By Charlie Johnston
By my own standard, I was wrong about the peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. yesterday. My favorite note came from a friend who said, “You got close on it, but this isn’t horseshoes.” That encapsulated my own thoughts quite nicely. I rarely speak of specific events. Having done so, it was my duty to get it right.
Some have demanded an explanation from me. I was wrong. I could be a crackpot, but that seems unlikely, given that I so accurately described the sudden cultural and spiritual degeneration of our society. I was deceived on this – and God allowed the deception to persist without correction. I have been deceived before – and counted on my angel to correct me on those occasions. This time the deception was allowed to persist, either to chasten me or for other reasons yet unknown.
I ask my friends to avoid trying to find scenarios in which I was somehow right on this. I have never been a fan of the sort of verbal and logical gymnastics that would transmogrify a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse. I have never been shy about rebuking those who twist my words to suit their own partisan agenda. God forbid I should now twist my own plain words for an equally partisan purpose! This was a horse chestnut.
That I was wrong on this does not mean that my work has had no value.The ordinary way that I constantly emphasize has brought peace to a lot of people who were paralyzed by fear or anger. It has brought many people together to support each other in a time when Christian faith has been under siege. That is what is good and I pray you will hold onto it.
Some have worried that by withdrawing from the public scene, I am abandoning them. I could not, in honor, have done other than I have done here these last few years. I promised God that, if the things I had been shown all my life became visible on the horizon, I would speak in His name to give comfort to His people – and so I did. But I also promised that I would take full responsibility for the things I said and did. That promise obligates me, in honor, to withdraw from the public scene. I had said that the failure of a peaceful transition would be a sign to you that I had told you true about the Rescue. Now you have to rely less on my word and more on the fidelity of God throughout the ages, the God who has rescued His people countless times and who has always been near at hand to those who call on Him in humility and trust. For whatever sting there is for me, that is not a bad result.
Donald Trump was sworn in peacefully as President of the United States yesterday. If that is the beginning of our climb out of the abyss back to a Godly culture that respects life and liberty, that is a very good thing, indeed. Pray that it is, for if the storm can be stilled by more ordinary means, that would be a great blessing. If it is just a pause before the next great assault on life and liberty by anti-God progressives, that will be clear soon enough. I have not been released from service, just from public service. I will be watchful as I retire into prayer and direction. I would not return to the public square because of ordinary convulsions, even were they intense. I would not return except for something as compelling as a coup.
I will clear comments through this weekend. Then on Monday, Beckita will take over as managing editor of this site, putting up what she will and clearing the comments. I promised Focus TV that I would do an interview with them after the inauguration, whatever the outcome. I will fulfill that obligation on Monday and that will be my last public appearance. I will no longer make decisions concerning this site.
I was heartened in the comments yesterday to see just how many people have internalized the fundamental message here – to take the ordinary way of trusting God with each step in the present moment. I once described my job as a sort of Sherpa guiding people through perilous territory. Now there is an army of sherpas committed to solidarity with their fellows without anger or fear, whatever may come. That, too, is a pretty good result.
I have endeavored to be God’s good servant. I will continue to do so in obedient submission to Holy Mother Church. But now, chastened, like Job, I put my hand over my mouth.
I have long signed letters and notes with the salutation, “Ave Maria, Stella Maris!” (Hail Mary, Star of the Sea). That salutation spoke to me long ago, for in troubled waters, Mary is our sure guide to the safe harbor which is Her Holy Son. Hence the title for this final column.
Mark Twain told the story of a man who, having been run out of town on a rail, was asked how he felt about it. “Well,” he replied, “if it weren’t for the honor of the thing, I would have preferred to walk.” I feel a certain kinship with that fellow today.
Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. That is the sure and ordinary path to kinship with God, to peace and to joy, whatever happens.
Ave Maria, Stella Maris!