Sorrowful Mother, Be Ever Near to Us

(Thank you to our own Patrick who sent the following material. It is fitting to share this devotion as we honor Our Lord of Sorrows on her feast tomorrow, September 15th. May she ever be close to us as this Storm intensifies. May she teach us how to endure our sufferings, but even more, teach us to continue loving those around us who, even now, need our steady sherpa ways. And may she grant us grace upon grace upon grace from her Son.) 

 

Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori writes: “Jesus Christ Himself revealed to Blessed Veronica of Binasco that He is more pleased in seeing His Mother compassionated than Himself. He said to her: “My daughter, tears shed for My Passion are dear to Me; but as I loved My Mother Mary with an immense love, the meditation on the torments which She endured at My death is even more agreeable to Me.” Wherefore the graces promised by Jesus to those who are devoted to the dolors of Mary are very great.”

Our Lady lamented to St. Bridget that very few consoled Her by meditating on Her Sorrows, and that the greater part of the world lived in forgetfulness of them: “I look around at all who are on earth, to see if by chance there are any who pity Me, and meditate upon My Sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, My daughter, though I am forgotten by many, at least do you not forget Me; consider My anguish, and imitate, as far as you can, My grief.”

– St. Alphonsus de Liguori from The Glories of Mary, 

from:  www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/devotion_of_seven_sorrows.pdf

 

The Promises

The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven signal graces to the souls who honor her daily by meditating on her tears and sorrows.

  1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
  2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”
  3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”
  4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”
  5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
  6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death. They will see the face of their Mother.”
  7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Introductory Prayer

  1. O God, come to my assistance.
    R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
    V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
    R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Eternal Father, I offer you this prayer for your glory, so that I may honor your Most Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and share and meditate upon her suffering. I humbly beg you to give me true repentance for all my sins.  Give me wisdom and humility so that I may receive all the indulgences contained in this prayer.

The First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)

Mary and Joseph obediently presented Jesus to the Lord. Simeon said, “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many,” and to Mary, “A sword will pierce through your own soul.”

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-21)

King Herod orders the death of all male children age two or younger. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with the infant Jesus.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Third Sorrow: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2: 41-50)

As Mary and Joseph were returning home from the feast of Passover, the boy Jesus remained behind. After searching in agony for three days, they found him in the temple. Mary pondered these things in her heart.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary. (Luke 23: 27-29)

Jesus was led away, carrying the heavy cross upon his wounded shoulders. Weak and exhausted, he fell three times. Along the way, Jesus met his mother, causing great anguish in the hearts of mother and Son.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Fifth Sorrow: Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19: 25-30)

Mary stood beneath the cross of her dying Son, unable to minister to him in his suffering. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Sixth Sorrow: The Pieta. (John 19:32-37)

After Jesus died on the cross, his heart was pierced with a lance. His lifeless body was taken down from the cross and placed in his grieving Mother’s arms.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

The Seventh Sorrow: Jesus is placed in the Tomb. (Luke 23: 50-56)

The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb. Mary arranges the body of her beloved Son with her own hands.

Hail Mary, full of grace…

 

Pray for us, O Virgin Most Sorrowful,

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Let intercession be made for us, we beseech you, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of your bitter Passion.  Through you, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.

 

Excerpts from Book 11 “The Sermon of the Angel” from The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Chapter 18:

“You shall seek me and shall not find me.” These words of Christ were the sharp point of the sword of sorrow, entering Mary’s heart. That sword pierced deeper at the betrayal of Judas, and at the arrest of Christ, when he willed to be taken by the enemies of justice and truth. Deeper still at each insult offered to Christ, with each suffering inflicted on him. The sorrow of her heart overflowed into all the members of her body. She saw how cruelly Christ was struck, and more cruelly beaten and scourged. She heard the sentence of death passed by the Jews. She heard the cries of the people – Crucify him, away with him.
She saw him led out, bound as a criminal, to a traitor’s death. She saw him struggling to carry his Cross, dragged forward and whipped as he stumbled, led like some wild beast rather than a lamb to the slaughter. As Isaias had foretold, he went meekly to his death; like the lamb that is led to the slaughter house, like the sheep that is dumb before its shearers.

Christ was patient in his sufferings. Mary endured patiently the sorrow of his sufferings. She followed him, even to the place of death. She saw the wounds of his scourging, the crown of thorns, his cheeks disfigured with blows, his face covered with blood, and she wept in sorrow.

She saw him stretched on the Cross, and heard the blows of the hammer as the nails pierced his hands and feet. So great was her suffering and sorrow that her strength almost failed her as she stood by and watched. She saw the vinegar and gall offered for his lips to taste. and her own lips could not move in prayer. She heard his cry – My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?, and saw his head fall forward and his body become rigid as he breathed forth his spirit. She stood and saw how he died. Then truly was her heart quite pierced by the sword of sorrow. It was the strength God gave that alone saved her from dying in such sorrow. To see her Son, stripped and bleeding, dying, pierced by a lance, mocked by those who stood by, jeered at by soldiers, deserted by all but a few of his chosen ones, abandoned by so many whom he had won to justice and truth, to see this most bitter death – could there be sorrow so deep as her?

We read that once, when the Ark of God fell into the hands of enemies, the wife of one of God’s priests died for sorrow. How much greater was the sorrow of Mary, for she saw the body of her Son, which the Ark prefigured, nailed to the wood of the Cross. Her love for her Son was love for the Son of God, greater than the loves of all men. If the loss of the Ark could cause sorrow and death, the death of Christ would have brought Mary to death but for God’s gift to support so grievous a sorrow. By his death, Christ opened the gateway to heaven, and won for his own their entry into joy. Mary looked up from the depths of her sorrow, as one coming back from the gates of death.

Her faith never faltered that Christ would rise again, and in this faith she could comfort many whose faith had failed. They took him down from the Cross, and wrapped him in fine linen with spices, and laid him in the tomb. Then all left. Few still had faith that he would rise. Little by little, the sorrows of Mary’s heart lightened, and she felt the first sweetness of consolation. The sufferings of her Son were at an end. She knew that on the third day he would rise, would rise with his humanity united again to his Divinity, would rise to everlasting honor and glory, to suffer, to die no more.

Posted in Prayer | 120 Comments

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath and The Great Convergence ft. Ed Haren: TNRP Episode 6

Please welcome our first guest, Ed Haren! Ed is from Houston (Nassau Bay), Texas. He joins to give first hand experiences of the storm and the love in its aftermath. Pops (Charlie) talks about the signs of the times and relates them biblical signs.

Enjoy this episode of the podcast!

-Chaz

Posted in Podcast | 145 Comments

Podcast Saturday – Report From Houston

Heavy Storm

This week’s Podcast will be delayed until Saturday evening. Joining Charlie and Chaz will be Ed Haren of South Houston, who coordinated a visit by Charlie last year, to discuss how the city is digging out and how people worked together to help each other through the tribulation of it. Charlie will discuss how the unfolding of the terrible drama looked a lot like a pre-shadowing of Rescue and about the strange convergence of flood, fire and nuclear threat. Also they will talk about the good of praying before the Sacrament in preparation for Rescue.

Future Podcasts will usually include a guest for a segment. Over the last few years, Charlie has made friends in every corner of the country through his visits. When a big  event happens in a particular area, we can talk to faithful people right on site to get a sense of how it is unfolding and how people of faith are responding to help each other. Though people in every area are living their faith, it helps to hear from people to know that the faith we see in our little corner is going on and growing on everywhere – that we are not alone. We will talk to people who are making a difference, people who are completely committed to being a light in the darkness in ways both big and small.

See you Saturday!

Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments

The Storm’s Raging; Come, Rest in Our Shelter

We’re here. As Hurricane Irma makes her way through the seas, on the heels of Harvey, and as the western and northwestern states are ablaze, we’re here for one another, human shelter, extending encouragement and solace, sharing burdens and offering prayers; we’re here, creating calm and remembering words of wisdom; we’re here, as Christ’s Light to one another in these days.

In a post from April, 2016, I Proclaim the Rescue, Charlie’s words ring with more urgency, today, in the truth of what we’re living, calling us anew to discern what God is asking of each one that we more confidently take our next right steps. Before sharing excerpts from this gem found in the archives, there are three news items concerning the site to bring to you:

*TNRS team member, Mick, has joined SteveBC and me in moderating comments. Particularly, when the fullness of the Storm hits its greatest intensity, we expect that increased numbers of people from this community will make their presence known and it will be great to have three of us collaborating in this work. (How did Charlie ever press on, in months past, with the daily onslaught of clearing 500+ comments? Ha ha! Perhaps it earned him a “bypass purgatory” ticket.)

*So grateful for the podcasts with Charlie and Chaz. After much investigation and consideration, we’ve come to the conclusion that we just cannot provide transcripts but please remember you can now listen in on iTunes.

*The third item for consideration is the closing line in the Comment Policy, for it captures the focus of what we strive to achieve in our discussions: “That is not to say we are nice and don’t say hard things or make tough criticisms – but it must be based in evidence rather than simply emoting feelings – and all is designed to build up the people of God, not to tear each other down.”

In these excerpts from Charlie’s I Proclaim the Rescue I have emboldened his words which I think it is well to highlight.  I actually found it soothing to reread this piece as it validates where we are and what we’re about. I hope you, too, are heartened by it. (9-7-17, I have edited some of this introduction which I wrote. To be clear, the following text was written by Charlie. And it is comprised of excerpts -long and meaningful- from his piece, “I Proclaim the Rescue.”)

 

I occasionally hear from people who are critical that I am frightening people with my predictions of a Storm. That is absurd. I am not predicting a Storm. Twenty years ago I was predicting a Storm. Now we are in it. I responded to the friend who sent me this in part like this:

When bombs are bursting all around, noting that bombs are bursting is NOT working anyone into a frenzy. I did not create the Paris, San Bernardino, Belgium or Pakistani atrocities…I did not create ISIS…I did not create the global financial crisis…I did not encourage China to militarize international waters. I did not encourage North Korea to shoot off missiles and threaten the world with nukes. This is just silly…this comment speaks as if people did not read me they would not notice that anything was wrong at all. For crying out loud, people are getting into a frenzy because they watch the STINKING news – which I have nothing to do with.

For decades I said nothing about the Storm to any but my Priests and a few friends I trust, knowing that to speak of such a thing when it was not obvious COULD be scary to many. When the contours of the Storm that I had described privately became publicly obvious to anyone paying attention, I DID come forward – to proclaim a Rescue and to encourage people to be part of it now, to assure them that God is NOT done with us.

Seriously, does anyone think that if I would just shut up ISIS would go away, China would retreat to her own borders, officials would be responsible with the economy, North Korea and Iran would dismantle their nukes and all would suddenly be sweetness and light? Absurd. If I shut up and went away these things would still be deepening – and who would be there to give credible hope that God has a plan and is not done with us?

I have to tell you I am a little weary of people acting as if I summoned the Storm I accurately described decades ago. Rather, I waited, hoping it was not true…and when it came proclaimed a Rescue – that this is God’s purification. So people should get a grip and quit trying to tear down a person who accurately foresaw this long ago and now – with equal accuracy – assures all that God has NOT abandoned us. If I shut up, the Storm remains and who is there to give credible hope of Rescue?”

One of the little-noted but highly significant lines of Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s letter concerning me was that they examined an “archive of writings detailing Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions as far back as 1998.” I have joked with my director Priests these last few years that you don’t need to be a prophet to see what is happening now – but it sure did help two decades ago. I have been consistent. When I got the archives to give to the Archdiocese, it was like traveling through a time machine, for I had not seen them since I had written them. I know I have consistently said that the Rescue comes in late 2017, but I saw I had written that in a letter I had sent in the fall of 2001.

The prediction of the Storm I was making over two decades ago is not the heart of my purpose. In fact, its main importance is that the consistency and accuracy of it lends credibility to my assurance that God is not done with us and this is lead-up to a Rescue. The Rescue is the indispensable prophecy here.

I have been gratified at how well regular readers have embraced the fundamental heart of my message to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. Drive-by readers still come up with some lurid mutations of what I emphasize, though.  

Do you know why I don’t discourage people from doing some small, prudent preparation? It is not because of the objective protection those preparations will give them. Rather, it is for the same reason that I would not snatch a teddy bear away from a frightened child. It soothes people, so I leave it alone.

I am a serious student of history. We live in an age where the elite leadership throughout the world – in politics and cultural institutions – is almost universally stupid, incompetent, irresponsible, feckless – and supremely convinced of their own superiority. It is unprecedented in its scope. Plenty of nations have been governed by self-absorbed, bumbling idiots – but to have almost the whole world governed by such at the same time is astonishing. Yet that is how it is. The first stanza of W.B. Yeats poem of a century ago, “The Second Coming,” is downright prophetic for these times:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

I have said repeatedly that the rules have been changed – and it will soon be obvious. Everyone who gets their primary sense of security from anything other than God will have it taken from them. Everyone. This is not just for some, but for all. If you use anything I have said to devise your own plan beyond acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope, your plan will be smashed against the rocks of reality. The only way you can have anything is if you have it as if having not – and if you can do that, then you can have not as if you have. Whatever “preparations” you do can only be in support of the central issue – to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope. If you are focused on the central issue, then you know that whether you have or have not is God’s call and will be used to help you carry out His will.

Some think they are smart and so, if they know enough, can outwit God. If you are the smartest person in the history of the world, your knowledge does not amount to the babblings of a three-month old in eternity. Others trust to their wealth and means to evade God. In these times, wealth and means are not as reliable as Monopoly money. “Give us this day our daily bread” must be your humble cry to the Lord for all the good your wealth will do you. Others think their power and prestige will exempt them. The graveyards are full of the bones of the formerly powerful and prestigious. Betting on your own power and prestige in these times is like betting on a gnat to beat a lion. Others are so certain of their own moral rectitude that they think God will exempt them from the vicissitudes of the Storm. God is going to show all of these what fragile clay their feet are formed of.

We have gotten to a point where self-actualization trumps everything. Vanity reigns supreme. Even many clerics plot and scheme over how to manipulate those around them and crawl over the backs of their peers to gain position or prestige. It is the masque of the red death, a frenzied dance of despair for a culture that believes life has no meaning except for the indulging of appetites and the gaining of notoriety. It is the logical end of materialism. Marx finally got his way and we are buried under a bitter harvest of quiet desperation at the emptiness of it all. Yet people try all the more frantically to get the better of their fellows and colleagues.

In the late 90’s I was told at the end of a little vision (the term I use to describe a particular type of stylized vision; it does not mean it is unimportant) that, “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added.” That is worth deep contemplation in these times.

I warn you not to put your hopes in traditional politics. It is collapsing around our very eyes. I know that is the way we have always moved on. Not this time. If you are riding a bus and it pulls over to the side of the road because it has caught fire, the engine has dropped out and the wheels have fallen off, getting a new driver will not help with the problem. Right now, getting passionate about politics can only tempt you to sin against charity. Our problem is spiritual and cultural. It is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Salvation will not come via a heroic figure from without, but by the quiet resolve to follow God by loving our neighbor from within.

When I speak of the rules changing, I mean that God is doing a new thing, something amazing. It is a great blessing or a great curse, depending on your interior disposition. Whatever you sincerely do or hope for another will return to you twofold. If you sincerely hope for the good of another, if you do some simple kindness for them, it will return to you twofold. If you try to attack them with malice, to undermine them with bitterness, or manipulate them to your advantage, it is yourself that you are savaging. The only way forward in these times is to deny yourself and devote yourself to the good of others. It is a primary way in which you express your love for God. That does not mean you must become a wimp. When France’s King Charles VII started dithering over peace negotiations with the English, St. Joan of Arc testily told him the only peace they would obtain from the English would be at the point of a lance. If you fail to defend those who are under attack, again, you shall reap what you have sown twofold.

I have said repeatedly over the last year and a half that everyone will be sifted. So it has been coming to pass. I have heard from more than a few who thought they would be a safe haven throughout that are undergoing severe trials and turmoil. Don’t you know that God has little use for sunshine soldiers in these times? If you have not proven yourself when the smell of burnt sulpher fills the air to the accompanying boom of cannons, how can you know you will not lose heart in the Storm? So be glad of the trials and trust in God. He is not proving you to Himself, but to yourself, so you may walk with confident trust in Him as the din grows – and thus be a steely sign of hope to those around you…

The Storm comes to all. As it is written, God sends the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). If you are truly among the just, even in the midst of your trials, you will help others caught in the Storm. That is your portion, not to sit and be served by angels while everyone else suffers.

A great dividing line has risen and everyone must choose where they stand. On Easter we celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. You must take hold of His robe to rise with Him or sink into the dust of the chaos we have made of our culture. You are called to be among the rising cohort that prepares the way for the great Rescue Our Lord is sending Our Lady to accomplish, but so long as you remain caught in your vanity, ambition and dreams of self-actualization, you just add to the chaos of our toxic culture…

Remember that God has a plan, a plan for your welfare and not your destruction. He will wipe out the vanity of all. So long as you pray like the Pharisee, thanking God that you are not like other men, you shall sink ever deeper into the mire. When you have the humility to pray as the tax collector, crying “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” you will become a useful instrument in the Hands of the Master. (Luke 18:9-14)

The confusion of the present age influences all. Do not be shaken if you hear something peculiar from a Prince of the Church. The rain falls on them, too. Remember that Our Lord said the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church He founded. Work, then, with your Priests and Bishops to mount the assault against those gates, building each other up and covering each other’s nakedness. Now is not the time for retreat, but to sound the charge. May every street in the world become the sacred route of a Procession of believers behind Our Lord in the Eucharist and Our Lady, who is sent to Rescue us! As even the most secular and cynical lose hope in a world visibly spiraling into collapse, let them see the community of believers walking with confident faith in our two Pillars. Many will convert and begin to participate in the Rescue because of this. But first, you must deny yourself and take up your cross – see yourself for how little you are…and then you can begin to see yourself for how much you are, what you are truly called to be: Our Lord’s own beloved.

In July of 2000, the Archangel Gabriel came to speak to me of some elements of the Storm. I immediately began pleading with him that the Storm might pass over us. In a very rare moment of anger, he was transformed to an intimidating majesty and light. I think it was the only time his ceremonial wings were visible to me. I trembled as he told me with furious intensity, “You must tell them true – and they must choose or perish.” I was deeply thankful it only lasted a moment and he immediately went back to his normal, cheerful self. But I have pondered the meaning of what he said ever since. I had wit enough to never again plead for the Storm to pass over, but the command has remained enigmatic, both powerful and mysterious.

I think in the course of this past Lenten season I got a little better understanding of it. You must choose God through love of your fellows or perish under the weight of your own machinations.

I come not to proclaim a Storm. We are living the Storm – and near the entrance to the fullness of it. I come to proclaim a Rescue – and to call you to participate in it, to prepare the way. Choose or perish. I have told you true.

Posted in Encouragement, The Rescue, The Storm | 198 Comments

Prayers for Texas, The Divine Symphony, and Ramblings of the Charlies: TNRP Episode 5

Happy Friday everyone!

The latest installment of TNRP is live. The link is below. Keep sending us your comments and questions! I got hyped up and loud for this episode. Please let me know how the sound is! Thanks again for listening and please keep the questions coming!

-Chaz

Posted in Podcast | 160 Comments

We Are Not Alone

Saint-Malo-Glow

St Malo Glow – by Erik Stensland

By Charlie Johnston

I intended to watch the entire eclipse at the foot of Mt. Meeker in front of St. Malo’s, as August 21 was the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of my pilgrimage – and the day I came out of the mountain Novena I had finished it with. Having gotten an early start, I took a few side trips on the way. Alas, though I have been there many times, I got turned around and did not get there when I intended. In fact, I pulled up just as the eclipse had entered maximum darkness. When I got out of my truck and walked up the road to watch the sun on the mountain, a young man who was already there smiled and said, “I was wondering if you might turn up here today.” I asked where I knew him from and he said I didn’t – that he knew me from the website and the videos. Named Derek, he is a recent convert. We talked for an hour on the faith – and how the ordinary way of taking responsibility for the next right step speaks to both of us. It turned out he is the manager of a high-end studio in Estes Park, working with a photographer, Erik Stensland, who takes gorgeous photos of Rocky Mountain National Park, then presents them in art quality mountings. The shop is called Images of RMNP. He brightened and said he would not be at the studio the rest of the day, but if I would stop by he would call ahead and have the staff set aside a miniature gorgeous print of Mt. Meeker for me. Entitled “St. Malo Glow,” it is the picture atop this article. He waxed enthusiastic about how he sees God in nature, a subject dear to my heart, once I determine that the enthusiast doesn’t think God is nature. This young man has spent the first few years of his conversion well, with a deep, sophisticated, and abiding faith in God.

As we got up to head on out, another man (about my age) walked up to me as I approached the truck. He asked me if I had enjoyed the eclipse from there, then asked if this was my first time at St. Malo. I replied that I had been there before and asked if this was his first time. He reached to shake my hand and said he was actually the caretaker, John. My eyebrows lifted as I asked, “John Davis?” His eyebrows lifted at my question – and I told him, “I’m Charlie Johnston – the trumpet man.” (That is how he refers to me because of the trumpet fanfare I played before going into the mountain for the novena to end my pilgrimage, which you can see as the top video on this Facebook Page). We didn’t recognize each other because we are both sporting beards we did not have five years ago. Joyfully we hugged each other, then talked for over an hour about what we are doing these days, John’s memories of when St. John Paul visited St. Malo’s, how the massive flood of a few years back terra-formed much of the site. Davis showed me the tree on the east end of the road he had been standing by when he watched St. John Paul turn and bless the mountain.

As I left the site, I pondered at how I had arrived at the point of greatest darkness and then watched the sun return to its normal brilliance while chatting joyfully with two men who loved the faith and loved that mountain. There is something evocative about that, so I was glad I got turned around for a bit. I went on up to Estes Park to get something to eat and to pick up the gorgeous print of Mt. Meeker. While I was eating, a heavy cloudburst came and lasted about ten or 15 minutes – and the sun shone brightly for the duration. I chuckled at having seen two dramatic and unrelated weather anomalies within a few hours. While I was savoring that thought a friend who has been a sometime critic contacted me out of the blue. He wanted to talk about the world situation right now. He recalled that I had long ago told him that the ultimate crisis would take the form of a “global civil war fought on cultural lines” – and that that is precisely where we are at right now. He apologized for having occasionally mocked me, and then pledged a unique and vital support for the work before us when it is time. I thought at my campfire that night that it had been a pretty good day.

We are there. We are in the midst of a global civil war fought on cultural lines. It is not as bad yet as it will be, nor can we yet see the glorious renewal to which it ultimately leads. But we are there. In its own way, this is profoundly liberating for me. I have said since I founded this website that the messages I receive are not, primarily, for the world, but for me, to train me for my assigned work – which is to defend the faith, hearten the faithful and defend the faithful through the greatest global crisis in world history. As much as I emphasized that, many people insisted on knowing what is going to happen. As I wrote most specifically in the piece, “Through a Glass Darkly,” this is a nearly impossible business. More importantly, it dramatically puts the cart before the horse, for knowing what specifically is going to happen avails little – and can even subtly seduce you to kick God to the curb and devise your own specific plan, putting your faith in that plan rather than relying on God in each moment with complete trust. What is critical is to know what to do to keep faith with God whatever happens. So I hope that the focus will now be on how to deal with what IS happening as this storm deepens rather than a script on how each detail will play out. The heart of what we are all called to is what I have insisted on from the beginning: acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. All else is commentary on how to live that well.

When I made my blunder on the Inauguration, I said I would not get real publicly active again unless something dramatic happened. With the shrieking madness of the anti-God left only increasing in intensity ever since the Inauguration rather than petering out, I had been thinking for the last month and a half of getting more active again. Charlottesville pretty much cinched it. Watching the police funnel protestors together rather than keep them apart, watching police ignore the fascist Antifa attacking with clubs and such, it is clear that the anti-God left wants violent strife, thinking that will get it its way. America was set up to settle disputes through persuasion, logic and an absolute commitment to free speech rather than through violence and force. I was horrified when the media response afterward was to condemn the neo-Nazi violence, while ignoring or actually approving of neo-Fascist Antifa violence. If you condemn violence except for that committed by ideological soulmates, you are not anti-violence at all: you are just a cheap, partisan, hack. I was mortified to see that most of the Republican establishment and the conservative commentariat still wet themselves when accused of racism. I was stunned at how many on the right were not just willing, but eager to condemn the neo-Nazis while excusing the neo-Fascist Antifa violence in order, I assume, to gain a pat on the head from their leftist overseers. So those in public leadership in this country are either cheap, partisan, hacks or craven cowards who will not defend average folks, freedom of speech, or anything but their own privilege and influence. Kurt Schlichter of Townhall wrote a hilariously sarcastic piece about the whole thing here. We will have terrible strife because the anti-God left insists on it and the official right in this country makes Neville Chamberlain look like a tower of strong resolve.

The only public person for whom my respect went up in the aftermath of all this was Donald Trump. He was the only person who condemned all violence and defended freedom of speech and did not back down. He DID condemn the Klan and the neo-Nazis explicitly in his initial press conference. His sin among the press was that he also condemned the neo-fascist Antifa. So they flat-out lied, saying he had NOT condemned the Klan types. Amazing. Until the mid-60’s the Klan was the domestic terror wing of a big portion of the Democratic Party, enforcing its ugly racial politics. Now Antifa is the domestic terror wing of a big portion of the Democratic Party and the left, enforcing its racial, religious, and sexual politics. Same old playbook, new set of victims, and with the same demand: give the left supreme power. I was pleased to see an Orthodox Jew, Dov Fischer, who watched Trump’s actual press conference instead of the cockeyed coverage of it – and discovered he agreed with every word Trump said. I give kudos to Trump, but no “leaders” seem to have his back. It won’t be enough if conservative “leaders” don’t grow a spine. The anti-God left would make war rather than respect any conscience other than their own. They will find that ordinary Americans are not as spineless as their supposed leaders: ordinary Americans will accept war rather than submit to the tyranny of the left. And so we will have violent strife. We will not go back to meekly submitting as leftists merrily bully nuns, florists, bakers and owners of wedding chapels.

I will not return to direction of this website, though I will write something every week or so here. I have begun doing regular podcasts with my son, which are linked here and we will continue to do that, hopefully bringing in a few guests to discuss the faith and the issues of our times. I will shortly finish the book I discussed. Back in May, I had a bit of an unexpected health event which hobbled me for the better part of three months. I still worked, but had to carefully shepherd my strength. I have been quietly doing some serious pro-life work and am expanding out to do some cultural-political projects where it can make a difference. A friend asked me why I involve myself with such when I insist that God is going to intervene on an Old Testament scale. I chuckled and said, “Yes, and when He does, I pray He will find me steadfastly doing the little work I can with complete fidelity.” I will occasionally get back out on the road if folks ask me to, but the presentations I make will not be on what is going to happen. Rather, I will focus on “Joy amidst Tribulation: Living as Heralds of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.” Everything I do, I will do in complete obedience to my Archbishop. That is not to be confused with obedience to obsessive cranks who have no authority over me. And everything I do will be to defend the faith, hearten the faithful and defend the faithful. I encourage you to do the same.

We have all been caught up in one of the greatest adventures in salvation history. I don’t know all the details, but I can give you this spoiler: God wins. We are not alone unless we choose to be. Choose or perish.

 

 

Posted in Solidarity, The Storm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 350 Comments

Cultural Upheaval, Effective Witness, and Faithful Pebbles: TNRP Episode 4

Hey everyone,

We addressed some things and didn’t have time for others. This is becoming a regular podcast! Thanks for all of your comments and questions and thanks to all the technical support we get from the behind-the-scenes admin team.

The BIG announcement is that we are now on iTunes! Download our podcast straight to your phone! Leave a review, comment, or anything else. Thanks for tuning in, it’s a privilege to produce these with my pop.

-Chaz

Posted in Podcast | 53 Comments

The Church, The Rescue, and Heartening the Family: TNRP Episode 3

Hello all,

Here is the next installment of our little podcast! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your questions. Hopefully we got to most of them.

I haven’t been able to update the widget, but in the picture below, there is a download link as well as a share link, feel free to use both!

Thanks,

Chaz

(Download link fixed, Chaz – SBC)

Posted in Podcast | 178 Comments

Novena for our Nation

The Holy League is promoting a 54 day Novena for our Nation, from August 15th to October 7th. You can sign up and join at any time during its duration which begins soon… on Tuesday, the Feast of the Assumption, and it ends on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On that day, the 7th of October, there will be a National Rosary Rally in Washington DC.

The National Rosary Rally takes place in Union Square to the west of the US Capitol in front of the Capitol reflecting pool. All four Rosaries will be prayed along with intentions which include:  respect for life at all stages of development; the sanctity of marriage and families; upholding constitutionally protected religious freedom; and the return of our nation to God and Holiness.

Fr. Heilman clarifies:  “Importantly, this is not intended to be a political event.  Our hope is to influence the direction of our country through prayer”.

Over at the website announcing this prayer effort, there is opportunity to sign up to receive a daily email. About the novena:

The time is now to call upon God, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, to heal our country and return it to holiness.

This is a nationwide prayer campaign called the “Novena for Our Nation.” Everyone from around the nation is encouraged to join ranks as, united, we pray the very powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena from the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7.

We continue to live in peace-less times with laws and court rulings in conflict with God’s laws; especially the disregard for the rights of the unborn, elderly and weak in our society and the attacks on marriage and family values. Society and many levels of government continue to demonstrate intolerance towards biblically based religious belief and practice. In conflict with First Amendment constitutional rights, persecution of traditional religious expression has reached historically high levels. We are in a Spiritual Battle.

In this centennial year of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, we are called upon to help turn our country back towards God. We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change families, change our communities and change our country. There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary.

From those promoting this prayer effort:

“I wholeheartedly endorse the Novena for Our Nation and the Rosary Rally on October 7 next, the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.  I urge as many as are able to participate in these great spiritual works for the sake of our entire nation.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke

“This 54 Day Novena for Our Nation and National Rosary Rally come at a critical and most serious time of crisis in our country.  I cannot think of a more powerful response on the part of Catholics than to pray, fast and come together for the conversion of our nation.”
Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, Priests for Life

“Today we find ourselves in a Spiritual Battle.  Government actions and court rulings are in conflict with God’s law.  Persecution of traditional religious belief and practice is unprecedented.  In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are called upon to help turn our country back towards God.  We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change our families, change our communities and change our country.  There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary.”
Fr. Richard Heilman, President of the Holy League

Bottom line, for me, is that Our Lady has a phenomenal track record of responding to her children when we unite in pleading for her intercession via a Rosary Crusade. This is a next right step not to miss at this time in our nation and world.

***Questions for podcasts are always welcome in the comments following any post. Our ears are open. Please, continue to ask away!

Posted in Announcement, Prayer | 51 Comments

The First Q&A Podcast

 

Here is the first podcast that answers your questions. I hope you enjoy it.

If you have problems listening to it on your internet browser, I would recommend downloading it from soundcloud.com. Also, please check your podcast apps as several of the requests to air the podcast have been approved.

I have confirmed that the podcast is available through Stitcher. If you have a smart phone, you can download or listen straight from your phone with Stitcher.

Posted in Podcast | 130 Comments