Joseph’s Way (2022)

(At Mass tonight, children performed the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke, Unexpectedly, it seriously choked me up. When I was a kid, Mom and Dad would wake us up around midnight, then we would sit on the floor around the tree and Dad would read the Christmas story from Luke. Then Mom would go off to make hot cocoa while Dad distributed all the presents, one by one. 

Twenty years ago, a great division came upon my family, We had warring camps estranged from each other. In the fall of the next year, I wrote Dad a letter, I began the letter with a proclamation from Isaiah: “The people in darkness have seen a great light.”  I proposed a detailed ritual of reconciliation, almost a liturgy that, if he agreed to, would be entirely performed on Christmas Eve. First, they needed to invite us all over for Christmas Eve. Part of the ritual included his reading of the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke and his handing out of presents. Now my Dad loved to give his opinion on everything (I come by it honestly), but on serious things, he played everything closer to the vest than anyone I have ever known. He made no response to the letter, except to invite each of us for Christmas Eve. And we all came.

After the reading, he began to distribute presents. Reading who the first one was to, he handed the present to me. A little taken aback I noted that it was for my sister. “Well give it to her, then,” he replied. With every gift, after reading off the name, he handed it to me to give to the recipient. It was the single amendment he made to my proposed ritual. I’m holding back tears right now at how he subtly honored me and committed to it all. And we were all reconciled. Oh, we had squabbles aplenty afterward, but a reset button had been pushed and it was as if that terrible year had never happened.

Mass was full, for me, of memories and reflections of Mom and Dad. Mom was a fabulous baker and candy maker. Her hot cocoa was nice, but nothing special – to anyone else. But by gum, it was Mom’s hot cocoa. What I would give to have her offer me a cup tonight!

Again, I offer my traditional story at Christmas, “Joseph’s Way.” I’m thinking of Dad in it tonight. Unlike Joseph, he had an opinion on everything and spoke it loudly. Like Joseph, on serious matters, he said next to nothing about why he did certain things – but revealed who he was by doing them. 

May your Christmas be glorious and may the spirit of the Holy Family take up residence in your home tonight and always – CJ)

(Dream of Joseph – Rembrandt)

(I wrote this little story way back in 1996. I love to post it at Christmas. I hope you enjoy it. – CJ)

By Charlie Johnston


The true son of true God was

adopted by a man, that all men

might truly be adopted by God.

Taking on our humanity He gave us a

share in his divinity. And so, we are

become a new race – sons and

daughters of the living God.

I: In His Father’s Tent 

“Why must the girls marry the old men? Most like the young men better.”

Jacob’s right hand twitched; the chisel in it jumped and nicked the fleshy pad in his left. His son’s voice startled him. Save for the scraping of the wood, the tent had been silent all morning. He looked up from his bench and glared at his son. No use. Joseph was planing boards at the far end of the tent, his back to the father. Jacob’s beard lifted in wry amusement. His enigmatic son says something interesting – and does it with his back turned. How appropriate.

“Are you thinking you’d like to be married, then?” the father asked, his lips pursing to suppress his mirth.

Joseph kept planing.

“No, Father,” he said. “I just thought…well, we all laugh and play together as children, then the girls are gone. They enter the house of an elder and we don’t speak any more. It must be…fearful. And maybe lonely for them.”

Jacob was thunderstruck. How to respond to this outpouring?

“You’ve an eye for beauty, Joseph. Perhaps one of your childhood friends will bear a daughter who will be ripe when it is your time.”

Jacob knew immediately it was a silly, stupid thing to say, but he could think of nothing else.

Joseph was silent. There were many boards yet to plane today. Jacob watched his son’s back for a moment, then took up his chisel and turned back to his work. It was not until late in the day that the raspy rhythm of chisel and plane was broken again.

“I saw a woman stoned,” Joseph said.

Jacob looked up, amazed again, but wary now. “An adulteress?” he asked.


“That is our law, handed down from Moses.”

“It was horrible,” Joseph said, his back still to his father. “She was all purple and bleeding, pleading for mercy. But there was no mercy there. Can this be what God intends?”

He turned to his father, eyes full, a hint of tremor on his lips. His hands kept to the wood.

Jacob’s left hand lay flat on the workbench, his right clenched a fist around the chisel. His eyes were steady and fixed on his son.

“Who was she taken with?” he asked.

“A friend of her childhood. She was barely 14.”stoning-bible2

Understanding dawned. The father closed his eyes and lowered his head. When he lifted it again his gaze was penetrating and clear.

“Did the three of you once laugh and play together?” he asked his son.

Joseph turned back to his work. He had overplaned this board. It was ruined. Jacob saw it, too.

“Gather the wood scraps together now and take them to your grandfather,” Jacob said. “It will be cold tonight.”

“But Father, I have ruined this board. I must…”

“You must take the wood scraps to your grandfather.” Jacob’s voice was low, even gentle, but it compelled obedience. “The sun will soon set. There will be time enough tomorrow to correct your errors.”

The father turned back to his work as the son gathered together the scraps. Jacob worked late that night, pausing occasionally to examine with wonder the single misshapen board his son’s meticulous hands had ever formed.

II: The Coming of the Ark 

Until his world crashed, Joseph had been preoccupied with a fantastic dream. Six times it had come, every third night these last few weeks.

It always began in a tent; a tent like his father’s, but not his father’s. Joseph was alone, doing detail work with the chisel – the sort his father always did. It was magnificent work; impossibly rich ebony, finely filigreed and ornate, more beautiful and delicate than any he had ever seen. He was lost in the work, intent on each detail when the tent began to fill with a brilliant, gently pulsing light. Turning around, he looked into the eyes of a lean, sinewy man of about 30 (his own age) who, nonetheless, bore the flowing, white beard of a patriarch. He somehow knew this to be Moses. Behind Moses was a box; the sort in which a queen might keep her most precious jewel. It was simple, yet beautiful: olive wood rubbed and oiled, inlaid with a pale blue ivory. Joseph went to it and knelt in wonder, astonished at this unlikely source of bright, throbbing light that yet did not blind. Unable to take his eyes from it, he asked, “Is this the Ark?”

“Guard it well,” Moses replied. Then Joseph would awaken. The dream should have come again last night. It might have, had Joseph slept at all. Mary came instead. It was late afternoon and Joseph was surprised to see her. It was not yet time for her to come into his house so he seldom saw her alone. She delivered the blow with a gentle, almost playful, smile.

“I am with child,” she said.

Joseph was sure he had not heard her correctly but was so confused he could say nothing at all.

“I am with child,” she repeated.

His mind raced. How can this be? Why is she smiling? Is she taunting me? No, she never taunts. He finally asked, “Who is the father?”

“Pray and you will know,” she replied, and then was gone. Joseph had never felt so alone, so forsaken, so completely and utterly crushed. And yet…that smile. Mary was not upset, certainly not frightened. In truth, she seemed joyful. How could she be joyful about such devastating news?

Joseph had long ago dismissed the idea of marriage. After witnessing a stoning he had dedicated himself, body and soul, to God, in reparation for all those without mercy and as an offering for all those in need of it. He would never have thought to court Mary. She was the most beautiful, graceful and refined woman in all of Galilee. Except for yesterday, she had never failed to bring a measure of joy to everyone she encountered, whenever she encountered them. There was an air of mystery about her; wisdom and peace flowed from some secret place in her that Joseph doubted anyone had ever penetrated. Yet she could be bold. It was Mary who told Joseph she wanted him to be her husband. After his initial shocked wonder, he delicately explained to her that he had entirely dedicated himself to God.

“So have I,” Mary replied almost gaily – and that was that. They were betrothed.

Joseph wondered what God could possibly intend for him with this humiliation. Though he had felt called from his youth to be a husband and father, he had renounced it for the sake of mercy, putting it entirely out of his mind. When Mary came to him, he thought surely God had sent her. How likely was it that any woman, much less this magnificent woman, should both love him and share his mission? And now this. What should he do?

A vision of Mary, purple and bleeding, flashed through his mind, filling him with horror and revulsion.dream-of-st-joseph2
He would not accuse her. He would never accuse anyone. But he could not take her into his home. A quiet bill of divorce – that was surely the answer. He would appear to be the scoundrel and she might have difficulty finding a husband, but she would not be put to shame.

Preparing to make his evening prayers, Joseph remembered Mary’s smile; her confidence and joy. So instead of asking why, he cried out, “O God, my God, what do You intend for me in this horrible situation?’

Nearby, the Angel of the Lord waited for sleep to overtake Joseph. The Angel had a message of supreme importance; news that what Joseph thought was an ending was, in fact, a beginning.

III: God With Us 

Although he was glad to have found it when and where he did, Joseph would long be troubled by the memory of the wood.

It irritated him to have to travel when Mary’s time was so near. He found no work along the way; his tools were just an extra burden for the donkey. When Mary’s time did come, he was prepared. He had expected it to happen on the road. He had not expected to be unable to find a place for them to stay. Joseph was beginning to think the child would be born in a field when they came upon an old cattle shed. Joseph could not see how it kept the cattle in; it certainly would not keep the elements out. He had thought to use a manger as a makeshift cradle for the child, but there was none. Piles of hay were scattered indiscriminately about the floor. His heart sank. For a moment Joseph was overwhelmed by his own inadequacy – but only for a moment. Mary’s need was urgent.

Joseph looked around the shed and spied a pair of warped boards lying at the rear. He was filled with both gratitude and dismay as he examined them. The grain was fine; there were no knots. The wood was flawless. Only the workmanship was shoddy. The tools would prove useful, after all. Joseph had never worked at such a reckless pace. It took him scarcely half an hour to fashion a serviceable cradle. At that, he finished just in time.

Mary was gasping; the child would wait no longer. Joseph turned the full force of his attention on his wife. He took control with confident ease. The delivery was uncomplicated (thank God for small favors!). He cleaned the child and put him in Mary’s arms, then gathered together some hay and sticks to cover the holes in the roof. Finally, he was finished.

“You’re a good husband and father,” Mary murmured, handing him the boy.

Joseph’s brows lifted. “How so?” he asked.

“Everyone sees the blessing in honor and prosperity. Few can accept the blessing of humiliation and hardship.”

Joseph nodded. “The lower the net is cast, the more it gathers.nativity_shepherds_by_murillo2
Heaven is too high for us. I was thinking it must have pleased God to cast his net low tonight.”

“Why, Joseph, that’s profound.”

“Are you so surprised?” he asked, a wry smile curling his lips.

“The things you do are always profound, but you seldom speak of why you do them.”

They rested in quiet contemplation, cuddling their child and nuzzling together. The cattle lowed gently beside them.

After a while, Mary said, “That’s a lovely cradle you made.”

Joseph regarded it thoughtfully. “It will make a fine manger when we leave. The wood for it should not have been lying there, though.”

“Oh, Joseph, not everyone is as orderly as you.”

“That’s not it,” he said.

Mary looked at him quizzically.

“Were it not for the cattle, I would have thought this place abandoned,” he explained. “But that’s not it. It’s the Romans. They love to collect such boards for use in their instruments of torture and execution…”

Joseph sat up straight, suddenly alert. Someone was outside the shed. Were they to be turned away from even this place? A boy stepped into view – a shepherd, then two of his companions. Joseph was puzzled.

“Please, sir,” the first boy spoke for them all. “An angel told us the Messiah is born tonight…and that we could see him here.”

Joseph and Mary glanced at each other in surprise, then Joseph smiled and bade the shepherds enter. They knelt before Jesus, who slept contentedly in his mother’s arms.

“A most approachable king, this son of mine,” Joseph thought, surveying the scene. A bit of Scripture bubbled into his head: God’s ways are not man’s ways. This Messiah would surely startle and challenge Israel’s expectations of what God’s ways are.

IV: After the Temple 

“I saw a woman stoned yesterday.”

Jesus’ voice did not startle Joseph. His son had been working with furious intensity all morning – always prelude to an outburst. The father paused to look in his son’s direction. The muscles in Jesus’ back rippled with rhythmic resolve and the shavings flew like sparks. At this rate he would finish two or three days work before the sun had set. Every board would be perfect, too. It was a continuing marvel to Joseph that his son should be both so passionate and so precise. The father resumed his carving, but kept his eyes on the son. Jesus would elaborate soon enough. It was always best to wait for him.

“I could have stopped it,” Jesus said.

“Why didn’t you?” Joseph’s voice was measured and calm.jesus-teen-joseph-carpenter-shop

“It is not my time,” Jesus replied. “Now is a time for obedience and restraint. I can master nothing until I have mastered these.”

“Even at the cost of a woman’s life?”

Jesus stiffened, his back straight now. The plane trembled in his hand, troubling the wood no longer.

“She lives,” he said softly. “The gates of heaven will open for her. But this is not what my father intends.”

“What, then,” Joseph pressed. “…that sin should continue?”

Jesus whirled around, eyes flashing. His voice was tight with suppressed fury.

“No,” he said. “That mercy should abound. All have received it from above. It will go hard for those who are miserly in giving what they, themselves, have received in abundance.”

Jesus’ anger suddenly gave way to stunned wonder. Joseph’s eyes were radiant with joy, but his lips were pressed tightly together and his cheeks were wet with tears. Wonder became alarm when Jesus saw the deep gouge in the mantle his father had been working on. Jesus had never seen him like this. He went to his father.

“I can fix that for you.”

Joseph shook himself, as if waking from a dream, and gazed at the mantle. Tilting his head in curiosity, he looked back at his son.

“How so?” he asked.

“I can make it take any shape I want.”

Joseph’s eyes narrowed. “Have you done this with your work?”

Jesus’ face flushed. He lowered his head. When he spoke, it was scarcely a whisper. “No, Father…just some sticks in the field.”

Joseph pushed up from the bench. He began to pace, stroking his beard in thought. “I see,” he said. “Why work at all then? Why not just take a stick and grow it into a house?”

The pacing stopped. Joseph looked directly at his son. Jesus regarded his father with dismay and confusion. He tried to speak, but all he could muster was a dry, choked rustle.

“I’ll tell you why,” the father resumed. “Because it is wrong. You are a man, Jesus. You did not become such to cover over shoddy work. That is a mark of lowness in a man. If you are to be lifted above that, you must always work the wood properly. No shortcuts – ever.”

Jesus’ eyes met his father’s stern, loving gaze. For a moment the son remembered having chosen Joseph from all eternity. He pushed the memory away; his father would not be pleased. Now his own eyes filled with tears. Joseph was a worthy man.

“Yes, Father,” he assented.

Joseph clasped the boy’s shoulder in the semi-embrace favored by reticent men. Father and son worked together in silence that afternoon, savoring occasionally the comfortable communion between them.

V: His Father’s Way 

The Baptist was shaken to see Jesus standing before him, waist deep in the chill water of the Jordan River.

“I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me,” John said.

Memories of Joseph flooded Jesus’ mind. Smiling gently, he told John, “Allow it now. It becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”

The Baptist plunged him into the water. Rising, Jesus shook his hair and beard, then departed for the desert.

His father was well pleased.


In my Father’s house are many mansions…

I go to prepare a place for you – John 14:2


Merry Christmas!

67 thoughts on “Joseph’s Way (2022)

  1. God Bless you Charlie.

    Thanks for all you do Beckita.

    Stay warm my friends. Love you all.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah, Charlie, such a beautiful story, but that preface…oh memories of our dear parents…so bittersweet. Such a lovely dedication to your father (and mother!). May their memory be sweet for you. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a tender and moving intro to this story, famous-to-all-next-right-steppers by now, Charlie. 🙂 Before I read this, “(I come by it honestly),” I was already laughing aloud at the beginning of the sentence. 🙂

    We’re just home from an early Christmas Eve Mass wherein the children enacted the Gospel as well. But the most dramatic moment was when Fr. Wang sat in his chair on the altar. Whoever had arranged the chairs, put Father’s too close to the edge and this holy wise man from the Far East (Wang means “king” in Chinese – and don’t you forget it 🙂 ) fell off the raised platform, chair and all, as he tried to be seated. Mercy! Thank God that Father walks daily and ends the walk with a shuffle jog lap, because he just rolled with the fall and went unscathed. Fr. Pascal proclaimed that Fr. Wang was our Christmas miracle. An eruption of laughter ensued and we quickly settled right back into praying in Thanksgiving for all Jesus has done for us.

    Another round of Merry Christmas, Everyone!! How blessed are we!!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Merry Christmas Charlie!
    I hope your parents may send you a little sign from the other side of the veil as a greeting and a hug.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. For all who have lost loved ones, this song was a comfort to me. I have great hope in the Love and Mercy of our God for those I love. May this song be a gift to you. Merry Christmas.

    (Piano Guys, The Sweetest Gift)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Jewels. This is beautiful. It IS a mighty comfort to know, not only that we’ll be reunited with the ones we love, but that our relationship with each one who has passed never ends, albeit, that relationship changes dramatically. I pray with and for my deceased dear ones; I speak aloud or whisper to them – not morbidly, but fully knowing that in the Light of Christ they DO hear me – and I ask for their intercession all the time. I find the greatest joy in knowing that they’re living: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” I once shared here that when SOG Maria Esperanza invited Fr. Wang and me to a retreat at her ranch outside of Venezuela, we also took a side trip to the Bishop’s compound which had a convent for an order of nuns and in the chapel there were two tabernacles. The free-standing one was behind the altar and the one which was recessed in a side wall contained the host from an Eucharistic miracle which had occurred in the chapel on Maria’s ranch. After Father offered the Mass for our group, he was allowed to open the recessed tabernacle so that we could adore Jesus. I intoned a Taizé hymn, an ostinato with the lyrics “Adoramus te Domine.” As people joined in singing, the music gained fervor and, suddenly, we heard exquisite harmonies which were ethereal. At first, we wondered how the sisters could sing like this… until we discovered that they were not present when we were there; they had taken a bus to a nearby town for an outing. We had been blessed with a glimpse of what earthly ears do not usually hear. How blessed are our loved ones who are either making the journey through purgatory or have arrived in their Heavenly Home. May they, in the Light of Christ, pray for us on our journey of healing from the great sorrow of letting go of them on this side of the veil, that veil as sheer as vellum.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. December 25, 1908 – How to make Jesus be born and grow
    in your hearts.
    Finding myself in my usual state, I was longing for little
    Baby Jesus, and after many hardships, He made Himself seen
    in my interior as a little Baby, and told me: “My daughter,
    the best way to make Me be born in one’s own heart, is to
    empty oneself of everything, because in finding empty space,
    I can place all my goods in it. And only then can I remain in
    it forever, if there is room to be able to carry all that belongs
    to Me, all that is my own. A person who went to live in the
    house of someone else, could be called happy only if he found
    empty space in which to be able to put all of his belongings;
    otherwise, he would be unhappy. So I am.
    The second thing in order to make Me be born and to
    increase my happiness, is that everything the soul contains,
    both internal and external – everything, must be done for Me;
    everything must serve to honor Me, to execute my orders. If
    only one thing, one thought, one word, is not for Me, I feel
    unhappy, and while I should be the master, they make Me a
    slave. Can I tolerate all this?
    The third one is heroic love, magnified love, love of
    sacrifice. These three loves make my happiness grow in a
    marvelous way, because they render the soul capable of
    works which are superior to her strengths, as she does them
    with my strength alone. They will expand her, by making
    not only her, but also others love Me. And she will reach the
    point of enduring anything, even death, in order to triumph
    in everything, and be able to say to Me: ‘I have nothing else;
    everything is only love for You.’ In this way, she will not only
    make Me be born, but will make Me grow, and will form a
    beautiful paradise in her heart.”
    As He was saying this, I looked at Him, and from little,
    in one instant He became big, in such a way that I remained
    completely filled with Him. Then everything disappeared.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Miss you, Jen; and Mick too, as well as some others we haven’t heard from in a while. Blessings to everyone of you here, and those here in spirit!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. And I come late to this party. 🙂

        I hope everyone here had a Merry Christmas and that all of us will have an ultimately positive New Year, no matter how wild and woolly it may get. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

  7. A most blessed and Merry Christmas to you and God bless and keep you Charlie ❣️
    And also a wholly Holy New Year to you as well❣️ I look forward to meeting you in our Heavenly Father’s House. A portion of my prayers always are reserved for you and your mission. Been following you from the start. We’re now getting near the fulfillment of all prophecy. May Our Lady’s mantle keep you wrapped in her Graces and protection. Onward Christian soldiers ‼️
    ❤️❤️Corinna Pucek
    81 year old Widow, Grandmother, & Great Grandmother from Texas

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you for asking, Katey in OR. My grandson has recovered somewhat from his ordeal. Some self inflicted. Struggles with having order in his life. He continues to appear faithless, but God doesn’t give up and neither do I. His plan, not mine. He, grandson, completed a semester at a local community college – a struggle, but he did it. He is dealing well with other challenges.

        St Dymphna, St Joseph, pray for him. Thank you God for loving him…and us.

        Thank you all for your prayers. How important it is
        to remember we are not alone in this trial [journey] of life to eternity. [i lost the use of the “like” button, but you are all there in my heart.]

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Beautiful Charlie.
    At mass yesterday, I was thinking about how Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem. Joseph’s “home” but there was no family there to take them in. To me, its a small message that this isn’t our home. Only heaven is our home and not to get comfortable here. We may have to leave on a moment’s notice like the Holy Family.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Happy Feast of Stephen 😉
    Oh! Really!!!?? I believe that Our greatest Domestic Terror Threat is Our own Feral Gubermint! It’s Monetary, Energy, Medical and Agricultural Policies plus the MILLIONS of unvetted Illegal Aliens allowed to roam free throughout Our Lands ;-(

    Baby Murder Inc.

    Our Worst Fears About Twitter Were True….. but ONLY Conservatives can be held accountable for Conspiracies, Voter Fraud and Insurrection!


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well, well! WordPress accepted my attempt to update my password and post my comment from yesterday. Must be a Christmas gift.

    My computer suffered a maleware hack twice in last several months. I lost access to a lot of stuff, including how to comment on ASOH. I was resigned to just reading the posting because nothing was working to correct my problem. I have little energy to work out computer problems.

    But here it is! I’m back!!! Not sure I know how to do it again if need be, but…
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God bless all here.
    I would appreciate your prayers – my health is declining. Not surprising as I head to #81 years. Praise the Lord!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. ” Must be a Christmas gift.”
      Just another example of this website, a Christmas gift all year round.
      “Praise the Lord indeed!!!”

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Judi WordPress gave me headaches a while back as well. Technology…
      Merry Christmas and God bless you in the new year. God is good and He calls us home as children playing out in the yard when dark comes. What can we do when the good Lord calls us.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 3rd Day of Christmas 😉

    How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate


    Liked by 2 people

  12. Merry Christmas Charlie and all here. I enjoyed the story very much. It was a very visual story and I could see it all happening in my mind as I read. What a joy to contemplate the Holy Family. At this time of year they all seem so close.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 4th Day of Christmas 😉

    I figure the USA Golden Goose died in Jan 09 and what’s left of the carcass has been carved up and handed out ;-(
    ….. there is a 30min video embedded in this Ron Paul piece that will give you just a small idea of all the “legalized” fraud, waste and abuse in the $1.7 TRILLION Bill of Abominations!
    ….. THEY want THEIR Filthy Fingers in your Retirement Savings.
    ……. I receive tons of beggar’s snail/e-mails every day and from the tone of the pleas it’s obvious that the USA is tapped-out …. and it’s just the way THEY planned it ;-(
    ….. Oh! Guess who’s paying for all these MILLIONS of un vetted/educated/skilled and non English Speakers.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup. This news is out there at many venues. Buy your meat now; pressure can it or dehydrate it; hunt for wild game; get extra beans and rice which make a complete protein; continue trusting God and pray each morning to grow in faith and trust; I also pray each morning the Brazen Serpent Prayer as a renewal of this request (and more): “Come, Lord Jesus, purify this food and drink and all I consume in any way. Let it lead me to strength, to apostolate, and to take the next right step; at all times, in all places, and in all situations.” There are absolutely evil people who are hellbent on destroying us. Well, we’ve lived a lifetime of evil spirits with the same goal, and theirs is a more nefarious aim, for they work to lead us on a path which robs us of eternal life in our heavenly home. God sees. God knows. Do we still trust Him? Believe in Him? Believe that His Promises in Scripture are the same yesterday, today and forever?

      “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

      “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-10)

      Continuing to pray that we, as in all humanity, learn to rely completely on the Provider of providers, our Heavenly Father, and that we get over ourselves as demigods, masters of our wee universes and drop the illusion that we are in control of way many more things than we actually are. And find freedom in God and HIS ways as well as true happiness, for He IS the fulfillment of everything we desire.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 5th Day of Christmas 😉

    I’m not sure this Guy is wrong? The Usual Suspects that despise me and hate everything I hold dear are All-In for Ukraine at ALL costs! ……while China Watches!!

    Drag Queens have now become a cherished Victim Group of Democrat Party!


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Charlie, the first thing that struck me about your father passing the Christmas gifts to you first and having you pass them along to the others was that perhaps he was choosing to pass some of his authority in the family to you. Obviously, I have no real idea what he was thinking, but that is what occurred to me nonetheless. You and your family remain in my prayers, as all of you celebrate Christmas and New Year’s without him for the first time. It’s nice to now the young ones helped.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 6th Day of Christmas 😉

    HullyGee! I can’t understand why!!??

    How God Transforms Suffering with Fr. Dave Pivonka and Jordan Peterson

    Jonathan Cahn’s Prophetic Message II to Joe Biden (The White House Apostasy)

    Way past Time for States to enforce their 10th Amendant Rights!


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow, CD, the Jonathan Cahn video is amazing! Please God, let people in our government watch it, especially the main one who needs it!

    Happy New Year to all of you. We can pray for spiritual blessings in the New Year, since the Lord never abandons us. We need help, Lord! And my family does thank the Dear Lord every day, who works amazing little miracles and blessings. Too many to count!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 7th Day of Christmas 😉

    RIP Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger


    Ahhh… more Children die from ABORTION!! ……. and how many Children have died because of, the also loved by Democrats, ClotShots these past two years?
    ….. & Suicide ;-(

    Metaverse!?? … It’t ALL about the Evil THEM controlling You/Yours ;-(

    THEY care nothing about Learning! THEY will Push THEIR AGENDA “Come Hell or High Water” …….. HELL is what THEY want …for You!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Eternal rest grant unto Pope Benedict.

      I don’t know why, but I feel that there is going to be a “shift” with his death. Not sure whether it will be good or bad, but his death truly rings out the old year. 😔

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think that with or without Pope Emeritus Benedict’s death the shift has been in the air, Jewels. Whichever way it is :-), surely joining you in prayer for the repose of the soul of this great Pope of fortitude and faith who wrote tirelessly, with elegance, concerning many a profound truth in the Teachings of Jesus. May Christ’s Perpetual Light shine upon our Beloved Benedetto

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RIP Holy Father.
          Here are some highlights of his accomplishments:
          After teaching dogmatic and fundamental theology at the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology in Freising, he went on to teach at Bonn, from 1959 to1963; at Münster from 1963 to 1966; and at Tübingen from 1966 to 1969. During this last year, he held the Chair of dogmatics and history of dogma at the University of Regensburg, where he was also Vice-President of the University.
          He was President of the Preparatory Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church
          In the Roman Curia he was a member of: the Council of the Secretariat of State for Relations with States; the Congregations for the Oriental Churches, Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Bishops, the Evangelization of Peoples, Catholic Education, Clergy and the Causes of the Saints; the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity and Culture; the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and of the Pontifical Commissions for Latin America, “Ecclesia Dei”, the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law, and the Revision of the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches.
          He received numerous honorary doctorates: in 1984 from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, (Minnesota, USA); in 1986 from the Catholic University of Lima (Peru); in 1987 from the Catholic University of Eichstätt (Germany); in 1988 from the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland); in 1998 from the University of Navarre (Pamplona, Spain); in 1999 from the LUMSA (Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta) of Rome and in 2000 from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Wrocław in Poland.


      2. We need popes like BXVI and JPII. On one hand, now Benedict may intercede before God even more, on the other hand he might have been some sort of a restrainer for Francis… Hopefully, he will intercede for the convertion of the current pope.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. (Gasp!) Yes, Pawel! That’s what my feeling was! Benedict was a “restrainer” for Pope Francis! I just didn’t know what I was sensing until you said it. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Corde natus ex parentis
    Ante mundi exordium
    A et O cognominatus,
    ipse fons et clausula
    Omnium quae sunt, fuerunt,
    quaeque post futura sunt.
    Saeculorum saeculis.


    Of the Father’s love begotten
    Ere the worlds began to be,
    He is Alpha and Omega,
    He the Source, the Ending He,
    Of the things that are, that have been,
    And that future years shall see
    Evermore and evermore.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. “Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.”

    Liked by 5 people

  21. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! …;-) PM
    ……..Am I the only one who believes that PB16, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, has literally been held captive in the Vatican these 9.8 years?
    Before becoming Pope, he had expressed the desire to retire in Germany with brother Fr. Georg …. did THEY disallow that?

    Viganò DEFENDS Fr. Frank Pavone against Pope Francis
    …. Expectations—2023 … Franklin & Hal be right I’d bet?

    …. NOT a Good SIGN!


    Liked by 1 person

  22. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! … Merry 9th Day of Christmas 😉

    Another Liberal Fail to add to toilets that don’t flush, poisonous light bulbs, defunding police, Equity/Social Justice …………………………. ;-(

    Soylent Green …….. & Bug Stew ….soon? ;-(

    OK! Back to It! …. Reality 23 ;-(


    Liked by 1 person

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