Chilling

ed allison.png

Our friend, Ed Allison has returned to the Forum. This is him with me in Philadelphia last summer.

By Charlie Johnston

I have been quiet this week, I know. My apologies to you. This is the first real down time I have had since I began my travels around the country late last spring. Frankly, I needed it. Quiet time and contemplation have been a real tonic to me – but it has left you wondering what is up. Nothing. Just chilling a little.

The fox at the cabin has become a family of foxes – three of them. They sleep outside on a big stump and a picnic table – and when  I go out they run up to me like faithful dogs. When they are playing, they actually DO make a sound. It is quiet, kind of like a muffled wookie rumble.

I have been refining some pieces at my leisure this week. I have a piece on “The Pope and the Predators,” the piece on “What is Truth,” another for priests and a raft of other content.

I am thinking of this Thanksgiving. While I was visiting with my former son-in-law, Dee, and two grandkids, my granddaughter mentioned something about CCD classes. It surprised me, for Dee is not Catholic. He explained to me that Mya, my granddaughter, had talked to him about it – and he decided to raise them Catholic – in part to honor me, their Poppy. What incredible grace family and love bring. But it should be no surprise: Dee and those two grandkids have the last name of “Grace.” (Dee told me that he hopes Camron, my grandson, gets really good at sports – so he can give him the nickname, “Amazing Grace.” I like it.)

It was a good thing I didn’t really need to go anywhere this week. We got a big snow overnight last Sunday, then it has been very cold all week. That means no melt-off. Up here in the mountains, until you get a little melt-off, you aren’t going anywhere. I plan to head back to Denver tomorrow afternoon and, as of yesterday, I wasn’t sure I would not have to wait another day. But it has warmed up today and looks like it should be clear sailing tomorrow. Just before New Year’s, I will come back out for a more extended – and genuinely working – retreat here.

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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90 Responses to Chilling

  1. bflocatholic says:

    Ha! When I saw the title for this article come across on my iPhone blaring, “New Post – Chilling.” I thought, “Oh no! What terrible, awful thing is Charlie posting to make us aware of now?”

    Then I read the piece and it is “Chilling,” as in “Chilling Out”. Right. Well, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

    May God grant us all a little “chilling” during this Advent and soon-to-be Christmas Season!

    Liked by 14 people

  2. Karen says:

    Wising you a very Merry Christmas. May the joy and peace of the Holy Family be with you and those you hold dear.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. SanSan says:

    Safe trip home Charlie. And Foxes are cute, but careful there.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. tresorgirl54 says:

    You deserve some quiet down-time, Charlie. Even God The Father rested on the 7th day! Quite time for contemplation and reflection will refresh your soul. Merry Christmas and God Bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Teri (Theresa) says:

    Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and a Healthy blessed New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ed says:

    Thank you, and God Bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Phillip Frank says:

    Some people may think you silently chilling out at the cabin with three foxes for several days a desconcerting statement too!

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha ha, Phillip! I once was talking about my pilgrimage to a man and mentioned that on two occasions, cougars had come into my camp at night. Noting that I was no spring chicken, he asked me how old the women were. At first I did not know what he was talking about. Then understanding dawned. “The four-legged, not the two-legged kind,” I responded. I nearly fell out laughing when his eyes went wide and he said, “That’s even scarier!”

      Liked by 7 people

  8. Julie says:

    No apology needed. Everyone needs r & r to fill up their gas tank! Sounds peaceful!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Billy Franz says:

    Mr. Charley
    I went to hear you talk in Arlington Texas a few months ago. Since then I have been getting my Spiritual house in order. Thank you for giving your life to help others. My close friend and I started teaching RCIA-Y after a 5 year hiatus. He and I teach with a young married couple. Without telling each other we were going to the talk, the 4 of us end up there. In fact he and I led a decade of the rosary as I could not believe we were all there together.
    Oud Lady of Tepeyak seems to be every where I go whether in pictures in a Mexican restaurant bathroom or on the back windshield of cars or people with her name. I just want you to know that you have an unknown brother praying for you daily!
    In the Two Heart service,
    Billy

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Billy. I did several talks in the Dallas area. I presume you were at the one at the Knights of Columbus hall. I appreciate all those who teach RCIA. I spent six or seven years doing the same after I was received into the Church. They were wonderful times!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Diane says:

    Charlie and family,
    What a blessing for you to have your grandchildren enter into the Catholic faith, that is a true testimony to your goodness, Praise God that we have a share in that goodness. I read somewhere long ago that mankind will never know the devastation that has been caused in the world by parents not baptizing their children, and it always had a chilling effect on me (pun intended). Something to think about every now and then.
    I just returned from Green Bay visiting my mom to celebrate her 83 birthday, I wasn’t sure until I got on that plane that all would be well and I was able to visit her. It was very good indeed, we went out for breakfast, visited with my favorite aunt and uncle, My brothers and I had a little party for her. We had good long talks in front of her toasty wood burning stove and laughed together. How much of blessing it was for me. I got to sleep in every morning because that lazy sun doesn’t rise as earlier as it does in Miami, that was very cool for me. Anyway, I missed you guys, trying to catch up a bit on this site, but work has been keeping me very busy. Love. I do.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. June1 says:

    I am so happy you are resting now, Charlie. When I got to the part about the foxes, I called my son over and read it to him because we have been listening to What Does the Fox Say for days now! Ha ha ha! They sound adorable.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      That’s why I said it. I had heard that song – and it had occurred to me I had NEVER heard a fox make any sound, either on my pilgrimage (and a lot of them visited me then, though mostly grey foxes) or at the cabin. So when I heard them making those little wookie sounds as they wrestled with each other, I laughed and thought, “Ha! Now I know what the fox says!”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ed Allison says:

        Well, everyone’s first reaction seems to be about the title. Mine was about the picture! Ha! I know that guy! My second reaction was about the title, wondering what horror has been visited on the world. I was relieved to find out that you were just chillin’ with foxes. So, you’ve really never heard a fox make a sound? Well, let me tell you, that if you ever have a pair mating under your bedroom window at 2:00 AM, you’ll call 911. It sounds like a woman screaming for her life! It really is a horrible sound. Do a Youtube search on ‘fox screaming’ and you’ll see!

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Maryj says:

    Chilling… in the same generation as “groovy”!

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      All you need do is look at pictures of me to know the generation from whence I come. Ha! Sometimes I laugh at young people…they think their slang is so hip and edgy, completely unaware that 30 years from now it will be an amusing anachronism – just as we were 30 years ago. But it is said that everything old is new again – and I think that is the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 7 people

      • Petra says:

        Okay, I can’t help but mention this here after Charlie’s comment about everything old being new again….
        Have you seen the style of the young 20 something men lately? It’s very bushy beards longish with short hair. I honestly have to suppress a smile when I see them, because they remind me for all the world of the guys on the Smith Brothers Cough Drop package. Guys in my generation wouldn’t have been caught dead looking like that, but here it is again! Just like platform shoes in my day, and now they’re back!
        God bless.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Petra says:

          I meant, very bushy longish beards… not very bushy beards longish… (I gotta proofread bettter…) 🙂
          God bless.

          Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Ha, Petra, in high school I had a pair of blue suede platform shoes with two-inch heels. Man, I was styling! When I wore them with my day-glo yellow bell-bottoms and any shirt my Dad would comment that I was going out in my “clown” costume again. Thank God I have no pictures of me in that stuff!

          Liked by 10 people

        • June1 says:

          Oh, Petra… my husband has gradually adopted this style. His beard is currently out of control but he loves it. I beg him to at least trim the darn thing but he refuses. He is turning into a hipster! He has the hair you described and everything! Mostly shaved around the back and sides but longer up front, slicked/gelled to one side. I wonder what the popular style will be like in 20 years…

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Late in high school, my son decided to grow a mullet. He thought it looked hideous, but also thought it was hilarious. So a bunch of the “cool” kids followed his lead – and there was a brief fad at his high school. Now with his police department, he initiated “no-shave November” a few years ago. Cops grow mustaches all through November…then at the end of the month, townspeople vote with a dollar at the end of the month on whose is the best – and the proceeds go to a local charity.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Petra says:

            Most of the guys I’ve seen have very “manly” looking beards (very thick and bushy). And honestly, most I’ve seen are good looking (the guys, I mean, not the beards, although the beards are good looking too.) But I can’t imagine what many homes at Christmas are going to be like this year when the beautiful young daughter introduces the man of her dreams to mom and dad, and he looks like Rutherford B. Hayes! 🙂
            God bless.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Hee hee, I’d probably ask him for a cough drop.

            Liked by 1 person

      • docallanw says:

        Indeed, as the Word says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

        Liked by 1 person

  13. prayingflower says:

    Red foxes in the snow. What a scene. And that’s a wonderful story about your family, Charlie. I’m sure that warms your heart. It warmed mine. Enjoy.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. jlynnbyrd says:

    Charlie, it is right and just that you should get some rest and rejuvenation. Advent seems the perfect time to slow down and wait. It’s all good!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. N W says:

    I love the “Amazing Grace” expected name for your grandson! I grab onto all the Lights I hear and see from my adult children, who do not practice the faith of their Father and Mother. Jesus I trust in You! Mary Christ Mass! from Moncton NB Canada. We have a week bit of snow so it looks like Christmas to us.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Mary says:

    Great to see you back here Charlie! I hope you are getting the rest and relaxation needed!
    I will say also that your title of this post also got me to wonder what was going on…..
    Will wait for your next post. Have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas Charlie!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. sweetwaterhaven says:

    Ah. Chill’n. I’m afraid that I had the same initial reaction as bflo. Glad we got that straight.

    I picked up a new trail pup today (7 weeks old), so I’ve got my hands full with training her. This breed is a natural squirrel dog, so I’ve got my work cut out for me right off the bat. I definitely didn’t need to read anything too chilling from you today, so that’s a relief.

    Thanks for sharing about the family of foxes. That’s meaningful.

    God Bless.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Chris says:

    That’s wonderful news about your grandchildren…an early Christmas gift!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pawel says:

    Charlie, enjoy you chilling time like John Paul II did. I let myself subtitle “Apartament” Trailer – a Polish documentary on chilling John Paul II. Everybody needs chilling bro. Here is the link if you find it useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef7dT4COLB0

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Pawel. With a name like Pawel, I would be disappointed if you didn’t have some unique insights into St. John ‘Pawel’ the Great.

      Liked by 3 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Hi Pawel– St. John Paul chilled in Zakopane, a resort town in southern Poland, at the base of the Tatras Mountains. This footage of his cabin and his ‘Sto lat’ party is priceless–Thank you dziękuję !! for bringing this to my attention. –Zenia Jane

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pawel says:

        Zenia, as a pope JP2 chilled in Italy, mostly near Aosta Valley region. In this documentary that is where he is chillin’ – in years 1989-1995 he stayed ( for such get aways ) at an Italian family’s house and to this day this family sleeps in the bed he slept in. But true, before he was a pope he chilled many times in the Tatra Mountains, Poland, hiking and sking a lot. As a cardinal he would say: half of the Polish cardinals ski and the other half don’t. There were only two cardinals in Poland at that time. He did visit the Tatra Mountains in Poland during his papacy, but it was in the flesh of media cameras and while being watched live by millions. That I would not call chilling’.

        Like

        • zeniazenia says:

          Ahh! Thanks Pawel – I forgot about Italy.haha I would be sleeping in that bed too. What class relic is that? I saw the plaques and papal flags all over Zakopane where he made stops for official and personal reasons. What a great saint for our times!- Zenia

          Like

        • zeniazenia says:

          Haha (half the Polish cardinals,,,) I love his sense of humor, I heard a story about how he wanted to leave the Vatican to visit someone one night, so he asked for a car. When he realized he was being met with silent stares, he added–‘Well, one with gas in it’.’

          Like

    • YongDuk says:

      Prześliczny!

      Liked by 1 person

    • YongDuk says:

      Bless you, Paweł!

      When I made my pilgrimage for Concluding Mass for the Year of the Priest in Saint Peters to our Lady of Laus to LaSalette to Paray-le-Monial / Ars something diverted me to drive through Mont Blanc.

      I stopped the night in a Valley on the way back. And I hiked and slept and hiked.

      I had no idea, this was where John Paul II used to go!

      What a blessing that I just discovered watching Apartament and what Divine Providence!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Denise W. says:

    I always enjoy hearing from you Charlie. You always are so positive and the hope radiates from your messages. And you leave me with a smile. Have a very merry and Blessed Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. JG says:

    LOL Amazing Grace. I can see you yelling that one from the bleachers…
    May all here have a Holy Christmas and a blessed New Year!

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Simone says:

    I felt as though I was reading a letter from an old friend. Thank you, Charlie. Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year.

    Like

  23. Bob says:

    Well today the Republican controlled house and senate agreed to a budget which many on the left liked greatly. Some here had a bit of hope that with the last election things could still improve somewhat. But this budget keeps funding for Planned Parenthood, no cutoff of refugee importation, etc. And their excuse “well there were so many things contained in the bill we couldn’t turn it down based on a few disagreements., didn’t want another budget stalemate, etc” I see this as one more proof of our inability to make things better by human or political means. God help us!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Linda says:

    This was a very cute blog😁

    Like

  25. little one in PA says:

    Always good to hear from you Charlie! Glad you are chillin’! It is necessary for the soul! I’ve read ” pray a half hour daily, and when you’re really busy pray an hour!”
    I agree with so many here, you are a wonderful sign of hope! I want to tell all of you a “God Story” today, all of the churches in my town joined together to open a Winter Homeless Shelter”!!!!!! God is good always and everywhere!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Ava Eadie says:

    Hi Charlie, I met you when you were in Arlington, Texas giving your presentation. I have been coming to this site off and on since then, I would have tried to send this “comment” privately but could not see how to do that. I had also intended before to leave a comment after your re-post in November about the vision of December 20, 2014 in which you saw how the Demons were allowed to spread out over 2015. It was such confirmation for me about everything that has happened to me over this past year…ANYWAY, a new thought has occurred due to an experience this morning after Mass. A woman came inside the Church, kept just inside the door entrance, and began praying somewhat audibly, since no one addressed her she must have gained courage, she came further in and became louder, (she was praying the Hail Mary), She kept getting louder and walking further in…I tried to tell myself that each of us has our way of prayer in the church…let it be…However, Altar Society women work on the Church on Saturdays, and one approached her and spoke to her, she stopped. But she recognized one of the other women, a very aged, devoted and well known and respected parishioner…she approached her and told her she was possessed and needed help and wanted to speak to a priest…of course none were available any longer to speak to her, and the AS women told her there was no way to reach one at this time. The wonderful aged woman, told her she would try to reach a certain priest, but that it might be several days (today was Saturday) before the priest could call her back and respond to anything…I stepped up and suggested, the troubled woman be given some Holy water, encouraged her to bless herself with it often until she could see a priest and that she could also drink the Holy Water, one of the AS women proceeded to find a way to provide her with some….My question is that I perceive that there will be many people with this problem…what can we do to have Priest more readily available to contact them….Thank you for your time with this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Marvelous question, Ava. I have been working on some meaty and practical posts. I seek to encourage Priests – and their parishioners – to get past the bureaucratic and administrative model of Church, and embrace a Family of God model. The Priest should be like a beloved uncle or father, ever available to perform cardinal acts of mercy. This was one such…and so to be on call for a situation such as this. I know it is a burden, but it is a burden of love for family members – and we must come to see each other as the Family of God if we are to help each other through. I will be writing much on this theme as we enter the New Year.

      Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Ava, it is so sweet how you and the women of the church responded to this peculiarity. Offering prayers for all involved.

      Liked by 3 people

    • little one in PA says:

      Thank you for sharing this experience! I am looking forward to Charlie
      Sharing practical advice on how to respond to this and many more peculiar situations that will present itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. JoyInTheLord says:

    Well, well, being a non-native English speaker and having learned the language from the books, the title didn’t pose any problem to me at all. And so I myself chilled reading Charlie’s posts until today! Reading the ‘cries’ from the earlier posts made me smile. How the nuances of language affect us all, apostrophe and otherwise! And so I really thank God for sending Charlie to us, we, all of us, having come from Babel. How could we possibly interpret the things that will befall us henceforth without the Sherpa to guide us? Unimaginable!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. docallanw says:

    Ava, in my experience, the people who are convinced they are possessed rarely are and more often than not simply need our compassion just like you and the ladies extended to her. The ones who suffer a genuine oppression often are unaware of their predicament. While she waits to see a priest, she can find comfort in the Church’s sacramentals like the holy water that was provided to her.

    If indeed she us demonized, hopefully the priest can call on a deliverance team to help her or pray for her inner healing. How we need to support our priests in prayer as they do spiritual warfare and to remain in the state ourselves as the Enemy comes against us! Jesus Chrisy IS Lord and will help this poor woman. Thanks for being there for her.

    Liked by 2 people

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