Mary and the Saints

(As we continue on the Lenten Journey, praying, watching, waiting on the Lord and living our lives as sherpas, I reprint the following article, written by Charlie, for our consideration and contemplation. Even as a cradle Catholic, familiar with these understandings from childhood, I appreciate Charlie’s teaching style and how this article gives witness to the gift of Our Lady and the Communion of Saints. They are eager to help us and all we need do is ask for their assistance. With the Queen of Heaven and Earth, may all the saints and angels intercede for us as we make our way through the Storm!)

Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

mary and the saints

By Charlie Johnston

I was in my early 20s when I went to my first Catholic Mass as a worshipper. Oh, I had been to many in my teens as a hired trumpet player, but the musicians in the choir loft don’t follow the same rules as the regular worshippers as far as standing, kneeling and sitting. For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair. People just spontaneously stand up, or sit down, or kneel, or talk back to the priest in unison for no reason you can quite fathom. Within about 10 minutes of the beginning of Mass, I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.

A few years after my conversion, I was at a wedding Mass where there were a lot of baffled Protestants. About 15 minutes in I realized, with a little irony, that some of them were carefully watching me. Now, apparently, I was the guy who looked like he knew what he was doing. I must confess, every time I am at a Mass that I know has drawn a lot of Protestants out, I have to fight back the temptation to do a cartwheel in the aisle – just to see how many do one with me.

Cradle Catholics cannot imagine how disorienting and baffling even the liturgy is to lifelong Protestants. Even more puzzling is the Catholic devotion to various saints and to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Even the language of faith can be perplexing, for often the two camps mean different things while using the same words. Throw in that Catholics often have a hard time explaining what, exactly, they believe, much less why they believe it – and that many Evangelical Protestants have often been told some pretty absurd caricatures of what Catholics profess and it is a wonder the encounters are not even more awkward and confused.

Now, I am not going to discuss everything that Catholics do not believe here that many think we do. I will also note from the outset that some Catholics abuse what the Church teaches in ways that help foster misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. I am only going to focus here on Mary and the Saints – and what the Church actually proclaims.

Many Protestants believe that we worship Mary, in particular, and the saints to a lesser extent. I know – that’s what I used to believe, because that’s what everybody said. To the contrary, when we pray to a saint, including Mary, we are asking them to pray for us, usually for specific intentions. Everyone of faith, Protestant or Catholic, asks their friends to pray for them. It is so common and well-accepted no one disputes the propriety of it. Many Protestants only count those on earth among the communion of the faithful and, thus, properly to be asked for prayers. Catholics consider all the faithful, both in this world and in the next, to be among the communion of the faithful. If it is proper and fruitful to ask friends here to pray for you, how much more fruitful to ask those who already behold the Face of God?

Some argue, though, that it is improper to ask those who are dead to pray for us. Yet in Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27, Jesus notes that Moses called God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to Him. If all the faithful are alive to God – and Jesus says they are – then it is at least as good to ask St. Peter to pray for you as it is to ask your cousin, Peter, to do the same. That is properly what Catholics are called to do.

We do not worship any of the saints, including Mary. Rather, together with all the saints, we worship the One God alone, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contrary to the belief of many, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church has no power whatsoever to “make” saints. That power belongs to God, alone. The power the Church does have is to recognize infallibly a small handful of the saints God has made. A person is not honored by being recognized as a saint here. If he is a saint, he already has received all the honor he may ever receive by being called to join the heavenly host. The honor is less meaningful to the saint than it would be to give a King a participation certificate for attending a pancake breakfast. That does not mean it is a matter of indifference to the saint involved, for his love still calls him to the same thing it did while he walked this earth: call his fellows to the joy and peace which is in Christ. That takes us to why God chooses to reveal some saints to us in the first place. It is not for their sake, but for ours.

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. There are those whose lifelong purity and steadfastness are breathtaking and astounding. But to limit saints to icons of improbable virtue is an error, if a common one. More often, their sanctity is demonstrated by their transcendence of their own flaws and limitations through their love of God, manifested through their love of those around them. Oh, how I would that people would read good biographies of the saints! St. Francis, that great icon of poverty, purity and love of the poor, was once a wealthy, reckless dandy. St. Augustine was a cynical manipulator of public opinion and a lusty rake in his early life. St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute. Saints are often portrayed as universally soft-spoken, gentle souls. But many were lions – and often irritable lions at that. St Teresa of Avila was known for her tart tongue. St Catherine of Sienna was not shy about directing and cajoling Popes, though she was discreet about it. That popular modern saint, St. Padre Pio, was often abrupt and scathing – even as he submitted with humility to errant efforts by his superiors to suppress his spirituality and charges of fraud and humbug from critics.

Among the saints can be found virgins and those notable for the abundance of their progeny, peasants and kings, pacifists and warriors. In fact, saints are to be found from almost every walk of life. Some New Age commentators have used this fact as evidence that there are many paths to God, which is a trivialization of what is true. What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom. God gives each person a unique personality, then intends that authentic personality to be used for a unique mission in His service to His people. For each fundamental quality of a man, there is a disordered and a properly ordered manifestation of that quality. God has uses for a passionate man, but passion can easily manifest itself as cruelty or lustfulness. God has uses for a soul of notable purity, but even that can degenerate into self-righteousness and an arid sterility. Weighted down by the burden of original sin, we are constantly tempted to use our talents to serve ourselves and our own appetites. Transformed by love of God, the saints use those talents in service of their neighbor, which they love in the image of God. They often struggle with the old disorder, but progressively live service with ever greater fortitude and resolve. The sinner constantly asks, “What about me?” The saint constantly seeks to hearten those around him. A pretender can – and often does – use the forms of piety for mere self-aggrandizement, a species of blasphemy. A saint does not hesitate to get his hands dirty to bring the hope of God to those furthest from Him. A pretender is sensitive to any hint of insult to his imagined dignity. A saint is impervious to any slanders seeking to keep him from caring for those around him. Whatever he says, a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.

The great variety of saints can help hearten us that whatever the nature of our authentic personality, God has use for it. We can find friends among the saints, people who shared trials and temptations similar to our own. We can ask for their prayers and guidance just as we would a trusted, bosom friend. We can find inspiration in how they handled similar troubles – and hope in how they transcended them by trusting to God.

If there is so much variety among the personalities of authentic saints, what is the heart of sanctity, the visible sign? I long contemplated that. The focus I settled on was St. Joan of Arc. Technically, she was not a Christian martyr. She fell into the hands of an enemy power. Though a corrupt Bishop was used as the means to condemn her, she was condemned for having defeated England, not for her faith. She was often prophetic, but her prophecies were wrong almost as often as they were right. Oh, the ones that were right were so improbable it was comparable to choosing the exact right lottery numbers six out of ten tries – a margin of error anyone would gladly accept for such stakes. So what was it that revealed her sanctity?

I came up with an answer that struck me in considering the great prayer of Mary, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). In most English-language Bibles, the first line is translated as, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think of that. At its most basic, every saint ultimately becomes a pure lens through which our vision of the Lord is magnified more clearly. The holier the saint, the more pure the magnification.

The French people were disheartened, dispirited, given over to despair as the 100-Years War appeared it would end in the extinction of the Nation of France. When Joan appeared, this dispirited rabble was infused with new heart, new hope, new resolve. Her soul magnified the Lord – and the people felt the effects of it. But there were others who felt it, too, the self-promoters, those whose field of vision never rose above their own temporal ambitions and covetousness. Some of those, even, were to be found in the French Court. They all hated Joan with an irrational fury, constantly trying to pull her down. There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints. His sheep recognize His voice in them and rejoice. But satan’s goats recognize His voice in them, too, and rage at them.

No one is closer to Our Lord than His Mother. She lived the sorrow of His passion with Him, at His feet – and a sword pierced her soul. (Luke 2:35). As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He committed His Mother to His beloved disciple, John – and committed John, the Church, to the care of His Mother. (John 19:26).

Throughout the ages, Mary has prayed unceasingly for her children, the Church – and all of her children have recourse to her. She busies herself constantly running out to greet people, encouraging them to come on in, come in to the warmth and safety of Her Holy Son. Most Protestants think the Rosary is a worshipful devotion to Mary. It is not; it is an extended contemplation of the Life of Christ alongside Mary, through her loving heart. A full Rosary goes through four sets of mysteries, each of which contemplates some aspect of the life of Our Lord.

As I studied the history of Christianity in depth I was surprised to learn that the line, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was not incorporated into the Hail Mary to underscore Mary’s motherhood. Rather, there was a great heresy raging that claimed that Jesus was just a man, a created being Who achieved divinity by His righteousness. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. The Eternal, Uncreated Son chose to take on our humanity at a particular point in time, to suffer and die in that humanity, that all might be saved. People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God. They are One. We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son. The phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was incorporated into the “Hail Mary” to underscore Christ’s divinity, not Mary’s motherhood.

Even knowing these things, and even having fallen in love with the Catholic Church, my old Evangelical Protestant training filled me with dread at the sound of the phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” in the “Hail Mary.” Intimations of blasphemy would fill my head and whiffs of brimstone fill my nostrils at it, choking it off in my throat, so I had decided that would not be a devotion I practiced. But at my reception into the Church, one of the gifts was a beautiful, elegant Rosary. I knew that a sense of dread was often God warning us away from something sinful. But I also knew it could be used by satan to keep us from something fruitful. So I added a new tool of discernment. I prayed, telling God that He knew I loved Him…that this Church had been such a wonderful and unexpected gift that I was going to pray this Rosary for three weeks – and depend on Him to show me whether it was proper or not. If it was not, I would quietly refrain from ever saying it again. Those next three weeks were an unprecedented period of extravagant and improbable graces and blessings. Ever since, like the beloved disciple, I have joyfully followed the Lord’s command to take His Mother into my heart as my mother.

And that is why I say, with profound gratitude and joy,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

And spread the effect of the grace of thy flame of love,

Over all humanity,

Now, and at the hour of our death.


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57 Responses to Mary and the Saints

  1. ddbrohard says:

    Please take me off of your mailing list, thank 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



    • Beckita says:

      Sorry to see you go, Dianne. For security reasons, I cannot unsubscribe you. Each person must do that for himself/herself. You can use the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email you receive from the website. The other option would be available if you have a word press account. If you do, you can go in there and reset your notifications. God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bob says:

      Dianne, may I suggest, possibly, unsubscribing as I know there can be a lot of mail but google us periodically to visit and to say “Hi”. God bless!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Snowy Owl says:

    Amen Beckita!
    That is one of my favorite posts from Charlie… along with about 20 others lol (Hi Charlie 🙂 ). It’s strange that anything concerning the Blessed Mother would cause a problem with people- especially Catholics! Still, we see this! Jesus subject Himself to her for His entire life here… and He still listens to her! He is so generous! He sends her to us because we have made such a mess of things!! He has told us this countless times! That makes everything crystal clear in my mind. How can we go wrong with the Mother of God? Obviously she is certainly above us and all other of God’s creatures! Maybe people just want to argue. I don’t know…. but hmm, she is only doing God’s will!
    Seems Mary and Pope Francis are the stones many dash themselves against these days. I would rather believe and maybe be wrong than be found lacking Charity.
    I love the Flame of Love prayer added to the Hail Mary! I also pray the prayer after each Our Father in the Rosary Mary requested from Church Approved San Nicolas:
    “Father deliver us from all evil, in Thy holy wisdom Lord, save us from all sin. For the sake of all those who love You, Lord, lead us on the right road. Amen” Special graces for this one!
    Anyway, I may have already posted this (can’t remember) first known prayer to her and it’s really old… It’s beautiful in its simplicity. I love praying it… I think I read it may have been a hymn.
    Beneath thy compassion,
    we take refuge, O Mother of God:
    do not despise our petitions in time of trouble,
    but rescue us from dangers,
    only pure one, only blessed one. Amen.
    It was written around 250-280 AD and was found preserved in a Coptic Christmas liturgy.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Beckita says:

      I’m with you, Snowy, on appreciating Charlie’s writings. We will revisit Flame of Love again as well. As hearts continue to be revealed and choices are made by each person, the promise that particular prayers have been given by Heaven to blind satan is compelling. That simple prayer from the Lady of All Nations is another gift for our times. The conversion of our own family members and the conversion of people everywhere must surely weigh heavy on the Heart of Our Mother.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Linda says:

        I live flame of love….every hail Mary..Holy Hour flame of love style, and the I unabridged diary is AMAZING…..💖

        Liked by 5 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        I am confused here…lol(so not shocking). There is the Unity prayer and then the prayer we add to the rosary and the one you posted above…then there is another set of prayers that go along with …okay- wait, I am mixing up this with Jesus king of all Nations. Oh know I just can’t keep all of these straight no matter what I do! And I pray them all…hahaha. Such a disaster.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Beckita says:

          Looks like you’ve got it worked out, Snowy.

          Liked by 2 people

        • leel004 says:

          Snowy, that’s cuz God spoils us with so many ways to offer Him prayers and T)hanksgiving!!!! 🌴🤓🐿

          Liked by 6 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Very true, Leel! You know I like to put together prayer books..I find great pictures of Mary and the Angels etc., and I put them all together with the prayers I love so I can open them up and pray, using them every day..but I always forget where the prayers come from- I’m thinking maybe I should add that! 🐥😊

            Liked by 5 people

          • leel004 says:

            I agree, the history and/or reference piint is nice to share. Do you market these books? God bless

            Liked by 2 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Leel! Gasp! 😲 that would be plagiarism.. lol 😉 no!
            I just like to take all the prayers I pray daily and put them together and find pictures of Jesus, Mary, the saints and angels, etc., and print them out so I can have that instead of always having to go online to pray prayers I do not have memorised. It takes me a while to memorise new prayers. I never worried about where a prayer came from – if I love it- I adopt it! Well now it’s getting a bit overwhelming, so I think I need to add a little footnote. I use all my ink up too.. pretty soon I’ll have to paint the pictures myself 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

        • Linda says:

          Hehehe snowy owl. Google flame of love holy hour too. There are different prayers there as well just to confuse you even more☺😊😀😁😂😃😄😅😆😇

          Liked by 3 people

  3. Prayerpartner says:

    Thank you. What a beautiful piece of writing-so many good thought to contemplate again and again as we walk the Lenten path with Our Lord, and with support from Our Mother Mary and so many saints, even those among us not yet recognized. I feel a sense of joy in reading these words today. Again, thank you.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Tanya Wersinger says:

    Thank you for re-posting this. It gives a lot to ponder during this Lenten-tide. Wornout and feeling battered; thinking about the communion of the Saints, Our Holy Mother, and the deliverance of France by little Saint Jeanne are words of encouragement and hope. The key to it all is Love.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Great article. Looks good on Charlie . Doesn’t make sense that prophecy when applicable would define anyone’s virtue or holiness.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 6 people

  6. madkatmomma says:

    Nice to hear from Charlie again, if only by proxy. 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Katey Utterback says:

    Wonderful holy reminder, Beckita – thank-you! Lately I’ve been offering a “sacrifice of praise,” for certainly SOMEONE is praying for me – and I thank you all for your prayers for me and mine! I feel so well, I see so much light, I feel so much joy, and I feel LOVED by God our Father. I continue to pray for us all through these perilous times. Why I ask, are the Bishops fighting among themselves; why are Christians acting, speaking in such UN-Christian ways? Asking St. Joseph for his prayers through the hands of the Blessed Mother for all fathers, brothers, husbands & sons. We need all the prayers we can get to hold our own – all Holy Saints & Angels, pray for us! God bless us, every one, katey

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 8:28 AM, The Next Right Step wrote:

    > Beckita posted: “(As we continue on the Lenten Journey, praying, watching, > waiting on the Lord and living our lives as sherpas, I reprint the > following article, written by Charlie, for our consideration and > contemplation. Even as a cradle Catholic, familiar with these und” >

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Linda says:

    I’ve loved all Charlie’s posts except the 1,2, 3 one at the end. That one was just over my little brain head I’m afraid…lol

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Snowy Owl says:

    When the Storms Rage (Jesus to St. Faustina)
    “Then I heard the words, “Do not fear; I am with you.” When I left the altar, an extraordinary peace and power filled my soul, and the storm that was raging broke against my soul as against a rock; and the foam of the storm fell on those who had raised it. Oh, how good is the Lord, who will reward each one according to his deed! (Diary, 1150).
    June 23, [1937]. As I was praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament, my physical sufferings ceased suddenly, and I heard this voice in my soul: You see, I can give you everything in one moment. I am not constrained by any law.
    June 24. After Holy Communion, I heard these words: Know, My daughter, that in one moment I can give you everything that is needed for the fulfillment of this task (Diary, 1153).”

    How comforting Jesus is! Amen! 💜

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Katey Utterback says:

    PS-My goodness, I forgot to mention WHY this posting was so significant to me: because I, too am a convert to the Faith! So thanks so much, Charlie!

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Joe Crozier says:

    I am meant to be taking a break from commenting on the internet so that I can better concentrate on getting on with my work but could not resist this opportunity to carry the message.

    “At Garabandal, Our Lady demonstrated what we might call her own form of ecumenism as related by Conchita in a 1975 interview: “One day there were in the village two men, one mentally unbalanced, the other a Protestant. They asked me to allow them to kiss my crucifix when I next saw Our Lady. I was quite concerned about this as in my mind I didn’t think they should kiss the crucifix. When Our Lady appeared to me, I told her about their request and how I felt about it. She looked at them and said, ‘They are all my children.’ After the ecstasy, they came over to me and thanked me for having given them the crucifix to kiss. I did not do this on my own; it was Our Lady who gave them the crucifix. I do not remember giving it to them.”

    But Garabandal provides the ultimate solution to the ecumenical question. In the previously mentioned 1983 interview with Jacinta Moynihan, the visionary shed more light on what she had previously said regarding the unity of the Churches:

    Q. Do you remember when the Virgin told you that the Churches would unite?
    A. I don’t remember when but she did say the Churches would unite.
    Q. Did she say if it would be the Catholics and the Protestants or did it include, for example, the Orthodox Church as well?
    A. All would reunite into the Catholic Church.
    Q. All would come into the Catholic Church?
    A. She didn’t name the other Churches, but said that all would come into the Catholic Church. The way she said it was: all humanity would be within one Church, the Catholic Church.”

    Liked by 9 people

    • jaykay says:

      Yes, Joe, it isn’t called “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” for nothing! Catholic as in embracing all, and apostolic as in literally descending, in all its essentials, from the Apostles themselves. Many have been converted by just reading the testimonies of the early Fathers, which essentially witness to all that we currently (and will ever) believe and practice – the Eucharistic doctrine in particular, as in St. Ignatius of Antioch, martyr, who was a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist, and said in his letter to the Church of Smyrna, about heretics: “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.”

      So much is available nowadays, so few even bother to look for it. It doesn’t take much to find it online.

      Liked by 6 people

  12. Joe Crozier says:

    the above was taken from the Garabandal Journal.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. leel004 says:

    I had to chuckle reading this! As a cradle Catholic in childhood, i did not like having to sit , stand, mumble something, kneel, then redo the cycle over and over. You just did it cuz ….
    Then upon my return to the Church, God in His mercy gave me a desire to inderstand. And before coming to this site, i remember quite a few conversations with Protestants and ignorant Catholics of the beauty of it all when understood.
    And Charlie …you provoked a childhood memory…when my friends wanted a group sleep over at someone’s house, we would send the most pleasant of the neighborhood gang to ask the intended victom’s Mom who we wanted to stay at. She would have such a hard time saying no! And although we were manipulating the situation to our favor, parents know things we didn’t…like time is limited, and allowing a sleep over adds a healthy and fond memory to our past. God knows we are needing as MUCH ASSISTANCE as possible, and has given us many saints to intervene for us. God knows our dingy and dirty stains, but loves uss anyway, and allows avenues for our changed behaviors to occur…whether pennance directly with a sincere heart and/or asking a special or ALL the saints to help us change behavior.

    And Charlie, I LOVE the little reminders of those saints history, fallen sinners graced with transformation, whether it be a once a whore, or an adulteror with live in woman who made a living off others misery. Only through God does grubby become grace!!!!

    Liked by 6 people

  14. jaykay says:

    Lovely to see this post from Charlie again. It truly was one of his great ones. But… but… not to nitpick, but when he says: “For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair.”, I’d say: “That depends”. By which I mean, there are Protestants and… there are Protestants! Many of the Anglican/Lutheran/Episcopalian Protestants would have no difficulty following our Mass, and even the Extraordinary Form, as their Holy Communion services essentially are quite similar. In fact, I’ve attended Anglican services (some call it Mass) where you’d find more reverence, incense and images than in some Catholic churches. And better music! The Ordinariate was established for them. But the more extreme Evangelicals would have a problem, of course. Charlie was from that background, I understand.

    But leaving that minor clarification aside, what Beckita says above: “The conversion of our own family members and the conversion of people everywhere must surely weigh heavy on the Heart of Our Mother.” is so true. And I know I’m not doing enough in that direction among my lapsed family and friends. I made a comment in another post about the deadly effect of burying the talent (the Faith) that has been given us so that it produces no fruit. Yeah, something to work on there for me.

    Anyway, blessed Lenten pilgrimage to all here. The hard slog (as I always find it in weeks 3 to 5) is beginning. I miss my coffee… !!! 😜

    Liked by 10 people

  15. Rose Stahl says:

    Oh Beckita! I love what you write but I miss Charlie so much! Thank you (with a lump in my throat that his words often give me)

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Karen says:

    Good to read that again thanks Beckita, and timely for me. From time to time I check out the following Evangelical Protestant web site – it never has a dig at Catholics or others – today it made me chuckle. Then I read Charlie’s post above and I chuckled again. You will see why.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Bob says:

    I Like the above Charlie said: “What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom.” I recently was examining my conscience after a certain trial and realized that in my temptation there was no thought of God but only of myself as i briefly listened to the tempter suggest what was in it for me. Any surprise that I fell that day and needed to confess? But in examining myself I had to also repent of my lack of love for My Lord. And I have been saying to God since then, that I believe I love God a little bit but please give me the grace to increase my love of you, and my spiritual director agreed with this approach.

    Liked by 7 people

  18. An extremely interesting new Wikileaks concerning political events behind the scenes;

    It made me not only think of Charlie’s posts, but also brought mind what must have been happening out of public sight, prior to Nov. 1963.


    Liked by 3 people

  19. Joe Crozier says:

    Straight from the horse’s mouth:

    Luther: It is easier to live as a Protestant, but better to die as a Catholic.

    I think I know what Luther meant but can it truly be easier to live without the sacraments?

    Near Los Pinos on the hill behind Garabandal is a small bust of Padre Pio with his words: “The world has more chance of surviving without the sun than without the Mass.”

    St Nikolai promoted the type of ecumenism embraced and promoted by Pope Francis – that which is driven by example and by compunction of heart – a love of neighbour that attracts and in this attraction it convinces of the Truth.

    It makes me think of the old Irish song, the Rose of Tralee.

    “She was lovey and fair as the rose in the summer,
    but was not her beauty alone that won me.
    Oh no, was the truth in her eyes ever dawning
    That made me love Mary, The Rose of Tralee.”

    The Truth in the loving eyes and hands of Mother Church is that which converts to Roman Catholicism.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Joe Crozier says:

      oops that should give Charlie a laugh if he is reading – he warned us about people who like to sound more clever than they are – that’s what happens when I try to be erudite – “compunction'” is the wrong word. Not sure what I was thinking of – perhaps compulsion – when the heart urges us into action. ha ha keeps me humble.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Joe Crozier says:

          Yes It has been a well fought campaign. Even the parliamentary appointed committee was rigged from the start in favour of death. But when God is with us who can be against. Of course evil is relentless in its drive of destruction and will not stop at this. There is a mindless mentality that continues to spew false wisdom – mostly coming from farmers – that says such things as “you would not let an animal suffer – why not end the suffering (life) of humans”. The Catholic Church was well organised in this fight and educated us well in advance. I made good use of this education in my submission but also wrote from experience and from the heart. I am sure many others did the same. This was not a captive opposition to euthanasia but one that freed us from the ill informed and mindless thinking that puts percieved expediency before principle, that puts the tree of knowledge before the tree of life just like Adam and Eve did. And great was that fall. This reminds me of Jerry Canty – gentle giant of the pro life fight in the 70s. He had been physically attacked by members of the Socialist Workers Party in a town hall when demonstrating his opposition to abortion. They had literally jumped on him and piled on top of him as they delivered their kicks and punches. Then suddenly Gerry arose from the floor through this mountain of persecution, shaking the legion of evil off as he got to his feet and so surprised at his strength were the Communusts that they scattered to the four corners of the town hall. Just so those of us who actively opposed euthanasia are rising up in the name of Life and Truth. Sadly, the corruption of sin and death and politics will continue to play its hand in the coming election. But in our hands we have the pen, the phone and the computer to voice our continued opposition to euthanasia. But most importantly we have The Rosary as our best weapon in the fight for life.
          Our National Anthem still appeals to God
          “God of Nations at Thy feet,
          In the bonds of love we meet,
          Hear our voices we entreat
          God defend our free land.”

          Liked by 5 people

  20. Hi, B. I’m glad you reposted Charlie’s post in light of some of the comments surrounding your last post. I just didn’t have the energy to rebut the comments of some people. Had I taken the time, I would have said how Our Lady never does anything contrary to her Son’s will, that she always helps bring us closer to Him, and that to seek her help is one of the wisest things any Christian could possibly do. (Yes, my skeptical friends, we seek God Alone, but the surest way to reach union with God is through the intercession of His beloved daughter, his perfect creation.)

    Yesterday morning, I was visited in my tent by a bee. I heard it buzz in, but forgot about it until Mimi started playing with it. I told her no, got a glass and a plate, and easily caught the bee. I love honeybees, but was a bit surprised to see one at this altitude so early in the season. I went outside to release it, and saw that it was one of those white bees!

    This was a comforting sign as the bee is a sign of Our Lady. “Because of its good working habits, the small honeybee is a well-known symbol for work, good order, and diligence. Less commonly known is that the bee is a representation of virginity. The worker bees have no part in the reproduction of its species, except for that of feeding the baby bees. The responsibilities of “bee parenting” are left to the queen bee and the drones. Since virginity is a virtue we find exemplified to its highest capacity in Our Lady, the bee quite naturally becomes one of Her symbols.

    “Dom Gueranger, O.S.B., in his reading for the feast of Candlemas in The Liturgical Year, quotes St. Anselm, the Archbishop of Canturbury, who “bids us consider three things in the blest Candle: the wax, the wick, and the flame. The wax, … which is the production of the virginal bee, is the flesh of Our Lord [supplied by the Virgin Mary]; the wick, which is within, is His Soul; the flame, which burns on the top, is His Divinity.”

    “The honey, which the bee works to make, is symbolic of sweetness and religious eloquence. For this reason, the beehive is emblematic of St. Ambrose (†397) and St. Bernard of Clairvaux (†1153), two Doctors of the Church known for their eloquence “as sweet as honey.” (

    Many of you may also know the story about St Rita of Cascia and the white bees.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Beckita says:

      Beautiful, Patrick. I had no idea about the connection between Our Lady and bees. Thank you. Sorry you’re feeling low energy. Praying for you.

      Liked by 4 people

      • The “fatigue” is strictly emotional and comes simply from being tired of repeatedly defending Our Lady against the same, old, tired, lame, Protestant-inspired quote-unquote arguments. But I think I’ve got my strength back now! ; )

        Liked by 3 people

        • zeniazenia says:

          Happy Lent Patrick,
          I often see the downtime, such as you had, as growth time, a little retreat with Jesus and His Mother. You surely know, when we are weak, Jesus carries us. He was asking your permission to do a mighty work in you for Him now, for yourself and others in the future.
          I recently heard an interesting way to think about this. ‘Our life in the Spirit is similar to stumbling down a flight of stairs only to find ourself (positioned by God) on the bottom step of His prepared escalator — which takes us up and forward at a tremendous and seemingly effortless motion.’ Paraphrasing Mother Angelica, ‘Whenever we are dealing with Jesus, it is best to get out of the way.’
          I always fight the initial worldly temptation to resist the low energy episodes. Enter where Jesus is leading, embrace His guidance to discern the next step, TNRS 😊 and trust!
          In my opinion, for all your amazing success to date, you are the most ‘full of God’s potential’ person I can think of. He could take you in so many unexpected directions which would give Him praise and honor. Someday your potential and your life will intersect and the placement will be much more obvious to you… though your community already thanks God for it. Don’t fight the energy thing too much and we are glad your are feeling better.–ZJ

          Liked by 4 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            And thanks for the meditation on the white bees.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you so much, ZJ!

            Liked by 2 people

          • zeniazenia says:

            It is also important to remember one of the rules of Ignatian discernment of spirits, is never make a major decision when we are in a time of desolation.
            If we have made a decision for God in a time of consolation, never change that decision until a new time of consolation (never in desolation).
            Think of St.Teresa of Calcutta. She continued God’s work through her ‘dark night’. She is a rare example of such a cross/gift, but you catch my drift. At the end of her life, God returned her to consolation and it is most likely she returned to and rethought many major plans for her religious order/sisters in those days. — z

            Liked by 3 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Amen Patrick, did you take that photo? Wow! and I always loved that story about St. Rita and the white bees!

      Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      I love and did not know that! Thank you for sharing Patrick. Spring is on it’s way. Thanks be to God! ❤

      Liked by 4 people

    • moreen67 says:

      Patrick – I used to be a wimp around bees but I realize how important they are for ecosystem. I actually use honey as my main sweetener even in coffee – it tastes great and better than artificial sweeteners – so cheers to the bees!!!! Maureen

      Liked by 4 people

  21. Julia says:

    Thank you Bekita for reposting one of Charlie’s gems.

    I feel so sad for those who do not realise what a great helper Jesus gave us in permitting His earthly mother to remain in intercession and petition for us from generation to generation.

    Blessed mother deserves to enjoy the Heavenly rapture she most certainly earned in her life’s pilgrimage. Yes she lovingly mothers us all. And what can any mother do but encourage (meditations) her children, and pray and intercede for them every day before God.

    When I say the Hail Mary, as part of the Rosary meditation; I always think how Mary responded to God in all situations during her life, and in particular at each mystery. Then when I say the Holy Mary, I always hope Blessed Mother will pray and intercede with God for me to grasp the graces God has hidden in each mystery as we meditate them.

    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Julia says:

    I remember a non Catholic Christian asking me at work why we call Mary the mother of God. Because God existed before Mary.

    My reply to him was. Yes, God existed before all creation; but He entered human history in the flesh through the Virgin Mary. We live in ‘time,’ and understand surely that God became man in the Person of Jesus, and in human history, we can relate to that event through Mary’s obedience to the Word of God made known to her by the message of an Angel. This is all recorded in the Bible.

    My work colleague seemed to understand my way of explaining it. As I see it.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Doug says:

    “What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God” what a profound truth. This really talked to me.

    Mary brought me from being protestant into the Catholoc church. I looked at the Catholic Church from the perspective of Sola Scriptura at the time. It was through an article about Medjugorje where it is allegedly stated in a vision that Mary has come to call us to her son that prompted me to understand Catholic teaching on Mary and that the Bible confirms it. I think of the Gospel of John where Mary says “do what he tells you”. The first recorded miracle in Scripture was due to the intercession of Mary. Jesus said it was not his time yet, but by the intercession of his mother, he responded. How great and powerful an intercessor do we have in our Blessed Mother! I was received into the Catholic Church 25 years ago and have felt like I came home and have been home ever since. God bless you all!

    Liked by 4 people

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