By Charlie Johnston
Regular readers here know I have always treated the messages from the Locutions to the World (LttW) site as suspect, neither forbidding them to be referenced nor accepting that they were of divine origin. I appreciate that readers here have been measured in their comments, neither frantically insisting they are true, nor condemning each other for differences of opinion on them. I considered them to often be worthy spiritual meditations, but I rejected them primarily because of the coarse way they reported Our Lady as using in speech. It did not sound like her at all. Our Lady always speaks with a sort of refined elegance. A commenter at the Mystics of the Church website captured it exactly: he said if you want to know the tone with which Our Lady speaks, simply read the Magnificat Prayer from Luke 1:46-55:
“My soul doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour
Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.
And His mercy is from generation until generations, to them that fear Him.
He hath showed might with His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the lowly.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.”
LttW prophesied in the name of Our Lady that the economic crash would come while Pope Francis was visiting America. There was no ambiguity about it. It was completely errant.
I was annoyed when adherents of LttW would sometimes shriekily attack those who were not convinced, by insisting these were the direct words of Mary and of Jesus – and any who did not accept them must not believe in Mary or Jesus. They might or might not have been…but in ALL private revelation, they are merely the words “as recounted by” whoever the locutionist is. The only time it is appropriate to say these are surely the words of Mary or Jesus without that modifier is from quotes from Scripture. To demand that anyone accept words from private revelation or be condemned as an infidel is not an assertion of faith, but one of egotistic vanity.
I was also annoyed that, in the weeks leading up to the time prophesied, people at sites across the world frequently quoted some of it as coming from me. It is bad enough to be routinely misquoted, but really annoying to have quotes from a site you have publicly expressed deep skepticism about attributed to you. So, I suppose I am glad that part of the annoyance is probably over.
But I find myself troubled at something else now that most have decided the site was errant: the viciousness with which some former adherents have turned on the alleged locutionary and the gloating that some skeptics have indulged in. I think this speaks more to the people engaging in these behaviors than it does to the alleged locutionary involved. And it does not speak well of them.
At the beginning of this year I wrote that all will be tried this year and all will make blunders. I just reprinted that article yesterday, in which I cautioned:
“I won’t tell you to be joyful when your fiery trial comes. No one greets pain and uncertainty with joy. But regard it as you would emergency surgery – a little fearful that you may be too far gone for it to help and yet mostly hopeful that it will get you on your feet with steady resolve. I will tell you not to gloat if you see your neighbor undergoing it first. Your time will come – and any passive malice you feel towards others only means there is more flaws to be burned from you than you would like. This year will be a great opportunity for truly learning how to live solidarity with each other.”
I think the excess of emotion probably comes from people restlessly seeking a guru – one who will tell them details of exactly what is going to happen and what they should do, thus relieving them of their own moral obligation to and responsibility before God. There are no gurus. There are people with whom you can take counsel or comfort from, but no one who can relieve you of your moral responsibility to the Lord. Trust God and obey the Magisterial authority of the Church. That is what you are given. No private revelation has ever or will ever change that: it can only help you live what is already given in Scripture and the Magisterium for your times and circumstances. When you stand before God, you will be judged on what you did and how you lived – were you a doer of the Master’s will, or merely a hearer or proclaimer?
The Lord says in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is certainly true. So a purpose of private revelation is to give you heart to hold fast to Him who is there for us always. Our Father so loves us that He gives us His Church to show us the way – and sometimes prophets to encourage us to grab hold of the way the Lord has already carved out for us.
When I was still a boy, not yet a teen, my angel started telling me things that would come to pass, but in ways I had not at all expected. I got very frustrated, wondering why God would tell me anything at all if I usually wouldn’t understand it until after it had already passed. What good was that? But then I was given to know that it is not God’s will that we share in His secret plans; rather that we trust in Him. So prophecy is usually just a sort of spiritual landmark; a sign that we should look for the deeper spiritual significance behind certain temporal events. It is an invitation to watch and wait, to be still and know that He is God. Because we are blind but arrogant little moles it is, in fact, dangerous for us to know too many details. We think if we just had enough information, we could devise our own plan without the need to trust radically in Him. That thinking is what has gotten us to this pass. If any private revelation is to be of use, it must tamp down rather than ramp up this sort of thinking. Trust God. Live fidelity through your obedience to the Scriptural and Magisterial authority of His holy Church. Jesus, I trust in You. Mean it and He will navigate these turbulent waters for you. Try to take the wheel, yourself, and you will founder.
About a year ago, I contemplated eliminating any mention of private revelation on this site. I have often said that knowing what is going to happen is vastly over-rated; that knowing how to behave whatever happens is what counts. I was worried that some people were restlessly looking for me to give out fortunes, instead of taking the solid way of acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope. Ultimately, it seemed readers really took to heart my emphasis that the simple way is the right – and the only safe – way. Meantime, I got a lot of letters from people who had been “storm-chasers,” who had restlessly been following every reputed apparition and locutionist they could find. A bunch of these told me that was what initially led them to my site, then thanked me for helping wean them off of it – to put their trust in God and the Church instead of in people and supposed “inside” knowledge. So I have continued, as I think it has been useful. But my duty is to give people heart to endure the Storm, to put their trust radically in God rather than in themselves, to stay to the safety of the Church rather than wandering into strange and stormy waters. If speaking publicly of such messages is a help in accomplishing that, well and good. Should it prove a hindrance, then I would again share them with my directors and the Church only. The reaction to LttW’s errant prophecy has gotten me thinking about that again. The shrillness of reactions both before and after trouble me. If you depend on me, I have failed you. If I have encouraged you to the certain knowledge that Christ is near at hand to you and that you can – and should – depend on Him, then I am doing okay.
People think they would love to have the yoke which a mystic has. It looks so beguiling from afar. Yet those who have had it through history have often spent years and decades desperately trying to shake it off. I have a great deal of sympathy for Jeremiah’s lament in the 20th Chapter, which says in part:
“Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.”-Jeremiah 20:7-9
You don’t know what a kindness it is that God does not speak directly to most people. In the first place, it is a deeply intense, fiery thing. But the discipline involved to bear it is even more so. People love to say “God told me this” or “God told me that,” almost always invoking God’s authority to second what they already believe anyway. If He actually spoke to you, directly or through one of His messengers, you would find He told you many things you don’t want to hear and most assuredly don’t want to say. Even worse, if He actually spoke to you directly, you would be held to a strict account for everything you attributed to Him that He did not command you or give you leave for – and everything you omitted that He did command you to speak. As long as He does not speak directly to you, He can just roll His eyes at the petulant vanity of such statements.
still don’t know whether the locutionist at LttW is authentic or not. (As Glenn Dallaire of Mystics of the Church points out in the comments, this was not a prophecy, but claimed to be a direct word from Our Lady, herself – so the locutionist is not authentic.) Certainly, this prophecy turned out to be false. Some foolishly say that the test of a prophet is that they must be right 100% of the time. This is foolish for two reasons – first, because it presumes that the purpose of a prophet is the same as a fortune-teller, to predict the future. A prophet is called to speak true of what God intends. Sometimes that involves future events, but more often involves present events – and sometimes even past events. Second, it is based on a bowdlerization of Deuteronomy which says that if a prophet predicts an event which does not come to pass, he has spoken presumptuously and can be ignored on that prophecy. It does not say he is a false prophet, but that he has spoken presumptuously on a specific prophecy. She (I say “she” because that seems to be the common consensus on the locutionist, though I don’t know for sure) may have just been frustrated and tried to force the issue. If you actually had this yoke – which you can safely admire from afar – you have no idea to what lengths you would go to be shed of it. I know when I was younger, some of the occasional disorders I lived were because I enjoyed the disorders – but some of it was a sly way of trying to disqualify myself and get out of the work. What I know is that the locutionist prophesied falsely – but she is a false prophet because she attributed the words specifically to Our Lady, not as her own interpretation. Even so, she may be sincere, but sincerely deluded, needing more of our prayers and less of our scorn. It is as much a statement on how we need to discern as anything else, I think.
My main objection has always been the coarse and secular way she reports that Our Lady speaks. That just is NOT how Our Lady speaks. Still, I did hold another possibility in the back of my mind. For about 15 years, the main way my visitors have communicated information to me is through what I call “infusion.” I think it is the same thing – or at least very similar to – what St. Teresa of Avila called an “intellectual vision.” Language is not used at all. In a flash a great amount of information is infused in greater and more precise detail than language can convey. If language is used now with me, that tells me it is important in a ceremonial way, so I pay special attention. While infusion is marvelously efficient (though literally breath-taking), it scares me to death when I have to translate something given that way into normal language. (I will end this with one such effort from July 5, 2013). It had occurred to me that maybe the locutionist was also getting infusions – and was a very bad translator until she attributed specific error to Our Lady.
In any case, I don’t think she merited the over-zealous devotion which treated her is if she actually was Our Lady…nor do I think she has merited the often vicious invective she is receiving right now. My thanks to those who are treating her with magnanimity and charity. Dismiss her as you will…you never had to accept her private revelations anyway, but skip the bitter invective. Neither gloat nor pile on. Remember, I have said that in everything going on right now, it is not what it seems. It is each of us who stands in the docket of judgment. Hold fast to Christ and you will be well acquitted. Do otherwise and you may find that, as you were denouncing someone else, you were pronouncing your own judgment.
Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. That is the sure way. Jesus, I trust in You.
I was deeply moved by the final Blood Moon last night. I have no inside knowledge about it whatsoever, but I think it was one of those spiritual landmarks I discussed earlier…a call to watch and wait, to be still and know that He is God.
And now, for a reprint of the piece I promised:
(This originally appeared on the Facebook Page, Abraham’s Journey, on July 5, 2013. It speaks for itself.)
When they speak to me in this way, I often ponder for days to understand in my way what was given in an instant to me. When I have tried to explain to someone – usually one of my priests – what was said, the translation invariably comes out impoverished. I can’t help that. Language, itself, is necessary to us in this world but is an impoverished form of communication – and I am just a little fellow, trying to get it right but not all that capable. There is always the temptation to add something I think important or to omit something that embarrasses or troubles me. When I avoid these temptations, it still comes out impoverished; a very poor, tarnished copy of the pure original message. But it pleases the Lord that I both convey as truly as I can what I am told and take full responsibility for the telling of it, including the warts that crop up in my little effort. So, I write this in obedience – and remind you that, despite the quotation marks, it is a feeble translation:
Thus says the Father:
“My children, I have not withdrawn the hand of My mercy from you, despite the depth and breadth of your rebellion against Me. I gave you a land, a nation formed in My image, to be a light to the nations. For all your foolishness, you began well. Like My Church, it was a nation to which anyone who accepted the principles it espoused could belong fully, not as a guest or a stranger, but as an heir. In your struggling way you lived the principles of fruitfulness, dignity, charity, fortitude and courage. You even lived a great civil war to extend those virtues to all My children, recognizing both your reliance on Me and that there are no children of a lesser god. And so I blessed you, that My light might shine through you with brilliant clarity as a sign of hope for all the nations for what I intend for My children.
“But with prosperity and pre-eminence, your love grew cold. You say, ‘Look what we have wrought,’ rather than ‘Look what God has wrought.’ So for the last few decades, I have restrained My hand of mercy that you might, indeed, see what you have wrought. Your hearts have only grown harder and more defiant. Now I stay My hand for a time that you may know the bitter fruit of the evil harvest you have sown. It is only for a short season, but the terror and despair will be like none you have ever known before.
“I send to you My most favored daughter, Mary, the woman cloaked with the sun, to guide and defend you during the terrible pains of birth of the new world I shall give you once more. She spends her entire heaven praying on your behalf, acting as true mother to all of you as she is to the Incarnation of My Divine and Holy Son, yet many of you who call on Me treat her with loathing and contempt. I will no longer hear you if you do not honor My most favored daughter in your heart. Ask her to pray to me for you and I will forgive you.
“Now, even the leaders of your rebellion against Me are shaken – not so much as to acknowledge Me, but enough to wonder if their plans are perhaps not as elegant and well-crafted as they thought. This is the beginning of wisdom for those who will accept it. You must know that I love each of you with a true Father’s heart. Which of you, having a rebellious, self-destructive child, wishes for your child’s destruction? You wish, with passionate sorrow, for their reclamation because you love your child. Your love for your child is merely a pale reflection of My love for you. Remember, then, the tale of the prodigal son and welcome those who return with fullness, gratitude and celebration rather than resentment. I rejoice when any of My children are restored to the life I intend for them. So shall you.
“Know that you will be held to account for every soul that you could have given effective witness to but did not because of anger, resentment or fear. Know also that you will be held to account for every servant of the evil one that you did not defend My people against out of a false sense of compassion or indulgence. I know this is impossible to you. You are well told to acknowledge Me in all things, then take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. If you do that, I will draw fruit even from your errors and you may walk in humble confidence of My mercy.
“Do not think that any of you can exempt yourself from the bitter fruit of the harvest you have sown. Do you pride yourself on your intellect? It is not even a grain of sand in the ocean of My universe. Your wealth? Mere paper and paste that is passing away. Your position? Not as substantial as a puff of smoke on a windy day. I am your only source of security and hope. Defend My honor with the resolve of My Holy and Divine Son at the temple and I will send My most favored daughter to begin the re-conversion of the world. Minister to your brothers and sisters even from the midst of your sorrow and want and, at the moment you think all is lost, I will send My most favored daughter to rescue you once more.
“Know this, though. I allow your disorder to strike with terrible, prolonged fury so that you will remember the consequences of relying on yourselves without acknowledging Me or seeking My blessing and guidance. After you are rescued this time, when you fall away again, the only respite you will have is the respite of the grave. I sent my Archangel Gabriel to My servant, Charlie, 13 years ago with instructions that he must ‘…tell you true and you must choose or perish.’ Though he, too, is a vain and foolish child, he has been faithful in this and has told you true. Now the time of harvest has arrived and you must choose or perish.”