A Year of Judgment, A Time to Choose

wisemenandstarloop

(I had a very busy week early last week and then was a bit under the weather afterwards. I suspect it is going to be a very busy year for me and for all of us, so this may happen from time to time. But I get back on track today.-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

On September 23, 2017, a great sign appeared in the sky, almost unnoticed by a world pre-occupied with other things. It was the woman cloaked with the sun, the Revelation 12 sign. It was the beginning of the process of rescue. I spoke of it as ushering in a year when all things would be revealed. The revelations of this past year and a half have been staggering: the systemic sexual abuse in media, Hollywood, churches, schools, athletics – in our entire culture; the only serious coup attempt in our history, which is still ongoing; the depth of the doctrinal rot, abuse, and cover-ups in our Church – and ongoing efforts by many Church leaders to minimize and evade responsibility for it, even blaming reformers for bringing the subject up after a hideous raft of evidence came tumbling out of Church closets. Not all has been revealed, but enough has that we now face responsibility for the choices we make. We may continue in rebellion and defiance, but we cannot pretend, when we stand before God, that we did not know or have the means to know what it was we chose.

Secular and political culture has entered an incoherent collapse. Millennials have adopted the pre-reformed Ebenezer Scrooge version of trickle-down compassion – give large amounts of money to government bureaucrats to take care of the poor, then wash your hands of any personal responsibility to the poor. For the elite, it is a neat scam to amass dependent voters; for ordinary Joes, it allows them to pretend to compassion without actually doing anything compassionate. At least Scrooge was honest; he pretended neither to generosity nor compassion. We get the same disastrous results, only sautéed in moral preening.

Open borders agitation is the primary enabling ideology for human traffickers. Even now, “coyotes,” (those who smuggle people into US borders) have taken to kidnapping or buying children to accompany adults across the border because of the agitation against temporarily separating families (while defining “families” as any group of adults who are accompanied by children) until we can find out who is who and whether any actual familial relations are involved. We don’t even slow down to consider these problems.  Separate a child from what turns out to be his pedophile predator and the leftist ideologues scream bloody murder before assessing any facts. Neither the facts nor the children are important to such ideologues; only the narrative. And suburbanites have been deluded into calling this compassion.

“Science” is used as a shibboleth for left-wing advocacy, cited when it can be tortured into help for anti-God, left-wing predilections, ignored when it contradicts them. Thus, the leftists constantly throw around the thoroughly debunked “97% of all scientists believe in man-made climate change” to support their efforts to take absolute control of everything and rule over everyone – and say dissenters just don’t accept “science.” Yet they completely ignore actual science which says a child is fully human from conception, or that gender is biologically determined and unchangeable – every cell in a man’s body is male and every cell in a woman’s is female. It is not just a matter of mutilating external genitalia. Small wonder the latter idea should have become predominant: this generation constantly mistakes lust for love and thinks every social interaction is, at bottom, a tacit negotiation over sex. What a poverty!

We have also confused the pursuit of pleasure with the pursuit of happiness. Eating cakes, pies and ice cream all the time seems mighty pleasurable to a child, but even modern parents understand that this way lies sickness and death. Would that they extrapolate that wisdom to their own pursuits.

Our Church bureaucracies know little about the ultimate consequences of public policy choices – and seem to care even less. So they virtue signal all the time, shifting responsibility to others for making choices that sound good but have disastrous results. They have reduced themselves to wealthy, but ignorant, bureaucratic lobbying agencies. The early Church did NOT lobby Rome to force all to fund schools, libraries, hospitals and such: it built all these things, and more, itself – content to merely have Rome get out of its way. My God, we have become the image of profligate, degenerate third generation wastrels who loot the great institutions their more noble, visionary and industrious grandparents built! It is a horror to watch – and even more horrifying to hear these wastrels call anyone who opposes their profligacy uncompassionate.

There is no doubt the leaders of this anti-God leftist movement are both hollow and sinister, seeking personal validation in manipulating and profiting off of the masses. I prefer, though, to think of the average followers – and particularly millennials – as St. Paul did the pagans at the Areopagus (Acts 17:16-32). Instead of beginning with a denunciation of their foolish ways, Paul began his address to them by acknowledging their genuine piety, their desire to know and do the good – and then proceeded to explain to them why their practices did not bring the results they genuinely intended…and how to actually achieve those results, how to find and live truth.

Because of the collapse of our educational system into mindless indoctrination for at least two generations, now, the average person is under-educated. Even worse, the average elite person is both under-educated and over-credentialed. The elite is comprised of stupid people, many of whom are invincibly certain they are actually smart. They keep doing the very things that bring misery, frustration, and strife – and blame their disastrous results on the “stupid” people who are not among the elite. The only things with worse results than when the elite fail at implementing policy is when they succeed.

I read a lot, including works from atheists. The atheists of a hundred or more years ago were a tough lot, making arguments that required genuine rigor to refute. Modern atheists are a pale, sickly lot, depending on intellectual flabbiness and silly vanity to make their impoverished case. A few years back, prominent atheist Bill Maher made a film entitled “Religulous” to mock Christians and demonstrate how foolishly superstitious they are. Did he take on the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, St. John Paul or their like? No. You might say he religulously kept his distance from such thinkers. Instead, he searched to find the most ignorant, superstitious, and often arrogant bumblers he could who professed to be believers. He dealt with no men who were not made of straw – and thought himself a dragon-slayer because of all the straw men he knocked down. Oddly enough, many of our modern atheists are, themselves, superstitious ninnies, preaching crystals, the mystical power of magnetic ores, reincarnation, astral projection and a whole host of pagan and pantheist superstitions that were dispatched over an eon ago.  Of course, it is hard to hold people to account who rarely know much about what happened a decade ago for their ignorance of what happened an eon ago – but you can hold them to account for blithely treating their own ignorance as actual enlightenment and wisdom. They are not alone in their blame for that ignorance. Had our Churches not spent so many generations serving thin gruel instead of robust food, many would not have gone out in search of strange gods in the first place.

Of late, I have given thanks often that I am not a cradle Catholic. Having gone up many blind alleys and nearly despairing of finding a spiritual home on earth, by the time I seriously examined Catholicism, I did it with rigorous skepticism. In my early days, I often heard errant nonsense from many in authority; even from Nuns, Brothers, and Priests. Fortunately, I wasn’t just seeking to prove the Church wrong – I was seeking to find the truth of the matter. Going back to Magisterial Documents and the teachings of the Fathers, I found the truth of what the Church formally teaches. It was always coherent and solid. Before I became Catholic, I often asked my Catholic friends about doctrinal issues I disagreed with. The best of them had no answer, while the worst had wrong answers. After I entered the Church with much study, I went back to many of these friends and answered the very questions I had once posed, almost invariably getting an, “Oh, that makes sense,” in response. It is sinful that a Church with such magnificent infrastructure for catechesis has such poorly catechized adherents.

One of the doctrines that was an early stumbling block for me was that of infallibility. I was a student of history and knew of far too many confused, bumbling and even evil Popes to buy into that. But when I studied the formal doctrine of infallibility, I discovered it was more limited and constrained than what most of the Protestant denominations I had belonged to had claimed for their own Pastors. A Pope can sin (and some have been downright vigorous in it); he can – and often is – wrong on political and diplomatic decisions; infallibility never applies in matters of discipline; and he can even write hideously bad theology, provided it is not presented as Magisterial. Any pronouncements he makes that contradict, rather than interpret, Scripture or settled doctrine are simply invalid. There is not one in 10,000 Protestants who has a grasp of what the doctrine of infallibility means. Sadly, there is not one in a thousand Catholics who do, either. Three or four years ago, when Pope Francis had consistently made some rather dicey statements, I was speaking privately with another author who, like me at the time, was vigorously defending the Pope. I urged him to hedge his bets a little because this could get a lot uglier than we expected and still not violate the fundamental foundation of Catholicism – that we could enter into a real crisis. If we made claims to Papal authority that were not grounded in Magisterial and settled teaching, we could unintentionally drive people away when those claims proved false. I was concerned that the average Catholic already imputed a badly errant interpretation of infallibility to a whole host of things – and that if we augmented that, it would reflect poorly on us should God decide to put us all through His winnowing fan.

Recently, the professional Eschatologist Desmond Birch made a comment that succinctly encapsulated infallibility. It is worthy of serious contemplation – both on the extent and the limitations of it. He wrote:

“THE CHURCH TEACHES DOGMATICALLY AT VATICAN COUNCIL I THAT: THERE IS ONLY ONE AREA WITHIN WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT ENSURES THAT WHAT THE POPE DOES IS INFALLIBLE. THAT IS WHEN HE:

1) SPEAKS FROM THE CHAIR OF PETER,

  1. TO THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

3) TEACHING ON A MATTER OF FAITH AND MORALS, AND

4) MAKES IT ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THE HE IS BINDING ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH TO ADHERE TO THAT TEACHING.

This was declared to be infallible Catholic teaching by Vatican Council I”

The last formally infallible pronouncement from a Pope came before I was born – November 1, 1950, when Pope Pius XII confirmed the Assumption of Mary. Sadly, some people have gotten so deeply into Papolatry that they would believe a Pope’s March Madness Basketball picks to be infallible – and call it faith to still believe them after they were proven wrong by events. Such errant beliefs will cause many to fall away if belief in them is widespread.

One of the things that drew me to Catholicism is that it insists there can be no contradiction between faith and reason, only apparent contradictions. Some matters of faith transcend reason, but none actually contradict it. Thus, when there is an apparent contradiction, we are called to either reason better or examine our faith for errors until we can reconcile them, knowing all the while that the most brilliant of us is actually intellectually feeble in heavenly terms. It leaves a very broad realm for intellectual inquiry while retaining a firm foundation.

What, then, is left to be revealed? The fullness of the power of God. Sadly, in the last century, many religious authorities have abandoned belief in anything supernatural at all. If God is author of all things, He is author of the rules governing the universe – and is NOT subject to those rules. With Divine Wisdom He established them so that, even without the supernatural, we may find our way surely to Him. But it is nonsense to believe that He would not, at times, choose to transcend them to give witness to an unbelieving people. Authorities were right to posit that such instances were rare – and that all credible claims of supernatural events must be examined closely to weed out the abundance of frauds and, even, demonic supernatural activity. But authorities went from that worthy determination to convincing themselves that God is not capable of a miracle. How pathetic it is to give your life in service to what you have convinced yourself is a lie! Yet that is what many authorities have done. This led to the abandonment of faith for psychology (which could be a useful tool of faith had it not become an idol in itself).

In a foreshadowing of what is to come, God has given us a host of signs and wonders in the sky these last five years, if we would only pay attention. Besides the great Revelation 12 Sign, we have had super blood moons, double blue moons in a single year, a great, complete eclipse crossing the US from sea to shining sea in the summer of 2017, with its equal and opposite twin completing a continental “X” due in 2024. Scientists have discovered a gigantic meteor burst almost 4,000 years ago over the area in Jordan believed to be Sodom, which wiped out communities and killed thousands. Earth’s magnetic poles have suddenly become deeply unstable. I believe God is giving a heads up to those who will hear Him – and these foreshadowings will lead to an overt display that He is God, the only, the one, true God. It is not to prove Himself to us, but an extension of mercy, to give us yet a final chance after the year of judgment reaches its climax to turn back to Him. (Note, when I say “year of” I typically mean, more precisely, “time of” – though I think, or perhaps hope, that it will be a short, if intense period…that the days of tribulation will be shortened for the elect’s sake.)

Let us return, for a moment, to St. Paul at the Areopagus. It is good to oppose those things that bring misery and break down culture. It is better to recognize that many who contribute to that deterioration actually want to do good, but do not know or have forgotten how. I do not speak now of those miserable souls who would bring the misery they live on all of us in order to enhance their own temporal power. Rather, I speak of those weak, sometimes vain, souls who have been seduced by the false promises of the deceivers. There is an abundant harvest to be had there, I think. Here we have the call to action that God is pronouncing in these increasingly terrifying times.

The Bible does not say that all are children of God. Rather, it says that all things were created by God (John 1:3) and that all men are given power to become children of God (John 1:12). Who can then become children of God? All who receive Him and believe in Him (John 1:12). Now God calls all men to salvation (1 Timothy 2:4). Since we are called to imitate Christ, it is not sufficient that we oppose that which destroys. We are called, first and foremost, to be evangelists, to call those who have strayed and show them how to become children of God, both finding and spreading the joy that is in Christ.

The world now largely sees each other through the eyes of the satan, the great accuser who seeks to reveal all that is ugly, shameful and malignant in men. He looks for the flaw, the fault, while never turning his piercing, malevolent eyes upon himself. Is not the crowd which is ever on the lookout for something by which to be offended in complete thrall to the satan? God seeks out the good in each man’s heart, even though it be as tenuous as a gossamer filament, that He might pull them through gently to the safety of His bosom.

This year is, I believe, a year of judgment. We will increasingly see – and live – the terrible consequences of our own disorder. To the hopelessly vain, failure of their plans only causes them to double down on their errors. There is little you can do with such as these. But to many, maybe even most, such failures give them pause to consider their way. Look past the anger, the shouting, to see the fear and misery that often lays behind it. If you can help soothe the fear and the misery – that will quell the shouting and anger and can be the first step in a return to faith and joy. In Book 13, Chapter 24 of Confessions, St. Augustine marvelously interprets the specific command to men to be fruitful and multiply as a command to spread faith, to teach others to become children of God. He reasons that since even the most brute creatures can physically reproduce abundantly, the specific call to men is to act in the image of God by reaching out in faith to their brothers. Thus, we are called to raise a holy army of the children of God…and the most important thing is how many new recruits we can raise to the cause, a crusade not to conquer but to heal – to reach dry land where men are eager to learn and reason prevails. Each soul is the battleground.

The biggest impediment to success is not the resistance of the angry left. The very failure of their doctrines and policies will make for fertile ground for evangelization among those in their number who retain the flimsiest thread of good will. Rather, the biggest impediment is our own vulnerability to losing heart. He who will be saved is he who endures to the end. Endure this year of judgment – and you will bring many with you.

The big question, then, for the coming year is this: whose eyes, God’s or the satan’s, will you see your fellows through?

 

 

 

 

 

190 thoughts on “A Year of Judgment, A Time to Choose

    1. The Pope is as you say, Charlie, is fully authorised to refine the Magisterium. His ruling in these refinements therefore should attract compliance not contradiction. No visible person of higher rank in the Church exists and because of this canon law states that no one can stand over him in judgement.

      Sifting, like pruning, is a legitimate method of refinement. It get rid of the the lumps and oxygenates the flour. It levels the mountains and fills in the valleys and makes straight the ways of The Lord in preparation for the parousia.

      The preservation of the faith requires unity but paradoxically sifting initially increases division. Christ himself told us he came to cause division. Francis is cooperating in this work and in the promise of Christ to make all things new.

      In the U.K. parliament the division bells mark the time to vote – the time for a choice to be made. Francis is forcing us to choose. We are at a cross road and the way of the cross is the only way to take if we want to arrive in heaven.

      The crisis in the Church makes me think of the song “Someone left the cake out in the rain, I dont think that I can take it for it took so long to make it and I’ll never find the recipe again.”

      But I believe that they will discover that the cake made by Francis with his refined recipe is waterproof, that the original recipe has not been lost and that we Catholics will continue to taste and see that the Lord is good.

      Of course Christ, not the Papacy is the apex and the centre and the base of our faith. That goes without saying for any well informed Catholic and nothing has been said to the contrary in my comment.

      Jesus is the Invisible head of the Church. The Pope is the visible head of the Church. He acts, primus inter pares, in persona Christi by virtue of the authority conferred on Peter by Christ to which he is the legitimate and sole heir. But he IS PRIMUS not just pares.

      To this extent the papacy is mandated to be the visible centre of our faith and the apex of the Magisterium. He is the visible Alpha but only Christ is the Alpha AND the Omega. No pope can or should contest with that. Francis most certainly makes no such attempt and as you say Charlie, his last word remains to be spoken.

      It follows that because he is protected from teaching error in matters of faith and morals any such teaching from the pope carries the weight of infallibility. Only his rank carries that authority.

      In order to ensure that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church Christ prayed to His Father that the faith of Peter would not fail. By calling Pope Francis faithless as you have done Charlie, are you saying that the prayer of Christ has failed.

      I am not having a go at you Charlie in asking this but seeking clarification. If as you say Charlie, that the pope is faithless, that means his faith has failed. But no prayer of Christ to His Father was ever destined to failure. Thank God.

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      1. Joe, refining is an entirely different thing than contradiction. Have 2000 years worth of Popes been wrong on the death penalty and only this one right? The problem is not when this Pope refines doctrine, but when he contradicts it.

        You emphasize that no one can judge the Pope – which is a matter of jurisdiction, not of whether he is exceeding his brief or not. You seem (and correct me if I am wrong) to think this means the Pope can never be wrong and we must always agree with him. If that is the case, does this only apply to this Pope – or does it apply to all Popes? Now I won’t touch the Popes that engaged in gross immorality, such as the Borgia’s, as that doesn’t really touch on teaching. But if that is what you believe, does it mean that we would have had to believe everything taught by Pope Formosus? And then must we have believed his successor, Pope Stephen VII, who had Formosus dug up and condemned for blasphemy? Must we acquiesce in the belief that Pope Leo X, whose spendthrift and financial corruption helped trigger the Protestant separation was altogether holy and proper? Must we reconsider Arianism because Pope Liberius taught it as being true? Must we remove St. Athanasius from the canon of saints because Pope Liberius condemned him? Must we believe in the Monothelite heresy along with Pope Honorius? Or must we anathematize him as the Third Council of Constantinople did in condemning the heresy? Must we believe that the sun revolves around the earth because Pope Paul V said it did in condemning Galileo? Or should we believe St. John Paul who rescinded that condemnation and said the Church was mistaken – and exceeded its authority in weighing in on that subject in the first place? And should we condemn St. Robert Bellarmine (then a Cardinal) who tried to negotiate between the Church and Galileo – and warned Pope Paul V against making such a pronouncement, thus not submitting to Paul V’s sovereign will?

        Jesus did not say a Pope’s faith would not fail. He said He would pray it did not. He ALSO said He would not interfere with our free will. He also prayed that we would all be one. Certain things have not happened as God intended, not because Christ’s prayer failed, but because He limits Himself to not interfering with our free will.

        Your take, at least as I understand it. requires that we believe a multitude of things that are demonstrably not true. If I had believed as you seem to, I would never have become Catholic in the first place, as truth would be a non-concept, entirely malleable depending on who is Pope today – and entirely capable of contradicting what had to be revealed truth just yesterday (if there were a different Pope with differing views). Show me how your theology fits all these cases without making them an absurdity…how it can be consistently applied and produce truth we can have confidence in?

        My take, which was my take from my determination to be received into the Catholic Church, was that the Pope has very limited, but decisive, authority, when exercised within those limitations. He can err in anything secular, can write terribly bad theology, can be vicious and immoral – and there are substantial examples of all those things. But when, in union with all the Bishops of the world, he formally proclaims a doctrinal point from the seat of Peter, that does not contradict the deposit of faith, he speaks infallibly. My take has ALWAYS been much more limited than yours on the formal power of infallibility and the extent of jurisdiction of the Pope. A major benefit of my consistent position is that I am not required to try to square the circle during a time of controversy, such as now.

        I respect and hope that your positive interpretation of what Pope Francis is attempting to do proves true. It would spare us all a lot of grief in the end. But I do not subscribe to the idea that I can not disagree with the Pope on doctrinal matters that are not settled, I cannot appeal to him to act with justice in the midst of scandal, nor that he has the highest earthly jurisdiction means he cannot be wrong about anything. To believe so, I would have to ignore the very examples I raised earlier. Pretending they did not happen does not erase them. I ask you, Joe, to dig deeper and find a theology that accounts for all of these things without discrediting the very foundation of the Catholic Church. I have – and I am secure in the barque of Peter because I have. These storms do not toss my faith…in part because my faith does not require me to believe things that are demonstrably false.

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        1. Oh Charlie. I said a rosary before replying to you. Of course I know the difference between refinement and contradiction. How on earth have your reached the conclusion (and stuck to it) that I think no pope can err. That is extreme extrapolation. Of course the pope can make mistakes. Any pope can. I have said that many times to you. As for judging that a pope has exceeded his brief I believe that his teaching has developed within his brief. Do we see enough of the bigger picture to make such judgements? Of course I know of those reprobate popes to whom you refer. That is common knowledge. I am surprised you even brought them up.

          I have met several rock stars and admit to having occasionally been a bit star struck but never lost sight of the fact that they were just human beings. Augustine and Aquinas were rock stars of the theological world but were also fallible human beings even thought their writings have been given the status of doctrine. They, like us, are subject to a Higher Power. I believe that I have been given good faculty to see and understand. I refer my fellow forum members to the letter to the CDF Letter to the Bishops regarding the death penalty. I challenge anyone to say it is not written in The Spirit of Christ. Throughout the centuries there have been many inconsistencies on this matter and as you can see Pope John Paul II was already moving in this direction. In 1997 The Catechism was changed to reflect Evangelium Vitae adding that cases where the execution of the offender is an absolute necesssity “are very rare, IF NOT PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTENT.”
          I
          Luke 22:31 “Simon,Simon behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I HAVE prayed that your own faith may not fail and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” It turned out just as Jesus prayed. Jesus does not limit Himself. He is Himself. He is Love and Love cannot exist without freedom of will. His request that we will all be one will also be granted in God’s time and in God’s way.

          Thank you for giving me permission to correct you: I am totally clear on the limitations of papal infallibility. The primary tenets of my faith is expressed in the Nicene Creed. My Faith is Apostolic. I have no objections to your questioning the actions and attitudes of the Pope. I do not like to see him accused, however, of heresy and labelled as faithless. Like you I find the certainty of our Faith one of its strogest draws. I focus not on the power of the Pope but on the love of God who has given him that power from on high. I trust in that power and I trust in the pope. Not a proud heart and no concern for things too great for me. My rosary has stilled my heart.

          You ask me to dig deeper Charlie. I ask you Charlie, not to dig deeper, but to lift your eyes to heaven and open your heart to God and to pray for the grace to see beyond the ‘facts’ and find the truth. I am not saying I know more than you (which would constitute a demonstrably false claim) but I do believe I know better than you. I only know what I have been shown and I share it here in the hope that it will do some good. I do not anyone to believe what I say just because it is me who is saying it. And yet I have nothing more to offer. The best I can hope for is that you do not simply discard it but keep it for later.

          There is nothing in the teaching of Pope Francis that is designed to mislead. I do not believe in anything that could remotely be described as demonstrably false. No such attempted demonstration as to the ways of Pope Francis has convinced me. Intrigue, conspiracy, calumny, gossip, misinformation, and misrepresentation have all plagued Donald Trump.Just so with Pope Francis. Once agin I refer my fellow steppers to the website “Where Peter Is” to find another – a better – hermeneutic on Our Holy Father and to use that to question your questioning. I hope your followers will stay with you but will change direction…..with you.

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          1. Fine and high sounding words come out as hollow if not based on charity, humility and truth especially when dealing in the area of fine lines. Personal attacks rather than keeping anchored in facts only serves to weaken otherwise sound reasoning. When accusing others of being judgmental, it is too easy to be even more judgmental ourselves in assuming a somewhat arrogant superiority. I would encourage a continued charity and respect that has prevailed mostly in this community. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us and protect us, lead us to all holiness and truth as we struggle in this ever increasing storm.

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    1. The prophesy seemed a little sensational to me Pgh. Dan. Maybe they will happen in the end times but we are not in the end times yet. And they are the opposite of what Charlie and Blessed Maria Esperanza says will happen in our times. I’m sure some will, but not all. I do remember Charlie saying we will still have to work and pay taxes when the storm is over. If I’m wrong please correct me. I will just stay tucked under Mary’s Mantle, and fear not. Pgh.Dee

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  1. The Good-News Today, for me anyway, is the fact that I see Christians/Conservatives “Fightin’ Back”!
    The Usual Suspects seem to be caught off guard and don’t like it one bit. 😉

    MILINET: Articles for Christians – 18 January
    =================
    Controversial ‘McJesus’ art sculpture defended by Israel
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/controversial-mcjesus-art-sculture-defended-by-israel

    US BIRTHRATE FALLS TO DRASTIC LOWS
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/us-birthrate-falls-to-drastic-lows

    Karen Pence, Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, Part of a Christian Ministry?–DAVID FRENCH
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/karen-pence-are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-part-of-a-christian-ministry/

    Anti-Catholic bigotry is alive in the U.S. Senate
    https://thebrunswicknews.com/opinion/editorial_columns/anti-catholic-bigotry-is-alive-in-the-u-s-senate/article_fc865d70-9960-5fd4-b0d2-04be803e1a36.html

    &
    ‘McJesus’ art sculpture to be removed from Israeli museum after violent protests
    https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/425992-mcjesus-art-sculpture-to-be-removed-from-israeli-museum-after

    Democrats Defeat Pro-Life Senate Bill to Permanently Ban Taxpayer Funding of Abortions
    https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/17/democrats-block-pro-life-senate-bill-to-permanently-ban-taxpayer-funding-of-abortions/

    Pence: ‘To See Major News Organizations Attacking Christian Education Is Deeply Offensive To Us’
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/vp-pence-see-major-news-organizations-attacking-christian-education-deeply

    A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT JUST TOOK A BIG SWING AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/17/fifth-circuit-planned-parenthood/

    Abortion foes march into divided Washington
    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/425941-abortion-foes-march-into-divided-washington

    The March for Life Is Also a Women’s March
    https://townhall.com/columnists/katieyoder/2019/01/18/the-march-for-life-is-also-a-womens-march-n2539246

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz Finally Bails on the Women’s March
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/01/18/debbie-wasserman-schultz-finally-bails-on-the-womens-march-n2539262

    Kirsten Gillibrand avoids criticizing Women’s March accused of anti-Semitism
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/kirsten-gillibrand-avoids-criticizing-womens-march-accused-of-anti-semitism

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am devouring your post, Charlie, and all the comments here. Testing, testing and more testing. It has been going on with me without cease for about 5 years now and so all of the posts of this community give me some wisdom to chew on, like a witless animal chewing on her cud, trying to decide what will best provide nourishment. Some things are harder to swallow than others.

    One of the heavier crosses – The loss of loved ones – sometimes so fast, without time to speak at length with them about God, but enough time to make the Surrender Prayer and offer all to Him through His Holy Mother. I remember fondly your comment that Jesus wants all His kids back.

    For those familiar with St. John of the Cross, I believe it to be the second of the dark nights, which I *thought* I had experienced years before. I am a stubborn one so must have to endure it again. Or for those familiar with St. Theresa of Avila, there is the fear that I have taken a wrong turn and am back inside one of the outermost circles of the interior castle.

    My director urges me to remain calm and faithful, that something great is coming for me. I feel the urgency of the passing of time. Sister Bear and Beckita, et al, are solid examples of feminine spirituality, which I think is wonderful as an impetus to continue the struggle. I am a beggar for prayers. If God is going to do something wonderful, He will do it in *spite of me.*

    Thank you so much for the links to these amazing and incredible signs that God has written in His creation – in the stars and the space between and even in the rocks beneath our feet. As we silly humans become aware of the plan written in these deep things, may deep call unto deep, and we awake from our slumber, shake off the rust of our worldly clingings and TRUST. Everyone here can be assured of my prayers – those who post and those whose eyes, like mine, quietly devour every word.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Our Marisa, thank you for your constant prayers. You and all our dear ones here remain in mine and in the prayers of the many who remind us, from time to time, that the people in our community are etched in our hearts of prayer. Please know, your own witness of faith, hope and love lived in an enduring way is a heartening sign that, in solidarity with the Child Jesus and His ever Virgin Mother, and all who gather here, we can do this. We can! Deo Gratias. ❤️🙏🔥

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Dear Joseph, no worries. Father and I received your beautiful letter this week. He replied immediately via snail mail and I just replied to your email. We do our best in the answering service to get back to people within several days, but we each have duties before us with families and personal responsibilities however our lives may be fashioned. Prayers for you and all in our community.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. A stream of thought about our priests and bishops as well as the Pope and hierarchy has been central in my mind for the past 2 years. It ties in to the understanding of Infallibility and the crisis in the church. Jesus chose Peter and his apostles knowing they were deeply flawed. He knew Peter would deny him. He knew Judas would betray him. He knew they would argue among themselves about who would be more important and who would sit at Jesus’ side. He knew all these things and he still conferred upon them the role of leadership for the first church. Did he make a mistake? Was he duped? Certainly not. God does not make mistakes. Jesus confirmed his knowledge of their shortcomings and errors through his revelations at the Last Supper. He told Peter about the denial.. Many today refute the Catholic church and Christianity in general because of the sins of priests, bishops and those who are supposed to be imitators of Christ. They neglect to remember or are ignorant of the fact that Jesus taught us from the beginning that men will fall. Man is incapable of perfection yet the church is perfect. The institution that God Himself established is perfect, but it has to be administrated by those who will fall, who are broken, who make mistakes. The doctrine of Infallibility is God’s address of the imperfection of man. It is the hope of all that the Church will continue regardless of the crushing, systematic onslaught of Satan, and the weakness, vanity and stupidity of man. God and his infallibility are our constant hope and strength.

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    1. Productive thoughts with keen focus, Rhonda. Thx.

      Phil and I were just talking about ‘fishing,’ which brings to mind this gem from the Gospels: Luke 5:1-11. In that first encounter with Peter some remarkable things happened, not the least of which is The Carpenter telling the seasoned fishermen how to catch some fish. Imagine. Peter, Andrew, James and John were dyed-in-the-wool fishermen. Although Luke records this from Peter, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets,” one has to wonder what Peter must have been thinking… some of the dialog that may not have been recorded… the expressions on his face… how quick he really complied.

      What happens when we find ourselves in this situation? Here and there we are, day after day, plying our talents as we have for a long time… then out of the blue Our Lord says, “do this, even though it doesn’t make a lick of sense to your experience.”

      The big haul awaits.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I am not replying to anyone here. Rather I just want to say that I think that NY state has placed itself on par with the National Socialists of the Third Reich this week, codifying a devastatingly heartless and godless Reproductive Heath Act. Just as Hitler and his cohorts found a Final Solution, NY lawmakers and and those who partied under pink lights have done the same.

    A wonderful Bishop from Albany New York summed up the horrific meaning of the new RHA:

    “Contrary to what its proponents say, the RHA goes far beyond Roe v. Wade in its aggressive extremism. Granting nondoctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women. Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner ‘un-pregnant’ through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women,” he said.

    “Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat. Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will. It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation,” the bishop argued.

    As an aside…. I noticed that Pope Francis was sure to state this week that a wall is very divisive, once again delving into US politics. Did he manage to say anything about this RHA which is, in my mind, every bit as evil as the acts of the Nazis of the Third Reich and which makes NY state an absolute killing machine, leaving not a single tiny shred of protection for innocent lives, in spite of the facts which modern day advanced technology have revealed about the life of a child in the womb. I have no word to accurately describe the horror I feel about this most recent development. In addition, Cuomo and his legislature would like to make it an iron clad reality by codifying it into the Constitution of the State of New York.

    It is beyond belief that the Left routinely calls people on the Right a Nazi or racist, or some other ridiculous term just to shut down a debate of the issues. And yet they have identified themselves as the most ruthless killers of all this past week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judith,

      “…NY state has placed itself on par with the National Socialists of the Third Reich this week…”

      You are not too far off. Gov. Cuomo has requested 100 State Police Investigators to be assigned (Direct report) to him and him alone. I (We) suspect a firearm confiscation plan is in the works. One of his agendas is to mandate every pistol licensee to surrender their social media account passwords so the investigators may cipher the data to determine suspicious activity.

      Cuomo (both of them) has killed more human lives through abortion than all the Sandy Hook, columbine, Vegas shootings combined.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I actually think I am not far off at all but I see the way of things to come. This first step is horrific and leaves my heart grieving for this terrifying development (because it speaks of such darkness in the human soul ), but if one can do THIS, then there is very little they will NOT do to cement power of an icy cold base…… I just read a book by Jeffrey Deaver, The Garden of Beasts. It is not a new book, but it powerfully portrays the years before WWII in Germany. As I read it, I thought this could easily happen again, especially with facebook and other modern media which can be used as tracking devices of the thinking of citizens Hitler would have been in his glory with the modern means of identifying “wrong thinking”. The Left has basically said that they will seize power back at any cost. That is one terrifying prospect. Right now abortion is a “choice”, but it may actually be imposed one day for reasons the state deems necessary. ….. I have read that each of us have been made for these times. Frankly, I do not think anyone can be “made” for the times. All the people who are starving in Venezuela were certainly not made for the times, nor were the Jews, Catholics, Poles, Slavs, gypsies, and Russians that Hilter murdered (or experimented with) not so long ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for this sobering and heartfelt reflection, Judith. When faced with the problem of evil and suffering in these days, I remind myself that God is not distant; He remains as close as our own breath. While we sinners have all contributed to the ugliness around us, the Source of All Goodness Himself accompanies us with His Mother.

          I remind myself that the graces we need for today are ours for the asking as I recall that the Mediatrix of All Graces, with St. Catherine kneeling and resting on our her Maternal lap, told us so. Remember how Our Lady showed Catherine the jewels radiating the shimmering rays through Mother’s holy hands? And that she said those glorious rays represented graces? And remember how our Mother explained that the dull jewels from which no light shone were the graces not asked for? Oh what a comfort and real strengthening source!

          I’m not skipping over how hard – really, really hard – persecution, torture and murder are. I’m just reminding us all of a promise God made in His Holy Word: “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” And, in this truth, no matter when God creates someone at whatever juncture in history, I believe His Purpose(s) for each one and the mission He entrusts to each one – whatever it may be – cannot be thwarted by any evil, for God draws good out of every wickedness. Perhaps to say being made for certain times is a way to encourage the embracing of the cross in one’s life and believing that in God’s Great Plan for any era of time, He chose the very ones who were created then and assigned each one with a role especially chosen for him or her. For certain, throughout the ages, God has been piercing through the darkness, bringing each child He holds so dear the very graces needed in order to do just what He asks of us. May He strengthen us all via the intercession of His Mother.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I keep thinking that I will be one of the first to be shipped off to the gas chamber or whatever killing device “they” wish to employ. I’m older, Catholic and soon to be retired. Oh, and white too.

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  5. I cannot seem to “like” anyone’s post. I put in my email and my screen name and the system will not let me. The system says my email does not exist, which is absurd. I wanted to “like” SeanSullivan17’s post. I was not aware of the storm troopers that Cuomo was developing. How can he, the governor, seize such power? Is no one bringing suit? Why does he have to get involved with the police, if they are already doing their jobs and following the law?

    Liked by 1 person

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