By Charlie Johnston
“Lord, we ain’t what we wanna be,
We ain’t what we oughta be,
We ain’t what we gonna be,
But thank you, Lord,
We ain’t what we was.”
Common prayer of former slaves after the American Civil War
Late last August I began to get nervous as I contemplated the Revelation 12 sign that would appear in the sky on September 23. While it was not what I expected of the Rescue, nor how I had described it, it did match up with at least the first half of what I had been told about the Rescue: “Our Lady will be revealed to the whole world and you will be rescued.”
At the time of the Incarnation, all the Jews in Israel expected the Messiah to be a political and military leader who would restore the temporal kingdom of David. This expectation was so ingrained that even St. John the Baptist, near the end of his life, sent disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3) Jesus did not answer him directly, but instead instructed John’s disciples to go back and describe the things they were seeing to him.
I knew that with the Rescue, the satan’s over-arching power over the culture would be broken. So I decided to take a cue from the interchange between St. John and Jesus – to watch what happened. Shortly after the Sept. 23 sign, the pious pretensions of the anti-God cultural and political left began collapsing in on themselves wholesale. Hollywood, the media, and political offices could no longer sustain the posturing they had maintained successfully for decades. On November 21, both Iraq and Iran declared that ISIS had been defeated in a stunning collapse of its caliphate. The investigation into Russian collusion was revealed to be no investigation at all, but a sustained bureaucratic and judicial coup attempt by top levels of the American justice department and the intelligence community, led by Obama holdovers in the federal bureaucracy. Oh, I know they are still squealing about it, but the evidence is now clear and compelling. On Dec. 6, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the legitimate capitol of Israel, acknowledging a 3,000-year-old historical reality concerning our “elder brothers in the faith,” as St. John Paul called the Jews. Planned Parenthood and the culture of death are far more deeply on the ropes as this year begins than almost anyone yet realizes. By the early middle of December, I started writing versions of this piece, but I was rebuked repeatedly, so let it ride until today.
Though the satan’s power is broken and diminished, he remains dangerous. But now his influence is limited to those who give themselves over to him. That, too, is a tricky business. In Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the Ghost of Christmas Present says at one point that, “There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived.” Truly, whoever does such things, whatever he says, has given himself over to the satan while he does them and is terribly vulnerable. Moreover, those who have given themselves to the satan can still do damage to the innocent. Murderers can still murder, North Korea can still spark a nuclear war. But as with the Union forces after Gettysburg and the Allied Forces after D-Day, the tide has turned. We face a broken, though still deadly, enemy.
I should have been more prudent and cautious. I well know that most prophecies describe a process that is often defined, but not contained, by a particular event. The definitive rescue of humanity began with Mary’s ‘yes,’ but it would be 34 more years before even the wisest began to understand what it was. I have warned people against looking for fireworks shows, for I well know that God usually works more subtly than that; that if there are to be fireworks, they usually come at the culmination of the process– yet in my enthusiasm at the Rescue, I immediately went to the fireworks show interpretation.
My public record of prophecy has been a mixed bag. I was describing these times as a global civil war fought on cultural lines long before I started sharing things with my Priests 23 years ago. I was doing the same with the primacy of the threat of North Korea. It was over 17 years ago that I spoke of the coming collapse of the rule of law, with justice weaponized as a partisan tool, to name just a few striking cases. One could plausibly argue that this is not evidence of visitations, but just of a peculiar intuitive genius. I don’t buy that. I am reasonably smart, but not that smart. But I have had two spectacular failures in the inauguration and how I described the Rescue. Both can be plausibly cast as interpretive, rather than substantial, failures. Even so, my job has been, if I speak at all, to get it right – and I didn’t in either of these instances. Therefore, after today I will foreswear public prophecy. At best, I am marginally competent at interpreting what I am given. I will not quit writing on matters of culture, geo-politics and public policy from the perspective of an orthodox Catholic. Perhaps all will scatter. That is not my affair. But I have found that for some, my writing has helped recollect them to first things, fundamentals of the faith. I will write to encourage those who I can in the battles before us. I will take some time, no more than a few weeks, and then get to work from a purely faith-based analytical perspective. That has been my way for most of my life, so I merely go back to my comfort zone. I will have this site shut down in a few days and open up a new one with the same name later but without any publicly prophetic element.
Meantime, if the larger cultural power of the satan has been broken (and it has) there are two poles of danger we must avoid. The first is defeatism. We have been used to losing the cultural battles for so long that we expect to lose. We are as demoralized as the French Army before St. Joan of Arc took control of it. We must lift up our heads with confidence, with the confidence that the Lord of Hosts does not abandon His people. Proclaim your faith boldly. The second danger is triumphalism. If we seek to impose our individually limited vision of what God’s truth is on all, we risk driving people away that God intends us to gather in – and we will be held to account for it. Proclaim your faith charitably.
It is easy – and even just – to be angry with those who are perpetually angry and offended, those who have done so much to tatter the social fabric with their unending shrill attacks. Look deeper, though. See the agony behind their anger. Most of these people are pitiable: they have lost the capacity for joy or happiness. Like the old song, they are only happy when it rains. What misery they have cloaked themselves in! Many, perhaps most, of these can be reclaimed. Resist their depredations, yes, but show them a better way, not only with what you say, but how you live. Let your eye not be on destruction first, but on reconstruction, knowing that God does not abandon His people.
Everyone knows there is great turmoil in the Church right now. Different clerics have different gifts. I know a Bishop, a very orthodox Bishop, who is not known for his profound public defenses of the faith, but quietly does stunningly marvelous work with the broken, the poor, the addicts in his diocese, giving many new hope. I admire that Bishop. I know another very orthodox Bishop in a terribly troubled diocese who does not rain condemnation and anathema on all the offenses there, but tries to conciliate those who are in darkness to co-exist with the faithful. I admire him and believe his tolerance will not debase the faith, but will preserve people for a greater catch to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. I know many Bishops and Priests I admire greatly, who do not do things as I would. I give thanks for them all. Consider your clerics in their totality and support the good that is there. I know that there are some who advocate against the faith of the Magisterium. But consider each of them in their totality. Even in the worst of circumstances, you can always live faith. Never condemn someone merely because he does not do what you think you would in the same situation.
Too often people are looking for the flaw in others. When that is your perspective, you will always find it. We all have feet of clay. Heaven knows, the Pharisees and Sanhedrin found many apparent flaws even in Our Lord, Himself. But when you are looking for the flaw, whose eyes are you looking through? The satan is sometimes called the great accuser of mankind – for he is always looking for flaws to point out to God. God is always looking for the strand of fidelity, of charity, of compassion in even the most flawed, that he may weave whatever frail strands are there into a lifeline that will call flawed men back to the fullness of faith. Do not fail to defend against depredations, but see your fellows through the healing eyes of God rather than the bitter, wounding eyes of the satan.
Despite my occasionally spectacular failures, nothing has happened to diminish the merit of the heart of what I proclaim: the ordinary way of acknowledging God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope to those around you.
The process which will culminate in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart has begun. Our choice now is to be heralds of it or inhibitors of it. May God bless and keep you safe throughout the restoration before us.