Handling the Harbinger

The basic treetop premise of Jonathan Cahn’s book The Harbinger, is that America is following in the exact footprint of ancient Israel as prophesized in Isaiah 9:10. Just as the kingdom of ancient Israel grew and prospered as a direct consequence of God’s blessings and consecration, her destruction came as her people grew to reject God…replacing Godliness, morality and virtue with self-interest, vice and corruption.

I am in the middle of the book now, which I was inspired to run out and get after watching Pastor-Rabbi Cahn’s 35 minute speech at the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast (linked below), so I can’t tell you how it ends. What I will tell you is that we were once protected by the “Hedge” of our consecration just as Israel was…until we turned away from God just as Israel did. Our “Hedge” was breached on 9/11! There is much, much more…you will have to get the book! In the meantime you can learn more about Rabbi Cahn’s ministry here www.hopeoftheworld.org

Responding to it…handling it is another matter. I would like to share my experiences with you because I believe that “how” we respond to it is everything! My regular readers know that I am a middle-aged baby boomer financial advisor for 19 years, singer-songwriter and Conservative blogger who converted to Catholicism after reading Ann Barnhardt’s amazing message on the connection to Jesus Christ through the sanctity of the Eucharist…regardless of the imperfection and noise around it. The tumblers of the universe clicked into place for me in that moment. But how did I arrive at a place where I was primed and ready to receive this light with every fiber of my being?

Something had occurred to me the other day after my wife and I had a minor scuffle and disagreement concerning her 15 year old daughter, my step-daughter. I said to her that she and I had something in common. We were both blessed with a unique power of seeing. Her seeing manifested in her ability to capture time and space through her photography. My seeing, ironically, allowed me into the unseen realm of spirit. I believe this gift was initiated in me through a five minute conversation I had sitting on the front steps of our home in Canton, Ct. with my mother when I was only six years old. That is when she, for whatever reason, taught me the word intuition. I have been tending the garden of spirit ever since.

So imagine this. It’s a hot summer’s day and you are sitting on your back steps looking out across the yard to see your neighbor sitting on his back steps smiling from ear to ear because he is enjoying the most perfectly grown and ripened strawberries ever picked! You can just about taste the sweet deliciousness as you gaze wantonly…but you can’t. And the real reason that you can’t is because you didn’t take the time to clear the land, to turn the soil, to plant the seed, to water, nurture and weed a garden with the very same tender loving care your neighbor did.

One of my co-workers asked me to sit down with him recently. He was concerned because he has noticed a change in me and wasn’t seeing me in the office quite as much. The conversation that ensued was fascinating because it was just as revealing to me as it was to him. He too is a Christian, though he was born in India and came to the United States back in the 70’s or 80’s I think. I had sent him the Cahn speech video which he of course had not bothered to watch. I realized in the course of our conversation that he was a Christian in the way that some of us are Republican or Democrat…or in the same way that many of us belong to the gym we never use.

This is what most religion has become in America. I said to a friend who had invited me to a Latin Mass a few weeks ago that it was like getting milk straight from the cow! When my wife sends me to the supermarket to get milk, I begrudgingly pick up the 1% milk knowing this is what she wants. To me, it is so far removed from the cow it may as well be white water. We do not go to church to celebrate God anymore in America! If we even go at all, we go to celebrate ourselves and be with each other…while God is mocked in our culture and betrayed by our President and the New York Archbishop while our pastors, priests and rabbi’s jockey for their piece of the action! At the Latin Mass I heard the word of God on the Holiness of Family from a man who I knew in my heart would die for God.

And in fairness, I have also been blessed to find a Reverend not of the Catholic faith but every bit as committed to the Truth, in Bill Banuchi of the New York Faith & Freedom Coalition http://www.nyffcoalition.com/ . Without realizing it, he referred me to the very spot in the Gospel of John that brought me to the very same spot, Bethesda in Samaria,  in the very same moment Rabbi Cahn had brought me to the exact same reference point in The Harbinger! This is how God comes into the room we welcome him into! We need to do this as a nation. We must!

My point is that it is not about a “Leap” of Faith, any more than it isn’t about eating the perfect strawberry out of thin air. Its about turning…its about realizing that what you are seeing, hearing and tasting in this world just doesn’t add up, make sense or taste right any more. So how do we respond? Do we keep on looking, listening and feeling in the same way…or do we decide its time to plot a new course? If your choice is to choose the latter, then here are some suggestions to consider.

  • Find a Church or Synagogue that hasn’t watered down or perverted the liturgy and word of God.
  • Sign up for a meditation class with your spouse or friend…or just yourself.
  • Fast and Pray through Lent. (I’m fasting today and every Weds I can through the 40 day period)
  • Join the NY Faith & Freedom Coalition if you live in NY. If you don’t, join anyway! We need all the help we can get!!
  • If you believe that life is God’s greatest gift, then seek out a prayer vigil taking place at an abortion clinic near you and go to help and pray for those who cannot help and pray for themselves!

These are but a few ideas to put into action as a very real means of preparing the soil and clearing the way for the most blessed and truthful moment of your life and the reason you are here at all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr2H9fniQTY Or we could simply wait for the Republicans to find God! 😉


Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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4 Responses to Handling the Harbinger

  1. Bill Banuchi says:

    Isn’t it good look back and see how God has always been there, gently leading you to Him. The greatest gift of all is intimacy with the One who is love through His Son. An entire life quest can come down to a simple proverb, “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” (Prov. 21:21) The pursuit is exciting…and thank you for the kind favorable mention.

  2. Marla Silbernagel says:

    “At the Latin Mass I heard the word of God on the Holiness of Family from a man who I knew in my heart would die for God.” I believe we hear the same Word of God whether the mass is celebrated in Latin or our own venacular. What you are suggesting here is that this particular priest spoke (perhaps in his homily, which i assume was delivered in English, unless you have recently become conversant in Latin) in a manner that moved you. That, in a of itself, is a wonderful experience but it most never take that place of each of us taking responsibility for our spiritual development at mass, regardless of the celebrant. The Church is always bigger than the priest that offers the sacrifice and we must always stay true to the doctrine of the church.

    • shutupnsing says:

      Well said Marla. My point in fact, is that it is much less about the language of the Shepherd (in this case spoken in English during the Homily), and much more about the heart. There is a failing heart in the clergy which is reflected in the shocking number of Catholics who voted for a President who has declared war on the Church…forcing those of us paying attention into the public greens and Freedom of Religion Rallies. It is the same failing heart that is responsible for the fact that you and I only recognized one other family from our parish at the rally we attended last March! This Shepherd has it right:


      Father John A. Perricone
      11 February 2013

      Journalism’s favorite bulls-eye is the Catholic Church, and their most prized journalist is the Catholic anti-Catholic. This species of journalist has a unique pedigree. He or she has been educated, for the most part, in the toniest Catholic universities, where they have been carefully weaned on a Catholicism bearing as much resemblance to historic Catholicism as astronomy does to astrology. After all, except for a few notable exceptions, Catholic colleges and universities have become assembly lines for the production of reliable Catholic anti-Catholics. These journalists have cultivated a deep resentment to a Church which dares to claim it teaches the truth, especially in matters moral. Being Catholics themselves, they have a perfect feel for the Catholic issues prone to the greatest ambiguity, and adroitly exploit them.

      No American newspaper excels in Catholic anti-Catholics more than the New York Times. Their pages are a veritable Who’s Who of Catholic anti-Catholics. Day after day they prove right the mordant comment of Richard John Neuhaus, “For the New York Times, the only good Catholic is bad Catholic.” To the list of Catholic anti-Catholic notables, at whose top is Maureen Dowd, we must now add the name of Frank Bruni. His anti-Catholic oervre in the New York Times has been impressive, but on January 27th he reached a new high (or should we say low). His column’s title was: Catholicism’s Curse. Any guesses? According to Mr. Bruni – it is priests. This is more than going for the jugular; this is lopping off the head.

      Actually Mr. Bruni is using his column as a paean to Gary Wills’ latest book Why Priests? A Failed Tradition, which Mr. Bruni breathlessly calls “provocative”. Mr. Wills, a former National Review columnist (late 50’s – early 60’s, before he defected to a totalizing Left wing political and ecclesial creed which has since consumed him like a crack addiction), and brilliant classicist who taught at Yale till his recent retirement, has devoted the last nearly half century to fevered tantrums against the Catholic Church. This latest volume is the most recent of dozens in this genre. Before reading even one of its pages one knows what to expect.

      For instance, he drags out the dreary failed Higher Criticism claiming that the Apostles created a power structure nowhere in the mind of Christ (altogether ignoring John 13-14 -15-16 – 17 & 18, to say nothing of I & II Timothy and Titus, and the Church’s constant and consistent Magisterium for 2000 years: oops!) Then there is the hoary argument (recycled more often than that nasty old Inquisition) that Constantine helped solidify this clerical caste system as a convenient support for imperial power (happily overlooking the loud protests to imperial power by the likes of St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, St. Nicholas, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. John Damascene, et al.). Of course, no attack on the Church would be complete without the boring recitation of perverse clerical sexual and political abuse during the Middle Ages and Renaissance (happening to accidentally omit that for every Borgia pope there were a thousand Savaranola’s, Fra Angelicos, Bonaventures, Francis of Assisi’s and Thomas Aquinas’s; for every Medici and Julius II, there were innumerable Charles Borromeo’s, Peter Canisius’s, Robert Bellarmine’s and Philip Neri’s.).

      It must be admitted that Wills and Bruni have a certain literary flair; but it is flair for dishonesty, hungrily lapped up by the half educated masses. They trade in half-truths and skewed interpretations easily swallowed with the chaser of a cleverly turned phrase. Behind all this artifice is an earnest agenda indicting a Church which persists in the business of exhorting man to moral goodness, indeed, sanctity itself. To the Catholic anti-Catholic this is hubris at its worst. Venerable Cardinal Newman identified their problem with his usual precision,

      Men persuade themselves, with little difficulty,
      to scoff at principles, to ridicule books, to make
      sport of the names of good men; but they cannot
      bear their presence: it is holiness embodied in
      personal form, which they cannot steadily con-
      front and bear down.

      Contrast Wills’ tendentious “scholarship” with the sterling scholarship of Dr. Robert Louis Wilken in his latest book, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. R.R. Reno gives us a snapshot of this magisterial treatise of church history when he writes, “In telling the story through its many twists and turns of theological controversy, political intrigue, and spiritual striving, Wilken often returns to the culture-shaping power of the Christian Faith.” .(First Things, January 2013, p. 4.). Wilken’s seasoned scholarship presents the reader with the Church in all her glory, while hiding none of her flaws. But he helps us see that the flaws are of flawed men, not a flawed Church. One can add to Wilken any number of towering scholars on whose shoulders he sits, such as Christopher Dawson, Henri Daniel Rops, Philip Hughes and Jean Danielou. Against the melodious symphony of these formidable scholars, Wills comes off as a foghorn.

      But the taunts of a Wills and Bruni do not take shape in a vacuum. For every fire, there must be fuel. The fuel stoking these most recent Catholic anti-Catholic fires is the last decade of clerical abuse and its appalling cover-up, culminating in the unprecedented disgrace of the retired Roger Cardinal Mahoney, now banned from executing a single public priestly duty. His humiliation is richly deserved. This failed Successor of the Apostles, and scores like him, used the past forty years to carefully sow the seeds of the present chaos, all the while crouched behind the façade of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. Catholic anti-Catholics took to this like a kitten to a saucer of milk. But soon it left them in a bind. How could they continue applauding the Mahoney leftism, yet distance themselves from its poison fruits? It remained only a dilemma for a time, before they settled upon a plan: say Mahoney liberalism didn’t go far enough. Perfect! We shall have our cake and eat it too.

      Enter Messers Wills, Bruni and their tribe. Tired of pederast priests? Scrap the priesthood. Want to strengthen marriage? Admit same sex marriage. Eager to bolster Church membership? Lift all those strangling prohibitions on sex. Very simply: cure the disease by injecting more of the disease.

      Unlikely as it may seem, there is happy news. The Bruni’s, and Dowds, Wills and Mahoneys are all fading into irrelevance. The It Catholics are the hundreds of young habited nuns and cassock clad priests in their twenties. Upon the Catholic horizon appears a blazing new dawn congested with legions of thirty-something scholars excitedly bringing St. Thomas Aquinas to the twenty first century, and a bursting crop of newly married Catholic couples having armies of babies. Their fidelity and goodness is making the Catholic anti-Catholic a fossil. They are the new sounds of Christ Victorious. Those glorious sounds will very soon bury the old noise of infidelity and betrayal. Truth to be told, some of us never thought we would hear such sweet sounds again. Shame on us.

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