By Charlie Johnston
I have been struggling for a while to figure out how to say something that is very important going forward. When I wrote the piece “All In,” I was pleased with the result. (If you have not read that piece, you need to for this to fully make sense). I was pleased because it pretty concisely described the process by which I came to understand my peculiar duty and to live it reasonably well. What it did not accomplish so well was to help you understand that that process was not just for me, but is for you, too.
Everyone wants certainty, sure knowledge, so they may form a plan and know just what to do. Would it surprise you to know that in the early days, I rarely believed much of anything I was told by heavenly beings? My confidence in these things was not self-sustaining like that of St. Joan of Arc or some other bold mystics. It simply grew because the improbable things I was told usually came to pass. Though it was sometimes in ways I did not expect or at different times than I expected, the trajectory has always been deadly accurate. Even after I came to accept the evidence that this was probably authentic, every time I told my Priests something new and startling, I always simultaneously had both a knot in my stomach and a hope in my heart: the knot was the fear that this time the limb I was out on would break under me, the hope that I was finally going to be released from this obligation.
Most of my life, I have played a sort of game of chicken with God – kind of like my namesake, Abraham (my confirmation name). The things I have been shown have almost always been unbelievable. That would have been a good reason for me to dismiss them. On the other hand, if what I was shown was true, then people would really need someone who had accepted a lifetime of discipline and training to help them through those perilous times. So I always set a narrow set of unlikely circumstances which, if they came to pass, would oblige me to go forward – to take the next step, trusting it was the right one. It was a desperate conundrum for me – one that I finally resolved by focusing on the promise I made. This did not make things comfortable for me, but it certainly clarified what I should do at each step. Be true to my promise and leave the details to God.
Once I pretty much accepted that way of proceeding, things got both much easier and much harder. I describe a little of that in the piece, “Through a Glass Darkly.” Frankly, I get more than a little annoyed at people who constantly tout some simple, linear narrative as the only possible way God can act – and will viciously attack anyone who disagrees with that childish interpretation. God almost always acts by indirection. If He were a pool player, I think He would not be pleased with any shot that was not at least a triple bank shot. The first direction an event takes is almost always just the first bank – and can look wildly different than what the final result He intends will be, after several more unpredictable caroms. Given that, intellectual prowess and analytical acuity are not sufficient. It is entirely beyond our ken. Yet God is demanding. We must do all we can in these bewildering circumstances to get it right. It is humility and trust that perfect our approach. We must acknowledge we will often get at least pieces wrong – while knowing with certainty that if we do our dead level best, though we may get it wrong, God will get it right – and use our fidelity to do so. It takes a lot of work and discipline to get there, but once you do a sublime confidence rises. You can never be certain of being right, but you can always do what you must to be true – and if you do, even when you get it wrong, God will use that to accomplish His will.
In the afore-mentioned piece, “Through a Glass Darkly,” I omitted how the satan complicates things. I just don’t like talking about that malevolent betrayer. To be precise, I am under no illusion that the satan could never deceive me. He has tried frantically ever since the turn of the millennium to do so. I have had a lifetime of training to make good discernment – and that training has helped me to dismiss most such efforts. Even so, on a few occasions, I have started to go down a blind alley and have had to rely on my angel to correct me. If, for some reason, deception was involved and my angel chose not to correct me, there could be error on any prophecy. Since it is my job, for which I have been trained, to avoid such things, then I would declare myself unreliable and go. That is the responsibility I take – and it is consonant with the way I have interacted with God my whole life. It amazes me that so many people think I am worried about such a pedestrian matter as being right or not on a particular. I waste no time on such as that: I worry about being true to my promise, for if I am true to that, whatever confirmations or contradictions come, it will facilitate God’s sovereign will. If I am not true, it will be a hindrance for which I will be held to account even if I get the details right.
When my Archbishop, Denver’s Samuel Aquila, released his formal letter on me early last year, he kindly acknowledged that I did not put the focus of my primary message on the prophetic aspects and encouraged others to do the same. But he also noted that, in these cases, “the danger exists of people placing greater faith in a prediction than in Christ’s words and promises.” I have come to fully appreciate the wisdom of that caution. I hear people explaining that they have been burned by mystics in the past. Yet I say that if you can possibly be burned by a mystic, you have already fallen into the trap Archbishop Aquila warned against. The greatest prophet in Christian history is no substitute for Scripture and the Magisterium. If those are truly your guideposts, you cannot be burned by anyone. People want the inside track – and too often look to mystics to get it. You have the inside track already – with Scripture and the Magisterium. The best an authentic prophet can do is help you focus on what God wants of you in a particular period of salvation history and give you some comfort through it. I know…God seems far away to most people much of the time, but He is never far off. The focus of my message is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. If I am right on every particular, that will help you get through perilous times. If I am wrong on any particular, it will help you get through perilous times. You have to discern and live what God wants of you. I have given a way to help you do that.
A few weeks ago, a few fellows who are not big on mystics asked me to lunch. To my surprise, their initial concern was whether my departure would be irrevocable if the inauguration came off. I laughed and said that, of course if there was a normal inauguration and a coup a few weeks later, I would be right back to work. They were both relieved, one noting that I am the only one who has gotten the unbelievable trajectory of these times right – and with real hope…and that I was already right even if I am wrong on a particular – and my voice would be needed before this is all finished.
I do not make many specific pronouncements. I must be accountable for those I make. We are in a Storm and there will be a Rescue. If it please God that I should be rebuked and withdraw, I am good with that. If it should only be for a time, in order that I may be rebuked and purified, I am good with that. It wouldn’t be the first time in the course of my training. If I have failed in such a fundamental way that my work must pass to another, I am humbly good with that. At each step, I have had to do the best I can. Sometimes, it is not good enough. I could not have NOT said what I have said on this, for it was clear and I am obliged to speak candidly on those things I am called to speak at all on. On everything I have ever spoken on, there has always been the possibility of error on a particular, for I am just a little one. But I am also commanded to take full and manly responsibility for everything I say and do. I am not allowed to speak as an uncertain trumpet, nor am I allowed to mealy-mouth error. God will work as He works. Since He always works to reclaim us, He is surely working to do the same now. Each of us has a job to do. Each of us. We must do it to the best of our ability and take responsibility at every step for what we do – and leave the rest to God – giving counsel neither to our fears nor our vanity.
We are in a Storm, there will be a Rescue. That much I have been shown since the first dawn of consciousness in my head. I am willing to be whatever is useful – to suffer, to triumph, to be humiliated, to be honored…whatever advances the Master’s plan, trusting always that His plan is altogether true, merciful and just. A big part of my training was being shown over and over again how little and fallible I am and how great and omnipotent He is. Whenever I have had a setback in anything, He has proved true and just. So I speak as I am called, always feeling out on a limb, but knowing that living the full measure will help in accomplishing His plan.
Here, then, is your conundrum: it does not please God that you know the details of His plan. If you knew them with certainty, you would reach more to your intellect and analytical acuity. He will force you to make a choice; to trust Him or to think you have this. If I am right and there is no transfer of power on January 20th, the tumult and convulsions in this year of fulfillment will still lead you to constantly doubt there will be a Rescue. If I am wrong on this particular and convulsions continue to mount, your celebration will be short-lived. You will come to fear more than ever that I have gotten the trajectory completely right – but will not believe in a Rescue. If I am wrong on this particular and everything smoothes out, but we do not become a Godly people, persisting in our rebellious insistence that we are the titans, you will spend the year nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop. If I am wrong on this particular and everything smoothes out AND we do re-embrace our Godly heritage, I will give thanks for the bullet I dodged and enjoy my family – but will remain on full alert until my time of service is up. I would only regret that the great Shrine I saw would probably not be built.
You will not have a comfortable year. You must try to get it right as much as you can, but must know that you have no guarantee of it. The only thing you can guarantee is that you will be true to your call – which is to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. That means taking full responsibility for whatever you do. You must never fail to do what you think is right out of fear of embarrassment. You must never fail to abandon what is errant out of pride. You must become like young children, knowing your deficiencies yet doing the best you can, trusting in the love of your Father.
I know many will think this is some sort of justification on my part in case of error. That has clouded my ability to tell you something you desperately need to know. I have been astounded that only a handful of people – all who have known me a very long time – really understood my thinking on this. It has underlined to me how dramatically differently I think than most people. But you desperately need to learn to think in terms of duty and promise if you are going to navigate this year well. So I tell you – that you may choose to trust God while doing the best you can and taking full responsibility for it. It is the only way you will endure.