We’re here. As Hurricane Irma makes her way through the seas, on the heels of Harvey, and as the western and northwestern states are ablaze, we’re here for one another, human shelter, extending encouragement and solace, sharing burdens and offering prayers; we’re here, creating calm and remembering words of wisdom; we’re here, as Christ’s Light to one another in these days.
In a post from April, 2016, I Proclaim the Rescue, Charlie’s words ring with more urgency, today, in the truth of what we’re living, calling us anew to discern what God is asking of each one that we more confidently take our next right steps. Before sharing excerpts from this gem found in the archives, there are three news items concerning the site to bring to you:
*TNRS team member, Mick, has joined SteveBC and me in moderating comments. Particularly, when the fullness of the Storm hits its greatest intensity, we expect that increased numbers of people from this community will make their presence known and it will be great to have three of us collaborating in this work. (How did Charlie ever press on, in months past, with the daily onslaught of clearing 500+ comments? Ha ha! Perhaps it earned him a “bypass purgatory” ticket.)
*So grateful for the podcasts with Charlie and Chaz. After much investigation and consideration, we’ve come to the conclusion that we just cannot provide transcripts but please remember you can now listen in on iTunes.
*The third item for consideration is the closing line in the Comment Policy, for it captures the focus of what we strive to achieve in our discussions: “That is not to say we are nice and don’t say hard things or make tough criticisms – but it must be based in evidence rather than simply emoting feelings – and all is designed to build up the people of God, not to tear each other down.”
In these excerpts from Charlie’s I Proclaim the Rescue I have emboldened his words which I think it is well to highlight. I actually found it soothing to reread this piece as it validates where we are and what we’re about. I hope you, too, are heartened by it. (9-7-17, I have edited some of this introduction which I wrote. To be clear, the following text was written by Charlie. And it is comprised of excerpts -long and meaningful- from his piece, “I Proclaim the Rescue.”)
I occasionally hear from people who are critical that I am frightening people with my predictions of a Storm. That is absurd. I am not predicting a Storm. Twenty years ago I was predicting a Storm. Now we are in it. I responded to the friend who sent me this in part like this:
“When bombs are bursting all around, noting that bombs are bursting is NOT working anyone into a frenzy. I did not create the Paris, San Bernardino, Belgium or Pakistani atrocities…I did not create ISIS…I did not create the global financial crisis…I did not encourage China to militarize international waters. I did not encourage North Korea to shoot off missiles and threaten the world with nukes. This is just silly…this comment speaks as if people did not read me they would not notice that anything was wrong at all. For crying out loud, people are getting into a frenzy because they watch the STINKING news – which I have nothing to do with.
For decades I said nothing about the Storm to any but my Priests and a few friends I trust, knowing that to speak of such a thing when it was not obvious COULD be scary to many. When the contours of the Storm that I had described privately became publicly obvious to anyone paying attention, I DID come forward – to proclaim a Rescue and to encourage people to be part of it now, to assure them that God is NOT done with us.
Seriously, does anyone think that if I would just shut up ISIS would go away, China would retreat to her own borders, officials would be responsible with the economy, North Korea and Iran would dismantle their nukes and all would suddenly be sweetness and light? Absurd. If I shut up and went away these things would still be deepening – and who would be there to give credible hope that God has a plan and is not done with us?
I have to tell you I am a little weary of people acting as if I summoned the Storm I accurately described decades ago. Rather, I waited, hoping it was not true…and when it came proclaimed a Rescue – that this is God’s purification. So people should get a grip and quit trying to tear down a person who accurately foresaw this long ago and now – with equal accuracy – assures all that God has NOT abandoned us. If I shut up, the Storm remains and who is there to give credible hope of Rescue?”
One of the little-noted but highly significant lines of Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s letter concerning me was that they examined an “archive of writings detailing Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions as far back as 1998.” I have joked with my director Priests these last few years that you don’t need to be a prophet to see what is happening now – but it sure did help two decades ago. I have been consistent. When I got the archives to give to the Archdiocese, it was like traveling through a time machine, for I had not seen them since I had written them. I know I have consistently said that the Rescue comes in late 2017, but I saw I had written that in a letter I had sent in the fall of 2001.
The prediction of the Storm I was making over two decades ago is not the heart of my purpose. In fact, its main importance is that the consistency and accuracy of it lends credibility to my assurance that God is not done with us and this is lead-up to a Rescue. The Rescue is the indispensable prophecy here.
I have been gratified at how well regular readers have embraced the fundamental heart of my message to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. Drive-by readers still come up with some lurid mutations of what I emphasize, though.
Do you know why I don’t discourage people from doing some small, prudent preparation? It is not because of the objective protection those preparations will give them. Rather, it is for the same reason that I would not snatch a teddy bear away from a frightened child. It soothes people, so I leave it alone.
I am a serious student of history. We live in an age where the elite leadership throughout the world – in politics and cultural institutions – is almost universally stupid, incompetent, irresponsible, feckless – and supremely convinced of their own superiority. It is unprecedented in its scope. Plenty of nations have been governed by self-absorbed, bumbling idiots – but to have almost the whole world governed by such at the same time is astonishing. Yet that is how it is. The first stanza of W.B. Yeats poem of a century ago, “The Second Coming,” is downright prophetic for these times:
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
I have said repeatedly that the rules have been changed – and it will soon be obvious. Everyone who gets their primary sense of security from anything other than God will have it taken from them. Everyone. This is not just for some, but for all. If you use anything I have said to devise your own plan beyond acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope, your plan will be smashed against the rocks of reality. The only way you can have anything is if you have it as if having not – and if you can do that, then you can have not as if you have. Whatever “preparations” you do can only be in support of the central issue – to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope. If you are focused on the central issue, then you know that whether you have or have not is God’s call and will be used to help you carry out His will.
Some think they are smart and so, if they know enough, can outwit God. If you are the smartest person in the history of the world, your knowledge does not amount to the babblings of a three-month old in eternity. Others trust to their wealth and means to evade God. In these times, wealth and means are not as reliable as Monopoly money. “Give us this day our daily bread” must be your humble cry to the Lord for all the good your wealth will do you. Others think their power and prestige will exempt them. The graveyards are full of the bones of the formerly powerful and prestigious. Betting on your own power and prestige in these times is like betting on a gnat to beat a lion. Others are so certain of their own moral rectitude that they think God will exempt them from the vicissitudes of the Storm. God is going to show all of these what fragile clay their feet are formed of.
We have gotten to a point where self-actualization trumps everything. Vanity reigns supreme. Even many clerics plot and scheme over how to manipulate those around them and crawl over the backs of their peers to gain position or prestige. It is the masque of the red death, a frenzied dance of despair for a culture that believes life has no meaning except for the indulging of appetites and the gaining of notoriety. It is the logical end of materialism. Marx finally got his way and we are buried under a bitter harvest of quiet desperation at the emptiness of it all. Yet people try all the more frantically to get the better of their fellows and colleagues.
In the late 90’s I was told at the end of a little vision (the term I use to describe a particular type of stylized vision; it does not mean it is unimportant) that, “What you desire most is most effective against you. Desire God and all shall be added.” That is worth deep contemplation in these times.
I warn you not to put your hopes in traditional politics. It is collapsing around our very eyes. I know that is the way we have always moved on. Not this time. If you are riding a bus and it pulls over to the side of the road because it has caught fire, the engine has dropped out and the wheels have fallen off, getting a new driver will not help with the problem. Right now, getting passionate about politics can only tempt you to sin against charity. Our problem is spiritual and cultural. It is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Salvation will not come via a heroic figure from without, but by the quiet resolve to follow God by loving our neighbor from within.
When I speak of the rules changing, I mean that God is doing a new thing, something amazing. It is a great blessing or a great curse, depending on your interior disposition. Whatever you sincerely do or hope for another will return to you twofold. If you sincerely hope for the good of another, if you do some simple kindness for them, it will return to you twofold. If you try to attack them with malice, to undermine them with bitterness, or manipulate them to your advantage, it is yourself that you are savaging. The only way forward in these times is to deny yourself and devote yourself to the good of others. It is a primary way in which you express your love for God. That does not mean you must become a wimp. When France’s King Charles VII started dithering over peace negotiations with the English, St. Joan of Arc testily told him the only peace they would obtain from the English would be at the point of a lance. If you fail to defend those who are under attack, again, you shall reap what you have sown twofold.
I have said repeatedly over the last year and a half that everyone will be sifted. So it has been coming to pass. I have heard from more than a few who thought they would be a safe haven throughout that are undergoing severe trials and turmoil. Don’t you know that God has little use for sunshine soldiers in these times? If you have not proven yourself when the smell of burnt sulpher fills the air to the accompanying boom of cannons, how can you know you will not lose heart in the Storm? So be glad of the trials and trust in God. He is not proving you to Himself, but to yourself, so you may walk with confident trust in Him as the din grows – and thus be a steely sign of hope to those around you…
The Storm comes to all. As it is written, God sends the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). If you are truly among the just, even in the midst of your trials, you will help others caught in the Storm. That is your portion, not to sit and be served by angels while everyone else suffers.
A great dividing line has risen and everyone must choose where they stand. On Easter we celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. You must take hold of His robe to rise with Him or sink into the dust of the chaos we have made of our culture. You are called to be among the rising cohort that prepares the way for the great Rescue Our Lord is sending Our Lady to accomplish, but so long as you remain caught in your vanity, ambition and dreams of self-actualization, you just add to the chaos of our toxic culture…
Remember that God has a plan, a plan for your welfare and not your destruction. He will wipe out the vanity of all. So long as you pray like the Pharisee, thanking God that you are not like other men, you shall sink ever deeper into the mire. When you have the humility to pray as the tax collector, crying “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” you will become a useful instrument in the Hands of the Master. (Luke 18:9-14)
The confusion of the present age influences all. Do not be shaken if you hear something peculiar from a Prince of the Church. The rain falls on them, too. Remember that Our Lord said the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church He founded. Work, then, with your Priests and Bishops to mount the assault against those gates, building each other up and covering each other’s nakedness. Now is not the time for retreat, but to sound the charge. May every street in the world become the sacred route of a Procession of believers behind Our Lord in the Eucharist and Our Lady, who is sent to Rescue us! As even the most secular and cynical lose hope in a world visibly spiraling into collapse, let them see the community of believers walking with confident faith in our two Pillars. Many will convert and begin to participate in the Rescue because of this. But first, you must deny yourself and take up your cross – see yourself for how little you are…and then you can begin to see yourself for how much you are, what you are truly called to be: Our Lord’s own beloved.
In July of 2000, the Archangel Gabriel came to speak to me of some elements of the Storm. I immediately began pleading with him that the Storm might pass over us. In a very rare moment of anger, he was transformed to an intimidating majesty and light. I think it was the only time his ceremonial wings were visible to me. I trembled as he told me with furious intensity, “You must tell them true – and they must choose or perish.” I was deeply thankful it only lasted a moment and he immediately went back to his normal, cheerful self. But I have pondered the meaning of what he said ever since. I had wit enough to never again plead for the Storm to pass over, but the command has remained enigmatic, both powerful and mysterious.
I think in the course of this past Lenten season I got a little better understanding of it. You must choose God through love of your fellows or perish under the weight of your own machinations.
I come not to proclaim a Storm. We are living the Storm – and near the entrance to the fullness of it. I come to proclaim a Rescue – and to call you to participate in it, to prepare the way. Choose or perish. I have told you true.