Let us Proceed

teamlogo.jpg(Tomorrow I head back to Denver for a while. I have had a marvelously productive first visit to the cabin this year. A lot of the framework for approaching this year, particularly all of us being a sign of hope as things continue to destabilize, has focused in my head and heart. A big element I will push for is public Eucharistic and Marian Processions across the country throughout the year. It is a great way to call upon the blessings and protections of heaven, to live solidarity, to fill Christians who have been cowed by the public oppression and ridicule with real hope, and to proclaim our faith in a public way to the world that is not confrontational, but solid. I will write a piece on that. Mother Ellen’s wonderful article on betrayal the other day opened up the issue of treating all sincer fellow Christians as full and equal partners in the work before us while maintaining the integrity of our own faith in a very concrete, rather than theoretical, way. Though there were some dicey moments in the comments, I was pretty proud of the way everyone reached out to each other. It is a credit to the mutual affection and respect you have all developed for each other. I will talk more about this, as living it well is going to be critical going forward. This is going to be a banner, joyful year for Pastors, Priests and Bishops whose love has faded a bit as they find they are caught in administrative detail. You are going to be called front and center to be spiritual leaders for those around you – and they will treat you and value you as such when you answer the great call. I will write about all this and more once I get back from my contemplative retreat here in the mountains. For now, a piece from a little more than a year ago that is even more timely now than it was then. Just remember: Be not afraid. God calls all men to salvation – and He has a plan, a plan that is unfolding before our very eyes if we will only see it. Oh, our reader, Michael Patrick, made a logo up for our heavenly baseball team. I love it. I put it at the top of this article because this is my website and I can.-CJ)

Smoke and Mirrors, Paper and Paste

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

By Charlie Johnston

If a man develops a serious degenerative illness, he has a couple of choices on how to proceed. He can take medicine designed to ease the pain and mask the symptoms. That will make him feel better for a time, maybe even a good, long time. But if he doesn’t deal with the underlying cause of the illness, it will advance, eating away at him. If he waits long enough before taking action, it will eat away his chance to cure it. And then he will die, which might have been avoided if he had taken serious steps earlier rather than just masking symptoms. That is not the state of the American economy: it is the state of the world economy right now.

I have both bad news and good news. The bad news is that the entire structure of the world economic system has been so badly damaged it is near collapse. It is like a body whose arteries are badly clogged, arterial walls have gotten tissue thin, and blood pressure is through the roof. However good it may look, catastrophic stroke, heart attack and death are imminent. We have waited so long and done so much damage it is unsalvageable in its present state. This patient is terminal. The good news though is that this applies to the existing system. That does not mean that economic activity will cease. In fact, once people adjust to catastrophic collapse of the means of translating production into usable value, the economy that emerges will likely be more vibrant, vigorous and lean. What is about to happen is the equivalent of a forest fire, which violently sweeps away the old, particularly the dead wood, and in the process makes way for a surge of vital new growth.

I will avoid technical economic terms here and use intuitive terms to explain in simple form what is happening. First I need to explain what a monetary system is..

Contrary to what most unconsciously assume, currency – or money – has almost no economic value. The only things that have real economic value are goods and services. Everything else is just a tool to facilitate the use of the value created. Money – or currency – is a means of translating the value you create into a form that is immediately usable. Without it, if what you created was, say, electrical repairs, if you needed a doctor, you would have to find one who needed electrical repairs in order to trade your goods for his. By forming currency and having it represent the value everyone creates, it allows everyone to get what they need without having to coincidentally have what someone else needs. All productivity is translated into currency. This does not give money actual value: the actual value is still only in the goods and services produced. Money just becomes an incredibly useful fiction to represent the value of that production.

Over time, however, particularly in a stable economy of long standing, people unconsciously impute value to currency itself. It is kind of like getting absorbed in a soap opera as if it were real rather than having an actual life. This is not all bad. In times of short-term disruption. a government can use the perceived value of money to buy time to correct underlying serious problems without having a panic. If governments act responsibly, the perceived value of currency smoothes out the rough edges as a dynamic economy grows and recedes cyclically. Typically, when an economy falters significantly, but there are no serious underlying problems, a government may add currency to the money supply or depress interest rates. This creates an almost Pavlovian response. People see more money available more easily and spend more, which creates more goods and services and ends up causing the reality of production – real value – to catch up with the fiction of the money added to the economy. People hardly even feel it, like shock absorbers on a car. While effective medicine, it has significant downsides. If persisted in too long, it will trigger inflation, the rise of prices across the board, which depresses the economy while distorting the normal relationship of currency to value.

blacksmith

In all cases, however, the only real wealth is the goods and services produced by an economy. Ideally, the supply of currency should rise in a roughly parallel relationship to increasing productivity. Any time there is a prolonged distortion to that relationship, the economy is sick. If you have a prolonged period where the money supply is growing much faster than actual productivity, it is a serious cancer on the economy involved. If the underlying issues are not resolved, sudden catastrophic collapse will always come. Some of the more notable examples in the last 150 years have been Germany’s Weimar Republic, Pancho Villa’s Mexico, most recently Yugoslavia and, in American History, the Confederate dollar near the end of the Civil War. In each of these cases, officials were desperately trying to prop up a dying economy by creating more currency, which gave the illusion of health for a time, until a series of sudden jolts revealed the currency for the flimsy paper it was and all confidence in its value collapsed. Societies broke apart, wars erupted, rioting spread like wildfire as people would desperately try to trade a wheelbarrow full of currency for a loaf of bread. It’s very simple: there is NO real wealth except the goods and services people produce. If production continues to decline while currency supplies continue to rise, there will be a disaster unless it is stopped in time. This is an iron rule.

Knowing how distortions in production and monetary supply can ultimately destroy even the most vibrant of economies, governments have put in place monitoring systemsdepression_soup_line092010 designed to warn of approaching danger. It is like a doctor giving you the blood pressure cuff, checking your heart rate or your cholesterol levels – or the gauges on a car that tell you temperature, oil pressure, what the redline on RPMs are and the “check engine” light. All these things are designed to alert people to a problem so they can fix it before it has disastrous consequences. Imagine a doctor who “cured” your high blood pressure by hiding the blood pressure cuff? Or a mechanic who fixed your car by disabling the check engine light. It would give you a false sense of security that would last until your catastrophic stroke or when your engine blew up. That is what has happened in the American economy since President Obama took office. His team has to be the most economically illiterate in the history of the country. And that team’s response to everything has been to disable the monitoring systems. That is not a partisan issue. No Democrat I know of ever used bowdlerization of the monitoring system as an economic strategy. Both inflation and unemployment are much worse than they were under Jimmy Carter. Whatever Carter’s faults, he did not try to jig the measurement metrics to hide the problems.

A few examples:

1) Inflation under Carter was constantly double digit. It was one of the things that tanked his presidency. The response of the current administration has been to remove both energy and food prices from the calculation of inflation. That is literally like putting you on a 2000-calorie diet but telling you that cakes, pies, candy and cookies do not count for any calories at all. You could – and probably would – easily stay under the target mark while steadily getting more obese. Very simply, that is because saying energy and food costs have nothing to do with inflation is as stupid as saying cookies, pies, candy and cakes have no effect on your weight. Reality will intrude.

2) Until Obama, Carter was the only president of the last century under whom both inflation and unemployment rose simultaneously. But under Carter, if someone got so discouraged that they gave up looking for work, that was counted as a negative as welfare rolls rose and the productive base fell. This administration’s primary strategy for lowering unemployment rates is to get people to give up altogether – and then stop counting them as unemployed. It is as if a doctor counted successes by how many people he healed AND how many people died unexpectedly in his care. Which do you think is easier? The American workforce is dying out there and the administration is citing it as proof of success.

3) The productivity numbers themselves are being artificially inflated. For a private company’s sales and payments to be counted in productivity numbers, they have to actually happen. They are not counted until real sales and real payrolls are reported. For a government worker, the day they are hired, their next year’s salary is added to a full year’s productivity account. If 100,000 federal workers are hired tomorrow, fired the next day before showing up for the first day of work – the annualized salaries of all are dumped into productivity reports. It is fraud, pure and simple.

4) One measure of economic health is the circulation of money through the economy. It typically means the money is accomplishing something, going somewhere, doing something productive, like a car going from one destination to another. But sophisticated financial instruments have made it more easy to make it appear that currency is doing something when all you are doing is revving the engine. It is called the “velocity” of money. It is revving and spinning so hard you think something must be happening, but all that is happening is overheating the economic engine. Again, the rise of the stock market should roughly reflect the rising of annual Gross National Product. When it does not, prosperity is an illusion and crash is barreling inexorably down the tracks. In the run up to both the stock market crash a century ago and the bursting of the dotcom bubble a decade and a half ago, money was being traded madly through shell and paper companies that were not actually producing anything – creating an illusion of velocity while hollowing out the foundation of the financial markets. The housing crash had similarities in terms of the sub-prime equities flying around, but that was almost purely a government-forced distortion, so I don’t count it among actual market-created bubbles.

Back when I was offering counsel professionally, even some Democrats privately sought my take on the likely consequences of various policy options, for I had a knack of getting the interaction of complex variables right. I have had to tell people who have called me for advice that I don’t know a lot of it any more, because the measurement metrics have been blown to bits. A few months ago, I did do a lengthy extrapolation of raw census data and labor department statistics to try to come up with a true unemployment rate. I generously dropped all college-age people, whether they were in college or not, from the stats; generously assigned a stay-at-home Mom to 40% of all nuclear family households and dropped them from the stats. I treated retirement as being at 62, so dropped them from the stats. Then I extrapolated the available adult workforce, actual full-time number of people in the workforce, defining full-time as 30 hours or more. I probably made a mistake somewhere, for even with these absurdly generous assumptions, I kept coming up with 32% unemployment. Even if I did make an error, it was not a big one. But I told the fellow who asked that he could safely say it was in the mid-20s. I was too shaken to report what I actually kept coming up with.

ChildLabor1

The bad news is, our money system is too far gone. It will crash. If you elect Democrats in a few weeks, it will crash. If you elect Republicans in a few weeks, it will crash. If both Democrats and Republicans suddenly got economically literate AND deadly serious about fixing things, it will crash. Well over 90% of you will live to see your money, your savings, your investments suddenly worthless. And because the United States has been the economic engine of the world for a hundred years, the world will crash. Innovation has come from America; America has been the back-up plan when other economies were seriously stressed. It had that much reserve and vitality. When the back-up plan collapses amid smoke and dust, all collapses.

So what could possibly be the good news? Well, as I explained, currency is NOT value, it merely represents value. If you lose the power of speech it will make it a lot more difficult to communicate, but if you do not lose the power to think, all is not lost. What we are about to lose are the stable currency, market and international currency relationships we have relied on for nearly a century. People’s focus will get much more narrowed, but they will keep making stuff, even if it is only crops for their family and wood to build cabins. The productive instinct will not vanish, just the traditional means of translating it into immediately usable value.

Some will be hit much harder than others. Those who have spent a lifetime just going to the mailbox to get a government check are going to be devastated, for the government which promised everything will soon be unable to deliver much of anything. The habits of mind and character that lead people to go out and work each day will sustain you, though the nature of your work will likely change dramatically for a time. If you have been an aerospace engineer, you may need to use your native intelligence and industriousness to learn how to fish, to farm, to do metal or woodwork in a small home or even wilderness shop. The biggest killer in the initial chaos will be panic. No one knows what specific challenges will meet them in this period, but if you resolve to meet whatever comes with industry and fortitude to either endure or die trying, you will almost certainly endure.

Back in the summer of 2007, I was instructed to begin to think seriously about a world in utter collapse and chaos…to think about how to put such a society back to work, get them on their feet with some confidence after they had been completely shattered…to think of how to re-establish ownership of things justly after the very concept of ownership had been decimated by events. It is the project I have maintained almost complete silence on, but the project I have probably worked hardest on these last seven years. Not a day has gone by, I do not think, that I haven’t spent at least an hour on it. When the time comes, I will vigorously share what has been developed with those who are charged with carrying it out. It probably sounds as crazy to you now as it did to me then, but I obeyed and I am glad I did. I suspect that folks trying to rebuild from the rubble will be more open to hear what the heavens have been saying about these things than they are now. Even in matters such as these, God keeps me focused on ordinary, homely things more than anything else.

american-farmer

So here is the bottom line: your capacity for productive work will be undiminished…but the monetary system that has been the way that work is translated into immediate value is dying before our eyes. When it is dead, it will seem for a while as if all is lost. Endure, get up and work at what you can, be a sign of hope to those around you…and you will get back on your feet. I have told you before and I emphasize it now: devote yourself during the period of early chaos to caring for those around you. It is obviously good for them, but it will also keep you from obsessing over what is gone. Do that enough days, just doing what the day holds for you, and hope will emerge from the ashes. Our current currency is so much paper and paste, held up by smoke and mirrors.  When a new system begins to take shape – and it will – it will be grounded in reality.

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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437 Responses to Let us Proceed

  1. Patricia says:

    Now that is a bumper sticker. And we would recognize each other without drawing attention to ourselves.
    Also, I would like to thank everyone for the prayers for an immediate young family member who was diagnosed with cancer late November. Surgery was on Dec. 9th, (good day for it considering our mission and our Blessed Mother’s title) and late last night (eve of the 13th) we had news that the 30 day follow up blood work was all clean, so no chemo. The cat scan done on Dec. 8th was also clean.
    This past Monday, the 11, was the blood work and we had to wait for all the results. At 3 pm yesterday, I was driving along, still not knowing, and looked up to see “333 Guadalupe” and wondered what was about since it was all threes, so to speak and, of course, Our Lady’s street. (Austin). It has been said that Texas Hill Country is to be a safe refuge in the storm and I heard Austin is at the beginning of hill country. Now I can see why.
    Again thank you all for the prayers and kind words. I keep you all in prayer each day especially at communion.

    Liked by 14 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Patricia, that is so heartening to hear. Thanks be to God!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks be to God, Patricia! And thanks for your prayers. Keeping you and your intentions in prayer as well.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Another Karen says:

      That is wonderful news, Patricia! I will pray for full (and permanent remission).
      Thanks for sharing the great news!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Patricia says:

        ok, so I would check off ” like ” to all your comments but still have not had the wherewithal
        to figure out Steve’s instructions. Give me a month or two. 🙂 Thank you all again.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Kim in Ohio says:

      Patricia, there is a refuge there in Austin and I have spoken to the Catholic Deacon who has established it. He knows about Charlie and Mark Mallett. Keep him and his family in prayer, as it is not so easy to manage a refuge and continue with a job and family matters.
      I won’t give his name on this blog unless Charlie gives me the permission.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I don’t mind people using their money to try to help others, but I have to make clear that I think most people will – and should – stay right where they are at. There will be some dislocation, but the dust will settle and God wants good people to give hope where they are at. I get a little concerned when people think that God is going to bring all the good boys and girls to a safe place while the Storm rages around them. The Storm comes to all of us. None of us are completely innocent of this Storm we have together wrought. We are called to help our brothers see the hope from wherever we are, not to retreat from the world.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Kim in Ohio says:

          Pray for us who have heard for years from young and old Catholics that have heard about the need for refuges to be established. I have heard of other Christians that have established them too. A dear senior man I know has one close to Dayton, Ohio. He has worked on it for many years and is supported by people from all over the Tristate area. Do you think God gave them this mission or “calling”? I know a lot of Catholics that just don’t want to be still and do nothing to help others for the future. They want to be part of God’s plans and help others to cope with a changed world. At least, that is what I think they are hoping to do. What say you Charlie?

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Again, Kim, I have said I approve of people using their own money now to try to help others later. I have some problems with some elements of the refuge movement because, at its worst, it can veer into withdrawing from the world rather than being salt and light to the world – and it can posit that rescue is for the good who get to watch the rest of the world get smashed. I don’t buy into that at all. At its best, it humbly and quietly works to prepare to help others. If you buy into the abusive sense of it, I condemn that. If you buy into the humble, charitable sense of it, I congratulate and support that. But I have learned that the same word, “refuge,” is used to describe two very different outlooks, so I am more careful to define what I mean on it.

            Liked by 4 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Charlie, it is good to know that we will most likely come together where we are as it is familiar and that is a small comfort. It is also so heartening to know that around the nation that there are people of God willing to shelter others, even if the only reassurance is that we are struggling together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

          Liked by 2 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        May God bless and keep him and his family, and soon to be extended family, safe and sound.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. YongDuk says:

    Safe Travels, Charlie!

    Thank you all for your continued prayers for Myong Hee and her daughter and son and his wife!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Arby says:

    Yay! love the banner, Long Live the Squirrel!

    Arby

    Liked by 4 people

  4. starxedee says:

    If anyone decides to make T-shirts with the team logo, let me know! I’d buy one. 🙂

    Liked by 10 people

  5. mbrandon8026 says:

    Charlie

    The squirrel logo and the article actually have much in common. Squirrels have been on my mind these last few years, first as presented to me by a lovely Christian woman from Michigan, and latterly as metaphor for how play often occurs in a game called Pickleball, which is a tennis style game particularly favoured by seniors who want to keep active.

    In the economic collapse and change on the horizon, whether very imminent or soon, we will need to focus. Therefor, we must not scamper about like squirrels in traffic, changing direction on a moment’s notice. Further, we must not be distracted from our Next Right Step, such as in looking out the window and noticing “There goes a squirrel.”

    Squirrels are industrious rodents, who do what must be done in due season, and store up food for the times when food will not be available. They are also very persistent in doing what they were designed to do by their Creator, as anyone attempting to feed birds with outdoor feeders has discovered. They do not take defeat lightly.

    What we must not emulate is blind squirrels. Yes, a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again, but eyes wide open makes the search more fruitful.

    As disabled and retired seniors, my dear wife and I are somewhat dependent on the small government pensions we receive, (gone soon) and the return we get on our investments to meet our financial needs. (Likely gone with the wind soon as well) This will change, and we will figure it out, and be beacons of light for our loved ones, and those who come our way.

    God is preparing to trust only Him. We pray for Wisdom and holiness as the storm clouds draw nearer, and we await the deluge to come.

    Thank you for sharing Wisdom with us, Charlie.

    God Bless You and all who pass here.

    Michael Brandon

    Liked by 18 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I love your outlook, Michael. I like squirrels anyway, so when this meme arose here, I was disposed to be favorable to it. But it had not escaped my notice that they are industrious, inventive and persistent little animals who have a knack for enduring…so I thought it was very fitting. And I think you are definitely one wise, old squirrel!

      Liked by 9 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Thank you Michael for your most inspiring words of wisdom.

      Liked by 2 people

    • SanSan says:

      Thank you for your post Michael. My husband just retired last month at age 70 to enjoy the fruits of his labors–a small savings, 3 modest pensions, no debt and social security for both of us. How sweet our plans were to have time together to travel, pay the grandkids Catholic tuitions, help those in need around us and you know, just live comfortably and enjoy those around us. It’s a bummer to know that all of it at any time can go up in a puff of smoke. But like you, we put our trust and confidence in our Dear Lord and count on the protection of our Blessed Mother and Guardian Angels. We’ve worked hard and have enjoyed a grace filled life (with lots of drama!). We are prepared as we’ll ever be to continue to acknowledge Our Lord, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to others. We too pray for the wisdom and courage to persevere as the storm rises in strength and envelops everyone. We’ve stocked away some food, we’re armed, and we have a roof over our heads. We say our rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet everyday and offer up prayers for the reparation of sins and the conversion of sinners. We try to stay in a state of grace and receive Jesus daily.
      Thank you everyone for your continued wisdom that you share on NRS. And of course, thank you Charlie so much for sharing, preparing and loving us.

      p.s. I loved squirrels before, but now they have become quite the curiousity for me! Love the logo.:)

      Liked by 12 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        SanSan, congratulations to your husband on his retirement, and to you both for your faith-filled lives. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • Barb129 says:

        SanSan, my husband and I can so relate to this. He retired last year and we had dreams of our retirement that sound like yours. I have had moments of feeling bummed that our dreams for our retirement are probably not going to happen but we are adjusting our thinking as you are. We too are doing the things that you are doing to try to prepare ourselves.
        I learned that the best way to be happy in our lives is to take the plans that God has for our lives and make them our dreams;to make them our plans.
        I pray we all have the grace to follow them. =)

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Snowflakesdancing says:

    Charlie, I don’t know how this just happened but I just started reading your entire article out loud to my husband…and he sat down and actually listened to the entire piece! He was in complete agreement with every word……….. I’m so astonished I could faint! Not a single word of argument from him! You have no idea what a miracle this is! And this piece, Charlie, is excellent! You have such a gift explaining things and making them easily understood. This piece gives me mountains and mountains of hope. Thank you!

    Liked by 25 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Snow that is amazing and such a joy! Praise God.

      Liked by 5 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Dear Snowy, Let it bring you and your husband a sign of hope, Love ZJ

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      It’s not my fault, it’s MP’s. I merely happened upon a dead squirrel in the middle of the road riding on a bike. Killed. Road killed. That wasn’t even my fault… It was a bike. Much too slow to hit a squirrel.

      Oh, wait this is in reply to Michael Brandon

      😛

      Joking, HNSE, this is to you: we have all been praying very much for each other here and we even a team!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Petra says:

      Interesting, isn’t it Snowy, how we get ourselves all wrapped up and upset, while God is taking care of things all the while? I was so concerned about some of the things you alluded to in other posts about your home life, yet, God has heard you long ago and is at work. Not that everything that you are concerned about is resolved, but that you see a ray of light in your husband’s listening.

      I had noticed in myself the tendency to worry and be very anxious about things that appear to be bad and getting worse, even though I prayed and really petitioned Our Lord about it, and asked for help from many saints, including Our Lady. But then someone here recommended the Novena of Surrender, and after reading it just once, and praying it, I saw. I saw that I did not really believe God heard me or was concerned about what was frightening me. And that is a lie. He did hear me, and He is concerned about what is upsetting me, and He is doing something about it.

      I cannot tell you how many things in the last few months, heck the last six months, have had astounding outcomes when all looked dire. I’m a little ashamed at my lack of faith. But when I feel a little shaky about something, I once again pick up the Novena of Surrender to remind myself to trust in Him.
      http://motheofgod.com/threads/novena-of-surrender-to-the-will-of-god.4356/

      I will keep praying for you and your intentions. I am so glad you brought them here so we could all participate in the triumph of Our Lord in your situation.

      God bless.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Thank you, Petra 🙂 I will pray this Novena.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Julie says:

          Snowy, It was also suggested to me to pray that novena and it helped immensely! I may have to pray it again next week as I see myself “slipping” a little bit. Plus, the devil is trying to get a hold of me through nightmares. This has happened to me many times before, but they don’t bother me like they used to because the novena gave me the words that “God takes care of everything”. I also taped on my mirror 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are”. Good news for me though is one of my son’s said he took his family to church last Sunday. At first, I scared the eebiegeebies out of him so decided to take a softer approach. When I visit his family now, I have joy in my heart and show it. Now he can “hear” me. I think the same will be when we have to give our families/friends/neighbors hope during the hardest parts of the Storm. Making up my mind to be joy filled made me feel so much better too. What is that saying???…if you put a smile on your face first, then automatically your heart will smile too. I am praying for you!

          Liked by 4 people

        • Beckita says:

          Snowy, I vouch for the efficacy of the Surrender Novena as well. I’m glad Petra provided you a link. I share it from here so that you may get some background on the holy priest to whom the Lord gave this beautiful novena: http://tonyhickey.org/surrender-novena IMHO it would be an essential supply in each one’s stash for the intensity of the Storm.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            Beckita, you are going to get a chuckle out of this one…last night, after reading part of the Novena on a different site and deciding to start it today, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed because I was telling Jesus that I wished Luisa had a Novena since I was so drawn to her when I first came here and found out about her…and then promptly fell asleep. Today, I get up and click your link and it IS Luisa’s Novena! I couldn’t believe it 🙂 Thank you!! God must be shaking his head…. can you believe what a dingbat I am? haha.

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Well Dear Snowy, it is actually Fr. Dolindo’s novena but are you saying you had seen it before in association with Luisa? Either way let’s pray for BOTH Luisa and Fr. Dolindo to intercede for you. God bless you, Snowy!

            Liked by 2 people

      • Doug says:

        But it’s ok Petra because you keep getting back up and don’t quit. That is the real faith!

        Liked by 4 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Petra and Julie, I was looking at the Devotion last night before I went to sleep and it is just beautiful. This morning I got up and prayed/read the 33-Day Consecration reading and it occurred to me while reading, that what is happening with me is that the enemy is trying to wear me down with the repeated and constant attacks, misery and hurtful situations that I am repeatedly having to deal with. He is using every possible thing, situation, or even persons to do this. his goal is despair, anger and judgement. The most painful part of this is the complete exhaustion I am experiencing…I don’t believe I’ve ever dealt with this to this degree before.
        When I was young my mother told me that if he can’t get us with evil (sin), he will go at it in a new way, a way we are not aware of and he will push us forward so quickly we end up falling flat on our face- which is, of course, accomplished through my pride. I think many of us will experience this exhaustion and heaviness in the coming 2 years. I am now dealing with this by uniting it to the exhaustion Jesus experienced during his Passion and offering it to our Mother, Mary. He was so extremely exhausted and suffered so much for us…it bring me to tears. I love all of you for how loving and supportive you are. All of you here give me so much courage and hope. Satan can’t do anything, he is bound in chains and helpless in the face of Jesus and THIS LOVE. 🙂 God bless all of you truly wonderful followers of Jesus!
        And a special thank you to Jen and Mick who are so willing to gab with me on the phone, just you both being there is so comforting.
        And now, I think it is time for me to pick my cross back up and soldier on..even if The Cross has to drag me on my bum up that hill 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

    • So happy for u Snowy.BTW, i love your new name even better i think!

      Liked by 2 people

    • al chandanais says:

      How Wonderful Snow, I love when Jesus uses our voice to touch the heart of others, now if you could call my son-in-law and read to him…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Oh al chandanais, I’m so happy to see you posting here. I sneak over to the comment policy section to read all of your beautiful poetry there 🙂 what you write is so magnificent! It truly elevates my soul and makes me soar!
        My husband sat last night and listened to Charlie talk on the Director’s Cut- we haven’t been able to listen to the other yet but will soon, God willing. I will keep your son in law in my prayers 🙂 God bless you.

        Liked by 2 people

        • prayingflower says:

          Eeeeek! There are more replies in “Comment Policy?” I never knew that! Oh my, yes, I just checked it out (your poetry is superb, Al. Thanks.) and now I’m very nervous indeed! I can’t keep up with the comments on these posts of Charlie’s and now I have more to conquer! Mother Mary, uphold me! Charlie, you’re getting too big for little me… :0:0:0

          Liked by 1 person

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            prayingflower..hahahaha, you crack me up :D! You sound like you zoom around 100 mph! What a hoot.

            Liked by 3 people

          • prayingflower says:

            I’m afraid not, Snowy. I used to do that but my body has lost too much of its “zoom” to impressively accomplish what I would like to see accomplished in my life these days. My fingers, however, still have a little zoom and that seems to work well with a posterior that no longer wants to zoom and is happy to accomodate my fingers by sitting still. Excuse me, it is time for daily exercise, my “Tim Conway-old geezer” style walk. Just kidding, it’s not that bad yet but if I don’t keep moving I won’t have the endurance to help hubby put in the garden and then help the squirrels harvest it, all in preparation for the coming storm. On a positive note, we have been visiting neighbors and they have been getting on board with the planting, sharing, upholding, supporting, community gardens idea, altho they do look at us askance when we explain this will be immediate, not to mention how they look at us when we mention Charlie’s Angel. Enough. Taking up too much room on the site. Sorry, Charlie. Be well and persistent in prayer. Hugs to all. pf

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Neat PF

            Like

          • Doug says:

            PF, yes. I suspect it will be even more when the storm picks up more. In one respect, this may be training for the storm as it may come in like a flood. Must trust God more……

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            I think that is wonderful about your neighbors, prayingflower! They’ll come around and know exactly who to turn to when things get crazy. My neighbors are all losing their homes right now. I don’t know what the Lord is going to do here but I’m just doing what I can..which isn’t very much. God seems to delight in using the most unlikely people to do His work so that everyone knows it is Him who does it 🙂 I love that.

            Liked by 2 people

          • prayingflower says:

            It is amazing what God has in mind for us which He reveals as we take the next right step with our neighbor. We just finished meeting with a new neighbor who it turns out is a master horticulturist. Who knew? He is at this moment advising my husband on the planting of our gardens and is going to assist him this year. He plants beautiful edible gardens at his own home. Also, yesterday another neighbor friend visited and brought seed money so that she can share in the gardens because she is alone. So I guess if we will just make the effort to sow in other peoples’ hearts and lives the Father will see to it that we will also reap a harvest. God is good to us. Praise His Holy Name. pf

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Now that’s what I’m talking about! Wonderful, flower…right where you are.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            PF, that warms my heart, on a most chilly day!! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            Our prayer can be~ we will acknowledge God, take the next right step, be a sign of hope…we are ready, willing and God is able! (even if we are not) 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Wow, PF! You’re an inspiration. Happy Gardening and Neighboring!

            Liked by 1 person

        • prayingflower says:

          Oh, and Al, I love your quote on your avatar: “Please don’t feed my pride, it’s fat enough on its own.” LOL. So then I go ahead and do just that. Oh well, I can see you give all the Glory to God. Rightfully so. All glory to God forever and ever. Thank you for using your gifts and talents to His glory. pf

          Liked by 3 people

  7. zeniazenia says:

    I can just see the bumper stickers and tee shirts all around the world.. This could be a huge league. Beautiful MP!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Beckita says:

    My Goodness, Charlie! “I put it at the top of this article because this is my website and I can.-CJ” has me giggling. You have the heart of a six year old and the joy is infectious. So grateful this is your website!

    Liked by 16 people

  9. 1.2012 says:

    Thank you for your timely remarks and the reposting of a very good article.
    After a long period of silence (at least in these matters) the Lord was crystal clear
    with me last Friday about continued preparation which got me thinking – just how bad
    Is it going to get here? The group here continues to ready itself both spiritually and
    materially; we are ready to help those who will come and rebuild a civilization of
    love…and that day sure seems to be approaching fast. Pax et bonum to all!

    Liked by 9 people

    • Hopenjoy says:

      1.2012, would you be able to share a bit about “continued preparation”, which may be of interest to those of us who ARE called to physical preparations for the Storm? Like you, I’ve felt “a long period of silence” on the topics of preps, nothing has come to mind since a long list of items last spring/summer (all of which are now done, including reading material when I picked up a few $5/bag used books at our local library). I ponder putting away more stored food in buckets, but haven’t feel drawn to it. Only to spiritual preparations since late fall.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bob in Minnesota says:

        If you want to stock up on food supplies I have been purchasing from Augason Farms in Utah. Just google the name. I have no relationship with them other then purchasing their products after doing a lot of research on the web. Currently they have a 40% sale off advertised pricing; on many items, it is going on till the end of this week. Wish I had purchased my supplies at that these prices!
        If you want to know what types of supplies I have stockpiled for my family and friends I could take the time to communicate it. If some one wants it.

        Liked by 5 people

        • audiemarie2014 says:

          Thanks for the info, Bob. I’m going to check it out. I had lunch with my friend I met here on Charlie’s site yesterday. We were both at Charlie’s talk in Isle and also met you. We were talking about getting together with others in MN. If interested, let me know. Thanks again and God bless you.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Doug says:

            Audie, we have a once a month storm dinner. We have a Web site that explains what we do: http://www.stormnewhampshire.com

            If you want ideas, you can email to the address listed at that site. We have been meeting since last August. Our next meeting is this Saturday (every 3rd Saturday of the month). God bless you!

            Liked by 4 people

          • audiemarie2014 says:

            Thanks Doug! I’ll check it out. God bless you and your family!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Audie, you can email us at stormnewhampshire@gmail.com if you have any questions.

            Liked by 2 people

          • anotherSue says:

            Audiemarie,
            I missed meeting you and Charlie and everyone up north last fall, and I have regretted the missed opportunity ever since. But I am usually terrified of going alone to social events where I don’t know anyone, so I chickened out. But I know I would feel more “connected” in a tangible way if I got together with the rest of you guys, and I need that! Let me know if you decide on a place and time, so I can pray for courage! Sue

            Liked by 3 people

          • audiemarie2014 says:

            anotherSue, I certainly understand about being terrified about meeting people in social events when alone. How about you message me over on the Next Right Steppers forum and we can figure something out. It is encouraging to meet in person. God bless you!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Josh in IN says:

            Doug, I clicked through to your site. It seems like you guys are doing really good work and I admire your proactive approach. My wife and I have talked about hosting dinners for talking about this stuff. We’ll have to revisit that.

            I see you link to Ann Barnhardt’s blog. Have you read her writings on our Holy Father? If not, you may want to before sending people her way. She may present an interesting perspective on the economic collapse, but she is positively poisonous when it comes to the pope. She’s also a racist, though her accusations against the pope are horrible enough to clearly indicate the spiritual danger of her work.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Josh, I hope you start something. It is a blessing and can also be a lot of fun (keep sanity and normalcy during the storm).

            Thanks for the heads up on Ann Bernhardt. I think we hastily put that link without vetting properly. I will look at that. Thanks!

            Like

        • Beckita says:

          I’ve ordered from Augason as well, Bob. When I inadvertently forgot to add the code to get my discount, I wrote after placing the order and they graciously corrected my error. Thanks for the heads up concerning the current sale!

          Liked by 1 person

          • canada1nw says:

            Doug, I’ve filed you NH storm news. I see your pic in Medjugorje. I’ve been there four times..I’d go again in a heartbeat

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            Yes. I have ordered from them too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Wonderful Canida1! Medjugorje brought me into the Catholic Church in 1991. I have had profound healing from going there. God is so merciful to us!

            Liked by 3 people

          • ann says:

            This is all so helpful! Bob, Beckita, Audie, Doug et al. Doug, i just went to your blog ‘stormnewhampshire” and found it very helpful. Especially the list!! Where in NH are you if you don’t mind my asking? I mean near what city/town? You don’t have to give personal info. I just wondered if when the weather gets better in the spring I might try to attend one of your meetings. I don’t know of anything like this in Maine and I’d like to get a northern New England connection going if possible. I’m, really impressed with what you’ve done.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            Hi Ann, just email stormnewhampshire@gmail.com and we can trade contact info.

            We live in Goffstown just 1.5 miles from St. Anselm college where primary debates are held. Easy to get to from Maine; just over 1.5 hours from Portland. In fact, we are having our storm dinner tonight. We pray 5 decades of the Rosary first, share a potluck dinner together, fellowship, share prepping ideas, pray and talk about our faith and because we are Catholic, we partake in a little wine. We always meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month to maintain consistency and if communication is lost. It is a great way to ease the fear that many people have and to know they are not alone. We have an absolutely beautiful in law apartment that you are welcome to stay over night in if you want to come from Maine to see what it is like. We welcome you!

            Liked by 2 people

        • Sheri G. says:

          Hi Bob, I would love some ideas on what and how much to store! Thank you!

          Liked by 2 people

        • ann says:

          I would appreciate it, Bob. A list would be very helpful. I’ve made lists and new lists and just don’t feel called to move on it yet. Your list might kick start me. Thanks!!

          Liked by 3 people

    • Tom says:

      We also felt a pause in the final months of last year but got the go sign right after the 1st of the year. And God has had the Graces flowing, almost a sense of Him helping us get our house in order and get rolling on the final preparations that are needed and the go sign is green for us as well. Several wonderful things have occured that clearly are Graces flowing down to us, so we continue to faithfully follow His will, not ours 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

      • jmst says:

        I “hear” a call to buy instant rice and instant coffee which is weird because I never buy either one! I will include these items in my next grocery shopping trip 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

      • Hopenjoy says:

        The “go” sign I have felt coming into this New Year was to save cash, put money in savings, and pay off debt, after a number of years of spend, spend, spend preparing our rural refuge, planting fruit trees and putting in pastures, doing outbuilding and home repairs, plus stockpiling supplies and food. Plus, this is an odd one: after years of wearing darker colors, I have felt drawn to wearing white, cream, light grays. As if already practicing to be a clean “light” in the midst of a crowd of folks wearing black, dark colors and/or neon brights?! Not sure if this is a desire placed in me by the Holy Spirit, me copying some stylish older women I’ve seen, or because I finally got tired of picking my long silver hairs off my black tops! Ha, ha 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

  10. EllenChris says:

    Hi, Charlie. I am still trying to catch my breath from all that has been going on.

    Yesterday a group of local pastors who are very committed to Christian unity met together here at St. Andrew’s. We had a beautiful time of prayer together, asking the Lord with repentant hearts to break down the walls between us. A few of these guys pray in front of our State Capitol every Thursday evening (so they are doing it as I am writing this), and they said they have seen a real change in the atmosphere over there in Albany — which, believe me really needs a change in atmosphere! Jesus was so truly present with us.

    I have a question for you as someone involved in pastoral work here. You have said several times recently something like what you just wrote in your intro to this article: “This is going to be a banner, joyful year for Pastors, Priests and Bishops whose love has faded a bit as they find they are caught in administrative detail. You are going to be called front and center to be spiritual leaders for those around you – and they will treat you and value you as such when you answer the great call.” Without going into any specifics or letting any cats out of bags they need to stay in, could you please say a little more about this? In our area, most churches are just bleeding away. We have been found to be the least Christian metropolitan area in the whole country, even worse than San Francisco and Seattle. We could certainly use some encouragement. Are you expecting an actual influx of people into a relationship with the Lord Jesus? Gosh, we are praying a lot for that here, so it would be a shot in the arm to hear that our prayers will be answered sooner than we think and better than we have come to expect.

    Thanks for all you kind words lately, and for keeping on “keeping on” with what you do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Oh wait! I have no grasp of time at all. Today is Wednesday — the prayer at the Capitol is tomorrow. Ah well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I will, indeed, be writing more about it, Ellen. That is going to be a big theme this year – as this really is your year. I have found there are many, many more Pastors and Priests checking in here – and part of my call is to give those wonderful people new heart. God is about to renew many ministries. I tell you, 20 and 30 years from now, older Pastors will tell people that 2016 was, like “A Tale of Two Cities,” the worst of times and the best of times, but for them it was the year that their ministry took on a great fullness and joy.

      Liked by 12 people

      • Another Karen says:

        Perhaps there can be a vehicle either here or in the forum to match priests with those of us here who are in their area and willing to assist in bringing about some of the increased public proclamations of faith. I would like to assist the priests in my area in any way that I can and let them know they are not alone, but rather supported – it would be my privilege and joy to stand with them!

        Liked by 7 people

  11. prayingflower says:

    I just love the innocent-looking squirrel on this banner! Doesn’t he (she?) look as though he has never – and will never – ever – do anything – anything – to disturb another, much less irritate them to the point of throwing them out of the house, um, attic? Don’t you just feel all warm and fuzzy when you look at him, as if you’d like to tuck him into your bed beside you tonight just for “kicks”? Yes? On a more serious note: Charlie, I am going to study the detail of this lesson on economics as that is certainly not my forte, but you have given me a golden opportunity here to learn and understand more and I appreciate it. I guess the lessons will soon come hard and fast enough so it won’t hurt to start learning a little about what kind of mess we have brought upon ourselves. In the meantime, I need to hone my skills.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Petra says:

      Every year at Christmastime I take an evening apart to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” (I bought the video) even after having seen it a million times. At the risk of a severe mocking by Yong Duk, and his referring to the stick figure version, I want to share that I particularly noted this year the scene when Uncle Billy, after spending the day with George going over and over trying to remember what he did with the lost money, George gives him a good shaking and telling off, and leaves Uncle Billy in tears, weeping on his desk. And as he’s weeping, his pet squirrel climbs on his arm, and looks into his face to comfort him.

      I think that’s the squirrel MP drew in the banner. 🙂
      God bless.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Doug says:

        Ha! That must be why this is my favorite Christmas move! I remember that now.

        Liked by 3 people

      • ann says:

        I love Its A Wonderful Life. This Christmas as I watched it once again I thought “We used to be Bedford Falls in this country. Now we are Pottersville. The whole country is Pottersville.” And I had a moment of intense sadness until I reminded myself that we too as a country are going to have a George Bailey awakening by God’s grace. So Back into the Fight. “Once more dear friends, unto the breach. God for Harry, England and St. George…” (love me my Shakespeare ;-)) By the way is there anyone on this sight from Maine? Just askin’. Good to hear New Hampshire is represented.

        Liked by 8 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Wonderful insight, Ann. We used to be Bedford Falls and have become Pottersville. And the way to get back is through the simple, the ordinary. Who knew it was a prophetic movie!

          Liked by 6 people

        • Another Karen says:

          I’m not from Maine, but close to the border near Portsmouth. My husband is from the Portland area of Maine. Great (and big!) state, but interesting times with your governor!

          Liked by 2 people

          • ann says:

            Well you’ll see a sign on the way in that says “Maine. The way life should be.” And in many ways that’s true. Probably a lot like Patrick’s description of South Dakota and I’m sure New Hampshire, too. Rural states seem to hang on to those bedrock values. Yes I know the governor is problematic in some ways but I defend him in this one aspect–he was very public in his support of pro-life and was ridiculed for it. I thought it took a lot of courage to take such a public stance, and since I have become a single issue voter these days–pro life position is a must–and the other candidates were very pro abortion, I voted for Governor LePage twice. We love New Hampshire by the way. Spent a weekend in Gorham before Christmas entertaining the grandkids with Santa’s Village.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          I guess this movie is more prophetic than we realize.

          Liked by 2 people

      • prayingflower says:

        Awww, Petra. And so much more special coming from you 🙂 I had forgotten that scene. I retired that movie long ago but I had forgotten about the pet squirrel. Perhaps I should dust it off and take another look in light of recent events. Growing up, my brother had a pet squirrel he took everywhere on his shoulder. He kept it in the cellar of our home. One winter morning my brother found the little fella frozen stiff. We all cried except my mother who never much appreciated the family’s penchant for wild things. Because of my Dad’s affection for them, I suppose, my siblings and I are enamored of all things wild. Well, maybe most things. There’s always fleas, snakes, rats, scorpions… Thank you for this suggestion. I think that movie would be a good one to watch at this time for its example of what can happen when an economy tanks and people have to support each other (and pay closer attention to their Guardian Angel 🙂 ) xo pf

        Liked by 4 people

        • Doug says:

          Don’t tell Charlie this, but I actually rescued a family of new born squrrels about 10 years ago. They fell out of the nest from the tree (don’t know why). They were so helpless on the ground. I had to leave for a business trip in a couple of hours. I gave them to our office administrator and she brought them to a place that helps revive animals.

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I was talking to my brother Steve, yesterday, and asked if he remembered the pet squirrels we had, for he was only five or six at the time. He sure did remember them running around the house, keeping us all laughing and amused.

            Liked by 3 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        Please dearest sister Petra, I pray you will never feel intimidate. Share away and thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. Your stick figure messages mean the world to Jesus. We love you. –Zenia Jane

        Liked by 2 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Oh Petra, I watch that movie every year at Christmas! I loved that Uncle Billy had his crow too! I also watch A Christmas Carol- all 78,564,738 versions of it 😉 and I still have to watch all of the old Disney Christmas and MGM cartoons too. They bring back memories of Christmas with my kids when they were little… I’m such a sap at Christmas.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          I like the George C. Scott version best, though the Tiny Tim in the Alistair Sims version was best. Tiny Tim in the Scott version could be cloying at times.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            I think Alistair Sims version is my favorite…it’s a toss up with the Donald Duck version 🙂 I love when Duck McScrooge threatens Bob Crachit with his dirty laundry and it ends up being a bag of toys.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Petra says:

        I know we’re not supposed to just put unsupported links on the comments page just to share something we’ve seen, but this is tangentially related to the angelic squirrel comforting Uncle Billy (which was already only tangential to the topic here, so I’m really stretching it.) But the animals that share are planet and our lives are sometimes really something!

        God bless.

        Liked by 5 people

  12. prayingflower says:

    Oh, and I, too, would like to purchase a t-shirt or two.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Another Karen says:

    Your ‘let us proceed’ launch corresponds with ‘operation storm heaven’ that Cardinal Burke has initiated. He is looking for 1,000,000 prayer warriors to pledge to pray the Rosary every 1st of the month in this year of mercy in union with his Holy Mass and Rosary for the intentions of bringing hope, strengthening against discouragement and despair, protecting families and faith, stopping the advance of evil, and flooding souls with grace and light. Sounds familiar. Interested people can sign up at catholicaction.org .

    Liked by 15 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for this, Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

      Such a wonderful idea! Have already signed up!

      Liked by 4 people

    • SanSan says:

      Storming Heaven with Cardinal Burke since Dec. 8th……signed up right away. Also, after every morning Mass, I lead the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Many are staying to say it with me. Onward Christian soldiers!

      Liked by 6 people

    • El ingeniero de Tepeyac says:

      “He is looking for 1,000,000 prayer warriors to pledge to pray the Rosary every 1st of the month in this year of mercy in union with his Holy Mass and Rosary for the intentions of bringing hope, strengthening against discouragement and despair, protecting families and faith, stopping the advance of evil, and flooding souls with grace and light.”

      My family and I are in

      Liked by 5 people

  14. EllenChris says:

    Oh, I just have to share this. I had to bring my laptop over to the church office in order to get onto the internet just now because we are — yet again — having WiFi issues. I went across the hall to get something while the Wednesday Bible Study is going on in the lounge just as they were reading out loud Isaiah 58: 11 & 12. “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in burned out places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called “Repairer of the Breach” the restorer of streets to dwell in.” (ESV) This refers to Israel returning to their own Land after being in exile in Babylon/Persia. It describes the destroyed Jerusalem being raised up and restored.

    Sounds a lot like The Rescue to me. We have been grieving over the wounds and destruction of Christ’s Church. We shall see God Himself raise up His people, and rebuild His Church. . . . .And the People of the Kingdom, and the People of Heaven shall rise together — shall rise forever, and God shall RULE!! (Lots of tears running down my face)

    Liked by 14 people

    • Anne says:

      You were moved to the right place at the right time EC.
      Thank you Lord …… Words of great hope.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Ellen, that painted a lovely picture for me of what is yet to come. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Amen!

      I think few of us make it past Isaiah 62 regularly. (That may be the only nice thing about Epiphany being celebrated on the Sunday between Jan 2 and 6 in regards to the Office of Readings, but I celebrate Epiphany on Jan 6th…)

      Those Chapters are glorious!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        O Dearest and Wisest of Contentious Squirrels, I beseech you to settle a dispute amongst my relations. Everyone in my family insists that the Christmas season ends with the Baptism of Our Lord. But I read that on the Old Calendar, the season extended until Candlemas; so I lobby every year to keep our Christmas tree up until then (I’ve lost every year except last year; looks like I’m going to lose this year, too). Is it OK for someone who attends a Novus Ordo parish to celebrate Christmas until February 2? Or am I just being an old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud?

        Thanks in advance; this is something I’ve been wondering about for a long time. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Ha, Mick. When my kids were little, they finally demanded that I at least take the tree down by the Fourth of July. I grudgingly complied.

          Liked by 3 people

        • EllenChris says:

          If you want to go for precise “liturgical correctness,” we are in the Season of Epiphany or Ordinary Time. Ash Wednesday this year is February 10. My own two cents: Hang on until Candlemas! Feb 2 is a very important feast day. We have taken down almost everything, but the Nativity Set is staying on the mantle piece in the living room — maybe until Shrove Tuesday. Cheers, Mick — hang in there.

          Liked by 3 people

        • YongDuk says:

          In Poland, they leave it up until Feb 2. But, of course, they don’t put it up until Dec 24.

          Just be prudent with fire-hazards

          Liked by 4 people

          • Mick says:

            My husband went to a tree farm on December 24 and cut down our tree. We decorated it after the Vigil Mass that evening. And woodstove notwithstanding, the tree is still in pretty good shape.

            Liked by 3 people

        • Snowflakesdancing says:

          Mick, I always have to take mine down early because of the wood stove. The dry heat dries everything to a crisp and by the end of December my tree is a fire hazard and has lost so many needles it looks pathetic.. poor thing. We were considering buying a live potted tree each year- if I did that I would have to leave it in the house until the ground thawed and then plant it in the yard. Our trees are about 14 feet tall…I can’t imagine what a tree that size would weigh in a pot!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Mick, your family is correct since we in the United States are governed by the liturgical calendar established by the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship: http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/upload/2016cal.pdf

          At the same time, you deserve to win this year as you can claim its necessity by virtue of your consecration to Our Lady landing on Candlemas Day. You might throw in the idea that as the world darkens, Christ’s Light will shine the brighter. Um, let’s see, can you not also barter with favorite baked foods for the fam? The trump, from the same USCCB site which posts the liturgical calendar: “Every Eucharist is like Christmas where the bread and wine are transformed into His flesh, His Body and Blood, and, in a sense, He is born anew on the altar.” Go get’ em Cheerleader Mick!

          Long ago, a dear friend taught me her tradition of keeping a little bit of Christmas up year round. This year I’m keeping my Christmas squirrel in plain sight to remind me of everyone here.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Mick says:

            Thanks, Beckita! I concede my error, but I will not concede defeat! I will sweetly (ha!) and concisely (ha ha!) lay out my case in my best legal-beagle way. But as for tempting the family with treats… well, both my husband and 16-year-old daughter are better cooks than I am, so that probably wouldn’t work. But, no matter. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

            I am definitely leaving my Christmas Squirrel out all year. I decided to name him Nuts.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            I love your spirit, Mick, with your legal-beagle ways! My three year old granddaughter found my Christmas squirrel yesterday and it was worth a good 30 minutes of role play time.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Aaaaawe!

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Beckita! When my six-year-old saw my Christmas squirrel, he screwed up his face in a puzzled, rather disgusted frown, and asked, “What’s THAT? It looks like something dead!”

            Kids these days… 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Barb129 says:

            We still have our Christmas tree up but it’s not going to last much longer. It’s a real tree and stopped soaking up water this week and now it’s beginning to droop. =(
            However, I’ve kept a little Christmas up somewhere in the house every year for about ten years now and this year I’m leaving up more than usual. I love the idea of keeping my squirrel ornament out. =)

            Liked by 3 people

        • vkmir3 says:

          The pastor at the parish where I often go for Daily Mass stated he is leaving the Christmas decorations up in his Church until February 2! He is a wonderful, holy priest with a great devotion to our Blessed Mother and loves to teach about the Saint of the day. He also has a healing Mass every first Monday of the month among so many other wonderful things he does. We are blessed to have him in our area.

          Liked by 5 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Mick, I politely disagree with Beckita… While correct re: the Church’s Liturgical Season of Christmas in the Novus Ordo ending after Evening Prayer II on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord… There is no reason that you cannot to personally celebrate the Christmas-y season through Feb 2 in preparation for that Feast, celebrating the 40 days until Candlemas.

          In Poland, as I mentioned before, and I suspect in other Eastern European nations, on Candlemas there is a procession with a candle representing or being one’s baptismal candle (more substantial there like the standard thicker altar candle) from one’s home to the parish church.

          A parish doing so is different than a person doing so.

          I would concede celebrating the Season of Epiphany or Epiphanytide, but a complication lies with the preparation for Lent that you can find in both Eastern and Western Church Traditions and that can fall before Feb 2.

          In Roman Catholicism, traditionally Epiphanytide ended on Septuagesima Sunday, the Sunday within 70 days of Easter. That Sunday marked a 17 day period in preparation for Lent and, as stated, the date being variable and can precede Feb 2, as it does this year, it being on January 24.

          In Byzantine-Salvic Catholicism, you find something similar and you have nifty Sundays like Meatfare Sunday and Cheesefare Sunday. (They observe Ash Monday and not Ash Wednesday.)

          Disappointingly to any newbie visiting a Byzantine parish (e.g. Ukrainian Catholic), they, Meatfare and Cheesefare, are not a fair in any sense of the homophone. But I was young and hungry and had a higher metabolism and hoped against hope… Rather, those Sundays mark, if I understand it correctly and remember a Ukrainian deacon telling me, the week when one quit eating those foods. No meat after that day until Easter and no cheese after that day until Easter, respectively.

          But I digress sciurinely…

          Off for some leftover anchovy pizza for breakfast on that note waned eloquently.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Wow, YD; thanks! I’m going to have to print this off and file it away to read and re-read in the future. My, but you never fail to impress with your sciurine sapience. 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            My Dear YD, we actually agree. I simply stated the *liturgical* calendar reality abd encouraged Mick to continue with the private celebration and gave tacit encouragement for celebrating Christmas daily. Thanks for the Byzantine info!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            You are a treasure YD!

            Like

    • Beckita says:

      Soon and very soon!

      Liked by 2 people

    • ann says:

      Yup, got just got a lump in my throat. Glorious scripture. Some years ago when I was grieving over loss of faith in my children and worrying mightily about their souls and their eternal destinies, the Lord so mercifully and generously put a quote from Isaiah 49 right under my nose and I recorded the moment in the margin of my Bible and I quote it often to the Lord to tell Him I am believing on this promise. I think it applies perhaps to many of us right now. The scripture: “That you may know that I am Yahweh, and no one who ever hoped in Me was disappointed. Will the body be snatched from the warrior. Will the tyrant give up his captive? Thus says Yahweh. Yes! The warrior will give up his captive and the tyrant will give back his booty. And I will fight those who fight you. And I myself will save your children.” Just to clinch the awesome mercy of this scripture gift–prior to receiving it I had begged the Lord, “please don’t let them be the devil’s booty.” And then this scripture with that exact word. I knew the tyrant is the devil and the Lord Himself will fight for my children—for all our children. “Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation, oh my soul praise Him for He is our help and salvation…”

      Liked by 8 people

  15. johnmcfarm says:

    Great article Charlie…would like to add a couple things to help. Hope you don’t mind.

    As Charlie has explained, very well…currency in and of itself holds little value other than the confidence held in it’s ability to represent value of things that actually hold real value. When the current currency fails there will be a time (few weeks to months) where dollars will not hold much value or even none. What will probably happen is the government, in it’s attempt to avoid defaulting on it’s astronomical debt will devalue (inflation) the dollar and will declare something to the affect of saying what was $1,000 will be X. X will be a small fraction of what the $1,000 was perhaps as low as a few dollars. The bad news is you will see your savings become a small fraction of what it was. The good news is the economy will adjust prices accordingly, but there will be a lag in time. The strategy you should have is to be self sustainable for at least three months, six months is better. We may see the “official” currency replaced several times as the government strives to stabilize a crashing financial monster. General economic activity will shrink greatly, primarily in “luxury” goods, or rather, goods not necessary for sustaining life. Food, tools, items we have to have to live will become the greatest and most stabile valued items, employment and investments.

    But, as Charlie also explained currency has a very important function of making transactions easy to complete. A true barter system is very cumbersome and inefficient. However, there are some things which will make it easier. Gold and Silver, will maintain a relative value and perhaps increase in real value (value relative to inflation/deflation). Silver is good because it is lower value making it easier to buy lower cost goods, I also think Silver is presently slightly undervalued. Making it a good buy right now. American Eagle silver dollars are good, but so are Silver bars (albeit it will take a bit more trust and calculation to use). Gold is good for larger cost purchases or in 1 gram bars for purchases that would be equivalent to about $100 to $300 today. And, some people will prefer Gold psychologically.

    Other items can work nearly as well as currency. If you have a surplus of food, you will do well using it for trade being able to ask a premium. Bullets, I would suggest 9mm, 22 long rifle. .223 and .45 are probably very good to have to trade. They very likely will also be a premium.

    The most important thing to remember when trying to figure out what to stockpile is how much you need it to live. If you go into a trade needing something you have to have you may be vulnerable to having to overpay. In each trade (including today and all your life) the person who needs his side of the trade more usually pays more.

    If we have a complete collapse including the federal government, we will most likely see local and regional currency at some point…this was common in history, including American history. Your town may come up with some kind of currency for local trade. Some things to watch for in determining it’s success are; Is it easy to counterfeit, is it trusted by most people, and how much local trade will you need to actually do.

    Some examples of mistakes in currency in the past which made them not good currency. At one time in Colonial American history tobacco was declared to be currency. I think it was a regional thing…anyway what happened was everyone began growing tobacco and the per unit value crashed (inflation). Some South Pacific Island tried using large wooden rounds for currency…you can guess at how successful that was rolling along with a five foot round piece of wood to buy food with. These are rare and unlikely situations to occur, but the point is relevant. Consider the ease with which trade can be conducted and with the duplicating or counterfeiting of the currency will be. That will determine how much of that currency (if any) to “invest” in.

    Self sufficiency is the ideal…but, few can truly reach full self sufficiency so trade will be important to nearly everyone. Be prudent and wise with your investments in time, stockpiling and production.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Anne says:

    Here we are 2018 ,,,,,,,, if storm was to start in 2012 then Mercy has been poured out so copiously and is continuing in abundance. Thank You Abba Father.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. MarieUrsula says:

    Hi, Charlie. Here’s the paragraph that leaps out for me:

    “Back in the summer of 2007, I was instructed to begin to think seriously about a world in utter collapse and chaos…to think about how to put such a society back to work, get them on their feet with some confidence after they had been completely shattered…to think of how to re-establish ownership of things justly after the very concept of ownership had been decimated by events. It is the project I have maintained almost complete silence on, but the project I have probably worked hardest on these last seven years. Not a day has gone by, I do not think, that I haven’t spent at least an hour on it. When the time comes, I will vigorously share what has been developed with those who are charged with carrying it out. It probably sounds as crazy to you now as it did to me then, but I obeyed and I am glad I did. I suspect that folks trying to rebuild from the rubble will be more open to hear what the heavens have been saying about these things than they are now. Even in matters such as these, God keeps me focused on ordinary, homely things more than anything else.”

    Many thanks to you for responding to the instruction.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. canada1nw says:

    Wow ! EllenChris what a powerful conformation from Scripture. This song comes to my mind. Listen to it all if you have time..REVIVAL is coming ..I can feel it in my spirit ..I can feel it in bones!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4HeIXYqaSs

    Liked by 5 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Yes, Canada! I was blessed to be at a conference last summer in which a real saint of God, pastor and well known writer, R. T. Kendall, spoke. Many years ago he was shown a powerful vision of what he calls, “The Greatest ‘Great Awakening’ the world has ever seen,” and he said that it would make every previous Revival look like very small potatoes indeed. His description was very much like Charlie’s “Rescue”: God making His glory known in no uncertain terms. R. T. was every bit as much certain of it as Charlie is. I believe that God is speaking through many different voices right now so that none of His faithful children will be left out. Of course, we also need careful discernment because there are also many false voices as well. The enemy loves to try to counterfeit what our good Lord is doing. But the enemy cannot reproduce the reliable signs of genuinely good fruit and virtue. R. T. carries reliable signs of good — check out Amazon to find some of his excellent books.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Whitney says:

    I just realized I have a squirrel story! I had forgotten that is was squirrels that God used as a metaphor to show me that it was okay to use prescription medicine for my son when I was extremely worries and anxious about it. I wrote about it over a year ago. How funny – God was speaking to me through nature and showing me that the squirrels who couldn’t get up the neighbors tree due to a metal 4 inch thick banner around the trunk had resorted to using the telephone pole right next to the tree. I realized after after God for a sign and looking or the window at the little buggers scurry up the telephone pole that God was telling me sometimes it’s okay for one to use man made means to obtain the ‘food’ they need. In this case use the perception (and subsequently myself) to help your son cope, it will be okay. It was an amazing moment and a definite light bulb, hit over the head a-ha that I needed at the time as I was so confused about what to do. I laugh everytime I see my poor neighbor complain about the mess they make gathering all there nuts and skimming along the telephone wires out of harms way. God made their little bodies light and agile enough to not be harmed by the electric currency running through the wires. There’s always a way. Not just the one you normally expect. If nature can adapt and find a way- I figured I can trust too like the squirrels.

    Liked by 6 people

    • ann says:

      OK. I have stayed silent on the subject squirrels because they are not my favorite animal. As I once told a friend, “they are just rats with bushy tails.” (does that get me voted off the island?) but I suddenly recalled something about squirrels and it is so charming, and it just delighted our whole family. So I shall relate. We have old apple trees in our back yard and a red squirrel began her little family in our barn but my children were too curious so she moved them to a knot hole in a particularly ancient apple tree. Every day we watched her go back and forth from tree to woods and back to bring food. And one day five little heads popped out of the knot hole and began to explore the limbs of the apple tree but at any sound they would scurry back into the nest and hide. One day we happened to be watching when she carefully led each baby squirrel down the apple tree and into the woods. She would go one at a time, secure that baby and then come back for the next one. Finally there was one baby squirrel left. The mother started down the tree, the baby followed and then panicked and scampered right back up and into the nest. The mother patiently went back and started the whole process again. But the baby kept panicking and scrambling back to the nest. Finally the mother climbed purposefully up the tree and came back with the baby firmly clasped in her mouth by the neck and brought him to the woods. We never saw them again but I thought to myself what a gift to see this mother behaving like every other mother since time began. And then I began to see the spiritual analogy too. So maybe I have been hard on squirrels in spite of the fact that they get into the attic of our cabin and make trouble. Mea culpa. Better get me one of those t-shirts.

      Liked by 8 people

    • Mick says:

      Great story, Whitney! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Whitney says:

      ThAnks! ‘Perception’ was supposed to be prescription! Have a wonderful weekend everyone- and find joy in the midst of your trials. I managed to today and it has been nice. Spending time with my mom and dad at breakfast was an awesome treat. I’m thankful they are still here to support me and I’m able to go to mass with them in the am. We must be thankful first as they told me at breakfast. James is seizing more. I will increase his meds per the Drs and trust. Place my trust in God. praise be Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for this. I get it. Thanks be to God for His mercy on my soul!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Mack says:

    Re-reading this post (which was one of my favorites), I was struck by the analogy with a forest fire. It may seem like devastation but brings new life. Once when I visited the Redwood forest in California, the park ranger said that fire is needed to make the seeds of certain trees sprout; without it they can’t. So the fire brings new life.
    More and more l have been thinking that the government welfare system–which has certainly done good in providing a certain social safety net–has also done a lot of damage to the extent it has eroded individual initiative. This is a big thing that troubles me. I know quite a few people who depend on government checks. It will be devastating for them, but in the long run their salvation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anne says:

      Mack the bushfire theme is forefront for me at present.
      Ellen Chris’s superb …… Absolute stand out….. Article started it for me. We were in the midst of huge bush fires down south…. Then this repeat article. Just before reading your article I was pondering new growth…. New seeds. I was thinking of big trials all are having especially in family life.
      Then I suddenly connected it all to the birth on Jan 12 of our first grandchild….. new life and there has been much bushfire… A new little soul seed fresh from heaven’s garden.
      Straight from the Heart of the father…… Thank you so much Abba Father for Your gift.
      20 minutes later I read your comment and it mentioned Redwoods. I smiled because a few years we saw a stand of them in Victoria Australia . Many do not know they are here …… Even Victorians. Story has it that some miner in gold rush days had seeds .
      Thank You Lord for confirmation through Mac.

      Liked by 3 people

  22. Nance says:

    And the currency of choice is: PRAYER. And we can start now. Cardinal Burke is trying to get 1 million prayer warriors to say a Rosary and go to Mass on the 1st of each month. Our intentions will be to heal the church, and the world with our prayers. Remember the ship may go down, but we can save as many as we can. And we don’t have to wait until it is down. Right, Charlie?

    Here is the link to sign your pledge to pray on the 1st: http://www.catholicaction.org/rosary_pledge

    Liked by 5 people

  23. SteveBC says:

    “I put it at the top of this article because this is my website and I can.”

    Looks like you’re gonna get to coach in the Big Leagues after all, Charlie. 😀

    Thank you, Michael. It’s brilliant.

    Liked by 4 people

    • SanSan says:

      How can we copy the logo and have it put on a shirt? I would love to pass people on the street and know that they are part of the NRS family!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SteveBC says:

        I think Charlie should consider asking the folks at Full of Grace Supply House to make T-shirts available with this printed on the front (or back?). Michael Patrick would have to work with them by providing a properly sized and high-quality image file to them. This picture here is almost certainly not adequate in quality. Then anyone who wanted one could buy it from FoGSHouse.

        I’m not sure, but it might be possible to connect a URL link to this picture once the T-shirts are available at FoGSHouse. Then if anyone clicked on the image, they would be taken to that page at FoGSHouse and could buy it.

        Liked by 5 people

  24. Erin says:

    Don’t forget that squirrels taste like chicken!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. BlessedIam says:

    Reading this while college basketball on ESPN is on in background. I just looked up and it’s a commercial for a financial company with origami looking squirrels running around storing acorns….

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Snowflakesdancing says:

    Michael Patrick, I love your squirrel logo. I third-fourth-fifth the motion for t-shirts. Did you know you just did exactly what Our Pope asked artists to do?! 🙂 use the gift for God and to encourage people. I’ll bet Pope Francis would LOVE our squirrel at TNRS and we could send him a t-shirt. So where do we place orders?

    Liked by 5 people

    • prayingflower says:

      Oh, I think Pope Francis would love that! I really love him, too. Thanks, Snowflakesdancing (that’s a cute screen name. Didn’t realize it was you at first.)

      Liked by 4 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        prayingflower, I think so too. I’ve been reading quotes from him and reading some different things he has been teaching over the past two days- he is so humble and joyful and so simple in his love for God and us. I think he would love this little community here and our squirrel. 🙂 I especially love his focus on God’s mercy!

        Liked by 5 people

    • prayingflower says:

      I meant I love Pope Francis, but I also love and our innocent little squirrel. Michael’s a genius, isn’t he?

      Liked by 3 people

  27. sharon pello says:

    I love squirrels also, we watched one today, sitting on a branch while the rain was coming down and thoroughly enjoying the little tidbit he had found….ignoring all the leaves falling around him and the gusty wind because he was just taking care of his needs for this one day and he was content with that!
    Thank you Charlie for bringing us so much hope..your a light in a very dark world, just as the Lord
    designed you to be! God Bless you!!!
    Sharon Pello

    Liked by 6 people

  28. Kelli says:

    Although I post infrequently, I regularly read the website and comments sections of your posts. I would like to make a prayer request. My husband suffered a serious stroke during an angiogram–just a test on his heart to make sure there were no blockages. It is supposed to be a safe procedure with little chance of complications. His heart was in great health, but plaque was knocked off one of his arteries and went to his brain stem. This happened over a year and a half ago and he is still struggling to recover. We have 5 children, 3 at home under the age of 13. We are also raising an 8 year old grandson. I am a religion teacher in a Catholic school and work very hard to teach the truths of the Faith to students and parents alike. In all honesty, I can rationally state that I know the Lord allows suffering to bring about a greater good. But I must admit that this is a bitter pill to swallow. My husband was forced to retire because he is not capable of working and I pay somebody to stay with him during the day while I am at work. This has been difficult financially–so an economic collapse might not be a bad thing! =) Please pray for his full recovery and restoration and that I may persevere with hope and charity. Please pray for my children who desperately miss their “normal” dad. Above all, I need the grace and the faith to fully trust in Jesus. I guess we all do. Thank you and God bless.

    Liked by 11 people

  29. Joe says:

    Michael, I would wear that logo with pride. Squirrels on 3…..1..2..3 SQUIRRELS!

    and on a side note, the Dow is down 1700 pts in the last 10 trading days, including a loss of ~350 pts today….I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin….

    Liked by 6 people

  30. Linda says:

    Charlie that was brilliant in that you put it all in lay terms.. Very complicated.. But easily understood. Thank you friend.. Once again.. God bless you in your travels.. Enjoy your respite😇

    Liked by 6 people

  31. I love the squirrel logo Charlie!! I want a t shirt!! I love squirrels too. I post pics of them all the time on FB. Adorable creatures. When my pekingese dog ate 2 of them a long while back I was mortified! I still cant figure out to this day how in the world she caught them.
    Thanks Charlie!
    God bless!!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. This was the first time I’ve ever seen that old post.

    Um…I’m stunned………..and I was shaking like a leaf while reading it.

    This means…..that there will be a massive displacement of people…soon. God help us. JMJ.

    I, uh, think I need to go lie down for a bit

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, and yes MP’s logo is awesome!

      Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, that is not necessarily the case, Patrick. In most such crash scenarios, over 80 percent of the population stayed right where they were at and adapted. Don’t get caught up in disaster movie scenarios. We will learn to make do…and most will stay right where they are or very close by. The most important worldly refuge we have is the refuge of those family and friends we care for and who care for us. I have often told people to worry less about the physical geography of safety and focus more on the more important network of friends and family. Your strength is in your faith and in the numbers of people you will be neighbor to and who are neighbor to you.

      Liked by 9 people

      • I imagine that’d likely be the case in family-oriented rural South Dakota. People are very neighborly here and will probably stick around and work together. I sure intend to.

        Your analogies create powerful imagery, though, like the forest fire. So the change will be profound, rapid, and final, with something new gradually taking its place? Uffda. AND, it’s just one aspect of the Storm? Double uffda. Suffice to say, many people, particularly the unprepared but even us too, might be quite miserable for a time right where we’re at.

        Sometimes it’s hard for me to remain focused on the bigger picture and not get distracted by minutiae or contingencies. I should just stick with what I’m fairly good at — praying (and vacuum packing pinto beans).

        Thanks again, Charlie — it always takes me a while to get up to speed, especially when the “check engine” light is on.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Pinto beans are my favorite beans.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          Uffda: Patrick, you are a true South Dakotan 😉

          Liked by 2 people

        • singingjuls says:

          You guys are so great! Leave it to the TNRSteppers to go from squirrels to pinto beans in one fell swoop! Maybe if we put the pinto beans out for the squirrels they would plant them for us? I know I used to throw pumpkin and squash seeds under my evergreen in the front yard for our squirrels, and the kids and I would watch them go about burying those seeds all over our front yard. That is until the next summer when I had a whole pumpkin patch growing right out from under the evergreen! I think we had more pumpkins that summer than we’d ever grown in our little back yard garden! (I didn’t have the heart to pull them out). It definitely made for interesting neighborly conversations that year.

          Liked by 7 people

      • Mick says:

        Doug, you make me laugh. And you know how I just LOOOOVE flowers! 🙂

        As Katherine said, it is true that some of the beans available at the grocery store will sprout if you plant them. There are a few possible concerns, though. First, many of the non-organic beans at the store have been irradiated. I read someplace that irradiated beans will not sprout. Even if irradiated beans do sprout, the irradiation might cause changes in the growth characteristics and the overall health of the plants. A second concern is that the variety of bean that you buy at the store may or may not grow well in your particular climate (it might require, say, a longer growing season than you have, or it might not do well in humid/hot/cool/dry conditions). A third concern is that there are hybrid varieties of beans like kidney and pinto. There’s no way to tell if the store-bought beans are hybrids; but if they are, then seed-saving becomes quite a challenge because the seeds of hybrid plants will not generally not yield plants that have the same characteristics (productivity, insect/disease resistance/susceptibility, heat/cold/drought/overwatering tolerance) as the plants from which you saved the seed.

        If I had no other choice, I would buy beans at the store and use them as seed. But with all of the wildcards above, I would not want to bet my life on such seeds in a survival situation.

        High-quality, non-hybrid, inexpensive seed for dry (soup- or baking-type) beans is readily available for the time being. Some good sources are:

        Fedco Seeds: http://www.fedcoseeds.com
        Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: http://www.SouthernExposure.com
        Seed Savers Exchange: http://www.seedsavers.org

        Another thing should be noted: Dry-bean production takes a whole lot of space. Examples: This year, we planted a 30-foot row of a soup bean called Bolita. After shelling them, we had 28 cups of beans (I didn’t weigh them, but I’m guessing this was between 7 and 10 pounds). In 2012, we planted 2 75-foot rows of black-eyed peas. We harvested about 25 pounds of beans.

        Hope this helps. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        • Doug says:

          Now Mick, Did you know that off hand or did you have to look it up? 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. (And since I read somewhere that that sort of thing is frowned upon in this Establishment, I guess I’ll zip my lips; ’cause damning myself to hell is probably not the “next right step.”)

            So, where are my flowers?

            🙂

            P.S. We need some different emojis. I want one like the one they have over at the Next Right Steppers forum: it has a smiley face which is sporting some shades and a 1970s afro. Can somebody help me out here? Doug? Steve? Petra?

            P.P.S. You don’t have to send me REAL flowers, Doug; emoji flowers would suffice.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            But Mick, emoji flowers would be too practical.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ok Mick, here you go. Emoji flowers and sixties afro 🌹💃

            I figured it out on android smart phone 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oops. Wrong afro💃

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Ooh… Doug, thanks! Red roses are my fave! (Or was that a tulip?)

            I think my phone is an android; but since I don’t even know how to retrieve the voice mails from it, I’m guessing that finding the emojis is a no-go.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Mick, if it is android (mine is Galaxy S6), then press and hold the mic (picture of mic) key down for a few seconds (lower left hand side of the keys, bottom row, second from the left). Click on the smiley face after that and all the emoji show up. After that, the bottom row has emoji categories. Select the category that looks like a dog face and you will see the flowersin there. Here is a rose for you🌹

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Doug, you rock! Now, how do I get the emojis off of my android and onto my laptop so that I can use them on Charlie’s site? (Is that a really dumb question?)

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Sorry Mick. I have no clue on that one. How about trying a Google search for desk top emojis?

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Arrgh, Doug! Why are computers so complicated?

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Job security for people like us engineers. No. Actually, this may sound strange, but even though I am an engineer, I am not a computer geek. It is the the software guys who make it all complicated. I have always advocated that the best and most elegant designs are usually the most simplistic 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

  33. Vijaya says:

    Charlie, I love the squirrel logo and it ties beautifully to your article. You explain everything so well. Thank you and God bless you.
    Kelli, I am praying for you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Super logo, M.P.! Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Deacon Patrick Mongan, MD says:

    Dear Charlie, I am new to your blog and a Catholic deacon. You have mentioned bishops and priests frequently but wonder what the role of deacons should be and how we should be preparing beyond the obvious (right relationship with Jesus & Church)?

    Deacon Pat

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Dear Deacon Pat, keep reading. That will be a frequent theme in the next few months. The most important to begin with, I think, is to treat those you minister to as true family, to become a beloved uncle to all. I am thinking of asking the director of the private forum to add a section particularly for Priests, Pastors and Deacons to go and talk with each other. I get a lot here now, some overtly, many covertly, and I would like a way where you can talk with each other privately in safety to share ideas, experience, and help build each other up.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Tom says:

        Charlie, I just built a section in the forum for our Priests, Pastors, and Deacons to talk privately with one another: http://nextrightstep.forumotion.com/f16-coffee-house-for-priests-pastors-and-deacons

        May God continue to bless and protect all clergy and guide them to boldly proclaim Truth and lead more of God’s people to Him!

        Liked by 9 people

      • Deacon Patrick Mongan, MD says:

        Thank you Charlie, I became a deacon in spite of the heterodoxy given during my formation, and have not been afraid to speak God’s Truth but we all know of situations where priests or deacons have been censured/vilified for speaking Truth & Church teachings. So, a forum might be helpful. Also, I have been in a “charismatic community” in the past and believe in the prophetic word. Paul clearly speaks of a “prophetic gift” yet why doesn’t the Church recognize such gifts publicly?

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          I appreciate your fortitude, Deacon Pat. In defense of the hierarchy, though I think the charismatic movement nurtures some wonderful and important gift, it is something of a hothouse flower that is easily infected. You worked through a situation where people actually acknowledged no Spirit in practice. Some charismatics are prone to get so enamored of the experiences provided in the Spirit, that they start promiscuously consorting with any spirit that will come. I have seen some wonderful, faith-filled charismatic events, but I have dealt with many that were infected with all manner of unclean spirits, taken over with vanity and pride. If the hierarchy’s caution is sometimes excessive, it is not imprudent.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Bob says:

            I too have been in charismatic renewal and remain active in a healing and deliverance ministry in St Louis which is under good archdiocesan leadership. In St Louis the rector of our seminary and assistant bishop is supportive. The risk of following false leads is there and should be tested. Here I haven’t seen people go off too many tangents when groups remained obedient.. As for false spirits I have seen more become aware that we live in a spiritual reality with God, angels and saints as well as demons to contend with on the negative side. The ones who started listening to false or delusional spirits, and a few have, were those who refused to remain obedient to the Bishop and those under him. So the problem I don’t think is in being opened to the Spirit but in being proud and becoming disobedient.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Absolutely true, Charlie. I’ve seen so with my own eyes as well.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Frank says:

            Back in 1990 I saw “The Kansas City Prophets” in Baltimore. They were introduced by John Wimber of the Vineyard Ministries who collaborated closely with Catholic lay leaders. These men, Paul Cain and Bob Jones, exercised extraordinary gifts. They were controversial in the Protestant Charismatic world, so they were really an eye-opener for some Catholics. Unfortunately, they both later fell publicly and were relegated to the far margins of the Protestant Charismatic movement.

            Like many others who were touched by the Charismatic movement, I entered a post-Charismatic phase for many years. In the last few years, however, I’ve become convinced that the Lord really wants these gifts in His Church. But, the use of the Gifts must be accompanied by absolute humility, a strong desire for holiness and a deep love for the Lord and our neighbor.

            Liked by 3 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Ain’t that the truth, Charlie!

          Many, many authentic and sincere people and groups were divided and when a “prophet” comes along and warns them of the path they are heading down, do they listen? No…

          Humility, humility, humilty and the root of humiity is self-knowledge:

          I am merely an instrument that God grabs by the hair extensions [ = uses] when He wants and puts me where He wants and puts me back to where I was as He wants. Blessed be God Who giveth and taketh and I am nothing no matter so Glory be to God.

          Liked by 7 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Yes, YD. I have noted that the groups that are most grounded are those who are in direction by a holy Priest approved for them and overseen by their Bishop. There are times I have blamed the groups for going into disobedience against their Bishop – and times I have blamed a Bishop for not giving them the care and oversight they need because they are not his cup of tea.

            Liked by 6 people

      • Beckita says:

        Yes, Welcome Deacon Pat! Bravo, Tom! God bless you both.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Welcome here Deacon Pat!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Another Karren says:

      Welcome Deacon Pat! This is a warm and nurturing environment that I hope will be as supportive to you as your contributions will be to all of us. Glad you found your way here!

      Liked by 2 people

    • gotoJoseph says:

      Good to see you here Deacon Patrick!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Welcome to the family, Deacon Pat. 🙂

      Like

  36. Doug says:

    Good advice Charlie!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Kim in Ohio says:

    Hi Charlie and my brothers and sisters in Christ. First, I chuckled at the logo. I needed a laugh.) And the article, it is something or a topic God has placed in my heart almost 15 years ago. I asked you a while ago what do you tell young people and you wrote back that you tell them the same things you tell adults. I have 2 teenage sons and I have been struggling to find the right words and ways to prepare them for the future. One wants to study psychology and the other computer engineering and/or graphic designs. Personally, I don’t think the computer career will be of any good down the road. My heart and mind have been screaming for us to take our retirement money to buy a smaller house and more land. For 13 years I have been looking for those things. My husband is a good man, but materialistic and not spiritual. I’ve asked him to get his money out of paper and into assets (land/farm). Mostly, for the sake of our sons and their future. He thinks I’m a bit crazy. This crazy wife saved his investments in 2008 when I felt urged to have him get out of the stock market. Thanks be to God, he listened. A few months later the crash hit. I’ve had to tell him things about our future in bits and pieces or else he shuts me off. A few months ago again I felt the strong urge to tell others to get out of the stock market and get back to the Catholic Church and the Sacrament of confession. I picked my 3 closest friends from childhood. They too are materialistic and more on the secular side and not Catholic anymore. I hesitated to mail the hand written letters I had for each of them. I thought, “Their going to really think I’m crazy.” But I mailed them out. Well, lo and behold, the market went down 300 points that Thursday. I wrote the letters that Monday. Maybe they didn’t have money in the Market, and maybe the letters didn’t get to them in time. But, I think it was a wake up call to them about their spiritual state, since they do not seem to believe in the Catholic Sacraments (especially confession). I was ashamed because I delayed in doing what I felt so strongly to do out of embarrassment. If you’re wondering if they’ve contacted me in any way about my letter, no they haven’t. They’ve always avoided my religious or spiritual inclinations. I was the one who wanted to be a nun when I was younger. This post has given me courage to stay strong and continue to listen to where the Lord is calling us. Thank you very much Charlie. It gets lonely sometimes and very frustrating trying to help my own little family prepare for the worst of the Storm. I’m praying for you and all who read your blog. Please remember us in Ohio, which is big agricultural state. Yes Charlie, we try to be good Christian neighbors where we are now. My husband help others with their car problems, and lends equipment to others that need things fixed, and plows their driveways of snow with his little bobcat without them asking. That would not change no matter where we go. He too needs to have a spiritual conversion and return to the Sacrament of confession. It has been 22 years since he last went or before we were married. Thanks for the prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Kim, the way you describe your husband helping others and sharing his tools, caring for his family, it sounds to me like you are married to a man who already is a champion and will become all the better a one as the Storm intensifies. I have always preferred those who consistently do the right thing to those who merely talk about it – and trust God to take care of the rest.

      Liked by 7 people

  38. Kati says:

    Love the Baseball Logo. Good Job, MP! I had to explain it to my hubby before I gave him the printed copy of this post this morning. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Katherine says:

    Charlie, feel free to exclude this very long comment. I am planning a much larger garden this year, because I believe that no matter what happens, an established garden is going to be the way to go for me. I have gathered some canning supplies, learned how to can, and learned a bit on how to save seeds and store produce for the winter and how to ready garden soil each year and how to compost. I don’t know what the future will look like, but I keep thinking of rural England in the 1920’s and 30’s . . . where most families had a little garden and some chickens and maybe even a cow, no matter what kind of work the head of the household was into. It was standard practice for each family to raise some food. Actually, my great grandparents were German immigrants living in Albany. There are ancient photographs of their “backyard” garden. They lived in a tenement type household with a backyard that was basically a long pathway. The picture I am thinking of shows how they grew corn and tomatoes and raised chickens in this teeny little space. It was just part of their mind-set to be able to provide at least a little for themselves. I just wanted to pass this along because it can be overwhelming to think about trying to be totally self-sufficient. There’s a lot of off the grid type websites offering advice and whatnot, but for most of us a fully sustainable functioning homestead will not be something we can just do. However, each of us can do a little for ourselves, and maybe share and trade with one another as a larger picture develops. So, I figure this is as good a place as any to just offer what little gardening tips I’ve gleaned that might be useful for those who want to plan a garden this spring. I am by no means an expert. I just like to learn things. You can turn lawn into a garden plot quickly by covering the grass with cardboard or a weighted black tarp in early spring and have a nice place to dig up by May or June. It will also have enough organic material in if prepared this way to grow some things, just dig and aerate the soil. Adding a teaspoon of epsom salt at the bottom of planting holes for transplants would be a good idea. Grind up some egg shells and place in the hole if you’re doing tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are earliest and indeterminate types produce abundantly and aren’t too picky about the soil. They did great this past summer in my own garden where some of my other tomatoes wound up with blossom end rot because I didn’t get enough calcium to them. I am planting Stupice this year, an heirloom cherry-type, and I’m trying a new way to grow seedlings besides a grow-light: winter sowing in milk jugs. You cut milk jugs in half but not all the way around to make a hinge, loose the cap, poke holes with a heated screwdriver in the bottom, fill with damp potting soil, tape the top back on and set out in the snow. They are supposed to act like mini greenhouses and produce very sturdy seedling that do not need hardening off. Just make sure the jugs don’t dry out in spring when the weather warms, and open the tops during the day when it starts to get warm. I’m in zone 5, I’m planning on doing basil, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chives, chamomile, kale, peas, mint, spinach, swiss chard and thyme in February and my early Stupice tomatoes in late March/early April. Composting: if you pile it it will rot, but you can also add stuff directly to the garden by chopping it up fine and burying it. I’ve heard of some who take their daily kitchen refuse and blend it in a blender with some water and actually pour it near the plants. Some gardeners improve their gardens using nothing but leaf mold (which you make by piling leaves mixed with some dirt and letting rot) and some wood ashes. Go easy on the wood ashes, they can raise the ph of the soil. Hardwood ash has all but five of the trace nutrients and elements that plants need. Deer: I actually use posts and 30lb test fishing line because we can’t afford to build a real fence just yet. Four lines a foot apart along the posts. It worked for me, deer can’t see very well at night and they get spooked when they feel the line, and 30lb is strong enough for them to feel, but easy enough for them to break so that they won’t get hurt.. However, deer learn quickly, so it may not work every year, but it’s a good solution for a fast fence for a thrown together garden patch. Now, about the foods to grow, that’s up to you, but here’s some things I’ve learned that might be useful: quinoa is easy to grow and the deer and birds don’t like it because it has a bitter coating (which we wash off by rinsing several times before cooking, commercial quinoa has already completed that step for you), onions, carrots and beets are biennial, that means that in order to get seeds you must store the bulbs or roots over the winter (or leave it in the ground if your winters are not harsh) and plant again in the spring. You can buy dried beans from the store and plant them. 1 pound of dry beans can yield up to 25 pounds of beans. To save tomato seeds you must ferment them in water by leaving them covered in water in a jar with a lid for at least three days. Swirl them every day, then rub off the outer coating on the seed and let dry on a paper plate or something . . .paper towels stick to the seeds and real plates don’t allow water to wick away. Dent corn is the kind to grow to feed to animals and grind for cornflour, and dry pole beans make a great companion plant for corn.. Start the beans, one per stalk, when the corn is six inches high or more. Plant winter squash and pumpkins in the rows between the corn. I hear deer don’t like to walk through the prickly vines. So that’s basically the information I’ve gathered. I don’t know if this will be useful to anyone, but I want people to know that they can do this, and, if you feel this is the way to go, it might be another good way to bring a few more “loaves and fishes” to the community at large. I just wanted to offer some tips and encouragement to those who might feel that starting a little garden or something could be one of their next right steps. Also: nice logo!

    Liked by 10 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks for the encouragement and advice, Katherine!

      Liked by 1 person

    • darknite says:

      Katherine, you will be a blessing to many.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hopenjoy says:

      Katherine, I’m a “Master Gardener” and I say GREAT JOB on your gardening post! If anyone is interested, through Charlie’s website comments, I found out about St. Clare Heirloom Seeds, a Catholic-family owned and operated online business. Wide variety of seeds. The “Large Family Vegetable Garden Seed Collection” is a great deal: 45 packets of seeds for $79.99. I purchased this, plus some other seeds, last fall and have them stored in a gallon glass jar in my refrigerator.

      From their website: “Our company only sells Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO, Untreated, Heirloom and Open-Pollinated garden seeds, that you can save and regrow, trusting them to be true-to-type. Enabling you to provide a safe and healthy food source for your family right from your own backyard.”

      http://www.stclareseeds.com/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donna says:

        Thanks for this seed resource! Non GMO and open-Pollinated are my cup of tea!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        Good to know, Hopenjoy. Thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

      • ann says:

        Hopenjoy–thank you so much for the link. I just order3ed seeds. I have thought a lot about heirloom seeds over the years but never did ianything about it until two years ago I bought an heirloom tomato plant for fun (my husband is the gardener, I’m the processor 😉 but this tomato plant was wonderful. And the tomatoes tasted like tomatoes used to. Wonderful! So thanks for the link to St. Clare. Just got email that seeds have been shipped.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Thank you, Katherine, so many great tips on gardening!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Thanks, Katherine, for the terrific post. 🙂

      Have you ever grown potatoes?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Katherine says:

        Yes, last summer was my first time. My father in law grows them every year on a much larger scale. We grow Kennebec, or however that’s spelled. For me it was a complete experiment. I wanted to treat them in a very carefree way and see how they did. I planted them in freshly broken ground that was previously a very overgrown patch of field. I did nothing to the soil, I didn’t water them or anything, all I did was hill them with dried grass clippings from the lawn and I got at least four times what I planted! I planted them too early, so they finished early. I was afraid that after nearly two months of being “done” and left in the ground until October they would be rotten or eaten up, but they were perfect. I had also planted them too deep, but they came up and gave lots of potatoes anyway. A good staple crop to grow! Only trouble is, with this warm wet weather for us this winter, I’m having a terrible time keeping my seed potatoes from sprouting too much before spring!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mick says:

          We also grow Kennebecs and like them a lot. Like you, we take a low-maintenance approach toward potatoes, except that we hill them with garden soil (we plant about 1600 row feet of potatoes, so that’s a lot of grass clipping 🙂 ). We also grow or have grown Chieftain and Red Maria (both are early-ish reds that keep pretty well for early potatoes), Elba (my absolute favorite and most productive potato, except they are notoriously susceptible to hollow heart if they get too much rain), German Butterball (really yummy), and Bintje. I’m not sure what I think of the Bintje yet, because last year was the first year we’ve grown them. We’ll give them a try again this year.

          Do you know which varieties of potatoes your father-in-law grows? I’m always interested in hearing other people’s experiences so I can see if I can find that “perfect variety.” 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Barb129 says:

          We live on my family’s farm and my 95 year old farmer father always says to leave the potatoes in the ground as long as you can. He says that as long as the ground isn’t in danger of freezing, the potatoes will hold up better in the ground than out. We left ours in until late October and they were in wonderful shape. I know we grew Kennebecs also but I don’t know what variety our reds were. We’ve grown the same varieties for years.
          Does anyone know of a good heirloom sweet corn variety? We tried two different varieties this year and weren’t too crazy about either, though of course, we would eat it if there was nothing else!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Barb, we left our potatoes in the ground until mid-November this year, it was so warm in southern lower Michigan. And we don’t grow sweet corn; but if you’re interested in any heirloom dent or flint varieties, we’ve grown a few good ones. My mom grew up on a farm, and she told me that they would pick their field corn when it was in the milk stage and eat it like sweet corn. She said that when they timed it right, it was as good as any of the sweet-corn varieties.

            Liked by 1 person

    • ann says:

      Katherine thank you for sharing. We have gardened for years but some of your insights are really helpful. Especially about how to store seeds like tomatoes. Also the tip about planting beans from the store. We never stored our seeds before from seed crops but this year I ordered heirloom seeds that will yield seeds for the next year. Who knows if commercial seeds will be available., so…
      Have you got any hints for woodchucks. They are so destructive and surprisingly clever for being so lazy.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      P.S. If I may add something about winter squashes: There varieties that have great insect resistance and storage capabilities. Two varieties that we’ve grown, butternut (2-4 lbs) and Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck (12-20 lbs) have kept on a shelf at room temperature for anywhere from 6 to 13 months. Just a thought. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • anotherSue says:

      Katherine,
      Great gardening tips. For your deer, flag your fence by tying strips of white cloth every four or five feet, it tends to keep them away as they associate it with their own white tail “flag” warning of danger. Last spring I had deer jump a five foot fence and come in and graze my strawberries and peas and beans down overnight. The next day I ran a stringer of wire at 6 feet and flagged it, and they stayed out after that. Well, my brother also fired a couple warning shots at them as they were feasting on my newly planted orchard trees, 🙂 My only issue at this point is that my garden is six miles north of my home, a long hike if there is no gas for the car!
      As for the awesome squirrel logo, I too want a t-shirt! Ant to this Minnesotan, the squirrel in question looks to me as if it is hunkering down against a storm, which fits exactly. Nice!

      Liked by 4 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Katherine, thank you so much! I’ve saved your text. Hopenjoy, I’ve also saved your URL to St. Clare Seeds.

      I will tell you all that if I successfully grow a truly productive garden, it will be one of God’s “Miracles of the Storm.” I have to leave it mostly to my 91-year-old mother. What a sorry sad sack of a son I must be! 😀

      Liked by 5 people

      • Doug says:

        Now come on Steve. No false humility here. We know you are a good son the way you take care of your mother 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        Don’t be saying that Steve. You may pray for the spirit to help you this year. :o) –ZJ

        Liked by 1 person

      • SteveBC says:

        Ah, Doug, well, I am stretching things a bit here. However, it really is true that she is the better farmer. I was very modestly successful with a potato tower. She grew everything else. I not only don’t get between her and her plants, I outright encourage her to do it, since it’s so good for her. I do help her when she asks, though.

        ZJ, I just might do that. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Jill Marie says:

      Soooo grateful for these tips, Katherine! My husband and I hope to grow some veggies in a few square foot gardens and keep the deer out by building portable protective cages. As you said, though, they eventually find ways around deterrents. I swear, keeping them out of my flowers is like a chess match, much to my neighbors’ amusement. Last year, I tried to alter the herd’s spring feeding route by timing my morning cup of coffee with their visits. For a month, I sat on my front steps gently encouraging them to mosey along. To my surprise, they walked past my house the entire summer without stopping for a bite. Not sure if I can count on that happening again so I’m thankful for your fishing line suggestion since building a fence is not in our budget or know-how right now. Didn’t know about quinoa, either. I’m in zone 5 as well (Buffalo) but I’m guessing that a novice should stick to something a little easier. Please say a prayer for our new gardening endeavor. We’re trying to temper our eagerness with the reality that we really don’t know what we’re doing so it’s best not to bite off more than we can chew. Now if we could grow more than we could chew that would be fantastic! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mick says:

        Prayers for your garden endeavors, Jill!

        Like

        • Jill Marie says:

          Thanks, Mick! I hope I inherited a tiny bit of my grandma’s green thumb. We now live in her house. She grew up on a farm and had a sweet garden for this small suburban yard, but deer weren’t an issue back then. I remember hearing how my aunt and gram battled the crows, though. With my cousins’ hockey helmets on their heads and garden hoses in hand, they were determined to keep those noisy flying rats from building nests nearby. Can’t imagine what she would have done to keep Bambi away!

          Liked by 1 person

  40. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    Thanks Katherine, for taking the time to learn and share the gardening tips and encouragement!

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Joseph J says:

    I’m confused. You often talk as though the fullness of the storm will not be such a big change, in that you will still be able to continue your ministry to all of us who are spread around the world and are reaching you through the internet. But the picture you paint in this article is of a world blasted back to a subsistence lifestyle, scraping what food we can get from the soil around us (which is frozen for most of the year for us in Canada). I’m getting conflicting ideas from you about what to expect, accept in the very broadest sense.

    I have to admit this article terrified me. You talk about helping the sick and the weak, but what does that even mean in a world without medicine and little food? I just picture a world of unbearable misery. I already know a lot about misery, but it seems like I’ve seen nothing yet compared to what’s coming.

    The only way I can imagine that the next several years will be bearable is if we are loaded with many unforeseeable graces of a practical as well as a spiritual nature. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, but trust doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve learned to fear what life can do to a person, and I have a very active imagination. You say panic will be the biggest killer initially. I thought I was doing better but it seems that panic is lurking just beneath the surface of my mind. Perhaps you can teach us how to address panicking people, since we will soon be surrounded by them.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Hey Joe, I don’t know what to do sometimes. I lay things out in what seems to me a straightforward way, covering both the bad and the good, and feel like people only see some part. I did not indicate that this would just be subsistence and unbearable misery in this piece. Please re-read this passage:

      So what could possibly be the good news? Well, as I explained, currency is NOT value, it merely represents value. If you lose the power of speech it will make it a lot more difficult to communicate, but if you do not lose the power to think, all is not lost. What we are about to lose are the stable currency, market and international currency relationships we have relied on for nearly a century. People’s focus will get much more narrowed, but they will keep making stuff, even if it is only crops for their family and wood to build cabins. The productive instinct will not vanish, just the traditional means of translating it into immediately usable value.

      Yes, it will be simpler and more basic for a time. That is not the same at all as some blasted, apocalyptic scenario. People will have food, they will have shelter, they may have to work harder to get it. Shoot, I did that through most of my pilgrimage – and it was glorious. There are not just two extreme poles – grinding misery or extreme abundance – yet it seems to me sometimes that that is all people can imagine, no matter what I write, so they superimpose their darkest fears onto what I write and completely miss anything that doesn’t confirm those dark fears. A life that is simpler, that requires harder work for a time, is NOT grinding misery. I tell you truly that after the initial shock, most will find real joy in it.

      Doctors will still exist…and amazingly, they will be able to spend time with their patients, actually living their vocations, instead of spending 80
      % of their day filling out paperwork to satisfy their government overseers. Things are going to be different. Much of it will quickly be much better than what we are used to. “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” That is from the 27th Psalm, my favorite. Reflect on it and I think it will help.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Joseph J says:

        Thank you for your reply. I’ve reflected on some psalms and feel much better. I’ve been so tired I’ve been avoiding prayer, but really reflection doesn’t take much effort!

        The problem is that I’ve been looking at this through a secular lens. I’ve forgotten the spiritual nature of this Storm. When St. Paul went to Athens he encountered a city so saturated with idol worship that one could hardly throw a stone without hitting some god. Athens circa 40 A.D. is like our society now. Its seems to us that every problem we have has a solution of some kind available to us, and there are new and wonderful solutions being developed all the time. I’m a serial idol-chaser myself. I am sucker for new and exciting medical discoveries, movies and actors, songs and musicians, books and ideas, basically anything concrete or abstract that can give me pleasure or the hope of happiness. Yet idols always, inevitably, disappoint. The high doesn’t last, if they even deliver the promised effect at all.

        The purpose of this Storm is to sweep our idols away. I think that’s why I get so scared. Its the reaction of a drowning man when someone tries to take away his life preserver. Yet God is not just going to remove our idols, he his going to present Himself as the first Solution to our problems, in a concrete and persuasive way, to those who are willing to try Him. He is going to reassert the first Commandment in many people’s hearts. Then we will be able to make use of the things of this world without turning it them another disappointing idol.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          How blessed your original complaint was to lead to this marvelous reflection, Joseph. This is good stuff.

          Liked by 4 people

        • darknite says:

          Web of Desires

          Soft tendrils lay outstretched before me,
          endless by-ways of whatnots to inspect,
          yet as fast as I can google or yahoo,
          my passion strolls on to the next.

          Oh, look over here my acquaintances,
          have you seen such a cute little cat!
          I just have to share it with all of you,
          but wait, did you see where I’m at?

          I’m learning to juggle and whittle,
          to knit bottle socks and clog dance and sing.
          Oh, but wait till you see this new one, it’s awesome,
          it’ll be my very next thing.

          I’ve uncovered the worlds gnarliest napkin ring things,
          and how to craft cross country skis.
          I’ve gleaned how to paint over tile and cork,
          and DIY hammocks among trees.

          My arrays of recipes and instructables
          jam up in each catalogued queue.
          If motivation were ever to grasp at my heel,
          could I possibly choose which to do?

          Yes, my wanderings are frightfully fruitful,
          grasping unfettered wishes to and fro,
          yet somehow, there’s nothing to look-up anymore,
          there’s little of interest to know.

          The dash has gone out of my ponderous scan,
          grown dry as a grand-fathers pun.
          What trinkets can possibly amuse me now,
          perhaps I should go for a run.

          But oh, it’s just so easy and slough
          to scrunch back in the crumbs of my chair,
          aggressively searching pinterest and stumble
          for that hidden ember languishing there.

          Perhaps a new game or a movie I’ll find
          or just peruse my excellent picks,
          re-discover again an old friend or a forum,
          maybe master some unlikely tricks.

          But the ache in my iced limb reminds me,
          more determined with each gentle swipe,
          I’m sure, I must, yes I can stop soon,
          oh, look here’s how to cook tripe.

          Dusty blue flickering the dark empty room
          Despair pokes a twig ‘gainst my web,
          Is this all there is, a cocoon for my soul
          Roiling curios consuming my head?

          oh God, where am I now – are you there?
          Google glimmered and consumed, but is gone.
          Haunting perfections yet ever unfound,
          still flanges kept flailing on.

          Ruefully aside my crystalline guide!
          I’d aimlessly amble about.
          Shed sticky limp socks at the dogs door
          and ground my bare sole breaking out.

          Slim grasses brushed over in wavering touch,
          eyes long into unbroken night.
          mist laden zephyrs disjoin me,
          restoring long ever-lost sight.

          Spellbound and pared, slumped by the gate,
          dare I whisper aloud my disgust.
          Of freedom and every amusement I vowed,
          yet, Your decanted Grace, I must.

          Your low resound echoes, overflowing, unbound.
          My gaze, roasting slow in your fire.
          Hold fast in the lowering darkness my soul,
          for your broken-hearts founding desire.

          by Tom Zeibig (darknite)

          Liked by 7 people

        • Doug says:

          Joseph, I don’t know why, but I am compelled to tell you to just sit in front of the blessed sacrament for 1 hour. God bless you!

          Liked by 4 people

        • Whitney says:

          That IS really good stuff. Reading your comments and reflections has helped me in many ways! Thank you for
          Being so forthright and honest.

          Liked by 2 people

        • jaykay says:

          Joseph J: now you’re talking! 😊 Great reflection. Yes indeed, the true bonfire of the vanities. And we won’t be alone, as you say. If there’s one thing I’ve really taken from this site it’s: Trust; Do; Love.

          My own take is that we can’t Do if we don’t Trust, because we’d be paralysed by needless fears, and self-indulgent ones at that. Then, the Love comes from the Doing in Trust. And it will come back to us, and grow outwards from us, in a sort of virtuous circle, but not a closed circle of selfishness, rather an expanding ripple that conveys good as it proceeds onwards and outwards and touches ever more of our brothers and sisters.

          Blessings to all, J.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Beckita says:

          Love this, Joseph J. Thank you.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Tom says:

        “A life that is simpler, that requires harder work for a time, is NOT grinding misery. I tell you truly that after the initial shock, most will find real joy in it.”

        You’ve been to the place God led us and I can confirm what you say is 100% true. When I work the land now, I am happy as a clam. And at my advanced age 🙂 I don’t get tired and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day. And my son is loving it also, so much more true joy for him to work side by side with me in nature as opposed to spending hours playing video games or with this toy or that. Yes, there is real joy in living simply, I actually hate it when I have to go back to my “real” job and make money each Monday morning. I’ve come to understand that we’re not living as God intended for us but that He will let us again be who He created us to be. Not be just consumers of things, but caretakers of His creation and not just texters of one other (check your phone btw) but actually interact and talk with and work side by side with one another.

        Liked by 5 people

  42. Sara says:

    Charlie for me to say that I am nervous is an understatement I am a grandma raising five grand kids on what I bring in I pray for the strength to endure and to bring those around me to God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      That’s a tough road, Sara. Hang in there. There was a time when only looking at my kids, who needed me, kept me going.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Sara, I hope you find time to read some of Charlie’s previous posts to increase your trust and hope in the Lord. The word,”hope,” can be found as a tag word in the links at the bottom of this page. Here’s the link to it: https://charliej373.wordpress.com/tag/hope/
      Praying for you and your grandchildren, Sara, and thanks be to God the world in which your grandchildren are being raised will be renewed with hearts turned to Him.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      Sara, do you have friends in church or a support group close by to connect with?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Julie says:

      Praying for peace for you, Sara. Any grandmother who has taken on raising 5 grandchildren I would bet has the right stuff to get through this Storm already. I am a grandma and can’t imagine being a full time parent at this age to 5. You hold your head up high and stay strong for your babies. You are a wonder already! May God bless you always with many graces to show those babies how it is done!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Praying for you and your grandchildren, Sara.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Sara, I want to pass this on to you. I was encouraged to pray this by several here and I just started it. By day 2 I realized I never have to worry about anything again (not that I won’t fall into it at time) but it really gave me comfort and hope … just so much hope because I am not able stock up and prepare physically for what is coming… and most people I know are not prepared at all- in any way. Hope this helps!
      http://tonyhickey.org/surrender-novena

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Charlie, thank you for re-posting this article. MP I love the banner. And yes, I would love a t-shirt, something to keep me smiling when things aren’t going so well in the future :). And thanks to all who comment here. I learn so much from all of you. God bless all of you.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. jayman92 says:

    I hadn’t read this post before. Thank you for reposting. I have long felt that an economic crash was coming, but to be honest, I expected it to happen before now. What type of event would it take to finally set the dominoes in motion? Every time the market takes a 300 point dive, I wonder “Is this it? ” But, alas, a rebound is not far behind. I certainly am not looking forward to the pain, but when you are pretty convinced that it is coming, I’d like to get it over with-like ripping off a bandaid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Right, Jayman. It’s seems like it’s time, doesn’t it? We will suffer, but MY! how we suffer miserably now! For me, waiting continues to deepen my trust that *all* is in God’s Hands and I rest in that consoling thought. The Lord has been our refuge from one generation to another. God bless you, Jay!

      Liked by 6 people

    • Doug says:

      Jay, the underlying principles and foundations of our economy are already broken. It is like a car about to run out of gas. When it gets close, it sputters and coughs, but when it shifts a little, the engine may find a little more gas and then run smooth again. After a bit, it sputters and coughs again and maybe run smooth just a bit more. It is not long before the sputtering and everything stops because the car is complrtely out of gas. That is where I think we are. Now, I dont think it will matter much when will it run out of gas. It’s going to happen. The question is what will we do? Have we prepared spiritually (most important) and temperally (within reason). How will we help our neighbor? As Charlie prods us often, “do we trust God? Are we taking the next right step?”. God bless you!

      Liked by 6 people

      • jayman92 says:

        Thank you, Doug. It kind of reminds me of Matthew 24:38 (I had to look it up, I’m not quite fluent enough to quote off the top of my head):

        “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,”

        May the Holy Spirit grant us all hope, wisdom and courage for the times ahead.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        Amen, Doug and Jayman!

        Liked by 3 people

  45. Mary says:

    This post reminds me of a conversation I had with my husband regarding his grandparents. They were share- croppers living in southern Missouri and when the Great Depression hit and their lives didn’t change a bit. Their gardens got a little bigger, they did more growing, canning, and trading, but other than that their lives remained the same. Grandpa was in the fields by 6:00 a.m. and back at the dinner table by 6:00 p.m. They raised 8 children in a 5 room house and nobody ever went to bed hungry, they were beautiful people, simple, loving, faithful. I am imagining this is what we are in for, the hard working, resourceful existence of our grandparents.
    I would also like to thank everyone who prayed for us in Missouri during the flooding. Things are settling down, but, many lost everything they owned. Much prayer is still needed.
    I have something I need to say which is sure to raise a few eyebrows here, squirrels are my nemesis. They ate every single peach from 8 peach trees last year. I didn’t get a one, so all this squirrel talk is really penance for me, just sayin’.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks for sharing about your husband’s grandparents, Mary. It surely confirms just what Charlie has been saying to prepare us. Thanks, too, for the update on you folks In Missouri. Continuing to pray… Those pesky squirrels ate all your peaches? No wonder it’s a penance for you to get excited about them.

      I’ve actually been holding out on a traumatic squirrel story myself. A few frisky ones invaded my new-to-me residence after the death of my husband more than ten years ago. It was my last year of teaching and the invasion happened while I was at school on a Friday, so when I came home I found statues were upended in addition to finding all manner of things all over the house, such as kitchen towels, tossed here and there. I called trappers for help. Nevertheless, to make matters worse, I went back to school Monday morning and the new reading program from which I was teaching featured a song each week. Get this: the new one for the week was, “The Squirrel Song.” In the moment, my charming children could not fully understand why their teacher broke into laughter with tears flowing but they absolutely squealed with joy to see me unable to contain myself. It wasn’t yet the Jubilee Year of Mercy but I chose to forgive those varmints and I’m a better person for it. They are such cute creatures.

      Perhaps if we put our heads together in this family, we can come up with ways to save the peaches this year. All the peaches off 8 trees would be so frustrating! God bless you, Mary.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      We love you anyway, Mary! 🙂

      In seriousness, I do get your gripe. Squirrels can be such pests (can’t we all?). We don’t have a squirrel problem at our farm, though; because even though we have tons of trees around, we also have dogs and cats that will chase and kill squirrels that get too close to the house, the garden, or the fruit trees.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      Mary, the squirrels are fattening up so you can eat them during the storm 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mick says:

        I wonder if peach-fed squirrel is as tasty as corn-fed beef.

        Liked by 6 people

        • Beckita says:

          Mick, I am just catching up from the weekend road trip, exhausted from yesterday’s long drive on icy, snowy roads in high country (although breathtakingly gorgeous on roads through pristine forests – think the tallest pines reaching to the heavens and looking like they’ve been prepped as heavily flocked Christmas trees… all this along a beautifully winding river albeit in and out of interspersed miles marked by large flashing readerboard lights alerting us to the 410 mountain goats that have been killed on those stretches bordered by steep, craggy-rocked mountainsides), and today’s long drive back. Yet here I am giggling myself to sleep, yes I’m nodding and yawning, but giggling with gusto over peach-fed squirrel and corn-fed beef! You’ve given me new life!

          Liked by 1 person

    • prayingflower says:

      So sorry to hear that, Mary. That is really a big loss. It’s hard to live with nature sometimes. Right now my husband is trying to come up with a way to keep the squirrels out of this year’s garden. I think it’s hopeless but he’s the type that never says “die”, just like a squirrel. God bless you and your crops. pf

      Liked by 5 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Mary, haha, see that’s the thing about squirrels, they are frisky, resourceful and cute…and yet they can be pesty, gluttonous and sometimes… just little tree-rats with fluffy tails. Kind of like us 😀 They really do fit like a glove!

      Liked by 2 people

  46. Mick says:

    Beckita, I laughed when you wrote “charming children.” My mom and dad used to refer to any group of kids (my siblings and me, or our friends, or just random gaggles of young folk) as “charming children.” Sometimes they were being serious, sometimes funny, and sometimes sarcastic; but it was a phrase that they used often. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    One idea to try to save the peaches would be for Mary to get a dog of a breed that was bred to be rodent hunters:

    http://hubpages.com/animals/Top-10-Dog-Breeds-Ideal-for-Catching-Rats

    Years ago, we had an Australian Red Heeler that was excellent at catching rodents. Problem is, she dug up our entire back yard while trying to find moles. She taught our other dog (an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix) to do the same.

    There are always trade-offs, I guess.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Chris (Christine) Magruder says:

    Charlie,
    I am new to your reading your revelations. Recently I have been praying for God to send me signal graces if I needed to prepare for anything of this nature. More importantly for you to know, back in 2007 as I prepared for bed I had a strong thought come into my head that definitely was not my thought (that’s the only way I can describe the experience). The thought was exactly this “Prepare as if the United States is bankrupt.” I didn’t know what to do with that. A few days later I shared with my husband who is a financial planner. He had no answer either. Then the collapse of 2008 occurred. I hoped that was all the message meant but I somehow knew I was wrong and that I was being informed about something to come that was much bigger.
    Recently my sister was led to you and shared with me. Interestingly she was not freaking out. There was a sense of calm about her. That alone told me you were not a sensationalist nor a fear monger but one who truly needs to be heard. Everything I have read on your site is in line with other things I have read and believe to be true. Problem is people around me don’t want to discuss this. They think it is negative talk and God is not a God of fear. I know God is just and that we are likely on the brink of our punishment. He loves us enough to punish us and purify us so we can share eternity with Him.
    First you should know I am preparing spiritually through prayer (rosary, Divine Chaplet of Mercy) daily Eucharist, reconciliation, scripture and gentle evangelization through my radio show and a nonprofit project about the Eucharist. Still can you PLEASE guide me as to how to prepare a community, a potential safe harbor, suggestions on what to do for trade, practical guidance on how to handle sewage etc. I realize we may not be around to use our preparations and that we may need to flee. Yet I feel strongly that I’m being led to do something. You say God will provide. Well He has led me to you…
    Thank you for all you are doing!
    God bless,
    Chris M.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You prepare it a step at a time, Chris. I know people want extensive blueprints. In a fluid situation, though, a step at a time keeps things focused on God and your need for Him. I do write about different issues – and suppose I have some upcoming that you will find useful. But there is no blueprint. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope. That is not what many people want to hear – but it is the only effective blueprint.

      Funny thing, I get people asking me sometimes how to prepare for a cross-country walk, because I did it. Most are disappointed when I give only a few items that are useful, then tell them to just walk and don’t overtax themselves. Rest when you are tired, walk when you can – and it will all work out. They want an exhaustive list of supplies, strategies, how to prepare, how to train. I didn’t do much of any of that. I had a tent, a sleeping bag, some trail mix and a few books in my pack – and I walked. I figured it out as I went along. I didn’t train…I packed my pack a few days before I left – and jettisoned about half of what I packed in the first mile of walking. We don’t need near as much as we think we do – and some things we think we need are just excess weight. God will show you what you need when you need it if you trust Him.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Hi Chris, do you have a group of folks you can share with? Church family in your area? We have a once a month storm dinner with the focus on spiritual prep and being able to openly share and lift each other up. We do 5 decades of the Rosary followed by pot luck dinner and then sharing on a storm topic or theme and, since we are Catholic, we sip a little wine. I encourage all here to form groups. My wife of much talent has created a local Web sit for our group which you can check out at: http://www.stormnewhampshire.com.

      It is ok to do some physical prep, but as Charlie alludes to over and over, trust in God and taking the next right step is of primary focus. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

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