A Time for Heroes: The Way Forward

Church on rock

By Charlie Johnston

 

“I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it;

And even yet you are not ready.” – 1 Cor 3:2

 

When I was a young fellow, it was very striking to me that different preachers and different people in my little fundamentalist denomination would routinely claim that the Holy Spirit told them things that were directly contradictory to what the Holy Spirit was “telling” others in the same denomination. I thought, wryly, that either people were deceiving themselves or the Holy Spirit was the author of confusion. As a very small boy, I remember adults I knew saying the most peculiar things and claiming it was God Who said it. One was that the addition of zip codes to mailing addresses (yes, I am old enough that I was there when that system was first instituted) was the “mark of the beast.” Another was that God would not allow man to land on the moon. There was a whole host of such things I heard every week. When such supposedly divinely revealed claims turned out to be specious alarmism or flatly wrong, I asked about what the adults had to say only a few times. (People do not like admitting they are wrong – and it can be dangerous for a child to ask about it.) I learned to shut up, but it sure did not inspire confidence in their version or understanding of God.

It did not disturb me too much. I had my own direct experience of God to reassure me. But when I was seven or eight, I came to realize how peculiar my direct experiences were. I could not see how, ultimately, they were any different in terms of reliability (just more internally consistent) than the conflicting claims of so many of the adults I knew. In fact, they weren’t significantly more reliable than the delusions of a crazy person, except for their consistency and good effect on me. That was when I told my angel that while I would continue the training exercises, I would not act unless and until there was an authority on earth to which I could consent with my whole heart. As I have recounted several times before, my angel was delighted, not angry, with my determination. Though I could not have formulated it clearly at the time, I knew very well that to base my faith on interior feelings or even perceived external visitations was to found it on sand. If even the early things I was shown were true, we were going to need a much more reliable foundation than sand. I was far more interested in getting it right than having whatever transient notion entered my head being proved right. And I already knew that a stubborn determination to stick with whatever notion one already had, regardless of evidence, was a formula for disaster. If what I was called to was real, people would need – and deserve – a lot better than a willful man who would not even consider whether or not he was wrong on a particular.

In the late summer and then fall of 1990 I found my authority on earth, the Catholic Church. Though my conversion was sparked by my first reading of St. Augutine’s “Confessions” that summer, I had been so often disappointed that I started with the intention to find the catch, the flaw that would help me dismiss the Catholic Church along with all the other denominations I had left on my personal ash heap.

That a system is internally coherent does not make it true; but if not internally coherent, it can’t be true. While I certainly heard some contradictions and errors come from the mouths of a few Priests and Deacons early on, I was not interested in the occasional errors of those who were transient guardians of the faith. I wanted to see what the faith had to say about itself in its internal documents. As I always do when examining something important, I plunged into study. In my first month and a half of RCIA, I read voraciously – at least 20 books from among the Fathers, all the Documents of Vatican II, various Encyclicals, and others, determined to find the insurmountable sticking point. A spark of hope erupted in me as, though occasionally an authority would speak something errant, when I examined the Church’s formal teaching, it all held. One might think I became insufferable, eagerly correcting every error that came up. No, I had such dawning joy that I was overwhelmingly eager for others to have the same. I did not summarily correct error when I heard it; but would engage in wonderful exchanges where we would flesh out what was authentic and what was not. It was so easy and respectful, that beginning in my first year of teaching RCIA, our Pastor would sometimes pass a question off to me, saying it was more in my line of knowledge. All those involved were a true team, working with and relying on each other. In some ways, it was a forerunner of what the community at this website has become. Finally, after all those years as a spiritual orphan, I was home.

After I was received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 1991, my visions and visitations stopped cold. Even my normally powerful ordinary intuition became defective. I thought that, perhaps, now that I had received the pearl of great price, it would be gone for good. After some thought, I concluded that if that was the case, it was still a good bargain, indeed, for now I had a rock I could count on. Nine months later it all returned more intensely than ever. I have since thought God was proving to me that I valued substance more than sizzle.

In truth, it was more than a little relief to me when I was, figuratively, struck blind. I get testy sometimes when people speak gushingly and longingly wishing for such experiences, as they have no clue of the reality of what they seek. I am certainly conscious of the honor, the satisfaction that comes with it. The things revealed are useful, but ever so enigmatic to be uncertain. The simplest things are often the most easily misconstrued so, if you are serious, you are always walking on treacherous ground. Even more, when you do get some semblance of understanding, it does not make you special; it imposes on you heavy obligations. You must make certain sacrifices it is improper to speak freely of – and you must set your mind resolutely to the oar of getting it right and living it as well as you can. You do all of this knowing you are doomed to failure because it is so far beyond you, but obligated to give it your best, most refined effort. Over time, you come to know both how incompetent you are AND how magnanimous God is – that if you devote yourself entirely to a project way too big for you in service to Him and His people, He will help steer you from error and, in fact, make use of your errors to accomplish His will. Two episodes with my son might help to illuminate the reality of it.

In December of 2002 my son was watching TV while I sat on the couch beside him reading a book. I can be an inveterate mutterer when I am distracted – but when my son revealed how closely he listened to my mutterings, I disciplined myself against it. On a news segment, there was speculation that the US was about to invade Iraq. Suddenly, my son was inflamed, jumped up and demanded of me, “What, are all current events just reruns to you?” I had not a clue what he was talking about – and asked him what this was all about. He told me that when they said an invasion was likely the next week, I had muttered, “No, that doesn’t come until March.” I had no idea I had said anything at all – and I had no conscious knowledge of when the invasion would begin. Again, he demanded to know if current events were just reruns to me. I thought for a while and told him, no, it’s not like that at all. It is more like brief previews. The information you get is accurate, but is so truncated that you easily mislead yourself by filling in the holes wrongly. Imagine trying to precisely, fully and accurately lay out the plot line of a two-hour movie from only a 30-second preview. It is impossible, yet that is analogous to what I have to work with.

In 2010, my son confided to me that he had been praying that he might get some touch of my experiences. To his astonishment, I was utterly horrified and earnestly (almost tearfully) begged him not to do that. The very idea created such horror in me that I could not hide how viscerally I opposed it. He promised to forswear any such prayers in the future, but was visibly shaken by how violently I remonstrated with him over it. After a few days, I spoke with him more calmly. I told him I did not want him to think I regret my situation – that in fact I deeply cherished the honor inherent in it. But, I said, it is kind of like the honor of throwing yourself on a hand grenade to save your friends. You do it in the profound hope that none you love will ever have to do the same. I noted that I have had a gloriously joyful life, but the price of dealing with the extraordinary so continuously was that I have not had a normal life. I cherish normality. I often prayed that he would have a completely ordinary life marked by extraordinary love and fellowship with those around him – and lived vicariously (though unobtrusively) through sharing in that with him.

There are, of course, some real ecstatic joys to be had through such communion. The price, though, is resolute fortitude in navigating what are ever murky, tumultuous waters, engulfed by ever treacherous reefs. The only motivation that is strong enough to sustain such a purpose is love of your fellows. Ambition won’t do it, nor vanity. For the former, the price is too high and consistent; for the latter, vanity will crush any possibility of success. You have to treat honors and attacks as two sides of the same coin. Both will come as a result of your work…and if either seriously distorts your focus, you are lost. But I had seen a world gone mad with people perishing in unprecedented numbers – and I had promised if it were true, I would persist to the end to hearten God’s people and help them weather the great Storm. I drop the ball on little things with way too much regularity, but on the big things I am as stubborn as a bulldog with a rag: you won’t pull it from my jaws. What could be bigger than a solemn promise to God?

In the Church there is safety – and far more certainty than in mystical events. Here was solid rock I could walk with safety on with the confidence that Christ, Himself, had given binding authority to her. Here was the means of salvation. A particular mission, no matter how weighty, may accomplish good things for the Lord’s people, but that is not where the missionary’s salvation lies. It lies in Christ and is defined by how you live your ordinary relationships and obligations to His people, your fellows. If I had to choose between the Church without visitations or visitations without the Church, I would choose the Church without hesitation. I know, because I did so choose in the spring of 1991, even if ultimately it pleased the Lord that I should have both. I would so choose because the Church is the road to salvation – while obsession with mystical experiences can easily become the road to madness and ruin.

Given these sensibilities, I have been startled in the last few weeks to discover how many here have founded their faith on the shifting sands of apparitions and private revelation. I suppose I should have expected it, given that this site is informed somewhat by private revelation. Yet the Church, supported by Scripture and the Magisterium are the purveyors of the bread that nourishes us. All private revelation, no matter how lustrous and pure, is merely the seasoning that makes a particular serving of bread savory and vivid to our spiritual taste buds. If we have bread but no seasoning, we are still nourished. If we have seasoning but no bread, we perish.

Doctrine is not founded upon private revelation. The potential authenticity of any private revelation is based, in part, on whether it comports with formal Church teaching. That is how Christ, Himself, set it up. If it contradicts Church teaching, it cannot be true. An addiction to mystical experiences, unbound to the Church, is more deadly to the soul than an addiction to heroin is to the body.

In speaking of the Church’s teaching authority, I do not mean the random comments of those who transiently occupy the teaching offices of the Church and are appointed guardians of the faith. There has never been an age where there were not some Judases among the shepherds. In some ages, the Judases have seemed to outnumber the shepherds, and so the Church would be rocked by controversy and scandal. In those times, God has raised up great reformers – such as St. Francis and, even, on a corporate scale, the monastery movement. Never has this happened in order to overthrow the hierarchy, the legitimate authority over the Church. Rather, it has always been to recall the hierarchy to its proper function as guardian of the faith, rather than corrupter or author. On more than a few occasions, reform has required that a corrupt generation of leaders pass away before it is accomplished. The people who hold office are corruptible: Scripture and the Magisterium are not.

When contemplating any article of faith, my first question is, what does the Church teach about it. After ascertaining that, I may move on to how private revelation may help illuminate and inform the teaching involved. But interest in private revelation is always subordinate to what the Church teaches. That is a path that can be counted on, even when individuals can’t be.

I always read 10-20 pages from eight books from different categories each day. Religion is one of the permanent categories. (to forestall questions, the other categories are World History, American History, Russian History, Biography, Literature, a Random Category, and various popular novels – in each of the first three categories, occasional solid historical fiction or cultural studies are acceptable). The first time I read any private revelation was in 1993, about Fatima. I had never heard of it (I am not a cradle Catholic), and my angel had directed me to study it, because it was critical for these times. My spiritual directors were pleased I did not have a taste for private revelation – and forbade me from reading any for many years. It has been, maybe, a decade and a half since that ban was lifted, but my preference remains Church history, theology and such. I read 10 books of hard history and doctrine for every soft book of private revelation. Right now, I am reading a marvelous tome, “A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament” that a friend gave me as a gift.

Over the last decade and a half, I have found many apparitions to be edifying and helpful. Fatima is key to me. I also have great regard for Lourdes, Tepeyac Hill (commonly called Guadalupe), OL of America, Kibejo, Akita, Medjugorje. I have respect for Garabandal, though I have been wondering of late whether its fruit is being drowned out by advocates who think it has given them a simple, obvious roadmap of God’s plan – an abuse and distortion of the meaning and very purpose of private revelation. I have much respect for the work of Maria Esperanza. Even so, all of these are ornamental, designed to draw attention to a particular feature of the existing house, never foundational.

Private revelation can deeply enrich our understanding of the revealed truth in Christ, when considered in its proper perspective. I spoke with Beckita about what has caused so many to think the doctrine of our faith is founded on a random series of private revelations. I frankly thought it was primarily because so many so love a spectacle. She corrected me by noting that the hierarchy is so nervous about any private revelation, including those fully approved, that it does not show the clergy how to teach about such things. Since the clergy will not – or rarely – discusses it, people are going out untaught on the proper approach. This made complete sense to me. I blame the hierarchy, in part, for the modern fascination with “New Age” fantasies (none of which is new – it is all very old pantheism and paganism, decisively refuted a millennium ago. It is all a function of modern ignorance, not insight). When the hierarchy and the normal clergy insist on giving the bland food of “feel good” homilies that don’t touch on the foundations of faith or the trials that ordinary people routinely face, it deprives the faithful of meat. If they can’t get the meat of truth at official functions, they will go looking for where they can – and this will lead them to some rancid places. At bottom, the refusal to even discuss private revelation and the preponderance of meaningless “feel-good” homilies hint at a terribly grave problem. I sometimes wonder how many of our clergy and officials do not believe in God at all. Some have come to think the Church is merely a man-made construct that offers them a path to power, prestige and influence. That would explain why so many high officials think they can blithely correct the “errors” of Christ, the Apostles, and the Fathers of the Church; to force doctrine to conform to their idle fantasies rather than to conform themselves to the Living God.

If I was startled to realize how many people ground their faith in private revelation, I was shocked to see a few who call themselves Catholic candidly reject formal Church teaching when it is in contradiction to their own settled, but unformed, personal ideas about how things are. Such a one has no right to complain of the assaults of heterodox officials, for he embraces heterodoxy, himself, when it suits his fancy.

I have said that all faithful Christians and Jews are full partners in the work before us – and so we are. Our Protestant brethren are not subject to the teachings of the Magisterium. I respect their conscience – and the brave work so many do – even when I disagree with them. But one who calls himself a Catholic while rejecting Magisterial teaching when it suits him is not a Catholic at all. He may enjoy the trappings of Catholic worship, but if he denies the teaching authority of the Church, he is a Protestant of a different color, however much he may protest that designation. It is perfectly fine to look to approved (or at least un-condemned) private revelation for insight on how to deal with the challenges of our time in history, but the first thing you must ask is, “what does the Church teach?” If you can quote a dozen sayings from apparition sites on a matter but remain ignorant of what the Church teaches on that matter, you are ignorant, indeed. I do not call it shameful unless it becomes willful and intentional ignorance.

What we need, now, are heroes of faith. Our Priests have been given a great blessing (even if it is in deep disguise): None who are currently standing in the pulpit will be place-holders. They will either be heroes or goats. There is no longer a safe place of neutrality. Right now, all Priests are under adverse scrutiny from the laity and the general public. Unlike a generation or two ago, they are not greeted with honor and deference. They are viewed with suspicion until they have proven themselves worthy of respect. Even then, strangers still give them the gimlet eye of suspicion. Internally, it has not escaped Priests’ notice that those who are candidly orthodox are often censured from above, while those who are candidly heterodox are promoted and honored. Thus, in many Dioceses – and certainly in Rome – to be honored from above you must deny the faith, which discredits you with the faithful. To preach honestly the Gospel and formal Church teaching will endear you to the faithful (though it will have those internal enemies of the faith who occupy the pews screaming for your head) but bring down censure from the top. Now Priests must choose: do they believe in God and His ultimate justice or do they not? If they do, they will accept censure from above, and preach truly the Gospels, trusting that God will redeem them. In doing so, they will draw fire from those members of the laity who want only the Church of “nice.” If they can do this with both sensitivity and courage, they will certainly share in the sufferings of Christ, but they will share in His glory, too, and will help to hearten the faithful and renew the Church. A Bishop who keeps faith with the Gospels and Magisterium may not be taken out, as Bishop Robert Finn and Cardinal George Pell have been, but he has to know that his fidelity forecloses any hope of advancement during this pontificate. It is a fiery trial for these men, but many of them will be honored as true heroes just a generation hence. They are the blocks rejected by the upper levels of the hierarchy, who will become the cornerstones of the renewed Church.

Those of us in the laity are also called to be heroes. We live in evil times. Everyone who views things rationally sees that politically, culturally and spiritually, we are in deep and growing trouble throughout the world. Without God, it is hard to see how we could avoid a new and brutal dark age of intolerance and violent oppression. It is written that, “…the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” (2 Tim: 4-3,4). That time is upon us, but in the very next verse, St. Paul tells us what is expected of us: “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Right now you have many US Senators who consider anyone who takes their Christian or Jewish faith seriously as unfit to hold office. To belong to the Knights of Columbus, or to teach in a Christian School, disqualifies you from polite society. Never mind that such a religious qualification is clearly forbidden by the Constitution; the barbarians of the left don’t care what the Constitution dictates and most of those on the right are too timid to hold the barbarians to account. Civil “rights” commissions around the country are eager to destroy you if you refuse to actively participate in and celebrate things that violate your conscience. You need not violate any law for the state to maliciously prosecute you if you are a high-profile Christian or conservative. You need not heed any law if you are a high-profile leftist Democrat. This is the time of fiery trial. There is great irony here. We resist because we know that if the anti-God left succeeded, it would lead to complete and utter worldwide collapse marked by universal misery, poverty and enslavement. Such doom would come also to those who advocate for it, though they are ignorant of it. In working to resist it, we are all actually advocating on behalf of our persecutors as well as ourselves.

In the first place, when you find a noble Priest who courageously teaches truth and addresses the real trials of our age, honor him as a true father. Do more than this, though. Treat him with the affection and hospitality you would a beloved uncle. When he is under fire for his fidelity, stand firmly and publicly with him. Sadly, many in orthodox circles are far more eager to attack heterodoxy than to defend courageous leaders under fire. If you find yourself in a Parish where the Priest busies himself attacking the faith and explaining why Christ was wrong, or that the Magisterium is a dated relic, vote with your feet and go to a new Parish. If you have the challenge of living in a Diocese where the Bishop does the same, find a Parish that is faithful and boldly support it. There are many perilous circumstances and we can’t control them all. But we can always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill our ministry. In an evil age, we are called to be truly counter-cultural – just as the original Apostles, as St. Patrick, St. Boniface and a host of other heroes were counter-cultural in dangerous times and hostile territory. A crown awaits fidelity.

To live this with fortitude, though, we must be firmly grounded in the truth. That means our starting points must be the Bible and the Magisterium. Private revelation is useful in illuminating ways of applying actual truth. When your only citation for a position is a favored private revelation, your roots in the faith do not go deep enough to withstand this time of trial, for private revelation is almost always subject to mitigation and change – and is colored by the honest lens through which the one to whom it is revealed sees – sometimes mistakenly.

Going forward, to raise the level of our discussion, to prepare us to be true evangelists in evil times, when you cite any private revelation, it is best that you refer to which Biblical or Magisterial truth it illuminates. The greatest experts are not always right. But when you challenge an authority of acknowledged expertise, explain carefully your reasoning. To cite some obscure source is not appropriate. When a novice differs from an expert, it is the novice’s job to justify his position, not the expert’s. You need not agree with St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine on all matters (that are not defined doctrine), but when you disagree, the presumption goes to them unless you provide a truly compelling, closely reasoned case. You can’t do that unless you first know what the Church – and true experts – teach. When you contemplate deeply, it is inevitable that you will venture occasionally into error. That’s not a problem. What is a problem is when you get so vested in an error that you reject formal teaching when you discover it.

It is not necessary to get this deep. One of the most marvelous, even miraculous, things about Christianity is that it is fully accessible no matter what level of knowledge you are at. It is sufficient to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. But if you venture into actual evangelization, talking at any level about theological matters, you are obligated to give your full heart, mind and soul to getting it right – and abandoning error as soon as you know it as such.

For those who want to venture further into some solid materials, I suggest three introductory books:

First is “Mere Christianity” by that great Anglican evangelist, C.S. Lewis. This is not dense theology, but is the best introductory book to what Christianity authentically is – and is not – that I have ever read. Over the years, I have given away a good 20 copies to people who were trying to find the way of authentic faith, as an introduction.

Second is “Confessions of St. Augustine.” I have mentioned before that this was the catalyst that led to my conversion. It is a short book, with much sound theology. It is not near as difficult for the newcomer as, say, “The City of God” by the same sainted author. In it you may find echoes of some of your own struggles, along with how to rigorously hold yourself to account by sound doctrine and sound reasoning.

Third is a book edited by the great Thomist, Peter Kreeft, entitled “Summa of the Summa.” It is a one-volume compilation of St. Thomas Aquinas’ major teaching in the massive “Summa Theolgica” using Aquinas’ own words, bolstered by insightful commentary from Kreeft. This will give you an introduction to the precise, refined logic that goes into the development of theology while leading you to consider points that had probably never occurred to you before. While still challenging, it is rich and accessible to the layman who takes learning the basics of the faith seriously. I read this again every two years or so. I admire St. Thomas and his methodical, detailed mind, ever in fidelity to the Church. He was effective in combatting heresy specifically because he always met heretics on their own ground, respectfully – then proceeded with logic and reason to destroy their error on its own terms.

Of course, for Catholics, having a copy of “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” tells authoritatively what the Church teaches. The three volumes I cited earlier give you a greater glimpse into how doctrine is developed. The authentic development of doctrine is neither arbitrary nor capricious – and the greatest saints know that faith and reason are like two oxen yoked together to the same plow. Faith may occasionally transcend reason, but it never contradicts it. Anytime reason seems to contradict faith, it is a prod to dig deeper, for contradictions can only be apparent, not actual. Do not be appalled at error or contradiction: it is from these irritants that the pearls which form authentic doctrine are made and refined. These are evil times, but times when many pearls are being formed. Those who keep faith will be jubilantly acknowledged as heroes by generations to come in the renewed faith that God has appointed each of us to herald.

It might be fruitful for you to read through the Old Testament book of Judges and the book that immediately follows it, Ruth. Judges is a depressing account of the serial faithlessness of the Israelites and the hideous, evil, and violent consequences which arise from such faithlessness. It is followed by Ruth, the story of the marvelous faith of one woman – a Gentile, at that. That woman’s faithfulness led her to become the great-grandmother of King David so she became a pillar of the renewal of faith. It is well worth contemplating in these evil times, what the fidelity of one person can accomplish because of the prodigal generosity of God.

I encourage each of you to be rigorous with yourselves and generous with others. Found your faith on the rock which is authentic Biblical and Magisterial teaching. Let no bumper sticker theology, which removes from context and completeness, any teaching, lead you to contribute to the growing chaos rather than authentic renewal.

It is a time for heroes – and heroes do not build their houses on sand.

 

 

 

 

 

110 thoughts on “A Time for Heroes: The Way Forward

  1. What a glorious feast, Charlie! This piece is amazingly foundational in so many ways. As I read it, I nodded, smiled, wept, was challenged and rejoiced. (I LOVE challenges.) Your words pierce the heart and fill the spirit with true joy because they are a call to conversion as they cry out: Repeeeeeeent! And believe in the Gospel.

    We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
    (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
    ” (Cor 6:1-2… KJV just for you, Charlie 🙂 )

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Thanks Beckita,
      I read this verse in todays Liturgy of the hours. The Psalms 10 & 11 are poignant as I believe they describe our times of the ‘war in poverty’ and the use of instant communication like Twitter etc.

      I have been praying to be a good evangalizer and have realized… for me, actions speak louder than words. As I try to verbally speak about my faith, I realize I’ll stick to my actions and keep my mouth shut.

      Pertaining to ‘New Age’ I find many people state they are ‘Spiritual’ and do not follow any organized religion. I think they would be shocked to discover themselves in commune with Demons rather than Angels. Today’s First reading is about Moses and Aaron communicating with Pharaoh. Then I came upon this article pertaining to our current spiritual war. Fr. Altier notably calls out the Masons, citing them as the lowest form of human life.

      http://www.courageouspriest.com/father-robert-altier-reality-action-demons

      Catholic Study Bible

      Exodus 7:11-12

      11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts.

      12 For every man cast down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

      Catholic Study Bible

      Exodus 7:21-23

      21 And the fish in the Nile died; and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

      22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts; so Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the LORD had said.

      23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not lay even this to heart.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, it is. Writing a post about founding our faith on rock, it seemed marvelously appropriate to put up a picture of a church that is, literally, built on a rock. And, of course, it was a wry homage to my own series of private revelations.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Charlie, to add to your book list I would suggest getting a copy of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott. Baronius Press has just issued a new translation edited by Dr. Robert Fastiggi. Ott does the wonderful service of letting the reader know where a particular teaching stands – whether it is “de fide” and must be believed or is simply theological consensus.
        Pax, Matthew

        Liked by 3 people

  2. the allure of private revelation is its immediacy. Lets face it, the New Testament is nearly 2000 years old. It is also humanizing. The Church is an institution. Private revelation is God present now and with regular folk. It reassures many that Christianity is in the moment and not something that occurred 2000 years ago and we are just following some ancient superstition. It reassures that God is with us now. Your excellent post directs us to have faith in the Church that Jesus started for us. Thanks for your encouragement during these unsettling times

    Liked by 11 people

  3. Charlie, your writing is inspirational and so may be inspired. It may be that aside from “tangible” visitations as guidance, writing guidance may also come from a source beyond what brain alone may contribute. Myself, no visitations of any sort. But when seriously engaged in writing, ideas com to mind, and later I have to wonder about the source. In my old age, I’ve come to think that guidance is always available if we look for it, even if sometimes having to look real hard.

    Liked by 10 people

  4. Perfect timing, Charlie! Sage advice and solid reassurance that my house, too, is built on rock. You made this post so easily digestible for me, a lowly worker bee, and it gives me great hope and courage to carry out my bit part in this life! May the God of the Universe continue to bless and protect you, Charlie, and all here at TNRS/ASOH who are keeping the faith and carrying on.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Private Revelation is not Scripture. True Private Revelation never disagrees with Scripture. Private Revelation should not be discarded outright nor should it replace Scripture. Private Revelation should be examined by both it’s Content and also it’s Fruits.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Thank you Charlie. Amazingly profound and still full of the clearly practical. Importantly instructional and encouraging. The words hit me like an officer speaking to the troops just before the battle.

    A thought about our priests. In discussions with some of them I have sensed that their seminary training has made them skeptical about any present day revelations. As a result, they block out any realization of the Holy Spirit speaking to them, or working in their lives. It is actually sad, to the point of tragic, for it deprives them of a powerful grace intended to support them and encourage them in their work.

    JT

    Liked by 6 people

  7. This is a beautiful and meaty piece, Charlie. Thank you very much for all it’s good common sense and for all the book reccomendations. I personally would like to get more disciplined in reading these great pieces of the church writings. Currently, I’m reading “Calls,” From the message of Fatima by Sister Lucia, but it’s going very slowly.

    I feel called to challenge in this piece of yours, just like Beckita said. I feel you are calling us to seriousness, sensibility & simplicity.

    It seems the right time for all that.

    Thank you, Charlie, and God bless you so much!

    May God save all here…TNRS ASOH🤗

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Mornin’ Charlie, I read this for the first time in the last half hour [tied up all day yesterday]. You covered a lot of ground – and well.

    I would simply throw in a couple of thoughts in support of a one expansion of a couple of your points.

    1. There are a series of tests which the Church’s heirarchy/bishops have used for a long time to assess the credibility of an alleged ‘charism’: [which includes through one of His Saints].
    You mentioned one of them – if there is any false doctrine, something which runs counter to the formal teachings of the Church. I’ve used these in both assisting in Diocesan investigations for years, and often for my own evaluation of alleged charisms.

    2. There is another rule of discernment – used by spriritual theologians for centuries: As a rule, the person receiving an authrntic charism of prophecy [whether of past, present, or future events] is quite often the very poorest person to interpret its’ meaning. E.G., When the children at Fatima received a message about “pray for Russia” – they thought Russian was a woman’s name, till they were told it was a country in Eastern Europe.

    All my love in Christ

    Desmond

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Amen, Desmond. It seems that these two criteria alone can immensely help in personal discernment of private revelation while awaiting Church investigation. Concerning your second thought, my beef with the interviews of those precious, innocent girls who interacted with Our Lady in Garabandal is how a vast number of people have interpreted the messages AND the young girls’ reflections as literal facts. An entire group of people has gathered round one man who was beautifully impacted by a devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Garabandal. This man is a friend of one of the, now adult, seers and shares history bits and writings from various people – Popes, Bishops and now canonized Saints – about their belief of the occurrences in Garabandal, which happened so long ago. (I LOVE Garabandal, have made pilgrimage there and see some of its prophecies unfolding. But I hold my own discernment in open hands, ready to be corrected by events themselves and/or another official statement by the Church.)

      And in light of your comment about interpretation, I see that people often conflate belief in apparitions with interpretation of the messages. For example, this man, whom I mention, acts as the highest authority on understanding how the Garabandal prophecies will unfold. This is so wrong on many levels. The man has no in-depth understandings of mystical theology with its commensurate emphasis on interpretation as well as placing these prophecies in a wider scope of prophecy throughout salvation history. Anyone gathering such a group around himself and his personal take on things – even if he is a friend of an adult seer – should have, at the very least, the oversight of spiritual direction. God bless him and God bless those who follow him.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Beckita If you are referring to he whom I suspect you are, I heartily agree. It is as I immediately and always suspected. I had read all that came out on Garabandal and basically believe in it yet was led to hold reservations on some somewhat extreme interpretations and excess reliance on those interpretations alone. I hold such suspicions in the unknown since I am not prepared to do the tremendous ground work necessary to substantiate disagreement. I simply accept how little I actually know and simply leave it to God as things continue to unfold. May God continue to bless you and Charlie and all the members of this community as we journey on in this ever intensifying Storm on route to the unfolding of the Rescue that will result in the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Watch and pray, pray and watch. TRUST in God.

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Beckita Thank you for your interest and prayers. I had my hip replacement surgery on Monday 25 Feb and am healing well, again without pain, thank you God. A medical person at the hospital suggested I had a high pain threshold. I thought about it and concluded that was not the case. I actually have no healing pain at all when I just sit or lay down but, thank God, when I move the operated parts I feel that, especially if I am hurting myself so I don’t hurt myself too much. I have been walking without a walker or cane since 5 March and was able to drive yesterday, the 14th day when usual is 3-4 weeks after hip replacement surgery and that with a stick shift. I still have to be very careful not to stress my leg for a few weeks more in order to give it time to heal. Cabin fever started to set in last week and so I am I am forced to learn even more patience. I am not able to sit at the computer more than an hour at a time and have to spend a lot of time laying down and shifting my position every 15 minutes before I develop muscle discomfort. I am feeling very isolated but I’m sure it all has a purpose. Interesting times indeed. All for the will of God.

            Liked by 4 people

        1. I try to form a general frame work and picture in which to place all creditable Marian apparitions. I see that our Lady’s appearance in each apparition is different, perhaps to emphasis the somewhat different focus of each apparition. I had read years ago that the appearance taken on by heavenly beings was often to present a normally accepted countenance. In spiritual beings such as angels who have no physical body, they obviously their appearances are fashioned to make a humanly comprehensible reality. In the case of Blessed Mother, I read of some who favored Fatima rejecting Garabandal because She did not look the same as at Fatima. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared as an Indian princess, perhaps to underscore that she is the Mother of all. The bottom line is that we only have one Blessed Mother and all that she says in valid apparitions is true even though some messages seem to contradict each other, we know in reality they cannot if interpreted correctly. This indicates clearly the problem of proper interpretation. This puts me in mind that the gifts of the Holy Spirit of prophesy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and the interpretation of prophesy are each distinct and different gifts. That is why I tend to keep a general view of total prophesy as giving a clue to the meaning of what is happening and where things are gong. It becomes more a matter of what and less of when for did not Jesus emphasis, “You know not the day nor the hour.” After all we can only deal with what is happening here and now. And that is why it makes imminent sense that we are called to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be prepared to be a sign of hope to those around us which is central to “love your neighbor as yourself.” May God bless and guide all here.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Beckita, You are right on. As the Church has always taught – there are only two sources which are assured Divine assistance in the assessing of the authenticity of any kind of alleged extraordinary charism, the local Ordinary, and the Magisterium per se.

        Let me seriously warn you, the following analogy will be understandable only to those old enough to remember the standup comic, Red Skelton, from the late 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s. 🙂

        Theologically speaking, beware when some ‘Clem Kadiddlehopper’ layman, some wanna-be discernment whiz [someone possessing No knowledge of Spiritual/Mystical Theology] tries to attach themselves to a prophet or movement, to interpret the prophecies for you — ‘caveat ) stultus’.
        I never take such a person’s opinions seriously. Why? Because they invariably make egregious errors – mistakes which even an ordinary seminarian with only one class of spiritual theology under his belt would not normally make. And those errors can and often do have grace consequences for those who take them seriously.

        All my love in Christ

        Desmond

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I well remember Red Skelton. 🙂 I appreciate your opening paragraph, Desmond. Can you speak a bit more to the place for individual discernment of private revelations? I know there is a place for this. I’ve been taught that the ultimate motive must be to seek Truth… and to submit to legitimate Church authority (which I know to be the local ordinary) – even when one may know the Church may be unfairly attempting to suppress something which is of God (Thinking of St. Faustina and St. Pio here.) because, in the end, if something is of God, He will set things right at His appointed time.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Good question, Beckita,

            When I’m working on an apparent or alleged claim to any of the extraordinary charisms of the Holy Spirit, I always use the whole list of ‘Tests’ for such discernment. [We can get into those at some later time.]

            However, please allow me to digress into the case of St. Faustina for a moment. The Church was not trying to hurt her – or suppress authentic messages. That is a demonstrable fact. As Paul Harvey used to put it, once you have ‘the rest of the story’ you will see that clearly.

            The Poles had been reading then ‘Sr.’ Faustina’s messages from Jesus for years – with full permission from the Ordinary’ Both Popes Pius XI & Pius XII were real supporters of Faustina and the messages. They both were beginning to view them with the same level of approval with which they viewed events at Fatima.

            Then the cause to formally investigate it from Rome [with the idea of worldwide promotion] came along. So a letter was sent to the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, asking for a formal Italian language copy of all the messages be sent to Rome for examination.

            When they were completed, they were sent to Rome. At that point, the feathers hit the fan. Why? Because there was a significant amount of false doctrine in them. So, Rome at that point ordered the Archbishop to suppress the reading of the Diary till a full explanation could be sought. They asked the Archbishop to check and clarify the salient/questionable portions of the Diary.

            When after a significant period of time no explanation was forthcoming, the suppression order simply remained in effect. Several subsequent requests were sent to Krakov with he same outcome – no response.

            But, when Bishop Karol Wojtyła [the future Pope John Paul II] ascended to the Archbishopric of Krakov, in 1964, everything began to change. On his first Ad Limina visit to Rome, he went to the [then] Holy Office, and told the Cardinal in charge, “Your Eminence, the poles are very upset that they are not allowed to read the Diary of Sr. Faustina. Why did you order this?

            The Cardinal responded with the whole story, that due to the apparent false doctrine in the Italian translation, they had written several times asking for clarification. The never received a response.Je then told Archbishop Wojtyla to go back to Krakov, and find out what was going on, and get them the requested clarifications – if there were any available.

            The future JP II returned to Poland and ordered his staff to start turning the archives upside down to find the correspondence from Rome. They found it. Buried in a dusty file folder. Wojtyla then ordered an investigation into why they had never been answered. The answer turned out to be quite simple. Under the open persecution of the Nazi Occupational Forces of Poland during World War II – they were just trying to keep the Churches open and the Sacraments available. And the Nazis intercepted almost all mail sent to Rome anyway.

            Immediately after the War, the Russians marched into Poland and established their Communist Dictatorship there. The then Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski, was placed under house arrest by the Russian Communists. All communication with Rome was officially cut off for years – even though some mail got through. But the Cardinal had bigger fish to fry just fighting off the Communists from closing all the Churches. The Church was under total persecution in Poland then. Those are the reasons the clarifications never reached Rome till Karol Wojtyla became Archbishop of Krqkov.

            To make a long story a little shorter: JP II discovered that the man who had done the translations from Polish into Italian of Sr. Faustina’s Diary was a ‘wanna-be’ translator. Evidently at some point, he had years before spent some time in Italy. But he was hardly sufficiently capable to handle accurate translation of the sensitive nature of the Diary.

            Wojtyla went to work on it, and was about to travel to Rome with the ‘clarifications’ – when Pope Paul VI died in 1978. He met with the head of the Holy Office and gave him the requested clarification. Then Pope JP 1st was elected Pope. 30 days later JP I unexpectedly died, and Cardinal Wojtyla returned to Rome for the Conclave to elect the successor.

            As we all know, he was there elected Pope John Paul II. After his consecration, his first stop was the office of the man in charge of investigating the writings of Sr. Faustina. He delivered them, assured the Cardinal that they were in Order, and that there was no false doctrine, just an unqualified translator. JP II announced they were to be approved, and, JP II was going to formally open her cause for Canonization. That is how the diary got approved.

            And now, as Paul Harvey would put it, ‘We know the rest of the story.”

            All my love in Christ

            Desmond

            Liked by 6 people

            1. So appreciate hearing the fuller story, Desmond. Thank you. (I’m aware of the norms which were determined by the CDF for the local ordinary to use when discerning and investigating private revelation. Until relatively recently, I believe, they were only available in Latin.) I have known there was a translation problem which held up the process of granting approval to the reading of St. Faustina’s Diary; your recounting gives us the salient details – the “more” to the story – of that hold up. I do realize the Church moves slowly when investigating private revelation and I see the great prudence and wisdom of not acting in haste.

              In any series of authentic messages, the ultimate goal is to awaken God’s people to fully live the covenant we stiff-necked ones are so infamous for breaking. It seems that, invariably, the majority get side-tracked with any extraordinary phenomenon which God uses – or allows to be used – to get out attention. (Full disclosure: In the beginning of reading about Our Lord’s and Our Lady’s visits to earth, I was tempted and erred in this fashion.) Sadly then, we sort of skip over the essence of the call to come back to Him and bring as many souls (and each soul is intimately precious to the Lord) with us as we possibly can. The essence is always to repent, to enrich our lives with the ordinary means of working on our conversion (Not only is this foundational for our soul, but also, how can we share what we don’t have ourselves?), to evangelize our brothers and sisters, to just plain live out the simplest yet most profound purpose for why we were created: to truly know God, to love Him with all we are, and to serve Him while we are on earth, that we may live with Him in our Heavenly Home, gazing upon Him, Face to face in the glory of the Beatific Vision.

              Honestly, for any who have been, or currently are, into reading private revelation, perhaps it’s time to self-check if we have made an idol of any extraordinary phenomenon associated with a favored apparition. Especially now as we stand at the threshold of waves of purification to come with the commensurate return of God’s people to living the Covenant He made with us, the greater goal must surely be striving to be God’s instruments of Rescue, right where we are.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Your closing paragraph should be taken to heart by all in this ongoing journey. Even in the short span of this blog, hasn’t it been quite the evolution in thinking for some? Yes, the words shared over time bear witness, also for the ones who ponder but find it easier to remain detached from unnecessary things.

                “…waves of purification…” Indeed. “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks is the type of imagery that frequently comes to mind these days. We live and survive right where we are, but in order to thrive (doing God’s will), don’t we need to cast off into the waves of purification (rather than plot and scheme to avoid)? And what is necessary for the journey? God, The Church, Holy Scripture to guide… love of God and neighbor to inspire us off our little island(s) of idolatry towards the real Communion that awaits.

                Charlie says “teddy bears,” I say, “Wilson.” And we all have our Wilson’s… for now.

                I recommend that movie for all to seriously ponder, because the time is now to get over and beyond the breakers. Now. With trust and hope… and radical abandon.

                Liked by 2 people

                    1. Well, B, that makes two who appreciate my deadpan humor, including Wilson… and only because I smeared an indelible grin on his face. OK, maybe Mick too. Four, if you count the FedEx gal who actually just showed up with my “overnight” package that took a week and a half to arrive. She left with a half grin, half bemused look on her face. So, four, to be generous.

                      Liked by 2 people

            2. Beckita, I have at this point investigated so many alleged charisms that, I almost [but not quite] go through the discernment process on auto-pilot. However – in my experience – here are some of the most important criteria:

              I. The very First Test is, Will they obey their religious superiors, in particular their Bishop.

              After having been at this for 47 years, I have come to the conclusion that: if they disobey any moral order from their Bishop – it is always a dead give-away that their alleged charism is Not of heavenly origin. I have never seen this be wrong.

              You may recall the piece from St. Faustina’s Diary wherein she relates the vignette wherein:

              1.Jesus had appeared to her and given her a certain order. She of course shared this with both her Confessor and with Mother Superior. Both of them told her not to do it.

              2. Later – Faustina observed that an apparition of Jesus is before her. She immediately got quite defensive and tells the apparition not to berate her, because, Mother Superior and her Confessor ordered her not to comply with the Apparitions order. Then Faustina says something like, I can’t be sure if you are Jesus, but I know what Mother Superior and my Confessor ordered me to do. I did what they told me to do. So, ‘Garbage’ – I obey my superiors – I know who they are.

              I’ve been told by Polish priest friends of mine that ‘garbage’ is actually a quite weak translation of the word Faustina used here.

              So what was the Apparition of Jesus’ reaction to this statement from Faustine? He congratulated her for having done the right thing, and finished, ‘I always want you to obey your superiors.’

              That alone should be enough to tell us the importance of obedience to religious superiors, whether someone is lay or religious, diaconal or sacerdotal.
              I never take a claimant to possessing an extraordinary charism seriously, if they ever disobey their religious superiors.

              II. False doctrine is almost always a red light – at least as far as my personal discernment. Why not always? Because the recipient of an extraordinary charism can inadvertently insert something from their own mind into an authentic Divine Revelation. But I only accept that explanation if and when it comes from their Ordinary.

              III. As it states in the ‘norms’,:
              “c) An obvious pursuit of monetary gain in relation with the fact.” [is a negative sign]

              In other words – if the alleged recipient of an extroardinary charism seeks monetary gain in any way – in relation to the alleged charism – this is a big red flag.

              In my personal experience – it is as big a red flag as such flags can get. Every time I’ve seen evidence of this – the alleged charismatic has turned out not to be authentic.

              There are more – but this is already a long post. So will sign off.

              All my love in Christ

              Desmond

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Oh yes: o.b.e.d.i.e.n.c.e. I remember well that lesson for us all in St. Faustina’s Diary. I remember, too, the example of obedience from Charlie back in March of 2016. He had our team ready – well, truth be told, SteveBC is our Geek Royale who would have scrambled overtime to get the work completed – but Charlie was ready to take down all the prophetic stuff had he been directed by his local ordinary to do so. Thanks for taking the time to respond, Desmond. All points well taken. God bless you and your work.

                Liked by 1 person

  9. You have given marching orders for sure here, Charlie.
    I have friends that always refer to some modern day “visionaries” and come to me with anxiety over their prophecies. Your words here will be shared with them in hopes that they can get on the track to what our faith and scripture teaches.

    God Bless.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 12 March
    ==================
    Speaking of Heroes!
    When you check out articles on these Saints below you must look hard to find out, exactly, who murdered these guys. I knew the answer already but decided to do some checking anyway. They were murdered by godless Communist Socialists and I’ll go a step further and say that in our USA Congress, State Governments, Media and “Education” establishments we have godless Communist Socialists with the same murderous mindset!!! ….. how else could we be seeing “celebration” of the MURDER of baby innocents inside and out of the womb? …. Eh!!!??!!? ….. and, obviously, these Perps have become so powerful that even “catholic” publications are afraid to point out simple historical fact ….. SIGNS!!! … Ya think a Red Terror could never happen here? ….
    SAINTS ABOVE-PRAY FOR US!!

    Spain: Beatification of Nine Seminarians, A Testimony for the Church in These Troubled Times
    https://zenit.org/articles/spain-beatification-of-nine-seminarians-a-testimony-for-the-church-in-these-troubled-times/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Terror_(Spain)

    Now! In fairness ….. Spain had a terrible Civil War and there were plenty of dirty/bloody hands all-round but the Commies outdid the rest ;-(

    Church as we know it is over. Here’s what’s next
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/churches-as-we-know-it-are-over-here-is-how-to-engage-the-faithful

    Official head of China’s Protestant churches says religions must be purged of ‘Western influences’
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3001240/official-head-chinas-protestant-churches-says-religions-must-be

    What Makes the Christian Worldview Different from the Rest
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/what-makes-the-christian-worldview-different-from-the-rest

    Archbishop Lori Restricts Bishops Bransfield, Bennett From Exercising Ministry
    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-lori-restricts-bishops-bransfield-bennett-from-exercising-minist

    VIDEO: Sex Matters–Sean McDowell
    https://www.prageru.com/video/sex-matters/

    I Was America’s First ‘Nonbinary’ Person. It Was All a Sham–Jamie Shupe
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/03/10/i-was-americas-first-non-binary-person-it-was-all-a-sham/?

    Exclusive — Donald Trump: ‘Seductive’ Socialism Would Send Country ‘Down the Tubes’ in a Decade or Less
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/11/exclusive-donald-trump-seductive-socialism-would-send-country-down-the-tubes-in-a-decade-or-less/

    Patrick Buchanan: How Middle America Is to Be Dispossessed
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/how-middle-america-be-dispossessed

    Allen West: Why I Love America
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/allen-west/allen-west-why-i-love-america

    Tucker Comes Out Swinging Against the Liberal ‘Outrage Machine’
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2019/03/11/tucker-comes-out-swinging-against-liberal-outrage-machine

    Trump is an Army of One–Brian C. Joondeph
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/trump_is_an_army_of_one.html#ixzz5hrPl0rrX

    Pelosi waves off impeachment, says it would divide country
    https://www.apnews.com/6f1babd54be94f96a38160eafc9b1703

    The Nuclear Triad Remains a National Necessity–KEVIN CRAMER
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/nuclear-triad-crucial-national-security-defense/

    The Democrats’ Election-Reform Bill Is an Unconstitutional, Authoritarian Power Grab–NR Editorial
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/democrats-for-the-people-act-election-reform-bill-unconstitutional/

    U.S. agents make largest cocaine bust at N.Y. port in 25 years
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/03/11/US-agents-make-largest-cocaine-bust-at-NY-port-in-25-years/4921552326720/?sl=16

    Lifestyles of the Rich and Socialist: From Chavez to Castro, leaders who lived the high life
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-socialist-from-chavez-to-castro-leaders-who-lived-the-high-life

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 7 people

      1. MAGGIE: I will forever have in my memory the video of those brave men who losing everything temporal most dear to them i.e.family, wives, children, life itself could not, would not deny Christ. They are the definition of martyr and saintliness. So not surprised at the story you linked to in your comment. Thanks!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I sent that article to others and one reply was this:

        I thought this was an interesting point that I didn’t expect:
        Mosebach asserted that dictatorships are more favorable to Christians in the Middle East than democracies are.

        “This is one very important thing that one has to learn as a Christian from the Western world. Democracy is, for the Christians, not favorable in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt,” Mosebach said. “They are protected by dictators. This is a harsh lesson. From the point of the views of Christians, Christians have more security, more protection when the state is led by a strong dictator.”

        Charlie, or anyone, do you concur?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You asked about concurrence with the following statement above:

          Mosebach said. “They are protected by dictators. This is a harsh lesson. From the point of the views of Christians, Christians have more security, more protection when the state is led by a strong dictator.”

          If you ask anyone my age who is any kind of a student of history, they will or should answer with a resounding, ‘No, that isn’t accurate’.

          Why? Well in my case, I was born early in 1941. I remember the end of WW II, and I lived during the atrocities of the Nazi Dictatorship in Germany during the War.

          I lived as a child and an adult during Communist Dictatorships in Russia and China, and Poland, and Hungary, and Ukraine, and East Germany, etc., etc. The history of those Dictatorships makes the current Muslim persecution rather small by numerical comparison.

          We currently experience the brutality of the virtual Dictatorship of Vladimir Putin in Russia, both within Mother Russia, and outside such as in Ukraine where he has murdered thousands of Ukrainians in recent years. Therein he, his troops and terrorist are trying to supplant the Catholic Church’s presence [which is large] with that of the Russian Orthodox Church.

          I could go around the globe citing examples and statistics of brutal Dictatorships persecuting the Church.

          Today, the Communist Dictatorship in Venezuela here in the Western Hemisphere, has brutalized the Church and is currently murdering Catholics in droves in that country. The Socialist/Communist dictatorship in Venezuela have [as usually happens] destroyed the countries economy and previous well-being.

          I could cite you Pol Pot in Cambodia who murdered over 2,000,000 people and martyred Catholic priests, nuns, bishops, and laity in that tiny country.

          I can cite you various Dictatorships from around the globe which have brutalized the Catholic Church in particular, and Christianity in General over the last century. It would take me hours just to scratch the surface of such persecution.

          To say that the statement by Mosebach above is historically inaccurate and naive would be the height of gross understatement.

          Have there been some Dictatorships over the last century which were friendly toward the Church? Yes. Would it be fair to say that even a majority have been so friendly? No, it would not.

          The Church has faired both well, and ill, under many different forms of Government over the centuries, Kingships, Oligarchies, Republics, Democracies, etc.

          All my love in Christ

          Desmond

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Desmond My understanding of Mosebach’s comment regarding “protection by dictators” was in reference to dictators in muslim countries versus ISIS and was not meant to apply to dictators in general and throughout history.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You are correct. See elSisi in Egypt versus the Muslim Brotherhood and the coup d’etat in 2013 or as I thought “darn the people are taking their country back”.

              Like

            2. I agree that is where he began. But as I read it, his English sounded like he was going from the particular to the Universal – from happens in Muslim Countries to everywhere. I’ve also studied this issue with a number of scholars of the history of Islam.

              The conclusion we came to vis-a-vis Muslim countries is that: The places this kind of persecution tends to take place is 1) where Sharia Law is in effect – no matter what kind of Government they have, and/or, where Fundamentalist Moslems are on he ascendency in a given area.

              Since 1923, Turkey has been a secular parliamentary representative democratic republic where the Prime Minister is the head of government and President is the head of state. We do not seet see such martyrdoms of Christians in that Republic.

              However, Turkey is not strictly a secular state: there is no separation between religion and State. There is a tutelage of religion by the state. i.e., Islam is very heavily favored by Govt policies. But it is not a Dictatorship. Christians are free to practice their faith in Turkey. Turkey alone disproves the claim in the article.

              It isn’t an as simple as the form of Government in Muslim countries. It has to do with the existence of proponents of Sharia Law, and whether it is a secular state.

              Liked by 1 person

          2. Thank you Desmond, for your invaluable personal perspective. Sounds like your experiences would make for a very interesting post of its own in the future. I will cut and paste your response in its entirety to this young adult, (besides sending the link.) Appreciate your taking time to reply.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Maggie: All I know is that when the Obama administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy in Egypt (with boots and influence on the ground during the election), the first thing the Brotherhood did after they won the election was to start arresting people and turning it into another Iran. The Egyptian people revolted against the Muslim Brotherhood. General el-Sisi overthrew Mohammed Morsi the elected president and muslim brotherhood power in 2013. El Sisi designated the MB as a terrorist group (and that was exactly how they were behaving). Now in this country Obama was calling it a coup d’etat but I remember thinking – darn it- the people are taking their country back. There is some reporting mostly on OANN news that Assad in Syria was not the one using chemical weapons on those cities. They were saying that the “opposition” aka Iranian backed groups were the one who did it and blamed it on Assad. It’s hard to know the truth with Russia so involved in Syria. However, Obama and Hillary were bent on a “Muslim Spring”. I think they were essentially backing groups that they knew like the Muslim Brotherhood that were and are steeped in Marxist/socialist ideology. I have read that Ilhan Omar, the Somolia immigrant and congresswoman from Minnesota politics are based on her Marxist/socialist education. If you are trying to reconcile Marxism with Islam, I am too. Maybe it’s because all power and ownership is rested in the government with both Islam and Marxism.

          Like

          1. Gosh, Joanne, you too are a history buff. Your analysis is helpful in overall understanding; and JaS, good point, but I’m glad Desmond painted a broader picture of it all for those like myself who need a refresher.

            Liked by 2 people

  11. I hesitate to say this is my favorite post as they’re all SO good but this one is certainly “up there”. I recently read about a fairly unknown mystic here in CT & was struck by how ordinary her life seemed. It caused me to reflect on the lives of mystics & how difficult it can be, similar in ways to the lives of the prophets. So good timing, for sure! I really appreciate your honesty & insight. Also over the past few months in our local area, there’s been a growing interest in Luisa Piccaretta & The Gift of the Divine Will. So helpful to have this reminder to view it for what it is, i.e. “seasoning”. Love that! As a very dear & holy priest likes to say about the times, “When black gets blacker, white gets whiter”. Yes, now is the time for both saints & heroes!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Not only is the post “up there”, I think it should have chapter and verse for reference purposes.
      and regarding The Gift of the Divine Will, it’s not only seasoning. It is icing on the cake.
      Reading the 24 Hours of the Passion is perfect for Lent:
      http://www.passioiesus.org/en/horasdelapasion/distribucion.htm
      My favorite hour is 8pm the Eucharistic Supper
      http://www.passioiesus.org/en/horasdelapasion/hp05_8a9pm.htm

      Liked by 4 people

  12. “Found your faith on the rock which is authentic Biblical and Magisterial teaching.”

    Amen and double Amen!

    I find the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be breathtaking in articulating some of the truths of our faith. Two examples:

    Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In Him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one ” CCC: P 65

    CCC 648 — “Christ’s Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father’s power ‘raised up’ Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son’s humanity, including his body, into the Trinity.

    This reality that Christ’s very physical nature is fully integrated into the Trinity is staggering & wonderful beyond words. It is one of the most bodacious theological insights of the Church. Christ not only imparted immeasurable dignity to our humanity in His Incarnation, but He exalts our human personhood immeasurably by perfectly integrating His human nature into the life of the Trinity. Pondering this reality of Christ’s love for us blows my mind.*

    *Note: to head off criticism at the pass, neither the Catechism nor I am suggesting that we will become “gods” or “demigods” as a result of this unfathomable mystery of Christ’s human nature being incorporated into the Trinity. That’s heresy.

    Lastly, as I said several times over the years in ASOH and in its predecessor blog – Catholics, read the Bible every day!

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Frank, Good distinctions.

      This is a difficult subject indeed. Many people misinterpret famous quote(s) of men such as St. Athanasius that; “God became man so that Man could become God”. Most people do not study the background of such matters with sufficient depth to understand the issues being discussed – and what theological tools were available at the time to fully appreciate such.

      Athanasius was responding to the Arch Heretic Arius’ denial of the Divinity of Jesus Christ, which Arius made in 319 A.D.. Arius infamous statement about that heresy was, “There was a time when the Father was not yet Father”, [i.e., Arius was sneakily stating that Jesus was not Eternal as the Father is Eternal. Rather, Arius was claiming that the Son was merely created by the Father.

      With the limited theological vocabulary available to St. Athanasius in the middle of the 4th century – he simply explained that Jesus came down and assumed a perfect human nature and entered into what would later come to be called the “Hypostatic Union” of the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ with His perfect Human Nature.

      There was no question in the mind of the Church about whether men become gods’s, demigods, demiurges, etc. Rather, the Church even then understood that as adopted sons, men become – even at Baptism, a sharer, a partaker, in the Divine Nature. That process is completed for the Elect, when they receive the Beatific Vision in heaven.

      What is the distinction between that and becoming God? It lies for certain in this formula:
      Even the greatest of God’s ‘rational creatures’, whether they are pure spirits [angels] or human, they will never be able to comprehend God as He comprehends Himself. i.e., The Elect forever remain ‘adopted’ sons of God, but not God Himself.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. “Even the greatest of God’s ‘rational creatures’, whether they are pure spirits [angels] or human, they will never be able to comprehend God as He comprehends Himself. i.e., The Elect forever remain ‘adopted’ sons of God, but not God Himself.”

        I think Our Lord told St. Catherine of Siena: “You are she who is not, I AM HE WHO IS.”

        God bless

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Desmond,

        Respectfully, the statement of St. Athanasius, as quote in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#460) needs longer explanation than this forum could allow. The best article on this is from Father David Bird O.S.B.’s website Monks and Mermaid and here is the cite: http://fatherdavidbirdosb.blogspot.com/2012/08/theosis-god-became-man-so-that-man.html

        I apologize as it is rather long and is really an article containing videos and a subset of further articles from 2012, but it is very good and draws everything out.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. JAMES IGNATIUS MCAULEY Oh, I agree there are venues where a longer explanation is useful. But it isn’t necessary – even for seminarians.

          The basics in my earlier post are all they must know/remember in order to pass their Written and [if the wrong question number jumps out of the bag] even their Oral Comprehensive Exams – which they must pass in order to be ordained.

          I didn’t think the members here would have particular interest in going deeper than the average needs to know to get ordained 🙂

          All my love in Christ

          Desmond

          Liked by 1 person

  13. There’s a danger to attaching extra meaning to scripture that isn’t there…

    Many assumptions about the universe being created on the fourth day of creation, life (not even bacteria existing) elsewhere in the universe, etc… God doesn’t tell every detail outside what he wants us to know. Does the creation story cover the solar system, the galaxy, or the universe? Creation at least covers the solar system, but we don’t know how much more. Genesis is silent about life elsewhere, scholars pridefully assume earth is the centre of the universe, therefore cannot exist elsewhere, we simply don’t know, so don’t assume. The angels were created before humanity.

    By attaching extra meaning that isn’t there, helps evil for discrediting those assumptions, then evil claim the Bible is fake and the lower educated people loose faith.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I learned so much. Excellent article Charlie.You have been blessed by God.
    We receive teachings from The Heralds of the Gospel here and they certainly strenghten us in these evil times. Barb

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know all the details but it had something to do with 2 groups— one wanted to remain secular and one under the pope. These Heralds are under the pope and have many priests and nuns and growing.
      They are very orthodox and all teachings are in line with our Catholic Faith.
      It can be very confusing because I think the other group is active also- I just don’t know any more. There was an investigation as they were here investigating but as far as I know they couldn’t find anything wrong. I am very careful and keep an open mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed, in searching, bandgmac, that it was difficult to find anything that spoke to a definitive resolution of the problems. Sounds like you’re benefiting from solid food via this apostolate. God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. THE NATURE OF THE BEAST: Follow-up on the Mirena. (A medical procedure is briefly discussed below between the ⛔️’s.) (edit: Patrick I removed the description of the procedure in the event it may make some readers uncomfortable or somewhat squeamish.)

    Today at the Women’s Health Clinic, I witnessed the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) called the Mirena. Such a lovely sounding name for such a horrible “medical” device.

    The provider spoke words similar to yesterday: “…the Mirena thins the lining of the uterus so an embryo can’t implant.” She used the word “embryo” today instead of “fertilized egg”. I appreciated her candor with the patient.

    This time, the flash of horror did not wash over me. I was prepared for it. Instead, I simply listened carefully to the provider’s choice of words.

    The unmarried girl seemed extremely young to me. She was 22 but looked 16. She said she was going to begin having sex as her reason for starting this form of childbirth regulation.

    ✝️ The provider and I have not had discussions about faith yet. I suspect that she can guess where I stand. I believe she is Christian and have reason to believe she may be Catholic. We like and respect each other very much and have already had a good ethical discussion earlier in the day. We just haven’t had “The Big One” about the morality of birth control and Church teaching, and probably never will….at least not during my rotation with her.

    So it is curious: We both witnessed the same procedure, but our perceptions of it differ dramatically, like night and day. After the insertion of the Mirena was complete, I had the odd and rather accurate thought that I was in a subtle variation of an abortion clinic! It was consistent with the dreams of Margaret Sanger. This small IUD will surely result in the loss of many human lives over the course of its duration within this young woman’s God-given body. (That thought did make be feel sick and stuck in my heart a while 😔).

    Back in her office, though, I said plainly: “She looked so young to me.”

    The provider said: “She was smart for taking responsibility before she starts having sex.”

    I perceived her statement in several ways: It suggested that those who do not use birth control are not smart. I also saw this as an attempt to console herself morally, as in “I did a good thing just now, helping women to be ‘smart’.” Lastly, her comment served to blunt further discussion about the ethics of the procedure or any long-term medical harm it may cause. Perhaps she sees providing, prescribing, and using birth control as a GOOD outweighing a BAD, while I see it as just plain BAD.

    It is just FYI about my experience of getting very close to the Enemy’s camp. My emotions remained in check as I looked dispassionately at what we here plainly call evil, and that same evil — I can certainly say — knew I was watching him.

    And now I….and you…are praying. ✝️

    🌹 Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Mercy and Mother of the Unborn, pray for us.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand, B.
        It’s funny….bodily fluids and surgical procedures don’t make me squeamish in the least. 😀 Maybe it’s a nursing thing. It’s topics like homosexuals molesting children, sex trafficking, and late term abortion that really hits me in the gut and makes me nauseous. 😔 But, I do agree with your removal of that paragraph for other’s sake (especially women) as I was uncertain myself at the time. (⛔️TMI⛔️)

        ❤️,
        PD

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Perhaps surgery is not your cup of tea, B, but you are a PHENOMENAL caregiver, both for the souls here and first-hand with dear Father Wang. Taking care of an elderly loved-one in addition to all the other demands of life is an immense physical and emotional challenge. And I know you do so humbly and cheerfully, ever thankful for your many blessings.

            ❤️

            Liked by 5 people

            1. {{{{{Patrick}}}}}, God bless you for your kindness. Just so grateful for you and all our friends here, each one with his/her own personal crosses, joys and sorrows, strengths and challenges… and we press on… ever forward… as signs of the Kingdom in each of our lives. Please remind us again: when does your study program come to completion? Prayers anew for you and all you must navigate as a believer in your profession.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Only 7 weeks of classroom study left….after 14 years and ending with 3 degrees. I need 300 clinical hours (8 weeks) this summer of family practice, ENT, geriatrics/palliative and a bit more women’s health. That’s all. Should wrap up in mid-July. For holiday, I’ll take a road trip to Buffalo, NY to see Honey at age 99 & 11 months (to pray the Rosary), then back to Rapid to take boards early September. Start a job, God willing, in Oct or Nov. in Wyoming, Montana, or South Dakota. It’s all in God’s Hands, B. He will open the doors for me. I pray that I will see clearly which one I should go through.

                Liked by 7 people

                    1. Ha, Beckita! Anyone and everyone is welcome. Just be forewarned about the mosquitoes, which can swarm like a Biblical plague during a Michigan summer. 🙂

                      Liked by 3 people

                  1. Mick, I could definitely swing by the farm, either going to WNY or coming back. I’m going to stop in Cinci to see Fernanda (the Portuguese woman I wrote the Holy Hour booklet with) on one of legs, and can visit your family on the other. Let’s make it happen!

                    Fresh garden vegetables! Will you have any tomatoes ready for harvest in mid/late July? We gotta time this just right 😀

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. I spoke to Fernanda on the phone several months back; she was a real sweetheart!

                      Definitely, let’s make a visit happen. I can get fresh tomatoes in mid-late July from our friendly neighbors who have a farm stand; but since we start our tomato plants from seed, our harvest is later than that of most people (but then I get to grow the exact heirloom and open-pollinated varieties that I want, so it’s worth the trade-off to me). But I should have some sort of fresh veggies in the garden when you come.

                      Anyhow, let’s talk as your trip gets closer.

                      (P.S. You’re gonna give Honey a big ASOH hug from all of us squirrels, right?)

                      Liked by 3 people

        1. Patrick, I can change gross diapers and clean up baby puke all day long; but if I see blood, I have a tendency to lose it a bit (or a lot!). I am thankful for people like you who can do what you do, because I know I couldn’t.

          Liked by 6 people

    1. Patrick Daniel, this encounter that you describe brought me right back to three situations involving dispensing birth control in which I quietly had to say, “No, I will not do that.” This led to encounters with three levels of superiors in the organization, but I am grateful to this day that I stood my ground, albeit with tears streaming down my face. One has to live with oneself.

      Do we believe the constant teaching of the Church or do we not?

      You’ve probably done this, Patrick, but it’s important to study the Church’s well-reasoned position on birth control in order to meet these sometimes unexpected situations with calm strength. Here is a good place to start:

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/

      God bless you, friend.

      Liked by 5 people

  16. Well done, Charlie!

    I relished reading these much needed words of wisdom. Your words echoed some of my thoughts.

    I often thought that what seemed to be a failed prophecy, in the past, was a way to sift some of the readers who were revelation chasers.

    Blessings!

    Liked by 5 people

  17. “I sometimes wonder how many of our clergy and officials do not believe in God at all. Some have come to think the Church is merely a man-made construct that offers them a path to power, prestige and influence.”
    ————————

    This might explain some things, but the thought of this just overwhelms me — in a negative way, of course. I’m sure there are some of those wolves in our Church, but I am at a loss about what to think about this.

    Thank you for (another) well-written piece. It is clear and concise, but requires much cogitation.

    God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thank you Charlie, for this excellent piece of writing. I read the first two books you mention, a number of years ago, so will probably reread them, along with your 3rd suggestion. Thank you for keeping our eyes on the Prize and not on those wayward winds that blow. Your words are greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. …”…homilies that don’t touch on the foundations of faith or the trials that ordinary people routinely face”

    That was the excuse someone told me why they go to a non-denominational church, especially the latter.
    As for as the foundations of faith, I long for teachings on the goldmine of the mass.
    When we’re singing the Gloria, why in the world aren’t we all concentrating on God before us instead
    of the priest looking one way and us another.
    Oh, and for Who is in the tabernacle, I was caught up in the ..was it the 70s…phase when I thought it was a smiling Jesus, our good ole buddy who just sat there and enjoyed watching us have a good
    ole time in church having so much fun being there with each other and smiling and having a good ole time.
    I guess they say it was a time when we forgot about the supernatural and I think we are still in it.

    PS What started the change in me was when our neighbor got back from Medjugorje and shared.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. A good verse today for TNRS Gang 😉

    HeartLight Daily Verse – 13 March

    Romans 8:28
    We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    God is in our lives. He is at work right now, undoing Satan’s destructive messes and leading us to places he wants us to go. This is true in everything we do and everywhere we go. The key is for us to seek his purpose, to live his will. If that is our goal, then we can be sure our God is with us every step of our way.
    Prayer:
    Thank you, God, for being at work in my life. Thank you for not leaving me alone to my best effort, insight, and choice. Thank you for having a plan for me and being the assurance that I can’t mess that plan up if I seek your will. Thank you for being my God, my Father, and my Partner through all of life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
    Visit heartlight.org for more

    NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians
    =====================
    A Catholic Call to Courage
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/a-catholic-call-to-courage

    Rev. Graham: ‘The Gloves Are Off … The Radical Left’ Is Trying ‘To Crush All Who Hold to a Biblical Worldview’
    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/rev-graham-gloves-are-radical-left-trying-crush-all-who-hold-biblical

    Two Distinct Types of Radical State Abortion Laws
    https://www.newsmax.com/frankpavone/abortion-new-york-vermont-illinois/2019/03/12/id/906588/

    Cultural Assimilation Has Corrupted the Church in America
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/cultural-assimilation-has-corrupted-the-church-in-america

    THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION ABUSE CRISIS PT. 1: SBC ABUSE SURVIVORS FACED SILENCE, BLAME AND ALIENATION
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/03/12/southern-baptist-abuse-victims/

    Papal advisor George Pell sentenced to 6 years in prison
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/03/12/Papal-advisor-George-Pell-sentenced-to-6-years-in-prison/7481552441228/?sl=7

    A Compromise on Late-term Abortion–Wood McGinnis
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/a_compromise_on_lateterm_abortion.html#ixzz5i2QNQ1ut

    Brent Bozell: Facts Don’t Favor Socialism
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/l-brent-bozell-iii/facts-dont-favor-socialism

    Government Isn’t the Social Fabric
    https://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2019/03/13/government-isnt-the-social-fabric-n2543037

    ‘Bubblegum Socialism’ Is No Laughing Matter
    https://townhall.com/columnists/bobbarr/2019/03/13/bubblegum-socialism-is-no-laughing-matter-n2543009

    Sunday Terror on Highway 10
    https://www.newsmax.com/benstein/duke-farrakhan-pelosi-sharpton/2019/03/12/id/906610/

    New Pentagon transgender rule sets limits for troops
    https://www.apnews.com/ae07308b29c342429c3c627b7fc0b404

    Don’t Fall for These Tax Prep Scams
    https://www.military.com/paycheck-chronicles/2019/03/11/dont-fall-these-tax-prep-scams.html

    How to Protect Your Kids From Google Predators
    https://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2019/03/13/how-to-protect-your-kids-from-google-predators-n2543030

    Arkansas State Senator Is Wrong About Stand Your Ground Legislation. Here’s Why.
    https://townhall.com/columnists/johnrlottjr/2019/03/12/arkansas-state-senator-is-wrong-about-stand-your-ground-legislation-heres-why-n2543013

    Liberal Privilege Strikes Again
    https://townhall.com/columnists/chrissalcedo/2019/03/13/liberal-privilege-strikes-again-n2543024

    Lisa Page admitted Obama DOJ ordered stand-down on Clinton email prosecution, GOP rep says
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ex-fbi-lawyer-lisa-page-admitted-obama-doj-ordered-stand-down-on-clinton-email-prosecution-gop-rep-says

    A Professor Spoke the Truth, He Still Pays the Price–DAVID FRENCH
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/professor-samuel-abrams-spoke-the-truth-he-still-pays-the-price/

    This is CNN? Primetime shows filled with liberal opinion, not straight news as network claims
    https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/this-is-cnn-primetime-lineup-filled-with-liberal-opinion-not-straight-news-as-network-claims

    India’s and Pakistan’s Lies Thwarted a War—For Now–C. Christine Fair
    https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/03/indias-and-pakistans-lies-thwarted-war-now/155441/

    Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against its oil shipments
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-israel-oil/iran-warns-of-firm-response-if-israel-acts-against-its-oil-shipments-idUSKBN1QU0IB

    ERUSALEM WILL NOT FUNCTION IF SPLIT IN TRUMP’S PEACE PLAN – BARKAT
    https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Qatari-fund-transfers-to-Hamas-are-best-of-bad-options-Barkat-583277

    The sick stupidity of comparing Nazi-era Jews to ISIS fighters
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-sick-stupidity-of-comparing-nazi-era-jews-to-isis-fighters

    Mike Pompeo accuses Beijing of creating debt traps and energy blocks in wide-ranging spray
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3001491/mike-pompeo-accuses-beijing-creating-debt-traps-and-energy

    Study: Migrants Using Nearly 2X the Welfare of Native-Born Americans
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/12/study-migrants-using-nearly-2x-the-welfare-of-native-born-americans/

    HEADLINES:
    SNL joke comparing Catholic Church to R. Kelly spurs ire of Brooklyn Diocese
    New Jersey Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Found Shot to Death
    Two Bishops Accused of Sexually Harassing Adults Are Barred From Priestly Duties
    Covington Catholic teen Nicholas Sandmann sues CNN for $275 million over ‘false, vicious attacks.’ Lawsuit follows $250 million complaint against the Washington Post

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Charlie,

    To follow up what you wrote about the books, the publisher of the Summa of the Summa, Ignatius press has their new catalog out and some very good books are advertised in it. One that especially struck me was a biography of author/artist Michael D. O’Brien, On the Edge of Infinity. O’Brien’s art has struck me as being one of the very few modern art types that could fairly be called icons from the eastern perspective as everything is drawn/illustrated from the point of the spiritual/eternity.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I recall seeing a picture of a fully clothed adult man in the womb.
      If that doesnt strike the reality of abortion, nothing does.
      (perhaps if the ultra sounds could speed forward to adulthood…)

      Also, I found this at his site- http://studiobrien.com/favorite-quotations-2/
      contains lots of gems eg.
      It is true that the delay in creating public pressure for euthanasia has been due to the fact that it was one of the war crimes cited at Neurenberg. So, for The Guiness Book of World Records, you can submit this: that it takes about thirty years in our humane society to transform a war crime into an act of compassion.

      — Malcolm Muggeridge

      Liked by 5 people

  22. Amen!

    Our church is now going to say the St. Michael’s Prayer at the end of mass as a congregation. This will happen after the final blessing and before the closing hymn! Not sure if it’s diocese-wide or just the cathedral. I know other churches in the area do this.

    Nice to see this tradition come back….we sure need it!

    Liked by 8 people

  23. couldn’t miss it Charlie. I remember when my wife and I were there several years ago, talking to the caretaker of the place and he told me a story of some crazy old coot running up Meeker playing his trumpet before the calvary showed up to arrest him!!

    Liked by 4 people

  24. This also is from Michael D. O’Brian’s favorite quotes;
    We shall steer safely through every storm so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.

    — St. Francis de Sales

    Liked by 4 people

  25. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 14 March
    ====================
    We, sadly, have reached a point, These-Days, where we don;’t know who to believe …. be it in Church, State, Media or Education ;-( …..Soooo …… Jesus, We Trust in You 😉

    ‘In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    Unknown

    THE GULLIBLE GEORGE WILL
    https://www.catholicleague.org/the-gullible-george-will/

    Commentary:Has the Catholic Church committed the worst crime in American history?
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-catholic-church-priest-sexual-abuse-will-0313-20190312-story.html

    Gallup: More U.S. Catholics questioning whether to stay with church
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/03/13/Gallup-More-US-Catholics-questioning-whether-to-stay-with-church/1401552495482/?sl=19

    What Newman Can Tell Us About the Cardinal Pell Verdict
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/what-newman-can-tell-us-about-the-cardinal-pell-verdict

    What in the World Is a “Worship Space”?
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/what-in-the-world-is-a-worship-space

    Life Is Worth Living: The Message of Fulton Sheen
    https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1609

    MICHIGAN OFFICIALS ASKED TO PROBE THE SCHOOLS
    https://www.catholicleague.org/michigan-officials-asked-to-probe-the-schools/

    The Four Types of Parishes (Dying, Declining, Swelling, Growing)
    https://www.laltocatholic.com/news/fourtypesofparishes

    Court Rules Ohio Can Defund Planned Parenthood
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/13/court-rules-ohio-can-defund-planned-parenthood/

    We know, for a fact, that Obama & Pals WEAPONIZED the IRS, CIA, DOJ, FBI, ICE, FISA Court and, no doubt, every other Alphabet Agency that could further The Agenda of the Global Left ….. and intimidate Citizens that opposed The Agenda. Two + Years on NO PERPS have been seriously held responsible or prosecuted for High Crimes. All aided & abetted by The Usual Suspects in the Media plus their pawns in the Democrat Party. I do not expect much from the new AG but …… Hope Springs Eternal whilst I keep my powder dry.

    It’s Up To You Now, General Barr
    https://townhall.com/columnists/williammarshall/2019/03/14/its-up-to-you-now-general-barr-n2543038

    ….. meanwhile China’s Cyber War aganist the USA and it’s theft of Military/Trade Secrets and Pacific Build-Up continues:

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/03/13/report-navy-is-under-cyber-siege-national-secrets-leaking-from-the-hull/

    https://www.cnet.com/news/us-charges-chinese-hackers-with-massive-theft-from-nasa-navy-and-tech-sector/

    Not to Worry!! 😉 I’m sure the CIA & DOJ will get Right-On this ….. after they check for Russians under every USA bed. ;-(

    What Part of ‘No Religious Test’ Don’t We Understand?
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jerrynewcombe/2019/03/13/what-part-of-no-religious-test-dont-we-understand-n2543089

    Leftists Say Judge’s Christian Beliefs Disqualify Him From Office
    https://townhall.com/columnists/toddstarnes/2019/03/13/leftists-say-judges-christian-beliefs-disqualify-him-from-office-n2543045

    Kentucky Gov. Bevin: Abortion Advocates Seeking ‘Mass Murder of Innocent Babies’
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/13/kentucky-gov-bevin-abortion-advocates-seeking-mass-murder-of-innocent-babies/

    Peter Kirsanow: ‘Astonishing’ Increases in School Violence after Obama’s Racial Discipline Quotas
    https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2019/03/13/peter-kirsanow-astonishing-increases-school-violence-after-obamas-racial-discipline-quotas/

    Hillary Clinton investigators were told Obama DOJ ‘not willing to charge’ her on key espionage statute: internal chart
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/chart-reveals-doj-informed-investigators-not-willing-to-charge-clinton

    Why Socialism Fails
    https://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2019/03/14/why-socialism-fails-n2543054

    Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Rasputin–Frank Hawkins
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/meet_alexandria_ocasiocortezs_rasputin.html

    It’s Time For Conservatives To Choose: Fight Back Or Surrender
    https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2019/03/14/its-time-for-conservatives-to-choose-fight-back-or-surrender-n2543077

    Waging War Against the Dead
    https://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2019/03/14/waging-war-against-the-dead-n2543053

    LOL: Fraudulent Native American Elizabeth Warren Weighs in on College Admissions Scandal
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/03/13/oh-geeze-fraudulant-native-american-elizabeth-warren-has-no-sympathy-for-parents-who-cheated-to-get-their-kids-into-college-n2543084

    HEADLINES:
    In Australia, Catholic Church’s Bank Is Full, but Pews Are Empty
    FAA’s emergency order grounding Boeing jets came after the agency identified similarities between crashes in Ethiopia, Indonesia
    The college admissions scandal should prompt broader soul-searching–WaPo Editorial
    The college admissions scandal isn’t fair. Nothing about our social mobility system is–Elizabeth Bruenig

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That is a wonderful article regarding Fulton Sheen above.
      This priceless story was included:
      “There are a million stories about Fulton Sheen, some of which may well be apocryphal, but he told many of them himself. One story I heard many years ago involved a meeting with a young priest who had concluded that he was no longer suited to ministry. The priest carefully explained his loss of faith in the Eucharist. Sheen listened quietly for a time, but finally asked in response: “What color is her hair?” Whether this favorite story is true or not, the bishop had a way of getting to the heart of a question.”

      Liked by 2 people

  26. The latest from Voris. Now!! It’s good to remember that Voris has a “Beef” with Dolan going back years …. but I still have no doubt that the Church in NY better be ready for Bad News!! Bad News that is really GOOD NEWS ’cause the Great Cleansing & Renewal CAN NOT occur until the Rot is exposed and excised. Soooo …. don’t be upset or depressed ’cause we were told Long-Ago that these “Things” would have to Come to Pass! Pray that God will Help Us to Get’er Done … and Quickly 😉

    THE SKINNY ON DOLAN – Lies, concealments and deceptions.
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-the-skinny-on-dolan

    SEMINARY BOARD BLASTS CUPICH FOR LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/cdl.-cupich-blasted-for-closing-st.-joseph-college-seminary

    WUERL ALLOWED HOMOSEXUAL PREDATOR TO LIVE WITH SEMINARIANS
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/wuerl-allowed-homosexual-predator-to-live-with-seminarians

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Your intro is accurate, Crew Dog. This bad news does bring movement into the Light which brings to mind the spiritual maxim that the closer an individual gets to the Lord, the more clearly the Light of Christ shines upon that one’s soul, revealing the rot, as you say. This is true for the collective soul of the hierarchy as well. While Michael Voris sometimes gets ahead of all the facts, invariably, he nails the gist of the problem(s).

      We have many, many more questions than definitive answers as demonstrated by this piece from Church Militant published yesterday. It is painful to share the following excerpts.
      Theodore McCarrick has had longtime ties to Pope Francis stretching back decades, with both involved in a controversial seminary in Argentina. Evidence reveals McCarrick took multiple trips to Argentina, and a reliable source confirms that on at least one of those trips McCarrick personally visited Bergoglio in the apostolic nunciature.

      And details get curiouser and curiouser as you read on… and then ends with:
      Pope Francis’ friendship and his promotion of McCarrick as a close papal advisor continued to be the case even when in 2016, the Vatican affirmed the veracity of the accusations that the founder of the IVE, Fr. Buela, was guilty of sexually abusing seminarians. The Vatican sanctioned Buela, ordering him to have no contact with the community — even while McCarrick was living at the IVE seminary in Washington, D.C.

      Deep questions remain as to Bergoglio’s relationship with McCarrick, particularly in light of the fact that, in spite of Bergoglio’s vigorous opposition to McCarrick’s project with IVE in Argentina, he was still heavily supported by McCarrick, who admitted in his Villanova talk that he had lobbied for Bergoglio’s election to the papacy in 2013.

      Our mission is clear for love of Holy Mother Church: “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

      Liked by 6 people

  27. I finally had time to read it all…

    Yes, it’s confusing times… Often the sermons given in Churches only focus on charity & feel good speeches, leaving the parishioners spiritually unfed. Church doctrine isn’t preached much and Bible readings are often downplayed or reinterpreted to be “feel good politically correct”. Is it any wonder people turn to private revelations and apparitions for something? I agree with you Charlie, Catholic doctrine is pretty solid & sound, and RCIA candidates are often more knowledgeable in its finer points.

    When I younger, I got a Catholic study Bible and spent time comparing similar passages from different sections. My findings was “humility”, “the great commandment”, “the ways of love” 1Corinthians, and “the beatitudes” are closely related & compliment each other. It seems New Testament passages often parallel the laws physics. When verses seem to be contradictory, it is because there a finer point being made, God made sure there’s no loopholes to allow for “pride”.

    All that can be done is to bring problems into the light of truth, as to make people aware of the problems…

    Where there’s a crisis (fire, accident, medical, etc…), people behave poorly when there’s no training on what to do, there can be more deaths, injuries, & damage done as a result of ignorance.

    Likewise we are a world in crisis due to pride, if we don’t know how to deal with the self-entitled, accusers who shift blame, and the proudly ignorant, then we will get caught in their traps and behave poorly ourselves. It would be nice if everyone was ethical, just, & humble out there, but it’s our test to deal with the ugly situation out there, have a plan so autopilot doesn’t default to “pride”.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. NEWS & MILINET – The Ides of March ….Beware!!!
    =======================================
    I sure hope Voris is wrong about Church Usual Suspects turning EWTN into a Phony Deal Cover-Up Op! ;-(
    …. or perhaps it will be another SIGN that The Great Vomiting Out and Cleansing is at hand!?

    EWTN & THE BISHOPS
    https://churchmilitant.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e719ceb125642d4ba546b7842&id=60b7e30667&e=2a0b6c7ef6

    1,700-YEAR-OLD INSCRIPTION FOUND AT NEGEV EXCAVATION
    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/1700-year-old-inscription-found-at-Negev-Excavation-583370

    Caesar’s Enduring Influence on Western Civilization
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/caesars-enduring-influence-on-western-civilization

    St. Patrick’s Day: Religious Holy Day or Ethnic Holiday?
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/st-patricks-day-religious-holy-day-or-ethnic-holiday

    AG NESSEL PUTS CIVIL LIBERTIES AT RISK
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/ag-nessel-puts-civil-liberties-at-risk

    I’m afraid we will be seeing more of this … World Wide ;-( ……….. RIP victims!

    One Suspect Charged in NZ Mosque Shootings
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2019/03/15/one-suspect-charged-in-nz-mosque-shootings-n2543171

    AOC draws ire ripping ‘your thoughts and prayers’ after Christchurch mosque shootings
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/aoc-draws-ire-ripping-your-thoughts-and-prayers-after-christchurch-mosque-shootings

    Oh! …. & it’s the Evil NRA’s fault …. somehow!!?? … & I’m sure the Usual Suspects will …somehow … link Trump too. ….. Stirring de Pot that leads to Civil Wars ;-(

    Ocasio-Cortez hits NRA after New Zealand shooting: ‘What good are your thoughts and prayers?’
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/aoc-draws-ire-ripping-your-thoughts-and-prayers-after-christchurch-mosque-shootings

    MSNBC’s Deutsch: Trump NZ Statement Might be Weak Because Muslims are the Target
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/mark-finkelstein/2019/03/15/msnbcs-deutsch-trump-nz-statement-might-be-weak-cause-muslims

    CNN Guest Connects Trump to Mosque Shooting in New Zealand
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2019/03/15/cnn-guest-connects-trump-mosque-shooting-new-zealand

    Is This Finally the Great Reckoning for Higher Education?
    https://townhall.com/columnists/chrisstigall/2019/03/14/get-smart-n2543115

    Lindsey Graham Just Issued a FISA Abuse, Clinton Ultimatum on the Release of Mueller’s Special Counsel Report
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/03/14/its-on-lindsey-graham-wants-the-mueller-report-released-only-when-a-new-special-counsel-is-launched-to-investigate-fisa-abuse-n2543151

    Amidst Global Warming Hysteria, NASA Expects Global Cooling
    https://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2019/01/30/amidst-global-warming-hysteria-nasa-expects-global-cooling-n2540500

    Global Cooling: The Real Climate Threat–Vijay Jayaraj
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/global_cooling_the_real_climate_threat.html

    Joint Chiefs Chairman: Google ‘Is Indirectly Benefiting The Chinese Military’
    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/03/14/top-us-general-google-is-indirectly-benefiting-the-chinese-military/
    Can The U.S. Meet The Huawei Challenge?
    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/huawei-5g-security-threat-china/

    Israel says it struck 100 Hamas targets after rocket attack
    https://www.apnews.com/06b3bb29c5d54afbb19d4a8588636627

    N. Korea reconsiders denuclearization talks with US: news reports
    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190315000394

    On Point: Sanctions and New Military Tech Threaten North Korea’s Nuclear Threat–Austin Bay
    https://www.strategypage.com/on_point/201903131129.aspx

    Chinese man indicted over theft of Boeing C-17 secrets
    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2491302/chinese-man-indicted-over-theft-of-boeing-c-17-secrets.html

    Chairman’s Flight Surgeon Shares Insights on How to Run Farther and Live Longer
    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/03/14/chairmans-flight-surgeon-shares-insights-how-run-farther-and-live-longer.html

    The Hate U Give: SPLC Co-Founder Sacked Over Allegations of Racism, Sexual Harassment
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/alexa-moutevelis-coombs/2019/03/15/hate-u-give-splc-co-founder-sacked-over-allegations

    Mom of 11-year-old drag queen who danced in gay nightclub: Child protective services said abuse accusations ‘unfounded
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/child-abuse-accusations-11-year-old-drag-queen

    Ilhan Omar is so controversial, Democrats already want to get rid of her — here’s how
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/ilhan-omar-is-so-controversial-democrats-already-want-to-get-rid-of-her-heres-how

    SUSPECT IN KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION DOXXING HAS FEINSTEIN TIES, ALLEGEDLY POSSESSED SENATE DATA. DOJ MAY HIDE THE DETAILS
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/03/14/kavanaugh-doxx-feinstein-doj/

    Peter Strzok: Clinton, DOJ struck deal that blocked FBI access to Clinton Foundation emails on her private server
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/peter-strzok-clinton-doj-struck-deal-that-blocked-fbi-access-to-clinton-foundation-emails-on-her-private-server

    Meanwhile the never ending Witch-Hunt continues and this long suffering Tax Payer would like to know what % of the $$ Millions and thousands of hours of “Investigation & Prosecution” have been devoted to Billary/Democrat Party Operators and Chinese’s Election Shenanigans? …… Eh!!!???

    Mueller, Gates attorneys request sentencing delay due to cooperation in ‘several’ probes
    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/434213-former-trump-aide-still-cooperating-on-several-ongoing-probes

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 2 people

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