Back to the Mountain

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By Charlie Johnston

We have a large snowstorm that is supposed to hit tonight, so I am headed back into the mountains this afternoon while I can. Once it snows seriously up there, I am there until it melts off. There are things I need to go on retreat to work on, so I am going to beat the rush.

Some have asked about Joseph Cronin. I will give updates from time to time, but now is the period of adjustment and waiting. I am in regular contact with the father, George, and in sporadic email contact with the grandfather – also Joseph. The whole family is now in New Jersey, staying with the grandfather for the time being. The situation is getting arranged as far as transfer of employment. There are many expenses related to all of this and I will let you know what you can do. But right now, they are adjusting to a big move and many changes, Joseph is doing well, showing spontaneous movement and reaction to stimuli. But it could be a long slog, so I want to just update you from time to time unless there were important news to convey and allow the family to adjust, for Joseph to continue to heal, without making them into a spectacle. Again, every time I talk to anyone in the family – which is at least every couple of days – they reiterate their profound gratitude for what all of you did, for how you lived solidarity in action with them when they so profoundly needed it. With this, God gave a foreshadowing of our path through the Storm.

Clearing comments and such may be a little slow today as I am in transit. Bear with me.

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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61 Responses to Back to the Mountain

  1. Barbara Dore says:

    what a very beautiful photo. I now understand that you love that special place!!! 🙂

    Like

  2. radiclaudio says:

    🙂 I get it Charlie – snow bound doesn’t sound that bad these days – lol.

    ALSO – To you and our extended TRNS family this link to the March 2015 Atlantic Magazine on the Islamic State. I feel it is an extremely well written, timely, and balanced article and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to better understand what we are up against.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

    Love and affection to you all,

    Rich

    Liked by 2 people

    • radiclaudio says:

      BTW – I recognize that beautiful Catholic Church that is near Estes Park, CO. I have never taken the time to go into it. I would imagine it has the same rustic beauty on the inside as the out. Stay warm…

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        That is not actually where I go for these retreats…but that is along the same range of mountains. The mountain is Mt. Meeker and that is the site where the Shrine will ultimately be built. (And yes, the stone chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna will remain there).

        Like

      • malachi99 says:

        “Baghdadi was declared the caliph on June 29”. Did anyone else pick up on this very symbolic date vis a vis the Catholic Church. Perhaps just coincidence but maybe not. Also, whilst the ‘Atlantic’ article is excellent and details the nature of this enemy and its ambitions it must surely be admitted that while these guys have backers they have zero industry behind them that could sustain any real war effort. To put it simply, as Charlie has said ad nauseam, if we wanted to deal with these psychopaths and bomb and gun them into the middle ages we could. End of.

        Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You beat me to it. I have that story in the cache to be part of what I will post Sunday…so consider this a sneak preview. A very important article…not just for its substance, but for the fact that “The Atlantic” is a very establishment magazine – and perhaps even the establishment is starting to figure out that we’re not in Kansas anymore (as Dorothy said to Toto after the cyclone carried them off to Oz).

      Liked by 2 people

      • NancyA says:

        now, if only the office holder would get to figuring that out! Thanks, radiclaudio. I appreciate that article link!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        Has anybody seen how on fire Rudy Giuliani has been lately? He’s starting to sound presidential. Too bad he supports abortion. Oh, yeah… not really an issue because there’s not going to be an election. It’s so hard for me to think outside of the paradigm that has been “the way things are” for my entire lifetime.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, it really pleases me. In 2008, several of the presidential campaigns had tried to recruit me to run as part of their delegate slate from Illinois (sounds impressive, but is really just a way of garnering support at the local level). I eventually ran as a Giuliani delegate. I had resisted all early on. McCain was formally pro-life, but for his genuine courage in combat, his political history has been one of sticking it to allies when it is to his benefit. His private rants on the wingnuts were legendarily worse than his public ones – and I KNEW he firmly supported dramatic increases in embryonic stem cell research. I was convinced if he were elected, pro-lifers would be at the front of the line of people he would toss under the bus. I admired Giuliani’s courage – and he has the political reputation of being a man of his word. Though he is not pro-life, he committed in a private group meeting that he would only nominate pro-life judges. So I signed on and ran. In Illinois, it really is a pro-forma thing, for the delegates that win are almost always the delegates attached to whoever wins the “beauty contest” in the state. By the time the Primary actually rolled around in Illinois, McCain was well on his way to the nomination. But, I was in the first runner-up group of delegates in the 17th Congressional District.

          Interestingly, that was the subject on which Fr. Ernie Pizzamiglio rebuked me from the pulpit at Daily Mass in Galesburg one day. I firmly believed that Giuliani was the most viable candidate who would actually act in a pro-life manner after the election. I came to conclude that I was right about Giuliani, but I was wrong to ever lend public help to anyone who was not pro-life, even with the sort of practical commitment Giuliani made. If there was no one suitably pro-life, I would just have to refrain altogether.

          Still, I am happy to see Giuliani confirm my estimation of his character and fortitude.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

            Very interesting insight and anecdote, Charlie, about that primary. I just noticed Giuliani went on Hannity’s TV show Ash Wednesday evening with ashes quite visible on his forehead. I am not sure what I think, as I thought he has complications in his personal life, but I couldn’t help but note it.

            Like

    • NancyA says:

      Another thanks for that article from The Atlantic! While I disagree that the office holder is well-meaning, I found this to be the most clear and concise explanation of ISF that I’ve come across. Information we need to understand, imo.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        It is clear and concise. The real story is that the establishment media has figured it out. For the best routine coverage of what the Islamic threat is, read Andrew McCarthy over at National Review. McCarthy was a U.S. Atty. He was the man who prosecuted the blind sheik in the first World Trade Center bombing. He and I had similar awakenings, though about a decade apart. When he began research to prosecute that case, he assumed that the blind sheik had perverted Islam to justify his attack. So he began to study it intensely to show, at trial, how the sheik had perverted it. To his horror, he discovered that the sheik had followed authentic tenets of Islam. My awakening came after 9-11. It was not the terrorists who made me think something was terribly wrong. Lunatics happen and I am not accustomed to assigning group blame for horrific acts. But I waited for the moderate Muslims to speak in clear-throated denunciation, just as I would expect any Christian leaders to clearly condemn such a monstrous perversion perpetrated in the name of their denomination. But all I heard was silence or mealy-mouthed excuses from Muslim leaders. So I started studying – the Koran and the Haddith (the Koran is surprisingly short – about the length of the book of Psalms). To my horror, I realized the terrorists are probably the most authentic voice of Islam.

        Anyway, McCarthy has been writing with bold clarity on the subject for over a decade. You can often learn what will happen next with Islam from McCarthy – because the terrorists are working from the book, and McCarthy has deeply studied that book instead of the ignorant, uninformed “can’t we all get along” wishful thinking that informs most public official and media’s full knowledge of the subject.

        By the way, did you know that a French Street Artist who posted the ubiquitous “coexist” religious art (like the bumper sticker) was beaten up in Paris – by Muslims who objected. They don’t want to co-exist.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NancyA says:

          The way I have been explaining “Islamic extremism” for years is this: they are actually comparable to the orthodox Catholic or Jewish who is serious about following the tenets of their faith.. all of them. The “Muslims are peace loving” faction are comparable to the “cafeteria Catholic.”

          Like

        • SteveBC says:

          Charlie, you are right, McCarthy is good on this. I read the Koran years ago and could see immediately that all the apologists for Islam were simply wrong. It is unmistakable. NancyA, your label of cafeteria Catholic as an analogy is quite well taken, very much on target.

          I should note to everyone that the main version of the Koran is ahistorical: it has its verses all mixed together pretty much regardless of time. It’s not like the Bible at all. This makes it very difficult if not impossible to see how Mohammed and his teaching evolved as he grew older.

          For those of you who would like to see an interesting analysis of Islam, I recommend the statistical analysis of islam page at the Center for the Study of Political Islam here:
          http://www.cspipublishing.com/statistical/pdf/Statistical_Islam.pdf
          Don’t be scared of the math – it is simple but quite enlightening. CSPI also publishes many Islamic texts, including “A Simple Koran” which strips out all the duplications (I guesstimate about 70% of the ahistorical Koran is repetitions) and orders most of the text in a proper timeline.

          Like

  3. Jessica says:

    Keep praying for us Charlie! That we will continue to band together in solidarity 😉 Onward Christian soldier!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dionna says:

    Thanks for the updates Charlie-praying for you to have a safe journey and reasonable weather or at least much grace to “weather the storm”.

    In Christ

    Dionna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rose says:

    Received this plea for prayer today from a friend who is untiringly and deeply committed to the unborn. Her note illustrates just how strong the satan is working now…just as Charlie has been telling us. (Charlie, perhaps this isn’t appropriate to post…do what you want. Thank you always and am praying for you on your retreat!)

    As some of you may know, my daughter is a receptionist at the main EPS office. She sent this request for prayers for the clients and staff who are really experiencing spiritual warfare these last few weeks. Thanks for your prayers…

    The past few weeks at EPS have been rough. We have seen a huge increase in the number of women calling in or coming in specifically for abortions. On average, I would say we receive 3-5 calls a week from someone interested in abortion. Rarely does anyone walk in looking for an abortion. The past couple weeks we have seen that number almost on a daily basis. Part of this we believe is due to a change in the way Planned Parenthood schedules. They switched to only taking appointments for everything, no longer accepting walk-ins for anything. I know this has increased the number of women walking in to our EPS location thinking they are at Planned Parenthood for their appointment. This is a blessing in disguise. They also have been referring clients to us for an ultrasound to determine the fetal age so they can take the abortion pill. Planned Parenthood obviously charges for ultrasounds, so they tell clients to come to EPS if they want one for free. This is also a blessing in disguise, and really an answer to our prayers. However, it means we are receiving more women who are set on abortion before they even come to our doors.

    Even with our ultrasounds, trained staff, nurses, and volunteers, we just have seemed to fall short with these clients. So often, women come in undecided on what they will do with their pregnancy. Lately, they have come in or called only for an abortion. Two calls this week were referred from Planned Parenthood. We scheduled their ultrasounds and they didn’t show, despite reminder calls. Our nurse did an ultrasound for a woman who had her mind made up, and even after a long conversation with her, still did not feel like she could reach her.

    We all know there is only so much we can do. We pray that they come to us, and when they do, we pray for the wisdom and guidance to say the right words and give them the help and support they need. However, we cannot force them to accept it. When we do all we can and they leave, we don’t know what happens next with them, and that is the hardest part. Many times, we meet with people who leave with a plan to continue the pregnancy, and we are so encouraged. Lately, we just have not had that certainty.

    I am just asking for prayers for all of our staff and volunteers, as well as our clients. The Devil has seemed to be working overtime lately, and we need all the prayers we can get to stay strong and trust in the Lord to reach these women. Please pray for strength and perseverance for the staff, and open hearts for the clients.

    Thank you so much!

    Molly

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ginny K. Allen says:

    Are you able to attend Mass when you isolate in the mountains?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the phoenix says:

    Wintertime in the mountains sounds so beautiful … May the Lord bless your retreat, Charlie.

    I’m also traveling this weekend … Early tomorrow morning, I will pack the car with three of my framed photos to hand-deliver for an upcoming art exhibit in Western New York, where I’ll be driving to from out of state. At least the temperature is warming up … that said, snow is expected along the way. I expect to return by late Sunday. Will keep everyone here in prayer as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. NancyA says:

    Charlie, enjoy your snowy retreat. Looking forward to reading the fruits of your work there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bob says:

    May God be with you during your time in God’s country. The snow we are getting will remind meto pray for you, Joe, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Andrea says:

    I printed out the article in the Atlantic Magazine so I could pass it to family members (and I still can’t get comfortable reading long articles on a computer) and I still wonder what America should do. Does anyone else feel confusion about this?? Should we have a strong opinion? I will pray God’s Will be done but in these types of issues I never know if we should be calling Washington and “weigh in” with our wishes??

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barbara Maclellan says:

    I always enjoy and look forward to your posts and keep you in my prayers

    Liked by 1 person

  12. SteveBC says:

    Charlie, I’ve had 3 feet of snow fall on my head over the past four weeks, and I had an absolute blast and a half. I even liked the shoveling, although I had to get a Bobcat in (twice!) to clear my driveway. I hope your storm drops a fairy tale covering, oops, an angelic covering of pristine white, soft snow over every possible surface, then sends the sun to light it like neon, er, as if it glows gently with starlight from within. Heh. 😀

    Thanks for giving us all a little down time by being slow to screen comments! The past several days have been pretty intense for commenting by all your contributors. I think I’ll get to bed before midnight tonight – what a change…

    Have a wonderful time!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Chris says:

    Rose…prayers for your friend and the staff at EPS are reaching Heaven tonight’.Yes the Satan is active in the killing fields of abortions mills and planned parenthood facilities where spiritual warfare is causing much suffering to those on the front lines of the battle.But as that beautiful article Jose Thomas posted, we see that love conquers evil. The most hardened hearts can be melted by a smile and kind words.Prayor warriors form ranks all over the world for the workers in the field who are guided by the Holy Spirit with Our Lady hovering above with all of the Angels in heaven united around her.So please, thank your friend for her dedication with assurance that this battle will be won and hopefully very soon as I believe Charlie said abortion will end before the storm is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • connie says:

      Chris, I loved what you said!!! ” The most hardened hearts can be melted by a smile and kind words.Prayer warriors form ranks all over the world for the workers in the field who are guided by the Holy Spirit with Our Lady hovering above with all of the Angels in heaven united around her”. somehow I put it together in my mind with Steve’s words about crystalline snow covering everything and then melting with the intensity of the sun’s rays and I suddenly had in my head a picture of hearts melting around the world because of people being kind- in words and demeanor- smililing and being kind! How radical!!!! This is how our Lady in part, spreads the” effect of grace of her flame of Love” around the world! Prayer warriors melting hearts, I Love It!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Rose says:

    Thank you, José, for the touching article. It is a reminder for me… a few friends who had abortions years ago…that their pain must be always present for them.

    Yes, Nancy, the city begins with an O. Thank you for your prayers…and how beautiful to hear from another “family member” who perhaps lives here!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I laughed when I read your post Charlie. I had to come down off the mountains today because of snow. I would have gotten stuck up there if I hadn’t left quick. I was praying for you up there and will continue to pray for you in warmer climes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Love it, Padraig! While the skies remain very grey here, we have not gotten hit with the massive snow – though it was snowing hard enough I thought we might while I was driving here yesterday. I was praying the Lord would hold off the massive stuff until I got here. He answered – and is still holding.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Donette says:

    You didn’t tell us, Charlie, exactly why you were going back to the mountains for the second time in a month. My active imagination ran from “he needs a break from the multitudinous emails and replies he gets, or he is going to prepare himself a place in the wilderness, or like Moses, he goes to the mountain to receive a revelation. Whatever, or whichever, it took me a full 24 hours to discern my thinking on this and come up with an adjective that would describe my feelings about your going. The descriptive word was ENVY.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      My friends have made the place liberally available to me (in the classic definition of the word – not the modern one) – and it helps a lot to clear my head and focus my thinking. We have reached the time of fulfillment, so I need a lot of clarity, focus and steadiness. Thanks be to God He has made it available through these wonderful friends!

      Liked by 1 person

      • anne ovari says:

        May you have a peaceful and Grace-filled time in the mountains,Charlie.I don’t know what it’s like to be snowed in we only have the occasional snowfall that settles for about a day and then it’s gone. At the moment we’re melting here in Australia☺.God bless you and everyone here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MMBev says:

        I was alright until I just read your comment–“made the place liberally available to me”! I’m praying that it is not the cabin that should have the sign on the road before you get there!

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          There is no sign to it. If you don’t know where it is, you don’t need to know where it is.

          Like

          • MMBev says:

            It’s a “mental sign”. Charlie. It tells you to beware of going on up to the cabin, if it’s the cabin where you ended up having all hades break loose, (as it happens fortunately for everyone but you). I’m just trying to protect your back. Lord knows, someone has to.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Well, yeah, it did break loose the first time I was up here. The second time, the Joseph Cronin crisis erupted. Perhaps the third time here is the charm for quiet. I have plans…so does God…I hope they coincide this time, but if not, I will do it His way.

            Like

      • SteveBC says:

        Charlie, I’m not sure you want to expand on your phrasing here, but for some reason the sentence “We have reached the time of fulfillment…” sounds unusually important to me. It’s phrase I don’t believe you have used before. Has something changed very recently or about to change in a powerful way, or is this simply recognizing or referring back to your comments that Christmas 2014 wasn’t normal and to the overall tenor of deterioration we continue to see around the world?

        We got yet another bit of snow today here in Massachusetts. Is your snow storm over? Did you get enough to play in? Walking through snowy forests? Tossing a snowball or two? 😀

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          You are perceptive, Steve. It has been snowing constantly since mid-afternoon yesterday. It was moderately heavy for a few hours and has stayed moderate since, but constant.

          Like

          • NancyA says:

            Lol, Steve… “you are perceptive”: one of the above, or maybe not! 😉

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            NancyA, I wasn’t sure before that Charlie actually was in politics, but now I know that he really was! 😀 😀 😀

            I hope he goes out and rolls around in the snow or builds a snow man or throws some snowballs, ’cause he’s sure snowin’ me here! Hah!

            Like

        • Ed Allison says:

          Mark 1:15
          “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

          It was part of today’s gospel reading.

          Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Maybe I should apologize to Charlie, then, Ed. I didn’t catch that commonality, of course.

            I repent my funning, Charlie. Enjoy the snow! 🙂

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            No, it was fine. I did not know that would be today’s Gospel reading when I wrote it…so the funning is perfectly fine…and would have been fine even if I had known.

            Liked by 1 person

  17. Lilia Florentiae says:

    Have a safe journey Charlie. Today it is cold also here in Italy.
    Thanks for your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Rosalie says:

    Yes Charlie that’s a beautiful picture. But I thought that thing burned down a few years back…?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Incorrect. The big conference center well behind it by several football fields burned down. The stone chapel was untouched – either by the fires, the floods, nor the massive rockslide a few years back. The chapel of St. Catherine Sienna remains serenely where it has always been.

      Like

  19. pineconejill says:

    I’m in a lenten hiatus but thought this was appropriate:

    Like

  20. pineconejill says:

    And while the storm gathers I like uplifting music:

    Like

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