For Our Priests and Pastors

kolbe-elevation

By Charlie Johnston

For the last few years, I have been amazed at how deeply our Priests, Pastors, Deacons and Nuns care for us. I have had the great joy of traveling the country – and when I am on the road, I usually have two or three private meetings a week with groups of Priests and Deacons, small individual meetings, and orders of Nuns. So much is going on behind the scenes as these wonderful people labor (usually in obscurity) to bring hope to those they care for – by truly living the hope that is in Christ. They worry about how to do the work effectively. If you could see how deeply, how tenderly, how intensely so many care and give of themselves…how they worry whether they are getting it right…you would be profoundly heartened at the state of our faith.

Last year, Karen Pullano, who runs the lovely Godversations site, wrote a marvelous open letter to Priests. I am going  to reprint it in its entirety here.

But first a few things….

Some of the TNRS team asked me to put up an appeal for the family of an infant, Isabella Dejesus, who is struggling. I do not put these things up unless it is something I personally have verified or a key member of the team has checked. And of course, that is not the primary focus of this site, so I am sparing in putting them up. That said, Baby Isabella and her family have had a great struggle, my team has checked it, and so if you have a little, I ask you to check out the story on the GoFundMe Page for her. Please pray for Isabella -and in this season of light, if you can, help relieve a little of the financial pressure on her family. She has three siblings.

*******

It has been a great year for pro-lifers. The bad year for Planned Parenthood (PP) is going to get worse in the next year. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I am going to put up a review of the last year. The House Select Committee and a Senate Committee have done pain-staking work to issue multiple criminal referrals in the trafficking of baby parts. They have dug in to do the hard work, laying their case brick by brick instead of making flashy headlines. You don’t hear PP much trying to confuse the issue publicly these days, because it would rather not talk about it at all. You see, David Daleiden and Congressional Committees have not just found a smoking gun; they have exposed a closet full of smoking guns. That has not just put PP in a precarious situation: it has caused some of their government allies to hedge their bets a little rather than going all in for fear of it backfiring both politically and legally.

Yesterday, former Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Sunni Mitchell was formally relieved of her duties with the Harris County, Texas District Attorney’s (DA) office. You may recall that she ran the Grand Jury that had been charged with investigating Planned Parenthood. In one of the single most astonishing acts of arrogant hubris I have ever seen, she instead collaborated with PP to twist the Grand Jury into railroading Daleiden and his partner in developing the videos, Sandra Merritt. Both charges were dismissed as this astonishing effort to weaponize the justice system came to light.

Texas Right to Life President Jim Graham vowed to oppose the re-election of Republican DA Devon Anderson, who presided over this travesty while playing pro-lifers for chumps. Anderson was trounced in the election. Graham caught some heat from career Republicans for the radio campaign he authorized against Anderson. But he has sent an important message to all, including career Republicans: you can’t count on social conservatives’ support by sending them quislings and playing them for chumps. If we had more pro-life leaders like Graham, Planned Parenthood would have been on the run a long time ago. The dismissal of Mitchell sends a message that if you weaponize the justice system to help your buddies at PP, you are no longer immune from consequences. That’s a good, solid piece of work.

*******

And now, the marvelous piece from Godversations by Karen Pullano:

By Karen Pullano

An open letter to our beloved Catholic clergy, here in the Syracuse Diocese, and everywhere

Dear Father (Bishop, Deacon, Brother,…):

On a Sunday morning in July, I arrived at Mass a mental, physical, and spiritual mess. The busy summer schedule had me running ragged in an effort to keep all my little darlings (7 of them) busy and happy, as well as meeting all of my basic responsibilities. As the weeks of summer wore on, the frenetic pace caught up with me and the physical toll meant that I started sleeping through my “prayer time” alarm every morning. That is always the first sign on the slippery road to spiritual wasteland in my experience. I felt like I was in a vast desert with no water in sight. I doubted that even Mass could restore me to peace.

This particular Sunday, we had some (all-too-common) teenager miscommunication and couldn’t get all the kids to Mass. It was either some of us or none of us, so I was overwhelmed with frustration at life in general and myself in particular. Couple that with grieving the recent loss of my mom, the 2 year-old still-stinging loss of my oldest daughter, and the 7 year-old ache of missing my first-born son, and this mama wanted to throw in the towel. I never would, but it’s the honest truth of how I felt. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, overburdened, and feeling inadequate and powerless to fix any of it. I truly love and live to serve as a wife, mother, friend, and member of the body of Christ, but often it’s a difficult and thankless job. (Often it’s not, but on this particular Sunday I had lost sight of the flip side). As the Mass began and the priest arrived on the altar, he looked right at me and said, “Karen, it is well, I am here to serve you.” OK, not really, but I heard it and felt it and in that moment my hope was restored because a faithful and devoted servant of God was standing his post.

Later, I wondered in awe at the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a holy and devoted priest in the Church today. Do you get lonely, irritated, tempted, selfish, or struggle with obedience? I certainly do. Do you sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the tasks before you that hopelessness, fear, and despair rear their ugly head? That sounds familiar. Does living your vocation faithfully require determination, faithfulness, and lots of supernatural grace?  Welcome to my life.  As I contemplated our different vocations, (and forgive me if I’ve presumed too much), it dawned on me in a new way; if you can do it, then so can I. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.  I want you to know, your faithfulness shines like a beacon in darkness and brings relief to the desperate, like finding water in a dry desert.

I can’t imagine my life with the absence of the priesthood. I don’t want to imagine it either. You’ve been there in every joyful, difficult, sad, questioning, and holy moment of my life. You welcomed my children into the Church and to the body of Christ. By the power vested in you, you’ve absolved me of my sins and counseled me. You united my husband and me in holy matrimony thereby cementing my vocation. You prayed with us and for us in our times of devastating loss. You have been there, every single Sunday of my life, bringing Jesus truly present to this sinful and needy soul. At every Mass you are John the Baptist crying in the desert, “Behold, the lamb of God.” Without you there would be no need to respond with humility and need, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”. There would be no exchange. There would be no Mass. There would be no hope. Without you the tomb would always feel empty and hopeless.

I have experienced a taste of that hopelessness twice before. It’s a feeling that felt to me like Good Friday x1000. Twice now, we have held a wake to say goodbye to one of our children. Twice, we have greeted thousands and smiled and cried for hours on end. Twice, we have gone home afterwards to stumble through the longest night and wonder how on earth we would face the morning. The tomb was empty and so were we. Then twice again, we have said goodbye and closed a casket and trembled on our way to a funeral Mass, silently screaming to God to let this cup pass us by. Both times we arrived to escort a casket into church and approach an altar flanked with you holy men of God. Devoted in service to Truth, you were standing there like pillars of strength and compassion. You represented the reality of eternity when we were tempted to wallow in the temporal. You represented Resurrection! We needed you and you were there, many of you, silently screaming back to us that we were not alone. When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer together. We never walk alone. Those two funerals changed me in many ways, but the royal priesthood standing up for us is something I will hold dear forever.

I have felt since our son died seven years ago, that if his death helped bring one beloved soul home to our Savior then he did not suffer or die in vain. I would suffer it all again knowing how precious every one of us is to our Lord. The same is true for our daughter. So many beautiful testimonies of faith stemmed from her death and I know there is so much wisdom in allowing her to leave us. I freely offer Michael and Anna and trust in Jesus to work it all for good. I simply wanted you to know that by your faith this one soul has been soothed and saved.

From the very depths of my heart, I thank you:
I Thank you for answering your cell phone in the middle of the night when a terrified and desperate mother needed to know you were praying for her child.
I Thank you for going to the hospital, instead of to bed, to offer prayers and comfort when my mother was afraid and facing the end of her life.
I Thank you for the many house calls to unite our family in prayer when our son was dying of cancer.
I thank you for bringing Mass to our home when we were too distraught to bring ourselves to Mass.
I thank you Bishop for the personal hand-written, snail-mailed letter of encouragement and affirmation that renewed my strength again and again.
I thank you for your service to the kingdom of God.
I thank you for standing for truth, especially in the face of growing persecution for daring to speak it. The thing is, your faithful flock knows the Truth deep within and we need you to reaffirm it. The voices of the culture would have us buy into the lies and we might be tempted, if not for your voice of truth. As long as there is a spark of light, there cannot be total darkness.
I thank you for your prayers and Masses. You will likely never know what they have meant to me this side of Heaven.

May you have the courage to stand strong in this world as the tide rises against all that you have given your very lives for, and the fortitude to suffer for the Truth no matter what lies ahead. Just as you have reminded me time and time again, when you walk in obedience and service to the Truth, you never walk alone.
With gratitude, admiration and love,
Karen Pullano

“The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.  When you see a priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ∼St. Jean Vianney

 

About charliej373

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

  1. Carol Teves says:

    This piece has touched me no end, bringing tears to my eyes. I have been complaining to God about so many things that seem so trivial now. Thank you for sharing with all of us. God bless

    Liked by 13 people

  2. Simone says:

    Thank you, papa Charlie. I will pray for Isabella and her family. My heart seems very sad with this post.

    And this quote from the letter to priests, “As long as there is a spark of light, there cannot be total darkness” speaks so very deeply. May there always be a spark.

    Love you all.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Thank God for the gift of Holy Priesthood. And thank God more for those generous souls who have responded to His call.

    May our Blessed Mother, the mother of all priests, keep them holy and faithful through her intercession. May all the saints extend to them their fortitude and perseverance at the moment of trials and persecution. Amen.

    Liked by 14 people

    • paul meyer says:

      Speaking of amazing priests…if you haven’t listened to Fr John Riccardo, try any of his talks/homilies he’s simply the best preacher in modern times, in my opinion. This site has 10+ yrs of his talks/homilies, the most complete list I’ve found! Hope you enjoy these as much as I have.
      https://player.fm/series/fr-john-riccardos-podcasts

      Liked by 17 people

      • I concur! He has So many good talks but I particularly remember one he did on redemptive suffering that is just beautiful!

        Liked by 4 people

      • vkmir3 says:

        I first heard of Fr. Riccardo when I saw an interview that Ralph Martin did with him, but after listening to that interview, I searched out all I could find and listen to as many of this homilies I could find on YouTube and subscribed to his podcasts. Amazing priest! Just looking at information about his parish Our Lady of Good Counsel, it appears that his parish offers so many opportunities to deepen their faith and establish an encounter with Jesus. I agree with Paul, give a listen to his teachings. They are wonderful!

        Fr. Mike Schmitz, the chaplain at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, is also very good. He also works with Ascension Press, and is a speaker at many youth conferences. He is fully of energy and brings scripture alive. His podcasts are found here: http://bulldogcatholic.org/homilies-archive/

        God bless all of our wonderful priests, deacons and bishops for giving up their own will to bring us Jesus.

        Liked by 8 people

      • kat3116 says:

        Fr. Riccardo is the pastor at my daughter’s parish. He is a very gifted speaker. His podcasts are wonderful!

        Liked by 3 people

      • …and Fr. Wade Menezes, Fathers of Mercy and frequent EWTN homilist
        Always preaching TRUTH… and compassion for bringing the children of God back 😇

        Liked by 2 people

  4. the phoenix says:

    It so happens that last Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, I took a photo that seems symbolic as far as liturgy, Sacraments (Baptism), Mass, Feast Days … all related to priests.

    I call the photo below “River Reflections.” Taken at Rocky River, it shows an ice fisherman. It may be hard to see at this size, but if you enlarge the photo, you will see a wooden marker with a small pink flag on shore at the foot of the tree closest to the water. Seems to me the symbolism of this photo includes:

    1) The fact that it was taken on Gaudete Sunday.
    2) The fisherman standing in the river, representing John the Baptist who appears in the day’s readings, as well as being perhaps a precursor to the apostles (fishers of men).
    3) The small pink flag like an Advent candle for Gaudete Sunday.

    Liked by 22 people

  5. dianebelvs says:

    Thank you dear Charlie, for your latest message. I love the Open Letter to Priests so much, I am thinking of sending it to my favorite priest friends. It is beautiful, as are they, for all they do for us faithful. God Bless our priests and all here.

    Liked by 11 people

  6. Padre says:

    We thank you for all your prayers, sacrifices and sufferings within the Love and Hearts of Jesus and Mary and Joseph! Padre

    Liked by 11 people

  7. Linda says:

    I ditto Carol Teves.. this piece about the priesthood made me cry…oh my gosh..thank you sweet Jesus for all our holy and devoted priests…may they all be great Saints for all eternity for their great and heroic sacrifices for love of Christ and His people. ..Amen.

    Liked by 11 people

  8. Thank you for reminding us of the gift we too often take for granted in our beloved priests. Karen Pullano’s piece moved me to tears. I have never read or heard a more beautiful testimony and thank you. I worked very closely with our parish priests for nearly ten years as head sacristan and can tell you that they seldom heard such heartfelt thanks. They often heard many complaints however, and sometimes about the most incredibly trivial things. I’ve always thought that if each parishioner were required to put in one month’s work in the parish office that there would be a good deal less complaining and a great deal more compassion, love, respect and support for these dear men of God who pour out their lives for us.

    Liked by 14 people

    • madkatmomma says:

      great idea about the month of service at a parish. I don’t think people realize how much priests are subjected to harsh criticism by people who believe that their particular view of God/catholic teaching/truth/justice/mercy/mission/gospel is the only correct one and any deviance from that is wrong. Priests not only have to take the hostility from the secular world but be true to the faith while taking the slings and arrows from the “faithful”. I suspect this is one of the hardest parts of their job when they see their own miss the point of Jesus’ command to love our neighbor.

      Liked by 9 people

  9. Fr. Peter says:

    Thank you for the post. The truth is that we priests do care deeply about our people, but we are encouraged by our family in Faith, the Body of Christ. We are being taught day by day to carry sin, sadness and pain while at the same time living in great joy. It is a mystery that is only explained by love. God blesses us even as he purifies our hearts.
    But honestly, we see this same mystery of love in our people’s lives. We are humbled by the great acts of love and faithfulness we witness in the lives of our people. We persevere because we know we can’t do anything less in the light of the loving sacrifice of Jesus Our Lord. We are encouraged and gladdened by the faithfulness we see in the lives of our people. It is not a “two way street”‘ but rather, we are all on a one way street together to the Lord. Thank you God for the many faithful people, priests, religious and laity that help each other along The Way.

    Liked by 30 people

    • Beckita says:

      Beautifully said, Fr. Peter! I clearly see what you are saying and I love the way Pope St. John XXIII expressed these sentiments when he said we are saved in bunches like grapes. A strong and holy pastor with a strong and holy laity build one another up in extraordinary ways as we live our ordinary lives of Faith, Hope and Love.

      Liked by 12 people

  10. Mick says:

    Thank you, Charlie.

    May God bless all priests–past, present, and future.

    Liked by 10 people

  11. SanSan says:

    Thank you Charlie and the TNRS Team……your generosity humbles me. God bless all here.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Diane Grose says:

    Hope pp will be gone by next year, but I read obama signed into law that pp can’t be defended??? This letter, written so humbly & beautiful, touched my heart, spirit, & soul❣❣❣ Merriest of Christmases, Charlie to you & your family & every blessing in the New Year🎄

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Thank you Charlie for this truly lovely piece, I personally am very greatfull for my parish priest Abbe Nulaud who IMHO is the best PP I have ever come accross ,he not only looks after his large parish but also takes care of his aged mother (90 odd) . However I know deep down inside that there very many like him throughout the world.
    My prayers are assured for Isabella, Joyeuse Noel to everyone.

    Christus Vinci

    Liked by 9 people

  14. Sue Werner says:

    I also have experienced the goodness of my parish priest; many times. Most notably when my first husband was killed in a snow mobile crash. It was the young priest’s first week at our church. He was so kind to me and the kids. I was in such a bad place. But that was almost fourteen years ago. Now in the present, our beloved Fr. Paul had a stroke during Mass on Sunday. He is doing very well, but please keep him and all our priests in your prayers. Merry Christmas. Sue Werner

    Liked by 12 people

  15. Tricia says:

    Thank you for this letter to clergy, Charlie. I forwarded it to our pastor and pray that it somehow lightens his load. A blessed Christmas to you and your family – we out here cherish you.

    Liked by 7 people

  16. ladycatcliffe says:

    Priests’ lives are made harder, too, I think, by the lack of brother priests and loss of support staff. Many live alone in rectories now and feel isolated. Fifty years ago, when the rectory in my parish held six priests, they were served by a cook and a housekeeper. One day a few years ago, I happened to notice through a basement window, that one of the parish priests was doing his own laundry! This should not happen! With all their pastoral burdens, they have to worry about clean clothes – and cooking their own meals and cleaning the rectory! What is worse though is that, in old age, in my diocese priests have to save for their own retirement and pay into Social Security. The diocese will no longer provide for them. What does that say about the children if they do not care for their fathers in their old age? Yet the number of young men entering the priesthood is increasing here, even though they know the conditions going in.

    Liked by 13 people

    • I do my own cooking and my own laundry, my Lady! Only when living in a particularly inhospitable region did I have someone to help as getting out the clay and dust from my clothes took knowledge that the local people had, but I still cooked for myself or ate what the Sisters served the Orphans.

      Liked by 12 people

  17. victura98 says:

    Whenever anyone offers me a heartfelt word of “thanks” for my life as a priest, especially when their sincerity is beyond doubt, I pray God will reward them just as Jesus rewarded St. Veronica on the Via Dolorosa. Her reward (Jesus’ permanent image on her veil) greatly outweighed her act of kindness, because she broke through the hostile crowd to offer her Christ a moment of care–when he needed it most, and when no one else would. The Lord made his gratitude to her miraculously clear. I pray Jesus will do the same for anyone who helps a priest on his own “Via Dolorosa,” because I promise you, in just the same way, the priest is grateful to you beyond expression.

    Liked by 31 people

    • Another Karen says:

      Dear Father, what a lovely sediment. I truly hope there are MANY heartfelt thank you’s in your ministry from a grateful flock that you serve, and hope that the same is true for all of the priests (and bishop) here and everywhere. You all deserve so much, especially support from those you serve as you face battles seemingly from all sides (especially these days with as much opposition happening inside the church at times as without). I appreciate all of you who post here to offer guidance and wisdom, and hope you know how much you do for us as we journey through these times. Thank you for that blessing that you are to us, and may God bless you all with courage, strength, wisdom and understanding as you work faithfully for the salvation of souls.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Dear Father(s) and Bishop YD, and all other clergy checking in here…we owe everything to you. No matter the personalities involved, parishioners or otherwise without you, our dear faithful priests…we would have no Christ, no Real Presence. One must read Refugee from Heaven by mystic Cora Evans, Servant of God. She was explained THE SANCTITY of priests above all, even that of the archangels, Our Lady and any other saint they bow down before Gods chosen shepherds.
        They will remain forever in Gods special protection, even when they fall. This book reveals the priesthood in an AMAzing light, one we often don’t consider as lay people. When the storm reaches its fullness, we will need to turn to our priests … and they will need to turn to us to re-create Gods heaven on earth 🌏 😇

        Liked by 3 people

  18. Sarge says:

    This was a perfect piece to read with my Sunday morning coffee.

    Pursuant to the quote at the beginning of your post: I got to church a few minutes before Mass this morning. I happened to be sitting in front of the statue that is to the left of the altar in just about every church, the Blessed Mother holding the infant Jesus. I thought to myself what must it have been like to hold God in your own hands? Then it occurred to me, that in a few minutes, I would.

    Peace to all here.

    Liked by 17 people

  19. Christopher J says:

    Just went to the Baby Isabella page and saw > $6400 has been raised with a $3500 goal. Talk about a sign of hope!

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Sandy says:

    Beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Rosie says:

    An incredibly beautiful deep soulful letter from Karen Pullano. We are always so quick to ‘crucify our priest ‘ when they are part of Christ’s resources to His Ressurection. This letter brings about much meditation and prayer. Thank you for posting this.

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Magdalene says:

    We have so many wonderful priests who totally give of themselves day after day with little thanks. The few bad apples really spoil it for the holy ones! Yet to know a holy priest is one of the very great joys.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Katherine says:

    That’s a lovely letter! Priests are the most valuable treasure in our society. I grew up in the Archdiocese of Boston, I was a young teenager, I think, when all that scandal broke out. So horrible. It savaged the relationship of trust parishioners had with their priests. And vice versa. Priests had to be extremely careful, as even one false accusation made from one unstable individual could be devastating for them. One time my own pastor got in some trouble, some boys were brawling and my pastor pulled them apart. One of the mothers of the boys was shocked and outraged that he dared “touch” her son. Guess he was supposed to wave his arms and bribe them with happy face stickers to get them to stop fighting. It saddens me that good and worthy priests have to live with a kind of fear of their parishioners. It also saddens me that many in our culture have been trained to react like that, without thought or reason . . . it’s like society has been conditioned to certain stimuli. I get it as a mom . . .I have left a gas station because the little computer read-out told me to go inside to finish the transaction . . .and my baby boy was fast asleep in the car. Rather than risk someone calling the cops on me for dashing inside, I drove to another gas station ten miles away from there, just so I wouldn’t have to wake up my son. Another woman I knew was at a yard sale and her son was asleep in the car, so she stepped out of the car to check something out for a minute, she was probably no more than twenty feet from that car at all times, and someone saw “Baby alone in a car”, and immediately called the cops. I am digressing. I just hope and pray that there will be a renewal of a sense of family within parishes and a general cultural awakening from this Pavlovian brand of watchfulness and mistrust amongst one another. If we want a flood of good, solid, strong men entering the priesthood, we Catholics must do our part to help to make the priesthood something great and fulfilling to enter. We should help to restoring the dignity of the office and reach out to our priests as friends, not just public servants. Men, in particular, should make a special effort to take care of their priest. Frankly, it’s just weird for us ladies to try to fill this void by ourselves. I was sad to hear one very young priest, I’d say still in his 20’s, say that his circle of friends pretty much consisted of those who came to a “movie night” he hosted for the parish. He said it’s always just him and three or four elderly ladies hanging out. There’s a wonderful parish that I know of that has a thriving men’s group. They get together every so often with their parish priest and just have whiskey, watch a game and talk about whatever it is guys talk about. 🙂 Seems like a really good place to start in rebuilding the family of faith.

    Liked by 11 people

  24. Joe Crozier says:

    Thank you for this letter from Karen.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. theresa323 says:

    We must pray for our priest. During this Christmas season let us all remember to send a card and thanking them for answering their call to the priesthood and for persevering.

    Liked by 9 people

  26. Judy says:

    Thank you for that, Charlie – and for all those whose comments reaffirmed needed prayers for our priests….and it spurs me on to pray for my “adopted priest” even more! God bless all!

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Snowy Owl says:

    Let Us Pray For:
    The Holy Father: Fill him with Your grace, Lord
    Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops: give them your gifts, Lord
    Diocesan Priests: never leave them, Lord
    Priests in seminary work: give them Your wisdom, Lord
    Priests in hospital work: give them constancy, Lord
    Priests who are ill: heal them, Lord
    Priests in danger: deliver them, Lord
    Priests who are weak: strengthen them, Lord
    Priests who are poor: relieve them, Lord
    Priests who are zealous: help them, Lord
    Priests who want to love You: en-kindle their hearts, Lord
    Priests who are sad: console them, Lord
    Priests who are worried: give them peace, Lord
    Priests who are old: sustain them, Lord
    Priests who are young: impel them for your glory, Lord
    Priests who are alone: accompany them, Lord
    Missionary priests: protect them, Lord
    Priests who are preachers: enlighten them, Lord
    Priests who direct souls: instruct them, Lord
    Parish priests: make them perfect, Lord
    Priests and religious who have died: bring them to Glory, Lord
    All the Church, militant and suffering: Lord, have mercy.
    Sorry this is so long for here, but I really love this prayer 💜

    Liked by 17 people

  28. deereverywhere says:

    Thanks for the clarity on the judicial system….that would make it a weapon of mass corruption..(groan,)

    Pray ing our marvelous priests and baby Isabelle💟

    Liked by 5 people

  29. jlynnbyrd says:

    That is a beautiful pray for our beloved priests. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  30. KimS1111 says:

    We are fortunate to have a wonderful Priest at our parish, Immaculate Conception. I often wonder if he follows Charlies site because of his homilies…..and the beautiful picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that he placed in the foyer. Today, his homily was on Joseph. How he is often forgot about, pushed to the side, but shouldn’t be. See Joseph has his whole life planned out ahead of him, he met the love of his life, was planning to marry and start a family. Then the worst happened, Mary was pregnant. His life was forever to be changed, his plans and dreams gone. But he TRUSTED God, and what God has planned for us is always MORE wonderful than we could ever imagine or dream of.
    See, Joseph is us. Mary is pure. without sin and above us but Joseph, he was just like us with our dreams, plans and fallen nature. He trusted God and that’s what we need to do too.

    Liked by 6 people

  31. Harriet says:

    Beautiful letter from that Mom… tears… truth!
    thank you!!!
    we are so blessed with our godly priests!!! Thank you to each of them!!! Everywhere!!!
    Love & Prayers!!1

    Liked by 3 people

  32. sodakrancher says:

    Beautiful letter to the priests . I have been blessed in my years to have known only “good ” priests . Thank you for all you and your team here do Charlie . We had minus 35 degrees here in central South Dakota this morning . Took care of the skeeters I think for a few months .

    Liked by 11 people

  33. Jacquie says:

    I passed this on to our parish priests. Told them, “this is you”…. and thank you. It’s a little long for most priests this time of the year but do hope they read it and learn of our appreciation.

    Liked by 7 people

  34. zeniazenia says:

    Good Morning TNRS, May we, priests prophets and kings by our Baptism, stand silent in His presence. May His True Presence in the Eucharist, in the Church and in His Word, heal us so that we may carry out God’s mission for us in facilitating His healing of others. May nations bow down to Him! May He rescue us.
    “O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!”
    “O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!”
    “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.”
    first three O Antiphons” of Advent Praise God!

    Liked by 6 people

  35. al chandanais says:

    Thank you Karen, truly a beautiful offering to our Priests.
    It is said “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”. Our Priests are those candles. From our Pope to our Priests they work, standing with us as our leaders of our faith. For 2000 years they have stood for what is right and Holy, they have Lovingly washed their hands giving themselves that Jesus the Christ could take over and change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our beloved Savior. They work tirelessly standing between us and the satan as they pray for us and bring us back to reconciliation to The Father. They have found themselves against the wall in many ways and have stood for the Love of God and his children pushing back in the most humble ways possible. We are blessed in so many ways by these men who have taken upon themselves the most difficult of work, going against all the world considers good in the most clearest position possible standing for God in the face of great adversity teaching us and challenging us to be more than we want to be. We are children of God, children of our Priests who stand for God at all times. They are an inspiration to all who are willing to seek them and a Ray of Light envelops them that is truly from God alone. God Bless our Priests and may we bless them always.

    Liked by 7 people

  36. MP I’m sure you saw as many of us, your friend’s ND grotto pic and your enhanced light grotto photo hit Spirit Daily today! Good work 😊… a perfect way to get many who are visual (as I am) a reason to delve. It’s what we get passionate about that gets others noticing. So whether it’s in preaching, serving, listening, art, music and nature( 👍🏼) you name it…we are ignited to recognize Gods work through our faith and His creations.

    SPirit Daily website is where I first picked up on Charlie’s message, so I’m kind of partial to it. I’ve always been attracted to the supernatural workings of God. Back when I was 10-11 yo, our next door neighbors mom kept an old Polaroid B&W photo on her dresser. My playmate (her daughter) showed it to me and told me her mom took it when she was younger as snow fell on her bushes hedge in their yard. The snow fall in it’s recesses and the contrast (as the grotto rocks /snow)…well, It was completely the face of Jesus . The snow was on some rose bushes, if I remember and the image has stuck in my mind to this day (+45 yrs) Also your amazing highlight of your friends ND grotto scene besides amazing made me remember our little calling card last oct 2015 when I arrived in Fatima Portugal for a trip. I was on my first pilgrimage with my husband, some good friends and our beloved pastor and 3 of the sisters of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. We had two bus loads that had traveled from Orlando Fl the day before on overnight flight, arrived in Lisbon the next day, took a 2+ hour bus trip to Fatima.

    When we arrived, Fr. Stephen celebrated mass at one of the side rooms of the more modern church. Once we made our way out of that building and onto the courtyard, several of us including Sr Rachel looked across the courtyard at the shrine. We instantly stopped and marveled at the quiet and peaceful scene in front of us after a long and hectic 2 days of travel overseas…also it was after 9pm and all pilgrimage folks had gone home. My friend Cathy snapped the iphoto to capture the serene plaza. Immediate after we looked at photo and we all saw the muted globe or orb to right of shrine. The was no moon out and we looked at reflection possibilities but other iPhone pics didn’t show it at all . So we just chalked it up to a postcard from Mary at Fatima specially sent to my friend and all of us close enough to view. Love the beauty & awesomeness of our Faith and Our Mother Mary!

    JMJ Lisa

    >

    Liked by 3 people

  37. BAD OMEN: BLOOD OF ST. JANUARIUS FAILS TO LIQUEFY.

    http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/bad-omen-blood-of-st.-januarius-fails-to-liquefy

    This is a totally new story to me. Saint Januarius died around 305. He was a bishop and martyr. A sample of his blood is kept in Naples (I think), and apparently it returns to a liquid form on three particular days every year. One of those days is December 16, the anniversary of the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 1631. When it does NOT liquefy, bad things seem to happen shortly after.

    Well, it did not liquefy this year on December 16………….

    Liked by 2 people

  38. zeniazenia says:

    Today’s O Antiphon,
    “O Key of David,
    opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
    come and free the prisoners of darkness!”
    Amen!

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Kris says:

    Dear Charlie, I dont know if you want to post this link, but I bring it to your attention as this Christmas is certainly NOT normal as you said it would be the Christmas before last. http://theweek.com/speedreads/668384/ancient-vial-miracle-blood-failed-liquefy-thats-bad-omen-2017 . This little report made me think very hard, yet as the bishop says at the end , we must pray.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. moreen67 says:

    Just wanted to say we had our last Bible Study yesterday before Christmas break and my bible study buddy, Sister Eleanora from Italy sang Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle and she did it beautifully – here are children singing the song….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAXjGiTHyjY – you can look up the translation easily online – the words are beautiful…..Merry Christmas!!! Maureen

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Deacon Rick says:

    I have read all of the comments, and am lifted up by the great love and respect you have for our priests. I would like to suggest one way to “help” our bishops and also priests, by signing up to pray a rosary for them, one day a week. The web site is http://rosaryforthebishop.org/ and you will get an email reminding you to pray for Bishop X the next day.
    I pray for each of the bishops I have served under on Monday through Thursday, and on Friday pray for the Pope and my pastor.
    This is a great way to implore our Mother to intercede and help those charged with leading our Church.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Francesca says:

    Dear Charlie and all fellow TNRS pilgrims, I give my deepest thanks for your insights, and for being a repeated source of hope and encouragement in the darkness of these several years. My family is one of those which has been hammered relentlessly, by church splits, foreclosure, job loss, business loss, surgeries, pneumonia, car accident, death and family estrangement, and on and on… Truly as Christmas approaches and we pack up the house to move who knows where, I find myself sinking in waves I cannot swim, further than ever from the shore. Some days I can’t even remember what it the shore looks like, and in what direction it lies. But your steady words have been an encouraging breeze when I felt my hope and strength exhausted. Holy Eucharist is the air which has kept me from drowning.

    Our family life has been reduced to a manna-like survival, with nothing beyond the day’s current need, even and especially in physical endurance of illness. Nevertheless, as Advent wanes, my spiritual sense is overwhelmed by excitement and hopeful anticipation. The King really is coming, and the signs of preparation are all around. The Rescue is certainly upon us; nearly every media outlet commentary echoes what Charlie has already written, about internal civil war, governments falling, bloodshed and martyrdom, civilization and economy collapsing into a ruin which is self-inflicted. Most of what I see fulfilling Charlie’s forewarning has come in a softer and more hidden way than I pictured mentally. But when I glance at it in the rearview mirror, so to speak, I recognize it clearly, even though when I first saw it through the front windshield, I could not identify it. This insight has given me great comfort, for our current moment of darkness, and in prophecy in general, realizing that my world picture is far too narrow to grasp what is spiritually happening in real time and space. Only by review and reflection do I see with clarity the specifics of prophecy fulfilled. This has lifted the terror from my heart in a profound way, since I know I’m not physically, emotionally or even spiritually, strong enough to endure the woes that seem likely to come. Jesus has seen fit to find gentler ways to bring his word about than I could ever have imagined, and I pray that lesson is well I ingrained now against my fears.

    The most gracious component of gentle mercy I apprehend more strongly every day of this Advent is that Mary is already here. How, I cannot explain, but I believe she is taking up her loving rule as Our Mother in those hearts and minds open to receive her. It may be that 2017 is the most grievous year of the Storm, but I can sense her mantle covering all. She is so good and pure and fully immersed in the love of her Son, and the love of the Sacred Heart for us. We are in the Rescue, even if we can’t see it until we have traveled further, enough to recognize it in our “rearview mirror.” She is our Heart, and she will be our courage, the Mother who suffered all and will help us to bear our own sufferings.

    A most striking thought occurred to me. Common sense and a little historical perception makes the future clear, even without the help of prophecy, apparitions or locutions. The King is coming, and his mother prepares the household for his return. She is the Queen of all, and like preparing her soul to be a temple fit for the Ark of the Covenant, she now comes in purity and joy to prepare our souls to be his dwelling. We are the temple of God’s dwelling. And at this hour of desolation, even the obliteration (abomination) of the image of God in mankind by the destruction of sacramental marriage, sexual immorality and gender fluidity will not prevail. She will order His household rightly. And then we will finally be free, “free to worship him in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life,” as is spoken in Luke’s Gospel. This year is not the time of his coming “to judge the quick and the dead,” but the real hour of his Advent, like Mary carrying her son to term in her body for nine months, and then delivering him to the world. What they foreshadowed in physical time and space will now see it’s spiritual fulfillment, and I believe it is a Marian hour. She will clean and restore his house, both in our individual hearts and in the Church, his bride. This is merely a good, common sense understanding of what a good mother would do. How Mary completes this will show us the perfect Mother preparing the world for her Son, the King of All.

    May this Christmastide find you filled with the hope and promise of the Kingdom of Christ. What our hearts have so feet longer for, our eyes shall soon see. I pray that what I have written poorly be wholly comprehended through the clarity and charity of the Holy Spirit, so that you rest secure in Mary’s protection.

    Thank you, Charlie, for showing us the path and heartening us along the way. However all these things shall come to pass, Maranatha!

    And blessed are those who will walk when necessary…😇

    Liked by 9 people

  43. Francesca says:

    Good gracious, typos even after editing. More souls flying from Purgatory?😉

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Carmel says:

    Francesca, I LOVE the images in your writing (especially the windshield/ rear view perspectives). I also have sensed a wondrous transformation taking place and am overwhelmed with gratitude. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. janet says:

    I was so touched by that beautiful letter from Karen Pullano. God Bless her. I thank her also for reminding us how truly blessed we are with our priests.

    Liked by 3 people

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