From Dreams To Photos, Sometimes It Looks Like The Subtle Touch Of Heaven
By Michael H. Brown
So much phenomena these days! What's real? What is the result of natural forces? What is mere "coincidence"?
We're not great believers in coincidence. We believe that when we're on the other side of the veil, we'll see God's design in every minute we spend on earth -- in every event, in every person we meet. There is a plan too big for us to see with earthly eyes, but it will all be revealed to us in the light of Heaven.
Until then, we're left with little hints. The other day a story arrived from Bucharest, where thousands of people who attended the funeral of a Romanian Orthodox priest, Father Constantin Galerius, believe they witnessed a miracle when a rainbow in the form of halo appeared over the church.
"Scientists say it was a rare type of circular rainbow that appeared as the priest's body was taken for burial," reported a news service, quoting one witness as saying: "I am sure it was a sign. It looked like a rainbow but it was circular as a fire aura. It was the father's saintly aura."
Can we believe this was a miracle? How do we discern such happenings? How do we determine such events in our own lives? The priest was said to be especially holy and had been imprisoned by the Communists in the 1950s.
We remember an extremely strange rainbow that occurred on a sunny day as a funeral procession began to wend its way from a church to the cemetery for a great uncle of ours (even his pragmatic children were amazed). We also recall how God sent a rainbow as a sign to Noah that He would never again flood the earth. The Book of Revelation tells us that there is a rainbow around the Throne of God -- and describes too a rainbow around the head of a mighty angel.
"About 12 years ago, while flying to Medjugorje, I also saw a round rainbow out my window," notes reader Mary Hartnett. "At the time, I didn't think much of it, as I wasn't a 'seasoned' traveler, and thought that maybe this happened all the time "way up high" but since then, I have flown to many different places and have never seen a round rainbow again."
And so it behooves us to watch for signs of the times as long as we do not obsessively seek after them. Faith comes first. The strong believer does not follow signs; rather, signs follow the strong believer.
But neither do we ignore them. On August 27, 2001 -- just two weeks before the historic 9/11 terrorist attack -- The New York Post reported on a Siberian elm on Arden Street in Manhattan's Inwood section. Crowds had gathered around. According to witnesses, a stain on the tree resembled the Virgin Mary weeping.
Meanwhile, we all recall the cross formed by beams that fell from the World Trade Center.
Oiling icons? Statues that weep? "Coincidence?" We hear from a friend in California that a statue of Padre Pio in her home is exuding blood. We have followed this family's situation for a couple years. Many statues allegedly weep in her home. One statue is pictured below. Up until now, the exudations have been tears or oil. What does the blood mean?
There are unique cloud formations. So many of these! There are photos of the sun that don't look like normal photos of the sun. There are solar miracles. There are mysterious photographs. People are seeing and feeling and hearing many things. They are waking up right at 3 a.m. and finding themselves in prayer.
We have asked this before: why three?
Many are those who relate to us their nocturnal visions. "I had the most interesting dream," writes Diane Benedek of Oxford, Pennsylvania. "I was asleep but in my dream I was lying in bed exactly as my room is set up. I remember looking towards my closed bedroom door. I heard the Blessed Mother calling me to come downstairs but I said I was too tired.
"The next thing I knew she came through my door. She was surrounded in light but I could not see her face. She seemed to be hovering. I felt fear and awe. I knew it was her because she was graceful. She stood by my husband's side of the bed. She was dressed in a white veil and a white dress (kind of like a nuns). She had a red scapular down the front of her dress that ran down to the edge of her dress. On her belly was the symbol of the old Russian flag (with a hammer and sickle). Her hands were folded in prayer. She said to me to repeat constantly a phrase to this extent: 'God's power saves' or 'God is the saving power.'
"She looked up above my head and nodded her head and vanished. Above my bed is a crucifix and I knew she looked at this before she nodded her head and vanished. I woke up instantly after she disappeared and I looked at the clock. It was 3:00 in the morning (so I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet and repeated what she said). Also of interest was this was the evening of the feast of the Assumption, August 15th."
Another writer, Eileen Carol, recounts the visit to a shrine in Ohio known as Maranatha. At a spot called the Lake of Tears she took photographs of a Madonna (above). "When I picked up my photos a couple days after my return home, I was pleasantly surprised," she says. "Blessed Mother had given me a 'miracle' photo at the Lake of Tears. The chalk-white statue had a human face! The face was flesh-colored and she had eyes!"
This is often reported, especially at Medjugorje; that statues seem to change posture or actual texture from one photo to the next, sometimes in ways that seem to be more than just the angle. There is a discernible shift. We present it for your discernment. A trick of the light? Different film? Different angles?
Or is this real phenomena?
Like so many other things, do the nuances between photographs sometimes indicate a subtle manifestation?
Tough call. One has to be careful. The imagination can be awfully powerful. But then, so can the touch of Heaven
Clouds form cross at Ground Zero
California statue allegedly exuding
Face of 'Jesus' in reflection?
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