. I ask the Lord to use me and speak through me so these mothers can have hope. When my son told me he was planning on leaving the faith, I was totally crushed. I went out of the way to homeschool my kids, take them to daily Mass since they were in the womb, consecrate them to the Eternal Father and Blessed Mother Mary, rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet etc… and the faith is lost in the process? Those were my thoughts at the time. I felt like a total failure as a Catholic mother and was ready to throw in the towel. I wanted to say forget it. If this was the first one in line, then why bother continuing this path with the other 6 if the end result was a loss of faith. I had two choices 1) quit or 2) pray like my life depended on it. By the grace of God I chose #2. I started having Masses said for my son’s conversion, fasted on bread and water, offered up Holy Communions and rosaries. I stormed heaven for his soul. I cried, begged, pleaded for his soul. It came with a N. I had to leave everything dear behind; family, friends, parish, our home etc. and trust God completely. It is true that God can not be outdone in generosity. As I mentioned, one son is in formation for the priesthood and the first one is still growing in his faith. God is AMAZING and I have to proclaim it! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Mama Mary and all the angels and saints. I see a similar process happening now with my daughter in college and the prayers have to increase again. And there are several more behind her. The battle is not over. Not until my last breath. We keep praying and fighting the good fight. God bless.

            Liked by 5 people

        • Doug says:

          That would be a hard NRSV for me. I commend you!

          Liked by 1 person

      • Doug says:

        You are a special person Mick.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kris says:

        Just watched the site and all the pictures. How cute. And so true on all the statements. Our kids are just like all other kids with their own challenges and desires to be loved and played with and treated like real people. Thanks for the link

        Liked by 2 people

  40. Phillip Frank says:

    As a global leader, I see Pope Francis’ usage of righteous Judgement when referring to statements he makes in fulfilling ” all righteousness” as the Vicar of Christ.
    When I read his statements on the economy, climate change, gay marriage, etc. I use this ideal as a litmus test to help me understand where he is coming from.
    Many editorials conclude the Popes past experiences and nationality to zone in on what makes him tick and what he is really saying.
    I look at who he IS and what the Holy Spirit is calling US to be through his words thus leading me to trust his righteous judgment to perfect my righteous judgement.
    The abbreviation WWJD could be used with Pope Francis as I believe he filters through his heart this same thought for whatever he says hoping with all hope to fulfill all rightousness.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Bob says:

    As for the race ?? which we often hear of in this country, I think Dr. King had it right when he stated his dream like this, paraphrased that “My children would be judged not by skin color but by the content of their character”. And how often do we hear a discussion of “character” in so many of these “racial” conflicts, which I believe are often character and behavior conflicts.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Lin says:

    Wanted to share this wonderful music with the group. Aly Aleigha is a singer/songwriter, worship leader, and traveling catechist whose music features powerful lyrics…

    http://www.aly-aleigha.com/#music-horizon-section

    Click on the center rectangle: Listen to Album.

    I especially wanted to highlight the following songs:
    “You Are” and “The Visitation”. The lyrics are visible if you scroll down–you can view them while you listen!

    Hoping this music will be a blessing for someone here as it has been for me and my family!

    Pax!

    Liked by 2 people

  43. kris says:

    Nancy, Lori and Doug, thanks for your comments. Yes , my friend shed tears because she realized that it was possible her husband was already in heaven. Lori and Doug thanks as well. I think sometimes I just have to acknowledge clearly that all I really can do is put my head on Christ’s chest like John did and just close my eyes and wait. Then I go about my daily life. I am different than I was years ago when I would try to plan for many scenarios. I have put some things away and feel now I no longer am called to that. Instead I feel I am called to focusing on my absolute dependence on our Lord for whatever happens. I know you are right Lori, that there is a tad bit of fear that creeps in and I have to confront that with my putting my head on Christ’s shoulder and wait. I liked your comment, thanks I offer a little prayer for you right now , please do the same for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. rsp says:

    “For example, I frequently hear people cite the saying of Jesus that “he who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword,” (Matthew 26:52) as a command to absolute pacifism.”

    I recall how amused I was when I learned that in the Middle Ages, knights would read these words of Christ not as a threat, but rather a promise – that they would not die a “dishonorable” death of illness or old age, but rather go out gloriously in battle.

    Just goes to show how dangerous the idea of “proof verses” can be, when context is ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. audiemarie2014 says:

    Greetings all! Just read this and didn’t know where to place it on Charlie’s site, but here it is. I think this shows what Charlie says about doctors and those in health care getting back to what they truly want to do. 🙂
    http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2015/11/15/delaware-doctors-no-insurance-models/74686516/

    Like

    • Beckita says:

      So interesting, Audie!

      Liked by 1 person

    • JeanE says:

      audiemarie, this is wonderful! I have been over 10 years with no insurance now and can’t begin to imagine the hassles the Doctors do NOT have when dealing with me! I go see the Dr. do what I must and pay cash or make small payments to them on a monthly basis. I love it and so do they- I hear that from them every time I go 🙂 I was, of course, fined by the Fed. Gov’t at tax return time but that they take my money is on them, not me and my conscience is clear. It was all such a pathetic lie and I refused the mandatory insurance we were burdened with by Obama, because of the money going for abortions and if there is time- euthanasia… I’m sure. The program you posted about is wonderful, I am going to mention this to my doctor’s office next time I see them. Thank you!

      Liked by 4 people

      • audiemarie2014 says:

        JeanE, you’re welcome! It is something to look forward to, isn’t it? That is awesome that you refused the mandatory insurance, even though you were fined. I know not everyone can do that because of different circumstances, but I am looking forward to the time when the unaffordable act is no more. God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • JeanE says:

          Oh I know many have not been able to do this- in my huge family I am alone in doing this and I hear about it! I felt very strongly drawn by God to take this stand, and felt I had no choice if I was going to truly follow my conscience. Like you, I am also looking forward to the end of this terrible and ‘unhealthy’ and- in every way- false plan. I believe this was set up to cull the so-called unwanted, the babies, the old and sick people, the unproductive etc.- at least by satan. The people involved, who may be blinded and deceived into doing this and who know not what they are doing, God forgive them and open their eyes. I’m simply trusting God with my life and He has kept me in His hands. I have been able to live my life just fine and do all that I need to do by His Grace! God is so very merciful! God bless you too and thanks!

          Liked by 2 people

  46. JeanE says:

    Charlie have you or has anyone here ever read the vision our President, George Washington, had concerning the future of Europe and America? I just re-read it again today and am astonished how fitting it is and will be. I have often wondered if it was the Blessed Virgin who appeared to him.
    http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/washington/vision.html Whether it is true or not I don’t know but it’s very old and it sure fits!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It is very soothing to some people, but it is an old hoax. It first appeared in print in 1880 – and was supposed to be the reminiscence of a 99-year-old soldier in 1859 – who was not even AT Valley Forge, but at Saratoga when it supposedly happened.

      I get cranky about these things because pious people have a habit of making pious stuff up to support their beliefs. If confined to them, it would be fine. But when large numbers of the pious repeat stuff as “fact” that has NO verifiable provenance, it makes it easier for opponents of the faith to dismiss us all as credulous ninnies who make stuff up. That makes it MUCH easier for those opponents to dismiss genuinely unexplainable things, such as the tilma of St. Juan Diego, the Shroud of Turin, Lourdes, Fatima and many others. If it was presented as a piece of fiction, I would be okay with it. But every time a pious legend is presented as fact it makes it easier for opponents of the faith to dismiss us altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JeanE says:

        Oh sorry! I wish you could just remove the entire post… because I didn’t know it was proven fake and never thought about what you just said concerning using things such as this against the Church. I just figured it could be true and found it interesting.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Nah…it is a nice story and it goes around a lot. Leaving it up helps let a lot of people know that, nice as it is, it is not actually fact – and reminds them we must stay grounded in fact. It pops up here from time to time and I am getting better at seeing the virtue in the imaging while reminding folks to stay grounded at the same time.

          Liked by 1 person

  47. JoyInTheLord says:

    This is a very beautiful post, Charlie. I had to read it over two days to digest it. Thank you. It is time to get real.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Charlie,

    As a Catholic American who served in the United States Marine Corps and then (after an injury and conversion experience) worked at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, your words in this post about being “Soldiers of Christ and Missionaries of Mercy” is of particular interest to me and I believe it would be a sin of omission if I failed to let you know that your work here on this blog has inspired me to “get back in the fight” – a fight I never completely left, but in all honesty one that I came close to completely giving up on after a series of terrible disappointments … If one of my sisters hadn’t told me about you and this blog I very likely would have never bothered taking the steps to “resurrect” my Mercy Radio site or to get back to developing the concept of Divine Mercy Network.

    A couple years ago I basically walked away from actively working on these things after a “final” bitter disappointment but now I am finding the Grace to put it all behind me and get back to work. One of the things I was developing is a series of videos that communicate the words of Jesus Christ to St. Faustina. A priest friend of mine here in the Detroit area (with a great sounding “Jesus” voice) agreed to come into a studio and record pretty much all the major revelations that our Lord gave to St. Faustina. I only produced and published one of those (there are many more potential) and that was five years ago! I have included it below. Now I hope to keep working on this effort in order to reach as many people as possible with the only message that can save this Church and world – the message of Divine Mercy!

    Thanks for all your work Charlie. Please pray for me.


    Click here to subscribe to Divine Mercy Network!
     

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      God bless you, John. Keep up the work of spreading devotion to The Divine Mercy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Petra says:

      Kruse: The video is really great. It’s very moving and profound. I hope you’ll be able to accomplish your mission of spreading the Divine Mercy in spite of past disappointments. I’ll pray for that.
      God bless.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Mr. Kruse, thank you for what you are doing to spread devotion to the Divine Mercy. I will keep you and your apostolate in my prayers.

      I see that you live in the Detroit area. I live in the Lansing area. I am one of the people who was on the team that coordinated Charlie’s visit to Michigan in early September. Charlie’s blog has many followers in Michigan, and the coordinating team is working on a way to have regional get-togethers for those who are interested (by regional, I mean periodic get-togethers in the Lansing area, the Jackson area, and the Ann Arbor area). If you are interested in getting together with other Next Right Step readers, please let me know; and I will figure out some way to contact you or for you to contact me.

      God bless you and yours. Semper Fi.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mick, thank you for responding! Your post is an answer to prayer. Please count me in and feel free to contact me at divinemercynetwork@gmail.com with further details. I’ll be happy to help in any way possible. This kind of “networking” is exactly what I originally envisioned in 2006 when the idea of Divine Mercy Network came to me during prayer.

        The Lord’s work through Charlie to build these teams is truly a work of Mercy and it reminds me of something from St. Faustina’s diary. Immediately after her vision and detailed description of Hell, our dear Lord said:
        I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third— by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works.

        Based on the essential principle of subsidiarity, this effort to network on local levels is a great work of mercy and I look forward to meeting you and other Michigan based Next Right Step readers in person.

        God bless you!

        John

        Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Prayers ascending for you and all these good works, John!

      Like

    • Doug says:

      Thank you for your service Kruse!

      Like

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