The End of the Beginning – Part III

tall-ships-sail-out-part
Cast Out Into the Deep

By Charlie Johnston

Many are shaken now that the battle over abortion has ventured into the territory of outright infanticide. It is right it should be so. It is hideous to see people who constantly congratulate themselves on their superior morality revealing that they don’t even have the most basic form of decency. It is a wonder to me that this most smug generation is likely to be remembered as one of the most monstrously evil in all history.

Yet battles are most intense as they approach their decisive moment. The very murderous radicalism that is being cheered on by the anti-God left is revealing who they are…and what sulfur-streaked face lurks behind the curtain. People who are not energized by the issue start shrinking back from the smoldering abyss when they see more clearly what they are being led to. Let me give you a rather hopeful episode from about a week ago.

In the California criminal case against David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which taped the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s (PP) ugliness and potentially criminal sale for profit of baby body parts, things have not been going well – for PP and Atty. Gen. (AG) Javier Becerra. I thought, from the beginning, that PP was trying to use muscle and influence to scare Daleiden into folding or bankrupting him. PP is a big, arrogant organization that has, for decades, gotten its way by intimidation. It thinks itself invincible. Such an organization gets sloppy over time and is ripe to topple when it seems most powerful. I was convinced that, once Daleiden neither folded his tent nor was bankrupted, PP would have nothing much else in its bag of tricks. The way it is flailing about, I think that has come to pass.

From the beginning, PP sought to make all sorts of wild accusations against Daleiden and protect its narrative by getting friendly judges to slap gag and restraining orders on him. With Federal Judge William Orrick, they had their man. He is less of a judge than he is an offensive lineman for PP.  Not so much with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite, who presides over the criminal case.

The prosecution of this case by the AG’s office has seemed singularly inept to me from the start. Former AG Kamala Harris began the process, meeting with top dogs at PP just weeks before she ordered a commando raid on Daleiden’s apartment to get materials he had already agreed he would submit. Both PP and the AG have been adamant that Daleiden is not entitled to know what happened at that meeting, claiming that the notes have been lost and he is not to be allowed to depose anyone. They don’t mind the appearance of illicit collusion, like that which destroyed the Harris County, Texas case against him, so long as they don’t have to formally answer any questions about it.

Going further, the AG’s office has sought to prevent the videos (which are the basis of its complaint) from being aired publicly in the upcoming preliminary hearing. The AG wants to use them as evidence in its case while preventing Daleiden from using them effectively in his defense. Meantime, the AG has tried to prevent the plaintiffs (abortionists and support staff who appeared on the tapes) from being publicly identified, insisting they be referred to as Jane Does, because they are “in fear for their lives.” In proceedings last Monday preparatory to the Preliminary Hearing, it was comically noted that these Jane Doe’s are appearing for public TV and radio interviews under their own name to talk about the case. Everyone in the world is allowed to speak their names except Daleiden – and they are so fearful they are eagerly identifying themselves on TV, in commentaries, and on radio. What I think is actually happening on this is that the AG and PP knows this is not going well for them, so they want some fig leaf to justify dropping the case entirely if it gets too rough. Saying that revealing their identities in court would threaten their lives so they had to get out will be their excuse if they finally give up. Heh heh…and they will probably be all over TV and radio explaining how terrified they are.

Basically, the AG and PP have been trying to make whatever accusations they can while trying to persuade the judge to shut Daleiden off from making any serious defense. They want it to be a star chamber proceeding. At that Monday hearing, even PP lawyers seem to have come to the conclusion that the AG’s office is not up to this, for they were there in force, desperately trying to insinuate themselves into the case to run prosecution strategy (under the guise of “victim statements”). Outside attorneys are NOT allowed to take official roles for the prosecution in criminal cases…but these guys figure they are from PP – and everybody is just supposed to roll over and do whatever PP wants, the law be damned – especially in San Francisco.

Judge Hite IS a San Francisco judge, presumably sharing much of the cultural zeitgeist of that benighted area. But from the beginning, he has made it clear that he is a real judge – and has sufficient dignity and self-respect that he will NOT be PP’s huckleberry. He has been patient and steady, but occasionally his exasperation peeks through. At the last hearing, the AG was arguing that it should be allowed to file written statements from many of the Does without allowing the defense (Daleiden) to cross-examine, while hinting at fears that such cross-examination might reveal secrets PP doesn’t want to reveal. In a comment seeking to find a way to protect everyone’s rights, Judge Hite’s frustration came through. He told the prosecutor, in part, that though he intends to draw a fair line on what can be revealed and what must remain confidential, “…this was a decision to prosecute this case. And the defense has constitutional rights that this court is going to protect. And that may go into areas that maybe were unintended or maybe don’t want to be revealed. And that is up to the discussion between the AG and whether they want to proceed and whoever they’re proceeding on behalf of.” (emphasis mine)

This had to be terribly chilling to both the AG and PP, who thought they were going to be able to get “fix-is-in” justice and a star chamber. They have been getting fairness and the benefit the doubt at times from Judge Hite, but he drew his line in the sand with this statement. There will be no “fix-is-in” justice in his courtroom.

I tell you that the forces of darkness and those who have wed themselves to it are frantic and aggressive because their time is almost over – and they can feel it. Yes, we have a lot of wood to chop ahead of us, but the far left has gotten so hysterically aggressive because they are losing, it is slipping away from them. The ugliness is just their effort to fortify a visibly crumbling structure – and the ugliness is driving even some who could be expected to be their allies away from them. Infanticide is one of the sure historical characteristics of a pagan culture of power. In almost all, the butchery was ended when Christianity conquered the pagans and established a regime protecting actual human rights. We now are beginning to decide whether we will be a pagan culture of power or a Judeo-Christian culture of love.

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I was perusing some excerpts from Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” the other day. Paine, you may recall, was the American Revolutionary pamphleteer who wrote “Common Sense”, which galvanized multitudes to the revolutionary cause. While “Common Sense” made Paine’s reputation, “The Age of Reason” destroyed it 20 years later. It is an anti-Christian screed that says the most insultingly blasphemous things about Jesus, Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene. Tellingly, it is utterly ignorant of any semblance of Christian theology. Paine argues that God was a vicious murderer who ought to be arrested for killing His son. It completely rejects the idea of redemption, arguing that if God is powerful enough to forgive sins through Christ’s death, He is powerful enough to have done it without that death. I won’t bother to go into the scabrous insults Paine made to the Holy Family and almost all of Christ’s closest associates on earth.

It got me to thinking about the intimate connection between the Incarnation and Redemption. But first, let’s bat away some of Paine’s more obvious errors of assumption – errors sadly shared by too many people who are long on opinions and short on actual knowledge.

  • 1) First, Christ is the Son of the Father – but not in the way of men. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. All three persons are one in being with each other and all are eternal. Thus, while Jesus is truly the Son of God, the Father is the Father of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God. So it is not that God sent His son to be tortured and die; rather, the eternal God came, Himself, to be tortured and die by taking on our humanity in the person of the eternal Son.
  • 2) Adam and Eve committed original sin and, by this, death came into the world. That we are all born subject to original sin does NOT mean that infants have committed any sort of ordinary sins in their innocence. Rather, we were created a royal race, a race of kings given sovereignty over all the earth as God’s beloved. Original sin was a sort of coup that overthrew and unseated that intended royalty. Those who were born following Adam and Eve need to do nothing themselves to feel the effect of that coup. The grandson of an overthrown king has no throne, even though he has done nothing amiss. All generations after Adam and Eve felt the deprivation of the royal station God intended for us, that was lost by the disobedience of our earliest ancestors.
  • 3) There is no question of power involved. God has ALL power. But he absolutely restrains Himself from interfering in our free will. WE freely chose to forfeit our inheritance – and to reverse that or just say, “Ah, never mind” would reverse our own free will act. We should cease to have any possibility of being in the divine image, and could only be, at best, glorified pets.

How then, to repair the breach? The satan was overjoyed that he had corrupted God’s favorites, thinking he was showing that the creation of humanity was a mistake altogether. Ah, how God confounded the devil when He did not simply pardon our offense, thus revoking our free will AND leaving us ever lower than the angels in his divine hierarchy. Instead, God came, Himself, taking on our humanity in the person of the Son, living solidarity even to death with the lowliest of us. He came and made Himself truly part of our human family. In the process, He gave us power to become part of the Divine Family, truly sons of the True God. The Eternal Son is Our Lord. In the Incarnation, Jesus is our Brother. Having defeated death, He restored the royal dignity to all who would accept it by His free will decision in His humanity – and opened the floodgates of heaven to all who call upon Him, thus conquering death for all who accept Him. The devil gained nothing, not an iota – and in fact, caused God to raise us higher in the end than He had in the beginning. “O felix culpa” – oh happy fall that gave us such a Redeemer and made us heirs of the Kingdom rather than just its most favored inhabitants.

Many are theologically illiterate. You do not have to be theologically literate to know and love God. But do not let the satan tempt you with a little learning, amounting to theological illiteracy and sophistry, to abdicate once more the divine inheritance God has prepared for you.

*******

When running campaigns that drew a lot of media attention, particularly broadcast media, one of the constant problems was keeping junior staffers from getting caught up in the supposed glamor of it all. In up times, they would imagine themselves geniuses for the ages and indulge in all sorts of absurd fantasies about the heroics they would perform and how invincible they were. In down times, they would think the world had caved in and never could be right again. The truth is that any seriously contested endeavor that plays out in the public eye is going to have some serious ups and some serious downs. If a junior staffer could not get past the romance or glamor of it, he would usually self-destruct within a cycle or two. I always encouraged people to ignore all that stuff and focus on the work. There are many things you can’t control in a big endeavor, but you can always focus on the work. If you ignore it because you are busy gloating at the up times, you do damage to the project. If you waste time in woe and despair in the rough spots, you do damage to the project. You will have wins and losses, but the guy who focuses on the work endures.

Focusing on the work takes your focus off yourself. There is a job to do and it is best to get it done. In politics, I found that the majority of people in responsible positions will not make serious (or sometimes even simple) decisions because before they can make ANY decision, they have to plot out how to shift blame away from themselves in case the decision is a bad one. I liked to focus on the next move, so I would frequently take responsibility for things that were not in my purview and any blame accruing to it, so we could stop pointing fingers and keep focused on the work. Oddly enough, it didn’t matter. The folks who spent so much time trying to make sure they never got blamed for anything were rarely trusted or relied upon by anyone serious. Over time, people figure out who can carry water and who can’t in such situations – and pull away from the bloodless weak sticks who are always worrying about their reputation instead of the job.

The twin destructors of an organized effort are timidity and hubris. All of Europe was consumed in the fires of World War II because every nation except Germany was timidly trying to square the circle of accommodating the provocative and evil in hopes that it would all just go away. After carving up Czechoslovakia with no blowback – and with France absolutely abdicating its treaty obligations, Hitler came to believe he was invincible. Just as the timidity and cowardice displayed at the Munich Conference made it inevitable that Europe would go up in flames, so the unshakeable hubris sparked in Hitler’s breast at the painless vivisection of Czechoslovakia made it inevitable that Germany would be ultimately defeated. So we are called to be ever bold, but never brash; ever prudent, but never timid; ever decisive but never precipitous. In the coming year or so, keep focused on the work before you, however small it may seem, or however intimidatingly large it may be, keeping in mind the dicta to boldness, prudence and decisiveness – and you will endure.

Worrying about your status in this world is a spiritual poverty. It is good to guard your prestige only so as to facilitate your true work, which is to build up the kingdom and the people of God. All the saints in heaven are completely indifferent to what status they achieved in this world, except to the extent that the memory of them might now help draw people to the safety of Christ. No one in heaven boasts of having been a conqueror or a leader or a Bishop. Their sole boast is of having endured to draw people to God. What we have here on earth is work. Persisting at our work with fortitude and fidelity under God secures our place in heaven. Even now there are people who contemplate the glory they will gain by holding back the Storm – and others who think the Storm will allow them show their great glory as they take advantage of the chaos. All self-referential ambitions are less than ashes in the eyes of heaven. All there is, in God’s eyes, is the work He has appointed each of us. Keep focused on the work and leave the glory to God. That will secure your place in heaven.

*******

From the beginning of publicly speaking out, I have insisted that my mission was not primarily a prophetic or mystical one, though both of those things were integral to my being able to carry that work out. I knew that I was going to make a big interpretive mistake at some point, though I did not know what it would be. I told my readers this would be so. Some thought I was saying this to try to immunize myself against error. Some thought I would mealy-mouth when I made a big error and try to spin it as if I had made no error at all. Others just ignored it. People’s expectations have become so badly garbled and mutilated that a key part of my work in the run-up to the fullness of the Storm was to change those expectations. Sometimes that can only be accomplished by doing, not just by saying.

A few weeks back, Beckita responded to a question from a commenter by reprising some things from the old site. She wrote:

“When I found my way to TNRS, it was at the request of a priest friend who wanted to know what I thought of it. In reading Charlie from the get-go, I saw and experienced some consistent things.

  1. I heard a re-echoing of many of the messages from Heaven with which I was familiar. And this from a man who obediently followed the wise counsel of his spiritual directors to NOT read other messages.
  2. As Charlie carefully prepared us for various possibilities that might emerge, he was ever tamping down the sensational attitude, cautioning us to trust God rather than hyper-focus on details and what exactly would unfold.
  3. What I also noticed, immediately, after finding my way here is that Charlie was not and remains not a typical message bearer who simply conveys what God wishes to say to His people by means of a heavenly visitor. No. Charlie is living his mission of leading via walking alongside us, defending the faith and heartening the faithful just as he was commissioned to do. He fosters discussion knowing that this builds up the mental toughness needed for the days upon us as we consider themes and possibilities and real life problems. How *many* times he’s acknowledged that the discussions refine his own thinking.
  4. He did, indeed, tell us that during his many years of training he had been incorrect on some interpretations of what his angel had said and was, therefore, corrected many a time by St, Gabriel. Further, he (CJ) forewarned us that he had been told he would be wrong on some major things. In November of 2016, he wrote: “Sometime in the next year, I will be significantly wrong about something…When it comes, it will not be a test of me, for I already know that God is good and seeks our reclamation. It will be a test for some of you, to see whether you have put your faith in me or your faith in God. If it is in me, your faith was always ill-placed. God is good, all the time, whatever the circumstances – and works to call us all back to Him. When I am wrong, I will accept the correction with gratitude and more wisdom. I will not leave the scene unless it is one of the fundamentals, and then, in full obedience to Holy Church, I will wait on the Lord, knowing that He will strengthen my heart and that it serves His purpose to call all His children back to Him.”

In that same piece, A Reality Check, Charlie also wrote: “My angel rarely congratulates me for being right. Rather, if I am in serious error, he rebukes and corrects me. Many of the greatest saints have been deceived by the devil for a time. I have no illusion that I am exempt from that. So what if I was deceived for a time and my angel, for whatever reason, did not correct me? Do you think that would be so God could abandon or destroy you? Of course not! Everything that God allows is for our good and our reclamation. I know that, I have no doubt at all of it.”

My Goodness! It is so clear to me that – in observing how Charlie has conducted himself through the difficult times – we are being trained and/or reminded about how to respond in those moments when each of us gets it wrong too. We have; we do; we forever will err because we’re made of dust. I cannot even wrap my head around how much courage it must have taken for Charlie to entrust the care and sustaining of TNRS blog to others in a time when he was flogged to the max for faithfully manning his post to the best of his ability. (Wee edit, he was flogged for the perceptions people had even as his goal was to be faithful to manning his post.) And like a mother hen, his greatest concern was for our welfare as evidenced in this excerpt from the piece which I quote:
“But I worry that some who were shaken put their faith in God because of their confidence in me, rather than recognizing me for what I am – a cheerleader for the mighty God. Jesus’ followers thought He was going to re-establish a temporal kingdom through military might and political skill. Imagine how despondent they must have been when He was executed. Many thought all was lost. They found, as we always do, that God’s plan is both far different and far greater than any of us can imagine. Imagine then, their joy at the Ascension, when they had to have contemplated that what they had thought was the end was actually the beginning. We must ever wait, watch and trust, even as we humbly do the very little right in front of us that we can with absolute fidelity.”

And how many times have we heard and reiterated that we’re simply looking Through a Glass Darkly and rightly so. No mystic or prophet on earth knows exactly what is going to transpire. Even in what we’ve been given as glimpses of possibilities, we know not what has been mitigated, even as we press on in prayer, fasting, sacrificing and doing good for the sake of Love and reaping a great harvest of souls. God deserves our humble waiting – even if we do become impatient in our humanity. He deserves our complete trust. (Why do we torture ourselves with worry?) He deserves our very best efforts and, through His Mother, the most wonderful conclusion of this Storm awaits us: the complete Triumph of her Immaculate Heart!”

My virtue was never that I was going to interpret rightly every time – and I told you that. My virtue was that I KNEW I was going to get something badly wrong and I persisted anyway, knowing that when it came, I would be clubbed.

There were only a few things I HAD to tell you: 1) the coming of the Storm and the big picture of what it would look like, 2) that this is NOT the end, but the beginning of the reclamation of our culture and of many souls, 3) that it will be followed by a great period of peace, prosperity and brotherhood as we are visibly rescued at the hands of Our Lady and, 4) that rescue would come very late in 2017. These are the only things I was instructed to tell you. All else was left to my discretion, based on whether I thought it would be fruitful in heartening the faithful.

Even though I knew I would make some big error, I was NOT allowed to shift blame for it. When it came, it would come because of MY deficiencies in interpreting things that are too big for me – or for anyone else. I was to take full responsibility for my error – and confess it candidly. I made two big errors, one of which involved item number four from above. I thought rescue was an event, not a process. I have come to think God let me get astray on one of the few matters which I was ordered to tell you, so there was no chance I would avoid the public error.

People think that with mystical experiences, God gives us precise instructions like a military commander. So long as we follow orders, any errors are the commander’s fault, not ours. That is NOT how it works. God gives big, broad pictures – lays out the landscape for you and then orders you to use all your mind, heart and soul to figure out a way to accomplish an objective He sets for you. Even in this, we are not automatons. He expects us to use our personality and our gifts to accomplish His purpose. It is too big for any of us – and God is aware of that. Without Him, we cannot accomplish the simplest thing. Staying focused on Him, we can accomplish anything. Even so, our course will be an awkward, stumbling one, for we are awkward, stumbling creatures. Some have great courage and will face the greatest of odds without flinching. Sadly, the devil captures many of these because their pride in their courage leads them to refuse to bear any public humiliation and still persist.

For many years during my training, my face would burn red with shame, embarrassment and resentment at being shown to be wrong about even the simplest things. How glad I am that God burned that sort of pride right out of me! I learned that the most productive way to deal with error is to confess it as soon as you know it, immediately and completely, then press on.

A single word from heaven has more facets than the Hope Diamond, more depth than the deepest ocean trench. It astonishes me when people think that God’s Word is as simple as a child’s primer – and that they have fully mastered it. A 10-oz. tumbler that thought it could contain the ocean would have less hubris. We are called to contemplate heavenly treasures and hold them in our hearts, but they are too big for us. They are not big at all to God, though, and He will carry them for us if we acknowledge Him and just do the little right before us, stumbling the whole way but constantly getting up and starting anew, trusting to His help. That melts God’s heart. He is never impressed by the elegance or precision with which we carry out His work but is ever won over by the humility and fortitude with which we persist at it. Even St. Thomas Aquinas, given a vision of God late in life, was so staggered by the reality of God that he called all his prior work “so much straw” and never wrote again. This is one of the few occasions in which Aquinas was mistaken: his work had great value in helping us all to draw nearer to God in language we could understand. God revealed Himself to St. Thomas, I think, to reward him for that work AND to rescue him from any intellectual pride that had grown in him because of it. What is gold here IS straw in heaven, but that should not cause any of us to gainsay its value here or to think it valuable currency in heaven.

At the old site I wrote a piece on what prophecy actually is, entitled, “Through a Glass, Darkly.” It is worth repeating an excerpt of it here:

“Authentic prophecy is always an invitation from God. It is an invitation to remember His goodness in times past, to see His mercies in times present, to come back to Him with our whole heart, and to call others to do the same. It is guidance on how to act in particular times and circumstances to accomplish this. It is assurance that He is there, that He loves us, that He wants us back, and that He will walk with us if we heed Him. It is an invitation first to the one called to prophesy, and then to all who will hear. It is an invitation to come to God and participate with Him in His gathering of His children. The most important part of prophecy is its call for what we should do.

It is a great achievement of the devil that he has seduced so many into reducing prophecy to fortune-telling, a sort of mystical mystery theatre in which most act as passive spectators, choosing the character on-stage who best appeals to their interests, beliefs and vanity – then sitting back and enjoying the show. God calls you to act, to act with Him, to act selflessly to rescue His children from despair and disorder. If the emphasis of any mystic is on what will happen rather than what you are called to, it is a diversion, not prophecy. Authentic prophecy is active, requiring you to stretch out your heart and your mind to God and to stretch out your hand in solidarity with your fellows. It is not passive.

Many seem to think interpretation of prophecy is simply getting the narrative right, then charting it two-dimensionally. The foolishness of this reminds me of the ancient fable of the six blind men and the elephant. The Book of Revelation is fascinating for many reasons, not least of which that it presents the closest thing to a raw telling of what the mystic actually is shown than anything I have ever seen. Oh, there is plenty of interpretation in it to make it somewhat comprehensible to us, but St. John gives us a good look at much of the raw material he was working with. Revelation has been seriously studied by thousands of great saints and theologians – and there are almost as many variations in interpretation as there are people who have studied it seriously. There is a general consensus on some larger themes in it (though even here some things are hotly disputed) but there are huge disputes on the meaning of many of the details.

Now, as then, a glimpse into eternity does not produce a neat, little, linear narrative. If it were so, I would not have spent a lifetime being instructed. I have told you I spent nearly two decades getting much wrong when I was instructed by my angel. I think you know that, in earthly terms, I am a pretty smart fellow. If it was as simple as studying a linear narrative, I would not have needed five decades of instruction and testing. So, with a caveat that I cannot describe it with precision unless I made up a whole new vocabulary, let me tell you a little about how it actually is.

I gave you a hint of it in my piece, “Into the Whirlwind.” I described the cosmos, in part, in these words:

“Imagine that God showed Job our world, sparkling blue and green like some impossibly rare and precious gem, glittering with life and light. Then God shows Job the entire universe. Think of Job’s wonder at the billions of stars, comets, quarks and planets all pulsing and whirring, a symphony of light and rhythm…”

When you are shown, when you get a glimpse into eternity, it is like that. Trillions of parts all pulsing and whirling, traveling at different speeds and directions, often changing speeds and directions. It is like a three-year-old trying to make sense of the working of a nuclear reactor. At the most elementary level, you try to discern the convergence point of several different elements. It is a game that appeals to your vanity – kind of like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube writ large. Except it is impossible. Things change speeds and direction regularly. After a while, if you are wise, you largely drop that effort and focus on patterns that emerge. While you can’t discern all – or even many – of the details, you can see the larger trends they form.

There are several complications even in this. First, some things are symbolic and some are literal – and it can be difficult to recognize the difference. Some things can’t be changed; others are changed dramatically by our response. It is similar to a cruise liner sinking in the open ocean. Once it reaches a certain point in its distress it is certain to sink. It is almost certain that some people will die. How many will die, though, depends on the behavior of those caught in the catastrophe.  If everyone is in panic and acting in an “every man for himself” way, many will die. If many are steady and resolute, they can help others do the same and many lives will be saved.

Meantime, there is a huge disconnect between how things appear here and how they appear there. We come up with clever schemes we think will solve problems – and most don’t even make a dent in the heavens. The sincere and humble prayer of a single person can change multitudes. When you get a cohort of people praying – and living the prayer of doing, of denying their own appetites and caring for those around them tenderly, it can change the trajectories of entire realms of those moving parts. If you knew the power of sincere, humble prayer and doing the little right in front of you, you would eagerly live it well. The machinations of those in power are mere sparklers in comparison to the majestic, tidal power of a single sincere and humble prayer.

Obviously, I explain this allegorically to you. I do it to give you some sense of what it is like, not what it is. Applied to current times, the Storm is something that is set, it must be fulfilled. But the intensity and duration of it can change based on our response. Some things about it have already changed. The intensity was increased by our determination to persist in rebellion; the duration of its fullness has been decreased because of the rise, often quietly, of renewed faith and fidelity among many who have already despaired of hope in human devices. There are far more troops out there ready to  answer the call. Even in the midst of the Storm, we have entered into a great Christian revival. What God intends is that you live it and bring the hope that is in Him to those around you. If you do that well, it will spread like wildfire. It is not sufficient that you be right, but that you be effective, which means you must bury your ego. If you simply browbeat those around you, so they run away from the faith, you have utterly failed. If you never defend the faith when it is assaulted, you have utterly failed.”

If you are courageous in defending the faith, that is good and God is pleased. If you are not willing to be publicly humiliated in error and then persist anyway, you are not fit for His service. If you are not willing to candidly admit and take full responsibility quickly for the inevitable errors that must come, you are not fit for His service. He is elegant; you and I are stumbling bumblers, who are called to persist anyway. I emphasize this because, even now, I see good people sullenly refusing to admit obvious error and trying to explain why they were right all along. This attitude will lead to destruction in these time of crisis if persisted in. It pleased God to use me as a very public example of how to deal with obvious error. I knew it would come, but I did NOT know what it would be about. I knew that when it did come, I had to acknowledge my fault candidly and completely – and then carry on. It stung, trust me. But it was not for me: I had been privately stung much harder in the process of training many times. It was for you. Do not let the example be in vain.

I am grateful. The Storm is here and as I described it – a global civil war fought on cultural lines. Having persisted in telling you that, in season and out of season, it gives substance to my telling you that this is not the end, and that we are called to be the vanguard heralding the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which will complete the process of Rescue in glorious fashion. That is all that was needed to be said by me in mystical prediction. Now I can focus on my actual work – which is your work, too: To defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. If your neighbors fall to the side, you can be faithful. If you have leaders who are corrupt, you can be faithful. At all times, in all crises, the fundamental question is always, “Will you keep faith, despite obstacles, persecution or humiliation?” If you do, trusting to the abundant generosity of God’s economy, many will be won back to Him by your example of fortitude under attack. Remember, we have no record that the Centurion at the foot of the cross knew how Jesus lived, only that he saw how the Master died. Yet that was sufficient to convince him that, “Surely, this was the Son of God.” Suffering with dignity can convert multitudes. Let us act so that multitudes will look at us and say that surely God is at the heart of these people.

*******

I often find myself in a peculiar middle ground between my friends of sophisticated intellect and my friends who are devoted to various apparitions and mystical pronouncements. The intellectuals are often dismissive of apparitions, as if such things could not be, while devotees of apparitions are often dismissive of intellectuals as legalistic prigs more interested in status than faith. Sometimes the former remind me of a foundation without a house and, the latter, a house without a foundation. I value both the foundation and the house.

If there is God, He has power. It makes perfect sense that He uses it at times to build up the faithful. While intellectuals rightly call for evidence, it is a barren folly to start from the presumption that God either has no power beyond natural things or never uses it. Sometimes, enthusiasts for apparitions get so absorbed in their favorite that they make it into an idol that trumps Scripture and the Church. While advocates for various apparitions are right to call for life in the spirit, when they become obsessed with any particular apparition to the point of elevating it above Scripture and the Church, their faith degenerates into superstition and an invitation to dark spirits.

All authentic private revelation, whether through apparitions or otherwise, are limited in scope to a particular time and a particular need in salvation history. I value the contributions of many from this treasure. I am particularly devoted to Lourdes, Fatima and Our Lady of Tepeyac (commonly called Guadalupe). Yet I will say that if we had been the sort of people who would have heeded the warnings from Fatima, there would never have been any need for those apparitions in the first place. I think that Fatima was never designed to keep us from getting lost (God already knew our trajectory), but as a lighthouse to guide us back after we finally realized the consequences of our disastrous rebellion. I have great reverence for Akita and for Our Lady of America. I have deep respect both for Medjugorje and for Garabandal, despite some misgivings about barnacles attached to the former and incredibly routine presumptuous misinterpretations attached to the latter. I have benefitted much from things that the late Maria Esperanza says and have a great admiration for the humility, fidelity and humor of Mirijana from Medjugorje. The modern mystic I pay closest attention to is Susan Skinner, who writes the Veil of Veronica blog – not necessarily because she is most important, but because there has been a close bond connecting us from the first time I heard of her, when she reported a dream of demons erupting volcanically across the earth on the same day that I had a vision of the same, December 20, 2014. All of these and many more have given me pieces of wisdom or insight that have been profoundly fruitful for me. I am deeply glad of them.

Yet in the claims of many to devotion to Medjugorje, or to Garabandal, or even to Fatima, I sometimes hear echoes of what Paul complained of in I Corinthians 3:4-6, where devotees were claiming to belong to Paul, or to Apollos, or to Cephas. St. Paul tartly reminded them that we all belong only to Christ, that such factionalism was more likely to lacerate the body of Christ than to build it up. All of these things are profitable to us only insofar as they build up the Mystical Body of Christ. I have no sympathy for intellectuals who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (see 2 Tim 3:5) nor for apparition devotees so enthusiastic that they let their favorite apparition unthrone the Church and the Gospels in their heart. In all of these things, we would do well to heed St. Paul’s teaching that, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” (I Cor 10:23) Let all things we do be done to build up the faithful in fidelity to the Gospels and the Church.

*******

Our culture – and perhaps our polis – is visibly collapsing around the globe now. People have embraced ideas that have consistently led to misery and death, often led by “leaders” as ignorant as themselves, but more malicious.

Like Paul at the Areopagus (Acts 17:16-34) I have come to believe that the average man and woman in contemporary culture really wants the truth, to be fair, to build up. Egged on by malicious “leaders” who mask their lust for power in terms of “fairness,” I suspect that people have lost their way. They rarely think beyond bumper sticker slogans to what produces fairness for all. They are, so to say, looking for love in all the wrong places. Many have lost the capacity to achieve happiness at all and are trapped in a misery they cannot find their way out of. I will soon embark on a lengthy series with the working title, “Uncommon Sense: Fair Play for All.” I have tried to put in simple, vivid terms why a truly Christian approach grounded in traditional verities will lead us out of the muck of modern sophistry to a renewal of happiness and opportunity for all. It won’t be all in sequence, as there is just too much and it would crowd everything else out of this site, but it is a priority of mine. We have to hearten the faithful – and give those who are lost reason to grab hold of faith and charity.

The bright side in all the cultural and political darkness is that I think ordinary folks really DO want to be just, fair, and find happiness for all. Helping them credibly find their way back will help rebuild the kingdom of God, and rebuilding the kingdom of God will help them find their way back. I am going to do my best. This very long three-part piece is the pre-requisite to explaining where we are headed and what I am emphasizing as the strife increases.

*******

Though probably apocryphal, the late Harold MacMillan, former British Prime Minister, was reported to have said, “Events, dear boy, events,” when asked by a reporter what was most important in determining the course of government plans.

Many people have asked me what my plans are for this critical year. I am prepared for many potential scenarios. If certain things come to pass, I will put on my backpack and start hobbling across the land. I might end up hopping in my pickup truck and traveling 50-100 miles a day to speak to whoever will listen. Most likely, some time around May, I will go back on the road as I did in prior years, giving presentations to little groups of people who have invited me to come. If so, there will be no prophetic element involved, except a looking back to what has already been said. There is no need. We are living at the beginning of the very visible Storm. Rather, my purpose would be to exhort and encourage the communities of faithful we have built up across this country; to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. I have told you from the beginning that is my real job – and now I get to live it fully, God willing that I stay steady and faithful.

What will determine what I actually end up doing? Events, my dear friends, events.

*******

Finally, I was watching a squirrel at the feeder outside. He had his tail straight up for balance and the sun was behind him. I was amazed at how evocative that tail was, with the sun streaming through it, of the penumbra that surrounds the image of Our Lady of Tepeyac. Yet another reason squirrels are so dear to this site.

 

 

 

 

569 thoughts on “The End of the Beginning – Part III

  1. SO much to be pondered here, Charlie. You have exhorted, again, something you mentioned in a comment you made in the wee hours of this morning: “Either you have a fact right or you do not. Getting that right is going to be more important than most anyone knows very soon.”

    Striving for humility, faithfulness to our work – next right steps – with confidence born of giving our best effort while rooted in trusting God and taking great care with what we say, all come shining through this masterpiece. Time to meditate with these words, Charlie!

    I continue to realize how very much we need the Holy Spirit and all the gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) and fruits (charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faith, modesty, self-control, and chastity) which He bestows and deepens. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

    Liked by 15 people

    1. I just wanted to say thank you for bring the voice for so many who are unable to articulate their love for the Lord in such a clear and unstained manner. God Bless you Charlie, true to your mission, you continue to inspire.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. “The very murderous radicalism that is being cheered on by the anti-God left is revealing who they are”
    Except to themselves!!! And when one’s own precious children are the same, the anguish and pain is such, one wonders what is keeping them alive. Oh, Yes, the same WHO has given us the purpose to be part of the Communion of Saints as the Church Militant in the daily battle toward saving souls. Yes, prayer, fasting, penance and also actions. I have finally reached the place where I should have been decades ago, where I only want to ask the Holy Spirit, like, Lucia asked Our Lady, “what do you want of me?” What can I do? What am I supposed to do next? Yes, in taking the “next right step” as has been the mantra here, yet,… DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, There are so many to pray and fast for, so many who need it, so many who ask, and far many more who do not. And still life has to be lived…There is an old black and white 1947 movie titled, “Monsieur Vincent”. I love this movie, as grainy as it is. I love Pierre Fresnay’s portrayal of St Vincent De Paul! Towards the end of his life in the film, he sits with the Queen as they ponder over how they have lived their lives, doing so little to make it a better place…He says I did not do enough, it is as nothing. I slept. I should have done more. Oui, Oui, Me TOO!

    Liked by 9 people

  3. “Focusing on the work takes your focus off yourself. There is a job to do and it is best to get it done.”
    VERY TRUE, however, there is the issue of vagueness, confusion, a sense of moving about in a puzzling parable and none to interpret, or maybe worse a hard, or hardened heart, maybe blind eyes, or more correctly blind spirit and soul…So that one yearns to be given that “to do” list with the decisively specific chores, and a well outlined schedule, even so for the motivation for keeping one honest at both task and effort so as to accomplish with success the primary objective. The Grand Outcome, not for having done it oneself, but having done what the Master wanted of one without bumbling and fumbling and thwarting His work, unless it is that when we meet Him, he is wont to say, you fuddled it up just right so I could fix it how it was to be…and in that case just saying so before hand might help, too. I know I am being a bore, but it has just come over me. I want desperately to know what to do, to do something, that might make a difference. In our daily lives when something is broken, or not working right, or a person needs help folding their clothes, you fix it, you make it work correctly, or you show them how to do it, and voila! You see an immediate result, and it is gratifying and satisfying. And one can move on… Even if the thing is something that takes time, a week a month or two, but years and years and years of not “seeing” a result or feeling that the situation is not changed or worse, takes its toll.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “Even if the thing is something that takes time, a week a month or two, but years and years and years of not “seeing” a result or feeling that the situation is not changed or worse, takes its toll.”–AVAEADIE, I hear you.

      I wait on the Lord. Dear God, help me to be patient. I am sorrowful even unto death.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. This puts me in mind that Jesus calls us to be as little children coming to Him with humility, trust and openness. to do as Charlie exhorts us to do the little thing before us for all too often the little things have large effects in the overall scheme of things. We may never be called to do the big things but the little things that will account for much. As St. Mother Teresa said, “We are not rewarded for being successful so much as for being faithful.”

      Liked by 10 people

    3. Avaeadie, God is so powerful that He uses EVERYTHING you do for His purposes. We are immersed in His activity.
      In one of his videos, Father Riccardo mentioned that when we get to heaven (please, God), we won’t even ask. For the first quarter of eternity we’ll probably walk around and just say, “Of course, that’s why.” But, in the meantime, we still have questions.

      The person the God of the universe is most interested in is you. The God who loves you is massively powerful and He holds you in His hand.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Each one of these segments could have been a decent-sized stand-alone post, which could have been rolled out over days or weeks. That they’re all here in one long post ~ including important reminders from old posts ~ speaks to me of urgency.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. You pick up nicely on what is implicit. The three pictures I put on each segment were of a ship coming in to harbor, people boarding, and then ships going back out to the deep. Time to get aboard. It’s not a drill any more.

      Liked by 23 people

  5. Now I am writing “out loud”. Quite sadly, I think I have, especially in the past, been brash in my boldness, (possibly a subconcious defense mechanism to ward off a suspected advancing attack). I have never been timid, but worse nor prudent, and while most actions have been decisive, they were almost always done precipitously. I have been working at moving forward and leaving such behind; yet, I want to be ready to say, “Yes” to God, leaving off prudence and precipitousness…I think that is how it should be when God is doing the asking…my problem is still knowing when and what he asks… I know a woman who is always asking God to know what to do about everything, but I might see her months and months later and she is still asking and trying to discern the answer. The problem may have needed a resolution, like, way yesterday.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ah, Ava, so you are like all of us. That is a big part of my point. We all, with the best of intentions, fail often. We are brash, we are timid, we are precipitous. Go forward anyway, knowing that, alas, you shall fail again. That is why I adopted the saying, “Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you.” It is both a tight little synopsis of Scripture and a formula anyone can follow to live an ordinary way. When you have failed, do not despair but give thanks for such a good God who helps you up to try again, even if a little wearily and frustrated that you tend to stumble over the same things. When you have succeeded, do not be proud of your finesse, but glad that God has accomplished something with such a clumsy little instrument as yourself. Our credo here has little room for either despair or pride, just a means for real people to keep stumbling forward in God’s service. If you don’t know what to do, do the best thing you can think of when it is time to do, trusting that God will mend your error if it be such and draw good from it. And He will…so long as you keep acknowledging him despite your bumbling ways. Let none of us be the servant, who when the Master comes to receive what is His, tells Him we hid our talent in the ground for fear of losing it – so we never even gave it a chance for increasing on His behalf.

      Liked by 22 people

      1. All these years…same confession. ..poor dear Monsignor Ken….bUT I MUST SAY…little by little I think I’m getting just a wee bit better..oh no…there’s that pride again😣 begin again🤗

        Liked by 5 people

  6. Hello everyone, I have only commented twice, but have been faithful reader of this site for years and feel I know all of you as you have shared your lives,joys and sorrows and your amazing faith with all here. I am sure we have all grown deeper in our faith and now the storm is here. I believe there are many like me on this site, who benefit from the wisdom imparted here. Probably many fell away after the election of 2016, but I would be most appreciative, if all those here that do not comment, would all just sign in once, so that we can be heartened by how many we are, and know that we are all praying for each other to know what God wants our role to be. Most of us will probably be like St Therese and follow her little way in taking TNRS and being a sign of hope to those around us. God bless you Charlie, Beckita, SteveBC and all here

    Liked by 23 people

      1. Thanks yet again Charlie – so much, so generous! Your reply to Marie gave me an aha! moment. I do not know if it is an ongoing project but the Archdiocese of Boston encouraged people to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, especially during Lent and Advent with a campaign called “The Light is On for You” referring of course to the confessional green light. I loved that idea but I was not aware of your hotel commercial. We did have a similar advertisement here ages ago with a very Aussie twist “Saw your light on so thought we’d pop in”. I have tried unsuccessfully to locate it on the net.

        Liked by 6 people

          1. A short, sharp and shiny ad but long enough to make a big hotel chain seem homey and welcoming. No wonder the theme was picked up by the Church. If we are going to be helping our wounded brothers and sisters the campaign could very well be a non-threatening tool that might appeal to them. Apparently a few dioceses have picked it up: https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/03/23/lenten-campaign-invites-fallen-away-catholics-back-to-confession/

            Liked by 5 people

      2. I have this image in my head of both Padre Pio and St. Therese the little Flower with their toe in the gate of heaven to let in as many as possible.

        After staying in a motel 6, I dubbed St. Pio the patron saint of motel 6 keeping my children and me safe. Keeping the light on for us.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. YES, “knowing what God wants our “ROLE” to be.” I think I am expressing so much angst because I have been in the process of reviewing nearly 3 years of homilies by a priest (they get printed up in our bulletin every week). I think I need to point something out to the Bishop because he must not realize how the priest is presenting his material. I do not know if this is really what God wants me to do. And with everything happening in the Church, it is sort of, would it really matter? Am I only making noise? Am I seeking vainglory? (I don’t know why I ask that part, but I think something made me think the question, though my reason for believing I needed to do this was because the man seems to be a duplicitous, freethinking, humanistic, Marxist accepting, crafty modernist who uses the litany of deceptions given proposed by Pope Pius X. Anyway…I murmur…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. A very dear friend of mine just when through the extraordinary effort of writing a brief, powerful letter to over 400 Bishops on the subject of taking a firm stand on abortion and infanticide. Will it do any good? Is it presumptuous of her to tell Bishops what she thinks. It will do good, even if it changes nothing in the short term. We are called to speak to our Bishops when something serious troubles us.

        I once saw a shocking offense at a Parish I was not a member of during a daily Mass. I reported it to the Bishop. Within three weeks the Pastor of that Parish had been removed. Sometimes we misunderstand – and speaking to authority gives them the chance to correct our misconception. Sometimes we understand well – and giving voice to it gives authority a chance to act on it. You are over-analyzing. Purify your intentions, don’t worry so much about yourself, and make the comment. If you are wrong, it will give the Bishop the chance to explain. If you are not, it gives the Bishop the chance to act. No more needs to be heard about it. There were only two people in the world that knew it was me who made the telling report in the matter I mentioned – my Bishop and one other, both of who have now passed on. What vainglory is in that? I was perfectly willing to hear a reasonable explanation and be corrected myself. Cast your bread upon the water and let it go where it will. Then let it go, yourself.

        Liked by 13 people

        1. Thank you! Everything you posited is exactly as I have reasoned it myself initially! I am suspecting now that to possibly keep me from my efforts, there have whisperings into my ear by a certain one to deter me. I wasn’t even expecting a response on my ramblings, but you have “shaken me” out of hysteria (a bit of hyperbole there. I wasn’t quite that bad, at least not on my side of the screen :-). Thank you!

          Liked by 4 people

    2. I’m popping up to say “howdie!” I still read the posts and occasionally check the comments, but no longer leave comments, spare one or two. I’ve benefitted a whole lot from Charlie’s writings and suffered some personal humiliations about two years ago.

      I thought I might share a little story for the gang. Last fall, my husband found a bunch of caterpillars (maybe 10) feeding on our parsley plant on the outdoor deck. He gathered them up with some parsley leaves and placed them in a terrarium to see what would happen. He thought it would be exciting for our three boys ages 6 and under. They ate the parsley and spun cocoons, some of which attached to the lid, so we didn’t open it up lest we injured the cocoons and the developing life within them. But the butterflies didn’t hatch and we assumed they went dormant for the winter. I was not thrilled because the cocoons were ugly looking, the parsley became desiccated and there was caterpillar poop at the bottom of the terrarium and this thing was sitting in our dining room. Four to five MONTHS later, I sounded the alarm that these were going into the trash soon because I figured they were dead and besides, my husband warned me that they might just be moths. Days later, the butterflies started to hatch and they were all big and beautiful. Each time one hatched, the kids screamed and squealed with delight. They loved setting them free. It was so worth it! Amazingly, this time coincided with the end of my fourth pregnancy.

      Fast forward to last week when I was watching The World Over with Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Gerald Murray discussing the abominable new abortion law in NY and my oldest, now 7, asked me what they were talking about. I told him that some people think it’s okay to kill babies in their mothers’ bellies because they say the baby isn’t a person. Without skipping a beat, he said that of course they’re people, it’s just part of the life cycle, like a butterfly! It made me so proud. No one would seriously suggest that a caterpillar goes from bug to nonentity and then to butterfly. Obviously it’s the same creature with the same worth.

      Liked by 16 people

      1. Goldensun, Ahhhhh!!! Such a wonderful analogy. And now you have taught your children a lesson you could not foresee, an indelible example imprinted for life. My brother-in-law recently pointed out that abortion/infanticide is analogous to the concept of slavery. Slavery presumes ownership of property. The abortion/infanticide crowd presumes ownership by the mother of the fetus/baby. They therefore presume them as property to be done with as they will. Just like in the slavery of black people, they have no rights. So the old notion of ownership of a person has reared its ugly head again just in a different way.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Joanne – I agree with your logic. “My body, my choice” is kind of ambiguous and I get the sense that for some, the argument for abortion is more based on a woman’s sovereignty over her own body. It’s not so much that they view the baby as their property, but more like squatters or robbers who have wandered into their sovereign space. The right to an abortion is therefore more like the Castle Doctrine of the womb, where a baby doesn’t have an inherent right to stay. It’s silly and flawed logic, of course.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Goldensun, I once heard someone say that an unborn baby was a parasite. I worked in a lab and did testing in parasitology. I still makes me sick to equate what I looked at under the microscope to God’s favorite creation who is intended by Him to be divinized and spend eternity as His beloved.
            That is why the satan is so envious. He wants to rob us of God’s plan for us.
            I was sent an ultrasound of the exquisite little foot of my newest grandchild–who wouldn’t be still long enough to have a full picture taken. What’s not to love!
            God, please put the love of Mary for her unborn child Jesus into the hearts of all mothers. And, through the intercession of Mary, may we all receive a new infilling of the Holy Spirit to purify our minds of the lies of the evil one. I ask this in the name of Jesus.

            Liked by 4 people

              1. I don’t know how I managed to look at them back then (part of the job 🙂 ) but ick! is my reaction to them now.
                I think God was preparing me for my reaction to the comment. I told the person that they made me sick…that the baby in the womb has an eternal soul and will live for all eternity.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. I do not understand how anyone cannot consider unborn as life. These new politicians are “Herods”. It is an age old battle of good and evil manifested in the material realm. Some days, I get overwhelmed by everything that is going on and it makes it difficult to see what should I do? When my kids were young, it was obvious. Teach them right and wrong by giving them a strong Christian moral foundation. Ok. They are grown up. Where do I focus now? Lambzie and I are peripherally engaged in many things. I am contemplating a major career change. Lord, I pray for wisdom for the next right step.

                  Liked by 3 people

            1. Goldensun, silly, flawed logic, yes – and as Joyful says too – ‘sickening’. I add ‘extremely frustrating’ – I mean, 2 sets of DNA and blood types means obviously to me 2 separate human beings with 2 sets of rights to life, not one reigning over the other silly-nilly!!! And yet, I can empathise with the plethora of circumstances that might sway one or both parents to make the wrong choice – but doctors and lawmakers and constituents I cannot excuse. We already have in place many means to help the prospective parents. Let’s forget about expending all our energy on fighting the horrendous laws (red herrings?) and concentrate on promoting the goodness of all life. If all parents can be persuaded to choose life then the anti-life work of the doctors and lawmakers amounts to naught doen’t it?!!! The enemy knows and is actively involved in the schooling of our children for their evil purposes – this is where we need to counter-attack. This is not in any way to denigrate the tremendous work of people like David Daleiden – David and his ilk have served to shake the ground beneath the anti-lifers feet and now is the time to approach from the flank. But I am so impatient – I want it now – no more children slaughtered! I would be so happy for the Lord and Blessed Mother to miraculously step in this minute but I understand that we are their hearts, voices, brains and feet. The world is our Jericho and I feel like a mass tromping – with a message of loving, and praising God for, the life that is generated in the womb.

              I don’t want to press send because I’ve laid out my foolish ranting heart but I am going to do so in the Divine Will – it is just one of the many cries of the Lord – the embarrassment doesn’t amount to a fraction of one of His Tears or a Drop of His Precious Blood but the ignominious, deliberate death of an innocent one surely does!!!

              Liked by 3 people

    3. I am here, manning my post. Just since Charlie’s last posting, I have had to face many setbacks but also been blessed with almost as many consolations. In the end, the balance sheet is not ours but is all for the glory of God. May He be blessed now and forever.

      Liked by 7 people

    4. Marie, you are always welcome here and encouraged to comment. I love your request that those who read consider signing in and commenting once. Not only does that give all of us a chance to say hello and welcome and to see who is here, but it also smooths the road for those who normally do not comment to come here in earnest when things get tough(er).

      I echo Marie’s idea to all here who until now have only read. By commenting once now, you will have had to work through signing up and establishing an identity here. This spreads out over time any problems that might crop up and for which the moderators can provide assistance. Then when times are tough, those teething issues will have already been worked through.

      For those who would like to sign up and comment once, we have a FAQ document you can use to set up a personal WordPress account and sign in for your first comment:

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/13GHlzz6VCloAH96zKqcM6namReqkeCv5KW7vZuP4XlY/edit

      For anyone experiencing problems in Liking people’s comments or a few other problems that can sometimes crop up for commenters, we have several FAQs for technical and website assistance on our Menu which is located in the top right corner of most pages. Click the following link to see that Page and find the various types of help provided there:

      https://asignofhope379.com/books-pdfs-faqs/

      If you have followed these sources of advice but still have problems these FAQs can’t resolve for you, then email us at tnrs.answers@gmail.com so we can give you more personalized assistance. (We will respond as we can, which usually means within 2-3 days.)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hi Steve BC and everyone… I used to comment, quite infrequently, on the old TRNS site. I don’t believe I have ever commented here, on the new ASOH site. But I have continued to read and pray for everyone here. But I decided to heed Steve BC’s call to comment at least once,here on this site. Since I last commented, I have moved from Colorado back to Wisconsin (Milwaukee area), my home state. I believe there are several other folks that are in Wisconsin. Someday may be I will be able to meet with some of you, at some event or other.
        God bless you all.
        barb

        Liked by 12 people

        1. Oh yes, Barb, there is a group, mainly out of Racine, that follows the site pretty regularly. I went out and did a presentation to them once. The woman who taught my grandkids’ confirmation class is a reader here…and she did not know they were my grandkids until I put up a picture of them. That was a cool introduction.

          Liked by 7 people

        1. Hi Picket! Good to hear from you! Hope all is well on the left side of the country with you. Our Jenn is expecting number 3. We are excited but a little nervous too as she has had 5 miscarriages already. If you could say a little prayer for her and baby, that would be appreciated. Such great memories at your storm dinner. God bless you!

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Doug I am so happy for Jenn! She has been in my thoughts a great deal lately. My continued prayers for your family will include her precious one waiting to join us. Say hello to Jacki! It was always fun to have the right hand side of the country here at the left hand side, great memories indeed. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I said hi and Lambzie says hi back. One thing that really moved me and still does was the break through moment with Jenn’s friend Carolyn. It was just so amazing to watch all the puzzle pieces come together. It was certainly a faith builder for me to see this and so warmed my heart. My soul magnifies the Lord!

              Liked by 1 person

    5. I don’t comment but have followed Charlie for quite awhile. I saw him twice in San Antonio. I pray for the TNRS family and all the intentions every Tuesday morning during my Adoration Hour (4-5 a.m.). Be heartened that there are many of us out here. Thank you all!

      Liked by 13 people

    6. Never have I commented, but I hang on every word written here as it truly is a sign of hope that God Has not abandoned us. You remind me that there is no place for pride in God’s Kingdom unless it is to boast in the Lord. Thank you for your words of encouragement and chastisement. Both are needed.

      Liked by 12 people

    7. Yep….I’m still here too. Incidentally, I printed out & have posted in my kitchen one of your previous replies, Charlie. It says: “You are right that there cannot be too much prayer. But everything should be appropriate to people’s circumstances. Doing your ordinary work, if done with love, IS an important form of prayer.” This saved me. I always emphasized “….and what I failed to do” when reciting the Creed. I always feel I fail in the prayer department. I’m not bad at the little exhortations during the day, but to sit down & spend an hour? Hmmmm…not so good at that. I do prayer EVERY night when I go to bed and include “Charlie, and all those who have requested prayers of him”. Just so you know you’re in my prayers, Charlie.

      Liked by 14 people

    8. Marie, I too, have been a reader over many years. Though I may often want to comment, my responsibilities don’t allow me the time to do so. You are not alone among the “silent” readers 🙂
      I have been, and remain very very grateful to be part of this community. What a blessing from God!

      Liked by 11 people

    9. Thank you Marie! Great idea to have all the quiet ones around here say hi, so…Hi all. Payers continue from this little corner of the world. I have said many a Memorare for requests lovingly left here, and my Morning offering includes all prayer requests, so often you all travel about with me throughout my day. Blessings to all. Thank you all for sharing so much of yourselves, so much faith and encouragement. Good stuff all, really good stuff. Sandy

      Liked by 13 people

    10. Marie,
      I would “like” your comment but even with Steve and Beckita’s directions, I am hopeless on how to do it. So this is a “like” for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    11. Thanks for the encouragement! I try very hard to read and sometimes re-read all the comments and all the posts. I am grateful to be a silent member of this community, and it gives me much hope and food for thought (and prayer). God Bless you ALL!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. “Helping them credibly find their way back will help rebuild the kingdom of God, and rebuilding the kingdom of God will help them find their way back. I am going to do my best.”

    this has been on my mind since I sang it at mass yesterday

    Liked by 7 people

  8. “Focus on the work.” Thank you Charlie, I think that is the simple answer to my questioning of today.

    Because today, driving home from work, I finally got around to asking my guardian angel to lead and guide me today. I then turned on the radio, and a strange series of events transpired as my guardian angel immediately and quite noticeably proceeded to lead and guide me.

    First, the song “Calling All Angels” by Train came on the radio, with the words:

    “I need a sign to let me know you’re here
    All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
    I need to know that things are gonna look up …”

    And then immediately, there was a huge rainbow, forming an arch over the highway I was driving on. I had kind of a hunch that I knew where the rainbow would lead, and was feeling a little grumpy about it because I was hungry and wanted to quickly go home and eat dinner … But how do you ignore your guardian angel whom you’ve just asked to lead and guide you? (That wouldn’t be fair.)

    The rainbow’s end stopped at my exit, then the rainbow disappeared … and then reappeared, naturally with the changing angles and making turns while driving and clouds and tail end of a rainstorm, in an area that did not surprise me.

    Then the song “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake came on the radio, with the words:

    “Tho’ I keep searching for an answer
    I never seem to find what I’m looking for
    Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on
    ‘Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams
    Here I go again on my own
    Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known
    Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
    An’ I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time
    Just another heart in need of rescue
    Waiting on love’s sweet charity
    An’ I’m gonna hold on for the rest of my days
    ‘Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams …”

    Now if only the rainbow would have disappeared completely and stayed gone as I drove, I could have driven right home to dinner, but it faded again, then reappeared so now only a small slice of rainbow remained, and I knew very well where I would end up … at the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel of my parish!

    At which point, the rainbow vanished, but as I turned into the parking lot of my parish, a final song came on the radio …

    “Knock knock knockin’ on Heaven’s door … ” by Guns and Roses.

    So I went in and asked God why He wanted me to come to the chapel and what He wanted to tell me, and I think after reading this new post here on A Sign of Hope the answer is, “Focus on the work.” !!! 🙂

    Liked by 16 people

  9. This pertains more to your previous post involving Cardinal Dolan, but there are soooo many posts there that it might get lost in the shuffle. Here is an EXCELLENT (in my humble opinion) column by Catholic convert Jennifer Hartline:

    https://stream.org/dear-cardinal-dolan/

    Sometimes our shepherds need to be encouraged with hard, necessary words and supportive prayers. They can do what we can’t do, and they need to do it.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. What a marvelous letter, Sr. Bear! This is the beginning of the apostolate of the laity, speaking with 100,000 voices each day of our anger and frustration, but also of our love of the faith, of the truth, and of our Church. It is a wonderful witness this woman lived.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Sr. Bear, thank you for sharing. That is a well crafted response.

      The priest at my parish is a good guy. Not very vocal but true to the church teachings.
      He made a comment this last weekend about people leaving the church that has stuck with me.

      “Don’t let a Judas pull you away from Christ”

      Liked by 13 people

    3. Holy Cow Sister! I hope Cardinal Dolan sees this letter and acts on it. I agree the bishop’s credibility is shot – but cowering in the face of such evil isn’t going to restore anyones confidence in our clergy. This is MadKatMomma checking back in

      Liked by 6 people

            1. and Lent and 40 days for Life are on the horizon. Maybe this is the time to follow their example all over the country. Now is the time to make serious reparation.

              Liked by 4 people

    4. I tried to like this but was met with Google which I dislike intensely…So I thought to leave a comment.

      Reminds me of an event which happened in my parish some time ago. Voting for ghey rights and all that would have people walk out of Mass. One priest who took a stand became the errant fall guy and was moved on. Seems like a trend of sorts as we promote infanticide as some sort of future. Women here in my country who celebrated the right to have their grandchildren aborted.

      This mail a thousand times I daresay Ms Hartline as it makes me wonder as I look at such a cur as Cuomo. I never thought to pray for this errant cur. I will do so now most reluctant and hope The Father sorts out the chaff of life we live.

      A word of warning Mr Cuomo tho I daresay you naery visit sites such as this. You, and indeed those who are of an ilk mind are in danger of eternity. I should and most likely will say a few missives on his behalf in the future, reluctantly, but perhaps my old mind will soften oer time…….

      Just a thought there now people as we are to have a new medical facility in our local town. On a site which has lain dormant for many a year. It should have been our first real supermarket of Tesco which is a well known shopping brand. Progress by media I hazard leaves us where we are now. We are indeed the avant gard I do believe just as it has always been with our national media oer my lifetime. A sub culture of death in the making oer many a long yorn alas as I noticed way back in the 70’s as to how certain cretins were the vanguard of vogue. I had to emigrate then of course, surplus to requirement vagrant thinking donchano….As a local politician told me afore I emigrated on looking for a council house. I don’t like you young man. I would not listen to you for verry long….His grandson is now a leading politician in our government of today…One has to wonder and not be amazed I posit…

      This old curmudgeon as Charlie call it will away now and leave us all to our own devices God willing…

      Dia agut go leir…

      Liked by 4 people

    5. Thank you Sr. Bear for sharing this letter. It articulates what so many of us want to say to Cardinal Dolan.

      I don’t know if I have attached this web address correctly but it is a link to a statement put out by St Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan.

      https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/s

      From the statement…
      “As an act of reparation for this tragic event, St. Patrick’s Cathedral will pray the Rosary on Tuesdays at 6:00 PM in the Lady Chapel. We welcome our fellow New Yorkers in joining us in prayer at home. Let us continue to pray for all unborn children and may God guide us through this trying time.”

      I would add not just New Yorkers but all people, please pray.

      Liked by 5 people

    6. Woweee!!! That is a powerful letter!!! Praise be to God, the laity are being called to be saints. I have written to my pastor only to get crickets in return. So i have often felt that they don’t care and are not going to do anything…so why bother anymore….but we must not despair in trying…..

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Charlie, Not myself given to Bible reading (I always get stopped at the “begats”), your writing is enlightening (and your style just plain fun).

    So glad to hear the good news from San Francisco that the trial judge is operating to be fair.

    I am mainly writing to work on one of your points, lest it not get the full attention it merits. You mentioned that you were mistaken to think of “rescue” as an event instead of a process. Let me relate an incident that occurred around the time of the 9/11 attack (had I mentioned before that I would have been killed in that attack, because my boss, LTG Maude, was holding a regular staff meeting that I would have been attending when the plane flew directly into his office, except for a personal matter that led me to retire early).

    I had driven from Virginia out West to get away, and had come to park oppoisite the snow covered Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I was extremely distraught, and asked in anguish why things had to change. I was then told by the unvoiced voice to consider the alternative, an unchanging world–such a world would be frozen, dead, uninteresting and not worthy of existence.The essence of life here (and I expect in Heaven) is not ever any culminating event, or the book would be closed, and put away as over and done. Instead, the essence of living is in the ferment of ongoing change. Life must be a process in God’s eternity to be worthy of living.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Hello, Jack. I for one thank God for the change in direction that kept you from LTG Maude that day. Would you agree to a “ferment of ongoing change” that occurs in the stable, immutable, indefectible “petri dish” of truth that is fully present in the Church? Despite the workings of fallible human beings, that is.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Wow! A very long piece Charlie. It was all worth reading it just to get to the paragraph about the squirrel at the end. That last paragraph did so much to build my faith. It was absolutely masterful!

    Liked by 9 people

  12. Hello Charlie, Beckita and all,
    thanks for your continuous effort to hearten us and to give us an interpretation of our times.
    This might be off topic, but I have always known that I have a talent, but for a number of reasons I could or would never cultivate it.
    I’m very good (I’m told) at writing (in Italian of course), but also very shy, at the point that I can’t speak in public and also contributing with a comment to this or other blogs or social networks requires an effort to me.
    This piece is dense of information, Charlie, but I was struck by the passage where you point out that Saints were not preoccupied for their prestige or self esteem.
    I had a worsening of my autoimmune condition In March 2018, I lost hearing from an ear and had a neurological damage to the nerve that presides balance, so I had vertigoes and dizziness and since the damage is irreversible I still have . Now I’m home on a leave of absence.
    So I started to write a short story last summer: for the first time I managed to fight my sense of embarrassment and I completed it and sent it to a literary contest. I did not win, but I’m very satisfied.
    In the story I naturally included a series of themes and sentences that convey positive messages and the story ends well. I received compliments from the occasional readers among relatives and friends.
    After that I felt I had neglected a talent that God has bestowed on me. So I’m trying to complete two more stories. One is the story of a change in one’s person life, an old person, and in a mysterious way the Virgin Mary is bringing about this change, this sort of resurrection through an image of her.
    The second one, which is only in nuce, so merely an inspiration, has a priest as its main character and is a thriller, but a thriller without a killer, so this priest is going to solve a mystery developing among his parishioners and the story takes place in Tuscany.
    I also wrote by impulse a story for the mother of a very young priest died of leukemia in 2001 , the priest who married me and my husband, a friend of ours. This story left her very moved, because it was a tribute to her son and her deceased husband and they were characters of the story.
    Probably I write because I need to receive positive feedbacks, so it it not disinterested, but I felt that in many ways God was asking me to use this talent. All my stories will end well and I hope they can bring joy and consolation to those who will read them.
    I wanted you to know that you inspired me to continue and as you say I may be in error but I will try nonetheless ;)!
    I will not write anything about Italy today, but over here things are not going well and my faith in the many lay and religious institutions is very little. What you predicted , that is that we would have lost confidence in all the structures that support our society except God and people of good will , has come to pass.
    I try to do little things among which strengthening the bonds between neighbors and people I know, but very little compared to what people on this blog manage to do.
    Hoping this was not too much off topic, I greet all of you.
    Thanks , let’s hope we will manage to navigate this Storm, with God’s help!

    Liked by 12 people

    1. How lovely, Lilia! If you apply yourself to your writing, it is something you can do and take joy in despite some health challenges. I think you have my email address. Why don’t you send me over one of your stories sometime. You have made so many lovely comments here, I would love to see your fiction. (I have long thought that writing fiction is a dangerous thing…it can expose your deepest self. I know in the fiction I write, it utterly exposes my interior life.)

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Charlie, there’s a problem, all my stories are in Italian!
        So far I still haven’t thought of translating them. But if I ever do it , I’ll certainly send you a copy.
        A lot of time ago I wrote a fanfiction about Star Trek, it’ is the only story I’ve written in English.
        If you are a fan of Star Trek…you may be interested ..ah ah
        Thanks very much for your encouragement!

        Liked by 11 people

        1. Not to worry, Lilia…I have some friends who are fluent in Italian. I had already figured they would be in your native language…as each of us can capture nuance so much better in our native language. (Although Vladimir Nabokov was a virtuoso in many languages).

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Lilia, Charlie, the craziest thing just happened. I feel I have to comment about it:

            I too am an aspiring (and perspiring) author. I started writing for fun in college and came in second place (twice) in a fiction contest there. Now, I want to write novels. I have actually written three so far, one that nobody has seen (save me) and two more that have been rejected by the handful of agents/publishers I sent them to. The first two were money-grab type things; I tried to write something like Nicholas Sparks (cause he’s wealthy- and to see if I could do it) and the other was a Young Adult novel that got a few bites but no commitment.

            Anyway, a few months ago I decided to write something I would be interested in. A passion project. Something “big.” Something “literary.” But also something I’d want to pick up and read, involving organized crime, romance, angels, demons, politicians, the Catholic Church, Satanism, etc. It’s going to be a huge project that’ll be 3-4 books.

            So I got to work. And man, it’s been fun. Difficult, but fun. The outline for is done for book 1 and I’m about 40% through the first draft (it’s going to be 95,000-100,000 words).

            However, I look around at the cultural decay and rising Storm-violence and wonder if there will even be an institution left to publish it. Like…am I just spinning my wheels here? Maybe I should be doing something else in my limited spare time (I have 5 kids, a full-time job, and teach Confirmation Class once a week. Oh, and also a wife). So I prayed about it. And aside from realizing that your writings, Charlie, have generally made my life better and more interesting, I came across this comment about fiction from Lilia today, which I’m taking all this as an excuse/nod from God to keep writing.

            Just thought I’d share this.

            Liked by 12 people

            1. Might you consider writing a short story for our ASOH community, CHASEPRO? This could well be God tapping on your shoulder. 😉 Prayers for your success as you continue developing your writing projects.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Chasepro, I would go for it. Make sure your God-given tasks come first. Those who have a lot to do, do it well because they seem to have more discipline and less time. And ask your guardian angel to help you.
              I feel that there will always be books that people like to read–hold in their hands and turn the pages. Technology can fail and, from personal experience, used books are a growing market.

              Liked by 5 people

            3. Just got done reading about your situations, Lilia and Chadpro. Like all the others here, I hope you both continue writing.

              So many of us wondering what to do, should we do this, should we do that… all those other responsibilities and such already on our plates. So we may imagine the conversation goes like this:

              Us: “Lord, should I do [such and such?”]
              Our Lord: [silence]

              When it may actually be something more like this (in your cases):
              Our Lord: “Write.”
              You (sometime later and repeatedly): “Lord, should I write?

              I honestly wasn’t going to comment because I just saw this meme from a friend (another Catholic and published author… yep, that could be another confirmation): “Better to stick your nose in a good book than someone else’s business.”

              Funny thing, but I just picked up a work of fiction for the first time in a very long time (maybe because of the bug and the restlessness that typically accompanies illness). “Dark Rivers of the Heart” by Dean Koontz. There’s another Catholic, though some would say an “odd” one…. oh, a pun for Koontz fans, but I digress.

              Long story short , restlessness gone.

              Really funny thing, I think I read that book already in hardcover when in first came out in the mid ’90’s. Been awhile, and of course they updated the cover so maybe that threw me. Didn’t realize it until savoring the last delicious bite of that book though. Weird. It’s almost as if I was reading it for the first time.

              God be with your pursuits.

              Liked by 7 people

              1. I have not read a non-religious book in a long time (years). Just got a book called the taking of K-129. It is a riveting true story about how we secretly raised a cold war Russian sub back in the early 1970s. I’m 3/4 of the way through now. Can’t wait to finish.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Glad you’re enjoying K-129. Seems like a good work of fiction is a bit like stretching before a run, where non-fiction is more like the run. That ‘stretch’ probably fires up areas in the brain that aren’t in play (or at least as much) when it comes to ‘running.’ That said, I don’t usually stretch before running… so maybe that’s not a useful analogy.

                  I learned the skip-the-stretching strategy from an accomplished runner decades ago. Ever see a lioness stop for a stretch before going full burn on prey? How about wild horses? One second they’re just standing there chewing on grass, the next they can launch into full-charging stride. That fella had me wondering about that. Also, he was convinced that the stretching can lead to injuries.

                  That seasoned runner did one thing before every run using what he called an “activator.” For him, a simple smacking of his hands together, then quickly rubbing them together like he was warming them up.

                  I twist my head one way and the other, then swing both hands to my left side. That’s it. I suppose folks could come up with any sort of movement, as long as it’s the same all the time. Don’t ask me what the mind/body science of it all consists of, but that activity repeated diligently on the front end of a run has a remarkable effect. Mind instantly clears and sharpens, and the muscles adjust –– ready for go time. Same can be employed for a good hike or walk.

                  Dean Koontz wrote an interesting series with the main character, Odd Thomas. I once saw him on an EWTN interview where he was explaining how each book in the series was based on a virtue. He also talked about his Catholic faith and how all that underlies his writings, as well as his very difficult childhood which went a long way to explaining his insistence of not glossing over horror in his books.

                  When it comes to actual running/hiking/walking, I recommend stretching if you’re just starting a regimen. Jump in too fast and you’re almost guaranteed to come up gimp within a matter of blocks.

                  As for books, it’s good to let the Holy Spirit lead. Stand still in the middle of the bookstore for awhile if necessary… just listening quietly. You can always tell those folks that really have their act together. They’re the ones that blow on past you, making a beeline for the precise aisle, shelf and volume. I bet that sort doesn’t have to spend even a moment overthinking it like I sometimes do.

                  Maybe I’ll go back to limericks.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. I forgot to mention MP, the K-129 story is actually non fiction. It was a Soviet sub that had a catastrophic accident and sank in 1968.
                    I also used to work as a test engineer at Raytheon where my responsibility was to write test applications to validate analog components used in the Patrion Missile system. My brother was an FB111 pilot who was one of the guys in SAC which had planes flying over the North poll 24/7. The cold war has always intrigued me. Anyway, I was on vacation with Lambzie in a place far from 30 below, enjoying her company and taking some down time. Hmmm. I did not take much down time from ASOH though. Seems hard to keep away. Maybe I need to attend ASOH anonymous? Can’t see that though. Too many beautiful people and folks that need prayer and encouragement in these stormy times.

                    Liked by 5 people

                    1. Hi Doug, not really a response, but I saw that you worked for Raytheon as a test engineer. I retired from Raytheon 4 years ago (CO locations); I was a SW Engineer/Architect. Small world.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. Raytheon Andover was the site of one of the greatest inventions of the modern era. It is a case example in every management class I ever took. Management by Walking Around.

                      Did you ever run into Percy Spencer by any chance? Percy was working on radar systems during WWII. As the story goes one day a member of the Senior Management of Raytheon was walking through the laboratory doing one of his regular Management by Walking Around tours and was strolling through the radar lab at lunchtime. The workers were sitting around the lab eating hot lunches. Curious, the manager asked the boys where they got the hot lunches. They pointed to the microwave equipment they were working on for their radar studies.

                      And the Microwave Oven was born. Raytheon.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    3. Ha! I have heard of Percy, but never heard the microwave story to that detail. I did work with a gentleman who got upset once when they were testing a radar and he happened to be in the line of site. He got upset when he started feeling a warmth inside his stomach. He was being cooked. He was a WWII vet on a sub tender and survived direct attacks from the Japanese. I always loved to listen to his stories.

                      Liked by 1 person

                1. Thanks, Karen. I suspect many of us would think similar as far as how it’s “going along,” though I love the way you framed it with hope. LIke all here, there’s some good days, some bad days… some easy days, some hard days. Five years ago (or as recent as yesterday), I’d have had a quick answer, dropping it all neatly into boxes with fine distinctions. Now, I’m stumped most days, or at the very least more questioning about previously comfortable constructs. TNRS’n for others makes for an easy day I would say. Willfully participating in our own, ongoing process of conversion (with God in charge) often makes for a hard day –– some very hard days. But seems we’re getting better at counting those as good days. Most days I’m just happy if I’m willing to count those as good days.

                  Liked by 8 people

        2. Lilia, if you wouldn’t mind sending me one of your stories, I’m sure that my daughter would love to read it. And I’ll have her translate it for me when she has a chance. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I just don’t like this post Lilia…

      I just love it. I like when peoples of different tongues tell their story. As I travelled about Spain and Portugal, (Port of The Gael) in particular I just loved the honest smiling of those I met on my travels. I got drunk with a Portugese one night and he had no idea as I was talking Gaelic just to effim up. That was a good evening. even tho we lost a load O’lamb on the way. Spain I dearly loved as I trod along awaiting old Don to jump out O’ some nook or kranny O’da wilderness…

      Italian heart,,, tiz all in the heart…

      Dia agut.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Hi Lilia,

      That is neat about your writing. Regardless of who reads your stories, they will be a treasure to your kids and grandchildren. The writings will reveal the depth and beauty of there mother/grandmother. My Dad has just decided to write some history of his family while he is still healthy. He is 83. Funny, I just got the first writing yesterday and I have not read it yet, but I know I already treasure the writing because I treasure my Dad. God bless you!

      Liked by 4 people

    4. Do I sense a bit of G.K. Chesterton’s Fr. Brown? 😉

      I am in awe of anyone who can write. I am a children’s librarian and absolutely love to read well written stories to them.

      I will just have to stick with fermenting, crocheting, and gardening.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. The denials are strong, when confronting people with this generation’s immorality; they always bring up there’s less bloody wars, less slavery, and more rights to women & minorities, so we’re better than all previous generations…

    I believe it’s going to take God making his presence known to all and making his will known, that will wake everyone up.

    Liked by 12 people

  14. “To defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful.”

    I’ve been telling my wife that what they did in New York, and tried to do in Virginia, really shocked a lot of our fellow citizens who have not realized the gravity of the situation in terms of how far things have gotten away from us. I think they are now what the kids call “woke”. Some of the the newly awakened are frightened by what they now realize is upon us and how many of our countrymen have been diabolically led off the rails by the lies they believe to be true. But I’ve also seen a few rise who are ready to defend and hearten, and I can see God’s plan begin to unfold. Shock and awe is a good way to start a battle, many are shocked awake now and I pray that we can hearten them to engage and help defend Truth 🙂

    Liked by 15 people

    1. I preordered the Gosnell dvd’s (twenty) which arrived today. They lasted about thirty seconds inside my home and within 30 minutes all were gone. I delivered to my local NYS Police Barracks, the local Fire Department and a local EMS truck. The remainder went to my local Parish Priests who were (
      concluding a meeting at my parish so I got about a dozen Priests and two deacons. They were quite enthused. I also hand delivered to a fallen away Catholic whom I have been quietly evangelizing.

      It seems they (Priests) were all talking about the movie and providently I showed up. It was wonderful. Immediately prior, I had prayed to God to help make good on this effort.

      I think the best way we can get the message out is to endorse this movie and buy dvd’s to give them out. No one wishes to buy or rent an abortion movie. Everyone whom I gave a dvd was quite pleased to receive.

      Liked by 12 people

  15. Charlie, this is a great piece you have written. Only 1/3 of the way through,so much to take in, have to take a break -old eyes, tired brain.
    On a lighter side, since the noble squirrel is the prized creature of the TNRS/ASOH family, I excitedly relate to ya’ll that 15 February is, [trumpet blare!] NATIONAL SQUIRREL DAY!!!
    Finally, a “day” I can really get behind. Feed a “herd” of them daily, and the birds,too. They are my pets [and pests] since my dog died.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Hey, Beckita, would it be possible to list all of the countries of the people who belong to this blog?
        It would be interesting and helpful to be able to pray specifically for those countries.
        Thank you.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I have had readers from every country in the world except North Korea, according to the administrators page. We have very sizable contingents in Canada, Mexico, Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, France, Denmark, The Philippines, with a growing contingent in Africa (particularly Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria) and in India.

          Liked by 7 people

        1. Well Becks, as can be seen from my avitar, I am doing my part to feed the squirrels. They are stealing from the birds though. Nope. I have not figured out how to squirrel proof my bird feeder yet. On the 3rd one since my avitar picture.😎

          Liked by 4 people

          1. The seed mix was too tempting for critters,
            Ditto for the pound cake and corn fritters,
            Though the squirrels grinned so smugly,
            They were no match for our Dougly,
            Who went at ’em with a glue gun and glitter.

            Liked by 4 people

              1. I can picture little squirrels running around with shiny glitter. I can also picture a bunch of squirrels, together, after eating cayenne pepper and all looking for the nearest puddle to take a drink. Ha!

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Here is a blog we call ASOH,
                  We follow Our Lord here and pray so,
                  The folks here are best,
                  Hailing from east to west,
                  And Charlie’s our Sherpa– we say so!

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. Beckita: Which brings to mind one of my twin’s and my faves from childhood (which we still recite in public places at random moments, much to the consternation of friends and family):

                  The Twins
                  By Henry Sambrooke Leigh

                  In form and feature, face and limb,
                  I grew so like my brother,
                  That folks got taking me for him,
                  And each for one another.
                  It puzzled all our kith and kin,
                  It reached a fearful pitch;
                  For one of us was born a twin,
                  Yet not a soul knew which.

                  One day, to make the matter worse,
                  Before our names were fixed,
                  As we were being washed by nurse,
                  We got completely mixed;
                  And thus, you see, by fate’s decree,
                  Or rather nurse’s whim,
                  My brother John got christened me,
                  And I got christened him.

                  This fatal likeness even dogged
                  My footsteps when at school,
                  And I was always getting flogged,
                  For John turned out a fool.
                  I put this question, fruitlessly,
                  To everyone I knew,
                  “What would you do, if you were me,
                  To prove that you were you?”

                  Our close resemblance turned the tide
                  Of my domestic life,
                  For somehow, my intended bride
                  Became my brother’s wife.
                  In fact, year after year the same
                  Absurd mistakes went on,
                  And when I died, the neighbors came
                  And buried brother John.

                  P.S. We have lots of identical twins in our family, so our kith and kin learned little ways not to mix us up. However, to this day, we experience random, fun cases of mistaken identity. 😀 😀

                  Liked by 4 people

                  1. Haaa! I love it Sr. Bear. We gave our twins the same initials for their names. In NH, they encode this and your birth year as part of your drivers license. So the only difference in their drivers license number is a 1 and a 2. They did switch class on one of their teachers once and got away with it. Here is how it is in my family: My brother was a twin, we have identical twin girls, he has identical twin boys and my other brother has two with the same birth day who are not twins.

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. Hi, Doug. Yes, I’m an identical twin. We grew up in very small places and couldn’t have gotten away with intentional switches.

                      However, over the years, we’ve had some great cases of mistaken identity without even trying. In one case, a lady that lived in my (then-)city in California ran into my twin at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and thought she was me. In another case, my twin was attending a Christian fair in a mall near Seattle and was hailed by a woman who had met me at a pro-life convention in Missouri. In recent years, since my twin has moved back to Oregon from New York (now we’re only 100 miles apart), we’ve had some fun cases of mistaken identity when someone met me at a function here and ran into her there at a different function, thinking she was me (or vice versa). It’s really fun. The last case of mistaken identity happened just a couple of weeks ago in her city, when I walked right past a couple she knew and ignored them. Fortunately, my twin was a short distance behind and they cleared up that rudeness immediately. 😀 😀

                      Moral of this story: Be NICE to everyone, just in case they know your twin!

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. That is funny. It puts extra pressure on twins to be nice. What I think would be funny is if you wore a habbit and walked by someone who knew your sister. Think of the surprise reaction this would cause.

                      As a twin parent, I always felt extra pressure to do exactly for one as for the other lest I create a climate of envy and jealousy. When our son came along, I did not feel that pressure.

                      What has been most difficult, until recently, is one twin (Jenn) is married and living her Catholic faith most beautifully while the other (Jess) is taking what I call an around the “worldly” tour. As such, it has been much more easy for me to talk about faith issues with Jenn because we are uncannily on the same page. Jenn has our only grand kids too. Of course, this caused a lot of jealousy with Jess and it has taken years for her to work through. Jess and I actually have a very good relationship now, but the dynamics are still very different because of our faith differences. I love all our kids dearly and my biggest fear is that they are swallowed by mortal sin. In other words, what I really mean is it would pain me very much to not see them in heaven as I so want them to be there. Thus, I trust in God’s mercy and promise that he will direct their paths.

                      Glad you are part of the ASOH family.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  2. “The Twins” poem was a delight when it came,
                    ‘Guess Sr. Bear found our limericks too lame,
                    CJ, fire up your pen,
                    I’ll go grab my Stetson,
                    Let’s get serious ’bout uppin’ our game.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. I cannot compete in this game.
                      My brain may get frazzled.
                      My limericks may be lame.
                      I would squirm and spin like a squirrel and think I can dazzle and whirl, but I would probably fall on my frame.

                      Liked by 2 people

    1. My husband has a pet name for every squirrel in our backyard. Mr. Nut, Jasper, Ruby(red stripe down back), Crazy Tails, White Socks, Casper(an albino). They love the squirrel food my husband feeds them, although one of them must have gotten tired of eating the same old thing every day and called Dominos ‘cuz he was sitting on the fence one day munching on a large piece of pizza crust. Couldn’t stop laughing. It brought all ASOH squirrels to mind and had to share…checking in and still reading and praying. Charlie, I am grateful for the wisdom God has blessed you with in heartening us. Thank you for your perseverance and dedication. You inspire us all.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha, Juls! We currently are under a winter storm advisory until 1:00 pm tomorrow. We’re expecting 0.1 to 0.3 inches of ice, 2-4 inches of snow, and wind gusts of up to 40 mph. As the meme says, some places call this a winter storm; Michiganders call it Tuesday. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Love it! ‘Michiganders call it Tuesday.’ Haha. I think we’re the ones sending it your way, sorry! 😦 Hope you’ve ‘battened down the hatches.’ Stay safe and warm.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Doug, It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to catch up on everything Charlie and TNRS has going on, and it’s that time of year to be working through the S-A-D doldrums, so I thought I’d jump back on Charlie’s blog It always cheers me up. Glad to see all the new faces that have joined in. What a great family we have, always growing for the Lord.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. It is not just the US, Judy; it is most countries in Latin America and many in other parts of the world. They all are not so much backing Guaido as they are recognizing him as the legitimate president. This happens fairly commonly in diplomacy when there is such an egregious and obvious fraud – or when there is a tenuous new reality on the ground. France recognized us as a legitimate nation at a crucial point during our revolution. During the Civil War we worked assiduously to prevent various European nations from recognizing the Confederacy. Israel’s existence was secured when US. Pres. Harry Truman recognized its legitimacy as an independent nation. Because of the massive and overt fraud involved, besides most of Venezuela’s Latin American neighbors (who acted before the US did); Poland, England, Germany, France, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (among others) have recognized Guaido as the legitimate interim president pending honest elections. This is hardly a precipitous or lone-wolf action by the U.S.

      There have been shameful episodes of such recognition as well – most recently as European nations recognized the legitimacy of Nazi Germany’s coups in Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia before finally realizing there was no end until Hitler had conquered all or the timid found the courage to fight. This, in my estimation, was not such an episode at all. In fact, I was a bit surprised that so many countries which are themselves dancing with authoritarian socialism should mount the courage to put a stop to the Chavez-Maduro socialism and fraud that has ravaged the people of Venezuela, when I thought they were more likely to do a reprise of the Munich Pact of 1938.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Well hello there Charlie.

        You are indeed a most elegant thinker/writer sez this ant looking up at the stars. I could not even comprehend trying to take you on in script form. I would however love to meet you, have a glass and take you on verbally.

        Just because all those “Countries”, “recognize” a fellow who boycotted the Venezuelan elections does not make Guaido a presidential candidate. My reading on that fellow has me think of him being just another puppet much like the chocolate man in Ukraine.I have of course first hand knowing of puppets of course as we have had a load of them for government here in my country oer many a long year…(Why I wonder is it no European country has had majority government since the 70’s ?)

        Hah there now Charlie as you mention the American civil, (just what is “civil” war) as I amember reading of union soldiers singing of going to sweet athy only to be joined in by southern soldiers in the same refrain…That happened also in the war to end wars on a new year eve.Silent night indeed as angels watched oer mans dalliance.

        Mr Pike planned it all it seems as he was one of the chosen. We will have a third on of course as those Nazi’s you mention never really” lost” the war. This war is business as usual as Smedley Butler once said…………Just like the oil in Venezuela when asked who would collect the payments….Rottenchild answered…Your army or ours.

        Just go home American soldiers, go home…

        As we used to say here of the brutish army….Have you got no country of yer own..

        Regards.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Something the celebrant said during his homily on Sunday won’t let go of me.

    It was something to this effect: The Judgement of God isn’t what you think it is. In our minds we think of God as a Judge sitting up high at his desk wearing a black robe and a frown on his face holding a gavel ready to pronounce our sentence. Not Guilty or Guilty. Sentence: Eternity without parole.

    Well there is a Judgement that is going to have that effect one way or another. But — wait for it — the surprise is going to be it will ride on OUR Judgement of God and not God’s Judgement of us.

    Mitt Romney might say on our Judgement day we are going to see in its entirety our self-selected by reason of our Judgement of God and our relationship or lack of relationship with God and our eternal home. Eternity with God or Eternity without God.

    Our Judgement of God is ongoing every day of our lives in what we do and say and what we think. In what we do and what we fail to do. Our Judgement of God and thus our relationship with God is a lifelong process. We CHOOSE our destination.

    Judge not lest ye be judged. Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it but to save it. The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

    Especially that last one. The father never put the gavel down on the son. The Light Was Always On. It was the son who had to make the decision to repent and GO HOME TO BE WITH THE FATHER. He could have used his free will to stay in the hog pen eating the swill — for eternity.

    The son made a JUDGEMENT ABOUT HIS FATHER. His Judgement of God. He made the right call.

    “But when he came to himself he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'” He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran towards him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    — Luke 15:17–20,

    When he came to his senses …. he repented. He was stripped of his pride and his vanity and he humbled himself and returned to the Father in an act of humility.

    This is what is waiting for us on our Judgement of God day if we CHOOSE it:

    https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4538

    Doesn’t look like a stern man in a black robe sitting high above us with a gavel in his hand to me.

    Will God forgive my many sins? HE ALREADY HAS. The issue about my eternal fate is do I repent and will I humble myself and return to my Father? Will I choose to be with Him or, perhaps in fear, choose not to be with Him.

    One of the things that shocks and horrifies me is the number of family and friends who are making a terrible call in CHOOSING their relationship or lack of relationship to God. In their daily decisions. In the way they live. Careening — inevitably it seems — to a stunning revelation of their faulty Judgement of God on their Judgement Day. What a horrible discovery of self awaits many of our family and friends with such catastrophic consequences on their eternal dwelling place.

    Here is an excerpt from the Screwtape letters assessing the impact of Humility and Pride.

    “The following excerpt is a taste of Lewis’ honest and sobering observations, examining humility as one of the most misunderstood and easily compromised virtues that we long for in the Christian life.

    On p. 44 Screwtape gives this advice to Wormwood:

    “Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “By jove! I’m being humble,” and almost immediately pride – pride at his own humility – will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt – and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humor and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed.

    But there are other profitable ways of fixing his attention on the virtue of humility. By this virtue, as by all the others, our Enemy wants to turn man’s attention away from self to Him, and to the man’s neighbors. All the abjection and self-hatred are designed, in the long run, solely for this end; unless they attain this end they do us little harm; and they may even do us good if they keep the man concerned with himself, and, above all, if self-contempt can be made the starting point for contempt of other selves, and thus for gloom, cynicism, and cruelty.

    You must therefore conceal from the patient the true end of humility. Let him think of it, not as self-forgetfulness, but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character. Some talents, I gather, he really has. Fix in his mind the idea that humility consists in trying to believe those talents to be less valuable than he believes them to be. No doubt they are in fact less valuable than he believes, but that is not the point. The great thing is to make him value an opinion for some quality other than truth, thus introducing an element of dishonesty and make-believe into the heart of what otherwise threatens to become a virtue.

    By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe that they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it, and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the impossible.”

    Humility, it appears, is a tricky thing. Humility and repentance seem to go hand in hand. Leading to a correct Judgement of God and a reliable path to Eternity With God. By our own choice.

    But we have to watch that Pride thing as well. Just ask Screwtape.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. We surely do CHOOSE our life hereafter, Ed. And every wee choice made now steers us in that direction. And every prayer, sacrifice, penance, fast and good deed offers grace for all our Holy Mother’s kids that they, who have lagged behind in choosing God might repent and believe in the Gospel. The Hour is late. May the image of the prodigal and ABBA which you share become a reality all over the world as the hardest parts of the Storm melt the stubborn will – please God – and beckon the lost to return to the Heart of the Father. For every step we take toward our Just Judge, He takes a thousand, running toward us.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Ed,
      Sin is one way God allows us to see ourselves as we truly are. Dispite this, we are “saved” by Christ but not “sanctified” yet. Our inherent weaknesses are made manifest to us by our sinful “nature” and these are aroused by the Law written on our hearts. Here we then choose to serve or to not serve the Law. When we make up excuses or reason away our sinfulness, we are hardened in our sins and atrophy as we can never remain spiritually stationary as He will “spew us out”. Our struggles are a permanent part of our human condition and this is why we are called the Church Militant and why we will ALWAYS lack in some ways on this side of the veil. God’s mercy is infinite and we mostly prevail because if this. Those that do not avail themselves to His mercy may be brought to its font by the supplications of others through the mutual benefit of the body of Christ. And herein lies a great part of our salvation: Intercessory prayer. Here God snatches many souls away from the enemy in thier last instance.
      “God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment.” (St. Faustina)

      Liked by 11 people

    3. Hi Ed, forgive me but I’m a little confused by this phrase: “it will ride on OUR Judgement of God.” We don’t judge God, do we? I thought that when we stand before God we will see our life and what we did and what we failed to do and we will judge ourselves in the eyes of God. The whole truth of how we lived our lives and nothing but the truth is what we will see, or is that what you meant by our judgement of God? I always get confused between the first judgement and the final judgement, where the sheep are separated from the goats. ~juls

      Liked by 1 person

  17. “In the coming year or so, keep focused on the work before you, however small it may seem, or however intimidatingly large it may be, keeping in mind the dicta to boldness, prudence and decisiveness – and you will endure. “This is where I left off before reading on….this is all that I seem CAPABLE of right now…as this storm intensifies it all jus seems TO BIG to do any more than the matter at hand…there is great truth to this tip you gave us Charlie, and great great peace too….onward….😆 to next paragraph TNRS

    Liked by 8 people

  18. Hello Charlie and everyone else,
    I decided to take up the challenge to post a comment, as I’ve not done so in quite a while.

    I would like to draw everyone’s attention and prayers to a likely crisis, if the government shuts down again. This isn’t about anything political, but instead is about those who will not get their SNAP benefits in March if the shutdown goes on for any length of time. The people receiving this benefit really need those funds to feed their families.

    I’m the president of a local food shelf, and we buy most of what we provide from the 2nd Harvest food bank in our region. They, and us, are very concerned about the potential loss of SNAP money. 2nd Harvest has ordered in more food, especially rice and beans, and are encouraging food shelves to increase their order this month, to be able to handle an increase in people seeking out our services.

    Please pray that a shutdown will not happen, as many more people than last time will be hurt and in need of assistance. If the shutdown does happen, please know that donating money to your local food shelf is better, as we can buy at lower prices than is possible in your local grocery store.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Hi Deacon Rick, Thanks for the reminder. I work at a grocery store and we have a barrel for food donations for our local food shelf. I will be sure to drop some things in there when I shop after work tomorrow, and, will continue to pray for no shutdown. My husband got furloughed when it happened during the Clinton presidency for a week and a half so we understand the hardships it can create.
      May I ask what part of MN you live in? I am in a suburb just northwest of Minneapolis. Always good to know there are neighbors in our state that visit this site.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. “Those that say that the Word became incarnate in order to redeem the world, say well; and those that say, that He would have become incarnate also, if man had not sinned, likewise speak well, only it must be understood in the right way. For if Adam had not sinned, Christ would have descended from heaven in that form, which would be suitable to the state of man’s innocence; but as Adam sinned, I resolved by the secondary decree, that He should be made of passible nature; since foreseeing sin, it was proper, that it should be repaired in the way in which He has done it. And as you desire to know, how the mystery of the Incarnation would have taken place, if man had preserved the state of innocence, know, that the human substance would have been essentially the same as now, only it would be clothed with the gifts of impassibility and immortality.
    On account of the merits of Christ, our Savior, the graces and gifts were prearranged, and also original justice, if they would only preserve it. The fall of Adam was foreseen and in him that of all others, except of the Queen, who did not enter into this decree. As a remedy was it ordained, that the most holy humanity should be capable of suffering. The predestined were chosen by free grace, and the foreknown were reprobated with exact justice. All that was convenient and necessary for the conservation of the human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemption and the Predestination, was preordained, without interfering with the free will of men; for such ordainment was more conformable to God’s nature and to divine equity. There was no injustice done to them, for if with their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain from sin by means of grace and the light of reason. God violated the right of no one, since He forsook no one nor denied to anyone that which is necessary. Since his law is written in the hearts of men, nobody is excused for not knowing and loving Him as the highest Good of all creation.”
    And my delight is to be with the children of men.” My recreation is to work for them and show them favors: my contentment is to die for them and my joy is to be their Teacher and their Redeemer. My delight is to raise the needy one from the dust and to unite Myself with the lowly one (Ps. 112,7); my pleasure is to unbend my Divinity for this purpose, and to clothe it with human nature, to constrain and debase Myself, and to suspend the glory of my body in order to make Myself capable of suffering and of meriting for men the friendship of the Father; to be a Mediator between his most just indignation and the malice of men, and to be their Model and Head, whom they might imitate.”

    (God the Father to Mary of Agreda in City of God)

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I must be getting soft Pauline – I am in Whanganui having driven down from Morrinsville for the funeral of a friend and its “cold” here. We had 28-30C up north and its 15 here. Its funny how our deep south can be the hottest place in the summer yet coldest in the winter. I hope you enjoy the best of southern hospitality here in Aotearoa.

        Liked by 5 people

            1. Well, Kim, it’s been gorgeous this season. Absolutely gorgeous with temps rising into the high 30’s and snow totally covering every branch thick and thin with sunrises and sunsets rich in color… until last weekend when the arctic wind chills and winds came rushing through western Montana via intermittent fashion. And even this has its beauty albeit with extra shoveling time and extra care to be taken when driving here and there.

              Liked by 13 people

                1. Thanks, SteveBC. We have a few local photographers who love getting out to capture the beauty. The set above was mainly from one man. Another guy took this one at one entrance into Missoula:

                  Then he went across town to a place called Greenough Park for these:

                  Liked by 7 people

                  1. Is the green water from algae or is the water that color?
                    I remember a particularly neat creek flowing through Eglin air force base that had the brightest green hair algea growing on the bottom of a crystal clear stream. Just West of there is the Yellow River so called because the water is a light yellowish color. Just west of this river is the Black Water River, so called because of it’s tannin stained water.

                    Liked by 5 people

                    1. Sounds beauteous, Phillip. At first, I wondered if the photographer had used a technique to get that turquoise color, yet, also today, came this shot from the other guy, taken some miles east of Missoula. When this pic was posted, the photo guy said he was pleasantly surprised by the color.

                      Liked by 5 people

                  2. Lovely photos, Beckita. If I might make a guess, the blue color comes from the ice in the water, not the water itself. Icebergs and glaciers also are blue.

                    When I was in Nevada in late 1981 testing a small rocket engine, our rocket designer took me to the container with liquid oxygen in it and told me to watch it as it came out of the container. I was amazed to see that the liquid oxygen flowing out of the spigot was a very pale blue. And I said with wonder in my voice, “It’s liquid sky!” The memory never fails to awe me.

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. We joked ’bout you runnin’ with rocket techs,
                      Jokes on us –– you really do –– don’t he Becks!?
                      If this storm rescue takes too long,
                      Get us outta here, SBCArmstrong,
                      To Mars, Europa, or wherever the hecks.

                      Liked by 5 people

                    2. I must say, MP, that I now daydream of traveling the universe in a rocket that looks uncannily like Doug’s Little Red Wagon. What could be cooler? 😀

                      Liked by 4 people

              1. Wow…such beautiful pics Beckita! I love mountains and the four seasons. Tonight we have another big storm blowing in with lots of snow. Our poor birch trees are all bending over and touching their top branches to the ground, they’re so laden with ice from our last storm. Usually they’ll spring right back up when we get nicer weather. I hope that I can remember that when life gets tougher and the good Lord wants me to spring back up and keep on doing good!

                Liked by 4 people

  20. I stepped out of my comfort zone recently and gave a presentation on the faith to a group of teenagers. It was the first time I have ever done anything like that. I comment here once in a while. That’s really the most public I have been up until now when sharing what’s in my head about God. It’s been really encouraging to realize, through commenting here now and again, that I’m not completely incoherent. Charlie and Bekita have been very encouraging. Anyway, I was invited . . .strongly encouraged . . . lovingly pushed . . . to be a guest speaker for a CCD class. It’s not that I’m really shy, it’s just that I believe that I have more enthusiasm than actual skill in either writing or public speaking. Anyway, I gave a crash course on Salvation History from the fall of the angels through the Crucifixion, focusing on defining who God is in light of the revelation of the Crucifixion and His plan for our salvation and sanctity. I was invited back to do another round based on the interests of the kids. So I’m working now on a presentation about spiritual warfare, sanctity of the soul and Divine Mercy. I’ll be spending the week compiling things and trying to stuff a week’s worth of material into a one hour lecture. 🙂 Please pray that these kids can be reached somehow through what I’m offering. It’s kind of fun to do this, the kids are wonderful. I don’t have a cool story, I am not, nor have I ever been ‘cool’. . . . there was this thing on facebook going around where people were making their ‘rapper’ names by putting ‘Lil’ in front of the last thing you ate, I was Lil’ Fig Newton . . . and I felt like, yup, that sounds absolutely accurate for me. . . . and I don’t have an inspiring conversion story. I don’t have any of the usual things that people look for in a speaker for teens. All I have is a smattering of Thomistic theology and a passion for the things of God. So, I’ll try to give them that, because that’s what work is right in front of me and it doesn’t interfere with the work I do within my little family already. I’ll adopt the same attitude all throughout the struggles ahead.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. You also have the anointing of the Holy Spirit in what you write, Katherine. He’s there. Your “passion for the things of God” shines through and, now, it sounds like the Spirit is soaring through your presentations into the hearts and minds of the kids. Praying for you and those kids to whom you bring Christ and His Truth. God bless you in this endeavor. I LOVE the way you were called out: “I was invited . . .strongly encouraged . . . lovingly pushed . . . to be a guest speaker for a CCD class.” So like God to be that persistent! 🙂

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Getting out of your comfort zone takes grit. Doesn’t matter when, where or how. You’ve got grit, Katherine. I’m thinking of the women who made the biggest impression on me in Faith matters. They all had monikers like ‘Lil Fig Newton too. Thank God for them.

      Liked by 7 people

    3. Yea Kathy! Give them the red meat, the real low-down! The kids will eat up your talks like they have never seen this type of meal before. Also, print them out to take them home to mom and dad – their last exposure to real Catholic theology was from their goofy teen years. Maybe a write-up of further reading… You Rock dear! Kids are so much more capable of understanding REAL theology, and are so easily bored with the pablum too often presented.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. It really is a pity the parents can’t be made to come to class too. I feel really bad for the teens there who don’t have parents who will take them to Mass regularly or make sure they get to confession now and again. Also; aw, thanks Bekita and everyone.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Ha, Katherine, I think I’ve read every one of your posts over the years. I always find them well-thought, well-organized and helpful. Worrying about whether you can write or speak well is a waste of your time! 🙂

          Liked by 7 people

    4. Ah, it is so amazing to have guest speakers for the teens. They like variety and are very open to newcomers! Truth and beauty speaks to their creative hearts and they know it when they hear and see it. (They get so little of it, glued to their smart phones.) I pray everyday for folks to listen to the call to teach the faith and, believe me, I can amplify that call pretty well! Somewhat of a loving pusher, too. The DRE/CRE or the pastor value your response. The first presentation is always the hardest. the rest get succesively easier as the Holy Spirit takes over when He finds a willing instrument.

      I hope you receive a glimpse of some of the fruit of your efforts but don’t be surprised if Jesus keeps that all to Himself. He won’t forget who planted the seeds of faith.

      Just wanted to give you my encouragement and support, Katherine, as one among many here who are in the trenches, fighting the battle for souls, especially the young. May Pope St. John Paul inspire and guide you.

      Liked by 6 people

    1. I loved Father Peter Mary Rookey. He served Jesus in his telephone ministry until his dying breath. I have his last book, Healer of Souls, which is marvelous. I am sure that the title is in reference to Jesus because Father Peter always said that he was just the instrument and Jesus did the healing. A truly humble priest who was given a powerful gift of healing from the Holy Spirit. And what a sense of humor! Surely he has a place in the Kingdom.

      Liked by 4 people

  21. A very good piece of writing, Charlie. It is astounding how well you are able to approach a good description of such an awesome God and His creation. And how lucky we are to be loved by Him! Many years ago I found a Christian art piece that I put in my home where I might see it every day and be reminded of John 15:5. “He who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” So the good we do is not really coming from us, but rather from our faith and His lead. And even the faith we have is due to a grace He has given to an ear that was open and seeking Truth.

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Yes, John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” But the most important part to remember is that we can do nothing on our own and without Him. If we forget our nothingness, then we will surely be reminded. And that is the core of the storm, I think.

    Liked by 7 people

  23. LET US PRAY that INFANTICIDE is THE LAST STRAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MILINET & Articles for Christians – 5 February
    =================================
    Infanticide Abortion May Be Only the Beginning–Brian Joondeph
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/02/infanticide_abortion_may_be_only_the_beginning.html#ixzz5ebp26Rw3

    Abortion, Infanticide, and the Doctrine of Double Effect–MADELEINE KEARNS
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/abortion-infanticide-and-the-doctrine-of-double-effect/

    Christian university cancels Ben Shapiro speech for campus ‘unity’
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/christian-university-cancels-ben-shapiro-speech-for-campus-unity

    HOW AWFUL! ‘Catholic’ Speaker Pelosi Invited Planned Parenthood President as her Guest to SOTU Address
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/heres-a-list-of-radical-leftists-speaker-pelosi-is-bringing-to-the-state-of-the-union/

    The baby-killer party? Defending the indefensible
    https://www.unionleader.com/opinion/editorials/the-baby-killer-party-defending-the-indefensible/article_0deb7820-5bbf-5bc9-8996-fb2a8b42e5e5.html

    Senate Dems block bill requiring medical
    care for abortion survivors
    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/02/senate_dems_block_bill_requiring_medical_care_for_abortion_survivors.html

    Infanticide Is The Historical Hallmark Of A Pagan Culture
    http://thefederalist.com/2019/02/04/without-christianity-we-might-unthinkingly-return-to-the-infanticidal-cultures-of-yore/

    Pope, grand imam sign historic declaration of peace
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/02/05/Pope-grand-imam-sign-historic-declaration-of-peace/5771549342700/?sl=4

    Tens of thousands attend first papal mass on Arabian peninsula
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-emirates/tens-of-thousands-attend-first-papal-mass-on-arabian-peninsula-idUSKCN1PU0H9

    Phil Robertson: America Has to Be
    Godly Again to Be Great Again
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/02/04/phil-robertsons-america-has-to-be-godly-again-to-be-great-again/

    THE TRUTH IN 15 MINUTES
    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/the-truth-in-15-minutes.php

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. As for the outrage in NY and the lighting of the “Freedom Tower” to celebrate evil, I remember on the day of 9/11 I opened my Bible to Luke Chapter 13, the first few verses, as I was playing “bible roulette” to see if God would speak to me as I was praying about what had happened and the verses were about men whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and about the tower the Tower of Siloam, and 18 men who died when the tower fell, Jesus answered “Those men were no worse then any others but you will all come to the same end unless you repent.”. Certainly not a weak word and my Bible had never opened to those verses before now was I in the habit of studying them!

      Liked by 5 people

  24. Thank you Charlie for another excellent piece.

    Have been reading over the comments and, I must say, seeing the miraculous fruits of this site.
    God bless you for that.

    So many realizing… it is our time.
    Our time to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope.

    It is time for courage and bravery and to quote on of my favorite saints, St John Paul II the Great, “Be not afraid.”

    Liked by 8 people

  25. Hello fellow ASOHers. I am checking in from Toronto, Canada. I have followed Charlie since Feb 2016, although I first heard of him while listening to Patrick Madrid on the radio in late 2015. I have commented on both sites only a handful of times. I have formulated many comments in my mind, but they never get written down and sent. My thoughts in my brain- insightful, intelligent, witty 😀 My thoughts in writing – not so much 😛

    Here’s my synopsis:

    I am a convert of 20 years now. Where has the time gone? What have I accomplished? I had such lofty dreams for my children. I didn’t want them to suffer all the crappy stuff from my own childhood (domestic violence, sexual abuse, divorce, raised by a single mom, runaway teen, drug abuse, living on the streets, sexual exploitation, abortion). I can so relate to Charlie’s daughter, in my youth I was completely ungovernable. God knows that I wanted to avoid all that garbage for my own children and give them something better. I really thought that if I did the right things (homeschooling them, being active in the parish and Catholic groups, staying in a difficult marriage) then my kids would turn out to be all OUTSTANDING human beings who LOVED Christ and the Church. Oh my!!! The reality has been much different. All the kids 16 years and older refuse to go to church. Only the younger ones go now. ALL of them have issues. Here is the short list: alcohol/drug addiction, Aspergers, same-sex attraction, depression, borderline personality disorder (self-harm & suicide ideation), ADD and anxiety. My husband came to me the other night and said we never should have gotten married and mixed our defective genes – our kids are all messed up. I laughed because that had crossed my mind years ago. So, no lofty goals for my kids. My daily focus is to just keep them alive. I am so ready for a reset. God help us and have mercy on us!

    Thank you, Charlie, for giving me the tools for my mission. Your words bring me comfort during my personal trials, but, most of all, you give me hope when I am tempted to despair. I pray that I will always acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to others.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. In the September, 1917, apparition at Fatima, Our Lady said that many go to hell because they have no one to pray for them. So always pray for your loved ones, trusting that God will, in His time – not yours – call them powerfully back to Him through your prayers. I would bet your family has an abundance of prayers going up for them – so just call on St. Monica and keep it up, believing that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

      Liked by 14 people

      1. My priest told me he see’s a lot of conversions of adult kids at the parent’s funeral. Well, I said I want to see mine while living so I’ll pray to Our Lady of PROMPT Succor if you don’t mind-he chuckled. Some tidbits I’ve picked up from from other priests and deliverance experts. Have your house blessed by a priest sprinkling holy water n blessed salt in each room. (keep some of the holy water to bless (preferably by the dad), your children on the forehead-those who refuse, discreetly make the sign of the cross on their pillows and doors. Throw out violent video games. Ask the priest to walk/bless the outside perimeter of your house also.

        Father Chad R. says to develop a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows to protect you and your family from diabolic influences. There’s several versions of the Seven Sorrows rosary on y.t.
        Take turns saying it in each bedroom of your kids (while they’re out if necessary.) To one of my kids that moved out of state, I sent a family picture with a blessed St.Benedict medal tucked/hidden into the back frame. Prayers for you, CDN, and all here in similar situations. This is a favorite S.S.Rosary

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Thank you, Maggie, for your suggestions and prayers. I have prayed the Seven Sorrows prayer in the past. I should begin it again. Thank you for the reminder. Conversions at my funeral? LOL I want them NOW. Of course, all in God’s time. I can only offer my prayers, tears and broken heart for their souls and pray for my own patience.

          Liked by 6 people

      2. I thank God everyday for dear “late” my mother-in-law. Her prayers and rosary saved me, and through me, her son. I now pray for her everyday, that she is in heaven with Our Lord. All of her prayer cards, etc that she left behind, became my devotionals.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. cdnstormwatcher, welcome back! My own family and in-laws have similar short-lists. I have a grand-nephew (not yet one year old) being raised as a neutral gender with a neutral name. I keep you and yours and all families in prayer for conversion. ❤

      Liked by 9 people

    3. My heart aches for you cdnstormwatcher. I am also a convert and have 3 adult kids with two that have gone astray. I was, in a special way, lead to pray what is called the 12 year St. Bridget prayer which has five promises of which one is preserving the souls of our children out 4 generations. The prayer is sanctioned by the church as I understand it. I have been praying it every day for almost two years now. Another one of the promises is you can apply graces of salvation to up to three souls. I gave all 3 away already. One gentleman I gave it to had cancer and, just prior to his death, received the sacrament of the sick. Prior to his death and leading up to it, he wanted nothing to do with the church. The prayer takes about 10 minutes. After a while, it has become part of me and I cherrish meditating on it. If you would like me to email a copy to you, email me at stormnewhampshire@gmail.com. I am in it for the long haul as I so desire all my kids to be in heaven. It would break my heart if they did not make it. God bless you!

      Liked by 10 people

    4. Dear cndstormwatcher–you are a miracle–your conversion!! Do not despair—like Charlie says–keep on praying. It’s such a nasty time, but we do have hope for a re-set. Many of my dear ones don’t go to church, but I believe Our Lady will bring them back. God bless you and your family.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Hi Kim, I am a miracle. That can be the only explanation for my survival. By all accounts, I should be dead from an overdose or murdered by a pervert or succumbed to disease. I often wonder why God saved me and not others who had my own experience. I have to trust that he has a plan for me and I believe that my great-aunt Margaret’s prayers were instrumental in my preservation and conversion.

        Liked by 5 people

    5. cdnstorwatcher I’m glad to see you here. Your situation has obviously touched many here.

      i am a member of the Cursillo movement. Two things that we are encouraged to do is to reflect on what our [true] IDEAL is and to be vigilant against the ATTACK of the Devil. These two things often go hand in hand and yours is a classic example. We see this pattern over and over in our own lives and in the lives of others.

      Briefly and in a nutshell, a person’s IDEAL is the thing that motivates you to get up in the morning. It is what animates your life. Basically it is what you love the most. Here’s the thing: many of us will lie to ourselves about what our REAL or true Ideal is. So, we have to do a lot of reflection to cut through our own internal BS to identify it. It is important to note that it’s not that one Ideal is better or more worthy than another. What IS vital is that you accurately identify it. Your Ideal could be golf. The theatre. Sports. Art. Your job. Your status. Your money. The house you live in. Your health. Travel. Canasta. Your vocation.

      A lot of people would be loathe to admit, even to themselves, that their golf game is the thing that animates their lives and gets them out of bed in the morning. Even to themselves — much less to others.

      But, you see, there is nothing at all wrong with loving golf.

      Why is our Ideal important? Because we can lose it all in a flash of a moment. See Tiger Woods. What happens should you lose your Ideal for some reason? Whatever it is. It will disorient you. It may send you into a mental, or physical, or spiritual tailspin. You are likely to become drained and depressed. Perhaps even to the point of despair. Perhaps even to the point of self-destruction.

      If you lose your Ideal your life may seem awfully empty and without meaning. You are in a whole lot of trouble. You need to get a new Ideal and pretty quick.

      In Cursillo we understand that there is one Ideal that you cannot lose and will never be taken away from you. All else is impermanent and fleeting.

      Here’s where this is all leading and I ask you to consider this:

      On our 3 day retreat weekends we ask the participants to tell us what their Ideal is. On the men’s weekend — can’t speak for the women’s weekend experience — 90% of the men will say that FAMILY is their Ideal. That’s what gets them up every morning. Gets them going to work. Drives their day. Is their greatest joy. They would do anything for their family because they love them so much.

      Can you see the problem coming here? Thing is — YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE YOUR FAMILY. One way or another at some time or another. In the normal course of things the kids grow up and move out. Your spouse or yourself WILL die at some time or other. You could lose your whole family in a car accident on Interstate 95. We just had 5 members of one family including 2 adults and 3 children die in a car crash in the DC area this past week. You are going to lose your family.

      I heard a story about one guy’s Ideal. He was a bank robber. He robbed one too many banks and was sentenced to life as a three time loser. He was in a terrible funk. Why? Because he couldn’t rob any more banks. Robbing banks was this guy’s Ideal. True story.

      cdnstormwatcher I am going to hazard a wild guess here: Your Ideal — your real Ideal — is FAMILY.

      So, ok, what does Ideal have to do with an ATTACK by the Devil?

      The Devil studies us very closely. The Devil knows what your true Ideal is. The Devil knows what the effect will be on you should you LOSE your Ideal. The Devil wants you to destroy yourself.

      Your Ideal is both your greatest strength and on the flip side is your greatest point of weakness. It’s your Achilles heel. Your Ideal is the the opening the Devil needs to lead you to despair.

      So you had best know what your true, real Ideal is. Try real hard not to kid yourself about what it really is. Because that is where the Devil is going to send in the Attack on you. To you it will seem like a bolt out of the blue. You will never see it coming. You will never expect an attack on what you consider your greatest strength and support that gives meaning to your life. It will be shocking. Traumatizing. Depressing. Sad. Despairing.

      I would say that most if not all Christian families that I know have some kind of stinky rotten problem to deal with. Somehow it goes with the territory. Family.

      A great thing about Cursillo is that you learn pretty quickly that you are not alone. You are not a unique case. You share similar experiences. You have similar Ideals. You experience similar Attacks.

      Isn’t it amazing that so many people here at ASOH seem to have similar experiences — similar Ideals and similar Attacks — and can recognize it in the witness of other posters? It’s not a coincidence.

      cdnstormwatcher you have a community here.

      Thing is — knowing and acknowledging your real Ideal and recognizing the nature of the Attack associated with that Ideal DOESN’T MAKE IT HURT ANY LESS. One of the great mistakes is to judge somebody else’s Ideal and somebody else’s pain level over that Ideal. You’re upset abut THAT little thing? Poor baby. You gotta walk in the shoes.

      So, how do you deal with it? The pain.

      Just knowing where the pain is coming from and why its coming helps a lot.

      I suggest reading Jeremiah 29 4:14. A Letter to the Exiles.

      Exile comes in a thousand different ways. You know your own form of Exile and it is depressing you. God knows what you are suffering — what your pain is and what is causing it — and has a message for you. It is in Jeremiah 29 4:14. Not a rose garden for sure. More like bloom where you are planted. For me it was a “Bloom where I am planted? Do you know where I am planted? Are you kidding me!” kind of message. What God says to you is this: If you are at the end of your rope tie a knot in it and hold on. Not easy.

      But if you do hold on in the midst of your pain God has a set of wonderful promises for you.
      what he WILL do for you. It’s a promise. God keeps his promises. Read them for yourself. Re-read them. Study those promises of what God is going to do for you if you tie that knot and hold on. Think real hard about them. Then assent. Your lot will be changed.

      Mine was.

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Wow Wow Wow! Ed, this is some serious food for thought and meditation. Thank you taking the time to reply to me. My family is my Ideal. You got that right. I have devoted my life to my children. Sometimes, I think that I am too attached to my children. My moods match their moods. When they are happy, I am happy. When they are suffering, I am suffering. I have often said that I am like E.T. (from the movie) and my kids are like Elliot – we have a total bond (I feel what what they feel). I need to detach a little more from my children and attach much more to God so I can be the best channel of love and grace for my family. And, YES, Satan knows where to attack me. What a JERK!

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Yes, what a JERK, cdnstormwatcher. I give testament to the teaching that a person, seasoned in deliverance ministry, gave me about being repulsed by the evil one and his minions: It’s plenty OK to be angry with them. Just don’t talk to them directly or focus on them; rather send them packing in Jesus’ Name and focus on Him. I’ve been praying for you and yours, cdn, along with the many here. We’ve got your back and that of your family.

          Liked by 6 people

        2. CDN you will find over time that it becomes easier to identify or recognize a demonic Attack in progress.

          It will come as less and less a shock. Recognizing it for what it is will make it less fearsome for you. Less panic. Less “What’s happening and WHY ME?” You will develop a feel for handling the attack aimed at you using a kind of spiritual jujitsu. He wants you afraid? You remain unafraid. He wants you depressed? You remain cool, calm and composed. He wants you to destroy yourself. You let him know you are a survivor.

          When you don’t react the way the Devil wants you to and anticipates you will then you will see those types of attacks from that quarter — from your Ideal — will dissipate and possibly morph into some other Attack vector. The Devil won’t waste his time on unavailing attacks on you.

          One day, as an Attack seemingly out of the Blue comes in you will smile and look at your husband and kids and smile and say : “Well, under attack again!” It will l drive Old Scratch nuts.

          So don’t let him have what he wants. The Brits have a term for this “Keep Calm and Carry On!”

          Liked by 6 people

        3. Cdnstormwatcher (and Murt), I just leaned something today that blew me away. It has to do with watching others suffer. This is for you too Murt. I hope you see it. I recently posted about Jesus suffering. However, from Mary’s perspective, as the perfect woman, she suffered with Christ, but differently. Christ sacraficed physically for us. As a man, that is easy to relate. My role is to sacrafice my life for my wife, family and others. In effect, to die for them. What about when you watch someone else suffer where you have no control? What if that person dies? How bitter! How do you relate that experience to Jesus suffering on the cross? The answer is you really don’t easily relate. So how do you relate? It is relating through what Mary went through when she watched her only son tortured and abused and then murdered. She felt it all in her interior. A great gift woman have is empathy and compassion for others. It tends to come natural to woman. Mary was the perfect woman. So she had the perfect response. In other words, when we have loved ones who are suffering or whom we lost, Mary is the one we turn to for consolation. In other words, it is Mary who we relate to and who understands more than any other this type of suffering. So God had to create Mary, not just because she had to be a perfect vessel to carry our Lord, but God had to create her to be perfect for us to be able to identify with her type of suffering and empathy. I am a man. So this does not come naturally for me. This has brought me to a whole new level in my respect for the Blessed Mother and how much of a gift she is to us. I am in awe soaking this in right now. Anyway, I think it may reflect what you and Murt are experiencing. I got this from a Fr. Ripperger talk. Here is the link. It is about an hour long. I think I will listen to it for about 3 or 4 times to let it really sink in. Funny, I have been thinking about this type of suffering a lot lately in my own circumstances with my son and then with your posts and then this talk came along. I count this to be another glimpse of a great mystery of understanding suffering. I have been Catholic for 27 years now and I am still amazed at how deep oir faith goes. God bless you both!

          Liked by 2 people

    6. I am keeping your family written on my heart, CDN. I, too, have had that thought, that somehow I messed up, marrying the man I married and begetting kids with learning and behavioural disorders. But God let me know a LONG TIME AGO, in no uncertain terms, that He hand-picked me to have these children because He knew they would need a warrior for a mom. Just as Jesus chose His own holy Mother to help Him in His earthly mission of our redemption, He chose us mothers and fathers of Special Needs children and entrusted these children to us as a sacred charge. It is NOT because we messed up; it’s because He sees what good that you, and you alone, could do for these souls dear to His Sacred Heart. The Virgin Mother, too, has you all under her mantle.

      Pray for miracles, enlist help when you need it but keep “Joaning-Up.” Most importantly, go to Jesus in adoration and pour out your concerns and needs there. He sees you, he hears you and will work His will through you. Peace and blessings. (And a nice little song, too.)

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Yeah, my family is the same, one schizophrenic, one GAD, one ADD one ASD and myself as the Asperger Queen. I wouldn’t have wished this on any of them, but I love my family dearly and am so grateful they are here (plus we are actually pretty happy most of the time–weird, but happy) : )

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Marisa, thank you for your comforting words and encouragement. I do pray for miracles. I sometimes cry out to God, “You are the God of the impossible! You are the God of miracles! Help my children! Have mercy on them! I want their salvation! Have mercy on us all! Jesus, I trust in you! Jesus, I trust in You! Jesus, I trust in You!”

        Liked by 6 people

    7. Eff all O’dis storm but you echo my sentiment entirely. We try to raise our childer as we would like them to be good people. Bin there,done that, but then my old girl passed on and I lost it somehow. For that reason I oft wonder of people who say Jesus I trust in You. Hollow as I say it and yet wonder as to people on sites such as this who believe. I sometimes meet a local man who is deep into this religious stuff. He told me on occasion of how he carries the Monstrance for adoration……

      I could only be humbled as I look in his eyes, the belief, How I would love to say Jesus I trust in You and believe.

      No advice really other than to keep yer head down and try to carry on as an old sergeant once told me. We are all here rootin for you for what it may be worth.

      Sorry as I said, but try to keep focus. There appears to be no great map or road plan for where we are now. Just try to keep yer own focus…

      Dia agus Beannacht….

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Dearest Murt, you might consider trying this one on for size: “Lord, I believe; help mine unbelief.” Heck, it worked for the gent in the Gospels; maybe it would help you to get to the point at which you can believe and trust again. I will pray that it be so (and I will keep praying until hopefully it IS so). 🙂

        Liked by 7 people

        1. I really will try to use that “Lord I believe”. There was a time O’course when I perceived some old grandfather in the clouds of our existence here on this plane…

          Go raibh mhait agut a cara, (thank you very much friend). That perhaps is what this place is all about…

          Love thy effin neighbour…

          Regards….

          Liked by 3 people

      2. Pain and suffering, pain and suffering, pain and suffering. My dear Jesus was beat to a bloody pulp. Spit on, whipped, pulled the hair out of his beard, mocked and jeered. Tortured beyond recognition. They hated him. All this, then they killed him. God’s only son was murdered. God was murdered. Why did salvation have to come about this way? I don’t fully understamd it myself, but every now and then, I capture a glimpse. My Lambzie has suffered much as a three time survivor. As a result, not a day goes by where she is not in pain. Some days, we say, it does not seem fair, but then oft, we are reminded how God himself became human and suffered along with us. Wait, there is a great treasure and dignity in suffering for that is how eternal life was won. We have seen lives changed for the better. Earth is not our home. Yes. Just a small glimpse here and there, but it is still a great mystery for us and will not be fully understood until we cross the great bridge that separates this life from the next. Glad you are here Murt.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Thank you for your reply, MAC. It brings comfort to know that one is not alone as we stumble across this Valley of Tears. We must keep our eyes on the prize (Jesus Christ and Heaven) and when we have nothing left to keep us going, we must “fake it till we make it”. I learned that from Charlie. He once said that if his faith fails, he will keep going as if he still has it. Something like that anyway. 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

  26. I’m still here too. I used to tell people I’m just quietly bailing in the Barque, but I had an interesting experience recently after praying the Anima Christi in which I felt compelled to ask Jesus to hide me in his wound. So, while I still love and support the barque, I’m currently hiding in the side of Jesus.
    Love from Washington,
    Pinecone Jill

    Liked by 14 people

  27. Hello,again. I am very heartened by those who decided to check in today. Thank you Charlie, Beckita and Steve for your encouragement to all our faithful readers who our with the site quietly. Charlie, I love that the light will always be on. Steve, I never considered that commenting now, may help us to do so more readily when things get tougher. I know there are many others who may want to check in. May Steve’s help prompt more to do so. As I read the responses to Charlie’s latest writing, I recalled Julian of Norwich writing back in 1981 in her book that I was so inspired by. Two of her thoughts are permanently engrained in my mind. When we fall down, nothing gives God more glory, than us getting back up and going on. The other…In the end, all will be well and all things will be well. Trust in God always.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Thanks for the nudge to comment, Marie!

      Hello Charlie, Beckita, and all of you amazing people in this virtual family! I’ve been reading, rarely commenting (as Maypacemcumte), and praying with all of you since 2013. Also had the privilege of attending two talks Charlie made on the East coast. I remember my first comment way back then, and trying to describe how it felt as if I was outside a flower shop, admiring the beautiful flowers inside, and feeling compelled to go in. Well, I entered and never left! How could I? Too much to lose! So many different personalities, perspectives and GIFTS can be found here, each unique and truly magnificent. My faith has deepened because of it.

      Thank you, Charlie! Thank you, Beckita et al!
      May God Bless this family!

      Liked by 7 people

  28. Charlie, you made my phone blow up with hits on my blog. Lol. Thanks for the mention. Though this was actually my favorite line, “He is elegant; you and I are stumbling bumblers, who are called to persist anyway.” Man if that ain’t the truth! We have one more thing in common, you called Fatima a Lighthouse. If I showed you my journal and how many time the Blessed Mother called herself the “Lighthouse” to me, lighting the way to safe harbor. God Bless you. Ave Maria, Stella Maris.

    Liked by 18 people

      1. Reminds me of a joke that shows how puffed up we can be with what we perceive to be our own greatness.

        There was a great battleship steaming along when it got a small signal to change course. The battleship signaled back, “No. You change course”. It received a signal back, “No. You change course”. The battleship captain, slightly agitated, signaled back again, “I am a large ship. Please change course.” A small signal came back again, “you must change course immediately”. The captain, now more than agitated, signaled back again, “I am a battle ship on an important mission. Change course immediately. “Another small signal came back, “Sir, I am a light house. Please change course.”

        Liked by 12 people

        1. Doug….

          This is said to have happened in real life off the coast of Spain I think.
          Urban myth perhaps but I do have an amember of lookin at this event in real time.
          I seen it on utube….It just haz 2 B true. Alas,alas,alas.

          Liked by 2 people

  29. So much in this article… Thank you Charlie.
    Just read…last call: prophets arise….mark mallett.ties in so well with here
    Also….he does need support for this year.please do what you can to support!

    Liked by 8 people

      1. Reminds me of my 31 year old identical twin daughters when they were little wee ones. Lambzie would say something and I would repeat it. One girl would say, “there is an echo in here.” After a short pause, the other girl would say, “there are two echos in here.” Gosh, I miss them as wee ones.

        Liked by 10 people

  30. The dearth of Good-News is depressing but …. It’s a SIGN to Get-Going on the Good-Things to support, defend and lead your Family & Friends!!

    MILINET: Articles for Christians – 6 February
    ===============
    The New Supreme Court May Be on the Verge of Its First Important Abortion Ruling–DAVID FRENCH
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/the-new-supreme-court-may-be-on-the-verge-of-its-first-important-abortion-ruling/

    Catholic Clergy: Making Themselves Irrelevant–Bill Taylor, Jr.
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/02/catholic_clergy_making_themselves_irrelevant.html#ixzz5eet10Hyk

    Pope says he is committed to stopping sexual abuse of nuns
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-emirates-plane-women/pope-says-he-is-committed-to-stopping-sexual-abuse-of-nuns-idUSKCN1PU283

    Venezuela military blocks humanitarian aid at Colombia border bridge as crisis deepens
    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/2185150/venezuela-military-blocks-humanitarian-aid-colombia-border

    We have allowed our Intelligence Services to become dangerously politicized-n-dysfunctional. The Chinese since, at least, the 90s during The Reign of Billary, have been Pals-n-Big donors of Democrats …. and why We Have Heard Nothing about Chinese Political/Election Influence of late! I don’t trust any experts on China These-Days but China is No Doubt Unpredictable and VERY Dangerous!!
    We can’t even, it seems, count on The Vatican to protect our Brothers/Sisters in Christ Over-There! ;-(

    The Unpredictable Rise of China–Daniel Blumenthal
    https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/02/unpredictable-rise-china/154619/

    & ;-(

    Now the godless Marxist Socialists have come up with “Red Flag Laws” … a Red Flag will quickly become anything some Lefty Lavender Lunatic &/or Social “Justice” Warrior with a pen/microphone sez it is ……. like being a Conservative Christian, War Veteran, Trump Supporter, White Privileged Hater or Home Schooler …. or …. you fill in blank.

    Rural New York Paper Points Out Issues With State’s Red Flag Law
    https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2019/02/04/rural-new-york-paper-points-issues-states-red-flag-law

    The Problem With ‘Social Justice’
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2019/02/06/the-problem-with-social-justice-n2540861

    Here’s Why Sheriffs In Washington State Are Now Receiving Death Threats
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2019/02/05/heres-why-sheriffs-in-washington-state-are-now-receiving-death-threats-n2540858

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. PS:
      Yup!! Voris has it right … & It Is Past Time for Plain Speaking!!
      This article could very easily be re-written to address “The Very Same Sort” who are attempting to destroy The Constitution/Bill of Rights and ALL of the mores, values and institutions of Our Founders!

      GETTING UNDER THEIR SKIN – And be happy about it.
      https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-getting-under-their-skin

      DC PROSECUTOR DROPS CHARGES AGAINST PRO-LIFERS
      https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/dc-prosecutor-drops-charges-against-red-rose-rescuers

      THE INSANELY STUPID ‘LGBT’ RHETORIC OF FR. JAMES MARTIN
      https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/the-insanely-stupid-lgbt-rhetoric-of-fr.-james-martin

      Not to Worry!! I’m sure that the LGBTQ Folks who these Kids are parceled out to will raise them as Gender Neutral … Ain’t that nice!?

      BOYS TOWN FOSTERS KIDS TO SAME-SEX COUPLES, ARCHDIOCESE SILENT
      https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/boys-town-allowing-same-sex-couples-family-teachers

      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 9 people

  31. Thank you Joyfulhope20 for putting on the song !0,000 reasons. I too love it and sent it out to friends. Got the response from a couple says they are not church goers but loved the song and was touched by it and they sent it out to their friends – and so it goes. Bless the Lord Oh My Soul!
    AdeleMH

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Do you know how awesome God is? He picked that song. I accidentally “embedded” another one, but 10,000 Reasons came up. I tried it again and 10,000 Reasons came up again and then a third time. I couldn’t argue with Him. Beckita can tell you of several messages I sent to her about the problem. Thank you for telling me what you did. What an increase in faith you have given me.

      Liked by 7 people

    1. Truth to be told there now Cdawg as you really do not have a republic anymore. I have been saying that for years here as to how Girffith’s republic was eroded at the behest of our brutish masters. I did look at some of the SOTU speech and wondered of this man who some say is sent by God to save the Americays. Truth to be told tho as I look at his hand gestures, his thoughts as to protect a foreign country above his own…

      Ireally have to weary of the long sorrow of how many millionaires are within your congress,(monkeyz iz).

      Not meant in any bad way there C I do hope to assure you…………

      MAGA. By all means,as America goes, so goes the world…

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Ah, the pettiness and ignorance on display for all their countrymen to clearly see. If they want to see. I’ll tell you the one that gives me serious pause: Kamala Harris. There’s the reigning face of smug arrogance in the batch imo. And what on earth is Mitt tearing up over!?

      Liked by 4 people

          1. Amen, MP. In solidarity with you in prayer, the many here and the so many others all over the world. I believe there’s room to notice what’s going on around us without losing a healthy balance, adding to the chaos and taking our eyes off God.

            Liked by 3 people

    3. https://thehayride.com/2019/02/sotu-trollin-trump-and-the-kitty-kat-klan/

      “Halfway in, it hit me – while Facebook filled up with the reaction that Democrats wearing white en masse is a rather unfortunate and ironic historical analog – that this was the Kitty Kat Klan, the newest iteration of that party’s bitter-end resistance. They can’t abide private sector job growth, they won’t stand for the unborn, they have little use for unity or compromise and their enmity for Trump is boundless – as they showed at the end of his speech, when many of them literally ran from the chamber.”

      “Trump saw them coming, and his speech reflected that recognition. He trolled them relentlessly, putting them on the spot offering those applause lines they wouldn’t applaud – and then, in a master stroke, he touted the success of women in the workplace and the unprecedented numbers of females in Congress. Upon those lines they rushed to their feet and burst in applause, giving the unavoidable impression that all they really cared about was themselves. “

      Liked by 9 people

    1. Kim, I think these priests would LOVE what we do here! And we ARE on our way to another Promised Land – a Rescue with the promised period of Peace by Our Lady – if we’re willing to chop wood and carry water as we build, through, with and in God, our New Beginning! It shall be GLORIOUS!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. “A moral miracle is an effect produced by God which exceeds all the native powers of the human will. The will remains free but God exercises such influence over it as enables a man to perform humanly impossible wonders of moral virtue.”
        I thought of Jonah and Nineveh: God said, :Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come before me.” You know the rest of the story. (What if you replaced the name Nineveh with United States?) Another thought came to me: the parable Jesus told about the prodigal son.
        God has foreseen all. He is so good that all that comes in contact with Him becomes in some way good. He is so good and powerful that he uses evil in such a way that the result is even better than if there had never been evil. St. Augustine says that even evil brings about good. God’s plan to save us continues relentlessly despite our rebellion. That is my hope and trust.

        Liked by 4 people

  32. Did anyone here expect anything different? ….. and, of course, Speaker of the House “Catholic” SanFran Nanny was all-in for the Blockade of Common Humanity/Decency …. and where is the Archbishop of San Francisco!?? ……. Hellooooo ….. calling Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone ….???!!!

    House Democrats Block Request to Vote on Bill to Stop Infanticide
    https://www.lifenews.com/2019/02/06/house-democrats-block-request-to-vote-on-bill-to-stop-infanticide/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Crewdog, I think this might fit into the Good News Bucket – not only that – I predict that we are going to get a full-on rush of similar articles/homilies by priests of a youngish age-group! After stating the situation as we all see it I detect a big dose of HOPE and ZEAL from this priest, Fr. Stephen V. Hamilton “Current Events Reveal Why the Culture of Death is So Desperate!” http://www.courageouspriest.com/
      The call again is simply for the prophets (we baptised!) to rise!

      Liked by 6 people

  33. For some reason Charlie, your first words “many are shaken” made me think of a charity swim I did one New Years Day in the River Clyde, Scotland. We were given a certificate with the words,
    “Many are cauld but few are frozen.”
    ( ‘Cauld’ pronounced ‘called’ is localese for ‘cold’.
    And with the heady cocktail of erudition and education on ASOH one may say “Many are stirred but few are shaken.”

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “Many are called but few are frozen.” You may not have heard of him, but the great American baseball player, Ted Williams, had his body frozen in a cryonics chamber by some of his kids. Actually, the body and head were placed in separate chambers. Some of his kids were responsible for this sad situation. Ted Williams retired in 1960 but I saw him play in person at Fenway Park in Boston. He was the last player to hit .400 (back in 1941). He missed five years of his prime serving in both WWII and the Korean War. He was also a great fisherman.

      Liked by 6 people

            1. This is my favorite joke:

              What do you call it when you die and come back as a “hillbilly”?

              Re-inTARNATION!

              Sorry if I offended who anyone who comes from a hillbilly lineage. But remember, from 1957 (“The Real McCoys”) until around 1971(The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle, etc) Hillbillies were mainstreamed in the popular culture. And Hee-Haw ran from 1969 – 1997. I don’t know if real hillbillies took offense or not at the American culture laughing at their expense. But I think the joke is funny and I hope people find it harmless. But the non-Americans readers at ASOH may not be familiar with “tarnation”.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Love it, Frank–and I love all those shows—-hillbillies aren’t snowflakes, I’d bet! So probably don’t have to worry about offending. Love this quote from Jethro Bodine when he was asked if he has any brothers. He said, No, but my sister does!”

                Liked by 5 people