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Read this newsletter in PDF format for greatest clarity. Print out any sections you might want in a power-out situation.
We’re well into what we used to call the “dog days” of summer: the hottest, most grindingly enervating days of the year. At the end of July, Sirius, the dog star, is in conjunction with the sun. Ancient astronomers believed that Sirius actually added its heat to the sun’s heat in late summer, and made the earth this slow-moving, shade seeking mass of sweaty wretches longing for autumn. (See? Even the stars don’t think kids should be starting school in August!) In respect for the dog days, this will be a short edition. Find a body of water or a shady spot, and rest up for the next chapter!
Sheryl Collmer, editor
August 15, 2023
From the cockpit of the Subaru
CORAC founder Charlie Johnston travels from coast to coast in his trusty Outback to speak in person to those now weathering the Storm.
A SIGN OF HOPE BLOG
Beyond the Failsafe
The point of this post is what we should do to prepare, the habits of mind and practice that will help us stand together when everything falls..
It Is the Religion of Ignorance That Tyranny Begins
About how the left is destroying all vestiges of law that serves as an impediment to them…
The “Next Thing”
It’s pretty clear that nothing we humans do compares with the real driver of climate…
The same people who trumpet “science” now want us to panic about extraterrestrial aliens…
Rich Men of North Richmond
The latest grass-roots song to take the entertainment moguls by complete surprise is Oliver Anthony’s ballad about…
Tweaking Your Plan
Have you got your bug-out bag, your stay-in bin, your sprouting seeds, your water filter, your shortwave radio…
Garlic is the king of herbal remedies, and it’s so easy to grow. It’s a simple multiplication problem…
Living Without Fear
We are in the midst of a great storm. It is a storm that, I believe, will become the greatest in human history before it is finished. The storm will not be forever, but no one who gets through it will ever forget it. Nor will they ever forget their gratitude for going through it.
The evening after Jesus fed the multitude, a great storm rose up on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were trying to weather the storm in their boat when, in the darkness, they saw Jesus walking towards them. They were terrified, thinking that Jesus was some terrible ghost come to torment them. Then He called out to them. All were amazed, but Peter asked that, if it really was Jesus, the Lord bid him come, also walking on the water. So Jesus bade him come. Things went well (I resist the temptation to say swimmingly) until Peter got scared of the howling winds and boiling waves around him. Then he began to sink. Jesus grabbed hold of Peter and pulled him back up. Together, they got back into the boat. Then Jesus ordered the storm to cease – and it did. They rowed to the other side in calm waters.
This story is worth deep contemplation, for in it is all we need to know to weather the storm we find ourselves in. The disciples did not have to take the boat to get to the other shore; they could have walked around. But walking that route would have been long and slow. So even though the weather was threatening, they chose the shortcut of the water crossing.
How many shortcuts has humanity chosen this last century? Rather than defend the faith and the faithful with fortitude and charity, we have routinely compromised on foundational principles because we did not want any trouble. I’ve done it, you’ve done it. We all know it. That is why, in the Confiteor, we ask forgiveness for the things we have done and the things we have failed to do.
When the storm rises up, the trouble we sought to avoid catches up with us, almost always with greater force than if we had taken the trouble to act well and prudently in the first place.
When the storm comes, even if we repent of the folly that drew us into it rather than taking the steadier but harder way, it does not relieve us of our obligation to row vigorously where we are. The disciples were not allowed to just say, “Oops, we goofed,” and then wait for the Lord to magically pull their boat to the other shore for them. They had gotten so turned around they did not even know where Jesus was – or if He even knew the dire straits they were in. They had to keep rowing.
If they did not know where Jesus was, He knew where they were. The Lord did not come walking across the sea because He wanted a shortcut. He came because He knew the disciples had gotten themselves into yet another fine mess. I sometimes wonder if Jesus was amused at the disciples’ initial terror at the sight of their approaching salvation. We so eagerly go chasing after what will destroy us and recoil from what will save us, all the while boasting of our mighty prowess.
The Lord does love us, thanks be to God, but I think it must often be with the amused affection a man might have for a litter of lively puppies – and their comical pratfalls. We lack the wit to reliably discern between salvation and destruction and yet are proud in our boasts.
Once the disciples recognize Jesus, they calm, but are still filled with frightened wonder at the Man. They knew He was a good teacher and gentle guide, but this is a revelation of raw, primal power. With characteristic boldness (sometimes brashness).
Peter asks the Lord to bid him come. As Peter begins walking on the sea, it becomes clear that the Lord’s primal power extends to whoever He wills it to. Ah, but in the midst of his walk, Peter notices anew how terribly violent the winds and the waves are. Fear grips him and he begins to sink. The Lord reaches out to him and Peter is saved.
How often, despite our profession of trust in God, do the winds and waves around us cause us to sink into fear and, even, despair? Our trust must be greater than this. Trust means keeping our eyes on Jesus, our hearts with Him, and then accepting whatever He allows after this, knowing that it is for our good or that of others to build up the only Kingdom that matters.
After Jesus and Peter climb back into the boat, the Lord commands the sea to calm – and it does. He demonstrates to His disciples that He does, indeed, hold primal power over all things, natural and supernatural. But even though the sea is calmed, Jesus does not pull them to the other shore. They must keep rowing, even if it is a lot easier and calmer now.
It is not our mighty prowess that will carry us through this storm. Without Christ, we can spend ourselves rowing and get nowhere, in danger of capsizing at each moment. With Him, all things are possible. Once we entrust our hearts to Him, be aware of the wind and waves, but do not be distracted by them. They have no power over you save what He allows.
Entrust your heart to Jesus, keep your eyes on Him, and keep rowing.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now, in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
A Sign of Hope Blog
Some brief thoughts from Charlie Johnston about applying a different...
Some brief thoughts from Charlie Johnston about how the left is...
Some brief thoughts from Charlie Johnston addressing the frequent...
ACTIONS TO TAKE NOW
Check out some of the great NEW STUFF listed here, and explore past articles under each topic. There is now a search function on the website, so you can type in your favorite subject and see all the items we have on that topic.
Tucker Carlson’s interview with former Chief of Capitol Police, Stephen Sund, was never aired on Fox, but is now on X, formerly Twitter. Sund describes suppressed communication, hidden intelligence, refusals to provide assistance, and the government’s failure to detain persons who are on tape badgering people to enter the building. I think most people now know that January 6 was an ambush, but it’s edifying to hear an insider’s take.
Experimental Mosquitos Carrying Malaria
Why is Bill Gates still walking around free? He has a free pass in our corrupt regulatory system, and the populations of Texas and Florida are his new experimental playground. The Gates Foundation and DARPA (both responsible for deaths from the Vaxxx) are major investors in Oxitec, which gene-edits insects for alleged insecticide purposes. The US Dept of Defense is also heavily invested in insect gene editing, which suggests the use of mosquitos as bioweapons.
The genetically engineered mosquitos carry malaria, and have a “kill switch” in the males to (hopefully) prevent offspring from carrying the parasite. But as Dr. Ian Malcolm notes in Jurassic Park… “Life always finds a way.” Human victims with malaria are now showing up in Texas and Florida. Big surprise.
Beware, Regions 3 and 8. No residents of these states were in favor of this reckless experiment, but the US EPA approved it anyway. See “regulatory capture.”
Climate: The “Next Thing”
It’s pretty clear that nothing we humans do compares with the real driver of climate, the sun. Funny how the solutions posited by the climate hysterics all have unbelievably high price tags (taxes) and restricted freedom of lifestyle and movement. The “science” around climate seems to have about as much credibility as the vaccine, and promises the same human destruction.
Aliens: The Next “Next Thing”
Wow. The same people who trumpet “science” now want us to panic about extraterrestrial aliens. This essay by Fr. Thomas Weinandy approaches the issue from a solid theological basis: “Of Jesus and Aliens.”
Defund Leftist Bishops
Many bishops and bishops’ conferences have become blatantly political, grossly overstepping their authority on matters such as climate, free speech and illegal immigration (which makes them parties to human trafficking.) A coalition of Catholic organizations has formed to combat the bishops using their ecclesiastical positions to play leftist politics. The undoubtedly large amounts of money at stake means those bishops are guilty of selling the Faith, and the faithful, for riches.
Rich Men of North Richmond
The latest grass-roots song to take the entertainment moguls by complete surprise is Oliver Anthony’s ballad about the people who run roughshod over ordinary Americans. Angry, push-back music seems to go viral before anyone can suppress it. “Rich Men North of Richmond” follows overnight sensations like “Justice for All” and “81 Million Votes, My A**” and “Try That In A Small Town.” In case you’re unclear about who those rich men north of Richmond are, I’ve provided a map.
I always buy these populist songs, because 99¢ is a small price to pay to send a message.
Tweaking Your Plan
Have you got your bug-out bag, your stay-in bin, your sprouting seeds, your water filter, your shortwave radio? Whatever the level of readiness you’ve chosen, high or low, it’s a good idea to periodically review it. Are any of your stored foods nearing their expiration dates? Do they need to be rotated? If your bleach is older than 6 months, you need to replace it. Have you tested your radio, your rocket stove, your Big Berkey? The biggest gap most of us have is radio knowledge; we’ve got the radio, but we’re not so accomplished at tuning it.
Tweak your plan as needed. Check the CORAC website for help. There’s a search engine on the website now!
It’s Almost Garlic Time
Garlic is the king of herbal remedies, and it’s so easy to grow. It’s a simple multiplication problem: plant a clove, harvest a whole head of garlic! Garlic boosts your immunity, lowers blood pressure, decreases inflammation, and may reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. You don’t even have to be a gardening genius to do well with garlic. Garlic goes into the ground in the fall, and is ready to harvest the following summer.
CORAC General Discussion on Signal
To chat with other CORAC members nationwide, you can join the General Discussion channel on Signal. Download the Signal app and register your account. Then search “CORAC General Discussion” and request to be added.
August Prayer Intentions
That the Holy Spirit continue to inspire and energize Charlie as he works on two significant writing projects for CORAC, in addition to his regular blog and newsletter articles
For the fruitfulness of various healing prayer ministries around the country, especially those in which CORAC members are deeply engaged
For the healing of marriages and families, especially those with children still living at home in their formative years
As always, that CORAC members volunteering for all of our committees in all of our regions receive the gifts of creativity, good humor, resilience, camaraderie, and unexpected joy of spirit as we serve the Lord in these days
That existing and new CORAC members may strongly desire and find the means to participate in financial support for our vital ministries
For all intentions carried in the hearts of CORAC members and those posted on the CORAC Prayer Hotline, with gratitude for prayers answered in our daily lives
St. Gabriel, enlighten us.
St. Michael, defend us.
St. Raphael, protect us.
Ave Maria, Stella Maris!