Musings – Ireland

This is how I see Ireland in my mind's eye.

This is how I see Ireland in my mind’s eye.

I am doing some work to find resources for spiritual direction. I will put a whole new category of links on that tomorrow and add to them as I get more. Some folks have asked for help and I am going to dig deep into every nook and cranny and try to give all the help I can – and I will get right into the heart of individual dioceses and add links to the site. Also, if you have asked in an email on a specific area, give me a few days. I am digging and will get you resources to get it done.

I noted that, with each of these musings, I will make a mention of one of the countries from which this site has regular readers, just to mention a little of what it is that that country means to me and a little of its role in salvation history. I sure would appreciate it if those of you either from that country or who have spent significant time there would chime in with stories that maybe are not so common and that most of us would not know.

Of course, I already mentioned Ireland – but before I adopted the idea for this particular course. My father’s side of the family is heavily Irish – though they were the type of Orangemen that settled in the southern U.S.

I count St. Patrick as one of my close patrons. Having chased the snakes out of Ireland, I wish he could come back and spend a little time in Boulder, Colorado.

The apparitions at Knock in County Mayo in 1879 seem to me to be far more important than they have been counted over the years. Of course, they are approved and supported by the Church. In those apparitions Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist and Our Lord appeared. One of the striking things about the apparition was the silence of the heavenly personages. They were at prayer and contemplation – which encouraged pilgrims, standing in the driving rain, to join in saying the Rosary for several hours. It is striking to me that the apparition of silence occurred in a country known for its joyful volubility. I think it bespeaks the solidarity of the people of heaven with us as we people in time on earth enter into our passion.

Pilgrims gathered at the site of the apparitions at Knock in Mayo County, Ireland.

Pilgrims gathered at the site of the apparitions at Knock in Mayo County, Ireland.

Another thing that struck me about it was the profuse rain that seemed to persist for the duration of the apparition. I learned from studying this that almost every authenticated appearance of Our Lady is preceded by a sometimes brief, but intense rainstorm. While I was on my pilgrimage, every time I crossed a state line, I was met with an intense rainstorm. When you live outside, that is not the most pleasant thing – but because of what I learned while studying Knock, I always thought that was Our Lady’s way of welcoming me into each new state I entered.

Of course, there is the old saying that someone who speaks eloquently has “kissed the Blarney Stone.” Notwithstanding a video of my rather nervous, rambling first public discussion of my visitations which is floating around on the Internet, I was a popular speaker in a lot of demand when I was in politics. One night, after a particularly rousing effort at a Southern Illinois dinner, the Chairman of the event, a wonderful man with the delicious name of Dogg Connell, slapped me on the back and said, “You didn’t just kiss the Blarney Stone, Charlie; I think you French-kissed it.” I roared with laughter and have always savored that compliment.

In another, tragic sense, Ireland was the epicenter of the bloody religious battles that followed the Reformation. The reasons actually had more to do with politics and nationalism, but Ireland was where the battle played out most intensely. I often pray that, having suffered most grievously and earliest, Ireland has a profound role to play in reconciliation and unity.

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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32 Responses to Musings – Ireland

  1. lynn says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I am wondering if in your time and as my turn might come up if you could share some information on the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston, West Virginia. There are many things in my diocese that majorly concern me. The Catholic population is quite low as we are in the bible belt & also many unchurched. I have lived here almost 20 years & my sister & I both converts believe in our hearts that Blessed Mother led us down here. We’ve been so very blessed in many ways. I have some stories of miracles & Christ incidences that have happened to us but will await what your thoughts are regarding sharing anything again at your convenience.
    Thank you for this fascinating site. God bless you.
    your sister in Christ lynn

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I haven’t been to West Virginia since I was 19, meandering near the Appalachian Trail. It sure is beautiful country there. It surely is not as unchurched as Ireland was when St. Patrick was led there. Of course, being in the Bible Belt, many already believe in the same God…so the main thing is to get them to take the next right step and be a sign of hope. Feel free to give a little testimony on a miraculous occurrence in your life. I am glad to hear those…it is just that this site is more geared towards the ordinary, the little whisper than the thunder of obvious miracles. Though I would not suffer the site to lose its primary focus, a solid miracle story can be a good sign of hope. Thanks, Lynn. Ave Maria, Stella Maris!

      Like

  2. Luci Holloway says:

    Dear Charlie, I am new to your blogs. I came to find you by way of Mark Mallett. He is such a holy man. I have been wanting a spiritual director for years and have not been able to find one in my location. I live in Port Townsend, Wa which is in the Archdiocese of Seattle. This is a very liberal part of the country as you probably already know. I am 68 years old and would appreciate any help you could give me. Thank you and God Bless, Luci Holloway

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  3. Thanks Charlie for your tireless effort for us and may Saint Patrick bless you with getting rid of those nasty snakes!! EEEEK!!!!!

    Blessings,
    Charlie

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  4. Fr. Bill Bowling says:

    Dear Charlie,
    I have been reading Mark Mallett’s blog for the past year. His reflections have provided a needed clarity for me regarding private revelation and the signs of the times. There is so much out there, some of which is confusing or misleading or false. Mature discernment is needed. Mark Mallett recently provided a link to your site, which I have begun exploring. I thank you for the courage to publish your thoughts, inspirations, as well as the prophetic word. These writings, in conjunction with several others I have since found, have given some context for a leading I have felt in my spirit for the last couple of years, which is to prepare for the great changes that are coming. Mostly, I have felt a deep desire to prepare my parishes spiritually. This has informed my preaching to a great deal. Recently I have felt inspired to lead the parishes in the consecration to Mary. I continue praying for wisdom in the coming months and years, so that the ministry is faithful and fruitful. Pray for me and for my brother priests.

    In reading your recent reflection about rain, I thought you might appreciate this link. http://www.locutions.org/category/mary-speaks-her-mind/page/2/

    pax et bonum,
    Fr. Bill

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    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Fr. Bill. I appreciate you taking seriously your duty to prepare your parish – particularly under the banner of Mary. It truly is her Immaculate Heart which will triumph and which we must rally behind. Welcome here.

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    • lynn says:

      God bless you Fr. Bill – I only know one other priest who would be honest with his people. He brought my sis & I into the church. Well the liberal bishop of Buffalo, NY (former home) closed his church & basically forced him into moving back to his community. He does get to still be active but nothing like he was. Fr. K is 79 and still tells it like it is where he can. We miss him terribly.
      lynn in WV

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  5. Michael j goodreau says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I have been following you for only a month, but so much that you share just seemed so reaffirming to what I have been observing and feeling. Thank you! I’m a revert, came back to the Church, when I was 23. It was a trip to Ireland that was the catalyst for it. I blundered into the town of Drohedga, and the shrine of Saint Oliver Plunkett! It started my thinking and journey back. It will always have this special place in my heart.

    GOD BLESS!

    Mike Goodreau

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome home, Michael! I am a revert of sorts, myself. My family left the Church several hundred years ago back in the Olde Sod. I come from a line that includes some snake-handling fundamentalists. Now most of my extended family has converted to Catholicism – but I was the first. I like to think I ran the hardest to get back home. My priests and I have sometimes chuckled that raising a house full of kids in the shadow of snake-handlers telling you you’re going to hell is not the recommended way of raising a house full of Catholics – but in my family’s house it worked!

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  6. Celticholyfirestarter says:

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  7. Celticholyfirestarter says:

    Charlie i have a playlist called St Patricks land on Youtube with a video i recorder of Ireland being consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Knock last year along with other great video’s on the ral truth of the famine and other topics.
    I am writing this msg from mobile phone extremely difficult haha.
    Also check out, “How the Celts saved Britain” i have that too along with the above video i made of Croke Patrick to the tune of Van the Man Morrison!
    God bless Holy Ireland!!!

    Like

  8. Celticholyfirestarter says:

    Im sure the Priest in Knock offered up 100 masses for the souls of the dead in purgatory and then after this the miracle happened.

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  9. Janet says:

    Charlie, you said we could be off-topic on your musings posts, right? I would beg your indulgence as I post two items here that may be of interest to your readers.

    The first is a Way of the Cross for Greater Trust that I just posted to my blog. Trust has played such an important part in my spiritual growth, and going forward–it is critical. I felt the Lord wished me to write this prayer and so I have included excerpts from my prayer journal. You can find a printable version and a large print version linked here: http://pelianito.stblogs.com/2014/08/03/the-way-of-the-cross-for-greater-trust/

    The second thing I wanted to bring up is my “Next right step”. It is a simple idea that would help stock the pantries of more people. I see it as the “Joseph factor”, where we are currently in the fat years, but expect any time now to nosedive into the lean years. My next right step is to host a home party that features freeze-dried foods, many of which have a 25 year shelf life. The more people that are somewhat prepared, the better. After all, most generations before us spent a lot of time stocking their pantry. For most of us, our pantry is at WalMart–and we’ve seen how fast those shelves can empty in an emergency.

    The really simple part is that Thrive Life (www.thrivelife.com) has a home party system ready to go. Providentially, there is a Thrive Life consultant in my small town. So, I feel the next right step for me is to have a home party! (Anyone else?) Simple, effective, and it gives people hope! Thank you Jesus!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Not only can you go off-topic in the ‘Musings’ posts, Janet, I absolutely encourage it. There are things I have to say and my posts give me ample opportunity to do so. But many of the readers have wonderful and important things to say and share. I rather envision the ‘Musings’ as a place where I kick things off, but readers take the lead in what is discussed.

      And for any of you who have not yet visited Janet’s wonderful site, “Pelianito,” which I link to at the right side of the page under “Spiritual Sites I Like,” you should visit her. She has striking, pointed visitations and shares an absolute wealth of great devotions and prayers to help you on your way. I am very pleased that we have become friends. (Hee hee, I figure if when the end comes it turns out I was just a bit too rough around the edges, when the Good Lord notes that Pelianito and Mark Mallett were my friends, it might tilt things in my favor).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. smilyking1976 says:

    beautiful

    Like

  11. marie says:

    Charlie, I am so glad to hear you have decided to do this. As I said previously, I am mostly Irish and part Scottish, but live in Denmark. I would be very interested to hear what you have to say about Denmark, as I have many concerns about the state of things in this country (not least, trying to raise Catholic children here). It is almost totally secular, even though the official church is Lutheran (funded by the state). There is a small Catholic presence, but, as in many other parts of the World, people are often uncatechised and pretty much follow their own interpretations of the Catholic church. Thank you again for this wonderful site and may God bless you.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Just a quick, thought, Marie…it may very well be that Denmark is deeply apostate from Christianity entirely. But Jesus called a lot of fisherman to be his disciples. You have to cast your nets deep to catch much in such a place – but the deeper the net is cast, the more fish are raised. The Lord must cast deeply to catch anything in Denmark, but it may be so He can raise an abundance of saints. Pure speculation on my part, but worthy, I think, of contemplation. And then what a joy it would be for you to be part of that Divine Net!

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      • marie says:

        Thanks, Charlie, and you are right: Denmark IS deeply apostate from Christianity entirely. I will contemplate what you write about casting my net deeper, but perhaps I can comment on this more some time in the future when (if?) you do a post on Denmark. Meantime, I’d be grateful for prayers – it’s very difficult trying to raise children as Catholics here. Janet (Pelianito) once sent me a very comforting mail about being faithful in this outpost where God has placed me. It brought me a great deal of consolation. Her blog, Mark Mallett’s and now your own are an enormous help. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy says:

    Wonderful things happening in Ireland: http://vultus.stblogs.org/

    Like

  13. Barbara Murphy says:

    Charlie, thank you so much for your writings, you are an answer to my prayers. I have been searching for a spiritual director for some time now, would you know have some information in the Philadelphia, Pa. Archdiocese? More specifically , Delaware county. Thank you and God Bless you. Barbara

    >

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I am working on getting this spiritual direction up and running. I am so deeply happy that so many want solid direction. I hope to contact you next week with something tailored specifically for your locale.

      Like

  14. Scott says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I am a long time reader of Mark Mallett’s blog. He had a link to your site in one his writing on Mystery Babylon. I started reading through your site and came across this post. Don’t know if it would be any help but my diocese has a program that trains lay people to be spiritual mentors (a subset of spiritual direction). I would love to talk with you about it if you want.

    Take care and God bless,

    Scott

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Would you be kind enough to send me some info on it by going to the Contact link up to email me? I am getting some info from a program like that out of Kansas City, but I am gathering up as much in resources as I can. It seems that the Church does not have the resources to meet the dramatically rising demand for solid direction, so I am gathering all I can to try to help people get started.

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  15. Bernadette Goulding says:

    Hi Charlie
    Knock shrine is the most important shrine in Europe because the focus is on the Eucharist. The Lamb of God on the altar. Please pray for Ireland in these times, as Satan rages against us.

    Like

  16. Joj says:

    Well, since you have a devotion to Our Lady of Knock, you will be pleased to know that Aug 21 is her Feast Day, the day you finished your pilgrimage! Or did you already know that?

    Liked by 2 people

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