What The Next Right Step Really Means

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“What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added to you.”

 

Before I ever began talking to my priests, before I was received into the Catholic Church, before I had children, before I was married I was told that a time was coming when I would not be able to see more than a step ahead of myself, a time when even that step would often be hazy, a time when I would have to completely rely upon God for every step. It was a mysterious thing to me. Like the dunce I often am, I wondered if it meant I was going to go blind. That is not what it meant (though who knows, I suppose I could still go blind). Today, I will tell you a little bit about what it means…and take you deeper into my interior understanding of these things than I ever have before. It is time you need to hear some of these things.

For a good 20 years my angel would use prophetic words to tell me innocuous things that were to come in the future. On almost every one, it would come to pass as he had prophesied, but not at all as I had expected. This served a twofold purpose (maybe more, but two things I have come to understand). First, it burnt much of the vanity right out of me. In this world, I’m a pretty smart fellow. But when dealing with the next, I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. All my smarts here are worth less there than a pocketful of Monopoly money is at the local mall there. It helped me to understand my true stature – which most surely is not heroic. Second, it – and the rest of my lifetime of ongoing experiences – have taught me to see a little from the perspective of how they see from that side of the veil. It is so profoundly different that my sight is little different than blindness – but that is what a lot of this has been about…to see a little as they see…and I needed every bit of the smarts God gave me here to rise to the level of blathering idiot there (a status I have not yet achieved, but I’m working on it).

We misunderstand almost everything, sometimes in small ways, usually in large ways. It is not just that the world is changing in large, unexpected ways: as the Storm rises to greater fury, our instincts become more useless. All of us have gotten to where we see a set of circumstances, then use our reason and logic to make a plan. All of us do that. As we separated our reason and experience from its root in God, things have gone downhill at a geometrically accelerating pace. Now people look to prophecy, even try to make a concordance of prophecy to see what will happen. Why? So they can make a plan. Your plans won’t work and are useless. Your instincts don’t apply to the Storm that is upon us. The more you plan, the deeper you will sink into the quagmire. It does not matter whether you are an active opponent of the faith or whether you spend five hours in Adoration and say 50 Rosaries a day. When you use the information you glean to formulate a plan, you trust to yourself and your own cleverness. God will let this Storm we have brought on ourselves rage until that confidence in our own capacity is burned out of everyone. That is why we all must lose hope before the rescue. Whatever we say, even if we think differently, it is ourselves we rely on – not God. That is why people restlessly seek more information on what is coming: so they can make a plan.

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It is why I pray that God give me no information more than what is necessary for me to carry out the work He has laid out for me. I am subject to the same temptations as anyone else on this matter. I KNOW that the more specifics I know the more likely my silly mind is to start formulating a plan of my own devising – rather than looking to God for each step, which is the only path to safety. Here is a paradox: If you look to God first and just take the next step in front of you, He will flourish it, even if it is the wrong step. If you make the perfect plan, perfectly informed by the best, fully approved prophecies, you will fall into a pit. All of your plans will blow up in your face. Yet every step you take after acknowledging God – WITH EACH STEP – will flourish. This is a subtlety that many, probably most, deceive themselves on. If you humbly ask God to help you be what He calls you to, He will bless your efforts. If you, instead, dedicate yourself to helping God rescue the world, you will founder. God does not need you to accomplish His will; you need Him to remain in His grace. If you keep that straight, He can use you as a profitable tool. If not, you are useless to Him, however scholarly, pious, or orthodox you think yourself to be. The sooner you get that, the closer we all are to rescue.

When you are sitting on a placid lake in a canoe with a paddle, you can use the paddle to steer, to choose where you want to go. When you are in that canoe in a fast-moving, frothy, rapid river, you do not choose where to go. In fact, if you try to steer, you capsize. Rather, the paddle can only be used to react to the current and the rapids…and every bit of skill you have must be used to keep from capsizing as the river takes you where it will. We are in the rapids. We are not in control. But if we are humble and skillful, we can dramatically reduce our odds of capsizing.

Shoot-the-rapids

You will see nation rise against nation, bishops fighting with other bishops, leaders trying to undermine the faith both from within and without. I have long known that. But what I also know is that the whole world has succumbed to a zeal for locating and diagnosing the splinter in everyone else’s eyes. If you have a baseball team in which all nine players are too busy critiquing the flaws of their teammates to bother playing their own position, the problem will not be solved by the third baseman’s ever more penetrating analysis of how the center fielder is messing up. The situation will not stabilize until each player understands his own limits – and resolves to quit worrying about his teammates, except to back them up well, and relentlessly devotes himself to playing his own position with every ounce of skill he has. This is why I am so slow to condemn anyone who purports to play for the Christian team. Even if your analysis of the center fielder’s deficiencies is spot on, it will avail you nothing if you have not devoted yourself to playing third base as you were assigned. It is painful for me to hear good people eager to detract others on matters they are only partially informed about. These people think they are cutting their targets, but they are actually cutting themselves and losing blood by the minute. God has not found those who disagree with us wanting: he has found us all wanting. We may deceive ourselves on the matter, but God is not deceived. You want to know who killed Christ? I killed Christ. Pound that into your head. Every one of us killed Christ. Internalize that and you are at the beginning of wisdom.

We understand nothing. We think God punishes us for sin. Religious folks think it is just; non-religious folks think God is a killjoy. Neither understands the nature of sin. God warns us away from sin because, by its very nature, it wounds us. He loves us and wants to protect us from harm and spiritual death. If a man atop a mountain aerie puts up a wired gate blocking access to a rickety bridge and posts warnings that the bridge is unsafe, that if you venture there you will likely fall to your serious injury or death – if you go ahead and mount the fence anyway, go charging across the bridge and fall, breaking your arm and ankle, do you think the man is punishing you for disobeying him? Of course not! He was trying to protect you from behavior he knew would wound you but you were too stupid to believe.

People think the increase in natural disasters and catastrophic events is a punishment from God. Again, we understand nothing. Has it never occurred to you that the dynamic tension of the natural forces that sustain life are normally more volatile and violent than we recognize? In normal times, God is constantly staying the brunt of these things. Now we dismiss Him from the classroom, dismiss Him from assemblies, dismiss Him from the public square – and so He obliges. That means His hand is not there to stay the rougher edges of natural events. It is not He who chooses to subject us to these things, but we who have sullenly demanded out from under His thumb – and now we dare to complain of what happens when we expose ourselves?

As you know, I have been an advocate for refuges, for people preparing to help others, to live simple solidarity, one with another. But I see religious people acting as if they think that these are going to be enclaves completely secluded from the Storm in which Jesus will be our maitre d’ and the angels and archangels will serve as our waiters and cocktail waitresses. The refuges are not places we will go to be treated like visiting satraps by the heavenly host. They are an opportunity for us to serve and live solidarity with each other as we weather the Storm. I have seen tales from visionaries who have probably seen true but can interpret nothing that further this nonsense. At one place of refuge, they told me how they had been told they will know who to let in because of a glowing Host that will appear in their foreheads and that the deer will walk right up to them and fall dead for food. I told them bluntly that while that is metaphorically true, in that they will perceive differently when they acknowledge God in all things and that it means there will be sufficient food, it is not literally true. I reminded them that God promised to deliver the Israelites to a land flowing with milk and honey – and He kept His promise. But when they got there, they still had to milk the cows and keep the bees – and if they had waited for the heavenly host to act as their stewards, they would have died in that very land flowing with milk and honey. In the refuges, you will work hard, have many trials, and will know hunger, though not starvation. Live it well and you will be startled at what joy you find in the midst of such hardship.

Some people have gotten queasy when I speak of my anticipation of being able, if I have kept faith, after the Storm, to devote myself to helping raise the money and materials for the building of the Shrine. They think we won’t need any of that, since Jesus will reign directly. No, He won’t. I am not a millenarianist who claims we are going to have an earthly Paradise. We don’t get heaven until we actually get…heaven. The world that we will have after the rescue is a fully natural world. We will have to get jobs, raise families, pay bills, organize societies and governments. God is giving us another chance to get the natural world right. He will give us the visible sign of our miraculous rescue by Our Lady to help fortify our resolve. It is VERY important that we take it to heart, because the next time there is a massive falling away like now, it will be the end. But we are getting another chance to get our hearts and heads right – and how well we keep faith will determine which of us ultimately gets heaven, but it will be a fully natural world that we go back to.

Some have complained that they cannot imagine such a thing because it has never happened that way. Really?! When God actively intervenes in human affairs, He usually acts in a way that is unprecedented in human history. When the flood came, there never had been, before or since, such a comprehensive disaster – and his fellows mocked Noah for his foolishness in preparing for such an event. When Israel left Egypt, never before had a captive people been spontaneously set free by their captors to go and found a great nation. When Christ came, Israel was used to prophets. Because, in part, Christ did not fit any of their previous categories, He was rejected by the very people He was sent to. When, after decades of existential war, France was on the very brink of permanent annihilation, it pleased God to send an unlettered teenage girl to rally the country and save the nation. God is always startling, fresh and new. It is we who constantly fail to have the wit to see what He is doing – particularly when it does not fit in with any of our previous experience of Him, which it usually doesn’t.

St. Therese playing St. Joan of Arc in a play she wrote at her convent.

St. Therese playing St. Joan of Arc in a play she wrote at her convent.

Shortly after I was received into the Church I read St. Therese of Lisieux’s The Autobiography of a Soul – and fell in love with her and her little way. I recognized in it the only way forward in the chaotic times ahead – and know that the way of simplicity is the way to endure this Storm. There will be so much chaos that it will make your head spin. No one can possibly keep up with it. You cannot divine the mind of God. If you seek to be a heat-seeking missile aimed at heresy, you are just as likely to hit a St. Paul in the making as you are a betrayer. In fact, God allows some errors among His servants to draw out the deeper errors of those so caught up in their own vanity that they cannot help but restlessly pick at the splinter in others eyes to avoid contemplating their own splinters candidly. Try not to be one of them. This does not mean you should not authentically proclaim the faith. You should. But again, you will be held to account for EVERYONE you could have given effective witness to but did not because you wanted to show how clever and what a shrewd aide to God you are. AND you will be held to account for EVERY case where you could have defended the faithful from an assault but did not out of false tolerance. If you can wrap your mind around those two dictums, you know it is impossible. A man cannot be that discerning. That is why the ONLY hope is to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those right around you. Trust-Do-Love. Now you know where I got the phrase, “The Next Right Step” from as well. It is an iteration of what I was told from the beginning these times would be like. The way of simplicity is the only way to endure.

We are the sheep.

We are the sheep.

Some think I have it easy, for I have been told I will live through the Storm if I keep faith. That is not a condescension to me, but necessary for my work. I am also reliably informed that several times, in the course of it, I will desperately long for the release of death to free me from these trials, but it will not be given. Pray that when that happens I will have wit enough to pray for more strength. I am also told that parts of me will be permanently broken for this life once we come out the other end. That makes sense. I came out of my little preparatory mini-Storm with permanent neurological damage and pain. Over the course of my life, I have been forced to see mankind at times through the rancid, accusing eyes of satan. I loathe him. He is the universe’s true bastard – for He had a glorious Father, THE glorious Father, and knew it, but rejected Him that he might accuse and savage mankind. But I also have been privileged to see mankind with God’s eyes; to see the feebleness, the deep longing, and the love that often transforms the most bitter foe at a crucial moment. If you have not read it, take a look at this piece. In the late summer and early fall of 1997, just after I finally agreed to live what God had laid out for me definitively and to the best of my ability, my angel was sent to take me into the whirlwind, like Job, to see all of creation, the whole universe, the beginning and the end. Like Job, I understood very little of it…it was far too great for me. But what animated it all was God’s staggering love for us. Every event, every chance acquaintance, is ordered by God that we may turn to Him and live eternity in heaven. The piece was the best I have ever been able to manage in describing it. It was then that I fell head over heels for God’s creation here and learned never to gainsay it.

Our plans mean nothing. It is best to know as little as possible in detail, in order that we are not tempted to formulate more useless plans. The only thing that will put flesh on the bones of our plans is to relentlessly acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us. Do that and you will be an island of peace and strength throughout the Storm.

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.
This entry was posted in Discernment, Prophecy, Solidarity, Spiritual Preparation, The Storm and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

170 Responses to What The Next Right Step Really Means

  1. aj says:

    Hi guys!

    The Good Lord always sends us exemplars of those who’ve been through a storm to strengthen us in the one that lies ahead. Here’s the story of a young man who converted from Islam to Chistianity (his storm). He continues to take the next right step in faith, which will ultimately lead to his death. In very simple language he asks why are we afraid of death…it’s the 100% thing that is going to happen…simple and true. 🙂

    Here is Mario Joseph from India and his dramatic journey to the Catholic faith: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WjUXd4qW9mg

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  2. anaverena1 says:

    Charlie

    Just wondering, will EVERYONE in the world suffer through the storm and actually be aware that a storm has actually taken place? Will it be as comprehensive as the flood? At the moment I have many friends/colleagues who are non-practising in any religion and who seem to think of little else other than what they are doing at the weekend or where they are going on their next holiday. Many people cruise along on the surface of life, some having no knowledge or awareness of apparitions or the supernatural in any form and no interest either. Will everyone have a great awakening and will all be practising believers after the storm has ended? I also wonder how long the impact will last or will the next generation slide back into indifference and sin so that fifty years from now it may be as bad as it is at present? I suppose I am just wondering if some people may be cushioned during this period with their lives being not noticeably different. I did think that the Garabandal warning would be strikingly supernatural with there being no possibility of a rational explanation within the regions of common sense. After over thirty years of messages and so on from Medugorje etc there are still people who have no sense of God in their lives. Will the storm change that? I do hope the world will be different!

    Many thanks, Charlie. I look forward to your writings 🙂

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Ana, EVERYONE will know before it is over. This will degenerate into the greatest crisis in the history of Western Civilization. I know there are many who still, in these early stages, think nothing will touch them. They are wrong. With each day, more props are being knocked out from under people and the old system in the world. Some come to wisdom, some become more defiant bitter-enders, and some desperately hope they can avoid it if they pretend they don’t see anything. This Storm is not as comprehensively destructive as the flood, but it is comprehensive. No one will be left untouched by it. Some may still choose to be bitterly defiant after it is finished (they will be VERY few) but everyone will know what we have been through and everyone will know there is God. How long the world will go before it starts forging golden calves to worship again, I don’t know. I hope it is a very long time…but we are a fickle people. I will just live my job as well as I can through this crisis.

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  3. donna269 says:

    I second Val’s sentiment…..I too, was blessed to see Imaculee yesterday (and Val for the first time!)
    The only surviving member of her family in the genocide…..her story is by far, the epitome of survival in the worst of circumstances. She lost 65 lbs after 91 days in that bathroom…she was in a 3×4 bathroom with 7 other people. They could not talk at all. They could not use the water. The 8 people were fed scraps from the families table. I feel I was meant to hear her story to strengthen me for the future. She is a testimony to surviving a genocide with demons lopping heads off outside the home where she took refuge. When speaking to her after her talk, my friend said to her….I was meant to hear your story, because with ISIS, this may loom in my horizon. She nodded her head in agreement. Not to say yes but it was certainly a possibility. She also spoke of Our Lady of Kebeho. Her second talk was about only that and it has peaked my interest in learning more of these apparitions…..if you can youtube Imaculee, she is really a prophet for our times. She went through and survived what lies ahead….and her story magnifies how God was the only thing between her and her enemy……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barbara Dore says:

      I love her books very much. She encouraged me to say the special rosary of the seven sorrows of mary every day ( it is my optional to say it daily) I love that rosary and It helps me to understand my sins and Mary’s pains. It is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barbara Dore says:

        It has inspired me to say 33 Hail Marys to honour her sword in her Sorrowful , Immaculate Heart and she painfully suffered from this specific sword for 33 years after Simon spoke to her about her beloved Son’s future.

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  4. Connie says:

    I just got the chance to read this last nite, Charlie. I haven’t even read all the postings which always do because I am a bit flabbergasted about this article’s message about not being at all in control and having to trust in God for my very next step. Last week my mind kept coming up with scripture: “Truly, I tell you emphatically, when you were young, you would fasten your belt and go wherever you liked. But when you get old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten your belt and take you where you don’t want to go.” John 21:18 And the picture kept coming in my mind of stretching out my hand as someone who is blind might do before they take a step. And just a few days later; it makes perfect sense to what is going on in my life presently. Friday morning my husband had a heart attack at work. The series of events from that time forward to present, I realized that neither of us were in control of anything. Events just happened like Charlie said, we were riding the rapids and just trying to stay in the boat. The Lord has truly brought home to me that every breath, every next step, I am dependent on the Lord. I have not fully processed everything but I have a deep down realization already, that from here forward, my husband and I need to look to God- acknowledge God and wait on his direction from the moment we wake up in the morning and we need to root out every sin- thought word and deed. The Holy Spirit has been convicting me left and right and I am appalled at how sinful i am unconsciously. I have a LOT of work to do. Yet I know that God orchestrated every event, bringing everything together (every person too) to see us through this mini storm we just went through. How very good our God is. I am humbled and grateful for every person he put in our path and for His perfect timing for EVERYTHING. The first day in ICU I was overwhelmed, in shock, and totally “discomboomerated”. My husband and I have many changes to make- phyisically and spiritually. I am not very eloquent, so I hope I have conveyed a little of what I truly feel, as Charlie says, we will all very soon, be riding out the storm. I have a sense of joy, peace, and the urge to reach out to others in their needs( which I have already had the chance to do in the hospital). I may get overwhelmed and paralyzed momentarily but I will lift my heart and my eyes upward in expectance from here forward, by the Grace of God. I may be scared or may have so many emotions I won’t know WHAT I am but I feel I just got a very important lesson in Trust. I could be writing this as a widow today- in fact, odds were, my husband very well could died – but it was a perfect storm in the GOOD way. Praise be to God. So Charlie your article, for me, was perfect timing to cement what I already have recently been experiencing. Thank You, I am eternally grateful to you for your wonderful guidance.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Connie, the Lord helped you very directly and practically, I think. Prepared you rather abruptly and completely. My prayers go up for the complete recovery of your husband, that you may walk together in faith through the tempest.

      One thing, on the business of rooting out sin. My first spiritual director only seemed really angry with me once. It was when I had formed the resolve of rooting out sin in my life. “Don’t you know Charlie,” he said, “that when you concentrate on rooting out sin, what you are fully engaged with is…sin. It’s a trap and a deception. The only way to conquer sin is to drown it in a sea of love. So do not work on rooting out sin – though you should avoid it when you recognize it – rather, pray for more love, and sin will recede from you as you love more.” What he said was striking, but the intense way he said it was more striking. I have since been very glad I took his counsel to heart.

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      • Marti says:

        Charlie, that may be the single most important thing I have ever heard in my life! I’m stunned and I just might have to write that on my wall in my house! Its also making me miserable—seriously…its an ongoing control trap that the evil one wants to engage me in. Today just might be the first day of the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Friend. God bless you for saying this and with all humility I love your soul! Bless you!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Fran says:

          Isn’t it amazing Marti, how God can use these crises of life to bring us into deeper trust?! He has done the same with me, and taught me trust more deeply, more profoundly than I ever imagined.
          And Charlie, your comment from your spiritual director is a shining gem. I literally think it is everything I need in spiritual direction summed up in one sentence. This is why readers should, as I told my friend the other day, “try to read through the comments!”. I have gained so much from the comments posted. The Lord is providing stunning insights and wisdom here!

          Liked by 1 person

          • vparisi says:

            I agree Fran. I came back to faith due to a family crisis and He led me through it to a life I could never have imagined, including becoming Catholic! And Charlie I find the advice from your spiritual director to be right on- when I trust in His Grace it is so much better than when I try so hard to be perfect and get down about my sins which are many. I can do nothing on my own- it is all Him- I have nothing to bring Him but trust!

            Blessings,

            Val

            Liked by 1 person

        • Becky-TN says:

          I second that, Marti!!!

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      • MMBev says:

        I, too, just love the way that your spiritual director put it. My brother was the only person who ever gave me spiritual direction, and it never seemed that way because we were best friends. His comment to me was, stop spinning your wheels over that. God probably isn’t the least bit interested in that area right now anyway, and you’re messing up what He really wants to do.

        Different phrasing, but the same message. Just get busy helping and loving and spending more time with Him. I have always been amazed at how secular and material things just disappear. It wasn’t because you even thought about it. It happened because the Other was so much more fascinating, and the old stuff disappeared without it’s departure even being noticed.

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    • vparisi says:

      Connie, I am so sorry to hear about your husband and thankful that he came through it- God always has a perfect plan even when it is hard to understand! I will keep you both in prayer.

      Blessings,

      Val

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  5. June1 says:

    Another Protestant (alleged) warning that came to this person in a shocking dream. It’s crazy to see how all sects and denominations feel that certain something in the air. God have mercy.

    http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/45601-a-troubling-end-times-dream-for-america

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  6. Charlie, I’ve been pondering this writing every day since you posted it. . .it has impacted me more than any of the others for some reason. I think I was trying to grasp the concept of utter helplessness; of the idea that it is useless for me to try to understand everything so I can put together some kind of plan for the future that allows me to feel like I’m “ready” for what’s coming.
    It seemed to me that you were kind of pulling the rug out from under me, leaving me lying there on the floor with no way to get up. BUT. . .I see it a little differently today. All day I was thinking about what you mean when you say over and over that the key is to acknowledge God first, look to God first, seek Him first – and THEN take that next step in obedience and trust. When you say “acknowledge God”, do you mean we need to acknowledge that “I am nothing, and God is ALL”? (I have actually been saying this every day for a long time now, and it has taken me a very lo-o-o-ng time to begin to truly believe it. 🙂 Do you mean that the proper first step is to confess that doing my own will is always death-dealing, while seeking to act on the Divine Will is always life-giving? I would appreciate it very much if you would make this a bit clearer for me. Thanks! I want to restate my gratitude for your “little way”, for the simplicity of it. Even my old brain, with its tiny little memory can remember “Trust. Do. Love.” and “relentlessly acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope for those around you.” I embrace that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I think you are getting it very well, Nancy. Funny, I have both sympathy and a little affectionate amusement at your plight of understanding. Sympathy because I spent years often in tears telling God that this would be a lot easier if He would just speak plainly all the time. I still get a little snappish on the matter. Amusement because, in part, I think, yeah, people think the purpose is to tell you what will happen, when it is actually to teach you how to see a little from the perspective of God. And that can’t happen unless you think, forging new paths away from the ruts in your mind.

      Your note here was a grace for me. My angel would always be so delighted when, after struggling and struggling, I would finally get a little real insight into what he meant. Today, I understand what he was feeling, as I see wisdom on the matter blooming in what you write. I like it.

      Just do what is right in front of you, take responsibility for it, and remember that our plans end in death: God’s end in life. Maybe a useful analogy is to imagine you have to walk across a great stretch of scorching desert one day. Where you are at to begin from, there is a great cool, refreshing fountain. Think of the fountain as an image of God. If you decide you are going to walk across the desert on your own, spurning God and ignoring the water, you will faint and perhaps die before the day is out. If you partake of an ample supply of the cool water that is freely offered, your journey will still be hard, but you will neither faint nor die. You still have to do the walking – but you had the wit to recognize your dependence on the fountain. Perhaps a clumsy analogy, but not entirely unuseful, I don’t think.

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      • Bob says:

        I had a dream last night. I was coming home from a long trip driving home and it was as if I was 100 ft above the road trying to guide the car and not veer off from that high distance. I needed to pray and trust God I didn’t run off into disaster. And as for as taking the next right Step this from Isaiah’s reading today:

        The Lord GOD is my help,
        therefore I am not disgraced;
        I have set my face like flint,
        knowing that I shall not be put to shame!

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  7. charliej373 says:

    Reblogged this on The Next Right Step and commented:

    Realizing I have a lot of new readers, many who want to know the fundamentals, I go back to this post from last year, which covers most of the most important things I have to say. I have it as its own page at the top bar under the title, “God’s Plan,” so it is always easily accessible. On this Palm Sunday, as the world gets crazier by the minute, it seems right to me that we should focus on the basics. This is fundamental.

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  8. Donette says:

    Charlie, Talk about the feeling of physical exhaustiveness that occurs in struggling to understand what God wants from us every day. I don’t know if it is just age or what, but sometimes I think just laying down on the cross and letting it happen seems to be the only way to gain peace.
    Fiat!

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  9. Donette says:

    Oh! I forgot to add: I see that Harry Reid took the next right step after his accident, if It was an accident. He plans on retiring from the Senate I guess he is concerned that if the Republicans win they will appoint a real Attorney General who will chase after him for all of his personal fund raising activities for his family.

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  10. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie, I loved this the first time you posted it and even more now. it just speaks to my heart. I thank God for speaking frankly to me (us) through you. God bless you and our TRNS family, Rich

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  11. Petra says:

    Today at Mass, in his homily, Father spoke of how people imagine priests and religious don’t deal with “the world” and the difficulites of being out among the worldly. He was quick to point out that priests and religious have the same things happen to them as lay people do. He then began to relate the story of a priest who was speaking to a man who, after his hours at work, would spend some time at a detention center for boys who had committed terrible crimes. One boy, at just 14 years old, was there for murdering another boy his own age, just as an initiation into a gang. Because he was so young, he only got 4 years in the detention center. The infuriated father of the murdered boy, at the hearing, shouted out to the boy who had killed, “I’m going to KILL you!” The boy was obviously quite shaken as he was led out of the courtroom.
    After a time, the father’s fury had subsided, and he felt a great need to go see the boy in the detention center, to try to make sense out of why his son was killed; to see if the boy had any remorse; to try to find something to help him get over his pain. When he visited the boy, he realized this kid was also in deep pain. No one ever visited him, not parents, not relatives, not gang members. He saw the boy was a lost soul. It turned out he had been abandoned by his parents at the age of 10, to live on the streets, using his wits to survive. The gang seemed like a way to have a family; a way to find connection and belong to something; a way to survive.
    The father began to see the boy as more misguided and helpless than anything. He began to visit him, and give him things; a candy bar; shoes; a little money in his account to use at the commissary.
    The time came when the boy was to be released, and the father, knowing he had no one, found him a job. He asked the boy where he was going to go, and the boy just shrugged, having no where to go, and having no skills to make a life for himself. So the father told the boy to come and stay with him, in his home. The boy came there, and the father began to teach him practical living skills: how to cook, how to do laundry, how to pay a bill, how to clean and stay neat. Finally one day, the father sat the boy down, now a young man, and said, “Do you remember the day I told you I was going to kill you?” The boy said, “I never forget it!” The father said, “I have killed the boy who murdered my son. You are no longer the person who did that. You are now a totally different person.”

    Then Father, in his homily said, “That is us. We have killed Jesus. That is us.” And with that, he left us to contemplate who we are, and the Mercy of the Father.

    Charlie said above, “You want to know who killed Christ? I killed Christ. Pound that into your head. Every one of us killed Christ. Internalize that and you are at the beginning of wisdom.”

    Lots of food for thought this Palm Sunday. A blessed Holy Week to you all.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Stephen Maresch says:

    Charlie,
    I am asking this with all humility; I hope, but one thing keeps gnawing at me in your explanation of the visions you are given as well as other visionaries. That is that they, and you cannot read the true meaning of future visions as the other side intends it so they are missing the mark on the interpretation. If that is true and I am not arguing that it is or isn’t, but if it is indeed true then why does God give visions of the future at all if we are going to misinterpret them anyway?
    By the way I find your definition of Gods anger as God giving us what we want spot on. I have always believed that God does not have to react in anger to have great catastrophes to happen. If by Gods very nature he does not do anything that would force our will then by that very act then our turmoil would correspond by God simply giving us what we want and him pulling his guidance away. The Blessed Mother said in one of the apparitions sites I believe it was Medjugojre that “if God was to stop thinking about us for even a second the entire universe would stop”.

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    • charliej373 says:

      It’s a good question, Stephen, and one I have addressed several times before – but it bears frequent repeating. Mainly, God gives us prophecy as sort of a road sign, an alert that, when certain temporal things take shape, there is a larger spiritual reality behind them – and we should pay careful attention. It is like traveling out west in the mountains and coming upon a warning sign that there are many bears in the area: it is not designed to tell you precisely where the bears are at any given time, but to alert you that you need to pay extra attention. So it is with most, but not all, prophecy. God tells us He is going to show us something…and we have to watch to see what it is. If you understand that, then you know that the very dysfunctions that are multiplying with blinding speed around us have been prophesied throughout several centuries – that a time of fulfillment is upon us. If, on the other hand, you have imposed a precise specific meaning onto selected prophecies, you would be blind to the signs of the times, dramatic as they are, because they do not precisely match up with what you expected. For most of prophecy, God is telling us to be still and know that He is God, to pay special attention, for He is going to move His mighty hand.

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  13. Pingback: The Existence of God | The Next Right Step

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