The Challenge Before Us

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(I am out of town until Sunday. Perusing over some old articles, I thought this one – which I originally published on Dec. 31, 2014 – was worthy of a reprise. Interestingly, Susan Skinner – who writes the Veil of Veronica site, and I first met each other because we had basically the same vision of demons spewing out across the world on the same date. I have done some light editing, to fit it into a larger perspective rather than just for 2015. Many then were still looking for a plain roadmap. From the beginning I was telling people there is an ordinary way, but it is a hard way that requires your full engagement with fortitude and humility. Mine is a simple, ordinary way…but it is not an easy one. -CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

I meant everything I wrote (in my then-last post) about the Consecration of Russia. I believe it is accomplished and was fully accepted. But it would not surprise me or be at all inconsistent with how God works if the consecration turned out to be ongoing – and that there was to be a final consecration of Russia individually by name before the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. What I know is that God always accomplishes His will, sometimes through our stumbling efforts, sometimes despite them. So I don’t worry much about it.

Truth is, I had an ulterior motive. I have been deeply concerned with the visitation I briefly referenced from the early morning hours of December 20. In part of it I saw a great multitude of demons, spewing up as if from a great fountain and spreading across the whole earth. Their primary target, knowing their time is short, are those who are most overtly pious and faithful. If they can cause despair here, they can destroy many. Their primary method of causing despair is to reveal to the most overtly pious that things are not as they thought they were. Think here of the crucifixion. The apostles were scattered, for even though Jesus had warned them of this, it is not what they expected. They expected the triumphant re-establishment of a temporal kingdom. I frankly think even Judas thought that all his betrayal would do was force Christ to reveal His mighty power and establish the kingdom while putting the Romans to rout. This is why Judas despaired and killed himself: things were not like he thought and so he despaired of God, rather than of his own misinterpretation. Think of the pious friends of Job. They kept defending God’s honor to Job, who kept challenging and complaining of God. In the end, God was so angry with Job’s friends that He would not even hear their prayer – but made them go and ask Job to pray that they be forgiven. I saw that even the greatest are going to be sifted like wheat, shown that some things are not as they think. Because of it, some will despair of God.

Within the Church there is great freedom. You are not obliged to believe anything except that which is definitively revealed through Scripture and the Magisterium – and the Church is the authentic teacher of those truths. And on these things, it always irritates me to hear the phrase, “obliged to believe,” for in truth, we are actually privileged to know these things with certainty. On matters that have not been definitively taught, we are allowed room to ponder, study, speculate and propose what we will, so long as it does not lead people away from the safety of the faith. On matters of private revelation, even of approved private revelation, we are permitted to follow or ignore them as we will. The speculations of many saints and theologians have enriched the Church’s depth of understanding of the things of Christ through the ages. Every approved private revelation was once not approved…a few were even briefly condemned. These have enriched our understanding of how to respond to Christ’s invitation to salvation in particular times and places.

Yet, if you are the most brilliant and faithful person in the history of the Church, there are still many things you do not understand or misinterpret. St. Thomas Aquinas despaired of his efforts near the end of his life, when he was granted a vision of heaven – and then thinking all he had written was so much straw. Our ignorance is fine, so long as you understand that and hold tight to God, happy to be corrected when it is met, and happy to do your humble duty when it is not. But many, perhaps most, are not engaged with God. They are engaged with their expectations of what God is, an image they have erected in their minds. For the apostles, the image of God was of a glorious warrior who would set the Romans to flight and resurrect the temporal kingdom of Israel. When they saw Him die on a cross, confounding their expectations, they were scattered. For a time they despaired of God rather than shedding their erroneous expectations.

Many theologians are dismissive of anything not penetrated in their dusty cells and dustier tomes. They regard any who deal with spiritual things as ignorant fools. They think they have captured Christ in their meanderings. Many who advocate apparitions and private revelations think they have perfectly mastered the mind of God, that they are uniquely privy to His plan of salvation and feel it their duty to denounce any who dispute their interpretation. Many who run ministries are not involved with Christ or His people, but have set up little fiefdoms to give themselves more honor and glory in this life. They are not so engaged with the people of God as they are with their dreams of the statues they think will be erected in their honor. Many who have been called to be Shepherds are more interested in protecting their sinecures than they are in feeding the Lord’s sheep. Among all of these, it is not black and white. Many who have deceived themselves actually do some very good things and preach good homilies as a fig leaf to cover their central animating vanity. They think they have tamed Christ. But like Aslan in the Narnia series (who was an image of Christ) the Lord is a Good Lion, but He is not a Tame Lion. Satan has been given leave to prove us all, to find if our love of the image of God we have erected in our minds, which is a vanity, is greater than our love of God. If it is, we will despair of God when we are shown how much we are wrong about, rather than jettisoning our errors.

Meantime, all the Bishops, even the Pope, if they love playing at the role of politician while neglecting their role of shepherd, will be tried as if by fire. All the laymen and politicians who love playing at being Bishops will suffer the same – though most of the politicians have already been exposed as the impotent irrelevancies they are in the last few years.

If you reacted to any suggestion that your interpretation might not be correct with an edge of bitterness, you will be tried. If you choose to edit out facts which counter your favored position in order to bolster your beliefs, rather than fully considering all that you know, you will be severely tried.

I ask you to remember that the most Scripturally knowledgeable men when Christ came were overwhelmingly arrayed against Him. Those who knew the words of the prophets the best were the most eager to condemn Christ as a fraud. Confronted with the reality of God, they chose to hold fast to their expectation of God and condemn the Real Thing. It was not merely some who did this; it was the overwhelming majority. Those who knew the most, those who were the most overtly pious were overwhelmingly those who were the most virulently hostile to Him. What makes you think we have changed so much? Or that you are exempt? To know carries with it grave responsibility – and grave danger – for it is always a source of temptation to believe you have penetrated the very mind of God. Those who loved and followed Jesus with enthusiasm were almost entirely those who did not pretend to know much of anything, except the hardness of their lives – and the despair of being oppressed by both their Roman overlords and the religious authorities who collaborated with them. To contemplate this is to begin to understand how dangerous knowledge can be. Seek wisdom.

I write this not to chide anyone. We have much freedom in the faith. I do not know who merely defends their position with vigor while ready to accept whatever corrections God sends and who has gotten completely involved with their own expectations of what God

Our Sure Defense

must be. I gave a few stiff arms in the debate on that column, too. But if you look at yourself in serious examination, you will know. A bitter edge is perhaps the most obvious sign that you are not where you need to be. Rather, I write this so that you will not be taken unawares – and when your trial comes, you will not despair of God, as Judas did, but will despair of your own frailty as Peter did, and resolve to love more and unto death. Then, the satan will suffer a serious reversal, for all he will have accomplished is to burn away some of the dross that impedes the purity of your soul.

I used this method, because the Lord often used it on me – and still occasionally does. As anyone who knows me well can attest, I can easily go off into a rant. For nearly two decades, I made unwarranted assumptions from bits I was given, turned out to be terribly wrong in my interpretations, and God let me suffer the embarrassment that my brashness reaped. In time, I quit running off to obvious assumptions – or even secondary assumptions – from what I was told. I assumed far less and listened and pondered far more. Through this prolonged and often humiliating gauntlet, I learned to see a little more clearly from the eyes of eternity. Even now, it pleases the Lord to show me on a fairly regular basis where I have misinterpreted what I was told or shown. In the visitation I speak of, I was corrected of one misinterpretation I have long held – and shown what is potentially another. But it doesn’t matter. Even with my priests, I have been careful to note what is my interpretation and what is the raw message I am given. I know how stumbling and foolish I am…and solely because of my training, I am less stumbling and foolish than most. I have told you what I think of the consecration of Russia. But if it pleases the Lord to prove me wrong, it will not slow me a bit…for I know that is not my responsibility, even though I am free to speculate on it. And I know that His will is always accomplished:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

and return not thither but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10,11

If it would shake you to find that your interpretation of the consecration, or any other matter not defined by the Church, was wholly wrong, you have a rough time ahead of you. It does not matter whether you turn out to be right or wrong, but whether your reliance is in God rather than in your expectations.

Fortunately, there is a sure way to avoid this sort of trial, the way of simplicity, humility and abandonment. Remember, after the resurrection Jesus repeatedly asked St Peter if he loved Him. Peter was getting frustrated at having to repeatedly assure the Master. And each time he did make the assurance, the Lord told him to “feed My lambs.” If you want to be sure of staying in the will of the Lord, abandon all vanity and take the simple way: Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. I hope this helps you to gird your loins. Heaven knows I have told you true on the matter.

I will close with a phrase I did not think much about when I first wrote it, but have come to think was deeply inspired: “As you look at your life, you cannot measure it by the books published, the soup kitchens worked, the refuges built – though if you can do those things, they are good. Rather, you must judge it from the perspective of the hope you inspired, the peace you spread, the joy you engendered, the love you kindled – for these are the sure marks of the Kingdom and of God. All else is detail.”

281 thoughts on “The Challenge Before Us



    Chaire Kecharitomene, o Kurios meta sou.
    Hail, full of grace the Lord [is] with thee.

    Blessed Virgin Mary is greeted with a new name: Kecharitomene
    kecharitomene: have been filled with grace
    made charming
    made graceful
    made lovely
    made agreeable
    pursued with grace
    compassed with favor
    honored with blessings

    In Greek “full of grace” is expressed by kecharitomene which is to have been made graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable. Also, to have been filled with grace or compassed with favor or honored with blessings. In Hebrew thought, a name distinguishes the person and thought to tell something of what kind of person he is. A name conferred by Yahweh Himself is an act of ownership and gives His protection to the person named. Here, Mary, alone in salvation history, is uniquely addressed with an extraordinary name, Kecharitomene”, one who has been so favored by God prior to Gabriel’s greeting. Used here only once in the NT, kecharitomene, from the rare verb charitoo.

    In Genesis 3:15, the “enmity” which God established between the “woman” and the “serpent” has been fulfilled in Mary who is named by the Catholic Church as the “Immaculate Conception”. From the very first moment of conception in the womb of her mother, God filled the Virgin with his gifts, graces and blessings which preserved her from the stain of original sin. Mary is immaculate, innocent, charming, lovely, honored with many blessings and possesses the original state of grace which Adam and Eve lost. Blessed Virgin Mary, created as the Immaculate Conception, in preparation to become the worthy mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is at “enmity” with satan. Our understanding of Immaculate Conception, and its necessity for the Incarnation of Christ, may be clarified as we listen to St. Paul on the concept of original sin and its consequences for every member of the human race:

    Rom 5:14 But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one [Jesus Christ] who is to come.

    Rom 5:15 But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one man’s [Adam] transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.

    Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate Conception
    Bride of the Holy Spirit
    Mother of the Word of God
    Mother of the Son of God
    Ark of the New Covenant
    Mother of the Messiah
    Mother of Jesus Christ, Christians

    Blessed Virgin Mary is: Woman of Genesis 3:15 Mother of Messiah and People of God
    “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

    Woman of John 2:3-4
    Mother of Jesus Christ and Disciples in Cana Wedding
    “And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.”

    Woman of John 19:26
    Mother of Jesus Christ Crucified and Disciples
    “When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother.”

    Woman of Revelation 12:1
    Mother of Jesus Christ and People of God, The Church
    “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child….”

    Jesus, the Messiah, New Adam, addressed His Mother as “Woman” and made symbolic reference to Mary as the “Woman” of Gn 3:15. Mary is New Eve, Mother of Christ’s Body, the Church. St. John, author of Gospel of John and Book of Revelation, consistently identifies Mary as the “Woman” who, with her offspring, Jesus Christ and Christians, will crush the head of satan and his minions in a decisive victory in the apocalyptic battle on the great day of God the Almighty.

    English Verses, Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

    Greek Verses, NIV Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

    Translation, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
    By Joseph Henry Thayer

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  2. Charlie, you have stated how when people are shown themselves how God sees them, people will either humble themselves or double down in their rejection of God.

    Witnessing what happened after the Mueller and Barr reports, I see what you mean. I didn’t really want to believe it until yesterday when I saw it happen with some of the democrats. They are doubling down in their belief even after 2 years of investigation and 25 million dollars spent. Lord have mercy.

    Liked by 7 people

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    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to defend Joseph here a bit on Caritas with my 2 cents. While EVERYTHING that is not approved by the Church should be viewed as “suspect”, my husband and I went to Caritas in Alabama twice when the visionary Maria was there. (We also went to Medjugorje in 1990 – not yet approved — which totally turned transformed my Catholic faith!). I follow Caritas, and we heard “Friend of Medjugorje” speak while there both times. He seemed nothing but totally devoted to the Catholic faith and to Our Lady. He scans and interprets the Medjugorje messages like nobody else. I know there was some controversy about people living there — they have a community and follow strict (religious) ways — and are gearing up the printing presses to give out literature when things start happening. But the Friend of Medjugorje is so strong in his faith – he almost seems severe – and that probably did/does not sit well with some. Like some of the nuns I had in Catholic grade school, I don’t think I could meet his standards! 🙂 That confusion about the people who left there may have gotten back to Medjugorje – can’t remember all the details. Terry wrote at length explaining it. Don’t know about adherence to things from the Bishop, but I will tell you – when we were there in 2012 – Our Lady told Maria “we should form prayer groups.” It took me 4 years, but I started a Rosary group in my home 2 years ago. If I would not have been right there in Alabama on the date that message was given, I doubt that I would have done so! I don’t know what will happen eventually regarding Caritas – but I figured if Maria was there – that was good enough for me! Although Medjugorje is not yet approved, it changed my whole faith life. That is a miracle in itself – by the fruits we will see! We got fruits from Medjugorje and from Caritas, so I must always give credit for that! I don’t think Maria comes there to Caritas any more? For awhile, I think it was forbidden for the visionaries to travel out of their country?

    I also find it ironic that Charlie and Mark Mallette have differences in what they believe is going on – but I started reading Charlie because Mark referenced him. While I like Mark’s writings, Charlie is the one who keeps my spirits up!

    It is like a big circle you always have to pray over and discern that God is truly there – but I’m going to keep gathering up off of these fruits. Because even if it came out tomorrow that Medjugorje and/or Caritas are false -I have a renewed Catholic faith – a Rosary group — and the hope that eventually all is going to be well some day because “God has a plan!!! And you can’t beat that! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. God bless you, Connie. Discernment and prayer surely are foundational. A core issue of deep concern remains concerning Caritas of Birmingham: however much good someone is able to do in promoting apparitions and messages, when setting up a Catholic apostolate within a diocese, it is an act of both humility and wisdom to establish a good working relationship with the local Bishop and to work under the guidance of good spiritual direction. Among many benefits, it is a tremendous safety net to prevent the development of a cult of personality which so often happens when someone goes it alone without being accountable to a higher spiritual authority. God bless us all.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. ConnieB,
      Thank you for your kind words and your defense of Caritas of Birmingham. May God bless you and your loved ones with the Peace, Joy and Love of His Most Sacred Heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Latest Medjugorje Message, March 25, 2019

    “Dear children!
    This is a time of grace. As nature renews itself for a new life, you also are called to conversion. Decide for God. Little children, you are empty and do not have joy, because you do not have God. Therefore pray until prayer becomes your life.

    In nature seek God who created you, because nature speaks and fights for life and not for death. Wars are reigning in hearts and nations, because you do not have peace and you do not see, little children, a brother in your neighbor. Therefore return to God and to prayer.

    Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m happy to hear this, Little One. Sonja is an amazing woman who fuses her intelligence with love to teach with inspiration and encouragement. Praying for your refreshment, Little One. 🙂


  6. We were recently talking about the nursing profession and today i had a heartbreaking message from our daughter, whom I mentioned is a nurse in KY. Please pray for her, C., as she is experiencing so much spiritual warfare from her coworkers. People must not know the evil one uses them. C. is such a Godly woman, the only one of our kids practicing her Faith! These attacks happen to her so often. I can send messages, but can’t give her a hug as we’re so far apart geographically. I knew I could ask you prayer warriors to intercede, as I do for you, even when I don’t comment about it. God bless you all!

    Liked by 8 people

  7. That message from Medj was a little cryptic for me. The message of Luz de Maria was daunting and troubling. However, the visions Charlie sees are just as daunting, one in pictures, one in the Lord’s Words. So it comes in different mediums and methods to reach various persons. Yet, it seems all the same idea. Be ready, take care of your person, take care of those you love, be kind and good to others, and share God’s Light with all. And as Charlie says…”TTNRS”! Beautiful day for the Blessed Mother’s Annunciation. Take care, Y’all.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Ops Normal …. Madness & Idiocy … & Worse!!! …… On Parade! ;-(

    HeartLight Daily Verse – 26 March

    Philippians 1:29
    It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    When we read the book of Acts, we find the disciples overjoyed at suffering “for the sake of the name.” Jesus’ followers consider it a privilege and not just a hardship. The truth of our commitment is often best shown to the skeptical when we are “under fire.”
    What a precious name you have given to your son, O Lord. May it be exalted in all the earth and through out all the heavens, until all existence knows that he is truly Lord. Through him I pray. Amen.
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