Lights Flicker on as the Fog Thickens

Our Lady of Fatima Church - McGrath, Minnesota

Our Lady of Fatima Church – McGrath, Minnesota

By Charlie Johnston

One of our readers, Anne, from McGrath, Minnesota did a wonderful thing with the Prayer of Miraculous Trust at her Parish, Our Lady of Fatima. I will let her tell it – from the note she sent to me and the owner of the Full of Grace Supply House:

Good Day to you Lisa and Charlie,       

Before Mass today I asked Fr. Paul if II could hand the prayer cards of Miraculous Trust to everyone.  He read the one I gave him, said yes, and asked if I would lead the congregation in this prayer just before the end of mass. You would have loved to hear the congregation say this together. I suggested that we do this first for ourselves. 

Our Lady of Fatima in McGrath MN is a small church, still with missionary status, most of us older including Fr. Paul Furth who drives down from McGregor 45 minutes away.  

I think if I had just put the cards out, not asked Father’s permission, today’s dedication of all those present and those in the coming weeks who make use of this–oh the increase God gives us when we stay obedient in our lives. The wonders of Our Lady…”

What delight this story gave me! It encapsulated the virtues of trust, obedience and solidarity all in one short narrative. When you live obedience, you accept the possibility the answer might be no. Sometimes it is. But you also open yourself to experience the grace of God’s staggering abundance. God wants to prove whether it is His will that you serve, whether you will obey lawful authority or insist on manipulating things to get your own will. Even on things that are right and proper, if you sneak around and manipulate others, you are not doing what is right – you have failed to trust God to accomplish His will. Sometimes even proper things are refused for a time. But if you do not submit to God’s lawful ministers, you thwart the Lord in His efforts to evangelize them and to prove yourself.

You have seen people stealthily putting out materials in the back of the Church, without submitting it to the priest who is the spiritual head of the parish. We are not children of the darkness, but children of the light. Anne lived it, trusting God, obedient to her pastor – and gained a great blessing of solidarity with the whole assembly. This is how Christians are to behave – and this is the fruit of such humble and honest behavior.

Yet perhaps the most important virtue in weathering the Storm that has opened up on us is fortitude. A few quick examples:

  • You already know the story of florist Barronelle Stutzman of Richland, Washington. A hostile judge said a complaining homosexual pair could take everything she had, including her home and business, because she wouldn’t make flower arrangements for a homosexual “wedding.”
    (Barronelle Stutzman - courtesy Alliance Defending Freedom)

    (Barronelle Stutzman – courtesy Alliance Defending Freedom)

    After the story went viral, the state quietly tried to offer a settlement that would fine her $2001 and let it go at that. Mrs. Stutzman declined the offer, saying she would not pay tribute for living her faith. Understand that this woman had sold flowers to the complainant for years – and had some homosexual employees. She is not intolerant; she just would not be forced to participate in a celebration that was contrary to her faith. She is living fortitude. Defending her – and all of us – are our old friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is being kept mighty busy in these times.

  • Meantime, the City of Washington, D.C. is merrily trying to force pro-life groups to hire pro-abortion employees and pay for abortions – and to force Catholic Schools to sponsor student homosexual groups. If these unconstitutional measures were allowed to stand, it would effectively shut down pro-life groups and Catholic schools in D.C. – unless they accept the mark of the beast. Of course, in these Alice in Wonderland times when words only mean what the secular powers want them to mean, “unconstitutional” is meaningless.
  • Navy Chaplain Wes Modder,
    Navy Chaplain Wes Modder - (Photo from Fox News)

    Navy Chaplain Wes Modder – (Photo from Fox News)

    described as the “best of the best,” in his last performance review by his commanding officer, is being threatened with discharge specifically because he lives and teaches Christian doctrine on matters of marriage and sexuality. A lawyer from the Liberty Institute is defending him.

Perhaps the biggest public fight comes in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where the State Legislature and the City Council are threatening to punish and fine Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and the Archdiocese until they relent and welcome open homosexuality and advocacy for the same in their schools. Archbishop Cordileone has become a hero of mine for his steadfast defense of the faith. Throughout, he has acted as a gentleman with charity towards his opponents, even in the face of malicious smears. In fact, shadowy forces have hired a public relations strategist, a noted smear merchant of national stature, to rough up the Archbishop. A bunch of the teachers at the Catholic Schools have signed petitions against the Archbishop for insisting that Catholic doctrine be taught faithfully at Catholic Schools. I would fire the lot of them. But the Archbishop is leaving room for repentance.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

The old question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is a rhetorical one designed to illustrate that something is obvious. Increasingly, the American left responds, “He better not be!” And they are eager to come down with the full force of the perversion American law has become.

For each of these intentions, I have said the Prayer of Miraculous Trust. I hope you will join me in that effort. These people, with their fortitude, are points of light being ignited as the fog of the culture of death thickens around us. We are children of the light. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil.

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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44 Responses to Lights Flicker on as the Fog Thickens

  1. Lin says:

    Thanks so much for keeping us up-to-date on these types of issues. I really appreciate your efforts to help us connect the dots and see these things from a broader perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Chris says:

    May God bless Anne, Mrs. Stutzman and Archbishop Cardileone for their fiat and let us pray that we all filled with this same great courage when we are called to defend our faith.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. aegsemje says:

    My Dad grew up near McGrath, and my aunt and some cousins live there! Small world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      It is kind of cool, aegsemje (you really need to get an easier screen name 🙂 ), that this has grown enough that any town I mention, no matter how small, someone here usually sends me a note that they live there or within a few miles from it. I am starting to think if I began a new pilgrimage, I would never be more than 20 miles from a friend, regardless of how far I walked. It is probably true for Europe, as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. mary j says:

    I know McGrath too,howdy to my fellow duluth diocese people. Charlie,start that new pilgrimage in minnesota… does not get close to a hundred degrees here more than one day a year! We will leave the light on for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mack says:

    Beautifully courageous people mentioned here. the point about obedience and respect for lawful authority (I mean in reference to asking the pastor’s permission for the prayer) is really important too. Jesus often said to St Faustina in her diary that he was only pleased with things she did out of obedience.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Paul says:

    Charlie…re: The Prayer of Miraculous Trust…is it correct that when we say it for a particular intention, we just say it once? Set it and forget it?


    • charliej373 says:

      That is right, Paul. It is all about trust and abandonment. Feel perfectly free to say different prayers about that same intention…but the Prayer of Miraculous Trust is, at its heart, a turning of your will over to God – and trusting Him with it.


  7. Bob says:

    The St Joseph Novena for those who may want to pray it and ask for his fatherly help and protection. It traditionally starts today March 10 and his special feast is on March 19.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pete says:

      Bob, thank you so much for the link! May Saint Joseph guide your every step into the gates of Heaven!


    • MMBev says:

      I think that today is the 17th. I intend to start a novena for Joseph and all of us, Charlie’s kith and kin included, on March 20th. That way St. Joseph can enjoy all the admiration of heaven and earth on his feast day, draw a deep breath, knowing that I intend to start it again on March 20th.


  8. Julia says:

    Too true about the wonders of holy obedience.

    When I heard about the 24 hours of prayer with Holy Father on 13th and 14th March 2015, starting 5.00pm in Rome; I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could use the 24 hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the writings of the little servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. Jesus says for every word piously read He could save a soul. What a holy hope if this was possible.

    I went and asked our Parish Priest after Mass if we could use these meditations. Although he had never heard of Luisa Piccarreta !! he said, “let me see a copy of the book.”

    I sent him an email with a download attached, as I had NO hard copy of the book at the time.

    Lo and behold, he emailed me back a couple of days later and said “YES”

    So with feverish searching, asking and trolling. Within a week,I found a source and 28 copies are now distributed in our Parish. A little miracle with the blessing of holy obedience.

    I have read one hour a day so far and at 21st hour today. But please God there will be some in our Parish effort on 13th and 14th March in union with Holy Father and in the spirit of Luisa in union with Our suffering Jesus pleading for Mercy on our poor world in these troubled times. Thank God.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ellen Phillips says:

    Charlie, I’m new. My cousin Pam sent me to your site. Today I felt I had to write. Jesus told us we would be persecuted for our Faith as he was persecuted…but that Hell would not prevail against His Holy Church! Never in my life did I think I would see the end times but I know I am. ISIS, so called “gay marriage” and the Godless Press spewing their foul invectives….the loonie lefties and their CIVIL LIBERTIES have poisoned our country and the earth! The Blessed Mother will fold us in her Mantle and take us to Jesus. There is a battle ahead. I firmly believe that the “sign” promised at Garabandal and the sign promised on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje will be Light from Heaven….the “Light That Is God” as Sr. Lucia described in the Third Secret of Fatima. It will get worse. Every day there is more news of decadence, abominations and godlessness. Prayer is so important! We can never underestimate the power of the Rosary!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nancy D says:

    “in these Alice in Wonderland times” – I love it! I’m always saying that “everything is upside down and backwards” , which it is, of course – but I’m going to enjoy saying we’re in Alice in Wonderland times even more. 🙂
    Thanks be to God for these men and women who are living examples for us of true discipleship in the times of trial we shall all surely face. I hope that when my turn comes I will have the strength to follow their example and exhibit their heroic faith to those around me, thus fulfilling the call to be a sign of hope. God bless them, and those who courageously defend them. Their light is even now shining in the darkness, and it will only shine brighter and brighter because the darkness will NOT overcome it!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Trust is essential. God can use our trust against our enemy because the devil’s accusation is “they don’t trust You, they don’t love You, they are only with You because You protect them.” When we trust, when we accuse ourselves in Confession, when we offer ourselves to God’s will … God has something to show our enemy. Praying while trusting in God’s will is the most powerful weapon we have.

    We can’t say any longer “the days ahead are going to be hard” because those days are here (one of my favorite titles for a song is “Here’s that rainy day.”)

    Funny how love becomes a cold rainy day
    Funny that rainy day is here

    Human love fails but God’s love never fails, never has failed, never will fail. We’ll go through that rainy day and after we’ll see the rainbow and we will laugh again and try to count the colors anew, like children.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ontario College of Physicians approve policy forcing doctors to violate their consciences

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for the link, i also signed. Dee


  14. donna says:

    God bless everyone who does God’s will in their little life and become persecuted for it. May we all have the strength to do what is called on us to do by Our Heavenly Father….

    Liked by 2 people

  15. ellenchris says:

    My husband was a chaplain in the US Army (just before 2000). The vast majority of officers and soldiers that I met were people of great integrity and honor. They put their lives and the wholeness of their bodies on the line to protect us all, and they were not fooling around.

    By our Constitution, remember, the president is the commander-in-chief of our military.

    Over the past few years, the officer corps (that’s pronounced “core” just BTW, as in UNcommon) of our military has been stripped of thousands of the most able, honest, faithful and true.

    The orders against Chaplain Modder come down from the office of the commander-in-chief, and the command chain has seen what happens to anyone who does not get with the program. It is not so much the fault of the Navy itself, or the Army. Before my husband left the Army, you could see this kind of thing coming down the pike at 200 miles an hour. Pray for those who are still trying to serve our country under increasingly difficult circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Ellen, the purge of the officer corps has been as ruthless, though certainly more bloodless, than Stalin’s purges of the same in the old Soviet Union. A real president would first have to get the officer corps back to a commitment to Americanism and honor again, rather than self-serving toadyism. But the problem for the dark forces running our society these days is that the rank and file remain committed to honor and something greater than themselves.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. laura says:

    Hi Charlie, I notice you’ve mentioned the mark of the beast again. If buying into (giving oneself over to) this anti-God belief system is the method of receiving this “mark”, does this mean that those who do will be cast into eternal fire with satan by the time of the rescue? What happens to these people? I’ve begun praying specifically for them this week and hope even one will be released from the chains that bind them.


    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for praying for them, Laura. Many will repent, but not all…and the longer they hold to this, the harder it gets to repent or recognize sin as sin. Unless they repent, they shall perish. My hope is that the Rescue itself will give a final chance at repentance for many…but this I do not know.


  17. radiclaudio says:

    Amen, amen Charlie. The noose tighens, yet through God’s grace and your wise council I seem increasingly more at peace and calm. Not disengaged or in hiding but more measured and charitable than I had been until recently. More charitable “rifle” shots than mean spirited “shot gun” shots – lol Thank God too. Until several months ago I was frighten of and mad at the Storm and not responding in a way that would be pleasing to God. I am hopeful that God’s grace, frequent prayer and the Sacraments (including frequent Reconciliation) plus your direction and advise has had the same impact on many here. (and also the direction of a few others we discuss here, and of course our dear and most beloved shepherds, (the ones that are genuine Disciples), and the Communion of Saints, and our beloved Angels). When I list it like that I realize God is sending the faithful a LOT of help) 🙂

    I have a classic “A” type personality I like to do, to manage, to direct. I’m actually pretty good at it too. 🙂 God has shown me quite forcefully of late that these traits are all well and good but what he really needs from me is humility, patience, charity, and joyful obedience to His will, before I can be of most use to Him in the Storm. These request are not in my nature – lol. So He has me mostly on my knees, with doors that would distract me being shut right and left until I can yield to Him in the most natural, immediate and routine way. God is so good…

    Most importantly, while He has me on my knees in frequent deep prayer, I have been called STRONGLY to prayer for all souls and in a special way for you and our evergrowing TRNS family here too. So my (mostly) daily Eucharist, daily Rosaries, weekly Adoration, and frequently ejaculatory Jesus prayer’s are routinely offered for us here and the entire world including all non believers and our dear dear white and red robed martyred brothers and sisters, the Holy Father, our Bishops, and all of our Priests. Please count on my continued prayers and intercession to our Lord Jesus Christ through my holy bondage to our Lady, Mary Undoer of Knots. And please remember me (and us all) in your prayers my dear family in Christ.

    Much love and affection to all,


    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bob says:

    Here is Mark Mallett on the eclipse of reason today.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Kati says:


    Things have been busy here and I have some catching up to do on your posts, but I will join in saying the Prayer of Miraculous Trust for those you have mentioned and I am presently making the Novena to St. Joseph for Joey Cronin and two other intentions. God is GOOD!


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