The prophetic pulse:
When It Comes To 'Signs Of The Times,' Such Are Often In Eye Of The Beholder
Signs are funny things. On the one hand, we're told not to tempt God by asking for signs, at least not huge ones, that make Him prove Himself (lest we be granted the sign of Jonah).
On the other hand, those asking the Lord for guidance often receive confirmation in the way of indications, "coincidences," or actual phenomena in their lives.
There are also "signs of the times," and many of you believe as we do that they are quickening around us -- as the Lord said they would in times of turmoil, and in times of purification.
Why this is such a controversial topic when Jesus spoke directly about signs (even in the sky, in the moon, in the sun, in the stars) is an intriguing testimony to the ill effects of scientism. Many priests reject the notion, and yet was not the Star of Bethlehem a sign in the sky? Was not the image of Guadalupe?
Are there signs in recent times? Let us say that the biggest signs are what we can hear and see each day in the world around us. A big sign of our times is the epidemic of pride, of disbelief, of disharmony, of antagonism, whether between cultures or members of a family. But there are also the phenomena, and not all of it is pareidolia (which means something our minds projects onto an object).
It's one thing when there is a photo of the sun with strange elements to it (such as a blot): arguably, this could be from the lens or some other working of the machine. No question.
But what about when such effects are both photographed and seen in person (as to the left, in Canada recently, and as also occurred recently at Medjugorje)?
Oh, our times. We believe that God speaks to everyone about it. "I have had a dream, similar to the one described [by a viewer] about four years ago," writes Ann-Marie Keenan of Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. "It was the middle of the night, yet the sun was shining brightly in the darkness, and there were crowds of people observing it. Also, I took a photo with my cell phone recently of what I thought was a nice sunset. When I saw it, there was a black dot in the center of the sun. I thought it might be a problem with the camera. I have attached it for you to see."
And so we do see it. Why photos with a dot are coming all of a sudden is an interesting question, although some point out Luke 21. You make of it what you will. Sometimes, with "signs" -- with prompts of the Holy Spirit -- it is just a feeling.
"Last week, for about three days in a row, I sensed this tremendous 'excitement' in Heaven," relates a viewer named Dawn Michele Bryan of Millstone Township, New Jersey. "I felt this huge anticipation and powerful gathering of angels around the Heavenly Father. It felt as if all the angels were praising God and worshiping Him for what He has deemed. It was as vague as that and yet so ever-present in my consciousness -- a Heavenly Adoration of God. I then checked your website and noticed your focus recently has been on events that may occur soon."
"Very interested in your articles about the signs of the times," wrote Celia Foley of County Kerry, Ireland. "I've been going to Medjugorje for the last seven years and have seen the sun spin several times. This year I took some photos of one incident when I was there in late May. It lasted at least fifteen minutes, just after the evening apparition. Two of us saw the purple orbs and the colors coming from the spinning sun. What is on the photo we saw with our eyes. I notice that purple color seems to be very associated with other photos of the sun in Medjugorje. Several members of our prayer group experienced that color, which we associate with the Holy Spirit's Presence."
"I live in Milwaukee," wrote Linda Clerkin. " I felt compelled to write you for the first time after reading your main story today, 'Something Coming.' I've had the strongest feeling for about six months, at least, of the same thing -- something big is coming, to the U.S. and to the world. I don’t know what. It will be from God and connected to Our Lady. I spoke those words to my mother last night -- and now I read your story this morning.
"I've had a growing sense that evil things were happening quicker, more closely together -- like the enemy knows he has less time before something happens and is trying anything and everything to get as many souls in trouble. That is the best way I know how to describe it. I've not been to Medjugorje, but I have been reading about it almost since the apparitions started in the 1980s.
"Some months ago, when I discovered and read the diary of St. Faustina, I told my mother of account in which she saw a giant cross in the sky. My mother told me that about ten years ago, she had a dream she remembers to this day -- it was daylight and she looked up and there was a massive, dark cross in the sky. She said she was in awe and not afraid, but knew that it meant that things were going to happen quickly now. That was her dream. In dreams can be mysterious symbols.
"My dream last week -- for what it's worth: my family and I were standing outside and suddenly looked up and saw, in an overcast sky, thousands of fighter jets and various airplanes flying without course far up in the sky. Then… each aircraft became 'accompanied' by some kind of 'flying being,' too far away for us to tell what they were. The planes began to pursue the beings, but kind of in slow motion. The sky was darkened with them, there were so many. Everything in the dream slowed down and we were were staring up with our mouths open, and in awe. I felt afraid."
"About six years ago I had a dream," notes a reader named Theresa. "In my dream I was in a friend's house. We were looking out the window and saw clouds darkening the sky. It was dark. Then there was a bright light coming forcefully onto the earth. I was so scared and knew it was the 'warning'. I then prayed, with a sign of resignation, 'I accept this as it is God's Will.' This was so startling that I woke up. I will never forget this dream."
"I was an adult server at St. Martin of Tours church in Louisville, Kentucky, and through most of the Nineties I served the Wednesday noon Mass on a regular basis," writes Lawrence G. Simpson, of a court administrator's office. "At that time I was preoccupied with the weight of my poverty, my inability to support my family, and I was generally depressed most of the time. I was working at a car dealership in parts and going to school in paralegal studies.
"On the feast of St. Martin of Tours, I was there as usual, doing my thing and helping the pastor, with the handful of people in attendance. At every Mass I served I prayed my heart out in silence for my family and our circumstances; and, that any grace or blessing that I might get for serving would be given to them (they were, time and time again).
"In other words, at this Mass I was totally preoccupied with being the best server I could be and my own concerns and despair for my family. (We had been fairly well off some years before this until I lost that job.)
"As the Mass progressed the psalm said something about poverty and trust in the Lord. The next events happened very quickly, in moments: As we stood for the Gospel, suddenly I heard some rustling back in the sacristy. This was not unusual since church people sometimes came into there for different things.
"I ignored it. But then it happened again, louder. I looked and though I saw no one, I now had a sense that a specific person, Fred, who was retired and helped out at the church and was also a fellow adult server. I looked back at father reading the Gospel. Then, suddenly, overwhelmingly a Presence was right beside me. I know it was Jesus. And, He was stronger and bolder and more awesomely real -- more masculine -- than any human man could ever possible be. I was dumbfounded. I knew there were two angels standing in the sacristy doorway. In that instant Jesus said this to me in my mind and in my soul, 'I made you poor, to bring you into Me.' Then He was gone."
We all have our private "signs."
"I had a dream of Our Lord standing in the horizon with his hands outstretched towards us,' writes Margaret Peters from Buffalo. "He was wearing a white robe with a red sash. He was sad and yet loving. People did not seem to see Him or care, they just went about their business. I couldn't believe how they ignored him standing there. Then I felt a wave of heat shoot through me almost like when you open a hot oven door and you feel the heat. Soon people were screaming and they began to be on fire almost as though the flames came from within. My husband, children and I were safe as we prayed. We tried to help the people but there was nothing we could do. I had this dream in l989 and remember it like it was yesterday. It shook me to the core."
Writes one more, Maurice Faulds: "The other morning at just after sunrise I was taking my dog for a walk when I noticed that the light from the sun reaching the top of the trees made the leaves look like real gold. It was really beautiful, and two magpies and a few collared doves turned to a gold color when being lit up by the sun's rays. The thought that came to mind was that we were on the edge of a golden era. The effect lasted no more than ten minutes if that with light turning to normal color as the sun grew higher."
12/12/06Return to archive page You are at www.spiritdaily.org