Is the Pope Catholic?

By Charlie Johnston

I pray an intricate private Rosary. One of the things I do is offer each decade of a mystery for a specific, fixed intention. My literal intention for the third decade of each mystery is, “…to the honor of and seeking the intercession of St. John Paul the Great, whom I claim as patron; for the intentions, person, and immortal soul of our Holy Father, Francis: may he be strengthened to accomplish all God has appointed him and may his papacy bear great fruit; and for the intentions, person, and immortal soul of our Holy Pope Emeritus Benedict: may he be strengthened to accomplish all God has appointed him and may his life bear great fruit.”

It was distressing, as we entered the Triduum, for yet another eruption from the Vatican as it was reported that the Pope had told one of his favorite journalists, the Italian atheist Eugenio Scalfari, that there is no hell – in complete contradiction of Catholic doctrine. The Vatican quickly replied that that was not a fully accurate transmission of what the Pope meant. I don’t know. Certainly, it has been demoralizing for many faithful Catholics to hear, on a regular basis, comments from the Pope that seem to contradict settled doctrine. Many faithful Catholics have come to feel like the beleaguered parents of the neighborhood hellion: constantly and weepily assuring authorities that their boy really has a good heart at bottom.

It wearies me as much as anyone. The forlorn silver lining I see is that all this may wean faithful Catholics away from ‘papolatry,’ the errant belief that every word that drops from a sitting Pope’s mouth is golden. The Pope is due the filial respect and affection of all the faithful, but he is only authoritative when he speaks on matters of faith and morals – and that authority is only binding when he formally speaks Magisterially. Even then, except on the rare occasions when he formally speaks infallibly on a matter of concern for the whole Church, his decisions are subject to the informed consent of the world’s College of Bishops. Unless there are specific objections, that consent is usually implicit. He has no authority flowing from his office on general matters of politics, economics, science or other temporal matters (with the exception of the condemnation of means that are illicit in themselves). His only specific political authority is as temporal head of the Vatican State. The silver lining is that these controversies may lead some of the most faithful Catholics to cease ceding their legitimate temporal responsibility to the Pope, while perhaps it may lead some who are not orthodox to recognize the legitimate formal spiritual authority of the Pope on matters of faith and morals.

We have had a long run of Popes notable for their orthodoxy and for their reasonably refined – and restrained – commentary on purely political and temporal matters. Yet God does not need a vicar to be particularly refined or disciplined to protect and grow His Church. At all times, in all ages, since Christ took on our humanity and died for us, destroying the power of death by His Resurrection, which we celebrate this weekend, nothing can prevent the faithful from worshiping the Person of Christ with faith, fidelity and fortitude. It is, perhaps, a very good thing that we all should be shaken from our complacency; forced to balance our duty of filial obedience with our duty of faithful fidelity to the Gospel passed on with authority from the Apostles.

I doubt we have seen the end of strange statements emanating from Rome that give scandal to much of the faithful. I miss the days when the question atop this article was more obviously rhetorical. Yet in all things, God has His purposes, even when the intention is obscure to our eyes, when we can only see as through a glass, darkly. So I continue to regard the Pope with filial devotion, even when I wonder what, in heaven’s name, he is thinking. And I will continue to offer the third decade of every Mystery on his behalf and in submission to his legitimate spiritual authority. The story is not finished, yet – and tonight, the Light of the World rises anew in our sight.


299 thoughts on “Is the Pope Catholic?

  1. Here is an example of the exercise of Papal authority independent of the Magisterium. Not binding but worth attention.


    “ Conchita, I bless you and with me the whole church will bless you “.

    Father Escalada explained his work in spreading the message of Garabandal in Mexico and the Pope Paul VI encouraged him to continue saying: “These messages must be made known.” Father Escalada asked the Pope for his permission to continue promoting Garabandal and the Pope said “YES”. Pope Paul VI said :
    “It is the most beautiful story of humanity since the days of Christ. It is like a second life of the Virgin on earth. And we can never be grateful enough for it.”

    Pope Paul VI had all the while shown a very special interest in the apparitions. At an audience given to Fr. Xavier
    Escalda, S.J., the latter mentioned there were many opponents of the apparitions even amongst his own people. His Holiness promptly rejoined:
    “It doesn’t matter; tell these gentlemen that it is the Pope who has said that it is most important and most urgent to make these messages known to the world.”

    , “Jacinta, I am with you, but we have to pray much and have much patience . . : it. is necessary to pray that the Church will become aware of the importance of Garabandal.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I of course meant to present that as an example of the pope speaking with authority rather than an exercise of papal authority which cannot be independent of the magisterium.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this article. I was getting tired of having to explain Pope’s infallibility to friends, Catholic & non. Now I can just forward your email, since you say it so much more eloquently than I do. Hope your Easter was blessed and all is going well. Love, Shiela Pizzolatto, Lake Charles, LA

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The Catholic author, George Bernanos (as quoted by Father Peter Cameron in the April 2018 edition of Magnificat) says,

    “Allow (God’s) sweet mercy to smile and pray within you.
    And when she weeps, say nothing.”

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Yesterday I was talking to Jesus about our Pope.
    I told Him that I really do like our Pope but I doubted that he would like me.
    I lean more toward being a “traditionalist” and I felt that by his actions and the things he has said, the Pope didn’t like people like me.
    Jesus then reminded me of the story of the prodigal son.
    This Pope is like the father in the prodigal son, desperate to gather the fallen away and get them back in the boat before it is too late. In his zeal, he has largely ignored the older son because they are already in the boat and he really doesn’t understand why they grumble instead of trying to help him.
    I told Jesus that it was hard to help someone who is crabby towards you. Then I asked if He could maybe miraculously appear to the Pope to “shock” him a little and tell him that the older brother has had his feelings hurt and could use some encouragement also.
    Jesus then asked me what the response of the older brother has been in all of this.
    I realized, for the most part, that many who feel like the older brother have responded not with humility and charity, and seeking out where they may have erred even if they feel righteous, but by viciously attacking the Pope.
    It is a false piety.
    And I shouldn’t ask Jesus to shock the Pope, it’s not nice.
    “No, Jill”.
    “sigh, ok”.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Jesus is so funny and patient with me.
        A few years ago I made an altar frontal to cover what I felt was a horrible altar. It was made in the 70’s of ironwork and replaced a lovely green marble altar surrounded by intricate reredos. a terrible thing.
        As I was admiring my work, I asked Jesus what he would like me to make next (like I was some fancy designer or something). In response, an image of Jesus driving a race-car, all appliqued in satin, formed in my mind. I told Him it wasn’t funny, but laughed anyway. I was then made to understand that it is not how things look, or what they are made of that is important, it is the love of the people gathered there that is important.
        (PS: while I was writing this I couldn’t remember the word “reredos”, instead, the word filioque” kept coming to mind. Filioque means “through the son”. I understand this to mean that everything that surrounds the altar and the reason we are gathered there is “through the Son”. I dont know why but it makes me cry when I think about it).

        Liked by 6 people

  5. To Charlie: not wishing to add to any controversy, I would simply like to say to you: I appreciate your simple stating of your position in response to Joecro’s comments on Pope Francis’ statements as related to infallibility. I agree that The Pope’s comments should be given respect but I have no difficulty at all as a scientist with disagreeing with his stance on global warming for instance or on some of his misstatements on economics. I contrast your comments with Joe’s obvious attempt to justify his own somewhat extreme views in trying to support and excuse every statement attributed to Pope Francis. I can always be attuned to your simple and humble approach. Thank you Charlie for all you do and May God bless and make fruitful all your efforts.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. When I first heard about this episode, it was Holy Thursday. The thought that came to me was that, like Jesus the Teacher, the Vicar of Christ, will be misunderstood and misquoted and accused of blasphemy because witnesses cannot agree as to what he really said. When I began to hear the outcry and criticism, it was Good Friday and I remembered that, like Jesus the Priest, the Vicar of Christ will be calumniated and spit upon and subjected to abandonment and betrayal by those who claim to know him and he will not open his mouth in one word of defense nor bid them rally to his side. Now that Easter has arrived, we have yet to see if, like Jesus the Son of God, he will be glorified by the Father, but we should wait and hope and pray and look to the words he said in calmer times that ring true and clear and inspired and remember that these things are happening in the dry wood.

    He may not be perfect but Pope Francis has been given to us by a loving God Who has a plan. I have sworn fealty to the former and pledge my life to the latter. I pray that our temporary frustration, tempered with infinite forgiveness and mercy from God, will help us keep to the path as it climbs higher and is less-trodden and our companions pause along the way. Blessings and peace for all who remain here.

    Liked by 11 people

  7. I really appreciate this column, Charlie. I too feel bewildered at what’s going on at the Vatican these days. But I recall a while ago you had spoken about the confusion that would engulf the Church, and that it would be a trial of faith for those who are trying to keep the faith. Certainly that is happening now, and I believe that Jesus is allowing this as a purifying trial.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Another example of a pope (now saint) speaking with personal rather than papal authority. The last example I gave was also of a Blessed pope soon to be saint. No claim to infallibility attaches to these professions of personal faith and the faithful are not bound to believe but they are surely worth attention simply because of the office of Peter attached to these persons and the fact of their presence in heaven.

    Today marks the 2005 passing of one of the greatest Popes (and recent Saints) of our time, Saint (Pope ) John Paul II.

    His belief in Garabandal encouraged us even more to believe and promote it.

    There is a book on Garabandal, written by Albrecht Weber in 1993, entitled Garabandal Der Zeigefmger Gottes (Garabandal: The Finger of God), of which a first edition copy was presented to Pope John Paul II. He later asked his secretary, Fr. (now Archbishop) Stanislaus Dziwisz, to write to the author. In the subsequent printing (2000) of the book, on page 19, a portion of the Pope’s message is reprinted, as follows:”May God reward you for everything. Especially for the deep love with which you are making the events connected with Garabandal more widely known. May the Message of the Mother of God find an entrance into hearts before it is too late. As an expression of joy and gratitude, the Holy Father gives you his apostolic blessing.”Weber writes, “From the attached greeting in the Pope’s own handwriting, with his signature, it is clear how deep an interest he has in the events of Garabandal, and how anxious he is that they should be made known in a credible way.”

    On July 23, 1988, during a special general audience with the Pope at the Vatican … “special” because it was held on Saturday, rather than the usual Wednesday… Father Robert introduced Garabandal Visionary Mari-Loli and family to him. Father Robert who was holding 7 year old Maria Dolores, one of the three Lafleur children, said to the Pope: “Your Holiness, a special blessing for your littlest children who come on behalf of The Blessed Virgin from Garabandal.” Our Holy Father exclaimed “Garabandal!”
    (Taken from a comment by Glenn Hudson on Message of Garabandal)

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I read them very carefully. May god bless and keep you. I had not intended my comments to be published and regret I did not make it clear that it was meant to be a personal message to Charlie. I treasure much of what you say Joe especially about Garabandal but I don’t always completely agree with you. I would like these comments to be posted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your response JAS. You are of course entitled to your opinion. I try to take the position of a reporter rather than a journalist with regard to Garabandal. The report rather than my opinion is then open to rejection or acceptance by the reader. As for Pope Francis I tend to repeat what has been said in his support by those I consider to be better informed than myself. I am sorry to see that you consider my attitude to be extreme and poorly reasoned but as you quite rightly surmise they are written as much from the heart as the head. I do not have an overreaching desire to justify my own opinion but I am strongly drawn to support my pope whenever I feel he has been misrepresented or misunderstood. Now I better check my mail to see if my certificate of infallibility has arrived. 🤗😇

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Joe. You left off an important modifier, “SOMEWHAT” extreme and I did not say “poorly reasoned.” Charlie has rightly more than once emphasized the importance of interpretation. The written word is so one-dimensioned and what we intend to say is not always as clear as we intend. Am I misinterpreting a strong reaction to my simple comment as an unintended condemnation? If so, I am sorry for my careless comments and will have to try harder. I certainly did not intend to rile you and will end this in wishing you peace. Please continue to do your good work.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. Day5 explanation
    Fifth Day:

    *Our Lord’s original words here were “heretics and schismatics,” since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and Father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord’s inspirations and orders, she declared: “I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus, I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me” (Diary, 497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Jsut got home yesterday from a week in Rome with my family. The highlight of the trip was Papal Mass, Easter Sunday morning. Both Francis and Benedict XVI, Pope and Pope Emeritus, were there. If fact they came out together in the procession(we had front row seats.) One curious note, both were in white inlcuding thier mitres, except Benedict had an amaranth zucchetto. Anyway, I just found it encouraging that the Pope Emeritus was there. He seemed to be quite happy. So did everyone!

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Welcome back Rick! Thank you for sharing your experience. Easter in Rome with a front row to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI must have been incredible! ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  11. The below came in my AM MILINET Blog. I don’t like what I’m seeing in the USA Left anymore than I like that of the Vatican Left:

    “China says it has made real efforts toward establishing Vatican relations”

    “China says bishop selection does not breach religious rights”

    “Air Force veteran sues after being pulled from ceremony in mid-speech “for mentioning the word ‘God'”

    I include the below because, I believe, it dovetails with the above articles. Playing “Nice” with Communist China and AF Vet “criminalized” for his mentioning God!
    I’m sure we can count on the “Media” to report on cases where the Police illegally seize the guns of Citizens or deny Constitutional Rights to People of Faith … Right!!?????
    …… and who …EXACTLY!!?? … earns the creds to decide who is worthy of Gun Ownership or Free Speech… Eh!? I’m guessing that there is a far different standard in godless Socialist Seattle vs. Texas? Am I the only one who has noticed a serious up-tick, among The Usual Suspects, of Christian-n-Easter Bashing of late? Remember the bashing of VP Pence’s Faith a few weeks ago? Does anyone here doubt that 90% of Democrat Party Convention goers would happily vote that USA Christians, being of unstable minds, should all be Disarmed and Shut-Up for safety’s sake …. just like Communist China?

    “Police legally seizing guns under ‘red flag’ laws”


    Liked by 6 people

    1. No CrewDog, you are not the only one who notices the increase in attacks on Christians during our Holy days. Thank you, again for manning the watchtower and Happy Easter to you and yours. ❤

      At this moment, among Twitter's top ten hastags trending are #LoveAMuslim rating above "Christian Prviledge."

      Divide and conquer tactics are in full force, turbo charged! So we too must turn up the dial on our efforts to be a sign of hope.

      Here is Our Blessed Mother's message gicing to Mirjana in Medjugorje yesterday:

      April 2, 2018

      Dear children,

      Through the great love of the Heavenly Father I am beside you as your mother and you are beside me as my children, as apostles of my love whom I ceaselessly gather around me.

      My children, you are those who, along with prayer, need to completely surrender to my Son so that you may no longer live but my Son may live in you—so that all those who do not know my Son may see Him in you and come to desire to know Him.

      Pray that in you they may see resolute humility and goodness, a readiness to serve others; that in you they may see that you live your vocation in the world with the heart, in communion with my Son; that in you they may see meekness, tenderness and love for my Son as well as for all brothers and sisters.

      Apostles of my love, you must pray much and cleanse your hearts so that you may be the first to walk on the way of my Son, that you may be the just who are united with the justice of my Son.

      My children, as apostles of my love, you must be united in the communion which emanates from my Son, so that my children who do not know my Son may recognize the communion of love and may come to desire to walk on the way of life, the way of unity with my Son.

      Thank you.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Yes, Jen! And a professional video of the apparition to Mirijana was filmed and uploaded online. Look for the sign of God’s Covenant at the beginning of the video.

        Genesis 9:11-17
        I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth. God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature—every mortal being—so that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy every mortal being. When the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature—every mortal being that is on earth. God told Noah: This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and every mortal being that is on earth.

        Liked by 6 people

          1. “before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on earth … ” Don Bosco pray for us.

            Liked by 7 people

            1. Amen. Peace on earth… in every heart, in every family, within our Church, in the unity of Christians and in every relationship… with mercy, understanding and reconciliation for all. 🌕🌑🌈🌞🌹🌼🌸🌻🌺🌷🌎

              Liked by 5 people

          2. I was actually walking around the Vatican walls saying the rosary while this picture was taken. There were some pretty strong thunderstorms passing through but they didn’t actually rain on the Vatican that afternoon, or I would have gotten quite wet!

            Liked by 5 people

      2. Thank you Beckita. I was not aware of the rainbow on 3-31! I am getting goose-bumps with this update. The light is shinning bright, may it continue to disinfect the darkness.

        Liked by 6 people

    2. I am a little scared and nervous too. It seems “evil” in general is getting worse. Maybe it is a last surge, so to speak…. I don’t know. I keep saying the rosary ( most days, I mix it up with the Divine Mercy Chaplet) asking God to protect our country and to please expose the evil doers and help defeat the evil left. Maybe I’m not praying for the right thing ( I also pray for family & friends too)? Not sure. There are days when I wonder why the good Lord does not allow a serious chasetisement to happen… I wouldn’t blame him one bit….I am a maxed and thankful for his mercy, patience and understanding.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. God bless you, omarie. Bringing you with me, and all who are frightened and weary in these days, to Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament this evening, presenting us all to Jesus, through the intercession of Pope St. John Paul II as we recall the anniversary of his passing and his tireless work to bring the Divine Mercy devotion to the Church. We can turn to the Prayer of Miraculous Trust in these days as well as the Surrender Novena.

        Sounds like you’re praying well. Your feelings are normal. Did you ever hear Mother Angelica say: “I DO trust Jesus; my stomach just doesn’t know it yet.” In my humanity, I’m not scared but I am impatient, wanting the Lord to get on with it. And that, too, is just a passing feeling… at least I choose to feel it and let it pass because I know God’s Timing is Perfect. Like you, I just keep praying, and I especially pray for hearts to turn to God. God bless you and all here.

        Liked by 12 people

      2. OMarie,

        This morning on EWTN was broadcast “The Life and times of Sister Faustina”. I highly recommend as it is an interview with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko in Poland. I am thankful as I now know Fr. Seraphim had ‘brown’ hair…interspersed with a bit of grey 🙂

        It is a wonderful testament to Jesus’ Mercy for us sinners. Fr. Seraphim relates how the Lord Jesus asked the Chaplet to be said for sinners. He also related Jesus specifically requested the Novena to be said commencing on Good Friday and ending on the Saturday prior to Divine Mercy Sunday. The daily intentions are requested by Jesus (through St. Faustina).

        Liked by 4 people

  12. “In miniature, that would seem to be Francis’s model for dialogue generally – friendship first, clarity later.
    That approach, obviously, has a downside, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. No doubt, experts on the papacy will argue for a long time over whether Francis should do things like this – whether it opens doors and reduces prejudices, which is what he appears to believe and what Scalfari himself insists it actually does, or whether it simply lets loose chaos and creates unnecessary distractions, which is what critics regard as the inevitable outcomes”.(Crux).

    One of our past regular commenters Daniel (O’Connor?) who was an up and comming theologian had posted a quote on papal authority from a Vatican document, if I remember correctly. With this document he explained that the Pope has authority (outside of papal infallibility) on other subjects and that this authority as our pope gives weight to his teachings. Now it must be understood that this weight does not exclude him from errors but it is important to understand what Daniel and Jocro are saying- that we need to understand what the Holy Father is trying to convey to us as the leader of the Catholic faith and not what the media or other confusing voices are saying he means.
    It is also important to understand that much of the world, including some of our prelates, have a different agenda than Christ, either by choice or by ignorance, and thus they sew confusion. But Pope Francis will insist that he is not drifting from catholic doctrine and even mentions this after he apologised for the confusion it caused when he said the “we shouldn’t breed like rabbits” comment. “The archbishop told Avvenire the Pope was “a bit surprised” his words were not “fully contextualized” with respect to Humanae Vitae and the encyclical’s teaching on responsible parenthood”. (National Catholic Register).
    Within this context and in understanding Pope Francis’ agenda of “friendship first”, especially when it is towards non-Catholics and the most marginalized and weakest in our world, that he is utilizing catholic teaching effectivly- “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Recently there has been a flurry of #fakenews claiming, incorrectly, that Pope Francis doesn’t believe in Hell.

    It’s important to note that the source of all this is a 93-year-old Italian reporter, who is an atheist and who doesn’t take notes or record conversations. He goes by memory, even when using “quotes,” and he’s misattributed things to the pope in the past.

    Fake News strikes again!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Yep I read the same. It occurred to me that the Pope might be trying to save/convert the 93 year old atheist and that the atheist is just not getting it. We only have his words as to what the Pope said. I think judges call that “hear say” and it is not admissible in a court of law. I wonder if PF understands the confusion that is heaped on the faithful with these interviews. Perhaps not. But then again the MSM only report what they want you to hear, what they don’t understand and what they are told was said. In the end the link on this site in one of the early comments to the Mark Mallett essay on the storm in the church is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Don’t miss it.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I saw this headline on Drudge: “Umbrella On Subway Tracks Causes Panic, Evacuations.” A quick scan included reactions including, “Get the hell out!”… and, “There was a lot of screaming.”… and “Everyone was running for their lives, like hopping all over each other.”

    More quick scanning to get to the bottom of the matter… the cause of such reactions. Ah, an umbrella on subway tracks. Hm. This is where we’re at (i.e. – humanity in general).

    This is not to say that I want to dismiss or even downplay the legitimate concerns and discussion stemming from the original post and comments flowing forth here. Like others, I want to be clear and not misunderstood… realizing of course that the more I put out there, the increased chance of being misunderstood… maybe… probably even muddying the waters. So, I’ll be brief.

    I did briefly wonder who lost their umbrella and how it ultimately landed on the tracks. Briefly. Then I creased my brow, thinking of all those folks/commuters going about their daily business and dealing with such a disruption… how long it may have taken them to get back on track after.

    Next, I found myself wondering how I had gotten distracted myself. By a simple umbrella on subway tracks, miles and miles and miles from here. A quick scan/recollection of my morning thus far reveals a fairly sloppy start on my part. This is where I’m at.

    And thus I turn to Jesus, my sloppiness and all. Dare I hum my version of “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man” moving forward? Yes, I dare, because Jesus will patiently get me on key, maybe even grinning a bit at my silly attempt to prod C.J. to get the aforementioned theme done and published.

    No rush, though. Clearly, I’m still a bit distracted at the moment.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. The umbrella event sounds like a national PTSD moment or maybe mass hysteria. Fear of death is a natural reaction-fight or flight is the theme. But….
      Perfect love casts out all fear, which is a supernatural reaction.
      I seem to have all three.
      (Another fishing story, this makes 2 for me MP).
      Once while turtle trapping, I had a big alligator pursue me on my kayak one morning (I think it thought I was a swimming deer).
      As I turned to see what was making the swishing noise behind my boat, my first reaction was to think I was living a real life nightmare. This is where the fight reaction set in. I stopped paddling, turned towards the gaping reptile and started yelling at it and splashing water with my ore to get it to stop swimming after me-and it did!
      Suddenly it exploded in a tremendous effort to get away from me having realised I wasn’t a deer but a man, its mortal enemy. I too spun around frantically paddling with Herculean effort to distance. myself from the predator. Thus the “flight” reaction.
      A few moments later, the beast surfaced about 50 or so yards away obviously confused as to its loss of breakfast. Now here is where the supernatural kicked in.
      As a herpetologist, I decided to use my knowledge of alligator behavior and vocalizations to further intimidate the crocodilian and educate it in the finer points of who is the better man, err, predator. Paddling cautiously closer to it, I start slapping my ore hard on the water surface and began hissing loudly. To another human, this may seem superfluous but in gator lingo, this is a dominance cue. After a few times doing this, me slapping and hissing, the gator submerging and swimmer further and further away, I parted company confident the “lesson” has been learned and this particular A. mississippiensis would now know the difference between a kayak and a deer!

      Liked by 8 people

            1. Boy, that is a tough one MP. I thought your getting back on track was good (very subtle too). Best I can do is a rhyme as we hurdle through the turtle to get to the allegator. When my girls were 4, they use to cry when we got on elevators because we use to call them ellegators. They used to think there were real alligators on them. My girls (twins) are 30 now. Somehow, they managed to get through the trauma.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. You can “fish” for turtles too, MP.
              Maybe the gator thought I was a big gar and he was fishing too, or he was trying to “fish” me out of the water and fin-ish me off?
              I do get a generous amount of fish by-catch in my turtle traps not to mention a “fishy” smell while removing them.
              If these innuendos do not suffice to my tale being a true fish story, you can always tell me to go fish! (Or just tuna me out).

              Liked by 4 people

              1. Just ‘baiting’ you, PF. My bros and I used to fish for soft shell snappers as kids. Gars too. Caught a wide variety of things over the years, but maybe nothing so surprising as a clam. Yep. Dropped a line over a rock bed one night on a lake in Michigan, felt a small tug and some odd weight, then brought up the line with a clam the size of my fist clinging to my bait. Oddly enough, I was using a cricket as bait. I learned two things that night. First, clams apparently like crickets, and second, there’s just no telling what you’re going to land on any given fishing trip.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. I think mollusk clam up around crickets. MP.
                  Anything in life is possible- as they say-truth is stranger than fiction.
                  One time I was fishing a jetty and hooked a small fish. While it was fighting it, a small mammal swam out of the jetty, captured the fish and pulled it back into the rocks. Turned out to be a mink interested in a fish dinner!
                  I’ve had mink raid my turtle traps a few times as well. Smart little buggars though they could get into the trap, steal the bait and then get back out. Never did trap one.


        1. Actually, when I kayaked back through the area a few hours later on my way out, I saw him under a fallen tree and he very quickly submerged upon my approach. I remained on this river for several more days but I didn’t see him again. I did see others which already knew I wasn’t a deer and quickly submerged upon seeing me.(maybe the big guy had put the word out!)
          Truth be told, I was a bit jumpy for a few days after this happened, can’t help but gain a little caution (PTS ?)after such an encounter with a 500+ pound living dinosaur!

          Liked by 3 people

  15. Sixth Day
    Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,

    and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

    Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Listers from the moment our Holy Father Pope Francis stepped onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s square, his manners and style were hailed as humble. Humility is a virtue which we all ought to develop to bring ourselves in greater conformity with Christ as we seek “to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately.”1

    Mother of Fair Love, a gift of Josemaría Escrivá to the University of Navarra: John Paul II stated: “Love for our Lady is a constant characteristic of the life of Josemaría Escrivá.” – Wikipedia

    Below is an excerpt from the writings of St. Josemaria which can help us identify a lack of humility in ourselves.

    Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:

    Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
    Always wanting to get your own way
    Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
    Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
    Despising the point of view of others
    Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
    Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
    Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
    Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
    Making excuses when rebuked
    Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
    Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
    Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
    Refusing to carry out menial tasks
    Seeking or wanting to be singled out
    Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…
    Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…

    St. Josemaria, pray for us!

    Liked by 12 people

    1. I reckon lack of humility, which so often manifests in lack of charity towards others, mentally and verbally, is the biggie! The body may be shrunken with fasting and good works, but the swollen head is the thing that won’t fit through the eye of the needle in the end.

      Charity in thought, word and deed. I’m really glad that in the corrected Confiteor we can again acknowledge our faults in triplicate and finish with: “… through my greatest fault” (“mea maxima culpa). Because we need repetition to make it sink in! Beckita, and all teachers here, present or former, know how important repetition is to embed true learning 😛 And not just with kids! Sez he.

      Charlie, I loved what you said about offering up decades of the Rosary. For years now I’ve been offering it for various categories of Souls in Purgatory. They really are our best friends, and they need our help so much. I haven’t always been in a state of grace when doing so, and I know one should be, but still…

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Amen, J. I figure we grownups are pretty much a bunch of kids walking around in adult bodies. And that’s a good thing. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

        Liked by 9 people

  17. It seems Google snubbed good friday and easter for 18 years in a row. No doubt the same for xmas. Yet yesterday Google paid tribute to some unknown pakistani singer. I wonder if other religions get the same treatment? Seems like not as google honors hindu spring festival holi.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Josh…I read about that and was kind of “ticked off”. So I had my son switch my google search over to Duck Duck Go. Its odd that I feel a lot less tension and aggreviation since doing that. I’m still testing to see if that search engine is up to snuff but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the time away from the political games Google is playing. I may be the only one today to do this but one day, if enough people turn their backs on this deplorable behaviour, it will stop. Of course, prayer is always a good option. God bless everyone here!


      Liked by 6 people

    In case anyone missed this link from Arwen Evenstar above on
    April 2, 2018 at 9:34

    some excerpts:
    “But just as the people’s perception of Jesus was misguided—seeing Him still as a mere prophet of their false messianic hopes—so too, the message of mercy of Pope Francis has been misunderstood by many as somehow permission to remain in sin.”
    …”One thing is certain of the pontificate of Francis: it is leading to a great sifting at this hour, one in which the “faith” of each of us is being tested to one degree or another.

    …as Christ told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” today “we are once more painfully aware that Satan has been permitted to sift the disciples before the whole world.” —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, April 21st, 2011″

    Beckita: delete the rest of this if it takes up too much space,except i love the last couple of paragraphs
    It even gets better! Okay, here it is from the beginning.
    “FOR two weeks after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, a warning continually rose in my heart that the Church was now entering into “dangerous days” and a time of “great confusion.” [1] Those words greatly impacted how I would approach this writing apostolate, knowing that it would be necessary to prepare you, my readers, for the Storm winds that were coming.

    And what has been coming? The Passion of the Church when she must pass…

    …through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers… The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675, 677

    Today, the same confusion and pain that hung in the Upper Room at the Last Supper also pervades the Church at this hour. The Apostles were shaken by the words that Jesus must suffer and die; shaken that His entrance into Jerusalem was not the triumph they were anticipating; shaken to find that one among them would betray their Master.

    Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’… (Matthew 26:31)

    On this eve of the Church’s Passion, so too, we are being shaken and in much the same way: through the striking of the shepherd, that is, the hierarchy.
    The ass
    The sexual scandals that continue to surface have struck the priesthood so deeply that, in many places, the Church has lost her credibility altogether. It’s as though she too now rides an “ass of humiliation” into Jerusalem.

    As a result, the faith as such becomes unbelievable, and the Church can no longer present herself credibly as the herald of the Lord. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times: A Conversation With Peter Seewald, p. 25

    At the same time, Pope Francis has, in often very strong language, challenged the priesthood to embrace a state of life in closer imitation of Our Lord’s humility: to greater simplicity, transparency, and availability.

    Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass… (Matt 20:5)

    The shunning of everything from the standard papal headquarters, to limousines, and even papal dress has caught the attention of the world. They too have cried out a kind of “Hosanna” as they perceive something admirable appearing.

    …when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken…

    But just as the people’s perception of Jesus was misguided—seeing Him still as a mere prophet of their false messianic hopes—so too, the message of mercy of Pope Francis has been misunderstood by many as somehow permission to remain in sin.

    “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”


    The shaking did not end with Christ’s entrance, but continued to reverberate in the Upper Room when He announced that one of them would betray Him.

    Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” (Matthew 26:22)

    One thing is certain of the pontificate of Francis: it is leading to a great sifting at this hour, one in which the “faith” of each of us is being tested to one degree or another.

    …as Christ told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” today “we are once more painfully aware that Satan has been permitted to sift the disciples before the whole world.” —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, April 21st, 2011

    The spontaneous style and unfamiliar ambiguity of this pope has led to not only sharp differences in interpreting papal documents, but to various camps claiming that they are the ones who are most faithful to the Gospels.

    Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” (Matthew 26:33)

    In the end, it was not only Judas, but Peter who betrayed Christ. Judas, because he rejected Truth; Peter, because he was ashamed of It.


    What we are witnessing today is something akin to the Last Supper where Judases are now emerging. Bishops and priests who had been somewhat in the shadows are now, like Judas, feeling emboldened by the program of Pope Francis, playing upon the ambiguities that his leadership style has brought about. Rather than interpret these ambiguities as they should—through the lens of Sacred Tradition—they have risen from the Table of Christ and sold the Truth for “thirty pieces of silver” (that is, hollow and empty hopes). Why should this surprise us? If it was in the context of the Holy Mass that Judas would rise to betray the Lord, so too, it will be those who share the Divine Banquet with us who will also rise to betray the Lord in the hour of our Passion.

    And how are they betraying the Body of Christ?

    There came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48)

    Yes, these men have arisen to “kiss” the Body of Christ with a false and Anti-Mercy, the casuistry of words that appear as “love”, “mercy”, and “light” but are darkness in reality. They do not lead to that truth which alone sets us free—to Authentic Mercy. Whether it is entire bishop’s conferences twisting Tradition, Catholic universities giving platforms to heretics, Catholic politicians selling out, or Catholic schools teaching explicit sex education… we are seeing a deep betrayal of He who is Truth on nearly every level of society.

    In fact, many Catholics feel abandoned most especially by Pope Francis for seemingly ignoring the apparent crisis. Questions remain for some as to why he has gathered many of these “liberal” men around him; why he permits these Judases to operate freely; or why he does not explicitly answer the Cardinals’ “dubia”—their request for clarification on matters of marriage and objective sin. I believe one answer is that these things must happen as the hour of the Church’s Passion has come. It is Christ, ultimately, who is permitting this since it is He—not the Pope—who is “building” His Church. [2]

    Meanwhile, while Judas was betraying Him and the Apostles were drawing swords to stop all the nonsense, Jesus was preoccupied with showing mercy to the very last minute—even to those who would arrest Him:

    Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51)


    Sadly—perhaps even more sadly than Judas’ inevitable betrayal—are the Peters among us. I have been deeply struck this past week by the words of St. Paul:

    Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

    It is not the heretical priests or progressive bishops rising into the night that have surprised me; it is those whom have turned against the Church with the same anger and denial that Peter unleashed on that sorrowful night. Recall when Peter first objected to the notion that Jesus would “suffer and die”:

    Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Matt 16:22-23)

    This is symbolic of those who cannot accept a Church not made in their own image. They are disgruntled with the confusion of this present pontificate, the impoverished post-Vatican II liturgy, and general lack of reverence (all of which is true). But rather than remain with Christ in this Gethsemane, they are fleeing the Church. They are not thinking as God does, but as human beings do. For they do not perceive that the Church must undergo her own Passion as well. They cannot see that this present distress is actually a test to see if their faith is in Jesus Christ… or in the past glory of an institution. They are ashamed, as Peter was of Jesus, to see the Body of Christ in such poor estate.

    At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. (Matthew 26:74)

    We too find it hard to accept that he bound himself to the limitations of his Church and her ministers. We too do not want to accept that he is powerless in this world. We too find excuses when being his disciples starts becoming too costly, too dangerous. All of us need the conversion which enables us to accept Jesus in his reality as God and man. We need the humility of the disciple who follows the will of his Master. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, April 21st, 2011

    Yes, I love chant, candles, cassocks, icons, incense, high altars, statues, and stained-glass windows as much as any sedevacantist. But I also believe that Jesus will strip us completely of these in order to bring us again to the center of our Faith, which is the Cross (and our duty to proclaim it with our lives). The fact, however, is that many would rather celebrate the Mass in Latin than they would preserve the unity of the Body of Christ.

    And His Body is being broken all over again.


    For us, the empty places at the table of the Lord’s wedding feast… invitations refused, lack of interest in him and his closeness… whether excusable or not, are no longer a parable but a reality, in those very countries to which he had revealed his closeness in a special way. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, April 21st, 2011

    Brothers and sisters, I say these things on this somber evening, not to accuse, but to awaken us to the hour in which we are living. For, like the Apostles in Gethsemane, many have fallen asleep…

    It’s our very sleepiness to the presence of God that renders us insensitive to evil: we don’t hear God because we don’t want to be disturbed, and so we remain indifferent to evil… the sleepiness’ is ours, of those of us who do not want to see the full force of evil and do not want to enter into his Passion. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency, Vatican City, Apr 20, 2011, General Audience

    “Surely it is not I, Lord?”…. “Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.”

    According to the Gospels, when the time of sifting came, all the Apostles fled the garden. And so, we might be tempted to despair saying, “Will I too, Lord, betray you? It must be inevitable!”

    Yet, there was one disciple who did not ultimately abandon Jesus: St. John. And here is why. At the Last Supper, we read:

    One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus. (John 13:23)

    Even though John fled the Garden, he returned to the foot of the Cross. Why? Because he had been lying close to the breast of Jesus. John listened to the heartbeats of God, the voice of the Shepherd that repeated over and over again, “I am mercy. I am mercy. I am mercy… trust in Me.” John would later write, “Perfect loves drives out fear…” [3] It was the echo of those heartbeats that guided John to the Cross. The song of love from the Savior’s Sacred Heart drowned out the voice of fear.

    What I am saying is that the antidote to apostasy in these times is not a mere strict adherence to Sacred Tradition. Indeed, it was the legalists who arrested Jesus and the Pharisees who demanded His crucifixion. Rather, it is the one who comes to Him like a little child, not only obeying everything He has revealed, but more than anything laying their head upon His breast in a constant communion of prayer. By this I do not mean simply rote words, but prayer from the heart. It is not just to pray to God, but to have a relationship with Him… a close sharing between “friends.” All this takes place, not just in the head, but most especially in the heart.

    The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live… the heart is the place “to which I withdraw”… It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant…. Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man… prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity… with the whole human spirit.” Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2563-2565…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know you posted another’s post but this sentence caught my attention. “The fact, however, is that many would rather celebrate the Mass in Latin than they would preserve the unity of the Body of Christ.”

      In my opinion, celebrating the Mass in Latin is preserving the unity of the Body of Christ. Unless the author was talking about preserving the unity of the Body of Christ as the Church as a whole. I find the reverence in the Latin Mass is something I crave. When I go to the NO Mass, it is just rote. There is no Mystery of the Sacrifice. The Latin Mass just fills my soul with the Body of Christ and I wish I could have it every Sunday.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Jesus, Take Care of Everything.
    There, now I can occupy my time with the matters of the day… I would have never found this novena without the writings of Charlie and Beckita. Thank You for your witness.
    Charlie, last month you mentioned a piece “The center is not holding “. I feel the acceleration of events may have an effect on its relevance, but I find meaning in your weighty pieces.
    I still believe the chain of events you referenced in the past has value, and the events unfolding are an awesome display of the magnitude of this battle.
    Watching our perfect God “herding cats” against evil would be terrifying without the knowledge of final victory.
    Again, Thank You.
    Lord Jesus, Take Care of Everything.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, Tired old cop! I, too, find that one line from the Surrender Novena to be a wee gem capable of re-establishing equilibrium amidst all that is. Thank you for your insights.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Thank you for your mention of the Surrender Novena; it has been a saving Grace for me also. I agree…without Charlie’s site and Bekita’s wisdom I would not know of this wonderful prayer.This Novena has. and does,get me through some very difficult moments. I recommend it to everyone.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. That was quite the experience by that priest..perseverance in prayer is surely needed to combat the evil.

      I like the prayer given to the priest years ago at his asking. “Well then! my mother,” replied the soul, “would you teach me Yourself how we must pray to You?” And he received from the most Holy Virgin the prayer: “August Queen”:

      August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send Your holy Legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. Who is like God? O good and tender Mother, Thou will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend me and to drive far away from me the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.”

      Liked by 6 people

  20. Thursday Day 7 “Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy, and immerse them in My mercy.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A lovely new pro-life song and video whose words could apply to so much more – could even be seen as a prayer to Our Heavenly Mama. “We’re together don’t give up.”

      Liked by 2 people

  21. YUP!!! …. and The Usual Suspects are frantic to the point of violence in their efforts to shove their Agendas down the throats of those with the temerity to oppose them! BLM, Atifa, “Media” Bias, Facebook, Google, political rhetoric, ……. even Vatican City ;-(
    I will take the frantic actions as a Good Sign as it tells me that “They” realize that their “Window of Opportunity” is closing. A closing that I’m guessing history will assign to “The Trump Effect”.

    “Meet Those Who Don’t Conform to Diversity ” – If you find yourself too diverse for diversity standards, you’re in good company


    Liked by 5 people

    1. I would not at all brush off Cardinal Burke, who I have admired since his tenure back in St. Louis. He is brilliant and orthodox. You will note that I said, in paragraph three above, that even the Pope’s Magisterial writings are subject to the informed consent of the world’s Council of Bishops. A Bishop – and particularly a Cardinal – who has a deep problem with Papal language, after privately remonstrating with the Pope, has the right – and even the duty – if he does not receive an adequate answer, to speak out publicly. This is how the Church preserves fidelity to the Deposit of Faith, even though through many controversies. Cardinal Burke is living his duty.

      In these times, there is both an ignorance – and often a maliciousness – in media that does lead to serious misinterpretations. But there is also a tendency among some nervous Catholics to attribute the most serious and clearly-sourced offenses as mere “misinterpretations,” in an effort to try to pretend there is no real controversy that must ultimately be settled. There are serious issues going on in the Church right now – and serious men are doing serious work to try to steady the great ship. I repeat a key line from my article above, “It is, perhaps, a very good thing that we all should be shaken from our complacency; forced to balance our duty of filial obedience with our duty of faithful fidelity to the Gospel passed on with authority from the Apostles.” We are in tumultuous times. We must live that well, neither neglecting our duty nor becoming a shrill partisan – knowing full well that Christ WILL protect His Church – and that much of the controversy is actually a test of whether we will live the dual duty described in that quote well.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Yes, Charlie–I don’t want to be a “Negative Nellie”, but I am genuinely troubled by a lot that the Pope says and doesn’t say. I am also fully aware that I don’t see the big picture and could be totally wrong in my concerns. These are certainly amazing times, with things happening in the Church that I had never imagined. A great man like Cardinal Burke speaking out as he has confirms to me that “we aren’t in Kansas anymore, (Toto)”! All will be well–I know–keeping my eyes on Jesus. Not freaking out here!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. But the “normalcy bias” eluded to by some can also be a perceived duty of charity, maybe overdone, by those who wish to give the benefit of the doubt to one they admire or trust in.
        “To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.” —Catechism of the Catholic, n. 2476-2478

        If the normalcy bias is given when the Catholic church’s supreme leader speaks, it is more normal and natural than most (not withstanding his position as an imperfect human being) but as he is:”the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the church. (Pope Francis).

        Liked by 4 people

  22. Geo. Washington is “spinnin’ in his grave as are all of Our Founders”! The below is a another “Sign” of the godless Globalists creating anger, confusion and division in the USA as well as former Christendom. First it was “White Privilege” and now “Christian Privilege”. The Usual Suspects are fomenting nothing less than Civil War …. the truth is we have been in a cultural Civil War for 30+ years and a slow schism in The Church for 50 years. So far the godless Globalists are winning ’cause the Good Guys ain’t fighting back .. in truth the Good Guys have been in a slow compromise Surrender!! ;-(

    ”George Washington University Tackles ‘Christian Privilege’
    Do Christians possess “built-in advantages” and receive “unmerited perks … all across our country”?

    This Guy is fighting back:

    “I’m the majority!”–Mark Robinson


    Liked by 4 people

  23. “Morris West said:

    Structurally speaking I’ve always thought The Shoes of the Fisherman (released as a movie in 1968) was one of my weaker books. It wanders too much. The script for the film is tighter, more direct and I think it says in a stronger way part of what I wanted to say in the novel. We’ve come to a point in history where men – black or white, Marxist or capitalist, christian or non christian – are going to have to make a choice. They’re either going to have to commit themselves to an act of love for each other or an act of hate for each other. Men on each side have to say: “Look we’re all brothers. Why do we kill each other in the streets? Don’t lets drop the atomic bomb. Let’s talk for one hour more.” Today this is the real triumph of good over evil. It’s what i’ve tried to put into the last speech for the film.[6]”

    In these words of the author we find much reflection of the words Pope Francis spoke to Tony Warner. The Pope spoke in the language of the heart about brotherly love and the hope for unity. The language of the heart has many layers and often each layer must be cleared before arriving at the Truth. In true Jesuitical style Pope Francis encourages each of us to delve into the depths in order to establish our own personal relationship with Jesus. In this endeavour I feel safe because I believe that Pope Francis is a good shepherd acting under the guidance of The Good Shepherd.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. When conversing with Christians who are not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church I have learned to listen to them in terms and in context with their own deposit of faith. I have found it is both both fruitless and counterproductive to engage in any other regard. We start from where we have reached.

    Pope Francis does nothing to denigrate the faith or status of the other. He builds on what is there, never talking down from some spiritual hill-top but face to face and heart to heart. For me this is why he talks to homosexuals, trandsgenders, self styled break away bishops and atheists again and again in the way that he does. He makes no demands but leaves the other edified in love. He shows the better way.

    Every good sportsman knows that to improve his game he has to engage in challenging encounters in which his strengths and weaknesses will come to light. Pope Francis is not concerned with what other people think of him. His only concern is to play his best game for God.

    In confession this morning the priest reminded me that what other people think of me is none of my business. He said my only concern is to be as true as possible to the way to which I believe God is calling me.

    When I contributed to another forum I was often accused of normalcy bias in my regard for Pope Francis. I admit I used to become angry at the suggestion of the mindless worship of a love sick teenager that is contained in this with shades of idolisation of the papacy. Perhaps that betrayed a touch of hurt pride ha ha – still working on that one but thanks to others my game is improving.

    People are asking why does Pope Francis continue to dialogue with the likes of Scalfari. Well in first place he wants Scalfari to experience God’s love and to get him ready as possible for a greater encounter. Scalfari is 93 and is running out of time. The Holy Father wishes to provide him the space in which he can turn – convert – and Pope Francis demonstrates by example the Way of our Faith. In this show of love he has never contradicted or contravened eternal truth.

    Listen again to the words Francis spoke to Tony Palmer – what is he really saying – he is saying whenever you decide to take the next right step there will be a warm welcome at the door. He he saying to Tony – you are doing great but don’t stop. When we stop we do not stand still but go backwards as life passes by.

    I had two grand uncles who were Jesuits – brilliant minds but humble men and possessed of great charity. I was educated at St Aloysius College, a Jesuit school. As I have shared before our motto came from our school’s patron saint: “I was born to greater things.” Pope Francis shares this birth right with others.

    He helps them see The Way. For me he is clear and free of confusion. I was given a book as a child entitled “Joe’s No Saint” – well neither is Francis but I am convinced he will be. I am happy to be biased in favour of this vision but my bias is not mindless. On the contrary it us mindful of all that is good in God and His bountiful mercy shared with the world through the ministry and mission of Pope Francis.

    God bless our Holy Father.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think Pope Francis knows a storm is brewing, which will snatch away souls by the millions. Like a good father, I think he is calling all the kids into the house, knowing this enormous storm is brewing, of which they are unaware. When they come into the house / the Church they may be converted by the Word of God, even if the homilies of the priest are poor, God’s Word might just convert souls , as is promised. “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7

      Liked by 5 people

    2. This is beautiful JoeCro…I am so glad you are back! This is a real eye opener for me and I agree with everything you said. Prayers for our Holy Father and all our Shepherds.!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. I think this post from a Canadian prophet bears much wisdom. Pope Francis is CHOSEN, as Moses was. We can be praying more, in the Divine Will, to keep (or make) Pope Francis’ arms lifted up, so the flood will not overtake him or the people in his care…that includes us, that we not be overtaken by rash judgement. I have been disappointed in him, but I pray that maybe God has asked Pope Francis to be is more concerned with the ones who are not in the Boat , knowing the Faithful will keep the faith , no matter what , that they will be saved when the great tidal wave hits. As a mother, of many, I am more concerned with the ones furthest away from God.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. DAY 9 (Easter Saturday)

    Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.

    Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

    Now pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s one of my favorite Pope Francis’ quotes, Sorrowful. Thanks for posting the prayers of the Novena, leading up to this glorious feast day. EWTN had a wonderful special last evening on the history of the very first Divine Mercy image which was painted. St. Faustina stood behind the artist giving constant directions to him, about various details, while her spiritual director, Fr. Michel Sopocko – dressed in his alb – posed for the painting. If the documentary replays, it’s worth the viewing.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I was blessed to be at the shrine in Kracow last Sunday celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. I prayed for all intentions whilst there.

        God Bless Us All

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Charlie was extra busy leading up to, and including, Holy Week, Bob. I know he’s about ready to release the first segment of “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man.” I’m confident it will have been well worth the wait.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Charlie, I hope you are ok. Tou had said that at some point you would lose hope but go on with your mission. I went through a hopeless period in the last 5 months and now that things are better at my work, i still feel a bit broken from the whole terrible experience.

    Praying for you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Little one! I recently went through one of those moments too. I went alone to a Catholic hospital chapel at night, sat on the floor, leaned against the alter, stared at the tabernacle and cried out interiorly in prayer. The scripture came to me where Peter said “Lord, where else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” It brought me great comfort and peace. Hang in there.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Really interesting read. Thank you for your thoughts and words! I think its completely right and necessary that we stay true to our Holy Father and the way the Holy Spirit is leading the Church.

    As with all things, negative talk can become divisive. And we all know what happens when the spirit of division gets its grip on the church. I think that Canada1 put it well. The storm ahead is coming, and the Lord has Pope Francis here for a reason. The Holy Spirit is fully apart of what is happening. He has to be!

    I heard a talk today on the Pope, and what stood out to me was the summary of the Churche’s Popes in the past 30-50 years, with special regard to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Both priests were scholars, Theologians and teachers for the Church. What they gave to the church will continue to bless it for next hundreds of years.

    With Pope Francis, we have a Pope who reminds the world that the Jesus is for all people. That the merciful Heart of Christ is beating for them. This too is so beautiful. Yes, it might not be what many expected, but the Church isn’t just for intellectuals and theologians. We need all dimensions of the Church to be present. What a gift it was to receive the writing and wisdom of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. What a gift it is to see Pope Francis living and preaching about God’s mercy and forgiveness. In a world so broken, I don’t think this is a coincidence.

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are closed.