Lenten Mercy Challenge

(Our friend, Anthony Mullen, is mounting a Lenten Mercy Challenge, specifically in consonance with the Year of Mercy we are living. I heartily support – and will participate in it. I love its simplicity. It kind of reminds me of Joshua marching seven times around the walls of Jericho, trusting God to bring them down. I have reprinted the call he is giving below.

Today is an important anniversary for me. It was five years ago today, on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, that I stepped out of the driveway of my family home in Boaz, Alabama and began the cross-country walking pilgrimage that would take me over 3,200 miles over the next year and a half. What a glorious journey it was and how generous God was to let me live it.

Also, for those few of you who have my phone number at the cabin, I just discovered today that the landline is out. Everything else works, so I don’t know how long the phone line has been out. But if you have been trying to call me either on my cell or landline, I am not ignoring you, I am just incommunicado. Use email and I will get back to you-CJ)

In an effort to specifically answer the Holy Father’s call for the Year of Mercy, to build unity in the body of Christ, and to implore God through the power of prayer and fasting for our country and our world spinning out of control, MyConsecration.org, headed by Anthony Mullen, is working with many other Apostolates and Lay Groups to bring the Lenten Mercy Challenge to the faithful of the United States this Lent.

Would you accept the simple challenge to do your share of praying a decade of the rosary and fasting on bread and water at lunch each Friday during Lent? You can even let your prayer and fasting intentions be known to all.

We can be Gideon’s army called by the Lord to bring back America, but it will only happen through prayer and fasting. It will only happen if enough of us stop and take time out of our normal routines and focus completely on God’s solution. We can complain, or we can act. Let us act!

To accept this challenge, go to Lenten Mercy Challenge and then send it to every one you know. We have listed on this web site many ways you can share about this effort via social media. Let us set a record for the number of times this is forwarded, tweeted, retweeted, liked, linked to and acted upon.

With God’s Grace, under our Lady’s mantle, we will be victorious!  Let us not just talk, let us be the family of the children of God and follow God’s solution!
 

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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166 Responses to Lenten Mercy Challenge

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Above link will not load

    Liked by 1 person

  2. irosemj says:

    I’m in…are you?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Jan Wanechek says:

    I can’t seem to locate the link when clicked on to take me to your lenten Mercy challange? Jan Wanechek.

    Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2016 21:03:06 +0000 To: minkman1@live.com

    Like

  4. Missy Logan says:

    What a wonderful way to unite us all in prayer at the same time. Should we also have a like minded intention?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beckita says:

    I’ve gratefully been on the mailing list for Anthony’s apostolate for a long while so had signed on to the Lenten Mercy Challenge several days ago. So happy to see the invitation here.

    Charlie, as of 3:03 mountain time today the first link worked; second link isn’t working. Thank you so much!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lynda Collins says:

    Link doesn’t work Please send again Want to do challenge

    JMJ

    Like

  7. YongDuk says:

    Charlie, you must be exhausted: Thursday is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes. Today is only February Ninth where you are in Colorado, GMT -07:00 (as I write this).

    Don’t feel bad, I was 37 for two years straight!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Elena Selga says:

    Charlie,

    Won’t open. The “h” is missing.

    God’s Blessings,

    Elena On Feb 9, 2016 1:03 PM, “The Next Right Step” wrote:

    > charliej373 posted: “(Our friend, Anthony Mullen, is mounting a Lenten > Mercy Challenge, specifically in consonance with the Year of Mercy we are > living. I heartily support – and will participate in it. I love its > simplicity. It kind of reminds me of Joshua marching seven time” >

    Like

  9. Snowy Owl says:

    This is wonderful, so many of us! I already follow Anthony and read his blog. What a truly blessed Lent this is going to be!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Beckita says:

    I was thinking about the simplicity and littleness of praying but one decade of the Rosary and fasting on bread and water for only one meal on Friday when I bumped into this article which I had read last year before Lent. So apropos… https://faithinourfamilies.com/2015/02/17/the-little-way-of-fasting-by-fr-aidan-kieran/ An echo, Charlie, of all the times you’ve exhorted to doing the little we can.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. Charles Walther says:

    Today is shrove Tuesday, and I don’t know what a shrove is. Through God’s providence I learned late last night that today is the feast of the Holy Face. A very indulgenced devotion by: PP XI,
    LEO XIII, PP X, PP XII and PPAUL VI. Needless to say TNRS’ Patron is St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face! Pray for us “Little Flower”.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Anne says:

    To charlie and Anthony…….. Remember this blog is worldwide…….. sorry but There is more to the family of man than America. To think that not so long ago I had an American think that kangaroos were jumping everywhere …… Not just in the country!
    Please it is the family of God spread worldwide that needs this. And no I do not own a pet koala…… Nor a platypus!!
    Sorry if I have offended anyone but sometimes …….. Really ! In my life I have experienced much American myopia.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      So sorry, Anne. I just used this copy from the site promoting it. I should have noted in the introduction that it applies to the whole world, as this site is watched globally. My fault, not Anthony’s.

      I must say I am a little disappointed you do not have a pet platypus…and should I get to Australia, could you have some people release some kangaroos in the street on my route? Now, I DO have foxes that visit me every day up here in the Rocky Mountains. Many of my friends DO own guns. So I am doing my part to live the American stereotype…I would think you could do a little more to live the Australian stereotype 😉

      Liked by 4 people

      • Anne says:

        Thank you Charlie for understanding my Aussie humour. Over my life so many Americans have made me laugh regarding their image of the funny place Downunder!!

        Hmm ….. American stereotype…… Do you eat donuts for breakfast every morning….. And other times during the day? Yes…. Every single morning! Then I will know door sure you fit the stereotype! Oh and the coffee continuously running as well.

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Oh, I’m big on the coffee…at least a pot a day. Now my son is a cop. He can take or leave donuts, but he loves living the stereotype – so whenever he goes to an event, he brings a box of donuts.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Carmel says:

            Actually Anne and Charlie, I used to have a joey (baby kangaroo) in the house. It was some years ago when I was working in the north west of Western Australia. I awoke one morning to find it hopping around the living room, making a lot of noise and quite a mess. I think I must have left the screen door unlatched and it simply hopped in (naturally we called it Skippy!) After a few days it disappeared and hopefully did not end up as roadkill.

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Love it, Carmel. I can imagine the conversation…”Honey, tell the kids to hold it down.”

            “Uh, the kids aren’t here right now.”

            “Then what is that?”

            “We seem to have a kangaroo in the living room.”

            Monty Python could do a great sketch off of that.

            Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          Oh Carmel! Roadkill! LOL… Love it! May I borrow an Aussie idiom? Such good cheer!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob says:

            Road kill is fine as long as I know it is fresh. Actually years back my wife used to joke that I should drive more and hunt less as I had several times came on freshly killed deer which I threw in my truck and processed for the freezer. I told my wife if God drops the meat in front of me it is not right to let it go to waste. But I still prefer to get it by hunting. Actually I am told joeys are quite good on the table. Have never eaten them though and today is Ash Wednesday so not today.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Nancy says:

            funny thing happened one day as I was driving the kids to grandma’s house–I hit a bird. I am the only one they know that has a bird on my list of roadkill. Now I slow down if the birds in the road don’t move fast enough. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Kim sevier says:

            I accidentally ran over a big box turtle. Crunch. Oh my goodness my kids and I were horrified! I felt sooooo terrible.

            Liked by 3 people

        • Barb129 says:

          We only have donuts on Christmas and Easter and we never drink coffee! Something must be wrong with us… hehe…

          Liked by 3 people

        • Mick says:

          Oh, Anne, I WISH I could eat donuts for breakfast every morning! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Oh Anne, forget the roos..I love the Galahs (you call them?) the Rose breasted Cockatoos and the Rainbow Lorikeets! Such beautiful birds! They cost a fortune here! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Trish says:

        Ha ha…i live in South Africa and have often been asked by people ‘over the waters’ if elephants and lions roam our streets! Well, they don’t normally in the cities but it has happened in the rural villages bordering the Kruger National Park!

        Liked by 6 people

    • Beckita says:

      Kangaroos jumping everywhere… LOL, Anne! If it’s any consolation American myopia is regional as well as international: When we moved to Montana from the Midwest 45 years ago, many of our family and friends were convinced the wild west must continue to exist and that we surely had cowboys riding horses everywhere.

      Liked by 2 people

      • What, B? Sounds like your patch of the West might have gotten too gentrified. There’s still cowboys riding horses everywhere around my area. Just up the road there’s a stretch of saloons, each with their own rodeos out back that run regularly on the weekends. It’s not uncommon to even find a horse in the bar. It’s not quite what it used to be, but parts of AZ still smack of the Old West. The way things are going, I think some of that way of life might make a comeback. And we need to get serious about bringing back small farms too!

        Liked by 5 people

        • Beckita says:

          OK MP, let me clarify: the Midwesterners thought even the cities were cowboyized. Surely there are wide open spaces for people to ride horses, although when I’m driving the expanse of miles when we’re off to weekend ministry, horseback riders are a rare site, even on the backroads. There’s lots of rodeo activity around the state. The greatest interests in outdoor activities include hiking, skiing, camping, cycling, hunting, fishing, etc.

          When I search Old West AZ there are a lot of results! Your own pics on your website give evidence of beautiful country. Small farms = good health! God bless, MP.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hey, MP.

          I was driving down highway 85 thru WY last summer and passed a couple of cowboys — real cowboys. Not the kind dressed to impress the ladies with their two-steppin’ skills at the line dancing bar. No, sir! These guys were working a herd of cattle in a gulch by a stream. First time I’d seen anything like that outside of a John Wayne movie or a Spaghetti Western. They looked dusty, tired, and hot in the noonday sun, definitely earning their keep. The Old West is still alive and kicking out here.

          I had to stop and take a picture like a typical New Yorker on vacation.

          And if things ever started to get tough or all hell breaks loose, these would be the first guys I’d call.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Patrick,

            I was somewhere west of Shamrock, TX on icy roads trying to pass an 18-wheeler when I lost control and spun out in a ditch (and it was a miracle that the semi didn’t plow into me). So I’m standing in the snow bank for about 10 minutes, with no other vehicles in sight, considering the pickle I was in.

            Looking west, I noticed a snowy patch kicking up a couple miles down the adjacent service road. A few minutes later a white Ford dually pulled up with a working cowboy at the wheel and a winch on the front of his truck. We didn’t exchange many words, but I was back on the road 10 minutes later. Seems like a small thing, unless you happen to be out in the boonies in a jam. You gotta love courteous folks of all stripes who know how to get stuff done and have the simple tools at their disposal.

            I suspect many of these folks will humbly shine in the years ahead. Cowboys, farmers, gardeners, seamstresses, cooks, carpenters, artists, storytellers, healers, good listeners… too many things to list, but everyone has useful tools like this in their bag.

            The image of you snapping a picture of two cowboys on the plain reminds me of a Gary Larson – The Far Side cartoon. I wonder what the quip would be.

            God Bless,
            MP

            Liked by 6 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Similar thing happened to me when I went off the road coming out of Auriesville, Shrine of the North American Martyrs. I only had a few dollars in cash… I felt bad. The gentleman thanked me for the offer, but simply got back in his canoe and paddled down the frozen Mohawk (just to play off the comment from the other day…)

            Liked by 3 people

          • Mick says:

            Patrick, any chance you could upload that picture? I’d love to see it.

            Like

      • Anne says:

        To be truthful…… Much of my experience has been with Midwesterners…….unbelievable! So I am not surprised at what you say.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ann says:

        Ha ha. Up here in the frozen north in New England people “from away” think we have to use out houses and take canoes down the river to get to civilization.

        Liked by 5 people

        • charliej373 says:

          You mean when I was in upper New England and they made me use outhouses and canoes they were just funning with me? 😉

          Liked by 6 people

        • Beckita says:

          Ha Ann! Oh outhouses… used them all the time in West Africa or simply dug a hole in the ground when needed while traveling throughout the region there. We also rigged rain barrels on platforms which collected water and then served as showers.

          I’ve actually given some thought in prep to constucting a small outhouse but I don’t think it would pass city code just now. I know, Charlie, you’ve mentioned making do quite well when on pilgrimage. But here’s the thing, God equipped males with an easy solution to this issue. The ladies have a double whammy in that we need one more frequently and there are several additional considerations in the process.

          Sorry if this is more information than the people here care to consider this day. Seriously, how have you all prepared for the period when the flushers won’t flush? Guess I need to consider makeshift, temporary solutions.

          Liked by 5 people

          • diane says:

            We have a big pool in the back and after Hurricane Andrew we just took a bucket of water from the pool and flushed the toilet – don’t know how long that will work, but its a start.
            I’m in for the Lenten Fast. Love. I do.
            Diane

            Liked by 4 people

          • ann says:

            Funny you should mention it, Beckita. I HAVE thought about it. And have wondered about creating an outhouse here just in case. My husband laughs, but back in in 1998 during the great ice storm that shut us down for weeks we had to make accommodations to no running water. You learn pretty fast how to navigate that situation. An outhouse would have been a great help!! Outhouses are a time honored institution up here. Many farmhouses and camps still have them, albeit unused. Guess the Amish were right all along, huh? 😉

            Liked by 3 people

          • janet333 says:

            “Seriously, how have you all prepared for the period when the flushers won’t flush?”

            Erm..No. I better get my thinking cap on. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            And for our friends in Australia, they won’t flush backwards 😉

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita, snow is the best TP ever. It does double duty 😉 I grew up a wildchild in the woods, I know these things! In the summer just make sure you don’t use poison ivy, oak or sumac…I would also avoid itch-weed (nettles) Ouch!
            ………..and I’m laughing so hard right now my head hurts!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Snowy, I’ve got enough TP stockpiled to TP every house in this little city… it’s the hole in the ground I’ve got to prepare. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Wow, did you pile it to the ceiling in a room?? LOL! Maybe us women should take this TP talk to the forum!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            To the ceiling, Snowy! No need to go to the forum. Go to your favorite online grocer and simply have it delivered to your door! XO

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita haha, I was just being silly- I read your other comment and..oh nevermind.. I’ll just stick with the snow 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            I have a pretty silly streak as well, Snowy! Love your humor!!!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Recycling through comments, Ann, and I am laughing again. (Clear throat with distinction: Ahem! Express the following line with decorum and nobility…) “Outhouses are a time honored institution up here.” LOL!

            You see, after arriving in West Africa, on my first trip into the bush, we spent the night in a grass-roofed hut. When it was washroom time, I was given a flashlight to walk the trail to the outhouse. There was a sturdy wooden throne erected inside a shack. When I sat down, I felt this tickling sensation. Upon inspection with the flashlight, I could see all manner of cockroaches lining the walls of the excavated hole. My Goodness. A sight to behold.

            Liked by 2 people

          • janet333 says:

            Oh no Beckita….Yikes!

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Funny, Beckita, that is on top of this weekend’s shopping list.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Happy TP shopping, YD!

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Beckita, the easiest solution that I’ve seen for this issue is the following. Buy a plastic porch chair, like this:

            http://www.kmart.com/gracious-living-trellis-low-back-chair-white/p-028W003066641001P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

            Cut a hole in the center of the seat. This is your commode. Then get a bucket that is the right height to slide under the seat, but with very little clearance. Voila, a toilet.

            If you can get some lime (50-lb bags are literally dirt-cheap at Tractor Supply or some other farm-and-fleet store or a grain elevator), bags of sawdust, or even plain dirt that you can dig out of the yard, you’re in business. Just use the lime, sawdust, dirt, or even wood ashes to cover your “business” in the bucket. Then put a lid on the bucket until you need the toilet again. The lime, ash, etc. will kill the smell and help keep flies down (so will the bucket lid). When you need to empty it, just dig a hole away from your water supply and dump. Cover the stuff with more lime, ash, etc., and then cover the hole with a board or a piece of sheet metal or fiberglass or something.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Perfect Plan, Mick! Thank you very much.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barb129 says:

            Cat litter works well too!

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            But Barbara, what will the cats use?!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Good old dirt!

            Liked by 2 people

  13. Sandy says:

    I’m in.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kim sevier says:

    Love it! Doing it!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Cheri F says:

    Will be doing this. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Gabriella says:

    Hello Charlie,
    I am very interested in your blog since I watched the clip of your meeting in Birmingham where Fr.Mitch was present. I have been on facebook for the “New Evangelization” since 2010. I respect and adhere to your message that we should embrace our daily duty and take the next right step forward. With all of the election buzz, it has been distracting to say the least. I have been promoting Senator Marco Rubio , since he is a Catholic revert and thought his story was compelling. I am starting to sense that this may be futile.
    I will remain on social media during Lent to promote the 33 Day Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, ending on Good Friday, which falls on the Feast of the Annunciation. (and the first day of the Novena to Divine Mercy, as well.
    I will be glad to promote the Lenten Mercy Challenge, too. Thank you for your witness!
    Please pray for our family, as we pray for you and your mission+

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, certainly the election process is worth watching regardless of what happens. I think some of these people will have a role to play in the troubles ahead, even though it is not as president. I prefer Cruz, but I like Rubio, too, and I think both men have something worthy to offer this country.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Joe says:

        Charlie,
        This is where I am conflicted. There are many secular economy experts who are writing articles daily about “not if or when a stock market crashes, but how big.” I even read one today about how the market indicators are predictable when they show themselves. And they are showing themselves right now to be a major crash that stays for a while. The article was suggesting selling all your shares now and not buy back into the market until late 2018/ early 2019, when we should be heading back up.
        My conflict comes because I am one who likes to plan and if it wasn’t for hearing about you last summer, i dont know if i would be watching the market as closely as i do now. If i take all my investments out now, will God punish me for trying to “out smart” Him or is God saying to me “Here are the tools I am putting in front of you, to take advantage of, to help others in this time.”
        I view it as me helping my son with a science project that i put all of the materials in front of him. If he says “Dad, i will count on you to do this for me.” He will fail and the project won’t get done, as he will not learn the lesson if I actually do it for him. But if he takes the materials, starts to do the project, but i watch him and give him pointers, then the project will get done, with him learning the lesson.
        I just don’t know if this is the right way to look at my investments…yes it would be nice to be “prepared” for a crash, but i don’t want to offend Him by doing this. Plus i am scared spitless that if i did pull everything out, the lesson will be for me to not only lose the investments, but also lose house and home because I am relying on worldly assets to get me by during the next few years…
        Yeah, so, long story short: I am lost.

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          That’s an excellent question, Joe. I have always counseled ordinary prudence and told people not to try to use any purported prophecy as “inside knowledge” to avoid consequences. Now, however, if you knew nothing of prophecy, ordinary prudence would probably tell you you ought to limit your exposure in the stock market. So I would say you would be exercising ordinary prudence if you moved your money away.

          The thing is, depending on how things go, you will have to adapt as you go. There is no strategy that you can use to guarantee you will save your assets. You, like everyone else, is overwhelmingly likely to suffer some serious losses. That does not mean you will lose your home. But I have long encouraged people to use their excess cash to get things that will be useful when money is not very useful.

          Above all, don’t drive yourself crazy with worry. Whatever you prepare for, you are going to have to deal with some things you haven’t prepared for. Trust God is your primary means of getting through. When you feel stress coming on, repeat, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Then do something relaxing. Read a few chapters of a book, watch a tv show…and then go back to your work.

          Liked by 8 people

          • Joe says:

            Thank you so very much for your response, Charlie! You are definitely heartening this faithful (is that even grammatically correct? ). I am very much one who struggles with the fine line between trusting that God will provide and taking the talents he has given me and multiplying them. The intersection of the 2 really confuses me.
            On a side note, your response telling me to trust in Jesus and not to drive myself crazy with worry, gave me a chuckle. There is someone I am familiar with, who doesn’t trust your “message” all because (paraphrasing) “Our God is a God of peace, so anyone who promotes a message that causes you to worry is likely not from God.” This is a well intentioned, well discerning person; but her ignorance of the message of TNRS was obviously seething. So when you told me to not worry, I had to chuckle and think of her.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Joe, you would not believe how many people I have had contact me to tell me they had condemned me, only to change their minds once they actually read or heard me. People have an idea of what I must be, then when they read what I actually say rather than working from their own preconceptions of what people like me must say, it changes things for many. I’m glad it helped give you peace.

            Liked by 3 people

  17. caroltrueman says:

    I too have decided to do the Lenten Mercy Challenge. We need all the prayers we can do in this very troubled world. The only consolation we have is clinging to the Lord and each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. vkmir3 says:

    I have joined the Lenten challenge as well. I love the simplicity of it. Another challenge I have seen that I thought fits into this one as well was the 1-1-1 challenge. Give up one thing, do one thing and work on one issue in your life to work toward holiness. I am going to start with the surrender novena and continue to work on completely surrendering and trusting in God, doing the next right thing and being a sign of hope and joy.

    Our community is mourning the passing this afternoon of a very humble and wonderful priest after a brief illness. He was tirelessly compassionate, had a heart for the sick, the poor, the forgotten, those who were in the last days on earth and always prayed for the young who were victims of the temptations of the satan. At our bible study this evening, many remarked how he gave whatever time a person needed even when his schedule was so overloaded, even if you were a member of another parish. When my Mom was near death, he came to her hospital room and sat with me and my sisters and prayed with us, and talked with us and gave her her last rites and she passed away that night. He had been at my Mom’s parish, but was moved to another parish. She loved this priest. We called…he was there right away. And we felt such a great peace. He was sensing that we were in grave times and spoke of it often. He had a great devotion to our Blessed Mother and Divine Mercy. So, we discussed at our bible study tonight (on Bishop Barron’s study on the Mysteries of God) how we can continue his mission by doing the things he tirelessly did, as we are able, to carry on his work. Perfect segue into tomorrow and the beginning of Lent. Rest in Peace, Fr. Logan. You will be greatly missed!

    Liked by 8 people

  19. Hopenjoy says:

    Just signed up for the Lenten challenge and posted it on my Facebook page, will forward the info to our parish newsletter editor. Love the emphasis on praying to draw others closer to Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Bob says:

    Our friend Mark Mallott is at it again with a Lenton Retreat to consider reflecting and praying on:
    http://www.markmallett.com/blog/breaking-history/#more-22762

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Annie SH says:

    I’m in also for the Lenten Challenge.

    And a big THANK YOU to Beckita for the link to the little way of fasting. Now I am not so worried about fasting and making myself ill. Old age isn’t for sissies.

    And another big THANK YOU for all who post regularly here. You all inspire me and keep me taking that next right step. Even though I don’t post very often, I am here and praying for all.

    God Bless all of you.

    Annie

    Liked by 7 people

  22. Sean says:

    Folks, this is the first time I’ve posted here though I read here regularly. I have a question for you. It’s something I’ve been puzzling over for some time.

    Our Blessed Lady is always asking us to pray with the heart; how is prayer with the heart actually accomplished? I suppose if I’m patient she will show me herself but in the meantime there is no harm in asking. I’ve tried Google and it throws up a good many Protestant sites but I would really like a Catholic perspective.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know that prayer is a very personal thing and perhaps it is impossible to teach. However, any hints you have are welcome.

    Charlie, that ‘Storming the Gates’ you did is very inspiring. It made me realise in an actual way that victory is ours or rather, it belongs to our Lord. God will not allow evil to triumph and this bizzarre agenda that’s being foisted on us will not succeed..

    It also made me realise what the next right step for me personally consists of. It looks like a call to prayer. I would not make a good activist.

    God bless you all

    Sean

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome, Sean. A good place to start, I think, is by reading and contemplating the Book of Job anew. Job spoke and prayed honestly of what was in his heart, even though he spent most of the book complaining to and of God. His “pious” friends merely honored their preconception of what God should be. They could not even consider that God might act differently than they expected – until God blasted them in the end.

      It is to pray with a focus and intensity of what is in your heart, to speak as you would to your most intimate and trusted friend, without guile. Even many who are pious fall into the trap of thinking if they just say enough devotions, like a laundry list, God will have to answer them, as if it was the weight of their labors rather than the effortless grace of God responding to a true heart that counts.

      I once had a former tent preacher confess to me he had never been sure there actually was a God – and badly wanted to. I gave him a prayer he could say in complete sincerity, “God, if you really are there, please show me.” He was so excited he was going to say it hundreds of times a day. I forbade him – told him not to say it more than three times in a day, but to do it with his whole heart, then go about his business. A few months later, with a face glowing with joy, he pulled me aside to thank me. That might be useful to you. Take what really troubles you – or what you are really grateful for – and offer it up just a couple of times a day, but with your whole heart – and then go about your business. If you work at it with unaffected simplicity, you will eventually find you have become a friend of God – and that He has become your Friend.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Bob says:

        And Sean as you feel called to prayer I will give this military analogy I like to use. That is that prayer is like artillery used to soften up the enemy for the kill. Prayers are offered from a distance and sometimes prayer can accomplish the result on it’s own but sometimes more active soldiers are needed for such things as to preach the gospel, witness to the truth, oppose evil with words, legal actions, etc as we are talking of here. But both are needed. As Catholics often talk of devotions I use them more when I am dry or from a duty as in offering prayers for our country but sometimes as I have a bit of ADD and my mind wanders I am forced to more often use my own words in prayer as I have sometimes said a whole decade of the Rosary and my mind was doing something else and I realized my heart was not in that prayer at that time.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sean,

      To play off what Charlie wrote, pray just like you would talk to anyone, speaking directly to Jesus or the Blessed Mother, as if they are standing directly in front of you, hearing you with human ears.

      When you mentioned prayer from the heart, this excerpt from the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Elizabeth Kindelmann came to mind:

      Jesus: “My love is almighty. Be permeated by this great miracle: I am continually at your disposal. With Me, you do not have to wait for your turn nor ask for a time and place to meet. I am present everywhere and at every moment. If you call on Me, My ear is already against your heart and attending for you, I cherish you and I heal you. I do not ask for the patient’s file, I hunger only for the voice of repentance. Repentance is the only step that brings you closer to Me.” (August 7, 1963)

      Liked by 5 people

      • janet333 says:

        “With Me, you do not have to wait for your turn nor ask for a time and place to meet. I am present everywhere and at every moment. If you call on Me, My ear is already against your heart and attending for you”

        Beautiful Patrick!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Glad you’re here, Sean. I love Charlie’s answer to you because it is so true!

      Two spiritual writers I appreciate:
      1. The now deceased Fr. Slavko Barbaric wrote about praying with the heart. Many of his books are here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Slavko+Barbaric&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ASlavko+Barbaric
      2, Fr. Jacques Philippe writes about prayer of the heart utilizing the ideas of many great doctors and saints of the Church yet he writes in contemporary language, setting the concepts in our contemporary world setting: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Fr.+Jacques+Philippe&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AFr.+Jacques+Philippe

      I Love, Love, Love Fr. Jacques’ books.and many short talks by him can be found on You Tube.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Sean says:

      Thank you all for your kindness in taking the time to read my post and respond to my request. I have received some good advise. It’s exactly what I needed. I shall continue to read here and maybe drop in from time to time with the odd comment.

      God bless you all and may our Blessed Mother watch over us.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Welcome, Sean! 🙂

      I noticed that you spell “realise” with an “s.” Where do you hail from: Ireland, Canada, UK, Australia?

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Judy says:

    Off topic….Interesting day at school today. We had a 2 hour delay due to snow. In one of my classes there was a girl with a cross on her forehead made from the ashes of her Catholic church. I did not say anything until she came up to my desk to ask a question. I told her, “I am really proud of you. We had a two-hour delay and you used that time to go to church.” She replied, “You know what this is? You are the first one who knew. Everyone else asks me “What is that on your forehead?” At one time, even if one was not Catholic, everyone knew what that was. Amazing how things have changed. She has a good last name, “Fisher”. I thought it was appropriate!

    Liked by 12 people

  24. Judy says:

    I think that the Lenten Mercy Challenge is a wonderful thing.. However, I rarely stop working and work right through lunch at school because I have to. My life is very hetic.. My Mom is at home now and I am caregiver at night. …I usually say the rosary in the morning ….one full mystery. I have signed up for something our church is recommending. I may be able to fast at the dinner hour. In any case, I will offer up what I have to your efforts. I have also recently been diagnosed with a new illness. I am doing the best I can.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Alicia says:

    In addition to the Lenten Challenge, there is also this app that sends to your phone two short prayers, one at 7:14 am and one at 7:14 pm. It is a revival movement based off of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Even though I read my bible at night, it has been great to get these two quick prayers each day – makes me slow down for just a minute and pray. I really enjoy it. And, I have my kids doing it also. Last weekend, I challenged all of the parents in my 2nd grade Rel Ed class to also download the app and do it just for Lent. Hoping some of them will do it and praying they will continue it long after Lent 🙂 Here is the link to the site that tells about 7:14 and on that site you can click a link to download the app (right now apple only; they are working on droid version). PS, it’s free! Or, you can just go to app store and search “If 7:14” and it will pop right up.

    http://www.if714.org/?utm_source=Newsboys&utm_campaign=e09a99ee81-20160209_Newsboys_Incite_Love_Riot_9_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cc6d7ab138-e09a99ee81-115245809

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Hopenjoy says:

    Rejoicing!!! But trying not to make a big deal of it on the phone today with my 21-yr old college son, he called to visit in between studying. Casually mentioned he’d been going to Mass every once in awhile, and was going to Ash Wednesday with one of his roommates! The funniest part was what the guys were “giving up” for Lent…he was giving up fast food, another guy was giving up weed, another guy was giving up junk food. YOU BET I said another rosary for him this afternoon, and asking the Holy Spirit to really impress the Ash Wednesday readings upon my son’s heart, “Behold, now is a very acceptable time”. I’m a mom of three inactive Catholic adult sons and a non-yet believer husband.

    Liked by 10 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      I love that! Thank you for sharing your hope and joy!! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Such great news Hopenjoy!!!

      Like

    • vkmir3 says:

      That is wonderful, Hopenjoy! I wish I had seen this video yesterday to share with all of you. Fr. Mike Schmitz, who puts out videos on different topics for Ascension Press, is a priest who works with college students in Duluth, MN (I think that is correct). He published a YouTube video of the significance of Ash Wednesday that was very good and I would like to share it here. Fr. Mike is a very energetic and knowledgeable priest and works a lot with youth and with Steubenville. He is a joy to watch. Perhaps this video might be shared with your son. Near the end of his explanation, you can tell that his explanation holds profound meaning to him. Here is the link to the video: http://youtu.be/hPTcMWpHfKk
      God bless! Vicki

      Liked by 3 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        Vicki, Father Mike Schmitz was a frequent speaker on Dynamic Catholics Best Advent Ever series and now Best Lent Ever series too. http://dynamiccatholic.com/bestlentever/ Thank you for sharing his Ash Wednesday message with us!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        WOW, Vicky! That was THE most inspiring catechesis on Ash Wednesday I have ever heard. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hopenjoy says:

        vkmir3, I just watched the video, it IS wonderful. Ashes…because we are sinners. A cross…because we are HIS! I imagined Jesus placing the ashes on each of us, softly saying “Mine”. It is like the “tau” (spelling?) referenced in the Old Testament, a mark of belonging to God. And yes, I sent the link to my son. Thank you!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Petra says:

          Hopenjoy said, “I imagined Jesus placing the ashes on each of us, softly saying “Mine”. ”
          Me too!!!! At that part I too imagined that it was Jesus who gave me ashes in the person of the priest and said, “Mine.” Marking me for Himself. The thought of that made me so happy. Oh yes, Lord, I’ll accept that mark. Mark me as yours. (Like St. Peter, then wash my hands and my head as well.)

          And when Fr. said some people like Ash Wednesday because it’s HCC Day (Hard Core Catholic Day) it made me smile. The day we get to be Catholic in the public square and proud of it (well, certainly other Christians besides Catholics dispense ashes, so maybe it should be Hard Core Christian Day).

          I thought it was a really good video. This kind of thing should be spread all over the internet.

          God bless.
          P.S. So glad about your son.

          Liked by 3 people

        • vkmir3 says:

          I am glad you found it useful! I was so touched by the emotion that welled up in Fr. Mike as he said the words that Jesus said “mine!”. You just sensed how those words touched him….so powerful. It just put such a different perspective of why we receive the ashes. I subscribe to Fr. Mike’s YouTube videos and they are all good.
          Vicki

          Liked by 3 people

      • Maryj says:

        Fr. Mike, indeed he is the chaplain for the Newman center at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, before that he was my parish priest. God has gifted him in many ways! You can also listen to his weekly sermons here…https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/umd-newman-catholic-campus/id273537688?mt=2

        Liked by 1 person

    • terryheaton says:

      Hopenjoy you are such an example of trusting in the Lord. He has heard every prayer. I join my prayers with your’s. God is working mightily!

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Joyce Brown says:

    I’m here rejoicing with you, Hopenjoy!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. zeniazenia says:

    Dear Anthony, You are awesome. Thank you. This is a beautifully simple routine. For any of us who will long for a deeper Friday lunch time prayer as we move through Lent, we can add (per my confessor) 5, 10, or 15 minutes contemplating the same rosary meditations, only one on one with Jesus. 🙂 Very refreshing –thank you Jesus!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Carla says:

    How wonderful and simple!. I am signing up. May the Lord prepare us this
    Lent through prayer and fasting for what is to come. I love that we are doing it all together 🙂
    Thank you Charlie

    Liked by 3 people

  30. YongDuk says:

    Happy Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, Charlie and all!

    +YD

    Liked by 8 people

  31. Bob says:

    The presidential proclamation on Ash Wednesday. May God make what he says become who he is in faith:
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/10/statement-president-ash-wednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Happy February 11th, Charlie!

    I thought about you and the good NRS folks at Mass this evening. Father Mike acknowledged the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and chose to open with this collect prayer:

    “Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”

    Also, your warning from Gabriel (“…they must choose or perish”) came to mind with today’s first reading:

    “Moses said to the people:
    ‘Today I have set before you
    life and prosperity, death and doom…
    …choose life, then…'”
    (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021116.cfm)

    You have given us novel and invaluable insight into scripture and faith through your straightforward guidance. I marvel at how consistent you are with the teachings and messages of the Church, and especially how your words inspire contemplation. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  33. Lorena Lalor says:

    Hi Charlie, I’m not new to reading your blog and all the wonderful comments but I am new to commenting. Thank you for responding to the call to encourage all of us. I have tried to be faithful for 25 years of daily Mass and the Rosary, Holy Hours and have found that instead of getting easier it gets harder with the violent attacks on myself and my family. I have 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren who have left the Church and I could write a book about these last few years. I am very encouraged by the simplicity of the message, very Opus Dei ( I am a co-operater because i too love the simplicity of the call to sanctification in the ordinary) . I like Anne am also from Australia and loved the banter about kangaroos in the streets :). I hope I have suceeded in joining the conversation because all this typing will be going who knows where! I will continue to pray for you and all the at NRS

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome, Lorena, and keep at it. We would not have to endure, if there was nothing to endure. You are living I Peter 4:12,13: “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 have lived this – and may well live it again. I know it is hard, that sometimes you feel you will just faint from weariness. Over time, the pain becomes more of a steady and intense ache – and it is the weariness that is hardest to cope with. Endure and know that you will one day rejoice again…even in the midst of the trial.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      welcome to commenting Lorena! Keep at it please. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Hi Lorena 🙂

      Like

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