The Season Begins

Bitter winter

By Charlie Johnston

“Now is the winter of our discontent,

Made glorious summer by this son of York”

-Richard III, William Shakespeare

This Advent Season is pregnant both with expectation of the birth of Christ and with the fearful expectation of great dysfunctions to come. In almost every major area, we have had greater and more intense periods of local crisis, but I am hard put to find a time when all areas of stability were under assault in every corner of the globe simultaneously. This is what I expect to be writing about over the next year. Navigating these precarious waters will require all our heart, mind, spirit and faith in an unprecedented way. I have a sense that this will be a battle unlike any we have ever seen before.

The Christian season of Advent is the proper time to square up to it, for Advent is a time of penitence, joy and, above all, hope. Penitence for the sinful things we have done and the noble things we have failed to do; joy for the certainty that despite what we have been, God sends us a Savior anyway; and hope that the Savior will dwell among us and all things will be set to right. This begins with our firm resolve to set ourselves to right in preparation for our Savior.

I begin this season with a quick survey of the major areas of stability that occupy my mind; how those foundations have become so much sand, and how to prepare to make them rock again. Remember, as you consider, that Christian hope is forged and proven (as Fr. Paul Scalia notes) in the most difficult and challenging times, not the easiest.

Church: I am horrified by the mass moral chaos emanating from the Vatican; the rank betrayal of Catholics in China, the protection and promotion of predators in the ranks of clerics, the sustained assault on the teachings of Christ by many of those whose covenanted vocation is to defend and promote those teachings, the financial corruption that is endemic to the Vatican finance system – where only those who attempt to expose and reform it are ruthlessly punished. It is a deep sorrow to me that the Church I love has become a cradle of corruption. Even so, a Rubicon was crossed for me with the Pachamama blasphemy. While I do not believe the Pope or the Bishops involved were actually worshipping this pagan idol, the Pope’s comments later proved they knew what it was and were consenting to its presence at Catholic worship – directly defying our Founder, Jesus Christ. That was an open declaration of war on Christ. All to be hoped for now is conversion or the remedy of Psalm 109:8.

Family: Homosexual activism and the transgender movement are a direct assault on God and reality, cloaked under the pretense of fairness and tolerance. In the beginning, God created man in His own image; male and female He created them. You can look it up in the first chapter of Genesis. The beginning, as it were. The practical reality is that every society that failed to put a premium on family formation has been a society hurtling towards its own destruction. There are many that have taken this destructive path: I can’t think of one which has checked it once it began its fatal course. But I have hope.

Politics: I sometimes wonder how relevant traditional politics is right now. But taking heed of Christ’s comments at the Baptism at the Jordan, that all righteousness be fulfilled (Matthew 3:13-15), I soldier on. Everything is in flux. The suburbs have collapsed for Republicans. So far, explanations for this phenomenon have been like a Rorschach which every commenter uses to bolster his own previous enthusiasms. Some say it is a negative reaction to Donald Trump’s combative style, others that it is a result of the influx of leftists escaping from the inner cities or leftist states they have already ruined – without learning that it is their policies that caused the ruin. Yet there is little hard data being used to explain the phenomenon so far. Minorities are moving dramatically towards Trump. There is an abundance of hard data for that. It seems the only people who think Trump is a racist are white liberals who don’t have to suffer the consequences of the policies they impose on those they are “helping.” Never Trump Republicans maintain that GOP losses are due to Trump. There are some important GOP losses, but I can’t help noticing that almost all of the GOP types that are losing are the weenie Republicans who oppose both him and his agenda. It looks to me like the establishment GOP “smart” set is actually “notso.” We are seeing a gargantuan shift right now that is extremely complicated. I am analyzing trends and data very closely – and will provide some advice, both here and professionally, on how to use those trends to champion traditional Christian Americanism effectively. I expect only a few professional pols to take up that advice, for we are at a moment when we must think anew and act anew, as Abraham Lincoln advised in his first State of the Union – but politicians rarely even consider anything outside the old ways until they are in the midst of a crisis as grave as that Lincoln faced.

Government: The impeachment fiasco is, improbably, highlighting many of the great problems in government. It illustrates the collapse of objective standards of justice, gives palpable examples of a bureaucratic class that contemptuously rules over the sovereign people rather than serves it, and exposes both an establishment media and a political party which have abandoned all standards save those that are rankly partisan and malicious. One of the most important modern dysfunctions is the activist judiciary, which routinely usurps both legislative and executive authority. The judiciary is NOT the supreme branch of government, but merely a co-equal one. I take some satisfaction in seeing this coming to a head, as I was sounding the alarm about it loudly during the early 90’s when I was doing radio. Now it is so obvious almost anyone can perceive it. I suspect a surprise in the next year will be the exposure of widespread pockets of actual judicial corruption – with some judges sitting before the dockets they once presided over.

Society: We face a blizzard of offenses that pervert everything, including the very language we use to communicate with each other. In New York, it is now illegal to call illegal aliens, “illegal aliens.” They are to be called “undocumented immigrants.” You are not an immigrant unless you have gone through the immigration process, which involves documentation. To call someone who never sought documents “undocumented” is akin to calling a man who murdered his parents a “poor orphan.” The most ardent advocates for socialism proclaim the formation of police departments or the building of roads as a type of socialism – confusing those forms of collective action limited by the principle of subsidiarity in a free society with the comprehensive collective rule of socialism. They think if a little collectivism is good, a ton of it must be better. Actually, we require a little arsenic in our diet, just as we require a little collective action in any society. Consume a lot of either and death will soon follow. We don’t understand why the foundational principles of America created the freest, most prosperous, most generous, and most successful nation in world history, offering opportunity to all who would take it. In fact, the idiots who have seized the positions of power in literature, the universities, the media and arts are actively trying to destroy it, knowing not what they would destroy, why it worked in the first place, and why what they seek to erect in its place would destroy them, too. And these ignorant vandals consider themselves enlightened geniuses. I will continue and dramatically expand my series of “Precepts of a Reasonable Man” in the coming year – not so much to check the progress of the new dark ages we have entered as to offer a framework for renewal.

Culture: In this last year, we have had testimony under oath that when a baby is scheduled for abortion is born alive, it often goes to “procurement” and is killed by cutting its heart out to facilitate the illegal trafficking in baby body parts for profit. That testimony has come from some of the people who actually commit these horrors. The establishment media has largely blacked out that news. One judge who presided over a trial in which such testimony was given instructed the jury that the criminality of the abortionists is irrelevant. As we end the year, some progress is being made BUT the fact is we are butchering live, born babies and selling their organs for profit – and subsidizing all this with our tax dollars. Where is the tide of outrage that would surely come if we had any vestige of morality or compassion? And the people who most vigorously promote this mass slaughter presume to lecture the rest of us on morality?! I fear that the Lord may require that every drop of blood drawn by the abortionists’ knife be repaid with another drawn by a sword. Maranatha!

Global Affairs: The greatest shock, when surveying the world scene, is that the United States is probably still the least degraded of all the decadent nations on the globe. Mexico is a failed state on our southern border, increasingly dominated by drug cartels. Western Europe is now occupied by radical Islamic invaders, its leaders having facilitated the invasion themselves. Even England is no longer a free nation, but one where you can be jailed for voicing the wrong opinion – and where the police restlessly watch opinions on social media while studiously avoiding the violent crime that besets this gunless society. Venezuela shows the toxic fruits of socialism even in a once-wealthy country and threatens to export its madness throughout South America. China, besides oppressing and murdering its own people, maliciously seeks to establish itself as global hegemon. Much of Africa is mired in poverty and grappling with the various “isms” that so afflicted the western world over the last century. Russia is a fragile state that largely survives through bluff and bluster – and the vestiges of military might. Need I speak of the Middle East at all? When I was young, we would sometimes speak of a region as being a powder keg while preparing to deal with it. Now it is nothing but powder kegs as far as the eye can see. One would have to be particularly doe-eyed to survey all this and expect no explosions to come.


These are the things I will focus on as we go forward into another year. This truly is become the winter of our discontent. Yet we are Christians. As such, we know, on the darkest night of the year, that this bitter winter will be made glorious summer by the Son of Man. Our challenge is how to cooperate with Him in the regeneration.

193 thoughts on “The Season Begins

  1. SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy you’re home again, Charlie. Not saying we “need” you as we NEED the Lord, but certainly counting on you and looking forward to your writing as you continue to reflect, analyze, exhort and encourage.

    The world IS a royal mess at every turn… and it is a mess of our own making. I shudder to think what it would be like if God was not tamping down the consequences which we truly deserve. How I sense His deep sorrow at what we have done while I’m holding fast to the knowledge that He does have a pattern of rescuing His people – those who repent and return to Him – in every age and every time. Of course, each time has had its particular twists and turns, therefore, what you have often said rings true once again: The Lord is ever doing something new.

    “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
    At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
    When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
    And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

    Still, I realize: “All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.” Don’t yet know exactly how it “all shall be done” as we CAN’T know how because we’re not “there” yet. (And one can only imagine how very many moments of being there shall there be!) Grateful anew for the sweet words which steady: Acknowledge God, take the next right step (that very little you can do right before you) and allow Him to make of you a blossom of beauty aflame with Christ’s Love, emanating hope in the cold snow of winter.

    Praying now for us all that the ears of our hearts listen for the whispers, some thundering and some as nearly imperceptible as a breath, that we may hear, heed and do whatever He asks of each one. Praying, too, for new measures of fortitude for each of us.

    Liked by 18 people

    1. Please join thousands of faithful Catholics tomorrow in a day of Reparation, Fasting and Prayer.

      (Edit by Beckita: Joan, I replaced the video link which took readers to The Fatima Center because Fr. Nicholas Gruner, who was stripped of his priestly faculties and yet continued to put himself forth as a priest in good standing for several years until his death, is the founder of this particular center. Instead, I’ve inserted a link to the NC Register which announced tomorrow’s day of prayer, fasting and reparation.)

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      1. Many thanks, Beckita. I did not know that, but people just need to fast, pray and say the rosary tomorrow. Thanks for posting! J

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  2. Thank God for you, Charlie. It’s incredible how bereft I sometimes feel when you haven’t posted for a while. I’m not proud of that – it’s just the truth. As humble as you are, it’s probably difficult for you to understand how much of a mentor and “voice in the wilderness” you’ve become. I’m sure many here on this site will agree with me.

    I’m definitely not a prophet, not psychic in any way, but every cell in my body screams that 2020 will be a cataclysmic year. Prayer has helped me enormously, and though I often fail, I try to focus on the next right step and being a sign of hope to those around me. It’s so difficult, however, since I find myself losing hope. I KNOW God will win ultimately and I am confident of where I ultimately go, but it’s just so blasted sad to see so many lost souls, such fundamental erosion of common values and morals. Again, thank God for you.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly Patricia. During this advent I intend to pray more and surrender it all to the Lord. I will ask all here to pray that Philadelphia’s archbishop is retiring, and we need to have as his replacement someone with the same outlook as Archbishop Chaput. May the Holy Spirit guide Pope Francis in this direction.

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  3. No wonder I find myself struggling to stay hopeful. I look to these writings to verify I’m not crazy, the world is. Thank you, Charlie, for keeping us grounded.

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  4. Oh Charlie, why can’t others see the obvious?! I know, I sound like a broken record. The only answer I can figure out is that those who are blind are either brainwashed (so many are!) or they are part of the evil agenda.

    I believe you are correct in your Church/Vatican comments and “crossing the Rubicon”. Over the weekend people were talking about just one example. Some may have seen it on Father Z. It was a loony “blessing” by the Pope, not once but twice. He said some kind of prayer and no Sign of The Cross whatsoever. When did any ordained priest not make the Sign of The Cross when giving a blessing?

    I keep cheering when more is revealed about the “bad actors” in D.C., but it’s not enough.
    It may have been Maggie who recently posted a John Stossel video about a panel he convened on climate change. A clip of that child who spoke to the United Nations was in the video and she looked, I’m sorry, almost demonic as she spoke, filled with hate.

    Oh well, we keep looking for Mama’s Triumph and the light of the Divine Will. I love that picture, Beckita! It’s as if Aslan is talking to us, and for some reason it brings tears to my eyes. I often tear up when I feel God’s love; reminds me of my father comforting his little girl.

    Love to all!

    Liked by 11 people

    1. I love the picture, too, Annie. I actually thought of Cardinal Sarah’s book, The Power of Silence, when I chose it. Lucy snuggling so affectionately with Aslan is an image, to me, of how adoration and contemplation draw us to intimacy with God so that we can better hear and gain insight concerning what we are to do. Aslan’s affirmation of Lucy reminds me we don’t have to do it all perfectly; we need only to be ALL IN with best effort while clinging to the Holy Spirit for a new outpouring of His Gifts which we were given so long ago at Confirmation.

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    2. Very minor correction, but want to give due credit; it was ‘for the sake sorrowful passion’ who posted the informative John Stossel video.

      Charlie, re your statement: ‘And the people who most vigorously promote this mass slaughter presume to lecture the rest of us on morality?’ So true, as many, esp. celebrities, are very vocal about refusing to buy products that use animals in their R n D; but somehow are not bothered by the excruciating pain that unborn babies feel during abortion (and barbaric vivisection you mentioned in previous posts.)

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      1. The hypocrisy has never been so starkly apparent. Nancy Pelosi defending MS-13 as “ all children of God” is in stark contrast to her abhorrent support of all abortion up to birth and beyond birth. I mean does she even hear herself?

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        1. Joanne – amen to that – the cognative dissonance from liberals would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. They talk about senseless killings of innocent children in mass shootings but ignorre the mass execution of the children who might have been there but for abortion.. They seem to have selective compassion for children who are wanted by their parents and those who are not. Or the elderly, or the disabled, etc. Life either has intrinsic value or it doesn’t. I want to gag when Pelosi tries to hide her evil in the name of God.

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          1. Well she did it again in spades when she declared that they are moving ahead with impeachment and a reporter questioned her hatred of President Trump. She declared that she hates no one because she’s a “Catholic”. Couldn’t believe my ears. Because nothing else can explain what the Dems are doing based on so many lies about Presidential/executive branch powers. Trump’s every word is listened to and parsed. I think back to Reagan and wonder if all that he and JPII did in Poland and the fall of the Berlin Wall/eastern bloc would be possible today. Our country is a mess. Pelosi also declared her protection of the Constitution today in the same interview, but she is actually destroying it. Jonathan Turley was the only one speaking truth to power yesterday and truth on the Constitution. But as my husband reminds me frequently, the Dems, at least this group don’t give a darn about the truth or the victims they create.

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          2. Madkatmomma: my husband and I are parents of two adopted babies who are young men today. Can’t imagine my life without them. Have prayed in thanksgiving for their birth parents often. Abortion sorrows my heart but using it as birth control breaks my heart.

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  5. Thank you for your work, Charlie.

    Notice that the existential dilemmas have not hit yet. Things like Yellowstone Caldera, Lauder Minimum Ice Age, famine, war.

    Perhaps we will be spared them.

    It will be jarring , should that happen, when the divide lines grow even sharper between the slaves to satan and the slaves to Christ.

    grace and peace.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Charlie, given your fully justified horror at RC Church behavior, can you imagine any more action or inaction that would lead to your separation from membership, if only as a temporary relief. For example, the continuing Church silence on pressing issues of the day, such as here in the USA the Democrat Party’s lurching to Socialism, anti-Semitism, on our loss of free political speech to conform to Political Correctness, on biblical transgressions in sex, and in tolerating prominent Catholic leaders promoting abortion. I ask because, although I am not church affiliated myself, those who are may be wondering what might be the added straw, but hesitate to broach such a difficult topic.

    This was an important insight of yours, “It seems the only people who think Trump is a racist are white liberals who don’t have to suffer the consequences of the policies they impose on those they are “helping.” “ Those White liberals include RINOs as well as the Dims, and also low information “independents.”

    Re the impeachment trial if such goes to the Senate, I have been trying to communicate to those who might act, that the first witness to call would not be Schiff, or the Bidens, or even the “whistleblower,” but the Speaker of the House. She needs to be asked under oath what impeachable crimes she has evidence for that warranted pursuit of impeachment, or was it just intended as a political charade to make President Trump look bad, the kind of action the Constitutional writers were keen to avoid, lest we revert to a parliamentary system. We all know the answer, but she ought to have the public opportunity to fully explain her actions.

    Thanks for your thoughtful, but unfortunately accurate summary of a culturally disintegrating world.

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    1. I will NEVER leave the Church. Never! Never! Never!

      I will write on this more later this week, but I fully agree with Cardinal Burke, who said that anything written, even though it be from someone who currently holds office, that contradicts defined doctrine is, itself schismatic – and those of us who stay and defend the Church are in full communion with her. It is the rebels who want to remake the Church in their own image instead of God’s who are the schismatics.

      Even were I to be excommunicated for criticizing top clerics, I would only be excommunicated from the Church Militant for a time – never from the Church Triumphant. Some officials have the authority to make that pronouncement here, but if they do so for mere political reasons, the excommunication is only for a time until (like with St. Joan) it is reversed. And any official who pronounces such a banishment for mere political reasons simultaneously excommunicates himself from the Church Triumphant.

      The Church is my home, the Pearl of Great Price I sought for for so long at a cost known only to God. If you think I would leave because some officials come from the line of Judas you are completely mistaken.

      Liked by 26 people

      1. Charlie, I had no such thoughts. Your criticisms invited the question, and your response was crystal clear– in fact, I did anticipate the nature of your response.

        Personally, although not church going, I look to the churches, Protestant and Catholic, for moral and ethical leadership, and have been disappointed as times have gotten worse and worse. As I’ve mentioned before, I admired Bishop Fulton Sheen, and would add that I appreciated, much liked, Saint John Paul II while he served as Pope. We need such voices now more than ever.

        Appreciated your response, and continue to look forward to your posts.

        Liked by 9 people

          1. Charlie, what you say of Cardinal Burke is spoken of in Paragraph 8 in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and is worth restating here: “In studying this Compendium, it is good to keep in mind that the citations of Magisterial texts are taken from documents of differing authority. Alongside council documents and encyclicals there are also papal addresses and documents drafted by offices of the Holy See. As one knows, but it seems to bear repeating, the reader should be aware that different levels of teaching authority are involved.” So it is with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It contents are carefully footnoted, and equally as varied in levels of teaching authority as the documents cited in the Compendium. Certain sections of the Catechism are not even taken from such sources but were simply composed by the authors of the work. *As ought to be well known among Catholics, any teaching conveyed by a lesser level of authority that appears to contradict one of greater authority is to be ignored.* It falls to the critics of Pope Francis’s alterations (and others) to the text that such is the case here.

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            1. @Phillip Frank, here is an article that seems to me to reflect what will likely be “Heading to a Parish Near Me”. How will it fit into that hierarchy of teaching authority that you mention, I wonder?

              As much as I appreciate that any teaching conveyed by a lesser level of authority that appears to contradict one of greater authority is to be ignored, it sounds like a slippery slope that ends in murky water to me. I mean no one can judge the Supreme Pontiff, right? And as the chief legislator he is the arbiter of the law, right? So, for instance, a priest who denies Holy Communion to those in “irregular unions” who has lesser authority than Amoris Laetitia’s rules promulgated in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis–which I understand is pretty authoritative–that priest would seem to be on shaky grounds for his action according to the hierarchy of authority even though, in this case, he would be citing Scripture and Tradition, right?

              Charlie et al., where do lines get drawn? How does ‘moral agency’ figure into the drawing of those lines? Especially considering that apparently this ‘hierarchy of authority’ ought to be well known among Catholics, how do we not devolve into Protestants with our own equally ‘Spirit’-driven interpretations and actions? Moreover, would Jesus put us into what seems a Catch-22 situation? I don’t think so.

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              1. Well, III, I wrote pretty clearly about this just recently. That was NOT a casual piece. First of all, Scripture and settled Tradition are higher authority than any man who transiently holds office. An office-holder may impose something according to his raw power without it being a legitimate exercise of authority. Apparently you disagree with my logic in the piece I cited, for you do not seem to think there is any way to exercise moral agency without becoming Protestant. We must either obey all things slavishly, without regard to whether or not it is a legitimate order – or overthrow entirely the authority over us and replace him with another. Those seem to be the only options you consider legitimate. If I misunderstand, please correct me and explain where I err. Would Jesus put us into a seeming Catch-22? Seriously?! He seems to delight in doing just that – that we may expand our understanding, improve our prudent judgment, and exercise the patience to wait for Him. When He demanded the Disciples stand down as He was being taken to be executed, do you really think that was not a Catch-22 for them? They probably felt helpless, wondering why He would not allow them to defend Him. When He told all that they must eat His body and drink His blood to have life within them, the disciples stayed while many others left – but none of them started gnawing on His arm. You think that wasn’t a Catch-22? When He bent to wash their feet – a practice invariably performed by the lesser to the greater, you think that wasn’t a Catch-22 for them? If you read the Gospels carefully, they absolutely abound with Catch-22 situations. Catch-22 situations are one of the Lord’s primary methods of advanced instruction for us. Those who can’t wait for Him usually fall away during these situations. Those who can’t help but adopt easy answers will ultimately, like Job’s pious friends, be forgiven – but they are not listening to what God is trying to teach them.

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                1. I think you do misunderstand me, Charlie, and I really appreciate the patience with which you have extended to me this invitation to explain myself. Thank you!

                  You rightly say that “Scripture and settled Tradition are higher authority than any man who transiently holds office”. And why is this so? It is so because Jesus gave us His Church and She has infallibly defined both Scripture and settled Tradition–no man has done that. This same Church teaches, and I think you would agree, that it is God working through man by which this settling of Scripture and Tradition has been done. The gift of Faith from an Authority outside of myself confirms this for me.

                  Besides determining Scripture and settled Tradition, Jesus’ Church also tells me that unlike any other office-holder alive the one and only Papal Office-holder because of the Divinely Instituted monarchical office that he holds is Divinely promised infallibility when he wields the binding and loosing power inherent in the Papal Office itself or in those times when that power is extended in unity with the bishops. (I do not here confuse impeccability with infallibility.)

                  In as much as any pope is a fallible man, it is true that he might “impose something according to his raw power without it being a legitimate exercise of authority”; however, when it comes to handing on Scripture and settled Tradition whole and entire, which is in the purview of legitimate exercise of the Papal Office-holder’s authority, we have Divine promises of indefectibility for Jesus’ Bride Herself (which implies immutability) and infallibility in matters of Faith and morals for Her visible head, the Supreme Pontiff.

                  It is by way of these Divinely revealed truths and promises, Charlie, it is through grace within these Divinely revealed and freely accepted Catholic boundaries that my moral agency operates; thus I oppose the Protestant-like, Catch-22 choice with which we are presented. To be very clear, “I believe these and ALL the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because Thou hast revealed them Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.” This is not a Protestant way to exercise moral agency. Is it?

                  Therefore, it seems to me that this is not a matter of obeying all things slavishly rather this is how one is to use one’s God-given gift of reason coupled with the gift of Faith which allows one the freedom in meekness and humility to operate with moral agency and to “judge not by appearance but to judge righteous judgment” and thus determine what is legitimate and what is not legitimate according to what the Church Herself says about Scripture and settled Tradition.

                  Specifically this Faith tells me that in order to not be in Schism I must be in union with the source of unity–the Pope; I must submit to the Divinely instituted authority of the Papal Office-holder, to the magisterium of the Church which is Divinely guaranteed to be Apostolic. That is THE Catch-22 of which I speak and it is unlike any of Jesus’ Catch-22’s that you outlined. Why? Because as you say, Jesus’ Catch-22’s both instruct and allow us to exercise our Faith ‘muscles’, to believe patiently on the mysteries He has presented while waiting with trusting confidence for Him to explain or fulfill them because “He alone has the words of eternal life” which He infallibly teaches us through His Church.

                  So unlike the Catch-22 that I think we presently face, Jesus’ Catch-22’s do not put us in a “damned if I do and damned if I don’t position”. Yes, all Catch-22’s put us in a place of choosing but those Gospel instances that you outline while unsettling as well as odd and discomfiting do not violate the Law of Non-contradiction: that something can be and cannot be at the same time.

                  Specifically in this time that the source of unity appears at the same time to be the vessel of schism for those who believe “ALL the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because Thou hast revealed them Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.”

                  Truth is divisive and adopting it is always a struggle and never easy, but He tells us and so I believe that ultimately His yoke is easy and His burden is light because the Truth, Jesus Himself, sets us free.

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                  1. The history of humankind is rife with virtually endless discussions and tomes written about the letter of the law, and yet how often the spirit of the Word eludes us.

                    How perfectly Jesus could discuss matters of the Law… quote the pertinent scripture, apply it rightly, and express its spirit most simply to be grasped by all. Also, how grateful we should be to those who emulate Him!

                    One thing I’m entirely convinced of at this point –– a calibration in my thinking over time due, in no small part, to Charlie’s consistent treatment of it –– that we are basically stepping right where we’re each at with God’s measure of us. As God already knows our full measure, and It’s just a matter of each to get on the same page with Him, humbly willing –– or at the very least wanting to want –– to sacrifice our way of thinking for His. The beginning of wisdom, to borrow a phrase.

                    Each has a lifetime of habits –– good, bad or indifferent –– that seriously come to bear on how, or even if, we place that next right step. That said, it’s no small coincidence that we evolved to “A Sign of Hope” at some point.

                    Conversion is a process. And there’s always hope to be had in any process.

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                    1. @MP: Well said, “Conversion is a process. And there’s always hope to be had in any process.” Such that by grace we can overcome a lifetime of habits–bad or indifferent–and be transformed from glory to glory. I would exchange glory with trial hoping that with each step towards transformation I can honestly declare with St. Paul that all things are blessings–trial or glory–same difference.

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                  2. Thanks for taking the time to explain your position so carefully, III. It helps me understand your perspective much better. The piece I am working on right now touches on some matters you bring up. When I was coming into the Catholic Church, a stumbling block for me was many of the rather silly myths that almost all Catholics seem to take as givens. Fortunately, reading hard at what the Church actually teaches, I found they were just that – and so passed through unimpeded. Yet I thought then that one day the failure to clear up these myths might lead us into crisis – or compound an existing crisis – and it annoyed me that clerics did not clear them up.

                    No Pope is infallible on matters of faith and morals. They are given a gift of speaking infallibly in certain narrowly prescribed circumstances. The individual promise of infallibility to a Pope is only when he speaks ex cathedra, saying so and binding the whole Church to that pronouncement. The last time any Pope exercised this was in 1950 with the Proclamation of the Assumption of Mary. No Pope in my lifetime has exercised this individual gift of infallibility.

                    Normally, irreformable doctrine (that which is infallible), is produced in a sort of corporate way. The Pope can propose such – and with the consent of the Bishops of the world, it can become defined teaching. There does not need to be a vote. The silence of the Bishops is sufficient consent. But if there are questions raised by even a small group of Bishops, the Pope must answer them to the satisfaction of all (to the point where there is no longer any dissent). If the Pope fails or refuses to do this, the teaching cannot become infallible. It may be right, it may be wrong, but it is not infallibly given until all the Bishops of the world consent by their silence or hold an assembly where a solemn vote confirms it. By his refusal to respond to his critics at all on such things, Pope Francis has basically guaranteed that none of his goofier stuff can become infallibly defined. The only way he could do it is to speak ex cathedra – and then we would be plunged into deep crisis. At that point, the only possibility for it to be invalid would be for him to not actually be Pope.

                    But the reality is that a sitting Pope can (and several have) write bad and, even, heretical theology. So long as he doesn’t seek to bind the Church, but only persuade it, and so long as the Bishops do not second it, it is irrelevant to that Pope’s legitimacy. It does speak to his imprudence and, perhaps, the imprudence of those who elected him, but it does not affect legitimacy of office. If Catholic doctrine on infallibility actually were what you think it is, then the only choices in the case of error being proclaimed would be to abandon the faith altogether or to prove that the Pope is not Pope at all. But your supposition on what infallibility is and how it works are incorrect. Thank God, for if it were correct, we would have to go and posthumously depose at least a dozen former Popes or accept that the faith cannot stand the test of examination.

                    I think that is the great crisis we have entered. The illusions many have of what the Church teaches will not stand the test of examination – and so many peoples’ faith is shaken…not because of what the Church actually teaches but because of commonly accepted myths that are not what the Church teaches. If people give up their faith because their illusion proved wrong, the satan gains a useful harvest. If people strike out in imprudent ways to protect their illusions, the satan gains a useful harvest.

                    Doctrine has actually been refined through great controversies – unfortunately with people of good will on several sides of the controversy at each others throats for a time. The controversies of the first millennium of the Church mainly had to do with the nature of Christ. The disputes were ugly – and sometimes violent. But our elegant and detailed understanding of the nature of Christ and the Trinity has been the great fruit of those controversies. The disputes of the second Millenium were largely about authority – who could legitimately speak authoritatively for Christ. This resulted in the splitting off of the Orthodox from communion with the Pope in 1054 and then the Protestant Reformation in 1517, dividing the Church. I couldn’t say what the fruits of these controversies are yet. Now, I think we are at the beginning of a great controversy over what lawful obedience actually is – and the extent and limitations of the authority of the Bishops is. In some cases, it is greater than people assume – and in others not near as comprehensive as some have assumed.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. Thank you, Charlie. Yes, I agree, “I think we are at the beginning of a great controversy over what lawful obedience actually is–and what the extent and limitations of the authority of the Bishops is.” Also, I find your explanation about ex-cathedra statements coupled with how the silent consent or unanswered dubia-type questions effect such statements most helpful. It is also most helpful for me to see your recognition that should error be proclaimed under the ex-cathedra-type conditions you explained, the two choices would be to abandon the faith altogether (Never! Never! Never!) or to prove that the Pope is not Pope at all.

                      With all that has passed in our communications, I can honestly say that I look forward to the publication of the post that you are working on right now. Thank you again.

                      Liked by 1 person

                2. It seems that what we are discussing here is actually how do you DO theology. What is the proper theological method? As I have thought about the situation regarding Pope Francis, I think that the Church is experiencing a sort of ‘hangover’ from Vatican I and the declaration of papal infallibility. Combined this with the on-going issue of Modernism and some have the idea that the pope can declare whatever he wants. The recently canonized St. John Henry Newman had some insightful cautionary things to say about over-emphasizing this dogma. I think one of the upsides to the current issues surrounding Pope Francis is exactly this push to re-think what is the ground and authority upon which our Faith stands. I am just finishing a short book (120pgs) that I would highly recommend, “Apologia for Tradition” by Roberto De Mattei. The first half is a summation of certain aspects of Church history that demonstrate that in times of a crisis in leadership it is the whole Body of Christ that carries forward the authentic teaching of Christ. The second half is a bit more technical in its treatment of why and how this is so. The first half is an easy read. The second half may require a little more effort. But this is in fact what we are called to do in these circumstances. I am not sure who originally said it, or in what context, but the adage, “Trust but verify” seems as appropriate in matters of theology as it does in other areas. In the end it is worth noting that in the history of the Church the vast majority of Catholics and even probably the majority of the saints may have known the name of the pope but little else about what he said or did.
                  Oremus pro invicem!


              2. The quote was admonishing those that critiqued the pope’s alterations, not the pope himself, III, and I’m sorry if it confused you.
                We are supposed to interpret in succession to the known truths and not “presume” there is a hidden agenda, (Even though some prelates/priests use these opportunities for just such a move, but they are not aligned with the truth in the first place through their education and this is well documented (Desmond mentioned this too). Some even use Scripture as a bludgeon!
                Remember, many rules are diciplines imposed by the church and technically only Catholics are bound by these rules, just like Americans are bound by American laws while living in the US . A Mexican living in Mexico does not have to follow US law. Jesus said to listen to the Pharisees since they had authority, but not to ACT like them. The authority is from God and therefore is pure even if some of those wielding the authority are not. Then there are moral laws which are expected to be followed by ALL people, they being “written on the heart”.
                So, when the church enacts certain disciplines they are more or less grave dependant on the individual and circumstance. A good example is fasting before and after 60 years of age. Or it being unsinful to miss mass when you are sick while it is MORTALLY sinful to miss mass without reason. These are obvious examples but are also disciplines enacted by the church who has authority to enact such rules, some gravely sinful, and if we do not follow them, we endanger our souls to eternal damnation.
                The simple proof is:”Does a discipline lead us into a sinful state or act? God doesn’t sit and wait to yell GOTCHA! because we fail to follow a rule we didn’t even know about or follow in good faith! The church has been teaching us and enacting disciplines on us for millennium and much has been changed and adjusted in that time. Did the early followers go to Hell because they followed a different set of rules than today’s (or visa versa)?
                Of course not!
                And it will be the same tomorrow when a different set of rules follows those of today. The truth is, we go through the “dark night of the flesh” and “the dark night of the soul” as part of our personal spiritual growth here. We don’t need obscure laws and confusing prelates to lead us there, it’s part of our christian walk to holiness and we will all go through them if we are really trying to be a Christian. We are all tested. If we fail, it’s our fault whether we fell for the “tricks” of the devil or because we just didn’t care. These “tests” reveal who we really are, our weaknesses especially. If once we “hear His voice” through this discovery period but then “harden our hearts” with rebellion or excuses, we fail the test.
                We are getting a global “catch 22″ right now as part of the,”quickening” that is upon us. But remember; “where sin abounds, grace abounds further”. So we are not left bereft of the grace to “fight the good fight and run the race”. There is no confusion to what the church teaches. What is confusing is listening to those who confuse that teaching. Stay away from those voices.
                If some writer starts confusing you, don’t read them! (Including me!) As Charlie linked to above in his earlier piece, there are solid teachings we have as our guide during these confusing times. Staying with them will be our fortress and our strength.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Okay, Phillip Frank, okay. I guess I misunderstood you to say something you didn’t. Thank you for the clarification.

                  I agree whole heartedly and whole-throatedly with you that “there is no confusion in what the Church teaches” as well as your discussion of moral laws (which don’t change and are for everyone) and disciplines (which are only for Catholics and do change and will continue to change until the end of time). As you correctly surmised, what I find confusing “is listening to those who confuse that teaching.” You do well to suggest that I “stay away from those voices” which confuse teaching. Okay. Next you suggest that I “listen to those with authority but don’t act like them” if they are like the Pharisees that Jesus rebuked. Okay.

                  I do understand the “dark night of flesh and of the soul” and agree with your description of failure being a result of not heeding the Shepherd’s voice. There is no GOTCHA involved in hearing Jesus’ voice. Rather it seems to me specifically in this time that heeding the shepherd’s voice is at the root of the “quickening” of that global Catch-22 that is upon us.

                  Charlie does indeed link to “solid teachings we have as our guide during these confusing times” in his Hierarchy of First Things and I agree that “staying with them will be our fortress and our strength”.

                  However, in regards to heeding the shepherd’s voice, I found this short definition of Schism–the refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope–to be disconcerting, to say the least especially when considering the example of the priest, communion, and irregular unions.

                  Maybe there is a better definition of Schism because otherwise it seems to me, according to what I understand of Cdl Burke’s and Charlie’s advice, that it’s okay to be in schism as long as one is in schism with the actual schism-er and one is sure of one’s legitimacy for schism-ing no matter what words the Church uses to define Schism. (There must be a broader definition of Schism than the short one I found or probably there is something else to be considered.)

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. III,
                    If Schism-“the refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope” is a stumbling block for you it stands to reason that you are still confused about what the “legitimate” authority you need to follow is and isn’t. No “legitimate” authority is going to ask you to act into schism. If they do, they are not legitimate and the precident of the traditional teachings are to be followed. Again, we must interpret these things in light of Catholic doctrine that is already authoritative and if it does not follow along with this, it is to be ignored and/or corrected by other legitimate authorities. You and I are not theologians so in the more difficult teachings, we need to be obedient to these higher authorities and stay out of the argument until it is settled.
                    “To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2478).
                    Below is a good exercise to increase our trust and faith walk to truth- in other words, to become Holy.
                    “Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith” (1 Tim 6: 20-21).
                    “It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of his commandments, and a truth to be lived out. A word, in any event, is not truly received until it passes into action, until it is put into practice. Faith is a decision involving one’s whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6). It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as he lived (cf. Gal 2:20), in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters”(Pope JPll: Veritatis Splendor §88).
                    “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:10, 14).
                    Helpful here in distinguishing between commandments that are enduringly valid from those that are not, is the late Reformed theologian, Lewis Smedes’ distinction between “primary commandments” and “concrete commandments.” Consider concrete commands, such as, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death” (Exod 21:17), are culturally conditioned. But this concrete command is an application of a primary commandment that is absolute and universal: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exod 20:12). The concrete command is contextually conditioned but not the primary command on which it is based. The latter cover specific goods of human life, such as human existence, property, communication, marriage, family. The former demand or prohibit a specific act.
                    Furthermore, at the root of each command is the “foundational commandment” that covers all of life, namely, the central commandment of Love: We are called to love God completely and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18; Lk 10:27; Mk 12:30-31)
                    Robert A. J. Gagnon: The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics.)


                    1. Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. No “legitimate” authority is going to ask you to act into schism. If they do they are not legitimate… That is not confusing, Phillip Frank, and neither is the foundational commandment to Love God and neighbor as myself for the love of God. The rest of it I will have to ruminate on. Thank you.


        1. Jack, I’m also a big fan of Bishop Fulton Sheen. I recently read somewhere that he’s going to be beatified on I think December 21. Has anybody else here heard anything like that?

          Liked by 2 people

                1. Sansan, I am not sure why this is “devastating”. If there really are serious concerns, better to know them now than later. ( I have always been cautious about the cries of “Santo subito!”.) On the other hand, if this is all just a lie than Sheen’s holiness will shine through. We can also forget that saints are not sinless people, but sinners who have repented. If there was an issue somewhere in Sheen’s past this does not preclude his becoming a saint. One of the sicknesses in our culture is that you ARE what you have done in your past. The Church seems to be alone in standing for repentance and conversion.


                  1. The odd thing is that there have been no allegations whatsoever – and this after a thorough investigation. I spoke with Dr. Peter Howard yesterday, (president of the Fulton Sheen Institute) and he suspects it is just an excess of caution because the New York Atty. Gen. is investigating all the Dioceses there exhaustively. I will write a piece on it next week.

                    Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen, Charlie. Knowing that Christ underwent His Passion and Death, carrying on His Cross all that the Church is now suffering, presses an even greater desire within to remain with Him in His Eucharistic Presence, consoling His Sacred Heart as His beloved Bride, the Catholic Church, undergoes this Passion Time for her.

        The former atheist, now Catholic, Dr. Ricardo Castañón Gómez of Bolivia sent a particle of an Eucharistic miracle host to a lab in New York and he:
        “purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance (the source of the sample was kept secret to the scientists).

        One of these American scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, a well known cardiologist, expert in forensic medicine, and chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York from 1969 to 2002. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that ‘the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body.’

        The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”
        Complete article found here.

        The year after my second pilgrimage to Betania, Venezuela, a man from New Jersey videotaped the host in the tabernacle (located in Los Teques) that was reserved there, for it, also, had been bleeding during an Eucharistic miracle which occurred during Mass at Betania on December 8, 1991. The videotape revealed yet another Eucharistic miracle as the reserved host began pulsating as does a human heart. (Sorry it’s so wobbly; nevertheless, it confirms – in visual format – the findings of Dr. Zugiba.)

        To leave the Church in frustration and anger now would be to turn my back on my Best Friend. Jesus also carried each of us and all our sins to Calvary. As a repentant one, with so many throughout the world, I wish to continue remaining close to Him, praying in reparation for my own and for all sins.

        The Eucharistic Miracle Host in Los Teques:

        Liked by 17 people

      3. Charlie, your thoughts quite clear and appreciated. And I believe the heartfelt essence of what your is saying is what Peter said to Jesus when our Beloved Lord asked Peter if he would desert Him too. “To whom shall I go Lord? You have the words of Eternal Life!” Yes, it is the Catholic (Universal) Church that our Lord Jesus Himself said that the gates of hell would not prevail prevail over it, and that He would guard over it til the end of time. I’m not in the least bit concerned about our Mother’s Church here on earth. Bad actors come and go, but our bless Lord and Mother Mary have ALWAYS down through the ages raised up holy ones to lead and guide the faithful in the ways our Lord’s holy footsteps. Always!

        Liked by 6 people

      4. Amen, Charlie! We are all called to live the Sacraments to the fullest and to spend as much time as able before our Eucharistic Lord, or if unable, to spend time in quiet contemplation with our Triune God Who loves us dearly. No doubt, communism is here. May we remain in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary that beat as one. We pray for the whole world daily. Much peace! Sr. Mary Clare

        Liked by 6 people

      5. I agree Charlie. .I too shall never ever ever leave the church…sometimes when things seem so confusing and dark in many different areas of life, I often find myself saying to myself, “Self, there is nowhere else to go except to Jesus, and the church He left for us.” Then I sigh a sigh of relief. is very comforting. All I have to give Him are my sins and repentance. What a beautiful God we have. That’s really all He wants… simple🤗Jesus I trust in You

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  7. I know that in the end, Jesus wins…in fact has ALREADY won. I only fear for those who stroll merrily along, unconcerned about the world and not aware or caring that a possible chastisement may be coming. I will be watching your blog, Charlie, and looking for pointers on how to navigate this morass.

    Now that ‘Bama is out of the playoff picture, you’re all I have left, Charlie! Don’t let me down (chuckle)!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Michael, that made me laugh! I do feel your pain, though…. My Wolverines got destroyed by Ohio State on Saturday. It is quite the understatement to say that I’m no fan of Ohio State, but I now have a new favorite college football player: OSU’s J. K. Dobbins:

      He appears to be a young man of deep faith; check out his response to a SportsCenter comment on his accomplishments:

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thank you Mick! While I am neither an OSU fan, I am a fan of our youth and happy his mother made the better choice! God be praised!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I see the transgender movement, the homosexual movement, the abortion movement and the socialism movement as all direct attacks on the family and God. The religious sexual abuse crisis and the introduction of heterodoxy up to and including the pachamama scandal is an effort to directly cause the Catholics to despair of their faith and abandon it.

    My reasoning is thus; In the first book of God’s Word, Genesis, God created Adam & Eve. His command to them was “be fruitful and multiply” thereby creating a family. This family just like Adam and Eve was created out of love. The devil and all of his minions abhor love since as John tells us in his epistle that God is Love. Their mindset is to replace those things that demonstrate or show love with a simulacrum of love. To that end, to destroy the family which is demonstration not only of human love but of God’s love as well, the evil one has been able to work through people to promote alternate family lifestyles such as transgenderism, homosexuality. In addition, another excellent way to destroy a family is through abortion, the killing of innocent babies, similar to what King Herod did 2020 years ago.

    Liberation theology, modernism, and the New Age movement are attempts to move human worship away from God and direct it towards other things. The pachamama scandal is yet another subtle way to confuse humans especially Catholics and prepare them for worshipping something that is not God.

    The devil hates God so much and he knows that God loves each human beyond our comprehension that the devil takes satanic-sadistic pleasure in perverting souls and preventing them from being able to worship God in Heaven.

    Liked by 12 people

  9. Ahhhhhhh Charlie….thank you for my first burst of laughter today….and it’s 6pm-ish…this is what made me laugh: “weenie Republicans” soooooooooooo funny!!!😂😋😂

    So glad your home safe, Charlie…Desmond put up snow drift pics and the weather in CO has looked troublesome so we are all grateful to God you are home safe!

    Patricia Smith I agree with what you are saying. I know nothing either bUT the hatred out there is really scary. My sister and sister-in-law both mentioned it over the thanksgiving break…both in different locations and different days. Just eerie.

    I thank God for this site and all of Charlie’s spiritual direction throughout these many years…yikes…to think what would have become of me and so many people I feel called to pray for and fast for…yikes…!!!😲 I think I would have gone mad not understanding our motto: Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those whom God puts in your path!🤗😇😘

    I’ve also started the Surrender novena…the one Charlie gave us in Jackson. Sort of cool…it’s in French…and I’ve started it while globetrotting Tommy n liz are in France. I started it because the last pic I saw of Tommy in France he looks so thin & ill..Everyone keeps telling him but he wont listen…so….I broke down in tears. I don’t know what’s wrong with him so I need to surrender my worry…what a wonderful novena…thanks again Charlie and ya’ll. ..xoxoxoxoxoxo TNRS ASOH

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks. mick…lol..can you believe it…plus they lit a candle for me in front of this beautiful Mother n child who is pulling someone up…I just can’t believe it!!! Now liz says she wants to go to Vatican. ..amazing

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Linda, ditto the surrender novena. Most of the time I say the entire 9 days in one sitting. I have started saying a couple of days of it after receiving the Eucharist. The words seem so appropriate for that conversation with Jesus.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Joanne1950 that is profound. ..lately we all need to surrender more than ever…wow..everyone I met today was so depressed and grouchy…what the heck is coming? !?!?!😲


      1. I didn’t have to open the link to get the irony that was all over the link title. Haven’t had the time to read why that person had one in the first place.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Charlie, an excellent summary. Like others, I’m looking forward to your insights on how to proceed through this mess. Thank you!

    Liked by 8 people

  11. We’re so used to easy living & convenience that we tend to view events that oppose those things as “bad”.

    We should keep an open mind in this coming year, and greet the challenges as opportunities to rebuild & improve our our lives & our faith. Try not to pannic if the infrastructures of our institutions & society start falling apart, these things must happen so everything can be rebuilt in Christ.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. 1.55 Billion babies murdered since 1973 ……. and countless millions before ;-( …. and more countless children dying before adulthood. You can bet The Farm that God has made good use for these most innocent souls. I’ve come to think that these souls might well be our Guardian Angels? A soul that did not have an opportunity to live a full life helping along struggling souls through their lives …. sounds plausible to me. I’m guessing that in the next life we will learn lots of stuff we never knew …. and learn that a lot of stuff is/was not as we thought.


      Liked by 5 people

      1. Crewdog, I certainly pray that God has arranged a way for those who are both unbaptized and did not have the use of reason in order to chose Him may yet come to salvation. But we do not know this and we can underestimate the damage done to human nature by Original Sin. Regardless, while I hope all those in heaven are praying for all of us still on this mortal coil, it is worth noting that humans never become angels.


        1. True Matthew, “Humans can never become angels.” but they can become something that even angels cannot become, CHILDREN OF GOD, a fact that led to the satan’s rebellion of pride. He refused to serve Christ becoming man and redeeming man so he can become a child of God. jas

          Liked by 2 people

  12. …and :

    Ohio State rolled to a big win over rival Michigan on Saturday afternoon, and star RB J.K. Dobbins had a big game, running for 211 yards and 4 touchdowns.

    FOX announcer Gus Johnson was gushing about Dobbins all game long, but on his final TD run, he told a very weird story about the star runner.

    As you can see below, Johnson decided to tell a story about how Dobbins’ mom almost terminated the pregnancy and now calls him her “miracle baby:”

    and on Youtube

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Advent Greetings !
    I would like to comment on the Winter of Discontent posting….specifically on the rubric called “Politics”. On the subject of what happened to the voting women of suburban America in our last elections, I wish to submit my personal conviction on what I believe to be the root, foundational, substantial CAUSE that produced the EFFECT of suburban american women abandoning the political “conservative right” stance as voters. Yes, it has been a decades-long process , to be able to collectively perceive the outward manifestations rooted in the women’s movement , what we know as “militant feminism” . But as I have come to understand over almost 60 years as a mother, a teacher , and a “student” observing life on earth…. I know that the most toxic and efficacious social change comes when there is successful integration of all the structural “pillars” found in society. Further, I would say that the spiritual pillar is in fact, from my personal observation, the actual “cement” of the structure we call society : per visibilia ad invisibilia . Today, the 1. neo-pagan 2. occult spiritualities have fully integrated our western world. How ? Via two very specific vectors : 1. Yoga. 2. Harry Potter. If a person does the research, and listens to what those in deliverance and exorcism ministries have to witness from their experience , one can make an accurate diagnosis of our collective malaise pertaining to how, when and why the suburban women of America found themselves “cemented” into a whole new framework of thinking. Others might just label it all the Jezebel Spirit incarnate . A Gospel scholar might reference the Epistle of First Timothy : “Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness , with modesty”. It is when women begin to listen to the siren’s song of wielding financial, political and social power (the Biblical model of Jezebel) that we learn to identify more deeply with Goddess before Woman and Mother. Indeed, something spiritual has shifted deeply on the inside, made manifest at the voting booth.
    O Mary conceived without sin , pray for us who have recourse to Thee ! Mary , Star of the Sea and Ark of the New Covenant, draw all women of the world into Your Immaculate Heart !

    Liked by 8 people

  14. I see why my non Catholic, Christian friends worry about my choice to be Catholic with all the antics going on at the Vatican.

    I tried to explain about the Eucharist but they don’t understand it even if I quote John Chapter 6.

    I read the warning book by Christine Watkins. Really good book. Please Lord have Mercy!

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  15. Charlie, to quote from the late Sir Ernest Shackleton:

    Background, Shackleton sails from England on August 1, 1914, as World War one begins, on the Endurance. The Endurance is crushed by ice in October 1915 near Antartica. After heroic efforts lead by Shackleton, 28 men make it to south Georgia Island in 1916. Here is Shackleton’s recollection of where he presented himself, unwashed, smelly, with long matted hair and a long beard:
    Shackleton: “We have lost our ship and come over over the island.”
    Old man: “You have come over the island,” in a tine of entire disbelief.
    Mr. Sorlle came to the door and said: “Well?”
    Shackleton: “Don’t you know me?”
    Mr. Sorlle: I know your voice,” he replied doubtfully.
    Shackleton: You’re the mate of the Daisy. My name is Shackleton.”
    Mr. Sorlle: “Come in, come in,” and extends his hand.
    Shackleton: “Tell me, when was the war over?”
    Mr. Sorlle: “The war is not over. Millions are being killed, Europe is mad, The world is mad.”

    If the world was mad in 1916 and Our Lady of Fatima spoke of how bad things were in 1917, then I can well believe that we are in a worse time than Noah, for the insanity of evil that surrounds us is almost makes me physically ill at times. That is why it is so important to take the next right step, pray and go to confession.

    I am with you Charlie, we are in Christ’s Church and here we stay. Where shall we go? There are no options unless one chooses schism or heresy. In a certain sense, our present issues with Pope Francis and certain elements of the hierarchy are just replays of the Arian Crisis, the Great Western Schism, and the reformation. They do not particularly worry me. If things get worse, we stick with the Church.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Who is good? ONLY GOD IS GOOD. When we are in a state of grace we can choose to allow God’s goodness to flow through us, isn’t that how it really works? Liberals & socialists rebel & set themselves against God, because they oppose God’s grace they can do NO REAL GOOD, so they redefine the definition of good & evil so they make themselves the higher moral while making God’s follower look bad.

    The only way to rebuild the world in the image & will of God, is to first destroy the system that keeps dependent on the system that Liberals & Socialists have created. Do not morn over a society that will collapse, because in collapsing society, the power of the devil’s servants will be broken, and Christ’s body (The Church) will finally be more free to act. It won’t happen overnight but society & our Church’s institution can be rebuilt in Christ and every bit of Liberal & Socialist ideology can finally be purged. Charity needs to come from The Church NOT from some tax scheme that redistributes wealth so that people can more freely rebel against the Lord.

    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, oh dear God, let Christ reign in our hearts here on earth soon…

    Liked by 7 people

  17. An Oxford social anthropologist (and a hardened secularist) did a study across 86 different cultures throughout history, and discovered an exact correlation between the dissolution of a society’s sexual morality and the downfall of its culture.

    This is a quick, fascinating read, and right along the lines of what Charlie has been saying:

    Liked by 9 people

    1. The above reference referring to a book Sex and Culture by J D Unwin
      shows where we are headed:
      …”Unwin found that when strict prenuptial chastity was abandoned, absolute monogamy, deism, and rational thinking disappeared within three generations.”…
      …” Unwin’s three main predictions — the abandonment of rationalism, deism, and absolute monogamy — are all well underway, which makes the ultimate prediction appear to be credible … the collapse of Western civilization in the third generation

      Will our culture be the exception?

      I suppose we can hope, but there is always a tendency to want to believe “it cannot happen to us.” Unwin describes this attitude as a “pardonable egocentricity” and a “quaint and comfortable doctrine”, that flies in the face of data, which indicate that the pattern of decline happens with “monotonous” regularity. That’s another way of saying that “insanity is doing the same thing yet again but expecting different results.” The primary predictions are already unfolding with alarming “alacrity”….

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Appreciate your posting this, Father; very insightful. I will share/discuss this with my millennial kids when they’re home over Christmas. ( their homepage shows several other interesting reads also)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve realized something, we don’t need to worry on how to rebuild society nor The Church, if the enemy (the fallen principalities & powers) new how we would accomplish these things in the future, they would take measures now to sabotage those efforts to prevent or minimize our success.

    Just as God sends his Holy Spirit to aid us in our defense (Matt 10:19), so will God send his Holy Spirit to guide us at that future “present moment” to guide us in rebuilding the world in Christ’s image.

    Liked by 6 people

  19. Hi folks. The exam for my family nurse practitioner certification is on Thursday at 10 am. I’m pretty wiped out from the prep and studying these last couple weeks. And for what it’s worth, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for over 2 months (which was somehow both easier and harder than I thought it would be — go figure).

    I took a predictor exam that estimates I have a “high likelihood of success” on the official test. One never knows though, but my confidence is fairly high. Tomorrow is my last day to brush up on some facts and meds, then a Rosary and a good night sleep. On Thursday morning, it’s a light breakfast and off to the testing center. 150 questions, should be done around noon thirty.

    I’ll keep you posted. Thank you for all your prayers.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Patrick Daniel, I know you will rise to the occasion and succeed very well. Luck isn’t needed – you’ve done the work, after all – but good luck anyway! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Joining with all here in holding you in prayer, Patrick. May Holy Spirit be with you as you access all the training and study you have done to do wonderfully well on the exam.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. 🎇 Thank you ALL for your prayers! 🎉 The exam is passed: 😀 💥Success❗️💥
      I’m [unofficially] an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse certified in family medicine.

      ❤️ From my heart, I wish to offer my deepest gratitude to everyone here. Thank you for giving of your personal time to pray for my well being and that I reach this professional goal. 🎓
      Thank you very, very much!

      ☘️ Thank you also to my personal “litany” of saints — my friends 😇 — who assisted me from heaven when I needed help, in ways I cannot imagine. Thank you, Guardian Angel.❤️

      🕊 Thank you, Holy Spirit
      👊 Thank you, Saint Joseph the Worker
      ⚜️ Thank you, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
      ❣️ Thank you, Infant Jesus


      Liked by 8 people

      1. Wooo hoooo! I asked St. Vincent Ferrer to help you in a particular way! And I was thinking of you yesterday during the critical times. You’re welcome, lol!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. How nice to hear, Golden! It was touch and go there for a while. 🙂 I started strong and confident out of the gate. First hour went great. Sitting tall. Then the second hour — I started to tire a bit. I began slouching. I took a break for 3 minutes, water, energy bar. Back in for the final 50 questions. 49 minutes remained. My vision blurred, I felt faint, i grumbled …. another geriatrics question😡! I answers the final question with just 30 seconds to spare. Whew !

          So yes, thanks for the prayers!

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Al,
    Your take on “societal collapse” is pointedly displayed here:
    “God will not allow unrighteousness to become eternal. Revolution, disintegration, chaos, must be reminders that our thinking has been wrong, our dreams have been unholy. Moral truth is vindicated by the ruin that follows when it has been repudiated. The chaos of our times is the strongest negative argument that could ever be advanced for Christianity … The disintegration following an abandonment of God thus becomes a triumph of meaning, a reaffirmation of purpose … Adversity is the expression of God’s condemnation of evil, the registering of Divine Judgement … Catastrophe reveals that evil is self-defeating; we cannot turn from God without hurting ourselves.” Seek “true faith” (supernatural faith), maintain hope in God’s power, love extravagantly … and believe “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
    Bishop Fulton Sheen.
    Even Pope Benedict the XVl has predicted a “smaller, holier Church”.
    Truth is, we never get “heaven” until we get heaven. The Church Militant never gets much of a break from war. We…”run the race, fight the good fight”. And none of us make it out of here alive! Our goal is to “keep the faith” (2 Tim 4:7) and to help as many as we can toward this goal along the way by our “sign of hope”.
    “We must always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us the reason for our hope”. (1 Peter 3:15).

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Faith, hope, trust in Christ, and leave the rest, if society collapses we’ve got nothing to fear, as we got God, we don’t need anything man has created…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Whatever happens, as anything seems possible these days, a societal collapse I doubt would even rate a “1” on a scale of 0-10 when compared to Noah’s Flood, all we would need todo would be to gather as a faith community and work together as followers of Christ.

        Liked by 2 people


        It’s a mad, Mad World and we’re on it ;-(

        Chick-Fil-A really screwed up. When ya cave to the Pervert Lobby & spit in de face of customers who have supported ya .. ;-( … the Lefty Perverts in the Church have managed to cause thousands of “customers” to Vote with Their Feet too!!! It’s ALL by design … a very Evil & Worldwide design!

        China murdered millions of girls in the womb and now has to buy tyhem from Pakistan!


        Liked by 6 people

        1. Crewdog – there is a documetary called One Child Nation on Chinas war on children – it is the best secular film on the horrors and impacts of abortion. There is one (I think forced) statement near the end complainig about government telling women what to do with their bodies which might have been inserted to call the abortionists fears but overall it screams what killing babies does to women, families and society. Back to the cognitive dissonance, liberals who watch it will probably not see the connection. There is none so blind as those who will not see.

          Liked by 3 people

  21. Question: What did Jesus mean in Matthew 11:28-30?

    Catholic Study Bible

    Matthew 11:28-30

    28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    My interpretation is reconciliation and plenary indulgence.

    Today is the First Wednesday of the month, a devotion to Saint Joseph where we ponder the St. Joseph’s role in the Joyful Mysteries. I request a Plenary Indulgence for myself on this day, in his honor. Of late, I have asked for one or two Plenary Indulgences in the middle of the month to make sure I don’t incur too much debt (justice/punishment) owed. The remainder go to Holy Souls in Purgatory.

    Over and through the course of these pages, another question has risen in my mind, does anyone here pray (strive) for a Plenary Indulgence?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Beautiful reflection, Sean. You’ve given great and repeated witness to the loving practice of praying for a plenary indulgence each day. The Manual of Indulgences is filled with all manner of partial indulgences which also can be gained each day. A simple morning offering intending to gather and employ the many suggestions named is spiritual gold for souls. In God’s economy, not a single breath, heartbeat or footstep is wasted… and the most ordinary act has potential to be grace-filled if we but remember who we are, Who God is, who Our Lady is and the wealth we’ve been given from the Trinity while we intend to offer it all back to the Author of Infinite Goodness. And in the Consecration of ourselves to Jesus through Mary, we can safely give every prayer and good work – big and small – to her, for she will tend to our own needs, to the souls in purgatory and to those souls still on earth… those of our family and friends and those we do not yet know.

      May St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, destroy and defuse the evil plans and strategies of the wicked spirits working overtime in our own lives, in the lives of those whom we love and in all the world. It’s a good day to remember the new book by Fr. Donald Calloway: Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. I have yet to make this consecration and intend to do so in the New Year.

      Finally, here‘s a fine reflection from Msgr. Charles Pope concerning the refreshing lines from Matthew.

      Liked by 7 people

  22. Charlie,

    Just a few comments a comments about Bishop Malone’s resignation . . . He came into a Diocese where the corruption ran deep. Bishop “Dead” Head was one of Spellman’s boys, preferred golf to mass, was unsupportive of the pro-life movement. Under him. Donald Trautman, later Bishop of Erie and Robert Cunningham, later of Syracuse ran the Diocese and dealt with all of the abuse situations. Their failure to deal with the problems would blow up in Malone’s face.

    Kmiec who was in their before Malone was creepy and clumsy. He would cancel confirmations, saying he was too busy. If you were pro-life priest or deacon and spoke about it too loudly, you were sanctioned by the Bishop. He was very passive aggressive against Summorum Pontificum. The seminary was a mess, full of priests teaching heresy and error (denial of the divinity of Christ, that masturbation was not a sin, that homosexual behavior was ok). As a result, Malone found himself in a diocese of too many malformed priests.

    Malone came along and quietly began to reform things, especially at the seminary. He delegated a lot and trusted to much. He was like the Stewart Kings of England – excellent personal judgment, but all too many horrible advisors that he then deferred to. And many of these same advisors broke their fiduciary trust to him. They could get away with it, because he was a nice guy, a good guy. Malone tried to follow due process, but was advised to treat the accused as guilty until proven innocent. This resulted in inconsistent treatment of accused priests, with some priests finding themselves thrown under the bus, but others did not. In the last two years he began to surround himself with good and holy priests. He was personally very good to me and let me and my family transfer to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. I gave him a St. Michael stone.

    A priest friend of mine and I discussed how it was no coincidence that once Malone began to reform the seminary, problems began.

    Anyway, Bishop Maone needs prayers. Please pray for him or have a mass said for him

    Liked by 6 people

    1. @Jim: Thank you for your personal witness in regards to Bp. Malone. It is good to know. The Law of Charity is something I do not want to offend while at the same time I do not want to forget the admonishment to be “wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove”. The massive betrayal of our patrimony–the passing on in full of the Apostolic Faith–gets me moving BUT I neither wish to remain in or act from the heart-set or mindset of that betrayal. Once again, thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I understand your sorrow, James. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan was something of a friend of mine – certainly an acquaintance with whom I had a lot of interactions. He is one of those Illinois politicians who went to prison. He was a conservative firebrand in his earlier years. When I got to know him, he privately drank far too much and had relegated much of his authority to his chief of staff, one of the most singularly corrupt toadies I have ever known. It has always been a sorrow to me that Ryan was, in my estimation, a man who needed help and not so terribly corrupt at all. Corruption on a large scale did happen on his watch, though – and he was consenting to more than a little of it in his diminished and weary condition.

      I will pray for Bishop Malone and for you. I have lived this sorrow with several.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Charlie for the very kind words.
        One thing struck me after Bishop Malone stepped down: I never hear a word from him about his predecessors. Malone alone shouldered all the blame.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. My enthusiasm has died off today…

    It seems the greatest challenge before us will be people not events. Some people are so hard headed that would keep denying God even if the sun got replaced with a bright burning blue crucifix in the sky. I totally suck at evangelization, it seems most people have this false belief that God has been scientificly proven to not exist…

    It would seem the best time spent these days would be reading the Bible if to get more of the “Word of God” in our heads, and work on evagelization skills.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. AL, I think some of the evangelization “skills” you cite aren’t skills at all but rather what you *are*.

      I’m very introverted, not into public speaking or otherwise being out in front of people. I like discussions with one or two or a handful of people. From that perspective I have few if any meaningful evangelization skills in the way you appear to define them.

      On the other hand, I strive to be happy and bring humor into my interactions with others, to be kind and caring, to live a moral life, acknowledge God regularly, and talk things over quietly with those few people who are around me and indicate an interest I can respond to.

      If you can’t evangelize by preaching and speaking publicly or discussing God with others, you’re like most everyone else on the planet. Welcome! However, you *can* live who you are every minute of every day and *exemplify* God in all the activities that fill your life. That is a very powerful form of evangelization, and anyone, even you and I, can do it.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Thanks, I thought there was maybe something wrong with me, I’m introverted myself preferring one or two people, most of my skill sets are practical problem solving of situtantions & things, not people. Your description sounds a lot like me too.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Hey, yeah, it does indeed seem we are very similar in a number of ways. Of course, AL, that must mean you are a sterling fellow, right? 😀 😀 😀

          Liked by 5 people

    2. Try not to lose enthusiasm. Evangelization takes many forms…words, actions and attitudes. I have tried evangelizing those related to me, gently, using my best persuasion, and the result is…strike-out! They think I’m insane. I agree with your plan: reading scripture to fortify your understanding; read some good books (I recommend ‘Christie Vincit’ by Bishop Athanasius Schneider) and prayer. Keep living and loving in your thoughts, words, and deeds and Jesus will handle the rest. God bless you!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, and relatives & friends are the worst. A prophet is without honor in his own hometown, but I’ve observed that any follower of Christ is (big or small) is without honor among relatives & friends. If a friend or relative is willing to listen, it’s usually to pick your faith apart to turn you away from it.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The “Word of God” in the Bible is a mysterious thing, even the translated word, which often required reading those side notes for each passage. Here’s my best shot of a explanation: the Word of God in the Bible helps us to think properly about morality, God, and his creation by aligning our thoughts with God’s will. When foreign ideas are applied to Bible passages like liberalism to make the Bible politically correct with man’s will, the passages get distorted and loose life giving meaning (God’s will) to the recipients of those passages. Bible passages should be applied to other Bible passages to deepen understanding. God’s word needs to be applied to life so we act ethically in life in acccordance & obedience to God’s will, not life applied to God’s word in order to kill it’s eternal life giving truths…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Matthew,
          The mystic and Saint Mary of Agreda, in her book City of God, writes that the Holy Innocents killed by Herod were enlightened before the act and asked if they would allow this martyrdom for the protection of Our Lord. This story, though nonofficial, still gives us some insight into how unbaptised souls can be given the opportunity to be “baptised by desire” even at a tender age.
          St Faustina speaks of a similar way with the “calling” by Our Lord to a soul upon its death and “saves” it if it but makes the slightest turn toward this call.
          “The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment.” (St. Faustina).


  24. Thank you, Charlie. Thank you, for the kind words.

    This is the diocese Patrick Flanigan and I grew up in.

    The story of Governor Ryan is sad. I never heard that side of the story before. Just proves what you have told us about prudential judgment.
    I will pray for Mr. Ryan and his late wife.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. I’ll take this as Good-News. …. of course … These Days …. Trust but Verify …..

    What’s the Real Deal here?

    Oh! Really?, Nanny …… Yep we be in de days of Isaiah 5
    {SanFran Nanny} Pelosi Says ‘Prayerful’ Democrats—Following Founders’ ‘Firm Reliance on Divine Providence’—Will Impeach Trump

    That’s Right Billary! Kindly turn yourselves in at the nearest Police Station!


    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am very happy at the confirmation of Sarah Pitlyk to the Federal Bench, CrewDog. She did some great work with David Daleiden on preparing briefings and made her first oral argument ever in open court on his behalf.

      Liked by 6 people

  26. And so…Fr Heilman reminds us of tomorrow :
    Fr Richard Heilman
    December 5, 2019

    We began our Advent “preparatory” journey with Christ’s command to “Stay Awake!” My brothers and sisters, WE ARE AT A CROSSROADS!! This is not unlike the crossroads Israel faced in 1 Kings 18, where we see that they had lost their awe of God. To them, He was a million miles away. They still claimed to follow Jehovah, but He was no longer a part of their daily lives. God knew that only a vivid reminder of His power would awaken these people from their spiritual sleep…

    (Hey Linda, I replaced the article with a link and an excerpt. Fr. Heilman is a friend whose articles I have re-published in toto before, but I do not do so without first asking permission AND the place for those is in the primary post section, not the comments. I LOVE what Fr. Heilman is doing and completely support it, but entire columns are not to be reprinted in the comments section here-CJ)

    Liked by 6 people

  27. I am physically sick right now. I just heard that a very holy traditional young priest has left the priesthood!! This just can’t be. This priest was the real deal and so many were blessed to have them as their spiritual father, confessor and pastor. Now I truly believe that we are in over our heads and only our dear Lord can save mankind. Lord have mercy on your children. Everyone, please pray for priests and especially for this exceptional priest. I wish I knew why????

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sorry to hear this news, San San. There was a young priest in Ohio today arrested for having child pornography. Oh how my heart ached as the news footage showed Father being searched and handcuffed as the children from the Catholic school were heard and seen playing in the background, unaware of what was transpiring. Ever praying for our priests. Maranatha!

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Sansan, Years ago in reading the prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, I came across the introduction of the character of the Parson, who was a good and holy man. The Parson says, “For if gold rust what then shall iron do.” I, too, have personally experienced the falling away of priests I saw as good, solid, orthodox men. Pray for them all. The satan wants to leave the sheep without shepherds.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. SANSAN Your posting inspired me to send angels to your “very holy traditional young priest (who) has left the priesthood” next week instead of the one I was going to. I don’t know his name but I’m sure Jesus will by my allusion to him. Cardinal Wuerl’s angels are finished this week. May God continue to bless and guide you and all here. jas

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I would like to remind all that the devil likes to tempt us to the lesser good, a deep and profound statement worth of exploring the depths of. He tries to lead overly scrupulous people not to receive communion because they are not worthy. He takes a simple truth and distorts it in order to achieve his own ends and preferences. He cautions people not to do difficult though good things for fear of failure and shame. Right before I receive communion, I always bow my head and say to myself, “Lord I am not worthy.” because I know Jesus wills me to receive Him when I am in the proper state and to receive all the graces and help he offers us.
        In truth, no man is worthy to be a priest. It is only through the grace of God and his own dedication and will that he can be, I am sure some circumstances faced by some priests are horrendous. That is why we must pray for our priests every day. i would think some priests who have difficult temptations and tendencies and weaknesses may decide to leave the priesthood in order to spare any damage they fear they could cause. Priests conduct valid sacraments not due to their own sanctity but through the power conferred on them through their ordination and through Christ who they act in his person. I only know that I thank God for all priests and the blessings and grace we receive from their consecrated hands. May the Holy Spirit guide and protect all priests for their role becomes even more important in the growing intensity of the Rescue. May God bless all here. jas

        Liked by 2 people

  28. I texted this special priest directly and poured my heart of concern for him.

    He got back to me directly and said, “Thank you very much for your prayers. It was a decision that I felt was best for the Church ad for my salvation. I remain forever on the path of pursuing holiness. Thank you so much. I am grateful for you”.

    We are in crisis. This holy priest is a chosen one of God. How can his LEAVING the PRIESTHOOD be good for the CHURCH and his SALVATION??????????


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal… I can’t even imagine the crisis of faith our poor priests are going through, panicked parishioners on one side and authoritive bishops & Vatican leadership waving the obedience stick around telling them to stay quiet about issues.

      It’s a horrible nightmare, I don’t know how those who feel ther are cornered manage to keep their sanity.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I wonder “how” I will withstand the attacks of the devil if this beautiful Priest couldn’t. His celebration of the Mass was the most reverent and loving that I have ever witnessed–in both forms (TLM and NO)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Stay close to Jesus & Mary, cry out for help to them if you have to. Pray the Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular, pray the St. Michael & guardian angels prayers.

          You have one great advantage, you can take care of your own spiritual needs, many priests give so much to everyone else, they have little to no time & energy to take care of themselves.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Dear San, you are not responsible for anyone but yourself. I have told you that in this, as in any great crisis, you will have surprises – some you thought would never fall fading out suddenly…and some you lightly regard turning out to be real champions, Some even, of our current opponents will become champions of the faith. Dr. Peter Howard remarked to me yesterday that there are a lot of St. Pauls out there who are currently Sauls (I loved that line). I deeply sympathize with your grief – but if you tell yourself your fidelity is based primarily on how faithful another will be, you won’t make it intact. Hold fast to Christ and do the little you can where you can – no more and no less…and you will be fine.

          I do not want to seem unsympathetic, even as I give you the blunt truth that if your fidelity is based on your trust in that of another, you won’t make it. These are VERY hard times and you know neither what people are made of internally nor what they are dealing with. Some withdraw to SAVE their faith simply because they lack the strength to stand the fight. In these, the Lord will hold to account those who drove them away, taking into account how hard they fought according to their internal abilities. Some that withdraw will ultimately return, bringing more with them, augmenting the Lord’s harvest. Hang tough without worrying what tomorrow may bring for, as it is written, “sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34). You don’t have to deal with everything that might happen; you only have to deal with what happens today. Again, on my pilgrimage, if I had focused on how incredibly far I had yet to go, I would have fainted. But all I focused on was the 10+ miles I was walking today – and if I met someone to chat and visit with, I did it without concern that I did not make much physical progress that day. Use that method and you will find joy and stay steady to the end. You have seen pictures of me…you know I am not built in a way that facilitates that type of journey, neither young nor particularly strong. I have met many people who are younger and much stronger than me who attempted a similar journey and gave it up within a month (one vigorous 21-year-old within a week) because it was so hard. I tell you, God has given you what you need to make this spiritual journey IF you stick to the little things right in front of you AND don’t give a hoot about the sleek fellows who fall around you AND you take time within the trial to talk and laugh with those you meet along your pilgrim way. His yoke truly is easy and His burden light if we don’t let the devil inflame our fears and your doubts. Next right step, baby, and you will press on to the end. That is all you need.

          Liked by 10 people

          1. Thank you Charlie! I needed this important reminder. I will stay the course. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to others (God willing!)

            I’m currently in a “weakened” condition and need confession. I went yesterday and the priest didn’t show up. I will try again today. Then this “news” about the priest came in, so it really threw me for a loop. I will Press on. God bless all here.

            Liked by 4 people

          2. Truth. If I had a digital highlighter, there would be yellow all over your reply. Bold. Underscore.

            My clan, when we were wee ones, had a mysterious and treacherous forest next to the house where we all grew up. We called it “The Journey.” My older sisters played guide the first time I ventured forth, with all the rest eventually following when the time was right. I think I was 4-years-old at the time, and count it as my first official trek. Maybe I was six when I played guide to Brother G., and he took to it like a fish to water.

            On a recent trip to my hometown, I visited the ole’ neighborhood with my kids, including a drive by of “The Journey.” Ha! It’s really little more than a 20 foot stretch of trees, about 10 foot wide… and always has been!

            I mention it, because I honestly expected to see something really terrific and imposing all these years and treks later. Memory is a funny thing. So is perspective.

            Funny, but the second house we all lived in really was in a mysterious and treacherous forest. Seems the Good Guide is always prepping us by degrees, without ever imposing on us a situation we can’t handle.

            Still trekking these days… but how often that consists in the mysterious and treacherous recesses of my mind.

            Oh, all the more reason for the simplicity of next right steppin’.

            Liked by 6 people

          3. Bravissimo! What a beautiful and inspired response. This site is truly a beacon of hope. The emphasis on the small things we can do to bring kindness and God’s love to the people within our sphere does so much to give purpose and resolve.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Liberal ideology is a “death sentence” to one’s faith, even a priest’s faith. Do not many view the devil & exorcisms as superstition? Has not Church scandals isolated many? Are not devotions looked down upon by many not practiced?

        What kind of fraternity, spiritual nourishment, & support are priest’s getting these days? Is not the point & purpose of obedience to liberate one from the world and not to be used as a oppressive power control tool?

        There are many questions & matters about our priest’s living conditions that needs to be answered.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I keep mine by radical trust in Jesus. Every morning, and sometimes during the day I pray: “Jesus, I abandon myself in Thee. You take care of everything. And when I see or hear something awful (like the Pachamammas showing up at the Vatican) I just remind myself that Jesus has this.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. SanSan, I know from experience that it’s very difficult for the faithful when a priest whom we respect and who has nurtured us spiritually leaves the priesthood for one reason or another. You might not ever know the reason, especially when it doesn’t seem to make sense. For some reason, the lay faithful are being called to step forward at this time in salvation history. This is not to discount your pain, but to say: We can get through this.

      Liked by 7 people

    3. We can pray and fast for the holy priests to return to their vocation. I was wondering what the stats were and found this article: “… it is rather significant that over about thirty years, 11,213 priests have been readmitted to the priestly ministry who had abandoned it for the most varied reasons. […] the Church cannot help but rejoice at every return to the priestly ministry, finding once again a person willing to serve with all of his being the ecclesial community and the cause of the Gospel.”

      (I recently heard that the FNC religion commentator Fr. Jonathan Morris left the priesthood…
      apologies if this was already discussed here earlier this year.

      Liked by 3 people

  29. From Fr Z’s website

    Daily Prayer for Priests

    O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Thy Christ, and for the love of Him who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the Enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

    O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests, for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in Purgatory.

    But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted, and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me, or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly N. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

    +Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, 6 September 2018

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh Sandy, it is so good to hear from you!! I wonder how often those who read/post here pass each other without knowing it.
        Anyway, Fr Michael is helping spread devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Did you see this in the Catholic Voice?
        It’s in yesterday’s edition. I think it is catching, at least here.
        Also, in reparation for the sin of abortion, there is the Holy Face of Jesus on a billboard near the Planned Parenthood up on Maple. Hope you can see it. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi- It’s so “funny” how God gets my attention sometimes! I had just read about the Holy Face recently…you know…somewhere, then was buried in my mind and heart with all of the “fuss” of this month. Then I rather reluctantly went to Mass that day, and Father pretty much verbatim spoke what I had recently read. OK. Listening. Again. I had not had the opportunity to see that article yet! but praise God! That is awesome.

          Apologies for my late reply, I was working this last weekend. Busy as ever, many opportunities for me to toss prayers to God almost endlessly throughout the day with what I see in the hospital.

          Happy feast of the Immaculate Conception to all here! I am currently making homemade chicken noodle soup, some no knead bread, and I think since it’s a major celebration, we are going to have some homemade chocolate chip cookie dough tonight too! Yes, the dough, we can’t ever seem to actually get it in the oven!!

          I was able to go to Mass again today (willingly even :>}), and Father said that all of heaven is in a major celebration and Mary is waiting to distribute MAJOR graces today. So, we all should be open and ask for miracles…..
          Sound like a GREAT idea to me.

          Joyful, thanks for your beautiful response. Hopefully we can actually run into each other soon.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Really hope so, too, Sandy. When I went there last Friday, I realized that it fits my schedule quite well. God has been working on me the same way. He kept putting the Holy Face of Jesus in front of me till I had to pay attention and then do what He proposed I do. 🙂
            I am so happy for them and their efforts to spread the devotion. I am sure looking forward to Shrove Tuesday.
            Best wishes for your celebration of Mary’s beautiful feast. It sounds delicious.
            By the way, I figured you were working. NO apologies necessary. I know what it means; I once was there.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Joyful and Sandy, how beautiful that you have discovered you are both here. I would be happy to write to one of you so you two may connect via private email if you wish. Say but the word… 🙂


  30. Not that I think I have a comprehensive answer on the question of the shifting politics in the suburbs, but here’s my two cents. By the way, I live in the hotly-contested Philadelphia suburbs. Philadelphia’s high taxes and quality-of-life issues have driven so many businesses, especially financial services and pharmaceuticals, into the suburbs. The suburbs have greatly benefitted from the boon to their tax base and as a result, residents are somewhat cushioned from the real effects of progressive policies. There are many small (and still good) school districts and small municipal areas like townships that determine local taxes and regulations, so there is a fair amount of competition and choice for people to move to locales according to their priorities. We also have a lot of private and parochial schools as alternatives to the public schools. In my area, there are a lot of grown kids still living with their parents and I assume they are more likely to vote D. Families with young children are disproportionately immigrants and transplants from other states, so I think that helps shuffle the decks, so to speak. But the problems are catching up. In this past election, a lot of the local democrats were running on national issues in spite of a lot of problems with roads, traffic, zoning, etc. that get overlooked. Eventually, I think some of these voters will get fed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Golden. While anecdotal evidence is not decisive – and often deceptive – it offers insights into what sort of patterns should be examined thoroughly and dispassionately. We have a whole host of anomalies popping up, which is common in times of great tumult. Those professionals who assume they already know what it means are left in the dustbin of history while those who take the time to look seriously and then both think and act anew can thrive if they can get past all the crabs trying to pull them back down into the bucket of conventional thinking that is already dead.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thanks for indulging me, Charlie, and your nice comment. It seems like the Democrats are focused exclusively on destroying Trump and I wonder what will happen when he’s gone. Something will have to replace the Trump-hating monomania.


    “Trusting in dialogue is a principle”, he insists, “it is not tied to the attitude of others. Moreover, we Syrian Christians have lived alongside Muslims for more than 1400 years. We have a history of living life in common with them”. “Behind current terrorism there is a political network that uses everything to do evil. It is not a network inspired directly by Islam but by a political project”. “As Christians we must stop this way of thinking, inspired by certain propaganda, according to which every Muslim is a terrorist”, he adds. “We really need more humility and clarity in our lives and in our relationships with others. We need to read the Gospel deeply in order to live it properly.”


  32. Greetings on this wonderful day. With the move and coming down with one of the stomach bugs the children at school so generously share I haven’t been able to keep up with all of the news and postings.
    I don’t know how to insert a video but here is a link to to a beautiful Immaculate Mary.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. Several weeks ago another E.M. said the priest wants us to clap during the ending song for Mass; she then gave a backward wave to him which I felt so inappropriate; if only people would realize Mass is not for this behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Is like to hear more on Russia as time progresses. I understand that they may glorify God more as we go into rougher times.

    Flying back from 2 weeks with little 3 month old Dominic. What joy grand kids are!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Is that a place I can live?  Simpli City?  What state is that in?  I might move there if it is warm.  Sounds like life can be straight forward in a city called Simpli….Sent from Doug’s Back Pack


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