Lead Us In a Plain Path

Cross, beautiful in Texas
Cross in Groom, Texas, just after a storm. Hat tip to Judith Johnson for sending it.

By Charlie Johnston

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path.

Psalm 27:11

The last four verses of my favorite Psalm, the 27th, are among the most compelling prayers I have ever read. They are a rebuke and a consolation, a weary plea and a profound statement of faith:

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:11-14)

During a grave crisis when I was in my 20’s I read this Psalm and the last line was like a slap in the face – but the good kind, the kind that drains you of all hysteria and fear – filling you with the determination to go forward with steady resolve. I built my own prayer around verse 11. “Lord, lead me in a plain path. Let me turn neither to the left in anger or to the right in fear, but lead me in a plain path before You.” Almost every time I am unsettled, I say that prayer. If I am really shaken, I read that whole Psalm aloud to myself – and then say that prayer.

When I was on my pilgrimage, the concept of a plain path took on a much deeper, richer meaning for me. As you can imagine, when you walk uphill with 75 pounds on your back, it is very hard. Walking downhill is, in some ways, even worse. Your leg muscles are constantly tense, serving as a sort of brake, which is also very draining. If you stumble when walking downhill, you are much more likely to injure yourself then if you do the same while walking uphill. In either scenario, when I finally came to a level stretch, it was a soothing balm.

This plays intimately into my concept of the next right step. When inflamed with anger, you are sorely tempted to lash out in the same. I hate making decisions when I am under the influence of any powerful emotion. If the decision I prefer when emotional is a good one, it will still be a good one when I am calm – and I will be in a better state to assess it properly. On the other hand, sometimes a decision is time sensitive. It is easy to become paralyzed when time pressure mounts, for fear of making a precipitous decision. Yet a bad decision is almost always more easily corrected than a paralyzed refusal to make any decision at all. “There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3, 218-221) I try not to make a decision in anger when there is time for reflection, nor to avoid making a crucial decision on the best information I have when time is of the essence.

Lord, lead me in a plain path. Let me turn neither to the left in anger nor to the right in fear, but lead me in a plain path before You.

*******

The devil is, to the spirit, what infection is to the body. He inflames our spiritual wounds, making us feverish and turning what is innocuous into a deadly threat. Infections rarely attack areas of the body that are healthy or undamaged. They opportunistically attack where we have been scraped, cut, bruised or wounded. Similarly, the devil rarely attacks us at our strongholds. Instead, he seeks out the broken places, the wounds we try to hide – and then inflames these hidden places, however innocuous, into something deadly to our soul. The devil attacks our fears, our resentments, our desires, our vanity until they are fearfully red and swollen, oozing with the bile of his malice.

These last few weeks I have noticed that many people, including some of the best I know, are more on edge than usual. The infection, I think, is trying to work its way into each of us. I love Fr. Richard Heilman saying that we are approaching a “spiritual D-Day.” One of the most deeply insightful meditations I have ever seen on how the devil works to exploit our weaknesses against us comes from a most unexpected source: Stephen King’s 30-year-old novel, “Needful Things.” In it, in oily, soothing tones, a demon inflames what is worst in people by playing brilliantly on their desires, lusts, fears and resentments – and plays them against each other to their mutual destruction. I frequently recall something that was said to me at the tail end of a “little vision” decades ago: “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added.”

“Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Lord, lead me in a plain path. Let me turn neither to the left in anger nor to the right in fear, but lead me in a plain path before You.

*******

In a recent conversation with my son, he told me that I messed up plenty of times when they were kids, but that the thing that gave him a deep sense of security was his certain knowledge that, whether we had a good day or a bad one, whether I had done real good or messed up real bad, I would be fully at it again the next day and the next and all the days afterward – that I would press on with them doing the best I could think of whatever the day before had brought. What a lovely compliment it was.

If a parent set a standard that they must always do things just right or they would quit the field, all of us would be orphans. To become a parent is to agree to intimately accompany and love some little souls in the very first stages of their pilgrim journey through life. You are your children’s first Sherpa. Their security is not dependent on knowing that you will never err; it is dependent on knowing that you are with them through their wobbly first steps as toddlers and through their wobbly first steps into independence – and then with deep affection and desire for their good throughout your life. You can’t teach them how to be perfect along the way. You can teach them how to be wrong with grace, how to get up again after having stumbled badly, how to find joy in the midst of both prosperity and need, in good times and in bad. You can show them how to navigate the often stormy and treachorous waters of the human condition. But you can only do all this if you are fully committed to being there, unto death. A wise parent instinctively knows this. Happy the child who has a wise and committed parent!

When I first started writing my website a little over five years ago, I told readers almost from the beginning that, somewhere along the way, I would make a significant interpretive error. Being one who usually exceeds expectations, I made two. First, I interpreted being told that “Obama would not finish his term,” to mean that he would either leave office early or late, not that he would leave office while his partisan bureaucracy would continue trying to effect a coup against his successor. Second, I interpreted the Rescue to be an event rather than a process – a process that is unfolding before our eyes and that we are called to be participants in rather than just witnesses of.

I knew several things about this. First was that it was time to speak publicly, for the Storm was very close at hand. People needed my voice, inadequate and flawed as it is. Second was that people’s expectations were all messed up – that they were looking for a Guru who would tell them precisely what to do so they would not have to exercise any moral agency themselves…and part of my job was to break up those expectations and have folks get real, letting them know that they cannot escape their moral accountability to God…that each must choose. Your moral agency is not transferable. Third was that I was going to err in interpretation in some significant way, but must speak anyway – and speak boldly, not timidly. Fourth was that, when the error came, I must candidly acknowledge and take full responsibility for it. To do otherwise would have been a cheap vanity.

When the errors came, those who were hostile thought it proved I was a fraud, despite my having said clearly that at least one would come. Some of those who have taken inspiration from my work tried, briefly, to put a gloss on the errors so that there was no error at all. Both were inadequate responses, borne on the aberrant expectations we have adopted for discernment. I was wrong while being true to my call – and the errors were entirely my fault and my responsibility. The hubbub made me wonder how many people have seriously read the Bible at all. All of the prophets, kings and priests had feet of clay – some of them quite glaring and inflamed. The authentic people that God sends us are not bloodless, plaster icons of improbable virtue or prowess. God works with real people, stumbling characters formed of ordinary mud and blood through faith – people determined to make their stand and be true, regardless of any obstacles – including those put in the way by our own clumsiness. Those who were successful were those who persisted, who endured despite their errors, their failures, their many stumblings, trusting God to sustain them and lead them to safe harbor through the storms of their own times. What was most important was their resolve to ever go forward, never turning back to an easier, less challenging (and more comfortable) way.

Some ask, “Why not speak plainly? Just give us the info and we will set to work.” This is something I often asked God about His enigmatic proclamations to me, before He forged a greater wisdom in me through many trials, failures and setbacks. Knowledge without discipline is a formula for disaster. Would you give your teenage son a driving manual and turn him loose? Of course not. You go with him and give him instruction – for the reality and the challenges of driving are greater than he can possibly understand before he has gained some experience. Would you train a man to be a pilot by giving him a flight manual and turning him loose alone at the helm of a plane? If he was foolish enough to accept such a proposition, he would soon crash and burn. Knowledge without discipline is a formula for disaster. In order to be able make effective use of what God offers us, each of us must stretch our hand out to Him. (Matthew 12:13) If given knowledge that has not been formed in the forge of our reaching out to God, we remain the same incompetent people we were before, only with a dangerous new hubris. It is like giving a 16-year-old a Mustang V-8 and sending him out in a snowstorm. God loves us much more than that, and so insists that we go through the pain of stretching out our withered hand in order to receive the real knowledge and wisdom He has for us.

I know many would have preferred that God send a guy who would just tell everyone reliably what to do. I am sent, but sent to find my way with the help of my friends while encouraging and heartening all I can to stay the course and, together, find the way forward without losing our way – without turning to the right out of fear or to the left out of anger…to walk in a plain path back to God, holding fast to what is good (including those institutions He founded) while determinedly pulling out what is corrupt. Many of the best insights I have gotten have come through others along this pilgrim way. My virtue is not that I know precisely what must be done, but that I am more persistent than a mule – and would rather die than break faith with my call. No one can know that for sure about themselves, but I had opportunities during my pilgrimage (and a few other times) to see whether I truly meant it. So far, trust has sustained me and led me through those dark, fearsome passages that could lead me to swoon. But God never intended me to be a one-man band. I was always intended to found a sort of divine orchestra in His service. While I can lead, no one can be a one-man orchestra. So I rely on the combined wisdom of my friends who are as dedicated to God and neighbor as I am, even when we don’t see eye to eye. Together, acknowledging God, we will find the way – but a lot of the old verities we counted on are not reliable in this Storm.

I worry most about those who think they have it all figured out. I internally smile ruefully when someone tells me some approved prophecy is straightforward and easy to understand. In the over a half century of training I have had on the matter directly from God, I have learned that the seemingly most straightforward are the most dangerous to interpret – and the most easily misinterpreted. God wants us to keep our eyes on Him. When we develop the hubris of thinking we have it figured out, we take our eyes off of Him. Prophecy is God’s way of saying, “Pay attention,” not His way of deputizing us to press our own agenda, rejoicing that we are His special pet. Jesus told religious officials, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) They could be excused for not understanding that He was speaking of His own body; what is not excused is their refusal to recognize, because of their vanity, what He meant after He accomplished it. God challenges us frequently to show that we love Him rather than loving our smug sense that we have figured Him out. We all will find that some of our cherished suppositions are wrong. We are called, when so chastened, to humbly acknowledge it and carry on in His service. Sadly, many of those who think they have it all figured out will, when they find they have gotten a lot of it wrong, bitterly decide that God has failed them rather than that, because of their feet of clay, they have erred. If they don’t repent, they will have failed God – and will perish.

You and I will all make mistakes as we go forward. Let us stumble forward in His service anyway. I will remain in His service with you tomorrow and the next day and all the days afterword so long as I draw breath.

Lord, lead us all in a plain path. Let us turn neither to the left in anger nor to the right in fear, but lead us in a plain path before You.

 

 

 

 

229 thoughts on “Lead Us In a Plain Path

  1. Thank you for this.

    I have long noticed times where there seems to be something of an oppression – or general funk – over people spiritually; where many seem to be going through something quite serious at the same time in the physical sense that also has spiritual implications, of course.

    Then there is the “vibe” that surrounds us and sometimes it just tells you that things are “off” overall. Sometimes you can figure out why; most of the time, you wait and see and try to pray through it.

    These seem to be increasingly difficult times in many ways. It only makes sense to me that there will be spiritual challenges as well. Let us all do our best to pray for one another and get through it.

    Liked by 16 people

  2. “Being one who usually exceeds expectations, I made two.”

    OMGosh, Charlie, I about fell out my chair on this one. 😀 😀 😀

    I really don’t want to think of all the times I similarly exceed(ed) expectations!

    Liked by 12 people

  3. Charlie, these words are balm to this pilgrim!
    How beautiful to journey together humbly sharing the joy that comes from stepping forward knowing that, though we will soon stumble, Our Lord, Our Lady, and the cloud of witnesses that surrounds us will be there with a smile when we look up from the dust! The Lord is calling us to take our stand fully committed and swing for the fence, even though we are most likely to strike out looking. I can see how heaven would smile when we go “all in”, especially when we know that the cost may be…everything.

    I ask you TNRSers to offer a Hail Mary for our family, as Our Lord has called us into a new season of vulnerability for His sake, by moving to a place (land) that He has asked us to fight for – for His name sake. Legal battles and all! My wife and I are blessed to have four adult kids (and a Veteran son-in-law and two grandkids) who are ‘all-in” with our Catholic faith, and have already experienced periods of time when willingly, as a family, we had no home. Because He called us to it and we are crazy enough to say yes. Correct that, no house, because He has shown us that our only home is the Sacramental sanctuary of the Church, daily prayer and Mass as a family (certainly not perfectly executed, but all agreed on the goal).
    His purification process has been ongoing for years (and of course will continue) but it seems like He has been preparing us to be a sign of hope – as a family, for other families. He has been helping us to make decisions though prayer, discernment, and spiritual direction, while being wary of our emotions and selfishness. It’s the clear path for our family to work out our salvation by carrying our cross “always forward”, and praying for the desire to pray, and to “desire God alone”. We will pray about hosting you in the Santa Barbara County area in the Fall, it would be so great to see you again, and connect with other family members. Though I don’t often post here, I still follow along, pray for and respect the fellow pilgrims on this website! Chris L.

    Liked by 16 people

  4. I know what you mean, Charlie. I’ve recently been struggling in a way that feels so odd, but I go into our Adoration chapel to receive the comfort and reassurance that only He can give.

    Liked by 11 people

  5. I like your analogies between our spiritual growth and our natural growth. As a naturalist, I have the habit of using nature to describe God’s ways. After all, it is only a brilliant reflection of He who created it. It can also be a brilliant reflection of how when removed from the divine order it can lead into chaos and pestilence.
    Since our nature has fallen and the enemy is always with us, Jesus told many things that He told the apostles to keep secret. He still tells visionaries this. I’m sure there are things He has told you Charlie that you will not reveal. I don’t like to say out loud the things I am doing because of the designs of the enemy upon its destruction. The genius of a secret is to let some things remain hidden as the wisdom of Scripture reminds us.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. I frequently recall something that was said to me at the tail end of a “little vision” decades ago: “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added.”

    This is profound…. wow…Fr Uri told me last Sunday in confession…to hell with what others think of you…the only thing that matters is what Christ thinks of you….DON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF CHRIST…he was very emphatic and then he mentioned the Holy Spirit movement. ..

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Charlie,

    You have been on fire lately, and I have enjoyed it. It is like being able to read your favorite newspaper column (like we discussed about the late Mike Royko, God rest his soul) and then think it over.

    We all have (or should have) a favorite psalm. My is 90, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High . . .” Lately, I have had to confront the fact that I must fully trust in God and I now understand how my life and occupation has molded me towards this. Trust in God is not easy when the checkbook looks low, but the Father has always provided. Recently, that line from Psalm 90 jumped out at me “”He will say to the Lord, “My wall, my refuge, my God in whom I trust.”” Like the man who scripturally said “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24) I say “Lord, I trust in you, help me trust in You.”

    Mick, as an aside, my first real lesson in learning to trust God came from a wonderful black Catholic woman I represented (and, by the grace of God, won her case). She told me, “the Lord will provide” and that I must trust in God. She was right and I pray for her and her intentions everyday as she played a great role in my spiritual life.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. God bless the wonderful lady who so touched your life, James. And I’m glad you won her case. I have great respect for honest, hardworking litigators. I could never have been one (a litigator, I mean; I try to be honest and hardworking).

      Psalm 90 is also my favorite Psalm. When I was a kid, we moved from a small city to the boondocks. There were, of course, no street lights; and when it got dark, it was totally dark. Not surprisingly, I became very afraid of the dark. When my mom discovered this, she instructed me to read Psalm 90 right before going to bed. It took me a while to get over being afraid of the dark, but I have loved Psalm 90 ever since.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Mick I have so loved your comments all these years and so also I have loved your soul….what a GREAT joy for me now to know the beautiful lady behind these words…sooooo cool😄

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Linda, thank you for your kind words. And right back atcha: The things that strike me the most about your comments over the years have been your cheerfulness, your enthusiasm, and the strength of your faith. Thanks for setting a good example for the rest of us (and thanks for driving up all the way from Oh-high-oh to hang out at Finley’s). 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That’s so kind of you, Mick! And I want to thank you again for hosting Charlie! I bet ya’ll went and got some Good ole Jackson ice cream!!! Hahahaha Charlie brought up Haggen Daz to Mike and last night at 8 pm, I already had my jammies on because it had rained all day long😣 and Mike exclaims, “Hey…wanna go to Vargos to get some soft cone ice cream????” In which I replied, “Uh, no, Mike…it’s 8 pm & I’m in my jammies!” 😬😀😁😂😃😄😅😆🤗 Probably this evening though. ..have fun with Charlie today…tell him we said hey from Ohio…all of us…United in spirit for sure🤗

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  8. Well once in a while I stop back here to see what Charlie has communicated.
    I do say this is one of Charlies better communications.
    Considering what he was communicating back in late 2015 and 2016 being off base so to speak, with his idea of what was going to happen; this is a very good article

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gosh, Robert. I’m not at all in agreement with kicking someone when he errs in interpreting prophecy after he humbly and publicly admits it… proceeds to remain at his post even as he receives the harsh flogging that ensued… removes himself from the scene as promised and then gets right back up to follow where the Lord leads.

      As I read your offering here, the Golden Rule comes to mind as does “forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us.” And the Lord will actually and truly hold each of us to account in this. (Although Charlie’s errors were not the stuff of sinful tresspsssing. They were, instead, the best efforts put forth by a mere human in service to the Lord and his people.)

      The short of it is that this kind of comment is not welcome here where we have gathered to walk in solidarity as we weather this Storm, witnessing to the Gospel as we rebuild this broken, disordered culture before us. AND our treatment of each other is meant to build one another up. To this end, let it be known that comments such as yours will not be cleared in the future.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Amen Beckita…not nice…prophesy is never spot on…look at Jesus telling them he would rebuild the temple in 3 days…or St Joan of Arc misinterpreting her day of delivery. ..

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Beckita,

        I think your skin is a little thin here with Robert’s charitable note to Charlie, which I believe Charlie himself would say “Amen brother Robert”. He payed Charlie homage to a fine article that he has just submitted for us all to enjoy, and his uncritical remark about Charlie being of base, sort a speak, in a time past, is only supporting what Charlie himself admitted to. I believe that what Robert is saying is squaring totally with what is the essence of Charlie’s spiritual essay, one that we all glean good things from today.

        Kindly yours in Jesus & Mary,

        Charlie R

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for your input, Charles. Charlie, himself, has already acknowledged his prophetic mistakes numerous times in previous articles and he repeated that acknowledgement again in this piece. Robert gave no clear, stand alone homage for this piece. Rather, he noted the goodness of the content by comparing it to the errors made in 2015 and 2016. And while Robert may not have intended his comment to be so, it read, to me, as an unnecessary criticism. And that is why I referred to the comment policy wherein we are here to build each other up. God bless.

          Liked by 3 people

  9. This whole thing coaxed a rare wallow last night, which included revisiting the movie “Hostiles.” What I like about revisiting a quality movie/great story, is the opportunity to really see new facets and subtle details that were previously missed. Same movie, but sometimes it’s like experiencing a whole new movie.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Well, well, ain’t it the truth Charlie. Thank God I’m a stubborn mule after all 🙂

    Everything you wrote about the devil and his tactics, I can attest to.

    And, knowing first hand what a “crooked” line I am, I’m always flabbergasted that HE has accomplished anything with my bumbling efforts–but HE does, because HE is God and I’m not!

    As I age and soften, I think HE finally has clay that is more pliable. 😉

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Suffice all you say into what Jesus said in His agony in the garden, “Not my will but Thy will be done”. And in season and out of season, that great teaching of Jesus is what each and all of us will embrace as sincere followers of Him and Him alone.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Charles, I so agree! I find myself more and more, in all the confusion and uncertainty, asking for His Will to be done, with an urgency as I have never felt before. May we all stay on the narrow path and continue to take the next right steps together. I hope some day that we could all meet each other this side of The Veil. Blessings!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you, Charlie, for both your encouraging insights in this post as well as your realistic observations in the last post about the reactions of cornered animals. I submit the following interview with Michael Anton as a realistic sign of hope that complements Charlie’s insights that the battles will only get more difficult. BUT there is hope! Always there is hope.

    “Administrative State” is a phrase I’d never heard before. While Mr. Anton uses it to describe the “Deep State”, perhaps it could also be used to describe what occurs in chanceries as well as curial offices and maybe even partially explain the Globalist overlap between establishment church and state that had been underground but is now amply prominent. I found it a truthful and hopeful interview especially as Mr. Anton says that there is hope BUT overcoming the “Administrative State” won’t be easy. These observations seem to mirror what Charlie has always, always clearly stated whether or not “expectations got exceeded” or not–droll humor indeed! Lol

    (edit: It may be a slight distinction, III, to delete the link and give only the title so it can be found on You Tube, but it’s an important one to me since I take the responsibility of vetting links and videos before clearing the comment in which they’re embedded and I just don’t have an hour to view this one. That said, here’s the title with which to search for those interested in listening: “Michael Anton: FISA Spying, Mueller Report and Barr Hearing Vindicate “Flight 93 Election” Essay”)

    (At about 25-36 minutes Mr. Anton discusses a way forward specifically regarding immigration).

    From my perspective every mistake made by any creature–the Blessed Virgin Mary excepted–just points to the truth that no one is God but God.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I very much appreciate your oversight, Beckita–an hour is a long time to spend. Thank you for allowing the title to be noted as the interview is encouraging to see since it is confirmation that comes from what is mainly a secular although conservative/constitutional source.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Hi I_II

          I cannot find it on the Internet any longer, so I do not have a link.
          The late Bob Owens, a gun blogger, then editor of BearingArms,com, wrote “What I saw on the way to the rebellion” (?)
          It recounted, and in doing so, verified and solidified the fact that Americans were arming themselves in expectation of civil war.

          You must remember that getting from then to now required convincing citizens of the dire straights our Liberties and Culture nd Civilisation were in and that those who insisted everything would continue , that this was still America, were wrong.

          To act on the inchoate , yet undeniable sense that a Storm was approaching was to risk respectibality.

          Codevilla then Owens, then Anton gave voice to what millions knew was happening, yet did not have the words for.

          Given the unmitigated evil that is being revealed, those men, in retrospect, understated the threat Christendom faced. Yet they each stand vindicated.

          hth

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Thank you for taking the time to explain your observations of the importance of these articles and to search for a link to Mr. Owens’. I hope it pops up some time since it seems a worthy piece to read and think on.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. I am often accused by my family of being stubborn. I prefer to call it tenacity. 😏 In fact, my husband has been known to call me a bulldog. Now the key here, is to know when and how to use that persistence. This is a life long lesson. I don’t always get things right. I more often get things wrong. But at the end of it all, I hope people can say of me,
    “ she tried”. What a consolation TNRS and ASOH are to me. We live, we learn, we fumble our way through life, together.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Kristinreh, I think your motto should be a little more positive, something like, “She tried and tried and tried and finally got it TOTALLY right!” 😀

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Oh Steve, by the grace of God, I would love for that to be true someday. My spiritual director likes to say “ do it, do it right, do it right now, do it right every time”.

        Liked by 4 people

  14. Wow! This is the kind of wisdom that feeds my soul. That’s why I keep reading your articles. It has helped me understand the Prophet Elijah better as well. Thank you!!!-from one who continues to be chiseled, thanks be to God!

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Beautifully written and very true… There a difference between getting directions & navigating.

    We’re happy you didn’t quit after some big errors. Perfectionism is a flaw not a virtue.

    Most people had high expectations that some perfect saint(s) would save us all in these times. Many expect priests & religious to be “perfect” as well, it’s no wonder vocations are at a all time low, who can live up to those expectations.

    We all need to be honest with ourselves & with each other, we all need to keep each other honest in the truth. I thank the people who help me reevaluate my comments, as it helps to refine the sometimes elusive truth.

    Liked by 10 people

  16. Also….Charlie is thick skinned n doesnt need my help…but Tnrs and Asoh are more helpful to me than anything Charlie has ever said…everyone knows things are just not normal right now…everyone is talking about end time signs…everyone. ….besides all that…everything with China and culture is happening exactly as Charlie has said… they block president trump continuously n keep threatening impeachment. .I wouldn’t be shocked if things went really south soon with China n noko….maybe 2016 vision was meant for 2020???Doesn’t matter though. .TNRS & ASOH are needed Now…no matter what happens 🤗

    Liked by 7 people

  17. I printed this quote shortly after 9/11:

    “…You must NEVER confuse faith that you will prevail in the end- which you can never afford to lose- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” (Admiral James Stockdale, POW Vietnam 1965-1973)

    It hangs on my refrigerator, for daily contemplation. His book “In Love & War” is excellent.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “There are no great men; there are only great challenges, which ordinary men like you and me are forced by circumstances to meet.”
      Adm William Halsey Jr.,

      Liked by 8 people

  18. I don’t comment much anymore, but I still feel like the family.
    An interesting thing happened to me last weekend. I had read something that greatly Disturbed me. When I finally took it to the Lord in prayer and asked “what shall I do Lord?”, I received an immediate reply, “just take the next right step”. Then I finally had peace!

    Our lives are made up of thousands of the next right steps. Peace to all here.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Oh my gosh..yes..me too so many times..sometimes I feel like I’m gonna drown..then I remember tnrs asoh too…squirrels help a lot too…gotta love those cute little fluffy tails😅

      Liked by 4 people

  19. Mick. I got ur emails. .hahahha but I don’t know how to reply to them on my stupid smart phone…I’ll reply first thing tomorrow on my imac😄 count us in for sure but will cinfirm 2 days prior..thank you for hosting our Charlie so much, Mick….We all should say prayers for Charlie & his travels btw..yikes..weather is spooky

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad it’s all working out, Linda. And yep, prayers for Charlie and all here; and special prayers for Br. Gideon and for MP as he travels to be with him.

      Liked by 3 people

  20. Charlie, I look for your articles every day. They are important to me. You are a gifted writer. Praise Jesus for that. You have given me encouragement and hope to live in a pagan world which my children and grandchildren are living in. Your humility is your finest virtue. You’re not ashamed to say when you’re wrong. Instead you show us how God uses our mistakes to bring us to the next level of spirituality. That is, if we allow God to take over. Best Wishes and prayers for your travels this summer.

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  21. Charlie, you wrote: “We all will find that some of our cherished suppositions are wrong. We are called, when so chastened, to humbly acknowledge it and carry on in His service. Sadly, many of those who think they have it all figured out will, when they find they have gotten a lot of it wrong, bitterly decide that God has failed them rather than that, because of their feet of clay, they have erred. If they don’t repent, they will have failed God – and will perish.”
    This has really described my past two years. I got it wrong big time and blamed God and went my own way. For reasons known only to Himself, He seems to have given me the grace of repentance. A lot of spiritual growth has happened since Easter and I hope I can be faithful to what I have been given. Thanks for giving a great example by staying the course even when you got it wrong. Prayers would be appreciated as I continue to apply for positions where my education and background may be of more service.
    PAX, Matthew
    PS: I am not sure if all here are aware of the website auxiliumchristianorum.org I have been saying the designated prayers daily (only about 5-7min) since Easter and they have been almost miraculously helpful.

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  22. Charlie, you are an insightful leader and with your help we can all be better at following CHRIST who wants to help us all join him. Thank you and those who have wonderful from the heart comments.

    The Dallas paper said “Area Cathlics close ranks or lose faith” after the police raid on the diocese because the “diocese’s reporting efforts appeared minimal and that officials should have better involved the proper law enforcement agencies from the beginning”. A priest who was at the same parish for years was allowed to disappear before the police became involved and after some victums were paid off; now hired detectives believe he has gone back to the Phillipines.

    In another instance a person who reported what they saw years ago to church officials were not listened to and that allowed years of abuse to continue.

    We find our solice in following Christ and will always find the devil can corrupt so many. We have to continue on and make sure changes are made so what happened will never happen again. If we give up our faith we will be following what the devil wants.

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  23. Thank you Charlie! I have written your angel quote in very large letters on my kitchen wall after you left my house. To say I think of you daily and pray for your journey is an understatement. No quitters allowed….we are in it for the long haul. Whatever God has to do to get me to heaven is okay by me. We pass the baton to each other as we gain speed some days and slow down in tiredness in others. So be it. I’m rooting for you and all those in the race. -Marti-

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  24. Bringing MP’s petition from the Prayer Request section of the site to our current page:
    Asking for prayers for my brother, Bro. Gideon. Just got word from my youngest brother and Ma that he fell out of a tree and was airlifted to a hospital in Santa Rosa.

    About a half hour later:
    Just got an update and none of it is good. Really need prayers.

    Last update at about 8pm mountain time:
    I’m getting ready to leave to catch a flight out. God bless.

    Godspeed, MP.

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    1. Praying for Bro. Gideon. How shocking to read this this morning. My husband and I spent a weekend at the Monastery last year to receive spiritual direction from this blessed Brother. Praying that he recovers completely. Please keep us updated.

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    2. Thanks, all. We appreciate and count on those prayers for him.

      If there was a hurdle to be thrown up to getting out of here last night, it was thrown up. I spoke with the hospital and they said it’s just as well since he’s sedated/unconscious and undergoing some surgeries, and that family should hold off for a bit while they do their thing. This is a family that does not like to “hold off,” but Fr. Damian (his Abbot), and a good retired Dr. who is a friend to the Monastery are both with him.

      Here’s the good news: He’s being transferred to the ICU at UC Davis after surgery. He’s stable but critical, and has use of all four limbs (no paralysis). He was alert/talking/responsive last night which the surgeons and staff found amazing considering his collection of injuries. Those injuries include a fractured vertebrae causing some leakage, a punctured lung, concussion, small brain bleed, battered face that needs some reconstructive surgery and a generally bruised body They had big time concerns last night about brain and spinal infections which they think they are on top of.

      Barring any unforeseen complications, I expect him to recover, but his healing path is going to take some time. That, and this really derailed what he had discerned in his next right steps. Who was it that said something along the lines of, “a good way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans?”

      After the raging fires that swept through there (which miraculously didn’t touch a hair of their Monastery), preventive tree pruning, cutbacks and wood chopping was going on. He won’t be able to see it for some time, but the last thing I texted him was, “since we’re getting on in years, maybe it’s time we stopped climbing trees.”

      Again, thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.

      Liked by 13 people

      1. Thanks for this update, MP. What a night you must have had! Those are some major injuries. Will continue to join all the ones who are praying for Br. Gideon and believing in God’s Plan for him… always a future full of hope. Also praying for you, MP, your mom and all your family.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. A “Sign of Hope” Update that I got from Fr. Damian and my Ma: I can say it now that he’s out of the woods, because the first couple of days they didn’t think Bro. Gideon was going to live, or at best, would have severe brain damage and never walk again.

          Today he’s off the ventillator and sedatives, alert, and dialoging normally via his usual expressions, signal responses, thumbs-ups (or -downs) and whatnot. They cancelled his hip surgery because it seems to be somehow healing on it’s own. Some reconstructive facial/head surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. Also, the leg fracture is healing on it’s own. They actually think now that he could be up and walking a couple of days after surgery.

          Aside from our family and friends, the Monks, TNRS’ers, and a host of prayer warriors, there was an extensive medical team at work. Fr. Damian said that “even they were aware that some other POWER is assisting beside plain medicine.”

          Liked by 10 people

          1. MP, I can’t say this is incredible news, since it is obviously happening. We can certainly say this is amazing and wonderful news! You and he and all the others who are helping remain in my prayers.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Amen, Kim! ❤ Prayer is a powerful instrument of Love.

              Medjugorje May 17, 2019: Latest message of Our Lady to Ivan: “Pray for my plans for the world that I wish to achieve with my coming”
              “Dear children, also today I call you in a special way: pray for my intentions, for my plans for the world that I wish to achieve with my coming. Pray especially for pastors, for the Church, for the strong faith of priests. Thank you, dear children, for having responded to my call today. ”

              Medjugorje March 18, 2019 Extraordinary Message to Mirjana: “This is the most important thing now, the most needy thing – A miraculous life: human body, divine spirit – Accept my Son”
              “Dear children, as a mother, as Queen of Peace, I invite you to welcome my Son so that he can give you the peace in your soul, so that he can give you what is right, what is your good. My children, my Son knows you, He lived life as a man but at the same time as God.
              A miraculous life: human body, divine spirit. Therefore, my children, while my Son looks at you with his divine eyes, he enters your heart. His mild and warm eyes, in your heart, look for himself. Can he find himself in you, my children? Accept Him and then the moments of pain and suffering will become moments of bliss. Accept it and you will find peace in the soul and you will spread it to everyone around you.
              This is the most important thing now, the most needy thing. Listen to Him. Listen to me, my children. Pray for the shepherds, for those whose hands my Son has blessed. Thank you.”

              May 25, 2019 Message to Marija
              "Dear children! God permitted me, out of His mercy, to be with you, to instruct and lead you towards the way of conversion. Little children, you are all called to pray with all your heart for the plan of salvation to be realized for you and through you. Be aware, little children, that life is short and eternal life waits for you according to your merit. Therefore, pray, pray, pray to be worthy instruments in God's hands. Thank you for having responded to my call."

              Liked by 3 people

          2. “…even they were aware that some other POWER is assisting beside plain medicine”.
            Seems like this accident is a sign of hope to those who are seeing a “power” not of this world.
            Amazing how our God instructs His children. Job had to go through the fire on an unpresidented scale to accomplish His work. Amidst the pain a kind of satisfaction that “He is” comes over those who witness this power. And the wonder never ceases to amaze us.

            Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, Linda. MP is our own Michael Patrick. Br. Gideon is the name taken as a professed religious brother and he’s the biological brother of MP, aka sweetwaterhaven. The next right step for Br. Gideon was to study for the priesthood.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. On their public Facebook page, Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Monks of Mt. Tabor, there are a couple updates about Brother Gideon, but I’m not sure if it’s proper to cut and paste on this blog so Beckita, it’s your call what to post here .

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Thanks, Maggie. So happy to get the update from MP today. The great thing about the FB page is that people can leave notes of prayerful support which could hearten Br. Gideon and those who love him. The link to that FB page is here.

          Liked by 7 people

  25. For the most part, I’ve refrained from posting ongoing developments in the world and have chosen to just notice, keep the prayers rising and remain focused on pondering solutions. But I found this report to be rather ominous: https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2019/05/23/pope-francis-church-must-learn-abandon-old-traditions/

    Some excerpts:
    **Jesus intentionally omitted telling his disciples many things so that the Church would learn to renounce the desire for clarity and order, the pope told participants in the 21st general assembly of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s global charitable outreach…

    **Living like Jesus demands the “courage of renunciation,” the pontiff said, a willingness to abandon traditions that are dear to us.

    Changing and adapting is not about imposing something new, he said, “but leaving aside something old.”

    Those early Christians had to learn to leave behind “important religious traditions and precepts, dear to the chosen people,” he said, by which their very “religious identity” was at stake.

    In the end, they did not need a bunch of doctrines and traditions. but the simple announcement that “God is love,” Francis said, and in the face of this great truth, “even convictions and human traditions can and must be abandoned, since they are more of an obstacle than a help.”

    Praying…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Some day I shall share what we did in our diocese 45 years ago in our then ever so heterodox Diocese – finding ourselves in the territory of a Bishop who spoke with great lack of charity – loaded with pius platitudes. And it worked … incredibly well.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. “Ominous”…. after 2000 years,

      “Jesus intentionally omitted telling his disciples many things so that the Church would learn to renounce the desire for clarity and order” the pope told participants….

      The Catholic Church renounce the desire for clarity and order???!!!! A primeval scream of outrage is welling up within me but an overpowering wave of impotent helplessness is crashing over me..
      .O God How long? Have mercy on your People!

      Liked by 9 people

      1. When people ask me how things like this can be coming from a Pope — my first answer is always ‘He’s a Jesuit, trained in Jesuit Institutions. There is more, but that is all you need to know if you know anything about Jesuit Institutions.;-) And I do – over half a centuries’ worth. 😉

        Liked by 6 people

        1. I heard a joke. A wealthy man was going through major troubles. He asked a Benedictine priest to please pray for him. He told the priest if he would pray a novena for him, he would give him a Lexus automobile. The priest replied that he didn’t know what a Lexus was, but he would pray the novena for him. Years later he asked the same thing of a Franciscan priests who responded the same way. Didn’t know what a Lexus was, but he would pray a novena for him. More time passed and he again needed prayer. He asked a Jesuit priest to please pray a novena for him and he would give him a Lexus. The Jesuit responded that he didn’t know what a novena was, but he would take the Lexus!
          If this is inapproprite– don’t clear it. I’ll understand!😊

          Liked by 7 people

          1. Kim, hahahaha! My best friend from college recently told me a shorter version of this joke. I’d never heard it before; and I laughed so hard I almost broke a rib. I told the joke to my husband and my three oldest kids, and they all thought it was hysterical.

            When my 22-year-old son was 9, we attended the funeral Mass of an elderly parishioner in our tiny country parish. The homily was given by a visiting priest. It was… interesting. After the graveside service, curiosity got the better of me; so I sidled up to the priest and engaged in some chit-chat. I learned that he was a Jesuit (which explained the homily) and was the nephew of the deceased. Eventually my son walked up, and the gentleman started talking to him. He asked, “So, young man, what do you want to be when you grow up?” “A priest,” answered my son. “Oh, that’s fine!” said the smiling gentleman. “Maybe when you grow up, you can become a Jesuit like me.” I could see where this train was headed, but there was no way to stop the wreck before my wide-eyed son shook his head and blurted out, “Oh, no, my mom told me that I can’t become a Jesuit.”

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              1. By the grace of God, yes. If you would, Kim, please pray for him; he’s trying to discern regarding religious orders (the Jesuits are still a no-go). 🙂

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                1. Oh Mick!! Praise God! I’ll be praying for him. Tell him thanks for me, for his willingness to give his life for Our Lord and His flock. How joyful for you that you will have a son in the priesthood! So happy for you.

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                  1. Thanks for your prayers, Kim. I will certainly give him your message, and I can already see the look on his face when he hears it (he always gets this funny, lopsided grin when he hears that someone is praying for him as he discerns). If and when he gets ordained, maybe you can road-trip up for the ordination and a visit to our place. 🙂

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        2. Desmond/Aquinas, this confuses me. I have my opinions about the Jesuits, but I have friends (in high places) from Cuba who were instructed by the Jesuits and felt that their Catholic education was exceptional and, yet they are grieving about the Pope not paying attention to the Catholics and others there imprisoned and perscecuted when he visited. They were extremely persecuted themselves. So, have the Jesuits always been like this, or has something changed? It seems there are some good Jesuit priests. Please excuse my ignorance…I am learning late. Thank you.

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        3. I wonder all the more about a priest named Fr. Mitch Pacwa. I’m sure everyone here is familiar with him. How is it that such a wonderful example of a man comes from an order which seems to be so deeply flawed?

          Liked by 5 people

          1. There are more than a few good, solid Jesuits in addition to Fr. Mitch, Patrick. Around here, we pray that the wayward Jesuits will return to the spirit of their original founder. They have a rich history of giving glory to God.

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            1. I too graduated from a Jesuit university in 1969. I visited there one evening in 1994 to look into their pastoral assistance program. I commented to someone that the main reason I would attend the program was to gain the accreditation. I decided not to go into the program as it had expanded into an ecumenical approach to include all major Christian religions. I could later see the results of the program in a pastoral assistant who came to the staff at our parish. I locked horns with him in meetings and presentations several times and he had to back down. I like to think that I prevailed since he only lasted there about 4 or 5 years and moved on to other ministries elsewhere. About ten years ago I finally responded to an alumni caller that I wanted them to remove me from their list as I could see that the university had left the Catholic Church but I hadn’t. They haven’t called me since.

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          2. I should note that Fr. Mitch is a friend – and one of the Priests I most admire. The Jesuits were famed for intellectual rigor. Sadly, many have traded that for ideological pretensions, but Fr. Mitch is entirely true to the authentic charism of the Jesuits. I laughed…the first time we met, we hit it off big…spent most of the day talking together with delight. I spoke glowingly of him to all my family. My son was intrigued and so listened to him on the radio – then called me and said he knew why I liked him so much…”but Dad, I have some bad news” he said, “I think he may be smarter than you.” I howled with laughter and said, yes, I thought he probably is. Late in the afternoon of the first time we met, Fr. Mitch asked me, “So Charlie, what do you think of Jesuits?” Rubbing my chin, I said, “Well, my regard for them has gone up dramatically this afternoon.” He chuckled and said, “Good answer!”

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            1. Many years ago I gave Fr. Spitzer SJ of Seattle U a ride (he didn’t have a car.) from the university to a South town about an hour away to give a short service to a women’s group. we talked some but not deeply. During the drive, I commented that early in their history, the Jesuits nearly single handedly saved the Church. That day it seemed to me that half of them were trying to destroy it. He prudently did not respond. Later he went on to be Dean of Gonzaga University at Spokane, WA. Most of you know of his fame.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. LOVE Fr. Spitzer and his work. (Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed in personal storms and/or in this worldwide Storm would benefit, I believe, from Father’s book: The Light Shines on in the Darkness: Transforming Suffering through Faith (Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence). Last summer, near the north end of Flathead Lake, located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana – of all places – we met an opthalmologist who used to practice and do research in California. He was on the team that invented the soft contact lenses and he is currently part of the team which is tending to Fr. Spitzer as they believe surgery is now available to correct Father’s particular type of vision impairment. Praying for the success of this venture!

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                1. from the Magis Center:
                  Fr. Spitzer has written and spoken about the importance of prayer on many occasions. In a forthcoming book, “Contending with Evil Through Virtue and Prayer” (to be published by Ignatius Press), he specifically addresses the “conversion of the heart” and explores the means available to help us along the road to conversion.
                  https://www.magiscenter.com/help-and-fr-spitzers-other-favorite-short-prayers/
                  I also like this: https://www.magiscenter.com/fr-robert-spitzer-honored-at-40th-christendom-college-commencement/
                  His message sounds quite familiar here.

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                  1. Fr. Spitzer is such a genius who’s so very humble. His Magis Center was established after research revealed that we’re losing kids right and left in the teenage years. Why? Because in this scientific age, kids *want* concrete reasons to believe. Father rose to the call and, with his wonderful team, has developed catechetical materials for young and old based on faith and reason. In addition to reading his articles, you can listen to a plethora of videos which have been uploaded to You Tube.

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          3. If you listen to Fr. Notches story, he was going down a left wing path in the 70s, but somehow had an ah ha moment with the Holy Spirit. I do not think he represents your average Jesuit today. He is a good example of what one should be.

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            1. Doug, I’m not going to bing you. I understood that you meant Mitch (I’ve heard him speak about his ‘ah ha’ moment). I just thought that maybe you had a special nickname for him–Notches. Lol

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ha! No special Nick name Islam. Just my android spell check taking control. I try to re-read what I wrote prior to sending to try and catch these, but my mind somehow becomes dyslexic and I do not see the mistake until after I post. Anyone else like that?

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                  1. A lone voice crying out in the dessert. I mean desert…..

                    I might add, and proudly, I am honored to know a turtle farmer and not just a turtle farmer, but one who has more theological insight on his toe, I mean two pinkies than I have in my whole body. I feel like I know the only one in the world.

                    Liked by 2 people

    3. Beckita,

      Father John Zuhlsdorf (Father Z) has a great article about this on his website. One should read the article, and then Father Z’s further comment in his comments section. It is a very good analysis.

      We have to keep in mind that there is a jesuitical approach to issues that the Pope exemplifies. As far back as Elizabethan times. They called it “the Jesuit doctrine of equivocation.” Look at how he just handled the issue of women’s deacons. Very well done. That is also how to understand Amoris Laetitia.

      Fundamentally, the Pope is orthodox. His liturgical praxis, for the most part, is orthodox. He is pro-life. It is his politics where he shows his leftist views and heterodox tendencies, as Charlie has often pointed out.

      Francis is the Pope of Mercy. I read about his lecture on marriage tribunals in Italy. The Church’s bureaucracy often forgets its purpose and thus the Pope excoriates it, as he understands that the bureaucracy very often acts less like Christ and more like temple money changers. By the way, this same bureaucracy is one of the same reasons we have such problems in the Church today. But that is another discussion.

      It is ironic that the Pope who has done so much to reintegrate the SSPX is accused of heresy. It is as if the accusers had no understanding of the Jesuit mindset.

      So, I am not worried. I remain in communion with the Pope. He has a great love of Jesus and Mary. They protect Francis and I know Mary does on him.

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      1. Fr. Z’s excellent piece and analysis reads very much like the discussion we had in our home concerning the Breitbart article, James. I’m painfully aware of the “jesuitical approach” for we live with it in this city and diocese. It has been taken beyond the point of speculative discussion into the realm of causing great confusion and damage to people’s souls. I can’t count the number of dazed people who have come to me and/or Father for various reasons of confusion, the worst of them being the need to seek clarification after being told in confession that their grave sins were not sins at all because Father did those things too.

        The phrase from the Elizabethan times concerning “equivocation” was addressed in a later century by Abbé Raymond Dulac, who wrote:
        “Formal and clear heresy acts like a dagger. Equivocation acts like a slow poison. Heresy attacks a precise article of dogma. Equivocation undermines the habitus of faith and thus weakens all dogmas. One becomes a formal heretic only by willing it. Equivocation instead is able to demolish the faith of a man unbeknownst to him. Heresy affirms what dogma denies or denies what it affirms. Equivocation destroys the faith just as radically, by refraining from either affirming or denying, by turning revealed certainty into personal opinion.”
        [Le droit de la messe romaine (Versailles: Publications du Courrier de Rome, 2018), p. 252.]

        I DO agree with Fr. Z’s final point of how these things create opportunities for clarification… which has happened in this space with Charlie addressing the problem of papalotry and the discussions of the actual domain of papal authority in addition to referring us to encyclicals which present clerical and lay roles as we serve the Church… and I continue to pray the opportunities to which Fr. Z speaks would result in dialogue with Pope Francis, particularly that he would embrace those members of the Church who are concerned about clarifying the ambiguous statements. I know there are pious ones who have rabidly attacked this Holy Father from the inception of his papacy. Each one who does so will answer for any verbal violence and the damage it does to the faith and Church. There are also pious ones who wish to humbly, respectfully and forthrightly speak to the Pope about these serious matters… to have the moments of “encounter” so often promoted by Pope Francis.

        The Year of Mercy was a great gift to the Church and I, too, see Pope Francis’ deep, sincere desire to go out to all the world and reclaim God’s every last one of God’s children for the Lord. Yet, we enter into false compassion when we forget that God’s Justice IS the very fiber of His Mercy. They really are inextricable… there really is a heaven and a hell, speculative theology discussed with atheists notwithstanding. Accompaniment of cohabiting couples is a fine beginning, yet the coaching of evangelizers concerning when and how to present to the couple the beauty of living the fullness of Christ’s Truth in regards to a marital relationship is sorely lacking from Pope Francis’ catechesis. Further, he, and he alone as the Supreme Pontiff, has the authority and duty to correct those Bishops’ Conferences who have gone on record officially declaring that their dioceses teach that “internal forum” reigns over a conscience that is formed by complete and humble submission to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church from which the unshakeable doctrine and dogmas have formed Christ’s disciples throughout the ages. Teaching others to embrace this Truth is a Mercy all its own, for God did not wire us to be happy when we live separated from Christ’s Vine.

        Neither am I worried about these things, painful as they are to experience, for we know Christ’s Promises concerning His protection of the Barque of Peter. Indeed, Pope Francis’ devotion to Mary is a ROCK for him and I shudder to think what could have happened without Her interventions over these years. And all this said, when Fr. Wang, Doug, Lambzie and I went before the Blessed Sacrament to pray for our needs and those of our beautiful community here, we also respectfully and lovingly named Pope Francis to Jesus.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. A few years back, the Pope called those who insisted on tight rules for marriage, “Pharisees.” I chuckled because he had it literally backwards. In the Bible, it was the Pharisees who wanted loose, permissive rules on marriage. It was Jesus who insisted on strong rules. Our Lord’s justice is, indeed, His mercy – and it is Pharisaical to deny it.

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    4. I’m becoming accustomed to not understanding what the Pope talks about — shrugging the shoulders and saying “Meh, whatever” is an easy maneuver for me now. What continues to gnaw at me, though, is: Why is he saying that? He appears more driven by agenda than scripture, addressing things that don’t need addressing, which seems weird to me.

      (1 Cor 11:2) “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.”

      (2 Thess 3:6) “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”

      Pope Francis has decided to reassign the Most Reverend Robert Gruss to the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan. I believe this was a bit unexpected gauging the bishop’s reaction during a television interview. The bishop will move by late July. Since it’s summertime, perhaps he’ll have his stuff shipped and instead ride his Harley out to Michigan!

      He is a very good shepherd who will be missed. He is among those Rapid City has really benefited from, including Archbishop Chaput.

      Liked by 3 people

  26. This latest clarification of Pope Francis’ doctrinal approach, I find deeply disturbing. How will God react in order to preserve the Church and restore it to a healthy approach. I find his justifing rational approach to be deeply disturbing. Do we need this approach to the abyss in order for the rescue to be most affective?
    I finished Nancy Polosie’s angels today and am inspired to send angels to President Trump next. Considering the latest developments, perhaps this could not be coming at a better time.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It is a time of disturbing developments, JAS. I do know, when we need Him most, God often waits to act at the 11th Hour. And it seems He is allowing all that is to press firmly in our hearts the truth that we n.e.e.d. Him… in everything, we need Him… and everything that is good comes from Him. It seems we need this lesson, as we (collectively) too easily forget and revert to our anti-God ways. Charlie wisely reminds us “Gird your loins.” And we can never cease to remember: Lord, I need you.

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      1. I did read the whole article about how Pope Francis frames his way of thinking. My biggest concern is how Pope Francis misapplies and distorts early Church dealing with transition from Judaism to Christianity. Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfil it. He also said toward the end of St. John’s gospel, “There is much more that I would teach you but you are not ready. After I am gone, I will send you the Paraclete who will remind you of all that I have taught you and He will teach you many things.” That the Church has survived the early heresies and challenges not to mention the Reformation is ample evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the Church and testimony to Jesus’ promise that the gates of Hell will never prevail against His Church. St. Paul made it clear the difference between works of the Law and works of the Spirit if one reads and discerns carefully. The transition from Judaism was not so much an abandonment of the old law as it was a reinterpretation of its deeper meaning and a transition from fixed acts to spiritually based liturgy, commitments and actions. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” and “The truth will set you free.” Free how? Free from error and doubt? Certainly not free to believe what ever you will, whatever you decide is true. In truth, to really know the truth binds you to that truth with bonds stronger than steel and you will be held accountable to that obligation.
        Often times, conversion stories seem to imply that their conversion was an instantaneous event. Not so. A careful reading and discernment shows that there may have occurred a single turning point but the process of conversion is a long perhaps never ending process. We are ever working at becoming the faithful and true servant that Christ is calling us to become. Even St. Paul, who was converted by Christ’s intervention on his trip to Damascus in his life and taught him during his period of initial blindness (blindness, what could better drive a person to a more effect interspection and concentration necessary for such a deep conversion.) In his epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul says that no man taught him but Christ Himself and that this gave him a legitimate claim to be an apostle, although one out of time. St. Paul’s conversion continued throughout the trials and suffering throughout his life.
        The Rescue of necessity had to be a process and not an event. If the Rescue had been an event, it would have left us wondering what had happened and what did it mean, what had changed, where were we now? Where do we go from here? Again, more questions then answers as usually. God chose as He so often does to make each and every one of us part of the process that we each may do our own assigned part and give God that ascent that He always requires of us. Oh the burden of it all.
        Go forth, resolved to keep doing the next Right Step and working at being a sign of hope to all around us.

        Liked by 4 people

  27. Oh my, may the Lord heal Brother Gideon quickly and thoroughly. Sounds like there are already “little” miracles!

    Then that news about the words from Pope Francis, yikes! I keep remembering what Charlie clarified some time back; that the Pope is the Pope of the storm, but not of the final Rescue. I think I have that right, Charlie.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. I went to pray the other day and was alone in the church as it was approaching 9 pm. I sat and “talked” with God waiting for comfort. The world started to overwhelm me. I said, “God, I can’t take this anymore”. We have people boycotting our state because we passed the heartbeat bill and yet they have no problem with NY state wanting to kill a baby up to birth. I just don’t know how we get back…..I don’t understand ………the only message I received was…..get up and take another step……so thats what I did…..

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Amen, gk. Thanks to Charlie’s mission and the ways he has prepared us, enlightening and heartening us in these years of ever-intensifying Storm, it really does come down to just what you were given. And how often we have heard it reiterated here: “take the next right step” and “do the little you can right before you.” Prayer rising for you this night, gk, and for all who feel overwhelmed. May those in our community and fellow travelers beyond this space be imbued anew with the Peace that only Christ can give.

      Liked by 10 people

  29. I really, really needed to hear these words. I am dealing with a lot of suffering in my family right now (child with Crohns Disease) and feel that God is somewhat removed. I know he’s not. This piece has helped me a lot to remember that God works through all things.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. OK, suffering does not mean God is not there, but could mean just the opposite. My dear wife is a 3 time cancer survivor and not a day goes by without some form of pain due to many surgeries. She is now stuck with acute asthma. It seems that when we barely get above the water to catch a breath, we get whacked by a big wave that pushes us back under. In all this, it has been a gift as it has drawn us closer to our faith and brought our relationship to new levels. I say often, she has less body parts, but us more whole than ever. Keep trusting God and do not give in to despair. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. God bless you!

      Liked by 11 people

  30. This thread reminds me of something General Patton once said:

    “Success is how you bounce off the bottom.” Everybody falls for his horse; success is mounting up again (and again, and again…)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Becks, great link. I forwarded it to some very key leaders fighting against the trans-mania contagion. Here is what I wrote to them as even as strong leaders, they admit that it can get discouraging and they wonder how much impact they have. Has anyone ever felt like that? I raise my hand on many occasions. So postimgbthis link is good timing. Here is what I wrote to these leaders.

      Ok guys.  Here is some light humor to add some levity to the serious issue we are so passionate about addressing.  Seeing trans woman in the news winning championships is waking folks up.  This article is a good parody.

      Some days it is a wonder if we are having an impact.  I recall a statement at the transgender moment conference in Ohio, “we have the truth in our side”.  Was it you that said it Michelle?  We have seen two parent victories in our support group where teenage kids have de-transitioned.  The keys were the parents staying strong, providing good informative information (you guys) and not giving in along with taking good action steps.  All Jacki and I did was give them the info, prayed for them and encouraged them.  It is because of people like you helping others that has allowed this to trickle down.  What does this mean?  It means you are ALL having a positive impact !!!  Hats off to you all!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Absolutely beautiful witness to the work which you and Jacki do – as well as many others. Goodness yes, it must feel like slogging at times. How brave and heartening you are! I expect you won’t know the full impact of what you’re doing ’til you pass through the veil. You guys know how to love, r.e.a.l.l.y. love. This poster made me think of you when I saw it this morning on FB. Shine on…

        Liked by 7 people

            1. You know Becks, I feel like this a tit for tat contest with who can out kind each other. I think this is the way a tit for tat is ment to be. You really are very kind 😎

              Liked by 1 person

  31. Charlie, Methinks that Clapper, Brennan, and Comey are needful of your verse 11 prayer.

    Re ambiguity and vagueness in scripture and other divine guidance, consider the situation of being presented with crystal clear description of events and the prescriptions for reacting– wouldn’t we thereby be reduced to programmed robots, instead of humans who have to individually feel and reason how to live as would please our Creator.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What you say is true, Jack… that we are responsible for feeling and reasoning so that we may make good, moral choices. At the same time, there are objective truths in every plane of life. In Catholicism, we are taught that God writes His Law on/in each human heart, no matter what religion one may or may not profess. The tricky part is that, in selfishness, we can easily fool ourselves. Because of this and because the forming of conscience is a lifelong process, I freely submit to Christ’s Church which He commissioned to teach the Truth He revealed when He walked the earth.

      Msgr. Charles Pope speaks of these things more eloquently than I. Here he discusses the true meaning of conscience and here he writes about the experience of conscience.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes Becks! It is revelation and objective truth!
        It is not a quest of who is right and who is wrong.   It is a quest for the truth.  What is truth?  Where is it found?  By definition, there is only one truth.  There cannot be two.  If there are two, then one is not truth or both are not truth, but two cannot be truth (Gosh, I took a logic English class at a state university that actually taught me how to think and was not taught left wing ideology). As JAS quoted scripture in the Gospel of John. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me”. The devil wants to create confusion. So that we cannot recognize truth. He wants us to be so confused that we reject anything. This leads to what I call the “Pontius Pilot Syndrome” where he said to Jesus “what is truth”. Truth was literally staring him right in the face and he was so confused, he could not even recognize it. The devil wants us to be so confused about the church that we reject it and exit the barque of Peter. I endeaver to stand firm in the barque.

        Liked by 7 people

          1. I hope many are inspired to seek the truth Becks. I think of it like a passionate investigator. He goes where the evidence leads him in a quest for reaching the truth about a crime. If one is sincerely seeking the truth, I believe he will ultimately find Jesus. The fullness of understanding will take time, but our God is a gentle and patient God.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Yah, Doug. I love those simple prayers like: “Lord, if you’re real, then reveal Yourself to me.” And “Lord, show me the truth about this or about that.” He always answers.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. Yes Becks. It all starts with the baptism of desire which those prayers you list so eloquently reflect. God does not ask us for much to be saved. I also love the graces offered through our beloved church too. It is just a simple acknowledgement (Lord, I am sorry for my sins) and a willingness to change (I promise to amend my life, avoid sin and the near occasion of sin). It does not get much simpler for confession to cleanse the soul. I find such beauty in the sacrament within our wonderful church.

                Liked by 2 people

    2. Jack: Clapper, Brennan, Comey–The Three Blind Mouseketeers (lol): Oh, Lord, remove their spiritual blindness and soften their hard hearts. The global connection of their Confidential Human Sources in Rome, Australia, Uk, and Russia is not unexpected because it parallels the world-wide rot in the establishment church.

      As you know, Jack, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep My commandments.” In other words part of Our Lord’s divine guidance is inherent in His commands which we find in the immutable doctrines of His Church. Perhaps it is our freedom in taking the next right step (within the boundaries of those immutable doctrines based on Scripture and Tradition) that allows us to not be “reduced to programmed robots”.

      In this post as well as many others, Charlie speaks of taking responsibility for our own moral agency. I see this simply summed up by my mantra: Trust but verify with both prayer and reasoned research. One of the problems I see in history as well as today is people mistaking blind obedience (following orders) with faithful or Holy obedience (the next right step). Perhaps you would agree that the robot mentality to which you allude would be better attributed to blind obedience.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Time to pray and do penance for the strengthening of our priests in California. As Bishop Barron recently asked: “Does anyone doubt that, if this law is enacted, attempts will be made to entrap priests?”

    Breaking news this day:
    “In spite of protests that new legislation would be infringing upon religious liberty, the California state senate has overwhelmingly approved of a bill that would require Catholic priests to break the sacramental seal of confession.”

    https://aleteia.org/2019/05/25/california-confession-bill-passes-state-senate/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This a horrible law, but I actually think it might be beneficial to be passed and go all the way to the supreme court where it can be squashed permanently. This may be of better benefit.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. An unintended side effect: face to face confessions may lose their luster so penitents don’t lose their anonymity; (I can concentrate better with a privacy screen anyway.) Tradition trumps again 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Interesting thought, Maggie. However, I think those who passed the law will place an addendum to the bill that if something against the law is confessed the burden will be on the priest to jump the screen and get a good look at the penitent. Deliver us O Lord.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks for the warning, I’ll be sure to tuck a halloween mask in my purse so after he hears me confess swiping a bite of hubby’s brownie when he wasn’t looking, all Padre will see when he looks around the corner is innocent Snow White.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Funny. The priest at my daughter’s church in CA has always refused to do face to face confessions. He will be well prepared. I happen to like face to face. I always like to thank the priest for what he does. To me, it is like thanking a military serviceman when I stumble across one. I am very appreciative.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. and, once in a while, I get a priest who seems surprised to get a return blessing and “thank you for being here”. After all, he’s saving us poor souls from the jaws of the dragon 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

  33. Tracking the Storm today. Some weather observations:

    1. The Pope. Turning Orwellian. Confusion is Good. Certainty is Bad. Got to abandon tradition.
    Go with the flow? We must renounce our desire for clarity and order. Confusion and chaos is a much better spiritual path. Say what? I’m confused. Thanks Papa. You’ve done it again.

    2. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dallas Police raid Dallas Diocese. “Catholics across the area wrestled with sadness, disappointment and outright anger after last week’s raid on the Dallas diocese, which police say hasn’t fully cooperated with a sexual abuse investigation.” The stonewall. Think Thomas Jackson at the First Battle of Manassas. Sitting on his horse. Not moving. “”There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!” Maybe Jackson was a Bishop?

    3. Politics. Marxist Democrats determined to Impeach Trump. Trump launches Declassification Counter Attack that will blow the roof off Deep State corruption. “Git thar fustest with the mostest”.
    Panic in DC. Moral: If you go after the newly elected King you better get the newly elected King. Think Hancock at Gettysburg. A fight to the finish.

    4. Illegal Immigration. Totally out of control. Open border. MS-13. Drugs. Crime. Sex Trafficking. Democrats defend. Voters. Republicans silent. Cheap Slave Labor. Americans confused. What does the Pope think? Confusion and Chaos is the order of the day in America.

    5. Brexit. Confusion and Chaos is the order of the day in England and Europe. Muslimification. We must abandon old traditions of national identity and culture. Votes and cheap labor.

    6. China Trade. 25% tariffs on Chinese imports. One day a deal. Next day no deal. Farmers unhappy. Tech unhappy. Walmart to raise prices. Gonna spark a lot of new manufacturing, jobs and higher wages in America as Chinese labor advantage wiped out and . Stock and Bond markets confused and chaotic. Are we at the top or the bottom?

    7. Main Stream Media. Completely and utterly and totally unmasked as Marxist ideological propagandists. Not good. Nobody is BUYING it anymore. Nobody buying? What happens to a business when nobody buys your product anymore?

    8. Iran. There’s gonna be a war. This is why Trump pulled most of the lightly armed special forces troops out of Syria. No Benghazi for him. Get the boys out of harm’s way. Tipoff of what is to come.
    Moral: If you are a terrorist state stick to terrorism. If you are a terrorist state that builds nuclear weapons and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles to deliver them and you name them The Israel Rocket and the New York Rocket your are going to get a war. Message to the Ayatollahs: Stick to what you do best. The U.S. and Israel and a fearful Arab coalition are going to do just that.

    9. Culture. Transgenderism. Climatism. Snow Flakism. Anti-Semitism. Anti-Christianism. Anti-Americanism. Anti-Truthism. Anti-Meritocracyism. Pro-Socialism.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/257639/four-americans-embrace-form-socialism.aspx

    Confusion and Chaos is the way to go?

    10. Abortion. Judges rule against new Abortion restrictions in Mississippi and Alabama. Headed toward Supreme Court showdown. Hollywood and feminists you never heard of freaking out. Will Gorsuch and Kavanaugh do what we think they will do? Uncertainty. We must abandon old traditions about life? There’s gonna be a war. Gonna last longer than the one with Iran. Which will be short.

    Conclusion: The Storm is breezin’ up.

    “The devil is, to the spirit, what infection is to the body. He inflames our spiritual wounds, making us feverish and turning what is innocuous into a deadly threat. Infections rarely attack areas of the body that are healthy or undamaged. They opportunistically attack where we have been scraped, cut, bruised or wounded. Similarly, the devil rarely attacks us at our strongholds. Instead, he seeks out the broken places, the wounds we try to hide – and then inflames these hidden places, however innocuous, into something deadly to our soul. The devil attacks our fears, our resentments, our desires, our vanity until they are fearfully red and swollen, oozing with the bile of his malice.”

    I am going to take a bit of a different take on this. Just a slight bit.

    Devil is an infection to the Spirit. Check.
    Devil inflames spiritual wounds. Check.

    Devil attacks fears, resentments, desires, vanity. Check.
    Devil opportunistically attacks the wounded. Check.

    Devil rarely attacks us at our strongholds. Disagree.

    My view is that the Devil studies each of us long and hard. He has an interest in our souls. His interest is that we destroy ourselves. To give up on God. Suicide being the pinnacle of that kind of despair. His most effective, devastating and eternally lethal tactic is to maneuver us into despairing of Hope in a merciful and caring God.

    So, if I am the Devil I am going to look for those things that are going to make you crack. Then I will attack those things. I will not waste my time going after things that will simply wound you. I am going after things that will kill you. Rather , things and circumstances and outcomes that will lead you to despair and you to kill your own soul. Not many places does that kind of vulnerability reside.

    You might call it your Stronghold. If I can penetrate and shake and tumble down whatever it is that you consider your Stronghold in Life is where I, the Devil, am going to concentrate my fiercest attack. When I do attack you it will be sudden, unexpected, disorienting and earth shaking. My attack will be out of the blue and my objective will be the heart of your life ….. your Stronghold … where you feel the safest and most secure. Where you derive your joy and happiness in life. There’s also this: You will never see it coming. It will cause incredible physical and spiritual pain. It will rock your world. Whatever my attack is it will have not just the potential to wound you, or scrape you, or cut you. It will have within it, whatever it is, the potential to lead you to despair and to embrace death as a result.

    The Devil reserves his most lethal attacks for those who are making a difference in the world. For those who knowingly or unknowingly are leading souls to Christ. For God’s minions. If you are blissfully unaware of the Devil’s objective and tactics you will be woefully unprepared to defend against and deal with the effects of the out of the blue attack designed to break you. Or the reason why you find yourself suddenly and viciously under attack.

    That subset of the population fitting that description would include, in my estimation, virtually all who are engaged here in the TNRS ASOH community. Think about it. How many of our exchanges now are describing very dire personal situations and asking for prayers? These are people under attack. Many don’t recognize it and are reeling under the effects. If you think you are not under attack be alert. If you think it won’t or can’t happen to you …. think again.

    I am a member of the Cursillo movement since 1989. Life in Cursillo begins with attending a 3 day retreat starting on Thursday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon. The retreat consists of a series of meditations delivered by a Priest or Deacon Spiritual Director and short talks, called Rollos (Royos), by ordinary lay people like you and me. Lots of discussion. Small groups are formed. A community is formed on the weekend. Guided by laypersons who are formed over a period of weeks to convey the Cursillo message on living our Catholic faith in the world.

    For those more interested in a deep dive into the structure of the Cursillo weekend and why it is such a successful format here is a link to the talks on the Cursillo Weekend. All of these meditations and talks are linked one to the other to present a coherent message for the Cursillo participants. I am not spoiling the surprise by revealing any secrets. For those interested to know the structure of the Cursillo Weekend all you have to do is google it. There are some surprises you will just have to go on a weekend to find out about.

    https://www.natl-cursillo.org/pdf/articles/english/rollos.pdf

    Note that the very first Spiritual Advisor meditation is entitled “Know Yourself”. The very first Lay talk is entitled “Ideal”. Again, for those interested in the Deep Dive here is a link to the content in the “Know Yourself” meditation for use in preparing the talk for those delivering it:

    http://www.sdcursillo.org/San%20Diego%20Cursillo%20Guidelines/3Day%20Weekend/Clergy/Meditations/01a%20Thursday%20Meditations.pdf

    And here is the link for the Lay talk entitiled “Ideal”.

    http://www.sdcursillo.org/San%20Diego%20Cursillo%20Guidelines/3Day%20Weekend/Rollo%20Room/Rollos/01-Ideal.pdf

    As you might notice the concept of Ideal bears a strong resemblance to Charlie’s concept of Stronghold. Ideal is a pretty important thing in life. You only have one. You better be darned sure of what that Ideal is. It’s your Stronghold. It is the ground upon which you stand. As the outline describes:

    THE INFLUENCE OF THE IDEAL ON LIFE
    1. Ideals give life purpose and meaning.
    2. Ideals give us enthusiasm for our work.
    3. Ideals shape our personality.
    4. Ideals shape human history.

    So, how do you know what your Ideal is? Check the link. Important not to lie to yourself about your Ideal. Even if it is a scurrilous one. Why? Because that is your Stronghold and that is the weak point the Devil is searching for. A successful attack directed at your Ideal Stronghold, out of the blue, will knock you on your butt. it’s the kidding ourselves about our Real Ideal that gets us in trouble. For example, most men on the Cursillo weekend during the discussion period after the talk will claim FAMILY as their Ideal. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s their JOB. Maybe it’s their LIFESTYLE. Maybe it’s MONEY. Maybe it’s POWER. See America’s Political Elites.

    Pursuing a discipline of Know Yourself is the key to unlocking what your Real Ideal is.

    FAMILY is a pretty nice Ideal to have. But if FAMILY is your Real Ideal that is the vector through which the Devil will channel his attack out of the blue to disorient, discourage and destroy you. FAMILY is your Stronghold. It is also your weak point.

    As a thought exercise think about your own Ideal. Think about your life if suddenly that Ideal was ripped away from you. Say, God forbid!, your Ideal is FAMILY and your whole family is wiped out in an instant in a traffic accident on Rt 95 Northbound. What would the effect be upon you? A bolt out of the blue. Never saw it coming. You, also, in a blink of the eye, would be destroyed beyond description. Perhaps leading to despair and hopelessness.

    The Devil’s advantage is that just about any Ideal you can think of is built on sand. Can be taken away from you in a flash. You can lose your Ideal in a heartbeat. Your Stronghold is your achilles’ heel weak point. The Devil knows your Real Ideal and can develop an attack plan based around it.

    Yesterday, we got a bolt out of the blue. Catholic priest we know. To outward appearances his Real Ideal was VOCATION. He has requested laicization. Wants to experience the joys of being married. Frankly, honestly, this man’s Real Ideal was VOCATION which came under attack and he didn’t recognize it. So now he is going to be laicized.

    You can lose your Ideal or Stronghold and when you do you are in real trouble. No matter what it is. Good or Bad. When it comes under attack you better be able to recognize that your Ideal is being tested or you are likely to break and fall apart when it is gone.

    There is only one Ideal that cannot be ripped away from you. The Love of God. If Love of God is the Real Ideal of your life the Devil cannot break you. You are standing on rock solid, unshakable ground. All else is passing. All else is built on shifting sand. Know Yourself. Do not lie to or kid yourself.

    Ideals shape human history.

    If you examine closely the Storm weather observations listed at the top of this post above in the context of societal Ideal you might better appreciate the ferociousness of the Devil’s attack on humanity. It is designed to induce a kind of general fear and depression and hopelessness on the part of humanity at large and in our communities in particular. Think of all the Ideals on that list being ravaged by the Devil. The Devil’s aim is to get humanity to destroy itself. In a kind of mass hari kiri through war or oppression or famine or disease. Through a collapse of “values” defining Ideal. Replaced by what? Darkness. Despair. Death. Hell on Earth. By means of the exercise of human Free Will. By means of our own Choice.

    It is depressing just thinking about it. Could ruin your whole day.

    But within the nature and structure of this attack on you in particular and humanity as a whole is the flickering vision of the Devil’s own achilles’ heel. He can’t win if we don’t let him. If we don’t break under the attack. If we cling to the Love of God through the worst storms life and the Devil can throw at us. As the song says: “No Storm can shake my inmost calm if to this Rock I’m clinging.” That’s the Devil’s downfall. He cannot win unless we choose for him to win.

    It is human nature to build the enemy into a frightful unbeatable opponent. We fail to appreciate our own strengths. And our allies in the Battle. In particular Mary, Queen of Heaven. Mary, Queen of Peace. Mary, The Immaculate Conception. Our intercessor. Who’s foot is poised to crush Satan’s head. All the Angels. All the Saints. All the Blessed in Heaven. The Heavenly Host. A Battle Group that the Devil cannot match. The Devil is beaten already. Destroyed by Christ on the Cross. Destroyed by the Love of God. Carried on the Cross.

    Love of God is the straight path through the Storm. No matter how breezy it gets. Love of God is the Real Ideal and Stronghold that the Devil cannot conspire and maneuver to deprive us of.

    If you find yourself bewildered and confused and in pain from an unexpected unbelievable bolt out of the blue turn to Love of God as your impenetrable, unassailable Stronghold. Tie a knot in it and hang on. God does not abandon His People. The victory is already won.

    Liked by 6 people

  34. I like when you write about the relationship with your son. I have learned much from your Catholic perspective on raising a son who grew up to be successful in life and have applied it to my relationship with my young son (13). I struggle with fatherhood, and your advise is really helpful. The world needs to hear more from good fathers, like you, so the more of those little tips you throw out once in awhile the better.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Teddy,
      Fatherhood is a flow from the Great Fatherhood of God.
      You have to channel that in your relationship with Him and with ALL authority in order to feed to your son all rightousness which you become the source of by being his father and he the next in line to connect to this lineage of fatherhood. It’s like the heart feeding the artery down to the capillaries, if one of the main arteries is blocked, the other veins loose the flow killing the organ. It takes exercise (prayer) nutrition (grace) and a holy state of mind (faith) to keep the extended organs (your children) alive (full of grace) and healthy (faithful).
      Do not underestimate the power of free will and peer pressure that you child has around him. If you remain faithful and you trust Him, He has got this dispite your worries, weakness and set backs. After all, we work out our salvation in “fear and trembling”. But it’s a holy fear and a hopful trembling brought about by the trust we have in an all powerful God.
      So Jesus, I trust in you.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Praying for you, Teddy. 🙂

      I’m a mom, not a dad; but from watching my own dad, my brothers, and my husband, I know that being an excellent dad is very hard work. Here’s a book that you might find helpful (I wish this book had been around 24 years ago when I got married!):

      https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-home-_-Results&an=meg+meeker&tn=you%27ve+got+this&kn=&isbn=

      Ignatius Press carries this; but they’re out of stock, and a used copy is cheaper anyway (Amazon also has it at a higher price than ABE, but you can read reviews over there).

      Like

  35. “Lead us in a plain path” today meant the debut of my “Need Prayer?” booth at local small town community-wide garage sale today and another town’s Memorial Day celebration Monday. Goal of the Need Prayer? booth is simply to show Jesus’s love and power to people. No preaching, no sheep-stealing, no church-promoting, no weird stuff, just kind and friendly. I visited with people, offered prayer, gave away water bottles and little Bible verse booklets I ordered from the Dollar Store.

    I’ve been intrigued by the idea for several years, but timid and hesitant to try, plus not-yet-a-believer husband was disparaging of the idea. This spring, I had a wonderful answer to a work-related prayer and got to thinking about the prayer booth again, this time realized the Holy Spirit had taken away the fear and I was excited about this outreach ministry. I asked my husband if I could use my May tithe money for supplies for a booth, and he just shrugged and said “whatever” So big heart changes for both of us.

    After contacting several friends via text for prayer cover myself for the day, I set up today in a sunny, windy, cool part next to a CBD (hemp oil) stand. So both of us were there to “help people feel better” in a way! The articles I’ve found on-line about prayer booths caution to only expect 1-3 people over a several hour period, but that God will send those He wants to bless or manifest Himself to. Over the course of 6 hours, I prayed for 2 people with upcoming surgeries (one stood “in proxy” for her husband’s heart surgery and the Holy Spirit led me to pray for her strength and comfort too, which amazed and delighted her!); one elderly lady requesting prayer for her “brain”; one gal who said she needed prayer for “temper” but it also turned out to be conflicts with others as well. One or two people put written notes in my “Private Prayer Requests”, and one gentlemen texted me this evening apologizing for not having me pray for when he was talking about a health issue (I offered but he ignored me) and would I please pray for him now. People reported feeling love, warmth, and peace while being prayed for, and I saw happy tears in one lady’s eyes.

    Would love any prayers you would send this way for this new little outreach ministry the Lord has led me to in our small rural community in Oregon.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. That’s so cool, HopenJoy.

      I happen to be familiar with her small rural community, which is northeast of where I live. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone who’s lived there for a while. HopenJoy has held a responsible not-Church position there for a long time. For her to have a Need Prayer? booth is both a step in faith for her and, I would think, rather reassuring for the people who have long known her as a solid citizen doing good work in the community.

      Liked by 8 people

  36. As a Hoosier by origin, watching the pre race action at the Brickyard and grateful that there are still pockets of solid faith and patriotism. The ArchBishop just gave the prayer. God Bless America sung… now the National Anthem. God Bless the Heartland!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I used to live in Bloomington.. I remember the front page of the Indianapolis Star, I think. You could keep track of the car positions, etc., as they were broadcast (radio, of course, since we didn’t have a TV).
      That time and place in my life is the closest to Mayberry that I can think of. I miss it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I hear you, MP. Also I Hoosier by origin, I caught the end of the race at my Dad’s house. Watching at least part of the Indy 500 every year is sort of a family tradition.

      Liked by 2 people

  37. Charlie,

    I had forgotten your predictions and thank you for reminding me. I have determined that although I do enjoy messages from God, I remain here more for the training to take the next right step and be a sign of hope. A little soldier for God.

    Your guidance and this community have helped me immensely. I need somewhere to go where truth is spoken and the Faith lived. Where there is hope and discernment of this crazy times in which we live.

    Thanks for being brave and motivated to do all that you have done and continue to do!

    Liked by 5 people

  38. The bishop of Dallas delivered a message for all today saying he was so disappointed that the police raided their areas of details on the ones who abused children since they have worked with the police for a LONG TIME. He is forgetting all the times they tried to ? police themselves and did not do what was the right thing. I have to call his office tomorrow about how wrong they were and how the abuse was carried on longer because of their ineptitude. He was on a ” high horse”!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Charlie, you mentioned this piece last night…i couldn’t remember it then, but do now…lol…I will re read this today…thanks for heads up on this, Charlie😎 TNRS ASOH

    Liked by 1 person

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