Procession for Life, Mary and the Saints

I will spend the bulk of next week working on putting together resources for people around the country – and the world – to mount Eucharistic and Marian Processions to give witness to our faith in the midst of the great darkness setting into the World. I have a piece by Dan Lynch, who is an old hand at putting together Processions – and will offer his assistance to any who seek help getting things started. He will be perhaps the key resource throughout this process.  It is critical that these Processions be led by your local Bishop, Priests or Deacons – that you work together with them to knit together a culture of faith, life and joy as you give public witness to your faith.

I want to remind you that my Bishop, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, will lead a Jericho March this Saturday around the Planned Parenthood facility in Stapleton. People will gather at 9:30 a.m. and will process around the facility seven times. Archbishop Aquila has emphasized there is to be no shouting or arguing, but prayerful witness to the love and mercy of God. This is a courageous, bold thing to do. I ask you, if you can, come on out to support our Archbishop in making this stand for our faith and for the culture of life. Let this be a great beginning that spread throughout the country and the world as we act together as the Family of God – a true sign of hope to all.

I will spend most of my day tomorrow going up to Mt. Meeker to meditate and pray. For now, I feel moved to repeat a piece I wrote a year and a half ago on “Mary and the Saints – for Protestants.” (But I have to tell you, Catholics told me they liked it pretty well, too.)

Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

mary and the saints

By Charlie Johnston

I was in my early 20s when I went to my first Catholic Mass as a worshipper. Oh, I had been to many in my teens as a hired trumpet player, but the musicians in the choir loft don’t follow the same rules as the regular worshippers as far as standing, kneeling and sitting. For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair. People just spontaneously stand up, or sit down, or kneel, or talk back to the priest in unison for no reason you can quite fathom. Within about 10 minutes of the beginning of Mass, I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.

A few years after my conversion, I was at a wedding Mass where there were a lot of baffled Protestants. About 15 minutes in I realized, with a little irony, that some of them were carefully watching me. Now, apparently, I was the guy who looked like he knew what he was doing. I must confess, every time I am at a Mass that I know has drawn a lot of Protestants out, I have to fight back the temptation to do a cartwheel in the aisle – just to see how many do one with me.

Cradle Catholics cannot imagine how disorienting and baffling even the liturgy is to lifelong Protestants. Even more puzzling is the Catholic devotion to various saints and to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Even the language of faith can be perplexing, for often the two camps mean different things while using the same words. Throw in that Catholics often have a hard time explaining what, exactly, they believe, much less why they believe it – and that many Evangelical Protestants have often been told some pretty absurd caricatures of what Catholics profess and it is a wonder the encounters are not even more awkward and confused.

Now, I am not going to discuss everything that Catholics do not believe here that many think we do. I will also note from the outset that some Catholics abuse what the Church teaches in ways that help foster misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. I am only going to focus here on Mary and the Saints – and what the Church actually proclaims.

Many Protestants believe that we worship Mary, in particular, and the saints to a lesser extent. I know – that’s what I used to believe, because that’s what everybody said. To the contrary, when we pray to a saint, including Mary, we are asking them to pray for us, usually for specific intentions. Everyone of faith, Protestant or Catholic, asks their friends to pray for them. It is so common and well-accepted no one disputes the propriety of it. Many Protestants only count those on earth among the communion of the faithful and, thus, properly to be asked for prayers. Catholics consider all the faithful, both in this world and in the next, to be among the communion of the faithful. If it is proper and fruitful to ask friends here to pray for you, how much more fruitful to ask those who already behold the Face of God?

Some argue, though, that it is improper to ask those who are dead to pray for us. Yet in Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27, Jesus notes that Moses called God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to Him. If all the faithful are alive to God – and Jesus says they are – then it is at least as good to ask St. Peter to pray for you as it is to ask your cousin, Peter, to do the same. That is properly what Catholics are called to do.

We do not worship any of the saints, including Mary. Rather, together with all the saints, we worship the One God alone, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contrary to the belief of many, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church has no power whatsoever to “make” saints. That power belongs to God, alone. The power the Church does have is to recognize infallibly a small handful of the saints God has made. A person is not honored by being recognized as a saint here. If he is a saint, he already has received all the honor he may ever receive by being called to join the heavenly host. The honor is less meaningful to the saint than it would be to give a King a participation certificate for attending a pancake breakfast. That does not mean it is a matter of indifference to the saint involved, for his love still calls him to the same thing it did while he walked this earth: call his fellows to the joy and peace which is in Christ. That takes us to why God chooses to reveal some saints to us in the first place. It is not for their sake, but for ours.

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. There are those whose lifelong purity and steadfastness are breathtaking and astounding. But to limit saints to icons of improbable virtue is an error, if a common one. More often, their sanctity is demonstrated by their transcendence of their own flaws and limitations through their love of God, manifested through their love of those around them. Oh, how I would that people would read good biographies of the saints! St. Francis, that great icon of poverty, purity and love of the poor, was once a wealthy, reckless dandy. St. Augustine was a cynical manipulator of public opinion and a lusty rake in his early life. St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute. Saints are often portrayed as universally soft-spoken, gentle souls. But many were lions – and often irritable lions at that. St Teresa of Avila was known for her tart tongue. St Catherine of Sienna was not shy about directing and cajoling Popes, though she was discreet about it. That popular modern saint, St. Padre Pio, was often abrupt and scathing – even as he submitted with humility to errant efforts by his superiors to suppress his spirituality and charges of fraud and humbug from critics.

Among the saints can be found virgins and those notable for the abundance of their progeny, peasants and kings, pacifists and warriors. In fact, saints are to be found from almost every walk of life. Some New Age commentators have used this fact as evidence that there are many paths to God, which is a trivialization of what is true. What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom. God gives each person a unique personality, then intends that authentic personality to be used for a unique mission in His service to His people. For each fundamental quality of a man, there is a disordered and a properly ordered manifestation of that quality. God has uses for a passionate man, but passion can easily manifest itself as cruelty or lustfulness. God has uses for a soul of notable purity, but even that can degenerate into self-righteousness and an arid sterility. Weighted down by the burden of original sin, we are constantly tempted to use our talents to serve ourselves and our own appetites. Transformed by love of God, the saints use those talents in service of their neighbor, which they love in the image of God. They often struggle with the old disorder, but progressively live service with ever greater fortitude and resolve. The sinner constantly asks, “What about me?” The saint constantly seeks to hearten those around him. A pretender can – and often does – use the forms of piety for mere self-aggrandizement, a species of blasphemy. A saint does not hesitate to get his hands dirty to bring the hope of God to those furthest from Him. A pretender is sensitive to any hint of insult to his imagined dignity. A saint is impervious to any slanders seeking to keep him from caring for those around him. Whatever he says, a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.

The great variety of saints can help hearten us that whatever the nature of our authentic personality, God has use for it. We can find friends among the saints, people who shared trials and temptations similar to our own. We can ask for their prayers and guidance just as we would a trusted, bosom friend. We can find inspiration in how they handled similar troubles – and hope in how they transcended them by trusting to God.

If there is so much variety among the personalities of authentic saints, what is the heart of sanctity, the visible sign? I long contemplated that. The focus I settled on was St. Joan of Arc. Technically, she was not a Christian martyr. She fell into the hands of an enemy power. Though a corrupt Bishop was used as the means to condemn her, she was condemned for having defeated England, not for her faith. She was often prophetic, but her prophecies were wrong almost as often as they were right. Oh, the ones that were right were so improbable it was comparable to choosing the exact right lottery numbers six out of ten tries – a margin of error anyone would gladly accept for such stakes. So what was it that revealed her sanctity?

I came up with an answer that struck me in considering the great prayer of Mary, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). In most English-language Bibles, the first line is translated as, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think of that. At its most basic, every saint ultimately becomes a pure lens through which our vision of the Lord is magnified more clearly. The holier the saint, the more pure the magnification.

The French people were disheartened, dispirited, given over to despair as the 100-Years War appeared it would end in the extinction of the Nation of France. When Joan appeared, this dispirited rabble was infused with new heart, new hope, new resolve. Her soul magnified the Lord – and the people felt the effects of it. But there were others who felt it, too, the self-promoters, those whose field of vision never rose above their own temporal ambitions and covetousness. Some of those, even, were to be found in the French Court. They all hated Joan with an irrational fury, constantly trying to pull her down. There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints. His sheep recognize His voice in them and rejoice. But satan’s goats recognize His voice in them, too, and rage at them.

No one is closer to Our Lord than His Mother. She lived the sorrow of His passion with Him, at His feet – and a sword pierced her soul. (Luke 2:35). As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He committed His Mother to His beloved disciple, John – and committed John, the Church, to the care of His Mother. (John 19:26).

Throughout the ages, Mary has prayed unceasingly for her children, the Church – and all of her children have recourse to her. She busies herself constantly running out to greet people, encouraging them to come on in, come in to the warmth and safety of Her Holy Son. Most Protestants think the Rosary is a worshipful devotion to Mary. It is not; it is an extended contemplation of the Life of Christ alongside Mary, through her loving heart. A full Rosary goes through four sets of mysteries, each of which contemplates some aspect of the life of Our Lord.

As I studied the history of Christianity in depth I was surprised to learn that the line, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was not incorporated into the Hail Mary to underscore Mary’s motherhood. Rather, there was a great heresy raging that claimed that Jesus was just a man, a created being Who achieved divinity by His righteousness. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. The Eternal, Uncreated Son chose to take on our humanity at a particular point in time, to suffer and die in that humanity, that all might be saved. People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God. They are One. We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son. The phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was incorporated into the “Hail Mary” to underscore Christ’s divinity, not Mary’s motherhood.

Even knowing these things, and even having fallen in love with the Catholic Church, my old Evangelical Protestant training filled me with dread at the sound of the phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” in the “Hail Mary.” Intimations of blasphemy would fill my head and whiffs of brimstone fill my nostrils at it, choking it off in my throat, so I had decided that would not be a devotion I practiced. But at my reception into the Church, one of the gifts was a beautiful, elegant Rosary. I knew that a sense of dread was often God warning us away from something sinful. But I also knew it could be used by satan to keep us from something fruitful. So I added a new tool of discernment. I prayed, telling God that He knew I loved Him…that this Church had been such a wonderful and unexpected gift that I was going to pray this Rosary for three weeks – and depend on Him to show me whether it was proper or not. If it was not, I would quietly refrain from ever saying it again. Those next three weeks were an unprecedented period of extravagant and improbable graces and blessings. Ever since, like the beloved disciple, I have joyfully followed the Lord’s command to take His Mother into my heart as my mother.

And that is why I say, with profound gratitude and joy,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

Now, and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

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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167 Responses to Procession for Life, Mary and the Saints

  1. Beckita says:

    Happy Day Away to Pray, Charlie! My Goodness! You must have cleared more than a thousand comments in the last two days. You deserve a respite. Praying in union with you tomorrow for whatever your intentions may be. Praying for all here.

    Liked by 10 people

    • jan0125 says:

      I posted quite a few questions and remarks and just my personal thoughts and Charlie or any authority never answered leading me to believe that he really doesn’t have many answers to my doubts. Internet it nice but seems to me that if you truly wanted to help people or God does that you or he would be at the very least trying to save lives also, not only souls. I see in this the loss of many souls because of this. I would think in all these years to prepare you or a group of believers would at least try to gather as many souls together to weather this storm. Humans being human will be beset by such fear, that praying and believing alone for many will not work. When people are basically alone and in fear of their lives or of starvation, human reaction will be at the forefront for many. The people here talk a good talk when not faced with the actual thing, Just posting here will not protect you. Extreme fear is paralyzing. Even in a fictional book by Stephen King, THE STAND, he realized that to withstand and fight evil, the believers must band together. I think reality is probably the same. When God spoke to great prophets in past he seemed very specific and they seemed to understand although uneducated. In revelations, although he couldn’t understand exactly what he was seeing at the time, the descriptions were somewhat accurate and would be recognized in future time. I do respect your views and think you and your followers are good people, however I don’t believe God would expect the majority of faithful to cower alone in extreme fear and come out of this intact. My other concern is your belief in Medugorje, which Catholic church has forbidden anyone to attend any services. In my vast research over the years, I think this has pretty much proved to be a possible fraud. I have read all supposed Mary messages and don’t believe she would say the same boring things over and over for 30yrs. That’s not her history. My questions are this. Is this the second coming? Why does Mary have to come and why not Jesus. Does not the bible say 7yrs not 2 or 3? Is this the beginning of revelations. And it doesn’t take a prophet to see the signs of the time. And why don’t you understand the prophecies at times. Isn’t God clear and why does it take a year or more to make it clear? If God or his Angel thinks it is so important to save his people, why would he not make it clear the first time? All I know is there will be a huge amount of lost souls in this, as people alone or in small groups may not be able to withstand this. Too bad. Just going around speaking and posting on internet seems to me not what God would do or want anyone to do in this important time. I feel he would gather his believers together and not just in your hometown. With God all things are possible, right? You have had years to do this. Leaving his believers in the dog eat dog scenario is not something God has ever done. It’s not HIS history. I wish everyone luck in this. Being alone with your beliefs for a whole lot of people is not going to be enough when extreme fear, starvation, facing you. Hope will not be enough for many. We are human after all and no one in this country has ever faced such a thing. Why a prophet who actually talks to God would just sit there and write, give speeches and then plan a walk around planned parenthood in the face of this does not make sense to me. Mother Teresa created a movement throughout the whole world to help the homeless and bring awareness. One little woman used by God and see what she accomplished. It is amazing. Yet you talk to God everyday and you have a website which says Hope, believe but huddle alone in your beliefs while they kill you, starve you. Makes no sense. Is there more that I am missing? I am a believer and I believe your basic message and believe that I am saved only by the forgiveness and grace of Jesus. I HOPE I will get through this, but no one around believes me and I have been saying for years that we should prepare for really bad times, and I definitely am not a prophet, yet I can read the signs as God has given me eyes to see and ears to hear. Good luck all you people. You are gonna need it. Even in the fictional books LEFT BEHIND, people came together to survive the evil to come. I think you missed your chance, Charlie. Maybe it was one of those times you didn’t understand God or the angel. I am trying not to be critical, but you, yourself said that many many times over YEARS didn’t understand or gave wrong messages.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Okay Jan (who did post four times previously as Jan K), all I see here is not that there was no response to your questions, but that God is not setting this up as you want, so it can’t be from God. You describe how it should be and, incredibly, cite approvingly how Stephen King would do it. Then you once again say that the Church has forbidden anyone to attend services at Medjugorje, which is flat-out false. I won’t go through all the things people who post here are already doing. I am amazed at how determined you are that if things are not done the way you think they should be, then God can’t be in it.

        Now maybe someone else here can reach you where I have not been able to. But the rambling complaints that God is not doing this your way will not be allowed any further – you have made your point. Also, you may criticize Medjugorje but you may not make up things out of whole cloth about it. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to make up your own “facts.”

        Liked by 7 people

        • jan0125 says:

          WOW did you take that wrong. I feel I have legitimate questions. After all I would think that you of all people would expect a newbie to question and not follow just anyone like a lemming and that’s all this is. And I asked my parish priest about Medjugorje and also read scads of publications, probably 40 books, also Vatican publications and I did read where they ask Catholics not to participate at this time. It’s up to the individual whether they do or not. I read pro and con and have for years. Also I look to the actions of the alledged mystics and made up my own mind. I don’t believe the past is past and would think mystics of now would be about the same. I don’t have a way, so you are guilty of assuming to know my mind, therefore the questions. As the Bible says, there will be many, many false prophets. I would think you would applaud someone who was being very careful, question, ponder. You are not the only one in the world who has faith. It’s not like I have known you for years personally, so I have to question and wonder. I did give this site a thorough read and hence the questions. I am human, not GOD. So I am not all knowing. I am not determined to find fault, but your own writings create some doubt within me. I read the Bible also, pray the rosary, my faith is my own. Of course I brought up fiction only to cite example how horrors affect human beings alone, that was all, as I am an avid reader and hardly ever not have a book in my hand or next to me. I was not citing fiction as fact, so give me a little credit. I don’t understand why you would be so prickly asking a few questions? It’s just questions, not an inquisition. Or do you expect your followers to follow without question. To me that would be a huge red flag, you see what I mean. Please don’t jump on me for that. I also had a very hard time navigating your site, took me awhile and had a very hard time even getting permission to post. So you see, I am not some mean troll here to attack, but I also am not going to believe every single person, who I don’t know without question. I am here, and obviously interested so why don’t you be so judgemental in assuming you know me. If you don’t want to answer any questions from newbies, ok. Then don’t expect me to just follow along over a cliff. Do you understand where I am coming from? Maybe you are having a bad day. I get it that you and all your followers are going to stomp on anyone who questions most likely as you did. This doesn’t say much for your cause if that’s what you are going to do. It was questions that’s all. I just read what YOU wrote of your journey and questioned it. If you are going to put yourself out there and want to do what you are saying you want to do, then don’t do what you just did, because that isn’t going to get you new followers. Medugorje isn’t even an issue. My opinion, just don’t agree with you. Do you understand now? God doesn’t even want me to just follow anyone without question. If you don’t want to bother, well then ok. I suppose you have enough people who agree without question to satisfy you. But it’s a red flag for me. I will pray on it, ok? But thanks for your response anyway. I had a hard time navigating is all to find where you answer. Sorry My fault forgive me

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Jan, I have had many readers correct me and do so well. We have disagreements here all the time. But a whole host of your facts were terribly garbled or flat-out incorrect. You say that Medjugorje is condemned and now that that is just your opinion. No, it isn’t. That is not a matter of opinion, but of fact. It is neither approved nor condemned and a dozen Priests going beyond their portfolio to pretend authority over what the Vatican has not determined yet does not change that.

            You set up all sorts of straw man scenarios of how you think things must be – and then judged by that, as if God can only act in ways you approve of.

            Right now, I don’t really know whether: A) I just don’t follow your peculiar line of logic, B) you are sincere but are very confused or C) you are a very clever troll trying to get extra print time by playing sincerely muddled while trying to throw things off the rails.

            But you can’t lay it off to my being over-sensitive when we have vigorous discussions here on a regular basis and both newbies and veterans feel perfectly comfortable disagreeing with me. Tell you what, why don’t you try directing some specific questions to the tnrs answers team at tnrs.answers@gmail.com. That will keep it private, give a chance for clarity if there is real sincerity – and then when things are a bit more clear, again make comments on the public board.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Did Jan say Lemming??? I haven’t eaten yet! 😉

            Like

        • YongDuk says:

          Beckinita just posted the classic post from Bl. Mo. Teresa… who boldly told the United States how poor it is:

          «Snowy, from the book, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa: “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”»

          Liked by 7 people

          • Doug says:

            Funny you mention this YD. We were discussing this today. Also, my daughter and son in law dragged Lambzie and I off to confession today. No. They really did not drag us. We went quite willingly. I am so proud of my daughter and son in law. I am grateful. Consolation. Sigh…..

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            How beautiful, Doug and Lambzie! Prayers for continued blessings on your time with your family in CA as well as prayers for safe travel when you make your way home again.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Oh thank you Beckita. With prayers coming from you, how can we not be safe.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kim Sevier says:

            While I was waiting in line for confession yesterday, I asked God to please show me my sins, that I might make a good confession and grow in holiness. He did and well, be careful what you ask for! That annoying attachment to sin is really a challenge. But I am glad, really!! So blessed to have answered prayers. The fact that He revealed things to me is such a consolation!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            A men’s Kim!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, Dear Kim! You’re a sign of hope. I ask for a gentle and full unmasking. He never disappoints on either the freedom and healing which come from confessing with complete honesty or the gentleness of His Tender Mercy.

            Liked by 2 people

        • jan0125 says:

          Never mind Charlie, I did read an article today from a theologian that said you get angry when anyone asks you questions you don’t like, or you just don’t answer. Red flag I don’t follow people who preach fear without hope like you do. And I do not believe you, period. I wish you luck though and feel very sorry for all the people you are terrifying daily for no reason. I hope while they are sitting in corners terrified to live, you think of that. And I also found out that contrary to what you believe no one in the Catholic Church that counts is investigating anything you say. When you answered me in the manner in which you did, told me all I needed to know about you, the false prophet. I won’t be coming back. I will go to church, pray for all of you, take the Eucharist, say the rosary, read my bible and live my life not terrified. I’ll watch the news. You are doing these people a huge disservice. God would never pick a person who can’t answer simple questions put to him, nor would God expect me to follow you blindly. That’s why he gave me a brain. I won’t be back so don’t bother answering, you wouldn’t anyway unless it was in snotty manner. RED FLAG FOR CULT AVOIDANCE DISTRACTION CHANGING OF SUBJECT ATTACKING THE QUESTIONER. I looked for the signs that you are a false prophet. maybe you should stop doing that. Thank God my soul will be saved. will yours?

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Okay, you are officially banned. You are obviously just a troll trying to stir up needless strife.

            Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            Charlie, this is the BS meter to which I once referred. You’ve got it far and above any capability I’ll ever have, I think. Thank you, Dear Keeper of the Safety Gates. But I will say, this incident produced some edifying comments from our fam.

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Their malice always ultimately gives them away. It is the same thing that always does the satan in, brilliant as he is. He just can’t help indulging and revealing his malice.

            Liked by 5 people

          • YongDuk says:

            HA!!! Can you post my comment that you held for me now, Charlie?

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh, I was tempted, YD. (YD got a little hot under the collar at Jan – and I told him I would hold it for him to consider whether he wanted to be that tough with Jan. I once had a Bishop I much respected and with whom I was working on a project call me after a mess-up to tell me I was a “dumb-ass.” When I tried to defend myself (somebody else had actually committed the offense, but I was in charge of the effort) he repeated himself. So I swallowed my medicine and we moved on. Bracing experience to have a Bishop you admire dress you down that way. Memorable, though.

            Liked by 3 people

          • BD says:

            So, Charlie is now a fear-monger and provides no hope in his messages? Hmmm. I disagree, but I don’t want to call that individual a troll. I just think it is likely he or she lives under a bridge.

            Liked by 2 people

          • LB says:

            Charlie,God Bless you for being so humble and charitable , without being “weak”. You speak clearly and defend your words and actions without being defensive . I have never seen you get defensive about someone disagreeing or doubting you but understandably you have a right and duty to defend what you actually say versus misquotes and also to guard against slander.

            I wish people knew how much negative energy can spread. Reading the OP’s posts started to tighten my stomach. I wish people would not knowingly or unwittingly promote negativity and be condescending and attack others ! No one is forced to visit your site ! So why pick a fight ?

            Anyways , the one thing I have taken from everything you have said is “Trust God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope for others “. It’s an incredible message . Christ said basically this to his apostles , who trembled as he left them right ?? The OP said “hope is not enough “, but they fail to see that you have told us to have faith, hoe and charity..and that is enough! We rely on GOD, not you, not a bunker , not a worldwide evacuation plan! And this is what you tell us to do…to rely on GOD!

            The OP accuses you of scaring people but then they want you to start what sounds like a worldwide emergency plan- something that would surely lead to extreme fear and minimize a focus on faith in God. So you are darned if you don’t and darned if you do!

            GodBless!!

            Liked by 2 people

      • Robert Cunningham says:

        Jan

        Charlie is right that the Church has not ruled yet on Medjugorje, so we should probably hold our judgement until then. With regard to repetitive messages, I tell my children everyday that I love them and they do not say, “Dad, you already told us that”. Some things need to be repeated. In fact, we are made for repetition. We have the same days of the week, the same seasons, year after year. Even the Church has the same old liturgical seasons every year. How wonderful!

        I do to say this to judge you but you sound very much afraid. “Be not afraid” is the most common saying in the Bible (366 times). Yes, that is repetitive but we need to hear that too and I am grateful for it. We all know that we are living in serious and dark times but what does God want from you? Let’s start with, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:11). Not being afraid is not easy and takes a lot of prayer – I would say several times a day and perhaps one day unceasing. If you have prayer, you have peace and then you can share that with those that cross your path.

        The main message from the Queen of Peace is prayer.

        Robert

        Liked by 13 people

      • Beckita says:

        It seems your fear of what is to come is expressed in criticism of Charlie, who is doing what we all strive to do: God’s Will. God IS in charge. It is HIS Plan that is unfolding just as we are all experiencing it.

        Blessed be God in Mother Teresa, soon to be canonized, and in every saint who has ever lived. They were shaped into sainthood by acknowledging God, proceeding to do His Will with Love – step by blessed step – while God Himself became the Hope for those affected by each act.

        This site, for many, is a wellspring of God’s grace flowing through the intercession of His Mother. I know deep within, God has provided this place so I may come each day, soak up some grace via His Presence here and, as we all do, continue in the Little Way of tending God’s Kingdom right where I live. In other words, we come together here and are then better prepared to come together in the geographical space where each one lives. It’s happening NOW; it’s a way of living forever, not just when the guacamole hits the fan.

        I do not wish to be condescending, Jan, but I will tuck you in this heart of prayer so that the fear dissipates. Here’s a gem that so many have found helpful: http://tonyhickey.org/surrender-novena I ask you to please pray for me and all of us here. May Christ imbue each of us with the Peace that only He can give. May His Mother intercede for each of us. God bless you, Jan.

        Liked by 12 people

      • MarieUrsula says:

        Are we not banding together through this website? And are we not banding together in our own small communities and local churches whenever possible? Otherwise, where, exactly, would we all go physically to band together?

        I think the spiritual, moral, and ~ to the extent warranted ~ informational support provided here is greatly valued by the regulars. Now our role is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be that sign of hope in our own places.

        Liked by 10 people

      • Jan, I recognize that you’re uncomfortable (good actually!) and can empathize from personal experience. From Scriptural study and contemplation I’ve concluded that He really has His work cut out for Him when He finds us comfortably comfortable.

        Attending Mass, Adoration, receiving the Sacraments, prayer, the Rosary… all God-given good things. Criticizing, rationalizing, judging another’s faith walk, an unbalanced view of what we consider ‘life’ on earth (waiting really) vs. life everlasting in the Kingdom of Heaven (via death –– the birth into true Life)… not such good things.

        In the Gospels, all of Jesus’ words and actions point to His Kingdom. That is not to say that He is unconcerned for our earthly well-being, that He is not merciful in all our needs, but certainly not at the expense of our immortal souls.

        As you know, there is no one who cares more about each of our souls than God. Look at sacred Scripture. How do we reconcile and balance all elements of what we find there? People suffer here. All people eventually die here. Jesus suffered and died, and with only a handful of loved ones to console Him at The Summit! Wait, but there were other loving souls united with Him there across that particular time and geography… and over all times, geographies and peoples. Such a mystery, but how much hope that gives us!

        I’ve never met Charlie in person, nor any of the other folks here. I’m fond of them all, but more importantly, I feel a very real unity with them all in Christ. A unique group to be sure, but we are a part of the people of the Kingdom, rising together… trust in God, take the next right step, be a sign of hope… what else is there to this, whatever the situation?

        To truly follow Christ is to take the uncomfortable path, but how our souls can sing and shine on that path in His Light! Ignore the rationalizer who can only mislead you. Listen to God alone. Listen to your soul.

        I’m heading out to the desert river today alone… but not alone. Now that I’ve made at least your digital acquaintance (which becomes so much more in Christ because I do not limit Him), I count you as a beloved sister in Christ Jesus! Among the many here, and well beyond, you will be in my thoughts and heart today on that trek. Is that possible? Of course it is. If you fall behind, I’ll wait for you. If I fall behind, will you wait for me?

        God Bless you sister,

        MP

        Liked by 11 people

      • sadiep says:

        Jan, where do you live? Perhaps there is someone on this blog can help you feel less alone and scared. Just tell us the state. You are not alone! Reach out to your community, your church. Help others if possible. You are right that we need to band together in more than a virtual way. I will pray that you find people you can trust near you.

        Liked by 6 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        jan0125, you say: “Mother Teresa created a movement throughout the whole world to help the homeless and bring awareness. One little woman used by God and see what she accomplished. It is amazing.”
        I whole-heatedly agree. However, when I was younger, I wondered if she was working for God why is she just tending to the lives and souls of her recipients, why is not saving and healing and sparing them from suffering and death? Our Blessed Mother Teresa helped others accepts God’s Will in their lives with grace, mercy and compassion. Charlie and all here, I believe are doing the same.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Jan,

        I would say extreme fear is not of God. He’s asking us to trust. As for banding together, are you not taking this information to people you know? Creating a place in your own community and reaching out to others? Charlie lives no where near me. I take the information he gives and I use it in my own community, thereby banding together with my fellow man. If you are in fear and alone, then I would suggest you reach out to others in your community. That you pray for total trust. You think God should be “clear”, I think God asks us to trust Him. When St. Frances went to stop a crusade he walked in blind trust, even though everyone told him there was much to fear. When Mother Teresa, who you speak of, walked out to the streets of Calcutta, there was much to fear and she definitely stated she did not hear God clearly, but she walked in trust. It seems to me this is a perspective issue. If you want to band together, then get up out of your house and do it, trusting in the Lord to take care of you. If you have let the Spirit of Fear take over your life, ask God to remove it. Consecrate yourself to Mary, ask that fear be bound up and cast out. Then go out and make disciples of all nations….I for one am not huddling alone and starving, I will be out helping and doing whatever I can to spread hope and ease suffering. And you asked, why Mary, and not Jesus? The answer is she is in complete union with Him. She is a perfect human being who is not divine. She is our perfect example. If you entrust yourself to her, as God Himself did as His point to come to this earth, you won’t be steered wrong.

        Liked by 6 people

        • The idea is that each one of us is supposed to be doing his or her part, Jan. You are meant to be a Saint. You seem to be chiding Charlie, who has done A LOT for us, that he isn’t doing enough. He ISN’T Mother Teresa, he is Charlie Johnston, and he is trying to be exactly who God made him to be. For if we each do what we are called to do, as St Catherine Siena says, we will set the world ablaze. It is up to you to allow God to fill you up so you can do that. I think I hear in your message, extreme anxiety, one that paralyzes you. I know that anxiety personally. I sought help for it, and it did help, but ultimately it was hours in prayer, a Consecration to Mary, and a good hard examination of my own soul that freed me from it, by the grace of God. I will keep you in my prayers.

          Liked by 5 people

      • Joyce Brown says:

        Jan, you talked about a lot of things in that single paragraph composed of 856 words! My ADD poses obstacles for me in this regard, so if I missed this, I apologize but the reason for the Storm and the Rescue is because at this point in human history too many souls are being lost in the Eternal. I believe apostasy has caused the Storm, but the Rescue is sent from Heaven.

        From Charlie’s Birmingham talk:
        “One of the terrible things, one of the terrible things of this last century is that souls are being lost to eternity at an unprecedented rate. That’s the great evil. We foolishly think that when someone is lost in a hurricane, or when someone is lost in another way, that’s a great evil. Even when we’re very religious, usually we treat this as the only real end. Actually, in those natural disasters, frequently people come together to help each other. Actually there are great graces in that, but souls being lost to eternity is: HUGE.”

        You seem to be focusing entirely on physically surviving the Storm, and I don’t think that’s the point of TNRS. Call me crazy, but the least of my worries in all this is losing my physical life here on earth. I don’t look forward to social violence, and I don’t look forward to physical injury and I don’t look forward to the idea of starving to death, but to be 100% honest: there are worse things that can happen to me. I can lose my eternal life in God, and was well on my way to doing just that in my tepid, lukewarm faith.

        Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, because of receiving the information from Charlie, I can better live a more authentic life, in service to God by focusing on how I can be His hands during the upcoming fullness of the Storm. As long as I work hard to do His will every step of the way, if I lose my life, I gain it through Christ. My new mantra, throughout the day is: create in me a new heart.

        These are words, words that I want to be my life, but until the batter hits the griddle, I won’t know how serene and calm I’ll be to live those words. I am trusting God to form me into what He wants me to be and if I just let go of the fears of the physical world, I know He will. Cling to God, Jan, and you WILL be okay.

        Liked by 7 people

    • Linda says:

      i often feel sorry for Charlie Beckita and pray for him a Hail Mary when he comes to mind.. he has a very large and stressful job on his hands. God Bless Our Charlie! 😉

      Liked by 9 people

  2. …another “Home Run,” Charlie! you hit this one out of the park.

    a GRAND-SLAM!

    P.S.
    loved the chuckle about doing cartwheels in the aisle (would pay money to see that!)

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Deborah Seiter says:

    Charlie, as a fellow convert, I, too, had a hard time with devotion to our Blessed Mother. I was in the Church for several years before I began to understand this live for Her properly. God is SOOO generous and patient as is our Holy Mother. I thank Him for helping to develop this love for Her and, consequently, Her Son.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Noah603 says:

    That’s it. I’m practicing my cartwheels.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Anniecorrinne says:

    I’m up really early! I was surprised to see a post from you. Thank you…will read it thoroughly a
    little later. I am a convert …became Catholic back in 1965. Sometimes I still feel I’m trying to
    catch up to cradle Catholics…..silly I know….lack of confidence dies hard…sigh. My parents were
    free masons, so there was a lot going against me.
    Say a wee prayer for me and dh….we are struggling getting over a bad cold.
    PS….I believe I was one of the first baptized in the ‘new rite’ ….the priest, God Love him, was
    not! Happy with anything except my coming into the Cath church and I didn’t know enough to
    be of help to him.

    Liked by 6 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Annie, I am keeping you and your intentions in my prayers.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      You’re in my prayers, too, Annie, for the virus to be swift in leaving your bodies. May the Lord free you from the concern of catching up with anybody. When you consider the difficulty of parents who were Freemasons may you cling to Revelations 21:5 “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” (There are prayers to seek freedom from any influence of Freemasonry in one’s family lines. Perhaps you already are aware of this, Maggie.)

      Jesus is the Victor over each one’s past life and in these days, as we continue the Lenten Journey, preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday let us ALL consider those times when we may be too hard on ourselves for past problems and sins. Not to engage in self-recrimination, but for the sake of freedom, let us ALL consider how Jesus is actually hurt when we don’t trust in His goodness and His love and mercy. He told St. Faustina, “Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness” (Diary 300).

      As a cradle Catholic who was raised for much of my childhood in the pre-Vatican II era, I must say I experience your presence here as one walking right beside me/us. Let’s continue to walk together with everyone here, simply striving to LOVE however God is calling each one as we fulfill the particular mission He calls each of us to embrace.

      And the people of the Kingdom and the people of Heaven will rise together…

      Liked by 9 people

      • Anniecorrinne says:

        Thank you, Bekita. Such beautiful words to meditate on. It seems at times I crawl out of
        one ‘sin(k)’ hole and fall into another. And the words from this blog and Gaitley and the
        priest here in Ohio are wonderful truths to hold on to. May God Bless all on this list.

        Liked by 5 people

  6. mbrandon8026 says:

    Dear Charlie:

    Great news on the processions, and the particular one in Denver. Now, that is fighting back against the powers of darkness. God bless all who participate.

    Your meditation on Our Blessed Mother was also wonderful. I have prayed the Rosary daily for most of the last 25 years. But, in recent years, the Rosary has become a staple of the prayer life my dear wife and I share together. Some months ago, herself came across an iPad application that was the scriptural rosary, and we started praying that. Reading the scripture passages that support a particular mystery opened up the mysteries to us in new ways, and has added a level of joy and new found focus to our joint prayer time.

    Recently, we came across a website with versions of the scriptural Rosary on it, which we have begun to use, in part because the bible translations were less cumbersome. It is a bit of a challenge to pray the scriptural Rosary when you stumble over phrases in a version of your own native language that cause your brain to spasm.

    My dear one and I look forward to our time together in prayer, and the Rosary is the focal point. The online scriptural rosary we use is at the link below.

    http://www.scripturalrosary.org/BeginningPrayers.html

    God Bless You and all who come here.

    Michael Brandon

    Liked by 5 people

  7. zeniazenia says:

    Good Morning TNRS! Nicely explained–thanks for saying it again. I never tire of reading the amazing story of the life and mission of our Lady, the angels and saints. Meditating on it is always uplifting which is the reason Christians can meditate on the rosary prayers daily. The story, Word taken from scripture, not vain repetition or meaningless, never causes fatigue, but is a prayer of peace, rest and hope. Everyone knows nothing will ever compare to the story of Jesus and Mary. Consider that Jesus was the only man on earth in history- ever- who chose, designed, redeemed and created His own mother for His short life and earthly mission. Then consider Mary, working routinely at the well downtown, saying nonchalantly to the visitor, “Oh hi, I am Mary, the mother of God, wife of Joesph. So nice to meet you!” A person either believes Jesus is God and Mary is His mother, or s/he does not. Consider that mindfully a few times and meditate Mother- of- God,- Mother -of -God, – Mother -of- God. Sure we think of the Throne of David, the honor and glory of the King and His Queen Mother 1 Kings 2:19, but before His resurrection and the ancient, rock solid Tradition of her assumption, we know they walked through life prayerfully growing, surviving together, joyfully obeying God’s laws for 30 normal family, simple, other centered years– culminating with the dolorous, cursed path of violent hatred, torture and death which they lovingly agreed to — FIAT!. This of course, saved the world from Adam’s failure to do the same (walk through life prayerfully growing, surviving together, joyfully obeying God’s laws with his family in the garden forever.) God’s sinless creation Mary, the new Eve, (Eve also started out sinless), together with all of the communion of righteous saints in heaven who pray for us Rev, 8:4, are the perfected disciples of her Divine Son. They are our tutors, helpers and role models par excellence. Now the communion of saints in heaven and on earth, continue daily to offer a perfect unblood-y sacrifice to Our Father. We alive in the body process and burn incense praising His Son, still in our midst, are renewed for fighting the rest of His battles, with and for Him, who wins the war. Our Lady of Tepeyac — pray for us.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Amen Charlie. I’m hoping to see some of these processions around here and have suggested them myself. As Father Michael Gaitley says (paraphrasing), “If God Himself entrusted Himself to Mary as the point through which He would come to this earth, they why too can’t we entrust ourselves to her as God Himself did.”

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      So beautiful, Susan. Fr. Gaitley says so many things in such a uniquely inspiring way.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Reading Fr. Gaitley’s new book “33 Days to Merciful Love” Outstanding! His first week of meditations reflects on Mary’s Trust and Hope. He writes that the secret of Mary’s faith was “that she believed God’s Word, even when it seemed impossible. She hoped against hope, believing that, as the angel said, ‘with God nothing will be impossible.'” Inspired sentiments that you have encouraged in us! Amen.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          Agreed, Marianne. It’s another Fr. Gaitley gem!

          Like

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Marianne, I am loving Fr. Gaitley’s new book “33 Days to Merciful Love.” I am also participating in our parish’s St. Ignatius 40 Week program http://sacredstory.net/ and
          Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, The Bible and the Virgin Mary free online study program simultaneously, http://www.bibleandthevirginmary.com/lessons. What a joy the way they are all tying in this Lent for me. I’m learning new lingo, such as typology! Abraham hoped against hope too when he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. And the women from salvation history, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Hannah who foreshadowed Mary’s Virgin Birth. All things are possible with God!
          Veni, Precelsa Domina, Maria, tu nos visita.

          Liked by 3 people

  9. docallanw says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for reposting this magnificent essay!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Kim Sevier says:

    sure wish I lived near Denver!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      SingingFlowers had a fine inspiration, Kim. Let’s send our guardian angels to walk beside Charlie and the procession crowd in Denver tomorrow, accompanying and adoring Jesus along the way through the intercession of Our Lady!

      Liked by 10 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Oh, I love that, Beckita!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Kim sevier says:

        Mine will be there. Yes, sweet Beckita!

        Liked by 2 people

      • George says:

        Mine has been dispatched forthwith!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reading this quite late but since my angel is living in the eternal present, there’s no time conflict and so off the angel goes to Denver and adores Christ for me.

        Liked by 3 people

      • the phoenix says:

        Actually, it was my inspiration about sending my guardian angel to the procession, Beckita …

        (I know I sometimes get lost in the crowd here since I don’t post as much as other people.)

        Anyways, apparently my guardian angel was already on his way to Colorado by the time I got up this morning, because the first thing I did was stub my toe, and then I remembered that in the Bible it said that the angels guard you lest you dash your foot against a stone … Well, that’ll teach me to be more careful when I send my guardian angel on missions … * lol *

        Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          That’s right, Phoenix! Please forgive my oversight. You’re never lost in the crowd for me. (I was just reviewing some old posts of Charlie’s and looked, again, at your beautiful photos of rainbows at the church you visited.) I simply forgot about your original comment and was branching off SF’s inspiration to call all our GAs to Mt Meeker at the end of May. There certainly are tons of comments posted in this phase of Charlie’s mission as we discuss our way through various topics so thanks for your reminder. Hope your toe is comfortable now.

          Liked by 3 people

          • the phoenix says:

            There are definitely a “mountain” of comments here now, Beckita! (Which is a good thing, forming community.) Thanks for all you to in helping out with the comments. And I will likely have to send my GA to Mt. Meeker too, unless by some miracle I become able to breathe at its elevation.

            Liked by 3 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          phoenix, thank you for a good laugh this morning. Three weeks ago today, I’m not sure what my angel was up to (or perhaps it was I not paying attention again), but I missed a stair on my way down a staircase and shattered my left heel. Thanks be to God, I will be no longer attending mass in bed as a shut in. I am still not ambulatory on my own yet, but with the love and assistance of my dear husband and my walker on wheels contraption, I am taking all of our NRS family through what will be my third church with Open Doors of Mercy in my diocese. St Patrick’s in Yorkville, http://stpatrickyorkville.org/. I had the pleasure of working with a handful of St. Pat parishioners in our Alpha Program and how they love and adore their Pastor Matt. I am really looking forward to mass today and meeting some fine brothers and sisters in Christ. Confessions begin at 9:45am and mass is at 10:30. I have so many blessings to be thankful for this morning and I haven’t even had breakfast yet. 😉 Blessings to you and to all phoenix!

          Liked by 3 people

          • the phoenix says:

            Glad you’re continuing to heal, jlynnbyrd! And that you are making a pilgrimage to celebrate this Holy Year of Mercy … and generously including all of us! As for doors, and your thankfulness, guess what the topic of our homily at Mass today? It was about the parable of the prodigal son, focusing on the elder brother, and how we have the choice to enter the door to the banquet with thankfulness. Sending return blessings your way …

            Liked by 4 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Phoenix, todays Gospel reading is one of my favorite! I am reminded that I am always welcomed and not to judge. That love and mercy are healing and there is hope for us all! I cried tears of joy several times at mass. We sang both Amazing Grace and Precious Lord during mass, which brought back memories of growing up with my folks listening to Elvis’ gospel music. Jesus Loves the Little Children played in the background while the wee ones were gathered for the children’s liturgy, which I would sing to my babies. The much loved Pastor, Father Matt, was my confessor and the presider of mass. My Dear husband (not Catholic) was a doll. The back county road he drove on took us passed wide open fields, round barns, grazing horses, old silos and streets named Stage Coach and School House Road. We opted to eat out and enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast at Southern Belle restaurant on this balmy sunny March morning. What an absolute delight on this Laetare Sunday!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh so nice Jen. Sample of life after the rescue.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Thanks for taking us through the Holy Doors with you, Jen! WOW! Did we get some extra graces as you made your maiden voyage out of the house with your handy dandy walker? Seriously, so glad you made it out today and thanks for the link to St. Patrick’s as well.

            Liked by 3 people

  11. BD says:

    Thank you Charlie. Posts discussing Our Lady are always refreshing and welcomed. Sure beats politics…

    Liked by 5 people

  12. SteveBC says:

    Thank you, Charlie. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. katey & steve says:

    I so appreciate your postings. I am new to you but converted to the Faith back in 1976. I’m sorry to say that the teachings of the same Holy church were very poor back then and all of our sons have left the Church for Protestantism or nothing. We, my husband and I, pray for their conversion and for the conversion of all the baptized.
    We pray daily for our country and can confirm your visions. We don’t understand, but believe. And we’re praying.
    God bless you.

    Liked by 7 people

  14. I have wondered about “worship” of saints. We certainly have a society that “worships” Quarterbacks, Movie Stars and Politicians. I realize that honoring Our Lady is different than worshiping Her, but just contemplating Her fills me with awe. Her care and compassion are extraordinary and Her constant visitations (I am trying to write a class on Mary, Mother of Mercy and went to Miracle Hunter’s site – overwhelming number of Marian apparitions – many outright approved). I was privileged at 15 to first see the tilma and have been a Guadalupano since, but there is a peace in Her face that is palpable. In Song of Bernadette, there is an especially compelling scene where she moves forward and kisses Our Lady’s foot.
    At the risk of being misunderstood, I would still treat Mary as my Mother who loves me and wants me to be with Her and all the Saints before the One who is Love Itself. Maybe that’s the final difference between honor and worship – God is our very life.
    To love God really does make you slow to offend Him through sin, but then I wouldn’t want to betray the love afforded me by the Saints either.
    At one point, listening to some Protestant friends disparage Mary, in kind of a competition to see who could think of reasons she was an ordinary sinful human, I thought, “Whatever this does to bother me, I’d just soon they explain how they are honoring Jesus by dissin’ His Mama to His Face!”
    I’m the guy who reaches up to touch the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe where there is a little gap between Her hands to place my family there in Her love and protection. Please excuse me for that.

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Most Protestants honestly take Scripture seriously. I have had a few step back from their hatred of Mary by quoting the line from the Magnificat where Mary, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says, “All generations shall call me blessed,” and ask them if that is a mistake…and if it is not, why do they disobey it so casually. I don’t ask smart, but I really want to know. Believe it or not, I have had a few come back to me after a time and quietly ask me how to pray the Rosary.

      Liked by 7 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Amen to both!

        Like

      • Doug says:

        I was a former protestant too (I love my protestant brothers and sisters) and what sold me on Mary is her allegedly appearing Medjugorje (not officially approved by the church) where I read some of her messages and she emphasized her son. From a scripture perspective, the wedding feast at Cana does much to describe her role, “Do what he says”.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Doug says:

      Nice Victor.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, Our Mother! To be only, wholly pleasing to God.

    Popped up (strained really… no cartwheels) this morning and saw Her painting next to my bed first thing as always. Brushed off the RBP’s (random body pains), took one step, and thus began my little procession of one. Greeted my wife, woke the kids, and then we were five. Crossed paths with dozens of early-goers down by the water as well as countless Canadian geese, Mallards, American Coots, a White Heron and more. Not sure if the latter count, but it made for quite the diverse company. Had my little white river stone in my pocket to include 1000’s more here in spirit.

    Funny, but I never once paused to consider what folks think of how I’m living my life/Faith… just trying to walk to the rhythm of “trust in God” and “be a sign of hope.” Sure, I’ll make mistakes today (already did), but I’m heartened by seeing all the other folks and there was something about all of them that said they were trying to T.D.L. in their own way.

    I would love to work the Denver procession into my schedule, but I’m discerning to start really small and get a lot of practice.

    God Bless,

    MP

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Doug says:

    Very nice reread Charlie. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. radiclaudio says:

    Amen, amen!

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Rich says:

    Great job, Charlie! I’ve taught religious education and RCIA for about 15 years now and I’ve found myself constantly explaining the Church’s practice of venerating Mary and the saints to both cradle Catholics and those considering coming into the Church. There is just so much misinformation about the practice that it drives me bonkers. You did a great job at clearing up common misconceptions.

    We need to do a better job in the Church and in our families instructing our children. I am truly saddened and frustrated at the ignorance of some religious education teachers and DRE’s who don’t understand these important Church teachings. I try my best to understand the teachings of the Church because I feel I can’t give what I don’t have. But truth be told, I never knew these teachings when I was younger. It took a tenuous relationship with a girlfriend who belonged to the Gathering of Disciples who kept hammering me about the Catholic Church for me to finally learn what the Church actually taught. Even though my relationship did not last with that girl my faith has grown and blossomed into true love!

    My love for Mary has become stronger since I learned about Medjugorje and visited there. She has led me closer to Jesus. This love affair has never ceased. Last year I became a Third Order Marist seeking to do Mary’s work in bringing her children closer to her Son, Jesus.

    God bless you Charlie, and all the people that you have touched!

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Snowy Owl says:

    Charlie, when you leave for a day, do you end up coming back to a ton of comments to clear or do people just refrain from commenting until you get back?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. As a mostly recent convert myself, learning to love Mary was so hard for me. She was the one thing I just … Ignored? As I crossed the Tiber. Meaning that I was on board with 99% and I took the jump because I knew the Catholic Church was where I needed to be, and I was willing to be willing ( I believe Smith Wigglesworth said that) . More so, I believe, Lord help my unbelief.

    Last year I needed a mother so badly that I just started asking Mary to be my mother. I did it out of sheer desperation. This past year ( and only in this past year) have I learned how to really be in relationship with her. She truly does always point to her Son. She is the perfect mother and she not only mothers us, but teaches us how to mother, also.

    Liked by 9 people

  21. Ed Allison says:

    We are lucky to have a mother as loving as Mary. Of course, Jesus gave His mother to us at the same time He gave her to St. John, at the foot of the cross. As a cradle Catholic, I have always accepted Marian doctrine. It was only after I became an adult that my beliefs were challenged by, of all people, my brother, who had left the Church. I was unprepared to defend them. Over the years, I have resolved these things to my own satisfaction through much research. I was reminded last Sunday, in the first reading (the burning bush) that God is the God of the living and that ALL are present to Him. Luke 20:37-38, “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
    In this one passage, I see the validation of the communion of Saints, the veneration of Saints, prayer for the dead, and of course, Marian doctrine. If ALL are alive to God, then asking for the prayers of Mary and Saints is no different than we here, asking each other to pray for our intentions. I have tried to explain that to several non Catholic Christians over the years. I consider it a knock out of the park. But I still get ‘deer in the headlights’ looks. I look forward to the rescue, and unity. I pray I live to see it.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Doug says:

      Nice Ed!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Ed, you’ll see it either way 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Ed, yeah…

      I know and believe God to be a God of Mercy, but I struggle with the Soul standing before God and who should have know better–but isn’t that too perhaps a hint of pride in our Catholic way of thinking. Not that we think we are better, but that we see with clarity the Truths because they are logical to us. Which then goes to the Problem of the Enlightenment.

      Faith does not contradict reason, but Faith and Reason go together.

      So to look at the Bible logically is okay, especially the hard parts. But also–always for Catholics the both/and–with the Eyes of Faith.

      I hated in Seminary the Professors who said “that is reading too much into the Text”. I sat silent, learned to shut my mouth, and just pass the course. (Sort of will give you a clue to some of the Clergy formation problems we have.)

      Anyway… I digress and forget what I was writing about…

      Oh, yes… So, I don’t understand our non-Catholic brother and sisters in the Faith and how things that do make sense easily to me / us don’t to them and how they will stand before God.

      I gather a lot of it has to do with perceived Catholic arrogance (unfortunately, we saw it here a few weeks ago about Anglican orders and the Orthodox Church being the oldest unchanged). Yet, it’s really not Catholic arrogance. It is the children sleeping safely in their family home.

      We don’t have to wonder. We don’t have to wander. We find out from an early age that we have a beautifully structured–not oppressive–Church meant to serve and bolster the family despite our individual, sinful or faulty natures.

      I don’t think we understand the psyche of those outside the Church and how they have to rationalise their Faith or whether they are secure in their orders or knowledge or not. A study of the Russian Orthodox Church would divulge a lot of that rationalisation necessary, eventually resulting in xenophobia (and they have valid orders o top of it all!), but they also realise that plurality of thought was dangerous, if not simply insidious, as they had no way to check that thought [keep it in check if it went heretical], as in the case of having St Peter and his Successors.

      There is a reason for Ephrem’s Imagery of the Safe Harbor and the Western Imagery of Barque of Peter. I mean you have Noah and the Ark, but not many of us are wise or astute or contemplative or sedate enough to think through and hold together the unitive whole of Scriptures in a few seconds (also call to mind Jonah, Leviathan) to see the connexions with the Sea and the Abyss and the psyche… But each of us knows it.

      One priest once said, “Imagine being non-Catholic and lying in bed and wondering: am I saved or not. We Catholics have the Church and each other to support on the Barque and Centuries and Centuries, si when we doubt we check it against the history of the Church, the hagiography and the now of the Church. Non-Catholics have Scripture and read Scripture having to skip continually over sections that don’t make sense, passages that are like huge waves crashing, wearing away at faith and hope…” That is not to say that they don’t have each other to support each others Faith: Thanks be to God for that. But as any Catholic who ever doubted the Eucharist knows it was an all or none proposition (either the Church and the Bible are all wrong with the Eucharist, or they are all right), not a continual skipping over of difficult passages, etc.

      Maybe then, the Sea is a better image than “deer in the headlights”. Maybe you and I don’t appreciate being outside the Barque. And while I probably ruffled some feathers and maybe came across as arrogantly pro-Catholic, I don’t mean it that way. Rather, there is unity and then there is Unity and I prefer the latter on the Barque of Peter.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        All Glory to God!!!

        Liked by 4 people

      • Doug says:

        As it is stated in John, “Lord, where else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Ed Allison says:

        Thank you YD. Wow. I had to read it a couple time to soak it in. It does give a perspective that I had never really considered. I won’t pretend to be one of those who can” think through and hold together the unitive whole of Scriptures”, but I see the connections between the OT and NT. I see the continuity between them. When taken as a whole, Catholicism shines through. During a ‘debate’ with an Evangelical, I once made a point from the book of Daniel, and the response was, “But that’s the Old Testament”. I could hardly believe my ears. Unfortunately, my response to that was, “Well, if you disregard the OT, it’s no wonder you misinterpret the NT.”

        I guess it’s as difficult for the non Catholics to see it from our viewpoint, as it is for us to see it from there’s.

        Yes, Faith AND Reason. That’s another one of those things that is assumed (by me). I think it goes against reason, to look at Matt 16:18 (…and the gates of hell shall not prevail over it), and believe that the Church had been lost and needed a reboot. Jesus said it. I believe Him. If I made a list of things that kept me in the Catholic Church when my brother was trying to pull me out, that would be 1st on the list. I could give many other such examples. I don’t need to rationalize my Faith. I feel sorry, and pray for, those that do. My heart aches over it.
        Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth! (Psalm 104)

        Thanks again, YD. God bless you.

        Liked by 4 people

    • The Church Fathers saw in the Burning Bush, an icon of Mary. She held the Divine Fire but was not consumed. She is also the new Ark of the Covenant – there are several ancient icons of that title.

      Liked by 5 people

  22. Joj says:

    Hello, Mr. Johnston. Thank you for lighting up my dreary days with your inspiring thoughts! I am a fellow Coloradan and hope to send my teens tomorrow, though I am too sick to attend myself.

    St. Thomas Aquinas, whose Summa I study quite often, talks about the processions of the Persons quite differently than you spoke of. The Son proceeds from the Father as the Word or perfect understanding of Himself. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as the Love between them. It would not make sense in St. Thomas’ doctrine of the Trinity to say the Father proceeds from the Son, since the Father is a principle, but not vice versa. You see the relations are extremely important because they are how the three persons are distinct, though One in essence. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1033.htm

    I am guessing that you must be using the word ‘proceed’ in quite a different sense than St. Thomas. I am wondering what you might be meaning. Personally, I am always afraid to speak of the relations in the Trinity, as it is so easy to get muddled! LOL No surprise. There’s a reason it’s called a mystery!
    AMDG

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You are right that I am speaking in a different sense. I was saying it is the one case in history where the earthly parent proceeded from the child. We all properly think of earthly children as proceeding, or being generated, from their parents…but all humans proceed from God through the cooperation of their parents. Thus, Mary was generated by the Eternal Son who, when He took on our humanity, would come through her. I have a great admiration and respect for Aquinas – and am familiar with his profound writings on spiritual generation and the relations between the Persons of the Trinity. I wrote a piece somewhere in all of this that described that spiritual procession in the terms he uses.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Joj:

      As you know, Charlie is a self-proclaimed not-a-theologian and reports being a radio announcer at one point in his life; therefore, he often writes with the rambling clarity of a radio announcer.

      Charlie’s context from two sentence’s prior clearly solves the question that you bring up:

      “People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God.” This then reflects Thomas in the Summa Theologicae I, q. 33, a. 2, s.c. and in a. 3., s.c., which you cite.

      When Charlie goes on to say, “We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son”, we clearly hear the silver-tongued radio announcer coming out in his use of parents and we can rest well knowing that he clearly intends from context not to contradict the Church and certainly not Thomas, not even in I, q. 33, a. 3..

      Liked by 6 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Ha, YD, silver-tongued? I commiserated to my first program director once that I just did not have a “radio” voice. He told me I was dead wrong…that certainly I did not have an “announcer” voice, but my voice was perfect for the sort of commentary and talk roles I played. I complained it was muddy and quirky, but he said it was distinctive and unique, that once you had heard it it was immediately recognizable, which was exactly what you want from a commentator and personality. He never did get around to explaining rambling clarity – I must have come up with that on my own! 😉

        Liked by 4 people

        • Katherine says:

          I studied voice through high school and college and have always been especially sensitive to listening to the particular voices of others. . . Your director was right on. You DO have a unique and distinctive voice. Easily recognizable and comforting. It’s actually absolutely perfect for your mission.

          Liked by 5 people

      • Robert Cunningham says:

        YD

        I know “procession” is a packed word but since I have no theological training I’ll ask if you could explain it a bit more. I am aware of the Filioque controversy and the history even before Photius but if God is co-equal, eternal and omnipresent how could we as humans understand anything but the most basic truths of the Holy Trinity? I have heard it said that the Father gives the Son all holding nothing back. The Son reciprocates and gives the Father all holding nothing back and the spirational love between the two is so strong that it is a third divine person, The Holy Spirit. But, that does speak to procession. St Pope John Paul II allowed the Eastern Rites to not say, “and the Son” in the Creed. It is no issue for me. I just stand in the awe of God and love Him but I would love to hear your perspective.

        By the LORD’s word the heavens were made;
        by the breath of his mouth all their host. (Ps 33:6)

        Robert

        Liked by 3 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Robert, to me, and maybe I am wrong–but I don’t think so, so I am going to say this, the Most Holy Trinity is a lot simpler than most people realise–and I was taught to read St. Thomas’ Summa Theologicae as a spiral of unfoldings, much like the perichoresis — the “dancing around” within the Most Holy Trinity (περι- + χώρησις, the root in choreograph) – expressed in the Greek.

          Any one who, in the State of Grace, has seen their Gaudete Angel for the first time will tell you the joyful exuberance of them in being seen by us. The joy of being graced to be able to share a moment on this side of the Veil, of rejoicing in that grace and goodness. Joyful, exuberance doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s like a controlled bursting at the seems.

          It is the Nature of Goodness and Love to express itself.

          It is the Nature of Goodness and Love to share itself.

          It is the Nature of Goodness and Love to give itself.

          Imagine God realising and loving Himself and His Unity, Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.

          Put that in the context of God bursting at the seems in a controlled joyful and exuberant way.

          He cannot, but be Triune. It is impossible for the Godhead to be otherwise.

          Why?

          Because God is Good and God is Love.

          That’s everything right there that you need to know on the Most Holy Trinity. (Not that there isn’t more to know, just that that explains it all.)

          God has to express Himself.

          God has to share Himself.

          God has to give Himself.

          And God, being self-reflective, being Intellect and Will, knows from Eternity that He is Good and therefore He loves Himself from Eternity qua God and qua each Person of the Most Holy Trinity.

          Imagine:

          God in the Eternal Now self-reflects: I am Good.

          He expresses it with Everything that He has to express His Thought and with His Whole Being, He does express Himself Joyfully and Exuberantly: God, I am Good.

          That expression the He speaks is the Word.

          And He loves Himself, because He knows that He is Good, and He loves Himself with His Whole Being and He lets out a Joyful and Exuberant “Sigh of Love” — call it a “Spiration” — Happy and Content in His Love for Himself, that is the Holy Spirit.

          That is why the Church was right in the Original Nicene-Constantinople Creed. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father Who spirates Him.

          But come along a bunch of people sitting around thinking about the Spiration of Love and they conclude that the Word must have Sighed–or Spirated–too from Eternity, being Eternal and Co-Equal to the Father, and they conclude “Filioque” — not et Filio (the que binding the two terms, Father and Son, closer than an “et” would).

          So what does the Holy Spirit do?

          The Holy Spirit is Whereby God loves Himself and us. I, q. 37, a. 2., co.: …so do we say that the Father, by the Word or the Son, speaks Himself, and His creatures; and that the Father and the Son love each other and us, by the Holy Ghost, or by Love proceeding.

          He also sends the Son as we find out when St. Thomas asks, “Whether a Divine Person is sent only by the person whence He proceeds eternally?” concluding, “Therefore a divine person is sent by one from Whom He does not proceed.”

          I, q. 43, a. 8, s.c.: The Son is sent by the Holy Ghost, according to Is. 48:16, “Now the Lord God hath sent Me and His Spirit.”

          So… Why not Three Gods? Because it is all self-contained, not truly bursting at the seems, self-reflection, self-expression, self-loving. Speaking with His Whole Self and Loving with His Whole Self Himself and therefore not “schizoid”, but unified.

          Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            YD, that is brilliant and so beautifully received and appreciated by me. You have filled my heart with much joy with your words of wisdom. Thank you again!

            Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Byrdie, it is Love, pure and simple 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            Perichoresis, gaudete, nature, unity, Deus Caritas Est, intellect/memory/will, Good, self-reflecting, Spiration, agape ad intra, agape ad extra …….

            You have given me a lot to chew on YD. You are a good teacher. I am reminded of how St Juan Diego referred to his bishop as “Tata” (Nahuatl for father) Obispo. It always struck me as a term of endearment.

            Gracias Tata Obispo

            Robert

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Yong Duk, I copied and saved this one! Loved it!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Oh YD! Both your Mom and your mom must be so proud! You are an instrument of precipitating and reciprocating love for Pure Love.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Oh yes Beckita. He is a gift to us.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Magnificent. A joyfully irudate commentary on our Lord. Thank you YD.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            Perichoresis

            I have been chewing on what YD said about the procession of the Holy Trinity all last night. I did some research this morning and see that perichoresis is defined as the co-indwelling, the co-inhering, the mutual interpretation. I like YD definition even better:

            “ . . . to me . . . the Most Holy Trinity is a lot simpler than most people realise–and I was taught to read St. Thomas’ Summa Theologicae as a spiral of unfoldings, much like the perichoresis — the “dancing around” within the Most Holy Trinity (περι- + χώρησις, the root in choreograph) – expressed in the Greek”

            It is the “dancing around” part that struck me. Procession is not so much a science or a mathematical equation like A + B = C, but rather a divine movement akin to dance where the three divine persons relate to one another within the one Godhead in perfect simplicity and loving perfection wherein they glorify one another.

            I am reminded of Jesus’ own words at the Last Supper, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you” (Jn17:1). Jesus also said of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn 16:14).

            I discovered that the word Perichoresis was used by St. Gregory Nazianzus, St Maximus the Confessor and St John of Damscus and while I have read works by all three of these Church Fathers I cannot ever remember seeing that word.

            Now . . . what does it mean for those of us who are grafted into Christ? “I have spoken but did not understand; things too marvelous for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3).

            Robert

            http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=169

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Thanks Robert. For me when I participate in Mass, it is a divine dance with our Lord, I love the ritual as it is our Lord wooing us as a love affair in a beautiful and pure sense. He is dancing with me and I am dancing with him. Magnificent it is.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            As ever, Robert, your reflection is inspiring. Thank you for the icon link. Please continue to ponder and share your thoughts with us. You prompted me to read and ponder, discovering multiple meanings of Perichoresis: “to make room for”, “go forward” and “contain,” all actions of Love. Like you, I appreciate the language YD referenced, especially, “a spiral of unfoldings” and “dancing around.” deeper and deeper into the mystery we may go as we contemplate and God takes us where He will.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            So what does perichoresis mean? My dictionary.com does not show it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Robert, several things keep leading me back to Man’s Reflection of the Trinity in response to you, viz., our need to reflect on our own reflection and that being a quasi-perichoresis and the joy we need to cultivate in that fact and our own “re-creation” with Baptism and Absolution and the Sacraments, divinisation, &tc,

            Liked by 2 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            YD

            This string is long so I hope it makes it next to your comment on Man’s Reflection of the Holy Trinity in a quasi – perichoresis ……

            Are you referring to how the blessed in Heaven, and maybe to a lesser extent the Church Suffering and the Church Militant, relate to one another as the one Body of Christ? I am thinking here of the writings of St. Athanasius

            Robert

            Like

    • Doug says:

      Welcome Joj!

      Liked by 2 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Joj, that is a great inquiry and I love your closing thoughts on the matter too. It is nice to see you here and I will keep you and your family in my prayers for all your needs.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Beckita says:

    Robert Cunningham, I immediately thought of you when I came across this spectacular news today!!! http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/dallas-saint-dmitri Blessed be God!

    Like

    • Beckita says:

      And here is but a bit of footage of the dear Archbishop

      YD, in childlike wonder, I ask: can you tell us if you have a beard, IF and ONLY if that’s not too biographical.

      Liked by 4 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Way too biographical. How many Asian prelates have beards?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Robert Cunningham says:

        Beckita

        This is wonderful. Thank you for posting that video. Bishop Dmitri was the Russian Orthodox Bisop of Dallas and the South. He died a few years ago. I never met him in person as I usually go to the Cathedral just to pray or buy books but I did recognize Fr Jon in the video. I was astonished to hear that the body of Bishop Dmitri is incorrupt. I only heard about this earlier today after the prayers from last night and the Divine Liturgy this morning were over or I would have surely been there.

        I will go to pray at his tomb in the Cathedral this week. Praise be to God

        Robert

        Liked by 5 people

        • Beckita says:

          Please, Robert, as you pray at Archbishop Dmitri’s tomb, ask him to intercede for all NRSers to be true to God’s Will for each of us. Thank you.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Robert Cunningham says:

            Beckita and Friends

            I attended Divine Liturgy at the St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas this morning. The late Bishop Dmitri was re-interned there a few days ago in the floor of the chapel. After Liturgy, I offered prayers for the TNRS family and Charlie’s situation.

            I am Catholic but am struck by the absolute beauty of the Orthodox Liturgy and the Church itself. We in the West could use the holiness and beauty. Maybe that will come in the unity that Charlie talks about

            In IC XC

            Robert

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Robert, although I have not participated in an Orthodox mass, I believe the Eastern rite Catholic Church is very similar. I have participated in one of their masses and it was astoundingly beautiful. They are aligned with Rome.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you, Robert, and I agree wholeheartedly that we can hope the beauty and reverence will again permeate every Catholic liturgy. May Archbishop Dmitri intercede for unity.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Joj says:

          The High Mass of the Extraordinary Form has retained the beauty of the original Roman rite. A different beauty than the Eastern, to be sure, but I find it feels less foreign to me because of my Roman Catholic roots. I do love both!
          My kids and I had a discussion: could the Pope recognize an Orthodox saint, and what would this mean? We talked about holiness through the Sacraments, and other things we have in common as well as our differences. We are praying for unity.

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Beckita says:

    Here’s a peek at today’s procession. Looks like it was a great turnout, Charlie. Wonderful!

    Liked by 7 people

  25. Phyllis says:

    What a blessing it was to participate in the procession today! Charlie, it was wonderful meeting you in person. I offered prayers for you and TNRS family as I was making my 7 laps around. It was truly a holy experience to be surrounded by so many faithful people of all walks of life, following the Our Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament.
    Enjoy your time at the cabin and know that we here in Castle Rock are acknowledging God, supporting each other step by step, and reaching out to be a sign of hope to those around us. God bless!

    Liked by 5 people

  26. narnialion says:

    This is so heartening. So beautiful. The Holy Eucharist, the bishop and priests,observers kneeling, the Knights of Colombus, the young person processing with a picture of Our Lady, the children, the people in wheelchairs, the sisters/nuns, the young people, the parents with babies, the”ordinary” people the prayer, the singing and the silence. The SILENCE especially. The Planned Parenthood building looming in the background….and then one of the next videos: the minor exorcism in Latin around PP by a priest. Such hope. I want to be part of a procession like this! So all you hidden people from the Pittsburgh area….lets connect, pray and contact our priests. I will write a letter to our Bishop Zubik about this…but I am a nobody…so if any of you know our Bishop, maybe you could help!!!!
    Thank you, Charlie for alerting us, and Beckita for posting this.

    And the people of the Kingdom…..shall rise together……

    Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      You are also a lion ~ so roar. So says another nobody, however I have already written to and received a positive response from my diocese. Nobody’s are people too!!

      Liked by 3 people

      • narnialion says:

        jlynn,
        would you mind sharing what you wrote to your diocese?
        Thanks, narniaLION

        Like

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          No problem, I emailed the office our Office of Divine Worship and gave a bit of personal background information and some of my faith journey history. I concluded with my inquiry, summarized below. 🙂

          I would like to inquire if our Diocese already has a scheduled annual pubic Eucharistic and/or Marian Procession? I would welcome an opportunity to work to coordinate for one for this year, and would volunteer my time and efforts in the process. I am an devout parishioner at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield, Father David Medow, Pastor, and am active in church ministries. It would be my honor and privilege to have a part in fostering this love for Our Lord and Savior and Our Blessed Mother in our Diocese.

          I look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.

          Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      Praying for your efforts to bear fruit, Narnia.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Barb Watry says:

    Good morning and God bless all here.
    I was at the Jericho march in Denver yesterday (Saturday) also. I know Charlie will write more about it later, but I wanted to mention one thing that so impressed me. Since we were walking on the street and couldn’t block traffic, the diocesan seminarians lined the route, all facing the PP building, with their rosaries you could seem them silently praying, keeping us to stay within the boundary they created. I just loved seeing all those young men so strong and devout. Denver is so blessed by the priests we have coming someday.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. jlynnbyrd says:

    Thanks be to God and devout parent are a gift as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. LB says:

    This is such a beautifully written and profound posts. All of it touched me ! I was particularly touched by the portion where true vs pretend Saint behavior was eloquently described .

    I returned back to the fullness of my Catholic faith after a decade of being a cafeteria, pro-abortion and anti-magisterial Catholic. God blessed me with an amazing love for the pro-life work, youth group work and serving him with sincerity at my local church . Unfortunately , I opened up to a very broken person who came new to my Parish shortly after I had been there . I naively overlooked red flags because I assumed “everyone who loves Christ and his church is kind and sincere “. I forgot that we are human and thus can hurt others in and out of the The church. This broken person hurt me beyond words and humiliated me beyond imagination . Emails, lies, even going so far as involving my dear priests and other very sweet church members . I then began avoiding church while she was getting more involved in the church – coincidentally in every ministry I had been in. This person would cry as she told a retreat group about how the Lord has changed herlife and then an hour later passive aggressively cut into a conversation I was having with a fellow parishioner with no care about just stepping in front of me and ending my convo . I was angry, hurt and felt that God had brought me back to church only to humiliate me as a reward. I became obsessed with teaching This person a lesson and showing them that they could not and would not be loved , preferred, admired more than me. Sound familiar ? Sounds like the Litany of pride !!Suddenly what had been a sincere desire to love and serve God with my passionate and outgoing personality became a passionately hateful plot for self advancement for my very bruised ego. I even contemplated leaving my church for another parish.

    God in his mercy showed me that this “storm” I had endured was not in vain. It helped me see the pride in me ! In adoration I contemplated the Sorroful mysteries but I apparently wanted no part of the suffering !! I saw this about myself !! The experience forced me to evaluate the role I played in Christ’s suffering , and showed me the need I had to commune more with Christ by picking up my cross vs kicking it .

    The experience was an answer to my prayers for humility .And it forced me to partake in church for the sake of God- not only personal consolation. It made me see that a trait like loving people and being outgoing can be darkened into egotistical gesturing !! Not sure if that makes sense . This was a major take away for me! What gifts God has given me, be it in my personality traits or my work or anything like that are to serve him, not to boost my ego. And good deeds are only good if the intention is . I am ashamed to admit I began volunteering here or meeting people there with the insincere intention of not letting this parishoner “win”. That is a pretend Saint ! This blog post really reminded me of the importance of turning upward and outward, versus saying “why me?!!!” And “how does this make me look/feel?”

    I am happy to have returned to my church and the various ministries I felt God wanted me to be part of. I eat low-carb humble pie constantly because I encounter her almost every single time I am at church . But through it all, I thank God for bringing me back to him and I thank him for never abandoning me !! I won’t give up on sainthood….even if My disordered passions sometimes get the best of me !!

    God bless !

    can’t lie and say I am over it all. But this past 1.5 years has been very challenging for me at church . I KNOW this fellow parishkner is a hurt person who is hurting me because she perhaps does not even see her own pain and insecurity . I have tried so hard to see what I did wrong ! How my smile and compliment or something was taken as a jeer. How my going out of my way to help became me thinking I was better. How my sincere intentions were twisted and thrown in my face.

    She is bringing to the light pains and insecurities And flaws I have ! She is helping me learn humility and mercy. Once I stopped trying to do things MY way and submit to God and ask for his help, the suffering became meaningful versus despairing . I think it’s an experience that can help me on the journey to sainthood. I now pray to God for sincerity in my intentions and I NEED to pray the litany of humility more because I apparently have the opposite version “that other may be preferred….Ensure this never happens Lord” . As you can see, my version need tweaking lol.

    One thing that helped me through this was the idea Charlie has expressed of us all possibly enduring personal storms. We may suffer but God is with us and he wants to make us better. To make our personalities glorify him.

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      God bless you, LB. In allowing you to go through this, God drew forth a great wisdom in you. Do not be surprised that you must continue to struggle against the temptations to vanity – and will even sometimes stumble. You know what your goal is – keep your eyes on grace and you will be a sign of hope to many.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Doug says:

      Wonderful LB! So glad you wrote this. As an aside, I will now remember “low carb humble pie”.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Karen says:

    Charlie, not sure what you might call the following observation – maybe simply an interlude. I place it here because you spoke a little more here about St Joan of Arc than you did in other writings. On Wednesdays I sit in Adoration for a few hours and today at some point I started to thank the Lord for His Goodness and Mercy both in my personal life and in the life of the Church. I then considered how far along in the Jubilee Year of Mercy we had travelled and how far we had to go. I noted that the year is not quite a whole calendar year and in fact being a Leap Year it is 349 days long. The actual midpoint of the Jubilee Year is May 30, feast day of St Joan, a Monday this year.

    It might help to get a pen and paper out at this point because what follows is very unusual as it brings together both movable and fixed feast days creating a repeated pattern in this Jubilee Year.

    The beginning,Tuesday, December 8, 2015, a fixed Marian feast day, is that of The Immaculate Conception – did someone, somewhere hold a procession that day – perhaps we should have!

    The 174th day is a movable feast and in many places it is held on the Sunday (but not the Vatican) – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – we always have a Eucharistic procession in our parish that day.

    So we begin the year with a Marian feast day and close the first half with a feast of the Lord.

    Then the pivotal day, the 175th, is like the spine of an open book – St Joan of Arc, a heroine warrior with her spine lashed to a pillar and consumed by fire!

    We begin the second half of the year on Tuesday again, May 31, 2016, a fixed Marian feast, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – and supposedly a very important future Marian feast day of the Lady of All Nations and a fifth Marian dogma.

    To close the year another 174 days down the track on, you guessed it, a movable feast of the Lord on Sunday, Nov 20, Christ the King – another couple of opportunities for processions!

    Well like I said, just an interlude, or maybe a manifestation of Divine Order, but it certainly places the Maid of Orleans in the limelight when you look at things this way!

    Liked by 2 people

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