Our Pilgrim Journey Intensifies

lourdes at stockbridge

Praying at the Replica of the Grotto at Lourdes while visiting the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

By Charlie Johnston

On Monday, when I checked email, I found I had a gentle rebuke from EllenChris of the TNRS Answers Team. She wrote:

This morning for the first time, I saw a very long thread of a lot of emails concerning a discussion at the Blog about “The Collapse.” Thank you, Beckita, for sending the conversation so I could read it. A comment from you, Charlie, was quoted as follows (with my emphasis):

I ponder sometimes whether to comment on the specific details of the unfolding collapse I had told you about. I think to do so would just be a form of dancing in the end zone. Yes, it is happening all around us as I have speaking privately with my priests for 21 years and publicly for two and a half years. But what I remain focused on is what we are to do…how to participate in the Rescue that has already begun. Right now, I am very focused on the Planned Parenthood business, mainly because I see this not as the normal part of the debate – but as a chance to deal the culture of death a mortal blow.

That really is where I am at…I will comment on and highlight various specifics as I see how understanding them and how to respond helps us recall people to life. I think of the 3rd Secret of Fatima, where the Pope is walking among a great city strewn with a mass of corpses. I regard those corpses not as the literally dead, but the spiritually dead – and that our work is to recall them to life. So that is ever my jumping-off point.” So, may I respond with some thoughts — offering these not as an exhortation or as crankiness, but simply as a perspective to consider. Humans need a lot of reality checking, also known as “mirroring.” A very small child comes to his mother with a flower and says, “Flower?” If the mother smiles and says, “Yes, flower!” the child has his experience validated and has a name for this thing in his hand. If the mother brushes the child away or shows negativity toward the child, he will then go away wondering if this thing was something else and not a flower, or if maybe there is something wrong with flowers or something wrong with himself. We keep on doing this right into adulthood with mentors and friends and coworkers. We bounce things off each other in order to make sure that our perceptions are correct and acceptable. So let’s apply this to the process going on at TNRS. People come to the Blog wondering what is going on and how to get a handle on responding in a good way. They are Reality Checking. They need to know if their perceptions of The Storm are correct. Let me say at this point, Charlie, that you are doing an amazing job of responding under difficult circumstances. You do strike a balance. But as usual, I always have my two cents to throw into the pot. Let’s use this little parable: People are walking through the woods with a guide (Adirondack style). They hear noises in the trees and ask, “Is that a bear?” The guide could say, “Ignore the noises, just keep walking: step along.” But the people on the hike are fearful and inexperienced. If they hear a growl, they might run off and scatter in the woods and get lost. If the guide says, “That is just a raccoon, it’s okay.” they will calm down and keep going. If he says, “That is a bear; now everybody shine your flashlights and blow your whistles so it will run away” (which black bears do), then everybody is safe. If the guide says, “Yes, that is a bear and she has cubs with her — everybody hide behind that log and be very quiet until they go away,” then the guide has helped the hikers to survive. Sometimes some specific information is really needed for people to know how to take the next RIGHT step. So, Charlie, I am sure you get the point. We are like babes in the woods here. Like it or not, you get to be the Guide or the Mama with whom we are doing our Reality Checking. I really do believe (as I have said before) that almost everyone at TNRS is not so much looking for the inside scoop as they are simply trying to figure out if what they seem to be perceiving is a racoon or a shy black bear or a grizzly about to eat them. It is my never-humble-enough opinion that being a little more specific with events as they are occurring is NOT a “victory dance in the end zone” but rather an effective way to “remain focused on what we are to do” as you said. This reality checking is just what is needed to “recall people to life” out of their confusion and fears. In the kingdom of the blind, Charlie, the one-eyed man does not have to be king, but he can certainly be the only reliable guide so that everyone doesn’t fall into ditches. I am not asking for timelines or predictions, of course. However, indicating where we actually are, and the significance of events at any given time — it is my own two cents here — is what we most need from you, especially as events heat up and speed up. May I encourage you not to be fearful to name the flowers and the raccoons and the bears as we step along. Sometimes exhorting people to look at their feet and ignore the growls and falling trees, etc is just not enough to get them through. But may I give back my own little reality check, Charlie, that as you said, “comment[ing] on and highlight[ing] various specifics as I see how understanding them and how to respond helps us recall people to life.” really is the best way to go — please do not be tempted to be stingy with this approach. We are very much in need of being called back to life by having your reality check on all the things collapsing around us.”

*******

Ellen is, of course, entirely right. I have had decades to adjust myself to what we are all living in real time now. As things go from bad to worse, I don’t focus on the specific events that usher it in. Even more, while most I know want to know the specific moment of final crash, I don’t know and I don’t care. For me, the important thing is what we do to participate in the Rescue of our poor bleeding world.

Right now, the world economy is held together by paper and paste. The system has been hollowed out. Every day, it seems a new very staid, traditional outlet is warning of economic collapse and global depression. China is shaky, Portugal is in collapse, the European Union is busting apart at the seams.

Meanwhile, war lurks in every corner of the globe. ISIS threatens that it has a very big series of attacks scheduled for both Europe and the United States. Russia is provocative, China is more provocative, North Korea is insanely aggressive and Iran is taking a victory lap over the billions of dollars the U.S. has given it to prop it up and fund more terrorist aggression.

In the midst of all this, the American political and pundit class frets over micro-aggressions, glass ceilings, disarming police while causing the murder rate to skyrocket and calling it justice, and controlling the weather. Our problems are so big – and our leaders are so little. It is a baffling, frightening time in America – even more fearsome because so many of our fellows seem to think this cultural and economic suicide as victory.

In Matthew 24, Our Lord, Himself, explains that we should not be alarmed that there should be wars and rumors of wars, that wickedness multiplies and people’s love grows cold. These things must come. But the Lord also assures us that he who endures to the end shall be saved. I understand that many of you look at the details unfolding of a Storm you feared but hoped would never happen – and are rightly horrified by it. I look at the details of the Storm I have long expected unfold and think this is prelude to renewal. Without this chastisement, created by our own hands, there would be no repentance and return to God.

That the details are unfolding in real time is an expected consequence of our rebellion. These things must come. To dwell on them is to miss the point of to what we are called. We are called to participate in the Rescue of humanity that, even now, Our Lord is mounting. And the way to do it is simple: acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. Trust God. Become an intentional disciple, one who is willing to get outside yourself to be that sign of hope.

Today is the Feast Day of Lourdes. Five years ago today, I embarked on a great cross-country waling pilgrimage. It was filled with many trials and more fearful moments than I usually talk about. But it was also filled with great joy, great meaning, a great unity with God. Today, we are all embarked on a great pilgrimage that will bring us the same – grea challenges, many fearsome moments, but also a new joy that comes with the certainty that life does have great meaning and that, even in the midst of terrible trials, God never abandons us.

I will try to do better in assuring you on details that the Storm that swirls around you is not for your destruction, but for all of our renewal. It is all falling apart – and so it must in order to make way for the new that God prepares for us. Let us begin and relish our pilgrimage to the Rescue, not getting overly distracted by the walls continually falling around us.

 

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.
This entry was posted in Discernment, Family of God, The Rescue, The Storm and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

363 Responses to Our Pilgrim Journey Intensifies

  1. rdlafleur says:

    Feed on Gods blessings now. Let God lift you and strengthen you. The time is coming that your faith will be tested. Pray your roots are strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Snowy Owl says:

    This is what I am hearing you say to us…
    What about Jesus? If something happens that completely alters our existence and changes the entire world, we have Jesus who knows all and is in charge of all, not to mention His own Mother and all the Angels and Saints who love and care deeply for us and constantly intercede for us! He cares even about the littlest birds.
    If Charlie can no longer lead us or spoon-feed us as he has been..we have Jesus! We have always had Jesus and He will not EVER abandoned us! If we do not know this, I mean truly know this, then we must do as He asked us to do! He said Ask and you shall receive! Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened! He always does what He promises to do. This is our NRS always! Fearful? Angry? Confused? …Ask, beg for the opposite virtue…He will give it to you.
    He loves us. He gave His life for us. He is our God, so why are we fearful or angry? Why are we worried? Why do we not trust our God who suffered and died for us and then gave us Himself and His own Mother? This what I ask myself everyday when I start to weeble-wobble…and everyday I love Him more and more and Trust Him more and more!

    Liked by 11 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Wonderfully inspired, Snowy. The time will come when I will pass, but the Lord of Hosts will never pass. My job is for a short time only – and simply to enkindle within you a love and trust for the God who remains and calls you His children at all times and in all ages.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Charlie, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I don’t have any idea how to really thank you..I can’t imagine the crosses you’ve carried for all of us. God bless you.

        Liked by 7 people

      • al chandanais says:

        Charlie, do we not have the Lord of Hosts as our God, Redeemer and friend, He is always with us, so are we not surrounded by Mother Mary and all his angels and saints? My beautiful friend, if all you say does not happen, we will not lose faith in God! No, because you have taught us so much but most of all to trust God, we grow closer to him because of your love for him. Because you stand strong in him we are able to follow you but if you ever falter, we, your friends will gather you up and take you to Jesus that he can stand you up again. We love you charlie and because you have taught us, we love Jesus and Mother more, as it should be. A cult leader uses God to bring people to him. A profit brings his people to God and we love you for it. My mrs. and I are in sad shape physically, we suffer in different ways but we lift our suffering to God for the world. I work full time but only by grace can I do it, my wife mostly suffers without me at her side. This we know, the world is going to get it’s comupins and that we will help some of those find God in the process with our suffering. I do wonder if our suffering will end at the great crash or if we will have to wait till the rescue. Either way I believe perhaps because I’m a romantic at heart we will be free of our illnesses within the next 2 yrs. I am joyful at the thought of someone finding Jesus because I did not complain when I reach down to pick up a pin in love (Teresa, the little flower) and my knee screams. I am reminded upon hearing of my friend and mentors sudden death, I was somewhere in Brooklyn, New York. Having prayed for Don for a time I was standing on the sidewalk waiting on guides to bring the truck i was driving to their business I reached down picked up a cup or something and reminded God what Teresa said about picking things up in love for souls as I put it in a trash can. All at once I saw Don bowing before Jesus and Jesus touching his shoulders. I believe this is why we suffer, for others if we so choose, to choose a sacrifice instead of complaint. We carry our crosses and follow our Lord perhaps to our Golgotha, perhaps not, but truth is we carry and go where we are led. I guess what i’m trying to say in all this Charlie we are already loving souls for God. I just hope I can continue after the crash and I owe God so much for drawing me to you and to you for drawing me closer to God. As Snowy said, thanks is not enough.

        Liked by 9 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Thank you for choosing to never waste your suffering, Al. Please assure your wife of my prayers for her and you.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Praying for you and your dear wife, Al. God bless you both!

          Like

        • Beautifully stated, Al. Truly beautiful.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jaykay says:

          “This we know, the world is going to get it’s comupins and that we will help some of those find God in the process with our suffering.”

          You said it, Al. “The world” will find itself stripped of its illusions/delusions and realise who The Boss really is, and always has been 😉. But I believe it’ll have a choice, to accept or reject: free will. May we all accept, when finally brought to our senses, and may we have the grace to help others to do so. I also believe some of our cherished illusions, about ourselves mainly, will be challenged. So may we have the grace to accept this chastisement, in faith, and move onwards with that guidance, in true humility. Something I know I have to work on, and I hope I say that without false humility.

          God bless you and your good wife. J.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Kris says:

      I was able to read this post when it first went up and tried to enter this comment at that time. Just lost time and it was erased. But as I read you comment I want to try to repost now.
      Three weeks ago in the lower part of Alaska where I live , we had two earthquakes, 6.7 and immediately a 7.3. It was about 1 in the morning. I had just laid down to sleep, my teen age son also had just gone to be. All the other people in the house were sleeping soundly. When the first quake began I just chuckled to myself and said, Oh we are having another quake. Then the second one came and I was thrown off the bed and landed with my head pushed up against the bed frame with a pillow over my head. My husband was also thrown out of bed but tried to walk to the door and was tossed into the closet. All I could do was yell out, “get under cover” . Our electricity was immediately out and it was so dark. All we could hear and feel was the effect of the shaking. I really thought this was it, the house was going to come down on us and all we could do was just wait to see what happened. I was scared. Then it ended. All five people in the house began taking out the flashlights that are kept in each of the rooms and we gathered in the living room to just sit down and make sure we were all okay. Everyone was shaken and frightened. Out little dog threw up all over the floor , he was so scared. So we sat and made sure everyone was okay, made sure we all had a chance to settle down and then looked around at the damage. Mostly we had dishes and platters from the upper cabinets that had been thrown to the floor. An emergency oil lamp had been broken on the floor and numerous liquid containing jars were gurgling on the floor. All in all we had minor damage. So after we all settled down , we cleaned up the worst of the mess and then when each of us was ready we went back to bed. We still had no electricity. About 6am the electricity returned and then finally daylight returned and a blue sky with a breeze welcomed the new day.
      I relay this story because it was the first time in my life when I really thought that a natural event could possible take my life or strike at me physically. We prepare for these things here. But until it happens you have no idea what you will go through. However as I look back at our reaction to the whole event it seemed very much like an allegory for what we all wonder the Storm will bring to us. We can prepare in ways we think prudent. We can establish ways to respond in an emergency. We make sure that everyone knows how to gather. Then we experience whatever Our Lord will bring and we must make the most important choices at the time they are needed. Safety , helping each other immediately, calming everyone as much as possible, cleaning up what we can and then waiting for the new day. In the middle of the night almost everyone we knew either texted to check in from our local surroundings, or we called our older friends to make sure they were okay. the friendly responses, ‘are okay?, do you need anything?, etc. all made us feel and hopefully made our friends feel better when we were all shaken up. The aftermath the next day showed us how lucky we all were. Stores had shelves that were so messed up the stores had to close for clean up. there were two major roads in our area that had clefts in them where the road had split. No lives were lost, but two houses about ten miles from us were burnt down when the natural gas lines below their homes were town apart and an explosion happened. The hand of God was seen as the families were inside. The two boys that were sleeping in bunk beds were blown out of their house, the kids still in the beds and they were not hurt! The parents were equally safe. It was unbelievable. So I guess what my long story is all about is to try to let you know, that now is the time to work on one major task, ask for the grace to trust completely. Do all that seems logical and then trust that God will guide you through whatever happens. There is NO WAY to know exactly what will happen to any of us, but after this experience I know that I have an insight into what I will do again given the right circumstances. The next right step.

      Liked by 11 people

      • janet333 says:

        Thank you for sharing this with us Kris…what an experience! All I can say is thank goodness we have Jesus close to us. I feel it for all those who have no faith and are taken unawares.

        God Bless You.

        Liked by 4 people

      • prayingflower says:

        Kris, thank you soooo much for this. I’m so glad everyone is safe and putting back together. Funny, what I zeroed in on was my preparation attempts. I had thought I probably had enough oil for our lamps (physical lamps in difference to spiritual lamps) but I never considered the possibility of them becoming wasted by spilling.” The best laid plans… I’m sorry you had to go through all of this but I must confess, it made for a very helpful comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Kris, thank you for sharing what you went through and how the Lord protected all of you! I love what you said about asking for the grace to trust completely, because you are right, none of us knows exactly what will happen to us or exactly what is coming. Amen!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        Thanks for this sharing, Kris. A great witness to TNRS are you!

        Like

      • al chandanais says:

        Thank you Chris, This reminds me of what is to come, no one knows as much as charles and he only knows so much, we will all be overwhelmed, we will all fear and see truth in our beliefs that we will find lacking. We will find comfort in others till something changes that. We will all feel totally out of control and finally depend on God for everything. The sooner we come to the last part the better it will be for us all.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. zeniazenia says:

    Dear EllenChris, Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before, During, and After Antichrist
    Book by Desmond A. Birch is excellent. Hear EWTN youtube –ZJ

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tarja says:

    Pope Francis meets with Patriarch Kirill – Part. 2 – 2016.02.12

    I watched this video of their very significant meeting and hope others are interested, too !
    Tarja

    Liked by 7 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks, Tarja! I watched earlier as well and this made my heart sing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Cunningham says:

      Pope Francis said, “Finally we are brothers” as he and Patriarch Kirill embraced. This is certainly the work of the Holy Spirit in unifying the body of Christ. For those of us who have been praying for this for so many years it brings me joy beyond words. I was moved by not just the humility of the Pope but also by the humility of the Patriarch and also by so many of the Russian bishops with him as they met the Holy Father. We have a few more steps until we reach full visible unity but it is now within sight. The Pope entrusted all to Mary, the Mother of God.

      Now, on to Guadalupe ……

      Liked by 7 people

      • Beckita says:

        Yes, Robert! I sat and simply wept. I can only imagine the rejoicing in Heaven!!!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Tarja says:

          14 Key Quotes from the Historic Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration

          1) They met “like brothers in the Christian faith”
          It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2 Jn 12), from heart to heart, to discuss the mutual relations between the Churches, the crucial problems of our faithful, and the outlook for the progress of human civilization.

          2) They met “far from the longstanding disputes of the “Old World””
          By meeting far from the longstanding disputes of the “Old World”, we experience with a particular sense of urgency the need for the shared labour of Catholics and Orthodox, who are called, with gentleness and respect, to give an explanation to the world of the hope in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

          3) They are “pained” by disunity
          We are pained by the loss of unity, the outcome of human weakness and of sin, which has occurred despite the priestly prayer of Christ the Saviour: “So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you … so that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:21).

          4) They hope their meeting will inspire others to continue working for unity
          Mindful of the permanence of many obstacles, it is our hope that our meeting may contribute to the re–establishment of this unity willed by God, for which Christ prayed. May our meeting inspire Christians throughout the world to pray to the Lord with renewed fervour for the full unity of all His disciples. In a world which yearns not only for our words but also for tangible gestures, may this meeting be a sign of hope for all people of goodwill!

          5) They call on international community to stop persecution of Christians in the Middle East
          In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely exterminated. Their churches are being barbarously ravaged and looted, their sacred objects profaned, their monuments destroyed. It is with pain that we call to mind the situation in Syria, Iraq and other countries of the Middle East, and the massive exodus of Christians from the land in which our faith was first disseminated and in which they have lived since the time of the Apostles, together with other religious communities. We call upon the international community to act urgently in order to prevent the further expulsion of Christians from the Middle East.

          6) They call on Christians to pray there won’t be a World War III
          We exhort all Christians and all believers of God to pray fervently to the providential Creator of the world to protect His creation from destruction and not permit a new world war.

          7) They honor the sacrifice of Christian martyrs
          We bow before the martyrdom of those who, at the cost of their own lives, have given witness to the truth of the Gospel, preferring death to the denial of Christ. We believe that these martyrs of our times, who belong to various Churches but who are united by their shared suffering, are a pledge of the unity of Christians.

          8) Criminal acts in the name of God are “unacceptable”
          Attempts to justify criminal acts with religious slogans are altogether unacceptable. No crime may be committed in God’s name, “since God is not the God of disorder but of peace” (1 Cor 14:33).

          9) They are concerned about threats to religious freedom throughout the world
          [W]e are concerned about the situation in many countries in which Christians are increasingly confronted by restrictions to religious freedom, to the right to witness to one’s convictions and to live in conformity with them.

          10) They call on Europe to remain faithful to her Christian roots
          While remaining open to the contribution of other religions to our civilization, it is our conviction that Europe must remain faithful to its Christian roots. We call upon Christians of Eastern and Western Europe to unite in their shared witness to Christ and the Gospel, so that Europe may preserve its soul, shaped by two thousand years of Christian tradition.

          11) The family, built on the marriage between a man and woman, is the basis of society:
          The family is the natural centre of human life and society. We are concerned about the crisis in the family in many countries. Orthodox and Catholics share the same conception of the family, and are called to witness that it is a path of holiness, testifying to the faithfulness of the spouses in their mutual interaction, to their openness to the procreation and rearing of their children, to solidarity between the generations and to respect for the weakest. The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman. It is love that seals their union and teaches them to accept one another as a gift. Marriage is a school of love and faithfulness. We regret that other forms of cohabitation have been placed on the same level as this union, while the concept, consecrated in the biblical tradition, of paternity and maternity as the distinct vocation of man and woman in marriage is being banished from the public conscience.

          12) They call for the protection of all life, especially the unborn and the disabled
          We call on all to respect the inalienable right to life. Millions are denied the very right to be born into the world. The blood of the unborn cries out to God (cf. Gen 4:10). The emergence of so-called euthanasia leads elderly people and the disabled begin to feel that they are a burden on their families and on society in general.

          13) They reject “uniatism”
          It is our hope that our meeting may also contribute to reconciliation wherever tensions exist between Greek Catholics and Orthodox. It is today clear that the past method of “uniatism”, understood as the union of one community to the other, separating it from its Church, is not the way to re–establish unity. Nonetheless, the ecclesial communities which emerged in these historical circumstances have the right to exist and to undertake all that is necessary to meet the spiritual needs of their faithful, while seeking to live in peace with their neighbours. Orthodox and Greek Catholics are in need of reconciliation and of mutually acceptable forms of co–existence.

          14) They both seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
          With grace–filled gratitude for the gift of mutual understanding manifested during our meeting, let us with hope turn to the Most Holy Mother of God, invoking her with the words of this ancient prayer: “We seek refuge under the protection of your mercy, Holy Mother of God”. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, through her intercession, inspire fraternity in all those who venerate her, so that they may be reunited, in God’s own time, in the peace and harmony of the one people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and indivisible Trinity!

          https://churchpop.com/2016/02/12/key-quotes-from-the-catholic-orthodox-joint-declaration-from-historic-meeting/

          Liked by 3 people

      • al chandanais says:

        Praise God, The Holy Mother of Russia brings her sons together.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Carmel says:

          Folks, have you read Mark Mallett’s piece on Russia? Russia, our Refuge? http://www.markmallett.com/blog/russia-our-refuge/ All I can say is WOW! Praise God! Thank you Mark for connecting the dots so very well.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Robert Cunningham says:

          From Michael Brown’s site (Spirit Daily)

          As the Pope and Patriarch embrace and a photo is taken, the image of what looks like St Padre Pio can be seen in the reflection http://www.spiritdaily.com/padrereflection.jpg

          Liked by 4 people

        • Tarja says:

          I wrote earlier a comment about Spirit Daily’s mysterious photo of pope’s and patriarch’s meeting… and here are some pictures of St. Serafim Sarovskij. I would not be surprised if he has been one of the organizers of this meeting…

          Tarja

          Troparion of St. Seraphim of Sarov

          Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            WOW… Beautiful, Tarja!

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Thank you, Tarja. The chant that accompanied the photos was amazing. I love Gregorian chant, but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Eastern chant. My favorite Christmas album is an album of chant done by some Russian Orthodox monks. It’s so beautiful that I listen to it all year long.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Tarja says:

            Thanks, Robert, I thought this is worth of seeing, too!
            Another link to all of pictures:
            http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/a-miracle-of-liturgical-art-the-church-of-the-protection-of-the-mother-of-god-at-yasenevo/

            And Padre Pio looks like St. Serafim and vice versa….:)

            Liked by 2 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            Great photos Tarja. I love the simple things too but a Church that beautiful absolutely inspires me to greater prayer.

            It reminds of the chronicle about when the people of the land of the Rus first converted to Christianity in the 11th century and envoys were sent by the Prince to Constantinople. They reported back, “We knew not whether we were in Heaven or on Earth… We only know that God dwells there among the people, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations.”

            Robert

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            St. Andrew the Fool and the Pokrov

            My patron… the Fool, that is 😉

            Liked by 2 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            YD

            “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls,
            When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Matt 13:45-46).

            This verse came to mind as I read your post. When a man finds that great pearl he becomes a fool posses it:

            On a pillar like St Simeon Stylite
            A poor man under the stairs like St Alexis
            A fool in the streets of Constantinople like St Andrew or St. Xenia in St Petersburg
            In the solitude of a desert cave like St Anthony
            In the rags of a beggar like St Francis
            In a skete in a Russian forrest like St Seraphim
            In a monastic cell in the Kafra Valley like St Charbel
            In a corner of my house in the pre-dawn hours while the city sleeps
            In the solitude of a confessional where a good Bishop awaits penitent sinners, even if only a few come to the font of mercy
            A not quite so young man with perhaps lumbar radiculopathy on a walkabout across the country with no plan except obedience to God
            A forgiven women like St Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb of her dead Lord only to find that he is risen – Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

            Yes, we are fools of Christ
            We have taken the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference

            Robert

            Liked by 3 people

      • What caught my attention was the enigmatic remark of Pope Francis, and I paraphrase here: “we might not see the full union in this lifetime but should Jesus come, then He would see us walking together.”

        Liked by 6 people

      • Tarja says:

        Hello all! Please look at this photo on Spirit Daily with text: Padre Pio in the reflection?!
        http://www.spiritdaily.com/
        I would say it is my dear St. Serafim Sarovskij!!! Just amazing picture! Genuine one ?
        If it’s authentic one can only say: Praise the Lord!

        It is so wonderful to be a “naive” believer…I read some comments of theologians and specialists of this meeting, and they were SO DEPRESSING! Politics, politics, Russia versus West and so on. And they were religious specialists, not secular people, who talked that way. God bless us simpleminded!

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          There are many wonderful theologians who work hard to deepen our understanding of the mysteries and bring us hope in the process. Sadly, the vocation has been infected by some people who think it a mere profession and are only interested in trying to prove they are smart and important. Do not let your admiration for those who share the vocation of St. Thomas Aquinas be diminished by those pathetic barnacles that have attached themselves to that vocation.

          Liked by 7 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Tarja, I saw that picture yesterday, it is very interesting. Simplicity is a great gift!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara says:

    Who is EllenChris?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      She is a frequent commenter here and is part of the TNRS Answers Team. She, along with her husband, were also the hosts of my visit to Albany last summer.

      Like

    • Petra says:

      Barbara: EllenChris is also, along with her husband, an ordained minister of the Anglican Church, and many months ago (before anyone knew of her background) she contributed wonderful theological insights in the comments section here. Because of her extensive theological knowledge and her devoted spirituality, she brought much richness to the discussions back then, and when Charlie went around the country last summer, she and her husband sponsored his visit in her area.

      I only know about her what she has revealed about herself here, and of course, anyone can reveal as much or as little as they like about their lives. But too bad WordPress doesn’t have a search function for comments, because it’d be great to be able to look back at some of the things she contributed. And sometimes it’s so easy to forget new people are reading here and don’t know the background, like someone joining a family and not knowing who everyone is. Maybe you can randomly go back into the archives and pick a few articles and search (with your Find key: Cntrl + F then type EllenChris (or ellen or Ellen) in the box on the lower left) comments for things she wrote.
      https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/into-the-deep/#comments
      Here’s a sample of something she wrote last February in the comments section here.

      I hope this helps.
      God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. midgepm says:

    After reading all the comments it hit me! We are all so Blessed! Each and everyone sharing on this blog. You see, so many people in the world right now think all is well with the world! They don’t see the wheels comming off everything! They are just going with the flow joining in with all the rhetoric adding to the fury, hatred, and chaos! See! We are the enlightened ones! We can see clearly that the world is in trouble, that so many have turned away from God, and we need help!
    We are so blessed to know this simple fact that God is the only one who can repair the miserable mess we have made of everything. The answer is that God has let us get to this point because it is what we have chosen. But, God will also bring us through it IF WE ASK HIS HELP! Pray and lead others out of the darkness.
    We are Blessed to know and see and feel that this is all upside down and only God can fix it!
    We must pray for all of the souls out there that they too through our prayers for them will have their eyes opened as we have befor it is too late for them! So I think we have a heads up just to be able to see that NOT ALL IS WELL WITH THIS WORLD RIGHT NOW!
    We are so Blessed to have each other!

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Cheryl says:

    I read the book, “Left to Tell” by Imaculee Illibegeeza (sp?) several years ago about her experiences during the Rawandan genocide. When I prayed several years ago about how to deal with the upcoming chastisement many of us see, the word I kept getting was, “flee”. When I mentioned it my husband asked, “Where to?” The feeling I got wasn’t that we would need to flee “to” someplace, but AWAY from something. Where to? I don’t know…. just away from something. In the book I mentioned the time came for Imaculee’s family to flee. They had at best a few hours to get to Lake Kivo ( walking distance), get across and into the safety of another country. The parents couldn’t see ( more likely couldn’t and didn’t want to believe) what was unfolding before their eyes. They couldn’t see the slaughter that was coming ( who could have believed it?) , and were more concerned about protecting hearth and home than in finding refuge in fleeing. The entire family was subsequently slaughtered in the Rawandan genocide. Imaculee survived by hiding in a 3×4 ft bathroom with 7 other women for 3 months. I bring it up because the messages of Our Lady of Kibeho speaks to the entire world. She warned of the slaughter that so frightened the visionaries that they could only scream at what they saw. That day of locutions was spent with each visionary screaming at rivers of blood and the dead so numerous there was no one left to bury them. Imaculee survived by praying the Rosary almost continuously all day, all night for 3 months. I don’t see anyway of surviving or ‘preparing’ ( although I try) outside of God’s desire for our survival. We have 8 children. The reality is that we will only survive by God’s grace. I don’t know what the next right step is other than to continue to raise/homeschool my family day by day. This is truly like jumping out of the back of a moving truck blindfolded, and hoping someone will be there to catch us…. blind faith/trust in God. In this year of mercy we have decided to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet/Rosary every day as a family… I pray that this will help dissipate some of Divine anger/justice. I try to be a source of encouragement even though throughout this past year have felt almost totally abandoned by God and battled almost constant despair. I think your mission of encouragement is so sorely needed. The troops are weary, and the real chastisement hasn’t really even begun.

    Liked by 10 people

    • canada1nw says:

      Dear Cheryl, I am mother of nine adult children and have known about the coming chastisement/storm since at least 1985. Prayer is the only way to find peace in this coming storm. Many are weary, but our Lord has a plan to help us. He will give us the strength and the direction to endure while we help others . For years I felt like I was clinging to life and the Lord with my fingernails, as I pictured myself hanging from a cliff, wondering what to do. All those tests/trials, lasting 20 years, especially during my homeschooling years, have taught me to trust God. I think it may be easier now that my children have grown but I believe it is easier because I went through those tired, trying years while trusting (blindly) in Jesus. Our last child rarely slept for 2 years. At the time I thought maybe it was to prepare me for the times of trial which may last that length of time. We ended our homeschooling day at 3 PM with the Chaplet of Mercy. I thought it would give the children a good feeling about the Chaplet…it meant that school was done. I loved to hear the bell ring..I hoped they would love to have it be Chaplet time. Those “kids” don’t practice the faith as they learned at home…so Jesus I trust in You is my mantra ..I DO trust that the Lord loves them more than I do and that He has a plan to keep them close to Him during the Storm. I will keep you in my prayers. Pray the Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity daily to build your Hope. xo

      Liked by 9 people

      • Beckita says:

        What an awesome life poured out in love, Canada! I just imagine your heart expanding with JOY as your children, to whom you have obviously given a foundation of faith, fall to their knees, during the Storm, asking for Mercy then rise to give glory to God for all their days.

        Liked by 6 people

        • canada1nw says:

          Beckita and Cheryl,
          Our middle child, age 32 has had a difficult 15+ years…addictions etc. He is just going through a separation/ probably a divorce with his wife. They were not married in the Church and they were not able to have children. I have been praying for this one, so very much and it only got worse for years! We live in a liberal city with not much help for our youth.
          Our son works a seasonal job and is off workout the time so has a lot of unscheduled time these days. On Ash Wednesday this son walked to a store in our neighbourhood, on his way home an old dog came barking at him. He stopped and petted the dog, saying ‘you sure are an old fellow’. The owner came to get the dog, since they are not to be loose. This man, I’ll call Tom, age 68, asked my son if he wanted to take the dog for a walk. My son said he could use a friend that day. The long and the short of it… Tom said to him, it seems you are struggling in a marriage and with addictions, and invited him into his home. ..my son was prayed over and rested in the spirit, felt drunk in the spirit all day. He spent the day with Tom and argued with him about the difference in doctrine of their different faith beliefs..the man enjoyed it..he was a RC and now is non denominational lay evangelist who helps street people and ex prisoners. I had met him years ago. He is a man of Good Will and the Peace of Christ is upon him. My son also spent the day with Tom yesterday going to a Bible study with him next week. I do believe this man is an answer to prayer. I am not used to having my prayers answered !!!! I am doing the happy dance today!

          I often say that GOD and a good DOG are so much alike…so faithful and have the same letters. God used that dog for His purposes yesterday. Tom said the Lord had told him to stay home, when he planned to go somewhere. He obeyed and knew the reason why when he saw my son with his dog. God is an awesome God !

          This son gave me a praying hands pewter key ring years ago. He had his name engraved on it along with “from”..it was printed as “Fr. J….” He wanted to take it back to have it re- engraved. He said the “from” made it look like Father J…. I said over my dead body are you getting this back! The engraving has nearly vanished from years of use. A friend, who knew our son’s history said to me yesterday that maybe that “From” may mean a Father/priest. I hadn’t thought of the key ring, she did. Our son will be 33 this year. He says it’s his favourite number and was his number in his football years. Who knows what God has planned for this son..I won’t hold my breath or think about priesthood but I do know that God’s plan will be greater than anything which the satan has accomplished in his life. We have seven sons and no priests yet, our youngest two aren’t interested (yet!) My prayer focus for years has been to pray for priests.

          I hope this happy dance lasts a lifetime ! It will after the Storm, just keep on holding on to God. I am so-o not used to having any positive answer for my children, even that has become okay…but yes Beckita , I will do that happy dance when my children ” fall to their knees, during the Storm, asking for Mercy then rise to give glory to God for all their days.” xo

          Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            Blessed be God forever, Canada!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Prayers for your children, Canada. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • I wish I were with you, Canada, so I could hug you tight and tell you that you are loved by God, and thank you for the pearls you shared with me in your comment(s). But I’ll do one better: I will pray for you and your family, and your special son ❤

            Liked by 4 people

          • janet333 says:

            Thanks for sharing this with us Canada…Heaven is rejoicing! You said the man was RC and is now “….a non denominational lay evangelist who helps street people and ex prisoners.” I know many of these wonderful people because my daughter is involved in their ministry here in England. Just keep an eye out though as a ‘few’ think they are doing something for God by getting us away from the Catholic Church. This is where we need to know our faith because they know the scriptures inside out, even though they misinterpret various passages. After saying this my daughter does not have a problem and usually keeps away from anyone who looks as if they have a need to do her a ‘favour’

            I’ll be praying for your son… God Bless Him.

            Liked by 3 people

      • Cheryl says:

        God bless you Canada! I think no matter how far your children stray they know deep down that their mother ( and Mother ) loves them and prays for them. They are counting on your prayers and I know you are praying. I have consecrated my entire family to the Immaculate. St. Maximillian Kolbe penned several consecrations that can found in the book One More Gift: http://www.amazon.com/One-More-Gift-Consecration-Spirituality/dp/0962595306
        You can also give them a Miraculous Medal ( if you haven’t already ). Ask them to wear it and better yet pray the prayer every day. Even in accepting the medal they have opened themselves up to the grace of (re)conversion. This was part of my mission/charism. To give out Miraculous Medals to our lost little sheep reminding them that they are beloved children of God. That there is a light in the dark and that light is Mary, Our Mother who will lead us to the safest place she can ~ the full armor of God. I so appreciate the wisdom and prayers of mothers. You are a gift. You are mother and with your sacrifices and toil I see the reflection of our Heavenly Mother who toils for us out of such a deep love constantly calling us to deeper faith/trust in Her Son. What a gift you have given your children and I so agree with Bekita… that you have given them the tools with which to forge their way back to God. He loves them so much more than we do. thank you so much, and God bless you!

        Liked by 4 people

        • canada1nw says:

          Cheryl, You sound like you are covering all the bases for your family! believe I have covered all the bases spiritually too, over 43 years of parenting as best AS I could, from my heart… daily Consecration to the Two hearts, prayer, fasting. rosary, confession, daily Mass, adoration etc..the children loved and lived this for many years with my husband and I. I used to tell my kids that I am into heavy medals, they know what I mean 🙂

          I love Father Michael Gaitley’s book study of consecration. I have done it a few times in my home with friends. It includes the love of our Lady by Saint Maximillian love along with Saint John Paul the Great, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St. Louis De Montford.

          In the midst of my children not responding to the faith of their parents, God has balanced that sorrow with many blessings, including four pilgrimages to Medjugorje, the first in1985 and I may be going again in May. In 2013 my husband and I went to Karcow for the Feast of the Divine Mercy. We went to Auschwitz, where sorrow can almost be tasted. We saw where St. Maximillian Kolby died, a holy place of hope amidst the horror which surrounded that camp. Although things got worse spiritually as my children left home, it was a bigger trust in Jesus to believe that I hadn’t worked in vain. Like Isaiah in chapter 49 verse 4 I can say: “I have laboured in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”
          Keep up the good work Cheryl !

          Liked by 4 people

        • BD says:

          Cheryl, I just ordered St. MK’s book you mentioned from Amazon. It was a little pricey Lol ($3.18 for a used copy) but what can I say. Thanks for the heads-up.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Praying with you and for you and your family, Cheryl. God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bob says:

      I was thinking last night during my usual recent nightly prayer time when I wake up during the night of how much I like the Divine Mercy Chaplet. And why? it reminds me to pray not just for myself and for my family but for the whole world even though in the whole world I can be tempted to wonder how my prayers can help the world. Secondly we are offering the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus for these things for ourselves and for the whole world. And Jesus sacrifice is the only truly pure and acceptable offering there is to God, so we can only offer ourselves along with His atonement.

      Liked by 6 people

      • canada1nw says:

        Bob, I believe God speaks to us in ways that relate to our own life. I was a nurse. Here are my thoughts on how prayer works. Prayer is like taking a pill…that pill knows where in the body it should go to help the hurting part an it goes there and it does help. (Sometimes we need a more powerful medication, when the first medication doesn’t help. More prayer etc.)
        The knowledge of the physiology behind it, all created by a magnificent God, is amazing to think about !

        God the Father is the Maker of the medication, Jesus is the Doctor who prescribes it and our Lady is the nurse who dispenses the Medication/Graces to us according to the Will of God. Those graces help anywhere in the Body where they are needed.

        This is a bit off topic, but it relates to how God speaks to us.
        A mechanic friend was given a “teaching’ perhaps: It came to him that before Vat. II , it was as if there was a block under the excelerator, which prevented people from the choice of going too fast (outside the law). After Vat II that block was removed, not by God but by misinterpretation of Vat II; now the block isn’t there as a help for the people to stay within the speed limits…the laws of God and the laws of the natural order. The people have to find the limits themselves to stay within the bounds of God’s law His Grace.

        Like

      • RJW says:

        Yes Bob, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is the best prayer to say in those lonely middle of the night awakenings. So many souls suffer, and have no one to pray for them.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Cherly, when I found my way to this blog with the spiritual and mental preparation encouraged and developed here, even more deeply than ever before, I considered all those times in my life when I *thought* I was in charge. Oh how we can fool ourselves! In addition, I considered all those things in which I had (subtly and sometimes as a blindness to myself) placed my security. Such illusions really. In fact, there’s not a thing any of us have ever truly accomplished without God’s Grace. I take these thoughts forward into the deepening darkness and have full confidence that God’s Grace will be with us, day by day, moment by moment. When you mention blind trust, Cheryl, I think God will not disappoint us in making that choice. Further, His Mother and ours has promised Her Immaculate Heart as a Safe Refuge through it all.

      Praying for you and your family, Cheryl. Homeschooling while raising your children is surely filled with all sorts of next right steps and important ones at that!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Patricia says:

      Cheryl,
      Like canada1nw, I have known about the chastisements since the late eighties after going to Medjugorje which brought me back to church after 15 or so years. Other than the very few people I knew who had also been there, I was quite alone among my friends and family. Though out the years, extreme pain and suffering did come and I do not know if I would have survived it without God, the Blessed Mother, the saints and a very holy priest and a very hold cloistered, now deceased, nun. You would think that those experiences would have readied me for what is to come. Well, not quite. The other morning I woke up rather early and put the radio news on. It was about 5 am and I heard the newscaster say that the DOW futures were down about 350 or so. Even though I have known all these things for decades and see them coming now, my stomach turned. And I thought how, oh how, am I going to do this and especially when everyone in my immediate circle of family and friends do not pay attention and do not believe.
      Also, my children were raised in the faith and are not only not practicing they make a point of doing something else like yoga or meditation with Buddha type stuff. I do sprinkle holy water and blessed salt when I visit and I hide Miraculous Medals everywhere in their homes. I speak to them of what is to come and let them know to do the Trust, Do,Love. I figure if I say it quick enough and often enough I can get it out and they will remember. I have to say the current economic situation is getting their attention but we shall see. They live out of state so you can see my concern. To wrap this up, I think we are all in the same boat with our concerns and worry even though we are the ones who have been saying our prayers, rosary and going to mass all along.
      A final story, when they were young I hung a holy water font at the front door. Every day when they went out to school, I would go to the door with them, have them bless themselves and say the Guardian Angel prayer. In later years, they would not say the prayer so I would dip my fingers in and sprinkle the water on them (or in some cases throw it on their backs as they ran out the door) and say the prayer for them. I figured it was like a song that gets stuck in your head and if I started it in their presence, their brains might unwillingly repeat it to them. Some day I will have to ask them but I think I will do that after the storm is over. Well, we are in it now and God bless you and “everyone of us.”

      Liked by 6 people

  8. Judy says:

    Even though I see things getting baed, I know I will be in some sort of shock when it all falls apart. I will never be ready for this….Today I was sitting at a lunch table with a woman who was telling four of us that she no longer attends mass. She was sitting at mass one day and no longer could say the words. Once in a while she goes to please her mother who is unaware of the position she has taken….What was the right step? As the only practicing Catholic at the table (but there were other Christians there), I felt a deafening silence as people awaited for someone to say something. I was the one who said that at one time, when I was much younger, I had stopped attending mass. We all sometimes go through a re-examination. Now I never miss without an extremely good reason. .. And that end the conversation. We turned to another matter.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Beckita says:

      Sounds like you gave a gentle witness to reversion, Judy. God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • What courage, Judy! What clarity of spirit to discern the answer needed! I would have sat, a ton burning in my chest, but with my tongue stapled to my teeth. And my courage will come when all have long left the table.

      Liked by 5 people

      • canada1nw says:

        caitlynnegrace, in those situations silent prayer is our best answer. We can pray for the words but if nothing comes, prayer is the answer. I love your explanation of how you might feel. Hum, I see GRACE is part of your name. Accept that grace of silence until God loosens your tongue, is what I think. I like the Gambler’s advice, it’s speaks of different situations too, other than speaking:
        “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em (your tongue)
        Know when to fold ’em
        Know when to walk away
        And know when to run

        Liked by 3 people

        • Canada, I’ve come to the same conclusion about the response God asks of me. I’m more obedient to it now where once I used to really stick my foot in it, because I erroneously thought that silence was negative witness! But thank you again, for reminding me. And I just love the Gambler’s Wisdom 😀 Thank you!

          Liked by 1 person

    • I think you just did the next right thing, Judy. Let me borrow that concise, clear, and lived comment when my turn comes.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. PadreJohn says:

    Amen….Psalm 140 today…..’Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men, from the violent keep me safe…Yes, the Just will praise Your Name; the upright shall live in Your Presence’…psalm from midday prayer of Divine Office today…Blessed be the Beloved!!!!

    Liked by 9 people

  10. little one of PA says:

    Charlie, do you feel right now that you can only see the step in front of you ?
    You had said a time would come when you would be as a blind man on the edge of a cliff. That would determine for me the very height of the storm. It is so hard to hold on these days. If we who have faith struggle, what of those who have none? Thank you Charlie .

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I understand your curiosity, Little One, but my interior life is just that, except for what I publicly write about. For the entire time I have been writing about these things publicly, I have told people to focus on the next right step. I live what I preach, regardless of how far I see.

      The good news is that the Storm, itself, will crush many people’s confidence in their own supremacy and genius. As it does, many of them will look to find hope outside of themselves – and many will turn to the very God they once rejected. See, the Storm is NOT the menas to condemn them, but the instrument to bring them back.

      Liked by 13 people

      • Beckita says:

        “See, the Storm is NOT the menas to condemn them, but the instrument to bring them back.” Amen. Amen. Amen. All Glory to God! (I would add an Alleluia but it’s the Lenten Season. Sorry.)

        Liked by 6 people

        • LukeMichael says:

          Maybe Yong Duc will give you special permission!😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            A King’s Secret is prudent to keep! – Tobit 12:7

            Even regarding a Husband or Wife, they are not privileged to the interior life of his or her Spouse and there is quite the prudence in keeping the Secret even in a marriage.

            That does not mean that one does not share spiritually, but there are aspects of the Spiritual Life that are indeed for the Soul and the Soul alone (and his or her Spiritual Director, placed in a very special and grave position of Authority).

            Liked by 6 people

          • Kim sevier says:

            I couldn’t explain my relationship with God where He abides with me in my heart anyway.

            Liked by 2 people

      • al chandanais says:

        Oh for these times, a most beautiful 9 day “Novena of Abandonment” given to Father Dolindo Ruotolo , “Jesus I surrender myself to you, take care of Everything”, said 10X. Doe’s this not take us to the reason for the storm? You Betcha, whatever is going on, Jesus will take care of it if we are surrender to him. So, I for one surrender. Chubby guys can’t run fast.

        Liked by 5 people

      • little one in PA says:

        Thank you Charlie. Sorry if I test your patience. I often feel overwhelmed and blind on a cliff. Funny how one thinks they are trusting in God and to their amazement find great gaps in their trust. Spiritual warfare is not for the faint of heart! I thank God for the wonderful instruction that you give.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Thomas Augustine says:

    It has crossed my mind that Holy Eucharist will be important for surviving like manna was to the Jews in the desert.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I am in total agreement with you, Thomas. And from my experience, when something is most needed by the soul, the challenges to thwart me will increase. May God keep me alert to this.

      Liked by 3 people

    • And I think that’s the reason why Our Lady is always exhorting us to pray for our shepherds, because without these ‘shepherds’ there is no Eucharist.

      Liked by 4 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Thomas Augustine, I have thought the same thing… But I think, in earlier posts, Charlie has indicated it might not be so.

      While I still hold that as completely tenable, I think Charlie’s position, echoing the last two days First Readings in the Novus Ordo Lectionary from Isaiah, the sharing of food will be part of our growing in Trust and in Fraternity/Fraternal Love.

      I think most of us suffer from a Dualistic Approach to God and His Prevenient Grace, even in terms of Works of Mercy. We too easily focus on God with regards to our interior life and often our Neighbor as an after thought or only in regards to Intercessory Prayer, leaving His [Prevenient] Grace to work on behalf of our Neighbor; whereas, we not only should, but need to be more active in integrating the Two.

      With regards to Works of Mercy, a lot of us neglect the Corporal Ones in favor of the Spiritual Ones (as they are easier, less inconvenient in many regards (I might even perhaps add Almsgiving to this)! Please note, I am in no way comparing one as better than the other… but a polite challenge to extend ourselves into other Works of Mercy that we ordinarily might not due.

      Yet, read Isaiah 58…

      Nevertheless, that God may well sustain us and can sustain us solely on the Eucharist is very much feasible, but I think that might be the extreme case–but a real and viable case nevertheless.

      Pace bene,
      +YD

      Liked by 6 people

  12. Phillip Frank says:

    Kris,
    I like your evolution of going from the “neat little package” life to the not so neat “field hospital” life.
    Pope Francis’ desire has put you to work on that field hospital of life and love we understand as “pastorial” work. You have gone from the spiritual prep room to the physical work room of evangelization and have become Christs hands and feet. Congratulations.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Kris R. says:

      Phillip, your comment brought me to tears. I am one of those personalities who thinks I have to do it all. It seems balance has gone out the window. Your description of ‘field hospital ‘ is perfect. I pray I do not let our dear Pope Francis nor Our Dear Lord Jesus down. I pray I will man my station faithfully. I now have the strength to take the next right step. God Bless! Thank you!

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Don_D says:

    Charlie, I am so glad that your posts are centered on the NRS and not mired in the minutiae of despair. I can read the news and do that all on my own. As a long time believer that the world is going to hell in a handbasket (as my Grandmother would say) I have spent so much time centered on what is wrong with this world that I passed right over what is so very right. I pray that we all can stay focused on the Lord and magnify his light to those around us through these perilous times. One step at a time no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. CrewDog says:

    I just received this in my e-mail from a Legion Buddy. The message claimed that there was some controversy about the below song not being “aired” ’cause it was not PC. Controversy that may or may not be true. Who knows “These Days”?
    Anyway I never heard it ’cause I’m not into Country/Western and just about anything post 1986 is unknown to me …… “Give me that old time Rock-n-Roll” 😉 Considering the Thrice Denial of God at the 2012 Democrat Party Convention, I would suspect that you Will Not hear it played at their 2016 Convention. It is an inspiring Song for us Fly-Over Country USA God-n-Gun Clingers!!

    “Diamond Rio: In God We Still Trust”

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Julie from PA says:

    I’ve always felt a little bit lost with very little direction in my life. But, I’ve always run to Jesus with everything. I’ve always felt like I was walking in the dark, just always having to trust. One disappointment after another in my life would just cut me down and I’d have to relinquish the control I desired to have over everything. Always making stupid mistakes or bad decisions. And yet, I felt God’s loving Hand guiding me, showing me that I’m really not alone and He knows what’s going on in my life. Now, Charlie, He’s brought me to your “doorstep”, which I believe is because, when things start falling apart around us, I’ll have the guidance you give us and to know that His Hand is in it all so I will not fear. Not that I won’t be afraid, but I’ll have the confidence to know, even as i do now, that all this stuff has to come and He is guiding the process, and that He’s not left me in the dark.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. When my niece had just learned to talk she went through a spell of saying “Mama?” To which her mom replied “Yes, baby?” My niece would sigh a big happy sigh and answer “OK”. And then do it over and over, several times in a row. She did this when she became anxious. She just needed the reassurance of hearing her mother’s voice. We need that too, which is why some of us read this blog and the comments daily. I agree with EllenChris. What we need is not a play-by-play of catastrophe or a fortune tellers peek into the Crystal ball but a little daily guidance to keep us from wandering off the path and getting lost. And we need to hear a reassuring voice, over and over, like my niece did.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Christene says:

    Hi there Charlie! Blessings!
    First, before you embark on reading this, a warning……this is going to be excruciatingly long and rambling. So, I offer my apologies upfront, but if you find it worthy to share, I hope what I share will give courage to some in the dark, tumultuous days we find ourselves.

    First some background. I came into the Catholic Church in 1994. I can not even describe the exhilaration I felt the first time I stepped into a Catholic Church and before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. I literally felt the warm embrace of our Eucharistic Lord around my heart. I was in love. It had taken me 33 years to find my way to Holy Mother Church. I would describe my a journey as having wandered in the desert my entire life, running toward one oasis after another, only to have them evaporate before my eyes as I drew near. But when I entered the Church? Well, I had found THE oasis, with streams of living water and a banquet of every kind of spiritual food one could ever desire, with the source and summit, of course, being the Eucharist. I had found paradise and I floated in blissful exhilaration for 13 years.

    I devoured my new found faith! I read every Vatican II document, rejoiced in every JPII
    encyclical, founds answers to all question in the Catechism, found brilliant minds like Frank Sheed and Scott Hahn who to me to new intellectual heights, and relished my new found world where EVERYTHING now made sense.

    In 2005, consumed with an intense desire to share the beauty of my faith and be a light in an ever darkening world, I opened a small Catholic Gift and Book store. I loved that store. I wanted people to be struck by the beauty of the Truth of our faith the moment they walked in, so I painted the walls an ethereal blue that gradually faded to soft, billowy white as clouds and found pictures of various saints that looked like painted frescoes and applied them to the tops of the walls near the ceiling to visually call to mind the communion of saints in heaven. Mother Mary, St. Therese, St. Pio, St. Faustina, and a huge fresco of Pope JPII with the words “Be Not Afraid” greeted those who walked in. I now WORKED in heaven. What could possibly go wrong??

    Well, you may guess……..a LOT went wrong. No matter how hard I tried, my good intentions of wanting to evangelize could never reconcile with the worldly demands of having a business. Over the course of time, stress and financial problems piled on. The more my life swirled the harder I prayed. But I knew all would be well. So I persevered.

    And then one day, a chance meeting with a person who walked into the store changed everything. My store was downtown near a mission. Many times, Native Americans who were staying there would find there way into my store. Most times, there would come in, look at the pictures, and statues, maybe exchange a few words and leave. But one day, one of them stepped up to the counter and we TALKED. He shared with me that he had grown up Catholic. That the Church had always been a part of his life. I watched him as he wistfully looked around at the frescos. Then he looked me in the eye and said, “they took me when I was five. They came and took me and sent me to a Catholic boarding school in South Dakota. I never saw my family. It was terrible.” I think I must have stared at him a good 15 seconds before I could stammer out “WHAT boarding schools”??!!

    It is funny how the satan works. He finds a thousand little ways to grind you down, seed your world with nagging problems, take your good intentions are turn them into hellish quagmires that make your every step like wading through thigh high mud. And he waits. Patiently. Until that moment comes when your defenses fall and your jugular is momentarily exposed and he strikes. That was my moment. When that man stepped out of my store, he left with me a traumatized, scared, helpless five year old little boy and my heart broke. I told a priest later that my faith, which I thought unassailable, had been shaken to its very core. A crack had been made in the wall that surrounded my mighty fortress of my heart and within a year it all came tumbling down, because no matter how hard I tried, I could not reconcile the Church that I knew, which made the sanctity of family and the sacredness of children the bedrock of civilization, with the Church that would rip a little boy from the arms of his parents, at the behest of the government, and leave nothing but a shell of a man as a result.

    A year later, my store was out of business and I had put down my rosary, raised a middle finger to God, and set out for the desert once again. And I stayed out there Charlie. For FOUR YEARS!! I squatted down like a petulant child and I DARED God to come after me.

    And guess what…..He did. Well…….first He sent Mother Mary. Who, in turn, sent my guardian angel first…..but you get my drift. HE CAME!! And you what my rescue looked like? It looked like a horse riding accident that left me a quadriplegic. Yep……I literally got thrown from my horse and tossed on my head and landed in the arms of my Heavenly Father. I woke in the hospital filled with so much JOY and PEACE that my family thought I had brain damage. Literally!! But I didn’t. It was just the pure, exhilarating joy of a child who had been lost but now was home.

    That was four years ago. I am still a quadriplegic, but I am so BLESSED!! I get to wake in the morning with the luxury of time to read and pray and contemplate. I can’t get to Mass, but every morning I can send my guardian angel in my place while I read the Mass readings for the day and have my spiritual communion. I can sit with my son before he goes to school and have the time just to BE with him. I can spend endless hours looking out the window, with rosary in hand, and immerse myself in gratitude at the beauty God has created. And I can sit with my mother Mary and ask her to teach me how to love. How to sacrifice. How to truly KNOW her son. And how to be a light in this dark world. I really I have only one prayer that I lift up for myself; that when I leave this earth I will have made reparation for all of my sins, that I will have accomplished all that God put me on this earth to do, and when I run into His embrace and I look at my time on this earth through His eyes, I will hear the words “well done beloved daughter.” Because that will be the ONLY thing that matters!!

    BE NOT AFRAID everyone!! God is faithful and true. He will not leave you bereft!!

    Liked by 9 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for this statement of faith. It hit home. In the 90’s I became friends for a time with a woman who was briefly in the public eye. She was an American Indian (I am one-eighth American Indian. When someone tells me I mean “native American,” I tell them I am a native American because I was born here: I am one-eighth American Indian by ethnicity, and I’ll call myself whatever I want without instruction from any palefaces). She had been born Catholic, but she, too, was sent to a Catholic orphanage. The experience was so searing, and those who ran the orphanage so unkind, that she came to loathe Catholics and converted to another faith. I was touched that, through our encounters, she took up her Rosary again – and thanked me for showing a kind face of Catholicism to her.

      I have often pondered? Who will God hold accountable for her departure from the Church? Her – or the Catholic authorities who abused her and other Indian children, treating them like dirt? In their arrogant vanity, they showed a false face of God. It strikes me as a fearsome thing, indeed, to slander God – and too many who have left the faith have left because people they should have been able to trust did not show them the true face of God.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Christene says:

        It is a fearsome thing indeed. I wrestled God with that very question for 4 years because it struck at the very heart and core of my being…..my children. That one conversation left me with such a searing wound in my heart that I honestly didn’t think I would recover. I was haunted by the thought of what it would be like to have the government take my children away, have no recourse to justice, and then to know that they were put into an institution that abused, neglected, and emotionally and spiritually abandoned them. But it wasn’t just the Church that did it……WE did it. Each and every one of us. That is the sad, inexcusable, and tragic truth of this country’s history.
        A few years ago, Pope Francis made a plea for forgiveness from the American (thank you for the correction) Indian communities. It was simple, humble, and made without a hint of “but”. Just……we were wrong, please forgive us. It was what I needed to hear my Church say in order to have peace. And, yes, I know that the Church has incredible Saints who humbly, faithfully, and with great joy and compassion brought the beauty of Jesus Christ into the hearts of millions of Native souls. St. Tekakwitha helped me to see that. We truly do have a cloud of faithful witnesses who surround us!!
        Anyway, thank you so much for listening. This is really the first time I have ever laid it all out to anyone, other than God and parts of it to a priest.

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, the proper answer to the old question, “Who killed Christ?” is always “I killed Christ.” Yet so many people are blind to their own flaws while accusing others of killing Our Lord. You attained this wisdom so painfully that you will not lose it.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Christene says:

            May I add just one more thing? For those who wish to reach out to our brother and sisters in the Native community please consider;
            Praying daily, specifically for healing and renewal in their hearts, families, and communities through the intercession of St. Tekakwitha
            If you live near a reservation, call them to see what their needs are and then donate yourself or, better yet, organize an outreach through your church or prayer group. Ninety-nine percent of Americans have no idea of the desperate poverty that exists on reservations in this country. It should be a national disgrace rather than a hidden holocaust.
            Contact and contribute monthly to an American Indian charity that has an outreach nationwide. Get involved.

            Thank you Charlie.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Thank you, Christene. I learned enough to know many of our Reservations are more like gulags or ghettoes than healthy communities. I fully concur with your comments.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Thanks for this invitation to prayer and action, Christene. St. Kateri Tekakwitha is a dear old friend. Last fall when EWTN had the premiere showing of the movie made of Kateri’s life, I watched and wept. She is a powerful intercessor. God bless you!

            Liked by 1 person

      • Bob says:

        And similar things happened with orphanages for children of unmarried mothers in Ireland. There I believe an issue was lack of mercy for unwed mothers so their children were removed by, at least emotional coercion. So clearly God is not finished purifying our great Ship of Faith yet.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Christene, thank you for sharing this, your story. What a beautiful heart you have. This is so amazing and it has helped to see something I prayed about so long ago concerning the American Indians and an experience I had. I dearly love and pray for these souls. God bless you ❤ ! How good God is!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Christene says:

        Thank you and God bless you.
        You know, as I was going through that time, I would describe it to people as standing in the midst of a hurricane, with an earthquake beneath my feet, and an avalanche raining down on my head. I guess you could say, I was going through a mini Storm. And if you had asked me what is the worst thing that could happen to me, ending up a quadriplegic would have been a top contender. How could I know the utter joy and peace that awaited me on the other side of “tragedy”. I guess that it what I wanted to say. Even if the “worst”, whatever that may be in your mind, happens, God is waiting for you on the other side of it and what He has waiting for you is beyond anything you could imagine!! Fear NOT the unknown, because all is truly well!!

        Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Wow, Christene! I remember some of your comments from last November and I appreciate this enfleshment of your story which for it is a powerful testament to the faithfulness of God. Thank you for sharing.

      Like

    • YongDuk says:

      A. Christene, that was not as long and rambling as you promised.

      B. Charlie, thank you for posting this.

      C. Christene, I am making a huge prayer request from you to pray for my friend in Germany, Anja–that’s a y-sound, Beckinita, not an h-sound, you who are so excited about the Pope in Mexico!–who is also a quadriplegic.

      D. I will offer Mass for you for our Lady at the Foot of the Cross in a couple days, in Thanksgiving for your Courage and your Honesty to be yourself! I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven and if you get my friend Anja–again a y-sound, Beckinita–into Heaven with your Prayers, I will be ever the most grateful!

      (E. I met some beautiful Catholics in Montana who also had been sent to SD, but thanks be to God, due to the wonderful Jesuits there, they did not loose their faith. Please pray for them as the Tribes are rife with methamphetamines and other drugs, the Casinos don’t pay the Native Americans well and they pay in meth to make up for it, so it is leaching into middle schools, etc, etc. Yes, Beckinita, I singled you out for reason… Pray and get your Priests to pray, there is much out there and many good Christian physicians and PAs and NPs there to minister to them in the IHS, despite that being “Government”, but they need the strength to stand up for the Native American Populattion and hopefully stand up for the Truth in regards to Artificial Birth Control and all. There is a beautiful priest from NJ serving out there… on-loan …maybe he is still there. Pray for him. He is on the opposite side of the State from you. But I am not speaking biographical so discount everything I have said, I don’t even know where Montana is, except somewhere near Maine.)

      Liked by 5 people

      • Christene says:

        Thank you for your kind, gracious, uplifting words!! And thank you for your prayers! What a blessing this amazing little community is and I am so, so incredibly grateful to have found it!! You and your friend Anja will be lifted up in my rosary each and every day. May your feel the warm embrace of Mother Mary as she shelters you in her beautiful Immaculate Heart!

        Liked by 4 people

      • Beckita says:

        Hi YD! Your every word has registered. BTW my maternal great grandparents were German immigrants and I get the j = y music. (Really, language sounds are so musical)

        Absolutely praying for and against so much in Montana… We need Jesus! The Tribes ARE rife with meth and that’s not all… the whole state ranks second in the nation for teenage and adult meth abuse and addiction which knows no socio-economic-ethnic boundaries and a year ago the report was that use of meth continues to grow… We need Jesus! Growing heroin addiciton… growing cocaine addiction… We need Jesus! Montana ranks #1 in the nation with the highest percentage of underage drinking and #2 for highest rate per capita of drunk driving deaths… for 35 years Montana has led the nation in suicide deaths… These areas of high ranking pain and sorrow are interconnected… Oh how we need Jesus! Yes the Tribes lead the way but caucasians are right behind them… As a teacher for 30+ years, I encountered all manner of pain and misery in families as did my late husband who actually drove the 30 mile daily commute to teach on a reservation for 30 years… He was the father figure to hundreds of children and his biggest difficulty in letting go to make the Final Journey Home was leaving behind all the children who came to school not only to learn but to hear this man proclaim to them each and every day with a hug: I love you. They knew he meant it and he was a safe refuge in so many storms in their young lives. I have no doubt he walks the halls in that school interceding still.

        Oh yes, YD, we, individuals and church, have prayed and prayed; we *are* praying and we will not stop. Do you know that back in the day there was a battle to divide Montana into two states due to the vast territory and marked geographical differences between the eastern and western parts of the state? Just driving the miles on weekend ministry substitution in the western regions is a bit of an undertaking. You can fit the state of NJ into the state of MT nearly 17 times. I’ll enfold your priestly friend in my prayers which are filled with priests from all over this state and this country as well as China and additional lands. Please, not braggin’, just sayin’ truth. There’s plenty of room for another priest from eastern Montana on loan from NJ. Since last fall a cassock-flapping, hair-extended, garlic-loving fellow with anchovies dripping from his chin also landed in this heart of prayer and I sometimes still recall with a litle chuckle that I thought he was a poor bloke trying to figure out the nuances of pastoral care for his irregular marital status. What the doo wah diddy diddy dum was I thinking?

        Liked by 3 people

        • prayingflower says:

          Beckita, thank you for sharing the story of your husband’s beautiful life. What a treasure. pf

          Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Thanks, PF. BTW *You’re* a treasure!!!

            Liked by 2 people

          • prayingflower says:

            Thank you, that’s very sweet of you, Beckita. After praying for the TNRS family today at Adoration I was thinking about the scripture in which the man finds treasure in a field and then sells all he has to buy the field. I have found such wonderful expressions of the love of Our Lord on Charlie’s blog that I feel I have discovered some of that great Treasure here. I would like to say more but I tend to write long and so have opted for brevity these days so as not to take advantage. May it suffice to say I feel very blessed to be here with all of you wonderful faith-filled men and women to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude already. pf

            Liked by 5 people

      • Mick says:

        Dear YD, I will pray for your friend Anja, and for the Montana Catholics for whom your requested prayers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • YongDuk says:

        Ah, yes, I forgot the Schools… God bless your husband and I am sure he is already blessed (or pray if he is not quite yet) for his ministry to those children. I was not long enough there to get to know the Schools on the Reservations, but have some friends in Medicine.

        On a personal note, you can take NJ and fit it into Montana 17x for us here on the East Coast, just leave the NJ Turnpike, if you could, so we can get between NY and DC.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Thanks, YD. Not in a morbid way, but in that sure and certain truth that relationships change dramatically after death but never end, I pray with my husband each day. I also ask God every day, in the Eternal Now, to take him higher. Through the charity of others 200+ Masses were offered for him right after his death. I also had a series of Gregorian Masses offered for him. Still, thank you for “(or pray if he is not quite yet).” I love the Treasury of Grace.

          YD was it Medicine Lake? If so, that beautiful country is very much high plains terrain. You’d have been closer to Patrick in SD! We’ve got to get you to fly like an eagle to the western regions that you may experience the Northern Rockies, God-willing. Although, Mt Meeker should really be your first Rocky Mountain high!

          PS The Turnpike is all yours!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Julie of WI says:

            Beckita, I really enjoyed reading your husband’s story. What a life well lived!! And your’s as well!! Thank you for sharing what your life together was like.

            My first husband was an electrical engineer and he helped make a cancer radiation machine that is still used today. I am proud of his legacy. This may sound crazy, but there have been many times after he passed that I was not making the best decisions and he warned me frequently through fire alarms. The alarms would go off just for a few short beeps and stop at just the right times to make me stop and think about what I was doing. Yesterday was 6 years since his sudden death. I had a mass said on Saturday for him and went to church yesterday morning. When I came home from church, there was erratic quiet beeping in the house I could not locate. After about eight hours, I figured out it was coming from the back of the refrigerator. I opened the door, hit the reset button and that was it. I still think he was thanking me for all the prayers.

            Before my current husband and I were married, I told him that if any fire alarms go off before we get married, it may be a warning for me. LOL!!! No fire alarms and we are living a wonderful life.

            I look back on my life and try not to compare what I have done with it to the amazing things so many here have done. After working for 25 years as an administrative support person, I am now opting to take care of my family, my step family and now the bereaved. It’s such a simple life in most respects but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I really believe that this is what God wants me to do.

            I hope to meet many of you here some day at Mt Meeker or in Heaven. You have all been angels to me in converting me to an o.k. Christian to someone who won’t be ashamed to face our Maker some day. 🙂 🙂 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • janet333 says:

            Thank you for sharing with us Julie. God Bless You.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Julie (my dear sister’s name too) thank you for sharing your sweet story! I look forward to our reunion on Mt Meeker and until then {{{HUG}}} for now. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Thanks for sharing, Julie. I love the fire alarm warnings. How beautiful that you are remarried and living a wonderful life.

            You nailed the essence of a life lived well: “I really believe that this is what God wants me to do.” That’s how saints are made: doing what God wills us to do! As I consider the refocusing on God as people are brought to their knees in the Storm and the time after we are all rescued by Our Lady, I envision a world where we deeply respect one another and God’s Plan for each life.

            Whether it’s Mt Meeker or Heaven, Julie, it will be great to meet you in person!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Julie of WI says:

            Yes, Yes, Yes, Beckita!!! The Storm is ALWAYS in the back of my mind and I am constantly fighting the ego part of me that says I can do this! I have to consciously let go of the ego part and say “I can’t do this without God, His Mother Mary and all the angels and saints”. Then I picture the deep respect for each other that you are talking about. The working together to be whole again for the glory of God!

            Liked by 3 people

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