WHAT HAS BEEN BOTHERING ME and WHERE AM I BEING LED?

By Desmond A. Birch

(Our friend of this site, Desmond, with his scholarly gifts and expertise has written a more in-depth look at the Pachamama incident, giving us historical understanding and insight as people have wondered how this could have happened. Too, in his expression of truth written in love, Desmond highlights wise spiritual counsel which will prove to be indispensable and fundamental in birthing a New Beginning in the Church and culture. ~BH)

The following is probably the last post of a series I began weeks ago on the Pachamama incident. I promised I would finish with an explanation of how men [and also women] could arrive at the point that they would NOT recognize the adoration of that pagan idol for what it is. Attending indigenous peoples from the Amazon are recorded on video as bowing down with their heads to the ground – before that carved wooden statue of a stark naked pregnant woman, before that idol.

            It was the image of that scene which kept my mind (and those of numerous others) returning to the Pachamama incident in the Vatican Gardens, then inside St. Peter’s Basilica and next in a neighboring parish of the Basilica. So many Catholics have been disturbed by this, frankly, including me.

            But what was it in particular which disturbed me so much in this incident that I almost couldn’t get it out of my head??? I’ve discovered it wasn’t just the video of people adoring the Pachamama pagan idol in the Vatican Gardens — by bowing their heads to the ground in front of it. It wasn’t even the presence of the Pope watching it while sitting in a nearby chair with a Cardinal sitting on either side of him. What was it which troubled me so much?

            The ‘bother’ was caused by the patently erroneous excuses which were subsequently used in defense of the whole thing. In retrospect, I have discovered it is THAT which has bothered me more than anything else. There are two most central excuses. They are:

  1. The excuse that it wasn’t really a pagan idol – it was Our Lady of the Amazon [riiiiight … that is tantamount to claiming that Our Lady appears as a completely naked pregnant woman???] Do I look so stupid that someone would expect me to believe that one?
  2. Excuse #2 goes like this: Even if it was a pagan idol, that’s OK, because Cardinal Newman in his book, the ‘Development of Doctrine’, said that the Church has continually borrowed pagan imagery of local customs, Christianized them, and used them in the Church. 

            But the apologists don’t even try to give examples of the Church ever doing this with actual pagan idols – BECAUSE THEY CAN’T! Below I’ll offer you one example, I know well, of how the Church has historically utilized cultural symbols of pagan cultures. 

            Amongst the original people initially inhabiting the territory of modern Ukraine, the egg was a symbol of Sun worship: 

                       “When Ukraine accepted Christianity in 988 A.D., the egg was adopted as a religious symbol of the Easter celebration. Not long after that, there are written references that show a well developed custom of decorating eggs with designs of Christian significance. That beautiful art of Pysanky tradition continues today, even among many who do not enjoy a Ukrainian heritage. Each egg which is decorated is recognition of the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on that first Easter morning.”

            BUT HOW ON EARTH COULD THE CATHOLIC CHURCH EVER ‘CHRISTIANIZE’ A CARVED WOODEN STATUE OF A STARK NAKED PREGNANT WOMAN? That would be a horrible farce – and any rational Catholic should know it.

            However, the apologists for the Pachamama pagan idol in the Vatican Precincts never admit or even address the point that while the Church Christianized some of the symbols from local pagan cultures – THE CHURCH NEVER DID THAT WITH PATENTLY PAGAN ‘IDOLS’. Why, because that is idolatry – so clearly defined in Scripture – as one of the worst sins which man is capable of committing. It’s a patent violation of the First Commandment. [Here in the USA, when some American politicians try to cover up something patently false with lame excuses, the common expression is it’s like ‘Putting lipstick on a pig’ – i.e., unsuccessfully trying to make something ugly look beautiful.]

            Let’s think about the contradictions in what these apologists are saying. First, they shout, ‘It’s not a pagan idol.’ But most Catholic Christians’ common sense tells them that is an attempt to deny the obvious. Such attempts are an insult to the intelligence of any serious practicing Catholic.

            Frankly, such attempts reminded me of Scripture’s descriptions of a time when people will claim that what is good is evil and that what is evil is good. But Scripture and Tradition tell us that many of the people who say such things will simply be terribly confused, rather than willfully being deceptive. Scripture also predicts there will be people who still see clearly the difference between what is good and what is evil. They will counter confused statements about what is good and what is evil with ‘The Emperor’s got no clothes on’ style arguments.

            So, what has come out of all this in my understanding? Well my first reaction, when I saw the photos and videos of the Pachamama idolatry, was horror, then, rash judgment of the people who could see no evil there. Then after a little reflection, I realized I was engaging in the sin of rash judgment of all the Catholics who were trying to defend the Pachamama incident with patently fallacious arguments. 

            Subsequently, the lessons which the Church teaches me about this, which my father personally taught me, have been firmed up in my mind. And it really came home in the Gospel reading of this past Monday in the Second Week in Lent, I cite it below –the RSVCE edition of the Bible, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition:

36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 

38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

            That Monday morning, the priest noted in the homily that many people read such words and yet ‘do not see’ how they might apply to someone who thinks they are a good Catholic Christian. For people like you and me who can still clearly see and recognize evil objects as evil objects, the greatest danger then is the temptation to judge the hearts of those who cannot see such obvious things. That temptation will be to assume that there is no way that the confused and blind cannot see what we so clearly see. [BUT, THERE IS SUCH A WAY – WHICH I, BY GOD’S GRACE, PERSONALLY SURVIVED. I KNOW IT WELL AS WILL BE EXPLAINED BELOW.] There will be the temptation to assume that all those who cannot see what we see are lying or evil. Only God can read hearts. And if I so assume to judge someone, God will read that evil in my heart clearly.

            I must reject every temptation to judge the hearts of others – for that is a sure way to lose my own salvation — unless I repent before I die. When such temptations come, I am to pray and remember Jesus’ instructions to forgive, love, and pray for my enemies and those who deny or cannot see Jesus’ teaching about not judging the hearts of others.         

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAME TO BECOME CONFUSED ABOUT IDOLATRY?:

For those of you who have read ‘Trial, Tribulation & Triumph’, the idea that what you and I call pagan idols can be an accepted part of Christian liturgical practice began and developed in both Protestant and Catholic venues of Extreme Higher Criticism.

Extreme Higher Criticism [EHC] insisted on the empirical tradition founded by the Enlightenment philosophers, Locke and Hume, i.e., Only something which could be effectively physically measured could be considered as real. Ultimately, that school of thought led people to believe that the Bible could not be inspired by God, that miracles don’t really happen, that Christianity is just one of many religious movements – no better – no worse.

EHC began to have its effect inside Christianity in the late 1800’s – first within Protestantism – and then by the early 20th century had spread to a number of Catholic venues – particularly within the Jesuit Order. 

Here is how it works. When I was in Catholic universities and colleges, any Catholic who enrolled in one of those Catholic educational institutions was required to take 2 years of philosophy and 2 years of theology. In those first two years, such Catholic students received a general background in those subjects. But those who were theology majors or minors would take another two years in theology. It was in the course of those two years that the major damage was done in ‘progressive’ Catholic colleges and universities. 

It was there, in such progressive schools, that they were taught a more or less systematic EHC approach to theology. There, they were very very gradually taught that nothing is quite as black and white as they had been taught by their parents or parish priests. Essentially, they were taught that there are no absolutes. They were introduced to the idea that their extreme EHC profs were really vastly better educated than their parents or pastors back home – OR EVEN OTHER NON-EHC PROFS. There, they learned [just for a few instances]: 

  1. That the old “Matthew, Mark, Luke & John” order of the Gospels is WRONG. Just because the Fathers and other early Christian writers virtually universally said that the Gospel of Matthew was the first one written, nope, they didn’t know what they were talking about. Then they broke it to us that there is a, so far, hidden document WHICH THEY CALL “Q” which was the basis or common traditional root of at least the three Synoptic Gospels. Now the simple fact that in more than a century they haven’t been able to find a copy of this theoretical document – has no effect on extreme higher critics. They no longer teach it as an unsubstantiated theory. THEY TEACH IT AS FACT.
  2. They teach from the ‘scripture scholar’, Raymond Brown, that there is actually a real question as to whether Jesus Christ ever understood that He was establishing 7 Sacraments. Naaaw, Jesus was just stumbling about in the intellectual dark, riiight? Despite the fact that the Church teaches that at the moment of His Incarnation, Jesus already knew the identity of everyone who would ever be a member of His Mystical Body, despite that fact, extreme higher critics keep putting out that Jesus really didn’t/couldn’t have fully understood His mission. However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church still teaches that,

474 By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal. What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal.

  1. Students of EHC profs were subtly taught that Christianity is just one of many religions which are part of God’s will for salvation, i.e. when Jesus taught that the only way to “the Father” was through Jesus, He really had to have been speaking allegorically. At least, He couldn’t have been saying that Christianity is any way uniquely qualified to lead people to their salvation, Period.
  2. They were taught that the Church’s teaching condemning contraception as gravely sinful is not based in Scripture, therefore, no Catholic is bound in conscience to obey it. [That is despite the fact that the historic record clearly demonstrates that the Church has, since Her infancy, condemned contraception as a grave sin virtually joined at the hip with those of both abortion and infanticide — such facts are irrelevant to Extreme Higher Critics. Why? Because most of them deny the role of Sacred Tradition in harness with Sacred Scripture – as taught by Vat. II.]
  3. They were and are taught by such critics that the Church has always utilized some symbols from pagan cultures. What they weren’t told in this regard is that such symbols have NEVER included pagan idols. The ones the Church used were always things such as the Ukrainian Easter Eggs covered above. And the Church always Christianized them by explaining how they are symbolic of events in the life of Jesus Christ.

THESE ARE JUST A HANDFUL OF SUCH EXAMPLES.

We must bear in mind that these things were and are not just sprung on theology students all of a sudden. [If they were, said students typically would, in many cases, have drawn back from them in alarm – and would begin to suspect there is something wrong with their teachers – instead of something wrong with the Traditional Doctrinal and Moral Teachings of the Church.]

Such students are, and were, slowly, insidiously, surreptitiously conditioned to accept the claims of Extreme Higher Criticism – based on the idea that they had and have been taught that such critics are way ahead of the learning of the men of the previous two thousand years of the Church. They are taught that the Tradition of the Church in this regard is not protected by the Holy Spirit [as Scripture is] no matter what the Vatican II Document, ‘Dei Verbum’, says to the contrary. ‘Dei Verbum’ clearly teaches that both Scripture and Tradition are protected by the Holy Spirit.

Most of us have heard the analogy of how to boil a frog. It is a fact that if you try to drop a frog into a pan of boiling water, his physical reactions are so lighting fast that he can leap out of the pan before he has been burned by the heat. But, if you really want to boil that frog, then you must put him into a pan of tepid water. There he will feel quite comfortable. If you then very slowly, very gradually raise the temperature of the water by one degree at a time, He will just sit there and enjoy the warmth – till the heat has sufficiently weakened him that he loses both the alarm and the ability to jump out. One of the nicknames of this indoctrination technique is called, ‘Patient Gradualism’.

The EHC’s have been intellectually boiling theology students for over a century now.

Yes, such [EHC’s] can be incredibly clever in their methods of indoctrination. How do I know? Because there were days I left class actually wondering if it was me or them who was crazy. Then I would go to my mentors, primarily two great old school faithful Jesuit profs, who would help me to sort out the truth. That went on for years.

So, given my experiences in this regard with my knowledge, how can I then judge the hearts of men [and some women] who were taken in by the arguments of Extreme Higher Critic profs??? I CAN’T.

No, only Jesus can judge hearts and intentions. That is what Jesus is telling me in the Our Father when He commands, ‘Judge not lest you be judged.’ What does He mean? He means that I can judge the acts of others as good or bad, moral or immoral. But I cannot judge their motives, cannot judge what is in their hearts — because only God knows their souls. I don’t. And if I intentionally judge their hearts, no matter what they say or do, I am allowing Satan and his minions to play me like a fiddle. THAT is one of the biggest arrows in Satan’s quiver to get me to separate myself from my own salvation. Given some current conditions, that can be a very big temptation.

To answer the 2nd question in the opening title to all of this, I am being led to think and act with true charity towards those whose acts I believe are gravely harming the Mystical Body of Christ. I am being led to forgive, love, and pray earnestly for each and all such men and women.

All my love in Christ 

Desmond

198 thoughts on “WHAT HAS BEEN BOTHERING ME and WHERE AM I BEING LED?

  1. Awesome, Desmond. Not only have you provided us a clear example of how to judge with righteous judgement – and I so appreciate your explication of the historical significance of EHC and its impact on some of the great confusion in the Church today – you’ve also reminded us of the Gospel dictum on how to respond to what we have been, and are, experiencing. Many hearts of orthodox Catholics have been broken to see Church Teaching sometimes disregarded and sometimes twisted into a meaning not at all part of the Teaching Magisterium. Even so, you remind us to tend to our own souls, for there IS great temptation to grumble in ways that stir anger within and around us, leading to grudge-holding and resentments which provoke thoughts and statements reflecting that we’re judging the hearts of those speaking and acting in error.

    Man! What a balancing act. And we’re SO going to need to develop this foundational habit of the mind: judge with righteous judgement. Thank you, Dez, for spurring us on, as shoulder to shoulder, we all climb that mountain of holiness.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “And if I intentionally judge their hearts, no matter what they say or do, I am allowing Satan and his minions to play me like a fiddle.”
      Sometimes people are simply ignorantly mistaken. When they are shown the Truth, their minds change. Hard to believe college professors, especially from that era, could be that way, though.

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      1. When Pope St. Pius X issued his degree against the errors on Moderinim, ‘Pascendi Dominici Gregis’ way back in 1907, he had to do so because there were prominent ‘Catholic’ writers who were publishing such false ideas and teaching them in Catholic seminaries and Universities. It was much worse 60 years later in the midst of the 1960’s which I’ve been speaking about as the era in which I was introduced to their EHC descendents’ teachings.

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  2. Desmond, Thank you, thank you! I have written a few sentences of what you say as I forget it sometimes and will keep it before me.Your studies and finding the untruths put you in a position of teaching so many in our country about today. God has blessed you and you share it so well!

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  3. Thanks Desmond-

    Well done and I agree with your basic premises…the satan is attempting a “multi-bank” shot with all this stuff…lead the sophists astray, lead their students and followers astray, and lead those faithful to Tradition astray via our judgement, not the judgement of their positions, but of their malicious intent.

    Many of these Modernists, which I think is another term for the EHC crowd, know exactly what they are doing and will have to answer for it. But you’re telling me to be careful, because I’m not capable of reading hearts to determine which are and which aren’t operating maliciously.

    Just finished reading Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pius X’ encyclical on Modernism. In reading it, I couldn’t help noticing numerous similarities with Church leadership today. One example…when Modernists are challenged on some aberrant position they are promulgating, just meet the challenge with silence. Sound familiar regarding the Dubia?

    For anyone interested, a link to the encyclical is below. Thanks again Des for all your hard work.

    http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_19070908_pascendi-dominici-gregis.html

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Good Observations. However, today there are two significant differences between ‘Extreme Higher Critics’ and ‘Modernists’, in that now there are numerous people who have absorbed many basic tenets of Modernism – who have never taken a theology course in their lives. In many cases their EHC trained parish priests passed those basic tenets on from the pulpit. One could refer to it as trickle-down beliefs without any understanding of the theological rationales for same – rationales understood in depth by the vast majority of Extreme Higher Critics. Most higher critics post graduate degrees in theology.

      What does that mean? They can sound much more sophisticated to their students in undergrad as well as grad school. And they’ve pushed the envelope of the original condemned theories of the Modernists to a fair-the-well. During the reign of Pope St. Piux X (1903-1914) – you would have been hard-pressed indeed to find even a Modernist who would try to publicly deny that the wooden carving of a stark naked pregnant woman [which people bowed their head all the way to the ground in adoration of] was NOT and idol.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

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    2. Right Paul, fantastic encyclical. Pius quotes Leo XIII and they are both two of my heroes. Leo XIII for his encyclical on Freemasonry, since we see the effects of both these evils so clearly at this time – Modernism and Freemasonry. They both single out specific errors so visible now.

      Thank you, Desmond, for your analysis. We can tell you really searched your heart for the answers. In this age of errors, I am at times grateful for my age, because of what I escaped that came later. The years of theology and philosophy (we had to have a minor in it) were solid and traditional Catholic teaching, and I’ve been grateful always. (That was as Vatican II was just beginning.) My once holy and wonderful university began to change . Some say it was because our nuns left habits and cloister
      behind and went out into the world to get more and more degrees. Who knows…

      It seems almost impossible to overcome and change all the years of “disinformation”, but “with God all things are possible”! God bless you all!

      Liked by 6 people

  4. Jumping in with a Sign of Hope from my friends in Chicago. A woman, an immigrant from Paraguay, posted an excerpt from the speech given by the president of her native country on national television:
    ”But I have faith in God, in His power and in His Mercy. And it is in these times when we most desire of His presence in our lives. The word says, ‘Do not be afraid, I am with you always. Do not fear, I am your God, I sustain you in Victory’ That’s what our God says and I believe him. We will come out of this only with His help”

    Liked by 9 people

  5. I’ve always heard the phrase, “Judge the sin, not the sinner” or something like that. I guess I should be more precise and say, “Judge the act, not the heart.” Put simply like that, I will have to say that I am not suitably dealing with the hearts of people who appear to be in the Deep State, and I will have to be more precise so as not to be in fault myself. Let’s bring “j”ustice to those who need to be judged under the law while leaving “J”ustice to the Lord. I’m heartened to see signs that both forms of “j-J”ustice are coming.

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    1. Good observation. Jesus reserves ‘J’ustice – finalized through the General Judgment – to and for Himself. He warns us us over and over again that only He, not we, have the capacity to justly judge hearts/souls. It is no contradiction of that principle to have governmental courts which judge the breaking of statutory laws.

      What is the difference? Jesus won’t make mistakes.

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  6. “No, only Jesus can judge hearts and intentions. That is what Jesus is telling me in the Our Father when He commands, ‘Judge not lest you be judged.’ What does He mean? He means that I can judge the acts of others as good or bad, moral or immoral. But I cannot judge their motives, cannot judge what is in their hearts — because only God knows their souls. I don’t. And if I intentionally judge their hearts, no matter what they say or do, I am allowing Satan and his minions to play me like a fiddle. THAT is one of the biggest arrows in Satan’s quiver to get me to separate myself from my own salvation. Given some current conditions, that can be a very big temptation.”

    Excellent piece Desmond!!! I don’t really understand a lot about the church as you and so many of you all do. It’s so big and there is so much to learn but what you wrote here makes a lot of sense to me; namely, judge not and pray for every human being you encounter.

    There is one thing Charlie said that sits still in my mind ever since I saw it in print on one of Charlie’s pieces long ago… he said, “How can you not fall in love with any human being (he may have said “one of your fellows,” if you spend enough time with them on a one on one basis!”

    That might not be verbatim but I think he’s right. I think about it often when I encounter people. We are all so desperate and broken in this time of human existence. God’s mercy and this time of grace is so needed as He tries so hard to “call His kids all back again!

    God please save us all and please help us all to “endure” this minor tribulation which doesn’t feel so mild at all!!!

    One good thing…Mike and I are cleaning and organizing our poor swollen basement!!! Ha!!! We even ventured to play a little game of 🏓 ping pong!!!! Drats he won by 3!!! It was fun though😂😂😂

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    1. Yes, good stuff, Linda. I also remember him saying something about his best conversion tool in his bag while out on the road: simple, friendly conversation.

      For a few days now I’ve been pondering all the desert wildflowers that sprang forth from His Thought. Ever wonder what God was thinking when he came up with each new one? Started a new vein on the family text thread, where each sibling is sharing pictures of spring blooms and identifying them. A big hit… but naturally it turned into a big competition and the entries are flying! We’re calling it “The Big Bloom” now, with entry deadline capped at August 1. Gotta love big Irish families.

      I’ve also been pondering Our Mother and wondering at those things She pondered in Her heart. That, and how she expressed those things to the folks around her.

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      1. MP I just LOVE hearing about your family and all your Divine Threads 🧵 of communication…I have a beautiful picture of our Mother in a room in our house and I went in there just moments ago…she had deep darkness under her eyes that I normally don’t see… but the way the setting sun shone upon her image really made me stop and think and how Our Mother must be feeling right now…funny you wondered too! 😩

        Also…just checked my fb memories from a year ago… here we go..,

        If you want to be sure of staying in the will of the Lord, abandon all vanity and take the simple way: Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. I hope this helps you to gird your loins. Heaven knows I have told you true on the matter. Charlie Johnston

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        1. One of my sisters keeps edging me out in the tally, but she’s even more competitive. Been NRS’n for all it’s worth (3 walkabouts already today), surveilling the area’s activity and mood. Some are friendly, most are on edge, scared and slipping into dark spots in their heads. You can see it in the eyes. Gentle eye contact works across the board, if nothing else. There’s more than a few tough nuts to crack out there, but it’s also a good time for equal opportunity gregariousness. Many talking about this war with Covid 19, but the real war is raging in minds around the world. Keep doing your thing.

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          1. Amazing insight MP!!! Yes that’s what we are noticing too… actually even my hubby looks like that a I’ve been telling him for years what’s coming down the pipes.. he used to smile, nod his head and eat more Haagen Daaz!!! Today I had to help him stay focused driving! He believes now! Lol! He even asked me today…will the electricity go out? Lol !!!

            Everything is shut down now in Ohio and our governer just put up some executive order for tomorrow midnight but we were out so need to check er out yet! Fear is everywhere…confusion…I like ur gentle eye contact thing you have going on very much! I will try that too and or a 😃!

            My son globetrotting Tom is working today rather than stay home with quarantined wife Liz…he said she’s fine so far and all is shut down in fort Myers so he feels he might as well help by working on his day off…I reminded him to wear his mask but he didn’t reply except to say numbers of covid 19 are increasing daily!!!

            Well ..,Charlie’s been preparing us for a long long time!

            Let us charge forward acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to all God puts in our 6 foot path!!!😂😷🤗😘🙏

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            1. Fun to hear you talk about Fort Myers, Linda. We lived during many winters in Fort Myers Beach. I miss that town, as these days we are in “snowville”” all winter! I’m longing for some warmer temps for our snow and ice to melt and so we can sit out on the deck and breathe the warmer air. I like that gentle eye contact that MP talks about too. I’ll have to try that. We have a small business and trying to keep everybody calm. 🙂

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              1. Yes they really wanted their next er nursing assignment to be fort Myers as they were leaving California Sacramento prison hospital and now Liz is in prison!!! Hahaha aka quarantine!!! Hopefully she gets out soon if no symptoms develop. Sadly all is shut down in Fort Myers..I made a short video of our two days there if I can figure out how to share it I will! Yes I like MP gentle eyes 👀 approach… calming…yes and a quiet 😊! Hang in there dianebelvs!!!🤗🙏❤️😘

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  7. Life has always been a juggle with our faith, life experiences, and environment, which can be our family and society in general. I am half Spanish. My mom came from Panama. My dad was raised in Dayton, Ohio and his relatives were from Kentucky. Both my parents grew up in a culture where there was prejudism even if they claimed to be Christians to some degree. The sin in these 2 cultures were the same in the Catholic and Protestant culture. These are facts. Is it judging? Uhm…No! Did I need to understand that their actions were sinful so I could avoid them and not suffer the same consequences as my relatives? Your are darn right I needed to see and name the sin. Idolatry comes in many forms. If we put ourselves, nature, money, alcohol, people, idols, witchcraft or new age beliefs, or any anti-Christian action before the Blessed Trinity and our Catholic faith and teachings, then we break the first commandment. I’ve seen and heard too many stupid excuses (and no excuse besides people don’t care or believe there is purgatory or hell) for sinful action to know God would have to intervene sooner or later and save us from our sinful selves, I get angry when people assume repentant or old fashioned Christians are wrong to believe they (sinners) are wrong. Know what I mean??

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    1. Thank God for Mother Church who forms our conscience with her moral teaching. Yes, there is objective sin. At the same time, God alone sees into each sinner’s heart as to full knowledge and intent. Desmond’s shared take-away from the priest’s homily is but one of the critical points in his article: “For people like you and me who can still clearly see and recognize evil objects as evil objects, the greatest danger then is the temptation to judge the hearts of those who cannot see such obvious things. That temptation will be to assume that there is no way that the confused and blind cannot see what we so clearly see.” So, to your point, Kim, of course you or any one of us with a fully informed conscience absolutely makes judgements about behavior and deeds and at the same time we have no right to judge the heart of any person. Hence, Desmond quoted Jesus Own words to us on the matter:

      37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

      38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

      None of this means we condone evil words and deeds. Not at all. As you say, we see and name the sin. And again, at the same time, as my maternal grandmother taught from St. Augustine’s writings: Hate the sin; love the sinner.

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      1. We are still required to use prudence and due care in safeguarding our selves, our loved ones and all others. Stepping out in front of a speeding truck and leaving your survival in the hands of God is putting God to the test, a clear sin. This may sound pious but it is not. We must trust in God to do His part after we have done ours. We are never exempt from using common sense. jas

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        1. The above post was still waiting my posting meant to reply to another posting somewhere else. Apparently it didn’t go through and was still waiting for me. Here it will have to stand on its own. I have to now attend to a new crisis. I will be back. jas

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          1. Jesus said that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Sounds clear and simple but what are its implications? Yes the truth shall set you free from doubt, free from error due to ignorance, but once you know the truth, you are tied to that truth by bonds stronger than steel. You must abide by that true with no excuses of ignorance. To those who are given much, much is required. Intelligence is a double edged sword. It is both a gift and a curse. It comes with it the obligation to use that ability in God’s service and the service of those you touch. I do not seek power. There is always the temptation to use it for ones own benefit even to the harm of others without regard to the great responsibilities that come with it. Thank God I am aware of these things and am able to accept them. Food for thought from jas.

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    2. Kim, excellent observation. One of the most dangerous things a Christian can do to their own salvation, is to refuse to recognize the possibility that they may have idols of their own. What is an idol. Basically, it is anything which you deep down place more importance in than God.

      It can be a house, a car, a social position, money especially, personal power, liquor, members of the opposite sex who you find more than attractive, football, fancy vacations, books, various personal possessions, etc., anything which actually interferes with your relationship with God. [Spiritual Theology refers to all such as ‘disorded attractions.’.]

      EXAMPLE: here’s nothing wrong with going to a football game. But there is something deadly wrong if that Game is going to keep you from attending Mass on SunDay.

      Liked by 7 people

  8. There has been a plethora of “denying the obvious” recently in this country as well in the church. Even as Venezuela is a flashing light of the failure of socialism, it is touted in university and in our politics. Abortion, they would have you believe is not the deliberate murder/denial of rights of a person but rather only the removal of cells. (Isn’t this the exact thinking that led to Hitler’s genocide, Turkey’s extermination of Armenia, China’s removal of political prisoners to sources of its body parts industry? And now male and female is only a consequence of “assignment” at birth.
    I am however incredulous that Cardinals and a Pope do not recognize idolatry. And yet it took only a young convert to object loud an clear to the abomination.
    So I assume Desmond is saying don’t judge their hearts but don’t stay silent to the error.
    When I pray I often say to Jesus, “I do not get your plan but your will be done.” It has been said before on this site that it seems to be His way of rooting out the misdirection of the Church. The heresy of modernism is not the first heresy in church history. My mother in law use to say that the church acts perfectly but it’s perfect direction unfolds over hundreds of years.
    The hardest day of the Surrender Novena is Day 9. “Pray always in readiness to surrender …even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, Jesus you take care of it. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless My name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. “

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes, and sometimes the toughest part for me is when I am actually speaking to a ECH, to speak with genuine love and kindness. When I know ahead of time that I will be in direct contact with such an individual — I purposefully try to remember St. Paul’s admonition on this subject – 1st Cor. 13:4-8

      “4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I must do a lot of things prior to picking up my wife 32 miles away at Enterprise car rentals at DIA. In the meantime, please allow me to observe that there are few lay people who truly understand the EHC mindset which is conditioned and formed by so many years of indoctrination. They are essentially programmed to exclusively see the EHC theories in events and circumstances of the world around them – but to view anything which disagrees with or interferes with those theories as merely intellectual mirages.

      You can help me to answer your post best by just letting me know the following: Have you read the intro and first 2 chapters of TTT, wherein the basics of this subject are addressed in part?

      Do you understand why Pope Benedict – when asked what he thought about the theology of his old Jesuit professor, Carl Rahner, replied, “He’s from a different planet.”?

      Do you understand the relationship between the ‘Omega Point’ teaching of the Jesuit, Tielhard de Chardin, and the ‘ascent incarnation’ theories of the Jesuit Carl Rahner [and a myriad of other alleged theologians not all of whom are Jesuits] who have been being programmed into believing these fantastic theories and beliefs — beliefs which have been ‘confusing’ their minds AND THEIR PERCEPTIONS ever since?

      The above is only a very small part of that picture – which so few Catholics and Protestants are even aware of in their own venues. Those things have quite literally decimated the ability of a significant percentage of both the Catholic and Protestant ‘intelligencia’, decimated their ability to see the reality around them] – while looking at the world through EHC glasses tinted not rose, but tinted with the virtual articles of Faith of Extreme Higher Criticism. [WHEN I use the term ‘intelligencia’ – I’m using it loosely. A large percentage of that group are merely wanna-be intellectuals. But there are a number of truly bright people in their ranks.]

      If you already understand those thing above, then it would require no further explanation from me to understand the central import of the statement of one of the Churchmen in the Vatican Garden; “THERE WAS NO IDOLATROUS INTENT,” and he could be completely sincere when he said it.

      For anyone to assume he was lying or being disingenuous would demonstrate two things,

      1) They don’t understand the EHC view of why the whole world is not already Christian (their vision of Christianity).
      2) They don’t understand the darkness of the tint of the EHC glasses worn by such conditioned men and women.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Desmond, I apologize for not answering you directly. I had read your comment before on the site but did not realize that it was directed specifically to me. I could not define EHC mindset before you described it but recognized something was off. I did however suspect a huge change in the Jesuits. This suspicion is based on attending St. Joseph U, Loyola Baltimore in the 1970’s and later when my son attended St Joseph Prep and St Joesph U in Philadelphia in the ’90’s and 00’s There were events and classroom discussions in all those organization that left me questioning what I was hearing and seeing first hand.
        I will read more on Omega Point and ascent incarnation but honesty none of this surprises me. I do not know what TTT is? More info please. I appreciate that there are intellectuals within the church that challenge heresy. You have also defined the difference between JPII/Benedict and PF. The Arian heresy seems an apt comparison. I was intrigued by Athanasius and St. Nicholas gains a whole new dimension.
        When I was at Loyola (business degree) I was working as a full time tax professional for Maryland National Bank, Trust Division. My goal was a Title and a raise and I got both. My secret goal was children. That happened through Catholic Charities. My first son’s case worker was a Trinitarian nun from Cuba whose father and brother were murdered by Castro. It’s information like this that bursts the naivety bubble. Between children and about the emergence of Obama there was not much time for philosophy or intellectual pursuits. (At 11 my second son was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. What a horrible disease for children to develop!) My first true awakening came when I asked who Obama was when he came to national prominence. The revelations and realizations have been non stop since 2007. I have been following Venezuela since then. I suppose that is why I found my way to CJ. Do you read Father George Rutler from NYC? I am not in control of any of this. The Surrender Novena is my comfort.

        Thanks, Joanne Newnam

        Like

        1. ‘TTT’ is an acronymn of the title of a book called, Trial, Tribulaton & Triumph Before, During and After the Antichrist – written by yours truly. It is my understanding that many but not all of the members here have read it. Do not recall having used the word ‘Francis’ in my remarks. If I am wrong you may correct me. I’ve read some articles by Fr. Rutler.

          All my love in Christ

          Desmond

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Desmond it is 4/19 and I just found your comment to me. You may not have used Francis in your remarks but I think that comment on Francis vs JPII/Benedict is extrapolation on my part. I realize there is a generational and continent divide between Francis and JPII/B but so too it seems to me that your explanation of the old and new Jesuit way of defining Christ and theology fits them too.

            Like

  9. Indeed, true Christian’s don’t judge, but the world does judge us, and worst sometimes is that they try to shame us into being silent. That is what I basically tried to point out. As I’m getting older, I regret that silence when friends and family failed themselves and God. So much suffering….. I often wondered if my words and not just my actions could have kept friends and family from more sins. I walked away in silence. But I found more courage in the last 25 years and I can smile and hope more because of it. I could tell my dying father, a former Marine, when he said “Jesus Christ….” maybe as a swear word, “He loves you dad.” He replied “Oh yeah?” And I said “Yes dad.” He replied “If you say so.” All by the while, it was my hand he was holding. It was not the first time I tried to get him to think of our Lord.
    It took courage and my dad never turned away from me, because we can’t remain silent about sin “while Rome burns and Nero fiddles”. That is not judging people. We speak the truth with love.

    Liked by 9 people

  10. I suspect this Covid 19/Coronavirus event is somehow tied/related to the events above.

    It would seem the world is getting what it deserves… Revelations 18, gives me pause, as I wonder how we should we proceed? Social distancing, isolation, & economic downturn Sure complicates things.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. I’ve been watching a lot of shows like that off YouTube with the family. Book of Daniel, 10 Commandments, Gospel story, Acts of the Apostles, Lourdes, Fatima, and I’m looking for some more…

        Any other good movies to watch in these troubling times?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Al, Charlie mentioned this relatively new series several posts back. A number of us here have watched one or more episodes. Since I have limited satellite Internet, last week I ordered the first season (8 episodes) as DVDs. I’ve been tracking their progress via USPS. They are now 40 miles away. 🙂 I expect to receive them tomorrow. Here is the link to the trailer, with links inside for further viewing or ordering options:

          https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBXOFnNTULFaAnj24PAeblg

          Blessings to you and your family ~
          Sister Bear

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Sister Bear, this series looks wonderful. Where did you order it from? I am trying to find it on amazon but not having much luck. It’s called “The Chosen” Right? I’d like to buy it for us and our two daughters and their families. Thanks so much!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. DianeBelvs, I ordered it directly from the publisher/distributor. If you click on the YouTube link I posted above, you can see various options for ordering.

              BTW, my DVDs arrived today. I’ve been occupied with practical matters, but I look forward to settling in to watch in a little while.

              Take good care, everyone ~
              Sister Bear

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. Oh that’s awesome Doug. I ordered them for us and for our two daughters and their families last night. Can’t wait for them to arrive. I’ve seen some brief clips and they look wonderful. Blessings to you and Lambzie! You’re in my prayers. May we all stay safe and well these days!

                    Liked by 1 person

        2. Al, I’ve been unable to decide what new free offers to watch or participate with online in light of the plan unfolding. Here are a few:

          Wild Goose – https://keepwatchandpray.com/

          VidAngel – In an effort to make #QuarantineLife a little more bearable, we are offering free VidAngel — including unlimited filters, access to Dry Bar Comedy, https://www.vidangel.com/browse/dry-bar-comedy

          …and our record-breaking/award-winning series The Chosen — https://www.vidangel.com/show/the-chosen-a7284/season/1 (from now until March 30).

          Scott Hahn – St. Paul Center …the Quarantined Catholic Hub—it’s where you can come to find everything you need to grow in your faith, wherever you are. My most popular study, The Eucharist in Scripture, is now available to stream completely free. https://stpaulcenter.com/free-stream/

          Steubenville – The Upper Room resources for quarintined Catholics. https://steubenvilleconferences.com/theupperroom/

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Ha!  Wouldn’t it be great Jen if this was the most challenging issue of our culture; which Christian program to listen to….—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 3 people

          2. Digital engagement opportunities:

            Redeemed Online
            3 Day Weekend Summit March 27-29 ~ Andy Lesnefsky
            Catholic Online Summit https://youtu.be/Bo8b3-GB7nM
            and…
            The two courses we created already, Spiritual Warfare 101 and Sharing Faith are now both Pay What You Want. Pay nothing or pay something (money invested goes towards helping us create new content and helping creators during this time) Links:
            1. Spiritual Warfare 101 : spiritualwarfare101.com
            2. Sharing Faith: http://redeemedonline.samcart.com/products/sharing

            Word on Fire – Spiritual Life in the Digital Age
            In this interview, Jared Zimmerer and Dr. Matt Nelson discuss evangelical opportunities provided by the digital age with Catholic priest and avid gamer, Fr. Blake Britton.
            https://wordonfire.institute/spring-2020-summit-fr-britton

            The Justice Foundation
            It’s a Wonderful Life – You Can Help End Abortion WATCH LIVE Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT
            To Give follow this link: https://txjf.networkforgood.com/projects/95768-2020-it-s-a-wonderful-life-gala-donations

            REGISTER: Students for Life of America’s Virtual Pro-Life Activism Training course! – Kristine Hawkins
            https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf2MDwkfzMr2Orav1PG8M9_WXQ1unr_7Y0bZzEiBlUuizbbfA/viewform?fbzx=-1881335546007292835

            Direction for Our Times – The Apostolate of the Returning King
            Backpack Productions is ready to launch a brand new online program, Adult Faith Formation. Could there be a better time to immerse yourself in cutting edge human formation and beautiful Catholic thinking? The AFF program incorporates scripture, psychological principles and Catholic tradition to give a contemporary ‘way’ to think, act, and pray. http://www.thebackpack.life

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Thanks, Jen, for this bounty of whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Digital engagement opportunities ~ March 26, 2020

              Steubenville Conference

              You’re invited to The Upper Room. Your place to find free resources for distanced and quarantined Catholics. We will be adding new content daily. Together, through the grace of Christ, not only will we survive, we will thrive. https://steubenvilleconferences.com/theupperroom/

              St. Joseph Communications

              “The Pain of the Crucifixion” by Steve Ray
              Since many of us are facing hardship from the COVID-19 outbreak (and the attendant “shelter-in-place” practices), we thought now would be a good time to share a free talk by Steve Ray, guiding us towards Holy Week.
              https://20talks.com/pages/freetalk-crucifixion

              Benedictine University –Live Lectio at noon

              What’s News at Sacred Story: https://mailchi.mp/sacredstory/news-from-sacred-story-institute-january-5768847

              Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. I’ll try to watch some of those with the kids as a learning teaching tools of faith, as ideas tend to be dry uninteresting to the little ones.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes, a movie about simplicy – through trials – conquering all by God’s grace. it is, ‘St Joseph of Cupertino The Reluctant Saint’. I guarantee you it will warm the cockles of your heart. It stars a number of hollywood’s greatest of that era. The youtube link is immediately below:

          Liked by 4 people

    1. Mark Mallet posted a new article on this battle:
      https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2020/03/21/clash-of-the-kingdoms/

      I am sad and joyful. I can’t receive the Eucharist, daily yet may participate in the celebration (thanks EWTN) of the Holy Sacrafice within the confines of my living room. Further, with the new Papal Indulgence decree, may obtain a Plenary Indulgence.

      It is a joy not to hear the road noise and observe everyone quieted down, not rushing around. Those who stoll outside for a walk greeting each other as neighbors. Sporting events have been postponed… i wish the news media would do the same.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. C.S.Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
    Al, we are being called by God through every moment of our lives. All creation shouts the wonders of its Creator and, as Bishop Sheen said, sin realigns us to the right by the sheer pain, chaos and suffering it causes. The book of Revelations speaks of trumpets blowing. Lewis speaks of a megaphone. (They look similar don’t they?) One magnifies a musical sound, the other magnifies the voice. Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord She being tuned to God our savior totally reflecting His will. All three a creature expressing the Creator. All three vibrant, bold and provacative but with different but similar intents and purposes.
    Jesus told His Apostles that we all “deserve” death. But that is exactly what He came down from Heaven to destroy…sin and death.
    “…those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” (Luke 13:4-5).

    Liked by 9 people

  12. Desmond In my ignorance of the ECH and not having been exposed to their contamination, when I first saw references to “Q” I immediately assessed that such a proposal was without merit based on Jesus’ promise toward the end of St. John’s gospel before His ascension into heaven that there is much more that I would tell you but you are not ready yet to hear it. After I am gone I will send the Holy Spirit who will remind you of all I have taught you and will teach you many things. The early history of the Church makes very clear the great influence of the Holy Spirit in its guidance and propagation. I agree that the first three gospels share a common source but if it was another writing or gospel, itself would have been preserved as the first three gospels had been. The common source is very clearly the oral tradition guarded and inspired by the Holy Spirit which the ECH ignores being too willing to jettison any belief in the supernatural.
    My beliefs were based on starting with the Baltimore catechism which the Dominican nuns taught me in Parochial grade school. I did not memorize the questions the night before but as the teacher went through each pupil asking each question and its answer, I was memorizing and knew all the answers by the time it got to me. Good thing they never started with me, I would have paid the price. I remembered the questions and answers so well that even though I didn’t fully understand them at the time, they served as an excellent base for all the theology I learned thereafter both in and out of school.
    When I look at my own life, in this my 80th year and trying understand who I have become, I know I have had little control and can only account for my growth to having learned to listen to that small quiet voice that has inspired me throughout my life. I don’t even know what led me to go to seminary starting in high school. In the middle of my third year, I knew I no longer belonged there and so I left there to go to public high school for my senior year with no life plan whatsoever. I since see that I was led to the seminary not to become a priest but that I would be given a base I would not otherwise ever gotten. Sparring you most of the details, I was led to go on to college through a circuitous route and to eventually get my bachelors at Jesuit Seattle U and a masters at Texas A&M spread over a marriage and four children working full time. I was greatly educated in the faith in the early 60s by reading scripture and a series of pamphlets on all the worlds religions put out by the Knights of Columbus which helped me put in perspective Protestants and the other world religions. I could see the basis of each religion and even though I could not accept their bases, I learned to accept their sincerity and leave them in the hands of God.
    I have read about the great doctors of the Church such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Aquinas but have never been led to read their works. I am impressed with such learning as you and others here display but that is not where I have been led. I was greatly influenced by the simplicity I found in an excellent book on the life of St, Francis of Assisi in my sophomore year at the seminary. I have an analytic mind that leads me to examine everything and to focus on the heart of matters and the simple understanding of how things go together. My being an engineer may explain a lot.
    Looks like I got carried away and gave you more than you ever wanted but am posting this in case some in the community may find it of interest.
    May the Holy Spirit continue to bless and guide all here. jas

    Liked by 9 people

      1. I am sorry, I know nothing of them or where they can be found. I have yet to be led to them. I go to many sources and keep up on what’s happening in the world, especially the Church. There are always more questions than answers and I have learned not to try to answer everything especially not to force answers which too often are not right. We are called to patience as God leads us on. You may also be interested to know that after I had gone to a meeting at Seattle U regarding their Pastoral Assistant program that they push as ecumenical, offered to all faiths, and other observations, in about 1995 after I had retired early, I responded to calls regarding alumni matters that I did not wish to call me any more since they are no longer Catholic but I still am. They have never called me since but they send me emails which I do not read. About that time I was asked to drive Fr. Spitzer (sp?), the then Dean of Seattle U, to a women’s mini retreat and mass in the general southern area I still live in (about an hour plus for each leg.) In the drive back I was led to comment that at one time in history, the Jesuits practically saved the Catholic Church but today half of them seem to be seeking to destroy it. Prudently he did not respond.
        I much prefer to talk. My two finger typing is too laborious and time consuming. (The stay at home rules we are in now thankfully has given me time. God takes good care of us even among our challenges.)
        Thank you for your important contributions to this community. May the Holy Spirit continue to bless, guide and inspire all here. Watch and pray, pray and watch, TRUST in the Lord. jas

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Fr. Bradley was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at SU, beginning I think in 1962 or 1963. He married me and my wife Jean in May of 1969. He was 100% faithful to the Gospel and the teachings of the Church – and a great friend and mentor.
          .

          Liked by 2 people

            1. I was in SU at the same time. 🙂 Fr Bradley was actively the Dean of the college of Rts and Sciences. I was a Philo major with minors in Theology & History. I believe you were studying in the Engineering Dept? Most of the engineering students I met were studying Civil Engineering. Are you a CE?

              Like

                1. I sometimes experience impairment in my memory and vocabulary access. This morning I remembered that my Masters from Texas A&M was in Industrial Engineering. I hope they don’t drum me out of the alumni corps if someone reports my slip up. jas

                  Liked by 1 person

  13. Desmond,

    Very helpful. I confess I am not that smart or educated in Catholic teaching. I had CCD until the age of 13 and didn’t become confirmed until the age of 25. I only had the example of my saintly mother and her faith filled family.

    I come here to learn and I have learned alot. Thank you for your educating us. I truly rely on God for discernment because I am so ignorant. I read a lot and seek the truth always.

    Perhaps folks here can help me understand ( you have in the past). I recently read that the Pope and many of the top clergy are part of the illuminati. If that is so, basically some are sayings in their writings that the Pope and possibly past popes were satan worshipers. This blows my mind.

    Thank you for your help in educating me and pointing me to the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The Illuminati hasn’t existed as an organization for a couple of centuries. Most of their surviving membership migrated over to the most virulent branches of ‘Free Masonry’. The source for what you read is some branch of ‘Gullible Old Wives Tales Anonymous’. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Desmond has a good point here, the Illuminati is equivalent to the boogeyman and taken just as seriously. There’s always been evil throughout human history with “pride” being it’s source. The current groups rebelling against God are called Globalists, Liberals, Socialists, Communists, & Atheists; we know them by the fruits they bear.

      I read the Book of Revelations, and I don’t care who the evil characters are, even if we could identify them we’d be powerless to oppose them. Revelations tells is there will be suffering, wars, famines, pestilence, diseases, and economic failure; at the end of all those trials there will be peace.

      In these times where we’re handed lemons, we just got to make lemonade. Accept these hardships & sacrifices as something to offer up to God. We let the creator prune our unproductive branches, so we can grow more productive.

      For those who trust & obey God, they got nothing to worry about, it’s those mock or deny God that are in big trouble.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You’re right about that, Al. Even if folks could clearly identify the significant evil-doers, how many are in a position to oppose them. That sort of thinking is ultra-mundane, and time spent on it is time taken away from loving God and neighbor. The former weakness, the latter Strength!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True Al but both the good and the bad will suffer, perhaps we willingly so that more will be saved until peace will return again. The most important prize is Heaven no matter the length of life on this earth. Just reminding you of something you already know that doesn’t contradict what you have said. jas

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Just checking in, friends.

    Several of us locals in our little forest community have been retooling our usual methods (which almost always involve getting together as a community to talk about it, with or without potluck) in response to the Coronadventure. Social distancing and sheltering in place (i.e., self-quarantining) are just not our style AT ALL. So we’re devising creative new ways to facilitate neighbors helping neighbors. Of note, most of our small group are Christians of various denominations.

    This all has taken time and focus. I follow all posts here but haven’t weighed in much lately. When I do, and even throughout the day, I very much appreciate the formation we all have received, and contributed to, during the last several years.

    Thank you, all. You are in my heart-prayers.

    Thank you, God.

    Sister Bear

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Hail Queen of Heaven, the ocean star
    Light for the wanderer here below
    Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care
    Save us from peril and from woe
    Mother of Christ, Star of the sea
    Pray for the wanderer, pray for me
    .

    Liked by 10 people

  17. It’s satan.

    Gotta take Our Mother’s lead on this. How much time did she spend on trying to identify/oppose evil ones vs. how much time did she spend on loving God and neighbor? The former is a distraction. The latter that will light the world on Fire.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed MP.

      Part of why I asked is because I wonder what to say to friends and family when ALL is revealed. I think I recall Charlie saying that we will be surprised. Those we trusted and those we disdained.

      At any rate, I must fight curiosity!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes I believe he said she was a nurse near Sacramento when globetrotting Tommy n Liz were there too! Don’t know if it was the same hospital as Tommy n Liz took care of inmates about an hour south of Sacramento which sounds like where maybe Jenn is too???? So I hope she is ok dear Jenn🤗😇👩‍⚕️

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          1. Liz is symptomless so far has a few more days of quarantine but I believe they are both frightened.. plz pray for my two globetrotting Tom n Liz…and I promise to keep praying for Jenn🤗🤗🤗

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      2. She is doing well.  Her husband, our son in law, works full time for the church.  So they are receiving in mass every weekend with Father (lucky stiffs).  She has one patient they are waiting on Corona Virus results.  She has to dress up with tighter protocol for this.  She has an amazing attitude.  She told me that she would rather get the darn thing and get it over with so she can help people.  Thank you for your concern Linda!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  18. Our Lady did put a name and a cause on these things at Fatima.
    “Sin” for the cause and
    “Persecutions” because of it.

    “If men do not stop offending God….”
    “Russia will spread her errors…”
    The error is communism created by Freemasonry who the communist plotters were members of.

    The consecration She asked for was accepted by heaven but too late to stop the spread and persecutions. (It apparently stopped a nuclear war though).

    When Jonah preached in Nineveh, the people repented and the city was spared….only to be destroyed later on because they fell back into sin.

    Sodom was permanently destroyed, only Lot and his two daughters were deliberately saved by the Angels.

    The group of men in Nagasaki, Japan were spared the effects of a direct hit by a hydrogen bomb claiming it was because they were “living the message of Fatima”.

    All these events speak of warnings and promises by God to his people BEFORE He acts.

    We can be like Lot or the men in Japan. Or we can be like the other men in Sodom, Nineveh or Nagasaki.
    They were all given a choice.

    Jesus I Trust In You.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, there are these things. Our Mother loves and guides at all times. Having spoken in the past tense about Her though, I was thinking of Mary in the Gospel, and what can be pondered in the multitude of Scriptural references about Her. More to the present, what of all the very personal relationships She has with each of Her children? What of this love and guidance?

      Each of our experiences is personal, but I can say that She speaks and I endeavor to listen like other folks, sometimes in great quiet and of course I’m often highly expressive (talkative), about which I’m not telling Her anything she already doesn’t know the way it truly is, because She is right at the Heart of the matter.

      Some time many years ago, I imagined Her quite vividly. Clothed in the most humble traveling cloak, woven wool with a hint of earthen green to it, auburn hair, and late middle-aged… maybe about 55. Simple and humble, yes, but with a bearing more regal than any queen could possibly imagine. Not a single word was spoken, but I recall watching her every movement –– what She was doing –– with rapt attention. That, too, was humble and simple. And in all this time we’ve never wasted any time talking about mundane matters such as Free Masons. That said, I realize that’s just my experience.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Maybe it would be a good idea for each to write a column entitled, “What Has Been Bothering Me and Where Am I Being Led?” If nothing else, as a quiet personal exercise.

          Finally had a chance to watch the movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ” last night. It was all very moving, but nothing so moving as something he said to himself (and to God) right towards the end of the movie: “I have finished the race.”

          I like St. Paul because he was not only the tireless Apostle and a great evangalizer, but also because he didn’t have a patronizing bone in his body. Clearly the fall from the horse drained him of that.

          If this thing lasts for a long time causing my list of busy projects to run dry, I just might show up on your doorstep and build you that chimney. I might also know a tile guy if you have any need there as well.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Hmmm.  I need a tile guy to fix my shower, but my more immediate need is a chimney.  We are building a log cabin out in the willowwacks of NH.  So I really do need a mason and a free one would be better.This is a big project we are endeavoring on.  I ordered apple trees and elderberry bushes to plant too.  I water my apple trees I planted last  year with a 5 gallon bucket I cart on a wagon.  Sorry to say it’s a green wagon.  The Shakers built a dam on the property 200 years ago and it feeds the stream I get water from.  Kinda feels like I am getting ready for something which I am.  I am  compelled or sense a calling to do this.  Of course, I don’t need an excuse as I just love doing this anyway.I love the nature around the area.  If I’m going down the wrong path, I hope I am lucky enough to get knocked of my horse.  Oh wait, I don’t have a horse.  What can I get knocked off of?  Maybe my green wagon.  Not expecting anything, but by Joe, if you do make it, I will put a scoop of black rifle in the French press and we can wax on together sipping that fine cup-o-jo.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 3 people

          2. Nick H, who attends our storm meetings, has a nephew in law who just lost his father to the Corona virus.  He lived in Bergamo, Italy near Milan.  He used to be part of the Swiss guard and knew JPII.  I have been to Bergamo a number of times.  I pray for the repose of his soul and the family.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Yes, Doug. Via Mary Healy, I heard and have been praying for this family in Bergamo and just got word that her cousin’s father had passed. United with you in prayer for the repose of Alberto’s soul and praying, too, for his wife who is now quarantined. In Mary’s words 2 hours ago: “Because there is uncertainty as to whether it was the coronavirus, Mario’s mother is not allowed to leave the house and no one is allowed to enter. There cannot be a funeral and no family can come. But they are people of great faith, and the vigil of the solemnity of the Annunciation is a beautiful time to go home to the Lord. May the Lord bring Alberto into the joy of His kingdom, and give great grace and consolation to Silvana. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Ps 16:8).”

              Liked by 3 people

              1. James Bond says  “shaken and not stirred”, but in God, we say, “not shaken and stirred in the Holy Spirit”.  They are a beautiful family.  Visiting Nick’s house and interacting with his family is like going on retreat.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                Liked by 3 people

                1. They are, Doug. On the last night of the Encounter Conference, there was impartation given as people lined up to receive the personal pray-over and that floor was elbow to elbow with the lines and on the floor because folks were most often slain in the Spirit. Most then rose to headed back to their hotel rooms for early departure the next day. I hung around a bit and made my way up to the never-ending queue before Mary. When we were face to face and before she prayed over me, I spoke of ASOH and our community and she – who very recently celebrated the anniversary of her vow as consecrated virgin – lit up and acknowledged how special this community is to her family. How blessed that they know us through you, Doug, as you and, each of us, live out what we come here to share – receiving and giving, building each other up and interceding for each other and all others – while the core message continues to be impressed upon our hearts forevermore.

                  Liked by 3 people

                1. It seems it must be the same Mario, Joyful. Here’s another story written when but 11 priests had died from the covid19. Now the count has reached 60+. Of course, the majority of those who have died were elderly and had underlying health issues which put them in the high risk zone.

                  That sadness acknowledged, I do see God drawing great good from this illness. In my pondering, I’m wondering – and praying – that He’s softening hearts, both that they turn to Him and in preparation for an Illumination of Conscience.

                  Liked by 4 people

                2. Yes Joyful.  This is the same family.  Thanks for the article.  I forwarded it to Nick H. And his wife in case he has not seen it yet.  God bless.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                  Liked by 3 people

                1. Exactly, Doug. They just aren’t sure if she has the COVID19 and that region is short of testing kits so this new widow remains in quarantine. Prayers from this widow’s heart continue for this wee anawim, Alberto’s wife, and for all families thusly separated in these current sorrows.

                  Liked by 2 people

          3. I put a stone facade on a house and chimney back in my more nimble days. It was a huge project that took a month of Sunday’s to complete. We had to rent a 40 foot lift to get to the top of it. I think I had more fun playing around with the lift!
            I do tile, stone or marble fireplaces all the time, but I do not build chimneys.
            Last fireplace I worked on I put a huge slab of granite on the hearth. They are amazingly heavy for their size and I get to test out just how fit I still am! (Slowing down, mind you).
            They use a lot of stacked stone over fireplaces these days but my favorite has always been a nice fancy marble set. Not very traditional but very elegant.
            I see old fireplace/chimeneys standings tall all by themselves near farm fields in rural areas fairly frequently, especially in GA.
            The old houses usually get burned down leaving the chimneys still standing as the lone marker that a house was once there. The fact they are made of brick and fire clay to withstand the heat saves them from destruction when the house burns down. Most are built outside up against the wall so they are fairly stable when the house collapses, not being surrounded by falling timbers.
            I leased a 100+ year old farm house a few years ago in central GA that had 4 chimneys, all built on the outer walls.
            It was a neat place. We had to do some work on it to get it functioning again as it had been abandoned and the copper wiring stolen and the plumbing crumbling (cast iron).
            Remodeling it gave me an appreciation of the craftsmanship of that era and some insight into life back in those days too.

            Liked by 5 people

                  1. Oops, I sent this to Beckita and I should have put it here, Dez:

                    There once was a great eschatologist,
                    His bold candor brooked no apologist,
                    On faith he was firm to the rule;
                    If you wanted to play the fool,
                    You earned a trip to the proctologist.

                    Liked by 2 people

            1. With the way things are going, pretty soon, this will mean I have to shoot a buck and deliver it as payment.  If I do shoot a buck, I will be sure to tow it on my green wagon.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

              Liked by 1 person

            2. “A chimney please, says Pounds.
              For free, no less, just astounds.
              I’d charge him a buck,
              ‘cept this muckety-muck,
              works for pie which keeps me unwounds.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. I need a chimney in a hurry.I’d even hire a Murry.If he built it up to the sky.I’d be glad to pay with a pie.I’m planting some elderberries.Don’t need a welder who tarries.Prefer a free mason who carries.But I will gladly pay with a pie full of berries.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                Like

  19. Excellent post Desmond. A lesson I need to hear everyday. I know the truth you write of in my soul, but my heart is weak and judges everyone harshly. God have mercy on me.

    With love and joy in the knowledge that through Christ all things are possible…r

    Liked by 5 people

  20. I know we’re a praying group. Praying for the 60 Italian priests who have died of the COVID19. Praying, too, for all who love these priests and now mourn:
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/at-least-60-italian-priests-have-died-after-contracting-coronavirus-78399

    Let us also lift up Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans who has tested positive for the virus:
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/archbishop-aymond-of-new-orleans-has-coronavirus-20504

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For the recently deceased Italian priests and all who have died from this virus:
      May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
      May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.

      Liked by 6 people

  21. Chiara Corbella Petrillo, Servant of God, is a wife and mother from Rome whose brief life testified that everything is possible for God!

    Great inspiration for living, even amidst what is all around, from Chiara’s husband, now widower, Enrico:

    Oh Servant of God, Chiara, pray for us to have patience and trust as we live in each moment.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So beautiful, Beckita! All these holy things priests are going out of their way to do make me cry tears of love for our Lord. May these holy priests and bishops multiply and may more follow their examples!

      Liked by 7 people

  22. Lot’s of food for thought in your post Desmond. Some thoughts: I remember watching a short video of Pope Francis giving a talk. The pope’s face was serious, but when he mentioned Our Lady his face lit up with joy. It was obvious that it wasn’t staged. From the video I understand that Pope Francis knows and loves Our Lady and therefore he knows and loves Jesus because she invariably leads us to Him.
    Well, what about that idol? How can the pope promote idol worship? After the statue of a naked, pregnant woman was taken from the church and tossed in the river, the pope had it restored to the church and apologized to people of the Amazon. What gives? Well the Culture of Death dominates in many areas of the Amazon. Abortion and the selective killing of infants is traditionally accepted. Many other forms of killing are rampant. The favored dress of the Amazon’s indigenous tribes is nakedness. The statue is a statement for the Culture of Life. Just as the Guadalupe Tilma depicts a pregnant indian woman(black sash indicates pregnancy) stepping on a snake(symbol of the god who demanded child sacrifice), is a statement for the Culture of Life to the Aztecs. Our Lady is the mother of the Amazon’s indigenous tribes as well. If she were to appear to them, she may well appear to them as pregnant and naked. Remember Adam and Eve were naked before their sin. Our Lady never sinned. She has no problem with nakedness. Because he loves Jesus and Mary so much, the pope has no problem with nakedness in the right situation. Because of our sinfulness, we have the problem.
    On another level, the statue may symbolize that idolatry is endemic in the Church. I’ll never forget
    Charlie’s post about a American bishop’s conference in 2003. It was more like a business executives meeting. Jesus’ name was only mentioned twice. In the ecclesiastically approved book “In Situ Jesu” a monk shares Jesus’ locutions to him concerning the priesthood. In essence, Jesus says that most priests do not have a personal relationship with Him. I think many, without knowing it, idolize the Church instead. When idolizing the Church doesn’t fill their hearts which it can’t, they may turn to sin.
    Anne, a lay Apostle, also receives locutions from Jesus and Mary(directionforourtimes.org). Her books have an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. In Volume Three(pg.100) Our Lady speaks to priests and bishops asking, “How many can you say have a lively connection to Jesus Christ?” She goes on to inform her priests and bishops how they can tell when someone has a personal relationship with Jesus. Our Lady then asks how many souls like this do they know?.Then she states that everyone should have this relationship with Jesus. This gently implies priests and bishops as well. Our Lady is such a gentle mother.
    It may be that the Holy Spirit inspired Pope Francis to include this statue in the church to symbolize
    the very real idolatry endemic in the Church as well as making a Culture of Life statement.
    A few more thoughts:
    I think in appointing bishops Pope Francis tries to gauge the candidate’s love for Jesus. This is
    very difficult to gauge It used to be that those who were “orthodox” were promoted. That’s how you got ahead in the Church. After all Jesus said, “Those who love Me will keep my commandments.” But some “orthodox” loved their careers and the Church much more than Jesus and caused scandals either by abusing someone or filling posts with abusive priests. I think the pope tries to gauge the spirit of the candidate. Just being “orthodox” doesn’t cut it anymore..
    There was a big controversy when the pope wrote about the divorced and remarried
    receiving communion. He even seemed to ok it under some circumstances. The “orthodox ” were up in arms. Well it turns out that in 1972 Father Joseph Ratzinger(Benedict XVI) wrote a similar
    treatise about the remarried receiving communion with the same conclusion.as Pope Francis (Joseph Ratzinger, if anyone, has to be the St. Thomas Aquinas of our day.) I read this treatise on Ron Conte’s blog (edit: Links to Conte’s blog have been banned from this site because his crackpot style of “theology” promotes erroneous and false teachings while stirring division and confusion. ~BH)
    When someone criticizes the pope, I can’t help think of when the pharisees criticized Jesus because His apostles were feeding themselves with corn from a farmer’s field or He cured someone on the sabbath, etc. Sometimes Jesus would sometimes do and say things(“hard sayings”) that would cause
    people to leave him because they just didn’t understand. Pope Francis, as vicar of Christ, does the same. i
    Jesus, king of love, I put my trust in your merciful goodness. (indulgenced)

    Like

    1. Beckita, I feel compelled to respond to your cryptic warning about Ron Conte. I have had to deal with this guy on many occasions. He is a self-proclaimed theologian. And that claim reminds me of the old saying, “Saying something doesn’t make it so.” If he is a theologian, I am a blueberry muffin.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. I have an uneasy feeling About events in the world and struggle to make sense of things happening.

    My fear is that we are exchanging one slave master for another.

    This article gives great food for thought and to me makes some sense. But, I am very ignorant. It is not that I seek to make plans… but to avoid wordly traps. Thank you for your consideration.

    (link removed ~BH)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Little One, we’ve gotta’ be careful about what we read and the source from which it comes. First thing to research is to look for info about the author. Is s/he qualified to write what is in the material? Anybody can say anything and post it on the internet. The second discerning point is to research about the resource where the material is posted. Is it a solid, respectable site that posts truth? Lastly, whether or not the plans of Q will come to pass, please, don’t expect sound and accurate Catholic Teaching within the writings of those who report about Q material. I removed the link because this writer just adds more chaos to the already dizzy-with-confusion material on various media. This quote alone says the writer is merely giving his opinion: “While there are countless ideas and opinions about exactly what the mark is, this is mine and I stand behind it.”

      I think all that is going on in this world right now is too big for any one of us to make full sense of the chaos and confusion. I think time is better spent on engaging in our relationship with God (acknowledging God), doing the little things right before us (taking next right steps) and God really does make of us a sign of hope to those around us. God bless you, Little One.

      Liked by 6 people

  24. Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

    Below is the link to interview with Fr Ignacio Maria Doñoro, who has been a missionary to the ‘Indios’ in the upper Amazon for over ten years. He has a large and well0known presence there – in large part taking care of abandoned children in the region. He presents the truth about the Pachamama Idol being an actual idol.

    Fr. Doñoro is personally intimately connected with and knowledgeable about the culture in the Amazon region – as he has worked in the middle of it for over a decade. I strongly Encourage you to read this article – because it speaks the truth about the Pachama Idol [the Mother earth Goddess in the upper amazon culture]. There is no question it is a pagan idle – as Fr.Doñoro witnesses and testifies.

    The link below is to the LifeSite reprint of the Alletia original fascinating interview with Fr. Doñoro.
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/amazon-priest-synod-fathers-used-indigious-people-to-attack-catholic-faith.

    All my love in Christ

    Desmpmd

    Liked by 6 people

  25. From Desmond….

    First, what Fr. Joseph Ratzinger wrote back in the early 1970’s doesn’t always jibe with his stated positions in his Pontificate. To wit:

    In 1972, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger was still recovering from the Extreme Higher Criticism conditioning he had received at the hands of his major prof/mentor in his college years, Fr Karl Rahner. Father Ratzinger began a gradual turnaround from Rahner’s EHC only in 1969. Then, when Fr. Ratzinger began re-evaluating same, he came to the conclusion that the student riots at Tübingen and other German Universities were in large part due to the “from another planet” theology of Rahner and numerous others..

    As just one example, in 1977 the original edition of his book, ‘Eschatologie – Tod und ewiges Leben’ was released; it was republished later in English as ‘Dogmatic Theology – Eschatology, Death and Eternal Life’. Therein, he took a number of positions which he later revised. One example in that book: he originally stated that there was “no chronology” in or to the various prophesied very end-time events.

    However, twenty one years later, in addressing the Church in 2008, he says:

    “In his Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul changes his perspective. He speaks of the negative incidents that must precede the final and conclusive event. We must not let ourselves be deceived, he says, to think that, according to chronological calculations, the day of the Lord is truly imminent: “On the question of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we beg you, brothers, not to be so easily agitated or terrified, whether by an oracular utterance, or rumor, or a letter alleged to be ours, into believing that the day of the Lord is here. Let no one seduce you, no matter how” (2: 1-3). THE CONTINUATION OF THIS TEXT ANNOUNCES THAT BEFORE THE LORD’S ARRIVAL THERE WILL BE APOSTASY, AND ONE WELL DESCRIBED AS THE “MAN OF LAWLESSNESS”, “THE SON OF PERDITION” (2: 3) MUST BE REVEALED, WHO TRADITION WOULD COME TO CALL THE ANTICHRIST.”

    Quite obviously, by this time the brilliant mind of Ratzinger had grown sufficiently out of the pale bloodless intellectualism of Extreme Higher Criticism’s ideas – to drop the claim there is no chronology of the very end time events foretold in Scripture and Tradition. Now, 21 years later, the previous Fr. Ratzinger has grown to return to those Traditional teachings with the words:

    BEFORE THE LORD’S ARRIVAL THERE WILL BE APOSTASY AND ONE WELL DESCRIBED AS THE “MAN OF LAWLESSNESS”, “THE SON OF PERDITION”, (2: 3) MUST BE REVEALED, WHO TRADITION WOULD COME TO CALL THE ANTICHRIST.”

    As we can see above, he is now positing the necessity of, first, the apostasy from the faith and, second, the arrival of the great Antichrist. This is directly contrary to what he wrote in his 1977 eschatological text. He had grown out of the EHC mentality of Rahner.

    Point: unless one knows the sweep of the writing of Ratzinger/Benedict well enough to demonstrate an intellectually honest, factual presentation on same – one might be well advised to withhold an attempt at definitive statements about his early writings.

    All my love in Christ

    Desmond

    Liked by 6 people

  26. Excuse me for dropping in. Not participating in the discussion but I just received an email stating that: “Dan Burke is currently in the ICU at a hospital in AL. He was put a ventilator to help him breath as he fights COVID-19. His wife, Stephanie, is also in quarantine with COVID-19.” As far as I can tell this is a legitimate email from the Avila Team asking for prayers.
    God bless us all,
    katey in Oregon🙏🏼

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s legit, katey. I’ve received it via several sources today. Audiemarie brought it to us in the Prayer Request section of the site and thank you for bringing it here. Dan does have an underlying lung health issue, thus, his greater struggle. Praying for both Dan and Stephanie. Praying for all who are afflicted.

      Liked by 6 people

  27. Stephanie has requested: “I am begging you to stop what you are doing right now and to say what Mother Teresa called a “Flying Memorare”: 9 Memorares in a row for an intention. Short, powerful, Marian.”
    I have just prayed. He is in dire straits. Dear Jesus, hear out prayer.🙏🏼✝️💜
    Katey in Oregon

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Holding Dan and his wife up in prayer and thanksgiving for the lives they lead. One of my sisters and her husband are recovering now from Covid19 and they say they have never been sicker in their lives.
    After two weeks they still have no energy. She lives with one kidney as she gave one away a few years back and he had a heart attack last year so both are vulnerable and need to be extra careful. Their sense of humor is good so I think they’ll be fine.

    Liked by 8 people

  29. On the old website, Charlie mentioned about there being a threat from China and that there would be deaths but it wouldn’t be as bad as people thought.

    It seems to me that the Wuhan/Corona/Covid19/Boomer-remover virus somewhat fits the bill.

    Am I totally off on this?

    Liked by 4 people

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