The Fiery Trial of Love

fire-heart

By Charlie Johnston

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” – I Peter 4:12,13

I am inundated these days with people who are going through agonizing trials within their family, among friends…things in their personal life that they just never expected. Many tell me they have lost their peace, that they can’t do much at all, and feel like a terrible failure. Whatever agitations are already there seem terribly sharpened, consolation seems terribly far away. People are having their personal world rocked even as the larger world seems to be teetering on the edge of a great abyss. Those of you who read the comments here can see that much of this spills over into that section as well.

I always pray for those who are in the midst of such trials and usually try to console them. Today, though, I want to call you a little deeper into what is happening. If you are suffering in such a manner, it is not just an attack from the evil one: you are also being given an audition by the Master. Many preach trust in God – and can trust in Him so long as it is only themselves who are affected. But if your trust crumbles the moment those you love are attacked, what good is such fair-weather trust? If you are suffering such sorrows right now, rejoice, for God contemplates that you might be a useful tool to spread the hope that is in Him.

Those who have suffered intense sorrows and endured are the most useful in helping others do the same in the midst of crisis. It is sort of a Divine Inoculation. Once you have been through fire and have chosen, with your active will, to trust with fortitude, it becomes much easier to trust through the next fire. Even beyond that, you have no idea how many people take inspiration – even change their lives – by your grace under fire, Even many of those who torment you will be changed.

I was often surprised when I was in politics how many of those who had been my public enemies would quietly come to me seeking help or comfort when they were under fire. In 1989 through early 1990, I was in the midst of a public controversy. A group of newspapers spent a year sliming me every week. It was nightmarish. They just made things up – horrible things – to smear me. At one point they wrote a horrific story to tug at the heartstrings about how I had abandoned my children, leaving them penniless. At the time they wrote this, they knew that I had sole custody of my children. It didn’t matter. For political reasons they wanted to destroy me – and Illinois then had among the loosest rules on libel of a public figure. You could tell any lie about a public figure, so long as it did not make them guilty of a crime and you did not reasonably know it to be a lie. It was hard to endure, as even people who had been friends began to have doubts because of the unceasing pounding.

I was at a convenience store once during this time to pick up a few things when a woman – a stranger –  recognized me and starting ripping into me for my callousness to my children. The kids were right out in the car. I told the woman so and asked her to step out for a moment with me. When we got out, I introduced her as someone who was worried about them. “Who do you live with?” I asked the kids. My daughter looked at me like I was crazy and said, “We live with you, Daddy.” We chatted a little bit about things and some plans for a day trip. The woman was silent and we went back into the store. “How can the paper say these things,” she asked me in horrified wonder. “They lie,” I responded. We talked a little about it, with her offering profuse apologies and saying she was going to tell all her friends. It was not the only time this happened, but it stuck with me because the kids were right there and I could easily demonstrate the lie without having to drag the kids through the horrific allegations.

Many people got caught up in the feeding frenzy. But when I sued the newspaper for libel (they made a technical error that allowed us to move forward – and once they opened the door, the whole year’s worth of slime was let in to demonstrate a ‘pattern of malice.’), I kept it very narrow and did not agree to having my attorney list any others as co-conspirators, though there were about five who could have been so charged. I even protected one of my tormentors from having his drug-addicted teenaged child dragged through the mud. Newspapers are notorious for refusing to settle libel suits, for fear of opening themselves up to never-ending assaults. After depositions, the newspaper and its insurance company settled in my favor. I was told, but never checked it myself, that mine was one of only three instances in the previous decade where a newspaper in Illinois paid any settlement at all, much less a significant one. After it was all over, one of my neighbors told me that for months he had feared hearing a gunshot at my house, it was so brutal and humiliating. He did not know how I was able to bear it.

Some interesting things came in that ordeal’s aftermath. All the serious political people regarded it as the most brutal, sustained public mauling they had ever seen – and were horrified by it. But after that, when a crisis came and I helped them, it calmed them tremendously. They had seen what a storm I had been through – and ended with my dignity intact – enhanced, in fact. People were more willing to do bold things if I was involved, for they had already seen graphic evidence that I do not fold under pressure.

Amazingly, almost all of my tormentors took great pains to treat me with genuine courtesy and affection in the year after the suit was settled. Only one actually apologized…said he just got caught up in the frenzy and didn’t really understand why he had done it, but considered it the most shameful thing he had ever done. Several became steadfast supporters of my work. All wanted my forgiveness, even when they did not directly ask for it. They would fall all over themselves trying to show me a kindness or do me honor.

Inspiring words have a powerful use – and I use them. But I have found that the thing that has the greatest transformative power I know of is the ability to publicly suffer with grace and magnanimity. That does not mean to be a doormat. I did sue the newspaper and win; I did fight on in my political battles – and almost always won locally. But to let those who torment you up easy, to deal with their humanity even as they make a mockery of yours…that is the stuff that lights a long fuse to transform lives and outlooks.

I hate infantile “prosperity gospels,” that silly outlook that if you are just good enough, God will keep you from any fundamental sorrows. That is a childish, self-absorbed fantasy that makes God into a mere genie to give us what WE want. I have seen far too many seemingly pious people crumble into bitterness when they find that the rain falls on them, too. God is in the business of calling His children to the safe harbor He is, to carry them to safety in eternity with Him – and He is ever on the watch for people who will participate in doing the same. The ordeals many of you now suffer with great intensity are, in part, an inoculation against the greater trials to come. Trust now when all seems haywire and your trust will become tempered through the fire. It will not fail in the great crisis. Even more important, this is an audition – an audition to take your place among the Troops of God and His Missionaries of Mercy. If you can suffer with grace and dignity, staying steady and not panicking, always keeping first things in mind, you will win many souls to Christ. Among them will be many of those who now torment you. When suffering, you cannot help but agonize and lament. In the midst of that, think to thank God for this extravagant invitation He has extended to you to participate with Him in winning souls to eternity. Don’t fail to fight when you must – and do it with vigor and fortitude. But remember in the midst of it that those you are fighting against are also souls you are fighting for.

Onward, Christian Soldiers! God is preparing you well for the battle ahead. Trust Him!

 

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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344 Responses to The Fiery Trial of Love

  1. Anne says:

    Just have to say Charlie……… This and signs of the Times article are THE ONES for me. I think many would agree you have really opened the door for us all. …….. Keep going,don’t stop. We are all so very grateful.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Thank you Charlie – your Wisdom is a grace for us all. Praise God.
    I would like to ask one of those Prosperity Gospel Preachers – so what happened with Mary?
    In Mary we have God’s most blessed human, and part of her life was to suffer. She hadn’t sinned. She did everything the Father asked. She lived in His Will. In meditating on this, I ponder if Jesus’ suffering was not more acute knowing that a sword of pain was striking Mary’s heart – his very mother, the one so dear to him. She didn’t yell to know why. She didn’t demand to know more than God permitted. She didn’t try to explain it or justify it. I am so humbled at her example. She trusted but I don’t think it was easy for her. She pondered these things in her heart.

    Liked by 10 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, it had to be brutally hard for her. I once, in a fit of pique, asked a prosperity gospel preacher if he had ever even bothered to read the Bible – for those closest to God were usually those who suffered most, not those who lived the cushiest.

      Liked by 17 people

  3. Barb M. says:

    I’m sorry that you had to go through all of this. I thank, God, that you survived it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Redsk8trlmc says:

    Dear Charlie,
    I have been following this site for a few months now, and really taking to heart what you are telling us here.But I do have one question that won’t go away, and that frankly makes it difficult for me to convince some of my family that your message is authentic. And that point is that you never mention the sacrament of confession. Or maybe so rarely that I cannot find it. If we are all going to be tested by trials, and 26 million of us are going to die, shouldn’t we be getting ourselves and so many of our family and friends to confession? If you can clarify this for me, I would be very grateful. Thank you for all you are doing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sr Lorraine says:

    thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post. I am also greatly edified by all the faith-filled people here who know how to grow spiritually in times of suffering.
    I have found St Paul’s words often on my mind lately, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings for the sake of his body, the Church” (Col 1:24).
    Also, last year besides the rosary I started praying the 7 sorrows devotion to Our Lady and that has been very fruitful as well, besides the Flame of Love. It has helped me through some difficulties including deaths of family members, one by suicide last year.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Praying for your family members who have passed, and for you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • janet333 says:

      Prayers for you and your loved ones Sr Lorraine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sr Lorraine.

      I love the devotion to Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows. On Tuesday and Friday I pray her Sorrowful Rosary to complement the traditional Rosary of the Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Lord. And on the other days, I finish the Rosary with 7 Ave’s for each of Mary’s Sorrows. This way, I meditate on her sufferings every day of the week. Why? Because I love Mary so much having consecrated myself to her, because Jesus loves it when we honor his Mother, and because of the 7 graces she promised to St. Bridget:

      1. I will grant peace to their families.
      2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
      3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
      4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
      5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
      6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death: they will see the face of their Mother.
      7. I have obtained (this grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

      The addition of this simple devotion to my prayers has been immeasurably fruitful in my spiritual journey toward union with God. It is as if Mary herself is providing me spiritual direction.

      Please visit http://www.olrl.org/pray/ to order those beautiful prayer cards to distribute during the Storm.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. janemarieanne says:

    Hi Charlie, I pray that God gives me the words to express what is burning in my heart. I want to thank you for your prayers. And I thank you for sharing with us what must have been a horrifically painful trial in your life. I shared with you a week or so ago about the untimely death of our grandson. I have to say that the night he died was so painfully surrealistic, that I felt that The Lord was giving us a foretaste of what is to come. I couldn’t help but think of the millions of personal tragedies that loom before us. My world was shaken to the core that night, in such a way that I knew the only way I could put one foot in front of the other, was The Lord accomplishing it within me. Yes, I was in shock for several days, as I kept repeating “Jesus I trust in You” or Jesus, Jesus, Jesus over and over. Yes the time of Sorrows has begun. But how else are we to become like Christ unless we deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him? How else will Jesus be able to present us to His Father, unless we give Him our fiat? Unless we unite our sufferings to Christ’s, and enter into His Passion and Cross? We must allow, and yes, accept God’s invitation to gladly accept His Divine Will for us….to become mighty warriors for Jesus Christ, and, of course, Our Lady. Amen.

    Liked by 10 people

    • charliej373 says:

      If we can get to where we really believe in heaven, then we would have confidence that none we love are lost. But, oh, how it hurts while we are here! When Lazarus died Jesus – who is Lord of Life and Death – wept.

      Liked by 9 people

      • I have often thought that Jesus wept, not because Lazarus died – He knew Lazarus and his destiny – but because of the lack of faith and understanding of those closest to Him who were complaining that they thought all was lost because Jesus had not been there. They truly did not believe in His true power.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Well postulated, Francis. Yet I take comfort in thinking that Jesus lived complete solidarity with us in our homey sorrows and silly worries.

          Liked by 6 people

          • I know. I understand that. He wept for all of Jerusalem for the reason that you state.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Ah, I think your answer probably hits closer to the mark, Francis, don’t let me kid you on that. My preferred aspect is more of a comforting teddy bear. But for a timorous child, a teddy bear has real value.

            When I was a little boy, Mom and Dad took us on a car ride. I held my beloved teddy bear out the window to feel the breeze. I dropped him. I was not big on complaining, but the silent tears came. My Mom spied the tears streaming down my cheek and asked in alarm what was wrong. I tearfully blurted out what I had done. Amazingly, my sometimes stern Dad gently turned around and drove slowly until he spied the teddy bear alongside the road, then retrieved him and gave him back to me with gentle encouragement. He did not scold me at all for being so stupid, just wanted to comfort me. It made me value my teddy bear all the more and deepened my appreciation for my parents, who tenderly cared for how much my teddy bear meant to me. Thank you for your response, Francis, for it triggered this wonderful childhood memory of my parents’ tender love and caused me to mist up in love for them.

            Liked by 14 people

          • Wow. Good, Charlie. Thank you for that.

            Liked by 4 people

        • avaeadie says:

          Francis, I have believed this same approach for a long time now…In John 11:13-15 Jesus speaks to the Apostles and HE TELLS them that Lazarus has died. He tells them he is glad he was not there so that “they may believe.” The words in this passage have so often stirred such a strong empathy in my heart for Jesus. He seems almost giddy with the excitement and anticipation of what he is about to do before their very eyes…a man who will have been dead by the time he arrives for several days. HE knows His Plan for Lazarus…It will not be like the others he brought back within a few hours of their passing, and These who are involved now are his close friends. Those who have been listening to him preach now for a long time, some since the very beginning of his ministry. I wish I could put into words what Jesus must really have held in his heart at this moment, the “Passionate love of Joy in HIS GIFTING of the Grace of LIFE He is about to bestow on Lazarus ANEW, a foreshadowing for all his closest followers to the Final Resurrection.” But when He arrives, his beloved close friends, Martha and Mary are in tears, and rather than speaking to HIM in a manner that says they truly UNDERSTAND and BELEIVE all that He has told them of the FATHER AND HIMSELF, they are in their state of human sorrow and anguish and rather berate Jesus for not being there to keep Lazarus alive. Jesus precious human heart must have been crushed, hurt to look around at all of them and hear their sorrow, not their Hope in HIM and in the FATHER, not even their JOY for Lazarus being now so much closer to GOD by the promise of what Jesus has told them is the reward for those who Live their life Loving GOD. I can almost hear a variation in the Heart of Jesus to the words he uttered on the Cross, rather than, “…forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”…I hear, “Forgive them Father, for they really do not understand.” I get emotional every time I think of this story of Jesus and Lazarus…

          Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Janemarieanne, prayers for your family, and for the repose of your grandson’s soul.

      Like

  7. Patricia says:

    Charlie,
    When you get a chance, could you ask if there was not an easier way?
    Thanks.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Sure, revoke free will and make all of us into puppets. We won’t sin, but we won’t be children of the Master, either. I prefer being able to choose God with all my heart and will.

      Liked by 15 people

      • Judith Curran. says:

        When and if you get a chance, could we please have a post on what it means to trust in God…. I know the meaning of the word, but its application where God is concerned often baffles me….

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          A fellow once told me a story about how he was looking for a place on a map and just could not find it. He looked at every tiny little dot…and still, it was not there. Finally, he gave up and as he was looking away, he suddenly saw it, there in big letters right in front of him. He was looking too closely, checking every tree and missed the forest right before him.

          Think of a child with their good Dad. They don’t have to understand why Dad does what he does – in fact, usually, they don’t. But they trust it is for their good. And when Dad takes them on a journey, though the child does not know the way, he trusts that Dad knows what he is doing. That is all it is, Judith. Trust that God knows what he is doing – even when you don’t…and that He intends your eternal good, however things look.

          Liked by 14 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Providential Care Swaddling Innocency of
            St Isaac of Nineveh with a Theresan twist of resting in His Arms

            Liked by 3 people

          • Joe says:

            Are we there yet? 😀

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Ha! Sadly, not yet.

            Liked by 3 people

          • After a tough week, I literally ran for the hills on Saturday with a ton on my mind.

            Unfortunately the lengthy conversation went like this:

            Me: talk, talk, talk, question… [repetitious cycle]
            God:

            Fortunately I covered so much ground that I eventually wore myself out and finally stopped to look at the following vista. The place I stopped just so happened to be the same place I started.

            Me:
            God: http://sweetwaterhaven.com/hope.html

            Considering the picture, I thought the word might be “hope,” but maybe it was “trust.”

            When I started out, all I really noticed was that dead tree. At the end, all I could see was that spectacular forest of Saguaros beyond, painted with some of that seemingly impossible light and hues I mentioned previously.

            I like your example much better. That fella at least knew where he was going, even though he couldn’t find it on the map.

            In my own way, I’m baffled a lot too.

            Praying for all here,

            MP

            Liked by 9 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Sounds kind of like Job being taken into the whirlwind.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Judith Curran. says:

            Thank you for your insight on trust Charlie. I just have a hard time with people who trust in God, (i.e. In Immaculee Ilibagaza,s book ” Left To Tell,” that her family, who trusted in God, were killed anyway!) and all the myriads of people who do the same. If you trust in God to lead you through, but lose your life anyway, where is that trust then?

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I have never said everything will be okay for you in this life; rather that God heals and protects you for eternal life. If to trust you need to know that no serious ill will befall you in this life, I have nothing for you. When I was walking on my pilgrimage, several times I was in fear of my life – and each time I prayed that if it was to be an unexpected end, that God arrange it so it would inspire others to hope and to dare. That is all the trust I have to offer. You only lose your actual life if you turn from God. The portion of our life that we live in this little terrarium is a drop in the ocean of our life in eternity. But how we act here determines how we will spend our eternity.

            Liked by 10 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Judith, our trust must be in God’s Will. In trusting Our Almighty Father in His Divine Plan is the ultimate preparation for when He calls us home, like crossing the finish line in the rat race of human life. Our earthy death is the final sunset before the eternal dawn.

            Liked by 6 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Judith, my dear husband and I just watched the movie “Little Boy,” exec produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett that we checked out of our local library. It is a touching story that beautifully illustrates trust in the Lord and eloquently ties in the Spiritual Works of Mercy. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

        • Petra says:

          Judith Curran: You mention Immaculee Ilibagaza and her book “Left to Tell”, and it’s funny because just this week I was reminded of the passage where, near the end of her stay in the bathroom, when it appeared they would be discovered and slaughtered, she had a vision where our Lord said to her, “If faith were easy Immaculee, there would be no mountains.” (Alluding to the Gospel passage, if you had the faith of a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there, and it would move. Matt 17:20)

          More than once this past week I thought, “If faith were easy, there would be no mountains.” I think you could replace the word *faith* with “trust” too. Faith sometimes is used to mean trust – as an example, I have faith the paramedics will come quickly in an emergency.

          So to answer your question, what is the meaning of trust if you die anyway, especially, as was the case with Immaculee’s family, if you are slaughtered anyway? I really believe that the difference is this: if you die as did Immaculee’s family but were running and trying to save yourself, what you experience inside of you is one thing. If you die in that way while placing your trust in God, while pleading to Him for mercy and to save you, what you experience in that moment is something completely different. To an outside witness, it looks the same. To the victim, well, it’s the difference between night and day. Do you believe that? If you are struggling with it, then God is challenging you to increase your faith. Because the point of faith in God is not the outcome of any particular situation, the point is the relationship of trust with God. This is the lesson of the Christian martyrs. In each moment you do what you can for good, and trust Him for the things you cannot do anything about (like gangs of murderers roaming the countryside hacking people to death. Or dying in an arena being attacked by lions, as entertainment for 3,000 pagans. Or dying on the cross in an apparent defeat.)

          In the case of Immaculee’s, what happened to her? At the very climax of the book, a gang of murderers were in the very house, in the very bedroom next to the bathroom where she was, searching for anyone hiding. At that moment she saw a cross of light over the door, and the mob of men somehow could not, did not find the bathroom. So you ask, why did God save those few ladies, and not everyone? Yes, why indeed.

          So much of us wants to control life. If we think, oh, I know, I’ll follow Christ and then God will be at my service, sparing me from all the horrors this life can bring, and then the sacrifice of being obedient will be worth it. I’ll be good and He’ll give me a perfect, happy, suffering-less life. A fair exchange. But that would be idol worship, in a sense, leaving you in control, telling God what to do for you. But that’s not how it is. Jesus said, he who tries to save his life (control it himself) will lose it, he who loses his life (to God) will save it. Interesting concept, no? Many people, upon hearing that, don’t want the deal, so they walk away from God.

          Peter got out of a boat on a stormy sea when he saw Jesus coming toward them on the water. Peter’s faith in Jesus overwhelmed him in that moment, and made him bold. And he walked on the water. PETER WALKED ON WATER! The faith of a mustard seed. He did what cannot be done, something humanly impossible. But he did it. And the rest of the lesson is valuable too – when he realized what he was doing, and that it was impossible, and took back “control,” he sank. Of course, Jesus saved him and helped him back into the boat. And calmly asked him, Why did you doubt? Take some time and ponder this story as a metaphor for faith, for our lives. It’s really very rich with lessons.

          We can walk on the water (do impossible things) with God in control. But we of ourselves cannot do these things. Secondly, we can’t set the agenda and expect God to supply the miracles to make it all work out. That’s not faith, that’s just trying to find a way to win the things we want in life. Faith in God is doing GOD’S WILL, letting Him set the agenda, and wanting the outcome HE has determined is best for us.

          Truth be told, even doing that, even having enough faith to begin to do that, is only possible if we get the grace to do so from God. So Judith, the best place to start is to ask God in prayer to explain it to you, to ask what does it mean to trust in Him. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep praying about it, and I assure you, I promise you, He will answer. You will begin to grasp what it means. It might take a while (because sometimes He doesn’t answer right away.) But then it will be up to you to decide if you can accept that or not. And even then maybe you will have to say, well Lord, I don’t understand how this all works, but where else can I go? You have the words of eternal life.

          God bless you Judith. I’ll pray for you.

          Liked by 9 people

          • Therese says:

            Profound words written by the hand of Petra, “the point is the relationship of trust with God…..Jesus said, he who tries to save his life (control it himself) will lose it, he who loses his life (to God) will save it. May the pounding waves of the storm keep us with our eyes fixed on Jesus. Thank you Petra.

            Liked by 5 people

          • starxedee says:

            Just love this response. I am printing it and keeping it with me! Well said!

            Liked by 1 person

          • jcg17jcg says:

            “Secondly, we can’t set the agenda and expect God to supply the miracles to make it all work out. That’s not faith, that’s just trying to find a way to win the things we want in life. Faith in God is doing GOD’S WILL, letting Him set the agenda, and wanting the outcome HE has determined is best for us.”
            Picture, it’s easy to see that you have had your own trust tested. What you say is spot on God has readied you to be a Sherpa in your own place. Godspeed. Julie from AZ

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Nice Julie!

            Liked by 1 person

    • Petra says:

      Patricia; 🙂

      God bless.

      Like

      • Judith Curran. says:

        Thank you to all who helped me in my understanding of what “to trust” means. I will read them again and again until the explanations have taken root and I can grow in trust from there.

        Liked by 6 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            jlynn, I love your new picture. I clicked to enlarged it- it’s very beautiful! I’ve been waiting for a chance to sneak that in but most of your comments are prayers for people so it took a long time! 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Thank you Snowy. I saw the pic online and love it too. It takes forever for me to navigate my WordPress too. What is with that? Perhaps a lesson in patience or an opportunity to multi-task. *sigh*

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Oh I know (of course I would… with all the messing around I do with my names and pictures lol)! I don’t know what is going on with WP and Gravatar. I have noticed it too..slow and like a disconnect between them. So patience, yes…always waiting and waiting.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Frustrating computer problems is preparation for the storm

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Yes, I was thinking that too, Doug. So what do you think squirrel vs bird feeder problems should be filed under? 😛

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Clueless. I’m totally clueless on that one Snowy.

            Liked by 1 person

        • avaeadie says:

          It is the passage of Matt. 18:3-4 Unless we “become like little children..” I like all the replies. I too, Judith, have been dwelling on Trust of late. I have been going back to this Biblical passage of Jesus’ words. The trust of little children is perfect and complete, until they learn fear and worry, and until as they grow older, they learn many earthly things like history and science, and their intellect develops and takes on a hubris…when these things happen, it is difficult to be “like little children”.

          Liked by 3 people

  8. Louis Cote says:

    I love Scripture; it has a way of reaching into my spirit. Thanks, Charlie, for starting us off with a verse.

    I am well acquainted with the ‘fiery ordeal’ and the wound (or heart piercing) that it inflicts. But I am truly amazed by the self-inflicted wounds that follow i.e.: the surprise / offense / betrayal / bitterness & hurt.

    Without going in too much detail, some time ago, my employer refused to give me a pay raise. I swallowed it and moved on, but it proved to be more irritating than a burr under a saddle. I see now that many of my later decision were coloured by that event, my self image was much affected and life was more stressful than it had to be. God is so good because he used these trails to toughen me up. To be patient under trail is a grace that builds slowly.

    I am reminded of a time when I worked for a nursery/ garden centre. Behind one of the hothouses, there was row upon row of pallets. About fifty thousand dead seedlings stood there. These trees were 1½ years old when they were taken out of the hothouse to ‘harden’ and… were promptly killed by the first frost that came along. I pray that by following God’s plan for my life, I will ‘harden’ gradually and endure until the rescue.

    Thank you, Charlie, for your witness and grace under fire. Your measured response and trust in God are indeed a good example of ‘The Next Right Step’.

    God turns everything on its head and purges away any vanity that is exposed…
    Let me end with Scripture: (New International Version — Philippians 3:7-8, 10-11)

    But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage… I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

    Liked by 9 people

  9. Deborah says:

    Charlie thank-you for Sharing this. I’m thankful I was introduced to your web site several months ago. I too have under gone severe trials since 2007 a variety of fiery trials at times and suffering such utter despair. I feel I have cried for the last 9 years! My marriage under horrible attack, my son his marriage and family under horrible attack watching my daughter in law sentenced to ten years in prison, my 3 little grandchildren suffering the loss of their mother, so exhausted emotionally and spiritually that I don’t think I can take another breath or step! My marriage is still under attack but God has asked me to be a fool for him and for the sake of my husbands soul stay true to my vows when the sacrament of marriage itself is under such attack! Thank-you for the encouragement to keep fighting….. Onward Christian soldier! Amen

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Thank you for the kick in the pants. I know this, but I forget, especially when I get tired and worn down. My prayer will be ,” Please help me suffer with joy”.

    Liked by 9 people

  11. Glynny Peake RN says:

    Thank you Charlie….I was just talking to my Priest about feeling broken right now. What a consolation your article has brought to my heart. FIGHT ON SOLDIERS!!!!! Love you Charlie…

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Been there done that ..

    Liked by 3 people

  13. rdlafleur says:

    It was a ” firey trial that brought me back to God going on two years ago ( the loss of my son). If it weren’t for that I probably would have never looked to God. I’ll admit at first I looked with anger, but as I say God at least got me to look. After a while that anger turned to love. Just recently there has been another trial that has arisen with my two remaining children. I have given that to God. I refuse to let the devil have a victory by giving in the hurt, despair or anger. God is very trust worthy if you are willing to stand on the promises he has already given. I thank God he loves me enough to let me go through trials. Why is that you ask? Because he loves me and wants me to ever become stronger in him. He loves me enough to want me to grow and learn. For that I am always greatful.

    Liked by 10 people

    • charliej373 says:

      May the Lord strengthen you and make you a powerful sign of hope – to all you meet, but especially to your children. And may your son be ever at your side interceding for you and for his siblings.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Al Chandanais says:

        Charlie you are an inspiration to hold fast to the Lord. Good job brother you are teaching many and we love you dearly.
        The analogy i’m about to give is from someone else that I’ve added to, this has truly changed my way of life, Literally, sadly, I don’t remember there name but my hope is he or she will see this and let me know their name so i can give him or her the credit.
        I never understood what the Lord meant when He said, “The Meek shall inherit the earth”. I thought it another word for humble and that was it. I love this analogy and minister to others who also don’t know what it means either. Imagine a great battle going on, in the of the bullets and bombs, fire and smoke, screams from men and horses alike stands a great stallion lifting and hammering his great hoof on the ground waiting, every muscle poised and at the ready for the command from his master in the saddle to go forward, left or right or turn back. Nothing else matters, there are no distractions, he is used to the fire and smoke the cries and bombs he has heard it all before and trusts his master to get them to the next battle after this one.
        Meek, one who has total and complete trust in God, one who goes through this life and learns to say yes, Abba, or Yes my Lord. To carry our cross is to live what we are given at any time with trust and love. To grow into relationship that only God can have with us. Yes sometimes it is very difficult, maddening and overwhelming. It is then we grow in meekness, in strength and power to rely on God. The more troubles that seem to come, if not from the other guy, is something God has designed for us alone. If it is the other guy we win and grow anyway, so fear him not. I am the 4th child in a family of 4 children, 2 others lost to doctors mistakes back in the 30’s and mid 40’s. Pampered and protected from the outside world I grew up spoiled and knew if i got into trouble dad would help, which he did. It took years to learn to stand on my own or so I thought. I have always loved God but turned my back on him for a while. I see now that whenever I got into trouble I would seek him first because though I turned from him he never turned from me. I am always learning to trust and go another step in the direction he is allowing me. I have asked in the surrendering prayer to take my anger and as I am confronted with a situation that agitates me I make a willful decision to handle it with gentleness and understanding and the anger turns to love and joy. My heart grows in Christ and I tear at his works in mass, or when the choir and the whole church come together in a beautiful hymn of adoration and I can hear the angels join us in perfect harmony. I love now because my Father teaches me to love as he does and my love for Him grows to the hopeful day of Agape. There are few of us called to the cross, these are God’s Martyr’s a blessed group honored in Heaven, but all are called to carry our cross and follow Jesus. Why? Because it is the only way to stand in the midst of battle, with bullets and smoke and bombs exploding all around us as we wait ready and willing to do what we are told, we wait for the Masters voice.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Praying for you and your family, RD.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      RD, I will pray for you, your children, and the repose of your son’s soul.

      Like

  14. Linda says:

    Beautiful Charlie and so true.. I actually asked God what was coming next at adoration last week and begged Him to give me the grace to suffer with it well.. Since I blew the last episode.. you keep it all in perspective for us nrs.. Thank you so much for the heads up.. God bless you Charlie 😇

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Katherine says:

    When I was a little girl I realized that all of the saints I admired had terrible trials put before them. It seemed to be a requirement to be a saint. I wanted to be a saint, but I was afraid of suffering, so I began to pray but at the same time kind of hope that it didn’t draw any attention from heaven. I thought it would be much easier to be a flat-out martyr. I realized that there is a connection between increased holiness and suffering. When I pray for things, for example, when I pray to have more patience as a mother, no angel comes down to just wave his magic wand and make me more patient. What happens is that I’ll have a week of patience testing trials. Sometimes I’ll be just exhausted while praying and as I make the usual plea for help with patience or some other virtue . . . I’ll stop for a second and wonder if maybe I should just ask for wine in the coming week instead. haha. But that won’t actually bring about the virtue I asked to increase. These little daily trials give me a chance to stretch my virtue muscles and do a spiritual “work out”. So I’m grateful for them. However, I have not been tested by fire as many of you here seem to have . . . yet. Maybe I’m being slow roasted or something. Or maybe God has a huge trial for me ahead of some kind. In any case, I am praying for the grace to come through life in an unwavering straight line; let all of my actions, all of my sorrows and all of my joys lead me to Heaven, and all of those around me as well.

    Liked by 10 people

  16. I’m sorry for your difficult trial, Charlie. But, I know what it is to be treated unjustly by those who were supposed to be the most just. Man, alive, when I look back I thank the good Lord that there is something that I have undergone which is like a crucifixion of sorts, and then to see how God raised me up out of what I thought was a kind of death and placed me later in front of those who treated me unjustly in a way which said, “See? I preserve the just and warn the unjust that I, your God, will not be defeated, for I AM the Alpha and the Omega and you are dust, and to dust you will return.” I just try now to become worthy to be that servant which I hope God has chosen me to be…a just and trustworthy and charitable servant after the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Robert Cunningham says:

    I read Charlie’s article last night and all the comments and read them all again this morning. What struck me is how true it is that the pains felt most deeply are those in the heart rather than physical ailments. In most of the subsequent posts the wounds spoken of involve spouses or one’s children and perhaps that is because these are the ones closest to the heart.

    I do know about physical pain. I had a brain tumor. But, in the end that became a blessing. While I do not suffer any residual effects of the tumor I do have a large horseshoe-shaped scar on my head from the surgery. People can’t see it as my hair covers it. I consider it a blessing as to me it is a crown of thorns. What was painful has become a joyful reminder that God did not leave me then and will not leave me now. In difficult moments I only need run my fingers over the scar and end with “thank you Jesus”.

    Calumny and betrayal seem to cut the deepest. Even our dear Lord lamented after washing the Apostles feet, “The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me” (Jn 13:18). But if we cling to God it somehow turns into a Joy, not happiness, but rather Joy. A Joy deep within the heart that cauterizes wounds.

    St. Symeon the New Theologian says that the heart that does not turn away from God even in suffering or purification will experience Joy. The heart, “will become a spring from which unceasing tears will flow visibly and which will fill him spiritually with peace, gentleness and inexpressible sweetness, as well as, the courage and capacity to submit to God’s commandments freely and unreservedly” (Philokalia volume IV p. 18).

    Robert

    Liked by 11 people

  18. Mark Ziegler says:

    Very interesting. My story is too long to put here. Suffice it to say My wife, children and I have lived and are living through those fires. The obvious fire started 3 years ago when my youngest son (then 9 yrs old) became ill. He developed leg tremors that eventually traveled up to his torso making it impossible to even stand. At the same time his voice stopped working. After multiple exhaustive and inconclusive hospital stays he was admitted to a rehab hospital to try and learn how to walk and talk again. It came to me in an adoration chapel at 2am when I was begging for his healing that my boy wouldn’t even exist had my wife and I continued to use birth control. Coming to an agreement on that was a fire in itself. Not only did a certain peace come from that thought, but knowledge also. It’s one thing to say you trust the Lord. It’s a whole different ball game when trusting the Lord is all you have left! All is now well with my son. Now when fires rage perspective dampens their ability to burn.
    God Bless Charlie

    Liked by 9 people

  19. Julie from PA says:

    Our Blessed Mother, Mary, is a Jewish mother. When the children are sick, Mom puts a pot of chicken soup on the stove to boil. Before She can put good things into it to make it nutritious and sweet, it has to boil so the scum can come to the top to be scraped off. Once everything is skimmed and the broth is clear, She can fill it with good things. The purging isn’t punishment, but it’s necessary. Whether we’re doing evil things against God or suffering with Christ, we’re all in it together. The people who are working against God are probably suffering things in their lives, too. So, it’s not punishment. God loves us tenderly and everything has it’s purpose to the end for good. Nothing is beyond His notice.

    Liked by 8 people

  20. Edward Scherr says:

    My wife and I went to a healing Mass in Green Bay WI at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Father Ubald from Rwanda presided. He survived the Genocide in Rwanda. Many people testified to their healing. I need the doctor’s confirmation for my wife before I testify to her healing, although this is the best I have seen her in a long time. To me, this looks like what our recovery will be like, supernatural healing.

    Liked by 9 people

  21. Thank you Charlie. I needed this. I consider this article a God given grace for me. Praise God for His mercy!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Laurie says:

    Happy Feast of St. Don Bosco everyone!
    Looks like my phone may have sent a comment that was not yet adequately edited. For example the Sondheim song lyrics that I’ve just now found are, I think, irrelevant and offensive in part. If today’s comments are there, they would have arrived without my name–please delete.
    Laurie

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Tony Rocha says:

    very good article. this one hits the spot as to what has happened to me in the last 5 years or so. Between your writings and Mark Mallet’s, I feel at least I am not alone.
    First, I am very tired! I feel like life has drained from me. everything seems to be a struggle. This year reminds me of 98′-99′ the year after I came back from Medjugorje. I was ready to take on satan and got knocked down. went thru a severe depression.
    I felt like I went thru the warning described by some apparitions sites. the remorse was tremendous for my horrible life before 95′.
    I called Laureen, Ivan’s wife. I was with the first and second group to be Blessed in staying with Ivan and Laureen at their home in Medjugorje.
    I called her for about the 3rd time in 3 months because of my internal suffering. satan tempting me with suicide to relieve my pain. I went to confession over and over. Not being able to sleep some nights for more than one hour. it HURT.
    Laureen told me that she spoke to Ivan and he said that until I called them back to tell them everything was ok that Ivan would recommend me to Mary during the apparitions. she also said that on Good Friday that Ivan sees our Lord from the top of the Cross down toward our Lords head.
    In 99′ it was the week before Good Friday. Laureen said in the previous years message that Mary said that Jesus has died for our sins and forgiven us. It was up to me to accept that and forgive myself.
    my thoughts that still bring me to tears is to imagine Ivan mentioning my name to our Blessed Mother and her going into the Court to speak to our Lord about me. It reminds me of a quote from ArchBishop Sheen where he says that ” after a lifetime of living in the service of our Lord when we come to stand in front of Jesus, do you know what he will say? I heard My Mother speak of you!”
    pray for me as I will offer up my suffering and pray for you all.
    God Bless!!!
    Tony R

    Liked by 6 people

    • dianebelv says:

      God Bless You Tony, you are in my prayers!

      Like

    • Doug says:

      Tony, as a recent Catholic convert, I went to Medjugorje in 1991 and the message that came across to me was my walk would be a desert walk for a while. This is ok. This is how your love is tested. When things go well, it is easy to love. When things are tough and the feelings are not there, it does not mean you have been abandoned. Take heart, you are growing and maturing and will be ready for the storm.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Ellen Lopez says:

    Thank you Charlie. As one of those who feel like the incoming never ends – ‘worst’ Christmas season ever – your deeper exposition helps me to orient properly. I find now that my greatest burden is how UNgracefully and faultily I am in these multiple situations. Yet I know from where all this is coming, for the salvation of all. God bless and FIAT!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, Ellen…as a wag once said about a dancing pig, the wonder is not how gracefully the pig dances, but that he does it at all. Know that however clumsy your attempts, that you attempt at all both pleases – and sometimes amuses – Our Lord.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Just today , I told my husband that I said two rosaries. “Two?” He said, very surprised. “Yes,” I said. “At the very same time.” He laughed and laughed at me, which got me laughing, and I said, “I so hope that God has a sense of humor.”

        Liked by 7 people

        • Mick says:

          Ha, Michelle! I’m trying to imagine you sitting there, perhaps with a rosary in each hand while you prayed. It makes me think of a little plaque that my dad has by his computer desk: “A balanced diet means a cookie in each hand.” Maybe I should take this “balanced diet” approach toward praying the rosary! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  25. The “Fiery Trial of Love” has “hit home” to so many in this beautiful family. I would like to reply to all of you individually who are suffering trials, but that would probably blow-up this website! So, I’ll just say – My heartfelt prayers are continuously offered for each and every one of you! (Even for those who read without posting.)

    I’ve struggled with carrying a cross or two in my life – usually on my knees – and have hopefully grown closer to Our Dear Lord and Lady because of it. Whether the cross is heavy or light, I try! to remember to be thankful for the blessings that surround it.

    I have a question – Please forgive this childish analogy…
    Sometimes I think of myself as “working for God” at His Company, but I only work for “minimum-wage” cleaning the bathrooms (Minimum wage=Minimum suffering). As I grow spiritually (I hope), maybe its time to take on more responsibility, work harder, and ask God for a raise. (But I must admit, I fear that Increased wage=Increased-suffering) So, I’m afraid to ask! I struggle with this all the time.

    I know the answer is TRUST HIM!!

    But I still struggle… Do I wait for Him to offer me a raise? Or… Is He patiently waiting for me to acknowledge Him and say “Lord, I trust You! I’m ready to work (suffer) harder for you”? I know the Saints would say that. But I’m pathetically weak. I’m really tempted to just continue doing a good job cleaning the bathrooms for minimum wage.

    I trust that I’ll be guided here. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Neither feel abandoned because you suffer nor guilty because you don’t. Be docile – and accept that in all things you are willing to work with what God sends you. Aspire to imitate St. Paul, who said in Philippians 4:12,13, “I know how to be abased and I know ho to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

      Once you have really reached a place where you can live abundance with detachment – having as if you have not; and live need with trust – having not as if you have all you need, then the particular circumstances God sends you are merely clerical in nature.

      Liked by 12 people

  26. Therese says:

    I started to write this after reading Charlie’s response to how the satan tricks us into feeling alone. “One of the basic tricks of the satan, to make me feel isolated.” NO MORE!! As so many here have experienced such great sorrow, loss, betrayal; I have been praying for all the NRS family and yet I have been silent in not asking for prayers from you my real family. Since Charlie’s visit we have been in our own personal storm. My husband (Charlie’s driver from Seattle to Portland) was in the ER 8 times the past several months for Atrial Fib. flutter etc. and we never knew day to day when his heart rate would go over 200 beats/minute. They tried everything to control it from drugs to cardio version and finally did a surgical procedure on the right side of his heart. The morning my husband was going to see his Electrophysiologist to rule out a blood clot post-op we saw water pouring into our basement. As it started to flood the phone rang and it was his Mom letting us know that his dad was admitted to the hospital for anemia. The next day his Dad was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Five days later on Sunday December 13th, we attended a Cathedral close by so we could enter the Jubilee Door in the year of Mercy. Before Mass we concentrated his dad to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. When we got home we found out that during the time we were in Mass his dad had asked to get up and sit in a chair. Around the time we received communion we were told that he said “do you hear the train?” A few minutes later he got up and said, “the train’s a commin.” He was soo weak yet remained very alert. He had taken no medication for his severe pain, but was able to stand up, walk to his bed, crawl in, lay down and look at “HIS BRIDE” and smile at her, close his eyes and take his last breath.
    We went to his funeral and visited with all our relatives and returned home the day after Christmas. I had been in severe pain throughout our visit. After an 8 hour drive back home through snow/ice my husband took me to the ER where I was admitted for 8 days with a severe infection in my large Colon. I slept, healed and reflected over the past 4 months. Despite all the trials coming at us non stop, my husband and I had total peace and trust in Our Lord Jesus because each trial by fire was overcome….together….surrendering EVERTHING to Jesus! Our home, children, each of our lives, time, possessions, money. We were facing possible loss of jobs, an unsafe home where a contractor had recently replaced windows with ones that were too small causing a 400 pound window to be sucked out of our home during a windstorm as my husband was standing under it while holding our Boston Terrier. His life was sparred at the last second.
    The first scripture I read after I was discharged from the hospital was, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house ; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. ~Matthew 7:24
    One of the last things God is refining….the deep sorrow I feel from the lies and betrayal by my siblings. OUCH! Charlie you just helped me see the satan’s trick. I am coming to my loving TNRS family asking for prayers for healing with my siblings. I will be meeting my (precious) Mom and three sisters and a sister-in-law for a birthday lunch celebration. I originally had not planned to go because I wanted to protect myself. Now I WILL go with a LOVING heart and a blanket of protection through your prayers so I can take The Next Right Step. Also special prayers as my husband will meet with his Dr.’s as they discuss a more serious procedure to the left side of his heart. My husband and I have come a long way since first meeting Charlie when we picked him up. I was squirming on the drive to pick up Charlie, when my husband started asking me more questions about him. His final comments were, “if I concerns when I meet Charlie I have no problem asking him to get out of my car and putting his luggage on the curb. I am a man who protects my family!” Well, my husband not only grew to respect him minute by minute as we traveled I-5 Southbound, almost daily he says in each situation, let’s just take The Next Right Step. He is now leading the way in preparation for all whom God will bring our way. And that alone IS A MIRACLE!! I can’t wait till we all meet at Mt. Meeker and Sing, And the people of the Kingdom, the people of heaven shall rise together….

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Terry, I am sorry to hear of the problems you have had. I have asked the Lord to send St. Thomas Aquinas to comfort and guide you through these trials. (I bet Scott will like that choice!). My two favorite moments during our trip from Seattle to Portland were when we visited with your grandson and when Scott pointed out to me the hillside made by volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helens. Though I must say, I have spoken with amusement of when we got near Portland and you had me use the GPS to figure out how to get where we needed to – when I had never before been to Portland. May God bless and keep you both!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Prayers are pouring forth for all your intentions, Terry. You have been through so much! Praying for the repose of the soul of your husband’s father. God bless you and your family.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Therese, I will keep you and all of your intentions in my prayers. Thank you too for your prayers for al of us! You and your beloved have been pounded hard and I do love your trust and surrendering to God’s Will which what gives us the courage to endure and the grace to convert others in the process. Bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Terry, you have been through (and are still on) a marathon! What an incredible grace it is that: “Despite all the trials coming at us non stop, my husband and I had total peace and trust in Our Lord Jesus because each trial by fire was overcome …. together …. surrendering EVERTHING to Jesus!”

      Like you and your husband, I find, since happening upon this blog, that when trials come, I am more able to look at them and respond from The Next Right Step perspective. Thanks be to God.

      Holding you and your family in my heart-prayers.

      Liked by 5 people

    • dianebelv says:

      Dear Therese, Know that you and your family and all your concerns are definitely in my prayers! God Bless You.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Petra says:

      Therese: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house ; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” ~Matthew 7:24

      Therese, as I read these words tears came into my eyes, and they have filled me again with such hope and assurance. So thank you, thank you so much for sharing that Scripture. And your story, especially of your father-in-law, and all the myriad of “things gone wrong” in your lives lately, yet Our Lord showing you the heart of what is going on, well, thank you. He tells us to stay steady, we have built on a Rock.

      God bless.

      Liked by 8 people

    • Mick says:

      Therese, prayers for you, your husband, and your entire family. God bless you all.

      As an aside which I think is neat… I have a daughter whose middle name is Therese, my brother’s name is Scott, my husband is from the Seattle area (Bothell, to be precise), and Seattle-to-Portland is a “thing” with my family (my husband has ridden the STP one-day bike ride maybe 20 times since he was 16; and I’ve driven the route a couple of times as his “support crew”). 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • Therese says:

        Mick, so much in common. We are family! Our home is wide open. Just don’t forget your GPS:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Thanks, Terry! The last time I drove the STP route on the day of the ride was in 2011. My mother-in-law was in the car with me. We are both terrified of heights. So when we had to cross that horrid bridge over the Columbia River as we were coming into Portland, the two of us were quite a sight! I was white-knuckling the steering wheel, and she and I were saying Hail Marys together as if our lives depended on it.

          If you and Scott are ever in south-central Michigan, please look us up. We love visitors, especially when they’re family. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Doug says:

      God bless you Therese!

      Like

    • janet333 says:

      Oh my goodness Therese, so many difficulties, and you sound so serene! Enjoy your birthday lunch celebration keeping in mind that any hurts you might encounter can only make you stronger. God Bless You

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barb129 says:

      Praying for you and your family, Terry.

      Like

  27. ryancotadotcom says:

    Wow this couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you for your wisdom, I am so thankful for your messages.

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Hello Charlie…I and many people that I know are enduring these trials. This was so refreshing to read and will be passed on to those who are suffering trials as we speak. God bless and keep you and all those who are being auditioned by the Master. Thanks be to God!

    Liked by 7 people

  29. Vivi says:

    Therese you a family in my prayers🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Sheri G. says:

    Hi Charlie and everyone else. This may not be the place to post this but I’m not sure where that is. Charlie, you said we are in the storm and when we see things happen just know that these things must come. I just read this blog put out by onemillionmoms about Fox’s new program called “Lucifer”. http://www.onemillionmoms.com/current-campaigns/tell-lucifer-sponsors-no-more-sympathy-for-the-devil/ I have been pretty good at not panicking when I hear of bad things but this upset me and I lost sleep! I don’t know who said it but I know it was said that one of the devil’s greatest tricks is to convince people he doesn’t exist. I think with all the horrific evil taking place in the world right now most people now know he does! I think this is his next trick to convince people he really isn’t a bad guy but God is just unfair!! I am so concerned that many good but less informed people may be enticed into thinking this show is just innocent entertainment but will in fact be deceived into this kind of twisted thinking!! I would love some input from some of you on how we might address this with our friends and young adult children!! (Charlie, can you tell me how you see this??) Thank you so much and God bless you, Sheri (p.s. I enjoyed meeting you when you were in Michigan but if you come again I hope you can make it to the Detroit area!)😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      The satan will make every type of deception he can, but still, he loses. Simply live the next right step with integrity, never banding to any compromise on such things – but without rancor – and soon enough he will be fully exposed. It is why he is making such heroic efforts – because the mask is falling away.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Joseph J says:

        Charlie, I like in your own story that the truth came out publically and you were vindicated. It is very satisfying to know that the truth often does come out, even in this life. Sometimes it seems like Satan’s deceptions just get swept under the rug whenever they are exposed. But I guess one has to keep in mind that those who really care about the truth will find it – “seek, and ye shall find” – while those who don’t want to know the truth will not find or accept it. I’m thinking of Hermit Gosnell or the Planned Parenthood organ scandal, which has left so many unmoved.

        Its rather like the dilemma of the artist. There are two parts to every work of art: the artist and the audience. No matter how good your art may be, its effectiveness will depend on the disposition of the audience members, which is outside of your control. One of the benefits of the Storm that I am very much looking forward to is that the Spirit of Truth will have a much more receptive and responsive audience.

        Liked by 4 people

  31. Snowy Owl says:

    Charlie, I was reading about suffering and I found this little treasure…
    “I always want to see you behaving like a brave soldier who does not complain about his own suffering but takes his comrades’ wounds seriously and treats his own as nothing but scratches.”
    –Saint Therese of Lisieux, to her novices

    This is you! and what you are doing here with all of us! I figured you have probably read this since it’s one of your favorite saints 🙂 but it sure fits!

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Joseph J says:

    When I read this post I thought that I just had to share with you how helpful and apropos it was. But then I discovered that about a couple hundred people beat me to it! Like so many people here, I, too, feel well roasted (on both sides, thank you very much St. Lawrence). For the past few years of this ongoing trial, Charlie and Mark Mallet’s writings have given me the sense of meaning, purpose, and hope that have enabled me to keep going. Charlie is right to tremble a the thought of misleading us, because I for one have staked so much on the prophetic words that have given meaning to my suffering and hope for a better future. In these two writers (and Peliantio, and others I have met) I have experienced the value of the gift of prophecy, which is to simply give heart and fire and concrete reality to a timeless Faith.

    People must wonder where I get the strength to keep going, although I think most of them probably just assume I’m a rather unfeeling person or that my situation is not as bad as it looks! In reality its because I see myself as part of an ongoing story, the tale of Salvation History, which is about a great war that spans the length of human history. It is a secret history, and the true plotline is only glimpsed by the light of faith, but the prophetic words of our time help orient and place us like humble chess pieces in this titanic struggle.

    When my mind becomes clouded by the sense that my sufferings are an illogical and meaningless tragedy, I can remember the Storm, Satan’s last stand, the Rescue, the Era of Peace, and other elements of private revelation and I am comforted. My religion is not a stuffed and mounted museum piece, a set of rituals maintained for lack of anything better, but an ongoing battle that gives potentially unlimited significance to every minor detail of my life. Its not a painkiller, but it helps me endure with a more positive attitude, and it helps me forgive myself for my many failings. So thank you Charlie, and all the members of your receptive and responsive audience.

    Liked by 6 people

  33. Therese says:

    th, my dear husband and I just watched the movie “Little Boy,” exec produced by Roma Downey

    He has summoned the good Dr.

    Charlie, we are very grateful you have summoned the good Dr.
    Scott said something about the dumb Ox (St. Thomas Aquinas’ nickname:)
    By the way, Our Parish is St. Thomas Aquinas. We went to Mass this evening and after receiving communion We felt the prayers already. The true presence of Jesus not only poured over us but I felt His Heart join my heart and I prayed for “His perfect DNA to replace my broken DNA. The tears flowed and “The good Dr. is already bringing healing. You remain in our prayers always.
    I am overwhelmed with the responses and love shown here. How precious and beautiful are the affirmations. My heart is melting from my “new family” Thank you for your prayers and kind wishes. I think I am getting a taste of Heaven. My heart is pounding with LOVE💞

    Liked by 6 people

  34. Therese says:

    Excuse the first two sentences appeared by mistake🤔

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Jacquie says:

    Lots to reflect upon and practice! As if these comments, and your post Charlie were not enough to remind one of the importance of our trials and crosses, there is todays morning prayer scripture reading. ‘We should be grateful to the Lord our God, for putting us to the test, as he did our forefathers. Recall how he dealt with Abraham, and how he dealt with Abraham, and how he tried Isaac, and all that happened to Jacob in Syrian Mesopotamia while he was tending the flocks of Laban, his mother’s brother. Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has he done so with us. It is by way of Admonition that he chastises those who are close to him. Judith 8: 25-27.”

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Mary Halvorson says:

    Utterly profound and encouraging. Thank you for giving us words to carry with us into battle. Though I fear the struggle ahead I embrace my cross for it is all that will keep me afloat.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Connie says:

    Thank You for the boost of courage and fortitude you just gave me reading this. I intuitively had been thinking these very things, but mine, or perhaps its the Holy Spirit’s small voice has been hard to hear clearly whipped around in these furious winds. I thank God for you Charlie, so grateful I am moved to tears.

    Liked by 5 people

  38. Pingback: New Winds, New Waves, Same Barque of Safety | The Next Right Step

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