Your Grace

Praying Hands with Rosary Beads and Dove --- Image by © JJamArt/Corbis

Ordinary Miracles

(I am working on a piece on Medjugorje, which I hope to have up before I leave in the morning for the first leg of my visits. If not, I will have it up Tuesday evening. In the meantime, I loved this simple little story by our reader, Susan Skinner. It reminded me of another occasion. My first program director in radio was a lively, almost stereotypic Italian – Nick Farella. He was a wonderful man and a great teacher and mentor. I was, by far, the most controversial on-air personality at the station. (Thank God I also got the highest arbitrons!) One day, with a somber look, he called me into his office – which I occasionally used for research when he was out. He sat silently for a moment and I thought…”Hoo boy, looks like I have done it this time.” But I waited. Finally, after gulping a few times, he asked, “Is this yours?” – and pulled up a Rosary – which I had lost the day before. I enthusiastically said it was. “Oh thank God,” he said, wiping his head in relief. “I found it in my chair this morning and thought it was a message from God that he was not happy with me – and hoped against hope that maybe it was yours.” We both sat down thinking we were in trouble – and both left relieved and amused. – CJ)

By Susan Skinner

I started a new job this year.  RCIA and Adult Faith Formation Coordinator, a much bigger responsibility than I had at my previous parish.  My first week there I was a little overwhelmed.  I used the analogy I have heard before when you are learning something new; it’s like drinking water from a fire hose.  It can be like that at the start of any new job.  But I have souls I will be responsible for catechizing, for converting.  Am I up to your task Lord?  On the way in I said a prayer, “Lord, give me the grace to do your will in this position.  Give me the grace to get through this period of learning the role.  Lord, just give me Grace.”

I arrived at work.  Outside my office door I saw a little crucifix on the floor.  The kind of crucifix you may see on a rosary bracelet, almost like a little charm.  “Oh,” I thought, “somebody lost the crucifix to their rosary bracelet.”  I began to walk down the hall.  I stopped in each office asking if anybody had lost this crucifix.  No, no, no, people said.  Eventually I ran into my boss.  She said, “Oh we knew we dropped that on the floor, but we couldn’t find it.  I decided that whoever found it needed Grace for the day.  Susan Skinner, there is your Grace.  I took that crucifix to Rome with me and had it Blessed by Pope Francis.  It’s for you now…your Grace.”  I was dumbfounded! – Seriously Lord!  You tangibly handed me Grace.  You are an awesome God!  And that my friends, was a definitive God moment.  It is through God alone that I breathe and am able to be where I am. Blessings to all of you.

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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29 Responses to Your Grace

  1. jan says:

    Love it.


  2. Diane says:



  3. CrewDog says:

    I think that there is a lot of Grace “laying” around if we just take the time to look for it!! Being the Hyper Type A character that I am, I know I’ve missed truck loads of Grace in my Life ;-( Perhaps the onset of health troubles when I turned 57 was a Grace in itself as it forced me to slow down and take time to “Smell the Roses” … Iv’e always blamed it on lousy genes … but ……… ??????
    PS: I just learned of the death of my friend Bill Hood. He was a good Christian, friend, husband, father and patriot. Please say a prayer for him, his wife Harriet and Family … RIP BILL!!!


  4. mmbev says:

    Well, count this as another Godmoment. Your column was just what I needed right now. I do mean right now. As usual, I can’t manage anything with computers. ANYTHING. I was just at Blessed Hope Forum, and Yuku won’t let me change my password. I don’t have a clue how to manover around it. It’s hot. I can’t find Charlie’s blog listing Tom’s email so I can ask him to please register me on the link that will connect us. I have tried to register there five times now and have not succeeded. I have “awakened” from eight years of being so drugged up that I had no real clarity on what I was doing. My house is in a chaotic mess, and so is the yard. I have so much to do and I am so unable to do it. At least drugged I didn’t know. One of the drugs i was on for seven and a half years that I had, thank God, decided to slowly taper off, had a withdrawal period. When I went in to my doctor to get new prescriptions and tell her, she told me she was very glad. I would have been taken off by her because “they” (who ever they are) have found that it is dangerous and can do permanent harm to the taker.

    Feeling at the bottom of a well, I decided to try getting onto Blessed Hope, without succeeding.
    As I headed back to my mailbox, I told Jesus that I needed His help, I felt a failure at everything.
    I told Him I don’t even know what to ask for, because there is so much I need. I asked for His grace – just everything, all the stuff I should ask for and don’t know what, JUST GRACE TO GET THROUGH THIS.

    And then, your column. I guess that JESUS is going to give me His Grace. Boy, do I need it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • the phoenix says:



    • Nancy D says:

      It’s so amazing to me that Jesus answered your prayer for grace with Susan’s testimony to his faithfulness in answering exactly that prayer! Just another proof of his omnipresence and omnipotence, his “working all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose”. Believe me, mmbev, you are no failure. I cannot tell you how many times your comments have blessed me and edified me just when I needed it. So keep on keeping on, as I know you will with the help of his grace, and you will GET THROUGH THIS, one day and one step at a time. You are already a sign of hope to those around you, just by your perseverance and fortitude, demonstrating God’s faithfulness in even the most trying circumstances. God bless your day and all your days. Love, Nancy D

      Liked by 3 people

    • SteveBC says:

      MMBev, you have captured the hearts of many people in our world-spanning liquid-gold network of Trust-Do-Love, which is quite an accomplishment. 🙂

      I’m very productive, very organized, and over the past several years have gotten quite a few projects done. Yet over the past several months I have many times felt frustrated and overwhelmed by all the sheer *stuff* I have to or want to get done or that other people ask or expect me to do. So you are not alone in your state of overwhelm. I think most of the people reading and commenting on this site are also overwhelmed.

      Just remember to trust God, then do what looks to be the next right step right in front of you right now, and never lose hope. Getting off your drugs is a HUGE and hugely positive accomplishment. Give yourself some credit for that, and then just start in on the rest. Make a list of some of the tasks each morning and cross at least one or two off at the end of the day. Pretty soon the messes will dwindle and even disappear.

      Long and slow, MMBev: Give yourself – and God – a lot of credit each time you get a task done, and your mood will soar. Over time, getting things done will become a habit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barb129 says:

      With our dear Lord’s grace, you can do it Bev! I’m so glad you were able to get off those drugs. What a blessing! Praying for you right now (and every day!)


      • mmbev says:

        Well, today is Monday and it’s the cool of the evening. And before heading off to bed, where I should be already, I checked to see what was new. So I saw “new”, and enjoyed the song, and thought I would check the comments here ……. what to my wondering eyes should appear (I have kids, can’t help it)(quiet! ALL OF YOU! NOW!), I can’t express my surprise, and the overwhelming peace that swept over me when I read what you guys said.

        This, I truly feel, is a good part of what God intended this site to be and do. Not only are our comments woven through and around what Charlie and guests present, but our response to each other lifts us, gives us courage, and blessing and virtual “hug” when we need it most.

        And when His will in our lives is accomplished and we are before Him, this, at least, will remain when the rest is burned in His cleansing fire: The gold we have experienced and share among each other and Charlie will remain forever. It will be intertwined so that we will recognize each other by the love we bear for one another, even if we cannot recognize our faces now. All over us will be golden webs, woven, glinting as they cling to our garments, signifying our connection to each other.

        It is here that I have finally experienced what it is to be part of the Body of Christ.

        Liked by 3 people

        • SteveBC says:

          MMBev, I do believe this is the nicest and most settled comment you have posted. It has warmed my heart to see you so peaceful and clear. You are inspiring. 🙂


          • connie says:

            Am feeling overwhelmed too, Bev but now and then the Lord gives me alittle grace of joy in the present moment. And when I want to go full speed ahead at a breakneck pace to try to get caught up I remember what an elderly neighbor used to tell my husband: “slow down or you’ll strip a gear!”.Steve is right – just the next right step. If Susan wouldn’t have taken the next right step by stopping a moment, (instead of trying to dive in on all that was overwhelming to her), by going down the hall door by door to find the owner of the lost crucifix, she may have missed that grace that the Lord intended for her. As for me trying to get caught up in reading all of Charlie’s new post( I am about 10 behind!) and all the edifying comments of course, I just picked this one and was graced just in reading and being reminded God is always near us and loving us. Yes, we are tasting a small piece of heaven by experiencing the love and care for one another- the Body of Christ. I am so grateful for all of you, and Charlie, please give our love and one big hug to all you meet on your travels from all of us praying you along.


          • charliej373 says:

            Connie, it cheers me to know you are about 10 behind on my posts – I am two behind on posting right now…so you give me the excuse that, hey, I’m just giving Connie a little time to catch up. Ha! Mark Mallett and I were chatting one time and he halfway apologetically told me he doesn’t read all I write…misses some. He laughed when I told him not to worry about it…if I didn’t actually have to write them, I wouldn’t read everything I write.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Bev, I wish I had seen this sooner, and hope you find my response now, as things do get buried deeply here.

      On the Blessed Hope page, look up at the Navigation bar across the top where your account info will be reached. Click on “Account”. On that page, look under “Settings”. Click on Password. Type in your Current Password, then under it, it calls for typing in your New Password. Click Confirm, and then Submit. I’ve done it many times and never had any trouble.

      But you can always read, without logging-in. I just keep my account logged-in all the time and only rarely does it call for re-logging.

      Hope that helps. I just wish there was a way on this blog to send private notes, so I could be sure you see this.

      Thank you for visiting the Blessed Hope forum, anyway!


  5. Barb says:

    Wonderful story.


  6. SteveBC says:

    Can’t be much more direct than that! 🙂


  7. audiemarie2014 says:

    Oh, I love this too!! Thank you so much for sharing your story of grace, Susan!


  8. narnialion54 says:

    simply wonderful


  9. Wonderful, Susan and Charlie!


  10. Domingo says:



  11. Thank you everyone! – Susan


  12. anne says:

    THank you Susan. Charlie, will we still hear from you when you travel… will be busy but i hope to still hear.


    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, of course you will. It will be a little catch as catch can until I figure it out. But you know I never shut up for too terribly long.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Lilia Florentiae says:

        Have a good journey, Charlie. I’m happy to know that we will still hear from you on the blog, because, living in Europe, I will not have the opportunity to meet you.
        God bless you, especially during your tour.


  13. Karen says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing your story. I wonder if others feel the same as I do when I read these ordinary miracles. I see the author needing some extra love, reassurance and strength from God, and He comes through with an undeniable ‘coincidence’ — often something tangible. Each time I read one of these stories I catch a glimpse of His amazing love, grace and character. It is a feeling of recognition. “Yep– that’s Him! That’s how He is.”

    Extra prayers for both Charlie and mmbev.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    Our prayers will be with you as you travel and meet new people to share the message .TD L.


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