The Grace of a Single Step


By Charlie Johnston

I’m on the road again – and this time I did not have a storm chasing me out of Colorado. Mild sunny weather all day – and another gorgeous morning today.

When I left on my pilgrimage on Feb. 11, 2011, I had given away most of my meager belongings and departed with a bit over $50 in my pocket. I had my laptop in my backpack and a plan to write little $15 articles for an online media content site to help support my journey.

I hear from many people scared about the disorder that, lately, threatens to engulf us. If God has begun the process of renewing both His Church and the world, one of the keys to our own pilgrim journey through these times is to build our trust in Him. That does not mean He submits His plan to us for our approval, but that we must do our best and trust Him when we cannot see the way in front of us. From a standpoint of prudent judgment, if someone told me they were going to walk across the country starting with $50 in their pocket and a laptop to write $15 articles on, I would dismiss it as a ridiculously dubious plan – unlikely to get them more than 50 miles down the road, much less across the country. But that is what I did, determined to make it, starting with next to nothing. I figured I could find little odd jobs in exchange for a meal if I needed to, beg if I needed to, or dumpster dive if I needed to. The most important thing in my heart, as I could not see the way or tell anyone (including myself) how I was going to manage this, was that I was determined to do it and meet all the people I could, trusting God to make a way when I could not see one right ahead of me. As it turned out, God’s grace was sufficient for me. Rarely did I have enough to get me more than 100 to 150 miles more ahead – with no visible means of enduring when I made it that far. And yet, I always managed. Seeing that God’s grace was literally sufficient at each new step, it dramatically solidified my already strong faith in Him. It cemented the reality that I did not have to know His plan to trust it. And it kept me focused on the needs of the day, rather than fretting about the magnitude of the whole undertaking.

I think it helped some of my friends in the same way. Many (actually most) thought I would end up wounded and broke pretty early on. One friend even quietly set aside a little fund to bring me back when my starry-eyed plan came a-cropper. I was in Pearl, Mississippi when he called one day. After a few minutes of cheery conversation, he exclaimed that every time he called he expected me to be daunted and broken, but I was always cheery and upbeat with cool little stories of what I had seen since last we talked. “I’m beginning to think you’re going to make it, after all,” he said.

I tell you this because, if things do not smooth out, none of us is going to be able to clearly see the way ahead of us. Don’t regard this as a terror to tremble over, but as a problem to be managed, an obstacle to be navigated, trusting that God will open up a way before you. But you have to commit to stay the course in both the lightest and the darkest moments. God’s grace is sufficient for you, too. But you won’t know it as intimately now as you will after, when He guides you through anyway when you could not see the way forward. Your persistent determination to walk through to the end in His service is the raw material you offer to Him in order to open yourself up to His grace..

After a few months, I was better than a thousand miles away from anyone I had known before my pilgrimage began. Yet I was never more than a few miles away from a friend – friends I made along my pilgrim way – and would never have made had I not set out in the first place. Give thanks to God for the friends you are going to make as you make your way to renewal.

Some people thought my piece, “From the Ground Up” was some sort of prediction. Shoot, one fellow even wrote a comment (which I trashed) which said that this sort of stuff was nonsense when I was writing about it four years ago and is nonsense now. Four years ago, I wrote of what I was convinced was coming. Now, I write about what is actually happening – and where it heads if current trends continue. That is the sort of stuff I wrote about when I was entirely secular. Now, it is not so much prediction as observation.

If you are a farmer and see black clouds sweeping in and funnel clouds trying to form, it is best to gather the livestock to safety and head down to the storm cellar. If you are a sailor and see a storm coming in fast at sea, you need to get to work to batten down the hatches to weather the storm. In either case, the storm may yet pass you by. Hurricane Dorian was supposed to devastate our east coast – but it largely passed us by.  It is foolish, though, to assume a visible storm will pass you by and, thus, make no preparations. Nothing is lost to those east coast residents who did prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. And the storm did NOT pass the Bahamas by. I guarantee you that the folks there who prepared well were glad they did.

God is renewing both His Church and this poor, bleeding world. His ways are not our ways, but He wants us to stand with Him as He accomplishes this great work. It is such a great grace and honor that He has chosen each of us to live and participate with Him in these great times of renewal, a great revival of the spirit and renewal of the world. He chose you for these times – and His grace is sufficient for you. Tremble not in fear, but with joy – and resolve. You are going to have some great stories to tell you grandchildren some day!







127 thoughts on “The Grace of a Single Step

  1. Ah, St. Thérèse, we continue to need your presence and patronage, deepening within us the ways of simplicity and love as we remain cemented in trusting our Abba.

    I love that St. Thérèse so yearned to please Jesus. Concerned at how cold people had become, she told Him, in all earnestness, that SHE would receive the love from Him which anyone had refused. Why not follow in her footsteps, each one of us? Sacred Heart of Jesus, bring to us all the love you continue to offer, which has been spurned… thank You for letting it flow right into our hearts, calming us, fueling us to steadfast faithfulness, driving us – now and in the days ahead- to reach out to others at every opportunity as we carry on.

    I was deeply moved this week – it was like an interior earthquake – when a friend suggested we strike such an arrangement with the Holy Spirit. Yes! The Holy Spirit’s Power is available and needed in ALL the wood we have to chop. It was HIS Power that raised Jesus from the dead. It is HIS Power that is called down as the priest at Mass prepares to confect the Eucharist in the words of consecration.

    Come Holy Spirit! Come anew into all the hearts in this community of TNRS-ASOH! Fill us with your fire, your power, to do those myriad wee things before us, this day and all the days of our lives, through the joys and through the sorrows of forging a New Beginning – no matter the circumstances around us.

    Liked by 21 people

    1. I’ve been following the visit of St. Thérèse to Scotland, country of some of my ancestors. It is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. to see the crowds swell as she continues to make her way through each diocese in the country, awakening people and vivifying appreciation for our great faith. A song composed to welcome her was first sung by the children. Now, the entire country’s Catholics have these lyrics rising from their hearts and flowing from their lips.

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    2. I have great devotion and love for St. Thérèse. She is a very powerful Saint for our time.

      PS. She looks so young in that first picture. 🙂

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      1. St. Therese is at the top of my list, as well. I suspect she is one of the busiest prayer warriors in heaven. (I wonder if she gets a 15-minute break every four hours.🙂)

        God bless.

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  2. I haven’t even read thus yet save the last paragraph which I’m putting as an Intro to Charlies pieve as an introduction ..but I feel the great love of Our Holy Spirit here…Dearest God, please renew the face of the earth…reveal yourself to us all. ..praying for you, charlie…plz be careful 🤗😇😘

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  3. Awesome posts Charlie and Beckita! Charlie’s brings to mind something that I have wrestled with often…. why me, why here, why now, why?? You know? And instead of asking the “why”, it is much more appropriate to do as Charlie says “It is such a great grace and honor that He has chosen each of us to live and participate with Him in these great times of renewal, a great revival of the spirit and renewal of the world. He chose you for these times – and His grace is sufficient for you.” This IS it… this IS the answer to the why that has come and gone out of my head. Yes, I’ve heard it in the pews and from other places, but for whatever reason, the way you said it Charlie sunk in, thank you!

    Love the comments on St. Therese! Love the Devotion to the Sacred Heart….

    One last thing, a snip from the chorus and a verse from my favorite singer, Matt Maher…. from my favorite song of his…..

    “Your grace is enough
    Your grace is enough
    Your grace is enough for me
    Great is Your love and justice, God of Jacob
    You use the weak to lead the strong
    You lead us in the song of Your salvation
    And all Your people sing along”

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    1. Billbad42…I’m 56. I too have often pondered the why me? Why now? Why us? It does make greater sense to understand it the way Charlie put it…that we were obviously chosen for these times. Very cool to meditate on God’s great Divine Plan of Mercy for mankind. Desmond Birch calls it the minor chastisement to wake us all up from our sleep. Yep…we need this

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  4. The other day when I sent a Michael Voris Vortex on “Climate change” to some of my family and friends, I added he following caveat to clarify my position on the subject and my somewhat limited endorsement of Michael Voris that I thought some here on ASOH would find interesting.

    As an Engineer and scientist I do not ascribe to man’s actions significantly affecting climate change. The sun cycles are the primary drivers of earth temperatures. Climate change cycles have existed since the creation of the world even before mankind existed in any numbers here on earth. The US has severely reduced its pollution contribution by cleaning up its consumption of fossil fuels and in its manufacturing processes. Moving much of manufacturing to China and India and third world countries which have a much higher pollution rate in their processes, has greatly increased man’s contribution to atmospheric pollution which still does not affect climate change significantly. By putting an even greater burden on the US and West, little overall effect will result compared with the East’s much greater contribution. This increased burden on us would have a significant negative effects on our economies with insignificant affect on world pollution. As an aside, studies have shown that the majority of plastic pollution of the oceans comes from Eastern countries. Plastic pollution has grown to alarming levels despite efforts to remove it. More effort is required there both in reducing the pollution and removing it.
    The UN and others are pushing climate change control efforts in order to equalize world wealth among the nations and in order to greatly increase its own power to very detrimental results. Too few seem to be aware.
    I do not nor intend to subscribe to “Premium” in order to get additional postings about the faith teaching from Michael’s group. Even though I agree with Church Militant in general, I think they go overboard to some degree at times. Each of us must discern each of their statements based on our own best judgement.
    May God bless and guide all here. jas

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    1. Bravo, JAS! You’ve said it all and said what sensible, logical people can agree on. What you believe is echoed by many others ….all about wealth redistribution.

      Great words, Charlie, Beckita too. The Little Flower is one of my favorites, one of those who have shown me wonderful things through their writings or given me marvelous gifts/miracles (such as St. Philomena and her blessed oil).

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    1. whoally cow Nance! Thank you for sharing. This could easily be a great Clancy book, but unfortunately it is reality and I know that Charlie has direct access to CMP, so his comments all jive with this article from what I can tell. Thank you for sharing this. I am posting to my Facebook and Instagram sites… who doesn’t love a great conspiracy story (unfortunately this is reality)….. I sure hope AG Barr takes the right action for the sake of our nation and to move this all along in the right direction.

      God bless!

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  5. So very important to keep going! Love the prayer to the Holy Spirit. Already do St, Theresa’s. YES, we need the Holy Spirit, and on our farm St, Joseph. We are building and fixing, milking, and fixing some more. St. Joseph is excellent even at things he never did in his life on earth. He fixes my brakes, fixes plumbing, as well as build square barns! A priest once told us that carpenters were “jack-of-all-trades”. We need St. Joseph in these times. He knows how to get things done!

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  6. Hi Charlie,
    Thank you for this heartening post. God’s blessings, safety and peace on the road.
    I’ve found my plans and preparations for this storm have been largely like a child’s attempts to throw sand against the tide. While our home survived the fire last fall, our garage pantry of food preparations has been attacked by the varmits that moved in while we were evacuated. We are still fighting the little squatters.
    I feel like our church is being purified in the various scandals we are going through, and at times it is hard to be as hopeful and positive as I would like to be. And then God shows me a little peak at things from another perspective. My husband is in a Diaconate Formation program for our diocese, and the men who are now Candidates for Ordination are completely inspiring. Their wives are equally or more so. They are faithful, hard-working, self-sacrificing, and show me where the Church is ultimately headed with them as leaders in the future.
    I am now working from home as a Notre Dame STEP Facilitator for online Catechism classes. The first class that I am working with is in Lagos, Nigeria. These Catholics are learning about the faith through the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Our first Unit was on Faith and the second on Divine Revelation. The traffic in Lagos is the third worst in the world. The average commute each way each day is 3 hours, so a total of 6 hours on the road. Our Friday evening Chat is from 9-10 PM, so they can get home from work first. Their commitment is inspiring to me. Again, God shows me through these students and their faith, ministries, lives, and love for the Church what the future holds. It builds up my hope, faith, and courage.
    I am grateful for these little peaks at the future of our Church and the purified world to come.
    Thank you for the encouraging post. We need to honestly face where things are and where they are going, but also see the hope and beauty all around us.
    I pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the reign of the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, and the Era of Peace. Come Lord Jesus, Come!

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    1. Beautiful sharing, Deon. Praying for you and your online catechetical work. I visited Lagos 43 years ago when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa while traveling throughout the region on vacation. Beautiful people are the Nigerians!

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    1. Crewdog! Thomas More Society ~ Been keeping up with this, Daleiden and am just so struck and saddened by the sickness and insanity of these people. I hope tears count because that is all I have at this time…that and Rosaries! There was a most amazing story on Spirit Daily this week of a girl from a large family in BC.. “An extraordinary jail inmate.” “An extraordinary defendant, an extraordinary court case.” This young lady is truly inspiring and this is beautiful, yet so sorrowful. So Brave! One of God’s appointed. Just as David Daleiden. So strong and determinded- you can tell he completely trust in our Lord! From Charlie’s script… “It is such a great grace and honor that He has chosen each of us to live and participate with Him in these great times of renewal, a great revival of the spirit and renewal of the world. ” Thank you,Charlie! Yes, it is an honor and grace. You have always been such a great inspiration. And Thank you Beckita, for your beautiful prayers and encouragement.

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  7. I am trying to process,ponder article,comments.
    Is it that…..all that has been spoken of for a long time by many ….true messages ,words….is now a reality?
    Not coming….here now.
    Fr Richard is right if this is the case. We need an Elijah moment.
    Have I understood correctly?

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      1. Hi Anne. It’s great to hear from you again. Needing an “Elijah moment” is Fr. Rick’s way of reading the signs of these times. Other writers make reference to other people and/or events from the Scriptures. I surely think we’re living the portion of the Akita message wherein our Mother forewarned of days of division within the Church hierarchy. What we don’t know is how much of previous messages has been mitigated. Never in any message have we been given the full, clear Plan of God… only wisps of a look into what is coming as well as only being able to discern through a mist the full meaning of the messages. Some of the greatest gifts to me from becoming part of this community are the discussions which center on how we can be prepared for whatever may come and encouragement to BE Christ to one another, come what may. TNRS is the anchor for living in these days. God bless you, Anne.

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        1. Hello, Bekita. Thank you again for giving me the link to the resources at They’ve been a treasure trove. I wanted to let you know that I think I found a satisfactory answer to my recent question about the role of the Holy Father that offended Charlie and had Fr. Wang frowning. I think that the “one, visible, unifying focus” (not “identity”) for the faithful at any time is the pope.

          As CCC 882 and 883 state:
          882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.”402 “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”403

          883 “The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such, this college has “supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff.”404

          (402, 403, and 404 are citations from Lumen Gentium 22 and 23 as well as Christus Dominus 2,9 and Canon 336)

          After reading CCC 882, I had two new questions that I can’t find answers for yet. I’ll keep looking and if I can’t find the answers I hope I can ask here.

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  8. Even the swiftest runner takes only one step at a time. For those of us who move more slowly, light for the next step is sufficient. The Lord is so good.

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  9. Godspeed on your travels, Charlie; (hopefully we’ll get one video from this round also.)

    Sr. Emmanuel has a summation of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s future of the church, which has some similarities to ASOH mission: “In the 1960s, Father Joseph Ratzinger, while still a professor of theology in Germany, wrote down his vision of the Church of tomorrow. In short, he had the intuition that the Church would lose a great deal: buildings, faithful, priests, social privileges; there would be a smaller Church with fewer believers who are forced to abandon most of the places of worship that were built over the centuries. He saw a Church of Minority Catholics, having little influence on political choices, humiliated and forced to start over from scratch. At the same time, this is a Church that finds herself, thanks to this massive upheaval and its rebirth, streamlined, vigorous and missionary…. The Church will be revived by small groups, minority movements that will put faith back at the center of their hope. This Church will be more spiritual, renouncing all political expectations. The Church will be poor, and will once again become the Church of the needy. At that moment, people will discover that they live in a world of indescribable solitude, they have lost God’s vision and will be horrified by their indigence. Then, and only then, Ratzinger concluded, “will they see the small flock of believers as something completely new: they will discover it as a hope for themselves, an answer they had always secretly been waiting for.”

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  10. Thank you for sharing and giving us hope. Lived your last line, sharing stories with your grandchildren. God bless you

    Sent from my iPhone


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  11. I don’t believe things will smooth out, it’s going to have to get a lot worse before it gets better. The deep state and the anti-God left keep marching on with their agenda. Now there is even a professor who is promoting cannibalism to fight climate change. People better prepare(mentally and physically), and prepare for the worst. And to let God guide our actions.

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    1. Ex Federal reserve president Dudley is openly calling for the fed to pull the plug on the Economy to defeat Trump in the next election. This is going to get bad, I don’t think its going to smooth out. The failed coup did not stop the deep state, it has embolden them. They were no consequences for their coup attempt, why should they back down.

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    “Christians are the last hope for saving America.” …. So said Dennis Prager….

    Drones in the hands of evil people, including rogue State/Federal Government & Political Operators, will be one of the horrors of the unpleasantness to come.
    Good Guys on all fronts need to be on Alert!:

    The very same Usual Suspects who slaughter inconvient babies will use Drones to attack inconvient citizens …. & want YOU disarmed and helpless … and dependant on Them.

    Judicial Watch – On Watch: Revealing the TRUTH about Gun Control, Red Flag Laws, & the 2nd Amendment


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  13. The 1975 Rome Prophecy, Which I may have posted here before speaks of a similar pruning for the Church. This was delivered st ST Peters during an internation Catholic Charismatic gathering:
    Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I
    want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on
    the world, days of tribulation….Buildings that are now standing will not be
    standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you
    to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me
    in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert…I will strip you of
    everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of
    darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my church, a
    time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my
    spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of
    evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me,
    you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and
    joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare
    you…” (given by Ralph Martin)
    “This lists several more given but I think the first speaks clearly and loudly to our situation:

    Click to access Prophecies_Pentecost_Monday.pdf

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      1. Yes! ‘The Fulfillment of All Desire” written by Ralph Martin is an impressive book. It is a synthesis of some of the greatest Doctor’s teachings on spirituality. I bought both the book and the audiobook and recommend it highly.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Linda, I accepted Miki’s FB request and we have been communicating. I encouraged her to go ahead and begin a group as I understand getting people to step up and lead can be a challenge. This area of prep has been wonderfully led by Jen from our TNRS-ASOH team so I emailed Jen as well. IF things break down severely, it seems to me, there would be a need for many groups even within a town or city.

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      1. B, should I join FB? Don’t want to, but after my NY trip I’m considering it just to stay in better touch w family. And if you and other squirrels are there, then I probably should. Sigh. Please advise. P

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        1. I first signed up for FB because all my family lives in other places. It is a great tool for picture sharing and wee tidbits of family news, Patrick. I have found many other good reasons to remain. Many a Catholic lay and clergy evangelist uses the platform.

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        2. PD, if you doo decide to sign up soon Facebook, please be absolutely certain to go through all your settings and set them to assure your privacy as much as possible.

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  14. Safe travels, Charlie.

    The story of how God provided for your needs on your journey mirrors how God provided for me when I was stuck homeless and awaiting surgery in Colorado. I was able to get myself to some assistance (like the Marian House soup kitchen), but I also relied heavily on assistance coming to me….and it did repeatedly and most unexpectedly.

    Reading Job during this time as I started my way back to the faith, God tangibly demonstrated his love and care for me by providing for ALL of my needs. The assistance was always exactly what was required and rarely in excess. When I least expected it, something would “appear” at my feet (so to speak) or someone would knock at my door. But it was the uncanny *timeliness* of the assistance that caught my attention. Sometimes I’d be dumbfounded at the sheer improbability of it. Eventually, I saw patterns emerge and I could only conclude that God had been helping me AND protecting me.

    God made it obvious for me to see his love for me, and it was this that really helped bring me back into the Catholic Church.

    Godspeed, Charlie! You’re in Good Hands!

    (My home from Jun 2004-April 2005, Colorado Springs. It’s a 1978 cab over with holes in the walls. I had electricity, a one-burner propane stove, and a small cube heater. Best place I’ve ever lived in! Changed my life.)

    (Me with hair and Baby, my new kitten, reunited 10-days after back surgery!)

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      1. That was probably the biggest learning experience from my little personal Storm — to trust in God. In fact, since I was unable to change my situation in any way, I was essentially *forced* to hope that things would work out. But after repeated “life-lines” my confidence grew that I was actually under some degree of supernatural protection, in sight of watchful loving eyes. Fortunately I had the sense to thank God for the many benefits that were sent to my aid, even though I did not know him then like I know him today.

        God is so very good…and he can always be trusted.
        Jesus, I trust in you!
        (and please help my lack of trust.😌)

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    1. Ha! And one more bing, Kim….for using the wrong tense of verb! This was me age 36. Now I’m 51 and bald, run down, and falling apart at the seams as my dad would say. (Kidding….I’m just bald.👴🏻)

      Sometimes I do miss my hair. 😢 But then I think of St Ignatius of Loyola, bum leg and bald like Benny Hill’s father while he was on earth. But as a great saint in heaven, he’s sporting a spectacular mane of flowing blond hair that would make Fabio very jealous.

      Sigh….Can’t hurt to hope! 👩🏻‍🦰

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      1. Oh, Patrick–I’ll bet you haven’t changed that much–and who needs hair? Lots of great looking bald men out there! Bruce Willis, Yul Brenner, Mr. T, Mr. Clean!

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        1. And one of my favorites: Mr. Jason Statham, a man’s man. I’ve already got his hair, but wouldn’t mind having his physique and fighting skills. My cousin met him in Cali and said he was very sweet and humble.

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  15. This is another solid recounting of your journey, CJ. I don’t make light of long excursions and the many physical challenges, but it’s clearly evident that you would have been up a creek without a paddle, without the good mental and spiritual habits you had already nurtured and cultivated.

    Failing legs and grumbling bellies are mere annoyances compared to the main assault. Hearts and minds. That’s where the satan aims to attack, and no amount of physical preparation/training will provide a worthy defense.

    My takeaway from your column: be spiritually and mentally prepared. The rest will follow suit… or at least endure without a terrible amount of grumbling.

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    1. Right on target, MP. (You are on fire these days!) My brother, Steve, chuckled one evening and said if you had a picture of any random group of people that included me – and asked a stranger which of these had walked across the country, I would be the among the last chosen every time. We both chuckled over it. (He was not insulting me, just stating the truth – and ever he said this, he chuckled with real satisfaction and added, “But you’re the one who did it). The comment highlighted the reality that I lack the physical gifts that would seem important (and actually would be helpful) for such an endeavor. But the decisive thing was my undaunting determination and my relentless cheeriness. We really can do all things through God…if we trust and set our jaw. Your takeaway is the key to it all.

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      1. And isn’t that the point Charlie?
        Just like when God chose David over the others:
        “Do not look on his (David’s older brother) appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
        It is quite often that God uses the meek and lowly to show HIS power as those He chooses have no identity to this before men and by this He leads one to understand that only God can accomplish such things through them. Another stark reality is how often those chosen become even more humiliated in thier strength as time goes on such as Moses’s speech impediment, David’s lust or Charlies neurological injury. But this only bolsters the view that God is truly with them and using them to accomplish His will by the miracle of such a weak instruments accomplishments.
        “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Cor]).

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        1. Well, Phillip, our good friend Steve BC recommended taking a pouch of unflavored gelatin each day and adding it to a cup of tea or coffee…that it helps the joints. I have been doing it since I got back from the east – and it has eased off some rough edges from my constant pain. (If any of you do this, ad the gelatin to the cold water first, then warm it in the microvave. It tends to clump up if you put it directly in hot water, but dissolves nicely if you put it in cold.)

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    2. Sometimes the physical challenges shadow one’s spiritual or mental trials. I was sure I wouldn’t freeze or starve to death, so physical needs were met (which was reassuring), but the spiritual battle raged on in my head and heart. I was literally taking the first steps back into the Catholic faith, and so the demons were likely not pleased and worked to intervene. Perhaps I received more assistance in the spiritual department than I realize.

      Excellent post, MP.

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  16. Patrick, what a Thanksgiving story and thanks for sharing. Hope your back is much better and always take care to not do things that can hurt it; my neck is a problem since 2000 so I know you have to be very careful.

    I still hang my clothes on the line and the birds come to talk with me; their songs give me pleasure!

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  17. Nice picture, I like the view.

    I don’t travel on the road like that, but I can relate that that’s how my difficult job searches were like in the past. The wife would be panicking I don’t have anything yet, but I just let God get me there…

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  18. Do we really think the time is now, imminent, here…???? Gee whiz, I don’t know what to think. but, judging by what I already think I know, and also by whom I follow on the internet, Taylor Marshall, the Vortex, The Remnant, BCP, to name only a few…What, how, when,,waiting for the bombs to drop or the aliens to invade or for the Russians to be on my rural county road and on my driveway and into my saying there’s a Catholic here, and them they behead that person (me).. What the heck anyway. Like tomorrow, perhaps I’ll wake up and greet a normal morning, or, perhaps I’ll be greeted by military dudes taking my guns and my privacy….what are we all to think? I try to give all happenings beyond my own human control to God, but hey,my hair on my back is raised anyway. Could it be because of all the things I am reading here on the internet? Possibly so? I go to adoration 1-2 times per week, it has helped me but what of all of the people that don’t even know that it exists!?? Hard to convince people on the street when it’s hard to convince my very own husband of 42 3/4 yrs! Please let me know what you all think of the world happenings, especially in regards to Pope Francis. I have a hard time with what he is saying. Instead of him worrying about climate change he should be trying to change the huge abortion industry called Planned Parenthood! I am mad at him or more correctly I am saddend by him. My 7 cents worth (my allownace as a child) hehehe

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    1. Mary, I would strongly urge you to quit focusing on specific scenarios like that. The problem with so many who get focused on prepping is that they posit a specific scenario in their mind (or type of scenario) and that is what they prep for. If I were a general and told to prepare for an attack from the left at dawn tomorrow – and you went busily to work – and then the attack came from the right, you would be totally unprepared. It is the habits of mind that must be cultivated to deal with whatever comes. You need to have strong – but flexible – intellectual muscles. In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus speaks about reading the signs of the times. He does not speak about what specifically you should do – but emphasizes the importance of seeing them for what they are. I go about my business every day. I truly do not spend a moment of time worrying about an invasion or troops coming or any such. (And make no mistake, American troops would be on the side of Americans, not on the side of coup plotters if such a thing were possible). I go about my daily business, knowing that the center may not hold – that if it doesn’t, it will probably take at least some forms I did not expect…and that my greatest hope is to walk with Christ IN THE MOMENT trusting Him to guide my instincts to live the next right step well. If you worry about all these other things, you will not be more – but less – prepared. Be aware of the sings around you, trust God, and take the next right step with fortitude.

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    2. Mary,
      You needn’t convince anyone, only pray quietly.
      The timeframe will not be sudden, we will not thrown into boiling water to suddenly face wrath.
      We are in the warm water, noticing it getting hotter, seeing trouble starting. For some in the public eye it is already hot. We need to encourage those who are currently standing up for God/Church/Faith/Country, if our voice isn’t heard loud and clear, things just might get worse. Let them know they are not alone.

      If military dudes show up at your door (very unlikely) just give them what they ask for, God knows about this trouble too, He may just be telling you to depend more on Him.
      Help where God asks you to. If a family shows up on your rural road that needs help, then assist as best you can – this is the more likely scenario.
      And stop reading the secular news. It is designed to scare you.
      As far as prepping goes – keep it simple – ignore any scenario that occurs to you. Set aside some food, water, and a way to heat/cook for a bit, not a 10year plan, maybe a month or two.

      If there is an actual collapse, be a part of the rebuild in your community.

      There’s a reason that we can’t tell the future (and neither can any news wizard), as it would just paralyze us. God cannot use us if we are paralyzed. God provides us the grace only for the situation we face. Allow him to take your hand, close your eyes, and he will guide you to the next step, which may just be to notice the beauty around you and thank him for such grace.

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  19. I am ever amazed at man’s very strong tendency to hold on to life as if to lose live is the end. We do not know when God will callus home. Whether we live or die is not as important as whether we make it to heaven our ultimate home. Our most focused concern should be that we live each moment according to the Holy will of God for us. We focus so much on being prepared when we are not sure in total what that actually means in total. Reasonably, all we can do is prudently do the best we can and TRUST that God’s will for our life will be fulfilled every moment at a time. Acknowledge God, take the next right step for you and be a sign of hope for those around us. May God continue to guide and bless all here. jas

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    1. You may have noticed that I do not go back to correct my bings. I trust that either you can see what I meant, or you will figure it out, or come up with something even better than my feeble attempts. some times when I am writing or thinking, I am amazed at what comes into my mind and can not help but remember Christ’s assurances that in times of persecution, when you are brought before the magistrate, do not worry what you are to say, I will be there to put the words into your mouth. Not too amazing in these times of extra challenges when we are called to put ourselves into God’s hands. Pray and watch, watch and pray, TRUST in God. All glory and honor be to God, we are but His humble servants. jas

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  20. Today’s homily reminded me of a special insight I was granted some years ago. I pictured that Jesus is always before us beckoning us to His embrace and all we have to do is respond. As we are in more need and more weak, He comes ever closer in order to make it even easier to connect. When we are so weak that we cannot even move, I pictured Him placing a finger almost touching us and all we have to do is wrap our fingers around His. Why do we hesitate to embrace such overwhelming LOVE? jas

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  21. Mary…I don’t have clue how things will unfold. seems to me the…coming soon…is now closer.more the Now…
    But I don’t really know,just seems. Keep eyes on Him.
    The reading in sinu.jesu…..espevially from 211 page. Read it!!!

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  22. I think of an ancestor of mine nicknamed Tante Blanche. She was a saintly Acadian folk hero who helped get her Madawaska colony through a desperate famine in the middle of winter during what was called the ‘Black Famine’ of 1796. She was a married lay woman had lived a life of service to the poor and to her family even before the famine, and her steady faith and trust in God is what sustained her and her community during a time of dire need. She visited those in need, collected food for those who had nothing, encouraged everyone, walking miles in the snow to visit people, and helped to bury the dead. All acts of hope. She depended heavily on her rosary during this time. Just when the last handful of barley had been eaten, the hunting party emerged from the woods with food for the community and they were saved. Things might have gone differently if not for the acts of mercy of this one, single, person. Later on she became known for curing the sick, reconciling enemies, and converting sinners. She was buried in the church of St. Basile, an honor rarely bestowed on a lay person. I bring her story up here because I think it is an excellent example of how a mentally and spiritually prepared person can affect their surrounding community. No matter what the tragedy, a person like that will always find the way through. They rely on God, use their common sense and spread hope to others. They do not hide that their faith is what sustains them, yet they do not force it on unwilling people. They are practical, but their practicality includes a supernatural realm. This is why they do not give in to despair. I mentioned that she helped to bury the dead . . .she didn’t just dig holes, in a time of starvation other communities might have resorted to cannibalism to sustain themselves. That is a purely natural pragmatism . . . she helped her people to cling to God instead and to continue to be children of God and not of the Earth. I have some stores as normal prudence dictates, sometimes I think about how to use the resources around me in a new kind of economy, sometimes I think about how to use the land I’m living on as a way to supplement food production, just in case. I have some random skills along those lines. None of that would matter if there were not people who have the inner strength to proceed through times of strife as Children of God. Even just a handful of people, even one person like that, can change the focus of events. If the very worst should happen, a few people whose only preparation has been to deepen their own holiness can make a huge difference. So I don’t really worry about what might happen. If ‘nothing’ happens, then I’m still battling furiously for the spiritual health of my family in an increasingly dark world, if ‘something’ happens, I will be doing battle differently, but still as the same soldier of Christ. It doesn’t matter what happens, God is more than equal to any circumstance. Whether my role in life is to stay the same or change dramatically, or even to become a martyr, it should not matter, because in any circumstance there is a path which keeps me a soldier of God, and that’s the only safe path.

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    1. Wisdom flows, again, through you, Katherine. Tante Blanche, pray for us, that the graces which operated in your life will be upon us that each of us will choose to be mentally and spiritually prepared for what we are now living. Amen..

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    2. Beautiful sharing, Katherine…thank you.
      What a small world!!! I know about Tante Blanche as I am also of Acadian descent. I was born and raised in Edmundston (Madawaska County) and St. Basile, where Tante Blanche is buried is right up the road.
      It is amazing how the Acadian people have survived and thrived. My dad used to tell us stories of how his ancestors, after being deported from Grand Pre in 1755 (as was Tante Blanche), walked back from Louisiana in search of their families. Their strong Catholic faith sustained them.
      Your sharing is so appropriate for our time, Katherine…a reminder of what a people can do to help one another survive in times of despair by sharing what little they have and giving hope to one another. The Acadians were a poor people and used their God given talents well.
      As an aside….in Sept. 2014, I came to this site and had a question so I sent Charlie an e-mail. He promptly answered and at the end, he wrote: “Ave Maria, Stella Maris!” I thought that was kind of neat (not knowing that he had a devotion…) but that he was aware that Ave Marie Stella is our “national anthem”!!!
      It has taken some time for me to get here but I can say today that I am very proud of my Acadian heritage and the Catholic faith that was passed down to me. Praise God.

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  23. One uplifting message today 😉

    This attack on Saudi Oil Fields bears serious watching … & Iran “grabbed” another Tanker!

    The Usual Suspects are in Hyper-Ping Mode and that may be a Good-Thing ’cause as it demonstrates that they are low on “ammo” & deperate for ANYTHING that “might stick to the wall” …..

    …… recyciling debunked slander to intimidate the Supreme Court

    ….. like Democrat Party Hack, Georgy Snuffalaughoulos, masquerading as a Democrat Party Hack on ABC

    & Southern “Poverty Law” Center and Council on American-Islamic Relations

    I hope that everyone here believes that the Earth’s “Climate” changes and, most importantly, Humankind has little to nothing to do with it!! It’s another Liberal Socialist Plan to relieve YOU of your coin purse and control EVERY aspect of YOUR LIFE!


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  24. I got to see this mornings mass homily on ewtn. It sounded pretty bad about our Holy Fathere and this synod in the amazon. Can anybody here listen to it and explain to me what’s going on? He said Pope is in favor of schism? Is this true? Thank you 🤗😇😘

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    1. Pope Francis’ actual words on that flight home from Africa were: “I do not fear schisms. I pray for them not to happen, as the spiritual health of many people is at stake,” he said. “[I pray] there will be dialogue, that there will be correction if there is some mistake, but the path of schism is not Christian.” Here’s a piece which discusses more of that plane interview, Linda.

      Here’s a piece about the Amazon Synod. Both Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider “…propose that clergy and laity ‘pray daily at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and to fast once a week’ for such intentions over a 40 day period, from Sept. 17 to Oct. 26.” Sounds like a powerful, while hidden, next right step and it begins tomorrow.

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          1. I know your days are packed, Bekita. I couldn’t find answers to my other questions, but I think I may have found glimmers of answers from precedent in history. Perhaps you could run this string of thought by Fr. Wang. You know what is on your own plate as well as what is on Fr. Wang’s, so I respect your discretion and direction.

            Since CCC 882 tells us from Lumen Gentium and Christus Dominus that the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, can “always exercise his full, universal, and supreme power over the whole church without hinderance”, is it also not possible that he can choose to not exercise that same power or even be put into situations where he is unable to exercise that power?

            In history we see instances that through no fault of their own, certain popes have not exercised their power. For example, JPII when he was in a coma and even to some extent as he became progressively ill in later life; Pope Gregory VII when he went into exile first to St. Angelo, then Monte Cassino, and finally to Salerno where he died in exile; and Pope Pius VII who was held captive by Napoleon. Although they all had the right to exercise the power of their office unhindered, through no fault of their own, they were hindered in exercising their power.

            My second question extends from CCC 883 which says that “[t]he college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such, this college has “supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff.” My question, if the Amazon Synod is not conducted “united with the Roman Pontiff” or “without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff” or its conclusions reached are also not “united with the Roman Pontiff” or they are made “without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff”, does the Synod or its conclusions have power over the universal Church?

            Perhaps it would be more convenient to direct me to another resource to help me in the quest for these answers. I did find this article about Gregory VII eerily similar to specifics in Pope Benedict XVI’s own life and experiences while serving the Church. Pope Gregory VII lived during and after the same time that St. Peter Damian lived: a time in which clerical simony and incontinence were rampant. His statements and intent of executing reforms were not well met by the clerics in Germany, France, or Spain. Their obstinance and overt disobedience were the main reasons he went into exile.

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            1. III, the answer to your second question about the possibility of the Pope not agreeing to the conclusions of the Amazon Synod and how it would impact the whole Church is: Without the Pope’s assent/agreement, the conclusions would then lack the juridical power necessary to apply them to the universal Church.

              With respect for your quest of getting specific answers, III, I didn’t consult Father on the first question because it wouldn’t be an issue now… except for people who are in the camp of believing that Pope Emeritus Benedict is still the Pope and we’ve already discussed this topic here with the exhortation to give it a rest.

              I’m in full agreement with Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider’s assessment of the problems with the text for the upcoming Synod. I also 100% agree with their tact for responding to the problems: speak the truth with charity while praying and fasting. Because of what you note from the CCC: “the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, can ‘always exercise his full, universal, and supreme power over the whole church without hinderance'” I think we need divine intervention for our Church.

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              1. Have you seen some of the most recent posts on Bishop Emeritus Gracida’s blog Perhaps this is a “white swan” amid the black ones to come.

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                1. Surely have seen those posts, III, as I, intermittently, visit Bishop Gracida’s site. My wonderment, though, is why you would even mention this here? Charlie has acknowledged in the past that his good friend is on a path Charlie would not choose. The title of a post from last April says it all about speaking here to whether or not Pope Benedict XVI is truly Emeritus or truly Pope: “An End to the Discussions on the Validity of Pope Francis” Charlie conveyed in the intro to that piece: I am heartily dismayed that in the last week, we have gotten into a consuming argument on the validity of the election of Pope Francis. First, it is entirely contrary to the focus of this site. Second, the whole idea is based on a minority interpretation of canon law.

                  Just 12 days ago you wrote: 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. And here you are sliding in the topic again, III. Since you understand it, follow through and “END” the discussion both by direct approach and by indirect ways, such as naming the posts on Bishop Gracida’s site.

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                  1. Not even indirectly encoded within my comments? Like every other word or using letters that need an encryption key? (Yes, I was a troublesome child. But I was inventive and endearing.) (WHACK!)

                    Bishop Gracida has a wide variety of issues that he raises on his blogsite. I think it is valuable to visit every once in a while and I’m relieved to know that you visit his site every once in a while, too, Bekita.


                    1. Okay, I am a little worn out with the sophomoric slyness, here, III. You obviously think it cute to condescend to Beckita, a woman of deep and real accomplishment in the faith. I don’t. I don’t know you, but from your comments here, you come off as a lightweight trying to play at being a heavyweight.

                      We are in perilous times. Many things are coming to a head. We may have a completely different set of issues to discuss a month from now. We will deal with that when it arises. But I just will not have Beckita condescended to by you. I really think you should look for another site to peddle your favorite obsession on. For now, I am giving you a time out until October 5. If, like the last time I rebuked you, you go to rad-trad websites asking them to comment-bomb my site, the ban will be permanent.

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  25. It’s peace and simplicity itself, isn’t it, yet that first step can be a real doozy for many, even though it is clearly the first, best and most obvious step. Father, bring all your children into your arms and give us the wisdom to rest there.

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