Changes Coming

I spent a good chunk of last Sunday afternoon visiting with Ralph Martin, Pete Herbeck and Sr. Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries and Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio. To be clear, they do NOT endorse me, but we did enjoy each other as fellow workers in the Lord's vineyard. From left are Nina, one of my Michigan coordinators; Herbeck; Susan, another Michigan coordinator; me; Martin and Kresta.

I spent a good chunk of last Sunday afternoon visiting with Ralph Martin, Pete Herbeck and Sr. Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries and Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio. To be clear, they do NOT endorse me, but we did enjoy each other as fellow workers in the Lord’s vineyard. From left are Nina, one of my Michigan coordinators; Herbeck; Susan, another Michigan coordinator; me; Martin and Kresta. Sr. Ann had to leave early for another appointment, so is not pictured.

By Charlie Johnston

Last Sunday I enjoyed spending the afternoon with Ralph Martin, Pete Herbeck and Sr. Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries, along with Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio. It was a wonderful meeting. I have long admired Martin – and wish that all Charismatic Ministries would live it like he does. When they do, it will be an incredibly powerful asset to all the faithful. We chuckled a little about the controversy that is growing around me as we got the picture above…with Herbeck amusedly and wearily figuring that when this picture was published they would be accused of endorsing everything I say. They are wonderful, tireless workers in the Lord’s service and I was grateful to have an afternoon visiting with them. And I love meeting with some of the most substantial people in the work before us – for if they have accomplished something significant, they are well aware of the slings and arrows that go with it – and not terribly intimidated by them. Pray for all the good people working at Renewal Ministries, that their faith may spread and grow.

I am soon going to have to make some changes and re-prioritize a few things here. The swirl of confusion is growing and I think I have to refine a few things in order to effectively help people keep heart as things go deeper and closer to full-Storm mode.

I think right now that my top two priorities are to write for the website and to carry out my missionary journeys. You have been short-changed by my often sparse writing here while I am on the road. Funny thing, my fundamental message is so simple and consistent – acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you – that I did not think it would take as much writing to underline and emphasize it. I guess there are a lot of facets to it, though. The simplest things often take a lifetime to really learn and live well. The response to my many presentations has been incredible. People are taking real heart from them and resolving to live that simple trust. I see people who came to scoff or set me straight leaving overjoyed all the time. To help raise groups of people all over the country committed to God and to helping each other and others around them…well, it is both a joy and a privilege to participate in that.

Times are getting more dire and intense. Shortly, I am going to put a new “Contact” email address up and remove the old one. I will keep the old one and use it for communication with colleagues, priests, pastors and regional coordinators, but will not leave it published or answer general queries from it. I will get a team of people to respond to questions from the new address (I already have someone in mind to lead the team) and alert me to anything that needs personal attention from me. I am terribly bogged down in emails, which is keeping me from writing as much as I should – as well as keeping me tired all the time – and I am afraid causing me to be unnecessarily sharp in replies sometimes. (The sharpness, of course, is my fault…but there it is.)

Controversies that are now a constant cacophony are about to become a deafening roar. I need to speak with calm clarity as that rises, to cut through the din. Right now, awareness of this site and my work is growing by leaps and bounds. There are several very serious inquiries and examinations I am submitting to – some when I get back home. Some very substantial people have said I am worthy of hearing, more voices are rising in criticism of me, too. There will be more of both as time goes on. Some just react to something they have heard or some snippet they have read and then criticize on ground that are trivial or even false. Some very good people criticize for reasonable reasons. I will have to face judgment for how I handle the work in front of me – and both fans and critics will have to face judgment for how they came to their conclusions. Those who make their critique from honest grounds have nothing to worry about – and in fact will help me refine my own work. Those who do otherwise will have to answer for their own work. My habit in public life has always been to respond to serious, sincere concerns from substantial sources while not getting bogged down in petty or manufactured controversies. Rather, I let my work speak for itself. A lot less work gets done if you busy yourself defending yourself against trivia or falsehoods. So don’t get too upset if you hear someone criticize me – or get too excited if you hear someone praise me. Some good people will criticize me. A very good priest in some authority told me recently that he had a very bad reaction to me for a while – then realized his reaction had very little to do with what I actually had to say, and so listened harder to find the source of his reaction. We parted friends – and fellow workers in the vineyard.  In the end, you have to discern. As I once said, if I tell you false, 10,000 theologians praising me will not help me when I stand before God. If I tell you true, 10,000 attacking me will do me no damage when I stand before God. Let us continue to build each other up through fraternal care, correction and encouragement and all will be well.

Today and tomorrow I am in the Chicago area, able to visit old family and friends. I have a car and am able to drive myself. I love my work, but it is great to feel like I have control of my life for a few days…so I am going to indulge myself among family and friends for these few days.

I have the important piece on schism and what it portends, then a piece particularly for priests and pastors. I have been inundated with requests from priests asking for any advice I might have on how they can fully live their responsibility to their people in difficult times. I want to offer what I can, knowing that whether it is helpful or not, the very fact they are taking it so seriously bodes very well for their flocks.

God bless all here – as our friend, CrewDog, likes to say. (I sure am glad he is in our foxhole!)

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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360 Responses to Changes Coming

  1. Mack says:

    About the storm and I think a lightning strike at the mosque, I think that is very significant. However I can’t say exactly in what way. But here are a few thoughts. I’m basing this on something I read at Emmet O’Regan’s blog “Unveiling the Apocalypse.” He does not claim visions but merely studies that book very intently.
    He noted there were two lightning strikes to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica on two significant moments.
    One was June 29, 1995 (feast of Sts. Peter and Paul), when Pope John Paul and the Orthodox Patriarch were meeting together in hopes of coming closer to unity. The other was the very day Pope Benedict announced his resignation (Feb 11, 2013). In both moments, God’s plan was working itself out in a way that would lead to the eventual fall of Satan, as Jesus said in the gospel, “I saw Satan fall from the sky like lightning.”
    With no prejudice toward individual Muslims who are sincere in their faith and do not use it in a bad way, we know that Islam is not the truth. I believe–and realize others may disagree with me–that the satan has used this religion to spread evil and terror throughout the world. What we are seeing now with ISIS is, in effect, Islam unmasked. They justify what they do on the basis of their sacred texts, even coming up with a most horrific “theology of rape.” (Even the NY Times had an article about that).
    So I take the storm and lightning strike at the grand mosque in Mecca–the very center of Islam and its most important holy place–as a sign that Jesus is indeed going to convert the Muslims through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That it happened on Sept 11, at the end of the Shemitah year, is another indication this is not a coincidence. Since Charlie has already told us that during the Storm militant Islam will be defeated and the Muslims will convert, this is a sign of what is to come, I believe.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Mack says:

    If Charlie doesn’t mind here is a quote from O’Regan’s blog about St Peter’s dome and the lightning in 1995 (he speaks also of an interesting prophecy from Bl. Elizabeth Canori Mora, an Italian saint of the 19th century:

    “In an atmosphere charged with intensity… ambassadors credited to the Holy See, members of the Sacred College, and numerous high officials of the Vatican, the Pope, and the Patriarch each in their turn spoke… to express their intention to ‘dispel’ the misunderstandings which have separated Christians… since the 11th century…

    The Patriarch underlined “that today, happily… we have arrived at a maturity.” The Pope, in turn, suggested that papal authority would have to be supreme in a unified Church because Christ had given Saint Peter, the first pope, free power to rule the flock on earth.

    Patriarch Bartholomew then asked Christians to pray and fast to oppose the power of the Devil and to drive out demons. At that exact moment, all the faithful were startled by a lightning bolt which struck the basilica, followed by a violent summer storm.

    This of course echoes the words of Jesus in the Gospels:

    The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
    (Luke 10:17-19)”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mack says:

    Here’s the info about Blessed Elizabeth. I was struck that the prophecy mentions a pastor filled with the spirit of St Ignatius (Pope Francis probably!)
    Early in 1821 Our Lord said to her, “I will reform my people and my Church. I will send zealous priests to preach my Faith. I will form a new apostolate and send the Holy Ghost to renew the world. I will reform the religious orders by means of new holy and learned reformers. They will all have the spirit of my predilect son Ignatius of Loyola. I will provide my Church with a new pastor, who is learned, holy and full of My Spirit. With holy zeal he will reform My flock.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ann says:

    Powerful meditation Caitlynn. The hymn that has been a constant lately for me is “Christ Alone.” Those words just pulse with power. “In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my strength my joy, my song/ This cornerstone this solid ground, here in the love of Christ I stand
    No power of Hell no scheme of man/ can ever take me from His hand for I am His and He is Mine
    Here in the love of Christ I stand (or words to that effect)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Every line of that hymn is a refrain, Keep your eyes on Christ, Keep your eyes on Christ, Keep your eyes on Christ. That has been coming on strong these past weeks. The ante of happenings might get upped in the near future, and with it, the danger that I could do a Peter, and start drowning!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ann says:

        Yes, caitlynnegrace-you’re right!-it is or should be our constant refrain. And I like you worry about doing a Peter and falling into the deep. I don’t trust myself at all, but I do trust Jesus. As St. Margaret Mary said: I hope for all things from Your Mercy but I fear all things from my weakness.😉

        Liked by 5 people

  5. Doug says:

    Hi Charlie, We just had our storm “How to” meeting today where we all made bailer buckets for getting water out of wells. I don’t expect to use them (hope not to anyway), but had a good day of prayer and fellowship. It gave folks a sense of being able to do something.

    I understand the difficulties that you experience with the growing list of visitors and bloggers and all the added questions. It is inevitable and as things unfold and will probably get worse. I am glad to come here and give encouragement to others along with receiving a lot of encouragement. I pray for you and everyone here. No need to respond.

    God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin says:

    From today’s Office of Readings on the memorial of St. John Chrystostom, this could not be more perfect for our times. I will be returning to this often.

    The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? ‘The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.

    Do you not hear the Lord saying: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst? Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbour. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!

    If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider’s web. Indeed, unless you, my brothers, had detained me, I would have left this very day. For I always say “Lord, your will be done”; not what this fellow or that would have me do, but what you want me to do. That is my strong tower, my immovable rock, my staff that never gives way. If God wants something, let it be done! If he wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful.

    Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.

    You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun’s light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come. — St. John Chrysostom

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Doug says:

    Nice Robin!


  8. Gloria says:

    Charlie, you opened my eyes to much more that I can do as a Catholic Christian. It was a pleasure to meet you this last week in Lafayette, In. We should feel empowered by the Sacraments that we have at our fingertips, grace upon grace! But isn’t that what the Father has for his children, for all he asks of us is to do his will.
    God be praised through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus! Gloria


  9. Donette says:

    I have had an exhausting Sunday. All day I have been praying and studying and now I am ending it with a final thought given to what Charlie has recommended to all who read his posts:
    I offer this video to help understand that the Storm is simply the Via Dolorosa. As we pass through the Storm the choice will be ours to make.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you for sharing this video, Donnette! I was meditating along the same lines this evening as we prayed the Divine Office, pondering this Sunday’s Gospel reading of taking up the cross and preparing for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross tomorrow. I remarked that I have a greater sensitivity in these days to Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. As we await the intensity of The Storm, I feel anticipatory sorrow for the suffering to ensue mixed with real joy in knowing the tremendous fruits to borne. Thanks again!

      I sleep clinging to a Relic of the True Cross and tonight I will pray for each of us as well as our families and friends. Passion of Christ, strengthen us.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Pam Nicholson says:

          What wonderful graces and blessings you have been receiving praying the Divine Office, little one. I hope that one day I also will pray this blessed devotion. I have a friend who has been praying this for some years now, and I have seen how she has been growing in holiness and littleness to the will of God in her everyday life. She has many struggles as she is in a profession where there are several challenges to faith and morals, but, her prayers and obedience to the will of God sustain her and make her strong. No matter how long it has been since I have seen her or heard from her, I can see clearly she is truly a little child growing in littleness and meekness to God’s will. Many blessings and graces for now. pam, from NJ.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Carmelite says:

      Wow, Donette … Powerful. Thank you for sharing, and God bless you.


  10. laura says:

    “Many souls could be wiped out and continue to be physically alive on earth” – Charlie
    Whaaaaat?? You have the chance to repent until your dying breath (and some believe possibly after in the presence of Jesus as He may extend His mercy even after your last breath) so nobody physically alive is a lost (to hell) soul. So what do you mean by this statement? Certainly not soulless bodies walking around.


    • charliej373 says:

      You are certainly, right, Laura. But the fact that we can repent does not mean we will. And it is also written that blasphemy against the Holy
      Spirit cannot be forgiven (Matthew 12:31), yet does not say that those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit immediately die to earth. So how can both these things be true? I think that those who truly blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (attributing what is holy to satan) have so deceived themselves that they think they are doing good. Their vanity has so deadened themselves to the sense of sin that they no longer can discern it at all. So the satan has led them into a blind alley where they can’t see the difference between sin and virtue and are completely taken by the vanity of their self-will. So there are NO soulless bodies walking around, but there are plenty who have already squandered their final state of grace.

      I am open to someone persuading me I am wrong about this. But just because someone CAN repent does not mean that they WILL if they have enfeebled their capacity to choose rightly – and God knows.


      • Mack says:

        For reference, here is what St John Paul wrote about the sin against the Holy Spirit in his encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem, no. 46:

        6. The Sin Against the Holy Spirit

        46. Against the background of what has been said so far, certain other words of Jesus, shocking and disturbing ones, become easier to understand. We might call them the words of “unforgiveness.” They are reported for us by the Synoptics in connection with a particular sin which is called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” This is how they are reported in their three versions:
        Matthew: “Whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”180
        Mark: “All sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”181
        Luke: “Every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”182

        Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable? How should this blasphemy be understood ? St. Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is “unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place.”183

        According to such an exegesis, “blasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counselor-that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood: the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works.”

        We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in “dead works,” in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this “non-forgiveness” is linked, as to its cause, to “non-repentance,” in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. This means the refusal to come to the sources of Redemption, which nevertheless remain “always” open in the economy of salvation in which the mission of the Holy Spirit is accomplished. The Spirit has infinite power to draw from these sources: “he will take what is mine,” Jesus said. In this way he brings to completion in human souls the work of the Redemption accomplished by Christ, and distributes its fruits. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a “right” to persist in evil–in any sin at all–and who thus rejects Redemption. One closes oneself up in sin, thus making impossible one’s conversion, and consequently the remission of sins, which one considers not essential or not important for one’s life. This is a state of spiritual ruin, because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not allow one to escape from one’s self-imposed imprisonment and open oneself to the divine sources of the purification of consciences and of the remission of sins.

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Thanks Mack. As always, St. John Paul says it a lot better and more completely than I can.


        • SteveBC says:

          So let me think about this. This unforgivable sin is not unforgivable because God says He will not forgive it, but because the person has denied the possibility of forgiveness or even of ever seeking forgiveness (which would be granted if the person were to stop engaging in this sin and ask/repent).

          Isn’t this what the satan has done and why he can never seek forgiveness? He will never be interested in seeking forgiveness, so he holds himself denied.

          If someone commits the same sin by adopting the same attitude, he will be lost in the same way that the satan is lost.

          So the satan wins when he can persuade a person to turn away from God in denial — due to despair or anger or rejection or any other such reason. That turning away, that denial of God, puts the person in the same state as the satan is.

          “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” OR “I choose to serve the perverted State, which increasingly calls on me to reject God.” Choose or perish.

          Am I getting it even a little bit?

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I think you are very close. When someone reaches the fullness of rebellion, they simply say emphatically “I won’t” rather than “I will.” Much of what ails the modern world comes from people ceasing to believe, “Thy will be done” and instead insisting “My will be done.” Get firmly set in that attitude and you aren’t interested in repentance, for you come to believe there is nothing greater than yourself and are offended by anyone who suggests there is.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            Remember that the angels are not human, therefore, they were created by God to be obedient to His every word, and, they worship and adore Him. Angels are not subject to the sacraments, this mercy in giving us a taste of what Heaven is, and we are to know, to love and to serve God. This is our teaching as young children in catechism class. The angels do not change into human beings, unless, like St. Raphael, in Tobit, but, there have been the fallen angels who are demons making themselves appear as angels of light or even Jesus or Mary. Satan is known as the great ape, mimicking God in ways we can understand but can lead us to ruin. So, angels are not the same as us. They will always have the form they have for specific reasons, given to do good works for God to us and through us. But, since God asks us to adore and worship Him, of course, the angels are expected to do the same. Those angels who fell, they are completely lost to hell. How this must have hurt God. venite adoremus ! Come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord! pam, from NJ.


        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Have you been studying St. Thomas Aquinas for very long, and others? I think it is very good you placed this somewhat theological explanation to pen, do to speak for all of us. I do believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well among us in the sacraments, and is certainly here in the world for all those who invoke Him, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. He is the teacher Jesus said would help us in our blindness. And, lest we never forget His Spouse, the Blessed Mother, who is always pointing the way to Her Son, as does the Holy Spirit. God’s plan for our salvation is awesome. May God give graces to those who see with their own eyes what God does everyday, but choose to continue in their own spiritual blindness Let us be more humble and obedient to the will of God. pam, from NJ.


      • ann says:

        It is my understanding that only the “perfectly possessed”–those who have completely given themselves over to the devil are beyond God’s reach through their own self will. Everyone else might yet receive the needed grace which is why we must intercede so continuously for those who have hardened hearts.


  11. jobrower says:

    My thoughts turned to St. Alphonso’s De Liguroi’s “Preparation for Death.” In his words, “How does it happen that so many Christians live obstinately in sin until they are lost in the end. Their own malice blinded them (Wisdom 2:21). Sin blinds them, and thus they are lost. Every sin produces blindness; the more sins are multiplied, the greater the blindness they produce. God is our light; and therefore, the farther the soul is removed from God, the more blind it becomes.”
    Elsewhere, “But because they live in the midst of darkness, sinners who are content to live for months and years without God do not understand this pain. (The pain of losing God). However, they will know at death the great good which they lose. At its departure from this world, the soul, as St. Antonine says, instantly sees that it was created for God. Hence, it will suddenly race forward to embrace its Soverign Good: but if it be in sin God will cast it off.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • ann says:

      Jobrower–thank you for the quote from St. Alphonso Liguori. We learned back in those days of taking philosophy in college (used to be required to get a minor in philosophy in Catholic colleges)that sin darkens the intellect and that one chooses evil initially in the mistaken idea it will bring some good. Then as the conscience is numbed and the intellect darkens one continues to choose the bad until one can no longer discern the good. As I said above, that is why it is absolutely incumbent on those of us who for whatever reason have been given the grace to discern God’s love and our obligations to Him, must must must pray and beg pardon for those who “have faithless and hardened hearts that resist the impulse of God’s grace” (St. Margaret Mary) I think of the wonderful short prayer we can repeat several times a day “Jesus, Mary, I love You, save souls.”

      Liked by 2 people

  12. LukeMichael says:

    I’ve been following here since the beginning of the summer and have to thank all who regularly post for the great solace and comfort that I experience here.

    On the theology put forth here about the “unforgivable sin” , the sin against the Holy Spirit, I have to say that I am in complete agreement with others here and it is only from what I have received in prayer that I have come to this understanding

    One cannot be forgiven if one refuses God’s mercy.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: A Coming Storm « Flotsam and Jetsam

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