By Charlie Johnston
(This piece incorporates a message I sent out privately to TNRS leaders a week ago. Though many of you help refine my thinking and my expression of my thoughts, I give special thanks to Steve BC who helped me greatly in refining my thoughts reflected in this piece-CJ)
I have had both a glorious and difficult week. I am in the midst of several intense pro-life projects – and happy to report that Planned Parenthood and the whole culture of death are in much more dire circumstances than the general public and the media know yet. Sorry, I won’t elaborate. Discretion at this point helps everything unfold – and indiscretion could delay it all. On the other hand, I have been a bit handicapped because the housing for the on-button on my laptop mysteriously collapsed last Monday. A problem because my computer could not be turned on and a part had to be ordered; a blessing because none of the drives were affected at all. It should be finished late tomorrow and I can get off my virtual “crutches,” good as new (or at least as good as a wobbly old man can be!) If you think you have seen the picture above before, you probably have – on my substitute computer, I can’t pull up new images, so had to use one already in this site’s media library. It is, however, one of my favorite shots of Mt. Meeker.
At first, I thought maybe the devil was trying to slow me down (as many Christians are all too wont to think whenever they get a mysterious contradiction – especially one that is wildly rare and random.) As the week went on, I came to think that, no, God was telling me to lay back a little and pay attention – and preventing me from acting precipitously. After all, this did NOT affect my operating system at all, just purely a minor (if annoying) mechanical failure. All it would cost me is time, not loss of anything important. I have gone through a series of meetings with over 20 people this week, some of them absolutely amazing in their insight and accomplishment, all of them completely dedicated to rebuilding the culture of life on the rubble of our crumbling culture. The ages of those I am talking to range from mid-90’s down to the early 20’s, all filled with what is simultaneously a joyful and a terrible resolve. A great movement is bubbling up under the very noses of our blind media. That establishment media’s ignorance is only rivaled by their unmerited self-regard. By the time they recognize this great new movement, it will have already taken the day.
Just as in the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities,” we now live in what are the best of times and the worst of times. Things have gotten dramatically more ugly in the last two weeks. The anti-God left has become more open in its advocacy of violence – and in actions that are precursors to violence. Peter Fonda’s ugly rant, urging people to kidnap Barron Trump and put him in a cage with pedophiles, that they rape and murder Kirsten Nielsen…Occupy Wall Street putting out a brochure on how to murder ICE agents, then putting their names and addresses online – and urging people to kidnap their kids…the chasing of Nielsen from a restaurant by an angry mob…a restaurant manager refusing service to Sarah Sanders, another mass shooting – this time at a newspaper office by an unhinged man with an old grudge against the paper. Once again, the police had been warned several times about how dangerous this man was. Ah, but the left insists on opposing both the right to self-defense AND treating actual criminals as criminals. At the same time, we have had several major Supreme Court rulings confirming individual liberty under the Constitution. The announcement of Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court makes it much more likely that we will have a stable majority on the court that follows the law and Constitution rather than how a rogue justice feels when he gets up in the morning. That is very good for liberty, but devastating for leftist neo-fascists who have counted on being able to impose through the courts what they cannot win through persuasion at the ballot box.
The left’s efforts to overturn the last election and re-establish authoritarian rule have now collapsed on the legal, bureaucratic, and political levels. There was an interesting new poll published last week that showed that 70% of all Americans now believe the media makes things up to advance their own narrative – including 53% of all Democrats. Media credibility has completely collapsed, which means the left no longer has the offensive line they so counted on to protect their narrative. It was predictable that once the left lost hope of winning on the facts and evidence, they would make a last, desperate try through violent revolt. They are not winning more advocates by their new, quasi-violent tactics…they are losing adherents even while they whip up their base to a violent frenzy. As the bureaucratic coup attempt collapses, the violent coup attempt gathers force. I consider it now all but inevitable that we will face large-scale, violent confrontation. The only thing which could stop it is for the left to abandon ugly brown-shirt tactics (while comically accusing their opponents of fascism) and re-commit to reasoned debate, respect for free speech in all cases, and using persuasion and reason as their primary tactics instead of vitriol and violence. That is probably a hopeless aspiration: Americans are simply not going to adopt, through calm reason, the ideology that ruthlessly murdered over 100 million of its own adherents while impoverishing, starving and enslaving its survivors. Emotional blackmail is the only effective tool the left has that does not involve actual violence and intimidation. Some people keep asking me when. I don’t know…but just from normal analysis, unless something dramatically changes the cultural trajectory, I don’t see how we get deeply into fall.
If things go seriously south, I really don’t know how much communication we will have. That is another blessing of my electronic disability this last week. I was saddened to see some people online worry about whether I had lost heart. NEVER! If we have a violent explosion that is not being contained, I will begin walking the Jericho March whether we have internet or not. If we do, I will give updates as I can through Beckita and Steve. Things might be sporadic, but God will make a way where we can sustain each other as the crisis plays out. But I want you to know that whatever happens, whether there is communication or not, I will be doing what I said. I pray that I will not faint out of fear, but I feel a certain confidence that I won’t. When things got scary or hard on the pilgrimage, I sometimes grumbled about it, but I never thought seriously of turning back. But you never know. May your prayers and the good God sustain me. I don’t know how this Jericho March will help things, but I know it is the next right step for me should things blow up. I walk by faith now, not by sight. I also know that the most important things, through this crisis, are obedience and trust. I don’t know how God is doing things, but I trust that He knows, so I walk as I should.
I am not as confident as I once was that I will live to see the prolonged era of peace, prosperity and brotherhood the completion of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart will usher in from this side of the veil. You may recall that I was told that if I kept faith, I would live to see it. After two dramatic misinterpretations on my part, I have examined that carefully. First, if I keep faith, I WILL live forever. That does not necessarily mean I will see the result of the Triumph from this side of the veil. Second, though it did not look like what I expected, I have already seen the beginning of the Rescue. It began last September 23 with the great sign in the sky – that few paid any attention to. Yet this does not worry me. I find that what I have preached from the beginning is sufficient: take the next right step, acknowledging God and being a sign of hope to those around you.
What I most worry about now is that if I am badly wounded or even killed in such an endeavor, it might sap hope from others. Of course, that would be because people, once more, had wrongly put their faith in me rather than in God. When things don’t go as you expect…or as I had expected…do not lose heart. Remember then that I have, on several occasions, been badly wrong on details while simultaneously telling you absolutely true on the great sweep of what is before us. We are now in the midst of a global civil war fought on cultural lines, as I spoke of more than two decades ago. It is no longer a cold civil war, it is not yet a hot civil war, but it is getting notably warmer by the day. If it gets fully hot, the issue will not be what details I got right or wrong, or what details YOU got right or wrong, but whether each of us will be steadfast servants of the living God, doing what we are called to do with fidelity and fortitude. I got a note from one of our great TNRS-ers, telling me sadly that he would not be able to walk with me if I have to embark on the Jericho March. He was unexpectedly appointed director of a significant American Catholic Shrine and will be living his duty there. I was delighted. God gave him a call, he is living and will live that call with fidelity. Each of us living the call that God has given us (and remember, He knows each of us by name and what He intends for us) is the foundation upon which the great era of peace will be built. Your call is not my call, nor mine yours. Discern the call God has intimately given you, then live it with joy, fortitude and endurance.
All of you must be the light of the world as darkness surrounds us. You, too, walk by faith, with the certain knowledge that God has a plan for our renewal, not our destruction. Walk deliberately and without fear (though you are excused for being a bit nervous from time to time – just don’t let it affect your holy resolve). God, Himself, will be our guide and our microphone.
It is terribly difficult right now as the body politic totters between reform and disaster – and when Church leaders are largely paralyzed by their own internal battles. This time, it will not be the leaders who lead us to safety – but the ordinary people who lead and, by their example, cause ordinary leaders to recollect their duty to God and to the faithful. I want people to be mentally and spiritually prepared for whatever comes. It has been painful watching some think that there are no worries – God will take care of it all. Yes, He will…but WE are the instruments He will use to take care of it all. It has been equally painful watching some act as if the Church is going to come tumbling down because of some serious miscreants in it. It is Christ, Himself, who promised He would preserve His Church. To start doubting that the Church will survive is not the same as doubting some of its leaders; it is to doubt Christ, Himself. Christ let the storm toss the boat His own disciples were in while He slept – and when they, in panic, woke Him saying, “We perish,” He rebuked both the storm AND their little faith. Advocate for fidelity to the Magisterium and the Gospels through this Storm, but do it in a way so that when the Lord has fully rebuked the Storm, He does not turn and reprove you for your little faith. Stay firmly in the Barque of Peter, even when you think Peter and some of his cohorts are acting rather hinky. It is Christ’s promise you count on.
I want us to have strong, but flexible, muscles – mentally and spiritually. In the BEST case, we have some serious battles ahead. In the WORST case, we suffer severe trials but are assured of victory. If we get the best case, I don’t want people to think there are not severe trials involved – and to be prepared for them. If we get the worst case, I don’t want people to lose sight in the midst of the storm that we are assured of victory. The path to safety ahead is narrow – and the way to destruction is wide, indeed – in either case. I say that not so much to exhort people here, but to remind you all that you are all called to lead others, during a time of great turmoil, through that narrow path. Many will lose their heads in whatever panic comes. Our job is to keep ours, show others to do the same, and keep our eyes firmly on Jesus as the light going forward. Everyone here has a greater call than to just keep their head in the midst of trials.
I pray still that somehow this can be resolved by ordinary means. As I mentioned, I am working on several intense pro-life projects right now. Someone asked me why I bother if the Lord is going to renew the world. Ha…when He moves His hand, I want him to find me hard at work at my ordinary work. So should it be with all of us. I suspect if the fiery trial must come, it will come suddenly upon all of us. Keep to your ordinary work with fidelity, trusting that the Lord will show you the next step when it comes…and pray that you will have the resolve to act, not panic.
We all walk by faith and not by sight now. Please do not get discouraged when you make a big error. I have worked hard to do well, but I have made a couple of big errors. Those errors do not relieve me – or you – of our obligation to live our faith with resolve until the end. I hate these times, but part of me is joyful to see them come, for this is the renewal – and I was made for these times. Remember, when it seems dark, that God chose you for these times, too. He knew every soul He would ever make before all ages – and chooses when to deploy them. He chose your soul to be deployed in these times. Give thanks. The only thing that is really at stake is your place in heaven. Act with the fidelity that will allow you, a hundred years from now to watch from heaven as your descendants remember you and call you blessed because, when the great assault came against faith, family and freedom, you stood with unshakeable fortitude on the side of God and to secure those blessings for them. Remember, when all natural light seems extinguished that you need only the supernatural light of God to take the next right step and be a sign of hope. Acknowledge Him and follow His light.