By Charlie Johnston
Normally I spend 15-25 hours preparing a post. On the road, since I rarely get more than four hours of uninterrupted concentration, my posts can be few and far between. I am going to try to change that up. I really want to post every other day – but simply can’t do much on the meaty ones when I am traveling. So I am going to switch it up and try to put briefer things up when I am out and about. Some may be little more than a thought for the day, but I am going to try to get something up every other day (and be grateful for the occasional guest post). I will jot notes down and save the meaty ones for when I am home.
On Thursday, I did a wonderful pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pahokee, Florida, a very poor town on the south shore of Lake Okeechobee. I went to see the Icon of Our Lady of Bethlehem. I have been there before. It was originally an Orthodox Icon,
possessed by the Royal Romanov family in Russia. After the revolution, it was lost to history for a time – but ended up in the possession of Edward Kahn, a Jewish jeweler/pawnbroker who did not really know what he had. When he moved to Florida, he became friends with a Priest – and donated the icon to his Parish. It was only then that the provenance of it was discovered. Finding it was worth millions of dollars, the Priest offered to return it, but the Kahn family decided it was where it belonged. I, of course, love the touching ecumenism of its provenance.
More than a few physical healings have been attributed to it. So as I went and prayed before the Icon, I prayed especially for a family that is very dear to me and then each person I know, by name, who is suffering from a serious illness. I was deeply moved when, later the same day, a dear friend who feared he had a fatal illness called to let me know he had received word that it is relatively benign. That’s one down, anyway…quite a few more to go.
Throughout this trip, I have been getting news from many friends and family – a lot of challenges and strife. I attribute it to the general downward spiral in the world that keeps speeding up. I think the devil is in a frantic frenzy to sow despair because he knows his time is short and it is almost over for him. I know it is counter-intuitive, but every time the satan gets into a frenzy, after I adjust, I get a satisfied resolve. I LOVE to see the devil panicked – even when he takes it out on me and people I care about. For people of good will, the satan’s destructive frenzies end up turning against him when they keep steady in their resolve.
I have had some wonderful visits this time around…old friends, some new friends, all with a steely resolve to take the next right step however frothy the satan’s rage gets. I will write of some of these spots when this leg of this year’s journey is over. Right now, I am ensconced in a 10th-floor apartment overlooking the eastern shore of the lake in Sebring Florida. Incredibly gorgeous view. Meantime, Hurricane Barry is safely ensconced west of here, sullenly stalking, but not striking here.
When I get back home in a few weeks I have several important pieces to get up. Meantime, I enjoy going around and hearten the faithful as they hearten me.