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Tuesday 7 January 2014

The Hour Glass Part Twenty-One

Walking the rest of the way without Columcille created in the minds and hearts of the three clerics a dread which grew as they crept around the northern suburbs and villages of Greater London. One night, just outside of Welwyn Garden City, they had to hide in two skips to avoid dogs and GATS.  Then, an hour later, as they approached Columcille's old friend's house in Bagshot, they had to hide in an old barn to avoid more GATS, who, thankfully, worn obviously green and orange uniforms. The barn was more of a ruin and this scouting group had no dogs.

By the time the three turned up at Msgr. Colm Langsdon's house, these pilgrims were hardly recognizable. Thankfully, Colm knew Samuel as well. The meeting was anything but happy.

Colm took them all immediately to an outside bath house, where they scrubbed down and threw their now horribly dirty clothes into a small bonfire. Colm, organized and fastidious, had bought all new clothes for any priests or seminarians who would turn up at his place on the way to Farnborough. Within the hour, Samuel and the Serles looked like an Oxford Dons in Harris Tweeds. They were given new Grenson boots as well. Mark and John wondered they would be given Norfolk jackets as well. They were.

Msgr. Colm had independent wealth and took excellent care of his motley pilgrim visitors who came from all over four counties to be or watch others being ordained at Farnborough. The cottage also held one of the best pantries and wine cellars in all of England. Samuel, still in deep grief, could not fully appreciated the largess of the host.

When Colm was told of the death of Columcille, he was quiet for a long time. "We met in Rome, and because of our names, became friends, no, we became brothers. But, Columcille was not made for this world, and I knew he would beat me to the heavens. But, I am very sorry he died this way, on the road. But, I suppose that is fitting for all us, doncha' think?"

The four each fell into their own thoughts on the deceased. Colm then served and the conversation turned to the rest of the journey.

They were each given a Bronte Shetland throw and a cup of Fortnum's Gunpowder teas, the host's favorite. Colm also had sweet and savory treats. The world of skips and dogs faded for a few hours.

"You cannot take any of the roads. The GATS have become paranoid ,and some of their generals disagree with the continued presence of St. Michael's. We have been very lucky so far to have the abbey untouched and valued by an effete of a brother of the abbot's.  Very fortunate. But, this may change at any time, like our world."

"I suggest you rest a few hours, and leave at night. The curfews are not enforced here or south of here, and you could make the abbey easily in two hours. You must avoid Camberley. Go between the two old golf courses and cut back. The GATS have some sort of storage of ammunition at Camberley of all places."

"If you sleep and eat, we can say Mass, hear each other's confessions and then you can leave."

No one disagreed with this plan. Colm knew the area and had much experience with the road walkers.

"Now, I am excusing myself, as I need to be alone. I want to think about Columcille and then old days."

The three stood up and watched the priest, who, although younger than Samuel by many years, seemed old and bent. Then, they went to their rooms for a rest.

Later, after a long sleep, confessions, Mass and a huge dinner, Samuel, Mark and John left. They also were given Irish walking sticks to complete the "look" and Melton wool caps. Mark and John could hardly keep from laughing out loud. Where Colm managed to get all these things new seemed a miracle.

Finally, Colm gave each one a new Anstruther mac. John did crack up at this point and had to be poked several times by Mark to stop snorting. Well, Samuel thought, as he knew well the abbot of Farnborough, we shall be appreciated there...

to be continued....

The Hour Glass Part Twenty

Antonio stood by the large glass windows facing the mountains near Queen's Creek. He was not in a good mood. In fact, he was very close to going back to Texas and then to Louisiana, somehow. His thoughts were not necessarily rational,  but he saw a type of slavery here, a type of confusion not seen in the barn Masses in Louisiana. There, the Catholics caught between the GATS and the Chinese knew their lives were like smoke-here and gone. They lived in the present moment, like the Nuncio had stressed when referring to his odd, sand-less hourglass. Here, even the nuns seemed wrapped up in a false security, seemingly insured by Carl and his rogue businessmen, his Chinese deserters, who used him to make it in Mexico. This set-up reminded Antonio of discussions on the old Church in Sicily before the troubles purged all connections with the Mafia. Gone were the old ties there, dying in the blood of martyrs and the amazing conversion of many who stood at the edge of ruin and the grave. Reality therapy had saved souls.

Here, in this beautiful "safe house" guarded by those loyal to Carl, Antonio felt "bought", pandered to because he was a priest. The cutting edge of living life as a sign of contradiction simply was absent from those in his immediate group. Oh, yes, the nuns prayed seven times a day and he said Masses for the living and the dead, but they were totally dependent on Carl for all their physical needs. Antonio felt that he was "keeping" them, like an insurance policy for the afterlife. Something was not right.

The young priest served the nuns and a small community of Catholics who managed to walk out in the dark to this remote plot of land beneath the mountains. About 30 Catholics, all adults, no children, came to the bi-weekly Mass Antonio had established. He heard confessions. He baptized and confirmed an adult convert who had waited a long time for a missionary priest. One day, he asked the nuns why there were no children.

"Do not talk about this. The Chinese stole all the children. Like the story of the Pied Piper, all those under 18 disappeared under the mountain. This happened when the invasion first took place and the army was strong, before they were abandoned by their own government." Antonio could hardly believe this story. "And," the nun continued, "many of our congregation are parents who have lost their children. Do not, at least now, bring this up. There are no children within a 100 mile radius of the San Tan Mountain region."

Antonio promised to be silent on this subject. It seemed bizarre to him, in keeping with the entire organization.  He grew increasingly uncomfortable. The priest had to pray about this situation. His gut reactions told him that what was unseen was more malicious than what was visible.

He did not blame the nuns for any confusion or deceit. They were relying on a supposedly good Catholic man for protection and the necessities of life itself. Antonio's doubts did not include judgment.

However, his own instincts came to the surface into his mind when Mother General came to him one night, alone and asking for spiritual counseling. She wanted his advice.

"We are in a dangerous position here and we know it. But, I am concerned about the souls of my young nuns, and as you have seen, they are all young. They seem, well, out of touch with the Cross. We grateful were taken from death by those who now have died, so that we could come here and pray and serve God. But, Antonio, should we have stayed and been martyred? I sometimes think I made the wrong decision coming here to what I thought was a place to serve the Church through prayer. But, we are not suffering, except in anxiety, not knowing what will happen day by day. Did I make the wrong decision for my little congregation? Did I run away from the Cross God offered all of us?"

Now, Antonio knew how to respond to this series of questions. His gut feelings had proved good and true.

"Mother, I think you were wrong. But, God will give you another opportunity to show Him that you love Him more than life. Make a good confession, repent, and move on. God is good and offers us the crown again and again. I know this is so."

Mother's eyes filled with tears. She accepted the rebuke she sensed was coming. She confessed not obeying the Will of God and for leading her nuns away from God's Will. 

Antonio knew that he could stay now. He knew he had a spiritual sister in Mother whose eyes had been opened by grace. He knew they would both be offered the crown of glory through suffering. He rested in the peace of the Cross.

To be continued....

Does this bother anyone else? Offering children to the god Moloch

Satan hugging your children? The god of sacrificing the oldest child for prosperity was Moloch. The god of Mammon demanded blood. So, too, America is giving up the children to abortion, contraception, child euthanasia which will come, pedophilia......

This is chilling. the USA.

It reminds me of Anubis, the god of the dead in Egypt. Where is the outcry?

Well if people do not listen to me...maybe they will listen to this blogger-same quotation I had on last week

The Hour Glass Part Nineteen

The first stop, not counting rests in copses along the way, was at Haughley. Quickly, word that Catholics priests would have confession and say Mass spread around the area. By the time the priests were ready for the faithful, fifteen people were at the door of the large house. Staying six hours, after hearing confessions, saying Mass and giving a teaching, leaving at dark, the four continued through the countryside, moving beyond Newman's Green, and trudging towards their next stop at Margeretting Tye, a hamlet with a handful of houses and cottages. Samuel wanted all the stay overnight there, instead of taking a few hours of rest. Columcille seemed ill. He shuffled rather than walked, and he looked at the ground.

At Margaretting Tye in a newish cottage off the main road, the Howards had cousins. This family, the Talbots, claimed descendancy and the Howards, indeed accepted them as related from the wife of Thomas, Alethea Talbot. Their claims could be physically seen even in this rather small house, as originals of Titian graced the walls.

Samuel said Mass for the family only, as these were the only Catholics left in this hamlet. Then, the four washed and slept for two hours. The Talbots provided new clothes, boots and more food for the road. The snow was hampering the men's timetable, but Samuel's prediction of 70 hours, as opposed to the usual 50, included making more stops than one would on sunny July day.

Samuel decided to skip Bartholomew Green as the walk around London caused them all a certain amount of trepidation. London and the outskirts must be avoided. The only way to go was north, and then west again.

They could double back to Bagshot in a day and rest there before going on to Farnborough Abbey.

The Serles provided the priests with much humor. They bickered and quarreled, mostly in fun, like siblings, but their good temper and optimism infected the small party. They had concealed their disappointment at missing the house in Pebmarsh. Mark was a bit homesick. But, the weather became the greatest obstacle, as the farther south the group traveled, they endured worse and worse bitter winds and snow.

Then, an hour out of Margaretting Tye, Columcille collapsed. Samuel blamed himself for not letting the priest stay at Braintree with his old friend. The older priest felt he was pushing the group too hard. But, Braintree was six hours back, and the group could not go that far. Should they backtrack to Margaretting Tye? Were there any safe houses north of Greater London besides Bagshot, more than eleven hours away, if one did not cross London?

"We have to go back. I do not know of one house between the Talbots and Bagshot. Do you?" Samuel turned to the Serles. "St Mary's Church, Ingatestone! There was an Anglo-Catholic priest there, but it would be the same time, almost, as going back to Margaretting Tye. I cannot think of anything closer." Mark spoke first.

Then his brother had another idea. "You have forgotten the sisters at Pilgrim's Hatch. That would be no more than fifteen minutes from here. We can go there."

Samuel, in his anxiety and rush, had forgotten the good sisters in hiding there. "Yes, this is Providential. I need to see them, of course."

The two young men picked up Columcille and carried him between them. He felt hot, feverish. They stumbled in the snow.

The three walked as fast as they could and finally, they saw the old dairy which was where the sisters were supposed to be. A dark line of smoke rose from the chimney. If they had to meet strangers, so be it. Columcille was very ill.

"Mark, run ahead and find out who is there. Just say you are a traveler. Use your wits." Samuel and the others waited about thirty feet from the door under some yew trees.

The door opened and a woman spoke to Mark. He then ran back to the others. "Fine, the sisters are here. Hurry, they say they are watched."

Within minutes, Columcille was in a warm bed under the care of Sister Audrey, a former nurse. The other three washed, and ate tea and toast with the other three sisters.

"I thought you had more sisters here, Sister Agnes," noted Samuel.

"We started out up north with eight. Within the first year, two died. Sister Louis de Montfort and Sister Matthew Mary, who were both elderly, died of the flu. Then, two months ago, Sister Frances Xavier died of a heart attack. A month later, Sister Hilda died suddenly. We honestly do not know why. They are all buried behind the old dairy. Will you bless their graves, Father, I mean Samuel. None had the Last Rites."

Samuel looked into the large, sad eyes of Mother Charles, and said, "Of course and, I am sure you want Mass and confessions."

The two seminarians went upstairs to the small bedroom where Sister Audrey looked over Columcille.

"He is not well. It is some putrid fever which I cannot identify. There are so many strange and new illnesses. I must say I am afraid for him."  The two seminarians told Sister they would watch so that she could go to confession and attend Mass, while the young men took turns. Mark stayed. After Mass, Samuel brought Communion to John. He was hoping to give Communion to Columcille, but the priest's face was grey.

"John, he is slipping away from us." Samuel could hardly speak. He then prayed the prayers of the dying and anointed Columcille. At the end of the sacrament, Columcille opened his eyes. "Samuel, I would like the Lord in the Host."

"Yes, can you swallow?" Samuel became emotional, but he tried to control his voice. This was his spiritual son, slipping away into eternity. He priest gave his friend Viaticum.

"You will get better, Columcille," the old priest said softly.

"No, I am dying, Samuel. I know."

"Now, now...." Samuel could not finish his sentence. "Do not say that."

"Samuel, I know, I know. I have seen The Lord. I saw Him, without the black spots. Do you understand? I saw Him."

Samuel bowed his head and went out of the room. He called the sisters around him. "Come, watch the death of a saint."

The four sisters, John and Mark stood around the bed. They decided to sing the Salve Regina, for some reason. And, Columcille died.

Samuel decided, as it was night, they would stay this night, and a day and leave at night the following day.

Sister Audrey took over, and in the dark before dawn, another grave was added to the small cemetery of sisters behind the dairy. Samuel blessed all the mounds, all but one hidden by the snow. He stood there for a long time. Why do the young have to go first? Why am I now so alone?  God's ways were not our ways.....And I wanted him at Farnborough, not here.

To be continued...

The Diversification of Morality

I really like this guy....

I've opted out of Obamacare for life. Not interested. Pay the tax. Monopoly money anyway...

For those of you in warm climates, pray for us

We are inside now for a second day. The wind is howling and temperatures are low with killing windchills.

Those of us with asthma suffer on top of feeling the cold. Please remember us and all who are suffering today.

Yesterday was bad, but the cold is now seeping into the house.

Priest? Bishop? Cardinal? Pope?

The Attitude of One Persecuted

For the past several years, I have written about the stages of persecution in the Church. I am very concerned because of many Catholics who are responding to the many crises in the Church in ways inappropriate for the Church Militant and a Church which should be producing saints.

Most importantly at this time, each one of us must be seeking perfection, which is why I started the series so long ago. What impedes the spiritual life is mostly sin and the tendencies to sin, but faulting thinking about the nature of the Church in the world and the proper response is the third obstacle.

The false thinking resembles these types of comments. Like a "True/False Quiz" ask yourself if you fall into these categories. Also, look at all the persecution tagged articles here.

"Oh, God will protect us and hide us and we shall not be hurt".  False.

"The Church will see a huge number of converts and become triumphant as in the past." False

"I am just going to be quiet and let God take care of these problems which are too big for me." False

"All the Christians will come together in the end and stand up against persecution." False

And so on...

The proper attitude of a Catholic, some of whom are being persecuted even now, paying fines for not taking part in ACA, losing jobs because they are teachers who refuse to teach the ssm is "ok", DREs who stand up against the lies concerning the possibility of women priests or inter-communion, should include the following mind-sets.

One, the Church will last until the Second Coming of Christ, but most likely as a small remnant.

Two, the Church will be purified and soon of all the errors, including the errors of some bishops supporting ssm, communion for the divorced-remarried and not annulled, support of abortion, support of contraception will be eradicated, leaving a remnant. Expect more than one schism across the world.

Three, Catholics have a duty to save souls and evangelize now, as the window of opportunity will shut soon.

Four, we shall not have regular access to the Mass and the sacraments. If anyone has a habit of mortal sin, this must be rooted out now, as one may not be able to get to confession in the near future.

Five, each Catholic must cooperate with grace now and work with God on personal holiness, purity of heart, and the life of the virtues. I see few people concerned about developing the virtues and gifts of the Spirit. Without the virtues being operative, one cannot stand up to evil and persevere in goodness.

Six, Catholics must learn to love the enemy, but be wise about whom to trust.

Seven, Catholics need to build local communities now-should have been done thirty years ago.

Eight, fasting, penances, prayers must be daily practices.

Nine, Catholics need to stop pretending that they "have all the time in the world" to sort things out.

Ten, Catholics need to work in the place God has placed them now, now, now.

The Pope Emeritus warned us and few paid attention. We have been warned.

Remember, to think like a Catholic is to think like one who is a sign of contradiction in the world.

May I add today's Gospel? We must do our little bit daily. That is our Catholic duty.

Mark 6:34-44

When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already very late.
Dismiss them so that they can go
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat.”
He said to them in reply,
“Give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out they said,
“Five loaves and two fish.”
So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties.
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people;
he also divided the two fish among them all.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

The Hour Glass Part Eighteen

The two nuns walked through a long tunnel about a mile long before coming to a long stair. Moving down, the three walked another half mile. Antonio thought they were moving north. Then, they went up some stairs and went through a metal door. Suddenly, the three were inside a garage, where a car was parked. A man sat in the front of the car. It resembled a military vehicle. Antonio felt confused and unsure. The entire day had been so emotional for him. "Carl will take you to a safe house. We are going another way and will meet you there. God be with you."

"And with you, Mothers." Antonio said and got into the car.

"Father, lie on the floor in the back as best you can. We are on the other side of Hunt Highway and we have to go to Queen's Creek. Do not talk."

Antonio did not realize that residents in the Chinese territories had cars. He did as he was told and the man threw a blanket over him.

In a half-hour, the car pulled up into a large plot of land in front of a small ranch house. "Go in, quickly."

Carl then got back into his car and left immediately. Antonio went into the small ranch house. There were mountains in the distance. In the large open room, the priest was immediately surrounded by ten nuns. They guided him to a room upstairs and told him to feel free to take a shower and sleep. Was he hungry? Did he need anything?

Antonio took a beautiful hot shower. The bathroom and the entire house was decorated Western style. He put on a robe laid out for him, and fell onto the bed. The priest slept from three in the afternoon until six the next morning. As he came downstairs, he realized that life was not exactly as one would expect in the Chinese Zone.  Mother General came up to meet him. "I am sure you will say Mass for us later, Father, but have breakfast and we shall explain our situation. The two nuns he had seen on the hill were there as well. All sat down for a good old-fashioned American breakfast. Mother spoke quietly but quickly.

"We are the nuns who wrote to the Nuncio. We had great faith that he would send us and others a priest. We are in an area which is ignored by the Chinese simply because they are worn out and no longer care. Most of the soldiers have either left or become part of the communities. Some have even been killed by their own, as if there are warlords fighting over their own plots of land. They no longer feel connected to China here and feel abandoned by their own people. Indeed, they may be. There is a strong underground economy from Mexico and many Chinese have stopped being soldiers and are playing at business. That is how Carlos has such freedom and why we are protected, at least for now."

There is civil war as well. The locals have acquired guns and many Chinese have been killed, but the situation is unstable and unsafe on the whole. As we are cloistered, we do not get involved. I sent two of my nuns to the Mountain simply to find you and bring you back. We knew you would come."

Antonio drank some of the hot coffee. Even the mugs had Arizona themes on them. The house seemed to be someone's play house, all Western decor and painted in the colors of the desert. It was homey, but he did not feel safe. Was this really a safe house?

"Do you know what happened at the windmill? Do you know about Daniel Morales?"

Mother General spoke with some sadness. "There was a Father Daniel Morales. Someone found out that he had contacted the Nuncio for a priest to come join him. He worked more north of here. Sadly, when the Chinese discovered him, they killed him. But, they had also found out that a priest was coming, and were at the windmill to take you away or kill you."

"The fire, the little bomb?"  Antonio asked. "That was done by our local underground possee. Carlos told us it was planned to kill the Chinese soldiers. Daniel Morales died three weeks ago, but we pray for him."

"I am glad he was not part of a trap," Antonio said softly. He wondered if this set-up could change day-by-day. He would say many Masses for this brave priest.

"Do you feel safe here, Mother?"  Mother General smiled. "We are as safe as God wants us to be. But, we are living in the middle of a civil war. That is the truth."

Lousiana seemed like a far away resort compared to the complications here He had another question."How is it that Carl has a car and gasoline? Is he friendly with the army?"

"No, but he is a businessman with many contacts and his money has set up some ex-soldiers, deserters really, who have gone over to the Mexican side-a sort of opposite immigration, if you will. He is hiring many of there men and they are grateful. His car and gas are from Mexico and much of our food and necessities. We owe so much to him. And, now you are here."

Antonio knew this was perhaps the most dangerous situation he had ever encountered. But, the nuns needed him, and he had just crossed into an area which, many, many years ago had been the home of the American Guzmans. This was his territory.

to be continued....

The Hour Glass Part Seventeen

Four men left the house outside of Diss in the middle of the night in March. They each looked like travelers, and carried sacks. Only one had a Mass kit. The others had no identification. Samuel led the way. The journey to St.Michael's Abbey would have taken only about 50 hours if one could go through London, but London had to be avoided. Samuel planned on a 60 to 70 hour trip, considering the snowy weather and the long routes. The four would be going across country to the east of London and then south avoiding the A1066, A131, A12, M25, A30 and A325 as well as other motorways. They would rest at Gislingham, Haughley, Newman's Green, if necessary, and many other Catholic houses on the way. Columcille had friends from the Venerable English college in Bartholomew Green near Braintree, and at Bagshot. At Margaretting Tye, the Howards had cousins. A small clandestine convent held four nuns at Pilgrims Hatch. They could rest at those places as well. Whenever they stayed at a Catholic house, the priests would say Mass. If they stayed a few hours, they could hear confessions and baptize babies.

The two seminarians, Mark and John Serle, were brothers whose family were in Pebmarsh, so the small company could also stop there. Their walk would not include any major roads. Even though all the clergy were accustomed to walking, any trip to the Bishop at Farnborough could be dangerous. One priest two years ago had been attacked at Great Waltham by a wild boar. Thankfully, his companion was not only a priest but a former doctor, and there was a Catholic house in the area. On another trip, Samuel, with a priest now passed away, had narrowly escaped being captured by GATS outside Chelmsford.  The globals still had a base there for some reason. Between Brentwood and London, no safe houses existed and the curfew was in effect in Greater London. In 2020, four priests had been hanged in the Romford Garden Suburb.

The Long Walk began....

To be continued...

Attention Brits and Irish

3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street
London, SE11 4AB, United Kingdom
Telephone: (020) 7091 7091
Ask MEPs to vote against pro-homosexual Lunacek report
6 January 2014
Dear supporter,
Between 3 and 6 February, the European Parliament is expected to debate and vote upon a report by Ulrike Lunacek, an Austrian MEP and the co-president of the European Parliament's homosexual rights group. The report is entitled "Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity".
The Lunacek report:
  • calls for the European Commission and European Union (EU) member-states to recognise homosexual unions contracted in other countries. The aim is to have a pro-homosexual definition of marriage accepted across the whole of the EU. This is a direct attack against true marriage i.e. between a man and a woman.
  • calls upon EU member-states to register and investigate so-called hate crimes against homosexuals, and adopt criminal legislation prohibiting incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Such legislation serves only to stop people from expressing opposition to the homosexual agenda and has little to do with actual hate.
  • calls upon the EU Commission to continue its current monitoring of issues linked to sexual orientation and gender identity in accession countries. This is a push to make the homosexual rights agenda a condition for membership of the EU.
Proponents of homosexual unions and the homosexual agenda are embarking on an attack on a fundamental natural institution - marriage. These attacks inevitably leave very many innocent and vulnerable victims. Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage. Same-sex marriage represents an attempt to redefine marriage, thus undermining marriage. This undermining lessens the protection for unborn children which true marriage provides.
You are therefore urged to email MEPs, telling them to vote against the Lunacek report. How to contact MEPs:
Please remember to forward any replies you receive from MEPs to SPUC's political department, either by email to or by post to SPUC HQ.
To receive this news regularly, visit The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. © Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 2014
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The Hour Glass Part Sixteen

The desert proved to be colder than Antonio anticipated. He had a day, a night and a morning to meet his priest, whose letter was one of the four in his pocket. Daniel Morales had written to the Nuncio of the terrible deaths of Catholics under the Chinese. This priest had, according to his own handwriting, been imprisoned and escaped. All those who were taken prisoner with him were executed. How he escaped, he did not say. But the Nuncio, being a wise man, had sent out men to verify this story and found out that on a trip from one military camp to another, an entire truck load of prisoners had been taken out to the desert to be shot. It was rumored that one survived and escaped. The bodies were left unburied.

Daniel would be at the windmill to meet Antonio. There had been no letters between the Nuncio and Daniel, only that priest's first plea. If he was genuine, Antonio was to travel with him. If not, well, Antonio gave his body and soul to Christ.

The day was bright but cold. The paths were old and uneven. The old bike paths had not been used for years and stubble, new plants and rocks hindered the priest's walk. He had to sit down near a Saguaro near a large Creosote tree. He was tired and a bit low. The flesh pots of Texas had weakened his endurance, or so he thought. In reality, he was sensing, even dreading something dangerous and mysterious.

He looked up towards the mountains and his eye skimmed the scrub land in front of his feet. Then, he saw something which made his heart skip a beat-a large black Benedictine rosary, the kind worn by Benedictine nuns throughout the entire world. Antonio got up and walked over to the Pincushion cacti next to where this rosary lay. He bent over and picked it up. The beads were dusty and dry, and the cross was mottled. The rosary had been here for a long time. Was it a sign, "Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall." Or was it a prophecy of things to come, a warning from the dead? A chill gripped Antonio for a moment. Then he remembered to whom his life and soul belonged, and he put the rosary in his pocket and walked on. However, he thought that it might be a wise move to walk up the hill opposite the windmill, close to the ground, and lay there, looking towards the small pool to make sure this meeting was not a trap.

The priest took a small detour up a small hill, coming in from the back and crawled to the top. He would wait until almost the appointed time of meeting. His clothing blended in with the terrain, and he worn a helmet one of the Rangers had placed on his head. He would be hard to see unless someone was looking for him.

There would be one person looking for him, Daniel Morales. Antonio looked up towards the Goldmine Mountains. If there were nuns in this place, they would most likely be there.

He could see no signs of life. No birds, no lizards, no insects lived on this hill. The dirt and loose rock had made his ascent difficult, so he was glad to rest. For a brief moment, he imagined he heard a screech, like a large bird, an eagle, perhaps. Then, he saw movement by the windmill. One man stood there with binoculars looking up towards the north trails.

As fast as he could, Antonio slid to the far side of the hill. He could not see the man or the windmill. He was out of sight of binoculars, however. He had to make a decision. He waited at least seven minutes, and then crawled back to his view of the windmill. The one man was still there, but looking towards the south now. Then, a sick feeling, a great revulsion caused Antonio's body to tremble. There were three more men at the windmill. The priest quickly left his vantage point and stooping ran to the far side of the hill facing the west. 

  A trap! Either the priest had been used for this set-up, or he had been intercepted, but at least three men at the windmill were obviously soldiers. The time was about one in the afternoon. Antonio decided, bravely, not to stay in this place, but to crawl down the hill on his hands and knees and move quickly north. The biggest problem was that the land beyond this hill and the section moving north was banded on the east, in the direction of the windmill by almost flat land. If he moved north, he most likely would be seen. He made up his mind to take the San Tan Trail up to the Dynamite Trail and back to the Goldmine during the night. He thought if he could get to the area of the Graves he would be safe to rest. But, getting through the lower parts without being seen seemed impossible.

  Then, an act of God, or man, occurred. A great explosion and a huge light rolled out of the windmill area. Even from this distance, Antonio heard screaming. The windmill was gone in a burst of fire. In the chaos, Antonio realized he had a chance. He ran as fast as he could without looking back up the San Tan trail toward the Dynamite Trail, an appropriate name under these amazing circumstances.

  The priest ran and moved into the Dynamite Trail, only when he was in the hills there, did he look back and see a plume of black smoke coming from the entrance area so far away, as it seemed. He kept going and after a long time got to the Graves. Antonio collapsed and took out a little flask of water. He looked up towards the mountains and he saw an extraordinary sight. Two nuns about 500 feet up were waving at him. Then, they just as quickly disappeared. Antonio was exhausted, but he had to climb this side of the Goldmines to get to where the two figures had waved at him. The Goldmine Trail lay below him to the south again, but he had to take that to start the steep climb up to the place where he thought the nuns would be.

  He continued, slowly, very slowly and his heart was pounding when he reached the ridge where he saw the nuns. There was a hole in the side of the mountain about five feet in diameter, half hidden by two dead Fairy Duster shrubs. Instinctively, Antonio went in, feet first. He landed in a large room not quite on his feet, and a bit unsteady, and in front of him on the right, were two nuns, one holding a candle. "Come follow us, now." For the second time this day, Antonio moved in astonishment. He had found the monastery.

  To be continued....

Repeat--is this timely or what?

The Hour Glass Part Fifteen

The number of generations which passed since the 1534, which began the great persecution of Catholics, may not be able to be determined in some families, but the Howards had a clear idea. Some of that clan had fallen away to the Protestant side, but most remained faithful and suffered accordingly.

The two Thomases duly entered the small seminary outside of Diss, populated by eight men. Ten seemed like a bumper crop to Samuel, who went three times a week to teach all the necessary courses. Most of the time, the young men memorized the necessary texts for the liturgy and for sacraments.

Their arrival was like bringing springtime into the winter of the Catholic Church. To have Howards, even though from the wrong side of the bed of the original Earl, and to have strong men join the small group encouraged all.

Samuel was ready to send a letter to the one bishop within a several-hundred mile area, the Bishop of Portsmouth, in hiding somewhere in Hampshire, asking to send three young men south for ordination. The Bishop would then decide where they would work, and not necessarily in their own home dioceses.

Several bishops had died and some where in hiding. Some were part of the false, global, schismatic church.

Samuel knew that when he sent off his students to be ordained, he may not see them again. 

Two seminarians would travel to a small town near Peterfield, called, Steep, where the Bishop of Portsmouth held a clandestine court, as it were. Bishop Adejola, who was Nigeria on his mother's side and English on his father's. The two seminarians would be escorted by Columcille for the ordinations. Columcille would return alone. As Samuel was telling this plan to the younger priest, he knew it was time to share his growing blindness.

"I must tell you something serious, Samuel. I cannot make this trip if I must come back alone. I am almost blind in one eye with a family disease of macular degeneration. I am so sorry. I cannot say how this is a cross, not only for me but for all of us."

The young priest and Samuel were sitting in the remarkably comfortable sitting room of the small cottage.

Sonja and Aidan were out. Samuel got up and put his hand on Columcille's shoulder. "I knew something was wrong and now I know. I shall go with the two and you stay here. Sonja and Aidan will help you, as this is their life. You can rely on them."

"Samuel, please bless me, as I am afraid." Samuel said, "Benedicat vos Omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus."

He sat down. "Do not be afraid. God is in charge of all of our crosses. I am content to leave with the young men."

Samuel's heart was breaking. Columcille was a son to him. This blindness was a serious blow to the future of this ministry. But, nothing could be done. These two priests were, to their knowledge, the only two working priests in Norfok and East Anglia.  And, this would mean that at least one of the new priests would come back to this area. Nothing was to be done. 

Columcille felt his uselessness keenly. All his life, he had been a bit manic about activity. The growing blindness at first had been a shock and then a slow, sad realization of a change of life.  Columcille was plunged into his Dark Night, in more ways than one.

Samuel also wondered if Columcille should go to the last remaining monastery in England, at Farnborough, which was on the way to Steep. Samuel decided to pray about his good friend to see if this was a peaceful solution. The Abbey was about eight hours from Steep. Much to think about....

Samuel could suggest that Columcille go on a retreat at this one protected abbey-a miracle of events saved this one from destruction. The abbot was the brother of the vice-president of the global government in Greenland. Nothing would happen to that abbey for a long time.

Perhaps a retreat for both of them would be a good idea. The older priest looked at the younger man, who sat with his head in his hands. He thought, here is a man on his way to becoming a saint. 

To be continued....