Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

(A friend asked me to repost this old piece on Mary and the Saints. I have a ton of stuff I am working on, but I am going back and forth with this stupid virus the last week. I get feeling good for a day, then am suddenly miserable. So this is a great time to put this piece back up.-CJ)

Mary & Jesus w/ Angels

Original article posted on December 2, 2014 by charliej373


By Charlie Johnston

I was in my early 20s when I went to my first Catholic Mass as a worshipper. Oh, I had been to many in my teens as a hired trumpet player, but the musicians in the choir loft don’t follow the same rules as the regular worshippers as far as standing, kneeling and sitting. For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair. People just spontaneously stand up, or sit down, or kneel, or talk back to the priest in unison for no reason you can quite fathom. Within about 10 minutes of the beginning of Mass, I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.

A few years after my conversion, I was at a wedding Mass where there were a lot of baffled Protestants. About 15 minutes in I realized, with a little irony, that some of them were carefully watching me. Now, apparently, I was the guy who looked like he knew what he was doing. I must confess, every time I am at a Mass that I know has drawn a lot of Protestants out, I have to fight back the temptation to do a cartwheel in the aisle – just to see how many do one with me.

Cradle Catholics cannot imagine how disorienting and baffling even the liturgy is to lifelong Protestants. Even more puzzling is the Catholic devotion to various saints and to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Even the language of faith can be perplexing, for often the two camps mean different things while using the same words. Throw in that Catholics often have a hard time explaining what, exactly, they believe, much less why they believe it – and that many Evangelical Protestants have often been told some pretty absurd caricatures of what Catholics profess and it is a wonder the encounters are not even more awkward and confused.

Now, I am not going to discuss everything that Catholics do not believe here that many think we do. I will also note from the outset that some Catholics abuse what the Church teaches in ways that help foster misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. I am only going to focus here on Mary and the Saints – and what the Church actually proclaims.

Many Protestants believe that we worship Mary, in particular, and the saints to a lesser extent. I know – that’s what I used to believe, because that’s what everybody said. To the contrary, when we pray to a saint, including Mary, we are asking them to pray for us, usually for specific intentions. Everyone of faith, Protestant or Catholic, asks their friends to pray for them. It is so common and well-accepted no one disputes the propriety of it. Many Protestants only count those on earth among the communion of the faithful and, thus, properly to be asked for prayers. Catholics consider all the faithful, both in this world and in the next, to be among the communion of the faithful. If it is proper and fruitful to ask friends here to pray for you, how much more fruitful to ask those who already behold the Face of God?

Some argue, though, that it is improper to ask those who are dead to pray for us. Yet in Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27, Jesus notes that Moses called God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to Him. If all the faithful are alive to God – and Jesus says they are – then it is at least as good to ask St. Peter to pray for you as it is to ask your cousin, Peter, to do the same. That is properly what Catholics are called to do.

We do not worship any of the saints, including Mary. Rather, together with all the saints, we worship the One God alone, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contrary to the belief of many, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church has no power whatsoever to “make” saints. That power belongs to God, alone. The power the Church does have is to recognize infallibly a small handful of the saints God has made. A person is not honored by being recognized as a saint here. If he is a saint, he already has received all the honor he may ever receive by being called to join the heavenly host. The honor is less meaningful to the saint than it would be to give a King a participation certificate for attending a pancake breakfast. That does not mean it is a matter of indifference to the saint involved, for his love still calls him to the same thing it did while he walked this earth: call his fellows to the joy and peace which is in Christ. That takes us to why God chooses to reveal some saints to us in the first place. It is not for their sake, but for ours.

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. There are those whose lifelong purity and steadfastness are breathtaking and astounding. But to limit saints to icons of improbable virtue is an error, if a common one. More often, their sanctity is demonstrated by their transcendence of their own flaws and limitations through their love of God, manifested through their love of those around them. Oh, how I would that people would read good biographies of the saints! St. Francis, that great icon of poverty, purity and love of the poor, was once a wealthy, reckless dandy. St. Augustine was a cynical manipulator of public opinion and a lusty rake in his early life. St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute. Saints are often portrayed as universally soft-spoken, gentle souls. But many were lions – and often irritable lions at that. St Teresa of Avila was known for her tart tongue. St Catherine of Sienna was not shy about directing and cajoling Popes, though she was discreet about it. That popular modern saint, St. Padre Pio, was often abrupt and scathing – even as he submitted with humility to errant efforts by his superiors to suppress his spirituality and charges of fraud and humbug from critics.

Among the saints can be found virgins and those notable for the abundance of their progeny, peasants and kings, pacifists and warriors. In fact, saints are to be found from almost every walk of life. Some New Age commentators have used this fact as evidence that there are many paths to God, which is a trivialization of what is true. What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom. God gives each person a unique personality, then intends that authentic personality to be used for a unique mission in His service to His people. For each fundamental quality of a man, there is a disordered and a properly ordered manifestation of that quality. God has uses for a passionate man, but passion can easily manifest itself as cruelty or lustfulness. God has uses for a soul of notable purity, but even that can degenerate into self-righteousness and an arid sterility. Weighted down by the burden of original sin, we are constantly tempted to use our talents to serve ourselves and our own appetites. Transformed by love of God, the saints use those talents in service of their neighbor, which they love in the image of God. They often struggle with the old disorder, but progressively live service with ever greater fortitude and resolve. The sinner constantly asks, “What about me?” The saint constantly seeks to hearten those around him. A pretender can – and often does – use the forms of piety for mere self-aggrandizement, a species of blasphemy. A saint does not hesitate to get his hands dirty to bring the hope of God to those furthest from Him. A pretender is sensitive to any hint of insult to his imagined dignity. A saint is impervious to any slanders seeking to keep him from caring for those around him. Whatever he says, a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.

The great variety of saints can help hearten us that whatever the nature of our authentic personality, God has use for it. We can find friends among the saints, people who shared trials and temptations similar to our own. We can ask for their prayers and guidance just as we would a trusted, bosom friend. We can find inspiration in how they handled similar troubles – and hope in how they transcended them by trusting to God.

If there is so much variety among the personalities of authentic saints, what is the heart of sanctity, the visible sign? I long contemplated that. The focus I settled on was St. Joan of Arc. Technically, she was not a Christian martyr. She fell into the hands of an enemy power. Though a corrupt Bishop was used as the means to condemn her, she was condemned for having defeated England, not for her faith. She was often prophetic, but her prophecies were wrong almost as often as they were right. Oh, the ones that were right were so improbable it was comparable to choosing the exact right lottery numbers six out of ten tries – a margin of error anyone would gladly accept for such stakes. So what was it that revealed her sanctity?

I came up with an answer that struck me in considering the great prayer of Mary, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). In most English-language Bibles, the first line is translated as, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think of that. At its most basic, every saint ultimately becomes a pure lens through which our vision of the Lord is magnified more clearly. The holier the saint, the more pure the magnification.

The French people were disheartened, dispirited, given over to despair as the 100-Years War appeared it would end in the extinction of the Nation of France. When Joan appeared, this dispirited rabble was infused with new heart, new hope, new resolve. Her soul magnified the Lord – and the people felt the effects of it. But there were others who felt it, too, the self-promoters, those whose field of vision never rose above their own temporal ambitions and covetousness. Some of those, even, were to be found in the French Court. They all hated Joan with an irrational fury, constantly trying to pull her down. There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints. His sheep recognize His voice in them and rejoice. But satan’s goats recognize His voice in them, too, and rage at them.

No one is closer to Our Lord than His Mother. She lived the sorrow of His passion with Him, at His feet – and a sword pierced her soul. (Luke 2:35). As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He committed His Mother to His beloved disciple, John – and committed John, the Church, to the care of His Mother. (John 19:26).

Throughout the ages, Mary has prayed unceasingly for her children, the Church – and all of her children have recourse to her. She busies herself constantly running out to greet people, encouraging them to come on in, come in to the warmth and safety of Her Holy Son. Most Protestants think the Rosary is a worshipful devotion to Mary. It is not; it is an extended contemplation of the Life of Christ alongside Mary, through her loving heart. A full Rosary goes through four sets of mysteries, each of which contemplates some aspect of the life of Our Lord.

As I studied the history of Christianity in depth I was surprised to learn that the line, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was not incorporated into the Hail Mary to underscore Mary’s motherhood. Rather, there was a great heresy raging that claimed that Jesus was just a man, a created being Who achieved divinity by His righteousness. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. The Eternal, Uncreated Son chose to take on our humanity at a particular point in time, to suffer and die in that humanity, that all might be saved. People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God. They are One. We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son. The phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was incorporated into the “Hail Mary” to underscore Christ’s divinity, not Mary’s motherhood.

Even knowing these things, and even having fallen in love with the Catholic Church, my old Evangelical Protestant training filled me with dread at the sound of the phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” in the “Hail Mary.” Intimations of blasphemy would fill my head and whiffs of brimstone fill my nostrils at it, choking it off in my throat, so I had decided that would not be a devotion I practiced. But at my reception into the Church, one of the gifts was a beautiful, elegant Rosary. I knew that a sense of dread was often God warning us away from something sinful. But I also knew it could be used by satan to keep us from something fruitful. So I added a new tool of discernment. I prayed, telling God that He knew I loved Him…that this Church had been such a wonderful and unexpected gift that I was going to pray this Rosary for three weeks – and depend on Him to show me whether it was proper or not. If it was not, I would quietly refrain from ever saying it again. Those next three weeks were an unprecedented period of extravagant and improbable graces and blessings. Ever since, like the beloved disciple, I have joyfully followed the Lord’s command to take His Mother into my heart as my mother.

And that is why I say, with profound gratitude and joy,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

Now, and at the hour of our death.


213 thoughts on “Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

    1. Oooo…and I have some I haven’t used in a while. You are right…one of our commenters here gave me some when I was doing a presentation in Minnesota and it helped a lot. I’m going right to get it.

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  1. A beautiful, inspirational, and uplifting testimony Charlie. It is apparent to me from this and other comments from you, show that God was always present in our lives in some way. Being a “cradle” Catholic, mine were different but no less real. I was blessed with an awareness of the presence of God that grew throughout my life. I experienced few what I would call moments of conversion in my life. It was more of a steady growth along with its usual lapses and moments of stronger dedication. Enough for now.
    Thank you Charlie for blessing us with the fruits of your call to mission and for your faithful dedication to that call much to the growing benefit of all who are called to TNRS. Many would think of the ancient Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times” as the curse it is purported to be but to us it is a blessing to be a part of God’s plan in this growing Storm and the ongoing Rescue in cooperation with our Mother as we journey on to the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart. May the Holy Spirit continue to protect and guide all here, lead us to holiness and TRUTH. Watch and pray, pray and watch. TRUST in the Lord.

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  2. Uh oh, this is going to drive some people nuts. If, as Charlie says, “A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions[,]” then I guess that means President Trump qualifies at least at this time as a potential saint. (Anyone triggered yet? 🙂 )

    Perhaps that is the sign of a true leader: he gives space and encouragement for previously fearful, quiet, good people to step up, to act and be heard, while properly restraining those who would continue their oppressive ways if they could.

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            1. Hmmm… So we have our first TNRS heresy, then. We are to “hope for bacon from those around us.” History will document that the B(e)aconius Eg(g)o Heresy spread like wildfire around the world from its humble home-fry beginnings here. Alas, some people simply cannot leggo of their eg(g)os. 😀

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              1. The other heresy which spread like wild-flour was the decadent disaster called the Leggos- a multicolored construction of conjoined blocks built brick by brick from incremental machinations of the elusive Eggs-erroneous influence. It was financed with pork-barrel interests in smoke filled alleys by salty individuals.

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                    1. Good Lord, I am removed from the scene momentarily and verbosity goes rampant. Are these new highs we are reaching or new lows yet to be discovered??? Lord save us lest we Perish!!!

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        1. Fortunately, we can always count on God to use the right tool for the right job.

          That said, I recall my dad who was never all that great with tools. If the car engine died, he’d typically get under the hood with a hammer or monkey wrench and just start banging on different components. Sure, every once in a while the engine would actually fire back up, and my dad would be grinning like he was lead mechanic on A.J. Foyt’s pit crew.

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          1. There was a running joke by my wife and kids on me for doing the same thing MP!
            But there was a method to my madness. I’ve lived in my neighborhood since 1973 and the roads out here were white sugar sand until it was finally paved in 2004. Needless to say, when you drive through sand it eventually gets into every nook and cranny of the vehicle, especially the engine compartment. After a while the starter bendix would stick from the sand when I would try to start the truck, so I had to crawl under the vehicle and rap the starter with a hammer or pipe wrench to engage it. This illicited glee from the family who were as tickled from the way I “fixed” the problem as from the fact that it actually worked! The smile on MY face was the $50.00 I saved (at the time, much more these days) for a new starter and the ribbing I was getting from my family for being a”redneck” mechanic which I took with good humor of course, being meek and humble of heart. (Does “cheap” fall under meek or humble?)
            I think there will be a special place in heaven for misunderstood dads who allowed themselves- all in good fun-to be thrown under the bus (truck) by thier wife and kids.

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            1. Pretty sure my dad was just randomly banging around under the hood, but he really knew how to pray. The Rosary was at the top of his toolbox. When the engine happened to fire up, I’m chalking it up purely to his prayers. ‘Course ma always gave him an “atta-boy.”

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              1. My Dad made me very nervous with cars when I was a teen. I was never particularly mechanically handy. The car would act up, wouldn’t start or some such. I would get my Dad and he would just look at it and it would behave. I got to where I would spend hours trying to get it to go…and then when I was convinced I had tried everything, he would come out and look at it and it would start right up. He thought I was a complete mechanical idiot. Though he was not far wrong, I still think cars were afraid of him, too.

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                1. You just picked the wrong friends Charlie. The old saying goes: “It’s not what you know, it’s make sure you know who knows what to do when you don’t.”
                  Seems I always picked friends with skill sets I did not have which made for a complimentary relationship. I’m the quintessential “Jack of all trades” kind of guy who knows just enough to be helpful (or dangerous) to the Master I side-kicked for. Actually, I was that guy for my dad, but he was a Master builder not a mechanic, so we never crossed that hurdle together.
                  But I could wield a mean hammer because if it- Just ask my starter!

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                  1. I always thought I had “attention to detail” until I had to put ‘it’ back together.

                    I reassurred myself either I needed a new ‘it’ or
                    when it didn’t fit, force it… if it broke it needed replacement anyway.

                    I would’ve made a great Fireman.

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                2. Nice memory. I expect most kids could recall a parent having an almost superhuman power over something that we were darn near incompetent at. Math… bah. Funny, but I remember my dad being most pleased when he gave me his old Rosary from his teen years. Around the same time he also dumped a ’59 3/4 ton Ford rust bucket on me. Couldn’t imagine what he wanted me to do with that junker until he said, “make it look and run like new.”

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            2. Phillip Frank: You had me chuckling and going down memory lane. First to a husband who has had such magical and funny quips throughout our marriage and ditto to the children that each of us did a double take in our heads and then would burst out laughing. He wasn’t all that mechanical and in the early ’70’s when his Karman Ghia got broad sided by a truck (and we had little money) he drove it that way for a year with the addition of a skull cap and gloves in the winter. Second to my dad who was a genius with cars. He loved pulling them apart and putting them back together. Car parts where always all over the drive and backyard. He was handy with a sewing machine too and sewed new covers for his TR-3’s bucket seats. In any case, after my mother passed away, I called him and declared I was coming to visit with my two children and his only reply was, “OK, gee, I guess I will have to get the car parts outta the beds.” My mother would have crowned him.

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              1. Joanne, Karman Ghias are the coolest car EVER! I saw two at a teeny local car show this past summer. Not having seen one since the mid-1990s, I was like a kid on Christmas day; and my family thought I’d lost my mind. 🙂

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                1. Mick, I grew up in the Bahston area. My piano teacher had one of these little beauties. In Bahston you put in “r”s that aren’t there and take out “r”s that are. Drawers become Drahs, ideas become idears, and Karmann Ghias become Common Gears. 😀

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                  1. Hahaha! SteveBC, did I ever tell you that my brother-in-law grew up in Bahston? One time about 25 years ago (before I was married and had a husband who could trouble-shoot my automobile issues), I was having real trouble with my car while I was en route from my parents’ home in Michigan to my home in Indianapolis. I stopped at a gas station off some exit ramp in the middle of nowhere, and the kind employee let me use the phone. I called my dad, but he wasn’t home; so I called my brother-in-law, an engineer who works for one of the Big Three automakers. I described what was going on, and he instructed me to ask the gas-station employee to take a look at the “sharks.” I felt like an idiot because I didn’t know what car sharks were; and whether from pride, or embarrassment, or simple cluelessness, I didn’t ask for a clarification. I sat in my car for about 10 minutes mulling over the conversation before it hit me that my brother-in-law was talking about the “shocks.” I was back on the road less than five minutes later.

                    P.S. My husband has an apt name for the pronunciation rule that you described: “The Law of Conservation of R’s.” 🙂

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                    1. I love that. That was funny Mick! ❤

                      In the bicentennial year on our family's summer vacation to the historic east coast, while in Boston, my folks kept saying that they pahked their cah in Hahvahd yahd. Drove me nuts then, and makes me smile now. 😉

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                2. Mick, I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 13 thanks to my Dad. So in my early 20’s, married, part owner of that Karen Ghia and before the unfortunate accident I sometimes got to drive it to work. Now I worked for a bank’s trust division handling estates and trust funds. A very sedate and low key profile of a job. One day my boss noticed me driving home along a very busy street near the bank. Apparently my personality was transformed behind that wheel of that car. Enough that he noticed it and mentioned it to me. Varoom! Varoom! It was a teal blue, too!

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                  1. I’m so jealous Joanne! Shoot; now I’m gonna have to go to Confession…. 🙂

                    When I was very little, my dad had a forest green MG. My husband inherited his father’s electric-blue Fiat Spider. Those cars are pretty cool, but they aren’t Karmann Ghias.

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    1. “Before attending the inauguration ceremony, President Trump attended a private religious service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, across the street from the White House, as part of a modern Inauguration Day ritual.

      The service was led by the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist who campaigned hard for Trump during the closing months of the election.”

      “…and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.

      And the first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall. God instructed Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens from enemy attack. You see, God is NOT against building walls!…”

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    2. It could be that. I voted for him despite a number of his obvious pecadillos, and a few truly grave faults. Though I’m not a saint, the image of the strip clubs in Trump’s hotels fogs over his magnification lens for me somewhat … if you know what I mean. The alternative was quantumly worse, and he actually understands the evils of socialism. Whether or not he understands the equally Church defined errors oa ‘Untramelled’ Capitalism I don’t know, but I doubt it.

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      1. Aha! Good to know. I must have what you have, Charlie. Day 6 and it’s the worst day so far. Sounds like same bug in Tennesse and Colorado. Would be interesting to see how viruses travel around.

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      2. It’s super cheap to make, though; I can make enough to get my through the entire cold-and-flu season (which in Michigan is about 6 months long) for about $30.

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          1. Kim, I do grow elderberries; but I usually either give them to an herbalist friend of mine or let the birds have them. Because of a dearth of time, I usually just buy them dried by the pound. No muss, no fuss, and then I can make syrup on the spur of the moment if I discover a little window of opportunity. 🙂

            Regarding why elder (berries, flowers, leaves, and stem bark) is good for colds and flu (and a host of other conditions, including , H. pylori, MRSA, West Nile Virus, and possibly even Ebola), the best discussion I’ve seen is in the book “Herbal Antivirals,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner. He also has a companion book called “Herbal Antibiotics” (2nd edition). If for some reason I had to ditch all of my herbal books but two, these are the two that I would keep. If I could keep a third book, it would be Richo Cech’s “Making Plant Medicine” (2016 edition), which also has a very good discussion of elder.

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            1. There is a good elderberry cough drop for sore throats found at Natural Food Stores. Works very well.Good thing to have on hand.

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                  1. Kim, according to my various herbal books, elderberries should not be consumed raw because the seeds contains a substance that is highly emetic. That substance is inactivated by the cooking of the berries, which is why elderberry syrup (which, at our house, gets slowly boiled down for about 4 hours) doesn’t cause vomiting.

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                    1. Hahaha! Thank you, Kim. When I was a kid (and even into my adult years), my wonderful and amazing mother prayed that someday I’d be classy and refined. She was the epitome of both; and she simply couldn’t figure out her tomboyish, unstylish, makeup-hating, sports-loving daughter. She would be tickled to see that somebody in the world thinks that I have finally acquired these qualities. 🙂

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                    2. I have 2 daughters. They are polar opposites. One is like you, and one is a super girly girl. My girly girl has 4 boys. Ha! My tomboy has a daughter who is a total girly girl. So funny. They are both classy and refined, like you. Tomboys can definitely be classy and refined😊❤. You are obviously a chip off your Mom’s block!

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                    3. Kim, no I haven’t; but it’s on my short list of things to try. My husband makes wine, so it would be more accurate to say that it’s on my short list of things for HIM to try. I don’t like the taste of alcohol as a general rule, but my husband once made some strawberry wine that was incredible. He also makes a blackberry wine that is to die for.

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                    4. I don’t drink much, but I’ve heard of elderberry wine. I think that’s what Mortimer Brewster’s aunts put arsenic in when they poisoned lonely old men!

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                    5. Yep, Kim. And speaking of hilarious Cary Grant movies, have you ever seen “I Was a Male War Bride” or “The Philadelphia Story”? Classic! (By the way, my hubby has made some really great wines… and he’s made some really awful ones. He once made a citrus wine that was so bad that even he wouldn’t drink it!)

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                    6. Yes, Mick– I love those movies– he was an amazing comic actor. Monkey Business, Bringing up Baby, My Favorite Wife, His Girl many! He also made some good ones with Alfred Hitchcock.

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            2. Coloidal silver and zinc gluconate therapy are both great antimicrobials with little to no side effects (and a long shelf life).
              I use silver by dropper in each nostril to stop a sore throat or sinus infection and it works for me overnight 95% of the time.
              If it settles in my lungs a nebulizer can be used. Twice daily clears my lungs out in about 3 days.
              Zinc therapy comes in a pill you let dissolve in your mouth. A doctor told me the zinc molecules bind to the virus rendering them useless.
              Cold Ezze is one over the counter zinc product but there are cheaper store brands. This is great for other viral illnesses, like diarrhea and stomach nausea.
              My wife and I have used the silver for about 20 years now and on our children and they now use it on thier kids with terrific results. Boots on the ground experience here with a large test base of seven kids (and now thier spouses) and 24 grandchildren to go on.

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                1. I stay out of most of these health discussions…but please be careful with colloidal silver. A man I know nearly killed himself by his wild enthusiasm for colloidal silver. It took some friends to pull him back from the edge. His color went from grey, then to green…and he was convinced that he was healthier than ever…until finally then crash came. Thank God it came early enough he was able to recover. No doubt many of these things can be helpful in small doses, but be careful.

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                  1. Yes, Charlie. I researched this and from what I read, I feel like I need to stay away from it. However, I did start taking elderberry syrup yesterday.

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                  2. Of course Charlie, everything in moderation.
                    I know someone who ended up in the hospital for drinking too much water!
                    His electrolytes plumetted and he nearly died.
                    A 16 oz. bottle of silver, allocated out to my entire family as needed, lasts almost a year, testament to its quick effectiveness even in tiny doses. But some people want to use it as a block to illness instead of a remedy. That’s when people turn grey/green. If one took an antibiotic every day, they would ruin it’s effect and thier health too.
                    The body is a magnificent chemistry set run on a carefully balanced set of rules that can become unbalanced by all manner of abuses and vectors. Silver was used as an antimicrobial for thousands of years before antibiotics were even discovered.

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                    1. Phillip, my sister, a nurse, had a patient die from septic shock he gave himself from over exercising.

                      “Everything in moderation”, Mom used to say. Ah, the value of sound motherly advice.

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                  3. Thanks for the wise warning, Charlie. I’ve heard some truly awful stories regarding people who used colloidal silver injudiciously. On the other hand, I also know of some success stories. In fact, I have such a story myself: I contracted the West Nile virus in July 2005. I was incredibly sick for a little over 2 years, and I had periods of fair health broken by West Nile relapses for 2 years after that. In September 2009, I started a 2-month protocol which required a total consumption of 28 fl. oz. of colloidal silver over the 8 weeks. I have been free of West Nile and its relapses for over 9 years, thanks be to God. 🙂

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                    1. Wonderful. Many times people think MORE of a good thing will be even better. No, stick to what is recommended by someone reliable. I think your testimony highlights the virtue of moderation.

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          2. MARIEURSULA,
            Ten years ago I took three of my teenaged daughters to my hunting camp for thier first experience of helping the club members do its fall planting of food plots. They took to the 4-wheelers with gusto, spreading seed, fertilizer and then covering the seeds with beds spring pulled behind the bikes. It was dusty, muddy work. At the end of the day, one of the guys came up to us and pointed at the three girls and said; “this is how I see you girls stack up”. Pointing to each girl in succession he said, “Hollywood, Get-er-done and High Maintenance”.
            He was very accurate for having only witnessed them for one day as thier personalities shone bright through a full day of work, play and fatigue. Nowadays, Hollywood has 5 children, High Maintenance, 3 and Get-er-done 4.
            Oh, if he could only see them now!

            Liked by 5 people

      3. Thanks, Tanya for the suggestion! and sorry you’re still not up to par, yet Charlie, but some good came out of it-People like myself who had never tried it before will now-found some on Amazon.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Or…
        Sells it for around $45.00 per gallon which is much cheaper than the $15.00 per 4 oz. that you usually see. It is straight juice. I add honey and can it in small jelly jars. I’m hoping to get some elderberry bushes established at our new home.
        I am a no. 1 fan of elderberry!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Charlie, you knocked the ball out of the park on this one!!! I found myself in so much of what you wrote, especially about adoring our Blessed Mother. I recently was watching a discussion on EWTN where (I believe it was Father Pacwa) it was explained the reason we say Mother of God in referring to Mary is that if we said Mother of Jesus, it would imply Jesus as separate from God, when indeed we know he is part of the Trinity, consubstantial with God and the Holy Spirit. I have to laugh while reading the perplexity of the mass to a Protestant, I had a very difficult time understanding the Mass at first…seemed like from a movie to me. The five decades of each Rosary is such a blessing to us, for fun one time I checked my blood pressure before and after doing a Rosary. I lowered by twenty points! I have to share this on Facebook for my Protestant friends…

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    1. The oldest form of this title ‘Mother of God’ is the Greek title, ‘Theotokos’, ‘God Bearer’. The archheretic, Bishop Nestorious of Constantinople denied that Mary could have born God. The Church responded to Nestorious in the negstive. His error is called the Nestorian heresy.

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    2. Douay-Rheims Version, The Gospel of Luke 1:43 confirms Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of the Lord God

      Lk 1:43: “And how does this happen to me, that
      the mother of my Lord should come to me?

      Here, in a most important verse, Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, reveals Mary as the Blessed Mother of God (Greek, “tou meter Kuriou mou”). Elizabeth, in verse 45, confirms “Kuriou” as meaning God when she praises Mary as blessed because she has “believed in the fulfillment of the words of the Lord” (Kuriou). It is necessary to emphasize the Son of God pours out the Holy Spirit on Elizabeth and sanctifies John the Baptizer, through the mediation of Mary’s voice, and must be regarded as an application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Blessed Virgin Mary is “Theotokas” Mother of God, as confirmed by the First Ecumenical Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.

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      1. Yes, Joseph, but a long-refuted heresy argued that Jesus, while indeed Lord, was a created being and not God at all. Acknowledging Him as Lord does not automatically acknowledge Him as God. Far more powerful as self-identification as God are the Lord’s seven “I AM” statements. I AM (or YHWH) is the name of God – and the Jews were outraged precisely because they understood Him exactly. Some translations of the passages about Jesus walking on the sea have Him saying to the Disciples, “Take heart, I AM, have no fear,” rather than the more common translation of, “Take heart, it is I, have no fear.” I prefer the former, for though both are grammatically awkward (more proper to say, “It is me.”), the former elucidates more clearly the point Jesus is making. If you look with an eye that “I AM” statements are overt claims to Divinity, some of the more confusing seemingly garbled comments of Jesus become very clear and pithy.

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  4. this one hits home for me as my daughters serious boyfriend has skepticism about the Catholic faith. they go to a mega church. he is of the sola scriptura , if it’s not in the bible he doesn’t believe it…..i think he thinks Catholicism is very rigid and rule bound…

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    1. I’m always amazed at people who are “sola scriptura” and then have nerve to complain of “Catholic inventions.” When Jesus and the Apostles spoke of Scripture they spoke exclusively about the Old Testament (and there are over 30 citations of Scripture in the New Testament that only appear in the Catholic Old Testament, not the Protestant. When it comes to deciding what is actually Old Testament Scripture, I will take the word of Jesus and the Apostles over Martin Luther every day). The fact is, there was no New Testament and there were hundreds of purported letters going around and more than a few gospel accounts. So who compiled these and decided which would be canonical and which would not? The Catholic Church. It finished its decisions in the early 5th Century, more than a thousand years before Protestants were born. It is an absurdity that Protestants would accept the absolute authority of the Catholic church to determine which books they would agree to be binding on them, but accept that authority on nothing else. I appreciate Protestants adopting our family album – the New Testament – as their rule of faith, but I am baffled when they so angrily reject the source God used to compile that album.

      You want to talk about the inventions of man…try these on for size…sola scriptura (ironically not supported by the Bible), sola fides or faith alone (directly contradicted by numerous New Testament books, most particularly James), once-saved, always saved (again repeatedly contradicted by St. Paul particularly, but also St. Peter), and my absolute favorite, the Rapture, the idea of which is less than 200 years old. I have many Protestant friends and ministers who have deeply enriched my understanding of both Scripture and faith – but not one of these has smugly dismissed my take. We reason together. In fact, one Protestant Minister once told me that when he learned I would attend his service on a Sunday, succumbed to a certain vanity: he wanted to make it really good and completely right to impress me. We both chuckled when I told him that, whatever his intentions, he had succeeded nicely both to mine and his Congregation’s benefit.

      Interestingly, I had a dear friend who repeatedly told me, when it came to religious matters, that he was “Bible only.” Yet he chose often to get into discussions and disputes with me on the subject. I repeatedly backed up my position with Biblical quotes…and even sometimes came close to taunting him about what happened to his “Bible only” position when he was so often in disagreement with what the Bible actually says in preference to the peccadilloes of his various preachers in his denomination. Well, he is an honest man. Things were silent for quite a few months. Then he called me and apologized. He said he had realized in talking to me that while he frequently claimed smugly to be “Bible only” he had come to realize he did not know very much at all about what the Bible actually says – and what I told him always checked out. He remains a Protestant, but when we speak it is always with serious, mutual respect. This experience is not unique. Scratch the surface of a layman who claims smugly to be “Bible only” and most times you will find someone who knows little about the Bible at all – and just wants to claim superiority over you on the cheap.

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      1. Thank you for your explanation of some of the differences between the churches. I didn’t know most of what you wrote.

        I would like your take on this one that I often hear-Mary had other children.

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        1. Oh, that’s a fun one for me, Hand, because I used to think it was likely. Of course, after I converted, I embraced the Church’s teaching authority, so I accepted the perpetual virginity of Mary. But I like evidence…and while the evidence I saw was not conclusive that she did have other children, it was not conclusive (in my mind) that she didn’t either. I have spent a fairly intense lifetime study of history and cultures. It did not shake me that Scripture spoke of the “brothers” of Jesus. It was far more common among ancient Jews to refer to cousins as brothers and sisters. The term cousin was rarely used at all. (It was unusual in Luke to call Elizabeth Mary’s kinswoman instead of sister…though it probably means that Elizabeth was a distant cousin). Representing ancient terminology by modern meanings is useless – and usually deceptive.

          What finally snapped my head up was when Jesus, from the cross, entrusted His Mother into John’s care. It was an honor culture in the Israel of His time. If the oldest son died, the care for a widowed mother passed to the next eldest. This was the duty and honor of the brother – and for the oldest to make any other arrangement would be an insufferable insult. Now Jesus was often deliberately provocative to set up a point He was making, but I know of no case where He was casually provocative. Even had He been so in this instance, it would be so stunningly unusual and offensive that the inspired author would have explained the reason for it and why all accepted it without taking offense. The only reasonable way this could have happened without some explanation is that it was perfectly obvious to all because Jesus had no actual brother. That settled any nagging doubts I ever had.

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          1. That second paragraph sheds light on something I wasn’t aware of. Excellent information.

            That first part has been the usual explanation. Wish I had a dollar for every time someone called another person brotha’ who is not a blood brother by birth. It’s very common (trendy) these days. Some words that are often abused: dude, pal, buddy, unless a person’s name actually happens to be Buddy.

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          2. Charlie,
            Just now catching up on the question of the “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus.. I have a paper which addresses and answers that question with an analysis of those biblical verses which literally confirm Jesus had siblings. . It may be of some little use to those who have serious doubts as to the perpetual virginity of Blessed Mother Mary and believe the Bible which apparently contradicts the Catholic Church teaching. But it may be rather technical and lengthy to post on ASOH and I would do so only with your permission. If you prefer to read it before posting, email me a snail mail address to which I could send it.

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            1. Could you rather send a link to the paper? I don’t really want to open up a prolonged debate on a matter that is a settled point of faith – though helping to buck people up is, indeed, a good thing. See, I don’t want this to be a place where people are routinely invited to argue against the Magisterium. I’ll leave that to the Vatican.

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              1. Thank you Charlie, for your response, “I don’t want this to be a place where people are routinely invited to argue against the Magisterium ” I am not able to post a link to the paper and will leave it at that. Hope you are feeling better Charlie, will continue to lift you up in prayer.

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                1. Ah, well, okay. Thanks for offering, though, Joseph. At times, we come to a subject that folks need as much fortification on as they can get – and it is a comfort to me that here, within this community, we have so many resources close at hand. God bless you.

                  Liked by 3 people

      2. Charlie, could you give a few examples of the “over 30 citations of Scripture in the New Testament that only appear in the Catholic Old Testament, not the Protestant”? My family grew up Catholic and we never missed Sunday Mass, but with the not-so-good catechism classes only 5 of us 12 kids remain practicing our faith. My sister is a believer in solo scriptura and faith alone saves. I would like to share some of these examples with her. Thanks.


        1. Hi Suzanne. Back when I was teaching RCIA I kept a list of a couple of dozen. I no longer have the list. However, a little Biblical history might be helpful. In the Israel of Jesus’ times, the Jews generally read from two different compilations of Old Testament Scripture: the Hebrew Canon and the Greek Septuagint. Both were considered authoritative by the Jews of Jesus time. When Christianity was formed, Christians adopted the Septuagint as their authoritative Old Testament text – which has all the books in our Catholic Bibles. As Jews sought to differentiate themselves from Christians, they dropped the Septuagint nd stuck only with the shorter Hebrew Canon. The fact that Jesus and the Apostles often relied on the Septuagint underscored the Jews position that Christians were an heretical sect.

          When Martin Luther came along, to differentiate himself from Catholics, he adopted the shorter Hebrew Canon for his Protestants. notwithstanding that the Jews, in part, had done so to underline the heretical nature of Christianity from Judaism. Luther actually sought to eliminate four New Testament books – Hebrews, Jude, Revelation – and his most hated book, James – because they contradicted his doctrine of sola gratia and sola fide. That was a bridge too far for his compatriots, so he let them be, though the only thing he ever said of James was that it was “an epistle of straw.”

          I have given a very simplified version here, but further reading might help. Here is a very short description of the history of the Bible. Here is partial list of Old Testament references made by Jesus and His Apostles. There is an outstanding new book out, “A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament,”“A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament,”“A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament,” that is a truly excellent one on the history of the Bible.

          It took me a month and a half of hard labor to compile my old list, almost a quarter of a century ago. If I can find an easy guide for you somewhere, I will reference it.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Thank you Charlie. I have never heard this before and clears up a great deal of why Protestants don’t have the whole Bible. Thanks again.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Charlie,
            Here is a short history of the Bible to which I refer:


            1000-50 BC: The Old Testament books are written

            C. 200 BC: Seventy rabbis convene at Alexandria, Egypt, to translate the OT from Hebrew to Greek, a translation called the “Septuagint”, meaning seventy, includes 46 books.

            30-100 AD: The Septuagint is the translation which Jesus, Apostles and early Christians used as their Scriptures. It upsets the Jews because the Jewish Christian converts are using the Septuagint to spread their cult.

            C. 51-125 AD: The New Testament books are written. The Catholic Church must decide which books are inspired by God since there were many other writings in circulation at that time. First book of the NT, according to many scholars, Matthew, was written about 30 years after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

            C. 90 AD: Jewish rabbis meet at Jamniah or Javneh and decide to include in their Canon only 39 books–since only these can be found in Hebrew–excluding seven books.

            C. 140 AD: The Catholic Church decides on a core canon of the NT: The four Gospels and letters of St. Paul.

            C. 367 AD: Earliest list of the books of the NT, in exactly the number and order in which we presently have them, is written by St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.

            382 AD: Council of Rome, Pope Damasus I decreed the canon of the Old Testament contained 46 books of the Septuagint and 27 books of the NT.

            393 AD: Catholic Church Council of Hippo, decides the canon of OT contains all 46 books of the Septuagint and 27 books of the NT.

            397 AD: Catholic Church Council of Carthage III confirms the canon of OT contains all 46 books of the Septuagint are canonical and 27 books of the NT.

            C. 400 AD: St. Jerome translates Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, called the “Vulgate”. However, the Jews have only 39 books of the Hebrew and Jerome wants to limit the OT to the 39. The seven books would leave out Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Macabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach or Ecclesiasticus and Baruch, plus portions of Esther and Daniel. Jerome calls the seven books “apocrapha” which means “hidden books”. But Pope Damasus wants all 46 traditionally-used books included in the Septuagint. Jerome agreed, the Latin Vulgate has all 46 books of the Septuagint OT. (Note: Catholics refer to the “apocrapha” as the “deuterocanonical” books since they were disputed by a few early authors and their canonicity was established later than the other 39 books which are known as the “protocanonicals” since their canonicity was established first)

            904 AD: Pope Damasus, in a letter, lists the NT books in their present number and order.
            1442 AD: At the Council of Florence, the entire Church recognizes 27 books of the NT.

            1536 AD: Before Martin Luther translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into German, there were many Catholic Church-approved translations of the Bible in the vernacular: Norwegian, French, 14 different versions in German, Polish and other languages as well. Because the “apocrapha” were not compatible with his theology, Luther decided to include only 39 books of the Hebrew Bible and placed the seven “apocrapha” books in an appendix. He did not consider 1 and 2 Macabees as part of the canon because it contradicted his denial of Purgatory where it says in 2 Macabees 12:45-46 “…it was a holy and pious thought…to make …atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” Meaning, the Jews of the OT believed in praying for the dead…Purgatory in which the dead were purified of their sins.

            Luther corrupted the Bible when he added words that were NOT in the original Greek! In the NT, he added the word “alone” to Romans 3:28 which then reads as, “…a man is justified by faith “alone” apart from works of the law.” He called the Epistle of James “an epistle of straw” because it contradicted him when it said in James 2:20-24, “Faith without works is dead.” And, “…a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Luther wanted to remove four books (Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation) from the NT but decided to place them at the end in an appendix, without chapter and verse numbers, stating those books were less than canonical!

            Another erroneous interpretation of Luther was, the Bible alone is the final authority in matters of faith and doctrine. Again the Bible contradicted him where St. Paul says the Church, not the Bible, is the final authority in 1 Tim 3:15, “…the church of the living God, [is] the pillar and foundation of truth.” Luther insisted on a mistranslation to further his own cause and would not submit his translation to the bishops for review. Consequently, it was because of Luther’s erroneous interpretation of, and additions to, the Scriptures that the Protestants splintered into thousands of denominations and cults.

            Please Note: The Catholic Church has not only handed on down the written, inspired Word of the Bible, but also the unwritten, inspired Word of Tradition (capital T), the oral teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles which are not written in the Bible. Read 2 Thess 2:15, 2 Tim 2:2, 1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 3:6. The Catholic Church in Vatican II Constitution on Divine Revelation (10) states, “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the Word of God which is committed to the Church.”

            1546 AD: Catholic Church at the Council of Trent, once for all, reaffirms the full list of 73 books of the Bible, 46 OT and 27 NT.

            As we have seen above, an objective, unbiased and accurate Christian history of the Bible presents great difficulties to the non-Catholic Christian. Indeed, as convert to Catholicism, John Cardinal Henry Newman said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant” (Development of Doctrine, 50). Biblical history confirms the Catholic Church has, with the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, written, preserved and handed on down for 2000 years, the Canons of the Old Testament and the New Testament which her Sacred Authors wrote. Let us praise and thank God for His Holy Word!

            paradosein = Tradition paradoseis = Traditions
            NIV changes 2 Thess 2:15, paradoseis to didaktikos = teachings
            NIV changes James 2:24 “works” to “by what he does”


            Liked by 6 people

            1. Wow, Joseph, a very erudite and solid narrative! My only quibble is that some very serious scholars date some of the writing of the Old Testament to 1,500 B.C. – or at the very latest, 1,300 B.C. It’s not much of a quibble, but I would date the writing of the OT between 1,500? to 50 B.C. Thank you for this. I think it will be helpful to many here.

              Liked by 4 people

      3. “Bible Only” would have been a terribly mean thing for a loving God to do . . . “Ok, humans, here’s 2,000 years of divinely inspired material . . .” PLUNK “There ya go. Good luck. Hope you get this right, because you’re totally screwed if you don’t.” The main difference between the Protestant church and the Catholic church is authority to interpret scripture. Jesus gave the authority to interpret God’s Revelation to the Church when He gave the power of the keys to Peter . . . because it IS just so important to get it right. God didn’t just leave a mysterious “Word” behind, like a fossilized footprint we study. He still talks to us through this same word AND through the Church: The Word’s official interpreter. God is so brilliant that He is able to speak to us through scripture and tradition through the Church for all time in an active and present way. If that seems weird, then how the heck do people think we GOT the Bible in the first place? It is a Divinely inspired text which God patiently developed through imperfect people and events over a very long time. God is gentle and patient. He knew that we could not have everything said to us all at once, the world needed time and gentle guidance (and the occasional pillar of fire) for us to understand and be ready for the truths He has to show us. He is a perfect Father. Why would He stop engaging with us now? Revelation has ended, yes . . . but God’s still talking to us when we come across things we need to clarify. What are we supposed to do in the case of heresy if there is no interpretive authority? The Protestant churches just splinter and splinter away, because there is no authority there. They just make new churches. The Catholic Church stands because it has teaching authority. God is One, and He had one Word to send to us and that Word has one Church for us so that we might have eternal life. It’s so important to believe WELL! People forget that faith is a virtue . . . if your faith is badly informed . . . guess what. You’re not going to progress much in the life of the spirit, which is so sad because God has so much to give! God did not gift humanity with just a vague way to maybe someday ‘make it’ to Heaven. He gifted us with a tool through which God acts to achieve contemplative union with souls while STILL on Earth. He can’t wait until maybe someday to be with us. So Jesus made sure to pass interpretive authority to His Church . . . to make sure we had everything we need to get to Him and then some. Anyway, that’s how I look at it. “Bible only” is a misunderstanding of the power and wisdom of God. God is so much cooler than “sola scriptura”.

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        1. Katherine,
          Love all of your post but especially: “God is so much cooler than “sola scriptura”.

          Some years ago, I had a debate online with a Protestant concerning sola scriptura and Catholic Church Tradition and the Bible. I hope it will be of some interest to those who read it

          I strongly object to BL’s comments in a post of several days ago concerning Sola Scriptura and Tradition, that Catholics have a “misunderstanding” about what Sola Scriptura means; that Scriptures must have control over Tradition when there is a conflict in faith and doctrine. We debated on some of the issues you commented on.

          With regard to Tradition and the Bible, let us ask three questions, What is Tradition? Which came first, Tradition or the Bible? And, Does the Bible take control over Tradition when there is conflict?

          First: What is Tradition? Tradition is the unwritten words, deeds, teachings and events of Jesus Christ, as witnessed by, and taught to the Apostles who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, transmitted them orally to their successors, the bishops, who handed Tradition on down through the ages to the Church. Paul confirms the meaning of Tradition with, 1 Thess 2:13 “…that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but as it really is, the Word of God” (RSV, Oxford Edition). And, 2 Thess 2:15, “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” And, 2 Thess 3:6, “…keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” Sacred Tradition then, is the unwritten divine revelation of God in Jesus Christ entrusted to the Apostles who handed it on down to their successors, the bishops of the Church. Vatican Council II Document on Divine Revelation says, “Sacred Tradition…hands on in its full purity God’s Word, which was entrusted to the Apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

          Second: Which came first, Tradition or the Bible? Paul wrote the first book of the NT, 1 Thessalonians, around the year 50 A.D., and the last, Revelation, by Apostle John, 100 A.D. The 27 books of the NT were canonized at the Council of Rome, 382 A.D., when Pope Damasus I decreed, the canon of the Old Testament, containing 46 books of the Septuagint, and 27 books of the NT, were divinely inspired. Tradition was the oral transmission of divine revelation for over 350 years before the NT was canonized. Vatican II on Divine Revelation says, “Sacred Scripture is the Word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

          Third: The Catholic Church, as the sole recipient of divine revelation, is the Supreme Authority and Teacher of faith and doctrine. Paul says, 1 Tim 3:15, the church is the pillar and bulwark of truth, not the Bible as Protestants would have it. Therefore, in answer to the third question, the Bible cannot possibly take control over Tradition, since both are divine revelation. Vatican II Document on Divine Revelation says, “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the Word of God which is committed to the Church.” And, “Consequently, it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore, both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of devotion and reverenced.”

          There is not one verse in all of the Bible to confirm that it is the ultimate authority in questions of faith and doctrine, and does not take control over Sacred Tradition. The Catholic Church’s teaching Magisterium, guided by the Holy Spirit, is the ultimate authority on earth when there are questions or disputes in faith and doctrine. As opposed to the Bible alone as ultimate authority, the personal interpretation of Scripture, 2 Peter 3:16 says, “There are some things in them [Paul’s letters] are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.” And, 2 Peter 1:20-21, “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Martin Luther, and those who followed him, should have taken that as an instruction and a warning from St. Peter, the First Pope of the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ. Amen.

          Acts First Council of Jerusalem questions on faith and doctrine were settled by Apostles’ decisions not the Bible

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      4. The Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura is the Bible alone is the ultimate rule of faith and doctrine. No other authority is necessary, only the Bible is sufficient for Christians to know how to behave and what to believe. However, the doctrine of sola scriptura is denied by evidence from the Bible itself which clearly says the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, “…is the foundation and pillar of truth.” (1 Tim 3.15) Sola Scriptura makes seven false assumptions which cannot possible be sustained by its proponents.

        1. It assumes 100% literacy. The masses of Christians were 90% illiterate and many are today.

        2. It assumes the invention of the printing press for mass manufacture of Bibles for 2000 years. Although invented in 14th century it cannot and does not now print the billions of Bibles necessary to convert non-Christians.

        3. It assumes distribution network to provide Bibles for 2000 years. There was no such network in place then and none to this day.

        4. It assumes adequate leisure time to study the Bible for themselves. The greater masses of Christians had to struggle to live with little, if any, leisure time.

        5. It assumes universal nutrition, so they could study with adequate mental energy. Bread was the main staple of the masses which suffered malnutrition and weakened mental powers.

        6. It assumes adequate support materials for study. The masses were poor and illiterate and did not have the necessary finances to obtain the education and materials to study Latin and Greek Scriptures.

        7. It assumes the masses of Christians possessed the critical thinking skills which were necessary to undertake the study of Scripture. This is not so even today.

        If only one assumption has not been true for almost 2000 years, sola scriptura fails, it is a human tradition which is carried on down from the Protestant reformation. Each assumption is unbiblical and false.

        –Nowhere does the Bible say Jesus commanded the Apostles to write the New Testament. The Apostles were commissioned to preach the Gospel. Jesus said, “He who hears you, hears me.”

        –Nowhere does the Bible say, Jesus said the Bible is the ultimate authority. The Church is the ultimate authority, the ground and pillar of truth.

        –Nowhere does the Bible say Jesus commanded future Christians to be bound by the NT Scripture. Christians were bound in faith by obedience to their ordained bishops of the Church, successors of the Apostles.

        –Nowhere does the Bible list the books of the OT and NT. The Catholic Church produced, and the Councils of Rome 382, Hippo 393, Carthage 397, canonized the books of the OT and NT, and preserved them for 2000 years. Protestantism relies on the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church for the Bible as it is today.

        –Protestantism cannot prove what is inspired Scripture from the Bible and it denies the Catholic Church produced and preserved the Bible. From the mouth of their founding father, Martin Luther:
        “We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists–that with them is the word
        of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at
        all about it.” (Luther’s Works, Vol 24, Commentary on the Gospel of John)
        discussion on 16th chap., St. Louis, MO, Concordia (1961) 304.

        All quoted from Matt1618, Catholic Apologetics Page: email:

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Joseph, this list covers nicely some of the things that I was thinking.

          When I was in the RCIA becoming Catholic (1986-87), the pastor gave a talk. A line I always remember:

          “Jesus Christ did not found a library. He founded an ecclesia ~ a community of people ~ dedicated to living and spreading the Gospel. The Church was hard at work for many years before the first books later included in the New Testament were ever written down.”

          Liked by 6 people

      1. Some ten years ago at a talk given by a nun at my parish, I made this statement, “When I first went out in the world from Catholic grade school and three years of high school at the seminary, I noticed that the Protestants always backed up their statements with scripture versus whereas Catholics just taught. Being of an analytic nature I sought the heart of the matter and as I studied and read, I could see that Catholics based their teachings on the authority given it by Jesus Christ to go and teach all nation whatsoever I have taught you. Toward the end of St. John’s gospel, Jesus says as he was getting ready to ascend to the Father, “There is much more that I would teach you but you are not yet ready. After I am gone, I will send you the Holy Spirit the Paraclete who will teach you many things and remind you of all that I have taught you. Protestants on the other hand have no teaching authority but must appeal to the Bible as an authority. The problem with that is that they cannot agree on what the Bible says and what it means. Every time they have disagreement or come up with a new teaching, they start a new denomination. That is why at that time there were over 40,000 denominations and the number continues to grow.
        I got now blowback.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie, I like this piece so very much as it reminds me of a time when I would go to Mass in the old rite with my granddaughter. As a cradle catholic as you call it and I seem to understand. I was always amazed at said granddaughter as she seemed to understand without knowing it seemed to me. I could so easily follow her lead as I was so proud of her as she wore a Manilla scarf I gave her. In any regard there Charlie, you just gave me a memory as of that girl telling me one day as to her lack of belief in our Most Holy Mother.

    Her partner of course is some class of a born again. That of course would stem from abuse on someone’s behalf way back then. Quite another subject is that as I remember tales of my old ma in this accursed country. Going to school in bare feet. Hot potato in pocket to keep the hands warm… My old ma was really well off as she was living on some grand estate of old English royalty. I digress of course but my old ma’s people lived on said grand estate for several generation.

    See now Charlie as I do have some form of plan I hope. Next time this girl and her beau should ask me as to just why they should invoke Most Holy Mother. My simple plan is thus. If daddy in our world seems difficult…Ask mammy to change his heart.

    Just a thought ther now Charlie as I re read yer post. The seven sorrows, Divine Mercy, alas I sometimes have to think…A lie is a lie…

    Dia, Mac.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mac,
      I thought your post was rather eloquent and quite suprising as it was an easy read. Until your last sentance, please elaborate as I do not understand.

      “Just a thought ther now Charlie as I re read yer post. The seven sorrows, Divine Mercy, alas I sometimes have to think…A lie is a lie…”

      Liked by 4 people

  6. May Our Blessed Mother and Maria Esperanza intercede quickly for the people of Venezuela…

    Liked by 9 people

  7. “There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints.”
    BINGO! I hope I can paraphrase this amazing piece and use it else where – when needed. It is a zinger. I launched into a piece on a Fox yt channel today, about a panel that was going to tare apart the idea Trump has the right/not to use executive order initiatives or not. I listened and then I just could not go any further. After many sentences of trying to be ‘polite’ but showing the idiocy, I realized, I would not get my point across, b/c they are so in love with themselves, it was futile. So I deleted it. However, the above piece by Charlie says the entire thing. You can tell no one is understanding anything any more. And the Blessed Mother and the saints are the exact ones we must turn to. I read an excellent piece on St. Padre Pio the other day, and it just gave me a tremendous boost, which was pretty important, and this beautiful piece by Charlie has helped immensely also. Thank you Charlie. Get well.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Also, saints are used by God as the Seeds of the church, especially the martyrs. In them the mustard seed is planted and a special vocation grown through their intercessory lives.
      Many a Saint died before the seed even took root as the power of thier intercession was then given by them from Heaven.
      “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth” (St. Therese, the Little Flower.)

      Our Lady, as the mediatrix of all graces, intercedes on our behalf directly from the Emperian Throne through Her Son.
      Her Litany, each invocation reveals a deep mystery through Her Queenship, and is a profound acknowledgment of Her power and importance for humanity:
      Holy Mother of God,
      pray for us.
      Holy Virgin of virgins,
      pray for us.
      Mother of Christ,
      pray for us.
      Mother of divine grace,
      pray for us.
      Mother most pure,
      pray for us.
      Mother most chaste,
      pray for us.
      Mother inviolate,
      pray for us.
      Mother undefiled,
      pray for us.
      Mother most amiable,
      pray for us.
      Mother most admirable,
      pray for us.
      Mother of good counsel,
      pray for us.
      Mother of our Creator,
      pray for us.
      Mother of our Savior,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most prudent,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most venerable,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most renowned,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most powerful,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most merciful,
      pray for us.
      Virgin most faithful,
      pray for us.
      Mirror of justice,
      pray for us.
      Seat of wisdom,
      pray for us.
      Cause of our joy,
      pray for us.
      Spiritual vessel,
      pray for us.
      Vessel of honor,
      pray for us.
      Singular vessel of devotion,
      pray for us.
      Mystical rose,
      pray for us.
      Tower of David,
      pray for us.
      Tower of ivory,
      pray for us.
      House of gold,
      pray for us.
      Ark of the Covenant,
      pray for us.
      Gate of Heaven,
      pray for us.
      Morning star,
      pray for us.
      Health of the sick,
      pray for us.
      Refuge of sinners,
      pray for us.
      Comforter of the afflicted,
      pray for us.
      Help of Christians,
      pray for us.
      Queen of angels,
      pray for us.
      Queen of patriarchs,
      pray for us.
      Queen of prophets,
      pray for us.
      Queen of apostles,
      pray for us.
      Queen of martyrs,
      pray for us.
      Queen of confessors,
      pray for us.
      Queen of virgins,
      pray for us.
      Queen of all saints,
      pray for us.
      Queen conceived without Original Sin,
      pray for us.
      Queen assumed into Heaven,
      pray for us.
      Queen of the most holy Rosary,
      pray for us.
      Queen of peace,
      pray for us.

      Liked by 10 people

    2. Ah, yes, Saint Padre Pio! What would we all do without the saints to keep us in and remind us of the truth that is Christ. They are a gift from Him to remind us He is and continues to be real.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Charlie for your insights and teachings. I find myself feeling a safety and comfort in reading your articles here as compared to some others I have listened to or read. The worlds ways are certainly becoming full of great unrest. This may seem a bit unusual to some but as I read your words Charlie, I sense a peace that I believe is brought about by God’s presence, and I thank you very much for saying “yes” to Him and sharing this journey with us. May our Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, continue to surround you with His presence and fill you to overflowing as Holy Mother Mary covers you in her mantle. May all the Angels, Holy Saints and Souls in Purgatory pray and intercede for you that you will have the strength and courage to continue on this anointed assignment that Our Lord has given you.
    (I just now had seen a vision of you, Charlie, dressed in armor with sword drawn, battle ready ).
    God bless you and your army!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 4 February
    Cardinal: Church destroyed documents on clergy sex abuse

    Abortion and the Catholic Surrender to Politics–William Dodd

    Trump-Hating Lesbian Tennis Champ Destroyed for Saying Men and Women Are Different–Jim Daws

    John Wayne Airport should be renamed, some say, after screen legend’s 1971 Playboy interview sparks controversy

    5 House Democrats took $60,000 trip to South Africa for Beyoncé concert, records show

    The elderly gentleman wearing a MAGA cap–Lloyd Marcus

    ‘Sick tyrant’: Maduro burns truckloads of food aid right in the faces of Venezuela’s hungry

    Masked Protesters Overrun Museum, Deface Memorial To Fallen Border Patrol Agents

    Headlines from Pay-to-play “news” papers:

    Pro-life film ‘Unplanned’ assigned surprise R-rating by MPAA

    Decision could emphasize that abortion is ‘act of violence,’ fimmakers say

    The Most Talked About Non-Topic at the Vatican? Homosexuality

    Why the Priesthood Needs Women

    Yep!! I have no doubt we are in Civil War II and BoobLand USA doesn’t know it …Yet!! ;-(

    MSNBC Analyst: ‘Anti-American’ to Deny U.S. Re-Entry to ISIS Terrorist

    Cory Booker: The ‘War on Drugs…Has Really Been a War on People’

    Rep. Nadler: Trump ‘Greatest Threat’ to US Since Civil War

    ‘It’s a Rag’: Nebraska State Senator Likens American Flag to Nazi Swastika

    Far-Left Think Tank Wants Democrats to ‘Dismantle Fox News’

    Brent Bozell: Andrew McCabe, the Justice Department’s Jussie Smollett

    Newt Gingrich: FBI Attempted a Coup of President Trump

    DiGenova: ‘We Are In a Civil War … I Vote and I Buy Guns’

    We got a Civil War goin’ on in Our Church too … in case Ya missed it!!?? ;-(

    I’d like to believe that Voris & Gang’s reporting is a bit too sensational and biased … but … I don’t believe it is.






    Liked by 5 people

    1. Here is another headline summarizing the summit:
      How the 8 daughters of lust influenced Vatican’s sex abuse summit (IMHO-the Vatican sure is a filthy mess)

      As i read it, I couldn’t help but think any of the -isms could be substituted for lust. Growing up in an alcoholic home, alcoholism could easily substitute for the word lust.

      Lord have mercy.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey, CrewDog,
      Have you read this about banks and credit card companies not processing conservative and indepentent’s credit cards and/or bank accounts? It is disquieting. I see my credit card company as one of them. Chase, Visa, Mastercard, Square, PayPal, and Stripe. I feel like a canary in the coal mine. When do we have to pull our money?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yesterday I decided to pray my rosary offering it for the heart of things. I prayed that Mary and God would bind the dragon and that Mary would obtain permission from God for her “Immaculate Heart to soon triumph”. I had several thoughts as I prayed. First, I had an image of racehorses at the gate snorting to get into action and had the sense that God and Mary were both eager for these graces to be released soon, but soon in God’s time can seem so long! And secondly thought of why God is waiting and what good God will bring out of this time of darkness and storm as nothing can happen without God’s permission. Can we trust that God knows what he is doing in permitting these evils? And each of us is certainly small but our prayers can all contribute to what God wants to happen somehow.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes we can trust that God knows what He is doing. How many times have good and worthy men and women TOLD people of the danger we are all in, of the perilous course we are following? If saying were doing we would already be reformed. But we are a stubborn, hard-hearted people, determined to have our own way, to be as gods. So, the consequences the Lord promised for infidelity are upon us…at their beginning. Yet with God, the punishment is not vindictive, but reformative. Since we would not hear Him and those who faithfully call us to Him, we must suffer the consequences of the new tower of Babel we are intent on building. With this, many will see the folly of their ways and repent. Without it, some would never repent. Even with it some will never repent out of their pride and arrogance. Trust me, the time will come when the most determined reprobates, now knowing that God IS, denounce Him for being racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. – and they will choose their own doom, not because God wills it, but because they do.

      I occasionally say that we have entered a great battle – and each soul is the battleground. God knows how long the consequences must extend and how dire they must become in order to rescue every soul that can be reclaimed to Him. I do not pray that it be soon, for many would be lost by not seeing how dire the consequences are for their rebellion. Rather, I pray that I and all here comport ourselves in a manner that is steadfast, patient, active and faithful until all who can be reclaimed ARE reclaimed. God knows the time, duration, and intensity necessary for that; none of us do. When we advise him to make it snappy to reduce our discomfort, we would thoughtlessly condemn many who can be saved to perdition. Let us not urge the Master to take the cake out of the oven when it only yet half-baked. As servants of the living God, it is not our place to advise Him on how He should conduct this Rescue to best please us, but to acknowledge Him, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope KNOWING that He will accomplish it in the manner which brings the most bountiful catch.

      As I have said here several times before, on several occasions when visited by the Lord and instructed in something that seemed off to me, I have told Him, “That is not how I would do it.” And each time, He has grinned and simply said, “I know.” I am thankful for this, for I still sometimes presume to “improve” upon His plan – but I am much better about it than I was. May we all be so.

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Thanks for your thoughtful response on this Charlie. I am sure we all could benefit during this Lent to meditate on God’s seeming silence and His timing on how He plans to save as many as possible and what part He wants each of us to play in this!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. And yet, while God has a plan, we must continue to pray much as, to our eyes it so often looks like those who are striving to create this “New Tower of Babel” seem to be dragging many to hell with them, and leading the rest to confusion. Is it that God is allowing a “spirit of delusion” on those who refuse to be opened to the truth, as 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 reminds us. A first read of that chapter at first seems like God is wanting to lead people astray but a closer reading shows that God is only respecting the choices of those who are not opened to the truth so they may be saved!!

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Charlie & Beckita,

    Praying for both of you in your personal struggles.

    Thank you for your dedication, encouragement, faithfulness and charity!

    The thought “we will have to rebuild” keeps going through my mind. You had said before this is the case. No saving this culture.

    Thank you for TNRS/ASOH lessons!

    Simple for simple folks.😀

    Liked by 7 people

  12. Folks I think well of are thinking that the Sandal Summit is a Scandal ;-(

    NET & MILINET: Articles for Christians-25 February
    Pope describes sex abusive clergy as ‘tools of satan’

    Francis Allies Reveal Their Plans for Revolutionary Change

    Are we on road to civilization collapse?


    High court deciding fate of cross-shaped Maryland memorial

    Establishment Clause Confusion–GEORGE WILL

    Why Leftists Love Stickin’ It to Christianity–Lloyd Marcus

    Gay couple demands new law forcing Christian service to prepare their taxes

    Dems have uphill battle in appealing to religious base, says pollster

    Lots of Civil War fomenting goin’ on ’round here! ;-(

    Watch — Spike Lee at Oscars: Americans Must ‘Mobilize’ Against Trump in 2020

    Trump slams Spike Lee for ‘racist hit’ during Oscars speech

    Woman arrested for assaulting man wearing MAGA hat on Cape Cod

    Scarborough calls Trump ‘most racist president in modern American history’


    Ilhan Omar Discussed ‘Dismantling Patriarchy’ After Trip to Honduras With Radical Group

    HATE is the currency of the Left, and they spend it carelessly


    Liked by 3 people

  13. I dunno what to think of this hodgepodge other than sigh and shake my head. I may read bits about the Pope now and again on Drudge, so when I am perplexed by something, I may go to NCR to get the whole story. From the Vatican:

    Title: Pope Francis Outlines 8-Point Plan for ‘All-Out Battle’ Against Sexual Abuse

    ….“The meaning behind child sex abuse comes from “the present-day manifestation of the spirit of evil,” he said, later adding that consecrated persons who commit such crimes become “tools of Satan.” (PD: Boy would I word that completely differently!)

    “Today we find ourselves before a manifestation of brazen, aggressive and destructive evil,” he said. “We need to take up the spiritual means that the Lord himself teaches us: humiliation, self-accusation, prayer and penance. This is the only way to overcome the spirit of evil. It is how Jesus himself overcame it.”

    The pope presented 8 guidelines to aid the Church in “developing her legislation” on the issues. The eight guidelines can be summarized as follows:

    1. A “change of mentality” to focus on protecting children rather than “protecting the institution.”
    2. A recognition of the “impeccable seriousness” of these “sins and crimes of consecrated persons.”
    3. A genuine purification beginning with “self-accusation.”
    4. Positive formation of candidates for the priesthood in the virtue of chastity.
    5. Strengthening and reviewing of guidelines by episcopal conferences, reaffirming the need for “rules.”
    6. The accompaniment of those who have been abused with an emphasis on listening.
    7. Ensure that seminarians and clergy are not enslaved to an addiction to pornography.
    8. Combat sexual tourism around the world.

    “The Church’s aim will thus be to hear, watch over, protect and care for abused, exploited and forgotten children, wherever they are,” Pope Francis said.”


    PD: Convoluted. A couple points are OK I guess, a couple are noncommittal or non-specific, and a couple have nothing to do with the problem at hand. What exactly is the Vaticans goal here?

    Does the Pope have the desire or the ability to address the church sex-abuse issue coherently and effectively? (A loaded question. I don’t think so.)

    Praying for the Holy Father.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I read CD post on Francis and his push for revolutionary change and at first felt discouraged. Then I remembered that God Himself will protect His church from error. Francis is, in my view a “Mixed bag” in that he has much to say that is good about mercy and in the above storm tracker article he is clear that satan is behind much of this evil, and the need for seminarians to be formed in chastity and to be protected from porn. Yet he is weak in, as Benedict used to say speaking “the truth in love”.
      Also from the recent readings of King David and Saul at mass, let us remember to speak to the errors but remember how David treated “God’s anointed” even in the face of persecution.

      Liked by 4 people

  14. Gotta say this is one of the best threads …. evah!

    Couple of thoughts I’d like to throw into the mix of this discussion although I am sorely tempted just to sit back and enjoy it.

    First, as to the Saints. What is a Saint?

    I am intrigued by Charlie’s observation that Saints come in all shapes, sizes, varieties and flavors. There’s no fixed recipe to follow to produce a Saint. I am going to ponder that for a long time. Is there a common strain that we find in all Saints? Is there a magic mambo sauce needed for Sainthood?

    The striking thing to me is that we have all witnessed in our lifetime a great phenomena that I have only seen referred to here at ASOH …. SIM … Saint In The Making. Mother Theresa. Padre Pio. Carol Wojtyla come immediately to mind. We got to see what they were made of on this natural plane. Fill in the blank in your own personal experience. SIMs are all around us. A lot of them post right here at ASOH.

    The best definition of the word Saint, imo, is: A friend of God.

    It pretty neatly sums up Sainthood to me. Frankly, it is what I am striving to be. It is something that is within the grasp of every soul. God’s friend. Friendship is a great model of Sainthood. We all have friends and they surely do come in all shapes, sizes, varieties and flavors. If we think about what true friendship entails … what the relationship of being friends requires to be authentic friendship… we can visualize what the Communion of Saints looks like.

    Leon Bloy wrote, “The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.”

    One of the keys to becoming a Saint is to WANT to become a Saint.

    The Army has a great recruiting challenge for young men and women: “Be all that you can be! Go Army!” In our context … Be all that you can be. Be a Saint.

    I have met a few people in my life who have amazed me with their leadership skills. Just a few really. We have a term “Born Leader”. They have the IT factor of leadership. When you encounter it in person you wonder how they got it. Were they “born with it” or were they somehow made into leaders. Alternately are great leaders “trained up”. Can we teach average ordinary people to become Saints and how would you do it? How would you train yourself to become a Saint … perhaps not a Great Saint but maybe just a little anonymous Saint? More importantly for parents, how would you train up your children to become real friends of God? Is it possible to enroll our kids in a SIM course?

    This is really becoming a problem of our time. It is what we fear the most … our children and our grandchildren failing to become Friends of God … failing to become Saints … perhaps through our own failings. With chilling and horrifying consequences for them and perhaps for us.

    In pondering this problem of Sainthood and our children failing to become Saints in this life I ran across this remarkable reflection by Fr. Chad Ripperger on how to raise a virtuous man.

    Suffering and Responsibility. Self denial. Give your boys something hard to do. And make them responsible for it. Age appropriate tasks. Acknowledge their success.

    Righteousness. If there is a common strain among Saints it is living righteously.

    I have been meditating for months now on that word Righteous. James the Just. Simon bar Cleopas.
    Known for being righteous. The two most important leaders of the early 1st century Jewish Christian Church in Jerusalem. Anonymous little Saints these days. They were Righteous Men.

    One thought about Mary:

    A kind of revelation I had about Mary on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land exactly one year ago is that Mary leads Christ to us. This turned my thinking about my relationship to both Mary and Jesus somewhat upside down. I thought about my pilgrimage as a journey toward Christ. A seeking after Christ. That I had to do all the work on my own. A kind of daily uphill struggle.

    What I found to my astonishment was Mary leading Jesus to me! “Jesus, this is Storm Tracker and I want you to be friends with him.”

    Think about that for awhile and it alters your appreciation of Mary. What a powerhouse Mother we have in Heaven. She is a kind of matchmaker. “You two get together and be friends.” Think of Cana. “They have no more wine Jesus.” Jesus is obedient to his Mother Mary.

    Want to be a Saint? Want to be a Friend of God? Ask Mary for to introduce her Son to you. She will grab Him by the elbow or the shoulders and march Him right up to you.

    Want your children or your grandchildren to be a Friends of God? Teach them how to become a virtuous man or a virtuous woman as Fr. Ripperger suggests. Train them up to it through suffering and responsibility. Make them do hard things. Make them accountable for it. Teach them about self-denial in little ways. Teach them about what virtue is and what leading a Righteous Life entails.

    Finally, don’t forget to ask Mary to introduce her Son to them. To march her Son right up to your kids or your grandkids and say :

    “Jesus this is [fill in your child’s name]. I want you two to be friends.”

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Nice reflection, Ed, with much insight. Of course, I long ago settled on the very basic method of Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. Of course, I ask constantly many saints to help me discern, pre-eminently Our Lady, Our Queen.

      Liked by 9 people

  15. latest Madjugorje message

    Latest Medjugorje Message, February 25, 2019

    “Dear children!
    Today, I am calling you to a new life. It is not important how old you are, open your heart to Jesus who will transform you in this time of grace and, like nature, you will be born into a new life in God’s love, and you will open your heart to Heaven and the things of Heaven. I am still with you, because God permitted me out of love for you.

    Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood –– idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. — Rev 9:20

      The lengths some go in our times to fulfill this prophecy are bone-chilling. And still the idols cannot see or hear or walk in the true sense.

      Liked by 5 people

  16. It would be nice to know that we are nearing the end of these horrid times; alas it is otherwise! Lord, give us strength! Well, Australians (who don’t watch overseas news on the net) are just finding out about Cardinal Pell’s (impeccably timed, considering the Vatican Summit outcome?!?!) conviction news. What will come first, his sentencing or defrocking? There are atheists who are baffled at the judgement! There are many articles about the hounding of this churchman in the years before charges were laid.

    Tomorrow many Adelaide Catholics were planning a large but silent counter-protest on the steps of Parliament following the proposed vote to decriminalise and extend abortion limits and create protest limits outside abortion mills. Of course, apart from the bad press the Cardinal is receiving there is soon to take place the annual 40 Days for Life campaign outside the mills. Lord, give us Your Strength!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Strange, when there was a full, open trial, Cdl. Pell was found not guilty. When they were able to use the star chamber route of a completely closed trial with limitations on the evidence the defense could submit, then they get the guilty verdict they wanted. And one of the rare actual reformers at the Vatican is taken down.

      Liked by 7 people

  17. Eerie flashback video; and Amen to Bishop Strickland’s advice:

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Enemy at the Gates ….. and the enemy within ;-(

    MILINT & News for Christians – 26 February
    George Pell: cardinal found guilty of child sexual assault

    UNCLE TED — CASE NOT CLOSED – Everything must be revealed.

    Illinois bill will make state the ‘abortion capital of America,’ pro-life group warns

    Stunning – 44 Democrats Vote to Support Post Birth Abortion…

    Donald Trump Berates Democrats for Refusing to Protect Born-Alive Babies

    Steve Scalise: Democrats Won’t Let Me Testify, ‘People with Guns Saved My Life’

    Swiss Soldier Convicted for Fighting with Christians Against Islamic State

    Supreme Court Will Consider Whether A 40-Foot Cross Must Be Removed To Appease Atheists And Dishonor Fallen WWI Soldiers


    Liked by 6 people

  19. Our Church pro-life committee is very upset today (KS). They said:

    Here is what I gleamed from today’s news. I have nothing more to say, I am so disgusted. The vote was 53-44 to end a filibuster. It is time to change the Senate rules and allow a simple majority on bills. Luckily these events are increasing the number of citizens against abortion.

    Senate Democrats today blocked a request by Republicans to vote on a bill that would stop infanticide and provide medical care and treatment for babies who are born alive after botched abortions.

    Someone replied that they prayed daily for the end to abortion and posted this great video of Sr. James Lankford from Oklahoma in January of 2017

    Liked by 7 people

  20. True saints are mostly found in Heaven not on earth… As long as we’re still in the game of life in this world we can always fall.

    The moment a person thinks their are “virtuous”, they have already fell back into “pride”. We must always be mindful we can fall at anytime into sin, even a little sin. We always need graces, as we nothing without God and will fall and fail if push God away.

    It’s difficult to focus in today’s noisy world, but if we can focus on we can focus on the humble thoughts that we are nothing without God, it helps to refocus us…

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You have “triggered” me Al. You have pushed my button so to speak.

      I have spent some time over the years thinking about what it means to be “In a State of Grace”. Specifically, how hard it is to REMAIN in the State of Grace. As in a feeling of being full of grace during Mass or Confession and giving it up in the parking lot with thoughts about that fool ahead of you blocking your way.

      It seems that SOG is a very unstable state. Like a bubble in the breeze. A little puff of wind and POP!
      It seems it doesn’t take much to pop our SOG bubble.

      Can people not in SOG make it to Heaven?

      Now if your SOG bubble is popped for whatever reason … some failure of charity or otherwise on your part …. can you remain in God’s friendship?

      If SOG is so easily popped so to speak but is a necessary prerequisite for entry to Heaven how can any of us make it?

      More pertinent to your point can somebody not in SOG here on the natural plane be a Saint or Saint In Making (SIM)?

      This is one of the issues I took with me on my pilgrimage to the Holy Land last year.

      The result of my meditation on this last year is that we underestimate the power of Jesus’ love for us. This may draw some reaction from Charlie but I believe that we are in something close to a perpetual SOG. That is Jesus is ALWAYS walking with us step by step along our own personal Via Dolorosa. We all carry crosses. We all fall. Jesus doesn’t walk away when we fall.

      Why? Because friends don’t desert friends in time of trouble.

      This insight came through to me one day at about 5:30 AM as I walked the Via Dolorosa in the rain and dark and cold. I carried a wooden cross from the 5th to the 6th Station of the Cross along the way. From where Simon of Cyrene picked up Jesus’ cross until Veronica wiped his face. I kept repeating to myself “Jesus I am with you.” Was I in SOG? Dunno. But I felt awfully close to Jesus that morning in the rain.

      Our friendship with God is asymmetrical. We are not co-equal in the friendship relationship. God loves us in a way we can hardly understand. It’s like we are an ant and God is an elephant sitting on a teeter totter. Whatever we do we ain’t moving that elephant. He is going to hold us up in the air no matter what. We can try and try to move God but it isn’t gonna happen.

      God loves us where we are. He comes to us where we are. He walks with us every step of the way. He doesn’t give up on us. It’s what friends do for friends. God is the best friend we will ever have by a factor of gazzilions to one.

      Jesus came to set the captives of sin free. He came for the sinners. He walked with the sinners. He ate with the sinners. He healed the sinners. He did not turn away. Healthy people don’t need physicians sick people do.

      …. True saints are mostly found in Heaven not on earth… As long as we’re still in the game of life in this world we can always fall……

      I disagree with your premise Al. If you can define the word Saint as A Friend of God then there are a lot of Saints on Earth. Millions of them. Jesus walks with us every step every day. When we fall under our cross Jesus picks it up and carries it on our personal Via Dolorosa. We can almost hear him saying: “I am with you”.

      That’s what I think it means to be in a SOG. Take heart and keep on truckin’.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. God knows man’s weakness – and quickly heals us from those sins if we but ask. But the sins of vanity and of malice are the sins of the fallen angels – and the hideous nature of those sins are that we become too proud to ask for forgiveness, and then too blind to even recognize them as sin. It is we who turn from God, not God who turns from us. Read the Gospels and see who Jesus tenderly comforts and who He angrily rebukes. I might have a minor quibble or two, Ed, but I think you are very close to the truth. Of course, we cannot know when we are in a state of grace. Sometimes, when we feel most mortified, we actually are in a state of grace. At other times, when we are most confident, we are merely in a state of pride and out of a state of grace. But know this: for those who love Him, God never plucks a soul until it is in its final state of grace or when it has accomplished the purpose for which He sent it. So…trust God, take the next right step, be a sign of hope…and don’t worry.

        Liked by 9 people

      2. No, the way I see “saint” is being in a state of grace and not needing to spend time in purgatory or completing purgatory and now residing in Heaven.

        Just being a friend of God may save a person from hell and get them in purgatory…

        State of mind & attitude (pride vs humility) will have a effect on how long a person will remain in grace. We also expose ourselves to a lot of “junk culture” (junk food for the mind) that negatively impacts our thoughts & spiritual development. I sure wish there was a delete button for all the “junk culture” I’ve been exposed to…

        Maybe Charlie has some recommended books for reading for maximizing grace…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I am constantly heartened by the very serious approach all here make to finding the way. You work to make the next right step…and in that, I think, you will all find the grace you need to enter into real friendship with God. Certainly, there are significant theological books that can be helpful…but you are getting to the heart of the matter.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Amen.

            Awareness about these topics and the pitfalls, are a good place to start. It’s sometimes hard to wrap our brains around certain concepts, so questions are good things.

            Let God worry about “saints” & status titles, and the rest of us should just focus on that “state of grace”, anything that engages vanity, ego, pride is bad for us…


        2. I try to meet the necessary requirements to obtain a plenary indulgence as often as possible. 30 minutes of Eucharistic adoration or 30 minutes of reading the bible in addition to the other things required for the plenary indulgence will qualify. That’s what started my going to confession every 2 weeks.

          Liked by 4 people

        3. Many of us feel likewise, Al. M.Brown penned a short commentary on SD. An excerpt:

          It was Saint Teresa of Avila who gave us the Prayer To Redeem Lost Time:
          “O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your Grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in ‘wedding garments.’”


          Liked by 3 people

      3. “Jesus I am with you”

        Ed, I love this quote and shall keep this in mind during my stations of the cross. I have commenced asking God to place me in a state of grace immediately prior to walking the stations so I may receive a Plenary Indulgence.

        Further reflection: when God consoles His Son Jesus on the way of the cross with His Mother Mary, can we not imagine Mary saying “Help my Son” {quote from Mel Gibsons movie “Passion of the Christ”}. The next few stations: Simon helping Jesus carry the Cross, Veronica wiping Jesus’ face.

        I like to imagine Mother Mary saying help my son while thinking… help lift the cross, wipe His face, show Him love through little children and their mothers…

        Liked by 3 people

        1. They really do sing better. Round these parts desert ground squirrels and chipmunks are often confused since they look very similar. The subtle difference in appearance is a slight matter of size and some extra facial/head stripes, which most folks don’t know to look for. A better way to distinguish is by simply listening. Chipmunks are much more vocal, with a higher pitch that might be mistaken for bird chirping. Squirrels tend to more well-placed clicks and kuks and often use the tail for flourish/punctuation. I think of squirrels as the sparrow of the rodent family and just can’t imagine the last living human on the planet breathing their last without at least a squirrel or sparrow to keep vigil with them.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Well, Chipmunks ARE squirrels. They are ground-squirrels as apposed to tree-squirrels. Thier differences are mainly in the habitats they live in and just like each bird, (and most animals in general-even lizards vocalize), they each have their own peculiar language. Many a naturalist identifies populations by the sounds they make. There are audio recorders that the biologist here in FL use to ID frog species at breeding ponds. They set the recorders up and after several week, retrieve the recording and ID the species based on each species unique call.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Hold the fort.

              So a chipmunk is really a squirrel?
              The whole notion has sent me awhirl,
              You accept what they say,
              But I heard it one May,
              Twas a “chirp,” no “kuk,” just ask ‘ole Earl.

              God bless my uncle who could split hairs with the best of them.

              (So just to be sure, we’re going with squirrel?)

              Liked by 4 people

                1. Then God said: “Multiply and cover the earth” but the squirrel said, “but I’m a tree rat by birth?”. So God trimmed down his tail, and striped up his face, knocked him out of the tree into a hole He did place. So the ground squirrel was born to fulfill the plan to cover the earth with this furry friend of man. And the stories Memorial, Chip need not be aboreal to find a squirrel’s place in the Masters plan.

                  Liked by 5 people

  21. Thanks for remembering Linda – and echoing her Birthday Wishes to you Charlie! At the very least I hope your recent illness has passed. I imagine there are more prayers than ever going up for you these days as our Head Sherpa! Thank you so much for all that you do and for being there (here) for us. May Our Lady of Tepeyac keep you wrapped in her magnificent mantle!

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Hi Charlie

    What is your take on Cardinal Pell? From what I can see the case was thin as one witness who died of overdose told his Mom it never happened. The second one did not re testify for the second trial (The first being a hung trial) instead they replayed his first trial testimony.

    It seems to be a matter of he said vs she said with so many holes.

    Now myself having undergone injustice and confided in You and Beckita I am still broken I do not want revenge just for GOD to hear my cry and fix what is broken. I have communicated to GOD how.

    I dont want to belittle the sufferings of innocent victims as I know it is impossible to move on.

    At the same time this could be just a political character assassination just like Kavaunagh a sleeping agent activated or trained by the left. It seems to me he is been trialed by the media. I remember one visionary saying Mary confided (Pedro Regis if I am not mistaken)) that Cardinal Pell is innocent and Mary says his name will be cleared. But then this happens? I wonder If his name will be cleared just like Joe or in Heaven.

    Of course you are deep into this so I trust you might know better?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Charlie I can see you already commented about Cardinal Pell. Sorry! Thanks I cant believe what is happening the MSM has utterly assassinated his character even though many seasoned Lawyers have voiced their opinion that the case was very slim and unusual.

      They are setting the grounds for his appeal to be unsuccessful by tagging up saying the jury decision should be respected and they were convinced ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by a replayed testimony of a failed trial?. This is how they won their SSM vote.

      Cant believe politicians who are caught accepting bribes for giving away natural resource licenses for kickbacks with real evidence and Supreme Court finding them guilty get away on appeal with the Judge saying ‘their mental state of mind’ wasn’t considered and threw out the conviction of the criminals. A caught pedophile who’s entire generations of family were judges gets away without conviction just counselling and close monitoring. How can justice be delivered when the devil has infiltrated the justice system 😦

      We are at war with the Left!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Hello, Charlie. I have not posted, here, for quite a while. But the Holy Spirit led me to come to this site, today. I love your articles. I love the one I just read, that you wrote, on the Saints. It uplifted me, and brought be hope! You are such a gifted writer. You introduced some humor, too, which made me laugh. When you described the cartwheel in the aisle. That is the “joy of the Lord,” that you bring. We all need that. The world has gone SO crazy, that humor is a great gift that breaks the tension. Thank you for that. Keep writing! God bless you! God bless all here! – Starshine 🌟✝

    Liked by 5 people

  24. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 27 February
    Understanding and Combating the Francis Effect

    Keep Sacred Music Sacred

    Cardinal Pell to spend first night in jail

    Why the Case against Cardinal George Pell Doesn’t Stand Up–GEORGE WEIGEL

    Vatican to Open Investigation of Cardinal Pell Accusations


    United Methodists Tighten Ban on Same-Sex Marriage and Gay Clergy

    Pope Francis demanded ‘concrete’ measures against child sex abuse. Where are they?–WaPo Editorial

    Protect Life Rule Is Good News for America

    Only 3 Democrat Senators Vote for Bill Protecting Babies Born Alive After Abortion

    Commentary: Born-Alive bill failure shows the deadly consequences of ‘team sports’ politics

    All 6 Democratic Presidential Candidates Vote for Infanticide andidates Vote for Infanticide

    FringeLeft Baby Killing Lavender Liberals deciding who can own guns? What could possibly go wrong!!!???

    NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Controversial ‘Red Flag’ Bill Into Law



    Backpacks For Life: How One Organization Is Helping Homeless and At-Risk Veterans Get Back on Their Feet

    What’s Happened to the FBI We Once Knew?

    High court’s cross case could affect monuments nationally

    How many SIGNS do we need??!! ;-(

    Two transgender sprinters dominate girls’ state championship — again. Now one of them claims biological girls may have advantages.



    Liked by 6 people

  25. Luz de Maria posts a message from Saint Michael the Archangel (translated into English) I alluded to in an earlier posting. Contained within this message are two links pertaining to the Warning, Chatisment and the Miracle.

    Further, she notes the situation of the United States and It closley resembles what Charlie has spoken:

    Liked by 3 people

  26. In addition toTrump/Nehemia post above, now we have Trump/Cyrus written by Fr Gordon Macrae

    “…History sometimes repeats itself in subtle ways. In 587 BC, the Kingdom of Judah fell to Babylonian invaders who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and carried off the people of Judah to exile in Babylon. It is one of the mysteries of Sacred Scripture that, two centuries earlier, the Prophet Isaiah wrote about this, and actually named the person – Cyrus – who would show up two centuries later to fix it:

    “Thus says the Lord to his anointed: To Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and ungird the loins of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed.” (Isaiah 45:1)

    Two hundred years after that prophecy was set down by Isaiah, a man named Cyrus united the Medes and the Persians to form the great Persian Empire. In 539 BC, fifty years after Babylonians captured Jerusalem, deported the Jews into exile, and destroyed the Temple, Cyrus, and his armies conquered Babylon.

    For the Jews in exile, however, Cyrus turned out to be more of a liberator than a conqueror. Though he practiced no faith the Jews could recognize and lived with values deplorable to them, Cyrus carried out exactly what Isaiah had prophesied. He restored the Kingdom of Israel, rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple, and returned the Jews to their promised land. King Cyrus then published a charter of freedom declaring an end to slavery and oppression and the restoration of religious freedom.

    The Prophet Isaiah certainly never envisioned anyone like Donald Trump, but there is a curious sort of parallel in his presidency. He is notorious for having lived with a lifestyle and value system that would be anathema to Evangelical Christians, and yet they have come to see him as a Cyrus-like protector of religious liberty.

    Devout Catholics might find some of his value system embarrassing, but he has also embraced the right to life and is transforming the federal courts with pro-life judicial nominees who respect religious liberty, the most fundamental freedom in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. American Jews traditionally identify as Democrats, but many might be thinking of King Cyrus right about now in the wake of a stream of anti-semitism from two new Democratic members of Congress who resist correction. Also like King Cyrus, President Trump restored the American Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s traditional capitol for three thousand years.”…

    Liked by 3 people

  27. HeartLight Daily Verse

    2 Timothy 1:7
    God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Power! We like that concept. When it is godly power, might does make right, because godly power is accompanied by love and self-discipline. These three together make a person’s life effective. Live life to its fullest: not as a closet Christian, afraid of standing true and firm, but one who lives by God’s power, shares God’s love, and displays God’s virtues.

    Holy God, you are without comparison in your majesty and might. I have no right to come into your presence, and yet you have invited me here by your love and your grace. You are my Rock, my Fortress, and my Strength. I depend upon your guidance and your mercy to sustain me through my storms and to reclaim me from my stumbles. Holy God, you are without comparison and I worship you. In Jesus name. Amen.
    Visit for more

    NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 28 February
    Why Did Senate Democrats Refuse to Protect Infants?–ALEXANDRA DESANCTIS

    Supreme Court appears inclined to let 40-foot ‘Peace Cross’ stand on public land

    Is a Second Civil War Coming?

    Hundreds of Venezuela’s military defect in four days as country spirals into further chaos


    A new poll shows a spike in pro-life sentiment. Don’t panic — or declare victory.
    When alienation spreads across the land: The young face the future with dread, not the delight of childhood–WT Editorial
    New Russian missile threat to homeland–Bill Gertz
    ‘Serious and dangerous’: U.S., China and other countries urge India and Pakistan to cease fighting
    India and Pakistan may not go to war. But the crisis is escalating–Ishaan Tharoor

    Illinois Follows New York in Considering Extreme Late-Term Abortion Bill

    Taking God outta of Schools and the PC Dumbing-Down of our entire “education system”, these past 50 years, may have something to do with most of our societal problems …. like the below? ;-(

    North Carolina considers dropping ‘F’ grade to 39 percent for state public schools

    Why Do Millennials Want Socialism?

    California’s Rendezvous With Reality

    Washington Post finally covers Berkeley assault on conservative, focuses on response from right

    & “Top-Drawer” Democrats continue their race to the bottom of the cess pit ……. SIGNS!!!!!

    On Prostitution, Another Kamala Harris Reversal


    Liked by 5 people

  28. A Summer Course offered at Catholic Theological Union (Chicago-style ‘c’atholic complicity in stealth Sharia):

    Islam, Muslims & Islamophobia: A Catholic Response
    Scott Alexander
    This course will cover the epidemic of Islamophobia in contemporary U.S. American society. Its aim is: to assess the extent of the problem, including statistics regarding anti-Muslim hate crimes and an analysis of the so-called “Islamophobia industry”; to explore and deconstruct negative and harmful anti-Muslim stereotypes, particularly as key elements of dominant mainstream media, “alt-right” media, and social media narratives; and to articulate a ‘Catholic response’ based on Catholic social teaching, theology of interreligious dialogue, and the longstanding praxis of Catholic-Muslim dialogue in the U.S. in which Catholic Theological Union has played a significant role.

    (Scroll down for the teacher’s [propagandist’s] picture.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Remember the Christian Crusades? Battle of Lepanto? Towers I and II of 9-11? San Bernadino? Many Terrorist attacks in Europe and USA? All by Islamic terrorists from the religion of peace! Hitler said, “If you repeat a big lie for a long time and often, people will believe it! History has a way of repeating itself and consumes those who are too stupid to learn from it. God, have mercy, save us from them!

      Liked by 3 people

  29. PM Justin Trudeau in hot water over SNC Lavelin scandal up here in Canada, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Something must be coming up soon, for Liberals all over the world for trying to seize/keep power by any means necessary. (Lies, bribes, threats, etc…)

    What will be evils’ next counter-move? It been interesting to note the recent claims that fentanyl and derivatives are “Made in China”…

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Funny, Mary was easy for me. She brought me into the Catholic Church. Her messages are all about her son and this also comes across in modern day apparitions. As a former protestant, how can i discount that? The wedding feast at Cana sums it up well with some very major theological points. 1. Do what he says.
    2. It showed how powerful her intercession is. It was not yet Jesus time, but by her request, he performed his first public miracle. There is so much more to expound on including her being the arc of the covenant. For me, it is very straight forward. She is actually a bridge to the protestants as I see it. I love her so much. It was the Eucharist that I struggled with.

    Liked by 4 people

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