The Proper Disposition

Pope and Our Lady of Tepeyac - from Beckita

I am back in Denver. I did not get much done here and online as I have been living a pretty vigorous public schedule since last Thursday. Yesterday I spent most of the day in transit back to the Rockies. I have a bit of a head cold and a nasty sore throat that threatens to turn into laryngitis, so I reckon I will stay quiet most of the day today and see if I can get this to pass. It is not a problem I normally have. Ha! After bringing such snow and storms with me to New England, I am just thinking of this little bout that makes me be quiet as a “nor’easter.” Coming up this week I have guest column by Dan Lynch on Addie, then pieces on the California Attorney General’s over-reach on raiding David Daleiden’s apartment, one on the world after the Rescue, a recap of my wonderful visit to New England, and a piece I have been working on since Easter.

For now, I wanted to put up what was originally a comment by our reader, Fran. It was so good – and I know that only about a third of readers follow the comments, that I wanted everyone to consider it. One of the great disorders of our age is that few people really contemplate. Rather, they make an emotional decision of what they expect to see first, then only see things that support what they already want to believe while ignoring all that contradicts it. While some may think this is righteousness, it is merely self-righteousness – and leads to bearing false witness and routine defamation of others. Fran’s piece marvelously shows how we are called to consider and respond to each other.

By Fran

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~

About charliej373

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

  1. donna says:

    Troll alert! Troll Alert….who are these new negative Nancys?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Ah, some are, I think legitimate who are just new here. It is so common on so many comment board to go heavy on insults and light on argument that it can be a shock to new people to see that we are open to intense argument, but absolutely intolerant of bitter, ugly insults…that we have to treat each other with a fundamental respect. I have had to just dump some comments which were very ugly…and leave in some lighter ones where I thought the commenter was serious, but not quite familiar with our way here. Don’t worry, if people can’t make an argument without the ugliness, they will go by the wayside, but I like to give as many as possible a chance.

      Liked by 9 people

  2. Frank Cadtone says:

    “If I have misinterpreted or misstated anything, I hope that one of the good priests or Bishops here will correct me.”
    What’s your implication here? Are you only opening yourself up for correction from Religious? Would it be problematic for you to have your thoughts corrected by a knowledgable layman?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Frank, that is the sort of hair-trigger defensive “gotcha” kind of comment we don’t go for here. You could have made the same point without the snark by saying, “Well, many laymen have worthy and deep insights into the matter, too.” Fran was clearly and humbly noting that if she had made an objective error, she would be glad to be instructed by those who are trained to do so. But if you follow the comments, you would see that Fran regularly discusses things with all and considers the points made by all with humility.

      I assume you are either new here or a college student and so, perhaps, used to the toxic nastiness that passes for discussion on most sites. You are welcome to join us, but can the hair-trigger intimations that someone has committed a micro-aggression against you. Mutual respect, building each other up, even when we disagree.

      Liked by 8 people

      • phillip frank says:

        To be “spiritually” corrected takes a spiritual charism, Frank.
        Now it goes without saying that laymen too can be spiritually charismatic, but it is properly undertood that religious ARE so just by their vocational attribute. Therefore, it is prudent and wise to ask for their advise and insight over a “laymans” even if the laymen be knowledgeable.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Bob says:

          Yes it is prudent to seek the counsel of religious but, as there are good religious and those who are not fully in accord with the magisterium we should be discerning there too. In our recent rereading of the Passion accounts we see the danger of following too uncritically the religious “professionals” as opposed to those who really sought to love and to seek God.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Fran says:

        Thank you for your kindness, Charlie.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fran says:

      No, Frank. I am open to being corrected by anyone, as I am no expert on anything. God bless you.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Anne says:

    Eileen….. Thank you for your comment. I have only had a quick look at AL. However I sensed that it is dripping in Mercy. I believe that right now the Holy Spirit is strongly working in many ways to call everyone back in union with God. Not changing truths but offering graces and help to all.
    The Pope is one such avenue to bring all back to genuine love. love covers a multitude of sins …… Gods love forgives and covers all sins in His Mercy. We are called to be configured to Christ and emptied of self and full of His Love. Then….. We too can be used to Love with Christs Love … And Such genuine Love will conquer in the battle for souls.

    I agree that for decades there has been poor or no prep for Marriage and sadly other sacraments.
    A couple of generations have suffered the fruits of apostasy.
    Human solutions ….. Programmes and methods have not worked.
    May the Holy Spirit enlighten everyone. After all we are moving each day into the third era as mentioned to Luisa …… The Era of the Holy Spirit. ….. The Era of Love.. .. The Era of Peace.
    The Pope is bringing us through the rough seas to Peace.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. zeniazenia says:

    Good morning TNRS. I have begun to re- read AMORIS LÆTITIA slowly — as Holy Father asks. On page 6, at the beginning of The Joy of Love [1-7], he writes, ‘Given the rich fruits of the two-year Synod process, this Exhortation will treat, in different ways, a wide variety of questions. This explains its inevitable length. Consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text. The greatest benefit, for families themselves and for those engaged in the family apostolate, will come if each part is read patiently and carefully, or if attention is paid to the parts dealing with their specific needs.
    Here is the index. If we really do desire to take the next right step in this year of mercy, and begin healing the broken families in our homes, parishes and neighborhoods, we can consider planning our prayerful reading of Holy Father’s Spirit filled words. St. Joseph — pray for us. 🙂
    INDEX
    The Joy of Love [1-7] . . . . . . . . .3
    Chapter One
    IN THE LIGHT OF THE WORD [8] . 7
    You and your wife [9-13] . . . . . . .8
    Your children are as the shoots of an olive tree [14-18] . . . . . . . . .11
    Apath of sufferingand blood [19-22] . .15
    The work of your hands [23-26] . . . .17
    The tenderness of an embrace [27-30] . . 19
    Chapter Two
    THE EXPERIENCES AND CHALLENGES OF FAMILIES [31] 23
    The currentreality of the family [32-49] 23
    Some challenges [50-57] . . . . . . . .40
    Chapter Three
    LOOKING TO JESUS: THE VOCA­TION OF THE FAMILY [58-60] . . . 47
    Jesus restores and fulfils God’s plan [61-66] 48
    The family in the documents of the Church [67-70] . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
    The sacramentof Matrimony [71-75] . .54
    Seeds of the Word and imperfectsituations [76-79] . . . . . . . . .59
    The transmission of life and the rearingof children [80-85] . . . . . . . . .62258
    The family and the Church [86-88] . . .67
    Chapter Four
    LOVE IN MARRIAGE [89] . . . . . 71
    Our daily love [90] . . . . . . . . . .71
    Love is patient [91-92] . . . . . . . .72
    Love is at the service of others [93-94] . . . 74
    Love is not jealous [95-96] . . . . . . . 74
    Love is not boastful [97-98] . . . . . . . 76
    Love is not rude [99-100] . . . . . . .77
    Love is generous [101-102] . . . . . . . 79
    Love is not irritable or resentful [103-104] . .80
    Love forgives [105-108] . . . . . . . . 81
    Love rejoices with others [109-110] . . . .84
    Love bears all things [111-113] . . . . .84
    Love believes all things [114-115] . . . . .86
    Love hopes all things [116-117] . . . . .87
    Love endures all things [118-119] . . . . .89
    Growingin conjugallove [120-122] . . .90
    Lifelong sharing [123-125] . . . . . . . 92
    Joy and beauty [126-130] . . . . . . . .95
    Marrying for love [131-132] . . . . . . .98
    A love that reveals itself and increases [133-135] 99
    Dialogue [136-141] . . . . . . . . .102
    Passionate love [142] . . . . . . . . .105
    The world of emotions [143-146] . . . . . 106
    God loves the joy of his children [147-149] . .108
    The erotic dimension of love [150-152] . . . 110
    Violence and manipulation [153-157] . . . 112
    Marriage and virginity [158-162] . . . . .117
    The transformation of love [163-164] . .121259
    Chapter Five
    LOVE MADE FRUITFUL [165] . . . 125
    Welcominga newlife [166-167] . . . .125
    Love and pregnancy [168-171] . . . . . .127
    The love of a mother and a father [172-177] . 130
    An expandingfruitfulness [178-184] . . .136
    Discerning the body [185-186] . . . . . . 141
    Life in the wider family [187] . . . . . .142
    Being sons and daughters [188-190] . . . . 143
    The elderly [191-193] . . . . . . . . . 145
    Being brothers and sisters [194-195] . . . . 147
    A big heart [196-198] . . . . . . . .148
    Chapter Six
    SOME PASTORAL PERSPECTIVES [199] 151
    Proclaimingthe Gospelof the family today [200-204] . . . . . . . . . .151
    Preparingengaged couples for marriage [205-211] ………….155
    The preparation of the celebration [212-216] . 161
    Accompanyingthe firstyears of married life [217-222] . . . . . . . . . . . 164
    Some resources [223-230] . . . . . . .170
    Castinglighton crises, worries and diffi­culties [231] . . . . . . . . . . .175
    The challenge of crises [232-238] . . . . . 176
    Old wounds [239-240] . . . . . . . .181
    Accompaniment after breakdown and divorce [241-246] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
    Certain complex situations [247-252] . . .187260
    When death makes us feelits sting[253-258] ………….191
    Chapter Seven
    TOWARDS A BETTER EDUCATION OF CHILDREN [259] . . . . . . .197
    Where are our children? [260-262] . . .197
    The ethicalformation of children [263-267] 199
    The value of correction as an incentive [268-270] ………….202
    Patientrealism [271-273] . . . . . . .204
    Family life as an educationalsetting[274-279] 206
    The need for sex education [280-286] . .211
    Passingon the faith [287-290] . . . . .216
    Chapter Eight
    ACCOMPANYING, DISCERNING AND INTEGRATING WEAKNESS [291-292] .221
    Gradualness in pastoralcare [293-295] .222
    The discernmentof “irregular” situations [296-300] ………….225
    Mitigatingfactors in pastoraldiscernment[301-303] ………….232
    Rules and discernment[304-306] . . . .235
    The logic of pastoralmercy [307-312] . .238
    Chapter Nine
    THE SPIRITUALITY OF MARRIAGEAND THE FAMILY [313] . . . . . .245
    Aspirituality of supernaturalcommunion [314-316] ………….245
    Gathered in prayer in the lightof Easter [317-318] ………….247
    Aspirituality of exclusive and free love [319-320] ………….249
    Aspirituality of care, consolation and incentive [321-325] . . . . . . . . .251
    Prayer to the Holy Family . . . . . . . .

    Liked by 4 people

  5. zeniazenia says:

    Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta, homily for April 14, 2016. “In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit: closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit. We’ve seen things – the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; the words and the great things Stephen was doing … but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit. They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.” Our Lady Undoer of knots — pray for us. 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Linda says:

    All I can say (and I haven’t read it yet but will end route to Mexico in flight) is that when pope Francis speaks.. He speaks for Christ. There are so many suffering people in the world that have lived a life of hell and have never known authentic love. Only Christ knows. His name is Mercy. This is the year of mercy and so it seems appra po from what I can gather… Like Charlie says.. If we say.. God thank you that I am not like sinful men..we deceive ourselves..let us instead say.. Father forgive me.. I am but a stupid sinful man. Jesus I trust in you and where the barque of Peter is.. There is the church.😇

    Liked by 8 people

  7. CrewDog says:

    The below are a couple of items you won’t see reported upon by ABCNNBCBS-BBC and why I don’t waste much time on the Synod or Papa’s Exhortation to it.
    Can anyone here convince me or others that Christians are NOT in the “Drive Them Underground” Stage? The next “Stage” is extermination and even some oldsters here may live to see it!! ……. already happening in the Middle East and areas where there is sizable % of Muslims … ever wondered why the US/EU godless Left has, just recently, thrown the Jews “Under de Bus” and now embrace Muslims!?? …. The Storm!? …. The Final Confrontation spoken of by St.John Paul II back in 78.

    ”Why Do LGBT Radicals Want to Cleanse the Counseling Profession of Christians?”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433969/religious-liberty-tennessee-counselor-therapist-protections-hate

    “BERNIE SANDERS: ‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN CHARITIES’ – Professor: Democrat ‘has no real respect or regard for civil society’
    http://www.wnd.com/2016/04/bernie-sanders-i-dont-believe-in-charities/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Christene says:

    As I read all of these comments, Charlie, the words “why do you obsess about the speck in your brother’s eye and ignore the plank in your own” keep ringing in my head.
    For those who have themselves tied up in spiritual knots worrying about ALL of those sins being committed by ALL of those OTHER people, perhaps a reading of Galatians 5:13-26 might lend some healthy perspective;

          13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
          16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
          25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

    Note, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that Paul lists a few “sins of the flesh” that rarely, if ever, light up the blogosphere or comment boards quite like sex; enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, idolatry, envy,……..
    Paul makes it quite clear that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Like I said…..just a little perspective. Peace.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Linda says:

      Amen Christine.. And what keeps ringing In my head is how Charlie said Jesus wants us ALL to be saved.. Even the head dismembering Muslims.. “Behold my people.” What a Good And Merciful God we have.. May Our Ladies heart triumph soon.😊

      Liked by 6 people

      • Christene says:

        Oh, Amen, amen! Our Blessed Mother is busy gathering her children into the shelter of her Immaculate Heart these days and those include those MOST lost in the darkness of this world, including head chopping jihadist! No one is beyond her reach! We who have taken shelter in her heart must take her hand and, sheltered under her mantle, go fearlessly into the darkness of the Storm with her to help her find those still lost. She wants ALL of her children united with her Son!! Let us carry the Light of Christ forth!

        Liked by 6 people

      • Christene says:

        There are several Rosary crusades going on as we speak for the defeat of ISIS and other terrorist groups. One is at 1millionrosaries.com and another is lead by Cardinal Burke every first of the month. I have joined both and I am sure there are others. Satan doesn’t stand a chance!

        Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Wow, Christene. Awesome!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Christene says:

      I wish to apologize for my original comment. I meant to say “as I read SOME of these comments”….. I had been reading commentary on AI on other Catholic sites and was utterly fed up with the attacks on the Holy Father. When a caught a few of the negative comment here I kind of unloaded. I apologize. I love everyone here and 95% of the commentary is some of the most beautiful, edifying, merciful, prayerful, thoughtful commentary on the Internet. Please forgive my rashness.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. maryopl says:

    Dear Fran, thank you for the synopsis. It is what I was hoping for and I will read it myself now. One image came to my mind while reading your words – imagine we came to an island of people who had been living apart from others and had developed odd behaviors or beliefs and yet said they were devout Catholics. If we landed on this island we would see clearly the error occurring but – I imagine – would gently start helping them to see the error in their lives and practices. Knowing we were helping them get the fullness of faith, not harming where their souls currently rested but guiding them further along the right path. Often, because these folks are really living next door, going to our church and in our schools we treat them differently in today’s society rather than if we had just landed on their island. It’s difficult to change anyone’s beliefs- especially when they are sure they know the facts (I won’t say truth). I know I must make great efforts at gentleness and love over the coming years for those who are lost and don’t want to be found (but their souls do!). This is our way of the cross. Jesus didn’t win hearts and souls by yelling at the crowds as he went to Golgotha- and neither should we. Blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Barbara says:

    just an observation here, from my perspective; my family is going through much personal “storm” right now, among other things..my husband and I just purchased a humble condo for a relative who has lost his home and business due to bankruptcy, it’s been trying for us, as we deal with renovating and costs, but I always remember, Charlie that you said that money won’t mean a thing soon…and I am comforted by that thought. We have 4 grown children of our own, and 2 grandsons..so helping a sibling of ours is just adding to my husband’s worries. .. I am concerned for my husband as he nears retirement age and is working longs hours, and needs to take better care of his health, and you really find out who your friends are, and who aren’t, when the chips are down… I wanted to also note that I have been on facebook for years, and would like to kick that habit.. I see so much of the secular ,modern sinful mentality that is blinding so much of humanity to the Lord’s truths..those of you who haven’t joined the social media site are the smart ones. Wondered if anyone else here regular socializes through that site.
    I was encouraged by being able to see Charlie not long ago come to a location 2 hours away from my home and wish that I could find more “followers” of his in my own vicinity to meet with from time to time, I am contemplating how I will find support as the storm worsens. God bless all of you

    Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Barbara, I am keeping you and your family in my daily prayers during your personal storm.
      My parents were orphans. We grew up surrounded by families from their 1959 Angel Guardian Orphanage Graduating Class.
      http://www.angelguardianorphanage.com/Class_of_1959.html
      I just realized in alphabetical order Mom & Dad were number 1 and 2. Many of their life long friends and then neighbors, abandoned my parents when dad got sick in his early 40’s. Mom was always the one who took in people. Literally we had families and relatives live with us when they were down and out. Setting a “extra” plate was not out of the ordinary in our home. At holidays mom would invite family and people who had nobody else to our home. Her only request was that you only bring only yourselves, (no food side dishes). She lovingly prepared the h’orderves and appetizers, feast and desserts (with my sister and I as helpers) every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. She was the best listener that I know and always offered a shoulder to cry on. When families were going through tragedies, she would bake a large meal and dessert (catering style) and deliver them personally to the family in order to sustain them and give them, “one less thing to worry about.”
      So imagine my feeling disgraced by them when they abandoned my family after my father went blind. My mother seemingly always saw the best in people. We had a heart to heart discussion about my sadness in this regard. She simply said they are all the about same age and perhaps they were fearing their own mortality and were frightened. She cautioned me not to judge them but to understand from their perspectives.
      As far as social media, I have a Facebook and Twitter account. My Facebook I set up long ago and to this day seldom use it to interact. It was experimental at first and now just a convenience to navigate around other online sites. My twitter account, I love and use mainly for fun. The challenge is learning how to express myself in 140 character or less 🙂 and sharing God’s love with fellow Christians/Catholics. I also use the twitter account in a cyber advocacy role (for whatever that is worth.) I do not watch news and Twitter believe it or not allows me to stay on top of the news items I deem relevant in real time.
      I am in Illinois. Would you like to share approximately where you reside? We do have a NRS forum site where people can arrange to gather regionally.
      Bless you and your family for also loving reaching out to help others in their time of need.
      Matthew 25:40 (KJV) “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

      Liked by 11 people

    • Doug says:

      Hi Barbara, I think Charlie’s site is the face book alternative in many respects. I lit a candle for you after mass this past Sunday and asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for you. Also, what state are you in? We are in NH and get together once a month for what we call our storm dinner. God bless you and keep trusting God with your whole heart!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Ok Barbara. Just saw you live in CT. Anyone have a meeting near that area?

      Like

  11. Beckita says:

    Let prayers rise anew as David Daleiden’s attorneys file an important motion: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/04/14/david-daleidens-attorneys-files-motion-to-dismiss-all-of-the-bogus-charges-against-him/
    And you may sign a petition linked from the article.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. I said on my own facebroke account, and I want to say here, especially to the Protestants that come and read (do you read the comments? you should!)–

    At first I was so embarrassed by the squabbling, and snarking about AL. Some disagreed with scalpels, some with hatchets, but still, I was starting to get discouraged by it all, but I wanted to encourage you all.

    This tension is a beautiful thing. It’s a holy mess.

    This is what a family looks like when it squabbles. All of these people online squabbling about this paragraph, or how legalistic, or how liberal–they’re all going to mass this weekend (I pray!). They’re not starting a new church, they’re not leaving and going somewhere else.

    Like a family that squabbles has blood that is thicker than water, we have The Eucharist, Christ’s Blood shed for us, which binds us together and keeps us as one.

    Wasn’t it TS Eliot who said, “Here comes everyone?” I didn’t understand that when I first became Catholic, but I love it now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • janet333 says:

      “They’re not starting a new church, they’re not leaving and going somewhere else.”

      Sometimes it would be better if they did…I’m talking of the ones who are now self excommunicated and still receiving the Eucharist. There is more going on than we know about in here Briana. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t know.

        The unity is what drew me to the church.

        I got so sick and fed up at having over 44 thousand denominations, and I knew it was so wrong, so I tried to go the Emergent Church way–beyond all of the laws and structure, you know, to pure Jesus. Everyone was trying to live as the first century Christians, and as I started to read the Desert Fathers, I realized that they were celebrating the mass.

        One church. One catholic, holy and apostolic church.

        So instead of going beyond, I ended up going back to the One.

        Unity is a beautiful thing, but living it out can sometimes be a struggle. I’m only 21 years married, and it’s hard and we’re only two people. The church is how many?

        Liked by 5 people

  13. I really love what Fr. Longnecker has been writing on his Pathos blog, Standing on My Head. He has some excellent posts on AL.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/04/does-amoris-laetitia-encourage-communion-of-divorced-and-re-married.html

    Liked by 6 people

    • janet333 says:

      A great article Briana. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Fran says:

      I had not read this quote in this article of Pope Francis, Briana~ Thank you.

      “When Fr Granados’ words are combined with Pope Francis’ own words on the flight back from Mexico, it is clear that not only is doctrine not being changed, but neither is the discipline. When asked whether the divorced and re-married could receive communion the pope replied:
      ‘This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving Communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want Communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration; all doors are open. But we cannot say from here on they can have Communion. This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration.'”

      Liked by 5 people

  14. This is my favorite of Father Longnecker’s posts on AL. He reminds us that the church is global, not American! ( America is *not* the center of the church? What? 😀 )

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/04/amoris-laetitia-chapter-8-and-that-footnote.html

    Liked by 6 people

    • Fran says:

      That is a good article, Briana. And something we have to be careful about doing, I think, is reading things into Pope Francis words, and running off in a panic with assumptions about what might happen next. I have felt this fear too at times, so I understand, but this is not how the Lord wishes us to be. So perhaps we should all steady ourselves, and prayerfully consider what the Lord is allowing to happen, or what He is doing, and why. Then we can be a better help to others.

      Liked by 5 people

  15. CrewDog says:

    This seems to be as good a thread as any to post this soooo.
    I’m sure many USA Types remember the Radio commentator, Paul Harvey! I grew up with him and continued to listen to him until his death a dozen years ago or so. Many may have heard this from his show over 50 years ago. Might be worth hearing anew or again! …………. and recall the road that we were already on five decades ago!!

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Fr. Peter says:

    Dear Dan Lynch, there are many places in the scriptures where it is understood that Jesus forgives sins without the “formula” of absolution. After his resurrection, “Peace be with you.” , to Peter on the shore, “Do you love me?” As a priest I understand my limitations and use the great gifts that the Church has given me. But I know the Lord’s grace and mercy go beyond my role.
    Years ago I was told a story of people in Russia who had no priest, visiting the graves of priests and confessing their sins. In the World Wars, men were dying and confessing themselves to another soldier and asking him to take their confessions to a priest.
    I know the beauty and power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but I believe God’s mercy and forgiveness goes beyond my limited experience. I am not eager to try to contain the limitless power of God’s mercy and forgiveness by my limited vision, knowledge or experience. God bless you.

    Liked by 8 people

  17. Beckita says:

    WOW! My copy of A.L. just arrived last evening and I will begin reading it today. Without that background, I’ve kept pretty quiet. I went ahead and listened to the very reasoned, respectful, insightful commentary of Raymond Arroyo’s “Papal Posse” because I deeply respect the excellent work of Robert Royal who heads the Faith and Reason Institute as well as that of Fr. Gerald Murray, canon lawyer.

    After the election of Pope Francis, I was disturbed by Arroyo’s ways of asking questions about certain statements of our Holy Father. To me, his queries were often stated in ways to invite criticism. I observed last fall, when the posse provided commentary during the Holy Father’s visit to the US, how Fr. Gerry especially tamped down Arroyo’s propensity to cast criticism, both subtly and rather boldly, against Pope Francis. Both Royal’s and Fr. Gerry’s comments in this current interview were measured and well-informed in their honest questioning and criticisms. All the while, they constantly affirmed their allegiance to the Holy Father as well as the fact that Pope Francis is a virtuous, wonderful, holy man.

    I more readily understand the panic now. I more clearly see the difficulties with problematic portions of the text. No small things are they. Pope Francis took the helm of Christ’s Church in the throes of her Passion Time, so intensely polarized have we been. It seems to me, he has labored tirelessly to bring unity everywhere, within the Church and with other Christian denominations. No doubt to me this was his goal in A.L. yet truth in doctrine and dogma cannot be altered by discipline or pastoral practice which de facto changes the teaching.

    Couldn’t find the original quote but Royal made mention of Cardinal Pell’s words, perhaps paraphrased: “If it were up to me, I’d have been more lenient, but Jesus wasn’t and I must be with Him.” Fr. Gerry responded to the Holy Father’s admonition concerning not hiding behind the teachings of the Church, in a way that totally resonates with my intent: I hide behind the teachings for safety, that is, they are as a nest or home NOT as a way to get back at people or cast stones against them.

    This all becomes part of my prayer life now, not in fear or anger; it’s a dead end path to cling to such emotions, a portal for the enemy and springboard to further transgressions. God can and will draw so much good from these difficulties. Nevertheless, I see this as another facet of danger in these times. Fr. Gerry believes there are many who will rise to fraternally challenge the Holy Father concerning what they perceive to be the problematic statements. Throughout the interview, I kept coming back to a thought: so this may well be the blunder the Holy Father would make. Without intending to foster division, this document may fully bring to the surface (deep divisions have been festering for years) the de facto schismatic groups from all over the map, perhaps yet another phase of the illumination of consciences.

    That would be so even for us who discuss these challenges here. Are we discussing in a fraternal way? Are we heaving boulders filled with smears, denigration, character defamation and anger bombs at the Holy Father? Or casting stones with insulting, nasty barbs at each other? Lots to think about. Thank you, Charlie, for the tremendous work of moderating comments!

    Liked by 9 people

  18. Jennifer says:

    Ellen, you are so right and practical in questioning the preparation for marriage couples receive. There’s also the cultural filter we receive this marriage prep in especially when the teachings of the Church are not explicitly and plainly stated. I also question the preparation I had . But for us, thanks to EWTN being plain about contraception, we discovered our error. Our rehabilitation consisted of practicing NFP. That’s living Theology of the Body. It changed everything. Couples who practice NFP have a very, very low divorce rate.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Fr. Peter says:

    Dear Dan Lynch, This site is the first that I have read faithfully (I am woefully backward with new media. I don’t even like the telephone. Ha), and so I find myself awkwardly responding when I should be more thoughtful. So, I am sorry.
    But I found myself disagreeing with your post, because it seemed to claim an appeal to authority based on the Scriptures, in particular; the stories of the Woman Caught in Adultery and the Woman at the Well. You seem to point out that the Lord could not offer them forgiveness because he does not regularize their marriages. Jesus can only “draw them closer to himself.”
    The Church in the Catechism when discussing the Sacrament of Reconciliation cites a variety of scriptures where the Lord never used the formula of forgiveness, but it is presumed. Yes, Jesus is definitely drawing all people to himself. This is the point of conversion which is the very heart of forgiveness. The Pharisees are upset with Jesus, because they presume he doesn’t know these people are sinners. But Jesus rejects the “restrictive” view of the Pharisees and offers forgiveness and mercy to tax collectors, prostitutes and all sorts of sinners.
    Mercy and love are a messy business, largely because they break things up. Like our hearts, our plans and our neat categories. Jesus shows us again and again, that humility allows us access to the heart of God, and mercy offered another ( even the worst sinner) is the surest way to receive mercy ourselves.
    Pope Francis is simply encouraging the Church to use all the means of mercy available to her to reach out to sinners in our time. Jesus’ command to love moves the Church into some very messy places.

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Fr. Peter. For those who don’t know Dan Lynch well, he can sometimes come across as dogmatic and inflexible because he always states his case boldly. Shoot, the first week he and I began corresponding we spent the whole week arguing. Dan argues with the boldness and passion of an effective advocate – which he was for many years as an attorney. But he listens as intently as he speaks…and considers. Unlike most who speak with his boldness, he rarely has a vain need to be right. He can live comfortably with disagreement once he sees your position is well-considered and chosen with logical deliberation. A great chunk of my friends over the years have been lawyers and judges, the best of whom can argue with passion and vigor, but without malice.

      The most important thing is that Dan is a guy who does stuff – his passion bears fruit. He doesn’t just talk about it. He has worked tirelessly to promote worthy devotions, his great heart is shown in his charitable interactions with so many, both public and private. I like people who do stuff – who actually live what they proclaim, even when I have a disagreement on something. I often have little disagreements with Dan, though I usually don’t press it. He says what he says, I say what I say, and I know that wherever people come down on something, they are hearing well-considered cases on both ends. Dan has become one of my favorite people. And because he so clearly lives what he proclaims, he is one of the people who often makes me better. I hope I do the same for him on occasion.

      Make your case vigorously with him, as he will his with you. Even when you disagree, I think you will find you have gained a friend. That has been my experience…and I am glad of it.

      Liked by 9 people

      • Dan Lynch says:

        Hi Charlie,

        I don’t recognize that guy. I haven’t read such accolades about me since my mother died. Thank you for your kind words, they should keep me going for a few more years.

        In Jesus, Dan

        Liked by 7 people

  20. Margaret says:

    Charlie, I am glad you are feeling better. I just need some advice. I have a friend who persists in saying negative things about Pope Frances, and sending me articles. I told her to be careful what she says. Now I just want to distance myself. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Well Margaret, the important article I have been working on since Easter addresses that. The thing is there is much confusion rising – that really has more to do with the fullness of the Storm than some of the doomsday scenarios I hear posited…though it will be very dark indeed for many before the light breaks through. Now each of us must choose…we will seek out the dark or seek out the light? God is winnowing each of us and woe to those who are only happy when they can find darkness to condemn.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Daniel O'Connor says:

      Gmail has a great function (“Filter messages like these…”) with which you can automatically send messages from certain people to your trash folder before you even have a chance to see them.

      Changed my life, that function did 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Barbara says:

      Margaret, I too have a very close relative, who insists that the Pope is evil and keeps sending me articles, trouble is, this relative has been influencing me all my life, and is a very devout, chaste soul. So I am very confused as to what to believe!

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Well, Barbara, you have to ask yourself if your pious, devout, chaste relative is more pious, devout and chaste than Christ – because what this person is telling you is that the promise of Christ that Peter’s (the Pope’s) fundamental faith will not fail is not true. You stick with the Barque of Peter and be gentle, but unbending with your relative, who is gripped by a deadly form of pride and will need your simplicity and gentle kindness when Christ shows how malicious she is being.

        Liked by 7 people

        • Joj says:

          St. Thomas says that as long as our Faith is in Christ and His Church, and enlivened by Charity, confusion about particulars is not contrary to that Faith. Be at peace, Margaret.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Barbara says:

          wow, Charlie, how did you know it was a she?( it’s not my late mother though)-but I have felt rebellion toward this person for many decades, and just lately have been trying to forgive her and see the good in her..she’s always ill, if I were to tell her though that she was making herself sick, she would dismiss it, so I quietly just wish her well and ignore the stubborn negativity, I DO believe though that she really wants justice and good for all, just in her sadly odd way, somehow that she picked up this indignation as a child

          Liked by 2 people

      • janet333 says:

        Hi Barbara….most of the time when I hear these negative comments I ask…”What has he done wrong?” The reply…silence!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Barbara says:

          well Janet, sometimes she can’t back it up, yes… or she’ll say that she “knows”, one claim she made though was that the pope only reads the communist newspaper, or that when he declared the year of mercy he didn’t kneel before the blessed sacrament as he should have done, these sorts of things…

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            If those are her sorts of reasons she has a very hard way to go. Pray for her and be there for her when she is shown by the Lord that she is not, in fact, the most pious of them all.

            Liked by 3 people

          • janet333 says:

            You know what Barbara…..I don’t think the Pope minds at all. When told of these negative comments he answers with….”I am a son of the Church” He even said once…I think jokingly..”you want me to cite the Credo?”…(paraphrasing). I think we get more upset than he does when we hear the negative comments ..That’s cos we love him! 🙂 and know when they put the papacy down, it’s like they are saying Christ words are untrue regarding the Petrine Office. They’ll all know soon enough..Praise the Lord!

            Liked by 4 people

          • janet333 says:

            I’ll pray for her Barbara.

            Liked by 1 person

  21. Margaret says:

    Charlie, thank you. May the Lord continue to bless all you do. My prayers go up for everyone on this blog.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Fr. Peter says:

    Yes Charlie, Dan is a good man and I have known of him for a number of years. I met him years ago when I was involved in The Rescue Movement. I went to jail. Dan was arguing quite fiercely about the injustice of abortion. I expect we agree more than we disagree.
    Pope Francis in A.L. was encouraging couples to watch less TV, pray more and develop more of their personalities, so that they might have better conversations and thus grow in love. It is good advice to make good friends too!

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      My Dad and I LOVED to argue back in the day. We would often have my mother in tears. It was great sport for us. ONe time when I was down visiting, I decided I wasn’t going to argue, but be agreeable or restrained. My Dad made a comment designed to provoke me. I passed it over. For almost an hour, his barbs kept getting sharper – and his face would fall every time I passed it over. Finally he said something that caused me to erupt. A big, boyish grin of joy spread across his face and, after a moment, mine as well, and we were off to the races again, jubilantly engaging in our favorite competitive sport. Mom just shook her head and went where she couldn’t hear us.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Charlie, this is a great story! I love it. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Some people have strange ways of saying, “I love you!” 😀

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          My son and I love insult humor. Once, some friends of his thought we didn’t get along. We were both stunned because we adore each other. My son always loves the first few days I visit, because I am so used to being nice and gentle, he says it is like shooting fish in a barrel until I get my sea legs back.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Lily says:

            Hi Charlie, please forgive me, but I didn’t realize ‘insult humor’ was a ‘thing’. I grew up with this to a degree, and it was fine until I started to wonder how it was the same or different from simply being insulting or bullying. I pause here in reading the comments to comment on this because i need to think about this. it may change how I have judged people, and maybe how I need to chill more with people and my kids. I might be like your mom who would have to leave the room, and maybe I don’t have to?? But how is it kind and building up?? Thank you (anyone) for your thoughts!

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I’m not sure, Lily. Some people can’t do it at all without being actually insulting. For others, it is an affectionate way of recognizing lovable foibles. I think it is hard to explain, but with someone you love and trust, it is a soothing matching of wits and confirmation of affection. Counterintuitive, yes, but delightful if played right. But it is NOT for everyone. In most of my family, even the one poked relished a good poke as much as everyone else. It wearies me to even think of having to be solemnly nice all the time – there is a lot of verve and panache in good insult humor. But if it doesn’t come naturally, you probably shouldn’t try it.

            Even my Mom, who I always gave sentimental cards to – complained that I gave perfectly fitting joke cards to everyone else which were memorable and funny. So I found one that was a joke card that PERFECTLY captured our relationship. On different pages it said, “I wanted to wish you a happy birthday…but I don’t want you to think I think you’re getting old…but I don’t want you to think I forgot…but I don’t want you to think I’m rubbing it in either.” And on the last page it said, “Mainly, I just don’t want any trouble.” She was so delighted with it she framed it and had it in her parlor the rest of her life. She loved it for itself and said it finally made her one of the gang!

            Liked by 3 people

  23. Freddyjoe says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now, though I’ve made only a couple of minor comments. The simplicity of your message and the edifying nature of the commentary following your posts keep me coming back. Thank you for being just a poor schlub who’s trying his best to follow Christ. You give the rest of us schlubs a reason, and a direction, to keep slogging away!

    I’m writing you today to make a few comments about Pope Francis and his Exhortation, Amoris laetitia, AL. As a result of my own reading of segments of the document as well as reading numerous commentaries from Cardinals, canonists, good Holy priests, reporters both Catholic and secular, I have some observations and conclusions that I’d like to share, some of which, is not all, are already obvious to many who frequent this blog.
    1. Pope Francis was, is still, and will be Catholic. He is a “loyal son of the Church”. Love him and pray for him DAILY.
    2. Post-AL, all Church teaching and doctrine remain intact and undiminished.
    3. In the future, Pope Francis will not be changing doctrine because he can’t, he has said as much.
    4. AL is a beautiful exhortation to all of us to work harder at reaching out to our hurting family members, friends, neighbors, our enemies, to all our brothers and sisters with utmost compassion. We are to be as mirrors, reflecting “that fount of Mercy which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus” as he hung upon the Cross.
    5. Both camps, traditional Catholics and liberal Catholics (aka Kasperites) are claiming victory in the battle over interpretation of AL. First look at the most comments made here on your blog. Here, AL is read in the Light of Christ and the immutable Truths of His Church. The Shepherd said: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me”. John 10:14 In stark contrast, see in the LA Times just one example of what happens when AL is read in light dimmed by secular reasoning, a reasoning which denies the immutable, and the authority of Christ’s Vicar. (LA Times http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-pope-amoris-20160413-htmlstory.html )
    6. AL will cause division, or perhaps a better word is sifting. The sifting will impact everyone in the Church. “For see, I have given the command to sift the
    House of Israel among all the nations, as one sifts with a sieve, letting no pebble fall to the ground. All sinners among My people shall die by the sword, those
    who say, ‘Disaster will not reach or overtake us’”. Amos 9:9-10 The sieve of course is AL.
    7. AL was delivered to the world by Christ’s Vicar, Pope Francis, who, I believe unwittingly, has told us that the time has come to choose sides as the battle in
    nearly fully engaged. “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” Luke 11:23

    Now Charlie, a question. Is AL perhaps Pope Francis’ “blunder” which you have suggested will occur? To make myself perfectly clear I need to say that I do not believe for a second that Holy Father intends to be divisive. Nor do I believe, as some suggest, that he is giving a wink-and-a-node to the more liberal minded so that they may feel free to circumvent doctrine via their convoluted theology or logic. I believe Pope Francis to be a holy and compassionate man who’s heart genuinely aches for our broken humanity. However, I have long felt that he may suffer from a certain, isolation or naivety with regard to “the ways of the world”, especially the ways the liberal press, and maybe even liberal Catholics in general. What’s more, since being elevated to the Chair of Peter, his isolation may have been exacerbated by some of the wolves who may surround him in the Vatican, keeping him in the dark.
    From the moment I first saw him standing before the crowd in St. Peter’s Square on the night of his election I knew I was seeing Christ’s Vicar. Holy Father is indeed an alter Christos. Like Jesus who often spoke in parables, Pope Francis seems also at times to speak in parables like fashion. Whether intentional or not, “who am I to judge”. But his writings can be quite enigmatic as he tends to use imprecise language which stands in sharp contrast to the crisp, clear language of as his immediate predecessors. What’s more I do believe that this imprecise language is God’s design. So perhaps Jesus’ explanation to his disciples in Mark 4: 9-12 gives witness to us today. “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.’”

    For what it’s worth… Thank you Charlie for your ministry and faithfulness.

    Pax Christi,
    Fred

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Freddy, thank you for this marvelous and heartening commentary. No, I do NOT think AL is his blunder. I remain persuaded that his emphasis through much of last year on mere political matters rather than spiritual ones was the blunder – and not near as bad a one as I expected. It may very well be a blessed stumble. I have not read all of AL yet, just bits and pieces and massive amounts of commentary on it. What I have read has warmed my heart and endeared this Pope even more to me. I don’t know that he got all the answers right…I suspect there may be something to Cdl. Burke’s assertion that not all in it is Magisterial. In fact, I suspect that may be intentional by the Pope. For the first time in generations on this issue, he is asking the right questions…approaching it from the right perspective. Though I understand the two poles of the issue, I am weary to death of the same old argument. If our whole society became heroin addicts en masse, to have two factions arguing on the one hand that we ought to give people more heroin because it is the only relief they get from their suffering (much of the progressive wing) and the other arguing that we ought to cast the addicts into outer darkness and leave them to die so they infect no one else (too much of the orthodox wing) drives me batty. Christ came to heal…and on this issue where there has been such massive, disruptive disorder, this Pope is trying to find a way to heal.

      The part of your comment that struck me most is when you said the time has come to choose sides. Christ said that Peter’s faith will not fail. He said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church. He did not say that, as confusion rises, each of us will understand all that is happening from our own perspective. But now all must choose: do you believe the promises of Christ or don’t you? If you do, quit whining, put your shoulder to the oar and get to it. If not, quit the pretense. I know that is bald…but it has gotten that stark.

      In libel law, there is a concept by which documents and statements can be read. One starts from “innocent construction.” Take the most innocent, positive interpretation possible and consider it through that lens. If, then, it is still malicious, you probably have libel. Malicious construction starts with the assumption that something is malicious and rather than considering the document, considers elements of it that can be bent to fit the malicious construction imposed on it. Read Al with the assumption that he is solidly orthodox rather than just looking for something with which to accuse him. You can find ambiguous things, but nothing to justify the hubbub rising now.

      And yet, if I think Pope Francis is a bit clumsy and awkward at temporal diplomacy, I am beginning to think he is a regular subtle genius at Church diplomacy. The Kasperites are spent. No one can say they didn’t get their say or that they were suppressed. They yelled and hollered triumphantly – and all they have to show for it is a few lousy t-shirts of ambiguity. If they lead a schism, they will look like idiots. That is not to say they won’t, but their petulance will be perfectly obvious. Meanwhile, with all the screaming in the Catholic commentariat, Pope Francis has been busily working toward a rapprochement with the Pope Pius X Society. Holy crow…if he gives them and they accept canonical status, those who are screaming what a reckless heretic he is are going to look like idiots.

      I have said before that I know, mainly by revelation, that Pope Francis IS the Pope of the Storm – and I have never doubted that (though occasionally I have privately complained that much of this was not what I expected). Now I see the contours of the genuine greatness of a man, sometimes flawed, who is going to carry this Church back to the fullness of unity, focused on healing the disorders OUR rebellion have caused over the last few generations rather than just railing about it. And I thank God to see it coming into focus.

      Liked by 13 people

    • jobrower says:

      I wondered the same thing, Fred.

      Like

    • Brad J says:

      I also wondered this Fred. Thank you Charlie for your response.

      Brad

      Like

  24. Cheri F says:

    Two thoughts that keep coming to me to ponder lately are ” God is Love ” and “Behold I make all things new”. So grateful for this site. I think Pope Francis can be confusing, but he keeps me from being smug in my faith. He challenges me to reach out in love and courage (two qualities I don’t naturally have). 🙂 I’m working on them. Blessings to all.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Dan Lynch says:

    Dear Fr. Peter,

    I think that I didn’t explain myself very well. I wasn’t trying to limit the infinite mercy of Jesus or his forgiveness of sins. We can know that he forgave people when he explicitly said so. Otherwise, we don’t know for sure. He also didn’t forgive everyone carte blanche.

    Jesus loves us where we are, but he does not want to leave us there. He wants to draw us closer to himself. He does not forgive our unrepentant sins for which we have no firm purpose of amendment. He accompanies us on the path of repentance, conversion and hopefully to forgiveness.

    Jesus did not explicitly forgive the woman caught in adultery, nor the Samaritan woman who had five husbands. We know that Jesus forgives when he uses the words of absolution, as he did with the crippled man who was lowered down through the roof to him. (See Mark 2).

    He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. He told the Samaritan woman, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:17). Jesus did not explicitly forgive their sins. He told them the truth in love.

    Jesus seemingly simply drew both of these women towards repentance and conversion, which hopefully they later made and received his forgiveness. The Church should do all that it can to bring people in “irregular” situations, as Pope Francis calls them, to conversion and reconciliation with the Church and the teachings of Jesus. It should not permit them to violate the Sixth Commandment and to receive the Eucharist by applying a distorted false mercy upon them, not doing the right thing for them and enabling them to continue their objectively evil lifestyles. This is not mercy it is license.

    The Pope’s pastoral approach in these situations should be considered as mere personal suggestions and not binding on the consciences of any priest, who may use his own discernment process against it and not apply it.

    The existing practice now is that many priests, especially in Germany, knowingly administer the Eucharist to people in these situations. The approach of Pope Francis will encourage this practice.

    I call upon all priests to consider the Pope’s open door pastoral approach as his personal opinion and not binding upon their consciences. They should accompany people living in such lifestyle situations on the road to repentance and conversion and encourage them to follow the clear teachings of Moses, Jesus and the Church to refrain and abstain from the sexual acts of adultery, fornication, contraception and homosexuality and then happily receive the sacraments of Confession and Eucharist.

    If they have no intention to abstain, they should be encouraged to attend Mass to hear the word of God and to receive a blessing and to receive and partake in all the helps of the Church to grow in holiness, except for the reception of the Eucharist.

    Pope Francis urges us to follow his example and to go out and make messes. For myself, I prefer divine order, the tranquility of which is peace.

    Here is the mess that Pope Francis has created. He clearly opened the doors for communion for the divorced and remarried without annulment in his telephone conversation with the Argentinian woman in an “irregular” situation whom he told to receive the Eucharist.

    He clearly closed the doors with his precise answer to reporters on the airplane coming back from Mexico. He opened the doors again with the imprecise and ambiguous language of his document. This opening was confirmed by his unofficial spokesman, Father Antono Spadaro, who worked closely with Pope Francis as his adviser and translator. He reportedly helped to draft the document. He said that Pope Francis has removed all restrictions on the access of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacraments. Neither the Pope’s official spokesman, Father Lombardi, or the Vatican has denied this or clarified anything.

    I urge all priests to follow the closed-door pastoral approach of Pope Francis’ answer to the reporters on the airplane from Mexico and not the open door approach of his phone call to the Argentinian woman.

    Sincerely in Jesus,

    Dan

    PS I remember our days in the Rescue Movement when courageous priests like yourself stood up for Jesus against the Idol of Choice with its fruit of abortion on demand and prayed and acted for the conversions of the abortionists and their mother victims, and for the salvation of their unborn children.

    “Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm…keep calm and carry on!” (Winston Churchill).

    “In the shadow of your wings I take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by.” (Psalm 57).

    Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion toOur Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations, Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II
    Visit our website at http://www.JKMI.com
    E-Mail Us at JKMI@JKMI.com
    May Our Lady of Guadalupe keep you under the mantle of her protection and
    may the Reign of Jesus King of All Nations be recognized in your heart!

    Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      “Jesus did not explicitly forgive the woman caught in adultery”

      Hi Dan,

      In saying, “Go and sin no more,” Jesus was warning against a return to sinful lifestyle choices. With forgiveness comes the expectation that we will not continue in the same path of rebellion. Those who know God’s love will naturally want to obey Him (John 14:15).

      “….and not the open door approach of his phone call to the Argentinian woman.”

      Do we really know what he said to this woman? I think the Vatican said that a private conversation has to remain just that..private!

      God Bless You

      Liked by 2 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        This whole conversation is confusing to me.. am I missing something here? Jesus IS the High Priest and He Himself is the formula- He is forgiveness… so why are people doubting that He forgave this woman? He is God He can do whatever He wishes in whatever manner He wishes…

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          It is an interesting theological question, though I am pondering and suspect it is not as weighty as some fear. Certainly, Jesus said bluntly to some that He forgave them. To this woman, what He said was “…neither do I condemn you,” which is not quite the same thing. But He followed that with, “Go and sin no more,” which suggests He left her in a state of grace, which would make it implicit that He forgave her even though He didn’t explicitly say so. God’s ways are often deeper and more mysterious than we can reduce to paper. It almost seems that Christ did not take account of her particular sin – even while recognizing it as sin. Certainly Romans 4:8 says, “blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.” And again in I Peter 4:8 it says”…hold unfailing love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (often translated as ‘charity covers a multitude of sins.’) So it seems that, in some cases, Christ expunges sins by means other than explicit forgiveness.

          There are times we miss fine distinctions to our sorrow…and then times when we over-interpret to our sorrow as well.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Thank you, Charlie. There’s a lot in your response..and you probably answered me and so I need to ponder it for a while!
            What I’m asking -or trying to put into words- is why Jesus has to do anything according to what we think? The Church was not yet set up at this time and He, being God… is the law, is forgiveness is mercy and can do anything He pleases- even now…and yes, I know He works through what He established now but He is not bound by anything because He IS God. So I don’t understand even the questioning. Did Jesus actually say the words to each Disciple as He called them to follow Him, (we know He taught them later)…? In a way this goes straight to the heart of how people from other religions will enter Heaven. Not being Catholic, they will not be baptized, not go to Confession and will not receive Christ in Holy Communion yet he can do as He pleases to allow men of good will, who did not know the truth concerning the Church, to enter Heaven…and in my thinking it leads right up to what Pope Francis is saying now about where people are at in the world with marriages etc., lack of knowledge etc. and the states they find themselves in.
            I apologize, I’m going through something right now… and it’s excruciating for me to try to put thoughts and questions into words.

            Liked by 5 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Snowy, I think you are more on the right track than many. Too often we try to shape Jesus to fit in the containers we make for Him rather than adjust the little containers of our minds to the mysterious and uncontainable reality which is Christ. Actually, the smartest people are more vulnerable to thinking they have fully solved – and contained – Christ then more ordinary folks. The worst of the smart folks can get absolutely enraged at the idea that Christ might act in a way they had not approved of in advance.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            I keeping your responses 🙂 … into my Charlie folder they go…the first one especially has much to chew on!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            “…folks can get absolutely enraged at the idea that Christ might act in a way they had not approved of in advance.” This, sadly, is exactly what I am seeing with Pope Francis as well! Amen.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Well said, Snowy. Love your processing here. You push me to think some more as well. Certainly, the “Sacrament of Reconciliation” with today’s formula and essential elements hadn’t yet been developed. In moments like these, I like to search good Catholic sources for the exegesis, the interpretation. Here’s something magnificent from a couple of faithful-to-the-teaching Magisterium priests who clearly interpret the sins of the woman at the well were, indeed, forgiven:http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/spiritual-rebirth-the-samaritan-woman-at-the-well.html

            I also appreciate the work of the apostolate, Catholic Answers. Here’s an article about the gift of the sacrament, Confession, written to justify the reason Catholics confess to priests. It has both a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur and within the context of this article you can read this: “During his life, Christ forgave sins, as in the case of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11) and the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:48). He exercised this power in his human capacity as the Messiah or Son of man, telling us, “the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Matt. 9:6), which is why the Gospel writer himself explains that God “had given such authority to men” (Matt. 9:8).” http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-forgiveness-of-sins

            Then I think about John 21:25: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” And I think we’ve so many wonderful surprises to discover in this life and the next. Eternity is a forever time to ponder the Infinite Goodness and Mysteries of God.

            I don’t have a reference but I know from Church teaching God writes His Law on every human heart and we will be judged on what’s in our hearts. Scripture says, ultimately, it will be LOVE. Have we? Do we? Thanks so much for your reflection, Snowy!

            I love how you answered Snowy, Charlie. I must say, I have observed that you of all people in my lifetime (and I’ve been blessed with many excellent, erudite teachers), have consistently fostered both contemplation and the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g of one’s thinking in ways that remove the comfortable constraints for which we humanoids are so famous. Thanks, Grits!

            Liked by 5 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Thank you, Beckita. I think that people often get the idea that keeping company with angels gives me all the answers. To the contrary, though they are gentle about it, they put me through my paces. I have had to posit, to consider, to often complain that I don’t understand…often for years at a time – and spent so much of my life getting it wrong when they didn’t just bluntly tell me with no ambiguity (which they VERY rarely do). Keeping company with angels is a great antidote against smugness or thinking your little mind can easily capture the mysteries of the Kingdom. I largely stick with first things and work from there…Christ is God, He is love, He is mercy, His word is altogether right and true…and try to use my feeble mind to apply it to particular situations. (That is no false humility about the feeble mind…keep company with angels and you need every bit of grey matter you’ve got to rise to the level of babbling idiot. Though it is an intense experience, I often wish more could bear it just because it would wipe away so much of the smug certainty that so infects us.)

            Liked by 7 people

          • Beckita says:

            Yes, Charlie, I believe you completely… you are a brilliant man by God’s design in His gift of great intelligence infused in you at your creation and which you have obviously participated in developing. Still, any brilliant one is a peanut in comparison to the intelligence infused in angelic spirits. You have/do walk in the very presence of the angels as you interact with them. I understand only through pondering the ideas presented in a tremendous and inspiring Retreat on Angels which I attended some years ago. Truly, all Glory to God the Father, Creator with Infinite Imagination! I mean each angel is a species unto himself. Remarkable!

            I was actually thinking in these last few days as I’ve read all the wonderful remedies people have purchased, shared and developed for bringing God’s healing to those in need that none of us is deprived of assistance. I was taught an angel knows every cell in a human body. I will turn to God, in confidence of faith, asking the angels to bring a spiritual tincture/herb for the problem at hand when praying the Prayer of Miraculous Trust. The very Word of God is its own medicine

            As for your training, it was surely necessary for you to be who and what you are for us today. We can pray with Hope that God has been putting each of us through the training we each need for now and for the days ahead. Suffering well is a mighty smug buster. I’m banking on Holy Spirit’s Power in gifts and fruits for whatever is needed now, in the darkness of the Storm and for life.

            Liked by 5 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Amen dear Beckita!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Thank you, Beckita! And Charlie! I am saving this whole thread into my folder 🙂 So much truth to ponder here..wow! (Now I’ll have to add a Beckita folder too ) I’m keeping these comments so I can read and absorb and have access to this when we lose the internet! 🙂
            ….and Charlie “(That is no false humility about the feeble mind…keep company with angels and you need every bit of grey matter you’ve got to rise to the level of babbling idiot. Though it is an intense experience, I often wish more could bear it just because it would wipe away so much of the smug certainty that so infects us.)”
            I have to say I have never seen even a hint of false humility in you- not even once!!! That being said, I can’t stop laughing at the rest of your comment…babbling idiot (you?) hahaha soooo funny. I love it. love it love it!! 💖!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita, your comment..wow and wow! I love the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g! That is, I think, what is happening to me right now. It’s wonderful..it’s painful, it’s joy. it’s love. I love it. Thank you. What a day today is! 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

    • joj says:

      Mr. Lynch,
      Here are relevant quotes from AL. It may look like the Pope is flip-flopping between two extremes, when he is really advocating a mean between them. He neither advocates a universal rule applied willy-nilly to every circumstance, nor does he do away with the rule. He is saying that there are exceptions where people in objective sin are not in subjective sin (and therefore should be counseled to receive communion.) And helping people to discern that in good conscience is precisely what pastoral practice is all about. (My *emphasis* added below.)

      “While upholding a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that responsibility with respect to certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. Pastoral discernment, while taking into account a person’s properly formed conscience, must take responsibility for these situations.” 302
      “With an approach which “carefully discerns situations”… We know that no “easy recipes” exist.298
      “For this discernment to happen, the following *conditions* must necessarily be present: humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it”.These attitudes are essential for avoiding the grave danger of misunderstandings, such as the notion that any priest can quickly grant “exceptions”…[so] there can be no risk that a specific discernment may lead people to think that the Church maintains a double standard.” 300
      “The possibility of a new fall “should not prejudice the authenticity of the resolution”. footnote 364
      “It is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be *subjectively* culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace.” 305
      (This is supported by an argument and quotes from St. Thomas.)

      “Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with *sincerity and honesty* what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking…This discernment is dynamic; it must remain ever open to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized.” 303
      “We put so many conditions on mercy that we empty it of its concrete meaning and real significance. That is the worst way of watering down the Gospel.”311

      This discernment and growth is all a process, not a one-time deal. Overcoming sin is a process, and frequent confession must be part of that. Absolution is given when there is a sincere struggle against sin going on -even though the weakness still has its foothold. Holy Communion comes as “the last thing,” as he said in that interview. It’s when the conscience gives the green light after absolution. Is saying that a person may still be in an objectively sinful situation, while not in subjective sin, while receiving? So us onlookers must not judge? The incident you cited when he gave communion seems to support that interpretation.
      Please excuse the length!!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. CrewDog says:

    “Pope says it’s crazy to see his meeting with Bernie Sanders as political”

    Well!! The Pope may think it’s crazy to claim politics is involved but nobody else can make that claim with a straight face! I can assure you that in Red State Bible Belt Country this meeting will go over like a “T**d in the Punchbowl” …… just adding grief to those of us down here that are running out of excuses for Papa!!
    I have seen no photos of Bernie the Bolshevik and Pope Francis …. Yet!! … but I can’t imagine Bernie’s minders-n-wipers not attempting to take a covert Pic!

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-says-meeting-sanders-not-political-meddling-163130938.html

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!!

    Like

    • Snowy Owl says:

      CrewDog, I can. It was not political, it was him being a Shepherd to Bernie Saunders, a sinner. (I have a straight face, though it is quickly turning into a sad one.) I think you are wonderful… but I won’t agree with you on this. Pope Francis is the Vicar of Jesus, doing what he is to do!
      What you are saying is already in the Bible…
      “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.” Matthew: 11:19

      Liked by 5 people

      • janet333 says:

        Yes Snowy..they met for five minutes only as the Pope was ready to catch his plane to Lesbos. He had sent notes round earlier saying he was unable to attend the meeting. I bet Mr Saunders collared him as he was leaving…haha

        Liked by 2 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          He (Saunders) probably did and his intent may have been political- i’m guessing it was. But the Pope- no…and even if he had met with him and spent hours with him, why is this an issue? Jesus was always flipping the apple cart on people 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Yet, CrewDog, Pope Francis clearly stated HIS intent in responding to someone (BS), uninvited by the Holy Father, when BS showed up at his doorstep: charity, pure and simple. Now, if some people go on to twist that predicament to make it political, or any other inaccurate descrirption, that transgression is on them, not our Holy Father. God bless you!

      Liked by 3 people

      • CrewDog says:

        Yes Ladies ….. but … we must live in the Real World of USA/Election 2016. I’m guessing that Charlie could, as he spent much time in “the trenches of politics”, tell us about how the most innocent of words-n-actions-n-photo ops can be misused/abused by The Opposition …. and is this case The Opposition stands, without equivocation or apology against fundamental, life or death, teachings of The Catholic Church and Traditional Christianity.
        The “Jesus Hung Out With Sinners” excuse has worn thinner than a Victoria’s Secret nightie!!

        GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Well, CrewDog, Jesus taught us that though we are in the world, we are not of the world.
          You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them. 6We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 1 John 4.
          That Jesus hung out with sinners is NOT an excuse and will never be worn thin. Jesus is STILL doing this today. And so is Pope Francis.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          God bless you, CrewDog. I get that politicians are after the photo-op for their own slick and sick purposes as they promote evil of every kind. I don’t agree one iota that Pope Francis is being had or culpable in any way. I disagree with :”The “Jesus Hung Out With Sinners” excuse has worn thinner than a Victoria’s Secret nightie!!” I’m sorry to have to say that stating this command of the Lord, which Pope Francis chooses, (in strength of character not at all as an excuse), to live through thick and thin, and then associating it with women’s lingere is, in my opinion, offensively denigrating to the Vicar of Christ.

          I understand the anger. I’m angry and nauseated with so much of the cesspool of sin and corruption all around us. I advocate for staying strong in Truth, professing it in season and out of season while maintaining gentleness. All i the opposition are most welcome to Mercy. May the Storm’s events bring conversion to each and every one. I’m praying so, CrewDog. Someone’s prayers surely fulfilled your welcome and powerful signature in me: GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

          Liked by 4 people

        • Daniel O'Connor says:

          For what it’s worth; we’re in primary season, not general. Bernie is way better than Hillary insofar as abortion is a mere “back burner” thing for him, whereas for Hillary its her modus operandi. If we insist in seeing that meeting through a political lens, then lets see it is an anti-Hillary meeting.

          But really what we have to remember is that the Pope is the Shepherd of the whole world; over 7 billion people. America accounts for 300 million of them. We can’t expect our politics to determine the Pope’s actions. Besides, even Benedict met with Obama.

          And I hate to have to say this; but I’m afraid that even pro-abortion, pro- gay “marriage” Bernie seems to know more about the Social Magisterium of the Church than most self-proclaimed “orthodox Catholics”: http://www.religionnews.com/2016/04/15/full-text-bernie-sanders-speech-at-the-vatican/ (And no, I am DEFINITELY not saying I support him; I’m just saying that this should serve as a wake up call to Catholics to learn more about what the Church teaches regarding politics. Best place to start is the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: Free. Online. Magisterium. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html )

          Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, Daniel.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Great perspective, Daniel.

            By the way, my eldest son a couple of days ago asked me if I had any books on Luisa and the Divine Will. I told him about your book and am going to encourage him to read it. Thanks again for writing it and for sharing it with all of us. 🙂

            Liked by 6 people

          • CrewDog says:

            Daniel sez: “Best place to start is the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: Free. Online. Magisterium.http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html )”

            Dan! Time for a Reality Check!! I took a short look at the Compendium and decided that probably NO normal Catholic has ever read this Tome and probably only a handful of clerics and academics. I’m guessing it has more pages/words than the New Testament!
            This Compendium is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the Church ….. and for that matter the Government of the USA … and no doubt EU. … and US Military. Run amok Bureaucracies manned by over paid and under worked (un-elected) bureaucrats who print-n-maintain reams of documents, rules, regulations that nobody reads and if they did they would go away confused or worse…….. and another “Why?” of …… THE STORM!

            …. and politics! Some long forgotten worthy once quipped: “He who believes a foreign politician is a fool! He who believes his own politician is a damned fool!”

            GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

            Like

          • Daniel O'Connor says:

            The Compendium is a very easy thing to read and understand for anyone with a basic education, Crewdog. It was written in order to DECREASE how much time we need to spend in knowing the Social Magisterium (it is a summary of well over 100 years of Catholic Social Teaching).

            It is very sad to me that you are willing to accuse the Magisterium of being a “bureaucracy manned by over paid and under worked bureaucrats who print-n-maintain reams of documents, rules, regulations that nobody reads.”

            I think it is time for you to make a humble, prayerful examination of just how you view your mother — Holy Mother Church.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I did not get the sense, Daniel, that CrewDog was complaining so much about the Magisterium as he was about the Vatican bureaucracy that does, indeed, print reams of commentaries on actual Magisterial statements in the hopes that their commentaries will be mistaken as Magisterial, also. When you get Vatican apparatchiks trying to persuade people that their unscientific proclamations on global warming, socialist economics, embracing organizations that enthusiastically embrace abortion, population control and other things contrary to authentic teaching – all the while arguing that their propaganda is Magisterial, it is no wonder that an undermining of the actual Magisterial teaching begins to creep in. That is more the fault of the malicious players who infect the Vatican than it is of the poor folks in the field dealing with the consequences of this abuse.

            I have come to think a very worthy endeavor for some serious theologian or canon lawyer would be to rein in all the non-Magisterial stuff coming out of the Vatican that masquerades as authentic Church teaching in order to clearly separate the lines between teaching and opinion – and restore a wider respect for the Magisterium. But it serves the purposes of some partisans to try to add authority to their musings by calling it Magisterial.

            I am reminded of the old story asking how many legs a sheep would have if you called a tail a leg. The proper answer, of course, is four – because calling a sheep’s tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

            I appreciate your knowledgeable defense of the Magisterium. It is critical to our understanding of truth. I simply hope that you will consider that the degrading of it is not coming merely from frustrated people like CrewDog, but from Vatican bureaucrats who often do, indeed, try to misrepresent their mere opinions as Magisterial. If the lines were more clearly defined I think average people would be more appreciative of the treasure the actual Magisterium is.

            I remember, back in the 90’s picking up some document with the words “Social Justice” in the title and nearly tossing it out, as I was so used to such things rarely having anything to do with “justice” and much about concentrating power. Then I noticed it was written by Pope John Paul – and took a look at it. At the end, I thought, “Now there is ‘social justice’ I can relate to.” The mangling of language can cause a loss of confidence – and there are minor Vatican officials who would make their favorite brand of soda pop into a Magisterial pronouncement if they could get away with it. All too often, they do get away with it. And it comes at the expense of the general respect for the actual Magisterium.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Daniel O'Connor says:

            Well said, Charlie: and that is precisely why I plug for the Compendium so strongly, and why I am so disappointed to see it trashed. The Compendium is just what you are saying we need; a God-given relatively brief overview the *true* Social Magisterium (not to mention itself being Magisterial), as opposed to what the “nuns on the bus” and their ilk would like us to think is the Church’s social teaching.

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            As Ricky Ricardo used to say, those “nuns on the bus” are going to have “some ‘splainin’ to do” when they stand before God.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Yep, CrewDog, I don’t expect that either one of us is going to be lauded as scribe or theologian at our eulogies. Besides, I plan on quietly passing under some tree in the wilderness, because I’m ornery that way.

            Both being ex-Navy, we’d agree that the administrators and bureaucrats in the USN are second to none when it comes to endless ops/procedures manuals. Your comment had me thinking about that this morning. Then I got up to get some water, so that kind of led to thinking about water utilities, and the endless tomes they probably have to deal with. Heck, I just want to go to the tap, turn it on and have some water. Later, I want my morning shower… and it probably wouldn’t hurt to do some laundry.

            Well, God bless those water works people. If that system ever shuts down for an extended period though, I can always hike up through some canyons to a hidden spring I know about. I’d head for the river, but there would probably be a crowd there all fighting for water that needs some treatment before consumption.

            Funny thing about that spring… I found it by first stumbling upon these ancient petroglyphs in another hidden canyon, then trying to work out the symbols as a sort of map. It was pretty clear there was directional indications and something about water. Well, eventually I found the spring. Here’s a picture of that rock:

            Now I’m chuckling, because that kinda looks like just another page out of some manual. Life is funny.

            God Bless and Save All Here,

            MP

            Liked by 7 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            I am reminded when Pope St. John XXIII was asked, during an interview, ‘how many people work at the Vatican?”His reply, “about half.”

            Now how did MP figure out that if he ate the pretzel given to him by the caduceus, follow the unicycle fool down the deer path where he will meet the lobster king, give him two lizards and he will get the pole with the cup which he will have to place it in the star stones with the sword. He will then follow the sideways dog back to the stone. (He painted the champion cup on there for figuring it out and to throw off any lurking trespassers)

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            You are amazing and delightful, Deer!!!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Ha, Deer! I never figured out the ‘pretzel’ either, but came to think of it as a heart. Surely that fella had a big heart if he took the time to carefully mark out the way to the water for those who followed.

            First, I should apologize for the way I think out loud sometimes. Clearly, Charlie would have never hired me as a reporter when he was a news editor.

            Second, I should probably add a couple of things for clarity. I say that I “eventually” found the water up there, but it took over a decade (and I can’t say that I didn’t just stumble onto it having persistently covered so much ground). That might have taken just a few weeks if I had an expert in Hohokam petroglyphs handy, or just a couple of hours if I had that Hohokam hunter with me (but he’s been long gone for 800-900 years).

            Having direct access to neither, I hunted down a book from the foremost expert. Even then, it took years to get a handle on it since there’s a lot to it. More than just symbols, there’s a lot to the sizes and juxtapositions, even the rock and natural elements on the surface that come into play. Those human figures and lizards have a lot to do with movement and direction. Even the way the deer is placed reveals more than “deer”, or “deer hunter.”

            Arguably the most elaborate figure is the one on the far right. That’s his wife and kids (3 circles denote 3 pregnancies, a kid in each arm and one more standing at her feet). I liked that because he had the same family configuration as mine. Maybe that is the family pet pointing south in the precise direction where there are ruins of a vast Hohokam settlement near the Phoenix airport. Who knows.

            To her right is the fella himself. He has four legs (like the deer), indicating that he was fleet of foot. He’s holding small game in his right hand and something in his left indicating trips, hunts… maybe some other events.

            That “U” is the canyon, the stars indicate some time/season, and the “sword” is actually a Saguaro cactus as a further reference point. There’s a bunch more that I won’t bore you with. There’s even more rocks like that all over those mountains.

            At any rate, these sorts of experiences help me to focus on God, pray and meditate on our Faith, but sometimes I waste my time in the desert mountains thinking about stupid things. When it’s really hot out there though, a fella can barely think about much more than water.

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Ha, MP…you might well have been my top Features Editor!

            Liked by 4 people

        • janet333 says:

          Anyway CrewDog what are you worried about? The next election is not going to be the same as usual! And praise God our mob will be out too…Yayyyy. PRAISE THE LORD 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

          • CrewDog says:

            MP sez: “Yep, CrewDog, I don’t expect that either one of us is going to be lauded as scribe or theologian at our eulogies.”
            Thank God for that!! I never claimed to be a Scribe, Theologian …. or Clerk Typist 😉
            Come to think of it!! I don’t remember Jesus and The Boys spending much time Hanging-Out with Scribes, High Priests/Pharisees (Theologians). We will be in great company!!!

            GOD SAVE ALL HERE …… Scribes & Theologians too!!

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen and Alleluia, CrewDog!!!

            Like

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Beckita…Ooo so funny..when I first saw (BS) i started laughing! I though wow, Beckita must be pretty steamed! 💨💥 Hahaha. Then I figured it out- honestly, i think i need my laptop taken away.

        Liked by 3 people

    • LukeMichael says:

      For Bernie it’s political but as the Pope said, “It’s just good manners.”

      Liked by 3 people

  27. Doug says:

    Tonight is our Storm dinner. A bunch of us TNRSrs are getting together tonight to pray the Rosary, share in a delicious pot luck dinner (sorry YD, no Thai Chili Peppers, garlic or anchovies) and fellowship about how we can spiritually and temperally help others during the storm. And……. since we are Catholic, we will partake of a little wine. One of the main focus of the dinners in general is for folks of like mind to feel comfortable to open up about what we believe will transpire within the next 2 years. In addition, God willing, it will establish some normalcy and routine. God bless all here.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Beckita says:

      God bless you and Lambzie, Doug, and your people at dinner.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      What? No Mai-tai moonshine? 🍹 Hmph! well, I’m not coming! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      Oh I wish I could have attended one of your storm dinners. 😦 It must be wonderful to talk to like minded people. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Doug, I think it would be interesting if you could go into some detail about what you all discuss at your meetings. What you see coming and your ideas on helping others, etc.? I’m curious…my neighbors are all thinking along the lines Charlie says not to… doing the self-preservation thing so I steer clear..lol..they simply have too much dynamite for my taste.

      Liked by 5 people

      • deereverywhere says:

        Doug, I agree with Snowy. Tell us the skinny. I am so tired of Berrnie, Hillary, The Donald, and Ted, I can’t stand it. I already know my big brother and niece weren’t there because I pestered them to go see y’all when Charlie was there and my bro actually emailed me in bold, that he wasn’t going. I didn’t know he knew how to bold. My niece said she might go but I know she didn’t. Oh well, I am sure they think I am a nut case. (It doesn’t matter that I am) back to praying……😇

        Liked by 4 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Hahaha Deer. I’ve been a nutcase for so long now, if I suddenly changed and stopped being strange my family wouldn’t know what to do about it! They need me for comparison’s sake – so they can feel normal. People love having the odd ones about to point at and whisper about- makes them feel secure…who are we to take that away from them?. 😉

          Liked by 5 people

          • janet333 says:

            “They need me for comparison’s sake – so they can feel normal.”

            Haha Snowy…this reminds me of….me!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Don’t you just love it, Janet? I love being odd lol! I love watching people try to deal with it…sooo much fun 🐧 haha!

            Liked by 2 people

          • deereverywhere says:

            It’s wonderfl that you stay in contact with your family. My oldest brother left home to go to Vietnam, but never got there. He made it as far as California working on computers.( he had a slide ruler) then he moved up to Doug’s om State. My other older brother a d bride moved up into the Allegheny mountians away from their kids and grand kids. My sister and I talk. She is major care taker of my nephews kinds. I don’t know if he is still in a gated community (correction facility) or not. I dont bring him up. But there are her daughters and her daughters daughters. I think she is disappointed with her daughters as they are in their 40’s and still into ‘party’ time. I am amazed at what gets posted on Facebook, and the tattoo s. However, I am the one who has responsibility for their mother. You would think that once a week they could pick up the phone and spend five minutes screaming into it (she’s going deaf). Then I remind myself that I must take the beam from my own eye and look at my own faults and see the dust on my booksheves (oh yeah, patinia) when Moses complained about the Israelites to the Father, I know how he felt.I am the only practicing (still working on going professional) Catholic. I must be the little choo choo who could as that is the mission (should I accept it….now strike the match and roll music). It is truly a great God given day for mircles. Let us rejoice and be glad!!!!

            Liked by 4 people

  28. Barb129 says:

    Wow…I’ve had a crazy week and I am way behind on comments. I’ve tried to fly through and all I know is that somehow Beckita is now Biscuits.
    Somebody must have gotten out of Purgatory.
    As always, prayers for all here daily.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Dan Lynch says:

    Pope Francis’ telephone conversation with the divorced and remarried without annulment
    Pope Francis’ telephone conversation with the divorced and remarried without annulment Argentinian woman was not private. She publicly spoke her story to the world and said that Pope Francis told her that she should receive Holy Communion. The Vatican admitted the conversation and did not deny her story. It is a very credible story and is a part of the pattern of the pastoral approaches of Pope Francis. I will re-tell that story in my forthcoming article.

    Persons who are divorced and remarried without an annulment may not receive Holy Communion. This norm may not be modified because of different situations and they cannot make a judgment of their consciences that it is possible to receive Holy Communion nor may they themselves come to a decision that their prior marriage was invalid.

    This is the clear teaching and pastoral approach of the Church as set forth in precise, unambiguous language by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, papal predecessor of Pope Francis, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    This is what he wrote (my emphases supplied):

    3. Aware however that authentic understanding and genuine mercy are never separated from the truth, pastors have the duty to remind these faithful of the Church’s doctrine concerning the celebration of the sacraments, in particular, the reception of the Holy Communion.
    4. they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this [irregular marriage] situation persists.
    This norm is not at all a punishment or a discrimination against the divorced and remarried, but rather expresses an objective situation that of itself renders impossible the reception of Holy Communion
    5. this practice, which is presented as binding, cannot be modified because of different situations.
    6, Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching.
    7. The mistaken conviction of a divorced and remarried person that he may receive Holy Communion normally presupposes that personal conscience is considered in the final analysis to be able, on the basis of one’s own convictions, to come to a decision about the existence or absence of a previous marriage and the value of the new union. However, such a position is inadmissable.

    Read more here:
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/sacraments/eucharist/reception-of-holy-communion-by-the-divorced-and-remarried-members-of-the-faithful/

    “Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm…keep calm and carry on!” (Winston Churchill).
    “In the shadow of your wings I take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by.” (Psalm 57).
    Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion toOur Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations, Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II
    Visit our website at http://www.JKMI.com
    E-Mail Us at JKMI@JKMI.com
    May Our Lady of Guadalupe keep you under the mantle of her protection and
    may the Reign of Jesus King of All Nations be recognized in your heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Did this woman and her new husband decide to abstain from having relations until they could receive an annulment? Does anyone know what they actually discussed on the phone word for word? There has to be more to this story… I refuse to believe Pope Francis, simply on a whim, chose to ignore Doctrine and allow this woman to commit a mortal sin… Something is not right here.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Dan Lynch, two things.

      1. Please show us this Vatican confirmation of this telephone conversation (because I found your comments yesterday or the day before to be potentially short-sighted).

      2. I liked your piece on Addie, but I highly dislike when Priests or Lay people cannonise the newly departed, especially those angry and/or struggling with the Church.

      pace bene

      Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        Boy, YD. Did you hit the nail on the head. I have been deeply disturbed with #2 since viewing the service. It was surely a reflection of such a beautiful child, with beautiful siblings and beautiful parents who truly love. The difficulty for me is having been an eyewitness to much of the struggle and subsequent wounds inflicted on the Church, I can only say I have joined many in this area who continue to pray much concerning the struggle and the anger you perceive. Very, very painful for so long, for so many. Please, may we all pray for this situation. May the Storm bring us ALL back to obedience and truth as we repent and seek the Lord’s Mercy.

        Liked by 3 people

        • janet333 says:

          Pope Francis himself said during the in-flight news conference on his way back from Mexico: “Being integrated into the Church does not mean ‘taking Communion.’ I know remarried Catholics who go to Church once or twice a year: ‘I want to receive Communion!’, as if Communion were a commendation.” The pope followed this with the example of a divorced remarried couple that does not take Eucharistic Communion but finds communion by visiting people in the hospital or through another form of service.

          By putting such an emphasis on the conscience and the internal forum, the pope makes, in some sense, higher demands on the faithful and the priests than before. The easier approach would have been: let’s make some new rules and procedures, go through a kind of internal forum solution, and then everyone can receive Communion. Pope Francis does the opposite, and rejecting the laissez faire approach common among so many in the Church in Western Europe and North America. Instead, he adopts the internal forum, not as a place to solve every problem, but rather as a place to discover first that there is a problem to be solved, and secondly that the solution is Christ. He proposes it as the place where the divorced and remarried can come to understand better their own situation and then, through that knowledge, come to the conclusion that they cannot receive Communion, because of the teaching of the Church and the canonical norms, especially Canon 915, but also because Christ calls them to a greater and higher ideal.

          Kurt Martens is a professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America. He writes from Washington, D.C.

          Amoris Laetitia, No. 300.
          Priests have the duty to “accompany [the divorced and remarried] in helping them to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop. Useful in this process is an examination of conscience through moments of reflection and repentance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves: how did they act towards their children when the conjugal union entered into crisis; whether or not they made attempts at reconciliation; what has become of the abandoned party; what consequences the new relationship has on the rest of the family and the community of the faithful; and what example is being set for young people who are preparing for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God which is not denied anyone.” What we are speaking of is a process of accompaniment and discernment which “guides the faithful to an awareness of their situation before God. Conversation with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on what steps can foster it and make it grow. …”

          Liked by 3 people

          • joj says:

            Janet, that’s a really good point about conscience! It’s the difference between parenting children for independence vs. submission. Teaching how to fish rather than giving a fish. When we put our efforts into discernment using solid principles, and then entrust people with making a decision in good conscience, they are more likely to make good decisions than if we simply impose rules that they don’t understand. Yes some will make bad choices, but that is the risk of responsible independence. I think the Pope is making a good step in helping his spiritual struggling children to be morally conscientious Christians. Heck, the fact that they are even showing up at Church means there must be some kind of good will to work with, I should think.

            I would think it also helps to know that each person will be ministered to as an individual with unique circumstances, rather than just consigned to a class of those in “irregular” situations.

            Liked by 4 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          Beckita, obviously I missed something here…what do mean by this- “having been a witness to much of the struggle and subsequent wounds inflicted on the Church” what wounds are you speaking of here? And what anger?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Snowy, let’s pray much for the priest who conducted the service. I remember you writing that you love the Hours of the Passion. Let’s pray at least one hour daily, if possible, for all our priests who need the prayer support in this time of deepening darkness so ripe with Rescue possibilities. May no one, whether lay, clergy or religious persist in disobedience.

            I keep coming back to the good that God will draw from the Storm: the purification and reclamation of souls. To that end, I continue to pray, and hope everyone also prays, for a mitigation of the Storm in so much as people respond to the purifying graces inherent in the mighty winds, waves and darkness as well as surrender to being pressed, therefore purified, in the burning crucible of God’s Love by emerging as a refreshing, renewed, fragrant flower, bearing Christ’s Sunlight in the Garden of the New Springtime.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Beckita, I will happily pray for this priest, I didn’t read about this…so I was confused. I don’t need to know- the Lord knows- but I will certainly pray with you.. and for them all! This has been heavy on my heart for quite a while now, they have such responsibilities(!) and such heavy, heavy crosses. I will offer everything for them!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, My Dear Sister Snowy. Amen! XO

            Liked by 1 person

    • joj says:

      Mr. Lynch, thank you for sharing these norms. Of course the Holy Father can change or abrogate norms. While he has not done so, he has indeed changed how these particular norms are to be applied: 300 “… Neither the Synod nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases. What is possible is … pastoral discernment…which would recognize that…the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same.” The Pope continues (in 300) that not “any priest can quickly grant “exceptions”” to the norms, and he lays out “conditions” for making the exceptions.

      Like

  30. Snowy Owl says:

    The Wall Street Journal put out a pretty good article on Amoris Laetitia. “Missing the bigger story about the Pope..”
    “Even though the tone throughout Francis’ document suggests a new kind of “tenderness” for those estranged from the church, the pope rejects the idea that he “could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases.” The church, Francis writes, must not “desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur.” The pope is Catholic after all.”

    http://www.wsj.com/article_email/missing-the-bigger-story-about-the-pope-1460676337-lMyQjAxMTA2OTEyNDgxMzQ0Wj

    Liked by 3 people

  31. anniecorrinne says:

    One thought about criticism of Our Pope…..do any of you read the old prayer book, The Pieta?
    On pages 34 -35 (of the new edition) it gives some strong words about not criticizing priests. To be honest it gives me chills, since I get on my high horse now and then…🦄…. (I believe you can find the Pieta online)
    We need to talk more deeply about this AL, and maybe begin to understand the teachings. Especially since we have some really knowledgeable people to help explain the wording.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Annie, yes! I love that little prayer book! I have been saying the prayers from it for about 25 years now and keep it next to me on my table 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Fran says:

    I just want to let everyone know that Mark Mallett has posted an excellent entry to his blog about Amoris Laetitia, and confusion in the Church and all around. As always, he is clear, and concise, and I agree with what he says! http://www.markmallett.com/blog/the-centre/

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hollyhocks says:

      Thanks Fran. I just read it. For some reason it brought tears to my eyes. Mark has a wonderful way of clearly speaking the truth. I so appreciate him.

      Liked by 2 people

    • joj says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Fran! I really like Mr. Mallet’s approach. The most important thing is to be Faithful to the Church.

      I am still concerned, however, about Card. Burke’s view that this is not an infallible document, but just the Pope’s personal opinion. Seems very dangerous. And I don’t see evidence that’s right. We can’t just look at anything we find difficult in Church documents and say, oh well, it’s not actually infallible so we can ignore it. Do you see what I mean? It reminds me of my little kids, when they want to get out of something saying “Oh Daddy didn’t really mean that as an order, it’s just a suggestion.” Top marks for cleverness, but not terribly obedient. And yes, they’re really good kids or they wouldn’t even bother to make that rationalization, they’d just disobey.

      Some people decided that Vatican II wasn’t infallible because it was ambiguous and seemed to depart with Tradition (while others just interpreted it to mean whatever they wanted.) Now there is a better understanding of the true spirit of that Council and in the light of Tradition. And yes, it is infallible Church teaching.

      I wonder what all these faithful leaders in the Church would come up with if they started with the premise that this document is indeed ordinarily infallible, that it is indeed consistent with Traditional Church teaching, and that we just need to understand it in that light. I’d love to see that kind of interpretation. I’ve taken that approach myself, and while I’ll admit that I am still not sure about how everything should be interpreted, I can see what it’s clearly Not saying. Ex. It’s Not saying that people in mortal sin should receive Communion, and it’s not saying adultery is Ok.

      I guess my question is, what does it mean to be faithful to the Pope and the Church, if its OK to just blow off a Church document because it confuses us?

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Well, I think Cdl. Burke jumped off the point where the Pope intimated in the document, itself, that not all of it is Magisterial. That leaves it open to different serious thinkers to judge how much is magisterial – and certainly Cardinal Burke is a serious thinker. I am more troubled by people who suggest it should be disregarded or that it is heretical. I think Cdl. Burke is looking at a way to read it in full respect for the document and the Pope that does not brush away serious concerns at some ambiguities. As I have stated before, I think Pope Francis has used this as a jumping off point on how to bring those in painful, errant situations back to the fullness of the faith rather than either just condemn them or ennable them. So from that standpoint, it seems a very useful starting point without having to be seen as the final point in exploring that very vital question.

        Liked by 2 people

        • joj says:

          Thanks, Mr. Charlie. I think your interpretation of Card. Burke’s article makes a lot of sense. Aristotle rightly argued that virtue is in the mean, and you sure have a way of promoting the mean when others would go to one extreme or the other. I must say that whta attracts me to your blog is your very balanced approach to Pope Francis. I felt alone in my circles in that approach and really appreciate your support and that of the other TNRS’ers.

          I am starting to see that pastoral documents of the Church (such as from Vatican II) are meant to form a person’s perspective and their approach, rather than lay out definitive black and white instructions. As AL says, rules cannot replace discernment since “what is part of a practical discernment in particular circumstances cannot be elevated to the level of a rule.”[304] Elizabeth Foss, writes, “This new exhortation feels a bit like sitting on the front porch on a spring day while a beloved uncle rambles about love and marriage and family life. There are a lot of nuggets of wisdom there, gathered in his years of observing and leaning close to families.” http://catholicherald.com/stories/The-joy-of-love-in-springtime,31483 I love this way of seeing the document, as sage wisdom coming from a dear and holy Father. Such a Father knows he cannot give one solution to all problems that his son will encounter, but he imparts general guidelines that can be applied in finding solutions to each particular situation as it arises. Very pastoral! 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I love this reflection, joj. You are like the beloved niece that her uncle, the Holy Father, dotes on.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Joj says:

            Ooo, sweet! You made my week, Mr. Charlie! May God keep me so!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen to Charlie’s observation,joj!

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Wait, Joj is a female?

            UGH! Why does this always happen to me here?!

            (And no, that is not a disparagement… It’s just that I have to find another Kung Fu Panda voice for her now!)

            Liked by 4 people

          • Joj says:

            You are hilarious, your Grace! But I don’t think I gave away my gender. Part of the anonymity thing and all. So you you can keep the Kung Fu Panda voice…. until Mt. Meeker! It sure is amusing though, having you think I’m male while Charlie and Beckita think I’m female. Now who wants to guess at my age…? Hee, hee.

            Liked by 2 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            I’ll take a crack at it Joj. Your age is the number of years that have transpired since the day of your birth! Yes? 😛

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            I am sure you are certainly young enough as well as surely old enough, joj!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Fantastic, Joj! Thank you. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            My anonymity serves me to be able to post here freely as Charlie has generously and accurately said in support of me, Joj… Not sure what yours does. 😀

            If I could, I would, trust me. But I can’t unfortunately at this point.

            Like

          • Joj says:

            Jlynn and Beckita. Ha! Very intuitive ladies!

            Your Grace, I totally respect your need for anonymity. And am happy to avail myself of that dispensation to anonymity that you offered all in this site. 🙂 It’s my first time ever commenting online before, and I need to feel totally safe… while I make a fool of myself. But of course anonymity is not a dispensation from charity. I’m depending on you, our dear spiritual director, to keep me in line!

            But the gender-neutral thing is just for fun.

            Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            P.S. I only meant the anonymity in regards to the gender.

            I am going to give you a TeleTubby voice until then.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Joj says:

            Well then I guess that just makes me one of the family here now doesn’t it, you Grace?! One day when you are saying Mass in the Denver area I’ll bring my whole family to meet you. (And you too Charlie! And whoever else is in Denver.) Don’t ask me how with all this anonymity going around, but I’m counting on it. After all, none of us are anonymous to God. 🙂

            Do I have to wait till Mt. Meeker?

            Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Fran.

      Like

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