The Ballad of the Ordinary Man, Part II Revisited

(I am in Baltimore right now. Regular readers know I have a somewhat ambivalent take on Michael Voris’ Church Militant. Voris is a brilliantly talented man who delves into troubling things in the Church better than anyone else out there – but I get annoyed at times because I think he sometimes lets his narrative get ahead of the facts. I don’t entirely trust him to get it right all the time, but when he does, he does it better than almost anyone else. Today, he held a protest rally outside the Bishop’s Conference at the Baltimore Marriott, just off Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It was well conceived, well executed – and respectful of the Bishops’ lawful authority while firmly and decisively demanding reform. The speakers he invited were all on point. It was a home run, Michael Voris at his best. I will write about it in the next few days.

Meantime, I guess I will have to give in and start using a walking stick. I’ve been thinking about it for months. Today clinched it. I walked to Mass at St. Alphonsus Liguori’s National Shrine – a Church where St. John Neumann was once pastor (a prior version of this story said St. John Henry Newman). It was only a mile from my hotel, but my back kept seizing up and I had to stop to rest a good nine or ten times. I would have been late, except the Mass started a half hour later than I thought it did. My gait is unbalanced. Our friends and coordinators in Riverside, California – Craig and Vanessa – made me an orthotic that smoothed out my gait a few years ago…but after a short stroll it would make my right hip feel like it was going to explode, so I quit using it. So I will go with the walking stick to balance things out. It’s sad – and kind of funny – to watch the machinery in your own body wear down. I had a mental image today of running the bases in a ballgame with a walking stick. Ha!

This second piece of the Ballad was due for reprise today, anyway. I was struck, though, at how I had used the imagery of the Church as the house we occupy in it. Jesus was rough with the money-changers who defiled the Temple when He walked the earth. Many wolves have despoiled the House of the Lord in these times. What the Lord has planned for them will make the cleansing of the Temple look like a very mild rebuke, indeed.-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

“My soul magnifies the Lord” – The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)


Back when I was a Protestant, it used to grate on me terribly to speak admiringly of a nobly inspiring character and have someone say, dismissively, “But he’s a Catholic.” Now that I am a Catholic, it annoys me equally to cite an amazingly inspiring character and have someone dismissively say, “But he’s a Protestant.”

Make no mistake; I am completely, even passionately, Catholic. I know that the Catholic Church is the only Christian Church that has a legitimate historical claim to having been founded by Christ, Himself. I believe that the fullness of truth is held in trust in the deposit of faith of the Catholic Church. It is a magnificent home we Catholics have been given. The holiness of the residents, though, while influenced by the splendor of the home, is not determined by it.

Every one of us falls short of the splendor of God. Far short. Every one of us is going to find that, like children, we badly misunderstood and misinterpreted some things when we stand before God, Himself. However great the treasures entrusted to us, it is altogether true that we hold these treasures in earthen vessels (see 2 Corinthians 4:2).

The Church, or faith tradition, that each of us adheres to is a sort of home to us. It pleases me to believe that Christ, Himself, is the architect of my home. Yet the splendor of the home does not determine the virtue of its inhabitants. Remember the parable of the two sons from Matthew 21:28-31: it was the son who DID rather than the son who merely SAID who did his father’s will. It is not the house we inhabit on earth which will ultimately determine our eternal residence. What a scandal it is when someone who, having received a magnificent home, defiles that gift. And what a delight to God when someone from a very humble home – or no home at all – lives His divine will well and with refinement! It is how we live our Father’s will here that will determine whether we inherit one of the many mansions he has prepared in heaven for those who love Him. (John 14:2 – though I use the elegant and evocative KJV phrasing – “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”)

When I was a Protestant, I knew a lot of preachers who were constantly hustling, on the make for how they could enhance their wealth, influence, and power over others. As a Catholic, I have encountered a dreary run of clerics who engage in petty political gamesmanship to advance their standing in the largest bureaucratic religious institution in the world. These people use the things dedicated to God in an effort to advance their own mere temporal ambitions. It is a sacrilege of sorts. My fellowship with these can only be marginal.

Yet I also know men and women of many faiths whose love of God burns so brightly that it inspires fresh hope, fresh resolve. They are always zealously eager to share what they have found in order that those around them might share in their joy. The Magnificat expresses the heart of true sanctity: “My soul magnifies the Lord.” (Luke 1:46). The true believer is not the one who tries to impose his will on others, who is eager to show he knows or has more than his fellows; but the one who, having found the fount of living water eagerly tries to share it with others that all may live. As is true of all things inspired by God, there is a great variety of temperaments and priorities in true believers. They have one thing in common, though: their souls magnify the Lord.

Some of the many Protestant heroes I hold are:

The late Rev. Billy Graham. What a preacher! The man thrummed with the love of Christ. He did more over the last century to break down the walls between Christians, ending the competing sterile, triumphal claims among denominations than anyone else. He refocused millions to the reality that it is fellowship with Christ, expressed through building each other up that is the heart of Christianity. When he and the late Pope St. John Paul met, it was the beginning of a deep friendship, for they each recognized the true believer in the other. Their souls magnified the Lord.

The late, great Anglican, C.S. Lewis was one of the greatest Christian apologists of the last century. When someone expresses an interest in knowing what is the basic point of the Christian faith, what it is authentically in layman’s terms, I always recommend Lewis’ marvelous little book, “Mere Christianity.” His series of books on Christian apologetics (though not labeled as such) is indispensable for those seeking to spread the good news to a population that is jaded and has become more filled with misinformation about the faith than information.

That great Baptist Minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., spared this nation a terrible ordeal. One hundred years after the end of the Civil War, the frustrations inherent in a century of justice denied could have led this country to the widespread bloodshed of a new civil war, but the force of King’s personality and his orthodox Christianity spared us the worst of that. His successors have lacked his grace and largeness of spirit (to be kind to the toxic race hustlers that have risen in his aftermath). Yet I still cannot read his “Letter From the Birmingham Jail” without tearing up.

Who can fail to be inspired by the heroic witness of the German Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose anti-Nazi efforts in the heart of the darkness led to his arrest – and then execution by the Nazis just two weeks shy of U.S. liberation of the concentration camp where he was held? He was imprisoned in a concentration camp for over two years before his execution. Throughout that time, he managed to smuggle hopeful, inspiring pastoral letters out – even helped by some of his guards. Here was a man who was faithful unto death.

Among the Catholic luminaries who have inspired me are St. John Paul the Great, Pope Leo XIII, St. Joan of Arc, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux. All of these characters display a fully-developed personality that is wholly devoted to bringing people to Christ and building them up.

St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, was one of the most brilliant, detailed and precise theologians and philosophers in all history. Yet his work shows no signs of a craven effort to show how smart he was. He knew the gifts God had given him – and chose to devote himself to using those gifts to illuminate the truth of Christ. When you read him, despite the difficulty of his dense and complex work, you can feel the joy of discovery thrumming through the page. When dealing with heretics, he never hoisted straw men to knock over, but dealt with their very best arguments – and revealed the truth of the matter on their own terms and in their own language. While tackling his Summa Theologica is an ambitious project, you can get a very accessible portal into his mastery by reading Peter Kreeft’s marvelous Summa of the Summa, which uses a condensed group of St. Thomas own texts along with explanatory and insightful commentary. I read it every few years – and do only 10 pages a day so as to absorb it well. For another introduction, get books of some of his homilies. While the structure of St. Thomas’ homilies is very formulaic, the content is startling and fresh, even provocative. I actually embedded some insights from his homilies into my sites without identifying them as such. The reason is that I wanted a reliable means of differentiating between critics who were just doing ‘gotchas’ on me and honest people who were disagreeing from the heart in, perhaps, a provocative manner. I hate to dismiss an honest disagreement just because of tone, but do not want to waste time with the bumptious ‘gotcha’ crowd. I never used it to attack the bumptious, but solely as a means of discernment – though I will confess that it often amused me when some supposed expert attacked my “obvious errors” not knowing that he was actually attacking St. Thomas Aquinas.

When he was young – and even when he was middle-aged – St. Augustine had a marked passion for both the ladies and for revelry and finery, even well after his passion grew to include the faith. He never used the faith to excuse his disordered passions, but neither did he allow shame over those disordered passions to prevent him from proclaiming the faith with profound love and insight. His writings on the Eucharist, in particular, often take my breath away. Two which have always stuck with me are (I am doing these from memory): “Some think God made the Eucharist to resemble bread. Rather, at the beginning God made bread to resemble the Eucharist so it would already be familiar to us when it was established.” The other is, “When we eat ordinary food, it is absorbed into our bodies; when we consume the Eucharist, it absorbs us into the One Body of Christ.” Once again, his writing thrums with the joy of discovery.

True believers encompass almost the whole variety of humanity – warriors, kings, paupers, virgins, mystics, laity, consecrated, clergy, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. True believers are neither proud of nor contemptuous of the gifts God endowed them with – but use those gifts to form their authentic, distinct personalities and then direct them to building each other up into joyful fellowship with God. How pathetic and paltry – and palpably brazen – are the efforts of those who substitute cunning for belief to gain advantage over their fellows – or to inflate their own reputations. St. Joan of Arc was warrior, mystic and virgin – and only perfect at the latter. The clever thinkers of the seemingly doomed French government were constantly jockeying for position, hedging their bets at war while bullying and betraying their own people and colleagues to enhance their status. Ah, but St. Joan was, above all else, a true believer – and the power and purity of her conviction infected the whole French army. In the process, it revealed who was who. The often profane General La Hire, who objected mightily to a mere girl being put in charge of the armies, became her greatest admirer and supporter – for here before him was a fellow true believer who completely ignited the passionate idealism and courage of the armies. He gladly – and devotedly – served under her. Meantime, the connivers in the French entourage loathed Joan of Arc, despite the victories she brought – and did everything they could to undermine and betray her. Ah, vain little men can never adhere to anything greater than themselves: they would rather be captains in a doomed organization than privates in a glorious one. They will work for the doom of their own side rather than risk their captaincy.

One of my Dad’s pet peeves, when he was a fundamentalist minister, was the penchant for some denominations to insist that only their adherents could get to heaven. He asked me pointedly, during a visit, whether I thought only Catholics would be in heaven. I told him that, “I believe the deposit of faith has been given over in trust to the Catholic Church by Christ, Himself. Since we know all truth in heaven, I would think in heaven we would know this. But, as you know, we are sanctified by doing the Father’s will, not by what we say, so I am certain that many of those heavenly Catholics will have been Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and even atheists during their sojourn on earth.” Dad was quiet for a few moments, then smiled and said, “Good answer!”

Never underestimate the mercy and power of God. It has always seemed just and proper that it would please Him to send good and noble men and women into every community on earth. In the final book of the Narnia series, The Last Battle, a noble servant of the false God, Tash, falls before Aslan (an image of Christ), expecting to be doomed because of his adherence to Tash. Instead, Aslan tells him, “…I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.” How much greater mercy will God surely show to those who do not actually serve a false god, but merely an imperfect image of the true God? And which of us perfectly comprehends the true God? Even the great St. Thomas Aquinas, near the end of his life, was given a vision of Christ. In despair that his writing fell so far short of the reality of Christ, Thomas called all his own work “so much straw” and never wrote theology again.

When I was on my pilgrimage, one of the most pious men I met was the young Muslim owner of a convenience store in Louisiana. He was so taken with what I was doing, he made me promise to pray for him regularly throughout the rest of my journey, as he promised to pray for me. He would take no money for my purchases. I had a mild flu, so I stayed camped in some nearby woods for a few days. Embarrassed by his generosity and not wanting to seem to take advantage, I snuck over to another store one morning to get some food. He caught me – and wanted to know what he had done to offend me. He was truly hurt. I explained as best I could, apologized and came to his store to accept his hospitality – and when I checked out he gave me several dainties his wife had made for me. He was a true believer.

I think of the unlikely friendship I had for years with the late Rob Sherman, once the National Spokesman for the American Atheists. Once, he had sued the northeast Illinois village of Wauconda, to remove Christian symbols from outside the village hall. He won. Residents were furious – and throughout the village lit crosses went up on many, many households. It looked almost like Christmas. People figured that would really get his goat. But he got together with me one night to drive through the town and look at all the crosses. He was jubilant about it. “See,” he told me, “I forced them to live their beliefs individually – which is how it should be.” He thought it magnificent…and rather puckishly told me I should concede that he was a “pretty effective evangelist.” We once mounted a minor pro-life initiative together. I was a bit surprised to find he was pro-life…but he was passionate about it. When I expressed skepticism, he told me, “Hey, look Charlie, I think this is all we get, so it is an absolute sin to deprive anyone of it.” When I stared at him after his description of it as a sin, he finally got it, his face reddened and he said, “…so to speak.” In a lot of our private chats, I came to think he was more agnostic than actually atheist…and he conceded on a few occasions that that might be true. He certainly welcomed my prayers – as long as I did not tell anyone about it while he was alive. I think, in his peculiar fashion, he was a true believer. Certainly, he was a good friend.

When we meet a fellow true believer, we know because a certain resonance vibrates – like a tuning fork – and our hearts burn within us. I love my Church, my home, passionately. But I know that some who also call it home are committed enemies of the faith. I know that many in other homes…and among the spiritually homeless…are passionate about truth and brotherhood. Shoot, I was once one of them. Do not shun the fellowship of a true believer because he is from a different home. Now that so much of the world is determined to crush whatsoever is true, whatsoever is honest, whatsoever is just, whatsoever is pure, and whatsoever is lovely, we sin if we fail to make common cause together. We will know Christians, not by what they say, but by their love.

Be grateful for the home God has drawn you to. But know that it is not the splendor of the home you inhabit here that will endow your eternity: it is whether your soul magnifies the Lord, bringing hope to the hopeless, joy to the grieving, and comfort to the afflicted – even knowing that that light will enrage the pretenders and frauds who choose cunning over belief.

 

284 thoughts on “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man, Part II Revisited

    1. Yup. I’m now thinking that CJ could bat with it and use it to help him run the bases. Driving through Yuma at the moment. Pulled over to listen to a massive flock of birds and sniff the air blowing off the fields. Just as a warning: if you do happen to whack someone with this stick, it’s going to leave a nasty welt with a squirrel imprint.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. Since you’re a history buff, PD, you might be interested to know that I found this particular “Stick of Peace” on a stretch of the river where Kit Carson used to do some beaver trapping. It’s still very pristine there. I never run into other folks out there and it’s not uncommon to find old Apache pottery shards and the occasional arrowhead. There’s also a couple of remnants of the old Cavalry trails once used by the soldiers garrisoned at Ft. McDowell, as well as petroglyphs scattered here and there predating that activity by many centuries.

          Don’t know that the stick could serve as a tent pole, unless it’s a pup tent. I thought the length was just right for CJ, but I could be wrong. It’s much shorter than Gandalf’s staff, but longer than a Calvary sword. The kind of stick that would suit The Rough Rider or The Bulldog. After all, can’t have him walking up the Capitol steps looking like a wizard.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Ha! Might be more intimidating if I did. Maybe we could jury-rig the stick to shoot lightning bolts out of the tip…that oughta shake ’em up! When I wasn’t sardonically calling it the “Stick of Peace” I could just call it “The Regulator.”

            Liked by 3 people

  1. From the Bishops’ meetings today….

    From JD FLynn’s (Catholic News Agency, editor in chief) Twitter feed:
    +@Bishopoftyler: “There is a priest who travels around now basically saying he doesn’t [believe the teachings of the Church.]” We have to ask ourselves the question: should that be presented in our diocese? Bishops respond with light applause. #USCCB18

    Without skipping a beat Fr. James Martin tweeted:
    As I’ve said many times, I am not challenging any church teaching, nor do I intend to. My book has the ecclesial approval of my Jesuit superiors and the endorsement of several cardinals, archbishops and bishops. I invite the bishop to read my book and this: (link to America magazine)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who you quote here, has been a rising sign of hope among the hierarchy since the depth of the rot and abuse was revealed. Pray for him and give thanks for his clear voice, sounding through the fog with clarity.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. And here’s an interview with Bishop Strickland: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/tyler-https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/tyler-bishop-our-main-job-is-to-focus-on-salvation-of-souls-89164

      Forthright Bishop Strickland quotes (If you want to see HOPE in the USCCB read the entire interview.)

      The excerpts:
      When asked if he believed anything could be done to get Rome to speed up the investigation, Strickland was skeptical. He told CNA that while he accepts that it is up to Rome to deal with Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, he believes that the Church in the United States should do its own investigation into his alleged crimes and learn from what they uncover.

      “There’s got to be files. He’s an American. I mean, his whole priesthood has been in the United States,” said Strickland.

      “I would say, let’s help Rome, and have our own investigation, and do what we can. Certainly, we can.”

      The delay in the investigation into McCarrick is a sign of deeper issues within the Church, Strickland said. He told CNA that he was “disappointed” thus far with how things have been handled. He described the lack of a proper investigation as an “illustration that the same machinery that caused the whole McCarrick mess, still functions–or doesn’t.”…

      Strickland said that there is certainly a need for “good people, good laity,” working on various issues such as global warming, immigration, and general injustices in the world, noting that he’s on the board of a Catholic charity.

      But he expressed concern that an overemphasis on these kinds of works is serving as a distraction from the ultimate call of a bishop: bringing people to holiness, promoting the sanctity of life, and “living the virtues.”

      Liked by 10 people

  2. Another JD Flynn gem:
    “+(Bishop) McKnight: Important to remember the necessity of the laity to get out of this mess. Could task force get 2 or 3 competent laity to assist its task? We need to study the root causes of the abuse of power by Catholic hierarchy, and laity could do that work for task force.”

    Charlie, the USCCB would do well to have a copy of the Ballad of the Ordinary Man. What a beautiful melody our Church shall sing when clergy and laity work in harmonious tandem

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Ha, Charlie! I’m breathing a sigh of relief; when I read that you need a walking stick after walking around DC, my first thought was that your trip to DC had made you decide that it was time to start the Jericho March. Glad I was wrong. 🙂

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Gee Charlie, your “hobbling” is getting more and more acute! (First the limitations imposed by your bishop, then your leaving the site for awhile after your misinterpretation and now the apparent inability to do a Jericho walk).
          I seem to be hearing the passage; “He must increase but I must decrease”. Moses lead them to the Promised Land but Joshua entered it as the leader of the Hebrews. Jesus only lead the church for 3 1/2 years before the apostles took over. Many saints started orders only to see it bloom after they were gone.
          It will be interesting to see who you give your “staff” to when the time comes??

          Liked by 4 people

        2. Hee hee…wouldn’t be much of a Jericho March if it was just from Baltimore to Washington…more of a Bugtussle March (the little town the Beverly Hillbillies once lived near). I don’t have to start from San Diego, but a proper Jericho March will need a little heft. My son once asked me what I would do if I went completely crippled. I told him I would go across the country in a Hoveround (He chuckled but told a friend not to laugh too hard, for I meant it…called me the weirdest mix of feeble and tough he’s ever seen).

          Liked by 8 people

          1. Well, just follow the style of the caravan march in mexico,
            Get out for photo OPS then get back on a bus. Seems to be OK with the PC crowed? I can’t imagine the media would complain if WE did it!

            Liked by 7 people

            1. Makes my blood boil, Sean. It’s all so transparent now, even more than before, that an enemy is trying to destroy our way of life and national sovereignty. We have been asleep, just as the enemy counted on.

              Liked by 3 people

  3. Charlie, In the 60s, I enjoyed the Venerable Fulton J Sheen on Tv, always looking forward to his broadcasts. But my own interest in what he had to say really puzzled me as a NYC Jewish boy. Your writing picks up for me where he left off. As you earlier had suggested to us, I have also begun reading the Summa of the Summa. Kreeft’s Intro is excellent for explaining what St Aquinas was about. I find study of St Aquinas’ text enjoyable akin to slowly sipping a fine champaign. And thank you for this enjoyable posting.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Jack, FYI there is a Fulton Sheen iPad app with hundreds of recordings you can access and an AudioSumma too. Sometimes I like to listen to people speaking something I’m reading. Helps get the content into my thick head better, especially the Summa….uffda.

      Liked by 7 people

  4. Take your walking stick and use it to heal your back. Whatever injury you sustain by posture can be remedied by movement of the tendons and ligaments, which encourages lymphatic fluid circulation. I have found that if you take a martial arts horse stance with the feet slightly more than shoulder length apart and knees slightly bent, then twist around to the left as far as you can without pain, then twist around to the right as far as you can without pain. and count this as one time, keeping the head as best you can in one position so that your body does not sway, and your weight on the inside of your feet, again so the body does not sway. Hold your walking stick with both hands at about waist high for balance. Do not do too many at first, to prevent muscle spasms. I would suggest no more than twenty or thirty for starters. Push yourself by doing a little more each day, but never to the point of tiring yourself out. When you can do a hundred or more without effort, you might consider using a weight lifters bar, and start at thirty again, increasing it gradually. I do not know for sure, but it is my belief that this is what Ben Hogan did to heal himself after his automobile accident in 1946. You are not bending your back or straining it, so this is what I recommend to all who have bad backs. It has done wonders for me, as I thought I was a candidate for the nursing home but this brought me back to health over the period of about a tear. Just remember to exercise to the point of pain and no further. Your body is great at telling you how far you can go. Good luck, being immobile is a bummer. I learned this by trial and error, as necessity is the mother of invention. This makes the tendons and ligaments tight again allowing the back to heal, or so it seems in my case.

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Need to be careful monitoring pain, as it may signal damage infliction more than mere discomfort to ligatures that would benefit from stretching exercise.

        Little “war story” Popped my 5th lumbar disk in my late 30s after weakening it as a teen overdoing heavy weight lifting. Being too poor for a neurosurgeon to perform disk surgery, went to a VA hospital. The senior doc gathered a bunch of newbies to demonstrate simple diagnosis w/o having to do an X-Ray. He placed a knuckle in the small of my back while I stood erect, and then pushed on my chin; that squeezed the ruptured disk pushing it hard against the sciatic nerve, so I collapsed in terrible pain. He had already learned that I had difficulty moving my big toe, so did not need the drama. He then proceeded to ask if I were ready for surgery. Said no, and ran away as if my hair were on fire. Let the disk heal by itself across the next couple of years.

        Now it gets interesting. I had recurrent back pain ever after, so in my late 70s, with retirement approaching I decided to get a disk fusion, which I had continually postponed, with my Blue Cross coverage still good. Got an MRI and was called in by a highly regarded neurosurgeon. He greeted my office visit with a smirk. OK, what’s that about, I asked and he showed me on the detailed scans that I no longer had any herniated disks in my spine, as they had all degenerated away with age. After discussion, we agreed that the best remedy was to take an NSAID pill when I had a bout of pain.

        Tense muscles from over-exertion, or from stress, can pressure the nerves, so an aspirin or Advil may be adequate for relief. I now routinely take inexpensive boswellia pills (info at https://www.healthline.com/health/boswellia ). I also bought a HurryCane, and it is a really handy and effective walking aid ( https://www.hurrycane.com/ )

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Charlie can express his condition more accurately than I, Jack, but his usual MO is to suffer in silence. We can see that among the Lord’s many gifts given to Charlie are an amazing intellect, the ability to deliver compelling writing and speaking, and his interpersonal gifts of deeply connecting with anyone anywhere. (Forgive me, Charlie, you know I don’t, in the least, put you on a pedestal, and we all know your driving force in all that you do is to love and serve the Lord and His people entrusted to your care.)

          Charlie has shared on site that he had surgery for a serious neurological condition with which he has contended for many years. Charlie nearly died during that operation, Jack, and those with such neurological challenges most often must monitor activity and how it can contribute to what I’ll call “flares” of pain and energy drain. Charlie has conveyed he sees this physical challenge as God’s leash on him. Now, I don’t wish the suffering on Charlie but I see a real connection between his suffering and the fruitfulness of the grace-filled work God accomplishes in him as CJ co-creates with the Lord in the duties to which he remains faithful.

          And isn’t that so for each one of us in all our trials and challenges? We are called to be co-redeemers, each and every one of us. And boy! We have prayed continually for our friends here who have been bearing some heavy loads in these times. Prayers continue for this family of faith gathered at ASOH and the ones so dear to each of us.

          Liked by 9 people

          1. Thank you for your kindness, Beckita. I have often joked with my Priests that this is my “integrated hair shirt,” and that it always gives me something to offer up for my own many sins and for the good of those I love. Yet I also have complete confidence that the Lord will always give me what I need to do what He intends for me.

            During my pilgrimage, one of my Priests developed a profound neuropathy in his legs. His doctors had begun to seriously consider surgery to try to relieve the pain. But as my pilgrimage was coming to an end, the pain mysteriously lifted – and has never come again. We both believe it pleased the Lord to have him bear some of the pain that would be the natural lot of someone in my condition undertaking such a physically demanding pilgrimage – and we both consider it a great blessing and sign from God.

            I do have my aches and pains. The only thing I get really annoyed with is how easily I fatigue…and that I have to rest when I do. Yet, again, that is God’s leash on me and for my good. Despite those little aches and pains (which amuse me more than annoy me), never think that I am anything other than a profoundly happy and grateful man. And even the pains are a graceful sign at times. Because of the oddities of neurological damage, often the simplest things are very painful for me while physically challenging things are no big deal. Getting in and out of cars is ALWAYS painful for me…and I usually give out a little yelp or grunt when doing it. One day while with my son and nephew, they decided to live solidarity with me by giving a “Viking yell” every time we got in or out of the car. It was hilarious – and people kept giving us weird looks. But It was also incredibly comforting – and one of the coolest things anyone ever did for me.

            Liked by 15 people

            1. Ya’ll know I am a Yankee thru n thru (have a cousin who died at Gettysburg fighting for the Union) but this video brought tears to my eyes watching n listening’ to these good, ol’ boys give their best. May God bless them!

              Now, Charlie, this is a viking war cry:

              Liked by 5 people

            2. What, pray tell, is a “Viking yell,” Charlie? And how old were your son and nephew when they did this? I’m trying to picture the hilarious scene in my mind’s eye; but I don’t know whether to imagine the guys as junior-high schoolers or as 20-somethings.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. 20-somethings, Mick. It was a total hoot. Whenever we would get into or out of the car, they would let loose with a “Yaahhh” or an “Arghhhhh.” People in parking lots would look at us like we were crazy while I grinned and they laughed hysterically.

                Liked by 1 person

        2. I had a physical therapist pull a similarly asinine move on me with a straight leg raise. He jacked my leg up so quickly and high off the table without warning. I cried out, and within a split second punched my fists into the table and jacked up my upper torso with my arms to reduce the angle to my leg. While stupidly continuing to hold my leg in the air and me suspending myself looking wildly at him, he asked, “Does this hurt?” If I could have kicked him in the head with my good leg, I would have.

          I had a successful L5/S1 laminectomy/microdiscectomy at the Denver VA in ‘05. However, new problems are surfacing and eventually a second procedure to the opposite side is inevitable.

          Sounds like you, me, and Charlie have similar situations and can understand what each other are going through. Unless one experiences neuropathic or radicular pain, it’s debilitating effects cannot really be understood.

          Liked by 6 people

            1. Thank you, B. I have a devotion to St. Dymphna for more than one reason. And interestingly, it was Our Lady of Tepeyac who introduced me to her on Dec 13, 2008 in Colorado Springs by directing me to a medal of her on the floor of an empty church.

              Liked by 7 people

              1. You’re so welcome, Patrick. St. Dymphna has been my friend for a good many years and I’ve sent her to many who suffer with depression and anxiety, as well as, challenges arising from being subjected to abuse. I have a statue of her which I keep near my Lady of Fatima statue. I have ordered, from her national shrine in our country, her medals to give away. Love your story of finding the medal in Colorado Springs. A heartwarming and encouraging story of faith!

                Liked by 6 people

          1. All I can say is that pain had me seeing stars and I thought I would faint. Spent 7 week bedridden with ice packs and pain pills even with epidural shots to sooth the nerves. (After that episode, I wonder how Christ endured His Crucifixion. It gives me chills just thinking about it. )

            Liked by 4 people

            1. I’m saddened to hear of your suffering, JoAnne. It sounds like it was a very trying time for you, perhaps more severe than mine….but we perceive pain in our own way making it impossible to make a comparison. Of course, Jesus understands and empathizes with all our sufferings.

              I love the Passion so much. If I had to choose only one meditation for the Rosary, it would be the Sorrowful Mysteries. Sometimes I get goosebumps and wince when imagining one blow across Christ’s back during the scourging. Or gasp at the thought of the pain from the Crowning with thorns which bore so deep into his sacred head. But imagining his holy feet being pierced with nails makes me most tearful…and grateful.

              Years ago, I decided to talk much less about my back pain which I used just to make people have sympathy for me. Now, it’s my secret unless it’s relevant to mention as it is here (or like when I don’t feel like helping a friend move a sofa). But today, I frequently thank Jesus for the pain which he has permitted me to experience, considering it a grace and an honor to share in his sufferings, and to offer it back to him.

              I have a special devotion to the Shoulder Wound. St. Bernard of Clairvaux once asked our Lord what His greatest unrecorded suffering was and he answered “I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men.”

              Here is the prayer which I will add just before praying the 4th Sorrowful Mystery:

              ✝️ “O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I, a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy Most Blessed Body.

              I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of the Cross. Amen.” ✝️

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Thanks Patrick for taking the time to comment. I don’t talk about it much either. Its just a pain not soon forgotten and it put the Crucifixion in focus. It made what Christ suffered real. I favor the Joyful Mysteries probably because I”m a mother (of 2 boys). I ponder often the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. I imagine some scolding of Him by Mary and Joseph. (My oldest when 4 disappeared from me at checkout in a Sears. Had to use my voice to find him. We had a very long and serious talk about it after I found him. BTW, sitting in a boat display.) It scared me to death. My favorite miracle is the Wedding Feast of Cana. It speaks to the intimate knowledge of the Mother of the Son. I mean, she already knew what he could do. For me Jesus was teasing her when he questioned her request, because he knew he could not refuse her. (I’ve had similar banter with my two which implied far more knowledge of their hearts and heads and visa versa, too.) But the saddest most mother/son moment is Mary at the foot of the Cross. The eye contact between the two must have been intense. His words “Mother, behold your son” so sorrowful. I don’t think she knew the Resurrection was coming. She had to have faith in Him while her heart was breaking.

                Liked by 3 people

        3. I was in a bit of a rush to get to grandchildren, Jack, when I replied about Charlie. I didn’t mean to skip over how interesting was your incredible story of how time resolved the herniated disks. Amazing really. Praying a PMT for you this day and sending St. Dymphna, patron of neurological health issues, to remain by your side, ever tending to your needs.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Beckita,
            As a retired psychRN, I pray for the intercession of St. Dymphna daily. My goodness, how did I not know she also interceded for neurological symptoms? Well, I owe her thanks, then. For after my fall back in March, I have gradually healed to walking up to 3/4 mile every other day. Perhaps I can ask her to bring the feeling back to my feet. Still, I’ve had no problems with falling..uh, so maybe I learned my lesson to slow down. 😉
            I sincerely appreciate the prayers of this loving community. You have mine, always. 🙏🏾
            St. Dymphna, pray for us!
            God bless, Katey in Oregon 💕✝️💟🙏🏾

            Liked by 3 people

      2. Charlie, there is an epidural injection that you can get to mitigate the pain in your back. It calms the nerves. If it is particularly painful you can get it 2 more times (total 3 in a year) with a 9 week interval between shots. You should also ask for physical therapy. For some reason you seem to have to ask for it. Doctors don’t seem to prescribe it outright. A 12 week course will give you muscle strengthening exercises that will help you walk. These physical therapists are miracle workers. You might not regain complete stamina but you will most likely be able to move better for most of the day. I report this from personal experience. You might still experience pain if you don’t continue the exercises or overextend yourself physically like raking leaves or planting potted mums before the winter sets in. (Just saying -from experience!)

        Liked by 4 people

        1. The muscles in my legs have always been (and still remain) freakishly strong. When I was young, I sometimes enjoyed beating shocked body-builders on the leg lift machines in weight rooms. I never found a setting that was challenging – and setting it to the maximum still posed little effort for me. It is just a weird aberration (completely UNLIKE my somewhat below average upper body strength).

          I appreciate the kindness which moves so many to give me advice. The reality is that my mild disability is not physical/musculature at all, but entirely neurological. It is a whole different thing for which physical therapy is nearly useless and often counter-productive – aggravating the very neurological issues which are the source of the problem to begin with. My neurosurgeon was considered the best in the St. Louis area at the time – and had spent several terms as president of the national association of neurologists. I did not lack for competent advice. Ultimately, a year and a half after the surgery when I asked about when the pain might go away, he leveled with me and told me he did not understand why I could walk at all: the damage was so extensive I should be at least partially paralyzed on my right side.

          Biggest point of all, I am perfectly content – and even grateful – to be on God’s leash. One of my Priest’s was so pained by my visible pain when with him privately that he prayed constantly for my healing. I asked him to stop…the first time I used the “integrated hair shirt” and “God’s leash” analogies. He did, but we compromised. He gave me a dispensation against kneeling, which I only use when the pain is really, really bad – and for which I am often very grateful. Simple little things I will consider trying for a while. But I gave up looking for a cure a very long time ago…especially when top men in the field say my capacity IS more than they would hope for AFTER having given extensive therapy, given the level of the permanent damage to my neurological system.

          Liked by 7 people

    1. Hey, Arthur. Yes, the Horse Stance! After my back surgery, I found a Tai Chi dojo and joined immediately. That was the BEST possible post-op rehabilitation I could have gotten. Physical therapy, by contrast, was much less effective. My recovery was unusually slow for some reason, 9-12 months. The pain before surgery was exquisite and crippling, but the post-surgical pain shocked and frustrated me because it was far, FAR worse…and persistent.

      Initially I could only practice katas about 15-20 minutes at a time and would have to bow-out and lie down. After a month or so, I could do 30 minutes, then 45, until finally I could practice 1 full hour with rarely needing to bow-out. Tai Chi helped immensely with core-strength, leg strength, posture, and balance, while also providing self-defense skills that became ingrained — they manifest when needed without conscious thought, I discovered. To this day (10 years later) I am still feeling the benefits of this wonderful martial art. Highly recommended!

      And to my knowledge Tai Chi, unlike Goat Yoga, is OK for Catholics to participate in.

      Thanks for your exercise tip…I’m going to try it too.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Glad I can be a fly on the wall and ‘eavesdrop’ : Thanks for the Tai Chi suggestion, after similar back fusion, pilates/tens unit/osteopathic, etc. remedies have stalled. Will try the boswellia as I think I’m the only one that legal h. oil has not helped. Beckita, I was unaware of St. Dymphna’s patronage for aforementioned madadies; will read her bio. As I mentioned elsewhere, may our collective prayers for all here, (esp. you Charlie), continuously boomerang with ever increasing graces.

        Liked by 5 people

  5. I’d guess that the below would only reinforce what most here already know/believe. The “Caravans” are funded & orchestrated by “Agents” who wish ILL to the USA and the Vision of Our Founders. I’m guessing that these same agents are funding the Invasion of Old Christendom …. and they are filled with “Military Age” males ;-(

    Eye-Opening Ground Report Video From Inside Migrant Caravan Shows Truth of Motivation and Intent…

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/11/13/eye-opening-ground-report-video-from-inside-migrant-caravan-shows-truth-of-motivation-and-intent/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 9 people

  6. Just a little nit-pick St. John Henry Newman lived in England a convert from the Episcopal church and a fine Catholic scholar and apologist. John Neumann was a Bohemian immigrant to the US and was briefly pastor at St. Alphonsis before becoming Bishop of Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput has some mighty fine predecessors.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. A fine friend and follower in Baltimore sent me a note correcting my error – which I corrected. One of the great things about this site is we have so many serious Catholics and serious intellects that, when I make an error, I have friends who quickly help me correct it. Thank you all.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Saint John Neumann, Bishop of Philadelphia, was the founder of Beneficial Savings Bank. As I understand it, dock workers in the neighborhood asked him to hold their savings for them. Thus instituting the “bank”. Years ago each branch had a history book on its founding on display and it indeed credited John Neumann with its founding.

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    3. MKM: A little nit-pick for you but it’s all good since I hear that typos and “nit-picks” help us grow in humility and help our Church members in Purgatory. I believe it’s St. Alphonsus not Alphons’is’. (Here I truly am squirming, so you know.)

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for the encouragement, Charlie. Good or bad news, whether it’s what is wanted or not, it is always hopeful and encouraging and fir me, much needed. Not sure of you heard of Intentional Discipleship (which helps discover our Spiritual Charisms) a project with books, cds, etc. put together by Sherry Widdel, and what your experience is with that. but so thankful for your charisms, for you, and for this ASOH family.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. My journey from Protestantism to Catholisism is very similar you yours Charlie. I am greatful for this and thanks for your writing. My soul magnifies the Lord as it brings me comfort.

    Liked by 11 people

  9. My son and I gave up on hiking poles – they always get in the way when climbing boulders and rough trails. We’ve taken to using a scout ‘Stave’ or ‘quarterstaff’- approx 6′, and I wouldn’t go without it now. The length is important for trail use, and provides a good standing rest position. It’s great when going down hill, it can reach down to your next step, steady your way crossing a stream… http://voiceofscouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Scout-Stave-2.gif

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I love this! It looks similar to the ones my DH had made for himself long ago and subsequently for me. Ceremonially he burns a ring around his stick for every year it has served him since he created it for support and security. ❤

      Liked by 4 people

  10. I am just wondering whether anyone else is getting impatient. This whole unraveling of things (which I realize has come on us at the speed of light – historically speaking) seems, at times, like it is progressing at an agonizingly slow pace. One wave of things after the next. I feel like, “when are we going to hit bottom already!” Like I can see the wreck that’s coming (sort of) but it just won’t hurry up and get here. It’s almost as if I want to help things along – not because I crave agony, but because I want the healing to begin.

    I am a relatively older man (in my 50s) and my wife is expecting our 8th child (Although I always feel like I have to clarify that she was a widow when we got married and I have adopted 3 of her – now our – beautiful daughters – so I don’t get credit for all 8:). Anyway, it’s sort of like when she does things, right at the end of the pregnancy, to encourage hard labor to begin. Not because she’s a fan of hard labor, but because she just can’t wait to see the new life…that’s how I feel about this…

    Castor oil anyone?

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Right there with you, Joe. Caster oil = ha! I DO get tempted to impatience at times. I have to settle down by reminding myself that I know n.o.t.h.i.n.g. compared to God. Further, His Ways and Timing are all together perfect, elegant, intricate and comprehensive as He moves multi-dimensionally to encompass His people in the process through which we must move and engage. Looking back, I know we will be in awe of His answers to the many who, what, why, where, which and when questions we now hold. God bless you, Joe, and all who are here. Praying for a beautiful development and safe delivery of your new child, a sign of hope in these days.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. My wife tried castor oil and it only led to a lot of Poop. No help was there. I encouraged her to try White Castles to “slide the baby out” but she declined. I also suggested horseback riding and some jackhammer work but she declined these also!! Smart wife.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Okay, I have never cared much for “White Castles.” Never understood the craze for them. They just taste to me like little liver-y sandwiches with onions. I have never gotten it. BUT…White Castles as a laxative…that would definitely be the best. laxative. ever. So you may yet make me an enthusiast, Bob (at least should I suffer constipation).

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        2. My weight lifting coach has a lady who was 38 weeks PG, full term, and she was squatting about 200 lbs. and deadlifting close to 300 and THAT didn’t help her baby come earlier either. But she was an experienced lifter at the time and still is!

          Liked by 2 people

      1. You castor oil adherents please pray for my youngest daughter Jennifer as she tries to deliver her late term baby.
        Seems the midwife put her on a “tincture” (castor oil?) to help strengthen her contractions but she stopped dilating so they sent her home.
        Baby Eric is just not ready I guess.

        Liked by 7 people

          1. Your prayers worked! (And maybe the tincture too?)
            Eric was born at 4:30 AM EST.
            He is 8 pounds and 20 1/2 inches long.
            Ruby red lips (like his mom) and he is nice and chubby!
            God is good!

            Liked by 12 people

    2. Me too, Joe. However the labor part was more like, it is going to hurt anyway so let’s just get it over with. Maybe that is why we women get to the point of being soooo uncomfortable that we will take the pain of labor just to be able to breath again. And to not feel like a beached whale!

      Liked by 3 people

  11. My trail punching while hunting here in FL rarely requires a walking staff/stick as the small trees and other flora are usually handy enough for a needed hand hold if I get off balance like when I trip over a cypress knee hidden in the grass on my trail.
    Last Friday while I was dragging a small buck out of a plametto patch, my tried and true method of using the nearest tree for a hand hold failed me. As I was getting my deer over a hump, I leaned against an arm sized tree for leverage when it broke. I quickly fell sideways and hit the top of my head against another larger tree. After a few explicatives I examined my cranium for blood…none, and then proceeded with the drag.
    Nothing wrong with my method but a nice trusted walking stick may have helped me avoid trusting a dead tree by mistake!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. What’s particularly fun about the desert is when you reach out to grab something for balance and come up with a handful of cactus.

      One thing I’ve discovered about pratfalls in the wild. If I’m alone I’ll generally pitch a fit. If I’m out with others, I instantly laugh uproariously. Doesn’t matter the pain. Just seems natural.

      Guess I better get to some more whittling and finishing. Sheesh… you old guys…

      Liked by 11 people

      1. As largely a Midwestern boy, my first extensive experience with cactus came on my pilgrimage. I was under the bad misimpression that the prickles on cactus were similar to those on our midwestern prickly weeds and bushes. Then, out of curiosity, I once touched a prickly pear cactus. A week later I was still trying to get the little needles of torture from out of my finger. I have a very healthy respect for cactus now…the terrorist members of the plant kingdom.

        Liked by 10 people

        1. Believe it or not, my dad planted these vermon in front of our front porch. With a family of six it was inevitable that all of us at one time or another would come in crying with the prickly stickers stuck somewhere upon us. I could never figure out why my dad planted these monsters in our garden. I think he was going for a “desert” landscape to save on water in Southern California. Not a good idea.

          Liked by 4 people

    1. Years ago I was shocked at a small dinner party to hear a priest estimate that 60% of the priests in the diocese were gay. This in a supposedly very conservative diocese. Not so shocked these days.

      The comment section to this article tackles the issue of valid but UNLAWFUL sacraments administered by actively gay priests living in mortal sin. What does that mean for the faithful who knowingly receive the sacraments from those unlawful situations? Interesting problem, no?

      Grazes the issue of sinful voting. Can voting be sinful?

      Bergoglio’s Church of No Sin

      Got to read the article and the comments to get a handle on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a little cautious about numbers or percentages here. I do not think this is confirmed. My understanding is that the consecration and sacraments are still valid by the power of the office and not the state of the priests soul. Off hand, I do not know official church teaching on this. Anyone who knows care to elaborate?

        Liked by 5 people

        1. You are correct, Doug. If a priest is in serious sin when offering Mass or hearing confession or celebrating any sacrament, it is the priest who adds to his own soul the grievous sin of sacrilege while the sacraments remain perfectly valid. That said, if I knew a priest consistently taught outright disobedience and heresy or even taught in obscure, shady ways, lacking clarity, I would have to find a new parish with a faithful-to-the-Teaching Magisterium pastor. Here’s more on the subject.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. Yes, I think it’s the situation that if a Priest only truly doesn’t intend to carry out the Sacrament as the Church wills that it’s invalid? And thank God, I think there are very few of those. That’s as opposed to the many of those who, while offering their own very wrong interpretations, nevertheless do actually intend to offer a valid Sacrament, defective as their personal opinions may be.

              That’s not very well expressed, but I think it’s so? Corrections welcome. Lord knows, so many of us have to suffer through that sort of thing these days.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Improper form and matter can also make the sacrament invalid, J. One example: the baptism must be spoken with the Trinitarian formula: “… in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

                Liked by 2 people

                1. That is so, Beckita. Similarly with the Eucharist offered with invalid matter e.g. the “cookies and Coke” “Eucharists” that a apparently were done back in the kooky days of liturgical experimentation. Thank the Good Lord I never experienced that. Really, it was self- glorifying disobedience. Perhaps disobedience is always that?

                  Liked by 2 people

  12. From MILINET & elsewhere today:

    Cardinal Zen: Vatican ‘Does Not Support’ Faithful Catholics in China, Rome is Helping Communist Party
    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/cardinal-zen-vatican-does-not-support-faithful-catholics-china-rome-helping

    I no longer consider stories of Scandal in the Church as bad news but as much need light to expose all the “Dark Places” that for 50 years we have pretended don’t exist ;-( …… and as much needed info/intel that we can use to decide The Next Right Step. We must also keep in mind the old adage of: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. We must also Pray For and insure that The Faithful … Especially Faithful Clergy ….. are encourged and protected from the “battle damage” that is sure to come!!

    Opinion: The Catholic Church is embroiled in a hell of its own making
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-catholic-church-is-embroiled-in-a-hell-of-its-own-making/2018/11/14/07871f66-e837-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ccd34b38d152

    The shame of the Catholic Church–Cal Thomas
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/14/the-shame-of-the-catholic-church/

    Open Border Advocates Downplay Human Trafficking
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/open-border-advocates-downplay-human-trafficking

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 11 people

  13. Thankfulformercy: The Elephant in the Room article is very insightful. That those priests to whom the author refers would exempt themselves from sin is heart braking. I think it also is a gambler’s tell as to their reverence and belief in Jesus in the Eucharist.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. And nothing could more clearly define the times – the communist agenda of infiltrating and collapsing the Church has finally appeared to have succeeded!

        Alas for the evil one however! It also defines the time of revelation of the Blessed Mother of All!!!

        Praise God for His goodness and mercy.

        Liked by 4 people

  14. THANK YOU, Charlie! I’ve been going around the mountain with our pastor who has a tendency to make it sound as if Baptism is not necessary for salvation. In a private conversation with him, I tried to explain your very point about “heavenly Catholics” but my words missed the mark for him to be able to grasp what I was saying. He just thinks I’m a Feeny-ite. I look forward to presenting to him your description of these heavenly Catholics who named themselves with a different identity during their earthly sojourns. The point remains though that somehow, “heavenly Catholics” have been Baptized.

    This is my difficulty, when Father uses his sermons to say what can be taken to mean (and tragically many poorly catechized do take it this way) that Baptism isn’t necessary to go to heaven, he also does not speak of the Church’s teaching on Baptism of Desire or Blood. In private he explained that when he says Baptism he means Baptism by Water. He went on to explain that to present Baptism of Blood is too graphic and scary, but he didn’t say why he stays away from teaching about the Baptism of Desire. To his credit, he did try to remedy what the “sheep in the pew” may have taken him to mean about Baptism being unnecessary, but an informal “exit poll” of a few parishioners at coffee and donuts showed that they still understand that he said that Baptism in not necessary for the Beatific Vision.

    Any ideas of words that can be used to help us pronounce the FULLness of Catholic teaching on Baptism–Water, Blood, or Desire? And now that I think of it, the subject of Baptism of Spirit–does it only pertain to Confirmation or does it figure in to the other Baptisms as well and if so how?

    Thanks for anyone’s input.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks, Sean. Jesus did kind of give that one command, “Go forth and baptize all nations…” But maybe He just meant some nations. And He did tell Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again of water…” But maybe that was just for Nicodemus… And, yeah, I get all those other baptisms of Jesus and Paul and the whole household (including babies) of that gentile guy in Acts. Surely we in the 21st Century have progressed to the point where we don’t need that hocus pocus, “water-on-the-head” stuff anymore. (sarc off)

        I simply would like Father to get what you’ve pointed out so that he’ll teach it. He’s got the authority and the pulpit. I don’t. He thinks he’s teaching clearly and compassionately to help grandparents not worry that their grandchildren are not baptized. I really do want to reach out to him because he is a good and sincere man.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. “Surely we in the 21st Century have progressed to the point where we don’t need that hocus pocus, “water-on-the-head” stuff anymore. (sarc off)”

          I don’t know if you are serious or not, in any event you posted a few choice words. Progressed does not imply positive advancement and ‘hocus pocus’ is a (the) misunderstanding of Latin in the words spoken by the Priest at The Consecration. So, yes indeed we do need His body.

          hoc est enim corpus meum = “This is my Body”

          https://glosbe.com/la/en/hoc%20est%20enim%20corpus%20meum

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Thanks, Sean. By the tag–sarc off–I hoped to relay that the words that came before the tag were to be taken sarcastically. And thank you also for pointing out the diabolical inversion that led to “hocus pocus”. I truly appreciate your input, however…

            The quest I am asking input for from all at ASOH has to do with which words for me to use that might open my pastor’s eyes to the fact that his sermons about Baptism–not the Eucharist–while intended to be compassionate have at the same time the distinct potential of being tragically ambiguous. Because of his compassionate and well-intended ambiguity, poorly catechized lay people may miss the whole Original Sin=Eternal Death thing even while being comforted that their grandchildren do not have to be baptized (by water) in order to go to heaven. Please understand that he’s not been clear or differentiated about what the Church teaches regarding Baptism by Water, Blood, or Desire–he’s admitted as much and even attempted to be more clear.

            On another note, we never hear about limbo whether it’s the Limbo of the Fathers or the Limbo of the Children (Innocents). I know that the Limbo of the Children is not dogmatically defined and that the Limbo of the Fathers ceased to exist with Our Lord’s Life, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Still I am ruminating over the relationship between Baptism and Limbo primarily because of the false evil that may be presented as a real good when it comes to abortion. Namely, that a mother in crisis might decide that abortion is a good choice since her baby automatically goes to heaven not discerning that there may be a difference between the Beatific Vision and the highest level of good possible without the Beatific Vision ie. Limbo of the Children. It’s through no fault of their own that these souls are possibly denied a gift that no one can earn, at the same time Limbo of the Children admits to both God’s mercy and justice because Baptism is necessary for salvation–or maybe it’s not? Again this limbo is not dogmatically defined and while the CCC is ambiguous regarding unbaptized infants’ eternity, commending them to God’s infinite mercy, it does state that the Church strongly recommends infants to be Baptized as soon as possible.

            FYI I have intended no sarcasm in any of this comment and so I will not use the sarc-off tag. Lol

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Psalm 50 is this morning’s Invitatory psalm. My suggestion is to print out a copy for your Pastor and pray on it. Perhaps for the entire congregation for their contemplation…

              Catholic Study Bible

              Psalms 50:1-23

              Ant 1. The Lord summons heaven and earth to witness his judgement on his people

              1 A Psalm of Asaph. The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
              2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
              3 Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest.
              4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
              5 “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
              6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! [Selah]

              Psalm-prayer
              Father, because Jesus, your servant, became obedient even until death, his sacrifice was greater than all the holocausts of old. Accept the sacrifice of praise we offer you through him, and may we show the effects of it in our lives by striving to do your will until our whole life becomes adoration in spirit and truth.

              Ant 1. The Lord summons heaven and earth to witness his judgement on his people

              Ant 2. Come to me in your distress, and I will save you.

              7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
              8 I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
              9 I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds.
              10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
              11 I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
              12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world and all that is in it is mine.
              13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
              14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High;
              15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

              Psalm-prayer
              Father, because Jesus, your servant, became obedient even until death, his sacrifice was greater than all the holocausts of old. Accept the sacrifice of praise we offer you through him, and may we show the effects of it in our lives by striving to do your will until our whole life becomes adoration in spirit and truth.

              Ant 2. Come to me in your distress, and I will save you.

              Ant 3. A sacrifice of praise will give me glory.

              16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
              17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
              18 If you see a thief, you are a friend of his; and you keep company with adulterers.
              19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
              20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.
              21 These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
              22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I rend, and there be none to deliver!
              23 He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!”

              Psalm-prayer
              Father, because Jesus, your servant, became obedient even until death, his sacrifice was greater than all the holocausts of old. Accept the sacrifice of praise we offer you through him, and may we show the effects of it in our lives by striving to do your will until our whole life becomes adoration in spirit and truth.

              Ant 3. A sacrifice of praise will give me glory.

              Liked by 3 people

        2. III,
          The Catechism gives a clear description of both the sacramental baptism of water and the baptism of blood or desire. In the sacramental baptism of water we receive great gifts and helps (which we do not get by baptism of desire or blood) and why one who dies not need to be baptised to be “saved”. But it makes clear that the latter are only a “possibility”, “supposition” and “can be” alternative to the proven, effective and sure means of the sacramental baptism by water.
          From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
          http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

          “The baptized have “put on Christ.”30 Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.311265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a “partaker of the divine nature,”69 member of Christ and co-heir with him,70 and a temple of the Holy Spirit.71

          1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:
          – enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues;
          – giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit;
          – allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues.
          Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.

          1228 Hence Baptism is a bath of water in which the “imperishable seed” of the Word of God produces its life-giving effect.32 St. Augustine says of Baptism: “The word is brought to the material element, and it becomes a sacrament.”33

          1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the *possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be *supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
          Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, *can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).”

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Thank you, Phillip. I did pull out the CCC when I had the private conversation with Father. The conversation started to devolve into “dueling” CCC entries supported by scripture on both of our parts. After about five minutes, I saw that we were going around and around; so I just stopped and asked, “Father, since we both admit to what the Church has always taught and is described in CCC, will you simply clarify for me that Baptism whether by water, blood, or desire–while NOT sufficient–is with out a doubt NECESSARY to enjoy the Beatific Vision?” He said, “Yes, that is true.” He admitted that what he had said in his sermon might confuse some; so at his next sermon, in an attempt to clarify, he said almost the same unclear thing he’d said in the first place, “People think they have to be baptized to go to heaven. Our Lady at Medjugorge said that the holiest person in the village was a Muslim woman. What does that tell us?”

            Well, what does that tell average Joe Catholic in the pew who lets his conscience be his guide whether it’s properly formed or not? No presentation of baptism by blood or desire just “be good, do good, and God’s Mercy takes care of the rest.” Who defines good? Who defines Truth? Tragic…

            Liked by 3 people

            1. III,
              Your disappointment is warranted in that those who “hear the word of God and keep it” are less common than those who “hear the Word and reject it.” Part of the response about the loss of faith these days is the noting of the lack of proper formation but there is also the great alure of the world and the rejection of the sublime. There seems to be no lack of information, both pro and con, about our faith but this rejection comes from within as the Word is written on our hearts wherein we accept or reject these truths.
              Not only is baptism of desire a rare event but a very hard one to reach in that all the supernatural benefits of the baptismal sacraments are missing in the life of the unbaptised and they rely more on the prayers works and sufferings of the “body of Christ” for the accidental graces they receive. The power of the Church through its sacraments outweighs immeasurably the struggle of a lonely soul. The Muslim woman may have lived her faith in purity and love and therefore, despite her ignorance, was given a portion of the churches salvation because of the mystery of God “judging the heart” of this woman and finding her worthy because she accepted the truth, written on her heart, and lived it as faithfully as she knew how.
              But she is the exception, not the rule.
              Your priest doesn’t quite understand the difficulty and danger of taking such a rout to salvation. The church employees powerful and ready means to save us. As different as an aircraft carrier is from a dingy in a storm, the church is a great and sure safeguard for the soul which a lone individual cannot fathom to merit on its own.

              Liked by 6 people

              1. “Salvation by the Jews” is an excellant resource of our faith. Multiple instances are displayed whereupon {early church} converts immediately requested Baptism when they realized Christ is the Messiah. I am about fifty pages in and it is a wonderful read.

                I read two stories from “Honey from the rock”… a wonderful, heartening, tear in the eye depictions of their completeness (what we call conversion) as Jews. For them, it is coming home… fully.

                III, My suggestion, purchase a few copies and hand them to your Pastor and churches staff.

                https://www.ignatius.com/Salvation-Is-from-the-Jews-P2201.aspx
                HFRP Honey from the Rock
                SFJP Salvation Is from the Jews

                Liked by 5 people

              2. Well articulated Phillip. I think of the woman at the well and Zachius the tax collector or even the thief on the cross. I experienced the gift of baptism of desire which brought me into the protestant faith. My life completely changed in an instant. It was faithful Catholics and the Blessed Mother that inspired me to bring my faith to completion by receiving the sacraments. They are a most beautiful gift. I firmly believe that salvation is only through the Catholic church. Most folks would think this is arrogant, but ironically, the Church teaches that one can be saved by baptism of desire as you well articulated which is why it is jot arrogant. This is a great mystery of which my soul magnifies the Lord.

                Liked by 7 people

                1. Doug: beautiful to hear your story. I’m a “cradle Catholic” and yet treated it so casually for so many years – form, but not substance. Not even sure about the substance bit yet, even after having been yanked back to realisation by, I say it, the mercy of God. And that’s no false humility. I thank Him it happened – actually, I think, after reading a book on Padre Pio (Ruffin’s, very good) and something just clicked – in the sense of a boot up the ***. Spiritually speaking. Hurts just as much 😛

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Well, that sounds like my conversion. At one point, the lights went on. Took me a while to get to the Catholic church though. Either way, we are both here now and I am grateful you made the faith your own. Your passion inspires me Jaykay.

                    Liked by 3 people

    1. Just anecdotally, I’ve heard that one of the objections of non-Catholic Christians to the Church, especially in the Bible Belt, is that it is somehow “exclusive” or clannish or secretive or perhaps “uppity”. Catholics claim to have something nobody else has and they won’t share it. Gotta be a member of the club and pay the dues to get into heaven. Goes along with the charge of HYPOCRITICAL as sin abounds among the faithful. Now among the Clergy it seems.

      It seems only natural that the reaction of humble Catholic faithful would be to downplay the power and reality of the sacraments. So’s not to appear so “uppity” to our neighbors. We’re just folks too. We’re not so special.

      But we are. We are special. We have the sacraments. Powerful stuff. The sacraments pave our way to heaven. The sacraments of the Holy Roman Catholic Church taken together form the “straight path” to salvation.

      One of the things we NEVER hear taught is the power of the Viaticum. Why? Because it almost sounds medieval and superstitious and about as “uppity” as you can get. Not available to Non-Catholics. Gotta be in the “club”.

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P4O.HTM

      Imagine the power in the hands of your average priest in administering the Viaticum in the final hours.

      The Church needs to evangelize the power and the effect of ALL the sacraments and what they mean for each of us individually. And, that those sacraments come with entrance into the Church.

      The real scandal is that so many Catholics fail to avail themselves of the power and effect of these amazing gifts from God.

      Just between you and me, I really do want a priest at my bedside when the end comes. Whether or not my neighbors think it uppity or that I am getting a special ticket to heaven not available to them.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you, Ed. I agree with your synopsis; the perception of “uppity” is apt. How to turn “uppity” on its head and instead gratefully exclaim the undeserved good fortune that has been prepared for every soul–if they will cooperate? That’s the evangelization part you speak of and that I so want to participate in.

        And yes, between you and me, I too have consistently prayed for a “happy and provided death for myself and my benefactors” ever since I found out about Viaticum and the Apostolic Blessing. You’ve probably heard this before that while it’s hard to live as a Catholic, it sure is easy to die as one. That is my goal in the end–by the grace of God–to save my soul and bring as many with me as I can. Thank you, again Ed.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. “Just between you and me, I really do want a priest at my bedside when the end comes. Whether or not my neighbors think it uppity or that I am getting a special ticket to heaven not available to them.”

        ME TOO !!!

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Some precious moments during the illness and passing of my late husband included priestly prayers before and after surgeries and procedures, Viaticum with the Apostolic Blessing the day before he died and our pastor hustled over to the hospital immediately after Ted died for a special prayer over his dead body. On the eve before his death, our family with Fr. Wang prayed – probably the hundredth + – Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary at his bedside. Surprisingly, on that eve, a friend showed up with water from the Jordan River which Father blessed and sprinkled on Ted as we gave thanks for the gift of Baptism. But I tell you, that Viaticum and Apostolic Blessing were holy dynamo. So much so that in the morning – our son and daughter and I had slumber partied by spending the night together in the room and were yet asleep – when the doc and nurse started to enter the room but later told me they were stopped short by a palpable Presence of Peace and Holiness which permeated the room and our family. The doc and nurse intensely perceived that they should not enter.

          On various trips to China, invariably, we have encountered an aging, dying one who wept at the sight of Father as the sick one had been praying, for days and days, for a priest to hear his/her confession and anoint the dying one.

          We can ask Jesus, even now, that each of us is blessed with such a passing.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Strong testament and affirmation of Ed’s discussion of the sacraments Beckita! I too would hope to have the Anointing & Viaticum. Your description of how the staff felt overwhelming peace in the room is powerful! I know we all mourn our loved ones who pass on to eternal life, but knowing how blessed Ted was has to create some peace still with you and your family.

            I would love to have the opportunity for the sacraments at my final hour, but because we know not the time, I make every attempt to seek being in a state of grace (through our amazing sacraments!) constantly. I am asking Jesus for such a passing for me and all of us and our families in my intentions daily from now on! God bless!

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Just a reminder to all – my friend previous to two surgeries-one, lung and one , heart – called the rectory for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. One was administered at the rectory and one Father came to her house. Both priest were very happy the request was made. How many of us think to do this before major surgery? It’s now on my radar screen thanks to her.

            Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m elated by the arrival of grand baby #5 yesterday, a young lady named Ella, who surprised everyone by a full head of red hair. Red hair is well known in my family (probably from our Viking ancestors) but still an uncommon occurrence and we were delightfully surprised by her appearance.
    My son is so proud and grateful to God: he is on cloud nine. My extended family was in close contact during labor and my son posted a hymn/prayer from the Magnificat from that evening prayer:

    In labor all creation groans till fear and hatred cease,
    Till human hearts have understood in Christ alone is peace.

    In labor all creation groans till false divisions cease,
    Till Differences are reconciled in Christ who is our peace.

    In labor all creation groans God’s justice to increase
    When right in place of might prevails then Christ will be our peace.

    God never disappoints.

    Who is like God!

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Congratulations, LM, on the birth of precious Ella. Ah, a redhead! I’ve always loved red hair. My husband is a redhead. I prayed that we have at least one kid with red hair, but none do. Now I pray for a redheaded grandchild down the road. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

    2. So many wondrous words could be said about newborns, but it would never be enough. Maybe it’s enough to simply gaze at them in gratitude, following their fresh eyes as they dance with the new sights all around –– a particularly special dance with grandpa’s –– giggling with the Angel just over your shoulders. Congrats to the families and Grandpa’s Luke and Phil.

      Liked by 10 people

  16. It pains me to say it … but … I believe that The Catholic League & Boss Bill Donohue are just part of The Swamp just as Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard is part of the Never Trump DC Swamp ;-( According to Donohue, many here, including me, are AGENDA-RIDDEN CATHOLICS …… I’m guessing that Catholic Church Swamp Critters are runnin’ scared just like the DC Swamp Critters …. I’m thinkin’ that’s a Great Thing 😉

    AGENDA-RIDDEN CATHOLICS SEEK REFORM
    https://www.catholicleague.org/agenda-ridden-catholics-seek-reform/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 9 people

    1. CrewDog, I’m with you: I’ve been on the Catholic League’s mailing list for years, but I’ve pretty much stopped reading Donohue’s e-mails and the newsletter.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Did I miss something in the article? I saw only an issue with “leftist” agenda driven Catholics. I did not see it as applying to Orthodox agenda driven Catholics.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Yes Doug & Sheralyn, Donahue did point-out obvious LeftLiberal Groups as enemies but I’d bet you each a “C” Note that he had Voris, The Roman Catholic Faithful and groups like the below in mind:

          “LEGATUS TEMPORARILY REVOKES ANNUAL TITHE TO HOLY SEE”
          https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/legatus-revokes-annual-tithe-to-holy-see

          Donahue & Ilk are afraid to point-out Faithful Conservative/Concerned Catholics/Groups ’cause he knows the Blogosphere Blow-Back would be horrific. Better to just “blame” the usual Lefty Boogermen and hope that the Pew Peons will become so involved in Holidays and Christmas Sugar Plum Fairies that the whole matter can be swept under de rug …. again!! You can bet that The Usual Suspects in the Vatican/Dioceses are burning the midnight oil-n- figuring out ways to Spin, Deflect and Blame everything/everyone except themselves for the Great 20 Year Unpleasantness before the February “Reckoning”, It occurred to me today … speaking of unpleasantness ;-( ….. how many Bishops/Cardinals and their Diocese Staff Weenies are being Blackmailed by some person or entity?? …. I’m guessing that besides Midnight Oil there be lots of shredding machines getting Hot. Is it not terrible that we even have to consider any of the above? …. It’s where we are now … Sadly! ;-(

          GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Evil Exists!! Satan & Pals are everywhere!!!
    Why do I think that the same Perps who are neck-deep in The Pervert Scandal & Cover-Up also have their slimy fingerprints all over “The Campaign for Human Development”. Is it any wonder why the pews & collection plates are empty!?

    Report: Catholic Campaign for Human Development Donates Money to Pro-Abortion Groups

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/emily-ward/report-us-conference-catholic-bishops-donates-money-pro-abortion-groups

    Some good news here 😉

    Abortion debate intensifies after amendments pass removing abortion protections in 2 states

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/anti-abortion-advocates-call-midterms-a-ripple-to-start-the-wave-of-pro-life-legislation

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. PS:
      I read this quote attributed to George Orwell of “1984” fame today and it struck me as all too apropos for These Days be it in regards to Church or State.

      “In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act”

      If you are one of Trump’s Deplorables/Dregs of Society or one of Voris’ “Agenda Driven Catholics” …. or “Too Rigid” as many Church Cover-Up Artists insist, you might well be demonized or worse for being a “Horrible Revolutionary” ;-( I’ll wear the Revolutionary Badge proudly 😉

      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 9 people

    2. I asked one of my favorite priests if the CCHD was still rotten. He said yes. I asked why good bishops/priests collect for this. He said they are pressured to do so. I asked why can’t good priests and laity band together and refuse to go along with the evil. He said disobedience to the pope is schism, that schism is a violation of discipline. Based upon the voting by the bishops in Baltimore, it looks like only 1/3 of our bishops are brave, courageous and true. He said that they are in a very precarious position because we have a bad pope. If the money is gone perhaps the swamp will drain. My tendency is to want us to fix it but got to remember it will be God doing the fixing.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Kim, thank you so much for posting one of your favorite priest’s responses. It confirms what I was trying to explain to my husband.

        So another of my subjects of rumination is the difference between Holy Obedience and blind obedience. To be clear, In my estimation at least, blind obedience gives rise to the infamous, “I was only following orders.” Surely Abp Vigano gives us a modern-day example of Holy Obedience in his disobeying of the oath of silence that he had taken as has assisted Our Lady as she cleans house?

        Hilary White at “What’s Up With the Synod?” has an article that begins to give a glimpse into the distinct possibility that we as Catholics have suffered a kind of cultural brainwashing under the auspices of obedience. You may not want to post it, Bekita, but it does bring up the issue that all of us sooner or later come face-to-face with: Do I obey God or man?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Reflecting on obedience is a great discussion, III, yet, some of the the views expressed in the article are points on which to reflect while many points are extreme and simply opinion, as evidenced by the title of the piece: “Intellect, will and human freedom: how the Jesuits replaced holy obedience with tyranny and brainwashed the whole Church.” It is not correct to say the Jesuits brainwashed the whole Church. Neither are they responsible for all that is ill in the Church in these days. The author makes the assertion that “It doesn’t account for why all the bishops who attended the Second Vatican Council went in Catholic and came out Modernist.” This is simply not true. Actually, as conveyed by Charlie, this Storm has come to pass because each of us has had some part in bringing it about. (edit: Sorry, III. I failed to initially mention I edited the article out of your comment before naming the reasons why. On further reflection, I think it important to add that the documents of Vatican II are all together holy and true and are issued from the Church’s Teaching Magisterium. It was the disobedience after Council which has wrought such chaos and confusion.)

          There is a problem with the tone of the article as well. As we observe the Holy Father in light of the challenges in the Church, it’s important to hold respect for him in his office as Vicar of Christ. I get the anger and frustration but we just don’t refer to him as Jorge Bergoglio here.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Got it, Bekita, no more links to Hillary White. No humility without humiliations. What, eh? A sincere and hearty, Thank You, Bekita.

            Miss White’s opinions and tone aside, the meat of my question still remains, namely, the difference between Holy Obedience and blind obedience. Again to be clear, in my estimation at least, blind obedience is that which gives rise to the infamous, “I was only following orders” perhaps even in regard to Kim’s favorite priest’s observation that pastors say nothing to their sheep and collect CCHD in order to be obedient. Of course, some pastors are ignorant about the details of what the USCCB does with CCHD funds and God alone judges motivation and culpability, etc, etc., etc… But doesn’t Abp Vigano give us a modern-day example of true Holy Obedience rather than false blind obedience in his disobeying of the oath of silence that he had taken? And hasn’t his true obedience assisted Our Lady as she cleans the cob webs out of the church along with the rot?

            Since we all get our particular judgement, the issue that all of us sooner or later come face-to-face with is do I obey God or man? So anyone have input about the difference–if there even is one–between true Holy Obedience and (perhaps) false blind obedience?

            Liked by 4 people

            1. It IS a good discussion to be had, III. But I think the discernment of obeying is much more complex than coming down to obeying God or man, for God has given legitimate authority to those over us. Further complications ensue because we are living in such disordered times.

              This piece from the Catholic Encyclopedia discusses obedience. And a point well taken from the piece is this: “No hard and fast rule can be set down for determining the degree of guilt of the sin of disobedience.”

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Bekita, I truly appreciate your diligence in sorting through the various links that may or may not end up in the comment box. Perhaps the following link is more acceptable as a point of departure for
                discussing my inquiry which, btw, is not about “determining the degree of guilt of the sin of disobedience” but rather about differentiating (not discerning) between true or authentic obedience (holy) and false or servile obedience (blind). The article is from Rorate Caili which while traditionally minded is not sedevacantist. https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2018/10/tyranny-and-sexual-abuse-in-catholic.html?fbclid=IwAR0RSPMOxRpnIsFKPalfUrQQhS0jw2tiMvxnmWL03bOXmA7YxMKACpbJUn8

                Although lengthy, I think it is an important article because it not only helped me to understand where false tyrannical clericalism came from but how we as laity can help our clergy untangle themselves from it. We can help not only by penance, prayer, and fasting but by recognizing and then refusing to participate with servile obedience choosing instead the filial obedience of sons and daughters of God.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Interesting, even if a belabored presentation (my opinion) of one cause of abuse of authority. Equally interesting to me is that abuse of authority has abounded, in and out of the Church, since the fall in the Garden. I’ve read many a personal account of the kids of our era who were victims of clerical abuse going home to tell parents only to be further abused by harsh correction to not speak of Father or Sister in that way… certainly another form of abuse of authority, this time in the home.

                  This passage needs further reflection: St. Ignatius’s lowest degree of obedience, which he does not consider to be virtuous, is considered by St. Thomas to be the only form of obedience. He holds that St. Ignatius’s alleged higher forms of obedience do not fall under the virtue of obedience at all:
                  Seneca says (De Beneficiis iii): ‘It is wrong to suppose that slavery falls upon the whole man: for the better part of him is excepted.’ His body is subjected and assigned to his master but his soul is his own. Consequently in matters touching the internal movement of the will man is not bound to obey his fellow-man, but God alone. (2a2ae q. 104 a. 5 co.)

                  I think, it’s easy to misinterpret the pat phrase: “Obey God not man.” See, God invests authority in our spiritual leaders. He does. How many times, I have explained to non-Catholic friends that confession is not a mere act of telling a man my sins and that man forgiving me. Inevitably, a discussion of what acting in persona Christi means as commanded by Christ Himself.

                  Also, from my view, I see many a writer trying to denigrate the Jesuit Order in these days. In the original spirit of its founder, the order was a great blessing from the Lord for the Church and the entire world.

                  An insightful line from author of this piece is this: “No doubt a number of factors combined to produce this disastrous situation.”

                  God bless you, III.

                  Liked by 1 person

    1. LOinPA, there is a tremendous amount of disinformation about Q. I have researched it extensively for a year and believe Q is real and that he/they work very closely with Trump. The pointers for research anons to follow provided amazingly rich lodes of information, and there are many Q proofs. However, and this is extremely important, virtually none of Q’s ‘predictions’ of actions have ever worked as stated. This is because Q is followed very closely by the bad people. Q uses this to ‘predict’ an event or release of information, which in turn forces the bad people to respond in the real world, which allows Q and MilInt and DHS to track what they do. Q has never said, “Follow the Plan.” They have only ever said, “Trust the Plan.” At some point I believe things will happen, and when they do, our overall situation in the US and elsewhere will change drastically. Meanwhile, qresearch and patriotsfight have not been comped. In fact, patriotsfight is controlled by Q and MilInt, so it will be trustworthy even in the worst times. Its primary current URL is here:

      https://8ch.net/patriotsfight/res/440.html#462

      Liked by 4 people

          1. I agree Beckita. I read Q posts from an ad/comment free board such as https://qntmpkts.keybase.pub and have a few social media analysts/researchers and their regular commenters who add a lot of their wide ranging expertise to point others to do their own research and or clarify those who would rather read what has been discovered by those *in the know*. 😉

            Dave Hayes aka Praying Medic at https://prayingmedic.com is one of those researchers I have come to regard and he has been mentioned and linked on ASOH before by other who appreciate his work.

            Liked by 4 people

          2. Beckita, this is the raw feed on 8Ch. It is the Wild West of free expression, no holds barred. You will see really awful ads and comments that are worse. However, if things go really bad, no other site will work to get Q posts. For more normal times I would use the kind of aggregator site that Jen recommends. The two I use are the one Jen recommends and the following one:

            https://qanon.pub

            Liked by 4 people

      1. Steve, I never would have pegged you as a Q guy. Don’t ask why, it’s just the vibe I got from your posts here. In my earlier post today (see below) I came out as a Q skeptic. It all just seems so fantastically cloak & dagger-ish.
        Repeating; I would love to see it all pan out but I’m just not persuaded yet. Like I also said, I’m all ears if anybody more knowledgeable than I has a more informed opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ha, Christopher, I picked up on it a year ago and have spent a lot of time and effort testing its credibility and usefulness (the two are not of course the same). Interestingly, I find Q fully credible and much of the research done by anons and autists on 8Ch to be fruitful in amazing ways. However, the Q posts are useful only in hindsight in a big-picture way. It took me quite awhile to realize I needed to divorce credibility from various forms of usefulness The big problem for everyone is that Q is very like prophecy in that timing info is of almost no use, while occasional milestones can be meaningful, and Big Picture insights can be enormously helpful in figuring out what is happening behind the scenes and overall.

          Try looking at Q that way, and I think you will find it both more credible and also more useful in the ways in which it truly helps.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I concur, SteveBC. I’ve followed *Q* from it’s inception and have observed many good fruits, the major one being conversions back to faith/God on a large scale. Like POTUS tweets, *Q* posts tend to not only report on current events (both seen and unseen), they also seem to set into motion obvious reactions and actions in enemy territories. When Charlie suggested that God’s plan would unfold in ways we cannot imagine and remind us that God has a sense of humor, these statements ring true with what I’ve witnessed first-hand from this movement – aka the Calm before the Storm – The Great Awakening – Patriots Fight – Justice.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t question your (or SteveBC’s) good intentions on exploring these matters, Jen, but I don’t think one has to strain to discern in this case. Yes, real conversions to the Faith are good, but I immediately called to mind the parable of the sower last night. Jesus tells us quite clearly what happens to faith where worldly matters weigh us down. We have to build (rebuild) a just society, but we ought to know that we’re not going to get there entertaining these distractions.

              I admit, Trump’s tweets sometimes give me a chuckle… until I recover my balance in Jesus. If there was something worthy there… some sort of special anointing, those tweets wouldn’t be riddled with ego and a lack of charity. As for Q, the focus is too worldly. Yes, God reveals in mystery, but it doesn’t come shrouded in code and it never causes confusion, perturbation or fear.

              What God has already told us in more than enough and will produce an abundant crop.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I have intermittently read the Q stuff and visited about it with SteveBC, who has extensively researched the Q material and done so in light of the bigger picture of what is unfolding in this Storm. What I get from the efforts is not so much being weighed down by worldly matters as it is fulfilling the dictum to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. In other words, those who work at the center of the Q effort, who very much acknowledge God as they go about their next right steps, are intending to expose evil and hold to account those who have perpetrated it in secret for so many years. In fact, I find it most believable because what is being unmasked is consonant with the locutions given to Fr. Gobbi, messages our beloved +Kung Fu fellow very much believed in. My doubt lies in wondering if the good goals of the effort will be allowed to be fulfilled in God’s Plan. While the phrase, “Trust the plan,” is expressed to calm people who just want to get on with it, my understanding is that those saying so are first and foremost believers in and submit to God’s Laws and Ways. How often I have read exhortations in the Q feeds to pray! My wee two cents.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. “My doubt lies in wondering if the good goals of the effort will be allowed to be fulfilled in God’s Plan.” This touches on, in your words, what concerns me with such things. I would say, whether or not people want to admit it, it sets some expectations. If not met, what next?

                  I would be keenly intent on what our beloved +Kung Fu would have to say, but we no longer enjoy the opportunity… directly. Thus I recall the heart of his words. His unique wit aside, he was not big on distractions either, and I’m pretty firm on seeing this as a distraction.

                  You know me to some extent, B, so I’m not going to pretend to be an uncomplicated fella. All the more reason I stick to simple.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Simplicity IS a virtue, MP, and a worthy way of living as a model given to us in the Scriptures. At the same time, with this attitude and desire to live through, with and in Jesus in all humility and simplicity, we are very often called to consider and weigh in on some highly complex situations and realities. Proverbs 14:15 captures what I’m trying to say: “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” I do know you as a man of deep faith who continues to draw us to trust in HIM, focus on HIM and believe HE will show us the way through all life’s storms.

                    You know, I have vacillated between interested in and then cold about the Q stuff. I respect your opinion that it’s a distraction but I’m also open to the opinion of those who think otherwise. I’m detached from the whole thing in a way that I’d be delighted if God allows some progress to be made in reclaiming our country via the Q agenda but equally delighted if, in fact, God has a better way. Kinda’ like Charlie prepping for the Jericho March but not taking off when he just wants to do it. Rather, CJ waits to see when and even IF God will ask him to march.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Simplicity is often a key to many engineering designs and solutions too. They often prove effective and robust. I learned this early in my career. I also like to divorce myself from a project. Sounds strange, but it means I made a reliable design with good documentation. So I don’t get a call 6 months down the road asking for help or to fix something that went wrong. Now marriage, I am not a big fan of divorce and that us a different topic to expand on……

                      Liked by 2 people

                2. POTUS and his administration are refreshingly transparent. I do believe that the *Q* movement (comprised of a team close to the President) is divinely inspired and guided. In just two years, decades of evil is being exposed and dealt with in a manner to avoid as much civil unrest/blood shed as possible and punish the abusers harshly. As the powers that be have established the very laws with the loopholes they use to perpetrate their offenses, this work for justice must be done methodically and with precision. Impatience is a natural human response though. It may be encouraging to note that behind the scenes it is being documented that:

                  *reported* Federal indictments:

                  and *recorded* notable resignations:

                  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1B-95giwldeKgsd0nYiw_sEaSf4kGNLZgEIvEhL2mVAw/edit#gid=1299582458

                  We know God is in charge and with His grace, may we all do our part well.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Actually, Sean, we used to have a bishop who commented at TNRS. His screen name was an Asian name and he had some nicknames. He had a fabulous education, had taught seminarians, shared his wisdom and loved to challenge folks to think about faith. And he was a right fine squirrel. MP created some lively and charming graphics from time to time and imaged the bishop as a wee Kung Fu green squirrel character. I think my favorite tease was the bishop’s introduction of hair extensions and we ran with it and how to problem solve getting those hair extensions to lay just so under a miter. Lotsa laughter right in the midst of some very serious discussions.

                    Liked by 2 people

                  2. Better. It is Michael Caradine as a real bishop who has a triple black belt in theology and real life experience in the Christian trenches. He used to comment here with the most erudite responses that hit with humor and cut to the heart. I miss him dearly

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. What a great blast from the past, MP! I do miss your artwork. Any chance you could repost the one of the squirrels in the airplanes? I’m sure that some of the new(ish)comers would get a kick out of that. 🙂

                      Liked by 2 people

              2. I hear and understand what you are so thoughtfully sharing, MP. I do ponder these things too. I do not have the beautiful dessert to hike though for my day to day meditations, and if I did, physically long walks are not now an option. 😉
                I’ve turned off TV news and most other *programming* over a decade ago. I rely on chosen social media resources to cover the current events. Personally, it has been an incredible experience to witness the world events unfold as they have and are. Surely God is in all things and we must not overlook that! I bring it all to prayers of petition and thanksgiving.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Not to worry. I’ll continue supplying the occasional clips from the desert until it’s no longer possible, so you can share this particular point of reference. If you like, I’ll also supply some desert desserts such as my brand of ice cream: prickly pear fruit mixed in with Ben & Jerry’s fudge brownie (sorry, couldn’t resist.. I add that second “s” myself on occasion).

                  It would be great to take you all out o see some of my favorite wild horse bands. Quite the characters. They’re simply beautiful to watch as they go about their lives together and individually. A simple thing, I say, but I would be a poor trekking guide indeed if I didn’t point out the complexities of their interaction, especially their ‘dialog,’ from the very subtle to downright challenging.

                  I had mentioned way back how it’s typically the lead mare(s) that actually controls the movement of the herd, guides to food and water, and ensures the overall well-being of the herd.

                  We’d find the herd stallion(s) at the back or somewhere on the periphery, mostly driving stragglers back to the group, keeping the herd together, sometimes fending off predators. They communicate/accomplish this in a number of ways, sometimes starting off with some subtle movements. A gentle spin one way. A certain nicker. A pointed snort. Head movements. If necessary, some pushing and shoving. Only rarely have I seen one rear up and lay down the law in a very imposing manner.

                  It would be great to come across Old Gold as well. He’s the oldest stallion out there and hard to get a bead on. Docile sometimes, but he likes to play by his own set of rules.

                  Whether wild or gentled, I’d say that horses just want to eat and hang out with other horses. In a quiet, restful pasture. Funny, because clearly God gifted the horse with an impressive ability to run.

                  Liked by 4 people

            2. JLynn, I agree. I also think it’s quite a good example of God’s humor, that He would help create as the nemesis of bad people a phenomenon that those same bad people spend so much time claiming is a LARP. 😀

              Liked by 2 people

          2. Thanks, Steve. I had to read your reply 3 times to get it and now I think I do. You’ve taken a deeper route of discernment than I ever had the patience for. Charlie always said that God’s ‘soon’ and ‘now’ have a very different meaning than WE expect. Apparently Q’s “arrests coming soon” has a different meaning than what I was expecting. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          3. SteveBC and JLynnByrd, I first heard about Q here (mebbe from you?) early this year. I finally got around to burrowing in on the subject in late July and have put various credible-seeming sites (including those you mention) on my regular trapline. (I’m a lurker on these sites, not a poster.)

            I see Q’s purpose as a secular companion to the call placed on Charlie’s life many years ago. And, yes, there are many Christians following and contributing to the movement.

            Both help equip us to be “signs of hope to those around us.”

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I do too Sister Bear! How is your arm/hand doing in your recovery/healing?

              I took a step back with my foot healing and now have a great medical team working with be in a phase two rehab. I am encouraged and start a second round of PT tomorrow.

              Liked by 2 people

                  1. Thanks be God, prayers are being answered.

                    I just received a student loan forbearance approval during my much longer than anticipated healing period and my new medical group has made a great first impression on me and is so conveniently located. Thank you all for your prayers!

                    Liked by 2 people

              1. Thanks for asking, Jen. Since mid-October I’ve been focussed on a large manual-labor project in the forest. It doesn’t require much heavy lifting, just steady raking and piling of medium-sized and small branches. I’m happy to report that my arm/hand is holding up well, and my “soft tissue” is becoming increasingly flexible. I haven’t gotten back to hand-splitting firewood with an axe yet, tho ~ in time. 😉 God is good, and I marvel at how He created bodies (animal and human) to heal themselves. Gratitude, gratitude.

                Sending up a prayer now for your foot healing. I have gained MUCH respect for physical therapists, too.

                Liked by 3 people

        2. I always believed the things truly worth knowing –– those things God wants us to know and are good for our souls and the soul’s of our brethren –– are there for the asking. We simply need to ask, then humbly listen in the silence. Patiently.

          If we have something to share with our brethren, it ought to be simple to share. If it’s complicated, why are we bothering with it?

          God doesn’t complicate matters.

          Liked by 2 people

        1. PD, I’m afraid it’s a little too complicated to explain here. You can use Twitter or the two aggregator sites mentioned to read Q posts or people commenting on Q. Just know that if you do a Google search on Q, you will see *many* articles from the standard Main Stream Media (MSM) sources which will tell you it is a conspiracy or a LARP and otherwise hateful and stupid. Consider why the MSM would attack Q and the Q community and phenomenon so strongly if they and their owners/handlers did not fear it?

          Liked by 6 people

          1. OK, Steve. I bit. Having grazed only the most superficial layer of this iceberg, I see why it’s a “little” too complicated to give even a basic explanation. Hmmmmm…remarkable. It’s improbable that it (whatever “it” is) is just a clever fabrication; there are too many complicated elements in play here for any human or group — even with genius intellects — to run a thread through them all in such a plausible way. I had a similar thought reading Charlie back in 2015.

            Again, I haven’t really seen anything, but what little I have oddly makes sense. (Is truth self-evident?) I am not shocked or surprised by what I’ve read, but actually heartened and encouraged at the thought of allies on the inside, yet, at the same time, am muted by the sobering implications of what lie ahead.

            Obviously, you too see some specific parallels with Charlie’s prophesies. It is also improbable that Q’s messages would simultaneously fit so well with TNRS/ASoH. Even a couple of questions in the back of my mind about Charlie’s messages are getting hints of answers from the tidbits I’ve read. Q also carries with it distinct spiritual overtones.

            There are some troubling indications about ongoing evil activities that are worse than I had imagined, but it is consistent with the evil sacrifice of abortion and not entirely a surprise. Evil has stopped surprising me long ago.

            Q’s perspective provides some explanation for the desperate, relentless, bizarre, and unprecedented behavior of those on the Left (and some on the Right) in media, politics, and money. You’ve confidently made mention of the Deep State fairly often Steve. Is this your main source about it?

            There are also some exciting implications about the position the POTUS is in. My respect for him increases.

            Again, I only saw the very surface of this covert stuff.

            I often obsess over such things and might be inclined to pour through the data to look for patterns and associations (which I’m good at and enjoy) or to glean information about the future, but perhaps this is a temptation to distraction I don’t need at this moment. It might be best if I tabled it for now and remain focused on my final 9 months of school.

            But, hmmmmm….it’s very intriguing. I may have trouble sleeping these next couple of nights.

            Thank you, Steve.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. This 2010 article on the passing of International journalist Joan Veon, presents the environment we live within. Had President Trump not been elected, we would be far down the road of a one- world government. I have read both of the following books and in the Obama years witnessed her allegations to ring true. President Trump has curtailed their efforts (shadow government) and is a reason we see the resistance of the mainstream media. Case in point is Fox news media. Has anyone wondered why more and more journalists speak with a British accent?

              http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/lhommedieu/101023

              “…Joan’s first book, Prince Charles: The Sustainable Prince, published in 1997, exposes those who have been the major powers behind the world scenes and Prince Charles’ worldly philosophies and global projects. She reveals how the “signing of the United Nations’ Charter is the forum that will bring America back under the control of the British Empire and into world government…”

              “…e second book, The United Nations’ Global Straight Jacket, published in 1999, is a comprehensive handbook on world government. Here she helps the reader connect the dots to understand how international treaties and planned crisis events are created for the covert dismantling of international economic, social, political and electronic boundaries while at the same time constructing a new global infrastructure. “

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Here is a Joan Veon article describing the vast weath, resources of one single person, Queen of England. http://www.newswithviews.com/Veon/joan170.htm

              Autihor Tim Cohen presents links between the Crown and Freemasonary in the book “The AntiChrist and a cup of Tea”. Prince Charles is another facinating story of whom he is related to and what countries he at anytime may assume Kingship.

              Liked by 3 people

                1. On top of things… not so much, just have read a few books. Now, to be on top of things, Dan Bongino presents an interesting, enlightening synopsis of our days events:

                  https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272018/dan-bongino-horowitzs-restoration-weekend-frontpagemagcom

                  I read the transcript then viewed the video presentation of his speech. Wow! He does connect the dots and then some… I highly recomend everyone watch and listen. Dan speaks of judgement particularly of the politicians involved and is quite biblical. Though, I do wish he had been more specific. He was close enough to garner my attention.
                  Cheers!
                  I am always enlightened whrn someone speaks of our suffering now…

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Yes, Sean. These kinds of connections have been made via the Q stuff as well. The hard part is waiting for the time when this knowledge becomes widespread. Yet, with all the propaganda via MSM, I often wonder what it will take to awaken those still lulled by the lies.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  2. Thanks, Sean. I like Dan Bongino, even more so now after hearing this talk. Frankly, I don’t see how the stuff he talked about is NOT related to the Q stuff. Just my first impression here. I really wish I had time to dig into this, but I’ve got a final in less than 2 weeks.

                    Say, Beckita, do you have 1 good, concise Father Gobbi link for me, like a “best of”? I found this one:
                    http://home.earthlink.net/~lionlamb/GOBBI.HTM
                    Thanks!

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Dear Beckita,
                      Please correct me if I am remembering incorrectly, it has been about 20 years…but, it seems that I read in MMP that Fr. Gobbi wrote that after Pope John Paul, there would be one more good pope and the next one not. Am I remembering that correctly?

                      Liked by 1 person

                  3. Hi Sean, good video. Trump should have fired Jeff Sessions from the beginning and got an AG dedicated to firing Mueller and getting to the root of this scam. No surprises for me. I could see this all along. This is the biggest mistake of his presidency so far in my opinion. I do not understand what I have heard publicly of advice he got “you better not fire Mueller”. I just don’t understand this. The left uses our own rules against us knowing we play by them while they don’t play by the rules. It is one of the biggest travesties of justice.

                    Liked by 1 person

  18. Last year was also the 400th anniversary of the breakup of the church? The constant bickering between Christian denominations over the years has made people cold towards Christianity, especially non-believers. Different Christian groups trying to militantly concert/recruit other Christians to their cause remind me of the one trying to remove a splinter in another’s eye when he has a log in his own eye.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Al, if my math is right, last year was the 500th anniversary of the break caused by Martin Luther. Praying for unity amongst Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, and Jews. Also praying for all people of good will, no matter what their belief system.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. All I know is there’s a pattern of 50 years called Jubilees, what purpose are those Jubilees supposed to serve? No one really knows for sure…

        The Bible seems to be loaded with events that are fixed in time and other events that are conditional and it’s hard to tell which is what.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This is akin to Simon of Sirene being pressed in to carry the cross. Lambzie and I experienced a life changing event in our family that we did not choose. We were pressed into it as unwilling participants such as Simon was. I imagine Simon’s story is a reflection of many of our stories. The end is God had a greater purpose for Simon as we all know. The same holds for all of us as we are unwillingly pressed into service to carry our cross. God has a greater purpose.

      Liked by 9 people

    2. “Nice” is an understatement. I love this story, CD. God, The Master of All Things, is Clarity… also The Master of Subtleties. Thematically, I love it. Setting, characters (an ant!), symbolism… etc. The temptation is to quickly munch on it then think, “ah, I’ve got it.” And yet, so many layers to peel in this little gem. I would even say (as in virtually all things), folks have to really allow themselves to be vulnerable to get it. DP also has me pondering vulnerability as it may apply to Simon. Don’t know one way or the other, but I suspect it came later.

      I appreciate the fact that you both gifted me with an object of focus as I get a challenging day going.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. I think I’ve accidentally munched on an ant once or twice. If sharing a your sunny disposition is an art form, DP, then a genuine grin under under duress is your masterpiece. Too bad you can’t see it.

          In the rare posture of flipping through T.V. channels last night, I stumbled upon a nature documentary on PBS: “A Squirrel’s Guide to Success.” Who’da known that the Eurasian Red Squirrel was such an impressive jumper. 50 yards from tree to tree without breaking a sweat. Looks like the American Eastern gray, but of course nothing like the Kung Fu Green. That was a rare one.

          Liked by 7 people

            1. I was thinking about it, but it seemed more of a grammatical mistake. So I kinda let it go. Boy. I miss that little green squirrel. I wonder how that little fellow is doing.

              Liked by 4 people

          1. When I was living in a camper in Colorado Springs, I befriended a wild, long-haired kitten (Baby). There were a couple of squirrels that hung around the campgrounds. It was winter time and the ground was covered with a frosty snow. They took a liking to little Baby. They would flit their tails to entice her, then she’d run after them kicking up snow. They’d dart off at the last second and stop about 15 feet away. Baby would give chase, and they’d zip away under the fence. Each time, the squirrels would wait until she caught up to them, then they’d spring away. They lept onto a tree, but stayed near the bottom until Baby reached the tree, flicking their tails playfully. Then they sprinted up. Like a champ, Baby gripped the trunk with her little claws and scaled the height of the tree after them. She was fearless.

            It was no contest, but they all seemed to be having fun. Super cute. Nature is awesome.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. My daughter and I have noticed that all the squirrels in our territory of neighboring yards and trees are looking “overweight”. I saw one going along the top of a chain link fence and I wondered how it could move without sliding off–center of gravity and all 🙂 . I just hope they don’t know something about this winter that I would rather not know.

              Liked by 5 people

              1. I think some of that is their winter coat coming in on top of the winter fat. The desert ground squirrels here look as scrawny as ever. If anything, they could use some sunscreen.

                Liked by 1 person

  19. Little One, I haven’t posted anything here for a while but I couldn’t resist the Qanon reference. I started out right down the middle with the Q thing. Not a devotee but not entirely dismissive. As time went on, however, I started leaning toward the dismissive side. At this point I don’t give it much credibility and pay very little attention. I say ‘very little’ because I have a friend who I see exactly once a week and he always asks me if I’ve seen this or that. I tell him no, I haven’t been following that lately and he proceeds to tell me the latest. More than once I have told him what I stated above but it has never dampened his enthusiasm as near as I can tell. Believe me, I would LOVE for it all to be legit and that there are indeed arrests and trials coming but let’s just say I’m not holding my breath. Furthermore, and just my opinion here, I’m not too invested in the 10,000 (or whatever the current claims are) sealed indictments either. If anybody else here as better or new information, I’m all ears.
    Hope is awesome…false or questionable hope, not so much.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Beckita.

      After all the disappointing news coming from the Baltimore meeting I really needed to hear the sincere words from these five courageous men. Their witness gives me hope.

      We need to really pray for them and the other bishops who are faithful to our Lord and His Church.

      JT

      Liked by 5 people

    1. Hand to the Plow posted this info via a different link yesterday, III. I actually read this news when it was first released. Charlie’s dear friend, the emeritus Bishop of Corpus Christi, Rene Henry Gracida, has been studying and sharing along the line of thinking that Pope Francis is invalidly elected. Charlie doesn’t think we’re going to get out of the Storm in the Church via a technicality. More than a few times, Fr. Wang has responded to those who are interested in dismissing Pope Francis from the papacy via the claim of invalid election. I don’t have Father’s text in front of me but in it he cites the canons which show the conclave of 2013 validly elected Pope Francis. Msgr. Charles Pope’s latest piece at the NCRegister exhorts clergy and laity to press onward in urging the Holy Father to take action regarding the crisis we are facing: “Americans, both clergy and lay, may well have to learn that it could take strong protest to move this pope to reconsider his seemingly dismissive stance regarding our concerns.” http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/the-pope-owns-this

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dear Beckita,
        Question: Will Pope Francis voluntarily resign the papacy because of a technical error in the elective process?
        1. The pope who, in Amoris Laetitiae, contrary to Church moral theology, opened the possibility of remarried couples who do not have annulment of their first marriiage receiving Holy Communion?
        2. The pope who, contrary to Scripture, Traditional Church teaching, the CCC and St. Pope John Paul’s public stated teaching, the death penalty “is inadmissible”?
        3. The pope who, in a perfidious betrayal of the faithful Chinese Underground Catholic Church, accepted the communist Chinese government appointed “patriotic” bishops?
        4. The pope who remains silent in the accusation of Archbishop Vigano’s public revelation that he ignored his warnings of Card. Mccgarrick’s.predatory homosexuality and accepted his suggestions in naming cardinals and his diplomatic service with the Chinese?
        There is much more but why go on when the only answer must be, “Absolutely Not! I will not resign!”
        The Vatican homosexual mafia has much more work to fulfill their agenda before the pathetic, cowardly and spineless hierarchy of the USA and the world, can muster a smidgen of the prophetic outrage of Franklin Graham and Martin Luther King.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It sure is a rough leg of the journey, Joseph. The Cloud of Witnesses who have gone before us had their share of what we are living. I continue to remind myself that God allows these things for His Own purpose(s) and His Plan continues to unfold. And while the problems with Pope Francis are real, I also see him pressing forward with initiatives to bring unity among other faiths with the Church. Ever praying, fasting doing penance for the Church while NRStepping, in solidarity, with our friends here.

          Liked by 1 person

  20. I must admit that I’m a bit Off-Put with Voris’ “ambush” of the Buffalo Bishop …. BUT …. It IS time for the End of Cover-Up, Exposure of Criminals/their Enablers and THE TRUTH. We simply Can Not Renew The Church until a Great Cleansing Occurs. I noticed that the Bishop was not wearing his clerical garb and he is also On-Record now for saying the allegations are all a lie … Time will tell and I’d bet that this Bishop’s tenure is ending soon. I’d also bet that Voris and The Roman Catholic Faithful know more than they are willing to say…. & a FED RICO OP?. PRAY for all The Faithful Clergy who are being tarnished and hamstrung by The Smoke of Satan and his evil agents!!

    “BAD TIMING-And it’s only going to get worse for the bad guys.”
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-bad-timing?mc_cid=cf8514c05b&mc_eid=2a0b6c7ef6

    Yup!! We need Watchdogs … & damned mean ones … These-Days ;-(

    “Watchdogs and Wolves”
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/watchdogs-and-wolves

    … and what does this portend … nothing good I’d suppose ;-(
    Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million

    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/number-witches-us-rise-may-outnumber-presbyterians

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. hello charlie i was just wondering if there was any part of the bible where it says the church should be a hierachy. reply soon (or just reply)thanks!-manuel

    Like

    1. Luke 10:16 – Jesus says to His apostles, who He had anointed with the laying on of hands, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

      John 20:21-23 – To emphasize the fullness of the authority He vested in His anointed Apostles, Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’.”

      Jesus did NOT give us a Bible sprung fresh from His brow. He anointed Apostles and gave them authority on earth. Even when I was a Protestant, I had figured out that the Apostles were not a consequence of the New Testament (which did not even exist when Christ anointed those Apostles), but that the New Testament flowed from the authority that Christ had given those Apostles and their successors. So it became vital to know who the legitimate successors were, for all earthly spiritual authority was vested in them. I chuckle ruefully when someone says they are “Bible Only,” for there would be no New Testament were it not for Apostolic Authority. Jesus was not at all ambiguous about this.

      Hope this helps you.

      Liked by 3 people

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