Mea Culpa, My Apologies

By Charlie Johnston

Yesterday, I was flat wrong in my assertion of the nature of what Pope Benedict had said concerning condom use to prevent AIDS in Africa. He said it was wrong, but could be justified  for uses to prevent the transmission of the disease in homosexual encounters. He specifically said it could NOT be justified in cases where procreation was prevented.

Our reader, Matthew, pointed this out in the comments, for which I gave him a notably tart answer. He was right and I was wrong. While being mulishly defensive myself, I rudely told another reader, Mary Ann, one of the most astute people here, that she should be more respectful when disagreeing with others – and particularly religious authorities. Boy, was yesterday a case of “Physician, heal thyself” for me or what?

I am removing the reference to Pope Benedict entirely from yesterday’s article. I am content with the rest of the piece, but it sure was not my best day.

I am in the midst of one of my occasional, mild neurological episodes. My normally docile pain is off the charts. I know when that comes (usually only once every three to five months) I am a little disoriented for a few days. I usually try to stay very light here during such a time. The whirlwind of despair and accusations made me feel the need to speak on this matter yesterday anyway. I am glad I did, for most of it was sound and there needed to be some countervailing voices to the shrieking going on. But I did sloppy work rather than my usual carefully researched material. And I was unconscionably rude to the astute people who pointed out those areas of sloppiness.

That is NOT an excuse for either my sloppy work or my rude behavior yesterday. I know that as things proceed and speed up, I am occasionally going to have to speak or comment when I am under duress. I have to do better, be more deliberate and meticulous at those times, specifically because I am not operating at 100 percent then and am significantly more irrationally irritable. My apologies to all of you for my slapdash work yesterday – and particularly to those of you who I was offensive to. I will do better and, God willing, you will not see an episode like that again.

Now the episode I spoke of hit on Wednesday. Today would normally be the last day of the cycle – so I am going to stay light the rest of the day, posting tonight a piece by our reader, Joe, combined with a piece put up by Abyssum yesterday, and will get back regular tomorrow or Sunday.

 

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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249 Responses to Mea Culpa, My Apologies

  1. glynn peake says:

    Please feel better soon Charlie. THANK YOU for all you do.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Snowy Owl says:

    Charlie, this, what you just went through and now the Pope, it seems like a mini-version of an illumination, seeing ourselves as God sees us. Pope Francis is no less human than the rest of us even though most of us expect more from him and maybe Charlie too…but maybe that’s why God is allowing these things to happen now. Maybe this is all an incredible grace. God can bring good out of anything- even evil- if we trust Him. Maybe we will all be put through tests like this and then we will remember that even the Pope made mistakes and was forgiven and we will remember the humble apology from Charlie.. and we won’t despair. Look at what St. Peter did! But that was 2000 years ago so it’s easy to forgive and not see it the way we see the Pope now. Jesus fell three times to cover these kinds of sins, failings, not to mention everything else He suffered… I’m praying for Mercy for us all because we all fall.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Kristen says:

      What a beautiful statement and so true. It gives us courage to move past our own failings when we see that the best fall too. It is not in our falls that we are defined, but in how how many times we keep getting up. Yes, Charlie’s mea cuppa is truly a great encouragement and brings hope. So glad that in His infinite wisdom Jesus chose Peter to be the rock of Jesus’ Church. Perfection can be discouraging to those that fall often but the greatest warriors are hurt but keep fighting. Thank you so much for your encouragemt Snowy Owl. God bless you!

      Liked by 7 people

    • Hatchetwoman says:

      I’ve been wondering if the St. Malachy prophecy calling him Peter the Roman might not refer to the current Pope’s betrayal of Christ (or His Church) in some way.

      Pope Francis immediately referred to himself as Bishop of Rome when he emerged on the balcony; “Peter” might not refer to either his Papal or given name (wrong on both counts), but it might refer to his office. None of the other stanzas in the prophecy have directly given a Papal name (I think), so it seems unlikely the last one would.

      If I’m correct, then Francis might betray Christ/His Church, but he will repent and then lead people back, just like the Apostle Peter.

      The prophecy states that Peter the Roman will pasture his sheep in many tribulations … I’d always thought that meant he would protect them from tribulations, but could the Latin be interpreted to mean literally “pasture IN tribulations”?

      I don’t pretend to have any powers of interpretation, prophecy, etc. … but the other day, out of the blue, this occurred to me. Just putting it out there as food for thought.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Hatchetwoman, first off, almost all researchers – hostile and otherwise – agree the Malachy prophecies are forgeries and that St. Malachy had nothing to do with them. They did not appear on the scene at all until about 500 years after St. Malachy’s death. Second, there are some striking hits in the list, in most cases people have to furiously force the round peg of whichever Pope they are talking about into the square hole in the list.

        Jesus said he would uphold His Church and that the faith of Peter will not fail. I just don’t spend much time considering any prophecy that says that Jesus was wrong. If He was, then He is not God and our faith is in vain. All this is a sort of modern Gnosticism, a searching for some secret knowledge. What people don’t consider is that if any of this could be, then Jesus was not God and we might as well become honest atheists. But I know Jesus – and that He is God – so I get really touchy when people bring up the anti-pope scenario, whether using this forgery or the forgery of the supposed prophecy of a great saint – that that saint never mentioned and was not ever mentioned until 200 years after he died. I hate it that the satan uses the names of some great saints in his efforts to undermine the very faith they held fast to.

        Please don’t misread me as being upset at you. The Malachy list is a sometimes interesting parlor game, but I am getting more and more worried that too many people think it actually came from St. Malachy and that it has actually described the Popes. It was dead on with the Popes before 1600 – conincidentally when it first appeared – and has been mostly miss or obscure since then.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Phillip Frank says:

          Secret knowledge is what pagan and Satan worshipers say they are in to.
          But the “secret” is out, Jesus is the truth all men seek in life. The parallel deception the enemy offers has a ring of truth to it but it’s being worn buy a cloven hoof!

          Liked by 4 people

        • Guy says:

          Charlie,
          You’ve never heard of the great apostacy? Apostacy can only occur where there is first truth. The apostacy must come from within the church itself, and to be “great”, likely, it must come from the top down. Could it be that the faith of the Church will prevail as Christ said, but not necessarily by virtue of a particular successor of Peter?
          Also, if Benedict were to have resigned due to illicit manipulation, whatever form it may have taken, then “Francis” would not be legitimatly elected – Benedict would remain the legitimate pope, whether he or the church realized it or not. I’m not stating flatly that this is the case, but it is a possibility.
          These latest gaffs seem, almost, to be like an effort to administer an Aqua Velva slap to the Church, that reluctantly gave him a pass on the first series of gaffs.
          So Charlie, since you talk to angels (please understand, I like you, and I’m being a bit mischevieous, here), why dont you simply ask them what the scoop is? Heck, You dont even have to tell us what they say, but maybe what they tell you could help you help us to understand what the heck is going on!

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Well, that is the argument of many religious “jailhouse lawyers” these days in order to try to pull people away from the safety of the Barque of Peter. I suggest you read the European theologian, Peter Bannister’s book, “No False Prophet,” which covers the fallacy you speak of and much more.

            But let me do a brief deconstruction of your hypothetical argument. First, to believe that Pope Benedict resigned due to “illicit manipulation,” you have to believe that Benedict, a man who maintained his faith under threat of death from the Nazis had become so cowardly he ran rather than have people speak ugly about him or resist him in internal infighting. Second, since Pope Benedict addressed this several times and publicly stated that he was doing this by his own free choice, you must believe that he had become a callous liar in his old age. But even if he had suddenly become a cowardly liar, it still does not matter.

            There was a vacancy in the Papacy because he resigned. The reasons for the resignation are his business.
            Whether he resigned because of ill health, fear that he was not up to the challenges he saw ahead, or because of pressure, that he resigned created a vacancy. When there is a vacancy, the Cardinals of the world are called to hold a conclave and choose a new Pope. That they did. If they consent to the results of the election at conclave, the new Pope is validly elected. Pope Francis is the one and only legitimate Pope, whether you love or hate him. He is our Papa. Don’t fall for the fever-swamp conspiracy theories the satan is trying to promote to pull people from the safety of the Barque of Peter. What is sad is that some people who should know better have swallowed this whole.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Mary Ann Parks says:

            Even Antonio Socci has corrected himself, and has received a nice letter from Pope Francis.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh wow, Mary Ann. Have you got a link to Socci correcting himself? That would be very meaningful to me.

            Like

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Mary Ann, I was curious too, and this is what I was able to uncover. I’m still curious if there is more!

            http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2016/02/pope-francis-writes-letter-to-one-of.html

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            I went looking as well, Jen, and that was the only link I could find. Glad you shared it.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Hatchetwoman says:

          “Please don’t misread me as being upset at you.”

          No worries … I don’t call myself Hatchetwoman for nothing 😉

          As I wrote, this was just a thought that occurred to me. I don’t think I’d ever read that the prophecies weren’t discovered until long after his death.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Hatchet, I …wow, maybe your comment went swoosh right over my head?… but I do not see or even hint at thinking Pope Francis would ever ever ever deny Christ or the Church!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. CJ, no offense taken here, but apology accepted anyway. We keep climbing… such as we are.

    I was thinking how fortunate it is that we’re all not mic’d up 24/7 with a big chunk of humanity listening in and analyzing our every word. [Shudder.]

    Violating blog protocol here (blame messy threads), but prayers going out for Doug and Lambzie (and everyone). There’s a beloved squirrel down. Speedy recovery!

    God Bless,

    MP

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Anne says:

    I thought of you yesterday Charlie……sang 2 Charlie songs…… Charlie over the ocean…… And weevily wheat( bake a cake for Charlie)……
    . Do not worry if yesterday you hit a wrong note ….. Have a rest!!!
    Nice to know you really are sometimes out of tune like the rest of us. Thank you for accepting the job ……. Even though you never actually applied for it! Gee Charlie, it was just handed to you on a silver platter.
    Place you in Adoration today.

    Liked by 5 people

    • justsayin392 says:

      Belated ‘thank you’ for lifting up CJ before Our Lord. This is my own belated little ‘chime in’ by way of anecdote. Friday, awoke with strong sense I must travel with our fledgling Respect Life Group to pray outside Gulf Coast Planned Parenthood in lieu of enjoying the Good Shepherd Catechesis book club. Conversation en route turned to the ‘talk of the day’ as I heard content from this website quoted! My new friend is fifteen years younger ( thank God for the Rescue’s sake) and could commiserate over ‘knee issues.’ I know her mother and mother-in-law, and her too from their stories. Longish story short, God is using Charlie in even this comfortable corner of the world to build community hearten the faithful and especially ‘tell us true.’ After letting us whine, whimper and snarf on these ‘pages’ Charlie more than deserves lots of indulgence – which of course he won’t use!

      Liked by 4 people

  5. dianebelv says:

    Thanks for your humble post Charlie. You are appreciated in so many ways. Praying that you’ll be feeling better soon. Peace! :o)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Mary Ann Parks says:

    Unfortunately, we all have egg on our faces, because Papal spokesman Lombardi affirmed that the Pope meant that contraceptives could be used to prevent Zika. This. is. serious. Contraception is an intrinsic evil. And guess what. The pres of Colombia said that half the women in SA have Zika in their blood and don’t have microcephalous babies. So what is really going on?

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You are absolutely right, Mary Ann. I was shocked when Lombardi made that confirmation, particularly when the Pope’s actual words from transcripts did not indicate that at all. This is serious. It could be a Papal misstep, but it could also be the beginning of the downfall of the heterodox cabal in the Vatican. Whatever it is, it is serious.

      Liked by 8 people

  7. MarieUrsula says:

    Here’s a post from one of my FB friends, who is a priest:

    Here is some context to the Pope’s off-the-cuff remarks about Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall:

    Just hours before this, the Pope had made a highly symbolic visit to Juarez where he prayed before a cross on the bank of the Rio Grande, and waved to hundreds of people who were standing on the other side of the border (the American side). The people present said it was an unforgettable experience.

    Then he celebrated Mass in the Juarez fairgrounds, less than 90 yards from the border. The US border fence dominated the horizon during Mass, and US road signs could be seen through holes in the fence.

    “No more death, no more exploitation,” he said in his homily, reflecting on the biblical story of Nineveh. “There is still time to change, there is still a way out and a chance; time to implore God’s mercy.”

    All the while, this Juarez Mass was being broadcast to a stadium in El Paso (the Sun Bowl) where people on the American side were also participating.The Pope also addressed some words to that congregation:

    “With the help of technology, we can pray, sing and celebrate together the merciful love that God gives us, and that no border can prevent us from sharing. Thank you, brothers and sisters in El Paso for making us feel as one family and one, the same, Christian community.”

    Back to MarieUrsula:
    For me this is far more powerful than the latest reality-TV episode involving US presidential candidates. Pope Francis is truly speaking to all of us as we move through the urgency of these next couple of years.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Jane Jacobs says:

    Evil “Holy Year of Mercy” Vatican Logo – YouTube
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PCfsNSZPews. Charlie this has been brought to my attention, the Vatican logo for the yr of mercy???? What say you????

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Jane, this is nonsense on stilts perpetrated by some anti-Catholic bigots. That logo is fine – indicating the unity of the Father and the Son. This particular guy on the video is constantly coming up with reasons why the Catholic Church is the beast, blah, blah, blah…a lot of wind without wisdom. I know people are seeking understanding, but if you go seek it from people who have made a career calling Catholics instruments of the beast and all Popes anti-christs, this is the sort of perverted nonsense you will get.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mary Ann Parks says:

        I dunno, Charlie. The Father doesn’t rescue the Son. I hate that Logo. I don’t read a lot into it except for homo agenda and New Age, but that’s all around the decor and practice of many churches.

        Like

        • Mary Ann Parks says:

          Besides, it’s ugly.

          Like

          • victura98 says:

            I read a commentary on modern art (that I will now try to find for you) that identifies modern art as essentially “anti-sacramental,” meaning, modern art uses material means to de-spiritualize the human person. In the act of creation, the Spirit of God drew order out of disorder…and modern art does the reverse, disordering what should be ordered. Rather than directing the human person outward to what is objective and real, modern art directs us to focus inwards to the subjective self. Rather than striving for beauty, modern art strives for ugliness. Certainly this is not true of every contemporary work of art, but it certainly is true for much of it. None of this has anything to do with the Year of Mercy logo, by the way, but I agree that “ugly” characterizes much of the art we display. In the Church, there is no need for this, since we have so much beauty to draw from. It’s as though we have a magnificent china cabinet, but choose instead to eat off paper plates.

            Liked by 10 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Funny, Victura, I have often thought that modern art is somehow disordered at its root. There are marvelous pieces, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Classical artists strove for beauty and transcendence. Modern art is usually like a trip through the druggie ghettoes.

            Liked by 7 people

          • Doug says:

            I like Kinkades. My version of heaven is living in one of his lighted cotteges and having tea with Lambzie and watching flash backs of Christ’s life all the while marveling at what he did for us. Sad what happened to him later in life.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Oooo…I love his homey cottage and cabin paintings. I think I will use one at the top of my next post.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Hey, speaking of art, Lambzie just got me a 2016 squirrel calendar. How awesome is that!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            I think modern art is disordered at its root because those ‘creating’ it are disordered at their roots and are presenting to the world the emptiness that fills them. I was enrolled at one time in my life in two large well-known art colleges and dropped out of both due to the horrible view of art encouraged and taught. If a student presented a beautiful classic piece of artwork, it was dismissed, ignored and failed. I went home and spent years creating real works of art for family, friends and even the Church, and forfeited a college degree because I couldn’t accept what they were doing.

            Liked by 6 people

          • Doug says:

            You and Lambzie are two peas in a pod.

            Liked by 4 people

          • the phoenix says:

            Well, for anyone who wants to see for themselves what my style of artwork is like, I would invite you to contact me at the private Next Right Step forum and I will be glad to give you a link to my new art website in a private message. I prefer not giving out the link publicly here, or to just anyone, because it includes my real name. That way, you can know firsthand what I’m defending when I use terms like abstract and modern.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Doug, I love Kinkade too! I have a bunch of his cottage paintings as wallpaper on my laptop 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • ann says:

            I can so much agree with you Mary Ann. Ugly indeed! Victura you have given a salient analysis of modern art–deconstructing the human soul in effect. I have thought for a long time that the rise of the culture of death has marched with the rise of anti-art and anti-music. The culture of death expresses itself this way in an embrace of the ugly. I ponder why people do not find it distorted and hideous and dissonant and off putting. To me it seems as if you have to do violence to yourself to take it in–I can’t literally bear it when I see it or hear it. I note that young people and the not so young disfigure themselves too–tattoos and piercings, bright garish hair colors or no hair–as if they are trying to efface God’s creation in themselves. this more than anything shows me the footprint of the old goat. I in no way intend to say that those doing these things have any idea of the source of what they are taking on–the culture has dulled our senses to such a point that we don’t even realize how embedded it is in our society. The description of eating off paper plates when we have exquisite china is a wonderful analogy.

            Liked by 8 people

          • Mick says:

            Victura, I would also love to see the link to that article; your brief summary puts into words my discomfort with much of what passes for art these days.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Good for you, Snowy! I’m sorry that you were put in such a position, but I’m so glad that you stuck to your guns.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Karen says:

            I feel a bit of a twit! Three months into the Year of Mercy and I thought the logo represented mercy shown by the Good Samaritan!!! Oh well, guess it works too. Now I will go to the official website and read up a bit and get into the loop, ha ha.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Petra says:

            Snowy: I know God will reward you for your rejection of lessons that tried to teach you to go against the artistic gift He gave you, and for your sacrifice of a career in a field where you would not practice unless you could practice in spirit and in truth. So many people have suffered this, from people wanting to enter the arts, or medical fields, or education or even law. There are many who”ve renounced a religious vocation because they would not apostatize and live a lie. I am sure God is keeping track, and will abundantly reward those who gave up something dear for love of Him.

            God bless.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Fran says:

            Since God is the author of all that is Beauty and Truth, then I think if art is a reflection of that, or points to that, regardless of the artistic style, then it is truly art, because it uplifts.

            Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          I don’t like the logo, Mary Ann, but I see nothing “satanic” in it. I thought it a clumsy way of expressing the unity of the Father and the Son, but not an ill-intended one. But yes, I agree, the biggest problem with modern “art” is it is so divorced from any authentic merit. Pablo Picasso was a genius. So, I think, was Salvador Dali. Most of the rest of the modernists are pompous, talentless hacks who have conned pretentious people whose taste is only in their mouths to part with their money and admiration. Good enough gig if you can get it, I suppose, but it isn’t art in any meaningful sense.

          Liked by 2 people

          • the phoenix says:

            Hmmm, after reading Mark Mallett’s take on abstract art and now your opinion on modern art, Charlie, well, I’ve already been thinking of writing a manifesto on abstract art. I do modern abstract art as well as representational realism / impressionism / landscapes … the first fine art photo I sold off an art gallery wall during an exhibition was a nature abstract.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I also liked the work of the Mexican artist, Leonardo Niermann. In fact, for a time I owned an original oil by him. He often took offense at being called an abstract artist and would angrily say, “I am a realist.” Many of his paintings and tapestries moved me.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Obviously, art evokes such personal responses, sometimes very intense. I was not so fond of the official logo yet as we approached the launch of this great Jubilee Year, I went searching for holy cards and discovered yet another image which captured my artistic senses. My pastor is a wood carver and painter who loves color, as do I, so I gently begged him to consider this image: https://www.etsy.com/listing/250656913/year-of-mercy-icon-ready-to-frame-print?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=Jubilee%20Year%20of%20Mercy&ref=sc_gallery_3&plkey=5879e97220b9ae6f6486b6b608db17f38c1ce208:250656913

            Our parish now has one of the largest images available, framed, blessed at the beginning of this great year and displayed on an easel in the sanctuary. I cannot seem to get enough time at the church to enter the mystery of this modern icon so I have ordered a smaller size to keep at home.

            There’s something here which continues to capture my attention in adoration and praise of Father and Son. Yes this image represents the unity of Father and Son; I am also contemplating with deeper humility the reality that we are so precious to Abba, made in His image and likeness and loved with such complete depth and perfection. As I gaze on the image, I pray to never take for granted the awesome wonder of Abba sending His Only Son to rescue us. Either when I make the daily examen or in the moment of transgression, I immediately ask for forgiveness and, while gazing on this icon, I realize I am immediately forgiven. (Of course, there is a understanding to be had concerning venial and mortal sin, sacramental forgiveness in confession, etc.) Nevertheless, I ponder in this image, even as a sinner ever falling and ever rising and repenting, I am made in the image and likeness of the Father. It is the Father’s Presence in me upon which I gaze, as I am wrapped around the supporting, comforting, rescusing neck of Christ the Good Shepherd. And I yearn to seek more assiduously the perfection of the Father.

            Then I ponder this Storm now upon us and intensifying. Jesus conveyed to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta that God Himself will suffer greatly as we suffer in this Storm for we are made in His image and likeness. Such mystery! There’s more to consider so I plan to continue to gaze and contemplate.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita, my jaw dropped when the window opened with that Icon! There have been a few Divine Mercy Icons that I like, but *that* one. And my Priest said I could buy one for the church! I have been searching, and thank you *sososo* much. I need to get one for my house, too.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita, I really like the icon picture you linked to, that, in my opinion, has depth and heart, love and effort were put into it, I agree with you, there is something about it..it is beautiful.

            Liked by 3 people

          • jnursester says:

            I loved the icon picture so much I ordered one on the spot.

            Liked by 2 people

          • ann says:

            I’m piggy backing on to the reply button here but I’m commenting to Phoenix. I need to apologize to you for sounding like all modern art is ugly. It is not. I am sure the art you create is very sacramentalized because you paint your inner self and your inner self is filled with light. the best painting I ever did (in my own opinion at least) was a very impressionistic almost abstract painting of the ocean in gauzy colors of gold and teal. A one of a kind moment of grace. I’ve never painted anything like it since. I tend to be very realistic in my work but God the Creator is in true art however it is manifested so again I apologize if I sounded like I was dismissing any abstract or impressionist art. I was referring to “art” and “music” that is clearly anti-beauty, meant to jar and distort. Big difference! So in Charlie’s words, a heart felt mea culpa Phoenix.

            Liked by 1 person

          • the phoenix says:

            Dear ann,

            Your timing is incredible. I’ve just now literally finished working on a brand new fine art photo featuring a twilight pond in gold and teal and blue, called “Gold Cloud.” Perhaps our styles are similar. Wow! I would love to see your work. Apology accepted. And it’s very nice to meet you! 🙂

            Also, Charlie,

            Thank you for mentioning Leonardo Nierman as an artist yesterday. I looked him up, am very impressed, enjoy his dynamic style, and can definitely understand his point of view in wanting to define himself as a realist, just based on seeing what he’s done. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            In a strange way, I can see his point. Last year when I was traveling, one clever fellow told me, “Charlie, I am not sure whether you are the most ordinary mystic I ever heard of or the most mystical ordinary guy I ever met.” I loved it.

            Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        Amen, Charlie!: “I know people are seeking understanding, but if you go seek it from people who have made a career calling Catholics instruments of the beast and all Popes anti-christs, this is the sort of perverted nonsense you will get.”

        Deliver us, O Lord.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Joyce Brown says:

      Hmmmm beyond the fact that the logo is inelegant and cartoon-y, what I see is Jesus as the Good Shepherd, carrying one of His sheep (us) on his shoulders. Jesus as the Good Shepherd, searching, finding and bringing back into the fold one of His wayward sheep is the epitome of Mercy.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. zeniazenia says:

    Good Morning TNRS, You are all in my daily prayers. Hopefully, we can ask our friends at church to pray over us after Mass. If we are seriously ill, let us pray for the Anointing Sacrament of Healing done by the clergy. Love Zenia Jane

    Liked by 8 people

  10. melomel says:

    Jesus, we trust in You. We want to trust Charlie, help him, love him, bless him and sanctify him. Amen.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Rich D says:

    Thank you for being so honest, Charlie. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone who is in the public eye apologize for making a mistake. I wish our politicians would follow suit. It takes a humble soul to admit a mistake and to apologize to those who were wronged. It is also truly humble for that person to recognize that they are still a child of God who knows he/she is still loved by our Heavenly Father and will get up, dust himself/herself off, and continue down the road leading to salvation. Well done!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Rick says:

    Based on my research and my own suspicions, this Zika virus is likely not the cause of the microcephalic babies and is being use as a scare tactic by the population control elitists to further justify evil. Expect more vaccinations, contraception, and abortion, possibly even mandated by our government with the hidden agenda of decreasing world population growth. Bill Gates is one of many in this cabal, openly stating his vaccinations will reduce population growth and funding research into the use of mosquitos as a vector for vaccines. Sadly Pope Francis is being advised (and duped) by these very same global warming/ population reduction globalists. I don’t want to get too much into the conspiracy stuff, but there is profoundly sinister and evil stuff going on. I could send you weeks worth of information, links, and videos, but that would take away from the spirit of Charlie’s mission. We need to focus our prayers on Pope Francis with laser precision now more than ever.

    Liked by 9 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I think you are right in every particular, Rick. This is, I fear, a diabolical deception of massive proportions. Oh, that this would be the beginning of the downfall of the population control globalists who have infiltrated every major institution, including the Vatican!

      Liked by 7 people

      • Beckita says:

        Joining you in prayer for this intention, Charlie!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Frank says:

        The babies who have been afflicted with microencephalitis are in constant torment. Their families, especially their mothers, are also suffering. Fathers are abandoning their families because they cannot handle the stress of the situation. The babies and their families need our daily prayers and our support. I pray that the Lord heal and comfort these children and their families. I pray that Lord will protect any children in the womb from being struck with this condition.

        Liked by 6 people

        • Beckita says:

          Uniting in prayer with you, Frank.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Praying with you too, Frank.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Julee says:

          In reply to the comment above regarding babies with microcephaly being in constant torment, I’d like to speak from my own experience and say this is a profound brain abnormality that can result in a host of other medical issues, but doesn’t necessarily cause constant torment and suffering. My son was born with microcephaly 17 years ago (no known cause except a possible virus in the first few weeks of pregnancy). This resulted in severe cerebral palsy and seizures, but he’s happy, healthy, and well loved. Any disability can cause stress on a family and there’s actually a high divorce rate in families with children having special needs, so I’m not surprised to hear of a parent abandoning the family because of the stress. It’s a challenge and, of course, they are in need of prayers! It’s just sometimes hard to take when medical professionals in the media talk about babies with microcephaly being a disaster or horrible tragedy, which only adds to the fear. I just want to shout at the TV that no baby is a disaster, he or she is still a precious gift.

          Liked by 10 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Amen, and a miracle too!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Petra says:

            With regards to Julee’s comment; I just want to add none of us knows what the inner experience of some of these children is like. They may be in “ecstasy” and living great joy in their hearts for almost all their waking hours. They may be in peace, and their inner selves could be filled with constant contentment and a sense of happiness. They could be communing with angels, and in doing so, are interceding for us. I know for myself, there have been times that I experienced joy and happiness even in difficult physical circumstances. I wonder if, in some instances, in their suffering of what we consider limitations, the disabled are freed from the burdens of having to cope with many of the impossible circumstances we face as “normal” people, things that distract us from flying to and remaining in God’s presence. The disabled may be the greatest gift to us, if we saw what they see. We should never, ever presume someone is suffering or would prefer to be not alive because of what we observe of them from the outside.

            God bless.

            Liked by 7 people

          • Julee says:

            Thank you for this, Petra. I so agree. I may be projecting what I hope is true, but it seems to me I’ve seen many signs that my son has a rich interior life.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Mick says:

            Amen, Julee.

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you, Julee!

            Like

          • YongDuk says:

            Bless you, Julee!

            Like

          • Phillip Frank says:

            There is controversy about this exact subject surrounding the life of a comotose girl named Audrey Santos who fell into a coma at age three after drowning but had miraculous events surrounding her commence after she was taken to Medjugorje. It was claimed she entered into a mystical union with Jesus and offered her condition up as a victim soul.
            Of course, she did not exclaim this for herself, but this was claimed to by her mother and others who encountered her in their dreams.
            There are saints who reveal similar events of this kind, one such wonder is from Mary of Agreda who was told by Our Lady that the holy innocents killed by Harrods soldiers where brought to reason by Grace and then asked to sacrifice themselves for this purpose of offering up their lives as holy victims.
            This is a great mystery to contemplate but in God’s economy, nothing is without effect.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            The contractor I hired to do work on my house was profoundly impacted by Audry. He has a deep faith now. He does good work too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            From what I have heard — and I cannot share all, Audrey truly did visit people.

            I always took her as a commentary to Society on coma and brain death. Our intelligence lies in our souls working with / in conjunction with our bodies. That is why, in accord with St Thomas Aq an spiritual action on physical, a possessed (truly possessed) person does not remember the manifestation.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Interesting YD

            Like

    • “Bill Gates is one of many in this cabal, openly stating his vaccinations will reduce population growth and funding research into the use of mosquitos as a vector for vaccines.”

      Weren’t his vaccines the ones they gave the women in Africa to sterilize them?

      You know, last night (into the wee hours of the morning) I was having a conversation with someone, and was so devastated at the way people break each other. I mean, I knew there was a certain amount of brokenness, but it was so much deeper than what I had imagined. So much more encompassing, to the point of me being able to see the demonic trying to kill this person (which he did try to do by suicide).

      This..worldly unveiling? seems to be the same way. We THINK we might know the depths of the depravity, but when the sunlight hits it, it’s so much more evil and diabolical than we imagined.

      It’s like God is forcing us into a reckoning with the 3d.

      Liked by 4 people

    • ann says:

      Chilling, Rick, but it sounds plausible. God help us. Mosquitoes as vectors! I guess it was only a matter of time.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Snowy Owl says:

    I’m sitting here watching Justice Scalia’s funeral Mass on EWTN and it’s really beautiful and I feel so badly because I have never in all my life been to a Mass like this. Honestly, watching this makes me feel like I am not even a Catholic or that I’m a pathetic ‘version’ of a Catholic. The Parishes here…sigh!

    Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Snowy, I have not seen any coverage of the funeral. I will be sure to view the ceremony later. God rest his soul and comfort all who know and mourn the loss of our brother Antonin, I pray.
      One of the many things I love, love, love about our faith is that we are Universal. The fact that we are so vast, so diverse, multi-cultured and yet that we profess One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, is breathtaking.

      One of the (if not the smallest) active Catholic Church(es). ❤ All precious all precious in His sight!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jill Marie says:

      My husband and I tuned in just as the Gospel was being proclaimed (Matthew 11: 25-30) and then listened to Fr. Scalia’s homily. On many levels, this funeral mass was beautiful. Glorious. Perfect. God is so good. Here’s the transcript of Fr. Scalia’s homily: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/20/transcript-rev-paul-scalias-eulogy-his-father-justice-antonin-scalia/80667122/

      Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Jill Marie, Thank you, I did watch the entire Mass and I really liked Father Scalia, he is very funny and the Mass and Homily- both just beautiful.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jill Marie says:

          Snowy, Haven’t watched the entire mass yet, but hope to do so. I told my husband to print out his homily, edit the personalized sections, and have the priest use it for me 😉 Having family and friends hear Fr. Scalia’s words would be the greatest gift! (That, and of course their continued prayers… AND having a zillion masses offered. Boy, I’m going to need them!.)

          Liked by 2 people

      • Petra says:

        I must publish it here, because it was magnificent: Fr. Scalia opened his homily with these words:
        “We are gathered here because of one man, a man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to many more; a man loved by many, scorned by others; a man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.”

        And the rest was just as wonderful. Worth listening to.
        God bless.

        Liked by 6 people

        • Beckita says:

          I loved it, too, Petra. SO perfect and a true tribute to his dad’s soul by bringing the focus right where it belonged.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jill Marie says:

          Yes, Petra! After hearing those first few lines by Fr. Scalia, I thought all of Heaven must be smiling right now! I got the chills that warmed the body (if that makes sense) anticipating what was to come. The Holy Spirit at work – consoling, teaching, convicting, encouraging… wow. I am always so amazed when God does what He does; IS who HE IS! Just makes me grow in love with Him more & more!

          Liked by 4 people

    • Petra says:

      Snowy said, ” I have never in all my life been to a Mass like this.”
      Oh Snowy! No! That is tragic. I have been a parish “hopper” in the past, because unless the priest celebrates Mass such was celebrated at this funeral Mass, I start looking for somewhere else. I had to leave a parish I attended and loved for many years when a new priest was assigned, and took on the modern “herterodox” ways of saying Mass. He became just about the only priest saying Mass in English there. I tried to accept it, but I just couldn’t. I had to go. I found a parish where the priests are all like Fr. Scalia, and so I can pray when I go to Mass. I pray our parishes will all be restored to true worship, and all of us will soon be able to once again give God the glory He deserves during Mass.

      God bless.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Petra, for the past few days I’ve been peevish about this (obvious, by my comments) but now today I’ve begun to understand and see things differently. There is a reason God allows hard or painful things and I’m going to trust Him and wait. He knows the desire of my heart…all of our hearts 🙂
        if this makes no sense- don’t worry it does to me and with your comment. I just can’t elaborate on it. And thank you, your concern helped me to see it more clearly! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Nancy says:

    Charlie,
    From what I’ve seen and read, I don’t believe you have anything to be sorry about. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I have found your work in the past well researched and thought out. I don’t agree with EVERYTHING you write, but I do enjoy your take on things/events. For example, when you remarked that you believe we may have already gone through the “ILLUMINATION OF CONSCIENCE/’WARNING’, I could NOT have DISAGREED MORE! This is one area I have firsthand knowledge of. My Aunt Rosemary knew/knows ALL of the ‘VISIONARIES of ‘Garabandal,’ and knew Mari Loli, the only one who knew the DATE of the ‘Illumination.’ She has also been to ‘Garabandal’ 19 times. Something like that. Anyway, I have stopped waiting for the ‘Illumination’ for the world, but it is FRUSTRATING!!!! I had my own ‘Personal’ ‘Illumination’ in the ‘Fall’ of 2002. Anyway, I just want you to know I think YOU’RE SWELL, and KEEP PLUGGING AWAY! You may NOT be aware of it, but you’re a LIFELINE to many!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh Nancy, I so love this. Thank you.

      Back when the NSA spying-on-everyone disclosure came out, Andrew McCarthy, a columnist at National Review and the former U.S. Atty who prosecuted the blind sheikh in the first World Trade Center bombing, came out with a piece defending the collection of meta-data by the NSA. Holy cow, people were ripping him up as a cowardly liberal, blah, blah, blah…a real firestorm broke out. I completely – and vigorously – disagreed with McCarthy, but immediately took to defending him. The man is a great, courageous patriot who has taken bold, unpopular stands many times – but always thoughtful ones. I was appalled that supposed conservatives would viciously turn on such a proven champion over even such a serious disagreement, so I ripped and tore in his defense even as I disputed his conclusion. The point is, we are all wrong sometimes and we all disagree sometimes. But a good man is a good man even when you disagree with him – and even when he’s wrong.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Rick says:

    Briana Elizabeth, I too have a friend who appears diabolically oppressed now having reached a terrible level of despair after a long complicated recovery from cancer surgery and a near-crippling of his business due to unethical and greedy clients, one of whom is a “Catholic” lawyer (please pray for my friend and ask for Mary’s intercession). And you are correct about vaccines being used to sterilized women in Africa, which makes me highly suspicious of the multitude of vaccines pushed on our children and the flu vaccine. Evil today is palpably obvious and boldly coming out of the shadows, becoming literally painfully obvious to the faithful. We need to pray for the secular others who are waking up as well. In hindsight I look back with great distaste at the many deceptions throughout my life from the government, world leaders, music industry, and media, leading so many down a path of spiritual ruin. Knowing that the world has been due for unspecified chastisements followed by a rescue not only gives me hope for this life, but also reminds me that I need to work harder than ever to prepare for my day of judgment.

    Snowy Owl, I don’t know where you live, but if you can find a parish that offers the Tridentine Mass in your area I would highly recommend at least checking it out My daughter introduced me, and I am a now a new parishioner at a church about 30 miles from my house. Some even drive from several hours away and from other states on Sundays. Not only is the extraordinary Latin mass incredibly beautiful, but it is also another wonderful way to offer devotion to our Lord. People almost universally arrive early for Mass and stay quite awhile to pray after the conclusion. I have found the FSSP priests to be incredibly holy, with some of the most powerful and beautiful homilies I have ever heard in my life. I have been to masses in various US locations including Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Illinois with at least 8 of these priests. I have also listened to many homilies online. I highly recommend the sensus fidelium You Tube channel for some of them. Here is a link to where the mass is offered in the US: http://fssp.org/en/messes.htm#USA

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mary Ann Parks says:

      I saw that on CNN and lady host was just effusing over the Latin Mass, how beautiful, and how you have to see one, etc. Funny!

      Liked by 1 person

    • ann says:

      Oh Rick, how beautifully stated. I used to drive 70 miles to get to the Latin Mass but as I have gotten older (and because of objections from my husband) I stopped. I attend the Novus Ordo in my own parish but over the past 15 years we have been blessed with very respectful and sincere priests who celebrate with great dignity and love and a palpable belief in the True Presence. I listen to homilies on line all the time and like you the Sensum Fidelium you tube channel is wonderful! Sadly in our area the traditional Latin Mass is now available through a schismatic group the Sedevacantists. They took over a Catholic Church that had to be closed and it upset our Bishop that they acquired it. He sent out a letter to all parishoners warning them away from the Mass there under pain of sin. It’s hard enough when error comes from the progressive cafeteria Catholic side of things (The Church of Nice) but so hard when it comes from the super conservative wing. Come Holy Spirit!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Anne says:

    Looking forward to article by Joe.
    Is it same Joe as musician…… Or another?

    Like

  17. marcyc48 says:

    As someone who has had mutiple ba6ck surgeries and 4 years ago was told my spinal column, nerves and scar tis!sue are such a mess, that there is not much of anything the docs can do ; l can empathize with you about your pain, Charlie. Some days l snap at people for just looking crosswise at me or if they hessitate they hessitate wheñ speaking to me, l’m ready to take off their heaď and my attituďe can get ugly. I have to beg Our Lord to help me carry my cross willingly and without complaint.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Tresorgirl54 says:

    Don’t be hard on yourself, Charlie. There isn’t a person on this earth who hasn’t had an “off” day or a bad day. Even Jesus had a meltdown at the Temple! Take a few hours off and reprint a great article from past posts or honor your fellow spiritual journalists Mark Mallett and Michael H. Brown by featuring one of their articles. You can’t push yourself when you’re having a neurological relapse event. Rest and let others take over for a day or two! Take care, dear Charlie.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Bob in Minnesota says:

    Charlie give this a try it works on my back pain.
    Called momentum for muscular backache
    This really works on the back pain.
    Can not get it everywhere try on line.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks Bob, but my pain is not physical in origin. It is neurological. I have substantial nerve damage – and remedies for physically-based ailments do not help – and sometimes hurt.

      Like

  20. maryopl says:

    I am just catching up with this article. You mention Pope Benedict in this article and yet all the comments refer to Pope Francis – did I miss something?

    Like

  21. Mary Ann Parks says:

    Some were talking about the Scalia funeral Mass. For any who may never have seen one, here is the real deal, at the Shrine, in 2010. For some reason they have stopped using the high altar. And the choir in 2010 knew how to do the Gregorian, and a lot more. Sigh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvAkMI-A5D4

    Liked by 1 person

  22. mary travis says:

    my bad…just posted about the correction of the nuns and contraception controversy…attributed to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s site…at wdtprs.com/blog….not Fr. Longnecker…although they are both GREAT reads….catch them at newadvent.org…

    Like

  23. lambzie37 says:

    Praying for you Charlie. We love you in sickness and health!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Pat Michela says:

    Bless you for all you do-as Mother Teresa said it is in trying to be obedient not necessarily the success? I am not saying you were wrong either-not for me to say at this point.

    On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM, The Next Right Step wrote:

    > charliej373 posted: “By Charlie Johnston Yesterday, I was flat wrong in my > assertion of the nature of what Pope Benedict had said concerning condom > use to prevent AIDS in Africa. He said it was wrong, but could be justified > for uses to prevent the transmission of the diseas” >

    Liked by 1 person

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