A Meditation on Joseph

I repeat today a piece I put up a little over a year ago. It has been calling to me for repeat. It has been a busy week or so in Iowa and now in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I have been thinking a lot about contemplation the last few weeks. I often don’t answer direct questions here. We are too superficial in our thinking these days. We think if we just got more


In front of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I had deep-fried cheese curds at the restaurant inside and got my Dad a Bart Starr jersey – the football hero of his younger days.

information, we would understand. A small child is focused on his own wants and appetites and often has trouble seeing beyond that. As he gets older, if his formation is healthy, he looks beyond himself more – because he contemplates more what he sees. The reason I often do not answer some questions is because some things are for information, others for contemplation. In some cases, giving more information would be like trying to pour 10 ounces of water into an eight-ounce cup. Yet a man is not a cup. His potential for wisdom is not finite, he can expand it. The way he expands it is through contemplation, meditation – working to look through the eyes of another, working to see the consequences that must follow from a decision. Like Mary, we are called to ponder things in our heart so our wisdom may grow.


I left the preface to this piece intact below. It is still, timely, I think. I hope that, during Thanksgiving week, I will be able to get an article a day up – including a meditation on the election and our call to holiness and purity by Dan Lynch. For now, I leave you with this piece. It is NOT private revelation. It is a deep meditation. That is how it should be read – and I wish it would encourage you to enter deeply into the lives of Biblical figures and the saints, to go walk with them, live with them in your mind and heart for a time and contemplate how their lives were lived on a daily basis. From that, you can begin to see with the eyes of heaven. If you object that some aspects of this story are contrary to your favorite private revelation, you will really miss the point.

Joseph’s Way

(Dream of Joseph - Rembrandt)

By Charlie Johnston

(I have been thinking a lot about obedience this last week. Throughout the world, the legitimacy of authority has been tumbling – and it has set people into confusion. The top officials of the American government are the most determined enemies of its founding principles and Constitution. I do not regard the American government as having legitimacy any more – and I think a lot of people have come to the same conclusion. In Europe, confidence in the legitimacy of the European Union is collapsing at breakneck speed. In the Middle East, there is no authority, just roving bands of rival Jihadist warlords. A cancer is eating away at the legitimacy of those who hold power throughout the world – and rational people throughout the world are withdrawing their consent to be governed by power-mad progressive and regressive forces.

This has led to rebellion against even that which is legitimately constituted. I have been appalled lately to see how quickly seemingly faithful Christians are ready to condemn the Church’s structure as illegitimate. I do not speak here of disagreeing with particular decisions or procedures, but of taking the drastic step of withdrawing consent to be governed by its legitimate authority. An entity can be wrong without forfeiting its authority. I have often disagreed with American policy through my life – but this is the first time I have ever rejected it as illegitimate. I am terrified to see so many raising their voices against the legitimacy of Church authority. There has been no break on doctrine. So what animates it?

In Christianity, obedience is not the submission of the lesser to the greater. If that were so, how could it be that, after the temple, Jesus went up and was obedient to His parents? Rather, it is a means of opening channels of grace. Authority is bound to consider carefully and issue direction from just and righteous grounds, without taint of self-interested motives. Those bound by authority are bound to obey legitimate orders, even as they maintain the right to a fair hearing in critique of those orders. If authorities fail their duty of diligence in issuing direction, the subordinate may sanctify them by obedience and respectful critique. If the subordinates are disobedient, the authority can sanctify them by the care with which they approach their own duty. We open up channels of grace for each other.

I am contemplating this that I may write in some depth about it. But today I offer something different. I wrote the fictional story that follows in the late 90s. It is a story about promise, trust and obedience – a meditation. It was the first of what will eventually be 20 such meditations, each attached to a Decade of the Rosary. I will not finish all of it until after the Rescue. As it happened, though St. John Paul had not yet proclaimed the Luminous Mysteries when I wrote this, once he did, I knew that this is a meditation on the First Luminous Mystery – the Baptism at the Jordan.)

Joseph’s Way


The true son of true God was

adopted by a man, that all men

might truly be adopted by God.

Taking on our humanity He gave us a

share in his divinity. And so, we are

become a new race – sons and

daughters of the living God.

I: In His Father’s Tent 

“Why must the girls marry the old men? Most like the young men better.”

Jacob’s right hand twitched; the chisel in it jumped and nicked the fleshy pad in his left. His son’s voice startled him. Save for the scraping of the wood, the tent had been silent all morning. He looked up from his bench and glared at his son. No use. Joseph was planing boards at the far end of the tent, his back to the father. Jacob’s beard lifted in wry amusement. His enigmatic son says something interesting – and does it with his back turned. How appropriate.

“Are you thinking you’d like to be married, then?” the father asked, his lips pursing to suppress his mirth.

Joseph kept planing.

“No, Father,” he said. “I just thought…well, we all laugh and play together as children, then the girls are gone. They enter the house of an elder and we don’t speak any more. It must be…fearful. And maybe lonely for them.”

Jacob was thunderstruck. How to respond to this outpouring?

“You’ve an eye for beauty, Joseph. Perhaps one of your childhood friends will bear a daughter who will be ripe when it is your time.”

Jacob knew immediately it was a silly, stupid thing to say, but he could think of nothing else.

Joseph was silent. There were many boards yet to plane today. Jacob watched his son’s back for a moment, then took up his chisel and turned back to his work. It was not until late in the day that the raspy rhythm of chisel and plane was broken again.

“I saw a woman stoned,” Joseph said.

Jacob looked up, amazed again, but wary now. “An adulteress?” he asked.


“That is our law, handed down from Moses.”

“It was horrible,” Joseph said, his back still to his father. “She was all purple and bleeding, pleading for mercy. But there was no mercy there. Can this be what God intends?”

He turned to his father, eyes full, a hint of tremor on his lips. His hands kept to the wood.

Jacob’s left hand lay flat on the workbench, his right clenched a fist around the chisel. His eyes were steady and fixed on his son.

“Who was she taken with?” he asked.

“A friend of her childhood. She was barely 14.”Stoning-Bible

Understanding dawned. The father closed his eyes and lowered his head. When he lifted it again his gaze was penetrating and clear.

“Did the three of you once laugh and play together?” he asked his son.

Joseph turned back to his work. He had overplaned this board. It was ruined. Jacob saw it, too.

“Gather the wood scraps together now and take them to your grandfather,” Jacob said. “It will be cold tonight.”

“But Father, I have ruined this board. I must…”

“You must take the wood scraps to your grandfather.” Jacob’s voice was low, even gentle, but it compelled obedience. “The sun will soon set. There will be time enough tomorrow to correct your errors.”

The father turned back to his work as the son gathered together the scraps. Jacob worked late that night, pausing occasionally to examine with wonder the single misshapen board his son’s meticulous hands had ever formed.

II: The Coming of the Ark


Until his world crashed, Joseph had been preoccupied with a fantastic dream. Six times it had come, every third night these last few weeks.

It always began in a tent; a tent like his father’s, but not his father’s. Joseph was alone, doing detail work with the chisel – the sort his father always did. It was magnificent work; impossibly rich ebony, finely filigreed and ornate, more beautiful and delicate than any he had ever seen. He was lost in the work, intent on each detail when the tent began to fill with a brilliant, gently pulsing light. Turning around, he looked into the eyes of a lean, sinewy man of about 30 (his own age) who, nonetheless, bore the flowing, white beard of a patriarch. He somehow knew this to be Moses. Behind Moses was a box; the sort in which a queen might keep her most precious jewel. It was simple, yet beautiful: olive wood rubbed and oiled, inlaid with a pale blue ivory. Joseph went to it and knelt in wonder, astonished at this unlikely source of bright, throbbing light that yet did not blind. Unable to take his eyes from it, he asked, “Is this the Ark?”

“Guard it well,” Moses replied. Then Joseph would awaken. The dream should have come again last night. It might have, had Joseph slept at all. Mary came instead. It was late afternoon and Joseph was surprised to see her. It was not yet time for her to come into his house so he seldom saw her alone. She delivered the blow with a gentle, almost playful, smile.

“I am with child,” she said.

Joseph was sure he had not heard her correctly but was so confused he could say nothing at all.

“I am with child,” she repeated.

His mind raced. How can this be? Why is she smiling? Is she taunting me? No, she never taunts. He finally asked, “Who is the father?”

“Pray and you will know,” she replied, and then was gone. Joseph had never felt so alone, so forsaken, so completely and utterly crushed. And yet…that smile. Mary was not upset, certainly not frightened. In truth, she seemed joyful. How could she be joyful about such devastating news?

Joseph had long ago dismissed the idea of marriage. After witnessing a stoning he had dedicated himself, body and soul, to God, in reparation for all those without mercy and as an offering for all those in need of it. He would never have thought to court Mary. She was the most beautiful, graceful and refined woman in all of Galilee. Except for yesterday, she had never failed to bring a measure of joy to everyone she encountered, whenever she encountered them. There was an air of mystery about her; wisdom and peace flowed from some secret place in her that Joseph doubted anyone had ever penetrated. Yet she could be bold. It was Mary who told Joseph she wanted him to be her husband. After his initial shocked wonder, he delicately explained to her that he had entirely dedicated himself to God.

“So have I,” Mary replied almost gaily – and that was that. They were betrothed.

Joseph wondered what God could possibly intend for him with this humiliation. Though he had felt called from his youth to be a husband and father, he had renounced it for the sake of mercy, putting it entirely out of his mind. When Mary came to him, he thought surely God had sent her. How likely was it that any woman, much less this magnificent woman, should both love him and share his mission? And now this. What should he do?

A vision of Mary, purple and bleeding, flashed through his mind, filling him with horror and revulsion. dream-of-st-josephHe would not accuse her. He would never accuse anyone. But he could not take her into his home. A quiet bill of divorce – that was surely the answer. He would appear to be the scoundrel and she might have difficulty finding a husband, but she would not be put to shame.

Preparing to make his evening prayers, Joseph remembered Mary’s smile; her confidence and joy. So instead of asking why, he cried out, “O God, my God, what do You intend for me in this horrible situation?’

Nearby, the Angel of the Lord waited for sleep to overtake Joseph. The Angel had a message of supreme importance; news that what Joseph thought was an ending was, in fact, a beginning.

III: God With Us


Although he was glad to have found it when and where he did, Joseph would long be troubled by the memory of the wood.

It irritated him to have to travel when Mary’s time was so near. He found no work along the way; his tools were just an extra burden for the donkey. When Mary’s time did come, he was prepared. He had expected it to happen on the road. He had not expected to be unable to find a place for them to stay. Joseph was beginning to think the child would be born in a field when they came upon an old cattle shed. Joseph could not see how it kept the cattle in; it certainly would not keep the elements out. He had thought to use a manger as a makeshift cradle for the child, but there was none. Piles of hay were scattered indiscriminately about the floor. His heart sank. For a moment Joseph was overwhelmed by his own inadequacy – but only for a moment. Mary’s need was urgent.

Joseph looked around the shed and spied a pair of warped boards lying at the rear. He was filled with both gratitude and dismay as he examined them. The grain was fine; there were no knots. The wood was flawless. Only the workmanship was shoddy. The tools would prove useful, after all. Joseph had never worked at such a reckless pace. It took him scarcely half an hour to fashion a serviceable cradle. At that, he finished just in time.

Mary was gasping; the child would wait no longer. Joseph turned the full force of his attention on his wife. He took control with confident ease. The delivery was uncomplicated (thank God for small favors!). He cleaned the child and put him in Mary’s arms, then gathered together some hay and sticks to cover the holes in the roof. Finally, he was finished.

“You’re a good husband and father,” Mary murmured, handing him the boy.

Joseph’s brows lifted. “How so?” he asked.

“Everyone sees the blessing in honor and prosperity. Few can accept the blessing of humiliation and hardship.”

Joseph nodded. “The lower the net is cast, the more it gathers. nativity_shepherds_by_murilloHeaven is too high for us. I was thinking it must have pleased God to cast his net low tonight.”

“Why, Joseph, that’s profound.”

“Are you so surprised?” he asked, a wry smile curling his lips.

“The things you do are always profound, but you seldom speak of why you do them.”

They rested in quiet contemplation, cuddling their child and nuzzling together. The cattle lowed gently beside them.

After a while, Mary said, “That’s a lovely cradle you made.”

Joseph regarded it thoughtfully. “It will make a fine manger when we leave. The wood for it should not have been lying there, though.”

“Oh, Joseph, not everyone is as orderly as you.”

“That’s not it,” he said.

Mary looked at him quizzically.

“Were it not for the cattle, I would have thought this place abandoned,” he explained. “But that’s not it. It’s the Romans. They love to collect such boards for use in their instruments of torture and execution…”

Joseph sat up straight, suddenly alert. Someone was outside the shed. Were they to be turned away from even this place? A boy stepped into view – a shepherd, then two of his companions. Joseph was puzzled.

“Please, sir,” the first boy spoke for them all. “An angel told us the Messiah is born tonight…and that we could see him here.”

Joseph and Mary glanced at each other in surprise, then Joseph smiled and bade the shepherds enter. They knelt before Jesus, who slept contentedly in his mother’s arms.

“A most approachable king, this son of mine,” Joseph thought, surveying the scene. A bit of Scripture bubbled into his head: God’s ways are not man’s ways. This Messiah would surely startle and challenge Israel’s expectations of what God’s ways are.

IV: After the Temple


“I saw a woman stoned yesterday.”

Jesus’ voice did not startle Joseph. His son had been working with furious intensity all morning – always prelude to an outburst. The father paused to look in his son’s direction. The muscles in Jesus’ back rippled with rhythmic resolve and the shavings flew like sparks. At this rate he would finish two or three days work before the sun had set. Every board would be perfect, too. It was a continuing marvel to Joseph that his son should be both so passionate and so precise. The father resumed his carving, but kept his eyes on the son. Jesus would elaborate soon enough. It was always best to wait for him.

“I could have stopped it,” Jesus said.

“Why didn’t you?” Joseph’s voice was measured and calm.jesus-teen-joseph-carpenter-shop

“It is not my time,” Jesus replied. “Now is a time for obedience and restraint. I can master nothing until I have mastered these.”

“Even at the cost of a woman’s life?”

Jesus stiffened, his back straight now. The plane trembled in his hand, troubling the wood no longer.

“She lives,” he said softly. “The gates of heaven will open for her. But this is not what my father intends.”

“What, then,” Joseph pressed. “…that sin should continue?”

Jesus whirled around, eyes flashing. His voice was tight with suppressed fury.

“No,” he said. “That mercy should abound. All have received it from above. It will go hard for those who are miserly in giving what they, themselves, have received in abundance.”

Jesus’ anger suddenly gave way to stunned wonder. Joseph’s eyes were radiant with joy, but his lips were pressed tightly together and his cheeks were wet with tears. Wonder became alarm when Jesus saw the deep gouge in the mantle his father had been working on. Jesus had never seen him like this. He went to his father.

“I can fix that for you.”

Joseph shook himself, as if waking from a dream, and gazed at the mantle. Tilting his head in curiosity, he looked back at his son.

“How so?” he asked.

“I can make it take any shape I want.”

Joseph’s eyes narrowed. “Have you done this with your work?”

Jesus’ face flushed. He lowered his head. When he spoke, it was scarcely a whisper. “No, Father…just some sticks in the field.”

Joseph pushed up from the bench. He began to pace, stroking his beard in thought. “I see,” he said. “Why work at all then? Why not just take a stick and grow it into a house?”

The pacing stopped. Joseph looked directly at his son. Jesus regarded his father with dismay and confusion. He tried to speak, but all he could muster was a dry, choked rustle.

“I’ll tell you why,” the father resumed. “Because it is wrong. You are a man, Jesus. You did not become such to cover over shoddy work. That is a mark of lowness in a man. If you are to be lifted above that, you must always work the wood properly. No shortcuts – ever.”

Jesus’ eyes met his father’s stern, loving gaze. For a moment the son remembered having chosen Joseph from all eternity. He pushed the memory away; his father would not be pleased. Now his own eyes filled with tears. Joseph was a worthy man.

“Yes, Father,” he assented.

Joseph clasped the boy’s shoulder in the semi-embrace favored by reticent men. Father and son worked together in silence that afternoon, savoring occasionally the comfortable communion between them.

V: His Father’s Way


The Baptist was shaken to see Jesus standing before him, waist deep in the chill water of the Jordan River.

“I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me,” John said.

baptism-of-JesusMemories of Joseph flooded Jesus’ mind. Smiling gently, he told John, “Allow it now. It becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”

The Baptist plunged him into the water. Rising, Jesus shook his hair and beard, then departed for the desert.

His father was well pleased.


In my Father’s house are many mansions…

I go to prepare a place for you – John 14:2



About charliej373

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

191 Responses to A Meditation on Joseph

  1. Beckita says:

    Thank you, Charlie. Perfect timing as we soon enter an Advent Season in which we can savor the readings which bespeak so much to ponder about these times in which we now live. Happy Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

    Liked by 15 people

    • Linda says:

      Hi Beckita;
      I can’t believe it is almost Advent. I’m not ready. I’m still in the middle of August in my mind! It isn’t even Thanksgiving and the stores are playing Christmas music. It is so bizarre. Every year when I just start getting into Advent, it becomes Christmas and then *Poof* it is suddenly Lent ! Ha ha ha ha. I just can’t keep up anymore !

      Liked by 4 people

      • Beckita says:

        Oh, Linda, I l.o.v.e. the liturgical Advent season, the sense of expectancy, the music, the readings, the quiet time (This,too, takes some decided effort to carve out quiet time but is so worth it!). Blessed soon-to-be Advent!

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Ah, echoes of Lombardi!

    There was always that kid or two in class who could barely suppress their sheer delight when the teacher assigned that difficult homework. Many just groaned.

    The same thing played out on the playground and sports field, though sometimes the delight and groans flip-flopped. Seems like that was the case depending on the school subject, activity, or whatever. My personal favorite: the field trips.

    “When we place our dependence in God, we are unencumbered, and we have no worry. In fact, we may even be reckless insofar as our part in the production is concerned. This confidence, this sureness of action, is both contagious and an aid to the perfect action. The rest is in the hands of God –– and this is the same God, gentlemen (and ladies), who has won all His battles up to now.” — Vince Lombardi

    I think Lombardi would agree with you that we can all excel at contemplating. In fact, I imagine he’s cheering us on.

    Liked by 19 people

  3. vkmir3 says:

    This is beautiful and, I agree with Beckita….a wonderful contemplation as we approach the Advent Season. And also, the contemplation of mercy as we end this Year of Mercy and celebrate Jesus as our King….especially in light of this election process. I am drawn as a moth to the light when I look forward to review all of the contemplations and comments shared in this wonderful site! It has been such a blessing to expand my knowledge and love of my faith and to bring calm to my tendency to worry. Thank you, Charlie for sharing and working so hard for us. I love this family and I lift up all the intentions requested here and the family in my daily prayers. God Bless all! Jesus, I trust in You! Vicki

    Liked by 17 people

  4. Andy14 says:

    What a beautiful contemplation!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Nance says:

    I eagerly await the book. Please reserve me 7 copies. One for each of my children.

    Actually, Charlie, I always have such a hard time with the 15 minute meditations on a decade for First Saturday. Usually I can just picture one image or saying and try to hold it for 15 minutes. You flesh it out so real! So now, we have three. Maybe I will just stick with these three until you post a forth. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. charles walther says:

    We must let others with the office given them handle any situations that have arisen. We must keep silent and Leave the Pope alone.


    • charliej373 says:

      I’m not sure about that, Charles. Vox Populi has always had an important place in the Church. The key is that we are not to degenerate into rabid partisans – in the way that so much of the west has gone into binary polarities. Rather, like a family, we are to treat each other with respect and affection even when we disagree, rather than covering each other with insults to try to advance our point.

      Liked by 11 people

  7. Dhnt233 says:

    So very beautiful …Thank you 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Becky-TN says:


    This is a wonderful meditation.

    I had a moment a couple of weeks back after watching a movie where I found myself meditating on St. Joseph. I was watching the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. It was end of the movie where Mr. Darcy walks across the field to meet Elizabeth and professes his love for her again. What struck me was how in professing his love he could barely speak…almost like he couldn’t breathe in her presense. After the movie was over, I pondered whether there were really any men in this world so in love, that the mere presense of the one they love brings the inability to speak or “breathe”. Immediately, St. Joseph came to mind. I wondered if there were moments where he just watched the Blessed Mother. Were their moments where the mere sight of her left him breathless. And then, if so, I thought about moments of our Lord “catching” him. Of course, Joseph thinking of/watching the Blessed Mother in the most respectful way. But our Lord smiling upon him, pleased with His creation (Mary) and pleased with the true, pure love that Joseph had for her (which He also created). But I also can’t imagine the unbelieveable pain he must have gone through of not being able to share that love in an intimate way. What a sacrifice for St. Joseph. I found myself in tears.
    What a beautiful, sweet, gentle man he must have been.

    God Bless,


    Liked by 13 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I was contemplating yesterday, at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Green Bay, the reality of Mary and Joseph knowingly being the earthly parents of God, Himself. What humility and abandonment they must have lived! I think that is why I felt so powerfully I needed to put this story back up.

      Liked by 18 people

      • Katherine says:

        I know! Can you imagine? Jesus did not come into the world with a nice set of instructions on the care and feeding of a God-Man. All the little decisions that make up daily life in the family . . . Joseph truly must have lived with such tremendous abandon to the Will of God, doing the best he could and trusting that God really had everything covered. Other men would have maybe tried to actively shape a Messiah . . . deciding that it was all “up to them”. Not that Joseph was passive, I just think he figured that God came to a humble family for a reason, chose them for a reason, with their specific economic, educational and social status and whatnot as well, so they should just be . . . them, for Him, and not try to force things. Saint Joseph must have lived every minute as well as he could, as holy as he could, a true death to self, for the sake of his Holy Family. You know, Saint Joseph was the only one in his little family who even had the ability to sin . . . and instead of feeling inferior, he was humble and instead of running scared from such a tremendous responsibility he was courageous and lived his vocation well. Amazing.

        Liked by 10 people

        • LukeMichael says:

          And like our sherpa God sent Joseph an angel to guide him at the most difficult times. My intuition tells me that angel was Gabriel.

          God does not leave us bereft!

          Liked by 6 people

      • al chandanais says:

        I also have a contemplation of my beloved St. Joseph, I would like to put it up Charlie if I may but since it is a bit long I would ask you read it and dump it if not appropriate in your view. I see nothing wrong in it but as always I am subordinate to you because this is your site shared with us.

        Joseph’s Last Smile
        Joseph was very tired. He had not felt well for some time but this was different and he knew it. He has lived a long time compared to most and his life was filled with joy and wonder. He is a simple carpenter with a good eye and an artisan’s spirit like all great artisans; he could see the finished work in the wood he was holding. He passed his love for work to his son who was equally as good if not better than he was; things just seemed to come together as his son planned it. He was certain his wife, Mary, would not go hungry or work as a slave for lack of money. These things did not bother him his son, Jesus, would care for his mother no matter what.
        Jesus, his son, is the joy of his heart, a gentle man with great love and compassion for man with the eye of an eagle and the heart of a lion. His son at only twenty-eight was wise well beyond his years and many would come to him for advice and direction.
        Joseph fell asleep again, Mary, his young wife came to him and sat beside him, a smile crossed Joseph’s lips and she could hear him say…
        “Yes, O Lord how wonderful, yes.
        A tear rolled from Joseph’s eye and his smile now was very broad indeed.
        Jesus walked into the room and sat at his mother’s side; he took Mary’s hand in his and said that father’s time was very close. Jesus became quiet and Mary sensed Jesus was conversing with God. After a few minutes Jesus said…
        “Your will be done Father”
        Jesus had a tear in his eye as he said,
        “It is almost time, all has been made ready, it is almost time for my father and your husband to go home”.
        Joseph opened his eyes and his smile was still as broad as before,
        “Mary! Mary. What a beautiful dream. I saw The Creator at the very beginning of time, in all the darkness He commanded the water and the earth the stars and the planets, all the animals and insects all the fish and the great beasts of the land, sea and air. God, then said, “Let there be light”, and I could see the entire world and the heavens and all that was in it. God then called the souls to him, all the people that would live in the world throughout time and he contemplated each life, the good and the evil; He loved them all with a love so great I could feel the joy coming from his heart. He was looking for a special soul, as He searched a smile came upon his face and he reached for the “one soul” and took it to his heart and placed it there. He spoke to the remaining souls and told them to fill the earth. Some left immediately while others waited for their time but the “one” stayed with God through the centuries and millennium. When the time came he took the soul from his heart and said;
        “Immaculate one, I have saved you from all sin and evil. No sin will be on you, you will be born sinless, for to you will be born the Savior who will through his own will, bring my children back to me, but only, if you say yes.”
        I watched the soul leave the Fathers hand and go to earth, to your mother Ann; it was you Mary! You, are the soul kept in the Fathers heart free of sin. I have always known my love but to see this in a dream as it happened, I am truly blessed.
        Joseph’s eyes, filled with love and admiration for his Mary reached to touch her face and said,
        “You have been a wonderful wife, a true gift of God, and I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that I was chosen as your husband.”
        He then looked at Jesus his beloved son, and said,
        “My God, my God you are my Creator and my son, how you fulfill my life with joy, how do I thank you for the life you have given me? Before Mary I was a simple carpenter and after still a simple carpenter. You have given me, a mere mortal, the great gift of raising you as my own and I could not be more proud of the man that you have come to be”.
        Jesus spoke to Joseph saying,
        “You have taught me the true life of man, the joy and the sorrows. The joy of life at its beginning, and the sorrow of death of a loved one. I see those who are in need of all things good and see the devastation loss brings. You have taught me fairness and respect, you have given me my time with my Father in heaven without question and you have blessed me with a great love only an earthly father who has suffered the pains of sin and overcome them can. You are my beloved father and my beloved earthly father will you always be”.
        Jesus embraced and kissed his father Joseph and Joseph looked once again at Mary, she said with tears in her eyes and a trembling voice
        “You too were chosen for this life my husband. It was you, son of David, who was to protect me and our son, you are a great provider, and I am truly blessed to have you as my husband. I will miss your touch, your laughter and wisdom, your gentle ways and faith in Gods tremendous design for our family and the world.”
        “When our son is lifted up and your heart is torn asunder, I will be at your side my love, I will be there when our son conquers sin.”
        “Behold Father, my gift to you”.
        White light filled the room, and the wall and ceiling seemed to open as a great light shown from heaven. Mary watched as Jesus took his fathers hand and raised Joseph’s soul from his body, Angels were everywhere, they filled the room, the yard and street, the ground, and the air, all the way to heaven.
        Six Arch Angels stood on both sides of Jesus and Joseph and escorted them through the eight remaining choirs of angels with the mighty Michael, great defender of God and his people leading the way.
        First bowing before them was the “Virtue” angels, whom he immediately knew were the Angels that provide grace to all who need power to defend their faith.
        Next Joseph came upon the “Powers” angels who plan and direct all battle campaigns of the Lord. These are very active in the lives of Priests and religious, they work miraculous mighty works and signs outside the regular order of nature.
        Then the mighty “Principalities”, the spiritual war leaders over parishes, missions and saints of God, they protect the church. “Dominions” lined the way next, they govern the world, govern races of men and direct the lower angels.
        The “Throne” Angels were next, pure goodness with authority, they are assigned over diocese, religious communities, religious education, and where there is a question of power, and they have the greatest authority.
        The great Cherubim, full of knowledge and zeal for the glory of God who are at the ready to defend Gods honor.
        Into the Holy of Holies, Jesus guided Joseph; past the Magnificent Seraphim who shine, brightest of all the angels of heaven these are the exalted ones. They, consumed with the fire of Gods love are constantly in adoration before the face of God.
        As the Seraphim bowed before King Jesus, Joseph saw the Face of God, a great white, blue and red hue shone from His face and all the colors of the world radiated from His person. Joseph immediately filled with great love and knowledge and understanding looked into The Fathers eyes and saw the great joy and gratitude for Joseph’s obedience. All at once, Joseph was lifted into the Creators arms until all remnants of sin, earthly life was erased from Joseph, and shone as brightly as the Seraphim themselves. Father turned his attention to Jesus who shone as brightly as the Father himself.
        “Jesus, my Son, Second of Our Holy Trinity, in you I am very pleased”.
        As they embraced, all heaven roared for the love shared by the Father and his Son for it permeated every Angel and all shone with a brighter intensity. Joseph could not take his eyes off this reunion. Then Jesus turned and spoke to Joseph saying…
        “Father Joseph, all that you see is open to you, you may go anywhere in Heaven and will be treated with all the royalty of the Kings Father,”
        Then Jesus embraced him. Joseph turned to all the Choirs of Angels before him now and they bowed before him they raised their voices “Joseph, Joseph earthly father of our King”.
        God said to Joseph; “You are to be known forevermore “Prince of Heaven” and your requests of me will hold great weight in my court”.
        Joseph looked to Mary still in their home on earth but watching all that was happening, she shined as he, For Gods Glory was upon her also, Joseph held his hands out to her, saying,
        “My Queen”, (alluding to her future reign,) “I too will be with you always my love”.
        A great holy enhanced smile crossed his face, one that stayed with Mary until they reunited in heaven”.

        Liked by 13 people

    • Becky, I’m no mystic but I believe God would have given St Joseph a special grace when those moments come, if ever they do come. Joseph’s love for God is purer than his love for Mary and so it takes precedence. A man truly in love with God as St Joseph is, has his desires in proper order and hierarchy.

      Only a loving God could weave.

      Liked by 9 people

    • maryopl says:

      “I have been selfish all my life…Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.” Mr. Darcy
      I love this story!

      Liked by 7 people

      • al chandanais says:

        My Darling Marypol, We are all selfish. We all want what we think will make us happy so we want what we want. Jesus knows this and Loves us even more because of what we are. The further we are from the way he wants us the more he loves us because we don’t understand him, YET. Lord Jesus asks us many things but as I am learning, he is most pleased with us all the time, What helps us know his love for him is to thank him for his Presence to us and for His Peace, “Be at Peace I will be with you always” You are loved more than you can know, nothing can take you from his hand so please my dearest stop telling how bad you are and tell yourself you are a princess in the kingdom of God and Jesus will fix you to fit in. OK?

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Are you sure these aren’t revealed to you? Forgive my audacity; I should know better. It’s a beautiful love story only a loving God could weave.

    Thank you, Charlie.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Thank you Lord Jesus for the wisdom and eloquence You have blessed Charlie with and the Grace You have given us through his obedience to share it with us!

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Mary says:

    I was contemplating how the world would have appeared completely unchanged after the birth, and even the death, of Jesus. And yet everything was made possible. Perhaps with the election, too. Thank you for posting this. Felt it more deeply the second time. You are a great writer.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. RJW says:

    I am reminded that Jesus came to be with us in an intimate fashion, by the direction of our loving, Almighty God. He cares about us that much. We are worthy of God’s love; each and everyone of us. Love the Jesus that dwells in each of us.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Joe Crozier says:

    I had just finished the first prayer of a novena to St Joseph when I saw this inspirational and provocative meditation. There is so much in it to contemplate. Thank you Charlie. In Garabandal Our Lady confirmed that Joseph her spouse was the greatest of all saints. How could it be otherwise. I wish I was more mindful that God knows best – always. His choice in Joseph was the best.

    Liked by 10 people

  14. Mike says:

    Thank you Charlie. This was a truly beautiful contemplation.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Annie says:

    Reblogged this on Annie.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. caelids says:

    I don’t see any conflict here with private revelation. Much can be revealed in a story that other formats just don’t approach.

    Oh, BTW, Charlie, you were in my neck of the woods (sort of) when you were in Fayette. My husband’s parents live in West Union, which is scarcely ten miles up the road, and from where we live in Cedar Rapids only an hour and a half distant. Regrettably, it was still too long a distance to hop in the van with my five kids and travel all that way just to wave and say, “Hi Charlie, it’s ________!” Oh well!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Snowy Owl says:

    I was snowed in today, got the woodstove cooking, grabbed a cup of coffee and read this. It was very peaceful. I love St. Joseph. Thanks Charlie, it’s beautiful and I would not have minded a few hundred pages more. 🙂

    Liked by 13 people

    • Hey Snowy, I just moved out of my apartment to check my readiness and the viability of living in my wall tent full time, anticipating chaos soon. Until last Thursday, it was sunny and 70. But now, uffda, it’s colder! Had a nice windy snowstorm and she handled the elements well, but my propane Mr Heater Little Buddy barely keeps up with a meager 9000 BTUs, especially with the wind chill. Gonna have to break out the wood burner, I reckon.



      Fortunately I’ve got these little Buddy’s to help keep me toasty!

      Liked by 12 people

    • As long as you’re snowed in, Snowy, here’s a little adventure from yesterday that you might enjoy with your coffee:


      I spliced this together to share and was kinda surprised at the end that it seemed like a little contemplation on contemplating. Mercifully, I condensed a four hour trek out into about 2 1/2 minutes (probably get boring to watch the whole thing, but I never get bored living it).

      It was sunny and over 80 degrees yesterday, but your imagery of being snowed in with coffee and the wood stove cooking sounds like a little bit o’ Heaven too.

      Oh, turn your speakers on and watch all the way to the end, if you can.

      God Bless,


      BTW – The Don Bosco Adventure Club in Arizona is looking to get an adult chapter going, so all are welcome. Anytime! So far, it’s just me and the youth group. It would be nice to get some of the big ‘kids’ out there too.

      Liked by 13 people

      • Beckita says:

        SO beautiful, MP. So peaceful.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        MP, boring? No, no.. heavenly and so peaceful! I could watch that for hours (because I do here. I put on good music and I sit and watch the animals… sometimes for hours! Things like this calm me, and I love it.
        That little bird singing his little heart out- made the movie! I just loved it 🙂 thank you!
        I have classical music with birdsong mixed beautifully into the songs and I listen to it during the winter months.. it just lifts the spirit! 🙂 …and my cats run around the house looking for the birds- so I laugh too 🙂.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Thanks, MP. Sounds like you got a couple of birds that left my neck of the woods a few months ago. Nice exclamation point by the owl. Honestly, I love the desert (Sonoran) and probably could watch and listen to your whole trek while dozing off with the cats.

        Liked by 4 people

      • ladycatcliffe says:

        How many Don Bosch Adventure Clubs are there? Is this a movement, or do you run the only one?


    • Doug says:

      Snowy is snowy today. What a nice way to enter into the Christmas season.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Doug 🙂 it’s still snowing here! I think it’s snowed off and on everyday for the past 5 days here!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          Sigh…… It would mean a lot to me to see some snow right now.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            That’s an easy request! 😊
            Charlie+ a visit + Lay’s chips + cherry coke= 🌨 ❄❄❄☃ = Happy Doug🙃

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! When he came last April, we did have a freak snow storm and yup; Cherry coke and sour cream and onion potatatochips. Where you hiding here Snowy?

            Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Ha, Doug and Jacquie’s mother-in-law apartment was so nice it made me want to be their mother-in-law.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Ha! (How does one do a hearty laugh on the internet). Unlikely I imagine, but you are always welcome back. I do anticipate it will be put to good use very soon. It was a treat that you stayed there and graced us and New Hampshire with your company. I lit a candle for you last weekwnd. We now have a St. Michael statue overlooking the candle lighting area (there must be a special Catholoc word for this). You belong to everyone here Charlie.

            Liked by 2 people

  18. Bernard Vandeuren says:

    This contemplation reminds me of why I love reading you so much.
    There is such gentleness about the pattern of this story. Yet it may reveal the profound mysteries
    that have not been transcribed in the holy books.
    “It will go hard for those who are miserly in giving what they, themselves, have received in abundance.” . This is profound , very intense.
    You may not receive the hundreds of comments you are getting when “supernatural” or “out of the ordinary revelations” are being published, but please rest assured that you are touching hearts, and for this at the eve of the end of the holy year of mercy, I am grateful.

    Liked by 18 people

  19. Joe says:

    “After witnessing a stoning he had dedicated himself, body and soul, to God, in reparation for all those without mercy and as an offering for all those in need of it. ”
    Charlie, this line right here has hit me. As one named after this great saint, it pains me to come to the realization I have not given up the pleasures of the flesh in my comfortable life for the redemption of others. It is something I know I must do, but continually fail to actually live up to the resolve in my act of contrition to “…avoid whatever leads me to sin.” Thank you for the reminder and awesome meditation.
    BTW, did this come to you while doing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius? It sounds like a compilation of some great contemplations inspired by the contemplative periods of the Exercises.

    Liked by 7 people

    • charliej373 says:

      As often happens, the inspiration hit me almost all at once of an evening. Then it took me about a month to get it down on paper in a way that satisfied me. It’s funny…it is not so much contemplation that gives me the ideas as an idea leads me to contemplation in order to express it well – and in the course of that contemplation, more ideas fire up. It is almost a never-ending cycle of contemplation and ideas. It is kind of like I have a big stove with a lot of pots simmering. Some of the articles I put up have simmered for months before I am ready to write them. A few others come of necessity very quickly.

      Liked by 14 people

  20. SanSan says:

    Christ the King of the world and the universe, gather all your children–save souls. We love You and worship You, for You are our Creator, You are why we exist, You are all Love. Lord have Mercy — illuminate the hearts and the minds of those who are still lost–bring them all back to Your loving arms. Protect the innocent, strenghten those who try to serve you, increase the hope in those of us who are weak, give courage to those who will carry Your light. Thank you Jesus, Thank you, Jesus.

    Liked by 13 people

  21. Thank you, Charlie. I set the alarm and tried to stay awake for the Mass of the closing the Jubilee Doors. Now there are new doors to open in Mercy. I had thought of Justice coming but I need to think of new ways to offer Mercy in the chaos that will come. Number one is reconciliation as you have said.
    And now that we are entering Advent — let it be the best preparation ever for the celebration of the arrival of Our Baby King.

    Liked by 14 people

  22. avaeadie says:

    Charlie, have you ever read the Poem of the Man-God, pages 51-128? Or The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, from Day 16 to Day 31- very short, about a page each? And I recently found some very old books, by J. James Tissot -1895, The Life of Our Savior Jesus Christ which in Vol 1, on page 5, gives an interesting story he says is from the Apocryphal Gospels and details given in the Talmuds, which he titled, “The Testing of the Suitors of the Virgin”. On Divine Will, The Church has been allowing a priest to promote the works of the Divine Will with permission of the Local Bishop. I can’t recall the position of the Poem of the Man-God, and I have not researched yet if there is a comment by the Church on the works of Tissot. However, these different accountings of the happenings of Mary and Joseph are for the most part amazing in their description of Introspection in both Mary and Joseph: their deep Holiness, their profound Humility, the Mysticism surrounding their lives, a wondrous ability in living in much Silence and Love, and their complete trusting and accepting of the Divine Will of God in all their actions, words, and thoughts, especiallywithin Mary, in their day to day lives. Unless the Church has said otherwise about any of these sources, I think they are excellent reading material on the life of Joseph and Mary. I do submit all to the Magisterium of the Church on such things, and as it is, I can’t recall some things.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. SteveBC says:

    For what it’s worth, I had a dream this morning for your discernment:

    At 4:50 am ET I dreamed that I watched the satan as he came alive again in a disgustingly corrupt body. He was smiling nastily. I’ll spare you more details.

    When I got up in the morning, I checked to see when the Pope closed the Vatican’s Door of Mercy and found it occurred just before my dream. My interpretation is that the Year of Mercy has had the effect of holding him in check. Now that the Door is shut and the Year ended, he is able to rise again and will now have much freer reign to cause havoc. If so, then events should now greatly speed up as he works to put us all in a world of hurt.

    Strangely, I also found myself thinking that God will turn these coming hurts into judgments designed to help people, turning events that could be nothing but awful into wake-up opportunities to save otherwise recalcitrant souls.

    Anyone have dreams or other experiences that might shed some light on the closing of the Door this morning? Mine here is just a possibility.

    Liked by 18 people

    • Andy14 says:

      Take heart Steve, yesterday at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland, they held a ceremony to dedicate the country to Christ the King and it was attended by the President of Poland.

      I can`t find any news articles about it yet, but then that`s not unexpected as our media outlets are biased in what they print.

      Liked by 12 people

    • Katherine says:

      I don’t have a dream to report, I just wanted to muse for a minute that the date of the closing of the doors is also the date of the beginning of that special astronomical set of movements . . . if anyone remembers that interesting bit of astronomy set to happen which culminates in the Woman Clothed with the Sun. . . I think Jupiter moves into Virgo today. The Doors have closed, but the Queen is rising. Satan can thrash all he wants, he won’t win, and it would be much to his humiliation if we cling to God and thus turn the destruction from his wild thrashing into channels of grace. But you know, speaking of dreams, did I ever mention that my daughter had a storm dream before I ever even heard of Charlie? She was 6 years old, about two years ago. She never had before or has had since as vivid a dream with such a cohesive theme as the one she told me about. She said that she dreamed that she was standing in our front yard with a little boy, who she said was also her guardian angel, and they were watching the sun rise, but a huge black storm was coming from near where the sun was rising. My daughter said, in her little words that there was a horrible, ugly guy, who was the devil, riding at the head of the storm and he was laughing and screaming that he was going to take away the sun. Mary turned to her guardian angel as the clouds reached towards the sun and he told her quietly that he wasn’t strong enough to stop it from coming, but the devil would never be able to take away the sun forever. I didn’t know what to make of this dream when she told me about it, it was so vivid. I sprinkled her room with holy water and said said some rosaries . . . ha, just in case this was the devil trying to mess with me through my daughter, but I have now come to think that maybe it was a little tid-bit that was meant for me, to get me to start praying seriously for the guidance and protection of my family right then. I don’t know if it was inspired by anything, but it certainly got my attention.

      Liked by 20 people

    • I dreamed Mother Theresa was leading me around and teaching me lessons…..as I woke up the lessons faded quickly, but I know they were lessons about Church and works of Mercy. I dreamed this and others similar just a couple days ago.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Thank you for pondering, finding the nugget, and sharing. Indeed, my wife had a dream of Our Mother and she said She was radiant beyond words. I don’t pay much attention to what the satan is up to because God is going to blind him with Our Mother’s Immaculate Heart! And soon!!

      Liked by 13 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      I appreciate your sharing your out of the blue experiences with us Steve. These consolations have twists that make us sit up a little straighter, leaning in, knowing how much God does to save us. It makes me want to read the Book of Revelation tonight. God bless you and thanks so much.

      Liked by 10 people

    • A Quiet Person says:

      Yes Steve, I have had two reoccurring nightmares (though not last night) that I think have to do with these times. In one of them I am just sitting, just sort of fussing with some threads. I am a quilter so the image of threads is meaningful to me. I was tying knots in them. It was all quite harmless and thoughtless, and certainly a waste of time but not all that bad, so it seemed. Before you know it I had a ball of knotted up threads in my hand. Suddenly there was a presence of what seemed to be some sort of ABSOLUTE authority who communicated to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that every single one of those hundreds of knots I had tied in those threads needed to be undone. I was horrified at the impossible demand that this be done. I tried to explain how this was simply not possible. Think of how hard it is to get a knotted shoelace undone. These were thin threads. Even if (if!) I was able to untie one knot (one out of hundreds!) the threads would surely break. But there was no getting out of this. It was such a nightmare because this authority had absolute control and I knew that I would not be able to do anything ever again until I had untied all of these knots. “What if a thread breaks and a tiny, microscopic piece of the thread floats off into the universe.?” I asked. The answer was to go out into the universe and find that tiny microscopic piece of thread and put it back exactly where it was before I started messing with it. I could not get away from the logic which was now the doom of my life. It was that since I made the knots I was responsible for undoing them. There was no way to argue my way out of it.

      It took me years to realize that yes, I did tie those knots (I have sinned), and yes, I am accountable, and yes, those knots must be undone. But I can’t undo them. That was the turning point for me in understanding the dream. I CAN”T DO IT! Lord have mercy! Only Jesus make things right. And He did when He died on the cross. The dream was the devil’s way of tempting me into despair which is what he may be up to soon when people realize the seriousness of their sins and try to fix things without Jesus. It can’t be done. People without Jesus may be tempted to despair. That is why Charlie’s basic message for these times is so crucial – especially, from the standpoint of interpreting this dream, to acknowledge God.

      Mary, Undoer of knots, pray for us.

      The other dream I had first when I was 7. I had actually posted this a long time ago and Steve, I think it was you who had commented that you had sort of wanted to “like” it, but it wasn’t really the sort of thing anyone would “like.” Anyway, here it is again. I think it has to do with these times. In my dream I was watching several trains coming in from a distance. I was perched high up, sort of like in a tower so I had a good view. I was watching several trains coming in from different directions. They were far away. But as they came closer they seemed to be traveling faster and faster. I realized that if no one did anything pretty soon, they would all converge at the same point. And I watched in horror as they all crashed, converging at the same point just as I had feared. It happened so suddenly. The crash was horrendous but just as bad was the realization that I had seen it coming (surely others had seen it as well) and at some point it could have been stopped but I (we) did not stop it. The guilt was overwhelming. This was not a crash because of bad weather or faulty engines. It was negligence. Or maybe laziness. Like being asleep at the wheel.

      We have been asleep at the wheel. All of these problems that are erupting now could have been stopped. Maybe not stopped completely. But maybe. And how did things get so bad? Didn’t we see it coming? We sure see it coming now! But, as Charlie says, these things must come. We are beyond the point of being able to stop the crash. But for those of us who see these things now, and who survive the Storm, I am certain we will never be asleep at the wheel again.

      Liked by 20 people

    • Barb129 says:

      I haven’t had a dream about this, but I’ve been praying and asking the dear Lord to let our daughter have her first baby be born before everything goes crazy. She wasn’t due until the 30th of this month but I kept thinking about the Door of Mercy closing today when I went to bed last night. At 4:50 AM, we received a call from our daughter that she was on her way to the hospital. So at 1:35 this afternoon on the Feast of Christ the King, our daughter gave birth to a little girl, our first grandchild, Olivia Brooke. What a joy! And I can’t help but believe that the dear Lord answered my prayer on this day just to remind me to always trust in His mercy and love.

      Liked by 28 people

    • Doug says:

      Ha! For what it is worth, I had a dream last night that I was in a room of people near the white house. The government was empty and Charlie was about to give a presentation, but using low tech prjector; the ones where you take transparent plastic, write on it and place it on top and there is a magnifier that projects the transparency on a screen. Charlie was struggling with getting organized. No Trump was sitting to my right and handed me a piece of paper. I don’t know what was on the paper. That was pretty much the end of my dream. Weird, huh?

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Noah603 says:

    No dreams but a feeling of foreboding as I thought of the Holy Father closing that door.

    Liked by 12 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Hi Noah, Yup – the Master has put His yoke on each of our shoulders now :). It can feel heavy if we forget that our yoke is custom made, with Jesus in the dominant place. May we find Joy in trusting Him, be alert to His movements and pray for patient endurance when we have weary moments. Let’s make it a point to tell Him we are ready and willing.
      So our Lady said, “Do whatever He tells you”. Let’s continue to ask the Lord for the gift of a prayer life which will support listening to and feeling Jesus’ promptings. He is Truth Incarnate and we receive His Body and Blood at Mass. We are the closest of His friends so we know His desires and we know it is true.
      Luke ch. 5…Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. And sitting down, He taught the people from the boat. When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked through the night without catching anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”… Life can seem repetitive, but then, out of the blue, in God’s time, He will use us in our yoke to partner with Him in saving souls with the good news.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Noah, I’ve had a return sense of heavy angst in this heart of mine. Even with great faith and trust, I just know for me, it’s part of this process of traversing the troubled waters of the Storm. At times like this, I know it is part of the Cross. And when I feel like this, I think of Mother Angelica who often said, “Lord I DO trust you; my stomach just doesn’t know it yet.” 😉

      Liked by 16 people

    • Doug says:

      Foreboding? Nope. Not me. Not yet anyway. I want to get this show going! I may regret that, but I really am ready.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. Dawn Marie says:

    Thank you so much. Beautiful meditation. I am deeply touched.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. Annie W. says:

    This is beautiful, Charlie. I was spellbound reading it! I love reading in general, but this is annointed by the Holy Spirit for sure. It felt as thought I was there with the characters in your “stories”; in the same room with them watching it all.

    St. Joseph has become so very important to me in the last several years especially, and has given the family miracles. Just one of many examples was for our oldest son. He’s had some very difficult times, and lived on Joseph street in northern CA at one time. I realized that years before he had taken the name of Joseph at confirmation! St. Joseph also miraculously sold that house for him when he sadly went through the divorce.

    God bless all of you. As many of you say, it is so comforting to come here to find love of one another.

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Linda says:

    . “That mercy should abound. All have received it from above. It will go hard for those who are miserly in giving what they, themselves, have received in abundance.”

    Charlie & all TNRS… My Michael & I just got done watching our recorded DVR of Pope Francis & the closing of the Holy Doors of the year of mercy..and the beginning sentence here that Charlie wrote in this wonderful account of St. JOSEPH really jumped out @ me….. let us ALL continue to be merciful to others…to ourselves…to everyone..judge noone…pray..,fast..forgive that it might go well for who??? For us. I sure do get Our Holy Father…. Thank you Jesus for Francis…& Joseph & Charlie…😇

    . “That mercy should abound. All have received it from above. It will go hard for those who are miserly in giving what they, themselves, have received in abundance.”

    Liked by 4 people

  28. caelids says:

    We got to walk through the holy doors, confession, mass, the works! Whoo-hoo! (Actually I had to walk through those doors MANY times as one child after another had to go to the bathroom….;)

    Liked by 9 people

    • JudyM says:

      I went to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois, yesterday specifically to see Bp Paprocki close the Holy Door. But he was running a marathon in Philadelphia instead. I read the date wrong. He is saying Mass at 5 pm next Sunday. Don’t know who closed the Holy Door or when or if he is going to do it next Sunday. All of the posters about the Holy Door and Year of Mercy have been taken down. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • He had a great marathon in philly! His post below shows what an amazing Bishop he is!

        Despite 40 degree temperatures at the start of the Philadelphia Marathon today and winds gusting up to 24 mph, I finished my 22nd marathon in 22 years in 4 hours and 30 minutes. The course was sort of a big oval, so that meant some of the time the wind was in my face and some of the time it was at my back. Fortunately, the last 6 miles were mostly downhill and with the wind at my back! I dedicated this race to my college roommate Keith Zawila, who died from cancer last week. Thanks to all who donated in support of my marathon effort to support the Chicago Legal Clinic and Catholic Charities Legal Services of Springfield. Thanks also to my colleagues with the LIFE Runners. Yesterday we prayed in front of Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia and then celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We ran with the message on our shirts proclaiming, “Remember the Unborn.”
        Bishop Thomas John Paprocki’s photo.

        Liked by 2 people

      • caelids says:

        Gosh I’m sorry Judy. I think one reason I was so thrilled is because I’m usually that person who comes on the wrong day or the wrong time. I think God was having pity on me this time. Anyways, I pray the grace of the Holy Doors comes to you in another way!


  29. pslmfortysix says:

    Thank you for this beautiful meditation! St. Joseph’s place in the Nativity is such a rich source to contemplate.
    It was wonderful meeting you in Racine! It felt like visiting an old friend 🙂
    Thanks to Audrey S. for organizing!
    I was especially pleased to hear you talk about the persecution of Christians around the world in response to a question from the audience. You probably didn’t realize that during your reply, the slide show behind you showed the scourging of Christ. How fitting! How many stood and watched. How many of us stand by and watch. We all have much to answer for indeed!
    God’s blessings on you and all here!

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, I did not know that was onscreen, Psalm. Totally appropriate. I do get agitated when people say nothing is wrong because they don’t feel it personally – and reveal how utterly concerned they are about living solidarity with our Christian brothers – and those in the Middle East are the canaries in the coal mine. That type of “pious” indifference just makes it more likely that such intense suffering will become more widespread. It is a sort of blind prosperity gospel – that has never been true.

      Liked by 9 people

  30. maryopl says:

    I remember a dream when I was young (though my twin says it’s her dream and I stole it!) I am standing outside looking at our west hills when I see a dark cloud come roiling and bubbling over the crest of the hills and how I felt it was the end of the world and I needed to get home and protect my family. Making sure we were all together for what was coming.

    I had a thought this morning, Charlie, that I have never seen, in all my 60+years, so much polarizing of our country after this election. How it goes on and on, people getting angrier and angrier. Both sides arguing and shouting and reciting wrongs about the other “side”. Each side so sure of their “rightness” and only wanting to convince the other side but not wanting to listen to the others because they were ridiculously wrong. I think the devil is thrilled to have so much anger and fear to work with and doesn’t care who is right or on the side of the angels (as I preeningly think of my self). What if I just stop trying to prove my point? Just stop explaining my position to others in my family, workplace, etc.? What if one side just stopped taking the bait? If I stood silent as Jesus did with Pilate. What if I turned the cheek in meek silence? Could the fighting be diffused if we showed mercy and patience and love with no words at all? Not the silent treatment but just no more words; only love? Am I crazy to think that would stop the escalation of anger and violence and fear? Or at least mitigate the current atmosphere in our country? I like arguing so if I offer it up as a sacrifice – how pleasing to God would that be? Even the endless discussions within like-minded groups are not healthy to our peace of mind. Just a thought this morning.

    Liked by 13 people

    • Beckita says:

      What a beautiful concluding thought to your dream, maryopl! I, too, see and hear the expressed division abounding seemingly everywhere. I’m striving to remain close to the Holy Spirit for the promptings of when to speak and when to maintain silence. I think either extreme is to be avoided. That said, I’ve always been one who needs quite a lot of solitude to sort out intake from the world around me and regain equilibrium when needed. At the same time, I continue to believe a calm and strong – in the best of ways – voice of truth is needed when Holy Spirit nudges one to speak.

      Liked by 11 people

      • maryopl says:

        Calm and strong is a great philosophy and practice. I, too, will stand ready to speak but await the prompting of the Holy Spirit so I know it isn’t my ego at work.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Very true Maryopl and Beckita. I have observed the post election t anger, blindness or hardness of heart still rages. As you said, even those with likemindedness on the side of God are letting themselves get drawn in to the bitterness.
        Like you, Beckita…I also crave silence and solitude. We are getting into some good outdoor weather now here in Fl …praise God so can go out to find this very niche of solitude. Just got back from an hour in front of Our Lord and from prayer truly felt that this thanksgiving time, as Charlie references… is very important this time and a way to foster healing for our loved ones and for our own hearts from our past sins, grudges, critical hearts . To truly embrace the Love in and offered to each other …which is truly God.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Barb421 says:

      I already am avoiding any discussion of it, Mary, I lack the desire or energy to try , so I pray for them, and it’s not easy to love everyone, so I ask God to help me to love better

      Liked by 4 people

  31. Cheri F says:

    Thanks. Very beautiful. Joseph gets overlooked alot it seems (myself included). He had to be truly self-giving and close to God.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. moreen67 says:

    Just a reflection from the Northeast here – we had a cold front move in late Saturday night and amazingly we are still having very gusty winds they keep extending the wind advisory – now it’s until 7 pm Monday. I felt inside with it being the end of the Year of Mercy yesterday that these winds are a symbol of the winds of change that are here and continuing. Maureen

    Liked by 6 people

  33. Snowy Owl says:

    Write this: before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:

    All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day (Diary, 83). St. Faustina.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      What is so interesting and mysterious about this is Jesus said, “of this sort.” This immediately made me think of how you interpret these events, Charlie.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Snowy Owl says:

    Prayers for Japan! 6.9 Earthquake hit off the coast of Japan. According to the Weather Channel 10 plus foot waves hitting them now and tsunami warning just issued…

    Liked by 5 people

  35. madkatmomma says:

    I love all the shared dreams. THank you all!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. antoine727 says:

    Hello Charlie, I was wondering if the prophecy about ‘Obama ending his term before the 20th of January leaving the world in chaos’ should the considered as one of the fundamental prophecies not subject to change. From what I’ve understood, the answer is yes, but I wanted to be sure.



  37. JudyM says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. 🙂

    Squirrel hospitalizes Chicago politician who spoke out against squirrels

    Liked by 10 people

  38. A Quiet Person says:

    “Now is a time for obedience and restraint. I can master nothing until I have mastered these.” As I reread the story this evening these words jumped off the page as to how to respond to an unexpected and confusing situation I am dealing with. Obedience and restraint. I am taking this to heart.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. 1) deep fried cheese curds are a little slice of heaven
    2) eating too many cheese curds may expedite your journey to heaven
    3) the Packers need prayers

    Liked by 3 people

  40. 4) I hit reply too early
    5) Charlie rocks a cheese hat
    6) my friends, wife, and I enjoyed your talk and then meeting you in Green Bay
    7) I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving
    8) after Charlie left the temperature dropped about 35 degrees. Coincidence?

    Liked by 6 people

  41. Sylvia says:

    Why are the writings on Josephs beautiful death deleted?


    • charliej373 says:

      Not sure what you mean, Sylvia. Nothing has been deleted here. If you are talking about the larger Church, Scripture records nothing about St. Joseph’s death, so all writings on St. Joseph’s death would fall under the category of meditation or private revelation – and so are not part of doctrinal foundation.


  42. moreen67 says:

    Just read this and watched the video….https://churchpop.com/2016/11/22/krauthammer-on-fox-one-day-well-thank-the-church-for-its-pro-life-position/……I hope the day comes soon that the Church is thanked for it’s stand on abortion and lives are saved……

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Kati says:

    Ok Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and though most of us have already been praying for our family events ahead of time, here is another good little article that might be of some help or inspiration:


    Happy Thanksgiving to all of the TNRS family here!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Jennifer Blackmer says:

    One might think in reading your piece on
    St. Joseph that Mary labored to deliver Jesus,
    that somehow Joseph was involved with the
    birth of Jesus, a birth which was miraculous from
    the conception to the wrapping of Jesus in
    swaddling clothes. Also one might think that Jesus
    sinned in the misuse of his power as God so Joseph
    had to lecture him. The whole story is flawed
    from beginning to end. What is the use of a
    story that makes us think of the holy family
    as nothing out of the ordinary a mother who
    who gives birth to her child through labor a father
    who corrects a son who is God. Instead of elevating
    and perhaps enlightening our own meditations
    on this mystery this story had made it much less
    Tradition tells us many
    things not private revelation about the birth
    of Christ. What is the point of this story, and how does that teach
    us about meditation and contemplation?


    • charliej373 says:

      It is not a sin to do such a thing out of curiosity. This story was vetted by several serious scholars – and a prominent canon lawyer before I ever published it the first time – all of whom are very orthodox. I would suggest to you that your understanding of the faith, theology, and canon law is not quite as penetrating and absolute as you think it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Sarge says:


    I understand that this is meditation, not private revelation. I also understand the role of private revelation and tradition in the church (i.e. they are non-dogmatic). With all appropriate caveats out of the way, I have a respectful question for you that I would just like to hear your thoughts on.

    You are likely aware of a tradition in the church that “tidies up” a few Scriptural loose ends.

    – In several places, there are references to Jesus’ brothers. I am not a scripture or language scholar, but I understand two explanations for this are they are in reference to “spiritual” brothers and sisters (unlikely given the context) and that there is no word in Aramaic for “cousin” so brother might have been used instead. Maybe there is an alternative?

    – Joseph was considerably older than Mary. Mary was widowed during Jesus’ public ministry. A woman in 1st century Palestine would need to be supported by a man. Mary never remarried; the salary of an itinerant preacher probably doesn’t go very far…

    – Mary possibly betrays a secret in her response to Gabriel: “How can this be for I know no man?” To tell an engaged woman that she would bear a son someday is hardly shocking or confusing news ( although I’m sure the materialization of a celestial being in and of itself would cause significant shock and confusion…you would know better than me.) What if she was confused because she had made a personal vow of celibacy?

    What if: Mary was Immaculately Conceived and dedicated to the Lord. She took a vow of celibacy as a living symbol of this dedication. Sts. Joachim and Anne, however, would have temporal and practical concerns. They would need to find someone who would take Mary into his house and support her. Someone who had no interest in starting a family of his own. Or…someone who already had a family. A widower maybe?

    Enter St. Joseph. “A righteous man” who already has children from a previous marriage (perhaps his first wife died during childbirth?) He agrees to take Mary in, will “keep up appearances” and allow her to live her vow, and he already has good standing due to his other children. It is a perfect arrangement…until Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy. That concern was assuaged in due time though.

    This now explains how Jesus could have older brothers (step-brothers actually). Perhaps all of the sons worked together as contractors (“Who builds a tower without first calculating the cost…”) The older sons would have been financial security for Mary after Joseph’s passing.

    To my knowledge, this does not conflict any dogmatic teaching of the Church: Mary was ever-virgin and immaculately conceived, St. Joseph was her most chaste spouse, perfectly living his station in life: first as a single man, then as a married man, then again as a single man, finally in the role unique to him as foster-father of the Redeemer and defender of the Virgin Mother of God.

    This seems plausible to me, but I would be interested on your take.

    Peace to you in this Advent season.


    • charliej373 says:

      When I was going through RCIA, even though I knew cousins were always called brothers and sisters in ancient Israel, I was dubious about Jesus having no genuine siblings. I was caught off guard and accepted in a moment the perpetual virginity of Mary and that neither she nor Joseph had any other children. You see, I am a student of history. Ancient Israel was an honor culture; living certain standards was absolutely critical. It was while contemplating Jesus giving His mother over to John’s care that it flashed before me. In such a culture, the care of the woman would pass over to a sibling. To do otherwise would be an unforgivable insult. Your scenario would not work because, though as her only natural son, Mary’s care could have been given over to Jesus instead of the oldest of son of Joseph, it would have still been an unforgivable insult and desecration of Joseph for it not to pass to his oldest son after Jesus death.

      Second, Joseph was significantly older than Mary – but that is only unusual in modern western culture. In ancient Israel, it would have been most unusual for a woman not to be at least 10 to 15 years younger than her husband.

      So if ancient Jewish culture was just like modern western culture, your scenario would be plausible. But your scenario posits several things that would be astonishingly (and to people of the time) offensively unusual in the actual culture that then existed.

      Your thought process does resemble my own early thought processes. I would have eventually have come fully around to the Church’s teaching because of my docility and burgeoning belief that it is all right and true. But I originally came around to it for the purely secular reason that it was entirely consistent with the historical cultural norms of the time and my meanderings were based on modern sensibilities rather than authentic ancient ones.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Sarge says:

        I forgot about the handing over to John at the Cross. I agree that that would not be consistent with the theory that Jesus did have half-siblings.

        Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly and respectfully respond.

        Liked by 2 people

      • As an aside:

        In Parts of Africa, it is not atypical for a man in his 40s to take a woman in of much, much earlier years.

        In the Semetic-influenced Parts of Africa, the medical problems stemming from this tradition is sadly very relevant. It was common that a very young, peri-menarche woman would be given in marriage amongst certain Orthodox Churches and due to her not fully developed physiology/anatomy she ran greater risks giving birth at such a young age.

        In Her Wisdom, the Roman Church, in order to prevent in part these disasters as well as other sociological travesties, put into Canon Law the lawful age of Marriage.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Sarge, beyond Charlie’s Response (which I did not read yet, since I love to live life on the edge), you might contemplate the Feast / Memorial of November 21 to get some insights into your Questions… …now onto reading Charlie’s Response…

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Oh, you’re killing me YD. Yong Duk, the Bishop with an edge (and this time, it’s personal! as they say in the movie trailers)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sarge says:

        Yong Duk,

        Thank you very much for the response. I had never heard of the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. It did shed light on my question.

        I feel very lucky to have my question answered by a bishop and by someone who may be a modern prophet ( I will reserve final judgement on this matter for a few more weeks. Even if things don’t go exactly as predicted, I nonetheless think Charlie has great spiritual insight and knowledge of the faith, so I value his opinion.) Thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules to respond.

        God bless. Keeping you both in my prayers.

        Liked by 2 people

  46. “In my Father’s house are many mansions…

    I go to prepare a place for you – John 14:2”

    Thanks for these words mate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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