Getting Ready for Lent

lent

As we prepare for the Lenten Season, I have been considering what some key issues are that I want to cover. In the next few weeks, I will post items on The Church as the Family of God, the Divine Symphony – how God makes use of all our different perspectives and talents to accomplish His Will, a bit of a different look on immigration (it bothers me that many of us forget that each person, properly ordered, is a great asset rather than a burden. But it also bothers me that those who are most liberal on immigration are so determined to support rules that make immigrants a burden rather than an asset), a piece on the Prelature of Opus Dei – and why I so value it, a fleshing out of the plan for Eucharistic and Marian Processions across America, and a marvelously balanced and thoughtful piece on Islam by Dan Lynch.

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Many wonder how to help and support David Daleiden and his partner, Sandra Merritt, who produced the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in organ trafficking. I am watching the situation and will report what I can. Meantime, you can support the Thomas More Society, (their donation link is at the top of the their home page) which is defending Daleiden. I have much affection for the Thomas More Society. It’s president, Tom Brejcha, and I had some mutual friends. When I did my 2006 Memo to clients on the subject of embryonic stem cells, Brejcha was kind enough to review it for the legal and Constitutional issues raised in it. They have done yeoman work, both behind the scenes and in the public eye to protect both religious and political liberty.

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Steve Baker, the head of the TNRS Answer Team, has gently redesigned the navigation bar at the top of this site and the links at the right side bar. His team put together most of the articles here in an easily printable PDF format. So if you like the changes, Steve and his team get the credit, as I am not the most technologically fluent person around. If you don’t, I told him to go for it, so I get the blame. I think it really does make it a little more user-friendly.

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Our friend, Bishop Rene Gracida, recently celebrated 44 years as a Bishop. His autobiography, “An Ordinary’s Not So Ordinary Life,” has been published and is now available for purchase. From serving as a tail-gunner in World War II to becoming a Benedictine Monk to serving as a Bishop, Gracida has led an extraordinary life. (In fact, had I been in charge of titling the book, I think I would have gone “An Ordinary’s Extraordinary Life.”) As most of you know, when a Bishop is placed in charge of a particular Diocese, he is referred to as the “Ordinary” of that Diocese.

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Finally, I offer a column by Anthony Mullen from his “Divine Antidote” website that I think is a marvelous beginning to preparing for Lent in these times.

THE DIVINE ANTIDOTE: THE FLAME OF LOVE GRACE, THE TRIUMPH OF THE MOTHER OF GOD AND THE NEW PENTECOST

By Anthony Mullen

God in His infinite Mercy has drawn you to know, understand, implement and live His Spiritual Plan for His Church, for you, and for every other person in the world at this time in salvation history, who will cooperate with God’s Divine Mercy!  This Plan is growing in urgency as Satan’s dominance shows itself as never before in the world as many people now routinely “call evil good and good evil” or do not speak out publicly against such evil.  Pope Benedict XVI has recognized the evil state of the world in many pronouncements as well as the travails of the Church, even referring to the Church as “a boat about to sink”; but he has imploringly prayed that the Triumph of Mary and her Immaculate Heart will occur by the 100th anniversary of Fatima in 2017 and for the resultant “era of peace” that will be granted to the world.  Pope St. John Paul II has prophesized that this Triumph will cause the New Pentecost and a “New and Divine Holiness” for those who desire and cooperate with God’s extraordinary outpouring of Grace in order to “make Christ the Heart of the world”.

The successors of Peter, our Popes, have been diligently urging us to know and understand that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary causes the New Pentecost.  The New Pentecost is the reign of the Holy Spirit in the world, which causes the “New & Divine Holiness” in the souls of those who desire it and are properly disposed to receive this very Special Grace.

This period of time has been ordained by God and was proclaimed by David in Psalm 104, Verse 30: “When you send forth your breath (Spirit), they are created, and You renew the face of the earth.”

Virtually every Pope in the last 100 years has prayed expectantly for this period of time on earth.  Pope Francis in May of 2013 wrote:  “Today’s Liturgy of Pentecost is a great prayer which the Church, in union with Jesus, raises up to the Father, asking Him to renew the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  Today too, the Church in union with Mary cries out, Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in us the fire of Your Love.”  In May of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “Today, it is Mary who leads our meditation; it is she who teaches us to pray.  It is she who shows us the way to open our minds and hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, who comes to fill the whole world.”  (Note, where underlining is used, I have added it for emphasis).

In October of 1992, Pope John Paul II addressed the Bishops of Latin America with this prayer: “Be open to Christ, welcome the Spirit, so that a new Pentecost may take place in every community… a new humanity, a joyful one, will arise in your midst.”

In May of 1975, Pope Paul VI stated: “One must also recognize a prophetic intuition on the part of our predecessor John XXIII, who envisioned a kind of new Pentecost as a fruit of the Council.  We too have wished to place ourselves in the same perspective and in the same attitude of expectation.”

The famous words of Pope John XXIII at the opening of the Council were: “Renew your wonder in this our day, as by a new Pentecost.  Grant to your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus… it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace.  Amen”

And let us not think that this began only at the time of the Council, for in fact many Popes prior to this prayed for it as well.  Pope Leo XIII stated: “May Mary continue to strengthen our prayers with her suffrages, that in the midst of all the stress and trouble of the nations, those Divine prodigies may be happily revived by the Holy Spirit, which were foretold to David: Send forth thy Spirit, and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”

In addition to the successors of Peter, we have the great Saint and proposed Doctor of the Church, St. Louis de Montfort, in his Prayer for Missionaries:

“When will it happen, this fiery deluge of pure love with which you are to set the whole world ablaze and which is to come, so gently yet so forcefully, that all nations…will be caught up in its flames and be converted?  When you breathe your Spirit into them, they are restored and the fire of the earth is renewed.  Send this all-consuming Spirit upon the earth to create priests who burn with this same fire and whose ministry will renew the face of the earth and reform your Church.”

God’s Mother has been sent by God many times to earth to warn and to teach us what is important for us to know at this time in salvation history.  As Our Lady of All Nations (confirmed by the local ordinary to be of supernatural origin), she stated on numerous occasions in Messages 48 – 56 that there will be a New Pentecost and she will cause it to happen through the power God has given to her, and through our assistance by praying a very specific prayer:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth.  Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war.  May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Mother, Mary, be our advocate! Amen.”  It is critically important that all of us say this prayer every day … many times a day if possible!

Here is a sampling of the many Messages where our Mother, as Our Lady of All Nations, confirms the coming New Pentecost:

“Satan is not yet expelled.  The Lady of All Nations may now come in order to expel Satan. She comes to announce the Holy Spirit…She will defeat Satan, as has been foretold…

The world is not saved by force, the world will be saved by the Spirit…I assure you that the world will change.  Say my prayer then nations, that the Holy Spirit will really and truly come…This is the great favor that Mary, the Lady of All Nations, is allowed to bestow on the world.  In her name, ask the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who will come now more fully than ever.”

In recent Messages, our Lord and His Mother tell Elizabeth Kindelmann of Budapest, Hungary that the New Pentecost is indeed a reality and will be caused by the constant imploring of our dear Mother, who has obtained the “greatest grace” given to mankind, since our Lord was born, died and left us the Church and the Sacraments!

This Message continued in a Spiritual Diary much like St. Faustina’s Diary, was fully approved by Cardinal Peter Erdo, who is the presiding ordinary and Archbishop of Budapest, Hungary.  This is even more extraordinary in that Cardinal Erdo is the Head of the European Bishops’ Conferences.  The messages were originally approved by Cardinal Bernadino Ruiz of Ecuador and about 6 other Bishops in the world, but the local ordinary (Cardinal Erdo), took more time to conduct a detailed, lengthy commission to study the Messages and approved them in 2009.

Elizabeth Kindelmann was a very poor mother of six, who was widowed at the age of 32.  Yes, widowed at 32 with six children and no means of support, but God provided and had a great plan for her.

Elizabeth writes in the spiritual Diary, “Our Lord spoke to me at length about the time of grace and the Spirit of Love quite comparable to the First Pentecost flooding the earth with its power.  All that is the effusion of the effect of Grace of the Blessed Virgin’s Flame of Love.  The earth has been covered in darkness, because of the lack of faith in the soul of humanity, and therefore will experience a great jolt.  This jolt, by the power of Faith, will create a new world.  Through the Flame of Love of the Blessed Virgin, Faith will take root in souls, and the face of the earth will be renewed because nothing like this happened since the Word became flesh.  The renewal of the earth, although flooded with sufferings, will come about by the power of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.”

Our Lady at Akita, Japan (confirmed as supernatural in origin by Bishop John Ito and approved further by Pope Benedict), also confirmed that incredible sufferings will come upon the world “if men do not repent and better themselves”, and “the thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness.”  However, our dear Mother also made this great promise:  “Whoever entrusts themselves to me will be saved.”

Our Lady of Quito, Ecuador (also approved as supernatural in origin) further confirmed the sequence of events to come, as well as the courage and perseverance of those souls (hopefully all reading this) who are being called upon to help God and His Mother right now:  “In order to free men from bondage to these heresies (which will prevail in the 20th century), those chosen by my Holy Son to effect the restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God.  To test this Faith and Confidence of the just, there will be occasions where all will seem to be lost and paralyzed.  This, then, will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”

The great Marian Saint, St. Louis de Montfort, prophesized the exact same truth:  “Is it not true that Your will must be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Is it not true that Your Kingdom must come?  Did you not give to some souls, dear to You, a vision of the future renewal of the Church?  Are not the Jews to be converted to the truth and is this not what the Church is waiting for?  All the Blessed in Heaven cry out for Justice to be done, and the faithful on earth join in with them and cry out: “Amen, come Lord.”  All creatures, even the most insensitive, lie groaning under the burden of Babylon’s countless sins and plead with you to come and renew all things; we know well, that the whole creation is groaning…”

St. Louis de Montfort, who has been proposed as a Doctor of the Church for his incredible teaching and influence on the Church, prophesized the coming Triumph of Mary, which ushers in the New Pentecost.  “But Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him.  They will be rich in God’s graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary.  They will be great and exalted before God in holiness.  They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be imparted by divine assistance that in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.”

St. Louis de Montfort gives the specific chronology that perfectly accords to the Gospel, and demonstrates the reality of the new Pentecost:  “The reign attributed to God the Father lasted until the Flood and ended in a deluge of water.  The reign of Jesus Christ ended in a deluge of blood, but your reign, Spirit of the Father and Son, is still un-ended and will come to a close with a deluge of fire, love and justice.  When will it happen, this fiery deluge of pure love with which you are to set the whole world ablaze and which is to come, so gently yet so forcefully, that all Nations, Muslims, idolaters and even Jews, will be caught up in its flames and be converted?  None can shield himself from the heat it gives, so let its flames rise. Rather, let this Divine Fire which Jesus Christ came to bring on earth be enkindled before the all-consuming fire of your anger comes down and reduces the whole world to ashes.”

St. Louis de Montfort tells us precisely what we must do:  “As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus, it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most completely to Jesus.  Now of all God’s creatures, Mary is the most conformed to Jesus.  It therefore follows that of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to Him.  The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.  That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is the devotion I teach; or in other words, it is the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of Holy Baptism.”

Our great Saint then describes what this exceptional grace does in souls who are completely devoted to Mary: “Almighty God and His Holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above the little shrubs.  Such are the great men to come.  By the Will of God, Mary is to prepare them to extend His Rule over the impious and the unbelievers.”  He goes on to state: “My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many souls chosen by Mary are given her by the Most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorying Jesus?  That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood and put into practice.  Lord, that Your Kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come.”

So, we can see the perfect conformity of what the Holy Spirit inspired St. Louis de Montfort to write.  (Montfort states that he is the one that “the Holy Spirit made use of to write it”), with what the Popes have written with regard to the Triumph of Mary and the New Pentecost.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, gave us his gift of knowledge as to what the essence of the Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is on May 13, 2010 in Fatima:  “Our Blessed Mother came from Heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her, the Love of God burning in her own heart… May the seven years which separate us from the Centenary of the Apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”

Pope Benedict XVI also instructed us on the ultimate purpose of what Our Lady came to remind us of: our duty to sacrifice and suffer in union with our Lord’s sacrifices and sufferings for the salvation of souls, who depend upon our cooperation in God’s redeeming Love.  Benedict XVI states: “In Sacred Scripture, we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of men, and He does the same here in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which He will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”

Pope Paul VI also explained the solution that God had specifically given to Mary for the Church at Fatima: “God wills to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.  In a letter on the “Occasion of the International Marian Congress” of May 13, 1975, Pope Paul VI wrote: “At the present time, so critical for the Church and the destiny of mankind, when the interior renewal of Christians and their reconciliation with God and each other are an absolute necessity if the Church is to ‘Exist in Christ as a sacrament or sign, and an instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race’, the faithful must cultivate an outstanding devotion to the Spirit as the supreme source of love, unity and peace.  At that same time, however, and in harmony with this first devotion which draws ever new strength from the fire of the Divine Love, the faithful should also be deeply devoted to the great Mother of God, who is Mother of the Church and incomparable model of love for God and our brothers.”

So, our dear Lord and His Mother have again reminded the Church and each of its members, through St. Pope John Paul II, that: “When victory is won, it will be a victory through Mary.”  Now, here in the period leading up to the 100 year anniversary of Fatima (2015 – 2017), we have Our Lord and His dear Mother urging us to accept an extraordinary Grace for “interior renewal” and this “reconciliation with God and each other”: which is the Grace of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In fact, God calls it the “Greatest Grace” given to mankind since His Incarnation, Death, Resurrection and leaving us the Church and the Sacraments.

Cardinal Erdo had this to say about it upon approving the Messages:  “Sometimes human frailty and human history produce an obstacle (to the Mission of Christ).  However, at a given moment of history, there appears in the Church something beautiful, a new possibility for the Church.  I believe this is true of the “Flame of Love Movement… the entire Church receives this … as a gift from God.”

So, what is the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?  This Greatest Grace is an act of God’s Divine Mercy, that God has given through His Mother’s Immaculate Heart.  Our Lady confirmed that her Flame of Love is “Jesus Christ Himself.”  She gave this Gift to Elizabeth Kindelmann on April 20, 1962 (Good Friday).  Mary stated: “I place a beam of light in your hands; it is the Flame of Love of my Heart.  Add your love to this Flame and pass it on to others, my little one… This is the miracle becoming the blaze whose dazzling light will blind Satan.  This is the fire of love of union, which I obtained through the merits of the wounds of my Divine Son.”

Ultimately, this grace allows one to accept personally and then zealously spread God’s Divine Mercy: to save our soul and cooperate in the salvation of many other souls!   Our Lord told Elizabeth: “Let your whole life be a burning desire to take part in My work of Redemption through prayer, sacrifice, (especially fasting) and desire.”  Our Lord told her to always “unite your sufferings totally with Mine.  Then your merits will grow greatly and they will move My redemptive work ahead.”

Our Lord continued on how we are to help Him save countless souls by appealing to His Mother’s Flame of Love:  “I would suffer death on the cross again for each soul, even suffering a thousand times more since there is no hope for a damned soul. Prevent this!  With your burning desire, save souls!… Do you really know what desire is?  It is a marvelous and delicate instrument that even the most helpless man can use as a miraculous instrument to save souls.  The key point is that one should unite his desire with My Precious Blood exuding from My side.  Increase your desire with all your might, My little one, to save as many souls as possible…set the earth ablaze with your burning desires…an uninterrupted desire for salvation of souls always filled My Heart… Give yourselves to the work (of reparation).  If you do nothing, you abandon the earth to Satan and to sin.  How can I wake you up?  Open your eyes and see this deadly danger (Satan) that claims victims all around you and which threatens even your own souls.”

Our Mother explained to Elizabeth how her Immaculate Heart will triumph:  “My love that is spreading will overcome the satanic hatred that contaminates the world, so that the greatest number of souls is saved from damnation.  I am confirming there has never been anything like this before.  This is my greatest miracle ever that I am accomplishing for all.”

Mary has asked all of us (and Cardinal Peter Erdo has approved this as well) to add a special petition to the Hail Mary prayer in order to help accomplish this great blinding of Satan and the subsequent era of peace with the outpouring of the New Pentecost.  She stated to Elizabeth: “When you say the prayer that honors me, the Hail Mary, include this petition: “Hail Mary, full of grace… Pray for us sinners, spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all humanity, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”

Our Lord then explained to Elizabeth:  “It is exclusively thanks to the efficacious pleas of the Most Holy Virgin that the Most Holy Trinity granted the effusion of the Flame of Love.  By it, ask in the prayer with which you greet My Most Holy Mother: “Spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all humanity, now and at the hour of death. Amen.”

Our Lord, knowing our natural skepticism to change, especially in adding a petition to the Hail Mary, anticipates the question “why”?  Our Lord states to Elizabeth: “So that, by its effect, humanity is converted.”

At its core, the Flame of Love is not a devotion, but a way of life.  Yes, there are promises, prayers and specific sacrifices asked of us, such as fasting on bread and water for 6 meals a week (see www.FLAMEOFLOVE.US/PROMISES) but all of the spiritual exercises are designed with one purpose: to assist Our Lord and His dear Mother in saving as many souls as Divine Mercy will allow, since so many souls are in danger of being lost forever!

St. Therese of Lisieux was also gifted with this understanding of being a victim of Merciful Love: “… in order that Love be fully satisfied, it is necessary that Love lower Itself to nothingness and transform this nothingness into fire… Jesus, I am too little to perform great actions, and my own folly is this: to trust that Your love will accept me as a victim.”

SO WHAT MUST I DO?

In order to obtain any major grace, one must be properly disposed: be in a state of grace (free of serious sin), be aware of the grace (a sharing in Divine Life) and truly desire to have it and to benefit from it.

Thus, a Catholic should endeavor to read and learn about this Extraordinary Grace, which God is offering through His Mother (a free book can be obtained at  www.FLAMEOFLOVE.US)  and then pray to increase one’s desire to obtain it and make use of it to draw closer to Christ through Mary to the maximum point one can achieve in this life.

God is Confirming What He Has Given to St. Louis de Montfort, Sister Lucia and the Popes

Our Lady told Sister Lucia at Fatima that: “God wills to establish devotion to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart, and promises salvation to those who embrace it.”  What God has done through Elizabeth Kindelmann with the Great Grace of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary can rightly be called a continuation of the Fatima Message and a confirmation that it will be fulfilled.

St. Louis de Montfort summarizes God’s plan brilliantly: “If it is certain that the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary.  She who first gave Him to the world, will establish His Kingdom in the world … Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is for her humble servants and poor children, whom she will rouse to fight against him.”

Our Lady encourages us through Elizabeth Kindelmann: “I grant all the grace to see the results of their labors on behalf of my Flame of Love in each soul, in your country, and in the entire world.  You, who are laboring and making sacrifices for the prompt outpouring of my Flame of Love, you will see it.”

Our Lord tells us through Elizabeth Kindelmann that once you have accepted the “Greatest Grace” He wishes to pour out on you, that you must go well beyond your current prayer life and effort: “Reach beyond your limits… every parish must urgently organize communities of prayer of atonement, blessing one another with the sign of the Cross… the petition is urgent.  There is no time for delays.  Let the faithful together with the priests satisfy our petition in a great spiritual oneness.”

So, the question now before us is this: will we be completely devoted to Mary’s Immaculate Heart as God wills of us?  Will we do what He asks?  This is the right spiritual step to prepare, not only for the coming storm, but for each moment of our life here and for all eternity.

What Are the Specific Actions and Loving Exercises?

So, what are the specific actions and the intensified efforts now requested in order for us to claim objectively that we are completely devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?  They are as follows:

  1. Make, renew and live daily your Consecration to Jesus through Mary (www.MYCONSECRATION.ORG)
  2. Pray the Rosary daily with the Flame of Love Petition
  3. Continue to make the First Saturdays of Reparation every month
  4. Wear the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal
  5. Offer your daily duty with and through Mary for souls
  6. Join or start a Flame of Love prayer group (which prays the Rosary and reads from the Diary)
  7. Fast for 6 meals a week on bread and water for souls (explained in the Diary)
  8. Make night vigils of reparation for souls (explained in the Diary)

If you are only doing one or several of these exercises of love, do not be concerned nor disheartened.  Simply pray: “Lord, I want to love our Mother as You do; Mary, I want to love Jesus as you do.  Mary, I beg through the Flame of Love of your Immaculate Heart that you will reorient my time to increase my number of loving exercises, so I may quickly grow in love for the Holy Trinity, and that you will cause me to know and desire that love requires sacrifice as you and Jesus constantly sacrificed for us.  May the Holy Spirit completely fill my soul with the Seven Gifts, and may these be the Gifts I desire from this day forward, which will allow me to desire and obtain the Greatest Gift of Holiness, so I may live completely with the Will of God as you did, through the Flame of Love of your Immaculate Heart!  Fiat!”

To obtain a low cost  Flame of Love book, go to www.FLAMEOFLOVE.US and click on the Order Now button on the right side of the page below the picture of Our Lady. (Larger orders may be placed by emailing rmooney@myconsecration.org).  You may also sign up to follow a blog devoted to God’s Spiritual Plan of Devotion to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart, including all aspects of understanding the Great Grace of the Flame of Love and the “New & Divine Holiness”, at www.DIVINEANTIDOTE.WORDPRESS.COM

Anthony J. Mullen is the National Director for the United States of America for The International Movement of The Flame of Love of The Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The International Private Association of The Faithful required a nomination for this position by his Bishop, who also gave the Imprimatur to the English edition of the Simplified Version of The Spiritual Diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann.  He is also the Chairman of www.MYCONSECRATION.ORG, which has helped over 800,000 souls make their Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  Mr. Mullen is asking all Apostolates and Prayer Groups to seek unity under Our Mother’s Queenship as the Flame of Love to carry out God’s Plan of Salvation and Holiness by accepting and helping to spread to all this Great Grace, which God is His Infinite Mercy wishes to pout out upon all.

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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227 Responses to Getting Ready for Lent

  1. Anne says:

    Thank you Charlie for giving us a preview of your intended writings. I particularly look forward to the Church as the Family of God. The recent one titled the Signs of the Time was most needed ……….while all other articles have been appreciated I sense as things ratchet up, the troops need some strong focus on “heartening” articles
    . I do not watch the news ….. I may scan headlines…. I do not need to immerse myself in misery and lies. So please do not hold back on articles which give hope and build us up. This website is so needed for a different approach……. Thank you because this balance is needed now more than ever. Building up and strengthening is vital as the storm becomes a hurricane. Focus on raising us up.

    Liked by 8 people

    • jaykay says:

      “I do not watch the news ….. I may scan headlines…. I do not need to immerse myself in misery and lies.”

      Yes, Anne, you certainly struck a chord there, I’m the same. And the lies are becoming so transparent now, it’s almost as if they don’t care anymore about concealing it. In their arrogance, they’re betting on us having become so addicted to their poison that they really do think they can get away with any old rubbish. Which is so ironic, given that the general thrust they encourage is “oh, never mind all that old morality stuff, people were simpler then, they’d believe anything spun at them by those nasty old authoritarians.” Well, wow, even respectfully try to challenge any of their nostra and watch the authoritanism come out, red (hah!) in tooth and claw. As we daily see, in particular over recent events concerning Planned Herod-hood.

      So, personally, I refuse to support the corpse, dead-tree, mainstream print media. Unfortunately, over here in Ireland where I am the State broadcaster compels us to purchase a licence fee (same in the UK with the BBC). I know you in the US will find this incredible but so it is. I pay it purely because there is some good in it, in fairness, but increasingly have less and less recourse to it, such that I can see my Baal-box (thank you, Michael O’Brien!) hitting the bin in the not-too-distant future. Hmmmm… Lenten sacrifice? Heh… not really a sacrifice, more a purge! Bless y’all. J.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Anne says:

      Must add a couple of signs of hope……. Nic and Lucas 21 year old mates shared young Australian of the year…….. Using an old orange van they decked it out with wishing machine and dry to use for homeless people . This mobile service is going to expand over many other place.
      Catherine Keenan ….. Local hero award for developing Sydney Story Factory……. Also amazing.
      Signs of Hope😀😀😀

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Kim sevier says:

    Looking forward to gearing up for Lent!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Kim, really? Hmmm…I think I might go hide behind my couch or in the closet for 40 days, maybe the Lord won’t be able to find me…I have had enough calamities to last me for the rest of my life 😉 haha! Lent is always a bit ..a bit disastrous for me :/ lol

      Liked by 4 people

      • Kim sevier says:

        Me too, but I just need a lot of purifying!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Snowflakesdancing says:

          Kim, amen, me too. That’s why I am giving up ‘myself’ for lent this year and forever….hence the hiding comment 😉 I’m such a chicken- hearted cry baby lol.

          Liked by 5 people

        • al chandanais says:

          Lent

          Forty days, your desert time,
          We spend in lent it’s true.
          But do we spend this lent for us
          Or, is it just for You?

          We feel it’s obligation
          To sacrifice for You.
          But we really don’t have it right
          We have it all askew.

          We sacrifice for other’s my Lord,
          To bless our friends and loved ones,
          To those we’ve never heard of
          And names we’ll never know.

          Not all who begin this lent will finish
          And they will sadly lose.
          For in this Holy season
          It is not for us to choose.

          You call your own to let desires
          For things in this world die.
          To spend their next few weeks
          In eluding their own rely.

          To call to You to learn Your wants
          That You let us know what’s due.
          We begin to find a place in us
          That’s loneliest for you.

          We gave up really nothing Lord
          and did we now just find
          That our sacrifice was the only way
          To let our free will to you, Bind.
          alfred chandanais 2014

          Liked by 2 people

      • Linda says:

        Hehe..I think it’s just beginning..lol I know Charlie worries about us remaining faithful in these times … Stay with us Oh Lord.. Abba Father💟💟💟

        Liked by 5 people

        • Snowflakesdancing says:

          Linda, I was just being silly. I take Lent seriously. We are all going through hard things and sometimes it’s fun to be a little light-hearted and giggle about things. We are, after all, just a bunch of squirrels!

          Liked by 6 people

          • Linda says:

            Oh i know you were silly goose…and the hehe was my lame attempt at trying to be silly back atcha…lol…then just things rumbling through my brain not directed to you but texting out loud. .lol you are right. .we’re all just getting a little squirrelly ..lol 😊

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Yong Duk says:

    Thank for the post!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Gabrielle says:

    Hello All, I am in need of some spiritual advice and I hope it is alright to open it up to everyone as well as Charlie (this way to relieve Charlie of having to respond since he is very busy). Is anyone else noticing a marked increase in bad things happening to them? My husband and I are going through a period of time where hugely disruptive things happen constantly (just to name a few: we suddenly needed a new roof, the cars went down, the business is going through some just awful things which I won’t bore you with, our pipes burst at Christmas, and our dog died all in less than 2-3 months time period. Oddly, even a picture of Our Lady of Knock fell and it was very securely attached to the wall). It is like we just can’t catch our breath before the next thing occurs. I am intensely grateful because in every situation the Lord has provided. But, no matter how hard we try we can’t get ahead we are unable to do so. And, now all the provisions we had put away have been depleted and it doesn’t seem that we will be able to re-stock any time soon. Now, I am not complaining. I am clearly seeing that the Lord is good and helps every time. My question is this, what is the right attitude to have? Is it a suffering that we should gratefully accept? Is it wrong to pray to the Lord to deliver you from these things and ask for an increase (husband is protestant and has some of that prosperity stuff in his head at all times, bless him) or do you just accept it? I keep praying for wisdom in dealing with this on-going situation (it has been going on for longer than 2-3 months but it has increased significantly lately) but I am not listening well enough because I am not hearing God’s will on this. I am praying someone here can show me the way. Thank you all and God bless!!

    Liked by 8 people

    • EllenChris says:

      Gabrielle: Just about everyone here has recently been through such difficulties or is going through great trials now. None of us us alone in this. Pray for each other.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Denise Eagan says:

      Gabrielle, yes my husband and I have also had several financial setbacks of late that have put us in quite a bind. But I honestly feel it is God making sure we place our trust in him instead of our own plans for the coming storm. So while I do wander into thoughts of fear, I direct myself back to peace by remind myself to trust wholly in God, my Abba, who loves me and all of us.

      Liked by 8 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Hi Gabrielle, are you new here? If so, welcome and stick around we are all going through very hard times! Read through some of the older posts and the prayer requests. It’s very comforting to know you are not alone! What you have posted so many of us here have in common with you. 🙂 I’ll pray for you and your husband. God bless you.

      Liked by 5 people

      • John O'Neill says:

        I agree, anyone trying to live their life per Our Lord’s percepts, will have trials and burdens s well. After all, Christ said “if you love me, pick up your cross and follow me”. I am from a large family of 9 siblings and for most of us trying to live in the grace of God and practice what has been said by the church and as revealed by approved apparitions, etc., we are all burdened with some rather significant crosses. I am trying to recognize them for what they are and quit complaining about them. I have a long way to go.

        Continuous prayer to Christ via Our Blessed Mother, is what is helping us to keep the faith, despite what our pagan world trys to shove done our throats. Sticking together as a global brother/sister in Christ is so comforting and inspiring.

        Pease and encouragement to all.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Gabrielle, it’s trial, after trial, from without and from within. I all honesty, I often question how we could possibly suffer through more.

      You’re not alone. Prayers for you and yours!

      Liked by 5 people

    • B Anne says:

      Gabrielle,
      My husband, my three daughters, and myself have had things happen to us for the last two years. Terrible things one after another, never letting up . My husbands two sisters lying, and stealing from us. The lawyer not standing behind his work so we were left paying an additional $6,000.00 plus. Big Tree falling on a perfectly sunny day no wind just missing our house scrapping my daughters car. Car repairs , one in braces, two getting their wisdom teeth out, my husband and I had teeth break off.Identity thief had to close our accounts and start over in October . December 26 , taking my family to ride on the polar express train ride someone broke in our car and stole over $3,000. 00 worth of stuff. Insurance company which we have never claimed on said it would count against us and rates would go up, lose our discount . Had to close our accounts for the second time and get life lock for protection.Everything in the house keeps breaking , and three things have fallen of the wall and broken . It has taken its toll on my family and marriage. We have had our house and land blessed. I have sprinkled holy water and blessed salt around the house. Just to name a few!!!!! My family try’s to say the rosary together most nights , attend mass weekly, confession regularly and try to keep the faith. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME! And I love him, but it is hard! Please pray for my family and I will pray for all of you.

      Liked by 8 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        B Anne, so many crosses. I pray for all here and your intentions, know & unknown each day. I am inspired my our NRS family and the great witnesses of devotion!! God bless and love you all!

        Liked by 4 people

      • Gabrielle says:

        To everyone who so kindly posted back to me ( B Anne,Briana Elizabeth, Snowflakesdancing, Denise Eagan, and EllenChris) thank you so much. I am not that new to the blog but since we have our own business I often only have time to read Charlie’s post and not the comment section. So thank you very much for taking the time to write back to me. I am very sorry for all that you are going through. I will keep you all in my prayers as well. But, knowing I am in such good and holy company will definitely strengthen me during the hard times. Good bless you all!!

        Liked by 10 people

        • Patricia says:

          Gabrielle,
          Yesterday I was feeling as you do. In the last two months, very serious illness or accidents have hit each of my three sons (or spouse) and my fourth child was in a serious car accident six months ago. But the last two months have been brutal. During the rosary yesterday the thought popped into my head, that God is present. So keep trusting. Although I want to say to God as St Therese of Avila did “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few”. In two years, I sure hope I am able to write this with the same sense of faith, hope and love.

          Liked by 5 people

      • Mick says:

        Praying for your family, B Anne. And thanks for your prayers. 🙂

        Like

      • Barb129 says:

        Praying for you and your family, B Anne…

        Like

    • Linda says:

      Hi Gabrielle..same stuff here..lol.. I think our Lord is preparing us for even worse times to count on Him for every disaster/betrayal/situation that we are going to encounter more and more as the storm thickens.. God giveth, God taketh, Blessed be the name of the Lord.. Besides that we can offer the frustration, pain, and sorrow up. I’m so glad you posted this question because it reminds me of what to do with my tragedies today.. Thank you and God bless you and hang in there😇

      Liked by 8 people

    • Beckita says:

      Praying for you and your family, Gabrielle. Thanks for your prayers! Rescue is in process.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynne says:

      Yes, yes, yes! Over the last two or so years we have experienced many challenges, both financial and medical. I can honestly say that I believe God is allowing these things to happen, to teach us to have COMPLETE trust and confidence in Him. I have definitely learned this. I think He is preparing us for the storm… by trusting in Him alone. I would encourage you to pray to God and tell Him everything that is causing you difficulty (even though He already knows- He loves to hear from us!) and then always pray for His will. In the long run, His way is always the best. I found that going to Adoration and talking to God frequently helped me cope with everything and gave me a peace/joy that I could never have had otherwise.
      Also, there were times I had no idea what to do and I just kept asking God for wisdom and guidance. And do you know what…. God always came through. Sometimes it wasn’t as quickly as I would have preferred, but when I look back upon the last year with hindsight, I can see His hand in everything. Have patience and perseverance… but mostly have a childlike trust and confidence in God. Put everything in His hands, and go on with your life with peace and joy in your heart. God is working things out in His way and on His timeline- we have no need for worry. God bless.

      Liked by 6 people

    • starxedee says:

      Hang in there Gabrielle! I was just saying to my mother yesterday that 2016 has sure not been our year! Similar issues as you (cars, pipes bursting, medical bills) all in such a short time. I told my husband its because we worry too much about our finances and trying to get ahead and that we are being prepared! 🙂 Ask for intercession for continued strength and perseverance from patron saints and keep offering up the suffering. I’ll say a prayer for you too!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Joseph77 says:

      Gabrielle,
      As I began to read your post I prayed;
      In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bind all evil in you, near you and in your family, I command all evil to go to the feet of Jesus Christ to do as He will. I place you in the light of Christ and in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that no evil may touch you this day and forever. Amen
      Pray the Rosary, a great weapon against satan and minions. I suggest you get Holy Water from Church, bless yourself, family, house, cars and property. I will remember you and family at Mass, Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. God bless you and family.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Ohhhhhhhhhh yes! Everyone I know is going through terrible trials, one after another. I am too. I just had a year of catastrophe after catastrophe. It got so bad that at one point I started laughing and looked up to heaven and said “Really, Lord? Really?” But count yourself lucky, or I should say blessed. God is preparing you for what comes next. I promise that you will look back on this terrible year and say “Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful training.” Every soldier is glad he went through boot camp when he is in battle. This is your boot camp. Be proud that you have been found worthy to survive it. And you will survive it. And because of that you will be a leader in times to come. A leader in helping those around you hang on to hope. So BELIEVE that there is a good reason for each trial and hang on!

      Liked by 6 people

    • Mick says:

      Gabrielle, my family has been going through what you described since late August/early September (actually, since Charlie visited Michigan–ha ha! See what you did, Charlie?)
      I don’t believe it’s wrong to pray to be delivered from such things. But I believe that the point of it is to learn to trust radically in God, and to be purified (to let go of the “baggage,” both material and spiritual). Every prayer for help and deliverance should end with “Thy Will be done.” And then we need to Trust-Do-Love. Not easy, I know; but necessary, and rewarding.

      I will pray for you and your family. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • al chandanais says:

      Gabrielle, As an Intercessor of the Lamb I learned many things about the enemy. I know we go through many things as we grow in the Lord but it usually has to do with our faith in him or lack of but of course we are all different and he deals with each of us differently. That being said my gut is telling me there’s more to this than meets the eye, if you will. My concern is Our Lady of Knock coming off the wall even though it was securely attached. My suggestion is to have your Priest come over and bless your home with Holy Water. In my opinion this is something that he needs to look into. I and we will keep you in prayer and suggest you play hymns and christian music in your home.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. SanSan says:

    Well this will be a most extrodinary Lent……after reeling from a very painful betrayal by a young pregnant mother that we took in 4 years ago, sending her to nursing school and raising her baby our goddaughter for 3.5 yrs. My husband and I were grieving and leaning on Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother for healing and trying to understand and forgive this misguided young woman and the loss of our little Sasha in our home, when…….one door closes and another door opened…….we will be going on a once in a lifetime pilgrimage during Holy Week and Easter with the editior Dr. Robert Moynihan. We will visit Assisi, Norcia–with a poignant procession of live Stations of the Cross, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass at St. Peters with Pope Francis, and the Lanciano, Manoppello miracles. We are so humbled and in awe about it all. Our Lent will begin with 40 Days for Life vigils outside of Planned Parenthood. This year we will get to bring our prayers for the unborn and their parents to Rome. And extra prayers for all the good warriors fighting to close down the abortion giant. Jesus we trust in you. God is so good. All the time.

    Liked by 10 people

  6. RJW says:

    My husband and I made this pledge to consecrte ourselves to Jesus and Mary last year. We do add the extra flame of love prayer at the end of the Hail Mary in our daily rosary, but I admit it was hard to relearn the prayer. Thank you Charlie for including this well written article by Anthony Mullen in your post today. I will use this to spread the word

    Liked by 4 people

  7. EllenChris says:

    At the moment I am writing this, it would be comment number 5. I have a feeling that by the time all the comments are posted, it might be lucky to be number 50, this blog is moving so fast these days. 🙂

    Just a little “ping” to alert. us — I hope that other people will pick this up and run with the ball. St. Louis de Montfort recommended taking about a month of preparation for making his “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.” Apparently his favorite time frame for doing this was between February 2 (which is a Feast of Our Lady: “Purification” on the old calendar, or the Presentation in the Temple” or “Candlemas Day”) and March 25 which is, of course, the Annunciation. This year March 25 falls on Good Friday, (Western Church) so the actual observance of the Feast of the Annunciation will not be celebrated until after Easter Week is finished — that is, on Monday, April 4 since Easter takes precedence over everything else. Very interesting, indeed, that this year Annunciation and Good Friday coincide — so unusual. Something to ponder.

    So, if you have not yet made the Consecration and want to do it now — February 2 is coming up fast — only 6 days from now. I made mine in 1994, and it completely changed my life. There are some great materials out there for learning how to do this, and I hope other folks will point them out. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Albany is having some big events for people of his diocese to do this together. Wow. Many blessings all around.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Joe says:

      I think I recall hearing somewhere that the actual Annunciation and Good Friday did happen to be on the same day.(Charlie was that from you via the actual Messenger himself?) This can be confirmed by others much smarter than I, but when was Passover the year Our Lord suffered for us, in relation to the Gregorian calendar? The symbolism in that would be only something God could conjure up. Another one of those times you just have to smile and admit: “He’s got a plan waaaaay cooler than any of us could ever dream of.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        No, that did not come from me. I don’t know.

        Like

      • EllenChris says:

        There was an old tradition — you might even call it a superstition — that I believe goes back as far as the Roman Empire, which said that a person would die on the same day that they were conceived. Because this idea was fairly popular, when the liturgical calendars were being developed, it seemed to the people doing this that placing the event of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit should somehow coincide with the first Good Friday. Someone — a medieval monk, I think — did some calculations based on the info available at the time, and came up with March 25 for this date, and Christmas was placed 9 months later. Believe it or not, the celebration of Christmas was something of a late-comer to the calendar. The larger celebration early on was “Epiphany” or “Theophany”centered on Jesus’ baptism. The whole process was kind of complicated and happened over a fairly long period of time.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Thank you for this, Ellen Chris. I researched this a few years ago and since then I always get annoyed when my atheist and Wiccan acquaintances tell me that Christmas developed from pagan holidays that were held in late December in the first century. By the time the Nativity was beginning to be celebrated in the Church, the Roman religions were long gone. And the Nativity was celebrated at all different times of the year in different parts of the world. It wasn’t until the 4th century that Rome decided to unify everyone on the date. It was set on December 25th because that was 9 months after the already established date of the Annunciation. Which, by the way, was a bigger event than the never or barely commemorated Nativity in the early Church. Christmas as we know it today, a huge event, grew over many centuries. In the early Church Easter was the big event.

          Liked by 1 person

      • zeniazenia says:

        Hi Joe, I heard on the background radio yesterday that the church considered Jesus’ date of crucifixion to be the same calendar day as His conception but I missed the part about the group who believed or remembered that. This year there is a conflict on the calendar. Jimmy Akin writes, Good Annunciation Friday? … ‘The usual date (of the Feast of the Annunciation) is March 25, but this year Good Friday falls on that date. Believe it or not, the Annunciation is being transferred to April 4th this year, more than a week after its usual date of March 25 (nine months before Christmas).The reason has to do with which days take priority over which other days in the calendar. There are elaborate rules for this. Basically, you check the Table of Liturgical Days from the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, you’ll see that the Annunciation, as a feast day solemnity, is a rank #53 day, which thus takes a back seat to days of rank #1-#42 Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday are rank #1 days, so you can’t celebrate the Annunciation then. Holy Thursday (like the other weekdays of Holy Week) are rank #2, so you can’t celebrate it then. Days within the Octave of Easter are also rank #2, so same thing. The Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) is also rank #2. So long story short: It gets bumped to April 4th, because that’s the first opening where another day wouldn’t take precedence over it. ‘ –ZJ

        Liked by 5 people

      • victura98 says:

        Joe,
        I do know the story behind the alignment of the Annunciation and Good Friday. In the early Church, there was a concerted effort to determine the date of the original Good Friday, according to the Roman calendar. Reconciling the Jewish calendar with the Roman calendar was difficult, but over time, a consensus among Church historians pointed to March 25 as the date of the first Good Friday.

        According to popular piety among ancient Hebrews, all Jewish prophets began and ended life on the same day. They died the same day as their birthday…just a pious tradition. This was a tradition known as “whole year theory,” or “integral age theory.” An influential ancient Christian author named Julius Sextus Africanus noted that Christ’s life began not at birth, but at the moment of conception, and that March 25 therefore should become the Feast of the Annunciation.

        Africanus’ reasoning was accepted, and the date stuck. Was it actually the date of the Annunciation? I do not know, but the original date of Good Friday has a strong tradition behind it.

        Liked by 10 people

      • Joe says:

        I was too tired last night, but a quick Google search shows:
        Tertullian of Carthage notes that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day. St Augustine in On the Trinity (Sermon 202) also says: “[Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”
        Either way, the symbolism is awesome!

        Liked by 3 people

        • EllenChris says:

          Every so often over the years, March 25 will come up as both Annunciation and Good Friday for the reasons everyone explained. That it happens this year does seem to have a kind of significant feeling.

          But I do hope that we get into more of a discussion on Consecration to Jesus through Mary which is a very important thing indeed. Maybe almost everyone here has already done this. If so, then we should be thinking about a renewal of this.

          Liked by 4 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            Dear EllenChris, I am so happy you mention the Consecration for Lent. I can dust off both St. Louis and Fr. Michael’s books.this weekend Good idea! -Love ZJ

            Liked by 2 people

    • Kati says:

      But, EllenChris, if we begin on February 2….and go until March 25th/April 4th…that is actually 2 months….or many more than the usual 33/34 days. Are there extra prayers for this somewhere? In my Montfort Publications booklet, it has the beginning of February 20th…and ends on March 25th as the Day of Consecration.

      Liked by 1 person

      • EllenChris says:

        Good question, Kati — If I remember correctly, St. Louis had a preliminary time of pre-preparation. I used his writing on this 20 years ago, and I don’t remember clearly. I will have to go look it up. I do remember clearly that he targeted Feb 2 for some reason.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Barb Watry says:

          For those questioning the start/consecration dates, St. Louis De Montfort recommended several consecration dates, based upon particular events of our Lady’s life. The Presentation of the Lord was one of those dates, since it was the day that St. Simeon told her that heart heart would be pierced. That being the consecration date, meant starting on Dec. 31. My old booklet had the following dates as possible consecration dates: Feb 2, March 25, April 28 (Feast of St. Louis De Montfort), May 31 (Feast of the Visitation), Aug 15, Dec 8. I originally made my consecration on April 28, since that is also my birthday. But I have renewed on other dates.
          God bless all here.

          Liked by 4 people

    • Jill Marie says:

      I read St. Louis de Montfort’s book but used Fr. Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory for my consecration since the language was a little easier for me to grasp. (For those unfamiliar, Fr. Gaitley incorporates St. Louis de Montfort’s devotion to Mary as well as that of St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Paul II, and Blessed Mother Teresa. His suggested preparation utilizes a book, workbook, DVD, and weekly small group discussion.) I recently purchased family consecration books (website below) hoping my husband and daughter would join me. I’ve been waiting for a nudge regarding a good time to start – so thank you, EllenChris, for the ping!. Please join me in praying for them and all families starting this journey to Jesus through Mary – that their hearts, minds (& schedules!) be open to the graces that await.
      http://www.yourholyfamily.com/33-day-family-consecration/

      Liked by 4 people

      • charliej373 says:

        I really think very highly of Fr. Gaitley. He is joyful and clear – you can feel the love of God radiating from him.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Yong Duk says:

          Like you just said to HSNE… I knew him when he was just a tyke of a Brother. My how they grow by the Grace of God!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            Thank you for what you did for me Yong Duk 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yong Duk says:

            Wait! What did I do? I claim innocence in my slight neurotic hair-extensions, bearded, beaded or beheaded.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            When you view the EWTN Divine Mercy Chaplet with the Flynn Family leading decades in song, you can see the young seminarian, Michael Gaitley, in the crowd, sweet countenance and all.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Yup! I can see the future in Heaven: YD in the kids section alliterating language to his heart’s content!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            Beckita, LOL… I am laughing so hard right now…he doesn’t even know that what he just did in that comment IS what he did for me. “I claim innocence in my slight neurotic hair-extensions, bearded, beaded or beheaded”. WHO says things like that? Hahaha
            Speaking of kids..did you see that Pope Francis wrote a book for kids/about kids? ‘Simple, not silly.’ I can’t wait to read it. I just love him!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            I’m with you Snowy in that great love for Pope Francis. At night I often pray that somehow God would allow Pope Francis to sense our collective love for him.

            YD, I chuckle anew with your age biographical as you refer to Fr. Michael as a tyke of a Brother. Your wisdom is, obviously to me, born of great knowledge and prayer as well as age. Unless we color your gray strands, those hair extensions better be an ashen shade or they will clash rather than blend. Then again, whacky’s good.

            Liked by 4 people

      • victura98 says:

        Personally, my consecration renewal date is August 15. I too use the Gaitley series. We lead the parish through a renewal every year…funny how it always happens on anniversary the pastor’s consecration date. 🙂

        Liked by 7 people

        • Jill Marie says:

          How lucky they are to have you! I hope more priests follow in your footsteps and introduce their parishioners to our beautiful Mother’s special path to Grace. May God richly bless you for building up & reinforcing Mary’s army year after year.

          Liked by 4 people

        • How do you lead the parish? I would love to.

          Like

          • Beckita says:

            I’m sure Victura will respond, Briana E. In the meantime, here’s a link to explore parish/group preparation: http://33daystomorningglory.blogspot.com/

            Like

          • victura98 says:

            I did it through our Legion of Mary. We announce about a month in advance that we will begin a “weekly mini-retreat” ordered towards consecration to the Blessed Mother. Then we distribute the Gaitley books to those who sign up, and we meet each week for discussion. Then we all renew (or make) the consecration together after Mass on the designated date. Each year, new people join, and veterans return. It is a multi-year project.

            Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        Yes, Jill Marie! I’ve renewed the consecration very often using 33 Days to Morning Glory. During this renewal, I’m using the workbook for the first time. Love Fr. Gaitley’s adaptations and enrichment of the seminal work of St. Louis de Montfort for consecration prep.

        For those consdiering the using Fr. Gaitley’s book, here’s Week One for your perusal:
        http://www.thegregorian.org/images/article_images/Week_One_33_Days.pdf

        Totus Tuus!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jill Marie says:

          You’ll love using the workbook, Beckita. It adds another layer of depth to the consecration (as does his lessons via DVD). It takes some extra time (had some late bedtimes that month), but the effort was nothing compared to what I received. For me, it was a great source of healing as the Holy Spirit gave me new insights into past hurts that I thought I had resolved – a totally, unexpected, wonderful gift!

          Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Mo Ellen, for the reminder. I was actually wondering of late when I should start the daily prayers of the consecration so that the renewal will coincide with the preferred Annunciation. I knew that it would be around the Presentation or Candlemas but didn’t get the definite date until your post.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. SteveBC says:

    Charlie, thank you for alerting everyone to the changes. If it doesn’t work for folks, you definitely don’t get to take on all the blame! 🙂

    I’m commenting because I want to let everyone know that our TNRS Answers team would like any feedback you would care to mention (including especially if you see an error we should fix) or ideas you might like to see insofar as these changes are concerned. Either comment here or go to the Contact Us page in the Nav Bar and send us your thoughts via the TNRS Answers email address. And it’s OK if you just want to ignore it all! Thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I did a personal consecration last year, but this is exactly what the Dr ordered! Because of physical limitations I can’t fast ( although my dietary restrictions are the strictest of fasts; I call it my life fast!) and I have been praying for God to lead me to something to offer up this Lent. Now I’m excited. This I can do.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Joyce Brown says:

    I love Lent. Usually I have all kinds of big plans for Lent, but then when it’s over I find that I wasted it. I haven’t had a productive Lent in a very long time. I am determined to have a very productive Lent this year, and I think with everyone’s help and input, I will accomplish a good Lent.

    I feel a bit worried, because I read in comments all the trials and sufferings people are experiencing and my life feels rather charmed. I think trials are good for your soul, and I know the Storm is going to catch me up right quick, but until then…..I don’t want my lack of pain and suffering to be an inpediment to my spiritual growth.

    I don’t think anyone who posts here can possibly know what a tremendous source you are for finding the path to a closer relationship with God. Just keep doing what you’re doing because you are helping me, so I assume you are helping a whole lot of other people who come here. This entire website is such a powerful beacon of light and hope in some really dark times.

    God be with us all.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Robert Cunningham says:

      Joyce

      Lent does not have to be about suffering. Lent is the time that we prepare ourselves to meet the Risen Christ, the Bridegroom, at Easter. Maybe this year you might focus on growing in the holy desire for God. The book Song of Songs in the Bible is a good place to start.

      St. Bernard of Clairvaux comments on this book in many of his sermons. For instance he says, “Only the touch of the Spirit can inspire a song like this, and only personal experience can unfold its meaning” (Sermon 1). He will explain to us that the bridegroom in the song is Jesus and the bride can be the Church or the individual soul. The bride can also be our Lady as she is the Mother of the Church and the preeminent exemplar of all the individuals who make up the Church. In this song we see something very mysterious and holy – the longing for the Lord – and this longing can only be fully appreciated as St. Bernard says “by personal experience”. To examine the Lord and study his word is one thing. It is yet another thing to know and love him. In his infinite wisdom, our dear Lord draws us to himself and then he seemingly withdraws for a time. He has not truly left us but his absence makes us seek him and long for him. St. Gregory the Great (6th century) wrote, “When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love”. This beautiful and mysterious longing is spoken of by David when he says, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night” (Ps 63:6). In another era the prophet also speaks from the heart and says, “My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you” (Is 26:9).

      Perhaps each day in Lent read a little of the Song, maybe at times in front of Lord in the Holy Eucharist or other times in a little place in your own home. Seek the Lord this Lent in this little way. You will not be disappointed.

      In IC XC

      Robert

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Katherine says:

    Lent with very young children can be hard, not because of the children, but because at times it feels as though you are already giving up just about everything, and what’s left might be necessary to your sanity to keep. 🙂 I struggle to say the rosary every day as it is. When my youngest goes to bed, sometimes all I want to do is pass out on the couch or just stare at the wall for a while. I do give up all forms of sugar and some carbs which I’ve grown particularly fond of, but then I feel a little guilty about it because then I loose some weight and I feel like it’s a two-for . . . which I feel weird about offering to God. So, this Lent, on top of some extra prayers and no sugar, part of my sacrifice will include being especially attentive to how I go about my usual duties for my family, to dig deep and work on generosity, patience, love and humility. Which boils down to granting a few more requests to play, being a little more consistent about discipline, dealing a little better with the daily frustrations of children being children and maybe putting a little more effort towards doing a few more activities or plan a few more special events with the family instead of just . . . counting the hours until bed-time. I don’t mean to give the impression that family life is awful, it just takes energy. Lent always comes at the time of the year when I have the least amount of energy. I will keep everyone here in my prayers this Lent. God Bless

    Liked by 9 people

    • Beckita says:

      What a beautiful Lenten plan, Katherine!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rara Avis says:

      Katherine, Have you ever read The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood? It is the compilation of visitations of our Blessed Mother and Jesus to a young mother in the 80’s. I read it in the 90’s and reread it over the last 2 weeks. The messages are similar to Charlie’s but the perspective is different. It is private revelation with all the usual caveats. I understand perfectly the feelings you have expressed. My children are over ten but will be young in mind forever, they have Down syndrome and one requires total care. At the end of any given day, I too feel that if I need to cater to one more need, my head will explode. Sometimes I feel that first thing in the morning. This book really spoke to me about how to make all my tasks and frustrations an aid on the pathway to sanctity. We can save souls when we unite our mothering to Christ. The messages don’t cure the fatigue, but they make that fatigue have eternal value.

      Liked by 15 people

      • Mick says:

        Rara, in this regard, another book that’s been very helpful to me is “Holiness for Housewives,” by Dom Hubert von Zeller. Fantastic book that fits very well with the points made in the book you mentioned.

        My youngest (age 2 1/2) also has DS. She’s always going to seem young to me, and to everyone in our family. She’s definitely the little princess.

        Praying for you and your family. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      • Barb129 says:

        I read that book too, Rara Avis, about 25 years ago and it had a huge impact on me.
        Praying for you and your family…

        Like

    • zeniazenia says:

      Amen!! Katherine I like the idea of staring at the wall when the house is finally quiet..haha That is a funny thought 🙂 You will no doubt have a faithful Lent and happy children!! –ZJ

      Liked by 4 people

      • prayingflower says:

        Zeniazenia: I’m still laughing this morning thinking of you staring at the wall. What you say is so true, though. People often wonder out loud about where children get all their energy. They suck it out of their parents! Much love to you. pf

        Liked by 4 people

    • prayingflower says:

      Katherine,: I will keep this in mind and will do some extra rosaries in your place. Just tell Our Lady what your intentions are for these rosaries and we’ll “handle it on this end” 🙂 I certainly understand why you would “count the hours until bedtime.” Perhaps this will help a bit because I will have a prayer intention tucked in here, too; that will be for you in particular, along with your little ones, of course. pf

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Wow, Katherine! Mind if I steal some of your Lenten ideas? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Mick, I sent your bread recipe links and starter recipe in the forum.. you’ll have time to get a starter going just in time for lent- it takes about 12-14 days to get it strong enough!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Thanks, Snowy. I can’t wait to try some sourdough! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hey you’re talking sourdough on the forums? I love playing with sourdough! I need to get a lot better at it, though. I’ll have to skip over there and see what you’ve been up to.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Briana, I look forward to seeing you over there. Snowy has been kind enough to share some ideas for using sourdough with rice flour (we have several people with celiac in my family). We’ve been using raw apple cider vinegar as our sourdough starter, but I’m looking forward to trying some of Snowy’s suggestions. I’d love to hear your suggestions and experiences, too. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

  12. Donna says:

    Charlie thanks so very much for this piece of Anthony’s. The timing is great. I really needed to get the nudge to go back to my Flame of Love reading – and I didn’t even realize there was an official method for the devotion involved. This will be so perfect for Lent! I can’t begin to tell you how many times my prayer for guidance, direction or a response is answered in this space. I really cherish the community you have created here.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Katherine says:

    I forgot to mention, did any of you hear about the reported Eucharistic miracle from that Mass held on the turnpike in the snow during the blizzard in the Northeast? Now, this is only a reported miracle, but it is very cool and the perfect sort of miracle to contemplate as we get closer to the fullness of the storm. Witnesses say that they only had a Mass kit with 6 hosts with them, which turned into 30-40 hosts. No one knew where the extra hosts came from. Then they began breaking the Hosts to give out to all who had assembled. It was estimated that at least 500 people received, the last person receiving the last crumbs. There was exactly enough for everyone. God does provide!

    Liked by 13 people

  14. janet333 says:

    Wow! That’s marvelous. Thanks for letting us know about this miracle, Katherine

    Liked by 4 people

  15. janet333 says:

    Thank you Charlie for your post and also for including Anthony Mullen’s article. I read about this seer, I think possibly 10-12 years ago and was very impressed. Though I haven’t added as yet the extra prayer to the rosary, I always add it when I am praying for priests.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. CrewDog says:

    Speaking of TMLC:

    “Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit On Behalf of Marine Dad Banned from School Property After He Objected to Islamic Indoctrination of Daughter”

    http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=adf1a83154acea60d091b413c&id=ebfa80815f&e=3b7c597bb1

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Thank you, Steve, for your efforts in making all those PDF files of Charlie’s features. A lot of work!

    While we’re on that subject today and we’re beginning a new year, I’d like to remind readers that I also have a CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING of all of Charlie’s features here at the address shown below, each of which are CLICKABLE LINKS leading directly back to the individual features, which can be a quick and easy way to access each single feature at a time. I’m glad I started it in the beginning, as it has become such a huge body of information by now, including the wealth of reader commentary.

    http://blessedhope.yuku.com/topic/103/12-CHARLES-JOHNSTON-2014-2016-BLOG-INDEX-VIDEOS-Cathol

    Also, a reminder that “OUR BLESSED HOPE” board is a “general spiritual interest” forum that not only is partly a website containing prophecy-related materials, but also offers many topics related to the CHURCH, including a CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS section at the bottom; it contains Catholic spiritual themes, and as a FORUM it also invites reader DISCUSSION, and reader’s participation in bringing interesting materials for the benefit of us all.

    http://blessedhope.yuku.com/

    The forum / website also contains a PRIVATE forum called THE CATACOMBS that is not visible to the public, for anyone who would like to commune with others away from public view. Readers from here need only ask for admittance by posting somewhere on the OBH board (register first), or by a private message to me by clicking on my Summerfields name anywhere on the board and writing a “pm”.

    I’ve thought that the sidebar listing for the OBH forum here on Charlie’s site, as being under “Preparation”, is misleading, as the materials cover much more than preparations, although that’s very good, too. Maybe it could be called something else more appropriate?

    Whatever the case, I’m grateful to be part of this wonderfully unique community! There’s nothing else like it, and I learn incredibly much here from everyone.

    Liked by 11 people

    • audiemarie2014 says:

      Yes, thank you to SteveBC and the Team for all you do. Also, thank you, Linda, for your website too! It’s a treasure!

      Liked by 8 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Linda, I very much appreciate your hard work and was immediately drawn to your site when I discovered TNRS blog. Bless you!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Linda S, I had no idea that you were keeping such a resource as a listing of Charlie’s posts. It’s actually the answer to a serious question for which WordPress.com doesn’t appear to have a ready answer. So thank you very much. I’ve revised the “Start Here” page to include that, as well as to point people more directly to your site as a whole.

      I agree that your website is not properly positioned in the right-hand sidebar listings. I believe it would fit better under “Spiritual Sites I Like” which is further down the listings but would put you with Mark Mallett and the Mother of God Forum, among others. It’s possible that it should be listed in *both* locations in the sidebar (although this may not be possible in WordPress.com).

      Can you please reply back to me here and let me know if you would like to have me move your site’s cite from “Preparation” to “Spiritual Sites I Like” or even if you would like to have your site be cited in both locations (if that’s possible)?

      If you like one of these alternatives, I will let Charlie know and see if he will let me make the necessary change.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “…let me know if you would like to have me move your site’s cite from “Preparation” to “Spiritual Sites I Like”…? ~ SteveBC

        Yes, thank you, Steve — either, or both, will be better, however you see fit.

        Way back when, I had begun building the OBH site when we early posters were discussing preparations, but it was never intended to be merely that, as I was already building the other various departments.

        Liked by 4 people

        • SteveBC says:

          OK, Linda, I’ll check with Charlie and see if we can list it in both places. If not, I’ll move it to “Spiritual Sites I Like” if Charlie is willing. Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

        • SteveBC says:

          Linda, Charlie was definitely supportive of your request. I wasn’t sure if I could get it to list in both categories, but it turned out to be easy to do. Please check the sidebar to see your site in both places. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            WOW, Steve! You’re amazing, solving situations here on the site and behind the scenes. If I had a canon I would fire it… This thank will have to do…

            Liked by 2 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Beckita, um, I’m grateful for the gratitude, don’t get me wrong. However, I’m inclined to think perhaps, maybe, possibly, it’s just a tad, a wee bit, a very slight, nay, an almost vanishingly small amount overdone? 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Well, SteveBC, there are two things to consider: 1. You don’t know how happy this dys-techie was to discover how to strip format from text this evening. Thank you very much for the lesson. 2. Quite frankly, I couldn’t find a simple thank you song, though I searched and searched for one, and I’m feeling musical today. It’s actually quite narcissistic of me to insist on one. So there you have it. Oh the personalities on the forums these days, Steve!

            Liked by 4 people

  18. Question.

    I want to do the Flame of Love, but “Yes, there are promises, prayers and specific sacrifices asked of us, such as fasting on bread and water for 6 meals a week” I can’t fast on bread and water for 6 meals a week. (I can’t eat grains, legumes, eggs, sugar, or nightshades). How can I adapt this to my abilities? Because of my restrictions, I often eat the same thing for many meals at a time–so I guess what I’m getting at is that food is such a fast, that it’s no longer something penitent for me–I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up. But I really want to participate in this.

    Help?

    (and wow, my last ten posts have let a whole lotta souls out of purgatory, 😉 Like I need the encouragement… )

    Liked by 4 people

  19. andy says:

    Charlie,

    Have you addressed or has your angel or Mary ever spoke to you about THE FAMILY and the war Satan is waging on it and how we can keep our Family’s in tact during the Storm. As you are aware family’s come with weak and strong parts. Have they addressed this topic and what we can do as a family during this special lent?

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Andy, use the search feature for items on “family” and family of God.” It has been a running theme and will be a bigger theme throughout this year.

      Liked by 3 people

      • andy says:

        thanks, when you were going through family issues, as everyone does that is married, did you ever seek council from your spiritual encounters.

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          No, Andy, I did not. I have occasionally been reassured – but it is not that everything will be settled easily or quickly When I tell you these things must come, I really mean. People get focused on trying to change their family members – and that is almost always futile – usually even counter-productive. Instead, live integrity and charity. It may inspire some in God’s time. Offer penance and sacrifice for those you love who are in a bad place – WITHOUT EVER TELLING THEM YOU HAVE DONE IT. Then trust God to take care of it in His time and His way and let it go, except for the prayers and offering of penance. Be cheerful, give good counsel suited to what they need rather than what you want. In God’s time, people will respond – but not in your time.

          People sometimes think I have it easier because of my situation. God demands more of me – I have to live my trust everyday. One of my cousins died yesterday after years of despair over the loss of his wife. I have a dear family member who was a titan of a role model who has nothing to do with the family any more. I have one who was the closest to me in the world for many years who has become an enemy of the Church. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t talk about these things much because I live what I preach and I trust God to handle it – in His time.

          It is a sad thing, but if you wait for God to fix it in the way you have envisioned, that wait will never end. You really have to trust Him and let it go. Now on the other side of the coin, I have a brother who was alienated from all religion for decades who came back overnight. I have another who struggled mightily with horrific disorder who became a tremendous sign of hope to those around him. These and many more credit me with playing a huge role in their conversions – but largely because I never pushed them to convert, I always gave good counsel, and always respected their dignity when we would get together, even as I expected them to respect mine.

          So I pray for wisdom, but I do not ask God to fix things for me. Rather, I ask Him how to take the next right step and be a sign of hope. I see miracles of conversion – and I see some that I don’t expect to live to see settled in this life. But I trust God, period and live penance – and endure.

          Liked by 17 people

          • Snowflakesdancing says:

            Charlie, I want to say thank you to you today. I was so blocked when I first started coming here and so many times I had to battle running away but the Lord kept drawing me back and back. It was as though I was imprisoned and blocked in on all sides by thick impentrable stone walls. ( I actually have this in my writings and Jeremiah helped me then with the words…and now it makes sense to me 30 years later!) Slowly, the Lord started removing one stone at a time- the surrender prayer, the Consecration…the people here, your steady and constant patience…all of this. I was learning and understanding again. Light started breaking in one stone falling at a time and now I feel like the walls are crumbling, coming down. I don’t know how else to explain this. Thank you for being there for me, for all of us and doing God’s will.
            Your response above to Andy is one of the best I’ve read! Wow! So clear and simple.

            Liked by 10 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Thank you, snowflakes. Nothing soothes me more when I hear – and see – that I have helped someone find peace in trusting God. He loves us and wants us to trust Him – and then He justifies that trust. May God richly bless and keep you.

            Liked by 8 people

          • SanSan says:

            Amen Charlie. By the grace of God, I have learned to “let go”. I give it my best charitable shot, then, I let go. Like the young mother I was speaking about on another post…..for 4 years I mentored her the best I could to “order” her life to God’s Plan. She came to me 7 months pregnant after co-habitating with an abusive loser, and now has moved out to co-habitat before tying the knot, with a nice “Catholic” fellow. Our 3.5yr old goddaughter is in the mix. So as painful as it all is, I did my best, she heard the Truth from me, but has chosen her own path. All I can do is pray for her and our little one and try to keep the lines of communication open……the next right step, eh?

            Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            Thanks, Charlie, for being a sign of hope and redirecting us all to the focus that’s doable: “…Rather, I ask Him how to take the next right step and be a sign of hope…. But I trust God, period and live penance – and endure.” Amen. Alleluia!

            Liked by 5 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Charlie, I’m sorry to hear of your cousin’s death yesterday. My condolences and prayers to you and your clan.

            Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            And, Charlie, praying for the repose of the soul of your cousin as well as for all those of you who knew and loved him.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Kim sevier says:

            Me too Charlie. Divine Mercy Chaplet for him!

            Like

          • Yong Duk says:

            Well-formed, indeed!

            Praying for your cousin, Charlie!

            Jackie, said Mass for your mom.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yong Duk says:

            Amen, Charlie, about HNSE…

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Prayers for your cousin and for your family, Charlie.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m just guessing here but it seems to me that if God reveals too much to a mystic He would deprive that soul of the merits of making choices and going forward in faith. I mean, if you know how the book ends, and you are told that the butler did it, why bother to finish reading it? Only in this case the book is the story of mystic’ s own life. If you knew everything ahead of time you would feel like you wouldn’t have any free choices or self determination. I’m betting that God tells the mystic just barely enough to carry out the assigned task. Then the soul has to carry on through the darkness like the rest of us. Otherwise, where is the heroism? Where is the faith? What merit would there be?

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            There’s a lot of insight, there, flowers. People think you get all these detailed instructions. Really, you get certain details from which you are supposed to make decisions. Think of the Patriarch Abraham. he was told several enigmatic things and then journeyed for many years he knew not where. God just told him when he was doing okay. Or Moses – who led the Israelites out of Egypt toward the promised land. They wandered the desert for 40 years. You know the Israelites more than a few times were wondering when this promised land of milk and honey was going to show up.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Doug says:

            SF, very powerful words of wisdom. I have often prayed in the past for clear signs or asked God to make understanding clear on something and I keep getting lead back to scripture “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe”. Besides, a mystery is exciting. If we knew what our Christmas presents were ahead of time, Christmas day would be much less exciting 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • The key phrase here, Charlie, is “you are supposed to make decisions”. That is heart of being holy…or not, I think. The decisions. My mom would often come to my rescue when I was afraid to make a decision. She always said “I tell God I am trying to make the best decision I can then I make it. And I say, Sacred Heart of Jesus, if I make a mistake go behind me and correct it for me. And you know what? He always does.” I asked why He doesn’t prevent you from making a mistake in the first place? She said, “Oh He does, many times. But sometimes, when you need it most, He lets you make a mistake so that you will remember that He alone is perfect and so that you don’t start thinking that your success comes all from your own power and wisdom. Otherwise, you’d think you didn’t need Him. Then you’d really be in trouble.”

            Liked by 6 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Singingflowers, I love that!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            You have been blessed with a wise mother, SF!

            Like

          • Praying for your cousin, Charlie. I’m so sorry.

            Like

  20. Matthew says:

    Not sure where to post this but thought I would update fellow TNRSers. I have made the leap (definitely not a “step”) of moving to the UP of Michigan (from suburban Detroit) to pursue a path to priesthood in the diocese of Marquette. Someone here had recommended to me the Companions of Christ the Lamb, a good community of rustic hermits in formation on the eastern end of the diocese. I would ask your continued prayers that if this is truly TNRS that everything go smoothly. I am especially anxious about the sale of my house down in suburban Detroit. Fortunately it is in a popular suburb and I am not underwater on the mortgage, nonetheless prayers for a swift and profitable sale would be appreciated.
    The move was a bit difficult as I had a lot to purge. I put many personal items in storage but still had to get rid of a lot and there was the letting go of all the immaterial things down there as well. Trying very hard to “let go and let God”.
    I am living in a good, solid, “salt-of-the-earth” type parish looking to contribute as I can.
    Again prayers for this are appreciated.
    PAX,
    Matthew

    Liked by 21 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I will be praying for you, Matthew, and looking forward to the day I can call you Fr. Matt!

      Liked by 5 people

      • Yong Duk says:

        Amen!

        Take your favourite spiritual books with you and keep re-re-reading them and don’t let the day in and day out of priestly formation and flow of pastoral and theological work and study drain that love of those from you or make you too weary to re-re-read them!

        Liked by 8 people

        • Bob says:

          And I would say for the reading Matt, with the seminary you will need to read so much heady stuff, to make sure some of your private reading feeds your heart and your spirit.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Kim sevier says:

      God bless Matthew! Praying for you.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Matthew, oh just beautiful! I will pray for you!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Petra says:

      So proud of you Matt. I bet the transition is the hardest part, but if this group of priests is where God is calling you, then all will be well. I’ll pray for you and your vocation, that Our Lord will make it very evident to you where you should go and what you should do by overwhelming you with peace and joy when you arrive where He wants you to be.

      God bless, and congratulations on taking the leap of faith!

      Liked by 6 people

    • diane says:

      God Bless you Matthew for listening to the call for your vocation. What a blessing you will be, entering into the priesthood during the storm. We will pray for you to persevere and to be completely immersed in the Holy Spirit so you may truly be wise in the ways of the Lord. Thank you. Love. I do. Diane

      Liked by 6 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Matthew, I will keep you and your vocation to be a priest in my prayers. You are a sign of hope and joy. Bless you for answering His call.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Been praying for you, Matthew, as you mentioned your discernment in a previous post. Prayers continue for you as you move forward on this journey! God’s Peace and Blessings, Matthew!

      Liked by 4 people

    • Robert Cunningham says:

      Matthew

      Wonderful news. I would like to hear more about how you got to this point if you would like to share.

      In IC XC

      Robert

      Liked by 2 people

      • Matthew says:

        Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, they are appreciated and needed! One of the bigger transitions for me is moving from a lifetime spent in an urban / suburban setting to ministry in a rural diocese – Marquette, the see city and the largest city in the UP, has about 25,000 people. I am in a parish in the third largest city in the diocese which has about half that population.
        Just to be clear, I am not entering the Companions group – they are a good group and I just wanted to acknowledge whoever contacted me about them. I will be seeking to be ordained as a diocesan priest for the diocese of Marquette.
        Robert, it has been a long journey. I was in seminary 25yrs ago and left for a variety of personal reasons. In retrospect I am glad I took the break. I am more settled and more mature and believe all my intervening experiences will make me a better priest and pastor.
        The issue of priestly vocation re-emerged more than two years ago as I was going through an intensive process of prayer for inner healing. I began to look around and visited a number of places and inquired of my home diocese. Because of my age (I am 50) and my education ( I have an undergraduate degree (Theology/Philosophy) and two graduate degrees in Theology) I did not easily fit into anyone’s program of formation so it was easier for them to say ‘no’ than to work out a plan for me. Marquette has been gracious and generous. It is here that doors have opened up for me. I see this as a sign that I am to move in this direction. Since God’s plans are always better then our own, I place my trust in this move.
        Again all your prayers are deeply appreciated. I will try to keep TNRS updated on things.
        PAX,
        Matthew

        Liked by 1 person

    • theresa323 says:

      I will keep you in my Prayers, and thank you for the courage to accept the call.
      God Bless.

      Liked by 3 people

    • May you continue to open your heart to God’s grace as you take concrete steps in discerning your vocation. May the great mother of God, Mary most holy, be your guide in following the steps of her Son. Amen.

      Liked by 3 people

    • RMD says:

      Matthew, with all the purging you are doing, it sounds like you are a real promising priestly candidate for the Companions of Christ the Lamb in Paradise, MI. Say hello to Fr. Jack Fabian for me if you see him. I will pray that God leads you to where He wills you to be. Bob Dantzer

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Prayers, Matt! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Doug says:

      Way to go Matt!

      Liked by 2 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Great news Matthew! Write Jesus the blank check, then give Him permission and enjoy the ride– same for every one of us, but maybe for you especially now! One of my rosaries this weekend is for your special intention –Love ZJ

      Liked by 4 people

    • Prayers for you, Matthew!

      Like

    • Barb129 says:

      That’s wonderful Matthew…praying for you.

      Like

    • marieincopenhagen says:

      Matthew, I have just seen this and am delighted. I have followed your comments for a long time and have always appreciated them. I know you have been discerning this for some time. What a blessing. You will be a wonderful priest. I’ll keep you in my prayers. God bless you.

      Liked by 3 people

    • janet333 says:

      God bless you Matthew as you take the next right steps as a servant of Christ.

      Like

  21. rachel rusinko says:

    Hi Charlie
    Been following your site and have been impressed. One Marian procession in the U.S. that I earnestly hope and pray for this upcoming year (REALLY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE) is the procession of Our Lady of America statue by the U.S. bishops and the enshrinement of Our Lady of America in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This act of faith has been requested by Our Lady of America (church approved apparitions) since the late 1950s. If the U.S. Bishops would do this act of faith, Our Lady of America promised that there would be more miracles emanating from the Shrine in Washington than Fatima and Lourdes combined. These would be miracles of conversion. (Which is really what we so very desperately need.) Apparently the litigation that held up this procession is essentially finished. It is unclear why the US bishops have yet to do this enshrinement. As a mother who prays for the conversion of one of her daughters, I am so very hopeful in these promises from Our Lady of America. I know this anguish is not just mine. Does anyone know why the US Bishops have not yet done this procession and enshrinement of Our Lady of America??? (YD?) Thanks…

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Some want to, some are leery. I am not going to be pressing for any specific endorsement of any particular devotion, though I respect Our Lady of America and have many friends that are devoted to her. I simply want to have a multitude of Eucharistic and Marian public processions – with no secondary agenda. Do that…a little obedience, a little proclamation, and God will move hearts to take care of the rest – again, in His time, not mine.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Yong Duk says:

        Very PC, Charlie!

        One centurion to another: I use ellipses…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Petra says:

        Charlie: the following just arrived in my email from the World Apostolate of Fatima. They are announcing that “the world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will begin a two-year “Fatima Centennial U.S. Tour for Peace”, March 21, 2016 – December 20, 2017, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Angel of Peace (1916) and the Blessed Mother (1917) at Fatima, Portugal.”

        If you look at the link, it shows the schedule for the statue to be in dioceses across the country. I expect there will be rosaries and processions planned for this. I was kind of excited when I saw this, because I think this is a wonderful idea, and I wanted for the TNRS family to see it and maybe it can dovetail into your idea for Eucharistic and Marian public processions.

        http://wafusa.org/fatima-centennial-u-s-tour-for-peace/

        I will pray for the success of this pilgrimage of Our Lady, and I hope everyone here will include that intention in their prayers.

        UPDATE on Brothers Merwyn (I thought it was Marvin, but he corrected me) and Brother Joseph, the Capuchin brothers I requested prayers for who were deeply troubled with their house and formation. I saw Brother Merwyn yesterday, and he was in much better spirits, and exuded a peacefulness and joy. I asked him if he was feeling better, and he smiled a wide smile and said “yes.” (Brother Joseph was not with him.) I asked him if he had consulted with the priests at St. John Cantius and sought their guidance, and he said he had. (I sort of knew that’s why they came last week, to seek counsel and direction.) I told him I placed him and Bro. Joseph on this site’s prayer requests, and told him the most important thing was that they should not lose their vocations. He was immensely grateful for your prayers, and so am I. If you would remember them every so often in your prayers, that would be great.

        God bless.

        Liked by 6 people

  22. BD says:

    Excellent post!!! Off subject but it seems the number of posts and posters has increased dramatically. Wonderful…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      BD, amen! I see everything in pictures ..
      With David, I suddenly had the picture in my mind of Daniel in the lion’s den, unharmed (accidentally called him Daniel in one of my posts- but caught it) then I saw Our Shepherd gathering in His sheep, all hearing His voice and coming together… His little flock, and then saw Mary preparing her ‘little army’ of humbled souls for battle…all over the world and happening right here on a smaller scale with Charlie and all of us hearing the call 🙂 Truly it is a miracle of grace!

      Liked by 4 people

  23. Serena J says:

    When reading this post it mentions fasting on 6 meals a week on bread and water. When are you supposed to do that? And are they 24hour fasts or do they end in the evening? Hope someone can clarify for me. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Serena, for over twenty years, I fasted from might to midnight on Wednesday and Friday on bread and water, as per Our Lady in Medjugorje. I was raising young children and Friday was family game night with the aunts and uncles at our house. I could not find clearly define what sort of bread fast. Could I put a spread on the bread, have nuts, raisins, etc.? Not even the visionary Mirjana could clarify this at a conference I attended in 1999 and would only say that “Our Lady said bread”…and how we interpret that. So I allowed buttered bread, then pizza bread, then pretzel bread and so on to fit my life. I even started to drink flavored waters. I once joked to my pastor during a fasting meal at a retreat that even I could find a way to indulge a fast.
      So I was thrilled to learn recently about the approved “Flame of Love Fast” (Elizabeth Kellerman), which consists of a fast of bread and water on Monday and Thursday midnight until six p.m. and Friday midnight until three p.m. (and additionally I fast from meat all day Friday). It specifically states that one should eat as much plain, unflavored bread as it takes to satisfy hunger, and plain water in abundance. The fast is meant to be an absence of flavor.
      The six meals are breakfast and lunch Monday, Thursday and Friday. I quite like that I may eat a *family* dinner any night of the week. There are many promises linked to the fasts that are mentioned in the article and are detailed in the “Flame of Love” book. I hope that helps. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

      • Serena J says:

        Oh thank you jlynnbyrd so much. This is really helpful for me and thanks to your explanation I have a much better understanding. I often tried to do the fasting as recommended at Medjugorje but failed 90% of the time. I really am going to try the Flame of Love fasting, I think this is more ‘doable’ and fasting is the thing I find most difficult to do. I feel more encouraged now after this!
        God bless.x

        Liked by 3 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Serena, you are welcome. I understand the desire to want to do it (the fast) right. I baked some plain biscuits this morning and ate them warm off the pan. You can do this. Don’t worry. Often times have to remind my right brained self, the devil is in the details. God knows our hearts. Peace and love to you in your holy ways.

          Liked by 3 people

  24. Bob says:

    Back to Islam. Michael Brown has this on violence in the Koran today:
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snowflakesdancing says:

      Bob, I read through some of this earlier and I also read some terrible stories about what is happening over in Europe. I live in a state that has a very high population of Muslim immigrants and in one town close to me, they are taking it over and people are leaving and in fear of this…I can’t judge them, I understand their fears. When I first started thinking about what could come of this in the near future, I felt fear too…and a little anger. I’m sure you know what is happening in other places. I asked the Lord what is Your Will in this, what are we to do and how are we to deal with this? I then gave it to the Blessed Mother and told Jesus- You take care of it (from the surrender prayer) Since doing this I have only wished to pray for them that they be released from the evil, the need to terrorize and dominate others that plagues the extremists among them… and that they come to know true love of God and neighbor. To this I am now praying the Flame of Love for them. I have absolutely no issue with peaceful Muslims or any other faith. The Lord has a plan to bring all to truth… to teach all of us to live together with love, respect and in peace. This, in my mind, is precisely what Charlie is teaching and encouraging us to do!

      Liked by 5 people

    • diane says:

      Bob,
      I read that this morning and it confirmed what I had read a while back, when the Islamic faith seemed to come back into the news again, I bought a book to keep me abreast of what Islam was and it was a well researched book and I was quite surprised at what seemed to be crawling out of the woodwork again. The article at Spirit Daily is quite an eye opener. Just pray, pray and pray. I like the premise that Charlie tells us they will convert, that is what I pray for, because those poor souls are being held prisoners by the satan. When that light of conversion shines on them, just think how free they will be. Oh, my the rejoicing of souls that will be set free once and for all. Just imagine the choirs of angels singing and praising God for their conversion. I remember when I converted I had dreams of angels singing 3 nights in a row, and I’m just a little soul, I can only imagine the singing when scores of God’s creation are set free. Love. I do.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Doug says:

        Another good source of information on Islam is: http://www.politicalislam.com

        I found this to be a real eye opener and it explains why you see certain things happening with Isis. When I hear of certain forms of violence by them, it does not surprise me. They are doing what the Koran says via their interpretation and it is violent. It is the opposite of Christianity in that it uses force and coercion as opposed to love and free will. Free will does not exist in Islam per se. Lord have mercy on us all. God bless you Bob and Diane!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. sharon pello says:

    Thank you again Charlie, for all the time, love and effort you put into helping everyone else…
    This was so informative, and encouraging! It’s clear the “Holy Spirit’ has enkindled in you ‘The
    fire of His love!!! This post was wonderful!
    Sharon Pello

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Beckita says:

    Oh that the town in which I live will embrace the Hand of God, repent and convert. I live in a little city that is so very liberal and have often pondered what sort of consequences the collective populace has magnetized as God has been rejected in recognizable ways. While not unique with the spiritual problems which are universal, we *are* tragically the abortion capital of this state; we are known as ” enlightened trailblazers” for bringing discrimination ordinances into the city and, at the time of discussions on this topic, I was amazed at town meetings to discover the incredible-to-me numbers of same-sex and transgender folks who have lived here for years operating businesses and pushing their agendas, (the agendas were not the surprise, the huge numbers coming out of closets to support the ordinances caught me by surprise) and in the liberal northwest, we have had the sad reputation of being the most left-leaning place (for lack of a better descriptor) in the diocese. Oh Missoula, perhaps a harbinger of more to come… http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/plan-to-infuse-small-towns-with-muslim-migrants-meets-resistance/
    Looking forward to seeing surprising heroes emerge in the Storm, Charlie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kim sevier says:

      Gosh Beckita! Had to look up Missoula. Have never been to the northwest and am not familiar with that part of the country. Are you originally from that area? They sure need you there! How difficult it must be to be in that ultra liberal environment. God bless you, Delicate Storm Trooper!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beckita says:

        Raised in Iowa, Kim. I’ve called Missoula home for nearly 45 yrs, minus two+ years of serving in the Peace Corps in Liberia. There is a core group of very dedicated people, praying and witnessing, here in the city. Drive out of town and the spiritual environment changes dramatically in this state.

        Liked by 2 people

  27. Ava Eadie says:

    Mr. Mullen’s Antidote is very interesting…it was about 20 years ago that while driving every morning from Fort Worth to teach at Red Oak with my two very young sons in tow, we would say the Rosary or most of it, depending on interruptions, and I had just come across something of the Flames of Love…but while driving, obviously I could not recall the exact words as our variation of the prayer insert went like this: “…Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners, SEND FORTH THE GRACE OF YOUR FLAMES OF LOVE TO ALL MANKIND, now and at the hour of our Death Amen.” I have to say, my faulty variation was easier to say…and on rare occasions, I have still inserted it, but in the way of saying rosaries with others not using it, it dropped from my Rosary with time…I will pick up the correct version to my private Rosary…

    Liked by 3 people

  28. jlynnbyrd says:

    I like to add it when praying the 3 Hail Mary prayers on the beads while meditating on the divine virtues of faith, hope, and love/charity at the beginning of the rosary. Three x’s prayed = one soul released from purgatory. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

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