Lockdown Ruminations

The Thinking Tree - Greg Olsen
The Thinking Tree – by Greg Olsen

By Charlie Johnston

Sometimes I am glad people know so little about history. Quite frankly, it is horrifying – mostly an unending tale of brutality, cruelty and strife. Thomas Hobbes was just being frank when he said, in his Leviathanthat life is “nasty, brutish and short.” At other times, it pains me, for if people knew history a little better they would appreciate how much of a rare holiday from history modern western civilization, in general, and America, in particular, is. I often say that the freedom and security we take for granted is akin to a half a postage stamp of safety on a football field of mayhem and misery.

In modern America, people seek to draw attention to themselves, to be noticed. Throughout most of history, common people sought to avoid notice, for nothing good – and much bad – could come of it. To get just a little idea of how things ‘normally’ are, study the history of the English Civil War, the Terror in the French Revolution. I don’t even touch on the Holocaust – for most moderns are, at least, aware of it. In modern times the most brutally cruel are those who posture as the most enlightened and compassionate. Read Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago to get a taste of the ugliness of the Russian Revolution; Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities to get a sense of the horror of the Terror in Paris; Nien Cheng’s Life and Death in Shanghai for a first person survivor’s gripping account of the brutal madness of Mao Tzetung’s ‘idealism; and the introduction to Malachi Martin’s chilling Hostage to the Devil for a taste of the horror of the rape of Nanking. Two of what I suggest are historical novels and one just an introduction to a larger work – to make your task easier. If you want to make your study broader or deeper, you had best have a strong constitution. The casual and gleeful random murder of innocents – including children – abound. For anyone who has a competent grasp of history, the bleatings of those who posit micro-aggressions and identity politics and such are not comical; they are infuriating. Western Civilization, the robust progeny of Christianity, is -like its Founder – the liberator of humanity, not its slave-master. What is most horrifying is that, if you drill down hard, you discover that the most vicious and accomplished mass murderers of history sound a lot like those bleating today about micro-aggressions and identity politics. We have been cavorting along the cliff’s edge of a terrifying new dark ages for over half a century now. I pray this vast global disruption sobers us enough to pull back from the edge rather than pushing us over.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci is now estimating that we could see 100-200,000 deaths in the U.S. from the Wuhan Virus before it all burns out. That means that, at the low end, it could be like an extremely bad flu season (an average of between 30-60,000 people in America die each year of the flu. In the worst seasons, the number can gravitate up to 80,000) and at the high end, it could be a miniature of the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed 500,000 Americans from 1917 to 1921 – and 50 million worldwide. At 200,000 deaths, the Wuhan Flu would have about a seventh of the impact the Spanish Flu did in America (after adjusting for population). As I have mentioned before, I have a lot of confidence in Dr. Fauci’s medical opinions. One of my team members forwarded (with permission) the clinical description of the course of the disease and some comments from a doctor who is a relative and working in a very stressed hospital. (I think it inappropriate to mention which hospital or even which state here). It seems, if I understand correctly, that the biggest dangers are that, while early on, it resembles a flu, it does not respond to the normal treatments for flu and, in fact, some of those treatments can make it worse. It gears up to a sort of storm of symptoms attacking many organs on the 10th day of symptoms presenting. If you get past this, which a little over 80% do easily, you are out of the woods. But the ones who don’t are in real trouble. In some ways, this was comforting, for I could see from the doctor’s comments and those medical people who commented on his private site, that the medical professionals are puzzled about many things on how this virus behaves and reacts, too. And I deeply appreciated their obvious concern to find their way through this for their patients.

One country is taking an entirely different approach than most of the rest of the world. Sweden is largely leaving people to make their own decisions, refusing to shut down anything except in several targeted cases, while urging the most vulnerable to self-isolate. It believes that establishing “herd immunity” will, in the long run, produce the best results. The idea behind herd immunity is that as each person gets infected, he becomes immune. Most immunologists say that once the immunity level reaches 80 percent, it gets very difficult for a virus to cause extensive damage to a population. Some of you are old enough that, when you were kids, parents often used this strategy with their kids on the common childhood diseases – chicken pox, the mumps, and measles. Certainly, the curve is bending up swiftly in Sweden – but that is what they intend. The bet is that if you urge vulnerable populations to isolate themselves that the virus will be relatively innocuous with most other people – and the “herd” immunity will protect the nation from any second waves in the fall. It has worried me that all this isolation is preventing any herd immunity from developing – which would make the quarantined nations very vulnerable to a second wave. The Spanish Flu began its greatest damage during its second wave in 1918. The bet on the quarantine technique being used in most of the world is that we will buy enough time to develop more effective treatments and a vaccination (which, itself, creates a herd immunity) and that then it will not be as bad because we will have established a partial immunity in the general population. I have had one serious commenter tell me that you would need almost 100% infection for herd immunity to work in this case. I did not really understand why this is different than the 80% threshold almost all others recommend. It’s a hard thing to figure. I call some of these things “Black Swan” events. Matt Shapiro of the American Spectator amusingly calls this a “Zebra Swan” event.

Right now we have designated some businesses as “essential” and kept them humming. As we continually extend out the length of a nationwide quarantine, I can’t help but wonder whether those “essential” businesses, will be able to get the parts they need to continue to make the medical equipment and other essential things. There are a lot of consequences we have not yet thought through – and they will get magnified as this goes along.

Some state and local officials have gleefully unleashed their authoritarian spirits. People who exercise arbitrary power in a crisis often end up exercising more of it for the fun of it – for the frisson of telling people what they must do and seeing those people do it. I do not understand why some localities have decreed that abortion is essential, but church services are not. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio threatens to shut down houses of religion permanently if people go there now. Of course, a lot of these threats – $5,000 fines and a year in jail for being out for anything non-essential in some venues (even as the same venues are releasing real criminals back onto the streets because of the virus) are clearly improper exercises of power in normal times and, one expects, the electorate will punish those officials whose authoritarian spirits got too bold and arbitrary during this crisis. I would not want to be either of those governors who banned chloroquine, the most promising treatment for the Wuhan Virus to date, simply because Trump spoke well of it. Political extinction is in their future. Even as central authority is being exercised to contain the crisis, centralization itself is being largely discredited. The nations which comprise the European Union are closing their borders to each other. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been such a propagandizing toady of Communist China that its reputation is probably permanently shot. A few leftists impotently argue that socialized health care is what we need to deal with emergencies such as this – whistling past the graveyard of the disastrous performance of most socialized systems during this crisis. They also have to ignore such performances as these hospital administrators who fantasized about denying care to Trump supporters.

I don’t know who we will be as a people going forward, but who we have been is being stripped away from us. God willing, we will get back to work and living, but we will not be the people we were. May we be a better people.

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A distinction I have long made between Armageddon and the Apocalypse is that Armageddon is NOT the end. It is the decisive battle between good and evil – which is followed by the satan being chained for a thousand years. I have thought that we had entered the early stages of Armageddon about two decades ago, though the man who would become St. John Paul II spoke of it two decades before that, at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976 when he said:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”

Like just about everyone, I have been baffled at the speed at which all this came upon us. On Monday, March 9, I was busy developing plans for a nascent SuperPac for people of faith targeting five key states. It was going to be a very busy year. And on Friday, March 13, I realized that everything was going to be shut down for a while – which seemed a dramatic over-reaction to me at the time. I’m still not sure it isn’t – a rifled approach protecting the truly vulnerable makes more sense to me – but there were enough unknowns about this virus at the time that justified this massive approach. Now, I agree with President Donald Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that we know enough that we can and should start rifling, rather than shotgunning, our defense against the Wuhan Virus in order to protect from a long and deep economic depression.

I am grateful for what this crisis has revealed, even as I am disappointed at much of our Christian reaction. I’m not talking about the suspension of Masses. A couple of weeks ago, authorities in one Diocese (not my own) asked me for my take on a potential shutdown of Masses. The Bishop involved hated the idea, but the governor of his state had ordered it. I said I hated it, too, but that to defy it would be to enter direct confrontation with civil authorities – and we have not prepared for that. Going off on a half-cocked charge could do permanent damage to our rights. But I had hoped that this time would be used, in part, to prepare contingency plans for another such confrontation in the future. Once civil authorities exercise power for just reasons, some fall in love with exercising the same power for unjust reasons. I had several such conversations with authorities in other Dioceses that were not so direct.

There has been an enormous surge in televised Masses – and I appreciate that, though I think it might be a bit of a double-edged sword. What I have watched for is how individual Dioceses handle such things as Confession, Anointing of the sick and such individual approaches to ministry. Some have made absolutely heroic efforts. But I have seen a lot more who refused these, as well as Mass – except for those in genuine mortal danger. I cannot help but think, for heavens sakes, we Christians are historically the people who go forth to comfort the lepers. What happened to us?

There has been very little practical application of Christian principles in contemplating this crisis from officials and secular commentators. Even from the Christian press there has been more of an emphasis on “signs and wonders” than on how to live our faith well in a world in crisis. I think an ugly form of materialism has taken hold of the culture, even among the faithful – where we worry hysterically about our own mortality rather than how to minister to those around us while prudently protecting our loved ones.

I have been contemplating it in light of my pilgrimage nine years ago. For the first month and a half, I was scared of many things – perhaps most especially of being injured far from help. I prayed for my safety frequently. I had a little Facebook Page (that is Abraham’s Journey) that I updated at libraries and where there was internet service. Usually just a few lines every couple of days. My son, at one point early on, told me he thought the page had a lot more silent watchers than we knew. It didn’t even have a thousand people following, so I thought my son’s observation was more filial affection than anything else. But at that time, when you reached a certain level, Facebook gave you access to an administrator’s page where you could see statistics. about the page. I was stunned to see that it was getting an average of 50,000 hits per week – and even more stunned when, shortly after, it went up to over 100,000 per week. It would become a turning point in my attitude.

It was amazing to me how enthused people were upon finding out what I was doing. Walking mainly through rural areas of Alabama and Mississippi in the early days, I would wander into a little cafe and find that all the people around had been watching and talking about me for days – and were eager to hear what I was doing. It baffled me, for at the time I could not see what all the excitement was about. I was just an old man walking. I told everyone who asked that I thought the world was in a lot of trouble and that this time we were not going to get out of it without a terrible reckoning. I said people worried about the things they might lose – and they had good cause to worry…but that we had forgotten that our only reliable source of security is in God. So I walked in prayer for our poor, bleeding world and to throw myself into radical dependency on Him for a time. Some would ask me what group I was walking for – and when I would tell them I was walking for no group, just walking to see who I would meet along the way and praying for all, the enthusiasm would get even greater. I really didn’t understand the almost universal excitement and enthusiasm of the many people I met along the way. But before I began I had started praying that this pilgrimage could, in its little way, be a sign of hope to those I encountered. I was thankful that it had, in a small way – but already much bigger than I ever imagined – become a sign of hope and joy to a lot of people.

It was in Louisiana where my prayers changed. So many people were following me on Facebook and were so inspired, that I came to fear that if I was injured in a way that prevented me from completing my journey, it could crush the nascent hope and faith my journey seemed to be sparking. So I began praying that if I were injured, please let it be such that it would not stop me from finishing my walk. My prayers ceased to be inwardly focused and got much more outwardly focused. I delighted more and more in the people I met along the way.

There was a lot more danger and hardship than I ever let on. I figured my purpose in all this was to spark confidence in God and joy in His creation – not to scare or impress people with how hard it was. Truth is, I was threatened by two men with knives and one with a pistol along the way. Without skipping a cheery beat, I made it clear to the two men with knives that they were in for more than they bargained for if they did not back off and pretend it was all in jest. The fellow with the pistol simply ambushed me – and I was rescued by what I am convinced were supernatural means. The fellow went from threatening me menacingly in the woods which he had followed me into to suddenly looking wide-eyed with fear over my left shoulder and turning and running from the woods in raw panic. I looked to see what was behind me and there was nothing there – but I did have the wit to say “Thanks” to my unseen guardian.

Animals mostly treated me as if I belonged there and were not shy of me when I was alone. At the little Hattiesburg Zoo there is a platform you can climb above the tiger enclosure, surrounded by various trees. It feels a little like you are in a jungle. The weirdness of animals towards me was underlined when, after I sat down on the bench at the top, a brightly colored little bird landed on the rail next to me and starting chirping cheerily, after which two of his duller-colored friends joined him. I was tickled by this impromptu concert, and then the star bird looked at me with bright alarm and they all took off. Just a moment later a woman and her two daughters arrived at the top. Birds and squirrels liked to play with me. Foxes stalked me many nights – wandering in half moon circles as if to ask, “What ARE you doing?” The first time a cougar came into my camp at night it unnerved me, but I discovered the big cats are very shy of humans once they know what you are. I saw wolves, armadilloes, opossums (ugh), a LOT of deer and elk, wild turkeys – a family of rabbits made camp with me in Houston next to the Buffalo Bayou. Oddly, I never saw a coyote – which I see routinely when I am in civilization and never encountered a snake in the wild until I entered Colorado. The only animals that unnerved me were bears. They are not hostile to man, but they are also not at all afraid of him. Three once came into my camp and grunted around while I was helpless in my tent. Oddly, while they sniffed the food I had hung up from a tree branch, they took none of it.

All in all, I was in mortal peril six or seven times and in great hardship or hunger a lot more than that. But I didn’t care to talk or dwell on that. On the other hand, when I was in Pearl, Mississippi, I was chatting with three ladies who worked in a little shop (come walking off the street with a smile and a heavy pack on your back and it is a GREAT conversation starter). I was delighting them with the joyful tales of my journey, but one kept looking at me with a knowing smirk. As I prepared to leave, she told me that her 21-year-old nephew had set out to hike the Appalachian Trail a year before. I asked her enthusiastically how he had liked it. With that knowing smirk she told me he didn’t last a week before deciding it was too hard. A little red-faced I conceded that it was tougher than I let on – but the joys really were incredible and well worth it. She patted my shoulder and then hugged me. It moved me. There is something wonderfully comforting in a person who sees deeper into you without being told.

Because I believed this journey was appointed by God, I took nothing to protect myself with. Oh, I had a knife, but had it in a place in the pack that was not quickly accessible. I was convinced that if I was called to throw myself on a radical dependence on God, I had to trust in Him completely – but without presumption. I had a fellow in Jasper, Alabama, with whose family I stayed a few days, absolutely in tears when I firmly – but gratefully – refused his offer of a 22-pistol for my protection. I routinely drank from streams and rivers – and never used any filter or purification. It was much in my mind that we are the sons and daughters of the pioneers. When the pioneers saw water, they thought, “Life!” and gave thanks to God. When we contemplate drinking water from the wild we think, “Death!” What happened to us? Sometimes there were little ironies. Once, coming out of several days of wilderness in California, I came upon a little primitive camp with a hand-crank water spout. “Ah, civilization,” I thought. And then I laughed as it dawned me that almost everyone else who came to this site thought, “Ah, wilderness!”

I am a prudent man. I have no desire to be a martyr. I want to live joyfully and hopefully die quietly in my bed decades from now. But what I most want is to spark new hope in those I meet along my pilgrim way. I want to live, but I would gladly accept death rather than knowingly crush the hope of one of my innocent fellows. Oh yeah, I can be combative with some naysayers, those who think they advance their status by attacking me, but I don’t pay them much mind. Truth be told, I usually think of them, with amusement, as the “Knights Who Say Ni.” They add a little comic zest to my journey, but they aren’t going to impede it in any significant way. But basically, I pray a lot to be a sign of hope – and get aggravated when my occasional crabbiness and sometimes blundering nature impedes that. Perhaps my outlook is a matter of faith, perhaps a matter of hubris – probably more than a bit of both. But everything I do is through a focus, maybe bordering on obsession, to defend the faith, hearten the faithful and defend the faithful.

We are all on pilgrimage. In the end, there are only two sorts: a pilgrimage to heaven or a pilgrimage towards hell. I have often said that I expected that in times of trial, we should expect that any whose prime source of security is in anything but God should expect it to be stripped away from them. I think of different sayings I cherish and think how appropriate for these times, such as, “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added.” I think if you substituted the word “fear” for “desire” in that saying, it would be almost equally effective.

I think we have begun a time when we must choose God or perish. If you have hold of God as your lodestone, however clumsily or stumbling, you will go forward, even if it is only stumbling forward. If you hold on to all the little pretties of this world that are already passing away, you will perish. Alexander the Great, who conquered the known world before he was 30 lies a-mouldring in his grave just like the wino who died in the gutter. If this life is all there is, what a miserable jest all nobility is. But it is not. It is our prelude to eternity; our audition, before God, for heaven. Why then, do we spend so much time clutching at what will perish anyway?

Apropos of nothing, it occurs to me that the Spanish Flu began in 1917 – the same year as the Fatima Apparitions – and raged in waves for the next four years. What If these pandemics are bookends of a sort? I am mainly grateful for this trial – thinking that God is giving us a taste so that we can assess where we are, whether we truly trust Him and are devoted to our neighbors or whether we just give Him lip service in hope of weaseling our way into heaven without any Calvary being involved.

We have all entered a stage in our pilgrimage where we enter the wilderness for a time. Do not fail to be prudent, to avoid rash presumption. But at all times, remember to focus your prayer outward, to be a sign of hope to those you meet along your way, to trust in God and get on with it. It is we, who are Christian in deed as well as word, who can keep this from becoming a return to the desperate and brutal strife that is history. Acting prudently and faithfully, let us worry less and get on with the business of proclaiming the Kingdom to a world grown more weary by the day.

393 thoughts on “Lockdown Ruminations

  1. Amen, Charlie. I’ve been sensing deeply that this virus is a watershed event. In my contemplation, we’ve begun this contemporary Exodus in earnest. Probably, like our friends of the original Exodus, we’ll be tempted to whine and wish for what we left behind. Change can be hard and I sense life as we have been living it will never be the same but there’s no going back. And, really, why would we want to go back on that path to destruction?

    Now, we make our way on this new leg of the Journey knowing many difficulties and heartaches lie ahead as the effusion of purifying grace envelops the whole human race. Rather than swirling in fear, I keep thinking of the event preceding that first Exodus when Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven and there was a thick darkness over the whole land; “but the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Can you imagine, really imagine what a beautiful sight that must surely have been? And here we are, making our way through thick darkness, with the Light of Christ dwelling within each of us as temples of the Holy Spirit. If we had eyes to see the supernatural reality of this, it would be a breathtaking sight! We might well die of joy. To carry heaven within us – with the Flame of Love burning brightly – and be able to bring heaven to earth as we reach out in our many next right steps makes all the forthcoming challenges so worth it.

    Liked by 22 people

    1. A contemporary Exodus from our world’s modern Babylon, by breaking this modern Babylon, God is freeing us from the tyranny of the globalist elite (like what was done at the Tower of Babel & Egypt”.

      Once our modern Babylon is gone, many will probably be like those Israelites in the desert complaining & testing God, but hopefully most will do as Charlie been saying over the years and just trust God, obey God’s words, & faithfully live out their Catholic faith…

      Liked by 9 people

      1. I have a feeling my poor hubby michael will be one of those this weekend for he insists I cut his poofy hair!!! I’ve never cut anyone’s hair EVER save biz biz my little kiddos when they were little!!! 💇🏻‍♂️YIKES!!!

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        1. Your post cracks me up, Linda. My husband (in his much younger years) was very vain about his lovely auburn hair. It was beautiful. Until it started disappearing. Let’s say his forehead grew! Now, he just buzz cuts his own hair and chuckles at himself. He is such a lovely soul. (He does have to wear a wool hat to keep his head warm.)

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          1. HAhahAha just like my hubby!!! He has lots all around & in back but just a little on top! He says he can do the top part if I can buzz around the back & sides!!! He used to have sooooo much hair too!!! Thick black Italian hair!😀

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            1. Oh, Linda, you brave soul. 😮
              My husband cut my hair once, 36 years ago. Oh my goodness was it ever awful. It looked like someone took a weed watcher to my head. We were living 2000 miles away from anyone we knew and I was at home with an infant so it didn’t matter. This to shall pass. Hahahaha

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          2. So right about people being vain about their hair. Also, we have no control about thickness or even its existence. 🙄Soon there will be more hair on heads that will be God’s created color with all the salons being closed. Probably healthier too!

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    2. Thank you for this Charlie! Always so much I gain from you. I came to see you give a talk in Aberdeen SD (maybe five years ago or so). Do you know how I could get in touch with others who have followed you, from South Dakota?

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  2. Great ruminations, Charlie.
    Whenever someone says, “When will we get back to normal?” I respond that there will be a new normal and I think it will be better. I hope I’m right.
    We are watching and praying masses on the internet and I pray for all here every day, in every way.
    Thank-you Charlie and Beckita for your encouraging words.
    My sweet DIL sums it up perfectly, “God is good and we are in his hands.”
    God bless us all,
    Katey in OR 🙏🏼✝️💜

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  3. Charlie, I much enjoyed the wisdom and humor of this positing. But I especially enjoyed this passage as it reinforces my own perspective about what offers enduring importance — as compared to momentary, fleeting, passions:
    ” Alexander the Great, who conquered the known world before he was 30 lies a-mouldring in his grave just like the wino who died in the gutter. If this life is all there is, what a miserable jest all nobility is. But it is not. It is our prelude to eternity; our audition, before God, for heaven. Why then, do we spend so much time clutching at what will perish anyway? ”

    Just the other night I stumbled into a section of you tube videos by holocaust survivors, and watching induced great sadness about the human condition. I thought how our current pandemic fear pales by their suffering. And then I recalled that it’s not just the Holocaust that was so bad, but the millions killed by the Communist dictators of the Soviet Union and China, the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, and then we had the killing fields in Cambodia, the genocides in Rwanda, Sudan, and elsewhere in Africa, and current misery of life in North Korea and Venezuela. So, your opening passage sure rang the bell for me. Compared to the hardships throughout human history, our current plight is a trifle, bad as it may be for those falling ill and passing.

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    1. On Sun, April 5, PBS starts a new series World on Fire on Masterpiece.
      However, following the program will be aired about what happened to the children of
      the holocaust: how they had to be taught to love and be loved again.

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  4. There is already a portion of the population with herd immunity to this virus. I’ve been surprised at all the talk by “experts” that there is no “natural” immunity to this virus. They are referring to the fact that it is a “novel” or new virus, but they are playing with words here since of those who are being tested and found positive, 40% are asyptomatic thus “immune” to this virus. They are even looking to use these people with an obvious immunity to the virus as plasma donors to help those who are sick. Now these are just the people who are testing positive for the virus. Obviously others will not get tested who have slight or no symptoms, but they too will be part of the “herd” immunity population down the road. But since a virus goes through mutations between seasons, a new stronger (or weaker) version will come along and re-infect the world all over again like we saw with the Spanish flu. Most of those exposed to the original strain will not catch it again depending on the amount of mutation the virus undergoes. But, as with any normal flu virus, many people will catch this bug again and again over the years as it will become part of our flu season cocktail.

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  5. Today is the 15th anniversary of the death of Pope Saint John Paull II, who said, ” As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” Please St. JPII, you who suffered much, please do pray for us.

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    1. Thanks for reminding us, Maggie. Grateful that Pope St. John Paul II has been a patron of TNRS-ASOH since the inception of Charlie’s blogging on these times. St. John Paul, pray for us and accompany us as we make our way in this transition to the New Springtime.

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    2. Yes I wondered if Charlie made reference to St John Paul 2 because of this??? I sort of figured he did!!! What a great Pope he was!!! St John Paul 2, pray for us🤗 3 of our 4 kids saw him!!! Globetrotting Tommy was in Rome with the Legionaries of Christ back when he was but a kid!😀

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        1. Yep he & his brother Frankie were big into legionnaires of Christ!!! Never met a bad one.. they were wonderful plus we homeschooled so it was good for the boys!!! Great times back then🤗🙏❤️🌹

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  6. Thank you Charlie for another superlative piece of work. I enjoy your postings so much and all the commentary they provoke but they are so edifying as well. Who knew about “frisson”? The Knights of Ni are new to me also. Still chuckling and thinking about shrubbery with a “path down the middle.”

    I am reluctant to comment as comments are sometimes misinterpreted as criticism and what do
    I know?

    It is better to listen than to speak. I am grateful for the faith we share and the family I find here. My prayers for all.

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          1. Ha, Linda! If you’re counting just the kids, I’m 4 shy of a football team and 2 shy of a baseball team; but I’ve got enough for a hockey team (hey, this is Michigan!) or a basketball team (important to someone born in Indiana!). 🙂

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        1. Since I’ve gone overboard commenting today I’ll just say “one more thing.” In reading about our current political morass one wag quoted Mark Twain: “Politicians are like diapers and must be changed often for the same reason.”

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            1. Columbo was one of my favorites as a kid.  I think in some respects Charlie is like him.  His outward demeanor comes across as simple, kinda like a classic old car,  but the engine inside is a 426 hemi all souped up and running in all cyclenders.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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              1. Yes!!! I agree Doug!!! I always thought nick Nolte could play him well but nicks getting a little too old now!!! Ah heck.., maybe Charlie can play Charlie! He’s got lots of air time too😁

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                1. Hmmm.  Can’t see Nick Nolte playin Columbo.  Charlie playing Charlie.  That I can see.😎—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  7. I was thinking about what is happening here culturally; there seems to be the beginning of a new cultural politics. I see people informing on others, I can already feel how perceptions have shifted to looking at everyone around us as a source of infection. I made a store run a few days ago, I plan to stay home for the next few weeks, and in the baking aisle I passed a lady who flattened herself against the opposite side of the aisle when she saw me and loudly said “CARRIER!”. Now I don’t know if she was telling me that she was a carrier or if she was paranoid, but it spooked me and I skittered away with the bag of brown sugar I needed. It was probably the loud voice that scared me more, but for the rest of the shopping trip I made a conscious effort to smile at everyone passing me. I realized that I had, up until that point, been so wrapped up in my list and my worries that I, like everyone else there, was just grimly going along without being properly aware of people, just aware of infection vectors. That unfortunate way of looking at the world, well, it’s becoming an instinct. We are being constantly reminded to wash our hands and obey or we will ‘kill grandma’. Many people have unfortunately been trained to think that all tragedy can be prevented through increased human control. This is the basis of a morality which leads to the gradual acceptance of loss of freedoms until one day you look up and you’re in a Communist hell. For example, I can see already that we will accept new increased levels of oversight when businesses begin opening back up. I can see new regulations for gatherings. Churches may be allowed to open only at the discretion of secular authority. Stuff like that. I love how in your article here you moved from the sweeping scope of history down to the isolation and simplicity of your walk; it mirrors our own experience in this pandemic. While I think about how NY here might make an unfortunate shift towards shaping the public’s behavior in order to make way for new controls, when you get down to it, our real concerns are about our families and the people around us. We are all on a mini pilgrimage right now. I have a feeling this is kind of breaking us in for the long road ahead. Our focus moving forward should be more simple now, yes ‘things’ are bad in one way or another, but the ramps on my property are coming up and my kids are happy (when they’re not fighting), we can pray, the sun still shines and God blesses all of our works in the service of our families and each other. There’s plenty of opportunities for purification just right there too. For example, my young son likes to make multiple videos on this little kid video camera of things like himself eating crackers and laughing.There are, apparently, subtleties to be appreciated that I completely miss. I can pray easily for the end of the coronavirus, but it takes all of my patience to watch yet another one of his 5 minute cracker videos. Sometimes he shows me ones he has already showed me. He calls those ones the ‘oldies’. Each time is a battle walking the fine line of patient attentiveness for me and limit-setting for him. But I digress. It doesn’t matter which way the winds blow as long as we keep this kind of a focus and not give in to fear.

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    1. Katherine …”I can pray easily for the end of the coronavirus, but it takes all of my patience to watch yet another one of his 5 minute cracker videos. “ That made me LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!😂😂😂🤗😘😇

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    2. Who know, Katherine, but a snippet from that scene may just be inc. in your end-of-life review: where your son is smiling b/c of your patience and pleasant countenance while watching those cracker videos! 🙂

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    3. “CARRIER” …probably a new ager,

      she felt the Holy Spirit.

      *******

      On a similar note, I parked my car and proceeded to walk toward a store. A woman did the same about forty feet from me. I coughed, once. She threw me a look, performed an about face and returned to her car.

      I thought to myself: wow. People are scared. Then thought, we are ripe for an invasion.

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      1. Yes.  People are very scared and rightly so.  May this be a time of God’s grace and mercy to fill vulnerable open hearts!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        1. True, Briana Elizabeth– those things do seem possible. That’s what makes me think we are possibly at the big crumble. I was wondering about Trump, too. He has seemed to really care about our country. What’s going on? Contrary to my tendencies, I’m trying to accept that I just can’t know what the truth is and I’m gonna have to live with where we are. My natural tendency is to rail against it. Is this God’s reset?

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          1. We’re in part of the “process” of reset, Kim. So many things we tend to think of as a discrete event God actually brings about in a process. One example is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of our Mother/the Rescue. Sr. Lucy, in the 90’s, gave interviews in which she spoke about the “Fatima Week.” Here’s one article concerning the idea of the promise of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary unfolding in a process.

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    4. Another great comment, Katherine. If my kids tried to show me 5-minute cracker videos, I’d probably assume my typical glazed-over look usually reserved for “watching” Star Wars or Avengers-type movies.

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  8. When this pandemic happened I was getting really anxious. I have anxiety so this stress just amplifies my natural state. I was worrying about my daughters (9 and 12) and constantly had horror-filled thoughts over what could happen to them scaring the daylights out of me. Over the past week, I have been making it a huge effort to abandon myself to God and not worry about things. I am trying my best to keep my focus on Jesus and doing what the Holy Spirit prompts me to do and letting go of worry. I am trying in earnest to think about the things of God and putting my Trust in Him and Him alone. I feel much more at peace now.

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    1. Hi, Rich,
      I have been leaving YouTube live videos of the exposed Eucharist on, using holy water, and at times carry my statue of Jesus with His exposed heart around with me. I helps me to keep Jesus front and center in everything. I find myself talking to Him more and more this way.

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      1. Handtotheplow I’ve been turning on live video exposition too!!! Ha! In the beginning I had to do that and listen to Gregorian Chant! Now I have to go to St Paul’s daily and pray a flame 🔥 of love rosary and where my purple scapular which my best church buddy char taught me how to tie a knot at the back of neck so it doesn’t slide all around!!!

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        1. Hi, Linda,
          When my husband was still working he was on the road 75% of the time and I was alone. I would take my statue of Jesus to bed with me. When I would wake all I had to do was reach out and touch the feet on Jesus, have a visit, and then off to sleep I would go.

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      2. HTTP, I was just going to say that to Rich and all of us. I’ve been doing that too!! I’ll sometimes kneel before the Monstrance and say my rosary, or other prayer. It’s the next best thing to receiving Jesus. My sweet hubby has even come in when I ask him to come say a prayer with me. Of course I always cry when I feel God’s love, but hubby knows that and hugs me! I use EWTN or my daughter’s church across country in KY, so I feel closer to her too. (A couple of times she told me she was going to her church and I saw her!!) That made me cry too 🙂 with love.
        Love you all!

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  9. Isn’t it amazing that the most important things we do in life have nothing to do with material gain.
    To do a thing simply for God or Truth or Beauty or Love is a thing we treasure for the rest of our days.

    It is obvious that Charlies walk was one of those things.

    I think the globohomo tried to kill that, filling time with frantic activity that leads only to nothing of worth remembering.

    Charlie did not state it explicitly, only obliquely, that it takes real courage to undertake such a thing.

    i.e.: “For the first month and a half, I was scared of many things – perhaps most especially of being injured far from help. I prayed for my safety frequently.”

    That is what courage is. Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is doing a thing despite the fear. Fear of ridicule, “self sanity” i.e. “am I truly nuts for thinking like this?” and the material /physical fears Charlie touched on.

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    1. Remember the Scripture passage… “perfect love casts out all fear”.
      It is not the absence of self-protection or over confidence that stops fear. Foolishness is not perfect love, it’s a denial of your fear, not the removal of it.
      Being a “fool for Christ” is not trying something foolish (like bungie jumping) as an act of bravery the demon ask you to do to “prove” your faith (in yourself) but by being deemed foolish by the world for hoping in something that to them seems foolish-like having faith in someone it takes the gift of faith to believe in. That is a double indemnity for a self-made type person to swallow!
      Charlie made the point of the enemy using what is most important to you against you and this is usually a type of fear. Your ‘natural’ inclination to protect those/things you love can turn out to be a tool of the enemy to great fear so you loose your trust (faith) in He who “counts the numbers of your hair” (Luke 12:7). Once someone accepts and ascends to the Father’s love, he no longer fears the world nore the enemy believing in divine providence and His desire for our greater good dispite any event that befall us.

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  10. Insightful and piercing reflection . Thank you for encouraging us to continue to be that sign of hope despite the growing darkness around and within. God is indeed revealing us to ourselves in these murky waters. I love this thought by Thomas Kempsis in his work, the inner life. This is a bit of a paraphrase , “what will lead us to a deeper love of God? It will not be all the theology about the love of God , but how we grow in self awareness and humility indeed will truly lead us to a deeper love of God.” I pray daily for greater illumination of my sinfulness so I can truly see my brother and love from my heart. This storm ⛈ is stripping all of us from our hidden spiritual platitudes we comfort ourselves with . I am indeed Guilty yet seeking His mercy in my own wretchedness. Come Lord Jesus come into my self centered ways and give me eyes to see in the sea of your amazing grace. Amen!! I am willing , I beg you to help my unwillingness.

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly and Charlie is right!!! Your insight is amazing!!! I liked how Charlie said we have to give up our “pretties!!!” Lol Gray hair is a coming fast!!! Lord have mercy on my vanity!!! All is vanity!!! Yikes!!!!😬

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  11. I love the picture you picked, and your words are so heartening. Thank you, Charlie.

    For me personally, the world finally reflects my heart, as you know we buried a child to suicide at the end of 2017. Fear, anxiety, being stripped of everything we thought we knew, is part of life forever for those of us who have lost a beloved to suicide. Sadly, there are so many. It is all beyond surreal.

    I often find myself pondering a lot of your advice to TNRS, always that, but more specifically this: “We can all only do very little, but the little we can do we MUST do” THis is so helpful when I am tempted to wonder what all the pain/suffering can possibly be good for? What am I doing? What good can come from me?

    It is helpful because it re-orients me to Trust God. Our Mommy, Virgin Most Powerful is such a tender, sure help here. She is our source of strength and protection. It would be impossible without Her. Thank you, God, for Her!

    God will use it all (personal suffering) IF I am centered on Him. What a wonderful thought, that somehow, if I give it to Him, He will use it, and turn it into refined gold. That me and mine, sinners, can thus share in His nobility. He invites me and everyone, constantly. And He can never be outdone in generosity. A wonderful thought! Alleluia! Amen!

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    1. Ah Little, yes, the loss of a child is such a great terror and such a heavy burden. We have several here who have suffered that – and I can scarcely imagine their pain. And yet, there is God who will ultimately heal all wounds.

      You know, my tiny little suffering, the constant pain left from my neurological episode is useful to me. My confessor used to pray constantly that I be relieved of it – he just hated how visibly painful it was for me to kneel at Confession. I asked him to stop…told him it was like an integrated hair shirt – so I always had something to offer up for my sins and for that of others. I pray for God’s consolation for you.

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      1. That is good Charlie…”an integrated hair shirt – so I always had something to offer up for my sins and for that of others.” I do that too with my psychological and physical sufferings and always wondered if it would be acceptable to God😀

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      2. You made me laugh—-“integrated hairshirt,” aargh!! Thank you for that, and more seriously, for you deep kindness and love. What a beautiful prayer you offer me, it is much needed and appreciated.

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      3. Integrated hairshirt! What a fabulous description. We all have one. I need to embrace mine with fervor! Oooh I’m having a revelation. Thanks, Charlie!

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    2. Littlelight I am sooooo sorry for the loss of your child in 2017! That is a very hard cross and who knows how many more will occur during this minor tribulation (as Desmond calls it). My grandma committed suicide. Her name was corrine champagne. Isn’t that beautiful. I, like Charlie, pray God send you great comfort🤗😇❤️😇🙏

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      1. Awww, thank you Linda!

        Yes—-what a beautiful name, just lovely. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Grandma. Please know I pray relentlessly for not only my son, but for all our beloved departed ones. Love wins! God wins! Not this soul crushing diabolical scourge. I’ve heard that the Holy Souls are a formidable army to have on one’s side. That’s an very encouraging thought.

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        1. Thank you dearest Littlelight…I never knew my Gramma…corrine champagne… my mom was 3 months old at the time but it had devastating effects on all 5 kiddos (my mom being 1 of the 5) But my mom said she always felt Corrine was watching-over her her whole life! I bet your child is now watching over you on the other side too!!!🤗 Though we see through a glass darkly, eh? Hang in there littlelight!!! I’ll be praying for you often…I bet we all will here at TNRS!!! ASOH!!!
          Here here y’all???🙏🙏🙏🙏

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  12. Thanks Charlie, for reminding us of your Pilgrimage, trials and all. I am 3/4 through all ot Louis L’Amour books. I have found a new appreciation for the old timers, particulary in their choice meat selection: Cougar. Preferable over Vension or Elk.

    On Sweden, lest we forget: Opening ceremony of a Tunnel celebration https://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/opening-ceremony-worlds-largest-tunnel-bizarre-occult-ritual/

    This time we are all in… I find it a beautiful, quiet peaceful time of prayer. A true Lent if you will. No distractions, noise, nor people racing around from point a to b. I find the Ideologies (baseball, football, car racing etc) of our time have been removed and God is providing a time of prayer.

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          1. Mick I am currently reading “The Refugee From Heaven,” by mystic & stigmatist Cora Evans… it is the story of the life of Christ just beautifully done! Reads like a really great novel 🤗

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              1. It’s sooooo good Mick!!! Like the real life movie playing out!!! Currently Peter and the crew are looking for the Messiah but the one who told them to look for them was none other than Jesus!!!! Hahahah!!! Peter and Rosie his wife just got baptized by John the Baptist now their gonna ask Jesus to join them in their quest but first to get baptized too!!😂😂😂 I just love Jesus playfulness but I’m sure there was a reason for it!!! That’s all I’ll say🤫🤗🤗❤️🙏😇

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                1. Yes ! That is a great book! I’ve read it three times and given to priests as well…it really puts flesh on the bones of our real life apostles, saints and Christ’s life and times. Just like a novel! Especially revealing about John the Baptist. And the “last priest and mass”.oh my… Also equally as astounding are the volumes of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and her visions. It will be so amazingly wonderful to meet these friends in heaven, God willing…have a blessed Holy Week everyone 💝

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    1. Profoundly and wonderfully said Beckita!

      I certainly don’t want to go back!!!

      Every time I read Exodus it niggled my mind and here you have made the connection that I was struggling to see. Thank you!

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    2. Sean,

      Amen this “This time we are all in… I find it a beautiful, quiet peaceful time of prayer. A true Lent if you will. No distractions, noise, nor people racing around from point a to b. I find the Ideologies (baseball, football, car racing etc) of our time have been removed and God is providing a time of prayer.”

      I am loving life. I get to pray more everyday and the peace. I know I am resting until God decides to use me in this battle.

      I thank God for this peaceful time. At my home we eat as a family everyday now. It is almost like I’d imagine the 50s used to be.
      🙏🏻😀🙏🏻

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  13. Charlie, Your first paragraph brought back vivid memories of my grandmother, who was a young teen in Poland during World War I. She told us about hiding in “holes in the ground” for weeks on end as the German and Russian armies moved back and forth across the territory where she lived. It seems Polish peasants were considered expendable by both armies and the people were not safe regardless of who was holding the ground at any moment. Visibility was an extreme liability.

    Her stories, and those of my other immigrant grandparents, have made me keenly aware, since I was a small child, of the incredibly prosperous and protected times most living Americans have know all their lives. The great sadness is that we had come to take it for granted and have failed to thank God for the incredible blessings that have been bestowed on us. I think these family and societal “memories” of how evil times can be is one of the reasons so many in Poland still cling to God and the Catholic Church as the true sources of life and truth.

    May God have mercy on us and Mary cover us with her protection.

    JT

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    1. JT: TY for your insight and memories. My husband often reminds me that our grandparents and parents lived through the Great Depression only to be confronted with WWII. Many of the gp’s were immigrants and knew poverty, war and intended genocide in their old country. I take the image of JPII’s backbone of steel for courage. He is the central figure of the fall of the Iron Curtain. He did it through prayer and enormous sacrifice. Right now Poland is standing up to the socialist EU and once again Poland’s backbone is apparent.

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  14. Oh my gosh, Charlie!!!

    What a great great piece this is! I think this is your BEST piece thus far but then again, I find myself saying that so often that I’ve now come to the conclusion that your BEST piece is always the piece you put out at the BEST TIME for the moment!!!

    There are so many parts to this piece that are my favorite that I would probably have to copy and paste the whole thing in it’s entirety to show you a few!!! hahahaha

    Here’s one though:

    “I think we have begun a time when we must choose God or perish. If you have hold of God as your lodestone, however clumsily or stumbling, you will go forward, even if it is only stumbling forward. If you hold on to all the little pretties of this world that are already passing away, you will perish. Alexander the Great, who conquered the known world before he was 30 lies a-mouldring in his grave just like the wino who died in the gutter. If this life is all there is, what a miserable jest all nobility is. But it is not. It is our prelude to eternity; our audition, before God, for heaven. Why then, do we spend so much time clutching at what will perish anyway?”

    Charlie! I want to personally thank you for all your guidance along the way of this great pilgrimage of yours that began with just you and Jesus, and has flowed into this beautiful community of ours, TNRS ASOH modern day wanna be stumbling warriors for Christ! Thank you for saying “yes” to God for all of us so we can hopefully stumble along to help our fellows in this dire time of bookend events!!! How I LOVE our little community! Where would we be without it!?!?

    Before this all happened, I was so sad because I could see corruption all around me! It was so sad watching our fellows throw their lives away without a thought about our Great God who loves us enough to die on the Cross for our sins! I have been banned from even mentioning Him to most family members!!! lol I too was once one of those people and with many terrible (and some wonderful) situations in my life that FINALLY got me to this realization that God alone suffices! Truth be told, Charlie…YOU are the one that got me to that point and I was a pretty messed up girl before that time and not knowing how to go on much longer!

    Now that the great Armageddon, the great trial has begun, I am actually so excited…truly ecstatic at the idea that God will draw all His people back to Himself and save as many as possible from eternal loss of His Divine Kingdom!!! Oh please, God, save us all from the fires of hell!!!

    So onward we go with Christ in the stern of the boat fast asleep! Why do we fear? Do we not know Our Master is with us!

    Ave Maria!!! Stella Maris!!! And as crew dog say’s so often…”God Save All Here!”

    TNRS ASOH

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    1. I have a hard time imagining you as anything but that bright, bubbly gal I might in Jackson last spring! But, oh, it is amazing to me what a glorious little community we have built here. It blew my mind when I woke up one morning in July of 2013 and looked at my Facebook Page (which was the only place I was posting then) and everything had gone viral. I thought, “Holy cow. I’m going to have to start posting more than once a week.” In January of 2014 I set up the predecessor to this website – and again, it took off. Through it all, we have raised up such a wonderful, affirming group of people from all walks of life…

      “And the people of the kingdom…”

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        1. Beckita that is a beautiful rendition!!! Actually I know it well from A Capella choir in High School!!! I tried to sing along but aging vocal chords wouldn’t let me hit the high soprano notes anymore!!!😂😂😂 I remember well being delighted as a kid hearing the tenors sing that one part…”truth is marching, truth is marching!” BOY ISNT THAT THE TRUTH THESE DAYS!!! Hahaha😂😂👏

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        2. Beckita, Thank you for posting. That was performed by our USA Army (fight song also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4i3jRe0yEY ). It was our armed forces, Army, Navy, and Marines that saved the world from the Nazi and Imperial Japan. As I’m now in my twilight, I have the pleasure of reflecting on service in both the Army and Marines during this tour, so this was special for me,

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          1. Yes, indeed: Thank you, Jack. I’d salute if I knew how to do so properly, but I’ll have to settle for sending you a smile instead. 🙂

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      1. Charlie, You and your message of hope and endurance bubbled me right back up again!!! From that point on…I was never the same!!!🤗 and yes…this community of fellow TNRS’s ASOHopers just rock my world 🌎 too!!! How lucky and blessed we all are to have been “chosen” for these times and this movement of hope and love!

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      2. Yes, Charlie– I have sighed with dismay and ruminated with my friends about why Our Lord does not “do something about this wretched world” and hit reset. I have been fussy about this covid thing and the response to it– but maybe this really is “it”– what I have been wanting– God’s reset for us. The article CrewDog posted about the possibility of China starting a war, coupled with the fact that troops have been moved into the Caribbean, and the rumor I heard of martial law being instituted next week certainly makes one wonder! A friend’s son in law is good friends with a Washington insider-that’s where that ML comment comes from. If that comment is too inflammatory, please feel free to delete that!😊 God bless you all– and thank you all! I feel like I’ve had an awakening– anyway– definitely a crossing over to peacefulness.

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        1. I don’t think ML is too inflammatory, Kim. We need to be able to candidly discuss what we’re reading, hearing and seeing.

          I do believe we’re well into the process of reset in this very phase of feeling our utter helplessness without God, for it’s an essential lesson and I recall the times when Charlie has spoken to God burning out of each of us the vanity and pretentiousness with which each one contends. We’re burnin’. It’s amazing how, collectively, we have done this to ourselves. I know there are real evil forces actively behind so much of what is. I also know that I, myself, was silent for too long and that my sins killed the Lord too.

          It’s tough out there, like early birth pangs, and we know it will become even more difficult as the contractions for birthing a new beginning will increase in duration and intensity. We also know Stella Maris is with us through it all.

          Ave Maria Stella Maris, pray with us and for us; uphold us in every moment as we, clinging to you and your promise of the power of the Rosary, whisper Aves in ironclad faith with steadfast trust while we next right step in a boldness born of standing with you at the Cross.

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          1. Like childbirth, being fearful about what kind of pain it is going to be, then when in the middle of it, acceptance and then, all hands on deck, ALRIGHT!, ALRIGHT! LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH!!!! One big push NOW.
            That about sums it up. ;-0

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              1. I have a sneaky feeling it’s gonna last about 4 years like Charlie mentioned the bookends of the Spanish flu which lasted 4 years!!! Also, Desmond told me when you see Italy in civil war and France in civil war almost simultaneously there are then just 4 years until the 3 days of darkness according to the prophecies of old.., but I guess we’ll all find out soon enough!!! Time to pray…fast…purify and endure with God’s grace!!!🙏🙏🙏

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          2. Do you think that the Father was waiting for enough of us to look up to Him and say, “Father, they are killing Truth, you have to do something!” ? Do you remember little truths about the Obama/Washington swamp being revealed starting @ 10 years ago? The revelations have continued unabated, if you are paying attention. They reveal plans to marginalize Christianity and the Constitution. When John Podesta’s emails were revealed and described their planned assault on Christianity by the Democrat party it should have been a watershed revelation. Let me put it bluntly the Washington swamp is atheist, socialist/communist. They have more in common with Mao and Communist China than George Washington, Jefferson, Truman, RR, and the Constitution. They don’t believe even for one second in inalienable rights from a Creator. For them rights are conferred by them and taken away by them. The perfect hint of this are babies bore alive from abortion. For them, those babies do not become patients. Even born they have no right to their life. One can only hope that the axiom -Pride goeth before the fall and the Lord waking us all up we will stop the assault.

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                1. Linda, remember the Chronicles of Narina? Perhaps you’ve see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe which has been most prominently featured in film. Aslan is the Christ figure in the series.

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          3. Beckita your taken for finding the MOST BEAUTIFUL pictures Just amaze me!!! Surely Jesus will have you on some big committee upstairs for arranging His beautiful art pieces!!! Good, silver, 💎 jewels just to name a few!!!

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  15. I’ve been a priest for 22 years now, and one experience that has always amazed me is how the dying and the terminally ill are able to make decades of spiritual progress in a matter of months. A few examples: men who have struggled with ego all their lives who quickly find the grace of heartfelt humility; tight-fisted materialists who give away their possessions; entitled and privileged souls who discover the virtue of gratitude; some hardened by years of anger, who offer their heart’s forgiveness to those who have hurt them…all this they do within the span of months, or even weeks. Why such sudden progress? Because they suddenly see the truth of their human condition, and choose to act on the truth they see. The proximity of death drew a clear distinction between the things that matter, and the things that never did. However, I’ve seen some others who harden their hearts at the doorstep of death. Even faced with terminal illness, some refuse to discuss it, others sulk in a miasma of impenetrable sadness, and a few grow very angry. I remember one hospital visit in particular. The family of a terminally ill man had asked me to visit their loved one as he lay dying. As I approached his room, the man took sight of my Roman collar and asked, “are you a Catholic priest?” When I answered “yes,” he shouted aloud in a spine-chilling voice, “get out! GET OUT OF HERE!” What’s the difference between these two reactions? The difference is certainly not their circumstances. Rather, it’s the acceptance or denial of the truth of their condition. It reminds me of the two thieves who died side-by-side with Jesus on Good Friday. The good thief accepted his suffering, his mortality, and his place before God, and he repented. As Abp. Fulton Sheen used to say, “his very last theft was to steal paradise.” We don’t know what happened to the bad thief, but the last time we checked, things weren’t looking too good. None of us can control what might come from this crisis, but our sheer powerlessness makes our condition very much like the terminally ill, or a condemned criminal. I’m so grateful for the level-headed reasoning on this blog, now more than ever. What matters now is not what might happen next, but our faith-filled response to it. It’s a time to learn what Jesus meant when he said, “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Our faith and good cheer will be a fount of blessing much more for others than for ourselves. Did you know that many Roman pagans were converted to the faith when they witnessed the martyrdom of St Lawrence? Remember his faith and good cheer, how had the audacity to crack jokes as he was being grilled alive over an open flame? “You can turn me over now. I’m done on that side!” Even in a moment of torture, he was a sign of hope that brought salvation to many others. That is how we must act as well. Anything in life that makes mincemeat of our plans and brings us to our knees is a blessing in disguise, because it puts us face-to-face with the reality of ourselves, and of God’s providence. Forgive me all my rambling, but I see spiritual gold lying all over the face of the Earth right now, and we’d be fools not to simply bend over and take it.

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    1. Not at all rambling, Victura. Blessed are we with your reflection. I LOVE it… all of it! Thank you.

      May every next right step we take – in all the ordinary ways – be imbued with the spiritual gold of bringing Christ to others and others to Christ.

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      1. VICTURA, I must agree with Beckita there was no rambling, but instead wise observations about how some who are transitioning open their hearts to God, while others remain blinded by ego, of perhaps guilt and fear that God would next be judging their corrupt life. Re St Lawrence joking as he was being tortured, my study of the NDE reports offers the possibility that, while he was yet able to talk through his material body, his soul had detached so he was no longer suffering mortal pain.

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      2. Beckita I want to walk there barefoot too and never dust it off!!! Btw I noticed about 2 years ago that there must not be any shoes 👞 in heaven, for every statue I see of Jesus or Mary or any Saint…they are barefoot 🦶 😂🤗❤️🙏👏

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    2. I can’t help but see a similarity to your observation about this crisis Victura, and the prophesy of the Warning.
      It’s as if a mini (w)arning is taking place in our lives as a prequel to the true Warning to come -giving us a pop-quiz style chance to do an examination of conscience before the greatest confession of all confessions (in time).
      I’ve been pondering this for a few weeks now and the idea had grown stronger with each day now culminating with your insight. I like to be lead into posting my ideas since I feel no authority to send them out by my own.
      Thank you for your very revealing honesty.
      Phil

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    3. Father!!! How I wish I could hear your homilies DAILY!!! I just felt so drawn to you that spring day in Jackson Michigan…you have great spiritual wisdom!!! I loved this part:

      What matters now is not what might happen next, but our faith-filled response to it. It’s a time to learn what Jesus meant when he said, “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Our faith and good cheer will be a fount of blessing much more for others than for ourselves.

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    4. Yes, Father!!! Love it! I feel so joyful and lighthearted because I can see this situation as such a beautiful opportunity- instead of driving myself crazy worrying about whether this is all necessary. Need to just make spiritual hay while the sun shines!

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  16. Charlie, if you have not written a book about your journey, please consider doing so. While reading this post, I kept thinking, “I want more details” of each little encounter.

    As for this “pause” in life as many have chosen to call it, it is an amazing time to be alive. It is disheartening to hear about the virus all the time, but it gratefully drowns out bilge like Drag Queen Story Hours and similar babble from the militant LGBTQ groups. I am no one to judge anyone or their personal choices, but I do not appreciate having them shoved down my respective throat.

    The stench of evil in the world has been suffocating so a pause from it is welcome. So many people praying and humbling themselves to God how can he, in his mercy and love, not look on us with Fatherly kindness? He is such a great God, I pray his glory shines forth and harvests as many souls as possible through this unfortunate, but blessed, time.

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    1. True, Cindy! I’m tired of hearing about evil. That’s why we flip by the usual bilge on the news each night and try to find something lighthearted. We rely on videos to watch something of our own choosing. (I want to watch the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday.) The “bad guys” are not letting up at all.

      Great post, Charlie, reading about your pilgrimage. It gives a feeling of “Mayberry” the way you met and visited with people along the way. There’s a little of that now, just a little. Went to the store, multiple stores to find what we needed, yesterday. I had a shopping cart whose wheels locked up and a nice younger woman helped me get it moved out of the parking lot and gave me her cart. Then a while ago I had a nice chat with the mom next door, whom I never usually see because she’s gone at work.

      Give us the strength we need Lord and Mother Mary! How could I live without you!

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    1. Just sent the link to this idea to my pastor and another priest I correspond with who is a pastor in NJ. Would love to see this happen especially for Easter.

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  17. Excellent Charlie. Thank you for your wise thoughts and words. You are helping to “shore” up your brothers and sisters here and to all those we share you with.

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  18. Littlelight, your post shows how we can get through the phases of grief and make it a better world helping others with God”s help, even if we never forget.

    Father Victura, ” Spiritual Gold lying all over” should bring so many to praying on their knees for the world. Yes, what a message it gives us to share! God loves everyone, even those who want to harm us; some will be drawn toward that “SPIRITUAL GOLD” in these times.

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  19. Thank you for revisiting your journey on foot across the country, Charlie. It’s comforting to mentally return there, like putting on a well-worn pair of hiking boots (that got broken-in for me in 2016): You just reminded me of that radical new way of perceiving the world spiritually which you introduced to all of us through your stories and words of wisdom with the Next Right Step. While this current storm is different from any we’ve experienced before or even imagined, your spiritual wisdom is as applicable — and comforting — as ever.

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            1. Ha!
              My eldest son, when he first started keeping turtles (which he was not very good at), when he found a dead turtle in a pond would hold it up to his face and exclaim loudly “stupid turtle” and then launch it over the fence into the woods. My youngest son thought that very amusing and called it his “flying turtle” episode.
              So yeah, ’round here turtles do fly!

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              1. Ha!  Kids.  When I was a kid, I caught a baby snapper and kept it.  I fed minnows I caught from my fish tank.  After running out of minnows, canned cat food worked pretty well.  His name was Lucky.  One day Lucky disappeared and I never found him nor know what happened to this day.  My guess is he died and mom flushed him down the toilet.  She probably did not want to break my heart by telling me what happened.  Probably just as well.  If Lucky grew, he would probably have started snapping my fingers.  Symbolic of a little bit of sin if we don’t take care of it.  It will eventually grow and bite us.  Our priest is offering confession today.  I intend to take care of a few snappers.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  20. Really good post Charlie-

    Your Archbishop, Sam Aquila, was featured in an article on Church Militant today, berating those bishops who denied the priority of “life issues” while promoting the “seamless garment” claptrap instead

    You’ve spoken often and well of him but I never quite realized what a solid guy he is…just found another bishop to add to my list of named bishops in daily Rosary….

    Also for Fr. V-

    a great privilege to read your descriptions of end of life conversions…I’m sure all of us are praying for many loved ones, relatives and friends who’ve not yet gone thru conversion….your stories are an inspiration to NEVER GIVE UP-perhaps many of the conversions we pray for we’ll never see (til we’re on the other side)

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  21. I am thinking that Trump is Cyrus now. Easter should be a game changer for us all. I feel we have been hoodwinked by mainstream. Trump says things for our own discernment and rightly so for our own protection. Thank you dear Charlie for all of your words in the past, current and words to tame us in the future! You are a gem without a doubt, Onward forward to us all, one step at a time.

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  22. I an listening to Fr. Rippergerger give commentary on Our Lady of Good Success.

    The prophecies are about now.

    https://www.tfp.org/prophecies-of-our-lady-of-good-success-about-our-times/

    Fr. Ripperbergers vtalk is here:

    Not to stir controversy, but that prophecy , to my mind, validates Barnhardt’s claim of the prisoner pope (about half way down the page). I cannot discuss that with aby rigor, so please be gebtle if you disagree.

    Grace and Peace

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    1. You know we love you here, Timothy, and that is the foundation of gentleness as we all acknowledge good will toward each other while we carry on in discussing ideas, opinions and information without personally going after anyone.

      In these days, there are so many voices with so much to say and it seems we we all are seeking guidance and understanding. Perhaps the biggest take-away is that every single person has feet of clay. No prophet or prophecy has the full story of God’s Plan. As for those who strive to interpret and clarify and share insights, as Charlie has often noted: We’re all going to be wrong on some things.

      While I deeply respect the work of Fr. Rippiger and have benefited greatly from some of his spiritual teaching and advice, I also see that he is quite firm in his own biases for or against certain apparitions. (Last year, I viewed the video you’ve provided.) Fr. Rippiger has every right to accept or reject any private revelation… and so does every son or daughter of Mother Church, whether clergy, religious or lay person. I happen to agree with some of what he says but not all of it. He has a wonderful intellect and has great training in psychology which has a great impact and effect on his training and work as an exorcist. Thank God for the good He accomplishes through Father. However, I’ve never seen any indication that he’s trained in mystical theology or Mariology, the very stuff intimately needed when interpreting and discerning prophecy.

      I have also read all the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success and they have been approved by the Church. I can see many parts of the messages being fulfilled before our eyes. That said, this passage to which you refer: “This apparent triumph of Satan will cause enormous suffering to the good pastors of the Church…and to the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is King and Father.” does not at all indicate exactly which Pope this will be. Further, since these messages were given so long ago, during the 15th and 17th centuries, one must wonder: how much in these prophecies has been mitigated?

      Ann Barnhardt claims that Pope Francis is an anti-pope. This brings to mind that both Charlie and Desmond have conveyed that Pope Francis does not fit the bill for anti-pope. I pray for Ann because I personally know people who are filled with self-righteous rage, anger sprouted from the seeds of bitterness stemming from being avid consumers of Ann’s writings and videos. What comes to mind for me is that vision Charlie had near Christmas Day in 2014. It was of demons spewing forth to go after people who strive to be pious. Thing is piety IS a gift of the Holy Spirit, yet, there are people, pious people, who act and speak as if THEY know better than Mother Church in many areas of concern.

      To understand Pope Francis, it is of utmost importance, I think, to receive what Desmond has painstakingly laid out for us regarding the history of the Jesuit order and the years in which Pope Francis was formed as a priest and higher ecclesial authority over time. And one of the indispensable highlights of Desmond’s writings is – and I paraphrase – to guard our own hearts as we observe and discern the intent of those around us. As we comment on what we think, feel and see, we each have a board in our own eye with which we are called to contend. Unending anger, resentment, bitterness, judgemental harshness, and unforgiveness eat at out souls and each of us must give an account to God one day concerning all our choices.

      Grace and Peace to you, Timothy.

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      1. Hi Becks,

        Thanks.

        I am in no place to comment on these things beyond observing them and making correlations.

        For example, Charlie’s words on enduring China, sure look more plausible given recent news, whereas they did not look at all plausible when Obama stepped down.

        With the revealing of the deep state, his other observation re: Obama makes a sort of sense. The deep state never goes away, it just pulls and pushes the marionette strings on another puppet administration.

        I heard that on the vid, and it just jumped out at me. I had to stop and relisten, then look it up.

        Hope I did not cause you problems, if I did, just don’t publish comments like this by me and I will understand.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Oh no. No worries at all. No problem that you’re observing, connecting and pondering. I was simply being forthright in what I see and know, intending to be true. The battle with the deep state and its revealing is real. God bless you, Timothy.

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        2. I like your comments Timothy!!! Please don’t stop! I’m a great fan of Fr Ripperger too and am a silent member of Auxillium Christianorum!!! I say those prayers daily esp these days!!! Yikes!!!

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    2. The spirit of Masonry is rampant in the culture.  It takes a little study to understand of which I’d gladly articulate here based on Pope Leo XIII Encyclical if anyone is interested.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        1. That’s the one.  I extrapolated key phrases and summarized their meaning.  It is most prophetic of what has actually took place in the last 50 years in our country.  I can post if interested.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  23. Hi Charlie, I had the privilege of meeting you several months ago at a dinner at the home of Christina and Chris Pallazolli in Syracuse. I just received word that an MRI has revealed a mass in Caterina’s brain (their 6 year old daughter). If you would, please keep this beautiful family in your prayers.

    Thank you for your prayers and for bringing us,” A Sign of Hope!”

    God Bless, Rita Condon Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Praying for Caterina and the Pallazolli’s. Our second daughter, who is now thirty-eight, fully recovered, with two beautiful daughters, had a brain hemorrhage at age nine that required two surgeries. I understand the emotions and thoughts such a diagnosis can bring. Supporting them in prayer. May Jesus encourage and strengthen them and be their hope.

      JT

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  24. You know, Charlie, I’ve thought often about why we (and I include myself) like to cling to the things of our lives, even when we claim to be Christian and to have faith in God. Obviously, some cling to their things to be important or powerful, but I’m talking here about people like me who are Christian and calm usually.

    I think it is best illustrated with the concept that I am not afraid of being dead, but I am afraid of dying, because that process can be very hard and painful. Likewise, I would rather be well off than poor, or perhaps a better way to say it in this world, I would rather have a tax problem than a poverty problem. 😀

    I’m really not keen on being attacked, or being uncomfortable, or being hungry in a famine kind of way.

    In heaven there is no pain nor any suffering, so why would I want to be in pain or suffering in *this* life?

    What I do notice as I have become more Christian over the past few years of associating with all you lovely people is that I have become more accepting of that possible pain and suffering. I still don’t want it to happen to me, but I’m perhaps a little less fearful of being in pain than I used to be.

    I’m not going to like the difficult realities of the Storm. I’d rather be on the other side of that pain and suffering and not have to go through it. But where before I would prepare in order to save myself discomfort, I find myself in a more relaxed state about it all. I think that the awareness and acceptance of God as a reality in my life and that He “has a Plan” has as its main effect an ability on my part to slide more readily into a state of relaxation when contemplating what is coming. I don’t stop doing what seems to be the right thing to do in the moment, but I do it in a (more) relaxed state. I’d say I live more often in the present and spend less time making up inner stories about how painful the future is probably going to be when I really have no clue whether it will be painful or joyous, or perhaps even worse, boringly uneventful. 😀

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    1. Steve, Two thoughts come to mind after reading your thoughtful commentary about pain. First, pain does of course serve to warn us of bodily harm, so we may timely react from further damage. I suspect this applies as well to emotional pain, but how to manage such is much more complicated then, for example, pulling back from a touch to a hot stove.

      Second, there is also the matter of pain where it cannot help us along physically or emotionally, as when we are so severely injured that we are heading toward death. I believe from my research, and now by faith, that such pain would be short or even non-existent when it’s time to pass on. Reports from those folks who died violently, such as at the Trade Towers when they jumped as the buildings were burning, are that as the leaped they left their bodies without pain and were greeted by friends and angels; I cannot start to verify the truth of such reports as passed along to folks who claim to be able to talk to those who have passed, but that makes perfect sense. Of course my text goes into such matters, granting without offering hard proof.

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      1. My brother deals with PTSD patients. The disorder is really a survival mechanism that has become…disordered.
        All life forms try to protect themselves and pain and injury are met by biological forces to remedy/avoid this.
        Some forms are fear/reflexive and can become obsessive and downright dangerous in themselves when they are overactive.
        Steve’s “relaxed” state in crisis is a normalization of these things by his recognition of the fullness of truth (through grace). Being of a ‘fallen’ nature, we do not have the greater gift of perfection so we have to ‘morn and weep’ in this valley of tears. But by grace we may achieve the higher state of semi-perfection which we can read was afforded the saints and as an occurrence in our own lives as a sign of hope in the things to come.
        Dispite all this, we are still on this side of the veil and don’t ‘get heaven until we get heaven’ (CJ). This means that we will still live in ‘fear and trembling’ in this life, just as even the greatest saints did and attested too.

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      2. As a child I had two near fatal accidents that caused severe head and brain damage, nerve damage, Bell ’s palsy, broken bones and years of healing. I am somewhat convinced due to my academic interests and abilities beforehand and afterwards that these injuries factor in my not enjoying reading. It became a chore to focus and or retain what I read and is now why I suspect that I lean toward audio/visual learning.

        Be that as it may or may not be the case, both traumas left me in a coma for weeks and I was given last rights at ages 10 and 12. Although I do not recall any NDE experience, I do remember vividly seeing the car and truck hit me as if I was watching myself in an animated film up until impact. The blessing was that I had zero memory of the fear, pain of the incidents or of the suffering of my parents who took bedside shifts to be with me 24/7.

        I wholeheartedly believe and thank God for His love, graces and mercy in sparing me that and for giving me second and third chances in life here. ❤

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        1. Jlynnbyrd,
          Thanks for your note. I obviously do not know–but I would bet anything that God had your traumas under control, and your experiences, harsh as they were, positively contributed to your adventure in living. I’ll share here two of my experiences that come to mind.

          The auto crash. I was driving in an area of Monterey that I had frequently been in, only on a route that I had not used before. As I approached an intersection perpendicular to a street I often drove on, it occurred to me that it must have a stop sign that I did not notice. Glancing to the right, I saw the stop sign as I approached it, but with no time to brake to a stop. I then thought to look to the left in the direction of traffic, and sure enough a car was approaching my intersection, but with the right of way. I realized that there would be a collision, so I then analyzed if I should turn left, and possibly avoid the collision, but that seemed unlikely. So I turned hard to the right to hit the other vehicle going in its direction to moderate the impact, and hit it in the middle. So, I did all of this analysis and quick reaction as if I had all of the time in the world– I did not feel hurried at all, and simply responded best I could. After the collision, I realized that time had virtually frozen, or my thinking had tremendously speeded faster, but something unusual had taken place. I got a slight nick on my knee, as I was driving an International Harvester with a solid frame and bumper. The other car crumpled in the middle, but there was no one in it other than the driver, who was not injured. That was in 1978.

          My auto was grabbed and righted, avoiding a head on. I was driving late to work, as I typically did, an hour past the commute rush, so my country road in Northern VA was empty. It had been raining, so the road was wet. I approached a T intersection where I had to turn right, taking me up a hill and within a few feet onto an very narrow two lane bridge. I took the turn too fast and so my auto lost its traction, sending me sliding, so I would hit the bridge railing, and likely bounce off of it. I looked up ahead to see if a vehicle were approaching, and there was an oncoming quick that would be on the bridge when I would bounce off of the railing to create a head on collision. It all happened so fast, I did not even have time to try to turn left to miss the railing, but that would not have worked, since I was sliding on the wet road. As my auto was perhaps a fraction of an inch from hitting the railing, my auto was “grabbed” and straightened out, so there was no hit on the railing and no collision. I knew that something I could not explain happened, because I could feel how my auto’s momentum was forcibly shifted. That was around 1995.

          It was not until I was deep into my research on the NDE a few years ago that I realized how these two accidents might be explained. In the first accident, my brain was avoided while my soul did the thinking unimpeded by the slower brain. In the second near accident– I guess I had some real help.

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          1. Jack, I’ve had the second scenario happen. It was so quick. I believe my guardian Angel helped me.

            Another time, falling asleep while driving and I stop 6 feet before hitting a tree.

            However, the last time I fell asleep at the wheel in 1991, I hit a pole and if I had hit it one inch over more I’d likely be dead. God is good!

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          2. Wow! I love that, Jack. Thank you for sharing. You too seem to have had your fair share of Divine Intervention in a pinch.

            Your stories did give me shivers, since as a driver (I waited until 21 years old to get my drivers license and first car) I too had two similar experiences. One was on a dark winter morn on an icy road on my way to start work. I took a quick a turn to avoid hitting a white unmarked work van that was stopped at a stop sign on a Chicago side street. I was on a busy street and had no stop sign and he pulled our a few feet in front of me, almost as if it were by design. My sharp right turn had me instead drive into the front yard and direct through and ultimate stuck up on top of a wrought iron fence. I too had little time to react although it seemed to be well thought out. After I yanked the steering wheel sharply to the right, I closed my eyes and in a flash it was over. I got out of my car shaking my fist at the van driver would proceed along as if nothing happened. A Good Samaritan lent me their cordless phone at the time to call my husband. My auto insurance paid the claim without a hassle and the homeowners were grateful to finally tear down the fence they did not like and use the settlement money for other dire needs. A second time I was in a single lane driving next to a curbed incline raised up to railroad tracks in the city. There is not lane next to be on the right. It was pouring rain so very hard I could barely see when all of the sudden a wave of water flood over my windshield form the passenger side over the drivers side. I could not believe or understand what on earth was going on. I then saw a car driving on a 45 degree angle on the hill next to my car down a bit and stopped when it crashed into a stop sign pole. The driver was behind me at some point and was having a heart attack. Both me and my car were unharmed. I said a prayer for the driver as area merchants ran from there places of business to tend to her. I was in my early twenties, and already late returning back to work on a lunch break and offered a prayer and proceeded on.

            Good heavens! ❤

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          3. Jack hiller that is amazing!!! Hey my son and his wife life in Martinsville/Collinsville Virginia!!! They run a little eye site store (temporally closed) daughter-in-law an eye dr…she n my son work together there🤓

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          4. Jack,

            In 1986, my senior year of high school, I was often in a wild and dark state mentally, due both to the hormones of become an adult and the stress from abuse from a mentally unwell mother. Life was deeply miserable for me, and had been for many years.

            I borrowed the parent’s 1977 Chevy Malibu station wagon with it’s 350 V8. I had just stormed out of the house after a fight and was heading to work at the McDonald’s on the NY State Thruway, I-90.

            I was so furious (for whatever reason), that I was yelling and crying as I drove, angry and frustrated about whatever had just happened at home with the parents.

            There was a hard, driving rain, a torrential downpour. I had the wipers on high but they could barely keep the windscreen clean. Plus my own tears and rage were blurring my vision.

            I was shooting down Eden-Evans Center Road, and for whatever reason, in a fit of defiant anger, I stomped down and buried the gas pedal to the floor, gunning the engine and lifting the nose up.

            The splashing water in the wheel wells and on the roof and windshield was deafening. The V8 was roaring. I watched as the speedometer crept up…..70, 80,,,,,90,…. 100.

            She topped out at one hundred and ten miles per hour. I didn’t care…about the police, about my life, about other people, about anything.

            All of a sudden — what’s this?! — I could no longer hear the sound of the tires rolling on the road….they went completely silent. All I heard was the water splashing. Then the station wagon began an eerie, gentle rocking from side to side, just like being on my grandfather’s boat on the calm waters of Lake Erie. I was hydroplaning.

            That change in sound sobered me up, snapped me out of my anger and quickly moved me into fear….I had absolutely no control of a vehicle traveling 110 mph. Now I cared about my life. I gripped the wheel but dared not move it in the least, and dared not touch the brakes. Fortunately, I was on a perfect straight-away.

            I slowly — oh so gently — eased up on the gas….100….90…..80……back down to a sensible speed. The lateral rocking subsided and the sound of the rubber tires contacting the road returned once again.

            I’m unsure how many angels were required to grab hold of that heavy old wagon to keep her steady (it was a red wagon, Doug, BTW), but they did their job and did it quite well.

            I drove like an angel after that!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Patrick, You clearly had more to do here, and so were protected.

              Back about 20 years ago, I bought a new car for my work commute, but after a few weeks gave it over to my Son who was attending James Madison U, some 100 miles distant from our home in N VA by Reston. He was having a hard time at school, and why I did not know. One evening I got a call from him to pick him up at a sheriff’s office some forty miles distant. He had been going much too fast on the interstate during a rain storm, hydroplaned, did a 180, crashed and totaled the new car. Although the car was demolished, he did not have a scratch, not even a sore neck. He is also a great soul, so I just said, “hat’s one of those lessons to be learned.” I did not mention to him the uncounted number of times I should not have been driving on the highway as an unhappy undergrad with too may instances of miraculous saves to recall with any clarity. Now in my old age, I realize I had to have been protected.

              My dear friends acquired during my career are now passing to where few are left. I often ask at my nightly prayers if there is more to be done in retirement, but never hear back, so infer there is yet a bit more to do, or I would by now be gone.

              We just need to keep trucking in faith that we are supposed to, until called.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Jack-another coincidence here–one of my sisters went to James Madison. Was Dr. Carrier the president when your son was there? He and his wife were good friends of my parents– he had been at what was hen called Memphis State before he became president there. Such a small world.

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                1. Kim, I do not know who was their president then. Gary attended in the mid 90s, and graduated after three changes in his major. Incidentally, a few months later while he was driving the replacement car I bought him, he had a bad accident at an intersection in Alexandria, and that car was nearly totaled; it was in the repair shop for more than six months with a bill of around $8K. Yet he did not suffer a scratch in that one too. He did not even get a ticket, because it turned out that it was an accident prone location where the timing of the traffic lights did not match the speed limit, so cars would unintentionally speed thru and hit cross traffic, which is how he got hit. As far as I know, he has not had any accidents after that for over twenty years.

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                1. One of our wagons, the one without the side paneling looked very much like this one, only it was powder blue. It would have been a 1960’s model and I think it was a Bonneville Wagon. It might not have been the best looking automobile, but we enjoyed many family vacations, rides through fields and back roads on the farm while hung our legs and feet over the tailgate, and it was perfect at the drive-in movie theater too! ❤

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                  1. Jen– I’m one of 7. We had a Chevrolet station wagon and then a Pontiac station wagon back in the day. We loved it. That was pre carseats–half of us would pile in the back end. Not so safe I guess but those were the days– we had fun. Such a contrast to today as we cower in fear in our homes (btw— I’m not cowering!) Just a little musing.

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                    1. Cool, Kim. Ha! We had 12 in a station wagon, pulling a boat filled with food and other supplies each summer, making our way to Blanche Lake, Minnesota for a vacation. We had to put some boxes in the back of the station wagon and I remember having my spot to stretch out on the very top of those open boxes. Beyond cozy. 😉

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                    2. So fun, Beckita! My mom might have had more, but she got a late start….and the doctor told her she’d never have children! Ha– daddy asked him about that after several children and he said, “I was wrong!” So glad he was!

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    2. I appreciate what everyone has said, but I do want to say that I was not really talking about actual injuries or almost accidents, and so on, although they are neat stories and I thank you for posting them.

      What I meant to say was that I have learned to borrow less trouble in anticipation of some imagined pain to come in the future.

      For example, at some point I will die. Will I die by having a good time right up to going to sleep and gently letting go? Or am I going to have 4-5 years of fighting a painful cancer until finally I am driven out of my body by the intense pain?

      My original comment was more about saying I have become significantly more willing to let tomorrow show itself to me when it wishes to, significantly more willing to let God create that tomorrow for me rather than doing a lot of prep thinking I need to prepare for the bad things heading my way.

      You know the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper? Well, In my life you could say I’ve mostly been an Ant, rushing to and fro to get tomorrow *handled* now. Recently, though, I’ve been thinking that the Grasshopper really was onto something! 🙂

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      1. Steve, I have seen both. Pain, suffering and acceptance of death because of short and prolonged illness and a gentle going to sleep and passing on. Here’s the thing. There is nothing you can do to control either. In the end we all contemplate death. For some, we wake up one day, look in the mirror and think, “When the heck did that happen?” and “Where did all that time go?” We live in kinda a self made bubble. Doctors, nurses, priests, EMT’s, police, military commanders, soldiers, whole populations are acutely aware of death. I read both your comments and this is the second time I tried to write a sensible reply. Whatever your life has been, thank Him for your gifts, prepare to meet Him and wait. Sometimes you will be the Ant and sometimes the Grasshopper. You can be both sometimes at almost the same time. Peace and quiet contemplation to you! JMN

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      2. And nothing works out the way you think! A HS classmate of mine found out 2 1/2 weeks ago that she has cancer all over her body. She had no idea. She’s in hospice now, with only a week or two to live. Life is so fragile.

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          1. Thank you, dear and loving Beckita. She has written a little blog about what has happened to her and it is remarkable. Her grace and peace are miraculous. Truly Our Lord gives us such bountiful graces to handle whatever we will go through. All we need is to be open for them. We might think we could never survive certain things, but we must trust God will provide what we need when we need it.

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            1. Thanks for your kindness, Kim. I want to run a ticker tape style ribbon across every believer’s blog which repeats your words: “Truly Our Lord gives us such bountiful graces to handle whatever we will go through. All we need is to be open for them. We might think we could never survive certain things, but we must trust God will provide what we need when we need it.”

              You have nailed it, Kim, and it’s one of the theme I’ve carried and expressed repeatedly throughout my time in this community. I cling to the truth in Romans 5:20, knowing that so many Scripture verses are not only truth, they are promises from the Lord. So then, the law was introduced into God’s plan to bring the reality of human sinfulness out of hiding. And yet, wherever sin increased, there was more than enough of God’s grace to triumph all the more! (Passion Translation) SO many promise-filled Scriptures are carved on my heart for a time such as this. Charlie, too, has spoken to these themes repeatedly, such as his words concerning what will be told in the tales of the transition we are now living and our children and grandchildren will call us truly blessed for all the TNRSs taken and for holding fast to faith, hope and love with unrelenting trust while modeling complete reliance on God. CJ’s oft’ repeated line, God does not leave us bereft, is imprinted in my psyche as well. And who could forget our most beloved Stella Maris with her plentitude of promises that she will be with us through everything to come and that all we need do is ask for the graces and the Medatrix of All Graces will manifest her faithful-to-the-end maternity toward each of us?

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              1. Thanks, Beckita your words are always a reminder in what to expect, in what I’ve (we all) have inherited from the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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                  1. So kind and generous of you! We were to celebrate a HS reunion this month and looked forward to seeing my classmates. Of course that’s not happening now. There were only 25 of us so we were all close. We went to Saint Agnes Academy here in Memphis– back then it was a sweet little all girls school with lots of beautiful Dominican nuns teaching us. Reminiscing! Very lovely memories.

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                    1. That is so cool!  My daughter’s close friend in high school has joined the Dominicans in Tennesee.   She is down there now.  She is so saintly.  She used to correspond with Mother Theresa and was held by her as a baby.  Fr.  Benedict Groeshel is also her mom’s uncle.  I hear it is a beautiful community.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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                    2. Oh I love it, Doug! What a small world!. My friend’s daughter is a Dominican sister here in Memphis. Her mother house is in Nashville– she is the principal of St. Paul School– Sister Mary Lawrence. We have a number of Dominican sisters here. They are soooo beautiful dressed in their traditional habits!❤

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                    3. I believe it, Beckita. When friends Larry and Mary were taking their daughter to the convent to begin her journey to become a Dominican sister, they were so emotional about her leaving their family flock and she was in the backseat bubbling over with excitement and joy!

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                    4. That would describe our friend too Becks. Sister Agnes Claire.  Lucky folks who live in that area.  Their prayers can save the whole area when chastisements come.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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                    5. Doug,

                      The Nashville Congregation is the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. We have several sisters teaching here in our parish school. They are beautiful!

                      God Bless,

                      Becky-TN

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          1. Oh thank you Doug! She is Susie. I am hearing so much bad news about people who are dying or close to death– none from covid. My head is spinning.

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        1. Kim praying for your friend. I have a lifelong friend dealing with ovarian cancer. Throughout her life she has been one heck of an example of her love of the Mass and the Eucharist. The present shut down of the sacrament is an irony not lost on me and probably her. So it just dawned on me that I have to find out if some family member can call and have a priest minister the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist. Hopefully there is a brave one in her parish.

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          1. I’ll be praying for your friend, too, Joanne. Yes– we need to pray for brave priests to minister to those in great need!

            Like

    3. Stevebc ditto ditto ditto!!!! I so get you and what you just said!!!! We are so lucky, blessed and I feel in a way even chosen to be part of this Movement!!! I actually feel like we’re in our own little community of priests and religious!!! Charlie is St Francis of course as he loves all the animals (save bats 🦇 I assume!!! Hahaha!!!) and we are all little poor Claire’s or part of his order!!! Modern day religious virtual order!!! Hah!!! Also Anne, the lay apostle speaks of little abodes in heaven!!! One of them she spoke of actually WAS St Claire and many were around her…she had on a little 👸🏻 crown said Anne!!! I think someday Charlie will have his little abide in heaven too with lots of squirrels 🐿 and flowers and a bunch of us there too!!! Doesn’t it sound heavenly Stevebc??? Also I’ve noticed, even in this worrisome time of the Wuhan 🦠 virus I’m not too afraid…I have found myself saying for a few years now, “Lord, you know best…whatever you want is fine with me!” One more thing…. haha hahahah ….(Columbo!!!) Has anyone noticed the stations of the Cross really coming alive and vivid in your minds lately???!!! Wow!!!! It makes me cry!!!😭😭😭 What pain what suffering Our Lord went through for us!!!

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  25. I watched yesterday an interview with Dr Fauci, and he said regarding the Covid 19, fatality rate is around 1 %. REALLY? As of now – USA: out of 245K cases , 6K died and 5K are in critical /severe condition, Italy: out of 115K cases, 14K died and 4K are in critical/severe condition, Spain:112K cases, 10 K died and 6K are in critical /severe condition. And for entire world cases currently of 1,015,897 cases 52, 415 died and still a lot are in critical condition so even 5% fatality rate might be an understatement. As of March 30, 61 doctors in Italy died on the front lines fighting the outbreak, 22 died within one week. I personally don’t have much trust in Dr Fauci. Anyway, the priests should be on the frontlines with the doctors too, anointing the sick and hearing confessions. If not on the front lines, at least in their parishes. After all, eternal consequences are far more important. Saving souls is far more important than saving human bodies…

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    1. Pawel, there was a video posted in the comment section with the last piece Charlie wrote for us. A NYC doc on the front lines gave the 1% fatality statistic in his presentation… he also gave s.o.u.n.d. advice concerning how to care for ourselves. He actually became emotional sharing these stats he had been observing because they were an antidote to fear.

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  26. Father Gabriel Amorth, former Chief Exorcist of the Vatican:
    When you pray Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now…the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her. And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him. And where the Holy Trinity is all of creation is and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life. Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands out-stretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces. This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time,Your Mother. Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces.”He also said at this time, “Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan.” Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others?”
    -The Late Father Gabriel Amorth, former Chief Exorcist of the Vatican
    (quote from Wendy Cukierski’s newsletter)

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    1. This wasn’t posted already, Hans. Thank you. I recognize these messages from the past. Like many, I continue to believe the words are authentic even as we have watched the controversies surrounding Vassula play out over time. While they are tough messages and I would never correct the Lord’s words, it is also true that interpretation is critical. To that end, the interpretation from Vassula which struck me is: “COVID-19 is becoming a holocaust, spreading like mist around this planet, killing masses of people!” Patrick’s comments below and Charlie’s analyses, since he began writing about the virus, remind us that there’s more we don’t know about covid statistics than what we do know for certain. Most important to keep in mind, I think, is that prophecies such as these through Vassula are given as an invitation to pray, fast, sacrifice and work for mitigation. And I say it, again, the finest mitigation is the conversion of all peoples. Continuing to pray for a great harvest of souls as we carry on in these times. God bless you, Hans, and all your good works for Our Lord and OUr Lady.

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  27. I am praying the 54 day novena with RomanCatholic man and one of the virtues we pray for is self control. I interpret that as controlling my thoughts. I am(have) been a fantastic stinking thinker. If there was a gold medal in stinking thinking I would have a dozen. Anyway, one thing I learned going to Adult Children of Alcoholics is to replace that negative tape playing in our minds. During this time I also put on the oldies but goodies, Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories album https://youtu.be/q5x0MclH3l0 . Having uplifting music on my mind instead of fear helps so much.

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      1. Hi everyone! Thanks for sharing this Maggie. When they start singing “a world where PAIN AND SORROW will be ended,” at 2:14 did anyone notice that their lamp suddenly turned on behind them? It gave me chills! The light of Christ will always be with us! A beautiful version of this song.

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  28. Hi Pawel. We don’t have reliable, confirmed totals yet — these are estimates that Dr. Fauci is working with. We can be sure these numbers only hint at the reality on the ground and around the world, including the number of deaths (i.e. a person who dies of heart failure who happened to test positive for the corona virus is counted as dying FROM the corona virus). Missing from these totals are people who contracted the virus but who did not get sick at all. It’s just way too early and there are way too many variables and obstacles. We are still gathering information including trying to learn how badly data from China, NoKo, Russia, the WHO, etc., is being skewed.

    I have absolute trust that Dr. Fauci and the president’s team is doing their very best for the American people as we move through uncharted waters. Praying….

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  29. JESUS = GOOD NEWS 😉

    My late friend, Bruno, was a good Preotestant from Switzerland who every Eastertide would e-mail me and say that This Easter was going to be The Big One.
    I think about Bruno at Easter and Pray that This Easter will be Buno’s Big One 😉

    https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/vatican-authorizes-special-masses-and-good-friday-prayers-for-coronavirus-p

    https://stream.org/nashville-nurses-pray-over-patients-on-hospital-roof-during-their-break-go-to-the-helipad-and-pray/

    https://stream.org/getting-gods-perspective-on-the-current-crisis/

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/04/02/US-calls-for-the-release-of-millions-of-religious-prisoners-amid-pandemic/1901585879311/?sl=9

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/hypocritical-leftist-media-bias-against-liberty-un/

    State, Church, Neighborhood … it is extremely difficult to ascertain Who The Good Guys Are!? …… which has been been part of Old/New Testment messages, seers, regvelation and The Devine Mercy Message.
    Jesus, I trust in You ….. all others pay Ca$h 😉
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/02/more-dr-fauci-nonsense-social-distancing-lock-down-will-continue-until-new-coronavirus-cases-cease/

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2020/04/03/want-to-know-why-the-us-response-to-corona-was-not-what-it-could-have-been/

    The Usual Suspects … In Action!
    https://townhall.com/columnists/kenblackwell/2020/04/03/house-democrats-reveal-plan-to-attack-security-of-military-votes-n2566273

    https://www.newsbusters.org/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

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  30. If you were to google The Cobra Effect – The Burning Platform, there’s a very nice piece from a kindred brother of ours. Some more lockdown ruminations. Or, call it another soul working out the ballad of an ordinary man. This sort of thing beyond our kin here is a source of hope, and you can bet this is going on from here to Timbuktu. We are not alone.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That’s a goofmd artucle.

      This, from it, cheered me:
      .
      “During the past month or so there has been a steady stream of young people coming up to the farm to pitch in. All of my son’s friends who went off to college are back now, with diplomas and zero job prospects. The ones who were employed in an effort to pay back their student loans are now jobless and they have had it. They work side by side with us learning new things, how to butcher a hog, how to cure a side of bacon, how to start seedlings, run the evaporator that turns out sweet syrup, the difference between hardwood and softwood and how to split and stack it.”
      .

      “They. have. had. it.”

      That is tremendoys news.

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  31. Feeling gratitude for Charlie, Beckita, and all who post here. I’ve gotten to the point where I cannot read much on twitter. It’s insane. Reading various posts here brings back so many memories of my life, from joy to grief. Right now, after reading Linda’s post about cutting her hubby’s hair, the memory of trying to cut my young son’s hair and accidently clipping his ear came into my mind’s eye. We laugh about it now, although I was only allowed to use clippers after that. 🙂 As I am the only Catholic in my immediate family, this blog is the place for me to enjoy Christian conversation. Am sure I’m not the only one who has to deal with other family members (not immediate in my case), neighbors, etc., who throw shade at my beliefs, so I’ve been praying the Litany of Humility recently and pray for them. It’s been helpful. This morning, I attended Confession in the garage of the church with the large door open. It is cold and rainy/snowy. It felt like the beginning of going underground in a way. I left feeling more peaceful. God bless my priest and all priests during this difficult time. God bless us all. He is so good.

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    1. I can relate to what you are saying Audie about being a closet catholic with my family, getting my ear clipped by my dad when he did all our hair cuts, (I think it was easier for him to do the five boys than me, lol), and having a place you can openly share your beliefs without having the non-catholic military knocking you down left and right. It’s challenging during these times, definitely. I work for a bakery in a grocery store, and am constantly worried that I may bring the virus home to my immune compromised family. My son works with me and he has an IBD. Had a scare thinking that he had the virus, but his colitis kicked in and I think it’s God’s way of protecting him from being at work. My daughter has anxiety and asthma, and my husband has anxiety and a muscle disease, so it’s definitely a challenging time. We trust that God knows what He is doing through all of this though, and I don’t think I have ever said so many Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s than I do when washing my hands now!

      I have been waking up with the Divine Mercy Chaplet playing in my head lately. I also took a chance to go to Confession after work Saturday morning, hoping that there weren’t going to be many people there, just in case I was exposed to the virus at work. There were only four people in our big church, with the janitor there wiping down all the pews and anywhere people would touch, along with hand sanitizer at each of the doors to use. It was a long time since I have been to Adoration, so it was nice to sit with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for a while. I also received absolution from Jesus through Father Altier, one of the great priests at our church. I have a peace in my heart that I haven’t had in a long time, and he waylaid some of my apprehensions and fears during this time. I know, “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” I believe that and trust in Him, but I am human.

      Please pray, pray, pray for our priests. They are so lost not being able to serve God’s people through the mass. They especially need prayers during this time, to lift them up and give them strength.

      On a lighter note, earlier in the thread people were sharing little miracles that have happened to them so to lighten things up a little, I want to share a couple of the many small miracles that have happened in my life. I may have shared one of these here but I don’t remember so if I am repeating, sorry! I am a singer/cantor at our parish, and whenever I lead music from the balcony at the back of our church, I always say a little prayer before mass and ask all the angels and saints to make up for what I lack when singing. (I had thyroid surgery about 15 years ago and sometimes it’s a bit of a struggle to sing now). Well, after mass one day I came downstairs and one of the kids in our youth program asked me who was singing with me today. I told him it was just me and the organist up there, why? He said that he swore that he heard someone else singing with me from up there and so did his mom. That was confirmation to me that the angels and saints are always singing with me. God is so good!

      Another time I had some of my teens up there leading music with me, and while we were praying swore I suddenly smelled roses (I think it was during the consecration). I later asked the girls if anyone was wearing perfume, and they said no. It didn’t dawn on me until a few days later that the fragrance could have been Mary confirming to me that she was real, because I was going through doubts about praying to her during that time.

      I pray that all are doing well through these challenging and exciting times, and know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the Holy Spirit flow through you with His healing and peace.
      Blessings! ~juls

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      1. So good to hear from you, Juls! I will keep you and your family in my prayers, along with prayers for all priests. Your little miracle stories are so uplifting and make my heart happy. I laughed (sorry) about how your father clipped your ear when trying to cut your hair similar to my experience with one of my boys. You are blessed to have Father Altier! I’d love to make it to your church for Mass one day, when it is possible again, to hear Father Altier say Mass and hear you sing! God bless you.

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        1. Thanks Audie, you and your family are in my prayers, also. I look forward to when we can have Mass again, and would love to visit if you do come up. I think of you often as things continue and I hope you are weathering this part of the storm well. Blessings! ~juls

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  32. Went to Walmart today!!! They had 🧻!!!! You can only go in one door now!!! Guy out front telling everyone to go to “that” door said he’s never been threatened more times in one day in his whole life!!! His name is Russ I promised him my rosary at St. Paul’s which I did but it’s getting a little “Mad Maxxy!” Over here in lil ole rural Norwalk Ohio too!!! 😬 Yikes!!! I feel very blessed that I’m even allowed to sit by Jesus everyday!!! Prayed for you all too dearest Family!!! STAY WELL!!! Stay safe!!!Xoxoxo ps nurse in front of me at checkout (maternity) but said hospital is not busy at all thanks be to God!!! So many at Walmart wore 😷… just freaky🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️❤️🤗🤗🤗

    TNRS ASOH!!!

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  33. The cobra effect is right up my alley MP.🐍🤠
    Society has a nack at replacing the slightly irritating with the over-the-top irritating!
    Here in Florida they spray malathion to kill mosquitos on different nights somewhere in the county. The desire is to reduce the mosquito population, particularly the malaria carrying forms (Anopheles). Funny thing is, those forms are all introduced from other countries! I have traveled to many tropical locations and I have not experienced the amount of mosquitos while in the field like I do in the states. Seems that the eradication process here has reduced mosquito predators more than the high-reproducing mosquitos and left us with all mosquitos and nothing else! The malathion has crashed almost every form of wildlife….accept the mosquitos! In the tropics the predator-prey ratio is more balanced and they don’t have the high numbers of mosquitos dispite NOT spraying malathion!
    Now in tandem with the use of glyphosate (Roundup) the creature- crash is made complete, it creating a condition called “leaky-gut syndrome” which allows pathogens and sepsis to kill off those creatures not killed off by the malathion. Interestingly, the roundup was created to kill another type of pest- weeds, but they, like the mosquitos, are becoming immune to the chemicals so stronger doses of both toxins are now required to produce the same results.

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    1. For The Sake Of…Sorrowful Passion, are you talking about my avatar and cats? If so, thanks! It’s not a very clear picture, but they are watching a squirrel outside on top of the bird seed container, which the squirrel (or probably a raccoon) did find a way to open it and eat everything! 🙂

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  34. While New Orleans, New York, LA, and Seattle are getting hit hard, our little town is watching our surrounding towns, counties, and states closely. We still have zero cases. Cities like Bozeman and Billings are getting quite a few cases of COVID19. Sheridan and Gillette, WY, have several people infected, and Spearfish, SD just popped up “suddenly” with 9 diagnosed community-acquired cases….so it’s starting to close in on our community.

    We are holding conference calls a couple times a week with the local sheriff, public health, EMT, clinic, nursing home, and county commissioners, doing what we can to follow the MT governor’s directives: shutting down most all businesses, stay-at-home orders for non-essential personnel, kids being home-schooled by their parents from materials sent from the school. Still, the grocery store remains open plus a couple food places with take-out only. The corner store which provides gas is also open. Still, we see semis parked at the grocery store as drivers pop in to get food (they have been struggling too as many businesses won’t even let them stop to use the bathroom or shower). We even had a bunch of ladies from North Dakota drive to Broadus and attempt to buy up all our toilet paper at the IGA. Hmph! Sorry ladies, one roll per customer. Thanks for stopping by! 😡

    Protecting our little nursing home with about 20 residents is a huge priority. Since we have stopped allowing visitors there and have kept patients mostly in their rooms for meals, plus staff are now exercising extreme cleaning procedures and universal precautions, we have noticed a marked decrease in routine colds and other complaints! The patients are collectively doing better than ever. This is very eye-opening!!

    Just a snapshot of one small town, USA. Prayers for those in other communities where the battle is raging!

    Patrick

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    1. Thank you for all you do for the elderly and infirm Patrick. I still go by to visit my little friend at the nursing home. I stand outside her window and I have signs that say “I love you”, “I miss you”, “I am praying for you”. She waves and smiles. Sometimes, I’m able to get the caregivers to put her on the phone. She can’t hear very well, but its nice to hear her voice.

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    2. Speaking of toilet paper! The first few weeks my daughter and I had to be the facebook police for our store because we had so many people asking about it. Then we got seven pallets in and I think we were on there almost 24/7 for the next few weeks, answering more questions!

      Patrick, I pray that Mary and Jesus send an army of angels to surround your nursing home and all senior homes with protection during this time. God bless you for your untiring service to our elderly loved ones.

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      1. Back in the mid-70’s there was a brief craze for “Pet Rocks.” For all you millenials out there who get tired of us boomers making fun of you, here is some live evidence of how silly we could be. I think that toilet paper will be the “Pet Rocks” of 2020. Our goofy obsession was more fun.

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        1. I got rock seeds from Lambzie one Christmas.  The directions showed expliciately how to grow them and if they did not grow, it was my fault for not doing it right.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        2. Haha Charlie, at least we could paint our pet rocks. Are we now calling this our ‘pet toilet paper?’ hmmmm…not sure ’bout that.
          There are some pretty funny things on social media that people are posting. One of my friends received a boquet of roses and toilet paper from her hubby for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was hilarious!

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    1. Briana, it’s time to have a little faith in Trump. Remember, he routinely use the strategy of looking weak and giving those against him an opportunity to expose themselves. There is a *lot* going on right now under the cover of this virus and our national reaction to it. I advise a little more patience. 🙂

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      1. Agreed SteveBC. There is more going on. So much more. I believe the Hand of God is on Trump and has been from the beginning. We need to pray for our President big time!

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      2. Had a very unusual episode last night, actually going into SBC mode around 1:00 a.m., so I headed outside with the dog and a cigar. Seems this niggling idea was emerging as I cycled a bunch of data through various mental algorithms. That eventually spit out the other end with this: we’re being prepped for war. Or at least it’s the only thing my mind can conceive of to make sense of this whole nonsensical cycle with Covid-19. Sometime around 4:00 a.m. I drifted back in, exhausted, turned that “war” idea over in my hand a few more times, then handed it to God. Within moments I was sleeping like a baby.

        The problem with putting too much stock (faith) in Trump, or “Q,” or any other person or collective, is that the satan is vastly more intelligent than the whole kit and kaboodle.

        Who is like unto God?

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        1. Amen. Amen, MP. That said, God works through His people and with His people – giving leeway for us, who are made in His image, to co-create by dreaming, imagining and creating strategies and keys to reach solutions – as we strive to follow His promptings and work for His Good. So, interestingly, I got burned out on “Q” because of all the breathless (simply my opinion, no secret inside info or authority do I have but to listen read, and discern) “drops” saying “next month this” and “oh wait, next month for that thing to happen” and so on and on… while the big captures and arrests with prosecution of the biggest bad guys has never happened. Yet, I’ve spoken to SO many people over the last few months who have and continue to follow “Q.” Upon further reflection, then, I decided to “watch and see” again. And if, indeed, this effort to combat the secret societies has been underway and operative for years, why not pray for success? If this is the real deal, it’s something that’s happening nationally – and internationally – with international impact and if God is blessing it, it will succeed within the context of His greater worldwide Plan. The biggest danger I see, from this vantage, is that – as you caution, MP – too much stock, focus, energy and feeling of success placed on the Q effort may lull people into thinking the battle is over. Perhaps, the battle will only then have just begun in earnest should Q be true and all goals are met. We’ll still have a huge part of our population who need to be awakened and may well turn angrily violent with the takeover, for the leaders would proceed in restoring Judeo-Christian values as the foundation of our society. Then watch the dragon breath fiery fury into the mix! Further, God is after souls. Reclaiming souls for her Son is why Our Lady has appeared and left prolific messages since she visited to St. Catherine Laboure – many say this launched the Age of Mary. The souls who now walk in darkness or in tepidity are the very souls God is seeking in His Plan which unfolds before us. I think these kids have an important word:

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          1. Yes. Still, I’m less concerned about folks being lulled into thinking the battle is over than I am about folks being bamboozled by insider stuff should it fail to materialize as billed. As is often the case with mundane matters. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…”

            I too took it to heart when Our Lord and His Mother told us to watch and pray. That said, it didn’t stop me from entertaining that episode last night for three hours and I still can’t tell you what prompted it (i.e. – pay no attention to MP’s musing on mundane matters).

            By the time I finally crawled back into bed, the only thing I was turning over in my hand was a St. Michael medal, an exorcised St. Benedict Medal, and a Miraculous Medal that someone brought to me all the way from St. Catherine Laboure’s shrine.

            I still think if we truly want to ‘see,’ we’ve got to start raising our sights much, much higher.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. The catechism states that the anitchrist will seem to have the solutions to all of our problems. In this way he will “fool” us into following his lead which will quickly descend into full persecutions. The pieces are being set into place and the rhetorical buzzwords cyberspaced on every website.
              Jesus saying that “even the elect will be fooled” just describes why the elect in our time have been.
              If the experts, leaders, physicians, PhD’s, etc who are supposed to be in the know don’t know, it is only by supernatural means that those of us who DO know can know.
              Jesus, I trust in You, hails a very great reality these days because it bucks the system, the “river flowing from the mouth of the dragon” and whispers a still small voice of clarity. It’s the ” half a postage stamp” of sanity in the ocean of deceptions.
              Those on the side of truth hear His voice. Now we must pray and fast to decipher all the voices in our head.
              “Perfect love cast out all fear”. It casts out all deceptions too.
              Jesus, I Trust In You.

              Liked by 2 people

          2. I feel blessed with my guidance to not focus on trying to know or figure out what is going to happen in the future, what God is going to do and how. I find peace in just looking at the big picture from all sources such as scripture, prophesy, news, leaders like Charlie, good clergy and this community for direction and focusing on praying and trusting. Charlie’s acknowledge God, take the next best step and be a sign of hope to those around you along with watch and pray, pray and watch, TRUST in the Lord are a very reliable basis. I have never been drawn to Q and lost interest in Nostradamus many years ago after getting a sense that it was not of God. Above all we must persevere to the end as encouraged by St. Paul. May the Holy Spirit continue to protect, guide and lead all here to all holiness and truth in Christ. jas

            Liked by 2 people

            1. “Q” is a completely different kind of thing than Nostradamus and it is possible to follow what’s going on with “Q” while keeping Christ at the center of our lives and keeping TNRS as the way forward through these days as we maintain a prayer vigil – following OUr Lady’s directives in this – remain ready and step then step up to serve at every nudging of Holy Spirit. God bless you, JAS>

              Liked by 2 people

              1. It was not my intent to equate Nostradamus and Q but meant it only as another example of being careful of looking for answers in sources that could appear to give information that takes our focus our attention on human knowledge as opposed to scripture and prophesy from reliable sources but even here we must exercise discernment and pray for guidance. I don’t claim to have any answers, just offering food for thought. Each must rely on God’s guidance and remain open to His inspiration. jas

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Yes, JAS. We agree. And that caution you express is always a good reminder, especially when one actually does have attention taken from what is central to these times: the core message fostered here of TNRS. I’m just saying that it can be both-and. With that focus on acknowledging God via prayer, fasting, penance and taking next right steps, it may well be that some people are called to act in countering the evil forces in ways which have impact beyond their own locale. Others may find themselves following the unfolding of such efforts and this shapes their prayer to support those involved in such efforts.

                  Liked by 1 person

        2. I know that there are ships headed to Venezuela, and that China is doing military exercises.

          I ALSO heard (I am not a conspiracy theorist. My Mother was a rabid Y2K prepper and ran on such high octane fear that any time someone hits a certain level of panic I shut them off, it’s an automatic reaction) that there are over 160,000 indictments (this is on a government site, easily searchable) for sex trafficking that are set to be rounded up in the next few weeks.

          I don’t know. The pain and worry I see out there is starting to overwhelm me.

          Liked by 4 people

              1. I didn’t know there was such a thing either. Yet sitting in the still quiet during the wee hours of that night I could swear that I started hearing the humming and whirring of The Whopper (WOPR) somewhere in the mental background. All I could think is that I was having an SBC moment, so I went with it. 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

        3. MP, in my own recent cogitations, I’ve also concluded that we are heading that way. I think the virus is real but not nearly as bad as we hear, but the main item is how the State Department is telling US citizens overseas to come back to the US asap and is paying significant money to arrange flights to help them. A few other countries appear to be doing the same. Like you, I find great comfort in knowing God has this, all of it.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Yes, Steve– my son is with the State Department, as is his wife. They were stationed in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and got out with their two precious children a week and a half ago–the day before the airport there was closed. They went through Dubai, whose borders closed right after they got through there. 😥 The decision to depart was made quickly– they left all their stuff there. Danny was monitoring the situation and said–we’re going now! It was an approved departure, not an evacuation, like what is happening now. Things sure change quickly. Needless to say, my prayer warrior friends were helping me pray them across the globe and this Momma was relieved when they got back on USA soil!

            Liked by 3 people

  35. I’ve been thinking about the origins of the whole #Lockdown thing. I won’t claim to know anything for sure but here’s my take.

    The constant and sometimes over-the-top coverage of this pandemic got me wondering if there was and underlying motive for said coverage. I’m not here to debate whether or not the situation is as severe as it appears. That’s not the reason for this post. One can’t turn on the teevee without hearing about how we should all stay in our homes and not going to work is some new virtuous thing. Think about this: For a hundred years communists factions have tried to organize worker strikes in the U.S. but never have been able to get more than some insignificant number of people to participate. Epic failures! Their dream was to strike a blow to capitalism-cripple production and finally show Americans that they have been slaving away for “The Man” while “The Man” would kick them to the curb when it suits him. The ‘how’ is not as important as the result. We now have MILLIONS of people out of work. In a few weeks they’ll be out of money and there still won’t be jobs. Even when businesses get back up and running they won’t hire ALL people back. They will most likely try running lean to see how it goes. Many of the lost jobs won’t exist on the other side of this. When all of this enters the consciousness of millions of people, the notion of capitalism won’t be very appealing. Enter the Communists saying “See! We were warning you of this for a long time. Join us!” Now back to my first line. When it comes to the MSM leftist mouthpieces, we all know who runs Bartertown. Could all of what I’ve said here be THE reason for the sensational wall-to-wall coverage?

    I dunno, just some confused ramblings fwiw.

    Peace & I love you all!

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Along the same lines Chris…

      This may be a Hegelian action going on. According to Fritz Springmeier:
      Feb. 10, 1995
      “Communism pretends it is the enemy of the rich capItalists, but both the rich elite and the communist leaders are committed to wipe out Christianity.”

      Which brings me to a worry. Many talk as if Trump is a type of savior in the fight against corruption and the Deep State. But what if he is a part of it?

      How will Christians become united? Persecution? From whom? Government and like minded public?

      All I know is that churches are closed! During a time we need the Sacraments the most.

      Appreciate others thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I look to how the deep state has fought President Trump tooth and nail, at every turn, in every way and I also observe the ways Trump is promoting the culture of life. I cannot imagine how someone would go through what Trump has endured and do what he has done if he is a secret communist. It is refreshing to have such a leader.

        Christians will become united when all those who call themselves Christian actually honor and act in tandem with the Teachings of Christ. Many lost, confused Christians promote abortion (even to the point where pastors have blessed abortion clinics), same sex unions and all manner of moral disorder, calling evil good and good evil. I keep focused on trusting the Lord and taking the NRSs before me.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I am reminded of the admonition that things are not always what they appear to be and that the satan can be very clever such as to fool us mere mortals. Even what appears to be good could lead us toward a trap. I am also reminded that the satan can tempt us to the lesser good. This indeed is a complicated and interesting time. Only God can save us in the long run. All we know is that it is going to get worse before it gets better. We must watch and pray, pray and watch. Put all our TRUST in God. jas

          Liked by 1 person

  36. We need to keep praying and fasting for our spiritually beleaguered priests:

    “I picked up the phone yesterday and called some of these priests. I asked a single question:

    “Are you under attack?”

    “Yes. Really, the oppression is everywhere now,” said the first priest I spoke with. He’d just driven 140 miles round-trip for the second time in a week to gather 300 cases of bread (1,200 loaves) to distribute to the poor.

    “From my first Holy Hour to my videotaped Masses, to trying to reach my parishioners in on-line retreats and talks; oppressions seem to always be there. They’ve been very strong,” he said. “It’s the voice of condescension. It’s become extremely tiring. It’s most tiring during [virtual] talks; everything becomes slow and difficult. It’s more exhausting than the Masses.

    “Here’s just one example of how the Evil One works – I celebrated three Masses on the Feast of the Annunciation because everything kept shutting off. The video wasn’t working. This has never happened.
    “The spiritual lifelines out there have been cut off, so the demons are going to attack the lifelines [priests] who still remain in the spiritual battle. It’s physically and mentally exhausting because doubts creep in and you think – ‘Is all this stuff I’m putting out there even landing, or is it just a waste?”

    Surprisingly, this was linked on Drudgereport earlier today. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/priests-reveal-how-coronavirus-crisis-has-unleashed-intense-demonic-activity

    Liked by 7 people

    1. oh my! This is so very very sad and really, if not for you telling it here, I would have NEVER known! I always think that priests have it all in order, or so that is the way it was my whole life of line or priestly life learning and of thinking is. The BEST years of my life in Catholic teaching was 1st and 2nd grade, where nuns were Godly nuns and Priests were Godly Priests. 3rd grade it seemed to go all down hill. I recognized it way back then. I will be 62 in a few months, there’s the timeline for Catholic teaching gone bad. Thank you for telling this! I feel sorry for all the priests and now will pray way harder for them and will even let my local priests know I am praying 4 times as hard for them!! Thank you Maggie!

      Liked by 5 people

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