Leaving the Shire

Leaving the Shire

By Charlie Johnston

Things are speeding up yet again. The runaway train our culture, politics and formal religion has become shows no sign of applying the brakes in time to avoid a crash. If it is now unlikely that anyone driving this dysfunctional train can get things back under stable control, panic can cause those not already caught in its wake to tumble.

I have written extensively about the importance of being deliberate in these increasingly difficult times. Most everyone has now chosen who they will serve, a world gone mad or the Lord, our God. Even so, those who have chosen Christ are not out of danger. The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart.

Late last week, the leader of an order of nuns forwarded me an intemperate blast from Vassula Ryden. It has Jesus making violent threats against those who criticize any Pope for any reason. Ms. Ryden banishes all such critics from her organization – because Jesus “told her.” I have been largely indifferent to Ms. Ryden, picking up some good things among her writings, but am occasionally disturbed by some of her statements. She has a penchant, at difficult times, for pretending that Jesus has told her that anyone who does not believe and obey her will be cast into the burning pit. That is not from God. By Vassula’s latest doctrine, St. Paul would be cast into outer darkness for rebuking St. Peter – an obvious absurdity.

The only authority I fully submit to is Christ, and the only organization I recognize as commissioned to speak authoritatively for Him is the Church. Even there, I follow officials only in their lawful authority (though within those confines my obedience is absolute). We have a duty of obedience to Christ through Scripture and the Magisterium. We also have a duty of obedience to lawful authority. Now, as in many of the great historical conflicts within the Church, some of our foundational duties seem to be in conflict.

I am a Catholic evangelist, but not an Apostle. An evangelist proclaims the kingdom and offers counsel on how to navigate the obstructions that arise in the course of our pilgrim journey to God. An Apostle does these things AND is imbued by Christ with governing authority over the Church He founded. Even so, we are never allowed to abdicate our own moral agency. We each will be held accountable for the decisions we make. When foundational duties come in conflict, that is when our moral agency comes most to the fore. The decisions we make are important, but how we make those decisions becomes even more important. That is why the piece I wrote, “My Hierarchy of First Things,” is foundationally important in these times. It does not tell you what to think, but instead offers counsel on how to discern as a mature person what the next right step should be. I recommend you print it out and keep it handy. You are going to need it.

Over the last few years I have gotten strident pieces from various sources claiming that Pope Francis is the “false prophet” and citing various private revelations to prove it. These things all demand that I must submit to them or be damned. In the last week, I have received two pieces (including Vassula’s) offering “prophetic” certainty that I must follow Pope Francis in everything he does and says, regardless of whether it is within his legitimate authority or directly contradicts Scripture and the Magisterium or be damned. Whatever you decide, there are some who will furiously denounce you and pronounce you to be damned if you do not adopt their position. In the end, it is best to be judged for what you honestly believe – and take care that the principles you adopt for making such decisions are prudent, humble and exercised with fortitude. Be neither stiff-necked nor a reed shaken by the wind. St. Paul exhorts the faithful not to be shaken or unsettled by alarmists with their hair on fire pretending to authority they do not have. (2 Thessalonians 2)

You might think, thus, that when someone does something notably intemperate or errant you can then safely ignore them in all things. Frankly, I sometimes wonder (with amazement) whether most people have ever even read the Bible. Did Abraham, Solomon, Jonah, Moses, or David lead blameless lives? It is hard to find any major Biblical figure who did live a blameless life. The prophet Jeremiah (somewhat like Vassula) was given to making furious and violently intemperate denunciations of those around him. Have you ever done a timeline on the prophecies of the various Old Testament prophets? If you did, you would find that many (maybe even most) of their prophecies were off by five to several hundred years. Jonah was mad because God spared Nineveh, thus embarrassing him. For a time, Jonah would have preferred that hundreds, maybe even thousands, had died rather than that he be embarrassed. It was a pathetically dishonorable display. Yet it did not make him inauthentic. The fact is that God writes straight with crooked lines – and we are the crooked lines He writes with. Finding the flaws in the messenger does not invalidate the message. If you want to judge righteous judgment, you must look to whether a message confirms Scripture and the Magisterium or whether it contradicts it. It is through mud, blood and strife that authentic doctrinal development emerges.

It does not much disturb me when I see an otherwise honorable messenger stumble or fall. Most of the greatest Biblical figures sometimes went off the rails, came back, went off again and so on and so forth. Why should I be surprised when modern day figures do the same? And yet this does not excuse us of our duty to judge righteous judgment and do our best to take the next right step, even knowing that sometimes they will be wrong. All we can do is banish the sort of vanity that prevents us, when we see we have been wrong, of admitting it and hastening to find what is right.

There is a similar dynamic at work in temporal affairs. Being right is not sufficient to establish righteousness. There are three other factors that quickly come to mind in establishing right justice.

The first is process. No matter how right you are, if you promote it in a manner that drips with contempt for others, all you will do is trigger resentment and resistance, thus making it less likely that what is right will actually be done. If you are in a position of coercive power and force your will to be done, condemning and punishing any dissent, all you will accomplish is lay the seeds for revolt and widespread strife.

The second consideration is precedent. Even if you do what is right by corrupt means, you make corrupt means acceptable. However right your ends may be, you have empowered others to use corrupt means to accomplish their ends – including those whose ends are corrupt. If you use raw power to accomplish righteous ends, you have given others with unrighteous ambitions license to overturn you when they have sufficient power. If you do not consider precedent when you act, you guarantee that, ultimately, everything will degenerate into a raw contest for power, justice be damned.

The third major consideration is incentives. All actions have consequences, changing the playing field. Dull-witted sophists and bureaucrats always imagine the ever-dynamic system of human behavior to be static, which is why their plans always fail. On taxes, for example, they imagine that if they raise them enormously on some group, that group will just knuckle under and keep doing what they have always done. In reality, people react in a way to protect their interests, so if certain productive activity they engage in is suddenly made unprofitable, they hide the activity, slow it down, or cease it altogether. Never forget the iron law of economics and human behavior: what you reward you get more of and what you punish you get less of. Make policy with that firmly in mind and you will avoid a whole host of obvious errors.

Right now, the principles which sustain stability in society are almost entirely broken – and we live in a near-lawless state, both in America and the world.

I was startled by the verdict in the David Daleiden vs Planned Parenthood trial last week. I knew it was a San Francisco judge and a San Francisco jury. I knew that the judge had ordered much of the verdict. But I sat through some of the arguments and read much of the daily transcripts. Daleiden and company’s lawyers did not just narrowly prevail over those of Planned Parenthood: Daleiden’s team wiped the floor with them. On points, the Daleiden team led a complete blowout. But the judge and the jury ruled completely contrary to all facts and evidence.

I was startled by the conviction of Roger Stone last week. I have never been a big fan of Stone, but the reality is he was convicted of pretending to know more than he did. The fact is that he was actually convicted of practicing politics while supporting Donald Trump, the same thing that got Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and several others in trouble – while people such as John Brennan, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe and a host of other leftists who admitted to lying to Congress and other very serious crimes get lucrative TV gigs for the Deep State Media.

This impeachment absurdity, which has just been a forum for the hurt feelings of bureaucrats who are angry that the president conducts foreign policy as he chooses rather than as they want, should not be taken seriously by any serious person. That it is shows that, A) we have weaponized impeachment as just another partisan tool and B) we are not a serious country anymore.

As we reach a point where a large segment of the population no longer cares how we accomplish anything, but only that they win, the bonds that hold us together as a people are in tatters. The western world is no longer functionally Christian, but functionally pagan. There are many things for which the possibility of compromise no longer exist. One side must prevail and the other must be defeated. The battle lines are drawn. Those of us who have chosen the Lord must be careful that we do not become imitators of the methods of those who have laid waste to a once-great culture, while simultaneously standing our ground with fortitude and resolve. Going forward, how to live that will be the main topic of this website.

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, once the battle lines became clear, the hobbits had to leave the Shire to face innumerable perils. Along the way, they made mistakes and were often wounded. They encountered surprising betrayals and surprising allies. But they stayed the course. So must we.

We have left the shire and shall not find peace again until a great crisis has been reached and passed. Let us reason together, knowing that we, too, will sometimes be surprised and will sometimes err. The best way forward is what I have urged from the beginning: Acknowledge God, Take the Next Right Step, and Be a Sign of Hope to Those Around you.

172 thoughts on “Leaving the Shire

  1. Amen, Charlie. Amen. Amen. Great counsel to print out and revisit “My Hierarchy of First Things.” I have sensed that we will come back to applying its principles as we cycle through all that is yet to come.

    So grateful for calling us to focus on why we are here: “The battle lines are drawn. Those of us who have chosen the Lord must be careful that we do not become imitators of the methods of those who have laid waste to a once-great culture, while simultaneously standing our ground with fortitude and resolve. Going forward, how to live that will be the main topic of this website.”

    This summer, I found a new friend to call upon for intercession as we navigate the current choppier-than-ever waters of this now wild, soon to be even wilder, Storm. He, too, was an ordinary man making his way through extremely troubled times. He remained close to God and encouraged those around him with great hope as he took his next right steps. Rod Dreher wrote about him in July in a wonderful piece found here.

    Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, with your countryman, Pope St. John Paul II, stay with us, pray with us and for us, guiding us along the path we must travel.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Right, Paul?! Pawel, who Rod Dreher interviewed, recounted many remarkable stories which reveal what this simple, holy man, Fr. Jerzy, nurtured in his flock as he acknowledged God, took his next right steps with fortitude and faithfulness while lighting up his corner of the world with hope in the darkness. One story, in particular, stood out for me, for it illustrates what Charlie has written which carries utmost importance as I see it: “Those of us who have chosen the Lord must be careful that we do not become imitators of the methods of those who have laid waste to a once-great culture, while simultaneously standing our ground with fortitude and resolve.”

        From Rod Dreher:
        The first witness to the priest’s life that Pawel met told him a story that a million Poles turned out for the murdered cleric’s funeral there at St. Stanislaus Kostka parish. (Official estimates are 250,000, but many Poles say that’s an official number released by the Communist regime, which vastly underestimated the number for political reasons; the museum maintains that the number is between 250,000 and one million.) The Communist regime sent soldiers to Warsaw to ensure that the funeral wouldn’t turn into a revolutionary insurrection. Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the nation’s primate, said the funeral mass, and Solidarity trade union leader Lech Walesa was one of the eulogists.

        “The witness told me in that massive crowd he saw a police car,” said Pawel. “People were slamming their hands down on the car, shouting, ‘We forgive! We forgive!’” And Pawel commented, “In that is an answer for the situation that our world is in now.”

        Dear Lord, may we forgive, may we forgive, may we forgive, even as we hold people to account.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. Charlie, a very good piece. I find myself guilty of perhaps being a bit too strong in my comments about the Pope. I will try and be more reserved. Thank you for being you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW, John! Such a beautiful blessing from your family – especially your daughter as she answers the Call – to the Church and the world. Praying indeed for your eldest daughter.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. “The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart. ”
    I found this particularly helpful. Thank you Charlie!

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Nah, you’re not challenged. I see you as humbly wanting to understand and that’s a very good thing, Dear Linda. Prudence involves being wise and careful so as to use good and careful judgement about people, things and events. If we are pious people who intend to place God first in our lives, yet, fall prey to being self-righteous (believe one is totally correct or morally superior) rather than remaining humble and willing to self-correct when in error, we are open game for the devil to to take us into the sorry land of pride and arrogance – the kind of zone wherein a third of the angels fell from Heaven. There’s some satire in the phrase “disordered paradise of prudence.” Charlie’s talkin’ about those who think they’re so wise and prudent for they know it all and follow the law so well as did the Pharisees – think about the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican – who lived in their “paradise of prudence” that is, their own self-made heaven in their heads which is a super diordered, unholy way to think because it is SO pride-filled. Yuk! Why not just accept from the get-go that no one is perfect; we all make mistakes; then, receive correction with grace and humility while continuing to grow in holiness?

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Ahhhhhhh yes. That makes great sense…thank you …yes just like the gospel we had a few back about the tax collector and the one who never sinned. ..so he thought. ..I hope ole harry legs keeps up his accusing. …it works…for that’s really all we CAN be proud of…lol…namely. ..notta😂

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  3. Oh Charlie, thank you so much for this article. I had been shaken by Vsssula’s statement and you have truly given me a good perspective.
    P. S. thank you for recently visiting Minnesota, I was at the lecture in Shoreview, and was so happy that you came, suddenly announced while I was visiting there, as I live otherwise permanently in Denmark. (I had to leave the lecture early, to return the car I’d borrowed.) God bless you abundantly for helping to keep us on keel.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Oh, what a beautiful time I had in Minnesota! I wish you would have introduced yourself. I have an oddly large corps of readers in Denmark, for reasons I have never quite fathomed – but I like it. I have never met one of my Danish readers in person, though, and I would like to.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Well said, Charlie. Thank you.

    The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart.

    Will do, and thank you.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Love the analogy of hobbits. I can picture the little guys who were timid and afraid in the beginning, yet became brave warriors when the time came to fight evil. We need to be willing to fight for right though I have no idea what that looks like. I pray for all of us to have the courage to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done even if it means leaving the comfort of our homes — whether literally or figuratively — and be willing to fight as soldiers for the Lord — armor of God!!

    Liked by 15 people

      1. Yes, I think LoTR is so apposite for these our times – for which we were all intended in the loving mind of God. Tolkien and Lewis lived through the two great wars of the last century (both actively serving in the first) which destroyed the old order they were born into, and birthed the new in which we now live – in many ways, I think, like survivors if not in the rubble then in the accelerating decay of that which once was great. Except so many can’t even see the rot, or don’t want to, more like. Mark Steyn put it brilliantly in one of his posts when he likened us to a poor Iraqi peasant toiling away in dusty poverty, but vaguely aware that “somewhere around here there used to be the great ziggurat of Ur”.

        Am I the only one who when looking at the above picture of the Hobbits thought that the signpost at the junction, at a quick glance, looks a bit like one of the roadside Crucifixes so common in certain Catholic parts of Europe? Seen from behind, the two supports looking a bit like His arms?

        Umm… I probably am. But it would be appropriate, I think. 😉

        Liked by 5 people

  6. Thanks Charlie…as usual very well put.

    As I think you suggest early in this price, it doesn’t appear things are going to turn around anytime soon without extraordinary circumstances. I’m hoping for The Warning, or Illumination of Conscience, at the earliest possible moment, but everything I read suggests it won’t happen until things become very dire. You along with others suggest that, in the end, “things speed up”. Blessed Mother, let’s go!

    I’m not looking forward to my own “Illumination”, as I’ve led a sinful life and suspect watching the “replay” is going to be painful. But I’m on the right path now, thanks be to God!

    Read a great book about this recently titled The Warning, by Christine Watkins.

    My info about this prophesied event came primarily from Garabandal, but she lays out numerous sources for this event, going back several centuries, even including Edmund Campion. A priest I greatly respect told me recently he’d also heard the Illumination is one of the 10 secrets of Medjugorje. Christine also includes numerous stories of persons who have experienced an Illumination. Of course, the one I’m talking about will be worldwide, simultaneously.

    It’s a good read.

    As much as I’m not looking forward to it, I hope it comes as soon as possible, as most of my loved ones, relatives and friends are away from the Church. I suspect this experience will bring many of them back. I also think Our Lady is grooming All of us to be there for them when they “ wake up”.

    Just want The Lord to do for them what he’s done for me. If he could do it for me, he can do it for anyone.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Just this week, Paul, a priest friend shared a copy of this book with me which I’m now reading. Long have I held the belief that, from Pure Love, God – even while He has already done everything possible to awaken His people – will make a HUGE sort of final effort to reach the stiffest of the stiff-necked ones via an Illumination of Conscience. And, like you, I believe a major ministry is in store for all who would take that next right step to be there for those most in need of being nurtured through an understanding of WHO Divine Mercy is and WHAT He has done for us, if we but repent and return, or perhaps reach out, for the first time, for Him.

      Liked by 10 people

    2. Paul, I just received that book in the mail today. I really like what you said, “Just want The Lord to do for them what he’s done for me. If he could do it for me, he can do it for anyone.” That’s how I feel too. Amen.

      Liked by 8 people

    3. How amazing, Paul R!. I’m just at present reading that book myself – Kindle version. It is very good indeed. I was particularly impressed and moved by the story of Marino Restrepo, whom I had heard about but wasn’t aware of all the details. I think it’s safe to say that the whole book is both a gripping read, and a strong prod of conscience.

      Like you, many of my loved and closest ones are “away from Home” and I’m now resolved to use the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in particular for their conversion. And in regard to your last sentence – believe me, Paul, as we say in Ireland: “there’s two of us in it there”! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Ahhhhhhh….Charlie…thank you yet again..how I always look forward to your next piece…I need to re-read this piece many times yet for I’m hurried per usual..but thank you friend. How you’ve been such a sign of hope to me and help me to see, strategize and Execute my next right step in accordance with God’s divine will🤗😇😘

    Btw sort of funny…was lured (but thankfully didnt leap) into an argument with lady I helped clean today because I mentioned how I love trump..she assured me I should be careful that I was turning against God for liking him so much….I simply smiles at her…how divided our country has become. Yikes.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Wow! Another spot-on piece. Just covered Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address at home and it seems like we are living similar times- not slavery of course, but other things. And there are two sides in the name of God who disagree completely. But of course now we also have those who don’t call on His name at all and they have a viewpoint too- some will join sides with one side and some will go to another. It seems that although both sides may not want war, those in favor of UN ideals with accept war in order to destroy our country while others will not want war but will accept it in order to save our country. Praying for an illumination of conscience that some have prophesied about so that we can see truth. Prayers for love and courage to prevail so that we will choose God’s will.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Actually, Thankful4Mercy, I think the *essential* aspect of our times is indeed slavery. Lincoln was talking about slavery as an institution, but everywhere you look now, you should see slavery in other forms.

      If freedom comes from committing to God, what comes from committing to the satan? Yes, slavery. Slavery to The System, to The Beast. Slavery to wrong ideas like the Climate hoax and peer pressure. Slavery to hate and anger. Slavery to gender weirdness, false Congressional testimony, fake news, the Big Lie. Slavery to the idea that it’s OK to use our court system to trash proper process to determine guilt so that criminals go free while good people go to jail or get fined. Slavery to the idea that you are not responsible for determining what the Truth is in any particular debate or instance but can just listen to a few people who put themselves out as experts because they are famous or powerful.

      To my eyes, T4M, it’s very much about slavery and about our own commitment to abjure slavery in our own lives whenever and wherever we see it. And we’d better know what to commit to instead. You can’t just “get rid of slavery” but instead must have a view and a set of principles to commit to in a positive way. It is said that you can rid your House of a demon but if you do not fill the House with God, with freedom, with Love, the demon will just come back again in greater strength and enslave you all over again.

      So yes, I believe it is very much still about slavery. Look in your own life, and I suspect you will find ways you are still enslaved. I continually surprise myself with instances where I am still enslaved to the System in thought and emotion. Slavery is both ubiquitous in our world and much more subtle than when Lincoln was piloting the USA through the Civil War.

      Fortunately, Charlie is helping us learn how to identify and get rid of the instances of slavery in our lives and how to replace those instances with new ways of thinking/feeling/praying/acting that help us get and stay free under God.

      In the long run that is the essence of the Judeo-Christian and Western traditions – to find and develop freedom in a world filled with slavery. That our civilization is replacing those traditions with a return to atavistic paganism’s bloody scramble for power over others (the essence of slavery) is a huge, huge mistake.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Thank you for sharing that SteveBC. This is correct- I think I was thinking more of specific enslavement of African people but yes there are certainly other types of slavery to greatly watch out for and ask God for the grace needed. Prayers to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul so that that love will prevail over any counterfeit attachment that will harm us. Thank you for your insight.

        Liked by 8 people

  9. Thanks Charlie. We could sure use some immediate Divine Intervention. We don’t deserve it for sure, but I fear civil unrest can’t be far behind if the left is permitted to continue it’s antics.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Dearest Charlie or Beckita. ..this part…

    “The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart.”

    Can either or both of you expand on this????

    Thank you🤗😇😘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well Linda, if you glance back at the previous week’s post, I described my experiences with the amplified emotions of both anger and vanity. Fortunately, the fire is now out and just lightly smoldering and the infection has cleared up. In my particular case, frequent prayer throughout the day and intense physical exercise were the remedy. Feelings of calm, humility, and trust have returned.

      “Guard your heart” is truly sound advice.

      Thank you very much for this post, Charlie.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Thanks Patrick Daniel . Sort of cool….it’s like we are all in school here together…like we’ve all been studying and tested; passed and failed and re-tested for many years🤓📚💡🕯✏📖…I’ll have to research your last posts.

        For me personally, everything has been taken away from me for so long (save God, Michael and ya’ll ) for over a course of many years that there is nothing left anymore but moldering embers, just as you described too.

        I can honestly say i look at peoples a bit differently now…instead of wanting to call down fire and brimstone…hahahaha….I now am beginning to see people as God sees them (not perfectly yet) and have surrendered the outcome of all including my own outcome to God.

        Do you think this is correct thinking on what Charlie was warning against? I’ll go look for your past posts soon I hope. God bless you Patrick Daniel🤗😇

        Liked by 2 people

        1. If you do at all, Linda, just glance at them….there isn’t much substance there. Think of the cartoon Tasmanian Devil….something like that. As B says below, the pre-frontal cortex shuts down:

          And Bug’s reaction at the end is perfect: UUUUGGGLY!

          Liked by 6 people

              1. It’s ok patrick Daniel …if u haven’t noticed, I have lots of those weeks, days, minutes and sometimes seconds..hahhaha. .I think we all do. But honestly I think that’s what makes us all stay close here.. we are truly family and Our spiritual Father, Charlie. Insists that we treat each other with great compassion as we are all a bunch of little Hobbits and or squirrels …I had bad day yesterday. .todau, not so bad so far…ha! Bit it’s early…God bless you so much and always dear Patrick Daniel 😇🤗

                Liked by 3 people

    2. Linda, when emotions run high the pre-frontal cortext of the brain, the part wherein we do our complex thinking, sorta’ shuts down. Think of the times when someone has been angry and spouted off with some destructive or over the top sassiness or, perhaps, ranted in ways that cause a certain shame or feeling of guiltiness from the ways the angry one may have attacked someone. It’s as if there’s not just been a venting, but that anger was puked onto someone. (Sadly, I have done this before.)

      Charlie is cautioning us to beware of how the evil one is working to bait us into going overboard with anger, fear and vanity in these dyas and especially so for the devout, pious ones among us. About 5 years ago, Fr. Chad Ripperger uploaded on You Tube his talk “Traditionalist Problems ~ Fr Ripperger” in which he speaks to this very problem all around us. I think you’d like listening to this one, LInda.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Ok that makes sense…thanKS so much Beckita …I guess I’ve been going through that personally for so long it’s sort of hard to go there anymore …lol..Anne a lay apostle speaks of this too…she says to always be calm and peaceful. ..that others are suffering and will be balmed by our peaceful ways. I did listen to that Fr ripperger talk…I think I’ll relisten now…thank you…I knew you would be able to spiritually direct🤗😇😘

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I have a question. Becks, and Charlie as well as others who may have insight.  A friend recently sent me this link which contains an article and video that addresses how George Soros and company have penetrated the Vatican.  Although I am some what conflicted by the article, the video contained, which is independent of the article was quite revealing.  What are your thoughts on the validity of the video?  It is about an hour long, but packed with information.

    Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Doug, I had to delete the video link mainly because it takes us to a site which was initiated and is now maintained by Louie Verrecchio who is anti-Church in many ways. He was a revert to the Church who initially defended orthodoxy and then veered into discounting the work of Vatican II. Anytime someone reachesa site with an image of good ole St. Pius X juxtaposed with a slogan such as the one on the site where the video was poasted, you can do a wee bit of research and discover a strong connection between the website and the St. Pius X Society.

      In the locutions to Fr. Gobbi, Our Lady conveyed that the work of Freemasonry had infiltrated the highest levels of the Catholic Church. She used the term “eccelsiastical masonry.” I don’t doubt it exists, but it surely does take a LOT of time to vet information promoted via online writings and talks to discern what is truth and what is inaccurate hype in the presented material. And if we knew exactly what all has transpired over time, we’re still faced with where we now are and the most important focus of where we’re going so that we do what God is asking of each one of us to do in relation to His Plan to reclaim humanity and be a source and force of hope as we are purified and become partners with God in rebuilding our Church and culture.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. This 2010 video presentation (45 min.) on Freemasonary is excellant! The speaker is a cradle Catholic who entered Freemasonary and went thru the ranks up to 32 degree. He speaks on Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Quito (Ecuador-1534) on Communism and freemasonary. Minute mark 21- end he describes the rituals of freemasonry aka the satan..



        1. Sorry, Sean, I deleted the second link because it’s 45 minutes long and, as has been mentioned here before in comment moderation, it takes much less time to read an article than to listen to a video. While I’ve read reports about Freemasonry from other people who have had an inside view and, then, write from a perspective of having left the organization, repented and then desire to inform others about the dangers, I’m also aware that this topic is one in which many have written in a fashion wherein the facts about Freemasonry are spun into conspiracy theories. I just don’t know enough about John Salza to know where he stands in the group of those speaking about Freemasonry and its impact on our times. My final concern with this topic is that we get so side-tracked with figuring out the details of what is true and what is hype that we lose focus on the core message which brings us here.

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      2. I so loved Fr Gobbi. .I think I’ve mentioned this b4.. we saw him in Cleveland long ago. .my boys frankie and globetrotting Tommy ran to him and wrapped their sweet little childlike arms around him…I tried, but his bodyguards held out their arms. .lol..but he put sign of cross on my forehead and I felt like crumbling to the ground in the spirit..whoa…so much has happened since then…yikes..fr Gobbi…pray for us…just dawned on me this week …wish mike n I had asked for blessing from Charlie in Jackson. ..ugh…next time Charlie…please? ?? 🤗😇😘🤗😇😘

        Been thinking lately about 3 days of darkness. ..I wonder if a day is worth a year? ???

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ok.  Thanks Becks.  No worries.  The article bugged me and now I now why.  I read in haste.  I recently read pope Leo’s encyclical on free masonry and it became very apparent how much it has permeated the church and culture at large.  Your response to how we should respond is well stated.  Thanks!Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

        Liked by 3 people

  12. Please pray for 10 yo Devon who suffered from a ruptured appendix. Now the bacterial infection is resistant to the antibiotics. The situation is not good.
    Charlie is right. Things are speeding up again like a runaway train.
    I know this post could have gone under prayer requests but Devon and his family are in desperate need of prayers. (Devon’s mom is a friend of both of my daughters).
    I thank all of you who would spare a few moments of intercession for them. God bless you.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Thank you, Mick. (“thank you” just doesn’t sound good enough, especially when someone has just gone before the Almighty One to plead for another.) Again, thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Doug. (The interesting thing about prayers for Devon is that the request came from my daughter who is away from the faith. She has never done that before.)

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        1. That your daughter made the request makes my heart sing! How good Our God is! He is doing His redemptive work here and already bringing good out of this troubling situation. Praying now, for your daughter’s healing as well. ❤️

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    1. Praying for Devon, as well as the entire medical team caring for him, through the intercession of St. Joseph Moscati, who was himself a doctor. Oh Lord, guide the hands, minds and hearts of those caring for Devon! Cover him with Your blanket of healing and peace.

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      1. from call last night: Devon is still in a lot of pain and he is making good progress in “small steps”–he went walking yesterday a couple of times I think they said. I am not sure of the other concerns and I don’t like to ask too many questions. My daughter is one of those helping the family and prayers for the family situation are almost more important. Nothing is simple.
        Thank you for asking and for praying.

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  13. An unjust ruler has the same authority as does a just ruler. When it is a matter of law and governance public opinion has no place since the judge will rule as the judge will rule regardless of human respect. Satan encites all rebellion whereas the Holy Spirit fosters all obedience. If a king chooses to place a viceroy over his kingdom during his own absence the people are held bound to give the proper respect and obedience due to him. It is far better for the king to find fault with his own appointee for having been either blindfully inept or perhaps even a malicious steward rather than to having found fault with his own people for being rebellious out of a sense of collective selfrightiousness. We do not have to necessarily agree with or even like the Holy Father, however even if he were to be as Satan incarnate we must recognise that God has placed him there for reasons only known to God Himself. To do otherwise would only hand Satan further entrenchment in the field of battle.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You said it well, R. Sey, that “people are held bound to give the proper respect and obedience due to him” when speaking of a leader. And – a big AND – we must discern carefully as to what “proper obedience” looks like.

      All authority comes from God and He does not will that even if a Pope was “as satan incarnate” should that Pope go unchallenged in his errant ways, for never does a ruler have any authority to direct us to do something immoral. Some classic examples of correcting a Pope are St. Paul’s challenge to St. Peter, in the early days of the Church, concerning the issue of circumcision and St. Catherine of Sienna’s challenge to Pope Gregory XI, in 1376, to get back to Rome.

      Charlie’s piece My Hierarchy of First Things drives these points home in clear fashion. Because it SO important that we discern well, for we’ll be faced with so much coming at us – and swiftly – that Charlie mentions this foundational piece again with the exhortation to print it out and save it for future review.

      Liked by 6 people

    1. If you “Net Search” the below you can find a 48min video of an interview w/Christine Watkins:


      Liked by 6 people

      1. Oh. Wow! CD, Bekita, I think this is the answer to prayer for me to send to my son in Peru, who may have picked up an ‘entity’ with his pachamama-like ayahuasca ‘healing’ sessions. He seeks truth BUT is convinced it doesn’t involve God. Like Keith Green says in his song Soften Your Heart: “You’re so proud of sayin’ your a seeker, but why are you searchin’ in the dark? You won’t find a thing until you soften your heart.” Maybe this book will lead toward a softening. He’s such a good young man, my son, that is. Keith Green’s Soften Your Heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzAcp-EHixs

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      2. I’m so happy to find out that Christine had another book out. I worked closely with her for a few years in a post abortion healing ministry. In the past five years, I have lost contact with her because she and I were both pursuing other ministries that God was calling us to. I watched the video and immediately shared with my daughter and my adult granddaughters. I have prayed for years for an Illumination of the hearts and minds of those I love and their conversions. I don’t expect to hear back from them, but hope that they remember that I sent them an early warning after it happens. God bless all our loved ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. “Never forget the iron law of economics and human behavior: what you reward you get more of and what you punish you get less of.” With the punishment of Truth and the promotion of lies, I guess we’ll just be getting more and more lies while the truth is silenced and dissenting voices are disallowed. For instance the split between the ‘America First’ proponents is striking what with the demonstration by the numbers that voting blocks along racial lines are not proving to be ‘malleable’. Those like Michelle Malkin who point to these numbers recently demonstrated in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, and Kentucky are being lambasted as racist and white supremacists. These ‘dissenters’ from the establishment, donor-class, GOP adherents merely point to the numbers and recall the observation playing out so vividly in Europe right now that “Demography is destiny” and they are shunned and marginalized by the right who use the tactics of the Left.

    It is telling that the attention rightly given to avoiding the scourge of Socialism distracts from looking at the inevitable demographic numbers that point inexorably to voters who will vote for socialism because, as the numbers show, they are locked into voting Democrat. Douglas Murray has a book and interviews–one on PragerU–where he discusses the demographic suicide of Europe. I think that inserting ‘America’ for ‘Europe’ in this short video is prescient. There needs to be a moratorium on ALL immigration or the Constitutional Republic is lost. It’s in the numbers as well as in God’s hands.
    This week I was told by a pastor/canon lawyer that whatever I wanted affirmed about canon law I could probably find depending on whatever canon lawyer I asked since canon law is a matter of opinion. Later on in our conversation, he went on to say that if someone appoints a bishop without the authority to appoint bishops and the appointee is in turn ordained to the episcopate, both the non-pontiff appointer and the ‘ordained’ bishop are automatically excommunicated because of their non-canonical actions. I take it that this is what happened in the case of Abp Lefevbre under JPII and then PPBXVI later reversed those excommunications. Or maybe when PPBXVI placed restrictions on Mr. McCarrick only to have them lifted later on. Are these examples of what the priest meant by canon law being a matter of opinion? Perhaps the case of St. Joan of Arc would also fit into this category?

    Except for culpability, which God alone judges since He alone knows all the circumstances surrounding intent, since Canon Law is derived from Natural Law and Divine Law, which are pretty solidly defined (right?), how does opinion fit into what the words of Canon Law mean? I’m thinking that I must have misunderstood the pastor/canon lawyer and I’d like to get my understanding clarified. What with moral agency and all, basing my immortal soul on someone’s opinion sounds shaky at best. The kicker? He works in the marriage tribunal. I must have misunderstood him.

    What about, “Who hears you, hears Me and the One Who sent Me”? What part does Canon Law play in those words of Our Lord? To this point, I discovered that Canon Law is referenced in the footnotes of the CCC (eg 833). Do we just get to end up Protestant and make stuff up to suit our circumstances and best intentions and interpretations? Besides the Eucharist and the other Sacraments, of course, why be Catholic? Yes, I’ve read, “My Hierarchy of First Things” and no, I’m not ‘jumping ship’ but I’ve got adult children who ask pointed questions, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another way to consider what I’m asking was put forth by Steve BC, “Slavery to the idea that you are not responsible for determining what the Truth is in any particular debate or instance but can just listen to a few people who put themselves out as experts because they are famous or powerful.” Moral agency in regard to canonists even. No one will stand with me before Jesus except, I hope, the Blessed Mother.


  15. Q&AWhat Does “Guard Your Heart” (Proverbs 4:23) Mean?

    TOM NASH Catholic Answers



    What does it mean in Proverbs to "Guard your heart"?


    The phrase “guard your heart” is used in the NAB translation and “keep your heart” in the RSVCE translation. We can gain a better understanding of the phrase from the context as provided in the RSVCE:

    My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:20-23).

    From the passage, we can see that “guarding your heart” means staying faithful to God and his word, and eliminating any bad habits and influences that would lead you away from God. The subsequent verses in chapter 4 affirm this understanding:

    Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil (Proverbs 4:24-27).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ha! Or…..
      “Lord, lead lead me in a plain path. Let me not turn to the left out of anger nor to the right out of fear. Lead me in a plain path oh Lord!” CJ

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Awwwww thanks so much islam_is Islam! I take that as a great compimento for I just LOVE the little flower and I too am french. she is just the most amazing Saint…her whole familk actually. ..I pray we all get to meet them someday…and joan of arc! Whoa…powerhouse Saints…St Therese and St Joan of Arc, please pray for all of us tnrs s down here🤗😇😘

        Liked by 3 people

  16. Be still before the Lord;
    wait for him.
    Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
    nor by malicious schemers.

    Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
    do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
    (Psalm 37:7-8)

    Liked by 6 people

  17. This piece is PACKED …WHOA

    “We have left the shire and shall not find peace again until a great crisis has been reached and passed. Let us reason together, knowing that we, too, will sometimes be surprised and will sometimes err. The best way forward is what I have urged from the beginning: Acknowledge God, Take the Next Right Step, and Be a Sign of Hope to Those Around you.” CJ

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Linda! Yes, Next Right Steppers and Sign of Hopers, “Let us reason together, knowing that we, too, will sometimes be surprised and will sometimes err.” It is always helpful to bounce troubles and troubling topics/issues off those who are on this stormy journey together with me seeking Truth.

      Liked by 4 people

  18. “If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon our Lady, just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit, this prayer has never failed me.”
    – St.Teresa of Calcutta

    Liked by 11 people

  19. “I am grateful for Scripture which has been the most important resource for me – even as I know that my interpretation, at times, may be wrong, for I am given no guarantee that my interpretation will be accurate. I am grateful for the Magisterium for the same reasons and with the same caveat. I am profoundly grateful for the Bishops and the Pope, for collectively, they have been given authority to authentically interpret these things.”(CJ).
    My wife and I recently watched a short video of a person promoting an older Marion apparition but they were throwing in images of Pope’s and others in a negative light while reading certain passages about how certain “errors” would infiltrate the church. Then in an effort to give this same apparition authority to it’s message, she used a church approved “imprimatur” as why it should be believed. My wife pointed out how this person contradicted herself in using church authority for and against itself!
    When we pick and choose what to believe outside of the authority to do so we risk what this person did…look silly!
    I, for one, recognise I have no credentials to decide what the magesterium has decided is true and to be believed is. Most of these very detailed and complicated decisions are written at a PhD level and are theologically and historically outside most peoples paygrade.
    Twenty plus years ago one of my dear friends was an evolutionary biologist working in the new field of DNA in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. An older famous colleague of his, H.G. Dowling, had published a paper back in the 1950’s on rat snakes describing their historical evolution based on morphology, which, before DNA, was the scientific method for describing these things back then. Redefining these animals with the use of DNA opened up a new way of understanding how these organisms were related and completely rewrote most of their natural histories.
    During a meeting here in Florida, my friend (Dr Robin Lawson) and Dr Dowling had a bit of a unspoken row as Dowling was giving a presentation on why his original findings were still valid despite this new DNA evidence. Dowling would glare at Robin from the podium as he reiterated certain claims based on the morphological evidence he presented on his graphs that disagreed with Robins paper. At the end of the talk, several other people at the meeting were glaring at Robin, obviously irritated at this young up-start’s publication causing the famous Dowling to have to publicly resuscitate his earlier findings. Robin, looking at me frustrated and perplexed just said; “He doesn’t understand it.”
    I have always remembered this meeting and the brilliantly simple statement of Dr Lawson when I think of things or hear those speak of things outside their expertise.
    Charlie’s call to “judge righteous judgement” holds me to this thought as well since many of us know just enough to be dangerous and as arm-chair warriors we can get ourselves into trouble this way. This has helped me to remember who has real authority and who doesn’t and what it is I have authority over and what I do not.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. @PF: Agreed, in the end I have responsibility and authority over my own moral agency and that is all. With the God-given gifts of reason and “eyes to see and ears to hear”, I am called to “judge not by appearance but to judge righteous judgement.” Amen, Charlie, amen.

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    1. @CD: The recent expose of the State Department’s hand-in-glove Soros’ operations called Civil Society 2.0 that give rise to what are called “Spontaneous Indigenous People Uprisings” is very telling. A short description of these social-network-manipulated revolutionaries can be seen here: https://2009-2017.state.gov/statecraft/cs20/index.htm

      Yours and my tax dollars at work promoting One World Government from the grass-roots. Stormy and gettin’ stormier.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Apparently Civil Society 2.0 (a conspiracy FACT), is part of the whole Ukraine impeachment hoax. Just nobody knows about it. https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/ukraine/commitments/UA0031/

        It’s a rather long and tedious document; so here’s a pertinent copy and paste from it: “Description
        Preparing and submitting to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine proposals on amending the Cabinet of Ministers resolutions that govern the procedure of interaction with civil society institutions as regards public consultations, establishment and operation of public councils under executive authorities, facilitation of public expert evaluations of executive authorities’ activities.”

        Basically ‘grass roots’ (HA!), soft-coups moved along by “Spontaneous Indigenous POPULAR (not people) Uprisings”. Do a net search for that phrase.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, Anon, that charge is not quite accurate. Automatic writing involves emptying oneself and letting any entity write through you. Vassula says she empties herself FOR Christ. You might honorably argue that she is mistaken, but though it has similar characteristics, it is not the same thing. By the same standards, you could argue that the Rosary is a form of occult meditation practice, which it is not. You could argue that many saints ecstatic trances were the same occult meditations. Just because a practice bears some similarity in form does not make it the same. On the other hand, participating with a pagan idol or making an offering to it as a part of Catholic worship is unmistakeable. Remember, many of things are determined by the intent, while some are determined by the action, whatever the intent. Be careful here – the biggest differences between what Moses did and what Pharaoh’s magicians did was in the intent and to whom they called. Would you condemn Moses because his actions were almost identical to the court magicians occultism?

      Liked by 6 people

  20. Is it rash judgement, uncharitable or self-righteous indignation to publicly denounce a pro- abortion, pro- homosexual “catholic” politicians (Joe Biden et al) for receiving Our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion? Is it irreverent, disrespectful and sinful to argue with, and demand the Bishop of one’s diocese and many other archbishops, to excommunicate and forbid “catholic” politicians to receive Holy Communion? As I see it, every Catholic, Pope, bishops, priests, deacons, ministers and Laity are obligated to defend Our Lord Jesus Christ from sacrilege. What of those bishops who permit these politicians to receive Holy Communion in their church? What of those bishops and priests who actively support the abomination of homosexuality and their satanic mockery of the rainbow flag. There is a Great Silence in the Catholic Church but there is an unbearable, deafening sound of hammers and the trickle of Innocent Blood flowing from Golgotha. Do you hear it?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. @Minus Zero: Well said! Just my opinion. Anger can get us moving, but passionately acting out of it is often damaging and self-defeating. We can get moving because of it, but then as Charlie suggests, we need to do our best to not act out of “fear, anger, or vanity” especially when we have erred. Otherwise we can remain spiritually blinded by any one or all of those emotions.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you ISLAM_IS ISLAM for your comment. This discussion about not acting out of “fear, anger or vanity” has got me thinking about Jesus’ acting out of anger and passion when He called the Pharisees hypocrites, graves filled with dead men’s bones and corruption and said they would die in their sins. I see Jesus great anger and passion when he made a whip and beat the money changers and drove all the merchants out of the Temple. We must take Jesus Christ as our model and be as passionate and angry about abortion-murder of God’s Innocents, we must call out all those “catholics” who vote for the demoncrats who rejected God from their presidential platform, we must call out those bishops and priests who support and encourage the abomination of homosexual “marriage”. Yes! We must have passion about our Catholic Christian faith and, by the grace of God, lay down our lives to defend Jesus Christ and His Church!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Jesus is God. He is our model. But to justify our often imprudent anger because Jesus got angry is more than a little presumptuous, I think. I will put my record of working passionately for the pro-life cause beside anyone else’s – and I have been a tireless warrior for that cause, but I also keep in mind that my untethered anger and passion is as likely to drive otherwise good people away as it is to bring them back in. We have to struggle to know how properly to calibrate it precisely because we are NOT God. Jesus is. And if we drive people away because we thought unbridled passion was the ticket, we will have to answer to God for it. I very much appreciate your frustration and anger, Minus, and I know that many are reticent when they should be bold – but also that many are brash when they should be prudent. We must work hard, with fear and trembling, to calibrate properly, knowing that we are answerable to God for that choice.

          Over the four decades I have been actively involved in pro-life, I have seen many initiatives implode because they degenerated into an orgy of rage. I have seen some fail because no one was serious or willing to make serious sacrifice to begin with. I am uninterested in embracing either rage or timidity, but in getting the job accomplished – and that requires all our heart, mind and soul directed to God. I share much of your frustration, but I think your blanket approach risks degenerating into impotent rage.

          Liked by 8 people

          1. Speaking to “untethered anger and passion” along with knowing “how to properly calibrate it precisely” is deeply wise counsel, Charlie. Thank you. Even as we strive to live this we will, no doubt, fail at times. May we ever own it, repent and rise again while pressing on. May the Mediatrix of Graces come to our aid by granting us graces infused in our best efforts to work hard to harness our own anger and passion.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. Charlie,
            As I have noted in the past, you have an expertise in verbally attacking and destroying anyone who does not comply with your perspective of the issues on ASOH. Your response to my comments is colored with a subtle, dismissive and uncharitable anger Your response is a totally erroneous read of my comments. I do not advocate “imprudent anger!”. Where is the love?

            I think it is more than a little presumption on YOUR part to place limits on our conformity to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ Who said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That is we are to be perfectly identified with Jesus Christ and live His life as directed in the Gospels.


            1. Well Minus, I gave you a fairly gentle answer of disagreement and this is how you return it. You have unwittingly demonstrated why giving vent to unbridled anger is a dangerous thing. If my answer is what you consider “attacking” and “verbally destroying,” then your definition of the same is daring to disagree with you in any terms at all. Go look in the mirror, think about things, and see if you can’t gain a more charitable perspective on such matters.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. You gave me a “fairly gentle answer of disagreement” when you judge me as presumptuous, justifying my rage by the example of Jesus purifying the Temple, is outrageous. I advise to follow your own instruction: look in the mirror and remember when your weaponized tongue “fairly gently” destroyed the character of the great theologian, Father Karl Rahner, judging him as “perfidious” which is defined as treacherous, lying, deceitful, low, base. Remember: Do not judge. You will be judged by the judgement you make. When you disagree with a comment, take Beckita as your model who is very gentle and loving as a mother with her children.


                1. Dear Minus Zero, I cannot remain silent as I am drawn into this correction and exhortation you received from Charlie and allow you to set me apart as a better example. Good Heavens! I’m not better. And Mamas are not afraid to use claws when the situation calls for them. First of all, I was appalled with your initial reply to III… especially in light of this very segment of Charlie’s piece: “The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart.” This is what we see happening all around us, in and out of the Church.

                  I very much admire the way Charlie responded to your reply to III. He began NOT by aiming his thoughts at you in accusation, but by making the important distinction between God’s Perfection in expressing Anger and our human struggle with it. Bravo! Then Charlie spoke in terms of “we” for, yes, we ALL must manage our passionate emotions. (I just shot some irritated barbs at a dear one this week and had to own it and apologize, for we ALL blow it at times.) Then, Charlie validated your emotions and acknowledged your point while reiterating caution that we not fall into the opposite extreme (to which the evil one is ever goading and baiting us in these times) with this line: “I very much appreciate your frustration and anger, Minus, and I know that many are reticent when they should be bold – but also that many are brash when they should be prudent.” And in closing, he gently nudges you to reconsider the danger of your attitude as expressed to III: “I am uninterested in embracing either rage or timidity, but in getting the job accomplished – and that requires all our heart, mind and soul directed to God. I share much of your frustration, but I think your blanket approach risks degenerating into impotent rage.”

                  Now, you may have been offended with his words because you didn’t intend to give the impression that you did, but honestly, Minus, Charlie was indeed gentle with you initially and you shot back with very ugly personal accusations against him and it’s not right. Further, I found your closing paragraph to be a twisted interpretation of what Charlie was offering for reflection when he first responded to you. So Minus Zero, you now have a time out from ASOH until the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we can rejoice to begin again. We all blow it. May we own it, amend our ways and move forward to co-create with God a New Beginning, even in the midst of the darkness.

                  Liked by 4 people

        2. I’ve always thought that episode in the Temple should come with a warning label: handle with care. Seems like it’s one of the most misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied episodes from the Gospel, and so easily cherry-picked when it suits.

          Here’s that passage in it’s entirety:

          Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. he said to them, “It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayers; but you are making it a den of robbers.” Matt 21: 12-13

          What is the directive/teaching lesson there? I think it’s this: have faith. Because I can only get a clearer picture in the larger context of the Gospel according to Matthew.

          “Have faith” is something I can easily get my head around. “Keep nimble” is another, and the Holy Spirit has been making that point with me quite consistently in this past year or so.

          Here’s the thing about staying nimble… I just can’t seem to get mad or angry when I’m staying nimble. When I do get angry though, I’m not nearly as productive as when I’m staying nimble.

          Liked by 2 people

  21. I got pounced on by some Vasula followers who were trying to convince people that what they saw in the Vatican garden wasn’t what they saw.
    I said nothing ill of the Pope but because the Pope was present, and I disagreed with the display, I was labeled anti-Papist and condescended to. I backed out of the conversation and wished them well. It made me realize that even Catholics who believe Catholic teaching can be easily blinded. Anyway I thought the CDF had said Vasula’s communications should not be considered supernatural, and called all Catholic bishops to prevent Rydén’s ideas from being spread in their dioceses? Is that still in effect?
    I wish her no ill will, but the frenzy of her followers was strange to me. You said it all when you stated, By Vassula’s latest doctrine, St. Paul would be cast into outer darkness for rebuking St. Peter – an obvious absurdity. Thank you for putting it so succinctly.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Well, Veronica, there HAS been much controversy with Vassula. Nearly four years ago, Charlie shared at TNRS site that he had asked for some thoughts about Vassula from a theologian he respects who had carefully read all she had written and I was very interested in the theologians thoughts as I had benefited from reading the eleven volumes of her dialogues with Jesus. That said, I, too, agree with Charlie’s assessment of how errant was Vassula in this latest outburst and casting out of the members of TLIG as she did.

      To answer your question, Susan, about Vassula’s history with the CDF, I paste the comments from the theologian Charlie consulted.

      “Regarding Vassula’s relationship to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, it is evident that opinion is sharply divided within both hierarchies. On the Orthodox side it is true there has been a formal condemnation from the Constantinople Patriarchate (against which Vassula is currently appealing on the basis that proper canonical procedure was not followed), but for her Catholic detractors to cite this as evidence against her is not credible as it is precisely the Catholic spirituality within the TLIG messages that has clearly been a major factor in her condemnation! That the Orthodox world is internally seriously divided is no secret, and despite the statements of Constantinople Vassula still enjoys considerable support from representatives of other Patriarchates.

      As for the question of her relationship to the Catholic Church, it seems obvious that there is substantial disagreement within the Magisterium concerning Vassula. The clearest evidence of this is Niels Hvidt’s report of her extensive dialogue with the then Cardinal Ratzinger and the present Cardinal Grech which Hvidt initiated back in 1999. Hvidt must be treated as a reliable source given that his subsequent Oxford University Press book Post-Biblical Prophecy – containing a chapter on Vassula Ryden – was prefaced by Cardinal Ratzinger (Hvidt’s doctoral advisor). According to Hvidt, Ratzinger apologized for the 1995 Notification (not a formal condemnation) against Vassula and stated that he would personally like to have seen a new Notification as a corrective but that he ‘had to obey the cardinals’ within the CDF. Matters were however complicated by an ambiguously-formulated letter sent out in 2007 by Cardinal Levada, Cardinal Ratzinger’s successor at the CDF
      which took a negative stance regarding Catholic participation in TLIG prayer groups while at the same time stating that
      ‘a case by case prudential judgment is required in view of the real possibility of the faithful being able to read the writings’ in the light of the clarifications offered by Vassula in response to a CDF letter dated April 4, 2002.

      Cardinal Levada’s document is confusing as it claims that in the course of those clarifications the TLIG messages were presented as ‘private meditations’ rather than revelations; this notion of such a presentation on the level of ‘private meditations’ is one that Vassula has formally denied ever having made.

      So where does this leave things? No formal developments on the Catholic side have occurred since 2007, but earlier this year Robert Moynihan’s Inside the Vatican magazine published a positive review by Cardinal Grech himself of Vassula Ryden’s autobiography Heaven is Real which concluded as follows:

      ‘Had this book been published earlier, after Vassula’s response to the questions put to her by the CDF, perhaps the decision to accept her and her messages would have been left to the local bishops and parish priests to decide.’

      That it seems to me is diplomatic language for saying that Cardinal Grech feels that the Notification against Vassula was a mistake.

      My sense is that, while I can understand the feeling in some quarters that Vassula Ryden and TLIG ministries have been overly combative in their self-defence and appeals to members of the Magisterium, this does not in itself constitute outright deception.

      Vassula is certainly not ‘approved’ in the formal sense and it would be wrong for anyone to conclude otherwise, but it should be remembered that NO visionaries are given full Vatican approval while still living (or indeed posthumously, as even canonization in famous cases such as that of St Bridget does not imply a definitive pronouncement on individual messages), even if there are living visionaries associated with approved apparitions, such as Gilberte Degeimbre (Beauraing 1933) or Edson Glauber/Maria do Carmo (Itapiranga 1994-1998). What is the case, however, is that a remarkable number of representatives of the Magisterium have been publicly associated with Vassula Ryden – including Cardinals Napier, Toppo, Sfeir (Maronite Patriarch), Belgian Primate Abp Léonard and Mgr Jozef Punt of Amsterdam-Haarlem, who gave formal approval to the Our Lady of Amsterdam apparitions in 2002. I cannot think of another alleged seer alive today who has received this level of support, and given that she is not even a Catholic the phenomenon is extremely thought-provoking. On the level of doctrinal orthodoxy, it should also be noted that a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur were given to the TLIG messages in November 2005 by Bishop Felix Toppo and Abp Ramon Arguelles (much to the chagrin of her opponents who have bitterly contested the decision).”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the background. I found her followers difficult. But I know that is not the measurement of her… because, well, people are people. But I do think her condemnation of anyone criticizing the Pope is incorrect. Because many Saints have corrected Popes.

        Liked by 8 people

  22. From what I read about Vassula on Wikipedia I wouldn’t follow her. Very secular. It struck me that both of her husbands worked for the United Nations and she talks of uniting all religions. Set up for one world religion?

    What of John Leary, is he approved?

    I think Charlie has the best instruction. Practical and applicable.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. “In cases which concern private revelations, it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true”(Pope Urban VIII, 1623-44).

        Charlie makes the case for “intent” which Pope Urban defends here. If Scripture tells us to “test every thing and keep what is good” and Pope Urban suggest we believe because God will reward you for your faith and good will, there is hope for those with a pure conscious who look for the good in everything within the Hope of the Spirit’s gift of Hope. Even Judas, after being bathed in the light of Christ for years, got nothing for his time spent with pure Truth. If he, while bathed by such perfection, still failed to see the truth given in such abundance, one can imagine how easily another who follows a mere mortal visionary may fail to grasp the fuller meaning intended. (And this includes, at times, the visionary themselves).

        Liked by 3 people

        1. What you remind us about in testing the fruit and spirits, Phillip, is good. Obedience to legitimate Church authority is a critical facet of discernment. I did read the article which Mick provided via the link and then also read the link to an article within the article and it provides the local Bishop’s decision concerning John Leary. In it, the Bishop said he does not forbid John Leary from publishing or teaching about the messages he claims to receive in visions as long as John Leary makes clear that the diocese considers the messages to be of human origin… an important distinction.

          Liked by 2 people

  23. Did anyone see this post by Janet Klasson on Nov. 11th?
    Posted by Janet Klasson in Divine Will, fasting, grace, Illumination of conscience, prayer, sacrifice, SinnersNovember 11, 2019
    “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14 (in some bibles it is 4:14)

    In today’s Office of Readings, the First Reading was taken from the book of Joel. As I prayed the Divine Office this morning, the verse above came alive. The term “valley of decision” has come to me more than once in recent days. I believe it refers to the coming illumination of conscience.

    As I meditated on this scripture verse, I felt the Lord wished me to pray fervently, in the Divine Will, that souls will be pre-disposed to choose for God in the valley of decision.

    It is no coincidence that this came to me so clearly on the 11th day of the 11th month. I see 11:11 on the clock often and I know it is a phenomenon that others have experienced as well. Let us heed the warning–God is on the move!

    In response I wrote the prayer below and invite you to join me in prayer and sacrifice for those whose hearts are far from God.

    Eternal Father, if you have need of someone on earth to give voice to your desire that all souls will choose for you in the valley of decision, here I am Lord, send me! Therefore, I pray: Merciful God, in the Divine Will, through the Flame of Love, in the name of everyone from Adam to the last, I say that all souls will be pre-disposed to choose for God in the valley of decision. Lord, this is your will and so it must be. May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Fiat! Amen.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. @Judith AI: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to intercede with this prayer and drawing the connection to the ‘valley of decision’. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. These are indeed troubling and at times challenging times but God is good. Last Sunday on my way to my second mass for the 11:30 mass, I was going a little early so I could stop along the way and get gas, a young lady, intending to turn left at the traffic light, turned right in front of me. Apparently on seeing me, she stopped in my path. I, however, could not stop in time and on running into her totaled my car and had to have it and me towed home (about 1.5 miles away.) The good parts: she was held responsible for the accident as attested to by the officer who shortly arrived on the scene. My car could not be moved but the other driver’s could be driven to the shoulder. I did not make it to the gas station so I saved the price of a very nearly full tank of gas. The accident happened just weeks before I had planned to buy a new full set of tires, the price of which I would have lost. Her insurance will pay for my lost car and the rental car for the three days until I was able to buy another car. I replaced my old 2000 model Chevy Metro with 243,863 miles with a 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit hatchback with 120,000 miles. I have never seen the need for a new car since I do all my own maintenance. It was such a hectic week. My wife and I were not able to go to our Monday hour of adoration or have a communion service. I was able to pick up a rental car later on Monday and make it to church until I got another car. Everything finally came together in such a way that I will be able to complete my nine communion novena for this week. And, also, I now have a better car God does provide.

    I sent angels to my Seattle Archbishop last week and am sending angels to Archbishop Chaput this week. I haven’t yet been inspired as to who to send angels to next week.
    Thank you Charlie for your latest posting and for all the enriching comments, very timely and needed as the Storm continues to intensify. It is going to get much worse before the Rescue is completed and Our Mother’s Heart triumphs. Let us pray for perseverance. May God continue to guide and bless all here. jas

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Praying in gratitude, JAS, that it sounds as though no one was injured. Praying, too, that all the remaining details which need to be addressed will continue to fall into place so everything smooths out. Your ability to be grateful for so much in the midst of a messy, hectic time is admirable. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She did not appear to be injured and was thankful I wasn’t mad at her. I told her I had learned not to upset myself over such minor things, accidents happen. I was feeling tightness in my neck and shoulders but nothing seemed to be damaged. Both airbags deployed but I was not aware of the steering wheel airbag having hit me. The officer agreed that an ambulance did not need to be called but she had called a tow truck because it was obvious my car needed to be towed. She passed up my AAA because it takes too long for them to show up. I said I could not rule out that I may need to see a doctor later if my pains got worse. The next day my left shoulder appeared to be mildly torn but it has been slowly getting better. I contacted her insurance and a claim is being processed. It looks like I will be charged for the extra insurance to protect me against any damage to the rental car. I did not expect to come out of this with no expense to me. Life goes on as I still need to process the changes and final costs. I thank God that I am comfortably able to do that due to having learned to live below my means.
        God is Good. May God continue to guide and bless all here. jas.

        Liked by 3 people

  25. This document is called “Seven.” I compiled it when I first started my journey back to the faith in around 2007 after hearing the Shepherd’s voice.

    I offer it here to be scrutinized. Perhaps there are better definitions and descriptions than I have, perhaps mistakes. Please give me critical feedback so I can make changes and improvements, then I’ll make a .pdf and .jpg file available to all. Thank you for taking the time!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Nice Patrick!  I think we all should frame a copy and hang it up in a prominant place in our homes to remind us.Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do. But Give me a bit of time. My studies have intensified and will be hefty next 12 days. I test Dec 5 at 10am.

        Just learned that a devout Catholic family that owns a food business bakes their pastries and what-not with BLESSED SALT! Awesome. ✝️

        And if someone suddenly goes into a fit of convulsions and drops to the floor, we’ll know why. 😈

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Charlie,

    I have enjoyed this post very much and have read and read it several times. It is like a good piece of steak that you slowly chew, savoring the flavor.

    The following quote stood out to me in every reading:
    “The fact is that God writes straight with crooked lines – and we are the crooked lines He writes with. Finding the flaws in the messenger does not invalidate the message.”

    Lol, Charlie, I think of you when I read these lines. If we were to focus on your flaws, everyone would have left you after the end of 2016. Many did, but we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We have come a long way since then on the ole journey of faith with Abraham. I learned a lot of prophecy and biblical interpretation as a result of the whole affair, and I thank you for it.

    It is much the same in other things. Recently, I read a book on Mary that was weak, inadequate and misleading. However, I refuse to post any comments about it on Amazon as the book has strong points that deserve to be heard. If anything, the book may lead people to take the next right step in developing their relationship with the Panagia. It would be counterproductive to criticize it at this point. Corrections will be made down the road.

    I agree with your comments about Vassula. She has said many things that are good, holy and accurate, but like you she has made mistakes, and there is no spiritual value for me, or for others, in letting Satan bog me down in addressing the mistakes Vassula or you have made, for, as you state well: “The devil now seeks to inflame our emotions into disordered parodies of prudence. Fear, anger and vanity are the toxic emotions the satan hopes to use to infect and inflame the pious to destruction. Guard your heart.”

    In guarding our hearts, I remember well the very useful quote of Pope Francis, “who am I to judge?” I have made plenty of mistakes, too, so, when picking one’s battles in the course of judging righteously, I have become more cautious and pray more. Shooting from the hip, writing/speaking intemperately before thinking is not helpful.

    I would say that you still prophesize, but in a more nuanced way. Many things I have read that you had written back in 2014, 2015, or 2016, for example, and now have re-presented in a more accurate way. Many times I have observed things in the world and I say to myself, “Charlie spoke about this a couple of years ago.” You, I, and we may have understood imperfectly what you said a couple of years ago, but I think we are all understanding better now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. the existence of and power pf the deep state lends credence to Charlie’s opinion that Obama would not relinquish power. We did not know of the deep state then and I inferring that Charlie shoe horned whatever he saw into our existing presuppositions of the nature of the political order makes sense.

      Or, what also makes sense is that I am completely wrong !

      Funny how the need to speculate is even there, but it is

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interestingly Timothy,
        as one with a prophetic mission, Charlie recognises that even the prophets can get things wrong when they try and discern the messages themselves. It is not always for them to know the mind of God and Charlie made that point earlier with all the errors being made by biblical figures (Moses, Jonah, etc). If you remember from the Bible, the gifts of the Spirit include prophecy AND discernment but not necessarily both gifts at the same time to the same person! Actually the final authority to discern prophecy is the Church. Our duty is to live out or lives in fidelity to what HAS been revealed by the Church and to personally discern any new revelations against that backdrop first and foremost lest we be lead down a demonic rabbit-hole away from authentic teaching.
        As a son of the Church, Charlie was correct in abandoning his interpretation of this personal message not sanctioned by the Church for the Church alone has the authority to give his message authority. Time will show how true his message really was in the light of how it was revealed through Him and his meek ability to profess these mysteries. You can see how what he said is becomming clearer in the light of the course of what is happening with the “deep state” and Trumps presidency, but that was not how Charlie had thought it would happen and has recrused himself (typical politician fashion) from the game not wanting to be a hypocrite to his word to do so if he was wrong. (Even if he was right in essence). But you and I have the right to: “discern everything and keep what is good”.
        And so we shall.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes.  After the prophetic message did not pan out precisely as Charlie originally stated, I went back and read Jonah three times.  Jonah was told in scripture God would destroy Ninevah in 40 days and instructed him to proclaim this to the Ninevites.  After his run in with the big fish, he proclaimed this.  The Ninevites repented and God relented.  No where in scripture did God ever put a condition on repentance.  It is just not recorded.  It could very well have been that God had planned everything that Charlie said would occur and due to our response and prayers, it was held back.  I don’t think anyone knows for sure except God what the reason was.  Did Charlie miss it?  Maybe, but maybe not too.  I tend to think like Timothy ‘s response if I read him right.  I think Charlie was shown the corruption, but how it played out may have been different from what Charlie interpreted.  It may have been a test of Charlie’s faithfulness along with ours.  In the end, what counts is our faithfulness in living out our faith.  Do we love God with our whole heart and love our neighbor as ourselves?  Are we cleaning our spiritual house?  These are the things that count.  And if there is a prophetic utterance of a calamity,  all the more reason to clean our spiritual house.  It’s also ok to be prudent and do some physical prepping.  Personally,  I think we are still going to see a major calamity of some sort.  It is scary, yet exciting times we live in and we were all chosen for these times.  Opportunities for conversions and a major move of the Holy Spirit is likely to occur if there is a calamity.  Blessings!Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

          Liked by 2 people

  27. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Charlie, who do you know at Disney? We took the kids to see Frozen 2 tonight and the major theme during the night of their storm was literally “do the next right thing”. In true Disney fashion Anna even sings a song about how she will do the Next Right Thing. Made me chuckle

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No one that I know of, Joe. BUT, I have been surprised at the number of artists – in music and the film industry particularly – who are closet fans of this site, even sometimes quietly showing up at presentations. I was charmed a couple of years ago when the author and screenwriter of one of my family’s favorite little movies (from when they were kids) showed up in LA and introduced herself.

      David Daleiden told me that, several years ago, when he was speaking in Seattle, he got all wound up and ended his talk by saying, “What we have to do is acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope.” He was startled when, afterwards, five or six people came up to him and asked if he “reads Charlie.” He chuckled and said, ever since, if he wants to see how many steppers there are in a crowd, he throws that in there.

      It is a joy to be able to give some people a little fortitude and hope – and it gives the same to me to see how many people we have “behind the lines.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “…surprised at the number of artists – in music and the film industry particularly – who are closet fans of this site…”

        Today’s Plenary Indulgence was offered for Elvis Presley.

        Liked by 1 person

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