Invitations can be rich with possibilities to consider and explore. First, I invite us all to place the prophetic elements of Charlie’s work in a personal place where we let them rest from analysis and parsing. One might discern to cast them completely aside. Another may still believe they will come to pass in God’s ways and time. Either way, let us set them to rest for now. From the inception of this blog, the focus has been on our core message which I repeat for any new readers: Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. In this, we shall continue as we see before us the ongoing chaos, confusion and division in our country. It is fierce. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read Dennis Prager’s piece, I think you won’t want to miss it: America’s Second Civil War
Secondly, I invite you to consider that we have entered the 100th year since Our Lady appeared in Fatima. Fr. Richard Heilman writes of the first apparition: “The anniversary is May 13, 2017. Many people are wondering if God may do (or allow) something soon to “shake us up.” (I wrote about it HERE – this is the most “shared” article I have ever written).
As we watch terrorism rising up everywhere around the world, relations between nations in steep decline, a false economy ready to collapse, morality at an all-time low, pre-born babies murdered by the millions, marriage redefined for the first time in all of civilization, adult men allowed to share a bathroom with little girls, religious freedom under assault, corruption and collusion rampant within our government, and confusion in our Church … people are asking, especially as we enter this centennial year of Fatima, “WHAT DO WE DO NOW?!?!”
Fr. Heilman has proceeded to initiate Nineveh90 as a response to the problems of our time and this 90 day period of prayer and mortification begins on Monday, February 13th. There is power in unity and, already, thousands have committed to the cause. From the website: “For our Nineveh 90 journey, which includes both men and women, we are embracing the great values of mortification, a support system, and the research in the behavioral sciences that says 90 days is about the time needed to change bad habits. We will also be using some of the tried and true supernatural elements. Namely, the Brown Scapular, 54 Day Rosary Novena, and the 33 Day Preparation for Marian Consecration.” While there are additional resources at the website, where you may sign up to join in this effort, encouragement is given to shape your spiritual program to fit your personal needs: Nineveh90
Lastly, I invite you to join in contemplation with one of the Josephs from the Old Testament, our Joseph connected to a coat of many colors. As we look upon this hurting world, as we have been through a major shift here in this community and as we continue to pray for one another in all our many needs and trials, Joseph’s ways and attitudes reveal wisdom which we, too, may choose to embrace. They provide a path to peace while building ironclad trust in the Lord. You may wish to pick up the Bible to read Joseph’s story in its entirety. Here is a synposis, written for catechesis, by a friend who is a priest :
“Abraham’s son, Isaac, married Rebecca and they had the twin sons, Jacob and Esau. In time, Jacob married Rachel who gave birth to Joseph. Jacob had four wives and 12 sons, but he loved Joseph the best because Joseph was a son of his old age. He made him a colorful tunic. Joseph’s brothers were envious and hated Joseph. Joseph had two dreams about his future greatness and this made his brothers even more angry. (Gen. Genesis 37)
One day, Joseph’s brothers were tending sheep in Dothan and Jacob sent Joseph to find out how they were doing. Joseph’s brothers seized him, stripped him of his tunic, first threw him into a dry cistern and then sold him to some Mediate traders for 20 pieces of silver. The Mediates, Ishmaelites, brought Joseph to Egypt and, in turn, sold him to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s chief steward. Joseph was 17 years old at the time. Joseph’s brothers dipped his tunic in the blood of a goat to make their father, Jacob, believe that Joseph was devoured by a wild beast.
Joseph in Egypt: In Egypt, Joseph’s master, Potiphar, trusted him and put Joseph in charge of his household and the Lord blessed this Egyptian house. But Joseph was very handsome and Potiphar’s wife fell in love with him and tried to seduce him. Joseph refused and was falsely accused. He was put in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph. He was also trusted and well treated by the chief jailer. While Joseph was imprisoned, sometime later, Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker were also imprisoned. They both had a dream and Joseph successfully interpreted for them. The chief cupbearer was reinstated in his position and the chief baker was executed.
Joseph Is Promoted to Be the Vizier: Two years later, Pharaoh also had a dream that nobody could interpret. The chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and recommended him to Pharaoh. Joseph correctly unveiled the meaning of the king’s dreams: The seven fat cows and the seven healthy ears of grain are seven years of plenty; and the seven gaunt and ugly cows and the seven shriveled and thin ears are years of famine. Pharaoh should collect and store the extra grain of the abundant years for use for the years of scarcity and a wise man should do this job. Subsequently, Joseph was appointed vizier and put in charge of all Egypt. He was given a gold chain on his neck, a chariot and a wife and he became second in command in Egypt.
Joseph traveled through the country during the seven good years and stored mountains of grain. Just as Joseph predicted, the fruitful years were followed by unproductive years. Meanwhile, Joseph’s wife, Asenath, the daughter of Priest Potiphera, gave birth to two sons whom Joseph named Manasseh and Ephraim.
Jacob Moved to Egypt: Meanwhile, famine spread everywhere, including the land of Canaan where Jacob and his family lived. Jacob sent his ten sons to Egypt to buy grain. He kept the youngest, Benjamin, at home. The ten brothers presented themselves to Joseph. Joseph recognized them and spoke to them sternly, accusing them of being spies. He put them in custody for three days and let them go back home with a supply of grain but he demanded that they bring to him their youngest brother. He also kept Simeon as pledge. The brothers did not recognize Joseph and Joseph spoke to them through an interpreter.
When they ran out of food, Jacob had to send his sons back to Egypt. Jacob very reluctantly let them take Benjamin with them for Joseph had demanded this. Joseph put his brothers to the final test. After he wined and dined with them in his own home, he sent them away, placing his silver goblet in Benjamin’s bag and, then, accused them of stealing. He wanted to keep Benjamin with him. The brothers suffered much anguish. Finally, Joseph, with great emotion, revealed his identity. He dismissed the Egyptians and alone with his bothers said: “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt…do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you… So it was not really you but God who had me come here. Hurry back, then, to my father and tell him: ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come to me without delay…’” (Gen. 45, 4-9)
Joseph provided his brothers with wagons, provisions, jackasses and clothing and sent them back to Canaan. Upon hearing the news Jacob was dumbfounded and overjoyed. The whole clan migrated to Egypt and settled down in the region of Goshen. Jacob was 130 years old.
From this astounding story, we see how the Lord our God works! His design is incomprehensible to men. He always draws good out of evil. So when we find ourselves in impossible situations and not knowing the whys and hows in our lives, we should never lose trust in Divine Providence. GOD ORDERS ALL THINGS FOR GOOD.”
One summation of Joseph’s ways which I favor: No matter the problem, don’t nurse it, don’t curse it, don’t rehearse it, but to God disperse it and trust Him to reverse it.