An Invitation

be-still-and-know

We have entered a new phase of this journey through the Storm as Charlie, in the epitome of humility and integrity, has stepped from the public view under the terms he had set. A friend succinctly said it best for me: “Was it a Jonah moment? Was it a Joan moment? Was it further deception of the satan? Only the Lord knows!  Stay tuned as we see the Storm develop. God has a plan; God always has a better plan,… for those who are willing.”

As we can see, signs of hope and joy were revelaled in most of the comments posted throughout the weekend. It was very moving to see Charlie convey he was heartened that so many have internalized the heart of the message he has fostered. He said so well last night:  “I do think an army of sherpas, committed to the next right step in obedience to God is out there now.”

Today, a member of TNRS Team referenced this post My Purpose in an email.  I had reread this piece on Friday evening as I could see it was time to honor my agreement to step into this role of managing editor. In rereading, I was flooded with memories of how faithfully, honestly, and fervently Charlie has served in fulfilling his purpose. I invite you to also reread this piece and I join you in ongoing prayers of petition for him as well as in thanking God for all He has done for us through Charlie.

While we, as a community, have processed what Friday’s events could mean in regards to Charlie, it seems fitting at this juncture to take a big pause and enter into silence at TNRS site that we may encounter God in a time of contemplation to consider, more deeply, what He is doing in each of our hearts and souls in these events as they are. I plan to be back next week, manning my post here, on the Feast of St. John Bosco, January 31st. We will continue as a community of encouragement and support as we journey together through the Storm.

I ask, too, that you pray for TNRS Team as we continue to discuss and discern best ways to serve this community. Under the leadership extraordinaire of our own SteveBC, it has been a privilege to work with him and all the dedicated, talented and loving  people on our team, so willing to serve.

Finally, I leave you with this link to the interview Charlie had promised to do with FOCUS TV this afternoon: Recorded Interview with Charlie Johnston

(Please be patient with my mistakes, and I know there will be errors, as I make my baby steps forward. I’ll clear comments later this evening. Then we’ll enter “The Grand Silence.”)

Addendum 1-24-17: I discovered more comments awaiting approval this morning and will clear them since this post went up later in the evening yesterday. Any additional comments must wait for clearance until January 31st when “The Grand Silence” concludes.

To reiterate: When we resume, it will be for the purpose of heartening one another, interceding for petitions presented here and focusing on  the heart of the message to which Charlie clearly redirected us, again and again and again: Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Trust-Do-Love.

Happy Feast Day of St. Francis de Sales, another heavenly friend of the ordinary way. Here’s but one of his many quotes which harmonize with the message fostered here: “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 92 Comments

Ave Maria, Stella Maris!

Mt. Meeker in snow

Mt. Meeker in snow

By Charlie Johnston

By my own standard, I was wrong about the peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. yesterday.  My favorite note came from a friend who said, “You got close on it, but this isn’t horseshoes.” That encapsulated my own thoughts quite nicely. I rarely speak of specific events. Having done so, it was my duty to get it right.

Some have demanded an explanation from me. I was wrong. I could be a crackpot, but that seems unlikely, given that I so accurately described the sudden cultural and spiritual degeneration of our society. I was deceived on this – and God allowed the deception to persist without correction. I have been deceived before – and counted on my angel to correct me on those occasions. This time the deception was allowed to persist,  either to chasten me or for other reasons yet unknown.

I ask my friends to avoid trying to find scenarios in which I was somehow right on this. I have never been a fan of the sort of verbal and logical gymnastics that would transmogrify a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse. I have never been shy about rebuking those who twist my words to suit their own partisan agenda. God forbid I should now twist my own plain words for an equally partisan purpose! This was a horse chestnut.

That I was wrong on this does not mean that my work has had no value.The ordinary way that I constantly emphasize has brought peace to a lot of people who were paralyzed by fear or anger. It has brought many people together to support each other in a time when Christian faith has been under siege. That is what is good and I pray you will hold onto it.

Some have worried that by withdrawing from the public scene, I am abandoning them. I could not, in honor, have done other than I have done here these last few years. I promised God that, if the things I had been shown all my life became visible on the horizon, I would speak in His name to give comfort to His people – and so I did. But I also promised that I would take full responsibility for the things I said and did. That promise obligates me, in honor, to withdraw from the public scene. I had said that the failure of a peaceful transition would be a sign to you that I had told you true about the Rescue. Now you have to rely less on my word and more on the fidelity of God throughout the ages, the God who has rescued His people countless times and who has always been near at hand to those who call on Him in humility and trust. For whatever sting there is for me, that is not a bad result.

Donald Trump was sworn in peacefully as President of the United States yesterday. If that is the beginning of our climb out of the abyss back to a Godly culture that respects life and liberty, that is a very good thing, indeed. Pray that it is, for if the storm can be stilled by more ordinary means, that would be a great blessing. If it is just a pause before the next great assault on life and liberty by anti-God progressives, that will be clear soon enough. I have not been released from service, just from public service. I will be watchful as I retire into prayer and direction. I would not return to the public square because of ordinary convulsions, even were they intense. I would not return except for something as compelling as a coup.

I will clear comments through this weekend. Then on Monday, Beckita will take over as managing editor of this site, putting up what she will and clearing the comments. I promised Focus TV that I would do an interview with them after the inauguration, whatever the outcome. I will fulfill that obligation on Monday and that will be my last public appearance. I will no longer make decisions concerning this site.

I was heartened in the comments yesterday to see just how many people have internalized the fundamental message here – to take the ordinary way of trusting God with each step in the present moment. I once described my job as a sort of Sherpa guiding people through perilous territory. Now there is an army of sherpas committed to solidarity with their fellows without anger or fear, whatever may come. That, too, is a pretty good result.

I have endeavored to be God’s good servant. I will continue to do so in obedient submission to Holy Mother Church. But now, chastened, like Job, I put my hand over my mouth.

I have long signed letters and notes with the salutation, “Ave Maria, Stella Maris!” (Hail Mary, Star of the Sea). That salutation spoke to me long ago, for in troubled waters, Mary is our sure guide to the safe harbor which is Her Holy Son. Hence the title for this final column.

Mark Twain told the story of a man who, having been run out of town on a rail, was asked how he felt about it. “Well,” he replied, “if it weren’t for the honor of the thing, I would have preferred to walk.” I feel a certain kinship with that fellow today.

Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. That is the sure and ordinary path to kinship with God, to peace and to joy, whatever happens.

Ave Maria, Stella Maris!

 

Posted in Discernment | 859 Comments

Time to Choose

(By this time tomorrow, we will know whether or not there has been a peaceful transfer of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. If there is not, it will be apparent to all but the most obtuse that we have a brutal year ahead and much to confront. If there is, no one can argue that this has not been the most tense, chaotic transition of our lifetimes. Unless the anti-God progressives stand down on their serial assaults on the lawful order, we have a brutal year ahead and much to confront.

I have thought a lot about what to put up as we enter these moments. Whatever happens tomorrow, the world is in serious trouble. Each of us will have to choose whether to follow God in simplicity and humility, whether to live solidarity with each other or tear each other apart in chaotic times. Then we must take responsibility for the things we say and we do. The process I described in the piece, “All In,” is one that everyone of us will have to live to endure this year.

I will have a post up on Saturday. Whether it is my last or not is in God’s hands. I have spoken candidly, boldly without giving counsel to fear – and take full responsibility for it. As this year unfolds each of us will have to do the same. This will help.-CJ)

All In

man in underbrush

By Charlie Johnston

We have reached a striking pass. Many of my old critics, while not letting up on the criticism, are visibly nervous that I am right because of the sweep of events this last year. I dropped by a site that comments on me regularly a few weeks back – and was amused to see some of my critics essentially arguing that, “…just because Charlie is right doesn’t mean he is…right.” On the other hand, many of those who have found hope and inspiration here are, occasionally, showing visible signs of worry that, ultimately, I may turn out to be wrong. I have kind of been waiting for this. It makes sense because I have been stunningly accurate on the sweep of the social breakdown – and the acceleration of it over the last three years. But what I say beyond this is, plainly, unbelievable from any temporal standpoint.

One of my favorite phrases is that ‘faith is an act of the will.’ We choose faith, not simply fall into it. If we just fall into it, the roots don’t go deep. We must actively choose it at some point – or lose it. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the doubts on both sides, for I had my own moment of choosing – and it came about five years after my final commitment.

In early 2002 I was still struggling with my own belief in the phenomenon I had experienced my whole life. Though the evidence had piled up, both in large and small ways, that this was authentic, a significant part of me could not let go of the fear that this was just the way my peculiar mind processed a powerful intuition. These fears caused me to worry that if I had to go public, I would likely face humiliation, disgrace, and burn all bridges to any way of making a living – and might yet be wrong at a critical moment. Such fears were not conducive to speaking with confidence. Yet if I did not speak with confidence, how could I give heart to people when they really needed it? If I did speak with confidence, how could I be sure that I would not yet be wrong on something critical? The disclaimer from a financial commercial, “Past performance is not a guarantee of future results,” kept going through my mind. Since about 80% of what I did required interpretation of often cryptic information, what if I got a significant interpretation wrong? Despite the protocols I had put in place to prevent the devil from deceiving me, I well knew he had deceived many saints for a time and had no illusions that I was invulnerable to such assaults. What if I were deceived on a point and, for whatever reason, my angel did not correct me? The lament of Jeremiah was always on my mind: “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped…” (Jeremiah 20:7).  If I did not speak with confidence, I might well defy God and fail the mission He had entrusted to me. What a terrible accounting I would face for that! If I did speak with confidence, I might mislead people – and the despair would be all the greater for it. Yet I had structured my whole life around the possibility this might be true and I might be called to act…so what was the purpose of my life at all if I was going to chicken out at the moment public service began? I had wrestled with this conundrum for over a decade. I needed a way where I could go all in.

I finally realized that I had been wrestling with the wrong question. The question was not whether I would ultimately be right or wrong, but whether I would be true to the promise I had made to God that I would speak in His name to give people comfort and hope if the Storm, the global civil war fought on cultural lines, fully developed as I had been told it would. When I started thinking in terms of being true and of promise, a way forward opened up to me. I could never eliminate all doubt in my head and, heaven knew, the devil would spring up to inflame those doubts if I thought of it in that fashion. Nor could I deny what was likely an authentic call from God and live with myself if I shirked it. So I decided to behave “as if” it were all true in order to keep faith with my promise. Working from this premise, it made perfect sense to adopt some rules and safeguards that would make my work a bit harder, but would protect others from any unnecessary fallout while staying absolutely true to my promise. Here are some principles I adopted to facilitate this work:

1)      Obey legitimate authority. People who are crazy think they are authentic and right. If it is from God, submitting fully to the authority He commissioned His Church on earth with is the perfect safeguard. If it is from God, He can clear the way when it seems impossible. If it is blocked, it is for my good or that of others.

2)      Never abrogate my responsibility. This is the flip side of obedience. I am given a peculiar mix of spiritual and temporal responsibility. While living full obedience to the Church I must take full responsibility both for my spiritual discernment and my temporal actions. I must always take counsel on both, but take care not to allow anyone to share in that responsibility. It can be very tempting to try to spread the responsibility around, so that blame can be shifted for any errors. That would offend God. This is why I do not seek – or accept – any ‘endorsements’ of the prophetic elements of my message. That is my responsibility alone before God. I also am careful with my Priests and close counselors to warn them away if they suggest something that would inadvertently cause them to share in my responsibility. For example, a counselor once suggested I ask a specific question of my angel for discernment. I quickly warned him not to suggest that, as it would cause him a share in the responsibility for my discernment. Rather, he could ask me specifically how I discern and make suggestions to refine my discernment – but to propose an active test of an angel would give him responsibility that he should not take on. Any errors are my own, both before God and before men.

3)      Make whatever I do or say good in itself. Past performance, though suggestive, is no guarantee of future results. I can’t know with absolute certainty that the prophetic elements of my message will come to pass precisely as I have seen them. God is trustworthy and strong, while I am small and frail. Thus, keep people’s trust focused on the God who is trustworthy and strong, reminding them of His goodness in ages past and His abiding tenderness to those who put their trust in Him. Handle everything so that if I failed miserably on everything else, I would have written material that would be useful to help people reconcile themselves to God and His Holy Church, despite my own failures.

4)      Be rigorously honest. Much of what I have been shown over my lifetime is starkly unbelievable. That the world could so flip in its values in one short lifetime that it would bluntly treat good as evil and evil as good was unbelievable to me when I was yet a boy. But it has happened, as have almost all the unbelievable things I was shown. I do not have to tell all that I am shown. It is usually best that I only tell a little. But calculations over believability must play no role in my decisions about what to tell and what to retain. Whatever is told must be true to what I am shown. Whatever calculation is involved must be over what is useful in building people up, assuring them of the hope that is in God, preparing them for trials, and exhorting them act so as to build those around them up and so participate in the Rescue. Many people – some friends, some foes – have given me advice on what I should do to make my work “more believable.” At best, I listen politely and move on. If I were worried about believability I would never have gotten up the nerve to speak in the first place. If, in my contemplations, I find a refinement in the interpretation of what I am shown or told, I must make the refinement, regardless of how people react to it. If a core piece meets with heavy resistance, I must stick with it resolutely. I must tell people true and let the chips fall where they may. The moment I start trimming my sails to enhance believability is the moment I cease to be useful at all.

5)      Use my anger, but don’t let it use me. Anger is an incredibly useful, and often necessary, tool. It can bring focus and passion to bear, used to steady those in panic, repel  assaults, and fire up the timorous. But it is like fire: properly contained in and focused by a solid furnace, it brings warmth, light and life in the coldest times. Uncontained and unfocused, it consumes everything in its path. I am grateful here for my political training, for knowing when to respond to attacks and when to ignore them is an art form. Amateurs think that either you always respond or you never respond – a simple formula,  and one that, followed rigorously, always brings them to grief. You cannot ignore attacks that bring into question your integrity or the integrity of your message. To do so is to fail to defend the charge God has given you. But once you have responded effectively, move on. The cranks will keep raging, the malicious will mount new schemes, but you must not deeply engage with cranks and the malicious, which can only fuel the fires of anger. Once you have responded effectively, they will move on or their malicious rage will consume them. Do not notice at all the petty carping of small men of no stature or credibility, for to do so diminishes you and elevates them. Use your anger, but never let it use you.

6)      Know that your only effective audience is God. When an actor auditions for a role, there may be dozens of people watching in the studio, but the actor’s only effective audience is the casting director. If all the dozens of people think the actor is great but the casting director does not, the role will go to someone else. If all the dozens of people think the actor is horrible, but the casting director sees a compelling quality, he will get the role. I am auditioning for heaven and God is the casting director. I obey the Church in all its lawful authority, for that is what God calls me to do. I minister to, comfort, challenge, and exhort His people, for that is what God calls me to do. If I keep my promise to God, 10,000 theologians swearing I didn’t will change nothing in God’s sight. If I betray that promise, 10,000 theologians swearing I kept it will change nothing in God’s sight. I seek to please the Master, hoping not to offend the spectators, but never failing to do so if it is the only way forward that is consonant with the Master’s will for me.

7)      Don’t look back. Once you have set your course, don’t waste any time mewling with the Hamlet “to be or not to be” routine. Choose well and seriously, then go steadily and resolutely forward, regardless of the obstacles you encounter. Never calculate the odds. If it is right, go forward despite insurmountable odds. Never be seduced by mere temporal advantages into doing something unworthy. If your weakness betrays you and you do something unworthy, renounce it, get up, and continue on your way. If I am with God, I can be delayed, restrained or diverted, but I cannot be stopped. If God is not with me, I should be stopped. Know that no one on earth has any power over you that God has  not allowed. Therefore, any setbacks or resistance are for your or their good – for your purification or for their inspiration and recovery. As inspirational as it can be to others for you to live prosperity well, know that it is even more inspirational when you bear adversity well. Never squander the grace of adversity by pining away for what was safe and comfortable when you were not fully mature.

With the adoption of these guidelines, I could safely be “all in,” for I was keeping my promise to God, not restlessly trying to be right.

If I was mocked, scorned and humiliated, I was all in with my promise.

If I was honored and celebrated, I was all in with my promise.

If I was wounded and suffered, I was all in with my promise.

This is the key. I occasionally get people who tell me scornfully that if God spoke directly to them, they would act without hesitation or doubt. Besides speaking ignorantly of that which they know nothing, they badly deceive themselves. They have little faith. Everything I need for my salvation, I have from the Scriptures, the Magisterium and the Sacraments. God speaks to us all there. The extraordinary ways in which God speaks to me have to do with a particular mission I am given – to go forth and comfort His people, to help them endure until Rescue and to participate now in that Rescue. Because of people’s little faith, they actually want more convincing that God exists. I don’t need these extraordinary visits to do God’s will – and neither do they. If they really meant that they would do God’s will rigorously if He spoke to them directly, they would do it rigorously from the direction He gives them in the Scriptures, Magisterium and the comfort He offers with the Sacraments. They think to chide me for my lack of docility to an extraordinary grace but instead reveal the frailty of their faith in what we all are given freely. If you can’t even live the ordinary well and resolutely, what could possibly make you think you could easily bear the additional burden of the extraordinary? It is as absurd as a man who struggles to carry 50 pounds on his back boasting that all would be well if he were just loaded down with a thousand pounds.

Faith is not just a matter of emotional belief, of being convinced. No matter how convincing the arguments, you will encounter terrible trials and setbacks; times when you will ask, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Times when you will wonder whether there is God at all, times when you will doubt that He has any concern for you at all. If your faith is dependent on an emotional belief, on being convinced beyond all doubt, it is a feeble thing, likely to collapse with the rise of wind and waves.

A faith that is strong and sturdy is a faith that, properly formed, is fully and consciously chosen. You cannot just sit back and wait for God or His ministers to convince you – acting like a judge at a gymnastics event, holding up a scorecard for how well someone else has performed. You are called to be a participant. Authentic faith is your response to God’s grace. You choose to act in faith, whatever trials, whatever setbacks, whatever sorrows may come. It is a conscious act of your will. You choose it knowing that there will be times when you doubt, times when you faint from weariness or fear…and when those moments come, you act with faith anyway. “O Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Authentic faith, fully chosen, makes you a participant in God’s grace, rather than merely a spectator.

Choose faith. Believe in God, not in me. Let us choose to believe in Him together. To get through this Storm, to be active participants in the Rescue we must each be “all in.” That way, if I should ever fall, you will stand – and if you should fall, I will stand. If each of us do that resolutely, our jaws set like flint, then the people of the kingdom and the people of heaven shall rise together, shall rise forever, and God shall rule.

 

 

Posted in Conversion, Discernment, Spiritual Preparation | 770 Comments

Out of the Ashes

A hat tip to reader Ken from Ohio, who sent me this compilation concerning Anthony Esolen’s book, “Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.” It is comprised first of a book review by Brad Miner from The Catholic Thing, then followed by an excerpt from the book, itself. Here then, what Ken sent me:

“It’s not your imagination: civilized human society is collapsing. Communities no longer work towards a common good; children are no longer our first priority; businesses no longer value “hard work”; arts and skills have been lost; and gender is decided by the individual, not biology.

We cannot reverse national and global trends, says professor Anthony Esolen; but we can build communities that live up to humanity’s promise and responsibility. In Out of the Ashes, Esolen identifies the gaping problems in our society and lays out a blueprint for reconstruction that puts our future in the hands of individuals focused on the good of the local community.
A new book about recovery. Not, of course, about that fashionable process by which men and women overcome one or another kind of addiction, but about the more radical reclamation of what’s most important: our souls and our civics. Both are worth saving.
tonye-1
Anthony Esolen’s Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture is a jeremiad in the best possible sense of the term. It is “a lamenting and denunciatory complaint” about the secular Left’s assault on reality, but a protest imbued with the spirit of the great “Weeping Prophet” himself.
Tears need to be shed, and not just for the manifest sins into which official America has fallen,but for the sin underlying it all: false witness. Pride is, in order, the first among the sins, but, according Scripture (Proverbs 6), it is followed by “a lying tongue.” Satan is the Father of Lies, and to read Out of the Ashes is to see clearly the devil’s influence in modern life.
I know of no other writer who can make his arguments with such fire and ice. Esolen burns with passion for the truth, even as he coolly presents his case against falsehood. (I fear that, had I been subjected to the things Tony has recently had to endure at Providence College, I’d be locked up in jail or the loony bin.)
As Professor Esolen writes: “The lie rushes in to fill up the void left by truth in retreat.” And the filler is an unholy trinity, a “three-poisoned god”: self, sex, and the state. There will be some people – well, there will likely be many – who’ll accuse Esolen of nostalgia in the first degree, of longing for a lost world of simplicity and goodness, that never will be again and probably never was.
Ah, but he knows this and anticipates it and refutes it, as in his recitation of questions many young men in the 19th century could, as a matter of course, answer:
What is that bright red star in the night sky that does not keep the same place among the constellations? If you wanted to find Jupiter in the sky, where would you generally look? . . .What makes the days so short in winter? If you want to make bricks, where would you be likely to find a good clay pit?
I interviewed historian David McCullough once, and after he spoke about the abilities of the Founders, men able to build a nation and a house with their own hands, he asked me: “Have you any of those skills?” I told him that when I asked my professor father to teach me about tools, he led me to the telephone and handed me the Yellow Pages.
That’s funny, no? No. We’re neither smart nor experienced simply because we know how to consult online references. We dabble; we sip. Esolen quotes Alexander Pope’s paradoxical couplet about a little learning being a dangerous thing: “For one short draught intoxicates the brain,/But drinking largely sobers us again.”
It takes a sober man to appreciate the importance of beauty, truly liberal education, manliness, chastity, play, and the hearth. The beguilements of a culture of lying are both cultural and personal, making it essential to recover a sense that we are a pilgrim people, and to never forget the great prophet’s warning: “But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” (JER 7:8)
An Excerpt:
Introduction:
Let’s get straight to the point. We no longer live in a culturally Christian state. We do not live in a robust pagan state, such as Rome was during the Pax Romana. We live in a sickly sub-pagan state, or metastate, a monstrous thing, all-meddlesome, all-ambitious. The natural virtues are scorned. Temperance is for prigs, prudence for sticks in the mud who worry about people who don’t yet exist. A man who fathers six children upon three women and now wants to turn himself into a “woman” attracted to other women—he is praised for his courage. Justice means that a handful of narrowly educated and egotistical judges get to overturn human culture and biology, at their caprice.

We are not in partibus infidelibus. We are in partibus insanibus.

What shall we do now? The answer is both daunting and liberating. We do everything. That doesn’t mean that I do everything, or that you do everything. Suppose you find yourself in a bombed out city. There are all kinds of things to do, and all of them have to be done. Some needs are more pressing than others, and some things can be done only after other things are in order. But everywhere you turn, there’s work to do. You have to find clean water. You have to find food. You have to tend to the wounded and bury the dead. You have to erect shelters. You have to see which of the few buildings left standing are actually safe. You have to demolish those that are ruined beyond repair. You have to organize work teams. Someone has to prepare the meals. Someone has to keep the children out of trouble. In such a situation, it’s almost absurd to ask whether it’s more important to build a latrine than to gather together some undamaged books. All of it has to be done. So you do what you can do—the work that is ready to your hand.

In no order, then, as I survey the ruins:

Build new schools, reform old schools, and abandon irreformable ones.
Are your children attending the sub-pagan schools? Get them the hell out of there. What are you waiting for? It’s not as if the sub-pagan schools actually teach children English grammar and give them facility with numbers and make them familiar with the lands and rivers and seas of our world, let alone introduce them to the great works of western civilization. If your children are in the sub-pagan schools, it will require almost a miracle of God to keep them from becoming sub-pagan themselves. They too will learn to worship the three-poisoned god of our times, self, sex, State. Take for granted that everything in their classes will be sexuality and politics; even in science classes. Shakespeare? Sexuality and politics and nothing else. Get them out. Begin, if necessary, with one room and one teacher and ten children. Begin.

Restore your parish church and bring reverence back to the liturgy.
Was your church denuded during the Decade that Taste Forgot? Bring art back in. Is there an ugly sculpture of Jesus the Helicopter, or a pseudo-primitive stained glass window of the Baptist dropping a rock on Jesus’ head? Replace them. Are you using hymnals filled with bad poetry expressing hippy-dippy theology to treacly or unsingable tunes? Why? If you know a little about sacred music, learn more. It’s never been easier to do that. Become more familiar with O Salutaris Hostia than with Table of Plenty. You don’t have to be allergic to the great Christian hymns arranged by Bach or written by the Wesleys. Accustom yourself to real poetry, to melodies that can be sung by a congregation, and to thoughtful meditation upon Scripture. Learn Gregorian chant. Will it take a while? It will take longer if you complain about how long it takes. Begin.

Acquaint yourself with the proper use of the zipper.
No pretending here. We’ve all been scorched by the sexual revolution. The ancient Christians knew they were living among hedonists, but plenty of the pagans, especially those who lived outside of the cities (Latin paganus = hayseed), were old-fashioned in their mores. The Christians could say that they honored the virtue of chastity, which the pagans recognized but often violated. We cannot say that now. We have to tell ourselves and our children the truth. There is no way to make it sound nice. “We are Christians, they are not. How God judges them is not ours to know. Our first task is to follow God’s law ourselves, before we can witness to them. We do not fornicate. We do not divorce. We do not engage in sodomy. We do not use porn. We do not flood women’s bodies with synthetic and carcinogenic hormones. We do not care for obscenities in film. We do believe in marriage according to the evident design of God, imprinted upon our bodies male and female. We encourage boys to be boys and girls to be girls.” And then—where are the chaperoned dances? Where are the concerts? Where are the matchmakers? Where are the healthy customs whereby the older generation made sure that the younger generation would, ahem, get on with the great and innocent business of new life? Establish them. Begin.

Be social.
Be human. I’ve heard all my life long that the Church, before Vatican II, had nothing at all for the laity. Really? What then were all those ecclesial fraternities and sororities? So laymen did not potter about the altar during Mass. They certainly pottered about everything else before and after Mass. They played basketball, they put on shows, they sang, they maintained the church grounds, they gathered for communal prayer, they fed the hungry, they taught the ignorant, they celebrated, they paraded down the main street. The official organs of public opinion hate us, and would like nothing better than to have us hang about empty churches like bats in a cave. Let them have more obvious opportunities for their hatred—or their embarrassment, perhaps their conversion. Saint Ignatius had for a long time only two or three followers. He persisted, and the Jesuits became the greatest force for education and human culture and the propagation of the faith that the world had ever known. Begin.

Read good books.
Our Lord has granted us one of the most precious blessings in war. Our enemies are ignorant. They are clever—they have brains, as all human beings do. But imagine a rickety fence against a cannon: that’s our contemporary journalist against Chesterton. Imagine a squirt gun against a battering ram: that’s our contemporary educator against Pope Benedict. Imagine a flea against an elephant: that’s our contemporary advertiser against the Catechism. Imagine a dented bugle against a cordon of trumpeters: that’s our contemporary artist against Dante. When Saint Paul said that he must be all things to all men, he did not mean that he would be stupid for the stupid. Put on the full panoply of God. Those arms may well include the weapons of natural law and natural wisdom that our sub-pagan neighbors have never mastered: Cicero, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius. Don’t know where to begin? It hardly matters where. Begin.

Recover the human things.
You remember them? The things that human beings used to do. They are not to be underestimated. Let’s not pretend here. We’ve all lost a great deal of what once made up whatever sweetness that human life had to offer. People used to dress becomingly, play cards, talk to others, take long walks, sing songs, play ball, grow peas and beans, strum on the guitar, drop in on friends, and have friends to drop in on. Boys used to ask girls to do innocent things with them, like go bowling, or attend a concert, or dance. There’s an idea—learn how to dance again. The world, besides being quite mad, is now an unspeakably drab, tawdry, and lonely place. Build outposts of normality. It will take time. Begin.

Pray like the pilgrim you are.
That goes without saying. If you pray for ten minutes a day, pray for fifteen. But pray with a clearer aim. Remember that you are going somewhere. Its name, in one sense, is the grave. The whole world is in mad denial of that plain fact. It turns to the garish and obscene, lest it have to consider the quiet grassy mound and the stone with a few words on it. Be different. You are on the way. Take heart, and don the hat of the pilgrim. Do not be like those who have no hope. Jesus has gone before us to prepare a place. Will you have to repent of having sometimes gotten on the carousel of the world? Repent of it then. Begin.

Whatever you do, do it as if everything depends on just that.
It does, after all. Let no one say to you, “What difference does it make if you sing beautiful hymns at Mass?” That’s the way the world thinks. For the world, despite all its pretense of love for every individual, considers men to be mere stuff, an accumulation or amalgamation. Do not believe it. The next person you greet may be on the verge of sainthood or damnation. Every moral choice we make repeats the drama of Eden. No one can do everything. Everyone can do something. Begin.”
Posted in Conversion, Culture, Solidarity | Tagged , , , | 281 Comments

Poland Chooses Christ as King – Now for the Rest of the Nations

(This powerfully heartening report appeared on Dan Lynch’s website, Jesus King of All Nations. I reprint it here in its entirety in joyful hope that this will be the first trickle in a mighty flood of renewed faith and devotion – CJ)

By Dan Lynch

Jesus King of All Nations closed out the year 2016 on New Year’s Eve with a very powerful message regarding the recognition of his reign on earth by the entire Polish episcopacy and faithful. The message is contained below beneath this introduction.

We live in a secular world that chooses money, fame, power and glory as their kings. Poland chose Christ as their King and they did it publicly! The timing was perfect on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20, 2016, marking the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The Jubilee Act of the Reception of Christ as King and Lord was solemnly recited on  November 19th, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy with the Bishops of Poland and in the presence of President Andrzei Duda.  On the following day, all the parishes in Poland did the same. By this Act, the Polish people recognized the reign of Christ the King and his dominion over all nations and they chose to submit themselves to his law.

Jesus King of All Nations previously revealed that his devotion is a companion devotion to the Divine Mercy devotion. He said in his December 31 message, Do you not see My great sign in this sacred act of My Church in Poland? Do you think that it is a coincidence that this acknowledgement of My Sacred Kingship took place in My shrine of Divine Mercy?”

This may be the first time in the history of the world that the Bishops in union with the faithful have recognized the Reign of Christ the King over their country.

Act of the Reception of Christ as King at Poland’s Divine Mercy Shrine

This Act was a fulfillment of the request of Jesus King of All Nations that his reign be recognized on earth. He said, “Mankind must recognize My Divine Kingship, My Divine Rights over them! It is only in Me, My child, that mankind will find peace.” (Journal 160). He revealed the ejaculation shown on his image, O Jesus, King of all Nations, May your reign be recognized on earth.”

Jesus King of All Nations said, “I want to reign in all hearts!!!” (Journal 233). Confirming his desire, the Polish Episcopal committee indicated that “There is an urgent need to enthrone Christ in the hearts of the faithful, by reviving living faith and the life of faith.”

Bishop Andrzej Czaja explained that the Jubilee Act of Reception of Christ as King and Lord is intended as a conscious confirmation of the choice of Jesus, an unambiguous pronouncement in his favor, and a revival in living the vocation to holiness.

Like the Polish people, may we all implore Christ’s reign and make a conscious confirmation of the choice of Christ as our King and an unambiguous pronouncement in his favor by responding to his requests to embrace the devotion to Jesus King of All Nations and to enthrone his image.

Jesus wants his image enthroned everywhere and he promised his protection. He said, Enthrone this My Image everywhere for I shall be powerfully present there and the power of My Sovereign Kingship shall surely shield you from My Just Judgment.”

I wrote an Enthronement Ceremony booklet to help you to do this. Learn more about how to do the enthronement of Jesus’ image here.

The Act of Reception concludes as follows:

Christ, reign over us! Reign over our fatherland, and reign in every nation – for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of humanity. Make our homeland and the entire world into your kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

You may read the Polish Act of Reception and more here.

Below is the message of Jesus King of All Nations that includes the scriptural references that he gave to his Secretary, the mystic of the devotion.

Message of December 31, 2016

OUR LORD: Go to Poland. Approach the Church in Poland. From here shall come a great light for the cause of My devotion. Poland, especially beloved by Me.

The fruits here shall be abundant precisely because of their humble acknowledgement of My Sovereign Rights, My Divine Kingship over them and over the whole of humanity.

 “Though indeed I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, for their reverence toward him:” (Ecclesiastes 8:12)

As I have said before, there is an indissoluble bond between the devotion to My Divine Mercy and to that of My Divine Kingship. Do you not perceive what I have brought about as regards this? Do you not see My great sign in this sacred act of My Church in Poland? Do you think that it is a coincidence that this acknowledgement of My Sacred Kingship took place in My shrine of Divine Mercy? There are no coincidences, as if I were not in absolute control of all things. 

No, this act of My Church in Poland is a truly great confirmation of the authenticity of My devotion. 

 “By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful on our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23)

“His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures through all generations. All who live on earth are counted as nothing; he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven as well as with those who live on the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:31,32)

I AM the Most High God, Almighty and Sovereign. My Holy Will and Divine Plan shall be accomplished in spite of the activity of the enemy and the opposition of those who listen to his suggestions and follow him in pride, error and in the stubbornness of their hearts.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

 Do not lose hope My children. Though it seems all is lost it is not so. I AM the Lord and Master of history and the times ever unfold under the power of My Almighty hand. 

“the mighty hand of God.” (Sirach 43:12)
Trust in Me and stay strong in the Holy Faith. I love you. I will never leave you or fail you for I AM faithful and true.

“I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

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Fake News on Stilts

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By Charlie Johnston

The media and political world today are all atwitter over a report from CNN and Buzzfeed that Donald Trump is a Russian agent – and includes salacious details of perverted sex parties Trump supposedly participated in. The establishment media has practically wet itself with enthusiasm over this lurid tale. The only problem is that the story started falling apart almost immediately.

Supposedly, the “information” came from a foreign intelligence agent. As John Podhoretz skeptically noted in the New York Post today, this bore less resemblance to an actual intelligence agent’s report than Dan Rather’s forged memo slurring George Bush. The report also listed specific places that Trump and associates had been – information that can be verified. Some of the most salacious stuff does not pass the first hurdle of verification.  The memo states that in late August Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, secretly met with Kremlin officials in the Czech Republic. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, there is proof that not only was Cohen not there for that date, his passport never shows a trip to the Czech Republic anytime. And at the time he was supposedly cavorting with Kremlin agents, officials at the University of Southern California confirm he and his son were on a visit to the campus.

The smoking gun, though, is that the memo is identical to a fictional account several members of 4chan, a social media platform, wrote for their own amusement in late October. 4chan allows users to post pictures and any story they want – actual, fictional or fake satire. The authors sent the report to anti-Trump GOP consultant Rick Wilson hoping they could troll him. Wilson, in turn, gave it to the CIA which pounced like a hungry trout on a juicy fly and included it in their official CIA classified report. Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden lays out the full narrative. It is not possible that a couple of guys could have concocted a fictional story several months ago that is identical to the document included in the formal report just issued – unless the fictional account is the basis of that report. (And please spare me any speculation about a million monkeys with a million typewriters).

I used to warn my political clients that our opponents could only wound us, but friends could kill us. I would explain that we reflexively fully vet opponents’ statements – but our friends tell us what we want to hear. If we don’t fully vet them, too, it can lead to a fatal blunder spouting false information. I was as rigorous in vetting “facts” given by friends as those put out by foes (a characteristic readers of this site undoubtedly recognize). It kept us from running with some juicy stuff – but also protected us from fatal errors. The political and media establishment have shown us very clearly what they want to believe.

When I was a newspaper editor, there was a big story I wanted to break as we screamed into deadline. I had reserved the front page for it. Problem was, my rule on stories on which I did not have ironclad documentary evidence, such as a police report, would not run unless I had three independent and credible sources. Unfortunately, I only had two when we hit deadline. An entirely different backup story I had prepared ran on the front page. It is absurd that my standards on a county newspaper group were more demanding than those of today’s national establishment media. It is downright scary that my standards were more demanding than those of the modern CIA.

Both the media and the CIA have utterly beclowned themselves – but we don’t have to. There will undoubtedly be more of this sort of thing. The typical reaction of the beclowned media when they epically fail is to double down in hot rage on the very things that caused the failure in the first place. These things must come. The satan is more brilliant than anyone on earth, but he has a major weakness: his restless and eager malice. The satan strikes at any hint of vulnerability without any effort at discernment whether it is real or only perceived vulnerability. He thought he had won with the crucifixion, only to discover a few days later he had only helped facilitate Christ’s triumph. He does that sort of thing a lot, if not so dramatically, and never learns from it. Do not let malice and accusation get hold of your heart: it will surely lead you to grief. Vet everything whether it is congenial to you or not – and you will secure your reputation for credibility and probity.

The establishment media used to put ugly slants on stories to deceive the gullible. Now they are the gullible. Let us not count ourselves among their ranks. You may, however, take a little enjoyment as pieces of this story fall away like rotted flesh from a shuffling zombie. I know I will.

 

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Entering the Danger Zone

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By Charlie Johnston

Over the last few weeks there has been much speculation over the possibility that I might be objectively wrong about the peaceful transfer of power. That is well and proper, since the key to everything is to take the next right step in each moment, whatever happens. People are preparing themselves for that. But I want to warn you, take care that you not go into panic if a mighty convulsion proves me objectively right. I consider that the most likely eventuality.

Late last summer I was surprised when U.S. national intelligence warned it was wary of Russian attempts to hack electoral machinery. It surprised me because the Obama administration has been notably indifferent to cyber-security throughout his term. The hacking of personal information of some 21 million Americans earlier last summer was met with little more than a yawn, the same treatment every other cyber breach of sensitive national data has received from this administration. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed that it take control of election machinery to prevent any problems. The founders specifically gave control of election machinery to the states as a check on overweening federal ambition, which could easily destroy electoral integrity. This was both unnecessary and un-Constitutional (though I well know that the Obama administration’s approach to Constitutional impediments to what it wants has routinely been, “Constitution?! We don’t need no stinking Constitution!). At the time, I tartly suggested there was a much simpler solution that required no centralization of power: use paper ballots for this election. Paper ballots are hack-proof. Given previous indifference and the unlikelihood of Congress ever approving a takeover of election machinery, it made little sense on its own. It did occur to me, though, that it did make sense as a step laying groundwork for a fallback position to invalidate the election in case it did not go as the administration thought.

The day before the election I had dinner at the home of a media figure. At one point he asked me, not by revelation, but by pure analysis, what I thought was really going to happen the next day. I told him I thought Donald Trump would win quite handily; that the political and media establishment had badly underestimated the sheer disgust in the country for that same establishment. I offered only one caveat: that when I worked in Illinois politics I routinely factored in a three to five point fraud factor statewide Republican candidates would have to overcome – and that I had seen more credible evidence of massive national vote fraud this time than I ever had in my life. I suggested this might be why the establishment left was so confident, but they were likely going to be shocked it wasn’t enough this time. Then, I said, the left would do what it does when it suffers a reverse and there would be rioting in the streets for a while.

The near comical effort to mount a recall in key Midwestern states by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who had no standing, and the ominous targeting of members of the Electoral College by the party of ‘peace, tolerance and sweet reason’ bemused me. I thought them smokescreens to mask any real efforts to overturn election results and to project an image of feckless bumbling. Why feckless bumbling? To lower the guard of the populace against real mischief.

Then came the “Russian hacking” story with all the substance and solidity of a matchstick tower. Once you got past the scare quotes and headlines, all that was alleged was that the Russians tried to influence the election by releasing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and high Clinton campaign officials. No one – except the idiot press – suggested Russia actually hacked the election by interfering with the vote count in any way, though the press relentlessly printed headlines implying that. Even worse, once you got into the specifics of the “intelligence” assessment, the main “evidence” was that this is the sort of thing DHS thinks Russians do. Well, d’uh. Nations have been trying to influence each others elections and internal affairs since time immemorial, and using whatever technology is current to do it. We do it constantly to other nations. Back in the day when the U.S. was battling the Soviet Union, the Soviets sought to discredit their targets by spreading disinformation. This is the only time I can remember that Russians are accused of discrediting a target by disseminating entirely accurate information. I personally think that the Russians probably played a role – even though no actual evidence of that has been disclosed, except the assertion by intelligence agencies that they think so. Former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy carefully and concisely explains why there is no “there, there” in this story. Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra said bluntly last Friday that the intelligence report was pure politics.

Then last Friday DHS Chief Jeh Johnson unilaterally designated America’s election machinery “critical infrastructure.” Again, this is un-Constitutional, as the founders specifically gave control of election machinery to the states. To change that requires a Constitutional amendment, not a press release from Jeh Johnson. DHS has as much authority over the states’ election machinery as Nigeria has over the U.S. Navy. It seems senseless on the surface, for the incoming Trump administration could – and would – simply reverse it in a couple of weeks. National Review’s John Fund writes that the action is simply a ham-handed effort to take federal control of the states’ election machinery. Obviously true, but that does not explain why the administration would mount the effort knowing it would be overturned in about two weeks.

Since about two weeks after the election, I have been telling friends and my Priests that the period beginning with the second full week of January through Inauguration Day would be one of the most precarious periods in American history, for if there is a serious, non-bumbling plan to overturn the election results, that would be when it was mounted. That’s not revelation, simply strategic analysis. I asked myself a couple of weeks after the election how most effectively to overthrow the lawful order in a soft coup. My answer was to first throw out a few red herrings (the recounts and the electoral college intimidation) to portray any such efforts as futile and to buy time to get the pieces together in the actual plan. Carefully plan that, then wait until mid-January when people are getting back in the swing of things after the Christian holidays and think all is settled. Then strike.

Johnson’s press release last Friday gives the fig leaf of a legal sounding justification for declaring the election invalid, postponing any transfer of power until a new election can be held, and thus securing the blizzard of regulations, takings and international provocations the seemingly outgoing president has issued in the interregnum between administrations. It is entirely un-Constitutional, but that has almost never stopped this administration – and the Republican Congress has rarely been more than a speed-bump in the assault on Constitutional norms. This may not be what happens, but it is one of the few ways in which a flurry of senseless actions of this administration over the last few months do make sense.

So don’t be shocked if this time, instead of an “October surprise” we get a “January surprise.” If we do, stay steady and at your post. Be not afraid. God calls all men to salvation – and He has a plan.

 

Posted in Discernment, The Storm | Tagged , , , , , , , | 510 Comments

Prelude From the Top

By Charlie Johnston

Beckita suggested that the piece below, from almost two and a half years ago, is a perfect companion piece to my most recent post, “A Decisive Conundrum.” After re-reading it, I heartily concur.

Despite the dust that last piece kicked up, I felt a great relief after finishing and publishing it. I have now completely fulfilled my duty to you prior to complete crash. If you contemplate what I have written – reading it for what it is rather than imposing your own expectations on top of it – you will be well prepared for the fullest fury the Storm has to bring. I will continue to write about important subjects until the crash, but the substance of what you need to know to be spiritually prepared for that period is now complete.

What The Next Right Step Really Means

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“What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added to you.”

 

Before I ever began talking to my priests, before I was received into the Catholic Church, before I had children, before I was married I was told that a time was coming when I would not be able to see more than a step ahead of myself, a time when even that step would often be hazy, a time when I would have to completely rely upon God for every step. It was a mysterious thing to me. Like the dunce I often am, I wondered if it meant I was going to go blind. That is not what it meant (though who knows, I suppose I could still go blind). Today, I will tell you a little bit about what it means…and take you deeper into my interior understanding of these things than I ever have before. It is time you need to hear some of these things.

For a good 20 years my angel would use prophetic words to tell me innocuous things that were to come in the future. On almost every one, it would come to pass as he had prophesied, but not at all as I had expected. This served a twofold purpose (maybe more, but two things I have come to understand). First, it burnt much of the vanity right out of me. In this world, I’m a pretty smart fellow. But when dealing with the next, I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. All my smarts here are worth less there than a pocketful of Monopoly money is at the local mall there. It helped me to understand my true stature – which most surely is not heroic. Second, it – and the rest of my lifetime of ongoing experiences – have taught me to see a little from the perspective of how they see from that side of the veil. It is so profoundly different that my sight is little different than blindness – but that is what a lot of this has been about…to see a little as they see…and I needed every bit of the smarts God gave me here to rise to the level of blathering idiot there (a status I have not yet achieved, but I’m working on it).

We misunderstand almost everything, sometimes in small ways, usually in large ways. It is not just that the world is changing in large, unexpected ways: as the Storm rises to greater fury, our instincts become more useless. All of us have gotten to where we see a set of circumstances, then use our reason and logic to make a plan. All of us do that. As we separated our reason and experience from its root in God, things have gone downhill at a geometrically accelerating pace. Now people look to prophecy, even try to make a concordance of prophecy to see what will happen. Why? So they can make a plan. Your plans won’t work and are useless. Your instincts don’t apply to the Storm that is upon us. The more you plan, the deeper you will sink into the quagmire. It does not matter whether you are an active opponent of the faith or whether you spend five hours in Adoration and say 50 Rosaries a day. When you use the information you glean to formulate a plan, you trust to yourself and your own cleverness. God will let this Storm we have brought on ourselves rage until that confidence in our own capacity is burned out of everyone. That is why we all must lose hope before the rescue. Whatever we say, even if we think differently, it is ourselves we rely on – not God. That is why people restlessly seek more information on what is coming: so they can make a plan.

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It is why I pray that God give me no information more than what is necessary for me to carry out the work He has laid out for me. I am subject to the same temptations as anyone else on this matter. I KNOW that the more specifics I know the more likely my silly mind is to start formulating a plan of my own devising – rather than looking to God for each step, which is the only path to safety. Here is a paradox: If you look to God first and just take the next step in front of you, He will flourish it, even if it is the wrong step. If you make the perfect plan, perfectly informed by the best, fully approved prophecies, you will fall into a pit. All of your plans will blow up in your face. Yet every step you take after acknowledging God – WITH EACH STEP – will flourish. This is a subtlety that many, probably most, deceive themselves on. If you humbly ask God to help you be what He calls you to, He will bless your efforts. If you, instead, dedicate yourself to helping God rescue the world, you will founder. God does not need you to accomplish His will; you need Him to remain in His grace. If you keep that straight, He can use you as a profitable tool. If not, you are useless to Him, however scholarly, pious, or orthodox you think yourself to be. The sooner you get that, the closer we all are to rescue.

When you are sitting on a placid lake in a canoe with a paddle, you can use the paddle to steer, to choose where you want to go. When you are in that canoe in a fast-moving, frothy, rapid river, you do not choose where to go. In fact, if you try to steer, you capsize. Rather, the paddle can only be used to react to the current and the rapids…and every bit of skill you have must be used to keep from capsizing as the river takes you where it will. We are in the rapids. We are not in control. But if we are humble and skillful, we can dramatically reduce our odds of capsizing.

Shoot-the-rapids

You will see nation rise against nation, bishops fighting with other bishops, leaders trying to undermine the faith both from within and without. I have long known that. But what I also know is that the whole world has succumbed to a zeal for locating and diagnosing the splinter in everyone else’s eyes. If you have a baseball team in which all nine players are too busy critiquing the flaws of their teammates to bother playing their own position, the problem will not be solved by the third baseman’s ever more penetrating analysis of how the center fielder is messing up. The situation will not stabilize until each player understands his own limits – and resolves to quit worrying about his teammates, except to back them up well, and relentlessly devotes himself to playing his own position with every ounce of skill he has. This is why I am so slow to condemn anyone who purports to play for the Christian team. Even if your analysis of the center fielder’s deficiencies is spot on, it will avail you nothing if you have not devoted yourself to playing third base as you were assigned. It is painful for me to hear good people eager to detract others on matters they are only partially informed about. These people think they are cutting their targets, but they are actually cutting themselves and losing blood by the minute. God has not found those who disagree with us wanting: he has found us all wanting. We may deceive ourselves on the matter, but God is not deceived. You want to know who killed Christ? I killed Christ. Pound that into your head. Every one of us killed Christ. Internalize that and you are at the beginning of wisdom.

We understand nothing. We think God punishes us for sin. Religious folks think it is just; non-religious folks think God is a killjoy. Neither understands the nature of sin. God warns us away from sin because, by its very nature, it wounds us. He loves us and wants to protect us from harm and spiritual death. If a man atop a mountain aerie puts up a wired gate blocking access to a rickety bridge and posts warnings that the bridge is unsafe, that if you venture there you will likely fall to your serious injury or death – if you go ahead and mount the fence anyway, go charging across the bridge and fall, breaking your arm and ankle, do you think the man is punishing you for disobeying him? Of course not! He was trying to protect you from behavior he knew would wound you but you were too stupid to believe.

People think the increase in natural disasters and catastrophic events is a punishment from God. Again, we understand nothing. Has it never occurred to you that the dynamic tension of the natural forces that sustain life are normally more volatile and violent than we recognize? In normal times, God is constantly staying the brunt of these things. Now we dismiss Him from the classroom, dismiss Him from assemblies, dismiss Him from the public square – and so He obliges. That means His hand is not there to stay the rougher edges of natural events. It is not He who chooses to subject us to these things, but we who have sullenly demanded out from under His thumb – and now we dare to complain of what happens when we expose ourselves?

As you know, I have been an advocate for refuges, for people preparing to help others, to live simple solidarity, one with another. But I see religious people acting as if they think that these are going to be enclaves completely secluded from the Storm in which Jesus will be our maitre d’ and the angels and archangels will serve as our waiters and cocktail waitresses. The refuges are not places we will go to be treated like visiting satraps by the heavenly host. They are an opportunity for us to serve and live solidarity with each other as we weather the Storm. I have seen tales from visionaries who have probably seen true but can interpret nothing that further this nonsense. At one place of refuge, they told me how they had been told they will know who to let in because of a glowing Host that will appear in their foreheads and that the deer will walk right up to them and fall dead for food. I told them bluntly that while that is metaphorically true, in that they will perceive differently when they acknowledge God in all things and that it means there will be sufficient food, it is not literally true. I reminded them that God promised to deliver the Israelites to a land flowing with milk and honey – and He kept His promise. But when they got there, they still had to milk the cows and keep the bees – and if they had waited for the heavenly host to act as their stewards, they would have died in that very land flowing with milk and honey. In the refuges, you will work hard, have many trials, and will know hunger, though not starvation. Live it well and you will be startled at what joy you find in the midst of such hardship.

Some people have gotten queasy when I speak of my anticipation of being able, if I have kept faith, after the Storm, to devote myself to helping raise the money and materials for the building of the Shrine. They think we won’t need any of that, since Jesus will reign directly. No, He won’t. I am not a millenarianist who claims we are going to have an earthly Paradise. We don’t get heaven until we actually get…heaven. The world that we will have after the rescue is a fully natural world. We will have to get jobs, raise families, pay bills, organize societies and governments. God is giving us another chance to get the natural world right. He will give us the visible sign of our miraculous rescue by Our Lady to help fortify our resolve. It is VERY important that we take it to heart, because the next time there is a massive falling away like now, it will be the end. But we are getting another chance to get our hearts and heads right – and how well we keep faith will determine which of us ultimately gets heaven, but it will be a fully natural world that we go back to.

Some have complained that they cannot imagine such a thing because it has never happened that way. Really?! When God actively intervenes in human affairs, He usually acts in a way that is unprecedented in human history. When the flood came, there never had been, before or since, such a comprehensive disaster – and his fellows mocked Noah for his foolishness in preparing for such an event. When Israel left Egypt, never before had a captive people been spontaneously set free by their captors to go and found a great nation. When Christ came, Israel was used to prophets. Because, in part, Christ did not fit any of their previous categories, He was rejected by the very people He was sent to. When, after decades of existential war, France was on the very brink of permanent annihilation, it pleased God to send an unlettered teenage girl to rally the country and save the nation. God is always startling, fresh and new. It is we who constantly fail to have the wit to see what He is doing – particularly when it does not fit in with any of our previous experience of Him, which it usually doesn’t.

St. Therese playing St. Joan of Arc in a play she wrote at her convent.

Shortly after I was received into the Church I read St. Therese of Lisieux’s The Autobiography of a Soul – and fell in love with her and her little way. I recognized in it the only way forward in the chaotic times ahead – and know that the way of simplicity is the way to endure this Storm. There will be so much chaos that it will make your head spin. No one can possibly keep up with it. You cannot divine the mind of God. If you seek to be a heat-seeking missile aimed at heresy, you are just as likely to hit a St. Paul in the making as you are a betrayer. In fact, God allows some errors among His servants to draw out the deeper errors of those so caught up in their own vanity that they cannot help but restlessly pick at the splinter in others eyes to avoid contemplating their own splinters candidly. Try not to be one of them. This does not mean you should not authentically proclaim the faith. You should. But again, you will be held to account for EVERYONE you could have given effective witness to but did not because you wanted to show how clever and what a shrewd aide to God you are. AND you will be held to account for EVERY case where you could have defended the faithful from an assault but did not out of false tolerance. If you can wrap your mind around those two dictums, you know it is impossible. A man cannot be that discerning. That is why the ONLY hope is to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those right around you. Trust-Do-Love. Now you know where I got the phrase, “The Next Right Step” from as well. It is an iteration of what I was told from the beginning these times would be like. The way of simplicity is the only way to endure.

We are the sheep.

Some think I have it easy, for I have been told I will live through the Storm if I keep faith. That is not a condescension to me, but necessary for my work. I am also reliably informed that several times, in the course of it, I will desperately long for the release of death to free me from these trials, but it will not be given. Pray that when that happens I will have wit enough to pray for more strength. I am also told that parts of me will be permanently broken for this life once we come out the other end. That makes sense. I came out of my little preparatory mini-Storm with permanent neurological damage and pain. Over the course of my life, I have been forced to see mankind at times through the rancid, accusing eyes of satan. I loathe him. He is the universe’s true bastard – for He had a glorious Father, THE glorious Father, and knew it, but rejected Him that he might accuse and savage mankind. But I also have been privileged to see mankind with God’s eyes; to see the feebleness, the deep longing, and the love that often transforms the most bitter foe at a crucial moment. If you have not read it, take a look at this piece. In the late summer and early fall of 1997, just after I finally agreed to live what God had laid out for me definitively and to the best of my ability, my angel was sent to take me into the whirlwind, like Job, to see all of creation, the whole universe, the beginning and the end. Like Job, I understood very little of it…it was far too great for me. But what animated it all was God’s staggering love for us. Every event, every chance acquaintance, is ordered by God that we may turn to Him and live eternity in heaven. The piece was the best I have ever been able to manage in describing it. It was then that I fell head over heels for God’s creation here and learned never to gainsay it.

Our plans mean nothing. It is best to know as little as possible in detail, in order that we are not tempted to formulate more useless plans. The only thing that will put flesh on the bones of our plans is to relentlessly acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us. Do that and you will be an island of peace and strength throughout the Storm.

Posted in Discernment, Prophecy, Solidarity, Spiritual Preparation, The Storm | 328 Comments

A Decisive Conundrum

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By Charlie Johnston

I have been struggling for a while to figure out how to say something that is very important going forward. When I wrote the piece “All In,” I was pleased with the result. (If you have not read that piece, you need to for this to fully make sense). I was pleased because it pretty concisely described the process by which I came to understand my peculiar duty and to live it reasonably well. What it did not accomplish so well  was to help you understand that that process was not just for me, but is for you, too.

Everyone wants certainty, sure knowledge, so they may form a plan and know just what to do. Would it surprise you to know that in the early days, I rarely believed much of anything I was told by heavenly beings? My confidence in these things was not self-sustaining like that of St. Joan of Arc or some other bold mystics. It simply grew because the improbable things I was told usually came to pass. Though it was sometimes in ways I did not expect or at different times than I expected, the trajectory has always been deadly accurate. Even after I came to accept the evidence that this was probably authentic, every time I told my Priests something new and startling, I always simultaneously had both a knot in my stomach and a hope in my heart: the knot was the fear that this time the limb I was out on would break under me, the hope that I was finally going to be released from this obligation.

Most of my life, I have played a sort of game of chicken with God – kind of like my namesake, Abraham (my confirmation name). The things I have been shown have almost always been unbelievable. That would have been a good reason for me to dismiss them. On the other hand, if what I was shown was true, then people would really need someone who had accepted a lifetime of discipline and training to help them through those perilous times. So I always set a narrow set of unlikely circumstances which, if they came to pass, would oblige me to go forward – to take the next step, trusting it was the right one. It was a desperate conundrum for me – one that I finally resolved by focusing on the promise I made. This did not make things comfortable for me, but it certainly clarified what I should do at each step. Be true to my promise and leave the details to God.

Once I pretty much accepted that way of proceeding, things got both much easier and much harder. I describe a little of that in the piece, “Through a Glass Darkly.” Frankly, I get more than a little annoyed at people who constantly tout some simple, linear narrative as the only possible way God can act – and will viciously attack anyone who disagrees with that childish interpretation. God almost always acts by indirection. If He were a pool player, I think He would not be pleased with any shot that was not at least a triple bank shot. The first direction an event takes is almost always just the first bank – and can look wildly different than what the final result He intends will be, after several more unpredictable caroms. Given that, intellectual prowess and analytical acuity are not sufficient. It is entirely beyond our ken. Yet God is demanding. We must do all we can in these bewildering circumstances to get it right. It is humility and trust that perfect our approach. We must acknowledge we will often get at least pieces wrong – while knowing with certainty that if we do our dead level best, though we may get it wrong, God will get it right – and use our fidelity to do so. It takes a lot of work and discipline to get there, but once you do a sublime confidence rises. You can never be certain of being right, but you can always do what you must to be true – and if you do, even when you get it wrong, God will use that to accomplish His will.

In the afore-mentioned piece, “Through a Glass Darkly,” I omitted how the satan complicates things. I just don’t like talking about that malevolent betrayer. To be precise, I am under no illusion that the satan could never deceive me. He has tried frantically ever since the turn of the millennium to do so. I have had a lifetime of training to make good discernment – and that training has helped me to dismiss most such efforts. Even so, on a few occasions, I have started to go down a blind alley and have had to rely on my angel to correct me. If, for some reason, deception was involved and my angel chose not to correct me, there could be error on any prophecy. Since it is my job, for which I have been trained, to avoid such things, then I would declare myself unreliable and go. That is the responsibility I take – and it is consonant with the way I have interacted with God my whole life. It amazes me that so many people think I am worried about such a pedestrian matter as being right or not on a particular. I waste no time on such as that: I worry about being true to my promise, for if I am true to that, whatever confirmations or contradictions come, it will facilitate God’s sovereign will. If I am not true, it will be a hindrance for which I will be held to account even if I get the details right.

When my Archbishop, Denver’s Samuel Aquila, released his formal letter on me early last year, he kindly acknowledged that I did not put the focus of my primary message on the prophetic aspects and encouraged others to do the same. But he also noted that, in these cases, “the danger exists of people placing greater faith in a prediction than in Christ’s words and promises.” I have come to fully appreciate the wisdom of that caution. I hear people explaining that they have been burned by mystics in the past. Yet I say that if you can possibly be burned by a mystic, you have already fallen into the trap Archbishop Aquila warned against. The greatest prophet in Christian history is no substitute for Scripture and the Magisterium. If those are truly your guideposts, you cannot be burned by anyone. People want the inside track – and too often look to mystics to get it. You have the inside track already – with Scripture and the Magisterium. The best an authentic prophet can do is help you focus on what God wants of you in a particular period of salvation history and give you some comfort through it. I know…God seems far away to most people much of the time, but He is never far off. The focus of my message is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. If I am right on every particular, that will help you get through perilous times. If I am wrong on any particular, it will help you get through perilous times. You have to discern and live what God wants of you. I have given a way to help you do that.

A few weeks ago, a few fellows who are not big on mystics asked me to lunch. To my surprise, their initial concern was whether my departure would be irrevocable if the inauguration came off. I laughed and said that, of course if there was a normal inauguration and a coup a few weeks later, I would be right back to work. They were both relieved, one noting that I am the only one who has gotten the unbelievable trajectory of these times right – and with real hope…and that I was already right even if I am wrong on a particular – and my voice would be needed before this is all finished.

I do not make many specific pronouncements. I must be accountable for those I make. We are in a Storm and there will be a Rescue. If it please God that I should be rebuked and withdraw, I am good with that. If it should only be for a time, in order that I may be rebuked and purified, I am good with that. It wouldn’t be the first time in the course of my training. If I have failed in such a fundamental way that my work must pass to another, I am humbly good with that. At each step, I have had to do the best I can. Sometimes, it is not good enough. I could not have NOT said what I have said on this, for it was clear and I am obliged to speak candidly on those things I am called to speak at all on. On everything I have ever spoken on, there has always been the possibility of error on a particular, for I am just a little one. But I am also commanded to take full and manly responsibility for everything I say and do. I am not allowed to speak as an uncertain trumpet, nor am I allowed to mealy-mouth error. God will work as He works. Since He always works to reclaim us, He is surely working to do the same now. Each of us has a job to do. Each of us. We must do it to the best of our ability and take responsibility at every step for what we do – and leave the rest to God – giving counsel neither to our fears nor our vanity.

We are in a Storm, there will be a Rescue. That much I have been shown since the first dawn of consciousness in my head. I am willing to be whatever is useful – to suffer, to triumph, to be humiliated, to be honored…whatever advances the Master’s plan, trusting always that His plan is altogether true, merciful and just. A big part of my training was being shown over and over again how little and fallible I am and how great and omnipotent He is. Whenever I have had a setback in anything, He has proved true and just. So I speak as I am called, always feeling out on a limb, but knowing that living the full measure will help in accomplishing His plan.

Here, then, is your conundrum: it does not please God that you know the details of His plan. If you knew them with certainty, you would reach more to your intellect and analytical acuity. He will force you to make a choice; to trust Him or to think you have this. If I am right and there is no transfer of power on January 20th, the tumult and convulsions in this year of fulfillment will still lead you to constantly doubt there will be a Rescue. If I am wrong on this particular and convulsions continue to mount, your celebration will be short-lived. You will come to fear more than ever that I have gotten the trajectory completely right – but will not believe in a Rescue. If I am wrong on this particular and everything smoothes out, but we do not become a Godly people, persisting in our rebellious insistence that we are the titans, you will spend the year nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop. If I am wrong on this particular and everything smoothes out AND we do re-embrace our Godly heritage, I will give thanks for the bullet I dodged and enjoy my family – but will remain on full alert until my time of service is up. I would only regret that the great Shrine I saw would probably not be built.

You will not have a comfortable year. You must try to get it right as much as you can, but must know that you have no guarantee of it. The only thing you can guarantee is that you will be true to your call – which is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. That means taking full responsibility for whatever you do. You must never fail to do what you think is right out of fear of embarrassment. You must never fail to abandon what is errant out of pride. You must become like young children, knowing your deficiencies yet doing the best you can, trusting in the love of your Father.

I know many will think this is some sort of justification on my part in case of error. That has clouded my ability to tell you something you desperately need to know. I have been astounded that only a handful of people – all who have known me a very long time – really understood my thinking on this. It has underlined to me how dramatically differently I think than most people. But you desperately need to learn to think in terms of duty and promise if you are going to navigate this year well. So I tell you – that you may choose to trust God while doing the best you can and taking full responsibility for it. It is the only way you will endure.

Posted in Conversion, Discernment, Prophecy, The Rescue, The Shrine, The Storm | Tagged | 769 Comments

Into the New Year

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By Charlie Johnston

Some significant improvements and simplifications have been made to the section above dedicated to helping people join existing or develop new groups dedicated to neighbors working the next right step together. The TNRS Local Connect link at the top now allows for quick, easy personal response. When you write to TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com with a question on joining a group, you will hear from Jen or Lisa H who are coordinating it. Further, there is a list at the bottom – with connections to existing groups. So if you find one already in your area, you can cut out the middle man and contact them directly.

Back when I was in politics, I always had a certain disdain for candidates who wasted time in the early months by restlessly trying to garner press attention. Press attention comes and goes…it is so much flotsam, easily swept away in the tide of events – so it creates nothing that will last. I liked to spend the early time finding and encouraging people who were completely committed to a cause. When you find enough of them and spark their creative focus, you can always project a huge presence when it is needed. That is what those .02 percent buttons are all about…all you need is a small number of genuinely committed people and you can move the world when it is needed.

I am deeply heartened that we have a cadre of people who are absolutely committed to acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to their neighbors – committed enough that they are meeting with each other to fortify each other and to prepare to be a sign of hope for those who are not ready. Neither I nor my team direct any of these groups or tell them what to do. Rather, we facilitate communication with the groups and give them an opportunity to share with all what is helping locally. In troubled times, these groups will become a great sign of hope to many – assuring all of Christ’s love and his presence. That gladdens me like you could not imagine.

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Sometime in 2015, at the end of one of my presentations, the first question came from a man who wanted to know whether the comet was going to hit us on Wednesday or Thursday. I was flabbergasted and asked, in obvious exasperation, “What are you talking about?!” as the rest of the audience laughed. After confirming that I had nothing to say about any comet or such, the man said it must have been someone else and I should never mind.

Our resident Bishop, who goes by the pseudonym, Yong Duk, was so amused that often when I get obviously exasperated, he pops up and asks me about the comet. It has become a running joke on this site. So imagine my surprise when I saw an article last week describing a rare comet that is visibly streaking across the sky this week to greet the New Year. So far, it is only visible through binoculars, but it might become visible to the naked eye before the week is out. I can only think God decided to get in on a little of the mirth, Himself.

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I am told that Kitty Cleveland’s album, “Hail, Holy Queen,” will formally hit the charts on Billboard Magazine this week. It takes a lot for that to happen. I am very excited that a CD Album devoted to the Blessed Mother is making the charts…and excited that we helped, in a little way, to get it there.

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Janet Klasson, better known as Pelianito, has been putting up some absolutely great work of late. Her short meditations have long struck me as brilliantly polished jewels. I particularly liked this one on going from “Self-esteem to Self Denial.” I have long thought we are busy esteeming ourselves to death without bothering to build anything that will last. Spend some time rummaging around Pelianito’s site. I guarantee you will find some gems that speak to your heart.

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I have long been a fan of Monsignor Charles Pope, a Pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. This piece, contemplating the New Year, will show why I am and why you should be, too.

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One of our readers requested that I relink to this piece, “The Election and Other Potential Triggers.” It was from late August. So now I have.

Posted in Family of God, Musings, Solidarity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 241 Comments