Is Peace Possible in Troubled Times?

cardinal-van-thuan

Our world is noisy with anger and division, seemingly everywhere. I try to read and listen to “just enough” news to have a sense of what is occurring in our country and world.  We can see interviews where people nearly rise off their chairs in disagreement, vying for the last, definitive word. I continue to return to Dennis Prager’s point in his piece “America’s Second Civil War”:  “Without any important value held in common, how can there be unity between left and non-left? Obviously, there cannot.  There will be unity only when the left vanquishes the right or the right vanquishes the left. Using the First Civil War analogy, American unity was achieved only after the South was vanquished and slavery was abolished.”

In this environment, social media is heated with hate, accusations, smears, aggression, ridicule and denigration of persons. This wears on the spirit as it reflects the above statement from the Servant of God Cardinal van Thuan: “The greatest  mistake is in not being aware that others are Christ.”

Observing this current phenomena which gives evidence to the reality of a civil war being fought on societal and cultural norms, please ponder with me: How can a NRStepper hold fast to the truth that each and every one of us has been created in the image of God? While we hold to our values, how *do* we also hold each person as Cardinal van Thuan advised: “The most important testimony we can give is love, forgiveness and reconciliation.” How do we maintain Christ’s Peace within and how can we BE Christ’s Peace around us? St. Theresa of Avila’s poem, Christ Has No Body, gives us food for pondering:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Another source for reflection can be found in Sr. Theresa Alethia Noble who surveyed our society, last November, and wrote her piece, “Five Ways to Find Peace in the Midst of Chaos.” In her article posted at Aletia, she expands her thoughts based on these suggestions accompanied by wisdom quotes:

*Take time to pause and pray. Prayer does not blind us to the world but it transforms our vision of the world. – Thomas Merton

*Reach out. Get coffee with someone who thinks differently. If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends; you talk to your enemies. – St. Teresa of Calcutta

*Be the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14) Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

*Ask God to reveal the source of your wounds. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. – Luke 10:34

*Find time for silence. Silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth. — Pope Benedict XVI

Finally, another source for reflection is a song by Kathy Trocolli: Go Light Your World

Christ’s Peace be with you!

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175 Responses to Is Peace Possible in Troubled Times?

  1. Ella Cammina says:

    What an inspiring post! Love the quotes. I need to go have a cup of coffee with an enemy 🙂
    and make room for more silence.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Margaret Rolen says:

    our pastor said that we have to discern at times if the person has bad will or good will (another word is ‘agenda’) without discerning that base we can’t get anywhere in helping. You cannot help a person with ‘bad will.’ and ‘agendas’ that totally differ. Remember at Christmas, “Peace on earth to people of GOOD WILL.” Without good will—-even the good Lord cannot bless a person. We need a miracle of grace, prayer. Yes, I agree, don’t fight, be patient, be reasonable and true, but truly do not lay your gold before swine to stomp on. Do not give them a chance to commit more sins by offending God Himself as they argue evil ungodly morals or such.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      Great points all, Margaret; it is impossible to make peace with someone who is hellbent upon war.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Barb421 says:

        yes Mick and this is why I don’t engage in any such discussion with my liberal friends and acquaintances-sigh, so tired that I am surrounded by these types, except in my own home thank God

        Liked by 3 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        Hi Mick, Yes, Jesus is so thoroughly kind to look at our hearts, our love, Fear of the Lord and prayer. He desires faithfulness not success. He alone is in charge of success 😊 (And He includes His Holy Mother on the way). How freeing it is to accept reality with God’s grace, knowing He Is pure Love and He Loves us all.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ella Cammina says:

      Margaret, when I thinking of having a cup of coffee with an enemy I was trying to think of an enemy who would be willing to do it! Yes, prudence always. No throwing pearls to pigs.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Servantheart says:

      For me, I need to recognize IF I am willing to UNDERSTAND another before trying to persuade or teach or whatever. We as a nation ‘hear’ but don’t seem to ‘listen’ to each other. We assume we know the others thoughts before they even speak. So for me TNRS is to ‘listen’ first and more

      Liked by 12 people

      • Sean Sullivan says:

        “…Listen first…”

        wait for the other person to speak and not interject my own thoughts, views, solutions.

        This topic came up in my confession this past Saturday. I decided it shall be my Sacrafice during this upcoming Lent as recommended by my Confessor.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheri F says:

    Thank you, Beckita. Prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Great stuff here!

    Let me relate part of the Homily we heard tonight at our Vigil Mass here at our parish way out in the suburbs. Our celebrant, Fr. Patrick, related that he had lunch today with a Sister Maria. She is at one of the poorest parishes in our vast inner city. It is a very rough neighborhood and Sister Maria is somewhat of an introvert and very contemplative. Their Pastor there got the unique idea of having all the staff canvass at random the mean streets to invite any passersby on the street in to “come inside and light a candle for Jesus” at the votive area of their church.

    Naturally, Sister Maria was a bit apprehensive, but she complied. She related to our Fr. Patrick that a large gang of very rough looking men had been walking towards her. They were all gang members. A VERY rough crowd of men. Sister Maria stopped them with a simple: “Do you men care to come into our church and light a candle for Jesus?”

    A few of the gang members responded: “No, we don’t need to see Jesus,” or “Do you know the awful things our gang has done? We can’t go in THERE.” Undaunted, Sister Maria blurted out: “Who is your gang leader in this group?” A very surly and mean-looking man exclaimed: “I am the leader! You speak to me!”

    Sister Maria snapped to the gang leader: “When you meet our blessed Lord face-to-face at your life’s end, what will you tell him when he asks you why you did not visit him at his church?”

    The gang leader and his gang were stunned by the audacity of this little Sister. (Fr. Patrick relates: “And so was Sr. Maria!”) The gang leader turned and looked at his group and blurted out: “WE are ALL going into see Jesus and light a candle, no?” The entire gang went in the church respectfully and all members lit a candle.

    That day, over 600 people on the “mean streets” of our inner city walked in to reacquaint themselves with Jesus. Gang members, drunks, homeless people–the whole spectrum of society.

    Our Fr. Patrick asked Sr. Maria how did she think so fast and do what she did, especially facing a gang of mean-looking hombres. Sr. Maria smiled at him and said: It was not me–it was the Holy Spirit using me!”

    Had to share this with our group.

    Christ has no voice but yours….

    Liked by 36 people

  6. Randy131 says:

    Why could GOD not find just 10 righteous people in the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah, whose combined populations were over 300,000 people, with two Sanhedrins and two Chief Priests, and at least a combined thousand Pharisees, Scribes, and Sanducees, yet not even 10 righteous people could be found?

    Ecclesiastes: Ch.1, Vs.9 declares, “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun.” Is this why Christian people of today proclaim that the USA is now as bad or worse than Sodom & Gomorrah? Or is it because the clergy of today are teaching the people the same that the people of Sodom & Gomorrah were taught by the Chief Priests, Pharisees, Scribes, and Sanducees of those two cities?

    Were the clergy of Sodom & Gomorrah teaching their people to accept homosexuity as a human right, because they are just sinners, even though not repentent, just like the rest of us, and today’s clergy are doing the same, while homosexuals are still spreading their sins to others, even to our childen when we hold them up as examples by instituting special Masses for them, where they are allowed to receive ‘Holy Communion’, while still practicing what GOD the Father described as an ‘ABOMINATION’ in Leviticus: Ch.18, Vs.22, & Ch.20, Vs.13?

    Were the clergy of Sodom & Gomorrah teaching their people to accept external abortion of taking unwanted new born babies, laying them on a stone table, and crushing their heads with a large flat stone, similar to what partial birth abortions do to the babies’ heads in their mother’s womb, and then tossing the dead body remains over the wall of the cities, where wild animals were waiting to devour the carcasses, while today’s clergy refuse to condemn abortion during Church, as many of their parishoners request of them, for fear of losing their precious tax exemption, making their tax exemption more important than the lives of the unborn babies?

    Were the clergy of Sodom & Gomorrah teaching their people to accept indemnity from murders, to save their lives, because the indemnity brings value for their community, whereas their death required by GOD the Father in Numbers: Ch.35 Vs.1, 16-21, 31, 33, will bring nothing for the community, as today our clergy actually preaches against this mandate of GOD’s, because murders may repent in the future and become productive members of society, and therefore in the future will then be providing indemnity for their lives, and our clergy of today proclaiming that Jesus changed His Father’s teachings, despite what Jesus said in Mathew: Ch.5 Vs.17-19. Jesus instituted a ‘New Covenant’, that included all people that accepted Him, not just the Israelites, and did not change any of His Father’s teachings, precepts, or mandates.

    So what exactly is the righteousness that GOD was unable to find in just ten members of the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah? I don’t know for sure, but I was taught that it is the “Acceptance and obedience to GOD’s teachings, precepts and mandates, through the fear and love of GOD.” So is this why Jesus proclaimed in Mathew: Ch.5, Vs.20, “I tell you, unless your righteousnes surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Is this why there were no righteous people to be found in Sodom & Gomorrah, because they accepted what their clergy was telling them, that went against GOD’s teachings, precepts, and mandates, as the clergy of today are doing the same thing with today’s Christians, fulilling what GOD has warned us about in Ecclesiastes: Ch.1, Vs.9, “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun.”

    I truly wonder if being aware of Christ in others, maintaining the peace of Christ within us, and finding peace in the midst of chaos through the actions from quotes of wisdom, will negate the lack of righteousness in us, that is being taught by our clergy today, not of their choice, but in obedience to the leaders of our religion.

    GOD did not create religion, man invented it to control the masses, and since it was invented by man, it is subject to error and sin. GOD did not create tradition, it too was invented by man to also control the masses, and therefore is also subject to error and sin. Everything that Jesus was denigrated and condemned for, was for simply violating the traditions of man, set up by the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sanducees to control the people. By Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, he destroyed the greatest of man’s traditions, that of “sin offerings” for the clergy to live off of, and why they refused to accept him as the Son of GOD, the Messiah, for if they accepted Him as such, then they would have to accept the end of their tradition that provided their livelihood.

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    • Beckita says:

      Randy, there are two kinds of religion. One kind *is* man-made, such as Buddhism, Daoism, Shintao, Hinduism, witchcraft and all manner of religions founded as nature worship. However, Judaism and Christianity are not man-made. They come from God.

      In Catholic Christianity, our beliefs come from three sources: the Bible, Sacred Tradition and the Teaching Magisterium. These sources are not subject to error and sin for they come from God Himself. Sacred Tradition is comprised of what Christ said and did but is not written down in the Bible. Rather, it has been handed down, orally, in the Church. As it is written in John 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”

      Jesus’ Perfect Sacrifice on the Cross replaced the Old Testament way of continually offering sacrifice. Of course, The Lord’s Sacrifice is re-enacted at Mass each day and this will continue through all eternity.

      Randy, I urge you to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning the Mass. Here’s a link: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2.htm Randy, YD also thought of a good apologist as a reference, such as Scott Hahn. This made me think of Hahn’s book, The Lamb’s Supper, an excellent read.

      Liked by 17 people

    • Sorry, I’ve read your text numerous times, but cant find a foothold for reason. You apparently don’t actually go to church, but hold strong prejudice anyways. I suggest you have a cup of coffee with an actual Catholic priest and listen, read the Catechism.
      It sounds like you have been subject to some anti-Catholic books out there, my mother had the same problem, and it totally blocked her from hearing the truth due to this “secret knowledge about the the church that even Catholics dont know”. I pray that you find the humility to hear.

      Liked by 11 people

    • Ah, Randy… another explorer. Good. We were also just discussing the necessity of combining it with good will.

      After following your thinking, observations and rationalizing, I’m left with the notion that you think Jesus had it wrong. Why didn’t He just skip the Law and the Prophets, skip the observances and traditions, skip the Temple…(i.e. – skip “Religion”)? According to you, maybe He should have just taken the folks of His day in a completely different direction –– away from those things (i.e. – away from God). And yet, He clearly did not. He was obedient and observant to perfection, because as He clearly said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” — Matthew 5:17. Fulfill it, He did… and not just to the letter of the Law, but to its fullest potential with obedience to the Spirit of the Law.

      I could go on providing Scriptural passages that clearly show Jesus observing, practicing and perfecting the Faith as it existed in Judaism, but I’ll leave that exploration to you. Jesus, was not only the Son of God, but He was a faithful Son of the Law too.

      I agree that there were those in the Sarcedotal class who got it wrong (i.e. – they practiced the letter of the Law, but failed in the spirit of the Law). That’s an easy trap for folks to fall into. I’m sure some of them started out with good will, but later encountered various pitfalls –– the chief among them rationalizing –– and succumbed. Then, rather than take seriously the calling to be Masters in the Faith, they became masters of rationalism, thus leading others astray and away from God to the point that He said of them,

      “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” — Matthew 23:15

      And to justify that reproach, there’s this: But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. — Matthew 21:15

      As I mentioned earlier, this was same Word Who said this: “For I truly tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” – Matthew 5:18

      Maybe my favorite chapter in Matthew is 5. There He gives us the Sermon on the Mount.

      The Faith as given to us shared with us through the Bible, Sacred Tradition and the Teaching Magisterium is a vast thing to explore. Just don’t cling to one tiny line of thought to rationalize your position and thing that constitutes having it pegged.

      Keep exploring –– and with good will.

      Liked by 14 people

      • A kind reply to our friend Randy, MP.

        I suppose the important characteristics of being a good explorer is setting aside strongly held preconceptions and prejudgment, keeping an open heart, open eyes, and open mind, and possessing a desire to find the truth.

        Hope you are well, my friend.

        Liked by 11 people

        • Hey, Patrick. I see that time spent at your wilderness hermitage has been time well spent. You reminded me of a time I was sitting on a log in the wilderness, deep in thought. Something touched my shoulder, and you would think by the way I came off that log and reached for my hatchet that I was ready to confront a mountain lion. Turns out it was just a little cricket. The little fella dropped to the ground by my boot. All I could do was chuckle and set him back up on my shoulder once I got my wits about me.

          I hope Custer Park is treating you well. If not, I’ve picked you out a nice spot down along the river. I could certainly use the help with the Don Bosco Adventure Club kids. They’re still making cricket jokes.

          God Bless,

          MP

          Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            😂😂😂 Love it, MP.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Hi MP,

            I thought I replied to your post but see I didn’t. Thank you for the very tempting offer to pitch my tent down your way and work with the kids. I really enjoy my hodge-pudge bunch up here teaching them manners, science, cooperation, basketball and sportsmanship. It’s very satisfying work – particularly for a guy without children. Besides, a little desert warmth is starting to sound good right about now.

            Funny cricket story. Ah yes, the willies. Sometimes it don’t take much to make us “burly” men jump. It took me a while to relax last October when I first setup my home before getting used to the spiders and earwigs crawling up the tent wall – though nothing compared to hearing a pack of coyote howling or a mountain lion screaming – “oh my!” While stargazing, I got seriously spooked a few nights ago when some huge owls broke the silence as they started rustling in some nearby pines. Then one launched into flight my way and I almost dove for cover. What I wouldn’t give to see some crickets!

            Well, wilderness living will sure toughen a guy up.

            Have a blessed Lent, MP.

            Liked by 7 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            Hi Patrick, I was driving along, doing about 80, one very unusually warm September night after work, going up through the Keene Valley, NY to my son’s college for Parent’s Weekend. I had my car window open with my hand sticking out ( don’t know if that is ever a good idea but I love to do that when my spirit is soaring in the perfect weather). There was a mountain on one side of the highway and Lake Champlain to the east, when an owl probably underestimated my speed and just missed hitting my hand which in turn kept it from ending up in my car, and both of us in the crevasse. It was definitely scary and cool at the same time, especially happy he got his mouse. I am an explorer too MP. Thank God He has always kept me safe. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

      • zeniazenia says:

        Continuing on your train of thought MP,–And to justify that reproach, there’s this: But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. — Matthew 21:15

        The Romans et al also knew Jesus rose from the dead, but with hate and jealousy in their hearts, came up with lies and rehearsed their stories to stop the Truth from being told and to hide their sins.

        Liked by 2 people

      • A wonderful post and a beautiful piece of advise, MP. ” When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

        Liked by 2 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Dear Randy, You assert that religion is man made, but you would need to prove that God did not make seven covenants with His people. I would look at the holiness that Jesus speaks of in the sermon on the mount as what was missing in Sodom and Gomorrah. Love –ZJ

      Liked by 1 person

    • Stephen Maresch says:

      Randy,

      You don’t even know it or realize that when you take such an all is lost approach, you negate Jesus’s words “on this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. In your view Jesus has failed to maintain the truth within his Church. Or as Paul describes in 1st Timothy 3:15, ” But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” The Church came first then the Church decided what writing would make up the scriptures 400 years after Christ had died, so for all those years and even now the Church is where the truth is taught and maintained, Jesus keeps his promises.

      Liked by 5 people

    • jaykay says:

      “with two Sanhedrins and two Chief Priests, and at least a combined thousand Pharisees, Scribes, and Sanducees,”

      Randy, there were none such in the two cities of the plain. Those institutions and sects came much, much later in Jewish history.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There weren’t any Jewish scribes, Sadducees, Sanhedrin or Pharisees in Sodom and Gomorrah, Randy. Abraham was the world’s first Jew (see Gen 17) and none of the associated religious trappings had yet been developed. The destruction of Sodom took place in c.2000 BC which was about 600 years before Aaron became the first priest. The 613 Laws that created the need for Jewish priests wasn’t given to Moses until at least 500 or 600 years later, around 1400 BC.

      It’s quite likely that there were pagan religions active in those towns, and no doubt they would have had their religious officials. But, for example, the Pharisees that you are referring to didn’t come into existence until around 167 BC, almost 1,900 years after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Furthermore, the population of these cities were quite small by modern standards, more like towns really, with perhaps 10,000 people at the most.

      Here’s a fascinating article about them from Biblical Archaeology, usually a quite reliable source;

      http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx#Article

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Rose says:

    I cannot locate you on Facebook. Sorry confuse!

    Like

  8. Leslie'sOwn says:

    Thank you for reminding me of this song. Our kids learned it last September to lead a group on retreat as we all sang and passed our flame on to our neighbors until the dark room was lighted. What a special song. I had never heard it before and had forgotten!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Christene says:

    Beckita,I just downloaded and am reading Archbishop Chaput’s new book Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post Christian World.

    Actually, I’m not reading it……I’m drinking it down like someone who has been crawling through the desert for 4 years and finally found an oasis of water. I am drinking down huge gulps of sparkling, crystal-clear, cool, delicious water and every word is another drop that is revitalizing my parched spirit. I am in tears, it is so beautiful. Here are just a couple of passages within the first few pages;

    “Thus, believers don’t have the luxury of despair. And the idea that we can retire to the safety of some modern version of a cave in the hills isn’t practical. Our task as Christians is to be healthy cells in society. We need to work as long as we can, in whatever way we can, to nourish the good in our country and to encourage the seeds of a renewal that can enliven our young people.” from “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World” by Charles J. Chaput

    “But religion only works its influence on democracy if people really believe what it teaches. Nobody believes in God just because it’s socially useful. To put it in Catholic terms, Christianity is worthless as a leaven in society unless people actually believe in Jesus Christ, follow the Gospel, love the Church, and act like real disciples. If they don’t, then religion is just another form of self-medication. And unfortunately, that’s how many of us live out our Baptism.” from “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World” by Charles J. Chaput

    “More than fifty years after Vatican II, the world is a bloody and fractured place. Some of those fractures reach deeply into the Church herself. But this isn’t news. It’s always been so. Scripture is a record of the same story told again and again, in different ways but always with the same theme, for more than three thousand years. God loves man. Man betrays God. Then God calls man back to his friendship. Sometimes that call involves some very painful suffering, and for good reason. God respects our freedom. But he will not interfere with our choices or their consequences, no matter how unpleasant. As a result, the struggle in the human heart between good and evil—a struggle that seems burned into our chromosomes—projects itself onto the world, to ennoble or deform it. The beauty and the barbarism we inflict on one another leave their mark on creation. But still God loves us, and his love endures forever.” from “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World” by Charles J. Chaput

    Is there any way we could engage in a discussion of this book on some special section of this this blog if enough people were interested in reading it? I haven’t been in a good book discussion in YEARS and being home bound, my only hope is to find one online. What do you think?

    Peace!!

    Liked by 14 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you for these excerpts, Christene. Archbishop Chaput has been an outstanding shepherd’s voice, for many years, guiding and encouraging Catholics to give witness to our faith in the public square. What I can do is use the excerpts you’ve provided to write a post promoting this book as a resource for NRSteppers. As sherpas in our own locales, we may well be heartened by this book in ways that encourage us to defend the faith and the faithful in these difficult times. The book might provide a common language for us as we discuss these concepts moving forward. God bless you.

      Liked by 11 people

  10. Christene says:

    Ok…….just one more snippet;

    “TIME PASSES. TIMES CHANGE. Watersheds happen. I sat down to write this book for everyday Catholics and others who love Jesus Christ and his Church more than they love their own opinions; people who know that something’s gone wrong with their country, but don’t understand why, or what to do about it. That expression—“ everyday Catholics”—needs some unpacking. In twenty-eight years as a bishop, what I’ve seen is this: Most of the adult Catholics I know have families and demanding jobs. They’re often harried and fatigued and distracted. But they’re nobody’s fools. Most of us ordinary believers were born with plenty of intelligence, and today more than ever, we need to use it. If our mass-media culture works to make people shallow, gullible, angry, and dumb much of the time, it’s because we let it. Since you’re reading this book, you’re probably different. You probably like to think, and want to think, as a grown-up real person, in a mature Catholic spirit of faith. And you might suspect (wisely) that too many people aren’t thinking at all. Adults deserve adult food for thought, and in these pages I’ll try to honor that.” from “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World” by Charles J. Chaput

    RUN, do not walk, to your nearest Catholic bookstore and get this book. Or order it online, or better yet, get it on Kindle and start reading it now! It will take your breath away! I am literally having to put my iPad down and close my eyes and take deep breaths because my heart is racing and pounding in my chest! This book is GLORIOUS!!!!

    Liked by 13 people

  11. Andy14 says:

    I always find it difficult between loving the enemy and yet still letting them know I don`t condone the evil that they are doing. And this is where silence and action (Christian action I mean; caring for the sick, binding up the wounds, visiting those imprisoned) have helped the most. I don`t try to argue anymore (I`ve already been told there`s nothing I can say to change anything they believe).

    Anyway, I`m in day 14 of Nineveh 90 and boy the fasting has been difficult….is the anguish of living among left-wing liberals and all their angst a form of fasting.. cause if I have to do that and less food I think I might break

    Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Andy, God knows our hearts and desires amidst the challenges we each face. Your words made me think of the Prophet Isaiah’s words.

      58 True Fasting

      1
      “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
      Raise your voice like a trumpet.
      Declare to my people their rebellion
      and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
      2
      For day after day they seek me out;
      they seem eager to know my ways,
      as if they were a nation that does what is right
      and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
      They ask me for just decisions
      and seem eager for God to come near them.
      3
      ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
      ‘and you have not seen it?
      Why have we humbled ourselves,
      and you have not noticed?’

      “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
      and exploit all your workers.
      4
      Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
      and in striking each other with wicked fists.
      You cannot fast as you do today
      and expect your voice to be heard on high.
      5
      Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
      only a day for people to humble themselves?
      Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
      and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
      Is that what you call a fast,
      a day acceptable to the Lord?

      6
      “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
      to loose the chains of injustice
      and untie the cords of the yoke,
      to set the oppressed free
      and break every yoke?
      7
      Is it not to share your food with the hungry
      and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
      when you see the naked, to clothe them,
      and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
      8
      Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
      and your healing will quickly appear;
      then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
      and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
      9
      Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
      you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

      “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
      with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
      10
      and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
      and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
      then your light will rise in the darkness,
      and your night will become like the noonday.
      11
      The Lord will guide you always;
      he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
      and will strengthen your frame.
      You will be like a well-watered garden,
      like a spring whose waters never fail.
      12
      Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
      and will raise up the age-old foundations;
      you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
      Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

      13
      “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
      and from doing as you please on my holy day,
      if you call the Sabbath a delight
      and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
      and if you honor it by not going your own way
      and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
      14
      then you will find your joy in the Lord,
      and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
      and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
      For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

      Liked by 10 people

      • Andy14 says:

        Thanks Beckita, I needed that….back to the battle

        Liked by 9 people

        • jaykay says:

          “is the anguish of living among left-wing liberals and all their angst a form of fasting.. ”

          Andy14, arguably, we’ve all been living in that millieu for at least as long as there’s been mass-communication. Right from the days of the dominance of the old dead-tree press. They’ve only morphed into another form, although much more pervasive. One always had to discern about what was right and what was… pushing an agenda, whatsoever its political completion, although I’d say the left-wing agenda was probably always there. But in the last couple of decades I’d say the bias has become absolutely naked and in-yer-face – all our modern media, practically. Yet… we enable them, by exercising our choice to buy/watch/download them. It’s still on our hands to deny them their (financial) air. So, STARVE THEM. Don’t co-operate. I’m sure you do.

          Anyway, to answer your question, I’d say, no, it’s not a form of fasting, as such, because that means denying yourself something you enjoy, but it is a form of living purgatory. An increasingly intense one!

          Liked by 5 people

  12. Just a sojourner says:

    Randy. Your mixture of truth and fiction does not serve your purpose well. It only detracts from your creditability. Your narrative is largely made up. For example, there were no Jewish priests before Moses and no high priests outside of Jerusalem besides. I could go on and on but this man of few words will let it go at this. May the Holy Spirit lead us and guide us to all holiness and truth.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Just a sojourner says:

      I can see that once again I say too little based on my belief that I am stating the obvious to anyone with a basic familiarity with scripture and history. Randy uses many words that are scriptural but the details he spouts are not true. Those from Sodom and Gomorrah were in Abraham’s time and were not part of any known religion, especially of Jewish with Sanhedrin, priests and high priests, scribes and Pharisees and yet Randy goes on and on as to even numbers and teachings. All apparently just made up by him or coming from something he read from unreliable sources. These ancient peoples may have even lost all connection to God who spoke to Abraham to bring back mankind, in the long run, to a knowledge and worship of the one true God through an organized religion which would serve as a true guide when mankind, left to his own devices had wandered far from the God known by Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah. Through Christ His Son, God gave us a better guide, His Church, but we continue to do our best to tell God we know better how to find him on our misguided own. May the Lord send His new Pentecost to bring mankind back more fully to Him in the era of peace promised that will more fully encompass mankind than ever before. The organized Church will still exist to help keep us in unity with Him.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Linda says:

    Happy birthday to Our beloved Charlie😇

    Liked by 15 people

  14. Linda says:

    YD is this you at top?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Linda, you can read about the Cardinal here 🙂
      http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/long-jailed-vietnamese-cardinal-set-on-path-to-sainthood/
      I love his face, he is so peaceful!

      Liked by 4 people

    • Reports of His Excellency’s untimely demise have been greatly exaggerated.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        Beckita, the more I read about Cardinal Thuan, the more I love this soon to be saint!! I can’t wait to write to my son about him, he will love reading this! Thank you for posting about him. He spent 13 years in prison- spent 9 of those in solitary confinement and consecrated bread crumbs and wine in the palm of his hands… just beautiful! Known for bringing hope to all. “His imprisonment, John Paul II recalled in the year 2000, serves to “reinforce in us the consoling certainty that when everything around us and maybe within us falls apart, Christ remains our unfailing support.” from link I posted somewhere here…
        So, wow… what humility and hope he had. I love him! I am never complaining again about ..anything! lol- well, wow…hmm, at least I’ll be humiliated if I do, thinking of him! 🙂

        Liked by 7 people

        • Beckita says:

          Snowy, yes! When I first viewed a film about this servant of God I was also immediately taken by what he chose when faced with excruciating suffering. I have several books by him and one of my favorites is his series of homilies given when he preached Lenten spiritual exercises to the papal household. Dynamic and life-changing are they.

          I have a group of people who I consider my heroes. I am inspired by their lives of love and virtue. Some are living and some have gone Home. Cardinal van Thuan is one of my Storm heroes. If he can do it, Snowy, we can do it. May He intercede for us.

          Liked by 6 people

      • Mick says:

        Ha. Patrick! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Linda, I don’t think YD is a Cardinal . . . yet.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Linda, I think you referred to YDs Gravatar at the top of the recent comments’ stack. He’s been busy, busy, busy but drops in once in a while. On another thread, he made a comment about all the bickering amongst those under his care so let’s please remember him in prayer. Division is everywhere. Then, again, maybe you were teasing about Cardinal van Thuan. 😉

      Liked by 4 people

  15. Phillip Frank says:

    Randy131 said:
    “GOD did not create religion, man invented it to control the masses, and since it was invented by man, it is subject to error and sin.”
    This quote has it backwards.
    God created EVERYTHING in perfection, including man, But BECAUSE of sin, we subjected ourselves to error.
    God revealed His truth to us with power, overcoming this weakness in us, it is we who wield the truth with “error and sin.”
    If I were given a sword made by a master craftman but could not wield it because I was not trained in swordplay, is the sword to be blamed as flawed?
    If I sat down to a baby grand piano and could not play Mozart because I’m not a trained pianist, is the piano flawed?
    If I stood on the mound at Yankee Stadium
    during a world series game as the pitcher, could I strike the batters out even though I have zero training as a pitcher? Not likely.
    I humbly acknowledge that I am flawed and sinful. God has graciously granted me acceptance despite this not because He wants to “control the masses” but because He loves the masses despite or flaws.

    It needs to be said that God will judge us on our intentions within our flawed worldview and not just on our flaws. God looked into the hearts of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. He did the same before the flood and found only Noah good at heart.
    What are the real reasons behind who we are and why we do what we do?
    Look there to find the answer.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. donna says:

    is that Yong Duk????

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Linda Henry says:

    Something for everyone, excellent suggestions and much to think about. Thank you…

    Liked by 4 people

  18. patriciaacmg says:

    A hope-filled, and heartening post….our deep-down gratitude.
    These St. Teresa of Avila words for the song: “Christ has no body now but yours…” was put to music by the incredible John Michael Talbot — many years ago. You can google it with his name and first words of this song. Select the You Tube site which has him singing these wonderful words; most marvelous! It is also listed as “St. Teresa’s Prayer”.
    Again, what a power-packed post. thank you.
    And a God-blessed Happy Birthday for Charlie; prayed my daily St. Joan of Arc prayer for him.
    Remembering all of you, always. Pat

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Barb421 says:

    excellent and eye opening piece, Beckita! I very often don’t see Christ in others, because I am usually afraid/intimidated by the worldly or a threatening look
    and who remembers the days when it was “impolite to talk about sex, religion or politics” with all but your closest kin? times have certainly changed!
    and…I was rather taken aback when my very talkative dentist in his round about meandering style conveyed his liberal standpoint and actually asked me if I would ever “protest” ..I didn’t say much but answered, “No” “I am peaceful”, or something to that effect, not wanting to get into that topic with him. I can’t believe where we have come to! Lord have mercy!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Snowy Owl says:

    A very, very beautiful post, Beckita. 💘

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Joe Crozier says:

    [[gmail link deleted]]

    I believe in this link can be found an answer to the question posed in the title “Is Peace Possible in Troubled Times.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Crozier says:

      https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/catholicism/sets/72157627466596667/

      For those who enjoyed the above homily here is a bit more about the remarkable priest behind it and the wonderful send-off he was given.

      Liked by 3 people

    • SteveBC says:

      I’m sorry, Joe, but you can’t put in a link into your gmail account, because nobody else has your password. I took the link out for minor safety reasons. If you can get the actual link to the page you wanted us all to see, that would work, and you can put in a new comment with that link in it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joe Crozier says:

        don’t understand I.T. – is this better
        http://indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=18794
        the film is at the end

        Liked by 2 people

        • Beckita says:

          Yes, Joe. This link works. May the gifted and holy Fr. Fudge pray for us as we make our way through the Storm. This homily is so apropos, Broseph. Praised be Jesus for interceding for us!

          Liked by 4 people

          • Joe Crozier says:

            Thanks Becks
            As you know the video at the end of the above article deals in part with the question posed in the title of your wonderful article “Is peace possible in troubled times?” At the very end of the video linked above the opening words of Cardinal Thuan are echoed in the words of Fr Fudge. The good Cardinal suggests that ‘The greatest mistake is not being aware that others are Christ.” At the end of his homily which references the death of St Stephen, Fr Fudge says “Just as we believe that the other name of Christ is Stephen, so the other name for Stephen is you and me.”
            Mea culpa.

            Liked by 4 people

  22. Mary Ann Parks says:

    Peace is the fruit of justice. It is not simply inner calm that tolerates injustice. We must put ourselves right with God and with others, by repentance and forgiveness, and we must act justly, and we must protect others who are unjustly treated.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Nancy says:

    You can gain a Plenary indulgence on each Lenten Friday by your reciting the Prayer Before a Crucifix!
    The Vatican’s “Book of
    Indulgences” states:
    ~you must have confession
    Within 8 days & be in a state of
    Grace (with no attachment to
    even a genial sin).

    ~you must receive Holy
    Communion on the day of the
    Indulgence.

    ~you must pray 2 prayers for the
    Holy Father’s intentions.
    ~you must be aware of and ask
    For the indulgence.

    ~Only one plenary indulgence
    per day; ask it for yourself or
    For a Holy Soul in Purgatory or
    for the intentions of our Blessed
    Mother.

    Prayer Before A Crucifix
    Behold, O kind and
    Most sweet Jesus, I
    cast myself on my
    Knees in your sight,
    and with most
    Fervent desire of my
    soul I pray and
    beseech You that You
    would impress upon
    my heart lively
    sentiments of Faith,
    Hope and Chatity, with
    A true repentance for
    my sins, and a firm
    desire of amendment,
    while with deep
    affection and grief of
    soul
    I ponder within myself
    and mentally
    Contemplate Your five
    most precious
    wounds; That which
    David spoke in
    Prophesy of you, O
    Good Jesus: “They
    Pierced my hands and
    my feet; they have
    numbered all my
    Bones.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • jaykay says:

      I love that, Nancy. The “En ego” prayer. It was in the little Missal I got for my Confirmation, as a prayer of thanksgiving after Communion, described as “Indulgenced prayer before a Crucifix”. I learned it off by heart back then, and still recite it. How lovely to see it here. God bless. J.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Barb421 says:

    how can we ignore what Pope Francis is doing here?
    welcoming-those-who-prefer-fornication-to-marriage/

    Like

    • Beckita says:

      Two things come to mind, Barb. One is the assumption exerted by the author of this article. He, himself, uses the phrase, “it would seem,” in his statement: “Now it would seem that Rome is extending de facto recognition of cohabitation as simply a matter of preference (sin’s such an ugly word after all) and by no means something requiring (immediate) correction.” In fact, Brian Williams does *not* know if these couples who have been welcomed either have or are in the process of returning to the Church via making a good confession.

      The additional observation I have is that Mr Williams, in the “About” section of his site, announces: “Recently I have also had the great privilege of joining the talented group of writers over at OnePeterFive (1P5), a Catholic website founded and published by Steve Skojec.” As noted recently, OnePeterFive is a website which is filled with an overabundance of highly critical pieces about Pope Francis. At my request, YD weighed in on our last discussion of this website. For this reason, I kept the topic of concern in your comment and removed the link to Brian Williams’ site.

      YD’s statement says it best when discerning a reputable source for news about Pope Francis: “… I would censure a site that is anti-Pope Francis, but I would be cautious to lump a site that is suggestive of some simmering problems that need be addressed, but is still respectful of the Holy Father qua Vicar of Christ, with that which is divisive and thus something of Satan.”

      Our times are riddled with confusion everywhere, aren’t they? Here’s one example of a statement attributed to the Holy Father and taken out of context. https://churchpop.com/2017/02/23/no-pope-francis-did-not-say-its-better-to-be-an-atheist-than-a-bad-catholic/

      Liked by 5 people

  25. Barb421 says:

    thanks Beckita, and yes, it is a most confusing time, in so many ways!, God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Barb, I just read this and thought of you, maybe it will help ease your concerns, just came out today.
      To defend the Sacrament of Marriage, “you are called to be fellow travelers of all persons and all situations,” to “be ministers of peace and consolation,” said Pope Francis to parish priests on February 25, 2017.

      Receiving the participants in a course of formation, organized by the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, on the new marriage procedure, the Pontiff recommended in particular the “care of the littlest,’ who are separated, divorced persons in free unions, in cohabitation.

      The Holy Father stressed that for pastors it is first of all the need to put the accent on preparation for marriage: “how many of these young people . . . understand what “marriage” means? He asked, pleading for “a true catechumenate,” which includes “all the stages of the sacramental journey: the time of preparation for marriage, of its celebration, and of the years that follow.”

      Priests must also “support those who realize . . . that their union is not a true sacramental marriage and who wish to come out of this situation.” Not as experts of bureaucratic acts or juridical norms, but as brothers who put themselves in an attitude of listening and of understanding,” said the Pope.
      Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-parish-priests-participating-in-course-on-new-marriage-procedure/

      Liked by 4 people

  26. Mary Ann Parks says:

    Spadaro is close to the Pope. And here are the Pope’s words:

    “At the same time, be neighbours in the style proper to the Gospel, in encounter and welcome, to those young people who prefer to cohabit without getting married”, he said, “because on a spiritual and moral level they are among the poorest and the least, for whom the Church, following in the footsteps of her Master and Lord, wishes to be a mother who does not abandon them, but rather who approaches and cares for them. Christ also loves these people with all His heart. Look upon them with tenderness and compassion. This care for the least, precisely because it emanates from the Gospel, is an essential part of your task of promoting and defending the sacrament of marriage”.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you, Mary Ann. Beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • moreen67 says:

      In the ladies bible study I go to at my parish today we were studying the story of Rahab who was a prostitute but she turned to the God of Israel and trusted in Him. We were saying how we shouldn’t judge people but pray for their conversion. Only God knows what is in your heart of hearts (I used to say that a lot as a little kid and I never knew where I got it from but I did know the Lord as a little one). I left the Lord as a young adult and I know my mom never gave up on me and I had a conversion back to God with Divine Mercy years after mom passed on. She died on her birthday a birthday to her eternal life. I feel that one of my missions is to always pray for conversions of souls to Jesus. Maureen..and God bless everyone here.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Beckita says:

        Beautiful witness, Mo.

        Liked by 3 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        Hi Moreen, speaking of humility,God made a point to include a woman, who had a past, in His genealogy. He is never outdone in humility .
        Matthew 1
        1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
        2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
        3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,
        4 and Ram the father of Ammin’adab, and Ammin’adab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,
        5 and Salmon the father of Bo’az by Rahab, and Bo’az the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,
        6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uri’ah,
        7 and Solomon the father of Rehobo’am, and Rehobo’am the father of Abi’jah, and Abi’jah the father of Asa,
        8 and Asa the father of Jehosh’aphat, and Jehosh’aphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzzi’ah,
        9 and Uzzi’ah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezeki’ah,
        10 and Hezeki’ah the father of Manas’seh, and Manas’seh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josi’ah,
        11 and Josi’ah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
        12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoni’ah was the father of She-al’ti-el, and She-al’ti-el the father of Zerub’babel,
        13 and Zerub’babel the father of Abi’ud, and Abi’ud the father of Eli’akim, and Eli’akim the father of Azor,
        14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eli’ud,
        15 and Eli’ud the father of Elea’zar, and Elea’zar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,
        16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

        Liked by 5 people

  27. Just a sojourner says:

    When I was in my early 20’s in the early 60’s, I had thoroughly read and studied the teachings of the Church from reliable sources. I was playing chess with a Buddhist, a Caucasian who had grown up in Japan, during our lunch time and he asked me why I was always putting myself down. I answered that I was trying to practice humility. He said that that is not humility. I paused for a moment and out of my mouth came, “You’re right, humility is truth.” When I heard that, I knew it was true and I have spent a lifetime learning what that means. I started with the realization that I must first acknowledge and know who and what I am, my strengths and weaknesses, my gifts and talents, why I have them and what I am expected to accomplish with them. “To those who are given much, much will be expected of them.” I must also see the truth of who others are and why we must love others as ourselves, that there is no basis for comparing ourselves with others in any competitive manner. That ego is a misguided basis for living your life outside of God to Whom we own our very existence. In helping others, we can best help ourselves. When I came upon Charlie, I immediately recognized that He was on the same wavelength and was helping me to aim in an even better defined direction in these most trying times. That we must continue to acknowledge God as the basis of all using His help and guidance in determining each successive right step, helping those around us and giving those in need hope as we go forward. May God continue to guide NRS in helping all to make it through.

    Liked by 11 people

  28. Starshine says:

    Jesus, increase your love in us. Let there be no turmoil, but only kindness and goodness. Help us to follow your example at all times. We love you, Jesus. Amen.

    Liked by 7 people

  29. Servant of God, Bishop Thuan’s story is amazing and inspiring. He certainly is the sherpa of sherpas and this book is worth the read. I could not put it down until I read it straight through. May God grant that His Church elevate Bishop Francis Xavier Thuan to the altar very, very soon. The world needs him.

    Liked by 7 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Thank you, Marisa. I should mention to everyone that when I checked this link for the book, I found that it appears to be a free download of about 50 pages, the entire book. Is that right, Marisa? The book is only 50 pages long?

      Liked by 3 people

  30. Christene says:

    Beckita, I have read and re-read this post a hundred times because it is THE question for each of us at this present moment. Here are my thoughts;

    Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments this way;
    Matt. 22:37-40 “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    He gave us a New Commandment before he died;
    John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    And He spelled out how the world would recognize us as his disciples;
    John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    It’s really not that complicated and there is ONE overarching theme; LOVE. And yet has anyone stood back and taken an honest look at the Catholic Church lately?? You can barely distinguish her from the the secular world when it comes to vitriol, rancor, hysterics, anger, bitterness, divisiveness, partisan politics, conspiracy theories, etc., ESPECIALLY in the four years since the election of Pope Francis.

    We have to stop…..NOW. If I were lost in the darkness of the world, being crushed by my sins, looking for some light that might point me in the direction of an escape, about the last place I would run to is a bunch of people completely devoid of anything resembling joy and love and instead doing nothing but cannibalizing each other. We need to look at the example we are giving the world in this, the darkest moment of its history, because WE, each and every one of us, is called to be light, leaven, and salt.

    One day, and for some of us that could be today, we will be called to account for our behavior, our every thought, word, deed, desire, and action, by the criteria that HE left us. My greatest fear is that when that moment comes for me, I will be horrified to find out that in God’s eyes, *THEY* (whoever I have spent my time on this earth pointing a finger of judgment at) was not the problem. I was.

    I have been coming to this blog for the past 3 years because it has been one of the few places that I found in the Catholic blogosphere where I could ask a question, express an opposing opinion, or, God forbid, support and defend Pope Francis, without being ripped to shreds by my supposed brothers and sisters in Christ.
    I have shared my story before on my conversion to the Catholic Church in 1994, the blissful Catholic bubble I floated in for 14 glorious years, the EPIC frothing hissy fit and tantrum I threw at God from 2008-2012, and finally the beautiful rescue that took place April 28, 2012 when my brand new 2 year old filly Tessa lost her mind, bucked me off, slammed me into a wall and I started a new life at the age of 51 as a C5 quadriplegic and God was FINALLY able to picked me up and place me back into the arms of my Blessed Mother. There was no more fight left in me.
    But I am here to tell you that barely recognized the Church when I returned and it has broken my heart. If I hadn’t known what and WHO the Church truly was, I would never have entered her doors…….I would have been terrified.
    I don’t know how else to say this………we are not pleasant people to encounter these days and this is coming from a fellow Catholic. I shudder to think how those on the outside see us.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Beckita says:

      Christene, you’ve pierced the heart of the post in expressing this truth: the chaos, confusion and division of our times is everywhere – including in the Church. I appreciate your candor in noting this. That said, I think it’s important not to generalize, attributing the problematic behaviors to the entire membership of the Church, for she is comprised of individuals.

      Several perspectives come to mind which have helped me make PEACE with what you describe.

      *First of all, Our Lady forewarned us of these times when she came to Akita, Japan, in her last apparition on October 13, 1973, when she said: “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres. Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord… The demon will be especially implacable against the souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.”

      Here we are, living this prophecy within our Church as we clearly see cardinal against cardinal, etc… and we know it filters down into the laity in both secular and spiritual settings. Not only do the evil spirits tempt us to be part of the chaos and confusion, they tempt those of us trying to BE Christ’s Peace, in the midst of the fracas, to lose hope.

      *I have appreciated SteveBC’s language in his use of the “Old World versus the New World” ways of choosing and living. Amidst the current and ever-increasing confusion and divisiveness – all rooted in the Old World now crumbling, we *can* choose to BE Christ’s Peace and Hope. Actually this current post integrates harmoniously with Steve’s language. It hearkens back to Acknowledge God. etc… and we will continue to explore this theme together as we move forward, trusting in God and His Plan unfolding in our midst. Christene, your comments also highlight the reality that the problems are so big and beyond our direct control. The answer to what we can do is found in Acknowledge God, etc… with its commensurate charge, often exhorted by Charlie: “Do the little you can which is right before you.” There *is* great ugliness all around us but we *can* choose to be and live in the New World. By God’s design, our choices and our doing have a ripple effect throughout the world.

      *Our Lady of Akita reaffirmed a particular antidote to the ugliness: “…Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved.” If people joined the Nineveh90 effort to simply pray the daily Rosary in union with 17,000+ people (most likely more as some are praying who will not officially sign up) that alone would be a mighty force for bringing about the New World via the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s never too late to intentionally join in this effort even if one chooses to be a “silent” participant by not officially signing up.

      *Last perspective: This is a Passion Time in our Church. Those caught up in what you describe very much need our prayers, including the prayer of doing, and our mortification. Our Lord and Our Lady have given us great promise of a New Tomorrow or New Beginning or New World in their approved private revelation. Let us choose Hope Himself in the face of the current struggle.

      Liked by 12 people

      • Christene says:

        Thank you so much for your reply, Beckita. You are absolutely right and this is why I love this community SOOOO much. This little blog has been a harbor of peace, compassion, and direction for me for 3 years and it continues to be so. My head starts to spin in the midst of all of the turmoil in the world. Thank you for listening. You have given me much to contemplate and pray about. God bless you and all here!!
        Peace!

        Liked by 13 people

        • Beckita says:

          God bless you, Christene. I’m so grateful Charlie founded this oasis in the desert of these times. Let’s all pray we continuie becoming the very community God calls us to be that His Light will shine through us in the current darkness.

          Liked by 11 people

          • Christene says:

            Amen Beckita. I think I made a comment along those lines a few days ago and yet here I am…….caught up in the whirlwind once again. Simply amazing. I am going to go retire to a quiet corner, prayer my Nineveh90 rosary meditation for the day and go finish the last chapter of Archbishop Chaput’s book.
            And then turn my brain off for awhile.

            Liked by 5 people

    • Doug says:

      Christine, this is precisely one major reason why I am applying for the Diaconate. I am also a Catholic convert. I desire to be a good witness for the faith. I have been fortunate to have good priests in my life. In fact, I just took the day off from work today to complete my psychological questionable, which is due this Friday, has taken me 5 hours to fill out so far and I am only half done, and you have just helped me to articulate one of my answers. So I thank you!

      Liked by 9 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Inspiring Christene! Bless you for your incredible witness to our faith. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  31. CrewDog says:

    Hi Gang,
    A friend/neighbor sent me this and I decided to take a listen. I think it’s worth listening to as it dovetails into what many others are speaking of here and elsewhere ….. and what I’ve been thinking must come sooner than later. He is a financial/computer guy and spends the first 10 min explaining his “system” and then speaks of what may come in the next 6/7 months. You will have to “click-out” of ads every 5 min or so. He also mentions people buying Bit coins. Bit coins, in my opinion, are no better than paper $$$ and like paper $$$ is backed-up by nothing but Hot-Air. If you are going to invest in something, I’d start with food, water and everyday items that you will need …. and find others of Faith and Good Will to Hang-out with …… and what to do when the Cops don’t answer the 911 phone! ;-( PRAY & PREPARE!!!!

    NEW UPDATE Clif High Webbot 2017: Clif High Talk about Gold, Silver, Bitcoin, Political Scum

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 9 people

    • jj says:

      This is an interesting analysis, he is clearly secular, at best, and yet he sees the coming crisis pretty clearly. But, we need to remember the overriding message of TNRS, you can’t “be prepared” for what is to come, radical trust in God under the Mantle of Our Lady is the ONLY way forward. Be cautious of the secular prepper analysis, it will fail you in the end. Trust the Lord completely to succeed. Mother of Mercy pray for us.

      Liked by 10 people

      • I listened intently, from my mothers knee, as the Pastor of the Southern Baptist church in Syracuse NY expounded on Matthew 6:26, which was this Sunday’s reading also. I think it was the first time I ever listened. True words to live by.

        “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?[a] 28 Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. 29 But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30 [b]If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,[c] and all these things will be given you besides. 34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

        It doesn’t say you shouldn’t plan, prepare, save for a rainy day, or consider the weather forecast.
        It says don’t Worry.

        While I have to admit that I do have preps that I will probably never use, I think the simple ‘Fema’ guidelines are a conservative approach to preparing for situations that are not un-thinkable in our current socio-economic fish bowl.

        Just a thought, I’ve been wrong before 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

        • jj says:

          Quiet,
          I’m not thinking about “prudent” precautions, I’m thinking about the guy in the video proposing that you should have a stockpile of gold and silver, be prepared for 4 years of hardship, etc… That mentality is the problem with our culture now, he never said anything about his neighbors or any who might need help, other than to point out that many of them probably wouldn’t make it. It’s quite a juxtaposition from our calling here. I try to be prudent but it’s a fine line between prudent preparedness and the human tendency to trust our plans and efforts, trying to get God to conform to our desires.

          I’m no theologian but I think in these times we’d be better off erring on the side of Trust in God than erring on the side of human plans.

          I find that I have to constantly remind myself not to run various scenarios through my mind since it is pointless anyway and generally leads me to anxiety and worry. Tomorrow will take care of itself…

          Liked by 5 people

          • JJ, I totally agree with this position, and have the same tendency to run through scenarios. Just trying to point out that ‘prudent’ precautions are indeed prudent 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • jj says:

            Ah yes, communication 101, “Don’t assume the reader knows what you mean just because you know what you mean…” Duh… I frequently make that mistake, maybe one day I will learn, but I doubt it… 😁🙃

            Liked by 6 people

          • Doug says:

            I think there is too much trust in government. This robs our obligation or sense of duty and community for our neighbor. The government will take care of him. So I don’t need to be concerned. A crash may very well be needed to knock us back to our senses that we are our brothers keeper and people will start helping people at an individual level. A crash is not necessarily a bad thing.

            Liked by 8 people

        • Doug says:

          Very wise quiet. Very wise.

          Liked by 4 people

        • jj says:

          I have been reading “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis and the following excerpt seems particularly applicable to my circumstances and habits:

          “As to the actual technique of temptations to cowardice, not much need be said. The main point is that precautions have a tendency to increase fear. The precautions publicly enjoined on your patient, however, soon become a matter of routine and this effect disappears. What you must do is to keep running in his mind (side by side with the conscious intention of doing his duty) the vague idea of all sorts of things he can do or not do, inside the framework of the duty, which seem to make him a little safer. Get his mind off the simple rule (“I’ve got to stay here and do so-and-so”) into a series of imaginary life lines (“If A happened—though I very much hope it won’t—I could do B—and if the worst came to the worst, I could always do C”). Superstitions, if not recognised as such, can be awakened. The point is to keep him feeling that he has something, other than the Enemy and courage the Enemy supplies, to fall back on, so that what was intended to be a total commitment to duty becomes honeycombed all through with little unconscious reservations. By building up a series of imaginary expedients to prevent “the worst coming to the worst” you may produce, at that level of his will which he is not aware of, a determination that the worst shall not come to the worst. Then, at the moment of real terror, rush it out into his nerves and muscles and you may get the fatal act done before he knows what you’re about. For remember, the act of cowardice is all that matters; the emotion of fear is, in itself, no sin and, though we enjoy it, does us no good,”

          Liked by 6 people

    • jj says:

      Just for fun (I use the term fun very loosely), here is an article on the comparisons of employment vs. new homes vs. new automobiles vs. energy consumption in a very visual (Bar graph) presentation. This presentation makes it really easy to see the trouble the economy is really in largely due to the type of manipulation that Clif High talks about in Crewdog’s video. Since the 2008 crash things have not gotten better…
      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-28/putting-it-all-together

      Liked by 3 people

      • Doug says:

        Good stuff JJ. My Dad and I were talking about this last weekend and agree this is unsustainable. The demographics do not support this as us baby boomers are retiring end mass and there are less people paying into the system with gen x and malinials. There has to be a reset along the way somewhere. There will be lots of chaos when it occurs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Interesting article, Bob. I’m inclined to think the polarization would have continued to escalate no matter who had been elected. The priest with whom I am blessed to engage in my online Divine Will studies recently said Jesus had foretold the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta that evil will exhaust itself as we approach the fulfillment of the Our Father: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Looking forward to the day when this process is complete and, as you have previously said, hearts will be changed.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Bob says:

        With the non religious progressive left I agree that the polarization would be here. I remember Charlie commenting on the Bush Gore election and the nation being almost evenly divided, and how that concerned him, and I think that was political commentary and not prophetic. I do think that God has allowed more extreme viewpoints of what Bishop Chaput referred to as “deeply flawed” candidates to be expressed by the extreme positions either side is taking, with Hillary strongly supporting the progressive pro abortion side and other issues and Trump certainly not being kind or refined in his speech of the other side. I pray for our current leaders every day and with the recent cursing believe we should all do the same in the hope that God can use imperfect instruments to somehow accomplish His will in making things better.

        Liked by 7 people

      • jobrower says:

        Can anyone join the Divine Will Online Study site, Beckita?

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Diane says:

    Hi Family –
    I’ve been hanging in the weeds, watching and discerning, and like Christine said above there is no place like this to express and explore the Catholic Faith we all share. We are the universal church, we are one with Christ, we share the prayers, traditions, sacraments, magisterium and Pope Francis, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and lay people, we are one with Christ. I like that. I never felt judges here. In fact in a bit against my practicing humility I would feather up like a peacock when I got a bunch of likes. Anyway, the following is something the Lord allowed me to perceive:
    I was following Christ, His brilliant Light, everything was Glorious, then I looked down the found that I stumbles on a rail that protruded upwards, with the name Worry/anxiety on it. Christ turned and helped me up, I began again to follow His brilliant light, then I stumbled again on another protruding rail, its name was Wrath/Anger, again He turned to me and helped me up. Again I moved forward toward Him, keeping my eyes on Him and Him alone. I paused for a moment, and suddenly I was distracted by something glittering off to the left, its was labeled “Things”, materialism was pulling me away from my Christ. He turned to me, and folded his arms and His compassion was so grand and so enormous that I knew I must get back on my effort to follow Him and Him alone. He pulled me in close to Him and let me embrace HIs warmth and love and said again for the millionth time, Come, Follow Me. Let me be your guide, do not worry, I’ve got this.

    Now, I have to trust that He has this, we are His, we belong to Him. We are who He lived and died for. You and I. His is the warmth we desire, His is the Truth we desire. That never ending stumble we stumble is annoying because we can’t seem to stop stumbling, or stop from being pulled off track, but you know what, He is always there waiting to pull us toward Him. Waiting for us. He loves us. You and I. He is thoroughly mad about us. And I hope and pray that you all will have a joyful Lent, a Lend that will keep you on the trail following Him closely. He loves you and all His creation that is an unbroken Love, an unconditional Love. How much more could we have than that which we have. Love. I do. Diane

    Liked by 8 people

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