Spooking the Cultural Horses

I am preparing a set of musings that includes the BEST explanation of Original Sin ever. In the meantime, I thought you might like to know that even the cultural harridans – the folks who with their “enlightenment” and “sophistication” and “smart diplomacy” have brought us to the cliff of global war and economic collapse – are starting to sniff something unnerving in the air.

This column was printed in the New York Times – and it is something I could have written. When I first saw the headline, I thought it might be another marvelous article by Mark Mallett. Methinks they are starting to wonder if maybe, just maybe, their brilliant plans and schemes might just be a little off-target. Not to worry, for most it will take full-scale rioting in the streets and bombs bursting in air everywhere to get them to think maybe they should have thought this out a little. But hey, that would require them to take time out from figuring out their next move in trying to force nuns to pay for everyone’s birth control and abortions.

Here then, Roger Cohen, perhaps the first establishment media columnist to whiff the smell of cultural smoke in the air.

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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39 Responses to Spooking the Cultural Horses

  1. Fran says:

    Wow, I saw this earlier today, and I almost sent it to you, AND Mark Mallett! I thought of him first thing too! It really does sound like something he may have written, even the title.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yeah Fran, it really did sound like one of Mark’s titles. Who knows, maybe Cohen had a slow day, was visiting Canada, and stumbled upon Mallett’s note book.

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      • Fran says:

        Maybe so! I am looking forward to your next post. I am learning so much from you and everyone commenting really. As I said before, so much wisdom here. It is helping me.

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  2. Diane Mello says:

    A few years back I wrote a letter to my son in college about how it seemed to me that mankind was banging its head – on Satan’s level of ideas – people were getting warped with ideas they thought were brilliant – just banging their their heads – and not reaching above to reach the teaching of Christ. So now when I hear of some of the crazy explanation or reasoning or “new” philosophy I just bow my head and say “people are just banging their heads, Lord and not reaching up and over Satan’s traps to touch the very face of Jesus” and i pray for their ideas to fall apart and for the ones that seek to ruin God’s creation (whether known or unknown to them) be humbled and brought to their knees for mankind we come to its senses and God will be exalted – there seems to be a lot of head banging going on lately.

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  3. Elizabeth K. says:

    I’m really struck by the article, too. And I find the comments in the combox chilling, because so many really don’t see this as anything new and are so dismissive. More and more, certain writers of the twentieth century–Tolkein, eg, who talked of the end of the age along with Yeats and Eliot–are seeming prophetic. What rough beast, etc. etc..

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    • charliej373 says:

      Oh yeah, Elizabeth…the Yeats poem gave me chills when I was a child – and it is a fearsome thing to be actually living it. The line that has troubled me the most the last decade and a half are the last two of the first stanza: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.”
      For any who may be unfamiliar with the short poem, you can read it here.

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      • Kati says:

        Yikes! That is SOME article! Eyes are just seeming to begin to open up in spite of the comments. The comments actually affirm the hints of awakening to me. I see them all stemming from denial out of FEAR.
        And Charlie, the line in Yeats’ poem that spoke strongly to me was:

        ” …And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
        Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? …”

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      • Elizabeth K. says:

        Well, to echo Samwise Gangee, I am glad to be here with you all the end of the age. 🙂

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        • Fran says:

          Elizabeth, I’ve been thinking of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings a lot. I think Tolkien’s work is prophetic and of course there are so many Christian metaphors. It has literally moved me to tears at times. I just posted this a couple of days ago on my facebook page actually: From The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers:
          Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
          Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
          Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
          Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

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          • charliej373 says:

            It causes me to mist up, Fran. On my pilgrimage, I read all the great stories again – including the Lord of the Rings series. It helped inspire me to press on when times were hard – and they were much more often than I let on.

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    • Fran says:

      The comments on Cohen’s column are chilling. I saw some that were saying or inferring that an international leadership is called for, because our problems lie with weak leadership. Very chilling.
      One commentor said this: “It was a time of desensitizing . With people standing side by side mindlessly staring into their phones, tablets, and gizmos to watch the world crumble as if it was a movie to experience passively, ignoring each other and anonymously vocalizing their deplorable lack of empathy in the comment section of social media outlets…This message was sent from my iPhone….”
      The Lord has shown me how Satan has used media devices, and noise everywhere (you can’t go into a restaurant, doctor’s office, store, etc without tv’s, music, just noise everywhere, and then with all that people are plugged into their devices.) This is one way Satan is getting people numb, so they don’t think to pray or even notice what is going on with their neighbor. I am sure most of you know this too, but most of the world doesn’t even realize it is affecting them. He has shown me too, that even being on this forum, can be too much of a distraction to what I need to be doing…praying, and my duties! So, I am trying to keep a watch on myself, and not let it distract me too much, even though it is something good. I am saying that and here I’ve posted 3 or 4 times today already…lol! We just got back from mass, so I need to go help my son with his Geometry!

      Like

      • Audie says:

        Fran, I agree about all the noise. While living in one of the US territories, there was a big screen TV in the post office, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, gas stations, etc., continuously playing CNN news, nothing else. I asked a few employees if the constant drudge of listening to negative reports all day or night was depressing. They said they didn’t notice it. Am pretty sure they “heard” it.

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      • ann says:

        Fran
        Yes!! Noise everywhere. I notice this too. Always a device working–I fall into it myself sometimes but I try to be always turned to Catholic voices or music but lately I just want silence. I don’t want the constant beat beat beat…I should go to the gym but I can’t stand the spiritual vibe, the raucus beat, the sterile atmosphere. Much rather take a walk with my Rosary beads. More and more I am a “Stranger in a strange land” and I feel that sense of pilgrimage. This world is not our home. And I think as we get closer to the denouement we are less and less a part of it and more and more yearning for that reaching upward to Jesus, as Diane Mello said. Thanks to Charlie and everyone for the wisdom and insight.

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  4. Kris says:

    Tongue in cheek!! Funny, its like watching one of your children who you have been trying to get to see the danger in the path they are moving on look back for just a second and say, Ugh , Mom do you think this is safe? All you can say is , Keen insight dear, back away. Wish to God the world could do that and maybe with the sack cloth and ashes, we just might turn things back. Reading Drudge report today looks like a blow by blow account of what this journalist is talking about. Wow.

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  5. Jim M. says:

    I suppose Mr. Cohen has his reasons for attributing a key quote to Kipling. The quote was not Kipling’s. It was in fact a quote from St Peter, from 2 Peter 2:22:

    “For, that of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog is returned to his vomit: and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

    The proverb St. Peter speaks of is found in Proverbs 26:11:

    “As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that repeateth his folly.”

    Proverbs 26 reads like it was written for our time in its guidance on the ways of fools, sluggards, slackers, the slothful, meddlers, mad men, deceivers, gossips, hate mongers, those with evil hearts, the abonominal, the wicked, those that lay traps for others and liars. All of whom are in abundance in our present world.

    Mr. Cohen laments our world in search of an answer. Not realizing that the answers are, and have always been, readily available. From the Word of God himself, set forth in the Bible.

    The attribution if the quote to Kipling rather than St. Peter is an example that highlights just how far this world has removed itself from God. God did not abandon the world, the world abandoned God. The only solution is to reverse course back into the arms of God. We choose: to be subject to his love and mercy, or to face His judgment.

    We live in a time more evil and corrupt than the time before the Great Flood. Jesus is in the final days of gathering His flock to protect the faithful from the coming storm. Do we humble ourselves and submit our lives to our savior, or do we go about our lives, as those in Noah’s time, chasing the fleeting pleasures, illusions andthe doomed mammon of the world.

    To those who witness the tearful tradegies and the malevolent darkness that appears to be moving across the planet as a scroll being wound back, and who ask in their hearts, “when, oh Lord, when,” know that His time is now.

    All honor and glory to our Almighty Father.

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    • charliej373 says:

      In Cohen’s defense, he probably actually did read it in Kipling and is likely (if he is like most journalists) Biblically illiterate. I’m a fan of Kipling, including many of his short stories – and he interspersed a lot of Scriptural themes using Scriptural quotes. At this stage, I am just glad an establishment journalist had the wit to see the wisdom of the quote.

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      • Jim M. says:

        Hopefully, the recognition of the wisdom if the quote portends an awakening. And the zeal to track it to its source.

        One thing Cohen brushed over was the state of our economy. The US has amassed so much debt that can never be repaid. There is no growth to support the belief that repayment us even plausible. The stock markets abandoned its fundamentals and is at levels that defy rational thought. Companies trading at 500 plus times annual earnings. Tech companies that neither make nor produce products creating billionaires left and right.

        The economy is the proverbial house of cards. I don’t know what keeps holding it up, but I do know that it will come down. In specular fashion. As will the economies of other countries that followed the US in printing more money to mask the real conditions of their economies.

        The facade will be blown down after the November elections and reality will be brought to bear within a year. A world worshiping materialism and embracing mankind as its supreme being will panic in the melee and confusion. Panicked nations with nuclear arsenals is not a comforting scenario.

        The man made conflagration will be unimaginable in its own right. The forces of nature and the heavens driven by God’s hand will make this time unlike any other. Prayer, faith and hope will be our lifeline.

        Like

  6. Joan Hebet says:

    JoanBH
    Well Mr. Cohen. Where have you and your paper been these last six years? Propping up the monster, I dare say!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Propping up the monster, indeed. I often think of the NY Times as the voice of the monster. You could lazily run a very successful presidency just by reading what the Times urges – and then doing the opposite.

      Like

  7. Mack says:

    I agree with Elizabeth that the comments show a chilling refusal to face reality, especially the reality of God. Just like in the days of Noah . . .

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Amazingly, Mack, when I was still in high school I developed a fascination with cultures on the edge of calamity…and it is always the same. People who claim to be the smartest, most sophistication are in the most abject denial until it all collapses in ruins around them – and then wail that no one could have seen it coming. I wondered how entire cultures could be so blind every single time…and here we are living it right now. I still am not sure if people are really that ignorant or just desperate that their happy thoughts be so. I probably won’t know for sure until I reach the other side of the veil.

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      • ann says:

        I have been interested in such things myself, Charlie and have read on this subject. I keep thinking of Our Lady’s words to Sr. Lucy from Fatima that in “that time” even the best minds would suffer a “disequalibrium” and who could doubt we are in it. St. Anthony of Egypt once answered his followers when they said “what will it be like in the latter days” with the answer: “in those days men will be utterly insane and they say to you, ‘you are mad! you are not like us.'”

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        • charliej373 says:

          Strange thing, Ann…about 15 or 16 years ago I was told that the minds of even the best of men would be clouded over for a time as the period of the rumblings began. Shortly after that, I was visiting with a man I much respected and whose counsel I had long valued. We started talking about something and he got very animated, talking absolute poppycock that was embarrassing in its ignorance. He had has facts entirely wrong, his conclusions were absurd…it was just specious nonsense unworthy of a once-solid man. I started to seriously argue with him, then remembered what I had been told. I thought then, ah, okay, these things must come.

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  8. MM Bev says:

    The worst of plights is to not know that you don’t even know. It is’t denial, it’s the most profound ignorance. Unless God touches the intellect and heart those who don’t know that they don’t know remain clueless until………………..

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  9. donna269 says:

    why do I suddenly find myself humming Donovan’s Atlantis?

    Like

  10. Nancy says:

    Using military solutions to stop the twin viruses if ISIS and Ebola?… When will God be humbly called upon to save us? Perhaps we are too stiff necked to do that but a humble little Virgin of Tepeyac must be doing it for us. I have had a mental picture of her on her knees pleading for us.

    Like

    • Kati says:

      Nancy,

      I am so glad that you mentioned Our Lady of Tepeyac. I wonder how many are aware of two great resources that can be used in our parishes:
      1. 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration (Paperback) by Michael E. Gaitley It can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1596142448/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all It is also available in Spanish on Amazon.
      2. A Mother’s Tears: A Retreat Guide on Our Lady of Sorrows It can be found here: http://spiritualdirection.com/2014/09/13/mothers-tears-retreat-guide-our-lady-of-sorrows

      And, Charlie, I could really use the cards of the Prayer of Miraculous Trust in Spanish. Will these become available?

      People WANT these things now…because they ARE beginning to see the serious situation of the world.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Hey Kati…both my son and my godson have recently taken advantage of the “33 Days to Morning Glory.” My son has done it – and my godson intends to…so my son pushes him a little. They are both marvelously noble young men!

        I will check to see if I can get the Prayer of Miraculous Trust translated into Spanish. I have a friend who does some translations of Spanish theology and philosophy into English for a publisher. I think I will ask him to take a look at it.

        Like

        • Elizabeth K. says:

          I’m doing the 33 Days of Morning Glory right now (and experiencing the usual edginess, sadness, etc.. that i have before–spiritual attack? I don’t know, but it is quite a journey).

          Like

        • MM Bev says:

          Kati and Charlie:————–AND KRIS
          “33 Days to Morning Glory” is one of three books in a series. I had the second book (and have spent almost half an hour looking). I can’t remember the title, just the picture on the front. It’s somewhere in the house, but I give up now. The author is the same and I began it, when a young man from our city returned home to visit his family. He has gone to the States to join the order that the author belongs to. They promote Divine Mercy and the first step is the consecration to Our Lady. He told me to read the first book before I read the second. I do not know if the third book has been published yet, but since it’s the same author, you can get the titles yourself.
          I felt so ill about what Kris and I guess many of you are facing in your parishes. It shook me badly. I thought that with the beginning of the 2000, most of that had been corrected, at least as far as priests were concerned. Laity, yes, books, yes, universities, yes, retreat houses, yes; but that for the most part the truth was being preached in parishes. Now, I expected that it was like we have–certain subjects aren’t included, like homosexuality, or contraception but I’m just sick. I happened on one of Mark Mallett’s entries: The Antidote; written September 8, 2011, including the list of other choices at the end. This is very well worth reading. I’m sure that Charlie, you have spoken of the same things, on blogs I haven’t read. However, reading again the topic put into Mark’s style and precision is worth hammering our brains with again, and again, and again.

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          • Nancy says:

            Bev, Fr. Michael Gaitley has written 4 books that I know of:
            1) Consoling the Heart of Jesus–A Do-It-Yourself Retreat Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
            2) 33 Days to Morning Glory–A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration.
            3) The ‘One Thing’ Is Three–How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything.
            4) ‘You Did It to Me’–A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action.

            Try http://www.shopmercy.org/? and http://www.allheartsafire.org/
            I love books but I don’t have much time to read them–at least not right now. I am really looking forward to retirement, but that isn’t going to happen soon 🙂

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      • Fran says:

        You can get a free copy of 33 Days to Morning Glory in a booklet form here: http://www.myconsecration.org/. I have done the St. Louis de Montfort consecration before, but I am doing it again with this booklet. It is wonderful, and so easy.

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        • MM Bev says:

          Bless you Nancy- and you, Fran. A lot of people do a yearly re consecration on the anniversary of their first one. It is “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” and I loved the cover and that it was an “at home retreat”. I have never had the opportunity to make a retread. Seems like I will be able to do both books and maybe even complete the third, before I get this, this, this lovely, but hot and uncomfortable brace off my neck. And Fran, thank you. I have told people that they can get the booklet form but I didn’t know where–now thanks to you I do.
          Our Lady Mother has been my mother since I was quite young. One unhappy night I pleaded and pleaded with her to let me be hers. I can honestly say I have been. Examples: I could swallow nothing, not even my own saliva (learned a bit about thirst, I did, and I was being tube fed. How do people and babies with out water in Sudan and around the world stand it? We see pictures, but the reality is unspeakably different!) Anyway, the first pureed half baby spoon of food I manage with great difficulty to get down was on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. And the quarter teaspoon of liquid was on the Feast of Our Lady Of Tepeyac. Six years later, I saw the first sunset with out nystagmus or the rapidly flipping of my eyes…on the Feast of the Assumption. Always on her feast days. Always so very precious. Always her way of letting me know She is there, always. I have quite a few days with the flipping (it’s only from eye level up, but don’t ask me to go to Starbucks, Wendy’s McDonald’s—can’t read the menu.
          I felt a bit dumb when “33 Days of Glory” was suggested to me, and then I thought, this is a formal way of saying “I love you”, and so I want to do the anniversary thing too. We celebrate Mother’s Day for our earth mothers and this is a way of concertizing our relationship with Our Heavenly Mother.

          Like

          • Nancy says:

            Bev, I officially renew my consecration on the anniversary of my Baptism which is also the feast of the Queenship of Mary, August 22. For some reason, I think making the consecration should be done sooner than later. Saying the consecration prayers of St. Louis de Montfort, St Maximilian Kolbe and the 33 Days one, of course, can still be done every day. Don’t wait.

            Like

  11. Cecilia says:

    Thank you for this, Charlie. Actually, this type of article from the mainstream media gives me a light of hope. It seems that they might actually be sensing that the emperor has no clothes. May I suggest we all participate in the International Week of Fasting and Prayer, which begins September 20th, and according to their website (http://iwopf.org/) is for these three intentions: 1. To Pray and Fast for the conversion of peoples and nations. 2. To Pray and Fast to build a Culture of Life. 3. To Pray and Fast for Peace in the World. And a personal intention would be that many will repent BEFORE there is “rioting in the streets and bombs bursting in air everywhere.”

    Like

  12. Elizabeth K. says:

    Hi Charlie, after reading through this again, I read this post by Rebecca Hamilton at Public Catholic, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/09/our-sorrowful-mother-ndi-nyina-wa-jambo/, and also this piece by Elizabeth Scalia: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2014/09/15/the-great-unraveling-a-necessary-look-at-reality/. A chord is being struck, I think.

    Today is the birthday of my youngest child. When she was little, about 3 or 4 I think, she started asking me when God was going to make the new earth. She’s just get sort of quiet while we were driving places, and then asked that question on multiple occasions. I’d say, I don’t know, but why did she ask and what did she mean? And she would say, “God told me about it, but I don;t know when it is.” It never scared me, but it made me sort of cock my head and wonder. I wondered if she’d picked up on something in Mass, but there weren’t any obvious reasons for her to say this. I wonder still.

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  13. Connie says:

    This all reminds me of Luke 10:21 “In that same hour, he rejoiced in the Holy Ghost, and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones.” It will take a humble spirit to see things as they really are. And yet, that can be part of our prayers. I am consoled by reading Cecilia’s reminder that we can come together in solidarity, fasting and praying for humanity’s needs. I myself have been trying to figure out a practical way to fast. My husband and I used to fast on Friday from breakfast and lunch and abstaining from meat, which was not too hard for us except by night we both had fierce cravings for sweets which I have to admit I talked myself into giving in to at times! So fasting for me, is a real challenge– that is why I have been thinking really hard about a way I can fast and hold to that fast faithfully.

    Like

    • MM Bev says:

      Connie:
      One woman asked Mirjana how long she prayed and how many rosaries each day. She answed four to both. The woman must have looked a bit dismayed and shocked, because Mirjana began laughing. She said. Baby steps. Our Lady first asked us to say seven Our Father’s, seven Hail Mary’s and seven Glory Be’s. It took many years to get here. Apparently the same has been said about fasting. Even a half a day on bread and water is a half a day more than I did before. I do find that I choose special buns that are more nourishing than usual bread, and some days, I do have to eat some protein to make it through. I can do one day now, and use the protein (egg whites from hard boiled eggs, no salt, no pepper, ugh) but it allows me to get through. I also will sometimes heat the water, instead of just cold. Baby steps.

      Like

      • Connie says:

        Yes, you are right, MM. Thanks for reminding me that something is better than nothing. The evil one wants to discourage us from good works and he uses any method he can- I just don’t have to listen. I say at least one rosary a day( most days…some days seem to be too hectic for anything but short bursts of prayer) and since my husband just can’t seem to make it through a whole rosary with me, I suggested he could say one decade with me and he was agreeable to that. As you say, baby steps.

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