A Year of Living Dangerously – Part One: The Global Milieu

lion and boy

By Charlie Johnston

Once everything is revealed, there must either be repentance and conversion – or desperate confrontation.

One of my primary goals at my old website, “The Next Right Step,” was to hearten people so they would prepare well to live faith with fidelity under all circumstances, including the most extreme. In the last post at that site (and the first post at this site), I wrote that the power of the satan has been broken. He can no longer hide his malevolence from the world behind syrupy sounding sentiments. I emphasized that he remains deadly dangerous, but I suspect a lot of people didn’t pay much attention to that. One regular commenter here, Al, has clearly understood that we have entered a terribly dangerous period. Most animals are at their most irrational, deadly dangerous phase when wounded and cornered. That is the situation that anti-God ideologues are finding themselves in as this year kicks off.

A primary purpose of this website is to encourage people to live with fidelity what they have prepared for as extreme circumstances manifest themselves throughout the year, to literally be a sign of hope in trying times. In this part, I consider the global milieu in which challenges of the year will play out.

 

Global Challenges

North Korea – Most have considered it a welcome sign that North and South Korea have agreed to participate in the Olympics under a single flag. It surely is better than setting off nuke tests, but we have seen this movie before, just over a decade ago. Unfortunately, while such episodes raise hopes in South Korea and the West that North Korea is softening, N. Korea uses them not to make peace, but to buy time. US fecklessness has made it more unlikely that Kim Jong Un will ultimately stand down. In late 2003, confronted with  the US toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Mohamar Gadaffi renounced weapons of mass destruction and invited in international inspectors from the US, Great Britain and others to oversee the dismantling of its chemical and nuclear weapons programs. He became an unexpected ally of the west in working for non-proliferation. For his troubles, he was deposed and killed eight years later, with US collaboration and the then US Secretary of State mocking him. This perfidious lesson was not lost on other dictators who might otherwise consider standing down from their brinksmanship. After over 20 years of nuclear tensions, the situation with N. Korea is poised to come to a head in the next year. Let us pray that false missile alerts in Hawaii and Japan earlier this month turn out to be aberrations rather than foreshadowings.

Middle East – Several Muslim Arab countries have quietly resolved to work together to suppress or wipe out radicalized Islamic Jihadists in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq are the most notable countries to conclude that Jihad is not a safe tool to use against others, but is a threat to their own existence. The ISIS Caliphate collapsed as stunningly as it rose once the U.S. changed the rules of engagement and let soldiers fight. Iran, which supported the Caliphate, has worn out its welcome among other Islamic-majority states…and with its own people. Ironically, the fanatical brutality of ISIS and Iran have served to discredit Jihad (if not Islam, itself) among Muslims. Watch it fall…and a surprising rise of Christianity in the Middle East as the year progresses.

Europe – The most secure stronghold Jihadists have is now Western Europe. That is because, even as Muslim leaders of Muslim nations target Jihadist radicals, Western European leaders coddle them so as not to appear “intolerant.” Great Britain authorities turned their heads as some 1,400 children were groomed by Islamic pedophiles in Rotherham – and are now prosecuting ordinary citizens who noted, on Facebook, that it was radical Muslims who had sexually molested the children. Instead of protecting its citizens, Germany has issued advisories to German women on how to avoid being raped in public places (by radical Muslims) while continuing to welcome without screening all who want to come from the Middle East. In WWI and WWII, the reckless aggression of Germany made the whole of Europe a primary battleground. If wide-scale war unfolds this year, the feckless submission of modern Western European leaders threatens to make Europe a primary battleground once more. It is in Eastern Europe that civilization is being defended. Hungary and Poland have refused to take in unlimited numbers of unvetted immigrants from the Middle East. Ah, but the bitter, small-minded European elites are striking back. Last November, the European Union took the first steps to declare Poland in “material breach” of its obligations to the EU – for outlawing abortion and for giving money once earmarked for pro-abortion groups to Catholic social service organizations. Of course, England voted to leave the EU and French President Emmanuel Macron conceded recently that, if a vote were held, France might do the same. Watch leadership shift away from Western European elites who will not defend their citizens to Eastern European leaders who will – and for the EU to continue to unravel.

China – After Tiananmen Square, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping embarked on a course of vigorous technological and military advancement under the slogan, “Hide Your Brilliance,” in order to conceal from gullible westerners what it was up to. Last October, Chinese President Xi Jinping cemented his grip on power and abandoned all stealthiness in his pursuit to make China the premier global power, militarily and economically. I suspect that, like Hitler, he has dropped the veil too soon and has bitten off more than he can chew. But he is likely to cause quite a few convulsions in the world before China’s brutal power is safely contained.

Russia – Russia is always at its worst when it believes itself the strongest, and at its crafty best when it recognizes its own vulnerability and manages ambiguity. Despite the chimera of President Trump colluding with Russia, a fantasy designed to discredit him and allow Democrats to retake power, relations between the US and Russia in the last year have been rocky, but manageable. Formally an ally of China, Russia knows that if China is determined to be the Asian hegemon, ultimate confrontation between the two nations is irrepressible. Russia desperately needed such an alliance to buy time, given the witlessness of the last Anerican administration when it came to geo-politics. The unraveling Russia collusion narrative has kept Russia in a precarious situation. Much of its diplomacy in the last year has seemed – and is – contrary to American interests. But it has been contrary without much of a sting. Russia carefully nurtures its alliance with India, and embarked two years ago on a sustained diplomatic push to build alliances in Southeast Asia. Just recently, it has been credibly accused of helping North Korea skirt international sanctions. If one were to watch all this with the sound down, cutting out all the rhetoric, it would be hard not to notice that the alliances Russia gives the most attention to are almost all useful buffers with and counterbalances to China. And brutal as its leadership is (and has been for near a millennium) Russia is the only state that has reliably given more than lip service to helping persecuted Christians around the globe. I would not be surprised to find this become a unifying element between Russia, the US, and Eastern Europe in the coming year.

Central and South America – The most under-reported story of the last few years has been the implosion of Venezuela, a land with a remarkable wealth of natural resources, under the burden of socialist authoritarianism. Early in this decade, such luminaries as Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and a host of Hollywood activists were paying tribute to the leadership of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, citing him as a role model for what the US should become. A whole generation of millennials has been hoodwinked into thinking socialism is a fair system that provides for all. The reality is that socialism is the ideology of the death camp – and atheism is its religion. You don’t have to study some medieval philosopher to be persuaded of that. You simply have to consider the history of the last century – almost 300 million people murdered by their socialist overseers. Yet recently I got a note from a lady from Mexico who, charmingly, called Mexico Our Lady’s home because of the presence of the tilma of St. Juan Diego there. It stuck with me. Central and South America have been hotbeds of corruption and dysfunction for a very long time. Yet it would be consistent with the Lord of surprises to kindle new hope and faith through this hotbed – so I keep an interested eye out there.

Africa – Africa is another continent beset with corrupt socialist and authoritarian governments. Yet at a time when the Church is riven with controversy, Africa has become a veritable beacon of orthodox fortitude. Africa has a bigger role, I think, in the future of the Church than anyone can imagine right now.

Australia – Sometimes it acts like Texas, sometimes like California. Australia is a wild card in geo-politics, kind of like frontier America with progressive streaks running through it. Though far away from most flash points, it is on the front lines of any confrontation that China might provoke. Where it will ultimately come down remains a mystery.

 

The world is in as much turmoil as it has been in generations. Besides the major tensions between globalists and nationalists, North Korea and the United States, China’s effort to flex its muscle, and Jihadists with everyone, including other Muslims, there are significant minor flashpoints that could erupt. With the collapse of ISIS, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has visions of establishing the Caliphate, himself.

It will require the greatest skill, clarity and shrewdness to get through this year without significant strife on the world stage. Even that may not be enough. Meantime, the West, particularly the U.S. and Europe must decide who we are. Are we a post-Christian technocracy or will we re-embrace the classically liberal traditions of our Judeo-Christian heritage to re-establish a functional, healthy culture? That is the discussion I will take up in part II.

124 thoughts on “A Year of Living Dangerously – Part One: The Global Milieu

  1. Thank you, Charlie. You’re a steadying force as you help us look back, giving context to what we are living, while providing a lens looking forward to possible scenarios… and to the paramount choice which each and every person faces: “Once everything is revealed, there must either be repentance and conversion – or desperate confrontation.” LOVE the image and caption. Amen.

    Liked by 14 people

  2. This is a technical question. Charlie’s articles come into my social box and I cannot for the life of me get them into my primary email. Any suggestions? And, the article was very well stated, Charlie. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Add the “label” primary to Charlie’s articles or newsletters.
      You can do it with Gmail’s menu or simply dragging the mail to the primary section

      Like

  3. I would add that the US itself, in its domestic affairs, will also see a year of shocks and volatility, regardless of what happens in the rest of the world. Much is going on beneath the surface and will come up this year. “Choose or perish” seems likely to be the major question of the year for everybody.

    Thank you, Charlie!

    Liked by 23 people

    1. Totally agree Steve! I was going to comment in a like manner. Though, for anyone participating in Nineveh90ForLife coordinated by Fr. Richard Heilman, he pointed out some dramatic events in the US these past 24 days of the effort…. Pres. Trump’s speach at the March for Life, Pres. Trump’s establishment of Sanctity of Life Day on Jan. 22, the appointment of a Pro-Life HHS head, the CEO of PP stepping down…. so many good things that are what we are praying the N90FL for! That said, and like what Charlie pointed out on Al’s comment – that cornered animals are very dangerous. These events in the pro-life effort are part of that cornering effort… so we need to remain firm in our resolve and pray ever more to the Holy Spirit for strenght and guidance in keeping up this effort.

      More and more each day we read of a new “revealed” scandal or act… it is almost like one of those mind-blowing novels you read and can’t believe what you are reading, but need to read more! I, personally try not to get too wrapped up in the latest scandal – since God knows how it will all shake out (psst psst, HE wins!)…. I just try to keep focused on TNRS and like someone escaping from an avalanche or house fire, trying to grab those by the arm heading toward the danger and ask them to come with us to where I “think” I know where to go – but confident that I’ll be guided by the Holy Spirit to get to Jesus somehow.

      Please keep praying for our Priests – they keep the Apostalic line in tact and are targeted by the cornered beast. Each day I grow more and more fond of what the Priests and those Consecrated do for us!

      God bless!
      Bill

      Liked by 12 people

    2. It seems the government Elite are collapsing on themselves. I would imagine that as more and more of the swamp creatures are exposed, cleared out and then replaced, more and more corruption will be exposed. It’s a big swamp, but our Bulldozer in Chief seems to be handling the problem fairly well (with Our Lady’s help.).

      Liked by 5 people

  4. I am grateful that you keep all this sorted for us, Charlie. As I sit here making a gift for my granddaughter’s First Holy Communion this Spring, I wonder what the world will look like even a few months from now. But I keep on keepin’ on, not letting my emotions swing too far in any one direction. I have pictures of Jesus and Mary on my night stand. I face the light of the alarm clock at the pictures so that if I wake up during the night, I see them illuminated. I find it so comforting, those glances at Our Lord and his Mother. As the world falls apart, They remain always in our sight.

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  5. I have been thinking that this coming week, I will be walking into the lion’s den, or the Colosseum. Imagine my surprise on seeing the picture at the top of this post! Timely indeed.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. The readings today hit home for me for some reason.
    My daughter-in-law just had a dream that my mother visited her and told her to tell all the people she had missed seeing before her death that she loved them and would see them soon. (Soon?)
    Then I heard this reading at mass today;
    Reading 11 1 COR 7:29-31
    ” I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
    From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
    those weeping as not weeping,
    those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
    those buying as not owning,
    those using the world as not using it fully.
    For the world in its present form is passing away.”
    I realise that discernment is needed in such things, but this gave me a funny feeling but feelings are neither right nore wrong- they just are.
    My wife noted that she had never seen the land look as “dead” as it does after this very cold weather here in Central Florida. I follow the weather very closely (as a turtle farmer, it is necessary) and this has been quite the extrodinary winter here.
    Strangely enough, we had a brief warm up last week and some Azalea’s bloomed at my church! (I think someone else posted they had something budding?)
    I came into my bathroom and my wife had picked some of them and strewn about a dozen flowers on the countertop. I thought they were fake!
    I hope these strange weather patterns are not a foreboding of things to come.

    Liked by 12 people

      1. That is just super weird, Noreen. I wonder what it means.

        By the way, how are your granddaughter and her family getting along? They, and you, are still in my prayers.

        Liked by 7 people

    1. Funny you should say that Anne “Be little …. be really tiny!”

      I just this minute have emailed some friends to watch 15 minute video clip about Jim Caviezel who is playing St Paul in a movie and after saying that Saul means ‘great one’ and Paul means ‘little one’ he goes on to speak to some Catholic youth – watch it to the end – it has wow factor.

      The link is at this web site http://ingodscompany2.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/jim-caviezel-paul-apostle-of-christ.html

      Liked by 12 people

            1. It IS a great site, Anne. Thank you for sharing it. A wealth of knowledge there. Fr. John Olin Brown spent a good many of his last years in our diocese as a hermit and I was blessed to get to know him. Fr. Tom Celso and I were fellow pilgrims fifteen years ago and I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to enjoy his teaching. God bless those who promote and teach the spirituality of Living in the Divine Will. PS I matched your three Aves for the Holy Souls. May they rest in peace and pray for us as we carry on.

              Liked by 7 people

                1. Thanks for asking, Anne. I have just finished editing the newest one, different from the other six, already published and distributed. Back in the day, there was a little “red” pocket book which the people carried, constantly memorizing those Mao quotes. Here comes the counter-revolutionary pocket book with excerpts and quotes from the Life of Jesus Christ, the God-Man. It, too, is red, significant of the Precious Blood, as we pray that Holy Spirit opens hearts and minds. It’s being translated into Mandarin this very week and, when published, will soon make its way all over the country. Please pray with us for this. God bless you, Dear Anne. God bless us one and all.

                  Liked by 8 people

            2. I have to thank you Anne and Beckita for this website. I had just finished my Morning prayer (the prevenient act) today and felt inspired to delve far more deeply into the Divine Will for Lent this year….and then I read here and find the ink to this wonderful website. NO accident!

              I join you both with 3 more Hail Marys (in the Flame of Love) for the same intention. Our God is SOOOO GOOD!!! 😀

              Liked by 7 people

  7. The socialistic government in the USA act remarkably like the appointed heads of the EU. All is ideology. They never for one second admit to the victims their policies create i.e. abortion, rape, sanctuary cities, faux racism. Look at the group ANTIFA. It claims antifacism but acts exactly like the fascist of early and mid 20th century. (I often wonder if that young man who drove his car into the crowd and killed that young women in Charoletteville was reacting in fear to the ANTIFA bullies who were there to create fear in the Nazi protesters. The same fear the Nazi supporters were there to create. What a mess!) The big lie, the faux assumption of guilt over innocence is paramount to socialist power and rampant in the press and social media except if you are a socialist. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 a question was asked – Where do you think all those communists behind the wall landed? The answer- the West. It is here. Obama was and is anti constitution. He gave no quarter or sanctuary to babies born alive from abortion. These children were given no rights by him as a so called Christian or a state senator representing the US Constitution despite the abortion mantra of once born your rights are conferred. With slight of hand abortion of the pre born was moved right into infanticide. But by the grace of the Father all is being exposed if you are paying attention. Just look at the FBI and Justice. I continue to ask through the intercession of the BVM that He take care of it. I look to the magnificent behavior of Poland. That country suffered so much in both world wars and yet they stand firm in their Catholicism. The blessings of JPII continue. Their backbones are made of steel by their faith. In a funny way I think Trump’s backbone must be made of steel too. God help him. I wonder if he ever understood how vicious the storm would be for him. I have been debating for a year whether or not to mention…..I mailed the prayer card of the prayer of Miraclous Trust separately to both Mr. & Mrs. Trump. The mailing was acknowledged separately by both of them with signed letters. I just pray it is in his pocket and her purse, that they say it everyday. I don’t know but I hope.

    Liked by 22 people

    1. QJoanne, as you did a beautiful thing of sending the card, I bet the Lord will hear your prayers for them ….amybe even allowing you to say a daily petition as a “stand in” for petitions they need, but might not remember to express with the constant pressure then endure. God bless with aloha

      Liked by 7 people

  8. Thanks for your interesting analysis.
    In Europe, Austria too has a new prime minister who disagrees with the arrival of new migrants in its territory. Italy will vote on March 4th. Right now, the center right coalition seems to have an advantage in polls, but since the new electoral law requires to reach 40% of votes to have the majority in Parliament, it is uncertain whether any coalition will reach such result.
    Moreover, the right wing coalition has old and new faces. I am unsure it will be able to convince Europe to change its policy about migrants.
    Moreover, there is a strong French-German axis that often decides all the policies of European Union.
    On a personal note, I can observe that, since the introduction of the European currency, Euro, my country, Italy, for a number of reasons, has become poorer, its citizens are poorer than before.
    I must also say, regardless of any judgment on religious matters, that Pope Francis has heavily interfered with Italian policies regarding migrants, even publicly defending the democrats proposed bill to introduce the ius soli (versus the ius sanguinis now operating in Italy). The proposal did non pass. The ius soli (latin, the right of the soil or of the land) bill would have given more easily Italian citizenship to all the people born in Italy. With the thousands migrants arriving every year, the ius soli would have been an even greater incentive to migration.
    All that said, I hope this year will bring good things or at least the correction to some evils, in Europe and in the world. Trusting what you said about the satan’s power being broken.

    And regarding this matter, I would like to know whether the tale of Pope Leo and the challenge of the devil against the church, lasting 100 years, is a real historical fact, reported by the Pope, or a myth. If it is to be regarded as true, I wonder whether the 100 years are over and, if so, when they were over. Any clue?
    Thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Lilia.

      As to your last question, there is many a spiritual speaker and/or writer on these end times in which we live who has included the mystical vision of Pope Leo XIII as part of the messages from Heaven to guide us along our way. Please take a look at this article by Fr. Richard Heilman, found at one of his sites, Roman Catholic Man. No mere tale or myth is it. From this vision, Pope Leo composed the St. Michael the Archangel prayer which, for years, was prayed after Masses around the world.

      In Charlie’s last article from TNRS which is also his first piece here at ASOH, he conveys that the power of undue influence, granted by God to Our Mother’s adversary, has been broken. In other words, yes, the hundred years have ended. At the same time, the enemy of our souls will never be gone from our lives here below, for his presence is our inheritance in the line of original sin and, God, in His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, allows us to be tempted. Each and every angel was put to the test and we mere mortals, too, are tested. God reminds us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” and “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

      Charlie emphasizes our further trials which lie before us at the beginning of this piece: “In the last post at that site (and the first post at this site), I wrote that the power of the satan has been broken. He can no longer hide his malevolence from the world behind syrupy sounding sentiments. I emphasized that he remains deadly dangerous, but I suspect a lot of people didn’t pay much attention to that. One regular commenter here, Al, has clearly understood that we have entered a terribly dangerous period. Most animals are at their most irrational, deadly dangerous phase when wounded and cornered. That is the situation that anti-God ideologues are finding themselves in as this year kicks off.” And Charlie balances this caution with the beautiful image, captioned: “I will fear no evil for you are with me.” He, also, reminds us: “One of my primary goals at my old website, “The Next Right Step,” was to hearten people so they would prepare well to live faith with fidelity under all circumstances, including the most extreme.” The “vast majority” (perhaps a tired phrase, but oh so true and, for me, I say 99%) of our discussion and work at TNRS was cementing this way, in every season: “… so they would prepare well to live faith with fidelity under all circumstances, including the most extreme.”

      So while the evil one’s undue influence has been broken, our works of intense prayer balanced with ordinary deeds of Love must continue in these days of great import. In some ways, we’ve only just begun. That is to say, just as in generations past, when God, in His Great Mercy, came to our rescue even when we deserved to rot in our rebellion and sins, He is coming, *right now,* in this process of His Plan unfolding.

      I included Psalm 107 in a comment the other day because it captures so well, to me, what we are living. We have rebelled; we have grievously sinned; but, thanks to God, that’s not the end of the story. I love the entire Psalm 107, but here is just one verse which describes how Pure Love reaches down to His children, directly into their most tangled messes. Nothing is impossible for Him. BUT we must cry to Him and repent, as did our forefathers in this Psalm:

      “Some became fools through their rebellious ways
      and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
      They loathed all food
      and drew near the gates of death.
      Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
      and he saved them from their distress.
      He sent out his word and healed them;
      he rescued them from the grave.
      Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
      and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
      Let them sacrifice thank offerings
      and tell of his works with songs of joy.”

      For all His wondrous surprises, God also works in His Divine Patterns, which brings to mind another prayer of remembrance of the Goodness of God: Psalm 90.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Lilia, I wish all the countries of Europe would copy and/or return to the faith of Poland. Was it reported in your news that the country literally on the 100th anniversary of Fatima surrounded their borders in prayer to Jesus and the BVM? The entire border was covered including boats lining up. All the airport chapels overflowed with persons in prayer. It was reported here that the EU was furious. The BVM in all her apparitions has warned and given us the path.

      Liked by 8 people

    3. Today’s Medugorje message on the Feast Day of St. Paul’s conversion:

      Latest Medjugorje Message, January 25, 2018 [O]
      http://www.medjugorje.ws

      Marija during an apparition
      “Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer, so that the Holy Spirit, through prayer, may descend upon you and give you conversion. Open your hearts and read the Sacred Scripture, that through the testimonies you also may be closer to God. Above everything, little children, seek God and the things of God and leave earthly ones to the earth, because Satan is attracting you to the dust and sin. You are called to holiness and created for Heaven; therefore, seek Heaven and the things of Heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Open your hearts and read Sacred Scripture…”
        After praying my Evening Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) I picked up my Bible and opened to Daniel (8:21) prophesying the end times.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I am so grateful for this community. There are so many good conservative pundits out there but, Charlie, you flavor all with the salt of faith.

    In my meditation this week and after last week’s successful retreat with the teens (Many thanks for those who prayed for us) I have been trying to decide if I should personally strive to remain hidden as many here suggest we do or if it’s time to go out a be a shining lighthouse. I am already pretty active but realize there’s still more I could do. I ask for prayers so that the Holy Spirit can give me the gift of discernment. Ad majorum Dei.

    Liked by 14 people

  10. Articles that came to my inbox today that are worth a read:

    MILINET: Two (2) Articles for Christians

    The Claims of the Unborn–MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455597/march-life-abortion-unchosen-obligations

    The Department of Health and Human Services shows conviction–Everett Piper
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/21/hhs-ushers-in-the-division-of-conscience-and-relig/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 8 people

  11. Thank you, Charlie, for this piece. I was feeling a bit light-hearted lately, but do see that times are bad and getting worse. I look forward to Part 2. God bless you and all here and beyond.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Thank you Charlie, and all here, especially Bekita. I too,am looking forward to part two.Charlie, you have cleared things up for me as I did not understand how Satan’s power could be broken and yet the evil increases. I understand it now and I really love all the comments…they help clarify things for me.
    I love Beckita’s comments especially. God has chosen her for this special role at this time. All of you are a blessing to others, especially to me. Love and Prayers to all. God Bless.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. God bless you, Noreen. I, too, appreciate all the comments and how each one has a special place here. So grateful to call this place, “home.” God bless each of us, right where each one is planted! And your closing is one that I hold dear and echo every day: Love and Prayers to all.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Reading recently about how after Mary is said to have predicted hard times at Medjugorje and when the old Yugoslavia fell how the communists were the most violent and demonic when they were losing power after the old Soviet Union fell. So as we are seeing some signs of hope as well as signs of distress, let us redouble our prayers that Mary will implore Her Son that her Immaculate Heart will soon Triumph and that the power of the demons will soon be bound.

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  14. Thank you so much, Charlie. How are we to not be saddened by what we see- the evil we see as well as the struggle to love all in spite of this evil? . Lord forgive them and me for they know not what they do and I do know but still struggle even though I know what is right too. May God bless us and carry us and strengthen us to do His will with great love.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Well, I’m late to the party, as usual. A couple of comments: Charlie’s description of North Korea makes them sound like quasi independent actors. I believe that their actions are directly tied to the Chinese. In fact, I would argue that the Norks are basically sock-puppets of the Chicoms. North Korea is China’s junkyard dog. They snarl when China orders them to, and wag their tails when China gives the word. If the Norks are marching with the South Koreans in the Olympic Games, it’s because doing so is in China’s best interest. China always does whatever is in China’s best interest, and they aim for world hegemony. I think Charlie has always been right about China’s place in geopolitics: it’s the big meanie on the world stage now. As bad as our elites are, China is the focus of evil in the contemporary world ( to paraphrase Reagan).

    Also, I’d be curious to know what Charlie thinks of sites like “Conservative Treehouse.” I’ve been following it for years, ever since the George Zimmerman trial. The site’s editor, Sundance (whoever he is), strikes me as a superb investigative journalist, who, in a better time, would be the editor of a major national newspaper; alas, he must publish anonymously on the web in our degenerate times. Charlie sure was right about the abyss of corruption that plagues our day, from the halls of Congress, to the FBI, all the way down to the local classroom.

    We all wanted a Virgin in the Heavens, speaking directly to the inmost conscience of men in our time; we probably deserved to be tyrannized by the Machiavellis who run our world; in the end, however, we got…..Donald Trump! Hey, I can think of worse outcomes. As even the drug-addled, sex-crazed Rolling Stones figured out, “You can’t always get what you want, you get what you need.”

    Looking forward to the next installment.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. The Triumph of The Immaculate Heart of Mary is being fulfilled incrementally.
      It is no surprise She is working this way, God can work swiftly but as history shows, it is more typical for change to happen gradually. Still we are seeing a “quickening” a period where many things are happening at an accelerated rate.
      A few months ago, a friends of mine was diagnosed with a serious incurable/untreatable cancer. He told me what was happening and I mentioned it to our parish priest, my mom and my brother at dinner one night for prayers and mass said for this intention. If i know my mother, she offered her sufferings up for this friend who had done some remodeling on her home and whom she had come to love and admire. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with cancer herself and in two weeks was gone. The interesting thing here is that my friends “inoperable and incurable” cancer all but disappeared! He had been to some healing services, a mass was said for his intentions and we all prayed for God’s will, but I have my suspicions that my mother offered herself up in his stead and took the burden on herself.
      My friend has since dedicated his life to the Lords service and is prayerfully awaiting this fruition.
      This is but one amazing story of many which have been happening to everyone I know. I do not know if the Triumph is upon us or my saintly mothers death and her expiatory desires are in action now that she has reached heaven- or both, but the changes of lives and the revealing of hearts is fast and furious right now.
      It is an exciting time to see how the Spirit can move in the world especially for those who seek His will. For those I know who are not seeking his will, this unveiling has been manifesting changes too. I am hopeful it leads them to a better position to find God within the ruins. I know I am praying for and speaking to them so. Since the enemy has fled and the suppression lessened it is as if we are suddenly awake to what is going on around us! Choices are being made and great opportunities granted.
      I pray we do it right this time.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. What a beautiful reflection, Phil… as ever! I see the triumph of Our Mother’s Immaculate Heart, in the incremental fashion you describe, in every single heart that has returned and is now returning to Her Son. Prayers united with all here and with all around the world – there are lights (prayers and NRSteps) rising to Heaven from all over the planet, 24/7. May this become a surging momentum which brings a great, great harvest.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Where to next, Lord?

    An appropriate question when you find yourself standing at a crossroads (actually a tau –– a 3-way stop –– not a cross), which is where I found myself standing this morning. The good ‘ole Sweetwater 15 miles behind me. An unfamiliar environment right front of me. The challenge of trailblazing a new running/prayer route… the next thing on the list.

    I could have headed north on Wild Horse, but naturally took a right off trail, cutting some rough switchbacks into a deep canyon. I saw and contemplated a good many things running the sandy stretches of neighborhood canyons, but I’ll save those thoughts for later… thoughts from the den. I did manage a long loop of sorts, popping back up out of that canyon an hour or so later at another tau. Mustang and Bucking Bronco.

    I can struggle mightily like the next person, trying to ‘read’ the signs and make my way, but that wasn’t the case this morning. Maybe it was even punctuated by a grin.

    And maybe that has some wondering what that all has to do with the topic(s) at hand. Well, nothing… and something.

    Moving forward, I suppose I’m thinking of ‘breaking wild horses’ and taking stock of the grit it’s going to take to see it through. It’s been a lot of tracking, watching and learning to this point. Seems like it’s time to get at it. Maybe I’ll start building some new cairns in the canyon to kick it off. Perhaps I’ll dedicate the first one to St. Eligius.

    As always, I take comfort in all the other gritty folks here and scattered about, tackling the work right in front of them.

    Thought you might enjoy a little shot of trails end. Not sure what to make of it, but God is good… and probably grinning too.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Last summer we visited my wife’s relatives in rural Arkansas. They lived just off of “Dead Horse Road”. Only in rural areas would you see a name like that! Apparently a horse owner used to race horses and that was where they were buried after they got old and died.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. While these are definitely dangerous times, there are many positive signs too. Here in Canada, the Trudeau government is trying to force a leftist agenda on businesses that hire summer students and suprisingly there has been backlash and it’s even getting covered in MSM.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3964861/commentary-scrap-the-canada-summer-jobs-program-or-the-politics-around-it/

    This may not seem like much but this is the first debate of any kind to happen concerning the whole abortion and LGBT agenda. More and more it seems like a veil is being removed and people are seeing some ugly truths.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. It’s good to see that people are aware of what’s going on in the world. Good summary Charlie.

    Until the “Immaculate Heart” triumphs, I guess we have to work hard at praying the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and pretty much any other devotion we can muster. Try to be a light for others in the world which is easier said than done, and fight back the darkness somehow.

    Pervert sex-ed education has been introduced in Ontario Canada to destroy the innocence of children, and they slowly sneaking in the content starting with 6 year olds. LGBT has been very noisy lately taunting the Lord. The ME-TOO movement appears to be female sympathy movement for the purpose of taking down Trump.

    I keep looking to Garabandal & Medjugorje for any updates, but nothing yet… I pray for the promise of Our Lady that her Immaculate Heart will triumph, and the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in the gospel saying that “for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened”. We should never forget to pray for these…

    That’s all I’ve got to report for today.

    Liked by 8 people

  19. Al. father Celso made an interesting comment in a talk. Conch ita is 70 later this year and 70 is considered the fullness of time. Who knows. But with each day keep imploring the Holy Spirit to come.!!!

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Dearest Charlie, Beckita, Stevebc and everyone in the TNRS!! Greetings! Charlie this piece is awesome and I can’t wait to have time to re-read! I read a book once on China called “Hegemon” and I keep talking about how China wants Hegemon and no one gets what I’m talking about! lol So it is good to see that you said it!!!

    Tommy and Dr Smith are off today to Ice climb in Colorado (I thought it was 20 – 25) but in actuality it is 25 – 30 so If you see Tommy and Dr. Smith give them a big shout!!! Prayers for safety appreciated as well!!! Calling all Holy Angels and Saints and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati!!! St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabrielle!!! 😉

    The other thing that I am noticing is that prayers seem to be getting through these days for certain people! (and others seem to be getting worse.. me too sometimes.. I need to confess!!!) I definitely can see how the power of the satan has been diminished! Praised be Jesus and Mary!!!

    What a wonderful time to be alive!

    Let us all keep Acknowledging God, Taking that next right step (with a lot of wrong steps in the way) and being that sign of Hope to all those we meet or just “pop” in our heads!

    As crew dog always says! GOD SAVE ALL HERE!! xoxo TNRS

    Liked by 7 people

  21. SD update. I moved into a new place yesterday, the 7th place Mimi and I have laid our little heads this past year. It’s tiny, solid, quiet, updated, warm, and gets the morning sun — perfect. In my academics, NP school is on like Donky-Kong, and it’s unfortunately necessary I go shopping for some presentable-looking threads. I prefer my ripped Riggs workwear, but I gotta play the part and look like I know what I’m doing.

    I like the post Charlie. It’s like secular prophesy that everyone can see. The part about China I found particularly ominous. It appears that what is happening post 2017 is the option I liked the least: that we must slog through this battle and that it will likely be protracted. A gradual resolution into peace or an explosive entrance into brief conflict seem less likely. In any case, “the board is set, the pieces are moving” (Lord of the Rings) and we’re in this for the long haul. I think our individual experiences throughout last year prepared us well for the challenges ahead…as best as we can be prepared. I, for one, however, am grateful for the additional time.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. ““the board is set, the pieces are moving” (Lord of the Rings) “”

      Their are so many parts in “The Lord of the Rings” that can be applied to the present day world. I feel as though we are in this world where in “The Lord of the Rings” they are marching on the black gate towards the end of “The Return of the King”.

      Great movie, I thought the book was even better. “The Book of Lost Tales” by Tolkien was also really good, it really fills in the gaps.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I read the LOTR for the first time ever last year, savoring every chapter, and didn’t want the book to end. The movies were also so very excellent.

        I want to recommend three movie I’ve seen recently, all related, and all excellent (this coming from a guy who generally dislikes Hollywood and their junky movies):

        * “THE KING’S SPEECH” (clever title)

        * “DUNKIRK

        * “THE DARKEST HOUR”

        I prefer movies based on true stories, like “Hacksaw Ridge”, “Patriot’s Day, “Lone Survivor”, “Blackhawk Down”, “American Sniper”, “13 Hours”, etc. See a pattern?

        But yes, the LOTR is quite prophetic and describes our tipmes and struggle between good and evil to a T.

        Liked by 5 people

  22. I wanted to and thank all who prayed for us. 🙏😍
    This was a very painful trial and battle – on two different but connected fronts- but one that the Lord both fought and won! God bless each of you!

    Thank you- thank you! You can’t begin to know what your prayers did! So much good came from this and so many things were healed ( namely my scrupulosity that I wasn’t even fully aware of!). The love, mercy, kindness and patience of God is beyond words!
    Charlie, a special thanks to you- I want to say- “A sign of Hope” is the PERFECT name for your site! Amen! 💔💕✝🔥

    Liked by 9 people

  23. Just been listening to fr Celso……marvellous. I was wondering how old he would be…. And thought to myself……..hey, I can ask Beckita, the one of much knowledge to give me an idea of his approximate age!!!! Father speaks with great conviction about Divine Will.
    So Beckita…. A rough idea of his age?? Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping someone can help me. I had never heard of Luisa and the Union with the Divine Will until I saw the link on this site and started listening to the talks about it. Can anyone give me a brief summary of what it means and how we can receive this gift? Also, did any of the saints and/or bishops mention Luisa? Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There are quite a few who have embraced this spirituality so I’m quite sure others will weigh in, Lynne. In it, there is a distinction between being in “union” with the Divine Will, or submitting our will to God’s Will, even while doing so is essential in all we do. I have been taught, for one to embrace the gift of Living in the Divine Will (LITDW), one simply acknowledges: I desire it while it is Jesus who accomplishes the work in me.

        Much like the teachings of Our Lady from Fatima, at the heart of LITDW is praying and doing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in TDW so that it becomes Jesus using every bit of our existence to offer reparation to the Father. And there is a trans-temporal dimension to our complete offering of self. That is, God touches souls throughout time in what we offer. Once reparation to the Father is complete, we, on earth, will be living the fulfillment of the Our Father: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Those who teach this spirituality concur that gaining greater knowledge of the many aspects revealed to Luisa by Jesus is essential in fully living this spiritual way, so, if you are feeling called to it, Lynne, a little study, day by day, is the way to proceed. (The website is loaded with material to learn and study.) Most helpful is finding your way to a group so you can discuss with others.

        You can definitely begin praying the Rounds – potent prayers – as well. You can begin intentionally offering everything you do – a sort of self-training – by praying aspirations such as : Divine Will, wash these dishes in me; Divine Will, walk in my footsteps; Divine Will beat in my heartbeats, etc. There’s so much to it and, yet, it is a life lived in simplicity and love.

        St. Hanibal Mary Di Francia was Luisa’s spiritual director. I see a parallel between Luisa’s encounters with Jesus and those of St. Faustina. Both were initially misunderstood and suppressed. The Vatican is now releasing their own approved, official translations of Luisa’s writings. The promotion of this spirituality is spreading under the authority and blessing of the Church.

        The last thought I have, Lynne, is a word of caution. There were many groups in the nineties which were led by lay people who were teaching misinterpretations of what was in Luisa’s writings. The beauty of the website which Anne has shared is the sound teaching which is there.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Rough estimate: late fifties, early sixties, Anne. Fr. Celso has dedicated years to teaching the spirituality of Living in the Divine Will. When there was a moratorium placed on widespread teaching, he was one of the five Vatican approved teachers allowed to continue. as you say, truly dedicated.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. We need to watch this “Memo” and FBI Meltdown situation very closely!

    “Defiant Republicans ready to send secret Russia memo to Trump: A review of the House Intelligence Committee’s 13 GOP members shows firm support for what a top Justice Department official calls an ‘extraordinarily reckless’ move.”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/25/russia-memo-trump-republicans-369541

    The DEEP STATE, Dems, RINOs, Media Elite, Hollywood and DNC “Mouth Organs” like Politico, seem to be very afraid of this MEMO and the unraveling that will follow! Let’s Pray that there arrogant overstep to destroy Trump & Deplorables and protect Billary and Obama “Legacy” at ALL costs will lead to their demise? I have felt for some long time that Billary, Obama and many others in powerful USA/EU/Church positions have sold their souls and have been protected by Evil! It’s as if they are protected by a Satanic “Klingon Cloaking Device” ….. and a large part of the cloaking is thanks to the Global LeftStream Media whom, it appears, have also sold their souls. Let’s Face-It!! It all boils down to the simple fact that they are all godless Socialists along with their pals in Hollywood. It strains belief to see the likes of Billary & Ilk “skate” for so many decades. Sadly history is replete with evil and powerful people. ;-(
    We will see, in short order, if Billary and Pals continue to “skate” or if The Department of Just-Us becomes The Department of Justice once again. I’m afraid it will be a close run thing!! If the Deep State wins, The Republic is truly finished! PRAY HARD!!

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Absolutely agree, Crew Dog. I continue to ponder how this thread of the FISA memo could well be God allowing a great unraveling to reveal the depths of depravity and corruption which have been hidden for so long in the halls of power. Whether our governmental system goes down, in God’s permissive will, or survives to be corrected and purified is totally in His Providence as we do our best to pray and act for His Good in all things.

      I’m left with these thoughts as I mentally detach from the outcome, relying with complete trust on God’s Plan: IF we continue to pray and act for a good (which we MUST), law-abiding (with man’s law subject to God’s Law), life-giving government and God deems fit to grace us in ways which bring this outcome to fruition as we strive for such a comeback, then Blessed be God! IF God sees that returning our government to a good, life-giving foundation still finds us with about half this country’s populace whose hearts have not returned to Him, I consider He may well allow the failure of our efforts to preserve what we have cherished – and in ignorance did not know how long we have not been really free. Such a “failure” may be His very tool to True Freedom, the cause of millions of people dropping on their knees to cry out, “Have mercy on me, God, for I have sinned.” Perhaps, when something is so rotten and corrupt, it is better to embrace a New Way. God Alone knows what’s best. We all have thoughts and feelings about what we see before us. In the end, I want what God wants.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Crewdog, I’ve been praying for our Republic to be restored. More so, I’ve been praying for the apparent enemy and the seemingly lost souls, many of which were bred and/or groomed as second and third generations, perhaps more, by legacies of lust, power and greed . Lord have mercy. ❤

      Liked by 4 people

    3. Ya, it’s a nightmare everywhere, Europe is in shambles from the migrant invasion. Canada is a stronghold of globalism through the Liberal parties, with the bad actor Justin Trudeau showing his globalist loyalties on media. There was a scandal yesterday in the province of Ontario, where many suspect the Ontario Liberal party payed a couple women to make false sexual harassment claims to remove the Conservative party leader who would of defeated the Liberals in the election in a few months from now, very suspicious this had to happen so close to a election.

      I am convinced that the enemy’s weapon of choice right now is sexual harassment claims to silence & terrorize their opponents, we should pray for the light of truth to expose these deceptions that keep the bad people in power.

      Liked by 5 people

  25. Beckita, In light of your and Father’s intimate connection with the faithful in China, might you be able to help us with understanding/your perspective of this latest news? This article,
    https://stream.org/pope-francis-just-claimed-china-protestantism/
    ends with Cardinal Zen encouraging the faithful to remain loyal to the Pope, even if it means they have to ‘just pray at home’. I am thankful for that. This seems like such an extraordinarily bad move from my very limited perspective, but I will trust that God has a plan! Here’s another article I read today
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/the-complicated-case-of-chinas-catholic-bishops-90994

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Naisy, the Church in China has suffered in many ways through all kinds of complexities. So much can be said. I do think Smirak’s assessment is harsh: “No big surprise, but the only Catholics with any credibility in China are those who wouldn’t play ball.” Certainly the CCPA is not a good arrangement, nevertheless, I’ve looked into the eyes of priests functioning in the CCPA and listened to their expressions of zeal in bringing Jesus to their Chinese brothers and sisters. They feel the oppression by the government, yet, remain above ground to reach as many souls as possible. In fact, Father’s catechetical materials are being distributed, far and wide, to all: underground Catholics, CCPA Catholics, non-Catholic Christians and non-believers. All that said, this move by the Holy Father must surely feel like betrayal to those underground Catholics, both clergy and lay, who have suffered physically, mentally and emotionally for the Faith and I think Cardinal Zen’s advice is wise. Praying…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. It is encouraging to hear your comments re: the priest functioning in the CCPA (and a reminder not to judge), and re: the distribution of the catechetical materials, which itself is probably among God’s “great continual silent miracles” (Surrender Novena Day 7:) Praying with you.

        Liked by 3 people

  26. How do we know good from evil? For starters goodness is meek & humble of heart and 1 Corinthians 13 says it all; evil is very proud, arrogant, rude, defiant & rebellious. Where you find one evil deed there’s usually more skeletons in their closets.

    Globalism is the evil that operates by stealth, and their ultimate goal is the extermination of the human race, with only the servants of evil as the remnant. Wars, abortion, assisted suicide, safe injection zones, drugs, chemicals in food and water, Islamic Jihad, mass migrations, and anything “culture of death” is their handiwork for global depopulation; this is the battle we face today. If the world knew the evil they faced, they would all vote in Trump style leaders. Globalism hates Christianity, which is why it promotes perversions in society and makes sins equal rights, while portraying Christians as the hate mongers to be ignored and persecuted, this is the evil we face.

    Good night, I can probably sleep now that I got this off my mind.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Another Good-One for “These-Days”:

      Heartlight Daily Verse – 27 January

      Ephesians 6:12-13
      Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

      Thoughts on today’s verse:

      How often do you forget that we are in a spiritual war? Our enemy is deceptively cunning – take away the immediacy of a threat and the danger appears gone. But he’s there, always. But rather than try to guess his plans and counter all of his moves, Paul reminds us to simply take up the tools God has given us and stand up to the evil one.

      Prayer:

      Lord of Hosts, my Great Deliverer, protect me from the evil one by your great power. Give me a sense of urgency as I face Satan and his schemes on a daily basis, but also give me confidence that Jesus has already defeated my foe. Help me to stand against this foe and show myself faithful to you. Through Jesus my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
      Visit heartlight.org for more

      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 3 people

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