Proclaim the Kingdom!

The Sermon on the MountCarl Bloch, 1890
Sermon on the Mount – Carl Bloch

By Charlie Johnston

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

I Corinthians 9:16

After the Resurrection and before the Ascension, Jesus had breakfast with His overjoyed disciples. The Lord used the occasion to ask Peter three times if he loved Him. (John 21:15-19)

Jesus started by asking, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” The phrasing of the question is a bit ambiguous. Most people I know think that Jesus was asking if Peter loved Him more than the other disciples did. I think Jesus was asking him if he loved Him more than he loved the things of this world. After each affirmative from Peter, Jesus gave him direction: Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep.

If God calls you to a particular mission in His service, He will take your answer not from what you say, but what you do. It is a demanding call, for this is a hard, old world with many temptations. There are temptations we might succumb to out of weakness that do not permanently disqualify us from our mission. Most dangerous are those temptations which are so contrary to our calling that we are permanently dismissed from the Lord’s service. It is not that we necessarily lose our salvation, but that we lose our mission because we are found unfit for the Master’s service.

For a very long time we have substituted profligacy for principle, venality for virtue, and cleverness for character. A lot of bureaucrats, legislators, and other officials, both in the world and in the hierarchy of our churches, have done quite well for themselves by these means (if you consider a soulless and obsessive quest for power, money, office and influence to be worthy pursuits). The rules are changing dramatically – and the very characteristics that have gained these lowlifes their sinecures are now disqualifying and discrediting them.

These past couple of years, the depth of the rot at the heart of our culture, our politics, our governments and the hierarchy of our churches has been more and more starkly revealed. As the unveiling continues, the usual suspects try to gain traction again by spinning their wheels, like an incompetent driver, all the harder in the mud they have mired themselves in. They got by for decades on glib assertions and condescension towards normal folks. But their serial incompetence and unending spectacular fails have inoculated normal folks from being intimidated by their blabbing. The political left has become a parody of a political party – sometimes obscene, often violent, but not to be taken seriously intellectually.

The constant fear-mongering, wild accusations, and sniffy assertions of superiority have flatlined as effective means for inferior – but arrogant and mouthy – people to impose their will. Even the characteristics of glibness, smugness, condescension and opportunism (the hallmarks of both elitists and their apprentice sycophants) have become disqualifiers in the public eye. But the elitists haven’t figured it out yet, so they keep doing the same things they have always done, only harder, thinking this time it will surely work. It is like watching a silly fellow try to get his car out of a snowbank by spinning the wheels until the rubber starts stinking.

God is intervening in the world, making the very qualities that the smug set used to rise to power into the instrument of their ruin. It is playing out in living color before our very eyes. Given that, I am baffled why so many are still so cowed by the impotent threats of disgraced elitists. I can only think it is akin to the instinctive cringe of a dog at the sight of the stick its dead master once beat it with.

Now God is asking every man, “Do you love me more than these?” If your love of God is not as great as your love of your position and influence, you are not fit for the Master’s service. If your fear of others talking ugly about you is greater than your love of God, you are not fit for the Master’s service. Neither be needlessly provocative and call it courage nor cower in fear and call it prudence.

If you want to imitate the Master, you must goad yourself to want what He wants. He calls all men to salvation. So you are called to work for the reclamation of those who are his enemies rather than their destruction. He is the defender of the meek and downtrodden, so you are called to defend them, as well, against assaults from the ungodly. Sometimes you have to attack, maybe even crush, those who oppress the innocent. Though it is so, there is always the air of failure to it – as it would have been so much better to be able to recall them to life. When you fail to defend the innocent from depredation, that is not failure; it is betrayal. You cannot avoid occasional failure. You must avoid betrayal.

Focus on the good to be obtained from gritty fidelity, not the hardships that must be met and dealt with to obtain it. When I was running political campaigns, if a volunteer came to me asserting that he would surmount all obstacles and bear any hardship for the cause, I would instruct my chief lieutenants to put him to work, but not to count on him. The fact is, most men who boast of how faithful they will be under duress run like scalded dogs at the first sign of real difficulty. I am troubled by how many otherwise good Christians I hear these days boast of how they will be a martyr. I don’t want to be a martyr to anything except my own selfish desires, for I well know that what I desire most is most effective against me. Rather, I endeavor to desire God, knowing that all things will then be added to help me in my work. If God decides I must be a martyr, I pray I won’t turn back, but I firmly hope He allows me to die peacefully in my sleep a long time from now. Fidelity means staying constantly focused on what you can do to facilitate the flowering of the Kingdom, not on how hard it all is. Missionary work is not for wimps.

General George Patton once famously told a group of American soldiers that, “the object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other ba*tard die for his.” That is good, practical temporal advice. How much better when applied to the battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of the satan.

What a great work God has put before us! We have a world weary, groaning beneath glib nostrums that deny even the possibility of the transcendent. These have generated a terrible and corrosive misery, that eats away at the soul and the hope of joy. We are called to light the path back to God for that weary world, to spark anew the promise of joy in their hearts. In his play, ‘Julius Caesar,’ William Shakespeare said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” The tide is high and we must cast our lot with God. If we cling to the old ways of scheming, glib opportunism, we will be lost in the shallows of our soon-to-be irrelevant lives. The malicious are already lost. All you need to be trapped in the shallows is to be too timid to catch the tide.

*********

I have not had much to say about the coronavirus. I take it seriously, but am a tad skeptical. After all, this is the sixth potential pandemic of my lifetime that was going to decimate much of the earth’s population. Before this, there was the Hong Kong flu, Swine flu, Avian flu, Ebola and Sars. Each did some damage, but none were even a thousandth as devastating in reality as the hysterical media made them out to be.

Oddly, I have a nostalgic fondness for the Hong Kong flu which came when I was still in junior high school. At the time, my father and I had always had an uneasy encounter, each puzzled by the other without a particularly close or warm relationship. On New Year’s Eve in those days, my parents always spent the evening with our dear friends, Skip and Tom and their family. On New Year’s Eve preceding 1970, the two couples went out to a party while I watched the kids of both families at home.

Some time around two in the morning, they got home. My Dad was nearly unconscious and obviously very sick, carried by Tom and my Mom into the house. Alarmed, I asked what was wrong with him. Tom laughingly told me he had contracted the Hong Kong flu. I was horrified that Tom could be amused by such a thing, for all the news said the Hong Kong flu was a deadly killer. Of course, Dad had simply had way too much to drink – but I didn’t know that. Terrified, I went up to my room and prayed intensely all through the night, desperately pleading with God to spare my Pops. Frankly, I was a bit surprised at how intently I truly loved my Father, given our awkward relations.

Late the next morning, I heard his voice and went downstairs to see if he was okay. My face must have betrayed my fear and concern, for Dad spoke gently to me and suggested we take a walk in our back yard. After Dad explained to me that he was not really sick except for a bad hangover, we talked about many things, wandering about for over an hour. Somehow, in the course of that morning, I discovered that my Dad was really a cool, funny guy – and he discovered I was really a cool kid. In the course of a single day, we went from living an awkward encounter with each other to an unending mutual admiration society. Our friendship became so strong it sometimes irritated my Mom at how staunchly we stood for each other.

I’m sure it would have happened eventually, but my panic over a drunken night that I thought was the Hong Kong flu was the catalyst that fully united my Dad and me on that New Year’s Day of 1970, so I cherish its memory.

It is good to take precautions and be prepared. After all, the Spanish flu of 1918-1921 really was a deadly pandemic that killed around 50 million people across the globe. But whenever some big panic takes hold, I like to take a good, hard look at what the actual effects are.

For about three decades I have told any who asked that the government of China is the most evil on the planet, the heart of the forces of the anti-Gospel in this great battle before us. I am persuaded that this virus is actually a bio-weapon developed by the Chinese. Yet when it escaped, which nations are now most badly impacted? Those would be China, Iran, and the Korean peninsula. The virus that was supposed to be a weapon against the west has been a disaster for those who sought to deploy it. Italy is the country most badly affected in the west. Take that for what it is worth, but it strikes me that perhaps God is using the weapons the advocates of the anti-Gospel would deploy on us back on them.

The American stock market has taken a huge hit in the last week as supply chains are badly interrupted. The left can barely contain their glee that this may create an economic downturn that will finally turn people against Donald Trump. But take a step back and look at what the actual consequences of all this are going to be.

The supplier whose chain has been so badly interrupted that it has caused a precipitous drop in the American stock market is China. Trump has argued from the beginning that we are too dependent on Chinese goods for our own good. As the China supplier dries up, American manufacturing will increase, as will our trade relations with allied nations that don’t insist they have the right to lie, cheat and steal from us in exchange for open trade. Trump started to wean us from dependency on Chinese goods a few years ago to the howls of his political enemies. Now, instead of weaning us from that dependency, events have forced an amputation, caused by what was almost certainly a weapon devised by China, itself. Provided this does not become a mass pandemic in the U.S., the American economy, trade relations with allies , and the global economy sans China is likely to be much stronger than ever by election day.

Meantime, the left has explained in eager tones to us why Trump’s A) confrontation with North Korea a few years ago, B) relocation of the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, C) strike in Syria over the use of chemical weapons, D) ultimate withdrawal from Syria, E) trade sanctions on China, F) hard sanctions on Iran…etc., etc. were all going to lead to our doom. The left has become a doomsday cult that is constantly in panic and wrong every time. How do you think all that is going to play out?

Oddly, since I have not given the coronavirus much thought, I had a peculiar dream about it last week. I was talking to a fellow about what steps I should take to protect myself. He told me that I should just do what I preach; trust, do, love…and eat plenty of coconut. Just the sort of bizarre advice that comes in dreams. But hey, I like coconut.

*********

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a crowdfunded TV series about the Gospels, called The Chosen. After watching the first episode free, I immediately ordered the DVD series. I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am about it. They hope to do eight full seasons. The head of the project is Dallas Jenkins, a Baptist Christian from Texas. Yet it is a collaborative effort, mainly between Baptists and Catholics. Sounds like strange bedfellows, but I have long ago come to think that the fundamental modern division in Christianity is NOT between Catholics and Protestants, but between those who actually believe in God and try to live according to their best understanding of His Word – and those who wear it as a cultural accessory not to be taken too seriously. The people involved in this effort are true believers. Certainly, it fits my image of Christ more closely than anything I have ever seen.

There are three things I particularly like in it:

  • The visible joy Jesus has when giving new hope to those who have lost hope and the way His focus, after doing a miracle, is entirely with their joy rather than with His power. He is truly WITH His brothers.
  • The lively wit and good humor of the Christ. This is a Christ that is magnetic, charming people with His great heart and love as well as commanding them.
  • In the aftermath of the miracles He creates, Christ’s focus is never on Himself. When it serves the purpose, He fades into the background. When it is important, He is open, even provocative, to make His point. There is neither preening vanity nor false modesty – Jesus’ lodestar in this series is whatever most helps to build the Kingdom.

On those sequences for which we have Scriptural narratives, the show stays true to the narratives. On those things in between, the show creates fictional backstories that help illuminate and emphasize the action we see in the Scriptural narratives.

The casting is absolutely inspired. The only quibble I had was with the depiction of Moses in a flashback. Moses was a very old man when he began his mission – and this showed him as a middle-aged man. This is very close to Jesus as I see Him. If you enjoy the series half as much as I did (there was not an episode where I was not in quiet tears of joy at some point) it will be one of your favorites of all time.

187 thoughts on “Proclaim the Kingdom!

  1. This is loaded with gold, Charlie. Lots of material for contemplation. Just a few magnificent starters:

    *What I desire most is most effective against me. (We could redux this daily.)

    *Focus on the good to be obtained from gritty fidelity, not the hardships that must be met and dealt with to obtain it.

    *Fidelity means staying constantly focused on what you can do to facilitate the flowering of the Kingdom, not on how hard it all is. Missionary work is not for wimps.

    *We are called to light the path back to God for that weary world, to spark anew the promise of joy in their hearts.

    *The tide is high and we must cast our lot with God… All you need to be trapped in the shallows is to be too timid to catch the tide.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 14 people

    1. It absolutely is! Two more that struck me particularly:

      “Neither be needlessly provocative and call it courage nor cower in fear and call it prudence.”

      and

      “When you fail to defend the innocent from depredation, that is not failure; it is betrayal. You cannot avoid occasional failure. You must avoid betrayal.”

      Liked by 8 people

  2. I haven’t read this yet..still running errands but you will never know how much you hearten us Charlie to keep going!!! God bless you so much and always! Can’t wait to read and read and re-read🤗

    Liked by 4 people

  3. That’s my favorite Patton quote, but I love this one as well: “Do everything you ask of those you command.”

    I agree on the coronavirus, this isn’t “it”. But you know what this virus has done? It’s awakened quite a few who have been on the fence about the times we are in to the reality of the times we are in. And that’s a good thing.

    One more Patton fav and this one will be very useful in the coming weeks, months, and years: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

    Liked by 11 people

    1. It seems to be effecting every avenue of business…shutting everyone down! Lord knows we need to be shut down. Charlie has been doing this a long time now for our sakes…that had to be long suffering yikes!

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  4. Charlie, coconut oil is primarily made of lauric acid, which changes to monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin and the other medium chain triglycerides in the oil are antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial in themselves and indirectly by strongly strengthening the immune system. Your dream is accurate, and I recommend you honor it by eating a teaspoon of coconut oil three times a day and raise the dose to a tablespoon three times a day if you feel you were exposed to Covid-19 or have symptoms.

    I recommend organic, expeller-pressed virgin coconut oil such as the ones produced by Healthy Traditions, here:

    https://healthytraditions.com/collections/gold-label-virgin-coconut-oil/

    It helps older people, because the MCTs feed the heart and brain directly. Some people with brain dysfunctions eat several tablespoons a day to regain function. The energy boost lasts for about 6-8 hours. The immune system boost lasts longer and builds over time. And if a person gets sick enough to have difficulty eating, letting them drip small amounts of coconut oil into their mouths can give their body some extra energy when they really need it.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. I’m eating a macaroon as I reply to your comment. I do have a little coconut oil in the morning. I love coconut granola cereals – and I like my macaroons. I’m thinking of trying some coconut flakes in my next batch of tuna salad. (I like tuna salad for sandwiches with tomato and cheese). Glad to know my dreams are not steering me wrong. I WILL howl with laughter if scientists who are feverishly at work on a vaccine for this (Israel is closest to a breakthrough – another sign, I think) end up announcing that coconut is the antidote. (But then I won’t be able to say I don’t have prophetic dreams any more. Ah well, if it was good enough for St. Joseph, I reckon it is good enough for me.)

      Liked by 14 people

          1. Sort of cute..was with my sister all am helping a friend to clean her house and my sister and all she talked about was her dream about “sounded like heaven” woods and joy and beautiful sounds indescribable and of all things…coconuts 🤗

            Liked by 1 person

      1. No, Maggie, I don’t believe it does, provided that you don’t burn it to the point that it smokes. It has a high smoke point, os it’s very good for cooking. If you want to take it separately, then you would just eat it out of the container.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. SteveBC, now this is weird. Yesterday, before reading Charlie’s post or any of the comments, I suddenly felt the urge to order several containers of coconut oil (we cook with it and so use a lot of it, but we aren’t running low). So I ordered a few pails of it this morning. Then I come over here and read about Charlie’s dream and your comment, and I’m a little bit blown away.

      Liked by 7 people

    3. I don’t know if coconut Easter eggs count but they are all over drug and food stores right now. Best are Zitner’s Double Coconut eggs – no cream just stuffed with coconut. Gotta get on a plan later this month…….

      Liked by 6 people

    4. Stevebc I just screenshot all that! you are so smart!!! I’m freaking because 2 little kids at this morning’s Mass were coughing the whole time really bad…poor little kids! Why moms send their kids to school sick I dunno but probably need $😩..,will begin the process tomorrow

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      1. SJ, it’s Mounds bars for me. Why anyone would adulterate a perfectly good pairing of chocolate and coconut with an almond is simply beyond me! Same for chocolate chip cookies – why do people put nuts into them?!?! Horrible practice! I love nuts of all kinds except peanuts but would never presume to mix them into a perfectly good Mounds bar or Tollhouse cookie. 😀

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        1. Agreed. Same person that decided to put nuts in chocolate chip cookies probably came up with catsup on hot dogs. Folks better know their history and traditions before they approach the condiment table at the ballpark! There are exceptions though, as I can’t imagine a Baby Ruth without the nuts, nor a pecan pie without the pecans. I mention that particular pie because I like to leave it out on the counter until it cures like a candy bar.

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          1. Whaaaaat?  Hot dog without ketchup?  Man, we are having so many theological differences here on cookies and nuts, reliability of cars, now hot dogs and ketchup of which I can’t see eating one with out it.  We are just falling apart here.  Yup!  The storm is here 😎—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Well now, Doug, I agree with you completely on cars. The 100,000 mile powertrain warranty was only introduced in 2001 by Hyundai – and that as a desperate last-ditch effort to save the company. Typically, powertrain warranties in the industry then were 30 to 60,000 miles. Hyundai’s quality control (QC) was so abysmally bad that the company was on the verge of going under. It committed itself to the unprecedented 100,000 mile powertrain warranty as a marketing gimmick in which it would either get its QC up to meet it or go into bankruptcy. It is one of the few times where such a desperate gamble paid off – and Hyundai is now one of the best quality low-priced cars.

              Now as to hot dogs, if you are ever in Chicago and ask for ketchup on a hot dog, make SURE you let them know you are from way out of town. See, we Chicagoans do not think ketchup on a hot dog is errant, we maintain it is heretical and cause for automatic excommunication. But we are tolerant of the peculiar tastes of barbarians.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. That should put the catsup heresy to rest, but I’d like to see a complete analysis and average cost comparison of owning a car then vs. today. Naturally I’m a bit emotionally charged on the issue after my 3rd trip in to service for the same malfunction, but the facts could prove otherwise.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. You may have just gotten a lemon. Weird things happen. I saw a Renault once that had over 100,000 miles. It was the only one I had ever seen with more than 35,000. (There was something about Renault’s that caused the engine to burn out somewhere around 30,000 miles). Then I knew a fellow with a Taurus – one of the most reliable moderately priced cars ever made, who had nothing but trouble.

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                  1. I probably need to stop treating these roadways like the course at le mans. If I’m honest, I should call those service visits what they are: pit stops. All the more reason to keep it simple with the old’ sturdy truck.

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                2. I am keeping records in a spread sheet.  I’ll let you know in about 10 years.  In the mean time, I will watch Phillip’s turtles. 😎—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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              2. One of my coworkers had a 2000 sportage that constantly had drive train issues.  I remember well what Hyundai did by instituting the 100K waranntee to save face.  I was never a fan of Hyundai due to my coworker’s experience.  I would rather have a reliable car with a 30K waranntee than an unreliable car with a 100K waranntee.   I have always been partial to Toyota which typically has very high reliability.Now, about hotdogs.  You have me rolling in laughter.  I guess I will have to go underground to avoid persecution the next time I eat a hotdog in Chicago land 😎—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh no, we Chicagoans liked to encounter foreigners like you as kind of an anthropological exercise. While we often debated how any otherwise civilized people could put ketchup on a hot dog, there was never general agreement on the matter. The most common position was that it was a habit that came when people from areas that only had junk hot dogs (little more than tubular Spam) just had not developed the taste buds to appreciate or recognize the sort of high-quality hot dogs you get in Chicago.

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                  1. Ha! Fortunately this was NOT an issue on Sunday, as I was in Mesa at Wrigley West with the boys, completely surrounded by Our People. Cubbies vs. D-Backs… thankfully it was virtually all Cubbies fans. All this talk of dogs and I had to run up to Portillo’s for lunch today. While there at the condiment table, I mighta come up with as helpful solution. Maybe those labels on the red and yellow squirt bins should be more clearly labeled as “For Your Hot Dog” and “For Your Fries Only.”

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Well, I’m happy that we just resolved the most pressing issues of the day, CJ, with only a slight quibble lingering over “Catsup” vs. “Ketchup.” No, wait… some things should just remain a mystery.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Ah, I see. For my part, I let my kids name both of our cats, Sandbag and Catsup, so I daresay I’ll never be able to look at our poor “Catsup” quite the same way again. Well, guess we got to the bottom of that mystery.

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                  2. That must be it!  Only junk hotdogs in the Northeast.  I grew up with ketchup on broiler fried chicken and on Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks.  Guess I was a ketchup junky as a kid.  Except for hotdogs, I am reformed.  God is working on me one sin at a time….. —- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        2. Funny, SteveBC! Not 3 minutes ago, my 10-year-old and I were looking at recipes in a cookbook; and I complained about the addition of chopped nuts to the chocolate chip cookies.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. Hi Steve BC:an explanation for chopped walnuts added to chocolate chip cookies- some of us like to stretch that cookie recipe to make as many cookies as possible in one batch. Plus I figure the cookie is then almost exclusively walnuts and chips being held together with little flour and sugar. Much more healthy, I tell myself. 🍪🤔

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        4. I wonder if this is a guy thing, SteveBC. All my brothers love nuts, but not mixed in anything. I like them either way, besides with the coconut protecting my imune system and the almonds protecting my heart, how can I go wrong?

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            1. Ooo…that sounds good Charlie, I love that combo, too! My dad used to chop up marachino cherries and put them in his Banana Bread with nuts. Something I really miss from him. I like to put chocolate chips and nuts in my mom’s pumpkin bread recipe. N-o-w my mouth is watering! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think the coronavirus will spread in the USA like it has elsewhere, I do think it will really hurt the U.S. economy as supplies from China dry up. Tough times coming.

    I also think the numbers of deaths out of China are false, why would they quarantine over 700 million people and shut down 11 major cities over 2000 deaths? They are killing their own economy. It is way worse than what they are telling the rest of the world, as we will soon find out.

    And as far as our business goes, sales of Heirloom seeds have tripled in the last 2 weeks. A lot of people are worried. I hope we have enough seeds to last the season as we are already selling out of certain varieties.

    John

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Hey John,

      I bought seeds from St. Clares back in 2017. They have been food saved and in the freezer. Would they still be good?

      God Bless,

      Becky-TN

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Becky-TN,
        Do you mean you used one of the food savers that vacuum seals food? If so, they may not be okay, as seeds are alive and need oxygen. I would say, take them out of the freezer and let the seeds come to room temperature, then try a simple germination test on them. Dampen some paper towels, put some seeds between, place in a fold over sandwich bag or rolled lightly in plastic wrap(to keep moist, but not fully sealed), and place in a warm place for a few days, You can check them after a few days, see if any are germinating, and make sure the paper toweling is still damp, and then place them back in the warm spot(we put them on top of the fridge 🙂 ). Check them again a few days later. Hope this helps, and that your seeds are still good! 🙂

        This page on our website may also help with storage and seed life. https://www.stclareseeds.com/garden-help/average-life-heirloom-vegetable-seed/.

        God Bless,
        Sarah (John’s Wife)

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Becky, I don’t know what part of Tennessee you are in, but I just heard about the huge tornado that hit Nashville in the wee hours this morning. I hope you and your loved ones are all OK, and I’m praying for everybody affected by this devastating storm.

        Liked by 8 people

  6. We have been giving my mom Healthy Traditions for about five years now for her dementia. It has slowed it down and when she is two or three days without it, it shows.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Steve, this is amazing and I’ll have to write it down.

    Charlie, love hearing from you. Your comments about the endeavor between the Baptists and the Catholics reminds me of seeing “faith based” movies/videos. (We get them from our library/check them out like books.) They are so uplifting. One of the most striking things I notice is in the “bonus features” or extras at the end of the videos, you hear the enthusiasm and on fire love of Jesus that these people have. I often wish I had a parish such as these groups. They are genuinely a family!

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Charlie great story about your dad and the Hong Kong flu🤣

    I like this quote:

    What a great work God has put before us! We have a world weary, groaning beneath glib nostrums that deny even the possibility of the transcendent. These have generated a terrible and corrosive misery, that eats away at the soul and the hope of joy. We are called to light the path back to God for that weary world, to spark anew the promise of joy in their hearts!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. “Most dangerous are those temptations which are so contrary to our calling that we are permanently dismissed from the Lord’s service. It is not that we necessarily lose our salvation, but that we lose our mission because we are found unfit for the Master’s service.”
    I guess this is my greatest fear, that I have been found unfit for the Master’s service.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Matthew I do not believe that we are ever permanently dismissed from the Lord’s service. Those temptations will keep coming until we draw our last breath.. We Catholics have all of the Sacraments to help us along. Jesus Christ never said it would be easy.. Just keep our eyes on the Beatific vision.

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      1. Theresa, thank you. The post says that we can be “permanently dismissed” from the Lord’s service. The post also affirms that this does not entail a loss of salvation. So, yes I can (and do) remain focused on the Beatific Vision while still knowing that I cannot make any real meaningful contribution here.
        PAX,
        Matthew

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Nothing is set in stone, Matthew, concerning your mission entrusted to you by the Lord. The words, “can be,” are not, “will definitely be.” I sense you will be bringing heaven to earth in the ways you live your life. Prayers for you to rise from this sadness and be renewed in the fire of the Holy Spirit. Charlie has also written that there will be some people who will surprise those around them as those “some people” rise to levels of greatness and take their next right steps in whatever God’s Will is for them, so that the good they do puts a spotlight on the Greatness of the Lord. Look at St. Therese… never left her cloister and God’s Magnificence continues to flow through her.

          So, as a sister in Christ, I pray for you as Peter prayed for Aeneas: “Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and put away your mat“ of despondency. There’s so much wood to chop and you were born for such as this, Matthew. God bless you.

          Liked by 6 people

        2. Matthew my friend, I suspect your fear springs from not following the path you thought was what you should do. Yet St. Peter did not follow the path he thought he was supposed to, nor did St. Matthew…or probably any of the other disciples. Our God is a God of surprises – and what we think is the way we should go (even when perfectly licit and even noble) is not what God intends for us. What I speak of has more to do with your basic intent – failing to live the next right step to the best of your ability in the circumstances around you. Remember, as the Lord says, it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out.

          Liked by 5 people

        3. Matthew You say The Post says that we can be permanently dismissed from the Lord’s service. I am curious to know what Post are you speaking of .
          For what it is worth, I have no idea as to whether or not I am making any meaningful contribution here
          .Everyone has been very kind, but I am not a big contributor.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Matthew Hill I’ve goofed up most of my whole life so I know that feeling and worry about that too… what gives me peace is just surrendering to God and let Him direct my path. I leave everything up to Him and simply trust in His great Mercy and plans 🤗 Hope that helps you too

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Years ago I saw the simple correlation between the three denials of Christ as He had foretold in the garden that before the cock will crow you will deny Me three times and the three affirmations of love asked for by Christ of Peter after His resurrection. The growth into feed my sheep after the third affirmation befits the fullness of Peter’s recompensing for his three denials. This is not meant to take anything away from Charlie’s excellent use of the three professions of love by Peter in his opening remarks.
    May God protect us all from the corona virus and enrich our nation’s recovery. jas

    Liked by 9 people

    1. For what it is worth, 75% of all pharmaceuticals ARE produced in the U.S. We have the lion’s share because we are one of the few economies in the world that has the proper incentives to encourage innovation.

      The issues here are much more complex than even the most expert usually concede. Pharmaceutical companies have HUGE costs in developing useful drugs – and those costs include the cost of research on drugs (R & D) that ultimately do not come to market. The cost of a drug is NOT just the cost of manufacture, but the cost of manufacture AND of research and development – which are HUGE. That is complicated by the fact that companies in foreign countries often reverse engineer and mimic successful drugs – and are able to sell them much more cheaply because they do not bear any of the R & D costs. That is actual intellectual property theft – but many nations do not prosecute this seriously or at all – because the get a deep benefit from the theft. Drug companies often make deals for much cheaper prices in foreign countries in order to secure the cooperation of foreign govt’s in prosecuting the intellectual property theft. What that effectively means is that American citizens are bearing the R&D costs for the whole world. If the drug companies did not make those deals, then prices in the U.S. market would have to be even higher. And yet, if we adopted re-importation policies, it could become impossible for companies to reclaim R&D costs which would destroy the incentives needed for continued innovation.

      It is tempting to blame the drug companies for greed – and I have no doubt there is plenty of that. But if we think that is the primary problem, we do not understand the issue at all.

      The reality is that, as in so many other things, we are heavily subsidizing the health care and pharmaceuticals for the whole world. And unless we can get other nations to get serious about patent protections, there is no end of it in sight. For what it is worth, Italy has long been the worst offender for stealing and mimicking the drugs American companies have paid to develop.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. YES!! I learned about this from a parishioner who was an executive in a pharmaceutical company. US healthcare expenditures are essentially subsidizing the cost of prescription drugs for the rest of the world, simply because the costly R&D is taking place here. No one in office seems to be talking about this, and the general public is almost entirely unaware of it. It’s actually a terrible injustice, considering the matter in question is the cost of public health.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. I truly loathe it that when such difficult issues arise, even our highest officials usually engage in impotent sloganeering that does not deal with the actual problems at all. When the elite classes have become so degenerate, how can reasonable people who have real lives be reasonably informed? It is, I think, an ongoing crisis that has helped lead us to these precipitous times.

          Liked by 7 people

      2. Listening to this, I agree that we are likely over afraid. That said, I note that I have not heard Anything on how we may be able to strengthen our immune systems. Adding vitamin D, Vitamin C etc. I am sure if there were a pharmaceutical which had immune boosing properties we would be hearing of it constantly, but we hear little of natural solutions which may help, as there is little to be profited from non patentable natural solutions. It is a shame that more emphasis isn’t placed on preventative and immune boosting approaches, as well as prayer to St. Blase and other spiritual approaches.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes Kimsevieer; Well it was posted back in August 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak–that alone caught my attention.
          I will try to do some research on the seerer. Very interesting.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Thank you, Jen! Right now I’m reading “The Song of Bernadette” from which the movie was made. The story of why it was written by a Jewish man is, in itself, a miracle. He and his wife were given shelter in Lourdes while they were trying to escape the Nazis in WW II.

              Liked by 2 people

  11. … and very strict gov’t regulations.
    Years ago there was a very effective drug called para-pectolin, had a tiny bit of paregoric
    in it. You would have to sign your name at the pharmacy in order to buy it.
    (was excellent when traveling if you ate something bad)
    When they changed the formula to not contain paregoric, the pharmacist explained something to the effect that the gov’t said they would have to prove its effectiveness in
    order to keep producing it. The testing would have been prohibitive, so the company
    ceased production.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hi Charlie et al,
    I’ve never commented lately, but I’m still reading and thank you for every article that has been published.
    Since you mention Italy in this piece with regard to Coronavirus, I wished to say Hi.
    My opinion is that in Italy the situation is reported so apparently serious only because, since we have a public health system, they initially began to test almost everyone showing flu symptoms, after the first patient with pneumonia tested positive with coronavirus. He was a man of 38 years of age who by chance mentioned that had had contact with a colleague returning from China. Later the colleague tested negative, so the patient zero was never found.
    I tell you what happened: the virus was already around (also in China they established the diffusion had started before they officially told us). Now I read that the Italian virologysts who sequenced the Italian virus say that comparing it with the Chinese one and counting the changes it has been through, they can say the virus was already around for a few months in Italy.
    It is circulating in Italy as it is circulating in other Countries, only here we began testing hundreds before other countries began.
    Now they understood and they stopped testing people in great number. The only test those with respiratory problems, while before they tested entire communities even totally asyntomatic people.
    Anyway, the deceased were old people with many other illnesses. And many more have died of flu, as every year happens, but to those deaths media do not give relevance.
    Media played a great part in diffusing panic. The Dems Government has done worse, they said things one day and the opposite the other day.
    Moreover, since a treaty is going to be signed in Europe (EMS European Mechanism of Stability), which will bound us hand and feet to the European (Soviet) Union, a treaty, which our Gov wants to sign, against the interest of the Italian people, and that will take yet more sovereignty from our nation, I think the Coronavirus panic was staged, so that the signature of EMS could be done without internal opposition. I already told you that since the Euro currency has been approved, Italy has lost more manifacturing capacity than what was lost during the War. We lost 25 to 30% of our industries, because we cannot have anymore a monetary policy, which is favourable to our economy. The Euro was a tragedy.
    Anywhere where I live, we are leading a normal life, schools are open, shops are open. A lot of flu cases going around so late in the season. I have my son at home from school because he has the flu. I called the doctor yesterday and she said that the symptoms are those of the flu, but if you read he newspapers, they could very well be the symptoms of Coronavirus. Only, as I wrote before, they now test you only if you have serious respiratory symptoms.
    In Tuscany, where I live, there is one of the largest Italian Chinese communities: it is around the town of Prato, near Florence. They came decades ago, since Tuscany has always been ruled by the former Italian Communist Party (once called PCI, now called Partito Democratico) since the end of WWII and they liked to make agreements with other Communists Parties in the world. So came the Chinese many decades ago and they took over the textiles industry of Prato, almost destroying completely the Italian competitors. Well, would you believe no one of those in Prato (who come and go from China) has developed Coronavirus? No case whatsoever of Coronavirus among the Tuscan Chinese community. And very few cases in Tuscany! Ah and by the way we have the regional elections in Tuscany this spring. Probably things must not get too panicky here in Tuscany before the elections.
    The most part of the Italian cases have coincidentally been reported in two Regions governed by the Center Right, that is Lombardia and Veneto!
    I hope the Rescue is still progressing, Charlie, we need to hold on to hope.
    I’m in a number of chats and some people are awakening to the reality of the world, are becoming as it is said red pilled, some through vaccines damage, some other following Q, some rediscovering, if not Faith at least a spirituality.
    As for the tide, I have the impression I’m not one of those who was able to get the great tide, I have the impression I’m stuck in low waters doing my little things and still too much taken with the things of this world. In spite of this I sense the tiredness, the hardness of living, that is to say we are really on that canoe on the wild river you depicted so much time ago. So it seems contradictory, because much is moving but I do not seem to be much productive. It seems my prayers are hardly heard, I say it seems, while the fight among principates and spiritualities is in full blown, nothing changes for the better. I try to believe every day that, on the contrary, something is crumbling among the enemy lines. And reading ASOH can be of great help.
    Thanks for being with us, Charlie, Beckita, Steve BC and all of you!
    Lilia

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Thanks for weighing in, Lilia. I was hoping to hear from you on this. I very much enjoy when one of our friends from another country weighs in with what ordinary serious Christians are thinking there. This is especially important as the official line is so often wrong. I find from here and from other friends that, bad as things are, particularly in Europe, there is a solid Christian core. Though it is certainly a minority, I think it will heavily as events unfold. God bless you and thank you.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Charlie,
        Your story about your relationship with your dad reminded me of a similar event in my life. My father was a very stern man from Brooklyn, NY. He grew up on the streets there and had the scars from knife fights and the PTSD from being shot at and beat on. (Not to mention being blown up by a tank mine while in Korea). His father was a very stern man too. The dichotomy was my mother was a southern bell where, “hun”, “sugar” and “sweety” are common terms of endearment spoken to friends and family. When I was little, it was easy to love my mother, dispite her being a staunch disciplinarian, but I felt nothing for my father.
        One night, while pondering my dryness towards him, I thought about the loss of his soul and his death and this threw me into an emotional anguish. I started weeping and praying hard to God to not let my father die this way.
        At the same time, I reveled in this new found emotion for my dad because it brought forth feelings of love I had never felt before nore knew I had.
        I never did have that father/son relationship with him that you had with your dad but I found out I could still love him deeply dispite this and this carried me through.
        Dispite him being an agnostic most of his life, he had a conversion a few years before his death so now I have the great hope that in the next life, the eternal one, our relationship will be more fantastic than I can even imagine.

        Liked by 12 people

        1. Ha! That bit about your Mom resonated with me. Having roots in the deep south and the upper Midwest is illustrative for how hard it can be to be an ordinary man. In the upper Midwest, if you call your waitress honey or darlin’ she thinks you are hitting on her. In the deep south, if you DON’T call your waitress honey or darlin’ she thinks you are mad at her and unhappy with the service.

          Liked by 7 people

          1. Ha, Charlie! My grandmother was an Alabama southern belle, so we got called “hon” and “sugar” and “darlin'” and “sweetie” all the time. I call my kids all of those things (except “sugar”; don’t know why).

            Another common term of endearment among southern black women (maybe southern white women, too?) is “baby” for either sex, or “baby girl” for females of any age. Northern black women will often do this, too, probably because of the influence of our southern female relatives (and we all have southern female relatives, it seems). I still call my almost 24-year-old son “baby.” I call my adult nieces and nephews “baby” (as in, “I love you, baby; have a nice flight, and see you next Christmas!”).

            I have a sweet memory of that last time my mother’s sister visited her in the hospital before she (my mother) died. My mom was 69 at the time, and her sister was maybe 67. But when my aunt walked into the room, she smiled and called out to my mom, “Hello, baby girl!”

            Liked by 10 people

          2. Charlie I was just hearing about why Chris Matthews was fired from MSNBC. He would compliment womens Looks. I am of his generation and we really would not make a fuss about it. Rush Limbaugh has just said today, If you want to compliment a women today, you had better ask permission. Has the Deep South changed also.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. I know what you mean, Theresa. I was a shameless flirt in my younger days. A 30-something close friend of mine was asking me some dating advice sometime back and I told him I was completely baffled at the modern young generation – and kind of terrified of it. In my day, we did a lot of “sport” flirting, just for the fun banter. I told him when I was young, if you asked a woman out, even if there was no interest at all, she was flattered that you noticed her charm. Today, you ask a woman out and you risk getting a call to the police. I don’t get that at all. What a sadly savage generation has risen up!

              Liked by 6 people

              1. Charlie how do you correlate this fear of men (true homophobia????) now professed by women especially young women with the proliferation of dating businesses?

                We have a daughter in her 40s who has so many girl friends who are desperately lonely and wondering where “all the good men are”. Depressed and despairing of a “normal family life” with a guy who loves them and a couple of kids and a little house in the suburbs. You know …. normal.

                Normal seems way out of reach these days for some reason and it is hitting young women pretty hard it seems to me.

                I see this Me Too stuff as another form of attack on the family and the concept of “normal” in America.

                Liked by 6 people

    2. Lilia, great to hear a perspective from someone on the ground elsewhere. I totally resonate with your last paragraph. I am a melancholic by temperament and thus tend to be a little slow in getting going, thus I, too, feel I have missed the tide and am left to dog-paddle in the shallows. I am reminded of the image that St Therese uses of being a toy for the child Jesus. If He choses to play with us great, if not we sit in the corner unused. While I live and continue to strive to be faithful, it appears that I have sidelined myself by my sins or that perhaps God has no further use for me.
      PAX,
      Matthew

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Matthew, if you are less than 55 years old, I have some good news for you. Like you, I was a melancholic from birth. It was very hard at times, so I hear your concern/discouragement. What I found out when I was about 40 is that when a melancholic gets up to about 60, give or take a few years, they get very happy. I turned 60 in 2011, and sure enough, I found myself getting very happy in 2010 and have been happy and laughing ever since. I love being an ex-melancholic, and so will you. Hang in there.

        Now don’t make me sad by telling me that you are already over 60. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Hang in there, man. I would say I can relate, but the truth is that I was a happy baby, a happy toddler, a mostly happy (but sometimes embarrassingly whiney) adolescent, a happy young adult, a happy middle aged man, and now a happy man going into my senior years. Even in the greatest crises and most agonizing periods, I largely dealt with it through my lively sense of humor and native optimism. When times are really bad, I figure if I just pretend to have hope each morning long enough, eventually it will be real hope again. So far, that has always worked out for me. I also noticed the deep and genuine kindnesses of others – both towards me and those around them – and it keeps me with joy and hope for us. I like my privacy at times, but I also love to hear people’s life stories. Every life is an adventure – and I love it that so many people share their adventures with me. I loved Auntie Mame’s comment in the great musical: “Life is a smorgasbord – and most poor suckers are starving.” Dig in with gusto.

            Liked by 7 people

            1. You remind me of my dad. He was eternally optimistic and happy. Born 1916, he dealt with the Great Depression, WWII, watched his wife die prematurely of breast cancer. He worked all over the world and gathered groups of admirers wherever he went. I remember one Easter dinner with his children, their spouses and grandchildren gathered at the dining room table late in his life and he had us all hysterically laughing. At his funeral his first neighbors (husband & wife) from his very first home after he married in 1949 came to it. He hadn’t seen them from @1956. Thanks for the chance to remember his happy spirit.

              Liked by 6 people

          2. Becky, do I see just a little humor poking out from under all those clouds? While you’re focusing on all the clouds over the next 13.5 years, know that underneath them it is going to be having lots of little baby humors that will begin to lighten up your life starting at T-0 when those clouds really start breaking up. 😀

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Not a single bout of melancholy stands a chance against the things you love. Now, if you happen to be in love with melancholy, that would be a different story. (In which case, see other comment on ‘weed’ pullin’.)

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I like Melon Cauliflower.  It’s a great mix of fruit and vegetable.  Good against the Cornona Virus.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

              Like

            2. Sorry, MP, but I must disagree with you on this. A melancholic does not “have a bout” of melancholy every now and then. He *is* melancholy; it’s his personal way of being in the world.

              There are three basic types of personalities in the world (when cut by disposition). One is choleric, where one’s initial major reaction is anger. Another is sunny, where a person’s outlook on life is one of cheerfulness. The third is melancholic, where the person’s first major reaction and steady disposition is melancholy..

              From an early age to almost 60, my normal reaction to stress or disappointment or frustration or concern or whatever was to feel sad or melancholy. No amount of pulling weeds (and I did a *lot* of weed-pulling, believe me) changed my normal reaction during those years.

              Then, almost magically, and without any effort or pain or weed-pulling at the time, over a period of 3 or 4 years I just became sunny. Of course, I had done almost 60 years of weed-pulling to prepare the ground for this transformation, but no amount of weed-pulling made that transformation occur any earlier than the predicted 60th year of my life. The man who told me this and predicted this transformation and its timing for me when I was 40 years old had been a melancholic for the same amount of time (60 years) as I would be and was at that time a delightfully sunny 70-year-old.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. I think you’re primarily discussing it as a personality type, SBC. I’m discussing it as a complex emotion. Just another perspective.

                I get those tests, but they always seemed like a useless curiosity… just another way to have a convenient answer (sometimes an excuse) for why we are the way we are and why we do the things we do. I often just confide to Him, “I’m just your Mike.” As if I that explains anything He already doesn’t know, or that I have the slightest idea what that means! I’m not even going to say that He chuckles at that with any of us, intent as He is on that reunion with Wholeness.

                Liked by 2 people

  13. Considering the measure of grit…

    Biden: “We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by you know, you know the thing.”

    Who has the grit to call such as this back to salvation? This is what we’re up against, and far, far worse unto demonic. Clearly the Holy Spirit doesn’t inspire such babble. I was also thinking that the satan continues to pull his skimpy supports from folks like this to plow the ground for anti-christ.

    Pondering all this while pulling weeds out back. A painstaking work. I can’t swear to it, but it almost seems like new weeds are sprouting underfoot as I move through each area. All variety of weeds. Having been a weed-puller since wee youth, I’ve long since discovered that effectively yanking a weed has very little to do with the weed, and almost everything to do with the ground that it sprouts in.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. That’s pretty much Biden, right? Early on in his campaign, before he was familiar with his own position on healthcare policy, he told people to check his website to see what he’s talking about on “the thing.” Boy do I hope he gets the nomination!

      Interesting point on the soil.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you for noticing a key point. That I wasn’t so much mullin’ over Biden, as I was other stuff including a couple of facets of the word “gritty.”

        When weed pullin’, I tend to think of weeds as bad habits. Doesn’t matter how stout or frail the weed, whether or not you can yank the whole thing –– cleanly –– mostly comes down to the dirt and something of how you handle it. Rough going in this desert season with mostly hard pack granite left to the elements. Makes me yearn for the dark rich farmlands of the midwest in springtime. Especially when the first wild daffodils shot through the layers of deadleaf in the woods –– almost overnight ––and sometimes with patches of snow still on the ground.

        Our God, Himself, came to us in this very dirt to show each of us how to work in gritty fidelity to His Will. Most days lately I’m just covered in grit at the end of the day, with little of merit to show for it. Still, it’s workin’ in the dirt with Him.

        Just about the time I get a handle on the weeds, I expect holes from ground-dwelling critters will start popping up here and there. Not a big challenge since I mostly let them do what critters do, unless they start digging up where the desert wildflowers grow. For that, God gave me a tough little long-haired Chihuahua who is a prolific digger. Heck, I’ve seen her tunnel after them in a fast flurry of flying dirt and grit until her whole body disappeared beneath the surface. Mostly she scares them deep, but every so often she’ll pop back up with one in her wee jaws.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. In some respects, the ground under our feet is fallow. Biden is a figurehead of a morally and intellectually hollow party. The Democrats could dust off a copy of the U.S. Constitution and become acquainted with how our political system is supposed to work and read the Letter from Birmingham City Jail to reconstitute a rational moral tone, but that would require a real reckoning. Some lessons simply need to be learned the hard way. That’s not to say that Trump is the savior, but he is, I think, instrumental in turning the tide in our culture. I’ve always liked Charlie’s comment that people may not be as far away as they seem on the surface. Those who may now hold opinions which are seemingly completely contrary to God’s law could be “winnable” under the right circumstances. And I think that relates back to your insight into the dirt.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. So do you wonder as I do who will be running Biden behind the scenes if he is elected? My husband and I have dealt with 3 persons in his family who had dementia. Biden is senile. It is like discovering Mueller had cognitive problems and was nothing but a figurehead at the Justice Department investigation. Either the Dems are so delusional about Biden’s thinking ability or they want him that way and are plotting their manipulation of the presidency. Why else would a party nominate a person for the presidency who is clearly having cognitive problems.

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            1. Joanne, I think it is because they have no one else.  They are all duds.  That is what Bloomberg was all about, but he flopped.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

              Like

            2. Interesting you say that. Someone was praising Biden’s promise to “revive decency, honor and character.” Borrowing from CJ, I let them know what he really meant. Profligacy, venality and senility. I know you weren’t asking me, but I think it’s the usual suspects pullings the strings, and only one name behind it all.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. It’s re defined decency. When the left talks about decency and family values, its accepting homosexual parents, its affirming transgender, its promoting abortion, the list goes on and on.

                Liked by 2 people

            3. they nominated Obama……he was a complete puppet! he couldn’t speak without a prompter either. not as senile as Biden, but of the same stripe that the puppeteers put out (one world order gang–masons)

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              1. Exactly, SanSan! He was out of Chicago which was apparently ground zero for the Alinsky movement, “community organizing projects”, “Rules for Radicals” book, etc. etc.

                Joanne, that is a horrifying thought that Biden could win, and yes, someone would be pulling the strings. He can’t utter 2 or 3 sentences without putting his foot in his mouth. If God is willing to be extend His mercy a little longer, we’ll have some breathing space with Trump again. But even as I write that I’m wondering how long the Lord can wait to straighten out this mess. We just keep praying, being the SOH, etc.

                Liked by 2 people

          2. Yes, it is fallow in some respects as far as we’re concerned. I think as far they’re concerned, it’s been plowed and fertilized. Unfortunately it’s been plowed with laziness, and fertilized with fear. So what can we expect but anti-God rhetoric and other babble from the left.

            Yesterday, Biden. Today I see Schumer popping off –– threatening actually –– Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch if they don’t happen to agree and play nice with his championing of all things abortion… whether it’s simply a matter of expedients (e.g. – votes for power) for the left, or the demonic instigating at the core.

            This is where we’re at.

            Says Schumer, “I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. I want to tell you, Gorsuch. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.” (To the applause of the abortion-‘rights’ advocates.)

            As with everything, the truth is twisted in his words but not entirely absent. Indeed, the whirlwind (or at least the edges of the whirlwind) have been released. And we all know who’s going to truly reap it. The proud boasts and blasphemies recoil on their own heads.

            May God have mercy.

            Liked by 7 people

    2. I used to do the grounds around our church way back when. One of the ways we kept the weeds out was to use a preimergent that stopped seeds from germinating. It wasn’t fool proof, but it cut the weeding down to a bare minimum.
      Seems like if we are called to “bloom where we’re planted” some groundwork is necessary before, during and after your set in place. The blood of the martyrs acts as a preimergent when we grow among the weeds. An act of self denial can be just such a sacrifice for our own little garden too.
      It is a time for preparing for sure.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. My neighbor is a copious sprayer with a near pristine yard. Not sure if she’s using pre-emergents, or whether or not the chemicals are organic, but I find them noxious at a mere whiff. She’s definitely got more leisure time, because I can hear the jamming music most days, dozens of chimes and stuff rattling, burning sage and incense and whatnot. If you can imagine the ultimate new age garden, complete with crystals and golden Buddha statue, you’ve got the gist of her retreat.

        Weeds are just a fact of life for all, but I’m definitely old school. Call me nuts, but there’s just nothing as satisfying as pulling weeds by hand while the mind and heart devote themselves to other things.

        There’s a couple of desert wild flowers that some consider to be weeds (such as California poppies). Good thing I don’t spray, because some of that popped up in the yard and I really appreciate colors.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. In the spring I let a portion of my property go to “seed”. It’s a nice way to give back a little to the creatures that used to live here; grasshoppers, butterflies, birds, bugs, spiders, etc. Its amazing how they just seem to “pop” up out of nowhere. Life finds a way.
          I do the same in the fall, that is when things get really full as the summer growing season has allowed the plants the chance to really mature so the flowering is at its peak. It’s sad to watch the drought/cold kill everything off. The area looks brown and decimated but if I look closely I see the seeds, cocoons and egg sacks of future generations awaiting the return of spring. Seems humanity does the same thing but in a different way by preserving just enough of itself so that life (and the church) goes on. I’ve done my part by having raised my children in the faith and now, in my fall of life, I see them doing the same with their children. Alas, this winter of discontent frosts the joy of springtime and the deep greens of summer when life should be at its fullest. But hope springs eternal my friends….

          Liked by 5 people

          1. That means you get more time to watch the turtles Phillip. What joy to watch your own kids raising their kids in the faith! I have 1 of 3 doing that. Ok. 1 down, 2 to go. Alas, I must hang around longer and pray for them every day. I hope to we watching turtles soon. I bet they teach a lot.

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          2. Excellent. There’s always hope. Just a glance, a listen, a whiff away. Heck, I was even able to vividly recall the distinct scent of midwest dirt in Spring, simply by mentioning it earlier. For now, it’s 5 poppies and a nest! No sir, nothing really “manicured” about this yard… but it seems more natural and right once I get the weeds out.


            Liked by 3 people

  14. I have read Luz de Maria’s reporting for several years now and she has provided medicinal recipes and the like as a remedy for a (current) worldwide pandamic. Would someone with a scientific capacity review? Here is her latest:

    “Children, return to the Way of My Son, since Satan’s spoils are growing every day; do not dismiss His Calls when night is near and the laments of men will spread throughout the Earth. The human being has waited until the last moment and this generation is no different. The waiting continues and Satan is stealing souls.

    DISEASE IS ADVANCING (1) AND MAN REMAINS SILENT, BUT AS MOTHER OF HUMANITY I CALL YOU TO REMAIN ON ALERT FACING THE VIRUS THAT HAS GONE OUT FROM HUMAN HANDS TOWARDS HUMANITY; THEREFORE MAN FEARS HIMSELF, BECAUSE HE KNOWS HIMSELF.

    DO NOT WAIT, MY CHILDREN, THE PLAGUE ADVANCES FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY AND IS SPREADING; THAT IS WHY I HAVE MADE THE MEDICINES KNOWN TO YOU IN ADVANCE (2) WITH WHICH YOU SHOULD FIGHT THIS AND OTHER DISEASES WITH WHICH YOU WILL BE ATTACKED.”

    (1) Plagues, diseases, pandemics: read…
    (2) Medicinal plants, read…

    https://www.revelacionesmarianas.com/english.htm

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sean, I’m not much of a scientist (definitely struggled with Chemistry and Physics when I was in school). But for what it may or may not be worth, I’ve been studying and using herbal medicine for almost 2 decades; and I’ve been growing herbs and making herbal preparations for over a decade. I looked at the medicinal plants listed in the document contained in your link. At one time or another, I have used most of the herbs listed and have also grown most of them; and in my opinion, the herbs (allegedly) recommended by the Blessed Mother make a lot of sense for the ailments described.

      Whoever assembled the detailed information about each herb did a really good job. There are a few things that might be helpful to know if one is considering using or growing a few of the herbs, though (this list of caveats isn’t exhaustive; it’s just what jumped out at me in the few minutes that I took to peruse the document):

      (1) Calendula: In some parts of the world, Calendula is called Marigold; but in the US, Marigold is a plant of the Tagetes genus rather than of the Calendula genus. So, anyone interested in growing this plant should make sure to get seeds sold under the Latin name Calendula officinalis.

      (2) Oil of the Good Samaritan: As noted in the document, this should not be used for children under 3 yrs of age. My guess is because of the Eucalyptus essential oil, which is contraindicated for kids younger than that.

      (3) Oregano: Oregano can be confusing because there’s culinary oregano, medicinal oregano, and oregano substitutes which are nonetheless called oregano. Specifically, the document lists Origanum vulgare and Lippia graveolens as both being oregano, and says that they are of the family Verbenaceae. Lippia graveolens is in fact a plant of the Verbenaceae family; however, true oregano (anything of the Origanum genus rather than the Lippia genus) is of the Laminaceae family. And when herbalist literature refers to oregano, it means something of the Origanum genus. For medicinal purposes, one wants Origanum vulgare if at all possible… not anything called “Greek oregano,” which is a culinary variety that has white flowers and is listed under the Latin names Origanum heracleoticum or, unhelpfully, Origanum vulgare hirtum. One instead wants the plant that has purple flowers.

      (4) Echinacea: As listed in the document, Echinacea purpurea is the species most commonly used medicinally in America. However, studies have shown that Echinacea angustifolia is much stronger medicinally. Also, although the leaves are commonly sold, the roots are much more medicinally active. So if one wants to use Echinacea, look for E. angustifolia root or extracts made from E. angustifolia root. As far as growing it, it takes 3 or 4 years to get roots that are large enough to harvest, which isn’t an option for most people.

      (5) White Hawthorn: The document lists two plants of the Randia genus. However, my best guess is that the actual plant needed is of the Crataegus genus (ordinary hawthorn that grows in hedgerows all over Europe, and which are fairly common in America). The reason I suspect this is because I’ve never even heard of the Randia genus; and although I looked everywhere, that herb is not available for sale in bulk form anyplace. Crataegus hawthorn, though, is widely available in bulk form. I think the confusion may come from the fact that Randia, also known as the Indigoberry, is sometimes called “white hawthorn” for some reason; but true hawthorn (Crataegus) usually has white flowers (although sometimes they are pink). Lastly, the document lists the herb’s use for various cardio issues; and Crataegus has been used for various cardio-related ailments for many, many centuries.

      (6) Nettle: This is the common weed that stings and burns like the blazes if you accidentally bump up against it. It’s an incredible medicinal useful for a whole host of complaints. But if one chooses to plant it (and I did so, before I discovered that it was growing wild out by our goat pasture), one should know that it spreads like crazy both via its root-system-on-steroids, and via its millions of seeds that will no doubt germinate several yards away from the parent plant, right underneath your favorite rosebush. It’s also a perennial that’s nearly impossible to kill unless you use an herbicide. So plant it someplace really out of the way. Also, it can’t be harvested all year ’round because in certain seasons it contains substances that could be harmful. Best to harvest it the spring only, or to buy the dried herb in bulk.

      Sorry for the tome; I’ve always had a tendency to be long-winded. 🙂

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Does anyone have the link to the Curkuski family web site for natural medicines?  Not sure I spelled name correctly.  Blessings!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Regarding the Chris Matthews firing/retirement:

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/03/the-real-reason-chris-matthews-was-fired-from-msnbc/

    Cancel Culture

    “Cancel culture, also known as call-out culture, involves essentially boycotting a person because of his or her problematic behaviors or actions. When the larger public decides someone is “canceled,” it will avoid supporting or engaging with him or her, often resulting in a sharp decline in that person’s relevance…”

    The thesis in the link above is that Matthews got “canceled” not because he is too sexist/misogynist but because he was rude to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren on his cable program. He incurred the displeasure of the Far Left …. he is definitely “not with the program.” Matthews is just another sign that the Old Democrat party of Tip O’Neil and Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn is dead … dead … dead.

    Joe Biden faces the same problem … in spades.

    Don’t be surprised if Chris Matthews winds up working for the Biden campaign somewhere down the line. Two peas in a pod.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Some Other Thoughts on Coronavirus

      Dear ASOH and TNRS Community,
      I share some thoughts with Charlie regarding the Coronavirus (also called COVID-19), and with some I respectfully disagree. I am concerned this may be larger than we would hope. Let me clarify, I DO NOT believe this is “IT” or a turnover event, but perhaps another pre-cursor, a preparation, a warning, and for some a test. I think it is like the Lenten Season we are now in, a chance to take stock, and re-evaluate our course before the events we have been anticipating take over.

      Let’s All Pray for a rapid end to this virus!
      Also, let me say, that I pray each day for all of the victims of the Coronavirus for healing and consolation, the medical workers to have strength and courage (and safety), and our government and public health officials (worldwide) whose decisions are affecting us to have wisdom and discernment. At Mass last Sunday, while our Deacon was leading us in the Prayers of the Faithful, he added one, it seemed spontaneously for a complete stop to this virus – just an end to it. I agree. I pray for God, if it be His Holy and Divine Will, to end it, then please do so, but as Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Will be done.

      There are times in Scripture where an illness was miraculously halted or limited: Num 17:11-15, the Bronze Serpent in Num 21:4-9, and David’s Census consequences in 2 Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21, to name just a few examples. Jesus also cured the Lepers in Matt 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, and Luke 17:11-19.

      There are Catholic Saints who interceded with God, and helped stop plagues or healed people who were sick with the illness. Here is information on Saints Roch (also called Saint Rocco) and Saint Rosalie:
      https://churchpop.com/2020/02/28/cure-the-coronavirus-prayers-to-2-incredible-saints-who-miraculously-defeated-plagues/

      At the bottom of this web page is a short video prayer from EWTN to St. Rosalie for her intercession for the victims of the Coronavirus and an end to its spread. There was also a great and inspiring article linked through Spirit Daily last week from Rorate Caeli about the end of a plague with Pope Gregory I. His predecessor, Pope Pelagius II was the first victim of this plague in Rome. The Pope organized processions from all over Rome that converged. I don’t want to spoil the whole story, but it involves angels singing, an image of Our Lady leading the procession, and a statue of St. Michael, and an end to the plague. God can do all things. I believe, and I trust, if it is Holy Will, this illness will end quickly.
      https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2020/02/de-mattei-gregory-and-coronavirus-of.html?m=1

      Background
      In the last six weeks we have seen the Coronavirus go from a Chinese event, especially in Wuhan, to a worldwide event. March 2nd for the first time there were more new cases reported outside of China, than inside. The Chinese counting is at best inaccurate, but the trends are telling.

      There are two YouTube channels that I follow for updates. Dr. John Campbell is one of these, a sweet doctor from England, who teaches in Nursing School as well works in a hospital in Northern England. He has a way of explaining difficult medical concepts in clear and easy language. (The first two cases were reported in his city today.) Here is a link to one of his recent updates. He usually posts something every day:

      Dr. Seheult with Med Cram is another. He is a Pathologist from Southern California. He talks about the medical facts based on his experience and knowledge. He also posts updates most days:

      Both these doctors are sober and honest, with fact-based, statistics driven, peer-reviewed medical journal-based reports. They tell the truth as they see it. Both doctors think that we are facing an outbreak in our country on the order of the outbreaks in South Korea, Iran, and Italy. Generally, the way this virus, as well as other infectious diseases, take hold in a population. They are present for a period of time before the outbreak becomes apparent. In South Korea and Italy, there were a couple of cases, and then more cases, and then serious illness, and then critical (acute/ICU) illness, and then for a few – death. At each stage the illness has been in the population for two to six weeks before it became apparent. Then the number of cases began to double, at least each week, but for a while, daily and even every few hours.

      This coronavirus is a respiratory illness. It tends to hit smokers harder. In China the percentage of men who smoke is much higher than women. So, this may be the reason that the current numbers show that there are five cases of men with the virus for every three women. Underlying health issues are another key in serious illness: people with respiratory issues, like COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic illnesses, are at higher risk to get the virus, and higher risk for hospitalization with serious or critical treatment, and potentially death.
      Pope Francis has been sick since Ash Wednesday Mass and has not been at any public appearances. He is 83, and when he was younger had a serious pneumonia, and part of one of his lungs was removed. According to an Italian newspaper, he was tested for the coronavirus, and the test was negative:
      https://spiritdaily.org/blog/news/francis-tested-negative-for-coronavirus

      In Kirkland, Washington (a suburb of Seattle), the US is experiencing its first outbreak. On March 4th, there are now nine deaths. The first tested and confirmed case in the U.S. was six weeks ago in Washington. Last week a teen-ager was also diagnosed with the virus in the same area. They checked the genetic sequence, and it is essentially the same virus. Not a new strain. So, that is why they think that the virus has been slowly circulating in this Washington community for about six weeks. There are now two dozen first responders in Kirkland who have been quarantined, fire and EMS personnel, who are not available to do their jobs. They were helping out at a nursing home that is the epicenter of this outbreak. (Note: as I have been preparing this report the number of deaths has gone from five, to six, to eight, to nine, and now just checking facts, the tenth death in WA has been reported.)

      The virus has gone from its hidden circulation, to identified cases, to sick people in hospitals, to unfortunately some dying. All the patients who have died have been in their 50s-80s with underlying illnesses. This is the pattern that they are seeing all over the world with this novel Coronavirus. It hits older, and elderly people the most, especially those with pulmonary (lung and breathing problems), diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The younger, healthy people are impacted far less. Children rarely get severely ill, including babies. So, this is a great blessing. However, children may be asymptomatic spreaders, especially from schools. They get the illness, show no symptoms, so continue to go to school, and then go home and to events, spreading the illness unawares.

      Numbers and percentages can give us some indication of how the virus is spreading. If 100 people get this novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), 80 of them will have little or no symptoms. It may seem like a mild cold or flu, not enough to go to the doctor for, maybe not even miss work or school. Then about 20 people will get more seriously ill. This may take 1-2 weeks after they are infected to get to the stage where they will need and seek out medical help. Of the twenty who go to the doctor/hospital, 15-20 will need to be admitted to the hospital. Over the next week or two, five will be moved to ICU. They will need to be put on a ventilator. Unfortunately, statistically two or three will eventually die. The rest in the hospital will get better and be counted as “Recovered” and discharged. The whole time of hospitalization, either recovering or dying, can take 2-6 weeks, some with ICU medical care required.

      This is where there is large risk in our health system. Our hospitals in the U.S., U.K., and many northern hemisphere locations are near capacity with a stronger and longer than usual Influenza-A season. If the current flu patients who are in the hospitals are not recovered, then we have little capacity for the new coronavirus patients.

      I do not have figures for US hospital capacity, but Dr. Campbell in England gave some statistics for their health care capacities in his YouTube update today. In the UK there are a total of 142,000 hospital beds and 5,921 CCU beds. CCU stands for Critical Care Unit. In the US, our terminology is frequently ICU or Intensive Care Unit, which would be able to handle ventilation. The current population of England is 66 million, and the US is listed as 330 million on Google. So, the population of England is roughly 20% of the US.

      The challenge will come if we have a surge in cases of the COVID-19 virus. Most people won’t get seriously ill, but 15-20% may need hospital beds. If we have 100,000 cases in the US, that would require 15-20,000 hospital beds and 2-3,000 ICU beds. This is probably within our capacity, but what if it is ten times that or more? Currently, with the Influenza A, most hospitals are near capacity. This is the reason for social distancing. If we can keep this virus from spreading for a few weeks or a few months, then the hospitals will have less flu patients. Also, the virus may spread less in the warmer late spring and summer months. However, this is not certain for this new illness.

      Herd Immunity
      This is not my term, but a medical and epidemiological one. Basically, we are the “herd” in this case. In our world-wide international herd of seven billion people there is NO herd immunity. That is why they were initially calling it a “novel” or new coronavirus. The human population had never seen it before. Other “herds”, such as bats have been carrying it for a long time. So, this is a big difference from our annual bouts with flu in the US and the world. Our herd has seen most of the influenza strains before, and we have some natural immunity to it. So, not as many people get sick with the flu each time it comes around. We also boost our herd and individual immunity to the flu with the annual vaccine shots. These anticipate the flu strain which will circulate in our fall and winter seasons. So, not as many people catch the flu as will catch this COVID-19. Also, the rate of deaths with the flu is about 0.1%, so for every one thousand cases, there is one death from the flu.

      The COVID-19 rate is hard to pin down because we don’t have reliable data anywhere on how many people really have the disease in the underlying population. But the statistics say at least 0.2% (which would be double the flu) and up to 2-3%, which would be 20-30 times the deaths with the flu. (Some reports are even higher at 4-7%, but I think these are due to the fast growth of cases in the explosive stage of growth of the epidemic in different countries.) Also, the way this coronavirus attacks the lungs can be far more damaging than the regular flu complications. Then factoring in the very high transmissibility or contagiousness of this illness, and we are perhaps in for a rough several months.

      Challenges and Complications
      This is a tricky bug. We want to test to make sure if the person who is sick at the doctor’s office or hospital has this highly infectious illness. In Northern California, a two-hour drive from where I live, there was a woman who went to local hospital with respiratory illness. However, she had no foreign travel, and no contact with anyone with the illness, so the CDC policy said no to her being tested. (Currently only 450+ tests have been completed in the US, but by the end of this week, we should be testing regionally.) The patient was transferred from a small hospital, to a regional hospital, to UC Davis, a large medical center. She was hospitalized for over nine days in three different hospitals, before she was finally tested. Her results were positive. There are now over 120 health workers from UC Davis alone, who are now under quarantine, because of how this case was mishandled. I am glad they’ve caught this, but there is a great deal of potential for spread with all of the contacts these health workers had over the nine days before they became aware of their exposure, with their families, friends, churches, clubs, restaurants, grocery stores, banks, errands … you get the idea.

      So, the coronavirus is a nasty little bug. The testing is important, but can also be tricky. There needs to be enough of the virus in the nasal or throat area to give a positive result. It takes a while until the body makes enough of the virus for this level. Some people are infectious before the test is positive. At this stage, there are no symptoms, but they can spread the virus. This is called asymptomatic. Then there is a period of time when the patient has enough viruses to have a positive test. Then, at the end of the cycle of illness, there will be a negative when the number of viruses diminishes below the test threshold again. However, it is possible that they could still be contagious at this stage. There was one woman in China who tested negative seven times, before she had a positive test.

      Please don’t get me wrong, we definitely need to be testing, to prevent what is happening in Washington State and here in Northern California, but the tests are not perfect. But a good indication, and definitely better than nothing. Much better than just checking for fevers at the airport.

      The CDC is saying there will be tens of thousands of tests available by the end of this week, and one million next week. I hope this is a commitment they keep. The numbers in the US may be a bit crazy over the next few weeks, as larger populations are tested. So, it will be hard to see the trends here. When the data is more reliable, and the outbreak is becoming epidemic, you will see the numbers of cases doubling. This can be in 5-7 days, the typical time for infection to symptom onset, or as was reported of the confirmed cases in South Korea, Italy, and Iran, the doubling happened in days, or even hours. I think that South Korea has the most reliable data, so far. They are testing very aggressively, so they are finding many asymptomatic and low symptomatic cases as well. They do not seem to be bothered by their image and the politization of the facts as are China, Iran, North Korea, and other countries. Italy stopped doing general testing, only people with symptoms of the illness are being tested now.

      Possible Scenario
      In countries throughout the world, we are in the Containment Phase, this is the reason for social distancing and quarantines. Next, we move to the Delaying Phase, trying to hold off the epidemic as long as possible to try to prepare for the demand, get hospital beds ready, other treatments that might help people infected with the virus, and maybe, eventually a vaccine.

      Yesterday England presented a plan for dealing with COVID-19, which I think can give us a possible view for our near future. Once there is general “Community Spread”, large scale infections in communities and most cannot be traced to travel or related cases from travel, then the disease will ramp up. According to the expectations in the UK, this will take from 2-3 months until it reaches a peak, and then it will subside over the next 2-3 months. So, this means 4-6 months of dealing with this infection, once that critical point is reached. It is probable that South Korea is near this point now. Italy may also be getting close. As of writing this article, it has just been announced that all schools and universities in Italy are closing.

      It is my opinion that the US is so large and spread out, that we will have cities, sections, and regions that are more infected than others, like the Kirkland outbreak now. It is a suburb of Seattle. Might that city be having a large-scale infection soon?

      If we look at the experience in South Korea, Italy, and Iran, the timeline of the epidemics can be seen. In South Korea the first case was reported on Jan 20th. On Feb 19th there were 20 cases. On Feb 20th: 58, 70, and then Feb 21st: 346. Today there are 5,621. In Italy, they went from a few cases, to an outbreak, and over a weekend they send in their military personnel armed with weapons posted at checkpoints outside the villages to quarantine them. These are suburbs of Venice and Milan in the north. Italy now has 2,502 cases (as of this writing). So, this has all happened in less than three weeks. Here is an example of impact to people in the US: Scott Hahn was scheduled to lead a large pilgrimage to Milan this week. I have heard that the date has been moved to November 2020 now. I think this makes abundant sense. Not everyone traveling to Milan will become sick, but many countries of Europe are now having their own outbreaks after people visiting Italy on recent business trips and vacations returned and spread the illness. Schools in England are closing due to outbreaks from students on ski trips in northern Italy returning with the virus.

      It is possible that parts of the US could be like this in 3-6 weeks. Other parts may take 3-6 weeks or longer. Preventive actions of communities and individuals will help determine the speed of the local epidemics. Some areas may remain relatively unscathed throughout the outbreaks and local epidemics.
      Things you can do to help your immune system to be ready to fight flu, this virus, or other illnesses: Get enough sleep, 7-8 hours per night is recommended. Also, if you could be deficient in Vitamin D, usually gotten from the sun, this is also involved in an effective immune system. Finally, learn good hand washing techniques. I’ve been washing my hands all my life, and every flu outbreak, I thought I knew what they meant. But, there were things I didn’t know that I learned from watching the videos. I’ve seen newscasters have the same experience as me. So, if you haven’t had recent instruction, here’s a video by Dr. Campbell, or there are lots online. Also, the time for the hand washing is 20 seconds or more. They say sing Happy Birthday twice. I found that reciting the Our Father or Hail Mary and Glory Be was just about twenty seconds.

      From a Science Lab or Food Market???
      Charlie said in his post that he is convinced that this COVID-19 / Coronavirus escaped from the laboratory outside Wuhan. That is entirely possible. It would explain how China was able to publish the genetic sequencing so quickly. I also have had some suspicion when high ranking members of the government, including President Xi, went to the hot zones in Wuhan with relatively little protection. I wondered if there was a vaccine, and they had received it. This is just speculation, not verifiable.

      In my opinion, this could just as easily have been from the Seafood (wild animal) Market in Wuhan, also. Apparently tests of this market found the virus all over the place in the very early days.

      Either way the virus was spreading by the middle to end of November. The first medical journal case of the virus shows a patient in the hospital on December 1, 2019. As we know, by the end of December, news reports were all over the world that there was a virus spreading in China. In early January 2020 the local authorities were punishing and arresting anyone who spread word of this illness, including doctors. Social media posts were removed and accounts closed reporting the spread. By the week before the Lunar New Year celebration, the epidemic was undeniable, and on Jan 23rd the quarantine was placed on Wuhan. It is still in place, but it may be lifted soon, if the numbers continue to decrease.

      Prudent Preparation, Not Prepping
      As many of you know, I was involved in the Camp Fire in Paradise (Northern, California) back in November 2019. We were evacuated for one month, and when we returned home, we had a minor infestation of rats in our garage. We’ve lived in the foothills since 1993 and have never had the little critters, so probably a consequence of the fire. We had some emergency stores in the garage, and they were compromised, so we got rid of them. Emergency preparation had flown off my radar since then. However, with prayer and discernment, my husband and I are making prudent preparations. I do NOT recommend “prepping” for its sake, but if you have not thought about being ready for any kind of a local disruption of services or regional event of any kind, I think this is another reminder to do so.

      If you think that any disruption to your life is unlikely, I suggest the following. Put a paper and pen next to your chair or desk where you sit, watch TV, read, etc. When you are prompted, make a list of anything you would need or want, if you could not leave your home or would not want to leave for the next three weeks. Are there medicines or over the counter supplements you would want? Are there foods you would want, if you couldn’t go to the grocery store every few days? In Northern California last summer and fall, we were without power for days at a time, once for almost a week. I think this was about 12 different outages over four months. How would it be without power for a while? Just PRAYERFULLY ask God to help you PREPARE for any weather or other event. Mark Mallett’s recent post suggested 3-6 months of food and water. I would suggest at least three weeks. But that is my Prayerful Discernment, maybe not yours. One of the mystics referenced in the ASOH comments recently, suggested preparing also in a reported message from St. Michael. (http://afterthewarning.com/messages-from-heaven/luz-de-maria/2019/september/03/message-from-saint-michael-the-archangel) Again, prayerfully discern.

      Life in quarantine, Self imposed or other
      Some people in parts of the world have been quarantined for a period of time. We have some lessons they have offered to others. First, if there is an outbreak in your community, there may be a quarantine imposed on you. Over one weekend, people in several villages in northern Italy we not allowed to leave, and the people outside the quarantine were not allowed in. Of course, this also happened to 11-55 million in China also. This may not be a typical scenario, but it could happen to some. More likely is that an outbreak or epidemic is spreading in the community, and you may not feel it safe to go out. Perhaps you have elderly parents or grandparents with health issues, or you are that older person. You may not want to go to the store, pharmacy, gas station, post office, shopping mall, restaurant, etc.

      So, whether self-imposed or not, you may be sequestered for a couple of weeks. What people have said is after the first couple of days, it gets boring. In many places, schools have been closed, so parents are staying home with children. The school classes, to the degree they can are happening online. (In the Kirkland, WA, area they just shut down schools for the day, so that the teachers could learn how to do classes online in the event of closing the schools there.) Parents are pulling out old fashioned board games (for bored kids), remember those? Perhaps some games, playing cards, some books you’ve been wanting to read. As long as there is power and internet, you can watch some great programming (like the Gospel series Charlie mentioned in his post).

      Think about what you would like to have access to now, before it is unavailable or you don’t want to risk yourself or others’ health in an epidemic situation.

      Go to Daily Mass now
      It’s Lent, a time for more Mass attendance. Be aware there may be a time it is hard to get to Mass. If there is an outbreak, priests may become ill, and not able to have Masses. In our area, we have one priest for one or two parishes/mission Churches. If he becomes ill, there may not be anyone to fill in. Also, in several places they have temporarily halted Sunday Masses: Singapore and South Korea, to name two just recently.

      Just today, we received this notice from our Diocese:
      Corona virus, the flu and taking reasonable precautions

      In light of concerns regarding the corona virus and the flu, we wish to remind you of the following directives, which were initially promulgated in late November. These directives are intended to protect the health and well-being of everyone, while at the same time maintaining the solemnity of the Mass:

      1. The use of the Communion cup is suspended temporarily.
      2. Receive the Body of Christ in the hand (although receiving on the tongue is permitted)
      3. Do not hold hands during the Our Father.
      4. Effective immediately, Bishop Soto instructs all priests and deacons at Mass not to invite the assembly to exchange the sign of peace. After the priest says “The Peace of the Lord be with you always” and the assembly responds “And with your Spirit” he should proceed directly to the fraction rite. Prior to Mass the priest should advise the assembly of this change. This will remain in effect until further notice.
      5. Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must cleanse their hands with an alcohol based antiseptic before and after administering Holy Communion. This also applies to those who take Holy Communion to the home-bound.

      Eating Crow??? Tastes like Chicken!!!
      I prayed about whether to write this comment in response to Charlie’s post. I don’t want to get into an argument or debate. I just want to present the facts as I understand them. I respect that all of you need to pray and discern what is meaningful for you and your lives. However, if one person’s life could be helped by this, then it is worth the risk, and “eating crow”. If I am incorrect about this, I will be VERY HAPPY to do the blog equivalent of “eating crow” for being incorrect. (Does anyone know what that is? I don’t) I actually hope and pray that I am wrong. I would thank God for this humiliation.

      Good Fruits
      In my lo-o-o-ng ago opening I said that God may be using this time as a preparation, a warning, and for some a test. I think this may be true. There are good fruits from this virus. Some parents are spending time with their children. The children are home from school, and the parents are getting a temporary break from work, and being with their children, perhaps like older times: playing games, making meals, talking.

      During Lent, we are to take a break from amusements. Well, amusement parks like Disney Beijing, Hong Kong, and now Tokyo have all closed, also Universal Studios Tokyo. Other large events are being canceled: Fashion Week in Milan, Mardis Gras in Venice, tech show in Barcelona. Shopping as an amusement has become less attractive in other parts of the world. It seems like God is removing distractions from our lives, and He is giving us a chance for some quiet and reflection. We can take advantage of this gift, or we can squander it, but He is giving us another opportunity.

      Even our leaders, politicians and public health officials have a choice to make. Will they be heroic, and put their people, their public trust first? Or will image and public perception drive them? Some are showing heroic virtue and risking themselves; both Singapore and South Korea come to mind. The opposite would be my opinion of public leaders in China and Iran. (I agree with Charlie, that some of the impact of this virus may be a punishment. Even in South Korea, the cult where the outbreak started is one whose leader says he is “Second Coming of Jesus Christ”. They had tens of thousands exposed to the virus, and South Korea was doing testing of all of those exposed at last report.) In Iran, the irony of their public health minister denying the facts at the press conference, while wiping his face from fever, and then announcing the next day that he was infected, is not lost on many. Iran had several cabinet, ministry, and high level government meetings since the outbreak, and now a large percentage of the leadership is infected. Perhaps, God is letting the consequences of choices and behaviors bear fruit as well.

      My spiritual director, a wonderful gentle priest in his 90s, made an observation to me last week: while the people are sick in hospital beds with this virus, they don’t have anything else to do, but lay there and think. This can be a good time for them to take stock, and like a “warning” re-evaluate their lives. Even dealing with the infection can bear good fruit, if they choose. We can pray for them to accept this grace. Also, if people are in quarantine, perhaps not even sick, and they are stuck at home for weeks, maybe they will also take stock and make other choices. This could be one more (last) opportunity for God’s mercy before the conclusion of the storm.

      Thank you for your time reading this. I am praying daily for the end of this illness, for this sick, for the growing number of the souls of the dead, for the health care workers on the front lines, and for the leaders making decisions for wisdom, discernment, and courage. Please join me in prayer as you discern is appropriate. I also invite you to pray for people who disagree with you on this subject or others. I pray that God helps us to see the good intentions in each other, and that we treat each other with love and respect.

      God’s Graces, Blessings, and Gifts to all of you and your families this Lent,
      Deon

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you, Deon, for taking the time to write this post; it certainly is thought-provoking. Praying along with you for the intentions that you mentioned. And like you, we are making some prudent preparations.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. I had similar observations to Charlie reguarding the coronavirus. A bioweapon intended for the west, but tunred onto wicked countries (China & Iran) in a Biblical plague kind of way, or so it has the appearance of seeming. I’m not sure what else to think of the virus’ spread to other places like Italy… What will happen next? Could Trump get re-elected at the end of the year, and events extend for another 4 years?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. The. Cynic in me thinks this may actually be a ploy to bring down the economy just enough to ensure Trump does not get re elected.  Or maybe this is a side effect of something more nefarious.  Maybe a bio weapon escaped and China, not knowing the severity of the weapon, took drastic actions to protect it’s people.  Either way, I think that the behind the scenes entity is behind all this.  His signature is all over this; fear,  panic, chaos, etc…—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Yep, it could be any or a combination of those things, but we have God, so we should not fear even if we pass through the shadow of the valley of death. Those who stay true God and trust in him have nothing to fear, that’s what the saints of the past had to say on that matter.

            Yes, the principalities & the powers, those evil spirits & fallen angels who puppeteer fallen humanity are definitely messing with our current generation’s events.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Since Matthews is from Philadelphia and went to LaSalle College High School, my husband quipped he will probably end up teaching at one of our nearby Catholic universities. God help us all!

      Liked by 4 people

    3. Ed, I was actually pleased to read a couple of things that C.M. said recently. One was calling out the evil of socialism and giving a little bit of history on it’s failures in the world. I don’t remember the exact words or the other example, but I mentioned this to my husband, wondering if C.M. could be changing. Maybe too much to hope for!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Lambzie surprised me with a weekend away at a B & B up near the coast. We noticed a lot of low tide as we toured the coast with a nice drive. It was a cold, but sunny day and we both marveled at the beauty of the ocean. Got a couple of good pictures at the ocean edge. I had to taste the water to see how salty it was. Still salty. Yup. Gonna have to buy a surf board now after reading this post.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mike and I in Hollywood Florida just sat there on the beach/turquoise ocean and marveled at its beauty.. I hope there’s one in heaven if I make it there🙏

      Like

  17. You know Charlie, the leftist media has been distorting the data & facts about the coronavirus, that it’s better not to buy into the media hype. Trump may be right in his comment of the leftist media reporting of the coronavirus, as being another hoax to

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Stella Coeli

    The Star of Heaven that nourished the Lord
    drove away the plague of death which the first
    parents of man brought into the world. May
    this bright Star now vouchsafe to extinguish
    that foul constellation whose battles have
    slain the people with the wound of death.
    O most pious Star of the Sea, preserve us from
    pestilence; hear us, O Lady, for Thy Son honours
    Thee by denying Thee nothing. Save us, O Jesus,
    for whom Thy Virgin Mother supplicates Thee.
    V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
    R: That we may be made worthy of the promises
    of Christ.

    Let us pray

    O God of mercy, God of pity, God of benign clemency,
    Thou Who hast had compassion on the affliction of Thy
    people, and hast said to the angel striking them, “Stop thy
    hand;” for the love of this glorious Star, whose breasts
    Thou didst sweetly drink as antidote for our crimes,
    grant the assistance of Thy grace, that we may be safely freed
    from all pestilence, and from unprovided death; and mercifully
    save us from the gulf of eternal perdition: through Thee,
    Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory, who livest and reignest,
    world without end. Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a wonderful prayer, Phillip. I’ve never heard it before, and I’m going to print it out for future use. Thanks for posting it.

      Like

  19. Man oh man, I’m missing out! This thread looks like so much fun: Steve and his coconuts, Lilia!, Michael Patrick, Mick, Sarah and others….. I want to make lots of comments on your and Charlie’s post as well cuz this is another really good one…. but I’m too busy and too tired to do anything but just skim. Weird but I feel so remote and out-of-touch, focused solely on where I am and what I’m doing, that even your posts seem like distant echoes. Sigh…

    My new job is minute-to-minute intense, days are long, lunch is a rarity, usually just eating some jerky or Kind bar I’ve got stashed in my office. But I’m not looking for sympathy, not at all: this is an awesome job, serving Jesus through Mary, seeing 8-10 patients a day (which is actually low). I love it so much despite the nearly-overwhelming challenges! It’s just that my free times are the weekends, and even then, I’m still sort of working….

    Maybe I should get me a wife…hmmm…….half-heartedly doing the FB dating thing, but this area is so remote that the nearest woman is a 3-6 hour drive away….God’s will….

    Anyway, I’m still praying for ya’ll and hope you continue to do the same for me.

    Let me repost my recent video in case you missed it. I’m driving south on 59 heading back to Broadus:

    Liked by 8 people

      1. CrewDog, I used to watch Rawhide with my dad and my brothers when I was little. This video clip brings back good memories of good times with my family. Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Ah, CD, my dad used to always say “Head ’em up, move ’em out!“ when it was time for the family to get going somewhere, like the times late at night when it was finally time to leave Honey’s house.

        Fond memories.

        Perfect attachment to my video. Same thing after all these years. My friend, the new CEO of the clinic, said he thought they were all pregnant females, and my occupational therapist, Kylie, said they were heifers – female cows carrying their first-borns, and her husband who is a rancher has to wake every 2 hours to see if any of their herd is giving birth because many of them will need help.

        I think of St Patrick who traveled from England to that wild country of Ireland…I am in a foreign land, but definitely still among my own kind (hearty Americans).

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Several thoughts on the virus. As it is asymptomatic, that is, folks can be infectious before they show symptoms, the risk of spread is greater. It will be interesting to see if Vitamin D levels can boost immunities and reduce the spread. If so then as we get closer to summer,in the northern hemisphere, when sun exposure is greater and Vitamin D levels go up, we should see fewer infections and less severe ones. Incidentally, I have heard the best way to know if UVB rays from the sun, the ones our body used to produce Vitamin D are sufficient, is to look at our shadow when the sun is highest in the sky. If our shadow is shorten than we are tall, the UVB rays are likely sufficient, otherwise take Vitamin D supplaments and likely vitamin C too. And get reasonable, not excessive, that is burning exposure, And how sad!! that leftist policies, open borders, using mass transit, etc can more easily lead to the spread of this and any virus.
    As for church recommendations, during flu season I routinely decline the hand shaking circus, even though well meant, which the “sign of peace” has too often become, as so many viruses spread in the winter season. I can give a good sign letting people know I am avoiding the physical contact.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Most dangerous are those temptations which are so contrary to our calling that we are permanently dismissed from the Lord’s service. It is not that we necessarily lose our salvation, but that we lose our mission because we are found unfit for the Master’s service.

    Charlie, I’ve been pondering what this means for days… can you expand on this quote?

    Like

    1. Here it is again, Linda…

      St. Peter did not follow the path he thought he was supposed to, nor did St. Matthew…or probably any of the other disciples. Our God is a God of surprises – and what we think is the way we should go (even when perfectly licit and even noble) is not what God intends for us. What I speak of has more to do with your basic intent – failing to live the next right step to the best of your ability in the circumstances around you. Remember, as the Lord says, it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Cleaning house currently and for some reason I’ve been thinking how Charlie said we would be surprised how this thing pans out and how he said that it’s better we remain fluid and not know… remember that one Charlie? Something about the battlefield and a good general👨‍🎨 truly am enjoying coconut 🥥 oil really love it in my morning coffee too😬 ASOH TNRS🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾🥾

    Liked by 3 people

  23. HAhahahahah Charlie you are such a prophet!!! 🐶 Dog gonnit went to Walmart after adoration and toilet paper shelf was totally empty…it was crazy in there… so many people all shaking their heads in disbelief!!! So scared and confused looking…besides that Ohio governer shut down all schools until April 3rd…3 weeks…lots of coughing people 😷 yikes but oh well …here we go… God’s will be done. I smiled a lot at folks and joked around with people and it really confused them. Thanks again so much, Charlie for saying yes to helping us all and thank you Jesus for choosing your “game little fellow!”🤗🐶

    Liked by 2 people

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