Into the Desert


By Charlie Johnston

Yesterday, an idea popped into my head for a short story about the Wujan Virus. I will call it The Year of the Plague. The central thesis is that those who thought that this virus was the catalyst for global civilizational collapse were correct – and those who thought this virus was a mild iteration of a normal flu were also correct. I will write the story from the perspective of an essayist in 2050 looking back on the 30-year anniversary of the crisis. I’m having fun with it in my head, but it will take a little while to get it down on paper properly.

This whole mess offers me some insight. I have long wondered how we could have a complete global collapse while still maintaining access to raw materials and communications technology for those with the grit to go after them.

Whoa…about a half an hour ago, a source alerted me that it was about to be announced that all public Masses are being suspended in Colorado effective today. I did not want to believe it was true, but sure enough, just about five minutes ago the formal notice came online that all public Masses in Colorado have been suspended until further notice. My source said, before the announcement was made, that this is envisioned to last only until the end of the month. Now I just read that the Archdiocese of Chicago will do the same beginning tomorrow. We will see how many dominoes fall before all is told.

A dear friend, the gentleman who opened his home to me when I came to Denver, remarked that we are being called to spend the bulk of Lent in a genuinely spiritual desert. That is a very canny, insightful comment. I would that it were otherwise.

I can’t help but think of all the people, through the years, who have asked me what they can do if they should not be able to receive communion. I reiterate that you should do what I did for a big chunk of my pilgrimage: make a spiritual communion until such time as you are joyfully able to receive physically again. Do not let despair overwhelm you. We are in Christ’s winnowing fan now for a time – and how appropriate that it should come during the Lenten season. Do not get overly upset at the Bishops involved. They, too, have suddenly been hit from all sides – from panicked parishioners, government pressure, public health officials. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to prove you…” -1 Peter 4:12. Over the course of this Lenten season, many Bishops will have to choose who they serve and how they will best serve Him. Accept the trial with them for the time being – and know that we WILL have a glorious Easter. When it comes, we will know much better which Bishops serve the Lord and which are merely temporal princes. Know that during this time, some will be figuring out how to curry temporal favor while others will regroup and figure out how to serve the Master and His people – and they WILL boldly proclaim the Kingdom with power, conviction and clarity that inspires millions to new hope and new resolve. “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He will strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.”-closing lines of Psalm 27.

There are two clerics who have proposed measures to respond to this that resonate deeply with me. I am convinced that this crisis is designed, ultimately, to show Christ’s sovereign power on earth. I reprint below the approach favored by Fr. Bill Bowling, Pastor at Holy Trinity and Holy Name Parishes in Louisville, Kentucky and of Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas. I also append some material from Dan Lynch, where he corrected me with hard facts on the right to receive on the tongue. (I always appreciate that, when examining an issue, Dan always gives me hard data to back up his point. I admire both his fidelity and intellectual rigor.)

As you know, since early childhood, I have foreseen a great crisis coming on the world – what I call a great storm. I never sought to beguile people that the storm would dissipate or that we could go around it. As I have understood my calling, it has always been to assure you, as it comes upon us, that we can do this. So batten down the hatches and go into the breach with confidence. This is not the end, but the beginning of great renewal and demonstration that the Lord is nigh, even next to us. Rejoice and be glad and set yourself to the work of lifting your neighbors up and recalling many to the only secure port in every storm, the Lord of Hosts.

Now the reprints I promised:

First, from Fr. Bill Bowling of Louisville:

“What is the Christian response when illness becomes widespread in a community?

Pope St. Gregory the Great had a spiritual response as he sought to care for his flock in the diocese of Rome. As we prudently take ordinary precautions to avoid the spread of flu, infections, and the new covid-19 virus, what is the spiritual response today?

As a first step let everyone who claims the Christian faith make a deep examination of conscience and sincere act of repentance this Lent. Next, let every person who claims Jesus as Savior spend time with him in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Let’s see what the Lord leads us to do for the wellbeing of our communities, and of the whole world.

Peace and much love,
Fr. Bill Bowling

Plague in Rome

February 24: Plague in Rome ends after Pope St. Gregory the Great leads a procession with a painting of Our Lady by Saint Luke (591)

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “On this day, in the year 591, St. Gergory the Great, having had the picture of Our Lady, which was painted by St. Luke, carried in procession, the plague ceased at Rome.”

The miseries that afflicted Rome in the year 591 were substantial. The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Goths had substantially depopulated Italy, so much so that a Germanic tribe of Lombards had entered the peninsula and established their own kingdom. They were pagans and Arians who did not respect Catholics, burning the famous Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino and pillaging the land at will.

The instability and warfare caused famine in large regions, though Rome was still able to obtain grain by sea. Then came earthquakes and flooding to further the suffering, and from this plague Rome was not immune. The banks of the Tiber overflowed, and when the waters did not recede, all of the low-lying lands became swamps that brought death and plague. The disease struck with such rapidity that the victim would often die shortly after realizing he had contracted the disease, although there were some who sickened but recovered. Our custom of saying, “God Bless you,” to someone who sneezes came about at this time, for sneezing was one of the signs that someone had contracted the disease.

Even the Roman Pontiff died of the plague on February 7th, 590. His successor was Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who was both a humble and pious man. It would be an understatement to say he did not want the honor of being the next pope, but he did do everything in his power to try to save his people. He understood that the plague was a chastisement from God, and encouraged the faithful to repent of their sins and pray for deliverance while he and the religious cared for the people of Rome.

Finally, Saint Gregory called for a procession to take place at dawn on April 25th. On that day the faithful first assembled in their groups throughout Rome and then walked through the streets of the city praying and singing as they approached the church of Saint Mary Major. The plague was so potent at that time that eighty people collapsed and died as they walked toward the meeting place.

Pope Saint Gregory met them upon their arrival, joining them in prayer as he took his place with them holding aloft the miraculous image of Our Lady painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. As the procession neared the Vatican the participants all saw Saint Michael the archangel standing upon the cupola of Hadrian’s mausoleum as he sheathed his flaming sword. It was a sign that the chastisement had come to an end, and at once the heaviness in the air abated and the air itself seemed to freshen and clear. Indeed, at that moment the plague ended as the faithful rejoiced and lifted up their voices to thank the Mother of God.

“Regina Coeli laetare, Alleluia! (Queen of heaven, rejoice, Alleluia!)

Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia! (Son whom you merited to bear, Alleluia!)

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia! (He has risen as He said, Alleluia!)”


Now we go to Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas in a letter to the Priests of his Diocese:


“Dear Brothers and Sons in the Diocese of Tyler,

As we continue to deal with the many issues which impact our families, parishes and missions in the Diocese of Tyler and as we continue this journey of the Year of the Eucharist I am directing every priest to conduct a Eucharistic Procession in the communities that they serve sometime before the Solemnity of St. Joseph Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 19, 2020. The intentions of this Eucharistic Procession including asking Our Lord’s protection from the Coronavirus and healing for those who have already been infected; mercy and eternal rest for those who have died. Also petitioning Our Lord for strength for our families and the fortitude to be guided by the truths of the Deposit of Faith and the ethical and moral truths they represent.  May the model of faith that St. Joseph provides as Patron of the Church inspire these efforts.

I ask that priests plan a simple procession using the following basic guidelines.  

  1. After a Sunday or weekday Holy Mass invite a small group to participate in a simple procession with the Blessed Sacrament lead by the priests, assisted by deacons if available, and servers.
  2. The path of the procession should be on the property of the Church with no civil permits being necessary.
  3. Proper reverence for the Blessed Sacrament is paramount but the procession does not need to be elaborate, the priest in alb and cope with two servers is all that would be required.  If a Deacon is involved, an alb and stole. If a parish is able to have a more elaborate procession that is acceptable but not necessary.
  4. Safety for all involved is essential thus the numbers should be limited to a representative group of the parish.  Other faithful who want to participate should be encouraged to remain in the Church and pray as the procession leaves the Church, remaining there to welcome the return of Our Lord after the procession.

The primary purpose of this procession is prayer and raising our awareness that the Lord is truly with us.  Let us turn to Him as Lord of Lords and as always ask His Blessed Mother to join us in prayer interceding on our behalf at the throne of Our Heavenly Father.

God bless you and God bless the Diocese of Tyler.

In Christ’s Name,

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland”


And finally, some email correspondence between Dan Lynch and me the other day:

“Dear Charlie,

I read your post this morning in which you wrote, “restricting communion to the hand, allowing it only under the species of the bread, and removing holy water. I, personally, do not agree with these steps, but they are not unreasonable – and may even comfort the more timid among the flock.”

The step of restricting Holy Communion to the hand may not be unreasonable, however it is illicit and there is no legitimate authority for imposing that restriction. Below is a letter that I wrote to my pastor. Perhaps you could post my emails to him and to you on your blog for your readers so that they may inform their pastors. Keep up your great work for the glory of God and hope for his people.

Sincerely in Christ,



The Faithful “Always” Have The Right To Receive Holy Communion On The Tongue

Dear Father,

I heard you inform the congregation at yesterday’s Vigil Mass that if they wanted to exercise their option to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, they could not receive it from a Eucharistic minister, but only from a priest or deacon.

A letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated July 24, 2009, the year of the “Swine Flu” pandemic states that the faithful “always” have the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

As such, no Eucharistic minister, priest or deacon can refuse that right.

Please read below the Church law that I could find on this subject and please instruct your priests, deacons and Eucharistic ministers that the faithful always have the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. Thank you for consideration.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dan Lynch


This Dicastery observes that its instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (25 March 2004) clearly stipulates that “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue” (n.92), nor is it licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful who are not impeded by law from receiving the Holy Eucharist (cf. n. 91).

There are also four pertinent texts, all explaining that Catholic faithful should not be obliged to receive Communion on the hand rather than the tongue.

Letter of April 3, 1985, from the Congregation for Divine Worship to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (Prot. 720/85):

The Holy See, since 1969, while maintaining the traditional manner of distributing communion, has granted to those Episcopal Conferences that have requested it, the faculty of distributing communion by placing the host in the hands of the faithful[.] … The faithful are not to be obliged to adopt the practice of communion in the hand. Each one is free to communicate in one way or the other.

Response by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Notitiae (April 1999):

Query: Whether in dioceses where it is allowed to distribute Communion in the hands of the faithful, a priest or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may restrict communicants to receive Communion only in their hands, not on the tongue.

Response: Certainly it is clear from the very documents of the Holy See that in dioceses where the Eucharistic bread is put in the hands of the faithful, the right to receive the Eucharistic bread on the tongue still remains intact to the faithful. Therefore, those who restrict communicants to receive Holy Communion only on in the hands are acting against the norms, as are those who refuse to Christ’s faithful [the right] to receive Communion in the hand in dioceses that enjoy this indult.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, November 12, 2002; U.S. edition 2011, n. 161:

If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the Priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, The Body of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed, in the hand, the choice lying with the communicant.

Redemptionis Sacramentum — Instruction on Certain Matters to Be Observed or to Be Avoided Regarding the Most Holy Eucharist, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 25, 2004, art. 92:

Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognition of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. 

For more information please visit this website:


Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion to

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations,

Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II “




These men are all heroes of the faith as we enter into this unprecedented period, but make no mistake: they are not the only heroes. They are the first fruits of what will become a bountiful harvest of heroes in God’s service.











279 thoughts on “Into the Desert

  1. Now we have a national emergency declared by President Trump so it seems likely that many “No-Masses-in-the-Diocese” dominos will fall. As my friend, Esther, was contemplating these developments, she became excited about how the domestic churches will be gathering in prayer all over this land in these days and weeks. This, in turn, prompted me to think of offering our spiritual communions – and additional prayer – in our homes for the renewal of marriages and families everywhere so that good and holy order is restored in every domestic church.

    Does anyone remember the pieces Charlie wrote at TNRS about the primacy of the family? I do. I remember, among others, “The Church as the Family of God” and “A Family of Faith” and “The Family as Participation in Trinitarian Life” and when he introduced “Family: Blueprint for Society” he noted, “I have been struggling for weeks on writing about how family is the blueprint for authentic Christian worship and practice – and a participation in the interior life of the Trinity, itself.” I stand with Charlie’s thought of choosing not to be despondent with these current developments. Rather, to choose to pray into calling down the Holy Spirit that the New Springtime, a Second Pentecost (and may it be a permanent Pentecost!) will blossom through, with and in us and all our next right steps.

    Does anyone remember that some Marian messages referred to a time when churches would be closed? I do. Who would have guessed it might look like this? And this brings memories of all the pieces at TNRS about interpreting prophecy and how truly intricate discerning can be. Oh! How Aslan IS on the move… and in surprising ways. Such wondrous good God is drawing from the wickedness of the new coronavirus. Looking forward to more surprises as we continue in this transition.

    Liked by 19 people

          1. You are so blessed with this wonderful, holy Bishop SanSan! We had to give him up, but I’m sure you need him just as much as So Cal did.

            Teary eyed earlier as our diocese, San Diego, declared no more Masses after this weekend.
            Beckita, that’s an interesting observation; who would have thought that this is how church doors would be closed. Yes, I remember a prophecy about not receiving Communion, which was called “the kiss of Jesus”. Was it Jennifer, to whom Mark Mallett has referred? He has a great post, latest one, “The Point of No Return”.

            God bless us all and our families!!!

            Liked by 5 people

        1. Fort Worth Bishop Olson is encouraging faithful to use only the screen option for confession-not face to face.:-)
          Plus, “It is the responsibility of priests to ensure that our parishes continue to offer Masses especially during a time of crisis. To celebrate Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses with no more than 250 people present.• If necessary, pastors should add more Masses for Sunday to accommodate the larger need for Masses with smaller congregation.” Remainder:

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          1. Maggie my best church friend Char and I were joking around after Mass this morning that we may have to use 2 cans and a string for our all day “day of grace” confessions coming up soon📣😷😂

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          2. That is good advice. Some pastors may consider eliminating some masses due to lower attendance, but it makes sense to maintain or increase the number of masses for the sake of lowing the density of the crowd. At confessions yesterday, our pastor moved to a private room where he had his chair turned around and at a healthy distance from the penitent.

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        2. Regarding Poland, yes for more masses, however, the goal was to have less condensed crowds per mass… Currently, the limit is 50 people per mass or any public gathering.

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    1. Beckita, I remember the Marian messages and could not imagine that could possibly be true in the U.S. of America in the 21st century. Here we are! I will add that this is definitely a far better scenario than my initial fleeting thoughts on how this might occur if/when it did. The Joliet Diocese has cancelled this weekend’s Masses. Perpetual Adoration will cease all of Sunday night into Monday morning. Our Religious education classes have been suspended for all of March and service projects have been declared no longer mandated for the remainder of the school year. Lenten programs and events are cancelled as well the youth weekend retreat I would be participating in as a chaperone as I type this.
      On the bright side, confessions will be heard and the church opened for personal prayer for two hours tomorrow versus the usual 45 minutes per week.
      Be not afraid. This path has been walked before. We are the trail blazers in this modern version Godspeed to one and all!. 😉

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      1. I was so greatful to hear that the Rockford Dioceses will continue masses. They cancelled all activities but I’m so grateful to still be able to attend mass.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. JLynn, you will probably see a few — perhaps several — people from Chicago making their way to the Joliet diocese during the week. We have no mass at all in Chicago, and, while it is understandable for safety reasons, it truly hurts. We had at least double the attendance for this Saturday morning’s “last” mass. God bless.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. That is so true, Dan. I had not thought about that.

          That got me thinking. After Confession earlier, I ran into a sweet elderly woman who was dropping off Easter basket donations in the Church Commons. She said that she and her hubby where going to Sycamore in the Rockford Diocese for Sunday Mass tomorrow. If the good Lord sought to get our glares off of our electronic devices and our rears out of our comfy couches, this is surely one way to go. I am out and about chatting with more strangers now, than I have for some time. 😉

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Jen,I started reading this link and red flags went up as it talked about “counterfeit Vatican 2” and approved private revelation prior to 1958.   I did not finish it, but please take a closer look and possibly reconsider in that this may be slanted against the church.Blessings!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Doug, you’re right. Thank you. I looked more at the sources of private revelation that the introduction. In reading more carefully the intro one point, particularly, caught my attention: ” But if a private revelation is authentic, then to withhold belief in it would be tantamount to turning a deaf ear to God. Such an act would result in the loss of spiritual goods, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches: “prophecy, like other gratuitous graces, is given for the good of the Church.” (Summa, SS – 172, 4).” It’s a twisted statement which juxtaposed incorrect teaching about private revelation with a partial quote from the Summa. The CCC is very clear about the purpose of private revelation:

              67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

              Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

              I’ve deleted the link and, together, let’s all do some careful vetting with what we’re including in comments.


            2. So there IS a blessing having dyslexia! When a message comes in that is really long where I have to scroll down several pages my eyes usually glaze over and I stop reading. Which I did with that piece. The Lord protects.

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          2. I’ve read so many warnings over several decades and I do not as a rule take a mental inventory of names. Like a dutiful squirrel, I collect, eat up some and bury most of the nuts (tidbits) I find, with the hope of re-digging them back up if/when necessary, which is rarely the case since many do not share my curiosities. There have been countless sources and voices bringing forth the warning. I did a quick *search* and the link I added spoke to many of them made about the spread of Communism and the Eucharist not being available. I only glanced over the results to illustrate that it was numerous accounts of the prophecy, made by many. Thanks for being alerted and responding to items that I did not scrutinize. Buried!

            So, to answer the original inquiry, was this warning in any way attributed to Fr. Gobbi? I do not know. Thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Beckita; I wanted to acknowledge your reply to my post on the previous thread. Canticle of the Turning was excellent therapy and just what I needed. Thank you and thanks to all who prayed for me. You know who you are. 🙂

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    3. “Renewal of marriages and families everywhere so that good and holy order is restored in every domestic church.” Yes, please!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wait I’m not sure now because yours is first..,we are truly kindred sisters Beckita…🥰🥰

        For the people of the kingdom and the people of heaven Shall rise together shall rise forever and God shall rule!!!

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  2. Mary, Star of the Sea, save us for we are tempest-tossed and weary. Awaken your Son as He seems to sleep and intercede for all of us. St. Joseph, Protector and Guardian of Holy Mother Church, help us set our feet upon the rock of Christ, your adopted Son, and avoid the shifting sands of relativism and fear.
    Ave Maris Stella, ora pro nobis. Sweet, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy will, not ours, be done.

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  3. Such amazing times. Schools all shut down here in Memphis. Our bishop has given dispensation for Mass for those over 60 or with medical problems. Who knows what’s next. Changes hour to hour.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Masses are cancelled in my Archdiocese over here in Ireland, even on St. Patrick’s Day (and my Church is dedicated to him!) Thanks be to our very good God, religious communities can celebrate privately, and we have two of them in our town with livestream. So we can still have Mass “locally”, at least those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to access it. And there’s t.v. as well – this misfortunate country still hasn’t fallen so low that our national t.v. station doesn’t still have broadcast Mass every Sunday. And of course EWTN is available everywhere. Friends, we have many resources available. My ancestors in the times of the Penal Laws would have rejoiced to have had even one Mass a year! We forget our history so easily.

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    1. In our local Dominican Church we’ve had one hour’s Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday evening, with Rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet and Benediction and today, Sunday, the same from 8a.m. to almost 1.00 p.m. The numbers attending were very good, although with more than enough space to ensure proper separation. The entire Dominican community was present throughout, God bless them, and people have behaved very responsibly. Their website has advice on how to make a good spiritual Communion, and they’re planning to use livestream for Masses during the week. These men, and many like them, community and secular, are really stepping up to the mark. One always suspected they would anyway but how lovely to see the proof!

      St. Patrick’s day coming up, of course, and the absence of the pagan bacchanalia it has degenerated into over the past couple of decades is really welcome. And, of course, St. Joseph’s day on Thursday. ‘Nuff said – we have our marching orders.

      Blessings to all you friends here. J.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I am in Spain, Galicia, near the Compostela. Tomorrow all businesses apart from supermarkets and pharmacies are going to be closed for the next 15 days. The cases have jumped in the past 2 days but people are more or less calm. I feel excited, joyful and tearful. I know there will be misery and sadness but I also know that at the end there is renewal. It is kind of exciting to be living in this historical/prophetic time. I have just finish all the episodes of “The Chosen.” Wow!! Like the Jews who were waiting for soo long, we have also been waiting for the renewal and the unity of the Church. This virus feels like the beginning of the end of the old era and into the new one. I feel the need to sit near the churchto just be close to Jesus. I feel energized and ready to help others if they need something. I am unable to receive communion anyways because of my life situation in which I can neither get married nor distance myself to live in proper chastity and yet at the same time, I feel like I am where I need to be. I now simply figured that God will set it right in His time. I have tried and have been unable to.

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    1. Glad to hear it, Itaca. I, too, am excited rather than scared. If things get so bad I have to live with the scarcity I did during my pilgrimage, I could just hunker down in the mountains for a bit to get away from the madding cry. Have tent, will travel.

      Isn’t The Chosen just truly fabulous? I did wryly note to a few friends who had watched it that Jesus’ wilderness camp was downright luxurious compared to mine.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Charlie, thank you so much for bringing The Chosen to my attention. We absolutely love it, and it has had a powerful impact on my kids. One, begging to watch a second episode tonight which was past her bedtime, said “but mom, we need to hurry and finish so we know how to minister to people during the Corona virus”. There does seem to be something especially anointed about it for these times. It has been a blessing to us. Thank you!

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I am guessing this might be the same daughter who, a few years ago, got completely into the idea of secretly heartening and lifting up her friends. If I am thinking of the right girl, she seems to love denying herself – but actually fulfills herself by being a sign of hope. What a gal!

          Liked by 2 people

    2. I wanted to watch via Amazon credit but what does the label for The Chosen look like? Can someone insert it here? There is a variety of The Chosen or Chosen to choose from and dagnabit i want to watch this!

      Liked by 1 person


    I have NO DOUBT that Christian Radio, TV and Internet Christian Blogs count! 😉

    Matthew 18-20
    For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

    Matthew 28-20
    “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”


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  7. I keep thinking that the Lord has allowed us to be living at this time in history with the grace necessary.

    May He have mercy on us and may we acknowledge Him, take the right next best step, and be a sign of hope for those around us.

    Love and prayers,


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  8. We need more Masses right now, not less. We have a Bishop in San Jose, CA shuttering the doors in his diocese (no masses), yet 30 mins away in SF Diocese, Masses will continue. Thank God for our wonderful Archbishop Cordileone.

    Liked by 9 people

  9. I love this:

    “It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these. No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!” – President Donald Trump

    Liked by 15 people

  10. Every Friday during Lent our pastor, Fr. Avram Brown, leads a procession from the church to Planned Parenthood at 3 p.m. It is less than a 2 mile walk.
    Today I felt the need to participate in the procession, and I just returned from it an hour ago to come upon this latest post from Charlie.

    As we walked and prayed and sang, the main thought in my mind was “How he loves Him!’ in regards to our pastor. And also “How He loves us!”

    In the parking lot of a small Mexican restaurant across the street from PP there was a small shade tent sent up for Our Lord with a table for the monstrance and even some lovely potted plants in front of it. Father had a place to kneel and pray. We were there praying and singing for an hour, and then we walked back to the church. There were specific prayers for those who work inside PP, that they would turn from that line of work to find something else.

    Abortion is a plague. I can only wonder what would happen if it was eliminated overnight.

    And this virus! A plague for our times?

    Does not “corona’ mean “Crown”?

    Liked by 13 people

      1. Thank you Charlie!
        All is well on the farm, and I am certainly glad to have my oldest son and his family near at this time.
        God is good!

        Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, Corona means crown and Corona is where I am. Amazingly the skies are weepy here for a few weeks. We need the rain, but it seems apropos that we have such gloomy weather at this time.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Funny, when in CA, I picked up these little pods on the ground last year. They were round with little spikes all around. As I picked one up, I said, “look. A virus.” I brought three home an put them on my bureau in our bedroom. I still have them. They look like the Cornona Virus. How ironic. Pickett, do you know what tree they are from? Picked them off the ground at a parking garage at the train ride on the Sacramento river water front in Sacramento.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doug, I think they are from the Liquidamber tree. That is the type of tree that lines my driveway if you recall. They are NOT pleasant to step on underfoot! I would include a photo, but I don’t know how. i will send one via email.
        My best to you and Lambzie!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Pickett,Yes.  They would be nasty to step on.  I will send you a picture I took of one.  Everyone is fine here.  I trust everyone is well on your side?  Blessings!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack


  11. Sooo, this is it, huh? Like… *it.* Feels very surreal. I remember talk of an invasion of China. Never thought it would be a viral invasion… never happens the way you think, does it?? I’m not sure I’m gonna survive having my 4 kids home around the clock for a month. I’m definitely not feeling like a sign of hope to others. I want to watch Netflix and drink wine! LOL Are we thinking there’s lots more to follow? The rapid succession, the labor pains, I believe there’s more to come. Jesus, have mercy, help me be joyful, and use this time well!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Mommabook: an opportunity to teach your children and say the rosary with them. PS they just closed all the liquor stores here in PA. They are state owned. My son showed me a video of the lines at them. Hundreds of people. What does that say about us as a nation and our priorities?

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  12. Madmakmomma: God bless you. We need it! “Mayo, God help us” is a well-known phrase in Ireland. Saint Patrick fasted and prayed on Croagh Patrick, in Mayo, and then went on to spread the True Faith throughout Ireland and thenceonwards (his spiritual descendants) over barbarianised Europe.

    And here we are, barbarianised again! Willfully.

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  13. God is with all of us! Do not fear, he says!

    The Communists and the socialists are showing us what they want by destroying the economy through the spread of Covid 19; China and Iran are with the Democrats, especially Joe Biden who won’t have to answer questions now. We will get through this with God leading our President and Vice President!

    Stay well and don’t stress over what we can’t control.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Yesterday I was a bit testy after we decided we should not go to the free neighborhood classical concert by the St. Paul Chamber right next door. Grrr. I talked a student neighbor who had had three “catastrophic occurrences” in one day, not the least of which was a cancelled conference where she would have presented a paper. SPCO concert got cancelled at the last hour due to someone with Wuhan virus. But today,praying in chapel after receiving Eucharist Jesus said He was giving me this time as a gift. Wow! A whole new perspective as I prepared to spend a few weeks in quiet in His presence. Last week at a women’s community retreat we were encouraged to cross a threshold into total belief in God and total trust in Him, as absolute a decision as the Israelites made by crossing the Red Sea. Who knows what He will bring to us as I live in a high needs neighborhood. But it will be wonderful. I bought roses for everyone to celebrate this new time with no scheduled activities. And I joyfully bought food to last and share. I am excited.
    Minneapolis/St. Paul will have regular masses, but obligation to attend is waived.

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  15. At this rate, the only masses that will be attendable will be the online YouTube ones, kind of hard to receive communion with that…

    I see societal collapse as a possibility, but I’m also hoping God has a merciful surprise for us on Easter…

    Will there there be illumination of conscience or a heavenly sign at some point? Who knows…

    The Old Testament Prophet Daniel did predict that the kingdom(s) of men would be destroyed before the kingdom of Christ would be built here on earth. This could very well be the time of the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar statue of different metals.

    Doing what I can to be a sign of hope for others, most are still in denial thinking I’m a little nuts for suggesting God is in control.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Sooo… this is it? Like… *it*?? This is not the invasion from China I was expecting, a viral invasion. Who would have thought?? And there’s more to come in rapid succession, right? I don’t think I can survive a month at home around the clock w my kids y’all. LOL I’m definitely not feeling like a sign of hope. I just want to drink wine and watch Netflix if I’m honest! This all feels very surreal. Two days in and I’m cranky. Lord, have mercy on us, and help me choose joy!

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      1. Yes! I remember!! How right he was ! He was off a few years but he was right in the long run! Yea gaads this is it folks! “Charlie said “the war was between us and China but China would never set foot on our soil” How right Charlie was! I remember thinking, when I read that, that China would send off bombs or something of the sort, but I NEVER thought it would be a VIRUS!!!!! How demonic it all is!! Charlie you were and are sooooooooooooo right!

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        1. God bless you, Mary. Some thoughts rise within that I’ll express not aimed at you, personally… just thinking about what you’ve said.

          I love and appreciate Charlie too and am so grateful for what God has been doing through, with and in him. That said, truth be told, he was soooo wrong on some critical things. And it’s really OK that he was.

          Charlie is living proof that God can use all of us when we say, Yes.” God grants gifts and a particular mission to each person. For the vast majority of us, our sphere of influence may be small – but it’s never insignificant to God and to the ones whose lives we touch.

          An invaluable lesson taught to us in how Charlie comports himself involves what to do when we’ve taken a misstep in attempting our NRS. Admit our humanity in making mistakes. Get over ourselves. And get right back to acknowledging God – relying on Him all the more – and striving to take our next right steps so God can make of us a sign of hope.

          I’m happy this topic came up again because the full teaching of the core message here involves remembering as we move into the even more intense days of this Storm, we will be faced with situations that involve decisions which will need to be made quickly and which may well have options we would never even consider in calm, ordered times. Still, God needs us to choose and to act to the best of our ability.

          The additional caution I have is that given there is a worldwide group of “elites” or as some call them “the cabal” or as Our Lady, through Fr. Gobbi, forewarned about the evil plans of the highest members of Freemasonry, and given that the communists in China have their own wicked plans – and continually lie, deceive and perpetuate propaganda (I know. So does our own MSM.) – and given that the highest echelon of leaders involved in evil deeds often turn on each other, what if there were “mistakes” made at that Wuhan bio-weapons lab so that the Chinese themselves were the first line of attack with the virus unleashed on them via some force within the elites.

          I don’t mean to get all into conspiracy theory here, but there is so much more we don’t know than what we do know. Those Chinese leaders are wicked in the worst of ways and capable of doing Hitler-style chilling deeds without blinking an eye. And the vast majority of the poor Chinese people have been and continue to suffer in ways that evoke heartache for a beautiful people who have lived the Gospel values long before knowing the Name of Jesus and, by God’s Grace, have been discovering Him and have been tremendous evangelists to their countrymen.

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        2. I’m not sure this is “all” of “it” though, for I remember too Charlie said at the fullest of the storm, we may not be able to communicate via computers (emp???) we are very vulnerable currently…. then pres would be running from office (trump???) then Russia would unite with us to fight China? Our Lady somehow intervenes? Yeah!!! Then we clean up and go to mount meeker with Charlie and all… and sing that beautiful song kitty sings so beautifully and there will be a great renewal for a time in the era of peace… don’t know if that’s how it’ll go down but sounds good to me….then I want to go and visit a toilet paper 🧻 plant and see how they make it🤗😂😂👍👍👍🕺🏼👍🕺🏼🥥🥾

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          1. Anything is possible when we’re riding the wild rapids, isn’t it? We must remember as well that God gives the prophecies through His chosen ones who say, Yes.” At the same time, God is never subject to the prophecies, for He is the Master of us all and the Master Plan of the Storm. Remember that Through a Glass Darkly piece? Here are some excerpts:
            **Authentic prophecy is always an invitation from God. It is an invitation to remember His goodness in times past, to see His mercies in times present, to come back to Him with our whole heart, and to call others to do the same. It is guidance on how to act in particular times and circumstances to accomplish this. It is assurance that He is there, that He loves us, that He wants us back, and that He will walk with us if we heed Him. It is an invitation first to the one called to prophesy, and then to all who will hear. It is an invitation to come to God and participate with Him in His gathering of His children. The most important part of prophecy is its call for what we should do.

            **It is a great achievement of the devil that he has seduced so many into reducing prophecy to fortune-telling, a sort of mystical mystery theatre in which most act as passive spectators, choosing the character on-stage who best appeals to their interests, beliefs and vanity – then sitting back and enjoying the show. God calls you to act, to act with Him, to act selflessly to rescue His children from despair and disorder. If the emphasis of any mystic is on what will happen rather than what you are called to, it is a diversion, not prophecy. Authentic prophecy is active, requiring you to stretch out your heart and your mind to God and to stretch out your hand in solidarity with your fellows. It is not passive.

            **When you are shown, when you get a glimpse into eternity, it is like that. Trillions of parts all pulsing and whirling, traveling at different speeds and directions, often changing speeds and directions. It is like a three-year-old trying to make sense of the working of a nuclear reactor. At the most elementary level, you try to discern the convergence point of several different elements. It is a game that appeals to your vanity – kind of like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube writ large. Except it is impossible. Things change speeds and direction regularly. After a while, if you are wise, you largely drop that effort and focus on patterns that emerge. While you can’t discern all – or even many – of the details, you can see the larger trends they form.

            **There are several complications even in this. First, some things are symbolic and some are literal – and it can be difficult to recognize the difference. Some things can’t be changed; others are changed dramatically by our response. It is similar to a cruise liner sinking in the open ocean. Once it reaches a certain point in its distress it is certain to sink. It is almost certain that some people will die. How many will die, though, depends on the behavior of those caught in the catastrophe. If everyone is in panic and acting in an “every man for himself” way, many will die. If many are steady and resolute, they can help others do the same and many lives will be saved.

            **The key to everything in these times, after five decades of instruction, is not in the grandiose, but the simple. Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you.

            Blessed are we who have been chosen for these times.

            Liked by 3 people

  17. Thanks, CJ. I’ve been talking about the ‘desert’ (and living in the desert) for a long time, but fact is it’s been raining here –– more this year than any I can remember in four decades. Been downright soggy for the last week or so! Where am I? Spring in Chicago? Go figure. Still hopeful, at any rate, and thought I’d share this pic of the Arizona desert I shot just 15 minutes ago off the port bow. Is this the sort of thing folks envision when they think of the desert?

    God’s little hello after the storm:

    Liked by 19 people

    1. You are our desert man, MP. I pray that the rain in the desert is a foreshadowing of the grace that Christ is about to rain down on this poor bleeding world. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth…so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” -Isaiah 55:10,11. May you be our scout in the desert!

      Liked by 9 people

    2. Wow… that’s GORGEOUS! Thanks for the picture, MP. And it’s a double rainbow, too… like a double promise from the Lord, somehow. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    3. MP, that is one of the most glorious photos I’ve seen in a loooong time. Absolutely stunning work of art. Thank you.


      1. 100% God’s handiwork, SBC. I simply looked up when the sun broke, ran out the door and click, click, click, with about a 1 minute window to catch that wondrous light. BTW, that’s Red Mountain out there because it looks red during most sunsets. I’ve always thought it looks like a wisened old man sitting there when the sun hits it just so.

        Liked by 2 people

    4. Beautiful MP, I love it when God shares His rainbows. Mountains, waterfalls and rainbows have always been my favorites, and double rainbows are always a bonus!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks as always, your encouragement and levelheaded writings always calms me down. The website, mentions on one of their pages the whole year of Marion feasts, devotions, etc. This just passed in February, the Feast of the The Procession of Pope St. Gregory
    with Painting of Our Lady by St. Luke, Rome—–24. I remembered seeing it after reading the account that you presented about that plague. Peace in Christ, Tanya

    Liked by 6 people

  19. I’m in South Jersey and we had a confirmed case pop up just a few towns over from us where my nephew lives. Stores have been mobbed and many shelves are now empty. The supermarket where my son works ran out of most meats tonight. Toilet paper has been super rare for days. Most people are more worried about being told to stay home for weeks on end, more so than the virus. They fear the break down of strained supply chains.

    For the good news, our parish has been holding Adoration in the church each Friday of Lent starting at 3pm. My wife and I spent some time there in prayer today. Our pastor also gave out cards with Psalm 91 on them and requested everyone pray it several times daily, 7 times is preferable for time of plague. He is an excellent priest who instituted the prayer for vocations many years ago and that has proved a great success as we have had a number of priestly and religious vocations from the parish. We have also been reciting the prayer to St. Michael after all Masses for several years now.

    You guys are all in my prayers and I’m always here reading, especially the comments.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. ” Toilet paper has been super rare for days. ”
      A friend of ours joked, we will now be seeing people holding signs ” will work for toilet paper”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I read toilet paper is gold in Venezuela. The rest of the world is catching up. :-0 What was used before toilet paper was invented?

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            1. Seriously though…what DID they do before tp? Our ancestors were tough tough tough and a lot smarter than we…I’m looking up how to grow potatoes in Ohio . End of April actually and pretty cool and easy to do…I’ve got a pretty nice garlic garden now… only started with one garlic from Italy now I have a whole slew of em. Really fun!!!

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              1. Linda, it really was the left hand, which apparently was never used for “clean” things like eating. I wonder if that’s why the Lord said, regarding almsgiving, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

                Where you live, I’d guess that potatoes would grow nicely. Do you have sandy soil or clay? Is your soil rich or of average fertility? Because the type of potato you plant will depend in part on the type of soil you have. For example, you may want to skip russets unless you have high soil fertility, because they don’t produce well in poor or average soil. Another thing: Consider growing varieties that are excellent keepers; we have kept some varieties in our root cellar from when we dug them in October until we ate the last of them in April. (The only vegetables that we’ve ever grown that were better keepers than potatoes were butternut-type squashes… some of those kept on a shelf at room temperature for 11 months.)

                What type of garlic do you grow? I’m intrigued! 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

                1. This Italian friend of ours taught us to make wine as his dad taught him(so if our priests need “fruit of the vine “ we’ll hook em up…got 100s more to bottle in April and then again next feb,,,but he brought us back 1 garlic from 🇮🇹 Italy and I took it all apart in fall pointy side up and got a garden of 12 new Italian 🧄 garlics. This year I did the same and now I see many many many new ones (I need to count) you pull them up when the leaves are dried and let them cure somewhere dark and dry until all Saints day and then take apart and plant each clove pointy part up 6 inches apart. They are from Italy. Somehow get me ur address in Jackson, I’ll send you two or 3 and you can begin YOUR garlic garden🤗👍 🧄 this all souls/saints day

                  I think our soil is rich. Behind our home are acres and acres of farmland ??? It’s dark soil. Wish we had a food cellar would basement suffice???

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                2. I had to do a little research as to how people took care of business in the past. Like Sean wrote, some cultures use their left hand. Some used leaves, dried grass, straw, and even corn cobs. Doing your business near water and simply washing off. Also strips of cloth which they washed. Ancient Rome supposedly used sponges stuck on a stick then swished in vinegar. Basically it sounds like whatever one has on hand to clean themselves. Toilet paper has been around for little over 100 years.

                  Oh, and bits of wool. There it is again-sheep!

                  Liked by 1 person

        1. HTTP: Grandparents said they really did keep an old Sears Roebuck catalog in the outhouse, and also used rinsed corn shucks and orange peels. In the 80’s hubby had to spend a few months in Iran (putting in unique telephone system for Ministry of Ag.) Their restrooms didn’t have tp-just a hose. (he said that’s also why one doesn’t shake the left hand in certain cultures.) Sorry for the TMI.

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            1. From the other side I heard grandpa chuckle and say with a wink, ” Sweetie, tell Charlie that some things are better left unanswered.”

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          1. Just don’t use poison ivy leaves, which is what my son’s friend did when they were young boys tromping around in the woods near our home!

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          2. My son came up to me today and said we should really stock up on more supplies. I told him we have this month’s supply of toilet paper, don’t you think that’s enough? To that he replied, no, I mean other things besides toilet paper, we can’t eat that! Of course that then prompted many other TP ideas on what to use in a pinch. Most creative? Save the raked up leaves from the yard, just don’t use them when they’re wet!

            Liked by 2 people

              1. Haha Doug, we still have a few we haven’t thrown away yet. It’s pretty amazing how creative people can get when in crisis mode. 😉


                1. Pretty soon, those old phone books will be like gold.  Sure would best the corn cobs others are talking about.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I thought the whole TP and bottled water frenzy was shortsighted from the start, so I took a long position on Oreos, Doritos and the like in anticipation of barter. I figure the going rate for one bag will eventually hit 2 cases of water and 3 packs of TP. Talk about the gold standard!

                    (just joking around, Doug’s Backpack)

                    Liked by 3 people

          3. Maggie: yes, I recall being in Morocco way back mid-80s, staying in the old (medina) part of the capital, Rabat, in a traditional guesthouse, which was built around a courtyard with the individual rooms opening onto the balconies on each level. They really were bare cells, with just a basic bed and a basin and cold water tap (faucet you’d say, I think?). It was really “monastic” – and dirt cheap, of course, which was why I was there in the first place 🙂 I should add it that was extremely clean throughout! In any event, being struck down during the night with a more than “minor” need, I betook myself urgently to the house of ease, one of which was on every level. The light wasn’t working so I had to leave the door ajar. Anyway… anyway… all being completed I groped around in the semi gloom for the t.p. and… yep. Realisation dawned. There was a basin and cold tap. Yep. Back in my room/cell I spent a long time soaking my hand with the travel wash (for clothes) that I always brought on my backpacking back then, thinking it would do a better job than ordinary soap… Yep.

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          4. Maggie: laughing so much, tears flowing…in @1962 @age 11, my dad took us all to upstate PA, to visit his aunt (my great aunt). She had an out house. My brother and I were incredulous that anyone “went” outside without water being involved. “Go and look” we were told. And we did. As we stared with even more incredulousness and disbelief into the dark depths of the hole in the wooden plank seat!


      2. Ha! Lambzie is on a monthly mail distribution of paper towels and toilet paper. We get so much, we do not know what to do with it. I told her last fall we should probably stop delivery. Fortunately, she did not stop it. Now, she looks like a genius. I humble myself before my wife.

        Liked by 5 people

  20. In Providence, our Bishop, Thomas Tobin, has not cancelled Masses but has dispensed the requirement for Sunday Mass participation for anyone who feels they should not be in a public gathering at this time. There is no ban on communion on the tongue and the guidelines urged pastors to keep churches open. Pastors have been given permission to change Mass times and to limit or suspend other scheduled activities. A priest spokesperson for the diocese gave a long radio interview this morning speaking about the need for prudence but the equally important need to give people spiritual support. Reading about what is going on in other parts of the country and the world I feel extremely blessed to be under Bishop Tobin’s leadership.
    Praying for all of us, the country and the world.


    Liked by 7 people

  21. Dear Charlie,
    I just have to thank you for your brilliant counsel over the years. Hearing Sen. Schumer mention the “Whirlwind” really got my attention–and sooo much more.
    Mostly, your inspired TNRS guidance has meant the world to me, and I will always be grateful to you.
    Looking forward to your bext story.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. President Trump tweeted this afternoon:

    “It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these….

    ….No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”

    (Beckita posted this tweet, too.)

    Here in my forest home in the wilds of Oregon, cozy beside my wood stove, I am reflecting upon the last week.

    I’ve been very involved in matters concerning our local two-room public school ~ which received notice late last night that, like all public schools in Oregon, our governor has declared that we will be closed for (at least) two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.

    Meanwhile, the archbishop and bishop of our two dioceses in Oregon have NOT suspended Sunday Masses but have issued a policy including reasonable guidelines for conduct during Masses. Our bishop has asked us to stay tuned for updates.

    Various scheduled gatherings sponsored by a number of organizations in Oregon and Washington have been cancelled or postponed.

    Based on what I’ve read in my trapline of blogs and websites, including ASOH, people in many states of the US and in many countries of the world are reporting on measures being taken where they live.

    I have not experienced anything quite like this response (whether or not the coronavirus objectively warrants this reaction) during my lifetime. Sure, we have responded to localized blizzards and wildfires, for example. But localized events have not generated the worldwide response that I’ve noticed especially within the last month.

    In my experience, it’s the highly unusual, not the impossible, that has often made me aware of God’s action in my personal life and in other situations. The Lord is very much involved now. Charlie, I appreciate that you referred to your lifelong preparation for . . . SOMETHING . . . of this magnitude.

    Stay prayerful and poised, friends. We have been appointed and equipped to serve during such a time as this.

    God bless and keep you,
    Sister Bear

    Liked by 13 people

  23. Pope Francis 7th year anniversary was March 13, 2013, I can’t help but wonder if there’s any significance of meaning in this milestone considering it’s Lent and the world is in crisis…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 7 in the bible means complete/ fullness. Maybe it tolls the end of Pope Francis reign. I understand he is sick also.

      Always pray for the Pope no matter what. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It certainly is food for thought. Since Corona means crown, wouldn’t it be awesome if Pope Francis used this crisis to declare Blessed Mother’s Triumph, the final dogma! How I long for that!

        Liked by 2 people

  24. This is very interesting. Thankfully we still have access to the sacraments in the Philadelphia area…for now.

    Another possible upside: with all of this self-quarantining, the Church might be baptizing a bunch of Christmas babies!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. GoldenSun, a wag on Twitter created a meme that said the same but went on to say that in 2033 they would be called Quaranteens. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Four years ago when we were “prepping” for whatever was to happen after the election was a blessing. My dear husband stated he is thankful we shifted our thought process to what do we need to do to prepare not only physically, but spiritually, and mentally.
    We have a sense of peace not panic.
    When Lent started I read something(can’t remember where or who put it out there) but it was to write our own obituary. That was unsettling for about a week but now, ok…I have desired to be with our Lord for so long…it brings tears to my eyes and more yearning in my heart. Come Lord Jesus!

    Liked by 7 people

  26. Our pastor here in the Galveston Houston diocese has said that if there is any attempt to restrict crowd sizes he will simply add masses. We also have a Eucharistic procession planned.
    Cardinal Dinardo has requested that all parishes maintain their regular Mass schedule but has removed the Sunday obligation. While I expect the removal of the obligation to reduce the Mass attendance, it will certainly reveal something about the people.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. As a matter of fact I just finished baking cookies for for a party I’m going to later. I keep hoping to get exposed to the Corona virus so I can have a 2 week quarantine! So far no luck. Realistically, I have little hope of being exposed since Texas only has 30 or 40 cases total and 23 million people in it. Honestly, in Houston being quarantined in your house for 2 weeks with running water and electricity and no flooding or roof damage would be awesome.

        Liked by 6 people

  27. Hey everyone and Charlie I just saw The Chosen season 1 is now free on YouTube if you have a smart phone and smart tv u play it on ur phone and connect it to ur tv,,, I’ll probably buy too though to help them make more and to have as a set

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks to everyone’s reviews, I watched Episode 1 last night during the free wee satellite hours. I see what you mean! It’s quite compelling, and I plan to order the DVDs in batches.

      Liked by 3 people

  28. Also please keep my globetrotting Tom n Liz in ur prayers Liz is in quarantine as she was exposed to Wuhan yesterday with a patient…she had a mask on but not right one for Wuhan..Tommy ok so far

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Praying for protection for Liz and all health professionals. I’ve always thought it takes a very courageous and compassionate person to be a doctor or a nurse. May God bless them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SingingJuls,

        I thank you for your prayers and your comment. My husband is an ER doc here in East TN. Yes, please pray. I have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen my husband so worried. I know the idea of him having to make choices in dire situations is weighing very heavy on him right now. I pray it doesn’t become so.

        If you all might pray also for my little Samuel who is scheduled for a minor surgery tomorrow.

        God Bless!


        Liked by 2 people

        1. Many prayers for your husband asking St. Dymphna to take his anxieties, and for you as his loving support. May little Samuel receive the best care he needs and may the Lord send angels, especially St. Raphael, to guide the surgeons hands and help in his recovery. God is so good to give us spiritual help, especially in these trying times. Hang in there Becky!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you, Mick and everyone for your prayers.

            Little Samuel is home and resting. Surgery went well.

            SteveBC – decided to pick up some vitamin C after surgery.

            God Bless all,


            Liked by 2 people

  29. Hi Charlie,

    Wonderful writing as always. I’m holding this one close to my heart. I haven’t commented in a while. Our lovely Cardinal O’Malley here in Boston has played the political card yet again. All masses in the greater archdiocese have been suspended. Sadly, I’m not surprised at all and was expecting this. God Bless and prayers to everyone 🙏

    Liked by 6 people



    The WHO, like the UN, is politicized, corrupt, run/funded by Globalists and Hates the USA!

    The Good News is: Trump Derangement Syndrome is causing the Rabid Left to “Show Their Hands”. In a war, particularly a Civil War, it’s good to know who the enemy is!
    Bad Guys in the Church have done a “good job” of hiding themselves/fellow travelers in the woodwork ;-(

    Billary &/or Michelle O to the “rescue”?


    Liked by 5 people

  31. Hi Charlie! I wanted to thank you for helping prepare us. I had a small stash of things in my basement that I really didn’t think much about after you told us a couple of years ago to prepare. To my surprise, I had two medium sized bottles of Purell, Lysol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, batteries, etc. It is next to impossible to find hand sanitizers anymore unless you happen upon a store that just got a small shipment. I just wanted to say thank you!!!

    Liked by 6 people

  32. MP, send us a picture of the Desert in bloom so we can all see what God has given us. I imagine the image is even bigger and better than Big Bend in bloom in the spring.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Couldn’t get out there for a good look until today (what with the rain and other stuff), but happy to oblige, Mary Anne. We’re only in the early stages of a full-on bloom. Call it the first act, with the main headliner a ways off yet, but I’m pretty fond of these small, simple blooms. They may not be big and impressive like the cactus blooms, but I think they’re the boldest… the most eager to proclaim, “Spring is here!” Shoot, by the time it’s officially Spring on the calendar here, it’s already obvious, and starting to hit the higher temps that soon turn it all into a scorched dustbowl, complete with rolling tumbleweed and devil dusters. The seasons continue, but hey… this is going to be one to remember.

      Liked by 7 people

        1. I had a bit of a chuckle when I looked at that first shot with the deadwood standing there in sharp contrast to all the wildflowers. Look closely. Almost looks like it was staged with its empty eye sockets, stupid little crown and a silly wave to the camera. Wouldn’t it be the icing on the cake if a couple of birds decided to build there nest there, right up on top of its head!?

          Liked by 1 person

  33. This is a crises made from nothing there are 1,408,526,449 people living in China (according to the WWW) and according to the there have been 7196 deaths and serious cases of the corona virus that means that in china the probability of death from the corona virus is .00051 that is 5/10000 of 1 percent (5.108885250332988e-6) the probability of contracting the virus is less than 6/1000 of 1 percent (5.108885250332988e-6). the probability of dying from the flu in the US is roughly 25000/331million =.0007 percent 7.552809599703176e-5. Get real people, the media is blowing this all out of mathematical proportion. How much has the economy lost because the media reports on this the way it does? This is the media’s way of damning Trump. If he does nothing (as he should) the media blames him for every death and yes there will be deaths but 12,000 to 61,000 people die of the flu every year. If he does what he is doing the media blames him for the loss to the economy. The problem is not the government in this case it is the media!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Indeed, the media is pumping chaotic frenzy into these events as they are. At the same time, I don’t believe the government-controlled media in China would report the true statistics if there were, in fact, many more thousands of deaths. We simply do not know the truth of what has come to pass there. Until we know for sure how this virus will pan out, prudence – rather than panic – surely makes sense to me.

      Liked by 6 people

  34. My very large archdiocese of Newark has closed all our churches. Honestly my reaction has been that of anger because it feels like no creativity of thought has gone into serving God’s people. So far it is just for this weekend. I know some people are hoping this will help people appreciate something when it’s gone, but I think a lot of people might just get used to “time off.” It seems cowardly too. And it’s under the guise of “caring” and “prudence.” I suspect the evil one is A-OK with this decision. Fortunately, I live only 4 miles away from another diocese so I will be heading there. Thank God I have that option! My son’s church in Manhattan, where the beautiful old churches squish everyone together took the truly prudent measure of dispensing anyone with health issues or over a certain age from their obligation, but they are not cutting off the people from the sacraments. I just don’t get it. I’m really strugglin with this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I received this email today:


      In light of the continued concern surrounding the coronavirus, and the advice of medical experts, all Masses in the Archdiocese of New York will be canceled beginning this weekend, March 14-15, 2020.

      This development follows upon today’s decision of Dutchess County to prohibit gatherings of more than 20 people. It is also intended to provide clarity and consistency throughout the ten counties that comprise the Archdiocese of New York (Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess).

      Churches will, however, remain open for private prayer. ”

      My reply:

      “It is disheartening. The greatest event in World history is postponed until further notice due to a virus. No less political correctness. As my Pastor stated the world is worried about physically dying but neglecting their spiritual salvation.

      Whose side are you on?”

      Liked by 4 people

    1. That would be quite a trick since he wasn’t born until almost 200 years after the Black Plague was over. The black plague ravaged Europe from 1347 to 1351 (though in milder form it was around for several years longer). St. Charles Borromeo was born in 1538 and died in 1584.

      Look, I know everyone is nervous – and people innocently say things they have heard that seem to support their take. But no more unsourced assertions. I have vetted several such assertions today and a lot of them are completely without basis. I am glad to see people give factual support to their thesis – but you need to make sure it is actually factual, and not just comforting to you.

      MODERATORS, please do not clear any more raw assertions that do not have a link to actual data supporting those assertions.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. Oh gosh, I hope I did not come off as irate, Beckita. During times of crisis, wild assertions become very common, a sort of totem, I think. In normal times, it is not such a big deal, but when everyone is on a hairpin, I like to tamp it down. Once, a couple of months after a primary election, all the newspapers were reporting a big shake-up was coming to the campaign I was running at the behest of Washington. I knew when I walked into the office, everyone would be looking to me. Sure enough, when I walked in everyone’s eyes were as wide as saucers. I looked back at them solemnly, then solemnly burst into a rendition on Elvis Presley’s, “Ooo-ooo-oo, ooo-ooo-oo, I’m all shook up,” with gyrating hips and all. It worked. Everybody laughed and the tension was broken. I was just amused – perhaps Borromeo bi-located in the time stream. 😉

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Ha, Charlie! The gyrating Elvis! No, no. I didn’t read you as irate. I apologized in a spirit of owning that I should have vetted the information. Simple and true. I see the need for tamping down the panic, fear, anger… whatever emotion draws us into an overwhelmed zone. Feeling overwhelmed leads to potential paralysis and I don’t know a person who can think clearly in such a state.

            Liked by 4 people

      1. Charlie,
        St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, gave great succor to those in need during the outbreak of the plague in 1576 through 1578. You can easily Google that. After the first outbreak of the black death, there were many lesser occurrences of the black death, including one around 1360 and another in 1666. Heck, a guy got it in New Mexico back in the 1980s. I remember reading about that in Catholic Digest magazine in High School.

        And, yes, St. Charles would have given communion on the tongue to those few who would have received, as that was the liturgical practice at the time in the Roman rite Quo Primum in 1570.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I had read about the different “black plague” outbreaks over the course of several periods and I was surprised to learn that since I thought it was only one, at least the one that brought about the nursery rhyme “Ring Around The Rosy”. This nursery rhyme describes several different things about the black plague.
          “Ring around the rosy” described the area of infection which took on a black ring around a reddish center from the bite sight of the flea.
          “Pocket full of posies” tells how people used flowers buched in their hands held over the nose to disguise the stench of death kept in the pocket for quick access.
          “Ashes, ashes” was from the cremated dead.
          “We all fall down” indicated the high mortality rate and expectation of eventual demise.
          Lord keep us from such a fate.

          Liked by 5 people

  35. So here is a pretty good analysis of the speed of the pandemic imo. It argues for quick action.

    An interesting observation by the author whoever he is:

    Eastern Nations including China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea etc are taking the necessary steps through CONTAINMENT and MITIGATION to flatten the curve on the speed of the pandemic spread thus sparing their hospitals and medical staffs. TheIr harsh “authoritarian and dictatorial” social distancing regimes are working. They are working because the leaders of those countries didn’t hesitate too long to pull the trigger on travel bans, mandatory quarantines etc.

    Western Nations are following a much more gradual response model.

    From the article:

    “The question politicians are asking themselves today is not whether they should do something, but rather what’s the appropriate action to take.

    There are several stages to control an epidemic, starting with anticipation and ending with eradication. But it’s too late for most options today. With this level of cases, the two only options politicians have in front of them are containment and mitigation.


    Containment is making sure all the cases are identified, controlled, and isolated.

    The lengths at which [China] went to contain the virus are mind-boggling. For example, they had up to 1,800 teams of 5 people each tracking every infected person, everybody they got interacted with, then everybody those people interacted with, and isolating the bunch. That’s how they were able to contain the virus across a billion-people country.

    This is not what Western countries have done. And now it’s too late.

    The US administration’s ban on European travel is good: It has probably bought us a few hours, maybe a day or two. But not more. It is not enough. It’s containment when what’s needed is mitigation.

    Once there are hundreds or thousands of cases growing in the population, preventing more from coming, tracking the existing ones and isolating their contacts isn’t enough anymore. The next level is mitigation.


    Mitigation requires heavy social distancing.

    These measures require closing companies, shops, mass transit, schools, enforcing lockdowns… The worse your situation, the worse the social distancing. The earlier you impose heavy measures, the less time you need to keep them, the easier it is to identify brewing cases, and the fewer people get infected.

    This is what Wuhan had to do. This is what Italy was forced to accept. Because when the virus is rampant, the only measure is to lock down all the infected areas to stop spreading it at once.

    With thousands of official cases — and tens of thousands of true ones — this is what countries like Iran, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland or the US need to do.

    But they’re not doing it.”

    So, Containment and Mitigation. It seems that for whatever reason the US has been slow to react on both scores. My guess is it is because we are a free society not used to following orders from the Government willingly or with gusto. Conclusion? We are going to see a massive and fast surge toward a lot of cases impacting the health care system.

    There is a remarkable assessment in the article from a webinar briefing held by the American Hospital Association on what to brace for:

    Doubling time 7 -10 days
    30-40% of the population infected
    96 million cases
    5% of cases require hospitalization
    4.8 million admissions
    1-2% of cases require ICU care
    1.9 million ICU cases
    1% of cases require ventilatory support
    0.5% Case Fatality Rate
    480,000 Deaths

    I believe we are seeing only the tip of the containment and mitigation steps that will be undertaken by Federal, State and Local governments as well as by private business and associations.

    So what about the Church?

    IMO, just my opinion nothing more, I believe the Containment and Mitigation efforts are pretty mild at this point. Save for the banning of all public masses in some dioceses. That’s a hard response. Why is a hard response by government and business and the Church necessary?

    The point is discussed in the article. It is under the heading 4) When?

    The gist of the argument is that for any organization like a business or a school or a church parish the size of your population with respect to the case rate in your locality determines the risk your organization is going to have at least 1 case. Why is that important? Because this thing spreads fast at exponential speed and before you know it you might be facing your whole office or plant or church parish suffering from that 1 person spreading the disease. That’s a lot of heat on the shoulders of the leaders of those organizations. Illness not only kills but it causes a lot of suffering for weeks at a time.

    So I am concerned about getting to Mass and access to the sacraments especially the Eucharist and Confession. I am in a high risk group but I don’t want to be dispensed from my obligation. Something tells me we are going to need the refuge of the sacraments and the liturgy more than ever in the coming couple of months. My guess is that when the number of confirmed cases gets high enough the Government will order a halt to all public religious services. I can’t see a way that can be avoided. Some diocese have put a hard close on public Masses and others will follow. My diocese is not at that point yet. I hope we have the option to attend Mass throughout the pandemic.

    The question is are the Containment and Mitigation protocols currently in place sufficiently robust to prevent transmission? Yeah, to an extent.

    I would suggest a couple of other measures that could be taken at the Parish level that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere as of yet.

    There could be a kind of triage applied to both the Mass schedule and the Confession schedule.

    By that I am thinking that separate Masses could be conducted for different risk groups. For example, the 8:00 AM could be for children only; 9:00 AM for young healthy adults; 10:30 AM for those over 60.

    I am thinking that the data is showing that the Elderly risk group accounts for something like 12% of the cases but 50% of the hospitalizations. And, likely, a higher drain on ICU and respiratory interventions.
    So if we shield that demographic from the more active demographic groups transmitting the disease we could have a real impact on the level of hospitalizations and help to flatten the curve.

    Social distancing should be enforced during the Mass perhaps by assigning seats in the pews which are 6 or 7 feet apart limiting the attendance to what the church can safely hold. Rigorous management of the communion line with no rushing or bunching up at the rail. Same with the dispersal. Pew by pew no mad scramble for the exits.

    In other words a much more controlled Mass environment.

    May mean longer Mass times. Perhaps additions to the Mass schedule to accommodate smaller groups of attendees. Perhaps this could be done on cooperative basis between parishes. A Mass for the Elderly in one Parish and a Mass for families in another etc. This would limit the pressure on the priests yet mitigate the transmission of the disease.

    I would also suggest Masses be offered for registered parishioners who can be tracked and informed if one of the other attendees at that Mass has been diagnosed with the virus. They should check in and leave a record of each Mass they attend. Could be as easy as leaving a registration number on a sign in sheet at the church door. Non-parishioners or one off attendees should be required to sign in with name address and telephone number for each Mass for the same purpose.

    The question is how long is this pandemic going to persist? The easiest and most effective containment and mitigation measure for churches is to shut them down. Certainly in the short run of a couple of weeks hiatus. But if we are looking at a months long pandemic experience I’m thinking that the Church is going to have to offer the Governments at every level a much more rigorous protocol for Containment and Mitigation than is now in place.

    I hope some effective compromise is possible that will keep our churches open and the sacraments available.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yet, Al, it’s the Mass with our real Jesus – either live or recorded. Of course, it’s no replacement for Mass if we are able to attend in a church. However, when we can’t be there, how blessed are we to pray with media bringing the Mass to us.

      Liked by 3 people

  36. Maybe a You Tube list of recommended videos would help alleviate people’s boredom & overactive imaginations while most of us are probably staying home.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Hard to believe but just received message from another sacristan that there will no mass celebrated in our parish tomorrow here in France.
    Im sure we will get through this, fortunately attended mass this morning and received communion.

    Christus Vincit

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Beckita, please give Father Wang my/our deepest thanks. What a beautiful photo.

      A friend and I drove in to Mass this evening. It was sparsely attended, very Lenten, and ~ we felt ~ very holy in an old-fashioned sort of way. We were grateful to have attended and also grateful to get home safely on the slick, snowy highway through the forest.

      God is good.

      Liked by 5 people

  38. To commemorate the National Day of Prayer tomorrow; “Bless the Lord O My Soul, Worship His Holy Name, Sing Like Never Before…”

    Liked by 10 people

  39. Beckita and Charlie the great and holy icon that was carried in the procession of St Gregory the Great is the recently restored (2018) icon of our Lady, “Salus Populi Romani” (health/salvation of the Roman people) found at the basilica of St. Mary Major. Pope Francis has a great devotion to this icon. Said to have healing powers. Also it is said to be the source of the phrase “mother thrice admirable. ”

    Beckita, it is a beautiful and ancient icon , you may want to post it.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Yes! Thank you, Beckita!
        Let us not forget that at the end of this procession St. Gregory saw St. Michael sheathing his sword atop the Emperor Hadrian’s tomb, symbolizing the end the plague. We all have too often forgotten that disease/plagues/maladies are a consequence of sin and the fall. So, everybody, ask St. Michael’s help as well as st. Raphael ‘s (angel of health, noted by many of the posters) help.

        Beckita, could you also post the spiritual communion. St Michael, and st. Raphael prayer.

        I will remember all as I serve as subdeacon at the holy, pure and life creating mysteries and present your wishes as I stand among the many eyed cherubim and six winged seraphim, as well as our Lady (she stands behind the priest) and st. Michael (he stands to the right of the priest).

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you for your remembrance of us all in prayer, James. I’m scooting around a wee late with everything this morning. I cannot quickly put my searching finger on a particular spiritual communion prayer which invokes St. M and St. R, but here’s a link with many prayers both pre and post spiritual communion. Yet, Dear Friends, Jesus is not only our Lord and God, He is our Best Friend Who yearns to enter the depths of our hearts so a heart to Heart conversation with Him in a spiritual communion must please Him to no end and bring us greater joy, peace and trust in return.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. James, thanks for bringing this icon to our attention; Beckita, thank you for finding a more vibrant image.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks so much for asking, Mary Anne. I became Godmother to all in Father Wang’s clan in 1995. Fifteen years later,more babies and young children became my Godchildren and, by now, there must be close to 100 in the clan. I think I already commented that we had hoped for a return evangelization trip in June but God has other Plans right now.

      Last month, via Skype, I had prayed over my first Wang Godchild for healing of the leukemia which he, Paul, has had for years. He had a bone marrow transplant about 8 years ago and Father has been sending 10K annually to cover med costs. During the prayer time, Paul felt classic signs of Holy Spirit descending when Jesus heals: heat and tingling throughout his body. He’s feeling strong and we’ve been eager to hear results from the next bone marrow test. However, there’s no way he’s traveling to Beijing at this time. Thank you for your prayers!

      Liked by 6 people

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