AMID WARNINGS ABOUT L.A. ARE REMINDERS THAT EVENTS CAN BE ALTERED WITH PRAYER
The recent article we carried on the potential for disaster in California -- linked to a plethora of growing transgressions -- drew a strong measure of support from those who see the same.
Most are from the Golden State, and share our concern for this great part of the country.
Will Los Angeles, the city upon which we focused -- once, the "city of angels" -- rebound morally? Or will it suffer an obvious fate? It is an area in which there are many active Christians, including Catholics (they fill arenas for charismatic conferences). There is also an influx of enthusiastic Catholics from Mexico and a history of strong Christian radio and evangelism. There has always been a measure of the Bible-belt in California, by way of those who moved from the Midwest.
But will it suffice? Are there enough of the devout, enough of the pure, enough of the self-sacrificing to counter-balance growing evils that tower even by Los Angeles standards?
We believe those who pray will be protected. We don't think anyone should flee. Prayer-warriors stand their ground. In the end, they win. But the risk is growing and the battle, as elsewhere -- but particularly here -- is increasingly engaged. Protection is warranted.
"Just a quick note to say that I have the same feeling about L.A.," wrote a viewer named John Paul. "Not a general feeling but a nagging, palpable feeling that L.A. is approaching an unimaginable catastrophe. Last week, this feeling began increasing in me until I said it out loud, 'God have Mercy on them and on all of us.' This was crystallized in the context of the Oscars. If the twin towers fell because of materialism, greed, lust, and idolatry, if New Orleans experienced such a tragedy as you described in almost exact detail in your book, Sent to Earth, just a few years before, where does that leave L.A.?"
"I feel something similar in D.C. where I live," he added. "We saw the lightning incident regarding Giuliani's opinions regarding abortion -- his microphone persistently disabled. I feel as though God is increasingly and deeply offended by the way we manipulate the masses, misuse politics, and idolize politicians."
Something to reflect upon, this frenzied political year!
The boat rocks. The bells ring.
The Church is often mentioned -- as are court rulings that have done everything from threaten the definition of family to frighten home-schoolers (who most recently, by one judge, were told they are illegal).
"You are right on the money about L.A.," wrote Michelle VerBurg. "I wish that you would have included information on the religious education conference that is put on every year. All of the Catholic schools and most of the CCD teachers in L.A. and Orange County dioceses have to go to see many of the heretical dissidents that are there."
"During my first trip to Medjugorje in 1997, I had a dream that I was be guided across the Los Angeles Basin to view the devastation that had been caused by a nuclear bombing," wrote a reader named Robert, for your discernment. "I don't doubt that something will occur! I've lived in Los Angeles County all my life, but I don't fear death after Medjugorje. It's a sinful place well deserving of purification. It's worst than you described!"
"I've done a lot of thinking about what to pray for Los Angeles," wrote an accountant named Carol R. Altieri. "Jesus doesn't ever do things out of malice or anger or revenge. He never just gives up and wipes everything out -- although he came close with Noah. So I'm praying for his absolute best plan for everyone affected by what is coming. There is a best outcome, a best bearing of fruit, so to speak. Jesus has the plan, but it depends on the response of people. So I'm praying for the grace and mercy and humility and endurance for the absolute best outcome from his perspective on any events in Los Angeles."
That's a prayer we should all say.
And not just for California. It is hardly alone. In many ways, it is as spiritually active -- in a good sense -- as anywhere. Some of the best Marian and charismatic groups in the U.S. are based out here.
But it is also a forerunner and seems often to set trends and lead the way.
"Read your article of the evils of Los Angeles," wrote yet one more, Carole Acosta from Smith, Nevada. "I was born and raised in L.A. All the moral short comings you wrote about L.A. are correct. I was born in 1945, so I am an eye witness to all the evils you mentioned. I was a policeman for the City of Los Angeles for 15 years (1967-82), so I can attest to the moral decline of the Southern California area. What you failed to mention was the inaction of the Catholic Church to deal with these problems. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has failed to lead the way in the fight for morality! The ugly history of how the Church in Los Angeles handled the priest scandal is but one example. In general, people will follow the Church's advice when dealing with morality. If the Church ignores the problem (morality), people will do the same. Most of my family still lives in the Los Angeles area and I pray for them daily. I moved from that area nine years ago."
"I will add the city of Los Angeles to my Rosary intentions," said Mary Moore -- reacting in the way we hope everyone will. "I work in Delano and walk on my lunch hour, almost two miles, and I pray the Rosary for the unborn, those who will die suddenly and unprepared, and for the dear holy souls in purgatory.
"I live in Bakersfield, some 125 miles north of L.A.
"We can all pray the Blessed Mother watches over Her faithful when God's Hand falls on Los Angeles. I'm very glad you put that the faithful would be spared because Bakersfield isn't that far from Los Angeles. Please pray for us and encourage your readers to pray for us. There are some very wonderful saints praying throughout California. Praise God. They're the reason we're still here."
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