Desolation or Poustinia? It is Up to Us.


By Charlie Johnston

One of the things that has troubled me since this whole quarantine thing began is that one of the devil’s primary tools for damaging people is to isolate them. With much of the whole world now self-isolated, it can easily become the devil’s playground. Certainly, it has in some cases. I am utterly appalled at how many officials have assumed authoritarian power – and authoritarian power that has little relation to what is needed to navigate this trial.

I am utterly horrified at how many officials have shamelessly lied to leverage the crisis for more money or more influence. The old politician in me is baffled at how the establishment media and most of the Democratic Party could possibly think that playing Beavis and Butthead throughout the crisis is a good look for them that will pay long-term benefits. Democrats have constantly tried to leverage fear over the virus to try to enact their favored socialist policy enthusiasms. Holding people’s health hostage to accomplish what they can’t at the ballot box seems a striking brand of insanity to me. But even Democrats seem, at heart, to understand that this is not a winning play. Two high-level officials in their party have largely sought to deal responsibly with the crisis, putting the interests of their constituents first. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have acted as serious, sober officials trying to manage a crisis. Now Democrats are frantically trying to figure out a way to draft Cuomo as their presidential nominee. It has not escaped my notice that they are looking to one of the few men in their party who has acted as a statesman rather than to one of the many Beavis’s in their ranks. I deeply disagree on most policy ideas of both Cuomo and Newsom, but they have acted as the great majority of officials acted in nobler times in this country – attacking the crisis on behalf of all their citizens rather than trying mainly to leverage it for partisan advantage. I think the cynicism of the philosophy of “never letting a crisis go to waste” is going to backfire mightily on Beavis and company.

Then we turn to Butthead, the establishment media. They are obviously and completely uninterested in finding and reporting information useful to getting through this crisis. In fact, they seem to gleefully cheer the crisis on – hoping that if enough Americans die or the economy is damaged enough it will hurt Donald Trump – all while sitting in the cocoon of their continuing paychecks. They routinely change positions on a dime, always guided by what is most likely to damage Trump. Just over a week ago, they were calling chloroquine a “false hope” purveyed cruelly by Trump. Now they are calling it a potential breakthrough and trying to pretend that Trump was not out in front on it. In a crisis that is novel, early positions do not matter as much as how a leader adapts to unfolding developments. Brit Hume posted video of Dr. Anthony Fauci minimizing the potential crisis on Jan. 21, not to discredit Fauci, but to demonstrate that it is a fool’s errand to demand that anyone have as much clarity of vision as a crisis unfolds as they will in hindsight. I hope that, when this ends, about 80 percent of the establishment media truly feel Americans’ pain by losing their jobs for having been such callous, deceptive low-lifes who reveled in Americans’ pain so long as they thought it could help them in their mad quest. They are so maliciously obsessed they make Captain Ahab and Inspector Javert look like the souls of moderation.

As it stands now, it has become clear that the Wuhan Virus is much more dangerous than a common cold or flu – but primarily to a targeted population. It is dramatically dangerous – and potentially fatal – to people who have other chronic conditions, such as a compromised immune system, diabetes, obesity and some other issues. Even older people generally seem to weather it well IF they do not have the other complicating factors. It is time to work diligently on how to re-open society and get the economy moving again, while enacting protocols to protect those cohorts which are most vulnerable to this. The service manager of an auto repair shop wrote a very nice piece on the real-world consequences to ordinary people of this shutdown.

I do not blame ordinary folks for obeying draconian rules, many of which were arbitrary and unnecessary. I do expect all of us, as this passes, to hold those leaders who exercised arbitrary power without reasonable cause, to account. Send them packing.

I don’t blame Bishops and religious leaders for shutting down services on the orders of secular authorities. I do expect them to prepare for a stand when many of those secular authorities, inevitably, try to use future crises to deny people freedom of religion and religious worship as a matter of ideological policy. Almost all the establishment media and many officials have thought this was a good excuse to act like China.

Yet if the devil seeks to first isolate many of those he would destroy, there is the old Russian concept of Poustinia. A Poustinia is a desert place where you go to meet the Lord, to contemplate Him, and to grow in holiness before Him. All the great prophets – and even Christ, Himself, went into the wilderness in preparation for their public ministry. The desert can be a place of madness and destruction or a place of growth into an iron faith and fortitude.

A few days ago, our commenter Victura made an absolutely inspired posting. Victura is a Priest in the upper Midwest. I have met him personally. I had the very good fortune of having him offer opening prayers at a presentation I gave a few years back. In order to keep us focused on living a Poustinia, rather than going to our destruction, I offer his comment in its entirety:

“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.” – Victura

May this Palm Sunday be a Poustinia, a profound encounter with the living Christ for all of us.

(And yes, I did notice that the northern lights above the remote cabin look kind of like a squirrel-CJ)

293 thoughts on “Desolation or Poustinia? It is Up to Us.

  1. As I’m on Dan Lynch Apostolates’ emailing distribution list, I received an email this afternoon conveying the discernment of Msgr. Nicola Bux, former theologian for the Vatican Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith; for Divine Worship; and for the Pontifical Celebrations Office. I have to say that as news of covid19 first came forth, I wondered if it might somehow be connected to the Pachamama incident. Anyway, here’s the link for your own discernment:

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s so difficult to say, Beckita, isn’t it, if this is indeed part of the Chastisement? I am unusually optimistic about this whole coronavirus situation, that the United States will come roaring back even stronger than ever, and that ultimately this will be good for our people and country, but there are so many “but’s.”

      Still, the timing of this pandemic is unmistakable. The shake up it is causing to the world economies and politics is undeniable. Our Church and Holy Father are shaken. The repercussions this will have on the countries and cultures of the world will be long lasting. Atheist China has certainly been chastised, or have they simply been enraged by this? Has it set them back? or rather moved up their timetable? This event is undoubtedly setting the stage for more profound global changes ahead.

      Is this the beginning of the most furious part of the Storm? Does this mark the end of an Era?

      Akita: The third message on October 13, 1973: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.”

      “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father,
      send now Your Spirit over the earth.
      Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations,
      that they may be preserved from degeneration,
      disaster and war.
      May the Lady of All Nations,
      the Blessed Virgin Mary,
      be our Advocate.”

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      1. Lots to ponder all right, Patrick. For certain, we’re in a process and I sense this scenario right now is a warmup to some even weightier events on the horizon. I think the smaller chastisements are nothing less than the consequence of our longstanding disorder/sinful ways.

        I see such a connection between that passage from the Akita messages and Garabandal with the Illumination of Conscience. I plan to keep my praying-for-conversoin boots on til the last of the disciplining and the Period of Peace is launched by Our Lady.

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        1. Do penance!
          Make sacrifices!

          The consistent and insistent message from Our Lady….at Lourdes, at Fatima, at Garabandal, and Akita….

          My very favorite part of the Garabandal movie was hearing again how much Our Blessed Mother loves us. This filled my heart with joy, and it makes me happy to offer my Rosary to her. She loves us so very much!

          Great joy was expressed by Fr. Luis Maria Andreu after leaving Garabandal moments before he died:

          “I am so happy. What a favor the Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life.”

          And the incredible joy of the girls, at seeing Our Mother, at being together with her…..❤️!

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      2. I think the “fire falling from the sky” warning at Akita was thwarted Patrick.
        Lucia from Fatima mentioned how we averted a nuclear war soon after Pope JPll consecrated the world to her Immaculate Heart on March 25, 1984. Lucky us!
        “The following year, 1985, during an apparition in her convent, Sr. Lucia would reveal that Our Lady told her if that consecration had not been made by John Paul II, there would have been a nuclear war. Because of the consecration this didn’t happen. There was an undeniable link between it and the major destruction of weapons of the Soviet’s Northern Fleet.
        Sr. Lucia would later tell this to Cardinals Antony Padiyara of India and Ricardo Vidal of the Philippines when they visited her in her convent.”
        Remember, many prophecies have never come true due to the actions of even just one saint.
        God can never be outdone and He even moves to restore His children even when they don’t deserve it for His own sake.(Isaiah 48:11).
        Becoming a man and then letting Himself be beaten, tortured and crucified by His creatures out of love for them is a mysterious love we cannot fathom. (Psalm 22:2).
        But He chastises those He loves too (Hebrews 12:6), and we grow outside of ourselves when confronted by this because it causes an inner reflection to why we are a fallen being and what we have been doing about it (or not doing about it).
        None of us make it out of here alive- even Jesus didn’t. This reality is so often ignored that when we are confronted by it we become uncomfortable, some even suicidal, (if that makes any sense)! So many human mandates are to relieve suffering and death, we regulate our safety, and health but even those health nuts will end up being the healthiest people in a graveyard one day!
        The church must help us encounter this truth and to prepare us for THAT reality.
        Jesus said the flesh was of no importance but that the spirit gives life. (John 6:63). When we focus too hard on living and on the desires of the flesh, we forget this reality.
        Keeping our lamps filled is remembering and fostering this because dispite every conceivable contention to the contrary (not dieing), one day we will meet our Maker. (Matthew 25).
        “What does it prophet a man to gain the whole world but to loose his own soul”. (Mark 8:36).

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        1. It would be awesome if the fire referred to had already fallen, Phil. I would welcome it with open arms were it for certain, yet, I’m one who believes that this event mentioned by Our Lady of Akita is yet to come. Doesn’t make me right. Only God knows. And what kind of fire will it be if it’s yet to come? Only God knows. Whichever way any prophecy turns out, we have a beautiful path forward with TNRS. I loved your line: but even those health nuts will end up being the healthiest people in a graveyard one day! You have a real gift with expressing mysteries of faith. Thank you.

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        2. I appreciate your optimism, Phil, yet we are a stiff necked people on an unprecedented scale.

          When? Where? How? Who knows. If I think of it at all, I prefer to think in B’s terms. What kind of fire?

          Oh, nuclear bombardment (as was thwarted in 1985) might just be preferable for some as compared to the Fiery Countenance of God’s Wrath. No need to call it down for any reason, since it would have to be a fierce and general punishment for all of humanity without the constant Mercy and Grace extended to us. Who are we to boast?

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          1. Interesting that you guys equate the “fire” from the Akita prophecy as more of a spiritual one. Of course physical and spiritual fire are similar in thier effects as we see how steel is purified by fire and souls are purified through fire in purgatory and how the fire of the Holy Spirit- the “tongues of Flame” resting upon the Apostles gave them “Catholic tongues” (universal language). This phenomenon is reported by pilgrims who go to Akita that they each hear the other pilgims speaking in thier own language no matter where they are from.
            Either way a fiery ordeal is upon us (1 Peter 4:12) and we should not be surprised, as MP has eluded to, for we are a ridiculously stiff-necked people.

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            1. Oh, I’m not thinking the fire named in Akita is only a spiritual fire. I actually think that interior fire is the Illumination of Conscience. Our Lady of Akita was quite direct: “Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful.” Still praying, doing penance and fasting for mitigation, that is, the conversion of all peoples.

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            2. Here too, like B, I look at it in both terms. Not sure about the habits of others, but tend to consider the spiritual meaning of authentic prophecy when contemplating such. Invariably that leads to praying post haste with little time spent dwelling on chastisements. Oh, they’ll come, but I’d just as soon be laboring at helping folks out of the ‘fires’ right in front of us should it come to that.

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        3. Personally, Phil, I do not think this prophesy of fire falling from the sky has been averted, including the possibility of nuclear war….not yet. I had an intense and detailed vision of meteorites plummeting to the earth in great numbers, and it was a truly terrifying vision. I am no seer, to be sure, but my immediate thought just before awakening was of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Akita, and that this event would and must come to pass. I pray I’m wrong.

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          1. I had a similar dream years ago myself Patrick. I walked out of a building at night talking with a black man (who I’ve not met so far) and I noticed strange reflections of light on the leaves of a bush. Looking up, I saw the stars turning into meteorites and plummeting towards the earth in great numbers.
            I don’t remember the conversation I had with the black gentleman but my initial feeling was it was one of the omens foretold in scriptures telling how the “stars would fall from the sky”. It was a rather lucid dream which I do not have frequently so I considered it important.
            Interestingly, the dream did not frighten me, it being more spiritually invading than a physically motivational one of impending doom or the like.

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  2. A local farmer friend of mine posted this today.

    ” It’s not so much the staying at home that has people unhinged. It is the staying at home waiting your turn to get sick and you might get no symptoms at all or you might die and we’re just gonna keep doing the same thing bc we don’t have any answers that is causing ppl to unhinge. Humanity seems to have turned on itself. In the grocery store yesterday nobody talked. People glared at you, suspect of carrying death if you passed their cart. Everyone was masked. Everyone averted their eyes. There was no feeling of solidarity.”

    People are so terrified, everywhere I go. I was on a walk in the woods yesterday with Tiff (my 4 year old granddaughter that I adopted) and people were wearing masks and scarves and afraid to talk *while we were well more than 6 feet from each other* and in the woods. (And then NJ Bozo extraordinaire Murphy shut down ALL of the state parks. And the drones will now start yelling at people, too.)

    I’m praying that we’re human after this. That we become MORE human than we were before. That we start some neighborhood dances, that we go bowling, that we aren’t afraid of the very air that God gave us to breathe, and the people he gave us to love.

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    1. Took a beautiful walk through the Cemetery yesterday to visit our dearly departed and pray for them. Some people freaked at a picture I posted bc the 3 of us had no masks. I figured if we dropped dead, we wouldn’t have to be moved far 😉

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    2. This same woman had a daughter that was living with her boyfriend.

      Daughter broke up with boyfriend, and wanted to come home.

      Mom went and got daughter.

      Mom was EXCORIATED for picking up daughter, that she didn’t care about infecting the rest of the family and that she was allowing Covid into the house.

      People have lost their ever loving minds.

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    3. Oh don’t get me started on our government in Jersey. They think we are all little school children who need constantly need to be told what to do and how to do it and then be punished as a group if someone steps out of line. Closing all the parks is outrageous. I can’t wait to escape this state.

      May God save us from ourselves. Thank you everyone for being an island of Faith and Hope in a sea of chaos. Let us have a holy Good Friday and a joyous Easter.

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  3. Charlie you posted a year ago today a piece entitled “Grace is free but not cheap!” It was on my fb memory!!! Here’s a little snippet of it! I read the whole thing again!!! It was grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!!🤗

    Grace is free…but not cheap!

    By Charlie Johnston

    Mine is an ordinary way: Acknowledge God, Take the Next Right Step, and Be a Sign of Hope to those around you. It is not a way developed casually through some focus group. It is the result of a process of boiling down what is critical and yet accessible to all over the course of a lifetime of serious work, including no little amount of trial and error. On occasion, someone will delight me by observing that this little credo is a nicely concise summary of the Gospels. That is by intent.

    I have written frequently that vanity is one of the most potent tools the satan uses against us. We are constantly tempted to think we are masters rather than servants. It is one of the oldest tricks in the satan’s game plan. “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5). The triumphal temptation, to imagine oneself as master of all one surveys, ever lurks, seeking to lead us to spiritual destruction. “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

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          1. Oh Beckita!!! Ditto ditto ditto!!! I thank you for that comment about evangelization…actually I’m sort of like Charlie where in the piece before this he wrote…”But everything I do is through a focus, maybe bordering on obsession, to defend the faith, hearten the faithful and defend the faithful.”

            I’m truly obsessed and i drive people crazy!!! lol!!! My family has banned me from mentioning His name (however, globetrotting Tommy told me it’s ok, if I talk to him about Jesus!!!) i’m an all or nothing type! My sister used to tell me, “Linda, you’re either Mother Angelica of Mary Magdalen!!!” hahaha… I pray to both of them often!!! Please Jesus that I never offend you again for the rest of my life!!! Amen!!! 😉 Praised be Jesus and Mary!!! Now and forever, Jesus and Mary!!! TNRS ASOH

            I’m on an ABSOLUTE HIGH right now!!!! Our beautiful priests just had an hour of confession for us in the church (no more than 9 in church at a time!) My Lord and My God it was beautiful!!!! Just to be IN the church with fellows and then Monsignor had this beautiful music on so no-one could hear our confessions, and then he was at the front of the church with a little old time confessional screen!!! And you could see them both (Monsignor’s back was to us) and people were funny waving their hands in their sins…so cute!!! I’m sure I did the same thing too! mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa!) Fr. Andrew peeked around the corner before his virtual Mass in the school and the smile on his face was just glowing!!! You just knew he was sooooooo happy to see fellows in the church!!! How hard this must be on our beautiful priests!!! Then Monsignor wiped the screen and kneeler after each penitent! Surely this today was like the things of heaven! So sweet, simple and pure!

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  4. So, is COVID 19 the storm that made landfall? Or is the worst yet to come?

    Are e in the eye of the storm?

    I love father Z’s prayer- amen!

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    1. When I read a few days ago that a porn hub was offering free access during these shelter in place and lock down days and when I ponder, as many have expressed, that liquor stores and abortion clinics are considered essential services while creative ways to celebrate communal worship are looked askance by many – caution is prudent, total shutdown towards considering possibilities seems fear-filled – I think: Boy! Too many just don’t get that God is the center of our lives. In this community, we are all aware that the ultimate goal of Our Lord and Our Lady is to reclaim souls. When God allows us to experience the sting of what it is to ignore Him and try to do things on our own without giving Him the honor that is His as the Author of every good imaginable on this planet, I can only conclude that the toughest days of the Storm are yet to come. Claiming St. John Paul II’s ever-repeated exhortation: Be not afraid.

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      1. I agree.
        If the vaccine were now available, all sources of sin would go back to normal, and human beings would go back to life as before.


        1. I don’t doubt it, For the Sake. But here’s one person who I think has changed for the better of late… Bishop Strickland has really been making an impression on me since this whole Covid-19 thing took hold (note: I haven’t watched the video contained in the link and know nothing about the alleged prophet who speaks in it; I send the link only because of Bishop Strickland’s Twitter message):

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for sharing, Mick. For as long as I’ve know of him I’ve liked him– does he have a sketchy past?


            1. Kim, I think the sketchy part was that Bishop Strickland was formerly in union – at least by his silence – with the Texas Bishop’s Conference (TCCB) as they failed to uphold Catholic Teaching on life issues. Last month he declined to sign the TCCB declaration that, as reported: “calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to lift penalties against healthcare rationing at hospitals amid the growing viral pandemic. In essence, the declaration would give hospitals carte blanche to decide who gets to live and who gets to die among coronavirus-infected patients, regardless of their reasons for choosing one patient over another.” And remember this from last year?

              We need to pray for him as there’s always push back when a Bishop or Priest acts with holy boldness.

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              1. Absolutely, Beckita! I have heard him speak boldly many times. God bless our courageous priests. Need to keep them ever in our prayers!

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                1. Amen, Kim! Here’s a memory as we accompany Our Lady this day. Who can really fathom her grief? How could she have even slept those nights after her Son was crucified?

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    I don’t know about the rest of you people but as for me; I’m Praying for a BIG Easter Miracles!!

    I would like any TNRS Medical Types to read the below and tell US if it’s legit?

    Very Interesting. Can anyone here convince me that there is NOT a Global Force of Evil Out-There? ….. with China/Global “Elite” Paymasters!
    My old Navy Dad was worried about One World godless Gubermint 60 years ago. This kind of gubermint already exists in Deep Blue States & urban areas…… and once EU Chrsitendom ;-(


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      1. I’ve been pondering….

        The Lord Promises complete forgiveness of our sins and punishment due to sin on Divine Mercy. Could Our Lord, in His unfathomable Mercy, allow or will a huge event on Easter Sunday and thus souls would run to His mercy and be granted this promise of mercy on Divine Mercy?? Who knows.


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        1. I think it will be the turning point Becky.  Again, God knows.  We pray and be faithful to the best of our ability.  God bless you!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack


  6. Luz de Maria message from St. Michael the Archangel April 3 speaks to our biological epidemic and a man made war of armaments. Woe to those who inflicted evil upon us. Also speaks on the Warning.



    People of God, you will see with your own eyes the beginning of the WAR OF ARMAMENTS, not only the BACTERIOLOGICAL WAR in which you are living. Ah … how Divine Wrath will fall upon those who have brought the pain of disease to other human beings!”

    Liked by 5 people

  7. An interesting tidbit. The earthquake (last month) in nYs occurred in Saratoga County, town of South Glens Falls. It took place twice on two different dates.

    The first in a property adjacent to the Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel & the second in a St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery.

    You may look it up here:

    Liked by 5 people


    The “Gift” that keeps “giving” … CNN Loves Papa …. Papa, seemingly, loves, Communiast China? ;-(
    I’m betting the Farm that China Plague came from a Chinese Lab and any Lab or significant entity there is overseen by the Communist State – AKA: PLA (People’s Liberation Army). China $$$$ have flooded the USA since those “awesome” Billary/AlGore Days ;-(

    Oh!! …. and Soros sez — disarm Producer Class Citizens while you are at-it!

    Let US Pray that Daylight will shine upon the DC Swamp!!:

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE & Happy Holy Thursday!!

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  9. A blessed Triduum to all. May the Passion of Christ deliver more souls to God! Praise His Holy Name, Praise be the Mother of God, Praise be Joseph, her most chaste spouse.

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    1. Amen, SanSan. Easter Triduum blessings to you and yours too.

      This morning’s reflections called to mind my first TNRS/ASOH blog post. In contrast to today’s state of affairs for me then and now, in 2015, I was a hot mess. I found Charlie’s Birmingham video on Wendy’s Cukierski’s newsletter of which I was a charter subscriber to. My first post was a prayer request, mini novel of sorts. ;-P

      Charlie was the sole moderator at the time and kindly and gently gave me commentary guidelines and instructions for publishing consideration. At the time, my personal life as I once knew it was upended, the Obama years wrought fears of corruption and tyranny, so much so that we took extreme measures to attempt to hide our identity/locations, etc. by using pseudonyms, and not sharing personal information. Now we are so much more open to sharing personal information and cannot in effect gather physically.

      Since then, late 2015, after fining TNRS/ASOH I have an unbelievable calm and peace, of which I had not ever experienced. I did not cause it, earn it or deserve it. Thank you Holy Spirit, and Immaculate Heart of Mary for this grace. I am unworthy, yet so grateful. Thank you Charlie and our incredible TNRS/ASOH family for your love and care over the years. It has been a blessing like no other.

      Happy Easter Triduum dear ones! ❤

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      1. Oh Jen! Laughing aloud here at your reference to a “mini novel of sorts.” And from the novel you went on to become a valued member of the team which has rallied round Charlie and this community as we carry on. SO good. So grateful. My Goodness, Dear Charlie! I, too, received an email early on, gently instructing me – for the good of the order – on how to add a few lines to the link I was sharing. (Obviously, this home was my first venture into an online community and I hadn’t even read the comment policy.) How ever did Charlie clear 500+ comments daily while shooting emails right and left to those in need of some coaching?!?! To all of us we could say: We’ve come a long way, Baby! 🙂

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      2. I remember that first blog post of yours, Jen, and you’re not the only one that comments with a novella every now and again. 🙂 I’ve had a nightmare or two about someone printing ALL this stuff out and preserving it for posterity. One can only hope the comments portion ends up on that same dusty, forgotten shelf next to the dented trig book and James Brown action figure.

        Thought you might enjoy this pic I snapped just earlier coming up the back stairs. What an unexpected moment. Couldn’t help but think that challenging times acquaint a trail dog with strange yet marvelous bedfellows.

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        1. I love that, MP. It is super sweet. Thank you! ❤

          Our seven pound Chihuahua, Chia, was mauled by a neighbor's Belgium Malinois last Thursday. She is on the mend and spunkier than ever. The dog's owner and I had a rare opportunity to spend a decent amount of time outside the tightly guarded due to CV-19 and off limits to pet owners emergency pet clinic chatting while Chia was being cared for. She and I had a lot in common, including love of the daily Rosary. God is good, even in trials He has an ever loving purpose for us. I did not even know that she was Catholic. Our community is bonding in ways unseen prior to the stay at home orders.

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          1. Oh Jen so sorry. My dear friends little doggie (looks like Chia) has been attacked twice while on a walk–$5000 later and numerous surgeries he was finally healing. Well the master of the house opened the front door and little doggie ran out and got hit by a car! Back to the Vet and believe it or not, he survived! He is FINALLY able to walk and play. We love our furry pets so much. Don’t we.

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          1. That’s the mischievous Sandbag in the back seat. Whether or not it’s within her nature to prove the better pet remains to be seen, but it’s definitely the trail dog in this house who shows the lead on how to get there. Still, it’s an interesting thing to watch them work it out over time, each sticking to their guns, but with many moments where neither is insisting on the dog or cat way. Just acting like buddies.

            That said, I’m definitely a dog guy. Interesting to note in Old Testament times that the Egyptians seemed to have an unusual attachment to cats, while Judaism made little mention of either cats or dogs, even looking at dogs as mostly unclean and violent. When it came to animals, seems Jesus spoke mostly of birds and sheep, with no mention of sheep dogs. Maybe he didn’t mention sheep dogs because the times were just starting to change and He was in the process of developing them in a sense.

            The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me,” she said.

            He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

            “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table,” said the woman.

            Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:25-28)

            Not sure, but hat right there might be the turning point for dogs.

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                1. Oh but that is but the beauty of making innocent mistakes.  It is not a sin.  I can picture God smiling as we but attempt such beauty. It is equivalent to us as parents watching our kids draw stick figures of mommy, daddy, Fido, etc.  As parents, we hang them up on the refrigerator and marvel at them because they are drawn with love.  Do you think God has a big refrigerator?—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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      3. Jenn I have noticed the change in you over the years in this family but you have always been one of the kindest, most compassionate and supportive people. My heart goes out to little Chia and I pray for an uncomplicated recovery. I have seen that 1000 times and most little dogs do well. They are so rugged! It happens so often that we have a medical notes shorthand for it: BDLD, Big Dog vs Little Dog.

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        1. ❤ Thank you for your kind words, LukeMichael. We appreciate the prayers and concern for our Chia. She is doing surprisingly well. We are restricting her mobility to allow for her speedy recovery. She will get her couple of stitches out on Easter Wednesday. I sincerely think the big dog just wanted to be playful. The injuries were minimal for what seemed like such a horrifying incident. Praise be to God.


  10. “This virus acted as a warning. In a matter of weeks, the great illusion of a material world that thought itself all-powerful seems to have collapsed. A few days ago, politicians were talking about growth, pensions, reducing unemployment. They were sure of themselves. And now a virus, a microscopic virus, has brought this world to its knees, a world that looks at itself, that pleases itself, drunk with self-satisfaction because it thought it was invulnerable. The current crisis is a parable. It has revealed how all we do and are invited to believe was inconsistent, fragile and empty. We were told: you can consume without limits! But the economy has collapsed and the stock markets are crashing. Bankruptcies are everywhere. We were promised to push the limits of human nature ever further by a triumphant science. We were told about artificial procreation, surrogate motherhood, transhumanism, enhanced humanity. We boasted of being a man of synthesis and a humanity that biotechnologies would make invincible and immortal. But here we are in a panic, confined by a virus about which we know almost nothing. Epidemic was an outdated, medieval word. It suddenly became our everyday life. I believe this epidemic has dispelled the smoke of illusion. The so-called all-powerful man appears in his raw reality. There he is naked. His weakness and vulnerability are glaring. Being confined to our homes will hopefully allow us to turn our attention back to the essentials, to rediscover the importance of our relationship with God, and thus the centrality of prayer in human existence. And, in the awareness of our fragility, to entrust ourselves to God and to his paternal mercy.”
    Cardinal Robert Sarah, April 9th, 2020; Catholic Register

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        1. Re Covid-19 patients, quite a difference in Catholic responses:

          Chicago diocese directs younger healthy priests to go to the virus afflicted…

          Bishop suspends last rites to pandemic victims…

          Furthermore, some priests mention they are escorted out by medical personnel while trying to administer the last rites with threats of being arrested if refusing to leave.

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          1. It’s all a reflection of the chaos, I think, Maggie. Remembering some of Charlie’s writing wherein he urged us to mentally prepare for a time when we would be forced, in extremis, to make decisions with options comprised of things that included none of which we would choose in a calm, ordered atmosphere.

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      1. One of his points stuck home with me:
        “I believe this epidemic has dispelled the smoke of illusion. The so-called all-powerful man appears in his raw reality. There he is naked. His weakness and vulnerability are glaring. ”
        On another post here I mentioned how these times remind me of a “mini Warning” to prepare us for The Warning.
        Cardinal Sarah intimates this here in us being brought face to face with reality and our our “nakedness” before it. What some call the “naked truth”.
        Pretty sobering.

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        1. Yes.  It just underscores how important it is to be spiritually prepared.  We never know the time or hour.  As the Gospel says, “keep watch because you do not know when the master of the house will return.”—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  11. Divine Mercy Novena starts today.

    In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    “Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.”

    Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever.


    In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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  12. The Hours of the Passion (in English)
    eg. from the 11 am hour:
    “For as many blows as you received, so many souls do I ask you to free from condemnation to hell in this moment. For as many drops of blood as you shed, so many souls do I pray you to wash in this most precious blood. And for the bitter pain you suffered, especially when they were nailing you to the cross, which pulled the nerves in your arms, I pray you to open heaven to everyone and to bless everyone. May your blessing call sinners to conversion, and heretics and infidels to the light of the faith. O Jesus, my dear life, no sooner do your enemies finish hammering the nail through your right hand, than they take your left with unspeakable cruelty. To make it reach the hole prepared beforehand, they pull on it so hard that you feel the joints of your arms and of your shoulders dislocated. And because of the intensity of the pain, your legs retract and twist. Left hand of my Jesus, I kiss you, I sympathize with you, I adore you and I thank you.

    By those blows and pains you suffered when they drove in the nail, I pray you to grant flight in this moment to many souls from purgatory to heaven. And by the blood you shed, I pray you to put out the flames that are burning those souls. May it be relief for all of them, refreshment and beneficial bath that purifies them of all their stains, and disposes them to the beatific vision. My love and my all, for the excruciating pain you suffered when they drove the nail through your left hand, I pray you to close hell to all souls and to hold back the thunderbolts of the divine justice, unfortunately irritated by our sins. Yes, Jesus, let this nail in your blessed left hand be the key that closes the door of the divine justice, to keep punishments from raining down on the earth, and to open the treasures of the divine mercy in favor of everyone. So, I pray you to clasp us in your arms.

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