By Charlie Johnston
Many are shaken now that the battle over abortion has ventured into the territory of outright infanticide. It is right it should be so. It is hideous to see people who constantly congratulate themselves on their superior morality revealing that they don’t even have the most basic form of decency. It is a wonder to me that this most smug generation is likely to be remembered as one of the most monstrously evil in all history.
Yet battles are most intense as they approach their decisive moment. The very murderous radicalism that is being cheered on by the anti-God left is revealing who they are…and what sulfur-streaked face lurks behind the curtain. People who are not energized by the issue start shrinking back from the smoldering abyss when they see more clearly what they are being led to. Let me give you a rather hopeful episode from about a week ago.
In the California criminal case against David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which taped the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s (PP) ugliness and potentially criminal sale for profit of baby body parts, things have not been going well – for PP and Atty. Gen. (AG) Javier Becerra. I thought, from the beginning, that PP was trying to use muscle and influence to scare Daleiden into folding or bankrupting him. PP is a big, arrogant organization that has, for decades, gotten its way by intimidation. It thinks itself invincible. Such an organization gets sloppy over time and is ripe to topple when it seems most powerful. I was convinced that, once Daleiden neither folded his tent nor was bankrupted, PP would have nothing much else in its bag of tricks. The way it is flailing about, I think that has come to pass.
From the beginning, PP sought to make all sorts of wild accusations against Daleiden and protect its narrative by getting friendly judges to slap gag and restraining orders on him. With Federal Judge William Orrick, they had their man. He is less of a judge than he is an offensive lineman for PP. Not so much with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite, who presides over the criminal case.
The prosecution of this case by the AG’s office has seemed singularly inept to me from the start. Former AG Kamala Harris began the process, meeting with top dogs at PP just weeks before she ordered a commando raid on Daleiden’s apartment to get materials he had already agreed he would submit. Both PP and the AG have been adamant that Daleiden is not entitled to know what happened at that meeting, claiming that the notes have been lost and he is not to be allowed to depose anyone. They don’t mind the appearance of illicit collusion, like that which destroyed the Harris County, Texas case against him, so long as they don’t have to formally answer any questions about it.
Going further, the AG’s office has sought to prevent the videos (which are the basis of its complaint) from being aired publicly in the upcoming preliminary hearing. The AG wants to use them as evidence in its case while preventing Daleiden from using them effectively in his defense. Meantime, the AG has tried to prevent the plaintiffs (abortionists and support staff who appeared on the tapes) from being publicly identified, insisting they be referred to as Jane Does, because they are “in fear for their lives.” In proceedings last Monday preparatory to the Preliminary Hearing, it was comically noted that these Jane Doe’s are appearing for public TV and radio interviews under their own name to talk about the case. Everyone in the world is allowed to speak their names except Daleiden – and they are so fearful they are eagerly identifying themselves on TV, in commentaries, and on radio. What I think is actually happening on this is that the AG and PP knows this is not going well for them, so they want some fig leaf to justify dropping the case entirely if it gets too rough. Saying that revealing their identities in court would threaten their lives so they had to get out will be their excuse if they finally give up. Heh heh…and they will probably be all over TV and radio explaining how terrified they are.
Basically, the AG and PP have been trying to make whatever accusations they can while trying to persuade the judge to shut Daleiden off from making any serious defense. They want it to be a star chamber proceeding. At that Monday hearing, even PP lawyers seem to have come to the conclusion that the AG’s office is not up to this, for they were there in force, desperately trying to insinuate themselves into the case to run prosecution strategy (under the guise of “victim statements”). Outside attorneys are NOT allowed to take official roles for the prosecution in criminal cases…but these guys figure they are from PP – and everybody is just supposed to roll over and do whatever PP wants, the law be damned – especially in San Francisco.
Judge Hite IS a San Francisco judge, presumably sharing much of the cultural zeitgeist of that benighted area. But from the beginning, he has made it clear that he is a real judge – and has sufficient dignity and self-respect that he will NOT be PP’s huckleberry. He has been patient and steady, but occasionally his exasperation peeks through. At the last hearing, the AG was arguing that it should be allowed to file written statements from many of the Does without allowing the defense (Daleiden) to cross-examine, while hinting at fears that such cross-examination might reveal secrets PP doesn’t want to reveal. In a comment seeking to find a way to protect everyone’s rights, Judge Hite’s frustration came through. He told the prosecutor, in part, that though he intends to draw a fair line on what can be revealed and what must remain confidential, “…this was a decision to prosecute this case. And the defense has constitutional rights that this court is going to protect. And that may go into areas that maybe were unintended or maybe don’t want to be revealed. And that is up to the discussion between the AG and whether they want to proceed and whoever they’re proceeding on behalf of.” (emphasis mine)
This had to be terribly chilling to both the AG and PP, who thought they were going to be able to get “fix-is-in” justice and a star chamber. They have been getting fairness and the benefit the doubt at times from Judge Hite, but he drew his line in the sand with this statement. There will be no “fix-is-in” justice in his courtroom.
I tell you that the forces of darkness and those who have wed themselves to it are frantic and aggressive because their time is almost over – and they can feel it. Yes, we have a lot of wood to chop ahead of us, but the far left has gotten so hysterically aggressive because they are losing, it is slipping away from them. The ugliness is just their effort to fortify a visibly crumbling structure – and the ugliness is driving even some who could be expected to be their allies away from them. Infanticide is one of the sure historical characteristics of a pagan culture of power. In almost all, the butchery was ended when Christianity conquered the pagans and established a regime protecting actual human rights. We now are beginning to decide whether we will be a pagan culture of power or a Judeo-Christian culture of love.
I was perusing some excerpts from Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” the other day. Paine, you may recall, was the American Revolutionary pamphleteer who wrote “Common Sense”, which galvanized multitudes to the revolutionary cause. While “Common Sense” made Paine’s reputation, “The Age of Reason” destroyed it 20 years later. It is an anti-Christian screed that says the most insultingly blasphemous things about Jesus, Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene. Tellingly, it is utterly ignorant of any semblance of Christian theology. Paine argues that God was a vicious murderer who ought to be arrested for killing His son. It completely rejects the idea of redemption, arguing that if God is powerful enough to forgive sins through Christ’s death, He is powerful enough to have done it without that death. I won’t bother to go into the scabrous insults Paine made to the Holy Family and almost all of Christ’s closest associates on earth.
It got me to thinking about the intimate connection between the Incarnation and Redemption. But first, let’s bat away some of Paine’s more obvious errors of assumption – errors sadly shared by too many people who are long on opinions and short on actual knowledge.
- 1) First, Christ is the Son of the Father – but not in the way of men. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. All three persons are one in being with each other and all are eternal. Thus, while Jesus is truly the Son of God, the Father is the Father of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God. So it is not that God sent His son to be tortured and die; rather, the eternal God came, Himself, to be tortured and die by taking on our humanity in the person of the eternal Son.
- 2) Adam and Eve committed original sin and, by this, death came into the world. That we are all born subject to original sin does NOT mean that infants have committed any sort of ordinary sins in their innocence. Rather, we were created a royal race, a race of kings given sovereignty over all the earth as God’s beloved. Original sin was a sort of coup that overthrew and unseated that intended royalty. Those who were born following Adam and Eve need to do nothing themselves to feel the effect of that coup. The grandson of an overthrown king has no throne, even though he has done nothing amiss. All generations after Adam and Eve felt the deprivation of the royal station God intended for us, that was lost by the disobedience of our earliest ancestors.
- 3) There is no question of power involved. God has ALL power. But he absolutely restrains Himself from interfering in our free will. WE freely chose to forfeit our inheritance – and to reverse that or just say, “Ah, never mind” would reverse our own free will act. We should cease to have any possibility of being in the divine image, and could only be, at best, glorified pets.
How then, to repair the breach? The satan was overjoyed that he had corrupted God’s favorites, thinking he was showing that the creation of humanity was a mistake altogether. Ah, how God confounded the devil when He did not simply pardon our offense, thus revoking our free will AND leaving us ever lower than the angels in his divine hierarchy. Instead, God came, Himself, taking on our humanity in the person of the Son, living solidarity even to death with the lowliest of us. He came and made Himself truly part of our human family. In the process, He gave us power to become part of the Divine Family, truly sons of the True God. The Eternal Son is Our Lord. In the Incarnation, Jesus is our Brother. Having defeated death, He restored the royal dignity to all who would accept it by His free will decision in His humanity – and opened the floodgates of heaven to all who call upon Him, thus conquering death for all who accept Him. The devil gained nothing, not an iota – and in fact, caused God to raise us higher in the end than He had in the beginning. “O felix culpa” – oh happy fall that gave us such a Redeemer and made us heirs of the Kingdom rather than just its most favored inhabitants.
Many are theologically illiterate. You do not have to be theologically literate to know and love God. But do not let the satan tempt you with a little learning, amounting to theological illiteracy and sophistry, to abdicate once more the divine inheritance God has prepared for you.
When running campaigns that drew a lot of media attention, particularly broadcast media, one of the constant problems was keeping junior staffers from getting caught up in the supposed glamor of it all. In up times, they would imagine themselves geniuses for the ages and indulge in all sorts of absurd fantasies about the heroics they would perform and how invincible they were. In down times, they would think the world had caved in and never could be right again. The truth is that any seriously contested endeavor that plays out in the public eye is going to have some serious ups and some serious downs. If a junior staffer could not get past the romance or glamor of it, he would usually self-destruct within a cycle or two. I always encouraged people to ignore all that stuff and focus on the work. There are many things you can’t control in a big endeavor, but you can always focus on the work. If you ignore it because you are busy gloating at the up times, you do damage to the project. If you waste time in woe and despair in the rough spots, you do damage to the project. You will have wins and losses, but the guy who focuses on the work endures.
Focusing on the work takes your focus off yourself. There is a job to do and it is best to get it done. In politics, I found that the majority of people in responsible positions will not make serious (or sometimes even simple) decisions because before they can make ANY decision, they have to plot out how to shift blame away from themselves in case the decision is a bad one. I liked to focus on the next move, so I would frequently take responsibility for things that were not in my purview and any blame accruing to it, so we could stop pointing fingers and keep focused on the work. Oddly enough, it didn’t matter. The folks who spent so much time trying to make sure they never got blamed for anything were rarely trusted or relied upon by anyone serious. Over time, people figure out who can carry water and who can’t in such situations – and pull away from the bloodless weak sticks who are always worrying about their reputation instead of the job.
The twin destructors of an organized effort are timidity and hubris. All of Europe was consumed in the fires of World War II because every nation except Germany was timidly trying to square the circle of accommodating the provocative and evil in hopes that it would all just go away. After carving up Czechoslovakia with no blowback – and with France absolutely abdicating its treaty obligations, Hitler came to believe he was invincible. Just as the timidity and cowardice displayed at the Munich Conference made it inevitable that Europe would go up in flames, so the unshakeable hubris sparked in Hitler’s breast at the painless vivisection of Czechoslovakia made it inevitable that Germany would be ultimately defeated. So we are called to be ever bold, but never brash; ever prudent, but never timid; ever decisive but never precipitous. In the coming year or so, keep focused on the work before you, however small it may seem, or however intimidatingly large it may be, keeping in mind the dicta to boldness, prudence and decisiveness – and you will endure.
Worrying about your status in this world is a spiritual poverty. It is good to guard your prestige only so as to facilitate your true work, which is to build up the kingdom and the people of God. All the saints in heaven are completely indifferent to what status they achieved in this world, except to the extent that the memory of them might now help draw people to the safety of Christ. No one in heaven boasts of having been a conqueror or a leader or a Bishop. Their sole boast is of having endured to draw people to God. What we have here on earth is work. Persisting at our work with fortitude and fidelity under God secures our place in heaven. Even now there are people who contemplate the glory they will gain by holding back the Storm – and others who think the Storm will allow them show their great glory as they take advantage of the chaos. All self-referential ambitions are less than ashes in the eyes of heaven. All there is, in God’s eyes, is the work He has appointed each of us. Keep focused on the work and leave the glory to God. That will secure your place in heaven.
From the beginning of publicly speaking out, I have insisted that my mission was not primarily a prophetic or mystical one, though both of those things were integral to my being able to carry that work out. I knew that I was going to make a big interpretive mistake at some point, though I did not know what it would be. I told my readers this would be so. Some thought I was saying this to try to immunize myself against error. Some thought I would mealy-mouth when I made a big error and try to spin it as if I had made no error at all. Others just ignored it. People’s expectations have become so badly garbled and mutilated that a key part of my work in the run-up to the fullness of the Storm was to change those expectations. Sometimes that can only be accomplished by doing, not just by saying.
A few weeks back, Beckita responded to a question from a commenter by reprising some things from the old site. She wrote:
“When I found my way to TNRS, it was at the request of a priest friend who wanted to know what I thought of it. In reading Charlie from the get-go, I saw and experienced some consistent things.
- I heard a re-echoing of many of the messages from Heaven with which I was familiar. And this from a man who obediently followed the wise counsel of his spiritual directors to NOT read other messages.
- As Charlie carefully prepared us for various possibilities that might emerge, he was ever tamping down the sensational attitude, cautioning us to trust God rather than hyper-focus on details and what exactly would unfold.
- What I also noticed, immediately, after finding my way here is that Charlie was not and remains not a typical message bearer who simply conveys what God wishes to say to His people by means of a heavenly visitor. No. Charlie is living his mission of leading via walking alongside us, defending the faith and heartening the faithful just as he was commissioned to do. He fosters discussion knowing that this builds up the mental toughness needed for the days upon us as we consider themes and possibilities and real life problems. How *many* times he’s acknowledged that the discussions refine his own thinking.
- He did, indeed, tell us that during his many years of training he had been incorrect on some interpretations of what his angel had said and was, therefore, corrected many a time by St, Gabriel. Further, he (CJ) forewarned us that he had been told he would be wrong on some major things. In November of 2016, he wrote: “Sometime in the next year, I will be significantly wrong about something…When it comes, it will not be a test of me, for I already know that God is good and seeks our reclamation. It will be a test for some of you, to see whether you have put your faith in me or your faith in God. If it is in me, your faith was always ill-placed. God is good, all the time, whatever the circumstances – and works to call us all back to Him. When I am wrong, I will accept the correction with gratitude and more wisdom. I will not leave the scene unless it is one of the fundamentals, and then, in full obedience to Holy Church, I will wait on the Lord, knowing that He will strengthen my heart and that it serves His purpose to call all His children back to Him.”
In that same piece, A Reality Check, Charlie also wrote: “My angel rarely congratulates me for being right. Rather, if I am in serious error, he rebukes and corrects me. Many of the greatest saints have been deceived by the devil for a time. I have no illusion that I am exempt from that. So what if I was deceived for a time and my angel, for whatever reason, did not correct me? Do you think that would be so God could abandon or destroy you? Of course not! Everything that God allows is for our good and our reclamation. I know that, I have no doubt at all of it.”
My Goodness! It is so clear to me that – in observing how Charlie has conducted himself through the difficult times – we are being trained and/or reminded about how to respond in those moments when each of us gets it wrong too. We have; we do; we forever will err because we’re made of dust. I cannot even wrap my head around how much courage it must have taken for Charlie to entrust the care and sustaining of TNRS blog to others in a time when he was flogged to the max for faithfully manning his post to the best of his ability. (Wee edit, he was flogged for the perceptions people had even as his goal was to be faithful to manning his post.) And like a mother hen, his greatest concern was for our welfare as evidenced in this excerpt from the piece which I quote:
“But I worry that some who were shaken put their faith in God because of their confidence in me, rather than recognizing me for what I am – a cheerleader for the mighty God. Jesus’ followers thought He was going to re-establish a temporal kingdom through military might and political skill. Imagine how despondent they must have been when He was executed. Many thought all was lost. They found, as we always do, that God’s plan is both far different and far greater than any of us can imagine. Imagine then, their joy at the Ascension, when they had to have contemplated that what they had thought was the end was actually the beginning. We must ever wait, watch and trust, even as we humbly do the very little right in front of us that we can with absolute fidelity.”
And how many times have we heard and reiterated that we’re simply looking Through a Glass Darkly and rightly so. No mystic or prophet on earth knows exactly what is going to transpire. Even in what we’ve been given as glimpses of possibilities, we know not what has been mitigated, even as we press on in prayer, fasting, sacrificing and doing good for the sake of Love and reaping a great harvest of souls. God deserves our humble waiting – even if we do become impatient in our humanity. He deserves our complete trust. (Why do we torture ourselves with worry?) He deserves our very best efforts and, through His Mother, the most wonderful conclusion of this Storm awaits us: the complete Triumph of her Immaculate Heart!”
My virtue was never that I was going to interpret rightly every time – and I told you that. My virtue was that I KNEW I was going to get something badly wrong and I persisted anyway, knowing that when it came, I would be clubbed.
There were only a few things I HAD to tell you: 1) the coming of the Storm and the big picture of what it would look like, 2) that this is NOT the end, but the beginning of the reclamation of our culture and of many souls, 3) that it will be followed by a great period of peace, prosperity and brotherhood as we are visibly rescued at the hands of Our Lady and, 4) that rescue would come very late in 2017. These are the only things I was instructed to tell you. All else was left to my discretion, based on whether I thought it would be fruitful in heartening the faithful.
Even though I knew I would make some big error, I was NOT allowed to shift blame for it. When it came, it would come because of MY deficiencies in interpreting things that are too big for me – or for anyone else. I was to take full responsibility for my error – and confess it candidly. I made two big errors, one of which involved item number four from above. I thought rescue was an event, not a process. I have come to think God let me get astray on one of the few matters which I was ordered to tell you, so there was no chance I would avoid the public error.
People think that with mystical experiences, God gives us precise instructions like a military commander. So long as we follow orders, any errors are the commander’s fault, not ours. That is NOT how it works. God gives big, broad pictures – lays out the landscape for you and then orders you to use all your mind, heart and soul to figure out a way to accomplish an objective He sets for you. Even in this, we are not automatons. He expects us to use our personality and our gifts to accomplish His purpose. It is too big for any of us – and God is aware of that. Without Him, we cannot accomplish the simplest thing. Staying focused on Him, we can accomplish anything. Even so, our course will be an awkward, stumbling one, for we are awkward, stumbling creatures. Some have great courage and will face the greatest of odds without flinching. Sadly, the devil captures many of these because their pride in their courage leads them to refuse to bear any public humiliation and still persist.
For many years during my training, my face would burn red with shame, embarrassment and resentment at being shown to be wrong about even the simplest things. How glad I am that God burned that sort of pride right out of me! I learned that the most productive way to deal with error is to confess it as soon as you know it, immediately and completely, then press on.
A single word from heaven has more facets than the Hope Diamond, more depth than the deepest ocean trench. It astonishes me when people think that God’s Word is as simple as a child’s primer – and that they have fully mastered it. A 10-oz. tumbler that thought it could contain the ocean would have less hubris. We are called to contemplate heavenly treasures and hold them in our hearts, but they are too big for us. They are not big at all to God, though, and He will carry them for us if we acknowledge Him and just do the little right before us, stumbling the whole way but constantly getting up and starting anew, trusting to His help. That melts God’s heart. He is never impressed by the elegance or precision with which we carry out His work but is ever won over by the humility and fortitude with which we persist at it. Even St. Thomas Aquinas, given a vision of God late in life, was so staggered by the reality of God that he called all his prior work “so much straw” and never wrote again. This is one of the few occasions in which Aquinas was mistaken: his work had great value in helping us all to draw nearer to God in language we could understand. God revealed Himself to St. Thomas, I think, to reward him for that work AND to rescue him from any intellectual pride that had grown in him because of it. What is gold here IS straw in heaven, but that should not cause any of us to gainsay its value here or to think it valuable currency in heaven.
At the old site I wrote a piece on what prophecy actually is, entitled, “Through a Glass, Darkly.” It is worth repeating an excerpt of it here:
“Authentic prophecy is always an invitation from God. It is an invitation to remember His goodness in times past, to see His mercies in times present, to come back to Him with our whole heart, and to call others to do the same. It is guidance on how to act in particular times and circumstances to accomplish this. It is assurance that He is there, that He loves us, that He wants us back, and that He will walk with us if we heed Him. It is an invitation first to the one called to prophesy, and then to all who will hear. It is an invitation to come to God and participate with Him in His gathering of His children. The most important part of prophecy is its call for what we should do.
It is a great achievement of the devil that he has seduced so many into reducing prophecy to fortune-telling, a sort of mystical mystery theatre in which most act as passive spectators, choosing the character on-stage who best appeals to their interests, beliefs and vanity – then sitting back and enjoying the show. God calls you to act, to act with Him, to act selflessly to rescue His children from despair and disorder. If the emphasis of any mystic is on what will happen rather than what you are called to, it is a diversion, not prophecy. Authentic prophecy is active, requiring you to stretch out your heart and your mind to God and to stretch out your hand in solidarity with your fellows. It is not passive.
Many seem to think interpretation of prophecy is simply getting the narrative right, then charting it two-dimensionally. The foolishness of this reminds me of the ancient fable of the six blind men and the elephant. The Book of Revelation is fascinating for many reasons, not least of which that it presents the closest thing to a raw telling of what the mystic actually is shown than anything I have ever seen. Oh, there is plenty of interpretation in it to make it somewhat comprehensible to us, but St. John gives us a good look at much of the raw material he was working with. Revelation has been seriously studied by thousands of great saints and theologians – and there are almost as many variations in interpretation as there are people who have studied it seriously. There is a general consensus on some larger themes in it (though even here some things are hotly disputed) but there are huge disputes on the meaning of many of the details.
Now, as then, a glimpse into eternity does not produce a neat, little, linear narrative. If it were so, I would not have spent a lifetime being instructed. I have told you I spent nearly two decades getting much wrong when I was instructed by my angel. I think you know that, in earthly terms, I am a pretty smart fellow. If it was as simple as studying a linear narrative, I would not have needed five decades of instruction and testing. So, with a caveat that I cannot describe it with precision unless I made up a whole new vocabulary, let me tell you a little about how it actually is.
I gave you a hint of it in my piece, “Into the Whirlwind.” I described the cosmos, in part, in these words:
“Imagine that God showed Job our world, sparkling blue and green like some impossibly rare and precious gem, glittering with life and light. Then God shows Job the entire universe. Think of Job’s wonder at the billions of stars, comets, quarks and planets all pulsing and whirring, a symphony of light and rhythm…”
When you are shown, when you get a glimpse into eternity, it is like that. Trillions of parts all pulsing and whirling, traveling at different speeds and directions, often changing speeds and directions. It is like a three-year-old trying to make sense of the working of a nuclear reactor. At the most elementary level, you try to discern the convergence point of several different elements. It is a game that appeals to your vanity – kind of like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube writ large. Except it is impossible. Things change speeds and direction regularly. After a while, if you are wise, you largely drop that effort and focus on patterns that emerge. While you can’t discern all – or even many – of the details, you can see the larger trends they form.
There are several complications even in this. First, some things are symbolic and some are literal – and it can be difficult to recognize the difference. Some things can’t be changed; others are changed dramatically by our response. It is similar to a cruise liner sinking in the open ocean. Once it reaches a certain point in its distress it is certain to sink. It is almost certain that some people will die. How many will die, though, depends on the behavior of those caught in the catastrophe. If everyone is in panic and acting in an “every man for himself” way, many will die. If many are steady and resolute, they can help others do the same and many lives will be saved.
Meantime, there is a huge disconnect between how things appear here and how they appear there. We come up with clever schemes we think will solve problems – and most don’t even make a dent in the heavens. The sincere and humble prayer of a single person can change multitudes. When you get a cohort of people praying – and living the prayer of doing, of denying their own appetites and caring for those around them tenderly, it can change the trajectories of entire realms of those moving parts. If you knew the power of sincere, humble prayer and doing the little right in front of you, you would eagerly live it well. The machinations of those in power are mere sparklers in comparison to the majestic, tidal power of a single sincere and humble prayer.
Obviously, I explain this allegorically to you. I do it to give you some sense of what it is like, not what it is. Applied to current times, the Storm is something that is set, it must be fulfilled. But the intensity and duration of it can change based on our response. Some things about it have already changed. The intensity was increased by our determination to persist in rebellion; the duration of its fullness has been decreased because of the rise, often quietly, of renewed faith and fidelity among many who have already despaired of hope in human devices. There are far more troops out there ready to answer the call. Even in the midst of the Storm, we have entered into a great Christian revival. What God intends is that you live it and bring the hope that is in Him to those around you. If you do that well, it will spread like wildfire. It is not sufficient that you be right, but that you be effective, which means you must bury your ego. If you simply browbeat those around you, so they run away from the faith, you have utterly failed. If you never defend the faith when it is assaulted, you have utterly failed.”
If you are courageous in defending the faith, that is good and God is pleased. If you are not willing to be publicly humiliated in error and then persist anyway, you are not fit for His service. If you are not willing to candidly admit and take full responsibility quickly for the inevitable errors that must come, you are not fit for His service. He is elegant; you and I are stumbling bumblers, who are called to persist anyway. I emphasize this because, even now, I see good people sullenly refusing to admit obvious error and trying to explain why they were right all along. This attitude will lead to destruction in these time of crisis if persisted in. It pleased God to use me as a very public example of how to deal with obvious error. I knew it would come, but I did NOT know what it would be about. I knew that when it did come, I had to acknowledge my fault candidly and completely – and then carry on. It stung, trust me. But it was not for me: I had been privately stung much harder in the process of training many times. It was for you. Do not let the example be in vain.
I am grateful. The Storm is here and as I described it – a global civil war fought on cultural lines. Having persisted in telling you that, in season and out of season, it gives substance to my telling you that this is not the end, and that we are called to be the vanguard heralding the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which will complete the process of Rescue in glorious fashion. That is all that was needed to be said by me in mystical prediction. Now I can focus on my actual work – which is your work, too: To defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. If your neighbors fall to the side, you can be faithful. If you have leaders who are corrupt, you can be faithful. At all times, in all crises, the fundamental question is always, “Will you keep faith, despite obstacles, persecution or humiliation?” If you do, trusting to the abundant generosity of God’s economy, many will be won back to Him by your example of fortitude under attack. Remember, we have no record that the Centurion at the foot of the cross knew how Jesus lived, only that he saw how the Master died. Yet that was sufficient to convince him that, “Surely, this was the Son of God.” Suffering with dignity can convert multitudes. Let us act so that multitudes will look at us and say that surely God is at the heart of these people.
I often find myself in a peculiar middle ground between my friends of sophisticated intellect and my friends who are devoted to various apparitions and mystical pronouncements. The intellectuals are often dismissive of apparitions, as if such things could not be, while devotees of apparitions are often dismissive of intellectuals as legalistic prigs more interested in status than faith. Sometimes the former remind me of a foundation without a house and, the latter, a house without a foundation. I value both the foundation and the house.
If there is God, He has power. It makes perfect sense that He uses it at times to build up the faithful. While intellectuals rightly call for evidence, it is a barren folly to start from the presumption that God either has no power beyond natural things or never uses it. Sometimes, enthusiasts for apparitions get so absorbed in their favorite that they make it into an idol that trumps Scripture and the Church. While advocates for various apparitions are right to call for life in the spirit, when they become obsessed with any particular apparition to the point of elevating it above Scripture and the Church, their faith degenerates into superstition and an invitation to dark spirits.
All authentic private revelation, whether through apparitions or otherwise, are limited in scope to a particular time and a particular need in salvation history. I value the contributions of many from this treasure. I am particularly devoted to Lourdes, Fatima and Our Lady of Tepeyac (commonly called Guadalupe). Yet I will say that if we had been the sort of people who would have heeded the warnings from Fatima, there would never have been any need for those apparitions in the first place. I think that Fatima was never designed to keep us from getting lost (God already knew our trajectory), but as a lighthouse to guide us back after we finally realized the consequences of our disastrous rebellion. I have great reverence for Akita and for Our Lady of America. I have deep respect both for Medjugorje and for Garabandal, despite some misgivings about barnacles attached to the former and incredibly routine presumptuous misinterpretations attached to the latter. I have benefitted much from things that the late Maria Esperanza says and have a great admiration for the humility, fidelity and humor of Mirijana from Medjugorje. The modern mystic I pay closest attention to is Susan Skinner, who writes the Veil of Veronica blog – not necessarily because she is most important, but because there has been a close bond connecting us from the first time I heard of her, when she reported a dream of demons erupting volcanically across the earth on the same day that I had a vision of the same, December 20, 2014. All of these and many more have given me pieces of wisdom or insight that have been profoundly fruitful for me. I am deeply glad of them.
Yet in the claims of many to devotion to Medjugorje, or to Garabandal, or even to Fatima, I sometimes hear echoes of what Paul complained of in I Corinthians 3:4-6, where devotees were claiming to belong to Paul, or to Apollos, or to Cephas. St. Paul tartly reminded them that we all belong only to Christ, that such factionalism was more likely to lacerate the body of Christ than to build it up. All of these things are profitable to us only insofar as they build up the Mystical Body of Christ. I have no sympathy for intellectuals who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (see 2 Tim 3:5) nor for apparition devotees so enthusiastic that they let their favorite apparition unthrone the Church and the Gospels in their heart. In all of these things, we would do well to heed St. Paul’s teaching that, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” (I Cor 10:23) Let all things we do be done to build up the faithful in fidelity to the Gospels and the Church.
Our culture – and perhaps our polis – is visibly collapsing around the globe now. People have embraced ideas that have consistently led to misery and death, often led by “leaders” as ignorant as themselves, but more malicious.
Like Paul at the Areopagus (Acts 17:16-34) I have come to believe that the average man and woman in contemporary culture really wants the truth, to be fair, to build up. Egged on by malicious “leaders” who mask their lust for power in terms of “fairness,” I suspect that people have lost their way. They rarely think beyond bumper sticker slogans to what produces fairness for all. They are, so to say, looking for love in all the wrong places. Many have lost the capacity to achieve happiness at all and are trapped in a misery they cannot find their way out of. I will soon embark on a lengthy series with the working title, “Uncommon Sense: Fair Play for All.” I have tried to put in simple, vivid terms why a truly Christian approach grounded in traditional verities will lead us out of the muck of modern sophistry to a renewal of happiness and opportunity for all. It won’t be all in sequence, as there is just too much and it would crowd everything else out of this site, but it is a priority of mine. We have to hearten the faithful – and give those who are lost reason to grab hold of faith and charity.
The bright side in all the cultural and political darkness is that I think ordinary folks really DO want to be just, fair, and find happiness for all. Helping them credibly find their way back will help rebuild the kingdom of God, and rebuilding the kingdom of God will help them find their way back. I am going to do my best. This very long three-part piece is the pre-requisite to explaining where we are headed and what I am emphasizing as the strife increases.
Though probably apocryphal, the late Harold MacMillan, former British Prime Minister, was reported to have said, “Events, dear boy, events,” when asked by a reporter what was most important in determining the course of government plans.
Many people have asked me what my plans are for this critical year. I am prepared for many potential scenarios. If certain things come to pass, I will put on my backpack and start hobbling across the land. I might end up hopping in my pickup truck and traveling 50-100 miles a day to speak to whoever will listen. Most likely, some time around May, I will go back on the road as I did in prior years, giving presentations to little groups of people who have invited me to come. If so, there will be no prophetic element involved, except a looking back to what has already been said. There is no need. We are living at the beginning of the very visible Storm. Rather, my purpose would be to exhort and encourage the communities of faithful we have built up across this country; to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. I have told you from the beginning that is my real job – and now I get to live it fully, God willing that I stay steady and faithful.
What will determine what I actually end up doing? Events, my dear friends, events.
Finally, I was watching a squirrel at the feeder outside. He had his tail straight up for balance and the sun was behind him. I was amazed at how evocative that tail was, with the sun streaming through it, of the penumbra that surrounds the image of Our Lady of Tepeyac. Yet another reason squirrels are so dear to this site.