The World Enters its Passion

end-of-the-world

As many of you have probably surmised, I have had quite the struggle the last month. It has run the gamut from physical illness to family issues to spiritual matters and more. It did not trouble me much. I rather expected that would be the case as we reached the end of the beginning. I hope I am genuinely out of the woods now, but that is in God’s hands. If so, I will write regularly, for there is much to be said.

I am going to be starkly candid about some things today in a way I have not been before. I fear often I mean one thing and people hear another. I speak of the blessings that come from taking the next right step, the participation in redemption that suffering can be, the peace that comes from truly turning it all over to God. Alas, all too often, I find that people think if they can just get the right formula from me of doing the right things, they will be exempt from the consequences of the Storm.

We will not prevail in the battle that unfolds before us. Things will continue to deteriorate with a few false dawns tossed in – and then when all have lost hope, we will be miraculously and visibly rescued by Our Lady the Immaculate Conception. Things are NOT going to get better in a temporal way. If you have lost your money, you are not going to get it back for any length of time – you have only beaten the rush before all money is worthless. If your doctor or medicines have been taken from you because of changes in health care, it is NOT going to get better. The destruction of national borders is NOT going to resolve itself, war will NOT be avoided and vast civil strife can NOT be averted. There is no place of safety except in God as the darkness surrounds us – and that does not guarantee temporal safety, only spiritual safety. If you have gotten anything other than that as what lies ahead temporally from anything I have said, you have misunderstood me or I have not been clear enough. The rain from this Storm comes and, as it is written, falls on the just and the unjust alike.

On two occasions, while fully conscious, I have been moments from death. That does not count the several times I was lost and revived on the operating table during my complex spinal cord surgery 11 years ago. I was unconscious throughout and only learned of it later. (Ha! During that near-death episode I did NOT see a light or have a conversation with my heavenly friends. Given my history, you might think I would have. I figure God just told my angels, “Ah, let Charlie rest through this. We’ll talk to him when he’s awake again.”) I have been in a handful of genuinely life-or-death situations. In none of these was I ever confident that God would spare me temporally because I was His instrument. People often ask me how many times during my pilgrimage I thought of giving up and turning back – and are generally surprised when I rather emphatically say never. Some assume that it must have been easier than they had expected. It was not. I got to know hunger at times in a way I never did before or since in civilization – and got sick of trail mix, I might add. I was threatened with knives and a gun and spent a lot of quality time with wild and often dangerous animals – cougars, wolves, bears, foxes, bobcats. I did not persist because I thought I was exempt from death or serious injury – but because I was willing, if that is what was required, to be obedient until death. I literally would rather have died than fail in what I had promised God on the matter.

This gets to the heart of the matter. The change I am speaking of, the transformation does not come because you find a special in with God that exempts you from temporal suffering – God did not even give Himself that exemption (another way of saying His Only Son). Rather, it is seeing that everything here, all the greatest accomplishments in history, have all the meaning of getting the first spot in line at the bus stop on the 43rd day of fourth grade. The ONLY things that have meaning here are trusting God and helping others to do the same. Trusting God does NOT mean that He will do what you want or think is good; but that once you embrace Him fully, whatever He allows to befall you is for your good and will help bring more people home to heaven. I do not say accept your cross; I say embrace it and rejoice in it.

That is not to say you should seek suffering. That, too, is a vanity. Rather, accept what God sends and what He asks of you. I have received great temporal honor and acclaim at times and suffered terrible humiliation at others. While the former is as pleasant as a bowl of ice cream and the latter as nasty as a bowl of castor oil, both have their purposes. I regard temporal triumph and disaster as the same fraud wearing different clothes. Both are just efforts to distract you from the meaning of life, the former by deluding you that you are greater than you are and the latter by deceiving you that God has left you. Both have the same meaning as winning or losing the first place in line at that bus stop I spoke of.

I often think people just keep playing the wrong game, bringing a football to a basketball court or a basketball to the baseball diamond. You can’t achieve victory if you don’t even know what game you are playing. God instructs us to do His will and to help our neighbor, so why do so many spend so much time trying to dominate their neighbor or aggrandize themselves? Even if you completely succeed, you lose.

Once you truly abandon yourself to God, what wonderful peace and freedom there is in it! You don’t spend your time worrying what people think of you; you chuckle at the two frauds of triumph and disaster and you find real joy – even in the midst of the most terrible of trials. To have real confidence in God and in heaven as your rightful home, that is real peace and joy. Once you do, God can make use of you – and if He does, He will put you in what are, temporally, some godawful situations (if you’ll pardon the pun). He’s not looking for a bunch of teacher’s pets, but for people who will go out and do the work, be a sign of hope to those around them. Any temporal prestige is only useful to the extent that it helps you do His will and bring hope to others.

I say we have reached the end of the beginning and so we have. What we are going through is in the image of Christ’s passion. Collapse has come: the monetary system throughout the world is all smoke and mirrors now; the rule of law in the western world is a mere shadow, a chimera. Like the harbinger of a great earthquake, the threat of war rumbles throughout the world. The world is on the cross right now, though death has not yet come for the way things were. It will. We lack the power and ability to recover now. With the death of the old order, there will be darkness for a time, darkness and despair. If you put your hope in the restoration of the old order, your hope is in vain, for the old order is in its death throes. Put your hope in resurrection knowing, as I have told you many times, this is NOT the end. Rather, it is prelude to resurrection. Resurrection is not the last-minute escape from death to return to the way things were. The prelude to resurrection IS death. And from the seeds of what was, God raises up something new and true. The old order is almost completely dead, then there is darkness and despair for a time, then the miraculous sprouting of something new, a glorious rebirth of society as God intends it, reborn by His command. But like the resurrected Jesus, even those closest to Him will not, at first, recognize it for a continuation of what was.

We are only a few years away from that resurrection of society. As I have said, if you keep faith and act as a sign of hope, your children, your grandchildren and generations untold will call you blessed and give thanks for the glorious world you participated with God in bequeathing them. But…the Storm is upon us. Many will be swept away by it. All will suffer, many will die. No family will be left untouched by the Storm – NO family. Everyone who gets their primary sense of security from anything other than God will have it taken from them. EVERYONE. And deceiving yourself that you are God’s special pet is not trusting in God for your security – it is just a more subtle way of trusting to your own cleverness.
I was told – and reported to my priests back in the 90’s – that if I gave my final acceptance to the work God had laid out for me, I would almost immediately enter into a prolonged period of intense suffering. It was part of why I procrastinated about it so long. When I did undergo consecration, it came as promised, culminating in the life-threatening neurological event that, in the best case, was supposed to leave me paralyzed on my right side. What a blessing it was! When you are stripped of nearly everything – including confidence in your own health; when your mortality becomes your boon companion, you realize God is enough in a way you had not previously imagined – and you become free to work on His behalf unburdened by fear. When I embarked upon my year-and-a-half pilgrimage walking 3,200 miles across America with my disability, I was by no means certain I would not be badly injured or killed. But when disaster befalls you, that is when you have the greatest opportunity to build your trust in God.

I know, that if I keep faith, I will not die before the Storm is broken. That is because of the work appointed me. I do NOT know that I won’t be maimed, mutilated or seriously injured and further crippled. But God willing, I will endure to the end, trusting that whatever befalls me is for my good and that of others. What I most passionately want is heaven – and to help bring along as many I meet as I can. If suffering, being maimed or mutilated, helps accomplish that, then I say with Our Lady, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” God help me if I should EVER covet the first place in line at the bus stop.

This is what I mean when I tell you how blessed and joyful you will be if you embrace God and His will: that you will participate with Him in the resurrection of our poor, bleeding, wounded world; not that you will get a better place in line at the bus stop.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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33 Responses to The World Enters its Passion

  1. Stephen Maresch says:

    Mr. Johnston,

    I have read almost all your post and I hear you saying letting God use us for others what ever that may be, but I am wondering how God sendng you into the wilderness is helping others prepare or change their hearts toward God. I am just a regular guy sitting in the pew, I used to be heavy into ministries but one by one God has stripped me from ministry and I am having trouble seeing where God is leading me in this. Are we to wait in the wilderness from here on out and how can this help convert others except thru prayer does that convert anyone.

    Steve M,

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    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Stephen. I am not in the wilderness now. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, I did walk across the country, making camp in the woods as I went, meeting people and enjoying. Funny, as it began, I agreed with you. I did not understand why this was the thing to do. I did some heavy political work and I thought it made much more sense as things began to darken for me to direct a regional pro-life group or something like that. I changed my mind as I went. I saw the goodness of people – and how almost everyone knew we were in trouble – and needed a sign of hope. I still can’t explain it, but it was exactly the right thing to do. I used to put little blurbs up on my Abraham’s Journey Page on Facebook to let people participate vicariously in my pilgrimage. I would stop at libraries to enter things. To my astonishment, during the heart of my pilgrimage, I was getting 25,000 to 50,000 hits per week. I started it off praying that I not be injured in a way that would prevent me from completing it. As I saw with astonishment what joy and hope it spread to people I met on the way and those who started following on Facebook, after about a month and a half I began praying that I survive the full journey so as not to disappoint anyone who was heartened by what I was doing. Here is the thing, Stephen…we often think we know what God wants of us, or what we conventionally think is good. But God is always fresh and new – and He has something tender, unique and intimate for each of us. So when He starts stripping things away from you that you think are good and true, just wait on Him. He may have something else for you. He may be proving you, finding if your love is really for Him and your fellows or for the validation you receive for doing what the world sees as conventionally good. It is why I constantly say, “Take the next, right step.” We are little. We can’t see the fullness of God’s plan. But that is no excuse for inaction. Just do what is right ahead of you and do it as well as you can. Trust God – and He will show you – in His time, not yours. I appreciate your frustration. I am 58 and have had heavenly visitors pretty steadily since the early 60s. You would think I would have this down. But I still get frustrated, go up blind alleys, misunderstand, and sometimes think that something is a dumb plan. See the good in people whenever you can – seeing the good in them often nourishes that good and helps it flourish. Don’t worry much about what you don’t know. Just do the work right ahead of you.

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  2. Mary-Louise says:

    Dear Charlie,

    May I ask your thoughts about refuges? I have heard about the concept since I became active in the Charismatic movement about ten years ago. I have always had concerns that the idea of refuges was not based in scripture. I see that Mark Mallett and John Martinez have recently written about these.

    For a time I would buy and store bulk foods, other materials in preparation for hard times, to the amusement and chagrin of family members. I have stopped doing that now. I am working very hard on trusting God, although that is difficult for me. (I particularly have trouble entrusting my children — living so far from the church! — to God without every day telling Him what I want.)

    Thanks,

    Mary-Louise

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    • charliej373 says:

      I am very supportive of refuges, Mary-Louise. I have encouraged people to prepare and have visited a wonderful refuge in a rural area that is ready to house and feed 50 people. To be sure, I encourage people NOT to act as survivalists or doomsday preppers, but I surely think it is one of the most important ways of being a sign of hope to those around you. I tell people to prepare to form little communities – and to make welcome any who sincerely ask for help. Everyone who can must help in whatever way they can. But people must also be prepared to defend the faithful, so you must defend those you care for from any who would do them violence or take things by force. I think you are mistaken about refuges in Scripture. While it does not use that word, all the places of safety in the Old Testament and in the New (the Upper Room, the place where they held the Last Supper) were places of refuge. It is not the idea of refuges, particularly, but the means of helping and building up your neighbor. I am very pleased that I am in contact with people in six states who are quietly stocking up and putting in beds to help those around them who are not prepared. The key is to turn no one away who sincerely asks humbly for help – trusting God that there will be enough…and defending those who participate in building the community. Meanwhile, let us not forget the most famous refuge of all – Noah’s Ark.

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      • Janet says:

        Noah’s Ark! Our Lord told Elizabeth Kindelmann that the Flame of Love is Noah’s Ark. The prayer Our Lord gave to Elizabeth he said is effective in blinding satan. I have felt called recently to spread that devotion (which has a Cardinal’s imprimatur). What a help it would be in a refuge situation if your enemies could not “see” you or find you, most especially the enemy within, who sows division and discord. Read about it here: http://www.theflameoflove.org. It is a simple but effective weapon in the fight ahead. Like Gideon’s clay jars and torches! My reasons for spreading the devotion are found here: http://pelianito.stblogs.com/flame-of-love/

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      • Kathryn says:

        Where can we find out more information about how to build a refuge? Especially if we live in the suburbs?

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  3. Bob says:

    Charlie, I sat and read all of your blogs yesterday evening & for me it was nourishment as it resonated so much with what I have come to understand through prayerful reflection over the last ten years.

    In one of your blogs (there was no date) you wrote the following:

    “We have now celebrated the last traditional Christmas of the old era”.

    Was that last year 2013?

    I take it that it was since your newest blog is entitled ‘the world enters its passion’?

    Bob
    (from Ireland)

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Bob, that was last Christmas. I was very grateful for it. Christmas has always been my favorite (and I mean since I was tiny). It was kind of a goodbye to the old order. What we will have over the next few I don’t exactly know. The faithful had Christmas even in the old Communist and Fascist regimes – but it certainly wasn’t a culturally shared celebration. How joyful it will be when it bursts through with joyful, new intensity at Christmas of 2017 or 2018.

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      • Stephen Maresch says:

        Charlie,

        What does that mean new intensity at Christmas of 2017 or 2018 are you saying it will be over by then or just beginning?

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      • June1 says:

        There has been much speculation that the events of Garabandal and/or Medjugorje may be revealed around 2017. The fact that you specified 2017 or 2018 reminds me of that and gives me a jolt to try harder spiritually, to “get right with God.” Thank you. 🙂

        By the way, I would love to know what you think about the fact that Joey Lomangino recently passed away.

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    • Mary-Louise says:

      Charlie,

      Since last Christmas was the “last,” we will all become aware of the storm sometime before this Christmas. A few months or less, it seems.

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  4. Thank you, Charlie, and God bless! This is a beautiful writing, with MUCH edification and inspiration to be found. It makes sense that the “civilization” we have built needs to completely crumble and fall. It is all built on lies and greed. We have to build on the foundation of Christ, so our entire “civilization” needs to be razed to the ground so we can begin to build again.

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  5. Neal says:

    Charlie, thanks for all you do and have written. With regard to your comment about being prepared to defend or protect the faithful, do you recommend that every family or refuge group carry firearms? I’ve been struggling with that one in my heart and have always been going back to the bible passage “all who draw the sword will die by the sword”. Perhaps weapons are something that every God fearing family should have or carry in the crazy lawless times to come…even if only as visual deterrents. Your thoughts?

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Neal, I do urge each group to have people armed and ready to defend people against aggression. I do not interpret the ‘lives by the sword’ dictum as most moderns do. One who lives by the sword is one who relies on force to impose his will and settle all disputes. They shall, indeed, die by the sword, I believe. But moderns – particularly in America – have imbued Scripture with a pacifism that simply is not there. Let me recommend to you Luke 22:35-38. In it, Jesus tells His disciples that now that He is leaving them, they must each get a sword, for they will need it. You should not initiate strife. I certainly believe you will be held accountable for anyone you could effectively have ministered to that you did not. But I also believe you will be held accountable for any are hurt because you failed, out of a false sense of compassion, to defend them when you could have. Long, long ago I was given three primary commands as to my work: 1) Defend the faith. 2) Hearten the faithful. 3) Defend the faithful. The third command is not just figurative or spiritual. Those are my thoughts in a nutshell, though I have written at greater length on the matter and will again. Jesus was not a milquetoast. He did not gently chide the moneychangers who desecrated the Temple. The Blood of Christ is not anemic, however thin and watery some homilies may be.

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  6. God bless you Charlie for your faithfulness to God’s holy will! I have been receiving messages since 1997–long before people were ready to hear about a coming time of unimaginable hardship. I am happy to hear you speaking about the importance of praying for souls. That has been a very strong component to my messages. Also, for some time now I have been feeling called to prepare and God has put certain things in place that I think I will now be able to move forward with. All according to His holy will. I would appreciate it if you could contact me Charlie, if you don’t mind.

    I also would like to comment on Stephen Marasch’s post. God has shown me two things about what you are talking about. One is that even our acts of service can be abhorrent to him if it interferes with his holy will for our life. The evil one is that clever. If he cannot distract us with sin, he will not stop at using our good intentions against us. And of course we know where that pavement leads! Second, God often takes away what we thought we wanted, so that he can give it back to us in right relationship. Perhaps we were clinging to something that actually was distracting us from deeper union with him, or from our daily duty, for example a mother who is never home in the evening to help her children because every night she has meetings at the church. Anything we cling to is an idol. If we put God first, “all these things shall be given to us besides.” Just a few thoughts. God bless.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Right on target, Janet! I often urge people to read the Book of Job with fresh eyes. As you know, Job spends almost the entire book challenging and demanding that God act with justice towards him – and insisting that he has not deserved this suffering. Yet Job’s pious friends spend the entire book seemingly defending God. Yet when the end comes, God tells those very friends that, “…you have not spoken rightly of me as has my servant, Job…” They are some of the most amazing words in the Bible – and worthy of a lot more reflection than people give them. Job complained about God throughout and spoke challengingly to Him while the friends insisted on the traditional pieties. Think about that. But the truth is, Job was actually fully engaged with God. We often argue intensely with those we are closest to. Job was engaged with God as God actually is. He complained, but did not doubt that if God responded and appeared to him, he would receive justice from the Almighty. His friends, however, were merely engaged with their preconception of God, not with the reality of Him. God can always work with an honest heart – but we often do ourselves damage by trying to devote ourselves to something pious that is not what God intends for us. If God calls you to be a priest, woe to you if you insist on trying to be a king. If He calls you to be a king, woe to you if you try to be a priest. I will contact you tomorrow at the email that appears on my admin page.

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    • Stephen Maresch says:

      Janet I appreciate the advise but trust me God knows me, ministry is the last place I want to be. I would rather be working on my music or building musical instuments than doing ministries. I joined ministries because I was asked by people in positions to lead. I was in comfirmation 8th grade PSR for 14 years, youth group for 5 years, music ministry for 5 years. I am always checking my motives;” am I doing it for me or for God”. I just don’t want to be doing my will in it stopping, and if its Gods will I am cool with that, I was recently asked to lead a mens group and that seems to be falling away. I just know that there are a lot of lost souls even within the walls of the Catholic Church, and it concerns me that they are not being shepherded especially from the pulpit.

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      • Katherine says:

        Stephen, you are so correct in that there are a lot of lost souls even within the walls of the Catholic Church. It concerns many that they are not being shepherded, especially from the pulpit. Remember the Lord said Woe to those shepherds. They will be in no shape to counsel, lead, or shepherd when these times are upon us……I saw this years ago and it caused me great anguish and worry. It is very hard to let go of that frustration at the shepherds that will not see and act. I believe that given this very fact; that they won’t be able to lead- is the reason God is setting apart people like you. We do not make ourselves holy…..no ministry, no good deed, no almsgiving makes us holy. GOD makes us holy and fit for His service. With this in mind, He may be “setting you apart” (which is what He does when He begins to make one holy). Hence, the loss of your ministries, etc. You may have led ministries, but what is going to be necessary in the near future is LEADERS. You see? Don’t get nervous because you’re not “doing”……you’re not busy at church. Allow this for now and truly ask the Lord to show you what HIS will is for you. And don’t allow guilt to push you out of God’s will. Believe me when I say that if God says “Be still and know that I am God” you’d best listen and obey! You can still pray for the lost souls, many do. Remember also that most of those lost souls have the same resources you do, correct? They could also be here, educating themselves. Everything I have right now the Lord has given me. The only helpful thing I have heard from a priest in the last 13 years was the bit I shared with you above…..that God makes us holy, we don’t make ourselves holy. I took that and prayed about it, read about it, learned about it and experienced the pruning, purification, and general wringing out that was needed. It’s lifelong, but you get my drift.
        So….bottom line is be still for a bit. Listen. OBEY. Learning the very hard way, Obedience is KEY….even when I thought it was wrong or looked foolish. Learn God’s voice. It will be so very important. There are going to be MANY voices and you will need to know the TRUE voice.
        The Lord will direct you. Be docile and obedient and let Him make you into the kind of leader He needs.
        God Bless you. Be stouthearted and wait on the Lord.

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        • charliej373 says:

          For both of you – and for all here – I know well that much of the heirarchy is in disarray and suffering a crisis of faith and worldliness. I will post something on the subject soon. BUT…you must pray for our priests and bishops, for they have a terrible responsibility and will be held to account for it. But you are flirting dangerously with a subtle satanic temptation here. Jesus set up the hierarchical structure of the Church. He did not promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against me or you, but that it would not prevail against His Church – and He appointed Judas an apostle. Though a traitor, Judas exercised lawful apostolic authority until the betrayal, even as it grew in his heart. To overthrow him would have been an offense against Christ, not Judas, until that betrayal.

          Pray for the priests and bishops, for that is the only place governance of the Church may lawfully come on matters of faith and morals. Christ’s words about the Sanhedrin are useful here – do as they say, but not as they do. Entreat, cajole, privately rebuke priests if you need to. But the goal is to recall them to the apostolic duty that only they can perform, not to overthrow them.

          Satan wants us to abandon the safety of the Church. St. Francis dealt with a Church in ruins. He did not overthrow it; he did not set up his own deal; he acted forcefully and with humility – and rebuilt and reformed that Church. Pray to St. Francis that you may participate in the same.

          I will be ever obedient on all matters of faith and morals to my bishop, exercising my proper rights, including that of appeal, if necessary – but I will be obedient. Please, do so, too. I will write more about this in coming days.

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      • Katherine says:

        Hi Charlie,
        I would never encourage disobedience to the Church. My family loves the Catholic Church and we have been asked to intercede for many priests and seminarians which we gladly do. It has been our experience that the Lord is preparing many lay people within the Church to assist with the influx that is sure to come-overwhelming many priests who will be in great need. Just one or less per parish? People will certainly need leadership in the chaos. Sorry if I gave the impression that this was to be done outside the authority of the Church.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Thanks, Katherine. The apostolate of the laity is critical and has been too long ignored by the Church. I am in complete agreement with you. I am a little extra sensitive, though, because the hierarchy has brought much of this on themselves and I deeply fear some pulling away from the Church. Thank you for your fidelity.

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  7. Hello and God Bless you Charlie. Everyone calls me Charlie too….except I am a woman.LOL!!
    My question for you is this….how did you know when you were to start making things somewhat public ….with regards to the messages you have been given? I have had many profound moments in prayer with many confirmations and also dreams. I only speak to my cousin about all these things. I do not tell priests either. To be honest….they are all to busy to stop and listen. I don’t feel that God has wanted me to share yet. I just now as of last week….have 1 priest that would listen. He helped me with souls in purgatory who have asked me for Masses or prayers. He was very kind….but flattered me too much and I did not like it. Sometimes I feel like I may pop if I don’t tell or talk to a priest about it….but then I feel that may just be pride egging me on. This is tough stuff to hold in…..but I have peace keeping it to myself. Thank you and God Bless you and keep you.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Hi back, Charlie. Since a lot of new people have started reading this journal I will write today a little of my history again. I encourage you to find a solid priest. As you will see from what I write later, the first I spoke to about it I chose very carefully. He is a priest of great integrity, but is not at all comfortable about these things. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law before he became a priest, he is one of the foremost canon lawyers in the country, a towering intellect and was well-known for his attitude that if it bleeds or weeps he would rather someone else deal with it. I spent several months meeting with him before I brought this up back in May of 1995. By that time, I knew he was not someone who would get all gooey about a spectacle – would be very skeptical, but also whose steely integrity would not allow him to dismiss something authentic.

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  8. Ann says:

    I have just found this site thanks to Mark Mallett. I appreciate your thoughtful and provocative postings and I really appreciate the prayer you posted yesterday. I have known for a long time that this was coming and I pray constantly for the grace to remain faithful because I know how weak I am. Along the line of your comments about our hierarchy, I also have been led for the last three years to try to say a Rosary a day for the protection and sanctification of our priests, bishops, cardinals and consecrated souls. I think we have to realize how unrelentingly they are bombarded by the evil one and by the culture. I would like to put in a plug for Hours of Adoration too.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your insights.

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  9. Jo says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Thank you for all you do for our Lord and our Lady. I have followed you for about a year. I am a mother with young children (3 under the age of 8) and I am trying to bring them up to love our Lord and our Lady. My husband is also a practicing Catholic and helps as well. I am trying to follow your advice and not worry about what is to come as I know it is all God’s plan. I know that causing worry is not the goal of your or other’s writings. I totally understand that. But I can’t help my fear about two things: (1) the safety of my children and being separated from them (I would suffer anything to take their place if any suffering were to come to them. The thought of them being alone and without my husband or me is so horrendous that I can’t bear the thought); and (2) family members who are fallen away Catholics (they are good and kind people and I have many of my own sins to atone so I am not throwing stones). I love them dearly and have prayed for years for each of them and offered sufferings, etc. I fear for them and have tried in a very subtle way to lead them back (if I pour it on too strong, they will run. They already think I am a little nuts I think). I can’t bear the thought of any of their souls being lost. I guess I just have to continue to pray for them, but can God answer that prayer in light of free will? It seems He does reveal himself in a more dramatic fashion to some people but not others. At times I feel almost sick with worry about those two issues. I know that worry does not come from God. Sometimes I just wish He would tell me they will all be okay! I have never heard our Lord’s voice as other’s have (I am definitley NOT good enough to ever be chosen for anything like that and I certainly am not asking for anything that you or others have to go through!). I believe I have felt His presence at adoration — at least I think so. Anyway, sorry if this is too rambling. Thank you again. I will continue to pray for you.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Jo. I know your fears, because I have lived them. My dear daughter was sifted by dark forces for five years, waged battle against the family. On this, the Lord was kind to me. Before the darkness came, while she was yet a child, He gave me a vision of her as an adult during the Storm, boldly and decisively rescuing people and doing battle with dark forces. She was brilliant, shrewd, passionate. When I saw it, I did not understand, because these qualities were breathtakingly impressive, but I saw little sign of them in her.

      When dark influences started troubling her, it was the single greatest prolonged agony of my life. But I also saw the development of some of the qualities I had seen in the vision coming to the fore. Every once in a while I grinned wryly that the satan that he was enslaving her, but all he would ultimately accomplish was to help train one of his most effective enemies. And the darkness lifted.

      Even more painful for a time was my son. He is noble, brave and true. With many, even most, people I can see them a little further on. I rarely discuss it, for no good can come of talking to someone of that…but it helps read hearts. But to some I am completely blind. With my son, I was blind. I could not see beyond where he was at the time. It scared me a lot – particularly as I contemplated having chosen Abraham as my confirmation name. I begged the Lord….I had accepted everything else, but please do not put me through the agony of losing my son before his time. No answer came…and wearily, like the disciples when they asked, “Where else would we go?” when Jesus asked them if they would leave, too, I said I would deal with whatever – while letting the Lord know that if that were required to, my life would be an agony and I would want nothing so much as to finish my work and move on from this life. Just a few days after that, I was given an intense vision of the Shrine that will be built in thanksgiving for our rescue from the Storm. It is so beautiful. I was taken there on the day of its dedication – and was delighted to see I knew the priest who will preside over the dedication. I will talk more about that another time. A few days later, it dawned on me that, though I was not physically there, my son was there and had hugged the priest who presided over the dedication. I cried at the realization that my son won’t be taken from me. (Though, I suppose, it could just be his spirit I saw there – but I don’t think so. In any case, it relieved my fears). I fear, still, for my grandchildren. And yet, at the same time, I come down to this. Whether I am obedient or not, the Storm comes in all its fury. Will those I love be better off if I live faith with fortitude or give in to my fears? The answer is obvious. I can’t banish my fears, but faith is an act of the will, and I will do my best to live it fully with fortitude no matter what comes – and hope that those I love will live in the same neighborhood with me in heaven.

      Now as to worry about those who have strayed, believe it or not, I do not worry at all about that. First, the Lord has told me that as the darkness falls, I am to treat all faithful Catholics, Protestants and Jews as equal partners in the work before us. There are no junior partners there. God, Himself, will see to the unity – and one of the fruits of the Storm will be unity. What I concern myself with is someone’s heart. If they care for those around them, try to reach out to others, do what they can to help, I figure God will show them what they need to know in His way and….His Time. With all that is upon us, I know God is merciful and tenderly concerned for us. I believe that the Catholic Church is the mother ship that will carry us safely through these violently troubled waters. But it makes perfect sense to me that God would have very good people in all walks of life – and in all belief systems – from whom He withholds certain things. I think He does this because they, whose hearts are genuinely focused on Him, will be indispensable in leading many back home to safety when the Storm is most furious. And remember the parable of the two sons, one who said he would do his father’s will and did not; and the other who said he would not and did. The Father’s will is that we be a sign of hope – and help – to those around us. One who does that I call brother – and Christian brother at that -regardless of what he calls himself.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Maggie says:

    I am also losing hope–certainly in our corrupt government but even in our Church hierarchy. There are cardinals saying very distressing things. There has been no clean up of the gay lobby. The Pope finds time for atheists and protestants and heretics and pagans but has names that he calls some of the most faithful of Catholics. Yes, I understand obedience to lawful Church authority but the corruption is present in the Church too and all the way.

    I do trust in Jesus and Mary but the Church…..the covert condoning of sin even if only by silence is deafening. The faithful deserve more than decades of non-teaching and this insidious religious relativism.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Maggie, I share your concern for corruption in the Church. There is plenty – and I have something that will be up about it next week. BUT…the gates of hell will rage against God’s Church. It will be beset by enemies from without and enemies from within. But the gates of hell will not prevail over Her. She is the only ship that can carry us safely through the Storm.

      Now, I have made a note to write a piece, too about the last three popes, who I consider three chapters from the same book – the book of how, even in our apostasy, God was putting everything in place to carry us through the Storm.

      Over the years I have dealt with some troubled and troublesome priests. If one is seriously teaching error, my first response is to quietly and persistently invoke Our Lord and Our Lady throughout any Mass they are celebrant of. On one occasion, I was stunned when, literally overnight, a progressive Chicago priest who was tormenting Marian devotees at his parish as superstitious idiots, did a complete about-face. He knew I was a co-operator of Opus Day (and you know how the ‘progressives’ feel about that) and was particularly contemptuous of me. Suddenly, he was a Marian devotee himself. We got to be great friend and he was amazingly kind and genuinely solicitous of the ladies he had once tormented. But on a few occasions, I have had to rebuke a priest – and once even a bishop. In each case, after prayer I wrote a careful, but blunt letter. I was not malicious, but I would pull no punches either – so I was respectfully firm. About a week after the letter went to one, I would go to confession with that priest. I figured it was my hard duty in charity to correct someone obstinately teaching error – but God set up His Church. So it was equally my duty to go and submit to the priest’s lawful authority. How could I demand that he faithfully obey the Church if I would not do so myself.

      I had a woman in St. Louis who was brought to see me once who was in a terrible battle with a truly apostate priest. some folks had told her I gave very good counsel on such matters. When I told her to go to confession before him, she absolutely refused. I tried and tried. I did not want her to concede an inch on the Magisterium – and made that clear. She wasn’t having it. I finally told her that if she would not submit to his authority on a lawful matter, she was as reprobate as he and I sent her away.

      Pray for our priests and bishops. Many have strayed and more do not know the magnitude of the work in front of them. May they open their hearts that Christ may recall them to be the Apostles they are. So, in a nutshell, I completely agree with you that the crew of this ship is not good at all (though I love our captain). If we are to survive, we need the ship to cross these troubled waters. If this crew does not get up to snuff, there is no other that can take its place. Therefore we must pray for, rebuke, cajole, whatever it takes to get the crew up to snuff. (If you must rebuke – make it pointed and private – and never fail to go to confession soon after with the priest you have rebuked). There is only one ever I interacted with that bitterly resented me permanently – and he was forcibly defrocked less than a year after our encounter. If they defiantly persist in teaching heresy, shake the dust off your feet in witness against them and find a new parish.

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  11. Jo says:

    I just wanted to thank you so much for responding to my post. You have helped me. May the Lord continue to bless you and your work.

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  12. Andy says:

    Jo,

    Your fear is a fear of all parents who love their children but as terrible as the thought may be and no matter how much pain would come to us with the idea of harm coming or losing a child to the storm we must find comfort in the Will of God to take our loved one’s home before us. I speak from experience in this loss. My wife and I lost our first child to a rare neurological disorder that ultimately took her life after 17 months. Through her whole life and death no matter the pain I was able to love and trust in God. As painful as it was the greater pain I could have ever endured would have to never have known her at all. Your fear you have is proof to me of how much God loves you and how much you love God because you are holding in your heart his two greatest commandments of loving God with your whole heart and loving your neighbor. I can’t or anyone can’t tell you that no harm will come to you or your kids but I can pray for you that no matter what happens in the future to you and no matter what loss you could face or any of us could face does not take your love for God away. I would suggest to take your concern to God in prayer. He answered my greatest fear for me once which is the fear you have mentioned for my now 7 year old and 4 year old healthy children. The same fear has haunted me very much because of knowing the pain of losing a child how could I ever endure such pain again. Once, when I first heard of the concept of asking God to direct you to a piece scripture randomly that He wanted me to reflect upon he answered my greatest fear in my first attempt and now I feel compelled to share that piece of scripture with you for it brought me great comfort and maybe it will for you as well:

    Jeremiah 39:

    [1] In the ninth year of Sedecias king of Juda, in the tenth month, came Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon, and all his army to Jerusalem, and they besieged it. [2] And in the eleventh year of Sedecias, in the fourth month, the fifth day of the month, the city was opened. [3] And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate: Neregel, Sereser, Semegarnabu, Sarsachim, Rabsares, Neregel, Serezer, Rebmag, and all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. [4] And when Sedecias the king of Juda and all the men of war saw them, they fled: and they went forth in the night out of the city by the way of the king’ s garden, and by the gate that was between the two walls, and they went; out to the way of the desert. [5] But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them: and they took Sedecias in the plain of the desert of Jericho, and when they had taken him, they brought him to Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon to Reblatha, which is in the land of Emath: and he gave judgment upon him.

    [6] And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Sedecias, in Reblatha, before his eyes: and the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Juda. [7] He also put out the eyes of Sedecias: and bound him with fetters, to be carried to Babylon. [8] And the Chaldeans burnt the king’ s house, and the houses of the people with fire, and they threw down the wall of Jerusalem. [9] And Nabuzardan the general of the army carried away captive to Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and the fugitives that had gone over to him, and the rest of the people that remained. [10] But Nabuzardan the general left some of the poor people that had nothing at all, in the land of Juda, and he gave them vineyards, and cisterns at that time.

    [11] Now Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had given charge to Nabuzardan the general concerning Jeremias, saying: [12] Take him, and set thy eyes upon him, and do him no harm: but as he hath a mind, so do with him. [13] Therefore Nabuzardan the general sent, and Nabusezban, and Rabsares, and Neregel, and Sereser, and Rebmag, and all the nobles of the king of Babylon, [14] Sent, and took Jeremias out of the court of the prison, and committed him to Codolias the son of Ahicam the son of Saphan, that he might go home, and dwell among the people. [15] But the word of the Lord came to Jeremias, when he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying: Go, and tell Abdemelech the Ethiopian, saying:

    [16] Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will bring my words upon this city unto evil, and not unto good: and they shall be accomplished in thy sight in that day. [17] And I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord: and thou shalt not be given into the hands of the men whom thou fearest: [18] But delivering, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword: but thy life shall be saved for thee, because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.

    When I first started reading this first attempt to reflect on scripture randomly by God’s choosing I felt immediate horror. I did not recall the story of King Sedecias and I couldn’t believe God chose this piece of scripture. I felt for sure he was telling me to prepare to see my children killed before my eyes and for me to suffer more of what I have always feared most. I had to stop reading but I felt in my soul the urge to press on and finish reading this chapter. I could not believe how quickly the horror of my greatest fear was instantly shed when I read verse

    17: And I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord: and thou shalt not be given into the hands of the men whom thou fearest: 18: But delivering, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword!! but thy life shall be save for thee, because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.

    Trust in the Lord Jo and all no matter what happens to us in the storm. They say God never gives us anything that we can’t handle and that is only true once you give up all fear for worldly pains and sufferings and put your life in the hands of Our Wonderful Lord and Mother!

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    • Jo says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me, Andy. I am filled with peace in hearing that God gave you the strength to endure something so difficult. I truly admire your strength and faith. May the Lord bless you and your family.

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