Monday, March 28, 2016

Mother Angelica, Pray for Us


I am in Minneapolis with my friend Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society and the EWTN series The Apostle of Common Sense.  We were together at Easter dinner when we learned of the death of Mother Angelica.  Soon after that, we were both interviewed by Matt Swaim of the Son Rise Morning Show.  I will put a link to the interview up once it's posted on Sound Cloud.

EWTN saved the Catholic Church in America.

Mother Angelica allowed Our Lord to work miracles through her.  She was a Christian of great faith and common sense.

God grant her eternal rest in Your Eternal Word.  Mother Angelica, pray for us!


Friday, March 25, 2016

We have Met the Antichrist and He is Us

A Good Friday Reflection



What strikes me about today's reading - the Passion from the Gospel according to John - is the I AM of Jesus vs. the I AM NOT of Peter.

Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, 
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”

... and they fall back, stunned.  This is repeated.  Later ... 

Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, 
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”

I AM is, of course, the Holy Name of God.  In it is contained the mystery of being.

And our denial of Christ, our denial borne from fear and self-will can be no more in the end than I AM NOT.  We are the antichrist; we have met the antichrist and he is us.

Also, I am struck by how perfect this story is, far too perfect for any fiction writer.  The fact that Good Friday coincides with Passover, the fact that the Suffering Servant prophecy from Deutero-Isaiah, written 700 years before the birth of Christ (today's first reading), describes Our Lord with an accuracy that even the Apostles did not fully realize, the fact that human nature is so perfectly presented in the tale of the Passion - neither fiction nor drama nor myth has ever approached the richness and complexity of this true story, considered merely from the point of view of literary criticism.  The Passion draws together threads that had been weaved and left mysteriously untied in Scripture, some for over a thousand years at the time.   No writer of fiction could have done this.

And beyond that, dear readers, is the daily and hourly weight of sin.  Some of you are far too young and far too hopeful to feel it as I do and as some of the rest of us do.  But we are in such desperate need of a Savior, especially in how we are ignorant of our need of a Savior, in our smug self-satisfied way of going about and doing harm and being quite sufficient on our own, thank you, with our perversions and our betrayals and our diversions that we cover over with make-up and make-believe as if they were mere blemishes and not the fruit of our inner rot.  We are I AM NOT and we are proud of it.

Today, the day that God died, may we simply pause and realize the horror of it all, and the horror of our puny I AM NOT, submitted to and remade by the great I AM. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Charlie Johnston's Followers take the Next Wrong Step

NOTE - On April 29, 2106, Charlie Johnston responded to this post and my previous one with outright lies, doing his best to libel me in the process. I go into detail about that here - Charlie Johnston Lies about Me - and I Admire Him for It! Charlie is one of the most outrageous frauds in the Catholic Church. He actually fascinates me - in a sad way. Read on ...




Charlie Johnston is a false prophet.

His archbishop has "strongly" advised Catholics to be cautious of him.  His archbishop has also banned him from speaking in his own archdiocese.

Charlie, in the great tradition of false prophets, has spun this warning to his own advantage, and Charlie's True Believers have rallied around him and have been guzzling the Kool-Aid since the bishop's letter and Charlie's spin appeared earlier this week.

I posted about Charlie Johnston last fall, detailing at least one of his prophecies that have proven false, and detailing, from evidence on his Facebook page, that he did not walk across America, as he continues to claim he did.  And while Charlie is stretching the truth at best and lying at worst when he insists that he walked across the U.S., his other claims are based not on his own tall tales, but on purportedly revealed truths and warnings given to him by an angel of God.

Charlies says his angel has been appearing to him and warning him of dire things to come, including the suspension of the 2016 elections, Obama not finishing his term as president, Obama converting to the Catholic faith, the end of "normal" Christmas, worldwide financial collapse, and the appearance of the Virgin Mary in a universal apparition during 2017, with all of the turmoil of our suffering resolving itself into a utopian peace on earth after the appearance of Our Lady.

It is, of course, patent nonsense on the surface, and Charlie, a good old boy from Belleville (across the river from me) seems to have fallen into something he wasn't planning - a cult status among gullible Catholics.  What is disturbing is not so much that Catholics lust after the lurid, or that Catholics want their Faith to be indistinguishable from a National Enquirer headline, or that Catholics tire of the daily drudgery of picking up our crosses in small ways and conforming ourselves to Christ; what is disturbing is that Charlie is getting good at this.  He's learning how to work these people.

Comments are open.  Feel free to excoriate me and make fools of yourselves.  But respond at the very least to the evidence I present in my previous Charlie post that Charlie has been lying about his so-called walk across America.  And if he's lying about that - or even stretching the truth about that - why would we believe him about anything else, especially things that are prima facie ridiculous?

Meanwhile, for those of you who are sane, rest assured that not all Catholics buy this garbage.  The archbishop of Denver doesn't; only the fringe does, and when the Charlie Fad ends, they'll be on to someone else, someone even more ridiculous and even more dangerous than Charlie is.

***

Here's the story on Charlie from the Denver Catholic Newspaper.  Note that, since the archdiocese conducted a "preliminary investigation", the question of the veracity of the so-called visions, and of the angelic or demonic character of the so-called angel was not examined.  For a preliminary report, this is devastating to Charlie - though his followers won't admit that.




Archdiocese releases statement on alleged visionary Charlie Johnston

Caution urged in face of claimed divine visions and messages  

MARCH 07, 2016
The Archdiocese of Denver released a statement on the alleged visionary Charlie Johnston, urging the faithful to “exercise prudence and caution” with regard to his claims that he has received “divine visions and messages.”
The statement, released March 7, reveals that the archdiocese has conducted a preliminary investigation into the writings and speeches of Johnston that date back to 1998.
“Johnston claims to have received both visions and messages from the Blessed Mother, the Archangel Gabriel and other saints since he was young,” the statement discloses. “According to Mr. Johnston, the purpose of these visits was to train him to serve as a messenger for God and strengthen the faithful, particularly during a time of economic and moral upheaval, which he refers to as ‘The Storm.’
“In his writings and in person, Mr. Johnston also insists that the ‘prophetic’ aspects of his message are not essential and should not be the focus of those who follow him. However, it appears that those same predictions are what attract new followers to his message and give them a sense of urgency and zeal.”
Chancellor David Uebbing explained to the Denver Catholic that “the scope of the commission created to assess Mr. Johnston’s messages was limited to conducting a preliminary investigation. Should Archbishop Aquila later decide to launch a full-fledged investigation, the question of whether or not Mr. Johnston’s alleged visits from saints and angels are divine would be addressed. As a result of the preliminary investigation, Mr. Johnston will not be approved as a speaker in the Archdiocese of Denver.”
The full release is below.
Statement on the alleged visionary Mr. Charlie Johnston
On March 1, 2016, officials from the Archdiocese of Denver met with Mr. Charlie Johnston to inform him of the findings of a preliminary investigation into his writings and speeches. A special commission composed of two theologians and a canonist reviewed material from his blog, videos of presentations from various parts of the country, and an archive of writings detailing Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions as far back as 1998.
Mr. Johnston claims to have received both visions and messages from the Blessed Mother, the Archangel Gabriel and other saints since he was young. According to Mr. Johnston, the purpose of these visits was to train him to serve as a messenger for God and strengthen the faithful, particularly during a time of economic and moral upheaval, which he refers to as “The Storm.”
In his writings and in person, Mr. Johnston also insists that the “prophetic” aspects of his message are not essential and should not be the focus of those who follow him. However, it appears that those same predictions are what attract new followers to his message and give them a sense of urgency and zeal.
After hearing concerns and inquiries from Catholics throughout the United States and within the Archdiocese of Denver itself, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila decided to launch a preliminary investigation to advise him on the content of Mr. Johnston’s writings and presentations. It should be noted that the commission’s mandate did not include determining whether Mr. Johnston’s messages are divine in origin.
After reviewing the commission’s findings and in keeping with his pastoral office, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver has decided to strongly advise the faithful to exercise prudence and caution in regards to Mr. Charlie Johnston’s alleged divine visions and messages. As has been demonstrated with other alleged apparitions, the danger exists of people placing greater faith in a prediction than in Christ’s words and promises.
For these reasons, Mr. Johnston will also not be approved as a speaker in the Archdiocese of Denver.
For those who are disappointed by this finding, the archdiocese encourages them to seek their security in Jesus Christ, the sacraments, and the Scriptures. The faithful should also remember Christ’s words: “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mt. 24:36).