First Things


By Charlie Johnston

On December 20, 2014, I had a great vision of demons spewing across the world to raise confusion and chaos, to create divisions in families, marginalize Christians, and spread despair and fear in all, specifically targeting the most pious. I touched on the vision in this column of Dec. 28, 2014, then wrote more extensively on the whole matter on New Year’s Day of 2015.

The chaos, confusion and bitter recriminations are nearly at full boil.

Over the course of my life, whenever things have grown frantic and confused, I have always gone back to what I call “First Things,” foundational principles and realities. It doesn’t matter whether it involves private or public affairs; this method has always helped me to clear away the weeds of detailed strife and find a true (or nearly true) path out of confusion. The very act of contemplating and boiling things down to First Things calms and steadies me.

Let’s consider a few First Things here:

1)      We have entered into the sequence of events that will end in the catastrophic collapse of civil society.

2)      From the chaos of collapse, God’s plan will rise, enabling us to confront the remaining challenges of the Storm.

3)      Nothing will ultimately prevail against God’s Holy Church. The bones of all-powerful emperors who once persecuted her are so much dust – along with their once-glittering empires. Since Judas at the beginning, some apostles have tried to hijack her. They, too, are so much dust – while the Church endures.

4)      Jesus promised us Peter’s faith will not fail.

5)      Ever since Jesus ordered His listeners to “…render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s,” the Church has acknowledged a spiritual order in which the Bishops are authoritative and the laity subject, and a temporal order in which the laity is authoritative and the shepherds involved.

6)      God wants all His kids back.

When I start with these premises, several consequences logically flow.

Taking the first three premises into account, civil society is crumbling around us in real time. Such a thing is always accompanied by shocks, offenses, explosions, rubble, mud and blood. It is frightening because it is the end of an order. But it is not the end of order. There is plenty of dust and rumbling during the period of transition, but it is not what it seems. If God is going to intervene to raise up order from this, the best thing would be to prepare well for that Restoration.

I think of it in terms of the Parable of the Wise Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). While not neglecting to do the good we can as the crumbling continues, we must not allow the growing disorder around us to distract us from keeping our lamps filled with the oil of our faith. I do what good I can in the midst of confusion, but I do not lose my peace over all the offenses that now swirl around us. Terrorists rage in a rising tide, most of our freedoms are under assault by the very entities that are supposed to defend them, Christian faith is attacked, belittled and punished at every turn. Sometimes a day goes by without a major atrocity, but rare is the week that goes by without several. I certainly notice these things, but a part of me thinks, what did we expect in the crumbling of the old order?

Meantime I know that the greatest villains in history, the most powerful emperors and brutal atheist autocrats, have not prevailed against the faith. Anti-Christian progressives think they are bounding from victory to victory. I know they are actually discrediting themselves – and knitting together the shrouds they will lay in if they don’t repent. In reality, we have all been delivered up to judgment. The Lord is asking us, “Do you love Me?” If, in these times of turmoil, we make accommodations on the fundamentals of our faith, whatever we answer with our lips, the answer of our actions is, “No.” On the other hand, if we go into despair and condemnation of the world crumbling around us, we do not trust Him enough. We are called to ready the ambulances of the field hospital for those in need around us in the chaos – and to do it with confident resolve. If we go chasing after a strange god because we are shaken or if we start to sink because of our fear of the wind and waves that surround us, we fail. Like the wise virgins of the parable, we are to keep our lamps full of the oil of faith that they may burn brightly when the Master calls us to account.

A few Sundays ago, the First Reading was from Genesis 18:16-33. In it, Abraham bargained with God over the fate of Sodom. In the end, God said He would spare Sodom if even 10 righteous people could be found there. Given the situation, a man in Sodom would have been better advised to endeavor to be righteous than to spend time merely deploring disorder. A genuinely upright person is a sweet incense to the Lord that justifies the extension of much mercy. We are all called to be ambassadors of mercy in this horrible year.

I know that many are – and will be – wounded in the tumult of the collapse around us. I am called to defend against what depredations I can during this chaos, but never to let it distract me from preparing the field ambulances needed to inspire hope and healing – including ultimately the healing of many of those who have wounded themselves by visiting those depredations on us, reigniting the light of the hope that is in Christ when they have burned themselves out. God wants all His kids back.

As to items four and five, it seems to me that to call any validly elected Pope an anti-pope is not to doubt the Pope, but to doubt Christ’s promise that Peter’s faith will not fail. I simply will not do that. To do so is to leave the Church Christ, Himself, founded and search after another. If Christ’s promises were without effect, why would we bother being Christians at all? That is critical and decisive.

The Pope’s formal authority lies in matters of faith and morals. It is decisive when he speaks Magisterially, but is very weighty even when he speaks off the cuff on such matters. This authority adheres to his office. When he speaks Magisterially, it is akin to a judge ruling formally on a matter: decisive. When he speaks off the cuff, it is like a judge penning a formal op-ed column – not decisive, but demanding of weighty consideration. His Magisterial authority is guaranteed by God, Himself.

On temporal matters, the Pope has the right of everyone else to express his views. The worthiness of those views, however, are a function of his person, not his office. They rise or fall on their own merit and as an ancillary function of his public influence: there is no divine authority attached to them. The Pope is not infallible on matters of gardening or architecture – and any errant statements he made on those subjects would have no effect on his actual authority at all. He is also not infallible or authoritative on matters of politics and economics – or any other temporal thing. Whatever merit or lack thereof on such matters flow from his person, not his office. Any mistakes he may make on such matters have nothing to do with his formal spiritual authority.

In the late 90’s, during a large statewide campaign, I was fortunate to have one of the most gifted computer programmers I have ever known at my disposal. I would tell him what I wanted a program to do…and he would design it. Frequently, he would try to regale me with technological details of how he did it. I told him I did not want to know how to design programs – that was his portfolio. It would have been a mess had I tried to design the means to the ends I sought, myself. But he would have been rudderless had I not told him what those ends were.

There is no Pope I have admired more than St. John Paul the Great. The closest candidate would probably be Pope Leo XIII. Even so, I occasionally disagreed with St. John Paul on certain temporal matters. It did not disturb my peace in the slightest, for though John Paul was far more influential and wise than I, we had the same duty and authority on strictly temporal matters of policy. I much appreciated that St. John Paul rarely spoke on temporal matters without first developing a refined knowledge of the details and considering all angles. Even then, he took some pains to recognize the legitimate authority of lay officials in such matters. I heard him in St. Louis in 1999. He made an impassioned plea against the death penalty – even as he recognized that it could be licit under some circumstances and that lay authorities had not just the right, but the duty, to ensure the safety of the public whose welfare they were entrusted with. His passion – and his humility in commenting on it – changed some of my thinking on the matter.

I have been troubled by many of Pope Francis’ comments on temporal matters. The spiritual ends he enunciates are notably orthodox and sound. But many of the means he instinctively prefers have historically produced results that damage his preferred ends rather than enhance them. Even worse, he often does not take pains to consider all angles before speaking on what he is not authoritative on – and shows little regard for the legitimate responsibility of the lay officials who do have authority for them. To tell European countries to accept nearly unlimited immigration from countries that export terrorism without acknowledging their duty to protect their own citizens or offering some concrete advice on how to do so is insulting and disrespectful. It thoroughly discounts the authentic duty of lay authorities – and in the process causes the public to mentally dilute the legitimate authority of the Holy Father. It strikes me as almost as clumsy as if I had presumed to instruct my computer programmer on how to write code instead of telling him what ends I wanted that code to accomplish.

On the other hand, on matters of faith and morals, I have been deeply impressed on how focused Pope Francis is on working to effectively draw souls back to the fullness of the faith and the Sacraments. If this is a great Storm and the Barque of Peter is the vessel which will carry us to the harbor of Rescue, I often imagine the last three Popes as all Popes of the Storm. St. John Paul was the great rehabilitator of the ship. He pulled away all the rotted wood from misinterpretations of Vatican II and refitted the ship with fresh, new, well-seasoned wood, making it fully seaworthy. Pope Emeritus Benedict checked to insure that all systems were in proper running order. Pope Francis is neither of these: he is the captain standing on the deck shouting, “All Aboard!” He does that with marvelous aplomb. Even in his occasionally unclear comments on marriage, I appreciate that he is entirely focused on how to draw all back to the fullness of Sacramental life. The stale dualism that insists on either enabling the very disorders that have made us sick or are content to merely condemn the sick for being sick have accomplished little to heal anyone. Pope Francis is doing a passionate job of working to draw all back to spiritual health. That he does not flag in that effort over worries about making the occasional errant comment is, in my mind, a recommendation of his work rather than a criticism of it.

I have been simultaneously delighted and occasionally dismayed by Pope Francis. I am delighted because, unlike Pope Emeritus Benedict, he has the jubilant swashbuckling character and style I had been led to expect in the Pope who would guide us through the Storm. I have occasionally been dismayed because he is too often inadequately informed on the temporal matters he speaks of and shows little respect for the legitimate authority of those who actually do bear primary prudential responsibility for those things. In fact, I think that speaking so frequently and casually on temporal means is a real blunder on his part. But then, when I am confronted with significant dissonance between what I expected and the reality of a situation, I am more prone to ponder and pray over what God intends in this than to bitterly complain about it.

In this case, we have been spoiled by several Popes who had a refined understanding of many temporal matters, as well as divinely appointed authority on spiritual ones. We have grown accustomed enough to it that we have largely come to think it a function of the office rather than a function of the person of some gifted leaders. Confronted with one who is not as gifted on such things, we question the office and his legitimate authority. In the process, we have neglected our own duty to what is our primary prudential responsibility, while blaming the Pope for what is OUR own neglect of that duty. Our duty to him is neither to attack his legitimate authority, nor to neglect our own. Rather we are called to work together to devise means that are most likely to accomplish the noble ends he speaks authoritatively on. On the matter of his beginning the great work of finding effective ways to bring everyone back to the fullness of Sacramental life, it is our duty to help him, using all our hearts and minds to help refine his thinking when it is not definitive and to fully support him when it is.

These thoughts lead me to these primary conclusions for these times:

1)      It should be no surprise to us that the course of the Storm is…very stormy. These things must come.

2)      God will prevail. We are called to participate in the Rescue He has devised, not contribute to bitter acrimony and confusion.

3)      This Pope IS the Pope of the Storm. He is fitted to this time in Salvation History both by his personal strengths as an inspiration for us and by his personal weaknesses as a rebuke to our neglect. He is protected by the promise of Christ from definitive doctrinal error.

4)      We are called to live our duty of obedience to the formal spiritual authority of the Pope while fully exercising our legitimate responsibility on temporal affairs to secure the ends the faith authentically prescribes.

5)      Christ is asking all of us whether we love Him. It is a great audition. Those who keep their peace amid turmoil and spark hope in their fellows will become useful tools in the Master’s hands for these times. Those who bitterly sow discord and confusion will reap what they have sown.


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.
This entry was posted in Christian Persecution, Church Governance, Discernment, Obedience, The Rescue, The Storm and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

310 Responses to First Things

  1. Gabriella says:

    Our beloved Papa’s words (last February)
    “The management of the door requires careful discernment and, at the same time, it must inspire great confidence. I would like to say a word of gratitude to all custodians of doors: Often the prudence and the kindness of the porter are capable of offering an image of humanity and welcome to the whole house, already from the entrance. We must learn from these men and women, who are custodians of places of encounter and welcome of the city of man! To all of you custodians of so many doors, be it doors of habitations, be it doors of churches, thank you so much! But always with a smile, always showing the hospitality of that house..
    A door must protect, certainly, but not push away. The door must not be forced, on the contrary, permission must be asked, because hospitality shines in the freedom of a welcome, and it is darkened in the arrogance of invasion. The door says many things about a house. They are thieves who seek to avoid the door. It is curious, thieves always seek to enter another way, by the window, by the roof, but they avoid the door, because they have evil intentions, and they sneak into the sheepfold to deceive the sheep and to take advantage of them..” Pope Francis

    “Jesus Christ, King and Lord of the Church, in Your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to Your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him You govern, teach and sanctify us; with him as our Shepherd, we form the True Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

    Grant me the grace to love, live and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of Your redemption. Amen.”

    Mother of Mercy, please keep Papa Francis within the folds of Your Mantle!

    Blessings of love and peace, dear friends!

    Liked by 10 people

  2. CrewDog says:

    Here is Obama (and Billary’s) answer to “Homegrown” Extremists. Let’s gut the Second Amendment and make more “Laws” that only the law abiding-n-tax paying/producer class will adhere to … Ya Know!!?? … Those awful unwashed God-n-Gun Clingers!?? I’m sure that some here remember the early days of BO’s Reign when his DHS Head, Janet Baby, put out a list of potential “Homegrown” Extremists that included War Veterans, Pro-Life and Tea Part Activists!? You may also recall that on that fateful day when “The Shot Heard Around the World” …at Lexington and Concord …. was fired the unpleasantness called The American Revolution was caused by Red Coats attempting to disarm American Minutemen! What will be “The Spark” that sets off the “Powder Keg” known as Planet Earth 2016 ….Eh!!?? Pray that we have plenty of Christian Minutemen…. “Out-There” …. in the coming days!!! ……. and you Blue State and EU Folks that have allowed yourselves to become disarmed Shepple …… Well ………………………………….. ;-(

    “Obama: U.S. Gun Law ‘Has Made…Homegrown Extremists Strategy More Attractive to Them”


    Liked by 3 people

  3. CrewDog says:

    How long before Christian flags, statues and jewelry will be considered “Hateful or Racist” by people totally ignorant of history and tradition!?? Ya “Can take it to the Bank” that this entire PC/BS is being driven by Evil Lefty Anarchists that want to ‘Transform America” (& Christendom) into godless misery ;-( … Wait!! .. I forgot!! Christian Symbols have already been labeled hateful by ….. Transform America .. Gee!!! ….. Where have I heard that term before????

    “Federal Agency: Wearing ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Gadsden Flag Symbol Might Be Actionable Racial Harassment”


    Liked by 4 people

  4. joncraft84 says:

    Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    I think the whole world needs to be a family at least the ones that want to survive the storm and to be a family we have to be united as one in Christ. WEedon’t have to be the same religion but we have to be united into one in Christ. Probably the best way to do that is to be the same religion, but we don’t have to be. I think this is a very important read that will take you while. But, I do think it a very important read. Your Brother in Christ, Jonathan.


    • janet says:

      According to scripture we will all be judged on what we have done for our neighbour. Matt 25..and not on whether we are Catholic Protestant etc. Although those who refuse the faith after having knowledge of it will have to answer to God, as well as those who turn away from it. Peter, our first Pope warned about this in Peter 2.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. deereverywhere says:

    Today, Amazon has by Father Amorth, his memoirs of an Excorcist for $1.99

    Should anyone be interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janet says:

      I think my daughter has this book Deer. Did you ever see the film ‘The Rite’ I think it’s called, with Anthony Hopkins? A good film about an exorcist.

      Liked by 1 person

      • deereverywhere says:

        I thought that was a scary movie. I am not a scary movie person. I will have to watch for it. Thank you Janet. I remember Anthony Hopkins way back when he played Geoffrey in “A Lion in Winter”. Peter O’Toole was so beautiful.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Barry Peratt says:


    A MOST helpful and timely post. May the Lord bless you for this! I have struggled with the balance of respecting our spiritual leaders (our Holy Father included), while not taking the simplistic “everything he says is untouchable” approach that, while it is easy and takes no discernment, would sometimes have me go against my conscience. The words from St. Paul, “Even if an angel should preach to you a different gospel, let him be anathema!” come to mind. But on the other hand, that latter approach, unchecked, can lead to the Protestant error everyone being their own Pope. Your post, however, helped me clear things up and let me understand some sins that I needed to repent of, which I did. In summary:

    1. Idolatry: I so admire St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict that it was easy for me to conflate their position as Pope with their personal holiness and other personal traits I admire about them. It is not necessary for the Pope to be holy, or to be the most well-informed individual about current events, or to be a good communicator, or even to be the “right choice” (see Pope Benedict¹s comments on this below, if you are interested). The power of the papacy is in God¹s love and fidelity to us and His Church. God has shown me through Pope Francis that I tended to trust too much in the men who were the previous two popes, instead of trusting only in God’s fidelity to His promise to protect and ultimately guide His Church, regardless of the qualities, and even mistakes, of the man holding the office.

    2. Succumbing to Unhelpful Distraction: Pope Francis has a good heart, I¹m convinced, and his goal is laudable: to bring as many back into the fold as possible, as quickly as possible. But the way he is going about it gives me great pause, and for many reasons. He appears to be recycling the old 70¹s strategies: letting the progressives run wild and promoting many of the misguided efforts at “reform” and “openness” from that decade that have left the Church in such a deplorable condition today. I have the right and even perhaps the responsibility to make my concerns known (cf. Canon Law 212.3). However, this fact has distracted me from attending to the ways in which Pope Francis legitimately challenges me ‹ or rather, the ways in which God is challenging me through the words and actions of Pope Francis.

    Therefore, I have repented of both of these errors and, with a firm purpose of amendment, intend to pray fervently for our Holy Father, trust in God’s Providence, and not stress too much when my Holy Father makes me cringe. I am a father of 7 children, and in prayer today I thought of all of the ways I fail and desire God to forgive me and by His grace make my faltering efforts at fatherhood bear good fruit — then I prayed for that same grace for Pope Francis. It changed my whole attitude!


    From a piece Catholic journalist John Allen published in 2013 in which he cites Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger on the topic:

    . . . Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response: “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.² Then the clincher: “There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”

    Liked by 10 people

  7. radiclaudio says:

    Thank you for this post. You continue to help me stay focused.

    Much love,


    Liked by 1 person

  8. bbowling97 says:

    Sharing this article as something thought provoking. Blessings to all as we watch and pray.

    Liked by 5 people

    • SanSan says:

      Thanks for the link……very interesting eh? Waking at 3AM these days. Anyone else? Time to stick my head out the window and gaze at our beautiful night sky. Come Lord Jesus Come.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. I really appreciate reading what you write……It helps me from being too disheartened….Thank You..

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Anne says:

    Did anyone watch opening ceremony of Games?? Interesting!!


  11. janet says:

    Pope Francis and Our Lady

    The Pope recites 15 decades of the Rosary every day. He tells us…. “The month of May is dedicated to Our Lady and it is “fitting” to start the habit of a daily rosary now. By promoting it, Pope Francis is giving people the means to win graces that will enable them overcome their problems. One of the 15 promises given those who recite the rosary is that “they will never be conquered by misfortune”.

    The Pope’s confidence in Our Lady developed because of two key personal awakenings that happened in the mid-1980s. In 1985 he attended a rosary that was being led by St John Paul II. The sight of the Polish Pope on his knees greatly moved him. He did some acute soul-searching as to how much he trusted Our Lady, and he later reflected: “I became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to St Juan Diego: ‘Don’t be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?’” From that day forth, he said 15 decades of the Rosary.

    In 1986, the then Padre Bergoglio finished as rector in the seminary, and was sent to Germany for six months. At the time, to borrow modern parlance, Fr Bergoglio was not in a good place – the Dirty War had exacted a heavy toll on his nerves and he worried that the Jesuit community would never recover from the many mutinies that had taken place in their ranks.

    But it was here in Germany that he would find solace when praying before the painting of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, in Augsburg. He carried the devotion from Germany back home to Argentina.

    A copy of the original German painting was done in an ordinary Argentinean church, San José del Telar. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he would stroll into this modest church and pray before the painting.

    Now as Pope, he has used the symbolism of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, to explain matters of the faith. For Pope Francis, the knots represent the sins that separate us from God, and Our Lady, in untying them, brings us closer to God. As the Pope has said: “Mary, whose ‘yes’ opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy.”

    Liked by 12 people

    • Ella Cammina says:

      Janet, thank you for sharing. This is very beautiful. I will save it and re-read it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • joanne1950 says:

      Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, was greatly represented during the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. I thought it was a new devotion created recently, so thanks for the in depth information. I couldn’t attend the ceremonies because of age and a movement disability but greatly enjoyed it all on TV. Been down the Parkway many times in the past, my parents were married at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, my son attended the Jesuit high school of Philadelphia, so I found it all thrilling and found the display of Our Lady Undoer of Knots most beautiful.

      Liked by 2 people

    • joanne1950 says:

      Adding to my previous comment – Present at the ceremonies in Philadelphia for the Pope’s visit was Gianna Emanuela, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, recently canonized. Gianna Emanuela is the daughter born in 1962 to Beretta Molla who would not abort her as suggested by her doctors because of a tumor during her pregnancy. This was not reported on the news, but a local mother and daughter recognized her, ask permission to take her picture and subsequently that photo and explanation make the rounds in the Philadelphia Catholic community by email. Very inspirational.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. CrewDog says:

    Here’s a Wake-up call for all you sexist Males and over-feminine Females “Out-there” that think “Girls Can’t Shoot”😉

    “Shooting – American Thrasher wins first gold of Games”–oly.html


    Liked by 6 people

  13. I’ve been contemplating a couple of things and keeping folks in my prayers. One thing I wanted to share in general has to do with our TNRS blog family. I kinda think that this is what Charlie intended for folks to see/encounter upon arrival:

    Probably some folks just see this:

    I suppose I see things with my own little twist:

    (but then again, I came here looking for encouragement… and found it.)

    Something to ponder.

    God Bless,


    Liked by 27 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Okay, MP…this is SO good I think I am going to have to make it a separate stand-alone column tonight. You have outdone yourself (and, by gum, that’s saying something!)

      Liked by 10 people

      • Well, I simply thank everyone here for the encouragement.

        It was heartwarming to see “Crosses in the Year of Mercy” from my old friend, Janet Klasson (Pelianito), touching on the common theme of ‘doors’. We’ve come to appreciate that convergence over the years as the Holy Spirit guiding in themes. Praise God!

        It’s interesting, because I always envisioned “the door of My mercy” and “the door of My justice” as two doors standing side-by-side. I’m not sure why. A few days ago, I was envisioning two such doors labeled “TNRS” and “Panic” in response to recent blog activity and the sad fact that our other Janet was feeling disheartened by it.

        It’s a good thing that Our Lord didn’t let me go off half-cocked when I wanted to. Instead, I pondered until I woke up this morning with another image in my mind consisting of just the one door –– the door of our own making and choosing –– that matches our expectations.

        Honestly, I’m not embarrassed to add that it was definitely a little ‘aha!’ moment for me too.

        Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      Love it MP! You give new meaning to the phrase: a picture is worth a thousand words!
      SO well done!!! Thanks and God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Mp, can’t stop smiling, wow, do I love this!

      Liked by 3 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      so SO sweet MP — Sweet as pie!

      Liked by 4 people

    • Doug says:

      MP, this is great! Very timely for me too.

      Liked by 2 people

    • janet says:

      How very clever! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:



  14. BlessedIam says:

    That’s awesome. And it speaks volumes.

    God Bless

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Charlie, I wondered if you’d seen this commentary by Fr. Gabriel Amorth on Our Lady of Fatima. I don’t think he speaks English, but if he did, I’d think that he’s been reading your blog!😉 What he says corresponds almost word-for-word to what you’ve been telling folks here.


    • Beckita says:

      Hi Judy. I think it’s important to consider that the Fatima Center which uploaded this footage harps away unceasingly that the Consecration to Russia is not complete and MUST yet occur. I know some of the work done by the Fatima Center is good. I also know the founder of the organization had issues with obedience to the Church so I personally avoid their material. As you can see there has been great controversy surrounding the founder of this apostolate:
      To my knowledge, I don’t believe Fr. Gruner ever rectified his problematic status.

      Here are some important understandings to consider when pondering the Consecration to Russia:

      God bless you.

      Liked by 4 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Yikes, my bad…I did not realize this was from the Fatima Center, which I have banned from this site. The Fatima Center insists on treating St. John Paul Sr. Lucia, and Pope Emeritus Benedict as liars – and I will NOT have that here. They do, indeed, do some good work, but until they stop ranting against Saints and Holy Popes, I am uninterested in their work. The World Apostolate of Fatima is solid and steady.

        Thanks for catching it, Beckita.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Beckita says:

          Amen, Charlie! With so many comments coming through, it seems bound to happen that a stray one may slip by. At the same time, it does give Judy and possibly more of our newer readers an opportunity to think about the consecration requested at Fatima in a new way.

          I appreciated your exhortation and clarification concerning comments as the introduction in Crosses in the Year of Mercy. I wish we could convince new readers to utilize the search functions and explore more of your excellent writings which address prophecy. Ah well. Soon enough it will all have unfolded in God’s Perfect Ways and Timing.

          Liked by 3 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I am sympathetic with new readers. There is a lot of material here now. At the same time, I am going to direct people to the “Start Here” link a lot more often, rather than so frequently re-visiting publicly things we have covered in so much detail already.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Great plan, Charlie. I completely empathize with the daunting task of reading all that’s here so I’ll just keep plugging in links to your rich resources which pertain to the topic at hand.

            Liked by 4 people

        • Snowy Owl says:

          It’s odd that Father Amorth, being who he is, would have anything to do with this, but again, it is just their opinions. How wonderful it will be when all of this confusion has been dealt with completely! Terminé. Fin! Oh quel soulagement ce sera!

          Liked by 4 people

      • BD says:

        Beckita. I believe the Consecration of Russia occurred but was “Late.” It is annoying to keep reading or hearing this was not done. Even Sister Lucia said the Consecration was accepted by Heaven. I still have my reasons to believe in the very deepest depths of the “Storm” the Consecration will be repeated, not because it wasn’t accepted by God, but to give praise and glory to God when all hope is nearly lost…

        Liked by 3 people

  16. tinabarry says:

    Hello Charlie I have a question. Is the 3rd millennium going to be considered Mary’s millennium when the Church records history? I know that is an odd question, but in my prayer, it comes to me that way. Will there be any more added to our knowledge of her when she visibly and miraculously appears?
    Thank you.


  17. My son is in the process of making arrangements to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorge. We were wondering if any one else on this blog are considering going. The days are Oct 26-Nov 4.

    Also there is a Mass for Padre Pio here in Strongsville, Ohio and a priest, Father Anthony will bless people with one of St Pio’s gloves. The Mass is at 6:30 pm. Monday August 8, 16.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Doug says:

      A group from my parish is going.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have never used this WordPress reply form….so I will see how it works. I can’t find the original post. I see you are in NH. But if they are in Medj at the same time that might be nice for Scott. He still has to get his passport… we are moving slower than I want to. But he seems enthusiastic enough. He feels Our Lady is giving him signs.
        Thank you, Doug, for replying. I will post again later. I was hoping so much one of the TNRSers would be going. We don’t know anyone here yet.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Doug says:

          My son is going through a faith crisis and I will be talking with him. If he is open, I will offer him to go to Medjugorje. I put it in God’s hands. Also, I went last year and there was similar discussion then about the storm. I am glad I went. Although, we are much closer to some events Charlie has described (the election), but we do not know how it will play out. This phase could happen peacefully or maybe by not peaceful means. Either way, God has a plan. God bless you!

          Liked by 5 people

  18. avaeadie says:

    Pope Francis is neither of these: he is the captain standing on the deck shouting, “All Aboard!” He does that with marvelous aplomb. Yes, so true!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. avaeadie says:

    I do have a genuine question, nothing to do with “gotcha” or trying to be anything except to fully understand the scripture. You are the first person I have heard to say “Christ’s promise that Peter’s faith will not fail.” When I find the scripture, I can not tell it was a “promise” per se. I see that Christ prayed that his faith MAY not fail. But I see this statement as similar to the words at Mass ” …that many May be saved…” Please help me to know how the scripture speaks of promise? And if there is another post asking on this, very sorry but I did not try to go through all 270 comments, so sorry if I am asking something you have already answered…

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I actually have addressed that, Eadie…but it is a perfectly legitimate question. Christ is God. For Him, the prayer IS the action. It would be blasphemous, I think, to believe that Christ could pray and not receive.

      Liked by 5 people

      • avaeadie says:

        That is a very interesting perspective. Somehow, over my life, I had either been taught or read or came to understand that in the garden, during his agony he had prayed for every man and woman from Adam and Eve to the last man who will be, that they might be saved, that his sacrifice not be in vain. But because of free will, we are given to understand that not everyone choses to accept his sacrifice and be saved…I will have to ponder your perspective, I certainly have no desire to be blasphemous. And thank you for the answer, sorry for the redundancy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joe says:

        This is interesting, Charlie, because in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed that “if it be Your will, let this cup pass over me.” We know that didn’t happen., so it obviously wasn’t the will of the Father. But what about this particular prayer for Peter? He doesn’t ask if it’s God’s will, only that he would pray for it. Does this indicate his divine nature revealing a Truth, while Gethsemane indicates his human nature revealing how to humbly ask in prayer?

        Liked by 4 people

  20. anniecorrinne says:

    I guess this is an ‘aside’ question/comment. It’s not made for anyone impaticular. We live in a middle class neighborhood. The neighbors are busy ‘fixing’ up their homes; a great room ; a new kitchen; new Windows; new driveways; new patios and decks. I would love to do some updating, but our $ are not having babys…..😟$😟… we are keeping clean what we have.
    I’m glad for all those able to do improvements but wonder if it wise at this time. And, as far as I know none know about TNRS. People are friendly, but not friends.
    What do you all think?

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      One of my dearest friends has begun a fix-up project at his home. I think it is fine. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy. If you want to and have the money, go ahead. If not, don’t.

      Liked by 3 people

    • janet says:

      There are two things going on in my head…I go ahead and fix things, decorate etc. I might as well have the place looking decent whilst I’m waiting for the big events, but I don’t make long term plans. For example if someone asked me to book in advance a holiday for next year, I wouldn’t bother.

      The main thing is that right now I have to get my spiritual life in order. We have to be ready continually because we don’t know the time or day when the we will have to face the Lord.

      Liked by 1 person

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