Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and me at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Fr. Seraphim was Vice Postulator for the cause of the canonization of St. Faustina.

Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and me at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Fr. Seraphim was Vice Postulator for the cause of the canonization of St. Faustina.

By Charlie Johnston

I should have some time tomorrow to get some serious work done here. My apologies to all…I have been going almost non-stop the last week, so I am again deeply behind in emails and postings here. Both tomorrow and during my sojourn back in Denver I will endeavor to get some serious stuff up. I hope tomorrow to expand a little on what I mean when I say that “nothing is wasted or lost in God’s economy.”

One of the biggest surprises I have had during my initial journeys is what a warm welcome I am receiving from the “heavy hitters” I encounter. Many Parish Priests are leery of me and my message, but the big ones who have major accomplishments that are well known have, after chatting with me, almost invariably welcomed me with great warmth and affection.

I decided to put the picture of Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, at the top because he taught me something important I did not know – and had occasionally done wrong. It is important to him that we all do it right. In the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, groups often say, “We offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son…” Fr. Seraphim is adamant that we say “I offer you…” It is important that we each offer it individually as we offer it in unison. I told him I will make sure this is done wherever I say it – and that if anyone argues with me, I can tell them I heard it from the horse’s mouth! As you probably know, Fr. Seraphim was the Vice-Postulator of the cause for St. Faustina’s canonization and has been instrumental in helping establish The Divine Mercy as a vitally important devotion in these times. He was on the Altar with St. John Paul at the canonization.

Visiting with Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception at the replica of Lourdes at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Visiting with Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception at the replica of Lourdes at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

I was delighted to meet and spend some time with Dan Lynch in Vermont, Tony Mullen in Philadelphia and a host of priests and religious that are quietly doing God’s work all around us.

I am putting up a few pictures of some of those who have devoted their lives to the faith in profoundly fruitful ways below. In the coming days, as I catch up, you will get stories on each of the places I visited and how folks have shared their faith and hope. You will also see pictures of some faces that are very familiar on the comments section – including Steve BC, Ed Allison, EllenChris and Daniel O’Connor…but you will have to wait a few more days for those.

Sadly, I have to depend on people in each city to take pictures and email them to me. I did not so much get a Smart Phone as a Notso (think about it)…and half the time I can’t upload pictures from my phone. So I depend on the kindness of others to get the photos to share.

Glenn Dallaire, publisher of the Mystics of the Church website.

Glenn Dallaire, publisher of the Mystics of the Church website.

Anthony Mullen, National Director of the Flame of Love Devotion.

Anthony Mullen, National Director of the Flame of Love Devotion.

Dan Lynch, who has worked tirelessly to promote devotion to Our Lady of the Americas, Jesus King of All Nations, and Our Lady of Guadaloupe full time for a quarter century.

Dan Lynch, who has worked tirelessly to promote devotion to Our Lady of the Americas, Jesus King of All Nations, and Our Lady of Guadaloupe full time for a quarter century.

Paul Regan, perhaps the foremost advocate of the Divine Mercy devotion in the world. He, too, was with St. John Paul at the canonization of St. Faustina.

Paul Regan, perhaps the foremost advocate of the Divine Mercy devotion in the world. He, too, was with St. John Paul at the canonization of St. Faustina.

 

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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53 Responses to Onward, Christian Soldiers!

  1. gdallaire1 says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I really enjoyed spending the day with you and our visit to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge. And thanks again for answering all of the questions I had for you. May God bless you and guide you in your work.
    Union in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
    -Glenn Dallaire

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Glenn. I wished you could have stayed a little longer. We had a great ride from Boston to Vermont and then a great afternoon meal with my Vermont hosts. Glory! People have been amazing.

      Like

      • cathyg2015 says:

        I enjoyed hearing you speak in Boston and spending time with you at dinner and during the drive, Charlie. I forgot to thank you for everything you have done and are continuing to do to keep us pointed in the right direction with our eyes on God. Your energy and commitment are truly amazing (You also must have have the patience of Job in answering the same questions continuously.) Enjoyed meeting you, too, Glenn, however briefly. On our ride back, my son asked if you two were famous as he heard me mention your blogs. I told him you definitely traveled in rareified circles!

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Thank you so much for the ride, Cathy! I enjoyed visiting with all of you in Boston. You folks were a right lively bunch! (In Boston, I got to the hall just a few minutes before I was supposed to speak. When I arrived, a bunch of people burst into applause and sang the song of Thanksgiving. I was sort of non-plussed by such an enthusiastic welcome, so when they finished I just grinned and said, “Elvis has entered the building!” We all had a good laugh together to kick things off.) I thank you for your kindness.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Kati says:

      Thank YOU, Mr. Dallaire. Your website has been a great blessing to us all.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. NancyA says:

    Aha, Charlie. As the distinguished man began to pepper you with pertinent questions at the Philadelphia area visit, I turned to my daughter and told her I knew that man. It’s been, ohh, twenty or thirty years since I had any contact with them, but back then, we were distantly acquainted. I tried, unsuccessfully to figure out who he was and how I knew him. Thanks for clearing that up!

    I very much enjoy seeing references to, and pictures of, folks I’ve ‘followed’ over years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jobrower says:

      Yes, this is going to be fun for us who have been in this “circle” for years! We have been praying, and anticipating these days for a couple of decades.

      Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I did not recognize him at all – though he clearly knew his stuff. Often people who are only marginally familiar with what they are talking about expound at great length…it was clear he knew with great depth and precision. Afterwards, when Tony told me who he was, I told him to let Mr. MacFarlane know I was impressed! I love those people who make the effort to really know their stuff in depth. And especially those who have devoted their lives to worthy causes. How good that God has given us all such different interests in order to form such a magnificent whole when we work together!

      Liked by 2 people

      • June1 says:

        I’m curious, Charlie… what sorts of things did he ask you about (if you’re able to share)?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          We had a wide-ranging private discussion in which he told me many things about the canonization of St. Faustina and the need for the Divine Mercy devotion. We enjoyed our visit together immensely.

          Like

          • sean says:

            Charlie,
            The Knights of Columbus recently (7/2015) hosted a Divine Mercy retreat in Ft. Ann/Whitehall whereupon Fr. Kaz & Fr. Michalenko stated the image of Jesus in the Image is an exact match to the Shroud of Turin. (Please inquire of Fr. Kaz for edification). The back story is quite enlightening.
            Cheers,
            Sean

            Like

  3. Nancy D says:

    I am so glad that F. Seraphim mentioned this to you, that we say “I offer you” while praying in unison. I definitely agree that this is the most efficacious way to pray in union with our fellow pray-ers. It dawned on me that the Chaplet of Divine Mercy that comes to us on EWTN at 2:00 ET every day is prayed/sung in that manner. In this way we each take responsibility for and participate more fully in our offering. Love it !

    Like

  4. Julia says:

    Thank you Charlie, it is so uplifting to see pictures of favourite people only known through their writings. And so strange to be living so far away, and yet think ‘Oh yes, I know him’ LOL

    Thank you for making the point that we should be saying ‘I offer You’ when we make the Divine Mercy petitions given by Our Lord Jesus to Saint Maria Faustina for saying the Chaplet.

    just a little reminder. Do you know this Sunday 2nd August is a special day. It is known as the Portiuncular, a special day when if we make a good Confession, receive Holy Eucharist worthily and say a prayer for Holy Father; we gain complete remission for sin and atonement. that is a clean slate thanks to Saint Francis, who got this promise from Our Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jaykay says:

      I certainly didn’t know that, Julia. Is it like another (or maybe the original?(Feast of Divine Mercy? Lord, even 4 months after the Divine Mercy feast I regret to say I’m most in need. Again. 😊

      Like

      • NancyA says:

        jaykay, it is the very first indulgence and was granted by Our Lord Himself, to St. Francis, who begged and begged. There are other conditions attached. It is available to all pilgrims to the tiny Portinuncula church daily (not only on Aug 2), but also to those who visit a Franciscan church or shrine or (then it gets beyond easy! lol) to any parish church… etc. 🙂

        Like

    • Petra says:

      Oh, thank you so much Julia, for reminding me of the Portiuncula Indulgence! I should remember Aug. 2 is the day because it is the anniversary of my father’s death. As it happens I am having a Mass said for the repose of his soul on that day but I always forget the day is also the day of the Indulgence!
      Now that I remember, I can make sure to go to also go to confession, say the Profession of Faith, Our Father and a prayer for the intentions of the Pope to receive this plenary indulgence.
      Thanks again so much!

      Like

    • Barbara Dore says:

      I think August is a time of thinking of Eternal Father, like May is for Holy Mary, June is for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and July is for the Precious Blood of Jesus. I read somewhere that Eternal Father wishes to have a feast day on First Sunday of August for himself. or 7th August. I am not quite sure. This devotion may be known to some of your viewers.

      Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It may please you to know, Julia, that my host in Vermont was a British ex-patriate. She misses her home country, but loves it here with her husband and children. I did have a “spot of tea” while I was there and finally got a scone worth writing about!

      Like

  5. Toni Pesson says:

    Thank-you for the pictures. I would have loved to have heard the questions and answers of that session. Have a video? Can’t wait until you get to Louisiana.

    Like

  6. Fred says:

    Charlie-

    Not necessarily on topic, but wanted to point out that there is a beautiful “Prayer or Blessing Against Storms” located on page 20 of the Pieta Prayer Book. It is directly across from the Litany of Humility on page 21. Given the “Storm” that is gathering force around us, I thought I would alert you and the rest of your readers to it. Both prayers seem to me to be highly useful in these times.

    Fred

    Like

    • Mick says:

      Thank you, Fred. That is a great prayer; it saved my family from a tornado that was barreling down on our house about 12 years ago.

      Like

      • Petra says:

        Mick, I remember you telling the story of that, and I took a copy of that prayer and decided to pray it every night for the coming Storm, although I realize it’s probably for weather type storms, but I figured, it can’t hurt! I really like it. So thank you both for sharing it.

        Like

    • St Faustina tuned back a severe storm with the DM Chaplet.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Kim Sevier says:

    Hi Charlie– I am a Divine Mercy Oblate. Fr. Richard Clancy of Boston started our Oblate group. Awesome devotion. Love St. Faustina’s diary! God bless! And thanks for info on I vs. We.

    Like

  8. Kati says:

    I am so grateful to you, Charlie, for sharing all of these happenings from your visits. Through your sharing, we are being encouraged and uplifted in great measure. We are also gaining some really beneficial knowledge. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hopenjoy says:

    Joyous greetings to you, Charlie and all following this website. You said one of your tasks was to “hearten the faithful”, and I wanted to let you know you ARE doing that! Last night, our little planning team for your Portland, Oregon visit met. Such a blessing and a joy to sit around the table with others who have this “knowing” of dark times coming combined with strong Catholic faith and your “trust-do-love” teachings. Those who live the metro area are doing the bulk of the work for your visit. I live 2 1/2 hours east in the dryland wheat country of the state (dry and desolate both weather-wise and spiritually), so am helping more with prayer and press releases. Philomen 7 & 20 came to me this morning: “The hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother”..”Let me have JOY from you in the Lord…refresh my heart in the Lord”. I felt as though I was drinking in great draughts of spiritual refreshment being with the others on our planning team and talking about you, Mark Mallet and others the Lord is using to help guide us through this journey. In the spirit, I saw myself wearily traipsing to a type of mountain man rendezvous, a joyful and refreshing chance to meet up with other pilgrims and sojourners (1 Peter 2:11), and to actually understand the words I’ve received from the Lord and Mama Mary “You are not alone”. Blessings to all.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Hopenjoy. I look forward to seeing you. Ha, I am in Albany right now and someone said at a meeting that a recent survey showed this area is the least Scripturally literate of anywhere in the country. “We are even worse than Seattle and Portland the fellow said.” I looked at him wryly and said my next public meetings were, in fact, in Seattle and Portland – then laughingly thanked him for warming me up!

      Like

      • Pam says:

        Uh oh I better start studying scripture before you get to Seattle, Charlie!! I’ll start binge watching my Scott Hahn videos 😀

        Like

      • Hopenjoy says:

        Charlie, I believe our Portland coordinator “TC” will be contacting you via Denver coordinator, because our planning group felt we should warn you that you might do a very basic “The Storm 101” type presentation. As we begin to talk about and promote your visit, we perceive a very low level of awareness of the spiritual, economic, political, environmental, systemic aspects of the Storm…or of your website and writings. So don’t hold your breath for a bunch of folks to start singing the Song of Thanksgiving. It may be more of a novice, green type crowd with little background coming to your talk.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Hopenjoy, I have had all types of crowds already. In every city, people have warned me about what to stay away from and such, for fear I might upset people. I have to be frank…I take these under advisement, but then just speak as I am moved. It is a surprise to many of the coordinators, but now having spoken to at least five or six hundred people, I can count on one hand people who were disturbed. Most all are notably enthusiastic. In fact, though I don’t know that I persuaded any of the small group of atheists I spoke to, we walked away glad to have met and talked with each other. After the atheists, I am not concerned about what I might encounter in the Pacific Northwest.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Barb Watry says:

    Alas, we certainly need the encouragement in these days. I know these things must come and I know I have to trust in our Lord, but it saddens me to realize how far we have fallen. There are days I don’t want to get out of bed for reading or hearing of another condemnation of our society. Many of you have probably already seen this essay, but I thought I would post it here (with permission of course). Matt Walsh expresses this eloquently and hard-hitting.

    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/sometimes-its-just-easier-to-care-about-dead-lions-than-dead-people/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire_Morning_Test&utm_campaign=Firewire%20Morning%20Edition%20Recurring%20v2%202015-07-30

    May God forgive us.

    Like

  11. Thank you for the pictures and most encouraging words. Godspeed, my prayers go with you. BTW here is a short new article I hope you enjoy it. I am transferring my site to a new more secure place, all the old articles are there now, this is the first published in the new environment.

    In this darkness, a sign of hope
    https://casorosendi.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/in-this-darkness-a-sign-of-hope/

    Liked by 1 person

    • mmbev says:

      Carlos, I was just over at your blog. Wonderful! I will be there often. Tried to leave a comment unsuccessfully (everything takes me time to learn, drat). Now I know that I will enjoy your articles as much as I enjoy your comments here.

      Charlie, thank you for being such a huge sign of hope for all of us. I suspect you will soon have a new blog follower….the Evangelical friend of mine. Got an email from him to fwd as many of your previous posts that I think he should read. He’s going to finish listening to your Birmingham video tonight. i like the new definition. I’m a “not so” as well, but everuoe a;read lmpws that.

      Like

      • Thank you mmbev! https://casorosendi.wordpress.com is my new website. I am still struggling with some functions and it may not be as easy to navigate as Charlie’s site but basically when you comment you only have to enter your e-mail and nickname and then press “Post …” and that’s it. Then it goes for approval and it’s done. Most things published go into the ARTICLES section than any of the others, the menu is pretty straight forward and the site has a “Search” function that is pretty easy to use. A number of articles are also published in the Spanish and Portuguese sections. The old site will disappear soon due to security concerns, the design is 10 years old and it may not be very secure any longer. Keep on visiting! God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        🙂

        Like

    • aquiness says:

      Thank you Carlos for your article filled with hope. I’ll remember these words….”Evil could not stop Resurrection Sunday from coming”. Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Doug says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I just had a session with my spiritual director who is a wonderful priest in my parish. I told him about your Web site and blog and he seems to have openly embraced your message. Without even checking out your site, he said you can come visit and stay at the rectory. Our parish priests are sensing something coming and are spiritually preparing. They just started Thursday night adoration to pray for our country. I hope this turns out to be an open opportunity to share your message in my parish.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      God bless you and your Parish, Doug – and how wonderful it was to meet you. Keep the faith, keep the prayers rising, do penance for those who do not do it for themselves or know how much it is needed. Thank you for your generosity in prayer.

      Like

    • Another Karen says:

      Great news, Doug! I’ll be bringing you, and now this development with your priest, to mine. Since they know each other, who knows what may come of it in our state. Praise God for his ways! Nice to meet you and Jackie last week and know there are others up here to bond with as the storm approaches. Let’s keep in touch!

      Like

      • Doug says:

        Hi another Karen,

        Yes. Who knows what may come. That sounds exciting. It was so wonderful meeting you! Jacki and I are thinking of a once a month Saturday storm dinner in NH with prayer and fellowship and how we should prepare spiritually and temperally. Would you be interested in participating? God bless you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Another Karen says:

          Hi Doug (and Jacki)!

          Though I can’t say that Saturday will always work for me depending on the time/distance (I do weekly confessions and Vigil Mass on Saturdays), I am interested in continuing to get together. It was so nice to talk to all at dinner Friday and ‘compare notes’ about how we are feeling about the storm, our not having many others who ‘get it’, and assorted other info sharing. Smaller gatherings are definitely more conducive to that, and that was definitely one of the fruits of Charlie’s visit for me! Many wonderful people at the dinner and meeting, but easier for conversation at the dinner. There are several Charlie followers within an hour of each other in southern NH/Northern and Western MA, so hopefully this idea takes root. It would be easy to find a central location depending on who was coming, or we could rotate between homes if that seems like a better plan.

          I talked briefly to my priest today about meeting you, about Charlie, and mentioned that you filled in your pastor about Charlie. I’ll leave it to God to take it from here with him! Wouldn’t it be great if our priests joined us when we meet again!

          Thanks for proposing the idea – carrying on from from here is precisely what Charlie hopes will happen. God’s will be done!

          PS, I like the name ‘storm dinner!’

          Like

          • Doug says:

            Hello another Karen,

            So glad you were able to talk with your priest about this.

            Jacki is on board with planning a storm dinner. Let’s take planning off line. Anyone in NH who is interested in getting together for this, please contact my personal email at dougpounds@gmail.com

            God bless!

            Like

      • Doug says:

        Please say hi to your priest from Jacki and i . He knows us we’ll from his previous parish. I can imagine him embracing Charlies message.

        Like

    • Hopenjoy says:

      Here in the rural Diocese of Baker in central/eastern Oregon, our orthodox wonderful gentle Bishop Liam Carey recently directed all parishes to say the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel immediately following announcements at the end of Mass, prior to the dismissal. We previously had Bishop Robert Vasa, have we been blessed with two good Bishops or what?

      Like

  13. Kim Sevier says:

    Charlie– any chance you might be visiting Memphis? Sure would love to see you down here! Just let me know! Kim

    Like

  14. NancyA says:

    I’m not sure where to put a comment that has no bearing to the posts. I think I remember that Anthony Esolen is a reader and commenter here, though I may be mistaken. I just wanted to say that I received a Sophia Institute Press email recommending his book, _Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching_ which attracted me because I am a fan (I wish I could say I was a student) of Pope Leo XIII. I have two ancient bios of him, as well as the collection of his encyclicals, because I feel a strong urge and call to write about him, but I have done no more than take some notes. I am coveting this book. (and, being a bibliophile, I am not very disciplined when it comes to books; I will probably order it.) He expounds on what Catholic social teaching is NOT, such as socialism, “progressivism,” and redistribution of wealth…

    “With the writings of Pope Leo XIII
    as his guide, Anthony Esolen exposes
    those who have distorted Catholic Social
    Teaching, offering here a coherent defense
    of what the Church truly teaches”

    Like

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