Conscience Protection

religious-freedomv2

There is a renewed call for legislation to protect conscience rights in America. This plea is going out via various Catholic movements, apostolates and news sources. A Catholic News Agency article discusses the urgency. Articles, videos and suggestions for becoming informed and acting, a next right step, are at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site. Amidst these efforts, last week, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a ruling that florist, Barronelle Stutzman, who was fined for not serving a same-sex wedding, while following her conscience, violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

On President’s Day, February 20, 2017. Msgr Charles Pope addressed religious expression in America by considering the two presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in his article I reprint here: Two Presidents at Prayer. (You can visit Msgr. Pope’s blog by clicking the title of his piece.)

Two Presidents at Prayer

We live in an age of often strident secularism. If a religious utterance is made by a government official (or it would seem, even a First Lady) a loud cry goes up from an increasingly hostile minority. The platitude about “Separation of Church and State” is usually bandied about, a phrase that does not even appear in the Constitution.

Free Exercise clause – It is true that the First Amendment decrees that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, but it also specifies that it shall pass no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. This second pillar, protecting religious expression, is eroding. Increasingly, the claim is made that religious bodies (especially the Catholic Church) have no right to attempt any influence in the legislative process. But this, of course, would limit our ability to freely exercise our faith, a major tenet of is that we should evangelize, be a light to the world, and testify to the truth. Secularists are increasingly proposing that the only acceptable place for religious expression of any kind is within the four walls of a church building.

Many secularists argue that America’s founding fathers wanted it this way, that they wanted a wall of separation because most of them were either irreligious or deists. But what is interesting is that most of them spoke freely of God, including appeals to Him and His will in their remarks. This is true even of Thomas Jefferson; any visit to the Jefferson Memorial will demonstrate that. Passages from a number of his writings and speeches are chiseled into the walls, and most of them refer to God. Most of these founding fathers (who purportedly wanted this dramatic separation of Church and State) were involved in drafting the Constitution.

Many people love to point out that God is never mentioned in the Constitution, but actually, He is! The final line of the Constitution reads as follows:

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty-seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof, We have hereunto subscribed our Names:

In the year of our Lord? Oops, where did that come from? I guess the drafters of the Constitution never got the memo that God is not to be mentioned in government documents or at government functions. The Lord referred to is none other than Jesus Christ, for the year corresponds to the number of years since His birth.

The first signature on the Constitution is that of George Washington. Apparently he also never got the memo about keeping God and religion out of all things governmental, because he mentioned God frequently in his writings and speeches. Below are just three examples. The first speaks of our obligation to give thanks to God; it is a decree declaring a Day of Thanksgiving in the United States on November 26, 1789. The second is from a speech to an assembly of Delaware Indian Chiefs in 1779 and would be considered highly politically incorrect today. The third is from his last speech to the U.S. Legislature.

  1. Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:” Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789 George Washington, President.
  2. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are (Speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779).
  3. I now make it my earnest prayer that God would … most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion (Last Official Address of George Washington to the Legislature of the United States).

Abraham Lincoln also often referred to God and faith:

  1. On Faith as among the Civic Virtues – Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty (First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861).
  2. On Divine ProvidenceIn the very responsible position in which I happen to be placed, being a humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father, as I am, and as we all are, to work out his great purposes, I have desired that all my works and acts may be according to his will, and that it might be so, I have sought his aid—but if after endeavoring to do my best in the light which he affords me, I find my efforts fail, I must believe that for some purpose unknown to me, He wills it otherwise. If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced; If I had been allowed my way this war would have been ended before this, but we find it still continues; and we must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us; and though with our limited understandings we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe, that he who made the world still governs it(Letter to Eliza Gurney, October 26, 1862).
  3. On Religious Liberty – But I must add that the U.S. government must not, as by this order, undertake to run the churches. When an individual, in a church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest, he must be checked; but let the churches, as such take care of themselves. It will not do for the U.S. to appoint Trustees, Supervisors, or other agents for the churches (Letter to Samuel Curtis, January 2, 1863).
  4. On the Justice of God – Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-mans two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether” (Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865).

These are just a few samples showing that the aversion to any religious reference is relatively new, and is a disposition unknown to our founding fathers as well as to those of Lincoln’s era. These quotes do not “prove” that Presidents Washington and Lincoln were perfect Christians or that they were never critical of any aspects of religion, but they do indicate that they both understood the importance of religious faith to our country and were quite comfortable articulating both the need for faith and its benefits.

Extremism – Recent attempts to completely ban any religious expression, any spoken appreciation for religion, or any encouragement of its practice, would surely seem extreme to these men—extreme and far removed from the embrace this land of ours has historically extended to faith.

Washington and Lincoln did not hesitate to invoke God, ask His blessings, and exhort their fellow citizens to hearty prayer. Let us pray for our country and all of our leaders. Happy Presidents’ Day!

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114 Responses to Conscience Protection

  1. You’re right, Beckita. In fact, all 56 signers of the US Constitution were Christians .I once had an online discussion with a college student who had been taught by his professor that they were secular. It took awhile to convince him, but he submitted to the facts eventually. Here they are;

    Episcopalian/Anglican 32 57.1%
    Congregationalist 13 23.2%
    Presbyterian 12 21.4%
    Quaker 2 3.6%
    Unitarian or Universalist 2 3.6%
    Catholic 1 1.8%
    TOTAL 56 100%

    The battle today is between those of us who rationally believe that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written vs. those who think it’s a moving target. If the opposition win and it’s decided that it’s a developing document, then there’s nothing to prevent us ultimately being overwhelmed by a secular US population. After all, that’s where our society has seemed to be trending over the last 50 years …

    Liked by 9 people

    • Beckita says:

      Wow, Dave! Thanks for these stats. I have to say the line which repulses me: “The constitution is a living breathing document.” Oi

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Thanks for the tally, Dave. But I have a question, or maybe a quibble: somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think that Unitarians and Universalists were actually Christians. I had always thought that they were more like the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Am I missing something?

      Liked by 5 people

      • You are absolutely correct. I had thought that in those days, that Universalist/Unitarian were more mainstream theologically. But I looked it up and they haven’t believed in the Trinity from the start.

        Liked by 2 people

      • MarieUrsula says:

        I’ve heard it said that Unitarians/Universalists believe in at most one God (said by someone in jest). I will say that those I know personally are explorers and people of good will.

        Liked by 3 people

        • zeniazenia says:

          Hi MarieUrsula, In my opinion that would be a good way to sum it up. My son’s in-laws are Unitarians. The grandfather-in-law was a pastor. I was at their house recently for his mother-in-law’s birthday party and she told me about something she was praying for, so she believes she can ask God for help. She has asked me to pray intercessory prayers when problems come up. Others in their church may not hold onto that belief about prayer. I never asked about baptism. Perhaps they have something like a dedication–don’t know. They are certainly people of good will but sadly confused about the valuable gift of the beginning and ending of life. Love– ZJ

          Liked by 1 person

        • To explore with good will is to be alive. I think that Adam and Eve became explorers the moment they lost the Garden… and we’re all explorers since.

          Liked by 5 people

    • Cambook says:

      Not to nitpick, but the 56 signers were for the Declaration of Independence. The lone Catholic signer on the Declaration of Independence was Charles Carroll of Maryland. There were 39 signers on the Constitution, two of whom were Catholic: Daniel Carroll (Charles’ cousin) of Maryland and Thomas FitzSimons of Pennsylvania. Peace in Christ!

      Liked by 4 people

      • You’re right, Cambook. I picked the wrong list. But the 39 signer were Christians too. in those days in the USA, it would have been a rare occasion to run into a person who identified with today’s secular ideology.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Cambook says:

          I pray that our nation will return to its Christian roots! As someone who works in public education however, I have grave concerns for what our youth is being taught and which direction that will send us as a nation. May God help us correct our path before it is too late.

          Liked by 8 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            Hi Cambook, God is Good. He seeks the salvation of all. Sometimes that hunger and thirst for righteousness comes from the emptiness of being taught the opposite of God’s Truth. We need to have our spidey senses ready to know when to give them the pure beauty of Truth. –ZJ

            Liked by 5 people

          • radiclaudio says:

            I agree, but remember, God can cover a,lot of ground quickly when He desires. Let all keep praying and TRNS to support Him.

            TJtM

            Liked by 3 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            Regarding your concern Cambook, today, I pray for your intentions and all the intentions of TNRS, on my knees and meditating on Isaiah 49:24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? 25 Surely, thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. Lighting a huge candle at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy to burn with our prayers😄 Love– ZJ

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            ZJ, thank you for your faithfulness in praying for TNRS community and lighting all those many candles at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. My DM Chaplet today will be offered in union of prayer with you for all here.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Here’s a site that lists all the signers of all the critical documents involved in establishing the American nation;

      http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

      Liked by 6 people

  2. ddbrohard says:

    I have tried to unsubscribe and it didn’t seem to work, please take my name off your email list, thank you and God bless you+

    Dianne D Brohard, OCDS

    “Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” — St. Ignatius Loyola

    >

    Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Ddbrohard, please check your email for my advice on how to do this. Sorry to see you signing off of email updates. Please do come back if you ever feel the need. We will happily welcome you again.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. radiclaudio says:

    Amen, amen!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SteveBC says:

    Thank you, Beckita. It is good to remember this at a time when so many are not only forgetting it but actively trying to expunge where our country came from.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. BD says:

    Thanks Beckita. It is a shame we need to legislate against the efforts of the Godless.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Kati says:

    A MAJOR source of secularization in our nation comes through our public system of education….and, unfortunately, our Catholic schools have been greatly watered down in regards to teaching the faith.

    Let’s pray regularly for this to change. St. John Baptist de la Salle…please pray for us and help us with this.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Julie Gilson says:

    Thank you Beckita for this article. I read a book, which I strongly suggest, called The 5000 year leap, the miracle that changed the world. It is the 28 principles from our founding fathers. I read this book and I found the part about separation of church and state very interesting. Our founding fathers came from England at a time where England had a national religion. The pilgrims left that country due to religious intolerance, among many other reasons. Our founding fathers meant that the USA could not have a national religion-that is what they meant by sep. of church and state.They didn’t mean that you could not say the Our Father in a public space, could not pray, etc. Interesting to note, each state could have their state religion.

    Liked by 8 people

    • madkatmomma says:

      Exactly right Julie. This country was founded not only by Christians but by Christians who came here BECAUSE they could not freely practice their religion in their home country. My maternal ancestors were French Huguenots who specifically came here to escape persecution (they were a variant of Calvinism). Religious freedom is not just another freedom, it is the bedrock of our freedoms, upon which all other freedoms rest. Morality is endowed by our Creator (as the Declaration of Independence so eloquently attests) it is not a construct designed by man. Democracy doesn’t work if you don’t have a underlying moral truths upon which one can calibrate human activity. What is so tragically ironic today is that by adhering to secularism and moral relativism, the legislature gets all tangled up in its own inconsistencies and hypocracies trying to “play God”. Legislating moral truth from a secular world viewpoint is futile because relativism by definition has no ultimate truth.

      Liked by 9 people

  8. mbrandon8026 says:

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

    The sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in today, not only in America, but around the world, is the fruit of not following TNRS. Charlie did not invent TNRS, but proclaimed it wisely and widely to all who would listen.

    Msgr. Pope has written about two great American presidents doing just that, acknowledging God, taking the next Right step, and being a sign of hope for others.

    Both met resistance, one even dying for what he believed, but they did not waver.

    The recent court ruling in Washington State against Baronelle Stutzman is a sign of the absence of hope. There are many similar signs around the world. Being a sign of hope in the absence of hope is difficult, particularly where the hopeless rail against us with angry words and rhetoric.

    Where evil is present, grace abounds. We must resist the diabolical, not by using the tactics the diabolical use to gain their advantage, but by loving as Jesus has taught us. Those humans fighting hardest to overturn the values our nations were founded on, are our brothers and sisters. They are pawns in the devil’s plots to steal their souls, and ours from the hand of Our Saviour. It is all too easy to dismiss them, or return like for like.

    It is far harder to show Mercy, but God’s Justice is Mercy, which is the convergence of Love and Truth.

    God Bless You All

    Michael Brandon

    Liked by 14 people

  9. pvaldez7 says:

    Beckita,

    Great historical remembrances ! It is very easy for many people to forget how our Lord was an integral part of forming our nation and if we shut Him out, we pay the consequences of our actions.

    Thank you again for publishing this information.

    Paul in Katy

    Liked by 8 people

    • Beckita says:

      Amen, Paul. Msgr. Pope is a great voice expressing Truth in these times. I do hope people will visit the USCCB site and discern what their NRSteps might be to engage in the cause for bringing forth legislation that we can, rightfully, be guarded by conscience protection.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. CrewDog says:

    Would someone here please explain again why 2017 will NOT be the Year the SHTF!! In today’s news we have the usual Murder, Rape and mayhem plus the now usual Fake News, Subversion, Sedition, Criminals called “Teens”, Racial Division and Undocumented Terrorists ;-(

    “Seven Days in February–Victor Davis Hanson”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445091/never-trumpers-subvert-presidency-talk-coup-impeachment-assassination

    “Chris Matthews and SPLC fall for Hoax Even the NYT” says is a Lie… Again–Colin Flaherty
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/chris_matthews_and_splc_fall_for_hoax_even_the_nyt_says_is_a_lie_again.html

    “UMich students demand no-whites-allowed space to plot ‘social justice’ activism”
    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31322/

    “In age of Trump, apocalyptic rhetoric becomes mainstream”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0222/In-age-of-Trump-apocalyptic-rhetoric-becomes-mainstream

    “Facebook Groups Warn Immigrants About ICE Raids, Checkpoints”
    http://www.vocativ.com/404788/facebook-groups-warn-immigrants-ice-raids/?

    “300 protest in Anaheim after videos show off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens”
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-anaheim-20170221-story.html

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Charles Rooks says:

    As much as I enjoyed some of brother Charlie’s musings about life, and, as an older Catholic man, I could appreciate some of his common sense remedies for a soul’s spiritual malaise, it now seems that he is in a good place of self imposed exile. He got his two bits and 15 mins of fame in and left at a good time. I wish him well and hope to see him on the other side.

    This site is not the same without Charlie.

    Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Charles, you are correct that the site is not the same without Charlie. You are not correct that Charlie has had his 15 minutes of fame and has ended his mission. He is very much still active in many ways, but he is not posting any more unless circumstances change, and then he will do it through Beckita. Charlie will not retire until July 5, 2018, and continues to advance his mission until then. He is working as hard as before but on different activities, ones that are not public in nature.

      I know a lot of people think he has simply stopped all activity and retired, but that is a misunderstanding of his decision not to post publicly for a while. He definitely did *not* end his mission. 🙂

      Liked by 12 people

    • Charles, I’m kind baffled when folks express that sort of sentiment. Clearly, one moment is never like the next, as Our Father is God of Surprises.

      I came here looking for encouragement, then figured it was more worthwhile to try to encourage instead. Honestly, I was never looking for anything from CJ, but being the smart fella he his, he gave me a gift nonetheless. He challenged me. And not being a foolish fella, I accepted that challenge.

      Stick around and you’ll find a lot of encouragement here, and if you’re looking for a good challenge… heck, there’s plenty of folks here who can be really challenging (in a good way) too.

      Liked by 10 people

  12. Fiorella says:

    Does anyone have any specific examples of what Msgr Pope was referring to when he said there are “Recent attempts to completely ban any religious expression, any spoken appreciation for religion”? Thanks so much! Scary times for sure 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bob says:

    Bathroom policy a sign of hope:

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Thanks for sharing, Yes, this certainly appears to be a daunting challenge. You know, it doesn’t even stop at the attacks on our religious freedom. Heck, has anyone tried to wave an American flag lately without suffering some sort of backlash?

    It reminds of a something… I think with a little lesson and comfort in it.

    Some years ago I hatched an NRS. I wanted to make a gesture, which consisted of planting an American flag up on a certain mountain where many in this part of town would be sure to see it. So I headed up. Once up there, I took extra care to pick the perfect spot (e.g. – highly visible, but on a peak that would discourage the average Joe from scaling up there and taking it down). Mission accomplished, so I headed back down, occasionally turning around to have a look at the spot. Oh, it wasn’t a little flag, but the further back down the mountain I got, the smaller it became to my sight. By the time I was home, you couldn’t pick it out if you didn’t know precisely where it was. In fact, I needed a good set of field glasses to see it.

    Of course by nightfall, even the field glasses were of no use.

    Later that night I headed out to the garage to locate a couple of things, which I put in a pack. Towards sunset the following day, I made the flag trek again to the top of the peak, reached in my pack for a couple of battery operated floods, and lit it up. Anxious to get home, I think I only turned around a handful of times. Upon finally reaching the backyard, I finally took a look. Yes. That definitely did the trick.

    One could certainly say that the flood lights were the key, but I also add that the dark was… a necessary piece.

    God Bless,
    MP

    Next Up: I’m feeling inspired… so I’m heading up there again with a flag AND a cross (at least the biggest cross I can manage).

    Liked by 15 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      I am praying that your mission is accomplished. Inspiring MP! ❤

      Liked by 5 people

    • justsayin392 says:

      Yes, MP , and i daresay, the treks up and down the ‘mountain’ are ‘necessary piece[s]’ too…

      Liked by 5 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Good morning MP,
      Coincidentally, last night I took the evergreen wreath off of my house and put my flag up for display. It was getting dark and I was just checking that the spot was lighting it before I read your comment. Yours is an inspiring effort on the mountain top. The flag and the cross on the mountain top is so TNRS.
      You mentioned suffering backlash at the thought of flying flags and being patriotic. It threw me back to having a meaningful conversation and a teachable moment with my 30 something son right after President Trump’s first attempt at a travel ban. It so hit home for both of us that night, and we were amazed at the joy of some of the travelers who were allowed to enter the United States after they feared that they might be forced to go back. It was all we both needed to see, to know that for most people this is the greatest county without a doubt. With all our problems past present and future, we both felt a surge of patriotism that night, knowing how much it meant to people to be allowed in. It was so good to see such unbridled joy. We were so happy for them. Absence or threat of absence does make the heart grow fonder. Keep up the good work wearing your faith and your patriotism on your sleeves. May God bless you too. — ZJ

      Liked by 5 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        … and know that I am with you as you carry that cross up the mountain. You may be called to do this as a solitary effort but I wouldn’t be surprised if others would line up to help.you trek that cross up the mountain during Lent😊

        Liked by 7 people

        • Thanks, ZZ. You may be interested to know that the plan has evolved rapidly, because I appreciate a certain meaningfulness to things. By chance, I’ll be in Hawaii next we, so I’ll be paying a visit to the the Arizona War Memorial in Pearl Harbor. I checked their gift shop online and indeed, they sell American flags there. That first flag I took up the peak was the one I was given at the end of my service in the USN. It also happens to be from the Arizona War Memorial. Fitting, I think, because the Arizona was named at the time for the newest state in the Union –– and this is Arizona. I’m also going to pick out a good stone from that area, and bring it back with me to be placed at the foot of the cross. Oh, me and stones. I guess I just happen to be fond of this passage: “I tell you, He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.” — Luke 19:40.

          I’ll be taking my son and his buddies (the older members of the Don Bosco Adventure Club) up the peak with me this time around. I’ve decided to fashion the cross from the skeletal remains of some towering Saguaros that are scattered all over that part of the mountain.

          Three doors away from me, there’s a retired Navy vet that flies his American flag daily. I’m going to pay him a visit to see if he wants to donate some cordage to help me fashion the cross. If that old fella happens to tell me he has some connection or another to the Arizona, I won’t be the least bit surprised.

          God willing, the trek happens on May 30. That’s the day the Arizona War Memorial was dedicated –– in the very year I was born. It also happens to be St. Joan of Arc’s feast day. I couldn’t think of a better day for a NRS.

          Liked by 11 people

        • Speaking of meaning…. gosh, I forgot a couple of things.

          That peak towers above a Canyon known around these parts as Hell’s Canyon. Obviously I hate that name, so have always thought of it as Hidden Canyon. That’s where I built the Cross of Cairns over the years. Moving forward, I think I’m going launch an effort to get that renamed as The Arizona Memorial Canyon.

          Over the span of a decade some years ago, I found myself frequently commuting between here and the West coast. Along a barren stretch of memorial highway, there was a tiny gas stop and cafe at Chiriaco Summit that roped me in with this sign: “Best Homemade Pie.” It was run by a family and the matriarch had a profound devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. There’s a shrine dedicated to Her there, where I spent many a time chatting with that woman (and the Our Mother). That commute was 6 hours one way, and it was the only place I ever stopped. That stretch of memorial highway also happened to be dedicated to the Arizona.

          At any rate, you can bet Our Lady of Guadalupe will be with us on the trek. That, and I just felt remiss if I didn’t work a ‘pie’ reference in there somewhere.

          Liked by 10 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            You have been blessed with an abundance of meaningful references. Keep right on going and thank you for your service. Careful with those Saguaros now :). May God bless your effort to rename the Canyon.

            Liked by 2 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            This says everything about the universe and the God of our universe. It gives me chills — “I tell you, He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.” — Luke 19:40.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Julie says:

            My personal next right step was to detox off extended release morphine for osteoarthritis of the spine after 12 years of use.

            As long as I was “doing it FOR Jesus” it was pure misery. The very day I asked Mary to help me “do it WITH Jesus” the pain lessened, He showed me the ‘joy of the cross’, and sent an unasked priest to my house to hear my confession and bring “Food for the journey”. Amen and Alleluia! God is in charge of our universe. May we bring in every soul with us as we run into the Heart of our Heavenl Father.

            Liked by 9 people

          • justsayin392 says:

            MP- Your NRS has evolved into a beautiful pilgrimage! I have no doubt that Our Lord and Blessed Mother are delighted that you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to breath His Special Graces so generously into your efforts.

            Liked by 4 people

    • madkatmomma says:

      Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside CA still has it’s cross, originally put there by St. Junipero Serra (I think) but there have been some big fights over it.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. jlynnbyrd says:

    CrewDog, the battle between good and evil seems more tangible universally than ever in our lifetime. These things must come, and this battle is always present. Our armor is our will to serve God, no matter the cost.
    Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be signs of hope in its midst and hold fast to the Barque of Peter.

    This morning’s #dailyeSpiration from Steubenville Conferences, https://twitter.com/go2steubenville:
    We should always be prepared to share our Christian witness should the situation demand it.

    and the quote from Gratefulness.org today:
    While we cry ourselves to sleep, gratitude waits patiently to console and reassure us; there is a landscape larger than the one we can see. – Sarah Ban Breathnach (Photo by Dan Fador)

    Trust, Do, Love. ❤

    Liked by 9 people

  16. Rita Maes says:

    keep up the good work Bekita.

    Blessings arby

    On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 8:36 PM, The Next Right Step wrote:

    > Beckita posted: ” There is a renewed call for legislation to protect > conscience rights in America. This plea is going out via various Catholic > movements, apostolates and news sources. A Catholic News Agency article > dicusses the urgency here: http://www.catholicnewsagen” >

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Joe Crozier says:

    What would you say to President Trump if someone took a shot at him?
    Donald Duck.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. Bob says:

    This on Spirit daily. Spiritual warfare against the President. Let us pray on his and on our country’s behalf:
    http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/witches-target-trump-with-mass-occult-ritual/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      I’m glad you brought this to our attention, Bob. Praying the Precious Blood over this disturbing event.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Bob says:

      I was thinking last night of how I used to pray a daily prayer of spiritual protection and I used to include a prayer that those who send us or desire us evil that God will intervene and send them a blessing instead. This in addition to prayers asking God to block and to bind any evil away from us. If there is any positive here it is that the battle is now in the open and perhaps more folks will become aware of the spiritual realities we face in this civil war we have been speaking of of late. So let us all pray that God will bless those who curse and protect us all from evil.

      Liked by 6 people

  19. justsayin392 says:

    Beckita, I saw this story posted on the Church Militant website regarding witches organizing to curse President Trump. May we recommit ourselves to prayer for the Preseident and government.No more masks indeed!
    http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/witches-to-cast-spell-on-president-trump-at-midnight

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Starshine says:

    Those on this site might want to google- Phillip Illsley in the UK, and his article titled, ” The Tribulation of Communism, led by Russia.” What an eye opener!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Well, Starshine, this link contains material which needs serious discernment when considering its assertions. The contents are comprised of a layman’s opinion of what *could* transpire based on his personal interpretation of his favorite private revelation. Mr. Illsley clearly uses the expression: “in my view.” He beautifully echoes the call of Our Lord and Our Lady for prayer as well as urging some important Christian actions, such as forgiveness, for leading good lives which will redound to goodness in the world. At the end of his document, Mr. Illsley makes a prediction that none of the girls from Garabandal has ever explicitly stated. I’m sure Mr. Illsley means well but I don’t see mention of any spiritual director guiding this man’s predictions based on his personal interpretation of certain private revelation. God does have a Plan and only time will tell exactly what will unfold. God bless you and all here.

      Liked by 4 people

  21. ftsohsp says:

    Prayer for Deliverance from:
    http://www.cukierski.net/blogs/news/16104184-prayer-for-deliverance?utm_source=Cukierski+Newsletter+Email+List&utm_campaign=011c135ac2-The_Precious_Blood6_25_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1660819f48-011c135ac2-181490601&mc_cid=011c135ac2&mc_eid=4fced4484b#.WLAg-_0zXJK
    My Lord, you are all powerful, you are God, you are Father.

    We beg you through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of heaven , come to our aid.

    From anxiety, sadness, and obsessions.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From hatred, fornication, envy.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From every though of suicide and abortion.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From every form of sinful sexuality.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult.
    We beg you. Free us, O Lord.

    Lord, you who said, “I leave you peace, my peace I give you”, grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy your peace always. In the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Joe Crozier says:

    Snowy – thank you for rallying the heavenly troops.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      JoeCro, i had to come back and say that in case you have misunderstood my comment, I posted what Pope Francis said to you to sooth your battle-weary heart and bring you a little joy and a smile 🙂 . I know how much you love him. I was praying for you throughout that whole battle. God bless you, JoeCro!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Oh I forgot, I know how much you love Charlie too! 🙂 heehee. So absentminded these days!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joe Crozier says:

        Funny enough I was thinking about you today at mass Snowy. I bring my enemies with me when I go up to receive communion. I also bring my friends. I knew you were praying for me throughout the battle as was Beckita. My thanks to both of you. I am all bandaged and balmed now, back on my feet and getting on with life. After mass a friend came and sat down beside me. My eyes were closed in thanksgiving. He waited til I was finished and then asked me to sponsor him as a deacon in training. I was overwhelmed and of course said I would be honored to do so. I had a beautiful Asian child sitting next to me. I did not know her but she gave me great joy in her smile. The mass was said by a retired bishop who confirmed two new Catholics one of which was a patient of mine. She had invited two non- catholic friends to her mass of reception into the Church both of which were patients of mine. This was their first mass. I was able to show one of them our statue of Our Lady of Akita about which she had heard. There are so many ways in which we can witness to the faith. Fr Alan Fudge in London once said that our ashes on Ash Wednesday are a declaration that we are not afraid of our imperfections or of others seeing them. They are a real badge of honour. A declaration that we are sinners – “Oh happy fault.” We are human. We just have to be willing to try to be better and to let God take care of the deficit. Another good man once said that our defects are like the fault lines in marble – that’s what makes it marble. There is a certain beauty in the imperfection that is appropriate to our humanity. It keeps us humble, approachable and loveable. It makes love essential to our salvation. How often does marble play a part in the heart of the home – the marbled bench in a kitchen. We are strong but we are fragile. We last for years yet shatter easily when too much force is applied. Care in needed to preserve our usefulness. So as todays reading says do not worry about what you are to wear or eat or drink . Consider the lilies. Today God will provide for all our needs. And then THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND ALL YOUR MIND AND ALL YOUR SOUL AND YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. I needed to he reminded of this. It’s more important to win souls than to win battles. Insofar as I failed in this I failed in battle. But I have learned a valuable lesson – again. Thanks Snowy and Becks – you are such good wee souls as are all my other friends here on TNRS. You help keep me on the right track by taking the next right step.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Christene says:

    I just wanted to share this exorcism prayer that I have been praying daily for the past year. The hour may be growing darker but that just means that every heart filled with the light of Christ, even the ones with merely a tiny flickering flame, will shine all that more brighter!
    BE NOT AFRAID!!
    POWERFUL EXORCISM PRAYER
    Kyrie eleison. God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and Almighty, You Who made everything and Who transforms everything simply by Your will. You Who in Babylon changed into dew the flames of the “seven-times hotter” furnace and protected and saved the three holy children. You are the doctor and the physician of our souls. You are the salvation of those who turn to You. We beseech You to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power, presence and machination; every evil influence, malefice, or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against your servants. Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory, and charity. O Lord, You who love man, we beg You to reach out Your powerful hands and Your most high and mighty arms and come to our aid. Help us, who are made in Your image, send the angel of peace over us, to protect us body and soul. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against us by corrupt and envious people. Then, under the protection of Your authority may we sing, in gratitude, “The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear?” I will not fear evil because You are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages. Yes, Lord our God, be merciful to us, Your image, and save your servants from every threat or harm from the evil one, and protect us by raising us above all evil. We ask you this through the intercession of our Most Blessed, Glorious Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the most splendid archangels and all yours saints. Amen.”
    ANIMA CHRISTI

    Liked by 6 people

  24. Snowy Owl says:

    JoeCro, there was nothing left to do but pray. Someone came and talked about cyber-bullying and I guess that did it. It’s being closed.
    I felt so bad about all of that and then today I saw what Pope Francis said, “”The Christian heart is always full of joy. Always. Joy received as a gift and kept in order to be shared with everyone.” and that made me cry. Truth is always so simple and so beautiful. I really love him! 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  25. Phillip Frank says:

    “At the end of the day, whether one likes the pontificate of Pope Francis or not, what we are seeing at this hour is the clear emergence of the weeds among the wheat, of those who are obedient to the Gospel and those who aren’t. And perhaps this is the intention of Christ all along. After all, it is Jesus—not the Pope—who is building His Church.”

    The above piece is from Mark Mallett.
    He was commenting on how our present pope has been making a “mess” as he puported to do, but more importantly how this mess is being handled by the faithful and how it has more and more separated us into two groups…those who are FOR this pope and those who are AGAINST him.
    But Mark is revealing a kind of movement I have been seeing emerge in the whole world, not just in the Church. The widening of what I have invisioned as a line in the sand which Jesus drew while asking us “who is for or against Him?”
    I was trying to explain this perception to my wife yesterday. It is as if the immergence of so much darkness and evil “relativism” is being more and more accepted and even promoted and celebrated, that it is allowing our deepest and darkest inhibitions to rise and appear now socially unmolested.
    That the nature of the goats and the lambs
    is becoming clearer and clearer. That the storm is the “awakening” of our deepest inner selves, our deepest desires, wants, fears, rebellions, our last stand, our great NO! (or yes).
    But this opening of ourselves has also been happening to us, the “remnant”. I see it every day, we who profess christianity lambasting another’s christianity because our world view is different…better? Who told you it was better….you? Credentials anyone? Oh I know, we quote our favorite source to condem another’s favorite source, but do we really have that source rightly understood in OUR minds?
    I remember reading a book by Father Benedict J. Groeschel where he turned my “world view” on its head. It actually sent me into a “dark night” period for a few years. You see, I thought I had it all figured out what God was about and how I fit in.
    Groeschel showed me something different and for a time I thought he was WRONG! I thought I was conservative and he was just too liberal. But I realise now that for me it was like Jesus speaking to the Jews, bringing about a clearer understanding of His great love and not the narrow-minded safety net of self. I recognised this when I first came to this site. Charlie was gifted at expanding my horizon and having been through the dark night with Groeschel, I quickly recognized this for what it was and happily entered into open discussions with his kindred spirit.
    As this storm continues to whirrel our world view ’round, my hope is in getting it right….for me.
    And I pray you get it right….for you.

    Liked by 9 people

  26. moreen67 says:

    Wow talk about taking the next right step – latest message from Our Lady….February 25, 2017 Message to Marija

    “Dear children! Today I am calling you to profoundly live your faith and to implore the Most High to strengthen it, so that winds and storms cannot break it. May the roots of your faith be prayer and hope in eternal life. Already now, little children, work on yourselves in this time of grace, wherein God is giving you the grace – through renunciation and the call to conversion – to be people of clear and persevering faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Please, all here, pray for our young people. Teens these days are under so much pressure to conform to the spirit of the world. Even very young children are being taught, at home and at school, that religion is irrelevant. One of my students, a beautiful unbaptized teen named Janelly, related in class that she has mentioned to others at her school that she goes to religious instruction on Mondays. The sarcastic reply she received, “People still go to church?”

    She’s taking the next right step. Pray that, when the darkness covers all, she will be a sign of hope. Peace and blessings to all here.

    Liked by 10 people

  28. Kris R. says:

    I have today (Feb. 26th) listed as Charlie’s birthday.
    Am I right? If so, Happy Birthday Charlie!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Doug says:

    Nice Presidents fay tribute Beckita!

    Liked by 1 person

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