A Gentle Ray of Grace

Pray For Us

By Charlie Johnston

After all the hubbub from my last column, I was delighted to see a marvelous meditation by Fr. James Altman posted on the U.S. Grace Force website yesterday. It is insightful, it is bold, it is courageous, and it is charitable. This is the Fr. Altman who gave me heart for the first year he was speaking out. This is the Fr. Altman we need to help reconcile all things in Christ and reform our Church without destroying it.

As I said in a comment yesterday, I want strong allies in orthodoxy who help us win the battle. After the initial assault on his ministry, I knew of a couple Dioceses that were willing to take Fr. Altman in. I admired that he chose to stay in his own Diocese to try to fight it out there. That shows an abundance of character and grace – and commitment.

I fight and call out the depredations of the many heterodox clerics and Bishops who seek to undermine our faith and our Church. But I also know that God wins – every time. What is happening is God is forcing each of us to reveal who we are. For those who are open enemies of the faith, they reveal their cupidity and malice. But each of us stand in the docket, as well. If we attack our opponents with the sort of bitter malice that they engage in with us, how, then, do we trust God to justify us? Or to gain the victory? Being children of the light does not disqualify us from defending either our faith or ourselves. But if the devil can provoke us into doing so with bitter, hectoring invective it is he who gains the victory even in our defense of the faith. Again, I look to St. Joan of Arc and Abraham Lincoln as models of how to fight with vigor to victory without becoming, in the process, that which we oppose.

Fr. Altman’s meditation yesterday is a Godly one, made within the full armor of Christ. This is how we prevail, under God. I reprint it here as a primer for us all. After that, I reprint a comment I made yesterday. As much as some are determined that I should approve of any tactic that opposes the forces who are now arrayed against the faith and the faithful, I will not. I know that the sort of embittered, nasty attacks favored by our opponents are tactically unsound – and I am convinced that they are an offense to God, as well. If we are to be the army of God, we must be disciplined and show by our actions, as well as our words, our serene confidence that God will prevail. As the song says, He is not dead nor does He sleep.

First then, Fr. Altman’s marvelous meditation from yesterday’s U.S. Grace Force:

“Freedom from Vengeance” by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, vengeance sounds a whole lot like revenge to me, both of which we know in our hearts are not good things. One site tried to explain the difference: “the difference between revenge and vengeance is that revenge is any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice while vengeance is revenge taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong.” Well, that was no help! They still sound like the same thing. Sure enough, another site called the words synonyms.

In any event, this we know: “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord” (Deuteronomy 32:35). The truth in Deuteronomy is found in the words of St. Paul, “Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). When the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, He confirmed it all, teaching: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” (Matthew 5:38-39).

What does “offer no resistance to one who is evil” mean exactly? In our day and age, this is an important question that is, unfortunately, too often answered with a glib and meaningless recitation of “turn the other cheek.” This response though is a disconnected scriptural verse, taken out of context, out of culture, and out of text written about 2,000 years ago in a language that few people understand.

Let us begin with what Matthew 5:38-39 really means. The biblical notes to those two verses state: “The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation.” Right away then, we see this only pertains to the concept of retaliation. It did not mean then, and it does not mean now, that we simply lay down and play “doormat” for any evil doer.

This “I’m not a doormat” principle may be explained best by considering self-defense. We are entitled to protect our own lives and the lives of others. This right is not negated by Jesus’ teachings, and in fact, it stands in contrast to the scriptural admonition against retaliation. The warning against retaliation may be understood by pondering one of its consequences: escalation. For example, one bad actor “A” incites retaliation from “B”, which incites retaliation from “A”, which incites more retaliation from “B”, etc.  This vengeance cycle can escalate to the point where others end up getting caught in the crossfire.  In the real world this results in bodies in the streets of our cities, and innocent victims (too often little children) reaping the repercussions.

In a larger sense, who can deny that the current culture of violence, rioting, looting, and burning is nothing other than vengeance and retaliation? The anarchists set themselves up against Christian truth, truth found in the words of the great prophet Jeremiah: “To whom shall I speak? Whom shall I warn and be heard? … See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, for which they have no taste” (Jeremiah 6:10). It explains why the Seattle mayor’s absurd response to CHOP (the Capitol Hill Organized Protest) seems to prevail everywhere – remember she called it “the summer of love.” We saw the “love” in the murders and violent crimes. Her perverse twisting of truth also is found in the words of Jeremiah: “They have treated lightly the injury to my people: ‘Peace, peace!’ they say, though there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).

In a more personal sense, all that we are seeing is nothing other than a reflection of people’s hearts devoid of the tempering grace of Divine Love. Divine Love did not rain down lightning bolts upon the Roman centurions who drove the nails into His sacred body. Rather, Jesus sought to show Divine Love when He asked our Father to forgive them, for they knew not what they did (cf. Luke 23:34).

Let us realize, though, that Jesus did not paint with a broad brush of forgiveness to include those who knew what they were doing, or those who should have known. That is why Jesus said the members of the Sanhedrin who condemned Him would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 5:20). That is why God’s justice will have its day when the lack of love drives so many to act in a vengeful way.

Again, the opposite of vengeance is love. But love is not demonstrated by playing “doormat.” In the face of evil, genuine love is known as “tough love.” True love speaks up and speaks out with courage, in the face of grave error that threatens real peace. True love is enshrined in the spiritual works of mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Instruction and admonishment are correction, they are not the same as vengeance or retaliation.

In these dark times, let us not fall into the trap of a false mercy, some twisted interpretation of “turning the other cheek.” Rather let us be a Light of Christ and an example of genuine love that instructs the ignorant and admonishes the sinner. Amidst all the vengeance we see in the streets, and in the personal hurts in our own lives, we will have plenty of opportunity to do that. So, any time we find ourselves struggling with thoughts of vengeance instead of mercy, let us make haste to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament, meditating upon the Holy Cross, where the Light of Christ enlightens the darkest thoughts of our own souls.

 

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward vengeance. We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of retaliation. Worse, through our own sins of omission, we have not come to a fuller understanding of Your truth about the difference between a heart dark with the spirit of vengeance, that expresses itself in acts of evil against others, and the heart enlightened by love and mercy, that expresses itself in instruction and admonishment of others. By allowing our hearts to move toward darkness and not toward the Light, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance in our streets and in ourselves. We turn to You Lord, in our shame, and beg Your forgiveness for any heart of dark vengeance and any failure to be the light of love. We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

 

I loved that Fr. Altman made reference to the “turning of the other cheek.” I don’t have a reference link handy, but I read in two different histories – one secular and one that was devoted to Church history – that in Roman occupied Israel at the time of Jesus, the prescribed response to being slapped by an authority, either secular or religious, was to fall to your knees and beg pardon. That puts a whole different light to Jesus’ injunction to remain standing and turn the other cheek. It neither retaliated in kind nor timidly submitted. Truth be told, many of Jesus’ injunctions were both subtly defiant and subversive of those authorities who forfeited their own legitimacy. Because of the shortage of pack animals, Roman authorities had the right to conscript people in the street to help carry provisions for a mile. A man who went the prescribed mile was a conscript; the man who went the extra mile of his own accord was a generous citizen. The man who was robbed of his coat was a victim; the man who gave his cloak as well was a philanthropist. Jesus sometimes denounced his tormentors in harsh terms. More often, he called them to repentance or deftly turned their abuse of their authority back on them. And He was always eager to embrace and commend any genuine act of faith, even by Roman authorities or timid temple authorities. Here we find instruction on the “full armor of God.”

Now then, my own comment from yesterday, made with, maybe, a little heat:

“A few years back, the primary criticism of my takes were that they were too radical and provocative; now the primary criticism is that they are not radical and provocative enough. It is a little bemusing to see people who said I fantasized about absurdities that would never happen now, that they have happened, give me expert advice on what they could never imagine happening that I always knew would. Some panicked because I got significant details wrong about how it would happen – even as it inexorably unfolded. Some have even insinuated that I want to take the coward’s way – even among those who witnessed how I did not back down under withering attack for accurately depicting where we were headed – and did not try to excuse my two significant legitimate errors as I took criticism for those with equanimity. So my question is, who has changed? The positions I take are largely the same ones I took when I first started writing about these things eight years ago. Perhaps others are more nimble than me in changing circumstances…or perhaps I have thought consistently about what would happen and more deeply about how best to confront it long-term. You make the call.

A full frontal charge in battle is the easiest and most emotionally satisfying response – at least at the start of the charge. It also makes you very vulnerable to ambushes and flanking movements and is one of the easiest methods of attack to deflect and destroy by a competent opponent, except when the mounters of frontal assault hold an overwhelming superiority of forces. If you believe that our side has overwhelming numerical superiority, by all means go right ahead with the frontal charge – and dismiss the counsel of the fellow who accurately described where we are now publicly eight years ago and privately over a generation ago. I mean shoot, with my stubborn fixation on what would happen for so long, it’s not like I had time to think through what the most effective responses would be. Those who have taken it seriously only for a couple of years are obviously much more penetrating in their analysis then my decades of contemplation on it.

Alas, the same mulishness that made me hold fast to my analysis for decades when it seemed to most unlikely or absolutely absurd still constitutes a major part of my character. So I will hold fast to the same sort of tactics that I held to from the beginning and that actually served me quite well in other venues where I had a cacophony of voices telling me that my refusal to make a full-on frontal charge was a result of my stupidity or cowardice.

I will tell everyone quite candidly that I spent much of my life wondering if I was deluded or fantasizing. Those worries did not stop even when I went all in in the fall of 1997 – but after taking steps to protect people if I was just a charismatic nutjob, I have acted “as if” it were all true, for I had accepted that as my calling. Now heaven knows I have often benefited from the counsel of both my friends and some of my critics. Alas, I am sometimes wrong…and even sometimes badly so – but have the wit to look closely at and take responsibility for the things I do…and listen for the voice of God in the counsel of my friends and critics, for often I find it there. Particularly since I went all in, I have tried to behave as if I have an audience of One – and that One is God. I AM a coward about failing Him, whether in acting prudently, acting boldly, giving hope one by one to those around me, and never giving in to the groupthink of either the age or of my circle of friends. From my own perception, if others’ counsel lead us into an ambush or a withering flanking attack decimating us, I will be held to account by God if I did not speak boldly against it if I saw the deadly danger it would lead us into. But I will also be held to account by God if I do not take into account the considered counsel of those around me who I trust to be of good will. But for heaven’s sakes, give me something better than a reactionary response that I dismissed several decades ago because of its obvious flaws. Or, at least, acknowledge those flaws and give me some prudent counsel on how they can be ameliorated. Suicide missions are very emotionally satisfying until their last minutes. I do not do suicide missions.

If everyone would stand and be counted we would not be in this mess. But they don’t – so a HUGE part of our job is to recruit the lukewarm into our ranks. Unless you have given serious thought to how your preferred course of action will help or hurt that, you have not thought it through well. If your only answer is that they should, then you are a fantasist rather than a strategist. We do not get to choose the army we want; we must work with the army we have and then carefully shape it, under God, into the army we need even as the battle rages.

There are times when each of you will be right when I am wrong. But whatever you think, I guarantee you I have been thinking seriously about the problem for much longer than you: I have been working on it since 1963, in fits and starts, in contemplating erroneous courses that seemed good at the time, until I looked more carefully at all the interlocking parts. I am not about to destroy the Christian community in order to save it, nor to endorse elementary tactics that are easily turned asunder by a competent opponent because they feel good. I will not suffer offenses from the opposing tyrants in silence, nor will I endorse equal and opposite offenses by allies simply because they are allies. I want to participate in God’s victory…and to do so I must be disciplined and prudent, as well as bold and fearless – and I call on Our Lady to give me and all our allies a double measure of the grace that guided her. In everything, I must consider whether the tactic chosen will tend to augment the number and quality of troops in God’s service or diminish them.

I have chosen my course. I rely on my friends to be the voice of God in helping me to refine it. But I will lose friends rather than go forward in a course I know will lead to destruction. I want victory under God. The price of that for each of us is to stand and be true. So follow the course you choose, but choose carefully lest what you think is big and bold is only nasty and offensive and will diminish our ranks. And if you see fit to lecture me on cowardice and submissiveness, know that until you have weathered some fraction of the public attacks I have and stayed steady through my whole life, some of which has been visible to you, such a lecture will more likely lead me to think you are not a serious person than to make me think I am a quivering coward – even if in your eyes I am. My eyes are always on the prize – which is God and His ways. Even when I am wrong, my aim is to get our allies to help us win rather than to help us lose.”

I know this: we have a long, protracted battle before us. If all we have is heat with no light, we will spare the devil the effort of destroying us by doing it ourselves. I also know this: the Fr. Altman who wrote that marvelous meditation is a noble Priest and a man who I would be delighted to have my back in a foxhole.

Let us put on the FULL armor of God.

 

 

 

86 thoughts on “A Gentle Ray of Grace

    1. The foundational principle is to act from love of others, as they too are created by God, and it follows to avoid acting to satisfy feelings aimed at revenge. Acting with “tough love” well represents dealing with those creating harm and havoc, although assessing the degree of harm and the degree of toughness to be exercised yet requires good judgement aimed to improve the situation, not make it even worse.

      Liked by 7 people

  1. There you go, Charlie. Agree with your words today, yesterday there was plenty of heat but thank goodness each day God gives each of us fallen people a chance to try anew.

    Thanks for sharing Father’s reflection, I had not seen that and this really hits me right in the feels (is that how the kids say it?): “Again, the opposite of vengeance is love. But love is not demonstrated by playing “doormat.” In the face of evil, genuine love is known as “tough love.” True love speaks up and speaks out with courage, in the face of grave error that threatens real peace. True love is enshrined in the spiritual works of mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Instruction and admonishment are correction, they are not the same as vengeance or retaliation.”

    So yes, stand our group and defend Truth but with Love. As my wife likes to say, “you get more bees with honey, honey”…mea culpa 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. “True love is enshrined in the spiritual works of mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner.” <— This is what we are up against and it is as easy to do well as it is to otherwise. May we find the moral courage and be given the graces through of humility, charity, patience and discernment to do this well, I pray. ❤

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Fr Altman wrote the meditation as part of the book,”Let Freedom Ring”,40 days of prayer for our nation. Fr Heilman has just recently restarted these prayers,so Fr Altman’s meditation was first published several months ago.[the copyright says 2021]. My point is that these are not words penned in the last few weeks. I pray that these words are still very much in his heart, following the events of recent days.
    Holy Mother Mary, please hold tight and protect,Fr. Altman, your priest-son.

    Liked by 11 people

  3. This commentary from Fr. Altman is part of the series of reflections from Fr. Heilman, Fr. Altman and Fr. Peckman. It was initiated last year, about this time, as part of “Let Freedom Ring” prayer and fasting campaign for our country. It was initiated by Fr. Peckman, after going on retreat. They have published a book with all the reflections and prayers: “Let Freedom Ring”. On July 7, Fr. Heilman initiated 40 days of prayer and fasting, leading up to the feast of the Assumption, Aug 15, which will then begin another 54 day rosary novena for our country, leading up to Oct.7, feast of our Lady of the Rosary. This 90+ days is titled “Our Lepanto”. I am participating, though badly. I need to work on the fasting part, big time. God bless everyone.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I too am praying these 40 days. And a bit of fasting, which I will add to Aug 15 and then add more to when 40 Days for Life starts on the last Wednesday of September! Then, from the first Sunday of November (or after the election last year) to Jan 6 I EAT!!! I regain all lost weight, and whole-heartedly FEAST as once I fasted. But as I get older, my fasts are relegated to more of “giving up,” even as we know, this kind is only driven out by fasting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in your foxhole, too. Thank you Charlie for your support of Father Altman. You’re a tough nut, I just didn’t realize how tough! You’re no weak Susan and I never thought it before, nor will I ever think of you that way in the future. And oh, when you converse with God again, tell him I said, “Hello”.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. 24Mossberg, I absolutely love your screen name! The first long gun I ever fired was a Mossberg. That was a long time ago… good memories of good friends. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Charlie thank you for your guidance and words. In this time of confusion Gods people need direction on how to navigate thru this time. It’s hard to know where to turn or who to turn to. Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Among the many good points in your commentary, you made one point that struck me as really central to what is going on right now, “What is happening is God is forcing each of us to reveal who we are. For those who are open enemies of the faith, they reveal their cupidity and malice.” This seems to be at the center of God’s plan in these times. Everything now seems to be about God removing the veil of ignorance from our eyes. The process of people deciding whether they will be “sheep” or “goats” has been going on for decades now. However, the unveiling of the full extent of evil, depravity, and treachery around us, even by those we considered on our “side,” is something that has accelerated exponentially over the last 4 or 5 years and seems to not show any signs of slowing down in the near to mid term. Every day there are new “discoveries” that would be shocking, had not our capacity for shock been dulled to a near vestigial impulse. I would guess there is much more that God has yet to reveal to us and that he is doing so at His pace so as to help reclaim as many of His children as possible.

    Anyway, thank you for your analysis and for promoting this latest work from Fr. Altman. Whatever their missteps, he, Fr. Heilman, and the other faithful priests and deacons like them give hope and inspiration to those of us who want to see our Church made whole again so that it can stand up and help a world that has lost all sense of rationality.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. It’s a sobering time, Fred, and our goal in CORAC is to reclaim everyone we possibly can. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, I invite you to visit the website at corac.co and consider joining us in this great adventure. God’s Blessings.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Fred. Good insights here on this quote from Our Sherpa, “God is forcing each of us to reveal who we are.” I have been experiencing this from God for a few years now and my spirit always “wants” to brush right through it, because I don’t like what I see, but as of recently, I try very hard to actually “stop” and tell God I’m very sorry for what He is revealing to me, and interiorly I have started to ask Him for the Grace to see things from His eyes rather than my own distorted and stained view. It makes all the difference in the spiritual world. Truth is so beautiful 🥰✝️❤️🙏

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    3. Fred, St JPll describes why we are so “steeped” in our sinfulness as our culture, intelligencia and in some aspects, even our view of faith, have become worldly.
      “There is no need to be afraid to call the first agent of evil by his name: the Evil One. The strategy which he used and continues to use is that of not revealing himself, so that the evil implanted by him from the beginning may receive its development from man himself, from systems and from relationships between individuals, from classes and nations—so as also to become ever more a “structural” sin, ever less identifiable as “personal” sin. In other words, so that man may feel in a certain sense “freed” from sin but at the same time be ever more deeply immersed in it.”
      —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter, Dilecti Amici,

      The unfortunate consequence of this is that we loose all good because it is from God that “all good things come”. When we reject Him, we reject goodness itself and the following lesson of Bishop Sheen commences and gives a warning-and a hope, of why we see were we are and of the better things to come after we carry this cross:
      “God will not allow unrighteousness to become eternal. Revolution, disintegration, chaos, must be reminders that our thinking has been wrong, our dreams have been unholy. Moral truth is vindicated by the ruin that follows when it has been repudiated. The chaos of our times is the strongest negative argument that could ever be advanced for Christianity … The disintegration following an abandonment of God thus becomes a triumph of meaning, a reaffirmation of purpose … Adversity is the expression of God’s condemnation of evil, the registering of Divine Judgement … Catastrophe reveals that evil is self-defeating; we cannot turn from God without hurting ourselves.”
      Seek “true faith” (supernatural faith), maintain hope in God’s power, love extravagantly … and believe “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
      Fulton Sheen

      Liked by 5 people

      1. “….love extravagantly…”

        How this resonates deeply. It is a Powerful meditation to ask The Holy Spirit in a spirit of humility exactly what “loving extravagantly” looks like.

        I personally have had to contend with many complex, impossible situations/relationships that, thankfully, brought me prostrate to The Lord, begging Him how to love an very stubborn, incalcitrant, hurtful person who was difficult to love, but who thankfully, I couldn’t write off.
        After trying the knee-jerk reactions ( always involving the anger Charlie succinctly writes of) and THAT approach failing catastrophically, Blockhead me started to understand that action of grace, that IS “extravagant Love” that solely is from God, as the only cure/help.

        Charlie wrote the following to clarify some common falsehoods about what “extravagant Love” actually looks like in perplexing, unjust, hurtful situations. If you read carefully, patiently you will see that Jesus’ remedy heals BOTH the wronged and the perpetrator, if the perpetrator CAN accept it. This is that unicorn called “Extravagant Love”. I pray myself, my loved ones, us all, everyone can be committed to finding this, even though the way is painful and tedious.

        Charlie speaks true. Listen to him.
        ==========
        read in two different histories – one secular and one that was devoted to Church history – that in Roman occupied Israel at the time of Jesus, the prescribed response to being slapped by an authority, either secular or religious, was to fall to your knees and beg pardon. That puts a whole different light to Jesus’ injunction to remain standing and turn the other cheek. It neither retaliated in kind nor timidly submitted. Truth be told, many of Jesus’ injunctions were both subtly defiant and subversive of those authorities who forfeited their own legitimacy.
        ========

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          1. That is a quote from Charlie. I used those double lines to set off his words. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

            I’ve heard Fr. Mitch Pacwa say the same thing, many years ago on ewtn.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. thank you.

              I have asked my Guardian Angel to please remind me to search for Fr Pacwa’s remarks.

              iirc, Fr. Pacwa is a S.J. too.

              grace and peace

              Like

                1. I finished Malachi Martin’s book, “The Jesuits” last week. It was a fascinating read.

                  He chronicled the encroachment and “victory” of Modernism (a still evolving term as we live through it) over the Jesuits . A victory that I personally do not think will last very long.

                  Through the chronical there was a steadfast minority , true to St. Loyola’s principles. I am sure that minority still exists today and will one day jettison the errors of the last century and emerge an even more fearsome cadre of Pope’s Men.

                  Malachi, in the book, was true to The Faith saying that if the Society did not return to Jesus, then Jesus would end the Society.

                  Grace and Peace

                  Liked by 1 person

          2. I forgot to add that I agree with you that it is very important. I remember hearing Fr. Pacwa describe that turning the other cheek was actually an act of defiance, and not the rolling over we all had been told. It was a pivotal moment for me.

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            1. That would make sense, as Fr. Mitch is a bona fide expert on Middle Eastern customs throughout the ages. I can’t remember he and I ever discussing it directly, though we might have. Ha! One of the delights from the time we first met was how vigorously our conversations would move along because we already knew the grainy details of the other’s references.

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      2. Phillip Frank: while trying to understand what became of our church your comment “even our view of faith has become worldly” hit me like a ton of bricks. The JPII quote defines the elimination of the concept of sin to make faith in Christ’s parameters redefined or eliminated altogether. Hence for me what I see is the attack on the sacraments. They have to be changed to make them fit into a “worldly” world. The results are everywhere. The ramp up of hypocrisy and redefinition of the meaning of words. So Father Altman is silenced and others redefining truth are praised. May Father Altman’s great sacrifice of silence be added to Christ’s great plan for our needed redemption. As just when the executioners thought they shut up the apostles, neither apostles or executioners could see the future and fruits of the apostles’ work.

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  7. Charlie all this reminds me of your past piece, “Though a glass darkly.” I really liked your last paragraph in it. I think it sums up everything we are supposed to do during this time and are hopefully all doing:

    “The key to everything in these times, after five decades of work, is not in the grandiose, but the simple. Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. That is wisdom that will last and will not fail. Live this well and you are already part of the Rescue.”

    I think what you did with Fr Altman was a great sign of hope to him who is probably totally stressed out!

    I’ve been there soooooo many times and when I wanted to turn to bitterness your words have kept me steady throughout these tumultuous years!!! Thank you!!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Bitterness is such a temptation! So true how the tdl is formula is a good innoculation for bitterness.

      Charlie, I know what you say is true because to truly live the courage, grit and charity you describe requires heroic virtue. That kind of response can only be wrung from ourselves by trembling humility before God, wherein it may please Him to press us into His service.

      Iow, the path you describe ain’t easy. No serious follower of Christ can claim the easy path.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I believe sometimes we fail – I do anyways – and then after a time of discernment the stories of the Saints, the martyrs and most especially and importantly the way of the cross convicts us too rethink our current arrogance 🥰

        Liked by 3 people

  8. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉 PM

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/07/13/anti-christian-hysteria-has-grown-into-church-burning-terror-and-people-might-be-next/

    https://onenewsnow.com/pro-life/2021/07/13/record-low-abortion-rate-begets-concerns

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/07/so_much_evidence_that_january_6_2021_was_a_calculated_setup.html

    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/07/12/trump-digs-into-who-shot-ashli-babbitt-report-that-officer-was-on-big-dems-security-detail-1102370/

    https://amgreatness.com/2021/07/12/the-democrats-topsy-turvy-spin-machine/

    https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2021/07/12/the-crumbling-global-tower-n1461263

    https://nypost.com/2021/07/12/bidens-reaction-to-cuban-protests-has-been-a-disgracebidens-reaction-to-cuban-protests-has-been-a-disgrace/

    My weekly trip to WallyWorld tells me that 5.4% Inflation is a VERY low “estimate”. THEY are “Cookin’ de Books” and THEIR economic “Estimates” will always turn out Worse Than “Expected” …. just like de 8 Years of BO “Policies”!
    https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2021/07/13/inflation-nation-consumer-prices-surged-much-higher-than-expected-in-june/

    1984 Redux! ;-(
    https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/12/fbi-monitor-family-peers-prevent-homegrown-violent-extremism/

    https://www.floppingaces.net/most-wanted/author-of-the-mega-viral-thread-on-maga-voters-darryl-cooper-explains-his-thinking/

    https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2021/07/danger-china-clear-and-present-already-indopacoms-top-intel-officer-warns/183698/

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Nice followup piece and interesting exercise/reactions on these bookends.

    The whole point of being steady is to stay on course and reach the destination. Borrowing from sailing jargon, sometimes tacking is necessary into the headwinds, exacting quite a bit more patience and focus.

    Everyone ought to be honestly assessing their own performance. High-fives all around when the talk goes our way? Fisticuffs when it’s disagreeable? Knee jerks, or something else in between?

    Jesus thundered sometimes. He could have thundered from the Cross and turned his enemies to ash, but He did not.

    Steady as she goes.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Perhaps a snarky reply… via a snarky u tub vid “Idaho Governor’s message to Californians” (I approve:)

      wait for it.
      minute mark 4:00 or so…

      *******

      MP:

      “sailing jargon, sometimes tacking is necessary into the headwinds, exacting quite a bit more patience and focus.”

      Tacking is required only when encountering a “Navigation hazard” i.e. land, boat, rock etc. Sailers prefer their beer spilt, only within.
      Source: Beer Can Racing, Protocol, Anywhere

      Mission: Sail Anywhere
      Objective: Spill nota drop
      Task: Maintain one hand for the boat, one for the beer

      Reward: First to arrive, drop anchor and await others to raft unto thee.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. On a serious note: I always enjoyed sailing into a head wind, though downind sailing was far more enjoyable and quicker.

        Like Camping; being windward has its advantages.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I personally always liked “going to weather!” Right Desmond?!?! I’m not sure if it was faster than going down wind with the staysail, main & spinnaker set, but I loved trimming the jib in and out according to the change of the air! But we were racing amongst other sailing competitors, so it was quite important on a windward course to gain as much headway as you possibly could, to inch past your closest competitor!!! Oh how I loved those old sailing/racing days 🥰✝️🙏❤️ ⛵️

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We got a new sailboat when I was a kid so I decided to take it on a maiden voyage, smack dab in the middle of the Sunday Regata. Loads of wind. I didn’t know a thing about sailing, nor was I in the club, but I did manage to skipper her about 500 yards off the pier before turtling on the race course, top of the mast planted firmly on the sandy bottom. Thought about scuttling her, but just dove in and swam for home. Just as well, as I really wanted to go fishing.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Oh that’s toooo funny MP!!! Ha!!! I bet you confused the heck out of the fleet of racers!!! Lol ⛵️ Did you ever go back out? I bet you did!🤗⛵️

              Like

              1. Went back out with Bro. Gideon when the races cleared, uprighted the boat, and towed her in. Next time we went out (with a coupla’ lessons under our belts) we hoisted the Jolly Roger.

                Yeah, we were much better at fishin’.

                Liked by 3 people

                  1. Hehehe I hope everyone sang along!!! So cute!!! They just needed an ending verse like this: “Michael and his brother prefer to 🎣 🐠 🐟 fish! Hallelujah! Never more to sail again, hallelujah!” ⛵️😂🎣✝️🎉🎣🎵

                    Like

                    1. Ha, Linda! I was hanging out with 3 of the kids yesterday, and I decided to kick up that video. Five seconds into it, my youngest son said, “That’s just TOO country!” and left the room. Thirty seconds into it, my oldest kid asked, with a touch of annoyance in his voice, “Why exactly am I listening to this?” “Because it’s a great song!” I answered. “Listen to the words, and look for the rosary near the end.” He dutifully stayed and did see the rosary, but he was unimpressed. I don’t care, though… it’s a cool song and video. 🙂

                      My kids just never understand when I feel the need to get in touch with my inner redneck. But they don’t mind when this guy gets in touch with his, because they like his music:

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Hahahaha that is tooooo funny Mick!!! I love country music because it’s not really music, although the music is good, but it’s because someone is telling a great story!!! Ha! I bet we know who was happy at the end 🤠 and who wasn’t 😂😂😂 These things have indeed happened in people’s life!😬

                      Like

      2. Sean, you got me! I thought this video was going to be an authentic one 🙂 As a Californian sad about our state, this guy is correct! Who wants those fleeing CA to screw up their state?! Today we hear about the new horror our governor is carrying out. We now have the “universal guaranteed income”, or a form of it. Communism, here we come! Between CA and our Church news, it is a really sad day!

        Liked by 2 people

  10. It has amazed me to read of the enormous sum that has been donated to Fr. Altman. It seems that is indicative of the anger and frustration that many are feeling, that they would rally around and champion Fr. Altman’s (sometimes) acerbic language. I’ve always stressed to my children that staying calm while staying very strong is the way to succeed. Thank you for sharing Father’s meditation! I have never doubted that his motives and heart are in the right place.
    Charlie, you have said that the left is so hideous that good folks will get angry to the boiling point and explode. It’s gonna be more and more of a challenge to keep steady.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Thanks, Kim, I really liked the way you advised your children: “staying calm while staying very strong is the way to succeed” As Charlie noted, full-frontal assault is not always wise. At the beach, when a large wave is coming and will knock you down, just duck down below it for a few seconds and let the wave ride over you. Then you can stand up and watch it dissipate to a small foamy bump. I am ducking down a lot these days.

      Liked by 6 people

  11. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉

    https://spiritdaily.org/blog/news/video-saint-kateri

    As the, uncontainable, Evidence mounts of ChinaPlague/Election Fraud and Global Re-Set Criminal Conspiracies …… THEY will DO whatever it takes to protect themselves and THEIR EVIL AGENDAS!!
    I believe that Great Tectonic Shifts, literal and allegorical, be happenin’ SOON!!

    ChinaPlague, Global Re-Set and Tyranny ….. YOU Will Submit!
    https://www.catholicleague.org/some-health-officials-endanger-our-health/

    https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2021/07/13/sebelius-unvaccinated-americans-should-not-be-allowed-to-work-have-access-to-children/

    Trudeau & Macron … The Gallic Ghouls Duo ;-(
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/07/13/pay-attention-french-president-emmanuel-macron-announces-all-citizens-who-wish-to-shop-drink-eat-at-restaurants-travel-or-worship-must-be-vaccinated/#more-214023

    https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/canada-s-trudeau-fans-the-flame-of-blame

    https://citizenfreepress.com/breaking/rand-paul-really-doesnt-like-fauci/

    https://www.dailyadvent.com/news/f11f8d3031d5423b92955ec886018b9e-What-Happened-at-CPAC-That-Was-Horrifying-to-Fauci

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/07/14/white-house-occupant-delivers-angry-speech-in-philadelphia-demanding-all-resources-must-activate-to-defend-his-legitimacy/

    All my Ol’ NAVY Kin are spinning in their graves ;-(
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/on-the-eve-of-destruction/

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/07/14/5-loudoun-county-residents-describe-where-they-stand-on-critical-race-theory-and-why/

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/07/lightning_strikes_george_floyd_memorial_mural_collapses_its_brick_wall_hilarity_ensues.html

    https://www.townhallmail.com/

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Funny how things are Beckita…I was talking to a friend of mine today while I cleaned a friend’s house (she had come over to borrow some things of the friend I was cleaning for) and she was telling me they really want to get out of where she lives (she homeschools) and learn to live off the grid! Soooo I started telling her about veritatis splendor in Tyler Texas! Just sort of interesting that the book mystical river popped in my head today but couldn’t recall the author, so I posed the question to you and you led me to the correct site that mentions the book and the author AND the veritatis splendor info!!! Ha!!! God never stops amazing me!!! I forwarded her the link to Tyler Texas of course🥰

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Linda, I wanted you to know…. This morning, I was reading the comments to an article on a political website that I frequent. One of the comments referred to the song “Beer is good, God is great, and people are crazy.” I giggled and immediately thought of you. I’m gonna go watch the video and look for the rosary in it. 🙂

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Ha!!! Mike and I had a few hours last Saturday to go in our pool…it’s rare here this summer for it’s like a Florida summer in Ohio…hot, humid and rain rain rain!!! But we were listening to Pandora country music and wouldn’t you know that song came on for us too!!!! Ha!!! We sang it for all the neighborhood to hear!! Hahahahaha and YES!!! I thought of you too!!! Lol 🍺 good! God is great and people are 😜!!!🤗😘🥰🙏📿

                Liked by 1 person

      2. I live in a city that is on the Mystic River. Unfortunately, the book and movie give the Mystic a bad name. The river flows from the Mystic Lakes bordered by Winchester, Medford and Arlington MA . It then flows through Medford and Arlington and then down through cities that had factories and the like. So as it got closer to Boston, it got quite dirty. None of the first three towns have/had industrial bases and did not empty anything untoward into the river. Today, due to environmental concerns, the river is much cleaner. A bit of history re the Mystic: clipper ships were built on the Medford side of the river and were world famous at the time. All during the 1800’s until the decline of the clipper ships, shipbuilding was the major employer in the city and life was lived around that.

        Interestingly enough, Medford was the first city/town around Boston to have a significant middle class Catholic population starting in the 1930’s and growing more so after that. It was the descendants of those Catholics who had the pastors of the then seven Catholic churches in town consecrate the city to the Blessed Virgin Mary back in the 1992. The pastors were asked to do the consecration all together on the same morning in May when their First Communicants were crowning the BVM. A large number of people from the area had gone to Medjugorje and had become battle ready for the Blessed Mother.
        St Josephs Church, on the banks of the Mystic, is in the center of the Square. A magnificent church built in 1890, it is worthy of a cathedral. Given that the population was about 10,000 people at the time and dominated by WASPs, it is rather unusual that it was built with such opulence and beauty. It was relatively untouched by the 1970’s. Charlie went to Mass there one weekday morning a few years ago. Anyway, today, and for the past several years, St Joseph has three days of Adoration, Wed,Thur and Friday from 8 am to 8 pm. I believe this Adoration and their very active Adoration Team is what is causing Medford to fight back against the marxists who have taken over neighboring Arlington, Somerville and world famous Cambridge without a shot fired. Winchester, a much smaller town of about 22,000, has Adoration on Fridays and they are also fighting back politically. A wonderful priest friend of mine told me that Heaven takes a consecration very seriously. (The country is also consecrated to the Blessed Mother.) So I have great hope for our towns on the Mystic and think it is no coincidence that the Mystic is so named.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. How interesting, Patricia. And oh yes, our country is consecrated to Our Lady under her title The Immaculate Conception with the date of the original consecration being done in1846. We are blessed! 🙂

          Like

  12. Amen Charlie. A very educational and meditative post. Fr. Altman’s meditation I found really enlightening. I am glad you clearly reiterated your strategy and tactics in staying the course in leading the troops and fighting this greatest spiritual battle, and for setting an example for the rest of us in making our own decisions. This is as serious a situation as it can get and is a great example of how love and charity are not always words and actions of happiness and peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. n the late 20s Blessed Franz jaggerstatter was was strugggling with how to respond when the Nazi Regime annexed his beloved Austria. He had a dream in which he saw the nazi Regime as a train headed for hell and he knew he could not serve or otherwise suport it. He was later executed for his choice.
    https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-may-blessed-franz-jagerstatter-1907-1943-layman-martyr/

    So at what point does a political party or regime become so evil that supporting it would only increase evil and when can a person justly remain and try to reform it? Interestingly about a month ago an onliine friend who had been strongly Democratic asked me if he thought a person could be a Democrat and a good Christian. These are the ?? I presented to him and I thik he heard without reacting too much. so we will see. Most have given up on the Dems including myself but I think there are stil a few like Lipinsky who are pro life, for example, and art still trying.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉

    https://www.catholicleague.org/do-white-christians-deserve-reparations/

    https://denvercatholic.org/pope-francis-and-the-life-issues/

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/248364/cuban-american-bishops-state-solidarity-with-cuba-protests

    https://www.usccb.org/news/2021/bishop-chairmen-respond-extreme-abortion-push-appropriations-bill

    https://www.floppingaces.net/most-wanted/take-vaccine-concerns-serious/

    https://www.glennbeck.com/radio/this-book-from-1942-is-eerily-similar-to-the-great-reset-today

    Jeff Prather video: ALERT: Jab Knock & Talk Guidance!

    He also gave a Point-Out to this Movie today. Below is the Trailer and you can watch the whole movie @ 2nd link.
    Resistance is mounting and THEY know It and THEY are unhappy about it.

    https://noncompliantmovie.com/

    Prather also asked Why? FEMA is looking for suppliers to deliver millions of “Meals for Disaster Survivors” covering ALL FEMA Regions for period Sep 21- Sep 26? Just smart planning or …. WHAT!? ….. These-Days! ;-(
    FEMA Solicitation # 70FB7021Q00000044
    Remember all the unusual & large Ammo Buys of Fed Alphabet Agencies under BO? ….. at a time when the Military was complaining about ammo shortages!

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/07/14/dewine-signs-bill-banning-schools-mandating-coronavirus-vaccines/

    https://spectator.org/democrats-texas-voting/

    The USCP Officer Who Killed Ashli Babbitt
    https://patriotpost.us/alexander/81330

    https://www.americanthinker.com/
    https://amgreatness.com/
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉 PM

    This entire ChinaPlague Conspiracy gets more sinister every day. No Vax = Right Winger.
    Is there anything that THEY have not divided the USA over!?
    FEMA Camps for Un-Vaxed Right Wingers …. & other assorted trouble makers like Pro-Lifers, NRA Members, Traditional Christians/Jews,……………..?
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-medical-analyst-life-hard-unvaccinated

    THEY are so self-assured & arrogant that THEY simply don’t care if WE know that THEY are totally corrupt!
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/07/15/wow-white-house-admits-we-are-flagging-problematic-posts-for-facebook-to-take-action-on/

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/07/15/us-surgeon-general-asks-big-tech-to-restrict-voices-that-challenge-biden-regime-narrative-on-vaccinations/

    https://newstarget.com/2021-07-14-palmer-report-unvaccinated-right-threat-national-security.html

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/07/14/dr-faucis-emails-tell-the-story-of-panic-lies-and-a-possible-cover-up/

    Ol’ Klaus & his World Economic Forum (WEF) filled with Globalists Re-Set Billionaires … along with The Usual Suspects = Bad News for the USA & Ol’ Christendom!
    http://greataustraliandream.net.au/who-is-klaus-schwab/

    https://immunization.news/2021-04-05-globalist-klaus-schwab-declares-unvaccinated-people-threat.html#

    https://pjmedia.com/columns/kevindowneyjr/2021/07/15/black-lives-matter-tell-that-to-the-democrats-who-are-getting-black-people-killed-n1462084

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/gop-lawmakers-slam-marxists-of-blm-for-cuba-statement

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/07/15/arizona-chairwoman-kelli-ward-recaps-stunning-senate-hearing-about-maricopa-county-audit/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9789389/Two-three-Republicans-South-support-SECEDING-survey-finds.html

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9793263/Nobody-trust-Wikipedia-founder-Larry-Sanger-warns.html

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/07/15/joint-chiefs-chairman-compared-trump-to-hitler-maga-to-nazi-brownshirts-n1462038

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Russia introduces a temporary QR code tattoo for jab verification;

    https://www.insider.com/russian-food-delivery-service-qr-code-tattoos-encourage-covid-vaccinations-2021-7

    This doesn’t qualify as the Mark of the Beast. Why? It isn’t permanent and it isn’t on the right hand or forehead,

    Nonetheless, all QR Codes contain the number 666. Here’s an example of a proposed Vaccine Certificate. This one does qualify in regard to permanence. Plus the chemical that makes it invisible, yet provides its luminescent qualities under a near infra-red light scanner is called “Luciferase”. The world’s chief benefactor, Bill Gates, personally paid for MIT to develop this one – no-one should ever agree to be marked in this way!

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/invisible-ink-could-reveal-whether-kids-have-been-vaccinated/

    Maranatha!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉

    https://www.ncregister.com/blog/crt-and-catholic-education

    Tucker hosts Jon Voight on Faith

    https://www.lifenews.com/2021/07/15/democrats-defeat-pro-life-amendment-vote-to-force-americans-to-fund-abortions/

    Today is “We Love Francis Day” at the Associated Press!
    It’s those lousy Right Wing Traditionalists ‘causing Church Division … See!!??
    Yep! A World Turned Upside Down ….. How long, Lord!???
    https://apnews.com/article/religion-6f50b9bc219d423f99267fddcdf23cf6

    EVIL Happened …. Is Ongoing …. and Accelerating!
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/heres-what-happened-cyber-polygon-and-youre-not-going-it

    ChinaPlague “Variants” be coming till THEY/THEIR AGENDAS Rule Earth ;-(
    https://www.breitbart.com/health/2021/07/16/be-scared-stay-scared-w-h-o-warns-strong-likelihood-more-dangerous-coronavirus-variants-lie-ahead/

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/08/02/beijings-grand-strategy/

    RightWing Misinfo below! …. Move Along!!!
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/07/flashback-demon-joe-biden-broke-us-capitol-arrested-now-holds-hundreds-trump-supporters-isolation-prison-without-trial-crime-video/

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-chairman-joint-chiefs-of-staff-should-be-fired

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/07/the_chairman_of_the_joint_chiefs_of_staff_is_straight_out_of_dr_strangelove.html

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/rep-bryon-donalds-blms-cuba-statement-exposes-group-as-marxist-racket

    https://www.floppingaces.net/most-wanted/nancy-and-paul-pelosi-making-millions-in-stock-trades-in-companies-she-actively-regulates/

    https://spectator.org/
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/
    https://newsbusters.org/

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Folks,

    Check out Dr.Sherri Tenpenney’s testimony for HB248 in Ohio.

    Very informative. Especially with regard to “shedding/transmission”.

    Also, is anyone having trouble with the ability to transmit info. Via text etc.? The govt announced they will be monitoring text/email. Appreciate your experience with this.

    Like

    1. Many of our readers receive the Grace Force emails, Linda, and we’ll be sharing this video in a major post soon. Today, however, Charlie is focused on the sobering events in the Church. Lord have mercy.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Best part to me is that we’re in it and moving through what must be lived to get to the full Triumph of Our Lady’s Heart, Linda. AND we’re doing this together. 🙏🔥♥️

          Liked by 2 people

  19. My Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said “The Mass is a miracle in any form: Christ comes to us in the flesh under the appearance of Bread and Wine. Unity under Christ is what matters. Therefore the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to be available here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and provided in response to the legitimate needs and desires of the faithful”.

    Whew! So grateful and thankful that he came out right away to dispel any fears. I love the TLM. I was raised with the TLM.

    Liked by 5 people

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