Getting into Focus

By Charlie Johnston

A few weeks ago I taped an interview with FOCUS TV out of Covington, Louisiana. There was enough material that they are releasing it in two parts. It was a fun interview. Here is Part 1, which I will also add to the Visit Video links.

I am just a week away from home and looking forward to it. I have had a low-level cold since New Orleans. At home, I just go to bed for a couple of days and get rid of it. It’s trickier on the road. But events have been spaced out enough so I am in decent shape each day for the day’s event or two. This has been such a fruitful journey, such wonderful visits, that barring some crisis, when I get home, after I have conked out a few days, I am going to spend some time writing about the faith, hope and joy I am seeing in the midst or troubles all across this great land.

The people who did the Walls of Jericho Prayer Mission earlier this year are promoting a Walls of Jericho Fatima Prayer Project. If you want to work to participate in this great project, you can contact leaders and get more information on it here.

Finally, today I end with a famous poem written by Martin Niemoller, a former junior German Navy Officer, lamenting inaction in the face of the rising threat of the Nazis. They ran out of time. We haven’t quite yet, but the whiff of fascism is all around us these days.

First They Came For The Communists

By Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

 

Posted in Quick Takes | Tagged , | 38 Comments

Semper Fidelis, Adeste Fidelis

cowboy-flag-and-cross

(courtesy airbrushlicenseplates.com)

By Charlie Johnston

The single most chilling event of the last year occurred yesterday afternoon – and it didn’t have anything to do (maybe) with the American Presidential debate last night.

I am not a fan of the Michael Savage Show. I listened once some years ago and that was enough for me. But he does have a daily syndicated radio show with 400 affiliate stations and an estimated 20 million listeners. In his second hour yesterday, he started discussing Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s health. Suddenly, his show was cut off by the New York affiliate, WABC, and replaced. As word trickled in on what had happened, Savage told his audience what had happened. As he began this, his show was suddenly cut off by many of his other affiliates and replaced with a tape of an old show. This second link is more fevered, but offers an audio of that full second hour so you can hear for yourself.

It is most unlikely that his affiliates simultaneously decided his show was not to their liking and pulled it, replacing it with the same old taped show. The show is syndicated through Westwood One, so perhaps the syndicator pulled it en masse. Perhaps Westwood One did not want to face the same troubles Silicon Valley Executive Peter Thiel is facing after having endorsed against the Democrats this year: Thiel’s Palantir Technologies company is being sued by the Department of Labor for racial discrimination against Asians – for only hiring 44% Asians! He is probably the only guy in the country being sued for discriminating against Asians – and with Asians comprising near half his workforce. The company is threatened with forfeiting all its federal contracts, $340 million worth. That Thiel is openly gay did not slow the feds down: in fact, it probably made it all the more urgent that they crack down on him to discourage any other defections from one of their ‘core’ constituencies.’ Though the allegation is laughable, it sends a chilling message to others who may be contemplating revolt.

I have written repeatedly that though the anti-God progressives think they have been leaping from victory to victory these last few years with lawless bullying and punishing of Christians and social conservatives, they have actually been revealing themselves for the mindless, power-obsessed brutes they are and, in the process, discrediting themselves. Though their relentlessly triumphal malice dulls their wits, I suspect that even the anti-God progressives are sensing they are losing the contest of persuasion. Rather than risk losing the country and all their ‘gains,’ if that became a serious possibility in their minds, they would turn to what has worked reliably for them these last few years: brute lawless force. Christians and conservatives have been ineffective in defending Constitutional and moral liberty. The Congress and the Courts have been laughably inept, sometimes even co-conspirators with the aggressors rather than defending foundational freedoms.

So today, as we get deeper into these times of fulfillment, I contemplate some stark possibilities.

If free and open communication is suspended for more than a day, I will set out on foot toward Washington, D.C. It will not be my sole means of transportation (at least I hope not), but will be how I start. I will not broadcast my route, but I will travel in plain sight, unarmed. If the politico-media complex which currently occupies the governing and cultural institutions of this country seeks to take by force what they cannot win by persuasion, let’s see how they handle a 10-million man march. I do not expect to walk alone.

Why, though, only a 10-million man march in a country of nearly 400 million? Most people will have other, vital things to do to begin restoration of a genuinely civil order. Those who walk will mostly be comprised of unattached men.

The bulk of the people, in such a dire crisis, should be occupied in forming little communities to provide mutual support and assistance to each other, giving special attention to the weakest and most vulnerable in the community. The locus of organization must be the local parishes and churches. Sadly, even local governments are heavily infected by cadres of people who think the essence of governing is forcing their imperial will on a reluctant population wanting mainly to be left alone. Do not succumb to the temptation to withdraw from the community, to go into isolation. There is strength in numbers, particularly numbers who actively provide each other support and assistance. Make these communities open to any person of good will, regardless of their faith or lack thereof. The persecution of early Christians in Rome was often blunted by the Christians’ eagerness to help and offer aid and succor to any who needed it. In some cases, pagan authorities looked the other way from outlawed Christians in their midst because the Christians were the most effective source of health care and charity around. Remember, all faithful, sincere Christians and Jews are full and equal partners in the work before us during this Storm.

Rely on local police to provide protection for your communities; local officers, sheriff’s deputies and state police. They are your neighbors and already a part of your community. They will stand with you. Sometimes I think that is why the federal government has worked so hard to vilify local police: because they know such officers would not stand with oppressors in a crisis. Don’t worry overmuch about the military. Certainly, there has been a purge of top generals in the last decade to fill slots with men whose lust for advancement surpasses their love of country, but the honor culture in the middle officer corps and among enlisted men remains strong and vibrant.

Do not burden a Priest or Pastor with temporal leadership. Their job is to provide spiritual guidance to the community and succor to the afflicted. Temporal leadership will devolve on those who most devote themselves to serving the community, not to peacocks vainly seeking self-actualization. To effectively serve the community, the spiritual and temporal leadership must work in regular consultation and harmony with each other.

Bishops have a critical role to play. Diocesan boundaries already cover the bulk of the globe. They are a natural center for coordination, communication, and support. They are a kind of miniature states, already in place. Dioceses can facilitate communication and coordination between parishes and other houses of worship within their boundaries – and communications with other dioceses. The pastoral role of Bishops will be pre-eminent during any time of crisis.

These last few weeks I have been contemplating the shooting at Umpqua College in Oregon last year. The gunman specifically targeted Christians, asking hostages one-by-one if they were Christian, then executing them if they said yes. He murdered nine students. The first person to be asked that question probably did not know what the consequences of a yes answer would be. The last eight almost certainly knew what the stakes were, but they declared their faith anyway.

This was Oregon, one of the least religious states in the country. It’s a pretty safe wager that the majority of those Christians who were martyred did not know they were Christian until they were forced to choose. It was a profound sign of hope for me in the midst of that terrible tragedy. The anti-God progressives insist that life has no meaning, that all we get is as much transient pleasure and power as we can grab. Christianity teaches that life has profound, ultimate, eternal meaning. Forced, with the highest stakes, to choose between a grubbing life with no meaning or to believe in the transcendent meaning that Christianity proposes, most chose meaning despite the murderous rage of the gunman.

The last few years, the government and its eager brownshirt allies in the media and cultural institutions have been relentlessly asking, “Are you a Christian?” When the answer is a firm yes, the respondent is fined, bankrupted, even jailed, or stripped of their livelihood. Government officials have presumed to examine sermons and books for signs of heterodoxy against the new official pagan sensibility. It started with a few florists and bakers. It has expanded to anyone who doesn’t want their daughter forced to share the restroom with grown men. It won’t stop until it is stopped. Until the cultural brownshirts are toppled by overwhelming resistance, they will continue to push the boundaries into the brave new world of their fevered, obsessive fantasies.

Another question, scarcely louder than a whisper, sometimes obscured by the sound and fury of the Storm engulfing us, has been rising simultaneously with great urgency. It is the same question that Jesus asked Peter three times in John 21, after the Resurrection: “Do you love me?” In these times of trial, when Christians are being ridiculed, marginalized and actively persecuted in the west, Jesus is asking us to declare. Do we love Him? The answer comes with our actions, not our words. Once again, Jesus gives a call to action if the answer is yes. He tells us to “Feed my lambs,” not to conquer His opponents. His opponents are collapsing in on themselves and the Lord, Himself, will give them a final shove and chance to repent. We are called to focus on feeding His lambs. In short, acknowledge Him, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us.

Though I was told in late 1997 that we had gone so far afield that only the Storm would be enough to bring us back to God, I still find a part of myself sometimes rooting, with my critics, that I am wrong, wrong, wrong…that Donald Trump will live a Saul on the road to Damascus conversion, be calmly elected and inaugurated, and all this would pass. That hope is blunted by the knowledge that such a scenario would only be piecemeal, and would not give us motivation to fully know and live our dependence on God. At best, it could only be a truce in the culture wars – and perhaps not even that. Throughout the world, throughout history, anti-God progressives cannot live in tolerance with others. There is something about the ideology that insists they must impose their will on everyone; all must bend the knee to their pagan sensibilities or be crushed and disposed of. Whether it is the gulag, re-education camps or death camps, anti-God progressives will abide no dissent. They can’t live and let live, for it is always about power with them.

William Seward, the man who was to become Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, said before the Civil War that the divisions in the country were so deep and unbridgeable that we were headed for an “irrepressible conflict.” We are there, again. But this time, it will be of much shorter duration – and the anti-God progressives have overtly declared war on faith and God, Himself, as well as His people. Already, much worse scenarios have been averted because of the rise of real faith among so many in so many hearts and homes throughout the west. Many, as the Storm has become visible and more furious, have already turned their face back to their God in hope.

If the irrepressible conflict must come, know that it is not the end of anything but the dying convulsions of the old order. It is the beginning of our restoration to God. You are called to feed His lambs and thus, become participants in the Rescue He will send.

Semper fidelis! Adeste fidelis!

 

 

Posted in Christian Persecution, Culture, Solidarity, The Storm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 348 Comments

Upcoming Events

The coordinator for my Washington D.C. visit in late October is asking for volunteers to help her. She can be reached at:

Contact Jessica at trnsdcvisit@gmail.com

My last two public presentations of this swing will be on Tuesday and Saturday, as follows:

Dallas, Texas  (Free Event)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

7:00 pm: New Life Community Church, 25631 Smotherman Rd., Frisco, TX 75033

Contact Tony at tnrs.dallas@gmail.com

*******

Omaha, Nebraska (Free Event)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

4:00 pm:  Elkhorn High School Auditorium, 1401 Veterans Drive, Elkhorn, NE

Volunteers Needed

Contact Matt at tnrs.omaha@gmail.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments

Links from the Edge

distant-combat

By Charlie Johnston

I will speak in San Antonio tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.

San Antonio, Texas (Free Event)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

3:00 pm: Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry, San Antonio, TX  78202

Contact Bill at fr.ed2015@yahoo.com

RSVP, if possible, to Bill at fr.ed2015@yahoo.com

*******

Last Wednesday I spent the bulk of the day visiting with Bishop Rene Gracida in his Texas residence. At 93, he remains vigorous and hearty. It was the first time I met him face-to-face. I will write more of the visit tomorrow. For here, suffice it to say that when I came to his front door and discovered that the brass knocker on the door was in the form of a squirrel, I figured it was going to be a delightful visit. I was not disappointed.

I spent some time in Houston visiting with some influential figures connecting with the pro-life movement, thanks to Texas Right-to-Life President Jim Graham. I was his guest at the annual Texas Right-to-Life Dinner in Houston. It was incredible. They had about a thousand people there and raised over a million dollars. They do it right in Texas – and push hard on all fronts. One of the more impressive things is that they provide extensive training for young leaders on campuses through fellowships. They now have over 60 trained leaders organizing student for life issues on over 25 campuses throughout the state. This year the top two honorees at the dinner were David Daleiden, who gave the keynote address and his partner in producing the videos that have rocked Planned Parenthood, Sandra Merritt. Two years ago, Bishop Gracida was one of their top honorees. He proudly displays that award front and center in his dining room. Texas Right-to-Life gets things done and gets legislation passed. If you have a few bucks to spare, they will be well-used to save the lives of babies with this group.

I want to put some joyful things up I have run into throughout this amazing stretch of my journeys tomorrow, but today I have been struck by some articles from secular sites.

First, the House subcommittee investigating the alleged illegal trafficking in baby parts by Planned Parenthood and some of its corporate partners and customers, issued  a recommendation of contempt against StemExpress, the biggest purchaser of such organs from Planned Parenthood. Alexandra DeSanctis writes about it here. (Pay attention to DeSanctis – she is a rising young star on religious and life issues. Her writing is neither overblown nor understated, just always straightforward and insightful). Reading the referral, itself, I was struck by the inclusion of some new material. Typically, when a Contempt of Congress citation is issued, it is up to the Justice Department to enforce it With an astonishingly politically corrupted Justice Department – which thinks the law is whatever helps the left or punishes the right – I figured Contempt of Congress citations now are just pieces of show, as they were with Lois Lerner and Eric Holder. Interestingly, though, this referral spent a large section noting that such contempt citations can be enforced by the Attorney General OR by the House itself, citing extensive precedents when the House has done exactly that, dating back to 1795. Since the Justice Department now won’t prosecute progressives, no matter how compelling the evidence, because it is too busy harassing conservatives, no matter how flimsy the evidence, the House just fired a shot across the Justice Department’s bow: sit on this one, mopes, and we’ll do it ourselves.

Victor Davis Hanson, one of the foremost public intellectuals of our time, offers as stark an article on current geopolitical realities as I have seen in a secular publication. Davis is a noted classicist and military historian from Stanford University and a visiting professor at Hillsdale College. His blunt assessment is downright scary. He warns us to be prepared for a hard rain in the next months.

Writing in the National Review, David French asserts that the Black Lives Matter Riots are not just riots or protests, but a direct assault on the rule of law itself and against the very idea of dispassionate justice. It is a powerful piece that gets to the heart of what is at stake here.

Finally, Kurt Schlichter at Townhall Media, writes of what a laughing stock the establishment media has made itself into. It is a solid piece on its own, but it also subtly touches on why  none of the establishment can see what is coming its way. They are so narcissistically self-absorbed, so blindly certain of their own superiority and supremacy, that reality scarcely ever intrudes on them – and when it does, they just scream ever louder in mockery and insult rather than confront honestly the steaming mess their “supremacy” has wrought.

A gloomy survey, I know. But that is the reality on the ground today as the old order destroys itself. You know the important parts of the rest of the story: God wins and He calls you to be a participant in the Rescue He sends. We can’t stop the explosions and shocks of an old order collapsing on itself (though we can watch in some stunned wonder as the anti-God forces contort themselves to try to convince people this is the “success” they intended all along) but we can be signs of hope to those around us and to all those who daily start to figure out that the whole system is corrupt and collapsing.

I normally don’t do a repeat of an article so quickly, but we have had a huge influx of new readers this last month and the piece, All In, is important for all who would gird their loins to be signs of hope rather than of despair as things continue to unravel, so I repeat it below:

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, Culture, Discernment, Spiritual Preparation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 206 Comments

Stand Strong, Stand True, Be Not Afraid

(I have been having an amazingly productive tour through Louisiana and Texas. I can’t wait to write about it – but it has been a very busy tour. I am assured that I have two solid days off later this week where I can spend some serious time working online. To those whose emails I haven’t answered – and there are a lot of you – hang in there. I will spend both days working not so much to catch up as to get a little less buried. For now, I reprint this piece from a year ago.-CJ)

Be Not Afraid

rescue at sea

By Charlie Johnston

My goal since I began writing this has not been to tell you precisely what is going to happen and when (with the exception of the Rescue late in 2017), for those are the wrong questions, questions that can only give you a false sense of security.

If one is a captain charged with preparing his troops on the eve of a great battle, he does them a great disservice if he tries to choreograph the battle to come in precise detail for them. Once it commences in full, battle takes on a life of its own. It is filled with unexpected twists and turns. The soldier who thinks he knows every detail that will unfold will probably not survive the battle for he is basing his hope on his own expectations. Rather, the effective commander is honest with his troops, giving them a general overview of what to expect and, most importantly, how to act and react with honor whatever turns the battle takes…how to be effective in the moment as the battle unfolds. The soldier who seeks out sure knowledge rather than proper preparation deceives himself. His unease about the unknown ahead leads him to trade off hard knowledge of the habits of mind and heart to endure later for a false sense of security and superiority now. This foolish trade, however much it may soothe him, dramatically cuts his odds of enduring the battle.

I had thought – and still hope – that the striking failure of the Locutions to the World (LttW) a few weeks ago, would gently lead people to quit worrying so restlessly about precisely what and when various events will happen. I had hoped that it would lead them to examine their own expectations and shift their focus to how to behave whatever happens. But vanity dies hard – and many would rather convince themselves that they have the inside scoop rather than merely trust in God by living each moment with extraordinary love and faith. God is raising up a people who trust in Him by loving their fellows and taking the next right step. Please put yourself radically into God’s hands that you might live. Say with me my constant prayer: “Lord, do not show me a single thing I don’t need to complete my work. Give me the strength to bear those things You must show me to do the work You have for me. Jesus, I trust in You.”

Some outlets have taken to calling me the prophet of the Storm. That is not unfair, but largely misses the point. Since I first began writing for my priests nearly 21 years ago, I described the Storm that is now unfolding around and engulfing us in no little detail. But if that was all I was shown or had to say, I would never have publicly said anything. You have plenty of people, secular and religious, who can and are accurately describing the Storm that gathers force around us. Anyone who has eyes to see can see where we are headed. If I had just been called to do color commentary for Armageddon, I would have declined the invitation and stayed home. The main reason I was called to describe the Storm with such accuracy decades ago, when it scared me, was to lend credibility to what my central prophetic message is: “Be not afraid. God calls all men to salvation.” I was sent to proclaim the Rescue – and to teach you how to participate with God in reclaiming His children, just as I have been taught to participate with Him in the same. That is a calling worth sacrificing much and even dying for. Even more, it is a calling worth living for.

I promised the Lord from childhood that if these things, this Storm I saw in such detail, should indeed come upon the world, I would speak in His behalf to assure people that He was calling them back to Him, not crafting their destruction. As the Storm slowly took shape, painting the cultural sky first with an eerie, then ghastly shade of sickly yellow, I tried to find a way out of my calling. And then the dreadful, ominous darkness. While I was in the process of conversion, I first heard the magnificent song, “Here I Am, Lord.” It was – and is – a reminder to me of the promise I made and have renewed over and over since childhood…that if the darkness I was shown should come, I would speak – not to describe the darkness, but to assure people of God’s light…to bring it to them. Every time I hear or sing it, I choke back tears. To me, it is a renewal of a promise I made long ago, to assure you that God’s plans for you are for a future and a hope…for your rescue, not your destruction.

Many continue to think that the Storm is God’s punishment of us. IT IS NOT. Get that out of your head. The Storm is what we have brought on ourselves. It is an evil that is entirely wrought by our hands. God has nothing to do with it. If you don’t firmly get that right, you will get almost everything else wrong. The great evil is that we have convinced ourselves that we are sufficient to ourselves, that we are masters of our destiny with no need for God, whatsoever. This hubris has caused souls to be lost to eternity at an unprecedented rate for the last century. For a time, God restrained some of the consequences of that hubris, to give us a chance to come back to Him of our own

Reader Dawn Tehonica snapped this photo near Philadelphia shortly after the Pope was there.

accord. That would have been best. But we would not. So God has lifted the hand of His restraint for a time, that we may see what WE have wrought without Him. Once again, God is using the evil we have wrought to bring about good – to let us see some of the consequences of our rebellion, that we will lose our confidence in our mastery of events without reference to Him. When our confidence in our own supremacy is dashed, we must either despair or turn to Him. Already, the rate of the loss of souls to eternity has slowed as people see what we have wrought.

Some pray for mitigation  of the Storm. They think they do well, but what they are actually praying for is mitigation of the consequences of what we have wrought. Over the last century, that sort of mitigation has been given – and the result has been the continued loss of masses of souls to eternity because of our stubborn, stiff-necked rebellion. For the last century, every time God has shielded us from the consequences of our stupid vanity, we have simply doubled down, thinking the mitigation proof that we are in control and do not need God. Our preening arrogance has formed a deadly cancer on the Mystical Body of Christ. All we ever had to do to rid ourselves of the cancer was to embrace humility and our need for God. Every time the Lord has mitigated the symptoms, we have doubled down on our arrogance, making the cancer worse. God is not using the Storm we have wrought to destroy us, but as a form of Divine Chemotherapy guaranteed to rid us of the cancer and leave us healthier than ever. The Storm, used as God is now using it,  IS an act of Divine Mercy. It is an act of supreme folly to pray for delivery from the cure rather than from the cancer.

Begin to contemplate prophecy from the perspective of rescue and Divine Mercy. Downplay or drop entirely interpretations grounded in disaster scenarios. Authentic visions often come from the perspective of eternity, rather than a crabbed earthly perspective, so they can look very apocalyptic. Because of this, someone might see true, but interpret badly. Authentic visions, though they rarely result in the temporal disaster scenarios we usually imagine, nonetheless reflect the eternal reality. From heaven’s standpoint, a soul lost to eternity is a catastrophe. From an earthly standpoint, if such a soul nearly dies, then lives past their final state of grace, we think they have been rescued, when they have actually perished. Look at all private revelation through the filter of how it relates to Rescue. Let me give you two examples of what I think are likely authentic prophecies that have been misunderstood because of our childish insistence on temporal special effects.

First, when I was on the West Coast of the U.S., many asked me what I thought of the “prophecy” some had heard of a great tidal wave swallowing up most of the West Coast, bringing water all the way up to the Colorado border. I usually told people I thought it might be authentic, but not as they thought. Water represents Baptism. Baptism washes away sin. The West Coast is terribly disordered. If this prophecy is authentic, I interpret it from the standpoint of Rescue – that God is going to send a tidal wave of repentance and mercy over the west coast, washing away the hideously disordered sin that mutilates our culture from there.

Second, there is a prophecy that has gained some currency that the earth is going to shift on its axis. I started hearing about this a lot while I was in the  Northeastern U.S. I told everyone that I couldn’t say about the disaster scenario most envisioned, but whether that happened or not, that prophecy had already been fulfilled. I pointed out that 1,600 years ago the Emperor Constantine had made Christianity an officially favored religion…and that ever since, the cultural axis around which western beliefs revolved were fundamentally Christian. Oh, we have lived it poorly many times…but if asked what the good was, serious educated people would always point to the Judeo-Christian values that were our heritage and gave the world a slow-motion blossoming of freedom, prosperity and meaning. That axis has been besieged the last few decades. The vote in Ireland to legalize and impose same-sex “marriage” ensured that it would soon be imposed in much of the rest of the Western World. We do not just sin any more, we call sin “the good” and Christian values “the bad.” For the first time in 1,600 years, our foundational cultural assumptions are fundamentally pagan rather than Christian. The axis of our cultural assumptions has shifted dramatically. God is not giving you inside info on the end, but calling you to participate in shifting the culture back to the foundation that gives life, rather than one that has always given death.

Don’t interpret things in a way that makes you a pitiful spectator in the stands, but as a recipient of God’s mercy who is called to participate in His Rescue. Big disasters may come. Sometimes they do. But prophecy is far more often missed because its fulfillment is subtler than expected rather than more dramatic. If something big comes, you cannot stop it. Do not let worry over it distract you from the little you can do – for it is in the little, ordinary things that you find God…the little whisper rather than the great thunderclap.

Worry less about outrageous external events. I frequently get asked about the possibility of the imposition of Martial Law in the U.S., the imposition of One World Government by U.N. and European Statists, and the evil designs of shadowy groups. Here’s the deal: they lose. None of them are stronger than God. All of them put together do not amount to a clipping from the Master’s fingernail. They lose. The only reason to contemplate these things at all is when it helps you to discern what God calls YOU to do. None of us can do great things: all any of us can do is the little right in front of us. When we offer that little to God, He transforms it and feeds multitudes. When we worry about it to the point it distracts us from what we can do, we toss away God’s promise in pursuit of delusions of grandeur and intrigue. God wins. There is no suspense or doubt about the outcome. Those who are with God are those who DO His will, not those who only talk about it. Each soul is the battleground. If you get caught up in things bigger than you, the satan has seduced you to the losing side by distracting you from what you are called to. If you relentlessly stick to the little things right in front of you, always acknowledging God, you hold fast to Christ and will share in His victory.

Think of a few things. Two years ago, had you been told that by mid-2015, if you refused in conscience to actively participate in an homosexual “marriage” ceremony, you could (and some would) be stripped of your property, heavily fined, bankrupted, fired, and even jailed, would you have believed that? Yet that is the reality in this new world. If you had been told that the “reasonable accommodations” to the abortion provisions the president spoke of would turn out to be forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to participate in abortion coverage, would you have believed it? Yet that is the new reality in this world. But what has been the result of this arbitrary exercise of coercive power contrary to law and traditional American values? Even as their egos and malicious contempt for dissenters has inflated, actual power has collapsed around the offenders without them knowing it.

Twenty or 30 years ago, if a president had declared Martial Law in response to a grave crisis, I would have gone along with it, whether it was a Democrat or Republican and whether I objectively agreed or disagreed. At that time I had a base level of confidence in presidents that, particularly in crisis, they genuinely loved both their country and their countrymen – and would not do such a thing merely to cement their power. A year ago, many would probably have gone along with such a thing. What would happen now, though, if the federal government declared Martial Law? At a minimum, there would be large pockets of active resistance among groups and entire states. It would likely trigger actual revolution. By abusing their authority, officials have not enhanced their power, but have forfeited all but a pale shadow of its form.

The European Union was supposed to both unite Europeans and subject them to the iron rule of an unelected bureaucracy. We are watching it burst its seams as it comes apart before our eyes. The statist dreams of narcissistic elites who would subject free peoples are ever doomed to ultimate failure, though the unraveling can be violent and ugly.

Catherine_Waters_2

Do not worry much over big things you cannot change. Rather, stick to the little things you can do for those right around you and God will take care of the big things. Know that when you take firm hold of Christ, no one on earth has any power over you whatsoever save that which God allows…and once you hold fast to Him nothing is allowed save that which will help bring more souls to Him. All the attacks and bile of the most powerful will fall harmlessly at your feet when you hold fast to Christ. If your trust in the Lord is deep enough, He may let you be taken for a bit by malefactors, not that they may destroy you, but that their power might be broken in the effort.

God has a plan to carry us to safety. Jesus Christ is, Himself, the safe harbor to which we are aimed. His Holy Church is the vessel which will carry us safely to Him through the violent ragings of the Storm. Our Lady, Holy Mary, is our Stella Maris – the Star of the Sea –  the sure navigational guide which will ever keep the ship of His Church pointed steadily towards the Harbor which is her Holy Son. Stay safely berthed in the Church with your eyes on Our Lady who will ever point you to her Son. Do not be distracted by the violence of the winds or the waves. The Lord is Master of the Storm.

Even in the midst of stormy tribulations, joy will rise. People will know that God has not abandoned them. They will know that life DOES have meaning – and that the Lord calls them to participate with Him by caring tenderly for their neighbors. People will watch as, even in the midst of the Storm, God knits together a people resolved to build each other up rather than tear each other down…and see a culture which was in tatters become strong, noble and true again. I saw the Storm truly from my earliest days. I saw the Rescue just as truly…and I have seen the sublime joy that rises even in the midst of the Storm. How I wish I could convey it to you now! But I guess it is better that God lets you see it later, when you need it, so you will know I have told you true. It will fill you with a joyful resolve to press on and endure for those you love. There is rejoicing in your future if you hold fast to God and just do the little things right in front of you.

Be not afraid. God calls all men to salvation.

Posted in Conversion, Culture, Discernment, Family of God, Uncategorized | 258 Comments

Message From the Father

(I have been feeling under the weather for a few days, though I had a wonderful visit with friends in Houston. I will be going to the annual Texas Right-to-Life Dinner tonight, which I am very pleased about, for I have long thought Texas has the best, most effective right-to-life organization in the country. I thought it is time to reprint here a message from the Father I received on July 5, 2013. It was originally posted on my Abraham’s Journey Facebook Page – and I have reprinted it here a couple of times, when it seemed appropriate. Now is one of those times, I think.-CJ)

From the Father

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Right around the turn of the millennium, my heavenly visitors often began speaking to me without the use of language at all. It is breathtaking when they do, much quicker and purer and more complete – but it is very intense. Thick…I might say. Until today (July 5, 2013), they have continued to use language for the most important messages I am to convey. But now, I am instructed to give you a message from the Father, specifically for America but also for the whole world, that was given me without the use of language. In short, I am expected to translate.


When they speak to me in this way, I often ponder for days to understand in my way what was given in an instant to me. When I have tried to explain to someone – usually one of my priests – what was said, the translation invariably comes out impoverished. I can’t help that. Language, itself, is necessary to us in this world but is an impoverished form of communication – and I am just a little fellow, trying to get it right but not all that capable. There is always the temptation to add something I think important or to omit something that embarrasses or troubles me. When I avoid these temptations, it still comes out impoverished; a very poor, tarnished copy of the pure original message. But it pleases the Lord that I both convey as truly as I can what I am told and take full responsibility for the telling of it, including the warts that crop up in my little effort. So, I write this in obedience – and remind you that, despite the quotation marks, it is a feeble translation:

Thus says the Father:


“My children, I have not withdrawn the hand of My mercy from you, despite the depth and breadth of your rebellion against Me. I gave you a land, a nation formed in My image, to be a light to the nations. For all your foolishness, you began well. Like My Church, it was a nation to which anyone who accepted the principles it espoused could belong fully, not as a guest or a stranger, but as an heir. In your struggling way you lived the principles of fruitfulness, dignity, charity, fortitude and courage. You even lived a great civil war to extend those virtues to all My children, recognizing both your reliance on Me and that there are no children of a lesser god. And so I blessed you, that My light might shine through you with brilliant clarity as a sign of hope for all the nations for what I intend for My children.

“But with prosperity and pre-eminence, your love grew cold. You say, ‘Look what we have wrought,’ rather than ‘Look what God has wrought.’ So for the last few decades, I have restrained My hand of mercy that you might, indeed, see what you have wrought. Your hearts have only grown harder and more defiant. Now I stay My hand for a time that you may know the bitter fruit of the evil harvest you have sown. It is only for a short season, but the terror and despair will be like none you have ever known before.

“I send to you My most favored daughter, Mary, the woman cloaked with the sun, to guide and defend you during the terrible pains of birth of the new world I shall give you once more. She spends her entire heaven praying on your behalf, acting as true mother to all of you as she is to the Incarnation of My Divine and Holy Son, yet many of you who call on Me treat her with loathing and contempt. I will no longer hear you if you do not honor My most favored daughter in your heart. Ask her to pray to me for you and I will forgive you.

“Now, even the leaders of your rebellion against Me are shaken – not so much as to acknowledge Me, but enough to wonder if their plans are perhaps not as elegant and well-crafted as they thought. This is the beginning of wisdom for those who will accept it. You must know that I love each of you with a true Father’s heart. Which of you, having a rebellious, self-destructive child, wishes for your child’s destruction? You wish, with passionate sorrow, for their reclamation because you love your child. Your love for your child is merely a pale reflection of My love for you. Remember, then, the tale of the prodigal son and welcome those who return with fullness, gratitude and celebration rather than resentment. I rejoice when any of My children are restored to the life I intend for them. So shall you.

“Know that you will be held to account for every soul that you could have given effective witness to but did not because of anger, resentment or fear. Know also that you will be held to account for every servant of the evil one that you did not defend My people against out of a false sense of compassion or indulgence. I know this is impossible to you. You are well told to acknowledge Me in all things, then take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. If you do that, I will draw fruit even from your errors and you may walk in humble confidence of My mercy.

“Do not think that any of you can exempt yourself from the bitter fruit of the harvest you have sown. Do you pride yourself on your intellect? It is not even a grain of sand in the ocean of My universe. Your wealth? Mere paper and paste that is passing away. Your position? Not as substantial as a puff of smoke on a windy day. I am your only source of security and hope. Defend My honor with the resolve of My Holy and Divine Son at the temple and I will send My most favored daughter to begin the re-conversion of the world. Minister to your brothers and sisters even from the midst of your sorrow and want and, at the moment you think all is lost, I will send My most favored daughter to rescue you once more.

“Know this, though. I allow your disorder to strike with terrible, prolonged fury so that you will remember the consequences of relying on yourselves without acknowledging Me or seeking My blessing and guidance. After you are rescued this time, when you fall away again, the only respite you will have is the respite of the grave. I sent my Archangel Gabriel to My servant, Charlie, 13 years ago with instructions that he must ‘…tell you true and you must choose or perish.’ Though he, too, is a vain and foolish child, he has been faithful in this and has told you true. Now the time of harvest has arrived and you must choose or perish.”
Posted in (FP), Uncategorized | 312 Comments

Rules of Regency – Part III

Earth - Beautiful Horizons

By Charlie Johnston

Okay folks, here we go. I suspect the final installment is not going to be quite as dramatic as anticipation would make it out to be, but here it is. I planned to get this up last night, thinking I had a free day. But I had two events – both great events, I might add – that I had not anticipated, so it had to wait for this morning.

To get the full flavor, you might want to read the first installment of the Rules of Regency and then the second before reading this one.

 

Education

Primary responsibility for and authority over a child’s education resides with the parents. States may demand compulsory education of the young, but if they do so they must provide for it in the form of vouchers that the parents may use in any school of their choice. The vouchers must be equivalent to the average cost per student at public schools.

States may demand performance benchmarks in basic subjects, such as mathematics, science, reading, writing and history. Such benchmarks must not provide cover for ideological indoctrination. Parents and private schools may file federal suit for damages and remediation against any state efforts to mandate ideological indoctrination under the cover of curriculum benchmarks.

Colleges must provide free speech and due process protections for all students. Colleges which encourage and indulge “safe spaces,” suppress free speech, and punish students for micro-aggressions – or fail to defend against rioting and sustained disruption of classes may be sued in class action by students for depriving them of the property right in education their tuition was supposed to pay for. Any college which refuses to allow ROTC on campus or access to military recruiters will be barred from receiving any federal funds. Since there will be no federal student loan guarantees, that will mainly consist of the denial of research funding and other federal collaborations that make use of the college’s intellectual resources. The federal Department of Education will be abolished as a stand-alone entity. Education will be the responsibility of the parents and the states – with the federal government serving merely as guarantor of rights, including property rights in the education that students and their families pay for.

War and Peace

The foundation of predictable, stable diplomacy is to start from the national interest. Just as a family’s first job is to protect and defend the family’s interest, so a nation’s first job is to defend the interests of its citizens. Effective diplomacy finds common interests with other nations and develops strategies to pursue and promote those common interests, always protecting the vital interests of native citizens.

The credible threat of the use of force – and the actual use of it – is always a key tool in the diplomatic bag. Other nations must always calculate both the benefits of cooperation and the costs of confrontation when dealing with the United States. America must be a reliable and steadfast ally to those who choose cooperation– and a relentless foe to those who insist on conflict. Predictability on the broad issues makes for global stability.

War must always be the tool of last resort, the tool used when either all others have failed or when the danger is so clear and present that decisive action must be taken to prevent a larger conflagration. If war must come, the clear object must ever be victory, defined as the unconditional surrender of opposing forces. I do not believe in proportionality or restrictive rules of engagement. That just gets more people killed. Let opponents know the true cost of confrontation early on and you will have far less confrontation later on.

America must never target civilians, but neither must it give opponents who don’t value innocent life an advantage by refusing to attack them if they embed themselves among civilians. Let civilians know, if they have embedded belligerents among them that they must get them out or themselves get out, for we are coming. Then come.

After victory, always give generous terms of surrender to an opponent, but terms that do not make it easy for belligerents to once again take control. The occupation of Japan after World War II and the Marshall Plan in Europe were successful models of how to make former opponents into real allies, while respecting their national sovereignty.

Pursue collective security agreements such as NATO with nations that have common interests and values. I am not a fan of propping up dictators’ clubs such as the United Nations (which may be the largest fully corrupt and incompetent institution in world history). If dictators must have a club to taunt free peoples, they can do it on their own dime and in one of their own lands.

 

Back to Work

In 2006, I did extensive research on energy resources related to two Congressional campaigns I was working on. I was surprised to discover that America is, by far, the most energy-rich nation on earth. Divide our resources in half and we would be the two biggest energy-rich nations in the world. Almost every state has substantial energy resources it could develop. We have been disabled like Gulliver with a network of restrictions and regulations that prevent us from tapping more than a tiny fraction of what we are capable of.

I realized immediately both the economic and national security implications of that fact. Open up our resources to exploration and development and it could put the whole nation humming with employment and economic vitality – while at the same time making sand the most valuable export the Middle East could muster.

Oil, natural gas and coal are just the start of what we can develop. Technology allows for clean uses. The liquefaction of coal, alone, can provide a diesel-like fuel that can power most military applications and many commercial uses. Cut away the bonds we have wrapped ourselves in and jobs would spring up in every state – white-collar, blue-collar, and all sorts of ancillary support industries.

I realized, with no little sorrow, that we weren’t going to do that any time soon. But when, in 2007, I was directed to develop plans that would quickly bring a shattered, disheartened people back to their feet with enough confidence and resolve to press on through the final challenges of the Storm, I realized that this was a critical ace in the hole. It was a way to get people working again quickly – and not in a pathetic make-work way – but with real dignity and providing resources that would help us endure all trials we must face. It will be done.

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As I said when I began this, the items I have written here do not even amount to the tip of the iceberg of what I have been working at these last nine years. But they do illustrate the principles – and types of principles – that will be used during this critical period between the final crash and the definitive Rescue that will allow us to endure and prepare the way for Rescue. Come Lord Jesus!

Posted in Culture, Preparation | Tagged , , | 509 Comments

New Winds, New Waves, Same Barque of Safety

By Charlie Johnston

I have seen the letter from Pope Francis suggesting that there are circumstances in which some divorced and remarried people can be admitted to communion. For what it’s worth, this is his interpretive conclusion, but has not been explicitly stated in any Magisterial fashion. I don’t agree with his interpretation on this, I don’t understand this, but I do trust in Christ’s promise that He will not allow His Church to fall into definitive error.

It doesn’t come as a particular surprise to me that, as chaos and confusion rises in every aspect of everyday life and in every nook of the globe, it should rise in the debate in the Church, as well. Some have suggested that this may be the “blunder” I foresaw. I don’t know, though I will concede it is the best candidate I have seen so far.

I appreciate – and in fact love – that Pope Francis deeply empathizes with how messy lives can be – and particularly how messy they get in as toxic a culture as ours. In this non-Magisterial personal letter, he comes as close as I have seen to indulging what is objectively sinful, rather than just pastorally accompanying sinners back to full Communion. Even so, he is the final Pope of the Storm, warts and all – and I have no doubt that he is growing with us even as he challenges us to grow.

So I will let the theologians and canon lawyers work to sort this all out and clarify it, while I will remain safely ensconced in the Barque of Peter, trusting that in the work of the voices that will rise in debate on this, the Lord will sort it out. More than ever, I feel the need to stick to my post, to do the little right in front of me that I can – and that getting entwined in even a legitimate debate on this will only distract me from what I need to do.

From the late 90’s, some of my Priests argued with me that the Shrine could not go at Mt. Meeker because St. Malo’s Retreat Center was already there. I would blithely chuckle and say that God always gets His way in the end. After a fire took the retreat center down while I was on my pilgrimage, some spoke of restoring the center. Then the floods and rockslides came and ended that hope. In the end, God gets His way every time. He will this time, too. If I am wrong, may the Lord show me. If the Pope is wrong in his interpretation, may the Lord show him. And may we all go forward in serene faith that the Lord of Hosts is Master of the Storm – and so continue to treat each other as the Family of God even in the midst of disagreement and controversy.  

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A reader brought up the following old post yesterday as a source of great consolation. I took a look and thought it really is appropriate for right now for many.

The Fiery Trial of Love

fire-heart

By Charlie Johnston

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” – I Peter 4:12,13

I am inundated these days with people who are going through agonizing trials within their family, among friends…things in their personal life that they just never expected. Many tell me they have lost their peace, that they can’t do much at all, and feel like a terrible failure. Whatever agitations are already there seem terribly sharpened, consolation seems terribly far away. People are having their personal world rocked even as the larger world seems to be teetering on the edge of a great abyss. Those of you who read the comments here can see that much of this spills over into that section as well.

I always pray for those who are in the midst of such trials and usually try to console them. Today, though, I want to call you a little deeper into what is happening. If you are suffering in such a manner, it is not just an attack from the evil one: you are also being given an audition by the Master. Many preach trust in God – and can trust in Him so long as it is only themselves who are affected. But if your trust crumbles the moment those you love are attacked, what good is such fair-weather trust? If you are suffering such sorrows right now, rejoice, for God contemplates that you might be a useful tool to spread the hope that is in Him.

Those who have suffered intense sorrows and endured are the most useful in helping others do the same in the midst of crisis. It is sort of a Divine Inoculation. Once you have been through fire and have chosen, with your active will, to trust with fortitude, it becomes much easier to trust through the next fire. Even beyond that, you have no idea how many people take inspiration – even change their lives – by your grace under fire, Even many of those who torment you will be changed.

I was often surprised when I was in politics how many of those who had been my public enemies would quietly come to me seeking help or comfort when they were under fire. In 1989 through early 1990, I was in the midst of a public controversy. A group of newspapers spent a year sliming me every week. It was nightmarish. They just made things up – horrible things – to smear me. At one point they wrote a horrific story to tug at the heartstrings about how I had abandoned my children, leaving them penniless. At the time they wrote this, they knew that I had sole custody of my children. It didn’t matter. For political reasons they wanted to destroy me – and Illinois then had among the loosest rules on libel of a public figure. You could tell any lie about a public figure, so long as it did not make them guilty of a crime and you did not reasonably know it to be a lie. It was hard to endure, as even people who had been friends began to have doubts because of the unceasing pounding.

I was at a convenience store once during this time to pick up a few things when a woman – a stranger –  recognized me and starting ripping into me for my callousness to my children. The kids were right out in the car. I told the woman so and asked her to step out for a moment with me. When we got out, I introduced her as someone who was worried about them. “Who do you live with?” I asked the kids. My daughter looked at me like I was crazy and said, “We live with you, Daddy.” We chatted a little bit about things and some plans for a day trip. The woman was silent and we went back into the store. “How can the paper say these things,” she asked me in horrified wonder. “They lie,” I responded. We talked a little about it, with her offering profuse apologies and saying she was going to tell all her friends. It was not the only time this happened, but it stuck with me because the kids were right there and I could easily demonstrate the lie without having to drag the kids through the horrific allegations.

Many people got caught up in the feeding frenzy. But when I sued the newspaper for libel (they made a technical error that allowed us to move forward – and once they opened the door, the whole year’s worth of slime was let in to demonstrate a ‘pattern of malice.’), I kept it very narrow and did not agree to having my attorney list any others as co-conspirators, though there were about five who could have been so charged. I even protected one of my tormentors from having his drug-addicted teenaged child dragged through the mud. Newspapers are notorious for refusing to settle libel suits, for fear of opening themselves up to never-ending assaults. After depositions, the newspaper and its insurance company settled in my favor. I was told, but never checked it myself, that mine was one of only three instances in the previous decade where a newspaper in Illinois paid any settlement at all, much less a significant one. After it was all over, one of my neighbors told me that for months he had feared hearing a gunshot at my house, it was so brutal and humiliating. He did not know how I was able to bear it.

Some interesting things came in that ordeal’s aftermath. All the serious political people regarded it as the most brutal, sustained public mauling they had ever seen – and were horrified by it. But after that, when a crisis came and I helped them, it calmed them tremendously. They had seen what a storm I had been through – and ended with my dignity intact – enhanced, in fact. People were more willing to do bold things if I was involved, for they had already seen graphic evidence that I do not fold under pressure.

Amazingly, almost all of my tormentors took great pains to treat me with genuine courtesy and affection in the year after the suit was settled. Only one actually apologized…said he just got caught up in the frenzy and didn’t really understand why he had done it, but considered it the most shameful thing he had ever done. Several became steadfast supporters of my work. All wanted my forgiveness, even when they did not directly ask for it. They would fall all over themselves trying to show me a kindness or do me honor.

Inspiring words have a powerful use – and I use them. But I have found that the thing that has the greatest transformative power I know of is the ability to publicly suffer with grace and magnanimity. That does not mean to be a doormat. I did sue the newspaper and win; I did fight on in my political battles – and almost always won locally. But to let those who torment you up easy, to deal with their humanity even as they make a mockery of yours…that is the stuff that lights a long fuse to transform lives and outlooks.

I hate infantile “prosperity gospels,” that silly outlook that if you are just good enough, God will keep you from any fundamental sorrows. That is a childish, self-absorbed fantasy that makes God into a mere genie to give us what WE want. I have seen far too many seemingly pious people crumble into bitterness when they find that the rain falls on them, too. God is in the business of calling His children to the safe harbor He is, to carry them to safety in eternity with Him – and He is ever on the watch for people who will participate in doing the same. The ordeals many of you now suffer with great intensity are, in part, an inoculation against the greater trials to come. Trust now when all seems haywire and your trust will become tempered through the fire. It will not fail in the great crisis. Even more important, this is an audition – an audition to take your place among the Troops of God and His Missionaries of Mercy. If you can suffer with grace and dignity, staying steady and not panicking, always keeping first things in mind, you will win many souls to Christ. Among them will be many of those who now torment you. When suffering, you cannot help but agonize and lament. In the midst of that, think to thank God for this extravagant invitation He has extended to you to participate with Him in winning souls to eternity. Don’t fail to fight when you must – and do it with vigor and fortitude. But remember in the midst of it that those you are fighting against are also souls you are fighting for.

Onward, Christian Soldiers! God is preparing you well for the battle ahead. Trust Him!

Posted in Church Governance, Family of God, Prayer, Solidarity, The Shrine, The Storm | Tagged , | 304 Comments

Bayou Interlude

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Baton Rouge literally means “red pole,” which Indians used to navigate coming down the Mississippi. This is a Baton Rouge monument in Baton Rouge, taken during my pilgrimage five years ago.

(I expect to have a largely down day tomorrow, where I hope to get caught up – or a little less behind – here. I have been deeply heartened by the goodness of the American people as I have driven through the aftermath of the disaster here in southern Louisiana – and I want to tell you about it. Also, I have had almost a superstitious dread about publishing the last of the “Rules of Regency,” fearful that when I put that up it may be ‘Katie, bar the door’ time. At dinner with the Cleveland girls last week – Kitty, Beth and Caroline – near the end of dinner, Caroline told me it is time to hit publish. So I guess I will. I speak tonight in Lake Charles, Louisiana and then on Thursday in the Houston area.  Details are below and I will endeavor to give you some meat tomorrow.-CJ)

Lake Charles, Louisiana (Free Event)

Monday September 12, 2016

6:30 pm:  VFW Hall, Post 2130 at 5676 Lake St., Lake Charles, Louisiana

Contact Mary at lovedbyhim1026@gmail.com

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Houston, Texas (Free Event)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

6:45 pm:  Divine Mercy Chaplet,  7:00 pm:  Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake, 3000 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, TX  77058

Contact Ed at tnrs.houston@gmail.com

Posted in Speaking Tour | 152 Comments

Farewell to the NFL

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By Charlie Johnston

I love football. I fell in love with the game during the Chicago Bears 1985 Superbowl season and have been a fan ever since. Alas, no more.

I am not a purist on the matter of boycotts. I well know that in toxic times in a toxic culture, everything is affected – and even some of the best institutions are tainted for a time by the disorders of the age. But those institutions that take the lead into assaulting the culture deserve special attention. Ever since Target Stores decided it would take the lead in forcing women, even little girls, to share the washrooms with grown men, never mind how many perverts are in the mix, I have not set foot in a Target Store – and gave away two gift cards I had to the store. Since I preferred Target to Walmart, it meant something – at least to me. I doubt it meant anything to the store.

I grew agitated when Bob Costas and other NFL announcers, bearing lots of attitude and no data or knowledge, began using halftime shows to lecture about social issues they can’t be bothered to actually learn anything about. Then in the last year, Curt Schilling was fired from ESPN for noting on his private account that a few committed Jihadists can do a lot of damage and we need to take radical Islam seriously. Another employee was dropped for suggesting transgenderism isn’t the idyllic paradise progressive clowns make it out to be. A few years back, when some of the St. Louis Rams came onto the field in the “Hands up, don’t shoot” pose lie that arose from the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, I quit watching any game involving the Rams. (That’s what Black Lives Matter, BLM, made the narrative…but witnesses and forensics showed the reality was that Brown had just robbed a store – and had charged the cop who stopped him and tried to take his gun when he was shot.) The NFL has forbidden the Dallas Cowboys to do anything to honor the police officers slain by radicals from BLM in a massacre earlier this year. Meantime, San Francisco backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick won’t stand for the national anthem. He says it is in solidarity with BLM – and wears practice socks with pigs wearing police hats. Brandon Marshal of the Denver Broncos takes a knee for the national anthem and the entire Seattle Seahawks squad talks of boycotting the anthem. The NFL says that is their right of free expression (but God help them if they try to freely express disagreement with that attitude). Aside from the hilarity of modern sons of privilege telling me to check my privilege, I realize that the NFL and many of its players have become the spiritual heir of Bull Connor – the racist, thuggish Jim Crow enforcer of another generation.

If the NFL is determined to express solidarity with racist cop killers and people who enable the destruction of already vulnerable communities, I can’t stop it. But I sure won’t patronize it.

Bull Connor did not care if black people were around, provided they busied themselves getting his coffee or carrying his bags and kept to their “place.” The NFL doesn’t mind – actually prefers – cops to protect them and their venues…so long as those cops keep to their “place” – as children of a lesser god. Bull Connor, with a wink and a nod, would say HE was not actually killing black folks, even as he provided cover and encouragement for those who did. The NFL and some of its players, similarly, with a wink and a nod say they do not encourage the actual killing of cops or white people, even as they provide cover and encouragement to those who do – while shutting up or firing those who actively oppose it. It is the new Jim Crow.

I guess when you have completely lost sight of God or commitment to a principle of universal humanity, you don’t judge people by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin or uniform. All the progressive left seems to have learned from the terrible stain of racism, which we had largely overcome, is to shuffle the deck of who will be victim and who, victimizer. You flunked the test, guys, and in future generations will be viewed with as much contempt as Bull Connor and the racist thugs of his generation.

I will not patronize a league that hates me, disciplines anyone who dissents, and enables people who think killing cops is great sport. I won’t leave someone’s house if a pro football game is on, I don’t expect or care that others won’t choose to boycott the same way as I do. In this toxic culture, we all ingest some poisons – and it does not bother me that others choose different poisons than I do. But I won’t choose pro football anymore, nor will I buy anything that has an NFL logo on it or go to a pro football party. If I have to have a fix, I will watch a college game (yeah, I know they have their own problems). I know it won’t make any difference to the ugly men who operate the NFL. But I would not have gone to a football game with Bull Connor – and I will not patronize a league and players who have channeled his spirit.

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California is trying to pass a law that would send whistle-blowers to jail and significantly chill free speech – and it is particularly aimed at pro-lifers. I guess the good news is that David Daleiden’s undercover investigation, which has put Planned Parenthood in a ticklish spot, has rattled its fellow travelers in government. The bad news is that, like ideological supremacists throughout history, they seek to solve the problem by jailing their critics rather than reforming their behavior. America, America, God shed His grace on thee.

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Meanwhile, President Obama is determined to transfer control of the Internet away from America to some undetermined international body on September 30. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) are trying to stop this transfer. If they fail, some international body like the United Nations will end up deciding what you can and cannot say online – and hate speech will be defined as being Christian, conservative, and pro-life. The rush to get it done later this month is so that a new leader would have a hard time reversing it.

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One could be depressed at the daily evidence of our culture’s degeneration. W.B. Yeats ominous poem, “The Second Coming,” seems terribly prescient these days, especially the first stanza:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

But God does have a plan – and all these things I covered today are merely aspects of the death rattle of an exhausted old order.

A very hopeful note I got came from a police officer. He certainly is gentler than I am about these things, though his anguished frustration comes through. I confirmed both his identity and that he is a police officer. He asked that, if I published this, not to use his name – apparently fearful that his bosses, both departmental and political, might side with the thugs, even for this gentle piece. Sorrowful times. Here is his letter:

“Everyone on social media is buzzing about how Colin Kaepernick is either a hero of the black community or the shameful man who should be fired for not standing. I think he is trying to do something right, but he is certainly misguided in how to do so.

If you didn’t know, Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem in a preseason NFL game. He later cited his reason as, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

When I read his statement, it was pretty clear he was referring to his issues with police officers. Why did he decide to disrespect the flag and all who died for it to show his dismay for the wrong group? My guess is that this was his quick and easy way of making a statement.

I’m upset with this because I am a veteran, and also a white police officer working in a black neighborhood. Actually, my town has more black people than any other race. So technically, I’m the minority. I’ve never shot anyone, but I do hand out my personal cell phone number like it is going out of style. I talk to drug dealers, addicts, thieves, and every other type of criminal. I offer them assistance in finding a job and try to present an alternative to their current life style. This is not in my job description, but it is my chance to stand up for a change.

To date, I haven’t received a call for help. I have taken a couple people to job fairs on my time off, and I keep handing out my number. I try to chat with people as they are walking home and routinely get told to go away (though it is not as polite). Being cursed at or yelled at does not deter me. I try to see people as they are – and most want to speak about doing great good without actually trying to DO great good. Most talk about what they could do if they were given the chance while they sit on the sidelines.

Luckily, life is not like elite level athleticism. There is no specific level of talent required to make a change in someone’s life. All it takes is a bit of self-sacrifice for the good of another. If I had the resources that Kaepernick has, I’d quit my job and start an organization to give all impoverished people an education and a realistic way out. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing a successful person. If every criminal had a job the world would be a much different place. I don’t see how sitting through the national anthem would help that situation though.

Rather than letting our views on what Colin did polarize us, why don’t we go help someone today? Why don’t we look for the good in a fellow man instead of burning him for the little miscues? The goal is not to polarize and divide, that doesn’t help anyone. Help someone today instead of sitting on the sidelines.” – A Cop

 

 

Posted in Culture, Solidarity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 510 Comments