By Charlie Johnston
With all the volatility in world markets, the unchecked rise of terrorism and rogue aggressor states, and the surreal efforts of formerly free western governments to micro-manage then private lives of everyone, I am hearing from a lot of people these days in stunned wonder, asking if this is it – or seeking a timeline of events. I do not get shaken by these events. That they must come I have long taken as a matter of course. Now, though, I must encourage all of you not to be shaken by these things. Nor should you be shaken by tumults in your family, among your friends and at work. We have discussed for a couple of years now that these things must come – and that the closer we got the more intense they would become, as the satan worked all the harder to pull people off their simple, solid course prior to his eviction from the public square. Remember, the satan already knows he will win nothing, that he has NO chance in his battle with God. The only thing he is interested in is tearing down and ripping apart as many souls as he can in the process.
Now, I need you to know there will be no timeline published on this site save that of the Rescue – which is the key point of my message at this point. I have gone to great lengths, with much patience, to get people to quit thinking in terms of the details of what will happen and think in terms of their duty to God, to take the next right step without knowing precisely what is coming, trusting God to gently show them what they need when they need it. This puts a premium on trust in God rather than trust in one’s own knowledge of what to expect. That is how it must be.
If the first part of a timeline proved incorrect, it would destroy confidence in this site – and undo my assurances that God can be trusted at every moment. If the initial supposition was correct and later suppositions proved correct, it would prove even worse. People would put great confidence in it, then would set themselves up for a late betrayal at a critical point, destroying confidence in providence at a blow. This is so dangerous, I rather think the devil would do all he could to see that later early pieces were dead on in order to set people up for an ambush as they trusted to themselves and this site instead of turning to God for each step.
I was told at least three decades ago…and maybe four, that the time was coming when I would be like a blind man, unable to see further than the step in front of me while walking on a cliff’s edge, that the only way to do it would be to trust God with unshakeable confidence. That time has come, so I am very careful about giving people grist to think they can have confidence in their own calculations.
I have to think like a general, confronted with a brilliantly cunning opponent. If I give people confidence that the attack will come from the left, the opponent will make sure it comes from the right. Then people will be undone by their false confidence that they know a detail of what will happen. Rather, I need to keep people alert to what is immediately around them and develop an unshakeable confidence in the providence of God – through the simple way I constantly describe; acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you.
From the volume of requests I get these days to lay out a timeline, I don’t think some of you fully registered the extent of what I was saying in “Through a Glass Darkly.” We are navigating through a minefield that is constantly being changed by the satan and his minions, by the prayers and trust of the faithful, and by Divine Providence. Even if you have an accurate snapshot at a particular moment, it has changed a moment later. If you have a public audience, if you stumble onto an accurate specific event, the devil loves to take advantage of it by making several more elements of the minefield confirm to your picture – not to help you, but to enable an ambush at a critical moment later. In fact, the biggest frauds out there right now are some of those who have a knack for most accurately predicting natural disasters. These are things the devil has most influence over because they require a minimum of free will. They can be quite impressive to the unwary. He likes to use them to distract people from what authentic prophecy is, which relates to your duty to God and your fellows and your need to trust and call on Him.
You will note that I have been very sparse on specific details in the few years I have been public, but dead on in the larger sweep of what I have described. It keeps people focused on God and deprives the devil of the intelligence he needs to confect fraudulent events to give people a false sense of security. I know more than I ever let on – but I also know that if I let on, it would very quickly either be discredited by the satan or…confirmed by him…in order to lay a later trap. I serve God, who has given me some knowledge of the brilliance of the satan and how he acts, and charged me with speaking to people in a way that leads them away from the satan’s brilliant deceptions and frauds.
This is a far more complicated and narrow path than any can imagine – and yet God really has given us a simple way that will not fail. Acknowledge Him, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope.
The world has long been taken over by little men, men who are not interested in their fellows, but in showing their own imagined superiority. These men seldom say anything smart, but merely assert whatever they say is smart – and then frantically shift blame as their ill-considered schemes collapse around them. It has become axiomatic that the less someone knows about something, the louder and more forceful they will speak about it. Men in power seldom make decisions: rather, they are driven by events and spend all their time figuring how to hedge their bets and cover their rears so their power and prestige remains intact. This is happening in all institutions; government, business, even the churches. Things don’t hold together. Do not be one of these people, for the rules are changing before our very eyes. God is causing those who have functionally dismissed Him to reap what they have sown. It is a bitter harvest, indeed. It is appointed that these frauds should hold power for a little longer – as I have said, that they be delivered up to judgment. It is critical that you be that sign of hope, steady and solid, trusting in God to guide us for every step. You cannot do that if you react in fear at the convulsions that have begun – and the greater ones that must come. Let serene confidence in God be your lodestar. Gird your loins.
Some still struggle with what I have told you about treating all sincere Christians and Jews as full and equal partners in the work before us – and to treat all people of good will, whatever faith, as true neighbors. It is not how to be allies that troubles people so much, but how to do it while maintaining full fidelity to your own faith. Don’t use the struggle against oppression and tyranny as a chance to convert an ally. Simply live your faith with full integrity, recognizing the authenticity of your ally’s faith.
It is truly said that God draws good even from the evil that men do. When I was a boy, Evangelicals and Catholics did not treat each other with much respect or tolerance. The imposition of abortion by the American Supreme Court has been a true tragedy. It has been an obvious disaster for the children murdered in the womb; it has been a tragedy for the terrible divisions it has caused in the social fabric; and it has been a tragedy for the coarsening of conscience it imposes upon its supporters in order to justify the brutal practice. And yet, in the process of fighting this great evil, Catholics and Evangelicals have come to see and respect the genuine faith that animates the other. We have a great crusade before us. Walk with the same thanksgiving and respect that has animated our alliance in fighting the abortion culture, and God will see to the unity, Himself. Fr. Dwight Longenecker had a magnificent piece in Patheos on this subject – and what we are all faced with now.
When I was in the mountains this last time, I contemplated how we can all be a visible sign of hope this year, as things continue to degenerate. The thought that came to me was through public Eucharistic and Marian Processions. This is a profound, public statement of faith – rather than a public statement of what we oppose. That it is visible and public will give heart to those who have felt intimidated or downcast because of the constant belittling of our faith by government, the media and popular culture. It shows that our faith endures. The late Cardinal Francis George, looking out over the Colosseum in Rome once reflected that the powerful and mighty emperors who sought to persecute and destroy Christianity were all gone many centuries ago – and now the successors of those thrown to lions gathered in the very spot of their persecution to choose their leader. The petty, bitter persecutors on today’s scene will very soon be consigned to the ash heap of history, but God’s Word will remain and so will His Church. When you profess your faith simply and publicly, you have no idea how many you quietly inspire to hope that there is, indeed, something greater than this and the shallow men who now hold power.
I will put a premium on any travels this year in going to places where they will hold a public Eucharistic or Marian procession, led by a Priest or Deacon. Last year, I worked to plant a seed of hope in pockets throughout the country. Now I call on you to do the same in your own area. I look forward to joining many of you.