There Is Nothing To Fear About Coming Events -- But The Message Is To 'Prepare'
By Michael H. Brown
For a long while I've gotten the word, "prepare." I have not wanted to write about that. I finally sat down to write about it last Saturday. I mentioned a number of things transpiring in the world: the war, the potential trouble spots, the weeping Madonnas, the signs in nature.
Five minutes after writing the first version of that article, our electricity went out. A major, freakish ice storm had descended on the Northeast (which is experiencing the harshest winter anyone, even the old-timers, can remember). My computer blinked out. It was a trying experience, no longer able to function as a household. It's incredible how much we rely on electricity. I'm sure you've had your own experiences. We had to leave our home because we have a young baby and with no electricity, there is no heat.
No heat, no lights, no TV, no radio, no computer, no oven.
We had to stay at my in-laws a distance away. I have tropical fish, and the next morning, with the power still out and the temperature back at our house now 50 degrees (warmer in the aquarium, which I had covered with a blanket), I had to organize a tropical-fish rescue mission.
The lights finally came back after 18 hours, but what does this tell us? What does this portend?
Ironically, before we abandoned our house and were waiting to see if the lights would come back on, I began to read something I'd been faxed the day before. It was from a fellow who has had visions since the age of eight. We'll be hearing from him later in the week. Among his writings was a warning that our technology is going to fail. "We are almost unaware," he wrote, "of what a fragile hothouse plant our sophisticated technological systems are." He also warned of what he called false dawns. "We will know the nature of the battle we are in when our technology fails, and fail it will," he wrote. I read his fax by candlelight.
It was the second time in two years that I suffered through a breakdown in infrastructure -- what one might call a forerunner or "pre-chastisement." The other was on September 11, 2001, when, due to the terrorist attacks, I found myself stranded for nearly a week in Salt Lake City -- unable to get a plane, train, bus, or any other normal means of transportation. The infrastructure of the nation had been paralyzed by the destruction of two buildings.
September 11 was only a warning. The same is witnessed in nature. We have seen the weather whip from extreme to extreme: Last summer was one of the hottest in memory, followed by the bitter-cold winter and now a bizarre, equally trying spring. Whatever the outcome of the war (which we have always considered more a military "strike"), major events loom in the future. It's an exciting, galvanizing, and yet serious time that will lead to something better.
The word we get is "prepare," and this is also something that has been repeatedly stated at sites of apparition. It doesn't mean we're approaching "doom." It means we should do what the government recommends: keep a supply of canned goods, bottled water, medication, battery-run radios, and those other necessities that officials have suggested -- yes, especially candles!
Such is not to suggest hiding in a storm cellar. It is to say that we should be ready for all potential events (especially epidemics). If the electricity were off for nearly a week -- as happened several years ago in Quebec -- stored supplies and a wood-burning stove would come in more than handy.
This is what we face: a time of extremes, and when we say "prepare," more than anything we mean spiritually. When we pray, we may suffer to an extent, but we are protected. With prayer, life is a joyful challenge. Many kinds of storms are on the way, and they will put the world in better order. Those who are full of fear are not praying enough -- while at the same time those who are at the opposite extreme, who pretend that all is fine and take on the aura of a Pollyanna -- who scoff at the notion that God purifies (even though such pervades Scripture) -- do themselves and society poor service.
This is not "gloom and doom." It is not the end of the world. It is preparation.
What are the most recent signs? Last week, an image of the Blessed Mother seemed to appear in Pennsylvania. The week before came more reports from places like Canada. Why Canada? A pervasive secularism, a modernism that quashes the Spirit and has invaded the Church, as it has in the United States. Last week it was reported that bishops in Quebec said they would not openly renounce gay unions or "marriages" (although, thankfully, they later issued a statement explaining a general opposition). There are also socialistic trends in regions like Saskatchewan, where at least six communities have reported images of the Blessed Mother, saints, and Jesus on windows (most recently at a place called Wollaston Lake).
Elsewhere, a small Greek Orthodox church in Toronto reports an icon of the Virgin and Infant shedding tears (or as experts call it, "lachrymating").
Are they harbingers? Are disturbances coming to those places? My goodness: Romania, the Philippines, India. This is the place to watch -- India and Pakistan, which are much more of a threat than Iraq, armed as they are not only with nuclear weapons but the missiles to carry them.
Muslims and Hindus continue to clash in those two nations, there is the continued persecution of Christians, and there are reports of statues weeping or shedding blood (is that of God?) in Bangladesh and South Goa and Gujarat.
Thousands of people in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong are flocking to a church where tears are forming on a statue of the Blessed Virgin.
"Many of those visiting the church are Muslims, eager to see what some locals believe is a sign of the Virgin's dismay over the recent outbreak of violence in the country and elsewhere in the world," notes one report. "Roman Catholic believers say it is the first time in Bangladesh that tears have been seen on a statue of the Virgin Mary."
In the Indian region of South Goa, hundreds have headed to a church where a painting of Jesus is "weeping." The picture belongs to a 14-year-old girl who first saw the exudation in her bedroom cupboard.
Are they signs? Were they "signs" when a highly unusual sandstorm whipped up at the beginning of the Iraq war (the worst such storm there in at least 18 years, during the very first week of fighting), or when Tony Blair's plane was hit by lightning on the way to a meeting at Camp David (where, a week later, into spring, the President was deterred by snow)?
Were these signs -- or the devil kicking up the dirt?
At Medjugorje, where a recent message was misinterpreted (it meant "dust to dust," not an actual return to earth), the seer who took down the message, Mirjana Soldo, was "very somber when she talked to me about the apparition," noted a tour leader. "She said she has seen Blessed Mother happy, sad, and what she calls normal (really no particular mood) but this time she was very stern. She said she has never seen Our Lady that way. Mirjana said this was a very serious message."
Watch out for periods of false calm. These are serious times. But they are also times that can be handled through prayer -- which brings joy in every situation.
[Resources: Fast Lane to Heaven, The Day Will Come, Trial and Tribulation, Catholic Prophecy, Sent To Earth, The Trumpet of Gabriel, The Final Hour ]
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