Ashes, Hearts and Flames of Fire

 

(We begin Lent 2018 at a time of intense confusion and clarity, horror and hope, uncertainty and unwavering resolve. It remains a time to CHOOSE and a time to embrace anew the message enkindled at TNRS and ever burning brightly at ASOH. In this unmasking process, I often contemplate: Is the darkness actually deepening? Or is not the more accurate notion this: The “end of times” darkness is actually being diminished, overcome by the Light penetrating and uncovering what was previously hidden.

Oh, mighty and formidable challenges lie before us as we live through these times, reaping the consequences of our individual and collective sins. The confrontation is real and was prophetically foretold in a message that remained obscure until recent years. This message was given in 1978, when Pope St. John Paul II visited the USA as, then, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla:

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.

In the common language of many a map: “You are here.” And so we are as we begin this Lenten season marked, again, with the ashes that remind us, in traditional language: “Remember man that you are dust, and unto dust you will return.”  Or in contemporary terms: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel!” The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” has an even richer meaning this Lent. May we pray, choose, and act wisely as we strive to do whatever Christ tells us to do! And in surrendering to His Lead and Ways, may we BE His tools of Love, Light and Mercy, His very means of saving many, that ALL will CHOOSE HIM and turn from ways which would bring the disintegration of this entire world to a heap of ashes. Instead, may only our sinful ways be burned to ashes, rich in repentance and surrendered to the Lord’s Mercy, for He, remarkably, transforms such as this, making all things new.

Before we turn to a wonderful reflection, by Msgr. Charles Pope, on the deeper meaning of the ashes we receive today, let us contemplate a verse from Psalm 51, prayed and proclaimed at today’s Masses all over the world, for we – who are nothing –  cannot accomplish what we are being called to do without the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

In all His Glory, Holy Spirit awaits us to turn to Him, asking for His Presence and Power, both outward and inward, so that with His Sweet Breath, He may infuse in each of us a new outpouring of all His Gifts and Fruit. By this, we rise, from our personal ashes, to become co-creators in God’s Promise ringing true:

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more…” (Romans 5:20)

~Beckita)

 

Five Meanings of the Ashes We receive Today

               By Msgr. Charles Pope, 2-13-18

As a boy, I remember wondering why so many people liked to rush to Church to get ashes smudged on their foreheads. Frankly, I had some revulsion at the idea. I didn’t like it at all and would secretly rub them off when no one was looking. Today, though I’ll admit I still don’t like it too much, I behave myself and don’t rub them off!

I pray that this doesn’t seem impious, but I still marvel at how many people pack into the church to get ashes on their foreheads. Sadder still, some who come don’t seem to want Holy Communion nearly as much. In fact, in some of the parishes where I served in the past, significant numbers walked out the door after receiving ashes and did not even stay for Communion.

Of course most people who come to Mass are faithful and have their priorities straight, but it still interests me how large the numbers are for something that seems to me so unappealing and challenging.

Indeed, the sign of ashes is quite challenging if understand what it really means. We are saying some pretty powerful stuff and making some extensive promises of a sort.

What do ashes signify? Perhaps a brief tour of Scripture is in order:

HumilityJob said, “You [Oh Lord] asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3-6).

Notice that Job does not merely repent in a general sense. Rather, having encountered God, he realizes that God is God, and that he, Jacob, is a creature, mere dust and ashes in the presence of God, who is being itself, who is all in all. Yes, Jacob is a son in the presence of a Father; he is not God’s equal that he might question Him or put Him on trial.

Hence in this case the ashes represent not only repentance but humility as well. The Church’s liturgy echoes this theme of humility in quoting Gen 3:19: “Remember, you are dust and unto dust you shall return” as the ashes are placed on the individual’s forehead.

A reminder of death and a call to wisdom – After Adam sinned, God told him, By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return (Gen 3:19).

As he imposes the ashes, the priest usually recites some form of this passage. And memorable though it is, consider an even blunter form: “You are going to die.”

This is a salient and sobering reminder that we often get worked up and anxious about passing things, while at the same time being unmindful of the certain and most important thing, for which we really must be ready. We tend to maximize the minimum and minimize the maximum. Sadly, like the man in one of the Lord’s parables, we can amass worldly things and forget the final things. To him the Lord said, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:21-22).

Thus, to consider our final end is wise; to fail to do so is foolishness defined.

Ashes are a sacramental that points to the Sacrament – The Old Testament declared, You shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin … For the unclean person, put some ashes from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over them. Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop, dip it in the water and sprinkle the tent and all the furnishings and the people who were there. (Numbers 19:9, 17).

This text shows ashes obtained from a burned sin offering and mixed with sprinkled water as a cleansing ritual. In the Old Testament, this ritual could not actually take away sin (cf Heb 9:9-13), but it did provide for ritual purity. It also symbolized repentance and a desire to be free from sin.

In the same way, ashes on Ash Wednesday (mixed with holy water) cannot take away sin. They are a sacramental, not a sacrament.

To receive ashes on Ash Wednesday and then not go to confession some time during Lent is really to miss the point. If one really desires to repent and to be cleansed and free of sin, then from the sacramental of ashes one goes to the Sacrament of Confession. Otherwise the ritual of Ash Wednesday is pointless.

A sign of a true change – Scripture says, When the news [of Nineveh’s possible destruction in forty days] reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust (Jonah 3:6).

Here, too, repentance is symbolized, but the symbol alone is not enough—actual repentance is required. The king does not just “get ashes”; he issues a decree calling for fasting, prayer, and true reform: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish (Jonah 3:7-9).

Hence another option for the priest to say as he applies the ashes is, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”

It is not enough to get a sooty forehead. True repentance is called for, an actual intent to change. Otherwise the ashes are a false sign.

A summons to faith and a new mind – Jesus said, Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (Matt 11:21).

Jesus rebukes ancient towns for their lack of faith. It is good to recall that the Greek word translated here as “repented” is μετενόησαν (metenoesan), which more literally means “to come to a new mind or way of thinking.”

There are many ways that we think about things that are more of the world than of God. Our ongoing challenge is to come to a new mind and to think more as God thinks. This is only possible by His grace, working through Scripture and Church teaching.

It is significant that the ashes are smeared on the forehead or sprinkled on the head—we are called to a faith that transforms our mind. We are called to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).

Hence yet another option for the priest is to say, “Repent and believe the Good News” as he imposes the ashes.

How real are your ashes? Do you intend the things described above as you go forth? Or is it just a ritual, something to do because it’s “sorta neat”? Pray and reflect on the deeper meaning of the ashes.

 

50 thoughts on “Ashes, Hearts and Flames of Fire

    1. Thank you for sharing this Beckita. It is beautiful in it’s words and mysterious in it’s melody. Audrey Assad is one of my favorite artists but I have never heard this. This is one I will share with our teens.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful Beckita! I really love what you said here!
    “I often contemplate: Is the darkness actually deepening? Or is not the more accurate notion this: The “end of times” darkness is actually being diminished, overcome by the Light penetrating and uncovering what was previously hidden.” 🌒🌌 💥🔥…🌷🌾! Amen!

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Thank you Beckita for a great post. Your statement “Oh, mighty and formidable challenges lie before us as we live through these times, reaping the consequences of our individual and collective sins” is soooooooooooo true today and Msgr. Poe’s message was the icing on the cake.

    Take care.

    Paul in Katy

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Thank you Beckita! I have missed your articles. Between you and Charlie there is a wonderful balance. Charlie’s sharp,insightful more political articles and your very informative,encouraging, gracious writings. Thank you to both for responding to your call.
    Just before reading TSOH this morning I had a fleeting thought. As the Light shines more intensely, the darkness in desperation becomes more controlling. The contrast is becoming more obvious. Charlie’s advice to cope with the rapids by going with the flow, not fighting them is so true.
    No wonder our trials are to bring us to Trust and Abandonment!
    Also just read the Pope’s homily for Ash Wednesday. Pause. See. Return. Brilliant.
    Now I had better get back to watching my phone screen. Why? Because the new controlling way of getting relief staff is via an app. The first finger that pushes gets the job! And of course there are many fingers awaiting. Classic example of control!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Thank you Beckita. Monsignor Pope is a diamond!!
    Today we had to go to early Mass due to our schedules, and like you i have a wiggling inside to wipe off but nope! I know it is a much NEEDED symbol for society to see. I pray people see a flawed individual wanting to please God, and not “holier than thou”. But we need society to reflect, and it that means getting a “temporary tatoo” as the little 4 yr. said to his mommy, then that is what i do! God bless each of you on this MOST needed season. Aloha

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Thank you, Beckita! This will be a great post to print out and read and reread and reflect upon. Lord have mercy on us and help us to love you with pure intention.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Hi Beckita,

    I loved your introduction; it spoke to my heart as I experienced much darkness and light yesterday, Ash Wednesday. Even during Mass the fierce battle continued. It centered on “seeing” the effects of my own heretofore unconscious sins and also ancestral sins, on my life and the life of my family. Devastating, but liberating, because we turned and faced them, and the horrific pain that comes with seeing. Even As I sit here writing, the clouds are hiding the sun and then being blown away by the wind, so that it shines again.

    This especially spoke to me:

    “The “end of times” darkness is actually being diminished, overcome by the Light penetrating and uncovering what was previously hidden.
    Oh, mighty and formidable challenges lie before us as we live through these times, reaping the consequences of our individual and collective sins.”

    And Msgr. Pope’s piece is something I am going to ponder.

    Here is a piece by Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez that speaks of the dragons we must slay:

    http://atxcatholic.com/index.php/2018/02/angels-dragons-ix-40-days-slay-dragon/#.WoWcd9FOmhC

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thanks for sharing the link to Deacon R’s material, Arwen. Just discovered him recently.

      When facing sin, I love to remember the prodigal son, the Good Shepherd and the words of Fr. Jacques Philippe:
      “The sign of spiritual progress is not so much never falling as it is being able to lift oneself up quickly after one falls.”
      ― Jacques Philippe, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart

      Hope you’re feeling better, Arwen. Taking you to Adoration this evening. God’s Peace and Blessings to you and to all here.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Thank you, Beckita, for this wonderful meditation.

        Regarding Fr. Jacques Philippe: He is going to be speaking at a parish not too far from my home in about a month. My husband and I are going to attend, and I am looking forward to it.

        Regarding Msgr. Pope and ashes: One of the most powerful images that has come out of the horrific Florida shootings is of a mother, ashes on her forehead, hugging another mother as they both weep. I can’t get that picture out of my head:

        https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/2/16/friday-five-ash-wednesday-photo-project-florida-school-shooting-pences-mental-illness-tebows-night-to-shine-and-more

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Agree, Mick and Jen. My heart was pierced with this photo. Mick, how blessed you will be to gather with Fr. Jacques. Over his years of writing, I have ordered every one of his small books, so rich in meditation material. What I love most about Fr. Jacques’ work is his way of expressing age-old spiritual truths in our contemporary language and experiences. In my view, Fr. Jacques is yet another manifestation of: Where sin abounds, grace abounds the more. Deo Gratias!

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Mick, that was the first thing I noticed when I saw that photo. When I turned to Fox News to find out more about the shooting, Martha MacCallum was on and she had a smudge on her forhead that looked like ashes. I think she is catholic. What a beautiful witness to our faith.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for this beautiful column, and that of Msgr. Pope. I was pondering how Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine’s Day, a day of love. Yet it was marred by the horrific shooting at the high school in Florida. But even there, the heroic coach who literally took bullets to save some of the youth, and died himself, is a beautiful testimony. I believe he must have gone straight to heaven, for “No one has greater love than this, than to lay down his life for a friend.” Darkness and light, indeed.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. Bekita, another gem, thanks! Love Msgr. Pope’s blog!

    Hey, I wanted to know if anyone else read the disturbing article (disturbing to me at least) on Lifesitenews.com? Link is here https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/scholar-stumps-cardinal-cupich-asks-if-popes-paradigm-shift-means-radical-d (but understand if it must be scrubbed as well….). In the article, Prof. Rist (I don’t know if I’ve read his stuff or not, will have to look) questions Cardinal Cupich about a “paradigm shift” that our Pope is instituting.

    I read everything with an open mind and a grain of salt until I know the details and confirm. However, this article is further revealing the exact rift in our beautiful Church that’s been talked about by Charlie and others… I know we’ve seen Bishop against Bishop even recently, but this seems to label many things on the inner workings of our Church – things that I’ve read about in history and considered “scandalous” previously…. just wondered your all take on this. As I said, I am not jumping to conclusions or judging – just further researching with you, my trusted TNRSers!

    This article has intensified my prayer for Pope Francis, all of the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and Religious’. And for all of us here! God bless us all!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. No need to scrub the truth, Bill. (Edit… I should be more clear: by “truth” I mean the truth of the struggle within our Church.) I love your forthright, respectful and gentle presentation of this difficult reality. It’s a heartbreak to see the disarray and confusion in the Church, isn’t it? Your closing is exactly what rises in my heart in the face of this Passion Time in our Church. Here’s another perspective on the topic from a priest I greatly admire for the depth and breadth of his preaching.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Wow, Fr. Rutler is an eloquent writer! I think I may follow him now as well, thank you for sharing! I particularly raised my brow at “There have indeed been paradigm shifters in Christology, but there have been no Doctors of the Church among them, and none has been salubrious in the annals of grace. To skim the surface, they have included Arius, Nestorius, Priscillian, Montanus, Mohammed, Waldo, Luther, Calvin, Jansen, Joseph Smith and Phineas Quimby who coached Mrs. Eddy.”

        Agree Bekita, disarray and confusion is abounding! Prayer, fasting, and alms seem to me like a good start to try to help however I can! God bless everyone here!

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I love Fr George’s imagery Beckita, “There are those who have twisted themselves into pretzels trying to make clear with subtlety…” Makes the word ‘clarity’ appear to be morphing into something new – very ironic. There is such power in the written or spoken word, perhaps Lent is a time when we can focus on our own little ‘coms’ world and use true clarity, brevity and more silence, not only for our own good but in atonement for the spin in the world.

        Liked by 4 people

  9. Wow, Arwen. That is something I will be reflecting on this Lent, both personally and also for our society. Lately I feel we are standing on the precipice of something big and we need to make our choice as a society, or it will be made for us. Somehow I feel that the heart wrenching school shooting on Ash Wednesday/St. Valentine’s Day was a turning point for us. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Beckita, I just found this tonight and was wondering if you had seen or read it? I love Bishop Wei’s view on what is happening… hopefully I am not misunderstanding this?
    http://www.lastampa.it/2018/02/16/vaticaninsider/eng/inquiries-and-interviews/china-the-underground-bishop-we-will-follow-the-pope-because-we-trust-the-lord-VYWM8FZrxcmigX3ePHVOTI/pagina.html
    “And how do you look at all this?

    I am a bishop of the underground community of the Catholic Church in China. I am grateful to those who are interested in us and have helped us in every possible way. But I also want to say to everyone that China is huge, that the condition of the Church varies from place to place, and this applies above all to the underground Church. Therefore, I wholeheartedly beg our friends outside of mainland China, including those from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and all the other continents, please not to speak on our behalf, do not insist on speaking in our place, do not speak on behalf of the clandestine Church. I ask you for it is not you who can represent the underground Church in China.

    Some want to present the “underground” ecclesial area as a worried or even hostile reality in the face a potential agreement between Beijing and the Holy See. Is this the case?

    In the present situation in the People’s Republic of China, no one can claim they represent the underground Church. If someone has received a request from a particular community or individual person to send messages on their behalf, ought to openly state that they are speaking on behalf of that particular community or person, and no one else. I myself do not want to be “represented” by someone else, without even being informed. And following what faith suggests to me, on my own behalf and on behalf of the community entrusted by God to my pastoral care, I want to solemnly declare: “regardless how the relations between China and the Vatican will go, we will wholly obey to the decision of the Pope and the Holy See, whatever it may be. And we will not question it either.

    What is this trust based on? Is it just out of respect for the decisions of ecclesiastical authority?

    When God called Abraham, the conditions around him were harsh and adverse. Abraham did not ask God to change things before he moved. The only thing Abraham had, was faith in God, in his God, who had called him. He entrusted himself to God without hesitation. When God called me, the seminaries in China had not yet been reopened. But God gave me His light. He showed me what the future of the Church in China could be. When I applied to enter the newly opened seminar, they told me that I had to take an admission exam. I prepared a presentation with this title, “If the end of a harsh winter has come, can spring ever be far away?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this, Snowy. Yes, I saw it. God bless Bishop Wei. The faith expressed by this man is, to me, of heroic virtue: “The situation around us is not optimal, far from it, and that worries so many people. But even now our help comes from the Lord.” And I love Bishop Wei’s beautiful closing paragraph, filled with hope! I see that Bishop Wei speaks with accuracy and exhorts with wisdom. Most salient to me is his affirmation: “But I also want to say to everyone that China is huge, that the condition of the Church varies from place to place, and this applies above all to the underground Church.” and “I myself do not want to be “represented” by someone else, without even being informed.”

      I have said before, in our community here, that persecution varies from place to place in China. Further, when living in a communist country where people’s freedoms are repressed, personal relationships most often trump oppressive laws. Hence, I was able to support and engage in evangelization in a locale which could have easily led to my arrest in a different locale.

      We wait; we watch; we pray. God has a Glorious Plan.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with what you said about Bishop Wei’s heroic virtue, reading him and what he said made me like I was reading the words of a saint! This filled my heart with so much hope and joy! God bless him and all of the people in China!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. “But God gave me His light. He showed me what the future of the Church in China could be. When I applied to enter the newly opened seminar, they told me that I had to take an admission exam. I prepared a presentation with this title, “If the end of a harsh winter has come, can spring ever be far away?””

      I just love this! ❤ I am praying for China and all of the graces there to be multiplied.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Right, Jen?! And, perhaps, Bishop Wei does not realize (since the preparation for priestly formation in China, by circumstances, did not formerly allow seminarians to have access to the writings of Pope St. John Paul II) he is echoing the prophetic words of St. John Paul: a New Springtime awaits the whole world.

        Let the Fire Fall!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s me again! 😊
    The Lord led me to three articles and after reading all three back to back.. I started to see the bigger picture with what Pope Francis is doing… I am amazed!

    The link I put above-
    http://www.lastampa.it/2018/02/16/vaticaninsider/eng/inquiries-and-interviews/china-the-underground-bishop-we-will-follow-the-pope-because-we-trust-the-lord-VYWM8FZrxcmigX3ePHVOTI/pagina.html

    Then this one next-
    http://www.lastampa.it/2018/01/31/vaticaninsider/eng/inquiries-and-interviews/parolin-why-we-are-in-dialogue-with-china-C8mlJsD0PDNsmsx7db6ZIJ/pagina.html

    and then this link-
    http://catholicherald.co.uk/issues/february-9th-2018/andy-warhols-devotion-was-almost-surreal/

    After reading all of this tonight, I can only say I am more than willing to wait and see. God has a plan!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Such wisdom not to read attacking articles against oneself. Who can imagine the full import and impact of the burden which Pope Francis inherited when he became our Holy Father?! At the same time, one dimension of my prayers for Pope Francis includes the hope that he be willing to dialogue with everyone who wishes to reach him, particularly, his brother bishops to whom he has often spoken of his desire for collegiality. In his humanity, alive and fallen (as he courageously demonstrates each time he allows photos of himself while confessing), he has missed the mark by ignoring the request to communicate with the cardinals of the dubia. Of course there are additional problems, such as the spurious appointments of those who, publicly, do not uphold certain teachings of the faith. How could there not be in the face of the evil one’s spewing, spitting and puking on us as, even as he is hissing, firmly stuck under the petite and powerful heel of the Co-Redemptrix who is c-r-u-s-h-i-n-g him?! How much of these problems are due to the intentional deviousness of bad advisors, and who knows what else may be pressing on Pope Francis, God Alone knows. Through it all, I agree with the stance of beau coup prayer and sacrifice for our Vicar of Christ, along with refraining from either extreme:
        1. The tendency to dismiss the problems with a blind eye approach to what is before us which, therefore, may well become obstacles to acknowledging and working for healthy, holy resolution of the real problems
        and
        2. The all out attacks on Pope Francis with hyper-vigilance, calling out every perceived error, attributing motives to Pope Francis which no one may clearly know, thereby making new pathways for the evil one to tempt folks to jump the ship and doubt the faith.

        No doubt to me, just as St. Joan of Arc was born for her post to man, so too, all the seemingly disparate pieces of Pope Francis’s entire life have prepared him for his current post. What can we do, Snowy, but proclaim the faith in deeds and ongoing prayer, especially holding up Pope Francis, even when one may shake the head at what looks like error?!

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Amen, Beckita! Love your last paragraph! I cannot begin to explain what this did for me or what I am seeing I can only say it was like seeing the light shining at the end of the very long dark tunnel- a glimmer of hope and what is coming! God is so good!

          Liked by 4 people

  12. Deer asked me to post this for her. Hi DEER! 😊😍 We miss you!

    deereverywhwere .

    10:18 AM (1 hour ago)

    to me
    Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh. His museum is two or three miles from where I grew up. I had known that he exemplified the opposite of homosexuality which is not heterosexual but celibacy. He went to bed every night at 10:00 p m and took his mum to church almost every day. He is a great example of the phrase, things are not as they seem. Perhaps this line, things are not as they seem, is prevalent in all three articles. This is the heart of trusting. This is why we walk in faith and not by sight. This is why we say, “Jesus, I trust in You.” even though much of the time it is lip service and not said from the heart.

    I was greatly comforted by the two China articles. Again, things are not as they seem. Reminds me of the quote “Perspective, use it or lose it.”. Again, Jesus I trust in You. God knows what He is doing. We don’t have all the information, the pieces of the puzzle, so we can’t put it together.

    Charlie’s article was really good. I finally went to the new site to sign up for email notifications. Two things that bothered me about it though. As you so well stated yesterday, if and when we are called to martyrdom, God will grant us the grace to endure, like the Carmelites at the end of the French Revolution. There is a ” perspective ” of joy and hope in martyrdom exemplified by St. Lawrence roasted On the spit when he said (parapharased) then me over this side is done. This is a hard thing, pondering suffering. Since it is lent which I think means springtime it is a fitting thing to ponder. We all may go to the Garden of Gethsemine (? spelling) but we will not be alone. An angel will bring us a cup, too. God will not abandon us, it is us who always abandon Him. We are usually so short sighted that we forget this. I know I do.

    The second thing that troubles me is Charlie’s pointing out that he (Charlie)was more On target with his prophecies than Q-Anon is with Q’s prophecies. Does this need to be highlighted? Is there a scoreboard that I missed? I still don’t get why people are angry with Charlie when it was and is their own free will which led them to accept his prophecies. For me, believing C doggy dog enabled me to get through the evil that was the last year’s of the prior administration. It was hope that God know s and provided a type of hope that God is in charge and is handling it. The more I study this Q stuff, the more “perspective” I gain that the last administration was not legitimate. It has been suggested that prior administrations can be impeached. If the prior admin is impeached, then C Doggy Dog was right all along but I don’t want to be the one to feed his ego. If, the book that A referenced last night, “Behold a Pale Horse” by Wm. Cooper is true we have been so influenced by systematic evil that it is totally mind boggling. I didn’t read the book yet. I found out about it at night and I already have enough to wrestle with in the dark to add to my wackiness.

    If you want to post this to your comment referencing the China articles On the site, go ahead. I just don’t know if I am ready or have the energy to be commenting again.
    💜💛💚💙💝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Snowy, thank you for posting Deer’s comment! Please tell her how much we love and miss her; and please tell her that if ever/whenever she’s ready to jump back into commenting, we’d love to have her. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Snowy, I love your take on Q and the revelations that come from his/her/their posts. It’s like a light shinning in the darkness. We have to discern, know others by their fruits, take the good, leave the rest…etc. and trust God in it all. I too have felt such great hope in seeing the evil being unveiled by many sources and the masses awakening. I’ve seen conversions as a result and have faith in our brothers and sisters of other faiths, or no faith, uniting in the movement to enlighten and embolden ourselves in this battle. It calls to mind what Charlie has told us, that there are no children of a lesser God and that we, the faithful and those of good will are equal partners. Seeing it play out before my eyes has been truly a blessing. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I realized that after I sent my response. 😛

          Anyone who is watching/reading alt social media “truth movement” cannot avoid Q all together. It reminds me of the Tea Party movement, back in the day. At it’s onset, I was and curious and minimally involved in that and dragged Jeff along with me, until I realized that simply going back to our foundation was best, without all of the labels, bells and whistles de jour. The Tea Party paved a way for a new mindset and has passed a torch, so to speak. I believe the Q team has done the same.

          Liked by 3 people

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