Rebuilding the Fences

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By Charlie Johnston

I will not be able to study Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of Love,” until I get back home next week. From early reports, it looks like it unambiguously comes down on the side of orthodoxy. No to contraception, firmly right-to-life, no homosexual marriage or unions, protect the rights of the family. Bishop Rene Gracida published a piece by Robert Royal that gives the highlights.

Two years ago I wrote a piece, which I reprint in its entirety below, that noted the big challenge was going to be re-integrating people back into the fullness of the faith and communion after several generations of wreckage. What controversy there will be over this, at least from the orthodox side, comes from Pope Francis taking this duty very seriously. The progressive left will probably scream that they thought this Pope was one of them. But once again, as for the last 2,000 years, when the Church speaks authoritatively, it does not try to mealy-mouth Christ’s directions, but to confirm and apply them faithfully so as to heal many. I will comment further on it as I get to study it seriously.

*******

I will be in the Southeast next month. I have a host of private meetings along with a family celebration. I expect to have a public meeting in Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday, May 12. Details will follow. Several people from Florida and other southeastern states have asked about a presentation. I will be available from May 15-21 for any who are willing to host a public presentation. If you wish to host one, contact my volunteer assistant, Mary, at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com. My final public New England presentation will be this Sunday in Wells, Maine, as follows:

Wells, Maine

1:00 p.m.  Sunday, April 10, 2016

Village By the Sea, GPS1373 Post Rd., Wells, Maine 04090

Contact:  Joseph

Email:    jkantell@roadrunner.com

Make sure to check the “Upcoming Events” bar at the top of the page for new information as it becomes available.

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And now, for the piece I wrote two years ago on marriage and the family:

Pope Francis and Communion for the Remarried

francis and familiesPope Francis has surely been a sign of contradiction. Leftists were first enthused, thinking his passion for social justice meant he was one of them. Now they are dismayed to discover he insists on social justice for the unborn and other powerless undesirables they would rather discard. The ideological right is ever vigilant, seeking out evidence of incipient socialist, collectivist tendencies in his comments. What to do with a pope who insists that the eternal verities are, indeed, both eternal and true while insisting with equal vigor that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man? We could try listening, rather than judging everything he says through our own a priori set of assumptions.

The sacramental institution of marriage is one of the things Pope Francis has weighed in on that has sent both the left and the right into unwarranted tizzies. The pope is reported to have mused that a good 50% of all marriages are invalid and is open to the idea of some remarried Catholics receiving communion without having had a proper annulment. This has inspired hope on the left that they have found an unlikely ally in their assault on marriage and the family. It has inspired fear of the same on the right. Both the hopes and fears are the unwarranted fantasies of those incapable of seeing things without the coloring of an ideological lens
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Before I get down to business, I must note that I have no personal stake in this. I am divorced. I do not have an annulment because, in 1991 the priest who examined my application discovered I fit a narrow set of criteria that allowed for the dissolution of the marriage under a little known and seldom used provision called a Petrine Privilege. Application had to be made to the Vatican and, with the pope’s approval, the marriage would be dissolved. I am free to date and re-marry. But it is not just a get-out-of-jail free card. Should I decide I want to re-marry, both my proposed partner and I must receive the recommendation of a priest, the recommendation of the marriage tribunal in my original diocese and the request must be sent to the Vatican. I can then re-marry if the pope sends back formal approval of the match. I have never gotten so serious with anyone that I had to explain these hoops to them. It does amuse me to think that if ever I should get so serious, the woman in question will probably be more than a little taken aback to discover I literally have to get the pope’s permission first.

The process of annulment is designed to determine whether a marriage was sacramentally valid in the first place. This requires the informed, free consent of the parties to the marriage. If that is lacking, it is not a valid sacramental marriage, in which case an annulment can be granted. An annulment is not (or should not be) a Catholic ‘divorce.’ Rather, it is a formal finding, after investigation, that the presumed marriage lacked the elements to make it sacramentally valid. This website on Catholic Culture provides a good article for laymen on the criteria involved. In all such decisions human judgment is involved, which means there can be errors of judgment. Provided that real diligence and deference to authentic teaching of faith is observed, such errors will be rare and can be corrected with appeal.

But what happens when an entire culture undergoes a collective breakdown?

Sometime beginning in the ’50s, I think (it could be earlier, but certainly not later), more than a few Catholic officials and priests were seduced by a culture of therapy which assaulted the culture of faith. Though most were well-intended, it was a terrible vanity to think their transient feelings trumped the accumulated wisdom of the faith. But the smoke of satan was rising and these officials started passing annulments out like party hats. A vain shepherd may honestly believe he has liberated the sheep when he sets them to roam where he should know wolves lurk, but it will not release him from his responsibility to the Master when sheep are slaughtered. The faithful were not liberated from the constraints of faith, but exposed to wolves bent on shredding a culture by unrelenting assaults on marriage and family.

Those who appeal to the law are right that it was an unwarranted permissiveness that opened the gates to the wolves. But what a vanity it is to berate the sheep who were wounded when shepherds charged with defending them helped open the gates to the wolves! Pope Francis has two great charges in this. First, he must care for the wounded and try to nurse them back to health. Second, he must re-erect the fences that keep them safe.

Several generations have been deluded into believing marriage a provisional contract rather than an enduring covenant. To continue the delusion would be to continue the disorder and the pain it entails. But what sort of impoverished piety would only minister to those left unravaged when the gates were thrown open to the wolves? When an entire culture abandons the knowledge of what marriage is and entails, most of the marriages contracted are just that – contracts that are sacramentally deficient. When people wounded by that rampant cultural disorder are barred from communion, it impoverishes the Church and further wounds the faithful. But to offer a blanket amnesty would merely invite more disorder.

Pope Francis is working with the grave and charitable view of a truly faithful shepherd. St. John Paul the Great began a crackdown on the abuse of annulment in marriage tribunals, a crackdown that continued under Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has shown no hint of backing off from those reforms. These popes have been consistent with all their predecessors that marriage is an enduring sacramental covenant. They have acted boldly to insist that those ministers under their direction who had lost that sense once again live it. Having insisted that the downed fences be re-erected, I think Pope Francis is now seriously working to bring those who were wounded by the abuses back into full and joyful communion with the Church. For me, a priest should rigorously examine a couple contemplating marriage to ensure that they are serious and understand the covenant they are entering. Once entered, it must not be sundered unless it legitimately is determined to have been invalidly entered – which, with sufficient vigor before approving a marriage ceremony in the first place, should be rare. But I deeply pray that a process is put in place that will bring back all those wounded by the last few generations’ errors with generosity. It probably must be handled on a case by case basis. If penitents seeking full communion with the Church are treated as victims of the cultural disorders of the last few generations and welcomed back, provided that they understand and acknowledge that any present or future marriage must be valid, I think that would be the equivalent of Christ’s gentle forgiveness of the woman taken in adultery when others wanted to stone her. The rigorous treatment of marriage going forward from this point as the enduring sacramental covenant it is would be the equivalent of Christ’s commanding the same woman to “…sin no more.” If Pope Francis can develop a solid way to accomplish both these things, he will be in good company, indeed.

Never forget, God calls all men to salvation. Man was not made for rules, but rules to bring men to salvation. It is a joy to me to see Pope Francis constantly thinking of how best to invite broken men back to salvation. We live in a time of great darkness, but the light is dawning and the darkness cannot overcome it.

About charliej373

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

437 Responses to Rebuilding the Fences

  1. Dawn Walker says:

    I have a question, Charlie. It may be stupid or obvious to some-or maybe I’m realizing something on a different level, but-will those who do not accept Christ’s Mercy during this (Cleansing) Storm-will they not make it through the storm (alive on earth?) (And, I know many who DO accept Mercy will not make it through). I know the earth will be renewed. And, I believe I may know the answer, but this is stuck in my head this morning. God Bless you. +Pax Christi. Love, Dawn

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Dawn, I don’t know. The Lord says to let the weeds grow up with the wheat, lest we destroy wheat while uprooting weeds. The details of how He does many things are beyond my ken. I know the big things…that His mercy is at hand for all who choose it…and that if you refuse it until death, you perish. I try to call all to embrace His mercy, but those sort of final dispositions are His business, not mine.

      Liked by 7 people

      • joj says:

        Dawn, “I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. Gal. 5:3-4” And St. Therese trembled for the sisters who thought they could earn heaven, whereas she went to Him with open hands trusting in His Mercy to bring her there.

        I fear with St. Paul that those who rely on good works will receive their just desserts, and trust with St. Therese that those who rely on Mercy will receive much more from the Infinite Abyss that wishes to pour His Grace out on willing souls.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beckita says:

    I’ve been looking forward to reading this document, knowing it was to be released today. Thanks for the Robert Royal link, Charlie. I know you know this: In addition to the left screaming and some who are orthodox expressing their fear in vehement criticisms as if the fear is reality, there already have been war cries from those who are so far right that these folks are outside of orthodoxy and think they know better than the successor of Peter. Someone asked me to comment on Kelly Bowring’s newly released insanity: Prepare for the Fallout: The Great Schism within the Catholic Church Will Now Erupt. And these people WANT schism.

    May the Lord deliver us, for these people will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they can to foment chaos, confusion and division, three calling cards of the dark side’s activity. I think it is but the satan’s last stand. Nevertheless, the battle will be fierce so I’m clearing my schedule, as much as I can, to spend more time companioning Jesus in His Eucharistic Presence during this heightened time of His Bride’s Passion, praying with the one who is ordained by God to crush the head of the serpent.

    I envision the most pure heel of Mary our Mother, Full of Grace, already in crush mode so that a faint but very discern-able hissing emits from all over the earth which will only crescendo to a fullness of deafening silence as the complete Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart is reached in time. May each of us pull that sword from her pierced Heart to go and slay evil via prayer and sacrifice so we may more surely and consistently Acknowledge God, take the Next Right Step and BE a sign of Hope Himself via loving those around us. Blessed be God forever! Ave Maria eternally!

    Liked by 23 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Amazingly enough, Beckita, the European counterpart to Bowring (and a much more serious man), Antonio Socci, has backed down somewhat from apostasy, if not from an often toxic critique of Pope Francis. I am beginning to think that, whatever one thinks of his temporal diplomatic skills, Pope Francis may well be a master diplomat in working with factions in the Church. The last few weeks I have felt some optimism that we may not see a serious schism within the Church, but just a few cranks prattling away.

      Liked by 15 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Beckita, I join you in prayer for these times and will offer today’s 3:00pm Divine Mercy Chaplet for all of our ordained clergy and our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Beckita says:

      That would be such a blessing, Charlie! I did do a little searching, several articles back, when Mary Ann (I believe) commented about Socci’s retraction concerning the validity of Pope Francis’ papacy. I have noticed on several occasions that Pope Francis thanks his most fierce critics for their words and reaches to build a bridge based on acknowledging the goodness of their intent (most often, the protection of the Church). In case anyone is interested, here’s a report on the most recent letter which Pope Francis wrote, in his own hand, addressing Socci as “Dear Brother.” Beautiful! http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2016/02/pope-francis-writes-letter-to-one-of.html

      I love to ponder in awe how God allows some of the most horrific experiences in our lives only to bring a greater good. Pope Francis as Fr. Jorge Bergoglio, head of the Jesuit province in Argentina, certainly stood in the face of evil and acted with what appears to be heroic virtue. Surely these experiences prepared him for what we are now living.
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/12/bergoglios-list-the-untold-story-of-pope-francis-heroism-in-the-face-of-evil/

      Thanks again for this alert to the current temperature regarding apostasy. I will joyfully bring the securing of your expressed optimism into prayer. May Mary Mother of the Church heal all divisions!

      Liked by 10 people

    • deereverywhere says:

      Wow, Beckita, Aragorn could not have given a greater speech at the doors of Mordor! Got chills, right behind you Captain!

      Liked by 6 people

    • janet333 says:

      Hi Beckita…Bowrings ravings are truly dangerous. He gets his information mainly from the writings of the condemned seer, Maria Divine Mercy, who has since fled the scene after her deception was uncovered.

      He writes….”The Catholic Church will be brought down until it resembles a heap of stones…” But then added ” the true Church shall remain intact protected by the Remnant Army, who will fight to save the Church from ruination. ” Now how can it remain intact and yet be as he says …”.. brought down until it resembles a heap of stones?” The man is in need of deliverance. He is a danger because he is advising his readers to “.. refuse to accept direction…” Priests, he says…..”are being easily seduced and drawn into the arms of the deceiver, (According to Bowring, Pope Francis is the deceiver) Mr Bowring is causing the very schism he is warning about.

      Prayers for Mr Bowring fellow NRS’s.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        Yes, Janet. I was aware of Bowring’s fuel for the agenda he’s pushing and you hit the nail on the head, I believe: “Mr Bowring is causing the very schism he is warning about.” Praying with you…

        Liked by 3 people

        • janet333 says:

          These are the kind of posts ignited by Bowring that’s coming in now.

          “hahahhha youre so PATHETIC!! Dont you know why the Roman Catholic Church called the Secret of Fatima, “Secret of Fatima”? hahhah why is is secreted? because it is a GREAT SHAME TO OUR CHURCH, THE ANTICHRIST IS HIMSELF THE POPE!!!! /Dr, Kelly bowring told to Pope Francis in his Open Letter. He, Pope Francis, made the decesion that happend a division inside the Church..Take Note: You are defending the “ANTI-CHRIST, the last pope, he is not anymore a true vicar of Jesus.. !!! your soul is at stake!!! …..
          “The faithfull Catholics, the Traditional Roman Catholics are now hiding because of the power of heretics reigning now, thats what Jesus meant that even the gates of Hell cant prevail, and saying He will be with us till the end of the world.”

          I’m praying! 😦

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Not to get too political, but this reminds me very much of what is going on amongst some (certainly not all) Trump supporters. Roger Stone goes on air and threatens riots at the GOP convention in July if the nomination is “stolen” from Trump; and he says that he will give out delegates hotel names and room numbers so that Trump supporters can go and confront them. And now this very thing is looking to play out in Colorado, which just selected its delegates to the convention:

          http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/04/11/intimidation-threats-trump-goons-now-giving-out-home-addresses-phone-numbers-in-colorado/

          These nutjobs like Bowring and Stone are pouring the gasoline and dogwhistling for other people to light a match and throw it on. It’s unbelievable, and it’s scary. God help us all.

          Liked by 3 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        Janet, I have prayed the Prayer of Miraculous Trust for his conversion today.

        Liked by 2 people

    • LukeMichael says:

      I have been away from the blog for a few days but how much discussion I have missed. I think we are at the root of the problems of our time as we take in this papal encyclical, the decline of the family and the Church’s Way of the Cross.

      Beckita, I read Dr Bowring’s latest offering and was pervaded by a sense of darkness and apostasy. Even after exposure of Maria Divine Mercy as a fraud, Bowring insists on his expertise in all things prophetic. I think this is a real danger for those working outside of the authority of Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Many heretics were experts and flaunted the Magisterium.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        So true, LukeMichael. We can take great heart knowing how Charlie responded. The end game is Rescue by Our Lady and we can continue to pray for a great number of coversions in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. NOTHING is impossible for God.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. zeniazenia says:

    I heard people referring to “The Joy of Love” as a ‘book’ rather than a document. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anne444 says:

    I have a question. If the one who is not baptized chooses to be baptized and after baptism never consumates the marriage the marriage could be considered to be dissolved? Actually my question is if they continued to live together after the baptism just more like brother and sister, is it a marriage?? Is there a time limit for consumation? The baptism was for the person not the sacrement of marriage.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That, I think, is a question best explored with your Parish Priest or your Diocesan Marriage Tribunal.

      Liked by 1 person

    • victura98 says:

      Tribunals refer to that circumstance as “ratum, sed non consummatum.” Yes, the Church can grant a dispensation (it’s not a dissolution) from the bond of marriage in such a case, but I believe it is done by the Roman Rota, which means its not easy to do. Approach your parish priest to get started. There’s no time limit for a consummation. No expiry date. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Anne, please make sure we are understanding your question, either in the negative for the sake of annulment or in the positive for the sake of the marriage.

      If you are asking in the negative, can an annulment be granted since the marriage was not consummated after the Baptism, then talk with your Diocesan Tribunal so that you get all the correct details (e.g. Was the marriage consummated before the Baptism?) and the correct answer.

      If it is in the positive, is the marriage still a marriage after the conversion?

      Yes, it is still very much a marriage.

      Do converts to Christianity need to get remarried after their Baptism? No, they do not. The exchange of consent, their “I do”, at the time of their marriage is recognised by the Church as valid as long as their were no impediments. Their marriage is considered consummated if they consummated it before the Baptism.

      They can, however, go through a ceremony called convalidation.

      It can get a little complicated if they one party doesn’t want to convalidate the marriage:

      http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=465549
      http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=430213&Pg=&Pgnu=&recnu=

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Fred says:

    Charlie- This was very helpful for me in understanding better what may be motivating our Pope. I have struggled to connect with him in the same way as his two predecessors, but am continuing to work at it. Thank you for helping to open up my eyes a little wider.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. YongDuk says:

    Aye, there’s the rub:

    “For me, a priest should rigorously examine a couple contemplating marriage to ensure that they are serious and understand the covenant they are entering.”

    The maturity of most couples is lacking. The maturity of many seminarians is lacking.

    What is the fix… Thankfully, the brain is plastic neurologically. It can be made stronger from bad habits. But that takes work, mental discipline, emotional discipline and the media and schooling and such don’t want that…

    Yes, Doug, that’s Shakespeare.

    Liked by 9 people

    • victura98 says:

      Priests try to help a couple understand what they are getting into, but against their upbringing and the culture, it’s like offering them five barley loaves and a couple dried fish. Now, if the couple is willing to take that to the Lord…anything is possible. I try my best to get them to discover their need for the Lord, (nine times out of ten, they do not attend Mass, and have very little catechesis…about a 4th grade level) but they must choose to cooperate. Pray for the priest to be a good instrument.

      Liked by 7 people

      • charliej373 says:

        It is brutally tough…we are back in pagan Rome in many ways.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Beckita says:

        Praying for you, Victura, and all your brothers. Thank you for laying down your life for us… yes for us. The ripple effect of your dedication and love redound to our holiness as well.

        Liked by 6 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        Victura, I pray for our blessed priests daily. We are back on the starting line, with God’s grace. 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Nicely put, Victura!

        I used to jump through hoops during marriage preparation to teach covenantal love and John Paul’s take on human sexuality when I was a Seminarian, but the one day that I thought I made a break through, I learned the placid look on BOTH of the couple’s faces was because the fiancee had finally decided on the colour of the Bride’s Maids’ dresses.

        No joke

        St Jean Vianney has much to teach us on the value of prayer and fasting as Priests and Clerics.

        Liked by 8 people

        • al chandanais says:

          we have done a terrible job teaching our children God first then everything else. If our children enter Marriage to keep each other away from someone else then the Marriage is off to a bad start. O. to go back and teach my children that God must be first in all things especially in matters of the heart then we would see less divorces and broken homes, Marriage is wonderful when we plan it with Jesus at the head. he even helps with bridesmaid dresses, yet we make it all about us and or our children and leave Jesus at the door of the church. Sadly less the couple are overwhelmed in Christ’s love they only go through the motions of a Marriage ceremony to please the parents.

          Liked by 5 people

    • Hatchetwoman says:

      Not only understand but accept, Excellency.

      And I submit that the maturity in most people, even in my generation (Generation X) is lacking. It goes hand-in-hand with their inability to think rationally instead of reacting emotionally. And it’s only getting worse with the Millennials.

      Priests who stick by their guns, unless they have good reputations and lots of love and support from their congregations (not to mention their bishop), do not dare refuse marriage, sometimes even to couples who fight throughout the marriage preparations. A “good” priest is one who tells people what they want to hear. I hate to say it, but the Exhortation just gives those priests more ammo, and makes the good, orthodox priests looks worse by comparison.

      The world is grown so bad that wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Amen, YD! Neuroplasticity is so exciting. Surely the events, experiences and fruits of the Storm/Rescue will bring forth the desire to become all God wishes each one to be. Praying…

      Liked by 2 people

    • gotoJoseph says:

      YongDuk – So, what do you do as a priest when a young couple, presenting themselves for marriage, lacks that maturity? Do you proceed or postpone? Despite (or because of) all the sex education learned from a very young age (through formal and informal education), sexuality is often the area most lacking in maturity. How many engaged couples are comprised of one or both individuals who are dealing with some type of sexual compulsion/addiction (pornography and/or masturbation being the most common)? I would estimate well over 50%. Yes, their brains are neuro-plastic and they can change behaviors as you describe, but do you proceed with the marriage process or put it on hold until the behaviors are addressed? I believe the couple should postpone. If not, then at least document the situation and forward it to the Diocesan Tribunal to make the likely future annulment process more efficient. I ask your opinion in all seriousness because, from the perspective of someone who works with engaged couples preparing for marriage, this is a very serious issue at this time.

      Like

    • Doug says:

      I am with you YD, but you lost me on the Shakespeare. One of the 12.314159 percent of the times I do not understand.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Oh my, Doug, so hysterical! lol Maybe it was Hamlet? That would be my only guess or he just said that throw you off the scent? hahaha!

        Liked by 2 people

      • If YD’s humor requires me to think too hard, I usually give up fairly quickly.

        But in this case, his opening line about the rub is obviously from Shakespeare: “To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub”. I pulled that off the top of my head with eyes that were looking at Wikipedia courtesy of Google.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Doug says:

          Thanks Patrick. Boy. I am in deep trouble if I have to learn Shakespeare for the diaconate. I might have to have Lambzie write my paper again like she did in college. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

          Liked by 5 people

  7. Bob says:

    The media is saying that Pope Francis has not officially changed anything but is being more “pastoral’ with the possibility that some may be able to work out their issues in more “quite” ways according to their “conscience”. That said things are more complex in how to be truthful and yet welcoming to those not yet ready to embrace the fullness of truth. I have a relative, for example, who left, what looks from the outside, like it was a good marriage, had some adulterous affairs and has now been married to a younger lady for many years and they have adopted a boy together. He admits he, as he used to say “I was a bad boy” and has asked me to pray for him, and I have, and he has come around to God in many ways, but frankly I don’t see him being able to leave his present relationship. So these are some of the more difficult problems I see most often, and I have friends at work in similar situations. They have definitely made mistakes but yet are trying to “pick up the pieces” and to live honorably with what they have now. And from the outside I can’t say how God will see them on Judgement day. And having built what, from the outside looks like somewhat caring relationships, it is hard to know what to say apart from showing Christian love to these people. I haven’t been in a position to encourage the relationships they are in but haven’t criticised them either.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Teri says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for the article and our thoughts.

    This is a bit of an aside, so please forgive my tangent, but the astronomical number of decrees of nullity made me doubt the sacramentality of my own marriage. Firstly, my husband received an annulment for his first marriage from, I discovered later, a very liberal tribunal. I initially thought that God would honor the decision of any tribunal (whatever is bound on earth…) only to realize that a tribunal does not speak for the whole church and mistakes are made. Secondly, there were some issues before my marriage driven by much fear and woundedness, that were not resolved prior to the marriage. We had an excellent priest for marriage prep who took his job very seriously, but if you’re not completely honest with the priest…Either way, during the rough patches, it is easy to think to yourself, “I have grounds for an annulment” and/or to question whether you have the grace of the sacrament to sustain you. I know of know tribunal that will examine your marriage BEFORE you receive a civil divorce to judge the validity of the sacrament. I also understand that that would open up its own pandora’s box, but if someone knew their marriage was valid prior to divorcing, maybe they’d work harder to sustain it, knowing they could not remarry.

    My point is, I feel as if the current culture has undermined an entire sacrament. There is no other sacrament that one has to doubt it’s indelibility and authenticity. Even a man becoming a priest to try and destroy the Church from within is still a priest. Even teens who only get confirmed because their parents pressure them, are still sealed with the Holy Spirit. I do understand that one must be sincere and truly contrite in the sacrament of confession, but I don’t know many who seek confession who aren’t. Yet here were are, “marriage” after “marriage” where, five years down the road, you get word of divorce. I hear many people saying you have to understand what you are getting into when you get married for it to be valid, but does anybody??? Would anyone get married if they truly knew the sacrifices involved?

    Sorry for the rant. I just think this issue is much bigger than communion for the re-married and the damage much deeper. If God is a family, I guess it makes sense that Satan would work so hard to destroy it.

    Praying for marriages,
    Teri

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Your rant touches on much of what has gone wrong the last few generations. To begin to repair that damage takes great fortitude, courage and patience. I am glad it seems Pope Francis seems to have begun it with real resolve, courage, orthodoxy, and pastoral charity.

      Liked by 3 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Teri, that is why Canon Law, both CIC and CCEO, state that Marriage enjoys the favour of the law.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Joining you in praying for marriages, Teri.

      Liked by 4 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Teri, I often wondered if many of the people who receive Communion are in good graces required to receive the Eucharist or if it is just mechanical (in some cases). There is a lot of catechesis needed. Mankind has moved away from being reverent and it has taken a toll, thus the need for the Storm/Rescue, IMHO. I certainly am no shining example and have made my share of mistakes. We strive for holiness.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Doug says:

      Teri, yes. It is way more than communion. The whole communion issue is a symptom of a much deeper ill and that focus on it is a distraction from treating the illness which is sin and selfishness. When the focus is on whether or not I can receive communion, I would have to ask “am I looking for what I can get or do I really want to please Christ?”. God bless you!

      Liked by 4 people

    • Daniel O'Connor says:

      An important point that isn’t often enough touched upon, Teri. We must not let this culture of divorce and annulment cause us to doubt the validity of the other Sacraments.

      Remember that Baptism, Eucharist, Confession, Confirmation, and Holy Orders do not admit fear of invalidity (except in extreme cases where the matter and/or form are radically altered) due to the fact that they do not involve two human parties, like marriage does.

      Liked by 8 people

  9. Kris says:

    Henry Cardinal Newman seems to say it plainly enough at the end of Mr. Royals writing, Comfort is not the goal . I wonder if for those who have drawn the line in the sand and remain in ‘irregular’ situations (can we just call it sin anymore) I wonder if the burden of carrying the cross for these people is in us, the ones who , through the grace of God, are consciously living in the dramatic struggle, giving light to the world of the faithful marriage despite brokenness, weakness etc. etc. Maybe this is where grace will abound and in the great economy of grace, give strength to people to live closer to the example Christ gave us of what marriage is to be. When Pope Francis gave his speech at the synod and spoke of Bishops who wanted to get down off the cross and make it easier on people, but also lessen their discomfort in carrying the cross, maybe this is part of what he is referring to. But also, do we not, lay people who are part of the body of Christ, are we not to carry our crosses of living out our covenant, are we not to shine in the world for all to see and as we bear our own crosses, give grace to those who reject completely any need to be in discomfort?
    There was a lady who I saw in Church routinely. We began talking and I found out she was in a re=coupled situation after a divorce without the benefit of an annulment. We spoke about her not being able to go to communion. She missed it. I had been married before and I shared with her the annulment process and , yes, it was difficult. I had never understood the true meaning of covenant until I went through that process!!! I was shocked to tell you the truth. In fact at first, I wanted to get mad and the Church for making as ‘love affair’ so legalistic! Boy did I have alot to learn!
    So I began encouraging her. I offered to come visit, help her fill out paperwork (although this was only a form of encouragement as the questions to be answered in the annulment process are very personal), give her calls to remind her to work on it. etc. etc. I found that although it took her six months beyond our talking for her to fill out the paperwork, she finally was able to get through it. One Sunday at Mass, she and her husband went up for communion together, beaming with smiles. They both stopped and shook my hand as a way of saying thank you. The joy in their eyes told me everything. A little extra time is what was asked of me and the result was glorious. I will wait to see more what is in the new apostolic letter. I do hope there will not be alot of confusion and accusations that are not just. We already have too much division.

    Liked by 8 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Kris, bless you dear. The annulment process is intimidating! I shamed myself (with the prompting of the evil one) for many years due to my broken marriage before I even considered having the courage to go through the process. My husband (when we were dating) took me and my daughter after a life saving surgery into his home so she would not be under the roof of her alcoholic father who is not able to care for himself, let alone anyone else for her rehabilitation. Life is complicated and there are not always easy answers. God knows our hearts and with lay people who can extend mercy guidance and clergy who can show compassion and direction, I believe many souls can be attracted back to Our Blessed Church and the Sacraments.

      Liked by 6 people

  10. Snowy Owl says:

    Charlie, I hope it’s OK for me to post this here.. Doug and Jacki just sent me the cutest snow white stuffed squirrel I have ever seen! Thank you so much you guys, this was such an unexpected surprise, I just got all choked up when I opened the box 😂 and you have no idea how incredible your timing was 🙂 💜💕💛💙 just love you guys!

    Liked by 7 people

  11. MAC says:

    Thank you . This is the best explanation and proposal for what needs to be done about this difficult issue that has wounded every single family I am sure. When I say family I mean not just the husband/ wife and kids unit , I mean the grandparents, parents , siblings , cousins extended family also. Certainly in our family the divorce and re marriage of siblings and extended family has been painful for us and our own children too. This makes me think of why the sacrament of reconciliation is often explained in terms of reconciliation not just with God but God’s family the Church because one person’s sin wounds and fractures us all.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. victura98 says:

    This is a very brief, but excellent summation of the Pope’s letter. If you are short of time, this gives the best understanding that I have yet found of the Pope’s salient points.
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-popes-new-document-on-marriage-12-things-to-know-and-share/#ixzz45FXviw8N

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Becky-TN says:

    Charlie,

    Here are Bishop Robert Barron’s first thoughts…

    http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/first-thoughts-on-amoris-laetitia/5134/

    God Bless,

    Becky-TN

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Joe Crozier says:

    Hi Charlie
    I too have been through divorce. I have gained great understanding and empathy with others through this process. No wonder God hates divorce. I felt the pain of loss worse than the pain of the loss of loved ones who have died. But I have learned much about myself and the pain of others. I submitted my marriage to tribunals of first and second instance in New Zealand and Australia and it was declared to be one that did not bind for life. I was free to marry again in the church. Doubts about process and content of submissions continued to haunt me so I took it all to an Italion canon lawyer who was associated with Rota. His conclusion was that the local verdict was valid. My heart had been broken but I have been able to face and accept all that was wrong in me and my marriage. In confession the priest suggested I pray that my ex and I would find new life in the ashes of our marriage. I went to Garabandal, made the suggested prayer and left my wedding ring in the donations box. Avril has since married a university sweetheart who she should probably have married all those years ago and is happily settled with him in San Francisco. Recovery is a long process but now I understand better the vital role of the mission of Mercy undertaken by our Holy Father. Every step he has taken has been true to our Catholic Faith. He goes out with open arms to every lost pridigal. The Jubilee Doors of Mercy are Powerfully symbolic of the welcome that awaits. I believe that in Pope Francis we have a wonderful demonstration of the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit who inspired his Election to the Chair of Peter. Some would force us to see the Vatican as s political entity. To me it is and always has been spiritual in essence. Politics may be at play but it is the power of God’s love that has always permeated its universality and driven it on in goodness. I believe Pope Francis shepherds us well and feeds us according to our needs. Of course I do: I’m a Catholic.

    Liked by 12 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Joe. It is a tough process…and one so many have been caught up in through our badly broken culture. I thank God that Pope Francis chose to jump in and tackle it.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Doug says:

      Joe, very nice. Today, in our weekly Ignatius group get together, our priest commented in the context of how we as parents have vested interstate in our kids since we are their parents and want what is best for them. He flipped this around and said “God created you. So he has a vested interest in you as your parent”. How marvelous!

      Liked by 3 people

    • deereverywhere says:

      I am sorry your heart was so broken, Joe. You could always adopt a dog. Let the past be in the past. Love is never wrong. You loved so you were right in that. Be consoled because you can love. You have no idea who God has waiting in the wings just for you. Keep hoping. And don’t worry, it will get worse before it gets better. (Fade to Johnny Cash and June Carter singing “I hear that train a coming it’s coming round the bend” except instead of train, substitute “Storm”)…

      Liked by 5 people

  15. Sr Lorraine says:

    I’m still reading the new document, which is quite long–about 250 pages! Here’s a few initial thoughts:

    1. Don’t get your impressions of it from headlines, which always distort. Read it yourself, otherwise you won’t get a balanced view of it.

    2. Surprise–the Pope is Catholic and actually upholds all Catholic teachings on marriage and family, including that of contraception, the indissolubility of marriage, and divorce. Reading some news reports would give you the opposite impression.

    3. Francis is pastoral and is looking for ways to help people in messy situations to get some pastoral help. Chapter 8 of the document speaks to that, and that is the part much media coverage will focus on. But remember that it has to be read in light of the whole thing. Catholic teaching on marriage is clear. But it’s not always so clear if individual persons actually contracted a valid marriage. That’s where the messiness comes in. It strikes me that some of what he says here is rather vague and so perhaps could be distorted. But he is not in any way changing Catholic doctrine on sacramental marriage, which he couldn’t do anyway since it comes from Jesus himself.

    4. The most beautiful part of it, I think, is the meditation on St Paul’s hymn to love in 1 Cor, ch. 13. Whether married or not, all of us could meditate on that very fruitfully.

    5. The document has quite a few references to St. Thomas. I noticed that also in Joy of the Gospel. Pope Francis must like St Thomas even though he might not seem like the Thomistic type. For example, this quote:
    “Charity by its very nature, has no limit to its increase, for it is a participation in that infinite charity which is the Holy Spirit. . . Nor on the part of the subject can its limit be fixed, because as charity grows, so too does its capacity for an even greater increase.”

    Liked by 13 people

  16. MarieUrsula says:

    An associate and I were quite touched by an article that appeared in last Sunday’s (Divine Mercy Sunday) parish bulletin. We both have seen many examples, and have been involved with many people, who are dealing with the fallout of the war on marriage and who, alas, perpetuate the fallout unless something changes. Here is the article:

    Doctrines for Life: Family as the Training Ground for Virtues
    Fifth in a series of excerpts from “What Exactly is Catholic Social Teaching?” by Emily Stimpson for Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly

    For the Church, the family is the primary “where” of Catholic social teaching. In a sense, it’s both origin and destination. Explains Dr. Steven Brust, of Lock Haven University, “It’s where human beings learn how to be human. It’s where you recognize your dignity and the dignity of others. It’s where you grow in temperance, prudence, fortitude, generosity, faithfulness, sacrifice, and kindness. It’s where you learn to live in communion with others.”

    “The family makes good Catholic citizens,” summed up Dr. J. Reyes, executive director of justice, peace, and human development at the USCCB. “It’s a training ground for the virtues.” That, in turn, is why strengthening the family is a destination or aim of Catholic social teaching.

    The family is the first and most natural human society. On its health and strength, a society’s health and strength depend. Accordingly, the family is what the Church’s social doctrines advocate advancing and protecting. In “Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching,” the USCCB put it this way, writing that, in a just state, “marriage and family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined.”

    “When the family breaks down, that leads to a deformation of the human person,” said Dr. Michel Therrien, professor of moral theology at the Augustine Institute. “That has huge consequences for the commonwealth. People can’t contribute because they’re not well formed individuals. The society is left trying to clean up the mess, but it can’t. The state can’t do what the family does. That’s why society has to promote, protect, and serve the family. In serving the family, it strengthens the social order.”

    Back to MarieUrsula:
    Pope Francis seems always to keep in mind the current reality that the Church is a field hospital.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. YongDuk says:

    Entering into the Fray having Entered the Fray…

    I downloaded Amoris Laetitia, but quite honestly have yet to ingest it all…

    Rather, I read the medias take on it and a few confreres.

    Oddly, I entered into the Fray of TNRS–said playfully–just on this point with Beckita way back in Oct.

    My comments were that I was hoping for a clear means for pastoral care for the situation of priests ministering in the Confessional.

    YongDuk says:
    October 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I will concede theologically Anointing of the Sick to that point, Charlie. However, as you know, the Sacrament of Reconciliation requires the intention of not returning to the same objectively sinful situation. (e.g. A Priest can’t absolve a penitent from adultery if they have no intention of not continuing to commit adultery.)

    That I believe is the crux of the pastoral examination going on here: it is a question of Sacramental Theology (Doctrine) being applied to this pastoral situation. In other words, what is or are there the concrete “certain” situations in which a person can receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. The follow and flow logistically into each other: one has to be in the State of Grace to receive the Eucharist; one living in sin seems not to be; can this be reconciled?

    I think that is actually good news for Priests who face this in the Confession. The guess work in a sense being taken out : can I or can I not give absolution… etc.

    Makes me smile to think about still in God’s Goodness and Mercy in such a culture of divorce!!

    So for now I say “…” (That’s not an Emoji, HNSE) as I prayerfully read and discern…

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I will be very interested in your comments after you have had a chance to digest it – and I believe all you Bishops were given a reading guide with it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Charlie, I read things in the original language and slowly while looking at other translations. The differences are insightful and thus I also like to see the medias spin and other Prelates’ takes, etc. for the flavours between languages.

        One problem, and I have spent quite some time on 296 forward, is that I am trying to read the moral theology bent to try to see the “loop-hole” arguments and praying on what means to address this and these individual cases given priests’ schedules and such.

        Believe it or not, I keep playing the Storm situation in my head with the Rescue as one of the solutions…

        Liked by 7 people

        • charliej373 says:

          I have been increasingly thinking of that, myself, YD. But we have to soldier on or we could squander the graces inherent in it.

          Liked by 8 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Yes, Charlie, my conclusions are quite pastorally positive and optimistic, but I feel like one of those prairie dogs who sticks its head up to see what the rest are saying until ready to be said.

            And lest that be construed as cowardice, there is a reason why prairie dogs do do that and it is hardly cowardice.

            The precedent-setting Reading Guide made me laugh as it may well be for when someone calls the Chancery with questions, “Well, Fr. X [or, in the case of a parishioner calling, Fr. N. is correct], the Reading Guide says…”

            Liked by 4 people

          • I like good, challenging work, but that would have never been the case without a handful of sturdy examples at key points in my life, and I can never thank them enough.

            It seems to me that Pope Francis has done a good job of showing us the difficult work at hand and encouraging us to get started (again). I think I’m going to just keep it that simple, rather than run the risk of getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the overall task(s) which are not mine to manage. Although I’m little and expect to be challenged by my limitations, I’m confident my part will be doable with God’s grace.

            I smiled at your imagery of the prairie dog, YD. The desert is rife with them. I don’t smile at the roof rats, however, that suddenly showed up about two years ago. I suppose they’ve been here for far longer, but it was only a couple of years ago that I spied the first one darting along the wall at night, then all his buddies that followed. I think it was the non-indigenous plants and citrus that attracted them. As quickly as they showed up, they’re almost gone now, no doubt because the prairie dogs weren’t having it, plus the owls, hawks, falcons and eagles that followed for the all-you-can-eat buffet. One of my trail dogs, Lily, also bagged about a half dozen in the backyard.

            I love the prairie dogs, even though they seem to make a mess of the landscape. That first one broke through and popped up right in the middle of my grass. Holes followed everywhere. One day it dawned on me that there was an easy solution, so I began the process of getting rid of all my landscaping embellishments and returning the yard to it’s natural desert state. Once I’m done, I think everything will be just as it should… prairie dogs, prairie dog holes, and such.

            I’m guessing there’s about a dozen prairie dogs living there now. Let’s see… that’s Prairie Dogs 12 – roof rats 0. God wins!

            Praying for all the Clergy. Ground troops, air troops, all troops.

            MP

            BTW – Prairie dogs here are just that perfect shade of ecru.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            MP, just think how much less yard work you now have. Kinda like winter in New Hampshire (except for shoveling snow).

            Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          The only loophole I see is ignorance and some physiological disorders where the person is not culpable. This is from reading Fr. Victura’s link to the commentary. I can easily see the progressives exploiting this. The key is igorance. If I am aware, then I am culpable and I obligated to live up to the ideal out of genuine love. 1 John 5:3 “For the love if God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commands are not burdensome”. However, I do see God’s mercy which is so beautiful. I look forward to hearing more from you YD.

          Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Doug, I am probably going to stick to the public sphere on this one.

            I dropped Charlie a note last night in the midst of prayer… The clarity I had then is gone now…

            In the Syriac Fathers, the Eucharist is called, sum hiya, the Medicine of Life.

            That is where my heart is leaning in all of this, but it has me a bit puzzled that is merely mentioned in passing… I need to read and observe more, simply put.

            +YD

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oops. Meant to say psychological disorders.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Lambzie and I used to give a sexuality talk for marriage prep. There are some things we would do differently knowing what we know now, but our primary focus was always on our witness on how we came to know God through his love and how we strive to place him first in our lives. All things won’t have much meaning without this.

            We have had a joyful marriage for 31 wonderful years. It was not always like that. Before I knew God, I broke up with Lambzie after 3 years of dating. I wanted freedom (what I perceived as freedom) which meant partying and seeing other woman. That took me down a dead end. During this time I met God and it brought me the freedom I was seeking. It hit me that it was all interior and I was not going to find it in worldly things. Well, we got back together, but with a much different perspective. There is much more to the story, but Lambzie and I have been on the same page with our faith for over 33 years now and it has been such a treasure. We can still sit across the table from each other and engage in lively conversation. In fact, we just went out to breakfast this morning and did just that.

            Now, Lambzie has been through 3 bouts of cancer which has brought us our own personal storm. She has had many major surguries and is beaten up inside although she looks good on the outside. She gets tired easily and has chronic pain. I would not wish this on anyone, but it has brought us to a whole new level in our relationship and brought some deep interior healing to Lambzie who was abandoned and institutionalized as a 1 year old. At one point during some prayer, God gave me this deep interior knowledge of how precious her soul is and that I was very specifically placed in her life to counter all the negative of her childhood. Now, it’s not like she was a project. She has always been my best friend and confident. It was an infusion of how special she is from God’s perspective. This gave me more strength and it has brought me to a whole new level as to how I view her. In addition, the cancer brought out all the feelings of abandonment Lamzie had and throigh the strughle was healed of of much of this. She is a much stronger and more whole woman than ever. As I like to say say, less body parts, but more whole than ever. We are more in love with each other now than we have ever been. I would not change any of what we went through.

            Now, if anyone here is struggling, please understand how much God loves and desires you and that your trials are not a reflection of God hating or abandoning you. It is probably quite the contrary. Job did not do anything wrong and the satan was allowed to buffet job for a while so that Job would learn that God did not abandon him, although that’s what it felt like to Job, but that Job needed to learn that there was much more to God than than health and prosperity. In other words, the prevailing thought in Jobs time, was that if you were right with God that you would have prosperity. This notion was challenged. At the end of the day, it’s about heaven. This world is transitory and it will pass away before us. Heaven is our real home.

            Liked by 13 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Awe you two!! What a precious witness to love and endurance. You are blessings and are blessed. ❤

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            You are very kind Jenn. Thank you.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Doug, I do not lie and, while I talk too much like Gabriel perhaps, what I said months ago, I hold to.

            You can ask God how I know what I said and that is that, but if we meet, be certain, if you you did your homework (and it isn’t hard), I will act as I said I would, hair extensions and all.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            SO beautiful a pair of witnesses are you and Lambzie, Doug. Thank you for opening your heart in sharing part of your life story for the benefit of all who will read what you have written.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Why thank you Beckita. You are very kind.

            Liked by 1 person

          • homehelper says:

            You have just helped me more than you know. God bless you and your lovely wife!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            God bless you Homehelper! I am glad you found encouragement.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug, your witness is quite simply one of the most beautiful I have ever read. It glows with the love of God. I so look forward to meeting you and Lambzie one day. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable to us. 💖

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Well said, CG! Ditto to what CG just wrote, Doug!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Why thank you CG. I am glad you are encouraged. I hope we can all meet at Mt. Meeker after the storm. God bless you!

            Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      I remember the conversations well, YD. With Charlie and so many here, looking forward to your further and continued reflections as you chew and ponder.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      👲 , sigh…now it’s emoji’s? I have absolutely no idea what an emoji is 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Anne says:

    Just finished ” Beyond the Veil”…… Alan Ames who many should know….. Spends much time in USA. An absolute must read ….. And about to read it again. Timing of it is wonderful with popes document on Love. He has his own website. ….. Alan Ames ministry. I know he spent much of March in Texas.
    A book to often re read and remind oneself of much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dawn Walker says:

      A friend of mine and I went to one of Alan’s presentations a few years back (here in Texas). I have one of his corded plastic Rosaries-she bought for me. We saw the presentation. Then, he disappeared. Now, I know we all have things going on (that’s life)-but I caught a glimpse of him every once in awhile looking at a cellphone in other rooms, or he’d pass through. We never got to meet him, or to talk to him. We were prayed over-by him. I just thought it was an odd night. I skipped his books, etc. (This is just my impression).

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster 🙂 Just wanted to let you know you are all in my daily prayers–I remember the TRNS community and feel a sense of belonging here, even though I haven’t been an active participant. I’m a mom of four with one more on the way, and so thankful that God lead me to tune in to the Patrick Madrid show last year during the last 5 minutes of his interview with Charlie…which lead me to this site. It is a place to find grace and sense in this climate of confusion. Your message has been very heartening for me and my family, and we have seen the fruit of your message in our increased prayer life and greater trust in Our Lord and Lady. We also teach Marriage prep in our diocese and are grateful that God, through other faithful couples, has led us in to this ministry, mostly because of what all of the leader preparations (and ongoing revisiting of the material each time we work with engaged couples!) has brought to our marriage. Just praying for God to mold us to be humble and active participants. God bless y’all 🙂

    Liked by 10 people

  20. phillip frank says:

    I remind all here of the teaching authority and our allegiance due to those in authority over us Christians. It might just quell some of the frustrations mulling around in our minds by being reminded of our duty to church authority.
    From the article, Forgotten Treasures: The Authority of Papal Encyclicals by
    Peter A. Kwasniewski

    “Catholics who wish to be faithful to Christ in all that He has willed for His Church ought to know just what the authority of papal encyclicals is, so that they may be in a position both to internalize their content and to defend themselves against rampant neo-modernist minimalism. According to this minimalist view, the province of a binding magisterium is reduced exclusively to ex cathedra pronouncements and conciliar definitions of truths divinely revealed—and even here, with the major qualification that the human mind, being so weak and limited, can never achieve definitive, irreformable judgments or formulations of the truth, but is ever making progress that may demand the overturning of what came before.
    In stark contrast to this evolutionary and democratic view stands the unanimous Tradition of the Church, which professes an unchanging deposit of faith delivered by Jesus Christ to the Apostles and a Spirit-guided history of the correct understanding and faithful application of this deposit on the part of the whole Church—which is found precisely where the bishops in union with the pope are found to be ruling, teaching, and sanctifying: ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia. There have always been and will always be many definitive, irreformable judgments, and they are located not only in the “extraordinary magisterium” of the Roman Pontiff when teaching ex cathedra, but also, and plentifully, in the “ordinary magisterium” of the pope and all the bishops teaching in union with him. This vast sphere of doctrinal and prudential guidance is likewise, in varying ways, protected from error by
    the Holy Spirit.[1]”

    The full article can be found here;
    http://www.cuf.org/2007/03/forgotten-treasures-the-authority-of-papal-encyclicals/

    Phil

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Diane says:

    PRAISE GOD – A major abortion clinic in the Miami area has been closed. It was a place that has had an army of Rosary Warriors for over 10 years praying, praying praying. The owner decided to sell that property. Love. I do. Diane

    Liked by 7 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Praise and thanks be to God.

      Liked by 4 people

    • jwjohn says:

      The City of Miami and the State of Florida have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus about 1 year ago. John Rick Miller a former protestant turned Catholic after graces received from our Lady, a former international businessman has used his contacts to consecrate countries and cities to the 2 hearts – the consecrations are done in a Catholic Church with Bishops, Cardinals, and City Officials, Mayors, etc. With prayer and consecration they had no choice but to leave. Sadly, Mr. Miller passed in May of 2015 of throat cancer, I guess the bad guy wanted him gone.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Patricia says:

        jwjohn,
        In the early 90’s, the five parishes in our city (pop 55,000) consecrated the city to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the request of a few people who had gone to Medjugorje. It was done by the pastors on the same Sunday morning during the May processions with the First Communicants. (Two of the smaller parishes had their churches closed and were included into the remaining parishes since and the city also has a number of Christian denomination churches.) Looking back over the past 25 years, a few observations can be made. The mayor throughout these years, albeit a Democrat, was pro-life, The school committee quietly remained majority pro-life. I say quietly because in local elections the issue is not front and center. As a result, it prevented PP from infiltrating our schools. The city council was always half and half (better than none!) but no damage done. The two biggest results that are now quite visible are that the largest of the churches in the center of the city has, for several years now, 8am to 8 pm Adoration Wednesday through Friday. Prior to the consecration, Adoration had been unavailable for years. And, still always a fight, we have not been taken over by the progressive left which has destroyed the Christian character of three adjoining cities. And, not surprisingly, considering our location, the political affiliation of all four of these communities was Democrat. Today the largest affiliation of our city is Unenrolled and although the other three are in name D, they are populated by and governed by the Progressive Left. It is not to say we do not have a vocal left voice in the city, we do, but the moderate to conservative voice is quite large, loud and ruling. Thank you Blessed Mother!

        Liked by 8 people

      • Beckita says:

        LOVE the work of Heaven through John Rick Miller and the Apostolate, For the Love of God Worldwide! May John Rick Miller’s soul rest in peace. I sense the work begun in him may well flourish in the age to come, once all are on bended knee before our Living God. It would be so fitting to have every city and town consecrated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with commitment from every level of society in each locale.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Diane, JW, and Patricia for such uplifting, positive news. We give Our Blessed Lord and Our Holy Mother our thanks!

      Liked by 4 people

  22. Doug says:

    Very nice piece Charlie.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Snowy Owl says:

    This, from Pope Francis is Truth, as always, solid compassionate and filled with mercy. He is like Jesus. It’s as though the mountains are being laid low and the valleys raised. What was hidden in plain sight is now unveiled and revealed for all to see- to embrace or reject. Jesus. The same words over and over, same love revealed over and over, layer upon layer of mercy and love… lower and lower he descends for his love of us- even into the depths of Hell, here on Earth. Jesus keeps humbling Himself to reach us- no matter where we have tried to hide. Who is like Him?
    As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
    Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; and all mankind is to see the saving power of God.
    sorry if this makes no sense.. I am exhausted, completely spent, broken and asleep in the ashes.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. EllenChris says:

    Well, here is an interesting event to ponder. It is not clear whether Bernie is speaking or just attending. When Evo Morales was inaugurated president of Bolivia, he had a ceremony conducted by a traditional priest of the sun god. Things just keep on getting more interesting.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/04/08/bernie_and_pope_francis_team_up_sanders_set_to_speak_at_the_vatican_on_economic_and_social_issues/

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      The Vatican said yesterday that they didn’t invite Sanders; he invited himself.

      Liked by 2 people

      • YongDuk says:

        I am struggling to understand this and my soul reacts to this as if evil…

        I would put a stop to this if I could…

        Liked by 2 people

      • EllenChris says:

        The quotes I read said that this was not true — someone tried to make it look that way. Margaret Archer of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences said that they had been approached by Sanders’ people, but Bishop Marcello Sanchez Sorondo said that he himself had asked Sanders to attend. So there is a little dissension going on there. One way or the other, it seems like Sanders will be attending. But also — read up a little on Evo Morales. Curioser and curioser.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ann says:

      Ellen–This is troubling, to say the least–both Sanders and Morales. Hard to know what to say. Poor Bolivia. Sounds like a descent into their past pre-Christian world. The old adage comes to mind: be careful what you wish for. Also, “reaching out” is a good thing if it means providing a channel of grace to those who are on the wrong path (the Vatican inviting Sanders and Morales) but it is also I am afraid a potential cause for scandal too. It carries to the ill informed a kind of “see, the Pope approves of them.”

      I have appreciated the comments here on the Pope’s exhortation. I am prayerfully reading and contemplating, but I am afraid I am not where many of you are yet. We are in tough times, unprecedented times it is true, but so much “nuance” makes it very hard to navigate some increasingly choppy waters.(ex: the “smoking footnote” Raymond Arroyo speaks of) “Speak the truth in love” is always the right direction, but the truth is immutable. Unchangeable. HOW we speak it, how we act it, is the “rub” (to borrow a phrase 😉 and in the past perhaps there was a Jansenist shade to the way the Church approached the laws of the sacrament of marriage with more emphasis on law and less on love. I say “perhaps”–I have no chapter and verse. Gotta do more homework. So I am just trying to “unpack” all of this and stay on the narrow path along with all the rest of you. As I get older and closer to my “final exams” I do get more simple. Ambiguity in sacramental matters can be dangerous to souls. And ambiguity and nuance seem to be the tools of so many progressives I know, both in the Church and in politics. Their goal is to obfuscate truth and slide by their agenda. I know that is not the Pope’s intent, God protect and keep him, but sadly this document may confuse more than clarify. And lets face it, that is a pattern we’ve seen during this Papacy. Hope these comments don’t get me voted off the island. 😉 God bless all here and have a beautiful Sunday.

      Like

    • ann says:

      Yikes. I just posted a reply to Ellen here and went on to discuss the Joy of Love document and want to add that having written about the danger of nuance I was shown abruptly and very clearly (my own inner compass or God….?? Don’t know) that I myself constantly nuance the truth with my unbelieving husband and children. I spoon feed it as they can take it because they are so hostile to it. So here I am my friends hoisted on my own petard. Please disregard my first comments because I clearly wasn’t grasping the whole picture. Mea culpa.

      Liked by 5 people

  25. deereverywhere says:

    We were married in the court house in ’86 just us, in blue jeans. I came back to the church in ’94. After much hullabaloo (no murders), much prayer especially to Andrew Kim and the Korean martyrs (whom I will personally thank when I get to heaven, because, it was not easy, nothing with my
    beloved is ever easy) we had our marriage blessed in 95. My beloved is not Catholic. This week he may be Baptist, next week he might me Buddhist, then Moonie, with harrie Krishna thrown in. Deep down inside he knows Catholicism is right but he hasn’t reached that point and may not until his death bed. We had everything arranged in 95 my mum and dad came down. Then father said it isn’t ready because my beloved wasn’t baptized. We had to postpone everything and wait for dispensation from the bishop which came in a week or two. About two years ago he tells me, “oh yeah, I was baptised by the Presbyterian’s when I was 10” this is why I must restrain myself from pinching off heads. At least now I don’t have to worry about getting him baptised. I don’t think wrapping duck tape around his mouth and limbs and dunking him in the pond would be a valid baptism, anyway. All about consent and free will….

    Anyone who wants to have their marriage blessed, I would urge devotion to Andrew Kim and the Korean martyrs because they truly worked miracles in my case. http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2014/09/st-andrew-kim-taegon-and-st-paul-chong.html

    Liked by 9 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Deer, thank you for putting this link up. I have never read about these martyrs before, how beautiful!

      Liked by 2 people

      • deereverywhere says:

        They really helped me. I can’t remember which country it was, but it was an Eastern one, that when priests came there the priests found a deposit of the Catholic faith in tact in the form of the rosary. While there had been no priests or catechism the rosary had been handed down thru the generations. The people knew the then fifteen mysteries and the prayers of the rosary. I thought that was a great story. I am praying for you Snowy.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Deer, i watched a program on PBS about a small village in China and what you just said is basically their story..a priest is allowed to come for Mass maybe once every 2 years… because of their government..but I’m telling you, I have never seen such happy, holy wonderful Catholics in my life! They were very poor and so very happy and loving in how they cared for their tiny Church! Everyday they gathered to pray the Rosary. It was just beautiful. I cried.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you, Deer, for the link to the Korean martyrs. It has brought an inspiration to seek their intercession to deter the evil designs of the current regime in the north of that country.

            Snowy, I don’t know how long ago it was that you viewed the program on PBS or how old was the footage but the scenario across the country of China concerning the availability of either having Mass in the village or in a village/town nearby continues to greatly improve.

            When I became Godmother to all 64, spanning three generations, in the Wang Clan in a small village 21 years ago, what you describe from the PBS program was commonplace. Today, with increased vocations and the Holy Spirit continuing to light a fire of desire in hearts all over that great land, despite the government’s continued declarations and actions attempting to squelch evangelization, God is waking a sleeping giant. The hardliners within the government are yelling desperately and loudly, wishing to stop what God is doing beyond their seeming control, as some of their own confreres continue to convert.

            A major gash, the division between the underground Church and the Patriotic Church, is continually poked and manipulated by the government to foment greater division for the purpose of maintaining the illusion of government control where God is already manifesting His Sovereignty. We will be in a mighty battle with the Chinese in the evil one’s last stand, yet God is at work in China in surprising and mighty ways. Blessed be His Holy Name!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita, I saw that show right about the time I first came in here! I remember that because I had read something about you working with the people in China? Not sure if it was a comment or what I read. I think I posted a similar comment to you at that time.

            Liked by 1 person

          • deereverywhere says:

            That is probably it. I have decided that older people have more things to remember and that is why we have retrieval issues. We are not forgetful because we are older, we have just amassed a plethora of information and our brain ‘bookshelves’ are a bit dusty because they have acquired information though the years. Young people have a whole library with very few ‘books’ in it so their retrieval system is easier to use and they are better at accessing information.

            As for the dusting off of bookshelves, I have decided it could possibly ruin the ‘patina’ that “Antiques Road Show” is so fond of using. Hence forth all dust in my home is relabled ‘patina’.

            I have sent my angel to you to give you a great big hug. May your day be fulled with light and sunshine, the snowy variety.🍀💟💜💗😸😇. How cute are the kittens?

            Liked by 5 people

          • charliej373 says:

            In private conversation, sometimes I go silent for a while as I am contemplating something. My daughter once told a friend who witnessed this that I was just “processing,” that I had so many files in my head it took me a little longer than most to access that array. Ever since, when I ‘go away’ for a few moments in a conversation, she laughs that I am “processing.”

            Liked by 6 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            I believe you are correct. Through the conscience, to the pro conscience (tip of you tongue) into the subconscience. There and back again, but Bilbo Baggans already has that title copywritten.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            So that’s what my problem Deer. Too much stuff in the brain. Well, time for spring cleaning.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Keep the good stuff, Doug. A deacon’s life experiences and knowledge can be put to excellent use by Our Lord and Our Lady as he ministers to God’s people.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Well, Charlie, I am hoping for your insight into the email that I sent Sunday at 3 AM…

            I think that is the Holy Father’s intent… including in letting the Eucharist be in the parlor / internal forum to preclude scandal.

            Curious still awaiting like a Prairie Dog.

            I don’t mind that interpretation, so long as the intention and the good will is there and that is the problem… Too many “shepherds” read / interpret good will as good. Peace to Men of Good Will, the Gloria says… Not to Men, who are good in the eyes of the World.

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I am not sure I got the email, YD, you might need to resend. On the other hand, I had a rather vigorous weekend beginning Friday afternoon. I was traveling most of the day today and I simply have not been able to deal with most (or much of any) of the stuff coming in since Thursday yet.

            Like

          • YongDuk says:

            Resent, Charlie

            Like

        • Mick says:

          Deer, I’ve heard that story, too. I think it was in my kids’ history book for maybe 8th grade. I just asked my eldest son, and he said that he thinks the country was Japan (he has a ridiculously awesome memory; it’s so unfair). Wasn’t it something like 150 or 200 years since the people had had a priest among them?

          Liked by 4 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            Yes, his memory is good because he has an awesome mom and more importantly he only has 14 years to remember. I have many more years to remember. I bet he does well in school because he listens to the teacher and remembers what is said in class. I believe it was 150 to two hundred years since they had a priest. Is our religion awesome or what?

            Liked by 2 people

    • Deer….serious stuff, but I have to say, you always make me laugh. In a delighted sort of way. Love you to the moon and back.

      Liked by 7 people

      • deereverywhere says:

        Thank you cgma, I wish everyone could experience the joy of the Holy Spirit. You are doing a great job sharing your love! Keep up the Lord’s work! (Because loving and laughing is what we are ment for)

        Liked by 7 people

  26. I must admit I have not read the entire ” Joy of Love” in great detail, however I do see a constant slide to the cliff. Ask yourself, if such thoughts would have been mentioned 80 years or even 20 years ago what would have been the public outcry. Now we see ” a church more in line with society” really? Is that the goal. Now ask yourself this question. If this is the direction, where will we be in the next 5 years. Food for thought!

    Like

    • YongDuk says:

      John, forgive me for this strong correction, but the Holy Father clearly cites St. Thomas Aquinas lest the argument you put forth be put forth.

      +YD

      Liked by 7 people

      • dvto80 says:

        Selectively quotes St. Thomas Aquinas. Major difference.

        Like

        • Beckita says:

          Dvto, please consider deeply this comment from Charlie which could truly help your perspective:

          Argument: For the law to be applied properly it must cast out those who violate it.

          To the contrary: The purpose of the law of Jesus Christ is to bring people back into the fullness of the faith. Therefore, an application of the law that merely identifies and casts out violators is a perversion of the law that fails its fundamental purpose.

          Therefore: Whatever flaws there may be in Pope Francis’ conception of how properly to apply the law, his effort to live fully the law in both letter and spirit is worthy – and a useful corrective to those who simply want to apply the diagnostic portion of the law without bothering to attempt any cure.

          I admire the actual work of Thomas Aquinas, who was broad in his conception, deep in his consideration and original in his application. I find the actual Thomas to be quite different from the narrow pedantry that often styles itself as Thomistic. Dig deep…

          Liked by 2 people

        • Joj says:

          Well, surely dvto, you don’t expect him to quote the whole Summa! 🙂 Do the work and let’s hear where he departs from St. Thomas!
          The more I seek to penetrate his reasoning the more I can see that it is in accord with Thomistic principles. Mercy is a ‘species’ of justice, because it gives someone his due, but then goes further than that and gives more. We think of justice as meting out punishment, but God sees justice as giving graces in accord with good works. In that context, Mercy is giving grace before it is ‘earned.’ The Church has for some time stepped away from the idea of punishment in order to focus on binding up wounds for healing. The Pope embraces this task more fully than those who would be legalistic. And l challenge you to present a single theological error, dvto!

          Like

        • YongDuk says:

          DVT, I would honestly be interested in your quoting of St Thomas to show any flaws or faults or mis-steps in A.L.

          I have read Thomas extensively — even being trained by Dominicans — and taught Thomas in Seminary and Pontifical Universities/Colleges, but I realise that his corpus is grand and any insights that you may have found would potentially be enlightening.

          Thank you

          Liked by 2 people

    • Joe says:

      John, Pope Francis has consistently called us to stretch ourselves. The Church has constantly been associated with being a hospital for sinners. How many hospitals do you know turn away patients because they don’t have the right type of sickness?

      Liked by 4 people

    • janet333 says:

      “Ask yourself, if such thoughts would have been mentioned 80 years or even 20 years ago”

      John….they didn’t have our problems eighty years ago! 😦

      Liked by 5 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Perfect, Janet! If they blocked the road with ambulances and fire trucks when nothing was going on, that would be an offense. If they didn’t when there is a terrible car crash, that would be an offense.

        Liked by 3 people

  27. bthanntrm says:

    I love to read all your blogs here. They lift my heart up so much.
    Years ago I met a priest that was telling me how corrupt the authority of the church had become and several people I knew were joining Latin Mass groups and others such groups. But I heard an interior voice tell me to hang on to the Church tight and don’t let go, no matter what. That’s what I plan to do because where else should I go for the truth? Truth does not change it is eternal but thanks be to God for his Divine Mercy or I would have been swept away.
    Please pray for my Grandson Drake he is 10 on the 10th.
    God Bless you all

    Liked by 7 people

  28. Julia says:

    I can’t help wondering how come the reconciliation talked about for sins and transgressions does not seem to have been applied to transgressions between married couples. Regular reminders from the pulpit might be helpful on that one.

    They must have loved each other once. And anyway, in some cultures parents choose their childrens spouses. I heard what these latter couples have to do is learn to get on with each other.

    I certainly felt when I was young that the Church upheld the behaviour of men, good bad or indifferent, and women were just told it was their duty to obey. Meaning put up with the brute and give him his oats on demand. I made certain the man I married did not hold that attitude, which might have something to do with surviving near on 50 years to date. Who knows.

    I think Holy Father is trying to repair much damage accumulated through poor preaching. The 10 commandments would be a good start. And if men loved their wives like they love themselves, maybe 80% of the problems would be resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YongDuk says:

      Ha! That’s an absolutely odd place or way to end your comment.

      Imagine if I ended my Homily that way: the women out in the pews would love me!

      Oh, but if I preached St Paul’s difficult passages or explicated the meaning of Genesis 3:16 and what the Hebrew says about the urge of Woman to dominate Man just as the same verb is used in regards to Sin being a demon lurking with the urge to dominate Cain, then imagine the calls to the Chancery ( 😉 ) and the response of the women!

      I don’t disagree with your statement and comment, but I will be brutally honest with you why St Paul says what he says in various places and what Genesis 3–4 says regarding Sin.

      To whom is given more is expected more.

      And Woman was formed from the Side of Adam not from the Earth!

      Be love, Women!

      Love covers a multitude of sins

      Liked by 4 people

      • YongDuk says:

        My apologies, I meant to place Gen 4:7 in the reference to Cain.

        Gen 3:16:
        …Yet your urge shall be for your husband…

        Gen 4:7:
        but if not, sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it.

        Like

        • Beckita says:

          I appreciate this, YD, and realize, in the past, I have skipped over Gen 3:16’s meaning. When I look at the Navarre Bible with its commentary, I am given this: Sin is the cause of disorder in family life, especially between husband and wife; the text expressly instances a husband’s despotic behavior towards his wife. The discrimination against women is here seen as the outcome of sin; it is something, therefore, as the Bible regards as evil.

          Sin is also the reason why people fail to appreciate the dignity of marriage and the family – a widespread failing denounced by the Second Vatican Council: “the dignity of these partnerships is not reflected everywhere, but is overshadowed by polygamy, the plague of divorce, so called free love, and similar blemishes; furthermore, married love is too often dishonored by selfishness, hedonism and unlawful contraceptive practices. Besides, the economic, social, psychological and civil climate of today has a severly disturbing effect on family life.” (Gaudium et spes, 47).

          Checking the USCCB site I find: He shall rule over you: the punishment also affects the woman’s relationship with her husband. A tension is set up in which her urge (either sexual urge or, more generally, dependence for sustenance) is for her husband but he rules over her.

          Interestingly, Genesis doesn’t seem to be the final story. As the commentary then recommends: “But see Sg 7:11.” which is: The woman’s answer assures him of her love, and invites him to return with her to the rural delights associated with their love (cf. also 6:11–12). Yearning: used only here and in Gn 3:16; 4:7. The dependency and subordination of woman to man presented as a consequence of sin in the Genesis story is here transcended in the mutuality of true love.

          Surely there is responsibility for the disorder of original sin from BOTH Eve AND Adam. Each spouse, to this day, much resist temptations to disorder in the relationship, yes? I even had a perhaps crazy thought which entered my contemplation this weekend: What if Adam had refused to eat the apple and had interceded to protect Eve by naming her sin, not in a shaming way, but by persuading her not to hide but to run to Abba, begging for forgiveness? How would the story have proceeded differently?

          Liked by 5 people

          • Oh Beckita I love this. Your last paragraph says it all for me. Responsibility on the part of both is crucial to acknowledge. And yet, we have a daughter who has always pointed out for years, and not in an accusatory fashion, that Adam failed to protect Eve. This from a daughter whose (now ex) husband has failed over many, many years to provide any spiritual, emotional or moral protection at all. A heartbreaking abandonment. But there lies the ‘happy fault’ that has brought Salvation to us all. Still, such an interesting thought to ponder.

            Liked by 3 people

          • janet333 says:

            “What if Adam had refused to eat the apple and had interceded to protect Eve by naming her sin, not in a shaming way, but by persuading her not to hide but to run to Abba, begging for forgiveness? How would the story have proceeded differently?”

            Ah…. if only Beckita..there wouldn’t be fallen man.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Re-read my prior post and realized how much it sounded like I was placing all blame for a failed marriage on my son-in-law. Not at all true. Silly to give such short shrift to such a complicated issue that shouldn’t even be dealt with here. Wasn’t one sided. Never is. Culpability, emotional and spiritual immaturity and failure abounds. Sad all the way around.
            I think I was just surprised to hear the musings on a ‘different’ ending as I’d only heard it once before as mentioned. Apologies to any who were mislead.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            I think I struggle, Beckita, with the role of Woman/Women as I see the Holy Spirit within the Most Holy Trinity and the Individual Soul much concretely than perhaps most do and thus I see Love as something volcanically peaceful… And I wish I could be that and I see Women as having that, so I disagree with the Navarra Bible’s Commentary as it miss the Trinitarian interpretation of Gen 1–2 and Gen 3–4, in my opinion.

            I was excited to get the Navarra Bible’s of the Four Gospels but I was so disappointed when I read the Commentaries. While valuable, they were lacking in deep spirituality. I am so grateful that a beautiful priest affirmed this when I was a young cleric, as they were all the rave for a few years in the 1990s.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you SO much for this reply, YD. Please, allow your head and heart to flow with your own commentary right here. I’m most interested if you are willing. Praying you will do so.

            Liked by 3 people

          • LukeMichael says:

            Beckita, the engine was running smoothly, purring like a kitten, until you through the “what if” wrench in there! The faith of Adam then would obviate the need for Jesus and create a distinction in humanity. God sees all humanity as one in Christ, as he is one in the Father!
            Why else do the innocent suffer? Why are there crack babies? Why the Cross? Our sufferings “complete the sufferings of Christ.” We as the body of Christ are one and one in Christ as he is,one in the Father!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Beautiful, LukeMichael! I don’t disagree at all with what has transpired because of the “Happy Fault” of Adam. God is ever “bending over backwards” to write straight with all our crooked lines because HE IS LOVE. Nevertheless, each of our parents had free will, just as we do, with all the grace needed to have chosen differently from what they chose in the Garden. They were not, or are we, pre-destined.

            Jesus is Eternal. He was, is and forevermore shall be. No doubt about it. IF Adam had exerted his free will to act in the way I posed, I then wonder how Jesus would entered into time in salvation history. He’s God! His Thoughts are so far above our own with an Infinite Imagination! He’s all those elegant theological terms to which many of us were exposed in our Catholic schooling… and He’s so much more than all those terms in ways we’ll never fully know, not even in Eternity because we’re not and never will be God.

            Rabbit hole? Most likely. But I believe we must never lose sight of God actively at work in the mystery of human free will. This piece speaks well to this reality:
            https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/through-a-glass-darkly/

            Liked by 2 people

    • phillip frank says:

      Julia,
      I’m with you on the subject of “they must have loved reach other once” theme.
      If the two become one, maybe not in the spiritual link of matrimony, but the emotional, physical and to its end, a child is created sence, I for one, cannot understand the “moving on process” being anything less than a train wreck of the highest order.
      I have sat and listened to people who had a marriage and kids from “way back” they seem like it was all some kind of dream?
      I stare in amazement at the thought of my “family” being somewhere with someone else. Doesn’t work for me, I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Maybe Im cut from a different cloth, but I think I would die first, or at least spend the rest of my life on my knees over it. I guess having spent most of my life on my knees (I’m a tile setter by trade) has had some penitential effect on me and my relationship! Either way, praise God I’m still with my most beautiful and good wife.

      Liked by 9 people

  29. Julia says:

    YD, I don’t know if your reply was to my old rant. But it reads like the same old same old.
    ‘Women, put up or shut up.’

    It is the nature of woman to fall in love, head, neck and heels. And I often think it is the nature of man to fall in lust, head neck and heels. Each as blind as the other.

    It is how we reconcile the reality of living and learning to love one another like the good book says, after the stardust settles once the nuptials are complete, and the honeymoon is over.

    If husbands loved their wives like Christ loves His Church, and were willing to sacrifice their lives as Christ did, we would be well on the way to recovering the sanctity that is appropriate in marriage. Of course some men understand this; but far too many get into traffic warden mode once they get a ring on a girls finger. Of course some women let themselves and the man they marry down too. We all need to be instructed in Saint Pauls words on what love is. Lust does not need to be learned. How to love does need to be learned. I think.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ooo…I think your second paragraph (It is the nature of…) is deliciously true, Julia. Nice!

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Julia, consider how many men are led to lust of power, money, objects (cars, land, etc) only for the sake of the women they love or want to court leading them to that.

      You present it seems to me something one sided. Genesis as I mentioned is valuable to ponder.

      Please know, I am hardly saying to women put up or shut up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Another great point. We men, at least when we are in our late teens and 20s, do many of the goofy things we do to try to impress women we desire.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          I think in general, men want to take care of and please their wife. We just have to learn they are not built the same. Example, I am a problem solver and when Lambzie has a rough day and opens up, I often try to fix the issue where she really just wants me to listen. We know this now and sometimes before we engage in an issue, one of us will ask “do you want me to listen or fix the issue”. Now, Mick is probably an exception to that rule ☺

          Liked by 7 people

          • Love it. It took me years to learn this, Doug, and many other things about men and how they think. I wish someone had taught me these things when I was young. It would have made such a difference in ALL my relationships, including with my father, brothers, male co-workers and bosses. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t teach me because they never understood each other. These men/women issues are not just about marriage. They are about extending charity and understanding to the “other” 50 percent of the human race, those strange, wonderful, maddening, incomprehensible, delightful, frustrating, baffling, adorable beings we encounter every day. It’s part of our sanctification to try to understand, love and serve others, no matter how “other” they may be.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen. Amen. Amen, SF!!!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Well, it’s never too late in God’s eyes SF. I rejoice that we have come to much awareness. I have heard it said on occasion, “be a student of your mate”. Like you say, it applies to much more than our spouse. God bless you!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Doug! You are right again! I’m pretty much a mess. Sometimes I want my dear husband to just “knock it off with the Mr. Fix-It, and listen to me for Pete’s sake”; but other times I am like, “Well, dude, don’t you have a solution to my problem?” And then there are the times that he’s had a hard day and hopes I have a solution to what ails him; and I’m like, “Seriously? I don’t have the foggiest notion how to solve your problem, but I’ll be glad to provide a loving ear while you talk about it.” But every now and again, he’ll be stumped and I’ll actually come up with a way to help solve/resolve his issue. Happy day!

            So yeah, like I said, I’m pretty much a mess. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Not buying the mess line, Mick. You are an amazing woman of many talents. All Glory to God!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh yes. Mick is brilliant.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Mick, you are so much fun here. It’s great that you are part of this family. I’m having a good laugh.

            Liked by 2 people

          • LukeMichael says:

            Ain’t this the TRUTH Doug!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Mick says:

            Beckita: Thank you. and blessed be God. XOXO

            Doug: Man, have I got YOU snowed. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Ha!

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Yo, Double D: My “snowed” comment was about your saying I’m brilliant. But I’m glad that I provide you some smiles and laughs, and I do so love being a part of this family. So, Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

      • Patricia says:

        YD,
        I somewhat disagree with you on the power, money, cars, line. It would appear more likely today that the men are lead to those from their own selfishness and want than to impress a woman, at least in the world I travel in. I can see that happening in the old movies that I love since sex was not available, usually until marriage, and impressing one was a start to a first date maybe. Today, the dating scene is one of iPhone apps and all sense of impressing one is done via photos. Today the young do not fall in love as much as in lust since they start sleeping together right away. And I mean on first and second dates. Consequently, the girls have a hard time breaking away from a relationship that should not result in marriage. I am not talking about abusive relationships just relationships where the couple would have broken up in the good old days after several dates when they realized they were not meant for each other. I pray every day for my kids and their future spouses (known and unknown) so that they can get through this minefield of depravity and evil.

        Liked by 5 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Patricia (and Julia), reflect back to Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 and then to Genesis 6:1-4 then to the rest of Genesis, etc.

          I am hardly casting aspersions on women, but there is a reason why St Paul says what he does about Eve being deceived in 1 Timothy 2:14 from the greatness of who she is in the context of herself and who she is in the context of man and who she is in the context of humanity.

          If Adam failed to protect/till/guard the Garden, that is one thing. But please discern Eve’s fall and the continuation of falls and the corresponding results. Etc.

          Ask yourself who was Eve and who was she meant to be and what was the effect on Adam.

          Then look at Mary and look at who She was in regards to Jesus, yet alone Joseph.

          pax vobis,
          +Yong Duk

          P.S. If you ever have a chance to talk with someone involved in the Exorcism and/or Deliverance ministry–actual cases not just reading books, the demonic plays would become more evident and the need for humility would be all the more imperative. If you apply these to Kingdoms and City-States and Countries, then suddenly Adam and Eve in context of Genesis 4:1ff would make much more sense…

          finis.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Patricia says:

            YD,
            I am not doubting the Genesis reflections. My point was only to the distortion of why males today will do certain things.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Thanks, Patricia… I don’t think I understood that subtlety (That’s a subtle callback, Doug) reading it the first time.

            I was reading your comment in the context of Julia’s saying “And if men loved their wives like they love themselves, maybe 80% of the problems would be resolved.”

            Liked by 2 people

        • YongDuk says:

          P.P.S. St Paul was not a misogynist…

          …in case, some (Doug) might feel he was.

          Beckita, can you chime in please, you have experience in both fields (married life and deliverance ministry, unless God doesn’t show Souls and the Effects of Sin the same way to those in the crucial albeit supportive ministerial role.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            I never believed Paul to be a misogynist.

            I do think the sin of Adam leads to a distorted view of the males role, but there is also Eve’s sin which leads to a distorted view of a woman’s role.

            A man’s distorted role will be power, lust and dominance. Now what would be a woman’s distorted role? I think woman by nature are followers and nurtures. So the distortion would probably be opposite of that. I’ll let the ladies answer that one. Woman may think that birth control brings freedom, but it does just the opposite. It gives men more power over woman. Now we can lust and objectify and use woman more and not have to be responsible for the consequences.

            I do think that men have been ordained as the natural leaders of their families. I have heard a statistic that if the mother is a believer and not the father, then kids have a 15% chance of becoming a believer. If it is just the father, then it goes to 50%. If both parents are believers, then it goes to 75%. What hit me between the eyes with this is how much influence and responsibility father’s have towards the family.

            Now, as the natural leader, we are to emulate Christ’s washing of the disciples feet. We are to be first of all a servant and place the wife’s and families needs above our own. I believe, we, as men, are more responsible and will be held to account more than our wives when we stand before God. In the same token, our priests and bishops (and Charlie) will be held to even greater account. As it says in James 3:1 “not many of you should be teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness”.

            Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            Just home from a looooong drive to ministry yesterday and back again today. I’d love to join the conversation (imagine that) after I read for a while to see the places this community has been in the last 32 hours. Prayed for everyone all along the miles and during the Masses.

            MP, I missed the bald and golden eagles along the way but there were a few hawks who were breathtaking in beauty as they swooped and glided against a backdrop of some yet snow-capped mountains embracing a stunning blue sky with blooming wildflowers in the fields around their base. On the reservation where my late husband taught (his birthday was yesterday) the Salish Indians affectionately and reverently named him “Bald Eagle” for the highly prized bird.

            YD, in my supportive role, I usually identify the disgusting culprits in their nested efforts at work (nested because they seem never to work solo) and the vile effects on souls. One priest simply doesn’t have the gift of identifying, but once named, oh the beauty of setting people free as the demons flee pronto at Father’s command. Praised be Jesus!

            Liked by 7 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Beckita, bless you for your prayers for us and your shared wisdom. I said a special prayer for your beloved, Ted and love that he is also known as “Bald Eagle” and intercedes for us form on high. ❤

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            I thought a lot this weekend about the comments posted by late Saturday morning. I pondered as Father basically snored through the miles (rightly so as all week he has been battling a nasty fatigue-making virus). I kept coming back to how complex and many are the reasons why we have suffered so much in marriage and family life.

            I thought of the destructive forces both within families such as inter-generational spirits, selfishness, fear, so many wounds incurred in childhood traumas with unresolved emotions and memories… then I thought about the outside forces pounding on individuals and families which contribute to breakdown. I believe a HUGE spiritual factor has been the diminished frequency of confession which has fostered a serious problem with humility. It’s the essential key for allowing the third Person in the marriage to freely operate. Hand in hand with lack of confession has been the lax attitude about attending, at the very least, Sunday Mass. An abundance of Grace drives good choices. The massive disregard for Humae Vitae surely is responsible for opening portals of entry for destructive influence from the dark side. But for the Storm and God’s Grace, this morass of tangled issues would be insurmountable.

            Julia has shared a video from an exorcist. Someone sent me an instructive video from a different exorcist which I’ve been saving for the right time. I think the whole talk is worth hearing but if you’re limited on time, at least listen in at about the 19 minute mark where Fr. Chad speaks of marriage in terms which YD has referenced. Potent stuff, worthy of consideration.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Charlie, this is the link to Fr. Chad’s talk which I forgot to add to my last comment:

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita, I eventually got to bald eagle country and spotted one, but I think it was more about the journey there yesterday.

            http://sweetwaterhaven.com/spiritual_adventures_photo_gallery_13.html

            Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            That is majestic! Thank you MP for taking us along on the journey.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Beauteous, MP! God’s Blessings on all your journeys, and those of all here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            So cool MP.

            Liked by 1 person

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          Amen Patricia! I have it under good authority help is on it’s way. Thanks be to God!

          Liked by 4 people

        • I often watch critters with the notion that I can learn something while maintaining some objectivity. Just this morning I observed 5 mourning doves land in a group on the back wall. There was a brief tussle with flapping wings and feathers flying (it’s mating season after all). Eventually, one of the four males (apparently the strongest) flew off to a tree with the lone female. Of course “the strongest” was just my assumption, but only God really knows for sure. At any rate, it reminded me that I’m looking at a fallen world. That much I know for sure. As for the rest, I suppose I can’t help but see things from my own perspective to some degree. Well, that gives me something to think about and work on today.

          I’m heading out to that place on the river where the bald eagles are nesting. That should be interesting. I’d just like for God to do most of the talking today, but I know it’s going to be a challenge for me as always.

          God Bless,

          MP

          Liked by 11 people

        • Doug says:

          This is where I actually think there is merit for parents to have a say in whether their children should marry a certain individual. Most parents have wisdom and insight to see beyond the stars in the younger folks eyes and know whether a particular relationship is mature enough to make it. I am not talking match maker here, but more like a stamp of approval or not. Ultimately, it’s up to the kids, but kids should respect their parents input. I have always taught my kids that God is the most important glue to making a marriage work. I have at least one of three children who took me seriously on this and it is a sight to behold to watch this child’s marriage grow in faith. Of course, first and foremost, she had to internalize the faith for herself which was a key difference between my other two kids.

          Liked by 6 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Doug, I agree! My daughter asked me about her first two boyfriends..(she was sure) I said I wouldn’t, she didn’t. She asked me about her husband- (she wasn’t sure). I said Yes, marry that man! He’s one in a million! They have the most wonderful marriage and now 7 kids! ( they are caring for my son’s 2 kids for the next few years- her husband’s wish) They are so happy. A true Marriage made in heaven, if you ask me, and he- both of them actually, just keep getting better and better!! 🙂

            Liked by 8 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh yes Snowy. What a joy to watch!

            Liked by 2 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Julia, going lower than your comment goes- to the bottom, I see that Satan can’t destroy the Church, try as he might, so he has focused on the family instead…and this has pulled the rug out from under the Church, from under man, so to speak, causing it to flounder and everything to become disordered in society. Once the family is destroyed, society is in shambles and nothing is stable. That leaves us where we are find ourselves now.There are too few mature and properly formed men to teach boys how to be men… and there are too few mature and properly formed women to teach girls how to be women.
      This why we need intervention. The Storm, the Rescue. We have fallen into ruins and only God can put things back in His proper order. Thank God He is this merciful and loving and doing this for us. I may not have said this exactly right- but this is what I see. This is part of what I understand reading what Pope Francis is saying.

      Liked by 6 people

      • YongDuk says:

        My dad and I were having a conversation recently on the politicians versus those prior to WWII.

        I said to him, “Dad, if you look at the Philosophies behind the words of the Politicians, it would reveal their ultimate agendas and leanings and such.”

        He surprised me (and Julia, I thought of this during my Homily today, you are close to the same age as he is), he said to me, “[Yong Duk — cause he calls me by my name], I am too old to care about the Philosophies. That is for your generation to worry about.”

        I disagree with him, as he is formed by the prior generations’ Philosophies, just as you are, Julia.

        Don’t miss that.

        Don’t miss the subtleness of the Serpent in the Garden, with the Philosophical bent.

        Scripture, being the Word of God, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

        We are called to the ideal, not to compromise–not saying that you or anyone has–but we miss the easy compromises that our current culture infuses as many, many subtle lies.

        (Similarly if iPhones and shared photos and media have replaced hot rods and muscles, so be it, it is the same thing…)

        Liked by 6 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          I received this quote in an email, compliments of Steubenville Conferences daily e-piration that I think sums things up quite nicely:

          My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings.
          –- Saint Isaac Jogues

          Liked by 6 people

        • Anne says:

          Only minutes before I eat this I was thinking of how subtly compromise is offered to every single one of us. How we are all compromised to some degree and how easily humans are able to adapt and adapt and before you know it…….. They have changed to suit the situation. The term ” partner” is used constantly and replaced spouse for many.
          Sounds like we have turned into Cowboys…. Hey there pardner!!!

          Liked by 6 people

        • ann says:

          YD–yes! Philosophies (that seem so remote to us) have tremendous consequences. One has only to read Nietzche(spelling?) and then see how his philosophy was implemented a generation later. Hitler’s playbook, in effect. The philosophers who idled in the salons of Paris in the 17th century produced the bloody revolutions of the 18th century. I take philosophy very seriously.
          Modernism is as our beloved previous Popes have told us is the synthesis of all heresies and maybe– I might be so bold to add– the synthesis of all bad philosophies. At any rate it plainly taints everything around us–everything! (“infusing subtle lies”) The Word of God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow and as the Psalmist says, it is a lamp unto our feet. It grows very dark indeed out there.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Doug says:

        Oh yes Snowy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sandy says:

      Julia,

      First, congratulations on the 50 years of marriage. That is wonderful! We have many years to go, but believe that we will get there, although I did not avoid the attitude you refer to as I was too much head and neck over heals 🙂

      Perhaps YD was reacting to your statement. “And if men loved their wives like they love themselves, maybe 80% of the problems would be resolved”. Even if you didn’t mean it that way, that does read like 80% of marriage problems are men’s problems. I do agree in the natural tendencies you refer to. And so I wonder, when the bible asks women to submit to their husbands and for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church, if that does not directly speak to those natural tendencies. If it is my nature to fall in love and want to be loved by my husband, I may find it difficult to “submit” as it may make me feel that he does not love me. I have come to believe that the strong desire I have for my husbands love, in a way, is selfishness. I want what I want right? And if his natural tendency is lust, well, that sure is not how Christ loved His church. Submitting to him will end my selfishness. Loving me like Christ loves his church will replace his lust with love.

      Since our natural tendency is to love, perhaps we wives have to act first. To submit and allow the husband to be the leader is an act of love. He will eventually recognize the love in that act and will respond in kind. Mutual respect will be a fruit. Aren’t we all called to lay down ourselves for each other -to not be first but last? Even men who objectify women are loved by Christ. He thirsts for them to have a deeper love for their wives and for Him. Their wives are gifts from God to them, to bring both of us to Him.

      I do remember something that our priest told us during marriage prep. We are called to bring each other to heaven. My husband is this in my life as I am daily given the opportunity to lay down myself for him, to put him before me, even if sometimes he has attitude and it is difficult for me. This breaks my selfishness. And, as the years go by, his love grows, that he might one day even lay down his life for me… as Christ loves the church. Yes, love needs to be learned, by all of us.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Sandy says:

        Gotta go – need to make my husbands coffee 🙂 Thought this was ironic – a little act of love…

        Liked by 7 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Beautifully said, Sandy, but I challenge you that it is not your job to lay down your life for your husband, but his job firstly… both laying down and dying to their egos. You are to be like the Mother of the Seven Sons in Maccabees.

        It is a fine line: What man doesn’t die to save his wife and mother of their sons out of the Love that she cultivated in their Home for the sake of that Home?

        Liked by 8 people

        • Phillip Frank says:

          I was told a relationship is not a 50/50 commitment but a 100/100 % commitment. This way, no matter who is slacking, the relationship is never lacking.

          Liked by 11 people

        • Picket Fence says:

          I agree with this.

          My husband of 33 years died five years ago in a plane crash. He had come through similar deadly accidents unscathed before. He had also made it known to us that he would go to prison or take a bullet for me or any one of our three children to save and defend us.

          After struggling through the grief we came to this conclusion several years after his death: he gave up his life for us, to work for us from the other side. And a great deal has been accomplished since then. I know his “work” continues on. Praise be to God.

          Liked by 11 people

        • Sandy says:

          She and her sons were very brave. I once thought that never in my lifetime would it ever be possible to be in their position, to be martyred for faith. Now I’m not so sure. Praying for fortitude…

          Liked by 1 person

      • Doug says:

        Well said Sandy.

        Liked by 2 people

    • jaykay says:

      And many men do just that, Julia. In all charity, I think you’ve posited a very absolutist black/white scenario, which I don’t think is actually the case, certainly among friends here, and in the wider reality, in fact.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Robert Cunningham says:

    It may be well to remember that there is a third person in each Christian marriage – Jesus Christ. He is the Bridegroom. I am committed to my wife of over 22 years not because we get along or because we have needs. I am committed because Christ lives in me and in my marriage and I am called to love my wife as He loves the Church, even to the shedding of blood and marriage provides for ample opportunity in that regard.

    It is short sighted to say if men only acted better or women only acted better …… all would be well. You can allow your spouse to sandpaper off your rough edges (I didn’t realize that I had so many before I was married) or you can grow bitter.

    If you have peace in your marriage then thank God. It you have struggles because of weaknesses then allow God to purify you and go to confession monthly. If you suffer and are innocent then cling to Jesus. He suffered before you for his Bride. It seems like his closest friends know that they are close not because they can see him but because thy feel his crown of thorns …… and they are blessed.

    Robert

    Liked by 9 people

  31. YongDuk says:

    Does anybody know what ever, if anything, happened to Patricia Devlin down in or around Lubbock, TX?

    Like

    • Snowy Owl says:

      YongDuk, are you talking about the Pat Devlin that spoke with Angels? I asked my sister who was friends with her and counseled with her years ago at the Home of the good Shepherd in MN, while she lived here. She told me the last time she saw her, she was incapacitated completely, had to be carried around on a stretcher- though she could still talk. She told me she passed away years ago. It was posted on Spirit daily…so it may be in the archives there.

      Like

  32. Mack says:

    I’m very happy that the Pope’s document is so theologically sound. Even though some of the more pastoral parts might sound a little vague (I don’t know what he means by some statements), I think it is because of the wreckage of the times we are living in. People who live in war zones have to do many things they would not otherwise do. In a sense the whole world is a moral war zone. Sin is still sin and we should not do it. The pope is not justifying sin but trying to help pastors get people out of the messes they are in. After the “war” is over, after the Rescue, I expect that a future pope in the era of peace will issue a new letter with different emphases about marriage. I see this more as a temporary situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Snowy Owl says:

    YongDuk, you made a comment a while back concerning perfecting one in good and also in evil…no evil can enter Heaven and no good can enter hell… I can’t find it anywhere, do you or does anyone know where this was posted?

    Like

    • Snowy Owl says:

      The sound of silence… listen.

      Liked by 2 people

      • deereverywhere says:

        Simon and Garfunkel.🎵🎶🎼

        Liked by 4 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          🎸🎵In restless dreams I walked alone
          Narrow streets of cobblestone…🎶

          Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Snowy, we used to do major house cleaning every Saturday to the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers playing in the background. My mother loved Simon & Garfunkel. Me and my DH still do. In 1983 on my mother’s birthday they got back together and put on a concert at the Chicago White Sox, Old Comiskey Park (Sponsored by Roy Leonard and WGN Radio Station) that we surprised her with as a gift. She laughed and cried and it is one of my favorite memories of being with her with the whole family. Every time I hear “Bridge over Troubled Water”, I weep remembering those times.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Oh that is so sweet, Jen! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • deereverywhere says:

            Long ago and far away there was a record player. There were no buttons to push to replay the song, or make it play over again. You had to pick up the arm of the needle (which usually had a penny or two scorched taped on it to give it extra weight) and try to get to the groove that that particular song was on and try not to scratch the record or it would skip. That was one of the songs I would lift the needle and go back to. Oh, and you had to figure out the lyrics. To this day I am discovering songs didn’t say what I thought they did.😲😅

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Gregorian Chant- Sound of Silence

            Liked by 5 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Snowy, what a delightful treat that was!! Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            Oh thank you Snowy! How beautiful and I can watch it because we get gigabits from one am to seven or eight am beautiful.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Deer, you should hear Scarborough Fair that one is my favorite! 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            Me too!!!and that song that Paul Simon sings and he says ” General s order their soldiers to killl….and to fight for a cause they long ago forgotten”

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            That is Scarborough Fair: 🙂
            Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather (War bellows blazing in scarlet battalions)
            Parsley sage rosemary and thyme (General order their soldiers to kill)
            And gather it all in a bunch of heather (And to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten)
            Then she’ll be a true love of mine

            Liked by 3 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            Wow Snowy, I could only always only make out blazing in scarlet battalions. Of course now we can look up lyrics on the internet and dont have to guess.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Deer, nah, it’s way more fun to make up your own lyrics and sing at the top of your lungs 🎺 till the sun sets and the neighbors call the police 🚓 for disturbing the peace!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! My neighbor is the police.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Oh, my Doug…does he know about your Mai-tai moonshine 🍹 operation? or is that hidden in your shed with the 373 lock combination? Oh oops! 😉 ok ok- mum’s the word.. shhhh!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! It actually gives me some comfort that maybe God is subtly providing some protection during the storm. I plan to use the Mai Tai moonshine to barter protection😊

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Save some Mai Tais for the squirrels, Doug!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! I love it Beckita. I just found my bird feeder on the ground twice this past weekend. One time, the metal hanging bracket was bent and the second time, the bottom was ripped off. Now this is my squirrel proof bird feeder. It looks like what I rely need now is a bear proof bird feeder. Somehow, I can’t win this war against my bird feeder. I don’t think a .22 will work on the bear. I’ll have to get something bigger. Hmmm….. maybe the prepping militia from Snowy’s neck of the woods can come by with some of their dynamite.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Too funny, Doug!

            Liked by 1 person

          • deereverywhere says:

            You know me, Snowy never miss a chance to make a fool of myself. When I was young and stupid I would get up at the drop of a hat and sing. That was before karaoke. I still haven’t done that yet. It is on the buckett list. To bad they didn’t have American Idol back then cause I would have been their to make a really great fool of myself on tv. Oh how I could have embarrassed my son. My step son would sing back up so I know he wouldn’t be embarrassed. At my oldest.brother’s wedding my dad got on stage to sing and my one aunt came over to say someyhing to him but he lost his balance and landed on my aunt, his sister-in-law. If only I had a video but they didn’t have them yet. But the one that was really funny was when me at 21, my niece at nine, my mum and dad went to see the Canadian side of Niagara falls. We went to Madam Tursount (?) Wax museum. I was look at an exhibit and my mum took my niece to the ladies room. My dad was leaning up against one of the other exhibit s. Suddenly these two teenagers screamed because they thought my dad, who could stand really still, was part of the exhibIt and he moved because my mum and niece came out of the rest room. I still laugh 😁

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Deer, I can not believe how funny you are or that I am laughing this hard at 1:06 AM… the 2 screaming teens hahahahaaa. Only you oooh my head hurts!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy, I sat on the patio late last night and revisited the whole S & G concert in Central Park. Excellent suggestion.

            Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            MP, that is one of my favorite!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snowy Owl says:

            MP, I watched this(?) concert on TV a few weeks ago! 🙂 just really good. hey hey hey…. koo-koo-kachoo!

            Liked by 2 people

  34. Daniel O'Connor says:

    Above all remember that the Magisterium is fundamentally incapable of contradicting itself in substance (though quite capable of doing so in tone, approach, etc. — case in point, see Syllabus of Errors vs. Gaudium et Spes). “Joy of Love” is Magisterium — treat it like that. But remember that if clarification on any confusion is needed, see (for example), Casti Connubi. https://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19301231_casti-connubii.html I see the question of submission has been discussed; Pius XI deals with that beautifully in this very Encyclical (specifically, paragraphs 26-29)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks for the link, Daniel, and the reference to the paragraphs concerning submission.

      Like

      • Julia says:

        Bekita, thank you for posting the video with Father Chad. It confirms my belief that Christ is the example our men need to follow, and of course Mary is the example us women need to follow. God bless

        Liked by 3 people

    • Daniel O'Connor says:

      I feel I should update: Cardinal Burke has just said that “Joy of Love” is not an act of the Magisterium. His grounds for asserting this is paragraph 3.

      I must confess, I am definitely not seeing the grounds for Cardinal Burke’s assertion here, but I will withhold further comment on this until I have actually read the whole thing.

      Anyway, Cardinal Burke’s point is actually precisely the point I’m making here: in the case of confusion, consult the Magisterium. Any Encyclical (e.g. Casti Connubi) is certainly just that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Joj says:

        Absolutely, Daniel. On the first cursory reading I don’t see anything conflicting with doctrine, and it seems even the critics agree with that. Paragraph 301, and actually the whole chapter is certainly putting a different spin on our perception of doctrine as affecting church practice, however. I have friends who are disturbed and am trying to wrap my mind around what is disturbing and whether it is just our Jansenist tendencies that need to be squashed. You know what I mean?

        It reminds me of Fr. Sopochko, St. Faustina’s spiritual director. As a Thomistic scholar, he was really disturbed at first by the content of her visions, but when he did his research he saw that St. Thomas’s doctrine was in perfect accord! Sometimes we need to change our own sensibilities, when we find they are disturbed… but sometimes they are rightly disturbed because its not what he was really saying. We just misread.

        Like

  35. Julia says:

    Loving the expanded views on marriage. And it is lovely to see fellas posting about how they love their wives. That is the way to go, don’t forget she is the same girl inside that you fell in love with. And if it worked in the beginning, well keep remembering that first love, and try to be the fella she first fell in love with. The desires are just natures way of keeping the world populated, and blessed by God within the Sacrament of marriage. Same for the women. That is how I feel anyway.

    Holy Father Francis seems to have a wonderful insight into how marriages operate, and I feel this is something to do with his own parents marriage.

    As far as YD jumping back into the garden of Eden to find a solution to marriage in Gods eyes. I remember the days when we operated on the belief that God took a rib from Adam and made him a mate, he named her Eva. I do believe what God has revealed to us.

    Be fair here YD. God put Adam to sleep for the process, Adam did not have to suffer. But most women suffer in child bearing, don’t you think they are punished enough.

    Because Eva tempted Adam, she was cursed by God; but the serpent got a bigger sentence. A new Eva would be sent by God and a new Adam. This is where you need to look YD.

    Reboot your sermons and consider how Jesus wants men and women to behave.

    When a woman vexes her husband, let him consider Jesus in the garden; blood, sweat and tears with supplication to God. That is what men need to consider, and let women beware that they don’t unjustly push their husbands that far, surely love would forbid it. And vice versa.

    When women betray their husbands, let the husband consider how Jesus endured betrayal, and the scourging. Let any woman who betrays her husband beware, for love would forbid it.

    When women put pressure on their husbands, and cause them mental anguish. Let husbands remember Jesus crowning with thorns. And the humiliation He endured for us all. But woe to the couple who have not learned to be open and honest with each other, for love forbids it.

    When women put unfair burdens on husbands. Let the husband remember Jesus carried the Cross for us all, Mary did not carry the Cross, it was the manly thing Jesus did. Mary suffered as we all suffer, and it is harder to see a loved one suffer than to carry the burden oneself. Let women remember not to place unfair burdens on their husbands. For love forbids it.

    When a woman pushes her husband past reconciliation. Let the husband turn to Jesus Crucified, and woe to the woman who destroys her marriage, for she might as well Crucify Jesus again.

    I have put this together in the light of how women are always asked to carry all the burdens. Bearing in mind, love and holy obedience are in reality the same thing.

    A holy Priest once told us in a sermon that ‘obedience’ is acceptance. And when you think of it; love, obedience, acceptance, forgiveness is all one and the same resulting in Peace.

    Lets dismiss satan and evil, they are a waste of space. And yes YD, have you found the Father Peter Glas videos. He is an exorcist, and shares lots of tips on how the satan operates. And how to dismiss it. Hope this is not too too long a post. With Fr. Glas video.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t know that this is where you are really going, Julia, but it kind of sounds like you are saying women should do whatever they want and men should accept it without complaint or objection. Perhaps I misunderstand or you are just taking one side for emphasis to make a point, but I do not find this a formula for happiness or growth.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Julia says:

        Charlie, you know the saying ‘try putting the shoe on the other foot.’ So if we put man in the place woman is expected to operate, how would he get on.

        And oh how one sided and unfair it all seems to the fellas in that post.

        I also wanted to put the examples the other way around in that post, but it had gotten too long. So, swap the man role and the woman role, and see how it works.

        Besides I have heard a testimony from a man who had one of those NDE’s and he came back a very changed man; because God allowed him to live as if he had been on the receiving end of his behaviour. He had been a violent man until after his NDE.

        Thank you for posting the Father Glas Video. I know there are topics mentioned that were brought up on this thread, and it may be helpful. And it is an awesome Video.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Charlie, I didn’t “hear” Julia’s post that way. As a woman, I “heard” it as being addressed to us women, to help them understand that when a woman, say, puts unfair burdens on her husband she should see it as if she is burdening Jesus Himself with the cross, etc. He may be silent but he is suffering nonetheless. I was moved by this post and immediately thought of how I have been guilty of these things. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she meant it the way you said.

        Liked by 3 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Julia, I wrote to you based your line “And if men loved their wives like they love themselves, maybe 80% of the problems would be resolved.”

      I do not think I will write more lest I sound misogynistic in trying to reply about the mutual respect and near to encourage each other.

      As far as the demonic, I am referring to the traps. Not good to focus on: God is Light and Love and Freedom.

      pax

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia says:

        YD and Charlie, thank you both for your wisdom and insight. You have both nailed it in your replies. We all, both men and women need to learn mutual respect and to encourage each other.

        And singingflowers, we are all guilty of these transgressions both men and women. I had tried to put a view in the way we were taught as children by sort of applying it to the 5 sorrowful mysteries, and how we were taught to ‘offer it up.’ Trust, Do, Love.

        It is just that Julia suffers from circumlocution. LOL

        Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Excellent video with Fr. Glas, Julia! Thanks for sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. I have often cringed at Pope Francis in his “off the cuff” remarks. But I have found his writing to be uncomfortable in a good way. As one who definitely sympathizes with the “err on the side of doctrinal truth” I know that it is a good thing for me to be challenged on my compassion, or lack thereof, for those not in the same place.

    With that in mind, I find that I realized at some point that any objections I had along the way was not in what Francis says, but what I think people will read into what isn’t there to fit their own proclivities. And while I think it’s a legitimate concern to have, it is also clear to me that we cannot continue to present our faith to the world with constant caveats that sterilize any attempt at reach out to the very people we are trying to simply convince that, everything else aside, God loves them and we love them unconditionally.

    Restraining oneself from clarifying exactly what it means to love someone in a gay relationship is not at all simple and easy, for example, and most certainly at some point it is part of loving that person to charitably present the teachings of our Church. I think it boils down to the fact that Francis is striving for that balance, and quite frankly many of us are not quite ready for such balance, if we even desire it at all.

    We need to pray for all the faithful. That the orthodox embrace their pastoral duties and that those on the progressive side have the courage to embrace the unchanging orthodoxy of the Pope’s position.

    I write this not having read the document yet. I would be surprised if I reach a different conclusion after reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. lambzie37 says:

    God’s not dead!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Phillip Frank says:

      Being an amature in genetic evolution I have to put in on the idea of men and women’s “inherent” makeup and propensities.
      Scripture talks about the sins of the “father” following his children for generations and this is a spiritual truth as we see that the sin of Adam and Eve is still effecting us. But there are genetic faults and traits which are “bred” into us from our cultural desires, just like the line breeding of dogs or horses for certain traits, mankind has been doing the same thing for mellinium.
      Now God destroyed men for this same reason during the great flood of Noahs time. As the sons of God (Seth’s children) found the daughters of men (Cains children) beautiful and took as many of them as they wished for wives, they created a people called the Nephilim who were great warriors and men of renown.
      Now notice the traits which are bragged upon as renowned , “beautiful” and “great warriors”.
      Now, think about how we have slipped right back into the same rut in our world views today as to whom we celebrate…..
      football players and beautiful women!
      Now scripture tells us the meek (humble) will inherit the earth, but not if mankind has anything to say about it! We want eugenics to be our lord and master to clarify us into genetic Nephilim again! And I doubt meek and humble are one of the traits on the codex. So the powerful and the beautiful get precedence and because humility is lacking, we see a much more aggressive, self centered and egotistical colony arising. Thank God for God and the Church who keep the light of faith and truth alive in our midst…..and the humble (remnant) who, milling about in the forgotten places of the earth, are still among us.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Doug says:

      He is surely alive! Living on the inside!

      Liked by 3 people

    • jwjohn says:

      There are more people being baptized as Christians on a yearly basis than the number of new people put on the planet. Christianity is growing fast – there is hope, its just dead in the West.

      Liked by 5 people

    • deereverywhere says:

      Years ago I had a t-shirt that said:
      “God is dead-Nietzsche
      Nietzsche is dead-God”
      As I have a warped sense of humor , I thought it was funny. Then a Baptist woman in McDonald’s came up to me say ‘honey ,God isn’t dead.’ and proceeded to invite me to her church. I tried to explain to her that of course He is not dead and that was the meaning of the t-shirt. But she didn’t get it. So I gave it to my husband, and he was accosted by Baptist women who wanted a man that would defend God on a t-shirt to come to their church…?…

      Liked by 5 people

      • LukeMichael says:

        Where can I get that t-shirt deer? I want to wear it at the next large family gathering and also my next trip to NYC!

        Liked by 1 person

        • deereverywhere says:

          I got the shirt from some catalogue in the 90’s. I just searched and they don’t have the one I had. It said it like I typed it. If you have a craft store there is iron on paper which you can put through your own printer and make it yourself. I don’t think you would run into ant copywriter laws as you are not making a thousand and selling them. Or go to a t shirt store with the design. Here is the only one I found. When you wear it and go to NYC you should record people’s reactions and put it on YouTube.😂. This is a bit pricey, too.
          http://www.zazzle.com/nietzsche_is_dead_god_shirt-235918058144737240

          Liked by 2 people

  38. Jose says:

    Rejoice my friends, rejoice! For we have not entered yet into the fullness of the Storm, which means that our Lord has reduced its duration by yet another week! There are now exactly 90 weeks left between today Sunday 4/10/2016 and Sunday 12/31/2017.

    Liked by 13 people

  39. Snowy Owl says:

    I was just over reading through ‘Musings- The comet arrives’ ….and it was quite a laugh fest- I laughed till I had tears running down my face- all over again! There are some people on this blog with a seriously good sense of humor! I’m quite good at entertaining myself… come hell, high water, or weird neighbors, I’ll find a way to laugh. Today I watched the neighbors…. 👪👪👪
    Did you guys know I live in the midst of a bunch of militia-prepper nuts? They have dynamite stashes stored up for what’s coming- but they get bored waiting so they are blowing off dynamite on a bi-weekly basis now. It shakes, rattles and rocks my entire house. Another guy rigged his truck up..ripped the windshield, doors and seats off/out and put a sofa in the front..then he jacked it up with huge wheels and he drives it as fast as possible down the dirt road hootin’ and hollerin’ and waving a beer 🍺. He removed the doors so he could drive shotgun- style…shooting if necessary while enjoying the comfort of the sofa. 👀 Another neighbor jacked up his lawn mower and attached a blue airplane propeller to the front, I guess he was hoping it would twirl around when he drove it fast enough..it’s pretty slow, he needs to get a juiced up engine. Unbelievable….. as if my life isn’t strange enough. I think I may need to move.. but then again, I doubt terrorists would last for more than 3 seconds around here. 🙂 …it’s the end as we know it 🌊🌀🌊
    I have no idea why I typed this…but it was fun.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Beckita says:

      Hahaha! My neck of the woods is populated with extremists as well, Snowy. (That said, most of us on this site would be considered extremist by the current administration!) There was an article in the local paper last week marking the “20th anniversary of arresting the unabomber.” I’ll bet such reactions, as you describe, to the current national and world chaos exist all over the country in addition to the world. Interesting times indeed.

      Liked by 4 people

    • janet333 says:

      Haha you did make me laugh Snowy. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    • Sounds like a fun but slightly nervewracking neighborhood. Like living next door to the Adams Family.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Doug says:

      Holy moly Snowy, you have quite a bit of excitement in your area.

      Liked by 4 people

    • deereverywhere says:

      So, does the guy who took the doors off to shoot shot gun understand that if people were shooting at him the doors could provide protection? Don’t tell him, he may think about it a long time and put them back on. My closest neighbor is on the sexual predator list. Since I figure we don’t have much to talk about, I haven’t baked any brownies to take over and begin a neighborly chat. The other neighbors live in town and we don’t see them that much since they have rented their land to cows. I don’t know how much the cows pay in rent. But I hear moo’s all the time.🐮

      Liked by 5 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Deer, think the guy is just plum 🍑crazy 🍑 and highly entertaining!
        Don’t you love it-I mean the cows? We have cows next to us and I love hearing them. I also love roosters crowing!

        Liked by 4 people

        • deereverywhere says:

          I think, when I hear the the cows that it is.a marvelous world that God created. We had chickens. Chickens are wonderful and I would like to have them again. One batch of chickens we had had an over protective rooster. When I when out to feed or water them he would always come up and challenge me because when the hens saw me they came running. He finally spurred me and I had to go get a tetnis shot. He became chicken and dumplings.🐤🐥🐣🐓🐔

          Liked by 5 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            They can get mean! I had one that decided to attack my daughter when she was still little..she was out in the yard playing..then suddenly screaming-crying at the top of her lungs as he was trying to spur her and beat her with his wings. I was in the house getting dressed..I ran to the window saw what was happening and ran out in my underwear, chased him down, caught him-by tackling him to the ground- grabbed him by the neck and feet and swung him into a tree head first…I assumed he was dead and left him for the fox that lived by the coop. The next morning he had returned from the dead and was back with the hens. Even hearing my voice or at the sight of me he would screech and run for his life- he never spurred anyone again! My kids & family still laugh about that whole fiasco to this day!

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            WOW, Snowy! I’d really, really, really like you living nearby during the fullest intensity of the Storm… that is if you hire out as personal body guard. 😉

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Oh, i imagine any mom would have done the same!

            Like

          • Doug says:

            Snowy, you have nothing to fear in the storm….

            Liked by 1 person

        • Doug says:

          Oh. I love roosters crowing too. Not sure why, but they just sound so good on a clear crisp sunny morning in late spring. That and a cup of coffee walking around outdoors and soaking up God’s beautiful outdoors.

          Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Funny thing…the sound of roosters crowing in the early morning has always brought a smile to me, too. Then I roll over and go back to sleep.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Beautiful, Doug! You express an appreciation for simplicity. During my Peace Corps days, living in West Africa, I daily experienced roosters crowing in the early morning. I was sure they were crowing: R-R-R-R-R-R-R- REBECCA! Who could go back to sleep after such a personalized wake-up call?

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Yes Doug, there are certain things in life- a good warm fire, a good book, a steaming hot cup of coffee, chickens, cows and other farm animals, the sounds, smells, watching rolling fields of wheat swaying in the wind like waves, sitting on a dock fishing right before the sun rises or sets, watching Eagles soar the heavens, these are just meant to be, they are gifts from God.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Jill Marie says:

            “Soaking up God’s beautiful outdoors” That is certainly what I treasure most when the weather warms up. As soon as winter coat weather is over, I grab my cup of joe and “walk the grounds” while it’s still quiet enough to hear nothing but the birds singing. Granted the tour of my estate is merely walking around the perimeter of our little ranch house, but what delight seeing which plants are poking through the soil, what’s budding, who visited overnight. Then it’s to my front steps for deer duty as I try to persuade them to keep my property off their new spring grazing route 😉 What a way to start the day – filled with amazement and thanksgiving for the wonders of God’s creation!

            Liked by 5 people

  40. Julia says:

    Doug, in answer to your post “A man’s distorted role will be power, lust and dominance. Now what would be a woman’s distorted role? I think woman by nature are followers and nurtures. So the distortion would probably be opposite of that. I’ll let the ladies answer that one.”

    Father Glas in the Video addresses exactly your question. He calls it the spirit of Jezabell,(if I have spelled the name correctly). And as far as I can figure it out, it seems to be a temptation of men as well as women. This operate in parishes as well as families, and no doubt in societies as well. Father Glass calls them ‘control freaks.’

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Yes, Julia. Locus of control is something I left off my list of disorders and challenges which I mentioned in a comment last evening. Healthy control is essential for an ordered life. Gone awry, it leads to the sin of disordered control which spirals downward with all manner of accompanying transgressions, with or without the spirit of Jezebel present. In fact, “control,” both healthy and disordered, is a common issue explored in counseling and therapy today. It is a common root of difficulty in both individual interior unrest as well as conflict resolution in relationships of all types, spousal, inter-generational, friendships, work-related relationships, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      Thanks Julia. There seems to be common theme and that is control which is usually rooted in pride; just manifested in different ways between men and woman. Now Jezzabel was a pretty nasty wicked woman.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Julia, forgive me, but you still have not retracted your comment, “And if men loved their wives like they love themselves, maybe 80% of the problems would be resolved.”

      Therefore, I am reading your replies with great sadness at the undercurrents of liberal feminism as Charlie cited in one reply to you.

      Thanks

      Liked by 2 people

  41. Fran says:

    Charlie, and all~ I read just a few commentaries or summaries on Amoris Laetitia before I decided that I was not going to read any more until I read the document itself. I just did that yesterday after praying to the Holy Spirit to enlighten me and help me to understand without any preconceived notions. This was already happening to me by reading headlines and comments by those who are looking for what they want to see in it. I did not want to be influenced by what some on either the progressive or traditional sides were saying, but just wanted to read it with an open mind and heart. I also wanted to read it with an element of trust that our Holy Father really is inspired by the Holy Spirit, who has something to teach us.
    Unpacking all that is in it will take some time for anyone, but I think every priest should read it in its entirety, and not just parts of it because reading it that way can easily lead to a person applying his/her own ideas into it.
    All of that being said, the first thing I can say about it’s content is that anyone who says that our Pope (or the Bishops for that matter) are “out of touch with the modern world and families” and are “just a bunch of old men in robes who know nothing about marriage” could not possibly think that after reading this. Pope Francis even gave me insights that I had never even thought of after being married for 30 years, blessed with seven children, and now seven grandchildren. This is true with our past Popes as well. People who say that cannot have really absorbed the insight in some of their most important documents about love, the family, and sexuality.
    Secondly, I can honestly say that before reading it and with my initial reading of commentaries, I had the feeling that Pope Francis may have opened a pandora’s box, and I was very uneasy. However, while I was reading the document itself, I was several times so deeply moved that i had tears. I had the very real sense that the Holy Spirit was working through Pope Francis and this apostolic exhortation. And I don’t know why but I kept thinking of Jesus writing in the sand while everyone was standing around ready to condemn the adulteress. What was he doing and why? I feel like there is some meaning in that for us with this and I am still pondering it.
    What I took from Amoris Laetitia is that Pope Francis is very firmly affirming Church teaching, and did so repeatedly saying marriage is a sacred bond between one man and one woman ordained by God, and elevated by Jesus Christ into a Sacrament. He did so in many other aspects as well regarding such things as divorce, abortion, contraception, homosexuality, gender ideology, and the education of children among some of the most important ones. What he does coax us to open our heart to though, is the idea that every person is loved by God, has a different journey to Truth, and some people’s history and journey is very complex and they may even be stuck in an almost impossible situation, a “lost sheep” caught in the brambles. He gives examples of some people’s situations in irregular marriages, and how they got there, but he very clearly states that these people must also be open to the Truth of the Catholic Church’s teaching, but with the guidance of a pastor who is helping them and clearly guided by this Truth * may* be able to receive sacraments under circumstances in which the pastor may determine they are not completely culpable for their situations. This may be because of poor catechesis, immaturity, abuse or any number of things. They may have remarried, trying to the best of their ability and knowledge, to enter into a loving and permanent relationship which may include children who also need a loving and stable home. That being said, he also makes it very clear that we as a Church should be helping families who are in these situations and wish to be a part of the Church to be able to participate in some ways with the guidance of the pastor, and feel that they too belong while at the same time moving them along with the help of the Holy Spirit to the ideal… which is a Sacramental Marriage. (He also agrees with the Bishops that the annulment process needs some streamlining.) He seemed very clear to me that people should not decide this for themselves especially with uninformed conscience, nor should a pastor simply wave all culpability away for each and every couple who asks for his help with their situation. ( And I personally would be VERY concerned with anyone receiving the Eucharist with serious sin on their soul, so this would have to be taken very seriously.) This is in part what I think he means, however, when he says that just like what happens in individual families, sometimes working things out can be “messy”, and why he says that while he understands and agrees that we must have rules, and we cannot change God’s laws, we should not beat people over the head with them so to speak, and turn them away, but help them little by little to see and reach the light of Truth. That is the way God works with each of us. And it is is okay if it is messy because as long as we have God in the middle of the mess, it can all work out for good. Especially in this year of Mercy, the Pope is trying to reach as many as possible I think.
    These are just some of my initial thoughts after reading it, and I am still pondering it all, and will now read others comments as well. I didn’t mean for this comment to be this long, but I hope it at least will encourage others to read it for themselves. It sounds daunting at 260 or so pages, but they are really not very long pages, and it is very worth while to read for yourself. I think that, in this Year of Mercy, and correctly applied, it is full of Light and Truth. I don’t think it is Pope Francis’ intention to cause confusion or dilute Church teaching in any way, but to show us that you can’t sternly and stubbornly hold onto truth without mercy and love mixed in, because then we are not helping or showing our brother or sister a way, a path, to Him and heaven.
    If I have misinterpreted or misstated anything, I hope that one of the good priests or Bishops here will correct me. I will be interested to read their reactions and comments to the document and yours as well, Charlie. God bless you all~

    Liked by 11 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Fran, this is beautiful – and I am delighted that you decided to read it yourself with real contemplation instead of reading it through any agenda, either your own or one suggested by someone else. That is the sort of disposition which helps clear away confusion rather than add to it. God bless you.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Kati says:

      This is really REALLY beautiful, Fran. I find that your explanation of how you understood this document to be very similar to mine in that I had the same sensing that it was EXACTLY like Jesus in His drawing the condemned woman to Himself to bring her back to Innocence, to save her from the overwhelming effects of sin. He mercifully treated her with love and respect and then told her to go and sin no more. This IS the Reconciliation and Salvation that Jesus brings and I believe that He is bringing this through Pope Francis as well.

      It is an amazing message of mercy for our time! There are many people desperate to receive such love and mercy …and to then learn of God’s great love for them as individual persons that HE created for a purpose.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Joj says:

        Thank you for writing that Fran! It a good assessment! I also was disheartened by commentators who looked for fault rather than tried to understand the document, and then I read it myself. They said, “No doctrinal error,” but then faulted the Holy Father for ‘siding’ with Kasper. It seems to me the Synod was like a father’s discussion with his kids looking for a solution. Everyone voices their concerns openly and then the father respectfully listens to proposed solutions before making the conclusion. Of course, he is on everyone’s side! These commentators do not see with the eyes of Mercy!

        It is scary sometimes when things are not black and white. Invalid marriages are Objectively gravely sinful, but the Holy Father says they are not always Subjectively mortally sinful. I am still struggling to understand how someone can be Not culpable for living in adultery. But he supports this claim with quotes from the Catechism, Pope St. JPII and St. Thomas. Apparently it is not just about being informed, but about comprehending the principle, and not just about consenting, but about not being fully free to choose. So who is fully free and who does fully comprehend? At what point can one said to be culpable enough for mortal sin? Do you see where I am struggling?

        Liked by 1 person

        • YongDuk says:

          Joj, forgive me, but you are barking up the wrong tree.

          John 5.

          But that too is easily twisted the way you present it.

          One does not judge others as being in mortal sin. St. Catherine was even allowed to perceive someone as if being in mortal sin and the Heavenly Father (in the Dialogues) corrected her. (No, Doug, I don’t remember where in the Dialogues, I read them in worm eaten copies in the original Italian dialect from book dating from the 1400s and I got distracted about the worms’ possibly having eggs in the pages… So demanding he is, Lambzie!)

          I envy Padre Pio for his clarity. Yet, God’s own using me with people in mortal sin has been humbly spectacular. HE DOES NOT TELL PEOPLE SOMEONE IS IN MORTAL SIN SO THAT THEY REMAIN THERE. (Sorry for being emphatic, Doug.) He shows a soul to someone with that Gift to be able to minister and lift them up.

          Thus, this is why I say you are barking up the wrong tree.

          John 5 should be read with that insight.

          Philippe François and Luc Michel, kindly transliterate for me

          Liked by 4 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Sorry 1 John 5

            Liked by 1 person

          • phillip frank says:

            As a trans-illiterate, I’ll give it a shot YD.
            The Pope is saying that a “mortal” sin has to have the right substance to be mortal. I won’t get into that here but you have to “know” it’s a mortal sin, etc
            So, not having full understanding of such, some marriages are illicit as BOTH the man and wife need to be fully aware of the troth they are making and its seriousness for the marriage to be valid.
            Now to St Catherine’s quote, it seems to me YD is afraid of her writings and prefers John 5…. but I really think he is just afraid of worms!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh I love St. Catherine’s Dialogue. What it shows me is how valuable a soul is and how everything I/we do impacts others whether good or bad. I have so much to learn. Sigh….. I just wish St. Catherine could figure out how to end a sentence. It will be another 600 years before my copy has worms.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Heh heh…read Mark Twain some more. He was the master of the run-on sentence. The longest I ever discovered in his work runs on for a page and a half. I used to use him as an example to reporters I was training…noting that real genius often transcends the rules. I would instruct them not to try this at home, but neither be so confined by the rules that they never try something a little outside them to achieve a particular effect. The amazing thing about Twain is that you don’t even notice all his run-on sentences unless you are looking for them. But that is because he was a genius.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            😊

            Liked by 1 person

      • joj says:

        PS That stuff about mortal sin is in paragraph 301.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fran says:

        Yes, it is an amazing message of mercy, and I believe what Pope Francis is trying to get across is that there are some situations that are too complicated to just objectively label as “living in mortal sin”. And also there are people who are trying to do their best to come into full communion with the Church, or Sacramental Marriage to the best of their ability, but it is done in stages. For example, I know of a couple who is unmarried, but has lived together for a number of years and have a child. One is unbaptized, and the other is a fallen-away Catholic. The Catholic has now been to confession, and has come back to mass with her child, and is able to receive the Eucharist, because her partner has agreed not to have sexual relations. This shows a real devotion and commitment, and so I see this couple as eventually being able to marry in the Church, but there are still some hurdles. She wants a sacramental marriage, but he is not quite ready to commit to being baptized in a particular faith for one thing. So this one instance is similar to what I think Pope Francis is talking about. Some people, under the advice and guidance of a priest who is using the Truth of the Church and what he knows of their situation to bring them along into the the Fullness of the Faith, are trying to do the right thing as much as possible.
        It helps me though, to read or listen to other people’s takes on things, so i am still discerning like everyone else what all this means.

        Liked by 4 people

        • janet333 says:

          “So this one instance is similar to what I think Pope Francis is talking about.”

          Hi Fran…yes there are many instances. I was 18 when I got married. I had no faith and really had no idea what I was doing. One lady I know felt she was not doing the right thing. She was ready to jump out of the car on the way to the church. She went ahead with it because she knew a lot of money had been spent on the reception etc.

          My ‘marriage’ was eventually annulled, not because of my age at the time, but for other reasons the marriage was not valid in the eyes of God. Stepping up the Marriage prep is definitely the way to go.

          God Bless You.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Doug says:

        I like that Kati. God desires to bring us back to innocence.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Joj says:

          Yes, I see that we can’t judge anyone’s soul… But the Holy Father does talk about what constitutes mortal sin and I’m trying to understand what he says. I am going to spend some time with my study group discussing St. Thomas’s principles on this, too, so I can see how it all fits together.

          If it’s not about judging…So now I wonder was it that persons in invalid marriages were barred from communion just because of scandal – the appearance of sin? and that is not considered a good enough reason at this point because it conflicts with Mercy? Forgive me but I am a Thomistic thinker, and need to grasp the principles underneath all this, as I am working hard to defend the Holy Father against reactionaries.

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Argument: For the law to be applied properly it must cast out those who violate it.

            To the contrary: The purpose of the law of Jesus Christ is to bring people back into the fullness of the faith. Therefore, an application of the law that merely identifies and casts out violators is a perversion of the law that fails its fundamental purpose.

            Therefore: Whatever flaws there may be in Pope Francis’ conception of how properly to apply the law, his effort to live fully the law in both letter and spirit is worthy – and a useful corrective to those who simply want to apply the diagnostic portion of the law without bothering to attempt any cure.

            I admire the actual work of Thomas Aquinas, who was broad in his conception, deep in his consideration and original in his application. I find the actual Thomas to be quite different from the narrow pedantry that often styles itself as Thomistic. Dig deep, joj.

            Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen. Amen. Alleluia x1000!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, I like this! I should give the works of Thomas Aquinas another look.

            I was thinking of The Parable of the Prodigal Son last night… that neither of the sons were apparently good sons. The story comes to a good ending, but it would have been better for the younger son to have never left the Father’s house (seems like he cast himself out), and I sometimes wonder why the older son never bothered to search for him and bring him home. I think that Pope Francis is saying that working in the field obediently is a good thing, but not at the expense of our brother.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            WOW, MP! Love this insight!

            Like

          • joj says:

            Charlie, this makes me think of St. Paul’s talk about law versus the spirit, and that the law is unto death but the spirit gives life. I need to go reread that – awesome stuff!
            I am not seeing any flaws in Pope Francis’ approach at this point, honestly. Nor have I fully understood what he’s saying yet. People criticize him on both sides, (or even praise him) without taking the time to understand. That’s not me. I believe that he is truly worth understanding. So whatever it may appear we are disagreeing on – we’re not! I have no current position here, except loyalty to the Pope.
            Maybe Thomists do tend to get rather technical, but it’s not for being Thomists, but rather it’s that our kind of analytical mind is attracted to Thomas because he lays things out so clearly. “Faith seeketh understanding” (Augustine.) One of my friends converted to Catholicism because he is super sharp and felt that no one could give him answers before St. Thomas. !4 Popes have officially said that the Church needs Thomists!
            The danger is forgetting the Thomistic principle that though universals are certain, particulars are not. So I agree with you and Yong Duk that Pastoral teachings are by their nature variable (shades of grey.) However, the universal principles that they rely on are indeed universal and unchangeable (black and white.) It is in applying the certain Doctrine to the variable particular which requires so much prudence, prayer and discernment, and of course MERCY!! YAY for mercy! I am totally depending on that as my ticket to heaven. 🙂
            In other words, we don’t judge persons, but we really do need to understand what constitutes sin, as part of the pastoral apostolate. We give people what they need, when they’re ready for it, but not before, as I believe YD was saying below, so as not to dishearten them. We cannot begin to appreciate God’s Mercy for ourselves without an appreciation of the seriousness of sin. But in showing mercy to others, the emphasis has to be on the Love of God First, and on His Passion, for in that light, an awareness of personal sins develops gradually.
            This is the age of Mercy, and the Church is being given a deeper and deeper understanding of that super-eminent attribute of God. The Lord has indeed saved the best wine for last. There is a nuance to approaching sin in this document that is new to me, and I am trying to wrap my mind around it. When I finally get it, I’ll share! 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Joj, St Thomas is missed by most people, especially in their reading of the Summa.

            He layers his works beautifully. Most people miss how Platonic / Neo-Platonic he is and in missing that, they miss colours upon colours of nuances in his Writings.

            Some schools evolved (often in response to Protestantism) –and I caution you on this–in being very wooden with their understanding of Thomas. I don’t see the same woodenness they do; even though, I can read where they are so wooden.

            It is not a slight on them, in the least, it is the cultural and philosophical milieu often at fault. Just like Jansenism affected Irish and French schools.

            That many can be blind to that is unfortunate.

            The Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart devotions rose in those parts of Europe to help counter-act that, as did the Jesuits and several other Orders founded in that Period of Church History.

            And so that our current Pope is a Jesuit is important, as is his cultural and philosophical milieu stemming from that Order.

            If you ever meet a Priest or a Laic trained / educated by Dominicans, you will see a fairly remarkable / different and just as orthodox use of St Thomas than you will from those influenced by the Jansenistic parts of Europe, of which there are good parts of America.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks for providing this food for thought last night. In revisiting Thomas Aquinas, I got about as far as contemplating this quote from him: “The things that we love tell us what we are.”

            You got me to thinking about the variety of influences in my life which were well represented by Dominican, Holy Cross and Franciscan Religious. They all provided steady, solid formation. Then there’s mom with a deep devotion to Our Mother, the 2nd grade CCD teacher brimming with joy who really taught me how to be still and listen to God, and the sneaker-wearing nun in the blue habit (I wrote about her here: http://sweetwaterhaven.com/blog_092713.html). I am deeply thankful for all the Faithful, but if I only had the lessons from those three women in my formation, I think I would still be in good shape.

            I suppose that one of the things I love is simplicity.

            God Bless,

            MP

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Beautiful reflection, MP. Thanks for sharing. Ah, simplicity!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Kati says:

          Doug,

          I like it too, Doug. I am discovering even more of the depth that our salvation entails…that Jesus wants to free all of us from the horrible *effects* of Original sin so that we can joyfully reach for the Divine Will like happy children.

          By the way, did I happen to read somewhere lately that you have shared a desire to become a deacon? If so, I am going to pray for you in that endeavor. I will also ask my hubby, who is a deacon, to pray for you as well. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

          • joj says:

            God bless you your Grace, YD! You have such a fatherly heart! Thank you for sharing that history of the politics of Thomism. I guess that’s why people throw the baby out with the bathwater and avoid Aquinas. It makes me very sad. But division and confusion are part of the fallen condition. I have never had a stomach for politics. I guess I am too simple-minded socially.

            I ask my students Not to bring commentaries to class. At first they want easy answers but I only turn their questions back to them, and make them find the answer in St. Thomas’ words themselves. They learn that the Summa is quite accessible once you have the terminology down, though they do rely on me for the proper philosophical grounding. Reading the mystics in tandem with the same spiritual openness, rounds it all out.

            Most of all my students learn to think logically with the mind of St. Thomas (the mind of the Church says Pope Leo XIII), rather than biased opinions. I tell them that asking the right questions is just as important as finding the answers, maybe more so. The Holy Spirit can work with a docile mind, but not so much with someone who knows it all.

            I am here with the TRNSers pondering all these things in my heart. You may have noticed that I ask a lot of questions, rather than promoting a position on AL. And I am more concerned with rational arguments than unsupported opinions. I sense that we are all taking the same approach, YD, but I seem to get people annoyed. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s politics… or my lack thereof. 😉 Or throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

            Or maybe its just my clumsy style?! 🙂
            All God’s creatures got a place in the choir…

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I think you are dead right, joj, that asking the right questions is even more important than finding the right answers many times.

            Liked by 2 people

          • joj, I agree with your main points and look forward to more time spent with St. Thomas. I truly appreciate questions… questioning… question marks… I also agree that there’s a ton of commentary (some of it horrid), but I think that the honest commentary can at least serve to raise good/better questions. Besides, I see just about all commentary chock full of questions anyway, regardless of the commenter’s intent. OK, apparently I haven’t asked any questions here. Or have I?

            I’ve run the risk lately of annoying YD by making him out to be a green kung fu squirrel with a diet book, CJ’s Snack Wagon driver, Birmingham dinner crasher, thai chili pepper pizza purveyor… and even a green kung fu yoda squirrel (yeah, that doesn’t look so great all strung together in one sentence), but simply wanted to give him a good chuckle to take the edge off. Maybe the next time I get the notion, I’ll stop first and ask myself some better questions. At the very least, I need to give ecru a fair shot like Charlie hinted.

            God Bless,

            MP

            Liked by 3 people

          • Joj says:

            I hope you do, MP! 🙂 When I was 15, I discovered the Summa as a great place to get my questions answered. And I had so many questions then! I am doing the question on Faith with my group right now – highly accessible, and really interesting.

            Next meeting we are diverging to study the articles Pope Francis quotes, one is from the Natural Law and the other is about Virtue, I think q. 65 and 95, if I recall. We get the text from newadvent.com For me the discussion is key to deeply penetrating the argument. We go line by line. But there’s a lot to get out of a personal reading, too, just don’t expect to get it all right off.

            The treatise on the angels is absolutely magnificent! (Mr. Charlie, check it out!) Love the questions on the Blessed Sacrament, no those may be a little too philosophical for a newbie. Every time I read something new my concept of who God is, is blown out of the water. (I mean expanded in an unexpected way.) The good God is so beyond our comprehension. And St. Thomas’ works make me long to meet God face to face. But Aquinas isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. (Splitting hairs and all.) Some prefer Augustine, or the mystics. I love them all!

            All the best, MP. Let me know if you try it! St. Thomas enlighten us.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Oh, MP, you are wonderful… I still dream of our trek across the Universe with Doug!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Me too. I can’t come out to play yet. I have homework to do first…..

            Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            MP (and Joj), I was always taught that the Summa was written as a teaching tool for instructors. I enjoy it, but my enjoyment of it stems from how intertwined it is and the insights gained from that intertwining.

            But if I were to say to someone who wanted to soar, I would recommend someone like von Balthasar who lifts you up with his intricacies and insights.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Joj says:

            Good point,YD. A lot of problems come from reading out of context. I have had to get through a good part of the Summa in order to see how everything fits together. And some of it can be misleading at first glance, (like his writings on marriage, which to someone who has properly studied them fit perfectly with JPII.) which is why ….all things in the context of the one Faith. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Hi Kati, yes. Plans are to go through the discernment process. I have my application filled out and ready to turn in. YD has already given me much homework to do. That’s what I get for hitting him with spit balls and super glueing his Crozier to his desk. I welcome your prayers with great appreciation!

            Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Well done, Fran!!! SO beautifully written. Thank you for doing so as it is a real inspiration to read the document in its entirety.

      Liked by 3 people

    • After reading it I came to the conclusion that Francis is the “Les Miserables” Pope. He is reaching out to the F o n t I n e s and Jean Valjeans of the world and telling us not to be J a v e r t s.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick says:

      Thank you very much, Fran.

      Like

  42. Linda says:

    /Users/lindagraziani/Downloads/12928372_1368641099828513_6504153523418566044_n.jpg

    did a squirrel come out? lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      I can’t see one Linda…lol

      Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Linda, as a guess, I would say you are using a Mac and attempting to add a picture that is on your computer to your comment. Doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. You have to have the picture published somewhere on the web, then you need to copy the URL for that picture and paste *that* into its own line in your comment.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

      Like

  43. Beckita says:

    The phrase, “economic collapse,” has now come to mainstream news outlets: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/56399-why-world-leaders-are-starting-to-panic
    I don’t usually take (for me waste) the time to comment but I’m rethinking that modus operandi as I just left this message at Charisma and will do so at CNN:

    “I highly recommend a visit to https://charliej373.wordpress.com to explore understandings on how to become part of God’s solution rather than fall into the panic trap or contribute to the chaos. A surefooted way to surrender to God in peace and navigate what is upon us is: Acknowledge God, take the next right step and become a sign of God’s hope to those around you.”

    Perhaps, Friends, it’s time to sprinkle all around the internet an invitation to our world right here because there’s a whole world out there in need of Heaven’s message through Charlie.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. joj says:

    Article by Cardinal Burke. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/amoris-laetitia-and-the-constant-teaching-and-practice-of-the-church/
    I have great respect for Card. Burke, and I am a bit shocked that he is giving Pope Francis’ document so little credit. I don’t think he’s right that this is not a magesterial document. It seems clear that it falls under ordinary infallibility, because the Pope is teaching in accord with Church Doctrine, and also is giving guidance to the Church. A Pope doesn’t call a synod just so he can publish his own personal opinion, like he’s writing his memoirs! Saying that rather castrates his efforts, doesn’t it?

    Also I don’t think he’s interpreting the quotes correctly. The Holy Father is clearly giving a directive to the faithful, and though he “understands” the desire for a more rigorous practice to avoid confusion, he is saying that it does not conform with Jesus’ wish. How sad to just ignore what the Pope is advising because it makes people uncomfortable, rather than struggle to understand and embrace it!

    Again, I do not mean any disrespect to the Cardinal. Perhaps I have misunderstood. Your Grace,YongDuk, what is your take?

    Liked by 3 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Being a kung fu master with hair extensions to prove it, I wax and wane eloquently and only make inferences.

      I replied that I will speak in the public forum on this, but referenced an email to Charlie.

      I see the Eucharist differently than most being in the Healing Ministry before being a Prelate. The Eucharist is the “sum hiya”, the Medicine of Life. Yet, it is the Source and Summit that the Church must protect.

      St Faustina wrote in 1577 and 1578 in her Diary of the Purpose of Mercy in sanctifying the Life of the Soul. This could be applied to the Eucharist as well…

      I wish Fr. Michael Gaitley would come out with a book tying all of his books into the Eucharist, completing them, in my mind.

      That being said, I am willing to explore the concept of good will in the penitent and allow for greater possibility. However, at the same time, I am discerning spiritually the Life of Grace restored through Absolution versus the Gift of the Eucharist.

      I will read Cardinal Burke’s piece and maybe throw and email back and forth with him.

      Liked by 3 people

      • YongDuk says:

        Honestly, and this is my heart’s reaction.

        Amoris Laetitia sets out a non-Black & White template for pastoral care. In that, I do not mind the Cardinal Burke does not see this as magisterially binding in the least. (He says, “But the Catholic Church, while insisting on the respect owed to the Petrine Office as instituted by Our Lord Himself, has never held that every utterance of the Successor of St. Peter should be received as part of her infallible magisterium.”)

        The difference, and I said this months and months ago in Sept / Oct when Beckinita was being … 🙂 … is Pastoral Theology versus Fundamental Theology.

        People have to remember, and I said this too because I am a very silly man who lacks insight into the way people think and the movements of Souls, that people (a.k.a. often Priests) like the Black and White in pastoral care to be able to know what to do easily, but that is not the reality of the soul and the struggles.

        Oh, if I went into the Confessional, or Counseling or into each Exorcism or Deliverance with that attitude, woe, seven times woe, be that soul that was freed, as the second possession would have been worst than the first. (And seven time woe be me when I stand before God on the Day of Judgment.)

        I urge caution with souls. They are as delicate as a spider’s web that the Holy Spirit takes years and years to spin and if we, in our rigor, blow or wave our hands too hard, we will destroy His Work!

        So, I say to the rigorous/rigourists, please, sit back and pray and be careful in how you minister until you realise this.

        Liked by 7 people

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you, Your Excellency, very much for this. Last Thurs. I brought the kiddos & myself to confession, and I had a traumatic (bad) encounter. I don’t fully understand what happened. I keep telling Our Dear Jesus, I don’t understand, Lord! What do I do with this?

          I’m certain Father was having a bad day/frustrated, and certain he had no bad intention. I’m certain I deserved the scolding I got. I confessed some venial sins I constantly struggle with. He did intend to give me absolution, but in recollection, try as I might I can’t remember him doing so. I still am not clear if he was scolding me, or trying enlighten me. He ended with (me hearing/not sure if I overreacted or what) that my children will not want to spend any time with me in my old age, because of how I have failed them. I left with such an utter feeling of total despair—it blindsided me, the ferocity and surprise of it all gutted me. It incapacitated me for a day or so, with vile temptations to end my life, give up trying, etc.

          It is confession during adoration. My kiddos all went before me. We frequent this confession enough now, about every 6 ish weeks, that the good father must feel he knows us. My teenage daughter is going through some mighty struggles and by nature is very dramatic. All the kiddos went before me, I was the last to go in.

          Before confession, when father put Our Dear Lord in the monstrance, he looked at me directly and I got a very bad feeling. I dismissed it. I was so very tired, I did not really want to take the kids, but my 18y.o. son begged me to (I had previously planned to but forgot, busy day and all). Anyhow I was trying very hard to convict myself, asking Our Dear Lord’s help. I came up with my pretty milk-toast, usual 3. But in my heart I brought before Him all the brokenness in myself over my entire life, how clearly I see my beloved kiddos struggling with the same vices, how clearly I see the generational sin, how it all breaks my heart. But at the same time I saw that there is utterly NO human hope for me/us, I was filled with such confident joy and thanksgiving to God that somehow, in someway I cannot understand, my endless prayers for All of Us to be with Him forever, where “every tear is wiped away” WILL happen,. Praise God! How little I/we deserve this! The difference in how I “felt” (I know feelings are unreliable/dangerous even) before/after going into the confessional is night/day. I still don’t understand if I made a bad confession or if my colossal pride needed whacking, or if I am oversensitive or if father is just human and was cranky or, or….

          In any event, I put all to Our Lord. I am continuing on with hope, trying to like myself again. I can’t give up. Even if my best parenting effort is wretched and comes up short, if that’s all I’m capable of, I give that to Our Lord. I give it to Him and chose to go forward. He’ll sort it all out in His time.

          Like

          • Beckita says:

            Anonymous, WOW! I am so sorry this happened to you. I had just completed my comment below quoting Pope Francis: “Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber…” Sounds like you had a torture chamber moment. Please, just look at the very beginning of this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq-ppsQ9zkA&feature=youtu.be (Hope it was just a link and not embedded) Praying you don’t take the bait of engaging in self-recrimination. It’s a dead end street that saps energy. If you wish to pray this novena, it’s a potent means to ruminate over the power and love of Jesus rather than ruminating over worries and fears: http://tonyhickey.org/surrender-novena

            Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            Meant to add Anonymous: praying for you and your family.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you so much, Beckita. I watched the beginning of the link, and it reinforced everything I know to be true and come to understand all these years. I bookmarked the novena and started it. I am ever so grateful for your prayers.

            I did feel it was a vicious attack, but instead of being certain in that conviction, doubted it and fell into despair. Ironically, that confession fulfilled the basic requirements for us to obtain a plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Feast, as we met all the other requirements on Divine Mercy Sunday, but just needed to go to confession. We last went (at that same church) Tuesday of Holy Week. I couldn’t escape the irony that I came, so hopeful/joyful of mercy and left totally eviscerated. Who wants that?

            Also, even more interesting, is that through Christ I no longer feel any inclination to scrupulosity. This change has occurred at least 16 years ago. Also, I see that we as a family are on the brink of a historic breakthrough with said teenage daughter for the good. Who doesn’t what that to happen?

            In a nutshell, I have struggled with the spirit of control, and Our Dear Lord has shown me how to renounce that. I see this in my kiddos. I have several kiddos who are so stubborn. We homeschool and they refuse to do their academic work. I have learned that I can not control them. I can only patiently invite them, umpteenth times, knowing they most likely will reject it. I can only model humility and biting my lip when I am accused by them. I can only model discipline and continue to invite them to be similar. I can show them when I fail, to take ownership of that and turn to God and try again.

            I went through almost death/total family destruction with this daughters older brother. She is a female do-over in temperament of him. This kiddo also refused to do his work. My husband wanted to fail him. He kept clashing with him, as did I. I told my husband that he/we would lose him forever if he insisted on hard love. My husband listened to me, but he was angry at me–telling me I was thwarting his authority. It affected our marriage.

            I kept going to Our Dear Lord begging, begging, begging. It is when I started running (I’m a runner, dh & I are only 2 weeks aware from my first half marathon!) Long story short, said child is now making the Dean’s list @ university and on fire, praise God! Said child is getting the highest grades in advanced math/science classes to be a “rocket scientist” Said child has a better relationship with both of us. If not perfect, but Praise God he comes to us, and we all have shared genuine affection/love. Is there still scarey brokenness? yes. Do I have crazy hope in Jesus, the our son will one day see/be healed of this spirit of control, and thank us for loving him enough to die to ourselves a gazillion times? Yes, yes I do.

            Said teen daughter kiddo just came to us (my husband and me) telling us she realizes she is the only one responsible for her falling behind in her schoolwork. (!!!!) She realized that playing video games and doing art all day was making her unhappy–because shes not doing what she should be. (!!!!)She is struggling with terrible cystic acne and we are under a competent medical doctors’ care—she will be taking Accutane (it is a fearful drug, but by signal graces I see God telling me to do this for her now. I was in a clinical study for this same drug 22 years ago. It is life changing)

            God is good! All the time! +Lord I will praise you always and forever+

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Beautiful, Anonymous: “God is good! All the time! +Lord I will praise you always and forever+”

            “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) May God continue to draw good from His Wellspring of Infinite Goodness as you journey on. Praying for you, your family and your confessor to whom you went.

            Liked by 1 person

          • joj says:

            Wow, I so feel for you, dear Anon! Being a conscientious mother, but flawed like everyone, and wanting so much to overcome your faults. Feeling the love and acceptance of Jesus, who sees how you struggle! And then crash, whacked in the face by someone who doesn’t understand. But our Lord permits this for your sanctification, and in order that you may persevere when all is dark so to win great graces for those you love. He has removed his consolation for a time, allowed darkness to have its hour, only because He is SO pleased with the gift you gave Him in dragging yourself to Holy Hour when it was so hard! Didn’t you know that the Lord shows His good pleasure first by giving the consolation and then by withdrawing it so that you can accompany Him on the way of cross?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            My heart goes out to you anonymous. I don’t know what to say.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Praying for you Anonymous One and all here

            Liked by 2 people

          • Jill Marie says:

            Oh my heart goes out to you, Anonymous. I have similar struggles with teenage daughter, control issues, generational sin, marriage being affected…. many sleepless, teary eyed nights trying to seek His Wisdom in certain situations amidst full scale pity parties (I can throw some pretty good ones!). How I need His forgiveness for all the times I’ve failed to extend love, mercy, and hope to my family (let alone joy). Part of the burden, for me at least, is the discouragement of knowing my pattern of sin, earnestly desiring to change, and yet soon after I’ve left the confessional there I go falling – again. (Oh how deeply ingrained are some of those learned behaviors). And so, I look to this sacrament for increased grace to slow down the frequency of such habitual sin. I also seek healing of the experiences and wounds that formed my thinking patterns and subsequent behavior. And, though it’s not a counseling session, I often “hope” to be blessed with that one piece of advice or particular penance that will provide a “breakthrough” moment leading to sudden and lasting change…

            Of course grace IS given, healing DOES occur, and “ah-ha’s” CAN happen through confession. My controlling nature, however, wants all of that accomplished on my time, which – surprise, surprise – is NOW! Like you, I’ve exposed my dismayed heart to a priest only to be seemingly misunderstood and, at other times, rebuked. I wasn’t seeking sympathy nor trying to justify my actions. I was simply struggling – intensely. I was sinning. I was sinning, and didn’t know how to move forward without continuing in sin. (For we may control out of fear, but it’s also done out of love.) I wanted the priest to give me “a word,” point me in a new direction, keep me from a “same time/same sins” appointment the following week. Instead I received a jolt. Our interaction was the opposite of what I expected or wanted.

            Then I would remember… this “interaction” was with the Living Christ! I was forgiven. (I’m forgiven!!!) Above and beyond that, Jesus knew my heart. Because of that, I believed He had to be telling me something through those priests. So, as stunned or disappointed as I was, I forced myself to ponder their words and ask Jesus “What did that mean? What do you want me to know/do?” If I took the time to do this, He never disappointed me. Lo and behold, there it was. A lesson. A message. A different perspective. A sign of hope. So… all of this to say (sorry for the long post) that I agree with you! Jesus often does speak to us during such experiences as well as teach & reinforce those bigger lessons: God’s time, not mine… humility (yeah, I’m here again. yep, same offenses)…. endless Mercy… perseverance…. sufficient Grace to bear a cross without constantly struggling to get free….

            Yes, we can be oversensitive or prideful or tuned into hearing what we want to hear. Yes, our loving priests can have a bad day. Maybe their understanding doesn’t always match our bumbling attempts to explain rather than simply confess our sins. Jesus is right there in the middle of it, though – forgiving, clarifying, illuminating, healing, transforming. Sometimes it happens immediately, often over a lifetime – all part of His loving plan! 😀 God bless you and your family during this time of learning and growth, Anon!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Tucking you into Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart flowing with Love and Prayers for you, Jill Marie.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you, Your Excellency, Beckita, Doug, joj, Jill Marie & All. I could feel your prayers lifting me up and moving me past this. Beckita, that novena is amazing, thank you.

            Hey, joj, I very rarely go into any descriptions at all in confession. I am very succinct and as brief as I can be, without trying to gloss-over things. Joj, I beg your prayers & promise to keep you in mine. I’m certain that as long as you keep-on as you are keeping on—clinging to Our Dear Lord—you will find great joy–here and now even. Please hang in there, and forgive yourself more. God does. He loves you so much! He is one Man, the only Man, who always keeps His promises!

            Thank you Charlie, thank you All!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Anonymous says:

            Oops! I meant to direct my comments to Jill Marie in my last reply, not joj. So sorry for any confusion!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jill Marie says:

            Beckita, thank you. Big cross country hug going out to ya!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jill Marie says:

            Anonymous, much thanks for your encouragement and prayers! God gives glimmers of hope with the story from your 2nd post (which I saw later). I’ll keep you & all families traveling their paths to holiness in my prayers as well. (I “try” to be brief in confession figuring the priest will ask questions if clarification needed. Sometimes, though, I just want to throw it all out there to see if my root sin(s) get exposed in the mess. As you see from my original comment, brevity and conciseness are not my gifts 😉 I’m sure those particular confessions could very well qualify as penance for father! lol

            Liked by 3 people

          • Fran says:

            Anonymous- Will pray for you and your children too. Best advice I have is not to give in to your feelings of inadequacy/wretchedness, just do what you are capable of, and keep holding the child/children up in prayer, giving them to Him.Spend time as you can with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. God is faithful. He will see to them.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Thanks so much for this, YD. LOL! Last October, Beckinita must surely have driven you ape crazy nuts! She had no idea she was communicating with a good bishop. She thought she was engaging with some dear man (well you are dear and you are a man but here comes the qualifier) trying to justify his irregular marriage by skipping over the wisdom of pastoral practice flowing from a bedrock of honoring Magisterial teaching.

          Far from advocating for a simplistic black/white way of thinking, I was concerned about a brother’s soul. I prayed so much for you and how to respond, consulting the canon lawyer in this house so as to express with wisdom and love rooted in truth. (My daughter, from teenager years, has commented: Mom, you have such strong beliefs and are the most non-judgmental person I know. When my husband died, we ran the obit in our hometown newspaper and I received a sympathy card from a college classmate who had totally fallen off my radar. She recounted her situation of becoming pregnant out of wedlock and conveyed gratitude after so many years that I was the person who had taken the time to really listen, console, reassure her of God’s Love and Mercy while encouraging her. God gets full credit for His Grace)

          The marriage of Magisterial teaching to pastoral practice is a necessity. As gently and respectfully as this form of communication will allow, I wonder is it really an oppositional problem: “Pastoral Theology versus Fundamental Theology?” Surely we may honor both orthodox theology and pastoral theology, albeit with great discernment, wisdom and love for souls.

          I love how you express the delicate nature of a developing soul. As a manly man you liken this action to a spider web. This woman sees an intricate, elegant lace being formed which could unravel at warp speed if assaulted in harshness. Pope Francis captures this reality in so much of what he exhorts, such as “Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber…” Further, I mentioned earlier in regards to his effort at building a bridge toward his toughest critics, such as Socci, that Pope Francis welcomes the criticisms and looks to the positive intent of the one who criticizes. Amazing Holy Father!

          I have never stopped praying for you YD. Upon discovering you are a bishop, the intentions I pray for you have changed. I realize, as I’m sure we all do, your burden of responsibility for souls is GREAT and THIS is why Our Lady, especially in these times, has echoed the exhortation to pray for her priests. In all my nothingness, the Lord has pressed to this heart, even from my childhood, His concern (too weak a word) for souls, souls, souls. In the interior dance of Love in His Indwelling in this heart, His Lovesong is an ostinato:souls, souls, souls. I am no elitist. I’m certain this family is comprised of all manner of people who love the Lord with all their might and pray as well as work in each one’s capacity for the conversion and salvation of souls and the coming of the Kingdom. It is a complete privilege to be here among all who read. Whether a silent reader or an active commenter, united with you all in heart and prayer…

          And the people of the Kingdom, and the people of Heaven, shall rise together, shall rise forever and God shall rule: https://vimeo.com/126291596?utm_source=email&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_campaign=7701&email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfDNiYmM5ZDA1NmI1YjAxZTBjNjJiYTFiMzI5OWM0YmIyMTM2fDM5NjkyOTcwfDE0MzAyNDc5MzB8NzcwMQ%3D%3D

          Liked by 2 people

        • phillip frank says:

          I feel this exact same way, dear bishop, when I am lead to evangelize my protestant friends.
          I see their faith made up of a true love for Jesus and a confidence in Him, but my faith brings to them a doubt and even at times, hatred for the Catholic church and their “mystical” ways. In them I see a small, cornered critter gnashing at me from its protective hovel, safe and warm while “big ole me” and my church is “lording it over them” to come over to my way of thinking with Marion devotion, and magisterial mandates and statues in the Church and the “real presence”. I can see why they are scared! There simple “I love Jesus and Jesus loves me” comfort zone being asked to change to our 2000 years of church teachings, canons, saints, traditions, etc. The incredible amount of it all scares me too and I believe it!
          So I try to remember a simple rule when I am lead to evangelize:
          Preach often and if necessary, use words.
          In this way, I become a sign of contradiction to them as a Catholic who is really a “christian”…..Blows them away!
          By living a truly Catholic life, my witness of its authenticity and truth weighs heavily on their doubts of its true nature and those of us who practice its faith.

          Liked by 3 people

        • dvto80 says:

          “rigorists” – More name calling and straw men above for those that merely seek to adhere to the full Truth of the Holy Catholic Church.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            We don’t do cheap insults here, dvto. If you have a point to make, make it with a little class instead of bitter kvetching. There’s plenty of sites that encourage that..but not here. And yes, there are many “rigorists” who take far more delight in condemning people than bringing them back. In fact, most folks who pride themselves on their brutal honesty are far more interested in the brutality than the honesty.

            Now presuming you are a rigorist – and even presuming you are a balanced one – you may have to turn in your card, for speaking in this manner to a Bishop is not considered good form in those circles. Not rigorous enough to treat a Bishop with basic respect.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Reducing YD’s fine and sublime exhortation to name calling reflects an interior problem with being teachable. While adhering to the Truth is a common goal and achievement of those who are regulars here, Jesus asked for more than merely adhering to full Truth. “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)

            I know this is hard but it must be noted, by each and every one of us: the Pharisees were very meticulous about keeping what they held as the letter of the law and they totally missed Jesus and Who He was, is and forevermore shall be. May we all live the fullness of Truth which most surely encompasses God’s mercy. God bless and keep you, dvto.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Joj says:

            Ouch! I have to take issue with both of you, dvto and Charlie! Neither the Pope is being insulting with the word rigorous, nor do I see any name-calling in dvto’s questioning it. I consider “rigor” a good quality. It means you care about being faithful. And I do not see that it precludes being kind to someone. One of the most rigorous priests I know is also one of the most compassionate. But the Pope is saying in that quote that while he understands those who want to be rigorous in conforming with the law… Mercy trumps rigor!

            Like

          • YongDuk says:

            DVT, I am more referring to those in ministry with proper Authority due their Office.

            Not sure what your argument is here.

            In another reply, I said that I would be interested in your citations of Thomas.

            Thanks

            Like

      • Joj says:

        Diary of St. Faustina, passage 1577: “Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy.”
        The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them (Diary 1578).
        So maybe Jesus wants to give His Mercy through Holy Communion? But it is a sacrilege for one in mortal sin, as St. Paul says. Repentance and absolution must come first. So perhaps going to Confession before Communion is a measure of someone’s good will, even if they return to a state where they have not yet found an escape from habitual sin? Or are we eating it is not serious sin because they want to escape?

        Like

        • leslyek says:

          Joj… Or maybe all conditions for mortal sin are not met any more if the person is beginning to have regret, remorse and looking for a way out ( no full free-will choice anymore, perhaps)…? In such a torn disposition receiving communion might not be near an objective or subjective sacrilege; spectators perhaps might be morally obligated to give the benefit of the doubt about the receiver, who could be moving actively toward resolution as best as possible ( like lovingly urging temporary celibacy to the partner, etc)…

          Like

      • joj says:

        Ok, thank you, Your Grace, YD. My head is still spinning with all the division that is going on over this, and I’m glad to hear your understanding of Card. Burke’s article. We all need to remain faithful to our Shepherds and promote unity..

        Liked by 3 people

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