By Charlie Johnston
I am spending a few days at Our Lady of Peace Parish and Shrine in Santa Clara, California. It is situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, holds three Daily Masses each day, and is jam-packed. I went to the 8 a.m. Mass Friday, then stopped in to take a look at the noon Mass. At noon, there were 700 people there. Amazing.
I know the world will be Rescued next year from our terrible folly, but it gives me such joy to see so many islands of profound faith, largely hidden from the world, but right in the center of the world. I have mentioned before the Marianitas Nuns in Opa Locka, Florida, busily living poverty and, from their need, feeding 300 families per month. I think of the sisters of the Society of Our Mother of Peace near Springfield, Missouri…living in little cabins in the woods and going out door-to-door evangelizing. I think of our orthodox Anglican brothers and sisters – represented here by EllenChris, boldly holding out against the tide of modernization and an anti-gospel rampant in what used to be called “mainstream” Protestant Churches. I toured a warehouse with Fr. Michael Pintacura, USA Vice Postulator of the cause of Canonization for Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. In it was a collection he has amassed over 40 years – all manner of materials of profound historical and religious significance. It was one of the most amazing collections I have ever seen – and I pray he soon gets the land to set up the Museum that has been a lifetime labor of love for him.
I put my hand over my mouth at all the profound things I have seen in the last year and a half, true labors of love of people – mostly working anonymously – to help the poor, to heal broken lives, to give praise to our Lord, to bring hope in a world whose love has gone cold. Sometime, I think I will write a multi-part series on all the profound acts of love for God and neighbor I have been privileged to witness. My Lord, the heart of the faith is great, noble and true, even in these benighted times! I will have some picture up of the Museum warehouse later.
Links to the website, beforeitsnews, will be banned here henceforth. They actually come up with some good material, but they have no filter and put up some darkly speculative trash as well. If you see something there you think you should share, find another site that is more reliable to use as documentation to link to.
Planned Parenthood is in real trouble, despite the best efforts of the establishment media and crooked politicians and officials to keep a lid on it. It was a year ago that David Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began releasing the undercover videos showing that Planned Parenthood and other abortionists were systematically trafficking in the organs of the aborted babies for profit. Last week, CMP released a brief anniversary summary video that recapped major moments in the controversy. Planned Parenthood argues that the fetus is not a person, just a blob of tissue – until there is money to be made selling the dismembered parts of that “blob of tissue.” Then they get clinically specific about the organs and their value.
A US House Select Investigative Panel, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) has investigated Planned Parenthood and concluded that it has been systematically trafficking in the organs of dismembered infants, going beyond even the evidence that Daleiden provided. Several members discussed their findings in a press conference last week, with House Speaker Paul Ryan adding his own comments. The Democrats on the committee have been as obtuse as the clerk in Monty Python’s old ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch, resolutely denying the reality that is right in front of them, sans the comic genius of John Cleese.
The evidence is in. Planned Parenthood is a modern ghoul, robbing the graves of babies for profit in hopes of gaining a Lamborghini. They are even worse than the grave robbers of old – who rarely actually first killed and dismembered the victims they later robbed. Most contemptible are the officials who, when presented evidence of this atrocity, sought to punish the whistle-blower and protect the grave-robbers. Leading this hall of shame are Harris County, Texas, District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican and her Assistant DA Sunni Mitchell who, charged with convening a grand jury to investigate Planned Parenthood, instead worked with Planned Parenthood to trump up charges against Daleiden. They both ought to be disbarred and sent to jail for prosecutorial misconduct and abuse of office. Also on deck is California Attorney General Kamala Harris who, seeking a US Senate seat, sought to signal to Planned Parenthood that she will defend their right to be ghouls by running a high-profile raid of Daleiden’s apartment in a fishing expedition. These people are contemptible enemies of liberty and equal justice. That they have sold out to defend ghouls sickens me.
National Review’s Alexandra Desanctis offers the best short summary of the matter at this point that I have seen. Make no mistake: exposing the leaders of the Culture of Death and bringing it down is a Godly work.
In these times of daily atrocities and shocking stories, it is easy to get panicked and think all is lost. We are in a great Storm – and are being shown how well we actually can walk on water. When we worry about how to manage the waves crashing around us, we begin to sink. When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and remain steady, though both the wind and waves put on a frightening show, we make ourselves useful tools in the Master’s hands. Right now, we are as uncertain and tottery as a toddler taking his first tentative steps.
I don’t worry overmuch now about all the carping about the Pope (this article by Fr. Peter Stravinskas in Life Site News covers that marvelously and insightfully) or the occasional panic attacks of good people contemplating the horrors that rise up daily throughout the world now. I think of it as an inoculation of sorts. In normal times, people seek to keep control. Normal times are like rowing a canoe across a placid lake: you choose where to go and how to get there. In perilous times, seeking control is more like trying to navigate a raging rapids as you would a placid lake. Seeking great control will only cause you to capsize. The key is to react quickly and keep your balance. In these times, seeking control will only cause you to sink. The only way to safety is to keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in Him while you move steadily forward, one step at a time (hence the emphasis on the next right step). Only He is in control. Now I begin to take consolation that God is teaching many of His children how to keep steady – by keeping their eyes on Him – through shaking them just a little, that they might know how wanting their trust actually is…and learn to live real surrender. Yes, we totter as we take those tentative first steps…but I think the Master is right there, catching us as we start to sink until we start to get the hang of this radical ‘trust.’
Nearly 20 years ago I told my Priests that, though I opposed it, I did not take the anti-God activism of the left seriously. It is so shallow, pretentious and ignorant, I had seen that once the Storm was well underway, such nonsense would be blown away like so much chaff in the wind. I feared more the pretensions of those who seem to be orthodox but who, actually, like Job’s “pious” friends, were entirely engaged with a creation of their own mind, having convinced themselves they know the mind of God and have divined all His ways. Certainly, I see some people out there now who, in fits of rage, would lecture Christ, Himself, on the rules if He dared come and contradict them. If they do not repent, it will go very badly for them. But most of those I see panicking and carping are just expressing honest anguish. The truth is that we all need to be much better than we are to weather this great Storm (including the Pope and the Bishops). The deeper truth is that, in the unfolding chaos and confusion, I see God forming most of us to actually be fit for His service in these glorious times when He will reclaim His people. We often authentically correct others even as we need correction – and are often authentically corrected by people who, themselves, need correction. Through it all, God is forming His people. We are all learning to walk in faith and trust together. It is a sign of hope to me to see that, once again, God knew a way to prepare His people well that I knew not.
What I concern myself mostly with now is that it is you, people of faith, who are going to govern through the bulk of the outer Storm. It will come like lightning after much greater confusion…and confusion that will make you think it not possible. We must govern justly, decisively and mercifully. I ask you to contemplate what that means. As I mentioned, I have the three part piece (which I expect to entitle “Rules of Regency”) that will outline some few basics of that. But prepare yourself to be magnanimous soldiers in God’s victorious army as events of one of the great periods of salvation history unfold.
I am putting up several new permanent links on the site tonight. I will add Susan Skinner’s marvelous
Lila “Veil of Veronica” website, a link to Lila Rose’s Live Action site – which has an abundance of truly persuasive and solid information on pro-life issues. Also I will add a link to Auxilium Christianorum. This was sent to the TNRS Answers team by reader Rick Russell, who has put the devotions and prayers to good use. The Answers team strongly recommended it to me. I liked it when reading through it, but I would have put it up even without reading it – for the Answers Team has been an indispensable help to me in this work. Also, we got the video in from the Las Vegas presentation a week or so ago – and I should have added it to the Visit Videos link then. I am adding it now.
Finally, a little shout-out to the TSA. I have done a lot of flying in the last year. I had routinely heard all the bad stories about the TSA. On two occasions I have had to have supplemental inspections – once because I stupidly forgot and left a soda in a carry-on. The employees of TSA I have run into have been unfailingly pleasant and polite. Occasionally you run into a long line, but I am not given to howling over some inconvenience. The officers themselves have struck me as normal people trying to do an important job. If you are thinking about flying somewhere, I think you will find the TSA is NOT comprised of the big, bad bogeymen so many sites accuse them of being. My experiences have been good. Just wanted to say it. I hate to see people doing a decent job, trying to take care of their families, and getting nothing but grief for it.