You should know that I read every comment. If there is a question or a need, I respond – or if I think a point needs clarification. But I also don’t feel the need to have the last word on everything, so if someone disputes a point I have addressed – and obviously just has a different view than me, I am content to let it stand. Readers can certainly come to their own conclusions if they have all the salient points before them. If you conclude I am wrong on a matter, it will neither be the first nor the last time  people have so concluded. And every once in a while, I actually am wrong 😉

Also, this is a serious site covering some very serious matters, but I can’t be grave all the time. It just doesn’t suit me. So I will use these “Musings” (always categorized under ‘General’) both to explain a little about the mechanics of the site and talk about a few little things that amuse me.

One of the coolest things about these WordPress Blog Sites is the Stats page they give you. It records all your daily hits and where they are coming from – and has a little world map. Every time someone from a new country checks in, it gets colored in on the map for the day. I get hits from an average of 20 countries a day – the U.S., Canada and Australia always the biggest spots, usually with England and Ireland running neck and neck for the fourth spot. For some reason, I always like to check in on Ireland. I have a lot of Irish in my ancestry – and I always had a thing for Irish girls in my younger days, whether they were buxom or willowy lasses. I got enthused the other day when Ireland went over 100 hits. Alas, earlier today it was only in single digits. Even Israel was running ahead of it. I was absurdly pleased when Ireland pulled ahead – and is back in fifth place, just behind England as I write this.

So with apologies to my friends in the U.S., Canada, Australia, England (and a shoutout to Denmark and Trinidad, which always show up), I can’t help looking at the board and thinking, “Go Ireland!”

Also, if any of you want to share random off-topic thoughts occasionally, these “Musings” are the place to do it. No vulgarity or tastelessness, of course, but I would rather this site have the feel of friends putting their feet up around a fire and chatting with each other than a lecture platform. (or perhaps the feel of an Irish pub in the cool of an evening after work).

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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30 Responses to Musings

  1. maryrose49 says:

    Charlie, I just signed up so you have a new irish follower from today. Id like to ask you if you have had any indication of future events for Ireland. I dont hear any really strong prophetic voice in Ireland. A lot of Irish people go to Medjugorje as I do myself and I have been greatly blessed but still I wonder why nobody is talking about refuges in Ireland. Unless we are going to be wiped off the map !!!


    • charliej373 says:

      Alas, Maryrose, I have no specific information concerning Ireland. But it will endure with the rest of the once-Christian nations of the world and thrive after the rescue. If I keep faith through the Storm and have a time of grace here afterwards, the three nations I most want to visit are Ireland, Russia and France.

      Back in 2000, my then 14-year-old son went with a group to World Youth Day in Rome. When he came back, he told me that one time, he got stuck in a malfunctioning elevator for 10 minutes. Stuck along with him were a bunch of giggling girls from the Irish delegation who all wanted to kiss him. I thought, glory, my son is living my dream. But he had a little junior high school girlfriend and solemnly told me he had stayed faithful to her and would not kiss any of the Irish girls. I was flummoxed – told him you are 14, what were you thinking? A few months later, he told me he had broken up with his little girlfriend. My immediate response was, “See, I told you you should have kissed those Irish girls!”

      The faithful will endure – including the lovely Irish girls!


      • The feel of an Irish pub. That sounds grand! and a very fine goal indeed. When you do get a trip to Ireland, you will love it dearly. May we all be “family” in this fine pub of yours. May we overlook each other’s quirks and all feel welcome and cherished. Lead on and do it with our thanks. Judith Ryan


  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Charlie,
    My sister and I just began reading your blog after being referenced on Mark Mallett’s site. We’ve had a lot of discussion about your posts and were wondering if you have received any information about the 3 days of darkness.


    • charliej373 says:

      Hi Michelle. For many years I did not read any prophecies, approved or not, except Fatima, as a matter of discipline. I am free to do so now, but I must concede I rarely do, for my purpose is not to figure out what the details of any prophecies, including my own, mean in temporal terms. Rather it is to help rally people to do the things that must be done to endure the Storm that is upon us and getting worse by the day.

      That probably does not answer you in a way that satisfies. The best I can do is to direct you to an earlier post here, Modern Day Prophecy, which is about as much as I have to say on the matter. I appreciate you visiting here.


  3. Irelands1.2trillion oil says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Checking in on your wonderful blogs which i have been reading regularly since i heard about you lastweek, my vocabulary is weak and unrefined so i dare not comment much because of my fear of being exposed & humbled. But reading i can do and i am facinated by your heavenly visitations and your wisdom in the natural and supernatural for i am only new(8years) to this game of trying to follow God so reading about your journey could save me from walking down allot of deadends road blocks and minefields, for one thing i have learnt from my time on this earth is that i know nothing about myself or God and my heart is restless as St Augustine said untill i meet my maker and he then might finally enlighten me about what it is all about haha.

    I feel love could be the key, surrender and constant acveptance of His will the Cross and letting God be God and me be weak feeble poor and and yet blessed.


    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome to the site, Irelands. A wise professor once said, “If you don’t know how to pronounce a word, say it loud.” Your kind comments are fine – and refined. The good Lord cares about loving hearts. Your humility and sincerity shine through like a beacon. Thank you for visiting me and I look forward to hearing from you more.


  4. Irelands1.2trillion oil says:

    God bless you


  5. Kati says:

    Ok…I get the sense that my Dad likes the fact that my sister and I are both reading your blog after seeing what Mark Mallet had to say. You would love my Dad…100% Irish and his family came here to the USA from County Cork. My children love their Irish heritage and my middle daughter, who was born with gorgeous red hair, is especially proud of her Irish! She is fallen away from the Church…but I have sent her a few of your posts by email and she has read them. We had a bit of discussion regarding your words on the Rule of Justice (she’s a victim of the Unitarian, liberal type revised history) but she agrees with much. I have also seen signs that the Holy Spirit is working in her to bring her back into full truth. The story of her birth was so out of the ordinary for us that she KNOWS God wanted her to be born. Overall, the Spirit of God seems to be doing this with all of my children lately. One son is even planning to sell his house and move to be closer to the family. This would have been unheard of a few weeks ago. I am constantly astounded at how He encourages us to keep praying…’cause He is definitely answering us! Thanks a bunch for the peace and wisdom you are sharing. You will be in my prayers. Go Irish! 😉


    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Kati! Your Dad sounds like a man of uncommon taste and judgment 🙂 Have no fear for your daughter. If she truly seeks to do what is right and just, she will find her way clearly. In fact, often God allows people to wander far afield in order to prepare them for the work He has for them. How often are the best addiction counselors those who have lived, and overcome it, himself. I say frequently that I look to the heart of a person – if they are merely vain and eager to be seen as superior, not much good can come from them until they get that right, even when they seem to agree with me. But if their heart truly reaches out to those around them, I am content that they will be fine even if they are chasing up some blind alleys. In fact, I am usually subdued about that, for if their heart is sound, I figure any errors God allows them to explore are valuable in helping to prepare them for the work He has waiting for them. Remember that St. Paul was once a passionately, faithful Pharisee and scourge of the Christians. Would he have been as fruitful an Apostle had he been less passionately faithful when he was misguided? I often see such qualities in one who has a good heart but is misguided and think, with inner satisfaction, “Boy, this one is going to be a champion when she recognizes and follows the Lord’s call.” Thanks to both you and your sister for joining me here.


  6. Anne says:

    So how many hits most days??


    • charliej373 says:

      It has been averaging about 2,000 per day the last week or so. I won’t speak again about how many hits come in, as that could easily become a vanity – and God knows how prone we are to vanity. But, your question did set a cool thought going in my mind. The Lord says that all the nations will worship Him. I have thought for sometime that God likes to have a variety of distinct flowers in His garden here on earth. On several occasions, when a nation has been on the verge of extinction, He has raised up a great saint to preserve it. France would just be a province of England were it not for St. Joan of Arc. Each day the hits come from between 15 and 35 different countries. So I think in my occasional musings, I will focus one by one on the different flowers in God’s earthly garden – what they mean to me and a little of their role in salvation history. So thanks, Anne.


      • anne says:

        Thank you Charlie. I ask because i love all the different countries and cultures in the world……..similar to your different flowers in the garden. Remember, Australia was proclaimed to be the Land of the Holy Spirit by an early explorer a few centuries ago. Majellan i think, Portuguese.
        So we all have our place even if downunder and far from anywhere.


        • charliej373 says:

          I have a brother who, a good three decades ago, was accidentally forgotten in Australia when he had to have emergency surgery while he was in the Navy. He was supposed to get the surgery, recuperate, and they would send for him – but they somehow forgot him. He told such wonderful stories about the hospitality of the people, their charm, it just enchanted me. Eventually, he called the Navy and they did come get him – but I still fondly remember his stories (and the long-distance bill when he called me collect at my place of business and I chatted for half an hour before it dawned on me to ask where he was calling from!)


  7. marie says:

    I smiled when I read this post. I live in Denmark, but am mostly Irish and part Scottish☺. Love your idea of an Irish pub – looking forward to the craic !


  8. Barb says:

    Is the picture at the top one of Lucille’s poustinias in Colorado? We met her once about 20 years ago when we were visiting friends who live in Colorado. God rest her soul…


  9. charliej373 says:

    Glad to meet you, Barb. I knew there was a small, but consistent, contingent in Denmark that checks in every day. And yes, the picture is, indeed, one of the poustinia cabins at Lucille’s. When my final Novena at Mt. Meeker, ending my pilgrimage, was finished, she came and picked me up. I stayed and visited with her for three days – and this is the poustinia cabin I stayed in. I was not making a retreat, but sharing a wonderful visit with Lucille.

    For those unfamiliar with it, poustinia is an important part of Russian Christian spirituality. It means, “desert.” It is based on the command, “Be still and know that I am God.” those who make a poustinia retreat empty themselves of distraction and just live in contemplation of the Lord’s presence for a time. I met Lucille in the course of my pilgrimage and we became dear friends. Alas, she passed on early this year.


    • Mary-Louise says:

      Charlie: Not just Russian Christian spirituality, but also Roman Catholic. I know a woman who grew up in the Czech countryside before WWII. As a child she regularly made retreats to a poustinia in the mountainous area near her home. She only took bread, water and a Bible — this before she was a teenager. She later survived a German concentration camp, married an American soldier and came to New England. A very holy woman.


      • ann says:

        Mary Louise I think you and I know the same person and she is indeed a very holy woman. Knowing her has been one of the great blessings of my life.


  10. Barb says:

    Thank you for your reply! I thought it looked like one of her poustinias. We were actually there 10 years ago, not 20. I went through cancer treatment three years ago and the brain hasn’t been quite the same ever since. We were privileged to spend an afternoon with Lucille and went out to dinner with her. She was the godmother of my friend’s youngest daughter and a joy to meet and talk to.

    I came to your blog from Mark Mallett and when I read your first entry from January, I literally gasped. Last Christmas, I kept having the strangest feeling that it would be the last Christmas we would spend in the old way. I absolutely love Christmas and as we took down the lights and decorations this past year, I kept wondering if we would ever use them again, though I could not explain why I had the feeling. I must admit I’m a bit sad to think about the possibility but know that our dear Lord always can make good come from all that He allows to happen. I’m simply praying for strength and discernment for all of us. I know that we are called to stay where we are right now. My very elderly parents live nearby and depend on us to help take care of them. I am hopeful for His guidance if/when these days come.
    Thank you for sharing…


  11. kathyk1 says:

    We live and sit on the cusp of such grim times, I’m glad you’ve made a place for musings and amusements.

    My greatest amusement these days is my 83 year old mother’s discovery of facebook. She calls it spacebook. She got a tablet in order to Skype her granddaughter’s wedding, but alas, it was a bust. Her caregiver, a lovely Amish woman, was there to help, but the connection to the island where the wedding was held just wouldn’t cooperate. My husband said, “An 83 year old woman, skyping with Amish tech support? What could go wrong?”

    She’s learned how to turn it on, and delights in seeing new pictures posted by her grandchildren. When she first started, she called me all excited every time one of her grandchildren accepted her friend request.

    But now things are starting to get a little out of hand. Evidently, her caregiver/tech support guru has taught her, “Friend everybody, like everything.” She’s liking every single post she comes across, going back for years. And I keep getting calls from my kids asking why dear Grandma is friends with, for instance, the mother of an ex-girlfriend of the current boyfriend.

    Unfortunately, she’s constantly steeped in daytime T.V., and they’ve beat a very important lesson into her. The internet is forever, and what you post can come back to haunt you. So, she spends inordinate amounts of time composing messages such as, “Great picture,” and “Happy birthday.” She writes them down, and her trusty sidekick types them in. She still worries. My mom isn’t a woman of faith, at least out loud, but if God counts worry as prayer, she’s got it made.

    I keep telling her that the things she posts could not possibly come back to haunt her, but she trusts the ladies on The View more than me, and continues to fret. I may have to break down and get graphic, and tell her as long as she’s not posting naked selfies, she’s fine.

    I’ll miss many things when the storm hits hard, but my mother’s obsession with spacebook is not one of them.


    • charliej373 says:

      Funny, Kathy. My late mother liked to “poke” everyone on Facebook. Weirded some folks out. My Mom thought if Oprah said it, it was Gospel. That annoyed me a bit – but when you tell me your Ma trusts the women on The View more than you, I realize it could have been worse. Actually, I unintentionally helped turn my Mom into a fan of Oprah’s. In the early 90s I was twice a guest on panels of shows Oprah did. My Mom initially tuned in to see me, but she stayed for Oprah.


    • maryb says:

      That is one of the funniest posts I have ever read – thank you so much for those moments of unadulterated laughter.


  12. maryb says:

    Charlie, I am Irish and almost cried reading your post. I loved Ireland and being Irish but almost everything that distinguished us and made us special is gone. We are now just another western country, with western values, and a western government that worships at the altar of the global market.
    After our government legalized abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy I just wanted to become the national equivalent of an atheist, with no association to any land or nation.
    Thank you for your faith. I found you recently via Mark Mallett via the Mother of God forum, and am grateful to have received this blessing.
    God bless your every effort.


    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, Mary, don’t despair. I suspect that God loves every bloom in his garden of nations. When France was about to be exterminated, He raised up St. Joan. He sent St. Patrick to Ireland to make it His own. How could He turn away from His wonderful emerald isle? I suspect the degradation you see – as with the degradation in my own beloved America – is merely prelude to God raising up great saints to return it to His fold. The silver lining of living in terrible times is that those are the times when God raises up the greatest crop of saints. Rejoice that you live in a time that will come to be known as a bumper crop in ages to come!


  13. Mick says:

    I love the idea of an Irish pub atmosphere. I’ve never been in a pub (Irish or otherwise), but I love the pub scenes from the John Wayne/Maureen O’Hara movie The Quiet Man. I am just a wee bit Irish myself (although I have to go back 5 generations on my dad’s side and 4 generations on my mom’s to find an Irish ancestor). But my husband is Irish, so I guess that also makes me Irish-by-marriage, no?

    Charlie, thank you for this site. I found it through Mark Mallett and Janet (Peli), but I first read about you on Spirit Daily some years ago. I really get the sense that God is drawing together into one big family those who “follow” those three sites, your site, and John Martinez’ site. I sense that all of us will need each other–and each other’s prayers–in the coming days and years to come.

    If I may, I’d like to pass along the following: The people at will be starting a novena tomorrow (August 1) for all those around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. It would be a great way to join perhaps thousands of other Catholics in praying and fasting (or some other sacrifice) for our persecuted brethren in the Middle East. If anyone would like to sign up for the novena to be sent daily to them by e-mail, here’s the link:



    • charliej373 says:

      I looked it over and, as you can see, Mick, I put a note up about it this afternoon. Like a good Irish pub, we share a little wisdom and hope with each other. Thanks for yours.


  14. jaykay says:

    Hello Charlie and others, and greetings from Ireland. I am so glad to have found your blog. I just got the link to it a day or so ago through Mark Mallett’s site which I’ve been reading since about 2007 or so. It is a wonderful site and I’ve already found much of value.

    While things are in a pretty bad state over here currently I’m glad to say that it’s not all darkness, although hopeful signs can be a bit hard to discern at times – amid the encircling gloom, as it were. This evening I’ll be going to a TLM in the mountains in Co. Wicklow, which will be celebrated at an old “Mass Rock”. These were sites in remote locations where people attended Mass during the times of the horrible, repressive “Penal Laws” against Catholicism in the 17th and 18th centuries. A group of us, who regularly participate in the traditional Chartres Pilgrimage in France, will be going and for once the rain looks like holding off, amazingly enough, although I’m not holding my breath on that score!

    I’m really looking forward to reading the blog and particularly to delving into the accounts of your trans-America pilgrimage, having done the Camino de Santiago and bits of the Via Francigena myself. So blessings to you and the readers on this feast of our Mother’s glorious Assumption.

    Beannachtaí Dia oraibh go léir,



  15. NancyA says:

    Another here who loves the idea of a relaxed visit in an Irish pub. I don’t like to fly, and have a bit of a claustrophobic aversion to sea travel, but I really would love to see Ireland. I had an offer once but it was going to be a three day visit, and not ant of the shrines, so I declined. As I always say, when I go, it’ll be on a one way ticket, ’cause I’m stayin’ a while!

    Interestingly, Charlie, the other places I’d like to see also include Russia and France! My 12 year old longs to see Russia. Recently she said she plans to visit every place in the world. ( she’s the one with learning and developmental “delays.” )

    I have a priest friend from Ireland, quite orthodox and dedicated, who has had many mystical experiences, and a great, inspiring relationship with Our Lady. He spent some time in Australia a couple of years ago, in Perth. He’s got quite the reputation, so some readers might even know him, too.

    Last night I kept getting a message that I “could not post this message at this time”… hoping I wasn’t banned for saying y’awl wrongly! Lol. So, this post is to test if I’m forgiven. 😉


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