A Bevy of Black Swans

Black Swans

By Charlie Johnston

When something unexpected comes out of left field that utterly confounds conventional analysis, it is called a “Black Swan Event.” In unstable times of great tumult, black swan events become more frequent.

Our last two election cycles were marked by significant black swan events. In 2016, for the first time in American history, a president was elected who had never held elective office or been a military general. In 2018, suburbs switched from leaning Republican to soft Democrat across the entire country. No switch that dramatic, that sudden, and that unanticipated had happened since the early 1930’s when black voters suddenly switched their allegiance from overwhelmingly Republican to solid Democrat.

We may be headed for our third consecutive black swan election. Despite the media and Democrats best efforts to paint President Donald Trump and his supporters as racists, his support among minorities in polls has risen to higher levels than for any Republican since the 1930’s. It partially explains why the media and Democrats are so desperate to paint him as a racist. The reality is that if Trump got as little as 12% of the black vote and 40% of the Hispanic vote, no Democrat would have a chance of beating him.

Some of the very efforts to paint him so are backfiring badly. When Trump sharply criticized the failures of the government in Baltimore, critics immediately decried it as racist. But a chunk of black folks asked themselves why it is racist for someone to say they deserve as efficient a local government as everybody else. It also focused attention on the fact that those large urban areas which have been exclusively run by Democrats for two generations or more are almost invariably the most violent, impoverished hellholes in the nation. Trump is doing a better job than anyone I have ever seen in exposing the massive gulf between sweeping left-wing promises and abysmal left-wing results, enough so that even the most inattentive voters are starting to take notice.

Suburbanites are the most insulated geographical cohort in America, largely immune to both the crime that is rampant in so many cities and the grinding physical labor necessary to thrive in genuine rural areas. In the suburbs, people have full opportunity to virtue signal with confidence that the consequences of their irresponsibility won’t actually reach their doorstep. They are wrong, but they are offended by Trump’s style. It will be a delicious irony if the very people suburbanites think they are advocating for – minorities (who actually have to deal with the consequences of leftist nostrums) – rise up in large numbers this time to preserve the actual gains they have made under Trump. Black swans all over the place.


We have a uniquely rough path ahead to next year’s election. For over a decade we have been engaged in a battle over whether we will remain a free constitutional republic of federated sovereign states or an authoritarian, centralized socialist state. Compromise can delay, but not resolve the conflict between these two contradictory visions. In his “House Divided” speech two years before he was elected president, Abraham Lincoln said the government of the United States could not endure half slave and half free. He was right. Neither can the nation endure with half its states committed to human liberty and half committed to socialist tyranny. In the same speech, Lincoln adamantly insisted that the institution of slavery must come to an end, but he believed that slavery would not end until “a crisis had been reached and passed.”

In the decade prior to Lincoln’s election, the crisis grew in an ever rising crescendo, immune to compromise. Compromise can resolve rival methods of achieving the same goal. If you want to reach the west coast from the east, a host of rival routes can bring you to your desired destination: it is just a question of which is most efficient. Compromise cannot resolve disputes over radically different goals. If half want to go east and half want to go west, one side or the other must prevail. We have just about reached the limits of our own rising crescendo.

The next two and a half months are going to be incredibly consequential in determining the terms in which the crisis we have reached will be passed.

Democrats and the largest cultural institutions (media, academia, even woke corporations) no longer pretend they are pressing for anything other than unadorned authoritarian socialism. In an Orwellian star turn, they have redefined any opinion that disputes them as “violence” while redefining violent riots that support them as “peaceful demonstrations.” If the media and corporate CEO’s actually knew anything about history, they would be terrified. Once leftist authoritarians secure power, they begin a purge of any segment of their supporters who could pose a threat to them. While I unyieldingly advocate for faith, family and freedom, if failure came for a time, it would give me some grim satisfaction to see the media and woke CEO’s destroyed by the very socialist demon they helped summon.

Democrats, media, and Silicon Valley executives are collaborating in bringing violence, intimidation and censorship to bear in their push for tyranny. Yet even as they claim (like all socialist revolutionaries before them) that their pursuit of power is on behalf of “the people,” their narrative is getting frayed around the edges. The folksies are getting skittish about all the violence, intimidation and censorship involved in this virtue signaling. Leftists never figure out that convincing people to shut up is not the same thing as convincing them.

The left is fully committed to its socialist transformation by any means necessary. The key questions now are how strong they actually are and how resolute their opponents are in crushing this toxic revolutionary fervor. I don’t think the hard left is very strong at all, maybe constituting eight percent of the population – certainly both the loudest and weakest eight percent. They have a lot of useful idiots in the suburbs, urban areas and cultural institutions, though, who serve as force multipliers – so long as the virtue signaling twits believe they won’t actually suffer any consequences for their vain stupidity. Just as soon as the useful idiots see that that is not the case, they will scatter in confusion and terror – and the force multiplier is gone.

The central question is how resolute the opposition is to putting an end to this revolt. Certainly, some Republican leaders have been helpful, but Donald Trump has been the unlikely but indispensable bulwark in the defense of faith, family and freedom. Now the official reports and investigations revealing how vicious and criminal the coup attempt against American legitimacy have begun to drop, naming names of the chief conspirators and what they did specifically. I have long since learned to never under-estimate Trump’s instincts and resolve, but I worry that he might not fully grasp the gravity of these revelations. Despite the shrieking accusations of the left, Trump is given to a broad magnanimity when he believes he has prevailed. It is a good instinct – but could be deadly in this case. If he thinks that revealing the malefactors is sufficient without holding them to account, his base would quickly evaporate.

Two years ago, Kurt Schlichter penetratingly told the left that, “Trump is not our last chance. He’s your last chance.” Trump’s support among normal people has been unmoved by even his most irritating quirks, specifically because he is the only major figure who can be counted on to consistently fight for the interests and welfare of God-fearing normal Americans. That confidence has been the primary restraint against sparking a counter-revolution by normal people against the depredations perpetrated against them by the left. If, however, the upshot of these ugly revelations were some sort of call to let bygones be bygones, that restraint would collapse, for it would mean that honest Americans will be railroaded by manufactured evidence and “crimes” – while leftist agitators would not held to account for real, criminal and malignant assaults on the body politic.

The decision by the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) NOT to prosecute former FBI Dir. James Comey after the Inspector General’s (IG) report excoriated him for illegal leaking and constant dishonorable behavior is unsettling. It could well be that the DOJ does not want to get bogged down in a weaker case when a much stronger one is on the way – but it could be a signal that officials think revelation of the criminal assault on American justice is enough. Pray it is not the latter. It is equally unsettling that Christopher Wray remains Director of the FBI. Wray has stonewalled every aspect of the investigations into official wrongdoing, hoping thereby to “protect” the reputation of the FBI – a reputation that no longer exists – rather than cleaning house and vigorously reforming the agency to begin restoring public confidence in federal law enforcement. It is unsettling that former FBI Asst. Dir. Andrew McCabe, whose criminal lying schemes have been fully established and attested, was not charged by the DOJ a week ago, as everyone expected. He probably will be charged, but it has not escaped the notice of vigilant citizens that not a single person involved in the serial assaults on Americans’ liberty has yet been held to account – going back to Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting of Christian and conservative groups. I am unsettled that, after over 10 months of investigation of Planned Parenthood in which ugly and criminal behavior has been substantiated, no charging decision has been made.

After things have been revealed, it is decision time. In his play, “Julius Caesar,” William Shakespeare made the memorable observation that, “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. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” I pray that Trump knows fully that we are “at the flood.” If he fails to take advantage of this tide now, his supporters will not go to Democrats, but will lose hope that they have any champion who will reliably press forward. Heaven forbid that normal people conclude that we are on our own – and must forfeit or secure our liberty entirely by ourselves. The hand of restraint would collapse entirely.

Perhaps the fall opens up a shock and awe campaign that holds all the great malefactors to account. It will have the left screaming, rioting, and trying to overthrow the government. But it will invigorate ordinary people to stand strong in demanding freedom and equal justice for all, without resorting to revolutionary intrigue. If, on the other hand, the fall brings more revelations but little action other than expressions of impotent outrage by media figures and public officials, we have a long, brutal year ahead of us. The crest of the tide is in view. Whether or not it is seized will determine the course of the next year.


Not so coincidentally, affairs in Hong Kong are coming to a head as we enter the fall, as well. The Chinese government has warned Hong Kong protestors (which account for an astonishing quarter of the entire population) that “the end is near” for them. A close friend of mine predicted to me that if China invades Honk Kong, using the Tianamen model, it will ultimately topple the Chinese regime. It is a counter-intuitive take, but I think he may well be right. Certainly, nothing is so vulnerable as on ossified bully that thinks one time too many that it can always get its way by brute force.

China’s economy is terribly overstretched and vulnerable. Hong Kong is its safety net. No doubt China has the military might to subdue Hong Kong, but at what cost? It would likely destroy the Chinese economy. There is, perhaps more tellingly, the matter of China’s borders, which are not kind to that vast nation. China is completely surrounded by nations that are sometimes allies, sometimes enemies, and sometimes just quiet. In fact, from ancient times, China’s primary military and diplomatic strategy has been to keep its border nations pacified. In recent decades, it has sought to buy the quiescence of border nations by giving them vast “loans” that do not require reliable repayment. It has not been a bad strategy. A takeover of Hong Kong, though, would force border nations to make the choice of submission to China or coalescing with each other to confront the naked aggression. Rarely, in world history, when China has gotten aggressive, have nations on its borders chosen, en masse, to submit to its supremacy. Beyond this, many nations which have benefitted from China’s largesse have chafed under Chinese condescension. Cripple China’s economy and her satellite nations are more likely to disavow China, while trying to take advantage of her vulnerability, than they are to meekly submit to Chinese dominance.

The ripple effects of instability around China could even de-stabilize Western Europe. England, France, and to some extent Spain and Germany have made themselves into “soft” targets to massive waves of Muslim immigrants. (In military parlance, a soft target is one which cannot easily defend itself, while a hard target is one that can). England bullies its own citizens while running protection rackets for the criminal element among Muslim immigrants, refusing even to effectively protect young girls from Muslim rape gangs. France’s disdain for its traditional, ordinary citizens led to the massive “gilets-jaunes” protests earlier this year, while some Muslim-occupied areas of Paris are so dangerous even the police won’t go there any more. If Jihadists decided instability triggered by a Chinese invasion of Hong Kong was a ripe moment for a full-scale Jihad in western Europe, they could wreak havoc, for it is doubtful that western European nations can mount anything other than a flaccid response.

The whole world is become a deadly dangerous place – and getting more dangerous as we enter the fall.


Meantime, I suspect the implicit schism in the Catholic Church could become horribly explicit with the Amazon Synod coming up in October. I don’t think the hierarchy in America understands how tenuous the levies of loyalty in the pews have become. I know that the Vatican does not understand. After blowing off any effective Christian action against a hideous conspiracy of sexual abuse – and routinely assaulting Scripture and the Magisterium, top church authorities seem poised to glibly launch an effort to re-imagine the Church as a neo-pagan and neo-pantheist enterprise that prunes Christ and His inconvenient teachings out of the picture, reducing the Lord to a mere cultural artifact.

If that becomes the case, I don’t think those levies will hold. I pray that the loyalty will not be lost to the faith, itself, but only to those faithless and haughty clerics who seek to depose Christ from His throne. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s prediction of a much smaller Church will become a reality for a time.

Yet Christ is not mocked. He is in charge. What is happening is a great separating of the sheep from the goats. There are several types of goats. Some make overt war against Christ and His teachings – and do so from prominent positions within the Church. They seek the approval of the men of this age. They have their reward. Others, in their zeal for reform, seek to overturn the very hierarchy that Christ, Himself, established. It is a failure to trust God.

This is a time for heroes. Reject the abuses and the abusers, but hold even more tightly to those in leadership who keep faith with the Lord, even if they are timid, daunted by the storm growing more violent by the moment. When people attack Christ, they destroy themselves. In times of crisis, it often pleases God to demonstrate how paltry the power of even massive numbers of men are – and how great His own power, even when demonstrated through a handful of men. About 135,000 Midianites were arrayed against Gideon, who had, at best, 32,000 men at his disposal (Judges 6-8). The Lord continually whittled down the number of men at Gideon’s disposal, telling Gideon that even his vastly smaller number of combatants were way “too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me’.” (Judges 7:2) Only when Gideon had whittled his force down to a mere 300 men against the Midianites’ 135,000 did God give him leave to go forth to battle. With those 300 men the Lord routed the Midianites entirely.

Those who assault the teaching of Christ are the new Midianites. Those otherwise faithful Christians who count on their own strength and numbers to prevail are the men God sent away from Gideon’s cohort. Those who keep the faith and trust firmly in and obey ALL the promises of the Lord are the 300.

When confronted with a faithful, yet timid Bishop, remember that Gideon was a notably cowardly and timid man. (You can look it up by reading Judges). The angel of the Lord was being more than a little ironic when he greeted Gideon by saying, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). Gideon’s trembling response to the angel’s direction for most of the rest of the chapter is intentionally comical. But Gideon was obedient, even if timidly and reluctantly so. Finally, at Judges 6:34, the inspired author records that, “…the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet…”

If you have not read closely the story of Gideon – or just have a plaster saint in mind, read it again and with understanding. It is a story for our own time. Badly outnumbered, this cowardly man was nonetheless obedient to God, though he tried desperately to hide that very obedience from his enemies. He trusted not in the force of his own arms, army or courage, but trusted the Lord’s promise. And at the Lord’s appointed time, because of his obedience, faltering and timid as it was, he was filled with the Lord’s spirit and boldly led his men to victory over a force almost 500 times as strong as his.

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) It is only your fidelity to and trust in God that makes you a participant in accomplishing His will. Let us be counted among Gideon’s 300 in these times.

282 thoughts on “A Bevy of Black Swans

  1. WOW! What you write makes so much sense, Charlie. We’re in the thick of it. And oh boy, isn’t this so: “Yet Christ is not mocked. He is in charge.” I’d be so grateful for each of us to be graced up and mentally prepped to be counted among the brave-hearted ones for, “This is a time for heroes.” Not on a grandiose level, but just as you say, Charlie, as one in Gideon’s army, hidden in the bosom of the Church, right where we each live, accomplishing all manner of simple deeds – the ones right before us – in the spirit of the Little Way.

    St. Therese, pray for us. Grant us unflinching, unfailing obedience to You, O Lord. Fire us anew, Holy Spirit, to trust not in our own ways and strength but in You, O Lord. Ave Maria Stella Maris, Totus Tuus. Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us. All You Holy Angels and Holy Men and Women, stay with us, guide us, assist us and keep us true to the end. Blessed be God forever! Ave Maria eternally!

    Liked by 23 people

    1. Amen! Thank you for this heartening piece, Charlie! And what a beautiful prayer, Beckita. I’ve been reading but quiet because I couldn’t figure out how to get a cookie or something off my browser to allow me to “like” or comment for awhile…finally back on through the WordPress site route. Sending prayers as always from sunny CA!

      Liked by 8 people

  2. “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) It is only your fidelity to and trust in God that makes you a participant in accomplishing His will.’ Amazing piece, and where to begin. You covered most of it. I am afraid, however, Trump’s bringing to revelation the evil, is only that, and we will not see any retribution from his group. I think he does think, “See, I proved they are bad bad bad”. And that will be it. Then to our beloved Church, the Body of Christ! Goodness me, I think they are all living in Lalalala land. In listening yesterday to Xavier Ayral’s discourse on Maria Julia Jehenny’s appartions and talks with our Lord, she spoke that satan must dissolve one/more of the Sacraments, and most likely (since we know what is coming in the Amazon synod), it will be the Sacraments of Most Holy Communion and Confession. By dissolve, she meant, have them removed so they do not any longer signify the Divine Life of our Lord Jesus Christ, replacing their Divine Mystery and the Dogma surrounding such. I can see this happening. It certainly is beginning to look that way.
    China, if I remember some years back, Charlie, you said will be the big bad guy, and will be a formidable foe for America. OK, I’m just checking in. That closing prayer, Beckita is beautiful! Thank you for blessing us with it. Ave Maria!

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  3. I’m so impatient with apparantly weak spinesd bishops, Charlie. I’ll try do do better! No question, we’re headed for a remnant church, I think. Please pray for my niece, who was not raised Catholic. She’s coming with me to RCIA classes starting tomorrow.

    Liked by 12 people

  4. “If, on the other hand, the fall brings more revelations but little action other than expressions of impotent outrage by media figures and public officials, we have a long, brutal year ahead of us. ”
    I don’t see us getting out of the brutal year. After all the truths that have already come out and the lies that have been exposed, I don’t understand how the rule of law is still lacking. The media narrative has and continues to suppress much and will continue if crimes go unpunished. The fact no one has gone to jail validates the baloney that they call news. (And thus postpones the moment of goat/sheep seperation as I know many current goats who would be quite sheepish if they didn’t think the MSM narrative as true)

    Liked by 12 people

    1. I see what you see, Andy. This process of naming crimes and corruption without following through with arrests has me doubtful that people will be justly held to account. You nailed it on your observation in the parentheses.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. Oh Charlie, this sounds so serious as though we are coming to the edge of the cliff. Why can’t someone arrange a phone call between you and the President? There must be people who know him that can couch for the soundness of your advice. I’m quite serious, but maybe it’s an unrealistic daydream 😦

    Then the synod! I keep wondering if all hell breaks loose, what will happen in individual parishes? What bishops and priests will be faithful to Holy Mother Church?

    I’ll just keep praying and waiting for the Holy Spirit to lead me. You know, years ago, i studied some of the encyclicals that are so pivotal on the Eucharist, etc. I felt the Lord was saying that we must know what the TRUTH is. Maybe we’ve reached that time. Come Holy Spirit, bring your Light and Mama’s Triumph!

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  6. Wow, so many points covered I don’t even know where to begin to comment. Plus I’m busy watching the hurricane updates, (I live 500 feet from the ocean) so I’ll limit my response.

    All sorts of crimes were committed and the DOJ hasn’t charged anyone. Our rights continue to be eroded by .gov and tech companies alike. Our foreign policy continues the globalist agenda. The financial system is still totally corrupt and serves the elite.

    Trump was a much better alternative than Hillary but I have for now concluded he can’t effect the change that we want to see. He slowed them down perhaps, but I’m not holding my breath we’ll see meaningful change. We’re on our own folks. Pray for “Our Lady’s” help and intercession.

    No “Q” for you.
    Or me.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. I was wondering at the specificity of your statement that “… the early 1930’s when black voters suddenly switched their allegiance from overwhelmingly Republican to solid Democrat.” I was trying to figure out why this happened at that time when it struck me: Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger and the American Birth Control League spent the 1920’s working with “Negro populations” to reduce the number of non-Caucasian births. In particular, her group worked with African-American church leaders to get them to promote birth control to their congregations. If the Republicans of the time were working to oppose birth control — in general, not specifically in certain populations — that could account for the swing to the Democratic party during this time.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Though horrible, that was a VERY small statistical slice at the time. Most observers agree it was mainly due to Franklin Roosevelt’s engagement with fears about the depression. Minorities were very much the canaries in the coal mine, at the time, the first to feel the effects of the loss of jobs and opportunities for work in a time when there was little in the way of a social safety net. Republicans spent way too much time talking about abstract economic principles (many which did not even apply) while Roosevelt did actually seem to give a hoot about the wolf that was at the door. Sure enough, the executive order creating the WPA was signed in mid-1933, calming a lot of fears about the future.

      Yes, many programs from that era stalled recovery and laid the groundwork for the dependency crisis that has now overwhelmed. But too often Republicans talk about abstractions when concrete action is needed to reassure people. In 1932, though Planned Parenthood had co-opted some black pastors for the project you mention, access to birth control was nowhere near the top of minority concerns.

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  8. An old Army Buddy sent me this a few moments ago……. I might as well pass it along as it’s looks like old fashioned common sense to me:

    Don’t let your worries get the best of you; Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
    Some people are kind, polite, and thoughtful Until you try to sit in their pews.
    Many folks want to serve God, But only as advisers.
    It is easier to preach ten sermons Than it is to live one.
    The good Lord didn’t create anything without a purpose, But mosquitoes come close.
    When you get to your wit’s end, You’ll find God lives there.
    People are funny; they want the Front of the bus, Middle of the road, And back of the church.
    Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on the front door forever.
    Quit griping about your church; If it was perfect, you couldn’t belong.
    If a church wants a better pastor, It only needs to pray for the one it has.
    We’re called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
    God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
    Some minds are like concrete Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    Peace starts with a smile.
    I don’t know why some people change churches; What difference does it make which one you stay home from?
    Be ye fishers of men. You catch ’em – He’ll clean ’em.
    Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
    Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
    Don’ t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
    Forbidden fruits create many jams..
    God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
    God grades on the cross, not the curve.
    God loves everyone, But probably prefers ‘fruits of the spirit’ over ‘religious nuts!
    ‘God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
    He who angers you, controls you
    If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
    Prayer: Don’t give God instructions, just report for duty!
    The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
    The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
    We don’t change the message. The message changes us.
    You can tell how big a person is By what it takes to discourage him/her.
    The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.
    If this blessed you in a profound way today, Share it with a few friends to bless them! I bet someone else will LOVE it too. There is no greater treasure than a good friend!


    Liked by 23 people

  9. Thank you so much, Charlie!

    Very timely as always.

    Perhaps this fits in somehow for protection for our shepherds.
    As today was a Medjugorgie apparition, I just saw one of the pilgrim stories from Medjugorgie is amazing. They are all pretty amazing- at least the ones I saw! Thought I would share one:
    iMedjugorje Profile: Neil
    Back in the 50s, I watched The Song of Bernadette. I was so taken with that when I was about 8 years old, watching the movie, I said, “If Our Lady ever comes again, tell me.” And She did. So I right away knew this place was real — from the heart.

    So I came in 1988 when it was still communist here, and I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing here, but I know.” I never had doubt that Our Lady was here.

    My favorite saint is Saint Bernadette. I owe everything to her, from that time, and she kept her promise.

    It’s been a tough life. I’ve been in Vietnam. I was a scout in Vietnam. Many meanings behind all of it. I had the greatest dog on earth in Vietnam. It was this dog with a saint behind it. It was the meanest freaking dog on earth, yet totally obedient and loving toward me. Nothing else could get near me. And it chased things in Vietnam that broke up everything and saved everybody. Because I’d have to fly out and get guys out of trouble. I was a scout, just like in the old west, but in the old west you could see a long way. In a jungle you can’t see a long way. In a jungle you can’t see a long way. You can only see a short way. And that dog would go, and there’d be an ambush set up, and it’d scare the hell out of them and they would all scatter. They were ready to kill everybody, and we’d come upon the ambush and they’d leave. They’d drop their weapons; they’d drop stuff because that dog I had was terrible and terrifying.

    It took me many years to realize it wasn’t a normal dog. It just was too crazy and it protected everybody. I never lost anybody that I led — in or out of battle. All were unharmed, my whole year in Vietnam. 38 missions, I went on to lead people into battle and out. And not one person was wounded. And we saw conflict, but the enemy scattered. That dog was scaring everybody except me.

    And I remembered, it all came back to me in what we’ve got to be in life for our shepherds and for the sheep. We have to be that kind of dog. We have to be ready to protect our shepherds and to go out for the sheep. And that’s what Our Lady’s told me in Medjugorje. Always be ready now. Because we now have entered into this moment, and the moment is the most extraordinary moment in the history of all time.It’s now. And some of us will enter into the new time; others will not. There’s no guarantees. But if we follow Our Lady and we do what She says, She will definitely lead us and strengthen us for whatever our call is. And whatever the moment is. Because it’s now. It’s not coming ten years from now, for me. I feel it right now.

    It’s very important to get that. Because that call, it goes way back when I was a kid. And it was very innocent. I just wanted to see Our Lady, and so in 1988 when I went to Cross Mountain, I was by myself in the middle of the night. I went up there, and I got to the top maybe one o’clock in the morning, all by myself because I came by myself. I didn’t know about [visionary] Mirjana and all this. Back then it was trails; it was just dirt. And I went up there and I sat and I had that one experience that lives with me my whole life. It wasn’t visual, but there are very many powerful things that God can do if your heart’s open. And so I sat there until I saw the break of dawn. And I was the only one on the mountain all night. In 1988, August 15th. Back when there weren’t many people here.

    I went back, and it’s been a tough go because God tests you a whole lot in your life. And being a Vietnam veteran, in probably the worst situation you can get in. Because, as a scout, you go out before others, and most did not make it back. It’s always been an ongoing miracle, and I come here only with thanks to Our Lady for that invitation. It’s a great invitation. I know the Eucharist is in every parish, I know Our Lady is everywhere you go if you take Her in the rosary, but there’s something different here. She’s very much alive here among the people. You can feel that seeing this area. It’s a great gift to have that moment to get here.

    Guard your shepherds right now. They really need it. I feel for them greatly. They need the protection of the dogs and they need the respect of the sheep. We need to be very careful because the wolves are gathering and we’re going to have to be ready for them. They’re coming and they’re going to do everything they can. So you’ve gotta be ready wherever you’re at. Just like a military. Just like a scout. And the only way to get there is the Rosary.

    For more pilgrim stories visit, iMedjugorje.com

    Liked by 21 people

    1. Thank you, Thankful4Mercy, for this story. I have also been to Medjugorje. My dad was in Vietnam for thirteen months during the height of the war. I too feel like the author that we are on the verge of things. It reminds me of the breath before battle. I too don’t think we all we make it through to the other side – in this life. But if we can be faithful to Our Lord and Our Lady, God’s grace will touch many hearts.

      The closing of the message from Our Lady to Mirjana today is: “Apostles of my love, many of my children still do not acknowledge my Son as their God; they have not yet come to know His love. But you, with your prayer pronounced from a pure and open heart, by the gifts which you offer to my Son, will make even the hardest hearts open. Apostles of my love, the strength of prayer pronounced from the heart—a powerful prayer full of love—changes the world. Therefore, my children: pray, pray, pray. I am with you. Thank you.”

      God bless all here. Your families, loved ones, heartaches and hopes. Pray, pray, PRAY!

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Thankfulformercy that was just amazing and thank ypu for sharing. ..I was listening to Relevant Radio this am..and can remember the program. .the one after Patrick Madrid 3 hr show..anyhoo Fr Rick Heilman was on talking about JUST THIS…spiritual battles between Christ and antichrist. .he says just like you…NOW IS THE TI’M TO BE VIGILANT. .. I wouldn’t even run the sweeper..haha..didon’t want to miss a word…thanks again for sharing aND Thankful for your good and protective service to us all in America 🤗😣😘

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Whoa.. I was getting my hair done for our daughters (my step…but HATE that term) wedding this sat..hair full of foil..lots of typos in previous blog..hahaha..foil matters girls. …lol..souls go on into eternal bliss..Amen😁

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  10. There is so much to think about here. But I especially have to respond to your ending. I am probably the biggest coward you will ever meet. My lack of courage has bothered me for a long time. I always wonder how I will respond if the time comes for courage. You help me realize, I need to take the focus off of courage and refocus to obedience. I think I can handle obedience, even in fear. Thank you, Charlie.

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    1. Profound insight, J. Prayers for you as you focus on obedience. Too, the grace we need for this day is here for the taking. The grace we need for all our tomorrows will be there when it’s time.

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  11. So much to take in . Charlie’s words here remind me of hearing Billy Graham ,I’m thinking in the early 70’s say “ God will have to apologize to sodom and Gomorrah if he doesn’t pass judgement on our world soon . “

    What a time to be alive

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  12. Hello, from the PRC. It is interesting what has been written about China. I am currently sitting in a business meeting here and discussing with my Chinese colleagues the events in HK,

    They have informed me that the PRC news is saying the events are a product of the US and CIA.

    For those who read English I have them read some of the news stories that can be accessed on my laptop.

    Quite a difference in perspective.

    We also chat about religion, philosophy, among other things. It is interesting to show them a different perspective using their own sources.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Yes, and the old Soviet Union always said their attacks were actually the USA’s fault. When has a communist or socialist nation ever failed to blame their murderous aggression on their own people on someone else?

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      1. You are absolutely correct about the blame game.

        I think Beckita mentioned this before, but the people here are yearning for the Truth. I have to be careful in how I express myself when I speak with them but the men and women with whom I have spoken about religion in general and Christ in particular are very interested and they pepper me with questions. Moms & dads are interested in something more for their kids and for themselves. They are looking for a loving Father who can give them an eternal Love and eternal Life. That profound desire doesn’t square up with what Chairman Mao and the PRC could/can offer.

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  13. Charlie, yes, we have to stand tall and not falter; we will all have to throw some punches verbally so we can get people to listen. We will have to disagree with all the changes the Vatican is making. Pope Francis brought Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo and all who agree with him to the Vatican. The Bishop is advancing the pro-immigrant, anti-capitalism vision of the world articulated by the Pope and they now say “China has many points of agreement with the Vatican” and China is the best implementer of Catholic Social Doctrine”. How can we agree with that? So many people don’t see what is happening to our church and to our country!

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Today, I received an e-mail from Andrew Bath of the Thomas More Society. David Daleiden’s preliminary hearing in the California criminal case begins tomorrow. I am including part of the message:
    By this time tomorrow, Tom Brejcha, Peter Breen and the rest of our attorneys will be finished with the first day of David Daleiden’s preliminary hearing in the California criminal case.
    They’ll hold strategy meetings and prepare for the next day’s testimony into the wee hours of the night and then be ready for action again bright and early Wednesday morning…
    Now I’d like to share the impact a hearing as big as this one has on the attorneys.
    I can tell you firsthand it’s stressful – and the long, intense days in the courtroom combined with sleepless nights of trial preparation quickly add up.
    That’s why I’m looking for 1,000 supporters to step up as Prayer Warriors to provide much needed spiritual support to our attorneys throughout this critical preliminary hearing…
    We anticipate the hearing will last 2 weeks….

    This is the time. I think the “300” here can turn the tide.
    whatever we can do–prayer, pleading the Precious Blood, fasting….

    ALL IN

    Liked by 11 people

    1. oops…hearing begins today, Sept. 3. (that’s what I get for still being up after midnight).

      and some short prayers to say:
      1) May God arise and let His enemies be scattered and let those who hate Him flee before His Face!
      2) May the thrice Holy Name of God overthrow all their plans!
      3) May the Holy Name of the Living God split them up by disagreements!
      4) May the terrible Name of the God of Eternity stamp out all their godlessness!
      5) Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

      ok, I’m done for now.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Thanks for the heads’ up, Joyful; I just signed up. And I love the prayers that you included… the Chaplet of the Holy Face is one of my go-to’s, too.

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      2. Also praying, Joyful. Great list of prayers and I say #1 all the time. As a matter of fact, it seemed that I was saying it all day yesterday because of spiritual warfare. St. Athanasius said it causes the devils to flee!

        I also read in a comment at Fr. Z’s blog yesterday, that someone spoke of St. Mother Teresa’s “flying novena”. It is saying 9 Memorares one after the other, for an answer to prayer. I tried it today for a family member. We’ll see what happens, but Mama never lets us down.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I have to tell you the “flying novena” works. I had never heard of it. Youngest son and his wife were on their way from So Cal all the way back to Oregon. The truck acted up, they came back to home base, had the truck checked out and nothing wrong could be found. They drove straight through all the way and got home safely! I already loved “Mother” Teresa because of a miracle she gave me years ago!
          Thank you Jesus!!

          Liked by 3 people

      3. Joyful, thanks for listing Psalm 68; I put the first half in the google search box (May God Arise and let his enemies be scattered), and clicked on “images”, several neat photos with that phrase on it came up and using one now for wallpaper. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Joyful, thank you for this update and also the beautiful prayers. Here in Ireland we will have a Rally in Belfast this Saturday 7th to protest the proposed extension of Draconian abortion laws to Northern Ireland, the only part of these Islands to remain free from the satanic scourge (the Republic having caved last year). O God, let it be HUGE! Please pray for us. I know y’all do, and heartfelt thanks.

      Blessings to all, J.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. God bless, Beckita and all. It just occurred to me that Saturday is a First Saturday, so I plan to go to the special Mass in our local Dominican church, with Rosary and Fatima consecration prayers, and then on to Belfast.

          Thank you, Charlie, for this very wonderful post! So much to take away from it. My rather peripatetic lifestyle and using a mobile are not conducive to long comments (muted cheers from the cheap seats 😎) but the Gideon image is so compelling. Cowardice and all! (cough).

          “Leftists never figure out that convincing people to shut up is not the same thing as convincing them.”

          Yep, that struck me immediately on first reading! I do intend to use that, with your permission😄

          Liked by 4 people

        1. Thanks be to our very good God, the turnout was huge (in relative terms, only 5 million on this small island). Belfast centre literally did come to a stop for the March, and there was no opposition in sight (they’re usually there with filthy, frantic insults. “Baal we cry to thee”). Maybe they think they’ve already got it won? HAH!!!

          God bless all here, and thank you sincerely for your prayers. Northern Ireland is literally the last part of Western Europe not to have Satan’s paw upon it in terms of this “legal” murder. A long struggle ahead, certainly, but N. I. holds the bones of St. Patrick, and his prayers are mighty for us. In the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.


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          1. So glad to hear of the enormous turnout, Jaykay. Thanks be to God, and may He keep N. I. from caving to the purveyors of the culture of death.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey, did anyone notice what Our Lady of Medjugorje said Sept 2nd? “there is a real “ultimatum” to humanity: ” The time has come to kneel before my Son, who acknowledge Him as your God ”
    Charlie and Our beautiful Mother both say those two key words: Acknowledge God! I pray we all do. Also, that Dorian …yikes…scary storm.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. May the Holy Spirit guide the Thomas More Society legal team, and Our Lady of Tepeyac intercede on David D.’s behalf throughout the court proceedings/rulings which start today.

    Liked by 12 people

  17. HeartLight Daily Verse – 3 September

    Isaiah 48:17
    This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    I sometimes long for the pillar of fire at night and the cloud by day to guide me as I make my way through this world. But I am reminded of God’s abiding presence in the Spirit and his promise to never forsake me. I believe that if I seek his glory he will get me where I need to be to do his will.
    Guide me, O Father, guide me to the places you want me to be, the ministries you want me to offer, and the people you want me to touch. Capture my heart to do your work and never let me lose sight of your coming glory. In Jesus name. Amen!
    Visit heartlight.org for more








    I’m still convinced that the Democrats are Doing a Rope -a-Dope Op this Election! All the “Front Runners” are spouting the Most Radical Views of their most radical constituent cogs. I’m guessing that “out of the woodwork” will arrive a soft spoken moderate sounding character that will espouse middle of the road “reasonable” this & that and do his/her best to convince BoobLand USA his/her Agenda is nothing like those other Democrat Berserkers … but he/she, in truth, will be more sinister and radical than any seen to date! ;-(





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    1. Bob, when the NEA came out supporting Roe v Wade, those of use who are pro-life were nauseated. This organization, which should be pro-child, is basically advocating killing future students. In my neck of the woods they are closing (consolidating) schools because of a steady decrease in the population. Part of this is because the taxes in New York are just too high and people move out of the state but the NEA can’t seem to connect the dots that supporting abortion also equates to fewer students to teach. I am a public school educator. If I could pull out of the teacher’s union I would. Unfortunately that would also leave many of us with a bullseye on our backs and the unions know that. So, we try to soldier on and quietly show the light of Christ in a very secular workplace. In addition to my crucifix necklace and a Christian coffee mug that I use daily, I’m adding a t-shirt and sweatshirt that have a picture of a lion on them with the saying “Aslan is on the move” underneath. I can wear these on dress down days. It’s my silent way of promoting good literature and Him at the same time.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. CM, thanks for sharing! May the Lord guide and strengthen you and all Christian educators in the public schools. Trusting Him to use you mightily in that dark place. Raise the standard high!

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Baby update; My granddaughter, Claire has turned herself around and is now in the breach position. Please pray that she rights herself quickly, they are talking about a C-section.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Cheralyn, I forwarded to our Jenn to pray. Jenn has a friend who was breached recently and their priest prayed over them and the baby flipped. So I suggest to ask your priest to lay hands on and pray. We will pray here too! God bless you!

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        1. And I will add, Sheralynn, you – or anyone with faith and who’s close to your daughter – can also lay hands on her womb and, in the name of Jesus, sweetly tell Baby CLaire to settle into a healthy birthing position and end the prayer thanking and praising Jesus. Amen!

          Guys, I’ve taken to laying hands on myself for whatever I’m struggling with and Jesus answers those prayers. No one told me to, I simply did it intuitively. CHRIST.IS.AMAZING!

          Liked by 7 people

    2. Hi Sheralyn,  I reached out to my nurse daughter and here is some info she emailed me that may help.  She is the one whom you met at your storm dinner.  God bless!https://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancy/7-ways-to-turn-a-breech-baby/ Here is one simple article on breech babies. every pregnancy mom baby duo is so different. I’m positive any professional ob will have way more information on techniques such as ECV which can flip baby. Sent from Doug’s mobile

      Liked by 2 people

  19. I can see from a lot of the comments here that people are beginning to believe that no justice will be meted out. Until justice is actually meted out, nothing I say can prove that it will be. However, Trump keeps saying that what has happened to him must never happen to another US president, and only if serious justice is meted out can that become true. Also keep in mind that Trump is all about appropriate revenge, which in this case will be justice meted out within the Law.

    I have great confidence that Trump not only is not going to let bad and evil people get away with what they have done, but that this fall, possibly quite soon, we will see a significant release of information that will make it very clear that certain people are guilty of terrible crimes.

    Remember, though, that Trump’s principal aim right now is *not* to charge these people himself but rather to stimulate everyone, you and me and our neighbors, to wake up to the evil that has been done, and to step up and take back our sovereignty. Part of that process is seeing what evil has done and *demanding* that justice be done under the Law. Trump wants *us* to step up and demand justice so that the government is forced to mete out justice.

    Justice must come from the Sovereign, not Trump, so when you see the information and understand the crimes, it is up to *you* to stand up and demand the guilty be arrested and tried. If *you* don’t stand up and make such a demand, it is very possible that few will actually be arrested and tried. It won’t be Trump’s fault. It will be a failure of the Sovereign, of you and me.

    It’s like an exorcism. Trump can indeed get rid of the evil, but if we don’t step up, acknowledge God, and exercise our sovereign rights and duties in this year and many succeeding years, the evil will come back seven-fold.

    Don’t assume Trump will do this on his own. Don’t give up on him, because that means giving up on your own power, your own sovereignty. Get ready to demand justice be done once the information is released.

    You are the Sovereign power under God for these United States of America, but you have been sleeping. Time to wake up. Time to get ready.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. SteveBC, along with you I hope and pray that justice be done.

      P.S. I love your use of “THESE United States of America.” Very classy. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    2. SteveBC, I concur.

      Also, there’s strong evidence that significant elements within the justice system, itself, have been corrupt for a long time. Before justice could be done, enough of that system had to be cleansed by firing the old and appointing new people.

      Saint Thomas More, pray for us.

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    3. Not meant as criticism, but in sincerity: What DOES standing up look like – for an ordinary citizen/person – in a country gone amok? Truly and specifically: Get ready how? Wake up in what ways that we might not yet be awakened?

      I do see the good this president has done – even in the face of the attempts to stonewall his every move, at every turn. I’m convinced he is the answer to the prayers of many. I have maintained, from the inception of his presidency, that it will take more than one man – or a few – to bring the changes we need to reinstate the rule of law.

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      1. Very true Beckita. I was specifically told by two very “Holy” and very “Spiritually Gifted Women” that all would seem lost and hope would be a distant memory prior to “Our Lady’s Triumph.” The Triumph over the evil of of the world was reserved for “Our Lady” and specifically through “The Immaculate Heart of Mary and Her Personal Intercession.” This was “God’s Plan,” period. I was told if it were not for Divine Intervention we could not overcome the evil that had so entangled the entire world. God Bless…

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        1. This overarching theme expressed to you by your spiritually gifted friends, BD, has been repeated in many a message from Heaven in our times. So, again, I come back to the wisdom of holding our perceptions and beliefs in a way that gives us the ability to become or maintain flexibility and readily drop our expectations and hopes to embrace, day by day, whatever God exactly sends or allows. Not advocating for quietism or inaction… just ever-deepening measures of connecting with God and relying on His nudges and whispers for guidance on all our next right steps.

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          1. Beckita. Perhaps these overarching themes are Truth. Time will tell. With that being said, one should never ignore a whisper or nudge from God. After all, isn’t that why we’re all here? Seeking our guidance for Our Next Right Step…

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          2. Beckita, I am with you on this… I find that my most comforting times to connect are during mass, adoration, and reading this blog (even with all squirrel comments included!). Sometimes when I contemplate all of the messages that we’ve been given through old testament prophesy, the Gospels, the writings of all of the Saints, and modern day Sherpas like Charlie, you, and so many here — I don’t know how to describe it perfectly, but I get a calm… not that I don’t care about our earthly future, my children’s futures here on earth…. but a calm that we are all judged only by God and He wants us to eternally be with Him… that He loves us and wants us to choose Him – there is not much that compares to that really, right?? So, again, don’t take this as I feel “I’m in Heaven” when the time comes, because I’m always going to strive to be a TNRSer — but I believe it is faith growing, my trust growing, and just like a little kid who has a dad who is as big as a giant… I am confident that it is much more productive and soothing to trust in God and His plan rather than to fret about what might happen – it is a confidence that what WE feel is the right path, IS the right path…

            I think we all need to focus more on the fact that we are all “woke” to the right path – not necessarily that we are all perfect and above others, but that we are all absorbing God’s amazing message and like Charlie has been advising – we need to Acknowledge God (both in our hearts AND in public for others to take notice), defend this amazing faith, and take the next right step…

            I have been thinking a lot about Mk 9:42 a lot lately… “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe [in me] to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” I find myself truly trying to live a more virtuous life for my wife and children and all of those around me… I can pray, I can try to work any social contacts, or political contacts that I might have to try to sway humanity into listening to Jesus…. but I am more focusing on trying not to help any of you, me, my family, or any brother or sister that I have contact with… to sin more…

            I have rambled… so I apologize if I sound arrogant or overconfident in God’s plan for us, and maybe it is wrong to feel too strongly that we are all on the right path and on the winning team, but that’s how I feel. That doesn’t mean I will stop fighting for the unborn, taking the opportunity to debate with someone who is advocating for evil instead of good, defend my family from physical harm if I can, or any of that…. if you follow the messages from Medjugorje, Fatima, Charlie….. we are all still called to live the best life for God here on earth so long as we are here still (I still love Dr. Hiller’s Space, Time, and Consciousness as it provides an aspect of tangible to all of this as our minds can understand it).

            So if you read to the end and I failed to have a point to all of this, sorry about that… it’s not that I’m not concerned about where the world is headed… I am just not necessarily worried that it won’t all work out I guess is what I’m saying…

            God bless!

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Yowsers, Bill! Loved your comment. I don’t hear overconfidence; I hear blessed, childlike confidence in an all-loving and all-powerful Father.

              Liked by 3 people

      2. While the rest of the world tries to tear down and destroy, maybe it will look like this. 75 years ago today this dance routine was recorded with no rehearsal and on the first take (even with the sax player in the first row looking a bit skittish). Maybe one of the greatest dance routines of all time! If anyone can watch this without some toe tapping then take a pulse. Hope our souls are as lively as this. These fellas are awake!

        Liked by 8 people

          1. One of the coolest things about the Nicholas brothers (the dancers in the clip) is that they were self-taught… never had even one dance lesson. The older brother taught himself and then taught his little brother.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Ahh, there is some wisdom there. A lesson for the ordinary man.

              I was thinking of the Saints, and now that Charlie used the word “professionals,” though I’ve never thought in those terms, that word applies too.

              The laws of gravity also apply. Same for you and me. They even applied to Our Lord on the Cross, but not so much as to extinguish joy, since I think it’s fair to say He is also Joy among the infinite honorifics. ASOH is joy too, and these two fellas almost seem to defy the laws of gravity.

              I’d never attempt it. Heck, if you and I tried, it would probably be less of a dance routine and more of a comedy routine, in which case that sax player in the front row really would have something to worry about.

              Funny thing, I sometimes dream of tap dancing up and down a set of stairs which is a really absurd thing for me. I’m even pretty good in my dreams. And the laws of gravity don’t seem to apply in dreamland. I’ve come to think that that’s just my brain’s way of letting me know that I’m firing on all cylinders in my own way. Sometimes “in the zone” as CJ says.

              Now, how to get “in the zone” and stay there.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Another profound comment, MP; thanks. Let me know if you figure out how to get in the zone and stay there.

                Also, congrats to your Fighting Irish on their convincing victory on Monday night.

                Liked by 1 person

        1. What a great way to wake up this morning! Thanks MP. I grew up listening to music like this. Dad was a trumpet player who travelled all over and played well into his late 70s. This clip brought back many happy memories. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Ohhh, MP, thanks. I just love the sheer professionalism, class and style of that era! What have we lost? That was my parents’ generation, basically (both born 1918/19). Dad always opened doors for ladies, lifted his hat (he was an inveterate trilby-wearer) and regarded anything more than ” damn” or “bloody” as seriously out of line. I once heard my mother use “oh, bugger” and she turned puce!

          Seriously, the adults of my 60s childhood were serious people. They were far from plaster saints, and admitted that: silver spoons were not in their mouths when they were brought up by an even tougher generation. I was saved from the lunacy of that 60s era, and the worse 70s, by hard-headed people who were not afraid to call BS when they saw it and wanted standards to prevail. And… they did, and showed us what good standards were.

          Lord, just 20+ years or so after that sterling performance we had degenerated to semi-coherent, semi-naked, flower-power Woodstock. Doesn’t that say something?

          Liked by 1 person

    4. What steps do we take to demand justice? Contact local representative, state rep., congress?

      Have those names and their info. Teady?


    5. Tremendous comment, Steve BC. And it applies to all of us whose civilisation, the rule of Just Law, is based upon the necessity for us to get off our fat asses and, actually, Care! – Take Part! Because, if you don’t, it’ll be snatched away from you, and it’ll be late for whinging after.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, for sure Charlie, any of those things could happen…

    The Liberals in the UK are doing everything possible to stop BREXIT. I pray that the bad guys fail at stoping BREXIT.

    Up here in Canada, I sense will be the end of our free nation if the Liberals get back in power after our fall election, Trudeau has done more damage our country (in the past 4 years) than most Canadians are aware of…

    Events around the world are definitely more unstable as ever.

    Being a nobody myself, my nerves are shot, as I know how powerless & vulnerable we all are up here. I often ask myself “Will my faith & trust in God be strong enough in the future? Or will I be found lacking?”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. We’ve got your back in prayer, Al. God’s Grace IS there for each of us if we but ask and continue giving what little each one of us has. How many times Charlie has rightly reminded us that God ever writes straight with our crooked lines. Charlie, a mere human like each and every one of us, has planted his face firmly in the ground with error in intepreting a major bit of prophetic material… even when he was giving his utmost in the business of interpreting. I say this not to go back to analyzing the prophecies, but to draw attention to how Charlie comported himself through it all. In my mind, it is nothing short of heroic virtue… the kind of which we are ALL capable as we hold tight to the tunic of Jesus and the mantle of Mary. If we fall, we simply rise again and embrace Christ’s Open Arms awaiting to receive us, to steady and refresh us. God bless you, Al, and all of us here. We can do this. We CAN. We ARE.

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      1. When we look towards our patriarchs & matriarchs for inspiration & guidance in these troubled times. Adam & Eve may have been the beginning of the human race, but it is God the Father that is father of all humanity’s generations, as it is God the Father that created our souls, and therefore father of all generations of humanity. Mary mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ is “Mother of the Church & Mother of Redemption & Salvation”, as her Immaculate Conception restored to her to a pre-fallen state that Adam & Eve once had in the garden of Eden. While our Heavenly Mother is just humble creation of God, there is no greater human being in all of human history nor human future, as she is the greatest of us all, and a Matriarch for all the humanity to look up to…

        Jesus is our King, our High Priest, our Lord, & Emmanuel (God with us).

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        1. Amen, Al. Amen. Isn’t it incredible that the Lord and Master of all calls us His friends? Not His slaves or His peons, but His friends. And in the covenantal friendship with us, He invites us to co-create with Him. Mind-boggling yet true.

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    2. I’m right there with you, Al. I mean, I’m pretty mouthy and I talk a good game; but (not so) deep down, I’m a big scaredy cat. But Beckita’s right: all of us in this wonderful TNRS-ASOH family have each other’s backs in prayer. We bear each others’ burdens; we prop each other up; with God’s help, we help each other to be strong when some–or many–of us are feeling weak.

      With God’s help, Al, you can do this… WE can do this. “Jesus, I trust in you,” and “Mary, help!” are my go-to’s when I’m feeling particularly scared and helpless. These prayers have never failed me; they won’t fail you, either. And how I love that promise in Scripture: “I [even cowardly I] can do all things [ALL THINGS!] through Christ who strengthens me.” Yeah, I’m a zero; but zero plus infinity is still infinity. When I offer my nothingness and my lack of courage up to Christ and in spite of them choose to act in His Will, I am invincible. And so are you. 🙂

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        1. So true, Al, we are nothing and, yet, we are everything to Abba. And when we strive to hold fast to Him, giving our imperfect best to keep our end of the Covenant and do His Will – as you well note we must do – He’s as delighted as any father watching his kids try… even when they, often, fail. I think of our babies learning to walk… did we shame them and smack them around when they toddled and fell? Heck no. We cheered them on, giving them hope and encouragement that they could indeed walk well if only they didn’t give up. I know Abba to be just that sort of dad… and so much more. I feel as if He’s so delighted with the peeps in this family of TNRS-ASOH as we continue to try and grow.

          Now that we’re in the wild rapids zone, not really knowing what will develop, not knowing how so many details will go, not knowing what actually will be asked of us, our nothingness is all the more highlighted to me. And I remember we can do ALL things in Him Who strengthens us. And I remember that where sin abounds grace abounds all the more. And I remember how Jesus conveyed to St. Faustina that the greatest wound to His Heart is when we don’t trust Him. And I remember that love covers a multitude of sin (oh yes, I still confess) and that the heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much. (And that righteousness is NOT my own; it is the righteousness of Him Who dwells in each of our hearts here… and beyond.) God has given us an abundance of promises, treasures embedded throughout His Holy Word, and as ugly as it is in this world now, which most likely will intensify, I just KNOW we’re not alone… even when it feels like we are, we are NEVER alone.

          Liked by 8 people

          1. Thanks for your solid reminder, Beckita. Things are so tough for me right now, as I get towards the end of my chemo-therapy. I can’t seem to concentrate on my regular spiritual reading or prayers….I just send up limp little prayers to our Lord during the day and hope He understands. Just not myself and hoping I can get back to some semblance of normal before too long. Then the six to eight weeks of waiting for my major surgery probably early November. May God’s will be done as I try my best to be a humble and holy-as-possible disciple for our Lord in these days. Can’t read your wonderful messages too much these days friends, but know I’m with you in spirit. God bless you…each and every one. Thank you Charlie for leading us onward, always.

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            1. Diane, your whole life is a prayer right now as you align your sufferings with Christ’s suffering. There is great dignity in it and with that alignment, good will come.

              Liked by 5 people

            2. Sorry I’m delayed in expressing my support for you, Diane, in prayers and thoughts. Please don’t worry about what you can’t do right now. Actually there are no limp prayers from you as you live through these trials, along with your very heartbeats and breaths, are powerful prayers. Sending Our Lady to wrap you in her Mantle of Consolation. We love you, Diane.

              Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, we don’t have to cover all the bases on our own. We are all cowards and heroes at times. Oddly, I think the degree to which we can be heroic lovers has a lot to do with how quickly we recover after cowardly episodes. Think about some of those times when you managed to pull something off and couldn’t stop wondering, “what was I thinking?” Oh, seems like head just got out of heart’s way for a moment there…

        My dad was fearless when it came to people. Not so much with wee bats that occasionally got in the house at night. Heard a ruckus one night and found him on the floor covered by a sheet… wings flapping around the room. Nothing a decent tennis racket and practiced backhand couldn’t handle.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Ha!we lived in a big ole 4 story old bat infested house too..yikes..prob 12 bats all together…some just went head first through tennis rackets, others were just sound asleep and we’d carry them outdoors on whatever they were hanging onto upside down😲the worst one made its way into my sister’s bed …yes… under the sheets..eeeewwwww…..she nearly had a coronary. Thanks be to God our dog Daisy sniffed it out …my poor sis was completely traumatized by that ordeal and is still to this day😫

          Liked by 5 people

        2. Guess I’m the odd one, but I have a fondness for bats. They are beneficial, yet I find them cute and love to watch them flit about at dusk. I’ve saved a couple when in trouble. One fell from the ceiling while I was at work at a resort some years ago. Took it outside and gave it a little lift into the air and off it went. Another one almost drowned in our rain barrel. Took that little guy and dried him off with a towel, observed him for while, then he also flew off. Was greeted early the next morning by one that flew in and out of our garage when we opened it. I like to think it was the one saved just saying thanks. Oh, we fixed the screen on the rain barrel and I wore gloves when tending to the bats. After having new siding installed on our house, haven’t seen as many nearby. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Audie, I like bats, too, although not on me or in my house. They do a lot of beneficial things and are creepily fun to watch. At my friend’s home, they later had another bat in the house. By the time I got there (in the day time this occasion), it had flown into an open window and was perched on the screen, unable to go further. I slowly moved up until I reached the window and slowly closed the window, trapping the bat in between the window and the screen. Then I got a knife, went outside to the screen, and swiftly cut the screen open. The bat quickly realized its opportunity and flew away. I figured a $25 charge to replace the screen was well worth it, for the bat’s sake as well as mine. 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

            1. In a previous life, I was involved in a project remediating a 19th century minesite – beautiful rubble-stone engine-houses and other structures, all heavily covered in ivy. Before work on stripping it back to repair the stonework started we had to do environmental impact assessment screening, which revealed that a bat colony was in residence – which we knew of course, but just not how many of them there were, the site being fairly remote. It was a large colony. Very large. Anyway, on the advice of the experts, we had to construct special bat boxes, all of which added to the cost on a fairly tight budget and caused a time over-run, for which the main contractor fully charged! But – it was done, and a bespoke bat condominium was constructed.

              The bats refused to live in them.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. My daughter was a little freaked out as hurricane Dorian sat just off the Florida coast all weekend. The tension was killing her nerves and she started letting it muddle her mind.
          I sent this Scripture passage to my daughter to calm her down:
          “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses  every thought, will guard your hearts and mind in Jesus Christ”. (Philippians 4:6-7).
          The uncertainty about what the storm Dorian has done and will do left me contemplating the struggles we are facing with society and what it will do as we wait somewhat apprehensively for what comes next in the ever widening saga some refers to as “The Great Storm”.
          As far as us “Zeros”, we only need to have faith the size of a mustard seed to see big things happen since God is in charge and the war is already won. Again it is the apprehension that can get the better of us. Jesus rebuked the apostles in the boat because the fear they showed was from thier lack of faith in who He was. A medical doctor on the news mentioned how fear caused a lot of accidents and deaths not just during the hurricane but also AFTER the hurricane because people where making dangerous choices because they were afraid and not using common sense. He said remaining calm was very significant in avoiding accidents and death. It is the same with our spirit. If we get caught up in confusion out of some type of fear, we run the risk of making terrible mistakes that can cost us our eternal lives or stop us from being the hands and feet Jesus needs us to be to save others. Peace and trust are very important for our times.
          Salome to you all.

          Liked by 6 people

  21. I think you are right on Steve. Like the pro-life marches and prayer vigils, we need to expand our scope to demanding the rule of law or start a Jericho march any time enough evidence presents that crime was commited and no justice was meted out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Maggie. This is stupid rot. Lord, when I was in media, people used to send me this stuff all the time – all breathlessly done in a (pseudo)-scientific manner. There are some minor things that can be done, like salting clouds occasionally in hopes of provoking rain. When you see a site that is breathlessly explaining how nefarious forces are controlling every aspect of things that are uncontrollable, just chuckle and move on.

      Liked by 7 people

  22. At least a couple of positive articles:

    The Trump Administration Sides With Nurses Who Object to Abortion



    Lawmakers push to require clergy to disclose confessions of child abuse




    Where is ABCNNBCBS-NPR/PBS/NYT/LAT …. when it comes to the “usual” daily bloodletting in any Democrat Controlled City you can name? … Eh???
    Yup!! If only you Red State Tea Party Types would give up your guns “The Youths” would become Fine Arts Scholars. Lord, We need help with all the folks that are born with three strikes against them. Amen. RIP Crime & Corrupt Politician Victims.






    Liked by 6 people

  23. things I learned in Confession:
    penance for anxiety, fear, lack of trust: go home and make a list of all the good things that have happened to you and then tell God thank you. (Father said I lacked gratitude and to read it “as often as it takes”)
    prayer: Lord, overwhelm me with what you’ve done for me. (Fr. Riccardo)
    Please fill me with the joy of thankfulness.

    Liked by 9 people

  24. Ha, MP! We had lots of bats in our house growing up (several bats per year… it was a very old house). My dad became an expert at killing bats with a tennis racket. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  25. My dearest tnrs peeps…this here is a cautionary tale:

    have u heard the news today on vaping?

    Unfortunately, I started smoking cigarettes at 12 yrs old and for some wierd reason, my parents were ok with it.

    Now I don’t hold it against them, for I was a stong willed and stupidity rebellious kid…but when I hit 50, my left foot started turning purple and I was sick with bronchitis like ev 3 weeks.

    My Dr saw my foot in one of my purple foot spells and told me if I kept it up, I’d have to have my left foot amputated. ..true story..

    Eeeh ghads😣😥😧😷

    then I had an idea.🤔..

    ha…I’d start vaping🤔

    well cheating never works out..

    I started vaping and i told mike there was something in that there vapor worse than the real thing…

    now they say people are getting double pneumonia, lung transplants and even swelling in the brain due to the vapes…

    So then i went back to smoking the real thing again but then quit by cutting a cigarette patch in half and after a week …I’d then cut it in half again and again until there was nothing left.

    I remember I used to wake up craving a darn patch..hahaha.

    ..end of true story:

    its been 6 years now and I’m smoke free and swim 50 laps per night (summer) ride a stationary bike or walk and lift weights.

    My foot????

    Back to normal for now.

    My lungs are still very prone to sickness as I started so young but thanks be to God, I may have given myself a few more years down here with ya’ll by heeding my bodies bad choices..love ya all TNRS ASOH🤗😇😘

    P.s. exercise and whole foods (not processed food) are also key points to wellness…

    Hehehehe watch God call me home tomorrow 😂😂😂

    Liked by 9 people

      1. HA!! So far so good…hehehe..our priest Fr Francis this am told us he got to go to p.i.b this past weekend and wants to go fishing with char n family (my church friend) Mick, I told fr when he goes fishing to throw the net over the boat…hahahahaha ..he got it😆

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Read a little more than establishment media stuff on this subject, Linda. As a vaper, myself (it is how I quit smoking) this was of paramount interest to me. When you dig deeper, you find that none of these problems arose from commercially available vape formulas. They all arose from people who made their own cannabis oil and put it in their vape or otherwise tampered with and used black market forbidden substances. I am happy I quit smoking. the American Heart Association declared vaping the most successful quit-smoking product ever devised. I don’t know why the establishment media so badly wants to destroy the most successful quit-smoking product ever devised.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Makes sense Charlie. I never believed the hype on this. How can a subset of real smoking be worse? I also, to this day, don’t buy that second hand smoke is as bad as it is made out to be. I have heard some say it’s worse than primary smoking. I don’t buy it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh that’s good to know, charlie..hehehe..I was worried about you when I saw this n it was even on drew mariani. .just be well my dear friend. I’m happy they don’t upset ur lungs as they did mine..xoxoxo I tried not to make it obvious I was for warning u..lol..ur too smart for me young man🤗😇😘

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha! As long as I don’t smoke pot or black market stuff, I’m good. This story was so warped…it is like the discovered some people were putting poison in their ice cream and getting sick from eating it – and the media reports that ice cream will make you sick. It just flabbergasts me…these days the media lies about everything, both big and small. Establishment media sites should have a warning label from the surgeon general: “reading this regularly will rot your brain.”

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Charlie..you made me burst out laughing. ..😂😂😂 actually this discussion thread is making me want to go back to vaping…hahahaha….oh drats my darn lungs..lol…ok..I promise.. I understand now and will quit hen pecking you…always united in our hearts TNRS ASOH..

            Big wedding sat. .my kids (globetrotting Tom n Liz.. Frankie/Julie..Whom I get to see just a few times a yr a few hrs at a time) are coming in for jacqueline /gavins wedding..other son (step) joe..wow..I’m all jacked up…prayers please I don’t mention God. But show them Jesus. Mom’s will get this of grown kids who have left the faith…tnrs asoh… xoxoxoxoxoxo 🤗😇😘

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Ha! Don’t you start vaping, Linda. It is much safer and benign than smoking, but why do either if you don’t already have the habit.

              Once, when I was running a Congressional campaign, my candidate often nagged me about quitting smoking. Then one day in the midst of a crisis she added, “but don’t quit until after the campaign is over.” We both laughed – people have a marvelous instinct for self-preservation.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. I wont, Charlie. I promise you🤗 but I sure do miss it..esp nights when ya can’t sleep, n go outdoors and ponder the universe. But it’s ok..God said enuff…and it’s ok.🤗😇😘

                Liked by 3 people

      3. I was thinking along those lines too, Charlie. My first impression after reading the dire warning was that vaping causes death, people in Illinois hardest hit?! SMH

        It reminded me of a Rush Limbaugh joke about false narratives. Here is the gist of it.

        RUSH: You remember the old joke, ladies and gentlemen, that I’ve told year after year after year on this program? It’s a joke that accurately reflects reality. The reason why it’s funny is ’cause it has elements of truth in it. It’s a joke about the way the media is locked into narratives and templates. So one day God’s watching Oprah Winfrey and He says, “You know what? Humanity has blown it, and I’ve had it — I can’t take it anymore — so I’m gonna end the world.” So He picks up the phone and makes some phone calls. He calls New York Times, He calls the Wall Street Journal, He calls USA Today, and He calls the Washington Post.

        All the reporters beg for an exclusive. God says, “Nope, no exclusive. World ends tomorrow. I’ve had it. You’re hopeless.” So the New York Times headline is: “God Says World to End Tomorrow,” in Section B, page 8. USA Today headline says: “WE’RE GONE.” Wall Street Journal: “God Says World to End Tomorrow, Markets to Close Early.” Washington Post: “God Says World to End Tomorrow, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit.”


        Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Jlynnbyrd. .actually it was my purple foot that convinced me it was time…believe me..NO ONE loved ciggs as much as me…lol…so addicted…they just relax ya…but there ya go😄 walk or smoke???

        Liked by 2 people

  26. As a biologist I’m fascinated by bats. I’ve done a little reconnaissance for Game and Fish when one of thier biologists was looking for a particularly cryptic bat species called a long-eared bat. On my collecting escapades I’d come across different colonies of them in central and North Florida and I’d pass these locals on to the biologist.
    In Trinidad there is a very large diverse population of bats (along with hummingbirds and butterflies) due to its position as a flyway between the West Indies and South America.
    Every bridge, abandoned building and hollow nook had a colony of bats in it
    along with a few tarantulas and some pretty aggressive wasp species that liked to get stuck in my hair! It was a batty naturalists delight!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, PF, I have a bat story for you. One night around 10 or so, a neighbor who is a great friend of my mother and probably 92 at the time called me saying she had a bat in her house and would I please come and take care of it. I didn’t have a tennis racket. I went out to my garage and got a long-handled crab net instead and went over to her house.

      Man, that thing was nearly impossible to see when it was flying. After several minutes, I finally saw it land on the upper shelf in one of her closets and sit there. I asked her to stand by the front door and get ready to open it, while I took my crab net and went toward the closet.

      I extended the crab net until it was just at the bat’s feet as it perched on the front edge of the shelf. I started to talk to it, asking it to step into the net, that it would be OK, that I would take it outside, to get into the net, and so on for about a minute. And then it stepped into the net!!

      I slowly turned around with the net handle extended and the bat settling into the net, only to find that my 92 year old friend was so open-mouthed at seeing the bat do as I asked that she was staring at us and had not opened the door! So I exclaimed, “Open the door!” and she startled and then spun around and opened the door.

      I gently walked down the hall and out the door, all while continuing to talk with the bat to stay quiet and be patient. Once outside, I told the bat it was free and that it needed to fly away, and I moved the net to encourage it to go, and off it flew!

      Crab nets work, too!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. This is a heartwarming example of good stewardship with the critters, SBC, in a realm that is not always uncomplicated. I think we’ve got a hard-wired aversion/repulsion to certain critters that can be difficult to overcome in all instances.

        Bats, rattlers, lizards, spiders, scorpions… out here. I’d just as soon let ’em be, until we cross paths in the small territory under my stewardship. Love the owls, falcons, hawks and eagles, but have a tendency to start looking at them as predator raptors when they’re eye-balling my wee trail dog. Can’t abide by ratters around the horses, but I did cross paths with this guy way out on a cattle trail:

        I chuckled a bit, because it looked like he was trying to disguise himself as a cow pie. Left him be, giving him a wide berth, because I reckon that was his territory and he was just as intent on his life as I am on mine.

        Can’t abide by scorpions in the house, but the cats are always on point when it comes to clean-up. Kinda go back and forth on lizards, sometimes letting them go, sometimes giving them a good swat. And I’m pretty sure some that I let go just work their way back into the house where they can terrorize my youngest at the mere sight.

        Desert mice are the cutest, but again… there’s some cats to contend with. Predator and prey in that case.

        No doubt PF wouldn’t be bothered by any of this, having long since overcome any aversions to these critters with the delighted professionalism of a Biologist. And our Audie just has a good heart, so I won’t ever again talk about the sometimes necessary grim work of critter battles in my territory.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. MP, you’ve hit on a difficult point. Where do you help out an animal in the way and when do you kill it?

          I did the same bat-whisperer thing with a bird that had gotten into my house, this time with a folded newspaper, which he stepped onto while I carried him out the back door. I also do what I can to save spiders, since they (like bats) do such good work on annoying flying insects. I even chase the occasional harmless pest out. And I don’t get too upset about ant herds in my kitchen – I yell at them to get out of my nest, saying that I’m not bothering their nest so they shouldn’t bother mine, and that usually does the trick!

          However, I absolutely draw the line against scorpions, bedbugs, chiggers, mosquitoes, centipedes, rats, and many more animals that as far as I can tell have no redeeming social value (or value of any kind). And if anything gets on me, it generally dies from fast action, whether it has redeeming value or not. I figure some of these are spawn of the Lord of this world and won’t ever get to Heaven anyway, right? 😀 But other people befriend the most unlikely pe(s)ts these days and thrive together.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Steve, I was out back this morning, tipping back my morning caffeine (the very last drops) which had me looking directly up into the cloudless morning sky. At that precise moment, a bat flew directly overhead, northbound. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but there it was flapping away as God intended (a bonus that it was in its own territory). Might have just hopped off the big saguaro where it was finishing its nocturnal activities including pollinating with those Saguaro blooms. At any rate… a pure joy.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Oh, I forgot to mention something. You may have noticed I like to give actual names to critters. So when I see a blue heron (any blue heron), for example, it’s “Ole’ Blue.” Moving forward, I’ve decided to name all bats “Steve.” And should a freetail bat happen to wander a bit north to these parts, that fella is “Esteban.”

            Liked by 2 people

  27. Thought experiment: Truth is infallible. We have been reassured by Church authorities that anything spoken or written magisterially is infallible so long as it is the truth. But is this really an assurance or description of Papal Infallibility? I don’t think so since truth by its very nature is infallible that means that ANYONE who speaks the truth is speaking infallibly. In fact by this definition, even the devil when he speaks the truth is infallible.

    Rather, I think the quality/gift/charism of Papal infallibility, when teaching or governing on matters of Faith and morals, is something different from that which authorities mean to be reassuring and perhaps even disarming to the faithful. Please someone correct me if I am mistaken but doesn’t the power of the Keys of the Kingdom speak to the charism of Papal Infallibility? Perhaps you would agree that due to the infallible quality inherent in truth itself anyone who speaks the truth is speaking infallibly, but not just anyone has Papal Infallibility. That belongs only to the holder of the Papal Office–the only one who has the actual authority to infallibly use the Keys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, III, this is a bit of an oxymoron. Truth is a state of being, which resides in the intellect – and only one intellect is immutable, that of God. Human intellect is mutable because, like the moon, it can only perceive the light given by the sun, not create that light. Truth is a hard concept. Infallibility refers to the capacity and quality of a person to perceive truth. No human being is infallible. All human intellect is mutable. Yet, God has given the Pope the gift of infallibility in certain very constrained circumstances. It must pertain to a matter of faith and morals for the good of the whole Church. The Pope must overtly state that this is what he is doing, that he is binding the Church from the chair of Peter or ex cathedra. There only two commonly known such statements in Papal history – on the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX and the Assumption of Mary by Pius XII.

      More commonly, we are guaranteed infallibility of the universal Magisterium. We are obligated to defer to ordinary Magisterial teaching, without it being guaranteed infallibility. To enter the universal Magisterium, a matter must be promulgated by the Pope with the concurrence of the Bishops of the world (though it may well be the Bishops who initiated the process in some cases). It can get a little murky at times, but if we are to speak technically of such things, we need to get the definitions clear and precise as possible or we can easily get caught up in sophistry and absurdities.

      To call truth infallible is somewhat akin to observing that water is wet. Truth is the hard concept. Various degrees of fallibility refer to a person’s capacity to recognize truth. Someone is not speaking infallibly, even though they speak true, unless they are incapable of error under a specific set of prescribed conditions. Thus, even if something is understood infallibly, it is not truth itself – just as the image in my mind of the computer screen before me is not the same thing as the computer, in itself. The state and health of our vision determines how accurately we see what is before us, but that state does not change the reality of what is before us.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Charlie. I truly appreciate that you are helping me to wrestle with what I find a troublesome topic. I agree that to call truth infallible is akin to calling water wet since both instances demonstrate their ontological realities i. e. the nature of the things. I also appreciate your focus on the importance of getting definitions precisely right because I think you would agree that words have meaning and for me the murkality (if that’s a word) of the definition of Papal Infallibility is one such concept that requires precision of definition.

        With this in mind and in specific and explicit regards to Papal Infallibility (which I understand you to say only exists because of God and His promise to St. Peter and his successors and not because of the popes’ human intellects), I have another question. Is the following discussion based on absurdity or is it Magisterial? The pope is not right because he says he’s right, and he’s not infallible in those very specific and limited matters simply because he has the power of infallibility (although he is and he does). Vatican I is very clear. The pope is infallible BECAUSE Christ gave the Keys to Peter and his Successors, and Christ guaranteed by HIS divine power that the pope would never err in his solemn teaching capacity regarding Faith and Morals. Those conditions as you stated above are that “[t]he Pope must overtly state that this is what he is doing, that he is binding the Church from the chair of Peter or ex cathedra.” This is perhaps a subtle distinction, but it makes a profound difference because it means that our faith rightly formed is not centered on the person of the pope, but centered the on the Person of Christ. Right?

        So when we come across a pope who, according to some authorities, appears to be erring in doctrine (to the extent that letters of correction as well as dubia have been published and sent to him), the first thing we should ask is whether he is really erring or not. And if it turns out that he is erring, is it not then reasonable to ask whether his papacy is legitimate or whether he’s an antipope? We’ve had over 30 antipopes already; it could happen again.

        In fact, it’s crossed my mind that perhaps the reason there has yet to be an answer to the dubia is because only the pope has the authority to answer them and both JPII’s and Pope Benedict’s previous teaching on the dubia matters not only are very clear but are also in keeping with the constant teaching of the successors of Peter. In other words perhaps the pope already answered the dubia and perhaps that is why there has been no updated answer. OR maybe I misunderstood the importance of the dubia and they do not actually “pertain to a matter of faith and morals for the good of the whole Church”.

        I am truly not trying to present “Gotcha” questions. They seem to me questions of eternal importance and I sincerely doubt that I am the only one who wrestles with them.


        1. You know, III, I recently didn’t clear a comment you made which included your statement (paraphrasing now) that more and more people are now doubting the legitimacy of this papacy. And after all the words you wrote which prompted Charlie’s explanation – expressed with clarity and elegance – about infallibility, here you are again bringing up THAT very topic of a legitimate papacy. Please S.T.O.P. Go back, reread and respect the piece posted five.months.ago. entitled: An End to the Discussions on the Validity of Pope Francis. Comments asking about or advocating for the idea that Pope Francis is not our actual Pope will no longer be cleared here.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I apologize, Bekita, I didn’t notice that my earlier comment about the legitimacy of the papacy had not been allowed; so I didn’t know that I was skating on thin ice. I have re-read An End to the Discussions on the Validity of Pope Francis. I understand that under absolutely no circumstances all further ‘FiP or BiP’ ideas, advocating for, or discussions of will be dismissed and are absolutely disallowed.

            I hope it is still fair to try to ascertain in what exactly does the universal Magisterium consist and how does ordinary Magisterium fit into the universal Magisterium? Also, I heard an interview a couple of years ago where Abp. Schneider differentiated between the extraordinary and the ordinary Magisterium. Was he referring to the universal Magisterium as the extraordinary Magisterium OR are the extraordinary and ordinary Magisteria subsets of the universal Magisterium? Those seem like fair non-‘FiP or BiP’ questions to ask.

            Moreover, when Charlie rightly says that even though it’s not guaranteed to be infallible, “We are obligated to defer to ordinary Magisterial teaching”, I can see the blessing of practicing deference in this matter since free-will acts of this kind would bring with them opportunity to practice the virtues of at least humility, obedience, and faith. However, (and yes it wouldn’t be me if I there wasn’t a BUT), when faced with the practical reality that solid Catholic formation of not only laity but clergy as well at ALL levels has been sorely lacking for the last five decades (e g all here acknowledge that authoritative corrections and unanswered dubia are now a part of our almost weekly Catholic reality), I sincerely ask what is the guide for deference to that ordinary Magisterium? In seeking a guide for this deference, it strikes me that blind obedience is unacceptable since it derogates my personal responsibility before God of knowing, loving, and serving in the way that Charlie excoriates and directs us away from. To be clear, my definition of blind obedience is akin to the justifiably damnable rationalization of “just following orders”. Also, in the same vein of seeking a guide, by what standards does one measure or weigh that infallible guarantee we have been promised for the visible unifier of the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”? It is an infallible guarantee that the Pope is the one and only visible unifier of the Catholic Church, isn’t it? (I might have to deal with some more ground shaking here, I know.)

            I think that both you and Charlie would agree that these are all relevant questions for Catholics of any era, ‘FiP or BiP’ topic aside.

            I agree that Charlie’s statement was a clear and elegant explanation for pointing me to the infallible universal Magisterium and explaining that the ordinary Magisterium is not infallible–this I did not know. As I stated, I do appreciate Charlie’s response and at the same time I hope to gain even greater clarity on this point because from what others have said here and elsewhere (including my truly good-guy, “straight shooter” priest) it seems that all encyclicals, Papal Bulls, moto proprios, etc are part of this ordinary Magisterium and thus in the end are nothing more or less than authoritative opinion based on fallible human intellect.

            For this reason, I think that I finally understand that (authoritative as they are) these fallible statements are therefore subject to change and that that change may or may not be in keeping with what the Church has constantly taught and that’s okay and not something “ground shaking” over which to concern myself. Also, I think that I finally understand that the only rock-solid statements that can or should be considered infallible because they are immutably God-derived and are of a kind that Charlie and others well-describe as those that “must pertain to a matter of faith and morals for the good of the whole Church. {And t]he Pope must overtly state that this is what he is doing, that he is binding the Church from the chair of Peter or ex cathedra.”

            To demonstrate this end, Charlie went on to say that “there are only two commonly known such statements in Papal history – on the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX and the Assumption of Mary by Pius XII.” Presumably the other less commonly well-known yet nonetheless infallible statements that come from God to us through the process and procedures of the universal Magisterium (bishops and Popes) are included in the list of 255 or so dogmas that one can find on-line and in books. I presume that all of these statements have been infallibly defined, declared, and promulgated ex cathedra as Charlie described. That for me is unshakeable, rock-solid ground for which I am eternally grateful.

            Do you see that it is when my admittedly limited understanding of what I thought I firmly understood to constitute solid ground is shaken that I begin my quest for answers? I am not by nature an agitator.

            Perhaps I am mistaken but this kind of seeking that I am about seems reasonable, just, and exactly what God expects of me. To be clear as I have stated elsewhere in this combox, the mysteries of God and His Bride are incomprehensible in their totalities AND I have no desire, expectations, or delusions of grandeur that I am going to apprehend the fullness of Who God is here or even after I’m dead. I hope that you can see that right now I am not in the least bit discussing ‘FiP or BiP’ however much the conclusions that I reach which emanate from the answers that I seek may or may not pertain to that specific discussion.

            Thank you for this opportunity to gain greater clarity.


            1. III, honestly, how could this be so?: “I didn’t notice that my earlier comment about the legitimacy of the papacy had not been allowed; so I didn’t know that I was skating on thin ice.” This feels as game-playing to me, for you well know you were the focus of some strong correction about hijacking the site’s discussions in the comments which were under the piece – Grace is Free But Not Cheap – which preceded the article I asked you to reread. Please, III, simply get to the point of asking your questions.

              You seem to want to dig deeper into the meaning of the theological language of discussing the finer points of the Magisterium. Perhaps there are others who wish to go there with you but I remind us all that our main focus is not so much digging deeply into theological points. Rather, we’re here to uphold each other through the Storm while we evangelize and help others around us. And I say this because Charlie insightfully and wisely noted in a comment back at Grace is Free… “The satan loves to get people arguing about extraneous issues that, even if accomplished, would do little to nothing to solve the fundamental problems – precisely to beguile serious people away from grappling with the real problems before them.” So, III, respectfully and with as much gentleness as written text can hold, while remaining firm in honoring the purpose for which Charlie established this site, if no one is a taker on this topic, please let it go.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Interestingly, most all of the dogmas III speaks about have NOT been done by the Pope ex cathedra. The dogma of Papal infallibility was not determined until Vatican I, which began in 1868. This validated, after the fact, Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Most things that are dogmas were infallibly determined through a process in which the Bishops and the Pope concurred over time. Some parts of the universal Magisterium began in the ordinary Magisterium. Some are taken directly from Scripture – and a unanimous consensus on them.

                It is not just the questions on the “idee fixe” of overturning the Papal election. This site welcomes people of faith at all levels of knowledge. What frustrates and often even offends me, III, is that it seems you often read an article somewhere; jump to vast, unjustified conclusions and pretend to expertise on the topic you do not have. You reveal that in a comment like this where your attempt at erudition shows you do not even know the basics of doctrinal development, canon law, discipline vs. doctrine – and most of the things you speak so glibly about. There is no shame in not knowing. One of the unique things about Christianity is that, if you are the greatest intellectual in history, you can never even begin to plumb its depths – and if you are the simplest of persons, the heart of it all is still entirely within your grasp. It is good that you want to learn something about the technical issues – but you will need serious, hard study over years to get to where you can talk intelligently in technical theological terms. Talk in plain terms about what troubles you and what you hope for and all will ease. But you keep trying to display a technical expertise you have not done the homework for. It is like someone who has not bothered to study engineering at all to glibly explain how to re-design the engine and transmission of a car for greater efficiency, not knowing or much caring about the vast holes in the argument born of the lack of learned expertise. Look, you can drive. You don’t have to pretend to a mastery of the physics of the internal combustion engine to do that. So quit it – and talk plainly.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Jeepers, Charlie. I apologize for coming off like some sort of erudite expert. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I am not. As you’ve pointed out my enormous lack is very evident. That’s why I ask questions and greatly appreciate the responses as well as direction to resources that I can study.

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. You ask, “How could this be so?” How could it be that I didn’t notice that you disallowed a previous comment? I will explain: I comment at many blogs and in those instances when comments are moderated as they are here, I don’t keep track of which of my comments have been posted or not unless there has been a notification of a reply to them or a notification of a ‘like’ having been clicked about them. There is no notification for a comment simply being posted. That is how I didn’t notice that the comment you note had been disallowed. I assumed that it had been posted end either been unremarkable or disliked.

                You rightfully say that “we’re here to uphold each other through the Storm while we evangelize and help others around us“. So you know those in my circle of evangelization ask questions that “dig deeply into the meaning of theological language” and we frequently “discuss the finer points of the Magisterium”. As one of the primary resources to those souls, I want to be sure of my answers to them, BUT because of my limited understanding about those finer points on which I am seeking answers (e.g. I thought the ordinary Magisterium was infallible), I’ve had to correct facts that I’ve presented of late because I was incorrect. To practice humility in such an endeavor is a means of evangelization in itself and that is good. But it also seems an effective means of evangelization to not only know what I’m talking about but also to know solid resources to direct people to. That’s why I’m asking questions that to me seem to be fundamental problems, I don’t feel like I’m arguing about extraneous issues. I’m trying to gain tools for a piece of what constitutes the whole of evangelization.

                For example while helping my sister recover from limbic system impairment, discussions with my non-denominational 20-year-old nephew have consisted in the topics of fallible vs infallible, where dogma is found, as well as the visible unifying identifier of the Catholic Church.

                You can imagine that It’s sometimes tough going to introduce him to the solid beauty of Christ’s Bride when his view of the Catholic Church comes almost exclusively from mainstream media.


                1. Well, III, an entire piece (the one I advised you to reread) was written in response to what was stirred up in comments you made under that article’s previous piece. Seems to me we each should be responsible enough and care enough to check back here if the topic for which we’re offering comments and asking questions is as important to us as you convey this is to you.

                  Honestly, III, introduction to the faith need not be complex. Desmond offered an example of dynamic evangelization in the ways the parishioners from his and Charlie’s church go forth utilizing the Kerygma model which Dez explained.

                  I do appreciate the counsel Charlie gave: when asking questions, keep it simple. God bless you, III, and all of us here.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. I agree that introduction to the faith need not be complex. At the same time as St. Paul professed to be “all things to all men”, I seem to attract people who’s minds acknowledge the simple but also find it important to understand the more complex details as well. That is where I am in my discussions with not only my nephew but also my first and third sons and a gentleman I met recently at the grocery store. So the Kerygma model is absolutely most excellent and dynamic, as you say, while at the same time there are others drawn by different routes.

                    Trying to keep it simple here with the new more precise and thus correct definitions of technical language: Does the Church teach infallibly that the Pope is the one visible identity who unifies the Church or am I mistaken and this is neither a teaching or it is a teaching that is contained in the ordinary Magisterium and thus is fallible and therefore changeable?


                    1. III, I’m going to answer with respect, care and candor. I read aloud your question to Fr. Wang because I was stumped when I read it on my own and he is my walking, talking resource for whom I am grateful and from whom I’ve learned so much. But even he kept frowning and repeating the question in wonderment of what “one visible identity” could actually mean. This isn’t phrased in typical theological terms but I’m assuming, from your question, that you’re trying to understand the role of the Holy Father. So, what I would do is find an online CCC (or consult your own copy at home) and search with pertinent words, such as “Vicar of Christ” or “Hierarchy”, and read not only from the CCC, but also, consult the footnotes which will take you to a wealth of foundational information and understanding. Then, you can frame questions seeking clarification from the language used in those documents.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Also, Bekita, thank you for not reflexively brushing me off or shutting me up. I am grateful and really liking the scborromeo.org website. I see that it will take me some studying and time to rightly phrase my question. No wonder Fr was frowning and Charlie is offended. I am so very sorry for causing consternation.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. For what it’s worth, III, my favorite search tool for the CCC is here: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
                      I like the way it comes up with isolated answers to the search and also provides opportunity to enter the CCC and see this info in context with all footnotes for future search of documents which can be found on the Vatican website.

                      Liked by 1 person

  28. Want to know what a human Minion of Hell looks and sounds like?

    Here’s two of them. Click on the vid.


    They look harmless enough. Sound rational. But you can bet your booties this Q&A was a pre-planned setup. The only question for me is are these two Minions of Hell witting or unwitting in their sin.

    Mortal Sin
    A serious matter, sufficient knowledge, deliberate consent.
    For a sin to be a mortal sin, besides it being a grave matter, there is also a required full consciousness of the gravity of the matter, along with the deliberate will to commit the sin.

    Check. Check. And Check.

    The question is carefully prepared and read quite slowly and carefully based on an artfully crafted bold assumption/assertion. See if you can catch it.

    Watch the politician answering the question. What do you think? He is expecting this setup question. He is not surprised by it. He is nodding his head as the question is being posed to him. He is ready with his answer.

    All preplanned and I might say well executed by both the questioner Minion of Hell and the politician Minion of Hell.

    Note the applause of the audience. Swayed? Approving? Endorsing the proposition?

    It all seems so …. spontaneous. But it is not. It is evil strategy accomplished by evil, deliberate, tactics to form public opinion. Public Opinion or Consensus Opinion which in our time is considered Truth.

    This is a recruitment strategy. Minions of Hell recruiting as many new Minions as they can while confirming the conviction of the already unwitting lost souls sucked into this sin.

    Adopting this Opinion as Truth? Sanctifying this sin as righteous and rational even unto the survival of the species?

    Voting for this? Voting for this guy?

    Kind of takes your breath away.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nope. Not even remotely interested in knowing what two human minions of hell look and sound like.

      That said, I really enjoy and appreciate just about all of your posts.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I’m not being flip here, Ed, but why? How’s that help in knowing God, loving God, and returning to Him to be with Him for eternity? Or helping our brothers and sisters in the same endeavor? I’ve read about the Enemy in Holy Scripture, but that has never struck me as the thing to focus on… for any amount of time. I’ve also read the words of various Saints who have seen the Enemy in an extraordinary way too. St. Faustina is one example. She was escorted there by an Angel of the Lord. As far as I can gather, every single one of those Saints could only think of one thing afterwards. Giving their all in prayer and sacrifice for souls everywhere, especially the most sinful. Show me one of these enemies. If they’ve still got breath, there’s still hope.

          Know your enemy, tactics, etc. doesn’t sound all bad, but it really does sound human. Of course we’re spirit too, which makes us more than that.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Ed,About 30 years ago, I heard a testimony of a non Catholic man, Howard Pittman,  who had a near death experience and was allowed to see all sorts of demons, what they look like and how that represents them.  He wrote many books on them.  I started to devour the books thinking that if I studied and knew the enemy, I would be more effective witness or battle him better.  As a result, I either became demonically possessed or oppressed.  It generated a spirit of fear that I had absolutely no control over.  I had to be delivered from this of which I was at a prayer retreat. It was a big relief.  I got rid of all the books and it became very clear to me my focus was on the wrong path.  The Holy Spirit made it clear to me later in a dream when I was litterally battling a demon.  I tried everything to no avail and then a voice in my dream said to love.  Upon hearing that, the demon fled.  Take this for what it is worth.  God bless you!

          Liked by 3 people

            1. You touch on something very important, HttP. The first book a Priest director recommended I stay away from is a Catholic classic. He thought it would not suit my personality well and might lead to some obsessive behavior. When, sometime later, he lifted the ban, I got a brand new copy of the book. Turns out it was defective – after the first 10 pages all the pages were jumbled up. I figured God was just confirming my director’s original judgment, so have never read it. Some books are edifying for one personality type, but not for another.

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Sooo… since he’s calling for the aborting/destruction WORLDWIDE of these children, he is in fact calling for the destruction of millions upon millions of brown-skinned babies. I guess since he’s also calling for the deaths of millions of white-skinned babies at the same time,it’s not racist (even though 100X more non-white people will be killed as a result). Or maybe it’s because he thinks that since he can’t order these abortions in the USA by presidential decree, but he CAN order the deaths of all these other children by a presidential decree declaring which foreign agencies will recv. funding for abortions, that somehow makes it less racist.


      Liked by 2 people

  29. Father Czerny, a Jesuit priest is to be appointed directly to Cardinal by Pope Francis; how often has this ocurred before? He was just appointed czar of migration.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. On LifeSite News is an article about the Amazon synod. I haven’t paid much attention to it except to be praying. Holy Cow! From what I can understand it sounds like they basically want to gut the church. It seems to me from what I read that Jesus didn’t really have to die on the cross because whatever someone believe is hunky-dorie.The kind of Catholic Church they want will be pagan church. Oh, Lord, help! St. Theresa the little flower pray for us. I just not that smart to understand all of this and I don’t have to understand. But, I can trust and pray.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Leonardo Boff (a liberation theologian) is a friend of the Pope’s and helped write the Amazon synod; he left the priesthood in 1992, married, and still says Mass. He was silenced by Pope Benedict whom he said “should have read a little bit of Marx” and also called Pope Benedict “an angel of death of the church.” I want a conservative Catholic Church, not a Marxist new product!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. OK, Charlie… I have now read this article twice by myself, and I just finished reading it for the third time with Cyprian. So, we both have the same question: Why 2 1/2 months? If you had said “a few months” or “several months” or “sooner rather than later,” I think I would have understood. But why two and a half? Is my inner Math geek getting bogged down in minutiae because it’s a definite number, or am I obtusely missing something which ought to be obvious to me?

    Liked by 1 person

            1. I think Cyprian is an amazing name. He’s named for a great saint! I love Chris, too. I have a brother, son in law and grandson with that name.


    1. Two and a half months will take us to Thanksgiving. Heaven knows, the worst ugliness is usually put on hold (at least in Washington) during the Christmas season. Perhaps I am presuming too much this year. The fact is, the worst things and challenges are near cresting. If we have not set a course of vigorously dealing with them in this period, I don’t think we will in the new year.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Charlie, I totally agree. I expect the next 2.5 months are gonna be lit. If they aren’t, then I believe, like you, that next year will be much worse than it would otherwise need to be.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Plus, don’t forget: 6 weeks after Thanksgiving gives us both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, when we will begin seeing the results of our prayers and petitions.


  33. We lived for several years outside Snyder,Texas in a Texico group of about 8 houses when I was 5. Several of us small ones were sitting on the steps of a new house being built when we heard and then saw a large rattlesnake just under our feet; of course the builders got there very fast when we yelled. We always had horned toads to play with. A very small, beautiful bug just like red velvet came out only after a rain and to this day no one has been able to tell me what it was; A tornado came just over our house and completely demolished a very tall oil derick about a mile away.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary Anne,
      The small red velvet bugs could have been two creatures but was probably the mite.
      1. a velvet ant which is a wingless wasp species. They are bright velvet red and very active but not really small.
      A velvet mite ( also called a “rain bug”) which is fairly tiny but also a bright velvet red.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I wasn’t till Mel Gibson made the scourging of Jesus so vivid and real in the Passion that those who watched it could finally begin to understand what Jesus suffered for us.
    Is it going to take videos of dissection of tiny beating hearts to do the same?
    Will this country have the stomach to do what has to be done? How long O Lord?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Beckita, thank you for this. I (and over 1300 others) saw Fr. John Riccardo and Peter Herbeck at the Seeking Truth 10th Anniversary celebration. Fr. Riccardo introduced the kerygma and Acts XXIX; Sharon Doran talked about rebuilding the church (breathtaking presentation) and Peter Herbeck talked about our response to the times we are in, our opportunities to be the tools of the Lord. He also said, Maranatha! Come, Holy Spirit! and called the Holy Spirit down on all those there and led us in prayer to surrender all to Him.
        Then I came home and read the piece I posted. filled with anguish…

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Thank you, III, it was anguish, yes, because I have a three week old granddaughter, so evil hits very close to home.
            I came home from Saturday’s conference so full of hope–it was Spirit-filled and I wish all here could have been there.
            Today, my anguish does not rule because it was not despair. I didn’t lose that hope; I am resolved to do even more. 🙂 ( sort of “set my face like a flint”)

            Liked by 2 people

  35. Charlie. I heard of you from AJ Glaser, here at St. Josephs’ in Fort Collins. Love your blogs but cannot always read them all–eyes are getting old. You might have some insight. The time has come for me to begin giving money to good causes, and because I have admired priests all my life, I want to give to a good seminary, non-queer, middle of the road, real Catholic. Preferably one to which $20,000 would be helpful. Do you have suggestions?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rose, St. John Vianney in Denver is solid. In fact, our friend, Desmond Birch teaches there. Let me talk to him about some way you might earmark some money to help the seminarians with little needs that are not taken care of for them. I will get back to you.


    2. Rose, I just sent you an email with some guidance – so just in case it goes in the spam folder be on the lookout for it. I deeply appreciate your generous support of our Priests and seminarians. You are a dear woman who does not just worry, but puts her money where her mouth is. May the Lord richly bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

  36. I have often thought of Gideon’s army in this time. Even a long time ago, I started to suspect perhaps even quite literally 300. It appears so by the day. There must be more than that, but so many, by the day, especially among the youth whose lives are seemingly so inherently unstable in these times, are losing their faith.

    We are few, and fewer all of the time. But God is faithful.


    1. Welcome to commenting, Katerina. Charlie has, often, even back at the TNRS site, highlighted the idea of a Gideon’s army being fashioned, in these times, and stepping into a response of firm fiat. I, personally, know more than 300 who qualify as evidenced by how they live their lives. Nevertheless, a remnant, comprised of those who are ALL IN – for and with God – come what may is a relatively small number at this moment. Praying always that the people God wishes to jolt into a healthy and vibrant awakening of faith will respond so that the number of soldiers in Gideon’s Army of these days will swell, giving God Glory as we work to rebuild faith and culture.


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