Real People, Real Faith, Real Hope – Short Takes

Pilgrimage together

By Charlie Johnston

Some years back I was visiting my son when the local Bishop celebrated Mass at his Parish and then stayed for a rather lengthy reception. My son was standing by the punch bowls when the Bishop took a short break to come get a drink. Young Charlie looked at him with a grin and said, “That’s a cool pink beanie you’re wearing.” The Bishop looked at him coolly and said, “It’s magenta.” With his big boyish grin, Charlie said, “It could be the hot, new fashion. Where can I get me one like it?” The Bishop started to respond harshly, but then broke into a grin as he realized my son was being affectionately playful. With his own easy grin, he told Chaz he had to get back to the line, but not to go anywhere. He’d be back.

When he left, I asked my son what he thought he was doing. He told me he was doing the same thing we always did when he was younger and we hung around with so many high officials. “These guys in the public eye are desperate to be treated like real people, it is a soothing balm to them.” That was true. Prominent officials in public are generally treated with either saccharine obsequiousness or unmerited, hostile aggression. To be treated as real people, whether in public or private, IS a deeply soothing balm to them.
Charlie’s point was proven when, for the rest of the evening, the Bishop stole away to laugh and joke with him at every possible opportunity.

We have a nice mix of people here at this site. We actually have more prominent people commenting occasionally than anyone knows. Most use a pseudonym – and some quietly let me know who they are. One of the virtues at this site is that, despite going off on the occasional tangents, we treat each other as real people. At our best, when we argue, we do so as an affectionate family would, not as shrieking harpies seeking to score points on some talking heads television show. May it always be so.

On the other hand, Chaz had a shrewdness that he learned early on to use to his sly advantage. Once, we spent the day on a Sunday visiting with some friends at a big barbecue at their home. At about nine that evening, I figured it was time to head out. But my son and our host had been engaged in an intense back-and-forth videogame football tournament. Both begged me to stay a little longer – and my host reminded me that the next day was Lincoln’s Birthday, so the kids wouldn’t have school. I relented and said they could play one more game (which eventually turned into three). When we arrived home, past midnight, I was horrified to discover the kids DID have school the next day. The great Illinois holiday of Lincoln’s Birthday had been subsumed into an ubiquitous “President’s Day.”

Sure enough, early the next afternoon I got a call from Charlie’s teacher telling me he had fallen asleep in class. I started to apologize and explain, when she said that really was not why she was calling – that Charlie was a good kid and this was unusual, not a regular problem. When I asked what the call was for, she said, “Charlie said the reason he was so tired was because he was up late playing Nintendo with his Congressman. Is that true?” I confessed that was pretty much the case. With delight, she said she just wanted to confirm it for the book she intended to write someday.
The worst thing about our modern elite classes is not their invincible ignorance, but their condescending arrogance towards those who do not share that ignorance. They never think to question or examine their own false predicates. The establishment media is an astonishing example of this hubris. Have you ever read a news story about a subject you have some real expertise in? If you have, you have undoubtably been irritated to find the writer knows next to nothing about the issues and facts involved but opines with supreme confidence anyway. It is not just your expertise they do it with; it is in all areas of genuine expertise.

A few quick examples that jarred me…
1) In 2008 I was watching a TV talk show that included a prominent national columnist and a lesser-known blond anchor babe. They played a clip of Sarah Palin speaking of Talibani in Iraq. They both shook their heads sadly and said it was pathetic she did not know that the Taliban was not in Iraq. I was frothing at the mouth with rage. She was speaking of Iraqi President Jalal Talibani – and what was pathetic was that THEY didn’t know that the Iraqi President is not the same as the Iraqi Prime Minister – and they did not even have the wit to check to see what she was talking about and if, maybe, she knew something they didn’t.

2) In March of 2010, California Senate Candidate Carly Fiorina saluted the Jewish celebration of Passover by noting it was a time when observant Jews “break bread together.” Because she was a Republican, the news media exploded with accusations that she lacked cultural sensitivity, because observant Jews don’t eat bread at all during Passover. To the contrary, Jews do not eat leavened bread (which is chewed, not broken) during Passover. They replace it with unleavened bread, which must be broken. In fact, the very phrase, “breaking bread,” comes from the tradition of breaking unleavened bread at Seder meals. She had it literally and precisely correct; her critics had it literally and precisely wrong – and they were too invincibly ignorant to check their own error – out of sheer arrogance and, probably, worry that checking it would get in the way of the media sliming another Republican woman who worried them.

3) On April 18, after attending a White House Press Briefing where the song, “Edelweiss,” was played before it began, New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman tweeted later, “Does…anyone at the White House understand the significance of that song?” Presumably Haberman thinks it is a pro-Nazi song because a sinister version of it is played as intro to the TV series, “Man in the High Castle,” which is about what would have happened if the Nazis had won. But for anyone whose knowledge runs deeper than a recent television series, the song has an entirely different significance than Haberman thinks. After the Anschluss, the forcible German annexation of Austria, some patriotic anti-Nazi resistance groups sprung up in Austria, almost always under the banner of the Edelweiss (a delicate flower common to the mountain regions of Austria). The song was developed for the musical, “The Sound of Music,” to underscore Captain von Trapp’s patriotic opposition to Nazism. Haberman does not understand the significance of the song – so rather than check her predicates, she just condescendingly assumes that anyone who isn’t as arrogantly stupid as she is must be ignorant.
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan (with whom I often get irritated) once deliciously said, in response to this sort of thing, that it gets wearisome to be so constantly condescended to by your inferiors. The good thing is that, the more “elite” mediocrities do this, the more people are figuring out that the elite are largely, the inferiors of honest, ordinary people. As a columnist recently said, it turns out that the “best and brightest” are actually the worst and dumbest.

May we all, when confronted with an assertion that contradicts our existing assumptions, first check our facts before entering the fray. Otherwise, we risk having our credibility go the way of that of establishment journalists – into the tank.
Another historical cultural icon is being torn down. Apparently, among the thousands of songs that Kate Smith performed in her memorable career, two in the 1930s contained lyrics that are racist (I don’t know, I haven’t seen the songs, just going by what is being reported – which is a dubious practice in this time of bizarro journalism). I will presume it is true. The Philadelphia Flyers Hockey team is tearing down her statue and banning all performances of her iconic “God Bless America” at its venue. It is not the only organization to give that great, patriotic song the stink-eye.

Of course, we have already treated the memory of all confederate soldiers with a harsh vindictiveness that neither Abraham Lincoln nor Ulysses Grant approved of – and we didn’t actually have to suffer in battle as they did to signal our virtue.

The reality is that every age has its moral failings. Every person has his moral failings. If any achievement must be banned if it does not comport with modern sensibilities, if any hero must be denounced entirely for particular failings, it is actually a wholesale assault on truth and memory, itself. It is particularly dangerous for the self-righteous social justice mob when we are barely a decade away from recognizing that legalized abortion was one of the greatest, most evil holocausts in human history.

Christianity recognizes that we are born into and prone to sin. It is the human condition. But it is not the last word on the subject. We can go deeper into sin, or grow and receive redemption. Our path on this earth is ever a broken one. We will fail sometimes – often because that is the nature of life and all too often of our own fault. The truest mark of a Christian is not that he never falls, but how resolute he is at getting up and starting again. How badly we are all in need of mercy. Thank heavens God is so generous in giving it to us when we ask. But, oh, how terrible it will be for those who are miserly in giving the mercy to others that they have received in such abundance themselves.

How I long for the day when we can look to those who have helped build our common culture with gratitude for their achievements and charity for their flaws. To do otherwise is self-immolation. But we live in a time bent on self-annihilation. May the social justice mob repent and may we be more merciful to them if they do than they were to…anyone.
I find myself, oddly, feeling a bit sorry for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. About a month ago, I had come to suspect she was a Republican plant doing performance art to boost GOP odds for 2020. I have worked with a lot of federal officials, both in the House and Senate and other high levels. It was almost 30 years ago when I realized the great majority of them had only the most tenuous grasp of history and civics and that only one in 20 had even a hint of understanding of basic economic principles. Cortez took the ignorance to a whole new level, though. Everything she puts out is brimming with critical factual errors and utterly unhinged analysis. What really raised my suspicions was when she tweeted, in jubilation, after chasing Amazon and its 25,000 jobs out of New York, that now they would be able to use the $3 billion in tax breaks it was promised for other worthy purposes. It just defied belief that she did not know that the money was not sitting around in New York coffers, but was money that Amazon would not have to pay under normal rates in exchange for bringing a lot of money into New York and its tax coffers. She has an economics degree from Boston University. It is not that her economic illiteracy is something covered in my first week of introductory economics in college, but that she is completely ignorant of things I knew before even beginning that course. Surely someone that ignorant of basic principles and facts, yet constantly asserting her intelligence accompanied by epic daily pratfalls could not be for real.

I have come to think, though, that she is representative of that segment of millennials who have spent their whole lives being assured that they are special little wonders, given self-esteem without cost or effort, who come to believe their own fact-free, unexamined assertions of excellence without study. Her plaintive cries seem increasingly desperate and defensive. I now think she is coming to suspect how terribly over her head she is, even in the culture of mediocrity that the modern U.S. Congress is. She is a woman who has been robbed in some very important ways. The mindless culture of unearned self-esteem so prominent in our modern educational system and textbook parental theories have robbed her of awareness of the critical nexus between effort, discipline, knowledge and achievement. She is a poor waif adrift in a sea beyond her capabilities. She will either retreat into a bitter decline, ultimately becoming a convenient punchline even for leftists, or will struggle to attain competency at all the things she was taught she didn’t need in her life as a special little wonder.

While her friend, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (the anti-Semite from Minnesota) is a loathesome bigot and Jihadi apologist, I did take some heart at seeing Cortez rising to the defense of this terrible woman. Poor judgment in choosing her friends, but admirable loyalty in defending them.

Contrary to the way the media portrays them, most millennials are not this lost. Oh, there is a sizable and very loud segment who are, but I am convinced there is a real renaissance of traditional values and Christian faith growing amongst millennials. I have seen startling conversions among them. Perhaps you could spare a prayer for Cortez. I started by thinking her an ignorant, but arrogant dunce, and then perhaps a Republican plant, and now just a little girl lost.
I have a friend who has spent a lot of time in Europe, who told me the collapse of Christianity there is exaggerated by the media. He said there are very strong enclaves of deep and astonishing Christian faith in the midst of the condescending elitist secularism there. I thought about it and realized that I have found the most amazingly strong communities of faith in some of the most blighted areas of this country – San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Albany, even Washington, D.C. In such climates, the Christians have to grow very hardy and strong, indeed.

A few years ago, when I spoke of the coming conversion of Muslims, en masse, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., who has spent a lot of time in the Middle East, told me that it had already begun. He said that, though it was unreported in the establishment media, the number of Muslims converting to Christianity there had reached over a million per year. It is one of the reasons for the savagery of some of the militant Jihadi groups. They are bleeding adherents – and so get more savage, as their founder taught them, to try to staunch the bleeding. In the process, they are martyring many Christians and Jews – and also persuading many sincere Muslims that they need to look elsewhere to find true faith. The horror in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday will ultimately provoke more Muslim conversions to Christianity than it will persuade Muslims on the bubble to submit to a permanent state of submission under threat of violent retribution.

I was deeply moved to see a mass crowd outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris at the beginning of Holy Week, gathered to say a heartfelt Rosary in the midst of the conflagration there. It did not escape my notice that, overwhelmingly, the crowd was composed of millennials.

The establishment media is determined to treat Christianity as the benighted superstition of a dead culture. It is their narrative…and just like the Russian collusion hoax, their modus operandi is to highlight all they can glom onto to support that narrative, no matter how tenuous, and completely ignore everything that contradicts their desired outcome. My friend was right. Don’t let the liars on television and in newspapers cause you to lose heart.

In the midst of the tragedy and violence that marked both the beginning and end of Holy Week, a host of people are stirring, unseen and unsuspected by the depraved chattering class. These people, some horrified by the violence of their own cultures, others rejecting the emptiness and dysfunction of secular elite governance, are harbingers of a great resurrection.

Though the White Witch hisses and spits for all to see, Aslan is on the move.
Though I will not be surprised in the least to find that events completely upend my plans, I have begun making plans for going on the road and speaking this year. From late May until the end of July, I will head east and south. I plan to return home to attend the Thomas Aquinas annual conference in Colorado Springs. It has been put on for over two decades by a dear woman, Therese Lorentz, who has made it her special labor of love and offering. The conference is free. Though a middle-class woman of no great financial means, Lorentz manages to raise the money to put it on, bringing in marvelous speakers from across the world. In the last few years, she has become a dear friend of mine – and this year several of the Priests and musicians she is bringing in are friends, as well. I missed the conference last year – and don’t intend to do so this year. I will stay home for a month and a half, renewing my strength and resting, then head out west and southwest from mid-September through about Thanksgiving.

As the Storm is upon is and is likely to grow in intensity, my focus this year is to speak on how to build functional faith networks in a time of persecution and strife – clans, as I called it in a recent article. When darkness comes, our duty is to be sources of light rather than adding to the darkness, to uphold each other, while evangelizing a weary world that there IS a better way. What is most to be avoided is succumbing to vengeful motives OR cowering in the shadows while expecting God to do all the hard work without us.

Again, all arrangements will be made through my assistant, Mary Lapchak. She has set up a new email account dedicated just to this purpose. It is If you would like to host a visit, I would be in your area for three days. On the night of my arrival, I would like a private get-together with the people who have organized the visit. I want to get to know them – and it will give us an opportunity to speak in some detail of practical plans. On the second day, I would like to visit one or two local areas where good work is being done in service to God and our neighbors. I have been delighted to get to know a lot of orders of Nuns these last few years – and pious Shrines. I also like to visit Crisis Pregnancy Centers. They are doing great work under difficult circumstances, helping to give families and women hope, all from private donations – even while the culture of death tries to shut them down. In the evening, I will do a formal presentation, whether in a hall, under a tent, or in a large home. I like these to begin with either a Rosary or a Divine Mercy Chaplet – and someone local should lead it. (I will talk quite enough in the presentation). I do not allow collections at these presentations. I live poverty and only want what is needed to sustain the work – and I do not want anyone feeling constrained from attending because they do not have the means to contribute to a collection. A few years back, at one venue, a man had gone to the organizer asking where the basket was so he could contribute to it. The organizer told him I did not allow collections. The man looked at the organizer funny for a moment – and then asked, “Are you sure this is Catholic?” One of my favorite stories from the road. For the visit, I would get a $350 stipend which the organizers must raise privately – and the organizers would provide my lodging. It can be a hotel or a detached area of a home. I need Internet access wherever it is – and some uninterrupted time alone each day. If you choose to put me at a hotel, please keep it simple. I don’t mind deep budget hotels if they have good Internet service. But please, not the fanciest hotel in town. I really don’t like high end hotels at all. They are vanity projects which charge exorbitantly for a cup of coffee or a coke – and are most inconvenient. My tastes are simple. Super 8, Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge…that is my speed. This is a little more than in prior years, but I underestimated costs then and had to rely on substantial subsidies. And don’t be exclusive in who you invite. As I have said on many occasions, during this time of trial, all faithful Christians and Jews are full and equal partners in the work before us. God, Himself, will se to the unity after the Storm has passed.

Once you initially talk to Mary, she will get the requests down and then put the puzzle together. She and her husband have provided a car I can use this year, so she needs to get things in a sequence for easy driving. And yes, I will be keeping my hiking equipment at the ready. Also, you should know that I will be practicing my trumpet (with a mute) for about a half hour each day. I’m not great, but I’m not terrible either – and I want to stay in shape. Finally, before the final prayer at each presentation (the St. Michael Prayer), we will sing together Kate Smith’s wonderful “God Bless America.” No assault on truth and memory here.

340 thoughts on “Real People, Real Faith, Real Hope – Short Takes

  1. Love the sign of hope which is your friend’s perspective about Europe, Charlie. And this warms the heart, fostering hope: “Though the White Witch hisses and spits for all to see, Aslan is on the move.”

    Prayers for Mary and her wondrous organizing abilities… prayers for you, too, Charlie, as you hit the road again… and prayers that news of each event gets to folks and that they respond to the opportunity because My! What a blessed time this will be.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Just a short supportive note, Charle.

      It started to become quite common in the early 1970’s, first for Bishops – and then for priests with a minimum undergraduate degree in theology – to call themselves theologians. Even as late as the 1940’s and 1950’s – virtually all priests and bishops knew that authentic theologians “were scarcer than hen’s teeth” [they still are]. That is why virtually the vast majority of bishops have theological ‘advisors’.

      There have always been some glowing exceptions. Two in my lifetime were,

      1) Bishop Fulton J. Sheen [his contemporary bishops all recognized this privately – even if it might have been too painful to admit it publicly] 😉

      2. Fr. John Hardon – [who was even a personal advisor to the Pope.]

      Both of those men swam in a virtual sea of wanna-be’s – Pretenders who would never the less not have had the presumption to claim that title publicly.

      But today, there is slowly growing ground swell of clerics who acknowledge that authentic theologians are few and far between.

      In my youth – most Catholics instinctively understood this. At the time of Thomas Aquinas, most Catholics KNEW it.

      All my love in Christ


      Liked by 11 people

      1. Was pleasantly surprised to hear that an official case has been opened for SOG Fr. Hardon’s beatification/canonization:

        Didn’t realize he had been ostracized from his own order-(wiki)..
        “While teaching at St. John’s, Hardon reacted to a woman’s question about his thoughts on the Enneagram of Personality. He responded with an article listing his objections to the concept, viewing it as a New Age process dangerous to the Catholic faith. Soon after he was summoned to appear before his Jesuit superior to speak on the matter, at the conclusion of the meeting he was informed he would be forbidden to teach at any Jesuit institution.[6] At the time of his death Hardon had not been allowed to teach at a Jesuit school for sixteen years. He viewed this as persecution for teaching the faith and saw it as “white martyrdom” and when recalling it would advise his listeners that they should be willing to suffer for the true doctrines of Catholicism.[6] Hardon was also rebuffed by the chancery of the Archdiocese of Detroit who refused to use any of his books in their catechetical materials and he was never invited to their conferences and seminars – though he was in high demand across the rest of the nation.[6] The conservative Catholic newspaper The Wanderer reported that Fr. Patrick Halfpenny, vice-rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, had a standing order at The Michigan Catholic (the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of Detroit) that Hardon’s picture was not to be printed and also that if his name was to be mentioned at all it would be in the smallest font possible, due to Halfpenny’s belief that “He’s divisive.”[6] The Wanderer also pointed out that at the Mass celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, though attended by many friends, not a single Jesuit other than Hardon was there.[6]”

        As for Bishop Sheen, wish the legal tug-of-war for his remains would be settled asap.
        (My son was enamored with his style of talks which we listened to when driving around visiting colleges; glad I had kept mom’s cassettes and tape recorder) Wish EWTN would air more of his vintage talks for the next generation; but in reality, most millennials don’t watch alot of TV-guess they’re more into streaming.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thanks Charlie for the article. It’s hopeful to read about the Middle East conversion. Your conviction about the millenial renaissance of traditional values is hopeful and true. I know because that describes me well thank God.

      I’m 28 and was hurt time and again by addiction to various sin. I got more involved in the the Catholic faith at about 20 years old. I got into a much better place as a result of being closer to God. I then got somewhat off track and began to question if the Catholic faith was really necessary or if spiritual principles were all that was needed to live a happy life. I fell into serious sin and was in one of the worst places in my life.

      I think that God withdraw His grace from me and let me realize how much I need Him. Nothing seemed to go right with me. Even when I tried to be nice to people they took offense to me. I lost my job and had no idea it was coming. Nearly everyone seemed to dislike me. I was in a constant state of fear. I think there may have been some sort of oppression.

      I went to confession and right when the priest (actually I think he was a bishop) began the absolution after I confessed the fear began to subside. After the prayer I could breathe again and was convinced at a soul deep level that the Catholic faith is real. Not symbolic. It is all real. Sin is real and Jesus really forgives them. I fought tears of joy (unsuccessfully I think) at the mass following that confession. I still get teary eyed at times knowing that God would love a guy who gas done the garbage I have so much that He would die. Knowing that I put Christ on the cross and He is pure love moves me. I’m so blessed.

      So now I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the faith. Thanks be to God I have actually gotten into traditional values that the church and her saints teach because I have been convinced that my ways and the world’s ways don’t work and God’s do. My ways hurt me and others God’s ways are love. Even if it’s hard to follow that’s OK. Jesus was completely telling the truth when He said He was the way, The Truth, and The Life.

      On my own I’m nothing. Only way I have a chance is God. I’ve realized it can be pretty dangerous to have high self esteem especially unearned and that low self esteem isn’t so bad because it keeps me relying on God and is more in accord with truth. Humility and meekness are good things.

      Speaking of traditional values I’ve developed a real liking to the traditional Latin Mass and the reverence we give to God there.

      I really hope this doesn’t come off as bragging but glorifies God and gives hope that not all millennials are lost by God’s grace and I also think that many more will come home before it’s all over. I think that your read on praying for AOC because she is a lost girl and also praying for others in my generation is appropriate.

      Without God’s grace I think we’d all be doomed.

      Also it would be cool to see you speak Charlie. It’s great to not be alone on the journey. I think you’re right about many things. Especially supporting one another.

      I quit watching the news for the most part because it was getting me worked up with nothing I could really do. Sometimes I would get anger at the left and have no solid action that would solve the problem. Now by God’s grace I try to forgive them for their offenses and pray they convert.

      Your articles give me hope Charlie. I appreciate what you do.

      Please pray for me and I’ll pray for you.

      Liked by 19 people

      1. Welcome to commenting Ar90. What a beautiful conversion story. Truly, we all have a sin history and God’s Mercy is infinite. Joining in prayer for you as I’m confident you’ll hear from others from this community for, among many blessings, this IS a house of prayer as we journey through the Storm together. Glad to have you on board!

        Liked by 5 people

      2. What a wonderful conversion story, Ar90! The first time I ever went to Confession I was petrified – but after absolution it felt so amazingly liberating. I felt like I had just bathed in a fresh waterfall on a sunny day.

        Don’t worry much about your past. This is the time when we are all learning. I remember once I told my spiritual director (while I was in my late 30’s) that I was focused on eradicating sin from my life. To my amazement, he turned on me in great anger and said, “Charlie, I thought you were smarter than that. If you are focused on eradicating sin, you are focused on…sin. The only way to effectively eradicate sin is to drown it in a sea of love…so don’t focus on eradicating sin, focus on loving more and better.” It was one of the most memorable moments of my life – and one I am profoundly grateful for.

        Another time, my driver during a visit for one of my presentations was an Australian ex-pat in her early 40’s. We had really hit it off by the second day I was there – she had a delightful and lively sense of humor. AT one point she started to tell me abashedly that, when she was young she had lived a lot of disorder. Before she got too far, I looked at her bemusedly and said I thought it was the law in Australia that until you were 30, you had to live disorder. She busted out laughing and said…yeah, kind of.

        The past truly is a bucket of ashes. Dump them and get on with your life – and may those ashes fertilize the healthy new growth you have begun. In many ways, I am grateful for my disorders in my past. I can be a cocky sort, at times, and it keeps me grounded to think what a joyful and noble work it is to cast off old attachments and put on Christ – and to see a bit of myself in those who are struggling with disorders I once struggled with.

        I work with some wonderful millennials in a lot of projects I am involved in. You should know that a lot of them, like you, are drawn to the beauty and majesty of the Latin Mass. Keep the faith, my friend.

        Liked by 10 people

        1. Bucket of ashes….thank you for this, Charlie. I still linger on the past sometimes instead of putting my hand to the plow and staying focused ahead.

          Bishop Gruss heard confessions on Good Friday. I showed up an hour early with my seat cushion and a school book to pass the time while I waited. The bishop showed up to the empty cathedral 45 minutes early, so I was able to have confession and lengthy counseling from him for half an hour. What an honor! He really has a gift for hearing confessions — he listens so intently and speaks with such tenderness and thoughtfulness.

          I love this sacrament so much.

          A priest once posed a question to me that I suppose he thought was unanswerable. He asked me to contemplate, “When does Jesus love you the most?”

          The next time I saw him, I couldn’t wait to give him my answer which felt like it was “handed” to me all at once by the Holy Spirit: “Jesus loves me the most when I come to him in confession.” The priest looked into the distance a moment as he contemplated the reply. He nodded and smiled.

          Perhaps some might argue that Jesus’ love is infinite and never wavers. But it’s during those moments in confession that we implore his mercy and accept the sacrificial Love of his Passion. There is probably no better way to thank Jesus for his suffering and death on our behalf than to come to him in confession.

          Liked by 15 people

        2. Charlie:
          Just wanted to ask for prayers. I finally got back to Confession on Good Friday after a year away. Had to go again today – but the priest was great and had some sound encouragement to give. I feel like I might be getting back on track after a really rough two years. I’ve decided I need to let HIM put together the puzzle pieces of my life. The bucket of ashes and fertilizer are helpful images – thanks.
          Two things I came across recently to which I would like to alert others. I am not sure if they have been mentioned here before. First, the website / association While the principal aim of the association is to provide prayer support and spiritual cover for priests engaged in exorcisms, I have found their suggested daily prayers to be extremely helpful in warding off personal serious temptations. Second, after listening to some YouTube talks of Fr Chad Ripperger I was made aware of the stigmatic / mystic Marie Julie Jahenny (1850-1941). While she is not yet canonized her story is remarkable and she had the approval of her local ordinary. Among the things revealed to her was the Scapular of Benediction and Protection (the Purple Scapular). Our Lady allegedly said to her that “this scapular will be a new protection for times of the chastisements.”
          Thanks to all here for your prayers and be assured of mine.

          Liked by 8 people

          1. Matthew, the Auxillium Prayers as well as the compilation, Deliverance Prayers for Use by the Laity, that Fr. Ripperger put together have been and are truly efficacious. Were you aware of the additional prayers that are recommended for the support of Fr. R’s Doloran Fathers? I have used the prayer for protection of my bishop as well as Abp Aquila fairly consistently for over a year now, but got off track during Lent. Thanks for the reminder! I’d never heard of the purple scapular. I am glad to know of yet another powerful sacramental for use in the Storm. Dominus vobiscum.

            Liked by 6 people

        3. This is heartening Charlie:
          “The past truly is a bucket of ashes. Dump them and get on with your life – and may those ashes fertilize the healthy new growth you have begun. In many ways, I am grateful for my disorders in my past. I can be a cocky sort, at times, and it keeps me grounded to think what a joyful and noble work it is to cast off old attachments and put on Christ – and to see a bit of myself in those who are struggling with disorders I once struggled with.” – So often, my past was so bad I think I should just go away & crawl under a rock.…maybe we were not all like families like St Therese…and it’s ok…I learned from you that humility is simply truth. I do believe God is here for such folk as we aND I feel as you do, Charlie, that I can relate to others, who were given no guidance in life, those who sailed a rudder less ship with no judgement, but in only wanting to show him/her that there is a better way…the ONLY way…The older I get, I see how God draws good from every evil. Our job is to trust in Him and daily beg for more grace from Our Lady, full of grace🤗 btw reading Trials, tribulations, triumph by Desmond Birch & After the darkness by Fr Espers…whoa….sobering stuff…God save us all🤗😇😘

          Liked by 5 people

          1. There is a man, a brilliant theologian and Catholic philosopher, one of the best in the 20th century.He had a lot to say about how we are to approach and live in times like ours. He was a man of broad and deep learning, both a true Catholic theologian and a philosopher.

            In the next day or two, I plan on posting an article about this man on my FB page – since my friends there could use a good dose of the wisdom of this man as well.

            All my love in Christ


            Liked by 5 people

            1. Going there now Desmond…thank you so much…so excited, I get to read your book some more tonight…when my hubby watches Browns draft…I put on my speaker radio to drown out noise & read Trial, Tribulation & Triumph & After the darkness. ..I must look very funny I think😆 God bless you, Desmond😇

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      3. AR90,

        I cried when I read your post. I can really relate to your story. There is so much truth in your words.

        Thank you for sharing.

        Praying for you and all here!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. That’s so sweet and is really touching. I hope that me saying that helped you. You telling me that helped me. Thanks so much for the prayers. God bless you 🙂

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  2. Well done Charlie, putting in to words what many have observed.

    I don’t think I can withstand a decade more of this culture of death!

    Did you notice the word ‘Twisted’ is used a lot. In my town we have two establishments having ‘Twisted’ in their moniker.

    I too have noticed some very positive, joyful millennials. Trying not to become a cantankerous gen- Xer. I need to find peace and joy to draw others to Christ.

    Praying for all here!

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  3. While doing some last minute Easter shopping, I noticed a woman come into the store with a small dog. It was not wearing the customary vest that indicated that it was a service dog and she had to stop to clean up after the dog which, she explained, sometimes got overly excited. She explained to one admiring gentleman that it was an emotional support animal.

    This woman could not have been much younger than me and I just didn’t understand how a nervous little dog offered any support at all or why other busy people had to be subjected to watching their step INSIDE a retail store. It is a sad commentary that perhaps no one in her life has explained to her the calming effect of the Rosary (as Bishop Sheen did for me) or the joy of surrender to the Mother of God (via the Total Consecration of St. Louis Marie de Montfort) or the bliss of spending time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. If not for these, I’d probably be carrying a dog like a purse, too. I have resolved, if I see her again, to try and strike up a conversation.

    Charlie’s short takes always hit home because they are a slice of ordinary life lived in the context of great faith. I love the stories about Chaz and his plain-and-simple people wisdom. When children are raised to know Christ, they sometimes astound us with gems like these.

    I think we all are going to face some terrible challenges, maybe even to the shedding of our blood but the path you laid out for us is beautiful in its simplicity and I have begun teaching it to my students. If we can muster the courage to take just the next right step our forward motion may be the sign of hope someone else needs. Thanks, Charlie and Beckita, for keeping this forum active and alive with faith. Remember also, Cardinal Pell who had to spend his Easter in prison and the Church militant in China.

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    1. Well said Crew Dog!!

      Hear, hear!

      Thank you for your inspiration in what helps you live day to day.

      Thank you Chekita for this forum!!!
      Old banana humor 🍌🍌🍌

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  4. Charlie, your comments on conversions of muslims brought back to my memory something I read, I think, 2-3 years ago: that if current conversion trends continue, Iran will be a majority Christian country by 2030. Although I had already figured out that a lot of muslims were converting, this remark from a credible source (since lost to me) stunned me.

    If you (my reader here) will think for just a half a minute about the implications of this (should it occur), you will realize that it would be an *enormous* earthquake in the Middle East. In many ways Iran has become the keystone of Islam in the Middle East, not Saudi Arabia. Should the keystone itself shift to majority-Christian, everything will change.

    I happen to think it will happen sooner, not later, and that should the Iranian government fall and be replaced by a decent government, the trend will accelerate. Iranians will walk away from Islam in droves once they are no longer under threat from their current government.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. The trends are powerful even as we speak right now…and the establishment media does their dead-level best to hide those trends. They have become true children of their father, who is the father of lies – and they rage as more and more ‘folksies’ every day figure out who they are.

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  5. I like the idea that there may be something subtle in your sharing about practicing the trumpet daily. If it’s nothing but ordinary trumpet practicing, I may even like that better.

    A little something from Easter Sunday… ventured off the beaten trail, far from the familiar characters, only to come face to face with this “roughneck.” A mug that only a mother javelina could love.

    Even so, I had just enough eye contact (and snout action) that this critter might have gotten the idea I’m not the enemy. Next time I’ll better prepare by bringing some citrus.

    Kind of a shame that you have to remind everyone that any person is really just “real people.” There was even a moment when I looked at javelina and imagined a Disney character, instead of the marvelous creature God had put there. Snout, spiny hair, tusks, gamey stink and all. And did you imagine he’d be that quick?

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    1. It’s a skill I would like to get competency in again, as it is a joyful skill. Long ago and far away I played professionally at a very low level. I will never be half of what I was, but it would be nice to be a fundamentally competent amateur again.

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    2. Haven’t seen one of those since my days hiking in Tucson, MP.

      Whenever I see one, I lick my chops. A hunter gave me some homemade Jalapeño Javelina sausage and I can still remember that wonderful flavor. Good eats!

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    3. Ha MP, seeing the picture of the Javelina reminded of when I was in college, my roommate took me varmint hunting at their family ranch in the hill country of Texas. He was surprised when we happened upon two Javelina and he decided we should dispatch both of them so the ranch workers could have a feast. When we got back to the ranch house he called his dad out to the back of the pickup truck because he wanted to surprise him. His father’s face quickly turned from shock to anger and he screamed that he just recently purchased the two Javelina for breeding purposes, wanting to reintroduce Javelina to the area. OOPS 🙂

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Can’t say that I haven’t done some stuff like that in younger days, but one day I had a caribou buck in my sights and just couldn’t pull the trigger. Ever since I’ve only stared a critter down through a lens. The closer, the better. It’s a miracle that I’ve only had a couple of dicey run-ins all these long years since that time, but I don’t worry about it.

        Folks around here like the outdoors and their guns, and many are responsible about it. Plenty others have an itchy trigger finger and will shoot just about anything that moves in the wilds. In or out of season. That’s always troublesome, but what’s even more troublesome is to see it play out in myriad ways in the public realm.. be it politics or whatever the media wants to leverage for trouble.

        Before heading out this past weekend, I stopped at the gas station which was packed with the outdoorsy and roughneck sort. As I was walking in the store, there was a lady that dropped in the entryway like a sack of potatoes, face first. She was having a heart attack and that was shocking enough. Even more shocking, folks were actually stepping over her so they could load up on beer and snacks.

        After I helped and gassed up, I picked up my family for Easter Mass. Running a bit late we went to the community center at the Church, which holds a second Mass to handle the overflow. Attendance was so spotty, you could shoot a canon through there without hitting anyone. Worse, those in attendance seemed demoralized. No one sang accept my wife and the occasional retiree here and there (I sing, but quietly because it’s usually off key).

        I’m looking forward to this conversation on clans (communities) because I think it’s timely, but I’m certainly just as concerned about all the ‘wild spaces’ inbetween. I hope it’s not only about circling the wagons.

        That old javelina I crossed paths with was pretty docile. Some years back I had one charge me a few times, veering off at the last second before impact. Understandable, because he was just protecting his family. I just stood there because I like appreciate those encounters. A joy for me, like Charlie’s joy in trumpeting.

        It’s a good thing, at least, that those ranch hands down in Texas probably appreciated some good javelina bacon. There’s always some good in every story.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. sweetwaterhaven, I was told that a gentleman named Eduardo that worked at the ranch during that time, still raves about that day several decades ago. Eduardo is now 91 years old and still remembers the young gringos that shared that feast many years ago. We also provided a few armadillo and jackrabbits to round out the menu.

          Liked by 5 people

  6. Charlie, I’ll be glad to offer a prayer for AOC. But I have not reached the point at which I can think of her with pity. In fact, I try not to spend any time thinking of her at all; she makes my blood boil, and I don’t have the time or the energy for that.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I’m with you Mick – I’m convinced that someone bribed someone to get AOL into Boston U or wherever she went. She’s no poor girl from the Bronx made good – she was raised in the very white, affluent Westchester County NY. On the bright side, I think she does more good than harm by way of her idiotic comments she sheds light on many of the left’s most delusional ideas.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Guess we can’t expect every politician to be as smart as Trey Gowdy. Was it the stupidity of his fellow politicians that encouraged him to head for the door? He outclassed everyone, it must’ve been painful for him.

        “REASONABLE STUPIDITY” — My new favorite dude, Jordan Peterson, a Canadian with an interesting take on life, freedom, and American politics. “What I’m hoping for is a return to normative incompetence among politicians….that would be nice.”

        Maybe AOC and Waters are just what we need. I dunno.

        Liked by 8 people

          1. I really do like this guy. He talks like no one I’ve ever heard.

            Chaos and order, physical and metaphysical, individuals and groups….and he quotes Our Blessed Lord, too. I remember once hearing that Christians should be neither staunch liberal or conservative — in other words to not be ideologues. Peterson seems to have a grip on this way of thinking.

            This is the best edited video I’ve seen of him yet.
            Thanks for the tip on Patrick Coffin interview.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. If I’m paraphrasing him correctly, Peterson said he does not foresee the rise of a tyrant in this current climate but rather the potential for descent into CHAOS.

              He is so precise in his speech.
              Ah, at the end he mentioned the Imitation of Christ as what we as Christians are called to do.

              Liked by 8 people

            1. Yes PD – one of the things I like most is that he makes his arguments on secular principals, which I find more useful and persuasive than religious truths when talking to my millennial children who are, at least for now, disenchanted with religion.

              Liked by 6 people

              1. I feel Jordan possesses something I’ve been seeking but have been unable or too lazy to find: He offers a practical, secular way of intelligently engaging all types of individuals that beautifully complements our efforts to love one another and our desire to imitate Christ.

                I look forward to learning more about what he has to say. Too busy with school, though….in fact, I should stop posting altogether and stay focused on studying.

                Liked by 4 people

      2. Madkat, my biggest problem with AOC is reflected in a comment that my 16-year-old son made to me a few weeks ago. He said, “Mom, when I listen to AOC, she makes liberals like Bernie sound like they almost make sense.” To my way of thinking, that’s what makes her so dangerous.

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        1. I don’t listen to what certain folks say when it’s so highly public and clearly misguided. I do often look at the eyes, and that constant wide-eyed look often tells me that a person is starved for light. Almost seems that if you ventured too close to those two black holes you’d feel the gravitational pull into the void. I’ve also seen that look when I’ve caught a deer or two in the headlights.

          An individual snowflake poses no danger. Let enough pile up, though, and we’ve got a potential avalanche on our hands.

          Praying for Light… all the little lights!

          Liked by 8 people

            1. Being in the lower desert climes, I was tempted to snicker at that, but for the first time in 40 years of I actually saw snow accumulation on the ground this winter that lasted 48 hours. Enough to build a snowman. Also, I sometimes get lost in the metaphor.

              Clearly the misguided are many and it’s going to get uglier (snowier). God willing, we can all just strap on our snow shoes, if needs be, and stick with the plan.

              Liked by 6 people

  7. I was worried for a while that wasn’t going be anyone in the younger generation to carry-on the Christian faith…

    It is disheartening that there’s still people asleep at the helm in the middle of this storm of evil and that they think it’s no big deal…

    Even if there’s a difference in opinion here on this site, I find it refreshing that we try to respectfully keep each other honest in what we perceive in world events & trends. Charlie and others here have been a source of courage & hope for the tough times when I just wanted to give up on life & stop trying to do anything anymore…

    Liked by 8 people

  8. What amazed me was how Pelosi noticed the absolute bunk that AOC spills out. I though her quite clueless before but now I think she has an evil agenda. Maybe she has been “woke” by all the conversation these days and is trying to save what is left of her party (in Pelosi think, that is).
    I think AOC ( for now) IS clueless and being tossed in the waves of PC thought and progressive think in a most aggressive way. She will come of age or be replaced or tow the party line sooner or later but if Pelosi can be speaker of the House with her bumbling retort, AOC most surely can one day!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. PF, For some time I was concerned, and then I realized…lots of noise, and clanging. That is the fear – the noise – and the clanging is all of them running (panic) into each other. When the dust finally settles, and it will, then we should be worried. There is some serious evil just around the corner. Serious. And we need to be prepared and in constant state of Grace. All secular efforts will be mundane and of little use, unless we are drenched in the supernatural and our Heavenly Host!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you for sharing this. I wasn’t aware you could pray the consecration for the family. This could cover my children? By the way, I love the Flame of Love prayers and devotions. I recently went to a one-day retreat and it was fabulous.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Robill, Spiritdaily has a link to for this consecration as well. I found this part of the article amazing:

        Schedule for the Consecration to Jesus through Mary
        The Consecration kicks off on April 28th. This date is significant because it is:

        On the Feast of Divine Mercy this year
        The 84th anniversary, to the day, of the first celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday attended by St. Faustina
        St. Louis de Montfort’s feast day
        Participants will make an act of consecration on May 31, 2019. This date is significant as well. It represents:

        The Feast of The Lady of All Nations—recognizing her role as Advocate, Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix – Holland
        The Feast of Mary, Mediatrix – Belgium
        The end of the month of May—the Month of Mary
        The Feast of the Visitation—the first time that Our Lady passed on her Flame of Love in her visit to St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist.

        Isn’t that something! How God lines all of these things up is awe inspiring.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. As I read this wonderful post it dawned on me that Hope and Light are rising. No wonder all the terrible events in the world during Holy Week! The Holy Spirit is moving in ways we can barely see and understand.
    To God be the Glory. Hoping to live to live it.

    Liked by 9 people

  10. I would hope that shepherds in our Church would frequent Charlie’s website if only to assess the state of mind of the faithful. I get a feeling of extreme isolation even at Church, as no-one in my diocese even wants to discuss the “elephant in the room” of today’s turmoil and even less do anything about it & it’s causes. Charlie and others here are all that’s keeping me sane in my part of indifferent society, as there’s nowhere else to go to get a honest perspective of what’s happening.

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    1. Institutions almost always think that if they pretend a problem is not there, people won’t see it. I have always liked to confront problems head-on. It builds confidence and keeps you disciplined. When I was a very young elected public official (21) the board I was on wanted to keep something confidential because it was touchy. I argued that if we can’t justify it publicly, we probably shouldn’t be doing it period. There are some legitimate justifications for confidentiality in public life, but I think about 90% of it is pure butt-covering…and that always catches up to you. I’m glad you find our candor helpful, Al. I think it is the best – and often – only way to resolve real troubles. Sweeping problems under the rug just gives you lumpy rugs.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Brings up fond memories of a Master Chief from the distant past. One day he announced to the Naval Command that the senior enlisted were conducting a scrap metal drive to raise funds for improvement on the community center. So happens I had come upon some scrap in my trekking around the island, so asked if he wanted to trek out there with me. We did, and as I led him to what served as the base landfill, hidden as it was, his mouth was agape at the sprawling ‘waste’ metals stretching as far as the eye could see. For example, dozens upon dozens of large, partially used spools of copper wire, mountains of new aluminum building materials, uncountable vehicles that had plenty of life left in them… I’m talking an unconscionable amount fraud, waste and abuse of government resources.

        He was a solid leader, so he took it up immediately with the top brass… who promptly swept it under the rug (literally, with dirt). The MC was livid and so was I. Later, I remember us gathering some paltry scrap where we could, but I especially remember how he cooled my jets. “I know you don’t like it, so just remember this when you find yourself in a position of authority… and don’t repeat behavior that you don’t like. Do what’s right.”

        Also reminds me that we often see (or want to see) success in endeavors as a straight uphill line. Fact is, it usually looks more like a tangle of spaghetti.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Mama Mia, Emma Pia (MP), spaghetti it is. Best part: God has ultimate expertise in turning spaghetti into wondrous order and Oh! How He loves us to work in tendem with Him to get the job done!

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          1. Well, my Irish ma made a mean spaghetti, so I’m rather fond of it. One little detail of that trek with the MC as an afterthought. We also found a ton of discarded tools (screwdrivers, socket sets, wrenches, hammers and whatnot) that were in perfectly good shape. I still have most of those and use them to this day. True story.

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              1. Hm. My ma was always trying to work exotic stuff into the meat and potatoes rotation when we were kids. It was a small midwestern town, so don’t be surprised when I say I never had Chinese food (or so I thought) until I was adult. Too exotic… and it wasn’t meat and potatoes. Apparently my ma was also sneaky, which might explain me enjoying my fair share of Chinese food in the ensuing years. Be sure to say “hey,” to mia conoscenza, Fr. Wang.

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                1. Ditto here on not eating Chinese food until adult life… then, eating it IN China was another whole adventure. If it’s a plant, it’s stir-fryable. The Padre will be happy to hear the “Hey” MP.

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                1. The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs programme Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. Wikipedia

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        2. My brother Richard was a sergeant in the MP in S. Korea after the first Gulf war. One of his CO’s was the head of the MP and the other CO was over another section he was in (I don’t remember what exactly). The second commander had it in for my brother and was constantly undermining his efforts on the base mainly because Richard was a stickler for protocols and the CO tried to use his position to thwart this when it came to himself especially when he broke traffic laws on the base and was subsequently ticketed by Richard or his men which infuriated him!
          He proceeded in taking revenge by making Richard’s life miserable with subterfuge and almost had Richard in despair when he told the MP commander what was going on. My brother’s CO told Richard to call him the next time he pulled the other CO over for any violations. Short time later Richard made a traffic stop of the CO for some violation and radioed his MP CO before getting out to confront him about the violation.
          As Richard was being lambasted and threatened by the driver, his MP CO came jogging up along the sidewalk casually. Suddenly he dove straight into the other CO, spearing him in mid-flight and proceeded to pummel him brutally for a few long minutes.
          After severly threatening him if he EVER messed with one of his MP’s again, he made him apologise to Richard, take his ticket and get out of there!
          Well, turns out Richard never heard a single word about the incident from ANYONE nore a single complaint from this CO ever again!

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          1. I’m wondering, if unbeknownst to you and your brother, if there wasn’t some character who came after to heal that wound in the fella who got pummeled. Like when Jesus healed the lopped off ear of the Temple guardsman in the Garden.

            I acknowledge the immediate and lingering efficacy of the pummeling, but question the motive and the source of the motive.

            A very great and painful part of the process we find ourselves in is the stripping away of our humanity and human inclinations we cling to in favor of the Christ within us. It’s tough, but we have so many endless examples in Sacred Scripture to follow.

            Consider the temptation in the wilderness where Jesus, having denied his humanity the basic necessities through rigorous fasting and prayer, overcame temptation, first by not wanting to succumb, and then by defending with the truth from Holy Scripture. Truth from Truth Himself. Of course if He wanted, He could have had legions of Holy Angels defending Him, pummeling the tempter/accuser. As He could have easily done in the Garden and at all instances unto The Cross.

            Consider that He allowed Peter to bring that useless sword to the Garden. Why? Again, legions of Angels could have defended Him, but He simply floored them with a Word of Truth. “I am He.” Boom. Down they went. Later, Peter’s all too human actions, followed by an Act from Mercy in the subsequent healing. Isn’t it clear that the latter had the greatest potential to save, and thus an inkling in to why Jesus would allow Peter to drag that useless sword to the Garden in the first place.

            We are inundated with ‘entertainment’ that extols the human idea of heroics (comic book style). Sure, we all have a little bit of green monster lurking deep that tempts us with, “Hulk, smash.” How I love to entertain smashing sometimes. Yes, but please talk me out of it.

            That little scrap collection effort, even though it could have amounted to a major haul and wondrous improvements to the Community Center, was really just all about community.

            I had already commented about the upcoming discussion about clans (community), to the extent that I’m not interested in hearing about circling the wagons. To that I add, I’m not really interested in entertaining any ideas about waving around useless ‘swords’ either. The real sort, or childishly plastic either.

            ‘Course Charlie has no intention of trotting us down that path, and I note that I somehow missed that little key word: “network.” A key word that encompasses, for me, all those ‘wild spaces’ inbetween. I’ve got no interest in being some sort of human hero/vigilante, but I’m keenly intent on the idea of being some sort of go between if I can manage to cast off as much humanity as possible in favor of The Christ… and His example. Gosh, He covered (covers) a lot of ground, both literally and figuratively. My Hero, I would even say.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. As St. Joan of Arc defended France with the sword, so will I support defending Christians with the same, when under attack. You can’t cherry pick. There is a time and a place for almost all things – and for Christians and Jews, there have been MANY times when an attack with a sword justified defense with the sword. It was not the time and the place in the Garden of Gethsemene, but to pretend that Jesus meant never use force in your defense or the defense of your fellows, one must completely ignore Jesus’ words in Luke 22:36 when He was preparing the disciples for His departure: “…let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.” If one accepts the modern interpretation that Christ commands no violent resistance under any circumstances at all, then we must remove from the canon of saints a whole host of Christian warriors, starting with St. Joan of Arc.

              These networks are primarily to help uphold and support each other while holding fast to Christian principles. But I do envision security that will defend people’s rights, violently if violently attacked. Not to initiate violence, but neither to forswear it entirely, either. You must ask yourself, if someone came with a gun at your child, would you defend that child with deadly force, or “piously” let him be murdered? What about for your brother? For your neighbor? For yourself? If you answered no to any of those questions, you are not an absolutist in renouncing violent means, simply carefully calibrating where it is appropriate. If you answered yes to all those questions, you are a true pacifist – and if you are involved in my clans, you will not be charged with defending any of our people.

              Let there be no mistake. When I say I am a Christian “warrior” I am not just speaking figuratively. I will not stand idly by and let my friends be massacred. On at least five occasions I have stopped public violence from being done by physically attacking the aggressors. Once when a young schoolmate was being threatened on the bus by a group of five ruffians, I got off the bus at his stop and let them know they would have to take us both on. They declined and I walked him home. (I am not physically imposing, but when I get my dander up, even the roughest seem to get that I mean it…and will probably take a few chunks out of them before they put me down).

              You know I think the world of you, sweetwater, and rejoice over the enduring contributions you make to this site. But I am not a pacifist in the face of violent oppression. I pray that what was said of Aslan at the end of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” could be said of me: “He is a not a tame lion, but he is a good one.”

              Liked by 10 people

                1. Me too, Beckita—I believe in self defense, but I’m squeamish and would rather leave it to the guys–however–if someone was coming after a loved one, I’m sure instinctively, I’d ferociously defend.

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                    1. Life is full of hard truths.
                      If you pretend you can poke a bear in the eye with a stick and it will not harm, you a great awakening is in store for you!
                      My brothers MP CO was a soldier. They tend to act and think in this way when provoked. It was a soldier’s way to “lesson’ another soldier. It was a “gentlemen’s disagreement ” of the military kind.
                      There was no talk of it in the camp afterwards- like it never happened…end of story.
                      My point was to feather your story MP about how the military covered themselves, even by this hard-liner event.
                      I myself abhor violence and fear myself during potential confrontations as I have had some hard looks at myself during such and did not like what I saw was a potential outcome during them, so I tend to avoid confrontations unless it is deemed necessary.
                      Intervention is not my cup of tea but I am not shy when called to it.
                      I pray to God often not to put me to the test…for THIER sake! I am actually very good at defusing situations and this charism has helped me in my fear of my wrath. I try to love my enemies and to see thier side of things in all fairness.
                      May I always do His will.
                      I kind of know how David Banner feels about his potential to do harm. It is truly scary.

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                    2. When one of my sons was 15 and his older sister was 17, they were at school in the gym hanging out between exams along with lots of other kids. A classmate of my son’s was harassing him. My daughter told this kid to leave her brother alone, and the kid proceeded to call my daughter an inappropriate name. My son took off his glasses and handed them to his sister and punched the kid in the nose. He was suspended for a day, but the dean of discipline said there were students lined up to tell him that my son shouldn’t be penalized. The kid he hit was a very troubled boy who left that school eventually. My son said he hated that it happened and he never wanted to be in a fight again. And he never was, but I think it was just instinct on his part.

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                    3. Yes, Mick–and really shocked! Danny is 6’6″ tall but back then he was so skinny. Coach said with his arms being so long, they probably built up some pow by the time he hit this boy. It broke that boy’s nose and he slid down the wall. Had no idea Danny had it in him– what do moms know!? Also– who would have thought those two would stand up for each other– they picked on each other a lot. A case of– I can be mean to my sibling, but no one else can!

                      Liked by 3 people

                2. Being a public school teacher, I have to attend active shooter training. Nothing sobers one up like understanding some deeply distributed person/people would want to come into a school and shoot innocent students/teachers. It is heartbreaking to grasp that but to know it won’t save children. Using anything within reach to disrupt the shooters plan can save children’s lives. One of the most important points made is to be aware of your surroiundings. Be the thoughtful parent-you will do just about anything to protect your kids-or whoever has been put into your charge. I would like to think most women do this automatically. Scanning the parking lot before going to your car. Stuff like that. Don’t obsess but be aware.

                  Liked by 3 people

              1. It is a difficult subject, if only a piece in the larger conversation about communities, but let’s see where the seemingly twain shall meet (acknowledging my sometimes… often preference toward the subtle, and yours towards clarity and precision.)

                I had just read a specific recounting from my buddy Phil about defense of the innocent in a certain manner (i.e.- give me a buzz the next time that guy confronts you and I’ll give him a lesson he won’t soon forget). Hey, I’ve employed that strategy as well, and was never at peace about it. Lack of peace, for me, is a tell tale sign that I wasn’t employing an altogether upright approach. And I paid the price.

                Honestly, I was also surprised to see the responses about that story from two people here that I consider to have vastly more upright spirits than me.

                I understand the difference between the reprimand Jesus gave Peter in the Garden, and HIs preparation of the Disciples for His departure. The main difference between those two instances, in my view, is in their formation. Not fully upright, and all too human –– still –– in the Garden. Consider Peter’s good intentions notwithstanding, Jesus was concerned for his soul –– and future formation of His Church –– with good reason. I also consider your mention of the fishermen as “roughnecks” in their day. To his credit, I think Peter used some restraint, as did the military guy Phil mentioned.

                Later, the Disciples had the benefit of the Holy Spirit. I think it’s fair to say they were vastly more formed as Christians, more upright at that point, both in word and deed. A tremendous annointing.

                Still, we’re human, and I’m not so concerned how society as a whole is formed at this point in time as I am with how the Catholic/Christian/Jew is formed… ready, or not, to whatever degree, as evidenced in actions that bear witness to the degree they are motivated by uprightness in spirit, or lesser instincts.

                Am I cherry picking scripture? Only to the degree that Christ’s example reigns supreme. That He always lived a better way. The best way. Do I find that the safest and surest path? You bet. Am I anywhere close to that in my deeds? Am I above pointing a gun at a threat, or swinging a baseball bat, an ax handle or a good piece of hickory at something it wasn’t intended for? Nope. But there is most definitely a danger, and a price to be paid in all instances where less than upright motivation and methods prevail.

                I don’t deny justifications for the many instances of the sword as defense in the OT, or in the times since Christ’s glorious resurrection, but neither will I acknowledge any of it as fine examples of man embracing God’s ways.

                Maybe just consider it a cautionary warning to all –– upright spirits first and foremost. I don’t want anyone going off half cocked, risking a single soul.

                As for the OT, I happen to be very fond of this passage:

                He will judge between the nations
                and will settle disputes for many peoples.
                They will beat their swords into plowshares
                and their spears into pruning hooks.
                Nation will not take up sword against nation,
                nor will they train for war anymore.

                –Isaiah 2:4

                I reckon the enemy will truly be licked then.

                As for these times, I once attended an Our Lady of Guadalupe festival where I met and chatted with a wonderful woman. She recounted a story about surviving holocaust in her native country by hiding out in a bathroom for days upon days with armed soldiers circling the house. At the heart of it, it was a story about the power of forgiveness. I really like that example too.

                Ultimately, I say let the folks weak in trusting spend more time on forming in trust.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. The danger of people going off half-cocked is very real…and something I spend a lot of time on. On the other hand, you and I will have to cheerfully and honorably disagree over whether using force in extreme circumstances is a fine example of man embracing God’s way. I just thought it prudent to make clear that that is not where I am coming from, even if some of my dear friends are.

                  One of my favorite stories is of a gentle Quaker, awoken from his sleep by a noise downstairs. Arising to see what it was, he found a burglar trying to get into his safe at the bottom of the stairs. Getting his rifle, the Quaker came back to the top of the staircase and,looking down, said, “Friend, I would not harm thee for the world, but thou standest where I am about to shoot.”

                  Liked by 6 people

                  1. Of course we can honorably and cheerfully leave it at that, wherever our points differ or converge. You probably know by now that if I press a point (wordily) here, there’s a substansive motivation. That includes deeply contemplating (quietly) the passion of the Church in light of The Passion of Our Lord. As you can well imagine, that meditative route of mine looks like a tangle of spaghetti. But, heck, I have every hope that I will eventually emerge at the dessert table where my friends are gathered. I remember the Quaker story, but have to say that I’d look silly in a Quaker hat.

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. Being challenged by evil is the fate of our gift of being in God’s favor.
                      Now how is that?
                      To be challenged is part of our very nature and God allows these challenges for our growth. We saw it in the fall of the angels where the revelation of thier weaknesses manifest into a third of them falling from grace. The other two-thirds decided to follow God despite thier weakness and chose God over self.
                      We saw it in the permission God gave satan to tempt Eve, Job, Judas, Peter, Paul and even Jesus.
                      As we encounter sin in our lives we are made to know what our weaknesses are and can then make choices to remain in them or challenge ourselves to overcome them, as such grace is given us to do so. Some “thorns” will remain, and rightly so, as our perfection is not in this life. Here we are to remember we are weak, so He can be strong through our weakness which is really a surrender to His power and strength and allow it to work through the void we make in our will so this uninterupted power may be ever more effective as we become ever more a conduit as the body or Christ.

                      Liked by 4 people

              2. Charlie, I have faced quite a number of misguided folks who remember only Jesus’ submission to evil during the Paschal Mystery. They ‘forget’ for some reason [which is unfathomable to me] or ignore such things as Jesus driving the money changers out of the Temple — with a whip He personally hand made for that purpose. 😉

                I can also not get them to directly address the formal teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this issue – which teaching is clear and definitive.

                The following 3 paragraphs clearly define and defend the right to personal self-defense EVEN TO THE POINT OF DEALING MORTAL BLOWS IF THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO DEFEND ONESELF. It also makes clear that when someone is responsible for the welfare of others – they can be bound to deliver sufficient force to stop unjust aggression toward their charges. Here are the paragraphs:

                2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”65

                2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
                If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s. 66

                2265 LEGITIMATE DEFENSE CAN BE NOT ONLY A RIGHT BUT A GRAVE DUTY FOR ONE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LIVES OF OTHERS. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

                Some people don’t like it when I publish or emphasize in speech these principles on the right to ‘defense’ in the teaching of the Church. Their anger comes from being unable to counter these teachings. When that happens I don’t become offended if and when they try to take their frustration out on me – or try to imply that makes me an immature Christian. Jesus put up with that kind of behavior from the Pharisees on a regular basis – so how can I claim the right to immunity from same. 😉
                All my love in Christ


                Liked by 5 people

                1. Thanks, Dez. It’s probably only natural that the first episode was on my mind considering the Paschal Season. To be fair, my comments followed on the heels of Phil’s sharing about a pummeling, which I later referred to as “defense of the innocent” (to soften it). In actual fact I was leaning more toward “revenge,” a lower social human instinct…. some of that “human inclinations” best stripped away. As unforgettable as the cleansing of the Temple passage is, I think it’s fairly straightforward to contrast Jesus’ “zeal” with instances of revenge and other ways we sometimes execute justice (from merely clumsy to disastrous).

                  Yes, the CCC. I do firmly believe we are right and obliged to defend the innocent with the means at hand, though Phil and I appear to share a certain personal sensitivity about keeping it justifiably measured and quickly reined in once accomplished.

                  That said, there will come a time when a good many people will experience with distressing ferocity what the weapons we have wrought are capable of. If still around, I’d just as soon be holding a hoe or hammer in my hand at that time, using those things in the manner for which they were intended. As I’m certain all here would.

                  SteveBC says he doesn’t have the slightest idea what I’m talking about most of the time. So that makes two of us (‘least when I think out loud excessively). I said, “useless sword,” first. And then later, “useless ‘swords.'” Probably should have left it at that.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ha, MP! You dragging me into this debate?!?! 😀

                    I actually do follow much of your stuff, which is often quite vivid, although your path and meditations sometimes aren’t along my own.

                    Liked by 4 people

                  2. MP, you wrote:

                    “Yes, the CCC. I do firmly believe we are right and obliged to defend the innocent with the means at hand, though Phil and I appear to share a certain personal sensitivity about keeping it justifiably measured and quickly reined in once accomplished.”

                    I share that “sensibility” – which the Catechism stresses above under the term “moderation”, to wit:

                    “If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.” “If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force WITH MODERATION, his defense will be lawful.”

                    Revenge of any sort by man is always Unlawful. Force which EXCEEDS that which is sufficient to repel unjust aggression is most often impelled by elements of revenge. Self-defense limited to only that sufficient to repel unjust aggression is – in the Church’s traditional Moral Teachings – always “Lawful” and morally good.

                    All my love in Christ


                    Liked by 3 people

            2. MP, I agree with you up to a point; but the reason I like the story about Phillip Frank’s brother is that it illustrates a point that I’ve drilled into my kids: Sometimes you have to stand up to the bully, and sometimes that takes force. I just had this conversation with my 9-year-old a couple of days ago. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not big on fighting, and I’m certainly not a trigger-happy cowgirl. But sometimes one just has to take care of business.

              Two cases-in-point. The first is about the one and only fight I ever got in. I was in second grade, and I was playing kickball with the boys at recess. I was pitching. At the plate was a group of boys who had been taunting me for weeks about my skin color (there were only 5 black kids at my elementary school of 500, and two of them were my sister and I). On this particular occasion, they were being particularly obnoxious. Well, I’d decided that I’d had enough; so I marched up to home plate and stood a few inches from the ringleader. I didn’t know how to proceed with a fight, so I pushed the kid as hard as I could. I was unaware that there was a mud puddle behind him; and he stumbled and fell into it, thus really messing up his school uniform. Well, he and his friends started screaming bloody murder until the adult playground-cop came over. I was sure that she’d kill me, and then the school principal would kill me, and then my parents would kill me. When the mean boys told her what I’d done, she asked me why. I answered, “He called me a nigger.” She said, “Oh. Carry on.” And she walked away. Boy, was I relieved; and were those boys mad! But the cool thing is that not only did they never pick on me again, but those boys and I ended up being friends for the rest of elementary and junior-high school. That never would’ve happened if I hadn’t stood up to them. So, I guess one could conclude that the “violence” in which I engaged led to a healing of sorts.

              The second story involves my big brother. It was about 1978, and he was on the high school’s varsity basketball team. There was another kid on the team who had it in for him… maybe because my brother was black (the bully was the older brother of one of the kids who had bullied me in second grade), or maybe because my brother was a better ball player. Anyhow, at practice one day, the guy cheap-shotted my brother and gave him a black eye. The next day right before practice, the coach pulled my brother aside and said, “Whatever happens in the first five minutes of practice, I didn’t see.” Two minutes into practice, my brother laid the guy out on the floor. After the dude’s nose stopped bleeding, he returned to the court and managed to behave himself for the rest of the season. It’s necessary to understand that my brother is the kindest, gentlest soul in the world. He doesn’t even kill flies. But he knew, and his coach recognized, that if he didn’t stand up for himself, the bully would never let up–and he might even feel emboldened. So my brother neutralized the threat with one punch, and that was that. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that tail-kicking helped the other kid to learn a valuable life lesson: Keep your hands to yourself, and never underestimate your opponent. 🙂

              Liked by 10 people

              1. Love these stories, Mick. Great illustrations of taming a bully and the moral of the stories is exactly why I love em… and Phillip’s brother’s story too. Add to this, Desmond’s further excerpt from the CCC concerning intent, that is to self-check the revenge aspect and self-check the intensity of response, and sometimes a response such as these stories describe is the most effective way to set things on order.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. I realize striving to avoid revenge and using appropriate intensity of response could get messy. I mean, in the heat of the moment, one may well err and this is another reason why I appreciate this discussion… mentally preparing and pondering on this topic are worthy preparations in the event that one discernsforce needs to be used. So thanks to all who have chimed in here. Without your initial questioning, MP, we wouldn’t have shared these things. Thanks for speaking up.

                  Liked by 3 people

                2. In full disclosure, Beckita, although my brother is very gentle and sweet, I doubt that he was entirely free of the revenge motive. After the kid gave him the black eye, we were at Mass and were in line to receive Holy Communion. One of the nuns who taught at the high school was distributing Holy Communion. When my brother walked up, she took one look at him and forgot to say, “The Body of Christ.” Instead, she gasped and said, “What happened to you? You look awful!” My brother responded, “Wait until tomorrow after practice, and see how the other kid looks.” After Mass, she tried to dissuade him from retaliating; but, well….

                  Liked by 4 people

                  1. Mick, Oh, the foibles of humanity! The stories I have heard about the pre teen and teen male population of a city parish and seat of the local bishop! The stories are from 50 to 60 years ago. Here’s one. At that time the parish in question had a very famous boy’s choir. The priest assigned to directing the choir was from Rome and Italian with little English in his vocabulary. He use to have the boys sing to him songs from the hit parade to help him learn English. He, of course, also heard confessions which is exactly where those boys (even those who were not in the choir – word of his limited English got around) would line up for their Confession. I often wonder if Father knew a whole lot more English than he let on!

                    Liked by 3 people

              2. Dez’z quote from the CC reminds me of Deputy Sheriff I knew who went to my parish and played on our softball team (first base) which I coached at the time. I was working at the church as a maintenance man back in those days and I noticed him hanging around the church a few times a week. Turns out he was on suspended duty for shooting a suspect while the dept investigated. There was some conscern that he may have over reacted because, while an officer in NY, he had been shot in two different incidents (while OFF duty probably by revenge perps ) and they thought this may have effected his judgement.
                We struck up a conversation about this and he was very remorseful of having killed someone and in his sadness worried if he had done the right thing.
                Then the whole story came out….
                A man filled a cart with products at the local Kmart then just walked out the door and headed down the road. They called the cops and they put up a dragnet of officers out on the streets and other escape routes the perp could use. My friend set up on the walking trail which lead right by our middle school. This guy had ditched the shopping cart but came strolling up acting all cool and said he had already been checked out by another officer so my buddy didn’t need to do it again. When my friend commanded him to stop for a check the perp pulled out a revolver, pointed it right at him and pulled the trigger…..’click’-it didn’t fire! All the while my buddy was unholstering his side arm and proceeded to return fire, killing the suspect. He shot him 5 times.
                Now, if your shot in the chest at point blank range you would think one bullet is enough to stop your attacker and 5 is just, excuse the expression, …overkill. But unknown to the population at large, officers are trained to fire until the threat has been neutralized and they are shown various videos and given lectures on how ineffective the urban legend of ‘one shot- one kill’ idea can be.
                Still, my friend worried that he overreacted and this weighed heavy on his mind, thus the trips to church.
                I told him that as a duly sworn officer that he had taken an oath. Now when you take such an oath, you promise to do your duty so “help” you God. But I also mentioned that by making this oath you not only surrender yourself over to the state as an instrument of it’s justice but also call down God’s protection towards your duty but also His wrath if you fail in your duty to protect!
                I gave him another scenario if he had failed in this duty.
                I asked him what would have happened if the perp had killed HIM and proceeded to the school and taken children hostage?
                I didn’t see him at the church worrying anymore after that.
                He was exonerated of any wrongdoing and became a great officer and a benefit to our community.

                Liked by 4 people

              3. In my case, it was Protestant kids attacking Catholic boys – almost never unless they outnumbered us at least 2 or 3 to 1. [Ever so Anglican Protestant British Columbia, Canada in the 1940’s. I discovered the cure – with my Father’s and Parish Priest’s encouragement to understand that: The ONLY thing which gives a bully pause is suffering some pain himself. Once he figures it out that you cannot be intimidated – not by anyone – and that if he attacks you he is going to suffer some very painful experiences himself – he will go down the road muttering to himself.

                Why and where does a bully go from there? 1) All bullies are also cowards – in my experience there are not exceptions to that. 2) When the cowardly bully goes down the road talking to himself – as a rule he has learned nothing more than to avoid that source of pain/you. So, he then goes about looking for some poor meek guy whose momma kept telling him he had to always ‘turn the other cheek’.

                You can do that if you choose to do so. It is not required of a Christian – but is rather a form of heroic virtue – something good – but not necessary to enter heaven. If you are responsible for the welfare of others, it is often obligatory that you do NOT turn the other cheek.

                Liked by 5 people

                1. When I was a little fella, not even in school yet, I broke my left arm in an accident on playground equipment. Got a heavy-duty 60’s-era cast. My Mom was an absolutist about no fighting, regardless of who started it. And so I did not fight. The neighborhood bully came upon me and started his usual routine. I explained to him I was in a cast and this was not the right time. He started bullying me anyway. I was enraged – not so much because of the bullying, but outraged that he would pick on a kid with a cast. I wailed the snot out of him with that cast. After that, he never picked on anyone again IF I was present.

                  Even so, I remained a pacifist absolutist. A few years later in school, a kid named Glenn Nixon was suspended for fighting. All us kids found out that a couple of bullies had started picking on a little girl – and Glenn had beat them up defending her. The whole thing reverberated in my head. I was upset at the injustice of him being suspended for defending this girl. But I also pondered my own refusal to fight under any circumstances. I wondered if it had been me there, would I have allowed the little girl to be hurt without doing anything but wringing my hands. The very idea of it filled me with deep shame. After a couple of days, I resolved that I would not start a fight, but I would never avoid one to stay out of trouble. That is pretty much where I have been ever since…and I am content with it.

                  Liked by 6 people

                  1. Amen, amen, amen. As a grown man in my late 60’s, one of the women in my prayer group called me up and told me that a certain male had been in a meeting with 3 women from the community. He showed up for the last of 5 meetings which were preparatory for a presentation on some Scripture passages no less.

                    He informed them they would all have to start over, since he was now in attendance. They refused, one of the three most strenuously. He tried to physically intimidate them by towering over them and snarling at them. [Yes, he is most probably disturbed – but this was not the first example of such bullying behavior. And in my experience, most bullies are ‘disturbed’ in some manner or other.]

                    At our next meeting of the full prayer group, he, knew that at least 2 of the 3 women looked to me as a protector of some kind – and had told me what he had recently pulled with them.

                    He strode boldly up to me and shoved out his hand in a broad appearance of overpowering bravado. I popped him in the chest with the heels of both hands and he with big eyes rocked back on his heels. Then I did it again.

                    Guess what? As even he later described it, “He RAN off screaming like a little girl.”

                    Bullies often do just that when someone really stands up to them. He later tried to tell me what a tough guy he is, and implied how lucky I was that he had not swung on me. I gave a sufficiently bored look [in front of all the others] which resulted in him never trying anything with me again.

                    Now in case anyone is tempted to think ‘How awful! That horrible man struck the other poor dear in the chest – at a prayer meeting.”

                    Would anyone care to guess how lucky he really was? It never occured to me, nor did I have the materials at hand to hand make a knotted whip.

                    He has not repeated the bullying routine with any of the women since.

                    All my love in Christ


                    Liked by 3 people

                2. In walking to our Catholic school, my siblings and I passed a public school. Wearing our uniforms, we were identifiably Catholic. One day some of those public school students threw rocks at us and hollered, “They’re Catholic-kill the bums!” My not-yet-converted Dad marched over there the next morning and told the principal that that had better not ever happen again. She was out there after that, making sure it didn’t.

                  Liked by 2 people

              4. Thanks for sharing your personal stories/take, Mick. Those racially motivated episodes are a filthy stain on our history.

                Thanks also for the postscript thoughts.

                I find it’s often like peeling back the layers of an onion to get to the heart any, thus we find ourselves working away at onions from many different angles and perspectives. Even if it sometimes seems like unnecessary detours.

                That woman I previously mentioned was Immaculée Ilibagiza. After that powder keg blew… the demonic slaughter, and then the dust settled. Years later I remember watching a documentary where they were interviewing some that had participated in the violence. Some of those who had considered themselves ordinary, upstanding people were still shaken and baffled by what they had done. I remember thinking that it’s just not the norm for folks to go off the deep end like that. Typically they get there by degrees.

                Degrees, for better or worse.

                You’d have like my maternal granny because she knew all about mud puddles and bloody noses. Even knowing she WAS a trigger happy cowgirl.

                Sorry for getting some folks off on a side trail, but I’m not sorry to hear all these wonderful stories from the crew.

                TNRS, to me, is not so much a bank of knowledge as it is a way of thinking… doing… living.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. MP, your granny is my hero! I wish I could’ve met her. Hopefully, on the other side she’ll let me be one of her groupies.

                  Side trail? I don’t think it’s been a side trail as much as a great discussion. And far from apologizing, you should be accepting our thanks for getting the ball rolling. 🙂

                  Liked by 2 people

  11. This line struck me particularly, “The worst thing about our modern elite classes is not their invincible ignorance, but their condescending arrogance towards those who do not share that ignorance. They never think to question or examine their own false predicates.”

    Many (most) Christians in recent decades have been deferential to a fault in the face of a deeply corrupted culture, particularly with regard to marriage and the truth and meaning of human sexuality. We sat in near silence when we should have spoken clearly and unanimously against the decay that had been simmering for decades. If we remember that to “Admonish the Sinner” is a “Spiritual Work of Mercy,” then the Church has been unmerciful, and selfish. Out of a foolish desire to accommodate the culture we were sent to evangelize, we have failed our society by choosing the path of least resistance. Abraham Lincoln once quipped, “A river chooses the path of least resistance. That’s why it’s crooked.”

    My question for Charlie, and the entire group is how do we begin, after such a lengthy, milquetoast accommodation, to speak out? I think we begin one conversation at a time. For priests, one homily at a time, and one confession at a time.

    I once asked my spiritual director, “What is satan’s end-game? He knows he cannot topple God, and he knows he has been defeated. What does he wish to accomplish?” His reply was, “If satan cannot destroy God, then he wishes to destroy creation, especially the summit of creation, which is man and woman.” When God first created, he made them male and female. Then he gave man and woman to each other in marriage. Then he told them to be fruitful and multiply. The evil one has attacked all three of these divine acts: first by attacking life in the womb, then by attacking marriage, and now by attacking the very difference between male and female.

    It’s those three areas, especially, I believe that we need to be clear about, and not to concede one more inch to society’s false, ignorant predicates. Let’ reclaim the debate by simply revealing the truth.
    That’s the “next right step” as best I can see it. 🙂

    Liked by 17 people

    1. I think you have a very wise spiritual director, Victura. And I see more clearly why we are sympatico. Your painstaking ordinary way is fundamentally the same as mine. I have often said to people that God only counts to one – and the one is you. Let us imitate Him. One at a time.

      Liked by 10 people

  12. So as Paul says “All have sinned” obviously excluding Mary and Jesus, as for as icons on the left, Gandhi was said to have been, at least, verbally abusive to his wife, and there are allegations that Dr. King may have had some womanizing in his history. Should we throw these out too. Reminds me of the French Revolution. in which the guillotine, at last ended up on Robespierre’s neck too.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. NEWS & MILINET: Article for Christians – 23 April
    What Does Jesus Mean When He Tells Mary Magdalene Not to Cling to Him Because He Has Not Yet Ascended?

    Pope Proposes Radical Shakeup Of The Roman Curia

    The One Question Trump Asks World Leaders in Oval Office: ‘What are You Doing to Protect Persecuted Christians?’

    When the President And the Pope Partnered With ‘The Divine Plan’

    When Ernest Borgnine saw Jesus


    Washington state could become first state to allow human composting

    The Sri Lanka Terrorists: Martyrs or Murderers?

    Terrorist attacks on Christians ‘happening more and more’: ex-FBI special agent

    Why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Tweeted About ‘Easter Worshippers’


    The Washington Post’s Take On Sri Lanka’s Easter Terror Attack Shows Why The Liberal Media Is Straight Trash

    UK Archbishop Calls for Recognition of ‘Anti-Christianism’ After Sri Lanka Attacks

    lhan Omar Slammed U.S. Soldiers Involved in ‘Black Hawk Down’ Incident


    Pelosi beats back calls for Trump impeachment

    HUGE: President Trump Retweeted Tom Fitton Six Times!

    Nolte: Top 51 Fake News ‘Bombshells’ the Media Spread About RussiaGate

    Henry Kissinger, Shouted Down at NYU, Addresses Yale’s WFB Society

    Deadly attacks in Sri Lanka tap into global anxiety about Christian-Muslim violence
    Under siege: Violent attacks on Christians double since 2017
    ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings
    Supreme Court to decide whether anti-discrimination employment laws protect on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
    Sarah Sanders: Media critics hit ‘new low’ with ‘lopping the heads off’ remark
    U.S. to impose sanctions on allies in drive to push Iranian oil sales to zero. Pompeo announces ‘zero’ exemptions for Iran oil sanctions


    Liked by 6 people

      1. Sean, the second video gave me the chills because I’ve noticed that every time Obama is challenged or he doesn’t like a question, he gets very angry. It shows in his eyes. They become darker. Have seen this many times throughout his presidency. I did laugh when he said, “It’s the truth!” about his “transparent” administration. Lord have mercy.

        Liked by 6 people

  14. Charlie,

    I have a little project that I am working on that will help you and others to “build functional faith networks in a time of persecution and strife.” Time tested and proven. My secretary will type it up on Thursday and then after I tweak it, it will be ready for your review.

    Liked by 12 people

      1. The email I had for you, Becks, does not work, but Charlie has it now. I tried to keep it short and practical, working around the concept of corporate community prayer.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Knowing nothing but mince and spuds the whole nation was fooled by the 1957 BBC April 1st hoax about spaghetti as shown above. It was too exotic for real folk.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Charlie, Thanks for another perfectly accurate assessment on all topics addressed.

    The Fitton list of rogues provides a good start point for Barr.

    Fabulous news about conversion to Christianity in Iran and elsewhere in the ME–that create a basis for hope I never imagined before.
    The link between AOC and her two new friends in the House is a marriage made in Heaven for getting even the low info folks to catch on to their ignorant mischief.

    On your list of corrupt institutions such as the media and typical politicians, we could add scientism, as professional scientists outlaw God as the possible source for Creation in favor of a mindless, random affair.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Our Priest cracked a funny at the end of mass on Sunday, Whats the difference between a theologian and a train….. when a train comes off the track it stops…. this was followed by a smile and everyone burst out laughing…

    Christus Vinci

    Liked by 10 people

  18. From a sidewalk stand, this group is evangelizing many into the Catholic Church…

    “Ed Graveline had a gun pointed at his head. The 20-year-old had been beaten ‘to a pulp’ by robbers and forced to open the safe at a Los Angeles restaurant where he was working.
    “They said they were going to kill me unless I opened the safe, which I did not know the combination to,” Graveline said of the incident, which occurred some 44 years ago. “I prayed to God and said an Act of Contrition. They put the gun to my forehead and said, ‘You have one last chance to open it.’”
    The former altar boy, who’d been living a desultory life, tried for another hour and …”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Great story, Maggie. The Apostolate of St. Paul Street Evangelization rocks and its leader, Steve Dawson, presented a few months ago at the annual big conference for Encounter Ministries.

      While we’re immersed in the darkness of these times, Christ’s Light breaks forth all around us.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Beckie, Your mention of Divine Light made think of the purple scapular which I have just ordered as a protection for my church and myself. I will hang one around our statue of Our Lady of Akita.

        The link gives more info on this little known scapular. Knowing you I would not be surprised if you had one already.

        “This first appearance of this scapular will be a new protection for the times of the chastisements, the calamities and the famines. All those who will wear it will be able to go through storms, tempests and darkness, they will have light as in broad daylight. Such is the power of this unknown scapular.”

        Liked by 6 people

        1. After reading about it, I never did order one, Joe, but thanks for sharing the link. So grateful for the many ways the Church has given us to be strengthened and filled with Christ’s Light as we carry one with each NRS, loving in ways big and small, evangelizing and tending to the needs of those around us.

          Liked by 5 people

            1. The Auld Alliance revived!
              Les etoiles de la vie rarely fail to attract my attention:
              “In her extraordinary relations with Heaven, the pious stigmatic of La Fraudais, Marie-Julie Jahenny received during the ecstasy of the 23rd of August 1878 a request for a new scapular.”
              The 23rd of August is my mother’s birthday. For me it’s heavens way of saying “Faites attention” and this small acknowledgment of the numinous prepares me for the next right step.

              Liked by 5 people

  19. While reading your latest post Charlie I thought back to an article I read.. It is on the “American Thinker” site go to the Articles not the blog and the date written is March 13..The title “Meet Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Rasputin” be sure to also watch the video. It is certainly chilling and there is a master plan of an evil group to take down our country.Each day I pray the rosary I also tell GOD I truly do not hate these evil people but I hate all they believe in and I pray for their repentance and conversion of heart BUT if they choose evil I pray GOD will thwart them.Again I say Charlie you were spot on 3 years ago, along with the messages of the Blessed Mother from Medjugore. We are at a cliff and while we have hope and know GOD is in control the evil surrounding us throughout the world can be overwhelming.. I see people are beginning to wake up though when I hear Candice Owens speak and Brandon from the walk away movement, and it gives me great hope to see the young people in church.. The bottom line..Keep our eyes on GOD and pray unceasingly but we must also do.. We must speak GODs truth ..I ask all here to please pray for the hearts and minds of the Jewish people throughout the world to see ..their Messiah has been before them over 2000 years ..beginning with my own family.. Thankyou and I am overwhelmed with love forGOD and CHRIST.. THE WAY THE TRUTH and THE LIFE..

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Love it Joe. Laughing 😂Years ago Bell Telephone employees put together a film showing how the company “grew” their very straight and tall telephone polls. As they explained the process they could be seen planting toothpicks in soil at a telephone poll “farm”.

      Liked by 3 people

  20. Regarding faith-filled small groups – I have to recommend Cursillo. It changed my life and faith trajectory 16 years ago. Cursillo was started in the 1930s during the Spanish civil war to hearten the faithful and evangelize. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Cursillo is a weekend retreat and a mini course in Catholic teaching. I find it especially helpful for life long Catholics who have lost their enthusiasm for the faith. The goal is for those who have made the retreat to form small groups to meet weekly to share their faith-journey and support each other – the ups and the downs. I’ve been meeting with the same ladies every week for 15 years. It is part of the fabric of my week, and my life. Our diocese has a very active Cursillo group and weekends are offered all year in 3 languages. Some diocese confine it to just the Latino/Spanish community which is a shame because it really is a powerful ministry.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The Cursillo Movement has done wonderful Apostolic work, madkatmomma. I, too, have seen Catholics vivified in faith via the retreats and the groups that are formed after a Cursillo weekend. SO many wonderful Apostolates have we in the Church, each with a certain spiritual focus, which build up the Mystical Body of Christ.

      I envision the TNRS Message and Mission and what Charlie is initiating as a much needed emphasis which doesn’t replace these groups, but brings to the fore certain tools which are needed, particular to these times, as we move into the wildest waters of the Storm, which will emphasize fostering fidelity to the faith, tending to the practical needs of those afflicted by any aspect of the purification process God allows and/or sends, and every facet of rebuilding culture, a Culture of Life, a Civilization of Love. Actually, I see what’s developing via TNRS-ASOH as something which can overlay and integrate with already formed faith groups, bringing new life to what already exists while encompassing more members in already existing groups.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I am sad to see Charlie is not going west this year – has he written off the left coast? I think the storm started brewing here long before it was felt elsewhere – like a hurricane building off the African coast.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Be sad no more, momma. Here’s an excerpt from above:
          Though I will not be surprised in the least to find that events completely upend my plans, I have begun making plans for going on the road and speaking this year. From late May until the end of July, I will head east and south. I plan to return home to attend the Thomas Aquinas annual conference in Colorado Springs. It has been put on for over two decades by a dear woman, Therese Lorentz, who has made it her special labor of love and offering. The conference is free. Though a middle-class woman of no great financial means, Lorentz manages to raise the money to put it on, bringing in marvelous speakers from across the world. In the last few years, she has become a dear friend of mine – and this year several of the Priests and musicians she is bringing in are friends, as well. I missed the conference last year – and don’t intend to do so this year. I will stay home for a month and a half, renewing my strength and resting, then head out west and southwest from mid-September through about Thanksgiving.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Beckita already answered, momma, but how could you think I would neglect my dear friends in the west? Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Arizona, Nevada…Sr. Bear, Josie, my brother Steve, one of my director Priests…shoot, I still have the photo print of Laguna Beach (After the Storm) that your group gave me hanging in my bedroom. There is a noble, strong Priest in Tucson who I hold close in my heart. And David Daleiden lives in the Los Angeles area – and we love to find places in our schedule where we can get together. In Oxnard and Ventura I have dear friends…and that is where I went inland and then into the mountains of Los Padres National Forest on my pilgrimage. That only scratches the surface of all the people in the west who have become precious friends. The west is DEAR to me.

          Liked by 7 people

  21. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 24 April
    Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe–Guy Millière


    Oregon judge says he will block Trump abortion measures

    Don’t Mention the Jihad


    Death toll rises to 359 in Sri Lanka bombings, more arrested

    Scale, Sophistication Of Sri Lanka Attack Point To Foreign Links: U.S. Ambassador

    Federal Court Rules Against Catholic Foster Care Agency

    Mayor Buttigieg’s God of Feelings

    The Disposable Modern Hymn

    Mayor Buttigieg and Senator Harris: The Good Cop and Bad Cop of the Coming Persecution

    Arizona Case Shows the Difference Between Campus Free Speech and Harassment

    Thousands of Illegal Immigrants Coming From Terrorist Breeding Grounds

    Another fine organization destroyed by Evil Perverts and PC Lunacy.

    200 Boy Scout Leaders Accused of Sexual Abuse in ‘Shocking Testimony’

    Looming wave of sex abuse cases poses threat to Boy Scouts

    Justice Kavanaugh and GMU Snowflakes

    Beware Soros-Funded Hijacking of US Census

    Soros-Backed Organizations Fight To Give Fla. Felons Voting Rights


    Hillary Says Trump ‘Certainly’ Should Have Been Indicted…Trump Jr Reminds Her of Her Indiscretions

    Former FBI Official Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Were Found in Obama White House

    Rush on The Story with Martha MacCallum

    Seven Times Democrats Ignored Facts or Science for Political Gain

    Tucker Carlson: Since immigrating to US, Omar has ‘spent the rest of her life attacking this country’

    U.S. Pilot Who Was Shot Down During Somali Raid Responds To Omar’s ‘Disgusting’ Black Hawk Down Tweet

    Dear Rep. Omar: Jesus Christ Is Jewish, Not Palestinian


    Watch — Home Depot Co-Founder Bernie Marcus: Socialism Ends in Dependence and ‘Lower Standards of Living for Those Under Its Thumb’

    Yes, There is a Crisis at the Border

    The Cartels Control Our Border: Surveillance Video Shows Heavily Armed Men Escorting Illegal Aliens Across US Border

    Stunning: European Reporter Reveals Trump-Russia-Collusion Hoax Has Its Origins with Soros-Funded Ukrainian Activist Group

    I hope (& believe) that there are a bunch of “Uncovered Catholics Out-There too who are are fed-up with The Usual Suspects within in Our Church?

    Trump’s army of ‘the uncovered’

    Sri Lanka Easter bombings were retaliation for Christchurch mosque shootings, official says
    Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted? How Western liberalism’s peculiar relationship to its Christian heritage leaves non-Western Christians exposed.
    S&P 500 and Nasdaq Hit New Record Highs – DOW Up 45% Since 2016 Election!


    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, Joe. This very point has been made in many news outlets. It was also made here by Charlie when the journalists of the world covered the attacks on the NZ Muslims during the same week when Christians were murdered in Nigeria while the press remained largely silent concerning the Nigerian deaths.

      Liked by 4 people

  22. Yes Beckie I was aware of Charlie’s opinion but this article was so clear in the detail of its focus and comprehensive in its astute expose of the silent considerations of New Zealanders and written by a Muslim. In many ways we have been muzzled and only a Muslim could have spoken out like this. A brave Muslim. Our Lady of conversion has her hand on this one.

    “Not only as a Muslim, but ultimately as a human being, my heart goes out to all those who perished and lost their loved ones in the attacks. With the attacks being treated as a ‘colossal failure of intelligence’, it is important to stress that there really is no room for complacency when it comes to confronting the threat of Islamist extremism, and defeating jihadist groups which aim to spread their hateful ideology through violence and intimidation.”

    Liked by 5 people

  23. All the ANZAC memorial services – central to New Zealand culture – have been drastically shortened and many cancelled due to security concerns arising from the Christchurch shootings and the Sri Lankan bombs. Men, women and children have thus been spared the danger of death by more acts of terrorism……for now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, the article does challenge the militant Muslim approach to living the Koran, yet the Center for Inquiry has its own anti-all-religion agenda. They promote a secular society based on science, reason and humanist values. I wonder how the Center for Inquiry would respond to the literally millions of Muslims in Africa who have converted to Christianity because Jesus, Himself, has appeared to them?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sorry Beckie I posted my reply to your question about the centre too quickly – I presume being non religous they would simply reject any supernatural explanation and put their conversion down to some other cause. They of course will be corrected in time but perhaps not in time to be saved themselves. I was really more interested in discovering if the content of their article was sound and your reply would suggest it is. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m unable to comment on the accuracy of the entire article, Joe, however the information on the 1971 genocide of Bangladeshi citizens seems to be correct with the number of deaths (3 million) being on the high end of the estimated range (300,000 to 3 million). Wikipedia has a reliable article that describes the massacre and atrocities. I’ll link it here;

      On an ongoing basis, Joe, there’s a site called The Gatestone Institute that keeps a track of Islamic attacks and threats to democracy;


      Liked by 5 people

  24. Malcolm Muggeridge, BBC commentator from the 60s, atheist and convert to Catholicism after witnessing Mother Teresa at work in Calcutta, in dark humour said of homosexuality “It used to be illegal, now it is legal and soon it will be compulsory.” (A good article journalist- who-met-his-match-in-mothe-teresa/ good luck in finding
    finding his well known quote now.)

    This finds reflection in the above article from the centerforinquiry in which the increase in Islamic violence is illustrated thus:

    “So at first “the fighting” was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory” [Introduction to English translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.]

    These articles demonstrate the place of Islam and homosexuality in the culture of death:

    Total commitment to contracrption

    They are incompatible with life and in them life is not found, finite nor infinite.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Wonderful story given by an Iranian Muslim man whose life was changed forever by Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus our Lord and Saviour. God is, indeed, doing a miraculous work among the Muslim people! Video runs for 5 minutes;

    Liked by 8 people

  26. Rarely comment on politics but couldn’t let this one pass. Despite the meaning they want to present to a deceived following, one of theirs (Creepy Joe) spoke this truth, ” we are in a battle for the soul of this nation.” Let the record stand.

    Liked by 9 people

  27. Hi MP
    Poor old Joe – I mean the name not me and not Mr Biden. It figures largely in slang and often in a derogatory way. And now ‘Creepy’ can be added to the list. I had a mate at school whose nickname was Creepy. Just as well there have been so many great Joes, none greater than the greatest saint in heaven. It’s interesting MP how Creepy Uncle Joe (particularly cruel usage IMHO) has resorted to religious terminology. Maybe he is not our cup of tea (or cup of Joe) but perhaps his soul has a chance of conversion after all! As you say MP – the record now stands.
    Joecro, a much loved uncle and grand uncle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Speaking of Joes. I finished sending angels from the nine courts of angels through the novena of communions in the Jesus King of all Nations devotion this week to Pope Francis. I am going to send angels to you JOECRO next week and to Joe Biden the week after. There seems to be no end of candidates inspired by the Holy Spirit. I don’t do very many devotions but I have been doing this devotion for over 24 years now after it was taught to me by a person who sent me angels. The effect of these angels has become increasingly apparent over the years. The world is indeed in need of the angels as the demons become more increasingly active in this world. We need all the help we can get. May the Holy Spirit bless and guide all here in this blessed community. JAS

      Liked by 9 people

        1. In my morning prayers, after I say the guardian angel prayer, I add “May the angels from the courts of angels guide me and protect me, lead me in God’s holy will and God’s holy love,” followed by the St. Michael prayer. I also pray to the angels through other prayers during the day. I am amazed at how much they help me. May God bless all here.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I love that! I will try to remember to say that too. I have rambunctious and fearless young kids and I count upon the help of angels to keep them safe. My mom has always prayed the Angelus and says it’s one of her favorite prayers.

            It reminds me…on her blog, Veil of Veronica, Susan Skinner has an interesting formulation for invoking the intercession of angels. She calls upon angels in sufficient rank, number, strength and authority to accomplish a particular task, though I may be screwing up her precise words.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. This reminds of a time I was driving to work on icy roads. Around a curve and a hill, my car started sliding, instinctively I shouted out, “St. Michael!”. My car instantly stopped the slide. I was dumbfounded.

            Liked by 4 people

        2. It has become apparent to me that many have not seen my much earlier posting, even up to a year ago, explaining how the novena of nine consecutive communions in connection with the Jesus King of All Nations devotion works, I am reposting it here. Novena of nine Communions consists of offering nine consecutive Catholic Holy Communions (True Presence) in honor of Jesus King of All Nations.
          To those who are not familiar with this devotion, I highly recommend it. The person who told me about this novena in 1994 sent me nine angels and about a month later my son came to mass at St. John’s where I was. I did not know they were there. His 3 year old daughter saw me and said to her dad, “Look Grampa. I see angels, big angels.” Its not too unusual for very young children to see angels. I have been sending angels from the beginning to all my family and friends and since I am retired and able to go to mass daily and often twice a day, I am able to complete one novena a week. We are allowed to receive communion twice a day as long as the second one is part of mass as opposed to a communion service. Many people who I have sent angels to, even non-Catholics, have noticed a definite effect in their lives as a result. The Lord seems to inspire me to an endless list of those needing angels. The prayer I use after communion is, “I offer this communion to You Lord Jesus King of all Nations, Lord of lords and King of kings, and for _____ that they may receive the angels from the courts of angels given according to Your promises and for the special intention…. You are supposed to go to confession within 8 days so I go to confession every other Saturday so that covers every day of the year for the receiving of many indulgences and that devotion as well as any others I do. As part of my morning prayers I say, “May the angels from the courts of angels guide me and protect me, lead me in God’s holy will and God’s holy love.”

          The POWERFUL and unprecedented effects of this Novena were shown to Jesus’ “servant” in a vision. She saw Jesus gazing up to Heaven. Nine times He gave a command and an angel came to earth. Jesus explained: “My daughter, for those souls who will offer Me [this] devotion I will bid an angel of each of the Nine Choirs, one with each Holy Communion, to guard this soul for the rest of its life on this earth.” “I urge My faithful ones to offer Me this Novena again and again so that I may continue to send down My holy angels for the protection and assistance of other souls who cannot do this for themselves. In these end-times the power of the enemy has greatly increased. I see how greatly My children are in need of My protection.” In His great generosity, Jesus granted that, in addition to the angelic protection, one may have a separate, unrelated intention for this Novena. He promised: “What they ask for in this Novena, if it be according to My Most Holy Will, I will surely grant it. Let these souls ask from Me without reservation.” Jesus said, “I desire that the faithful souls who embrace this devotion to Me……make a Novena of Holy Communions. They therefore shall offer me nine (9) consecutive Holy Communions, and go to Confession during this Novena, if possible, in honor of Me as ‘Jesus King of All Nations’.” Jesus indicated that by “consecutive”, He meant nine Communions, uninterrupted, one after another, that the souls would receive. They need not be on nine calendar days in a row, just each Communion received, one after the other.

          The nine courts of angels are: Archangels, Principalities, Virtues, Powers, Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, and Guardian Angels.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. HI JB
        This came on internet 5 hours ago

        “All Sri Lanka Catholic church services suspended

        All of Sri Lanka’s Catholic churches have been ordered to stay closed and suspend services until security improves after deadly Easter bombings, a senior priest told AFP on Thursday.

        “On the advice of the security forces we are keeping all churches closed,” the priest said.

        “There will be no public mass said until further notice.”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The decision to cancel masses is a bad solution. In the years prior and post 2001, Al Quaeda attacked Packistand and Israel churches and synagoues, thinking they would be shut down as no one would attend worship services. The following weekend, the churches were packed. They learned a lesson don’t mess with people of faith.

          Al quada then attacked schools. No one sent their children to school. Lesson learned. It had an economic affect as at least one parent had to remain home from work to babysit. In Israel, the police provided security onboard the school busses with a Lead and Follow police cars escort for each school bus.

          I am afraid, if this decision continues, we shall see these type of attacks blossom in the coming weeks-months. I hope I am wrong…

          Liked by 7 people

  28. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 25 April
    He Is Risen! Evidence Beyond Reasonable Doubt

    The Perils of Doing Your Own Thing

    Look at this


    Spiritual Experience Improves Mental Health, Converts Atheists: Study

    Rev. Franklin Graham has a fiery response to Pete Buttigieg about Christianity

    I don’t trust polls as like the rest of LeftStream Media Controlled Ops it has been corrupted/biased to support the Left Agenda. There are a bunch of Folks Out-There, like me, who refuse to participate in polls ….. and thanks to 50+ years of PC and suppression of all things Conservative/Traditional has caused many to “Keep Their Own Counsel”. I have no doubt that a primary purpose of polls on Religion is designed to discourage/confuse People of Faith. I’m sure I have pointed out that I’m encouraged by my belief that Christian Radio/TV/Internet is filling the role of brick-n-mortar churches for many. The Lord will not allow The Enemy to prevail!! The WORD will get out!


    Thousands March in Los Angeles to Commemorate 104th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

    Ted Malloch: The Significance of St. George’s Day

    NYT Fails to Understand Religion With Notre Dame Miscue

    Nicole Kidman Shrugs Off Being ‘Teased’ By Friends for Her Christian Faith

    Choice on Myanmar: Defend religious freedom now, or pay price later

    Attorneys preparing lawsuits cite 12,000 cases of sex abuse in Boy Scouts

    Mueller Investigation Was Driven by Pious Hypocrisy


    WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Joe McCarthy wasn’t Wrong, Just Early

    Sen. Mike Lee: The deep state is a ‘self-perpetuating swamp that does not want to be drained’

    SICK. Far Left High School History Book Depicts President Trump as Mentally Ill and his Supporters as Violent Racists


    While the Chinamen are stealing US blind, the Deep State/DOJ/FBI are, still, looking for Russians …. Global LeftStream Media too … & they and the rest of The Usual Suspects are doin’ de Three Wise Monkey Routine when it comes to China.

    Clinton-Era State Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiring With Chinese Agents


    Rabbi Shmuley: Trump Should Dump the Failed Two-state Solution

    Last Hurrah: Social Justice Warrior Vegan Restaurant That Charged Men More Is Closing


    Liked by 5 people

  29. Just to show you another example of insanity.
    This was part of an interview at the end of the Amanpour and Company (on public television 4/24/19)

    SREENIVASAN: One of the things you keep coming back to is pre-implanted embryos, which leads me to ask, will we just be having sex for pleasure,

    not for procreation?

    METZL: Absolutely, I’ve written a number of articles on the end of procreative sex. And I believe that whatever the year, 30 years from now,

    20 years from now, conceiving of a child through sex will seem as dangerous to people as not vaccinating your children is today. Because when you

    think about it, not vaccinating your children that’s very natural. Like, nature didn’t invent vaccines, we developed them.

    [13:50:07] METZL: And again, conceiving of a child through good old fashioned sex is very natural, it’s actually been a great strategy for our

    species and for all sexually reproducing species. But there are dangers associated with sexual reproduction. And we are going to be able to reduce

    and in some cases, eliminate many of those dangers, and that will be a choice.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Real faith….short takes….I work in the rural part of the state for a university with “Beavers” as its mascot. A current fundraising campaign uses the term “Dam Proud” and encourages employees to post it professionally and personally in their emails and social media. As a disciple of Christ who works with youth and families, I did not feel comfortable using this type of language as it is coarse and implies swearing. Several references in the Bible discourage coarse or foul language, and our youth code of conduct states no swearing. I replied back to the group email to “All” stating that I would not be participating in the “Dam Proud” social media campaign and listed my reasons. I also mentioned that a previous university employee had a “Dam Proud” sticker on his office door, and several times youth in the building commented “that is a bad word”, so our secretary eventually removed the sticker. Over the next day, I received one hostile response giving me the definitions of dam and damn, as if I didn’t know them…and at least 10 emails of support and encouragement. From the way the emails were written, I could tell that a few were from believers, and others were from folks who work in positive youth development like me, and wouldn’t use that type of language around youth or families. The university replied with an email saying something along the lines that we are trying to be welcoming and inclusive, so feel free to use the generic “Day of Giving” campaign. A small stand of faith in a university environment.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. HeartLight Daily Verse – April 26

    Hebrews 7:25
    Whereby he is able also to save forever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Jesus didn’t just come and die for us. He wasn’t raised only to give us life. No, as incredible as those gifts are, he adds another until he can come and take us home: Jesus lives to ask The Father for grace in our behalf.

    Precious Savior, my Jesus, how I love you. You sacrificed heaven for me. You gave up dignity to redeem me. You destroyed death to assure me. But today, I am most thankful and most aware that every prayer I make, every step I take, you are in the Father’s presence to bless me. Thank you. Amen.
    Visit for more

    MILINET: Articles for Christians
    Darkness Descends Upon Gomorrah

    On the Death of Great Men


    Why Didn’t Christ Stay with His Disciples Continually from the Resurrection to His Ascension?


    Mulvaney and Catholic Leaders Extol Sanctity of Life, Religious Freedom at Prayer Breakfast

    Satanic Temple named tax-exempt church by IRS

    Boy Scouts denies shielding sex abusers in ‘perversion files’


    Chaff and Countermeasures – The DC Outrage Traps…

    BREAKING NEWS: FISA Court Says FBI Lied to Them, Illegally Spied

    Clapper and Michael Hayden are both Big Intel Guys with questionable ties to The Deep State Coup & Cover-Up. Both are also retired Regular Air Force Officers and, like me, can be recalled to active duty by the Secretary of the Air Force. It would do my heart good to see these guys brought back to face a Military Tribunial and Hard Questions!!

    James Clapper Knew There Was No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion In 2016

    The Russians and the Dossier


    Where The Government Won’t, The People Will

    New Jersey Parents to Rally Against LGBT Education Law

    Bethany Christian Services Caves to the Gay Left

    Secularist Propaganda, and How You Can Avoid Being Taken In

    Should we shutter the Department of Education?

    Expect Liberal Meltdown As Usual When Trump Addresses The NRA Tomorrow

    Kamala’s Doing A Victory Lap Over Her ‘Bold’ Gun Control Proposal But She Missed This Memo

    Many University Campuses Are Playgrounds for Insanity

    Smackdown: Florida Supreme Court Rules FL Gov Was Within His Rights To Suspend Loser Sheriff

    It might very well be an accident …. but …. anyone who has watched USA/EU News knows full well that the Global Left Media and their puppets in Left Liberal Political Parties have, for inexplicable reasons, totally “embraced” Muslims as a cherished “Victim Group”. These same Usual Suspects will twist themselves into Pretzels to not report/comment upon anything that might reflect badly upon Muslims (any of their Victim Groups) and when reporting/comments must be made they will spin and deflect blame …. and libel, intimidate and/or marginalize anyone who dares ask Hard Questions! Sooo ….. it all makes people like me very suspicious of so many “Things”?!

    No Accident?

    CBS Omits Dem Mayor Raided By FBI/IRS, ABC Hides Party Affiliation

    Real Obstruction: CBS, NBC Ignore Judge Charged for Helping Illegal Evade ICE

    Major Archaeological Discovery Puts Biblical Excavators at Odds with Israeli Highway Construction

    Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Is Shifting, Prompting Fears of a Coming Global Chaos

    Victims of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts were encouraged to come forward. Hundreds responded.
    Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Rule on Abortion Referrals


    Liked by 5 people

  32. Hi Mary, My beloved husband, Jim, has been in contact with you about a visit to our little community. I will be praying for this to happen. I also hope that Charley will visit our home when and if he comes to our neighborhood. I will pray for this blessing. Thank you for your work helping us all to take the next right step. The Lord has risen! Cyndi Newcombe

    Liked by 2 people

  33. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians-27 April

    No, Non-Believers Are Not Increasing In America


    This Catholic Adoptive Mother Directed Hit Hollywood Film Breakthrough

    SCOTUS to Hear Critical Case in the Gender Revolution

    The Persecution of the ‘Easter Worshippers’

    Bill Donohue: Christians Are Being Assaulted from All Sides

    Now! I don’t usually pay any attention to PeggyBabe ’cause I think she’s a phony sell-out. Why you ask? … ’cause she gushed all over Barack Hussein Obama after he was elected in 08. She was/is a DC Insider and knew full well that he was/is a Fringe Left godless Socialist and BIG supporter of the Abortion/LGBTQ/Hate USA Agenda’s. Supporting Obama was the Fashionable Thang to Do then and she didn’t want to be dis-invited from all the DC Chardonnay-n-Quiche Parties. Anyway this article is OK ….. now that she pretends to be Back in de Fold …. & PeggyBabe is more of a NeverTrumper than not! ;-(

    Out of the Ashes of Notre Dame

    Deliver Us, Lord, from the NeverTrump Christian Scolds

    The Resurrection in Stone

    A Federal Judge Has Defied the Law to Protect Abortion–DAVID FRENCH

    New York Archdiocese names 120 priests accused of sex abuse

    I got a problem with the Vatican/Catholic Church aiding & abetting Alien (Drug/People/Terrorist Traffickers) Invasion of the USA and Old Christendom!!

    Pope sends aid to migrants stranded at the US border

    Huckabee: Americans Aren’t Buying What Democrats Are Selling on Illegal Immigration

    U.S. Economy Grows 3.2% in Q1, Smashing Expectations

    I’d bet a “C” Note a mostly negative and costly “Difference” from Liz & Ilk … Eh!!??

    Elizabeth Warren: ‘Rules That Are Made by People in Government Will Still Make the Big Difference in Your Life’

    … …. and who could have believe that PlayBoy/Billionaire Trump would be the most Pro-Life, Faith and Constitution President of Modern Times!?

    Trump: ‘Faith and Family, Not Government and Bureaucracy, Are the Center of American Life’

    Pastor Jeffress: This President is the Most Faith Friendly President in History – He Will Win Larger Majority of Christians in 2020

    Tony Perkins: What’s So Controversial About an Evangelical College Inviting Pence to Speak?

    New York Times Publishes Brutally Antisemitic Cartoon….

    2020 Candidate Joe Biden Identifies as Catholic, But Breaks With Church Teaching

    There you are then!! Speaking of CreepyJoe ….. & other Pals of Obama say No There-There. Sleep Tight America …???

    Biden’s Latest Malarkey: Obama Administration Had ‘Not One Single Whisper of Scandal’

    Former Obama Advisor: Investigating Origins of Russia Probe ‘Waste of Time,’ ‘They Will Find Nothing’

    Brennan Denies Coup Attempt, Blasts Trump’s ‘Sociopathic Ramblings’

    ‘Nonpartisan’ Mueller Investigation-Focused Group Tied to Dem Dark Money

    Kamale, AKA: Willie Brown’s Hot Tamale, is trolling for Union $$$$$. Limbaugh spilled de beans long ago when he described Big Unions as nothing but a $$$ Laundering Scheme of the Democrat Party!

    Kamala Harris calls for a ban on right-to-work laws

    Lawyers in Russian Bot Case Demand Judge Hold Mueller in Contempt For Making Allegations in Report That Were Left Out of Indictment

    Governor Asks Trump To “Intervene” Against Deep State

    Hundreds Turn Out for Funeral of WWII Vet With No Living Relatives

    No, The Christchurch Mosque Shooter Is Not a Christian

    Poland: LGBT Ideology ‘a Threat to our Nation, Identity, and Existence’


    Liked by 4 people

    1. That is a good read.
      I agree with his take on “Stealth Arianism” being rampant. I see it in a lot of people that profess to be practicing Catholics. I’m thinking a next right step might be to try starting a choir that would focus on sacred music during the Mass, after seeing the video of those self-taught teenage girls at the end of the article.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Father Heilman has got it RIGHT!!!
      ….. not mention all the beautiful old Churches that were gutted of the beautiful altars, statuary and fixtures that made a church a Catholic Church!! …. “Stuff” that was often made by European craftsmen and paid for by generations of Faithful ……. and no amount of $$$$ could rebuild it as it was today ;-(
      Happy Divine Mercy Feast Day!


      Liked by 4 people

    1. I try hard not to follow what the Pope is up to because it depresses me, but if he does something that makes it on Drudge, then I cannot help but see something questionable or unsavory.

      During my morning offering last week, I complained to Jesus that I wanted to change the prayer to “…for the needs of my family and friends and for the intentions of the Holy Father” to simply “…for the Holy Father.” Why? Because I just don’t know that I support all of his intentions – which is sad because all Catholics’ intentions should be compatible.

      However, this is not right of me. I must pray for Pope Francis AND his intentions. It is not for me to know what the Pope needs or wants, only God; and it is entirely up to God to grant his requests or not.

      Plus, in order to receive the miraculous graces of Divine Mercy, we must pray for his intentions.

      Sometimes….nay, oftentimes, I forgot that it was the Holy Spirit who chose Pope Francis for these times.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Patrick, when we pray for the Pope’s intentions, we’re not praying for his personal intentions (although surely one could also intend to do so). When we “Pray for the Pope’s intentions, we’re praying for the intentions he has discerned to choose – with assistance from the faithful around the world – for the universal Church and that is a worthy cause. Here are this year’s already chosen intentions for each month. Here’s a link which describes the process of choosing those petitions.

        As for the conclave, it’s not exactly correct to say the Holy Spirit chose the Pope. Surely, the Holy Spirit is invoked and actively responds by prompting good, as He always does – in or out of the conclave – yet, each cardinal in the conclave retains his free will when casting each vote.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Understood, B, that men chose the Pope, and that it was through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Is it fair to say the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow the wrong man to be selected? I suppose that is not possible as God’s will shall always be done. Well, again I’ve picked my words poorly, but you get the spirit of my comment (hee!). I felt prompted to bring this up, though, because I realize many here are having legitimate concerns about him and may have wondered the same thing.

          How long has this practice of spelling out intentions by month existed? I didn’t realize that that part of this rather old morning offering was referring to just those prayers. Thanks for the links…this brief list makes my words easier to say now because I’m fine with those monthly intentions. I like to speak — but don’t always succeed — my words precisely.

          Perhaps you can explain these words to my guardian angel: “…to whom God’s love commits me here.” I get the spirit of the words, but not the semantics: the pronoun me is confusing as it is used here. I figure God has committed the Angel here as my protector and guide for love of me. The word “us” almost makes more sense. God’s love brought me into life, and His love assigned an Angel to help me. Help, B!

          Say, good news announced today: Bishop Gruss announced a Year of the Eucharist for the Diocese of Rapid City, all of western SD, starting in June!

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Patrick, here’s a piece by Dr. Jeff Mirus who discusses the action of the Holy Spirit at a conclave. God’s Will, both perfect and permissive, as well as human free will and how they intersect has several dimensions to consider, such as God writing straight with our crooked lines born of self-will or of well-intended moves on our part but errors nevertheless. We cannot say the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow the wrong man to be picked, because Holy Spirit would have to override human free will to make that be so.

            The prayer intentions process has existed in some fashion since 1890. Here’s the history.

            “Commit” also means “entrust” or “bind.” From this, I take it that each of us are bound to our guardian angels, entrusted to their care. You’ve got it, Patrick: I figure God has committed the Angel here as my protector and guide for love of me.

            Hooray for your Bishop and the Diocesan Year of the Eucharist!

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Ah, excellent, Beckita. You are a wonderful resource.

              And your reply supports what the Lord put immediately on my heart: “Pray for the Pope’s intentions.” Will do.

              OK….I’m in the home stretch. In 4 days I have my last university final exam. NO. MORE. SCHOOL. It’s hard to believe, and boy, did I get a lot of help from prayers and from Saints. I’ve still got 300 clinical hours this summer, graduation in August, a national certification exam, and of course the job hunting (looking at Montana and Wyoming), but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

              Without school hanging over me at all times as it has for many years, I’ll finally have weekends and evenings to read and reread books for PLEASURE. On my list are just the basics: the Catechism, True Devotion to Mary, The Mystical City of God (Agreda), The Confessions (Augustine), Divine Mercy in my Soul, Rules for Solitaires, the writings of Maximilian Kolbe, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Wow. What a milestone! Congratulations, Patrick. Prayers that you finish strong with your clinical hours AND that you land a job that brings you joy as well as a great working environment. Love your reading list.

                Liked by 3 people

              2. Keeping your home stretch in my prayers, Patrick. I remember my last final; MAN, did I feel free when it was over! (Well, except for that licensing-exam thingie hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles.)

                When you’re planning your reading, don’t forget to leave some time for some Louis L’Amour. Yeah… Sackets, baby! (Imagine that last phrase said in my best Dick Vitale voice.) 🙂

                Liked by 4 people

                1. Hmmmm…..Sackets, eh?!

                  Actually, I do love the Western genre but usually movies. Haven’t read many Westerns other than “The Gunslinger” — the ONLY Steven King novel I enjoyed and actually finished. Have you seen the Ballad of Buster Scruggs?…it looks interesting (and morbid).

                  So refresh my memory, Mick, what’s your field of expertise again besides full-time Mama Bear?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Ha, Patrick! When you asked about my field of expertise, I still had my mind on Westerns. So I was momentarily flummoxed, as I have no Western expertise. After I puzzled on it for a minute, I thought, “Well, I know a fair bit about gardening and some other skills, but I’m no expert.” Only then did the light bulb go off, and I laughed at myself for being so dense.

                    So, to answer your question, my training is in law. Specifically, I was an estate planner; I also did some tax work as it related to estate planning (math, numbers, fun fun fun!). I “retired” a few weeks before our oldest was born; thus, I’ve been out of the game for a whole lot longer than I was in it.

                    Regarding Lando, that was an excellent book. I also like Western movies. But I have not seen “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”… I don’t do morbid. I like a Western that is kind of like a Hallmark movie, but with a bit of shooting and some good fistfights. 🙂

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. I abhor the violence displayed in some of the old western movies. Watching men on horses shooting up an entire town is downright appalling. Well I got to run Mick, Gunsmoke comes on in 10-minutes. 😉

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. Hee, Mick, sorry for the confusion.

                      I imagine you have an interest in nutrition too with your love of fresh veggies and natural remedies. I just came across the Carnivore Diet which sounds radical but I think might be ideal for me, and I want your take on it. But no time at the moment….chat soon!


                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. Yes, skip “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Seemed goofy for the most part, and besides, you’re a farm girl like my Granny. In that vein, here’s my all-time favorite farm/farm related movies if you haven’t seen them: Places in the Heart, The River, Grapes of Wrath, Days of Heaven, Babe, The Horse Whisperer, Out of Africa, Field of Dreams (ok, that’s really about baseball… but set on a farm), Signs and Interstellar (yea, those are Science Fiction… but there’s farm settings/stuff in there and wanted to throw something in for SBC). Also, Broken Trail (nothing about farming in there, but it’s Robert Duvall’s finest Western in my opinion).

                      Liked by 2 people

                    4. Oh, while Robert Duvall gets some serious props, I think he is nonetheless underrated – and that he is one of the finest actors of his generation. If you have not seen the little-known but quirky movie, “Secondhand Lions,” SEE IT. You will enjoy that it is set on a farm. I just love the heart in it. One of my favorite movies ever.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Ha, Charlie! I was going to include Second Hand Lions but thought it might be “too little-known and quirky” too. When I first saw it, I thought they patterned those two guys (Duvall and Caine) after my ole Granddad and his brother Hare. Quick story about Hare. There was nine of them that grew up on the South side of Chicago. Seems a bunch of guys jumped Hare in an unfair fight. My Granddad who was the youngest was with him, so he beat tracks to fetch his dad from work. He was even more of a roughneck. So they hustle back to the fight into the middle of things where my great Granddad tells that others that they’d have their chance to fight Hare, only they had better get in a line to fight him one at a time. There were no takers after that.


                    6. I LOVE that you know the movie. I often suggest it when I am visiting friends as one we would all like – and I have never had anyone fail to think it was a great movie and well worth the time. I don’t know why it was not big when it was released. Funny, adventurous, down-home, true heart of Americana…what’s not to like?


                    7. I’m happy you have included this story, Kim. According to Janet E Smith who is a professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, these are solid, faithful Catholics who have signed this open letter. The excerpts that I’ve read, I think, address reasonable concerns. May God’s Will be done with this intervention.


                    8. That’s what I was thinking, Beckita. So blown away by how things are unfolding. I keep thinking nothing will surprise me, but still I’m surprised.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    9. It’s sobering, Kim. Here’s but one example which gives evidence of deep concern for whom Pope Francis chooses to appoint to leadership: Malta Archbishop Turns Blind Eye to Homosexual Parish Scandal. Archbishop Scicluna is also President of the Maltese Bishops Conference and that group of prelates went on record for allowing people in “irregular” marriages, that is those who are civilly divorced but who have not received annulment of the previous marriage before remarrying, to follow their personal conscience about reception of communion. No need to pay attention and follow Magisterial Teaching. Disturbing it is that this has been allowed on Pope Francis’ watch because NO Bishop can correct a brother Bishop; such correction can only be done by the Pope. Praying that this becomes a fruitful intervention.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    10. Patrick, I suppose you know that Jordan Peterson has been on the carnivore diet, as well as his daughter, for some time. Not sure if they still adhere to it, but I tried it for a short while and it was not for me. Seems these high protein diets come and go, but they have caused some people problems with their kidneys, gout, etc. My mother, who was an RN and taught nursing, taught us about moderation in just about everything…wish I had listened. Interested if you have any luck with it though.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    11. Here is what I am learning about diet these days. Eating mostly protein activates the mTOR pathway which activates when your diet is rich. The mTOR pathway stimulates growth, which is great when you’re a kid and is also great when *cycled* on and off in adulthood but very bad long-term if not cycled off frequently to allow autophagy and repair. Also, protein can be converted to glucose when eaten in excess, helping tendencies toward metabolic syndrome. As far as I can tell, most people need only about 50-70 grams of protein a day. I’m getting pretty interested in the Keto diet with intermittent fasting. Insulin is necessary to put both glucose and vitamin C into cells (both molecules are very similar, but unlike most animals, we can’t convert much glucose into vitamin C). Eating too many carbs or too much protein means that insulin goes too high for good health, and its function is taken up more and more by the need to get glucose into cells, which in turn means that vitamin C is increasingly out-competed in getting into cells, which is very bad for the cells that can’t get enough vitamin C to thrive. I could be wrong on all of this, but I would steer clear of a high-protein diet and look into the Keto Diet and KetoFasting by Mercola or someone else with a cycling Keto diet that calls for low carb, moderate protein, and high fat (of good fats). I hear good reports from those who use these diets cyclically, and the overall theory seems more sound than most. I know of three pathways that are particularly important but of course there are others. Turn the AMP Kinase pathway ON all the time using Berberine (among other items) instead of statins – this helps turn off Metabolic Syndrome. CYCLE the mTOR pathway on and off on a daily basis with intermittent fasting – this helps obtain growth and repair sequentially. Make sure your methylation pathway is working properly (if, for example, you have high homocysteine in your blood, it isn’t) – proper operation of this pathway safeguards your energy level and your DNA. All this comes from my own research BUT I’m not a doctor. Don’t take my word for it. Read about these things, find a doctor who follows these areas and is willing to go outside the box of standard American medicine, and test whether these things work for you or not. Keep what works for you and throw the rest away.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    12. Me as well on this, Steve: “I’m getting pretty interested in the Keto diet with intermittent fasting.” Once the high-impact carbs are diminished, the fasting is quite easy. With the fragmented sleep issues that I have, all manner of hormonal imbalance has ensued. Keto eating and intermittent fasting have worked well for me and there are so many benefits as people age. Such a lifestyle is good for the heart, the brain and the whole body as it is an anti-inflammatory gem. Your arthritis bugging you? Keto eating with fasting eases all manner of aches and pains. Want to avoid dementia? Keto eating with fasting is a good anti-dote. People have reversed diabetes and improved heart disease issues with this lifestyle. A major caveat for some folks: As carbs are digested, neurotransmitters in the brain’s pleasure center light up. This can create an addictive-like relationship with carbs and going cold turkey into keto eating can cause “keto flu” as the body kicks into withdrawal mode, screaming and complaining that it wants those carbs back.

                      Thanks for the description of the turning off of Metabolic Syndrome.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    13. BD, you are hilarious!

                      Patrick, I’d be more than happy to give you my opinion on the Carnivore Diet; but several other people have already opined… especially The Erudite One (aka SteveBC). If for some reason you’re still interested in my take, then e-mail me or give me a call after you finish up your school stuff.

                      MP, thanks for the movie list! I have seen some of them, my favorite being Field of Dreams (baseball, farmland, Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones… what’s not to love?). I had never heard of Broken Trail; but after looking into it a bit, I think I’ll put it on my list of movies to watch on Prime Video when I have some free time.

                      Kim, you’re such a sweetie! I don’t get away from the farm for trips very often; but if I’m ever in your neck of the woods, I’ll certainly let you know. And if you are ever going to be in southern lower Michigan, please let me know; the door will always be open for you!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    14. Alrighty, Mick– it’s a deal. Actually, all the folks here are wonderful. Wouldn’t it be a heck of a party if we could all get together!?

                      Liked by 2 people

                    1. Thanks for the heads up on Susan’s piece, Mick. It’s a beauty. Honestly, I’m not fretting over the open letter and the confusion in which we find ourselves. That said, it certainly is not a pleasant time; it is cause to pray on as each revelation or development comes to light. I would love to see dialogue ensue after the open letter, but I highly doubt it will, yet, I trust that God will draw good from all He allows. A great consolation is knowing we have gone through cycles of difficulty throughout the history of the Church and in our times God, again, does have a Plan.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Yes, Beckita– I was with my Cursillo group last night and we decided to study the lives of the saints as an antidote to these unsettling times!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. Awesome, Kim. I have gained so much strength for pressing on via this community and a fantastic Bible study series which Sonja Corbitt created in light of these times. She proclaimed from the outset that there would be no time spent on complaining about what is, for we’ve all read about it and heard it. Rather, she does a Biblical review of some pertinent passages – to what we’re living – from the Book of Kings and gives tremendous encouragement to stay the course with growing in holiness that it may redound to healing everywhere in the Church. May it be!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Turns out that more than a few with expertise, such as what is written in this piece, believe there’s no proof for the charge of heresy. Onward with continued prayer and fasting…


                    1. Ha! When I first heard they were doing a remake of the great John Wayne original movie, I thought it heresy. When I finally saw the Jeff Bridges version, I thought to myself, “Oh my, I’m a heretic!” – because I like the Jeff Bridges version better.

                      Liked by 2 people

              3. CONGRATULATIONS, Patrick. It can be done. Best spent time of your life. My husband did it too starting in 1970. Worked full time and went to night college full time. He started the day at 6:00 AM and finish at 11:00PM for 4 years, Fall, Spring and both Summer sessions. Time fiies so fast. He’s now retired. But it was the best decision of our married life. Congrats, congrats, congrats!

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Thank you, Joanne! I’m really itching to start work. Still have much yet to learn especially prepping for the cert exam, but I’m hungry (starving, actually) to work after studying all these years. I’m lining up rotations now on Ellsworth AFB which has been a lot of fun for this Air Force vet: there’s something reassuring about the familiarity of being on a military base again. After this, I will look for work with the AF, the VA, or maybe the IHS, but I’ll keep the doors open for something else too.

                  God bless you.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Patrick, congratulations! I’m behind a bit in reading all comments, but with you all in spirit! You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your life with us all these past several years. May God continue to bless you as you move into your next phase.

                    Liked by 3 people

              4. Hey, Patrick, that is all wonderful news. I hope and pray that your life to come will be all you are looking forward to and more.

                This is my 50th reunion year for high school. Recently, they sent a questionnaire out to people who had graduated many years ago, asking about their experience. I replied back that it was a great experience except for one thing – school took up waaaayyy too much time. I worked harder than my father did, and he ran his own business. I doubt they will pay attention to my answer, but they should. Not enough time to be a kid, and kids learn huge amounts when they are just being kids.

                A funny story: My school assigned all the students to read at least three books from the school summer reading list. One summer I kept track of everything. I read the minimum three books from the list (and unlike many students, I actually read them) plus 50 science fiction books. When I handed my list in to my next English teacher, he gave me a very strange look! 😀

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Thanks, Steve. You know, part of the reason I’ve taken so long are my own mistakes and poor decisions. I’ve wandered just like the Prodigal Son, changing horses midstream many, many times. I’ve always been — and I do mean ALWAYS — slightly behind the curve when compared to the norm (whatever the “norm” is). I joined the military late at age 24, married at 30, divorced at 35, got my first age 40, and then dragged my feet for 6+ years with this second Master’s.

                  Again, I can’t stress enough how much external help I’ve received: prayers from family and ASoH friends, financial assistance and counseling from a wonderful man with Catholic Social Services, and immeasurable help from Our Lord and Our Lady — despite what seems, at times, were my best efforts to sabotage this goal. The honest truth. That’s why I’m in a bit of disbelief.

                  But now, I’m pumped! I’m stoked! I’m excited and rarin’ to go!

                  The other day I had a cute thought. Here I am, age 51 in 2019 finally finishing up school. And I suddenly and clearly remembered my very first day of school. Fall of 1973. Under the still black early morning sky, I stood outside my house holding my father’s hand. Then the big yellow school bus came down the hill with its bright lights flashing yellow, then red. I kissed dad goodbye and climbed aboard the huge vehicle. I sat in the front seat and looked at the number 61. Old 61, taking me to my first day of kindergarten. What an exciting time for little Patrick of Western New York.

                  Wow, how times change!
                  Sorry –> Hand to the plow !!!

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Holy cow, Patrick…somehow I thought you were in your late 20s or early 30s…you really are the Grandma Moses of health care! It often heartens me to think she did not even BEGIN any serious work until she was 78. That means I have another 15 years before I have to get serious 🙂

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. Ha, Charlie!

                      I made a deal with Jesus when I came back to the faith in 2008. Since I spent my first 40 years living wild and free — essentially living my retirement traveling the world — I asked Jesus to allow me another 40 years of life to serve him until I am no longer able. That’s why I’m anxious to “get the show on the road!”

                      Liked by 3 people

                  2. Patrick, my dad left high school to go to work during the Great Depression in order to help his parents keep their house. He spent his entire life educating himself ing the changing mechanical field of train technology. He became the point man in several companies worldwide for train and commuter train installations. I think you said your 51 and I wanted you to know about him because he worked until age 83 full time. So that gives you 32 years to go in your chosen field. You have a lifetime ahead of you.

                    Liked by 2 people

    2. I thought this also Little one, then I read the article and realize the Churches in Mexico do need financial support tending to the Migrants. I do not agree with this massive migration and believe it is an invasion of the USA. However, the Peters Pence funds shall go to house, clothe and feed those brother and sisters in need.

      Liked by 2 people

  34. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 28 April
    Video: Divine Mercy Chaplet

    Feast of Divine Mercy – Dan Lynch Apostolates

    The Kansas Supreme Court Steps in to Protect Abortion from Pro-Life State Lawmakers

    A Groundbreaking Future Exhibit About the Shroud of Turin

    Democratic Governors Oppose Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Acts: ‘Not a Productive Use of Time’

    Red Francis Funds Caravans Stranded at US Border

    Churches fall silent in Sri Lanka a week after attacks

    The Sri Lanka Attacks Should Remind a Distracted U.S. Homeland Security Apparatus to Focus

    How Do We Help Kids Who Have Left the Faith?

    Can we believe?–Andrew Klavan

    Passover Ends in Hate: The Synagogue Shooting and Anti-Semitic NYT Cartoon


    Ocasio-Cortez wastes no time politicizing Poway synagogue shooting — and it backfires immediately

    Trey Gowdy: Dem Presidential Hopeful Eric Swalwell ‘Ought to Scare the Ever-Living Hell Out of You’


    Google Knows Everywhere You Go And Here’s How To Stop It

    Trigger Warning, Squids: A New Poll Finds 81% of Americans Say People Are Offended Too Easily


    Where Are the Socially Conservative Women in This Fight? (Who Will Defend the American Family?)


    Liked by 2 people

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