(My final public presentation of this tour of visits, will be on Sunday, October 25, at 1 p.m. at Ramkota Hotel, 1400 8th Ave. N.W. Aberdeen, South Dakota. Hope to see you there)
By Charlie Johnston
In 1995, I received my most consequential visitation on December 7, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Since then, I frequently receive important, formal messages during my Novena at that time. Interestingly, if something has troubled me and I am expecting something, usually all I get is silence. When I just let go and take the next right step, the Spirit blows as It will.
In 2002 I had one of the most peculiar and puzzling episodes ever. My cat, Simba, had gotten fleas sometime in October. We had several months of frustration as every normal method seemed to make things worse. I got a flea collar. Things got worse. That collar, rather than killing the fleas, seemed to become some sort of flea nightclub. I used flea powder in conjunction with the collar. Much worse. I did some flea baths. The whole house became infested. When we would walk, fleas would jump before us from the carpet. It was like walking in a field infested with tiny grasshoppers, flying all over the place. All but one of my son’s friends quit coming over – and that friend said we really had to DO SOMETHING.
I have always been a believer in using the natural means God has provided for us when they are available. I think it more an act of hubris than of faith to demand only His supernatural means – that whether we are healed by his natural or supernatural means, we are to give thanks to God for the healing. This was a sensitive area for me, for when we were younger, my Mom would often try to pray the fleas off our animals – with little effect. The animals would suffer. My brother, Jerry, took to sneaking flea powder to them to give them relief. I once challenged him on it and, with a hearty grin, he said he was just doing it in answer to Mom’s prayers. All of us slyly turned a blind eye to Jerry’s tender ministrations.
But in this instance, I had a sense the Lord was trying to demonstrate something to me. So as I prepared for my annual Novena to the Immaculate Conception, I told the Lord I was at my wits’ end. I said He knew I never demanded His supernatural power, but that for the duration of the Novena, I was going to rid the house of all remedies and discard the cat’s flea collar. If things stayed as they were, I would go back to the normal means after the Novena, but if He wanted to show me something, I was listening. By the third day, the fleas were entirely gone – not just from the cat, but from the house as well. Gone. The friend who had so emphatically told us we had to do something came over and marveled that we had so quickly and completely gotten rid of them. He asked what treatment we had used. My son grinned and said I had a very special treatment of my own for the problem. The friend enthused that I should market it, because it was the best he had ever seen. My son laughed and said it probably wouldn’t work for everyone.
When the Novena ended, Our Lord appeared to me. In what I thought was His only corny pun ever, He said, concerning the satan, “He is not lord of the flies: he is only lord of the fleas – and he flees before me.”
After that, the cat never had any flea treatment again – and never had fleas again. Once, walking in some dusty scrub out back, we saw fleas (who had once treated him as a flea nightclub) jumping away en masse at his approach as if he was their destructor.
I hear frequently from people who are chronically ill, disabled, infirm, or have family members who suffer, worried about what they will do, how they will weather the Storm. I understand and sympathize with the fears. We all fear the unknown…and for most of us, different is usually interpreted to mean “worse,” until it proves otherwise. It is particularly fearful for those who are already most vulnerable. I have been reticent to speak other than obliquely about this, as the death rate for humankind ever has been and ever will remain 100%. Every man has an appointed time to die, hopefully to be born to heaven. I couldn’t say which souls the Lord intends to deploy to bear the trials of the Storm here in the Church Militant and which souls He intends to deploy to support us from the Church Triumphant. That is for God to determine and is a mystery to us. I am loathe for people to think there is some secret temporal cure-all, for fear that they might get focused on mere transient things that are passing away even if they are delayed for a time. For each of us, the important things are to abandon ourselves to God, to live well in the time He has appointed, and to die well when our time is come. Each of these things makes us a sign of hope. My Mother’s death three and a half years ago was a profound avenue of conversion and deepened faith for most who were with her in those last weeks. But as intensely as I and others prayed she be spared for this life, the answer was no. I would that she were still here – but not at the cost of losing the tender, gentle support she gives me from above during these trying times now when I so often and so badly need it. You could not have convinced me three and a half years ago that I would feel that way now.
If I have only spoken of it obliquely until now, I have spoken of it – and in ways that you could see more clearly with contemplation that trusted in God rather than is wracked by fear. My purpose in acting this way is to gently pull you to keep your eyes on Jesus rather than the violent winds and waves around you. If I merely convince you that the violent wave you fear will not harm you, I have accomplished nothing: for even when it proves true, there are a multitude of other violent waves headed in our direction. We must know that Jesus is Master of the Storm, then keep our eyes on Him as we do the little we can. Once we do that, the waves around us become irrelevant to our duty to our God and our trust in His providence. Usually, when I don’t answer a question directly, it is because the answer would do you little lasting good. I am trying to re-direct your focus to what will. I understand the frustration of many who complain that I don’t answer their question directly. My frustration is that some keep asking me for a fish as they ignore my efforts to show them how to fish. It is the way I was taught, so I understand…but after my visitors let me sweat long enough, they usually would show me more plainly. But each time they did, it was clear to me that they expected me to look deeper and see the true principle underlying my transient questions…so that I would understand better, to change my focus. Now, I will speak more plainly to you about this matter.
- God gives physical healing to whom He will, according to criteria that are beyond me. It has little to do with perceived merit, but for purposes that are known but to God. I have seen many amazing healings – some to unbelievers who were healed instantly after being prayed over by a believer who loved them dearly. I have seen others of great piety who lingered and died, despite all the prayers of their friends. I have sometimes seen a really holy death (as in the case of my Mother) gain more to the faith than a miraculous healing would have. God has His purposes. In part, I think it has to do with deploying souls. He knows best who will work most steadfastly here and who will do their best work from heaven. In part, it has to do what will draw the most people back to Him. God knows…I don’t. But the death rate for humanity remains 100%. Only the appointed time is in doubt. Pray that in what time you are given, you live so as to help bring people to our permanent abode in heaven, where we will all rejoice together.
- After any crash, there will be plenty doctors and nurses remaining. While their easy supply of medicines and technology will likely to be interrupted for a time, they will be able to devote themselves to their first love – caring for people – rather than spending 80% of their day filling out paperwork to satisfy their government overseers. We will still know how to make necessary medicines: it is only supply lines and formal manufacturers that will likely be interrupted for a time. Right now, the government decides that some effective medications will be disallowed because of the age of certain patients or the chronic nature of their illness…and so they die.
There is a virulent utilitarianism underlying the government system of medicine, where they decide whether YOUR life has meaning, and they prescribe accordingly. There were some early news stories about cancer and other patients being denied medications that had worked for them, but the government decided against allowing those medications – and they died. The media-governmental complex has decided to bury those stories now, lest they spook the folksies they think they command. The medical delivery system will be different, but that does not mean worse. You will be treated by a person who is not beholden to a government telling him what to do, a person who gets to know you and whose very vocation is to care for the sick. I personally think the system will be notably better rather than worse, from very early on. It will certainly be more humane – and by humane, I mean run by doctors who know your name and are committed to helping you live with dignity, not the progressive perversion that defines humane as helping you to “die with dignity.”
- People’s values are going to change dramatically. Many of the sick worry about being a burden to their loved ones. In the current toxically self-absorbed culture of death, that is good reason for worry, for too many people are only concerned about what gives them temporal advantage – and regard caring for children, the sick or the old as a burden. This has become so deeply engrained that even the pro-life extended families of people who are generous to having many children subtly look down upon that generosity. It will not be so very much longer. One of the first stirrings as times get darker will be the revival of a true culture of life. People will see how much we need each other…and I tell you that the little communities will soon see the opportunity for caring for and loving the most vulnerable to be a profound blessing rather than a burden. I have said repeatedly that the network of people you care for and who care for you are your greatest asset. I mean that literally. Silver and gold will fail, but love for friends and neighbors will build up strong communities. I have said, also, that the only real refuge is under the mantle of Our Lady who leads us to her Son. I have toured a few refuges, supporting the generosity of those who use their money now to prepare for those who may need help later. But I would NOT enthuse over any supposed refuge that did not revolve around faith. All I have visited have put a premium on raising a little church or chapel – and so I have been pleased and praised them. A refuge that did not revolve around the faith would be a starkly barren place, doomed before it began. In larger part though, wherever there is a church whose believers support each other and are vibrant in living their faith, there is the beginning of refuge. You may live in your own home and be a part of a vibrant refuge, for truly, it is the churches and synagogues of the believing faithful who do the Master’s will that are our refuge. Pastors will become beloved and trusted uncles rather than disengaged administrators. The churches will become true, extended families with all caring for all. I will expand on this in another article sometime…but all true refuges will be based on a community of mutually supporting believers revolving around a church – not a mere geographic phenomenon. The geographic layout is optional…being built around a chapel is not.
- Finally, I have passed on to you the Prayer of Miraculous Trust, given to me specifically for these times.
Trust God, abandon yourself to Him and you will see the resurrection of the culture that gives life as it happens. Even more, you will be a participant. The sick, the young, the infirm will be cared for MORE tenderly – and quickly more effectively, than now. They will be valued for themselves. All that is needed is a core of believers committed to living the next right step and being a sign of hope to their neighbors under God. I have been seeding the country with that assurance since late spring. When you see what rises before you, those of you who are infirm will not see it as having been the beginning of your downfall – but as the beginning of seeing how tender and gentle God’s mercy and love truly is.
I know I cannot completely relieve you of your fears of the unknown. You will have to wait and see that it is true. But your determination to banish fear and help as you can will help bring it to pass all the sooner.
The Lord of heaven is actively involving Himself in our world now. The devil who divides us is merely lord of the fleas – and he flees before the Lord of Heaven.